I was close with my grandpa. He was loved my many and respected by many more. If I close my eyes, I can see him talking, I can hear his laugh and the sound of his Native Ojibwe tongue.
Grandpa died a little more than a decade ago. He lived a great life, a hard life some would say. He grew up Indian and anyone growing up in the boarding school era had it rough. He knew that, but he never used it as an excuse.
I didn’t know my grandpa as well as I’d have liked. I was too young to ask, too naive to ask the right questions. I was young enough to care. As I grew older, I visited more to hear his stories. He never told me about the boarding school, or his experiences in WWII or stressed the importance of the Ojibwe language. He did stress the importance of education.
He died shortly after I graduated high school. His health had deteriorated long before my high school years.
I miss the days of stopping by to visit. Not many words were exchanged. He could speak English as well as his Native tongue. The time together was enough. Sometimes we’d chat about sports, specially the Minnesota Vikings.
Today, on the reservation, at the Ponemah powwow, we raised my grandpa’s military flag in his honor. My young daughter was with me and we danced in his honor song.
Today was a good day. Miss you, grandpa.
Phoenix was once home. I spent two years of my life there about 10 years ago. I was barely 21 and trying to find myself. Early on I was close to a fish out of water being a rez boy living in the big city. I quickly adjusted and made the most of my time in there.
Life was different back then. My only priority was rent and car repairs if any surfaced. Ah, the simple life. I worked at Walmart and attended a community college full-time.
Oh, yeah, it was HOT and it was strange to not have snow around Xmas.
I loved living in Phoenix, mostly because of the diversity. Brown people everywhere. I met some cool Natives, including my friend Mike, who I still talk to. I wasn’t intimidated by the city. Traffic was a mess at times but acceptable. Plus there’s so many things to do, like any sport watching or playing, hiking, entertainment and family stuff.
Now, 10 years later, I’m back.
Well, kinda. I’m in town for a journalism conference. The last time I was in Arizona was in early 2006 for an almost week-long trip to pickup my stuff left from my move to Nebraska and to see familiar faces.
Besides the mind boggling state politics, Phoenix is a pretty fun place to live. Snow? Flagstaff is a day trip north. Perfect weather? Roughly eight months of the year.
I could live here again. Who’s hiring? 🙂
I’d like to announce my candidacy for the Native American Journalists Association Board of Directors. I’m officially running as a write-in candidate, which means any NAJA members must write my name (Dalton Walker) in at the conference in Arizona. The conference is July 18-21 in Tempe.
NAJA has done great things for journalism, especially in Indian Country. My skills and experience in journalism will bring a strong voice to an already strong board. I want to help strengthen Native journalism. Today it’s more important than ever for us to tell our stories.
I’m a digital reporter for Argus Leader Media in Sioux Falls, S.D. My focus is public safety and being able to produce quality work quickly on multiple platforms, including online, video and social media. I’ve worked for mainstream media for six years and have worked for the New York Times, Omaha World-Herald and Minneapolis Star Tribune.
I’m an enrolled Red Lake Ojibwe and grew up on the Red Lake reservation in northern Minnesota.
I like to tell people that I don't have time to listen to new music. I'm not a music wizard. Far from it. My friend had to practically pay me to listen to Macklemore. Side note: Macklemore is my guy. The Heist is one of my favorite albums of all time. I was lucky enough to see him perform live and enjoyed every minute of it. OK, back to this post. As you can see with the picture, It's Jay-Z's latest album. I was hooked once I saw the Samsung commercial. I'm a huge Hov fan. I collect his albums and play them on repeat often. He's my Beatles. His hustle, his flow, his delivery, his story, his knowledge. All of that. His latest album doesn't disappoint. It's fresh with the same Hov flavor. it's a summer album, made to blast while cruising the streets. Thanks, Jay
What she said
I am a modern Lakota winyan.
I’m like no Indian you’ve ever seen.
Because I am not a mascot. Or a blockbuster archetype.
Someone dressed like a gothic taxidermist
Is trying to sell me my own culture.
“Your values and beliefs are for sale!” he proclaims in redface.
“So is your land. I’ll buy it for you [if you see my movie].”
Spending $5 million
On land worth $14,000
To sell a movie made for $250 million.
I’m no good at math.
But that seems
Excessive. Over the top. Not enough.
And I feel funny 😐
The worst part?
Our people are so starved for attention,
That we’ll take it in whatever form it comes in.
When Racism knocks on your door,
It’ll be riding a pinto, wearing a bird, and wrapped in a Comanche flag.
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Sorry, but I'm talkin about my hair again (I know - yawn). But hey, it was pretty cool braided. I struggled to sleep worried I'd get a massive bed head attack and the braids would come out. They didn't. I rocked my new look proud for a day. I had to take them out because I was in a swimming pool. Next time, I'll leave it for a while because my head felt cooler.