St. Aug’s Students win Chief Standing Bear Essay contest

Azure, a fifth grade student at St. Augustine Mission School titled her essay ?Chief Standing Bear: My Hero?. Raven, an eighth grade student titled her essay, ?If Standing Bear Was Alive Today?. Both essays were printed on tray liners that will be displayed at regional McDonald?s Restaurants for a two-month period. The students worked with their teachers and with members of our sister parish in Andover, Kansas, St. Vincent De Paul in developing the essays.

Chief Standing Bear: My Hero

The same God made us all. Although Chief Standing Bear is not here today, I still want to follow in his footsteps in some way. I think to myself he must have really loved his people to go through all those things. But what he did changed my life. How did it change my life? By giving me equal rights.

Native Americans are not accepted as something more than nobody, as they were thought of then. We were seen as animals, but Chief Standing Bear changed that. Now I can go places feeling like I?m actually somebody instead of a nobody. And yes, Chief Standing Bear, I?m learning one day at a time, and I will graduate in your name Chief Standing Bear.

Written by Azure
St. Augustine Indian Mission School, Winnebago, Nebraska

If Standing Bear Was Alive Today

Have you ever wondered what life was like in the 1800?s and if everyone was treated right? Well throughout generations of Native American history Chief Standing Bear has been a great inspiration to all. He stood for equal rights on behalf of his son and to his people. If Chief Standing Bear was alive today, I think he would fight for better treatment on the reservation. During his time, Native Americans faced great inequality such as the treaties and the contracts the Chief made with the white people that were never kept. Most of the reservations nowadays are in poverty. The casinos are the only thing we rely on that gives us money. I am concerned because I am a Native American, and so I see it a lot on the reservation.

If Chief Standing Bear was alive today, he would stand up for better medical care. He would support this reason because in his lifetime he has seen most of his relatives die along the journey to Oklahoma due to no access for medical care. The problem with health care on the reservation is lack of resources such as equipment. If it?s serious, the people here go to the hospitals in Sioux City.

Chief Standing Bear would also stand up for better housing on the reservation. Since we rely on the casinos we don?t have that much money for better houses on the reservation. He would support this reason because he would want all children to be respectful and educated. As Chief Standing Bear said ?children were taught that true politeness was to be defined in actions rather than words.? He wants all children to be qualified and to be treated equally.

So what was it like in the 1800?s? Well, our relatives were not treated right until Chief Standing Bear stood up and made a difference. I?m sure if Chief Standing Bear was alive today, he would stand up for better treatment on the reservation. Problems we still have today will be resolved one day, but not by Chief Standing Bear. We should all follow in his footsteps and stand up and make a difference in the world. ?We shall soon pass, but the place where we now rest will last forever.?

-Chief Standing Bear

Written by Raven
St. Augustine Indian Mission School