At the moment I am in Louisville, Kentucky where Indians are trekking across this nation to gather for the last home game for Shoni Schimmel. After last year’s exciting championship game between the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team where Louisville lost but made five hundred nations of Natives proud to Indigenous that day, every Indian is proud of those Rez ball skills.
Shoni and Jude Schimmel are names known to every little Indian girl with dreams of taking basketball to the next level. They are the names everyone in Indian Country who is a fan of basketball knows. They are the names even those rare Indians who don’t watch basketball know. Because we are proud of them and support them.
Right about now, Louisville, Kentucky does not know what hit them. To me it is reminiscent of Rapid City during the Lakota Nation Invitational. There are Indians everywhere we go. Around every corner, in every restaurant, at the mall buying Louisville shirts. Sometimes we talk of where we are from, how we got here. Sometimes it’s just a hello, or a nod, or that knowing look and smile.
We all know why we are here. To support these two sisters.
A lesson can be taken away from this day. If two girls from a reservation with determination and dreams can bring hundreds of nations of natives together, then surely we can come together and support each other, love each other, fight together instead of each other. Within our own tribes, and even in our own families.