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On a Knife Edge: The Life of a Young Lakota Warrior

by Yolando B. Adams

“People say the Indian wars resulted in 1890. All of us Lakota recognize that the warfare is still going.”
Guy Dull Knife, Father of George Dull Knife

Fourteen-12 months-vintage George Dull Knife is developing up on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, an area wherein the common male existence expectancy is forty-eight, where youngster suicide is four instances the countrywide average the excessive faculty dropout price is 70 percent.

A fifth-era Dull Knife, he is raised on testimonies of his ancestors’ heroic management of their human beings inside the face of top-notch injustice.

Now, with rising racial tensions and protests affecting the reservation residents, George is acutely aware of the hardship and discrimination that maintains to plague his people.

Filmed over a 5-yr duration, On a Knife Edge follows George from his first political awakening to the activities at Standing Rock.

Along with the manner, he turns into worried within the American Indian Movement, speaks out in opposition to plans to legalize alcohol income on the reservation, and feels the overall force of the trauma facing his people when it moves at the heart of his family.

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During this adventure, he learns first-hand what it means to lead a brand new era and go into maturity in a global where the percentages are stacked towards him.

On the fortieth anniversary, the Lakota Sioux Tribe recalls the armed career by way of AIM activists in 1973 [Al Jazeera]
When resistance is a birthright
By Eli Cane

On a Knife Edge gives a unique possibility to pay attention to the voices and perspectives of humans for whom there are no sidelines – for whom resistance is a birthright.

My grandfather became a member of the XV International Brigade at some point in the Spanish Civil War. He remained committed to the motive of social justice his whole existence. He died shortly before I was born, but loads of his letters continue to exist, and memories of his braveness and determination to the purpose have permeated family lore.

Although I by no means knew him, On a Knife Edge is in one sense a try to recognize him extra thoroughly; as I watch Guy Dull Knife bring his younger son George right into a movement that robotically needs horrible sacrifice, I experience in a few manners that my connection to my grandfather has emerged as greater nuanced.

Radicals and revolutionaries can be killed; they may be jailed – frequently, they definitely become exhausted. This side of factors is robotically neglected but rings true to many who’ve spent their lives in the struggle. Its portrayal is one of the components of the movie I sense is maximum vital, and of which I am maximum proud.

A coming-of-age story approximately a son and his father
By Jeremy Williams

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I started On a Knife Edge simply as I had come to be a father and I became fascinated by the relationship that Guy Dull Knife had with all his youngsters, specifically his son George.

Guy gave us the possibility to inform a coming-of-age story approximately a son guided by a smart and courageous father.

Jeremy Williams, filmmaker, On a Knife Edge

Dealing with the hardships and the struggles of lifestyles on the Pine Ridge Reservation – issues which could have critically examined any family – the fortitude the Dull Knifes displayed was brilliant. Their resilience turned into, in many respects, rooted using a father who targeted his complete circle of relatives, inspiring now not just them however also the broader community, with a sense of duty.

Witnessing Guy skip down this spirit of collective cause to his son George, especially, turned into a privilege. As society deals with the consequences of absent fathers internationally, Guy allowed us to inform a coming-of-age tale approximately a son guided with the aid of a wise and brave father.

Did you ever see the film East is East? It is a British Comedy-drama about the Khan family, set in Salford in 1971. The character that stood out to me was the youngest brother Sajid. Sajid is the shy brother who always wore a green Parka Coat. I, too, use hide inside a large thick, multi-colored coat with the green hood pulled up in all weathers. My sister’s friends laugh at me; they could always see the hood just above the hedges as I walked past their house to the shops.

So what was going on for me? I was incredibly shy, extremely self-conscious, thinking everyone was looking at me; I had zero self-esteem, and I now realize a certain level of social anxiety. That coat was my protection from what I perceived to be a hostile and dangerous world. What I didn’t realize then is that I was not alone. The royal college of Psychiatrists states 2% of men and 3% of women suffer from shyness. Others say the statistics are higher at 7% to 15% of people, including those at the milder end of the spectrum. To me, that is still a lot of people.

Society, in general, doesn’t have a problem with shy people. Often, they find shy children cute. Shy people are generally not perceived as a threat, and many find the quality attractive because it brings out the nurturing side in us, such as the “strong silent type.” Unfortunately for the shy person, “silence” is our way of containing a range of intense feelings such as fear, anger, embarrassment, shame, anxiety, insecurity, self-hate, and other vulnerabilities.

These feelings can lead us to withdraw from taking part in life, such as refusing to attend school, not applying for a job because we can’t face the interview, never asking someone we find attractive out on a date, not pursuing the career of our dreams because we take rejection so personally. It is no longer “cute” when we see the young child finding it emotionally painful to make friends at school. Some middle-aged adults have never left home because they have been too shy and socially anxious to go out and connect with the world.

It is not easy to spot a shy adult because we have become the masters of disguise, or so we think. I built up such a good wall of defense that some people mistook my shyness for “aloofness” or “quietly confident.” When I’m feeling particularly vulnerable, I can come across outwardly as angry; when inside, I just want to run away. Now we all have a socially acceptable mobile phone device, allowing us to hide away in public.

How to break free from shyness and live a fulfilling life? First, find out what you really love to do or what you are good at. For some people, sports could be the way to go. You might have to shop around to find the sport that suits you; it could be a team sport or simply running. What works for one person might not work for another, so keep on trying. Your thing might be poetry or singing anything that gets your interest. For me, it was Dance. I had a great teacher at school that could see that I really enjoyed the lessons, and she told me about the Manchester Youth Dance Theatre. The freedom I felt while dancing changed my life.

I am still shy in some situations; it doesn’t necessarily leave you completely. Part of breaking free is accepting your shyness without allowing it to hold you back from the things you really want to do.

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