[MUSIC PLAYING] There is a duty and obligation to protect our people and this land. And my cousin Angela— I would call Angela a warrior. Me and Angela are first cousins. And in our Kiowa way, it’s more akin to being a brother and a sister. Angela, her parents were still together. And so they lived in their own house in Washington state. They made their living as artists. When they moved back to Oklahoma, Angela must have been about 12. It was a poor community. Native people— many times we find ourselves in situations where we’re outnumbered. And the things that we are facing seem almost insurmountable. Angela took on the role of a leader within her family from the time she was young. Probably comes from the Kiowa teachings that she was raised with. We are a warrior society. We’re a warrior people. It’s our duty to go forward and fight. The Ton’konga, which means the Kiowa Black Leggings, a society of warriors supporting the veterans of our tribe. Her father was part of that, because he was in the Vietnam War. And so she was involved as well. They’re called the Black Legs because the other side tried to make them retreat by starting a prairie fire so the fire would wash over them and move them back. The Kiowa people, they ran through the fire to continue to fight. And when they ran through, their legs were covered in ash and soot— black legs. A lot of the key decisions were actually made by the women in our families, the matriarchs. She got pregnant in high school. Synthea— Angela had pretty big odds stacked against her, but was able to make school, make her grades, and graduate on time, and then, go to college. She went to school at the University of Oklahoma. There was conflict between a fraternity and the Native American Club. Well, what happened was it was a tepee. A teepee was erected. And somebody urinated on the teepee. And I can remember her being really activated by that. It’s not right. Her name was mentioned in the news, all of a sudden. We were, oh, look at Angela. She’s up in the university like raising hell. And she became more and more engaged. Angela was really motivated by her desire to help her people. I was hearing about her going to these different gatherings different Pow Wows, meeting people, meeting new friends around the state. She didn’t used to do that kind of stuff before. Then in the early 2000s, there was a big push in our tribe to start a tribal casino. But there were some people who didn’t actually want it to happen. So she took on the role of marketing and promoting the casino before it was actually even built. It just came out of a need for an economic foundation for our tribe. How do we make life better for our people. We had to approach it as a campaign. Angela— Kiowa Black Leg— she wasn’t going to back out of it. “It’s official, the Kiowa Casino in Devol is open.” [MUSIC PLAYING] It was a big day. It was a big day for the Kiowa people to have our own building that was built from scratch by us. Around that time, her health started to decline. She got hospitalized. And she ended up in a wheelchair. She wasn’t one to complain about her struggles and issues. I just marveled sometimes at her ability to keep going. Doesn’t seem to stop. And doesn’t seem to take setbacks for very long. Our tribe went through this turmoil. We didn’t have functioning tribal government for two years. It was a time of a lot of hardship for our people. Angela was very much aware that it had to begin with us, because nobody was coming to do it for us. And so she traveled around, in her van with her wheelchair, to these different communities and talked about the condition of the state we’re in, and why people needed to do something. And she was elected district one legislative representative. “Well-known Kiowa legislator Angela Chaddlesone McCarthy has died of COVID-19.” “The Native American community in Caddo County and beyond in mourning.” [MUSIC PLAYING] [RAIN AND THUNDER] After she passed away, she was brought back to the Black Leggings dance ground. She came there as a child and as a young woman to dance in that arena with her dad. And the people who are still here were able to come back there and honor her, and honor them one last time. [MUSIC PLAYING] A warrior. The story never ends. The story keeps going, just like the story of us. And as long as we’re here, our story keeps continuing. [THUNDER] [MUSIC PLAYING] [NATIVE AMERICAN DRUMMING AND SINGING]

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