"Children are wakȟáŋheža, 'sacred beings.' You are all sacred beings with special gifts. You all need to know this, and always remember this. There are no excuses when it comes to using drugs and alcohol…it’s a choice,” Kansas Middletent, Native Hope Ambassador, explained to the youth at St. Joseph’s Indian School.
Last week, Kansas was the guest speaker at the school’s 22nd Annual Sobriety Day/Walk. He shared his mi-ah-íčhimani, "journey," with the elementary, middle, and high school students.
"I grew up just like most of you, on the reservation, but moved from rez to rez, not knowing where I really belonged. I had a really rough childhood. Growing up in our world is not easy,” he told them. However, Kansas reminded them of their worth and emphasized that they can end this cycle.
He asked the elementary students to share their dreams for the future. Several hands shot up. "I want to be a doctor,” stated one third grader.
"Little man, you will be able to help our people one day,” Kansas reassured the boy. "That is a wonderful goal.”
Besides speaking, Kansas and his family led the Sobriety Walk for the school. Each year, this four-direction walk serves as a reminder that "walking the Red Road,” a life of sacred choices, is the best decision for a successful life.
Kansas ended his presentation with this thought: "Don’t pressure each other to do the wrong thing—support each other to do the RIGHT thing. Remember, 'If you can dream it, you can achieve it!’ DREAM BIG!"