(Photo caption: Clarence Gonzales/ Lavonne Gonzales (RezconnectEnt & Promotions)
As modernization came to the indigenous people of the world. My insert focuses on family, my family from the Hualapai Indian Reservation. As well as other Indian reservations. I am from a family from the Salt River Pima Indian people, Paiute people and Havasupai people. We are a family of Indians. Indians, being of Native American bloodlines.
Being raised on an Indian reservation was not a bad life. Was nothing like Banananza or the waltons. It was a life of being taught. Being taught lessons, that would one day become a part of me. A part of me that one day, would teach others. A family member once told me that if you take care of the land and learn about it. That one day, it will take care of you. I find those words exactly right. I found myself back home after years of living off the reservation. I found myself out in the pines with a camp of hunters. A gig my dad used to do back when I was a kid. My dad, as I think about him. I think that, he had us cutting wood, out hunting, out at Grand Canyon west when it was a bus, dirt road and grandma Rhoda, was the cook. A plate of potato salad, beans, pitted beef, vegetable and homemade tortilla was the menu at guano point. I feel that he taught me simplicity, maybe at the time he was in the struggle.
Auntie Cheryl, was the funniest person ever and till this day she is still a riot. When I talk with auntie Cheryl, our conversations are lengthy. I learned that knowledge seeks all with a smile, laughter and a good spirit.
Being, Native American holds a lot of history. A history that is told and told as family grows, as family starts their journeys into the next life. My dad or Dala, comes from the Seligman, Az Indian camp of Hualapai and Havasupai Indians. Our great grandfather Chief Quasula, was in charge of that camp. Which in turn my grandma married a spaniard gentleman- Clarence Juan Gonzales, of whom I was named after. Grandpa’s history is somewhat a puzzle. A cousin recently relayed information that brings the bloodline back to working under Spanish Kings and Queens. Also, placing that bloodline to Indians from the Santa fe, New Mexico area. I find that intriguing as I never had a clue about grandpa.
Grandma Lavonne “Quasula” Gonzales, of Hualapai descent, was active in the Christian faith at that time. I feel that at one time the Walapai people went toward christianity because of government issues amongst the people, due to traditional ways. I learned that singing is a part of our tradition and it was a way of life to relay life lessons like a bible. I credit that knowledge back to father god, the late Victor Mahone, the Late Sonny Havatone our elders and ancestors as well as Mike Whatoname, Larry Hammond jr, Quentin Paya, Garfield Nish, Frank Mapatis and Ivan Bender. The ladies and gentlemen at Hualapai Cultural. As well as my family and friends that give me direction when I ask for answers. I guess that’s the focus here.
A family of Indians, is a family, who practice traditional ways to the best of their knowledge. Not, to be perfect but to be focused on what the creator wants for us.
As, we move forward I am going to relay information about my Mother “Jita” Flora Selana, maiden name Wellington. I say that with respect to her husband Roderick Selana, certainly an outstanding man. As mom talks she talks with meaning and in spirit with Auntie Salena and Auntie Rhodena. Prayer, is always strong with family. As, a human mom has been through life and reminds me of a momma bear. Protective of her children. Will go to any lengths to make sure they and grandchildren are good. I realize we all are not perfect and I remind myself that daily. The unique and intriguing story I hear about her childhood is about her stay with grandparents at Mohawk Canyon. Gwa’wa and Go’d’a they traveled by wagon and periodically visited relations on their travels. A family of medicine for the soul, medicine for the body. This concept is a dying concept. But, there are families that still practice in today’s world.
Grandma Madge, of Salt River Pima (Akimel A’thum). A strong lady, a lady that had a spirit like a rock. A lady that had knowledge beyond the next world. She was the sweetest little lady. As I sit here and I write. I have a tear to my eye because at this time she would be our rock. I understand that she is still with us. My mom talks about how she spent time with her. I feel that that is where my mom gets that solid spirit, that gift of love for the children. But, as native Americans, a family of Indians. A family that comes from a bloodline of generations of strength, hope and respect. I am glad to say that I am proud to be who I am today. We are who we are, because that’s how our creator father god created us.
With today, society is different. As a family of Indians we are a humble people. Sometimes we are strict people and direct orders to get things right within a family. A family cannot carry bad feelings amongst one another or the moral of the family is ruined. With all this said, our direction with our family is to express our creativity to be a family of Indians that is successful and independent in whatever we do as a family.
As we move forward in life. Life will make seen what needs to be seen. Sometimes it’s up to us as individuals, to do the rest.