This is David Blacksmith from Cross Lake First Nation, Manitoba. He is a Traditional Teacher, Healer and an Elder. Despite his relatively young age (in his 50's) David does have the distinction of being in an Elders circle of Knowledge.
David is an interesting individual. He is not your average "Traditional Teacher". He is very knowledgeable and very crazy.
There are those that don't like David. That is okay. I am good with David. He is there when you need him. We don't hang together anymore, but life takes you different places. It does not matter we will always be family and friend. I know he is good where he is at. I like him. He is hard to take sometimes but he will be there if you need him. You have to know him. He likes to tease and laugh. That is one of the endearing things about David. I respect him and acknowledge that the Creator has indeed given him some kind of Jazz (power) to work with people. He has a very special connection to my wife and daughter. He was there visiting us at the hospital a half hour before my girl was born. He held the ceremony for the naming of our girl Chloe. You ask him something and he will try hard to do what is asked.
One thing is that people expect our Teachers to be on a pedestal. That does a disservice to all our Teachers. They are Human Beings, capable of fault and frailty. Anyone can put a person down, but its much better to look at the Good in others. David does a real service for people. He lives a life that is not easy. Being Traditional is a hard thing. You can pretend to live that way, but to walk that way calls for sacrifice. We all need to, at some time, sacrifice for our loved ones, our people and our Land. David is one of those rare people that knows sacrifice. He is constantly giving of himself for others. That is Tradition. I know plenty of "traditional" people that have no clue really. And that's okay for them. It's like your "Sunday going church goers"; being close to God only for one hour on Sundays.
I think of David and laugh. A good happy laugh. A warm laugh. A sad laugh. A lonely laugh. A loving laugh.
Be good David, I'll talk to you later.