My family went to a big dinner for Meeks Jackson last night at the casino. She is an 87 year old elder of our tribe. The language department honored her for her contributions to their program. They called her the last fluent speaker of our tribe.
I think having an event for a respected woman like her is necessary and should be done in this format. Most people will go through life with no recognition and maybe some don’t deserve any, but others do such as Meeks. The senior program also has done a good job of recognizing people nominated by other seniors and they have a yearly event honoring them. That is good too and is a long-over-due trend.
Meeks has lived on our reservation for her entire life. I respect the woman for ability to use and share the language with others. My contacts with her was several years ago. Her and my mother worked in the language program and I learned a bunch from those two and Maynard Potts. For me, it was a rewarding time frame and what I learned from them will stay with me for the rest of my life and it will be passed onto to my grandchildren. I think it’s a needed thing in the lives of Indian people to be able to thank our Creator for everything he provides for us. There is no better way but to use our language in thanking him.
Maybe someday all of the language will be gone, but people like Maynard and Nelson Potts, Meeks Jackson, Alberta Wamego, and Mognit, to name a few, did their part, in their time, to preserve it. So yes it was worth the time last night to see this honoring.