Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Illustrious Footsteps

In 1988, when I was almost 16, Tom Brokaw and crew came to our reservation. I was looking for it somewhere on the net, but I can't really find any of it. They did a week long series on The Nightly News called "Tragedy at Pine Ridge."

At the time my mother was involved in the begininng of NOFAS. Which is the National Organization for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. That is a passion of hers, especially as, at that time she was the director of an Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program called Project Recovery. She took part in a book written by the late Michael Dorris called The Broken Cord about his struggles of raising his adopted children who had FAS.

Well, when Tom Brokaw and company came to town, they contacted my mother and she took them around the reservation to meet different people who were willing to talk to NBC. See, the real tragedy here was the way of life and the poverty. Well, this pissed many people off.

People were mad at my mom and people were saying she was "selling out" though she didn't get paid for any of it. People were saying there were good things going on here too. Though none of them tried to prove it.

She reminded me yesterday that some of those people she took Tom to interview are now deceased. She reminded me that people will get mad when I try to bring to light this problem...or problems.

I guess the main people I want to bring it to attention to are the people here. We can't live like this anymore. We just can't. It is not acceptable. There are good things here. There are, but there is so little hope.

After that Tom Brokaw became a family friend and we are fortunate to have him in our lives. I often corresponded with his daughter while she was away in Africa being a doctor and I was working retail and having babies. (lol) They are great people.

My mom ended up doing an internship in New York with NBC and fell in love with New York. Telling me stories of Broadway, Times Square, Central Park, subway rides, and hot dog vendors. My favorite was her stories of the Museum and the books she bought back for me from certain collections.

Today I get an email from the journalist from New York, he will be flying in from New York and a photographer from London on July 29th. they will stay until August 2nd. That is so soon. I write back to him of the work my mom did with and for NBC.

This is what he wrote back-"hi. that's quite a coincedence and some illustrious footsteps to be following in."

That's just crazy, even when I think I am doing my own thing, I still somewhat follow in my mother's footsteps.

PS_ Don't get me wrong, I love it here, which is why I am doing this.


stacy said...

It sounds to me like you have a wonderful mother who set an incredible example for you of caring about the world and people around her...and that you are following in those footsteps and setting that same example for your children.

Anonymous said...

Dana, you just do your thing. The more people hear about it the more chance there is that things can get better there. Sometimes heroes are made of people that other people think are doing the wrong thing... and then it ends up being right after they see the good that can happen. :)