Lenny Foster on “Make No Bones About It. 2-7-2016, 4pm

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In May of 1972, a group of spiritual leaders involved in the American Indian Movement (AIM) went to Minnesota’s Stillwater prison to perform a traditional Native American Pipe Ceremony. For 23-year-old Lenny Foster, one of the youngest AIM participants, this powerful experience would set the direction for his life’s work. “It had a profound impact on me,” he says. “I could see the hope on [the prisoners’] faces. I felt so good that I could pray in my native tongue. That was fate. Destiny.” Recognizing the importance of traditional Native American religious practice as a source of strength and a necessary means of cultural preservation, Lenny has spent the last 28 years fighting to ensure that incarcerated Native Americans have the right to worship with access to their traditional ceremonies.

Lenny grew up in Fort Defiance, Arizona, with his mother and his father, a Navajo code talker during World War II. Lenny attended an Indian school as a day student and lived with his grandparents on a traditional Navajo sheep camp over the summers. “This traditional upbringing serves as a foundation of who I am today,” he says. “I’ve made it my calling to go to institutions where Native Americans are incarcerated and share it with those who didn’t have the opportunity to learn the traditions and to draw strength from their spiritual heritage.”

After trying out unsuccessfully for the Los Angeles Dodgers’ farm team, Lenny went to Arizona Western Junior College and then to Colorado State University. In college, he had his first exposure to the civil rights movement. “People were talking about riots in Detroit and Malcolm X and Martin Luther King,” Lenny says, “and I was wondering—where do I fit in?” Lenny joined the American Indian Movement.

In 1970, he was involved in the occupation of Alcatraz and, in 1972, in the Trail of Broken Treaties Caravan and the Bureau of Indian Affairs take-over in Washington, D.C. He took part in the 71-day protest at Wounded Knee in 1973. In 1978, he participated in the Longest Walk, a seven-month journey from Alcatraz to Washington, D.C., to protest proposed legislation that would eliminate the federal government’s fiduciary responsibilities to American Indian nations.

In 1981, as a graduate student in public administration, Lenny volunteered in the Arizona State prisons, where he constructed the first prison sweat lodge in the Southwest. Eventually he realized that his heart lay in this work, and he left his graduate program to pursue it full time. In 1983, the Navajo Nation tribal government began to support his efforts to provide spiritual counsel to incarcerated Native Americans. Today, as the Spiritual Advisor and Director of the Navajo Nations Corrections Project, he is responsible for the traditional spiritual guidance of 1500 inmates in 89 state and federal penitentiaries. “Many prison administrators don’t want Indian people to succeed. They are threatened by the return to spiritual beliefs and want to deny Indians the right to rehabilitate themselves through spirituality,” he says. He is troubled by the high rate of suicide among Native American prisoners, especially juveniles. “We’ve been made to feel ashamed—our long hair has been cut, our sweat lodges have been bulldozed, our eagle feathers have been broken—this results in so much pain and anger.”

Lenny draws strength from the growing support of the outside world for his cause. “I was overwhelmed to hear that Petra Shattuck, a German-American from the East Coast, was working for American Indian rights. I can say this much better in Dine,” he says, “but to be, through her life, drawn into a warrior society that believes in peace and dignity—for the red nations to join in this arena and share this solidarity means a great deal to me.”

Lenny has authored and co-authored legislation protecting the rights of incarcerated Native Americans in four states in the Southwest. He has testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on several occasions. He has been a board member of the International Indian Treaty Council since 1992. In January, 1998, Lenny’s testimony on the overlooked rights of American Indian prisoners was accepted by the United Nations Human Rights Commission. Later that same month, the Association of State Correctional Administrators accepted his proposal to develop standards for American Indian religious freedom within all correctional facilities.

A member of the Grand Council of AIM since 1992, a member of the Native American Church and an active Sundancer, Lenny is active in the protest of the forced relocation of the Dine people in Big Mountain, Arizona.

Lenny Foster is concerned that today’s American Indian youth are less exposed to the traditions that gave him strength. “The responsibility we have as Indian people to teach our children and youths is great—alcoholism, drugs, broken homes are everywhere—you don’t have the role models my generation had.” By offering those most in need of support the kind of spiritual guidance he had as a boy, Lenny Foster shoulders his responsibility to pass on tradition and, in so doing, to pass on strength.

http://www.petrafoundation.org/fellows/lenny-foster/

Joanne Shenandoah is an amazing human being. Please help support her and her beautiful family. Thank you so much my relatives!

Joanne Shenandoah is an amazing human being. Please help support her and her beautiful family. Thank you so much my relatives!
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ABOUT THIS CAMPAIGN
Joanne Shenandoah is a wolf clan member of the Oneida Nation, Haudenosaunee (Six Nations Iroquois) Confederacy. She is the mother of Leah Shenandoah, the wife of Doug George-Kanentiio, the sister of five siblings and the daughter of the late Maisie Shenandoah, Oneida clanmother, and Clifford Shenandoah, an Onondaga chief. She is a composer and performer, Native American Music Award winner, the co-chair of the US Attorney General’s Task Force on Preventing Child Abuse on Indian Territory, has acted in films, written music for documentaries, sang at seven Native American US Presidential inagurations, recorded 17 award winning albums, donated thousands of hours to communities and those in need and taken an active part in combating human rights abuses while becoming an advocate for universal peace.
She has represented her people on many commissions and before many forums. She sang at the Vatican to honor St. Kateri of the Mohawks and for his Holiness the Dalai Lama. She was awarded an honorary Ph.D. in music from Syracuse University. She has performed at the Parliament of the World’s Religions; whenever asked to use her talents she has responded.
Joanne contacted a serious abdominal infection this past summer which spread to her liver and resulted in its gradual failure. She has endured 4 long hospital stays and was in an induced coma for two weeks. As a result of the infection her liver is failing and she has been placed on the New York State liver transplant list. She is now subject to infections and pnuemonia while waiting a transplant. The waiting time for a transplant in New York may take a year or more leaving Joanne subject to repeated cycles of illness. The Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida does transplants at a much higher rate than in New York and is willing to take Joanne, meaning the operation and healing period is greatly reduced and she may return to good health. The Clinic requires the total payment to be made at the time of her acceptance into their program and the cost is comparable with other transplant centers.
The key is how soon this can be done. The longer Joanne waits the greater the stress on her physical health. She needs to undergo this procedure as soon as possible. The cost for the transplant, prolonged two month stay and all associated procedures is $450,000.00 which goes directly to the Mayo Clinic. Joanne’s family and friends are trying to reach this amount through insurance policies, catastrophic resources provided by the Indian Health Service and donations.
Joanne has been a beacon of light and inspiration for Native people everywhere. Her diginity and creativity has inspired and affected e she has met. She has been particulary sensitive to children and women of all backgrounds. A transplant means she can return to performing, to sharing her music and culture around the world. It means she can live. Her family is initiating this effort on behalf of one of North America’s most wonderful talents. Their gratitude, and that of Native people everywhere, will be immense. We cannot allow this light to be diminished. …”

Thana Redhawk on “Make No Bones About It.” Jan 31st, 2016 4-5pm

As an influential eloquent speaker, published poet and award winning spoken word artist, Thana Redhawk is a heaARTivist for the evolution in human consciousness. Through her poetry, music, activism and honoring sacred purpose in each being, she prays to empower others by decolonizing hearts through rEmbering what it means to be a human being. Thana currently hosts the radio show’s called Native Voices Radio on KPFN in Mendocino County, Ca and Native Nations Radio / Apache Radio. Thana is currently working on creating a new television channel “Indigenous Entertainment Television”, to bring indigenous content to the people, for the people, from the people. Thana is also a Board member of Native American Entertainment Coalition of California, Sacred World Peace Alliance (Protection of White Bison herd) both non profit organizations. As the Youngest Grandmother on the Grandmother’s Circle the Earth Council she feels we are here not to impress others, but to leave an inspired impression by keeping prayer strong, remembering everything is sacred and everything is related.
POEM
 
who Am I ?
Poetry… in movement
breathed into…
bone
flesh
blood
in material demensions
made of star dust
and Earth
made of dark
and light
swirling
through
galaxies
of frequencies
Backward
And
Forward
some where
in the river
of time
just like a
HUMMINGBIRD

Tara Trudell on “Make No Bones About It.” Jan 24th, 2016 at 4pm

trudellIt is through my artistic endeavor, combined with my passion for poetry that I am able to express fearlessness of spirit on behalf of my family, people, community, commitment to social justice awareness, and most importantly my love of earth.  Incorporating the visuals with the power of words, it is my goal to create work with a poetic sense of thought and action to produce art that encourages dialogue and strengthens community.

http://taratrudell.tumblr.com/

 

 

Cody Blackbird on “Make No Bones About It.” Jan 17th, 2016 at 4pm

“Not only is Cody Blackbird an incredible Native Flute player, but I love how he blends the Native sound with blues and classic rock. He and his band definitely know how to bring the heart and soul.” Bibi McGill, Musical Director/Lead Guitarist for Beyonce

“Cody’s music, which he terms “AlterNative Fusion,” sits in a class by itself in the music world” Buffalo ArtVoice

Cody Blackbird has been widely recognized as one of the worlds top Native American musicians touring today. Blending the old with the new, Cody merges the Native American flute with powerful vocals into contemporary blues rock sounds with The Cody Blackbird Band. The band has been compared to a hybrid Native version of the famous Blues rock band “Blues Traveler”
Featured on NBC, PBS, WGN, MSNBC, CNN and The NY Times Cody has performed over 1500 shows both nationally and internationally and with the band they plan on taking it to the next level. The Cody Blackbird Band has shared the bill with such artists as Arlo Guthrie, Lynyrd Skinard’s Rickey Medlocke, Peter, Paul and Mary’s Peter Yarrow, Nahko Bear, Xavier Rudd, and Reggae legends “Big Mountain”

Most recently Cody returned from a 7 day solo Japan Tour, playing Yamaha Corporate Headquarters “Yamaha Ginza” as well as Nagoya Yamaha and KIWA Hall in Tokyo in celebration of High Spirits Flutes 25th anniversary

The band is gearing up for their 2016 “All In” tour which will take them to over 25 different states, Australia, and Japan

They are currently recording their full length album to be released early new year of 2016

The Cody Blackbird Band is:
Xavier Torres on guitar, bass, vocals
Lewis Schwenk on guitar
Caleb Blackbird on Flute, Trumpet and vocals
Cody Blackbird, NA Flute, Lead Vocals

Anchorage Press

http://www.anchoragepress.com/music/alter-native

KTUU, NBC Affiliate
Buffalo ArtVoice
More on Cody Blackbird:
CBBIO15

Cheyenne Randall shares about his artwork on Make No Bones About It, Jan. 3rd, 2016 at 4pm

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“Coyotes Lair” mixed media on panel piece of art that Cheyenne made for John and his family “Celebrate Love. Celebrate Life” damn what an amazing dude.
-Cheyenne Randall

(art created by Cheyenne Randall)

The 36-year-old Seattle artist, who has been practicing Native American artwork for years, brings a special brand of creativity to classic images by Photoshopping uniquely American tattoos onto whatever skin is visible on the subjects. A Tumblr page called Shopped Tattoos showcases the artwork, as does an Instagram feed that includes more of Randall’s work and photographs. Cheyenne Randall, has created a bundle of iconic personalities from a parallel universe. One of his lates is Coyotes Lair in honor of the John Trudell.

Other sites to learn more about Seattle based artist, Cheyenne Randall.

http://shoppedtattoos.tumblr.com

http://cheyennerandall.tumblr.com/

http://lakotascribbler.tumblr.com/

 

This Sunday, at 5 pm we will be tuning into Radio Free Alcatraz, cira 1970 with John Trudell.

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Would like to express my deepest thanks to Pacifica Radio Archives for providing both December 15, 197o and December 19th, 1970 segments for our listening. So tune in this Sunday at 5pm and listening to Free Radio Alcatraz with John Trudell.

Tune in to KAOS Radio