How to Help Grandmother/Mother Louise

To All My Relatives,

I am writing to request some help for our mother-grandmother Louise Whitewater Begay. This coming winter will be her 85th. I am doing this on her behalf without her knowledge as a surprise. I am buying her a wood pellet stove and hopefully a water heater to winterize her home along with other insulating materials. Each year gets tougher for her. Some will remember her hardship two years ago with pneumonia.

She is the reason that we have the opportunity to be on her land each summer at sundance and it is not an unreasonable request I believe to ask for help. It does not have to be much. One bag of pellet is about 4 dollars. It will burn 24 hours or more. She will not have to go out in the cold to get wood, or have it hauled choped and split and carried in.

You may send her the pellets or I can arrange for my brother Gary Begay of Many Farms to handle the purchase of the needed items. His Phone # is: 928-781-4297, PO Box #761, Chinle, AZ 86503.

If direct deposit is perfered, please call him. We need to get stove pipes, adapter, materials for hearth platform 2'x4', tile, grouting supplies (cement)etc. also. And of course,someone with truck, gas money, and time to do all this. I have asked Gary in this regard.

Thank you and please excuse us if I have propose something against your way or budget. I do understand.

Aho
Paul

photo by Caroline Romedenne

 

Dene Gathering in Canada by Paul Tohlakai

Aho, All My Relatives,

words, words, words, words, words, words, words,

Greetings from Crestone, Colorado where we are still residing, I just returned from a trip to attend a Dene Gathering in Calgary, Canada upon request of the organizer Raymond Yakaleya and Bruce Starlight of the Tsuu Tina Nation.

The gathering was an unprecedented historical event in fulfillment of prophecy of olden time when we Dene were one nation under Father Sky on Mother Earth.

It was in part a gathering of Elders and Youth with three days of presentations and interactions of Dene of Alaska, Sub Artic, Canada, U.S. Southwest, as well as other First Nations of Canada and U. S. There was much sharing of languages, origin stories, and plans for future gathering along with honoring celebration of twins. Twins hold a special place as well as having a place in the origin myths of Dene culture.

There is much to say and share but it will suffice to say that plans are to re-establish our relationship for Unity to address the many issues facing all Indigenous people. Dene as the largest First Nation will work with each other to revitalize existing culture based on language preservation and spiritual foundation. It was felt that by all a strong sense of purpose and unity to be so drawn back together. We felt like family again.

That great and beautiful purpose is to insure a future for our generations that they will never wane from whence they came from. We were a strong and brave people who came long ago from the North migrating with the bison.

In the future, they will be contributing articles related to Dene of the world. Yes, even Siberia where we have relatives.

I wish to thank again the Tsuu Tina First Nation of Canada, especially Bruce Starlight and Raymond Yakelaya and others for their hospitality and vision for all our future.

We ask for your support and understanding that this is apolitical and sacred vision of the common Dene People.

Thank you,
Paul Tohlakai

photos by Paul

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