Articles from the November 15, 2023 edition


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  • Healing the Heart Through Tears

    Parry Stelter|Updated Dec 1, 2023

    I've just finished going through an eight-year journey with my daughter, who recently passed away at the age of 22. She was diagnosed with cancer when she was 15, but after chemotherapy, that cancer went away and never came back. Then at the age of 19, she was diagnosed with stage three ovarian cancer, which over the course of three years ravished her body until she left this world to be with Jesus. It was a very rough journey that I just came through. There were many sacrific...

  • Where Does My Help Come From?

    Sue Carlisle|Updated Dec 1, 2023

    I like writing about butterflies and the wonders of water and light, but to do so right now in the midst of wars and misery seems more like someone avoiding reality and escaping to some fantasy world; it doesn't seem professional. At least I didn't think so-until I realized that focusing on God's creation is exactly what brings me comfort in the midst of a painful, broken world. Psalm 121 begins with, "I lift up my eyes to the hills-where does my help come from?" I had always...

  • Faith or Control

    Becky Kew|Updated Dec 1, 2023

    During this time of year, we prepare our hearts for the Christmas season. The Christmas story will be told all over the world thousands, if not millions of times during the month of December. The faith of Joseph, Mary, the angels, and the shepherds plus others will be recounted, as they heard about the good news of a Savior being born, the gift to all mankind. Their faith in the Lord brought about glory to God and much joy in their lives. Faith is the first step of obedience,...

  • Science of a Smile

    Phil Callaway|Updated Dec 1, 2023

    How is your smile? I've been reading about the benefits of a good one. And the riches of turning a frown upside down. Apparently it takes 22 of our 42 facial muscles to smile and 37 of them to frown. You wanna save energy? Smile. You wanna bring joy? Smile. On average, women smile 62 times a day. Men? Eight times. Ouch! Guys! Kids smile about 400 times a day, adults 35 times. Where did we lose 365 laughs a day? That's 133,000 a year. There are a thousand benefits to a smile. H...

  • No Laughing Matter

    Adrian G. Torres|Updated Dec 1, 2023

    I tossed. I turned. I flipped. Nothing helped. I could not fall back to sleep. I wasn't sleepy, and I had just finished a nice dream, so I knew I had slept for a little while, anyway. Now as I lay awake, I wondered how late -or early-it was. Even in prison we try to keep up with world events. TV, radio, and letters from loved ones help us see, hear, and read about the outside world. With all the devastating natural disasters, and incidents of hate happening all around the...

  • Mary L. Smith

    KB Schaller|Updated Dec 1, 2023

    The American Bar Association (ABA) made history in 2023 when it installed Mary L. Smith as its first ever female Native American president. Prior to Smith's election to the ABA-which is the world's largest voluntary association of lawyers, judges, and legal professionals-Smith had already served on its board of governors and was its secretary from 2017 to 2020. Born to Cherokee parents, Smith is a member of the Cherokee Nation. She is also former CEO of Indian Health Services...

  • And a Very Merry Christmas to You!

    Crying Wind|Updated Dec 1, 2023

    The very word "Christmas" either brings a smile to our faces or stabs our hearts with a sword. It is both the best time and the worst time of the year. If we are fortunate enough to spend Christmas with family, friends, loved ones, then it is the happiest time of the year. If we are alone, it is the worst time of the year. My children live thousands of miles away. Sadly, most of my close friends have died. I was facing another Christmas alone. I spent last Christmas alone and...

  • Chickasaw Nation Offers Homeschool Options

    Updated Dec 1, 2023

    CHICKASAW NATION, Okla.-The Chickasaw Nation is one of the first tribes to create classes to specifically help homeschooled students and those enrolled in online charger schools. The Chickasaw Nation Fit Force and STEM Home-School Academy programs are designed to engage children in sessions of invigorating physical fitness activities and immersive, hands-on problem-solving in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Leaders point out that children can participate in...

  • New Juvenile Tribal Healing to Wellness Court Program finishes first cohort

    Updated Dec 1, 2023

    TAHLEQUAH, Okla.-The Cherokee Nation Department of Juvenile Justice is empowering tribal youth to cope with and overcome their substance and alcohol-related use as well as other delinquent issues through a new program focusing on accountability, counseling services and supervision. The Juvenile Tribal Healing to Wellness Court program, which is located in Muskogee, recently finished their first cohort and are ready to begin the second. The program consists of a four-phase...

  • Choosing to Believe

    Verla Chatsis|Updated Dec 1, 2023

    Although I am a member of Ahtahkakoop Cree Nation in north-central Saskatchewan, I didn't grow up there. My mother, Noreen, was from Ahtahkakoop, and my father, Donald, from Poundmaker Cree Nation. We never lived on a reserve because my father was disenfranchised when he was a teenager-so we were non-status Indians, with my mother losing her treaty rights when she married my dad. At the time my parents met, my dad was in the Army, stationed in Chilliwack, BC, where my sister a...

  • Arizona teens share passions with others at White House Tribal Youth Forum

    Lux Butler, Cronkite News|Updated Dec 1, 2023

    WASHINGTON-Gabriella Nakai said she has tackled the challenges facing Indigenous communities on her own, but that being surrounded by others who share her passion makes the load a little lighter. "Seeing all of the amazing work that all of these Native national youth leaders are doing pushes me forward and lets me know that when I am the only Native in these spaces people behind me are going to have my back," Nakai said. She was one of two Arizona "Champions for Change" – a...

  • Every Story Matters . . . including Yours

    Mary Dickson|Updated Dec 1, 2023

    On September 15–17, 2023, Indian Life Ministries held their 2023 conference in North Battleford, Saskatchewan. Cliff Bird provided keynote addresses, while Kene and Milly Jackson provided music. This particular conference was the first of its kind. The theme of the conference was "Every Story Matters . . . including Yours." Indigenous and non-Indigenous brothers and sisters in Christ shared their stories of hope and healing throughout the weekend. "The theme for the c...

  • Indigenous Cooking

    Updated Dec 1, 2023

    Want to make something special for the holidays? We've pulled a recipe from Intertribal Life's former food columnist, Dale Carson, out of our archives. On cold winter days I always think of how hard it must have been for our ancestors who lived in inhospitable lands, how they struggled to keep warm and find food. I dare say they were strong and hearty souls who handled discomfort far better than we do. They taught themselves to make foods with endurance, things like Buffalo...

  • IHS awards $1.5 million to address alzheimer's disease on World Alzheimer's Day

    Updated Dec 1, 2023

    WASHINGTON-On World Alzheimer's Day in September, the Indian Health Service reaffirmed its commitment to building tribal and urban Indian health system capacity to address Alzheimer's disease and related dementias by announcing $1.5 million in new cooperative agreements. The IHS Alzheimer's Grant Program 2023 awards represent a continued investment in locally developed models that incorporate comprehensive approaches to care and service for American Indian and Alaska Native...

  • Tribal housing project breaks ground on reclaimed 1796 Treaty lands

    Updated Dec 1, 2023

    AKWESASNE-The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe announced that construction has started on the first tribal housing units on reacquired treaty lands-a major step forward in providing affordable housing for Mohawk families. "It has been our community's longstanding desire and Tribal Council's ongoing goal to reacquire lands within Akwesasne's land claim area for family housing," shared Tribal Chief Michael Conners at the groundbreaking. "I am filled with an immense sense of pride in...

  • Letters from Our Readers

    Updated Dec 1, 2023

    As we were driving through the Canadian Prairies, my husband picked up the Intertribal Life paper somewhere. Today, I am resting with a cold and had time to read the paper. There are so many encouraging stories, and it's good to know what is available to the First Nations community. Thanks to everyone who expresses themselves in writing; it is brave as it can feel vulnerable to do so. It's so exciting to hear the depth of growth and repentance of individuals. We quickly...

  • Directors' Corner

    Todd and Krystal Wawryzniak, ILM director team|Updated Dec 1, 2023

    We were so honored that so many dear friends joined us for Indian Life Ministries' annual fundraising banquet, as you've already read about in this newspaper. At the banquet, we gave a ministry report for 2023 that we'd like to share with our readers. This has been an exciting year for Indian Life Ministries. This past year, ILM enrolled 25 Indigenous believers in Emmaus correspondence discipleship courses, welcomed two new prison letter writers, sent out 72,000 copies of...

  • Adoption Ink

    Kene Jackson, NEFC Executive Director|Updated Dec 1, 2023

    "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!"-1 John 3:1, NIV Jimmy was pretty young when his single mom married the man Jimmy would come to know as "Dad." It turned out to be a real good move, and Randy turned out to be a real good dad! At the time, nobody thought the procedure of adoption was needed. Jimmy was about 42 years old when somehow the subject came up. Randy started thinking about what it...

  • Oklahoma tribes, IHS, state and area communities work together on American rescue plan water projects

    Updated Dec 1, 2023

    TULSA, Okla.-Oklahoma tribes, the state of Oklahoma, Indian Health Service (IHS) and communities are working together utilizing American Rescue Plan (ARPA) funds in a unified effort to improve the water infrastructure of communities within the state. These projects will help ensure the infrastructure improvements needed as part of sustainable management of water resources serving Oklahoma residents, businesses and communities. The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Muscogee Nation,...

  • First Indigenous premier includes Christian, First Nations elements in ceremony

    Updated Dec 1, 2023

    WINNIPEG, Manitoba-On October 18, Wabanakwut "Wab" Kinew was sworn in as Manitoba's 25th premier-and as the first First Nations premier of a Canadian province. During the ceremonies, Kinew also introduced his cabinet, which for the first time in Manitoba history includes two First Nations women: Nahanni Fontaine, who is the new families minister and will serve as minister responsible for gender equity and accessibility, and Bernadette Smith, the new minister of housing,...

  • Hopi leader tells panel financial hurdles put aid out of reach

    Lux Butler, Cronkite News|Updated Dec 1, 2023

    WASHINGTON-The chairman of the Hopi tribe told a Senate panel Wednesday that promises of federal funding remain just that-promises-for smaller tribes for whom the money is inaccessible because of bureaucratic and financial hurdles. The remarks by Hopi Chairman Timothy Nuvangyaoma were part of a Senate Indian Affairs Committee roundtable on challenges tribes are facing in getting projects approved under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Inflation Reduction Act and others....

  • ILM Offers Two New Books!

    Updated Dec 1, 2023

    Indian Life Ministries is excited to announce two new books by Craig and LaDonna Smith now available: Indigenous Faith This is Craig Stephen Smith's newest book, in which he unpacks Scripture to help Indigenous believers discover how to live biblically healthy lives in the context of their cultures. Smith seeks to answer questions that not only Indigenous believers have, but also those asked by missionaries, pastors, educators, and others seeking to reach Indigenous people...

  • New federal funding to revitalize, promote Native languages

    Updated Dec 1, 2023

    WASHINGTON-In mid-October, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai'i), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), vice chair of the Committee, announced more than $2.2 million in new fiscal year 2023 grant funding from the U.S. Department of Education to implement the Native American Language Resource Center Act, legislation led by the Senators and enacted earlier this year. "This funding will directly support educational...

  • Indian Life Ministries launches Council Fire devotional book

    Updated Dec 1, 2023

    LANGDON, Alb.-Indian Life Ministries is excited to announce that the Council Fire devotional book is now ready to be ordered. This is presumed to be the first 365-day devotional to be written exclusively by Indigenous followers of Jesus. A year ago, staff at ILM began to dream of a daily devotional book created solely by Indigenous writers, and the vision for Council Fire was born. The dream was revealed at the 2022 ILM annual banquet and the staff began to pray for finances...

  • ILM banquet celebrates another year of ministry

    Updated Dec 1, 2023

    In late October, Indian Life Ministries hosted a conference in Winnipeg for all those who support, or are interested in supporting, the outreach of ILM. The banquet was attended by 168 participants who came from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Cass Lake, Minnesota. The ILM and advisors know how to do a celebration well! The program included music from Rochelle and Chris Creasy, Joel Jolly, and Kene and Milly Jackson. After inspiring music, Craig Smith stepped to...

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