The front page of the Aug. 1 Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal Tribune carried two photos and a brief story about Gov. Reggie Wassana and Lt. Gov. Gib Miles making a trip to Washington, D.C.
The elected leaders of the C&A were in our nation's capitol as part of a Nation-to-Nation Regional State Leadership meeting. They joined other Native American leaders from Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.
The trip included a meeting with U.S. Secretary of Interior David Bernhardt, as well as an opportunity to meet with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.
A more in-depth story about the D.C. visit is said to be coming in the Aug. 15 issue of the Tribal Tribune.
Should be some very interesting reading.
Meetings with the Interior Secretary and the President of the United States are very impressive. But as I turned to Page 2 of the Tribal Tribune, an equally impressive article jumped out. An incredible article, actually.
The story by Tribal Tribune Editor Rosemary Stephens described the Native ReVision All-Star Football Classic. The annual all-star game was on the verge of fading away a few years ago when C&A member Steve Cardwell saved it. He has expanded on it by adding the camp.
Native ReVision pulls in players from across the country. It’s held at Northeastern Oklahoma State University in Tahlequah. The game culminates a week-long camp in which the recently graduated high school players are introduced to inspirational speakers and coaches who instill in them a lifelong lesson of never give up.
Even when life kicks you in the gut, and it will, never give up is the message conveyed to the teens. It’s a message of hope and faith.
In reading the story, it’s obvious many of the players have already been kicked and hard, by life. One young man watched as his drug-crazed mother shot to death two of his siblings.
Another lost his father and younger sister to a car accident. Another player dedicated the game to his best friend who had died of cancer.
One of the mentors told how he vowed to break the cycle of alcoholism that he watched destroy his father who suffered from depression after serving in Vietnam.
The stories were powerful. The guess is so are the bonds created during the camp.
And for the first time in its nine-year history, a sitting tribal leader attended the all-star game. Even presided over the opening coin toss and handed out trophies.
What elected official wouldn’t jump at the chance to rub elbows in Washington, D.C. with the most powerful people in the free world? But only a leader makes an eight-hour round-trip drive across Oklahoma to be a part of something that probably does very little for him politically, but means the world to others.
Well done, Gov. Wassana.