Gyasi Rossi has a point. One that’s pretty well made in the photo above.
When March rolls around, it brings with it basketball tourneys across the country. Basketball tourney time, as Rossi says, is special thing in the eyes of many in Indian Country. Missoulian photographer Kurt Wilson took this shot on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in northern Montana.
In a sign of the season in and around several rural Montana towns, the local high school basketball team is given a hometown boost during this weekend’s slate of state basketball championship tournaments. This one was put up outside Browning on the route the team bus took to the state tournament in Butte.
Here’s a little more from Rossi’s ICTMN column on “March madness”:
The basketball teams in many of our reservation towns are some of the crowning jewels of our people. We literally pile in—convoy—60, 70 cars in a row to go to the larger cities, armed with good medicine, some Shasta pop and a ring of red and a loaf of bread. We go to watch these beautiful Native kids—some with braids tucked into the backs of their jerseys, most with shaved heads and closed-cropped haircuts—and see a glimpse into the future that they can have, with hard work, dedication and prayer.
Indian boys and girls can go to state and can compete and even beat the larger white/black/Latino schools if they work hard as a team. They can accomplish anything if they really want to—Indian men and women competing in spite of racism, in spite of historical trauma, in spite of a history of genocide, alcoholism, and abuse.