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When I was five(-ish), my family moved from one small town in Massachusetts to another. That was when I met my first Native American friend, who I've since lost touch with. I don't recall his mother's tribal affiliation.

In college, my best friend was Comanche. She & I still touch base - albeit in-between steadily increasing periods of little to no contact.

And since I moved back to New England, I realized that the majority of Native friends I have - all of them, actually, not counting my original friend - live in the mid- and south west, or on the west coast. I know little to nothing of the local Native community.

I thought that was odd considering my involvement in NAN, so the other day I sent an email to NAICOB (North American Indian Center of Boston) and told them about Native American Netroots, providing a link to the Daily Kos group, to the Wordpress site & Facebook page. I invited them to come participate, hoping that we might find some folks willing & able to help keep us informed about events affecting some of the tribes on the east coast.

I heard back from Joanne Dunn, the Executive Director, who invited me to tomorrow's event and asked me to share it with the community at large.

So, some more information and details, over the fold.

First, about the meetup tomorrow. Here's their flyer:

And, in case it's not easy to read, here's the text (except for the phone numbers):

Support your local Indian community

March 22, 2014 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Introduction/NAICOB Overview

Board of Directors' Nominations

Grandparents Program

WIA Program Overview

VAW Grant Funding

Food will be served at 4:30 PM

Closing Prayer adjourn 5:45 PM

Potluck and Volunteers Welcome

For Information call Joann or Shirley

Raffles will be given out.

From their About Us page:
Originally established in 1970 as the Boston Indian Council, the North American Indian Center of Boston was later organized as a non-profit in 1991. The mission of the North American Indian Center of Boston (NAICOB) is to promote greater self-determination, socio-economic self-sufficiency, spiritual enhancement, intercultural understanding and other forms of empowerment for the North American Indian Community.
The NAICOB doesn't cover all of New England - "to be eligible for membership in and services provided by NAICOB, you must be a Native American living in one of these counties in Massachusetts:

Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex, Berkshire, Hampden, Middlesex, Worcester, Franklin, and Hampshire Counties."

It is, however, headed by a board with strong Native ties:

Board of Directors

Dr. Mary Jo Ondrechen, President
Tribal Affiliation: Mohawk

Kenneth Skutt, Board Member
Tribal Affiliation: Navajo

Geraldine Tobey, Board Member
Tribal Affiliation: Mashpee Wampanoag / Mi'kmaq

Terry Drew, Board Member
Tribal Affiliation: Mi'kma

Gary Howling Crane, Board Member
Tribal Affiliation: Pawnee

Yvette MacDonald, Board Member
Tribal Affiliation: Cherokee

Sandra McDonald, Board Member
Tribal Affiliation: Mi'kmaq

Shirlee Two Two, Clerk, Non-voting
Tribal Affiliation: Sioux

I'm looking forward to meeting Joanne and the folks there, and hope that we'll see at least one or more of them testing the waters here at Daily Kos, to participate in the community at large as well as helping to keep us all informed of Native matters affecting and occurring within the MA area.

New England is a lot bigger than MA alone. I'm going to continue to reach out and introduce myself to other area organizations, and hope that theyll join us here as well.

And if you're in the area tomorrow, please stop in to say hello.


Originally posted to Native American Netroots on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 01:12 PM PDT.

Also republished by New England Kossacks and Boston Kossacks.

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Comment Preferences

  •  If you know folks in the MA Native community, pls (19+ / 0-)

    share this with them if they haven't already seen it.

    And if you know of any tribes, tribal organizations or Native American groups within the area who you think may be interested in checking out NAN with an toward possibly partcipating, and helping keep folks abreast & aware of issues affecting their community, let me know in comments.

    There are lots of ways to help build communities - this is but one. Feel free to make any additional suggestion in comments that could help spur further community building of all types.

    And thank you for reading.

  •  Great organized thinking. (7+ / 0-)

    I've been thinking a lot lately that the basic old-school "look around for counterpart communities and establish lines of communication and shared activity" in realworld grassroots organization terms seems to have disappeared a while ago, possibly decades, or possibly just with the emergence of the internet and the assumption that electronic communication automatic includes being organized.  I too have found that it really doesn't and there's no substitute for human skilled effort.

    That effort is implicit in the flyer scanned into your diary and the details you added. Human beings longterm active in that group long ago established clear lines of communication among one another, figured out over time and established what programs and services their communities that they can implement, on what schedule, with what continuously-serving coordination & manager members and what individual task delegations, did the the advance planning to arrange a location/facilities for this particular service/event, got commitments for speakers and workshop leaders for the specific programs to be offered and most likely materials to be distributed about those programs and how individuals can apply to make use of those programs &/or volunteer in the programs themselves, arranged for acquisiton of food and food equipment and specific individuals to do the cooking and serving and clean-up,  people who made the flyer design and printed and distributed it to all involved individuals, families and groups, and will no doubt do a postmortem on the event afterward to analyze what worked right, what could use improvement, and how to save that information to incorporate improvements next time.

    That's how human organizations work. Someone is making sure there are bathroom facilities and means to get emergency services in case of need. Someone is making sure there's hot running water in a kitchen and equipment to heat food, food containers, plates, utensils, cups. Someone is seeing to tables and chairs, lighting, possibly microphones. Someone is making sure of meeting the needs of infants, children, and the parents bringing them. Someone may be facilitating carpooling for attendees. Someone is seeing to transportation to the event location of whatever volunteer & paid staff and their equipment is needed. Someone has arranged liability insurance. Many individuals are making sure that the individuals sessions/workshops result in attendees learning new information while they're there and going home with information they can act upon. Many individuals are seeing to leadership changes being made in an established routine and democratic way that involves wide participation.

    Many individuals are making sure that lines of communication remain active between this event and the next, between members and leadership, among the various programs, across the years and across generations.

    No one is is just inflating a balloon with a message on it and releasing it into the air for whomever has nothing else to do but gaze around to happen to notice and possibly benefit from or not. But many electronic organizations do essentially that, leaving it to their thousands of gazers to re-invent the wheel of what is worth doing besides or next.

    Thank you, GreyHawk for bringing a genuine human organization into this electronic one. All good hopes for this organization and the substantial actions it makes.

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