Season’s Greetings from PWNA

From all of us at PWNA, we’d like to wish you a joyous holiday season. This time of year, we reflect on how grateful we are to have the support of our program partners, community project leaders, volunteers and donors. This community helps PWNA carry out our mission of self-determined social change in distressed Native communities.

In 2019, we continued to assist some of the most geographically isolated and impoverished reservations by providing materials and funding to address education, nutrition, health, animal welfare and emergency services. We also remained committed to helping our partners spread cheer through our holiday services including community meals, gift bags for our Elders and stocking deliveries for our children.

Our long-term solutions included an awareness campaign in January to communicate the importance of disaster preparedness for tribal communities, especially due to differences in access to disaster aid. We distributed The Native Family Disaster Preparedness Handbook to reservation programs participating in our Emergency Preparedness service, with the support of Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, and published disaster resources to help tribal communities better prepare to save lives and protect property.

In August, Native American youth from five tribes convened in the sacred He Sapa (Black Hills) for PWNA’s second Native Youth Food Sovereignty Summit. With the support of Newman’s Own Foundation, our program partners, staff, and alumni mentored student participants on wellness, nutrition and Native traditions. Each meal emphasized healthy food choices inspired by traditional Native ingredients, and students learned about foraging, sugar, portion control and more.

PWNA also announced a new partnership with award-winning actor Wes Studi and released a five-part PSA series developed to help dispel long-held myths about Native Americans that continue to impact Indian communities today. The series with Wes discusses history and treaties, realities on the reservations, college, casino economics and charitable giving for Native causes.

As we celebrate the holidays with our loved ones, we ask you to remember the reason for the season.

Nonprofit organizations rely heavily on donations made this time of year to determine what type of resources they’ll have to help others in the New Year. If you’re thinking of giving to your favorite charity, consider postmarking your donation before midnight on Dec. 31, especially if you plan to claim your donation on your tax return.

We hope you will remember PWNA this holiday season and contribute so that we may continue our vital work with Native Americans in the new decade.

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