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Thursday, December 12, 2019

Ghost Dance: A Symbol of Defiance

The ghost dance was a religious movement that swept across Native American populations in the West in the late 19th century. What started as a mystical ritual soon became something of a political movement and a symbol of Native American resistance to a way of life imposed by the U.S. government.

A Dark Moment in History

As the ghost dance spread through western Native American reservations, the federal government moved aggressively to stop the activity. The dancing and the religious teachings associated with it became issues of public concern widely reported in newspapers.
As the 1890s began, the emergence of the ghost dance movement was viewed by white Americans as a credible threat. The American public was, by that time, used to the idea that Native Americans had been pacified, moved onto reservations, and essentially converted to living in the style of white farmers or settlers.
The efforts to eliminate the practice of ghost dancing on reservations led to heightened tensions which had profound effects. The legendary Sitting Bull was murdered in a violent altercation sparked by the crackdown on ghost dancing. Two weeks later, the confrontations prompted by the ghost dance crackdown led to the infamous Wounded Knee Massacre.
The horrific bloodshed at Wounded Knee marked the end of the Plains Indian Wars. The ghost dance movement was effectively ended, though it continued as a religious ritual in some places well into the 20th century. The ghost dance took a place at the end of a long chapter in American history, as it seemed to mark the end of Native American resistance to white rule.

keep reading 

The Mormons and the Ghost Dance of 1890 
 On 6 November 1890, Maj. Gen. Nelson A. Miles passed through Saint Paul, Minnesota, after a tour of Indian reservations in Utah, Montana, and Wyoming. During his stop in Saint Paul, the general spoke with reporters and speculated on the origins of the so-called messiah craze that was sweeping the western reservations. "Several small parties of Indians have gone west-ward from their tribes to some point," Miles began, "which, as near as I can locate, is in Nevada, and there they have been shown somebody disguised as the Messiah and have spoken with him." Since Indians from several different tribes had reported speaking with the "Messiah" in their own tongues, Miles concluded that a number of conspirators carried out the impersonation. As to who was instigating the movement, the general stated, "I cannot say positively, but it is my belief the Mormons are the prime movers in all this. I do not think it will lead to an outbreak," he added, "but where an ignorant race of people become religious fanatics it is hard to tell just what they will do."' The general's opinion proved to be wrong. In less than two months, the "Sioux Outbreak of 1890" led to the infamous Battle of Wounded Knee on 29 December 1890. Miles, in fact, directed the Sioux campaign and had sent the first troops to the reservation
Quoted in "Probably a Mormon Trick," New York Times, 8 Nov. 1890. p. 5.
Mormons and the Ghost Dance

go to Wounded Knee Museum here

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

50th annual National Day of Mourning

Indigenous people and supporters gathered on a windy, rainy cold day at Plymouth, Mass., on Nov. 28 for the 50th National Day of Mourning. 

The undaunted crowd included Indigenous peoples of the nations the Pilgrims menaced and murdered — Mashpee and Aquinnah and other bands of the Wampanoag, Massachusett, Narragansett, Nipmuc, Pequot, and other Native Nations from the immediate region, and Native peoples from across Great Turtle Island and the Land of the Condor — in a vibrant show of Indigenous resilience despite the genocide begun by those colonial settlers.
The banner of the United American Indians of New England, Nov. 28, Plymouth, Mass.

Moonanum James, Wampanoag, co-leader of United American Indians of New England, opened the rally on Cole’s Hill: “The first National Day of Mourning was held in 1970 in response to the refusal to let an Aquinnah Wampanoag man, Wamsutta Frank James, speak the truth at a fancy Commonwealth of Massachusetts banquet celebrating the 350th anniversary of the landing of the Pilgrims. Wamsutta and hundreds of Indigenous people and supporters gathered in Plymouth and observed the first National Day of Mourning, which UAINE has continued every year since.”
James said, “Over the years we repeatedly disrupted the ‘Pilgrims’ Progress’ parade, a tradition we continued until 1996. In 1997 we were blocked … and arrested for simply trying to march. The resulting defense of the Plymouth 25 led to the plaque you see over here on Cole’s Hill and the Metacom plaque we will visit when we march.” The English settlers killed the historic Wampanoag leader Metacom, also known as King Philip, and displayed his head on a spike for 25 years.
James pointed out: “The Pilgrims are glorified and mythologized because the circumstances of the first English colony in North America, Jamestown, were too ugly to hold up as an effective national myth.” School children now learn about the African slaves kept at Jamestown, and those first white settlers there actually turned to cannibalism to survive. 

James went on to take apart the official, untrue story of the Pilgrims seeking religious freedom, which they already had in the Netherlands. He noted they came as partners of a commercial venture, seeking profits —  “nothing more than a group of white men wanting to ensure they would get a return on their investments.”

The first actual thanksgiving dinner was proclaimed in 1637 by Governor Winthrop to celebrate the massacre at Mystic of hundreds of Pequot women, children and men by men from the Massachusetts colony. James recounted the words of Winthrop, who gloatingly described the Pequot people being run through with swords and burned alive. 

James called for support for the Mashpee Wampanoags’ petition and pending legislation in their current battle against the U.S. Department of the Interior, which ruled that their nation should not be able to take their own ancestral territory into trust. This is a direct attack on the self-determination and sovereignty of all Native Nations throughout the country. 

Wampanoag elder Bert Waters, 89, read the annual National Day of Mourning statement from long-standing Native political prisoner Leonard Peltier. American Indian Movement leader, father and artist Peltier has been imprisoned since 1976. (

UAINE co-leader Mahtowin Munro spoke to those present: “We acknowledge the many struggles that you have carried with you today on your backs, from the many efforts to stop pipelines to protect the waters, to the ongoing work to free Puerto Rico from U.S. colonialism, to the attempted desecration of Mauna Kea by scientists who lack respect for Indigenous sacred places, and to occupied Palestine. Defending tribal sovereignty is as much an issue today as it was at the original National Day of Mourning in 1970.” 

Both of the federally recognized tribes in Massachusetts, the Penobscot and the Aquinnah Wampanoag, have had their tribal sovereignty restricted and been denied the use of their own lands by settler governments. Massachusett, Nipmuc and others continue to fight for their sovereignty without recognition. 

Munro spoke of attacks on Indigenous people from Bolivia to Brazil, Australia, Honduras, Chile and Nova Scotia, everywhere Indigenous people continue to struggle to protect their lands: “We are all united in our fight against settler colonialism. And we must remember that what happens to one of us, happens to all of us.”

Munro also raised the ongoing attack on the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act. Before the ICWA was passed, about one-third of Indigenous children were removed from their families and adopted into white families. Right-wing forces want to return Native nations to that genocidal practice. And as Munro noted, over 70,000 children were detained and caged at the U.S. border this year alone, but “no one is illegal on stolen land!” 

Munro gave details on the struggle around Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two Spirits. Indigenous Nations are fighting against pipelines, fracking, mining and the “man camps,” which are connected to the murders of Indigenous women: “Attacking the Earth and attacking Indigenous people are intertwined, following centuries of murder of Native and African people by European invaders. Sixty percent of the world’s land animals have been wiped out since 1970. … 
“Only by listening to Indigenous people and dismantling the capitalist system, which allows climate collapse to happen in the first place, will we be able to save the planet. Indigenous peoples have always been the caretakers of the lands, waters and the life there, despite the efforts of settler governments to stop us from doing so. ‘We are not vanishing. We are not conquered. We are as strong as ever.’”

Indigenous struggles against corporate and settler government assaults on clean water, air and lands were addressed by speakers from throughout the hemisphere, from the fight against the mega hydrodam that threatens Labrador and Newfoundland lands and homes to the recent attacks on Indigenous peoples of Brazil in the Amazon. 

Many speakers spoke about Bolivia, where a U.S.-supported fascist coup forced the first Indigenous president, Evo Morales, from office following his popular election. Fascist elements have carried out attacks on and murders of Indigenous people, who are 65 percent to 70 percent of the Bolivian population.

The gathering marched to Plymouth’s formerly named Post Office Square to hear some words at the plaque commemorating the history of Metacom. This plaque and that on Cole’s Hill were won in the 1998 UAINE settlement on the dropping of the charges against the Plymouth 25, along with the right to march without a permit every year on National Day of Mourning and some small reparations for educational purposes. 

Then marchers continued down to the pebble called “Plymouth Rock” for final words before adjourning for the post-rally potluck social 2 miles away at a Lutheran church. The ruling-class Mayflower Association had bought the former Unitarian church, where marchers usually gather, and forced UAINE out this year.

As James said to the crowd on Cole’s Hill, “We will continue to gather on this hill till corporations and the U.S. military stop polluting the Earth. Until we dismantle the brutal apparatus of mass incarceration. We will not stop until the oppression of our Two-Spirit siblings is a thing of the past. 
When the homeless have homes. When children are no longer taken from their parents and locked in cages. When the Palestinians reclaim the homeland and the autonomy Israel has denied them for the past 70 years. When no person goes hungry or is left to die because they have little or no access to quality health care. When insulin is free. When union-busting is a thing of the past. Until then, the struggle will continue.”

Tromblay’s heritage is Huron nonstatus and mixed Southeast nations undocumented.

Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz on the Roots of the NRA and the Second Amendment

JEREMY SKAHILL: There’s a new book that just came out that lays out a provocative argument for getting rid of the Second Amendment in its entirety, and the book asserts that the NRA has become a white nationalist organization. That book is titled “Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment” and it was written by the radical historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. Her book tells a very different tale about the so-called gun culture in the United States and about how the Second Amendment was, at its core, a solidifying of the rights of white people to bear arms to steal native land by force, to capture so-called runaway slaves and to prevent rebellions from oppressed people. It wasn’t about hunting. It wasn’t about protecting against the tyranny of government. It wasn’t about simply protecting your property from criminals and thieves. Sure, those arguments are made by Second Amendment enthusiasm. They’re certainly representative of a lot of people’s motives for possessing guns.

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz is the author of many books, including “An Indigenous People’s History of the United States,” “Roots of Resistance: A History of Land Tenure in New Mexico,” and “Blood on the Border: A Memoir of the Contra War.” Her latest book, again, is called, “Loaded.”
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz joins me now. Welcome to Intercepted.

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz: Thank you, Jeremy.

JS: If the United States has a gun culture, what is that gun culture?

RDO: It’s a weapon of settler colonialism, all over the world: Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Argentina, where settler colonialism was used. But in the United States, by putting it in the Constitution, that sacred document, as an individual right, it veered considerably from those other settler colonies.
From the very beginning, guns and ammunition were required in the colonies, in Virginia and then in Massachusetts Bay Colony and then in Virginia first, that every man, every household had to have firearm and a certain amount of gun powder and bullets. And if they couldn’t afford that, the colonial government would subsidize it.
So, what were they so afraid of? That they had to have all these guns because they were on land that they had stolen by burning people’s villages down, by killing, raping, maiming and driving Native people into the periphery where they fought back and tried to regain their land and also keep them from taking more.
So, U.S. settler colonialism was really required, the whole build-up of the United States, a white nationalist democracy: Every man a king with land. And, of course, then, institutionalized slavery took hold by the 1670s — out of these militias they carved slave patrols as well.
So that dual usage: you know, the right to own human bodies and land and to steal them, kidnap people, and kill people — really genocide — is just written into the very cellular structure of the United States: The Constitution, every institution.
And that, plus the militarism that lasted from before, during and after independence, and continued until 1890, more than 100 years of daily, moment-by-moment warfare against native people, at the same time invading other countries: The Barbary wars in 1806 and 1809, and then Mexico, 1846 to ’48, that just continued and continued and then jumped over the Pacific and into the Caribbean and then into the whole world. So, the militarism is the key component of it and only a third of the population even own a gun, and there’s a good portion of those who are combat vets.

JS: Hmm. The exact text, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” — now, I’m not asking you about more recent interpretations by various courts, but at that time, in 1789, when they were referring to a well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, what was the historical context, and what did they refer to when they were talking about well-regulated militia?

RDO: Well they certainly weren’t talking about state militias, because those were provided for in the Constitution itself, that’s the genealogy of the National Guard. But the Bill of Rights which was, came later [than] the amendments, these were individual rights, very specifically individual rights, so they could only have referred to the existing citizen’s militias.
But they came to be self-organized — they were very well organized for selfish interests, for their own purpose — the state, the government had no authority over them whatsoever. And this was how the whole continent was taken, was these settlers themselves organized, that every, every settler a soldier, they’re all armed, they say, out in their fields and everything and they’re, they’re all well-organized, so they could in minutes call up of a militia and they knew what to do. It was in their self-interest, so.

JS: Well, what were these militia doing?

RDO: Killing Indians! Taking their land. And, then the land was theirs. And the slave patrols were also self-organized. It was really every white man had an obligation to keep an eye out, even if they didn’t own slaves to keep an eye out and turn in any stray black person that didn’t have a permit on him, that he’s doing some errand for the owner, and if he didn’t have that then he was considered a renegade — you know, had to be captured and returned to the owner.
 keep reading­čö╗

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Dear Georgina, the film

THE FILM Dear Georgina...
A Passamaquoddy elder journeys into an unclear past to better understand herself and her cultural heritage.

About the film
At age two Georgina Sappier-Richardson was removed from her home and Passamaquoddy community in downeast Maine by child protection services. She would never see her parents again. Terror and abuse followed over 16 years in four different foster homes.
Dear Georgina follows this Passamaquoddy elder from Motahkomikuk as she tries to fill in the blurry outlines of her identity. Now a grandmother Georgina is still attempting to re-integrate herself into the community she barely knew.

She remembers, “When I was 30 years old and I went back to the reservation this Indian lady told me, ‘You look exactly like your mother as a young person.’ So that made me feel special, made me feel real.” This propels Georgina’s lifelong mission to find herself. 
But despite her gregarious personality and infectious laugh, she is stuck straddling two different worlds.  At the end, Georgina travels to her foster community in northern Maine. Determined to reclaim some fragment of her lost childhood she makes an incredible discovery, but will it help heal decades old wounds?

Dear Georgina is a follow-up to the Emmy® award-winning Dawnland (2018), in which Georgina told a portion of her harrowing story of surviving foster care. Georgina is just one of many thousands of Indigenous children with similar stories. 

[Sundance supports indigenous film cycles, allowing indigenous people to be captured in their creative state and bring art back into their native land. This supports indigenous people and allows for others to see things from a different perspective and gain education on indigenous people’s lives.]
As said by Maine-Wabanaki, Gkisedtanamoogk, a prior professor at USM and Ted Talk speaker bringing light to indigenous people’s stories, “One common thread that bound us together was a deep abyss of love and gratitude.” More importantly, though, he does not just mean connecting indigenous people, but he means the connection that all human beings have to one another. “The life between sky and earth, everything is connected, everything, even people.”

Gold Chains: Slavery of California Natives, Child Trafficking

“Gold Chains” unearths the accounts of slavery in California
Faith Petrie, November 28, 2019, Los Angeles Sentinel

The ACLU of Northern California in collaboration with radio station KQED, the California Historical Society and the Equal Justice Society co-created an educational project directed at highlighting the stories of slavery throughout California.

Gold Chains: The Hidden History of Slavery in California includes 13 essays and six audio stories that present the experiences of African Americans and Native Californians during the 1800s.

Candice Francis, communications director of the ACLU of Northern California said that the project originally spawned from wanting to observe the 400th year since enslaved people were brought to the United States from Africa.

“We were guided to rather than take on that mammoth task, to look more closely at California because there was a hidden history there,” Francis said.

One story highlighted on the website surrounds California’s first governor, a white supremicists named Peter Hardeman Burnett. Burnett advocated for the genocide of Native Americans as well as the exclusion of African Americans and other minority groups in California.


Visit Gold Chains Website

Rosa: Kidnapped, Sold, and Killed

Native children often suffered horrific abuse as a result of a law that professed to send them to white families for self-improvement but instead created a form of legalized child slavery. The case of Rosa, in Mendocino County, is just one example of how the Act for the Government and Protection of Indians brutalized Native, and sometimes black children.
Rosa was between 10 and 12 years old and was believed to be from either the Yuki or Pomo tribe. In the winter of 1862, she was beaten and left to die in a snowstorm by a woman who had been granted legal custody of her under the law. The woman, identified in Mendocino County public records as “Mrs. Bassett,” had locked the child outside in freezing temperatures. Her partially clothed corpse was found in a box outside the woman’s home. Mendocino County authorities never brought charges, even though Bassett’s neighbors testified that she had left Rosa outdoors, causing the child’s death. Before her death, Rosa had been forced to work in the Bassett home as an indentured servant. According to an 1862 report in the Alta California newspaper, kidnappers could sell children for “$30 to $150 depending on their quality.” That same year, a child trafficker came to Ukiah with 16 children, ages six to 13. After he was arrested, the children became public wards. But instead of returning them to their families, county officials offered them to local white residents as “apprentices.” Bassett was among the more than 100 people who applied to become guardians of the children.
Letter from Major John Bidwill of Butte County on how widespread slavery of native people was: “[native people] all amoung us, around us, with us – hardly a farm house – a kitchen without them.”
Report from Indian Affairs Superintendent:
Superintendent of Indian Affairs, George M. Hanson, an ally of Lincoln and opponent of slavery, once found several white men making their way back from Humboldt County with native children in tow. The men said that the children were orphans, and they were providing them with homes and safety. When asked how they knew the children were orphans. The kidnappers replied that they had killed the parents themselves. 

Monday, December 9, 2019

10 books about residential schools to read with your kids

For parents reading these books at home to their children, Chrona says it's important to be mindful of what's appropriate, emotionally and developmentally.
"Talk with your children about what it is that they're reading, what it is that they understand," she said.
"It opens up that space for conversation."
The following ten books reflect on the residential school experience in different ways. They have all been identified as age-appropriate for children under 12 by reputable organizations, like FNESC and Project of Heart

More and more children will be reading stories about the legacy of residential schools and reconciliation in the classroom this year.

READ THEM ALL: 10 books about residential schools to read with your kids | CBC News

Mass Sterilization: Reproduction on the Rez

A 1970 Law Led to the Mass Sterilization of Native American Women. That History Still Matters

Brianna Theobald is the author of Reproduction on the Reservation: Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Colonialism in the Long Twentieth Centuryavailable now from the University of North Carolina Press.

Marie Sanchez, chief tribal judge on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation, arrived in Geneva in 1977 with a clear message to deliver to the United Nations Convention on Indigenous Rights. American Indian women, she argued, were targets of the “modern form” of genocide—sterilization.
Over the six-year period that had followed the passage of the Family Planning Services and Population Research Act of 1970, physicians sterilized perhaps 25% of Native American women of childbearing age, and there is evidence suggesting that the numbers were actually even higher. Some of these procedures were performed under pressure or duress, or without the women’s knowledge or understanding. The law subsidized sterilizations for patients who received their health care through the Indian Health Service and for Medicaid patients, and black and Latina women were also targets of coercive sterilization in these years.
But while Sanchez and the Native women with whom she organized responded to the results of that 1970 law, they also recognized that the fight against involuntary sterilization was one of many intertwined injustices rooted—as was their resistance—in a much longer history of U.S. colonialism. And that history continues to this day.
When the federal government forced Native peoples onto reservations in the 19th century, the situation produced a cascade of public-health disasters. By 1900, the American Indian population had reached its nadir of less than a quarter million. Infants and children proved particularly vulnerable to illness and death. One government official estimated in 1916 that approximately three-fifths of Indian infants died before age 5. On many reservations, women responded by bearing more children despite their compromised health. The historian Frederick Hoxie has argued that “only the maintenance of extraordinarily high birth rates” saved one nation from “dropping into oblivion.”


Friday, December 6, 2019

Eisenhower policy of "assimilation" led to adoption

...In 1950, under the Eisenhower policy of "Assimilation" of Native American Tribes, the Gabrielino-Tongva were effectively terminated. The Mexican-American War was settled by the Treaty of Guadalupe, which ceded California to the United States. ... The Eisenhower policy of "assimilation" also lead to the adoption of over 50,000 Native American children into white, often suburban households (until the practice was ended by the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978).

Thursday, December 5, 2019

My Spirit is Still Here #MMIWG

Walkthrough of the MMIW art exhibit "Bring Her Home: Stolen Daughters of Turtle Island" from Unicorn Riot on Vimeo.

Miikanan Gallery

Bring Her Home: Stolen Daughter of Turtle Island

Terri O’Connor - My Spirit is Still Here
Terri O’Connor – My Spirit is Still Here
Featuring original work by 20 Indigenous artists from across the United States and many tribal nations, Bring Her Home highlights the ongoing epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women. In light of the local movement to stop sexual exploitation and the international #MMIW awareness campaign, Bring Her Home shares visual stories of the impacted women through paintings, digital work, sculpture, and photography.
(more >>)

Bring Her Home is a project organized by All My Relations Gallery, an initiative of Native American Community Development Institute (NACDI), in partnership with the Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center, and American Indian Community Housing Organization. The exhibition is curated by Angela Two Stars and assistant curator Moira Villard.

The Severed Heads Campaign

Brutal, but true, the little-known account of the U.S. Army paying for beheadings during the ferocious Apache Wars.

The general sent out a list of prescribed Apaches who were to be killed and the bounties that would be paid upon the delivery of their heads. Crook surmised that the Apaches would turn on Delshay, Chan-deisi, Chunz, Cochinay and others in exchange for the reward or simply as a way to end the hostilities. “The more prompt these heads are brought in,” he told Schuyler, “the less liable other Indians, in the future, will be to jeopardize their heads.”


Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Native American in newsrooms

(2015) The following story is KEY to any discussion about Native Americans in news rooms and across Indian County. We need good stories and websites and newspapers who give accurate reporting and reflect the truth.

Police kill Native Americans at almost the same rate as African-Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Between 1999 and 2013, an average of .29 per 100,000 Native Americans were killed by police, compared to .3 per 100,000 for blacks and .11 per 100,000 for whites. “America should be aware of this,” argues Chase Iron Eyes, a lawyer and a leader of the Lakota People’s Law Project, which runs a publicity campaign called Native Lives Matter. But for the most part, America is not aware of this.

That may be changing, albeit slowly, as both mainstream media and Native American-run digital outlets begin to cover American Indian issues more robustly.

“We’re not necessarily focusing on the shadows and the sadness,” says Jason Begay, a Navajo who grew up on a reservation and runs the Native News Project, “but on how people are persevering.”
Tristan Ahtone, a member of the Kiowa tribe of Oklahoma who often reported for Al Jazeera America, won a following among Native Americans and others for writing about new topics, such as how one tribe is invoking treaty rights to stop another oil pipeline, the rethinking of the militant American Indian Movement that grew up alongside the Black Panthers in the 1960s, and an international indigenous basketball tournament. His approach: “Stop looking at Indian Country as a foreign place with foreign people doing foreign things. It keeps us apart from each other, and reinforces the idea that these people are different, that they’re victims, that they’re helpless. They get covered when there’s doom, gloom, or there’s blood. The cumulative effect is that you’ve got communities that are isolated from the rest of the country and generally distrustful of journalists, and that just creates a continuing cycle.”
Ahtone is one of only a handful of Native American journalists. There are 118 self-identified Indian journalists working at U.S. daily newspapers, according to 2015 data from the American Society of News Editors. That’s .36 percent of all U.S. newsroom employees.  Native American activists say there need to be more newsroom internships and training programs for aspiring Native American journalists.


And I’ll leave you with this quote about diversity in writing and publishing:

“You will be tokenized. Even when you get to write about your own experience of being a minority in America—you know, even that can be turned against you. Are you going to be used later on as leverage against an accusation of racism? Will you then be seen as a collaborator? In most cases the answer is yes….
“Hiring is a crucial step, but it is reformist. It’s not going to really fix anything, just sand off the rough edges, right? Because there is far more concern about appearing racist rather than not doing racist things. It’s not just a publishing thing. What else can I say but dismantle capitalism? And I don’t know that anything radical enough to do that wouldn’t hurt a lot of the people that we are trying to save. Barring world historical change, I don’t see really anything happening but a new paint job. It is systemic racism for a reason, it’s so essentially wound up with the system upon which everything is built.  You can ameliorate it.  You can palliate it.  But you can’t cure it.  This is what I sound like when I’m optimistic.” —Tony Tulathimutte, novelist, Private Citizens
My writing on this blog (and publishing new books here) is my humble attempt to broaden perspectives about Indigenous People/American Indians/First Nations… Thank you all for reading and following this blog! You matter to me! xoxoxo  Blog Editor Trace Hentz

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

States Move to Add Native American History to Curriculum

A recent report shows that 87% of state history standards include no mention of Native American history after 1900.

MINNEAPOLIS—On the heels of the National Indian Education Association's conference held in Minneapolis earlier this fall and just in time for Native American Heritage Month (in November), the nearby Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community announced a $5 million philanthropic campaign to fund resources, curriculum, and training on Native American heritage for teachers and administrators across Minnesota, according to the Star Tribune. "We're hoping we can move the needle in the narrative in Minnesota and be a model," Rebecca Crooks-Stratton, the secretary-treasurer for SMSC, told the newspaper.
A recent report by the National Congress of American Indians highlights the need for initiatives like SMSC's. Summarizing states' efforts to bring content about indigenous peoples and communities into K-12 classrooms across the country, the report found that 87% of state history standards include no mention of Native American history after 1900, and 27 states don't mention Native Americans in their K-12 curriculum.
However, 90% of states surveyed reported that they are working to improve the quality of and access to Native American education curriculum, and a majority of states indicated that Native American education is already included in their content standards, although far fewer require it be taught in public schools. Despite a dearth of requirements, educators don't have to wait for a state mandate to begin integrating Native American studies into their coursework, no matter their subject.

READ: States Move to Add Native American History to Education Curriculum | Best States | US News

Real Life Monster Andew Jackson

The truth about Jackson’s savagery was just as disturbing as the fake news. After a particularly bloody battle in 1814, Andrew Jackson’s men counted the dead Indians by cutting off their noses. They collected 557 noses.

and... (this comment)
Jackson ran an ad in the Nashville Gazette, in October, 1804, for the capture of a runaway slave, which stated that in addition to the reward, he would pay an extra $10 per 100 lashes (up to 300), to anyone who willing to inflict them upon his miscreant property. He was known to hold a vengeful lifetime grudge against anyone whom he felt had slighted him, regardless of how minor the supposed offense. His betrayal to the Choctow tribe, whom he persuaded to become American allies over the British during the war of 1812, culminated in the “Indian Removal Act” (Trail of Tears), of which he took personal responsiblity to see implemented, resulted in the death of thousands of men, women and children. It’s no surprise that the current occupant of the White House has this monster’s portrait prominantly displayed behind his desk, and even laid a wreath upon his grave to honor him.

READ: Andrew Jackson Was A Real-Life Horror Movie Monster

Read this astounding article at SLATE.
and read about his adopted son here

Monday, December 2, 2019

Honor the Treaties: Why Treaties Matter

A figure on a windswept road walks past a series of flags. An activist fights the wind while walking along Flag Road in Oceti Sakowin Camp as blizzard conditions grip the area around the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation outside Cannon Ball, North Dakota on December 6, 2016. Scott Olson/Getty Images6

Native leaders on what it would look like if the US kept its promises

The US has signed hundreds of treaties with Indigenous peoples. Here’s what would happen if the government actually honored them.

By Rory Taylor Sep 23, 2019, This story is part of a group of stories called First Person essays and interviews with unique perspectives on complicated issues.

While people in a single community will provide a range of perspectives — much less in all 573 federally recognized tribes — more often than not, a version of one answer always comes up about what the US needs to do: honor the treaties.

The US government signed 370 treaties with numerous Indigenous nations from 1778 to 1871.

While the language in the treaties is diverse, there are often certain common features of the pacts: a guarantee of peace, a definition of land boundaries, preservation of hunting and fishing rights, and provisions for protection against domestic and foreign enemies. (HUNT FISH GATHER)

But these pacts were signed across significantly different periods of history, with incredibly divergent views of what Indigenous nations were. That’s why listening to what Native peoples are actually asking for is so important.

READ: Native American treaties: What it would mean if the US honored them - Vox

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Compensation owed for suffering of First Nations children

The federal government should drop the appeal of the child compensation case and own up and make things right.
On Sept. 15, after 13 years of delay and a protracted battle, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal agreed with the First Nations plaintiffs that the federal government had been “wilful and reckless” with First Nations children who suffered racial discrimination since 2006, including being unnecessarily separated from their families.
This case was to seek compensation for children affected in the continuation of the Sixties Scoop where Indigenous children were taken from their families and placed in non-Indigenous foster homes.
The government had 30 days to appeal the ruling, so on Oct. 15, during an election campaign, the federal government appealed the decision.
If the Liberals want to know why their vote dropped in Indian country in the last election, they only have to look at the decision to appeal this case. When the announcement came out, the air went out of any Liberal momentum in Indian country. The tribunal ordered the federal government to provide compensation of up to $40,000 to First Nations children who were unnecessarily taken into care on or after Jan. 1, 2006.
Every so often, our colonial reality pokes through the surface and people wonder how such a thing could happen. Part of the blame can be laid at the feet of the government in power, but most of all it’s driven from within the civil service.

Human-rights tribunal critical of Ottawa for actions in child welfare case

Did you know?

Did you know?


What our Nations are up against!

What our Nations are up against!

Help in available!

Help in available!
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Diane Tells His Name

Please support NARF

Indian Country is under attack. Native tribes and people are fighting hard for justice. There is need for legal assistance across Indian Country, and NARF is doing as much as we can. With your help, we have fought for 48 years and we continue to fight.

It is hard to understand the extent of the attacks on Indian Country. We are sending a short series of emails this month with a few examples of attacks that are happening across Indian Country and how we are standing firm for justice.

Today, we look at recent effort to undo laws put in place to protect Native American children and families. All children deserve to be raised by loving families and communities. In the 1970s, Congress realized that state agencies and courts were disproportionately removing American Indian and Alaska Native children from their families. Often these devastating removals were due to an inability or unwillingness to understand Native cultures, where family is defined broadly and raising children is a shared responsibility. To stop these destructive practices, Congress passed the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).

After forty years, ICWA has proven to be largely successful and many states have passed their own ICWAs. This success, however, is now being challenged by large, well-financed opponents who are actively and aggressively seeking to undermine ICWA’s protections for Native children. We are seeing lawsuits across the United States that challenge ICWA’s protections. NARF is working with partners to defend the rights of Native children and families.

Indian Country is under attack. We need you. Please join the ranks of Modern Day Warriors. Please donate today to help Native people protect their rights.

where were you adopted?

where were you adopted?