219 West – May Episode is Up!

I woke up early this morning (before 6AM) and couldn’t sleep.  So, I thought I’d check to see when the July episode of “219 West” will air since I’m in Canada and can’t see it on TV here.  (I will have two packages air in July, so I will let you know when it’s up so you can check it out!)  I was excited to see that CUNY-TV got a facelift and the new and improved site now shows entire episodes instead of just packages.  So, check out the May episode that I hosted and learn something new about health!


Documentary explores Native perspective on health care

Rich-Heape Films, the creators of the documentary “Our Spirits Don’t speak English: Indian Boarding School” (a Native American perspective on Indian Boarding Schools) are working on a new project about health care and Native Americans. It is tittled “AMERICAN INDIAN HEALTHCARE: A NATIVE PROSPECTIVE”.

Check out the teaser…

From the Rich-Heape Films website:

Now in production!

Rich-Heape Films, Inc. proudly announces their latest documentary, “American Indian Healthcare: A Native Prospective” will be released soon and we are making the following trailer for your review.

On camera presentation by Peter Coyote

Featuring: Ben Night Horse Campbell -Tim Giago – President Theresa Two Bulls – Principal Chief Chad Smith

If you have any questions, comments, would like to pre-order the DVD or just discuss the film, please feel free to contact us to be alerted to the Summer 2010 Release of “AMERICAN INDIAN HEALTHCARE: A NATIVE PROSPECTIVE.” Running time 60 min feature length documentary


Rich-Heape Films, Inc. heape@richheape.com
Toll Free: 1-888-600-2922
Or: 1-214-696-6916

Rich-Heape Films, Inc.
5952 Royal Lane, Suite 254,
Dallas, Texas 75230

DVD with Public Performance Rights $149.95 + $6.95 S&H.
DVD without Public Performance Rights $29.95 + $6.95 S&H

This is the same film and production company that created “Black Indians: An American Story” (as seen on ABC) which “brings to light a forgotten part of Americans past – the cultural and racial fusion of Native and African Americans.” “Black Indians” is narrated by James Earl Jones. It’s a fabulous documentary that I saw back in college. The subject is very near and dear to my heart. “Black Indians” has won the following awards and recognition:

Award of Distinction, Indian Summer Festival
Cine Golden Eagle
Communicator Award
Best Documentary, Native American Music Awards
Aurora Gold Award
Bare Bones Intl. Film Festival Award – Best Documentary
Silver OMNI International Award
Aurora Gold Award
The New York Festivals
Cinevue International Film & Video Competition – Best Documentary
Worldfest Houston – Gold Special Jury Award
Gold Catalyst Award

I hope you will support Rich-Heape Films and check out their newest documentary!

…And if you’re reading this Steven R. Heape or Chip Richie, please get in touch with me…I would really like to collaborate!


New documentary focuses on violent crimes on Indian reservations

A good friend of mine, Ryan Redcorn, has made quite a name for himself with his pro-Native, often (progressive) political t-shirt company called Demockratees and his design and interactive branding agency, Red Hand Media. Both companies are based on the Osage reservation in Oklahoma, where Ryan is from. Most recently, Ryan wrote an article for VotingOsage.org about an alarming issue facing Native people, specifically Native women, today. In it Ryan gives reference to the documentary “Vanguard: Rape On the Reservation” which airs on Current TV. To read Ryan’s article click here. I ask that you also take some time and watch the documentary below. It is really eye-opening!


Native Journalist meets the US Surgeon General at Families USA Health Action 2010 Conference

Amy Stretten, Dr. Regina Benjamin, and Reza Clifton at Health Action 2010 in Washington, DC

I had the privilege of meeting and getting to know Reza Clifton (Blogger, New Media Producer, Radio Program Host, and DJ) who was at Health Watch 2010 representing UrbanHealthWatch.net. We were both very excited to meet US Surgeon General, VADM Regina M. Benjamin who gave a very uplifting and inspirational closing speech. Here’s a video of her speaking about obesity. She, along with Michelle Obama and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (who also spoke at Health Action 2010) announced plans on January 28th to “help Americans lead healthier lives through better nutrition, regular physical activity, and improving communities to support healthy choices.” (HHS) In her speech at Health Action 2010, Benjamin called for all Americans to focus on being physically fit at any size and not focus on being too thin. This is a much more realistic goal for many (especially younger women and girls) who tend to fall prey to the latest diet trends that, while they may cause a loss of weight, are anything but healthy.

“Americans will be more likely to change their behavior if they have a meaningful reward–something more than just reaching a certain weight or dress size. The real reward is invigorating, energizing, joyous health. It is a level of health that allows people to embrace each day and live their lives to the fullest without disease or disability.” – VADM Regina M. Benjamin, M.D., M.B.A., Surgeon General


Final Day of Health Action 2010

WASHINGTON, DC – Today is the last day of the Families USA Health Action 2010 conference. Also today, at 10:30am is the American Indian Health Policy workshop called “Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going.” From the conference agenda:

American Indians and Alaska Natives experience some of the most significant health disparities in the United States. This workshop will discuss the state of Indian health care today, health reform provisions that will address these disparities, and how these changes will be implemented.

Donald Warne, Oglala Lakota (of the Aberdeen Area Tribal Chairman’s Health Board) moderated the discussion and Jennifer Cooper (National Indian Health Board) and Cara Thunder (American Indian Community House) presented.

Moderator Donald Warne (Oglala Lakota/Sioux), Aberdeen Area Tribal Chairmen's Health Board

Video of Cara Thunder speaking:

Video of Jennifer Cooper speaking:


Amy Stretten, Winner of the 2010 Consumer Health Advocate of the Year Award!

Consumer Health Advocate of the Year Award

WASHINGTON, DC – Families USA awarded me the Consumer Health Advocate of the Year award at the Health Action 2010 conference!…Well, me and the other hundreds of registrants who were in attendance, to encourage us all to continue to advocate for health care reform.


Families USA Health Action 2010 Conference Update!

NativeJournalist.com Press Pass

WASHINGTON, DC – Thus far, the Families USA Health Action 2010 conference has been overwhelming…in a great way! I am a little drained, but so very inspired and excited to do my part in the health reform movement. Below are some noteworthy quotes from speakers at this weekend’s conference:

“We need reform because the current system is fundamentally flawed.” – Kathleen Sebelius, Department of Health & Human Services

“Stop letting perfect be the enemy of ‘very good’…our system currently rewards volume over value…insurance companies should be responsible to its policy holders, not its stock holders! Beat back lies and misinformation and make health care reform happen now!” – Sen. Al Franken (D-MN)

“Women pay 48% more for health care coverage”…Why this issue matters if you think it doesn’t: If you have health care coverage today, you might not have health care coverage tomorrow! – Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD)

“People who talk about family values, don’t value families!…Keep it broad; health care is just one part of the human rights movement!…When we think ‘all’ or ‘nothing,’ we usually get nothing.”- Benjamin Todd Jealous, NAACP <- This man is AMAZING!!!

Upcoming weekend events: "American Indian Health Policy: Where We've Been and Where We're Going" with Jennifer Cooper, National Indian Health Board; Michael Mahsetky, Indian Health Service; Cara Thunder, American Indian Community House as presenters and Donald Warne, Aberdeen Area Tribal Chairman's Health Board as the moderator. I'm really looking forward to this workshop! I will be sure to let you know all about it!!

…That's all for now. More to come!


Obama’s 2010 State of the Union Address

WASHINGTON, DC – Last night President Barack Obama spoke to Congress and the nation during the annual State of the Union Address. Check out the video below if you missed any of it or want to hear it again. Topics covered were: the economy, including the stimulus bill and jobs; the environment, including the energy and climate bill; education, including tax credits and pell grants; health care, including Michelle Obama’s plan to end childhood obesity and the health care bills; defense, including national security and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell; and, discrimination, including equal pay laws. As usual, Obama supporters were enamored by his eloquence and inspiring and encouraging words. Unfortunately, not all members of congress were as excited about what the president had to say. There were many members of Congress who stayed in their seats while the rest of the house gave Obama a standing ovation.

I had the privilege of watching the address while in Washington, DC on Capitol Hill at the Hyatt Regency hotel with the Health Action 2010 conference.

More to come…


NABJ Conference on Health Disparities Announced


March 4-6, 2010
Barbara Jordan Conference Center at Kaiser Family Foundation
1330 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 2005
(one block west of Metro Center)

Program Goal:
The goal of this annual conference is to provide print, broadcast and online journalists the tools to effectively report on the impact of health care reform and health policy on underserved communities. Journalists and media professionals will leave with resources to inform and empower readers and viewers to action in their lives.

Sponsored by:
Kaiser Family Foundation
Eli Lilly and Company

For more information, click here.