Various early recordings of the Gettysburg Address – not, alas, featuring President Lincoln himself!
A Pennsylvania newspaper’s recent revision of its 1863 opinion, that the Gettysburg Address constituted mere “silly remarks,” and that “[f]or the credit of the nation we are willing that the veil of oblivion shall be dropped over them, and that they shall be no more repeated or thought of.”
And check out Ken Burns’ 150th anniversary project, “The Address,” where you can see lots of familiar faces delivering their own version of the Gettysburg Address, and submit your own: http://www.learntheaddress.org/
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.
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.
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
You may have noticed there was a day this summer when Canada “went dark.” It was August 20th, the day the Tragically Hip performed for the last time. Hip lead singer, front man extraordinaire, Canadian superstar Gord Downie had recently announced that he had a brain tumour and was terminally ill. Since making music has always been his passion, he and the Hip went on a farewell tour and despite the ravages of cancer, he performed full-throttle at each and every show, somehow finding the energy and the courage to power through. Their final date was in their hometown of Kingston Ontario, just a little ways down the road from Ottawa. Our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, was in the front row, and spoke for all of Canada when he thanked Gord and the whole band for their decades of artistic serviced to the country. It was a stirring night. The end is coming for Gord and he knew it, you could see it in his eyes, feel it every time he was overcome by emotion, but instead of making it about him, he chose to use this spotlight (and believe me, about 32 out of our 33 million strong population were tuned in one way or another) to speak on behalf of Canada’s indigenous population.
Since that night, as Downie inches closer to his final days, he’s still pouring his last energies into speaking up for our Aboriginal people. His latest endeavor is a tribute to Chanie Wenjack – in music, graphic novel, and animated form. 10 poems were turned into an album, which was turned into a graphic novel, which was turned into an animated film (above). They all tell the story of one boy, who represents the many, many more just like him, our first nations children ripped from the arms of their mothers, out of their communities, and into residential schools. Residential schools were run by church and state with the sole purpose of ‘civilizing’ the savages. Prohibited from speaking their languages, practicing their spirituality, or honouring their cultures, teachers stripped them of their identity. Many children suffered terrible abuse, but all of these kids were deprived of their childhoods, and all of the families suffered terribly as I’m sure you would if your child was removed, perhaps never to be seen again, or if you were lucky enough to be reunited, we can only hope that you can find a common language in which to communicate. Communities were destroyed in what many Aboriginal people refer to as a genocide. It’s a dark part of Canadian history that wasn’t acknowledged until very recently. Today our First Nations peoples often live in poverty and other consequences of this intergenerational tragedy. Healing is not an Aboriginal problem, it’s something we need to address as an entire country. Gord Downie is doing his part.
If you are so inclined, The Secret Path can be streamed here for free (or in fact, watch on youtube above). I hope you take the time to do so, and to share it with a friend. The images are haunting, but the lyrics will punch you in the gut. I was in tears by the third track.
(Remembrance Day greetings today to my friends and relatives in Canada.. Trace)
At age nine, Wenjack and three of his sisters were sent to Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School, more than 600 km away, where he was given the name “Charlie.” On October 22, 1966 near Kenora, Ontario, Chanie Wenjack died when he walking home to the family he was taken from over 400 miles away. Fifty years later, Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie has taken Wenjack’s story and turned it into the Secret Path project, including a solo album, a graphic novel and an animated film. BACKGROUND on Chanie HERE
Wenjack has become a symbol of resistance to the power of colonization in Canada. In 1972, Indigenous students and members of Trent University’s Native Studies department lobbied for the university to name its newly built college after Wenjack. Ultimately, a theatre in the college was named “Wenjack Theatre.”
Wenjack has inspired several artistic tributes, including the song “Charlie Wenjack” by Mi’kmaq artist Willie Dunn (1978) and the painting Little Charlie Wenjack’s Escape from Residential School by Anishinaabe artist Roy Kakegamic (2008). He has also inspired the creative works of author Joseph Boyden and filmmaker Terril Calder.
P. Bush,“Charlie Wenjack and the Indian Residential School System,” Presbyterian History vol. 58, no. 2 (2014): 4–5; J.S. Milloy, A National Crime: The Canadian Government and the Residential School System, 1879–1986 (1999); The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada,Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future (2015).
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!
By Lara Trace (Cherokee-Shawnee-French Canadian-Euro mix)
If you are an American Indian/First Nations/Indigenous, which many of you are, you may find it exceedingly difficult to find paper records that CONFIRM what tribe you think you are… or were told you are.
For example, on Earl’s side of my family, Earl’s aunt Bessie, referred to us as BLACK DUTCH, which is “code” for Cherokee. My first conversation with my dad he told me we are Indian. Mystery solved? Not quite.
Code is not uncommon at all. Since I have been in reunion, my cousin Cathy and I have dug up tons on the “code” and how it makes sense Bessie would say that — since if you were Indian, you’d be forcibly removed to Indian Territory (then malaria-ridden Oklahoma) and you couldn’t own land and that was terrifying, potentially fatal. (Thank you Bessie for telling people that repeatedly.)
For New England tribes, that matter of having “papers” means you exist. For many tribes here, every time you went to Hartford or Boston to make a claim with the courts, you made a record: that paper is now buried in old boxes. Why would that matter now?
Paper has to exist for you to be federally recognized. Then as a sovereign you are entitled to promises made when the federal government (not the states) made treaty with your tribe or band. You’d finally get some of your stolen land back, maybe even compensated!
When I was editor of the Pequot Times, I met with leaders of the Eastern Pequot bands who had done extensive paper research in their bid for federal recognition. They found documents hidden in boxes under Flora and Fauna in Hartford, Connecticut, secret code for “wild indians.” To this day, the Eastern Pequot are NOT federally recognized and it’s not only frustrating for them (trying over 40+ years), but devious on the part of the FEDS. (I worked for the Western Pequot or Mashantucket who are recognized). One can only imagine what will happen when PAPERS are found that feds and BIA cannot reject and no longer deny for ANY Eastern tribe. (Old tricks worked a long time for the clever feds/BIA – demanding paper proof.)
Paper can change things, and I’d mentioned The Yale Indian Papers Project on this blog HERE
UPDATE: The Yale Indian Papers Project (YIPP), which first came to YALE in 2003, is an extensive publishing endeavor to digitize the collection of primary source materials relating to New England’s Native American history. It draws from the archives of numerous institutions, including the Yale University Library, Harvard University Library, The Massachusetts Archives and the National Archives of the United Kingdom. Researchers are currently working to gather information on the people who lived in the Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonies. On Aug. 12, the project announced that it had been awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, allowing it to expand its work in Massachusetts for three more years. Read More
Both Tobias Glaza and executive editor Paul Grant-Costa said the Indian Papers Project has helped forge new relationships between Yale and Native communities for the first time in several centuries. Grant-Costa said the initial idea for the project arose more than two decades ago as a result of the challenges New England’s Native tribes first faced when trying to become recognized by the federal government. In order for these long-marginalized communities to win recognition, they first need access to historical material that has not been easily accessible in the past, he said.* [I went to their first meetings]
Tribes need paper to exist? Indeed. It sounds crazy, and so ludicrous.
Paper is crucially important and having it will break the CODE of erased Indian history right here in New England… no, not all Indians in the east are dead… (bad history again, yes.)
FINALLY we will see papers that reflect truth… finally.
[*YIPP editors are happy the grant will extend their work in Massachusetts for three more years. Taken together with the Mellon/CLIR and National Archives grants, the editorial efforts will last more than four years, adding 1,650 documents to the New England Indian Papers Series.]
My friend and fellow blogger/author Trav S. D. [Travalanche] has done quite a bit of research, too. He’s a contributor to THE MIX e-mag, and he’s a Cherokee mix like me.
A thoughtful agent friend noticed the growing snowball of posts on Travalanche about American history and my family’s role therein. Some posts are more focused on my ancestors, some involve me personally, and some are more like op-eds that have grown out of my meditation on my people’s role in our history. As you begin to see, they almost begin to stack up to something like a history of the nation, with an emphasis on race and class, and a greater than normal emphasis on pop culture, and I do believe that’s where I’m bound. The posts themselves are just raw material — they’re not necessarily what would find their way into the book, they just lay the groundwork.
In addition, these travel posts mention references to places and people in my background: Newport,Salem, Providence, South Street Seaport, and New Orleans. Many more of these are planned. Also (probably) to come are posts on the French and Indian war, Indian removal, the War of 1812, the Spanish-American war, the World Wars, the Cold War, and enhanced posts on Irish and German ancestors….
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.
It’s time for a blog refresh so I plan to return this fall with more writing and will redesign this blog over the next few months (and combine my author site ARMY OF ONE posts and delete that site). It’s true I have more than one blog operating at one time (the mix, eyewitness, american indian adoptees, etc.). It’s my journalist-tendency (crazy addiction), of course it is that… but it’s much too much for this one human who has other business/busyness ahead…
I multi-task with the best of you all. I can do better and now less is best. (Shorter posts, too…)
What I hope to convey with this blog is not too much bad stuff but eye-opening stuff, his-story vs. truth, American Indian news, films, books, interviews and good information.
See this space this fall…
love you all… (will be reading your blogs in the meantime)
One BIG Thing:
Watching journalists –> Roger Ailes, the ousted head of Fox News, apparently used Fox money to conduct surveillance operations against journalists and others who he considered his personal enemies. “Targets of the campaigns included journalists John Cook and Hamilton Nolan, who have aggressively covered Ailes for Gawker,” writes New York magazine’s Gabriel Sherman, who was also targeted. “According to one source, private detectives followed Cook around his Brooklyn neighborhood, and Fox operatives prepared a report on him with information they intended to leak to blogs. (According to the source, one proposed line of attack claimed that Cook — whose wife, Slate news director Allison Benedikt, is Jewish — was anti-Semitic.) ‘I’m honored to be among Roger Ailes’s enemies,’ Cook said.” [ we are not surprised ]
Want to do something magnificent for the oceans and end plastic? Visit: Gyre Cleanup Project at Gyrecleanup.org.
BIG WEEK: Wisconsin is just one of several states to pass voting restrictions in the wake of the 2013 Supreme Court decision gutting of the Voting Rights Act. Another set of laws was shut down in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin ruling came after a decision earlier on Friday from a federal appeals court striking down North Carolina’s omnibus voter suppression law, which had been called the worst voter suppression law in the nation. On July 20th, Texas’s Voter ID law also fell, in a surprise decision from a conservative court finding that the law violated the Voting Rights Act. READ HERE
In 2012 Yasmin Mistry, an Emmy-nominated animator and Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for children in state care, launched Foster Care Film to give foster youth an opportunity to share their stories. Mistry’s subsequent films investigate less-explored obstacles and situations related to foster care. Her latest, My Identity, is an 11-minute documentary that explores kinship care (the care of children by relatives), the longing to belong and the importance of sibling bonds.
My Identity is the story of Ashley Wolford, a woman born to a mixed white and Native American mother. Ashley knows nothing of her biological father, and at a young age Ashley and her half-brother are placed in separate homes after it is discovered that their drug-and-alcohol addicted mother abandons them for stretches of time.
In their later years, Ashley discovers and converts to Islam while at the same time her brother joins the military and serves two tours in Afghanistan fighting Muslims. Their ideological differences drive a wedge in their relationship. READ MORE
Russian Hacks? … hundreds of Russians in a nondescript office building in St. Petersburg, …produced blog posts, comments, infographics, and viral videos that pushed the Kremlin’s narrative on both the Russian and English Internet. [This is sadly becoming a recurring theme… Lara]
(top photo) Hailed Chief of Chiefs, David Bald Eagle, Lakota Chief, Musician, Cowboy And Actor, Dies At 97
And at the age of 95, he had his first lead role, after all those years as a stunt double: He starred in the independent film Neither Wolf Nor Dog.
“When white people won it was a victory, when Natives won it was a massacre. When they fought for freedom it was a revolution, when we fought for freedom it was an uprising. No Indian alive dares to think too much about the past. The bones of our people are crying.”