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

 

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

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

READ: Generations of Indigenous Voices from New York State

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

Source: Apache 8 | Kanopy

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Part One Listen

By Dustin Dwyer • Part Two

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And yes, this decision had a huge impact.

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

It was a rigged deal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

By LT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I wrote this Preface in the 2016 anthology Stolen Generations:

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

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

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

We were never expected to survive.

I’m not sure we did.

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

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

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

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

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

SURPRISE UPDATE!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

167 billboards | No Joke! | Be The Good

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

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

National billboard project

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

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

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

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

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

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

*** Letter to an Emerging Indigenous Writer

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

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

READ: Letter to an Emerging Indigenous Writer | Literary Hub

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By LT (no April Fools jokes here!)

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

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

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

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

I cannot wait to see this!

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

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

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

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

 

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

don’t forget – this is truth!

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

Don’t Name them | 60s Scoop Victims Sought | Nukes Illegal | Indigenous scholar Val Napoleon | Rising Sea Levels & Changes to our Planet

“Don’t name them” – Criminologist asks journalists to help stop mass shootings

…In our research, Eric Madfis and I have identified three major consequences of the media coverage. One, it creates a kind of competition for mass shooters to maximize the number of victims they kill.   The second is that it’s rewarding these offenders with fame and attention, which is often what they want – it serves to give them a legacy.  Even if they die, they may be remembered, according to their distorted views, as someone who mattered, as a somebody rather than a nobody. […]

READ: MASS SHOOTINGS: “Don’t name them” – Criminologist asks journalists to help stop mass shootings – Journalist’s Resource

***

Montreal Sixties Scoop victims from 1951 to 1991 can seek assistance from National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network regarding $$ settlement

READ: Victims Sought: Canada Awards $635 Million to Stolen ‘Sixties Scoop’ Native Children – Indian Country Media Network

***

As a project for Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Prof. Val Napoleon created the Indigenous Law Research Unit – her proudest work to date. It allows Indigenous communities to articulate and restate their law and legal processes – a model that has been taken up across Canada and beyond.

In her painting, Val Napoleon depicts Indigenous mythology’s Trickster Raven, a benevolent transformer or a careless glutton who is always male, as a ‘old women Tricksters who are really kick ass.’

The 20th anniversary of the Delgamuukw decision arrived in December, and Prof. Napoleon looks back on those two decades and sees a country that is still working its way toward reconciliation with its Indigenous peoples.

READ: Indigenous scholar Val Napoleon embraces disruption – The Globe and Mail

***

Good News: Nuclear Weapons Are Now Illegal

I can’t fix zombies, but I’m writing with GOOD NEWS about nuclear weapons. 2017’s escalating nuclear threats have returned the chronic, outrageous danger to the public’s attention, where it belongs. Reasonable people are scared – and angry. But there have been underreported events in 2017 that require both celebration and action.

1.) The historic Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was agreed at the United Nations on 7/7/17, by a margin of 122-1, making nuclear weapons ILLEGAL across the globe. The United States and the other eight nuclear-armed countries (who all boycotted the Treaty negotiations) will soon find it difficult to manufacture, finance, and maintain their outlawed arsenals without the cooperation of the rest of the world. This will happen whether they sign the treaty or not.

2.) The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, a coalition of 468 organizations in 101 countries, facilitated the Treaty – and their efforts were recognized with the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize.

3.) Here in the Valley, ICAN activists at NuclearBan.US and TheResistanceCenter.org are helping US citizens, organizations, cities, and states become compliant with the Treaty, putting pressure on manufacturers, complicit financial institutions, and governments to comply with international law.

The nuclear weapons states may continue to feed us a steady diet of fear, hopelessness, and illogical rationales for the continuing existence of these unthinkable (but profitable) weapons of mass destruction. But the world is rising up, and the age of nuclear weapons will come to an end soon, hopefully before it’s too late.

—Vicki Elson, email SOURCE

***

A new study suggests that thousands of archaeological sites in the southeastern United States will be underwater by the end of the century.

CHECK OUT: Rising Sea Levels Threaten Over 13,000 Archaeological Sites in the US  *** 

2011 Quake moved Japan coast 8 feet, shifted Earth’s axis

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/03/12/japan.earthquake.tsunami.earth/*** 

By LT (who has a compass on her desk)

Well, it’s been an interesting month so far.  We nearly froze to death with sub zero temps across New England.  It reminded me of waiting for the school bus in northern Wisconsin when I was a kid – at minus 20 degrees.  No one likes it that cold.  Not even kids.

ICE JAMS? The ice jams are big news in New England. Weeks of bitter cold, then warm, then rain, then back to cold, the shift in temps froze the rivers – now we have huge ice jams and many bridges are in danger. Floods will happen.  Dogs and people died from exposure, froze solid? Sharks, too?  Another Shark Freezes To Death Off Massachusetts: Report … (top photo of New England snows)

I have not stopped thinking about this under-reported story:  Mass of Warm Rock Rising Beneath New England, Rutgers Study Suggests (we have our very own risk of an eruption)

So New England’s earth is moving and shifting on plates, even if we don’t feel the earth shift or fully realize the geology or geography. (We had a few very minor earthquakes since I moved here in 2004.)  In fact, major earthquakes — reaching magnitudes as high as 6.5 — have inflicted widespread damage in the New England before.  READ: Major quake expected in N.E. once every 1,000 years

It got me thinking of when my parents Sev and Edie bought land on Crystal Lake in Wascott, Wisconsin in the late 70s.  The land had been scorched from a forest fire and Sev had to plant numerous trees along the borders of their new lake house.  Edie drew up plans with her brother Frank, an architect-builder in Aurora, Illinois.

When the house was nearly finished, I’d moved back from my musician stint in New York City in 1980. I had a downstairs bedroom and big window where I could see their friend Bob’s house and beyond that, a back bay where there was a public boat launch, a local bar and not much else. There were many other cabins and second homes on this lake but my parents had a corner lot and where their house was, you could only see north and the beach/swamp across or look east at the lakeshore.  Walt and Jeannie had a house near Bob’s but we could not see it, and it was a few doors away from the Crystal Lake Campground, which is still there!

2005 image

When I moved back to stay with Edie in 1996, the lake and land had shifted. From that same window I could see across the lake and the last house on the west side of the lake was now visible – at night, I could see their large outdoor light. Puzzled, I talked with Bob about this and he had noticed how his house was no longer visible from our house. I could see the front of his house and deck plainly in the 1980s, and now it was not visible.

The reason I am bring this up? This is how impermanent land can be – and what is under our feet can move and does shift.

And it also reminds me how our Native ancestors (pre-colonization) moved around, farmed and fished and hunted in one area but wintered somewhere else.   The early inhabitants on North American soil had territories, of course, but didn’t own the land. They camped and moved as necessary for their survival.  That necessity could happen again – to everyone.

The Inuit say the earth has shifted Elders wrote to the National Space and Aeronautics Administration (NASA) to tell them that the earth’s axis has shifted:  the sun no longer rises where it used to rise. They inhabit the far northern reaches of the Canadian Arctic and have done so for centuries. The area they inhabit is almost continually frozen under a layer of permafrost. For months at a time, their days begin and end in darkness. A nomadic people, they built tents or teepees of caribou skin in warmer months, and lived in igloos in the winter. 

There is talk of a coming Ice Age. (This has nothing to due with human impact on climate change, more so the activity of the sun and how solar cycles impact our climate as well.)

Read more about our changing continent HERE.

Bundle up – see you next month!   XOX   LT

Check this out for fun- this Gwendolyn Brooks “we real cool” animated video

***

Between 1670 and 1715, more Indians were exported into slavery through Charles Town than Africans were imported.

Counting can be difficult, because many instances of Native enslavement in the Colonial period were illegal or ad hoc and left no paper trail. But historians have tried. A few of their estimates: Thousands of Indians were enslaved in Colonial New England, according to Margaret Ellen Newell. Alan Gallay writes that between 1670 and 1715, more Indians were exported into slavery through Charles Town (now Charleston, South Carolina) than Africans were imported. Brett Rushforth recently attempted a tally of the total numbers of enslaved, and he told me that he thinks 2 million to 4 million indigenous people in the Americas, North and South, may have been enslaved over the centuries that the practice prevailed—a much larger number than had previously been thought. “It’s not on the level of the African slave trade,” which brought 10 million people to the Americas, but the earliest history of the European colonies in the Americas is marked by Native bondage. “If you go up to about 1680 or 1690 there still, by that period, had been more enslaved Indians than enslaved Africans in the Americas.”

What history book has covered this? On a grand scale too (this was posted on Slate in January 2016) More people need to read up on this topic… HERE

Turtle Talk

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Charles Eastman and the Reformers | I’m reading | The Big Isms

By Lara Trace

I hope you are all enjoying the winter … (I’m FREEZING HERE) … and do avoid politics as much as you can. (yeah, sure… kidding)

My research project on the reformers in Indian Country (and Dr. TA Bland) must take more of my time so please excuse my absence from blogging.  Still I will have some history to curate and share of course…(see my note below)

Here’s a sample of what I am working on:

   Probably the best known American Indian reformer was Charles Eastman, a Santee Sioux. After being sent to a Christian boarding school like most of the reformers, Eastman “blazed a path of distinction” through an Ivy League college and then through medical school. He was an agency physician at Pine Ridge, S.D., had a private medical practice in Minnesota and co-founded the Society of American Indians, which published the Quarterly Journal, the main vehicle for American Indian commentary.  Eastman also wrote nine books, including a popular and influential autobiography.    “His books brought traditional Native American culture before a broad non-Indian audience and played a crucial role in cultivating a sympathetic audience for Native concerns,” Hoxie wrote in the book, “Talking Back to Civilization: Indian Voices From the Progressive Era.”  In addition to criticizing the actions and policies of the Indian Office and other federal programs, Eastman and his peers proposed many alternatives for bringing Indians to “civilization.”

The Reformer Charles Eastman

Charles Alexander Eastman was a Santee Dakota physician educated at Boston University, writer, national lecturer, and reformer. In the early 20th century, he was “one of the most prolific authors and speakers on Sioux ethnohistory and American Indian affairs.” 

Charles Eastman and his wife separated in August 1921, possibly because of opposing views regarding the best future for American Indians.  Elaine Goodale Eastman stressed total assimilation of Native Americans into white society, while Eastman favored a type of cultural pluralism in which Indians would interact with white society while retaining their Indian identity, beliefs and customs. (this is only one theory on why they separated…)

More at Wikipedia

I’m reading

During 49 of the 72 years between 1789 – 1861 the Presidents were Southerners.  All of them were slave holders.  Two thirds of the Speakers of the House and President pro tem of the Senate were Southerners.  At all times prior to 1861 the majority of the Supreme Court were of Southern origin.  Six of the eight Supreme Court Justices appointed by the Tennessean Andrew Jackson (The Indian Killer) and his hand-picked successor were Southerners, including Justice Roger Taney, author of the notorious Dred Scott decision.

Taming the Antislavery Revolution
James Oakes, Dec. 11, 2017, Jacobin
Review of Adam I. P. Smith, The Stormy Present: Conservatism and the Problem of Slavery in Northern Politics, 1846-1865 (Chapel Hill, 2017)

By any reasonable standard, the violent overthrow of the largest, wealthiest slave society on earth ought to qualify as a revolution. Four million slaves were liberated during the American Civil War and with that the labor system of the South was radically transformed. Abolition was immediate and uncompensated. The “Slave Power” was overthrown, ending decades in which the South held disproportionate sway over the federal government. The Constitution was fundamentally restructured by three amendments that abolished slavery, redefined citizenship, banned racial discrimination in voting, and forever altered the relationship between the federal government and the states. The revolution secured the triumph of wage labor, paving the way for the Industrial Revolution of the late nineteenth century and with it a Gilded Age of capitalist plutocracy.

How did this happen? Ask a random group of American historians what caused the Civil War and they’re likely to reply in unison, “slavery.” Push them to elaborate and they’ll probably cite the southern secessionists who were as clear as could be that they were leaving the Union to protect slavery.  But protect it from what? Was the North actually threatening slavery? Ask those questions and the same historians are likely to break out into rival and occasionally angry camps. On one side are those who insist that when the war began, northerners had no meaningful antislavery convictions to speak of. Emancipation was forced on an unwilling North and a reluctant Abraham Lincoln, either by the slaves themselves or by the exigencies of war. A few years back one historian of the secession crisis actually claimed that the slaves were freed “inadvertently.”

On the other side are those who see the rise of antislavery politics, culminating in the triumph of the Republican Party, as a major cause of the Civil War. Different historians stress different aspects of this  process, but there is widespread agreement that antislavery politics not only split the nation, it also divided the North. Republicans ended up fighting a two-front war — against the South, obviously, but also against northern Democrats. This conflict within the North was epitomized in the famous series of debates between Abraham Lincoln and his Democratic rival Stephen Douglas. continue…

***

 

We picture archives as airtight troves of information. But with redactions, codes, and scribbles, there are plenty of ways for mystery to wriggle in.

***

Check out the Intercept podcast – it will blow your mind too!
I had other blogs going but now they are done/gone/history.  (Some were for my mental well being)

Starting in January, I’ll be posting just once a month. I have more work to do.

XOX LT

I’ll be starting a new website: The Big Isms (facing racism and sexism) in January 2018 (an offshoot of THE MIX) : https://thebigisms.wordpress.com/2017/12/27/first-blog-post/

Invisible | Two Worlds 2nd Edition | Christmas Lift | Jingle Bells

Anna and her husband, Gene Sorrell, outside their home in Evaro, Mont. Anna eventually received follow-up care for her surgery, but the process took years.

Native Americans Feel Invisible In U.S. Health Care System

Listen

The life expectancy of Native Americans in some states is 20 years shorter than the national average – 20 years. There may be many factors in this and here’s one. About a quarter of Native Americans report experiencing discrimination when they go to a doctor or a health clinic. That’s a finding of a poll by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.  In the NPR poll, Native Americans who live in areas where they are in the majority reported experiencing prejudice at rates far higher than in areas where they constituted a minority.  In places where there are few American Indians, Moss says, “people don’t expect to see American Indians; they think they are from days gone by, and so you are misidentified. And that’s another form of discrimination.”

***

Memorial University of Newfoundland has the second highest number of Indigenous human remains, with 353 individuals, both complete and incomplete. Even though the Rooms Corporation — the home of the provincial museum — is responsible for the remains, they are housed at the university wrote Mark Ferguson, the manager of collections at the museum, in an email.  These Indigenous remains date as far back as 7,000 years ago. READ

By LT

Hi all! I just wrapped up the second edition of Two Worlds, Vol. 1 in the Lost Children book series. Whew! It took a long time. The first edition came out in 2012. There are new updated narratives and of course history, including the landmark decision in Canada to pay adoptees for pain and suffering after the 60s Scoop. The press release will soon be HERE.

And… I answer some questions about writing, blogging, spirituality and more at Jerry’s blog Oneness of Humanity.  Here is my interview.

Please check out the entire interview series… HERE

And here is a little Christmas Lift:

‘A Christmas lift’: holiday lines by Langston Hughes on view at Beinecke
Michael Morand, December 8, 2017, Yale News

What’s a poet with a large circle of friends, rich in words if limited in financial resources, to do when checking the names off his holiday list? For Langston Hughes, during the holiday season of 1950, the answer was to share some of his wit in homemade Christmas postcards.

The draft typescript for this and other cards in a set of Christmas greetings are among the extensive Langston Hughes Papers in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. The Hughes archives were given to Yale University by the renowned writer beginning in 1941, continuing throughout his lifetime, and including more materials from his estate upon his death in 1967.

The 1950 Hughes holiday cards are all on view in a special pop-up holiday display on the Beinecke Library’s mezzanine in temporary exhibition cases from Dec. 8-20. The Beinecke Library’s ground floor and mezzanine exhibition areas are free and open to the public seven days a week.    continue…

*** In the News

“Jingle Bells” History Takes Surprising Turn

Joel Brown, Dec. 8, 2016, BU Today

Kyna Hamill did not set out to debunk a cherished local myth about “Jingle Bells,” but the truth became a runaway sleigh.

At 19 High Street in Medford, Massachusetts, a plaque commemorates the spot where James Lord Pierpont (1822–1893) supposedly wrote the popular holiday song, inspired by sleigh races on Salem Street, while sitting in a tavern in 1850. Hamill, an assistant director and senior lecturer in the CAS Core Curriculum who also teaches in the CFA School of Theatre, became interested in the “Jingle Bells” story while working as a volunteer with the Medford Historical Society & Museum. “Every December, we’d get a call asking to do a story about ‘Jingle Bells,’” she says. “I would pull out the file, and it was a very easy story to tell. Reporters loved that it was written in Medford.”

Reporters also love conflict, and so they were thrilled to learn that the Medford tale is contested by people in Savannah, Georgia, where Pierpont is buried. The southerners insist that Pierpont wrote the jaunty winter anthem in that city, in late 1857, and led the first “Jingle Bells” singalong in a local church where his brother was pastor.   continue…

Peace on Earth is all I want this holiday season… xoxox Lara/Trace

Lisa Brooks flips the script!

Revisiting King Philip’s War

Here on NEXT, we’ve shared the stories of refugees from countries like Syria and Iraq- people who escaped war to start over in a peaceful New England. But during the early years of European colonization, New England was a war zone too – where colonists fought indigenous people over land, resources, and the rights to self-government.

King Philip’s War, fought from 1675 to 1678, was perhaps the most devastating of those conflicts for both sides. The Wampanoag leader Metacom, known by the the colonists as King Philip, organized attacks on 12 settlements before the colonists gained control of Southern New England.

Since then, as it often happens, the colonial perspective has dominated the historical narrative.

In her upcoming book Our Beloved Kin: A New History of King Philip’s War, historian Lisa Brooks flips the script, focusing on the stories of Native American leaders. Lisa Brooks is Associate Professor of English and American Studies at Amherst College.

Our Beloved Kin is out from Yale University Press on January 9, 2018.  At the same time, Brooks will also be launching ourbelovedkin.com, a website with maps, historical documents, and images from her journeys through New England’s indigenous geography.

Editor Note: I had the chance to hear Lisa speak on this earlier this year. THIS is the history that has been buried, untold, revised, colonized – until now… Lara/Trace

Indians are lousy television? Your Gift on Thanksgiving

By Lara/Trace

Don’t feel bad about knowing little to nothing about American Indians or First Nations in North America. I have a special treat for you on this day of Thanksgiving and our ways of giving thanks.  It’s a half-hour talk by a Native scholar K. Tsianina Lomawaima.  Give yourself this gift. Just remember how Indians are lousy television.  WHAT?  Ha!

So watch this

The Second Thanksgiving (by We Are Thomasse)!

Here’s an earlier post on Thanksgiving. (photo at left) Do American Indians celebrate Thanksgiving?

I wanted you all to know I am doing research on the abolitionists who became reformers in Indian Country.  These people were the thinkers of the day, in the time periods of the 1800s until early 1900. I’m reading more than I am writing. I understand it would be a good thing if I wrote more essays for this blog. And I plan to… eventually.

There is a post I wrote coming tommorrow.

I make lists. I thank all the people in my life and the ancestors who prayed for me before I was born.  I know they are your ancestors too.

Be grateful for everything, even the chaos. We are here. We are the witness. We are more powerful than we can imagine.

Happy Thanksgiving. Thank you all for reading this blog.

(Top Photo: I shot this down the road last year. It was the right light. And that horse is a buddy of mine. He’s very photogenic.)

 

Vermont’s Uncomfortable Eugenics History | #ICWA Custody Case | Dawnland | Paradise Papers | #NAAM

Vermont’s Uncomfortable Eugenics History

Read the full article by Stephen Mills in the Rutland Herald.

Dormancy Concept Trailer from Luke Becker-Lowe on Vimeo.

Link to the GoFundMe site for this production.

via Filmmakers Explore Vermont’s Uncomfortable Eugenics History

My earlier post on this

***

The Supreme Court refused to hear an Arizona case that pitted a non-Indian mother and Indian father each other in a fight over custody of their children.

READ: Supreme Court won’t hear Arizona case on custody fight over tribal kids | Cronkite News

***

“Dawnland,” an upcoming documentary film, follows the stories of several key individuals involved in the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

READ: The Wabanaki people are taking back their narrative | Public Radio International

***Offshore Billionaires (If they don’t pay US taxes and hide their money offshore, then THEY need to move offshore.)

click: America’s Future In One Image — What’s Really in the GOP Tax Plan 

The GOP tax plan would allow generations of the super wealthy to live tax-free. It is a plan so outrageous that one of America’s top experts in helping the wealthy avoid taxes finds it abominable. Read our explanation from David Cay Johnston.

*** November is National Adoption Awareness Month #NAAM

By LT (adoptee, top photo from my memoir book cover)

I have written on this blog about my story, my own search, my reunion, my work to help other adoptees, and the Lost Children Book Series. So MANY times. And I appreciate you have all hung in here with me on the adoptionland coverage, and the human trafficking issues. (If you have not read the coverage, use the search bar on this blog, or the Category tags.)  There are so many stories, after meeting so many adoptees. Not just Native adoptees – adoptees from everywhere.

Where are we now? Not far at all… I wrote this a few years ago:

Now more serious stuff…. It’s National Adoption Awareness Month. I call it Be-Wareness Month. Why? The billion dollar adoption industry tries its best to recruit new people to adopt. Few want to adopt a child(ren) from foster care. Why? They are too old, come with baggage (not just luggage), or already talk.  Foster care kids are the ones who truly are in need of good parents, definitely.

Over at American Indian Adoptees, I’m post lots of adoption news as it relates to American Indian Adoptees. Visit: http://www.splitfeathers.blogspot.com.  

It is a crazy world out there as more people are waking up to the reality of adoption myths (like “babies are blank slates”)(and some of these orphans are not orphans). As an adoptee I am in favor of legal guardianships for children who cannot be raised by their first families, and their kin. Children need their own name, ancestry, medical history and names of both parents, never erased but part of their legal records.

No more fake amended birth certificates that follow us our entire lives. PLEASE!

Here is a revealing 2015 post about the Evolution of Birth Certificates.

Ignorance of biological ancestry has had devastating consequences for some. In the U.K. in 2008, twins that were separated and adopted at birth unknowingly married each other. This year, a Brazilian couple found out after they were married that the same biological mother had abandoned them as infants. Random meetings amongst half siblings are not uncommon, as many have reported in the news, and on the DSR. One mom realized that a distant relative, one whom she and her children had spent time with at family gatherings, had donated sperm and was in fact the biological parent of her children.

From my friend Amanda:

Adoption Statistics That Matter. Right now, private adoption agencies are figuratively peeing their pants about the Adoption Tax Credit because they can charge more when the tax credit is in tact and as high as possible. They claim that the numbers of adopted children will drop drastically as a result (no they won’t, BTW). Blah. Here is some gross stuff that matters more:

-Black and Native children are disproportionately more likely to be taken into foster care than white children.

-Black children, specifically black boys, are less likely to be adopted.

-Adopted children are more likely to become foster children than any other child.

-It costs more to adopt a white female infant, privately, than any other child. The “fees” to adopt a boy of color are at least half of this.

This is an industry. Racism, sexism, adultism, and classism fuel it.

p.s. THANK YOU for reading this long post and watching the videos. YOU ROCK!

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Blog Bonus| Red Nation Film Festival 2017 – Native American Films

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14th Red Nation Film Festival The Authentic Voice of American Indian & Indigenous Cinema Los Angeles. Nov. 8-19

GET TICKETS: Red Nation Film Festival – Native American Films