We are blessed to have so many of our people in every walk of life doing things that we didn’t have access to 30 or 40 years ago. I believe there is a need for our young people to see and meet more indigenous people who are going into or becoming models, musicians, designers, doctors, teachers,and politics. The reason being, it will open their minds to expansion, to open the door to hope, to create the plan that leads them to a better way of thinking and living. We have so many things that are going against us as a people that it comes back on our youth in many of our communities. Let’s face it drugs, gangs, suicide, domestic abuse, and violence are becoming common events at home. We need those role models more today than we ever did before.
When I was a young one growing up on the rez in Conehatta, Mississippi; role models were hard to find even harder for them to lead by example. As I grew up I seen some good times and spent more time on the bad side of fighting, drinking, sex, and drugs. When I was younger, I was full of anger, I was mad at the world, mad at my family, mad at myself, and even mad at my own people. I was just angry.
There was so many things I wanted and no way of doing the things that mattered to me. I honestly believed no one understood me and no one believed in me. I can tell you that was not really the case. The truth was at the time I was the one who was blind and deaf. Blind to the truth that my family loved me but could not relate enough for me to understand and deaf to hearing the words of love, inspiration, and hope.
Uncle Hubert came to me to teach me how to work on cars, go fishing, how to hunt, and how to live right. I didn’t listen all the time but I listened. Course I still didn’t become a good mechanic. My role model then as it is today is my uncle Hubert. He is one of the people who had the biggest affect on me. He took the time to spend with me to try to teach me things as best as he could.
So yes we find role models where we can and in today’s technology that field is wide open with so many possiblities of people to fill those positions. We want our children to become more than what we are today. So when I meet a new musician, actor, model, dancer, or drum crew; I am meeting the future role models for so many of our people including myself.
This is why as Native Hoop, we support our people in the entertainment industry as much as we show our support for those on the rez making a difference for the future of our people.