Betti VanEpps-Taylor

Shadow Walker: An Indian Boyhood

Included in this presentation is a brief DVD introduction by Joseph Brown Bear Taylor, the “Shadow Walker.” Born an Ojibwa in 1934, and now seriously disabled and unable to travel, his story is a rich memoir of growing up as an old-style tribal Indian in a Pan-Indian band that made its living entertaining “white eyes” as they expected Indians to be. Colorado’s Garden of the Gods, near Manitou Springs was the home of this band for more than 50 years, and when not engaged in entertaining tourists, they were a strong, self-sustaining community that raised their children in old tribal traditions. Brown Bear’s story is rich in humor, pathos, and detailed descriptions of the pan-Indian tribal ceremonies and traditions that sustained the community and created strong young people straddling two worlds.