NEWS | “Àbadakone” Creates Community, Catawba Deerskin Map + more

NEWS around Indian Country

Acoma Pueblo

Hyperallergic Southwest US editor, Ellie Duke, who has started a series that spotlights members of the region’s art community, and who is also reporting on stories of interest to artists, arts workers, and others working in New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, and beyond.

Her latest story looks at a legal loophole that is allowing for the export of precious Native American artifacts.


How would you feel if the government confiscated your land, sold it to someone else, and tried to force you to change your way of life, all the while telling you it’s for your own good? That’s what Congress did to Indian tribes 125 years ago today when, with devastating results, it passed the Dawes Act.

Source: The Dawes Act: How Congress tried to destroy Indian reservations | OUPblog



The recent opening of Àbadakone/Continuous Fire/Feu continue at the National Gallery of Canada was the largest crowd since the gallery’s opening in 1988.  Maya Wilson-Sanchez, writing for Canadian Art, has the story: The National Gallery’s Christine Lalonde, Greg Hill and Rachelle Dickenson, with Canada-based curators Carla Taunton, Candice Hopkins and Ariel Smith working as consultants, curated “Àbadakone” with the help of a team of national and international advisors.  One of the most challenging issues in curating an exhibition under a contemporary global Indigenous banner is being attentive to local contexts. Indigeneity is defined by local conditions and local histories of colonialism and imperialism, so curating works from all over the world in a way where these nuances aren’t lost among a global framework is incredibly important.  During a tour of the exhibition, Hill said: “The idea of Indigeneity globally is not a universal notion, so that’s why we describe it as Indigenous nations, ethnicities and tribal affiliations.  There are all these different terms that are in use in different areas in the world, and the application of one word to fit so many different contexts, it’s impossible and it’s colonial.  I run into it almost every day: which word we use in English or French to represent all this, and I’m a little frustrated with it.  I want to use the term Onkwehónwe, because that comes from my Indigenous language [Kanyen’keha], and that means the ‘Original Peoples.’”

“Àbadakone” Creates Community

Source: Required Reading


top featured photo

Charlie Hunter was one of the children who never came home.

He died in October, 1974, days shy of his 14th birthday, after he fell through ice while attending St. Anne’s Residential School in Fort Albany, Ont., his sister Joyce Hunter said on Monday after his name appeared on a registry of deceased Indigenous children.

“Those are stories and those are lived experiences,” Ms. Hunter said. “They matter.”

The National Residential School Student Death Register – 2,800 names presented publicly for the first time on a scarlet banner at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau – is a permanent reminder of fatalities as a result of the government-funded education program that spanned more than 100 years and forcibly removed more than 150,000 Indigenous children from their families.

The National Residential School Student Death Register was presented publicly at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission…

BIG NEWS: Names of 2,800 children who died in residential schools documented in registry


INDIAN TOWNSHIP, Maine — Nearly 130 years ago, a Harvard anthropologist visited Calais, Maine, a town on the border with Canada, and recorded songs, words and stories from members of the Passamaquoddy Tribe. For years, these field recordings, some of the oldest in the world, were largely hidden from public view. Now more than a century later, the recordings have been digitally enhanced and shared with the tribe. The Passamaquoddy are working to interpret and present them.

GREAT NEWS: Historic recordings of Maine’s Passamaquoddy Tribe restored more than a century later | CANVAS Arts


WEBSITE AND VIDEOS: Chicago history: Indigenous Tour of Northwestern



Two indigenous artists create new works and define what it means to be a “Native artist.”

WONDERFUL: The Art of Home: A Wind River Story | The Art of Home: A Wind River Story | PBS


This map, now known as the “Catawba Deerskin Map,” is one of the only examples of a map created by a Native American and given to Europeans. Colonial settlers reported that Native tribes regularly made maps—etched in ash or on tree bark—and that this local cartographic knowledge helped the settlers develop their own maps of areas they wanted to occupy. There are fewer European reports, though, of Native people making maps on animal skin or other long-lasting materials. Few maps made by Native Americans survive at all.

VERY INTERESTING: The Mysteries of a Rare, 18th-Century Native American Map – Atlas Obscura


BY LT (happy girl)

I had a great visit with my oncologist last week and she gave me a clean bill of health until I see her again in February 2020 – that is my happy news.

Right now I am working on an essay about the late musician/actor/activist John Trudell (Santee Sioux) who was present at The Occupations of Alcatraz and Wounded Knee in the 1970s.

With his own tragic loss, and years in activism, out there publicly for decades, on tour and in film, he eviscerated and permanently erased the image of the romanticized or disappeared Indian.  John walked the walk, just like Crazy Horse did.

For every speech, in every interview, John found precise words to describe to all of us the conditions that were created when this continent was colonized.  John discovered how every one of us could dismantle and internally handle this oppression, if we could be clear, coherent, calm, and see what these conditions are and how governments use a playbook of distraction, even going on today.  He coined the word Blue Indians for all of us who are not among the ruling elite or the 1%….

While Trudell served as National AIM Chairman from 1973-79, during that time the FBI compiled a 17,000 page file (covering Trudell’s activities from 1969-80). (Photo: FBI document)

And all month I have been posting at AMERICAN INDIAN ADOPTEES with lots of posts about trauma and adoption loss… November is National Adoption Awareness Month (#NAAM2019) – if you are interested, go here

Also this month, I finally republished my chapbook Sleep with Knives with an essay EARTH TRIBES. The first edition came out in 2012 with poetry. I wrote some new ones and added prose and old photos. (And I am slowly working on an updated memoir but I’m not rushing myself.)

I apologize to many of you wonderful bloggers who I love so much, please excuse my lateness or missing your posts. I am trying to catch up but it’s a losing battle.

I love you all



  1. Great to hear the good news about your health, Lara. 🙂
    I enjoyed reading the links, and listening to the old recording. I couldn’t watch the video as it’s not allowed here, but I found the ceremonial cloth with the 2,800 names incredibly moving.
    Always a delight to see you back on your blog. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks so much for sending my way! Hoping to have a free moment in a short bit to read the articles.

    Hope all is well with you!

    xxxooo Andy ________________________________

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been seeing so much about the schools and the separations that happened featured on PBS this month. What is shocking is the sheer number of children and families affected followed by how recently so much of this occurred. I think it is time for most of us to crawl out of our bubbles and wake up to the fact that keeping oneself distracted by selfish things is just not a good enough excuse. Our debt is growing…

    Liked by 1 person

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