Protect Sacred Sites | Earth has a Fever | Waiapi Chief killed by illegal (gold) miners + more

…a Message from Chief Arvol Looking Horse

 

I, Chief Arvol Looking Horse, of the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota Nations, ask you to understand an Indigenous perspective on what has happened in America, what we call “Turtle Island.” My words seek to unite the global community through a message from our sacred ceremonies to unite spiritually, each in our ways of beliefs in the Creator.

We have been warned from ancient prophecies of these times we live in today, but have also been given a vital message about a solution to turn these terrible times.

To understand the depth of this message, you must recognize the importance of Sacred Sites and realize the interconnectedness of what is happening today, in the reflection of the continued massacres that are occurring on other lands and our own Americas.

I have been learning about these important issues since the age of 12 when I received the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe Bundle and its teachings. Our people have strived to protect Sacred Sites from the beginning of time. These places have been violated for centuries and have brought us to the predicament that we are in at the global level.

Look around you. Our Mother Earth is very ill from these violations, and we are on the brink of destroying the possibility of a healthy and nurturing survival for generations to come, our children’s children.

Our ancestors have been trying to protect our Sacred Site called the Sacred Black Hills of South Dakota, “Heart of Everything That Is,” from continued violations. Our ancestors never saw a satellite view of this site, but now that those pictures are available, we see that it is in the shape of a heart and, when fast-forwarded, it looks like a heart pumping.

The Diné have been protecting Big Mountain, calling it the liver of the earth, and we are suffering and going to suffer more from the extraction of the coal there and the poisoning processes used in doing so.

The Aborigines have warned of the contaminating effects of global warming on the Coral Reefs, which they see as Mother Earth’s blood purifier.

The indigenous people of the rainforest say that the rainforests are the lungs of the planet and need protection.

The Gwich’in Nation in Alaska has had to face oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge coastal plain, also known to the Gwich’in as “Where life begins.”

The coastal plain is the birthplace of many life forms of the animal nations. The death of these animal nations will destroy indigenous nations in this territory.

As these destructive developments continue all over the world, we will witness much more extinct animal, plant, and human nations, because of humankind’s misuse of power and their lack of understanding of the “balance of life.”

The Indigenous people warn that these negative developments will cause havoc globally. There are many, many more original teachings and knowledge about Mother Earth’s Sacred Sites, her chakras, and connections to our spirit that will surely affect our future generations.

There needs to be a fast move toward other forms of energy that are safe for all Nations upon Mother Earth. We need to understand the types of minds that are continuing to destroy the spirit of our whole global community. Unless we do this, the powers of destruction will overwhelm us.

Our Ancestors foretold that water would someday be for sale. This Prophecy was hard to believe! The water was plentiful, pure, full of energy, nutrition, and spirit. Today we have to buy clean water, and even then the nutritional minerals have been taken out; it’s just clear liquid. Someday water will be like gold, too expensive to afford.

Not everyone will have the right to drink safe water. We fail to appreciate and honor our Sacred Sites, ripping out the minerals and gifts that lay underneath them as if Mother Earth were simply a resource, instead of the source of life itself.

Attacking nations and using more resources to carry out destruction in the name of peace is not the answer! We need to understand how all these decisions affect the global nation; we will not be immune to its repercussions. Allowing continual contamination of our food and land is affecting the way we think.

A “disease of the mind” has set in world leaders and many members of our global community, with their belief that a solution of retaliation and destruction of peoples will bring peace.

In our Prophecies it is told that we are now at the crossroads: Either unite spiritually as a global nation or faced with chaos, disasters, diseases, and tears from our relatives’ eyes.

We are the only species that is destroying the source of life, meaning Mother Earth, in the name of power, mineral resources, and ownership of land. Using chemicals and methods of warfare that are doing irreversible damage, as Mother Earth is becoming tired and cannot sustain any more impacts of war.

I ask you to join me in this endeavor. Our vision is for the peoples of all continents, regardless of their beliefs in the Creator, to come together as one at their Sacred Site.

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NASA – Satellite Thermometers Show Earth Has a Fever

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“We are in great danger”: In Amazon, indigenous Waiapi chief is killed by illegal (gold) miners

“They’re paying with their lives,” a human rights activist says about indigenous groups trying to protect the rainforest from mining and agribusiness.
Currently, there at least 10,000 (gold) miners illegally occupying and exploiting Brazil’s indigenous Yanomami land in northern Brazil.  These sorts of invasions have increased by 150 percent since Brazil’s right-wing president, Jair Bolsonaro, took power earlier this year, according to a report published in April by Amazon Watch, an indigenous rights and rainforest conservation advocacy group.
via Peru, the largest gold producer in Latin America and the sixth largest in the world, has long struggled with illegal gold mining. 

Peru’s illegal gold mines are devastating the Amazon rain forest

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By LT

sad news… I was notified my Glaciologist friend Dr. Dick Cameron passed on July 21.  We were planning his first book of his prose and poetry this fall.  He’d just turned 89 on July 11 and was visiting a close colleague in WA state.  Right to the end, he was writing poetry, bless his heart.  He will be greatly missed… I send my deepest sympathy to his family.  (I still plan to work on Dick’s book(s)…)

“Humanity right now is entering into what I see as an initiation, an ordeal that will bring us to another level of our evolution. What is being offered to us is a completely different relationship to the rest of life on Earth. The planetary crisis that we call climate change is meant to bring us to that realisation, to bring us to that relationship of love because the losses that we’re seeing are connecting us with the reality of this living being here…. this new and ancient relationship to the rest of life.” ~ Charles Eisenstein

I want to share this story by Charles Eisenstein: Every Act is a Ceremony.  I can’t stop thinking about it and I read it a few months ago.

He also made this amazing video… A New Story of Climate Change: New Frontiers (2018) VIDEO

Blessing to everyone… and thanks for reading this blog 🙂

Climate change region by region | Melting Glaciers | The Art of Blogging (with tips)

The Northern Great Plains is far from any ocean. Water melts off mountain snowpack, slowly trickles down glaciers**, and pools up in basins. The largely arid region is dominated by thirsty industries like agriculture, energy extraction, and tourism.  There’s a byzantine system of century-old water rights and competing interests.

Or as my dad, a Montana cattle rancher, puts it: “Whiskey is for drinking. Water is for fighting.”

Residents might want to steel themselves with a little bourbon as climate change will escalate those water woes, according to this report. Winters will end earlier and snow could decline as much as 25 to 40 percent in the mountainous regions.

It’s culturally critical, too:  The area is home to 27 federally recognized tribes that are already experiencing climate threats such as a lack of access to safe water and declining fisheries. …

“I am large. I contain multitudes,” Walt Whitman said of himself.  But he could have very well said it of the Southwest, where stretches of desert give way to soaring, snow-capped mountains.  Yet this might not be the case for long.

Climate change threatens all of this beautiful ecological diversity, as well as the 60 million people who call this area home, including 182 tribal nations.

In Alaska, water is life, life is shellfish, shellfish is power. But, alas, climate change is about to do a number on the state’s marine life, food webs, and species distributions. According to the climate assessment, ocean acidification is expected to disrupt “corals, crustaceans, crabs, mollusks,” as well as “Tanner and red king crab and pink salmon.”  Lots of indigenous peoples rely on that variety of marine life.

BIG READ: 2018: We broke down what climate change will do, region by region | Grist

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wishing you and yours health wealth and happiness and more great blogging in 2012 (an old WP photo I used for my post)

By LT

Blogging as an art? Oh my, oh my.  Where do I begin? (This is another long post but trust me, it’s about you.)

In June I was cleaning up and deleting old posts and I was happy to reread many of my old posts but not a single person had read them.  WHAT? That’s perfectly fine.

Whoever came up with the idea of “postaday” was nuts.

I cannot believe “I” tried to blog something every single day.  Back then I was getting the hang of it, so to speak.  When I started this blog in 2011, I had very little knowledge of WP or what blogging could be.  It’s a practice, like writing or yoga or raising pigs.

When you start blogging, learn as you go. And I want to STRONGLY encourage new bloggers to keep at it.

Start with:  Pick a topic/theme you like. Write posts around news articles…. Use links, photos, and videos. (Like I did above)

The big lesson for me was social media, aka sharing blog posts.  It took me two (dreaded) years of blogging to find readers and keep them.  And that is what you must expect.  It takes time, maybe years. Just remember, you will find your niche and you will become a greater writer, photog, chef, poet, or whatever you choose to blog about, if you persist.

Writing about adoption and being adopted was the reason I chose to blog in the first place. (“When you have a book, you must have a blog.” I didn’t create that lovely saying… but yup, it’s true.)  In 2013/4 I was dedicated to research the topic of human trafficking.  (I even did a radio interview about this blog topic when trafficking was a neglected yet news-worthy topic.)  Not grabbing any new readers on that topic for this blog, that didn’t matter to me as much as I needed to learn about it –and was SADLY shocked at what I did learn.   FYI: I also dedicated many 2015 posts to orphanage asylums around the US.  Of course “adoptionland” (adoption controversy) is closely related to human trafficking.  (Those are categories I chose for this blog.)  And, I usually tie-in and write about Indian Country which is my career!

When I tell non-blog friends I blog, after I explain what it is and that it’s perhaps addicting to be a reader/writer, I tell them my LARA blog is for “serious writing.”  (Of course I admit I might have a disorder called ADHD and I secretly experiment making other blogs but don’t yell “bloody murder” when no one reads them.)

OK, but seriously, Bloggers, just remember— YOU get to pick your poison/passion/past-time.  That is the magic key to blogging.  Educate yourself on whatever the topic and new readers will find you!  Even if they don’t find you, (SEO will) and you will learn more than you dare to dream and YOU be a better blogger (and person) for it.  (If you are tech-minded read up on SEO/search engine optimization — very boring stuff…) (11 tips that you can use to optimize your blog posts for SEO (like a Pro).

There are so many great bloggers out there now.  REALLY!!  More than a few years ago I used WP Reader to find blog suggestions.  Today in 02019 I follow (280+) (OMG, that many?) way too many great blogs to keep up with and sometimes I have to choose which blog(s) to read every week.  I do get posts via email which keeps some order to my disorder.

Do not think I don’t care if I don’t read your blog every time. I am simply trying to keep up. I’m old now.

One of the wonders of blogging is you can find bloggers in other countries and learn a great deal from them.  It’s a huge blessing to learn about other parts of this world and what they care about, or write about and share. Google Translate will help you if they are using another language, so anyone, even you can explore the big bad blogworld.

Engaging with others (with comments, shares and reblogs) is truly the best way to blog (and make interesting new friends).  By way of a perfect example, I highly recommend my UK friend Pete who blogs at beetleypete –  he is one of the kindest bloggers in the world.  His excellent blog is about “The musings of a Londoner, now living in Norfolk.”  HERE.

Don’t be discouraged, new and tired bloggers.  Keep at it.  Change your template/theme occasionally.  Maybe get a domain name, once you settle on a theme or niche, and use social media to reach others…  then go wild with that Twitter button!  You may want to blog weekly… or monthly or daily.  But trust me, “daily” is very very hard and requires great skill and loads of research + deep thought + time. (And you will miss all your TV programs, trust me on that.)

(OH NO, I have violated my own rules with this post – it’s WAY TOO LONG!)   (Forgive me this time and all the other times. I will do better.) There are no rules — just the ones you make for yourself…

I made a blog “BLOG SCOUTS” when I was teaching blogging at the local community college. Make art and a logo for your blog – readers love it!

TIP: If you do give up, leave your blog up. You may come back to it. (Put up a “I’m on Hiatus” post and let it sit.)

TIP:  On WordPress,  go to the dashboard and under settings, go to the SHARING tab.  Add the PINTEREST button to your blog.  It will bring you many new readers… I love sharing your posts to Pinterest (and Twitter)… it helps visually if you use a featured (top) photo for each blog post! (I’m not on FB and don’t share there.)

TIP:  You don’t have to “Like” the post but do click LIKE anyway- this tells the blogger you were there. It’s like saying, “hi there blog bud…”

Why this post about glaciers and blogs??

This fall I am working with a poet who retired from glaciology, which is the scientific study of glaciers, or more generally ice and natural phenomena that involve ice.  Dr. Richard Cameron has traveled the planet and I can’t wait to share his poetry with the world.  I will help him publish his collection (then brag/blog about it).

Blogging (and writing) will be a colossal chore if you let it….  Don’t let it!

If you have a blogging question or just want to shoot the breeze, my email is: laratrace@outlook.com

p.s. UPDATE::: Healthwise…I’m following the KETO diet, kinda, but it’s more strict.  It’s working wonders and my new hormone cream is the bomb! Can you tell I’m feeling better? 🙂

My dear husband Herb has been in the hospital for a ruptured appendix – his surgery was a success on June 24 but they kept him a week. That was not fun at all.

And you can also use this neat thing (the contact form) to ask me something?

 

 

LEFTOVER | Hospice of Failed Utopias | About War | Exposición Luis Camnitzer

Hospice of Failed Utopias… Uruguayan Torture Series (1983–1984) is a direct reference to military authoritarianism in Latin America. 

Hospice of Failed Utopias

Madrid – At the Museo Reina Sofía, the artist Luis Camnitzer has piled up a grid of 80 blocks, approximately 12 by 12 inches each, and wrapped them in brown gauze.  Imprinted with the word “LEFTOVER,” followed by a Roman number, each block appears to have been shot, dripping fake, plastic blood on the museum’s floor.  The piece, “Leftovers” (1970), is an homage to those of Camnitzer’s generation who died in the hands of the Uruguayan repressive state.

FYI:  We estimate the number of political prisoners in Uruguay in January 1976 at nearly six thousand. Torture in Uruguay | by Ivan Morris | The New York Review of …

As an essayist, art critic, curator, teacher, lecturer and a creator of objects, actions and musical compositions, Luis Camnitzer’s multi-faceted work spans nearly 60 years…  The work Failed Utopias gives the exhibition its name, at the express wish of the artist.  Chiming with his usual irony, Camnitzer alludes to the ‘dark’ history of the Sabatini Building as a hospital and as a place for ‘lunatics, or the insane’.  The retrospective also constitutes a time frame of Camnitzer’s utopia, which he defines as “a process through which one seeks perfection, where perfection, like a mirage, constantly grows distant at the same speed one believes oneself to be nearing it.  Something similar to the revolution in the revolution”.

Born in Lübeck (Germany) and raised in Uruguay, Luis Camnitzer moved to New York in the 1960s, where he focused on his art, essays and teaching work. He is currently professor emeritus at the State University of New York.  Camnitzer regards himself as a Latin American artist exiled in the contemporary art capital, and is unquestionably a key figure in the development of twentieth-century Conceptualism.

Luis Camnitzer, “Leftovers” (1970) (all images courtesy Reina Sofía Museum, Madrid)

Hospice of Failed Utopias, the title of Camnitzer’s retrospective at the Reina Sofía, features 100 of his works produced since the 1960s.

Camnitzer’s newest piece, “About War” (2016–2018), considers the influence of military strategy in contemporary mappings of the world.  “About War” juxtaposes quotes from Carl von Clausewitz’s military strategy treaty On War with Google maps locations of US military bases in Latin America.  Zaya cites from Camnitzer’s emails: “We are now returning to the most reactionary kind of nationalist fragmentation, […] all of this within the context of a kind of neo-feudalism, where the weapon industry is provoking new military clashes.”

READ: Exposición – Luis Camnitzer

It seems art is one good way to send a message… LT

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

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

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

 

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EXCERPT:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

From Teen Vogue, here.

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

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

 

By LT (your intrepid reporter)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks to everyone for reading this long post! XOX

 

 

MASS SHOOTERS | How Fear Sells Guns | Crisis Actors? | Land of the Blacks +

By LT

Hey everyone! I joined the board of directors of Greenfield Artspace this past week and coming up is the annual Pottery Sale, the big fundraiser of the year. I am so happy to be working locally and to help grow their music and arts programs for kids.  Hearing a small child play a violin – so good – such a great feeling!

Which leads me to this: I know the news has impacted all of us.  Our precious children, our teenagers, and the families and community in Florida are living the aftermath of yet another mass shooting.  Yes, the shooter is an adoptee, which is not as much an issue for me as the entire gun safety issue and his mental illness. He is deranged. The shooter was ready to explode and no one did anything to stop him but his friends tried, calling police TIPS lines and the FBI.  Crazy people don’t know they are crazy, but friends do notice.  The Florida shooter’s friends made numerous calls to the police. Now 17 people are dead.

In the aftermath, don’t feed the shooter’s deranged sick ego demands. You might remember this advice DON’T NAME THEM.

The Intercept has an excellent article about the student movement. READ HEREFor years, gun manufacturers and industry-supported associations have focused their energy on transforming young Americans into the next generation of shooters.

Fear sells weapons, obviously, since people rush out to buy a gun after every mass shooting at the mere mention of losing the constitutional right to buy an AR15. It’s expected gun sales will surge following this shooting and any future mass murder event.  Last year, gun sales were down.

Deadliest U.S. mass shootings, 1984-2017 – Timelines

So what do we do with broken systems and broken people? We let the survivors tell us. And we listen. And then we act.

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In the News

‘CRISIS ACTOR’ Isn’t a New Smear. The Idea Goes Back to the Civil War Era.

Niraj Chokshi, Feb. 24, 2018, The New York Times

After any major attack, you are likely to find in some dark corner of the internet conspiracy theories that the survivors or victims made it all up or were part of a troupe of paid “crisis actors.” Such theories emerged after the massacres in Las Vegas in October; at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., in 2016; and at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in 2012.

It happened again this month, after 17 people were killed in the school shooting in Parkland, Fla. Those conspiracy theories have been amplified in the internet age, but they are a part of a long, troubled history of dismissing the voices of those seeking change. “This theme that anyone agitating for change must be either an outside agitator or must have been paid or put up to it is one that runs throughout American history,” Kevin M. Kruse, a history professor at Princeton University, said in a phone interview. Conspiracies of this kind quickly circulated about the Florida shooting, with one top-trending YouTube video suggesting, falsely, that one of the survivors was a hired actor. The video’s caption tapped into the idea that student protesters were paid to advocate gun control, and Mr. Kruse pointed his followers on Twitter to a decades-old analog: In 1957, civil rights supporters had to dispel rumors that nine black children seeking to integrate Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., were being paid for their activism. continue…

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A New York Walking Tour Uncovers Hidden Histories of Slavery and Struggle
Elena Goukassian, February 21, 2018, Hyperallergic
Just a block from the South Street Seaport in Lower Manhattan, you’ll find an unassuming storefront surrounded by a sea of high-end restaurants and retail. The Black Gotham Experience’s home base may look out-of-place, but it’s actually exactly where it belongs. Black people first arrived via ships docking in the area, were sold on the Wall Street Slave Market a few blocks away, and worked on the ships and built Broadway, Trinity Church, and the original City Hall on Wall Street, among other public works. (What’s now Washington Square was once known as Land of the Blacks.)  

continue…
 


 
Database documents Albany’s slave owners
Paul Grondahl, February 21, 2018, The Times-Union

 

In the public imagination, slavery was long considered a scourge of the South, perpetuated by white slave owners who ran vast cotton and tobacco plantations that exploited shackled Africans bought and sold as property.

In reality, as a new publicly searchable database reveals, wealthy Dutch merchants in Albany routinely owned slaves that they used for domestic chores and to run their farming operations outside the city. There were 3,722 slaves of African descent listed in the 1790 census in Albany County, for instance, the most of any county in the state at the time.
Many can be tracked in the first-ever New York Slavery Records Index, which was released last week by John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. It is the most detailed demographic portrait yet of slavery across the state. Its release coincided with the beginning of February’s Black History Month.

More than 35,000 records were compiled and they are searchable by the names of slave owners, individual enslaved people, manifests of slave ships arriving at the port of New York and as fugitives who sought freedom in the state along the Underground Railroad. The database begins in 1525 and continues through the end of the Civil War in 1865.

“These records are an extremely important contribution to our understanding of slavery in New York. They will help us tell the history of enslaved people in a more complete and compelling way,” said Heidi Hill, site manager at the state-run Schuyler Mansion in Albany, home of Revolutionary War Gen. Philip Schuyler, who was the father-in-law of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. The database shows that Schuyler owned 13 slaves at his South End mansion in 1790 and another four slaves worked on his farm in Saratoga County.


 Savannah museums: Interpreting slavery a path to ending inequality

Andria Segedy, February 24, 2018, Savannah Morning News
 

The Owens-Thomas House and the Davenport House museums continue to build on reinterpretation of what they have been sharing about the residents — the free and the enslaved — of those houses during their early years. Finding their documented history remains a challenge.

“Our tours, as you have observed, have transitioned to being focused on the lives of the free and enslaved who have lived in the home,” according to Shannon Browning-Mullis, curator of history and  decorative arts for Telfair Museums, which includes the Owens-Thomas House.

“White descendants are much easier to find because of the records that were kept,” Browning-Mullis said. Richardson was a slave trader, shipping slaves out of the Port of Savannah to the Port of New Orleans. It was an interesting conversation, she said.

“Part of what we are doing, to think about the fact we are telling these stories not of abstract fictional characters but of real people who lived and worked in the house,” she said. “Their descendants on both sides are probably still in this community.”

“A major part of the responsibility as historic site stewards in this community is a deep consideration of how we talk about the institution of slavery and the experiences of people who were enslaved,” according to Telfair Museums.

A panel of experts will discuss this during a free public forum March 8 at the Jepson Center. “A Conversation about Interpreting Slavery in a Historic City” will include Browning-Mullis along with other panelists: Jamal Toure, board member of George Liele Visions Inc. (nonprofit of First African Baptist Church); Jamie Credle, director of the Davenport House Museum; and Shawn Halifax, cultural history interpretation coordinator of Charleston (S.C.) County Parks. It will be moderated by Porchia Moore, inclusion catalyst for the Columbia Art Museum in Columbia, S.C.

continue…

I have a post scheduled in a few days on more interesting stuff I’m reading… besides reading your blogs, of course. See you at the Pottery Sale March 2-3 if you are in western MA. xoxoxoxox

Bonus Intercepted Podcast: The Laundering of American Empire

Fearless, adversarial journalism that holds the powerful accountable.
https://megaphone.link/PPY3342946942

THIS…

But is (tRUMP) the most dangerous president ever? Is he really so outside the norm of the policies of his predecessors? The short answer, when it comes to substance and policy, is: not yet. Harry Truman dropped not one, but two nuclear bombs. Multiple presidents continued the war on Vietnam, killing tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers and more than a million Vietnamese. Have we forgotten the secret bombings of Cambodia and Laos, the CIA Phoenix Program, and the widespread use of Agent Orange? The dirty wars in Central America? The global assassination operations?

LISTEN: Bonus Intercepted Podcast: The Laundering of American Empire

Unceded Voices | Indigenous scientists | #MeToo Stories and more

****

Check out Unceded Voices, Anti-colonial Street Artist Convergence. I really love watching and listening to the artists in their documentary series.  ++Broken Boxes Podcast

***

A short piece on two Indigenous scientists, Karlie Noon and Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, affirming their respective ancestral knowledges through their scientific research.

*** Divest from Wells Fargo – it is happening!

By LT, your curator (top photo, me about age 19) (Yes, that is a Vega, my first car)

Hollywood-weird again?  Not exactly. Across the world now, people are talking about #MeToo.  Not in whispers anymore.  I cannot begin to tell you how many women have shared a story with me, including my adoptive mom Edie.  She was harassed in her workplace so many times, I lost count and never knew what to say.  I was a young kid.  I had no words of advice.  Men were hitting on her.  Not all were drunk. One guy pushed her up against a desk on the night shift.  When I was in college, she was stalked by someone who followed her home in his car.  Edie drove to the neighbor’s house instead.  She told me she reported it to police.

Things were bad at home for me, and it had been building for a very long time.  I was molested by my adoptive father and when Edie eventually found out, everything shifted and I felt blamed.  Nothing happened to Sev, my adoptive father.  But he left me alone.  I didn’t call the police, I didn’t call the priest. I knew no one would listen.  I moved into the university dorm when I was 17, maybe 20 minutes from their house. I feel like my life started when I left and it would never happen to me again.

I was wrong.

When I was 20, I took a job at a clothing store in a Duluth, Minnesota mall.  Graduating from university in February and not June, I needed money and took a retail job – and since the women’s department manager was leaving, I got her job.  I’d never experienced workplace sexual harassment.  (I’d already experienced sexual abuse and harassment in other ways.  One college professor (much older than me) took photos of me at his house for my acting portfolio and when he tried to kiss me and groped me, I ran out.  His wife was upstairs. That made me afraid too. )  When it happened to me at work or school, I had no one to tell.  (No I was not close to my a-mom, and I didn’t share bad news. I had a boyfriend at the time and he withheld all his infidelities so I could not trust him.)  There was no official to call and report this general manager… he was twice my age, married with two kids and yet he verbally harassed me about having sex with him; it got to the point I had to leave.  I could not work in a state of constant terror.  This was the same guy who would not give me the night off to attend my college graduation ceremony. (Yup, I did graduate but it still doesn’t feel like I did.)

We ALL have stories.  I have way too many to share. 

Who did you tell?

READ THIS: Perpetrators have started apologizing, and Laurie Penny thinks about un/forgiveness and how to cope with the consequences of assault.  Men, get ready to be uncomfortable for a while. While forgiveness may come one day, it won’t be soon.  We have built entire lives, families, and communities around the absence of this conversation.

This is what happens when women actively place their own needs first. The whole damn world freaks out. I don’t blame you for freaking out right now. I’m freaking out. I didn’t expect this to happen so fast. We didn’t want to have to make an example of anyone.  We tried to ask nicely for our humanity and dignity.  We tried to put it gently.  Nobody gave a shit.  READ MORE at The Unforgiving Minute

How the Art World, and Art Schools, Are Ripe for Sexual Abuse

“This is not the first time I have written about sexual harassment, and it probably won’t be the last. In 1994, I published an account of my experience as a caged Amerindian, a performance I created with Guillermo Gómez-Peña. At the end of my cataloguing of the audience’s unexpected reactions to us, I detailed an experience that I had had at the age of 22. That encounter made me understand viscerally just how invested Europeans and Americans were in the racist fantasies that I had explored in the performance. Though that essay has been republished dozens of times and I receive requests for interviews about the performance to this day, no one ever asked me about the perpetrator. I hadn’t mentioned his name because he was still alive at the time and I worried that he might retaliate. He’s dead now.” –

#MeToo
#MeToo in Middle America

The abuse of female Marines, fast food workers and women without safety nets is pervasive. And while those stories don’t garner national headlines, Kansas-based journalist Sarah Smarsh says the news about Hollywood casting couches does have people in her hometown reflecting on problems in their own backyard. (On The Media)

I’m also reading

This incredible speech about our current moment from Annie Proulx.  A conversation with Toni Morrison. We are all implicated—tear down the boys’ club. “I’ve been worried that we’re cruising toward the #MeToo moment’s trip wire.”  When does a watershed become a panic?  Being on the right side of history in 1998 really sucked. One family and the legacy of abuse. What does rehab look like for sex abusers? Ghosts and the invention of big data. How Facebook figures out everyone you’ve ever met, and how one woman’s digital life was weaponized against her. Can a museum be decolonized? “In 1492 Columbus set foot in a hemisphere thoroughly dominated by humankind.”  Viet Thanh Nguyen on conflicting Thanksgiving narratives.
(These will keep us busy reading for HOURS) I am OK.  I am more than OK. xoxoxox

Forgotten Minority | #NoDAPL | The Ungers | Chilling

CNN: “The forgotten minority in police shootings”

Here.

An excerpt:

Native Americans are killed in police encounters at a higher rate than any other racial or ethnic group, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yet rarely do these deaths gain the national spotlight. “Native American people are basically invisible to most of the people in the country,” said Daniel Sheehan, general counsel for the Lakota People’s Law Project.

and this:

Poll: Native Americans See Far More Discrimination In Areas Where They Are A Majority

Native American women face high rates of violence, but fear discrimination in courts (Global Citizen) 11/15/17

***** #NoDAPL: READ: Leaked documents and public records reveal a troubling fusion of private security, public law enforcement, and corporate money in the fight over the Dakota Access Pipeline.  https://theintercept.com/series/oil-and-water/ (top photo of water protector)***************Reading about THE UNGERShttps://twitter.com/cfs9346/status/930881854265352193

*** AH, I’m not happy

Behind the Facebook profile you’ve built for yourself is another one, a shadow profile, built from the inboxes and smartphones of other Facebook users. Contact information you’ve never given the network gets associated with your account, making it easier for Facebook to more completely map your social connections.… Facebook isn’t scanning the work email of the attorney above. But it likely has her work email address on file, even if she never gave it to Facebook herself. If anyone who has the lawyer’s address in their contacts has chosen to share it with Facebook, the company can link her to anyone else who has it, such as the defense counsel in one of her cases.  (I guess this also explains how LinkedIn got all my contact info – and how later I received a check in a class action lawsuit. And somehow Microsoft outlook grabbed friends and strangers from Facebook and put them in my contacts. Damn those data mining thieves. L/T)

  • CHILLING

Jared Kushner Sued for Allegedly Overcharging Tenants (Again)

It appears Ivanka and Jared Kushner aren’t feeling welcome in New York….  RAW STORY LINK

 

BLOG BONUS | How Ghost Tours Often Exploit African-American History | Three Brave Men

Historian Tiya Miles’ new book “Tales from the Haunted South” takes a hard look at Southern ghost tours.

University of Michigan professor and MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient Tiya Miles joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to talk about “Tales from the Haunted South: Dark Tourism and Memories of Slavery from the Civil War Era.”

MUST READ and listen: How Ghost Tours Often Exploit African-American History | Here & Now

 

***

From the Archives: Loudoun, Slavery and Three Brave Men
Lee Lawrence, Oct. 26, 2017, Loudoun Now 

Harry was in a terrible situation: it was 1828 and Harry was an enslaved man in Loudoun County, rented by his owner to Samuel Cox. Because Harry was chattel (personal property), he had no recognized surname, as was common among slaves in Loudoun before 1860. On learning that his owner, a “Miss Allison” of Stafford County, was planning to sell him to slave traders who would take him further south, Harry decided to escape.

He approached a freedman named Alex McPherson and asked to borrow his “freedom paper,” a document carried by all free blacks verifying the person’s freed status. McPherson, at great risk to his own safety and liberty, agreed to lend Harry his paper, but insisted it be returned to him as soon as possible. Harry would carry the paper north. If he was stopped and questioned along the way, he would show the paper and claim to be a freedman.

Before leaving Loudoun, Harry needed to learn the best route north. Once safely in a free state, he would need a job and place to live. For this help, Harry turned to some Loudoun County Quakers, many of whom were abolitionists. It was common knowledge where the Quaker communities were located, including Waterford, Hillsboro, Goose Creek (now called Lincoln) and other villages.  continue…

Ireland’s ‘house of tears’ | Origins Canada | 60s Scoop | One Small Sacrifice | and my thanks

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(excerpt) Some of the children – the cute ones, says Ms. Corless – were adopted at a price in North America, often without their mothers’ consent. John P. Rodgers, a survivor of St. Mary’s and an author who wrote a memoir about his experience, For the Love of My Mother, now being developed as a Hollywood film script, believes that the available photographs of the home were part of a marketing ploy. “These beautiful photographs of nuns in religious garb taking care of the children with chubby cheeks, white ankle socks and shoes, neat dress, it’s a real film shot. I realized that was a staged photograph,” he says in an interview.

The nuns would send letters to families describing little girls and boys they had available. “One report of an Irish health department in 2012 suggested that perhaps 1,000 children were trafficked from the Tuam institution alone,” Prof. Smith says.

Will there be a TRUTH COMMISSION in IRELAND too?

A harrowing discovery in Ireland casts light on the Catholic Church’s history of abusing unwed mothers and their babies – and emboldened survivors to demand accountability…

But the reality was horrific. They were homes of abuse and neglect; places of forced confinement for the mothers and where babies were allowed to die – murdered, in effect. Kevin Higgins, a lawyer familiar with the issue, says the deaths were “at least manslaughter.” One Irish newspaper has called the scandal “our little Holocaust.”

The reason for the homes was simple and rarely questioned at the time. The mothers were unwed; their children often called “devil’s spawn.” Set up by the government and run by Catholic religious orders, the mother and baby homes were part of a system to deal with the perceived shame of “illegitimate” children and the women who bore them.  …The rest, 796 infants and toddlers, she believed, were in a mass grave in an area of low-cost housing, built on the former grounds of St. Mary’s by Galway County Council.

READ: Ireland’s ‘house of tears’: Why Tuam’s survivors want justice for lost and abused children – The Globe and Mail

*** Has this scandal gone Global?

Many Canadians are unaware that in the immediate postwar decades, federal and provincial governments funded “Homes for Unwed Mothers” in every Canadian province. Over 300,000 unmarried mothers were systematically separated from their babies during this period.  Mothers report verbal, physical, psychological, and sexual abuse in these homes, and the Canadian government has so far done nothing to acknowledge these wrongs.  Origins Canada advocates for a Committee to Investigate such as the one held in Australia to uncover the illegal, unethical and human rights abuses in adoption policies and practices in both Indigenous and Non-Indigenous contexts. This type of inquiry may serve to validate the lifelong psychological and intergenerational damage to families by draconian adoption policies and practices, and to provide mental health and healing services to those denied them so many years ago.  – Valerie Andrews, Executive Director Origins Canada: Supporting Those Separated by Adoption

******** DECLINING International Adoptions

Americans adopted around 5,370 children from other countries in fiscal year 2016. For the first time, males outnumbered females among adoptees from abroad.

Source: International adoptions to U.S. declined in 2016 | Pew Research Center

 

 

 

 

******

The $800-million proposed agreement with Sixties Scoop survivors that was announced by the Canadian government isn’t the first aiming to compensate Indigenous people for historical wrongs. (Top photo)

READ: Sixties Scoop settlement the latest involving Canadian Indigenous people – Canada – CBC News

 

And I thought I’d share some of my own experience being an adoptee.

(c)2012
2nd Edition on Kindle and Amazon

Stop a moment.  Who are you?

Stop and think about…  Have you ever considered that an adoptee doesn’t know who they are …?

Placed as a baby, decisions were made for me and my life in a Wisconsin courtroom in 1957. At age 22, in 1978, I went back to that courtroom and found a judge who luckily remembered my adoption and I asked for his help.

Many still do not appreciate or know how difficult it is to find out (WHO YOU ARE) after a sealed closed adoption. Those who don’t experience being adopted have little comparison, comprehension or compassion for its complexities, or what life is like in legal limbo.

I’m a Split Feather, a Lost Bird, an adoptee with Native American ancestry. I know this because I opened my adoption. I wanted to know my name, and why my parents gave me up, or had they abandoned me.

I wanted the truth, good, bad, both. I wanted what you what – ancestors, names, places.

Truly it was like being trapped in two worlds… (After my memoir came we did Two Worlds: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects) – now living with two sets of parents and two last names; life gets fuzzy between truth and fiction.  As a young adult adoptee, it was pure nonsense having to accept “this was done in your best interest.”  Clearly that wasn’t enough information to build a life on.  I needed more.  I needed my own medical information, I told the kind judge.

To get to the truth was all uphill. Years of uphill. Laws made it illegal for me to look or know my own name.  (How strange and confusing all this was.)

The tragedy was I felt like a lost-and-found item in a department store. Unclaimed, some strangers came in, spotted me and said “I’ll take that one.” As their child, I became invisible, unidentifiable, and perfectly suited to blend in with all the other Americans.  (But I didn’t ask for this.)

The agency Catholic Charities handled me (the newborn) and sealed my fate.  My identity and my mother’s identity would remain a secret, papal leaders decreed. (It’s still happening –  records are legally changed and locked up!)

It would take years before I could rightfully claim my identity and know what happened that I happened.

Because adoption records were locked by Wisconsin law, my decision to know who I am involved risk.  Not only would this test my courage, it could get me locked up.

It also meant I’d face the fear of my birthmother rejecting me a second time.

My memoir One Small Sacrifice tells the entire story of how I went from one of the Stolen Generations to now, today… (I was using my adoptee name when I wrote it in 2004. I legally changed my name in 2015 to Trace Lara Hentz. More INFO)

As for any settlement, the USA has not issued an apology or any settlement for the Indian Adoption Projects or ARENA (a program that moved children from Canada to the US and vice versa.) I helped to write and publish a book series so one day, some day, we will have this history to use in the courts.

************************************** AND ONE MORE THING

a little cyber ghost treat that looks good!

I really want you to know that your blogs are so good, my words are insufficient.  I often read HOURS because of you all on wordpress. We are our own community of souls putting good thoughts and ideas out there into the blogosphere. Your photography, your poetry, your reviews, your art, your writing, your books, your experiences fill me up (usually on Mondays!) I cannot thank you enough — all of you. XOX Lara/Trace

Blog Bonus: An App Tells Overlooked History of the Largest Slave Port | A Night at the Garden | WTH?

The Museum of Yesterday is an augmented reality app that excavates the secret histories of Rio de Janeiro, including its major role in the transatlantic slave trade.

SEE: An App Tells the Overlooked History of the Largest Slave Port in the Americas

https://www.theatlantic.com/video/iframe/542499/

When 20,000 American Nazis Descended Upon New York City
Oct 10, 2017 | Video by Marshall Curry

In 1939, the German American Bund organized a rally of 20,000 Nazi supporters at Madison Square Garden in New York City. When Academy Award-nominated documentarian Marshall Curry stumbled upon footage of the event in historical archives, he was flabbergasted. Together with Field of Vision, he decided to present the footage as a cautionary tale to Americans. The short film, A Night at the Garden, premieres on The Atlantic today (10-10).

“The first thing that struck me was that an event like this could happen in the heart of New York City,” Curry told The Atlantic. “Watching it felt like an episode of The Twilight Zone where history has taken a different path. But it wasn’t science fiction – it was real, historical footage. It all felt eerily familiar, given today’s political situation.”

Rather than edit the footage into a standard historical documentary with narration, Curry decided to “keep it pure, cinematic, and unmediated, as if you are there, watching, and wrestling with what you are seeing. I wanted it to be more provocative than didactic – a small history-grenade tossed into the discussion we are having about White Supremacy right now.”

“The footage is so powerful,” continued Curry, “it seems amazing that it isn’t a stock part of every high school history class. This story was likely nudged out of the canon, in part because it’s scary and embarrassing. It tells a story about our country that we’d prefer to forget.”
Author: Emily Buder SOURCE

WTH? Say what? –>  Per Eric Levitz at NYMag, “Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says that the Trump Administration will not remove Confederate monuments from federal lands out of consideration for the feelings of ‘native Indians.’”

[More of the history we are not supposed to know, right?… It is really a big problem – all this bad history makes people confused… L/T]

BREAKING NEWS: Zinke: One-third of Interior employees not loyal to Trump

Is Zinke Going to Start a Ideological Purge at Interior?

…Zinke’s comments echo complaints by some White House allies that a permanent, “deep state” in Washington has sabotaged Trump’s efforts to remake the government.

Zinke did not go that far, but he lamented a government culture that prizes analysis over action, saying: “There’s too many ways in the present process for someone who doesn’t want to get (a regulatory action) done to put it a holding pattern.”

To remedy that, Zinke said he is pursuing a major reorganization that would push much of the agency’s decision-making outside Washington and move several agencies, including the Bureau of Reclamation and Bureau of Land Management, to undetermined Western states.

The moves follow military strategy, Zinke said: “Push your generals where the fight is.”

While details remain largely under wraps, Zinke said he was excited. “It’s going to be huge,” he said in a speech to the National Petroleum Council, an advisory committee that includes leaders of the oil and gas industry. “I really can’t change the culture without changing the structure.”

Besides moving employees, Zinke said he wants to speed up permits for oil drilling, logging and other energy development that now can take years.

“The president wants it yesterday,” Zinke said, referring to permits for energy development. “We have to do it by the law.”

On other topics, Zinke said the Endangered Species Act has been “abused” by bureaucrats and environmental groups and needs to be reformed to be less “arbitrary.”

“There is no off-ramp” for species to be removed from protected status, he said.

Zinke also offered a quirky defense of hydraulic fracturing, a drilling technique also known as fracking that has led to a years-long energy boom in the U.S., with sharply increased production of oil and natural gas.

“Fracking is proof that God’s got a good sense of humor and he loves us,” Zinke said without explanation.

READ: Zinke: One-third of Interior employees not loyal to Trump

a little more background on Fracking?  HALLIBURTON LOOPHOLE!

 

(top photo) NEW STORY: LA TIMES

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke walked into a big gathering of the National Petroleum Council on Monday already facing at least two government probes for his management of the department’s workforce of 70,000 — but that didn’t stop him from bashing his employees.

Breaking News: Sacred Native American sites in the Valley Destroyed with a Mighty Shrug

“Once they dismantle them, that is a desecration. All their reconstruction is a replica work of art, not a spiritual stone feature.” Doug Harris, Narragansett Tribe

Excerpt:  Make way for the gas pipeline

One issue central to the native community in New England are sacred ceremonial stones along the path of the Tennessee Gas pipeline that are hundreds, if not thousands of years old. In Sandisfield, most of the stones that were identified have been destroyed, though some were preserved by Kinder Morgan.

“The eastern tribes utilized the ceremonial stone features a part of their ceremonies calling to the spirit of our mother, the Earth, to bring balance and harmony,” Narragansett Indian Tribe Deputy Tribal Historic Preservation Officer Doug Harris said. “From that, we interpret that it’s a place where someone may have been killed either by an animal or another human. That area, although a person’s remains may have been taken elsewhere for burial or cremation, would have been greatly traumatized in spirit. In order to bring balance and harmony back to that traumatized area one of the forms was to make prayer in the form of stones calling on the spirit energy of our mother, the Earth.”

Sara Hughes, a spokesperson for Kinder Morgan, confirmed that 13 of 73 ceremonial stone features were relocated. The remaining 60 ceremonial stones were destroyed.

“We were required to relocate 13 after adapting our construction approach to accommodate and avoid the majority of the structures,” she said. “The stone features that remained in place have been protected with signage and fencing during construction activities, and are being closely monitored on a daily basis … The features have been securely stored and will be moved back to their original location and orientation when project restoration occurs. We expect to complete the restoration process and place the project into service by Nov. 1.”

Harris said he was given the opportunity to monitor the process, but refused because he considered it sacrilege.

“They would document them, store them, and then reconstruct them,” he said. “They seemed to feel that this was acceptable and I explained to them that once they dismantle them, that is desecration. All their reconstruction is a replica work of art, not a spiritual stone feature.”

Anne Marie Garti, an attorney representing the Narragansett Indian Tribe,  said FERC did not allow the Tribe’s Historic Office to examine the sites under the National Historic Preservation. FERC gave the go ahead for the project to Tennessee Gas, a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan, before that took place.

“The Narragansett Indian Tribal Historic Preservation Office requested rehearing of an order when the staff person at FERC gave the pipeline company an order to proceed,” she said. “And that order, we believe, was not legally issued because the steps that were supposed to have taken under the National Historic Preservation Act had not taken place. FERC had said they would make sure that all the stuff had taken place before the project could proceed when they issued their original order in March 16, 2016. There were all these conditions, one of the conditions was compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act.”

The tribe isn’t seeking damages, but wants a re-hearing to make sure that a mistake such as this never happens again, Harris said.

“What we want to draw attention to in the future must happen, otherwise tribal rights are abrogated and the law means nothing, if in fact it is not practiced,” he said. “We are essentially drawing FERC’s attention and the public’s attention to the fact that the National Historic Preservation Act has not been followed and therefore the rights of the tribe has not been allowed. That should not be the standard operating procedure going forward.”

Garti said FERC typically waits until a pipeline is completed before a re-hearing takes place.

“And then they go in and try to say that it’s moot; that it no longer matters, but the courts don’t buy that because it’s very hard to get an injury just thrown out of court like that … It’s been taking about a year.”

The ancient culture of the Americas is something that everyone in the country should be willing to preserve, not just people with Native American ancestry, he said.

“There is a responsibility of not only tribes to step forward and to point to these issues, but the public in general — our partners in sustaining and protecting that of which is antiquity,” Harris said.

READ: Sacred Native American sites in the Valley Destroyed with a Mighty Shrug

NOTE: Destroyed? How would this area react if a colonial church and cemetery were destroyed? Once I compose myself and stop crying, I will draft a letter to Kinder Morgan. LT who lives here in Pocumtuck Territory.