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Jake Singer

Jake is a United States Army Veteran and Warrior, Navajo artist, Native American healer, father, brother, uncle, son of many. He grew up on the Navajo reservation in Arizona, with five brothers and three Sisters, but his relations have grown exponentially since he served in the military and was inducted into the ways of the Navajo healers through his father & Mother. His healing extended into other Native practices such as Native American Church and Sundance belief system. A profound and acute Native Spiritual Belief.

Warrior. Following his warrior calling, he entered the military during the Vietnam War where he served for 3 years, two tours in Vietnam. This experience has had a profound impact on his life in innumerable ways – first as a young Native American soldier confronting a war, and now as a veteran and a healer. The things he witnessed as a young Native man fighting with his comrades in the jungles of Vietnam he will never forget. The experience remains one of the driving forces of Jake’s life, even today, almost 50 years later. It is the experience from Vietnam, and in getting to know soldiers from all over the United States, Native American soldiers in particular, that drives him to stand up for the rights of all veterans – and particularly Native veterans. He is a Commander for a Veteran Organization called Walk With Warriors (Walking with all Warriors, MIA, KIA, POW, and Active duty personal, and veterans of all wars). WWW Inc. is very active in promoting and advocating for American Indian Veterans. Also promoting a legislation to make November 7th as a recognition day for American Indian Veterans. American Indian Warriors have shown the world the art and technique of stealth warfare.

Many Native Americans live in the shadows of the US wars abroad. In fact, as a proportion of the population, more Native Americans serve in the military than any other ethnic group in the United States. According to the Guardian newspaper, Native Americans form nearly two percent (1.7%) of active duty forces – which is nearly twice as large as their proportion of the US population (0.8%) (figures from 2011). The reason behind that is the love of the land and the people who live on it.

With so many Native Americans serving in the military, it is surprising that there are no memorials to commemorate the sacrifice these men and women have made and continue to make, particularly given the history of Native Americans in the United States. Few non-native Americans know how many Native Americans fight on their behalf and sometimes it feels like the sacrifices these men and women make for their country go unnoticed by the country they serve. Most times even treated less than human beings. Their cry for help ignored and sometimes punished for standing up for their own rights.

Organizer. Since his time in Vietnam, Jake has worked to organize Native veterans. In 1990, he helped and founded the Walk with the Warriors organization (with Milton Chee, Francis Mitchell, Tommy Draper, Amos Yazzie), to bring light and recognition to Navajo veterans. The organization helped established organized peaceful marches, dressed in uniforms and carrying traditional Navajo Warrior Staff and colored banners. They march on Memorial Days, Veterans Days and other promotional or political events. Originally they would stage a 127 mile walk every Memorial Day between Thoreau NM and Farmington NM. Then in 1993 made a long walk across the United States in honor of the Vietnam Women’s Memorial, again in 2002 Jake made a ‘Long Walk’ across the United States in honor of the Vietnam Veterans and Native Warriors. The walks are meant to attract media attention to show the world the living conditions of all veterans, not just Native American veterans – but also all veterans. The walks are also meant to show the Navajo Tribal, other Tribal Governments and the US Government, that there is a great need for better Veteran benefits in health, education, and welfare. 

Not to be oblivious and be ignorant of the one who raised their hands and gave an oath before God that he will give his life if need be for the sake of his country and government.

Jake has carried the Walk With the Warrior Staff for 38 years and has marched in many peaceful demonstrations to include environmental march in New York City to protest the ecological destruction of the US, and the march of the Native Veterans in Standing Rock protest for the protection of the Water. Although being the keeper of the Navajo Warrior Staff for the people, for this many years has been a great honor, he has decided to pass the staff over to the next generation of Warriors.  Jody Bitsoi to be the new keeper of the Warrior Staff. Jodie a Green Barret, a clan Son of Jake, a retired veteran of 20 yrs. An eight-tour combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan wars. This transition is in the process of happening in the near future.  He will also be the new Commander for the WWW Inc.

Healer. Jake is also a Robeman (spiritual leader) with the Native American Church, following in the footsteps of his adopted father Antony Davis, adopted mother Julia Davis who taught him the ways of the Native American Church. His real father and Mother was a traditional Navajo medicine people of the Navajo Nation with many healing practices who walked before him and taught him. He leads Native American Church ceremonies all over the United States wherever he is called. He also learned the ways of the sweat lodge from the Southern Ute and is a Sundance Chief, a Sacred Pipe carrier of 43 yrs. In his work as a Robeman and spiritual healer he has brought many people to the Native ways of spiritual belief, opening hearts and minds to the teachings and ways of healing offered by the traditional medicine path. His prayers open a direct line to the Creator, and many have witnessed the miracles of his work. Yet he always says I am not the healer, I just open doors for people to be healed by the spiritual guardians and the Creator of the heaven and the earth.

Significantly, on an annual basis, Jake also organizes Native American Church meetings in Washington DC on the Mall the first weekend of every November. To promote and advocate the proposed American Indian Veterans Day, which is to be on November 7th. Active since the year 2002 to promote the American Indian Veterans Day.  One can see two, three, or four tipis set up for prayer services right near the Washington Monument or somewhere on the Mall. Sincere prayers, drumming, and singing for the Native Veterans who have given their lives for the security of the United States. These ceremonies also included traditional Native Pipe ceremonies, five times inside the court yard of the Pentagon. 

That these two ceremonies are happening, and have happened for all these years is a testament to Jake’s commitment to Native American Warriors. It was because of him, and his efforts to have Native Veterans recognized that the meetings of the Native American church happen every year in their behalf and that they are not forgotten. To emphasize to all veterans if we stand together we can accomplish almost anything, to help us overcome the experiences of traumas and stresses of live fire fights. It also demonstrates the power of one man, and his love of the Native Warriors.  

Jake has also been fundraising to have an American Indian Veterans Memorial built near Oklahoma City, to honour the sacrifices Native Americans make for the United States and its government. So, the continual lobbing in the US congress is in place for however long it takes to institutionalize a Native American Veterans Day. An American Indian recognition day, known to the world that Native Americans Indians have also died and shed blood in behave of freedom for all on the continent of the United States. Also to make known that the use of Native languages has played a very important role in winning the past wars.  The Native Warriors has always been involved one way or another in the making of US Government as it is today, since Whiteman first set foot on the shores of Turtle Island.

Artist. When Jake left the military, he became a renowned jeweler, crafting silver and turquoise in the style of his ancestors. He also paints Native sceneries, wood and stone sculpture and many other Native crafts. For many years he travelled around the US and abroad as an artist. Through his artistry he hopes to inspire young Natives not to be a shame of who they are and where they come from. And there is always a way to get self-motivated, by means of survival. To re-emphasize that most of the ways the Native people is still very much alive. How they survived for thousands of years are still here and available.

Jake’s real name is Jackie Tsinnijinnie (blackbear) Singer, but like to go by Jake recommended by an ex-girlfriend, because one of her best friend’s name was Jacquelyn or Jackie. To minimize confusion, she started calling him Jake and it stuck.

Jake is of the Clan (blood line) Kinyaa ah nii(mother), father’s clan Tsinnijinnie (black bear), Maternal grandfather is Bitter Water Clan, Paternal grandfather is Chiricahua Apache. Birthplace is Castle Butte on the Navajo reservation, near Winslow Arizona.

Associates of Science degree academically, was married to the same woman for 34yrs with 5 children, three girls and two boys. Divorced and had another daughter through a relationship. Six children total, eight grandchildren, and one great grandchild.

Army Ranger attached to 173rd Airborne Brigade. 3 yrs. in military two tours in Vietnam 1967-1968, 1968-1969, an E5 a Buck Sargent.

Native Pipe- some call it a peace pipe. It is a sacred spiritual ceremonial item. Represents truth, faith love and hope. When you put your lips to the pipe, inhale the tobacco, it gathers your energy, body chemistry, and your belief system. So the Native Belief system says if you agreed to sit and smoke the pipe, you have agreed to the purpose of why the tobacco was lit. Like you put your seal on it.

Native Warrior Staff- Used by the Native people the same way as America uses American Flag. Represents the people, rainbow, environment, faith love hopes and charity. Guidance, protection, and spiritual connection. A guide and guardian of the future.

 Warrior- In Native culture a warrior has his own place of wisdom, advices, and stature.  He is respected with high honors, rights, and authorities. In the Navajo culture a warrior is treated with lots of respect and honor, basically because he has given his life to Creator and said you can take my life anytime for the sake of my people, for what they believe, and their way of life. So in a sense a warrior has earned his rights to live however he desires. Once you are marked as a warrior you are forever a warrior and your work as a warrior is never over. You have to be involved in community or Tribal activities that deals with things or ideas that will benefit the Tribe or community. You will have the teachings and experiences to teach new warriors how to be an upstanding citizen. Someone who stands up to the everyday challenges in behalf of the people.  To promote Warrior Ordainment and Peace as a go-between the living and the dead as only a warrior can, especially a wounded warrior. The one who has touched his enemy while his enemy was still alive. To calm the soul of the enemy and that he was a good warrior.