Friday, December 11, 2009
Gale Fiege + The Associated Press: a Look at an Inspiring Local Deer Hunter Who Gives Back to Chief Seattle Club
What a gift to have the story of one local eighth grader told so beautifully to the nation. The Chief Seattle Club was honored to receive a gift from this fine young man. Fiege wrote, "Bagging his first deer was a rite of passage for 13-year-old Josh Hamilton. After bringing home the three-point buck, Josh had another tradition to honor. On Tuesday morning, the young Tulalip tribal member climbed warily out of his grandfather's truck in the middle of Seattle's Pioneer Square neighborhood. A shy Totem Middle School eighth-grader, Josh was greeted on the sidewalk by staff and clients of the Chief Seattle Club, a nonprofit organization that provides support to about 200 low-income and homeless urban American Indians and Alaska Natives. Josh was there to give away his butchered deer to help feed the people who frequent the club's day shelter. He helped unload coolers of venison from the truck and carried the meat to the club's kitchen. 'Our tradition is that when a boy gets his first deer, he must give it away to those who would appreciate the help,' Josh's mother, Andrea Hamilton, said as she watched her son. 'Josh knows his grandpa brings fish to the Chief Seattle Club, so he wanted to give his deer to our people here on the streets.' Tall for his age, Josh accepted hugs, handshakes and high-fives from men who called him 'brother.' The Rev. Patrick Twohy, a Catholic priest who ministered for many years on the Tulalip and Swinomish reservations, asked the people gathered to accept Josh's gift to form a circle in the lobby of the club. Josh, who lives with his family in Tulalip, has known 'Father Pat' since he was a little boy and was happy to see the priest, who now splits his time between Chief Seattle Club and Tacoma's Mount Tahoma Indian Center. Following another tradition, Chief Seattle's executive director Jenine Grey, a young Tlingit woman, pinned a blanket around Josh as one of the elderly men in the circle sang and kept a beat on his deerskin drum. 'We are humbled and honored by your gift,' Grey said. 'It will nourish the bodies and spirits of people who don't often have the chance to eat traditional foods. In this urban world where we live, a gift like this will bring tears to their eyes.'"
Thank you Gayle for telling this story. And for any of you who would like to support Chief Seattle Club, please contact us, or the club directly. With this cold weather they are especially in need of warm clothing and gear.
To read the entire article, a true inspiration, please go to: bit.ly/5KoWBE .
Photo of the Chief Seattle Club from the DJC.