“Yellowtail” | Indian Country News | #ICWA | Food Insecurity

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Yellowtail from Keenan Wetzel on Vimeo.

“Yellowtail” by Keenan Wetzel

A poetic short by Detroit-based director Keenan Wetzel, “Yellowtail” tells the story of a young Native American cowboy (Stephen Yellowtail) searching for purpose amidst a chaotic lifestyle. (previously featured here). Shot in Wyoming and the Crow Reservation in Montana, “Yellowtail” tells the story of a young Native American cowboy (Stephen Yellowtail) searching for purpose as his chaotic lifestyle begins

READ: Premiere: “Yellowtail” by Keenan Wetzel – BOOOOOOOM TV – A daily selection of the best short films, music videos, and animations.

You will recognize that narrator’s voice – it is John Trudell!

In the News

The Navajo Nation and Utah Governor signed an inter-governmental agreement Monday, Feb. 4, 2019, to strengthen and further protect the Indian Child Welfare Act for the benefit of Navajo children in the State of Utah. Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer met with Governor Gary Herbert to make it official at the Utah State Capitol during the annual American Indian Caucus Day.

Read why ICWA is so important

GOOD NEWS: Navajo Leaders Boost ICWA with Utah | News for Page Lake Powell Arizona

Let’s take a quick look at the erratic history of federal Indian policy.

In the early republic, the federal government made treaties of friendship with Indian tribes east of the Mississippi. In the 1830s, it stopped feeling friendly and removed the eastern Indians to the West. It set up reservations for eastern and western tribes and solemnly promised in treaties that the land would be theirs forever. In 1871, Congress decided there would be no more treaties, because Indian nations were no longer sovereigns; the courts soon confirmed that Congress could void any treaty without the consent of the tribes that had signed it. Next, from the 1880s until the 1930s, came the “allotment era.” The government decided to break up the reservations and “allot” much of the land to individuals, who could sell them. By the 1930s tribes had lost 60 percent of their previous land base. The New Deal was a brief respite: Allotment ended and tribes were allowed to re-form their governments. Then in 1953 came the “termination era,” when Congress decided that the federal government would no longer provide services to tribes, or deal with their governments. It sold off some tribes’ reservation lands and proclaimed that those tribes no longer existed.

BIG READ: Herrera v. Wyoming: Can U.S. Void Any Tribe’s Treaty? – The Atlantic

**

No records of the size of Native American populations before 1492 and the arrival of Europeans survive. A new study has found answers.

WOW: European colonisation of the Americas killed 10% of world population and caused global cooling

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University College London researchers estimate that settlers killed 56 million indigenous people, causing farmland to be reforested. That increase in vegetation resulted in a massive decrease in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

WOW: European slaughter of Native Americans changed the climate, study says – CNN

I call this the (his)story “We’re Not Supposed to Know”

 

**

But they conceal another side of Columbus: the exploitation and repression of Native Americans, said the Rev. John Jenkins, president of Notre Dame. It is a “darker side of this story, a side we must acknowledge,” Jenkins said in a letter Sunday.

READ: Notre Dame to cover 19th century Columbus murals due to portrayal of Native Americans | CBC News

**

By LT

In December 2018, the Trump administration plotted to gut SNAP, the food assistance program more than 40 million Americans rely on to feed themselves.  (I have friends and relatives on SNAP, what used to be food stamps).  This attack on the poor would impose oppressive work requirements that will have a devastating impact on our nation’s most vulnerable and the “food insecure.”    This rule will drive 755,000 poor folks deeper into poverty across the country over the next three years.  It’s a cruel and cynical attempt to chip away at our social safety net by defining who is and who isn’t suffering in our nation.  Read about the Poor People’s Campaign.

Food insecurity is very real and a war on the poor.  And when the climate fails and disaster hits, what new countries start a new land grab?  Will they hit Third World Countries? Indian Country?  Will they take children to accomplish this again?  History repeats itself over and over until we get it right…and so we are entering a dangerous new age of food insecurity… and climate change.

If I were in charge, I’d have two priorities: ending poverty and improving the existing infrastructure.

Trudell said it best in an interview I have in my new book Mental Midgets | Musqonocihte :

“I called the album Blue Indians because there is a kind of spiritual and cultural genocide perpetrated on everyone that is poor in this country,” Trudell said. “The advance of technology has put all of us on a kind of reservation.  These are the people who can’t educate their children, or afford health care. They’ve been robbed of life, which is what happened to Native people, so in that context, we’re all Indians.”

I follow up in a few weeks with my doctors… See you soon! xox

 

12 thoughts on ““Yellowtail” | Indian Country News | #ICWA | Food Insecurity”

  1. Good luck with your medical follow-up, Lara.
    I enjoyed the film, and looked up Trudell. An interesting life.
    I once read that European diseases (Flu, STD, Measles, etc) brought by the Conquistadors and settlers may have killed some 75% of the native populations of central and north America over time.
    As if that wasn’t a bad enough legacy, the government now seeks to remove food assistance, the most basic support a country can give its people.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Been reading the links you shared for much of the last hour, accumulating such a weight in my chest that I had to go outside and stand in the cold to ease it. The brightest cardinal I’ve ever seen was perched on a frost-covered magnolia. Earth teaches us about beauty and shows us the balance of nature teeters toward equilibrium. I can only hope we are teetering back toward justice.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations on your new book, Lara.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You stated — “European slaughter of Native Americans changed the climate, study says – CNN”

    My response — I did not know this!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. How polite to call it “erratic”…. a word we often associate with the abnormal, the insane, the desperate….How many lifetimes til Enlightenment?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. thanks for the latest
    worthwhile news,
    better or worse,
    for Indian country!
    i’ll check out the worthwhile
    yellowtail video 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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