Walking Shield

When a group of Native Americans took over Alcatraz prison, protesting generations of injustice, Phil Stevens decided he wanted to do something to help. As a successful businessman, he hadn’t thought much about his Lakota Sioux roots until he visited the reservations. “Our people are refugees in their own land,” he told his family upon his return. This is the story of how Phil used his business savvy and connections to find ingenious ways to bring desperately needed clothing, medical supplies, and housing to the reservations. “The most important thing we are doing is providing hope for our people,” he says. His organization, Operation Walking Shield, is helping people rebuild their hopes, their dreams, and their dignity. “I tell the young people they need to learn to live in both cultures — with a moccasin one foot and a tennis shoe on the other,” Phil says.

Walking Shield
When a group of Native Americans took over Alcatraz prison, protesting generations of injustice, Phil Stevens decided he wanted to do something to help. As a successful businessman, he hadn’t thought much about his Lakota Sioux roots until he visited the reservations. “Our people are refugees in their own land,” he told his family upon his return. This is the story of how Phil used his business savvy and connections to find ingenious ways to bring desperately needed clothing, medical supplies, and housing to the reservations. “The most important thing we are doing is providing hope for our people,” he says. His organization, Operation Walking Shield, is helping people rebuild their hopes, their dreams, and their dignity. “I tell the young people they need to learn to live in both cultures — with a moccasin one foot and a tennis shoe on the other,” Phil says.

ELA Learning Standards:

SL.9-10.1
Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9–10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

W.9-10.7
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

W.9-10.9
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

SL.9-10.1
Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9–10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

W.9-10.7
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the topic under investigation.

W.9-10.8
When conducting research, gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the usefulness of each source in answering the research question; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.

Skills: Native American history, housing, negotiation skills, resourcefulness, cultural diversity and heritage, social & economic equity, entrepreneurship, environmental stewardship