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Native Americans living on the rural and remote reservations of the Southwest struggle daily with isolation, limited employment opportunities, and a harsh and resource-poor environment. Poverty is all too common, and weighs most heavily on those most fragile especially Elders and their multi-generational extended families. The Council of Indian Nations provides program services that benefit Native Americans throughout the desert southwest.
During the World War II era, Edena reminisced about how they had to ration their items like sugar and gas. When asked to talk about Christmas during that time, she shared that people made things for one another — like crafts or baked bread.
Thanksgiving at the boarding school wasn’t a big deal. There was a traditional turkey dinner, but everything was artificial — instant mashed potatoes, instant gravy, canned jelly cranberries, and even the turkey was bland.