Robby Romero’s Long Walk

Next week, taoStyle will be four years old!

My first post honored two musicians from New Mexico. Robby Romero and Robert Mirabal, both of whom have deep roots here on Turtle Island. 

Grammy Award winning artist, Robert Mirabal is from Taos Pueblo and Robby’s Apache bloodlines are nomadic, but both of these award-winning Native Artists continue to inspire millions all over the world with their incredible passion and creativity, on their own and in collaboration.

November is National Native American Heritage Month. Beyond a vague fairy tale about Pilgrims and Indians sitting down together for Thanksgiving dinner, Indian Country and Native peoples are pretty much invisible to most Americans, but that’s about to change!

This month has been a milestone for the original Americans.

Democrats Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland have become the first Native American women elected to Congress.

In New Mexico, we can celebrate a double victory; Haaland will replace Democratic Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who vacated the seat to run for governor, and won.

Davids will unseat Kansas GOP Rep. Kevin Yoder. Davids is a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation and Haaland is a member of Laguna Pueblo.

Yesterday a shot of the former Vice President, Joe Biden, bowing before the women went viral. It was a heartwarming and honorable gesture, and a shrewd move for the man who plans to run against Trump in 2020.

This November too, marks the release of  Robby Romero’s 25th Anniversary EP and music video.

Robby’s personal journey and career has been covered on this blog since its inception, and all posts on him, are tagged with his name. The global broadcast of his first music picture Is It Too Late introduced him to the greater world at large, although he has been working in the Music and Film Industries since he was a teenager.

The film earned Robby the title of United Nations Ambassador of Youth for the Environment and a Certificate of Appreciation Award from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP.)

For the past two decades Robby has used the mediums of music and film to help shift an outmoded paradigm to bridge the gap between Indigenous Peoples, human rights and the environment through his non-profit organization, Native Children’s Survival.

His directorial film debut Makoce Wakan: Sacred Earth first aired on VH1 in 1993 and the music videos that followed, broadcast on MTV and VH1, introduced Native Rock music to the MTV generation.

His Native American stereotype-breaking public service announcements as part of MTV’s Free Your Mind campaign won the Industry’s prestigious CableAce Award. His politicized rockumentary films broadcast nationally and internationally, catapulted him into an arena , literally of his own making. 

Robby has shared the stage with multi-platinum musical artists, including Bonnie Raitt, Carlos Santana, and Cat Stevens, and with such dignitaries as His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Former Presidents Nelson Mandela, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Shimon Peres, to name a few. Over the years, Robby has received multiple awards and cultural honors in acknowledgment of his work.

As an advocate for the causes behind a cultural resistance that speaks to a true Democracy, Robby iis an articulate voice who continues to cry out in the wilderness.

The EP features Born On The Rez, a song he wrote during the siege on Standing Rock, while on the front lines with the water protectors, and his mentor and friend, the late AIM founder and leader, Ojibwa Warrior Dennis Banks.

The star studded collective of friends and family – musicians and actors, Native and not, who came together for this project, produced by Don Was, and featuring Banks and the legendary Kris Kristofferson, are a testament to Robby’s influence and integrity. Not to mention his lifetime commitment to this most worthy and crucial cause.

Robby’s message is clear: Without the protection of our environment, our Mother, we have nothing and our children (Native and not), will definitely have nothing to inherit beside ashes and dust.

Robby shows no sign of slowing down as he continues to walk his talk along that sacred Red Road. His detractors like to write him off and make light of his accomplishments.

He’s been called the Rock Star from Indian Country, but as you can see, he’s so much more than that. 

For more information on Robby Romero and to see a sneak peek of  Born On The Rez, please visit his site linked below this post.

Robert Mirabal’s blog, Tiwa Farms is linked on my sidebar under Taos links. Robert makes an appearance on the track and in the video along with Dennis Banks and others.

tiwa farms

All photographs thanks to Robby Romero