The Last Piece of the Puzzle

Where do we fit in?

The Last Piece of the Puzzle

Where do we fit in?

“You didn’t have a typical situation where you worked so that you can support your life. Your work was your life, in many cases”


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I Know a Native newsletter has become as much about my life, as work possibly can. It is still work, but it has definitely taken on a life of its own.

This past week one of my biggest supporters and I were having a conversation about the future of this newsletter. He was wondering which direction the publication was headed, and what the future experience would be like.

After explaining my thoughts to him, I felt it might be suitable to share the same info with my subscribers. So, that’s what I’m covering this week. Where do we fit in?

When I started this publication, I wasn’t sure what it was going to be about. All I knew, was that there was a disconnect in the world between Natives and what I like to call mainstream society. I felt there was a need to bridge the gap and connect the two in right way. Not by shoving opposing views and narratives down each others throats, but by connecting on common grounds and values.

This isn’t a straightforward task. There is no blueprint. No one has even attempted, let alone come close to completing our mission as of yet. I say yet, because I believe it will happen in my lifetime. There is a sweet spot that exists from the balance of the two worlds and that’s where our community will live.

What to expect moving forward.

Some weeks it will be raising awareness about Native issues that could use support and education. Some weeks will be looking through the POV of first hand experiences in the world as to create understanding. Other weeks will experimental and project based. Lastly, some will just be myself writing my thoughts and having a conversation with my readers.

I think to truly create a new community, built on understanding and positive energy we have to learn from all angles and leave nothing to chance.

Trigger warning—Is this only for Natives and Natives from the rez? No.

This isn’t built specifically for the rez. In fact I’m sure some folks from the rez may not identify with this at all. That’s perfectly fine. We are not for everyone. I’m not for everyone. If the goal in life was to stay exactly the same as you’ve always been, then I’ve failed miserably. I hope my rez Natives read this and love it. I hope they identify with it, learn from it and look forward to it.

If not, that’s understandable and acceptable. Love you guys regardless.

Look, I’m here to document my journey. Share my thoughts. Create connections that build value and meaning for everyone involved. I’m excited to continue the journey, sometimes we have to refine and redirect. That’s all part of the adventure.

This community and movement we’re building is great, I appreciate each and everyone of my subscribers and look forward to hearing from you and even possibly meeting you in the future. The journey continues.

As always, If you don’t know now you know, a Native!

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FCC advances proposal for new code of missing and endangered

Article via CNN

The new alert code would function like AMBER and Silver alerts, making it easier for public safety officials to use TV, radio, and cellphones to alert the public to cases of missing individuals.

 The FCC will now seek public comment on the proposal before moving forward with a final vote to create the new alert code within the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS). IPAWS provides notice of emergencies, including severe weather events and AMBER alerts, in all 50 states and US territories, according to FEMA .

 It is the latest federal effort focused on the nationwide crisis of missing or murdered Native Americans, which advocates have long insisted is largely ignored by police, the media and the public, CNN previously reported.

American Indian and Alaska Natives “make up a significant portion of the missing and murdered cases,” in the United States, according to the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

However, agencies have long struggled to accurately count and track the number of missing and endangered Indigenous people because of barriers like jurisdiction and a lack of funding and resources for tribal law enforcement, CNN previously reported.

FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said Thursday that the new code would “sound the alarm when adults are missing and endangered, to help raise awareness and support recovery.”

 “This is critical, especially for the indigenous women and girls who are at special risk,” Rosenworcel said.

She also praised the Academy Award-nominated film, “Killers of the Flower Moon,” for giving voice to the long history of violence against Native women.

“The cruel reality is that we continue to have a crisis of missing and murdered indigenous people, and it is especially acute for women and girls in Tribal communities,” Rosenworcel said.

The goal is for the alert system to facilitate a more efficient and coordinated response across multiple jurisdictions, to locate missing people, according to the proposal.

 Native Public Media, a national organization that supports Indigenous radio and television broadcasters, led the effort to establish the national alert code.

Loris Taylor, CEO and President of Native Public Media and a member of Arizona’s Hopi Tribe, told CNN the hope is that the new alert code could standardize and streamline efforts between law enforcement, emergency responders and the public to locate a missing Indigenous person.

 Taylor noted the alert could have helped her family locate an uncle who went missing in 2013.

“Back in 2013, there was still this understanding that adults are adults, adults can go wherever they want at any time, to any place. And so there really wasn’t a quick alarm about his disappearance,” Taylor said.

 The new alert code is meant to help locate all missing people over 17,  who don’t meet the criteria for an AMBER alert, Taylor said, adding it could help address the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous people.

 “The event code is for the nation, it just turns out that tribal communities have really high numbers. Our population is so small that the numbers are really high, and it’s glaring. It’s happening to Americans across the board,” Taylor said.

Last Fall, the “Not Invisible Act Commission,” a joint committee established by the Departments of Justice and Interior and composed of Tribal leaders, federal and local authorities, family members of missing and murdered people and survivors, issued a set of recommendations for how the federal government can address the longstanding crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous people.

 The report found, among other things, that delays and a lack of coordination between Tribal, state and federal agencies often prevent investigators from being successful in solving cases involving missing or endangered American Indian and Alaska Native people.

 The commission recommended that Congress and the DOJ launch a study to determine the value and impact of a new national alert system for missing Indigenous people and increase funding for Tribes to access and utilize the national alert system, the IPAWS.

 Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Attorney General Merrick Garland reaffirmed their departments’ commitment to working with Tribal leaders to find solutions to the crisis, in a joint response last week.

“Addressing violent crimes against Indigenous peoples has long been underfunded and ignored, as a cause of intergenerational trauma that has affected our communities since colonization,” Haaland said in a separate statement.

 “This will ensure that epidemics like the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples Crisis and Human Trafficking are addressed with the resources they demand,” she added.

California, Colorado and Washington are among the states that have launched their own alert systems to assist in search efforts for an Indigenous person who has been reported missing.

Jeffrey Gibson - Choctaw

 Jeffrey Gibson, a distinguished Native artist, was born in 1972 in Colorado and is of Mississippi Choctaw heritage. Growing up between urban and rural environments, he developed a deep appreciation for both his Native heritage and the contemporary world. This duality has become a central theme in his art, reflecting the complexities of identity and cultural hybridity.

 Gibson's work spans a wide range of mediums, including painting, sculpture, beadwork, and textile art. He is known for his ability to seamlessly blend traditional techniques and materials with contemporary forms and aesthetics, creating art that transcends categorization.

 One of his notable series, "Like a Hammer" (2019), explores themes of identity, cultural appropriation, and self-expression. It features intricate beaded punching bags, a symbol of resistance and resilience, adorned with phrases and symbols that challenge stereotypes and reclaim Tribal narratives.

 Gibson's "Freedom" (2020) is a towering sculpture that fuses craft with references to the LGBTQ+ community. It stands as a testament to the intersections of identity and the universal desire for freedom and self-expression.

 His art has been exhibited in renowned institutions such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian, and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, among others. His ability to engage viewers on a profound emotional and intellectual level has earned him international acclaim.

 Beyond his artistic contributions, Jeffrey is an advocate for Native rights and LGBTQ+ issues. He uses his platform to raise awareness about the challenges faced by Tribal communities and the importance of embracing diverse identities. His activism underscores his belief in the power of art to effect change and inspire dialogue.

 As a teacher and mentor, Gibson also plays a crucial role in nurturing the next generation of Indigenous artists. He encourages emerging talents to explore their own voices and cultural backgrounds, fostering a sense of pride and connection to their heritage.

 In a world where art serves as a bridge between cultures, Jeffrey’ss life and work inspire us to challenge conventions, celebrate diversity, and honor the enduring spirit of Native peoples.

As an artist, activist, and cultural ambassador, his contributions enrich the world of contemporary art and advocate for a more inclusive and understanding society.


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