First Nations Development Institute: Jaaji (Father) for Father’s Day

Native American Stories: A Continuing Blog Series

Jaaji (Father) for Father’s Day

By Lance Tallmadge (Ho-Chunk)
Fitness Specialist at Ho-Chunk House of Wellness
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
(Lance is the father of Kendall Tallmadge, who is First Nations Development Institute’s Lead Grants Officer.)

Dad, father, jaaji (in Ho-Chunk) are the terms we use to name the man whose seed we come from. We all have a father. Some of us were born out of love, some were a “surprise.” Regardless of the circumstances, the Creator brought us into this world.

“It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father,” said Pope John Paul XXIII.

I was blessed to have had a loving, caring, hard-working father who was there every day to support each of his children. I’ve also been blessed with two beautiful daughters who, as cliché as it may sound, are the pride and joy of my life. Even though they may not think about it, they honor me and their lineage with their caring hearts and the passion they have for what they believe in and how they treat others. I am honored and humbled that they call me dad! ….

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