I wanna be wičhášta itháŋčhaŋ when I grow up
I wanna be wičhášta itháŋčhaŋ when I grow up!
I met a young boy who was talented in art and music beyond his years. I thought to myself that this must be a child prodigy, a young boy who’ll grow up to be a wičhášta itháŋčhaŋ (leader), but I made sure not let him hear such a compliment — he’s at the age where his gifts need to develop according to his own personal tastes… he doesn’t need an adult interfering and defining who he’ll be.
Also, if the viewer thinks this boy looks like a girl, that’s the point. Often times when a young Native boy grows out his hair into braids, he’ll face ridicule from other children and adults for “looking like a girl”. I’m proud of the young ones who reclaim their traditions, even in the face of ridicule, and this piece is for them.