Native Nations Lose Elders, Maintain Hope


Title (Dublin Core)

Native Nations Lose Elders, Maintain Hope

Description (Dublin Core)

Scrolling through social media, I have been bombarded with innumerous posts that tell the now familiar tale of the passing of tribal elders due to COVID-19. Angry, sad…crushed – My entire being is blitzed with many emotions as I sit here reflecting on the recent news of the death of yet another elder from my own Nation, the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California. Being made up of just over 1400 enrolled tribal members, the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California, like many other Native Nations, has come upon a time of extreme crisis.
It has been stated by many that losing a tribal elder is the equivalent of burning down a library. This analogy is sufficient for many Native Nations although when considering the current state of language and culture for “smaller” Nations, this does not suffice. Every Washoe tribal elder that is taken from this world prematurely could be equated to the burning down of an entire country as our language has been designated as an extinct language by linguistic anthropologists because of the low percentage of fluent speakers remaining. This catastrophe has called for champions, for warriors. Warriors are those who sacrifice for the greater good, for the betterment of the collective.
Washoe warriors have once again become numerous. Women and men, younger and older have taken up our positions to defend what we have left. This mobilization is reflective of the wide variety of skills and experiences Washoe people maintain. A foundational principle in Washoe culture, yeyelu, demands that we stand together. Seeing many Washoe upholding our traditions of protection offers me hope.

Scrolling has become a task, one wrought with trauma and heart ache but more importantly of hope. HOPE.

In prayer,

Patrick DéɁileligi Burtt (Red Burtt from Wa She Shu St)

Date (Dublin Core)

Creator (Dublin Core)

Contributor (Dublin Core)

Event Identifier (Dublin Core)

Partner (Dublin Core)

Type (Dublin Core)


Link (Bibliographic Ontology)

Publisher (Dublin Core)

New York Times

Controlled Vocabulary (Dublin Core)


Curator's Tags (Omeka Classic)

Contributor's Tags (a true folksonomy) (Friend of a Friend)

Collection (Dublin Core)

Date Submitted (Dublin Core)


Date Modified (Dublin Core)


Date Created (Dublin Core)


Item sets

This item was submitted on January 21, 2021 by Patrick DéɁileligi Burtt using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

Click here to view the collected data.

New Tags

I recognize that my tagging suggestions may be rejected by site curators. I agree with terms of use and I accept to free my contribution under the licence CC BY-SA