Porcupine Clinic Out Of Heat - Update From Grand River - First Nations Mohawk- 1st 'Native American SRI' Gathering
Submitted by Western Shoshone Defense Project
By Stephanie M. Schwartz, Freelance Writer
Member, Native American Journalists Association
October 26, 2007 Firestone, Colorado
Porcupine Clinic, located in the small community of Porcupine, South Dakota on the Pine Ridge Oglala Lakota [Sioux] Reservation is out of heat. According to Stella White Eyes, Administrative Assistant for the Clinic, the Clinic has closed its doors until it can find resources to fund their heating costs.
Porcupine Clinic is the only independent Indian community-controlled health clinic in the United States. It is not connected with the Federal Indian Health Services (IHS) program and is funded primarily by grants and donations. Unfortunately, those resources have become exceptionally rare this year.
Porcupine Clinic opened its doors in 1992 and serves the entire Reservation as well as the Porcupine District in which it is located. Patients are billed according to their ability to pay and many patients, including low-income Elders and children, receive free health care there.
In 2004, the Porcupine Clinic opened its dialysis unit, saving countless lives of those diabetic patients who could not journey 120 miles away to Rapid City for needed dialysis treatment several times a week. The only other dialysis treatment available on the 11,000 square mile (2.7 million acres) Reservation is located in the small IHS Hospital in the community of Pine Ridge. But that facility hosts only a handful of dialysis beds, is up to 100 miles away from the more remote areas of the Reservation, and is completely unable to treat the vast need of the entire Reservation.
Recent statistics state that the diabetes rate on Pine Ridge is 800% that of the National average and the life expectancy rate is 52 to 58 years old. It is said that 55% of the adults on Pine Ridge over the age of 40 have diabetes.
Ms. White Eyes states that the Clinic has been unable to pay their annual propane tank rental fees of $245 (for both the Clinic and dialysis unit tanks) or for the propane to fill them. They have three tanks: a thousand gallon tank which services the main clinic and two five hundred gallon tanks servicing the dialysis unit. The minimum propane delivery from their provider, Western Cooperative (WESTCO) out of Chadron and Hay Springs, Nebraska, is $360.
If all the tanks were filled, at $1.69 per gallon, it would cost well over $3,000. Further, that will need to happen more than once this winter. While the dialysis unit helps to fund at least part of its own propane use, the Clinic is out of funding now, just as winter is approaching fast.
Harvey Iron Boy, Porcupine District Vice President and Head Man, spoke of the vital role that the Clinic plays in the local district as well as the Reservation as a whole. Not only are the health care services, bi-lingual assistance, diabetic education, and dialysis treatments all meeting critical needs on the Reservation but there are more basic needs met by the Clinic as well. He pointed out that locals often come into the Clinic simply to get warm on days when they have no heat in their own homes.
Ms. White Eyes has contacted various non-profits and assistance organizations but has largely gone unanswered. Link Center Foundation, a small all-volunteer non-profit organization out of Longmont, Colorado, was contacted this week and was also unable to help. With their own heating assistance program for the elders and disabled on the Reservation struggling due to lack of donations, there simply was no funding available to help the Clinic.
However, Audrey Link, Founder/President of the Link Center Foundation (www.LinkCenterFoundation.org), personally paid the $245 out of her own pocket for the annual tank rental fees for the Porcupine Clinic and dialysis unit on Friday.
Largely retired and on limited income herself, Link stated that “She couldn’t go to sleep tonight if she thought the dialysis patients and Clinic were going to lose their propane tanks. At least now, if they can raise any money at all elsewhere, they can use the money for propane to fill them.”
Anyone wishing to donate towards propane fuel for the Porcupine Clinic may do so directly to the propane company. Please contact:
Loretta at Western Cooperative (WESTCO)
170 Bordeaux St – Chadron, NE 69337-2342
Call Toll Free 800-762-9906
Credit Card and Bank Card donations by phone will be accepted. Small donations are also welcome and will accumulate until the minimum delivery has been reached and then the company will make a delivery of propane to the Clinic. Please clearly mark any donation “For Porcupine Clinic.”
Donations may also be sent directly to the Clinic. For more information, please contact:
Stella White Eyes, Administrative Assistant
P.O. Box 99 – Porcupine, SD 57772
Internet Information: http://www.lakotamall.com/porcupine/
Note: Due to lack of heat, there may or may not be anyone available to answer the phone at the Clinic at this time. Please leave a message.
Stephanie M. Schwartz may be reached at SilvrDrach@Gmail.com
Visit other writings of Stephanie M. Schwartz at www.SilvrDrach.homestead.com
This article may be reprinted, reproduced, and/or re-distributed unedited with proper attribution and sourcing for non-profit, educational, news, or archival purposes.
Update From Grand River - First Nations, Mohawk
Submitted by Monica Davis
By Hazel Hill
When the land reclamation of Kanonhstaton first started over 18 months ago, the people involved asked for three conditions.
*They asked that the Confederacy Council be giving the lead. They wanted our traditional government to handle our lands and to protect and uphold our treaty rights.
*They asked that the clanmothers be involved. They wanted to help bring back the responsiblities of the clans and to ensure that the clan families were given a voice.
*They also asked that lawyers not speak for us and the Law to which we would be working under would be the Kaienerekowah, the Great Law, which is the foundation of our relations with all of Creation.
To date, all of these requests have been not only acknowledged, but adhered to. The Confederacy Chiefs are in the lead. Even the elected council agreed with this.
The clanmothers have been actively involved in this process and are working with their clan families and working with the women of this community to help those who are unsure of their clans understand where they fit in and how the clan process works.
They are working at establishing a meeting place where people can go to find out the history of their family and their clans if they are uncertain.
The Law, which we are upholding and working with is, the Kaierenekowah. The lawyers, who are involved, be it with the Haudenosaunee or the Elected system, are there to advise and to assist.
They are providing assistance, especially when the Crown representatives try to influence the negotiations by trying to bring their Canadian laws to the table through the Department of Justice, or through their ‘specific claims process’.
Because those individuals who are there to assist are fully aware of Canadian laws, they can easily recognize when the Crown tries to box us in, or when they attempt to pull the Haudenosaunee into the Crown’s boat and under the Crown’s laws.
They are not there to tell our Chiefs or any of our people what to do, they are only there to advise. We are sitting at the table according to our ancient covenants and treaties, specifically the Two Row and the Silver Covenant Chain. The Crown representatives have agreed in writing to this process.
These were the words used when the Onkwehonwe entered into the Two Row Wampum Treaty with the United States, and they were a re-affirmation of the words that were used in the same Treaty relationship with the French and the English.
The same words were used in the Friendship Treaty Belt between the Onkwehonweh and the Dutch when asked by the Dutch which symbols will you go by...
“ We will go by these symbols: when the Creator made Morther Earth and created man to walk upon this earth to enjoy all nature’s fruits saying no one shall claim Mother Earth except the rising faces which are to be born;
(1) as long as the sun shines upon this earth that is how long our agreement will stand;
(2) as long as the water still flows; and
(3) as long as the grass grows green at a certain time of the year. Now we have symbolized this agreement and it shall be binding forever as long as Mother Earth is still in motion.
We have finished and we understand what we have confirmed and this is what our generation should know and learn not to forget.”
(These words were taken from a publication from the library of Jacob & Yvonne Thomas, 1978.) They weren’t just words sang by the original man in black!
Today, we are left with trying to get the Crown to uphold its end of this Treaty Relationship. The task has never been more in the forefront as it has been since the land reclamation of Kanonhstaton (former Douglas Creek Estates) began in February 2006 by the Onkwehonweh of what is now known as the Six Nations.
Since this negotiation process has started, the Haudenosaunee representatives have continually reminded the Crown representatives of Canada that their obligation to uphold and protect this relationship is just as binding today as it was in the early 1600’s when the first friendship treaty was established.
No law or any unilateral acts of the British Crown in the formation of what is now known as Canada or the United States can take away from those responsibilities, nor can any other law supercede these Treaties.
To continue with Hazel’s article go to:
Hazel Hill’s link - Mohawk
First Ever 'Native American Leaders For SRI' Gathering
WASHINGTON, D.C.///News Advisory///The first of its kind “Native American Leaders for Socially Responsible Investing (SRI)” gathering will take place November 2, 2007 at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya at the Santa Ana Pueblo in New Mexico. More than 25 Native American leaders from across the United States are expected to attend the event.
The meeting on November 2nd aims to expand an ongoing dialogue among Indigenous Communities in the US and the Social Investment Forum (SIF). The one-day “Native American Leaders for SRI” event takes place immediately before the 18th annual SRI in the Rockies Conference November 3 - 6, 2007 at the Hyatt Regency.
Susan White, director of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin Trust Department, and Chair of SIF’s Indigenous People’s Task Force, said: “This is an historic occasion. There has never been an official meeting between the Native American world and the socially responsible investing world. I believe that there is an incredible opportunity to strengthen both worlds through greater collaboration and cooperation. I am committed to elevating Native American issues by having more tribes join in SRI.”
Social Investment Forum CEO Lisa Woll said: “The social investment community, represented by the Social Investment Forum, is greatly looking forward to dialoguing and networking with indigenous communities, sharing information on how to undertake socially responsible investing, and learning more about how we can better address indigenous peoples’ issues through SRI.”
Featured speakers include J.D. Colbert, Chickasaw-Creek, president and CEO of Native American Bank, who will talk about the role of the bank in pooling Indian economic resources to increase Indian economic independence.
Larson Bill, Western Shoshone, and a community planner with the Western Shoshone Defense Project (WSDP) will speak about the project’s work to secure land rights, particularly WSDP’s fights against mining companies and the role that SRI has played in these efforts.
Rebecca Adamson, a Cherokee, is the founder and president emeritus of First Nations Development Institute and founder and president of First Peoples Worldwide. She will speak at the conference dinner on indigenous issues from a global perspective.
Other key panelists and speakers will include Jonny BearCub Stiffarm, business development manager, Native Energy; Elsie Meeks, executive director, Oweesta; Chris Peters, president, Seventh Generation Fund; Ron Solimon, president and CEO, Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Inc.; Roland Johnson, former governor, Laguna Pueblo; Steve Cornell, co-founder of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, director of the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy at the University of Arizona; Tim Smith, board chair, SIF and vice-president of Walden Asset Management; Paul Hilton, director, Advanced Equities Research, Calvert; Stephanie Leighton, vice president & director of Equity Research, Trillium Asset Management Corp.; Laura Berry, executive director, ICCR; Steven Heim, director, Social Research, Boston Common Asset Management; and Justin Conway of the Calvert Foundation.
The sponsors of the event are: Boston Common Asset Management, Calvert, Mercer Investment Consulting, Oneida Nation, Pax, Spectra, Trillium Asset Management, and Walden Asset Management.
More information about the conference, please go to http://www.socialinvest.org/projects/indigenous.cfm on the Web.
ABOUT THE SOCIAL INVESTMENT FORUM
The Social Investment Forum (http://www.socialinvest.org) is the national membership association for the social investment industry. It is dedicated to advancing the concept, practice, and growth of socially responsible investing. The Forum's 500-plus members include financial planners, banks, mutual fund companies, research companies, foundations, and community investing institutions.
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