What You Can Do to Help

 

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Many have asked what can be done to make a difference.  This page has been created as a resource for ideas. These ideas are in response to questions by tribal members, but one need not be a tribal member be deeply affected or effective.

There does not need to be a national organization in this. Everyone has skills given them by God for good use – and you have already been placed where God wants you. Be a leader in your home and community.

You know what you are good at. It is on your heart. If each one of us does our task with sincere love – – mountains can be moved.

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. 

STOP the Abuse of Children, Suicides of Teens, and despair of Elders.

Money isn’t needed. You don’t need grants or donations. We have done lots of things on a shoestring. We simply need to put one foot in front of the other. LOVE is what will get this done – not money.

STOP the abuses.

Speak, Tape, Open your Door, Pray

Which of the actions below are your skills? One of them? All of them?

SPEAK:

Speak up – Don’t continue to bury it.

Write and call your Congressmen: Contrary to what many believe, Congress has plenary power over Indian Country and Federal Indian law is enacted by Congress. Congress does have a say in what is going on in Indian Country. While some ‘pay to play’ Congressmen accept donations from tribal casinos and other tribal industry entities – (Just because Jack Abramoff went to jail doesn’t mean all tribal leaders stopped giving Congressmen money) – there are many sincere Congressmen who really do care for about truth and justice. However, most Congressional offices only know what tribal lobbyists tell them about Indian Country – and the lobbyists work for the tribal leaders, not the membership.  You need to be that voice telling them there is another side to this story. ~ ~You can get the contact information for your Congressmen at http://Senate.gov and http://house.gov.

Write your Newspapers: Write letters to editor as often as you can – and to as many papers as you can. Try to keep the letters under 250 words for the best chance of getting published. Write articles and see if there is a paper that will publish them as a commentary. Try to keep commentaries to no more than a page and a half – two pages at most.

Challenge an event: Ask “What about the kids?” when given the opportunity at public meetings. When political events happen in the community and attendees are invited to speak, speak up about what is really on your heart. Dozens of tribal members at Spirit Lake did this in February, 2013, at a town hall meeting attended by the U.S Attorney and Congressional staff. EVERYONE who stood up spoke against the tribal corruption within their tribal council, as well as within the U.S. attorneys office.

Submit your Story to interested groups:  There are several groups that are interested in varied facets of civil rights abuses within Indian Country. One example is the Goldwater Institute, which is working on Equal Protection issues right now.  They have a link for people to submit their stories to them: “Tell us your epic story.”

Talk about it on Social Media: The more people outside of Indian Country that begin to understand what has been happening, the better.

 

TAPE:

Tape Videos: Community hearings, tribal council meetings, social service visits – video taping these types of things, and if you have something that might be of interest to others, share it on Facebook or YouTube.

Tape Audios: Audio tapes can be made to go on YouTube and shared on Facebook as well. Tape conversations with tribal leaders, judges, police and social services.  Be certain to check the laws in your state. In most states, this is legal as long as the taping doesn’t take place in their private home or somewhere else where they have an expectation of privacy.  In some states, it is legal as long as a least one of those in the conversation (you) has agreed to the taping. Tribal policeman Lavern ‘Bundy’ Littlewind taped conversations between himself and the tribal judge and tribal social workers in 2014 at Spirit Lake. Listen to his audio tapes here.

 

OPEN:

Open your home: If you have a safe home – make it known to kids that they can drop in anytime they need to. Let it be a place where they are guaranteed to be safe, warm, and welcome. Do not allow harm to come in.  Make certain everyone knows the crime and abuse stops at your door and nothing can be brought inside.  (Warning – if there is anything in your heart that could tempt you to exploit a vulnerable child, this is not your calling or skill.)

Open your house: Invite your Congressman to dinner.  YES. As we mentioned above, they rarely get the full picture of what is really happening.  These Congressmen frequently schedule ‘coffee chats’ and dinners in the homes of their constituents, especially during election season as a way to meet and greet voters.  Why not yours? Give them a chance to meet your friends and hear your very serious concerns. Give them a chance to discuss what they might be able to do about it.

Open your heart: Together with friends, do a street watch. Some people at Leech Lake were doing this. Walk the streets at 2 am, if necessary, gathering up kids in need and bringing them to a safe and warm place to spend the night – where they get to be simple kids.

 

PRAY:

Prayer times: Schedule time together with friends for weekly prayer. “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” John 15:7

Prayer Homes: Do others know your home is a safe place to go for prayer? “Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven.” Psalm 107:28-30 

 

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.