Love My Life tee, Alan Weir (Haida) for Native Northwest
Native Northwest is a proud sponsor of “Love My Life T-shirts”. This shirt promotes prevention of aboriginal teen suicide . Dr. Peter Eppinga from Haida Gwaii is featured here wearing the shirt. Peter has set up mindcheck.ca and drpettereppinga.com to promote awareness of this critical issue.
iknowmine is is kicking off the holiday season with a giveaway to celebrate National Native American Heritage month. Two winners will receive their choice of the beaded earrings shown in the event photo and Spawn Safely t-shirt in purple or yellow. The earrings are beaded by our own Jen Arnold, a local Yup’ik beader here at ANTHC.
To enter simply post a photo showing what National Native American Month means to you on our facebook wall (facebook.com/iknowmine). The winners will be picked two ways: 1. Most liked photos (tell your friends!) 2. Judge’s pick.
The photo must be posted by 9:00a (Alaska time) December 1st.
Winners will be chosen December 3rd and announced on the facebook page and in the photo’s comments.
Anyone who likes the iknowmine Facebook page is eligible to enter.
Just in time for Halloween! We present: “Baby Big Mouth”
A long time ago there was a couple that lived in a village Akiachak, just up river from Bethel. They were a couple like any other couple. They lived in one of those old-timer, sod houses and at the top there was a window, made from seal skin, to let light in. They wanted a child and so they went to the shaman and he told them that he could help them to have a child with the help of the spirits but he warned them that: “No matter how the child looks, you must present it to the village and be proud of it or it will go badly for you.”They agreed to this thinking that any baby they had would surely be cute. After a few years of being together they had a child.
After the baby was born, they didn’t know what it was at first. It could have been a boy or girl. It had a normal mouth but also had an opening with teeth on its chest area. The opening was a gruesome mouth so large, which was already filled with teeth. As the baby grew bigger it would enjoy food just as much as anyone but would demand lots of meat. Horrified and embarrassed the two kept the child hidden in the house, and almost never looked at it. The baby got aggressive and the parents would hide the baby when they had visitors. They would hang up a drape or anything in order to hide the baby from the villagers. When the girl/boy was a little older than a toddler it started to crawl and walk.
One night the man woke up to a noise and saw that the baby was on his wife. The man thought that his child was breast feeding but it was really eating at her flesh. The man got out of bed to put his clothes on. The baby crawled back to its sleeping area and made it look like it was asleep. The man alerted the villagers at night. It was a clear full moon and the man went to everyone’s huts and gathered everyone together. They even brought the dogs in to help. The dogs knew that something was wrong.
As the man and everyone were getting ready to go, the baby woke up. They baby hollered “Naawyuu. Naawyuu!” meaning “Where are the people, where is everybody!” “Chigemucha.” “How come I’m by myself, why am I by myself.” The baby started to crawl and look for other people. As the villagers were about to go out to the end of the village, they looked back and saw that the baby was crawling out of the window and falling over. After they saw that, they walked to a different village and never returned to see what had become of the baby. The Big Mouth Baby now wonders the tundra, coming out during storms to devour herds of caribou and occasionally people as well.
Thank you to Harlyn’s granddad for the story, John Andrew, an Yup’ik Elder
Noatak, Alaska is one of the villages we work with on a close basis here at iknowmine.org. We know some pretty awesome youth leaders and community leaders from that village. They traveled by boat to an airport to fly into Anchorage for our Community Advisory board meeting. It took over 10 hours of travel to get here. By airmiles, Noatak is a little over 600 miles from Anchorage. In comparison, Seattle, WA to San Francisco in how the raven flies, is 680 miles; and you’re crossing three states there!
For a more complete profile of Noatak, please visit its page on the regional Native corporation that serves Noatak, NANA.
Also, if you didn’t know, up here we pronounce it Noah (like the name) - tack (like tackle).
Elsie, my hero - The beautiful and incredible and awe-inspiring Elsie Boudeau, one of the trainers in the Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative project. (This project is why we went to Barrow, to train local folks in how to improve the local response to violence and support victims). If you don’t know who Elsie is, you ought to. She is a hero of ending child sexual abuse, ending domestic violence and sexual violence, helping people heal and find justice, and doing it in a culturally-affirming way. She is a Yup’ik Alaska Native social worker-survivor-sister.
Check out this awesome music created by Indigenous teens in Portland, OR at a Native Youth Conference. If you didn’t know, wernative is our sister organization to the south. It’s a good day to be Indigenous!
This original music CD was created in 4 days in June 2012 by Native youth living across the USA and adult mentors to prepare them as musical peer educators in their communities and schools. Their songs and stories are devoted to: native Pride, Health Promotion, Suicide, Alcohol and Addiction Prevention. Music academy program support and funding was provided by THRIVE, a project at the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board, hots of the health Promotion Conference. Music mentors academy staff include: Todd Denny, Program Director, J. Ross Parrelli, and our talented audio engineer Brad kaminski, Kevin “Yamio” Winkle and Spiro Spanos.
Contact project THRIVE at the NPAIHB at: 503.228.4185 or Todd Denny, Music Mentor Academies at: 360.866.7140
WASHINGTON – In a major victory for the Obama administration, the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 has survived under the taxing power of the Congress, according to a widely anticipated decision handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court on June 28. Also surviving is the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHCIA), which was part of the larger law and paved the way to permanently reauthorizing some important federal and tribal Indian health-related programs and funding pathways.
Interesting, how many of you knew that the Indian Health Care Improvement Act was hidden inside of the Affordable Health Care Act?
“In 2006, we recruited 37 black adolescents from two rural North Carolina counties to participate in focus groups exploring adolescent understanding of how primary prevention strategies reduce STD transmission, described common barriers to the adoption of prevention strategies, and identified risk reduction strategies adolescents commonly employ,” says Aletha Y. Akers, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Pittsburgh.
“What we found is adolescents understand how STDs are transmitted but consider primary prevention strategies like abstinence and consistent condom use unlikely or difficult to implement.”
As reported in the journal Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, adolescents in the study say they develop their own strategies to reduce their STD risk, which include indirect partner assessments like evaluating a person’s physical appearance, eye contact, and body language.
Girls who were interviewed often used regular STD testing as a way to fact-check their partners’ faithfulness. As long as they remained STD-free, they felt they could trust their partners’ commitment.
“This study is incredibly important because it shows us a disconnect between adolescents and the public health messages put forth,” Akers says. “We need to identify whatever misconceptions about STD transmission they may have and correct them.
Mary G. was born from the boats. Her children were born from the boats too, all fathered through her liaisons with male customers. She has never known anything else. Like generations of Native girls and women before her, Mary and her family are inextricably tied to prostitution in the great port city of Duluth, Minnesota. Long before the term sex trafficking entered the public lexicon and began appearing in headlines, Native women like Mary and her mother Ruthie were lured into prostitution. Largely driven by poverty and homelessness as well as an underlying racism that sanctioned the sexual degradation of Native women, generations of them have sold themselves to survive.
Is this a story of ours Alaska? Could this be the story of our Alaska Native women? What about AN Women and oil workers? Military? Tourists? How is it the same or different?
To provide truthful and accurate sexual health information free of bias, agenda, or politics for Alaska Native/American Indian youth and youth at large in order for them to be in control of their own health.