Sunday, January 23, 2011


Briar Cliff University, Sioux City, Iowa, Jan 25, 2011

Powerpoint presentation went well, over fifty people attended it was a full house.  Real good publicity it was picked up by Sioux City Journal and the Winnebago Tribe's website which has a nation wide audience

I keep getting positive feedback from students and others who attended, that makes me feel good.

This is a follow up to the October 22 Focus Group Meeting held at Briar Cliff University with representatives of the five tri-state Tribes (Omaha, Ponca, Santee Sioux, Winnebago, and Yankton Sioux); public child welfare agencies; private child welfare agencies; social work students; and social work faculty. This meeting is designed to develop a plan of action for producing recommendations for improved and new curriculum content and process for the development of Native foster homes.

The goal of the workgroup is to give feedback relative to Native American foster home preparation and selection processes, as well as recommendations for a hybrid preparation and selection program solely for prospective Native American foster families. The workgroup will present a report for this group on Monday, May 2, 2:30 – 4:30. (SAVE THE DATE!)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Boys & Girls Town, Omaha Nebr.

Omaha Nebraska, Dec 2nd, 2010
This is exciting stuff, as it was a first in relationship to Boys Town.  They invited us in to provide cultural sensitivity training to their staff that work with native American Indian youth.  Note; over 50% of all their students that have come through their institution have been of Omaha ancestry.  We now have plans of building a sweatlodge on campus this spring for the students to utilize. The first four sweats will be run by members of the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska and then it will be given to the faculty to offer other tribes to use.  Father Steven Boes has really opened the door for interaction and positive, pro-active dialog, which is a blessing in itself and unprecedented to say the least. We hope to do more similiar types of trainings in the future at Boys Town.

UPDATE:  Well last weekend 7/23, we completed our project of building a sweatlodge down at BoysTown.  As I said I believe this to be an unprecedented step for the Native American Indian students.  Pierre Merrick leader of the Omaha Tribe's Big Crazy Society poured the water, Calvin Harland and I helped build the sweatlodge with the kids actually doing most of the work.  I was impressed with their interest and respect for what we were trying to do. Father Steve of BoysTown has opened the doors for the Indian community in Omaha and surrounding area, I hope and pray they sieze the moment.  Big Crazy will host the first four sweats and then it will be the responsibility of the students themselves to clean and maintain and use the site. Harley Upton the house parent for the Boys Town Indian Home has been a valuable asset to this whole process, without him I doubt it would of ever happened. Some might say that it is risky business building such a sacred thing at BoysTown. I myself firmly believe our children are worth the risk.  Over the years, half the Indian students that have gone to Boy Town have been Omaha Indian children. We owe it to them to assist in anyway possible in their spiritual growth.  We can only hope that it will be used in a good way for all of our relations.  Anyway it was a good day and we feel we did something good for the people and only time will tell that story.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Weekend Mens Retreat in Norfolk NE

Now this was a very unexpected but pleasant event.  I was told by a close friend that I had been nominated to attend this retreat. I was then asked by my close friend Father Mike if I would attend, I agreed to do so.  Man what a long weekend full of spiritual moments very touching personal stories and experiences.  All in all it was a great weekend, one that I will remember for some time to come.  If you notice there are only two people who are not white in this picture, my brother Calvin Harland and I are the only people of color.  I wish it was more diverse but in the end color wasnt an issue, I guess that is just my hang up. Prayer, Fellowship, Spiritual awareness, Spritual growth was the plan of the day or should I say the weekend endeavor which started around 5:30a.m. and ended around 10:30 or 11:00 at night. I was spirit filled when I came home Sunday but physically exhausted.  I would recommend anyone for something like this, I really enjoyed making new friends and confirming my faith in Wakonda. DeColores DeColores.