Chief Delvis Heath: The Power of the Horse

This is an excerpt from an interview with Chief Delvis Heath. Chief Delvis Heath describes the trust placed in the horse and the power it has. 1:15

Bio: Born in 1938, to Nathan and Lilly Heath, Chief Delvis Heath has been the Warm Springs Chief since 1984. His father died in 1969, but Delvis declined and Amos Simtustus, Sr. became chief. When Amos passed, Delvis assumed the role of chief in 1984. He is married to Shirley Stahi, who he has been married to since 1960. The two of them have four children (two deceased), eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. The family ran Chief Heath stables at Kah-Nee-Ta High Desert Resort and Casino for many years, until they retired from it last year. Chief Delvis Heath is a speaker of his ancestral language, Sahaptin and is active in the Longhouse and the teachings of the Washat religion. He works on Treaty issues with the state and federal government, as well on in-lieu fishing sites. He is also involved in the Museum at Warm Springs, where he serves as the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Transcription: Don’t try to force you horse, to get it to go when they don’t want to go. He knows and he can see more than you can. Trust him. Let him go where he wants to go and he’ll get you there. Same thing my brother learned, older brother whose late. He got lost in the mountain. And he start crying and the horse turned around and talked to him. Moony was the name of the horse. I know the way out, I’ll take you home. And when he got home he came running, “Moony talked to me, he showed me the way home.” He lost the power of the horse, any animal talk to you you lose, you tell somebody about it and you lose the power of whatever animal speaks to you. You got to keep it in yourself when an animal talks to you out there. And that, you have the power of that animal, whatever it might be.


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