Missionaries in Hawai’i | More Attacks on ICWA | Is Tulsa Indian Country? | MMIWG epidemic

Sending you all a big thanks for reading this news roundup and Happy Turkey “Big Food” Day tomorrow… Lara/Trace

An Exhibition Critically Explores the History of Missionaries in Hawai’i

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — In August 1806, five students on the campus of Williams College took refuge from a sudden thunderstorm beside a haystack and vowed to commit themselves to spreading the Gospel around the world.  This is Ground Zero of the American overseas missionary movement.

For many people, this moment marked the start of an outpouring of generosity and benevolence that saved souls and brought distant lands into the modern world.  Only recently has another narrative been recognized — one of shameless spiritual imperialism that trampled native cultures and eventually devolved into explicit political and economic oppression.

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The unexpectedly deep connection between the college in Williamstown and the Pacific islands, 5,000 miles away, is outlined with an extensive timeline along a wall, which highlights what was happening in each place. It mentions figures such as Sanford B. Dole, the son of missionaries who came to Williams in the 1860s, where he and other missionary descendants called themselves “the Cannibals,” and were active in the Lyceum.  Dole and two others from that group would help draft the “Bayonet Constitution” of 1887, which accelerated the process of undermining native Hawaiian leadership. When the monarchy was overthrown in 1893, Dole would serve as the Republic’s first president, until completing the handover to American power a few years later.

READ: An Exhibition Critically Explores the History of Missionaries in Hawai’i


The Indian Child Welfare Act is vital to our continued survival. (There has been much written on this blog about ICWA and the book series Lost Children)

BIG READ: Why conservatives are attacking a law meant to protect Native American families – The Washington Post


How can that be? In 1832, President Andrew Jackson pushed through the policy of “removal” of Indian nations from the eastern U.S., which destroyed the historic land base of the “civilized tribes.”  He promised the tribes new land in the West to be theirs “as long as the grass grows or the water runs, in peace and plenty.”  After the Trail of Tears, the U.S. signed a treaty that “solemnly guarantied” the new reservation lands in what is now Oklahoma. Many tribes elsewhere have found to their regret that Congress is permitted to decide that the grass ain’t growing any more. It can abrogate some or all treaty obligations—and even “terminate” a tribe altogether. But case law says there is a “clear statement” rule: If Congress wants to end a reservation, it has to say so.

READ: Supreme Court Must Decide If Tulsa Is ‘Indian Country’ – The Atlantic


Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls (MMIWG)

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) highlighted the report in a press event in Washington, DC, this week where she talked about the importance of addressing the MMIWG epidemic. Murkowski was joined by U.S. senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Patty Murray (D-WA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Jon Tester (D-MT), Representative Gwen Moore (D-WI 4th District), and Juana Majel-Dixon (Pauma Band of Mission Indians), Executive Board Member and Recording Secretary of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI). The UIHI report identified the state of Alaska as the fourth-leading state for number of cases of MMIWG. Also, in the top ten states are New Mexico, Washington, Arizona, Montana, California, Nebraska, Utah, Minnesota and Oklahoma.

NEWS: New Report Identifies 506 Urban Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women & girls – Native News Online


Mental Midgets | Musqonocihte: “…it’s a miracle we’ve survived this far…”

How is that for a book title? I just published a “short” book – I call it short because our attention spans are short… 🙂 LINK


  1. The missionaries that followed (or gave rise to) Imperialist expansion were often the harbingers of great evils perpetuated in the name of ‘religion’ and civilisation’. And Hawaii was always coveted by the US long before it was ‘assimilated’.

    The rise of the Right in world politics does not bode well for old treaties, and the possibility of so many broken promises, dressed up as ‘Progress’.

    Good luck with your new book. I hope it does well.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you, (if you celebrate it) and my best wishes from England, where it is simply ‘Thursday’. 🙂
    Pete. x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes Pete, we will eat some of that bird today but I’d rather be in Plymouth protesting the US trying to un-recognize the Wampanoag, People of the First Light, who fed the Pilgrims. Long story but they are under attack (again). (((hug)))

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It comes at such disappointment to hear continued stories of native children displaced by adoption… I think most of us want to believe these cases are a thing of the past. But as long as we think that we know what is best for others we cannot help but continue the mistakes of the past…and those mistakes cost lives, if not fulfillment. We have to stop supplying the means of self-sabotage of addictions and enabling crippling depression to justify the “unsuitability” of some natives to raise their own children, but we also cannot assume we understand what “best” means in choosing what we think is for other peoples’ children. The answer is most certainly complicated and not easy. Native issues are not easy. Children are not easy. But they are the future. We need to get our self-righteous hands off theirs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well said, KC. The adoption projects and programs are much bigger than I’d imagined, with the amount of kids removed in the 40s-50s-60s-70s Scoops in North America. Now we have more than one generation removed. And that has consequences in how we raise our kids. It was and is cultural genocide.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have recently viewed some excellent documentaries, the most recent on RT, about the growing movement to end US occupation of Hawaii. In my view, this is one of the most exciting movements on the planet – I’m now starting to believe this will be the first place in the industrialized world where true liberation will actually happen.

    Liked by 1 person

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