The Energizer

Resilient Insights for Work & Life

Oglala Sioux Teaches Language

by Eileen McDargh, Chief Energy Officer - Monday, August 28, 2017
Featured Image

Our road trip this summer took us on the eastern side of Glacier National Park in Montana. Vast ranch lands stretched for miles with rolling green, wildflowers, and rising mountain views. Much of the land was owned by cattle barons.  But, thankfully, other pieces belonged to the various Indians ensconced on their reservations: Blackfeet, Sioux, Shoshone, Cheyenne, Kootenai, Flathead Salish, Crow, Gros Ventre and Oglala Sioux.

As luck would have it, I met one of the Oglala Sioux as we filled up the car with gas. He offered a very different account of Custer’s Last Stand which, upon later examination, was far more accurate than my feeble history brain could remember.  I loved our conversation and asked him if he would teach me a few words in his language.

Sadly, I never was able to say his name but I followed his mouth as he made different sounds that became "Good Day" and "Have a safe trip."  While the pump rang up the gallons, I rang up sounds in my head. He’d nod and smile if I somehow got parts of it right.

He offered me a firm handshake and we smiled as I got in the car to leave.  But before Bill could fasten his seat belt and I could double check our map, my new Sioux friend came running up to the car with a small piece of paper.  In very beautiful handwriting, he had spelled out phonetically the few words for me. I have attached them for you, my readers.  Look carefully. Try and say the words. I am struck by a clear fact: what would it mean for our nation, our world, if we took the time to learn even small bits of another language? My new Oglala friend just beamed as he patiently tried to teach me. We bonded over a gas pump!

I hope the first words he wrote might come true—if not between us—perhaps between another Sioux. "See you again."


Share This Post

Like this post? Please share it!

< Back to All Posts


Eileen McDargh Keynote Speaker Blog Author

About Eileen!

Since beginning her consulting and training practice in 1980, Eileen has become noted for her ability to speak the truth with clarity, wisdom, humor and compassion. Long-standing clients and repeat engagements attest to her commitment to make a difference in minds, hearts and spirits of organizations and individuals. She draws upon practical business know-how, life's experiences and years of consulting to major national and international organizations that have ranged from global pharmaceuticals to the US Armed Forces, from health care associations to religious institutions. Executive Excellence magazine selected her as one of the top 100 thought leaders in leadership and among the top ten consultant providers of leadership development.

View all posts by Eileen

Subscribe to My Blog!

Like My Blog?

Please share it!

Recents Posts




gratitude Arlington Cemetary coaching Disruption Motivating Others Employee Attitude Optimism Energizing Others Suddenly Single Bill Treasurer Disrupt love Change Alzheimer's earthquakes Positive Brain Repatterning Sheryl Sandberg angels Breath Play Book Reviews Volunteer Emotional Intelligence Labor Day Napping Social Media Nursing Burnout Your Resiliency GPS Travel ecology U.S.A.A. Talk Ain't Cheap Book Hurricane Irma Honoring Veterans conscience Dogs Road Trip Animals Communication Corporate Culture Mother's Day Postive Work Environment Climate Change Writing Persuasion Divorce Interview customer service Building Resilience holidays Marriage The Last Jedi cancer Humanity Gifts From The Mountain Option B Yoga More Fun at Work Charity Back To School Laughter Feedback Trust Environtment Hurricane Harvey Sleeping Adaptability Leadership Skills goals Spelling Bee Survive Ownership preresilience Diversity Loss waiting resilient leaders Girls Children Multi-tasking Boston Marathon WASP Humor Exercise Energy Radical Resiliency Technology Walk For Hunger resilient organizations e-mail New Year resolutions Soft Skills teams Bullying Human Interaction Deloitte Seder Eve civil discourse Energizing Women Networking John Havlik Politics Sexual Harassment Depression Learned Optimism servant leadership Mark Scharenbroich women in leadership Christmas Empathy employee retention John Blumberg Career Advice Listening Reshaping the Brain USAA Relationships St. Patrick's Day Engaged Workers Meetings employees Adventure Kindness Sales Guns Happiness work life balance Speaking Intentions Aging resiliency Sustainability Married Tornadoes in Texas Stress Leaders Open Doors Book Content Generation Memorial Day Branding Siblings Faith Henry VIII creativity Education Patriots Office Celebrations Ecotourism Strangers Breathe LGBTQ Adam Grant Superbowl Twas The Night Before Christmas Spirit Voting Vacation Family resilience Thanksgiving Art stuck Jewish Fun Work Environment Idea