Daily Archives: August 12, 2011

Native American Author Gyasi Ross to Speak on Make No Bones About It.

Special Guest: – Gyasi Ross
Sunday, August 14 · 4:00pm – 6:00pm
Kaos 89.3 Fm – Olympia
2700 Evergreen Parkway
Olympia, WA

Gyasi Ross, a lawyer and motivational speaker, has agreed to write some 26 columns for Indian Country Today. So far, he’s about halfway through. A list of his columns are archived here at ICT. I remember when I read his first column about “fancy skins.” It generated many, many comments on the ICT page. No wonder. Several times while I read the piece, I stopped to argue with some of his points. What is a fancy skin? In Ross’s words: “the kind of Skin that always has a conference to attend, who always drops names, who went away to school and always talks about his/her time away at school.”

I wondered what all those Skins were thinking, the ones who are always attending a conference. I thought of the last conference I attended, a language conference in May at the National Museum of the American Indian. I actually attended as a participant, meaning I could mingle, enjoy lunch and take everything in at a somewhat leisurely pace. In the last decade, it seems whenever I attended a conference, I was working, on deadline, filing a story for the newspaper. Conference attendance meant long days, hard work. Anyway, as Ross would write– as he does several times in his columns — “I digress.”

Back to the main point, Ross’s columns. They are an interesting read for the mere fact that they are personal and conversational. He writes about a lot of sundry topics, such as stealing his sister’s diary and formal apologies to Natives from the U.S. government and military service. .

So, why is Ross writing these columns? I didn’t ask. If anyone wants to write, I strongly encourage it. I wish more Native people, anyone for that matter, would take the initiative to write about whatever is on their mind, which is what Ross seems to be doing. He’s taken it a step further by publishing it on the Internet. Good job. I strongly encourage other people to do the same. He’s chose to publish on the Indian Country Today Web site. That’s fine. I’d only say that no one needs an established Web site or news venue to publish their thoughts. That is the beauty of independent blogs.

Meanwhile, congratulations to Ross for his prolific series, he’s got about a dozen more columns already in draft form as I understand from some of our recent e-mail trades.

I’ll keep reading!

Gyasi Ross is a member of the Blackfeet Nation and his family also comes from the Suquamish Tribe. He is a lawyer, a warrior, a teacher, an entrepreneur and an author. He is co-founder of Native Speaks LLC, a progressive company owned by young Native professionals which provides consultation and instruction for professionals and companies, as well as young adults. Gyasi is currently booking dates for his presentation, “The Best: An Indian Theory of Existence.” E-mail him at gyasi.ross@gmail.com.