"For all of us, becoming indigenous to a place means living as if your children's future mattered, to take care of the land as if our lives, both material and spiritual, depended on it." - Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass
"Tutanekai lived on Mokoia Island, Lake Rotorua, where of an evening he and his friend Tiki used to play – the one on a “horn”, the other on a “pipe”. The sound of this music could be heard across Lake Rotorua at Owhata and it charmed the beautiful and noble-born Hinemoa who lived there. When Tutanekai visited the mainland with his people, he met Hinemoa and they fell in love. The young man had perforce to return to his village, but the lovers arranged that every night he would play and that Hinemoa would follow the sound of his music to join him."
"Tutanekai kept up a nightly serenade but Hinemoa's people, suspecting something was afoot, had hidden all the canoes. The maiden, however, was not to be deterred and, selecting six large, dry, empty gourds as floats, she decided to swim to the island. Guided by the strains of her loved one's music, Hinemoa safely reached the other shore and landed near a hot spring, Waikimihia, in which she warmed and refreshed herself."
The NABI Foundation is national foundation committed to supporting Native American youth by implementing programs that encourage higher education, sports, health & wellness and community building. Their vision is to raise a generation of leaders by creating the spark that ignites Native American youth to set their sights higher, make the most of their potential and reach their dreams. And their mission is to create, encourage and support Native American youth now and through their journey as they discover who they are, what they want to be and how they can impact future generations.
Last year, my cousins came with the New Zealand team, Nga Hau e Wha Basketball, that had been invited to the tournament and my family was able to make some amazing friends involved with this awesome program. So naturally, we were very excited to see them again for this year's tournament.
"Since its Inception in 2003, NABI Basketball has served over 15,000 youth, created numerous scholarships, succeeded in having one of our athletes go pro into the WNBA. Through our NABI Scholarship Fund, we have awarded over $200,000 in financial aid to our NABI athletes who go on to pursue higher education...The tournament in its effort to bring national attention to Native American athletes has been featured in numerous national media outlets such as: Sports Illustrated, ESPN Magazine, USA Today, New York Times and many more!"
The NABI Foundation along with Nga Hau e Wha Basketball team has given the opportunity indigenous youth to build relationships globally and create memories that will last a lifetime. For many of the Kiwi kids it's the first and maybe only time they are able to travel to the United States. We love this program and can't wait to be more involved in the future. We are so glad that our whanau connected us to it.
The Winnemem Wintu (Middle Water People) Tribe is indigenous to Northern California. They are intimately connected to the McCloud River, Bulyum Puyuk (Mount Shasta), and the surrounding meadows. The Winter-Run Chinook Salmon are sacred to the Winnemem Wintu people. They believe when the Creator put them on the Earth they had no voice, their Salmon relatives gave up their voices to the Winnemem Wintu people.
Now the Chinook Salmon are on the verge of extinction. The Winnemem Wintu people have an ancient prophecy, “When there are no more salmon, there will be no more Winnemem Wintu people.”
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, salmon eggs were taken from the McCloud River to populate the rivers in other parts of the world.
The Winnemem Wintu preformed a War Dance at the Shasta dam in 2004 and made news around the world. A New Zealand professor contacted them saying, “We have your fish, do you want them back?” The Chinook Salmon eggs had been taken to Aotearoa (New Zealand) back in late 1800s and early 1900s had survived in the glacier-fed rivers and exist there in healthy numbers.
After meeting with the Maori people of the South Island, the Ngai Tahu Tribe, the Winnemem Wintu are raising money to travel back to New Zealand with their tribal youth to collect samples for DNA testing to prove to the U.S. government that the New Zealand salmon are indeed the McCloud river fish so they can restore the fish to their river.
Not only am I a descendant of the Ngai Tahu people but I also belong to their sister tribe Ngati Porou as both our tribes are descendants of Paikea. And as a resident of California, I want to help the Winnemem Wintu people with their salmon restoration project.
I want my son to know that indigenous people matter and that too often are our communities’ needs, ideas, and beliefs overlooked and disrespected. I want him to grow up not being afraid to stand up for what’s right.
This is why we made “Bring Our Salmon Home” signs together as a family and also why
I am going to donate 10% of all of my sales this week
from my shop Lularoe Ana Aiono Dowden to the Winnemem Wintu Salmon Restoration Project.
You can also donate to the Salmon Restoration Project through their GoFundMe site.
I recently purchased these awesome custom crystal shoes from my good friends at SOLES ON FIRE. They were beautiful and amazing and went with my Lularoe Americana outfits perfectly. For the month of July head on over to SOLES ON FIRE and tell Marji that Ana sent you for a 20% off coupon for my shop when you make a purchase from at SOLES ON FIRE.
CODE from Soles on Fire Boutique
20% OFF at Lularoe Ana Aiono Dowden
Limit one coupon per customer
Not Valid with other Sales, Promotions, or Disney Products
Offer Expires July 31st
My parents immigrated to the United States before I was born, so being an American is part of the fabric of who I am. When my parents came here it was with the idea that "Living the American Dream" meant having the freedom and opportunity to make a better life for themselves and their children. I am so grateful for them and for this country that I live in. I feel like I get to live that "American Dream" everyday. While our country isn't perfect, each of us have the freedom here to choose to be better and to make this country better each day! God Bless America!