Monday, February 27, 2012

Presentation at Ponca Nebraska State Park

This was a lot of fun, they had some good questions and seemed to be really interested.  I hope that it leads to further dialog with the small town called Ponca Nebraska.  The reporter cracks me up by saying I have a hypnotic voice.  I wished that more of the students would have shown up.  They wrote such a good book about Standing Bear and his court case.  They are now in the 8th grade, they wrote it as a 2nd grade project. I really wanted to create an atmosphere of understanding mainly because their chosen mascot is the Indians.  If you are going to call yourself the Ponca Indians you should know about the people you are referring too. That is just my opinion.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Spring of 2012 is almost here the Indian New Year, wow time has flown by.  I see the signs of the changing of the season, box elder bugs, children riding their bikes, the robin is back, so are the eagles, although they have been here for over a month now.  March is the month of the little green tree frog and the thunder beings are making their way back to the plains.  I have so many things to be grateful for and so many things to remember.  My friends and relatives who have gone on their journey home and then there is little ones who have just arrived. I get mail from AARP now pretty regularly so I too am getting old.  Wakonda has been good to me and for that I am forever grateful and humbled by his grace and patience with me.  I have been living among my Omaha people on the reservation now for almost three years and I get to see my mother every now and then.  I asked her one day, Mom how are you doing? She said "oh life is just draining out of me son, but I'm OK."  She broke her left hip twice and her right hip as well all in a three year time frame.  I don't think she will ever fully recover from those injuries. She lives at Carl T Curtis Nursing Home in Macy Ne. She sundanced her last four years with me, that was nine years ago, I will always remember that as a very special memory. I am so grateful to still be able to say mother. My time here on the rez so far has been good and productive, I dont think I'm done yet either.  If you read on further down you will see some of what we have done for our people just these past few years.

Originally I wrote this blog for my two daughters, both are enrolled Ponca Indians, one is Northern Ponca the other from Oklahoma, my oldest is an urban Indian in So Cal.,with so many questions. She has blessed this world with two boys and a little girl.  My three beautiful grandchildren are enrolled in the Northern Ponca tribe as well. The other a teenager full of drama and life she has been raised among her Southern Ponca and already has so many memories of her Indian ways. I love all of them so much and I am so proud of each of them.  I have told both my daughters that being Indian is a way of life, not a degree of blood or a color of skin.  I told them; be good to people, be respectful to the elders, be helpful when you can, always be prayerful and acknowledge Father God in all that you do. I encouraged them to talk to God every day as if he were sitting right in front of them. I want them to pass those things on to their children. I don't know what is in store for me tomorrow, I just want to keep God in my life everyday that I am walking on this earth. I have tried my best to show them a good path to follow.  I only want good things for them, they are in my prayers every day and as I said I love them dearly.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

St Augustine Indian Mission, teaching Omaha language, a new journey for me.


I spent my first two months doing curriculum development, researching, gathering materials and resources. I  spent time monitoring classes at the Omaha nation language program in Macy, which was very helpful.   This is my first semester teaching the Omaha language to grades K through 8th.  This is the small classroom in the library for students in  the lower grades.  I move to a larger classroom for students 5th through 8th grade.  I focus on colors, numbers, days and months, animals and common greetings, history and culture. This is the first time that the Omaha language has been offered at St Augustine Indian Mission and my first time teaching it as well.  Although I have been an educator for many years now, this is quite different. I am so proud to be able to be a part of this very special project. I really enjoy working with my young Omaha relatives and it is a real challenge connecting with the older students, trying to peek their interest. I will be forever grateful to Father Dave of St Augustine's for his vision and offering me this unique, unprecedented opportunity.
This has to be one of the best jobs I have ever had.  These kids are so bright and have such good hearts, I feel blessed everyday just being around them.  They pick up on things fast and they see things in a special way.  You can just see their minds working things out and read the questions in their eyes. I like to tease and joke with them, t

The Creator has been in my life for many years now and has brought to many special places and seen me through some very tough times as well.  He has blessed me time and time again, I see this job here as one of those many blessing he has put upon me. I wake up every day and give thanks toWakonda some days I'm short and simply say "Thank you God for this day," other times it is a thought out prayer. Today is Saturday the robins chirping woke me up and it was still dark, I was so grateful to have a moment with my God all to myself.

Some of my Omaha relatives learning the Omaha language & culture.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Boxing on the Omaha Rez - Walthill Boxing Club

Big Crazy Society of the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska, Walthill Boxing Club.
Boxing Club was opened in September 2011 elders came to support our efforts

We started planning in 2010 with the Big Crazy Society of the Omaha Tribe being the sponsor.  One of the members donated their building for our project.  We wanted to build a program that would help young people find a better way in life.  We then partnered with the St Augustine Indian Mission and our endeavor took off like a rocket.  A church from Omaha Nebraska, St Roberts made a huge donation to our efforts which kicked everything into high gear.

Click link below to see video of the boxing program:

We started out with a bang, at least 25 kids showed up, but as time wore on and a few got hit in the nose and they quit, some found the training and discipline not to their liking.  Some did not want to give up alcohol or weed and/or were getting into trouble and were asked to leave.  We now have six fighters that come pretty steady and are serious about training.  We get a walk in from time to time as we are always open for anyone if they want to try to compete and follow the rules.
We train hard but we have time for prayer and reflection everyday, we want them to be winners in life not just in the ring.  This picture below says it all, we want them to have God in their lives everyday.

We are trying our best to offer them a way out and a way up in life. They are good kids that just need a break and some words of encouragement. We require them to sign a letter of agreement to stay in school, stay out of trouble and not to use alcohol/drugs, be willing to pray. We pay for their sanctioning fees, club fees, all training equipment, any travel and meals when on the road, all they have to do is show up and try their best to follow the rules.We want them to be winners in life not just in the ring.

Walthill Boxing Club sanctioned by U.S.Amateur Boxing Association and Nebraska Boxing Commission.