Support RED

A New Tradition

As we move forward into another New Year, 2011, we'd like to start a new tradition and give acknowledgment, recognition and congratulations to people for various accomplishments in our community. We reach out to a very diverse population in R.E.D., and we'd like to highlight some of the many gifts, talents and work performed in our little "village" of people. This article includes seven groups/individuals that we are placing in the "recognition spotlight" this season. Please take a few minutes to read about them! (Please go to "read more")

In this season of going inward, spending time with family and going into the quiet of winter, we'd like to give our heartfelt congratulations to the many students in our midst--from our rambunctious preschoolers on up through high school and college. We interface with many young people--many of whom balance their time in R.E.D. with the stress of being full-time students, financially making ends meet and finding time to spend with family and friends. We honor our relations with the NASU students of Southern Oregon University and want to honor you all for getting though Finals and Fall term. Your hard work and perseverance is appreciated and we look forward to more collaborative projects with you! We also honor all the kids in our high schools, middle schools and elementary schools throughout our region--our local youth as well as our "cousin" Title VII Indian Education family in Coos Bay. As your "olders," we do this all for you! So thank you for making us happy and proud to know you, watch you grow and accomplish so much.

Staying with that theme of honoring our youth, we'd like to also acknowledge many young people in R.E.D. committing to sobriety--many of the youth on Whistling Elk Drum have made the commitment to stay sober, and we'd like to thank you for taking care of yourselves, your families and community this way. We know it's not easy, especially during holidays, work/school stress, etc., but your focus and determination is paying off, and we are so proud of you

Congratulations to Tasker Crow for winning the annual Ashland High School Talent Show! He sang a Round Dance song with his hand drum to a sold-out audience in the Mountain Theatre. With 50 some-odd high school students on stage waiting to get the judges' results and hear the winner and the runner-up, he took First Place with a big grin and a happy heart, his sacred Drum in hand. Aside from the wonderful feeling this gave him, the "bigger picture" in this accomplishment is the cultural significance--Tasker performed with all his heart and gave the people a song very different from mainstream understanding--and he was able to reach the audience on a deep, cultural level that is so important to see with our Native youth in the mainstream society.

We'd like to acknowledge the work of Christine Leonard, "Sweetwater Education Foundation" and her "Native Children Education Project" in the recent "Warmth Project" once again sponsored to collect warm clothing, coats, blankets, socks, boots and baby items to send back to Pine Ridge and Cheyenne River Reservations to give to the Native people on those reservations in need of these items. The enormous amounts of clothing and supplies shipped back there this past fall are appreciated by hundreds of families and children in need of warm items to get through the winter months in South Dakota. THANK YOU to the R.E.D. community for supporting the Warmth Projects the last few years. And "hats off" to Christine for taking this project on and giving us all the opportunity to help some of the poorest communities in our country as well as raise the awareness of this growing need in our poverty-stricken communities--both on the rez and in our own backyards. Please visit Christine's site at:

Congratulations also to Dan Wahpepah for starting a home-spun business that allows him to show off his creative and artistic side! We welcome "Red Skins," also known as "Wahpepah Graphix" to our community of Native vendors. Dan is making window stickers, decals and signs--very impressive "bling" in the form of Native designs for cars, windows, cell phones--any flat surface. They are truly works of art, customized for specific Tribes, events, special orders and beyond. Dan has designed over 100 stickers, so feel free to check out his prolific work here on the R.E.D. site--go to the Trading Post.

Along those lines of creative Native art, we also want to congratulate Stasi Maxwell for her new business enterprises (see links below) in marketing the absolutely GORGEOUS jewelry she makes. Everything is a one-of-a-kind and hand-made from the heart. If you haven't yet had the chance to peruse the Ashland Artisan Emporium (located next to Wendy's in the old D.J.'s video shop space), you are in for a treat. Check it out and find Stasi's space with her unique and amazing array of jewelry!

We'd like to recognize Lomakatsi Restoration Project, one of the many dynamic organizations we support. In recent years, Lomakatsi has been the absolute cutting-edge forest ecology restoration service in Southern Oregon/Northern California. They have worked diligently to change the face of forest restoration in going back to the old way of reconnecting people to the land in shared stewardship, which is the indigenous way of taking care of the land. Their philosophy and work has proved to be so successful that they've achieved substantial Federal funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to steward/help restore thousands of acres of forest in our region, also creating 150 new jobs for forest workers in our community. Lomakatsi has also created a forest ecology program within our local schools, "Full Circle Schools Restoration Ecology Program." This supports a long-term investment in forest and stream habitat restoration through in-class and hands-on education at restoration sites "adopted" by schools. Through this program, students become the ecological caretakers of local streams and forests. To our friends at Lomakatsi--we have enormous respect and love for the crucial and important work you do! Please see their website for more information:

To all these people doing exceptional, creative work, taking care of their families and their community in a good way, we acknowledge your gifts and talents and value your presence in our community. . .thank you for sharing!

Many blessings for health and happiness in the New Year,

Red Earth Descendants