We had a great summer with about 100 youth and young adults come participate in Waybinagay Prevention and Cessation Program for youth, Return to First Medicines and the Ikidowin and Step-up Programs. The Waybinagay Youth besides participating in the curriculum picked sage for the coming year; the Return to First Medicines youth planted food, harvested swamp tea, and worked in the Gikkinoonmaagidiwin Gitigan Medicine garden.
We have blueberry bushes, yucca, yarrow, bearberry, along with asemaa, sage and other medicines growing. This fall, we will create a new garden along the fence to plant the bushes that need more soil. We will also be constructing a sweat lodge in the one corner of the yard. Migwetch to ANA for the funding to do this great work with the youth. Migwetch to Suzanne Nash, Mike Nuemann, Dorene Day and Elijah Benson. (link to video) Also to our elders who share so generously their knowledge and wisdom about the plants.
The Ikidowin and Step-Up interns were busy with the Native Stand Curriculum and creating the play "WAIT!" with Pangea Theater. Several performances were held including trips to Mille Lacs and LaCrosse with the Ho-chunk Nation. WAIT focuses on teen pregnancy prevention and you can book a show for later this fall, soon as we do another recruit for the after-school program. Kudo's to Brenna Depies and Kirby for their hard work and love for our youth! Indeed, they are the future. (link to video of play)
The HIV Testing programs here and up north will re-focus on high risk individuals. We have hired Rashad Jiles as the HIV Outreach Coordinator. You can find Rashad and Angela at many Two Spirit/Gay events this fall or stop in the Office. We have discontinued giving our gift cards and will be gifting a Snagalicous T-shirt for those eligible for testing. If you've not been tested in the last year, and have engaged in sex or needle use that may have put you at risk, you are eligible. Also migwetch to Barb Borquin, Angela Barnes and Emily Annette for the POL and Two Spirit Socials.
If you are HIV positive, see Edward Lohnes for some help with coordinating necessary services. HIV is a treatable illness and if you are infected, the sooner you begin treatment the better.
The 24th Street garden continues to be a great success. Migwetch to everyone for participating in this including Char! She has spent many hours in the garden.
Finally, the Mississippi Water Walk was a labor of love and gratitude. I hope you are able to watch the video, MRWW. Migwetch to all the people who supported us here at home, and chi Migwetch to all that walked, whether it was a mile or 500 of the 1754 miles we walked and prayed for the water. Water is life, We are the water. (link to video)
I will be on Sabbatical for 3 months beginning September 1. Migwetch to the Alston Bannerman Foundation for the award that is making this happen. I shall return on December 1st. IPTF is in good hands with the employees who make it all happen whether I am here or not. Migwetch to the IPTF Board of Directors, especially Susan Allen and Don Crofut who have to do double duty while I am away working with Jim Berling, the Financial Manager and so much more. Migwetch!
Sharon Speaking at Mother Earth Water Walk Convergence of the four directions. http://livestre.am/PzKz On June 11, 201 in BadRiver WI.
From Native News Update June 13, 2011 on IndianCountryTV.com
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