Vallie comes from a large, close-knit family. Today she is a matriarch of five living generations. Raised by her mother in Pensacola, she spent summers in Poarch with her father, Fred Walker. Considered to be the Tribe’s unofficial chief at the time, he died when Vallie was just nine. She remembers Sunday mornings perched on his shoulders at their church, where he would let her ring the bell, signaling to the community that it was time to go in. Afterwards, they would pick blackberries on the way home. Family and community are Vallie’s secret to strength and happiness.