Bun’uh Nu’na Newa’na, Hello my people my name is Willow Jack and I am an Agai-Dika (Lemhi), Shoshone-Bannock( bahnite-ah or Bannock’wauhd), Colville,Couer D’alene, Spokane and Kootenai woman from the Fort Hall Indian Reservation in Idaho. I am currently attending the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare pursuing a Master of Social Work Degree in Indigenous Policy-Advocacy and Administration. I am doing social work, not to normalize or assimilate Indigenous people, but to try and change this school of thought as “knowing” what is right, from with-in it’s structure, to have the Indigenous voice heard.
I practice the traditional ways of my people, do my best to help retain my language for coming generations, become a memory keeper of our oral traditions, eat traditional foods and love being rezzed out. I am a powwow person who enjoys the circuit dancing the jingle dress style. I enjoy dancing this style because the dress is a healing dress. The healing that comes from dancing this style is evident in my abilities, as I was in two car accidents.
The first was fatal and almost took everything I hold near and dear to my heart, It took my husband Daryl and daughter Maliah. I retained other things that are dear to me that are not as important as the life of my loved ones, but are to be equally grateful for. I broke my whole entire pelvic region to the point of needing intense surgery and cracked 3 vertebra (c3-6). My son was not injured, thankfully, be he bears more a burden than I can imagine. From this car accident I was told I would never walk again. Boy, the doctors were wrong because I one-upped them and began dancing again. This is why I acknowledge the gift of the jingle dress healing, because using belief and truly understanding Indigenous ways, I am here today. The second car accident was much like the first, except instead of vertebrae I knocked out my s-i joint and broke my tail bone, tibial plateau and all the pelvic stuff. I was given the same ole’ story, but TADA! Here I am dancing, again. My son was hurt as well, and again I am thankful for his health and well-being. Now, I know what ya think, how can someone have that happen twice. Well, the first time I was sleeping, the second I swerved to miss a car and lost control. It was just bad-luck because my son and I do not do bad things to hurt anyone or each other.In essence, I guess it is a piece of my life that I had to accept, I have learned how to accept it and be thankful and now I can carry on with my life in a good way, to help others.
In other news, I am founder of the Indigenous Empowerment Summit event of Haskell Indian Nations University (not sponsored by the school or a school club) which is an on-going event focused on healing the people. It was created to become part of this Indigenous web that is expanding in the movement toward solidarity. We have to take our consciousness to a new level, become active, create solidarity, share knowledge and try to build our Indigenous community. By doing so we shall address all issues relevant to being an Indigenous person in this day and age. I am not a 2009 coordinator, I am too busy, but I am still here and assisting in my own way, but the 2009 coordinators are Jodi Voice and Diane Sampson, contact these sites if you are interested (http://www.myspace.com/indigenousempowerment) (http://www.indigenousempowermentsummit.org/)
I believe in many things and they all pertain to the eco-spiritual-cultural-socio-political strengths of Indigenous people. I believe that Indigenous people must be heard because they have something important to say.
Finally, I am funny, love dogs, food, traveling, meeting new people, raising consciousness (especially my own), sharing in life with others, doing something good for the people, sharing my culture and some people say I am cool, so come and check it, check it.
I hope you enjoy my blog and spread the good word. Come share some dialogue, educate one another and learn from one another, it is never-ending and shall always be..learning is something to strive. Knowing is something that we must learn. Be aware, be active, seek and create change, do you and others justice and just BE YOU in a good way.