Cladoosby, McClarnon, Gladstone: New Year’s Resolutions by Indian Country Notables

A list of Native New Year's resolutions by the movers and shakers in Indian Country contains surprising and revealing hopes for 2017.
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As we are a week into the new year, many of us in Indian country may have resolved to eat healthier, exercise more or do any number of things to improve our lifestyle or sense of well-being. In order to show a slice of Indian country’s approach to 2017, here are nine Native-style New Year’s resolutions by some of Indian Country finest movers and shakers, that might inspire us all to live, eat and/or approach living in a more productive or positive way.

ICMN wishes all of our readers a happy and prosperous 2017. 

National Congress of American Indian President, Brian Cladoosby (Swinomish)

Cladoosby: “Tribal governments across the country are undergoing a dramatic transformation. The last two years have demonstrated that when tribes come together as one, our potential is unlimited. We have made great strides, but our work continues."

Cladoosby: “Tribal governments across the country are undergoing a dramatic transformation. The last two years have demonstrated that when tribes come together as one, our potential is unlimited. We have made great strides, but our work continues."

As I am standing here in Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, enjoying a beautiful day, here are my New Year’s resolutions:

  1. We create a strong working relationship with the incoming administration.
  2. That they recognize the importance of sovereignty.
  3. That they look at us as 21st century tribes and that we are great contributors to this economy.
  4. That they see that there is a continual need for a strong healthcare system in Indian country.
  5. That they will continue to recognize the trust modernization that we are working on.
  6. Consultation will continue to be strong.

I wish for a strong healthcare system, greater prosperity and that Indian country will see their ability to support those communities to provide the necessities of life such as running water and working sewer and electricity.

Native Actress Tinsel Korey

Actress Tinsel Korey at the 2014 Leo Awards - Andrew Chin / Getty Images

Actress Tinsel Korey at the 2014 Leo Awards

My New Year's resolution is not to try to change, but to practice self-acceptance. I want to be aware of authentic and healthy growth and to steer away from the superficial. My well wishes for the community would be that they continue the practice of unity and traditional teachings.

Standing Rock opened the door for so many of us who grew from that movement. The world in these times of turmoil, I believe, will need the ones who carry those teachings and wisdom and who know how to share them in order for this world to to shift to its next level.

Native Actor Chaske Spencer

Chaske Spencer is the Master of Ceremonies at NMAI's Inaugural Ball

Chaske Spencer

To be able to run eight miles a day.New Mexico Democratic State Party Chair, Marathon runner and gourmet cook Debra Haaland (Pueblo)

Debra Haaland making a historic run for Lt. Gov. of New Mexico

Debra Haaland

My #NewYearsREZolution is to run five days a week.New President and CEO of the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development - Chris James, a veteran of the U.S. Department of the Treasury and U.S. Small Business Administration (Cherokee)

James is originally from Cherokee, North Carolina — home of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians — and is of Cherokee descent. His family has owned small businesses on the Qualla Boundary for more than 50 years.

James is originally from Cherokee, North Carolina — home of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians — and is of Cherokee descent. His family has owned small businesses on the Qualla Boundary for more than 50 years.

I’m not big on making specific New Year’s resolutions, but my general goal for 2017 and every year is to be able to spend more time with friends and family. I’m excited about 2017 because it will give me plenty of new opportunities to connect with old friends as I transition into my new role as President and CEO of the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development.My wish and hope for Indian Country in 2017 is that we all work together to explore new economic development opportunities in our communities. Indian Country prospers when we are on the same page and working towards the same shared goals. If we can build on the progress we’ve made over the last several years, the sky's the limit for our shared success. [text_ad] Native Actor Zahn McClarnon

Zahn McClarnon as Tribal police officer Mathias on the abruptly-canceled series 'Longmire'

Zahn McClarnon as Tribal police officer Mathias on the abruptly-canceled series 'Longmire'

I'm not a resolution guy; if I was going to do a resolution it would be to be mindful. Health and happiness is what I'd hope for everyone.Native Teen and ICMN Contributor Cierra Fields (Okla. Cherokee)

Selfie by Vincent Schilling, ICTMN Editor and Cierra Fields, Cherokee Nation

Selfie by Vincent Schilling, ICTMN Editor and Cierra Fields, Cherokee Nation at the 2016 White House Tribal Nation's Conference in Washington D.C.

I really don't believe in resolutions. I take each day as I'm given. I try to be the best me I can be and eat ice cream when I stumble. I wish that Native Youth continue to strive to change the world around us and reach their education goals. That may be college, trade schools, traditional learning, or high school. Knowledge IS power.Native Actress Lily Gladstone (Blackfeet and Nez Perce)

Lily Gladstone - Portrait from December 2014

Lily Gladstone - Portrait from December 2014

Mine is to take every opportunity I can to spend time with my grandparents!Senior Producer and sometimes Host of Native America Calling - Monica Braine (Assiniboine and Lakota)

Monica Braine "Rocs her Mocs" amidst a book by a Native author.

Monica Braine "Rocs her Mocs" amidst a book by a Native author.

My resolution is to read more Native authors. I read about 19 books last year and not one of the authors were Native! Some of the authors on my list to read this year are Duncan McCue, Tim Tingle, Louise Erdrich, Cynthia Leitich Smith and, of course, Vincent Schilling.My well wishes include safety, happiness, health and sobriety for those who need it.Recently, Monica Braine hosted an episode of NAC based on New Year’s Resolutions, featuring Dr. Dave Kemppainen (Keweenaw Bay Band of Chippewa) – substance abuse and mental health counselor and co-host of “Seers from the First People” radio show and ICMN’s Vincent Schilling. You can listen to the archived episode here.

A Mattanock Town sign sits outside of the Nansemond Powwow grounds in Suffolk, Virginia, indicating the future site of a Nansemond Indian Village, Cultural Museum and Tribal Center.

ICMN's Vincent Schilling

Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) - ICMN’s Arts and Entertainment, Pow Wows and Sports Editor, News Photographer and Political Contributor is on Twitter - Follow @VinceSchilling. His New Year's resolution is to stop being too "reactionary" to the growing world of social media and the fast-paced technological age; striving to be more calm-minded and thoughtful to his family, friends and business associates.