NAIL Sapa Dawn 1997 Report - Message from Janet McCloud

Message from Yet Si Blue (Janet McCloud)

Warm greetings to our Elders and friends from Sapa Dawn Center.

l997 is history in which we had a lot of activities, we can only highlight those events. Barbara has done a chronological report. We've selected a few pictures for this.

Sapa Dawn has only a few dedicated volunteers struggling to hold back the tidal wave overwhelming our youth. Drugs and delinquency, suicides and violence. Oh Yes it's true, the flood of casinos that plague our communities have brought jobs and big money for a few and also crime and corruption. Far too many parents abandon their children every night and spend their food money at the casinos. Then the sick, drunken, pedophile predators have their way with the unprotected children! One community at Standing Rock, North Dakota recently held a 'suicide summit' to talk about the growing problem, alcohol, drugs, and gambling the prime causes, the cure traditional teachings and spiritual leaders. We agree! One fact there are few traditional teachers and spiritual leaders, there is so little respect or support for them, they burn out fast!

As you can see its easy to get discouraged especially when the strong negative forces enter into your home and family. No one is immune. No one can escape! Poor or rich, red, white, black or yellow. We are all in the same hot pot. We all must work at making a better world for our children!

Just when you reach your lowest ebb, new life is born! Not one but two beautiful baby girls: Shianna and Talia. We now have 2 new members to add to Sapa Dawn. Their smiling faces warm my heart and give me new energy to continue on...

I remember wise words of the Elders when I was told during a time of a depressed state of mind:
"You can't save everybody no matter how hard you try. You're going to lose some of your loved ones. Still you try and don't get discouraged, keep on working for the good life for as long as you can. Keep telling you children, family and the people of the teachings you've learned. Never Give Up!"

I am still following the teachings of my beloved Elders...

In August, I suffered a stroke. I thought l was going on the one way trip to the Spirit World! It didn't happen. I was in bed, unable to walk, in a wheel chair. It became clear I wasn't going to die. I decided I did not like the bed, wheelchair, or the porta potty! I was determined to get up. I'm still standing! I thank my children and grandchildren, especially Barbara, Binah, Mina, also Cynthia who flew in from Austin, TX and was a big help. Especially Rose Auger, Linda Giddings and Avyrealy Jacobson for their medicine, diets and cookware. I've had a lot of time to think about life and death. Plus what to do with the rest of my life. I could be here for two months or twenty years. No time to waste. I intend to devote my life to my family, friends and Sapa Dawn project.

One up-coming project is "Healing The Future" which was started by the Elders Circle and supported by the American Indian Institute, now funded by Kellogg Foundation. Hopefully this project will bring relief to our critical issues facing our families.

I hope this annual report finds each of you in good health and high spirits, and that El Nino has not visited you.

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