Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Jewel and Indigenous musician, scholar and community organizer Lyla June are gearing up to co-host a benefit concert on Sunday titled, “Voices Of Siihasin.” The online benefit concert, which will be aired live on Jewel’s Facebook page will work to raise funds for World Central Kitchen, an organization that provides Diné children and their families assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This Sunday’s virtual concert will take place July 5 at 2:00 pm PT / 5:00 pm ET. In addition to performances by Jewel, Sia, and Jason Mraz, the event will also feature performances by a range of Native artists to include Supaman, Apsaalooke; Radmilla Cody, Diné/ Naahiłí; Frank Waln, Sičangu Lakota, and Cody Blackbird, Eastern Band Cherokee.
The “Voices of Siihasin” benefit concert will also include performances by Alex Ebert (of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros), AWOLNATION, Bea, Chasity Salvador, Acoma Pueblo; Emily Scott Robinson, Jessa Calderon, Tongva/Chumash; Kinsale Hues, Diné; Kip Moore, KT Tunstall, Larkin Poe, Lindsay Ell, Liv the Artist, Comanche; Lukas Nelson, Lyla June Diné/Cheyenne; Mic Jordan,Turtle Mountain Chippewa; Mike Posner, Q’orianka Kilcher, Quechua; Rachel Platten, Tall Pall, Leech Lake Ojibwe; Tanaya Winder, Diné/Duckwater Shoshone Paiute/Pyramid Lake Paiute/Southern Ute and Tyler Bryant.
The goal of the “Voices of Siihasin” benefit concert is to provide assistance to two organizations dedicated to providing weekly meals for 81,000 Diné children and their families. The organizations, the World Central Kitchen and the Orenda Tribe, an Indigenous-owned clothing company, have been providing meals since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To date, the World Central Kitchen and the Orenda Tribe have delivered over half a million meals to the Dine’ community and currently have 47,000 food boxes scheduled for delivery, equating to 927,360 servings of non-perishable food.
In addition to providing over four tons of food, the Orenda Tribe has supplied 150,000 masks and other protective equipment to Dinétah, tribal homelands.
Amy Yeung, Diné, the founder of Orenda Tribe said of the efforts, “This will be the largest food distribution project taking place within Dinétah. To ensure the safety of families and children, this initiative will allow them to stay home, reduce travel, and ensure that nutrient-dense foods are provided during a time when Diné families are not only facing a food gap, but also a global pandemic.”
Yeung says she and her friend Grammy-nominated musical artist Jewel, created the event after, “witnessing the devastation the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the Diné tribe.”
“We have been #1 in COVID positive cases for far too long. It has been really traumatic for our little ones, as it has been for all of our children,” said Yeung. “Our youth are sacred to us. They are the future of our people and we want them to know we love them, that we honor them and that we are here for them.”
“The Native American community is near and dear to my heart,” Jewel wrote in an email to Indian Country Today. “We owe a tremendous debt to traditional Indigenous ways, and I feel our future depends on honoring and remembering ancient wisdoms. I feel honored to be co-hosting this benefit with Lyla June, Diné/Cheyenne, and am also grateful to be working with my dear friend, Amy Yeung, Diné. I hope through the power of music, the “Voices of Siihasin” Livestream event can help bring hope and much-needed aid to the Diné community during this challenging time.”
“I jumped on board to support the Diné women who are powering the effort behind the scenes,” said Lyla June. “So many talented and good-hearted people came together to craft this fundraiser. I know we landed this with such a short turnaround time because we want change so badly. It is always a challenge organizing with varied cultural backgrounds coming together, but Jewel told us, ‘Your war is my war and I'm here for the long haul.’ That meant a lot to us and because of this level of determination, we know it's going to be a success.”
“We are always stronger when we join together. ‘Voices of Siihasin’ is an embodiment of interdependence and synergy, something Diné ancestors valued very much,” said June.
Other Native community members and supporters lauded the efforts of the benefit concert.
“I see how hunger affects the learning and development of our children. I see first hand the critical needs of our youth. As a mother and educator, I feel grateful for the food relief aid for summer meals,” adds Dr. Victoria Yazzie, Native language and cultural program coordinator for the Kayenta School District.
The goal of the “Voices of Siihasin” benefit concert is to provide weekly meals for 81k Diné children and families. Currently, World Central Kitchen and the Orenda Tribe have 47k boxes scheduled for delivery, equating to 927,360 servings of non-perishable food. This will be the largest food distribution project taking place within Dinétah. To ensure the safety of families and children, this initiative will allow them to stay home, reduce travel, and ensure that nutrient-dense foods are provided during a time when Diné families are not only facing a food gap, but also a global pandemic.
“Wherever people are hungry, we will be there to help,” adds Nate Mook, CEO of World Central Kitchen. “The Diné people have been dramatically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused substantial and sometimes tragic changes in children’s lives. World Central Kitchen is proud to support the community and bring some stability during this difficult time, and we’re excited for the fundraising effort led by Orenda Tribe and partners.”
“We are proud to support Native solutionaries like Orenda Tribe and this initiative to bring food sovereignty to the Diné People. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, NDN Collective has worked with Indigenous partners across the country to ensure that gaps within tribal and Indigenous communities are addressed. We believe this benefit concert will amplify models of Indigenous solutions that will build the resilience and regenerative food systems that are integral for our communities to thrive before, during, and after a global pandemic,” says Nick Tilsen, CEO and president of NDN Collective.
This benefit, which will be livestreamed on Jewel’s official Facebook page, is produced by Conscious City Guide and sponsored by NDN Collective.
To learn more and register for the concert event, please visit: http://love.consciouscityguide.com/voices-of-siihasin
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