today's Native Rising

prior honorees

Don Chapman

Côqayohômuwôk (spirit song) mohegan tribe of ct

Don Côqayohômuwô Chapman is currently the Sr. Vice-President of Kikiktagruk Inupiat Corp (KIC) - an Alaska Native Corp and is President of KIC Facilities Management (ANC 8a/HUBZone), a KIC subsidiary. KIC was organized to serve the Inupiat people of Kotzebue, a community above the Arctic Circle in Northwest Alaska.

Don is also a NAMMY recognized Native American musician, performer, and entertainer as well as a keynote speaker, panel expert, and lecturer for various Native American conferences and symposiums.

My Native name means Spirit Song in Mohegan. Our tribal council of elders gave it to me. I always try to put myself on the other side of a given situation and consider how others might view that situation or problem. This is always helpful in decision-making, negotiations, and conflict resolution. I use to do this somewhat naturally. But I have received extensive training from the U.S. Institute of Environmental Conflict Resolution, which has ingrained this practice into my normal train of thought.

I am a direct descendant of, and have great respect for the Mohegan sachem Uncas. Uncas lived in the 1600's and led Mohegan's to befriend the colonists instead of warring with them. He knew that more and more would come - and that the survival of our tribe and culture were at significant risk if we did not understand how to embrace their arrival. Of course, this ended up putting us against other tribes in the region. But ultimately, it led to the survival and eventual growth and success of Mohegan. Uncas had amazing wisdom and lived an amazing life.



Spirit Song Music

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