Inaugural Indigenous Peoples March Sparks Worldwide Media Attention

Media outlets around the world are picking up the story about the Indigenous Peoples March on Friday, January 18, but not for reasons you might expect. The actual event went peacefully, beginning at the steps of the Department of the Interior and ending on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Attendees came from as far as South America and Asia to express unity with other indigenous nations. But the biggest news to come out of this event is the story about the encounter between Nathan Phillips, an Omaha Nation elder and war veteran, and youth from the Covington Catholic High School, visiting from Kentucky.

Indigenous Peoples March attendees stand on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the event rally.

Indigenous Peoples March attendees stand on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the event rally.

Although there are several stories swirling about this encounter, it went a little something like this - students from Covington High were touring the Lincoln Memorial after their demonstration for the March for Life, pro-life rally, where they protested abortion laws at the steps of the Supreme Court of the United States. This event ran concurrent with the Indigenous Peoples March, which ended at the Lincoln Memorial, and was wrapping up by the time the students arrived in the area. Elders and drummers were closing the event with final songs when the controversy began.

In an interview with CNN, Omaha Nation elder Nathan Phillips states that he saw the youth being heckled and began making his way over to the area. He holds firm that he was hoping to diffuse the issue between the youth and the hecklers, instead, he was met an unexpected turn of events. In video footage from the event, we see the youth began shouting chants such as, “build that wall,” and other remarks, all while Mr. Phillips continued to play his songs on the hand drum. One student decides to stand face-to-face with Mr. Phillips while the chanting occurs, in what seems like an attempt to mock his actions. Covington student, Nick Sandmann, stands just inches away from Mr. Phillips and even cracks a smile while his peers continue shouting and encouraging him from the crowd.

On Sunday, January 20, the student released his own statement regarding the event, insisting that the media storm got it all wrong, stating that instead, “adults were attempting to provoke teenagers.” Mr. Sandmann insists that he was singled out by the Omaha elder and he never intended on creating a confrontation - instead, he says that it was just the opposite, insisting that he is, “a faithful Christian and practicing Catholic,” and was in no way attempting to promote or participate in violence.

While additional camera angles show perspectives that were not initially distributed by media outlets, many have taken to social media to express their disgust with the situation, sparking deeper discussion around the respect and visibility of Native Americans in the U.S.

You got your per cap, now what? VOTE!

Vote

No matter if you live on or off-reservation, it’s sure that you were able to get communication about the per capita distribution in October. We could go on and on about how those funds were allocated and what it took to get the checks to you, but we won’t… we’ll save that for another post!

But now what?

We’re smack in the middle of election season and it’s time to take a look at past years so we can determine what we need to move forward. Is it money? Of course! But more importantly, it’s who will be handling the day-to-day business of managing our funds and other equally as important functions of our sovereign nation. We have several candidates seeking office and it is your job to cast your vote on Monday, December 3, 2018, for the most experienced and capable members.

That brings us to the, HOW. You MUST be 18 years of age and an enrolled member of the Quechan Indian Tribe to vote. We highly encourage our young adults to go out and exercise your right to vote for those who will lead our wonderful nation. If you or someone you know has a first-time voter on your hands, show them the ropes! That’s how we make progress… together. You like what we did there, huh?

Next, will you vote in person or will you cast an absentee ballot? If you decide to vote in-person, you’ll need to have a valid ID. For those not present to vote, according to the Election Board Calendar, absentee ballots will be mailed on Saturday, November 24, 2018 via FedEx.

Still have questions? Please contact our Quechan Election Board at (760) 572-0664.

Here’s where we preach…

We can beg and plead and tell you that it’s up to you to determine our future by the leadership that you choose. We could also tell you that if you choose NOT to vote, that you are diminishing the voice your ancestors worked so hard for you to have… but we’re sure you already know all of that. So, just vote. Polls are open from 7am - 7pm at the Quechan Community Center.

So vote for hope, vote for change, vote for progress. But whatever you do, just VOTE.

Together We Progress.

Our hiatus. Our current revamp. Our Future.


Our Hiatus

We've taken a step back to reorganize and develop our game plan for 2016.  Although we've had to restructure, we haven't forgotten those who've helped launch Kwatsan Media in 2010! We always welcome the chance of a collaborative and forward thinking relationship with our local community, as well as tribal members at large. Hit us up!

We hold fast to our vision of, "Together We Connect" and we want our movement of culture-related content to be bigger and better than ever. We are currently looking for Artists, Writers, Graphic Communicators, Story Tellers, or ANY tribal members that would like to contribute to our efforts to keeping our culture alive.  Please visit our Facebook page and join, add your family and friends!

We are the KWATSAN COMMUNITY.


Our new content and partnership with the Quechan Language Revitalization and Maintenance program.

We have reached out to our elders to begin a new relationship, with the mission of providing language lessons via social media.  We are currently creating new content, that will increase awareness of our language, and would like to challenge you to invest the time to get to know your native tongue.  Bookmark our page: kwatsanmedia.org and follow us on Youtube. We'll post more info as it comes.

For now, please enjoy this brief video clip, that breaks down the 4-ways of life: