“Our great-grandfather stood to fulfill a sacred duty…to do more than he ever thought he may have been capable of doing…at a particular time in the existence of the world for the survival of generations of all of us to come. The warriors that stand in courtrooms today—with their hand on a vulnerable, suffering person or their families—are doing that extremely honorable and important and courageous task of a warrior assigned the same type of commitment to help to make it a better world.”

This episode of the TLC podcast features brothers Harley and Robin Zephier, co-authors of the book Warrior Is and members of the Mnincoju Lakota people. In a captivating discussion with host Rafe Foreman, the brothers share their profound insight into what it means to be a warrior through the story of their great-grandfather, Mato Niyanpi “Saved by Bear”, a proud Lakota warrior who performed an act of commitment and courage during the Battle of the Greasy Grass in 1876, interweaving his legacy with the story of humankind as a whole.

By establishing a parallel between the values of the Lakota culture and the core mission of the Trial Lawyers College, Harley and Robin offer a refreshing perspective that transcends the boundaries of time and background. Tying it all together with the current turbulent political atmosphere of both our nation and our world, this episode offers a timely reminder of the importance of coexistence, unity, and interconnectedness and the role of the trial lawyer in upholding them.

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Episode Guests, Harley and Robin Zephier

Zephier Brothers Headshots

Harley L. Zephier (“Wanbli Hoksila”/Eagle Boy) and Robin L. Zephier (“Sungila Sapa”; Black Fox), brothers, are great-grandsons of Mato Niyanpi/Saved By Bear and are members of the Mnincoju Lakota people. Both live in South Dakota.

Harley and Robin come from medicine families, practiced from the first of all of their generations in time. They have been asked to become the storytellers of their tradition and culture.

Throughout his upbringing with his native tribe in the Great Plains of North America, Harley, the eldest of the two brothers, began his growing and searching for identity and rightful place among the humans. As a child he listened and learned from family elders, about the importance of keeping our world alive, through belief and connection to Creator. He has spent many decades of immersion and practice as the man in need of understanding, and participating in male passage ceremonies.

Robin lives with his wife Patti, and their little JoJo in the sacred He Sapa (Black Hills) in Rapid City, South Dakota. He enjoys writing, hiking, reading, siteseeing, drawing, sports, and activism for indigenous causes, Unci Maka (Grandmother Earth) protection, and Lakota rights and issues. Robin is an attorney in South Dakota, but chooses to view himself first as a human being and a child of Creator, and not by any professional label. Warrior Is is Robin’s first published book, but he is working on many other writing projects including the screenplay for Warrior Is, and the sequel novel which has yet to be published or released.

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