Thursday, October 29, 2009

To Camp or Not to Camp

Signed up for the Tecumseh Trail Marathon in December in Indiana, and may camp instead of getting a hotel room. Camping. In December. I'll give it more thought. I've camped in 17-degree weather, a night I'll never forget. I was in the Army at the time, and it was a record-setting low temperature for that November night near Augusta, Georgia. We did not have down sleeping bags, of course, and were ill-equipped for the cold snap. Not ideal training conditions for my next military post, Vietnam, where I would be two months later.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Tribes and the President

A Native American poses for photographer Marilyn Angel Wynn, who travels all over the U.S. to document the descendants of the first people of the land.

November is National American Indian Heritage Month. I doubt a lot of people know that. In November of this year, November 5, in fact, representatives of the 564 federally recognized Indian tribes, at the invitation of President Obama, will converge on Washington, DC, for the White House Tribal Nations Conference to be held at the Department of the Interior (the White House isn't large enough to accomodate the expected crowd). This is part of Obama's plan, and promise, to address the concerns of Native Americans. The president says he wants to hear directly from tribal leaders about how his administration can meet their needs and help make their lives better. Many Native Americans suffer higher rates of crime and poorer health than the rest of the population. Many tribal leaders hope this will not be just a huge gripe session, but rather a coordinated, meaningful meeting that will produce results. I think this President will listen, and get something done. We'll see how it goes.