Sunday, February 28, 2010

Winter's Not Over

Image copyright Wings, 2010; all rights reserved.

We're supposed to get more snow today and tomorrow, and it will be far from the last of our winter weather. I love it - but for some parts of the country, the winter weather is a killer. Some reservations in South Dakota have been hit especially hard by wave after wave of snow, ice, and sub-freezing temperatures - a problem exacerbated by the governor's refusal, until last Thursday, to issue a disaster declaration, which would trigger the federal aid process.

Over at Daily Kos, a groups of us found ourselves coming together to raise awareness - and money - for folks on those rezes. We've since established a blogging team, dedicated to writing about issues that affect our Native communities. My first round of posts on the South Dakota situation, with contact information for local, state, and federal officials, agencies, and media, are here, here, here, and here. I also posted three diaries specifically on the need for a disaster declaration, including background on the mechanics of the process and contact information for applying public pressure to ensure that one was issued. The first is here; a second, supplemental diary, is here; and the third, which seems to have been particularly successful at prompting action by fellow Kossacks, is here. And a week later - after two long and deadly months - the governor issued the declaration.

We'll continue to monitor the South Dakota situation, but we'll also be writing on a variety of issues. Over the last week, I've posted diaries on the diabetes epidemic in our Native communities, and on the newly-initiated uranium mining adjacent to both the Grand Canyon and Havasupai and Hualapai sacred lands. I'll be posting a follow-up to the latter diary in a few days, and I'll cross-link it here.

And in the days and weeks to come, I'll be posting here on other Native issues, including information on Wings's silverwork and photography, as well as other Native art.