Beatrice Long Visitor Holy Dance

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Beatrice Long Visitor Holy Dance
Born Pine Ridge Reservation
Occupation Lakota keeper of the traditional ways, Activist, Field Health Care Worker, Native American Church elder, sundancer
Known for Work with International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers opposing papal bulls authorizing the conversion and subjugation of indigenous peoples
Height 4 ft. 10 in.
Religion Native American Church; attended Roman Catholic boarding school
Parent(s) Antonia Long Visitor Holy Dance (mother)
Relatives Rita Long Visitor Holy Dance, Long Visitor, Loretta Long Visitor

Beatrice Long Visitor Holy Dance is a Native American spiritual elder who is a member of the Oglala Lakota Tribe and comes from the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Beatrice has gained international recognition through her work with the Council of the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers - a group of women elders, medicine women and wisdom keepers founded in 2004.[1]


Beatrice was sent to a Roman Catholic boarding school at age 7. She waited for her younger sister Rita to wed and the two enjoyed a double wedding.[2]

She is a "Native American Church elder, sundancer, and health worker for people with diabetes," and works on a Youth Ambassador program with her sister to connect young people with spirituality and the Sun Dance.[3]

Among Beatrice's themes in her talks is forgiveness, something she has experience with. As a child, she watched as Christian missionaries stamped out the Lakota faith, and the federal government rounded up Lakotas and placed them on reservations. She also endured the murders of two of her children, one in 1994 and another in 2007. "I pray for the people who did that to them," Beatrice told me. "I pray that they have a clean soul and will someday be in the Creator's arms."[4]

She has driven a truck on the reservation for decades delivering medicines.[5] In 2012 she hosted a workshop for girls on "how to properly cut buffalo meat and dry it."[6]


“We have to keep repeating the prayers over and over again. When I reflect on my life of 79 years, I see a flat road of destruction. Youths are dying of drugs and ozone layer is depleting. The most powerful tool with us is to pray and pray with other communities for world peace.”[7]

The International Council of 13 Grandmothers[edit]

In 2004, Beatrice was approached by The Center for Sacred Studies to serve on the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers. [8]

In 2009, The Gazette of Colorado Springs, Colorado described her schedule with the Grandmothers as "hectic", noting that she traveled by "Greyhound bus or car, driven by her daughter Loretta Long Visitor."[4]

In 2008, she joined the Grandmothers in delivering a petition to Pope Benedict XVI in Vatican City by hand, requesting the Pope to revoke the three papal bulls authorizing the conversion and subjugation of the indigenous peoples of the Americas.[9]

The Papal Bulls that the Grandmothers are demanding to be revoked are:

The Grandmothers received no response after this request.

However, the letter which Beatrice Long Visitor Holy Dance wrote on this topic was featured on the National Catholic Reporter website, under the title "The past is a very living thing: Try not to forget it."[11]

She was interviewed on her work with the Council by the Women Rising Radio Project in 2011.[5]


  1. ^ Schaefer (2006) p.2
  2. ^ Schaefer (2006) p.66
  3. ^ "Beatrice Long-Visitor Holy Dance". Omega Institute for Holistic Studies. Retrieved 2013-06-17. 
  4. ^ a b "THE PULPIT: Lakota 'Grandma' walks and talks peace, forgiveness". The Gazette (Colorado Springs). 2009-04-24. Retrieved 2013-06-17. 
  5. ^ a b "Women Rising XI: International Council of the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers". Women Rising Radio Project. 2011-10-21. Retrieved 2013-06-17. 
  6. ^ "Medicine Wheel Healing Community News". Retrieved 2013-06-17. 
  7. ^ Mohan, Vibhor (2006-10-15). "13 ‘grandmothers’ pray for world peace". The Tribune (Chandigarh, India - Himachal Pradesh). Retrieved 2013-06-21. 
  8. ^ Supriano, S, (2009-04-06)
  9. ^ Capriccioso, R, Jul 17, 2008 (Updated: Apr 24, 2009), Indigenous grandmas nearly kicked out of Vatican. Indian Country Today
  10. ^ Chittister (2009)
  11. ^ Chittister, J, April 24, 2009, Blog on National Catholic Reporter website, The past is a very living thing: Try not to forget it.


External links[edit]