Native Report – Season 12 Episode 3

On this edition
of Native Report, we view the infrared
photography of Erv Schleufer. We visit the Spokane,
Washington, American Indian Community Center. And we attend the National
Congress of American Indians Mid Year Conference. We also learn something
new about healthy living and hear from our elders on
this edition of Native Report. ANNOUNCER: Production
of Native Report is made possible by grants from
the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, the Blandin
Foundation, and the Duluth Superior Area
Community Foundation. [MUSIC PLAYING] Welcome to Native Report. I’m Rita Aspinwall. And I’m Ernie Stevens. Photographer, Erv
Schleufer, specializes in what is known as
infrared photography. He views what he
does as a hobby, but this is more than that. Ss And the photographs he
takes are extraordinary. [MUSIC PLAYING] TADD JOHNSON: A most
remarkable photography exhibit at the Northwest Museum of Arts
and Culture is unlike any other than the museum
has had before it. What makes this so special
is not what can be seen with the naked eye, but what cannot
be seen in ordinary sunlight. ERV SCHLEUFER: Those
curious to see what the invisible world look like. I got a tribal
check, I think when I was about in seventh
grade– $450, I think it was. And so I bought a
little Polaroid camera and I still have some
of the pictures at home. As the years went by, I just,
you know, had junk cameras here and there. And over 20 years ago, I got
my first real good camera. In the spring of 2013,
I started looking into infrared
conversions for cameras. So that July, there’ll
be three years ago, there was a powwow
over in Post Falls. I tried to imagine what
this regalia would look like in infrared, and I couldn’t. I just couldn’t wrap
my mind around it. I’d looked at infrared
for a long time. I mean, I’ve done some film
stuff, some over 20 years ago and it was very difficult
to do, and the results were kind of spotty, but
it was still really neat. I went over there and shot
about 800 pictures the first day and took them home. And about the 40th
picture in, I saw this picture this little
boy and right then I realized that I
was on to something that I had never seen before. This was way beyond anything
that I had imagined. One of the things I noticed
right from the beginning is kids, their skin
is so much thinner, that they get out in
the bright sunlight and this infrared
makes them glow, kind of like a wick
down inside of a candle. They don’t have just a
white color like this wall, they have this
translucent look to them. You’ll notice that the
sun is coming up here, and all this fringe is white,
but the stuff in the shadows turn blue. TADD JOHNSON: For those
who are unfamiliar with infrared photography, it
is a special type of photography which uses film or sensors
sensitive to infrared light. The digital sensor
in Erv’s camera captures what is beyond
the visible spectrum. The images appear
spectral, having an almost ghost-like quality. Erv’s exhibit is entitled,
“The Light We Cannot See.” ERV SCHLEUFER: To
me, the draw with it is seeing what’s in
the invisible world. It’s normal for me to shoot
in 90 minutes, somewhere around 1,000 pictures. I went over to experiment
at the July Amish powwow and that helped open
up a door of getting to know so many people. One guy over here
in this one picture, that was the last powwow he
danced before he passed away. I’m still kind of beside myself
about having all of this here at the museum, but I still
can’t compare my experience to how the family must
feel about seeing something like this. TADD JOHNSON: Another way to
achieve the infrared effect is through the use of a
filter, placed over the flesh. Erv does do other photography,
in addition to powwows. However, one thing is
certain– Erv has become very knowledgeable about his craft. Yet, even then, he doesn’t
label what he does as, “professional.” I did some shoots in
the shade where there was some powwows, and stuff. And even though there was a lot
of bright sunlight coming in from the open
walls, the infrared didn’t glow like it would
out in the direct sun. And so I thought,
well, I need to enhance that light, and
did some research and found out that
the flash in my camera produces a lot of
infrared light. But then, the first thought
was, I can’t go to a powwow and hit these people
with hundreds of flashes. I mean, that just
wouldn’t be right. And then got thinking, if the
internal filter in my camera can block the visible light
getting to the sensor, why can’t I block the visible
light coming out the flash? I read a story
about a guy that did that picture of all these
kids in a movie theater, and they’re wearing
the 3D glasses, and I always thought that that
picture was illuminated because of the light coming off
of the theater screen, but he had figured
out how to make some kind of a
translucent infrared paint for his light bulbs, and he
dipped his light bulbs in this to block all the visible light. And he went in
that movie theater and shot that infrared flash
picture, and, of course, being infrared,
nobody saw the flash. ERV SCHLEUFER: It’s
been around a long time, so I never went
into this thinking that I invented something. I’m just kind of
discovering as I go along. This is really weighed
heavily over on one side with technology,
with a digital camera with a infrared conversion,
and the computers and all the software and stuff. Then yeah, you’ve got to go
out there and point the camera. When you go to
these powwows, it’s kind of hard to take a bad
picture there to begin with. I don’t really feel
comfortable when people call me a professional,
because you know, usually professionals
go to school. And so me and school
just never jived, ever since I was a little kid. So all this stuff,
I’ve done on my own. But when you start
looking at it like I’m a native playing with infrared
photography, doing a powwow and making this invisible
flash for my camera, it’s pretty hard to find
somebody else who’s doing that. [MUSIC PLAYING] I’m Dr. Arne Vainio, and today
we’re talking about opiates. Opiates are a class of drug
commonly used to treat pain, and are also narcotics. The word, “narcotic,” is from
the Greek word, “narkotikos,” which means, “make numb.” Narcotics also includes sleeping
pills, alcohol, and anything that can cause addiction. Prescription opiates or medicine
such as Hydrocodone, Norco, Vicodin, Lortab, Oxycodone,
OxyContin, Morphin, Dilaudid Demerol, and others. Certain illegal drugs, such
as heroin, are also opiates. We are in the middle of an
opiate-overdose epidemic right now. And by, “we,” I mean
the whole world. So how does a person
get addicted to opiates? Sometimes these drugs are
prescribed for short-term pain relief after an
injury or surgery. The longer you use
opiates, the less they actually relieve your
pain, and also, the pain can become worse. Dependence happens
when the body gets used to having
opiates in the system, and stopping are
decreasing them causes withdrawal symptoms, which makes
it really difficult to stop taking opiates. Withdrawal symptoms from
opiates are pretty awful, and include muscle aches and
pains, abdominal cramping, nausea, runny nose,
tearing, sweating, vomiting, and diarrhea, and can
last from anywhere from a week to a month. The emotional
symptoms of anxiety, agitation, insomnia,
and fatigue, can last for more than
a month after stopping high doses of opiates. So how do you know if
someone is addicted? When the use of opiates
interferes with daily life and the person has
uncontrollable cravings for them, and cannot stop, even
though using opiates is having negative effects on personal
relationships, work, or finances, there’s a problem. It’s estimated that about
4.3 million Americans are non-medical users of
narcotic pain relievers, and are taking narcotics
not prescribed to them. The number of overdoses has
more than quadrupled since 1999. We are seeing more
and more babies being born to mothers using opiates. Watching a baby go
through withdrawal is heartbreaking, and could
cause families to be separated. There are treatment programs
available and medicines to help people get off opiates. Support groups are important,
and constant vigilance is essential. Addictions will lie
in wait for people, and sliding back into
them can happen fast. How long has it
been since there was an overdose in your community? This is destroying
us as a people, and on a national level. You were put here for a reason. Help is available to help
you get back on the path you were meant to be on. It doesn’t have to
be this way, and we need all of us clean and
sober to raise our children. Remember to call an elder. They’ve been waiting
for your call. I’m Doctor Arne Vainio,
and this is Health Matters. [MUSIC PLAYING] The American Indian
Community Center of Spokane, Washington has been helping the
urban Native American Community and non-native families
for well over 30 years. They do so by providing a
gathering place dedicated to delivering culturally
competent social, economic, and educational services. [MUSIC PLAYING] WANDA SAYERS: The city
of Spokane, Washington, is home to well over 12,000
urban-based Native Americans, representing 234 tribes
from across Indian country. To meet the needs of
those individuals, the American Indian
Community Center of Spokane has been there to assist the
community in a number of ways. Originally, it was kind
of like the gathering place for natives in the
city, and it still is. People come here, they
hang out, they socialize, they know where the
Indian Center is. They feel comfortable here. And I just couldn’t
imagine a place without it. Without the Indian Center,
where would they go? They don’t like to go to– I’m
speaking of native, mostly, urban natives. They just don’t like
to go to other places where– for some reason, they
just don’t feel comfortable. We serve urban Native
Americans here in the city. A Lot of natives are
traveling, mobile, they’re coming and going. Studies show that urban
Indians are probably the largest, most invisible
group of Indians, natives, in the country. And a lot of people come
in and you can see it– the cultural trauma has carried
over for so many generations that they are feel
kind of– well, they’re disconnected,
especially with their culture, with their community. And so they come here because
they feel that connection. A lot of the employees here
have been here for a long time. We’ve probably got about 16,
maybe 15 and 1/2, something like that. Three of them or full-time,
the rest are mostly part-time. WANDA SAYERS: The
Center caters to both the native and
non-native communities, and is more than
a meeting place. There are a number of
social service programs that can be accessed
Monday through Friday. Let’s see, we’ve
got [INAUDIBLE], we’ve got the work force,
we’ve got family services, we’ve got a visitation program,
we’ve got an Indian Child Welfare Coordinator position,
food bank, protective payee, general assistants who work–
and the lady from the Bureau just happens to be here today. But we’ve got a person that
kind of helps general assistance applicants. We’ve got Senior Lunch. Food bank is another big
program that United Way kind of covers the space costs,
some of the employment, a percentage of the
employment– people there. And that’s open to
a certain zip code– 99202, where we
moved from Downtown. Looked at an ANA grant and I
thought, let’s do a community technology center. And basically, what it is
is it’s just a computer lab, but we gave it kind of
a fancy-schmancy name, and that’s what was–
that was the term that was kind of going around, was
Community Technology Center. So we wrote, and we got funded. We got funded that year in 2009. We got 15 workstations,
all new computer. We got everything new. We got those three positions
out of it– Program Director, we had an IT instructor,
and then an Admin Assistant. And we– it’s still
running today. Our computers are
from 2009, so they’re pretty– they’re getting up
there, but they still work. They still operate. It’s been a real valuable
asset to the community. People use it
regularly every day. And a lot of the
guys just come in. They get on Facebook
and they sit there. But those folks that come
in and they look for work. That’s what the Indian
Center is all about, is putting Indians to work. WANDA SAYERS: While
Lux and his staff do what they can with the
means they have to help others, they’re always looking
at how they can better help Spokane’s urban
Native American community. LUX DEVEREAUX: Most of the
real hard-to-serve natives that come in are in some
kind of crisis already. So we just try to
stem that crisis and somehow get them
some kind of service. They don’t leave here without
giving some kind of help. We coordinated a lot with
some of the other agencies like, Native Project,
Native Health, primarily, because a lot of
natives go there are homeless and so they use
this as an address. And homelessness is
really huge right now. So we kicked it around
in one of our meetings. I said, here’s an idea. Let’s go back to the
table, let’s go back to the planning process. Let’s develop a comprehensive
plan for housing, for urban-based natives. We’re a real strong,
progressive people. We’re education. We have our leaders, we
have our cultural leaders. And you know, we’re in
this whole thing together. Don’t leave us out. We’re not invisible. We’re here to–
we’re struggling, we’re in the same boat. So if you don’t want
to partner with us, then at least support
us in some way. There’s a lot of natives
here that are smart, they’re educated, they
know their people, they know how to–
they know what it takes to serve our people. [MUSIC PLAYING] I really appreciated
the people talking about the [INAUDIBLE] sacred site. Sacred sites–
many of the tribes don’t like to identify
them because then they become tourist attractions. However, decisions need to be
made on how to protect them, and a lot of times we have
to strategize and work with partners to do that. And that’s what we hope to
do with our allotments now. There’s a huge
monument there that acknowledges the Fort
Harney military officers, and barely mentions our people. But our people
occupied that land, and we were a great
nation at times. And now, we were all torn apart,
sent to other reservations– Fort Klamath, the
one at Warm Springs. Fort Harney, Fort
Bidwell– all of these. And by the name
of the forts, you know that’s the
military presence there. This was acts of war,
and a lot of our people were murdered and
kidnapped for the benefit of the settlers coming in. [MUSIC PLAYING] The National Congress
of American Indians is the oldest, largest,
and most representative American Indian and Alaska
Native advocacy organization. Join us now as we attended
2016 NCAI Mid Year Conference and Marketplace held
in Spokane, Washington. [MUSIC PLAYING] MICHAEL LEGARDE: Over
1,000 tribal leaders, officials, and other
representatives from across Indian country were
on hand for the 2016 National Congress of American Indians Mid
Year Conference at the Spokane Convention Center. From 1944 to the
modern era, NCAI has been a leading force
and voice in protecting tribal sovereignty. BRIAN CLADOOSBY: 73
Years ago, our elders dreamed of a day like this, when
tribes from across the nation would continue to come
together with one voice to work on common issues that
affect each and every one of us on a daily basis, even though
we may be 567 sovereigns, and we might sovereigns
that are state recognized that are part of
our organization, at the end of the day, our
issues that’s still the same. We have health care issues and
economic development issues. We have treaty rights issues. We have funding issues. So even though 567
of us are sovereigns, at the end of the day, speaking
with one voice in Washington, DC, working on the same
issues with the same goals, is what we are all
about here at NCAI. The 200 to 300 tribes that
come to our organization and participate in
the work that we do, even though we don’t
have 567 nations, we do not speak
for any one tribe. NCAI does not speak
for any tribe. I do not speak for any tribe. But the work that
we do, we advocate on behalf of 567 tribes,
because at the end of the day, when you look at all
the bills that we’re able to pass, all
the legislation that we’re able to pass, all
of the rules and regulations that agencies change
to positively impact Indian country is having an
effect on all 567 nations, when it comes to getting
increases in funding, when it comes to having access
and having DC hear us– that affects all 567 nations. There are various reasons
why not all of the 567 tribes are able to participate. For example, you know,
the largest group of tribes in the US resides
in one state, that’s Alaska. Just about half the tribes in
the nation reside up there. And as you can imagine, some of
those villages are very small, some of those villages
are very poor, and their opportunity
to participate and come here is very, very limited
because of the travel factor. MICHAEL LEGARDE: This is the
smaller of two conferences held annually by NCAI. Breakout sessions for
the Mid Year Conference covered issues such as,
“Protecting Sacred Sites,” “Tribal Homeland Security,” and,
“Strengthening the Indian Child Welfare Act,” plus many others. Native youth also have a
place at the conference. BRIAN CLADOOSBY:
I shared with them how important it is for
them to get their education. That is the key,
I let them know, to breaking historic trauma. All of us are still plagued
with historical trauma that was inflicted upon us by
the Federal Government’s policy in the 1800s- of,
“The only good Indian is a dead Indian,” that evolved
to General George Pratt’s initiative of, “Kill the
Indian, Save the Man.” And so we’re still living
under those harmful, historical trauma in even our
grandkids’ generations. So my message to them is to
break that historical trauma through education, become
productive members of society, make good choices,
get a good education, and break that cycle
of historical trauma to where we’re not having
to live it in our lives, but we’re only going
to be reading about it in the history books. MICHAEL LEGARDE: As President
of such a large organization, President Cladoosby is
often sought out by many to seek an audience with them. He also understands
the importance of reaching out to
non-native population, and developing strong,
working relationships. BRIAN CLADOOSBY: It’s
a great responsibility. I’m only allowed to do
it by the grace of God, and to be able to travel
around the nation, to different communities
and to different conferences to represent NCAI, I
going back to DC to meet with the President, to
meet with his cabinet, to meet with senators,
to meet with congressmen, to meet with agency heads
is a wonderful opportunity. And we’ve got three
priorities in life– serving God, serving my family,
and serving my community. And my community has increased
by 567 nations in the last two years, and so I am very
grounded, very, very grounded in my faith, in my
Creator– instilled in me at a very young age
by my grandfather. You know, we’re still here
and we are 21st century, the majority of us are 21st
governments– infrastructure is second to none. We are becoming very, very
serious, productive members of society, becoming
those economic engines that our grandparents
hoped that we would be. And we are employing
people, we are paying wages. We are paying benefits. We’re not going to go anywhere. We are here to stay. Get to know us. Learn about us. And if the people would
really speak out and encourage the government, the
schools– whoever, to have a true reflection of
the history of the treatment of Native Americans,
I think that would go a long way for people
to understand who we are and what we’re about. We are in our 73rd
year of existence, and I am the 21st president
of this organization, and I’ve got the greatest
job in the world. RITA ASPINWALL: For
more information about Native Report,
or the stories we’ve covered, look for us on
the web at, on Facebook, and on Twitter. Thank you for spending this time
with your friends and neighbors in Indian Country. I’m Rita Aspinwall. And I’m Ernie Stevens. We’ll see you next
time on Native Report. ANNOUNCER: Rita Aspinwall is an
enrolled member of the Fond du Lak Band of Lake
Superior, Chippewa, and is an [INAUDIBLE] social
worker with Fond du Lak Social Services. Ernie Stevens is a member of
the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, and is a film and
television producer. [MUSIC PLAYING] ANNOUNCER: Production
of Native Report is made possible by grants from
the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, the Blandin
Foundation, and the Duluth Superior Area
Community Foundation.

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