Gaslighting: Protect Yourself | Quebec Suicides End Suffering | Trump: America’s gaslighter in chief

Gaslighter in Chief? I wanted to share an earlier post about gaslighting that was very enlightening. And it’s driving journalists crazy!  HERE

Gaslighting is a manipulation tactic used to gain power. And it works too well.

READ: Gaslighting: Know It and Identify It to Protect Yourself | Psychology Today

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Five suicides in Quebec indigenous communities were avoidable

The coroner added that most of the victims had not wanted to die, but wanted to end their suffering.

Source: Five suicides in Quebec indigenous communities were avoidable: coroner’s report | National Observer

Donald Trump Is Conning America With His Lies

Dear America,

This is an intervention.

You have a problem.

Donald Trump.

He’s gaslighting you.

***It’s a technique abusers use: Through manipulation and outright lies, they so disorient their target that the person (or in this case, the country) is left defenseless.

Trump is a toxic blend of Barnum and bully. If you’re a good mark, he’s your best friend. But if you catch on to the con, then he starts to gaslight.  Ask him a question and he’ll lie without batting an eye.  Call him a liar and he’ll declare himself “truthful to a fault.” Confront him with contradictory evidence and he’ll shrug and repeat the fib.  Maybe he’ll change the subject.  But he’ll never change the lie.

Evidence?  He says he never settles lawsuits.  He says he’s polling better than Clinton in New York.  He says he never encourages violence at his rallies.  He says he’s winning Latinos.  He says he’s the first candidate to mention immigration.  He says, he says, he says.

But forget all that, because evidence is for losers.  READ MORE

Donald Trump is ‘gaslighting’ all of us

OP-ED

Now Trump has brought it to the United States. The techniques include saying and doing things and then denying it, blaming others for misunderstanding, disparaging their concerns as oversensitivity, claiming outrageous statements were jokes or misunderstandings, and other forms of twilighting the truth.

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LAST ONE:  “The violence was all around us… The fear was mapped in the way people walked wide around us at the Paul Bunyan Mall.”

The myth of distance or separation (not us, over there, that other place) is one of the myths that support the whole American enterprise, an enterprise committed wholly to the notion of its own innocence and goodness.  The perversity of this commitment to the fiction of goodness (equaled only by the perversity of the violence—against blacks, against Indians, against immigrants—which is nothing less than the unwritten covenant meshed with, embraced by, our nobler-seeming founding documents because a Bill of Rights or a Constitution mean nothing without implied exclusions in the way untested faith is no faith at all) is not an act of ignorance.

Rather, the fiction of goodness is itself an act of violence.  – David Treuer is an Ojibwe writer, translator, and professor at the University of Southern California.

 

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TWEETS

If you check this ProPublica site, you can go to a database with Jared’s holdings, which are gi-normous…

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Hunting down runaway slaves: The cruel ads of Andrew Jackson and ‘the master class’ | Osage Murders

A historian collecting thousands of runaway slave ads describes them as “the tweets of the master class” in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Source: Hunting down runaway slaves: The cruel ads of Andrew Jackson and ‘the master class’ – The Washington Post

Osage Murders for Oil

The Osage tribe in Oklahoma became spectacularly wealthy in the early 1900s — and then members started turning up dead. David Grann’s Killers of the Flower Moon describes the dark plot against them.

LISTEN: In The 1920s, A Community Conspired To Kill Native Americans For Their Oil Money : NPR

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

Read more about Oglala Lakota here (top photo)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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“Wapikoni, Cinema on Wheels” Launches Cross-Canada Tour

VANCOUVER – On April 23, Vancouver will be the starting point for the pan-Canadian tour of Indigenous short films: “Wapikoni, Cinema on Wheels.” To celebrate this new adventure, Wapikoni Mobile and the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) are thrilled to present a special selection of 13 films made by young Indigenous filmmakers who have participated in Wapikoni’s filmmaking workshops. The choice of these works, with their unique stories, is aimed at discovering dynamic Indigenous voices and incredible talents coming straight from the communities.

The launch will take place on Sunday, April 23, at 4:30 p.m. at Vancouver’s Vancity Theatre.

Members of our teams will be on site to answer your questions and our projection caravan will also be there.

“Through the project “Wapikoni from Coast to Coast: Building Bridges and Reconciliation through Media Arts,” young Indigenous Canadians will have the opportunity to be heard and to exchange ideas. The audiovisual and musical creative workshops will give young creators the chance to express themselves, and the resulting works will be presented in several communities across the country. Let’s take advantage of the 150th anniversary of Confederation to have a positive dialogue and to strengthen relations between us all,” said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage.

From April to November, a caravan equipped with exterior projection equipment and staffed by two facilitators will travel west to east, covering 10 Canadian provinces and stopping in 100 Indigenous communities and 50 cities. The screenings will be in English, French and Indigenous languages.

Source: Indigenous Film Program, “Wapikoni, Cinema on Wheels,” Launches Cross-Canada Tour at Vancouver International Film Festival – Native News Online

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Dongria Kondh – Royal descendants of the mountain God

‘We are born of this earth, and this earth is ours. Niyamgiri belongs to us.’— Laksa Majhi

Royal descendants of the mountain God

The Niyamgiri hill range in Odisha state, eastern India, is home to the Dongria Kondh tribe. Niyamgiri is an area of densely forested hills, deep gorges and cascading streams. To be a Dongria Kondh is to farm the hills’ fertile slopes, harvest their produce, and worship the mountain god Niyam Raja and the hills he presides over, including the 4,000 metre Mountain of the Law, Niyam Dongar.

Yet for a decade, the 8,000-plus Dongria Kondh lived under the threat of mining by Vedanta Resources, which hoped to extract the estimated $2billion-worth of bauxite that lies under the surface of the hills.

The company planned to create an open-cast mine that would have violated Niyam Dongar, disrupted its rivers and spelt the end of the Dongria Kondh as a distinct people.

‘We’ll lose our soul. Niyamgiri is our soul.’

The Dongria Kondh of India’s Niyamgiri Hills have won a heroic victory against mining giant Vedanta Resources to save their sacred hills. The Supreme Court told Vedanta in 2013 that the Dongria must decide whether to allow mining on the Mountain of the Law. The Dongria answered with an unequivocal ‘No’.

 

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

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

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

When: Opens Friday, March 31, 6–8pm

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

More info here.

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

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

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

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

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

READ: The Miseducation of Frank Waln

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

The sacredness of the pipeline site

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Five Lessons from Standing Rock

MEMORY FIRE HOPE

By LT

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

The Wetiko Virus

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

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

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

KEEP READING

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

Dispelling Wetiko HERE

 

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

Blog Bonus: Emvpanyv: One who tells a story | hanging re-enactment | Go Fighting Hamsters! | Trump Termination

Emvpanyv: One who tells a story (MNN File Photo)

Editorial – “Go Fighting Hamsters!” Gary Fife, Radio Communications Specialist

Editor’s Note: The following column contains strong language.

OKMULGEE, Okla.— Ever notice the phrase “federally recognized tribes” when it comes to identifying who is and who isn’t an Indian. If your tribe is not on the list, published by the BIA— (some say ‘Boss Indians Around’) in the Federal Register, then it could mean the differences between receiving services or not, funding or not, having a CDIB (Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood) card or even entering art shows.

Well, the BIA finally got around to publishing that list, like they’re supposed to according to law.  567.  That’s the number of tribes having this political (political, not racial) relationship with the U.S. government.  Now, if you are wondering where all these tribes are, a good many of them are Alaska Native Villages, recognized as local units of government—tribes.  From the Absentee Shawnee of Oklahoma, to the Yupiit of Andreafski in Alaska, to the Zuni Tribe of New Mexico, we’re all good Indians, right?

Here’s what the feds said: “This notice publishes the current list of 567 tribal entities recognized and eligible for funding and services from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) by virtue of their status as Indian Tribes.  The list is updated from the notice published on May 4, 2016 (81 FR 26826).” And…if just have to see for yourself:

Publication Date: 01/17/2017

Agencies: Bureau of Indian Affairs

Document Type: Notice

Document Citation: 82 FR 4915

Page: 4915-4920 (6 pages)

Agency/Docket Number: 178A2100DD/AAKC001030/A0A501010.999900253G (that’s a long one, huh?)

Document Number: 2017-00912

I guess if your tribe ain’t on it, you’re outta luck.

The emotional battle of an Indian child’s parental custody like Baby Veronica won’t be repeated, according to national news sources.  Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court turned down an effort to hear a case involving a Native American girl who was ordered removed from a California foster home and reunited with relatives in Utah. “Lexi,” who is part Choctaw, was 6-years-old when she was taken from her foster home near Los Angeles under terms of the Indian Child Welfare Act.

From the “I Can’t Believe This Happened” category:

“Public hanging of Native man re-enactment sparks outrage.”

The Historical Society of Hanna’s Town, Pennsylvania actors performed a public execution re-enactment of the hanging of Mamachtaga to an enthusiastic crowd.

‘Indian Country Today’ reported Jan. 7, the Westmoreland County Historical Society re-enacted the 1785 public hanging of the Native man at the town.

The Indian news outlet reported for the first time in the society’s history, the celebration coordinators chose to re-enact a public hanging, this time of Mamachtaga, a Delaware man convicted of murder in 1785.  A video of the public hanging was posted on YouTube June 26, 2016.  The video shows several children in the audience watching as men dressed in colonial dress hang a red-face painted ‘Mamachtaga.’ Several people, presumably re-enactors, shouted comments such as, “Dirty no good Indian deserves to be hung,” and “Murderers, that’s all that they are.”

Several people expressed outrage over the video in Facebook comments. “This is horrible,” commented one. “What is wrong with people? Letting their kids watch this s***! Nothing like family bigotry,” was also commented.

Many people have contacted both the Westmoreland County Historical Society and the volunteer group who participated in the re-enactment to let them know of their opposition to such depictions. ‘Indian Country Today’ says, “According to them, the issue of race did not enter into the re-enactment.  Asked if the group would have done a similar performance if the criminal had been African American they said, ‘Yes.’ “Although the matter is under discussion, the committee doubted that the hanging would be included in next year’s Frontier Court Re-enactment Days celebrations.

Let’s hope not or what? The public hanging of Native men is still a spectator sport?

Let’s change the subject and mood.

Remember last year when I mentioned that a ritzy East Coast college was changing its mascot? “Lord Jeff” had been the mascot for Amherst College in Massachusetts. In the 1700s, he was the guy that suggested using smallpox infected blankets on the local Native people to get rid of them.  The national mood to change sports team’s mascots motivated the school to make the change and several new ideas came to mind.  The Amherst Facebook page reported in December a big list of names was submitted, and then pared down to about 30.  One of them (and my favorite) was the ‘Hamsters.’

Could you imagine at some athletic competition when the team makes its appearance, it’s led by a squad of beautiful ‘Hamster-ette’ cheerleaders and they come out of a big HabiTrail plastic tube?

Nibble em’, nibble em’. Go Fighting Hamsters!

Tafvmpuce! Wild onion season’s not too far off! Ready for the dinners?

Hompvks Ce.

Source: Emvpanyv: One who tells a story – Mvskoke Media

[Shortly after the posting of this article on Indian Country Today, the original video noted in this story was taken off of YouTube due to the public outcry.  Also, Chief Chester L. Brooks  of the Delaware Tribe of Indians located in Bartlesville, OK issued a strongly worded request for the video to be taken down, and the letter, which demanded immediate action from the Westmoreland County Historical Society of Pennsylvania to stop the reenactment, and expressed the tribe’s outrage that the historical society would go beyond the bounds of decency, also demanded an apology and that the removal of the video should be completed within ten days. READ THIS ENTIRE ARTICLE.]

List of sports team names and mascots derived from indigenous People …

Colleges and universities

Secondary schools

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Federally recognized tribes should brace for possible termination policy under Trump

Whether we like it or not, Saglutupiaġataq (“the compulsive liar” in Iñupiatun) is now president of the United States and Republicans control Congress. Federally recognized Alaska Native and American Indian tribes should brace for the worst, including the possibility that Congress may move to terminate federally recognized tribes.

https://sokokisojourn.wordpress.com/2017/03/24/federally-recognized-tribes-should-brace-for-possible-termination-policy-under-trump/comment-page-1/#comment-436

Louise Erdrich on ‘LaRose,’ and the Psychic Territory of Native Americans | In The Veins @BlueHandBooks #NoDAPL

By Lara Trace Hentz  (poet-writer) (founder of Blue Hand Books)

I am remiss in mentioning I’m in the new poetry anthology IN THE VEINS (released 2-1-2017) and last year I did mention the poetry book TENDING THE FIRE by Chris Felver that is coming out in 2017.   Louise and I are both that book.  NICE!

Louise’s bookstore BIRCHBARK BOOKS (top photo) in Minnesota carries some of our Blue Hand Book titles. I am very grateful to her for this. Supporting me as a small press and publisher helps me publish new Native authors.

click logo to visit them

I founded Blue Hand Books in 2011 to give back to my community, right after I did my memoir One Small Sacrifice.  Since then we have published 18 books, with four volumes in the Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects book series. (TWO WORLDS was the first anthology.)  In the Veins is Volume 4.  A portion of the proceeds from this poetry book edited by Patricia Busbee will be sent to the Standing Rock Water Protectors Camps (#NoDAPL).

Here is one of my poems from IN THE VEINS

…When People of the First Light saw ships and strangers disembark

…When the conqueror ran out of the woods firing loaded guns

…When they loaded some of us onto slave boats in shackles

Then a trickle becomes a river then a flood

…When an Indigenous mother loses her child at gun point

…When her child is punished by a nun, kicked in the neck

…When her child dies in residential school, buried in an unmarked grave

Then a trickle becomes a river then a flood

…When a black sedan enters the rez and children run and hide, afraid

…When a Cheyenne adoptee is a small boy, watching westerns on TV, he is told he is Indian

…When a Navajo adoptee is taken at the hospital and disappears, raised by Mormons

Then a trickle becomes a river, then a flood ….. of tears.

The people who chained, who murdered, who hacked, who raped, who hated their way across North America… they are still here, too.

ebook-cover-vein

Read an IN THE VEINS excerpt HERE.  My Ojibwe scholar friend blogger Dr. Carol A. Hand (who I interviewed on this blog) and my dear friend and Unravelling anthology co-editor MariJo Moore and many many other Native American and First Nations poets (some of them famous or soon-to-be) contributed prose and poems for this beautiful new book. If you love poetry, you will love this… LINK to BUY from BHB.

COMING SOON! Blue Hand Books is publishing a brand new novella by Barbara Robidoux, author of Sweetgrass Burning.

WE ARE NATIVE WOMEN – 23rd March to 31st May 2017 – Rainmaker Gallery

 

Her Empire is Her Reality, Sierra Edd

“Dooming a person’s existence to that of a stereotype is worse than never having lived at all.”


Shan Goshorn

The artworks in this exhibition depict women of all ages, strong, powerful, nurturing, caring, desirable, provocative, dangerous, real and supernatural. It highlights individual and communal struggles, concerns and life choices of women from several Native cultures across the continent.

“From a very young age, Chemehuevi women are taught that their innate strength as a woman and life giver is all-powerful, maybe sometimes even supernatural, and we are respected as equals in Chemehuevi society. We hold power in government and historically in battle. This unique perspective shows up throughout my art. It is always my intention to visualize this inherent Chemehuevi belief in the all-powerful, supernatural strength of women.” Cara Romero

Featured artists include Cara Romero (Chemehuevi), Shan Goshorn (Cherokee), Marla Allison (Laguna Pueblo), Shelley Niro (Mohawk), Kali Spitzer (Kaska Dena & Jewish) and Zoe Urness (Tlingit & Cherokee), Alison Bremner (Tlingit), Sierra Edd (Navajo/Diné) and Debra Yepa-Pappan (Jemez Pueblo & Korean).

Source: WE ARE NATIVE WOMEN – 23rd March to 31st May 2017 – Rainmaker Gallery

Last year’s exhibit

800 Babies in a Mass Grave – a Re-Post/Update

From my friend Toritto:

On June 2, 2014 I posted the below article concerning an Irish historian’s claim that hundreds of dead babies were to be found on the grounds of a “home” for unwed mothers run by …

PLEASE READ: 800 Babies in a Mass Grave – a Re-Post/Update

It’s Friday and a good day to cry my eyes out… Lara/Trace

Ireland coverage

Why an Apache Artist’s Photos Are Inextricable from His Activism | What the people of the Amazon know that you don’t | TED Talk

Standing Fox, a leader of the Apache Stronghold movement, talks about how activism plays an important part in his life as an Apache artist.

What do you hope to communicate to non-Indians through your work?

Standing Fox, “Untitled”

SF: I think that the people in the US tend to forget how rich the culture is on this land. A lot of people go out of this country to volunteer and help other people in need. I want them to know that there are issues in their backyard, on their land. I think it’s very important to know who the original people are here, and to have respect for them. We need help too. I want to show the beauty within this land. I want people to see more than just images of Indians protesting, more than an Indian on Instagram holding up a picture of a poster saying WE ARE STILL HERE. We of course have to do this in order for us to protect the culture and the way, but I feel that it is my job to push the beauty of our culture to the world, by saying this is what we are about, and this is what we are trying to protect.

Source: Why an Apache Artist’s Photos Are Inextricable from His Activism

***What the people of the Amazon know that you don’t

This lost Native language of Massachusetts is waking up again | What is Bermuda’s Connection to the Pequot

This lost Native language of Massachusetts is waking up again

READ: This lost Native language of Massachusetts is waking up again PRI´s The World | First Nations Blog – FIRST NATIONS

AND THIS:

By Lara Trace Hentz  (She Covers the Trail)

AQUAY!  Hello, greetings to you in Pequot!  BERMUDA Greeting :: Yo Ace Boy! (Hello good friend!)

This blog still has the theme:  “What you’re not supposed to know” (regarding cracking open Indian history, especially here in New England.)

I have also used this headline:

I don’t know why we don’t know this stuff

It’s heinous how the historic narrative calls American Indians/Native Americans “disappeared, the vanished, relics of the past,” but you will see in these stories, tribes do manage to survive every attempt to erase them and their culture, language and history right here in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

(above video) Jessie Little Doe’s work has helped revitalize and resurrect the Wampanoag language.  I interviewed her many years ago.  What was almost lost forever has been re-claimed, thanks to Jessie.

I blogged here in 2011 about Brinky Tucker who is a historian and descendant of the New England Indians who were sold into slavery into Bermuda.  He authored “St. David’s Island, Bermuda, Its People, History and Culture” – published in 2009, (not on Amazon – but it should be!)  The history of Bermuda involves slavery of Indigenous people… [Book cover, top photo: Tall Oak Weeden (Wampanoag-Pequot) and Brinky Tucker (Bermuda Indian)]. See: Brinky Tucker on Bermuda Indian History

BACK STORY: …relative isolation lasted until the 1930s, when a bridge was constructed connecting St. David’s Island with the rest of Bermuda.  Although there was intermarriage and cohabitation with African slaves, European colonists, and imported Carib Indians, these descendants of New England tribes passed on “origin stories” that connect five St. David’s families, stories about an Indian slave woman named Susannah who claimed to be the granddaughter of King Phillip and traditions of chanting and drumming at a hillside location called Dark Bottom.  After the 1834 emancipation, most former slaves stayed on St. David’s and continued to intermarry with each other.

“Most of the St. David’s Islanders today are of mixed blood,” says St. Clair Tucker, or Brinky, as he prefers to be called, one of the founding members of the St. David’s Island Indian Committee. “The first Indian slave arrived on our shores in 1616, and for the next 200 years the English developed a very profitable slave trade with Africans and Native Americans. Documents prepared by the English indicate that Pequots, Wampanoags, Narragensetts, Cherokees, Mohegans, Carib, Arowacks and Indians from Central and South America were sold here.  The only trading port was in St. George’s, about 150 yards from St. David’s….”

In 2002, the Mashantucket Pequot had ceremony to reconnect with their enslaved ancestors, their brothers and sisters found in Bermuda.  Brinky and family members came to Connecticut to meet their Pequot cousins (that’s when I met him) and the next year the Pequot traveled to Bermuda.  Making this connection made new history and friendships that continue to this day.

For decades, tribal culture is its own power and lives in the blood, and shows itself in song, dance and language.

When I spoke with Brinky, he’d met with Pequot tribal council who asked simply, “What do you want?” You might guess the world’s richest tribe was skeptical at first of this history connection.  That is the worrisome part.  Tribes themselves are often unaware of the slavery and mixing that happened in prior centuries, even in Bermuda.

Then-Chairman Michael J. Thomas, a Mashantucket tribal leader, went to St. David’s Island in Bermuda to reconnect with Brinky and other Bermuda Indians.

Brinky told the Bermuda newspaper:

“The Native American involvement in Bermuda over the years has been very significant,” he said. “They weren’t always well treated. Some of the stories aren’t pleasant, but it’s better that we know our history.”

He added that the English colonists who originally enslaved the Pequot Indians might well be surprised that their descendants are now celebrating their links to a troubled time. “The English kept great records,” he said. “Little did they know that we’d read them.”

 THEY LOOKED LIKE US
from MANY HOOPS

St. David’s was completely isolated in those early days; in fact, it remained accessible only by boat until as late as 1934.

Beginning around 1616 Wampanoag, Pequots, Narragansetts, Cherokees, Mohegans, Carib, Arowacks and Indians from Central and South America were sold in Bermuda.

“Tall Oak” Weeden and a delegation of Wampanoag Indians and Mashantucket Pequots went in search of their people from the slavery era.

They traveled to St. David’s Island in Bermuda.  There they met a small clan claiming to be descended from New England Indian slaves shipped to the island centuries ago.  Weeden’s group was convinced it was true when they saw the faces, dances and ceremonies of the St. David’s Indians.

“I was struck by how much they looked like us,” said Michael J. Thomas, a Mashantucket tribal leader.

According to local legend, the wife and son of King Philip might have been among those on St. David’s.  After the king’s death, his wife, Wootonekanuske, is said to have married an African.  This kept alive the genealogical line with Indians in New England. The Pequots plan to dig even further into slavery’s hidden history, Thomas said.  “What’s to be learned is a more accurate perception of Colonial-era history,” he said. “It helps people to understand our insecurities of today.”

If you are into history, here is a link to a short paper about Bermuda’s Native American DNA ancestry. HERE

From Restless Natives, from the Bermuda newspaper THE BERMUDIAN here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Pequot War of 1634 to 1638 saw the English colonists of Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay join forces with the Narragansett and Mohegan tribes in an attempt to unseat the Pequot, who enjoyed economic and political power in what is now southeastern Connecticut.

“The colonists has guns,” Tucker said.  “The Indians had bow and arrows.”

Captain Anthony White, the largest landowner in Bermuda at the time, purchased these 80 Native Americans. They were sent to live on St. David’s Island and put to work as farmers, boat builders, labourers and fishermen. From that point, the connection between Native Americans and St. David’s was established- and aided, over the following years, by the island’s close proximity to the local slave market.

“When they were brought here, the trading port was St. George’s,” Tucker explained. “Slaves were sold in the square, and masters from St. George’s and St. David’s got the first pick.”

*** Virtual: St David

On the island of St David, a cultural mishmash represents the diversity of Bermudian culture.  The Carter House is a testament to the varied groups of people who settled here, exploring the history of the English, black West Indians, Spaniards, Portuguese, Native Americans and even Scottish and Irish prisoners of war (carterhousemuseum.org).

 

P.S. I left the Pequot Times in 2004.  (I quit and moved to Massachusetts).  The monthly newspaper continued barely another year and then folded.  Massive layoffs by the Pequot Tribal Government shut it down.  That was a huge loss for the tribe and for Connecticut…. and for history.

Melissa, Medicine Woman for the Mohegan tribe, named me “She Covers the Trail.”  My Native friend English professor poet Ron Welburn keeps in close contact with Brinky and has visited him.  Brinky and I exchange Christmas cards.

ojibwe_style_moccasi_cover_for_kindleP.S.S.– If you have any interest in Native authors (and you should), go visit www.bluehandbooks.org – we just published Ojibwe Style Moccasin Game, a handbook by Charles Grolla on how to play the oldest Ojibwe game, given to man by makwa (bear.)

***VERY IMPORTANT

“Who Belongs?” in Indian Country Conference Convenes March 9–10, 2017  TUCSON, ARIZONA – The “Who Belongs? From Tribal Kinship to Native Nation Citizenship to Disenrollment…

READ: A First: Tribal Leaders, Academics to Convene to Discuss Tribal Disenrollment – Native News Online