A Magazine to Uplift Our Community
A Conversation with the Founder of “Tribal Prestige” Magazine
By Kaitlyn Benally
Magazines provide readers with a wealth of information, inspiration, and creative ideas in a portable and easy to read format. Studies have shown that consumers acquire positive pleasure from reading magazines whether it be in-print or online. Furthermore, reading a magazine is one way to spend our leisure, stimulate our mind and reawaken our spirit. Tony Skrelunas, founder of TribeAwaken.com, gave an in-depth interview about the decision to launch an unique online magazine.
The main purpose of having a magazine is to bestow knowledge, story, uplifting articles, community innovation to our Native people and communities. “Tribal Prestige” is about giving back from our business, investing in good writing and story, and ensuring that all who want help can be uplifted. To Tony the most important meaning of being “tribal” is to completely engage in the value of ensuring that our kids, our relatives, our neighbors, you and I’s tribe succeeds. What does succeed mean? Its more than about money or career. In the old days success meant knowing how to live in harmony through ceremony and prayer, to grow your own food or collect and hunt, to build a home, to be able to defend your family and community, to heal the sick, to ensure that all foods were entrusted with healing properties through prayer, offering, and song. To ensure that the tribe’s collective history and success formulas were passed on to younger generations. This ensured that all would thrive in the harshest of conditions.
This type of collective uplifting is what ensured our people’s survival for thousands upon thousands of years. There are many values and teachings that we are taught and pass on to our children and community to ensure they have similar opportunity.
In many tribes, we are taught to help each other, to always be welcoming, to acknowledge and make our guests, our elders, or esteemed medicine people feel honored for all that they have been through so we have this opportunity to live and learn. We are taught to help out, especially in times of ceremony, celebration, or even under the worst circumstance. I am sure you have heard from your grandma or grandpa that to help, to bring something to an event even if you don’t have much, means the utmost to the universal beings and that you and your family will be gifted back by Creator several times over. This same mindset applies to sharing knowledge to help a fellow tribal member succeed in whatever pursuit they may have or to just keep a youngster on a positive track. Right now with what our world is experiencing, many of your neighbors, your own extended family, your community members may be suffering. They could use a prayer, or a little bit of your knowledge of how to make their situation better. We have created this publication to, in our own way, offer help to that person. For by helping, we activate the most positive ions of our universal beings to once again ensure that we thrive for the future.
Tony is very passionate about giving back to our people by sharing teachings about how to celebrate life in everything from traditional foods, exercise, business, our ancient ways of farming, and even supporting our sheepherding traditions. His company Tribe Awaken is doing business in several areas to build up our tribal economies. As a part of honoring the tribal teachings he values so much, Tony has dedicated a large portion of the revenues to creating articles covering these subjects to uplift tribal communities all over the world.
Tribal Prestige magazine targets people who aspire for more self-actualization in their life and want to reawaken their potential. There is a Navajo saying that helps Tony and he would like to share. It is a story about the Hash’jél'tí'í (the Navajo morning gods) who bless the people who get up early, pray, and run among them in the morning. Navajos are told to keep their house in order, to wear traditional jewelry as a way to honor the morning gods, to put your hair in a bun to keep your thoughts collected, and not to be slouching or sloppy. Navajos are taught to be poised, elegant, strong, and confident. If you're living in a lazy way, the gods will say this individual is already wealthy and is already blessed so they forgo their blessings for the next home. “If you're dressed in the decorations from the sacred mountains, you're praying and running in the morning, and you have things together, you are generous and giving of your time and gifts, then they bestow their blessings upon you.” This is what the magazine is about, to help Native people get in touch with their culture and apply traditional teachings to their life in order to achieve success as an individual, family, and community. This raises the question of what tools are out there for those who want more from their life? Tribal Prestige magazine looks into these tools and shares them with others. The targeted audience is those that want more for their community and their selves. Even though one is educated or has an affluent life, it is important to always be learning. That is one of the habits of successful people, to always be learning and knowing that there's always room to grow. It is important to learn new ways and try new ways to keep things fun and interesting.
The Tribal Prestige Magazine team plans on having monthly issues with and several original articles a week. We have several writer/contributors and are excited to experiment. We are building up our expertise and using some of the best online tools such as using artificial intelligence to find news relevant to our magazine. We are also creating our own content with original writings. We want to tell a different and positive type of story by interviewing community leaders, artists, dancers, runners, builders, solar people, gardeners, and sheepherders about what their drive is, their success formula, and what are their tips for living a successful life. We will have a Tribe Prestige shop that is connected to our commerce platform, We also plan to promote and support Native businesses and entrepreneurs by allowing them to advertise in our articles. We want to offer the magazine worldwide because there are people who can benefit from our knowledge everywhere from Canada, South America, Australia, Africa, China, and so forth. Our goal is to share knowledge across global communities. Who knows what will happen down the road because of our magazine.