Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

'We need a massive paradigm shift' | Overdose Rates for Native Americans Up 15%, New CDC Data Shows

Toni Wakemup (Bois Forte Band of Chippewa) was at her tribe's Mid-Winter Powwow - an event she helps organize - last year when she received a text message that would change her life.

Her cousin Jeremy Hoagland, who grew up in the same household and whom she considered a brother, had died of a fentanyl overdose.

"I got a text that said, 'Jeremy died,'" Wakemup told Native News Online. "No one ever wants to read that text."

She was stunned, seized by grief. She needed to get to her family, but was in such a state of shock that she was afraid to drive. Her elders who were at the powwow smudged her, over and over again, until she was grounded enough to drive safely.


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