A Person I Really Know

Lieutenant Victor Trenton was a United States Marine, a decorated veteran of the Korean and Viet Nam Wars. He was from “The Old Corps”– hard, unyielding, and fair but just. The Lieutenant was in his late 40s. He was my friend, and I had known him for a long time. Lieutenant Trenton stood almost 6’3”. He had broad, lean abdominals…

Knowledge and Wisdom

After the Fourth World was created and the sacred mountains were in place, First Man created the times of day, he created the seasons and everything needed for the people.  With him he kept wisdom and knowledge.  He kept them all in a pot. He wanted knowledge and wisdom to be shared with everybody in the fourth world. He did…

I Will Go to Tsoodzi l

Traveling over red sand, ruptured earth Traveling against howling whirlwinds Singing traveling songs Meek and muffled by wind hands Sunflower heads sway I see Tsoodzi l among rain clouds Its peaks, sharp arrowheads, Stream rain and snow water Down its backline, purifying Its body’s boundless reach Lays like a slain giant Black limbs stretching, four directions I will go to…

The Mirror of Cultural Identity

On a sunny March afternoon, I awakened from a dreamy cat nap. I had fallen asleep on the leather sofa to which my back was now stuck with sweat. But it wasn’t the sweat that had awakened me. It was the chatter coming from the kitchen a few feet away. My grandfather, a Sioux Native, was hosting a Native American…

Rain Song

I heard a whisper in the very ground and in the sky A faint call in the thickening wind is how the Wankias tell me that the newer rain comes Oyate Wazia Oyate Wazia Seeds will explode and paint the land in sun yellow and violet like the ribbon shirt my Grandfather wears I hear it in the air closer…

The Best Stickgame Tournament of My Life

A stickgame tournament was scheduled at the Nespelem Colville Confederated Tribes powwow at the Colville Tribal Indian Agency near Nespelem, Washington, and I wanted to get in. The powwow is held during the 4 th of July Independence Day every year. There is a big free feast on the 4 th at the powwow grounds and hundreds of people attend….

Rabbit’s Tale of River

It was a good day to relax in the woods. Everyone felt the warm sleepy breeze from the south. In this place of dreams and slumber, it was a well-known fact that time ran backwards; instead of aging things, it gave a child’s call to come out and play. In this place, there was also a wind that loved to…

I Know This Man

I know this man who knows me more. It is through my blood he again walks this earth— in muddy sneaks, not boots —and nears a vision of showing the world what “Native American” really means. Like a photograph, his image lives in me. I carry his voice, his trouble, his glee. His towering persona is all that is me….

Henry’s Last Will and Testament

The old man was bent and gnarled from years of hard work. His hands were callused, long and lean. In his youth his hands once had so many uses. Now he could hardly button his shirt. Today seemed to be worse than other days, though. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t seem to steady them. As he tied…