Tuesday, February 26, 2013

My Internship with Noodin


My Internship with Noodin ~

By Andrea Cadwell, MA. MSc

I am a graduate student in the Advocacy for Social Justice and Sustainability program at Antioch University New England in Keene, NH. My work at Antioch has centered on farming and the traditions that native/indigenous people maintain with land and ecosystems.
Last year I worked for Dr Vanadana Shiva and Dr Vinod Bhatt of Navdanya in India. I lived and worked alongside farmers from a variety of spiritual and agrarian systems. It became obvious to me that in order to preserve traditional knowledge and economies that rely on relationships with land and ecosystems, I must open a dialog regarding globalization and the exportation of educational and economic models that are creating assimilation of people and the destruction of ecosystems both in India and at home. “We put out this idea, which I think is a blatant lie, that if people buy into the dictates of our economic paradigm that somehow they will magically achieve the wealth that we have enjoyed in the west…ain’t going to happen…just on energy resources alone it would take four planet earths to bring the global population into our level of consumption…We project this world view overseas, this world view, that if people buy into it they will achieve what we have.” (Wade Davis Schooling the World; The White Man’s Last Burden, Carol Black 2010)
Andrea Indea Prayer
This kind of destruction has already taken place against the indigenous people of the United States, less than a hundred years ago, through the IRA, the Indian Reorganization act of 1934. This was after hundreds of years of fighting and taking of Indian owned land.
Discussion regarding the problems of globalization is important in our country, given that we are primary exporters of the educational and economic models that are not inherent in traditional societies in India. “…these peoples, these visions aren’t failed attempts at being us, they hold unique answers to the fundamental questions, what does it mean to be alive? And for many of those peoples when they answer those questions, they answer them in ways that have allowed them to live sustainably on the planet by definition for generations.” (Wade Davis, Schooling the World: The White Man’s Last Burden, Carol Black 2010)
This spring I will return to India in order to publish a photo-essay on the impacts of globalization on traditional knowledge systems and economies in India.
I chose to work for Noodin these last several months because I wanted to help Native people in my own country as well as make use of the skills I gained while working for a world-renowned organization like Navdanya. I knew the challenges would be different and I wanted to test myself. In addition I was excited to help a local organization like Northeast American Cultural Resource, there is something very rewarding about making a difference in your own back yard.
I have spent the last several months working on the website, copy editing, developing programs, outreach to universities and colleges in this area as well as establishing new goals for the future.

Noodin and I have worked very hard to bring his storytelling and intimate knowledge of the ways of Native Americans in this country, in particular the Ojibwa people to those who want to learn more about the importance and beauty of Native tradition.
It is my hope as an environmental activist, that people will see the importance of living in harmony with our ecosystems. Currently we are living disconnected from our local ecosystems and economies that in turn leads to a disconnect from mother earth. I hope as Noodin begins to offer more programming and we continue to work together to enlighten our community about the real possibility of transitioning back to living more simply, in addition to and honoring those who inhabited this land before us, that we will find peace. The future is in all of our hands.


article by: Andrea L. Cadwell, MA, MSc

Monday, February 25, 2013

Golden Eagle ~ Do you hear ?

Golden Eagle ~ What You Say!

 by James B. Beard aka Noodin

People ask me how I know when an animal is one of my helpers. Golden Eagle is one of my helpers! My answer is simple. When one becomes aware of these things then an animal will show itself in a way that you will know. Believe me, you will know!

My Native brother, Nish, and I were traveling through Wisconsin one time a few years back. We had just come from Hannahville Reservation where we visited my teacher and Nish’s dad. Nish got a call from his sister, Neveena. Never a dull moment on the Rez!

A social worker and a sheriff were at her house and she knew Nish was nearby. “I need your help” Neveena pleaded. “They are going to take my son Jeremy! They say he beat up another kid at school. It isn’t true! He wasn’t in school today but the welfare worker won’t listen.”
Nish and I were about twenty miles from the Rez when he got the call. I asked him what we should do. Nish said, “Turn left here and go up to a farm house I know of on this road.” I thought to myself, okay, we are going to do something and I will just follow his instruction.

We came to the farm house and Nish got out of the car. He turned to me and said, “I’ll wait here. You drive on down this road and you will come out on the Rez. Go over and help my sister. You’ll know what to do.”

My jaw dropped about a thousand feet. “What!” I said, “You want me to go in there?” He answered, “I can’t go on the Rez! They will arrest me. You have to do this.”

I started down the road. I was beginning to sweat and felt so anxious that my skin tingled. I thought, “I am fifty five years old and a white guy not known to these people and I am driving on an Indian Reservation to stand up for an Indian woman that I barely know. This is not just crazy. It is stupid.” Each moment the tension was building.

Just then a bird flew up out of a ditch in front of the car. It was a beautiful Golden Eagle. Golden Eagle represents the veterans that stand for the people. I watched him as he continued to fly in front of the car for about a quarter of a mile. I thought of the values that Golden Eagle represents to the people in Native teachings I had been given. Values like stand for the people and protect them above self. I remembered! I am a veteran and I stand for the people! Somehow that seemed to help me relax.

I pulled up in front of the house where Neveena lived. I got out of the car and stood there. The sheriff came up and asked who I was and why I was on the Rez. I told him that I am this woman’s brother and her father is my teacher. I will just wait here and watch. The sheriff did not seem to know how to respond to that so he went back to the social worker. They talked and then got into their vehicles and left.

Neveena came up to me. “I am glad you came! This would have ended differently if you had not come. The authorities don’t like witnesses when they do these things” She said.

They said they had some research to do but would be back on Monday. They didn’t come back!

See review of Ebook:  http://www.northeastcultural.com/golden_eagle_what_you_say.html

You can own Noodin's books electronically (click) >>> Ebook, Ibook, Nook Book, Kindle Fire

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

To be one with self is the goal !

There are no new beginnings! 

When we know, then we understand that we know little. When we move we are only traveling in the next of a series of circles that some call the natural order. To be where  we are is only because we have come to that place from another place. The present is the reality that we seek though we often look in every place but the present. To be one with self is the goal and the reward is to be at one with all that is.


To read more about Noodin electronically (click) >>> Ebook, Ibook, Nook Book, Kindle Fire

To read more about Noodin click on this link ~ http://www.northeastcultural.com/white_mocs_on_the_red_road.html

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Are you making a difference?

It is not who you were!  It is who you are!

Who remembers a star football player thirty years after his game?  Do you remember Rolland Lawrence?  I didn't, until I met him.  Mr. Bay, as he is called affectionately by the kids at VisionQuest Big Lodge Camp, was a 1975 NFC ALL-PRO for the Atlanta Falcons.  Rolland was NFC's 2nd leading interceptor in 1975.  A deadly tackler, he gained over 4,000 yards at Tabor.

But this is not about a retired football player.  I want to tell you about an extraordinary human being. 

One day recently I was doing a project with VisionQuest Academies in Pennsylvania.  They were short on Child Care Workers and asked Ed, my partner, and myself to help out.  Since we are cleared for Child Care Work with VisionQuest, we were happy to help.  We were asked to monitor classes as we have done many times.

Walking down the hall to the classroom, I noticed a board on the wall with pictures of all the young men that had achieved graduation while at VisionQuest over the past years.  In the middle was a picture of one teacher.  It was Rolland "Bay" Lawrence. 

VisionQuest has thirty years of refined experience helping troubled youth to change the course of their lives.  The program succeeds by implementing things such as; extraordinary experiences, equine programs, outward bound programs, wagon train and the native fabric.  With all that VisionQuest offers, it would not be nearly as successful without a highly skilled and professional staff.

As I walked into the history classroom I was greeted by the youth in a friendly enough manner.   Some were acting out a little but no more than one might expect.  I took my place by the door to keep the class in and other youth out while waiting for the teacher.  He was detained and it would be five minutes before he entered. 

Mr. Bay entered the room.  Everyone sat down and the class of fifteen youth was quiet. 

"Good morning young men."  Mr. Bay started in a strong enthusiastic voice.  "We are continuing on Black History and we have a lot to cover.  There will be a test on Friday so you need to pay close attention." 

I listened with intense interest to every word.  As he described Malcolm-X, I could almost see him in prison reading the Muslim Teachings.  I could remember the city of Buffalo, where I lived, burning in the riots of the late 60’s while Mr. Bay described the Watts Riot in San Francisco.

"Mr. Jim.   Where were you when Martin Luther King was killed?" 

"In the Navy sir.  On destroyer duty in the Atlantic." 

"Everyone knows where they were when Martin Luther King was assassinated", he went on.  He had the attention of every youth.  Many kids who had not been able to sit still for five minutes in their lives were sitting there completely entranced by this teacher.

At the end of the class he hollered to the youth as they were leaving the room.  "Don't forget basketball practice tonight.  I want all of you there and we WILL be a winning team."

Mr. Bay is not just an extraordinary athlete.  This man has dedicated his life; past, present and ongoing to helping youth of all generations.  In our travels we meet some fantastic people.  Mr. Bay stands tall among my heroes because of what he is and the way he helps to enrich the lives of others around him.  That men like Mr. Bay dedicate themselves to helping troubled youth leaves a glimmer of hope for the future of all of us.

Thank you Mr. Bay, for teaching me!

Jim Beard  a. k. a.  Noodin                                 AHOE!

To read more about Noodin electronically (click) >>> Ebook, Ibook, Nook Book, Kindle Fire

To read more about Noodin click on this link ~ http://www.northeastcultural.com/white_mocs_on_the_red_road.html


Walking With Our Teachers


Copyright © 2012 James B. BeardAll rights reserved.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Alone with spirit in the now

Alone with spirit in the now

Tonight I took a walk on the mountain. No one else here. Just me and the wind. 10 degrees and the wind blowing at twenty to thirty miles per hour. Carefully stepping from rock to rock on an icy trail. Beautiful to hear the music wind plays as it comes down the mountain. Alone with spirit in the now. I feel the warmth of my friends and family knowing that you are in the now too.

To read more about Noodin electronically (click) >>> Ebook, Ibook, Nook Book, Kindle Fire

To read more about Noodin click on this link ~ http://www.northeastcultural.com/James_B_Beard_aka_Noodin_Author.html