Lindsey X. Watchman
Lindsey X. Watchman

Birthday hugs and kisses, long-awaited sweat brings spirit alive once again

By General Council Chair Lindsey Watchman

Oykalo iinim himiyuume, iin wees lilooyca – I am thankful/happy.

Around mid-May, I turned 48 years old. Like many of you (as well as our children), birthday celebrations have been a bit more challenging these past few months. Held virtually, and even car parades … who would have thunk?

Yet, each of us have been doing our part in complying with the safety guidelines that have been asked of us by the Incident Command team. I applaud each and every tribal member for their frequent ‘sacrifices’ of personal wants … in order to protect our Elders and households.

And although several usual weekly activities have been disrupted (including traditional and religious events such as sweat, SAS, Tutuilla and Longhouse services) … our People have remained resilient.

After two months, I finally got to sweat the day of my birthday. I definitely needed it. Mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. The next morning, without distance restrictions, I traveled down to Cascade Locks to see two of my children – and to feel those much-awaited hugs and kisses. We stayed at a half-full hotel that practices social distancing, hoarded the swimming pool to ourselves … and even spent a few hours on the scaffolds dip-netting (only caught a few shad, weetu nacox – no salmon). But most importantly, my spirit became alive once again.

So, to be brief this month, I’ll close with this same wish and prayer for your happiness as well. May the Creator of hope fill you with all joy – and peace in believing – that you may ‘abound in hope’ by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13).

I wish you each well, yox kalo.