Oki, people of Blackfeet Nation and surrounding areas.
Oct. 13 was the conclusion of our work with ESPN. It was very great and a lot of work. We had our awards ceremony for the 2019 boxing season. Ember, myself and all of our staff and kids worked hard for this honor.
The staff at ESPN were great; this documentary has been about our team and the Missing Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) movement that is happening in Indian Country. Our girl, Donna Kipp, is being featured in it with her boxing and participation in the MMIW movement. We gave boxing trophies recognizing the youth at our Boxing Club and the healing that is taking place today in our gym.
This year has been especially tough. We could not take our champions to the USA Boxing Nationals. We had four champions who qualified. Donna injured her knee in the Golden Gloves. Our coach lost his daughter when we returned from a boxing trip. One of our boxers lost his baby. Our boxing van broke down, and we lost our boxing coach, Glen, my baby brother, to sleep apnea.
Through all of this ESPN has documented our plight to help our kids here in Blackfeet, to make them aware of what is happening in our country and here in Blackfeet country with the MMIW movement. It was hard to do this because many times I did not feel good because of the cancer I had, my physical injuries and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) I sustained as a kid due to bullying here in Browning.
We got it done and have high hopes of good things in the future. Before God is done with me, I hope to create a center for our kids here in Blackfeet country that I can pass on to my children. I want prevention from alcohol and drugs, anti-bullying and suicide prevention, art, dancing and music and therapy for children of childhood trauma, a modern gym for our boxing club. I want enough finances to take our boxing kids to the Nationals wherever they might be. I want our own 501c3 so I can get the grants to accomplish this.
As you can see, I want a lot. My dreams are big as the Montana sky. The Blackfeet Nation Boxing Club is the longest running youth program here in Blackfeet, and I am one of the longest running boxing coaches - 17 years going on 18 years. It has been the greatest gift and privilege to have served our youth.
I want more for our kids here in Browning and abroad, Heart Butte, Seville, Starr School, Babb, East Glacier, Birch Creek and Blackfoot. My dreams are big and I have the best people to help me get this done. There have been so many people already in our community- our small businesses, our Tribal programs like Mary Ellen LaFromboise Family Services who provided Boxing pullovers to those kids. Our Tribal Councilmen and women. There are so many people to thank and acknowledge, I can honestly tell you I could not do this without you. What I can say is God and our Lord and Savior sees you; my gratitude is so deep and appreciative. God bless and take care.