What I’ve posted already on this blog, and most of what I will post in the future, regarding economic development and the Yakama Reservation, is impersonal and theoretical. It is easy to focus on job creation, job skills, entrepreneurship, Federal policies toward Reservations, Tribal government, and lack of economic opportunity. Those things are critically important and much will be said about them.
At Sacred Road, we care about those things and we have to think about them. However, we also care about much more than those concepts and ideas. We care about the Gospel and its impact on people. We care about developing relationships with people, living alongside and sharing the Gospel with people. We care about what job skills can do for an individual person, for their well-being, and for their ability to support their family. We care about helping people have more economic opportunity in their lives and what that can mean for their future and their children.
I’d like to introduce you to the artists that are selling their products on the Sacred Road Store. These are real people with real families and real lives. The Sacred Road Store means economic opportunity. The ability to sell products online opens up a massive marketplace. The potential impact on the lives of these artists could be significant.
The Sacred Road Artists
Tsennibah is a single mother of 5 children. She is part Navajo and part Yakama. She was born in Oregon and raised in Arizona on the Dení (Navajo) Reservation. She has been living on the Yakama Indian Reservation since 2001. Currently, she lives in one of the tribal housing developments on the Yakama Reservation.
All of her children are involved in Sacred Road’s ministries – youth group, children’s ministry and after-school tutoring. Tsennibah herself is an integral part of Sacred Road and attends the Women’s Bible Study and makes fry bread for many church functions.
Tsennibah enjoys beading and making jewelry. With her children in school and the need to be home with them after school, this is a great way for her to support herself and her family.
Prescott is a Yakama Indian and lives in the town of Wapato on the Yakama Indian Reservation. Prescott will often go fishing and hunting to support himself in addition to selling his artwork and jewelry.
When not doing this, Prescott plays the drums in his band, VisionSeekerz. He loves to jam and plays at every opportunity.
Prescott enjoys making jewelry and other artwork.
“Big” Mike Sternbeck
Mike is part Yakama and part Makah Indian. He lives in the town of White Swan on the Yakama Indian Reservation. Mike is on limited income due to disability and uses the sale of his artwork to support himself and his son.
Mike is a single father and raises his teenage son. This is an uncommon occurrence on the Reservation. Mike has battled addiction in his past, but in Christ and with the help of his family and friends he is sober and doing well. Mike attends the Men’s Bible study and his son is involved in the youth group and after school tutoring.
Mike loves to make dream catchers. Not only is it very relaxing for him, but it is a great way for him to support himself.
Felicia, whom everyone knows as Fishii, and her brothers have been a part of Sacred Road Ministries for years. Fishii and her family live in White Swan.
Fishii is an integral part of the Best Youth Group Ever. She helps lead the Tuesday night gathering (the game and singing times) and also helps lead singing on Sunday mornings. She’ll be a summer intern for the second time this summer and participates in the Friday morning Women’s Bible Study each week.
Fishii makes beautiful beadwork with a wonderful sense of color.
How you can be involved
We are thankful to all the people that have purchased items from the Sacred Road Store. We’ve recently added new products from all these artists.
Ultimately, to make this endeavor the most beneficial we need the sphere of people that know about the store to be as wide as possible. We need those of you who understand the mission of Sacred Road to spread the word about this store—and if you see something you like, to buy it.
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