Black ElkHeȟáka Sápa, commonly known as Black Elk (December 1, 1863 – August 19, 1950), was a ''wičháša wakȟáŋ'' ("medicine man, holy man"), ''heyoka'' of the Oglala Lakota people and educator about his culture. He was a second cousin of the war leader Crazy Horse and fought with him in the Battle of Little Bighorn. He survived the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890. He toured and performed in Europe as part of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show.
Black Elk is best known for relating his religious views, visions, and events from his life to poet John Neihardt. Neihardt published these in his book ''Black Elk Speaks'' in 1932. This book has since been published in numerous editions, most recently in 2008. Near the end of his life, he recorded the seven sacred rites of the Sioux to ethnologist Joseph Epes Brown which were published in 1947 in the book ''The Sacred Pipe''. There has been great interest in these works among members of the American Indian Movement since the 1970s, and by others who have wanted to learn more about Native American religions.
Black Elk converted to Catholicism, becoming a catechist, but he also continued to practice Lakota ceremonies. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rapid City opened an official cause for his beatification within the Roman Catholic Church in 2016. His grandson, George Looks Twice said, "He was comfortable praying with this pipe and his rosary, and participated in Mass and Lakota ceremonies on a regular basis". Provided by Wikipedia