▶️ Native American tradition beats through the heart of Madras athletes


Traditions are so important to many different cultures.

In Madras, one Native American tradition continues to beat through the heart of athletes.

“A long time ago before we were even alive a lot of tribes honored people that needed to be honored,” said Madras sports broadcaster Ken “Ken Man” Miller. “Tonight we did the honor song with the drum and it is just honoring the seniors and I really enjoy doing that because it is such an old tradition.”

When Miller took over as a Madras sports broadcaster over 40 years ago, he had an idea.

“I asked a drum to come in one time and boy it took off like a wildfire in dry grass,” Miller said.

A wildfire that spread from the beat of a drum.

“A lot of times we have those for our warriors, our veterans, our leaders, our spiritual leaders, and also someone who may have passed on or somebody who may have just come into life,” said 10-year drummer Neal Morningowl. “It’s just one sound. We call it the one heartbeat.”

To the athletes themselves.

“To honor us, and honor our families, supporters and to encourage us and give us hope,” said Madras senior Taya Holliday.

For both teams.

“I have obviously never seen anything like that before and it is kind of unexpected from a team coming from the Portland area, to come and they’re like we’re going to do a traditional honor song, I thought that was really cool,” said Gladstone’s only senior Jade Rowley. “I felt like it was like, we’re all equals. Let’s do this together.”

A tradition that will continue for years to come.

“It’s real important,” Miller said. “The families are real proud of their kids and they come to see it. We know they are proud of their children, so it makes it an honor to keep this honor song alive.”


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