The Smithsonian Magazine recently reported on the existence of horses on the continent before the arrival of Europeans. This is not a revelation to everyone. As previously posted at BB, the research of Dr. Yvette Running Horse Collins, "The Relationship Between the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas and the Horse: Deconstructing a Eurocentric Myth," challenged the origin story of equine existence on the continent.
A recently published paper, "Early dispersal of domestic horses into the Great Plains and Northern Rockies," is the result of a collaboration with eighty-four researchers. They concluded, "Horses rapidly spread from the south into the northern Rockies and central plains by the first half of the 17th century CE, likely through Indigenous exchange networks. They were deeply integrated into Indigenous societies before the arrival of 18th-century European observers, as reflected in herd management, ceremonial practices, and culture."
In this context of people realizing and recognizing that the existence of horses on the continent contentiously may have predated the arrival of predator, Sicangu Lakota Hip Hop artist and music producer Frank Waln, reimagines "Wild Horses" by the Rolling Stones.
Waln recently posted on Twitter, "I grew up around horses and have been riding since I was a child which is one reason why the song "wild horses" has always resonated with me. The best and most talented cowboys I've ever known were always NDNs. I was raised by NDN cowboys. My mom was riding bulls and broncs in rodeos when she was 16 years old."
From the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, Waln is "a recipient of the Gates Millennium Scholarship, [attending] Columbia College Chicago where he received a BA in Audio Arts and Acoustics. Waln's awards include three Native American Music Awards, the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development 2014 Native American 40 Under 40, the 2014 Chicago Mayor's Award for Civic Engagement, and the 2016 3Arts Grant for Chicago Artists. He has been featured in Buzzfeed, The Fader, Playboy, Vibe, NPR, ESPN, and MTV's Rebel Music Native America. Waln has written for various publications, including Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education, and Society and The Guardian. Frank Waln travels the world telling his story through performance and doing workshops focusing on self-empowerment and expression of truth."
For an extended performance, have a look at the 44:00 minute musical presentation, "Frank Waln Live on Indigenous Peoples Day at Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music."
In this interview Waln explains "Everyone alive right now is a part of the 7th generation. We are all a part of that prophecy [7th generation]. As an indigenous artist, remembering this prophecy, remembering who we are and where we come from keeps me grounded and on the right path. It's not easy being indigenous in a country built on the dehumanization and genocide of your people, but I know we are standing on the shoulders of thousands of our ancestors who passed on their resilience and ingenuity to us. We are a living, breathing prophecy. We are the answers to our ancestors' prayers. We are the 7th generation."