Reggi

Native American – Hopi Tribe
Veteren
City Government Worker

Tonight I was taking my kids on a walk, Oliver was sleeping in the sling on my back and Emilia was looking at a book in the stroller. Along the way a group of military ROTC’s marched by singing army songs carrying the their heavy packs on their back. As soon as they passed another man caught up to us on the top of the small hill we had all just climbed. He said, “At first I thought you were also carrying a backpack and then I saw the head,” I joked and said, “Ya, a human backpack.” I noticed he was breathing hard and he told me about the arthritis in his hip that sometimes bothered him. I slowed down my pace and we continued to walk together. He told me he remembered pushing his daughter in a stroller when he lived in Fort Benning , GA. I responded by saying you are a Veteran then, and he replied yes. He continued to share that he sometimes still went to visit his daughter in Hawaii, when she needed help. After some discussion of Hawaii, I asked him, “so then you are Hawaiian?” He said no, and told me he was Native American. I asked what tribe he belonged too and he told me he was Hopi, from Northeastern Arizona.

There was a pause, and then I asked him what he thought of the current government and the military. He said as far as he knew there was not too much news around that, but that everyone had an opinion. I responded with a nod, “sure enough.” After another pause he said, “he had many wrong views.” I said “Isn’t that also a matter of opinion, and could he elaborate.” He hesitated, and as we turned the corner on the path, I assured him I just wanted to listen and was not in for a debate. He began to talk about his position of Immigration. He told me that he did not agree with immigration and that there were too many people in our country who needed help and that we should focus on helping them and not making other people citizens. I asked if he differentiated between illegal and those who came through the system and he said he did not. He added that even his Latino friends who came legally also did not think illegals should be here. He continued to explain that he also did not want people from Islamic countries to come and bring their religion, because we had enough of conflicting religions already. I asked if he felt fear of some of the extremist views which some Muslims might bring. He confirmed this by saying they could annihilate everyone.

I asked him a few more questions about his view on the Environment and the current administration. He said that this was nothing new and that DAPL could not be blamed onto this administration because his people had long prophesied global warming and the contamination of the waters.

I ended with a final question which was, because he came from people who were oppressed, how did he feel about that possibly of this happening to to others under the current administration. He said he could not address that at this moment in time. I thanked him sincerely for sharing his story and went in different directions.

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