‘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

‘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

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

top photo

 

The 40 Hour Work Week: “Hungry Ghosts” | Bad Apples | Thirst | Rat Race

 

Excerpt: All of our well-publicized problems, including obesity, depression, pollution, and corruption are what it costs to create and sustain a trillion-dollar economy.

For the economy to be “healthy,” this world has to remain unhealthy.

(Read that again – for the economy to be healthy, the world has to remain unhealthy? WHAT the_?) (People have perfected marketing their services and telling us what we need …ie. big weddings, funerals, etc.)

…Here in the West, a lifestyle of unnecessary spending has been deliberately cultivated and nurtured in the public by big business.  Companies in all kinds of industries have a huge stake in the public’s penchant to be frivolous with its spending, and in the documentary “The Corporation,” a marketing psychologist shows just how easy it is to increase sales by targeting nagging children, and the effect that nagging has on the parents’ spending.

READ: The 40 Hour Work Week & More: How Culture Has Made Us “Hungry Ghosts” – Collective Evolution

WATCH THE CORPORATION documentary (Bad Apples)

THIRST:: Essay about THIRST (.pdf)

WATCH THIRST

Excerpt: …I arrive in a sparsely lit room where the Latvian artist Voldemārs Johansons’s “Thirst” (2015) is showing. A video of a stormy North Atlantic Ocean filmed in the Faroe Islands, the work is a single-shot visual capturing the sea in all its fury. Coupled with the waves’ frightening roars, the video truly envelops the visitor; it is threatening and immersive, drawing you in, spitting you out, relentlessly pulling and pushing. It is a powerful experience and I know my memory of it will endure. READ

#thisisnotnormal

TALK OF WORK WORK WORK and THE RAT RACE

By Lara Trace

Hungry Ghosts? …Nagging from media (esp. those horrible drug ads I mute or shut my eyes).  The rat race reminds me of the book The Reinvention of Work by Matthew Fox which I still think about now, many years after reading it!

Time and Life is too short to be a hungry ghost, modern slave or in any rat race… In Fox’s book, “in four highly provocative chapters, Fox presents his ideas on the reinvention of work as related to family, politics, education, youth, health care, psychology, art, economics, business, and science.  (Brilliant MAN!) As a critic of the old way of looking at the professions, he makes it clear that good work contributes to the extension of justice, compassion, and social transformation.” Read a book REVIEW

The Dutch Reinvention of Work

Are any US companies reinventing the 40-hour work week? Hardly. But do read this

Zappos is also turning traditional management on its head. They announced at their All Hands meeting in November 2014 that they are becoming a Holacracy.  Holacratic organizations are organized in circles.  Workers are members of several circles depending on what they are working on at the time.  Decision authority is distributed throughout the organization, with everyone focused on the core purpose and strategy.

If you worked 30 hours or less each and every week,  wouldn’t you be more productive, creative and rested? Wouldn’t you spend more time with your kids, friends and family? Wouldn’t you do more of what you love to do?

“…In the indigenous story, Earth is our Sacred Mother, a living being and the source of our birth and nurture.  Her care is a sacred responsibility and cannot be compromised no matter how much money may be at stake.  The significance of the indigenous perspective hit me full force when Karma Tshiteem, secretary of Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness Commission, summed up his presentation on Bhutan’s development philosophy with three words: “Time is life.”

[I was raised to believe that “Time is money.”]  QUOTE SOURCE

I hope you seriously consider this for you and your life and your kids and how much time you allot for work and play.

My last salaried position, I worked 60+ hours, including weekends.  (An earlier journalism job was pretty much the same.) I punched in at 8 am every weekday.  We had two 15 min. breaks and a 30 minute lunch.  I was salaried so I could leave work at 5 pm but the work often required more time, more hours and weekends.  In my fifth year there, I consulted a therapist for stress-related issues (even a rash on my face!)  The stress was affecting every aspect of my life, including my health (and my skin!). I had to make a choice, and I chose to leave.

Now I make my own hours for writing/editing/blogging so I will work when I have the good energy to do the work.  I may work at midnite or all weekend.  Some weeks, it’s 30 hours+ on book formatting and publishing other people’s books. I am doing blog consulting locally too.  Charles and I are wrapping our academic writing on Dr. Thomas Augustus Bland, Red Cloud and Council Fire.  Some afternoons I watch a movie or check out VIMEO (do watch Thirst). I often read blogs on weekends and usually Mondays.  I blog in more than one place… BOOM! I often use Pinterest to inspire me as I write a fiction story about two elderly Oregon women I knew in Tillamook, particularly the one who rescues dogs.

I’m doing too much, says my hubby. “Make time for you.  Shut off the media for awhile.” This is important. He’s right.

…Ever wonder what all the tweeting, skimming and Pinterest is doing to your brain? Make information overload disappear: http://project.wnyc.org/infomagical/

I’m taking time off social media, Facebook, Twitter, and not blogging …

I plan to single task (aka write the book about dogs). Two Worlds has been edited and will be republished as a second edition soon.

You will see me visiting your blogs (wouldn’t it be something to meet up in person!?) Your comments and blogs have meant much to me and you have given me many many things to think about and consider, so thank you!

(You can read the blogs I read (My Community) by clicking around in the sidebar.)

I admit I will struggle to be single-tasking (Over-work has been an addiction for too many years. Yes, I get a lot done but at what cost to my own brain?)

See you in the fall. (Yes, I’ll be taking months off)

You might want to do this, too. SERIOUSLY, give your brain a nice long break. I need more ocean, rocking chairs and books and long walks.  You too?

 

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“The whole language of writing for me is finding out what you don’t want to know.”

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Blog Bonus: Rising Up Against Climate Change: A Reading List | The Other Slavery

On Earth Day, thousands marched in support of science and the environment. But as these stories show, the fight has just begun.

READ: Rising Up Against Climate Change: A Reading List

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TOP PHOTO:

Earth First and Last, a poem by Connolly Ryan

Source: Earth First and Last, a poem by Connolly Ryan

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Review of The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America

My review of Andrés Reséndez’s The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America is up on JOTWELL: Equality. I highly recommend the book. It’s a dense and emotionally difficult read but well worth it for the knowledge you will gain. One of the things I was struck with was that the removal of Indian children from their homes by social services agencies has its roots in hundreds of years of stealing Indian children into slavery.

Another key historical antecedent to these removals was the genocidal boarding school system, which came to the forefront in the late 1800s.

Footnote By LT  (writing a new book) (one novella fiction about dogs and Tillamook, OR)

Hey there! If you are a reader, for more history of Indian child removal, I compiled: The Lost Children Book Series.

American Indian Adoptees blog (since 2010)

In coming months/years I plan to be researching/writing on how American Indian history was deliberately colonized in print, in news, in movies…as propaganda and poop. This is a form of war.  More of “What we are not supposed to know…”

Thanks to everyone for your comments and reading this blog ❤

Breaking the “Buckskin Ceiling”: Notes from a Day Devoted to Native Feminist Art

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The Feminist Art Project’s annual “Crossroads” conference was a day of panels and performances centering queer, female, and Indigenous experiences.

[This spring, the Met announced that it would begin including Native American art in the American Art collection. Back in February, the Feminist Art Project presented its annual conference CROSSROADS: Art + Native Feminisms, a day of panels, performances, and dialogue. The event took place at the Museum for Arts and Design, a venue that embraces both craft and art — a categorical division that has historically been used to exclude artists of native ancestry from the mainstream art market. It was a day filled with ceremonies, deeply considered conversations, and moving performances, centering female, queer, and Indigenous experiences of the art world. Videos of the event have just been released and can be found here.]

Source: Breaking the “Buckskin Ceiling”: Notes from a Day Devoted to Native Feminist Art

BIG NEWS: Nebraska Liquor Stores Near Pine Ridge Reservation Lose Licenses

Read more about Oglala Lakota here (top photo)

Here’s a story I wrote about Ellowyn’s life in 2007 and the road blocks to the rez… here

For First Time, Met’s Indigenous Art in American Wing | Leanne Betasamosake Simpson | Guardian of a holy lake

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With a major gift of 91 works of Native American art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art will now include indigenous art in its galleries on American art.

Significantly, the museum states that the art will be displayed in the American Wing, as previously indigenous works from the United States were sequestered in the Art of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas galleries.

Source: For the First Time, Metropolitan Museum Will Display Indigenous Art in Its American Wing

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  Leanne Betasamosake Simpson wants to make sure the Anishinaabe people are able to hear their own stories. Through writing and music, she has been able to do so, while also bringing the voices of her people to the wider world. The Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg artist just released her latest album, f(l)ight, on Sept. 30, 2016 and will follow with a connected book of poetry in 2017. Simpson began her career as a writer, but eventually found a way for her poetry and music to flow together and create new meaning about the past and future of her indigenous community. Q&Q spoke to Simpson about how storytelling has always been a part of her life, the accident that made her realize her poetry should be put to music, and her goal to tell the true story of her people. How do music and your writing connect for you? Poetry and lyric writing are both about storytelling for me. I want to take audiences and readers on a journey that’s not just intellectual but also political and artistic and

READ: Q&A: Anishinaabe artist Leanne Betasamosake Simpson on combining poetry and music | Quill and Quire

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Sergei Kechimov, appointed guardian of a holy lake by his community, says the indigenous way of life is under threat…

READ: The reindeer herder struggling to take on oil excavators in Siberia | World news | The Guardian

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Guardians of a Vast Lake, and a Refuge for Humanity – The New York Times

Mother Drum | A Poetic Video Work on Native American Fancy Dancers Goes on View

The recent unearthing of a Native American City beneath the modern metropolis of Miami was the initial inspiration for filmmaker and video artist Dara Friedman’s latest work, Mother Drum.  In the summer of 2015, Friedman travelled to powwows on the Swinomish Reservation in Washington, the Coeur d’Alene Reservation in Idaho, and Crow Agency Reservation in Montana, where she met with Native American Fancy dancers and drummers.  Instead of presenting a straightforward documentation of these social gatherings, Friedman filmed the dancers and drummers performing solely for her camera, apart from the main events. The resulting footage is a poetic, evocative meditation on the power of movement, music, and ceremony.  The three-channel video, just over 14 minutes, will be on view at Kayne Griffin Corcoran starting this Friday.

A performance featuring one of the dancers from the film will take place during the opening reception at 7:45pm.

When: Opens Friday, March 31, 6–8pm

Where: Kayne Griffin Corcoran (1201 South La Brea Avenue, Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles)

More info here.

Source: A Poetic Video Work on Native American Fancy Dancers Goes on View

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The Miseducation of Frank Waln | What Makes a Mountain, Hill or Prairie ‘Sacred’ for Native Americans #NoDAPL #WETIKO

On and off the reservation, schools tend to whitewash the stories of Native Americans.

Frank Waln, a Lakota hip-hop artist from He Dog…

Your history books (lies)
Your holidays (lies)
Thanksgiving lies and Columbus Day
Tell me why I know more than the teacher
Tell me why I know more than the preacher
Tell me why you think the red man is red
Stained with the blood from the land you bled
Tell me why you think the red man is dead

READ: The Miseducation of Frank Waln

What Makes a Mountain, Hill or Prairie ‘Sacred’ for Native Americans

The sacredness of the pipeline site

At different national and international venues, Lakota leader Dave Archambault Jr. has stated that the Lakota view the area near the potential construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline as both a “sacred place” and a “burial site,” or as both a place set aside from human presence and a place of human reverence.

Lakota scholar Vine Deloria Jr. described the “sacred stones” in North Dakota in his book “The World We Used to Live In” as having the ability of “forewarning of events to come.”

Deloria described how Lakota religious leaders went to these stones in the early morning to read their messages. Deloria shared the experiences of an Episcopal minister from 1919.

“A rock of this kind was formerly on Medicine Hill near Cannon Ball Sub-station…. Old Indians came to me… and said that the lightning would strike someone in camp that day, for a picture (wowapi) on this holy rock indicated such an event…. And the lightning did strike a tent in camp and nearly killed a woman…. I have known several similar things, equally foretelling events to come, I can not account for it.”

Deloria explained that it was “birds, directed by the spirit of the place, [that] do the actual sketching of the pictures.” The Lakota named this area Ínyanwakagapi for the large stones that served as oracles for their people.  The Americans renamed it Cannonball.

BIG READ: What Makes a Mountain, Hill or Prairie ‘Sacred’ for Native Americans | Observer

“The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.” —Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting

Five Lessons from Standing Rock

MEMORY FIRE HOPE

By LT

I had heard and read of this mind virus years ago:

The Wetiko Virus

We did not think of the great open plains, the beautiful rolling hills, and the winding streams with tangled growth as “wild.” Only to the White man was nature a “wilderness” and only to him was the land infested by “wild” animals and “savage” people. To us it was tame. Earth was bountiful and we were surrounded with the blessings of the Great Mystery. Not until the hairy man from the east came and with brutal frenzy heaped injustices upon us and the families we loved was it “wild” for us.
~ Luther Standing Bear, Land of the Spotted Eagle6

Wetiko is an Algonquin word for a cannibalistic spirit that is driven by greed, excess, and selfish consumption (in Ojibwa it is windigo, wintiko in Powhatan). It deludes its host into believing that cannibalizing the life-force of others (others in the broad sense, including animals and other forms of Gaian life) is a logical and morally upright way to live. (Think of the political climate in the USA)

In his now classic book Columbus and Other Cannibals, Native American historian Jack D. Forbes describes how there was a commonly-held belief among many Indigenous communities that the European colonialists were so chronically and uniformly infected with wetiko that it must be a defining characteristic of the culture from which they came. Examining the history of these cultures, Forbes laments, “Tragically, the history of the world for the past 2,000 years is, in great part, the story of the epidemiology of the wetiko disease.”7

KEEP READING

“Wetiko,” a Native American word, simply means “a diabolically wicked person or spirit who terrorizes others by means of evil acts.”

Dispelling Wetiko HERE

 

[You may have noticed this but the MIX emag/blog has closed its doors. We had a good run for three years, but with too many other pressing commitments, it was time to let that blog go… xox to all who read it… Trace]