October 30, 2011

Litefoot's Reach the Rez tour

Carmen Davis on ‘Reaching the Rez’ with Litefoot in 2012The group Reach the Rez (RTR) has announced plans for its 2012 RTR “RISE” motivational tour, which will make stops at 48 reservations around the country and reach potentially 75,000 Natives. Reach the Rez was started in 2005 by the Cherokee rapper Litefoot and his wife Carmen Davis (Makah, Yakama, and Chippewa Cree), who is president of the parent organization Association for American Indian Development, and in that year traveled to 211 communities.

“RISE” stands for Revitalization, Inspiration, Sustainability and Empowerment. At stops on the tour, Indian leaders, entertainers, athletes and others speak and perform, delivering positive messages to the tribal communities. We spoke with Davis (who also runs the Native Style clothing line) about her thoughts on this latest leg of the journey to, as she put it, “inspire and empower our Native people and promote self-reliance and sustainability.”

Indian Country Today Media Network:  Now that you’ve been doing this for a number of years, do you hear stories from people who say they were inspired by previous events?

Carmen Davis:  Absolutely. We hear from people immediately after a Reach The Rez event is over; expressing to us what it meant to them. You can view the Reach the Rez Documentary film trailer on our website and see the impact its had on people. There are literally hours more of those kinds of testimonials from our Native people all over Indian Country. We still hear today, stories from people nationwide who were helped and strengthened through the messages of the tour back in 2005. In regards to lasting relationships, we are blessed with family on every reservation throughout the United States. And that’s not an exaggeration. To us, it is such an honor to be blessed with that much extended family across the country. It’s also very humbling to know that we have the support of so many people who keep us in their prayers and thoughts. It just makes us want to work harder.
Comment:  For more on Litefoot, see How Football Shaped Litefoot and Litefoot's Message of Faith.

Below:  "Litefoot performs in Albuquerque on the Reach the Rez tour."

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