Rita Long Visitor Holy Dance - North America
Grandmother Rita Long-Visitor Holy Dance is a Lakota keeper of the traditional ways, great grandmother, Native American Church elder, and bead worker. She lives with her sister, Beatrice Long-Visitor Holy Dance on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. They are descended from Long Visitor and are members of the Crazy Horse Band, named for the great warrior, Crazy Horse. The Oglala Lakota of Pine Ridge are the largest band of the great Sioux nation and represent the majority of the Teton Sioux. The Pine Ridge Indian reservation is the most poverty-ridden area in America. Unemployment rates are 85%, school drop-out rates are up to 62%, and suicide rates are twice the national average.
With her sister Beatrice, Grandmother Rita initiated the Council's Youth Ambassador program. She reminds youth of their sacred rites, the Sun Dance and the connection to the source of being. She is involved in the Grandmothers’ efforts to encourage the Vatican to rescind several Papal Bulls and edicts that set the stage for the "doctrine of conquest" that has had such far-reaching effects on the treatment of indigenous peoples.