Spending time in camp Kyle, South Dakota we had the opportunity to listen to a speech about what it meant to be “a man” on the reservation. An older tribal member arrived at the location where we were at in the afternoon. Before the man began his talk with the group, one of the students from the reservation immediately got up and asked if he needed anything. I took note of the respect that was given to the tribal member especially from those who were from his community. Throughout the talk the tribal member offered the group some great life lessons and his views on how men on the reservation should live and act. One of the key notes of the speech was living a life focused on honesty and compassion. These two characteristics serve as the foundations of manhood in the tribe and also make a man live a fruitful life and strive to be a great father for his family. One of the quotes that kept running through my head was given towards the end of the speech. “Walk straight, walk strong, and walk soft”. To me this statement can be used as a great tool for how to be a role model for others especially those who want to be caring and honest men.
By Isaac Michalski