Posted by on Oct 3, 2012 in Uncategorized

Diversity Matters: Presidential Debates‏

By  :  Rhonda LeValdo With the Presidential election’s first debate set for Wednesday, it is unfortunate that the moderators chosen to ask the questions do not reflect the diversity of this country.  How will minority issues be addressed if the moderators don’t represent any people of color?   Tribal sovereignty and the federal fiduciary responsibility to Indian Nations weigh upon both Native Americans and the government.  Ignoring Native Nations is disappointing, but it squarely points out the Commission of Presidential Candidates (CPD) position on the federal relationship to Native Nations.  Twenty years ago, in 1992, was the last time a person of color, African-American Carole Simpson, was involved in both Presidential and Vice Presidential debates.  The CPD are missing out on an opportunity to engage so many different audiences.   In regards to Native Americans, they all share a unique relationship with the United States government.  A relationship that needs to be addressed and shown that these candidates are fully aware of the responsibilities that come with engaging tribal nations.  ...

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Posted by on Apr 2, 2012 in Uncategorized

Taking Real Steps Towards Diabetes Prevention- You Don’t Have to be a Diabetes Statistic

By: Rhonda Levaldo Diabetes needs to be taken seriously in Indian Country, and it is about to get a wake-up call from the Kickapoo Tribal Chairman, Steve Cadue.  To compel North American Tribal nations to address the impact of diabetes and diabetes complications, Cadue, along with 1964 Olympic gold medalist Billy Mills, Miss Indian Nations Shanoa Pinkham, and President of the Association of American Indian Physicians Donna Galbreath, M.D., will host a panel on the topic at the upcoming National Indian Gaming Association convention in San Diego. Cadue said that the April 4th Circle of Nations: Prevention and Beat Diabetes session will begin coordinating Tribal leaders to, “get them to make diabetes a priority on Tribal agendas.”  Cadue said many Tribes are not addressing Tribal member health issues and it’s time to make this “call to action to fellow leaders.” Cadue plans to show how his Tribe, the Kickapoo of Kansas, is addressing diabetes.  He says the key to their success has been staying in contact and following through...

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Posted by on Feb 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

Marketing the Native American Stereotype

By: Rhonda LeValdo For over a hundred years, Americans have held a collection of outlandish ideas about Native American Indians. From Boston Tea Party Indians, to the Washington Redskins & the Cleveland Indians, the Land O’ Lakes girl to Twilight– Native and non-Native children are taught everyday through grammar school history, sports mascots, images, film, and sitting Indian-style, what it means to be a Native American Indian. It is clear to all that “Native American Indian” can be packaged and sold in a Halloween Pocahontas outfit for anybody to shapeshift into. The issue of the University of North Dakota (UND) and their refusing to stop using their “Fighting Sioux” mascot in defiance of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) 2005 ruling has come about recently because UND previously said they would phase out the mascot. The NCAA rule was to get rid of school’s nicknames and mascots that are deemed “hostile or abusive in terms of race, ethnicity, or national origin”, unless they get the permission from Native tribes...

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Posted by on Jan 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

Using Media to Share our Stories

By: Rhonda LeValdo I have been going over my time spent with relatives and elders this winter. Many were talking about our people losing touch with their ceremonies, day-to-day traditional activities and stories that were once told. One talked about how he slept on a dirt floor so that he was always in contact with Mother Earth. He shook his head saying, “a lot of our young people don’t let their feet touch the dirt, they don’t sleep on the dirt floor, they have lost that contact.” Even as something as small as this, to which direction to sleep, to praying- the urgency for our young people to learn is evident. Soon many of these people will be gone and so will these words that need to be passed down. As we move into 2012, technology is impacting our Native People. From writing stories that go around the world, to broadcasting videos on You Tube, to web streaming to audiences who never had a conversation with a real Native...

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