Amazonia Foundation

Projects

School for Tribal Healthcare Medics

OVERVIEW

Many different facets of the project must work simultaneously to ensure the health of the Yanomami in Venezuela. The Venezuelan Ministry of Health has already created a working blueprint, which synchronizes all of these elements with numerous treatment programs. One of our many important projects is a school for indigenous healthcare workers.

Escuela de Medicine Simplificada

The success of the overall project depends on an ongoing infrastructure. Medical doctors and specialists supply the knowledge and experience that is vital to health care. Trained community health workers will supply the day-to-day maintenance of the project in individual villages. We have found that the Indian people quickly pick up the necessary techniques and knowledge in a six-week course. They travel through the jungle much quicker than outsiders, survive better and are much less invasive to their own communities.


Future Field Work Beyond Rosebud

Through the Ceremony House and hard work of Medicine Bundle Keeper Roy Stone Sr. a revival of the Native American belief system is taking place. The Ceremony House offers a place where tribal members from all across the United States come to learn Native American Traditional healing and ceremonies from one of the very last knowledgeable elders alive today.

Top medical officials of the State of South Dakota have recognized Roy Stone Sr. incredible record of healing patients with deadly diseases such as cancer. It is the Amazonia Foundation’s honor to help Medicine Bundle Keeper Roy Stone’s gift to all humanity.

The Amazonia Foundation has realized that Roy Stone is a key aid to fighting against the terrible Methamphetamine problem on the Native American reservations in the United States. The problem is so severe sometimes seven out of ten juveniles between 12 and 20 are addicted. By financing projects that bring young Native Americans to live and learn from one of the last daily ceremonial places on the reservation, we have assisted in giving children  pride in who they are and  hope for the future.

The Amazonia Foundations charter applies to field work, but it also has an educational aspect. We are now working with the Lakota Sioux, Hopi, Navajo and Jicarilla Apache to bring new educational material and literature to the reservations that portrays an honest and positive view of their cultural relating to what is happening in the world today.


Yanomami Aid Project in Venezuela

The Amazonia Foundation is once again beginning a new project to bring medical aid to the Yanomami and other tribes of Venezuela. It has been a very difficult journey for these tribes from free roaming bands to a reservation system and the epidemics continue to plague them. We are hoping to raise the funding to begin delivering very badly needed medical assistance at the beginning of 2009.


Indian Cultural and Economic Center in Panama

It has been a dream of the Amazonia Foundation to create an Indian Cultural and economic Center in Panama. The general purpose would be to bring all the tribes of the Americas and those that wish to work with them together in one spot. As Indians take more control, they will also be in more of a position of control over the resources on their lands. That Economic and Cultural Center would be the place a new form of development can take place. Just think, if an organized effort was made to grow healthy foods and botanical curse on organic soil for a fair price that can feed the world, in a healthier way. The hope and investment possibilities are endless.


Building A Ceremony House

In 2005, Volunteer Network International and the Amazonia Foundation non-profit organizations began the construction of a large Ceremony House on the Rosebud Lakota Reservation. Under the guidance of Lakota elder and Medicine Bundle Keeper, Roy Stone Sr. the house will serve the traditional community and all their relations.

In 1890 all Indian religious ceremonies were outlawed in the United States until 1978. This is the first large ceremony house on Rosebud since their religion was outlawed 113 years ago.

JUNE 2006, The Ceremony House was completed.


Buffalo Repatriation: From Catalina to the Lakota

December 2004, a joint effort between the Catalina Island Conservancy, California’s Morongo Band of Mission Indians and the Amazonia Foundation has repatriated 98 buffalo to the Brule, Lakota Sioux Rosebud tribe of South Dakota. Many members of the tribe are descendants of Indian heroes such as Crazy Horse, Crow Dog, Spotted Tail, He Dog and Swift Bear. The Lakota received these Catalina Island buffalo of unusually short stature in the tradition of their own “Give Away, gift giving ceremony. Do to the buffalo’s diminutive size there were some traditional Lakota, such as Leonard Crow Dog that called them Te-hen-chi-la; the Little Buffalo of the Sioux Seven Generations prophecy.

The first spring after the repatriation the herd broke lose of their fences and disappeared. They were found two days later heading toward the sacred Black Hills. After more then a hundred years the tiny herd instinctually rediscovered the bare remains of the same yearly route their ancestors had taken for centuries. The Lakota people refer to this route that now appears much like a dried riverbed as the Hoop of Life.

Since 1923, these Little Buffalo have been roaming free on California’s Catalina Island. Famed writer/director Zane Grey brought them to the Island, to film the movie Vanishing Americans. It was at a time when there were very few buffalo left in America. By 1903, 25 wild buffalos survived the original herds of over a hundred million. The Little Buffalo are believed to be direct descendants of this Yellowstone herd.

The book and movie Vanishing Americans were the first, published Hollywood outcries against the genocide of the American Indian people. In the final edit, the buffalo scenes were cut from the movie and the tiny herd was left behind. The Wrigley family, famous for their chewing gum, baseball stadium, and owning most of the island, adopted them. The family created the Catalina Island Conservancy, to protect the wildlife, flora and sea life of the island. Their beloved buffalo are an introduced species that was allowed to stay.

Through extensive scientific research, the Catalina Island Conservancy’s president, Ann Muscat concluded that the size of the herd had grown too big for both the Island and the animal’s health. Approximately 150 buffalo were left to continue roaming free on the Island and reproduce annually. This is the size of a herd that the Island can support.

The Morongo Band of California Mission Indians graciously financed the repatriation. Their 2004 Tribal Chairman, Maurice Lyons, represented them at the event.

REPATRIATION DAY

Conservancy Chief Communications Officer, Leslie Baer and the Amazonia Foundation’s Michael Stuart Ani coordinated the event. Along with representatives of the Morongo, Tungva and Lakota, many tribes came to participate in the ceremony. It became a major ceremony for Indian people and event for the media. Almost all the major news services in the country, including international CNN and UPS covered the story.

The buffalo traveled across country in two trailers, escorted by Lenny Altherr and Michael Stuart Ani, representing the Catalina Island Conservancy, and the Amazonia Foundation. 67 million viewers worldwide watch the news coverage. The snows of December held tight until the buffalo arrived at their home, back on the Northern Plains. Within a year they each gained over three hundred pounds and a new, thicker fur coat.


Health Clinics on Rosebud Reservation

September 2005, Volunteer Network International and the Amazonia Foundation launched two medical relief clinics on the Rosebud Reservation. A staff of 14 volunteer doctors and health workers paid their own way to provide badly needed health care to the Lakota people. Many of the patients who came to the optometry clinic had been without glasses for over five years. Hundreds of pairs of prescription glasses were given out with the help of Indian Health Services.

At the same time, other doctors led by Flora Johnson MD and health workers ran a general health and diabetes clinic with Indian Health Services. We learned a great deal about the acute health issues among the Lakota and how diet has played a large roll in creating them. The average life expectancy on Rosebud reservation is 51.


Inipi (Ceremonial Sweat Lodge) on Catalina Island

Led by President Ann Muscat, the Catalina Island Conservancy not only backed the Buffalo repatriation project, it donated a gorgeous piece of land on the Island to build a traditional Lakota Inipi (Sweat Lodge). The Sweat Lodge is a monument dedicated to the Buffalo and the Islands 85 year old history of awareness and actions related to the plight of the American Indian. It was traditionally built by Roy Stone Sr, John Red Bird and Michael Stuart Ani.

A wildfire scorched the entire side of the Island that the Inipi was built on. Everything on that side of the Conservancy was destroyed except the Inipi. The fire came within three feet of the Sweat Lodge, and burnt all around it, but never touched it. Recognizing this extraordinary event, the Catalina Island Conservancy and the Boy Scouts of America, dedicated a bronze plaque honoring the Buffalo, Grandpa Roy Stone Sr., and the Native American people.