In this excerpt, Bryson Liberty talks about how his family got the last name of Liberty.
Bio: Bryson Liberty is a tribal elder of the CTUIR. Liberty has a military background and is a published author, as well as working as a health administrator and actor. His article about fishing at Celilo titled “On the Rock” was published in Cowboys and Indians magazine in 2011. He was on “The Cellar,” “Northern Exposure,” and “Little House on the Prairie”.
My dad…well something unique about him is the name Liberty. Like when a long time ago they had to use those English names. So they’d send a dignitary out to the reservation and it was with my dad, he went with his folks, went to this gathering place near the agency. One summer day out in the shade of the old apple tree you might say, and when my grandmother and grandfather came up…I don’t remember what his name was. But the general looked at him–he was a general– and he looked at him and he said ah they’re too old. Don’t bother giving them English names. But we’ll name their baby–and he scratches his head and he’s thinking ‘Call him Liberty.’ And that’s the way he got his last name Liberty. So eventually that’s how I got mine. That’s kind of unique in that respect.