Minthorn taking on health challenge A
ntone Minthorn doesn't plan to lean to the right too long. After all, he's a Democrat. In fact he' s the chairman of the Democratic Party in Umatilla County. But for a few w eeks more, he' ll be working to stand up straight and walk erect following w hat may or may n o t have been a mild stroke in early April. A longtime leader for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian, Minthorn is at the Milton-Freewater Health and Rehabilitation Center and figures he' ll be there until he regains his balance. It all started on Tuesday, April 11, when he was on his way from his Thomhollow home to an Economic and Community Development Commission meeting at the Nixyaawii Governance Center. He pulled over in the parking lot near the Community Center when his nose and ear started to burn. "I thought I' d b etter go to Yellowhawk," he said, but when he arrived the doors were locked. Yellowhawk is closed on Tuesdays. Minthorn made his way back to his rig and planned to drive himself to St. Anthony Hospital in Pendleton but his daughter, Kim, told him "You don't look so good." She drove her father to the hospital emergency room. "I walked into the emergency room and sat down and t ol d t hem I ha d a strong burning in my nose, and pain on the right side of my head behind me ear was intense," Minthorn said,
'It's not exactly spinning; it's like leaning forward like a log would fall, that kind of feeling.' The pain eventually went away and the testing began. "I felt okay and they put me through that tube (MRI). They said it didn't indicate a stroke. In that tube I started getting vertigo; I had a hard time swallowing." Doctors told him the vertigo may have been caused by high blood pressure and high blood sugar. "I always knew I probably had it, but I'd never been told I had diabetes," Minthorn said as one the facility staff pricked his finger to test his blood sugar. It all came to a head, Minthorn thinks, when he arrived at St. Anthony where he spent a week. That Friday, April 15, he went home with a walker. He chose the Milton-Freewater rehab center, but a room wasn' t readily available. Once a room was made available "Kim broughtmeoverandthat'swherel'mat,"hesaid. Minthorn describes his situation like this: "It's not exactly spinning; it's like leaning forward like a log would fall, that kind of feeling." His legs move. He has no problem picking up his feet. He doesn't shuffle
and he doesn' t slump. He has a fir m h a n d shake. It's just that Antone Minthorn l ean t o t h e right. "I need to build up my muscles to balance the right side," he said. Minthorn said he wished the facility schedule was more structured. He manages his own time for hourly workouts that range from pushing his feet against a wall to turning his upper body back and forth to regain big-muscle control. B efore whatever happened to hi m , Minthorn w a l k e d m i l e s each w e ek, including about a half mile each day at noon during his lunch break from work in the Language Program at the CayUma-Was Education Department. On other days he walked one to two miles up the hill to Tamastslikt Cultural Institute. He doesn't like to use past tense. He walks so he can participate again in the annual Kanine Ridge Hike, which is part of the Salmon Walk Celebration. This will be his 11~ trek in August.
He's also got a lot of other business to attend to. The 80-year-old former chairman of the Board of Trustees and the General Council is actively involved in a remarkably long list of commissions and committees on-and-off the reservation. H ere's what M i n t h orn d oes in h i s spare time: - Serves on the CTUIR Economic and Community Development Commission - Serves on the CTUIR Farm Committee - Co-chair of the Economic Development Committee for the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians - Member of the Crow's Shadow Institute of the Arts Board of Directors - Chairman of the Confluence Project - Member of the Potlatch Fund Board of Directors - Member of the Ecotrust Board of Directors - Member of th e George St. Denis American Legion Post ¹140 - Member of th e C o l u m bi a G o r g e Commission And, like we said above, he's the chairman of the Umatilla County Democratic Party. He's eager to get back to work. "It's frustrating to have to be here, but nobody wants to be here," he said. As he improves with physical therapy, Minthorn is learning how to use a computer tablet. "That's frustrating too," he said, "but once I learn to operate it consistently I' ll be back on the email track."
GONA will focus on historical and intergenerational trauma MISSION — A three-day "Gathering of Native Americans" (GONA) designed to examine historical and intergenerational trauma is planned May 10, 11 and 12 at Wildhorse Resort & Casino. Focusing on adults, GONA w i l l e x amine how unresolved grief turned into intergenerational trauma, according to information fro m th e D epartment of Children and Family Services (DCFS) for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR). Historical t r a um a i s d e scribed as "essentially, the devastating trauma of genocide, loss of culture, and forcible removal from families and communities are all unresolved and become a sort of 'psychological baggage' ... continuously being acted out and recreated in contemporary aboriginal culture," according to Social Justice Report of the Australian Human Rights Commission. A DCFS document states that "... if trauma is not dealt with adequately in one generation it often gets passed down unwittingly in our behaviors and in our though systems ... for example, if you want to heal children and youth, you have to heal yourself as well to break the cycle." GONA will remind participants about the government that removed children from their families to attend boarding schools far from home. This, according to DCFS, was so that the federal govemment and churches could remove tribal culture from the children by changing their appearance, not allowing them to
speak their own language, and/or not allowing children to practice traditional ceremonies, etc. Also, Indian children were abused by the boarding school staff and system, including verbal abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and forced physical labor instead of attending classes. GONA is coming to the Umatilla Indian Reservation because the Tribes are experiencing high rates of substance abuse, depression, domestic violence, child neglect, abuse of children and elders, and suffer high rates of unemployment and health disparities, according to the DCFS. The first conversation that led to GONA coming here included Sandy Sampson, Chief Carl Sampson, BOT Chairman Gary Burke and then-BOT Treasurer Aaron Hines, who were approached by the Native American Rights Fund. " We knew t h i s w o u l d b e n efit t h e community to heal or speak of how that affected them," said Debra Shippentower, Circles of Care Family Services Representative. The effort includes support from the CTUIR Health Commission, the Board of Trustees and General Council. A collaborative partnership formed with Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center Community Health, Prevention Program, Alcohol and Drug, DCFS and Education programs, plus Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and NARF.
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May 20, 2016 Nixyaawii Governance Center
10:00 — 11:00AM
Confederated Umatilla Journal
The Confederated Umatilla Journal Monthly Print Edition For May 2016