“It’s not a physical thing.
“You can’t really put your finger on it, but we all know as Native American people what they mean when they say Good Medicine.”
That is what James Trosper says in Jackson Tisi’s seven-minute documentary commissioned by Facebook.
The Wind River Indian Reservation is home to Northern Arapaho and Shoshone Tribes.
And Trosper belongs to both.
He is the great-great grandson of Chief Washakie and Director of the High Plains American Indian Research Institute at the University of Wyoming.
He says, “Good Medicine includes our ceremonies and the values passed to us from our ancestors.
“We can achieve peace and healing through our traditions and positive core values such as love, kindness, sacrifice, honesty, loyalty, compassion, respect, forgiveness and spirituality.”
Also starring in the film is 12-year old Patrick Smith.
And for him, Good Medicine takes the form of skateboarding.
“Skating takes a lot of stuff off my mind.
“Whenever I’m mad I can go skate,” he says in the film.
“Skateboarding means you don’t have to be any color.
“You don’t have to have anything, you don’t have to be perfect in order to skate.”
Forms of Good Medicine
Director Tisi says, “Good Medicine is a Native term that refers to anything that can bring peace, healing and positivity.”
“We can achieve peace and healing through our traditions and positive core values such as love, kindness, sacrifice, honesty, loyalty, compassion, respect, forgiveness and spirituality.“James Trosper
“In this film we explore how elders find good medicine through their traditions, and how the youth on the reservation have found it through skateboarding,” Tisi said.
James Trosper says, “I think if ever there was a time for our people to turn back to our traditional values, it’s now.
“We see examples in the world today of people who don’t live by those values and the destruction and harm that it causes.”
This film makes me think.
And it makes me wonder how we outside the Wind River Indian Reservation find our own way to Good Medicine.
• Watch Good Medicine by accessing it above.
•Learn about the High Plains American Indian Research Institute at the University of Wyoming
• Read about Facebook’s 365 Days of Love. On Facebook, of course.
• See another post about a Native American site in Wyoming, Returning a Sacred Rock’s Name — Bear Lodge, Mythic-Owl Mountain, Tree Rock, Mato Tipila . . . Just Not Devils Tower.
. . .
Ellen Webster Synakowski lives in Laramie, Wyoming.