Arvol Looking Horse

Arvol Looking Horse was born on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota in 1954.
Raised by his Grandparents Lucy and Thomas Looking Horse, he learned the culture and spiritual ways of the Lakota. He speaks both Lakota and English. At age twelve he was given the enormous responsibility of becoming the 19th generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe, the youngest in history. He has felt, on many occasions, overwhelmed by inheriting such a responsibility of the Lakota, Dakota & Nakota Nations at such a young age. He was raised in an era and lay witness to the suppression of his peoples' spiritual practices. He decided to
"work for change and let the world know how beautiful our way of life is, so the seventh generation can have a better future."

His life has revolved around his commitment to work towards religious freedom, cultural survival and revival.

In 1986 as one of the spiritual leaders of the Bigfoot Riders, they initated a prophecy known as "Mending the Sacred Hoop of the Nation." Chief Looking Horse honored the healing journey by riding with the Bigfoot Riders every December 15-29th in severe temperatures, which all the committed Bigfoot Riders endured to understand the immensity of the hardship of Chief Bigfoot and his band. They are proud to have touched the spirit of the people that gave so much for our way of life.

In 1993 Chief Looking Horse traveled to New York with Elders of different Nations to for the United Nations "Cry of the Earth" Conference where he did the opening prayer. The Unrepresented Nations & Peoples Organization invited him to Holland, Netherlands to pray for Peace & Unity in 1994.

The birth of the Sacred White Buffalo in Wisconsin, in 1994 directed him to begin another spiritual journey of a four year commitment to organize World Peace & Prayer Day on June 21st in the four directions. Bringing awareness to the Prophesies with a call to secure the sacredness of the sacred sites that dwell every 100 miles around Mother Earth.

In 1996, he journeyed from Wahpeton Dakota Reservation, Saskatchewan on the "Unity Ride", where the Bigfoot Riders rode horses to Devils Tower, properly named "Grey Horn Butte (He Hota Paha)", site of the first World Peace and Prayer gathering. The second year of the World Peace & Prayer Day was hosted by Chief Sundown of the Joseph Bighead Reserve in Canada, which was followed by a four year commitment of the "Unity Ride", that continues this year in Canada, starting on June 21st. The third year gathering takes place in Pipestone, Minnesota, where the sacred blood of the people lie in a vein of stone which is quarried to make the sacred pipes. This particular gathering is a call to the seventh generation to run from the different Nations, along with the Bigfoot Unity Riders riding from the east beginning at Birch Coulee, another massacre site during the 1862 Dakota Sioux Uprising, where 38 Dakotas were hung in Mankato.

New Orleans honored Chief Looking Horse by proclaiming August 27th as "White Buffalo Day" where he was given the key to the city by the mayor in 1996. Chief Looking Horse was awarded the prestigious Canadian Wolf Award in 1996, given to a person who has dedicated their life to working for Peace. The first award was presented to Nelson Mandela, the President of South Africa. Arvol was invited to speak on peace and unity at the Clinton's 1996 inauguration.

Since the early 90's, Chief Looking Horse has been on the Board of the Society of Peace and Prayer that plants Peace Poles around the world, carrying the inscription "May Peace Prevail on Earth" in four different languages. The next Peace Pole will be planted at Pipestone, MN during the World Peace and Prayer Day 1998.

In 1998, he spoke on sacred sites & freedom of religion before the Special Reporter of the United Nations. It was the first time in history that a representative of the U.N. came to the US to listen & compile concerns for discussion at the UN in Geneva, Switzerland concerning indigenous religious freedom.

Chief Looking Horse has worked on international peace processes and global healing. Some of his work includes traveling to Iraq to pray for peace, acting on the spiritual advise of Elders from his Nation who feared a great war if the Lakota did not pray for peace.

He traveled to South Africa to meet with spiritual leader Desmond Tutu on global healing and World Peace and Prayer Day. In 1995 he met with the Dali Lama to establish a relationship between Tibet and the Lakota Nation.

Chief Looking Horse also assists in retrieving the remains of the ancestors from museums such as the Smithsonian. He continues to work towards the repatriation of sacred bundles and human remains in an effort to bring respect and ritual rites back to the sacred. His work has been endless in lecturing on religious freedom, protection of sacred sites and cultural survival. His living legacy is to bring pride and restoration back to the Lakota, Dakota & Nakota lands, culture and spirituality.

Return to WPPD 98

Links Page 1