Journey to Wellness in Indian Country

Journey to Wellness // Monday 8:00am
A 10-minute bi-weekly program on Native American Community Health in MN and around the country in partnership with the University of Minnesota Medical School- Duluth Campus, Center of American Indian and Minority Health. The program will feature interviews with medical and health researchers, professors and doctors plus native people active in Native American health today. Journey to Wellness on KUMD is made possible by Ampers and the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.  

Here's a much-needed silver lining in our new and challenging times: Dr. Linda LeGarde Grover says 112 people joined her for the Department of American Indian Studies' first Zoom presentation; many more, she says, than would ever have been able to attend in person.

The Osage shield on the Oklahoma state flag shows a Plains-style ceremonial pipe representing Native Americans, and an olive branch representing European Americans. The symbols are meant to demonstrate "a love of peace by a united people."

Steve Premo/MNHS Press

This program was originally aired March 9, 2020.

Copyright Deb Holman. Used with permission.

Last week, the Twin Ports/Fond du Lac chapter of the American Indian Movement (AIM)marched to bring visibility to homelessness in Duluth. 

And visibility was the idea.  Everyone sees construction workers, says Phoebe Davis, a member of the city's Indigenous Commission (and a longtime KUMD volunteer), so marchers were clad in borrowed reflective vests.

Keri Pickett/
Keri Pickett/PICKETT PICTURES LLC

In years past Honor the Earth was able to host an annual gala event at Bayfront Festival Park to raise grant funding for native organizations.  In May of this year, undaunted by the challenges of a pandemic, two of the Honor the Earth cofounders, Winona LaDuke, and Amy Ray and Emily Saliers of Indigo Girls, staged an online music event that raised $230,000 of grant money that will be awarded to 50 native organizations around the U.S.

MMIWG-FFADA

(This episode of Journey to Wellness originally aired June 17, 2019.  Look for an updated list of links at the end of  this story.)

Canada has finished its three-year inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous woman and girls. And they're calling it genocide. Is that the right word?

 And why does Canada seem to be so much further along the road to acknowledging historical wrongs and trying to make reparation than the US?

National Archives

On the far end of the Trail of Tears was a promise. Forced to leave their ancestral lands in Georgia and Alabama, the Creek Nation received assurances that their new lands in the West would be secure forever. In exchange for ceding“all their land, East of the Mississippi river,” the U. S. government agreed by treaty that “[t]he Creek country west of the Mississippi shall be solemnly guarantied to the Creek Indians.

Dr. Antony Stately

Last time, Dr Antony Stately joined us from Minneapolis to talk about the challenges of a COVID-19 pandemic in the midst of an underserved, vulnerable population.

As the CEO of the Native American Community Clinic, that's his job, made even more challenging by the riots that sprang up in the neighborhood after George Floyd's death May 25.

This week, he talks to us as a father, a member of the community, and a man who grew up in that neighborhood.

Native American Community Clinic

Around the middle of May, an article came out in Indian Country Today warning that, even though Native Americans in Minnesota have largely escaped the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic, a quote - dire forecast for June  has housing, health care and homelessness advocates bracing for the worst - unquote.

Lisa Johnson

Dr. Mary Owen sees many of the people around her just going about business as usual.

She admits she doesn't know if underneath, they're as upset and angry as she is or not.

The death of George Floyd last week has brought black and brown people together to protest a shared history of systemic racism, violence and death, and it's no surprise that Indigenous leaders and community members joined the protest and march Saturday afternoon in Duluth.

©Lisa Johnson

Looking around, it's hard to know where to start.

Worries and fears about physical safety, economic safety - your kids, your parents, your job ...

Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College/Facebook

Most students, parents, and teachers aren't huge fans of distance learning, but for Indigenous students and tribal colleges, it's alot more than just a nuisance.

At 4pm on Friday, March 27th, just at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and national shut-downs, the chairman of the of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe got a phone call from the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

But instead of the offer of help he was expecting, he was told the Department of the Interior was taking their land out of trust.

Fibonacci Blue/Flickr

Despite the pandemic, despite the stay-at-home orders, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency wants to go ahead with a series of  "telephone town hall meetings" about the approval/disapproval of some permits for the Line 3 tar sands pipeline.

Lummi Communications/Facebook

Native people in America are facing the same situation the rest of the country finds itself in - but with a few significant differences.

Testing supplies and personal protection equipment are in short supply, as they are everywhere else, but among Native people, there is a disproportionate level of infectious disease, with 1 to 3 times the mortality of the overall population.

There is a higher level of lung disease and diabetes, many Native communities lack safe water  and a quarter of the people are uninsured.

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