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Native American Mamas tribe - Page 4

post #61 of 598
Thread Starter 
It's great that you're going to breastfeed your baby. If you ever need info or support,please don't hesitate to let us know. AND...you may not realize it,but when your breastfeed your baby,you ARE advocating to others.

I am right with you on everything you said! I,too,heard that you should never let a baby cry. I just remembered that when others have told me that I was "spoiling" my baby.
Yes,you are correct that there is sort of a barrier there,a way of not PUSHING info on others. We just have to remember that the info still needs to get out there. This is something that has been on my mind for YEARS and I really don't think it's a coincidence that we are discussing this here,now. I believe,together, we could find a way of stating information where it would not be offensive. We would give "suggestions" instead of advice. And information,where moms could make informed choices. If the information and support are not there,fewer moms will make these choices. They might,instead,choose to use "free" formula instead of free breastmilk,you know? I think there is alot of misinformation out there,and moms might be led to believe that breastfeeding is more of a burden than a joy. Family might pressure them to use bottles so they can care for the baby,the father might pressure mom to use forumla so they can take off on a whim or he doesn't want her to "expose" herself,or she may choose to use formula because she mistakenly thinks it is simpler,better for baby,she needs to work and thinks she can't breastfeed,ect. That being said,I feel that not only mothers and potential mothers need this information but fathers,grandmothers,and the whole community as well. Perhaps if we could find a way of stating the info in in reference to the difference it will make in the present and the future(especially in relation to diabetes),as well as the way breastfeeding helps us to "reconnect" with the past,which is pretty much what rrr has stated.

I really like your ideas. Say,we have the information. We have interviewed,we have researched,we are prepared. What next? How do we compile the info? Any ideas for funding?
P.S. There is NOTHING wrong with ambition.
post #62 of 598
have you already done interviews like that? at the library or the used bookstore you could find books on interviewing basics.

call the journalism school at your local college or university and ask them to recommend a basic interviewing text. or ask if they would give you some handouts. my reporter husband may still have something like that. i'll ask him.

develop a relationship with a like-minded newspaper or tv news reporter. ask them for interviewing tips. if you know an elder woman who has something to say, is ready to talk, perhaps you've already done some interviewing yourself, you could suggest this to said reporter as a story idea.

young native mom gathering native childbirth and babyrearing history from elder women.

someone would definitely want that story. if one news organization does a story, others will follow. local news as well as historical publications, magazines like mothering, indian country today, etc.

you can create news by starting a research project.

this build interest, creates awareness, draws support. it may also hook you up with elders who want to talk.

do you know that steven spilberg has poured a huge amount of money into interviewing every single holocaust survivor. he is very committed. he is doing it for history. we can do the same. most of the old ways are lost for most tribes.

what to do with the information? write a play! write songs! write a musical! create a video documentary! (collaborate with film school students) write social studies or health curriculum, create a position paper supporting traditional childbirth and babyrearing and get your tribal council to recognize it. ask them to add it to their agenda somehow. create handouts for hospitals or birthcenters or ob/gyn or pediatrician. create a partnership with a pediatric group to promote healthy native ways to native mothers. (BREASTFEEDING!)

the easiest way to change the future is to focus on kids.

create a page of media contacts and then once you get going, you inform them whenever anything significant is going to happen.

hold a creative press conference. we had one in my backyard last summer in the pouring rain. we wore crazy hats and sang a song to kick off the gold ribbon for breastfeeding campaign. we in vited breastfeeding mothers who had challenging situations. got a long time on the health segment.

well--- we're way ahead of ourlelves now. what are your ideas!?

post #63 of 598
Thread Starter 
You have some really great ideas,rrr.

My ideas? I would like to compile information that would include childbirth,breastfeeding,family bed,baby wearing,nutrition ect. of the past and add it to facts about the great things about these same things that we can do now,and how they will benefit baby,mama,family,and community.
I would like to have pamplets,videos,booklets,and perhaps even a book with this information written for and by NA women. I also would like to see an organization that would back these things up in the communities. Something that would cross the tribal lines and be national(thinking big,huh?).
post #64 of 598
how will you start? and when?

when you look at your community, who would want to talk about these things?

who would want to learn about these things.

you know who is fascinated with these topics...young girls. my daughter is 7 and she can't get enough of this stuff.

"tell me a story about when you were a girl" and she remembers everything. rrr
post #65 of 598
Thread Starter 
Good questions.
Well,the "now" research would be easy for me. I have access to lots of resources(written and persons with experience). The "then" will be somewhat harder as I live an an area that is basicly void of NA culture,and the people that are around most are men! But,I could look ahead to the pow wows(I have several women in mind)and when we travel back to Okalahoma. I could interview and ask for insight then.
How will I start? By compiling information over time.
When do I begin? Anytime I would guess. A few lines here,and a few lines there.
Who would I want to learn about these things? Young girls,teenagers,mothers-to-be,mothers,fathers,grandmothers,sisters...you get the idea. I think there could be different forms of the information. Some would be written for young people,some from a woman who is pregnant's perspective,some for new mothers,some for fathers,and some for the community.
Is that too broad?
post #66 of 598
it can be helpful to pick one action, give yourself a short timeline to finish and gather info specific to completing your action.

example: a handout for new fathers (studies show that the main reason women quit breasfeeding early is for lack of husband support.)

what do you want them to know? what are you asking them to do? who and what are your sources of information?

keep it simple, do it in a month. or by christmas.

network as you go. have LLL and lactation consultants and pediatrician review your work. have native experts and elders revies and endorse that particular handout.

find printing business to print it for free.

decide and put it where you think it should go. doctors' offices, tribal center, health center, teen pregnancy program, pow wow, etc.

if you make it finite, with a deadline, you'll get something valuable done. something that didn't exist before. rrr
post #67 of 598
Someone posted this on another list I'm on. Interesting for me to think of how many women use welfare programs or WIC at home.

Here's an article declaring that some US States' welfare work
requirements significantly decrease breastfeeding rates.

"If welfare reform's work requirements had not been adopted beginning in
1996, national breastfeeding rates six months after birth would have
been 5.5 percent higher than they were in 2000, according to a study
published in the August issue of the journal Demography.

By 2000, states with the most stringent welfare work requirements for
new mothers had breastfeeding rates 9 percent lower than expected based
on trends in states with more lenient policies, the study found.

The policy changes appear to have had a pronounced impact on low-income
mothers' breastfeeding practices, report demographers Steven Haider of
Michigan State University, Alison Jacknowitz of the RAND Graduate
School, and Robert Schoeni of the University of Michigan.

They also examined breastfeeding rates of mothers enrolled in the Women,
Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program, a federal program aimed at
low-income women eligible for welfare. Among WIC mothers living in
states with the most stringent welfare work requirements, breastfeeding
rates six months after birth were 22 percent lower than those of WIC
mothers in other states."

Rest of article is at:

The full text of the study can be found at
post #68 of 598
hey- there you are. haven't heard from anyone in the native thread for a while.

my mother has made her own paddle in a workshop with our tribe and will use it in a canoe ceremony this weekend. (we are coastal) i ithink it's part of a lewis and clark celebration.

wish she'd been interested in this stuff when we were kids. it would have been fun.

the local wic office does a fair amount to promote breastfeeding. they host an LLL meeting and check out breast pumps.

i will read that whol article later. the names are worth noting. i always wonder who does bf research.

post #69 of 598
rrr - what's your tribe?
post #70 of 598
Originally posted by rrr
hey- there you are. haven't heard from anyone in the native thread for a while.

Sorry--School is just starting and things are a bit hectic to say the least. Its hard because my school interests are not necessarily congruent with my personal passions right now, so its hard to find a balance. But I need this for my personal fulfillment, so I'll find a way to find time.

the local wic office does a fair amount to promote breastfeeding. they host an LLL meeting and check out breast pumps.

THAT is super cool. That is not the case with our tribe. There is some stuff going on with breastfeeding promotion, but not enough, that's for certain. And certainly no LLL-type supports. I'm really interested in getting certified as a lactation consultant, and doing some support stuff at home. I think its important for Native women to be doing some of it--right now the main breastfeeding person up there is white and she's new to the community, so I don't know how much she'll be able (allowed?) to assist.

i will read that whol article later. the names are worth noting. i always wonder who does bf research.


rrr [/B]
post #71 of 598
lower columbia chinook. that means on either side of the columbia river close to the pacific ocean. tribal office and meetings are on the washington side, this weekend's celebration is in oregon, close to astoria at ft. clatsop. this is lewis and clark's winter camp where they lived until they could turn around and go back.

ft clatsop is a very interesting historical interpretive center. lots to do and see if you're headed this way.

i live 3 1/2 or 4 hours from where the meetings are, so we don't make the trip. but my mother drives down from seattle and i know other people drive several hours each month.

i would like to be more involved. it will be easier when my kids are older.

clinton recognized our tribe as he walked out the door, and bush unrecognized it as he walked in.

we have no money and we share a lawyer with 2 other tribes who don't want us to be recognized or have any power, so we're a little stuck.

my ancestor, Tonwah, was an orphan ward of john mclaughlin at ft. vancouver. that was 1860' or 1870's. there is lots to read about them.

i never really knew my grandmother's father, but my grandmother didn't think of herself as indian. there was so much racism. she inherited timber land on the quinault reservation, which she eventually sold.

my mother always identified herself as part indian, and was proud of that, but wasn't raised with any native traditions or even basic information. it's only that last few years that she's done tons of research and enrolled and joined committees and bought a little house in bay center, a continuous chinook settlement.

the chinook never had their own reservation, and the descendents are mostly dispersed.

more than you wanted to know?

************************************************** **

is there an LLL meeting in the area? or is there a leader looking for a place to hold a meeting? the wic office is a great place for a meeting. wic mothers get a voucher for attending an LLL meeting.
i might be able to get you some material on how this came about. i'm not sure about other wic offices all over the state. of course, there is a shortage of LLL leaders. you know, it's easier to become an LLL leader than a lactation consultant. look at the LLL website.

do you live far away from the wic office you are talking about?

post #72 of 598
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone!
I've been busier than a one armed coat hanger,sorry I haven't checked in.
Glad to hear everyone is doing well!

Thanks for the article,mamabuzzybee. That's something to ponder. I do think that WIC and medicaid should be more proactive in getting pumps to mothers who work/go to school/cannot breastfeed for one reason or another. I believe it would make a huge difference.They also need some good,solid information. Moms need to know that they can continue to breastfeed,whatever lies ahead!
About becoming an IBCLC,here is some info on that and becoming a LLL Leader. If you think being a Leader is something you'd like to do,I'm sure you'd be a HUGE asset to your community!
post #73 of 598
Thread Starter 
Hello! Just checking in!
How is everyone doing? Anything new? Anything you want to discuss? Travel lately? New ideas for getting info to other NA moms?

We're all doing well here. We're going to a pow wow this weekend. My dh drum is host,so I'm sure we'll be busy. I'm looking forward to getting out of the house!
About the pamphlets and stuff,I just heard through an email list I'm on that there is a group that collects books for their group that gives free prenatal care on different reservations. I'm trying to find out more about it. I'll let you all know when I hear anything.
post #74 of 598

nice to hear from someone.

we had a wonderful day with our lower columbia chinook 2 saturdays ago.

ceremonial naming of 3 authentic chinook canoes, ceremonial washing of canoes with cedar boughs. testimony about the canoe way of life from elders. gifts to commemorate the day. potluck. lots of salmon.

then we all went down and took turns paddling up and down a little stretch of the lewis and clark river--a tidal river-- as did my ancestors. it was easy to connect to the past. our culture is all but lost.

my mother was very proud to be in the special canoe with her daughter and grand kids all at once.

we're going to look through a stack of chinook stories for a basis for a wetlands dance. you know, if you research your native stories, you can write a play based on it. everyone would be thrilled.

news: the siletz indians have created a charter school where the local gradeschool was closing. they get state education money. clever and on the ball.

have you been watching the pbs show on race? there was one tonight about an apache-navajo family with small children, living away from home. tune in.

post #75 of 598
hey there. i had my baby and she's awesome.
post #76 of 598
Hi, I have a situation to share/questions to ask.

My stepfather is half Seneca Iriqious from the Seneca nation in New York state.

He now lives in Pennsylvania, about three hours drive to the nation. However he has never gone and is afraid to go.

His Mother abandoned him and five of his siblings to different familys/homes accross Arizona and California.

My stepfather looks Very native...This is has been hard for him as he was raised by white familys. Unfortunalty he had an awful non-exsistant childhood and never met his bio dad until he was 36.Long story short..I know he would LIKE to go to the res inNewYork, but I also know he is petrified to go.

He has no understanding of Native culture, but feels drawn to the sound of drums and the call of his people...just very unsure of how to go about it and if he would be welcomed home or scoffed at and told to go back with the white people( whom he feels odd around too.)

Can anyone give me any advice about this? What do you think? Is there any one here from that nation or near it? Can you give me some advice?

My second question:

When I was nine my grandparents took me to the Winnebago res in Nebraska. It was about 1984/85. I went to the pow wow and stayed with the Bird family.

When we left, one of the women came and gave me a beautiful blue shawl .

I have often wondred why she gave me such a beautiful thing.

Was there a signifigance in this, was it out of hospitality? Should I track this woman down and give her something?

I recall so many things from my week there, adn have often wanted to return but I am white and ..so..I just don't go. I don't want to be thought of as one of those weird people who try to pass themselves of as native or what have you..I just had a good time as a kid playing with the other kids, liked fry bread and enjoyed the dancing and music.

anyway, it is late but I wanted to get this out somewhere and see what you ladies thought.

post #77 of 598
Thread Starter 
Thanks for sharing about the naming of the canoes. That sounds wonderful! Also,I'll look into the show about race. I'm sure dh would be interested in it,too.
Congratulations!! I'm so happy for you! Tell his the details. How big? Alot of hair? How are you feeling?
Your step father could call up to the Seneca and Iriquois nations and see if he is enrolled with either of them. If he was born on the rez,chances are he is enrolled with one or the other of them. If not,if he wants to be enrolled now,he probably has the documents available to do so. Also,I'll bet there is a coming home pow wow or something to that effect up there. Perhaps he could find out when it is and go. Maybe you could go with him for support? Maybe he could do a little research and find out if he has blood relatives living there. If so,I'm sure they would welcome a call from him! Let us know how it goes.
On the subject of the shawl. It was a gift given to *you*. Obviously,you made an impression on the lady that presented it to you. You wouldn't want to give it back. To do so would be an insult. It was a gift given from the heart and it would be best to keep it. About the Winnebago pow wow...there would be nothing wrong with going if you wanted to. They welcome visitors. About being white pretending to be Native...there is a big difference between someone coming and watching and/or participating with respect and someone going to the pow wow and trying to dance in some made up costume-like regalia,feeling like it's their right because their great great great great great great grandmother was a Cherokee princess,all the while showing no respect for the circle,themselves,or others and making a mockery out of the pow wow. I'm sure you would be welcomed.
Honestly,it's not the color of the skin,it is the *attitude*. If you show respect,you'll get it. Plain and simple.
post #78 of 598
about the stepfather, i don't know. calling the office is a good idea. email with the office. check the tribe website for news and calender.

most pacific coastal indians are long lost from the native culture. tribes have been wiped out. instead of contrasting natives and whites or indians and whites, i think it's more accurate to contrast natives and non-natives.

i mean, i'm german, english, french and lower columbia chinook. so, i'm both "white" or anglo or european and also native american.

as far as my right to participate, if i don't, who will? there are no full indians among us, that i know of. i feel an obligation to learn and teach the history and culture of a lost people.

and wouldn't you know it, i am descended from a chief named comcomli, who was famous for his dealings with lewis and clark as well as, john mclaughlin of fort vancouver. but that was a long time ago.

did your step father have any natural children? if so, they might be able to be enrolled. it's neat that you are encouraging him in this. your interest reminds him of the value of the connection.

congratulations to the new mother. i wish you wonderful support and help to overcome any breastfeeding trouble. my tip, take magnesium with calcium and full water at bedtime. it's the magnesium that really helps. but think about how much mineral it takes to make milk. if i take magnesium when i get up in the night, i don't lie awake after.

greetings all.

post #79 of 598
Hey, rrr has your tribe contacted NARF? My tribe is working with them. They might be interested in your tribe's case. I know they have won some cases that were similar.

post #80 of 598
Avonlea, I am sure they wouldn't just scoff at someone. I would try and see if his ancestors are on the rolls at least, they may not be aware of his existance if it is as you described. They may welcome him with open arms.

When my own tribe "found" some people we weren't aware of we were thrilled to be reunited with a branch of the tribe we thought was lost and they are now active members.
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