Saturday, November 29, 2008

Radio Interview Saturday 11/29/08 at 1:00 EST

NAMAPAHH - First Peoples Radio is hosting an interview today with Jeri Baker (ONE Spirit director), Catherine DuClos (Vice President of PREZ) and Percy White Plume (Pine Ridge resident).

To listen to the interview please join us at Radio Interview

NAMAPAHH: Native American Multi-media, Activism, Performance/Poetry; Art; Health/Humor/History

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Plymouth Pictures

Here are a few pictures of my set-up last week-end at Plymouth, MA. Enjoy!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Plymouth, Massachusetts

Hi Everyone!

This past weekend I set up as a vendor and Representative of One Spirit, in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The Thanksgiving event was Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and it was sponsored by the Plymouth Town Council and included a 12 Division Parade on Saturday. Several extremely large tents were set up, right beside "Plymouth Rock", in Plymouth Rock Memorial Park, to hold all the vendors. I was in a tent dedicated to Native American's that were vending Native American Crafts.

The weather was blustery, in the high 20's, with a 25 MPH wind off of Plymouth Harbor. Everyone in attendance was chilled to the bone. I especially felt bad for the band members, scouts, cheer leaders and others that marched in their frilly uniforms!

In talking to the people walking through the tent, it's absolutely amazing how many people never even heard about the Lakota Sioux or their mis-treatment and neglect by the US Government. Nothing makes me happier than giving out One Spirit's homepage to the people that will listen to me. Making them aware of the statistics involving the Lakota people, can sometimes be a little teary, but I do my best to capture the people's attention and in asking them to help One Spirit in our mission. I'm certainly not bashful when it comes to getting peoples attention, and I pull all sorts of antics to do so. If I just sit in my booth, they walk on by, but if I offer free Mohawk haircuts, or painless scalping, I get their attention! Then I can tell them about One spirit and the Lakota people. It also helps being dressed in Native Regalia when other vendors are not. Their eyes get larger, when they relize that they're talking to a real Indian. (I'm third generation Canadian Mohawk living in the US).

Some shows and pow-wow's, can be great, but this weekend's bitter cold and the present economy tended to have people, not spend their money so easily. I managed to raise a little over three heaters worth this weekend by my actions. Better than if I just stayed home, but I'd hoped to raise more!

Broken Feather

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Available now on e-Bay is a 4 color Peyote Rope Stitch Bolo Tie by Darrel Janis of Pine Ridge Reservation. The design of the tie, displays the talent of this Master Beader. Check it out! Posted on e-Bay by James Horns, e-Bay id, 894james

Monday, November 17, 2008

Our Future Depends On You!

Hi Everyone!

As you know, we have struggled this past week getting aid to Pine Ridge, because of a breakdown in transportation and communications created by huge snow drifts! Slowly, things are begining to return to normal. We have made inroads and learned much because of this natural disaster. And we need to take this time to humbly thank everyone involved for your response. From the people that provided much needed financial aid to the people on the reservation, that struggled with deliveries of food, wood and medical supplies, we simply thank Creator that you acted. You are truly an inspiration to all of us. To the many volunteers that asked friends, neighbors and relatives to send blankets to the reservation, we also thank you. It is difficult to measure the true depth of our assistance to the residents of Pine Ridge, but we will assess our efforts and realign our prioritys to what is most important. Every single person that reacted to our call for assistance is to be praised for their effort!

On another note, It is important for us to realize that one or many of you, as volunteers, may hold the key to the advancement of our cause. If you have an idea that you believe will help One Spirit , we need to hear from you! Our ranks are growing and we realize that some of you have idea's that could possibly help our cause and the Lakota people. Please, no idea is stupid, but it's stupid if you don't at least submit it for review! The future of what we do is important and determined by everyday hero's like you!

Broken Feather

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Praise for Northwest Woolen Mills

Hi Everyone,

I feel like I just received the greatest present ever.

This morning I learned that Northwest Woolen Mills has had a change of heart, and decided to help One Spirit, help the Lakota Sioux. Not only will they be supplying blankets, but they have offered assistance, with other area's of concern, with the Lakota people. I for one want to take the time to publically thank Northwest Woolen Mills for their change of heart and willingness to assist One Spirit.

To all the volunteers that read my prior post and sent e-mails to Northwest Woolen Mills,
Thank You!

Please know that you made a difference. If you are still in the mind to send off an e-mail. Please do so and thank Mr. Max Brickle, President of Northwest Woolen Mills
@ max@hbrickle.com for their willingness to assist One Spirit.

This has been a team effort, so Thank You, to all of you that took part!

Edward Broken Feather

Friday, November 14, 2008

An Open Letter To Rosalie Janis

Dear Rosalie,

I'm so greatful to you for reporting all that has been done to help the residents of Pine Ridge, during this past week. It's important for me to let you know, how much your efforts to help the people of Pine Ridge are appreciated by all volunteers of One Spirit. A lot of us have worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the tragic conditions at Pine Ridge, and alot of people have been made aware of the exasperating conditions that exist. It is my understanding that a couple of dedicated organizations have put the word out for providing assistance to One Spirit and the Lakota People. You need to know that the effort that you put forth, to assist residents of Pine Ridge is above and beyond what is expected of any individual. But, due to your determination and love for your people, you do just that. I, as an individual that cares about the resident of Pine Ridge Reservation, offer you my most sincere appreciation for all that you have done. You are indeed a very special person and I'm honored to be associated with you! You are truly an inspiration to all involved with One Spirit!

Edward Broken Feather

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A e-mail to Corporate America

Hi Everyone,

You have all been following the events happening at PRR. The following is a e-mail I sent to a company, I approached for desperately needed assistance this past week.

"Dear Ms. Butler,

My name is Edward Chandler and I stood before you this week looking for a bit of Corporate Charity, in the form of blankets, to warm the people of the Lakota Sioux Tribe at Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Earlier in the week, this area was hit with a extremely damaging blizzard, creating much havoc. The Lakota Sioux are accustomed to severe winters, but this particular storm had wind exceeding 70 miles an hour and brought down over 600 electrical poles. Areas at Pine Ridge are still without electricity as I write this e-mail.

While I left the foyer of the Northwest Woolen Mills, I felt a quiet rejection at failing in my mission. I had failed the Lakota Sioux and I had failed One Spirit, the organization I volunteer for. My mission was to see the opportunity for the Northwest Woolen Mills to receive thousands of dollars worth of advertizing in every Native American newspaper in North America. But I failed to get that point across, because I had to grovel in the foyer of your business. I wasn't even extended the courtesy of being taken to a meeting room to plead my cause. I didn't want, nor did I expect hundreds of blankets. If I had been offered 50 blankets, I'll have been elated. One Spirit had expended their emergency funding on fuel, because of this storm and even though, we had raised over $3,000.00 in a emergency plea, that too was expended, in supplying emergency aide to the reservation people.

I live in Blackstone less than a mile from Northwest Woolen Mills and have read in the Woonsocket Call, where Northwest Woolen Mills has donated thousands of blankets to victims in foreign countries over the years. I had hoped that you would have extended some of that same corporate courtesy to Native American's, freezing to death, right here in South Dakota. but alas.

I lost in my bid for assistance, but Northwest Woolen Mills lost on a opportunity to be brought to the attention of every single Native American Tribe in North America.

I ask of you, the next time someone approach's you and asks about blankets, you at least take the person to a meeting room, to ask the nature of their business. Please don't treat that person like a homeless vagrant as I felt I was.

Cordially Yours,

Edward Broken Feather Chandler
Mohawk Elder
Gaskill Street
Blackstone, MA

If you wish to send this corporation an e-mail regarding your feelings, their web site is: http://www.northwestwoolen.com/ Please keep your comments cordial and in due regard to their situation, in this economic turmoil.

A Message from Rosalie

Ehani Was'te (good day) from the Lakota Nation, South Dakota, I send a strong heart felt hand shake to all of you.

Yes, we worked hard here on our lands, especially the workers and their families and myself to get alternate heat (wood, gas heaters, etc), pampers, food, etc. out to the families that are still without heat and cannot get out of their homes. But, you all must know that this would not have been possible without your help. The trucks we used to haul wood are gas guzzlers.

My brother and his wife along with another worker and her daughters & son-in-law definately would not have been able to deliver without your support for gas and of course the cost of the supplies that needed to get to the families in need.

My brother told me that when he and his wife went to this Grandma's house they were so grateful for the pick up load of wood that it gave them this feeling of overwhelming gratitude to be able to help. He went on to tell me that the Grandma said that she had no more propane and the wood she had was gone. They unloaded and left the Unc'i's (grandma) home with such thankfulness that they were able to be a part of the giving we at One Spirit did. They went on to tell us that the next day they were going to get another load of wood when this elderly man was walking on the highway. They picked him up and took him to the store to get some food supplies and took him home. When they got to his little one room cabin he asked my brother if he would help him start his wood stove. He went inside and said his house was a little on the chilly side and the Grandpa said he was trying to save on his wood. My brother helped him get his stove going and visited him for awhile then told him that he would bring him wood and check on him. The Grandpa was very happy about this.

This morning I took my three grandchildren and prayed with them for all the families in Wanblee and Kyle that are still struggling with having no heat, electricity and some with little or no food. We also prayed for all those that had to leave their homes and are staying at the shelters. We gave thanks for all that we have the water we drink, the air we breathe, the four legged, the winged and the snow that we have. We gave thanks for the warmth and the food we have and we gave thanks for Tunkashila sending the children to us to care for. We prayed for all those that were struggling with alcoholism and drugs as it is a sickness and to have pity for them. We prayed and gave thanks for our children and elders.

And, now I send to you all prayers and thanks from my heart and hope that the great blanket of snow wrap around you and protect you and it does with me and my family.

Wopila (thank you)
Rosalie Janis,
One SpiritLakota Nation - Pine Ridge Lakota Reservation
Manderson, South Dakota

"To The Greatest People I Have Ever Had the Privilege Working With."

From Jeri Baker:

The last few days since the blizzard blew through the plains - and through Pine Ridge Reservation at upwards of 100 miles per hour - have tested the strength of One Spirit and shown the true meaning of this name for our organization. We have delivered food, wood, lamps, blankets, batteries, water, diapers, gas for the vehicles and any other needed supplies. Together we spread the word about the need even before the media was aware of the urgent situations on the reservation. We worked with the Lakota people, supplying them with the materials and resources they needed to reach and care for their people. This was a true international effort that was highly successful. We will soon have numbers to report to you.
It is not quite over yet. There are still a few families that remain stranded. As of last night, they hoped to reach those people. It is still a few days before the electric companies hope to have all service restored. Most important, we begin now to work with the Lakota people to plan for ways that their people can be cared for during the coming winter. Hopefully there will not be another weather situation like this one. But the Lakota people face harsh winters every year. The wood program and the heater program have proven their worth. Project SHARE is a vital resource. The Okini and Youth programs are growing. And we are proud to support the initiatives of the Lakota people to find new and creative ways to expand their economy and care for their people.
You are justified in feeling proud of all that you have done. My thanks and gratitude to each of you.
Love and peace,

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Press Release Issued Regarding Blizzard

Jeri Baker issued a press release regarding the desperate situation resulting from last week's blizzard. To quote a portion of the release, "One Spirit has been trying to gain the attention of other emergency service organizations. The Red Cross brought supplies over the weekend, but due to incomplete and/or faulty information, these supplies did reach many of the hardest hit areas. Today they are returning with blankets, water, food, kerosene lamps, candles, and other items. But their supplies are limited, and are still unable to meet the current needs."

We all want to do everything we can to help the situation, as well as helping out in any future situations. But we're not all able to give loads of money, or we're not close enough to give our time in person. We also may not have the supplies to give. So if we can just talk to anyone who will listen, be it local government, media outlets, or just the folks that we have coffee with, maybe that will help spread awareness about the people who really need help within our country. If you have any suggestions on how to accomplish this, please post them on the blog so that others may be given ideas that they didn't have before.

"All you need is Love." John Lennon
"If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything." George McFly - Back to the Future

Electrical Update for Pine Ridge

This was copied from a AP article about a ongoing snow storm in Wisconsin.

"In western South Dakota, utility crews were still working to restore electrical service knocked out by a blizzard last week. An estimated 1,800 customers of six electric cooperatives have been without power since that storm. "

"The South Dakota National Guard has sent an 11-man team to help open roads for the electrical work crews. Deep snow driven into 7-foot drifts has slowed the repairs, and Ken Wetz, manager of Butte Electric Cooperative, said about 3 inches of ice still covers some downed wires."

Monday, November 10, 2008

URGENT! Blankets needed BAD!

Word has come in that blankets are in high need on the rez. There are still a lot of people without electricity, so heaters are not working, and not everyone has a wood stove or fireplace. Please send blankets (good, clean, warm blankets) to the addresses below:
Rosalie Janis
3M N. Manderson or
PO Box 85
Manderson, SD 57756
John DuBray
28080 Allen Road
Allen, SD 57714

Thank you, as always, for your support in this difficult time.

The First Blizzard of Winter 2008

You all are aware of the blizzard that just hit the reservation. It's that time of year. Mother Nature really likes to show who's in charge! I don't know about other areas of the country, but the Great Plains are known for the winds that cause the ground blizzards and power lines down, and worse. We sure do get buried out here sometimes.

The governor did declare a state of emergency which then helped with airlifting people with medical problems out of the rez. The Red Cross got in there and provided a few blankets and some other supplies as the plows gained access.

The Associated Press reported 20 foot drifts on the Pine Ridge Reservation and winds upwards of 50-60 mph.

But, you folks with One Spirit really stepped up. As you read in the note from Sue, the donations you all sent in were valuable! One Spirit is able to help get folks out on the road to deliver wood and food to those who can't get out. Other emergency type supplies like batteries, water, blankets and animal food are being distributed.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Message from Sue Allgood (Donor Services)

In the past 48 hours since the urgent appeal for your help went out, you have responded with your open hearts and pocketbooks to the tune of over $3000. Your caring and generous hearts are sincerely appreciated. You are the kind of people who make this world a better place. On behalf of the entire staff of ONE Spirit and the Lakota brothers and sisters on the Pine Ridge Reservation, we humbly thank you!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Hello From Norway

From a fellow volunteer, Kari, from Norway:

We are saying that everything comes from the USA. Yes, I received a mail from Jeri that there is to be a fair here in Norway where John Dubray also is going to be. The Norwegian "Help The Indians" which is managed by Olav Redheart Husby, sponsors John's trip across the ocean. It's a very big alternative fair that has taken place in Oslo, our capitol, for 10 years. There will be about 450 stands from a lot of countries. Denmark, Sverige, USA, England, Tykland, Spania and Australia are among the countries that are represented and, they are expecting at least 25,000 visitors from all over Europe. You can find almost anything there. Different healing methods, meditations, yoga, spirituality, you name it. There are also stands about how to deal with the pollution of our planet. And, a whole lot of different things that I don't even want to try to translate into English.

And, of course Olav Redheart and his organization will be there along with John DuBray. Hopefully this will lead to more people learning about Pine Ridge Reservation and wanting to get involved in helping. As Jeri advised me to, I wrote Olav about a week ago, just to introduce myself since we are both working with One Spirit. He called me yesterday and, guess what! He wanted me with them at the fair. He even offered to pick me up at the railway station and bring me there. You know.... farmers in town....!! I would probably never get in the city again if I should manage on my own. So, Saturday 22nd November I will load up my pickup with a sleeping bag and some coffee and I will drive the 4.5 hours to Oslo, join John DuBray and Olav Redheart Husby. What an experience for a little woman of the rural woods in a valley in Norway.

ONE Spirit Medallion

Thanks, Ed, for the picture and info on the medallion that was made for you. How beautiful!! It's as it should be that they cost, because the work that must go into these beauties.... unimaginable for someone like me.

Jeri sent me this picture of one that was done for One Spirit. The "Together We Can" is what stood out to me. Because, together we can. It's true.
Hi Everyone,

We all know by now that PRR was blasted with a horrific blizzard over the past two days. This is a up date from a friend of mine, and the Francine Janis Family at PRR.

Hi Ed -

I just got home from my gig this morning and called Francine to see how they are weathering this storm. Their street doesn't have power back yet, but nearby ones do and Francine said that Tiffany heard on the radio that they might have it back by noon today.

They ran out of wood last night, so she broke up an old dresser and they burned that! She said the drifts were so high Chester couldn't make it out to get more wood. It's mostly stopped snowing, but still windy, and the wind made all the drifts icy, so it's a nightmare to get around at all.

I had been worried that the kids maybe got stranded on the bus home from school when the storm hit, but she said they made it back ok that day and the electricity didn't go out until about 6pm.

Do you know how Willene Kills Enemy's family is doing? I've got them all in my prayers - it sure feels weird to be sitting in my nice warm house typing on my computer knowing how cold everyone out there is . . .

Tok 'sa kola

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Hello Everyone!
Check out the beautiful beadwork medallion made by Chester Sitting Bear from Pine Ridge Reservation. It's a striking example of Chester's ability to create a masterpiece. The center of the feather is actually a broken porcupine quill ! One amazing fact about Chester, is that he's Color Blind! His wife Francine picks out the color of beads for him.
Anyone interested in having their own medallion made, can contact me, and I'll supply you with Chester's e-mail address. Be forewarned that the Medallions are not cheap! It takes Chester days and days to make a medallion and it's a source of income for his family.
The 2009 Pow-Wow season in New England will begin in May, and I can't wait to display this Medallion with the rest of my Regalia.
Tok 'sa Aka, Lakota for, "Until Later".
Broken Feather

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My Trip To Martin, SD

Hello Everyone. I thought I'd share my story about my family's trip to the reservation:
On Labor Day weekend my husband, our 2 children and I went to Martin to visit the family we sponsor. They have a daughter the same age as ours. We live in the Northeast corner of Colorado, so it was only a 4 hour car trip. Not bad. On the way there we drove through beautiful sand hills, rolling prairie hills with desert like plants, sage growing EVERYWHERE and all the little creatures to go with it. Hawks are everywhere also. It's so cool to look up in the sky and see this magnificent bird almost like he's looking over you. Looking out over the landscape, I could almost imagine what it was like before the roads and power lines and automobiles. We arrived in Martin and checked into our hotel room.
The next morning, I called the family to find out when we could go meet them. We got it set up and again, loaded my family into the car and off we went.
When we arrived at their house, the welcome we received was unimaginable. The mom (for the sake of anonymity, we're going to call her "Ina") came out as we were getting out of the car and hugged me while she introduced herself. Her daughter and my daughter were instant friends and her little boy hid. We went in and sat down and just started talking. Talking about the weather and our drive up there. About our kids and we laughed as my 1 year old waddled all over her floor. We then made plans to take the kids somewhere for lunch and ended up at the bowling alley.
As the kids played video games, Ina asked me if I wanted to go to a powwow. Since I'd never been lucky enough to go to a powwow before I said, "YES!". My daughter was just as excited. We headed toward Porcupine.
On the way there, Ina told me we were going through Wounded Knee and did we want to stop and visit the Memorial. Of course we did. We arrived at the memorial and started walking around. It was surreal. To think that this amazing tragedy had happened right on the land that I was standing on was hard to absorb. She started telling me about the stories she had heard growing up about the Wounded Knee Massacre, stories that had come down through her family's generations. Her family, the descendants of those this happened to.
After we left the memorial, we stopped at the KILI radio station, but it wasn't opened. BUMMER!
Then we headed on to Porcupine for the powwow. There was such a feeling of community. The dancers were beautiful! That is all I can say because words don't do it justice. The traditional dancers were what I enjoyed watching the most. With these dances being handed down through the generations and still practiced today is what impressed me the most. We got to see the men and the elders do their traditional dances. What a beautiful culture! My daughter liked the Fancy Dancers. The drumming and singing were unlike anything else. I wanted to stay all day and night. But, it was time to go.
We drove back to her house, the kids stayed outside until dark playing and Ina showed me her bead work. We talked about that and our kids for a long time. I finally couldn't keep my eyes open anymore and my daughter was starting to get cranky. So, we said our goodbyes, looking forward to the next time we could visit and we left.
I had the most blessed day! I was filled with a feeling of joy and sadness that we had to leave. Ina and her children are the most genuine people I've been lucky enough to spend time with in a long time.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Happy Heater Delivery People

This is a story that came from the reservation last week:

Saturday while we were doing the food delivery, some heaters were brought to me. My brother, who has a huge long box truck, came and helped me deliver heaters around the Manderson area and loaded the rest and took them out to my place.
On Sunday, I met my brother and his wife and we loaded the rest of the heaters and left at 9:00 am to deliver them. We went from Manderson to Sharps and gassed up. From there we delivered three heaters around the Sharps area.
After Sharps we left for Red Shirt. We delivered there and moved onto Oglala, Mission Flats, Pine Ridge and most of Wounded Knee.
We completed Red Shirt, Oglala and Pine Ridge. We have about 4 more to deliver in Wounded Knee and 3 in Manderson. We still have all of Porcupine with the exception of the ones we did at Sharps. One of the ladies called me from Sharps and said her heater was cracked. I told her I would come and take it and give her a different one. We are going to finish the delivery this afternoon.
We hit the road at 9:oo am yesterday and I got home about 8:30 pm. It was a very long, cold and very windy day, but we felt so good when we took the heaters to some of the homes. They had blankets hanging to keep one room warm (living room) and everyone was sleeping in that one room because they had no propane. The ones that did have propane said, "Good. Now we can save what little propane we have.". It just melted my heart to know that the heaters we delivered came at a time that was very much needed.
We traveled in a complete circle, about 142 miles. My brother and sister in law are very fun to travel with and they sure worked hard. I gave them a heater and some food that was extra from SHARE for helping us.
This afternoon should be a shorter delivery day as we just need to go to Porcupine and Wounded Knee and we will have accomplished our mission of heaters, Yoooo!