Sunka Wakan ~ Sacred Horse

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The People of the  Lakota, Nakota and Dakota People adopted the Sacred Horse, [ Sunka Wakan ] into their nation and into their families.

“It is part of who we are. It is hard in our ways to remember our lives with out our Horses. They are part of our family. We give them names and honor them. They take part in our ceremonies. They are part of our lives, not only for transportation but also the Sunka Wakan help heal our minds, bodies and spirits.

Sunka is the Lakota word for “dog”. Before the horse, Sunka helped us with our transportation. They also are our family members. When Sunka Wakan, the “Sacred Horse” came, it became a blessing a gift from our Creator to be forever in our lives.

Today, our grandchildren and children still need the Sunka Wakan for our healings of body, mind and spirit. Some of  the grandparents and parents save their money for months just to buy a colt, a Sunka Wakan for their children and grandchildren. This keeps our children and grandchildren away from alcohol, drugs and gang activities. This why we need our Sunka Wanka is part of our families.” -David Swallow, Wowitan Yuha Mani

Porcupine, South Dakota – The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

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Hope, Healing and the Sacred Horse

I have a dream… Monet Poe

The Dakota Horses 

In 2016 an event happened that change my life. 

It all started one morning when my mom turned on her computer and we watched as innocent people were being attacked by police and police dogs on stolen Native land. We learned that a few Lakota teenagers decided to take a stand against the Dakota Access Pine Line to protect their land and water. Their relatives soon joined them and camp was born.  A couple weeks later we found ourselves at Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota. We just couldn’t sit and watch, we heard the call and went.  From September to March we stood with our Indigenous relatives against oil and greed to protect the water and land. We spent our days helping in any way we could by helping in the kitchen, with the horses, building structures and in the medic tent. We met so many great humans trying to change the world in a good way. We met friends who turned into family.  

One morning in mid-September, the only horse in the Rose Bud camp had escaped. I woke up to the sound of hoof prints on the ground, such a lovely sound to wake up to. I rushed out of the tent. And there she was, a beautiful paint horse named Girl. I tried to help and get her but she ran right past me. A moment later I saw her as did everyone else. They weren’t looking at her but who she was visiting with, none other then a golden eagle. Precisely one of the golden eagles that D.A.P.L.(Dakota access pipeline) had poisoned early that year. We all gathered around them for hours, amazed by its presence. This was a moment none of us will forget.  I have a deep love and respect for horses. I wanted to help take care of Girl so I left a note on the camper of Richard White, Girls care giver.  This began a friendship with Richard, Girl and Richards granddaughters, Egypt, Akaydia and Havana. We became family. 

In February, we heard the news that at the end of the month we were being kicked off of the land. The camp and people had become family so this was really hard. On that day, we were told by the police we could come in and out till noon to move our things out of camp, but that wasn’t the case. Early that morning, Girls caretaker, Richard White,  had taken a load out of camp. On his way back to get his horse, camper and his granddaughters, the police stopped him. They told him he could go no farther even though his horse and granddaughters were there (and it was 7 am NOT noon) . It was up to his eldest granddaughter, Egypt and me to ride Girl out of camp. It took us two hours to get to the barricade. Camp was burning, snow was falling and we were forced to start a new chapter. 

A month later,  Girl sadly died in a blizzard from starvation. I miss her every day. She changed my life forever and introduced my mom and I to Richard and the girls. We are forever grateful to her. 

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After Standing Rock I wrote out my dream for my future and we've been praying on it ever since. I wrote that I wanted to buy a large ranch to free the land and rescue horses to train and to work with youth and horses to help heal people. Horses are medicine.

In September we went to the Indigenous Wisdom and Permaculture Convergence at the Olceri Ranch on Pine Ridge reservation.  Here we found friends who share the same dream! We even met back up with my friend Martha from camp. She is a horse trainer and also wants to work with horses and Native youth. Already I’m realizing, dreams do come true!

As you may know, the winters in the Dakotas are fierce - getting as low as -50F! Horses need hay to sustain them through winter months out here. The ranch has a hay bailer that is broken and we'd like to help get that fixed by summer so that next winter we will have hay, as well as afford the supplies to get them through this winter which has already begun to set in.


All love offerings will support our OLCERI horse family in rescuing, training, feeding and caring for the horses as well as supporting the future growth of our mission to help others heal through horses and their medicine. 

Two Truckloads of hay will feed the horses as well as the neighbors horses for the winter costing $3500

The Hay Bailer will cost around $3000 to fix


If you feel called to share some love with the OLCERI horses this winter you can DONATE to sarah@poesforpeace.com.

We are working on a GO FUND ME as well and we will post as soon as we have it ready.

No gift is too small!


Thank you for your time, wicasoni to you and your relatives.

Gratefully, Monet Poe 

Sarah PoeComment