This Week in Native American News

Bethany Yellowtail Takes The Runway With Native Inspired Clothing Line

Image, screen capture from  Mic video . Click for full video.

Image, screen capture from Mic video. Click for full video.

Brittany Yellowtail, fashion designer from both Northern Cheyenne and Crow Nation, grew up on the reservation and takes her inspiration from her heritage while eliminating the cultural appropriation.

When asked her opinion on the draw to native culture by non-natives, she stated:

"I can't blame them! My cultures and communities are aesthetically gorgeous, with some of the strongest people in the history of this planet that allowed them to survive unfathomable traumas and trials that would have obliterated a less resilient people. Why wouldn't someone want to be like them? It makes sense. Just like Natives with hip-hop, everyone wants to emulate something powerful and beautiful." (Read the full interview with Bethany here.)

Bethany is also an avid supporter of the American Indian College Fund.

Pimicikamak Cree Nation Declares A State of Emergency For Community

Pimicikamak Cree Nation, located in Cross Lake, Manitoba, has declared a state of emergency in reponse to their current suicide epidemic. The community of only 8,300 has had six suicides in the last two months and 140 suicide attempts in the last two weeks.

The single mental health worker and two overnight nurses are doing their best to keep up with the influx of patients, but more help is needed.

The community has been drawing on every resource it can to save lives, said [Acting Chief Shirley] Robinson. "We've been using clergy. We've been using our local elders. We've been using our local nurses and doctors. It's been very difficult for everyone."

Acting Chief Shirley Robinson and Band Councillor Donnie McKay have reached out for government help requesting additional workers to assist with the crisis. (Read the full article here.)

Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon event. In both 2009 and 2015, the Oglala Sioux of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota declared a state of emergency for out of control suicide and suicide attempt numbers.

Suicide is currently the second leading cause of death among Native Americans between the ages of 10-35, only behind unintentional injury, and average 20% of the deaths in that age group. Native teens experience the highest rate of suicide of any population in the US.

Ready to help? 4 Things you can do to help with the suicide epidemic .


Learn more about Rick McCafferty and Rick and Linda Martin, Lutheran Indian Ministries staff focused on healing the wounds of the heart with Biblically Based Counseling in an effort to stem suicide among the Native American, Alaska Native, and First Nations populations.

Are You Ready For Some Basketball?

Picture courtesy of  NDN Sports

Picture courtesy of NDN Sports

March Madness has officially begun, and a number of Native nations willall be represented on the court. Eight Native American students (5 men, 3 women - click to read their bios) will be trying to lead their team to the championships over the next three weeks. 

Though the list of professional native basketball isn't very long, the tradition of basketball is deeply ingrained in reservation life. Want to know more? Here are 6 Lesser Known Facts About Native American Basketball.

Five San Antonio Churches To Be Preserved As The Newest World Heritage Site

Mission Concepcion - one of five churches of the San Antonio Missions -  Photo by: Tracy Barnett/For The Washington Post

Mission Concepcion - one of five churches of the San Antonio Missions - Photo by: Tracy Barnett/For The Washington Post

San Antonio Churches and Missions represent an interesting piece of Native American history. Frescos on the church walls display an intriguing mixture of Christian and indigenous symbology, representing the mixing of Spanish and Native cultures in the 18th century. Now, five of these buildings have been added as the nation's newest World Heritage Site: the San Antonio Missions.

For the Tap Pilam Coahuiltecan Nation, located in Texas, these buildings represent a strong connection with their ancestors, who helped build them and lived alongside the Spanish Franciscan priests in the church-based, farming society that were the missions. (Read the full story here.)

Preserving this history is not only vital to the Indian communities who share in its heritage, but also shows us how beautifully traditional native life and Christian worship can blend together. The Franciscan monks were living our mission: Christ's Kingdom - Every Native American Nation. 

Learn more about how we work toward this daily.