BY MARCY SHORTUSE – Water. Every living thing needs it to survive. Almost 97 percent of the Earth’s water can be found in our oceans. Of the remaining three percent, nearly 70 percent is locked up in glaciers and icecaps. This means the water sources that most of us know, rivers and lakes, account for less than one percent of all the freshwater that exists on Earth, according to the National Ocean Service. On Sunday, March 22, the island will join the world in celebrating World Water Day: Gasparilla Island, 2015.
A day of fellowship, meditation and contemplation will take place on the beach at 1st Street on Gasparilla Island from 1 to 6 p.m. at the edge of the Gulf of Mexico.
The event is free and participants are encouraged to pack in food and water and pack out any and all trash created or found on the beach and surrounding area.
Hooked on SUP will be sponsoring free paddleboard demos and yoga on the beach during the event.
Then on Monday, March 23, Native Now Foundation director Lew Hastings will give a new lecture about his time on the Cheyenne River and other Indian Reservations in South Dakota.
“Reflections on the Reservation” will include a Powerpoint presentation and there will be plenty of time for questions and answers afterward.
The program is free to all and will begin at 3 p.m. in the Boca Grande Community Center Auditorium, with a reception in the Woman’s Club Room immediately following.
Attendees will discover some information most people have never learned about Native American history and Lew will dispel some myths along the way.
The presentation will include photos that chronicle Lew’s experiences on various reservations, but will focus on his latest visits to the Cheyenne River Lakota Reservation, where the Native Now Foundation spent a little over three months helping to renovate homes and facilitating events supporting families that live in the poorest county in America.
Lew will also be collecting names of volunteers interested in traveling with him to the Cheyenne River Reservation this summer to help renovate homes for families with the greatest needs. The goal is to get together two groups of 10, each traveling to the reservation for a one week stay.
Lew will also be collecting donations of new or gently used books, toys, blankets and winter clothes to take with him when he goes out to the reservation this summer.
Join Native Now for this event, and listen to the Red Road Radio Show hosted by Lew on WENG 1530AM/107.5FM every Thursday at 5 p.m. The show discusses news and commentary and has interviews with prominent Native American leaders,talking about challenges and successes in Indian Country that affect all of us.
Native Now Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that started here in Boca Grande. It is designed to bring awareness to the current challenges of the Indian Reservation system in the United States, particularly those reservations located in the Dakotas and Montana.