Native Tribe Prioritizes Covid-19 Vaccines for those who Speak Native Languages

“The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota is prioritizing the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to those who speak Dakota and Lakota languages. Standing Rock Tribal Chairman Mike Faith tells KXMB-TV it’s about keeping customs alive.” Associated Press, Time Magazine, January 1, 2021

Jesse Jay Taken Alive died on Monday, Dec. 14, after contracting the coronavirus in October. [He taught Lakota culture and language at a school in his hometown of McLaughlin, South Dakota.] Lakota Language Consortium

“It’s something we have to pass on to our loved ones, our history, our culture our language. We don’t have it in black and white, we tell stories. That’s why it’s so important,” Faith said.

The Standing Rock reservation straddles the North Dakota and South Dakota border and is home to about 8,000 people, more than half of whom live in North Dakota. Faith said only about 300 people on the reservation are fluent in the language.

Frontline health care workers already have begun receiving he vaccine at the Fort Yates hospital, but starting next week priority will be for those who speak their native language.”

In Response to the Attack on Our Capitol By Cowards:

“My message to my fellow Americans and friends around the world following this week’s attack on the Capitol.” ~ Arnold Schwarzenegger~ January 6, 2021

Times Square Goes Virtual New Year’s Eve 2020

“There will be no massive crowds, but plenty of music will still be on tap for New Year’s Eve in Times Square. Using a combination of television and streaming, the show will go on despite the pandemic restrictions against huge gatherings.” Bruce Haring, Deadline, 12/26/20

Times Square, NYC December 21, 2020

New Year’s Eve 2021: Details on Times Square, and other virtual events Chris Jordon, Iohud, 12/28/20

“While the big crowds will be absent, there’s still going to be plenty of New Year’s Eve broadcasts: Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest on ABC…New Year’s Eve Live with Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen on CNN…New Year’s Eve Toast and Roast of 2021 on FOX;  New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly on NBC; and Feliz 2021! on Univision.”

Have A Prosperous And SAFE NEW YEAR! ~ Talking-Feather~


Category: Culture

Natives Make Christmas Their Own

With the spread of Christianity among some Native Americans in the early 20th century came certain Christmas rituals — trees and presents and jolly old Santa Claus — that were folded into traditional wintertime celebrations…. Some Native Americans put a special spin on Christmas, incorporating traditions and tales that date back ages.” L. Weeks, NPR-12/13/2015

Native American Dances of Pojoaque Pueblo are beautiful and spiritual to watch. They are ceremonial in nature, expressing ancient traditions and connections to the earth. Santa Fe Pueblo

Native American Dances of Pojoaque Pueblo are beautiful and spiritual to watch. They are ceremonial in nature, expressing ancient traditions and connections to the earth. Santa Fe Pueblo

Excerpt: A Very Native American Christmas, Linton Weeks, NPR (12/20150

“The Yale Expositor of St. Clair County, Mich., reported on December 18, 1913 that for certain Sioux dwelling in South Dakota, Christmas and its accoutrements came through government-run schools. In each village, the Sioux collected funds for a feast. One member dressed up as Kris Kringle and made speeches and handed out presents. Native American children, the newspaper noted, were quick to show interest in the Christmas tree.

A Native American family gathers around a Christmas tree in Montana, ca. 1900-1920. Library of Congress

A Native American family gathers around a Christmas tree in Montana, ca. 1900-1920. Library of Congress

The Salish passed down a Christmas story of a great and good man who came among their forefathers and performed miracles of all kinds, and on leaving them said he would return in the form of a large white coyote, They say he has appeared at different times, but has not been seen now for more than 150 years.

Traditional dancing at Christmas NM Pueblos

Traditional dancing at Christmas NM Pueblos

In San Felipe Pueblo, N.M., the 1913 Expositor account pointed out, the holiday celebration among Native Americans living there was a curious mixture of Christian and [Native] customs. Members went to the old mission church in the morning, held a feast at midday and then began a fantastic and ceremonial dance that continues for half a week.

Today, explains Deborah A. Jojola, Curator of Exhibitions at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque – which represents the 19 Pueblos of New Mexico — most of the Pueblo Nations within New Mexico have seasonal cycles for ceremonies and celebrations…On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, many of the Pueblos host special masses and dances. The Jemez Pueblo, for example, celebrates with Buffalo Dances on Christmas Eve and early morning on Christmas Day.

A buffalo dancer

A buffalo dancer

The Buffalo Dancers – make their way down from the nearby mesas into the Pueblo bringing the Spirit of Prayer, Song and Dance… In Isleta Pueblo, there is a winter dance held in the St. Augustine Church after the Christmas Eve mass. Many of the festivities are for all ages.

Luminarias @ Jemez Pueblo Mission

Luminarias @ Jemez Pueblo Mission

In virtually all ceremonies, Pueblo children are integral participants. Indian parents rarely, if ever, need a babysitter for traditional ceremonial preparations or actual events.”

Learn more about the Native Pueblos Here

WISHING EVERYONE A VERY NATIVE HOLIDAY! STAY SAFE!

~TALKING-FEATHER~

card used for 2015American Indian Artwork

Category: Holidays

Natives Helped President Biden in Arizona. Can Natives in Georgia Help Democrat Senators in Georgia?

“Very few of Georgia’s more than 100,000 voting-age Native Americans cast ballots in November. Even a small increase could make a difference in the Senate runoffs.” M. Astor, The New York Times

Terry Yazzie celebrated in Window Rock, Ariz., after the election. President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. received a vast majority of votes from the Navajo Nation. Credit: S. Chischilly for The New York Times

Excerpt:Native Americans Helped Flip Arizona. Can They Mobilize in Georgia? By Maggie Astor, The New York Times

“Marian McCormick lives in Georgia, as do 2,700 other members of the Lower Muskogee Creek Tribe. She knows that comes as a surprise to some people.’Here in Georgia, they tend to think that Native Americans were all removed,’ said Ms. McCormick, the principal chief of the tribe, which is based in Whigham.

More than 180 years ago, as part of the Trail of Tears, the United States military drove thousands of Cherokee and Muscogee people off the land they had lived on for centuries and marched them to what is now Oklahoma.… nearly 150,000 Native Americans still live in Georgia, by the Native voting rights group Four Directions’s estimate.

They receive few government services and tend not to participate in nontribal elections, both because they face structural barriers — like hard-to-reach polling places and lack of voter ID — and because of the mistrust built by brutality and broken promises. Of the estimated 100,000 who are of voting age, only about 15,000 are registered to vote.

Organizers and tribal leaders recognize that if even a few thousand more Native Americans were inspired and able to vote in Georgia, they could play a meaningful political role in a closely divided state where two runoff elections on Jan. 5 will decide which party controls the Senate.

Buoyed by remarkable Native American turnout in other states last month, advocates are trying to make that happen at breakneck speed. Ms. McCormick recently spoke with OJ Semans, a co-founder of Four Directions, which is nonpartisan. They agreed to begin a get-out-the-vote campaign with two other state-recognized tribes, the Cherokee of Georgia and the Georgia Tribe of Eastern Cherokee, and to [ask] the [Democratic] Senate candidates Jon Ossoff and the Rev. Raphael Warnock to address issues important to Native Americans.

Democrat Senator Jon Ossoff of Georgia

Democratic Senator from Georgia Raphael Warnock

Increasing turnout among members of a marginalized community in a month is a tall order, and the deadline to register to vote in the runoffs is even sooner: Dec. 7.

The foundations that groups like Four Directions have spent years building in other states — the networks of volunteers and relationships with tribes — are not so well established in Georgia, and Native Americans there are not as heavily concentrated on tribal land.

Georgia Senators Jon Ossoff and Senator Raphael Warnock at rally in Georgia.

But the examples other states set this year could provide a road map, even if the reward is farther off than January.”

 

Alaska Tribe Wins to Continue Emergency Hunts During Covid-19

“Kake is a village of 550 people on Kupreanof Island in Southeast Alaska. About two thirds of the population is Tlingit Indian. The village has received permission to hunt two moose and two deer to ensure the health of its elders and provide culturally nourishing food during the pandemic.”J. Estus, Indian Country Today

Kake is a village of 550 people on Kupreanof Island in Southeast Alaska.File photo- Creative Commons)

Excerpt:Emergency hunts in Alaska can continue,  By Joaqlin Estus, ICT

In August, the state of Alaska sued to stop federal agencies from allowing emergency hunts. The U.S. District Court for Alaska last week sided with the federal agencies and dismissed the state’s motion for a preliminary injunction.The state has been fighting federal land managers over fish and game management off and on for decades.

This latest bout stems from COVID-related food shortages.

Moose at Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska (Photo by Barbara Miers, courtesy of Creative Commons)

Last summer, store shelves in the Tlingit village of Kake, in southeast Alaska, were getting bare. COVID-19 outbreaks had slowed production at Washington state meat processors, Kake’s main source of non-game meat.

The state had mandated travel restrictions. And state budget cuts had all but shut down the low-cost ferry system used to ship food to island communities.

The Organized Village of Kake was one of three tribes that requested emergency hunts. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game denied their request. The village wrote to the Federal Subsistence Board, which manages subsistence on federal lands in Alaska.

A home in Kake, a village in Southeast Alaska. (Photo by Joseph Umnak, Courtesy of Creative Commons)

The letter said vendors were having a difficult time meeting the needs of Kake’s stores…Kake tribal President Joel Jackson, Tlingit and Haida, also testified to the board. He said Kake tribal citizens, especially elders, needed the best nutrition they could get to be in the best health to fight COVID if they came into contact with it… The board authorized the emergency hunt and delegated details to the local U.S. Forest Service ranger.

The village ended up being approved to take two bull moose and five male deer…the village is using some of its COVID relief money to get a community walk-in refrigerator/freezer to safely store deer, fish and moose for the community.”

 

The Indian Health Service continues to work closely with our tribal partners and state and local public health officials to coordinate a comprehensive public health response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The federal government is working closely with state, local, tribal, and territorial partners, as well as public health partners, to respond to this public health threat.” IHS – November 2020

Native Santa Helps 40 Animals That Need Homes

“Nearly 50 animals are now staying in Calvin Red Owl III’s home. Calvin Red Owl III was advocating for animal welfare rights in a district meeting when he heard dogs barking, alerting him to the fire that broke out at the White Owl Sanctuary. He’s Oglala Lakota and the founder and operator of the first and only animal shelter on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.”  J.  Estus, ICT 

Kevin Red Owl, III, caring for a few of the nearly 40 animals he’s caring for in his home. (Photo courtesy of Kevin Red Owl)

Excerpt: Saving the sanctuary for Pine Ridge’s four-legged relatives, By Joaqlin Estus, Indian Country Today 

“He’s now caring for 49 animals in his three bedroom home, where he lives with his three sons. Red Owl III has an autoimmune disease and is only working with one volunteer to care for the animals, to limit his chances of contracting COVID-19.

Homeless animals on Pine Ridge

“Well, now what’s next for the shelter is we’re trying to find homes for all 47 animals that we have. And we are trying to rebuild as quickly as possible because the winter months are here and there’s lots of animals that need rehoming here on the reservation.”

For additional information about the White Owl Sanctuary click here.

 

The Indian Health Service continues to work closely with our tribal partners and state and local public health officials to coordinate a comprehensive public health response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The federal government is working closely with state, local, tribal, and territorial partners, as well as public health partners, to respond to this public health threat.” IHS – November 2020