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.

 

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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

Sen. Warren’s DNA means nothing to #ICWA #NativeTruth #WeAreStillHere

When I heard the drum at this powwow in Wisconsin, when I was 12, the sky opened up and my heart fell in. I was adopted out to strangers but I would find my family, no matter what. (My memoir is now retired. I will be rewriting soon.)

BY LT

What? Back so soon with breaking news?

Yep.  First, I want to thank my friend and blogger KC for asking me to think about and share my thoughts on what it means to have Indigenous ancestry and the recent headlines about Elizabeth Warren.  Next, I defend Sen. Warren’s right to claim her ancestry.  It’s hers! Heck, many Americans do have some American Indian ancestry, too. But what you do with it is what truly matters.

We are all mixed, one way or the other.  American, so heavily colonized, is very populated with mixed people.  We have (hi)storians to blame for not explaining much about this stark truth and reality.

For me personally I was not raised in a tribal community setting, though I had many Native people around me when I was growing up.  Being adopted out, I struggled until my 30s with identity and isolation, but no longer. I met my birth father and did a paternity DNA test with him when I was 38. The history he shared with me, that was what I needed, at that time. But words and blood tests DO NOT make me who I am or the direction of my life’s work.  My Oglala Lakota relatives made sure of that. They were in my life years prior to my finding my father who is mixed Shawnee-Cherokee-Delaware-Euro).

What is required of us:

Once you attend ceremony, once you pray in your language, once you show humility to elders, and once you work for them, and when you learn it’s not “me” but “we” – it is then you are made a relative and accepted as family.  Then you are in tribal community (which is American Indian tradition on Turtle Island). It may take many years, because it should.

As the following story by says, “Half a century ago, the Standing Rock Dakota scholar Vine Deloria Jr. wrote, “Whites claiming Indian blood tend to reinforce mythical beliefs about Indians.”

Falsely claiming Native American identity is a white American tradition, with a deeply racist past.  – Nick Estes

Warren is not living her life as a member of any tribal community, yet like so many, she seems to romanticize the idea of her blood being Indian.  She was raised with her family in Oklahoma, with her history, but she was not enrolled with the Cherokee Nation, who determines their citizenship based on Dawes Rolls, not DNA.  If the Cherokee tribe wishes to change that, and enroll her, it’s completely up to them. (She’ll have years of unlearning and good history lessons ahead.)

To my knowledge, what Warren did with her “ancestry” all these years, was she helped herself.  To my knowledge, she did not assist any tribal nation or community, and in fact, she has not even helped the tribes struggling right here in Massachusetts!  What we are fighting for in this century, like Standing Rock, federal recognition, sovereignty, treaty rights, water rights, protecting Bear’s Ears, ending destruction by mining, pipelines, poverty, all of that – where is she?

This is a new hashtag campaign: #NativeTruth  #WeAreStillHere

If Elizabeth was in her community, she’d know this: Blood quantum is an invention of the governments to widdle us down to “not enough Indian.” (Wiping us out on paper. Gone, erased.)

I actually know many lost Native adoptees who use the DNA test to get their family name, and slowly worked their way back to their tribal families. Some are back on the rez, while others join their urban Indian communities. (I do not recommend or trust the DNA testings or the data they collect and sell. Those TV ads are false and misleading. Very few Indians will submit to giving DNA though some scientists took it without their consent.)

When is a DNA test useful? My adoptee friend Rhonda did a DNA test with an uncle (her birth father’s brother) to determine if she was a family member, and she was – then she was enrolled in her tribal nation. DNA can connect you with a living tribal member, if you were adopted out, or fostered. That is very very helpful.

So, Sen. Warren, it’s not the amount of blood.  DNA doesn’t make you Indian. If you belong to a community (urban or reservation), that makes you a member of that tribal community.

BIG READ:  How Elizabeth Warren’s DNA test hurt our struggle (and took away the news coverage of what matters): READ

Intercept podcast: the last two segments are so good – please do listen!

If you do have Indigenous blood, if it is loud, it won’t leave you alone.  If this speaks to you, then find and join an urban or reservation community and work for them and work with them, and think a new way: “we” not me.

And ask them what you can do and please do what they ask respectfully.

Mitakuye Oyasin. We are all related!

xoxox

A new address for my blog: American Indian Adoptees

THIS REALLY MATTERS: Native perspective: Sherry Treppa: Why #ICWA is critical to the health of native children and tribal communities

Generations of Indigenous Voices from NY State | Apache 8 | Where are They Buried? | Lousy? Indigenous news coverage

 

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The exhibition Community and Continuity: Native American Art of New York is culled from the New York State Museum’s collection of contemporary Native American art.  NYSM is known for its historical and archeological Indigenous objects, which number in the millions and range in date from 13,000 years ago to the early 20th century.  But in 1996, the museum began acquiring works by living Algonquin and Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) artists to celebrate the continuing vibrancy of these communities.

Community and Continuity: Native American Art of New York continues at the Samuel Dorsky Museum (on the campus of the State University of New York at New Paltz, 1 Hawk Drive, New Paltz, NY) through December 9. The exhibition was curated by John Hart and Gwendolyn Saul.

READ: Generations of Indigenous Voices from New York State

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This is the story of the courageous all-female Apache 8 firefighting unit which has protected their reservation and responded to wildfires around the nation for 30 years. This group, which recently became co-ed, earned the reputation of being fierce, loyal and dependable–and tougher than their male colleagues.Despite facing gender stereotypes and the problems that come with life on the impoverished reservation, the women became known as some of the country’s most elite firefighters. The film focuses on four women from different generations of Apache 8 crewmembers who speak tenderly and often humorously of hardship, loss, family, community and pride in being a firefighter.Official Selection at the American Indian Film Festival.

Source: Apache 8 | Kanopy

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Thousands of Canada’s indigenous children died in church-run boarding schools

Armed with everything from school attendance records to drones, researchers across Canada are racing to shed light on a bleak part of the country’s history: How many indigenous children died at residential schools, and where are their unmarked graves? From 1883 to 1998, nearly 150,000 indigenous children were forcibly separated from their families and sent to the government-funded, church-run boarding schools in an attempt to assimilate them. Once there, they were frequently neglected and abused. What happened at the schools was akin to “cultural genocide,” concluded a 2015 report from Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It also found that at least 3,200 students died at residential schools over those 115 years — a much higher rate than for students elsewhere in Canada — though the commission contended that the number was probably much higher and merited further investigation.

The religious organizations that operated the schools — the Anglican Church of Canada, Presbyterian Church in Canada, United Church of Canada, Jesuits of English Canada and some Catholic groups — in 2015 expressed regret for the “well-documented” abuses. The Catholic Church has never offered an official apology, something that Trudeau and others have repeatedly called for.

Source: Thousands of Canada’s indigenous children died in church-run boarding schools. Where are they buried? – The Washington Post

 

***

 

Most journalists also said we didn’t bother to cover Indigenous peoples because there was no journalistic payoff. We, reporters, preferred to do stories to improve situations and conditions, by pointing out things that didn’t work properly. We looked for bad guys, stories about corruption or inept business owners, government administrators, politicians, cops, for example. Yet similar stories about Indigenous communities never went anywhere. Things never changed. Also, by telling these stories, we faced accusations of concentrating on the negative. (See comment above about racism.)

Source: Why Coverage of Indigenous Issues Is So Lousy | FAIR

“We’ve never had justice”: How the Supreme Court rigged land deals against native people

The boundary lines for multiple land treaties with native tribes cross the state of Michigan.

That was the official legal ruling for the United States government: that native people did not actually own the land they’d lived on for thousands of years.

Part One Listen

By Dustin Dwyer • Part Two

The boundary lines for multiple land treaties cross the state of Michigan. The boundary lines for multiple land treaties with native tribes cross the state of Michigan.

It was 1823. The land of Michigan wasn’t yet a state. The indigenous people far outnumbered the white settlers. The Erie Canal hadn’t opened. The flood of European immigrants was yet to arrive.

But the groundwork for their arrival was set in 1823 by the U.S. Supreme Court in a case about property rights. The case: Johnson v. M’Intosh.

On the fourth floor of the Michigan State University law school building, on a windowsill that overlooks the campus, Wenona Singel (top photo) keeps her family photos. Singel is a law professor here, and associate director of MSU’s Indigenous Law & Policy Center.

Family is the reason she went to law school, she says.

When she was young, she was separated from her sister in what she says was a coerced adoption. It’s a familiar story in many native families.

“And, in my mind, understanding the operation of our legal system and the development of federal Indian law and policy was absolutely critical,” she says.

So when she got older, she went to law school — at Harvard.

All first-year Harvard law students had to take a class on property law. That is where Singel first heard of the landmark case known as Johnson v M’Intosh.

“The original Johnson of the case was actually a former Supreme Court justice, and a wealthy shareholder in the Illinois and Wabash Land Company,” Singel says. “And this land company had speculated in the purchase of Indian lands.”

It purchased those lands directly from the tribes. At that same time, the U.S. federal government was out trying to get land from tribes.  It negotiated treaties with the tribes.  Once the government got the land, it would parcel it out to sell to settlers.

So along comes this settler named M’Intosh. He buys from the government. But the land he buys, well it’s already been bought, by the Illinois and Wabash Land Company.

Remember, that’s the group of wealthy investors that buys directly from the tribes.  And Johnson is a part of that group. So Johnson bought from the tribe.

M’Intosh bought from the U.S. government.

The question before the Supreme Court: Who really owned the land now — Johnson or M’Intosh?

It’s an easy question if you think the tribe owned its land in the first place. Because if the tribe owned it, it could sell it to the Illinois and Wabash Land Company, Johnson’s group. Johnson wins.

But the real question was whether the tribe owned the land in the first place. Did they even have the power to sell it?

“And, to the surprise of the lawyers and shareholders in the Illinois and Wabash Land Company, Justice Marshall in the Johnson v. M’Intosh case declared that the tribes did not have this power.” Singel says. “And that they only had the power to transfer their property to the federal government.”

That was the official legal ruling for the United States government: that native people did not actually own the land they’d lived on for thousands of years.

M’Intosh won because he had bought from the federal government. Justice Marshall argued the federal government was the true owner of the land all along.

The indigenous people of the U.S. had some rights on their land. They had the right to use and occupy it.  But they couldn’t sell it on the open market because they didn’t really own it. That was the official legal ruling for the United States government: that native people did not actually own the land they’d lived on for thousands of years.

And yes, this decision had a huge impact.

If and when native people ever did want to sell their land rights, there was only one buyer they could turn to. That meant the buyer had the upper hand in the negotiations over price.

It was a rigged deal.

Singel learned all of this as a busy, stressed, first-year law student.”In many ways, it’s almost like gaslighting,” Wenona Singel says of the Johnson v. M’Intosh case. “You’re learning about … certain rights that are associated with property rights … knowing all along that these rights have not been respected, and were not enforced for your own ancestors.”

“And then you move on to the next case,” she says. “And there’s no further discussion of the wrong that this perpetuates. And also the flawed reasoning. And also fundamentally misinformed and racist presumptions that our property legal system is based upon.”

And this isn’t some obscure case. It’s foundational in the U.S. legal system. Most law schools teach it to all their students in the first year.

One of the passages in the actual text of the Supreme Court decision reads:

“The tribes of Indians inhabiting this country were fierce savages, whose occupation was war, and whose subsistence was drawn chiefly from the forest. To leave them in possession of their country was to leave the country a wilderness.”

This language, and the precedent it established, has never been overturned in America’s legal system. It is valid law today.

“Imagine if Plessy v Ferguson was never overturned,” Singel says. “Imagine if Dred Scott was never overturned … We’ve never had any kind of accounting and justice that has restored those original property rights.”

Lewis Cass, Michigan’s second governor, negotiated many of the treaties that ceded native land in Michigan to the federal government. He also argued for the forced removal of native people.

After Johnson v. M’Intosh, the early white leaders of Michigan drafted a series of treaties with the native people of the area. These documents would have the tribes sign their land over to the federal government.

Lewis Cass was Michigan’s second governor. He negotiated a number of the treaties. In the late 1820s, he advocated the forced removal of the land’s native people. In his argument, he echoed the words of Justice Marshall. He claimed if white people didn’t rule the land, Michigan would be doomed:

“A tribe of wandering hunters, depending upon the chase for support, and deriving it from the forests, and rivers, and lakes, of an immense continent, have a very imperfect possession of the country over which they roam ,” Cass argued. “That they are entitled to such supplies as may be necessary for their subsistence, and as they can procure, no one can justly question. But this right cannot be exclusive, unless the forests which shelter them are doomed to perpetual unproductiveness.”

Cass didn’t get his wish for removal. But he did eventually get treaties.

And the white people did make the land productive, in their way.

The same as they had done in all of the Americas, says Willie Jennings of Yale Divinity School. They did what they believed their God wanted them to do.

“The way they looked at the land, from the very beginning, from Michigan to Maine, from Virginia to Florida, they looked at the land as the world-in-potential that needed development,” Jennings says. “And that development was always tied to what can be taken from the land.”

In Michigan, a land of dense, ancient forests, they could take a lot.

Source: “We’ve never had justice”: How the Supreme Court rigged land deals against native people | Michigan Radio

The story of the trees, tomorrow in our series, “An Idea on the Land.” 

 

P.S. Taking Land is what I’m researching, from a tribal perspective. I’ll be posting news as it happens, like this post. LT

Away from Home: American Indian Boarding School Stories | Buffalo Tom

rc12572-1-12-19-web-220x143
Phoenix Indian School Band, c. 1905-1910. Credit: Arizona Historical Foundation, University Libraries, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona N-1106. Heard reference: RC125(7):2.1.12.19

Away From Home examines an important and often unknown period of American history. Beginning in the 1870s the U.S. government aimed to assimilate American Indians into “civilized” society by placing them in government-operated boarding schools. Children were taken from families and transported to far-away schools where all signs of “Indian-ness” were stripped away. Students were trained for servitude and many went for years without familial contact—events that still have an impact on Native communities today.

Exhibit: Away from Home: American Indian Boarding School Stories | Heard Museum

I will be back blogging in 02019. I’m getting off FB this coming week.

You can find me here too! HERE (brand new site)

I was sad to find out we lost Buffalo Tom on wordpress.

Hopi | Outings in PA | Dawn of Detroit | Disappeared | #PoorPeoplesCampaign

 

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A small but powerful exhibit, shows intense commitment to the power of individual artists, within the broader context of communal history.

Finding individuals in the archaeology record is difficult, such logic goes, and is impossible to properly credit work to a particular artist. It would be easy to have these ceramic vessels begin to simply fill in as “types” and nothing more. However, in this instance, on every ancient piece of pottery, the exhibit displayed a tag “unrecorded Ancestral Pueblo artist(s).”

NICE READ: Contemporary Hopi Artists’ Mural Travels From Flagstaff to Dallas, Animating Indigenous Art

 

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All the Indian children missing or buried in Pennsylvania are believed to be connected to the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, the nation’s first federal off-reservation boarding school, founded in 1879 by former cavalry officer Richard Henry Pratt.  Carlisle — now the campus of the Army War College — was built to solve “the Indian problem” by forcing native children to become ersatz white people, erasing their names, languages, religions, and family ties. Where are the children now?

SAD READ: A search for native children who died on ‘Outings’ in Pa.

Many of you know I am a big fan of historian author Tiya Miles. She’s changing history one book at a time.

BIG READ: ‘The Dawn of Detroit’: An Interview with Historian Tiya Miles – AAIHS

 

By LT

HEY HEY!  As promised I saved a few good stories for you.

How many weeks until the mid terms? I have been trying to be optimistic about everything politics but hope?  Trumpism (like racism) is now a verb.  Last Thurs. nite, I went to see the Rev. Barber (I cried when he came on stage) and learned about the Poor People’s Campaign.

For me, I feel so much better although I admit once you have “cancer” surgery, especially that diagnosis,  “it” changes you.  But I know it’s gone, I’m better and have good work ahead of me.

Before surgery I was asked to present my Lost Bird/adoption/book series research at the Univ. of MN and I agreed.  Writing the paper took longer than I expected which is why I have not been blogging or reading your blogs.

I’m going to give you a small excerpt here:

Migration across Global Regimes of Childhood (Symposium) (9-21-18)

Thank you to Kelly and to all the organizers at the Univ. of MN for inviting me to present my paper Disappeared: Finding Survivors of the Indian Adoption Programs; we are indeed Healing The Hard Stuff.

First, some background… In 2004, I left my job as editor of the Pequot Times in Connecticut and adoption became my focus of research. Why? 1. I am an adoptee, a journalist, and growing up I had no clue I had American Indian ancestry on both sides of my family tree.  2. I was asked to write an article on American Indian adoptees for Talking Stick, a publication of the American Indian House in New York City. 3. In order for me to write the article, I had to find sources, first person narratives, even other adoptees like me.  When I went online to do research in 2005, there was nothing, nothing about the Indian Adoption Projects or ARENA Programs, or any mentions of survivors or child victims. There were no books. I’d found one article in a Canadian newspaper about the 60s Scoop adoptees when I was staff writer at News From Indian Country in Wisconsin.

I realized the goal of Empire and colonizers is historical inaccuracy. By the time we know what they are really doing, it’s already too late. Empire (as in government) redirects our attention, or has us look at the fire in the front yard while they do their work in the back yard.

Today I define adoption as children who grew up isolated, without identity, without records, without knowledge of what happened, even why their parents could not keep them. This isolation often continues into adulthood.  For me, adoption is a traumatizing word; as trauma-inducing as the images of the numerous residential boarding schools. This is but one reminder of Empire, a reminder of what the governments of the US and Canada could do and did do to Indigenous children.

As my friend Leland (a Navajo-San Domingo Pueblo adoptee) said recently in a phone call, “We are not supposed to be Indian anymore. We’re erased, disappeared on purpose.”  He’s right. Empire’s colonization using adoption succeeded.  Adoptees are assimilated, living as American or Canadian citizens.

Leland was adopted by a Mormon couple and shares his reunions in the book series Lost Children. He writes that seven siblings from one family were taken from the Shawanaga reservation in Ontario. In all there were 10 adoptees in the Kirk family and Leland found out that the Mormon church paid his adoptive parents a monthly stipend per child. Leland told a newspaper, in his words, he was a victim of trafficking at age four. He claims the BIA paid the Mormon parents $65 a month for his care. To this day, his Anishinabe siblings from Canada are not in reunion with their tribal family and still live in the US.

Empire governments have long controlled the stories of the American Indian and First Nations and peddled in fairy tales and western movies instead. Again, the goal of Empire is historical inaccuracy or no history at all.

What surprised me may surprise you.  In the words and  judgment of Lenore A. Stiffarm and Phil Lane, Jr. in the book The State of Native America, “There can be no more monumental example of sustained genocide—certainly none involving a ‘race’ of people as broad and complex as this—anywhere in the annals of human history.”  From the book The State of Native America: Genocide, Colonization, and Resistance. Jaimes, M. Annette, Boston: South End Press, 1992.

If you are wondering how this happened, let’s look at motive.

I wrote this Preface in the 2016 anthology Stolen Generations:

It’s about the land.  It’s about taking the land. No matter how. No matter what. Our parents and grandparents (and their parents) lost territorial land and their children…*

*Boarding Schools removed three or more generations from their tribal families.

We adoptees, the stolen generation… We are all collateral damage.

We were never expected to survive.

I’m not sure we did.

A 60s Scoop Adoptee on Facebook asked recently, “How do I heal this?”

For me, and for other adoptees, we demand truth, historic accuracy, and reunion with our tribal nations. For me, I inhabited the world I grew up in and only dreamt the world and the people I lost.

In fact …Service to the American Empire means continuing to support more violence against Third World peoples, like what happened at Standing Rock.  Empire is about conquest. For that very reason, we have a history problem.

Since I did that article in Talking Stick, and started the American Indian Adoptees blog [www.splitfeathers.blogspot.com], and produced three anthologies in the Lost Children Book Series, thousands of adoptees have come forward.  There are 20,000 adoptees in Canada. Adoptees in Canada claim that figure is not accurate. It doesn’t include all the adoptees brought to the US from Canada and I will share a story about that later.

(If anyone wants to read my 24-page paper DISAPPEARED, leave me a comment and I can email the pdf.)

SURPRISE UPDATE!

It’s been three years since I taught wordpress 101 and guess what? The local community college contacted me, and I will begin teaching again in Spring 2019.  Now I have to refresh my brain to the blogging basics and add the changes to WP to my class notes. This job was an unexpected surprise – a sweet gift!

Autumn is here, my favorite season.  I had a great birthday (9-9) and wedding anniversary (9-24).

How is everyone doing?  Please leave me a comment. 🙂

Lost Birds: Displaced, Adopted Native Americans Look to Find Their Way Home

San Antonio, TX resident Mike Paiz during a visit to Great Falls, MT, part of his attempts to piece together his Chippewa ancestry, Aug. 7, 2018.

As many as one third of Indian children were separated from their families between 1941 and 1967… Whether removed from their homes by the government or stolen, these children, now adults, have been dubbed “Lost Birds” after Zintkála Nuni (Lost Bird), an infant Lakota girl found alive on the battlefield following the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre and adopted by a white Army general.

BIG READ: Lost Birds: Displaced, Adopted Native Americans Look to Find Their Way Home

Yesterday I gave an interview to Voice of America for this story about my work helping adoptees find their way home after adoption. For many years now I’ve worked with 9c6aab86-bc76-4f5d-be8e-c83d5e5a3bca_w650_r0_sKaren Vigneault (photo) in California, and she assists the adoptee with genealogy and first contact. It’s crucial we open adoption records in the US and Canada. Why this has not happened yet? Secrecy among the churches and governments who conducted these adoptions. This is an important ongoing story. We are finding Native adoptees in places as far away as Iceland. They find the American Indian Adoptees blog {www.splitfeathers.blogspot.com} and then contact me.

Healthwise, I am doing much better. For the last month I have worked on a paper Disappeared: Finding Survivors of the Indian Adoption Programs (and Healing the Hard Stuff). I’m giving this paper in Minnesota in September, on Empire and Colonization.

BONUS: And here are some movies to check out when you can:

From ‘Gods of Wheat Street’ to ‘Cleverman’.

READ: 6 Gems Of Indigenous Film And TV That You May Have Missed

 

I’ll be back with lots more soon… Lara/Trace

Here I am! Healing!

6TH GRADE
me, 6th grade nerd

What a whirlwind. Who knew that one doctor appointment could turn into several and then a major surgery and cancer diagnosis?

I will be getting a second opinion on that diagnosis (Stage 1A grade 3 uterine cancer) on June 26th in Boston. One can never be too careful. (Radiation was suggested as one follow-up option.)

It’s weird I have not been sick, or felt sick. I do have sharp pangs in healing this humongous scar from the bellybutton and south. (30 staples in my gut was no joke) I’m healing the insides now. It takes time.

As for how I feel, I feel it’s over. I am done with oncologists, surgeons, and doctors for now, even if I have to visit them over the next few months.

I was up and walking the night of surgery at 1:30am on May 14, and the nurses were kinda shocked at how fast I was recuperating. They let me out on the 16th and all my vitals were/are good.  Even my blood pressure is spectacular. Which is a very good thing.

From here on out… I will be taking big doses of Vitamin D and Zinc now that I am a cancer survivor. And of course my holistic doctor Dr. Lynch has been with me every step of the way. (I highly recommend you see a holistic MD, if you can find one. They have a whole body, patient-centric approach and use more than western medicine to help your body heal and recuperate and be the best you can be…)

Sadly, my darling husband looks like he needs sleep. He was with me at every appointment and of course, was worried and I love him for that, knowing his love, care and concern helped me heal this so well, so fast.

All your thoughts and prayers really worked, too, my blog family. I am living proof. Love moves mountains and heals what it touches…

I may not be blogging as much since I am supposed to be walking, not sitting. Dang, that’s no good. I have blogs to read and research to do and books to read….

BUT… I’ll be back as soon as I can 🙂

 

(I have so many new posts to share with you… but they’ll have to wait…)

 

 

 

 

At the Edge of America | Our Remains Do Not Belong to SCIENCE | Art Conspiracy | Collecting | Indians and Empire

“T.C. Cannon retrieved Native American people, as a subject, from cardboard-thin caricatures spawned by old photos, kitschy paintings, and western films. The men and women he painted are arresting and complicated.”  — The Boston Globe

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On view March 3, 2018 to June 10, 2018

 :::AT THE EDGE OF AMERICA::: One of the most influential, innovative, and talented Native American artists of the 20th-century, T.C. Cannon embodied the activism, cultural transition and creative expression that defined America in the 1960’s and ‘70s. Cannon’s work — as an artist, poet, and aspiring musician — is deeply personal yet undeniably political, reflecting his cultural heritage, experience as a Vietnam War veteran, and the turbulent social and political period during which he worked.

Cannon preferred bold color combinations, mash-ups between Native and non-Native elements and never shied away from the complexity and nuance of identity politics. Cannon interrogated American history and popular culture through his Native lens, and exercised a rigorous mastery of Western art historical tropes while creating an entirely fresh visual vocabulary. T.C. Cannon: At the Edge of America celebrates Cannon’s creative range and artistic legacy through nearly 90 paintings and works on paper, as well as poetry and music. READ: pem.org | T.C. Cannon: At the Edge of America

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Indigenous Remains Do Not Belong to Science

But as Scientific American reported at the time, the museum’s scientists did not consult modern tribes before extracting DNA from the remains because the museum deemed the bones impossible to link to any specific group. They should have invited input from tribes, both out of respect for their overarching concerns about ancestors and because collaboration might have enriched the study—through the addition of tribal knowledge about kinship systems, for example, or through comparative DNA samples from any modern tribes interested in providing them.  Source: Indigenous Remains Do Not Belong to Science – Scientific American

When will all the Pilgrim graves be ripe for the picking – when will scientists start to dig them up and put their bones on display? Will we have weekend digs of their graves too? Just askin’ for a friend…

*** American Indian Art Conspiracy

Jewelry dealer Nael Ali will be the first defendant sentenced in the most extensive federal investigation into Indian arts and crafts fraud.
BIG READ and map: History’s Biggest Fake American Indian Art Conspiracy Revealed (I am truly shocked at the scope)

 

*** We’ll take it! The US government should cede territory back to Native Americans

NO JOKE! Historically, immigrants were given special rights to take Native land. If Trump says we are no longer a nation of immigrants, that has consequences… (poor guy never thought about this!)  The young American republic preserved this European doctrine. The US supreme court formalized the Doctrine of Discovery in three famous cases of 1823, 1831 and 1832. Chief Justice John Marshall took for granted the obvious fact that America was the homeland of the Native Americans, “the rightful occupants of the soil”. By the logic of “discovery”, Native Americans had no rights because America was their homeland: “Their power to dispose of the soil at their own will to whomsoever they pleased was denied by the original fundamental principle that discovery gave exclusive title to those who made it.”   (and don’t forget those Papal Bulls!)

BIG READ: The US government should cede territory back to Native Americans | Timothy Snyder | Opinion | The Guardian

***Collecting Stories (or just plain theft)

(It should be: The theft of Art from numerous Tribes now on display and we interpret it for you!)  Opening April 2018, the first exhibition, “Collecting Stories: Native American Art,” explores the range of perspectives, motives, and voices involved in building the early holdings of Native American art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, including those of indigenous artists and communities. (big fancy words). See EXHIBIT

By LT (not feeling well)

I have been reading Injuns, Native Americans in The Movies, trying to figure out when most of us in North America were duped into believing that Indigenous First Nations, my people, my relatives were ignorant savages.  MOVIES (and dime novels) were the perfect method to create a tidy version of America’s history that wasn’t factual. When exactly did Injuns become less than human and their entire tribal communities expendable? And remember it wasn’t murder. No. It was Massacre. (AH, take a deep breathe, a sigh of relief, all those Injuns are dead.) Was that a safe way to make the Pilgrim colonists feel less guilty and not portray them as serial killers?

As I was taking notes, I wrote:

How hard would YOU fight if this land was invaded in 2018?  Would YOU fight to the death to protect your family and your nation?

Would you run or would you fight and risk death?

When this was all over, now all of us conquered, Empire writes about it, not you. Empire makes movies showing us as dumb ass people who couldn’t figure out how to fight back and win.  Ah yes, some noble people tried diplomacy but the majority died in battle.

You see, we are ALL Indians.  Depending on the Empire that invades us, everyone left alive will be forced to join their religion – whether you like it or not. That’s the missionary’s part of the plan. (though I’m sure murder isn’t condoned in this religion) (and of course, the Empire imposes new taxes and tithes…) Your old religion is  illegal, too, so don’t even balk!

In order to build the new Empire, some of us become worker slaves. And if we don’t work fast enough or efficiently enough, well that’s simply not acceptable. There is punishment for that. Rebellion? Hell no, we get declared terrorists and off to prison we go… Or maybe this happens again: Ida B. Wells and the Lynching of Black Women

How should we react? Invaded, hunted, displaced, colonized? Yes, we are all Indians when this happens.

I did get some bad news on my health on May 2. It’s an aggressive cancer. That means I won’t be blogging for awhile. Keep good thoughts for me. My email: laratrace@outlook.com. Be back as soon as I can.

Surgery is May 14 at noon in Springfield, MA. Send prayers.

XOX

 

 

 

Museums Art on Slavery | Transformation Mask | Ahasteen Comics 2018 | All White All Male History and more

 

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EXCERPT:

Removing a person’s name was a means of erasing their identity and imposing a “social death” that transformed enslaved persons into property rather than living individuals. Both historians and museum professionals have begun to realize the need for revising the way we frame and label the past, and to support this movement within museums.

…White people in every part of early America directly or indirectly benefitted from the “peculiar institution” of slavery. It created wealth for white families and oppressed the African-Americans forced to perform labor in service to them. This labor allowed wealthy men and women the luxury of free time and money to get their portraits painted at a hefty price by a well-known artist. As Athens notes, museums have the power to engage with an underscore this part of American history: “I think museums can play a part in social justice movements through honest, clear-eyed reassessments of the stories they tell, what those stories privilege, and what they obscure.” Restoring people of color to American museums isn’t just about editing collections or artwork on display, it must also address the labels we have attached to them for hundreds of years.

READ: Can Art Museums Help Illuminate Early American Connections To Slavery?

What took so long??? Massachusetts museums, thank you!

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“Transformation Mask” does not simulate a specific Indigenous ceremony, but its digital transformation of the gallery is meant to emulate the experience of dancing and wearing a transformation mask. “The mask is about bridging, and my intent really was to bring the non-Indigenous viewer into that cultural world,” Hunt told Hyperallergic.  “When you go look at our masks you are generally going to a gallery or museum, and in that context the masks are not masks but rather sculptures, not something you can wear or interact with.”

The Audain Museum calls “Transformation Mask” a “hybrid between the physicality of a transformation mask and the ephemeral experience of being part of the transformation.” But the installation, and transformation masks in general, might better be understood as an interface. “They are an interface with the unseen, whether it be the spirit world or the internet,” Hunt said. Through his creation, the viewer briefly inhabits another experience, another world and culture.

READ: An Indigenous Artist’s Futuristic Vision of Traditional Transformation Masks

 

BRILLIANT Navajo Times editorial cartoonist Jack Ahasteen’s latest comic.  Source: Ahasteen Comics 2018 – Navajo Times

Yet, the recent all white male history conference held at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University seems to suggest a return to history’s dark age as a gentlemen’s protection society. Happily, the strong and growing presence of and disciplinary focus on women in history as well as the sharp criticism and condemnation (and rightly so) of the exclusive conference make clear that a return to great white men history and historians is a fantasy. Even so, the holding of this conference and others of its kind reflect the ongoing challenges women historians and women history face. The CCWH strongly condemns the choice of holding an all-white, all-male conference at Stanford University, and expresses concern regarding its implications for the historical profession and for its treatment of women in history.

READ: On Stanford’s All White Male History Conference – AAIHS  Why am I not surprised by this??? (shaking my head)

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Thanks to Pete for this shock:  Report on United States human rights abuses in 2017

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Ruth Hopkins: “Native Tribes Could Lose Federal Recognition of Tribal Sovereignty Under Trump”

From Teen Vogue, here.

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When the news about the protest at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation against the Dakota Access Pipeline burst into the spotlight in 2016, Tristan Ahtone welcomed the chance for greater coverage of Native American issues.

GOOD READ: Nieman Fellow battles media stereotypes of Native Americans – Harvard Gazette

 

By LT (your intrepid reporter)

Hello Everyone! I think we will have spring here in western Massachusetts eventually. Not soon but someday.  The MA state government is now addressing our urgent need to address climate change. Good thinking! Last month, a Massachusetts judge found 13 activists who were arrested for sitting in holes dug for a pipeline to block construction “not responsible by reason of necessity” because the action was taken to avoid serious climate damage. See the “Valve Turners” video here.  (States step up better than the feds.)

I saved up some good reads that I hope you enjoy.

As much as I want to believe we are making progress on rewriting history with a more balanced view on the invasion and conquest of North American, I am reminded (by the story above) that the history industry is still a white male occupation, mostly. If you really think about this, this is really human rights abuse with creating a one-sided less-dreadful history for schoolkids. Museums in Massachusetts and other cities are finally waking up.

We have a long way to go but a new journey has begun.

Good news:  My brilliant colleague Mark Trahant (Shoshone-Bannock) has joined the Indian Country Today newspaper as editor and they are up and running and publishing again! Thanks to the National Congress of American Indians who bought the national Native newspaper from the Oneidas in New York. Here’s a great OP-ED by Associate Editor Vincent Schilling (Mohawk) on rewriting history.

I contributed an OP-ED to Indian Country Today on the Baby Veronica case a few years ago. Mainstream media wasn’t interested in publishing me or my views, despite the fact I’d studied adoption history, the Indian Adoption Projects (and this case) and published relevant anthologies (more than one!).

Expect great things from Mark and Vince on their new publication! Go take a read!

Thanks to everyone for reading this long post! XOX

 

 

Indian Horse film delves into Canada’s dark history of residential schools

The drama, executive produced by Clint Eastwood, is based on the late Richard Wagamese’s novel about an Ojibway residential school survivor and hockey player.

When Canadian director Stephen S. Campanelli showed his new film Indian Horse to his mentor, Clint Eastwood, the four-time Oscar winner was in disbelief.

In theatres Friday, the drama is based on late Canadian author Richard Wagamese’s acclaimed novel, about an Ojibway residential school survivor who faces racism and systemic barriers as he becomes a formidable hockey player.

The story gives an unvarnished look at the brutal history of the residential school system in Canada, and Eastwood was floored.

“He didn’t believe it,” Campanelli, who grew up in Montreal and lives in California, recalled in an interview at last September’s Toronto International Film Festival.

“He was like, ‘What? You Canadians did this?’ I said, ‘Yeah, believe it or not.’ He said, ‘How come no one knows about this?’ I said, ‘Well, they will soon.”‘

Eastwood then signed on as an executive producer to help promote the film.

Source: Indian Horse delves into Canada’s dark history of residential schools | CBC News

167 billboards | No Joke! | Be The Good

Something interesting in going on in Canada’s parks in 02018:

Mohawk curator and scholar Lee-Ann Martin has participated in all of these modes of support in the past. But this summer, she is taking a very different approach—namely, putting the art of 50 Indigenous women artists on 167 billboards from coast to coast to coast.

National billboard project

Coast to coast to coast… 01 June 2018 – 01 August 2018…  Interactive map and full website launch on 01 May 2018

I saw this unforgettable artwork years ago at the PEM in Salem, MA.

How do you make the work of First Nations, Inuit and Métis women artists in Canada more visible? Some people write research papers. Some people build collections. Some people advocate for funding.  Mohawk curator and scholar Lee-Ann Martin has participated in all of these modes of support in the past. But this summer, she is taking a very different approach—namely, putting the art of 50 Indigenous women artists on 167 billboards from coast to coast to coast.

“Having Indigenous women’s art writ large in public…along the country’s roadways and in urban centres” is vital, says Martin. “I really see the project as synonymous with Indigenous women’s work as defenders of the land,” she notes, with “the other, more practical intent [being] for people to realize the breadth, depth and diversity of Indigenous women’s art and how important it is today.”

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A Complete List of the 50 Artists in “Resilience” :  KC Adams, Kenojuak Ashevak, Shuvinai Ashoona, Rebecca Gloria-Jean Baird, Mary Anne Barkhouse, Christi Belcourt, Rebecca Belmore, Jaime Black, Lori Blondeau, Heather Campbell, Joane Cardinal-Schubert, Lianne Marie, Leda Charlie, Hannah Claus, Dana Claxton, Ruth Cuthand, Dayna Danger, Patricia Deadman, Bonnie Devine, Rosalie Favell, Vanessa Dion Fletcher, Lita Fontaine, Melissa General, Tanya Harnett, Maria Hupfield, Ursula Johnson, Bev Koski, Nadya Kwandibens, Mary Longman, Amy Malbeuf, Teresa Marshall, Meryl McMaster, Caroline Monnet, Lisa Myers, Nadia Myre, Jade Nasogaluak Carpenter, Marianne Nicolson, Shelley Niro, Jeneen Frei Njootli, Nigit’stil Norbert, Daphne Odjig, Jane Ash Poitras, Annie Pootoogook, Sherry Farrell Racette, Sonia Robertson, Pitaloosie Saila, Jessie Short, Skawennati, Jackie Traverse, Jennie Williams, Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson, Gid7ahl-Gudsllaay Lalaxaaygans

GO LOOK: Nationwide Public Art Project to Feature 50 Indigenous Women – Canadian Art

*** Letter to an Emerging Indigenous Writer

Writing in all its forms is a scary act; it makes us vulnerable and exposes our softest parts to a world not known for its gentleness. But there’s magnificent power in that vulnerability, and it’s deserving of acknowledgment. And I’m filled with such deep joy each time another powerful voice joins the Indigenous literary world. I hope you’ll think of these words as an honoring and a hope for the important work you’re about to undertake.

In both Canada and the US the mainstream literary scene tends to hold up one or two Indigenous writers at a time, while leaving the rest to fend for themselves. It’s important to help one another, to uphold one another’s work, to celebrate successes and grieve losses, to engage in this beautiful struggle together.

READ: Letter to an Emerging Indigenous Writer | Literary Hub

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By LT (no April Fools jokes here!)

I’m sure you have had enough of the political news (no joke) so I humbly attempt to bring you something new and different like the stunning billboards above.  Of course there is lots going on, including more and more conspiracy theorists online, end days scares, A.I. has won (crapola),  and what is up with all the mermaid stuff (dear god no no no).  OK, some days I don’t even want to sit at a computer.

I do follow many many many blogs but I do want you to read Asshole Watching Movies and their latest coverage of SXSW: Isle of Dogs.

Flat earthers are looking at the end times. This is it. Really. It’s for real this time. No really, this is the end. Fox News will rise up into obscurity when they lose all of their advertisers, leaving the believers behind to think for themselves and the nonbelievers free to live in peace without the believers trolling them online, at church, in the bar, or at potlucks. – SPIKE on Medium

I also want to make you aware of Spike Dolomite, and her Daily Crime Report — sarcastic cliff

I cannot wait to see this!

notes of yesterday’s breaking news. I cannot stop reading her jabs, laughing loudly. (Laughter is the best medicine these days. ((No Joke!))

But I have always wondered about the men and women behind bars in prison and how they are living out their lives. I had no idea how they cope. THIS podcast Ear Hustle opened my eyes!

And I am doing this daily: Raising my vibration… (if it’s TV or any other media, if it feels dark to you, turn it off. NOW, please.)  Military Propaganda? See the blurb below.

This might be the best series on the affects of adoptees of First Nations I have ever heard: You must listen to this series about Cleo (10 segments so far) : http://www.cbc.ca/radio/findingcleo/click-here-to-listen-to-missing-murdered-finding-cleo-1.4557887

 

I send each of you LOVE. Get out in the sunshine and laugh!

don’t forget – this is truth!

 

 

 

And just as the fighting was privatised, so too was the propaganda. In 2016, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism revealed that the Pentagon had paid around half a billion dollars to the British PR firm Bell Pottinger to deliver propaganda during the Iraq war.  Bell Pottinger, famous for shaping Thatcher’s image, included among its clients Asma Al Assad, wife of the Syrian president. Part of their work was making fake Al Qaeda propaganda films. (The firm was forced to close last year because they made the mistake of deploying their tactics against white people). (No Joke!)

 

 

Remembering James Luna, Who Gave His Voice and His Body to Native American Art

 

Luna’s unexpected passing at the age of 68 interrupted a steady flow of thoughtful and provocative performance art.

READ: Remembering James Luna, Who Gave His Voice and His Body to Native American Art

I had posted about James prior on this blog. He was articulate and funny and a real warrior in his art. I only met him once.

“James Luna is one of the most important contemporary Native artists of our day,” said Patsy Phillips, director of IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, in a statement to Hyperallergic. “His art and contributions to the art world will live on in institutions and publications, but more importantly he will live on in perpetuity in people’s minds and hearts.”

Indian Child Welfare Act attacks are a threat to tribes — High Country News #ICWA

The law is essential to strengthening future Native American generations.

READ: Indian Child Welfare Act attacks are a threat to tribes — High Country News

I was so glad to be interviewed on this important topic and history. Please Protect ICWA… LT