Posted by on May 23, 2014 in Featured, News

“To the Class of Two Thousand Whatever” by Renee Holt

“To the Class of Two Thousand Whatever” by Renee Holt

Dedicating this song ‘Commencement Day’ from the Blue Scholars of Seattle to “the Class of two thousand whatever” throughout Indian country and all “the teachers who are underpaid” and love their students more than enough and keep on teaching. As families prepare for graduation ceremonies at local schools and universities that Indigenous students attend, their home communities are also preparing summer internships and youth employment activities as well. Extended relatives bead, sew traditional and contemporary Indigenous clothing, and feasts are prepared. The pride and joy that parents and families of graduates feel is that righteous “they made it” kind of emotion that counters the statistics of Indigenous youth. What may seem like a little victory to non-Indigenous people who have fourth generation college graduates in their family legacies, is actually counting coup for Indigenous families. In fact, graduating a child from high school that includes acceptance into college with a full ride scholarship IS an Indigenous family’s dream come true! For a first world country, education ought to be...

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Posted by on Nov 29, 2013 in Featured

Buy Native on Cyber Monday, By renee holt

Buy Native on Cyber Monday, By renee holt

Happy post turkey eating day! I hope this post finds each of you well and in good spirits, wherever you may be. With family members traveling throughout Indian country, I’d like to include special thoughts and prayers to families who may have a loved one that was not present at their family dinner table this year during holiday. Family is such a special part of who we are as Indigenous nations. When we think about what it means to be a family, sometimes our friends become family. I thought it prudent regarding the post I submitted earlier this week on Boycotting Black Friday in the name of Indigenous pride to include a special reminder to support our community members who are artists, entrepreneurs, and Native businesses. After all that is said and done, the boycotting of Black Friday is rooted in supporting local and Native owned businesses. When we think of family, as thankful and grateful as we are, I believe we ought to also look at the members...

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Posted by on Aug 20, 2013 in Featured, News

Keystone XL is a Global Climate Issue, By Renee Holt

Keystone XL is a Global Climate Issue, By Renee Holt

As I enjoy the last day of summer break, before I return back to school, I have been thinking about the recent media publicity my tribal community has received regarding the Keystone XL pipeline. As an enrolled member of the Nez Perce Tribe, and a mother to three beautiful children, a couple weeks ago, our community, the Nimiipuu (aka the Real People) stood in solidarity with our First Nations brothers and sisters in Canada who oppose the Keystone XL pipeline. Although regional media has highlighted the Nez Perce tribal council arrests and members of our community for their Indigenous activism, what media has failed to see is that our community has been protesting the Megaloads for well over two years. It just happens to be that we held our first town hall meeting in March 2011 and Winona La Duke shared information on the negative effects of the Keystone XL and the importance of a protest. In collaboration with the grassroots organizations Friends of the Clearwater and Wild Idaho...

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Posted by on May 20, 2013 in Featured, News, Videos

PKOLS and the Indigenous Nationhood Movement, By Renee Holt

PKOLS and the Indigenous Nationhood Movement, By Renee Holt

“INM is the continuation, the revitalization, the realization… of our long-standing fight to recover our lands, demand respect for the treaties that are the foundation of North American societies, and demonstrate the strength and dignity of our people. It’s decolonization in the 21st century, it’s Idle No More without restraint, it’s acting on our ancestral rites, it is Indigenous Nationhood!” – Taiaiake Alfred With events happening throughout Turtle Island, the reclaiming of Indigenous homelands is a relevant and conscious movement towards Indigenous nationhood, especially when led by First Nations. In addition to reclaiming ancestral homelands by First Nations, there are others acts of resurgence that are occurring that create opportunities for Indigenous people to engage in discussions about decolonizing. At the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Indigenous faculty, graduate students, and staff will lead an Indigenous Leadership Forum (ILF) from May 21-28, 2013. During this week long event, members of the Indigenous community from throughout the Americas will participate in workshops and forum where dialogue will address issues that...

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Posted by on Apr 9, 2013 in Featured, News

The Battle for Our Youth Will be Fought in Our Homes -Renee Holt

The Battle for Our Youth Will be Fought in Our Homes -Renee Holt

The Battle for Our Youth Will be Fought in Our Homes By: Renee Holt As a mother to three beautiful children, a pre-teen adolescent son and a teenagerdaughter, and a four year old going on ten, my life is pretty busy.  It’s not easy. Granted I have my tough days, I also have pretty awesome moments that bless me with pure happiness. While preparing to watch the Shimmel sisters (Shonie and Jude) play on ESPN in the Final Four I found myself filled with hope and encouragement, they are one example of a mothers love and sacrifice. As a parent, I believe that my life has been preordained with exactly what I needed to become the Indigenous woman and mother that I am today. I was adopted into my step-fathers family and raised with great family values and one of my aunts served as a good example and role model for me. From early childhood, I remember my aunt being astrong Diné woman. She lived a substance free life, and followed her convictions by keeping alcohol out of her home. While most of my childhood memories are filled with things like cool cereal box toys and waking up to trek off on my bike, as a kid,...

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