National HIV Testing Day – June 27th

More than 3,000 American Indians and Alaska Natives have been infected by HIV. Think you’re not at risk? Think again – Half of new HIV infections occur among teens and young adults!

Here’s what you can do:

  • Host a dinner with community members to discuss HIV, STDs and other issues affecting teens and their health.
  • Organize a Wall of Moccasins in a prominent place, to honor Native people who have died from HIV/AIDS.
  • Organize a testing event for your school or clinic: cdc.gov/stdawareness
  • Organize a Benefit Concert, Open Mic Night, or Poetry Slam for your cause
  • Watch and discuss videos from Native STAND, or create and share your own HIV prevention videos: youtube.com/nativeStand7

Need more Ideas? Check out: www.dosomething.org

I am a white woman of Ukrainian descent who has been involved in aboriginal ceremonies for the past 12 years. I have been so grateful to have more recently participated in a Ghost Dance and a Sun Dance and a Yuwipi ceremony. I am always careful to honour protocol and wear an appropriate long skirt (hard being 6 feet tall to find one long enough!). I have wanted to be as respectful as possible. I am curious if making a ribbon skirt or a dress to do Ghost Dance is allowed for a participant if they are not native. I have received very mixed messages. Some aboriginal people welcome it and find it extremely respectful and others have said it is appropriation. I feel the only dresses that are suitably long and modest are often from another culture- African, Mexican- unless I make something myself. Can you share your thoughts with me?

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