These are things I am thankful for…

A winter count.
This is the time of being thankful.
Of course there is the whole Columbus Day/Discovery debate that will continue long after I am gone and that’s good.
However I am reflecting on My life and things that I am happy about and being thankful for the memories.
I was born with the Name Wakinyan Duuta (Red Thunder) and was raised by good grandparents and parents.
My childhood was filled with adventure where my cousins and I were the generation of growing up with the old people and knowing the way of life of that was being taught to us. I also loved to rodeo.
A.I.M. American Indian Movement influenced my early teen years as I travelled the world.
4) I circum-navigated the globe. It took me 18 months after high school to see whatever I could
5) I went to Washington State University and earned a degree in Human Kinetics with a specialization in Biomechanics and Exercise physiology. One thing I was proud of is to be part of the University Rowing Team. I crewed with some really good men and we made it to the Pac 10 Championships.
6) I was blessed with 6 Children 4 daughters (Hine, Ngatai, Maia, Nidaan) and 2 sons ( Pitah and Te Amorangi). 3 little brothers have followed since Mishit’la (Tuakana. Wakinyan, and Mana) It was at this time I continued my rodeo life as a rodeo bullfighter and as an Ironman Triathlete (5 time competitor)
7) I Co-Founded a Dance Company (Red Thunder Native Dance Theatre) and toured extensively across North America and abroad. At that Time I also won the Tom Longboat Award for the Native Athlete of the Year in Canada. It was the time I left home to travel over the mountains to live.
8) I went to the University of British Columbia as well as Vancouver Film School to pursue my passions. It allowed me to go back to Sundance ceremonies and find strength to carry me through life so far.
9) I moved home to work and worked at many types of jobs. The dialogue between Nations was becoming more and more important. One of the most memorable was to be a explosive ordinance searcher for “Wolf Flats”. It is from home I learned that women are to lead the people forward as we make our way through life with the sacred dog (horse) carrying us on their backs with the knowledge we have made sacred through lived experiences.
So this is what I was thinking about on this weekend of eating turkey and my upside down banana cake specialty. Hope you are all thankful for your life no matter where you are in happiness. At least you’re still this side of the grass.
(Oct. 10, 2016)
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