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 Native Hope, it represents MMIW (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.) Did you know that while only 8.75% of South Dakota’s population is Native, nearly 40% of the state’s sex trafficking victims are Native women and children?
To Spread the Sand, is to Raise Awareness.
Throughout the month of October we partnered with the Red Sand Project to spread red sand to represent those who fall through the cracks, to raise awareness, and to make a difference. The Native Hope team was able to spread red sand in three counties, five towns and over forty businesses. Not only did we spread Red Sand throughout our local communities, but also so many of our wonderful donors participated across the country. We fell short of our goal but you can still participate. Join the movement today.
MMIW Walk for Tessa
Lily Mendoza, Red Ribbon Skirt Society founder, invited Native Hope to attend a Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Memorial Walk in honor of Tessa L. Curley. Tessa’s mother spoke, warning other women and girls we are not safe; check on your loved ones. Red Ribbon Skirt Society member Darla Black performed the opening prayer, Wiping of Tears ceremony and a special red ribbon tree ceremony. This event was sponsored by the Red Ribbon Skirt Society and the Sacred Heart Center, a domestic violence shelter in Eagle Butte, S.D. (and link)
Boxes, Boxes, and MORE Boxes.
We had the opportunity to supply local reservations, and not-so-local reservations with over 3,000 boxes filled with various items, specifically winter supplies, clothing and hygiene items. This time of year, winter supplies (children’s coats in particular) are one of our significant requests. Thanks to those who donated to our Back to Basics, we are able to make this happen. A special thank you to J. Dakotah for her generous gift of all-natural teas, sage, and lap blankets.
“COVID is bringing out the generosity in people.”
We provided our Lower Brule tribal contact with an assortment of meals and cleaning supplies for eleven families now in quarantine. When you donate to our Back to Basics, COVID-19 assistance is one of the many responses you help us provide.
Filming Hóčhocka Podcast
The anchoring belief of our mission is that storytelling provides healing and inspires hope. We partner with St. Joseph’s Indian School to develop their Hóčhoka podcast series. This month, Native Hope filmed Makȟa Black Elk (Director of Truth and Healing at Red Cloud Indian School), Damian Costello (Scholar of Catholic Social Thought and Teaching and Native American Studies), and Jennie Schillling on Kid Whispering (Student Coordinator at St. Joseph’s Indian School.) In these podcasts you get a deeper look into the thoughts, efforts and backgrounds of these special guests. We look forward to these being live in the near future!
Native Hope also filmed the American Indian Catholic Schools Network, as they gathered for their Fall Board Summit at St. Joseph’s Indian School. The board heard three talks presented by Damian Costello, theologian and Director of Post Graduate Studies at NAIITS. He is the author of Black Elk: Colonialism and Lakota Catholicism. With Black Elk as the guide, he led the group to reflect on the potential to be fully Native American and fully Catholic.
Buffalo (Tȟatȟaŋka) Harvest
As October came to a close our very own Native Hope Fellow Jama Bourne gave us the honor to attend her buffalo hunt. Once the buffalo was taken down, a field dressing ceremony was performed. In this ceremony, George, a Crow Creek Tribal School cultural teacher, gave the tȟatȟaŋka food and water for his journey into the spirit world. He then prayed for the buffalo while another Crow Creek tribal member performed a prayer song and a mourning song. Everyone in attendance showed their respect and gave their condolences to their fallen relative. This harvest will provide meat for the elders in Jama’s community. Special thanks to the Crow Creek Department of Wildlife and Natural Resources for their assistance with the buffalo hunt. We want to extend a thank you to our donors. Because of you, we can support those keeping Native American traditions alive.
Throughout November, we look forward to celebrating
Native American Heritage month with our generous donors. Wópila Tȟáŋka!