Fall is here, time for harvesting wild rice and the fruits from our farm. Today, there is a chill in the air and the leaves are changing colors. We traveled to Nett Lake to purchase green rice off the lake and hand parched it. The farm interns, none of whom are Bois Forte Band members, learned the old techniques of hand parching wild rice. The pop pop pop sound is like music. The rice will be used for our Indigi-Baby Food. We have several recipes and have found the perfect Indigi-Baby for our marketing. Chi migwetch to both of my brothers, Stan for teaching the parching techniques and to my brother Mike for sketching the design for our label. Our ANA staff will be constructing a new shed using Compressed Earth Block. Migwetch to ANA and Schultz Family Foundation for making this possible and Mike Neumann for heading this up.
In other news, Keep the Fire Alive is one year old. This is the newest IPTF program aimed at reducing suicide among our youth. It makes me sad to even say we must do this, but we do it for our youth. May they never attempt to take their precious lives, there is always someone to hold you up when you need support. We will train our community members to recognize the signs and symptoms and what to do when they see them. Migwetch to Brenna and Payton for leading this effort.
Ikidowin Youth traveled to Carlisle, Pennsylvania to perform, “Everything is a Circle” at the First National Convention on Boarding Schools. Visiting the Carlisle School and graveyard of the students who died there was heart rendering. We traveled next to the Washington, DC and the Ikidowin youth toured the capitol, the Lincoln Memorial and the Museum of the American Indian and the Holocaust Museum. It was a great educational event for our youth on many levels. Next, they will travel to Sacramento to the Annual Spit Tobacco Conference where they will premier a new play, “Beishigo Asemaa. This play is about Colonization of Tobacco ( Asemaa ) and why our youth will never be tobacco-free” We are so proud of these Ikidowin Youth and their advocacy skills. Migwetch to our contributors Minnesota Department of Human Services, Clearway and Answer for making this travel happen, to our staff in this program Suzanne, Kirby, Joey for keeping tobacco (Asemaa) sacred and advocating traditional tobacco (Asemaa)
As the fall approaches, my thoughts turn to our relatives who are homeless. 300 individuals have been encamped just a few short blocks from here. Every agency has turned their attention to how we can help find shelter and assistance to them as the temperature drops. The Red Lake Tribal Council has come to the rescue allowing a property on Cedar Avenue to be used for a shelter. Our Outreach and HIV testing staff continue to provide needle exchange to folks who need it. Our HIV staff will be traveling to Leech Lake and Fond du Lac to provide testing services to our relatives up there.
Sharon Speaking at Mother Earth Water Walk Convergence of the four directions. http://livestre.am/PzKzOn June 11, 2011 in BadRiver WI.
From Native News Update June 13, 2011 on IndianCountryTV.com
Video/Audio On Demand Library : http://livestre.am/OVN9
See past letters from the director here: