Protector efforts to thwart the development of the pipeline has been met with violence and surveillance by police. In order to track the Water Protectors, police and Energy Transfer Partners use helicopters, planes, and drones to photograph, monitor and harass. In some cases, the helicopters are used for more direct action against Water Protectors.
This nine-part series will illuminate the FAA’s complacency and the role the FAA’s concession played in the violence against Water Protectors. A listing of the other eight articles is at the bottom of this article.
The number of arrests surpassed 600 this week, as 16 were arrested Monday and Tuesday in confrontations near the camp.
The Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux also are fighting the pipeline work in court, with the next hearing set for Feb. 28. In the meantime, hundreds of pipeline opponents have continued to occupy a camp near the drilling site in North Dakota.
State and federal authorities have told the few hundred people remaining in the camp to leave by Wednesday (today). Authorities want the area cleaned and closed before spring floodwaters wash tons of trash and debris into nearby rivers, including the Missouri River, and cause an environmental disaster.
The tribe launched a cleanup effort in late January. The state and Corps were continuing Friday to try to line up additional contractors to speed up the work, according to Corps Capt. Ryan Hignight and Mike Nowatzki, spokesman for Gov. Doug Burgum.
“We’re running out of time,” Hignight said. “We need to ensure that the land is remediated as soon as possible.”
Some in camp think the flood fears are overblown and that authorities are trying to turn public sentiment against them.
“We’re all working hard to get the lower (flood-prone) grounds clear,” said Giovanni Sanchez, a Pennsylvania man who has been at the camp since November. “I think they’re just trying to find any reason to get us out of here.”
The latest spring flood outlook from the National Weather Service, issued Thursday, calls for minor flooding in the area. The outlook doesn’t include flood risks associated with river ice jams, which can’t be predicted.
A growing group of military veterans are willing to put their bodies between Native American activists and the police trying to remove them
DAPL goes to court –> As work continues on the Dakota Access Pipeline, the Associated Press reports that a federal judge in Washington, DC, will hear arguments later today about whether or not construction should be halted while lawsuits filed by the Standing Rock Sioux against the pipeline play out.
Meanwhile, The Guardian reports that military veterans from across the country are planning to stand in support of the Native Amerians and block the pipeline. “The growing group of military veterans could make it harder for police and government officials to try to remove hundreds of activists who remain camped near the construction site and, some hope, could limit use of excessive force by law enforcement during demonstrations,” Sam Levin writes. Elizabeth Williams, a 34-year-old air force veteran, tells Levin, “We are prepared to put our bodies between Native elders and a privatized military force. We’ve stood in the face of fire before. We feel a responsibility to use the skills we have.”
Cree artist Kent Monkman says the title of his exhibit “Shame and Prejudice” reflects the “harsh” experiences of indigenous peoples in Canada over the last 150 years. The show opened recently in Toronto then will tour the country.
I wanted to share the Smoke Signals sculpture (blurry top photo) by Allan Houser (Apache) on display at the Mashantucket Pequot’s casino Foxwoods. The tribe has amassed a huge collection of art. Why? They could afford it, being the world’s richest tribe, and they wanted to preserve a variety of Native American artworks, and support the artist and his or her family… The trickle-down theory is traditional practice in Indian Country. When I worked for them, our newspaper staff had a tour of the paintings and sculptures at the casino and at the Pequot Museum. It was incredible.
Art has huge value! As you can see, it’s a victim of trafficking, too! Across this planet, ART is vitally important, especially when we live in turbulent times. With poverty in the majority of tribal communities and in Third Worlds, art can save lives, when someone displays a talent, like painting, or music, or acting. That talent can be your ticket off the rez, and later, with enough money earned, it’s your ticket back. Many many cultures send their young adults out to make money so they can send money home…
Trading art and artifact for money started in colonial times. Were Native artists paid well? I seriously doubt it. Look at the British Museum and you can see how government officials and trading posts made trades with Indians for centuries. Robbed? Ah, I think so! Or anthropologists who came in and dug stuff up and called it their own. Those artifacts are now called “Cultural Property” and some looted countries and tribal nations are calling to get their property returned. And we know the Nazi stole artworks and the Jews are asking for it back.
Art has value for its history, too. Art defines who we are as humanity! [This act of getting it back to the original owners is called repatriation.]
In the US, big organizations like the National Endowment of the Arts help fund today’s artists and their communities, which helps tourism, which creates even more value and jobs. With t-rump, the arts are entering the danger zone:
President Donald Trump sent shockwaves through the art world when it shared its federal budget, which calls for completely scrapping the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The president and his pals are evidently blind to the value of art, but as many of us know so well, both agencies have supported countless individuals and organizations with the roughly .004% of the federal budget that each receives annually.
To illustrate just how beneficial the NEA’s work has been, artist and environmental engineer Tega Brain has programmed a website that scrolls through the types of grants the NEA awarded last year alone. Like end credits of a movie, each funded project moves slowly down your screen in bright colors to form a simple but clear message: we really need the NEA.
Overnight, America — its past, present, and future — had become unreal….
For me, the symptom of that experience is a constant traumatic alertness, a terrible, exhausting need to pay attention to everything and everybody and not succumb to the temptation of comforting interpretation. Trauma makes everything abnormal, but the upside is that living with and in a mind where nothing appears normal or stable is the best antidote to normalization.
There is no choice, in other words, other than owning a split mind that would probe and test America, all of its parts, all of its lies, all of us. “Reality” has finally earned its quotation marks. This is a consequence of an unimaginable catastrophe, to be sure, but a good writer should never let a good catastrophe go to waste. The necessary thing to do is to transform shock into a high alertness that prevents anything from being taken for granted — to confront fear and to love the way it makes everything appear strange.
Back in December I lost Oglala relative Ellowyn Locke, age 68. Lost in the way that I can’t go visit her in Porcupine on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota or call her on the phone. I can only visit her in dreams. I can reread her letters. Her artist brother Merle told me I can bring a red rose to her grave then I will feel better.
I am not doing well at all, grieving the most important friend I ever had.
Yes, I have memories, her teaching me, teasing me, photos and all the stories. I also have many gifts she made me. My ONE SMALL SACRIFICE book cover has the family beadwork Ellowyn sewed on the doll she gifted me.
Years ago, I bought a hand bag that had Hopi dancers on a bright turquoise fabric to give to Ellowyn. I made the mistake of taking the purse when we went to visit Sara Thunder Hawk. Of course Sara really admired the purse and I knew I should give it to her, but I already planned to give to Ellowyn. I felt so horrible I couldn’t give it to Sara. I had brought gifts for Sara but I knew that purse was what she wanted. I prayed and prayed Sara would forgive me! That was my learning experience. Imagine the most precious thing you own – like a ring. Could you give it up? If a Lakota elder likes it, you give it to them. That is what we do… Material objects are never as important as giving. I could never refuse a gift either, like when Ellowyn gave me moccasins, even though they were too big. It would hurt her deeply if I refused them. I learned to bring a load of gifts every time I went to see my relatives and my car would be full when I left to go back home.
In 2015, I couldn’t reach her by phone and panicked. Ellowyn had been taken to a rehab facility after breaking her ankle. By 2016, she was the longest living dialysis patient on their rez – over 10 long years. I have photos of her on dialysis in Wounded Knee from an earlier trip. My relative had the will to live but her body was getting weak. She said repeatedly she would accept a new kidney if the donor was living but that wasn’t likely to happen. That call never came.
On the phone in 2016, I told her I was not ready for her to die. That was selfish of me, I know. I felt bad when I said it. Like a big sister, she talked to me about all the fun we had… all the years and stories.. so she comforted me!
Here’s a story I wrote about her life in 2007… here
I call Ellowyn Strong Walking Woman, Winyan Washaka Mani. She is very strong and cares deeply for her family, her relatives and her tribe.
Ellowyn taught me the most important thing I know, which is Mitakuye Oyasin, which translates to we are all related, and relatives.
Pilamaye, thank you for letting me speak about family. I thank my relative Ellowyn for naming me and for making me her relative.
My cousin Charlie is saying he’s in the fourth stage of grief – “If we can laugh it means we are in the Kubler-Ross 4th stage.” I do think we need to laugh and cry.
Last weekend I watched a live feed history symposium at Brown University in Rhode Island. First, I was overwhelmed and overcome with information. I took copious notes. I was very pleased how Native American Slavery was talked about, too. I was happy to see people of color from around the world giving presentations on their own history truths. (I even posted a few photos on Instagram since this was historic!) Then I got so angry. Several things hit me like bricks!
This Snobs headline ought to get me a few gasps and new readers. No, I’m not a history snob. I’m a lover. I can’t get enough of what I call His-Story: where/there, when/then, what/that.
I watched (with baited breath) the live feed of the history symposium at Brown University. Official title: SLAVERY AND GLOBAL PUBLIC HISTORY: New Challenges. It’s about: Universities across the United States and the world have been forced to confront connections to slavery throughout their histories. From Brown to Yale, Oxford and in South Africa, students, faculty, and administrations wrestle with how to expose, conceal, honor, or memorialize the legacies of slavery. LINK: https://www.brown.edu/initiatives/slavery-and-justice/global-public-history/schedule
Abolitionists were not popular at first or everywhere, but were willing to risk injury or death for what was right. They challenged an “inevitable” norm with a coherent moral vision that challenged slavery, capitalism, sexism, racism, war, and all variety of injustice. They foresaw a better world, not just the current world with one change. They marked victories and moved on, just as those nations that have abolished their militaries could be used today as models for the rest. They made partial demands but painted them as steps toward full abolition. They used the arts and entertainment. They created their own media. They experimented (such as with emigration to Africa) but when their experiments failed, they never ever gave up. – David Swanson
Reprinted with permission: SOURCE (See the Mix for more on this author)
In Native communities and indigenous thinking, water is much more than a resource. Water is part of the “body” of the universe and Mother Earth. It covers more than 70% of the Earth’s surface and also is the major make-up of almost all life forms. Water is life. There are many compelling issues that have come to the forefront in the last few months. Some have drawn worldwide attention such as the Standing Rock Sioux struggle to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline and protect the North Dakota watershed and its people. Others are not as well known such as protecting the everglades from new fracking and drilling techniques in southwest Florida that pose risks to groundwater, from which the Seminole tribe derive their entire source of water. There is a saying in Native Hawaiian culture that says Mohala I ka wai ka maka o ka pua, which means Unfolded by the water are the faces of the flowers. The flowers are the metaphors for all life. People thrive where there is clean water and good living conditions. Tiokasin Ghosthorse is one of Native Arts and Cultures Foundation’s 2016 national music fellows and wrote a beautiful article on an indigenous Lakota perspective of water that I highly encourage you to read here. Lulani Arquette, NACF President and CEO
(White Lash video: what DO we tell our kids and grandkids? The truth, all of it…)
I’m sure there are plenty of people gloating, in shock, or some even panicking, over the electoral vote for The Donald, as if this one particular presidency is going to make our life better, worse and/or different. I’m sure there are still optimists out there who think that this guy will change everything and rapidly. Or that Trump is the first common man’s president, since he’s a non-politician and considered an outspoken revolutionary.
When I was editor of Ojibwe Akiing, I recall when Jesse Ventura (left photo) was that guy too. He was elected governor of Minnesota (1999-2003) and he said (coming from a background of no political experience) that he would not meet with special interests. That was when the tribes in Minnesota requested to meet with him. This knucklehead was unaware of the federal treaties and the government-to-government relationship with tribes. In Minnesota, there are seven Anishinaabe (Chippewa, Ojibwe) reservations and four Dakota (Sioux) communities. Lackluster in his governance and low on experience, Ventura didn’t last long in the political arena. [He told tribes he had used hand grenades to catch fish. Just toss the grenade into a lake and BOOM! Yup, true story.]
We’d assume the learning curve for any non-politician to take office is pretty steep. What could possibly happen? or go wrong? or nothing happens – like with Obama who was blocked by Congress at every turn?
Other journalists and I are making a list of what is going to affect tribes in the near future with The Donald Presidency. (Like the Supreme Court Justice appointment.) Personally I don’t think the Standing Rock protectors are safe, the Dakota Access PipeLine (hashtag #NoDAPL) will proceed quickly and some protectors could actually be murdered, a bloody sacrifice for Big Oil interests. Trump invested in pipelines.
@BarackObama@POTUS I urge you to act now to protect Standing Rock from the Dakota Access Pipeline while there is still time! #NoDAPL
I watched the protests last night on TV. I applaud them but will it work?
My husband is a mix of African American and Native American. He has lived through many presidents and has lived a very different experience than me, one that is hard for me to fathom. Frisked for being black? The Danger of DWB: Driving while Black? Hands Up: Don’t Shoot Me (or us)??
Can you for one minute imagine that?
This is real life in America. Not wanting to take a leisurely drive to hill-towns near us because he could be a target and shot in cold blood by some random rifle-carrying racist? Don’t take unnecessary risks? This is his thinking, yet I can only imagine what it’s been like for him; I cannot live his experience in his skin but I am living it my own way.
My husband could be killed. That has been and will continue to be my fear and my reality and more so, due to The Donald presidency.
Whether thru ignorance, strategy, or apathy, my fellow Americans voted for a proud sexual assaulter and racial violence instigator.
What I fear most with the Donald President is an increase in racial violence and police killings of non-white Americans. It’s a real fear, one that was witnessed in the campaign rallies when non-whites were targets, and Trump eagerly encouraged it. It’s hard to tell what “the real Donald is”, as in real life. Was his campaign all “show”? It felt poisonous. Is he dangerous and a psychopath?
I am afraid of Trump and many many other people are, too.
Wishing this would end won’t help us now. I cannot stop feeling that it’s our reality now.
I ask for your prayers that we rise up united and reject racism at its foundation and core and not be the racist misogynist sexist country that Trump is/was/or will be encouraging.
Thank you for reading this blog! Peace and Love UNITED…
“From the start, Trump targeted the (mostly) white working class, which happens to be 40 percent of the country. And he’s done it not just with issues, but with how he talks — the ball-busting, the “bragging,” the over-the-top promises… But it speaks volumes — whole encyclopedias — about the ignorance of our political and media elites that they’re only now realizing that much of what Trump’s been doing is just busting balls. It’s a blue-collar ritual, with clear rules — overtly insulting, sure, but with infinite subtleties. It can be a test of manliness, a sign of respect, a way of bonding and much more. Why Trump Wins
Ventura in 2016
✓ Ventura endorsed Gary Johnson for the 2016 presidential general election.
***Ventura’s campaign was unexpectedly successful, with him narrowly defeating both the Democratic and Republican candidates. The highest elected official to ever win an election on a Reform Party ticket, Ventura left the Reform Party a year after taking office amid internal fights for control over the party. [WIKI*]
As we learned from the CDC-Kaiser Permanente ACE Study, negative childhood experiences are often kept secret, downplayed, or repressed because of our powerful desire to put such things behind us. Unfortunately, our minds and our brains don’t work that way. Patterns can play out automatically, no matter how hard we try to be original and create our own realities.
Just as it is important to know family medical history (e.g., diabetes or tuberculosis) it is equally important to know about our social inheritance.
…There is a chilling quote from Time magazine essayist Lance Morrow, from his ACES-informed book, Heart: “Generations are boxes within boxes; inside my mother’s violence you find another box, which contains my grandfather’s violence, and inside that box (I suspect but do not know) you would find another box with some such black secret energy—stories within stories, receding in time.”
Our job as humans is to connect the dots. I published this link on the ACE STUDY and learned about that important study while I was writing my memoir One Small Sacrifice.
What does it mean for an adoptee to be raised outside your ancestry and culture that isn’t white/American? I have some answers in this new anthology CALLED HOME: The RoadMap. [ ISBN-13: 978-0692700334 (Blue Hand Books) ]
Here’s an excerpt of the PREFACE
No matter who adopts us, new parents will never erase our blood, ancestry, DNA… or our dreams…
No matter how much I want to believe things have changed for the better in Indian Country and in our world, the reality is there is still an “adoption-land” waiting to scoop up more children and more children who need healthy moms and dads. This anthology and this entire book series will be their roadmap.
This is why Patricia and I chose the title CALLED HOME for this anthology. Roadmap was added to the second edition you are now reading.
There are many adoptees called home, but very few are back living on tribal lands. It’s a testament to the courage to be in reunion as adult adoptees, as survivors who were part of the government plans to rid the world of Indigenous and First Nation People. Adoption didn’t kill our spirit but it hurt us deeply.
After ten years of researching the topic and history of adoption, sadly, states like South Dakota and South Carolina are still violating federal law called the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 when Native children are supposed to be placed with family, close kin, a relative, or with a different tribe. “Stranger adoptions” with non-Indian parents is supposed to be the absolute last resort or rare occurrence. However, it can still happen, you can read the chapter on Baby V.
Let’s face it: With a shortage of Native adoptive and foster homes in the US and Canada, children will be lost and later called Lost Birds, adoptees and Stolen Generations. Indian Country as a whole is still impoverished, living with daily reminders of broken treaties, remote reservations, soul-crushing poverty, loss of land, shortages of language speakers, and generations who are dealing with post-traumatic stress after centuries of war, residential boarding school abuse, food scarcity and neglect. Since so many are still subjected to Third World conditions, Indigenous children will continue to be taken and placed into foster care and adoptions. (Wasn’t this the original plan to erase all Indians?) Native American moms and dads can still lose their child (or all their children) in courtrooms of white privilege and cultural insensitivity.
On a visit to Brock University in 2014, my co-editor Patricia Busbee and I learned how foster and adoptive parents are invited to bring their Native child to First Nations Friendship Centres in the Niagara, Ontario area. Children are invited to hear stories, learn their language and songs, while their new adoptive parents can participate in activities, too. The entire family is welcome and nourished in this cultural exchange.
Indian Country needs to look to its northerly neighbors in Canada and start its own US-wide “Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC),” and reinvent and redesign its own child care protection systems for the sake of its own future generations. Maine is the only state with a TRC.
After many adoptees contacted me wanting to find their first families, I can say with certainty adoptees are CALLED HOME, called in dreams to be reunited with family members and their many nations. These adoptees do find a way to reconnect despite difficulties with archaic laws, a clueless public, biased lawmakers, closed adoptions, sealed court documents and falsified birth records.
It’s long overdue that North America opens their closed adoption files. When this happens, ifthis happens, the entire world will finally comprehend how adoption was actually colonization and the trafficking of Indigenous Indian children by the “Nation Builders” who call themselves America and Canada. We in North America are literally educated to be ignorant of the true history of our colonization, by the nation builders who use it and what really happened here. Hiding it only perpetuates continued racism and intolerance.
The fog is lifting now and it’s time we shine a light on the hidden history of the Indian Adoption Projects and Programs like ARENA, the Indian Adoption Projects, Operation Papoose, Project Rainbow and the 60s Scoop. You will read about these programs in this book.
For the writers in this book, adoption was the tool of assimilation, erasing our identity and sovereign rights as tribal citizens, intending it to be permanent.
For too many of us, states still won’t release our files to us, even as adults. We have included a section in this book for adoptees who are still searching for clues after their closed adoptions. Many adoptees are doing DNA tests with relatives and to find relatives..
As these books travel to new lands and new hands, I pray that adoptive parents accept that we cannot be the child they want us to be, or dream us to be, and that we are born with our own unique biology, ancestry and characteristics. We will always dream in Indian.
Go on social media and not get somewhat depressed? Exactly! I watched Twitter instead of the Big Debate, for example. I want to gauge what others are thinking. My head still hurts. (Yelling out loud may help sometimes.)
Otherwise I cuddle up and read and crochet and do mosaic coloring so I keep very very calm. I know it’s theatrics and not politics.
Native Musician and AWARD WINNER JOSH HALVERSON (Lakota) SELECTS ALICIA KEYS AS HIS COACH ON NBC’S THE VOICE: Josh Halverson (Mdewakantonwan Sioux) who won the Songwriter of the Year Award at the Native American Music Awards in 2013 for his Cd, One Shot, earned a last minute three-chair turn during The Voice Blind Auditions as his wife and young son, Thunderbird, watched backstage. Josh, who is a cattle rancher from Texas performed a haunting version of Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young”. Once Miley Cyrus, Alicia Keys, and Blake Sheldon hit their buttons, they all turned around to fight for Halverson. Although Blake brought out his best cattle talk, Halverson chose to join Team Alicia. [www.NAMALIVE.com] I don’t watch the VOICE but I love Josh.
A notorious example: NY city planner Robert Moses designed a number of Long Island Parkway overpasses to be so low that buses could not drive under them. This effectively blocked Long Island from the poor and people of color who tend to rely more heavily on public transportation. And the low bridges continue to wreak havoc in other ways: 64 collisions were recorded in 2014 alone (here’s a bad one). READ HERE
Joseph Blue Crow discovers why he has spent his life in the shadow of the raven. And now, for the first time, he feels able to walk the good red road. He will dedicate his life to recording the personal stories of the descendants of the Lakota people who died at Wounded Knee. In the light of truth, he says, may all heal. (I’m finishing up THE ROCK CHILD by Win Blevins now)
For those who can’t make it to Tulsa, an online interactive allows users to scroll through the muslin and click on points of interest, which highlight this detail of individual warriors. Two Lakota members of the Stokà Yuhà (Bare Lance) Society hold crooked lances in their right hands, while a member of the Miwátani Society has his red sash staked in the earth, a sign that he was going to stay and fight to the death. A member of the Brave Heart Society is “counting coup” with his eagle feather lance, an act of bravery that required a person to get close enough to hit an enemy by hand.
***UPDATED: The protectors camp is going strong at Standing Rock rez in North Dakota. I have read they need camping gear.
“This is something unbelievable. This display of unity and the power of coming together is unbelievable. No words can properly describe the feeling. For example just this morning our traditional enemies the Crow came to the camp here to stand in solidarity with us. And we welcomed them with Open Hearts. That was a power that brought tears to many people’s eyes. The Oceti Sakowin stand strong and committed to stopping this pipeline.” – Dave Archambault Jr., Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation.READ THIS
The Sculptor Who Merged Cherokee and Art Deco Styles read more
Lately, I have been reading more than writing. (More like catching up…) When you have time, check out the posts I liked recently on the sidebar. There are so many amazing blogs and writers/big thinkers to read. I am so much smarter/awake/aware now – thank you!
You may recall Jessup, who wrote a post about Solitary Confinement in prison in Arizona – good news – he has been released. Hearing his voice as a FREE man was simply AMAZING. Keep good thoughts for him, please. He needs so much. He plans to get his college degree that he started in prison. Jessup, who is Lakota and an adoptee, has so much to process after his release. He contributed to the anthology Two Worlds and Called Home. I’ve asked him to keep a journal. [It helped me write One Small Sacrifice over a five year period with 4:30 am wake ups.]
If there is anything big you need to process, put your hand/pen to paper that connects your heart to your brain. Right now many of us are already thinking with our hearts. That is right where we need to be.
Above are some museum exhibits you can visit online. (click links) Think BIG, UNITED, we need that in this world.
Native American Activist Winona LaDuke at Standing Rock: It’s Time to Move On from Fossil Fuels
While Democracy Now! was covering the Standing Rock standoff earlier this month, we spoke to Winona LaDuke, longtime Native American activist and executive director of the … (watch video) Read More →
AMYGOODMAN interview: Is facial recognition technology being used (at the protectors camp)?
Standing Rock Tribal Chief DAVEARCHAMBAULT II: That’s a crazy question, Amy, and I’m glad you ask it, because when you have a lot of people in an area, there’s all this paranoia that is present. And we don’t have to be paranoid anymore. We need to be proud of who we are. This is a big time in history. We need to hold our chins high and show our faces. We’re not doing anything wrong. And if facial recognition technology is out there, I would doubt that it’s here. All authorities have to do is go on Facebook, go on the Democracy Now! videos, and they’ll see people’s faces there. And that’s where authorities are getting information. The people who are videoing incidents determine—we create the evidence on ourselves with these—with our iPhones and social media. I would highly doubt that facial recognition is something—we have our own websites, we have our own Facebook pages. We give all the information that is out there to the authorities through social media. [(Blackwater?) Trucks have been seen taking photos of people since this comment.]
***The “No Dakota Access PipeLine” (#NoDAPL) camp in North Dakota has grown each and every day… YES YES…we are united… “It’s historic because the 200 or so tribes that are protesting the construction of the $3.7 billion Dakota Access Pipeline have not united together for more than 150 years,” says Jennifer Cook is the policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union of North Dakota.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, hundreds of Indian tribes that support its position, and the thousands of Indians that stand by its side in Cannonball lost an important ruling by a federal court on the Dakota Access Pipeline fight (DAPL), only to learn minutes later that the Obama administration, the defendant in Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. United States Army Corps of Engineers, would dramatically reverse its position and grant most of the relief requested by the tribe.
Cape Cod Times: …And with hundreds of natural gas, oil, and petroleum pipeline accidents that have occurred in just the last 20 years, including when Shell Oil’s Texas pipeline burst in 2013, irreparably poisoning the Vince Bayou; and the 2011 Exxon Mobil pipeline break, which spilled 1,000 barrels of crude oil into the Yellowstone River in Montana, U.S. residents should be worried that the project could move forward.
Leonard Peltier has been in prison for 40 years Published September 12, 2016 WASHINGTON – To mark his 72nd birthday today, Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) released a new video urging President Obama to grant clemency to Anishinabe-Lakota Native American activist Leonard Peltier before leaving office. The video highlights Amnesty International’s human rights concerns about Peltier’s case…
Standing Rock is HUGE news but somehow ABC, NBC, CBS (US MEDIA) aren’t covering it… hmmm. WHY? I tell my students, go look on Twitter… or read Indian Country Today News Media online and we can always count on Democracy Now with Amy Goodman!
GENOA, NEBRASKA — Sid Byrd, a former student at Genoa Indian Industrial School, opened his talk in August at the annual school reunion with a story about his name. “My middle named used to be Oliver, but I changed it to Howard because I got sick and tired of initialing S.O.B,” he said.
The 97-year-old (or 97 winters, as his tribe says) is a gifted storyteller who managed to slip in slivers of humor while recalling the hardships and discrimination he faced while attending the Indian school. Byrd grew up in Porcupine, South Dakota, as a member of the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe. In 1927, Byrd was sent to the Genoa Indian School to receive a Western education. His biggest struggle as a child was learning to speak English. Byrd, who grew up speaking Lakota, said English had many sounds that did not exist in his native language. And children were harshly punished for speaking their own language.
Byrd recalled a story of a little boy who was crying one night while others were sleeping and began to pray in his native tongue. He was reported and punished by being sent to “the hole.”
“God hears all prayers, whatever language,” the boy told Byrd. “Was it wrong for me to pray?”
According to Joseph Campbell, the hero emerges from humble beginnings to undertake a journey fraught with trials and suffering. He or she survives those ordeals and returns to the community bearing a gift — a “boon,” as Campbell called it — in the form of a message from which people can learn and benefit. So, properly, the hero is an exceptional person who gives his life over to a purpose larger than himself and for the benefit of others. Campbell had often lamented our failure as human beings “to admit within ourselves the carnivorous, lecherous fever” that seems endemic to our species. “By overcoming the dark passions,” he told Moyers, “the hero symbolizes our ability to control the irrational savage within us.” READ
By Lara Trace
I’m back (blazing a bright new writing path I hope). A big birthday happens for me in a few days. I have a 9-9 birthday. This year is 9-9-9. That can mean an end or completion. At this six decade milestone, I find myself more excited to plan the next 30+ years… There is more… more adventure, more everything. Sid Byrd the survivor is my inspiration – 97 and still telling stories!
As this presidential campaign makes abundantly clear, no hero is going to swoop in to save us. We have to be our own heroes.
How you/me/we SEE the world and VISION the future, that matters most.
These massive overt and covert military defeats prompted one former CIA acting director to campaign for the killing of Russians and Iranians in Syria during an interview in the mainstream media. (Really?)
See Real Politik for more on this bizarre behavior and war business and global-power struggle
War is a global industry. As Americans, we don’t have bombs hitting our house and all these world conflicts are massively confusing and frightening. There are powerful people (very few) making decisions we don’t agree with or understand, obviously.
Then this happened. This image (below) of Umran, a little Syrian child, age 5, gripped the world. It shook us awake. We ask (and ask and ask), why is any war or this war necessary? What is the religious or political dogma behind it? Why are there so many militarists at war? Does war bring peace or more war? Who benefits from any war? Who are all these Arms Dealers and weapons manufacturers*? [The arms industry is one of the most profitable and powerful industries in the world.] Who are the private contractors? Who decides who drops the bombs? Who wants What? Is this war in Syria about oil (again) or seizing land or just another tribal conflict you/me/we can’t understand? Who knows the truth? Why and how did the US evolve in to this righteous world bully? Who today is better at being the conqueror: Russia, China or America? Or are we seeing another illusion (again) and is something bigger manipulating us like pawns and puppets?
Does this small child understand the powers-that-be who bombed his village, his family and killed his brother?
What I’ve learned from many elders is we are all related, all human. There will always be disagreements, feuds, conflicts. People create reasons, dogma, and rationale to fight and make war games on each other. We can also disarm. We can also negotiate. People can always choose to negotiate, to unite, to stand down, and to not kill. (People must unite.)
How in the world? MAKE PEACE in your own family, in your own corner of the planet, in your own community, in your own heart!
If you/me/we don’t, many more children will be harmed and killed.