Mitch Walking Elk
Published April 12, 2016
GUYMON, OKLAHOMA– Mitch Walking Elk and six students, three of whom are Ojibwa and three who are Cheyenne and Lakota and a parent/mother took the time to join the Longest Walk 5 – War on Drugs and Domestic Violence connecting with ‘the walk’ in Clayton, New Mexico and ran with them into Guymon, Oklahoma.
The students, A.J. Weyaus, Brian and Fabian Arthur, Nina, Nolan, Nathan Berglund, and their mother, Diana Johnson are members of an Indigenous Youth Ceremonial Society from St. Paul, Minnesota. The program is one of several programs of Guadalupe Alternative Programs, an inner city alternative school where Mitch is employed. He has the distinct honor of coordinating the mentoring program that teaches ceremonies and all things related to a limited number of Native youth in the St. Paul School District. The Indigenous Youth ceremonial Mentoring Program is funded by the St. Paul Children’s Collaborative, This particular trip however was funded by The Shakopee Mdewakantonwan Dakota Community, located in Pryor Lake, Minnesota. The Mdewakantonwan Dakota contribute funds to many tribal nations and programs as well as many non native programs and organizations
Mitch is a a member of four tribes: Cheyenne-Arapaho, Hopi and Choctaw and he plays music of the struggle. He plays music in many genres:blues, country, protest and songs of empowerment. Mitch says, ‘in the old days I played songs of protest but now I prefer to call them songs of empowerment”
This is a recording I Will Survive