"Waniyetu Wowapi"

Ending the Epidemic by 2020 ?

In the Lakota-Sioux language the words "Waniyetu Wowapi" translate to "Winter Count." Winter Count images marked a notable occurrence amongst the Sioux people as a timeline of significant year in events. 


These collections of Winter Count catalogues (traditionally etched, painted, and/or drawn on deer, elk, antelope or buffalo hides later muslin fabric) are a pictorial accounting of the past years happenings. Ultimately serving as a traditional "history book." With - Tradition As Prevention - as a core value of the Tipi Project, it is this traditional way of preserving information for generations to come that is being revised and reclaimed, as we continue to battle the HIV/AIDS epidemic in native communities. 


Much of the artwork I create allows me to reconnect with the action steps my ancestors used in making the ancient etching and carving of winter counts.  The hand drawn technique of creating a pattern for the image, painting, cutting of patterns, stretching of leather hide, erection of tipi's, and storytelling while working return me to a world of the grandmothers and grandfathers.  I use a sense of smell to invoke the ancestral connection especially when painting on traditional brain tanned hides or smoked hides to create a primitive ambiance.  At the same time creating these pictorial images of modern day events with the soundscapes of cars, planes, boats, skyscrapers, and people of the urban reality in the background, allows participants to revive a tradition their ancestors might have done.  I use colors from the regional location that are earth based.  Colors that can organically be made using traditional dying techniques like green for grass, earth iron mud for brown, berries for reds, and ash for black.  As a second generation tipi maker there's a connection that transcends time and space.  It's a connection to my father who taught me, and a connection to my elder's who've kept the traditions of storytelling.


Winter Counts pictured below were painted by various American Indian Community House members. The Winter Counts pictured here (left to Right) are: "Last Winter," 2001 - Marty Prairie, and a reproduction of "Measles, a historical Winter Count by Cloud Shield, 1882 - 1883.  The image shows a body covered with many speckles, indicating the measles rashes on tribal members bodies.  

World AIDS Day 2015

Indigenous peoples have survived many epidemics in the past. HIV/AIDS will be another epidemic they will survive as well. Members of the American Indian Community House who are from various indigenous backgrounds carried large reproductions of historical Epidemic Winter Counts onto the stage of the famous Apollo Theatre in Harlem, NYC, during the opening of Manhattan's 2015 World AIDS Day event . Indigenous community members kicked of the event blessing the stage with their dancing, singing, and prayers.  


Pictured here (left to right top to bottom):

1. "Cholera" - 1849-1850, American Horse

2. "Whooping Cough" - 1813-1814, Flame

3. "Marty Prairie Last Winter" 2001

4. "Smallpox" - 1780-1781, American Horse

5. "Measles" - 1882-1883, Measles Cloud Shield

Photo taken at the American Indian Community House  in New York City.

Waniyetu Wowapi - Winter Count

Surviving the Epidemics and HIV/AIDS in Urban Indian Communities


The Depths of the urban Indian health crisis, challenges in accessing culturally competent healthcare services, and decades of neglect have placed urban Indians at greater risk of health disparities. These including new HIV/AIDS infections and late diagnosis.  From east coast to west coast, you'll find American Indians and Alaska Natives from every nation scattered across the country with 78% living off reservations.  


The Indian Relocation Act of 1956 journeyed many Native Americans from reservations to major cities and a number of metropolitan areas. Urban American Indians have high levels of impoverishment that rival some of the nation's poorest reservations. Although the United States continues to work to address racial and ethnic health disparities in health care, urban American Indians and Alaska Natives have been mostly missed in the efforts. Special attention must be paid to make sure they are included in future initiatives.


Timeline of Winter Counts and Names:

2018 - Tipi Project Winter
2017 - Take The Pill Winter
2016 - United States Conference on AIDS Winter
2015 - Apollo Winter
2014 - Native Prevalence Wasn’t High Enough to Justify Funding Winter
2013 - Blue Pill Winter
2011 - Apache Red Balloon Release Winter
2010 - Hope Winter
2009 - Not One More Winter
2007 - National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Winter
2006 - Native Peoples of North America HIV/AIDS Conference Winter
2004 - Turtle Island United Front Winter
2001 - Marty Prairie Last Winter
1998 - Year of the Hasapa’s death song Winter
1997 - Winter of First Victory, death rate dropped
1996 - First Light Winter
1995 - Haudenosaunee joined the fight Winter
1994 - The people declared war on this sickness Winter
1993 - Suicide Winter
1992 - Storyteller’s Winter
1991/1992 - Education Winter
1991 - Oneida Nation of Wisconsin Conference
1990 - Red Cross Winter
1988 - Arapaho, Cheyenne, Choctaw, and Piout Nations Join The Fight Winter
1987 - Jodi Harry’s Last Winter
1986 - Winter of Shame
1985 - World Council on AIDS Winter
1982 - AIDS Name Winter - Šikšil T’á
1978 - First Symptoms Winter or Spirit Medicine Came Back Winter

Description of WINTERCOUNTS

2018

TIPI PROJECT WINTER - A new initiative at data collection through the production of Tipi’s is started.  This project provides a culturally competent approach for data collection and combats stigma by opening the dialogue around the history of events that affected the community around HIV/AIDS.  Native language revitalization is a major part of this process. 

2017

  • TAKE THE PILL WINTER - A new approach to HIV/AIDS Prevention is created by PrEPahHontoz a Lakota Two-Spirit through her multimedia art.  She will use performance art by combining Native American sign language, Projections, and Vogue Dancing as a way of educating the public about Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis.  Blue wooden PrEP pills adorn her dress as she belts it with bottles of Truvada.  This year 2017 HIV organisations around the world endorse the “Undetectable = Untransmittable” slogan launched by the Prevention Access Campaign. This states that those who take antiretroviral treatment regularly, and have achieved an undetectable viral load as a result, cannot pass on the virus to others. The message helps to tackle the stigma towards those living with HIV, and provides many people living with HIV with the reassurance that they are not a threat to their partners. However, in lower resource settings, the message has less resonance, as individuals often face more difficulty in accessing HIV services, including viral load testing. As such these issues need to be addressed before U=U can have an impact on people living with HIV in these countries.(https://timeline.avert.org/?551/Undetectable-=-Untransmittable)
  • FULTON, NY – Kenneth J. Dunning, 56, of Fulton, passed away suddenly on Thursday February 16, 2017, at Oswego Hospital.  He was born on April 28, 1960, in Syracuse, a son to Howard and Alice Jones Dunning.  Ken was an enrolled member of the Onondaga Nation, Beaver Clan, where he served as director of the American Indian Community House, HIV/AIDS program.  Ken also served on the Governor’s Task Force for Ending the Epidemic and a member of the NY HIV Advisory Body.  Ken had more than 25 years’ experience in prevention.  He had designed, developed, implemented and/or supervised a wide range of prevention and human service programs for Native Americans.  Ken was a jewelry designer and created unique jewelry of fine quality using native materials.  In recent years he made jewelry for gifts to support his favorite charity.  His efforts have helped the American Indian Community House’s WISH and Generations programs, The New York AIDS Coalition and Native American Community Services of Erie and Niagara counties.  Ken was an extraordinary care giver for his beloved gnoha’, Alice.  His heart was full of love and generosity.  His smile was one that will be greatly missed and remembered by all who knew him.
  • 13th Circle of Harmony HIV/AIDS Wellness Conference - Comprehensive Approaches to Healthier Communities.  April 19-21 in Albuquerque, NM - Plans to continue working on re-establishing a Native Advocates Network.
  • 30th Annual International Two-Spirit Society gathering is hosted by the East Coast Two-Spirit Society in Salamanca, NY.
  • 1st Annual Celebration of Rainbow Pride - AICH hosts a space for Two-Spirit High Risk population event.

2016

  • UNITED STATES CONFERENCE ON AIDS WINTER - AICH establishes a workgroup that begins developing Native specific PrEP & PEP campaigns.  
  • AICH loses funding from the New York State Department of Health and all AICH satellite locations will close including NYC, Syracuse Headquarters, Buffalo, and Akwasasne.  
  • Previous American Indian Community House's HIV/AIDS First Light Program Employee (2001-2004) passed away Dyani Lee (Shinnecock and Narragansette Nations).
  • Re-Establishing Our Place, Our Voice - United States Conference on AIDS
  • IHS HIV Funding & Strategies for Indian Country - IHS Announces Funding Opportunity to Promote HIV/AIDS Prevention and Engagement in Care - Grantees included: Inter Tribal Council of AZ, Native American Health Services, University of NM Hospitals.  Within the first 6-month 3 to 5 IHS clinics/hospitals in Indian Country will develop system level improvements based to improve: HIV Screening in Urgent Care, Emergency Departments and, PrEP readiness and implementation.
  • PrEP Collaborative - AIM: To improve, promote and facilitate adoption of emergent HIV strategies for prevention, screening, management and treatment in Indian Country.  The Indian Country Emergent HIV Strategies Collaborative will strengthen the positive relationships between the healthcare system and care team by focusing on implementing strategies that effect the HIV continuum of care.  Social and Collaborative Learning
  • ·         Not the first time of inclusion but it had been awhile for a Native person was part of a plenary session other than opening blessing.
  • ·         Presented on panel of speakers at the Opening Plenary of the 2016 United States Conference on AIDS (USCA) on September 15, 2016 on AI/AN issues of recognition not at “other,” lack of resources, and continued inclusion in advocacy and policy. 
  • ·         The 2016 USCA was another successful event. The inclusion of AI/AN participation and topics presented at this year’s conference was an effort by NMAC to acknowledge the situation of using “Other” as a category with exclusion of AI/AN category on the registration page for the 2016 USCA. Native advocates had the opportunity to express their concerns of inclusion with Paul Kawata, NMAC Executive Director, and NMAC staff with NMAC expressing sincere apologies and offered an additional board member for AI/AN, roundtables/seminar at USCA and speakers, staff training on AI/AN cultural issues for NMAC staff, and continued dialogue for our communities. This year’s AI/AN inclusion was a positive outcome from NMAC and the national Native advocates.
  • ·         Elton Naswood, (Navajo),  Office of Minority Health, presented on panel of speakers at the Opening Plenary of the 2016 United States Conference on AIDS (USCA) on September 15, 2016 on AI/AN issues of recognition not at “other,” lack of resources, and continued inclusion in advocacy and policy.

2015

  • APOLLO WINTER - Staff, Board, and Community Members of AICH perform the opening blessing during World AIDS Day, December 1st, 2015 at the Apollo Theater.  The Silvercloud Drum Group opens with a song which is followed by a spoken word prayer while a women’s Traditional Dancer, Jingle Dress Dancer, Fancy Shawl Dancer, Men’s Traditional Dancer, Grass Dancer and community members danced with historical epidemic winter counts.
  • East Coast Two-Spirit Society is founded.

2014

  • NATIVE PREVALENCE WASN'T HIGH ENOUGH TO JUSTIFY FUNDING WINTER - Two Spirit Then and Now: Working Towards Community Healing and Wellness on March 20th, 2014 at the American Indian Community House in NYC.  A special Two-Spirit Talk to examine the past, present and future of the Two-Spirit community and the issues surrounding gender diversity, sexuality and spirituality and the promotion of health and wellness for the Native community by embracing our culture.  
  • Governor Cuomo convened an “Ending the Epidemic Task Force” to create a “Blueprint” to implement his plan. New York State's plan is far more ambitious than the national strategy.  1. Identifying people with HIV who remain undiagnosed and linking them to health care;  2. Linking and retaining people diagnosed with HIV to health care and getting them on anti-HIV therapy to maximize HIV virus suppression so they remain healthy and prevent further transmission; and  3. Providing access to Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for high-risk people to keep them HIV negative.  
  • The American Indian Community House’s Director of its HIV/AIDS Program, Ken Dunning (Onondaga Beaver Clan), has been selected for the Governor’s Ending the Epidemic Task Force.  The Task Force has been “established in support of Governor Cuomo’s three-point plan and will develop and issue recommendations as well as draft New York’s blueprint to end the epidemic. Four subcommittees will focus specifically on prevention, care, data, and housing and supportive services.”
  • Northeast Two Spirit Society Ends
  • Regardless of the high caliber of Native CBA Providers and a strong established national network of Native HIV service providers, CDC decided not to refund any of the Native CBA providers because “Native prevalence was’nt high enough to justify funding”
  • I believe this may be a quote by Alexander White Tail Feather, NNAAPC, as that was the year NNAAPC did not receive CDC Capacity Building Funding hence the “downsizing” of NNAAPC. This is my suggestion on the quote. I could not find any reference but 2014 was during that time. - Elton Naswood

2013

  • BLUE PILL WINTER - AICH hires new community educator who presented the first ever PrEP and Pep presentation at the AICH.  PrEP is a course of drugs designed for people who are not HIV-positive but are at high risk of being exposed to the virus – for example, if they have an HIV-positive partner or regularly inject drugs. By 2012, the evidence is clear that, when taken daily, PrEP reduces the chance of acquiring HIV by more than 90%. The US is the first country to approve its use as a method of HIV prevention. PrEP offers an extra option for protection that could be combined with condoms and other prevention methods.  
  • HIV was passed to the Mississippi baby from her mother during pregnancy. The child was treated with intense antiretroviral therapy within 30 hours of birth. After missing regular treatments, which would normally result in high levels of the HIV virus being detected in the body, tests show that the virus remains undetectable in the girl. This raises hopes of a functional cure for HIV. However, in 2014, HIV is once again detected – sadly, the girl’s remission has ended. 
  • 25th Annual International Two Spirit Gathering is hosted by Northeast Two-Spirit Society in Camp Dewolf, Long Island, NY.
  • Office of National AIDS Policy - The Beginning of the End of AIDS

2011

  • APACHE RED BALOON RELEASE AND THE MEDICINE GOT STRONGER WINTER - Complara - The United States Food and Drugs Administration approves a new HIV treatment, known as Complera, designed to be taken as a single daily tablet. Only needing to take a single tablet once a day, rather than multiple pills, makes maintaining adherence easier. Complera goes on to become one of the most widely-prescribed antiretroviral treatment regimens for HIV in the USA.
  • 2011 National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day red balloon release on the San Carlos Apache Reservation in Arizona. Reference:https://indiancountrymedianetwork.com/culture/health-wellness/effecting-change-for-future-generations-on-national-native-hivaids-awareness-day/

2010

  • HOPE WINTER - iPrEx (Pre-exposure Prophylaxis Initiative) is the first randomised controlled trial of PrEP. The trial proves that taking PrEP provides protection against HIV. In the trial, gay men at high risk of HIV were either given a daily pill containing HIV drugs or a placebo. The HIV infection rate was 44% lower in the group given PrEP. Moreover, for those men who managed to take the pill daily, the infection rate was 73% lower. These results pave the way for PrEP as an HIV prevention method.
  • On the National Front - White House unveils the National AIDS Policy - Obama promises commitment, Capacity Building Assistance to improve the delivery & effectiveness of HIV Prevention Services for High-risk and / or Racial / Ethnic Minority Populations.  Twenty-three year and final the U.S. policy banning HIV infected travelers & immigrants to enter the U.S. is lifted!
  • Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act - Approved Mar 23, 2010 Upheld June 2012 - Native Hawaiian Health Care Improvement Reauthorization Act was reauthorized for a 10 years period with the Affordable Care Act (P.L.111.148).  The reauthorized act is within the Indian Health Care Legislation.  Under the Section addressing the Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems.

2000

National HIV/AIDS Strategy recommendations include American Indians, Alaska Natives & Hawaii

2009

  • NOT ONE MORE WINTER - New Elected President Obama - President Obama calls for: The first White House Tribal Nations Conference - an initiative aimed to create dialogue between governments.  The development of the first National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States.
  • In Response to the White House Office of National AIDS Policy “Not One More” - Fighting AIDS in Communities of Color - Recommendations to improve HIV/AIDS Services to American Indians, Native Americans, Alaskan Natives and Native Hawaiians.
  • National HIV/AIDS Strategy Recommendations American Indians, Alaska Natives & Native Hawaiians - In order to effectively reduce HIV incidence among AI/AN/NH people, and bring them into care, and reduce HIV-related health disparities the following recommendations are critical:
  • Consultations and Community Engagement, Prevention, Care & Treatment, EPI/Data
  • The National Native HIV Coalition Washington DC Interagency Meeting - U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, HRSA, SAMHSA, CDC Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Indian Health Service, National Institutes of Health, The Office of Minority Health, NASTAD, National Council of Urban Indian Health/ Agenda Topics - Overview, History & Context of Meeting, HIV Prevention, HIV Care & Treatment, The Issue of Data, Native PLWA & Native Transgenders, Community Consultation, What Are We Asking For?, Next Step/Closing
  • Office of National AIDS Policy - National Council of Urban Indian Health, NCAI News, National Indian Health Board, National Native AMerican AIDS Prevention Center, The National Native HIV/AIDS Coalition

2007

  • NATIONAL NATIVE HIV/AIDS AWARENESS WINTER - "AIDS To Native Eyes - A 25 Year Retrospective of the Native American Response to AIDS through Poster Art/ First-Annual National Native (American Indian, Alaskan Native and Native Hawaiian) HIV/AIDS Awareness Day - MARCH 21, 2007/ The NorthEast Two- Spirit Society is bringing it to New York on the first-ever National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day to highlight the historical and evolving Native response to HIV/AIDS through the art created by Native activists, care providers and people living with AIDS throughout this health crisis.  Opening Reception and Presentations/ March 21, 2007/ 6:30 – 9:30pm/ LGBT Community Center/ 208 West 13th Street (bwt 7th & 8th Aves.) / Room #301/ This evening will be a one of a kind presentation of culturally appropriate art work used for the last 25 years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Native American communities to prevent the spread of the virus and to enhance community access to treatment./ The reception will be a mixture of short presentations/remarks from Curtis Harris, the Former Director of AIDS program at the American Indian Community House; Ken Harper, the Curator of the exhibit, and Harlan Pruden, the Co-Chair of NE2SS and there will also be an honor song and dance from members of the Thunderbird American Indian Singers and Dancers.
    List of co-sponsors as of Mar. 7, 2007:
    American Indian Community House
    AMERINDA
    Callen-Lorde Community Health Center
    Colorado State University’s Center for Applied Studies in American Ethnicity
    Indigenous Peoples Task Force
    Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center
    National Native American AIDS Prevention Center
    Native American Council at Columbia University
    NYU’s Center for Multicultural Education and Programs, NYU’s Office of LGBT Student Services
    OUTFM
    POZ Magazine
    Region II, Office of Minority Health Depart. of Health*
    Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians
    For more details: email info@ne2ss.org or call 646.351.7360.
    *“Funding from this exhibit was made possible in part by a contract from the Region II Office of Minority Health Department of Health and Human Services. The views expressed in written materials or publications and by speakers and or moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services, nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government”
  • Working Group that helped to develop the National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
  • The National Native American AIDS Prevention Center NNAAPC
  • Commitment to Action for 7th Generation Awareness & Education CA7AE
  • Inter Tribal Council of Arizona ITCA

2006

  • NATIVE PEOPLES OF NORTH AMERICA HIV/AIDS CONFERENCE WINTER - Ryan White Comprehensive AID Resources Emergency (CARE) Act Reauthorization - Buch’s Five Key Principles & Allocation To Consider Those People Who Are Hiv+ Without Aids Diagnosis
  • “Embracing Our Traditions, Values, and Teachings: Native Peoples of North America HIV/AIDS Conference” Anchorage, AK  The 2006 Native Peoples of North America HIV/AIDS Conference was funded by NIH but was led by a committee of AI/AN volunteer committee members.  The meeting was held over a three-day period in Anchorage, Alaska, and was the first ever of its kind.  The agenda and the content was decided by the AI/AN committee which was chaired by yours truly.
  • Rick Haverkate: I.H.S. - The 2006 Native Peoples of North America HIV/AIDS Conference was funded by NIH but was led by a committee of AI/AN volunteer committee members.  The meeting was held over a three-day period in Anchorage, Alaska, and was the first ever of its kind.  The agenda and the content was decided by the AI/AN committee which was chaired by yours truly. Click here and here for more information Reference: http://www.thebody.com/content/art23334.html  Reference: https://www.indianz.com/News/2006/013743.asp Reference: https://khn.org/morning-breakout/dr00037019/ 

2004

  • TURTLE ISLAND UNITED WINTER - National Native CBA Providers - National Native American AIDS Prevention Center (NNAAPC) - Focus Area 1: Organizational Infrastructure/ Focus Area 2: Adaptation, Implementation & evaluation of HIV prevention interventions.
  • Colorado State University - CA7AE - Focus Area 3: Implement strategies that increase access to and utilization of HIV prevention, risk-reduction & avoidance services.
  • Inter Tribal Council of AZ - ITCA - Focus Area 4: Community Planning Groups & health departments to effectively involve HIV-infected and affected individuals in Community Planning.
  • 11.1 per 100,000 diagnosis of HIV/AIDS among (AI/AN) in the year 2001 -Reference: http://ne2ss.typepad.com/northeast_twospirit_socie/2006/10/hivaids_rising_.html
  • 2004 Northeast Two-Spirit Society is founded with Harlan Pruden, Ben Geboe, Leota Lone Dog, Kevin Vanwanseele
  • 2004 Advancing HIV Prevention & Effective Behavioral Interventions - What is AHP? - Advancing HIV Prevention (AHP) Initiative is aimed at reducing barriers to early diagnosis of HIV infection and increasing access to and utilization of quality medical care, treatment, and ongoing prevention services for those living with HIV.  The goal is to reduce HIV transmission.  A component of CDC’s overall prevention portfolio.  Interventions - Mpowerment. Community PROMISE. POL: Popular Opinion Leader. Safety Counts. The SISTA Project. Others: RAPP; Many Men, Many Voices. Prevention Interventions for People Living with HIV: Teens Linked to Care, Holistic Harm Reduction, Health Relationships.
  • Under AHP,CPC’s were required to prioritize HIV+ persons as the highest priority population for prevention services.
  • EBIs: CDC’s Compendium of HIV Prevention Interventions with Evidence of Effectiveness.
  • NNAAPC’s Regional Partner Coalition: Alaska Native Health Board(Anchorage), Indigenous People’s Task Force(Minneapolis), Inter-tribal Council of Arizona(Phoenix), Robeson Health Care Corporation(Lumberton/Fairmont), Aberdeen Area Tribal Chairman’s Health Board(Rapid City), American Indian Community House(NYC), Papa Ola Lokahi(Honolulu).
  • We Are Statistically Significant - Lack of Standardized Data Collection ofor AI/AN/NH.  Remain Invisible. Remain Silenced. Continue to Experience HIV/AIDS related Health Disparities. Diminished Power to Incite Positive Change. Lack of cultural appropriate care services and programs. Minimized Access & Effectiveness of HIV/AIDS Services.
  • No Data = No Problem - Lack of Quality Data Can Silence A Community.  Information Cycle - Health Data>Inform Policy>Funding Distribution>Programs/Services to Address Needs>Populations

2001

  • MARTY PRAIRIE LAST WINTER - HIV Prevention Community Planning New Guidance
  • Advancing HIV Prevention - Four Key Strategies for a Changing Epidemic
  • The Diffusion of Effective Behavioral Interventions (DEBI)
  • 9.5 per 100,000 diagnosis of HIV/AIDS among [AI/AN] in the year 2001 Reference: http://ne2ss.typepad.com/northeast_twospirit_socie/2006/10/hivaids_rising_.html
  • On March 15, 2001 Marty Prairie(Oglala, Lakota) passes at 43 years old.  Born on January 15th, 1958.  A pioneer in the fight against many health issues such as HIV/AIDS, Substance Abuse, Hep C and related diseases.  When other natives were silent, he was the “the voice, the advocate and relentless” in his efforts.  He was involved in getting programs off the ground.  Most notably, Marty was instrumental in starting a needle exchange program in the bible belt.  He would have NNAAPC “Honoring the Red Ribbon Award” in 2013 in memory of him.  Oglala Lakota Sioux, and local AIDS activist.  A long-term survivor of AIDS, Prairie died in 2001, but fought tirelessly against stigma and discrimination and for a better life for people with HIV/AIDS, and especially LGBT people of color, drug users, and children in poverty, and Native Americans everywhere.  He was a dedicated educator for the prevention of HIV/AIDS, STD’s, TB and Alcohol/Substance Abuse using his own story to help others and along with Michael Harney co-founded the Needle Exchange Program of Asheville, North Carolina (NEPA). Reference: https://goqnotes.com/1275/unc-professor-wins-hiv-award/

1998

  • YEAR OF THE HASAPA'S DEATH SONG WINTER - Renown AIDS Researcher, Dr. Jonathan Mann & his wife, Dr. Mary-Lou Clements-Mann, were killed in the crash of Swissair Flight
  • 665,357 AIDS Cases Diagnosed
  • 401,028 Deaths
  • A Global Crisis - 6,400,00 Worldwide Deaths, 22,000,000 number of HIV+ People Worldwide, To put this in perspective, it is larger than Epidemic Africa.
  • Congressional Black Caucus - The CBC’s Minority HIV/AIDS Initiative will focus on those areas hardest hit by the epidemic, many of which are in districts that we represent.  The initiative will focus on prevention and treatment and we will also seek to re-direct and/or increase funding levels based on a detailed review of the implementation of the initiative.  In addition, the CBC recognizes the devastating impact of HIV/AIDS on the global workforce, specifically in Africa, and on the allocation of resources of developing countries.  Therefore, the CBC will continue its efforts to support a comprehensive global policy aimed at ending the scourge of HIV/AIDS around the globe.

1997

WINTER OF FIRST VICTORY - New HIV Drugs are Working! - CDC reports annual AIDS death dropped in the U.S. - “It was a lot easier to prepare for death, now I have to think about living” A PLWA

1996

  • FIRST LIGHT WINTER - The First Light name has to do with the dawning of a new day and the promise a new day brings. The logo has changed due to the 1996 Community Educator wanting a different scene. She is friends with Lisa Tiger's sister Dana Tiger, who designed the logo for free. Both Lisa and her sister Dana are HIV/AIDS activist especially as Lisa is infected and does public speaking. There was an article on Lisa when she went from HIV to AIDS and about her baby and her husband whom are both HIV negative. This site came on in the Spring of 96. This site is finally starting to make breakthroughs within the community as well as other departments within the Community House itself.
  • More HIV Drugs Approved for Treatment - Viramune, Norvir, Crixivan
  • Sharing the Vision - Native HIV/AIDS Conference in Portland, Oregon.
  • Hitting the Hill to Stop Budget Cuts for the Native HIV Case Management SPNS Project.  Refunded for 5 more  years.

1995

  • HAUDENOSAUNEE JOIN THE FIGHT WINTER - The site features a calendar of events, descriptions of AICH services, and resource list including Native American Leadership Commission on Health and AIDS (NALCHA) News./ AICH Native American Outreach Education Coordinator Network/ 306 South Salina Street, Suite 201/ Syracuse NY 13202/ Contact: Cissy Elm/ The Native American OEC Network is a program of the American Indian Community House (AICH) HIV/AIDS Project.  AICH began in 1991 and is funded by the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute.  The OEC is designed to empower Native American communities throughout New York, assist them in openly addressing the issues of HIV/AIDS, and develop culturally relevant outreach, education, and referral services.
  • There are currently five outreach education coordinators, whose responsibilities include carrying out a risk reduction program to improve the health status of their community; promoting healthy behavior among Native Americans who are at risk within their community; providing HIV prevention education and referral services to Native Americans who seek out their assistance; and working on the development and maintenance of the Native American OEC Network within their local community.  The five networks consist of ACT, NOW, Akwesasne OEC; AICH Sewanaka Place, Long Island OEC; Vision Quest, Buffalo OEC; Wish; Walk in Self-Harmony, Syracuse/Onondaga Nation OEC; and Manhattan OEC.
  • American Indian Community House HIV/AIDS Project/ 708 Broadway, 8th Floor/ New York, NY, 10003/ Contact: Cissy Elm/ American Indian Community House HIV/AIDS Project/ 708 Broadway, 8th Floor/ New York, NY, 10003/ Contact: Cissy Elm/ The American Indian Community House HIV/AIDS Project is part of the AICH Native American Outreach Education Coordinator Network, which serves New York.  Their objectives are to increase the level of AIDS awareness among New York Native Americans and to provide culturally appropriate referral and case management services for Native Americans living with HIV/AIDS.
  • The most effective way of disseminating information to Native communities has been through Natives themselves.  One of their most impressive programs is the Native American Generations Program.  This project is an intergeneration approach used to provide community-based HIV prevention to Native American communities in central and northern New York State.  The Generations Program trains Native American elders as HIV educators and then uses them to provide behavior-based primary HIV prevention education to Native American youth between the ages of twelve and twenty.  The program also facilitates Native American youth production of HIV prevention public information to influence Native American community norms in support of safer behaviors.  Reference: Killing Us Quietly: Native Americans and HIV/AIDS by Irene S. Vernon - 2001 https://books.google.com/books?id=sh_8l4iEv48C&pg=PA88&lpg=PA88&dq=American+Indian+Community+House+HIV/AIDS&source=bl&ots=-w2X7WYrCB&sig=zcJe9Jfg6misSAlKZvq2l2CDnTc&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwijtJq9mdTZAhVvs1kKHYfaBnk4ChDoAQhOMAg#v=onepage&q=American%20Indian%20Community%20House%20HIV%2FAIDS&f=false 
  • On the Eve of Shift and Change
  • First anti-HIV drug in the protease inhibitor class - Saquinavir
  • 3TC Approved
  • 534,806 AIDS Cases Diagnosed
  • 332, 249 Deaths
  • Olympic Gold Medalist and world class diver Greg Lauganis (Samoan) reveals that he is HIV+

1994

  • THE PEOPLE DECLARED WAR ON THIS SICKNESS AND THE GREAT WHITE FATHER WAS TOO LAZY WINTER - Harris, Curtis, ed., A Native American Leadership Response to HIV and AIDS, New York: American Indian Community House, 1994
  • National Native CBA Providers - National Native American AIDS Prevention Center (NNAAPC) Priority Area 1: Organizational Infrastructure / Priority Area 4: Community Planning Groups & health departments to effectively involve HIV-infected and affected individuals in Community Planning.
  • HIV drug treatment on the eve of great break through and accessibility.
  • D4t (Zerit) approved
  • Benneton ad depicts President Reagan with K.S. lesions for his disregard towards addressing the epidemic.
  • 478,756 AIDS Cases Diagnosed
  • 288,597 Deaths

1993

  • SUICIDES WINTER - 4 NYC Urban Indian individuals committed suicide after being diagnosed with HIV.  (Artwork by Phillip Dallas Stands)
  • Curtis Harris who worked for the American Indian Community House (AICH) as a health representative, noted a need in New York for culturally appropriate HIV/AIDS education and services.  He founded AICH’s HIV/AIDS Project in the late 1980’s.  Sadly culturally appropriate services do not necessarily stop the depression attached to a diagnosis of HIV. 
  • In New York City, with a high percentage of urban Natives, four individuals committed suicide in 1993 after being diagnosed with HIV.  Suicide is thus one of several responses to an HIV positive diagnosis. Reference:https://books.google.com/books?id=sh_8l4iEv48C&pg=PA26&lpg=PA26&dq=jodi+harry+native+american+hiv+aids&source=bl&ots=-w2X7XUyEy&sig=jD0tp6fYvBPnlBBP89ANza44O7M&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwieufW_stTZAhXNs1kKHZQPD0sQ6AEIOzAH#v=onepage&q=jodi%20harry%20native%20american%20hiv%20aids&f=false
  • AIDS now includes definition of Opportunistic Infections (OI’s)
  • Female condom approved, but FDA refused to allow testing for anal sex-sodomy illegal in many states.
  • Tennis Pro, Arthur Ashe dies
  • National Native American AIDS Prevention Center (NNAAPC) - started in 1991 as a “Special Projects of National Significance” (SPNS) and expanded across the country in 1993.  Ahalaya/Oklahoma & Tulsa/ Navajo AIDS Network/ Papa Ola Lokahi/ Maui AIDS Foundation/ Life Foundation/ Indigenous People’s Task Force/ Native American Community House

1992

  • STORYTELLER'S WINTER - Our Honor, Our Pride Winter/ DATE: 1992 June/ LOCATION: Performed in The Circle at The American Indian Community House, New York City, in June 1992./ WORK TYPE: Performance., Native theater., Native variety show., Indigenous women's theater., Native youth theater., Two-Spirit performance.
  • Our Honor, Our Pride was a variety show presented in the AICH Circle during New York City’s 1992 Gay Pride week as a way to introduce the New York City Native and Two-Spirit (the term Native people have used to refer to Native gay and lesbians) community. The Coatlicue Theater Company and Spiderwoman Theater presented excerpts from several of their plays. The Minneapolis Indigenous People's Task Forces Native Youth Theater Group, directed by Spiderwomans Muriel Miguel, also performed. The Group, led by Sharon Day, the Director of the Minneapolis Indigenous Peoples Task Force, had been selected and invited by the Community House to write and perform works about HIV/AIDS as a way to educate youth about various aspects of the disease during gay pride week. The AICHs Performing Arts Department has become an important resource for Native visual and performance artists. Through its programming, performance has become an important educational vehicle, both for the Native and non-Native NY community. The Badger's Corner, initiated in the 1980s, is an education-via-entertainment vehicle for the AICHs visual and performing arts department programs.Taking its name from the Pueblo legend of the four-legged creature who led the Pueblo people out of the underworld after the great flood, the intent of its programming is to inform and challenge people to rethink their concept(s) of Native American people and customs. All performances at AICH are presented under the auspices of the Badgers Corner.  Reference:http://hidvl.nyu.edu/video/000564100.html
  • A Whisper of AIDS at the Republican National Convention by a former aide to President Gerald Ford, Mary Fisher - “Aids Is Not A Political Creature’ But An Ever-Present Threat To Be Battled With Courage, Sound Policy & Most of All, Compassion”
  • Native American Coming Out & Sharing their status - Lisa Lee Ella Tiger
  • Robert Reed, Actor Mike Brady of the Brady Bunch dies
  • 335,211 AIDS Cases Diagnosed/ 
  • 198,322 Deaths
  • Elizabeth Glaser Dies, Co-founder of Pediatric AIDS Foundation, activist, wife, but most important..a MOM.
  • 500 year anniversary of Christopher Columbus
  • Lisa Tiger (Muskogee, Creek) was diagnosed with HIV. Reference: http://lisatiger.com/lisatiger.com/About_Me.html

1992/1991

EDUCATION WINTER - Richard Bourdeaux was the first tribal member to be elected superintendent of the Todd county schools.  Lionel Bourdeaux was named to the White House Task Force on Indian Education.  The first Rosebud Sioux Tribe reservation-wide workshop on AIDS was held.  (Artwork by: Dr. Thomas Haukass RedOwl of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Carnegie Winter Count)

1991

  • ONEIDA NATION OF WISCONSIN HIV/AIDS CONFERENCE WINTER - In 1991 the HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) sponsored the 1st (and only one of the 10 regions) HIV/AIDS conference held on Tribal land – at the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin. And a Tribal member was the chair which was Rick Haverkate.  The conference was for all people of color from all over Region 5.  It was a conference that: (1) dispelled stereotypes by increasing the awareness of what an American Indian is; and (2) that HIV/AIDS was present in every population group.  It was the first time that a large tribe and a large chain hotel (the Radisson) held an HIV/AIDS conference with “known” PLWH in attendance and we did major work training the hotel management and staff to reduce stigma and provide an environment of peace and healing along with urgent care services onsite.  We also worked closely with the tribal health officials to dispel stereotypes and trained them to meet the healthcare needs of the PLWH who were attending the conference – both Native and non-Native. It was an event where some attendees claimed that even though they were so ill, they were able to remain the session because of the calm environment honoring Mother Earth and all she has to offer.
  • In 1991, American Indian Community House, New York, NY instituted the “AICH HIV/AIDS Project” founded by Curtis Harris (San Carlos Apache) to provide HIV related services through outreach, referral and case management.  WeWah and BarCheeAmpe organized a Two-Spirit contingent to lead the New York City Pride march in 1991 that denounced the quincentennial by calling all queers to join them in questioning the power of settler state on Native lands.  Reference: Chase, Emmett, “Case Management Plan for HIV Infected Adult American Indians/Alaskan Natives, “Indian Health Service, 1991—“HIV/AIDS Behavior Modification, “Indian Health Service, 1991
  • The National Native American AIDS Prevention Center (NNAAPC) - FULLY FUNDED - Ron Rowell(Choctaw), The Ahalaya case management model was designed to provide culturally sensitive services to HIV-posiitve American Indians (AI), Alaska Natives (AN), and Native Hawaiians (NH).
  • Gloria Bellymule-Zuniga(Cheyenne/Arapaho) trailblazer for Native Care & Treatment.
  • 10 Million have HIV worldwide (WHO)
  • More than a million are in the U.S. (CDC)
  • Ddl-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor is approved
  • Magic Johnson tells the world he is living with HIV.
  • 257,750 AIDS cases diagnosed
  • 157,637 Deaths


1990

RED CROSS WINTER - Native American Language Act is passed.  Look, listen, avoid!, 1980s-1990s - Three Native men dressed in traditional to contemporary attire stand around a tombstone while a line of people walk toward a buffalo skull. The skull symbolizes the 19th century demise of the buffalo—an emblem of Great Plains Native culture—and also references the “Vanishing Indian” theory, a widely held notion among Americans that Native peoples, like the buffalo, also were dying out. Indeed, in the early 20th century, the Native population had dropped to approximately 250,000, a decrease of some 95 percent of pre-European contact levels. “A good day to live” is a play on the statement, “It’s a good day to die,” attributed to the 19th century Oglala Lakota leader Crazy Horse. Although public health campaigns for Native audiences did not often address gay men explicitly, it is likely that health workers recognized their increased risk of being infected with AIDS. In response, posters like this one focused on Native males and their traditional roles as warriors and providers as a way of reaching men in the community.  Reference: Rowell, Ron, “Native Americans, Stereotypes, and HIV/AIDS, Our Continuing Struggle for Survival, “SI ECUS Report (February/March 1990), pp. 59-65 Reference:  https://www.nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/survivingandthriving/digitalgallery/detail-A032329.html

  • At the 3rd International Native GLBT Gathering in Winnipeg Canada the Two-Spirit identity was defined.  Toronto organizers quickly adapted Two-Spirit identity by renaming themselves 2-Spirited People of the 1st Nations (later, 2-Spirits) and also committing themselves to serve Native people affected by HIV/AIDS.
  • Keith Harring Renowned Artist & Activist dies
  • Ryan White teenager & AIDS activist dies at 19.  A True Hero whose legacy lives on.
  • Congress Enacted the Ryan White Comprehensive AID Resources Emergency (CARE) Act - Largest Federal Government Program To Address The Unmet Health Needs of Plwh.

1989

  • WEEWAH AND BARCHEEAMPE WINTER - is founded The work of New York City’s WeWah and BarCheeAmpe.  From its founding in 1989.  WeWah and BarCheeAmpe brought together Native queer people to challenge settler colonialism and defend Native peoples within pan tribal alliances.  The group drew non-Native queers of color into antiracist queer alliances committed to Native decolonization.  Their work showed that queer politics of race, culture, or citizenship will fail to explain their condition unless they theorize settler colonialism, as Native activists did by challenging liberal multiculturalism as a method for naturalizing settlement.  WeWah and BarCheeAmpe formed a time of growing Native queer and AIDS activism in the United States and Canada.  Over the preceding decade, Gay American Indians and "Living the Spirit" had been joined by a proliferation of organizations from American Indian Gays and Lesbians in Minneapolis (AIGL) to Gays and Lesbians of the First Nations in Toronto, in addition to WeWah and BarCheeAmpe.   Reference: Spaces Between Us: Queer Settler Colonialism and Indigneous Decolonization - Scott Lauria Morgensen
  • FDA authorized pre-approval of Retrovir for the treatment of pediatric HIV disease.
  • After 2 years of intense ACT UP over the price of AZT - Burroughs Wellcome lowers the price by 20%
  • Amanda Black, “Miss Kitty” on Gunsmoke, dies.
  • 22,996 AIDS Cases Diagnosed
  • 12,592 Deaths

1988

  • ARAPAHO, CHEYENNE, CHOCTAW, AND PIOUT NATION JOIN THE FIGHT WINTER - Living the Spirit.  In 1988 American Indian Gays and Lesbians in Minneapolis (AIGL) brought together Native GLBT people for the first of a series of international gatherings.  In 1988, when GAI members collaborated with Roscoe to produce e Living the Spirit: A Gay American Indian Anthology, they made sure Roscoe included information about AIDS services in the endnotes of the book.  Gay American Indians had established the Indian AIDS Project in memory of Jodi Harry and Herbie Jeans (a Navajo/Otoe).  who died of AIDS complications.  By 1988, this initiative formed the basis for the newly established American Indian AIDS Institute. Reference:https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Susan_Wurtzburg/publication/322287474_Gay_American_Indians_is_Founded/links/5a504464a6fdcc7690015aee/Gay-American-Indians-is-Founded.pdf
  • First AIDS drug to be granted pre-approval - New Treatment IND regulations - used for PCP
  • Treatment for KS & CV Retinitis
  • U.S. bans discrimination against federal workers living with HIV.
  • World Health Organization designates December 1st as WORLD AIDS DAY
  • 106,994 Aids Cases Diagnosed
  • 62,101 Deaths
  • Ron Rowell(Choctaw) Founder of The National Native American AIDS Prevention Center (NNAAPC) - Joined Forces with Berkeley Based Asian Pacific Islander HIV Advocates Introduced to Native Hawaiians - Papa Ola Lokahi/Began building networks with Communities of Color/Began Conversations with: Piout Nation/Alaska Native Health Board/Choctaw Nation/Cheyenne & Arapaho Nation.
  • NNAAPC Attended Minority AIDS Conference - Lack of Support & was told Native #’s too low.
  • NNAAPC’s first HIV Prevention Funding from CDC
  • HRSA interested in the possibility of funding Native HIV/AIDS Case Management
  • Lisa Tiger is infected with the HIV. Reference: http://lisatiger.com/lisatiger.com/About_Me.html
  • NNAAPC's first HIV Prevention Funding from CDC
  • World Health Organization designates December 1st, as World AIDS Day.

1987

  • JODI HARRY'S LAST WINTER - Jodi Harry was a Miwok living in San Francisco who was diagnosed with AIDS in 1987, immediately committed suicide after his diagnosis.  To many two-spirit men his suicide was a wake-up call to the fact that AIDS was not just a white gay man’s disease and that more support was needed.  Jodi Harry became the first Native in San Francisco to be diagnosed with HIV/AIDS he committed suicide shortly after.  At this time the Center for Disease Control only collected statistics for Whites, African Americans, and Latinos, not Native Americans (or Asians). (Artwork by Phillip Dallas Stands) Reference:https://books.google.com/books?id=sh_8l4iEv48C&pg=PA26&lpg=PA26&dq=jodi+harry+native+american+hiv+aids&source=bl&ots=-w2X7XUyEy&sig=jD0tp6fYvBPnlBBP89ANza44O7M&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwieufW_stTZAhXNs1kKHZQPD0sQ6AEIOzAH#v=onepage&q=jodi%20harry%20native%20american%20hiv%20aids&f=false
  • In 1987, Native queer activists from the United States met in Washington, D.C., for the March for Lesbian and Gay Rights, where they camped on the Mall, held a sunrise ceremony for participants, and had a contingent in the march.  Reference: Spaces Between Us: Queer Settler Colonialism and Indigneous Decolonization - Scott Lauria Morgensen
  • AZT- The first anti-HIV drug was approved by the FDA
  • ACT Up is acting out FDA announces a two year shortening in the drug-approval process.
  • U.S. policy bans HIV-infected travelers & immigrants to enter the U.S.
  • After 6 years of silence- President uses the “A” word.
  • Names Project Foundation Memorial to AIDS victims was inspired by Cleve Jones who created the first 3x6 panel in 1985.
  • October 1987, AIDS Memorial Quilt visits the National capital.  It covered a space larger than a football field and included 1,920 panels.
  • Celebrities, Politics and AIDS - Liberace the Queen of Glitter Dies (1919-1987)
  • And the Band Played On, Randy Shilts
  • Establishing Networks & Establishing Our Place & Voice - Kathleen Toomey, M.D., M.P.H., Dr. Ben Muneta From Navajo, SF Department of Health Office of AIDS, Carole LaFavor R.N.(Ojibwe), Phil Tingley(Kiowa), Willie Bettelyoun(Lakota), Marty Lynn Prairie(Lakota)
  • The National Native American AIDS Prevention Center
  • AZT - The first Anti-HIV drug was approved by the FDA
  • The National Native American AIDS Prevention Center is established by Ron Rowell, Choctaw Indian

1986

  • WINTER OF SHAME - Willie Bettelyoun was the first person in south dakota to be diagnosed as HIV positive.  He was harrassed and discriminated against in his workplace, the tribal offices of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.  (Artwork by: Dr. Thomas Haukass Redowl of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Carnegie Wintercount)
  • AIDS Activism begins in New York.
  • Published Report on AIDS urges Sex Education as a means of HIV Prevention - U.S. Surgeon General Everette Koop.
  • 42,255 Aids Cases Diagnosed
  • 24,669 Deaths

1985

  • WORLD COUNCIL ON AIDS WINTER - The First International Conference on AIDS was held in Atlanta.  First HIV Antibody Test!!  Ryan White, a 13 year old hemophiliac was barred from attending school in Indiana because he was living with AIDS. (Artwork by Phillip Dallas Stands)  
  • 22,996 Cases Diagnosed 
  • 12,592 Deaths  
  • Actor Rock Hudson has AIDS.

1982

  • AIDS NAME WINTER - CDC announced that GRID may be transmitted through sexual contact or exposure to contaminated blood.
  • AIDS “Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome” used for the first time.  
  • 1,614 Aids Cases Diagnosed 
  • 619 Deaths

1978

FIRST SYMPTOMS AND THE SPIRIT MEDICINE CAME BACK WINTER - Gay Men in the US and Sweden and heterosexuals in Tanzania & Haiti begin showing signs of what will later be called AIDS.

  • American Indian Religious Freedom Act protected the spiritual practices of Native Americans, Indian Child Welfare Act

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