Pat, who is going on 107 years old, says she was surprised that her difficulty breathing was caused by a heart problem, not her lungs.
This week on Minnesota Native News: will Natives be counted in the 2020 census, water protectors tell their story in the Minneapolis May Day Parade and the 6th Annual Pow Wow for Hope honors Natives whose lives have been touched by cancer.
HEADLINES: This week on Minnesota Native News — will Natives be counted in the 2020 census(?), water protectors tell their story in the Minneapolis May Day Parade and more.
STORY #1 - CENSUS CONCERNS
HOST: Three years from now - in 2020 - there will be a census aimed to count all the people residing in the United States.
But serious concerns are being raised about the federal government’s ability to conduct that count.
Reporter Melissa Townsend has the details.
REPORTER: It seems that people have mixed feelings about the census.
On one hand, it helps your community get federal resources for schools, hospitals and veterans services for residents who need them.
On the other hand, some people don’t trust the federal government enough to share their personal information.
Either way — it’s the census that tells law makers how funds should be spread among communities and how voting district maps should be drawn.
According to the National Congress of American Indians nearly 1-billion dollars in federal resources are allocated to Indian country based on census data.
HENDERSON: Being undercounted deprives already vulnerable communities of fair representation and vital resources. (:07)
REPORTER: That’s Wade Henderson, President of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.
He points out, the Government Accountability Office has labeled the 2020 census a “high risk federal program”…
Which means the federal government may not be able to conduct a cost effective count of the American population.
The problem is that Congress and the Trump administration have not allocated enough money to prepare for it.
This is especially concerning in American Indian and communities of color where people have historically been difficult to contact.
This is Arturo Vargas, Executive Director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund.
VARGAS: For example, the Census Bureau has cancelled on site tests in Puerto Rico and two American Indian reservations in North and South Dakota and Washington State. These were the only opportunities to evaluate new methods for enumerating historically difficult to count areas. (:18)
REPORTER: Those advocating for more funding for the 2020 census are calling on President Trump and Congress to increase the census budget for each year through 2020.
For Minnesota Native News, I’m Melissa Townsend.
STORY #2 - 6th ANNUAL POW WOW FOR HOPE
HOST: The 6th annual Pow Wow for Hope drew dancers and drum groups from around the state on May 6th.
It’s an annual community fund raising pow wow benefitting the American Indian Cancer Foundation.
Dannis Chosa is one of the organizers.
She says her favorite part of the event are the honor songs.
CHOSA: EACH YEAR at the pow wow we have honor songs where we gift breast cancer surveyors or care givers or any type of cancer survivors - we gift them a pink shawl and we have the honor songs throughout the day. (:12)
HOST: This year there were 10 drum groups and 38 fund raising teams.
Chosa says the American Indian Cancer Foundation staff hope to raise 50-thousand dollars from the pow wow this year.
STORY #4 - MNI WACONI MAY DAY PARADE
HOST: Roughly 50-thousand people gather in south Minneapolis every year for the annual May Day parade.
The parade has been organized by the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre since 1975.
It features larger than life sized puppets, stilt walkers, and floats that represent a theme determined by the community.
One large section of this year’s parade on May 7th was dedicated to Indigenous ideology on the sacredness of water.
HORNE: My name is Graci Horne, my bands are Sisseton Wapeton Dakota and Standing Rock Hunk papa Lakota and Dakota and I reside in NE Minneapolis. (:13)
HOST: Graci Horne was a water protector at Standing Rock last summer. And she wanted to feature the mni waconi [mini wash-OH-nee] and cha waconi [chah wash-OH-nee] teachings in this year’s May Day parade.
[parade sound - crowds cheering]
There were larger than life puppets representing waterfalls and rivers struggling under pollution.
[chanting - Water is Life]
There were people dressed as money hungry bankers and oil tycoons.
There were puppets representing indigenous prophets whose teachings have foretold current events - like the white buffalo prophecy.
HORNE: IN 1994, Miracle the white buffalo calf that was born in Wisconsin, it brought about this prophecy of when the white buffalo would come, we would come into a time of the crossroads. And it would up to the people to decide what direction we will go to. And since 1994 there has been a white buffalo and white animals that have been born every year. (:27)
HOST: There was also the tree of life [cha wash-OH-nee] and water protectors on horseback who had been at the Standing Rock camps.
The crowds of parade watchers cheered loudly for them.
This is Minnesota Native News.