Daily Affirmations

My Mom and me, December ’11

In the spirit of Mother’s Day (this Sunday), here’s one for you, Mom!

My Mom is full of great advice.  She seems to always know just what to say at just the right time to make me feel better about any challenge that I may be facing.

One of her best words of wisdom, though, is her daily morning catchphrase: “BE a great day!”

My Mom truly believes that we make our own destiny based on the choices we make on a daily basis.  She knows that we each have the power to have a good day or a bad one based on how we frame things and react to adversity.  I really love that about her.

Today, I had an inspirational thought of my own that I wanted to share with you in hopes that it might brighten your day and lift your spirits, if you need it:

Sometimes you have to tell yourself, “I can do this!…I can do this!…I WILL do this!” until you’re convinced…and it gets done.  Our inner voice can be our own worst enemy or our own best friend. We have to make the choice!

It can be easy to take a back seat in our own lives and coast along miserably, just barely getting by emotionally.  It’s a lot harder to take the reins and go after your dreams.  I truly believe we each have the power to attain whatever we want if we believe in ourselves.  You have to believe, from the deepest part of your being, that you deserve great things and that you are capable of making them happen.  Great achievements come with great risk.  Great risk comes with confidence.  Confidence comes with action.  So, get up, get out, and make your dreams a reality!  You can do it!  

(I believe in you, so you should, too!)

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the Moms out there!  May you be your child/children’s greatest hero like my Mom is for me.

-NativeJournalist

ps: Thank you, everyone, for the “Happy Birthday” love I received yesterday!  It feels great to be 28 and I’m excited for all that this year will bring!

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NativeRemix.com has a new logo!

Thank you to everyone who entered my logo design contest at 99designs.com!  And, thank you to everyone who gave me their input on the designs I was considering!

Here is the design I have chosen…I hope you like it!

Click the photo to sign up for updates on the launch of NativeRemix.com!

NativeRemix.com is a multimedia arts + culture news site for Indigenous youth of the U.S. and Canada that is currently in development.  The site will feature work created by artistic Native talent from all parts of Indian Country with a focus on the younger, Indigenous audience.  

We are currently looking for writers/bloggers as well as Native artists (musicians, singers, DJs, dancers, painters, photographers, videographers, fashion designers, etc.) who would like to be featured on our site.  We also welcome advertisers who are interested in reaching our target audience.

If you, or someone you know, would like to be a part of NativeRemix.com, please send an e-mail to: editor@NativeRemix.com!

Please sign up for updates on our launch date at NativeRemix.com,  follow us on Twitter @TheNativeRemix, and “like” us on Facebook: NativeRemix!

Thank you again to everyone for your support thus far!

Have a wonderful weekend,

-NativeJournalist

Aboriginal DJ Group “A Tribe Called Red” Drops Their Debut Album…and it’s FREE!

Photo courtesy of Exclaim.ca

Ottawa-based Aboriginal DJ group, A Tribe Called Red, released their debut alum for FREE today!  The best way I can describe their sound is a modern, electronic remix of traditional Native pow wow drumming and singing.  Whatever you want to call it, you can’t deny how incredibly awesome and talented these guys are.  Some of my favorite tracks include: “Native Puppy Love,” “Woodcarver,” “Red Skin Girl,” and “Look At This.”  All the tracks are good, though.  But, don’t take my word for it, go check it out for yourself!  Download the album here…and be sure to spread the word!

Here’s a piece I did about A Tribe Called Red’s music and their “Electric Pow Wow” while visiting Toronto last year for ImagineNative.  Enjoy!

-NativeJournalist

Artist Profile: A Tribe Called Red

Check out my work-in-progress…

Ottawa-based DJ Trio, A Tribe Called Red, holds what they call “Electric Pow Wows” in various cities around Canada and the U.S. in an effort to celebrate and preserve their culture. We recently caught up with the group during a performance in Toronto. Here is Amy Stretten with the story.

-NativeJournalist

Marimacho: Genderqueer Clothing

“marimacho: (n. Spanish) a girl who behaves in a boyish manner; tomboy”

Crystal González and Ivette Alé are the visionaries behind Brooklyn-based clothing line Marimacho. The genderqueer clothing line was created to solve the challenges of finding well-fitting, gender-appropriate clothing for masculine-of-center women and transgender men.

For more information about Marimacho, please visit MarimachoBK.com
Special thanks to Bex Wade for use of several promotional photographs shot for Marimacho.

To view more of Bex Wade’s photography, please visit BexWade.com

-NativeJournalist

 

Good News and Updates!

The semester is finally drawing to a close, which means I am 2/3 of the way done with grad school!  This final week of classes will either make or break me, as I have a tremendous amount of work to complete before the Summer begins.

However, I have great news!  I recently found out that I am one of eight winners of the UNITY: Journalists of Color / United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS 2011 Global Reporting Fellowship!  Here is some information about this amazing opportunity:

UNITY: Journalists of Color is teaming up with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) to offer unique international reporting opportunities to young journalists from its alliance partners.

The June 8-10 UN High-Level meeting on AIDS will be among the most important to take place in recent years around AIDS issues where world leaders will take stock of global response after 30 years and remember the human toll of the epidemic – the 25 million people who have died of AIDS. The leaders also will renew commitments and agree on innovative strategies to achieve a world free of HIV infections, AIDS-related deaths and stigma of discrimination.

The meeting will feature speeches by global leaders, including the Secretary General, presidents and royalty. There will also be performances by popular musicians.

The gathering presents an excellent opportunity for young journalists interested in honing their skills in international affairs, especially at a time when many news organizations in the United States are reducing international reporting.

UNITY will bring two young journalists from each partner organization to the United Nations from June 6 – 11 to report on the High Level meeting. They will be joined by four young journalists from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe. The journalists will work collaboratively to produce print, online and broadcast reports during the meeting under the guidance of professional journalists from alliance partners and the Inter Press Service, the developing world’s leading provider of information on global issues.

I am so excited to begin this amazing experience and can’t wait to meet the other participants, mentors, and diplomats!

In other news, I am also thrilled to announce that I will be interning at the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network in Winnipeg, Canada this summer!  I was fortunate to receive internship offers at two other U.S. news organizations that were incredibly hard to turn down.  (Seriously though, you have no idea!)  But, I am the “Native Journalist” and aside from choosing the international reporting concentration at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism (which means I am required to intern at a news organization outside of the U.S.), I also feel like this could be a once in a lifetime opportunity to see what life is like for our Indigenous brothers and sisters up north. I am really excited to be working beside seasoned professionals who have dedicated their careers to telling under-reported stories for and about Native people.

Another reason for choosing to spend the summer at APTN in Winnipeg is to begin working on my capstone project.  At CUNY we are required to complete a major print/multi-media/broadcast/etc. project (like a thesis) in our final semester (in addition to the work required for our four classes).  So, to lighten my load and allow for a possible Fall internship (at the anonymous “dream” news organization I turned down), I thought it would be a great idea to start shooting this summer!

The idea for this project came from an interview I conducted with Tonya Gonnella Frichner about her work with the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.  In the interview she mentioned the high number of Aboriginal women and girls who have been murdered and gone missing from all parts of Indian Country.  Specifically, how sex trafficking is hurting the Indigenous community in Canada.

Since this conversation, I have done a great deal of research into this issue and would like to make this my focus of my capstone.  The other day I came across the below video.  I would like to do something in a similar vein.  Check it out.  It’s hard to watch, but it is my hope that creating a piece like this will call attention to this important issue.

-NativeJournalist