I wrote this to be read at the ToP Network gathering this weekend – he was JUST an avid a supporter and appreciator of ICA worldwide:
David Lester was a Muskogee Creek Indian from Oklahoma. He died in Denver just after Christmas. Some of us had hoped to put him forward as a ToP Champion next year because he has been truly a solid champion for the past 20 years. Note that David was neither a facilitator nor a trainer. He was an amazing charismatic leader of high intellect and integrity, whose compassion was as deep as it was broad. He was a man of Spirit.
As Executive Director of the Council of Energy Resource Tribes, he was introduced to ToP and understood immediately that it could bring Tribes back to their original models of consensus, allowing them to create their future on their own terms. He hired ToP facilitators and trainers, set up training for many young Indians in CERT’s education programs, and as interns in the organization. He brought our methods to all the CERT conferences—several every year—as well as numerous Tribal meetings, encouraging Tribes whether CERT members or not, to develop Comprehensive Energy Strategic Plans using ToP. ToP now is required by some Tribes for facilitators, and is being used by ToP trainer Leslie Kabotie (a Crow Indian) with the very first Robert Wood Johnson funded health work in Indian country.
David had a raucous laugh that began in his rather large belly and rolled up to his eyes, which were surrounded by laugh crinkles. He loved life, he loved people – not just Indians, and he loved us. He is already missed.
~~ Sunny Walker