Fighting brings Shane White Eagle closer to his culture and helped him grow into a leader. He exemplifies the warrior spirit and represents his family, his team, and the Muckleshoot Tribe. Here’s Shane, in his own words:
"A Warrior... that’s something that we are. It’s something we’ve been doing forever, since the beginning of time. We’re all warriors. Whether you’re a gatherer or whether you’re a hunter, we’re a tribe. We work together. We’ve stuck together. We’ve been resilient from the beginning. Just the fact that we’re still here proves that.
When I first got into this sport, there’s this ignorance out there, where it’s just seen as brawling; but I quickly realized that I needed to have this self-control that I’ve never had to have in any other sport. It’s made me comfortable being uncomfortable. It’s not just about fighting. It’s “Can I be a father?” “Can I be a husband?” Can I be a community member?”
Yeah, my wife’s definitely a warrior. People think warriors are the ones that are out in battle, but it’s the ones that can make things happen at home, or for the village. In today’s society, it’s easy to get disconnected. Fighting has brought me closer to my culture. Fighting has grounded me. I’m connected to everything. And culturally, that’s the way that we carry ourselves.
My blood is rich with Native blood, being Makah and Muckleshoot. For me to come back home and connect with my people... there’s a lot of things that I feel like I can help with our people by the way that I carry myself, and I think fighting is the way that I can do that.
I think having the tribe support me is everything. I have my mini-tribe at home with my family and my kids and they allow me to do what I do. I have my actual tribe, Muckleshoot, that supports me and allows me to chase this highest level of competition, and I have my team that I work with on a day-to-day basis that prepares me for these moments and keeps me on point. It’s humbling.
Our people are resilient and they’ve gone through harder things than what I’m going through right now, and especially in the last few years, when I’ve been a part of a lot of funerals and a lot of passing of family members. So, it’s almost like this is a way to step up and be a leader for our people. A Warrior."
The Muckleshoot Messenger is a Tribal publication created by the Muckleshoot Office of Media Services. Tribal community members and Tribal employees are welcome to submit items to the newspaper such as news, calendar items, photos, poems, and artwork.