Voices of Indian Country

Native Hope Blog


Native American Fashion: Cultural Appreciation vs Cultural Appropriation

Fashion is a language, a signal that tells others who you are and what you represent. However, the fashion industry has for centuries exploited class, race, gender, and the products used in its creati...


Native American Fashion: Cultural Appreciation vs Cultural Appropriation

Fashion is a language, a signal that tells others who you are and what you represent. However, the fashion industry has for centuries exploited class, race, gender, and the products used in its creati...

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May 21, 2024

Native Hope’s 2023 Impact

2023 offered many opportunities for us to impact our community and meet tangible needs on reservations. Because of your support, we were able to change lives and improve circumstances. Thank you for y...

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February 2, 2024

January is Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention Month

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month, created to raise awareness of sex slavery and human trafficking worldwide. Trafficking is a critical problem that all of us at Native Hope are passionate ...

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January 15, 2024

Dakota 38+2: Honoring those who lost their lives striving to survive

Today we remember those hanged on December 26, 1862, in Mankato, Minnesota, upon President Abraham Lincoln’s order. This execution served as the U.S. government’s punishment of the Dakota people for t...

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December 26, 2023

Native American Heritage Day

November is Native American Heritage Month. This month was established to honor and recognize Native Americans as the first people of this nation and to celebrate both their cultural heritage and inte...

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November 24, 2023

Native American Veterans serve the nation

Serving to protect this nation is something Native Americans have done since the Revolutionary War. Many ask how is it possible that Natives want to serve a country where "they [U.S. military] weren't...

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November 10, 2023

The History of Thanksgiving from the Native American Perspective

There are always two sides to a story. Unfortunately, when it comes to the history of Thanksgiving, generations of Americans have been taught a one-sided history in homes and schools. The dominant cul...

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November 6, 2023

Mounted Defenders: The History of the Comanche Nation

The Comanche Nation has a history of fiercely defending its territory and challenging the encroachment of settlers. As one of the most renowned and warlike tribes in history, they struck fear in the h...

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November 5, 2023

Celebrating Native American Heritage Month

Every November since 1990, the United States celebrates Native American Heritage Month. The commemoration of the month provides a platform for Native Americans to share traditions, music, crafts, and ...

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November 1, 2023

Seminole Nation: The Unconquered People

Known for their staunch resistance to relocation and commitment to their cultural roots, the Seminole Native Americans created a name for themselves in American history. Their legacy includes innovati...

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October 23, 2023

Why Indigenous Peoples' Day Matters

On April 3rd, 2019, the state of New Mexico officially replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous People’s Day. From now on, the second Monday in October will honor the strength and resilience of Indigenou...

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October 9, 2023

Protect Native Women and Children from Sex Trafficking

In South Dakota, the second Saturday of October, kicks off South Dakota’s annual pheasant season opener, offering access to nearly 4.5 million acres of public land. It is the largest hunting attractio...

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October 5, 2023

Native American Boarding Schools and Education History

The earliest schools for Native Americans were most often mission schools, founded by different religious groups in the United States, Mexico and Canada. In 1819, Congress passed the Indian Civilizati...

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September 12, 2023

Native Hope Supports World Suicide Prevention Day

The International Association for Suicide Prevention [IASP], in official relations with the World Health Organization, has deemed September 10 as World Suicide Prevention Day. Native American suicide ...

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September 10, 2023

Suicide Is Not the Answer: Finding Hope in the Midst of Struggle

During the pandemic, people across all nations, Native and non-Native, dealt with escalating rates of suicidal ideation and completion. Suicidal thoughts stem from several sources. Depression is a sig...

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September 1, 2023

The issues surrounding Native American Education

Usually, back-to-school season means excitement for children. Back to school means buying school supplies and new clothes for the school year, plus the benefit of seeing their friends again. However, ...

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August 17, 2023

Human Trafficking at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

South Dakota is most recognized for its open ranges, miles of lush farmland, and as the home of 1.2 million acres of the Black Hills National Forest. These same serene rolling hills and towering pines...

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August 16, 2023

July Spotlight: Rally Together to Prevent Human Trafficking

The Black Hills of South Dakota offer a stark contrast to the vast plains that surround them. A landscape of natural beauty that boasts serene rolling hills and towering pines, the Black Hills were or...

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July 20, 2023

What really happened at the Battle of the Little Bighorn

Sharing the Untold Story of Native America is one of the most important things we do at Native Hope, and if Indian Country is to heal, there must be an acknowledgment of the past. This acknowledgment ...

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June 25, 2023

Celebrating Native Fathers

A community is only as strong as its mothers and fathers. The heritage of Native Americans is rich in community and family bonds. In the Lakota culture, the word tiyospaye encompasses the conviction t...

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June 18, 2023

Remembering the Akichitas - Warriors

Over the centuries, Native American akičhitas (warriors) watched over their oyates (tribes). They protected their people and helped in times of strife — it was the warriors’ job to ensure the survival...

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May 29, 2023

Children of the Large-Beaked Bird: Crow Tribe History and Culture

The Crow tribe has a long and vibrant history. From nomads on the Great Plains to their life on a reservation in Montana, the Children of the Large-Beaked Bird have stories to tell and insights to sha...

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May 28, 2023

Wandering Warriors: The History of the Blackfeet Tribe

Throughout their history, the Blackfoot people have endured hardships and celebrated victories. Their story is one of fierce fighting and dedication to culture and tradition, even in the face of great...

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May 21, 2023

Recognizing Native Organizations on Native Nonprofit Day

RECOGNIZING NATIVE ORGANIZATIONS ON NATIVE NONPROFIT DAY Native American communities have a strong tradition of unity and support, advocating for the progress and well-being of all Indigenous peoples....

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May 12, 2023

Celebrating the Power of Native Women and Native Mothers

The Legend of the White Buffalo Woman One summer a long time ago, the seven sacred council fires of the Lakota Sioux came together and camped. The sun was strong, and the people were starving, for the...

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May 12, 2023

Native connection to Unci Maka–Mother Earth

For Native Americans, every day is Earth Day. Traditionally and culturally, it is the duty of Native Americans to care for Unci Maka (Grandmother Earth). “We are the land ... that is the fundamental i...

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April 21, 2023

Sexual Assault: A Horrifying Reality for Native American Girls

The following post contains mature themes and references. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Imagine growing up in an environment where it is only a matter of time before you experience some sor...

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April 10, 2023

Water does not reach all Americans with equity

Mni Wiconi translates to “Water is Life.” When called upon to think about something as essential yet basic as water, most don’t give its existence a second thought. Many people associate this life-sus...

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March 20, 2023

Courage and Convictions: The Legacy of the Choctaw Nation

The Choctaw are among the most vibrant and fascinating Native American tribes. Their rich and diverse history was fraught with oppression, cultural assimilation, and forced emigration—including the Tr...

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March 12, 2023

Celebrating Native Women

March is Women's History Month, and March 8 is International Women's Day, so we wanted to highlight inspiring Native American women who have impacted the world around them, both past and present. The ...

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March 7, 2023

What Happened to the Apache Tribe?: The History of the Apache Nation

The Apache Nation has an interesting and resilient history. From decades of wars, unfair treaties, and the fight to keep culture amid repeated assimilation attempts, the Apache honor their ancestors t...

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February 12, 2023

Part Two: Acknowledging My Herstory and Identity for MMIWG

Part 2 of Tamara’s story highlights her struggle to find answers surrounding her mother’s murder and her hopes that sharing her story will encourage others to break their silence. Native women and chi...

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February 6, 2023

Part One: Acknowledging My Herstory and Identity for MMIWG

Tamara shares her journey to know herself through her mother’s MMIW story. An aspect that is often forgotten when someone goes missing or is murdered is the impact on the family—especially the childre...

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February 6, 2023

Hope Report: October, November, December 2022

Thanks to you, Native Hope continues to create a meaningful impact. The past three months have been filled with many smiles as we continue our important work. "Thank you for your help with Christmas g...

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January 20, 2023

The Feather: A symbol of high honor

In Native American culture it is believed that all things possess an inherent virtue, power, and wisdom. The feather, for example, is a powerful symbol that signifies honor and a connection between th...

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January 10, 2023

Wounded Knee Massacre: Fear is Normally the Root of Tragedy

Fear is normally the root of tragedy. On December 29, 1890, that was the case: The Wounded Knee Massacre. This event was precipitated by the United States government’s fear of an uprising due to the p...

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December 29, 2022

Native Hope Joins #GivingTuesday

Native Hope realizes the power of unity and collaboration in making an impact in the lives of Native American children and families. That is why we are joining forces with the #GivingTuesday movement.

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November 18, 2022

Rock your Mocs

Honoring culture and individuality in an increasingly fast-paced, modern world is a challenge for the members of America's 574 federally recognized tribes. But one woman came up with a simple idea—tha...

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November 15, 2022

Hope Report: July, August, and September 2022

Native Hope continued its outreach and assistance efforts to different communities throughout South Dakota for the months of July, August and September. “I do appreciate your help during this time, I ...

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November 8, 2022

The History and Culture of the Iroquois

One of the most well-known and influential tribes in Native American history, the Iroquois have a fascinating story. The name "Iroquois" refers to a language, not the particular tribe itself. In fact,...

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November 6, 2022

The History and Culture of the Ojibwe (Chippewa) Tribe

The Ojibwe tribe, also known as the Chippewa or Saulteaux, have historically lived in what's now southern Canada, the northern Midwestern United States, and Northern Plains. Known for their trademark ...

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October 30, 2022

The Past, Present, and Future of the Navajo Nation

With a rich history and a unique culture, the Navajo Nation is one of North America's most celebrated and well-known native tribes. They were at the center of many conflicts and events in the 19th and...

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September 28, 2022

On the Ground Efforts to End Sex Trafficking

This August, we returned to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally to raise awareness of a very serious issue happening at an alarming rate: sex trafficking. Our goal is simple: zero trafficking victims during t...

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August 11, 2022

Hope Report: June 2022

In June, Native Hope continued its outreach and assistance efforts to different communities throughout South Dakota. Thanks to you, Native Hope continues to create a meaningful impact on the individua...

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July 10, 2022

The Six Grandfathers Before It Was Known as Mount Rushmore

Part II in a series of articles that attempt to give more perspective into the truths our history books are avoiding.

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July 4, 2022

Hope Report: May 2022

May was another busy month, bringing awareness to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives and fulfilling needs. Thanks to you, Native Hope continues to create a meaningful impact on the individuals ...

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June 12, 2022

Hope Report: Spring 2022

"Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love!” - Sitting Bull As spring arrived, March and April were...

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May 24, 2022

Hope Report: February 2022

Thanks to our generous supporters, February was filled with giving hope and sharing love. Native Hope assisted with community events and worked with local organizations to help those in need.

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March 15, 2022

The History and Culture of the Cheyenne Tribe

One of the dominant tribes on the Great Plains, the Cheyenne people have a rich and storied history. As one of the largest and most influential tribes on the continent, they played a major role in sha...

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March 6, 2022

Self-Injury Awareness Day: Before the Cut Is Too Deep

Teenagers love to express themselves with shocking hairstyles, unique makeup, and eccentric clothing. This is why the signs of self-mutilation escaped my eye until it hit me full in the face with the ...

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March 1, 2022

From the Carolinas to Oklahoma: The History of the Cherokee Nation

The Cherokee are one of the largest and most well-known Native American tribes in history. As a people, they’ve accomplished great things, been a formidable foe and even better ally, and have become o...

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February 27, 2022

Native Hope Announces Major Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Funding

Native Hope announced that it will fund the missing person specialist position created in the state Attorney General’s Office on missing and murdered Indigenous person cases. The grant for $85,000 per...

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February 16, 2022

Hope Report: January 2022

“You can’t purchase friendship — you have to do your part to make it.” Sauk Proverb. At Native Hope, we strive to build relationships with tribal leaders to identify needs better. This month, we had r...

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February 7, 2022

Hope Report: December 2021

“One finger cannot lift a pebble.” This Hopi Proverb sings true to the heart as we look back at our efforts. We would like to express our deepest gratitude for your generous support throughout the hol...

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January 12, 2022

Story of Survival and Hope: a victim of sex trafficking speaks

The following story was shared with Native Hope via email by J. Dakotah, a Native American human-trafficking survivor and advocate. Some of the content of this story is sensitive and may cause distres...

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January 11, 2022

Happy Holidays from Native Hope

All of us at Native Hope want to wish you and your loved ones a Happy Holiday! As our team looks back on an amazing year of impact, we know our efforts would not have been possible without your suppor...

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December 23, 2021

Hope Report: November 2021

“We can only be what we give ourselves the power to be.” This Native American Proverb has been shining through over the course of November. We would like to extend a huge thank you to our generous don...

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December 12, 2021

Potted Meat: The ingredients of a Native American male

I am Dennis Metcalf from Chamberlain, SD, and I have lived there for most of my life. I recently decided to go back to school and see a different part of the country while pursuing my passion for beco...

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November 21, 2021

Hope Report: October 2021

The month of October consisted of many deliveries, the spreading of Red Sand throughout our community and challenging conversations as people asked about the meaning behind the Red Sand Project. For N...

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November 7, 2021

How the destruction of the Buffalo (tatanka) impacted Native Americans

The bison's (Buffalo's) value among Native American tribes, particularly the Plains tribes, remains priceless. Its life and near extinction closely mirror North America's indigenous—for without the Bu...

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November 5, 2021

Hope Report: September 2021

“Thank you so much, these items will help bring self-confidence to my students, everybody deserves to feel clean and have these basic items. My kids will love their surprise on Monday!” We recently pr...

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October 7, 2021

My relationship with Native American Boarding Schools

Nine children started their final journey home on Wednesday, July 14, from Carlisle, Pa. They made several stops along the way for prayer services. On the evening of July 16, they reached their destin...

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October 3, 2021

Hope Report: August 2021

It is vital to the Native Hope team to live and work honoring all Lakota virtues of life, and we invite our donors and supporters to be mindful with us. The Seven Lakota Values, given by the White Buf...

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September 12, 2021

Story of Hope: Starr Chief Eagle

"If you go to the top of a mountain, you can see [the horizon line] — here is the balance between the earth and the sky. Here they meet. Point your finger to the horizon and follow it," Starr Chief Ea...

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September 3, 2021

Hope Report: July 2021

July brought Native Hope and the surrounding communities many opportunities for outreach and flourishing connections. The team traveled nearly 1,500 miles around the state to attend fellowship events ...

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August 12, 2021

Sioux Native Americans: Their History, Culture, and Traditions

The Sioux are one of the largest and oldest Native American tribes in North America, dating back three thousand years. With a territory that spanned thousands of square miles at the peak of their stre...

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August 1, 2021

The Tradition of the Powwow

The Native American culture is a living, breathing entity. It is a tapestry of tradition and values passed on from generation to generation. One tradition that exemplifies the love of family and commu...

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July 25, 2021

Chief Crazy Horse: The Red Man has Great Heroes Also

Resting high above the treetops of the Black Hills (Paha Sapa), sacred lands of his people, a monument of Crazy Horse (Tȟašúŋke Witkó), legendary Oglala Lakota warrior, acts as a sentinel and symbol o...

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July 18, 2021

Hope Report: June 2021

Let’s label June: Fellows’ Catchup Month. COVID-19 directly impacted the Native Hope fellows and their hopes for their fellowships. However, throughout June, several of our fellows started their long-...

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July 11, 2021

Reclaiming Sacred Places: No Longer Harney Peak

Andrew Jackson, James Monroe, Ulysses S. Grant, Andrew Johnson, Jefferson Davis, Franklin Pierce, Phillip Sheridan, Abraham Lincoln, and James Polk were among the contemporaries of William S. Harney, ...

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June 13, 2021

Hope Report: May 2021

May gave the team multiple opportunities to expand our horizons. The beautiful spring weather helped us renew and create friendships. It was refreshing to hit the road with a sense of hopefulness as o...

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June 6, 2021

A Letter from Jesse

Jesse E., 16, participates in Sacred Hoops, a basketball program which provides opportunities for South Dakota youth to develop skills, travel, and compete. In order to participate in such a program, ...

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June 3, 2021

Mental Health issues from historical trauma plague Native Americans

People claim to “be there” for the 1 in 5 who suffer from mental health issues. However, those who suffer, particularly from multiple layers of trauma, feel alone a majority of their days. The reality...

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May 16, 2021

Hope Report: April 2021

April brings the promise of renewed strength, not only because the days are warmer but also because energy fills the air. With this energy, the Native Hope team leaped into spring with a sense of purp...

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May 13, 2021

Keeping the Spirit Alive

"Keeping the Spirit Alive:" these words have become my mantra. They are also my commitment. They call me to walk in the ways of my ancestors, who lived in peace, beauty, and knowledge with all of Crea...

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May 2, 2021

Pueblo Native Americans: Their History, Culture, and Traditions

There are currently 6.7 million Native Americans living in the United States. However... Living descendants of the Pueblo Native American tribe only make up 1.2 percent of that number. While Pueblo Na...

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April 19, 2021

Hope Report: March 2021

March raced by all of us, but not before the Native Hope team, and our partners were able to do some amazing work. From food deliveries to storytelling, every day provides hope thanks to you!

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April 15, 2021

U.S. Representative Deb Haaland Reflects on her Pueblo Heritage

Deb Haaland, who served as the U.S. representative for New Mexico's 1st congressional district from 2019 to 2021, is in the habit of making headlines and history. On March 15, 2021, President Joe Bide...

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April 11, 2021

Caring for Our Nation

I thank God I have the opportunity to actually care, not just for Lower Brule but also for our entire nation. It’s time for our people to change our mindset and to break free from all the different ty...

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April 7, 2021

Native Beauty, According to a Native Woman

All throughout my childhood, my mom always reminded me that each person is made up of four components: physical, which is your physical body; emotional, your emotional state along with your feelings; ...

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March 29, 2021

The Rainbow Warrior

"Our ancient prophesies say a time will come when the blue sky and waters turn black and green things turn brown and die. Animals and fish will disappear, and birds will drop from the sky. This devast...

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March 25, 2021

Native American family: It takes a village

We have all heard it said that "It takes a Village to Raise a Child." I've been thinking about the true meaning behind these words. It is not about capability; it is about contribution. It takes many ...

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March 11, 2021

Hope Report: February 2021

"Philamayaye (thank you). For your assistance of prayers, food boxes, gifts of sage/sweetgrass, and generosity," wrote a member of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe (Kul Wícasa Oyate). A card arrived at our...

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March 4, 2021

The birth of a mesa and a mountain

The idea was suddenly and unexpectedly born in 1995. I was living at my mother's house on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation in eastern Arizona. Fresh out of high school and newly a father, my prospec...

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February 25, 2021

Winter Count, then and now

In my ancestors' time, the Wanietu Iyawapi or Winter Count was how we recorded our history from "first snow winter to first snow winter." The Winter Count was the way we passed down our history from o...

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February 21, 2021

A Simple HELLO Gives Hope

What does changing the course of someone’s life look like? Is it possible that a simple gesture, a smile, a note, a hello can stop someone from taking his or her life? According to those who have eith...

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February 12, 2021

Native American land and loss - Part 3

"The Dawes Act affects me every day," explains Peter Lengkeek, Tribal Chairman of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe (Hunkpati Oyate). Peter holds out his hand and continues, "Because of the Dawes Act, I own ...

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February 8, 2021

Hope Report: January 2021

Working hand-in-hand to help those in need during this pandemic is an honor. Each week we visit with our contacts, tribal employees and program directors, to determine the needs of the children, elder...

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February 5, 2021

December Hope Report

Giving fills the heart with warmth. This holiday season, Native Hope experienced the immense generosity of our supporters and partners. Their joy of giving allowed us to provide toys, food, clothing, ...

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January 7, 2021

Native American land and loss - Part 2

"A little knowledge is a dangerous thing." In the first installment of this series, I mention this notion regarding Native American Land and Loss. The age-old phrase still applies as we look at aspect...

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January 3, 2021

An education journey and the need to go further

My reservation, the Crow Creek Indian Reservation, lies along the Missouri River in the middle of South Dakota, where long stretches of land move like waves. Riding in the car to and from Chamberlain ...

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December 20, 2020

Native American land and loss

According to Google Maps, the United States of America is 3.797 million square miles (mi²). New England measures in around 46,000 mi² (Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rh...

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December 14, 2020

Holiday Hope Report

Never lose hope. Storms make people stronger and never last forever. -Roy T. Bennett The COVID-19 storm wages on. Relatives, on and off reservations, are battling the virus in high numbers—many need s...

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December 6, 2020

September Hope Report

All relatives living on Unci Maka (Grandmother Earth) continue to endure the effects of COVID-19. On reservations, many do so on slim resources. We continue to assist those in need with groceries, cle...

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October 11, 2020

Chief Standing Bear's legacy, civil rights leader of his time - Part 3

“That hand is not the color of yours, but if I prick it, the blood will flow, and I shall feel pain. The blood is of the same color as yours. God made me, and I am a man." -Chief Standing Bear, Ponca ...

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October 4, 2020

Chief Standing Bear's legacy, civil rights leader of his time - Part 2

"At last, I see a rift in the rocks. A little way beyond, there are green prairies. The swift-running water, the Niobrara, pours down between the green hills. There are the graves of my fathers…" - Ch...

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September 29, 2020

Chief Standing Bear's legacy, civil rights leader of his time - Part 1

“I seem to be standing on a high bank of a great river, with my wife and little girl at my side. I cannot cross the river, and impassable cliffs arise behind me. I hear the noise of great waters; I lo...

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September 22, 2020

August Hope Report

Along with the heat, August delivered several opportunities to support our relatives on local reservations and in schools. While COVID-19 has altered many of the typical August festivities around the ...

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September 15, 2020

July Hope Report

July brought sounds of happiness and sights of joy for our team, volunteers, and communities. We spent the past 18 weeks making new friendships and establishing valuable bonds—bonds that will extend w...

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August 9, 2020

COVID-19 Increases Food Insecurity on Reservations

Did you know 1 in 4 Native Americans experience food insecurity? It’s true. Unfortunately, hunger and malnutrition are very common on America’s reservations. Statistically, “households of Native Ameri...

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July 22, 2020

Native American Animals: the Elk, a Protector and Relative

Native American tribes hold the elk, wapiti (Shawnee and Cree) or Heȟáka (Lakota), in high esteem and consider him a relative—a relative who brings strength, endurance, and patience. Tribal Nations ea...

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July 19, 2020

Dakota Access Pipeline Update

“Mní Wiconí” (Water is Life) finds new breath. On July 6, 2020, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg, a judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, ruled in favor of the Standing Rock...

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July 17, 2020

June Hope Report

“To focus on anything has been hard. I have been beading, fishing, mowing—even other people’s lawns, just to keep my mind off of everything [COVID-19],” shares Lower Brule community member and mother ...

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July 8, 2020

[COVID-19] destroying bonds between tribal communities and families

In a time when we say, “We’re all in this together,” those who are affected by COVID-19 don’t always feel that way. “There is a lot of fear and anxiety because everyone is shut in. Those who have it [...

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July 2, 2020

Fellowship and Native American Leaders Today

Native Americans built their communities on the idea of “mutual support” and friendship. For centuries the Native tribes of this continent survived on networking, not only by living in harmony with ea...

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June 26, 2020

Standing in the Eye of the Hurricane: Learning from Tiny DeCory

“Native American Youth Suicide Rates Are at Crisis Levels”—Huffington Post “Pine Ridge Indian Reservation Struggles with Suicides Among Its Young” —New York Times “Spate of Youth Suicides Shake Pine R...

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June 25, 2020

He is a Runner, He is a Warrior

It is still dark when Waylon rises. As the first rays of sunlight peer over the hills, he ties his shoes, adjusts his headphones, steps out into the dusky morning. He runs mile after mile, reflecting ...

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June 23, 2020

Making miracles and providing hope for children and families

If adults think navigating COVID-19 is a challenge, imagine the view from the eyes of a child. Think of the sweeping changes in their routines! Every household, every community, every state, every cou...

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June 17, 2020

Native American Animals: the Bear (Mato) is a gift to Mother Earth and her people

Most Native American tribes revere the bear. Like the turtle, each tribe’s cultural view of the bear varies; however, at the core, the bear represents authority, good medicine, courage, and strength. ...

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June 7, 2020

May Hope Report

In our April Hope Report, we described the food insecurity many tribal nations face. COVID-19 has amplified the need for assistance in Native communities, especially now. When schools closed for the s...

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June 5, 2020

Fellowships for a better tomorrow in Indian Country

Who determines what is important to Indian Country? The People. Often, organizations and donors drum up ideas to “create change” to “move the needle.” They sit around a table and hash out how to be im...

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May 29, 2020

Water warrior from the Navajo Nation

It is crazy that in a time which demands distancing, the most vital of connections are made. Thank you, Facebook and Facebook Messenger, for without you, we may not have connected with Zoel Zohnnie, f...

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May 20, 2020

Native Hope's Fellowships for 2020-2021

Native Americans built their communities on the idea of “mutual support” and friendship. For centuries the Native tribes of this continent survived on networking, not only by living in harmony with ea...

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May 17, 2020

April Hope Report

What is needed? Simply stated, security. Security comes in many forms: food, cleaning supplies, diapers, masks. Security means that needs are met. That is what we have been working on this month, with...

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May 14, 2020

A Mother's Day tribute: My matrilineal strength and the creative path

Before my earthly arrival, my grandmother, mother, and closest aunt were set in their unique passions. Being born into a life surrounded by strong female role models. I, like many Diné young women, gr...

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May 10, 2020

Celebrating the power of Native women and Native mothers

The Legend of the White Buffalo Woman One summer a long time ago, the seven sacred council fires of the Lakota Sioux came together and camped. The sun was strong, and the people were starving, for the...

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May 9, 2020

Native American Animals: Horse (Sun'ka wakan) is a Relative to the People

To the Lakota and Dakota, the horse is a relative. What does it mean to be a relative? It is more than a connection through blood—it is spiritual. Although history tells us that the modern-day horse a...

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April 29, 2020

Native American reservations in South Dakota brace for the coronavirus

COVID-19 is blasting minorities and underserved populations at an alarming rate. One member of the Crow Creek Indian Reservation in South Dakota remarked that if COVID-19 hits, it will “spread like wi...

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April 24, 2020

Native American Animals: The Turtle (Keya) Symbolizes Grandmother Earth (Unci Maka)

Turtle–Keya The turtle is a sacred creature among Native American tribes. Each tribe’s cultural view of the turtle/tortoise, is slightly different; however, the deeper meaning remains the same: the tu...

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April 13, 2020

IHS sorely underfunded despite tribal leaders' request for supplies.

This April all communities around the world are striving to defeat an unseen killer among us—COVID-19. Coincidently, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health [OMH] ce...

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April 8, 2020

March Hope Report

March was filled with giving hope and sharing love with the various community members and tribal organizations—partnering to helping those in need. In response to COVID-19, multiple trips to the local...

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April 3, 2020

"It doesn't have to be a life sentence..." Part 2

“Something good must come out of this. All it takes is one more time, one more try, one more prayer,” offered Gifford Standing, recovering meth addict.

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March 31, 2020

Recovering addicts, "It doesn't have to be a life sentence..."

“The effect it [drug court] had on me was it opened my eyes to reality, because it [meth] wasn't only hurting me—it was hurting my family,” shares Jason Goodface, recovering meth addict and Lower Brul...

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March 31, 2020

Native American Animals: the buffalo (tatanka) provided “life”

Tatanka is Lakóta for “big beast” or buffalo. It roamed the plains of North America in prolific herds.n fact, 200 years ago, tens of millions of buffalo roamed the plains of North America, but by 1884...

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March 25, 2020

InvenTeam grant positively impacts Lower Brule community.

Tribal School Wins MIT Grant Lower Brule High School, Lower Brule, SD, received a $10,000 InvenTeam grant from Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT]—not only are they the first South Dakota reci...

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March 17, 2020

Does basketball provide a sense of inner peace and purpose?

It never took much effort to find a game of basketball on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. If the weather was decent, all you needed was a ball and a hoop. When the sound of the ball slapping the pa...

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March 13, 2020

February Hope Report

Thanks to donors like you, February was filled with giving hope and sharing love. Native Hope was able to assist with various community events and worked with local organizations to help those in need...

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March 3, 2020

Making a Difference with a Message of Hope

Today, we celebrate love, caring, and compassion for others. Thank you for sharing messages with people who need your support.

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February 15, 2020

Organizations focus on giving hope and sharing love for Valentine's Day

February reminds us of love, support, and caring for one another. It also reminds us that there are so many people in the world who are hurting. We would like to highlight two other organizations doin...

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February 13, 2020

January: In the Field with Native Hope

In addition to sponsoring J. Dakotah, sex trafficking survivor, for 5 local audiences, Native Hope donor funds new van for patients in need.

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February 6, 2020

Live to Tell Podcast Seeks to Address Topics Kept in the Margins

While January is coming to a close, we cannot forget that each day Indigenous women and children are disappearing at alarming rates. Prevention is key and the best prevention is awareness. If you see ...

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January 30, 2020

Building Strong Women

Communality, it is a word borrowed from our Indigenous relatives of the South. It is defined as “the state or condition of being communal. A feeling or spirit of cooperation and belonging arising from...

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January 28, 2020

A Victim of Sex Trafficking Speaks at Local Events

J.Dakotah, a survivor, believes in the power of healing through sharing her experience in order to prevent others from the abuse she suffered. January is National Human Trafficking Prevention month. I...

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January 22, 2020

December Events Raise Awareness and Strengthen Community Ties

Our community outreach efforts in December were the highlight of our holidays! Thanks to the generosity of our supporters and the work of other local organizations, Native Hope was able to provide gif...

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January 14, 2020

Spotlight: January is Human Trafficking Prevention Month

In 2010, President Obama declared January National Human Trafficking Awareness month and the United States Senate designated January 11 as National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Human trafficking h...

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January 11, 2020

Living to Tell: A Sex Trafficking Victim's Account

While this article was originally written and published in 2016, its contents are still relevant, today. In fact, according to Business Insider, "Since 2007, more than 49,000 cases of human traffickin...

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January 9, 2020

The Healing Power of Stories

Photo Courtesy of the South Dakota Humanities Council Whenever the winter wind began to howl on a cold night on the plateau above the Makizita Wakpa—now known as the Little White River—my boyish appre...

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January 6, 2020

On December 26, 1862, 38 Dakota men publicly executed in Mankato, MN

After Native Hope team member ran the Dakota 38 Memorial Run in December 2018, she wrote this post. Earlier this month, we shared a post about this year's (2019) Memorial Ride, so we thought it import...

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December 26, 2019

Growing Strong Together: Horses Inspire Healing for Native Youth

Native Hope collaborated with the Growing Strong Together founder, Shane Avery, Santee, Nebraska, and youth participants to tell the story of the strength Native youth are finding from the Horse Natio...

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December 18, 2019

Changing Culture through Community Engagement

This week's blog shares updates from members of the Native Hope team about the ways we have been working in local communities to engage young people in Native culture and bring awareness to the beauty...

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December 13, 2019

Annual Ride Honors the Dakota 38 and Brings Healing from Trauma

As I write this, it is 7 degrees and windy outside. I am thinking about the relatives of the Hunkpati Oyate (Crow Creek Indian Reservation)—those who endured the bitter cold winds of Mankato, Minnesot...

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December 11, 2019

Understanding the Realities of Reservation Life

*The name of this individual has been changed to protect identity. Michael* a transfer student from a neighboring tribal school, made his way to his desk—hoodie masking his drained eyes, body dragging...

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November 21, 2019

I Grew Up with Native Stereotypes. Here's Why I Changed My Mind.

Today's blog is a guest post written by Audreyanna Martin, a college student. We hope you find her powerful reflection on stereotypes and Native identity thought-provoking. I grew up in a small town a...

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November 15, 2019

Red Sand, New Van, and the Power of Positivity

The creativity and hopefulness among our community members is a constant source of inspiration for our work at Native Hope. In spite of adversity, there are people who wake up each day ready to fight ...

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November 8, 2019

Hand Games to Halloween: Busy October for Native Hope

October brought multiple opportunities to provide hope in action to our local schools and communities. We also continued our work on the baseball field of dreams with the Crow Creek District of the Cr...

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November 6, 2019

A New Way to Support Native Hope

We are launching a peer-to-peer fundraising program! Many of you are already passionate donors and supporters. We want to maximize your impact in Indian Country, so we have created more opportunities ...

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October 25, 2019

Powwows and Hand Sanitizer: Native Hope Meets Needs in Indian Country

As we move into fall, Native Hope has been hard at work on projects in our local South Dakota community. In addition to our recent successful campaign to raise money for a baseball field for Native ch...

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October 4, 2019

Book Donations Make a Difference for Native Children

In August, the Avera Health Employee Engagement Team of Sioux Falls filtered a book drive through Native Hope. Avera Health Employees donate books each summer, and the engagement team finds a partner ...

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September 27, 2019

Nikki and the Wolfpack Face Discrimination with Pride

One of our first Native Hope Fellows, Nikki Lowe of the Chickasaw Nation, continues to make small strides within her community that make a difference for Native youth. Currently residing in Albuquerqu...

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September 20, 2019

Becoming Officer Lowe—Native Hope Fellow Joins the BIA Police Force

It takes a special person to choose a career in law enforcement. As the first responders for protection and justice, the expectation is high for an officer to be fair, discerning, and strong. But what...

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September 13, 2019

The Trauma of Loss: Singing for Grief in “Watch Over Me”

In today's post, Talon Bazille Ducheneaux/ShootsTheEnemy, founder of Wonahun Was’te’ Records, shares about grief in Native American communities and how one special song came to life in the wake of a p...

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September 6, 2019

Native Hope Leaders’ Society “Siouxper Elite” Peer to Peer Impact

Native Hope Leaders’ Society member Ramez wants to create a positive impact on his friends and classmates from his native community. That’s why Ramez volunteers his time to teach youth and families to...

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August 21, 2019

Coming Together to Build a Field for Native Youth

Early this spring, a group of Native parents in a remote community on the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe Reservation began to dream about a baseball field for their community. They knew they needed healthy ac...

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August 6, 2019

Lose the Language, Lose the Culture

Imagine losing the ability to question, to state, to joke, to think. Language is the core of expression and offers a unique view of the world. It encompasses a history—the history of a people and thei...

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August 1, 2019

Music Is Medicine: The Journey and Conception of Wonahun Was’te’ Records

Special thanks to Talon Bazille Ducheneaux/ShootsTheEnemy for sharing his story below. When I began my journey as a “hip hop artist” I honestly didn’t think it would take me anywhere. I was highly inf...

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July 30, 2019

A Place to Grow

“If you build it, they will come.” An old adage, but according to the Crow Creek District [CCD] Representative Carla Pickner, a true one. Last summer, she saw the community come together day after day...

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July 17, 2019

Summers on the Rez: Community through Baseball

Summertime comes with familiar sights, sounds, and smells. The feeling of the sun baking your skin. The fireworks on the Fourth of July. The thwack of bat on ball when you head to the local baseball g...

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July 10, 2019

Connection and Empowerment for Native People: The Teachings of the Bow and Arrow

Most Americans think of the bow and arrow as a tool for hunting or sports. But writer and craftsman Joseph Marshall III has always seen the bow and arrow as a source of spiritual guidance. In Lakota c...

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June 21, 2019

Purity in Pine Ridge: The Native American Bow and Arrow

Google “Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.” The search results may reveal the following words: broken, failing, suicide, forgotten, and third-world. However, Native Hope knows that Pine Ridge is so much m...

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June 7, 2019

Native American Culture and Yoga: A Healing Partnership

All great cultures have traditions and teachings that offer truth for our lives today. Whether these traditions and teachings are spiritual, philosophical, or physical, they all serve to connect prese...

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May 31, 2019

The Untold Story: Living the Dakota 38 Memorial

The following post was written by Native Hope team member, Alexis Estes, after her experience running in the Dakota 38 Memorial in December 2018. This post is the first of a series of stories that are...

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April 2, 2019

Native Hope Leaders’ Society- The Importance of Support

Most Native youth don’t get the support they need from families or others, and some families don’t encourage their kids. The Pygmalion effect helps explain this: people tend to perform at the level th...

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March 29, 2019

A Trip to the UN: Healing Art Practices and the Transformation of Story

It's not every day that you get to share your story with one of the world's most powerful organizations and add your voice to the global conversation. On March 12th, 2019, Alexis Woksape Ole Winyan (S...

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March 15, 2019

Building a Culture of Endurance: A Video Interview with Dirk Whitebreast

The day Dirk Whitebreast lost his sister was the last day he touched alcohol. A member of the Sac and Fox tribe (Meskwaki Nation), Whitebreast and his two sisters were raised by his grandmother and gr...

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March 7, 2019

What the Lakota Nation Invitational Means for Native American Youth

The year is 1973. On Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, the site of the 1890 Wounded Knee massacre, members of the American Indian Movement are engaged in an extended protest and stand-off with m...

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February 15, 2019

Wayne William Snellgrove, Man of Two Mothers

The folllowing biographical story was written by Charlotte Miller and shared with Native Hope by Wayne Smoke-Snellgrove. Wayne William Snellgrove stepped off the tiny duel prop plane in Wadena, Saskat...

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January 9, 2019

In the Field with Native Hope: December

As 2018 winds to a close, we're back with one more "In the Field" post! We love taking some time at the end of each month to share with you about the work we have done in our community and throughout ...

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December 21, 2018

Embracing Cultural Identity

Native Hope has been tackling some extremely urgent issues plaguing Native American youth living on reservations today. The truth can be unsettling, but it needs to be told. Most importantly, real peo...

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December 12, 2018

A Sense of Belonging, a Sense of Home

Who are we without a home? Every human being longs to have a space where they are safe, where they are loved, where their spirit feels at peace. For many, the best word to capture this sense of securi...

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December 11, 2018

In the Field with Native Hope: November

The Native Hope team is back with some updates on our work in the last month! Through the power of the internet and social media, we are able to have larger conversations with the country and world ab...

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November 29, 2018

Sharing Stories can Bring Healing and Inspire Hope

“A word has power in and of itself. It comes from nothing into sound and meaning; it gives origin to all things.” -N. Scott Momaday, Native American author Most of us are surrounded by stories. Whethe...

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November 15, 2018

"Writing Was My Outlet, My Church": Poetry and Wisdom from Sunny Red Bear, Native Author and Activist

This November, Native Hope launched a movement of healing, solidarity, and hope focused on hearing and sharing Native stories. #StorytellingHeals is an effort to share more stories of hope, creativity...

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November 9, 2018

In the Field with Native Hope: October

As we move into the month of November and begin to share stories from Natives around the country who are participating in the #StorytellingHeals movement, we are also celebrating and sharing the work ...

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November 5, 2018

Bus Tours, Art Shows and More: In the Field with Native Hope

The Native Hope team is back with another update about our events and activities in the last month! Our mission is about hope and healing, and a huge part of hope is sharing about the positive activit...

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October 1, 2018

How Trauma Gets Passed Down Through Generations

There are doubts and conversations that play out often in the heads of those who suffer from psychological and emotional wounds. “Maybe I’m exaggerating. Why do I have to be so dramatic about what hap...

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September 14, 2018

The Science Behind the Healing Power of Storytelling

Have you ever been so wrapped up in a story that you forgot about your worries and escaped from your troubles? Have you ever been hungry to find out what happens next in a story about make-believe peo...

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August 10, 2018

Rally Together: Bringing Dignity to Women

On a beautiful sunny, Sunday afternoon, along the shores of the Missouri River and the rolling hills of the plains, “Dignity” stands, casting her peaceful gaze across the waters, overlooking Interstat...

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August 2, 2018

In The Field with Native Hope

Our team has been busy the past few months attending various events out in the field to inspire hope for Natives and teach the youth the importance of values and education. Continue reading to see wha...

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July 27, 2018

Telling the Native Story: Three New Resources to Inspire Hope

Here at Native Hope, we are committed to creating a space where the Native story can be experienced, where Native voices are heard, and where Natives can inspire other Natives to move toward hope and ...

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July 19, 2018

Capturing the Heart: Healing Through Art and Story

At Native Hope, we work every day to empower and strengthen Native American youth. We know how many challenges they face—from abuse, addiction, and hunger to trauma and a lack of job opportunities in ...

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June 29, 2018

Creating Space to Tell Stories: The Lakota Dream Museum

“I knew growing up that at some point I was supposed to be the things I learned in the stories: compassionate, honorable, and brave, and so forth. I knew this because the storytellers lived the lesson...

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June 21, 2018

Show Them Love Without Limits: Native American Fathers Share Stories

Here at Native Hope, we celebrate the many strong and powerful Native American fathers and father figures who are shaping the lives of our young people today. Through their lives and sacrifices, they ...

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June 14, 2018

Be Indigenous Yoga Inspired: Haley's Healing Journey

Haley Laughter, the founder and CEO of Hozho Total Wellness, is on a mission to help Indigenous people heal through the conscious physical movements of yoga. Haley grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah and ...

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June 7, 2018

Breaking Barriers: Honoring the Children

“Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children.” - Sitting Bull Native Hope prides itself in working to empower Native Americans in a multitude of ways, and this spring,...

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June 1, 2018

Understanding Historical Trauma and Native Americans

Strength, courage, and resilience have always been a part of who we are as Native peoples. But many, many years ago, the Native way of life was disrupted and destroyed by European settlers. Native Ame...

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May 25, 2018

May Is Mental Health Awareness Month

In March of this year, Native Hope Fellow, Yvonne “Tiny” DeCory, an activist and suicide prevention specialist, spoke on a panel at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. about the lack of m...

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May 18, 2018

Highlights from the Healthy Active Natives Tour

Total wellness. The healing and strengthening of mind, body, and spirit through an active and encouraging community. This is the goal of the Healthy Active Natives [HANs] movement. This group has crea...

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April 26, 2018

Native Max Beauty

Our Native American culture is a living, breathing entity. It is a tapestry of tradition and values passed on from generation to generation. Today, many of us are aware of the challenges facing Indian...

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March 1, 2018

Showcasing Native American Culture at Super Bowl Live Fan Festival

On January 29 and 30, Native Hope Leaders’ Society and Blue Voice Drum Group from Marty Indian School traveled to Minneapolis, Minnesota, to perform at the first ever “Drum Down, Sun Down” event durin...

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February 28, 2018

Seizing Opportunities to Educate Others

On Tuesday and Wednesday, February 20 and 21, Native Hope was given the opportunity to speak at a Rotarian Event and at the ImpactHub in Boston, MA, respectively. Launching her fellowship program, Nik...

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February 24, 2018

Writing His Own Future: Jatonne's Story

To know Jatonne is to love Jatonne. "Growing up, I always thought there was a certain way people thought I should look…a certain way people thought I should be," he explains. Music has always been his...

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February 13, 2018

Native Hope's Mission: A Voice to Young Native Americans

Recently, Native Hope was recognized by the South Dakota Hall of Fame for it's excellence in addressing the trials and struggles many young Native Americans are facing today. Terry Woster, retired jou...

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February 6, 2018

The Native American Identity Crisis and the Rise of Suicide

Our nation is a melting pot of ethnicity, culture, and belief systems from around the globe. We encourage each other’s differences and seek to embrace uniqueness and expressions of individuality. Howe...

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February 1, 2018

The Fire Within Her

For 28 days it burned. Swallowing cords of word, the flame became a member of the tribe, a confidant to prayers, and promise of renewal. It was fed by stories of hurt and despair. Day after day, the f...

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January 25, 2018

Drum Down Sundown

Native Hope is taking a group of Native American students on an unbelievable opportunity. They have been invited to perform at the Super Bowl LIVE Fan Festival in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during the we...

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January 19, 2018

Two Worlds, One Journey

Each of us has a unique story to tell. Our journeys are colored with varying experiences and upbringings, often shaped and molded by some aspect of our different cultures. For some of us, we have very...

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January 12, 2018

A Spark—Alexus Little

“I’m doing something. You can do something. Be a light for everyone else around you,” encourages Alexus Little, a member of the Cherokee nation who lives on the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe reservation in ...

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January 5, 2018

Hope in Action Fall/Winter '17

The past several months have been full of exciting events at Native Hope. Here are just a few of our Fall '17 highlights:

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December 28, 2017

Hold On

At Native Hope we are on a journey to offer tangible hope to our Native American communities. We want to equip Native people with the tools and resources they need to overcome the struggles and obstac...

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December 21, 2017

December Spotlight: Homes for the Holidays

The rate of meth use among Native Americans is the highest of any ethnicity in the country and more than twice as high as any other group, according to the National Congress of American Indians. This ...

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December 13, 2017

Our Healing Begins with Storytelling.

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