Empowerment

We’ve all heard the phrase, “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.”

Well, many of our Native American people were, traditionally, excellent fisherman. However, when the assimilation process began to destroy our culture, we not only lost our rights to fish, we also lost our fishing poles and were removed from the land we fished on. We had our trout and salmon replaced with canned sardines.

If we are to be empowered to once again become a self-sustaining people, it must be done one person, one community, one tribe at a time. While not yet in the position to offer micro-lending, The Red Road is open to community development opportunities for Native people, particularly those living in Native communities.

We currently help facilitate the selling of crafts (basket weaving, jewelry, beaded keychains, etc. by working directly with the artisans.)

We are also in discussion with various individuals regarding providing sewing material, fabrics, etc. The goal is to have the elders in the community helping teach the younger girls how to sew traditional clothing. This not only empowers the elders, but it also encourages deeper relationships with the children in the community, while passing on tribal culture.

We are also considering the possibility of community gardens, coffee shop, crafts store, and a buffalo ranch on various reservations.

The Red Road is open to new ideas of empowerment and community development. If you have ideas you’d like to discuss, please contact us at Charles@TheRedRoad.org.

Standoff, Alberta

We are in conversation with Kainai tribal members who are interested in starting a Buffalo Ranch. Historically, the buffalo (iinii, in Blackfoot) have been a primary source of food and multiple resources for the Kainai. It is important in their culture, ceremony, and livelihood. However, with the decline of the buffalo in the past 100 years, along with the reservation limitations placed upon them by the government, the buffalo have mostly disappeared. There is great interest in restoring the buffalo to its place of honor and importance among the Kainai. The Red Road hopes to help make this a reality.

Hopi, Arizona

We have purchased many items made my tribal members (key chains, toys, ear rings, etc.) that we re-sell on their behalf. We are able to pay them twice us much as they would get from selling to local (non-Native owned) gift shops. We sell the items at cost (plus S&H) so as to be able to buy more. This allows artists to continue to practice cultural crafts, as well as making money to assist with their daily expenses.

We are also in conversation with a couple of tribal members regarding sewing classes that will be taught, primarily, by the elders in the villages. The goal is to give the young girls the opportunity to learn how to make traditional clothing from their elders. This helps foster deep rooted relationships within the community, while furthering their Hopi culture.

We have also been approached by a Hopi woman who would like to plant corn in the traditional Hopi way. She said “now that we have grocery stores only 1 hour away, many have abandoned the practice of growing our 12 different Hopi corns in the traditional manner.” She would like to restore this part of the Hopi culture as it is a central part of their traditions and ceremonies.

Rosebud, South Dakota

We have purchased many items made my tribal members (key chains, ear rings, medicine bags, etc.) that we re-sell on their behalf. We are able to pay them twice us much as they would get from selling to local (non-Native owned) gift shops. We sell the items at cost (plus S&H) so as to be able to buy more. This allows artists to continue to practice cultural crafts, as well as making money to assist with their daily expenses.