Yesterday Charlie said he appreciates the work we are doing for the tribe, and in return he made us a wild rice meal and taught us how to carve “rice knockers”. His gratitude gave me more appreciation for this opportunity being here.
Today Christa, Ricky, Emilia, Jordan and I went to a veterans powwow in Sawyer, a community in Fond du Lac. When we arrived they were honoring Lex Porter, a World War II veteran who passed away in 1990, and his role as a code talker in the war. They said he never spoke of what he really did in the war and that he only said he was a “radio man”. His family shared with everyone a secret he kept years after his time in war. It was that while on the front lines the code talkers were to be shot and killed if enemies were encroaching in order to protect military information. This made me sad, but I am proud of all Native American code talkers for what they did for our nation. Here’s a news story about Lex Porter http://www.armytimes.com/article/20131215/NEWS/312150012/Minn-code-talker-gets-Medal-Honor-posthumously
We watched grand entry and danced in a couple rounds of intertribal songs. Midnight Express, world champion drum group, was the honor drum. The powwow wasn’t very much different from one at home in Pine Ridge. It felt good to see children dancing and hear the powwow emcee say, “hoka hey”. I walked around the arbor a few times before I embraced the differences. Powwows can get messy, but this one had workers who maintained the waste. A lot of work went into this celebration.
I talked to a few people set up around the grounds who were educating the public about their cause; a woman from the city who was sharing information on how people with disabilities can get help, a member from the American Indian Movement of Minneapolis who was fundraising to help homeless, and a man against wolf hunting. After walking around some more I finally settled with buying food from an anishinaabe vendor. I bought a taco-n-a-bag and cheese fries, I had to indulge a bit. It wasn’t so bad, because I was supporting native vendors. Plus I got a discount for showing my tribal ID! It was a good day to go to a powwow.