Qaletaqa Walker (pronounced KA-let-TA-ka), also known as Taqa, is a former antagonist and a survivor of the outbreak in AMC's Fear The Walking Dead. He is the chief of a Hopi tribe in the Black Hat Reservation, whom had a long-standing land conflict with the Broke Jaw Ranch long before the apocalypse, which claimed lives of his family and fellow tribesmen. As a result, the tribe became bent on destroying the Broke Jaw Ranch, and has a deep blood feud with the landowners, especially the leading Otto Family.
Over the course of the first half of the season, an imminent warpath boils between both sides, with the Natives threatening the Ranchers to leave or be decimated. In the mid-season finale, however, he seems to be satisfied when he ensures the death of Jeremiah Otto, called off the tribal warpath, and possibly agreed to negotiate for a peace agreement between both parties. He serves as the primary antagonist of the first half of Season 3.
Qaletaqa is a Hopi Native American from the Black Hat Reservation in California, close to the Broke Jaw Ranch which his tribe had a long-standing, unsettled land controversy with. Many of the deceased tribesmen, including his great-grandfather, are buried beneath the Ranch, and many tribesmen are forced to exhume and relocate their forebear's remains to prevent them being destroyed during developments. Also that the vendetta had claimed many lives of the tribesmen, with some of them harassed the ranch but being shot on site by the Ranchers, two of them being the father and uncle of Qaletaqa.
After he grew up, he chose to study law as his profession, and used his professional knowledge for the cause of his tribe to wage a series of lawsuits against the Otto family, whose ancestors had purchased the lands and settled on it ever since. He lost all of the lawsuits, but he and his tribe never gave up on reclaiming the ranch, and they developed an immense hatred towards the Broke Jaw settlers during their struggle.
At some point before or after the apocalypse, Qaletaqa started to lead his tribe at the Black Hat Reservation and assumed the position as their "chief". After the apocalypse and thus the rule of law fell, he and his fellow tribesmen set out to repel the Broke Jaw settlers by force and reclaim the land that they believe rightfully belongs to them.
Qaletqa and his tribesmen are featured indirectly in this episode. When the helicopter driven by Jake Otto flies directly over the Black Hat Reservation, Qaletqa attacked it together with his tribesmen, which crippled the helicopter and fatally wounded Travis Manawa. The tribesmen's assault also caused the death of Charlene Daley, as she eventually got mauled off by walkers on her way back to the ranch.
Qaletaqa first appears after Troy, Madison and their group discover and kill the bound and tortured Phil McCarthy. Troy is furious at him for what he has done but Qaletaqa claims McCarthy deserved it as he killed two of his men the previous day and Troy counters that he and all the rest of his people will die as well. Qaletaqa orders Troy and the rest to drop their weapons and they comply once they realize they are surrounded by Qaletaqa's men. He then tells the group he will be taking all their weapons, their vehicles and their boots and that the time for justice has come and Troy and his people must abandon the ranch. Troy refuses and Qaletaqa threatens that he will feed them all to the crows (like McCarthy) if they do not leave.
Madison demands water from him in order to allow them to return to the ranch to deliver his message and after introducing herself, Qaletaqa tells her that she bought into a lost cause and Madison tells him it became her cause when he and his people shot down the helicopter that killed Travis.
When Alicia and Jake arrive at the Black Hat Cafe. Qaletaqa emerges with a machete in hand, and drops a severed pig’s head on the ground in front of them. Jake and Alicia join Qaletaqa for lunch. He looks confused when Alicia calls him out for killing the Trimbols. Jake asks Qaletaqa to honor their prior court agreements and end the violence, but Walker says court decisions are no longer relevant. He orders Jake to vacate Black Hat territory but agrees to discuss a parley after their meal.
Jake informs Alicia that Qaletaqa agreed to a parley. He asks Alicia to return to the ranch and tell Otto that Qaletaqa will refrain from further violence in exchange for a tribute and a hostage swap. He plans to stay behind as Qaletaqa’s hostage but Alicia insists on being the hostage so that Jake can personally deliver the terms to Otto.
Qaletaqa escorts Alicia into one of the homes. He shows her a fake skeleton which tourists would pay to see. He opens a box which is not for tourist eyes, uncovering his great grandfather's skull. He was once buried in a cave but Qaletaqa had to dig him up in order to protect him from the Otto family. "I hope one day my great grandfather forgives me and I can put all of this back," he said, handing the skull to Alicia. Alicia says the idea of an after life doesn't make sense because it's hard enough to get out of this life. Walker says, "It's all part of a grand plan," before talking about the apocalypse and how it means "a great unveiling."
From a cabinet, Qaletaqa pulls out paintings which he calls "prophecies." They promise the land will be shed of "impure" which Alicia realizes are the Otto's and herself by Walker's perspective. When Jake returns to Walker's community, Jake is pulled from the truck and beaten. Ofelia watches. Walker emerges and insists Jake broke the parlay. Jake tries to reason with him but Walker cuts his forehead before raising the knife to the back of his head. Ofelia calls him off. Walker promises to finish the job the next time he sees him and for Jake to deliver such a message to his father and more threats. He later kicks out Ofelia because he suspected her of helping Alicia escape.
In a flashback, Qaletqa finds Ofelia in this state. She is burnt and dehydrated. He gives her water and helps her onto his horse. She lays on it, covered by his jacket, as he guides the horse to his community on foot. At the Black Hat Motel, Walker rides in with Ofelia. He sees how badly she has been burnt and helps her into a bath tub. Later, he offers her food, before turning down a bed for her to sleep in.
In the present, Madison brings Ofelia to Qaletqa and demands to know what the poison was. He tells her that the poison was anthrax but says that Nick will survive if he’s able-bodied. He warns that she and her family will die if they don’t leave the ranch. Later on, Ofelia approaches Qaletqa and explains that she cared about the Clark family. She feels betrayed by not being told she was sent with anthrax. Qaletqa credits her as a hero. He starts telling a story about the time he saved her with his horse. She was a woman who had faced death and wasn't afraid. He tells her the debt owed for saving her life has been paid. Suddenly, someone calls out about a fire outside.
Madison and Alicia hitch a wagon to her truck. Some of Qaletqa's men spot the militia and begin gunning them down. Madison rushes back to the truck. Troy covers them and kills some of the Native Americans before leaping into the truck. The truck starts to pull away with Walker's trailer in tow.
Madison speaks with Qaletqa at the gate of Broke Jaw Ranch. She offers to return the artifacts as long as Qaletqa agrees to peace. Madison hands over Qaletqa's father's skull. He still says this is not enough. "This isn't my father, this is an old white man's shame," Qaletqa said before handing it over and sending her back.
Madison goes to Jeremiah's house and tells him that Walker is willing to offer peace in exchange for Jeremiah’s scalp. She puts her gun on his desk and urges him to kill himself. Jeremiah refuses. Nick walks in and shoots him in the head. Madison quickly begins to put a plan into action. Madison later meets with Qaletqa and places a backpack at his feet. He opens it and finds Jeremiah’s head inside. He nods at Madison and walks away with the head.
This list shows the victims Qaletqa has killed:
- Travis Manawa (Indirectly Caused)
- Charlene Daley (Indirectly Caused)
- Phil McCarthy (Caused)
- Jimmie (Alive, Caused)
- Joseph (Alive, Caused)
- Jeremiah Otto (Caused)
- At least 7 unnamed Broke Jaw Ranch militiamen (Direct and/or Caused)
- Numerous Broke Jaw Ranch residents (Caused)
- Numerous counts of zombies and unnamed people
Qaletaqa saved Ofelia when she was denied help from Jeremiah and passed out in the middle of a desert, scorched and lethally dehydrated. He carried her back to the Reservation on horseback, and offered her generous hospitality that restored her conditions. Later on, he even took her in his tribe, causing Ofelia to be extremely grateful and loyal towards him and the tribe, even going as far as volunteering herself for a covert poisoning mission.
Though the two never interacted onscreen, it is clear that Qaletqa severely despised Jeremiah for taking away his people's sacred land and also for killing his father, uncle and numerous other members of his tribe. It is evident that Qaletqa wanted Jeremiah dead and was bent on destroying his ranch as well. Qaletqa's hatred of Jeremiah was so strong that he would only guarantee peace between his people and the Broke Jaw Ranch is he was given Jeremiah's scalp. After Jeremiah is killed by Nick, Madison presents Qaletqa with Jeremiah's decapitated head and he is shown to be pleased and seems to finally declare peace.
- Qaletaqa is the first Native-American character to appear in the television continuity.
- His name Qaletaqa means "Guardian of the People" in Hopi language.
- Judging from this and also the geographic location of the setting, he is very possibly from a Hopi tribe.
- It is revealed in "The Unveiling" that Qaletaqa keeps the remains of his great-grandfather in a box, out of tribal belief that his spirit would be safer there than buried under the land owned by the Otto Family.