By Carol Berry
“I was from a poor, broken family,” said Jim Murphy, 45, of Lenni Lenape ancestry. “But skating gave me something to be happy about, and I knew any kid with a skateboard had a fighting chance.”
Murphy talked with young skaters July 9 at the ONE Gathering Skate for Life, described as “A Live Life Call to Action Campaign” of the nonprofit Stronghold Society, leaders of which are Walt Pourier, Oglala Lakota, a Denver graphic artist, and Murphy, owner of Wounded Knee Skateboards.
The competition at the Downtown Denver Skatepark has special meaning due to its location near the South Platte River, a historical gathering place for many tribes. ”Our overall goal for the ONE Gathering—Skate For Life is to promote inclusiveness and a positive impact on youth of all races by incorporating artistic achievement, social change, innovation, education, and healthy way of life outlooks,” said Walt Pourier, Executive Director of the Stronghold Society, in a press release.
Below: "Dakota White, 13, Northern Cheyenne/Lakota, who lives on the Lac Courte Oreilles Reservation, Wisconsin, and who has been in skateboard competition several years." (Carol Berry)