Oklahoma Tribe Feels Kiowa Pride With Their Man At The World Cup

If a visitor strolled into the Kiowa Elders Center early Sunday evening, the hall looked much like it normally does. A buffalo head hung over the fireplace. Deer, moose and elk antlers were mounted over doorways. Old sepia-toned photos of famous Kiowa chiefs, such as Lone Wolf and Satanta, men who tangled with the likes of Custer and Sheridan, hung on the wall.

But that visitor would also see nearly 100 members of this formerly nomadic tribe, faces painted with stripes of red, white and blue, waving American flags and watching a large flat-screen TV, cheering on the United States team in a match against Portugal in a stadium in Manaus, Brazil.

The reason for this soccer fever was personal. Enrolled Kiowa tribal member Chris Wondolowski is a forward on the U.S. team — the first tribally enrolled Native American to participate at the World Cup.

Read more here at Al Jazeera America.

Tristan Ahtone

Tristan Ahtone is a member of the Kiowa Tribe and serves as associate editor for tribal affairs at High Country News. He has reported for PBS NewsHour, National Native News, Wyoming Public Radio, NPR, Al Jazeera America, Indian Country Today, and National Geographic, and more. Tristan’s stories have won multiple honors, including investigative awards from Public Radio News Directors Incorporated and the Gannett Foundation. He additionally was awarded a Nieman Fellowship to study at Harvard University in 2017. He is president of the Native American Journalists Association.

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