Dignity of Earth and Sky is an awe inspiring statue in the eastern bluffs of the Missouri River, and is a tribute that the Native American culture is alive and standing with dignity. The statute greeted our arrival in South Dakota, perfectly echoing the mission of Turtle Island United.
Our Native COVID-19 Response direct relief project commenced in May of 2020 in response to COVID-19-related challenges that Native communities of Turtle Island have experienced and continue to experience to date.
In 6 short months, the Project evolved into a bigger initiative addressing long-term objectives of cultural and food sovereignty, health, wellness, nutrition and local capacity building. The Project now includes many additional partners.
(Loading the truck in Easton, PA with Antinanco and PAZA friends before departure).
In Chamberlain, we received a very warm reception from our friends at Native Hope, and united with the Partners for Native Nations from Colorado, Pennsylvania and Utah. At night, we cooked and shared Buffalo stew, fry bread and wojapi. Delwin Fiddler, the Founder of PAZA, treated us to the traditional Round Dance performance.
Loading-Unloading. About 8,000 lb. of supplies to reshuffle for dispatch to 6 communities. Jack Simpson brought a truckload of roofing materials for Navajo elders.
On the left: Maria Ragonese, PAZA, tired but happy. On the right: Two pallets of Greater Good hygiene bags and a truckload of kids' toys in Jim Standing Bear's and Sharrie's trucks. Bikes, fresh produce, wellness kits, supplements, colloidal silver, ppe, natural cleaners, winter gear in the Antinanco-PAZA truck.
Delwin Fiddler (Hehakapa Mahto) performing Grass Dance
Joshua and Dennis cooking - collective Fry Bread recipe
Visiting the Crow Creek and Lower Brule Communities with supplies and delivering Winter Holiday gifts for teens and the Boys and Girls Club. Then off to Rapid City to deliver more supplies for the homeless community and COVID-19 positive families. It was an honor to meet with the HeSapa Voter Initiative friends, who work tirelessly to provide shelter, hot food and medicines to the community during quarantine.
Sharrie and Jim Standing Bear proceeded to the Sisseton and Cheyenne River Sioux Reservations with Holiday giveaways for kids and elders. Over 1,000 relatives came to greet them on the Sisseton Reservation.
Our journey back was through the Black Hills' sacred sites. At Bear Butte, we were acknowledged by a magnificent Buffalo (Tatanka), which was a perfect conclusion to our trip.
We thank all of our friends, partners and supporters for contributing selflessly to this work. None of this would have been possible without you. We also thank AMB Foundation and Taubert Memorial Fund for being such an instrumental part of this Project. Wopila Tanka (Deep Gratitude)!
Turtle Island United is a project byAntinanco and Paza, Tree of Life to support our relatives living on reservations. We provide essential resources to the communities to address health, wellness and food security needs to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, and to help people during the winter season.