Family of Indians – The Documentary
Part 9 in a Series
The Grand Canyon, the indigenous circle of life
In the beginning, they say there were Pine trees. The Pine sap from the Pine trees was the medicine we used for healing. Words of understanding were what we shared with one another. Then an action of kindness and doing for others was how we displayed ourselves.
That’s the way native people have always been. We were from the earth, the universe. God put us underneath the sun, stars and moon. We were the physical part of the world. We were mankind just making our way through life. Through the world’s end.
Eventually, life became modern and as mankind we had to adapt. Life became fast and our old ways became forgotten. Through the struggle there was the time of converting the indigenous to Christianity. There was the time of boarding schools. Cutting the indigenous peoples’ hair and taking them from their families. When all they knew and understood was family.
The Grand Canyon, the indigenous circle of life. Holds the rocks that tell the story of the world’s end. If you look up when you’re in the canyon. You will see air, the sky, that’s how the world ended with covid. The river is present day life. Rough in some places but always goes forward.
Gabriel Yaiva- A Navajo and Hopi man and his wife Melissa Sam Yaiva. Are a family which displays young love. From the beginning that’s the way God created mankind. The connection between a woman and a man. Gabriel and Melissa come from two different worlds. Gabriel, was a young native rap artist when he was young. Accomplished the goal of getting a recording deal. Through that life taught him the realism of what his mission was in life. Today Gabriel has a business that does contracting for business consultation.
Acclaimed reggae recording artist Hezron Clarke is a soulful vocalist who is considered to be one of Jamaica’s greatest songwriters of this generation. Hezron’s current album, M.O.A.M (Man on a Mission), released on August 19, 2022, is a mission to bring back great reggae music to the mainstream. M.O.A.M premiered at number five on the iTunes Reggae Chart and held number one positions on the South Florida Reggae chart and Jamaican radio host Richie B’s Jamaica Music Countdown for four consecutive weeks. One of M.O.A.M’s most haunting songs is “Warriors Code,” a tribute to the parallel struggles endured by Jamaica’s Maroons and Native Americans.
The Maroons are descendants of Africans brought to Jamaica who fought and defeated British colonists there, freed themselves from slavery and then established autonomous communities within the island’s mountainous interior. Recorded between Kingston, Jamaica and Phoenix, Arizona, “Warriors Code” was further inspired by Arizona’s imposing mountains. Hezron, a Maroon descendant, looks to the mountains and yearns for them to audibly recall the battles and bloodshed that they have withstood, as suffered by Native American ancestors, as he wails on the song’s chorus: “Old mountain I know you can see, but I really wish that you were able to speak to me/ Old mountain, I know you already know now but I heard no surrender was the warriors’ code.”
The song features traditional chanting and a rap by Gabriel Yaiva and Tony Skrelunas. With Navajo language prayer recited by Tony Skrelunas, both members of the Navajo and Hopi Nations, who sought out Hezron for a collaboration after attending a show he did in Arizona. Of the Phoenix recording session, Hezron says, “I felt a lightness when I heard the chanting and prayers, something I have never experienced; I had to leave the room because I felt like my spirit was leaving my body.” Hezron plays acoustic guitar on the track and Miami based musician Leroy Romans contributes flutes and strings, which further enhances the song’s deeply emotive, powerful statement. Hezron and Yaiva are the co-executive producers of “Warriors Code,” which will be used in the Family of Indians documentary- Patricia Mechino (Author Rolling Stones Magazine & Billboards Magazine)
The families of the people involved in this project are from the Hualapai, Paiute, Havasupai, Crit, Absentee Shawnee, Salt River Pima, Navajo, Washoe tribe and Hopi tribes. Some stories coming from descendants of Chiefs that once were. Telling a story of aging. Telling a story of a humbling time. A time that once was a part of an important time of life. Relating traditional values to the stories relating to the bible and of today’s world.
As we are blessed with talent. In parts of this film it displays just that. With Fauster Johnson, a black and Absentee Shawnee man. He is a Barber and a business consultant. The story, Indigenous Muurs, is shared by Rauf Bey. He is from the Washoe tribe. When he was young he traveled with mama Wolf and the Dream Weavers. Then became a part of the Wu-tang Clan as Cappadonna’s hype man. We have two gentlemen from the Salt River Pima tribe, involved with wellbriety. Both well versed with life and what it brings. Sharing some culture and tradition.
Introducing Veronica Wood, who is a young up and coming film director and producer (Light & Noise). Veronica has just released a trailer from a film she worked with in Guatemala. From her Project ‘Origins”. Veronica, is the director of Family of Indians documentary.
The story of Mohawk Canyon is my Jita’s (mothers) story. That was the influence to write the project and to shoot the documentary – Hongas.
Clarence and Lovonne Gonzales