NICOA Conference Celebrates American Indian and Alaska Native Elders

The 20th Biennial National Indian Council on Aging, Inc. (NICOA) Conference took place September 3rd through 6th at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown in Phoenix, Arizona. The NICOA conference was held in partnership with the Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona, and the Area Agency on Aging, Region 8. There were 1,387 elders attending from 65 different tribal nations.

The five day affair offered a range of events and activities for participants, speakers, families, and guests. Here are some of the highlights from each day:

Wednesday September 3

The first day of the conference began with a whirlwind of activity as many more attendees than expected arrived and were registered. An opening prayer was offered. The Ira H. Hayes American Legion Post 84 posted.... Read More

             

Living the Legacy: Keeping the Comanche Language and Culture Alive

Moribund: In terminal decline; lacking vitality or vigor. (Oxford Dictionary)

“Languages across the world are in crisis. Half of the world’s languages are “moribund, spoken only by adults who no longer teach them to the next generation.” The language loss among North American indigenous people is “especially acute,” where an estimated 155 languages are still spoken, if you add in the Alaskan Native languages. Of these 135 are moribund; and the U.S. Census of 1990 indicated that one-third of these have fewer than 100 speakers. “Native American Language Immersion: Innovative Native Education for Children and Families” Pease Pretty On Top, J.

My mother, Geneva Woomavoyah Navarro, was born in the small town of.... Read More

             

What Being American Indian Means to Me: In Recognition of Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month and November 29, 2013 is Native American Heritage Day. What does this mean to me? I am American Indian of Navajo descent. I was raised on the Navajo Nation all my life. Since I grew up on the Navajo Nation I thought the world was like me. I was taught in school that I am American and I accepted that. I was taught at home to be a good and capable person.

I had inadequate preparation in our public school so I never contemplated going off to college. My mother on the other hand had other dreams for me. She filled out my paperwork to attend the local community college. It was there.... Read More