Turning 50: Reflection, Celebration & Pow wow

Turning 50 was a major accomplishment for me! I could hardly wait! The day that so many loathe, I was embracing with victory. When others were tracking the years until retirement, I was in the midst of a midlife reinvention of myself. I was no longer bedridden with a deadly disease, neither was my son who was now 16. I feel better now then I have in the last twenty-five years. It is time for me to do something that was just more than being in survivor mode...Something for me.

I went from social worker to Native entertainment journalist because I became bedridden in my mid-thirties. I am and was a single mother with a sick toddler who was years away from an autism diagnosis. There were days I could not lift my head off my pillow. Or could not make it up a flight of steps, I would have to sit and rest to gain enough strength to finish. I ran a fever for nearly three decades. I lost my quality of life, so did my son. We were at death's door...However I refused to believe we would die. I had to do something with my brain even if it was from my bed. One day, it came to me, something my Sociology professor at Bowling Green State University told me in front of the entire class-I was a good writer. Then I remembered while I attended Oglala Lakota College in South Dakota, my Native psychology professor told me I was a very good writer and that I should write about Native American men and the good they do. Rather then about the orange jump suits they are stereotyped for.

So these thoughts were life changing for me. I had found my magic that carried my spirit to a special place. I began to write for Native American papers covering music. Through this work I was published on the AP wire. I met famous Native musicians as those struggling to make it on the rez. All of them were making a difference in their communities and down the road they would support my activism. Without my laptop bedside to write my articles, I am not sure I would have made it. When I made it to 40, I treated myself to a massage. The therapist could tell that I had been bedridden and that really hit me...I was devastated there was actual proof of this...However, it motivated me to begin to walk every Sunday at park on a dirt path. In the beginning, walking on concrete sidewalks was not an option as it was excruciating to my entire body especially my neck and shoulders. I have done more as the years have gone by.

I had faced so much at such a young age with my health that little milestones were incredible accomplishments for me, while raising a sick child with the same medical problems. My son’s care and needs are a full time job. He has been through so much. I don’t know how he does it but he has rallied every time he has faced severe hardships. Now, with my son finally in a school that he loves, is thriving and our health is stabilizing, it is time for me.

The only way my son and I have been able to stand up time after time is because of my parents, Al & Rose! They have stood by us in our very difficult journey. I know it is not easy to see your family sick for years especially in their elder years. I was blessed to have my parents adopt me at birth. My great journey has so much to do with them and their unconditional love! I am so happy my parents are here to celebrate my 50th birthday! It is so special to have them in my life! So, what I wanted to do most to celebrate my fifth decade was to dance at the Seminole Pow Pow in my jingle dress. I was so excited, I could not wait. I was so anxious! It seemed like it took forever to get there, walk to the arena and get my regalia on! It was exhausting. I was the first one there for the Grand Entry line! LOL

I was ready to jingle dress dance-a dance of healing for all my loved ones. I danced for all those who are sick, alone or have not been heard! I wore a handprint over my mouth to symbolize Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women movement & the deadly silence that our communities have endured through this epidemic! It represents the voices of the families not being heard. It represents the silence in domestic violence!

When it was time to enter the arena, my heart was pounding and was focused on the beat of the drum. I felt this amazing surge of feelings that I cannot fully describe as my new moccasins had my heart soaring...I think I was feeling a mix of happiness, excitement & pride with a twist of healing. I am not quite sure exactly what was happening with me... Whatever it was I did not want it to go away! Nor did I want the drum and singing to end! It was a phenomenal moment!...Perhaps it was a spiritual moment that may not be describible...

Perhaps it was a spiritual moment that was just for me...in celebration of my 50th birthday!I'm a paragraph. 

 

Tara Pretends Eagle Weber: A Voice of Advocacy, Hope, and Healing

Tara Pretends Eagle Weber: A Voice of Advocacy, Hope, and Healing

 

Published in The Good Men Project on October 5, 2014

by Anthony Goulet 

 

 

 – Most people have heard the names Amanda Berry, Georgina DeJesus and Michelle Knight. The three girls who were abducted in Cleveland, Ohio and found ten years later. However, most haven’t heard the name Tara Pretends Eagle Weber who was the ferocious advocate behind the scenes for these girls while they were missing. Tara spent countless hours supporting the families of the girls, organizing vigils, and working with media outlets to ensure the names and faces of the girls were not forgotten. She is someone who never gives up hope. Tara-Welcome Home Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with Tara Pretends Eagle Weber. She reluctantly gave me an opportunity to interview her. Her reluctance was because she isn’t as comfortable receiving the spotlight as she is giving the spotlight, which is why she is such a special person. Her life work as a social worker, advocate, journalist, writer, and publicist is shining the spotlight on the important work others are doing. I am grateful she has given me the opportunity to shine the spotlight on her and the work she has done for over twenty years to introduce her to you through the Good Men Project.

 

Tara Pretends Eagle Weber is a Native American woman from the Hunkpapa band of the great Lakota nation. She is a direct descendant of Chief Joseph Gall the leader at the Battle of Little Big Horn, Chief Sitting Bull, and the great-granddaughter of theCongressional Medal Honoree and Code Talker, Joseph Pretends Eagle Jr. Tara is the daughter of Al and Rose Weber. Tara remains true to the Creator and her ancestors, carrying the timeless Lakota virtues of courage, wisdom, fortitude, humility and charity. I first met Tara in 2002 at American Indian Health and Family Services in Detroit, MI. With her baby in her arms, she supported the community in the healing that all participants were there seeking for themselves and their families. That is how I have always known her, holding her own child, raising him, dealing with her own serious struggles, yet still having enough strength to willingly carry the pain and struggles of a community on her back. Doing all this work is impressive enough, yet when I found out that she was doing this work while struggling with the debilitating and possibly deadly effects of Lyme disease, I was in awe.

 

Anthony Goulet: First off, thank you so much for doing this interview with me for the Good Men Project.

 

Tara Pretends Eagle Weber: Thank you for asking to interview me. I am humbled and very honored. It is an unusual position for me to be in. Usually, as you know, I am the one asking the questions. I am happy to have been chosen to be included in a publication that brings such a positive message, especially to men.

 

Anthony Goulet: You come from a long line of chiefs, warriors and activists. Is this an integral part of the work you do and the path of service you have walked for more than two decades?

 

Tara Pretends Eagle Weber: Yes, I feel it’s in my blood to fight and survive. These strengths are at the core of my existence. I feel it’s only natural to fight like no other for what is right. I feel my work for the last 23 years has been to honor the great sacrifices my Lakota ancestors made for me. I feel a special connection to my ancestors as I often feel their special strength and understanding to keep fighting when others find excuses to stop fighting. I just keep standing up for what is right and for those who, for whatever reason, cannot fight on the front lines with me. In my situation, it shows the great strength of genetics as I was adopted out of my tribe at birth and did not know the details of my heritage and ancestors until I was thirty-three years old. Yet, I fought and fought and never gave up, just like my ancestors, despite not knowing where or who I came from. It is quite remarkable how much my fight is just like theirs. It makes me so proud to know where I come from and to have developed an understanding as to why I fight the way I do.

 

Anthony Goulet: Was there any particular event or moment that inspired you to spend your life advocating and working for others? If you see it as a calling, do you remember when you felt called to serve others the way you have done for so many years? 

 

Tara Pretends Eagle Weber: I followed in the footsteps of my adopted mother, Rose and became a social worker just like her. I always felt good about helping others even as a child. I think becoming a victim of a violent crime as a teenager and the hard healing journey it was for me as a survivor definitely inspired me to help others. I saw from my own experience how you can heal and have a wonderful life if you are given the proper healing tools. I wanted to be a part of others’ healing and fight for justice from a very young age. My passion to help others heal and see that they are treated with respect from the system comes from my heart. At a young age I learned to go with what my heart tells me, because only then I knew what I was doing was right for me. Anthony Goulet: Can you share a little about where your passion comes from? Where does your strength to put your own serious struggles aside to serve others come from?

 

Tara Pretends Eagle Weber: I saw very early on in my career, right out of college the big effect my work had on people who were struggling with the horrors of victimization. I saw how it affected their family members and loved ones, and felt it was important to reach out to them as well. I felt the deep interpersonal connection with my clients, so this developed a special bond and trust with these initial strangers. They trusted me to help guide their broken spirits because they did not know what to do. That connection is what works. Their feedback of hugs, tears of gratitude, gifts, poems and staying in touch showed me how important I was to them. I saw the beauty of healing the heart after being so wounded. It did not happen with everyone but when it did it was a wonderful thing to experience. I was blessed because I was good at my passion which happened to be my career. That is not always the case. So, I went with it because it not only helped others but it helped me, especially when I had my own times of agony, struggle and horrific pain. I was blessed to learn from my Lakota elder that when we need something in order to live, such as a medicine and we are not able to get what we need to save ourselves, we have to fight like we know we will get what we need. Until you can get your own medicine you must help others fight for someone else who needs medicine. If you help save someone else’s life, your life will be saved. He was right. This is my truth. I did what I could to help others who were dying or had a broken spirit while my son and I were literally dying from a deadly disease and could not get the medicine we needed to live. Sometimes it was agonizing, but my tunnel vision allowed me to believe that I would, in the end, get the medicine we needed to live. And we did received the proper medicines we needed to live and restore our quality of life. There have been many times in the last fifteen years where I did put my own pain aside to help others. My strong belief in my Lakota ways and unconditional support from my parents somehow always gave me the strength to help others, even when I was literally dying. It may sound crazy, but you can still change the world, even if death is knocking at your and your child’s door. Tara and her son

 

Anthony Goulet: How do you always seem to find a way to carry hope, even when many others around you seem to have lost hope? Tara Pretends Eagle Weber: The best thing about hope is that it belongs to you. So no one has the right to take it away. Often times a powerful person in the system or a medical doctor may try to shed you of your hope, but it is not theirs to shed. It’s yours to do with what you want. Hope is a powerful medicine. It brings you strength and love when others have lost theirs. It motivates you to do things you probably would have never risked until the unthinkable tragedy entered your life. When my son and I were literally dying, I never lost hope. I never let myself believe for one second that we were going to die. It was not an option for my mind. I had to know I would find the medicine to save our lives. No matter how many doors slammed in my face, unreturned phone calls, or how many times a doctor verbally abused me or belittled me when I advocated for our lives, I refused to let that negative behavior take my hope away. Sometimes hope is all you have. Always remember, hope is yours and only yours!

 

Anthony Goulet: What would you say to those people who have lost hope and think that there is nothing they can do to make a difference?

 

Tara Pretends Eagle Weber: I would ask them to reflect back on a time when they did have hope. I would ask them about that situation and how hope helped them. I would ask what has caused them to lose that hope. Often times there is a valid reason for the loss of hope. I would encourage them to believe in it because hope can give you great strength that often times we are unaware is even there. Hope can also be a great protector from unbearable pain. Some often choose hope when they know the real answer, but if it helps one survive, it’s their choice. With or without hope, one can always make a difference in the world. They just need to take care of themselves and give themselves time to heal and reflect.

 

Anthony Goulet: Have there been any moments in your work where you felt alone and what did you do when that happens?

 

Tara Pretends Eagle Weber: I have felt alone many times in my work. I took that time to complain to a dear friend, my mom or colleague about it. If someone was not available, I would write in a journal about it. I try to clear my head by exercising and doing something that I enjoy. Now, I attend Inipi, a traditional Lakota purification ceremony to pray and support others.

 

Anthony Goulet: Do you have any words of encouragement for people who are doing the important work, yet are going through a period of feeling alone?

 

Tara Pretends Eagle Weber: You have to have healthy outlets when you are alone because it can be very painful to be isolated, especially when you are right. It’s important to know your limits so that it does not manifest into depression or isolation outside of your work. Remind yourself of why you are doing the work to begin with. Probably, to help others make a difference in the world. Even when you are alone, someone still needs you. Reach out and help someone that you know you can, they are just an email or phone call away. Never give up!

 

Anthony Goulet: Can you please share what some of your greatest moments of fulfillment for others and for yourself have been?

 

Tara Pretends Eagle Weber: One of the greatest moments of fulfillment for myself was getting the medicines and support to save my son and I from dying from Lyme disease. To experience getting our quality of life back is a miracle that we enjoy daily. The tribe of support it took to achieve this includes unconditional love from my parents, dear friends, doctors, Advanced Cell Training, traditional Lakota ways and ceremonies. Feeling the never ending love and support is one of the greatest experiences of my life. The greatest moments of fulfillment for others was to experience Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus returning home after being in captivity for over a decade. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life. Experiencing this miracle along with the rest of the world has been truly remarkable. I am very proud for never giving up and believing all along that they were alive. Never giving up or letting the world forget about them is something I am very proud of and always will be.

 

Anthony Goulet: How has your work impacted your son?

 

Tara Pretends Eagle Weber: My son Ranson grew up going to Amanda and Gina’s homes and events I coordinated. He would dream that they were still alive at the age of eight years old. He is strong, sensitive and learned young how to fight for his life. He saw his mother fighting for his life and understands in a unique way why his mother will fight for others. He has a keen eye for injustice and it looks as though he may be another one who will fight to change the world as a young Lakota man.

 

Anthony Goulet: Since you are raising a boy into manhood, what is a good man?

 

Tara Pretends Eagle Weber: A good man has a big heart. He has respect for women, the givers of life. He helps others and likes to make a difference in the world. He is there for his family at all times, whether near or far. A good man sacrifices for his children and wife. He would do anything for them and to save them from harm’s way. A good man is a protector of humanity.

 

Anthony Goulet: As a single mother raising your son, do you have anything you would like to share about the importance of the presence of a father in their child’s life?

 

Tara Pretends Eagle Weber: It makes all the difference. A mother cannot be a father, no matter how hard she tries. No matter how good life is for a child when a father is absent, the child will always long for his father. I had to understand that my son was going through the grief of not having his father in his life. I take that very seriously and understand the depression and void it causes. I provide a lot of support and take him to traditional ceremonies to help him with the grief, pain and healing.

 

Anthony Goulet: As a Native American woman do you have anything that you think men in our society should know, think about or consider in terms of how we view ourselves and how we view women?

 

Tara Pretends Eagle Weber: If we all went back to the basic belief that women are the bearers of life it would give all women and girls basic human respect. This has been lost. That is why the Lakota/Native American way of life needs to return full circle because all our nations hold this strong belief. Without the basic respect of women and girls we have become lost and broken.

 

Anthony Goulet: What more can men do to assist in the work of advocating for and preventing the exploitation and abduction of girls and women?

 

Tara Pretends Eagle Weber: Stand beside the families and advocates that are in the trenches fighting for the rights of women and girls. Men have such a powerful presence and voice. In many situations a man’s presence has a powerful effect on the response you will get from society, even when they have not said a word.

 

To contact Tara Pretends Eagle Weber for consultations or speaking engagements please write to her at children_warriors@yahoo.com

About the author

Thank you for reading!

Tara

Aisha Fraser

I lobbied an alledged wife killer: Lance Mason-A former Cleveland Judge & Ohio Senator killed his ex-wife in front of their children...

By Tara Pretends Eagle Weber   

      Hunkpapa Lakota

 

Aisha Fraser, a mother and elementary school teacher was murdered in front of her children on Saturday morning by her ex-husband, Lance Mason-a former Cleveland Common Pleas Judge, a Prosecutor, an Ohio Legislator. Mason was fired later that afternoon as the Director of Business for Minority Development for the City of Cleveland.

 

When I was living in Cleveland, I advocated and worked with the families with missing family members. I was the only person who was friends with both mothers of Amanda Berry & Gina DeJesus according to Gina’s mother. Amanda & Gina were abducted as teens and held in captivity for a decade. As a result of my meetings with serveral families with a missing family member, I wrote AMINA’s Law-written in honor of AManda & gINA legislation to make families with a missing family member, victims of violent crime. It was initially Amanda’s Law but then it changed after I met Gina’s parents. I worked with the Center for Missing & Exploited Children on the legislation. I was referred to by Lee Fisher, former Ohio Attorney General who was on their board.

 

I had a sponsor in former, Ohio State Senator Eric Fingerhut. However, he was a lame duck. There were two men up for his seat, one was my former boss, David Lynch who when, Mayor of the City of Euclid hired me to create and coordinate the City’s first domestic violence advocacy program. Lynch agreed to sponsor my legislation if elected and said he was proud to see what I was doing.

 

The other candidate was Lance Mason who did not answer my calls initially. However, he agreed to read the info on my legislation. Back then, I took Gina DeJesus’ mother, Nancy Ruiz to events to teach her about politics, victim advocacy and social justice publicity as I learned myself. One evening, I took her to a Democratic rally held outside on a cold Ohio night. When we saw Mason, we approached him so we could ask him about my legislation.

 

This is when I learned missing children could be a very nasty political chess game and NOT about humanity. Mason looked right into the eyes of a mother whose child was missing and said, “I will sponsor AMINA’s Law!” As she pinned the picture of Gina to his lapel on his winter coat, he reassured her he would sponsor my Bill. When he got into office, he refused to sponsor AMINA’s Law but not before he talked to me and said he was going to change it. His changes included the elderly and removed children. He lied. Little did I know...

 

I only googled Lance Mason once, ten years ago. I found out he had a one year old with a hole in her heart. I don’t wish a sick child on anyone, I have one too. Then I let it go!

 

Then on Saturday, it came through my Facebook feed that Lance Mason had been arrested for killing his ex-wife, Aisha Fraser. Apparently, their daughter,11 with a bad heart and her younger sister 8, witnessed their father kill their mother in their own home.

 

Mason WAS A CLEVELAND JUDGE at the time in 2014, when he beat his ex-wife in front of their children: punching her more than 20 times, slamming her head into the dashboard breaking her orbital bone. She need facial reconstruction surgery. However, HE ONLY SERVED 9 MONTHS FOR A FELONY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE!

 

Cleveland Mayor, Frank Jackson knew Mason was a convicted, violent-felon. And Mayor Jackson still hired Mason. As Director of Business of Minority Development stating he was the most qualified for the job.

 

Jackson also was aware that Mason had an arsenal of weapons in his home when he was arrested in 2014. And Mayor Jackson still hired Mason. He was also aware Mason choked, bit and hit Aisha over 20 times, threw her out of the SUV and drove off. And Mayor Jackson still hired Mason. She filed for divorce and was awarded $150,000.00 for the damage to her face in a civil case. And Mayor Jackson still hired Mason.

 

This is such an injustice. When a spouse does that kind of damage to his wife in front of their children, it unfortunately has been been happening and has escalated to the worst possible level of violence. That is why SHE DID LEAVE! It does not normally go from zero violence to breaking someone’s face. That is why SHE LEFT MASON!

 

Even today, Mayor Jackson is defending his support of Mason. This a huge political mistake and a human mistake, a big one! It is saying, he was a good guy who happened to brutally beat and kill his ex-wife. At this point, Jackson should stick to condolences...rather then defend his ego when two children's mother was murdered...by his employee.

 

The trickle down effect of Aisha Frasher’s murder runs deep...Her children and parents are now homicide survivors. Her class full of 12 year olds have had their teacher murdered over the weekend-are homocide survivors... Woodbury Elementary student body, her colleagues and legacy of students will never be the same. It is a tragic loss that may or may not have been preventable. However, what should have NEVER happened was a Mayor of a major U. S. City enabling a wife killer. But, he did...

 

It took Aisha Fraser to be murdered for Mayor, Frank Jackson

to fire Lance Mason!

 

Mason was horrifically enabled by the system. This has got to stop! Starting from the top! People in power need to stop enabling violent men. Men killing their wives or girlfriends has become the norm in the United States. We hear about it on a regular basis!

 

Aisha Fraser was a strong woman! Some of us know, what she might have endured to protect her children. Some of us, know her fears! But survived. Aisha did not. Today, there are 2 small kids without their mother. Their spirits are forever, shattered in their new world without her!

 

 

Weber currently serves on the Board for The National Organization for Women-Palm Beach Co., Fl. She's has been a Journalist w the Native American Press since 2006, where she landed an interview with Mohawk Rock legend, Robbie Robertson at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She was a Cleveland resident for 35 years, a graduate of Orange High School & Bowling Green State University where she earned her Ohio Social Work license in 1991.

 

Weber served as the Coordinator for the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)-Ohio Rape Prevention Program & a former member of Cleveland Coordinating Council on Domestic Violence. Weber also brought former missing, Indigenous women, Amanda Berry & Gina DeJesus to international attention by working with the National Basketball League & the Oprah Winfrey Show. Weber’s blog is-A Lakota Woman’s Voice at: www.lakotawomansvoice.com  

 

Weber is a citizen of The Standing Rock Lakota Nation, North Dakota.

 

 

 

Nancy Ruiz, mom of Gina DeJesus & Weber-night the world saw Amanda & Gina's pics!

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremony

Weber & Robertson-at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland

Links to WKYC news coverage-Aisha's boyfriend comment & mayor's refusal to apologize!

   

Just after boyfriend left, Aisha was killed. Listen to him state her community did not support her! www.wkyc.com/article/news/local/cleveland/exclusive-boyfriend-of-aisha-fraser-tells-wkyc-she-was-a-gift-and-to-me-the-love-of-my-life/95-616005898  

 

www.wkyc.com/article/news/investigations/mayor-frank-jackson-defends-hiring-of-lance-mason-refuses-to-apologize/95-616008058

Tara Pretends Eagle Weber

PROOF that every vote counts!

 

Election Day: My 15 hour day working at the voting precint- On election day, I was worked the polls as an Inspector, one who had 4 hours of training and quite frankly bare too much responsibility. As we are the ones that need to verify that their signature match on their ID & when they sign-in to vote at the precinct. Especially, when it comes down to a close race, or even a recount. The signatures make a ballot, official. Which is what is happening here in Florida with our governor, US Senator & agriculture commissioner. (The recount is a blog of its own)

 

My day started at 5 AM, I was sleeping with one eye open all night because I was afraid I would not wake up in time. LOL At 6:10 AM, the precinct clerk, my boss for the day, texted me to make sure I was coming because they NEEDED me. The reason being-there were only 3 of us, for the entire day signing people in.

 

At times, I would look over to my fellow comrades and they were not there for whatever reason. Lol Meaning I was doing all the sign ins alone...LOL Had I known the line went out the door, down and around the building, I probably would have freaked out. LMAO However, these people were patient. No one complained about the wait! I think that is quite amazing. They wanted to vote! I was afraid all day of someone getting upset about whatever reasons and getting out of control. Then being alone when it happened...at my table. Luckily, we had the clerk, our boss. Any problem, he got. Especially when the one man was very angry about some information I gave him. When I told him to speak to the man in the yellow shirt, he looked at me with evil eyes. Whatever was or wasn’t his problem at that moment, I was not going to be in the mix, because something had him enraged before he even got there...It is nice to have men around who solve problems in ways women sometimes cannot...

 

I was assigned a precinct that was mostly minority, Haitian, African Americans & Hispanics. I worked for 15 hours straight and checked in about 400 or so people. A handful were white. It felt good to see so many shade of brown and black standing in line to vote! I loved seeing that!!!! It healed my heart in a way to see what I witnessed. These folks were from all walks of life. I handled the people who were disabled, my first voter could not read. He swallowed his pride and asked for a reader. The woman snapped that he should have brought one himself and she could not help him. WHAT???? I put my hand up at her to stop and she did. I told the man I would help him. We sat down and I read him the entire ballot, including the amendments. He knew who he wanted to vote for… Soon after this man left, there were two deaf women. The were so frustrated and directed to me :) One of the ladies lost her patience because no one could communicate effective with her. She slammed her hand on the table and it was loud. I felt her pain. Ughhhh. But yet, at the same time wanted to scream GO GIRL! Because she was going to vote no matter who understood her and she did! :)

 

I was also the bearer of bad news after they had waited in line. With the rezoning of the precincts, the voting locations changed. People were frustrated, as some had already been redirected already. Some had walked and knew they would not have time to get there by the time the polls closed.

 

It truly inspired me to see so many brown and black faces voting. Some were homeless, some were struggling with addiction, others had raced from work and apologized for being dirty when they handed me their ID. I told them, it is so important that we vote! Who would have thought, a week later, the results are still not in for several races.

 

PROOF that every vote counts!


HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TO MY SON, HORSE!!!!!

Happy Birthday, to my son Ranson Weber Horse! It is not by mistake Ranson was born around Veteran’s Day-A remarkable day in Native communities, full of honor and appreciation. My son Ranson is a true Lakota warrior!

 

Ranson is my hero. He was born with Neuroborreliosis, Bartonella & Babesiosis. What is that you ask?Neuroborreliosis/Lyme disease is biowarfare-a man made bacterialogical infection! Comparable to Agent Orange. We also know it as Lyme disease, which is belittled unless you have it or love someone that has it! Ranson was a lil "Lyme baby!"

 

It is his birthday and he feels very sick and depressed!

 

Sixteen years ago, we were living in Cleveland, OH and after I was diagnosed with it, the doctors kept saying it could not be passed on to my child. Ranson was sickly had unknown allergies to milk & soy and had reactions to the heavy metals in his vaccines which made it worse! Five years went by, I still was fighting and with the help of 2 US Senators, I got my son to the world’s best Lyme disease pediatrician Dr. Jones MD, who is still practicing and in his late 80’s. So sick myself, I dragged us to New Haven CT. We took two medical flights to get there. It was exhausting.

 

Dr. Jones saved Ranson’s life.

 

I always think of Dr. Jone's especially on Ranson's birthday!

 

As a result of no treatment, Ranson has a form of brain damage, Dr. Jones diagnosed him with Lyme induced Autism. He has special needs, goes to a private school for children with cognitive delays and learning disabilities. He loves school when he feels well.

 

There is little research on Lyme disease. There is even less on Lyme babies, born with it. Many women in this case, miscarry or experience stillbirths. Babies that survive are a miracle but understandably have a lifetime of medical issues and problems. Ranson has times when he gets so sick, he experiences relapsing fever, debilitating fatigue, headaches that are excruciating. I know exactly what he feels like. That is why I advocate so hard for his medical needs. He is going untreated presently and the only answer for untrained doctors is to put him on anti-psychotics. I have been fighting w/ his insurance co for over a year! Most Lyme treatment is not covered by insurance. He needs to see an LLMD-Lyme Literate MD #BRINGITHOME

 

As his mother it is very hard to experience on a regular basis his pain and needs. He has all the needs of an Autistic child, along with those of a chronically sick child. It is always something and it is so hard, so I can’t imagine his world...he is just a kid! But he keeps fighting and knows what it is like to FEEL GOOD! So he fights to have that feeling again! Ranson’s resiliency is remarkable! He is a true fighter in so many ways!

 

Happy Birthday, my Lakota warrior!

#LIFEWITHLYME! 

Ranson is Hunkpapa & Oglala Lakota! He is a direct descendant of Chief Joseph Gall, the leader of the Battle of Little Bighorn & Pretends Eagle a survivor of this battle. His distant relatives are Sitting Bull & Crazy Horse!

 

INFO ON LYME DISEASE:  https://www.ilads.org/research-literature/lyme-101-series-at-iladef/

 

LYME DISEASE SYMPTON CHECKLIST: https://www.lymedisease.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Symptomchecklist-burrascano.pdf

 

I created

The

I Support The Lakota 57-

Social Justice Campaign

 in 2015 to bring attention to the racism-that 57 Lakota children faced while on a field trip to Rapid City, SD.  

 

Enjoy my article & pics below!

Pics from all over the world-In Support of the Lakota 57

In Honor of 57 Lakota children

 

By Tara Pretends Eagle Weber

 

 

One of my greatest challenges to date was finding my way to expose the horrific racism in Native America. I lived and breathed it. Sometimes it scared me terribly while living in South and North Dakota. I can not imagine what it is like for any child of color to be so scared because of unexpected racism. Today, we call it Hate Crimes! But how could I address the racism? I felt helpless! So I went to my go-tos in my fight for social justice-social media and the Indigenous community.

 

Social media has become my iron fist in my 15 year fight in bringing Indigenous injustices to the world. With each injustice come big differences of circumstances, creative approach and the big possibility of failure! Putting myself out into the social justice universe does comes with risk of a bashlash of haters and those who disagree with you! But that never stopped me.

 

About three and a half years ago, there was an event, well HATE CRIMES committed against Lakota children, when 57 Lakota children from American Horse School went to a hockey game in Rapid City from the Pine Ridge Reservation. They had beer sprayed on them, called racial slurs and told to go back to the rez by intoxicated, white men. (Per an attorney, each child hit with beer is an ABUSE charge!)

 

I became aware of this craziness by Facebook friends who were there or relatives of children that were there. Native America Calling, a radio show had a discussion about what happened to the kids. A parent who was there was on the show. I later reached out to him and we worked together for years to come. I also was on the show. I was discouraged about the little media coverage.

 

I reached out repeatedly to media sources, locally and nationally. I couldn’t get anyone to bite! I only heard back from the Washington Post, they did a good article on it. 

 

But it was not enough! What if 57 white kids had this happen to them? All hell would have broken out! So I decided I would tell the world what happened by creating the I Support The Lakota 57-Social Justice Campaign which included the www.facebook.com/ISupportTheLakota57.

 

I asked the world to send selfies with signs saying I Support The Lakota 57. It took off!!!! Pictures came in from all over the world; Japan, Australia, Netherlands, Spain, New Caledonia, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Russia and a small village in Mexico!!!! And many more places!!!! It was really beautiful the enormous support that poured in for the kids! A true message of letting them know what happened was wrong, we believe you! The page grew to 28,000 followers!

Continued...

 

Even the Founder of the American Indian Movement, Dennis Banks, who passed away in 2017 also supported the Lakota 57. He traveled to South Dakota from Minnesota for the trial of Trace O’Connell, only one of the drunk men was charged with count of Disorderly Conduct that evening at the hockey game. The trial was a fiasco and of course, he was found not guilty.   

 

I was invited to appear on The Martha Fast Horse radio show from Minnesota about my work for the Lakota 57 that reached the world! I invited Dennis to be on the show with me. Martha said she really was impressed with my work and wanted people to know about it! Thanks Martha! :) Dennis was impressed with my writing throughout the campaign and asked to share them. I really appreciated their compliments!

 

  Listen here- http://www.blogtalkradio.com/marthafasthorse/2015/10/30/dennis-banks-tara-pretends-eagle-weber--supporting-the-lakota-57  

Dennis Banks backed the Lakota 57

By Cartoonist, Ricardo Cate'

Without Reservations Cartoonist, Ricardo Cate’ designed a Lakota 57 T-shirt on left.

 

Also Jeffery Hill designed this great logo on right that was used also for T-shirts and someone’s tattoo!

 

However, the T-shirts caused a problem for a few of the parents. Just a handful of them had an alledged legal eagle with little experience, an awkward social presence, yelled at parents in public, was obsessed with Russell Means and never seemed to practice any law. This attorney repeatedly asked me to switch the T-shirt money to her own PayPal account. I had no idea who this person was nor did they provide me with any paper work for this request. However, when these parents demanded my expenditures from the T-shirts, I immediately provided them along with receipts. 

 

The majority of the money went to a dinner attempting to address a conflict among the parents.

 

Lakota 57 continued...

 

 

 

By Jeffrey Hill

 

Lakota 57 continued...

 

Then the parents and their legal eagle complained about us to The Native Sun Newspaper, who was eager to help destroy our reputations. (OUR-meaning ME & my former client, Davidica Little Spotted Horse who also lived on the Pine Ridge Rez.) This attempt to defame us was spearheaded by, Richie Richards, a Native Sun Newspaper reporter. A fellow Lakota who worked w us on his Lakota 57 stories. He took our help, then turned on us, like a snake!

 

Richards was backed by editor, Tim Giago who is known for his rare kindness and charm to get proof that would ruin our reputations. Richards asked for the same info I provided the parents. I also gave him my documentation of conversations I had with the parents, their attorney, the harassment by two of the parents, along with details of the my I Support The Lakota 57 work. 

 

I will never understand how those Lakota men went after Lakota women! That is wrong! We were helping their own! While they were trying to beat us down! New heights for dysfunction! Especially because, Richards and I were friends at one time, he forgot about that apparently. When he was homeless and he would call me intoxicated. I remember him telling me he was living under a tree in Berkeley, CA. I made no judgement and continued to take his drunken phone calls because I felt sorry for him. He also had asked for a picture of my bra strap several times in the evenings during his Lakota 57 time frame.

 

Richards called me again about his disgusting sabotage campaign. He acted like he had done nothing wrong! Sick! So I remained silent while Richards rambled on and on…I finally had to interrupt him and ask why he was calling. He said because he had to inform me that HIS investigation which included me was over 50 pages ????? AND had led HIM to NOWHERE! LOL

 

Continued...

 

 

 

Richards before he turned on me!

No article was ever done re: my efforts or input by Richards...

Richie Richards Aug 19, 2015, 2:45 PM to info, me, davidica

 

Tara, I want to thank you for submitting these records. As we discussed, I have been approached about an article regarding this information and wanted to give you the opportunity to respond. This documentation will clear up much of the misinformation being circulated. The intention was never to question the integrity of your fundraising efforts; the intent was to publish the documentation about your efforts. Your input regarding your experiences with the challenges associated with the I Support the Lakota 57 fundraising campaign and/or social media campaign are greatly appreciated.

 

I will be sure to include your input as necessary. I will move forward with an article, or articles, representing both sides of the issue. I look forward to receiving statements from both you and Davidica Little Spotted Horse.

 

Best, Richie Richards Staff Writer Native Sun News

1026 Jackson Blvd. Rapid City, SD 57702

Office: 605-721-1266 Cell: 605-519-4402

 --------

 

The article Richards ended up doing was on the Lakota 57 need for counseling...

 

www.indianz.com/News/2015/08/31/native-sun-news-lakota-57-pare.asp

Richards used a collage of pics from my Lakota 57 FB in his Native Sun News article. No mention of my efforts.

While I stood up for the kids-

Their own relatives worked

to ruin my reputation!

Lakota 57 continued...

 

So rather than Giago publish Richards'-“Advocate with impeccable reputation, steals from children”story-Richards did a short story on the Lakota 57 need for counseling. Richards told Giago that Davidica's father & my biological mother were Native activists. Giago is well aware of who they are. It is alledged, Giago was not fond of Davidica’s father & my bio mother who were Native rights activists. Apparently, Mr. Giago sided with the US government during the Native rights uprising in the 60’s & 70’s, Hence, a vendetta toward their children...

 

Davidica informed Giago that if they published an article bad mouthing us-WE would  publish Richards’ sexual harassment. An article was never published about our bad reputations. Neither was Richards' bra strap requests! EWWWW!

 

Just after the Richards drama ended, Davidica told me that I needed to take the page down. She had given a lot of support to the kids and helped with the Lakota 57 campaign locally. She had gone to a meeting with the parents of the Lakota 57 and they were not happy with her presence. I am not sure what happened, I was not there. Even though she had gone to bat for the kids, people were not pleased with her involvement by that point, so she stepped away.

 

I did not take the page down because the Lakota 57 & all kids needed to see that racism is WRONG, illegal AND the world really cared what happened to them. The world cared by their responses: all their signs and comments of support were needed during a time of hurt for the kids.

 

Today, the www.facebook.com/ISupportTheLakota57 has a regular following of 27,700 and has a life of its own! It brings reality, info, inspiration, culture, injustices, celebrations to light from Indigenous communities! In honor of 57 really brave, Lakota children, I know...I will never forget!

 

 

 

 

Feather & me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A former editor for Giago told him not to go after us

because we were doing good things!  

Thank you for reading!

Tara

Some things you never forget!

This is what I do know after almost three decades working with victims of sexual assault...Most of us do not tell. That is what our perpetrators count on! This is a crime that thrives on secret keeping. It is a crime that most do not want to discuss because of the harsh damage it causes to one’s spirit...for a life time!

 

Women, men and children have been disclosing sexual assault for decades and for some reason, society became the judge and jury on this particular crime. It is the only crime where we judge the victim. Victims know that society has a ring side seat not just of the shameful, embarrassing details of their sexual crime but an evaluation of her entire life. Exposing things about her life where she made a mistake or highlighting something traumatizing to her, iss done deliberately to humiliate and degrade her and the other victims into silence.

 

Credibility is what weighs so heavy on a victim of sexual assault.It is on them to prove what happened, all while being discredited. I have seen so many excuses over the years used to discredit the victim. Things like: They are a druggie, they are a drunk, they are a whore, they scratch up their own arms and they abandoned their children. All of these behaviors can result from being sexually assaulted. It only reinforces what the victim says happened.

 

Most of us remember and if we disclose it will not be to the police. It will be to someone we will trust and will believe us. I have been thinking about childhood memories and the triggers this fiasco has brought to light for me. It happened about forty years ago.

 

It is clear as day to me. I am in the office in my elementary school and the secretaries are what I now know, pretending to not hear was happening in the principal’s office. I saw a male friend of mine be pulled on the lap of the principal who then started to bounce my friend vigorously up and down on his lap. My friend’s eyes locked with mine. I still see his face, his big brown eyes screaming silently for help. I knew as a nine year old that something was horribly wrong!

 

I was confused but KNEW that my friend was being hurt and was terribly scared! AND WHY were the two other adults acting like they saw nothing. I remember thinking what was wrong with the adults here???? I remembered another detail yesterday, the women’s desks were unseen to the principal’s office. Their desks were hidden by a wall strategically to block their reality. These women sat stoically just feet away from what I came to learn years later was molestation.

 

Our principal turned out to be a pedophile and molested several of my male classmates as young children. In the last ten years it was brought up by a classmate who said something about our parents were contacted. I asked my mother and she confirmed this.

 

I know what I saw, trauma has a way of etching into your spirit. So don’t let anyone ever tell YOU, what did not happen to you! My point is... at nine years old, I KNOW what I witnessed. It is clear as day to me. I can describe details. I can explain how my shocked, traumatized mind put it away in a box until I was ready to remember the details… It is something you NEVER forget...no matter what an ignorant wasicu says.... #whyIdidntell

The Day, Men in Suits went to Jail!

While the US Government continues to attempt to divide the sexes, I have been very curious to see how the men were reacting. I needed to see them fighting for women. Fighting that they believe us when we say we have been sexually violated. It never gets old seeing men screaming for the rights of women! I admire the men who have stood alongside of women. I have been blessed to have some wonderful, amazing men stand beside me, my entire life! Including in my work with victims of crime and their families, men also stood beside me! 

 

As I went through the news, I saw a video that showed men standing strong in support of women and saying that women needed to be believed! I liked that! Then another video was of several male celebrities voicing their support of women and saying they believe them when they disclose rape! YAY! I love it when celebrities use their audience to say great things!!!! Then finally, I caught the tail end of a video which showed men in suits going to jail. They were being arrested in front of the US Supreme Court. I later told my mom about it. I thought it had to be a good thing! I was definitely intrigued. So the next morning, I saw the entire video which showed men-in array of skin colors wearing suits. There was even a pastor who wore a red suit.

 

They all stood with their arms interlocked blocking the street in front of the US Supreme Court, shouting, “BELIEVE WOMEN!” “WE WANT JUSTICE NOW!” “WE STAND WITH OUR SISTERS! MOTHERS! DAUGHTERS!”

 

They were warned several times they were going to be arrested and then they were. Yes, there should have been more men but there weren’t. But there was a group of men that did go to jail because not only do they believe Dr. Ford-THEY BELIEVE YOU! THEY BELIEVE ME!

 

These men helped begin the healing! They showed us, they respected women. They want the violence to stop! They felt so strongly that women should be believed and heard when they have been raped-that they, the men in suits went to jail that day...For you & me...For all of us!

Mitakuye Oyasin!

Tara Pretends Eagle Weber