Viola Hatch and son Buddy
Published November 8, 2018
CANTON, Okla. — Through the various Longest Walks Dennis Banks led across America, his travel log always steered the Longest Walks to include a stay at Viola Hatch’s home in Canton, Oklahoma. Hatch is a long-term dedicated leaders in Indian County.
Hatch has been a strong advocate for American Indian rights as evidenced by her involvement in the American Indian Movement (AIM). She and her husband, Donald Hatch, now deceased, were involved with AIM’s 71-day occupation of Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 1973.
From 1994 to 1995, Hatch served as tribal chair of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes.
On their way across the country from San Francisco to the Leech Lake Indian Reservation in Minnesota, Longwalker/activist Leonard Seabolt , Gina Marie Quinones and Arthur (Turtle) Jacobs stopped by to visit Hatch.
Viola Hatch, Gina Marie (Buffalowoman) Quinones, Leonard Seabolt and Arthur Jacobs
Arriving at her home in Canton, Oklahoma, the group was greeted by her son, Buddy and his wife, Blanca. Hatch is always excited to have visitors always opens her home to AIM family.
Buddy spends time taking care of his mother at her home. Blanca is Taiino native from Puerto Rico .
While sharing stories and time together, Hatch shared stories from her youth.
“Growing up as a kid we always had company on the weekends we always had a big crowd at the house , people always doing stuff together,” she looked down and commented sadly, “Its not like that anymore.”
After sharing more stories, her face lit up and she suddenly got up and went to a hall pantry. After fishing around in there she came out with a container of flour, then walked quickly to the kitchen table to prepare her delicious family recipe of fry bread. Her face beamed with pride while she started measuring her flour. The visitors all enjoyed watching and helping her with what ever she needed, as the aroma of bread filled the house.
Gina Marie Quinones contributed to this story from the Leech Lake Indian Reservation.