Interview with Basil Brave Heart and Hilary Giovale
In this episode, we talk to Basil Brave Heart and Hilary Giovale. This was an amazing conversation about forgiveness – forgiving our oppressors, how true healing and repair happen given the reality of historical harms, how white settlers need to forgive themselves as part of the work of reparation. Basil also shares deeply from his tradition in ways that Sarah and Sheri found very moving.
Basil Brave Heart is an Oglala Lakota Elder who lives in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. He is a Catholic boarding school survivor, retired school administrator, addiction counselor, and Korean War combat veteran who served as a paratrooper in the 1950s. As a young child in the 1930s, Basil’s Grandma Lucy told him about the 1890 Wounded Knee massacre. She counseled him to forgive the soldiers who perpetrated the massacre. A dream of his Grandma later guided Basil to change the name of a peak in the Black Hills. In 2016, it was renamed “Black Elk Peak” at the federal level. Basil studies how quantum physics corroborates the wisdom woven throughout the Lakota language and other Indigenous languages. Over the last decade, he has been facilitating truth, healing, and forgiveness across historical divides.
Hilary Giovale is a mother, writer, and community organizer who lives in Flagstaff, Arizona. A ninth-generation American settler, she is descended from Celtic, Germanic, Nordic, and Indigenous peoples of Ancient Europe. An active reparationist, her work is guided by intuition, love, and relationships. Hilary seeks to follow Indigenous and Black leadership in support of human rights, environmental justice, and equitable futures. She is the author of Becoming a Good Relative: Calling White Settlers Toward Truth, Healing, and Repair (Green Writers Press, April 2024). Since 2019, Basil and Hilary have been collaborating on healing work, focused on repairing the harm that has been wrought by the Doctrine of Discovery.
Please consider signing the “I Support the Sacred” petition to show your support for Apache Stronghold’s legal case to protect Oak Flat. Resolution Copper, a subsidiary of British and Australian mining giants Rio Tinto and BHP, proposes to completely destroy this sacred site and contaminate the surrounding land, water and air. Preserving the religious liberty of Apache peoples is essential to preserving our own. We must all join together to protect sacred land from the forces of destruction.
Sarah and Sheri wrote a book together! Find out more about So We and Our Children May Live: Following Jesus in Confronting the Climate Crisis here. We are also publishing a Substack with the same title based on the theme found in our book — ecological justice, decolonization, faith, and where we find hope for our future. We’re excited about this Substack because it’s a more personal, unfiltered space in which we can share our thoughts and writings.