"JOLEEN BROWN: FAMILIES FIRST AND HELPING OTHERS IS THE KEY TO NATIVE HOOP MAGAZINE"
By Mike Raccoon Eyes Kinney
When you first talk to Joleen Brown, Vice-President of NATIVE HOOP MAGAZINE, you can sense a real belief and commitment to service and volunteerism to Indian Country. When you see descriptions of this digital Native publication they are so empowering in a good way, such as: 'Native Hoop Magazine continues to promote the many talents of our people in a positive way.' Or others such as: 'Promoting our people in a positive manner. Giving a place for our people to have a voice.'
You just know immediately that you have found a real Native publication that not only empowers you being a Native, but actually gives you as a Native a voice so you may be heard.
Joleen Brown, a Lakota Woman has a passion, I mean a real passion for the advancement of our Native People and more Human and Civil Rights for Indian Country. She will be the first tell you she is a volunteer at Native Hoop Magazine and as well "That is why we provide a free digital download and free pdf email subscription every month when Native Hoop Magazine is published. We know to print the magazine is expensive and not eco-friendly. Magazines are as well expensive and Native people don't always have money to spend on magazines, we offer a free way and have the ability to make sure Indian Country can get their copies."
One of the things that gives Native Hoop that awesome edge it has, is the fact it is Native owned and operated.
Joleen explains: What we offer here is the ability for our People to have a voice! I mean a real voice to share and tell their stories. When I started here 5 years ago as a graphic designer I saw the potential of what I could do to help our People. The possibilities were unlimited of what we could do here. My Grandmother used to tell me: " If you can help the People, then help the People."
She sites many writers, photographers and people whom have appeared in Native Hoop Magazine over the years, have gone to become major success stories. She told of a Native model back in 2013, who at the time had never modeled before and had done her very first shoot in Native Hoop. And since that time has had a very successful career an top-flight model who commands $3,000 dollars a day.
Joleen remembers another Native photographer back in 2013 who did numerous photography projects with Native Hoop and from there many of her photo images went on to appear in such international publications such as VOGUE.
According to Joleen all editions of Native Hoop Magazine are featured in the Heard Museum in Phoenix. The Heard Museum is dedicated to the sensitive and accurate portrayal of Native arts and cultures, the Heard is an institution that successfully combines the stories of American Indian people from a personal perspective with the beauty of art.
As mentioned Native Hoop Magazine gives Indian Country a real voice to share and tell their stories.
Joleen is the first to tell you that: " Native youth is my passion, my heart!" When asked why she explains: "Native Youth need to be heard! Native Hoop Magazine gives our young people the opportunity to be heard and have that voice. Native youth are lost in the mainstream 21st century. They feel they should be able to turn traditional elders to help them reclaim their Native identities and culture. The goal of the traditional elders with regards to Native youth, should be help the our youth to breech that gap between our traditions and cultures as Indigenous people and living in a mainstream 21st century."
"The problem many traditional elders throw in the face of our Youth is because of the fact that many of our Native youth are turned away by the very people that should be helping them, because they lack the procedure and protocol of how to approach our elders in the right way. The elders believe 'the kids can't come to the elders in the proper way until you teach them how.' And I have a real problem with that kind of thinking, that kind of thinking undermines the very outreach our Youth are trying to do with the elders! As more elders decease into the 21st century, more of our traditions, culture and language is gone for good. Outreach from the elders to our youth and young adults is imperative."