tv [untitled] November 28, 2010 9:30am-10:00am PST
-- randy shirley. i had someone asked me why we honor our veterans. one of the dumbest question is i have ever heard. i was offended when i heard it. i'm still offended. you wonder why native people honor our veterans. because my elders said so. before r.e.m. men, our young women go off to serve in the military, back home, we have ceremony to protect them, to
make share -- make sure that they return home safe to their family, to be a round their friends, to be able to sing and dance when they come back. we did the same period this arena represents a place of healing. they leave with their culture, their traditions, their language. they learn about these things. they meet new people. it expands their horizons. it also gives them the opportunity to pursue higher education, go out and find a
job with veterans preference. so why do we honor our veterans? because we are told to. that is the way it was done before my great, great grandfather, my great grandfather, my grandfather, my dad, and now me. if you still do not understand it, see me after. i will be in the parking lot. hey, i'm kidding. [laughter] i will have margin havemartin with me. -- i will have martin wiht me. any more veterans? come up. native people, we have always
let's get down to business, why we are here. i would say honoring our own, thanks to kqed, san francisco's native american health center, the mayor's office of neighborhood services, and the native american aids project. our hosts probably do not realize the impact that this event has on the native american community. but it is something we look forward to every year.
these four honorees -- i have had the pleasure, the privilege of working with them on a professional level. i do not know if i have an unprofessional level, but as well as in any powwow irina, so it gives me great pride and pleasure as well toemcee -- to emcee this event. how many native americans in the san francisco bay area? let's see -- one, two -- [laughter] over 60,000. how many in oakland? 29,000.
it is just really need for the san francisco bay area, northern california, california -- it is really neat to recognize native american heritage month with these four that we on this day. again, i know them well. and i can call them my friends, even though one of them is lakota. at this time, i would like to turn the microphone over to john
of kqed. >> thanks, carol -- banks, ea -- thanks, earl. i'm president of kqed media. i'm glad you are all here, and we are glad you are all here, and kqed is proud to be joining in partnership with the san francisco mayor's office of neighborhood services and the san francisco native american health center and the native american aids project in celebrating american indian heritage month. we proudly celebrates the diversity out northern
california by commemorating american indian heritage with more than 60 programs this year -- this month, in fact. these programs are highlighted in a guide along with listings of community resources and local events, and you can find that actkqed.org/ -- at kq ed.org/heritage. i wanted to point out a couple of films we have coming up on our films series. one is called "real injun" and it is an interesting trip through the history of north american native people as they have been portrayed in the history of movies from silent did today. the second explores the life and death of fred martina's and the spiritual nature and gender. two spirits is going to come on kqed television in june of
2011, but we are also sponsoring the american indian film festival this year, and that will be premiering at the festival i think next week. then, just this past month in october, helped dialogue with a special theory from kqed public radio did a report on the current condition of native american health with interviews from health care providers, community leaders, and experts in the gaming industry in california, that if you would like more information or to receive a free copy of that report, you can pick it up right over here in the north like court at the kqed table. it is my honor to introduce our first artery, nathan costello. [applause] nathan is omaha, lakota, northern cheyenne, and was born
in winnebago, nebraska. he participates in the sun dance in south dakota and assists with ceremonies in california. nathan is respectful to elders and those who struggle with the digit -- addiction and other health issues. the path he found through recovery is called the good, read have, at half that requires one to give back and take care of the community. he has chosen to walk the good red road with support from friendship house and native american health center staff. after graduating from friendship house in 1996, nathan joint sober spirits, a support group of friendship house alumni. they provide security at powwows and other community events, and they are role models for a clean and sober life style, reaching out to community members who are struggling with addiction. nathan has volunteered for the
san francisco and oakland tribal tanf program and has been a motivational speaker at schools throughout the area. he is a strong advocate for embracing native cultural arts, activities, and athletics. in 1998, nathan received the native american new millennium award from hollywood and the stars, a lifetime achievement award. in 1999, the southern california motion-picture council gave nathan an award of special merit for his outstanding contribution to the native american motion picture community. in 2006, nathan also for dissipated in the sacred run from alcatraz to washington, d.c., and in 2008, the longest walk, which sought to bring attention to the desecration of sites and to reaffirm the mission of the longest walk of 1978.
nathan credits martin as a role model for helping him stay on his behalf, and martin would like to say a few words. [applause] >> thank you. first of all, i would just like to say to the community and the bay area how proud i am of all that we have accomplished despite governmental efforts to tear us away from our culture and tradition. we were too strong. our blood spread too strong, and they could not take that away from us, so just give yourselves
a round of applause. we are american indians. we are at city hall, and they are going to listen to us. [applause] i am deeply honored to be asked to say a few words on behalf of nathan. i have no nathan for many years. he and his father and i played basketball together in the 1970's, but i also know about the struggles they then had to overcome in his life, the disappointment, the hurt, and the pain. it is something that a lot of our children and young adults are going through in this community as they grow up.
as elders and as adults, it is our responsibility to turn to these children and young adults and lit them up and encourage them to be proud of with a our as american indians, to learn their culture and traditions. those dancers that came out here this evening, give them a round of applause because that is our culture and our tradition. it is continuing. that is a drum. recognize them because they are carrying on that from that brings them together. a couple of weeks ago, i was sitting around with richard, and we were at a community event, and we were looking at each other, and i said, "wears all the elders?" he said he did not know. then, we broke out laughing
because we are the elders. when you become an elder, there are certain responsibilities that you have. i'm very proud of nathan, what he has accomplished and what he has overcome in his life. you can see him at powwows or sobriety runs or other events in our community, and the first one to raise his hand and volunteer to help out is nathan, and we know that. nathan has this gift, that gift that he has learned from his ancestors that you cannot continue to take out of community. you have to give back to community. nathan, my nephew, i wanted to say how proud i am of you and how honored i am that you asked me to speak on your behalf. you are a good man. you walk that path.
be strong. on behalf of the community, i just want to say thank you for all you have contributed to our communities. my nephew nathan. [applause] nathan is a true modern warrior who has really overcome incredible challenges, so please join us in honoring him right now. [applause] >> kqed, thank you.
i'm kind of surprised at this all. i just keep trying to do what i do and help people. that is what i was taught. you earn your keep and stay busy. keep moving, but smiles on people's faces, make them happy? -- make them happy. happy that we are alive and caring for each other. we watch over each other. and their families. they are supposed to be doing that. being not selfish but open hearted and giving and caring for one another. loving mother earth every day
sign up to sun down, but i just have a little piece of something i wrote down from my perspective, i guess, so here goes. i want to thank the community for this award. i see the strengths and weaknesses that need to be focused on, and to address the problems that our community will face in the future. as a member of the san francisco clinical consortium advisory committee, i have learned about diabetics, hepatitis, hiv and aids, combined with the alcohol and drugs can destroy a community to its core. i want to thank the friendship house, the native american aids project, native american health centers throughout the area for their dedication to these health issues and their impact on people on a daily basis, especially our mothers and children. i hope they can continue to have the support and care that they
provide. i would also like to thank gavin newsom and the city of san francisco's mayor's office for all the work they have done to help our people, and also their dedication to improve the lives of our community members. [applause] >> say goodnight, nathan. [applause] all right, calling to the podium joaquin torres.
he will introduce our second honoree. >> good evening. on behalf of mayor gavin newsom, thank you for being here tonight. it is a great honor for me to be here tonight to celebrate with all of you our local heroes. i just want to recognize tosean elsbernd and supervisor ross mirkarimi. thank you for being here to celebrate with us tonight. on to our next local hero. it is my pleasure to introduce our second honoree, michael durant. michael joined the indian health center as a substance abuse
prevention counselor. he was promoted in -- to department director. he earned his master's degree at san jose state university. he completed his undergraduate work in history with an emphasis on native american studies at the university of california at santa cruz. he was previously employed at the center for training and careers as a center for youth services, and after 18 years of substance abuse and several years of incarceration, michael decided to dedicate his life to helping youth and adults find alternative ways to deal with substance use. michael is of apache-chicano and dissent and said this very thing -- "understanding my culture has helped me understand my identity." those words could not be more true, michael, and john would like to say a few words about
michael. if i could invite you to the podium please. [applause] >> it is a pleasure for me to represent the indian health center of santa clara valley. we are so thankful to kqed, the mayor's office, and the other organizations that have put this event together. i know it takes a lot of work, a lot of planning. there are a lot of last-minute items that have to be taken care of, so all those who were instrumental in getting this organized so we could be here tonight to recognize our heroes.
when i think of michael, i think of the work he does in the community. not just his job, but the counseling office, which is so very important to the people, but to provide those extra things. michael has been instrumental in spearheading many different activities for the youth for the community. as you can see, family is very important to michael.
it is part of what michael is. john. >> i'm a good friend of mike's. from my perspective, he is my best friend, and he asked me to speak for him, and i'm really honored to do that. maybe not speak for him, but at least introduce him to you. i used to be a teacher, so before i gave a lecture, i always had to know what the first paragraph was that i was going to say because that told me what i wanted to accomplish, and it has been hard for me to come up with a paragraph or sentence on this one because i knew i did not have too much time, and there is so much i
would like to say about this man, so what i really wanted to say to you is he is the most humble and honorable, the most honest and most comfortable man in his skin that i think i have ever known. i could tell you story after story about him to prove those words. his family is always with them, and they are just the finest family i know. his kids are really special. he leads a life that takes him lots of times from home where he has to go and help the community, and whenever it they can, the family is with him, but he has a partner who supports him, who gives him -- who
understands that the life that he is -- the community has thrust him into is one that requires a lot of patience and understanding. i have watched him on the indian health center, and the thing that a special about him is he brings indianness to the center. he works hard to make -- to keep it from becoming just a health center. he is a healer. i have watched him work with young men, young women, and to me, a healer is somebody when you interact with somebody, at the end of that interaction, the person is stronger, growing more towards being who they are, what their potential is, and time after time, i see that with
mike, see him having that effect upon people. that, to me, is one of the highest things that i could say about him. i just want to stop this because he says i talk too much, but i should be able to do that because i'm talking about him. i just want to tell you one story. i was talking to him one morning, and he said he was really tired. i asked him what was going on. he said he got called up -- i might be a little bit off on the numbers, but got called up at 6:00 in the evening, just when he was ending work, and somebody that we know asked him to come and sing for his grandmother, who was passing on to the spirit world, so he said he was really
tired, but he had to go, so i loaded up and went. i asked where that was. he said modesto. so he left from san jose and went to modesto and did what this community asked him to do. and then return home to his family late at night. that, to me, it atomizes mike -- epitomizes mike. our community does not say go off to college and become a sacred man. our community just recognizes that when they see it. mike is that man. he never asked to be in the role he is in now, but the community has asked him. so it is with the greatest tumbled as, like i say, it is just an honor to be able to present him to you. but to me, he is