Climate change region by region | Melting Glaciers | The Art of Blogging (with tips)

The Northern Great Plains is far from any ocean. Water melts off mountain snowpack, slowly trickles down glaciers**, and pools up in basins. The largely arid region is dominated by thirsty industries like agriculture, energy extraction, and tourism.  There’s a byzantine system of century-old water rights and competing interests.

Or as my dad, a Montana cattle rancher, puts it: “Whiskey is for drinking. Water is for fighting.”

Residents might want to steel themselves with a little bourbon as climate change will escalate those water woes, according to this report. Winters will end earlier and snow could decline as much as 25 to 40 percent in the mountainous regions.

It’s culturally critical, too:  The area is home to 27 federally recognized tribes that are already experiencing climate threats such as a lack of access to safe water and declining fisheries. …

“I am large. I contain multitudes,” Walt Whitman said of himself.  But he could have very well said it of the Southwest, where stretches of desert give way to soaring, snow-capped mountains.  Yet this might not be the case for long.

Climate change threatens all of this beautiful ecological diversity, as well as the 60 million people who call this area home, including 182 tribal nations.

In Alaska, water is life, life is shellfish, shellfish is power. But, alas, climate change is about to do a number on the state’s marine life, food webs, and species distributions. According to the climate assessment, ocean acidification is expected to disrupt “corals, crustaceans, crabs, mollusks,” as well as “Tanner and red king crab and pink salmon.”  Lots of indigenous peoples rely on that variety of marine life.

BIG READ: 2018: We broke down what climate change will do, region by region | Grist

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wishing you and yours health wealth and happiness and more great blogging in 2012 (an old WP photo I used for my post)

By LT

Blogging as an art? Oh my, oh my.  Where do I begin? (This is another long post but trust me, it’s about you.)

In June I was cleaning up and deleting old posts and I was happy to reread many of my old posts but not a single person had read them.  WHAT? That’s perfectly fine.

Whoever came up with the idea of “postaday” was nuts.

I cannot believe “I” tried to blog something every single day.  Back then I was getting the hang of it, so to speak.  When I started this blog in 2011, I had very little knowledge of WP or what blogging could be.  It’s a practice, like writing or yoga or raising pigs.

When you start blogging, learn as you go. And I want to STRONGLY encourage new bloggers to keep at it.

Start with:  Pick a topic/theme you like. Write posts around news articles…. Use links, photos, and videos. (Like I did above)

The big lesson for me was social media, aka sharing blog posts.  It took me two (dreaded) years of blogging to find readers and keep them.  And that is what you must expect.  It takes time, maybe years. Just remember, you will find your niche and you will become a greater writer, photog, chef, poet, or whatever you choose to blog about, if you persist.

Writing about adoption and being adopted was the reason I chose to blog in the first place. (“When you have a book, you must have a blog.” I didn’t create that lovely saying… but yup, it’s true.)  In 2013/4 I was dedicated to research the topic of human trafficking.  (I even did a radio interview about this blog topic when trafficking was a neglected yet news-worthy topic.)  Not grabbing any new readers on that topic for this blog, that didn’t matter to me as much as I needed to learn about it –and was SADLY shocked at what I did learn.   FYI: I also dedicated many 2015 posts to orphanage asylums around the US.  Of course “adoptionland” (adoption controversy) is closely related to human trafficking.  (Those are categories I chose for this blog.)  And, I usually tie-in and write about Indian Country which is my career!

When I tell non-blog friends I blog, after I explain what it is and that it’s perhaps addicting to be a reader/writer, I tell them my LARA blog is for “serious writing.”  (Of course I admit I might have a disorder called ADHD and I secretly experiment making other blogs but don’t yell “bloody murder” when no one reads them.)

OK, but seriously, Bloggers, just remember— YOU get to pick your poison/passion/past-time.  That is the magic key to blogging.  Educate yourself on whatever the topic and new readers will find you!  Even if they don’t find you, (SEO will) and you will learn more than you dare to dream and YOU be a better blogger (and person) for it.  (If you are tech-minded read up on SEO/search engine optimization — very boring stuff…) (11 tips that you can use to optimize your blog posts for SEO (like a Pro).

There are so many great bloggers out there now.  REALLY!!  More than a few years ago I used WP Reader to find blog suggestions.  Today in 02019 I follow (280+) (OMG, that many?) way too many great blogs to keep up with and sometimes I have to choose which blog(s) to read every week.  I do get posts via email which keeps some order to my disorder.

Do not think I don’t care if I don’t read your blog every time. I am simply trying to keep up. I’m old now.

One of the wonders of blogging is you can find bloggers in other countries and learn a great deal from them.  It’s a huge blessing to learn about other parts of this world and what they care about, or write about and share. Google Translate will help you if they are using another language, so anyone, even you can explore the big bad blogworld.

Engaging with others (with comments, shares and reblogs) is truly the best way to blog (and make interesting new friends).  By way of a perfect example, I highly recommend my UK friend Pete who blogs at beetleypete –  he is one of the kindest bloggers in the world.  His excellent blog is about “The musings of a Londoner, now living in Norfolk.”  HERE.

Don’t be discouraged, new and tired bloggers.  Keep at it.  Change your template/theme occasionally.  Maybe get a domain name, once you settle on a theme or niche, and use social media to reach others…  then go wild with that Twitter button!  You may want to blog weekly… or monthly or daily.  But trust me, “daily” is very very hard and requires great skill and loads of research + deep thought + time. (And you will miss all your TV programs, trust me on that.)

(OH NO, I have violated my own rules with this post – it’s WAY TOO LONG!)   (Forgive me this time and all the other times. I will do better.) There are no rules — just the ones you make for yourself…

I made a blog “BLOG SCOUTS” when I was teaching blogging at the local community college. Make art and a logo for your blog – readers love it!

TIP: If you do give up, leave your blog up. You may come back to it. (Put up a “I’m on Hiatus” post and let it sit.)

TIP:  On WordPress,  go to the dashboard and under settings, go to the SHARING tab.  Add the PINTEREST button to your blog.  It will bring you many new readers… I love sharing your posts to Pinterest (and Twitter)… it helps visually if you use a featured (top) photo for each blog post! (I’m not on FB and don’t share there.)

TIP:  You don’t have to “Like” the post but do click LIKE anyway- this tells the blogger you were there. It’s like saying, “hi there blog bud…”

Why this post about glaciers and blogs??

This fall I am working with a poet who retired from glaciology, which is the scientific study of glaciers, or more generally ice and natural phenomena that involve ice.  Dr. Richard Cameron has traveled the planet and I can’t wait to share his poetry with the world.  I will help him publish his collection (then brag/blog about it).

Blogging (and writing) will be a colossal chore if you let it….  Don’t let it!

If you have a blogging question or just want to shoot the breeze, my email is: laratrace@outlook.com

p.s. UPDATE::: Healthwise…I’m following the KETO diet, kinda, but it’s more strict.  It’s working wonders and my new hormone cream is the bomb! Can you tell I’m feeling better? 🙂

My dear husband Herb has been in the hospital for a ruptured appendix – his surgery was a success on June 24 but they kept him a week. That was not fun at all.

And you can also use this neat thing (the contact form) to ask me something?

 

 

Poetry Reviews: J Matthew Waters, AshiAkira, Laura Grace Weldon

“I believe the role of the poet is to reflect on human experience and the world we live in and to articulate it for oneself and others…. I think that the poet can write forcefully, using a different approach from a journalist, about subjects such as climate change, violence, abuse and mental illness and that this is meaningful to others. I very much believe too that poetry is a way of celebrating life. I think it deserves a central place in our world.”  A Life Immersed in Poetry: Myra Schneider, Celebrating Over 50 Years as Poet and Writer (link to Jamie Dedes)

By Lara
Howdy! …just so you know, I have always had more poetry books (and history books) on my book shelves, and these three brilliant poets never cease to amaze  and fill me with wonder and deep thoughts.  Poetry does deserve your time, too, so brace yourself, this is a long post…

First up:

J Matthew Waters, and his 2015 book Forty-Five Revolutions Per Minute (ISBN: 978-1-5197-2802-9)

With four poetry collections published, JW writes a daily poem on his blog  jdubqca , and it’s extraordinary he can keep up this writing schedule since it appears he also has a job in the financial sector in Iowa!

(below) Read RUNNING ON EMPTY! I’ve earmarked his book, and have so many post-its – it was very hard to choose just one but WOW –

A man who can write with such madcap vision with a dash of the esoteric and gravity of love, he’s grabbed me so many times with his poetic brilliance, I am simply in awe of this man.  JW has composed over 700 poems since 2011 (and blogs as he writes them).  It all makes sense to me –JW can’t help himself – he is an artist (of words.)

theory of a black hole

birth is like a microscopic bang
transmitting near-silent primal waves
quickly creating its very own tiny galaxy

struggles elapse in the background
ongoing and inaudible to the human mind
unmistakable to the almighty creator

to what degree the energy advances
is an invaluable period of time
[no matter the linear length]
from the very start to infinitesimal finish

(may 30, 2019)

++He makes an audio file so you can hear him read which is also genius! Visit JW on his poetry blog HERE:  https://jdubqca.com/

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by

The news of heat strokes

Never been so hot in May

Or people getting weak?

AshiAkira is a skilled master of Haiku who lives in Tokyo, Japan. I wrote an earlier review of his work here (when he was 79 years young).

He has since published a second collection Haiku Poems II (LINK: available on Lulu.com) with over 500 poems, in the five-seven-five syllable pattern.  What I long for when I read his work is to feel what he feels as he walks the places he knows so well in Japan, and learn about his culture a half a world away.  After hearing about yet another earthquake, I waited to see what he’d write.

526

After the earthquake

Sit in a mess of strewn books

Thinking of reading.

 

527

Cascade of spring light

The resurrection of the earth

After the earthquake.

AshiAkira (his penname) wishes to emulate the haiku poets of old.  It’s so difficult for me to write (and think) in three sentences but he’s a master:

Red-and-white plum trees

Innocently in full bloom

Amid snow forecast

In the book introduction he writes about how he came to be a poet:

Thanks to retirement, I became free.

Having worked as a news reporter,

I have seen the pretentious faces of people in many walks of life,

Politicians, bureaucrats, businesspeople, showbiz celebrities,

preachers, and priests—- All wade through their lives

with business smiles and political gestures.

I was one of them.

When I found myself free, the first thing I did was take a walk.

 

His third collection is delayed: he wrote me his hospitalization in 2018 prevented him from publishing “Haiku Poems III” and right now (May 2019) he is recovering from pneumonia and was in hospital again.

In an 2018 email exchange, I asked AskiAkira how he’s doing: “I’m feeling all right, and I can walk about 100 meters now.  I’m sure I can regain the strength enough to complete the third book for publication soon.  I post haiku every other day now (on my blog), and I imagine about a couple of thousands from which to select for the next publication.

“The basic spirit of haiku writing is to follow the law of nature above and before all other things especially dictatorship or any other political oppression. When the ordinary people lead the world, peace will be on Earth,” AshiAkira wrote.

I urge you to visit and follow his blog and see for yourself what a gift this beautiful man is to the world and to HAIKU poetry…

HAIKU II (ISBN:  978-1-4834-7596-7 ppbk)

He posted an introduction to Vol III here: https://ashiakira.wordpress.com/2019/03/11/march-10-introduction/

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Let me share just a few 5 STAR reviews on Amazon for BLACKBIRD: (ISBN: 978-0999432761 ppbk)

This book of new poems by Laura Grace Weldon, titled Blackbird, is a gem. Her imagery is grounded and evocative. Real life unfolds here in ways that give poignant hope to the paradoxes of our lives. These truth-telling poems of tender scenes will stay in the memory for years to come.

This book is a pergola–you walk through it, to find a green and wholesome space

   By turns this collection made me laugh, feel wistful, get in touch with half-forgotten memories, and at one point, I just set the book down, completely gob-smacked. I LOVE poetry, but I have little patience for poetry that makes me feel stupid. Laura’s poems never do that. They have a fresh straightforwardness that makes them relatable, and at the same time they have multiple layers to dive into. Here’s an example of one that grabbed me from the first line.

  In “Assembly Required” the poem opens with “I just need a new body / my mother used to say / as if she could unscrew her head…”.  How can the reader not keep reading?  Where is this one going?  Well, with this poet, it will be somewhere interesting, thought provoking, wonder-full. The whole book is worth owning just to read (and re-read) “Compost Happens”. That was the gob-smacker for me.

SOOOO… yes I took my time with Blackbird, and wrote a few pages of notes which became this review on Amazon:

Playing Blackbird

The world needs a big dose of Weldon’s poetry right now

May 17, 2019

Her poetry takes raw courage. My dictionary is open on my desk to play BLACKBIRD (her poem and book title) as instructed in the beautiful new poetry collection by Laura Grace Weldon. (I found a word, eyes closed, my finger blindly choosing the word itinerary. The word perfectly fits her new book: a record of a journey.) 
Her book breathes; Blackbird beats in my hand. Whoever said, “Poetry is a language unto itself,” this is utterly true of her work. (I always look forward to her musings on her website, too.)
Without a doubt, her poetry is code. Not everyone feels poems are a form of writing they can understand. Laura doesn’t write difficult or obtuse. She writes “REALLY REAL, deeply.” Her words rush tears to my eyes. So I pray she makes time to write volumes more… and allow us access to her universe, embedding word-poems for those of us wise enough to realize true beauty when we see it… if only us humans could only crack open and think with open hearts.
“If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him. We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth… When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.” – JFK
The world needs a big dose of Weldon’s poetry right now. As Laura writes in Earthbound:
“We want to get past/ greed, suffering and war, enough already./ And death? That’s awfully primitive for souls with so much left to learn./ That said, this planet does a lot right./ Birds, for one./ Water in all its perfect manifestations./ Those alive poems called trees. ”
God, I want what she wants. Time travel would also be nice. 🙂

 

Ah… the beauty of her writing is in full bloom here:  https://lauragraceweldon.com/

Laura is also the author of Free Range Learning and an earlier poetry collection Tending.

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Why has noone produced reality show about poets??? I know plenty!

J Peter Moore wrote: How can it be, with streaming services and cable channels engaged in an all-out arms race for our so-called “entertainment” dollars, that no one has produced reality show about poets???

Magdalena Zurawski’s recent book of poems The Tiniest Muzzle Sings Songs of Freedom, offers a glimpse into what this duality might look like:

“So that my best poems disappeared just as I began to dream. I know I was their only audience, but I am sure they were my best work. If only I know how to retrieve them, know where they were stored.”

GREAT REVIEW: Poems About Unending Displacement and Mobility

 

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If I have not said it to you bloggers, I mean this. You mean the world to me. There are so many of you who I treasure when I read your posts, though I don’t always comment or say something nice or witty. You have made me a better writer and reader.  Thank you ALL!

I have a new doctor for my thyroid issues (hyper-thyroid) and he is young and talented and of course holistic. I will be following a new regimen the next 30 days or so and will report back how I’m doing in July.  The other bigger issue: uterine cancer was surgically removed and is gone. I’ll be around much longer we hope!

 

Top photo:

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Indian Country: The Art of David Bradley continues at the Autry Museum of the American West (4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles) through January 5, 2020. The exhibition was organized by the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture/Laboratory of Anthropology (Santa Fe, NM) and circulated through Guest Curator Traveling Exhibitions.

Source: Santa Fe Through the Eyes of a Minnesota Chippewa Artist

The Seeds Have Been Planted #MMIWG (More Updates)

Awareness of kidnappings and murders in Indian Country — and the need for policies to stem them — has grown in recent years.

Above, Kenny Still Smoking touches the tombstone of his 7-year-old daughter, Monica, who disappeared from school in 1979 and was found frozen on a mountain, as he visits her grave on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Browning this past summer.

A study released by a Native American nonprofit says numerous police departments in cities nationwide are not adequately identifying or reporting cases of missing and murdered indigenous women. [Researcher discusses importance of data for missing, murdered Native women ]

Native American women have long endured far higher rates of violence than other racial groups. The past year has seen a surge in awareness of this problem, and a suite of new proposals to address it. Perhaps the best-known of these is Savanna’s Act, currently before Congress, which would require the U.S. Department of Justice to develop protocols for missing-persons cases in Indian Country, and improve tribal access to criminal databases.

Meanwhile, Montana lawmakers are debating Hanna’s Act, which would authorize the state Department of Justice to assist with these cases, and create a missing persons specialist within the department. [Fortunately, common sense and bipartisanship ultimately prevailed — and to our great joy, on Legislative Day 85, Hanna’s Act headed to the governor’s desk for signing.]

“What we’re doing, and everything that we’re doing with the legislation, it goes hand-in-hand,” Ivy MacDonald told the audience over Skype. She and her brother Ivan, members of the Blackfeet Tribe, have been pressing for passage of these bills, and portraying the issue through film.

At Tuesday’s meeting in February, which drew about 40 guests, organizers screened three clips from their upcoming documentary, “When They Were Here.”

The first featured Susan Irvine Adams, who was found dead in Arlee about six decades ago, a trauma that lingers for her family.

The second featured members of the Box Elder High School girls’ basketball team, who highlighted the issue by wearing ribbons in their sneakers. “We wanted to show sort of the resilient side of some of these young women taking it upon themselves to raise awareness,” Ivy said.

The third clip showed the search for Bonnie Three Iron, who was found dead on the Crow Reservation in April 2017. Her friends and family members voiced deep dissatisfaction with police, a common sentiment among those whose Native loved ones have gone missing.

For Ivan and Ivy MacDonald, the topic is personal.

“Like with most indigenous people and families and communities, we had our own experience,” he said over the phone. Their cousin, 7-year-old Monica Still Smoking, was found frozen on a mountain on the Blackfeet Reservation in 1979; they’re also related to Ashley HeavyRunner Loring, who vanished in 2017 and has yet to be found.

“It’s just kind of always been a topic that’s been ever present in our lives,” he said.

The documentary began about two years ago, when he was completing his master’s degree in film studies at the University of Montana. “I approached Ivy and said, ‘Hey let’s do a short film,’” he remembers.

Both of Montana’s U.S. senators have been active on the issue. Michael LaValley, U.S. Sen. Jon Tester’s tribal liaison, gave an update and handed out a fact sheet on the various steps the Democrat had taken. In addition to Savanna’s Act, he and Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., have co-sponsored the Securing Urgent Resources Vital to Indian Victim Empowerment (SURVIVE) Act, which set aside Crime Victims Fund money for Indian Country. Tester has also introduced a bill that would direct the Government Accountability Office to comprehensively study the handling of missing-persons cases in Indian Country.

Amid these developments, Carole Meyers of Missoula came away encouraged from Tuesday’s event. “I hope we have more meetings like this,” she said. A member of the Oneida tribe, of Blackfeet and Seneca descent, she said, “our voices need to be heard [on this issue], and they’re going to be heard.”

“To be more involved is essential,” she said, especially when it comes to discussing the issue with friends and contacting Congress. “The seeds have been planted, and so we need to sprout them.”

Source: Film screening spotlights Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women | Local | missoulian.com

IN CANADA

MMIWG inquiry set to present final report in June

CBC.ca|19 days ago
The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls is set to present its final report June 3 in Gatineau, Que. The report comes after 24 hearings and statement gathering events across Canada in 2017 and 2018.

Hey everyone, I’m still reading poetry and will be posting book reviews soon… This story is so important I needed to share it on Missing Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in the US and Canada. Hunted and killed and missing today, in 2019?  Indeed. It is happening. Who wants us dead?

 

Published May 1, 2019

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — When Governor Mark Gordon of Wyoming recently traveled to the University of Wyoming, he expected to sign a proclamation establishing May 5 as “Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Day.” To the surprise of the media and the many who had just completed the preceding “Keepers of the Fire” MMIW march, Governor Gordon (R-WY) opened his address at the Washakie Dining Center by committing to implement one of the strongest executive orders on MMIW yet enacted in any state.

READ: Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon Commits to Strong Executive Action to Address the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women Crisis – Native News Online

Women are Disappearing and Dying in Indian Country. We must Act.

The picture can be even more dire for urban Indians. Recent reports by the Urban Indian Health Institute identified 506 cases of missing and murdered indigenous women across 71 urban cities – my state of New Mexico ranked number one for the highest number of MMIW cases with 78.

Source: Women are Disappearing and Dying in Indian Country. We must Act. – Native News Online

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The four Native American members of Congress just introduced a bill to create an advisory committee on missing and murdered Indigenous women. Some states like New Mexico and Wyoming assembled task forces to address the issue. Washington State is requiring the State Patrol to establish “best practices” for investigating missing Native Americans. Will more task forces, research reports and policy guidelines help solve the ongoing problem that disproportionately harms Native women? We’ll hear about some of the latest efforts and hear from experts about what the most promising approaches are.

What Climate Organizers Can Learn From Two Centuries of Indigenous Resistance | in-digit-ous | Why ICWA still matters | poets I love

Q: Could you explain what you mean by the title phrase of your book, “our history is the future”?

I look at the Ghost Dance prophecy, which was an anticolonial uprising among particularly Lakota and Dakota people on the northern Plains in the late 19th century, but also a widespread spiritual movement that went up the west coast of Canada and down to parts of what is today Mexico. If they were completely harmless, then the United States wouldn’t have deployed its army against starving, horseless people at Wounded Knee. The reason it represented such a threat was not because Lakota and Dakota Ghost Dancers were going around and murdering white settlers — it was because it was a vision of the future. When you subjugate a people, you not only take their land and their language, their identity, and their sense of self — you also take away any notion of a future. The reason I chose this name is because in this particular era of neoliberal capitalism, it’s easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism. The argument I’m making is that within our own traditions of Indigenous resistance, we have always been a future-oriented people, whether it was taking up arms against the United States government, whether it was taking ceremonies underground into clandestine spaces, whether it was learning the enemy’s language. This pushes back against the dominant narrative that Indigenous people are a dying, diminishing race desperately holding on to the last vestiges of their culture or their land base. If that were the case, then I don’t think we would have an uprising such as Standing Rock or, today, Line 3 or Bayou Bridge, or the immense amount of mobilization around murdered and missing Indigenous women.

READ: What Climate Organizers Can Learn From Two Centuries of Indigenous Resistance

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Bobby Bridger’s son coined a phrase for his dad’s project: in-digit-ous environment.

Source: Timeless thought meets modern tech: A new company puts indigenous philosophy and history into audiobook form | Arts | rapidcityjournal.com

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Jered might not have seen his son again before the Indian Child Welfare Act. For decades beginning in the 1870s, native children as young as 5 were forcibly removed from their families and sent to authoritarian boarding schools in an effort to “kill the Indian, save the man.” Tribal law expert Matthew Fletcher, who is Anishinaabe, explains that boarding schools fell out of favor beginning in the 1930s, but whites still viewed native methods of child rearing, as well as concepts of family and community, with deep suspicion, and children were removed from their families for nearly any reason. It became standard policy, Fletcher says, to adopt them out to white families, all with an eye toward white acculturation. Often, they were never heard from again. “The wholesale separation of Indian children from their families is perhaps the most tragic and destructive aspect of American Indian life today,” Congress declared in 1978. It passed ICWA after hearing hundreds of hours of testimony by tribal leaders and afflicted family members. By then, according to the National Indian Child Welfare Association, an estimated 25 to 35 percent of all native children had been removed from their families.  Of those, 85 percent were placed in white homes, even, NICWA says, when suitable relatives were available.

GOOD READ: The Indian Child Welfare Act: Does a law meant to keep Native American children with their tribes help or harm them? – The Washington Post

The secretive Goldwater Institute is the force behind recent lawsuits in more than one state that wish to end the Indian Child Welfare Act.  This quote above explains WHY! ICWA is the gold standard for caring for Indian kids.

My story on being adopted out

Walking the Red Road

By LT

If I could read poetry and prose every single day, I certainly would.  Mystics live and breathe in today’s poets:

POETRY IS A CODE THE HEART UNDERSTANDS.

I will be posting book reviews of some of my favorite poets, who are also fantastic bloggers on my blog soon. (I plan to post their book links as well as links to their blogs.)

I want to thank everyone again for the love and support since last May’s cancer surgery. YES I am a cancer survivor now.  xox

Breaking: Court Fights Intensify Over Who Gets To Adopt Native American Children

A case before a federal appeals court last week could upend an historic adoption law meant to combat centuries of brutal discrimination against American Indians and keep their children with families and tribal communities. For the first time, a few states have sued to overturn the federal Indian Child Welfare Act, which Congress enacted in 1978 as an antidote to entrenched policies of uprooting Native children and assimilating them into mainstream white culture. Now, in a country roiled by debates over race and racial identity, there’s a chance the 41-year-old law could be overturned by the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, considered the country’s most conservative court. (The law applies to federally recognized tribes.)

“This is about attacking Indian law and Indian sovereignty,” said Chrissi Nimmo, deputy attorney general for the Cherokee Nation. “This is just the first step.” The Cherokee, Navajo, Oneida and Quinault Indian Nations, as well as the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, asked to be included as defendants in the lawsuit.

BREAKING NEWS: Court Fights Intensify Over Who Gets To Adopt Native American Children | HuffPost

Lost Birds and Lost Children Book Series

My readers know I am an adoptee and the author of a book series by and for Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects, 60s Scoop and ARENA in the US and Canada.

This latest attack on Indian Country is about land.

If you adopt and take children and erase their identity, isolated and unable to open their adoption, eventually there will be no more Indians (in their way – anywhere.)

The American Indian Adoptees blog has coverage : /https://blog.americanindianadoptees.com/

Defying US Borders, Asserting Territorial Rights | Bad Movies | Children Strike | Wayfarers and The Fork in the Road

We didn’t cross the border, the border crossed us.” That’s the message from communities who live with the troubled legacy of colonialism today—the descendants of Native peoples who have survived in defiance of the national divides that strafe their lands and run counter to their cultural inheritance.

Such a move, (THE WALL) according to the resolution, would threaten territorial rights, “further divide historic tribal lands and communities,” “militarize the lands on the southern boundary,” and “disturb or destroy tribal archeological, sacred sites, and human remains.”

READ: Defying US Borders, Native Americans Are Asserting Their Territorial Rights | The Nation

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BAD MOVIES? A final, crucial step to being a responsible media consumer is to look for works made by Indigenous artists or in collaboration with Indigenous artists.

GOOD READ: Native American Stereotypes in Popular Media – SAPIENS

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For her 16th birthday, Maddy Fernands asked her parents for an unusual gift: to switch the family to wind power.  She didn’t want an iPhone, new clothes or — banish the thought — a car.  Cars and trucks account for about a fifth of greenhouse gas emissions, and a significant amount of Fernands’s climate anxiety. “Sometimes we’ll be stuck in traffic and I’ll look outside and watch the exhaust coming out of the car in front of me and I’ll freak out,” she told me. “I feel so powerless to stop it.” Fernands has been struggling with that sense of helplessness since she first became keyed into the accelerating timetable of climate change in seventh grade. “It seemed like the end of the world,” she said. “But the apocalyptic message wasn’t being broadcast. Nobody was taking correct action to put us on a path away from climate catastrophe.” Because her parents and teachers didn’t seem to share her urgency, Fernands decided that she herself would have to sound the alarm over climate.

Climate change is causing mental anguish in people of all ages, according to Lise Van Susteren, a psychiatrist and member of the Climate Psychiatry Alliance. “When you’re hearing day in and day out that we’ve got 12 years, we’ve got 11 years, the oceans are collapsing, fires are burning, air quality is terrible, wear a mask, the anxiety is inescapable,” said Van Susteren.

READ: Young People Feel Betrayed by Adults Over the Climate Crisis. Today, They’re Going on Strike.

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Turn at fork in the road

book review: Truly prolific writer poet community organizer

By LT

J Glenn’s visionary fiction novel Wayfarers – Where No One Is an Outcast is about an interesting mix of homeless people who want to help other homeless people. Do we need it? Timely? Absolutely.

Right to the end of his fiction novel, suspense abounds.

In real life: There are always two groups of people: the Have’s and the Have Not’s.  Can there be a Happy Ending?  The brilliant idea from Wayfarers story leads the author to buy land in Oklahoma for this very purpose: a farm where the homeless can resettle in 2019.  I interviewed the author in Jan. 2015.

J Glenn is an elder, a man of vision and great wisdom. He is a good friend and a true inspiration. He has shared his ideas on this blog HERE HERE

FORK IN THE ROAD

WEWOKA, OKLAHOMA — He arrived at this latest fork in the road pretty late.

Glenn Evans is 88 now but excited about what he calls his last hurrah, an idea he would like to try out on this plot of land.

A visitor asks, “Why in the world would you want to leave Washington State, one of the gardens spots of the U.S. to here?”

Evans makes a circle with his finger beside his head and chuckles, “I’m a little nuts.”

He grew up on a farm near Wewoka where most of his family’s food needs were met with a big garden.

Glenn’s family moved to town though.

On a walk through tall weeds on his new land, his guest asks, “Are we bushwhacking your trail?”

Evans says, “No we’re just starting one. We’re pioneers!”

He went off to school and chased success as a stock broker.

He left that and turned to a career in writing.

Several books in he wrote a novel called ‘Wayfarers‘ about a group of homeless people who want to help other homeless people.

His thoughts while writing, “I want to do something for people. Create a place where they can live together as a family.”

Evans started walking around and thinking what worked in fiction might work in real life.

“I wanted to make my first place right here in Oklahoma,” he says.

So here’s his new idea.

Invite people, maybe homeless, he’s not sure, to open up this acreage to folks who want to grow their own food, who want to live off their gardens like his family did.

“Food and shelter, and you’re part of a family,” he suggests.

They use no till farming methods, plant some fruit trees, and live in underground houses to stay cool in the summer, warm in winter, and safe in the spring.

Of living underground, Evans says, “It’s good for tornadoes.”

It took him a couple of hours to walk through the brush and get a good gauge on the property.

The only road on it leads to a pump jack, but J. Glenn sees a successful future here.

“Is the land good,” asks his visitor?

“Oh. I think it’s good and rich,” he responds. Look at the soil. It’s had years of composting.”

Call him a visionary, or call him a crazy old man.

Glenn Evans just needs a few more crazy people like him to unplug and dig in, to make this fork in the road a little bit wider.

Glenn currently makes his home in Olympia, Washington.

VIDEO: https://kfor.com/2018/07/20/he-grew-up-on-a-farm-at-88-j-glenn-evans-hopes-he-can-lure-people-back/

To learn more about his work go to http://www.poetswest.com

Book Description: Wayfarers

From Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, this picaresque novel takes on the issues of homelessness, big city corruption, and corporate greed. An engaging, rollicking tale of those who are mostly down on their luck and chafe under the rules and regulations imposed by those in authority.  They were small in numbers, inexperienced, and some of them uneducated but they made up for it in a passionate belief in themselves.  Wayfarers is an adventure story about a homeless half Cherokee who sets out to do something for the homeless with the help of such characters as a prostitute, a disbarred lawyer, a cuckolded preacher turned prospector, ex-CIA man, a veteran turned warrior for the good and a small Indian tribe. The two main protagonists, RB (Chief) and Warrior, each has his own way to bring justice into the world: one that allows the Native American culture to nourish and restore health to the planet. The other protagonist, Warrior, has a strong sense of justice laced with a mission to punish the evil-doers. Against this backdrop are the greedy power-brokers hell-bent on imposing their views on society. What will be the final outcome and whose philosophy will be the winner? A regenerative culture vs the competitive materialistic one? The wayfarers seek to provide alternatives to living on the street or to incarceration. There is a wisdom of indigenous peoples that we can use to help put our post-industrial society on a more ecological basis. Laced with the honesty of Steinbeck – both religious and profane, dangerous and divine – this pot boiler keeps rolling to the finish line.

I can’t wait to visit the Glenn Kay Evans Farms

LT

p.s. I had a very good check up in February and see my doctors again in May – my one year cancer anniversary.  Thank you all for the good thoughts and prayers and kind words. I’m doing GREAT!

BREAKING: Double Standard? | Native Women present shawl to Sen. Warren #MMIWG

Part of the reason for why McCarthy’s scandal got little or no attention is because there isn’t an unspooled Democratic leader firing off out horrendously racist “Pocahontas” and Trail of Tears tweets as Trump keeps doing about Warren.  (The troll-in-chief has to troll.)

Consequently, the television news media doesn’t pay any attention to the McCarthy story, which means voters don’t pay attention either. And when reporters notice that voters don’t care, the conventional wisdom calcifies.

The circle of crapola goes the other way, too: Trump says “Pocahontas” is a fraud; the news media picks up the tweets and runs them without debunking them; voter outrage grows; the Beltway reporters note the outrage and then tell Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press” that it’s a disqualifying scandal for Warren because voters are pissed.

But why are they pissed, if they actually are? Because the press told them to be.

See?

And Trump wonders why Democrats are so angry.

As if that weren’t objectionable enough, there’s never any effort to put the Native American story in the proper context. How does Warren’s thing stack up to other scandals? Is this as bad or worse than Kevin McCarthy’s brother-in-law receiving millions in taxpayer funds because he claimed membership in a disputed tribe? Should we care about this as much as, say, the fact that literally every major organization linked to the Trump family is under state and federal investigation for rampant fraud?

Context be damned in the face of publishing more screamer headlines about — say it with me — Democrats in disarray.

WOW: Scandal double standard: Dems pay the price for every misdeed, while the GOP skates | Salon.com

Thanks to KC for letting me know about this… This is the playbook both sides use to control the mainstream media…

Deb and Liz

TOP PHOTO: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is presented with a shawl of thanks from Native American women.

Elizabeth Warren receives standing ovation at surprise visit to Native American conference: report

“The alarming number of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls continues to grow,” the senator says

Warren spoke at the National Indian Women’s “Supporting Each Other” lunch, where she introduced Cheryl Andrews-Maltais, the chairwoman of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head Aquinnah in Massachusetts, HuffPost first reported. The luncheon took place during an annual meeting of the National Congress of American Indians.

In her speech, Warren praised Native American women, specifically Reps. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) and Sharice Davids (D-Kan.) — the first two Native women elected to Congress. The progressive lawmaker, who reportedly received a standing ovation from tribal leaders and other Native attendees as she approached the stage, detailed several legislative priorities related to the Native American community.

“The alarming number of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls (#MMIWG) continues to grow,” she said, according to The Daily Beast. “But Congress failed to pass legislation to address this epidemic.”

“Every day, there’s a racist tweet, a hateful tweet – something really dark and ugly,” Warren said of Trump. “And what are we, as candidates, as activists, the press, going to do about it? Are we going to let him use those to divide us?”

SOURCE

Breaking News: Land Art at Desert X | Frontline: Predator | 12M Fakes

This week, the second edition of the biennial opened under the dual themes of politics and poetics, with works that engaged with environmental catastrophes, mass migration, Indigenous rights, and architectural and industrial colonization.

 

The curators are a group of young, energetic curators from distinct backgrounds and points of views. The artistic director Neville Wakefield is an art star known for his work in performance, site installations, and partnerships with fashion brands such as Supreme, Nike, and Calvin Klein. The biennial’s executive director, Jenny Gil, who is from Spain, formerly worked for Faena. The curator Amanda Hunt recently worked at the Studio Museum before joining MOCA. The LA-based writer and curator Matthew Schum was informed by his doctoral research on site-specific happenings, including the Istanbul Biennial. They have selected a broad group of artists of diverse nationalities, ages, and practices, supporting the conception, construction, and installation of each of the works. A budget of $25,000 or (much) more per work was offered by donors such as the Coachella Music Festival (which donated over $100,000) and electric car company Evelozcity. On 55 miles spread between the Wildland Park in the northwest and the Salton Sea in the southeast, the installations take the visitor on a road trip on a circuitous path of highways, windmill farms, gas stations, hot spring spas, residential compounds, and Modernist homes. The works will be up until April 21 and are accessible free of charge, alongside a series of performances and events.

Land Art is no longer a romantic and heroic gesture in the vastness of nature. It is by essence a political act.

Big Read: The Land Art at Desert X Confronts Borders and Politics on Indigenous Territory

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History’s largest Native American art fraud case will come through the courts this year after multiple family businesses manufactured, imported, and falsely distributed Native American-style jewelry as genuine between 2010 and 2015. The trade value reached nearly $12 million across 300 shipments in five years — now, five men and two businesses are charged with violating the Indian Arts and Crafts Act, importation by false or fraudulent practice, and failure to mark goods with their country of origin as required by customs law.

Congress passed the Indian Arts and Crafts Act (IACA) of 1990, to include the importation of knock-offs which undercut Native American economies and cultural heritage.

During the court hearing, Native American artist Liz Wallace said, “I don’t think calling this cultural appropriation is adequate. It’s economic colonization.”

Source: World’s Largest Native American Art Forgery Ring Distributed $12M of Fakes

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

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

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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”

 

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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

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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

 

Rest in Peace Karen Vigneault, the woman who made miracles for Native adoptees

Kimberly Linebarger, left, with sister Gudrun Drofn Emilsdottir, in lobby of Seven Clans First Council Casino Hotel, Newkirk, Oklahoma, November 19, 2018.

Guðrún Emilsdóttir, circa 1967, baby picture

Guðrún Emilsdóttir, adopted shortly after birth, was 28 before she tracked down her birth mother.

Her birth mother gave Emilsdottir her birth certificate, which named her father, Henry Linwood Jackson.

“My nephew started looking for Henry,” she said.

Eventually, he contacted Native American genealogist Karen Vigneault, a member of the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel in California who was profiled in an earlier VOA story.  On Vigneault’s advice, Emilsdottir took a DNA blood test; they uploaded the results onto an online database and waited.

20180929_093011(PHOTO: Iceland covered the story too) (Karen Vigneault, an enrolled tribal member of the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel and college and tribal librarian, has a face tattoo.)

(READ Long-lost Native American Sisters Reunite for a Joyous Thanksgiving)

Emilsdottir has returned to Iceland but is planning to return to Oklahoma in July 2019 for the “Encampment,” a pow wow the Otoe-Missouria tribe has held annually for more than 130 years. It’s an occasion for the tribe to sing, drum, dance and remember their history and traditions. And celebrate family, lost and found.

Henry Linwood Jackson, Otoe-Missouria tribe member, ca. 1965.

BIG READ: Long-lost Native American Sisters Reunite for a Joyous Thanksgiving

The reunion happened because of the tireless methodical work of librarian and tribal genealogist Karen Vigneault; she and I have worked together since 2013.

I learned yesterday that Karen has passed away in San Diego at her home.

She made miracles and reunions for adoptees, like these sisters.

It is impossible to put into words the impact she had on me and the lives of many adoptees she helped. She worked to find adoption records, tribal histories, family genealogy and find relatives that adoptees could contact and meet.

This loss is personal and devastating.

Not just to me but to readers of this blog who are still searching and hoping and waiting and wanting to find their families.

Karen traveled to Iceland late last year to meet Guðrún and the Iceland media covered it. Her wish was to reunite Guðrún with her tribe and relatives. She succeeded.

District of Despair: Montana Reservation Schools | Alone | Loot | Bansky | Zinke gone

Just half of Wolf Point’s Native students graduate from high school, compared with about three-quarters of their white peers. In June 2017, the Tribal Executive Board of Fort Peck filed a civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights requesting a federal investigation into its contention that the Wolf Point school system discriminates against Native students.

“I think the sensitivity to different cultures, sometimes it ends with Native people,” said Ron Lessard, the acting executive director of the White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education since 2017.

Source: District of Despair: On a Montana Reservation, Schools… — ProPublica

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ALONE: 2018 QUOTE

In her essay “Alone in Company,” Chelsea Bayouth reflects on the role of an artist at the end of 2018:  “For me, it is to fear that every word or image is a window into public, political, and social tumult.  It means you have to be more vulnerable than you or anyone in times previous has ever been…. Social capital is the currency, and if you have none you are poor. ”

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Royal statues from the Palaces of Abomey in Benin, displayed at the Quai Branly Museum in Paris; they are among the works slated to be returned to Benin as soon as possible (photo by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra via Flickr)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ivory Coast is demanding that France return 148 works once looted from the country.  The Ivory Coast’s culture minister, Maurice Bandaman, confirmed that a list of works were sent to France and are set to be returned in 2019.  Bandaman also told Agence-France Presse, “At least 50 museums around the world have Ivorian works, and this does not include private collection,” indicating that France is not the only country with looted works. [Agence France-Presse]

The British Museum’s ‘Looting’ Problem  …headlines across the internet announced that the British Museum was to “return looted antiquities to Iraq.”

Clearly, the United States has an aversion to facing its past and is long overdue for a moment of truth and reconciliation. Read:  The Field Museum’s Native North American Hall starts to ask who it represents | Feature | Chicago Reader

One more: As Belgium Reopens Africa Museum, DR Congo Demands Restitution of Artifacts

(This is a trend I am very glad to see)

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Bansky

A new work by Banksy has appeared at the back of a car garage in Port Talbot, Wales last week. Since then, crowds have gathered at the scene, with local authorities having to manage and organize the groups of people. Banksy claimed responsibility for the work on his website and Instagram. The garage is owned by Ivan Lewis, a local steelworker. “I’ve never experienced anything like this,” said Lewis. “My phone is ringing, on my house phone there’s 1,000 messages on it.” [Art Daily]

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Shan Goshorn, “a Cherokee artist and activist known for her contemporary approach to traditional basket-weaving,” died of cancer at the age of 61. [Tulsa World]

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Under a cloud of scandal… the toxic Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is gone (fired) (top photo)

Can we call it a year now?  2017 and 2018 wore me out.  Cancer didn’t help but I feel woke enough.

02019 – please, do us a favor? Be kind to us. We deserve better!

xoxoxox

LT

Day of Mourning in Plymouth | Migrant Mother | Malaga | Mental Midgets

Indigenous people and supporters gathered despite sub-zero wind chills for the 49th National Day of Mourning at Plymouth, Mass.  The undaunted crowd included Indigenous peoples whom the pilgrims menaced and murdered — Nipmuc; Mashpee, Aquinnah and other bands of the Wampanoag; Narragansett; Massachusett; Pequot and other Indigenous nations…

BIG READ: Day of Mourning honored at Plymouth – Workers World

I mentioned that I would have liked to been in freezing Plymouth…

The commemoration known as Plymouth 400 will feature events throughout 2020, including a maritime salute in Plymouth Harbor in June, an embarkation festival in September, and a week of ceremonies around Thanksgiving.

READ: 400 years later, Natives who helped Pilgrims finally being heard | RED POWER MEDIA

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We are not supposed to know (continued)

After the residents of Malaga were pushed out, the state bought the land for $471, according to Maine Coast Heritage Trust, and ordered the rest of the residents to leave by July 1.  In 1913, the state sold the land to Everard A. Wilson, a friend of the doctor who had been the chair of a committee Plaisted had established to investigate the allegedly appalling conditions on Malaga. Malaga was for many years in private hands, but remained undeveloped. The hotel that had been planned for Bear Island, which Hamilton said was a key incentive for pushing the Malaga residents off the island, was never built.

Background: Bates professor tells story of Malaga Island, including its dark chapter of forced exodus – Portland Press Herald

For the past 10 years, painter, author, and illustrator Daniel Minter has raised awareness of the forced removal in 1911 of an interracial community on Maine’s Malaga Island. HERE

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A subsequent Associated Press article in The Los Angeles Times revealed that Ms. Thompson was not of European descent — as had been commonly assumed — but “a full-blooded Cherokee Indian” from Oklahoma. That detail, Ms. Meister said, raises the compelling question of whether “Migrant Mother” would have resonated so widely if viewers knew the subjects were Native American.

(another one of those “shake your head” stories, right?

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☀️ I write something every. single. day.☀️

By LT

Is time speeding up?

I am still trying to figure out to talk about the twin books: Mental Midgets | Musqonocihte and why one book became two and how they happened so fast. (I have to thank my friend MariJo for telling me what I felt about urgency was to be trusted.) It’s a short book – 91 pages – but it feels MUCH longer.

I do think of this year 02018 as The Year I Had Cancer – this changed me mentally.

Was it five years ago when I started the Midgets book.  I used to joke and say it might get done this century.  Why?  My goofy utter distrust, of course.  Many of you are experiencing what I call wavy brain too.  We don’t think about the future as much as before… and why is that? Read about the Long Now Foundation from earlier this year. Trump and electronics are both a BIGLY reason!

Back then I kept the book title under wraps.  Mental Midgets, what does it mean? It’s absurd.  It’s maybe kinda funny.  It’s not about small people.  But it is about our minds, the constant chaos, the news, Trump, cell phones, social media, and how it seems to me, at least, our brain capacity shrinks when memories go small. And then there is (hi)story to consider.

Here is a one sentence (short) book description:

This TWIN book is a collection of factoids, philosophy, quips, questions, code, quotes, photos, thought bombs, creative non-fiction, Native American history and prose. And it’s short. Musqonichte translates Blue Sky.

The code is a message.  There are things in there you should know.

Happy 02019 to all my friends and relatives!

Happy 02019 – add that zero and I will be writing more soon!

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

The “Dawnland” Documentary Shows How the U.S. Government Took Indigenous Children From Their Homes and Placed Them With White Families | Teen Vogue

Many were led to believe that their people didn’t want them and placed with white families.

READ: The “Dawnland” Documentary Shows How the U.S. Government Took Indigenous Children From Their Homes and Placed Them With White Families | Teen Vogue

Anna Townsend, age 9, of Fallon, Nevada, testifying on April 8, 1974 at the Subcommittee on Indian Affairs of the U.S. Senate. Courtesy: NBCUniversal.

Listen: ‘Dawnland’ Documents Maine’s Efforts To Reconcile Indian Child Removal

Note from LT: We had a mention of this in the anthology Stolen Generations.

 

Winter Fire – And Our Mother’s Cried | Where are They? | The Worst Way to Start a City

“And Our Mothers Cried” vividly brings to life the Indian boarding school era of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. For several generations of Native American children, including some Chickasaws, attending boarding school meant separation from their families and indoctrination into a culture that wasn’t their own. The schools, which were guided by the infamous slogan, “Kill the Indian. Save the Man,” prohibited most students from speaking their own language and emphasized labor-intensive trades that would assimilate them into white culture through military-type institutions.

The documentary presents a stark contrast between these schools and schools established and operated by the Chickasaw Nation, which were designed to prepare Chickasaw children to compete in a rapidly changing world. “And Our Mothers Cried” presents compelling stories from some of the Chickasaw elders who lived through the boarding school era. Their experiences weave a complex story of sorrow and survival, but also one of hope and resilience from a time when tribal governments and culture were under attack.

Click here to watch the EMMY® Award-winning “Winter Fire—And Our Mothers Cried.”
https://www.chickasaw.tv/embed/episodes/winter-fire-season-1-episode-1-and-our-mothers-cried?utm_source=outreach&utm_medium=press_release&utm_content=emmy-2018&utm_campaign=chickasaw

Source: Chickasaw Nation Documentary Wins Heartland Emmy Award – Native News Online

Where are they?

Last Year:

On June 15, 2017, at its Mid‐Year Conference in Connecticut, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) adopted a resolution, sponsored by the Chickasaw Nation, encouraging American Indian and Alaska Native Tribal Nations, families, and descendants to provide information on children who never returned home from Indian Boarding Schools.

The information will be used for a submission to the United Nations (UN) Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances (UNWGEID). This UN submission will be jointly filed by the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition (NABS), the International Indian Treaty Council (IITC), and the Native American Rights Fund (NARF). The submission will call on the United States to provide a full accounting of the children taken into government custody under the U.S. Indian Boarding School Policy whose fate and whereabouts remain unknown. NCAI represents 250 American Indian and Alaska Native Tribes.

For more information on the US Boarding School policies, their ongoing legacies, and using UN human rights bodies to defend the rights of Indigenous Peoples, log on to www.boardingschoolhealing.org, www.narf.org, and www.iitc.org.

READ: US Tribes Call for Testimonies on Missing American Indian & Alaska Native Boarding School Children – Native News Online

 

The Unassigned Lands

In the 1860s and 1870s, white settlers from the areas around Indian Territory — like Kansas and Texas — started to realize that there was vast piece of land in the middle of the United States that wasn’t claimed by anyone (ah, what?). They started agitating to to be allowed to seize this land for free. These white settlers even began a series of illegal raids into the territory, sneaking into Indian Territory at night to get to that little center portion of the Unassigned Lands.

Couch and his men had brought surveying equipment — and they quickly began laying out streets and lots as they had planned them in the months leading up to the Land Run. In the days following Oklahoma City’s rapid settlement, town leaders would have to reckon with all the cheating that had happened during the Land Run. Who cheated and who didn’t? Who deserve to keep their land and who didn’t?

GOOD LISTEN: The Worst Way to Start a City – 99% Invisible

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