New holiday zen: Native traditions and yoga
Hawk, a Cherokee and Mesquaki descendant, uses Native American flute music to help others reconnect with the natural world. (Courtesy of OnMilwaukee.com)
Driving around the icy streets of Missoula today, my car low on oil, late for work and in search of one last Christmas gift I didn’t find, I really could have used Dennis Hawk
You see, as OnMilwaukee.com reports, Hawk, a Cherokee and Mesquaki descendant, combines the healing practices of yoga with Native American teachings as a way to help promote an overall sense of well-being and connection to the natural world.
Hawk holds regular conferences that combine yoga and a combination of music and Native American spiritualism. Music plays a large role as well.
Sounds so sweet.
Last week’s workshops also featured simultaneous Reiki practice, a spiritual technique that seeks to transfer energy through the palms of practitioners’ hands.
“It’s very interactive,” says Hawk. “It’s almost inducing a dream state to raise conscious awareness of the season changes and winter. Being indoors, we never really experience winter. My teachings ceremonially welcome in the winter in a process of rest and renewal.”
Final TNS10 recap
As a final note to last week’s Tribal Nations Conference in Washington D.C., here’s a video from NAPT’s Gemma Givens cataloging the issues touched on at the summit. Givens has some great footage and original interviews, including the thoughts of Jefferson Keel on positive steps he believes were take for Indian Country in 2010. See NAPT for blogs and more news.
Suicide workshops taking place across the country
You can’t get much braver than Natasha Singh. An Alaska Native, she suffers from depression. And she fought it. The Associated Press’ story last week chronicled Singh’s story of fighting taboos and getting help, as well as highlighted federal listening sessions being held during the next several months to address the problem of Native suicide.
Singh, who suffers from anxiety, wants to remove the stigma of seeking help in Alaska Native communities. That’s why she decided to speak at one of 10 “listening sessions” being held nationwide by federal agencies through February.
Federal officials say the sessions aim to explore ways to better address the disproportionate rate of suicides in Alaska Native and American Indian communities, most notably among the young.
Northern Manitoba aboriginal leaders want clean running water
Nicole Mason, 14, and her brother haul water to their trailer at St. Theresa Point last winter. (HELEN.FALLDING@FREEPRESS.MB.CA)
More than 1,400 homes on northern Manitoba reserves have no running water. Native leaders are demanding the number be zero by 2012, the Winnipeg Free Press reported. The chiefs took their concerns to Parliament Hill in Ottawa last week – wondering why the money can’t be spent to bring the basic need of clean water to all on the reserve.
The lack of running water has been blamed for health issues including skin problems and the easy spread of infections like flu. Without running water, even basic hygiene like handwashing is difficult.
Last year, Manitoba’s Island Lake region, where half the homes have no running water, was hit hard by the H1N1 flu virus and this year two people have died there after getting seasonal flu, Harper said.
Bringing running water to 1,448 northern Manitoba homes would require adding kitchen sinks, toilets and bathtubs to houses built without plumbing. In many cases, holding tanks would need to be installed for water delivered by truck. Most reserves have water-treatment plants capable of supplying water for the holding tanks.
Tags: Cherokee, dennis hawk, depression, gemma given, Manitoba, mesquaki, NAPT, natasha singh, native suicides, northern manitoba, onmilwaukee.com, Ottawa, Suicide, tns10, tribal nations concer, Tribal Nations Conference, water rights