"we-cho-nee" Lakota/Sioux language meaning "Life"
Our aim is to provide education, encouragement and offer practical support to Native American families and communities in creating a preferred future. Historically, Native people have been underrepresented and underserved in mainstream America. Economic, cultural and social barriers continually limit access to viable resources, thus hindering many healthy community change efforts. Wiconiís primary mission is to empower and serve Native people to experience a desired quality of life and a hope-filled future through authentic relationships and culturally supportive programs. We seek to live and walk among all people in a good way, as we follow the ways of Jesus-- affirming, respecting and embracing the God-given cultural realities of Native American and Indigenous people, not rejecting or demonizing these sacred cultural ways.
The thief comes only to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10
These words of the Creator do not bring religion, legalism, shame, oppression or paternalism, though sadly, Christianity often does. Our prayer is that people will experience life in abundance for their spirit, soul and body!
As First Nations or Native American people we know what it means to suffer the loss of land, dignity, self-respect, life and a way of living. Though this has sadly become the every day reality for so many of our people, our aim is help create a better future for Native people.
Through loving and respectful relationships we walk together with others in discovering genuine freedom and experiencing spiritual power to overcome the influences of darkness that oppress our lands and communities. This evil is seen in alcohol and drug abuse, the wickedness of incest, poverty, despair and the horrors of suicide. There are dark and evil spirits that are stealing, killing and destroying our people every day. In addition, there are oppressive and unjust economic and political systems that continue to prolong dependency and control. However, a better future awaits.
On this website you will find resources to educate and inspire you to walk among Native American and Indigenous people in a way that reflects the life of Jesus in a culturally relevant and contextual way.
Pilamaya yelo - thank you!
Richard & Katherine Twiss, Sicangu Lakota Oyate, Rosebud Sioux Tribe
Co-founders, Wiconi International
Living In A Good Way
by Richard Twiss
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I was made to burn and destroy all my tribal carvings, eagle feathers, and my dance outfit because the pastor told me now that I was a Christian, old things passed away and all things became new, which meant all my Native cultural ways needed to be replaced with Euro-American cultural ways. Then I was told I could no longer participate in our Native gatherings, dances or ceremonies because they were of the devil and full of idolatry. They even told me my Native drum was an idol and full of spirits, so I burned it and learned the guitar instead. Now I am no longer a Native in my culture. I am an anglicized Christian in American culture. The Bible has been used to colonize my soul.
So how do we respond to this story told by Native people for hundreds of years? Read on...