The Native Hoop Creation Story:
James F. Morales was born in Mississippi and is a member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.
Native Hoop started as a dream and desire of James, to create something that would educate, benefit, help, and promote the Native American communities and people.
In 2005, James and his life partner Co were involved in many Native/Indigenous news groups, as well as creating and networking with other news groups. However, they both felt this was not enough.
“There is so much talent out there that is often over looked, and this is very true of the needs within many of the Native American communities,” James said.
James felt that there were very few social places on the internet that Native Americans could come together, and really feel at home. A place to share of themselves freely and to accomplish something for the people. James and his life partner tossed around names for his endeavor and settled on Native Hoop Therefore, his journey and Native Hoop began.
James’ life partner has supported and helped in news groups, etc., that James created in the past. But in talking together, James and she knew this journey with Native Hoop was something that needed to be by Native Americans for Native Americans.
Co, being Non-Native, knew the importance of the objective, and did and does know and understand the justifiable distrust of the "whites" and the "wannabees". So even though she can and does support him and Native Hoop in many ways, she realized it was not really possible for her to facilitate (co-own)... It was a journey he needed to share with other Native Americans to succeed.
James had a friend he chatted with online, off and on. He really enjoyed sharing with her and over time, just life in general. He felt her character, personality and insight was wonderful and could be an asset to Native Hoop. He approached his friend with his ideas, hopes, and dreams of what Native Hoop was about and what it could be.
She had similar desires to help the Native American communities and peoples and agreed to help James to bring a dream to a reality! In 2009, they worked very hard to get Native Hoop off the ground. In addition, many who joined in the original Native Hoop social group also worked hard to get the word out that Native Hoop is here! Without their help and support, Native Hoop would not be where and what it is today.
Similar to MySpace, it was just a place to come and gather. A place to get to know others from different tribes, to be able to share with each other the richness of their culture. The site itself focused on the pow wow circuit, by honoring and spotlighting different dancers, singers and drum crews that travel that circuit trying to pass on and keep alive the traditions and culture of the peoples they represent.
As Native Hoop grew, it also honored and spotlighted other members of the site; artisans of many and all forms that contribute positively to the site and to the peoples of the Native American communities. Native Hoop also owned and operated an online radio station (blog talk radio) that they used to promote and share what is going on the Pow Wow trail, and those around that represented and worked as well as contributed to Native America and their interests. It was also a way that our members could call in and say/share what they wanted or ask questions. For those who missed the shows they can listen to the achieved shows on blog talk radio. Native Hoop at one time owned and operated a full time internet radio station available to all that featured Native American music, from traditional to rap music. The station featured live shows from pow wows and interesting interviews of Native American peoples, who were an inspiration to all. Native Hoop also owned an online Television station, with it’s purpose to play video clips and shows that help to educate, entertain, and present content from cultures and traditions of all communities. It was also a goal to promote positive things going on within the Native American communities.
Native Hoop tried to have clothing with our logo for members and those at pow-wows to purchase to help make Native Hoop self-sufficient and profitable, in order to help within the Native American communities!
The purpose of Native Hoop is to maintain a site that is created by Natives for Natives, to continue promoting the culture, traditions, and peoples in a positive way. Native Hoop really is a movement of Natives from tribes across the country, who are reaching out together for the advancement of the people. Native Hoop says and means WE are ONE people, reaching together to build a new generation, who will continue to be the inspiration of the Elders before them. We also want to help Native Hoop to make a difference in the life of those who needs it. Together, we hope to help our young ones respect and understand the power and positives of our people!
When James's friend decided to step back from Native Hoop, it was very hard for all of us. Tammy, a longtime friend from the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, stepped up in all areas to help us continue. Tammy has crossed over and is no longer with us, but we sure are thankful for her contributions, but do continue to miss her.
As our old social area decided to become one that was unaffordable to him, Facebook was becoming popular. So we began to move our community into Facebook for networking together and to keep growing.
Our dream and hopes were to make 100% of their profits go towards donations to help our youth and our Elders who are in need. Native Hoop will help, to the best of their ability, help programs that already exist, and/or help to create new programs. In time, we decided we would need to go to a non-profit status in order to become viable and most helpful within our communities and to ensure our growth.
The need is there and the need is REAL! Native Hoop needs your support to reach out to others. Native Hoop asks that we all work together, to let all native know that we are a family. Be a supporter, a donor, a volunteer. Be the ONE person who wants to make a difference! Join Native Hoop!! Come join us and be a part of the movement towards the progression of our people. Together, we can build!
It has been exciting to watch Native Hoop grow. There are many Native Americans here in the United States and Indigenous people in Canada, from all walks of life, of all ages and from many tribes that are joining and promoting Native Hoop. Members are located all across the world. They are the heart and soul of Native Hoop.
You will also find some, who are supporters of Native Hoop, who have honest respect (some with Native American heritage and some not) for the Native American peoples. Their support of Native Hoop and their goals to help and promote Native American culture, traditions and positive growth is essential.
Native Hoop Magazine rolled out once, but was put away for a while due to unforeseen circumstances.
Due to others that followed us to Facebook continuing to ask for the magazine to be brought back, James teamed up with Joleen Brown in 2011, and they worked hard to gather team members to help bring this dream back to reality.
Again, we would like to say this: Native Hoop is Natives for Natives and that is their primary goal to reach out to the first peoples. To join together to accomplish great things within the communities.
There are a lot of different groups and organizations represented thru the members of Native Hoop. Native Hoop itself is consistently cross promoting with others within Native country to promote all of our growth.
Native Hoop is simply put - Natives Promoting for Natives, and finding new ways to provide opportunities for Natives across Turtle island.
Joleen Brown started working with Native Hoop at the end of 2011 and the first issue was in 2012. Since then, Native Hoop has grown so much. By the issue #2 Native Hoop went worldwide. And has grown from there.
James and Joleen have worked hard to make sure the basic needs of the people are met. They created the simple rules that is followed to protect all tribes and their traditions, and to make sure there is no mockery of native people by the new agers who really have no clue about our culture and traditions. We felt that cultural appropriation was a problem, and to prevent other issues or infighting, the last rules were created:
1) NO CEREMONIES
2) NO New Age
3) No Bashing of others.
2) NO New Age
3) No Bashing of others.
Native Hoop has never been about James or Joleen. It has always and will continue to be about the people. James and Joleen may run the magazine and work on the promotions, but Native Hoop is always about the people. The writers, photographers, and every position of each person promoted regardless, the foundation is what Native Hoop is about, The people.
Many have started with Native Hoop and continued to other places. That is what we are about. Provide opportunities to help our people. Our people all volunteer and work together to promote the people and give back.
James Morales stepped down in 2018 and to allow Joleen take charge of Native Hoop. But the one thing about Native Hoop is we are a family. We help each other, we check on each other, and we continue to be supportive of each other and everyone who has been a part of Native Hoop. Once you are part of the family you will always be a part of the family.
One of the great things about Native Hoop is we strive to continue to provide opportunities. Just because one starts with Native Hoop does not mean they have to stay with Native Hoop, we want our people to continue on. Many have stayed with us from the beginning and many have moved on. That is what we want. But many have stayed as well, we love that too.
We are so excited to see Native Hoop Grow. We are now a nonprofit, and have opened a youth section that we are trying to get off the ground. We also are starting a video section on our own YouTube channel. There are more things we are working on that we would like to keep quiet about till we can make sure they are fully operational.
But please keep watching for what Native Hoop is doing, and the new opportunities we try to create for the people.
Everyone at Native Hoop is a volunteer. This is our way to give back to the people. We encourage the people to become a part of Native Hoop. Because without the people, we would not be where we are today.
Thank you for being a part of Native Hoop. We could not do what we do if it was not for each and every one of you.