Mathew King, Lakota Wisdom Keeper

This undated photo provided by the Office of the President & Vice President, Navajo Nation shows Matthew Martin, 84, of Crownpoint, N.M. Funeral services are scheduled Saturday, June 27, 2009 for the former Navajo Code Talker, who died at his home Monday, June 22, 2009 after a lengthy illness. Martin was part of an elite group of Navajo Marines who confounded the Japanese during World War II by transmitting messages in their native language. (AP Photo/Office of the Navajo Nation)

Several years ago, I was a computer consultant with the Library of Congress.

One day when I was at the Library, I stumbled into a luncheon seminar about Mathew King.

Mathew King lived in a trailer in the South Dakota Badlands, not far from Wounded Knee.  Mathew King had provided Native American spiritual support to the Lakota Nation as they have protested  uncaring policies and actions. On the face of it, there should be no reason why he should have any compassionate feelings towards people outside of the Native American community.

On a National Geographic assignment, Harvey Arden interviewed Mathew King.  The interviews resulted in a short book called Noble Red Man: Mathew King Lakota Wisdom Keeper.

Here are some excerpts from the book:

Listening to God

When I go up on the hill to pray I don’t just talk to God. I try to get the talking over quick. Mostly I am listening.

Listening to God- that’s praying, too.

You’ve got to listen. God’s talking to you right now. He’s telling you all the words you’ve got to speak and all the things you’ve got to do in this life. If you don’t listen, you don’t hear what God’s saying, and then you don’t know what God wants you to say or do.

So that’s how you pray to God.

You listen.

Everyone Is Sacred

Everyone is sacred. You’re sacred, and I’m sacred.   Every time you blink your eye, or I blink my eye, God blinks his eye. God sees through your eyes and my eyes.

We are sacred.


Goodness is the natural state of the world. The world is good! Even when it sees evil, it’s good. There’s only goodness in God. And that same goodness is in us as well.   You can feel it in yourself. You know when you feel good inside.

Yes, you are God’s child, too. You are good. You are sacred/ Respect yourself. Love the goodness inside ourself.

Then put that goodness into the world.

That’s everybody’s Instructions.

God made you so you feel good when you do right. Watch when you feel good and follow that good feeling. The good feeling comes from God. When you feel good, God feels good, too. God and you feel good together.


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