Friday, September 22, 2006

Violence against Women

“Violence against Native women not a part of our traditional communities”
Feds, Indian leaders confront frightening statistics


Sam Lewin 9/21/2006

The numbers offered by advocacy groups can seem difficult to believe. A group called the American Indian Women’s Chemical Health Project asserts that three-fourths of Native American women have experienced some type of sexual assault in their lives. The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control’s figures on sexual assault-while significantly lower than that of the health project’s-are nonetheless frightening: American Indian and Alaskan Native women are significantly more likely (34-percent) to report being raped than black women (19-percent) or Caucasian women (18-percent).

While accurate figures on the problems of domestic violence and sexual assault are notoriously tough to quantify, Native American leaders have long recognized something is seriously wrong. In Denver, over 100 representatives from American Indian and Alaska Native tribes recently met with officials from the Department of Justice to address the problem, which National Congress of American Indians president Joe Garcia called an epidemic.

This epidemic not only impacts the individual women and families affected, it undermines the stability of the community as a whole," Garcia said. "Women play an honored and respected role in Native communities. Violence against Native women is not natural and is not a part of our traditional communities. Traditional Native cultures valued respect, honor, and compassion for all living things."

NCAI officials say the meeting with the DOJ happened after President Bush signed the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act into law. The measure included a portion applicable to Indian Country.

The NCAI was a strong supporter of reauthorization of the law, saying in a statement the law recognizes “the unique impact and disproportionate levels of violence committed against Indian women. It would enhance the civil and criminal justice response; improve services and outreach to victims; provide resources for sexual assault victims through rape crisis centers and state coalitions; help children and youth who experience or witness violence; aidtribal victims; and support prevention, health, housing and economic security programs designed to stop violence and help victims.”

"American Indians, in general, experience per capita rates of violence that are much higher than those of the general population," said the NCAI’s Juana Majel-Dixon, citing the center’s statistics, during the Denver conference. “One out of three American Indian and Alaskan Native women are raped in their lifetime, compared with about one out of five women in the overall national statistic. These statistics must change and I am confident that this consultation will help facilitate that."

Back in Oklahoma, tribes have also taken on domestic violence. The Muscogee (Creek) Nation’s family violence prevention program, for example, routinely issues calls to remind area Natives about the services they offer including: individual and family counseling, weekly support groups, emergency housing and transportation, and court advocacy. The program also runs transitional living program that assists victims of domestic violence in achieving independence. Clients willing to sign and complete a service plan can also receive assistance with rent, utilities, clothing and/or food. These services are available to members of any federally recognized tribe.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Strength of the Wolf


For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf
and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack~ 


Wolves travel great distances in search of Truth and Knowledge and are thought to return to the clan to teach and share their Medicine. 

Wolf Medicine is enigmatic, it empowers the teacher hidden deep within to come forth and aid the children of Earth in understanding their place in the Universe.

Wolves sing out loud the haunting song of my spirit
Lift me high with your poignant melodies
What wisdom do you cry out for all to hear?
That they long to understand

What secrets you have hidden what knowledge
Do you share with us?
If we listen with our hearts we can hear you
Whisper your language so clear.

The words you speak are hidden in riddles
Are as old as time its self.
Your memories you keep to yourselves
Shared with chosen few.

The mysteries that surround you, known only
By those who listen.
Your beauty, your grace, your silent journey
Shrouded by the mists.

Wolves sing, take my spirit with you now
and Sing the songs that move my soul
I will sing the same song as you have
Wolf song Wolf singer Wolf spirit

~We shall be known by the tracks we leave behind~

Native Women and Health





Please know that I share many articles on health and well being. Not all may express my personal point of view. I personally do believe that every soul is brought into this world with a divine purpose by the Creator. I am believe every soul is borne into existence at the second of conception and I could not choose to have a pregnancy terminated.


I am also a nurse, and the right to any woman having the right to make choices about her own body and to do so in a medical facility where she will be cared for and receive health care under the proper conditions is vital.


I dread the thought of back alley butcher shops that kill and maime our young women and although for myself I have made the choice to bring my children into this world, I would not go back to the time where these butcher services were promininet.


Everyone must choose for their own life what is right and best and true.






Native Americans Vital Part of Campaign

Rapid City open house event emceed by Lakota Chief-in-Waiting Lyman RedCloud Sr.

RAPID CITY, South Dakota--The campaign hosted a press conference and open house and emergency contraception availability.

Deb Hoy from Democrats for Life emceed the event. Lyman RedCloud, Sr., the Pine Ridge Reservation Chief-in-Waiting, opened with a Lakota prayer.

Linda Gutherie, a former Pine Ridge Reservation lay advocate, told attendees that any Native American who lives traditionally embraces the gift of life. She pointed out that the Lakota language has never included a word for abortion. She urged Native Americans to support Referred Law 6, saying, "Men, women, fathers, mothers, you can show your gratitude for life, by voting for life!"

Stacey Wollman, director of the Rapid City CareNet Pregnancy Resource Center, explained Native American outreach plans. Wollman and others will tour South Dakota reservations in the Fleet for Little Feet. The luxury tour bus, donated by a businessman conceived through rape, will offer free services to women. Free pregnancy tests, education, ultrasounds and post-abortion counseling will be offered. "These programs will give the women on the reservation help, services and convenience they have never had before," Wollman said.

Dr. Dan Franz, a Rapid City family practitioner, clarified that emergency contraception is widely available in South Dakota. He checked with the local hospitals, and under current protocols, EC can be offered to women. Likewise, the FDA is making the pills available over the counter, without a prescription. Dr. Franz said, “Sex crime victims require more thanmedication. It requires a holistic spectrum of care to bring these women back to full health," he said. campaigns on behalf of Referred Law 6. The campaign organized in 2006 to support HB 1215, the Women’s Health and Human Life Protection Act.

Monday, September 18, 2006

My journey to the Native American festival

This weekend I was blessed with being able to attend the Native American Festival at the Ocmulgee Native American Indian Mounds in Georgia.
I loved wathcing the dancers and performers and found myself enthralled with so many new artists there. Naturally I bought several new hair items which I have always called hair jewelry.

There is a wonderful new Native artist and I will enclose his link below. His work is exceptional and he is a man of few spoken words but his hands have the healers touch and ways.

My little Italian Greyhound Reddy backed up next to him and just relaxed like I have never seen. The artist put aside his wares and began a massage like I have never seen done and was able to even rub and massage Reddy's feet.

There is a big noticable difference watching someone "pet" the dog and watching this man's hands. And, if you knew Reddy, he hates his paws touched. (((He thinks you will clip his nails and he hates that.)))

This artist is Dine' from the Navajo Nation and each piece of his work tells a story, of which I was able to obtain several new pieces that he is doing not yet on his site. Please visit his site when you get the chance.

Rex A. Begaye
Reddy height 15 inches and like a miniture deer (actually miniture toy greyhound)

Changing habits may offer hope of living longer

Changing habits may offer hope of living longer

published September 15, 2006 12:15 am

North Carolina fared poorly in a new longevity study released Monday, ranking 40th among the 50 states. Out of 2,072 counties studied, three from North Carolina ranked among the 50 where lifespans are the shortest. Edgecombe ranked 50th from the bottom, Robeson ranked 29th and Martin ranked 25th. With the exception of South Dakota, where people in six counties have the shortest life expectancy in the United States, the counties that claimed most of the spots in the bottom 50 belonged to Southern states. Seven counties in Colorado were among those with the highest average life expectancy 81.3 years. By comparison, people living in the six South Dakota counties on the bottom have an average life expectancy of 66.6 years. Comparing states, Hawaiians live longest, an average of 80 years. People living in Mississippi have the shortest life expectancy at 73.6 years. For North Carolinians, it’s 75.8 years. As the study’s chief author, Dr. Christopher Murray, of the Harvard School of Public Health, noted, those are significant differences if you’re talking about your parent or your spouse. It can mean the difference between being around for the significant events in a grandchild’s life or having time to enjoy life after retirement.

That makes it critical that every effort be made to understand why people in North Carolina don’t live as long as people in 39 other states.

The Harvard researchers who conducted the study analyzed mortality figures provided by two federal agencies, covering the years 1982 to 2001, for county, gender, race and income. The data came from the Census Bureau and the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dramatic disparities

The study found some truly dramatic disparities in longevity — more than 30 years. Longest-lived are Asian American women living in Bergen County, N.J. They have an average life expectancy of 91 years. On the other end of the scale, Native American men living in South Dakota have an average life expectancy of 58 years.

Murray said he was surprised to find that lack of health insurance explained only a small portion of the gaps.

Differences in alcohol and tobacco use, blood pressure, cholesterol and obesity seemed to drive the death rates, he said.

It will be important to pinpoint geographically defined factors, such as shared ancestry, dietary customs, local industry and propensity toward physical activity that influence those health risks, he said.

“Something very geographic is going on,” but typical analytic methods miss that part of the story because researchers tend to look at race, income and education, but rarely at place,” he said.

“Some really interesting patterns aren’t related to those usual factors.

“Perhaps it is shared ancestry or the way people make a living. The tricky part is figuring it out. It is not simply income and race.”

Other studies

In the meantime, other Harvard studies provide clues about some of the factors that contribute to longevity. In one study, jointly conducted by Harvard and the University of Athens Medical School in Athens, Greece, and released in 2003, researchers found that those who strongly adhered to a Mediterranean diet had improved longevity compared to study participants who did not follow that diet as closely. The traditional Mediterranean diet consists of an abundance of vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts and cereals and regular use of olive oil, moderate amounts of fish and dairy products (mostly yogurt or cheese), small amounts of red meat and moderate consumption of alcohol, usually in the form of wine consumed at meals.

Another study, released in 2004, found that both weight and exercise are strong and independent predictors of premature death in women. The word “independent’’ is important here. The study found that a high level of physical activity did not eliminate the risk of premature death associated with obesity and that being lean did not counteract the risk of premature death associated with inactivity. (Those participants who exercised more than 3.5 hours per week were considered physically active.) Compared to physically active, lean women, inactive and obese women had nearly a two and half-fold increase in their risk of premature death.

Changing lifestyles

In other words, whatever other factors may be in play – genetics, environmental risks, etc. — exercise and healthy eating habits contribute to living longer than a person otherwise might. That’s reassuring because those are factors we can control.

But, more than two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese, which suggests that there are factors in our environment that undermine the goal of eating well and exercising.

We all know what they are — high stress jobs, too much television, an infrastructure that encourages driving everywhere instead of walking or bicycling, fast food.

It may be that further studies will prove otherwise, but the evidence so far suggests that if we’d change our lifestyles, we’d add years to our lives.