I am Mniconjou Lakota and a citizen of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, which is located in South Dakota. Taté* (pronounced tah-tay), means "wind" in Lakota; in our origin stories, Taté was the messenger of the spirit beings and commanded the winds to convey correspondence. I'd like to think my passion for communications, writing, visual storytelling, and Indigenous activism helps me live up to my name and heritage.
Home is Phoenix via Colorado by way of South Dakota. I write, right, and riot - sometimes all in one day! In my spare time, I'm writing a YA fiction novel set in a 1960s Indian boarding school, taking photos, reading, hiking, swimming, or watching Netflix with my husband and our 10-year-old daughter, who is featured prominently in my photography (can you blame me?).
Here is my official biography: Taté Walker is a Lakota citizen of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe of South Dakota. They are a Two Spirit feminist, Indigenous rights activist, and a published and award-winning storyteller for outlets like "The Nation," "Everyday Feminism," "Native Peoples" magazine, and "Indian Country Today," and "ANMLY." They are also featured in several anthologies: FIERCE: Essays by and about Dauntless Women, South Dakota in Poems, and W.W. Norton's Everyone's an Author. Their first full-length book, Thunder Thighs & Trickster Vibes: Storied Advice from your Fat, Two Spirit Auntie, is set to publish in 2021. Taté uses their 15+ years of experience working for daily newspapers, social justice organizations, and tribal education systems to organize students and professionals around issues of critical cultural competency, anti-racism/anti-bias, and inclusive community building.
*What's this name thing all about? Beyond the fact many folks - even with helpful diacritical marks - can't pronounce my name, many wonder why I use my middle name and not my first name, Jonnie. The answer is super-simple: Taté is the name I was raised with - the siblings I grew up with and I were all identified by our (legal) Lakota middle names. I have no problem with the name Jonnie, but if you try to use it on me, I most likely won't answer, just like you wouldn't answer to Bob or Tom if that's not your name. Please note the accented "é."