Walker River Paiute Tribe: Building Back from the Pandemic tells the story of the Walker River Paiute Tribe from Shurz, Nevada, and its fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
When the country shut down almost three years ago to shelter from the spreading disease, the tribe had to make some difficult decisions to protect its citizens. With a population of several hundred and nestled between the mountains and the high desert of rural Nevada, the natural isolation offered some protection but quickly proved a challenge as well. This short documentary from the Rural Assembly portrays how the tribe’s authorities and its regular citizens navigated these dangerous and confusing days. From emergency protocols, a physical shutdown of the reservation, food deliveries for elders, and health screenings, to robust food sovereignty and vaccination programs. While making their way through an unprecedented crisis, the Walker River Paiute community managed to use many resources, old and new, but one that stood out was the tribe’s sovereignty. By being able to self-govern and set the course, the Tribe emerged successful.
The Battle to Break Through: Reclaiming Indigenous Narratives will explore the importance of visibility and how four prominent leaders are working to break through to create more opportunities for Indigenous people.
Over the past few years, we have seen a burst of Indigenous representation in mainstream media. From the success of shows like Reservation Dogs and Rutherford Falls to the confirmation of the first Native American to serve as a cabinet secretary, Indigenous voices are reclaiming the narrative to tell their own stories.
What did it take to get here? We talk with friends from around Indian Country who have worked to combat ideologies and stereotypes about Native American/Alaskan Native communities. They shared about the significance of visibility, what the future holds, and the importance of continuing to breakthrough and creating opportunities for more Indigenous people.
This month’s Everywhere Extra spotlights the intersection of labor and civil rights. The Coal Creek War was a violent dispute that started in 1891 when southern states were desperate for money, and some decided to create what was called the convict lease system where anyone sentenced to year or more in prison would be eligible to be leased out to companies. Many were sent to the coal mines.
Whitney Kimball Coe went with Austin Sauerbrei, who is writing a graphic novel on the Coal Creek War and whose illustrations you’ll see in the video, to speak with Boomer Winfrey who oversees the Coal Creek Miners Museum in Rocky Top, Tennessee. Boomer tells a fascinating story of the convict lease system and how it sparked a war in the heart of Tennessee’s coal mining region.
Learn more on our episode page.
The Rural Assembly is celebrating National Parks and Recreation Month by exploring the ways our public park systems contribute to building a more inclusive nation. We know parks often play multiple, and sometimes conflicting, roles: preserving biodiversity, ecosystems, and sacred landscapes while also supporting tourism and local economies. At the height of the Covid19 pandemic, parks served as a retreat for families and communities seeking safe recreational activities. In this episode, we spoke with Grand Canyon Trust and Latino Outdoors, two organizations that are educating and equipping park visitors to contribute to a culture of welcome and exploration with reverence. Join in and learn about how Grand Canyon Trust & Latino Outdoors are building relationships with communities and the land.
Learn more on our episode page.
Everywhere Extra is an occasional video production from The Rural Assembly. Come along on a journey to explore the vast beauty and diversity of rural America.
Everywhere Extra is an offshoot of our Rural Assembly Everywhere gatherings, which bring rural practitioners, policy makers, poets, community leaders, musicians, advocates, and allies together. Find out more past Rural Assembly Everywhere events.