We had the opportunity to interview grass dance pow-wow dancer Malachi Mejia and his proud mother Frances Mejia about his recent Wyoming Billboard fame. Coming from either Muddy Gap, Casper, Farson, Cheyenne, Wheatland, Rawlins, or Rock Springs the Wind River Hotel & Casino billboard says, "The Fun Way to Yellowstone."
Mother Frances Mejia said, "I'm happy that he got this opportunity to be on the billboard. It makes him feel very proud and happy."
Malachi was asked what he thought about it, he said, "when I seen the billboard in Casper, I just wanted to take a selfie with it. It made me feel famous."
Malachi Mejia is a San Carlos Apache from the San Carlos Nation where they are a culturally rich society with heritage tied to Mother Earth as is the Northern Arapaho Nation. Malachi has been dancing since he was two. He started dancing competitively when he was 6, with placing in the junior boy's grass he got a sudden taste of having his own money. Now at 11 years of age, Malachi doesn't let the money keep him dancing. Malachi said, "I pray when someone needs help. I go out offering a dance with every step being a prayer."
When someone is sick or asks him for a prayer, Malachi humbly goes out to the arena during pow-wows and offers a dance up to the Creator, in hopes of wellness and strength for the sick individual.
Having had also a small taste of fame, we asked Malachi, what's next for him now? He said, "I just want to enjoy life and dance at more pow-wows."