O’yu’kwee! Yurok Tribe Youth Introduces Bernie Sanders Before Crowd of Thousands in Seattle

12322886_1042615245777181_272907615827210738_oBernie Sanders signs the speech notes Charles Adkins used to introduce the presidential candidate at a capacity rally on Sunday. [Photo provided by Adkins]

On Sunday, an 18-year-old Yurok youth introduced presidential candidate Bernie Sanders to thousands in a rally in Seattle, Washington. Over 15,000 people converged on the arena which had to set up monitors for the overflow crowd. Charles Adkins greeted the throng with “O’yu’kwee” then told them he was a member of the Yurok tribe in California. (Watch below.)

Adkins says he has lived in “Klamath, Ferndale, and a small town called Loleta” though he was mostly raised out of the area. “My mother is a member of the Frye family, and is originally from the Yurok Reservation,” he explained. “My father is from Anaheim.”

The path to introducing Bernie Sanders to a crowd of thousands wasn’t easy. “My father joined the Army around 2004,” said Adkins. “We moved to Texas, Southern California, and then finally Washington. I attended school in Washington until 2012 when I went to Chemawa Indian School for a year. And finally I became homeless after a fight between my father and I, And I eventually ended up in a homeless shelter in Everett, WA.”

But, he now has a home and is vice president of the Washington State High School Democrats. Through that organization and his activism for the Bernie Sanders’ campaign, Adkins said that he became known to campaign staff.

Adkins, who wants to get a master’s degree in Public and Tribal Administration, asked that we be sure to say, “Bernie Sanders is the candidate for Indian Country.”

The speech below shows the notes used by Charles Adkins.

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Charles Adkins speaking at the Seattle rally. [Photo provided by Adkins]

O’yu’kwee
My name is Charles Adkins
I am the Vice-President of the Washington State High School Democrats
I am also an enrolled member of the Yurok Tribe
I am going to tell you why I support Senator Bernie Sanders
First I am going to tell you a little about myself
I was raised around the Yurok Tribal Reservation in California
I witnessed racism and absolute poverty
And although We are often a people forgotten by most
the Native People of this country are hardy
From the terrible exploitation of our land by corporations,
to the ridiculous and useless drug war that is adversely affecting our people.
We are an afterthought;and that needs to change.
one day my father joined the army after the invasion of Iraq
Soon my home life started getting more and more hostile after every tour my father served
Eventually I became homeless
I was homeless for most of my high school career
If it wasn’t for the kindness of my community
and my friends Jacob and Seth
I would have never survivedLuckily, though, a kind and caring family took me in
While being homeless was a terrible experience
I learned extensively from those experiences
I was able to see the disastrous effects of a lack of mental health care in this country
It taught me to be grateful for what I have
My experiences from these events are the reasons why I support Bernie
Because he’s been consistent on his values
He opposed the disastrous war in Iraq
He opposed the disastrous free trade policies of the 90s
He opposes the disastrous drug war
He has been fighting for the people all of his life
He has shown he is a true man of the people
And the reason why I am on this stage is because Bernie gives us a future we can believe in
With that
I am honoured to introduce The Next President of the United States
Senator Bernie Sanders!

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64 comments

  • thanks for posting this. it sent chills. and the local connection is nice, despite the CNN reporter’s disbelief that young Mr Atkins had actually lived in a place called Loleta.

  • Broke attendance records, yet we hardly heard a peep about it from the media.

    • Because the Ma(I)ss Media all want $hillary to continue bowing to their Corporate Masters!!!! :-C

    • Because no one other than idealistic idiotic mellinials give a shit about a Socialist trying to become President of the United States of America.

      • Yeah theres only millions of people who’ve been supporting him, mainly youth, so obviously you’re dead wrong. Thats the point, the media has been shown over and over to either disclose or slander this candidate.& I think you’d better check your def of a socialist.

        I wonder if you’d have the balls to say that to this amazing young man after all he’s been through and accomplished.
        [edit] viva Bernie!!!!

        • Thank you. That was my response when I read the previous post. Heh. I’m a baby boomer (tail end) and I love seeing the support of the young people. They’re inheriting this world (I’m not THAT old. I have a while too.) Young folks get out and vote!

        • Party of useful pawn Republicans speaks! Idiotic regressives aren’t capable of getting it.

        • Bernie!

      • No one but old, ignorant boomers confuse socialism with fascism and totalitarian dictators.

      • Patrick Shannon

        Im 65. But I’ve been an idealist all my life. May i ask what you believe in? I mean, other than insulting the young.

      • Better than one of these two

    • write to the mainstream news media and ask them to report. The more that do the better the chances!

  • That’s awesome!

    Please people we can’t let Trump become president. He will put the finishing touches on what GWB started.

    FEEL THE BERN!!!!

    • What GB started was the stabilization of the middle east. Obama and Hillary totally screwed that up. Now Bernie wants to turn the whole country into a slum so we may all feel equal, sitting in squalor similar to the ghettos of Chicago and the Indian reservations. Slums and tent cities are created by socialism. It creates people too lazy to get an education, or even pick up the trash. If that is your bag, vote for Bernie. When you feel the Bern it means damage is being done.

      • What are you talking about? Have you been glued to fox news and hadn’t tuned into reality for awhile? Take a minute to think for yourself if you remember how.
        If you think trumps cool then take a look into how most of his companies and ventures have gone belly up and then see who will turn our country into slums.

        • It does not surprise me that you don’t know what I’m talking about. I didn’t mention Trump. [edit] I am an independent type. I am old and have been thinking for and educating myself for almost three quarters of a century. I realize debating those of your ilk is hopeless, and that people like yourself must learn their lessons the hard way. I feel for you and others that dance with communism as a way to feel like they belong to something. Pathetic. Those of us who have a spine, the will to make something of ourselves, and the desire to help others are the hope of the world. Socialism, taken too far smothers individuality, productivity and human rights. That’s a fact Suck. You just keep learning things the hard way and I will be there to tutor people like yourself in the art of getting along. [edit]

          • “Socialism, taken too far smothers individuality, productivity and human rights.”

            Capitalism, taken too far, is indistinguishable from slavery.

            • I agree. Anything taken too far is bad. Wall Street definitely needs to be reigned in, but not to the point where it makes it impossible for progress. If capitalism wasn’t the way to go, the communist countries wouldn’t be bolstering their economies with it. Socialist and communist leaders know extreme socialism is a shit show. It’s used to control the weak minded, uneducated and the poor, while the guys running the shit show are rolling in capitalist dollars. Either left or right if traveled to far wind up in the same place. Hell. Having observed the world for many years, watching people fight over who gets to run the place, I would prefer to live in a healthy, multicultural, American capitalist society. Bernie wants to spread the wealth some more. If he really cared about people, he would assure them that when he is elected, he will spread the wealth so as to upgrade everyone’s home and car to the same quality he expects in his life. That will never happen. It never happened in the Soviet Union, Asia, the Balkans, or Africa either. If you think it’s gonna happen here, you’re nuts, or ignorant. Walk through any tent city or slum and you will find lots of people who are both. And with their help we’ll be eating grass like the North Koreans and according to Bernie we’ll just love it.

          • I think you’re lying.

      • Guest, Don’t be fooled by the trumpary, what you refer to as Bernie wanting to make everyone equal, effects higher class as in multi millionaires and billionaires. I’m just assuming that you are neither, so you have nothing to worry about. Try to inform yourself politically through something other than fox new.

      • [edit] Use google, look at the nations with the highest quality of life.

        • [edit]I am not big on googling, I prefer a good screw and rely on my education and experience to form my opinions. [edit]. If you delve into the history of those nations on your list of shangrilas don’t forget there are geographic factors as well as population density ratios and all kinda shit that make them different than us. However, I bet if you looked into it, they owe their freedom and their ample economies to the US and the world capitalistic system driven by the US somewhere along the line. Not some far left crackpot. [edit]Those countries you swoon over also have a history of enforcing their borders until recently. I’d check in on Denmark and Sweden if I were you. Might need down grading.

      • old town observer

        [edit] GB and the PNAC string pullers wanted to destabilize the ME so they and their buddies could control the resources and controls the lives and aspirations of Muslims.
        They included several countries not in the mideast as well.
        Black is white to you people. ..what the hell is wrong with you that you post such blatant lies?!

      • Lots of slums and tent cities in Capitalist PIG America, but none in Socialist Sweden. You don’t know what you’re talking about!

        • Sweden is not a socialist country. It’s economy is based on capitalism and the US dollar. It’s population is only slightly larger than the city of New York for pete sake.

    • TO: It`s Time ….. you state Bush and Trump are together in some plot. Did you not watch the debates ? Trump killed Bush and Bush tried to kill Trump. They hate each other, The youngest Bush son after George W. and Jeb is Neal Bush, who works on the Ted Cruz presidential campaign to stop Trump. You dont know what you are talking about. You think you can post something without it being checked ? You are mistaken [edit]

      • [edit] my point is Trump will ruin this country in the same way GWB did. And, For one I said, GWB not Jeb Bush. Jeb Bush has been out of the picture for quite a while now in the election. [edit]2, I have friends in political science and we have discussions regarding a wide variety of politics. I highly doubt you keep up on things the way we do. In fact I bet our research in world politics outmatches your US political knowledge. But mearly judging from your poor grammar. 3, Never did I state “bush and trump are together in some plot” just something you put together in your head in some desperate attempt to get your, well known point in. [edit]

        • Bernie Sanders belongs in a rest home in Moscow , and Hillary belongs in a orange jump suit in Leavenworth.

          • In a world where hate, intolerance, and injustice flourish unchecked — you might have your way. However, unless Donald Trump or Senator Ted Cruz win the presidency — don’t expect age discrimination or incarceration-without-due-process to be rules of the land.

        • Wtf!? Why was my comment edited!? I didn’t cuss, nor was I dorragatory, I would like an explanation on why someone would cut out sentences of my post. That pisses me off. Absolutley no reason for that. You leave comments much worse than that one on a regular basis, I demand a reasonable explanation!! Erg!!

          • Insulting other commenters is against the rules on this site. Instead of deleting the whole comment, I edited out those portions.

            • He called me a young foolish one I was merely answering back. All I said was, your clearly the foolish one. Am I not allowd to say the same thing back?? There’s a difference in insulting and proving someone wrong. Sometimes being proved wrong feels like an insult. I still think non of my comment should be edited, especially because of the amount of derogatory comments you leave up. My comment did not deserve editing.

              • I missed that portion of his comment to you. I’ve edited it out now.

                Frankly this thread has several comments that are borderline. I prefer people to say what ideas they have without personally attacking others.

                I’m sorry that you would prefer to appear unedited but, in order to facilitate discussion, insults are edited out or deleted, racists/sexist statements get deleted. I’m not interested in hosting a place for folks to talk rudely to each other. WordPress however has free blog sites and you can start your own site where you allow people to say anything they like.

            • Yet you left this obvious insult standing:

              Danny March 21, 2016 1:06 pm

              “Because no one other than idealistic idiotic mellinials give a shit about a Socialist…”

          • Does that not sound like the USA!! Good luck

        • Sitting around talking politics is fine if you like hot air. Politics are debatable, economic facts are not. Comparing either of the GBs to Trump is absurd, as neither of the Bushes were adept at economics, they were warriors. They were spenders. Trumps center of gravity is growing the economy, not war. Apples and oranges. Condescending smugness is a trait of the far left these days and is recognized as weakness by any intelligent person. It does not become you. Learn to swim before stepping into deep water. Don’t let the far left convince you that you can swim without a lesson or two. They have drowned hundreds of millions of good people with their bullshit over the years and have walked on those bodies to the pulpit. Good luck with your education.

          • You still don’t understand that I didn’t compare trump to the bush family, my point is he will ruin this country faster than bush did, by funneling fundings into his back pocket. Ever wonder why or how the bush family owns these key companies benefiting from the war we’ve been in which officially ended in 2003 but was actually ongoing since it “ended” after a while of bombing groups erupted, branched out, became militarized and now we have these pure evil militia groups. If you say the “bushes were warriors” buddy we have completely different views. Good luck with your education in Open-mindedness

    • I think Obama has already pretty much done that, of course your probly not aware that Obama has started more wars, killed more people and has spent more of our money the George the dipshitt Bush but then again who cares about facts…

      • Im aware it’s horrible, drone strikes are number one. But don’t forget about the bloodshed from the militia groups that are formed to fight ISIS and eventually fight each other, all of which are formed from extremests put through unbearable and extreme conditions, which if you follow history it leads right to when GWB decided to put some boots in the sand.

  • Is “FEEL THE BERN” referring to the sensation you will get with 52 weeks of vacation a year?

    • “FEEL THE BERN” is the heat coming off the money printing press before it explodes from being turned up too high. 🙂

  • Bernie’s speech in Tuscon Thursday night was historic. Speak truth to power! as this young Yurok man understands and articulates that truth so well.

  • the loleta and ferndale mentions are in the beginning of the article. second paragraph…

  • Brought tears to my eyes!!! Thank you for sharing this and kudos to Charles. What a challenging life he has had already and its so impressive to see him come so far!!
    To hear someone speaking from experience and from a native background is just wonderful ♡

  • Patrick Shannon

    I am so proud of Charles James Adkins. Our entire family and community is extremely proud of this fine young man. Like many elders i wept unashamedly at his courage and commitment to a better life for all. I have discussed with my neighbors and we are of one mind.
    There is a new day dawning for which we have long prayed.
    You come with us.
    You might feel a lot better.

  • Interesting that Native American tribes are supporting this candidate as Socialism Ideals are anti-gambling.

  • Nice speech young man!!!Bern that hill

  • Bravo, Kid.

    You’re a credit to the Yurok Nation.

    I think that we will be hearing more from Mr. Adkins in the not so distant future.

    Maybe after Charles helps to save the world from the Republican menace he can return to Humboldt and Del Norte Counties to act as a spiritual advisor to North Coast Native American tribal groups.

    • A credit to who? A quarter of a million dollars,, plus a fifty thousand more the council say’s to make sure it didn’t do it again? Hum, now who are you related to? Just let them
      stick their hands in the pie again..250,000 and 50,000 more. geez I wonder why the
      Yurok tribal members do not agree with the Yurok Council members?

  • by the way, kym, racist and sexist comments are always about a ‘group’ Allow it or don’t, but figure out the rules thx for the site

  • At the risk of focusing on the issue, Folks should know this:
    People who are registered as Independents, Republicans, Greens or whatever MUST be registered as Democrats to vote for Berny in the Primary here in CA.
    It’s easy: go to the Blue Pages of your phone book and call the Registrar of Voters; or go on line for the site of same and change the checked box.
    Took me less than 5 minutes to do this…
    Yes, I am ashamed to know my name will now appear as a Democrat, but Bernie’s run is too important for me to pass on it. Plus, the morning after the Primary, I’ll be back to my old “declined to state” label; land of the Free. Cheers, pay attention, and DO THIS NOW! af

  • Pingback: Bernie Sanders Introduced at Seattle Rally by Local Yurok Tribe Member Charles Adkins. | Songs the Marching Rains Drown

  • Fine young man

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