Greetings & salutations, fellow coronavirus fighters! Hope all is well your way during this strange time! I myself have yet to adjust to it all. With everything shut down, I’ve not been able to get out like planned. Obviously the historic night of Indigenous comedy had been cancelled at the a House of Comedy. But so has everything else in the world! With all of that happening, I’m in the process of updating some equipment to enhance the Jonny R. Comedy experience for my loyal 7 fans. I will be getting back into film making despite the failure of getting the once highly anticipated Rez Comedy document out to the masses, which has truly been a disaster. But with so many people invested in it, I will not give up. I have “receipts” consisting of emails, text messages, inbox messages of trying to get in contact with those responsible for trying to bury this project.
But I digress. As of right now, I’m just working a real job, which I’m fortunate to have right now, while also keeping my family safely tucked away at home in the woods. I’ve also made sarcastic recommendations to my tribe in regards to the sharing of information about coronavirus news, which they’ve coincidentally done. Being informed is vital to preparing for what is yet to come. But as of 5/16/2020, there are zero cases of COVID-19 on the Red Lake Reservation, according to the recent update posted by chairman Darrell Seki, Sr.
In what can be described as a first, April Fools Day at the House of Comedy will host a night rarely seen; a lineup made up entirely of Indigenous comedians at a major comedy club. The idea came up on a post on Facebook. The club was looking for new ideas to bring a whole different look, something fresh. Red Lake Nation Ojibwe enrollee Jon Roberts answered the call and made the suggestion to Minneapolis comedian Mike Brody, who was intrigued, as Roberts has been to many open mics over the past 8 years in the Twin Cities. After the initial date agreed upon had been pushed back, Roberts and Brody agreed to April 1st.
The lineup will consist of Indigenous comedians that have made their mark throughout the country. Comics such as Black Hills Comedy Fest winner Sheldon Starr of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, Minneapolis favorite Will Spotted Bear of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, internet viral sensation “The Rez Reporter” Rob Fairbanks of the Leech Lake Ojibwe, along with 2018 Native American Music Awards – Comedian of the Year nominee Jon Roberts.
On Tuesday we will be presenting 1,212 applications for enrollment under our new enrollment ordinance. In this list there are many children that go to our schools, singers and language speakers that are carrying on our way of life, people that work for the tribe and our schools, graduates of Red Lake High School that have brought much honor and pride in leading our basketballs teams to state, and most importantly people that have expressed to me that they have been waiting their whole life to be recognized as tribal members. These are our members that will help carry on our way of life. Our council meeting is next Tuesday Feb. 11 at 9am and I encourage those in support of our new enrollment ordinance to attend. Let us end the cycle of internalized oppression and welcome our people with open arms. Let love not fear guide our decisions.