2011-11-02 / Headlines

2-Spirit Walker Crosses Pine Ridge On Way To Washington DC

Submitted by Richard Noble
Special to the Times

(above) Instructor Brad Held and 2-Spirit walker Richard Noble at Red Cloud High (above) Instructor Brad Held and 2-Spirit walker Richard Noble at Red Cloud High PINE RIDGE, SD - Richard Noble, a 2-Spirit walker, is crossing the United States and came through the Pine Ridge Reservation recently. You may have seen him pushing a jeep jogging stroller filled with food and camping supplies, a Rainbow flag, as a symbol of the 2-Spirits lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and a back pack. He camps on the side of highways, camping grounds, RV parks and an occasional hotel. Sometimes strangers will host him for a few nights by providing a safe place to sleep, dinner and a shower.

Noble has walked 1400 miles in the last seven months. He left the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco on March 12th, 2011. He had only one spell of walking pneumonia after spending days hiking in the rain and cold before reaching Sacramento, California. After some breathing treatments and antibiotics he was well enough to continue.

(above) Richard holding OST Proclaimation and OST President John Steele (above) Richard holding OST Proclaimation and OST President John Steele "There is a lack of 2-Spirit non-discrimination laws and lack of equality, leading to psychological damage, emotional and spiritual detachment and at times loss of life in the LGBT community," he said. "It's time to stop it with the fullness of the official United States governmental policy." he adds.

He carries trinkets of items he's received from people with prayers for safety. He is asking to be added to the omnibus bill currently being written by a member of Congress that will add sexual orientation and gender identity to all of America's non-discrimination laws in an attachment named The American Equality Bill.

The bullying and historical trauma being assaulted on the 2-Spirit LGBT communities across America has got to come to an end. Noble brought his message to the Oglala Sioux Tribe where he received a Proclamation calling for the end of such harm and discrimination from Oglala Sioux Tribal President, John Yellow Bird Steele.

Visiting the reservation he's met with people offering him places to stay, water and prayers. He's been enjoying his time at the Red Cloud Heritage Center. He was able to speak at two senior classes at the Red Cloud School. These were the Faith and Justice classes lead by instructor Brad Held.

He was scheduled to speak to the younger classrooms about bullying. However plans were changed and he did not speak to the younger students. This made him sad. He was alarmed that such topics and issues around bullying were spoken about in generic terms when they should be addressed directly.

"2-Spirits exist in most families on the reservation. Human rights and dignity must be upheld to a standard. I see the girlish boys being picked on and I have to step in and create a safe place for all spirits to exist and be happy," Noble said.

In the senior class there was a lot of great interaction. The presentation opened up with smudging and a prayer lead by Noble. He prayed for all beings in all worlds to have peace and happiness spoken in the Eastern Indian language of Telegu.

He spent his first few evenings in Oglala and then stayed at the Red Cloud Heritage Center. He intends to be heading onward towards the south through Texas to Florida before ending his trek in New York and Washington DC. He will be met there by a member of Congress and will be walked the last few miles to the Lincoln Memorial. He will leave sage there which was given to him by elders of the Shurz, Nevada Paiute Tribe who also named him Poo'e'ta'gwena (Rainbow).

Overall, Noble has been pained and inspired by the struggles for freedom. From reading as a childhood boy the stories of Wounded Knee and excerpts about Crazy Horse, Red Cloud and Sitting Bull, the nobility of the characters of these great men have burned in Noble's heart from his earliest memories. He found it a great honor to walk amongst the people who have inspired him towards spirituality and prayer, bringing him an intimate connection to nature.

The message he leaves behind for all is that 2-Spirits and all of us can and are entitled to a relationship with the Great Spirit. To deny this to anyone is a harm that may cost lives. Be kind to each other and as you celebrate the colors that make up a beautiful Rainbow, celebrate and give thanks for all of our individuality that together make the great Oneness of the human family.

It will never hurt to stop a 2- Spirit, give them a hug and let them know they are loved and accepted as they were created and for the sake of the Great Spirit. Please, no more bullying or suicides. Reach out for help and take responsibility for your life and your relationships around you. Most importantly, take responsibility for your relationship with the Great Spirit. He walks on with a grateful heart and a sheer determination to make the world of 2-Spirits a comfortable and safe one. If you would like to follow him you can watch his journey at or find him on Facebook at Call him at 760-992-4172 (SKYPE accessible) or visit

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