Blog Bonus: An App Tells Overlooked History of the Largest Slave Port | A Night at the Garden | WTH?

The Museum of Yesterday is an augmented reality app that excavates the secret histories of Rio de Janeiro, including its major role in the transatlantic slave trade.

SEE: An App Tells the Overlooked History of the Largest Slave Port in the Americas

https://www.theatlantic.com/video/iframe/542499/

When 20,000 American Nazis Descended Upon New York City
Oct 10, 2017 | Video by Marshall Curry

In 1939, the German American Bund organized a rally of 20,000 Nazi supporters at Madison Square Garden in New York City. When Academy Award-nominated documentarian Marshall Curry stumbled upon footage of the event in historical archives, he was flabbergasted. Together with Field of Vision, he decided to present the footage as a cautionary tale to Americans. The short film, A Night at the Garden, premieres on The Atlantic today (10-10).

“The first thing that struck me was that an event like this could happen in the heart of New York City,” Curry told The Atlantic. “Watching it felt like an episode of The Twilight Zone where history has taken a different path. But it wasn’t science fiction – it was real, historical footage. It all felt eerily familiar, given today’s political situation.”

Rather than edit the footage into a standard historical documentary with narration, Curry decided to “keep it pure, cinematic, and unmediated, as if you are there, watching, and wrestling with what you are seeing. I wanted it to be more provocative than didactic – a small history-grenade tossed into the discussion we are having about White Supremacy right now.”

“The footage is so powerful,” continued Curry, “it seems amazing that it isn’t a stock part of every high school history class. This story was likely nudged out of the canon, in part because it’s scary and embarrassing. It tells a story about our country that we’d prefer to forget.”
Author: Emily Buder SOURCE

WTH? Say what? –>  Per Eric Levitz at NYMag, “Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says that the Trump Administration will not remove Confederate monuments from federal lands out of consideration for the feelings of ‘native Indians.’”

[More of the history we are not supposed to know, right?… It is really a big problem – all this bad history makes people confused… L/T]

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History’s Losers Write the Story | Mormon’s Complicated History | Plant Walks | Divest | Culture Camp | Luna

 

Like other religious groups, Mormons have a complicated history around race. Until a few decades ago, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints taught that they “shall be a white and a delightsome people,” a phrase taken from the Book of Mormon. Until the 1970s, the LDS Church also restricted black members’ participation in important rituals, and prohibited black men from becoming priests.

BIG READ: The History of Racism and White Supremacy in the Mormon Church – The Atlantic

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To prevent their collective cultural knowledge about medicinal plants from disappearing, some Vermont tribal nations are sharing their expertise with those outside the native communities.

LISTEN: To Keep Native Medicinal Knowledge Alive, Leaders Organize Plant Walks | Vermont Public Radio

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Corporations and banks will not move on from the fossil fuel era because of our compelling moral and ecological arguments about why they should. So we are learning to speak their language. Money talks…

Source: Kill the Funding, Kill the Pipeline, Divest the Globe by Matt Remle | LRInspire

 

Performance artist James Luna, a member of California’s Luiseño tribe, likes to blur the boundaries of his Native American culture. On Columbus Day in 2011, he stood in front of Washington, D.C.’s Union Station and invited passersby to take his picture. He spoke with the magazine’s Jess Righthand.

So how did it work?
Standing at a podium wearing an outfit, I announce: “Take a picture with a real Indian. Take a picture here, in Washington, D.C. on this beautiful Monday morning, on this holiday called Columbus Day. America loves to say ‘her Indians.’ America loves to see us dance for them. America likes our arts and crafts. America likes to name cars and trucks after our tribes. Take a picture with a real Indian. Take a picture here today, on this sunny day here in Washington, D.C.” And then I just stand there. Eventually, one person will pose with me. After that they just start lining up. I’ll do that for a while until I get mad enough or humiliated enough.

It’s dual humiliation.

READ: Q and A: James Luna | Arts & Culture | Smithsonian

A Retrospective of Edgar Heap of Birds Rises High

With public art pieces, biting political, text-based work, and more intimate abstract paintings, this small exhibition illuminates Heap of Birds’s expansive career.

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According to Bill Anthes’s book, Edgar Heap of Birds, the artist began his “Native Hosts” series back in 1988. Like the new commission displayed outside Bockley Gallery, the “Native Hosts” contain the “settler” name of a place written backwards, with the Native Host spelled forward, welcoming the viewer. Like many place names around the country, Minnesota is a derivation of a Native American word (“Mní sóta” means clear blue water in Dakota), but its appropriation by a state responsible for many atrocities against Native people warrants Heap of Birds’s critical treatment.  Cloud Man Village, meanwhile, was a short-lived community led by Dakota chief Cloud Man, on the banks of the Bde Maka Ska lakeThe Bockley Gallery currently has on view a mini-retrospective of the work of Edgar Heap of Birds (whose Cheyenne name is Hock E Aye VI), which contains examples of different bodies of work the Cheyenne/Arapaho artist has created over his extensive career.

Heap of Birds’s showing at Bockley offers a small taste of the immense body of work this artist has created over a number of decades, and the only improvement I can suggest is that he deserves much more recognition. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from the “Scaffold” and Jimmie Durham controversies, it’s that there’s a need for more attention to be paid to Native artists working in contemporary practices.

Edgar Heap of Birds runs through October 21 at Bockley Gallery (2123 West 21st Street, Minneapolis).

READ MORE: A Retrospective of Edgar Heap of Birds Rises High

Lynching in American Art | Indigenous knowledge in the classroom | Symbols of Conquest | Reflections of Monday Night Football and Las Vegas

The Legacy of Lynching is a collaboration between the museum and the nonprofit Equal Justice Initiative, presenting racial histories we’ve long been asleep to.

“Our silence is creating a burden,” said civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson at the launch of The Legacy of Lynching: Confronting Racial Terror in America at the Brooklyn Museum. “We’ve got to do something to get closer to freedom, and that means talking about some things we haven’t talked about.” The exhibit, which runs through October 8, is a collaboration between the museum and Stevenson’s nonprofit Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), and it reckons with racial histories we’ve long been asleep to.

It’s striking to find no explicit photographs — no horror images, for instance, of police handcuffs on lynching victims’ wrists — at The Legacy of Lynching, a choice the curators made to approach the topic respectfully, according to the Brooklyn Museum website. It’s a haunting absence, one that resists the spectacle that has historically conferred lynching with such power. Yet The Legacy of Lynching comes at a time when subtlety barely perks the ears of those who most need to hear and understand. Today, resurgent white nationalists are rehearsing their own unsubtle symbols, from the casually placed noose to the tightly clutched torch. One wonders whether we need stronger historical images as a counterpoint.

“They took off the white robe and put on the black robe,” says Hinton. With EJI’s legal assistance, he was exonerated after 30 years in prison.

The Legacy of Lynching: Confronting Racial Terror in America continues at the Brooklyn Museum (200 Eastern Pkwy, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn) through October 8. 

SOURCE

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“What have we failed to know and at what cost?” An education professor draws upon Indigenous literature to support a personal journey into classroom decolonization. (Top Photo)

READ: How I am learning to include Indigenous knowledge in the classroom

 

 

 

 

Last night on Monday Night Football, one team came out of the tunnel with a racist mascot on their jerseys and helmets, and the other team’s fans were mimicking throwing tomahawks and singing some sort of pathetic war whoop. Both of the teams’ owners seemed fine with it. No one in the broadcast booth said anything. There were no tweets from President Trump about it. And all of the sponsors and advertisers like GMC, Geico, several beer companies and many other mainstream corporations (both foreign and domestic) gladly hawked their wares throughout the entire event.

This all happened less than 24 hours after a white guy shot his fully automatic weapon into a crowd of people, killing at least 59 people and injuring 527 in a horribly evil and incredibly tragic event in Las Vegas. But throughout the day most news organizations referred to this shooting as the deadliest mass shooting in the history of America.

Apparently, the media forgot about the massacre at Wounded Knee, which left 350 dead, or the massacre at Sand Creek which killed nearly 200 men, women, and children from the Cheyenne and Arapahoe tribes. Or perhaps they only meant massacres for which the U.S. Congress DIDN’T award Congressional Medals of Honor.

GOOD READ: Reflections of Monday Night Football and Las Vegas – Native News Online

Gun violence kills about 90 people every day in the United States, a toll measured in wasted and ruined lives and with an annual economic price tag exceeding $200 billion. For many years, scholars have explored the possible ties between mental illness and violence. They have found that most people with a serious mental illness are not violent, that mental illness is not a strong risk factor for homicide. READ MORE

Tom Petty wished he hadn’t used Confederate flag on 1985 tour (click)Late rock icon Tom Petty once admitted he wished he hadn’t featured a Confederate flag at past concerts — 30 years after he prominently displayed the controversial Southern symbol throughout his 1985 tour.

The Gainesville, Fla., native — who died Monday at 66, a day after going into cardiac arrest — told Rolling Stone in 2015 that he regretted using the flag during shows on his “Southern Accents” tour, contending he was “ignorant” about its true meaning.

Some look at the flag, which was flown by the South during the Civil War, as a symbol of racism.

“The Confederate flag was the wallpaper of the South when I was a kid growing up in Gainesville, Florida. I always knew it had to do with the Civil War, but the South had adopted it as its logo,” he told the music outlet shortly after South Carolina officials opted to remove the flag from their statehouse.

Tom Petty’s death draws attention to dangers of cardiac arrest

So much news, so much tragedy, so much history… Be well my friends. Hug your children.  Rest in Peace Harry and Tom. Lara/Trace

Best Contemporary Native Art | Standing Rock Chairman loses election #NoDAPL | 60s Scoop

A new traveling exhibition of some of the best contemporary Native American artworks of the past 25 years, Native Art Now!, opens Nov. 11-12 at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art. The field of contemporary Native art takes center stage in Indianapolis as the exhibit opening coincides with a convening of leading Native artists, scholars and others for roundtable discussions, accompanied by a Native Art Now! television documentary and book.

As both a retrospective celebration and a summit meeting for influencers in contemporary art, Native Art Now! will promote appreciation for today’s Native art and artists, and generate dialogue about the current state of the field and its future challenges. The exhibition features 39 iconic works of Native art that the museum acquired primarily through its Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship, including installations, paintings, prints, sculptures and glass and fabric art. Visually compelling works from artists Truman Lowe, Allan Houser, Kay WalkingStick, Meryl McMaster and Nicholas Galanin among others will be on view in the special exhibition gallery that opens to visitors Saturday, Nov. 11.

READ: Enlightening Exhibition of Nation’s Best Contemporary Native Art Opens Nov. 11 – 12 – Native News Online

Todd Coon and his sister Patsy were “scooped” by child welfare authorities when they were just toddlers in the wake of a 1966 Winnipeg house fire.

READ: ‘I thought I was alone’: Sixties scoop survivors gather in Ottawa | Ottawa Citizen

BREAKING NEWS: Zinke: One-third of Interior employees not loyal to Trump

Is Zinke Going to Start a Ideological Purge at Interior?

…Zinke’s comments echo complaints by some White House allies that a permanent, “deep state” in Washington has sabotaged Trump’s efforts to remake the government.

Zinke did not go that far, but he lamented a government culture that prizes analysis over action, saying: “There’s too many ways in the present process for someone who doesn’t want to get (a regulatory action) done to put it a holding pattern.”

To remedy that, Zinke said he is pursuing a major reorganization that would push much of the agency’s decision-making outside Washington and move several agencies, including the Bureau of Reclamation and Bureau of Land Management, to undetermined Western states.

The moves follow military strategy, Zinke said: “Push your generals where the fight is.”

While details remain largely under wraps, Zinke said he was excited. “It’s going to be huge,” he said in a speech to the National Petroleum Council, an advisory committee that includes leaders of the oil and gas industry. “I really can’t change the culture without changing the structure.”

Besides moving employees, Zinke said he wants to speed up permits for oil drilling, logging and other energy development that now can take years.

“The president wants it yesterday,” Zinke said, referring to permits for energy development. “We have to do it by the law.”

On other topics, Zinke said the Endangered Species Act has been “abused” by bureaucrats and environmental groups and needs to be reformed to be less “arbitrary.”

“There is no off-ramp” for species to be removed from protected status, he said.

Zinke also offered a quirky defense of hydraulic fracturing, a drilling technique also known as fracking that has led to a years-long energy boom in the U.S., with sharply increased production of oil and natural gas.

“Fracking is proof that God’s got a good sense of humor and he loves us,” Zinke said without explanation.

READ: Zinke: One-third of Interior employees not loyal to Trump

a little more background on Fracking?  HALLIBURTON LOOPHOLE!

 

(top photo) NEW STORY: LA TIMES

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke walked into a big gathering of the National Petroleum Council on Monday already facing at least two government probes for his management of the department’s workforce of 70,000 — but that didn’t stop him from bashing his employees.

‘The devil’s rope’| Bullsh*t | Got Class? | UBI | Baby Daddies | Bear’s Ears ++

I’m reading:

How the spread of barbed wire helped redraw the map of the USA.

96827134_hi019703274-2There was a reason they were so hungry for it.  A few years earlier, President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Homestead Act of 1862.

Uncharted territory

The act specified that any honest citizen – including women, and freed slaves – could lay claim to up to 160 acres (0.6 sq km) of land in America’s western territories. All they had to do was build a home there and work the land for five years.  The homesteading farmers were trying to stake out their property – property that had once been the territory of various Native American tribes. No wonder those tribes called barbed wire “the devil’s rope”.  READ UP: ‘The devil’s rope’: How barbed wire changed America – BBC News

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Scream it into the cake?

With a few notable exceptions, we should assume that any celebrity talking about “resistance” is actually pointing to limited change, and proceed with caution accordingly.  READ: A Resistance Led By Celebrities Will Always Be Bullshit | L.A. Weekly

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CLASS?

“What makes Currid-Halkett’s argument powerful is that she mines the data to prove that the members of this group are passing on their privilege to their children in just as pernicious a way as the old aristocrats passed on their estates and titles.”–Harry Wallop, The Times

“There is a lot to learn here about the contemporary face of income inequality.”–Publishers Weekly

“Social class is not produced through consumption but rather it is attained through the adoption of values and aesthetics and the ability to decipher symbols and signs beyond materialism,” writes Elizabeth Currid-Halkett in The Sum of Small Things: A Theory of the Aspirational Class, published in May of this year by Princeton University Press. That’s true, and not news; mannerisms count. In the United States, new money has long been shunned by old, in part because new money sometimes found its way into the hands of non-whites and non-Protestants, and in part because people heady with fresh fortune tend to flaunt tacky taste. (They insist every room be gold, choose Orlando as the site for the country’s largest home, and flip tables when they’re angry.) But there’s class and then there’s class.

“The aspirational class is a big and powerful cultural formation,” she writes, and it’s a group that may be “even more pernicious than the superrich who are vilified in the media.” In alleged contrast to the superrich, the aspirational class is a threat because they “shore up their and their children’s distinct sociocultural (and often economic) position of privilege, leaving everyone else out.”

Rich people are notorious for being out of touch, but they’re not always completely stupid; flaunting wealth during a time of expanding economic inequality doesn’t just make you reviled, it may make you a target

READ: So You Think You’ve Got Class? – The New Inquiry

***** Universal Basic Income

Around the world, there is a lot of buzz around the idea of universal basic income (also known as “unconditional basic income” or UBI). It can take different forms or vary in the details, but in essence: UBI is the idea a government would pay all citizens, employed or not, a flat monthly sum to cover basic needs. This funding would come with no strings attached or special conditions, which would remove any potential stigma associated with receiving it. In short: it would be free money.

READ MORE on the FINNISH EXPERIMENT

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Baby Daddies and Dandy Scandals

Excerpt:

The case of dynastic gazillion-heirs Kate Rothschild and Ben Goldsmith’s recent public implosion made for startlingly expensive dirty linen. Repudiating their illustrious predecessors’ unwavering dedication to keeping up appearances, yet unwilling to settle for the unspeakably bourgeois condition of unhappy monogamy, 29-year-old Kate and 31-year-old Ben duked it out on Twitter this summer over Kate’s trysts with a hip-hop star. Her naughtiness was preceded, it emerged, by Ben cheating “several times” (including with Pippa Middleton, if tittle-tattle is to be believed). The fascination with which the English-speaking world greeted Kate and Ben’s deranged tweeting was all the greater, given their ilk’s usual ethos of “not in front of the servants.” Indeed, Rothschild family members have otherwise invariably shunned the limelight: in a rare 2010 newspaper interview, Kate’s uncle Jacob beseeched the journalist: “If you decide to write anything, I’d rather it wasn’t about me.” And Ben’s late father, litigious billionaire financier James Goldsmith, was once so outraged by a reporter’s personal question that he performed a citizen’s arrest.

Zac, Ben’s older brother, has inherited both his father’s privacy concerns, and his predilection for behavior that might call for privacy. Last year, Conservative MP Zac, 37, called for parliament to “design proper privacy laws” so that the media can’t “invade people’s privacy unless there’s good reason.” Whether snapping photos of Zac visiting Kate’s younger sister, Alice Rothschild, for an “afternoon of passion” constitutes good reason is a conundrum for sharper minds to ponder; suffice it to say that without the media glare directed on Zac’s extramarital activities, he may well not have divorced his wife, Sheherazade, but rather continued to exercise his genetic entitlement to sexual carte blanche.   MORE HERE

The Rothschild Family Are (still) the Wealthiest Family in Human History (really) – read this (top photo, family crest)

Despite the dilution of the Rothschild Family’s wealth, there are still a number of extraordinarily wealthy individuals bearing the Rothschild surname. The largest of these fortunes belongs to the British financier Jacob Rothschild, who is worth around $5 billion USD, whilst another British financier, Sir Evelyn De Rothschild, has a fortune of $20 billion USD.

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READ: Secretary Zinke Advises Trump to Leave a Legacy of Broken Promises with Tribes – Native News Online

Federal Protection For Utah National Monument Threatened

New Hampshire Public Radio

There are five Native American tribes whose homelands border the Bears Ears National Monument in Southeast Utah.

NOYES: Bears Ears National Monument is protected now, and it’s actually been 80 years in the making to realize its protection. And its ancestral lands of not only these five tribes but many other tribes who have built cliff dwellings here, who have recorded their histories, who visit the area to gather medicinal herbs, to hunt, to conduct ceremonies.

SIEGEL: Now, that was the case before it was declared a monument. What are the specific protections that came with monument status and that are at risk if they’re withdrawn?

NOYES: It’s had a lot of looting and grave robbing that’s been happening at the site – there’s approximately a hundred thousand archaeological sites in the region. And so people have been taking these sacred objects out of the area. And it’s also at increasing risk to uranium development, potash, oil and gas. And so there are a lot of threats to the area.

***White Nonsense Roundup on Facebook.

Breaking News: Sacred Native American sites in the Valley Destroyed with a Mighty Shrug

“Once they dismantle them, that is a desecration. All their reconstruction is a replica work of art, not a spiritual stone feature.” Doug Harris, Narragansett Tribe

Excerpt:  Make way for the gas pipeline

One issue central to the native community in New England are sacred ceremonial stones along the path of the Tennessee Gas pipeline that are hundreds, if not thousands of years old. In Sandisfield, most of the stones that were identified have been destroyed, though some were preserved by Kinder Morgan.

“The eastern tribes utilized the ceremonial stone features a part of their ceremonies calling to the spirit of our mother, the Earth, to bring balance and harmony,” Narragansett Indian Tribe Deputy Tribal Historic Preservation Officer Doug Harris said. “From that, we interpret that it’s a place where someone may have been killed either by an animal or another human. That area, although a person’s remains may have been taken elsewhere for burial or cremation, would have been greatly traumatized in spirit. In order to bring balance and harmony back to that traumatized area one of the forms was to make prayer in the form of stones calling on the spirit energy of our mother, the Earth.”

Sara Hughes, a spokesperson for Kinder Morgan, confirmed that 13 of 73 ceremonial stone features were relocated. The remaining 60 ceremonial stones were destroyed.

“We were required to relocate 13 after adapting our construction approach to accommodate and avoid the majority of the structures,” she said. “The stone features that remained in place have been protected with signage and fencing during construction activities, and are being closely monitored on a daily basis … The features have been securely stored and will be moved back to their original location and orientation when project restoration occurs. We expect to complete the restoration process and place the project into service by Nov. 1.”

Harris said he was given the opportunity to monitor the process, but refused because he considered it sacrilege.

“They would document them, store them, and then reconstruct them,” he said. “They seemed to feel that this was acceptable and I explained to them that once they dismantle them, that is desecration. All their reconstruction is a replica work of art, not a spiritual stone feature.”

Anne Marie Garti, an attorney representing the Narragansett Indian Tribe,  said FERC did not allow the Tribe’s Historic Office to examine the sites under the National Historic Preservation. FERC gave the go ahead for the project to Tennessee Gas, a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan, before that took place.

“The Narragansett Indian Tribal Historic Preservation Office requested rehearing of an order when the staff person at FERC gave the pipeline company an order to proceed,” she said. “And that order, we believe, was not legally issued because the steps that were supposed to have taken under the National Historic Preservation Act had not taken place. FERC had said they would make sure that all the stuff had taken place before the project could proceed when they issued their original order in March 16, 2016. There were all these conditions, one of the conditions was compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act.”

The tribe isn’t seeking damages, but wants a re-hearing to make sure that a mistake such as this never happens again, Harris said.

“What we want to draw attention to in the future must happen, otherwise tribal rights are abrogated and the law means nothing, if in fact it is not practiced,” he said. “We are essentially drawing FERC’s attention and the public’s attention to the fact that the National Historic Preservation Act has not been followed and therefore the rights of the tribe has not been allowed. That should not be the standard operating procedure going forward.”

Garti said FERC typically waits until a pipeline is completed before a re-hearing takes place.

“And then they go in and try to say that it’s moot; that it no longer matters, but the courts don’t buy that because it’s very hard to get an injury just thrown out of court like that … It’s been taking about a year.”

The ancient culture of the Americas is something that everyone in the country should be willing to preserve, not just people with Native American ancestry, he said.

“There is a responsibility of not only tribes to step forward and to point to these issues, but the public in general — our partners in sustaining and protecting that of which is antiquity,” Harris said.

READ: Sacred Native American sites in the Valley Destroyed with a Mighty Shrug

NOTE: Destroyed? How would this area react if a colonial church and cemetery were destroyed? Once I compose myself and stop crying, I will draft a letter to Kinder Morgan. LT who lives here in Pocumtuck Territory.

BREAKING NEWS: Interior Action on Arctic Refuge is a Human Rights Violation

Statement by Bernadette Dementieff, Executive Director, Gwich’in Steering Committee:

“For us, protecting this place is a matter of physical, spiritual and cultural survival. It is our basic human right to continue to feed our families and practice our traditional way of life. Oil exploration in the Arctic Refuge’s coastal plain would be a human rights violation. Our identity is not negotiable.

For decades, the Gwich’in Nation has defeated harmful proposals in Congress that would threaten the Coastal Plain; the birthplace to the Porcupine caribou herd and 190 other species, including migratory birds. This area is known to us as ‘Iizhik Gwats’an Gwandaii Goodlit’ – the sacred place where life begins.

The very existence and identity of the Gwich’in is under threat. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a sacred place. We want to continue to live our cultural and traditional life with the Porcupine Caribou Herd.”

BREAKING NEWS: Interior Action on Arctic Refuge is a Human Rights Violation – Native News Online

NOTE: Many years ago when I worked at the Pequot Times, the Pequot’s DC offices contacted me about this and said they would educate the Senators and Congress on the devastation to tribes and the environment if drilling occurred in the Arctic.  I sent them everything I had on the potential disaster this would cause. Apparently all bets are off with this breaking news. LT

Zinke National Monuments Memo to President (Finally)

ZINKE report

The Great Dismal Swamp | Houston Largest Murder Trial | KKK rebrands | HEALTH CARE for ALL | The Lonely Palette

By LT

Will any of these stories trickle down to living Americans? (I know we’re busy) Can stories help hearts and heal divisions? Will anything good happen when horrific secrets are finally exposed to us? I don’t have the answers. But I do know that stories are what makes us human. If grandparents are in charge of story-telling (usually) – then how do we share the bad with the good and what age are children ready to know? (Obviously we have left it to schools and too many schools have failed us and our children.) How do balance abject horror with resilience, justice and truth? Stories.

References to the Great Dismal Swamp — and the escaped slaves who settled there — started appearing in newspapers and other sources in the 1700s. But archaeologists have found evidence that people were living in the swamp long before that. When British colonists arrived in the region in the early 1600s, indigenous Americans began moving to the swamp to seek refuge from the Europeans.

READ UP: The Great Dismal Swamp – 99% Invisible

*** Did you Know About This? A scene from the court-martial of 63 members of the all-black 24th Infantry on trial for mutiny and murder of 17 people in Houston on August 23, 1917. At the time, it was the largest murder trial in U.S. history. (W.C. Lloyd)

(click)Seeking justice for the mass hanging of black soldiers after the bloody 1917 Houston riots

**** REBRAND KKK White Supremacists change name to #AltRight

https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/c/embed/13598aae-8375-11e7-9e7a-20fa8d7a0db6

WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN?

At the height of its popularity, the Ku Klux Klan brought more than 30,000 of its members to participate in a parade in D.C. on Aug. 8, 1925. (British Pathé)

The Ku Klux Klan was at the height of its popularity when more than 30,000 members — racists and anti-Semites marching 22 abreast and 14 rows deep – paraded down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington on Aug. 8, 1925.

*** University of Virginia? WATCH >  Unearthed and Understood

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This is what a fully-funded Treaty Right looks like.

MARK TRAHANT: This is a First: Legislation Would Fully-Fund Indian Health System, Raise Billions – Native News Online

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The Lonely Palette: “JMW Turner’s The Slave Ship” (podcast)

Tamar Avishai’s The Lonely Palette selects a single artwork for each episode, and then dissects its visual and historical context in an approachable way. In “J. M. W. Turner’s The Slave Ship,” Avishai gets some visitor feedback at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston on the 1840 painting, before examining how what appears like an abstract blast of light and blurred color has a deeper meaning within art history, balanced between Romanticism and Neoclassicism, and the unease of nature’s fury and the terror of human nature. For you might not notice them at first, as the blinding sun hovers over the waves, but human hands are reaching up from the water, representing the 133 people thrown from the Zong slave ship in 1781. (P.S…. it’s quite revealing!)

And if you LOVE movies and reviews – don’t miss JAY SEAN AND MATT at ASSHOLES WATCHING MOVIES
And last one: THE OCCUPATION OF THE AMERICAN MIND (aka: we don’t know much at all)

‘Woman Walks Ahead’ Review | ‘Hostiles’ Review | Variety

Jessica Chastain commands respect in this true story of a modern woman who fought white prejudice to paint a portrait of Sitting Bull.

Woman Walks Ahead” offers dimension to its leading lady, but holds its Native characters to the same old surface stereotypes.

 

READ: ‘Woman Walks Ahead’ Review: Jessica Chastain as Catherine Weldon | Variety

A ruthless killer of Native Americans learns that some ‘savages’ are worth saving in a Western that isn’t nearly as progressive as it thinks…

But just how progressive is a movie that draws a false equivalency between individual Indian attacks and large-scale, government-sanctioned genocide?

READ: ‘Hostiles’ Review: Christian Bale Reunites With ‘New World’ Co-Star | Variety

“Would You Be Interested in Getting (Atty Gen) William Wirt’s Head Back?” | News In The News | Fantasyland and more

Rebecca Roberts describes the theft of Attorney General William Wirt’s skull from his crypt in the Congressional Cemetery.

But no one ever accused Robert White of being a thief. It’s safer to bet that White bought Wirt’s skull for his collection. Perhaps surprisingly, it is entirely legal to sell and possess human bones in the United States. There are some exceptions; the bones of Native Americans are federally regulated, for instance, and certain municipalities (like New Orleans) and states (New York, Georgia, and Tennessee) have local restrictions. But by and large, when human skulls are for sale, it’s legal to buy them. Most buyers seek skulls for educational purposes, so price is driven more by quality than the identity of the skull. When Robert White was buying, a skull could be had for $100-$600. Since then, prices have tripled, because the two biggest sources of human bones, India and China, have both banned exports. If White discovered the existence of Wirt’s skull through his connections in the ‘head hunting’ world, he could have simply purchased it legally, and without breaking the bank.

READ: “Would You Be Interested in Getting (Attorney General) William Wirt’s Head Back?” Rebecca Roberts Brings Us a Tale From the Congressional Cemetery | In Custodia Legis: Law Librarians of Congress … By the way: William Wirt represented the Cherokee Nation in Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, and Samuel Worcester in Worcester v. Georgia.

***NEW BOOK  Standing Soldiers, Kneeling Slaves: Race, War, and Monument in Nineteenth-Century America MORE

***White supremacy is in the DNA of this nation and has left its traces large and small across the commemorative landscape, shaping US history and identity.  READ

***As a society and a polity, the US has never been cured, never been treated, and it has never resolved its murderous racist history.  READ: The Invention of the White People | USA | Al Jazeera

5 ***** Must-read –> The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates has an eloquent essay on Donald Trump’s core ideology: “White supremacy, in all its truculent and sanctimonious power.” (audio too)

*****

By LT

History repeats like a cycle, a chugging churning wheel. And we can’t seem to grasp or adequately process this. Why? Maybe we are too busy surviving, working our butts off at minimum wages, maybe too tired to notice how this “repeat cycle” is centuries in the making.  (Picking up a history book? I don’t think many people would know where to start, what century or what account or story to trust.) If we know the truth, all of it, then we can see the cycle…

I woke up with this thought: When did we become elephants with chains around our feet? When did we get tricked into not knowing our own past, and America’s earliest days, the plant-the-flag mentality, and our own ancestors in its making? See the book description for Fantasyland below. (DNA is still news and Ancestry(dot) com is making millions for the Mormons – with slick TV ads and blood quantum charts. WOW! People are apparently driven by concern over blood and ancestry? Really?)

Photo (left):  Seated L-R Dr. Thomas Augustus Bland (1830-1908) and Oglala Chief Red Cloud (1822-1909) Standing:  Dr. Mary Cornelia Davis “Cora Bland” (1834-1919), interpreter Randall.  Courtesy of Daniel G.

My cousin Charlie and I started writing a research paper on the editors of Council Fire, a radical publication read by Native people [and our cousin and its editor Dr. Thomas Augustus Bland] – well this paper has grown to almost 200 pages (with footnotes). History is like that. It grows and grows once you start digging and chasing ghosts. (And you send emails to helpful historians who knew more than we did.) I will let you know when we get this novella-book done and how to read it. I never expected to feel so desperately sick in this process, doing research. It’s been a few years of work (but not every day.) I admit it was and is hard to sleep when some chapters are so brutal, violent, graphic and ultimately tragic (all researched and true accounts). I told Charles we might want to put a warning label in the introduction.

Re-reading DIPLOMATS IN BUCKSKINS (author Herman J. Viola) and OUR HEARTS FELL TO THE GROUND: Plains Indians views of How The West was Lost (primary documents collected by Colin G. Calloway), I found the best word to describe many tribal leaders of the last century: resilient.  (My own heart falls to the ground knowing what happened in North America.) That one word “resilient” defines the First Nations in North America in both mentioned books and in our research. Not all history is bad, of course but there are many heroes we’ve never heard of, as they are rarely mentioned in any history textbook or classroom… So if the material in these remarkable books and in our own research makes a tiny dent in the wide world of history, I’d celebrate and invite you all to a big party.

Here is a brief look at our research:

As previously mentioned… this was made possible in the dismal final years of 1888-1890, by the liaison between Thomas and Cora Bland with Catherine Weldon who acted as an intermediary with Sitting Bull. Through Weldon, Bland had flyers in the Sioux language distributed urging total resistance and Thomas Bland asked Red Cloud to not even meet with the (BIA) commissioners. Weldon provided maps and documents that explained the implications of these acts for the Sioux and is probably the reason Sitting Bull held out until he was killed in December 1890. These documents undoubtedly made their way to Red Cloud as well, though by then his health was failing, he was losing his hold on the Oglala and was more inclined to conciliation with the U.S. authorities.

(Michael Greyeyes and Jessica Chastain will play Sitting Bull and Catherine Weldon in Woman Walks Ahead, a movie forthcoming in 2017.) (I did read Eileen Pollack’s fantastic book Woman Walking Ahead: In Search of Catherine Weldon and Sitting Bull (2002) which gave us a very good look at Thomas Bland’s activism on behalf of Native people.

*****

The Media Is the Villain – for Creating a World Dumb Enough for Trump

Matt Taibbi writes: “We learned long ago in this (media) business that dumber and more alarmist always beats complex and nuanced. Big headlines, cartoonish morality, scary criminals at home and foreign menaces abroad, they all sell. We decimated attention spans, rewarded hot-takers over thinkers, and created in audiences powerful addictions to conflict, vitriol, fear, self-righteousness, and race and gender resentment….  There isn’t a news executive alive low enough to deny that we use xenophobia and racism to sell ads.” Read: The greatest reality TV show on Earth

Fantasyland book description:…What’s happening in America today is not uncharted territory, but the flowering of the DNA that has defined our country from its inception. From an acclaimed, New York Times bestselling author and razor-sharp cultural critic, comes a new paradigm for understanding our post-truth world. There’s a tendency at this moment – this alternative-facts moment – to see our situation as an aberrant new American phenomena. In fact, it is the logical progression of our national character. America was created by wishful thinkers and true believers, by hucksters and their suckers. Fantasy is in our bones. From Manifest Destiny to witch hunts to P.T. Barnum to Joseph Smith and the Scopes Monkey Trial, from Walt Disney to Billy Graham, from the birther movement to, yes, Donald Trump, we have proven, again and again, to be uniquely susceptible to magical thinking, delusion, illusion, conspiracy, and bullshit. In other words: what do you get when you mix epic individualism with extreme religion, show business, and everything else; run it through the Great Awakening and the Great Delirium, the anything-goes Sixties and the internet age; and let it ferment for a few centuries? You get Fantasyland, a place where reality and fantasy are dangerously blurred and mingled.

“This is an important book – the indispensable book – for understanding America in the age of Trump. It’s an eye-opening history filled with brilliant insights, a saga of how we were always susceptible to fantasy, from the Puritan fanatics to the talk-radio and Internet wackos who mix show business, hucksterism, and conspiracy theories.” – Walter Isaacson

***…afterlives of Soviet monuments

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Photographing the hidden afterlives of Soviet monuments.  Of course, it wasn’t the first time Soviet monuments had been brought low, as statues had been destroyed as early as 1990.  READ: The Hunt for Ukraine’s Toppled Lenin Statues – Atlas Obscura

*** I’m all for anything that helps us get along, and this seems like an exercise that might actually make a real difference and it’s HAUNTING me (so click) Believe by The Oatmeal

 ***

(click)Memo to the Publisher: We Need a “Vehicle of Indian Intelligence”

Excerpt:

One more thing: About that why.

This is a moment in history where the free flow of information is critical. Indian Country needs a vehicle of Indian intelligence. As Elias Boudinot wrote in 1832 (as he was losing his editorship of The Cherokee Phoenix) “I do conscientiously believe it to be the duty of every citizen to reflect upon the dangers with which we are surrounded; to view the darkness which seems to lie before our people— our prospects, and the evils with which we are threatened; to talk over all these matters, and, if possible, come to some definite and satisfactory conclusion.”

That is why.

[Mark Trahant (Shoshone-Bannock) is an independent journalist and a friend.]

Chills, Race, Chin Tattoos, The Powerful’s Brain Damage, Really Old Fossils, Racial Imposters

WONDERFUL CHILLS! A 400-year-old gourd that Grand Chief Membertou gave to his French godfather has returned to Nova Scotia.  GOOD READ: Mi’kmaq curator gets ‘chills’ from rediscovered Membertou artifact – Nova Scotia – CBC News

 

When New Zealand was colonized in the 1800s, the ancient Māori practice of moko kauae—or sacred female facial tattooing—began to fade away. Now the art form is having a resurgence. Here’s what it means to stamp your identity on your face.  READ: ‘It’s Transformative’: Māori Women Talk About Their Sacred Chin Tattoos – Broadly

Over time, leaders lose mental capacities—most notably for reading other people—that were essential to their rise. [So the further you get away from personal poverty to wealth – your brain stops caring about the welfare of others…] READ UP: Power Causes Brain Damage – The Atlantic

The 300,000-year-old bones and stone tools were discovered in a surprising place—and could revise the history of our species.

Source: Scientists Have Found the Oldest Known Human Fossils – The Atlantic

 

 

By Lara Trace (Me-Searcher and Researcher)

Howdy Everyone! So glad you are here reading my refreshed blog.  (I hope the new template is easy to navigate too.) Every Friday or as news breaks, I’ll be posting. This is a long post so please forgive me for sharing so much.

Lots of important news happened (some posted above and below).  You might remember I wrote months ago about historical events (click>) We’re not supposed to Know.  Of course I was writing about local issues but they morphed into national issues.

There is a whole lot we are not supposed to know.  Like The Civil War! Most people hated history in school or opted out or obviously skipped class. American History is not exactly a quick easy study. I believe it was historian Eric Foner who wrote something like, “America’s history starts in 1865.”  Well, that is a BIGLY problem, even for the current President. As George Orwell said, the best way to destroy a people is to destroy their history.

On Facebook in August I posted that I am the descendant of Slave Owners. Monsters. I am still wrapping my mind around this (as a Me-Searcher) — in light of current events in Virginia and a bloody (un)Civil War we are re-experiencing now.  When I was writing One Small Sacrifice and digging through ancestry files, I found that a Kentucky great-great-grandmother Lettice Bland left a will leaving her slaves to her heirs.  Human beings sold to benefit the slave holder and family, my own ancestors did that.  Since no one ever told me this story, I wasn’t supposed to know. (But thankfully we have the internet to help us dig.) Yes, I am multi-racial, and accept my ancestral complexity with open arms and with horrified indignation. I noticed in the Bland genealogy, they were careful to leave slave-holders slave’s names absent (though many still carry the Bland name)…. hmmm.

Here’s a link to Natives talking Race (Many are mixed and proud)

“Slavery and Its Legacies” podcast launched here

Have you dug up the ghosts in your family tree? I am still learning LOTS listening to the Yale podcasts.

Many who read this blog will remember I covered the Osage Murders and then this happened: The Rare Archival Photos Behind ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ – Atlas Obscura (TOP PHOTO)

Slavery (and Native history) as our history is not taught well.  Remember the lack of truth-filled history in textbooks had a purpose. Thus we have a 2017 problem.  And we have a president (for now) who thinks out loud on Twitter.  His grasp of history is so very poor. He’d fail a basic history test like many Americans.

A human person cannot grow spiritually until they see injustice all around and stop it in its tracks. It starts now, here, with me, and with you.

Would we have all these racism problems if we had a good grasp of our own American history and what really happened here? and What is happening now?

How many people know their ENTIRE ancestral make-up?   Check out:  With the rise of spit-in-a-cup genetic testing, there’s a trend of white nationalists using these services to prove their racial identity. Read: White nationalists flock to genetic ancestry tests. Some don’t like the result…

 

What is a Me-Searcher Code Switch on NPR One | 29:33

Listen: A Prescription For “Racial Imposter Syndrome” : NPR One

Alison Fornes, an education consultant based in Salem, Massachusetts, wrote to us wanting to speak with her mother, Julia, as part our “Uncomfortable Truths” series.  Talking to your mom about identity may not seem like a conversation most people would classify as “uncomfortable,” but Julia largely kept the story of her upbringing from her daughter. In 1956, at just six years old, Julia was sent from Puerto Rico to an orphanage in Connecticut. Because of racial tensions in the area in 1956, Julia was discouraged from carrying on her traditions from back home in order to be viewed as a more desirable adoptee for a family. She spent much of her life trying to pass as anything but Puerto Rican. As Alison got older, she started to wonder why she didn’t know more about her mother’s childhood traditions back in the Caribbean. So she sat down to ask Julia about why she felt compelled to hide her Puerto Rican identity, and how she eventually came to embrace it.  LISTEN: A Family Comes Out of the (Racial) Closet – The Takeaway – WNYC

One last thing to consider about knowing your history:

Come back next Friday for more! Thanks for reading this blog! XOX

Letting Go of Our Obsession with Memorials

David Lowenthal has labeled the idea that cultural heritage “deserves to be preserved in toto” one of the “sacrosanct fictions” of cultural heritage. Lowenthal is not just a random commentator: he is a highly respected historian and geographer who has spent decades studying our relationship with the past. One of Lowenthal’s most important conclusions is that how we conceive of the past is not a natural or static thing — the past is not something embalmed — but is culturally contingent and constantly in flux. Our compulsion to preserve as much of the past as possible is a development of the last few decades in particular, and primarily an American and European one. The National Register of Historic Places was established only in 1966, after most of the jazz landmarks mentioned above were already demolished. From UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites to Antiques Roadshow, over the past 50 years we have encountered the incentive to value every material trace of the past more and more, like a society with collective hoarding anxiety. Lowenthal observes that, contrary to what we generally believe, cultural heritage is not shrinking but constantly expanding. It is not a finite source gradually disappearing, piece by piece, but something that we keep discovering and reinterpreting, and keep adding to as the present continues to become past.

Source: Letting Go of Our Obsession with Memorials

Change Is Coming: Youth Suicide Pacts, Canada’s Move Away from the 141 Year Old Indian Act and more news

By Lara Trace Hentz

I am still on my hiatus, of course, but these stories I have covered on this news blog before (kinda). I will be back later in 2017. That is, if we don’t suffer a nuke someday soon.

***

From August 11, 2017 at Indian Country Today

Wawatay News reported that the Canadian Army responded to a declaration of emergency by the government of Wapekeka, an Oji-Cree community of about 400, located about 375 miles north of Thunder Bay. The emergency was an epidemic of youth suicide. The First Nation asked for outside help after the third suicide by a 12-year-old girl this year and discovery of suicide pacts among some youngsters.

The Army sent a unit of Rangers—an all-indigenous unit of part time reservists—with an assignment to conduct night patrols and daytime activities for at risk youth.

Chief Brennan Sainnawap commented in extending thanks to the responding Rangers:

There were no suicides after the Rangers arrived. There were attempts but no suicides. The Rangers coming in helped our staff on the ground and the whole of the community to have a chance to rest. We were traumatized and exhausted. The Rangers gave us breathing room.

The Rangers did not approach the assignment as policing. They spread out in the community and tried to get to know the kids, but they did take custody of some suicide paraphernalia. They made lots of referrals to suicide counselors. A few kids were airlifted for emergency treatment.

As the government was able to bring in more civilian help the reservists withdrew as a unit, but individual friendships remain. If Chief Sainnawap’s evaluation is correct, the Rangers hit the sweet spot of signifying to the kids that the government cares without becoming an oppressive force.

Cousin Ray helpfully pointed out once more that the responding unit was indigenous, and it might have been harder for a unit made up of settlers to find the sweet spot even with the best intentions.

***

For First Nations, the end of the Indian Act is an opportunity to return to tradition and empower indigenous female leaders

Sandra LaFleur • August 12, 2017

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Jody Wilson-Raybould’s historic announcement of a move away from the 141 year old Indian Act had to have left some Assembly of First Nations (AFN), and provincial Indigenous leaders scratching their heads. Indigenous activist leaders (land protectors, water protectors, suicide watch groups), Native Women’s Association of Canada {NWAC}, Idle No More {INM}, Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP), grassroots people and the average non-indigenous Canadian are also likely, wondering what a life beyond the Indian Act means and how the move will affect them in their day to day lives.

… Let’s use Monaco as an example

The Treaty of Versailles is an agreement between France and Monaco similar to that of First Nations treaty’s with the Crown (Britain’s representative; Canada), is eerily similar in basic foundation….

Monaco has its own law enforcement similar to what is already implemented on most First Nation communities. And the near two mile sovereign state also has a Constitution of Monaco (adopted in 1962 and updated to reflect government power and legislative changes). Furthermore and somewhat, simplistically, Monaco’s agreement with France came in part by Monaco’s cessation of land to (similar as First Nation’s and the Crown’s agreement on land), France and in return, an agreement was reached wherein, a part of France’s obligation is a responsibility to militarily protect Monaco.

There are many more similarities however; the Treaty of Versailles could be a starting point in building First Nation, nation-to-nation legislation, with Canada.

First Nation government leaders, activists, FN women’s groups and all affected parties need to start the process.

The process could be as simple as surveying individual First Nation members on who they would like to see sit at the helm; in mediating the drafting of new legislation.

Read the entire Op-ED: Change Is Coming: Canada’s Move Away from the 141 Year Old Indian Act – Indian Country Media Network

 

***

A new Navajo law criminalizes human trafficking on the country’s largest American Indian reservation.

READ: Navajo Sign Law Criminalizing Human Trafficking – Indian Country Media Network

 

***

U.S. House appropriators did what they could before recess to limit dramatic cuts to American Indian programs proposed by the Trump administration.

READ: Trump’s Proposed Cuts to American Indian Programs Still in Play – Non Profit News For Nonprofit Organizations | Nonprofit Quarterly

 

***

Museums Move to Return Human Remains to Indigenous Peoples – The New York Times

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