August 7th, 2014 Last Updated on: August 7th, 2014
Q) We're thrilled to visit with you! A) Good morning….it's another great day to be alive! Q) Music! Activism! Culture! You stay so busy! We are pleased to catch up with you! Start us off with who you are and what you do? A) My name is Goodshield Aguilar and I am an Indigenous Turtle Islander. I am Oglala Lakota and Pasqua Yaqui. Music and art have always been an important part of my life and it wasn't until my early 20's that I began traveling with music and art, playing and tabling at powwows, music festivals and various other events. I am a big supporter of the BUFFALO FIELD CAMPAIGN (www.buffalofieldcampaign.org) and have also traveled for 12 years speaking and tabling on behalf of the last genetically pure, wild buffalo left on the continent. i also love building earthen homes (strawbale,cob, etc.) and am a lover of the outdoors.
Q) You are so multidimensional! Yet, music is how most of us know you, so how did you come to be such a strong musician? A) Music has always had a strong presence in my life, as my mother played the piano and she taught me a lot. A large number of my family members play instruments as well. I have always known that I wanted to be a professional musician when I grew up, as well as an astronaut. In some ways, music has the ability to transcend human consciousness to other places within and outward, so in that aspect, I do feel that creating music is much like exploring the cosmos…after all, the word UNIVERSE means “One Song….Uni =one….verse=song.
Q) Fascinating! Music certainly seems to play a powerful part in your own personal cosmos. Tell us more about your musical universe, please? A) Originally, I started out as a drummer when I was really young. My cousins and I had a band. Eventually, I learned the bass and guitar, as I started writing songs when I was 11, even though I couldn't play stringed instruments yet, so that inspired me to teach myself. I have had the honor of playing and learning through different relatives, friends, and music albums. I played my first gigs at high school when I was 15, then family parties and other school functions. At 17, I was playing clubs with my older band members in a thrash metal band called, REBELS MOTHER. They were much older than me, so if we played clubs, I was only allowed to play, then I had to leave right after since I was under age. As the years have passed, I have played for 1000's of people across the continent and even went to Europe in 2012. I got to play the Filmore in San francisco in 2007 for a benefit concert for the LONGEST WALK 2008. Q) As your music moves forward, how does your Native identity shape you? A) As long as I can remember, I have searched and longed for stronger cultural ties, as I was raised in California, far from my South Dakota homeland. Much of the culture was left behind by my family when they migrated to the west coast, and there was still much trauma due to boarding school, where they were taught to have shame for who they really were and to never speak our language. As I grew older and attended more ceremonies and other native gatherings, I connected with many elders, young and old, and by doing so, realized my true purpose in this life time. To be an ambassador for the 7th generation and our relatives, the BUFFALO. Afraid to sell out my culture through music, i finally learned how i could share my culture without sacrificing my integrity and selling out to fit an image. I learned from a man named, Floyd Red Crow Westerman, my mentor and spirit brother. He taught me how to utilize music as a tool for social change, rather than just to entertain. Music is a platform for the things that need to be heard and shared.
Q) How are you blending your music and your culture into your message? A) Through music and art, my intentions have always been to expand peoples consciousness and awareness, whether it is historical, the present, or the future. It is all very important as we enter the time of the 7th generation to truly understand who we are as a whole and where we come from. With all this, we can truly understand where we need to go on this plane and beyond. Our view of physics, math, history, and other sciences can benefit greatly from understanding the Indigenous perspectives and especially during this great time of change, humanity around the whole world can learn a lot about themselves by listening to indigenous knowledge, ancient and modern, as our prophecies say that our ancestors and star people are being reborn right now to help us in the time of transition. Q) Respect for ancestors is a vital factor in our Native cultures. So is honor for our future generations. Do you have a message for our youth and our beautiful future? A) It is always a blessing to share knowledge with young people, as their minds are wide open and constantly searching, so long as they are not overstimulated with video games, T.V. and other technological distractions. It is always important to listen to our inner voice or voices (some have more than others). I tell young ones to pay close attention to their dreams and never let the judgement of others change who they are inside. If someone is judging someone else, it is usually because of jealousy. Jealousy is NOT an Indigenous attribute. it is an outside influence that drives us to compete with one another. We are community based people and we should always encourage each others talents and abilities and never put others down. We put others down when we don't feel good about our selves. this is also not an Indigenous attribute. Q) As you encourage our youth and encourage us all, please tell us about any obstacles or challenges that think you Indigenous People must overcome? A) I am a very content person and am eternally grateful for what I have been given and the duties set before me. The only obstacle I would have is money. I completely despise money and see how it makes people do things out of desperation and also how it separates us into “classes” and completely affects our priorities. for some, it comes very easy, for others it is very hard. I am somewhere in the middle. On the other hand, Abundance is something very different than money. My family has always been very poor, but we survived, because we were rich in many other ways that have nothing to do with money. The other obstacle is ignorance. A closed mind is a wonderful thing to lose. In my travels and activism, I do encounter ignorance, but it seems to be disappearing….thank goodness for the new ones being born. The young ones will truly carry us into the next age…indigos, rainbow warriors, whatever we call them, the Hopi prophecies speak of them….of us.
Q) Your message impacts so many people! Why do you think you are such a motivational influence as a performer? A) As a performer, I feel that someone with something to say is always good. I am shy and quiet in nature, but my drive to share what I know pulls me from my recluse shell. I am always drug and alcohol free, when I am in front of people presenting myself as a First Nations person and it is very important to me to connect with an audience fully and as pure as possible. Sometimes at music festivals, many people are under the influence and it is much harder to connect with these people. I won't play certain festivals because of this. Many things can be destructive to a performer, weather it is chemical, sexual or financial. So long as we stick to our true selves, we can never go wrong. I may never be a millionaire, but I don't measure success with money. I would die a happy man knowing that I helped people understand what all this is all about. I don't claim to know everything, but I do know at least a little bit about a lot of things. Knowledge needs to be shared. Q) As you share your gifts and talents with others, who has influenced you? A) My favorite musicians are Serj Tankian (singer for system of a Down) because of his voice and political voice, Zack De La Rocha (singer of Rage Against the Machine, for his words and insight), Pink Floyd for their musical vortex abilities, Jim Morrison for his artistic inspiration, Maynard james Keenen (singer of Tool, for his awesome vocals), Rick James for his early music influence, and of course, Floyd Red Crow Westerman for his wisdom, influence, vision, and friendship. I have many other favorite musicians, but I would have to write a book to include all.
Q) How do you hope to influence others throughout your career? Motivate us!!! A) I would encourage anyone to always do their best, no matter what it is. Don't compare ourselves with others and be true to who we are. Learning from others is always the best way to learn and never be too shy to ask for artistic advice or recommendations. And don't let criticism ruin our drive and inspiration. remember why we do what we do. If we are doing what we love, then we cannot go wrong, so long as it is in harmony with our true selves and it doesn't hurt others. Q) What is the best advice you could ever give aspiring activists and artists? A) I would caution people to not repeat the same mistakes. It is different for different people, but if something doesn't feel right, then we should listen to that. Don't sell yourself short and don't waste time doing what doesn't feel right. I am a very sure footed person, so rarely do I ever put myself in situations that aren't harmonious. It helps to be an independent musician too. I have friends who are slaves to what they do, including music, and that is what I would caution others from getting caught in. Do something for the love of doing it, not because we are expected or forced to due to record labels our management. Q) We'd love to connect with you…how can folks find you and your music? A) Contact www.goodshieldmusic.com and www.buffalofieldcampaign.org . I also build straw bale homes, so please go to YouTube and type in “Goodshield- straw bale.”
Q) Thank you! A) Pilamaye! “The Seventh Generation would come together to Mend the Sacred Hoop, restore the Spirit of the Nations, and unite all Nations to heal our Mother Earth.” Lakota Prophecy Dr Dawn Karima hosts A CONVERSATION WITH DAWN KARIMA, a Native radio show that airs on radio stations and on Talktainmentradio.com through free podcasts.
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