This April, Suan Campbell (age 10), grandson of Michelle and Francis Campbell, will be travelling to Albuquerque, New Mexico home of North America’s largest Pow Wow gathering.
Coinciding with the Pow Wow is the All Nations Skate Jam where Suan will represent the Village of Ahousaht.
The Campbell family will be travelling in two vans to bring great grandparents, grandparents, parents and other Ahoushat villagers along to support Suan. The drive from Ahousaht will take four days and money raised will insure that the family can make the journey to the All Nations Skate Jam in Albuquerque on April 25th.
As All Nations Skate Jam organizer Todd Harder notes:
“Skateboarders and Indians have a lot of similarities because we have lived our lives being told we don’t want you there. We want you here and do this and we are going to instruct you on how to do it. Well thats the way our reservation life was. And for a skateboarder we have always felt the same because the best places to skate they didn’t want us to skate . So our kids really gravitate to it and it is a good test of their warrior spirit. That’s in the blood still.”
Skateboarding, Harder has discovered, can be another way of being out on the land , of asserting ongoing indigenous presence and of challenging ongoing colonial ignorance.
The people of Ahousaht live in isolation. The opportunity to take part in the world’s largest Pow Wow in North America as well as participate in the All Nations Skate Jam will provide an incredible chance to be supported and cheered on by their peers.
It is hoped that Suan’s participation at the All Nations Skate Jam will inspire other youth in Ahousaht to not only compete but to follow their dreams.
Joining the Campbell’s on this adventure will be the young indigenous filmmaker, musician and skateboarder Aubrey Brass. Aubrey made the short-form documentary shown above. He will further document their journey of completion and inspiration.
Funds raised through this effort will cover the following costs: