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Star Night at the LTO

Friday November 18, 2011,  7 – 11 p.m.

Public Star Night at the Little Thompson Observatory, 850 Spartan Ave at Berthoud High School

Park east of the high school; directions are posted on www.starkids.org [1]

[2]The guest speakers, Chief Sam Moves Camp and Jim Tolstrup, will present “Lakota Star Knowledge.” As part of this talk, a brief ceremony, which may include Lakota singers, will be held to formally consecrate the new Lakota Native American Indian constellation wall in the warm room at LTO.

Members of the Lakota tribe observed the stars while remaining in one geographical area over a period of thousands of years. In the “Winter Circle” they saw a representation of their seasonal migration through the Black Hills in Western South Dakota. The stars also represented the spiritual life of the people. The shape of the earth was thought to resemble the constellations above.  Much of this mirroring takes place inside the red clay valley which encircles the Black Hills of South Dakota. The Lakota stellar theology can be summarized by the quote: “What is on the earth is in the stars, and what is in the stars is on the earth.”

[3]Thus to the Lakota, the stars represented places on Earth, the appropriate timing for migration, hunting, gathering and ceremonies, as well as ethical and moral lessons.

Since his birth in 1948, Chief Sam Moves Camp has been trained for his role as a traditional medicine man and healer. Sam is a leader of traditional spiritual ceremonies, as well as being an advisor on cultural and treaty issues. Sam is a direct descendent of Woptuka, a holy man of the 19th century who helped the great chief, Crazy Horse obtain the power to become the greatest Lakota warrior of all time. Sam’s instruction came directly from his Grandfather (also named Sam Moves Camp) and many other Medicine Men, all of whom are gone now. Sam remains as one of the last authentic links to the ancient wisdom of this land.

Jim Tolstrup is the President of Cankatola Ti Ospaye [4], a non-profit that supports native elders. At the urging of Lakota Elders, Jim reaches out to his own people to promote justice for Native Americans and harmony with the natural world. As the Executive Director of the High Plains Environmental Center in Loveland, Colorado, Jim works with developers to “restore nature where we live, work and play.”

The observatory doors will open at 7:00 p.m. and the talk will start at 7:30 p.m.

Weather permitting after the presentation, visitors will be invited to look through the large telescope at various celestial objects.

Public star nights are held the third Friday of each month (except July, when the LTO is closed for annual maintenance). No reservations are necessary for these nights

If you have any questions, please call the observatory information line at 970-613-7793 or check the LTO web site at: www.starkids.org

Credit for the illustration goes to Lakota Star Knowledge, Studies in Lakota Stellar Theology, [5] by Ronald Goldman Sinte Gleska University, Rosebud, SD, 1992