Rematriation of seeds and students

Hope Flanagan from Dream of Wild Health is on the show to speak about the work her organization is doing in Minnesota. Plus Shannon Shaw Duty has an update on the movie 'Killers of the Flower Moon' and why the story is so important.
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Joining us today is Hope Flanagan, who is Seneca. She’s the Community Outreach and Cultural Teacher at Dream of Wild Health. The nonprofit is dedicated to restoring health and well-being in the Native community by recovering knowledge of and access to healthy Indigenous foods, medicines, and lifeways. Hope will be speaking about one of her organization's co-founders Sally Auger. 

Construction is underway in the town of Pawhuska, Oklahoma. Crews are getting ready for the filming of the movie, 'Killers of the Flower Moon.' Martin Scorsese is directing and there are some big Hollywood names as well as a major cast of Native actors. Shannon Shaw Duty is the editor of the Osage News. She joins us with an update on the production and why this tragic story is so important to the Osage people.

A slice of our Indigenous world

  • Non-Natives are now vaccinated thanks to the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla. 
  • Alaska Native seniors in Anchorage no longer have to defend wearing their regalia at graduation. 
  • And in California, a bill to make sure Native students can wear regalia at their graduations is being introduced. 
  • Washington state is one step closer to banning the use of Native American mascots.
  • After 83 years of production a play in North Carolina will no longer use white actors painted in “redface” for its Native American characters. 
  • A donation from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians will help its animal friends in a big way.
  • One of the world’s largest proposed gold mines is being challenged by Alaska Natives.

Find more details on these stories at the top of today's newscast.

Some quotes from today's show.

Hope Flanagan:

"I've been working at Dream of Wild Health for, this will be my 13th summer working there. And I'm so grateful that I get this opportunity. We have this saying that we raise children and we raise seeds. Well, I should actually say we raise leaders and we raise seeds. So we have young people come out from the Minneapolis and St. Paul area. We drive vans up there to our farm at Dream of Wild Health and it's in Hugo, Minnesota."

"And we grow out seeds, traditional tribal seeds. We have a pollinator meadow, a native orchard. We have an area where we grow out vegetables and foods that we can bring back into the Native communities. And like I said, we're trying to rematriate some of those seeds that Sally so generously stewarded during her lifetime. She was gifted a bundle of traditional tribal seeds from an elder named Cora Baker, who was a Potawatomi elder. And this was part of Sally's inspiration to see the seeds come back and give their gift. And as we know, those old seeds are full of nutritional value, full of history, full of connection to the people."

"We've just in the past year and a half expanded, tripled our size in acreage so that we could produce more food, get other Native people established as farmers, and to bring the food back to the people. So we call that rematriation when the seeds are regenerated. Like if we get the seeds that come from some of the tribal backgrounds. Sometimes we'll only have one seed left, or last night I was hearing about there's one where we had five seeds left in the world of these particular crops and that if we can restore them, rejuvenate them and then give them back as a tribal heritage gift."

Shannon Shaw Duty:

"Well, currently they are in preproduction and filming is scheduled to begin next week. Right now the Osage News offices is located on Kihekah avenue. And Kihekah avenue is about four blocks of buildings. Former buildings that have been here since the early 19 hundreds. So what they plan to do is transform this entire street into 1920s, Fairfax. So currently they are redoing storefronts. They are going to be putting up facades of the businesses from Fairfax from the 1920s. The entire road will be turned into a dirt road because during the 1920s there wasn't paved roads yet."

"It is extremely important that it's told well, and that it's told from the point of view of the Osage. Many were worried that this, this history of ours is tragic history that Osages have not spoken publicly about for two to three generations. It was taboo for a very long time because it was so hurtful and traumatic for these families. We still feel the effects of these murders to this day. Generations were wiped out because of a patriarch or a matriarch was murdered. So it really disrupted our culture and our way of life for a very long time. And it seems as if we are just now starting to come out of that a hundred years later, starting to heal even though we didn't talk about it for a very long time, we all had our own personal stories."  

"All the Natives are very star struck by the other Native actors that we all have watched their careers. And we're excited for these new actresses that have come on board. We've had the opportunity to meet these some of these new actresses and they are just wonderful people. But we have had a lot of tourists come in and they're looking to see Leonardo DiCaprio. I'm not going to lie, one of the main questions is, do you know where he's staying? Do you know when he's going to be filming downtown? These are the questions that we receive."

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Mark Trahant, Shoshone-Bannock, is editor of Indian Country Today. On Twitter: @TrahantReports Trahant is based in Phoenix.

Patty Talahongva, Hopi, is executive producer of Indian Country Today. Follow her on Twitter: @WiteSpider. 

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