Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter, actress and mental health advocate, Jewel, will co-host the “Voices of Siihasin” Benefit Concert together with celebrated artist, Lyla June, a Diné environmental scientist, doctoral student, educator, community organizer and musician, on Sunday, July 5 at 2:00 pm PT / 5:00 pm ET.
Amy Yeung (Diné), founder of Orenda Tribe, an Indigenous-owned, upcycled clothing brand, and her dear friend, Jewel, created this event after witnessing the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the Diné Tribe.
“We have been #1 in COVID positive cases for far too long. It has been really traumatic for our little ones, as it has been for all of our children,” explains Yeung. “Our youth are sacred to us. They are the future of our people and we want them to know we love them, that we honor them and that we are here for them.”
Orenda Tribe has supplied four tons of food and over 150,000 masks and other protective equipment to Dinétah (Diné Homelands). The “Voices of Siihasin” event will raise additional funds for World Central Kitchen to support the children of the Diné Community. World Central Kitchen’s COVID-19 response efforts have distributed produce and pantry staple boxes equating to over 500,000 meals to the region so far, and will provide meal kits to thousands within Dinétah.
This benefit, which will be live-streamed on Jewel’s official Facebook page, is produced by Conscious City Guide and sponsored by NDN Collective. To learn more and register for the concert event, please click HERE.
“We are always stronger when we join together. ‘Voices of Siihasin’ is an embodiment of interdependence and synergy, something Diné ancestors valued very much,” says Lyla June.
The “Voices of Siihasin” Benefit Concert will also include performances by world-renowned artists and Navajo musicians such as:
Alex Ebert (of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros), AWOLNATION, Bea, Chasity Salvador (Acoma Pueblo), Cody Blackbird (Eastern Band Cherokee), Emily Scott Robinson, Frank Waln (Sičangu Lakota), Jason Mraz, Jessa Calderon (Tongva/Chumash), Jewel, Kinsale Hues (Diné), Kip Moore, KT Tunstall, Larkin Poe, Lindsay Ell, Liv the Artist (Comanche), Lukas Nelson, Lyla June (Diné/Cheyenne), Mic Jordan (Turtle Mountain Chippewa), Mike Posner, Q’orianka Kilcher (Quechua), Rachel Platten, Radmilla Cody (Diné/ Naahiłí), Sia, Supaman (Apsaalooke), Tall Pall (Leech Lake Ojibwe), Tanaya Winder (Diné/Duckwater Shoshone Paiute/Pyramid Lake Paiute/Southern Ute), Tyler Bryant, and Wesley Schultz (of The Lumineers).
The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected Dinétah and continues to threaten their communities. The Diné have been one of the hardest-hit tribes, with the numbers surpassing the number of positive cases per capita in New York City. This summer, Orenda Tribe is working with World Central Kitchen to provide meal kits to thousands across Dinétah.
“I see how hunger affects the learning and development of our children. I see first hand the critical needs of our youth. As a mother and educator, I feel grateful for the food relief aid for summer meals,” adds Dr. Victoria Yazzie, Native language and cultural program coordinator for the Kayenta School District.
The goal of the “Voices of Siihasin” benefit concert is to provide weekly meals for 81k Diné children and families. Currently, World Central Kitchen and the Orenda Tribe have 47k boxes scheduled for delivery, equating to 927,360 servings of non-perishable food. This will be the largest food distribution project taking place within Dinétah. To ensure the safety of families and children, this initiative will allow them to stay home, reduce travel, and ensure that nutrient-dense foods are provided during a time when Diné families are not only facing a food gap, but also a global pandemic.
“Wherever people are hungry, we will be there to help,” adds Nate Mook, CEO of World Central Kitchen. “The Diné people have been dramatically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused substantial and sometimes tragic changes in children’s lives. World Central Kitchen is proud to support the community and bring some stability during this difficult time, and we’re excited for the fundraising effort led by Orenda Tribe and partners.”
“We are proud to support Native solutionaries like Orenda Tribe and this initiative to bring food sovereignty to the Diné People. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, NDN Collective has worked with Indigenous partners across the country to ensure that gaps within tribal and Indigenous communities are addressed. We believe this benefit concert will amplify models of Indigenous solutions that will build the resilience and regenerative food systems that are integral for our communities to thrive before, during, and after a global pandemic,” says Nick Tilsen, CEO and President, NDN Collective.
Orenda Tribe is working with their Diné relatives to bring critical aid to Dinétah. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Orenda Tribe founded the Dził Asdzáán Command Center, a collective of Diné matriarchs that has provided meals, reusable masks, PPE and hand sanitizer to their relatives. Their commitment to this work goes farther than what is needed now, expanding into the future to invest in projects focusing on reclaiming land for cultural practices including gardening, uplifting their young relatives and inspiring Native artists. For more information, please visit here.
Lyla June is an Indigenous environmental scientist, doctoral student, educator, community organizer and musician of Diné (Navajo), Tsétsêhéstâhese (Cheyenne) and European lineages from Taos, NM. Her dynamic, multi-genre performance and speech style has invigorated and inspired audiences across the globe towards personal, collective and ecological healing.
Her messages focus on the climate crisis, Indigenous rights, supporting youth, inter-cultural healing, historical trauma and traditional land stewardship practices. She blends her undergraduate studies in human ecology at Stanford University, her graduate work in Native American Pedagogy at the University of New Mexico and the indigenous worldview she grew up with to inform her perspectives and solutions. Her internationally acclaimed performances and speeches are conveyed through the medium of prayer, hip-hop, poetry, acoustic music and speech.
Jewel went from a girl who grew up with no running water on an Alaskan homestead to a homeless teenager in San Diego, to an award-winning, Multi-Platinum Recording Artist who released one of the best-selling debuts of all time.
Through her career Jewel has sold over 30 million albums worldwide and has earned multiple nominations and awards including Grammys, American Music Awards, MTV Awards, VH1 Awards, Billboard Music Awards, and Country Music Awards. Jewel has been featured on the cover of TIME Magazine, Rolling Stone, performed on Saturday Night Live, at the Super Bowl, the NBA Finals, for The Pope and The President Of The United States.
For nearly two decades, Jewel’s non-profit, the Inspiring Children Foundation and her Never Broken program has been empowering children struggling with financial hardship, anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation by giving them the ultimate environment to survive then thrive at the highest levels.
World Central Kitchen (WCK) uses the power of food to heal and strengthen communities through times of crisis and beyond. WCK has transformed the field of disaster response to help devastated communities recover and establish resilient food systems. Since its founding, WCK has served over 25 million meals to those impacted by natural disasters and other crises around the world in countries including Albania, The Bahamas, Colombia, Guatemala, Haiti, Mexico, Mozambique, Spain, Venezuela, and the United States. For more information, please visit here.
NDN Collective is an Indigenous-led organization dedicated to building Indigenous power. Through organizing, activism, philanthropy, grantmaking, capacity-building and narrative change, NDN is creating sustainable solutions on Indigenous terms. For more information, please visit here.