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About the Book

The Essential Companion to the Classic Black Elk Speaks​

Based on the compelling vision of Nicolas Black Elk as written by: John G. Neihardt in Black Elk Speaks, Quentin H. Young has unlocked its messages, as he clarifies each detail of the vision. A vision given for all people of the world then, now, and for the future, and explains why a vision given to a young Lakota boy in 1872 has relevance today.


Black Elk: Black Elk noticed all the dancing horses turning into animals of every type and into every bird that was and flew back to where all the horses had come from, the west, north, east, and south.

Clarification: This statement takes us a little further in-depth. The dancing horses of every color and without number changing into animals of every type and all the birds, are making a statement, “Mitakúye Oyasin.” The fact they all returned to the four quarters from whence the horses came and vanished, bolsters the idea the grandfathers were showing Black Elk his relationship with all things within the four quarters of the World. The Grandfathers would not establish this type of relationship and then exclude the wasichu (non-Indian). This will become more apparent as we move deeper into this vision.


Mystic Visions: Black Elk's Great Vision Clarified

The following is a summary account from John G. Neihardt's: "Black Elk Speaks", the author's postscript, Black Elk sends his last prayer from Harney Peak.

Black Elk stood at the top of Harney Peak, renamed Black Elk Peak in 2016. Holding his pipe in his left hand and dressed in his long red johns. With outstretched arms, he sent his prayer to the six grandfathers. Tears ran as he spoke aloud stating the tree did not blossom. And he has turned away and done little for the people.  He said, "I stand at the top of the world where you took me as a young boy and instructed me, for I am just an old man now, and the tree is dead."  

He went on to say that this might be the last time he remembers the great vision they gave him.  He asked the great mystery, if any part of the root lives, then nurture it, that the tree may bloom with birds singing among the leaves.  He asked the great mystery to hear his prayer, not for him, but for the people that they may find the "good red road" once again.   He stood with tears running and addressed the six grandfathers saying, "Oh make my people live".

Photo courtesy of John G. Neihardt Trust, Western Historical Manuscript Collection, Columbia

Black Elk


Eliza Jane Milton


Rose Leaf Eliot

Rose Leaf Eliot, 1878-1941. My Sicangu Lakota Grandmother with my Mother Rose Mary, taken some time in July 1918. Rose Leaf married Clarence Likens, and they had one child, my mother Rose Mary Likens.

Eliza Jane Milton, my Great Grandmother, 1849-1929. Eliza was a full-blood Sicangu Lakota borne in Nebraska. In 1855, a soldier took Eliza from the battlefield of the Blue Water Fight and gave her to the Milton’s of Missouri. Soon after, Eliza was adopted by them and raised as a white. She married James Eliot and had seven children, six girls, and one boy. It was said that wherever James and Eliza traveled the whites called him a squaw man ​(a derogatory statement).

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