LOSING A VOICE OF PEACE
Madison Police spokesman – and former WISC news reporter – Joel DeSpain alerted us this week to the death last November of Nick Hockings. The death meant something to Joel, and it means something to us.
Nick Hockings was a member of the Ojibwe tribe of Native Americans. He was an Ojibwe artist and a cultural educator. Most of all he was a voice of peace. DeSpain met Hockings in the late ‘80s when he covered the unrest over Native American spearfishing in Lac du Flambeau. Those were ugly, nasty times and the racial slurs hurled at Hockings were some of the worst. Through it all Hockings endured with dignity and grace and a remarkable peacefulness that moved DeSpain as he told his stories. Hockings was above all a teacher and believer that Native ways were a path to world peace and understanding. He was a proud man with a deep conviction for justice and human rights. He won DeSpain’s respect, and ours as well. We mourn his loss.