Successful Native Festival

The Best is Yet to Come

Successful Native Festival

The Best is Yet to Come

The air was filled with the sounds of traditional drums and clapper sticks accompanied by the songs that have been sung by the same bloodlines for centuries.

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Windsor’s first Native art festival hosted by the Progressive Tribal Alliance (PTA), was more than just a day in the sun; it was an experience that displayed Native culture, history and artistic expression effortlessly. Sharing our ways with the community, while keeping a fun and family-friendly atmosphere was the goal, and I wholeheartedly believe we that knocked it out of the park.

From the moment you stepped onto the festival grounds, you were greeted with rooted culture. The air was filled with the sounds of traditional drums and clapper sticks accompanied by the songs that have been sung by the same bloodlines for centuries.

The vibrant colors of traditional regalia, complex beadwork, and mesmerizing patterns of skirts was a sight to see.

Art was the center of the festival. Booths and stalls overflowed with an endless amount of handcrafted treasures. Everything from pottery, paintings, and sculptures to jewelry, textiles, and carvings.

Each piece told a story, embodying the spirit and heritage of its maker. Most of the artist were often present and eager to share the inspiration behind their work, their techniques and cultural significance of their art. Engaging with these artists provided a deeper appreciation for the skill and dedication involved in each creation.

Traditional dances, storytelling, and drum performances took us all to another time and place. The dancers moved with grace and precision, their movements reflecting the customs and rituals of our ancestors.

The speakers were amazing. Buffy Schmidt opened the festival with a prayer in her Native Northern Pomo language. Eric Wilder captivated the people with a few personal stories and perspectives that have been cultivated over decades of experience. PTA’s own Jack Pollard welcomed everyone to the event while promoting unity and mutual respect amongst the community members. Supervisor James Gore spoke about his personal efforts to help in the healing of trauma and systemic injustice in the Native community. Brenda FlyswithHawks closed out the public speaking session by reiterating the importance of unity and progression. We couldn’t have been prouder of our speakers and presenters.

Jack Pollard Progressive Tribal Alliance and County Supervisor James Gore

Our favorite aspect of the Native art festival was the sense of community. The festival isn’t just for showcasing art; It’s a gathering to celebrate identity, resilience, and strength. We saw people from all walks of life, coming together to honor and preserve our cultural heritage. The sense of belonging and shared purpose was unforgettable, making the experience both personal and profound.

Our festival offered multiple workshops where attendees tried their hand at traditional crafts, participated in dance, and even recorded a live interview thanks to the Box Car Joe Show. These interactive sessions provided a hands-on experience of the past and present. They were all  unique opportunities to connect with the culture in a meaningful and participatory way.

No festival is complete without food. We had Fry Bread and Indian Tacos, Corn Dogs and French Fries and last but definitely not least the Tri Tip Trolly. PTA made sure that all of our presenters, volunteers and dance groups were taken care of with a complimentary lunch of their choice. Speaking of the volunteers, we couldn’t have created or provided such a great event without the numerous volunteers that donated their blood, sweat and tears to the PTA, so thank you.

Experiencing our first Native art festival was a journey of discovery, celebration, and connection. It was an opportunity to appreciate the artistry, resilience, and creativity of Native peoples while supporting our culture and economy. Whether you're an art enthusiast, a cultural explorer, or simply looking for a unique and enriching experience, our festival offered something for everyone.

We sincerely hope that everyone left with not only beautiful memories, but also a deeper understanding and respect for the traditions that continue to inspire and sustain us all.

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



Governor Kristi Noem Banned by 25 percent of Tribes in South Dakota

Two Native Tribes in South Dakota have barred its governor, Kristi Noem from their land as she doubles down on derogatory commentary against Tribal leaders and reservation life.

The latest bans add to existing exclusions from four other reservations this year. Ms. Noem is now banned from nearly one-fifth of state territory.

It comes after the Republican cut short a disastrous national media book tour.

Ms. Noem was once a frontrunner to be Donald Trump's running mate this year.

Less than three months ago, she topped a poll of candidates to run as vice-president for the November election. However, a crop of recent controversies, including a story of how she shot a pet dog, have drawn bipartisan criticism.

The Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate and Yankton Sioux Tribes on Friday passed separate resolutions to prohibit Ms. Noem from setting foot in their territory.

The Tribes joined the Cheyenne River Sioux, Oglala Sioux, Rosebud Sioux and Standing Rock Sioux tribes in making the state's chief executive an outlaw on their lands. It means six of South Dakota's nine Native tribes are now refusing her entry.

Tribal governments have a sovereign right to exclude non-Tribal members from their lands, with Tribal law enforcement prepared to act if necessary.

As governor, Ms. Noem, 52, has often been at odds with these authorities. While Tribal and federal authorities have criminal jurisdiction over reservations, she has sought to expand state power.

She was banished in 2019 by the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council after signing anti-riot legislation in response to Native-led protests against the Keystone XL pipeline, and then again earlier this year over rhetoric linking illegal immigration to crime on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

The governor also ignored Tribal objections to the fireworks display over Mount Rushmore and clashed with tribal leaders after they set up coronavirus checkpoints to control visits to their reservations.

Most recently, she alleged Native children "don't have any hope" because of absentee parents and suggested without evidence that tribal leaders were "personally benefiting" from drug cartel operators.

"Governor Kristi Noem's wild and irresponsible attempt to connect Tribal leaders and parents with Mexican drug cartels is a sad reflection of her fear-based politics that do nothing to bring people together to solve problems," Janet Alkire, chairwoman of the Standing Rock Sioux, wrote in a lengthy five-page rebuke in March.

A spokesman for Ms. Noem told the BBC that "banishing Governor Noem does nothing to solve the problem... she calls on all our Tribal leaders to banish the cartels from Tribal lands".

It is the latest embarrassment for the former rising star of the Republican party.

In her new book, No Going Back, Ms. Noem recounts how she shot dead her 14-month-old dog, Cricket, for bad behavior. She also killed a goat she said smelled and was mean.

The governor said the shootings were examples of her willingness to do things that were "difficult, messy and ugly".

In another passage, later removed, Ms. Noem claimed she had been to the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea and "stared down Kim Jong Un". No public record of either action exists.

Last week, President Trump acknowledged Ms. Noem has had "a rough couple of days" but said he liked her "a lot" and noted she "has been supportive of me from the beginning".

According to US media, however, Trump insiders say she has "killed her chances" of being his vice-president.

Gabby Lemieux - Shoshone-Paiute

Gabby Lemieux, born on February 9, 1997, in Kingwood, Texas, is a professional golfer celebrated for her remarkable talent, tenacity, and passion for the sport. Hailing from the Shoshone-Paiute Tribe in Duck Valley, Lemieux's journey in golf is not only a testament to her skill but also to her cultural heritage and the resilience of Native athletes.

Inspired by her heritage and fueled by her natural talent, she began competing in junior tournaments, quickly making a name for herself in the Texas golf scene.

In 2015, Lemieux gained national attention when she competed on Golf Channel's reality competition series, "Big Break." Her appearance on the show not only showcased her exceptional skill but also provided a platform to highlight the achievements of Native athletes in the sport of golf.

Following her time on "Big Break," Lemieux continued to pursue her professional golf career with determination and grit. She competed on various tours and events, overcoming challenges and setbacks with resilience and unwavering focus.

In addition to her success on the golf course, Lemieux is committed to using her platform to uplift Tribal communities and inspire the next generation of Native athletes. She actively engages in outreach programs and charitable endeavors, serving as a role model and mentor to young Native golfers.

As Gabby Lemieux continues to make her mark in the world of golf, her journey stands as a testament to the power of passion, perseverance, and cultural pride in achieving excellence in sports.

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