I was up north of the rez in Denver taking care of some stuff I needed to get done when I ran into an acquaintance whose mother I knew from long ago. She had raised her son in the city. He had recently settled down with his own family off the rez.
There was a call. One of those you don’t like to hear. Ashie’s sister called him from Phoenix and said that their mother Nahgebah was in a bad way and that it looked like her time had come.
Burnham Junction was dry; there had been no water all summer. The sagebrush was a dull gray; the sun had baked the color of straw out of it.
I am Diné, an American Indian. Not the Indian princess of a Disney movie, not the enemy combatant in a Western film, not the romantic, stoic relic of an old Edward Curtis photograph.
The Pony Soldier Motel on Route 66 was just around the bend to East Flag—as in Flagstaff, Arizona, called Kinlani in Navajo. There are a lot of rooms in that place.
I was driving home from a night of pow wow on a backcountry road late at night. I had a kid in the car, my niece. The usual crew attending to her couldn't handle the gymnasium stairs so I was drafted to watch over her.
Old Man Kee Bedonie sat down at the small wooden table at his place and looked out through the screen door to the east as the sun set and from there the colors of the rainbow appeared, turning everything gold, yellow, orange with a tinge of purple and finally a dark blue.
To the Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women of Canada
As I look into the waters,
I wait slowly as time goes by.
I have to say that I never believed
I would be here, watching my son from the sky...
My 79-year-old mom, Jeanerette Jacups-Johnny, has been staying with us recently. She fell twice in one week, hitting her head both times and getting two concussions. She has been recouping at our house for the last month.
When my grandpa was dying of cancer, he asked for me. He wanted me to sit with him. I was about 8 years old. The cancer had metastasized and spread over his entire body so he was in exquisite pain. I can still see him lying there in his bed, bony and frail, covered lightly with a yellowed sheet.
Many people placed on Turtle Island have a hard time speaking out that they are one living with depression.
Ho, ho ho, hummmmm. The avalanche of holidays is wrapping up, and winter is in full regalia just ready to dance. It is also time for some Native parents to send our precious children (even though they are young adults really), out into the world and back to college.
When I was a young man—more like a boy, actually—I was molested and sexually assaulted on several occasions by two different older men.