Monday, November 21, 2011

Invocations, boys and medals!

I went to a meeting in Oklahoma the other day and once it was over, I  blazed it back to see my grandson Pat ko shuk give his first public invocation at an event in Fort Leavenworth. He is 11 years old and said the prayer in our language. His prayer is something we have worked on for a good while now and he says it every day.  I taught him some pretty tough words and it must be true that young people pick up the words better because he did.  He said these are hard words but we hung in there and he picked them up.  Using Indian words daily seems to be part of the answer.  They asked me to go to the podium to translate what he said, but I first had to tell how each of us Indians have a role to play, some sing, some dance and some do the praying so it is a matter of working together.  Rest assured, one person can't do all of that. 

The officer in charge gave him three medals for doing the invocation. My wife was worried that he would get stage-fright, but I knew he could do it.  It really is unheard of to have a young man of his age give an invocation.  When the program was completed, the officer called him up there and gave him the medals.  I was so surprised because in this neck of the woods being recognized for using the language is kinda rare and I felt emotion inside.  I hope he sticks with it and learns more.  My Mother would have been proud!  I learned from her and now my grandson is using the words she taught me.

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