Culture

Vogue Mexico And Latin America Celebrated Their 20th Anniversary By Highlighting Indigenous Women On Their New Covers

This week Vogue Mexico and Latin America celebrated its twentieth anniversary with six different covers featuring iconic Latin-American women. “This is a big celebration,” read an article on the magazine’s website. The covers feature prominent women from indigenous groups as well as other powerful women who’ve made strides in culture and gastronomy, such as María Lorena Ramírez the Tarahumara runner and Oaxacan cook Abigail Mendoza. 

The publication took to Instagram to reveal the covers. “This is how we celebrate our 20 years!” reads the caption of the cover featuring Tarahumaran runner María Lorena Ramírez, atop a rocky hill in her typical dress and huaraches, “This edition of #VogueMexico is an homage to our country. We traveled north and south to share the stories of women who are true leaders of our time. Each one of these inspirations is a tribute.” 

María Lorena Ramírez, the ‘Rarámuri Runner’ is an indigenous woman who won an ultramarathon in huaraches.

Credit: voguemexico / Instagram

The six commemorative covers feature leaders in their own discipline. María Lorena Ramírez is featured on the top cover of the issue. The indigenous Rarámuri has won the world’s attention for being the first Rarámuri woman to run an ultramarathon in Europe. She was invited to participate by the Tenerife Bluetrail Organization in 2017 after winning a 50km (30 miles) race in Tlatlauquitepec, Puebla. In 2018 she ran the 102 kilometers of the Ultramarathon in a time of 20:11:37, earning her the 5th best time in her category.

Lorena captivated the media due to her unconventional attire during the races.

Credit: marcosferro / Instagram

The indigenous woman refuses to wear anything other than the traditional dress of her people, known as “los de los pies ligeros” or “the people with the light feet”, she also runs in her traditional huaraches.

Mexican actor Gael García Bernal is turning María Lorena Ramírez’s story into a Netflix show. ‘Río Grande, Rìo Bravo’ will dedicate a half hour episode to the 24 year old Rarámuri runner who beat five hundred athletes from twelve different countries in an ultratrail race, wearing her open-toe huaraches.

Abigail Mendoza cooks with the traditions of the Zapotecan culture, a tribute to her ancestors, to the history of Mexico and especially to Oaxaca.

Credit: voguemexico / Instagram

Pictured in her traditional braids and apron, surrounded by the women in her family, Abigail Mendoza is included in this tribute by Vogue as a world-famous indigenous cook who proudly serves traditional Zapotecan cuisine. “People said: ‘How am I going to eat indigenous food!?’ she recalls in an interview with Mexican newspaper ‘El Universal’, “Now people pay attention to indigenous food because of the recognition I’ve received” she added, “but before that, no one cared.” “I wasn’t afraid to show it to the world”.

In 1993 Mendoza was featured in The New York Times, which named her restaurant ‘Tlamanalli’, one of the top 10 best restaurants in the world. The Oaxacan cook published a book ‘Dishdaa´w, Zapotecan for “the word is infinitely woven with food” in which, she explains, “I leave all my knowledge of traditional food, to humanity and future generations. Which is what I’m trying to rescue in this town.”

A group of Bolivian cooks turned alpinists who have climbed the highest peak of Latin-America in their traditional dress.

Credit: voguemexico / Instagram

Las Cholitas escaladoras de Bolivia are Bolivian Aymara indigenous women who until recently, worked as cooks and caretakers for mountaineers from around the world, catering to the crews who headed to the high peaks of the Andes. One day they decided to strap up and hike to the top themselves. The term “chola” is a derogatory term for indigenous women in Bolivia and these brave women reclaimed it, to turn the word into a term of pride.  “At over 6,000 meters of altitude, just like reaching for the clouds, the #cholitasescaladoras are an example of strength and virtue,” wrote Vogue Mexico and Latin America on Instagram.

Juana Burga a Peruvian top model with a heart of gold.

Credit: voguemexico / Instagram

Juana Burga is the only Peruvian model to have walked in New York, London, Milan and Paris Fashion Week. In addition to her work in modeling, Burga is an activist who works to protect artisans who produce sustainable fibers that are exported worldwide. She is the founder of Nuna Awaq, an initiative that aim to revalue artisan’s work and give them opportunities for development through luxury, in a sustainable and socially responsible way. 

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After 17 Seasons “Grey’s Anatomy” Has Finally Cast Its First Indigenous Doctor

Entertainment

After 17 Seasons “Grey’s Anatomy” Has Finally Cast Its First Indigenous Doctor

Courtesy of ABC

Just when you thought “Grey’s Anatomy” had literally done every storyline in the book, they turn around and surprise you. And this time, “Grey”‘s is bringing some good news.

Now, in 2021, after 17 seasons, “Grey’s Anatomy” is finally featuring its first indigenous doctor, Dr. James Chee, played by actor Robert I Mesa.

Robert I Mesa is an actor of Navajo and Soboba descent. According to an online biography, Mesa is self-taught photographer, filmmaker and actor working in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Mesa took to Instagram to celebrate the good news about being the first indigenous doctor on “Grey’s”.

“I’m so excited and honored to be the first indigenous doctor on Grey’s Anatomy,” he wrote. “James Chee will be back on April 15, so be sure to tune in…Thank you so much To Grey’s Anatomy! I know this is going to mean so much to my indigenous peoples.” He ended the caption with “it’s a good day to be indigenous”

Although now Mesa is now on one of the biggest shows on TV, he is still a relative newcomer to showbiz and “Grey’s” will be his first major role after appearing on episode three of this season.

“Grey’s Anatomy” has always prided itself in hiring diverse actors to fill its cast.

In fact, when “Grey’s” creator Shonda Rhimes first created the show in 20–, she instructed her casting director to bring in actors of all races to audition. “The script was written with no character descriptions, no clue as to what anyone should look like,” she told Oprah in 2006.

“We read every color actor for every single part. My goal was simply to cast the best actors. I was lucky because the network said, ‘Go for it.'”

Those directions led to one of the most culturally and racially diverse casts in TV history. And it also changed the television landscape forever.

“When they had me come in to read for the role of chief of surgery, I hadn’t seen an African American in that kind of role before,” James Pickens Jr, who plays Dr. Richard Webber, said to The Hollywood Reporter.

He continued: “Shonda always wanted to make sure that the show impacted the landscape in a way that we hadn’t seen before on TV. I like to think that Grey’s had a big part in how the industry casts shows.”

“Grey’s Anatomy” has paved the way for other racially-diverse Shondaland shows like “How to Get Away With Murder”, “Scandal”, “Station 19”, and most recently, “Bridgerton.”

We’re glad that an iconic television staple like “Grey’s Anatomy” is finally expanding its diverse cast to include its first indigenous doctor.

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A Wealthy Couple Cheated Indigenous Peoples In Canada Out Of COVID Vaccines

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A Wealthy Couple Cheated Indigenous Peoples In Canada Out Of COVID Vaccines

Cases of COVID-19 are drastically devastating Indigenous communities across the globe. In Western Canada, this truth is quite alarming particularly because of how the rates have vastly risen in these communities. In fact, according to Canada Public Health and Indigenous Services data, “The rate of reported cases of COVID-19 in First Nations living on reserve is currently 40% higher than the rate in the general Canadian population.” Even more shocking, “The COVID-19 case fatality rate among First Nations living on reserve is about one-third of the case fatality rate in the general Canadian population.”

Still, despite all of this a wealthy Canadian couple had the temerity to lie about their residency and occupation. All in an attempt to receive doses of the COVID-19 vaccine meant for First Nation residents.

A businessman and his actress wife chartered a private plane to Beaver Creek to get vaccinated.

Rodney Baker, 55, and his wife Ekaterina Baker, 32, flew out to the community in Whitehorse last week. Whitehorse consists of approximately 100 people, most of whom belong to the White River First Nation. Upon arrival, the Bakers allegedly told members of the mobile vaccination clinic that they were employees of the local motel. Once they received their shots they flew back to Whitehorse on their private plane. 

The community became suspicious of the couple and someone eventually reported them to Yukon authorities. Investigating officers were able to track the couple down at the Whitehouse airport according to Yukon’s Minister of Community Services John Streicker.

The Bakers are now facing two charges under Yukon’s Civil Emergency Measures Act.

The charges include failure to self-isolate and failure to abide by a travel declaration. Yukon, where White River First Nation is located, has had a low number of cases per capita compared to the rest of Canada. Anyone who enters the area is supposed to requires anyone entering the territory to quarantine for 14 days. 

According to VICE, “The maximum possible penalty under the act is $500 plus a $75 surcharge per charge—meaning a maximum of $1,150 each—and/or up to six months in jail.”

News of the couple’s actions has led to Rodney Baker’s resignation as CEO of the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. According to VICE, “Baker’s former position netted him $10.6 million in salary and compensation in 2019.”

In a statement about the incident, White River Chief Angela Demit said that she was “deeply concerned by the actions of individuals who put our Elders and vulnerable people at risk to jump the line for selfish purposes.” Demit went onto underline the fact that the First Nation community was selected for priority vaccination because of “its high concentration of elderly people, limited access to healthcare, and remote location.”

The Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer has described the Bakers’ “deception” as extremely selfish. 

“It’s the height of selfishness,” Dr. Brendan Hanley said about their behavior.

In a statement about the incident, White River First Nation said in a press release that “White River First Nation is particularly concerned with the callous nature of these actions…as they were in blatant disregard of the rules which keep our community safe during this unprecedented global pandemic.” They also called the penalties that the couple will face insufficient.

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