Kinney would echo those themes during a roughly one-hour talk to about 20 listeners at the health center March 24. At times alternately fiery, plaintive and inspiring, Kinney’s speech was titled “We Must be the Spiritual Change We Wish to See in the Creator’s World.”
Kinney, who has been a local figure for more than 5 years, said he was experimenting with new themes and tones during his lecture Wednesday night. The thrust was more nurturing encouragement than pièce de résistance.
He said he sought to emphasize the power of “story,” a human art as common to indigenous peoples of the
“Story is the way Native people have communicated values, education and other life lessons, since the beginning of their beautiful civilizations and on into the future,” Kinney said. “Life emerges as being cyclical, in a circle, with victory and defeat and birth and death.”
“I like to hear (Kinney) speak about history and about information, and do it with that important spiritual connection, that’s very important to give it all a deeper meaning,” said Beverly Dove, one of those in attendance.
Kinney paced restlessly during much of his talk, shuffling and crumpling his yellow cue papers. His voice pitched high and fell to whispers. At times, he would momentarily slump in a sofa.
“The pastries, the sugars, the alcohol, it is all killer of our bodies,” Kinney said.
Kinney summed up his talk by stressing a return to the values and cultures of Native people, which he said act as a rejuvenating force amid a world with so many hostile influences.
“We must be able to spiritually feel our Indian communities, not intellectualize the needs of the people,” Kinney said.