. Greetings from Shinnecock.
Any lingering confusion following the missed communication during the placement of this column last week that resulted in Beverly Jensen’s name remaining above should be cleared up with this issue.
But just in case, and to cover all the bases, my name, Dyáni Brown, will appear from now on. After celebrating one year as editorial assistant at The Press, I’ve been given the privilege of writing these notes from the Res.
Summer is nearly here and although children have been riding their bikes and playing basketball in the park during our mild winter weather, their clothing has become considerably and obviously lighter.
Mothers are out strolling their babies, hoping to get back into shape for summer. But with warmer days it seems as though time is quickly running out and we may have to break out those bad-for-you emergency diets and take a few extra laps around the track. We’ve already begun cleaning up the Westwoods grounds in anticipation of the beach season.
Is it too soon to mention powwow? Not if we hope to have our regalias made in time for the Labor Day weekend gathering. And especially since we have not yet begun the annual cultural enrichment course where we come together to share our talents in finishing regalia projects old and new.
Last year’s cultural enrichment classes were funded through a $10,000 grant from the Horace and Amy Hagedorn Foundation, and had to be additionally supplemented with $2,500 from our general trust fund. However, this year we’ve had no such luck with funds and may have to go without. Maybe if we pray real hard, the Great Spirit will help us along.
In addition to our historic Shinnecock Presbyterian Church, the oldest continuous Reformed Indian Church in the United States, we now have the option of attending the newly formed non-denominational full gospel church, Shinnecock Revival, each Sunday at 10 a.m. at the Family Preservation Center.
Led by Pastor Curtis Terry, the congregation began meeting in November 2006 in the senior room of the Preservation Center, a courtesy extended by the Trustees—and has since grown to include 14 members.
Pastor Curtis was ordained through Word of Life Ministries based in Florida and found his calling to be here at home, bringing healing to the nation. He currently works for Island Harvest, alongside his wife, Migdalia, feeding the hungry of Long Island through its many outreach programs.
A huge congratulations is in order for Kelly Dennis, daughter of Denise and Avery Dennis Jr., who was selected for the 2008 Morris K. Udall Native American Congressional Internship Program. Each year, 12 Native students are chosen from different tribes, colleges and universities across the country, and given the opportunity to experience firsthand the federal legislative and decision-making process. Kelly will complete her 10-week internship in the Office of Indian Affairs with the House Committee on Natural Resources this summer.
A May 2007 graduate of Middlebury College in Vermont, where she served as secretary general for Middlebury College Model United Nations and founded the student organization Voices of Indigenous Peoples, Kelly holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and Japanese. She currently serves as secretary for the iVoteNative executive committee and plans to enter law school in fall 2009.
Three other young scholars were recently inducted into the Junior National Honor Society at Southampton Intermediate School. Congratulations to Jennah Nation, 13, daughter of Perri and Dudley Nation Jr.; Paris Hodges, 12, daughter of Tonya and Paris Hodges; and Skye Wiegman, 13, daughter of Deborah Wiegman.