By Judge Victorio Shaw (Hoopa Valley Tribe), CILS Board Trustees Vice Chairman
This month our contributions to this country are to be remembered, explored, and
celebrated. NAHM is a wonderful opportunity to have a spotlight put on our
people, our stories, and our art. Most importantly though, it reminds me that we
as a people are survivors. We come from a long line of survivors and warriors,
and medicine people who fought and prayed so hard that we may live.
I am proud of my ancestors. They are proud of us, and we deserve be proud of
each other including ourselves.
NAHM is a reminder to the whole world that Native People are here to stay, and
that is the blessing we are here to bestow on all living beings. Our traditions, our
wisdom, and our unique understanding of Mother Earth are our blessings to hold
and to give. We survived for a reason.
To me, NAHM does not evoke victimhood. Rather, It is a refresher course about
survival and the evolution of culture. We continue to evolve, to adapt, to grow as
it was meant to be. We learn better and more productive ways to love ourselves,
and to each other. This month like every month, like every day, like every
second, I feel blessed. Blessed to be alive, blessed to be Native, and blessed to
have the opportunity to amplify and project those blessings onto the world.
Chairman of the Board, Trustee
Chairman Romero is Chairman of the Board of Trustees for CILS and was the Tribal Chairman for the Mesa Grande Band of Mission Indians for over ten years. He is currently a member of the National Institutes of Health Tribal Advisory Committee (TAC), a forum for meetings between elected Tribal officials (or their designated representatives) and NIH officials to exchange views, share information, and seek advice concerning intergovernmental responsibilities related to the implementation and administration of NIH programs. Chairman Romero has over 11 years of experience working in tribal government. In addition to his role as Chairman of the Board, he is also chair of the Personnel Committee, Acting Chair of the Finance Committee, Executive Committee, and Legislative Committee.