Chapter 10 - Fortitude. The Lakota Ways.

"Fortitude is what gets you through the moment your teenage daughter announces she’s found a special on belly-button piercing ( and then turns into Attila the Hun when you say no). Helps you endure the shock and disappointment of not getting the raise and promotion you were counting on. Helps you live from one minute to the next when you learn that your precious child is missing in action in some distant land or port of call. It comes to your rescue when you’re suddenly faced with the unexpected." (p.174)

Fortitude: Courage in pain or adversity. In this chapter there is a woman who had a little lodge.. An old lady "grandmother" comes to her shop carrying a large bundle with a dog by her side and they begin to have a conversation. Forgets Nothing offers the grandmother to rest in her lodge. Grandmother was traveling far to show her relatives how to prepare medicine. Then grandmother asked Forgets Nothing to watch her dog while she would be away. While the old woman was away Forgets Nothing and the dog kind of bonded and got along. Many people passed and offered all sorts of things in trade for the dog. A man named Long Walker asked for the dog to carry his belongings but Forgets Nothing refused saying sorry but it wasn't her dog. This happened numerous times. From grown men to a little girl begging for the dog. Yet she couldn't let anyone have the dog because she promised grandmother she would keep her dog safe while she was on her journey.Then a man came with grandmother and Forgets Nothing was very interested. The story doesn't say if they got together he just explains how he got his name and the next story begins. I think this shows fortitude because although Forgets Nothing is pained/sad about not being able to help the people out who wanted the dog she had the courage to say no but to also explain to them and apologize calmly.

In my opinion fortitude in American culture is like people fighting cancer. They are fighting through the pain and praying to have the cancer disappear. About half of all men and ⅓ of all women in the US will develop cancer during their lifetimes.When my grandpa was sick about 2 years ago in the hospital it was really hard to stay strong but my sisters and I knew he would make it through. In the last two years he’s been in the hospital more than he has been home. In January he went to the emergency room but they said he was fine. I think it was because it was New Years. It turned out that he had kidney stones the size of a quarter. He was in the nursing home around January 19th when I left and no one really told me that he was getting worse. On February 22nd my dad had showed up and told me that my grandpa was really sick and was almost on his death bed. The staff where I was allowed me to leave and go see him and I was lost with words to say. He could not talk or barely open his eyes but I knew he was going to make it because he is a very strong man. When I went into the room he was sleeping and wouldn’t talk to anyone but when I said “hey grandpa, Jazzys here to see you” he moved his hand and kind of squeezed mine. Although he got better by the time I came home he went to another nursing home and now he has a feeding bag and a catheter. While everyone was unsure of him making it through I knew my grandpa would make it through and now he is back home with my grandma and I get to “babysit” him while my grandma runs her errands. I think I had a lot of fortitude throughout this situation because although I was hurting and afraid I still stayed strong and knew I wouldn’t lose him.


In Lakota culture I believe they have shown tons of fortitude. When the Euro-Americans made it where they couldn’t live their free-roaming life as nomadic hunters and killed all of the bison so they didn’t have food, clothes or the materials they use in their everyday lives. The Euro-Americans also confined them to reservations they also intensively tried to take their culture away from them. Forced to become farmers and learn the “virtues of hard labor” and also had to turn into “productive citizens”. Their spiritual beliefs were ridiculed and reviled. Most were reluctant but a few embraced the change. I think they showed fortitude because although their lives pretty much got taken away they still tried to make the best of the situation. Eventually they had to resist the change and also avoid the repercussions so they took Grandmothers Road. (p.171.)