Michael Caduto: Making Peace, Olakamigenoka

This, the Storytelling for Environmental Stewardship Program, eventually involved more than 50 individuals from 20 organizations in the Middle East and led to a book published in December 2017 — an illustrated anthology of children’s stories called “The Garden of Wisdom: Earth Tales from the Middle East.”

top photo: ondulyne.tumblr.com

Sokoki Sojourn

In the spring of 2010, I was asked by members of the Church of Christ at Dartmouth College to help with a Peace Pole they were erecting in the Memorial Garden next to the church. Knowing that I had worked with members of the Abenaki Nation, and that I teach about Abenaki culture in my programs and writing, I was asked, “How do you say, in Abenaki, ‘May peace prevail on Earth?’”

I discovered that the Abenaki word for peace, olakámigénoká, is a verb that reflects an entirely different concept of “peace” than we express in the English language. Olakámigénoká, “make peace,” is a linguistic window into the Abenaki world view, in which peace is more than a state of tranquility that exists in the absence of violence: Peace is an act that one makes toward other people and the rest of creation.

A few years earlier, in April 2006…

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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…

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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/

The Shelter of Each Other: Rebuilding Our Families | #WeCanSolveThis

Happy Holidays 2017!

By Lara Trace Hentz

I want to share an Op-ED (opinion editorial) I wrote WAY back in 2001. Yup, that sure was a long time ago.  I was an editor of a tribal newspaper in Connecticut…But the amazing thing is:  THIS is still relevant.

Maybe more so in 2017… take a read…

Rebuilding our families

In October (2001), Dr. Mary Pipher, a noted psychologist and nationally renowned author, spoke to a large audience at the Garde Arts Center in New London about the importance of rebuilding our families. Her presentation was timely, considering the events of 9-11 and its effects on citizens of this country.

Pipher related that Americans are the hardest working people in the world and consequently, some 45 million adults are on some kind of drug for nerves. America’s stressed-out adult population is adversely affecting our families. Less than one third of families have regular meals together. Parents are overwhelmed. Children develop behavior problems. We are not happy people.

“We must be the change we wish to see in this world,” Pipher said. “We must talk about values and teach our children to value the right things.”

According to this expert, we are missing social skills. We interrupt, act rude and use inappropriate behavior. Television teaches us to buy things. There are some 3,000 ads a day, which is having a cumulative effect on all of us. How many computers and televisions do we need? Do houses really need to be castle-size? We are isolated in big houses. We are becoming dissatisfied and narcissistic, self-obsessed.

In this ever-evolving world, technology is determining how we interact in society. And the way it’s going now, we’re not getting emotionally stronger but more isolated, dejected.

However, Pipher offered some solid solutions to our general unhappiness. Reacquaint your children to large family celebrations. Children need their relatives, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Little ones learn to negotiate and navigate best with family members around the house regularly.

Pipher says the antidote to despair is being helpful. Take an interest in other people’s children. Parent other people’s children, not just your own. Teach children to find pleasure in being helpful. Spend time outdoors. Connect children to useful work. Redefine the meaning of wealth. Teach children to be responsible.

Pipher believes in teaching family history. Tell stories about the ancestors and where they came from. Have a family ritual every night that might include reading poetry, family memories or stories of hope and heroic behavior. If adults behave well in difficult times, children will, too.

Make good conscious choices in two areas: protect from what is harmful and connect to what is beautiful.

We also need to protect our children from the media, from too much television, too much news and even adult conversation. Their developing minds cannot rationalize or discern between daddy’s or mommy’s upcoming business trip and the plane crash on television. Protect the children from violence on television. Teach your children by your own behavior; stress calmness and safety.

Pipher said create quiet time, family time.  These tools will rebuild our family in times like these.

Happy holidays everyone.  [Trace A. DeMeyer,  Editor of the Pequot Times (2001)]

TOP PHOTO: Mary Pipher, and her website: HERE

Left, book cover:   The Shelter of Each Other: Rebuilding Our Families
In The Shelter of Each Other, Mary Pipher does for the American family what she did for adolescent girls and their parents in her bestselling book Reviving Ophelia: she opens our eyes wide to the desperate realities we are facing and shows us a way out. Drawing on the fascinating stories of families rich and poor, angry and despairing, religious and skeptical, and probing deep into her own family memories and experiences, Pipher clears a path to the strength and energy at the core of family life. Wise, compassionate, and impassioned, The Shelter of Each Other challenges each of us to face the truth about ourselves and to find the courage to protect, nurture, and revivify the families we cherish.

BONUS:  Louise Erdrich’s Storytelling Addiction

https://www.wnyc.org/widgets/ondemand_player/wnyc/#file=/audio/json/819201/&share=1

The writer Louise Erdrich’s storytelling addiction “really began when my other addictions failed,” she tells David Remnick. Since the early nineteen-eighties, her work has primarily chronicled Native American life, and, in that regard, Erdrich’s latest book is no different: “Future Home of the Living God” follows the lives of a group of Ojibwe Indians living in rural Minnesota. But, where her previous novels have remained largely grounded in realism, this book is a work of speculative fiction, with a touch of science fiction. It imagines a kind of reverse-evolution slowly taking hold of the globe, and bringing with it a political catastrophe of dystopian dimensions. Erdrich says that she was inspired by Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” and by P. D. James’s “Children of Men”—works that put literature in the service of imagining the worst.

***

WATCH Indigenous Protectors 

One of the most effective ways to save forests is by empowering the people who have been protecting them for generations. We have to support the land rights of indigenous peoples. #WeCanSolveThis

Did This Just Actually Happen? Dan Snyder honors Native Americans, changes team mascot to Washington Redhawks

BREAKING NEWS: YES YES YES

Not true. Web hoax. (brilliant and bad)

But here is the planned media blitz: GO WASHINGTON REDHAWKS

Turtle Talk

From ESPN here.

New Redhawks website.

Old Redskins website, which says nothing about this.

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Pocahontas: Disney vs. Reality | CodeTalkers and WWII | Textbook Problems | Oh No!

With oil portrait of Andrew “Indian Killer” Jackson in background, President Trump uses racial slur in front of Navajo Code Talkers.

In the News

Guest Commentary |  Published December 3, 2017

Setting:

White House ceremony for honorable and aging Navajo (Dine’) code talkers on Monday, November 27, 2017.

Painting on the wall behind the code talkers: Indian slayer, author and implementer of the Indian Removal Act: Andrew Jackson

The 45th occupant’s words during his “honoring ceremony” for the brave code talkers:

“You’re very very special people. You were here long before any of us were here,” President Trump said to the veterans in the white house ceremony. “Although we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas. But you know what. I like you. Because you are special.”

These words are so offensive on so many levels, it is difficult to know where to start. As an enrolled member of the Cowlitz Nation, as a Native woman, as a woman, as a retired clinical psychologist who worked with trauma survivors, in and out of Indian Country, as a person who has a deep understanding of my own history, my own tribal history, and the history of genocide and death that has continued for the past 525 years, I am disgusted and disheartened by not only these ugly words but the shocking support and defense that so many nonNatives (primarily on the right end of the political spectrum) have for them.

In fact, the true story of Pocahontas is tragic, horrifying, and one that echoes the allegations of sexual assault against Trump, Roy Moore, and, now, so many men in power. There are several facts that need to be discussed before the rest of Trump’s insulting comments are examined. First, Pocahontas was a 12-year-old girl who was abducted, raped, and held for ransom by the English during the Anglo-Indian war of 1613. She was born in 1598 and died in 1617. She was the daughter of a principal chief, Powhatan of the Paumunkey tribe. She was forced into Christianity during her time in captivity and died in London, where she was forced to go with her husband, a planter named John Rolfe. The myth of Pocahontas is that she “saved” the life of John Smith, a colonizer, when she “laid her head on that of Captain John Smith” when her father was going to kill Smith.

KEEP READING

***Please see NCAI’s statement issued on May 3, 2017 on President Trump’s use of the name Pocahontas here.

Pocahontas was a real person who to this day holds significant value to her family and her tribe, the Pamunkey Indian Tribe in Virginia. The Pamunkey struck a treaty with the British Crown in the 1600s, and just last year were officially recognized as a federally recognized tribe by the U.S. government after a decades-long struggle. The name of Pocahontas should not be used as a slur, and it is inappropriate for anyone to use her name in a disparaging manner.

***

Navajo Nation Mourns Death of Code Talker George B. Willie, Sr.

***

I am deeply ashamed of the way the President of the United States has treated the veterans during an honoring ceremony at the White House. Veterans are brave heroes who sacrificed everything, despite the historical trauma to tribal nations, when asked to defend the United States. It has been more than 200 years of living together, yet the President of the United States knows nothing about us. An apology is in order for the warriors that were present, to the Native nations and the United States for his behavior. The President of the United States wanted to utilize an opportunity to honor Native warriors who defended this land to make a political attack. I have one for him, leave the office you bought and take your swamp things with you. -Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Chairman Harold Frazier in Washington after White House Tribal Nations Conference.

***CODE TALKERS [from the Cherokee, Choctaw, Comanche, Lakota, Meskwaki, Mohawk, Navajo, Tlingit, and other tribes who served during World Wars I and II]

Code talkers served with all six Marine divisions in the Pacific and with Marine Raider and parachute units, earning lavish praise for their performance in the Solomons and the Marianas and on Peleliu and Iwo Jima. Of Iwo Jima, Fifth Marine Division Signal Officer Major Howard Conner said, “The entire operation was directed by Navajo code. . . . During the two days that followed the initial landings I had six Navajo radio nets working around the clock. . . . They sent and received over 800 messages without an error. Were it not for the Navajo Code Talkers, the Marines never would have taken Iwo Jima.” 

“Navajo School” graduated 421 code talkers assigned mostly to combat units overseas. Following Japan’s surrender, several volunteered for occupation duty. Others were sent to Marine units in China. Code talker Willson Price stayed a Marine for 30 years, retiring in 1972. 

Most code talkers came home to family reunions and purification rites, traditional dances, and curing ceremonies, coupled with maternal prayers of thanks for sons’ safe return. These rites originated to protect returning Navajo from harmful influences they might have encountered or duties they had to to perform while away.  VIA

Cree code talkers

In the World War II, native Cree speakers were used as code talkers for the Canadian Armed Forces. Due to oaths of secrecy, and official classification through 1963, the role of Cree speakers has gone unacknowledged by the Canadian government.[15] A 2015 documentary, Cree Code Talkers, tells the story of one such Métis individual, Charles “Checker” Tomkins, who died in 2003.[16]   READ MORE

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Families of Navajo Code Talkers Slam President Trump for ‘Pocahontas’ Slur

New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall, vice chairman of the Indian Affairs committee, added: “Donald Trump’s latest racist joke — during Native American Heritage Month no less — demeaned the contributions that the Code Talkers and countless other Native American patriots and citizens have made to our great country.”

***

Robert J. Benz, November 19, 2017, Huffington Post

Sometimes the answers to our most perplexing questions are right in front of us. How, for instance, could it be that our continuously-evolving society is more divided than ever over skin color and cultural identity when we just had a two-term, black President? Is the media turning white citizens against black citizens or it is caused by the ambitions of opportunistic politicians who promise to get tough on crime and clean-up the community? Maybe it’s the fault of an extreme fringe of fanatics; both black and white? Or could it be that we’re simply incapable of controlling our own prejudices because they’re written into our DNA?  continue…
OH NO!
Utah
Trump’s Attack on Sacred Grounds in Utah By cutting 1.1 million acres out of the 1.35 million-acre Bears Ears National Monument, the president delivered a win for mining interests and a loss for environmentalists. Perhaps most significant, though, is the affront this represents to the Pueblo people, whose sacred ancestral sites at Bears Ears date back thousands of years. (The Takeaway)

OH NO! Oh, yes! When I watched this Code Talker debacle unfold on television (jaw-dropped)… it is obvious Drumpf knows zilch/nothing about Indians and doesn’t care to know… For over 30 years he has made racist statements to the media about us… when you are that ignorant, you simply don’t pretend to care… and yet our tribal nations are his constituents too…There is talk of war… yes, war… L/T

p.s.  ah…apparently just 8 US presidents did visit an official visit to an Indian reservation, of course never all 567+ locations…. read this

Eliminating the Human | The amazing Laura Grace Weldon

A View from David Byrne

I have a theory that much recent tech development and innovation over the last decade or so has had an unspoken overarching agenda—it has been about facilitating the need for LESS human interaction. It’s not a bug—it’s a feature. We might think Amazon was about selling us books we couldn’t find locally—and it was and what a brilliant idea—but maybe it was also just as much about eliminating human interaction. I see a pattern emerging in the innovative technology that has gotten the most attention, gets the bucks and often, no surprise, ends up getting developed and implemented. What much of this technology seems to have in common is that it removes the need to deal with humans directly. The tech doesn’t claim or acknowledge this as its primary goal, but it seems to often be the consequence. I’m sort of thinking maybe it is the primary goal. There are so many ways imagination can be manifested in the technical sphere. Many are wonderful and seem like social goods, but allow me a little conspiracy mongering here—an awful lot of them have the consequence of lessening human interaction.

I suspect that we almost don’t notice this pattern because it’s hard to imagine what an alternative focus of tech development might be. Most of the news we get barraged with is about algorithms, AI, robots and self driving cars, all of which fit this pattern, though there are indeed many technological innovations underway that have nothing to do with eliminating human interaction from our lives. CRISPR-cas9 in genetics, new films that can efficiently and cheaply cool houses and quantum computing to name a few, but what we read about most and what touches us daily is the trajectory towards less human involvement.

Note: I don’t consider chat rooms and product reviews as “human interaction”; they’re mediated and filtered by a screen.

We are beset by—and immersed in—apps and devices that are quietly reducing the amount of meaningful interaction we have with each other.

the downside of technology

Social networks are also a source of unhappiness. A study earlier this year by two social scientists, Holly Shakya at UC San Diego and Nicholas ­Christakis at Yale, showed that the more people use Facebook, the worse they feel about their lives.  While these technologies claim to connect us, then, the surely unintended effect is that they also drive us apart and make us sad and envious.

David Byrne is a musician and artist who lives in New York City. His most recent book is called How Music Works. A version of this piece originally appeared on his website, davidbyrne.com.

A MUST READ: Eliminating the Human – MIT Technology Review

***From L/T…

I do not spend hours on Twitter or Facebook like I used to.  Teaching about social media and blogging, I’m not doing that anymore.  In my own research/work at the moment… I can tell you that some of the greatest minds in the world are sharing generously with us… on blogs… on twitter… and on other social media.  Like David Byrne (read his thoughts above)… Just like so many of you amaze me each week on your blogs.

My online friend, the author LAURA GRACE WELDON has some of the MOST amazing Tweets!  Last week I tried to pick a few you might like 🙂  (One of the nice things about Twitter is you can go back and read all the tweets – and even go back months!)  Please follow her if you are on Twitter.

This is her:   Writer, editor, farm wench, wonder junkie, awkward empath, aspiring hermit.

 Laura has built a treasure on her website and in her poetry and in her books.  (top photo)  Please do this for you and go visit her website this winter.  She’s been such a gift to me.

There were so many great tweets, it was hard to pick!   See you all next week.

Unceded Voices | Indigenous scientists | #MeToo Stories and more

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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

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.)

 

The BeZINE: Poverty Hunger and Working-Class Slave Labor

THE BeZINE for November is published – In the four-year history of “The BeZine,” this is the most significant edition. All of our concerns – peace, environmental sustainability, human rights, freedom of expression – depend on a more equal distribution of wealth, on making sure no one goes hungry and on breaking-down barriers to employment, healthcare, education and racial and gender equity. –
LINK – https://wp.me/p1gLT0-6×3

I would ask contributors to please post the link to the entire edition of the Zine as well as to your own work. This Zine is about more than literarture and art. It’s about a social justice mission. …

Thanks to John Anstie, Corina Ravenscraft, Phillip T. Stephens, Trace Lara Hentz, Sue Dreamwalker, Joe Hesch, Renee Espriu, Evelyn Augusto, bogpan, Paul Brookes, Rob Cullen, R.S. Chappell, Denise Fletcher, Mark Heathcote, Irene Immanuel, Charlie Martin, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Michele Riedele and Michael Odiah for stunning work. Well done. Thanks also for constant support from team members not featured in this issue: Terri Stewart, Michael Dickel, Lana Phillips, Ruth Jewell, Liliana Negoi, Michael Watson Lcmhc, Chrysty Darby Hendrick, Naomi Baltuck, James R. Cowles and Priscilla Galasso.

Again, here’s the link to this issue: HERE

 

It is a true honor to be included in this online magazine. LT

Thinking Aloud on a Sunday

I’m still fuming: This weekend, the ‘Press This’ button was removed. Wait, what? We didn’t ask for that. Thanks Pete for writing this!

beetleypete

WordPress

For obvious reasons, I have been thinking a lot about WordPress today.

When I started blogging, this platform stood out as being the most user-friendly, to a novice blogger. The set-up was relatively simple, and I was soon up and running with my own new blog. WordPress also enjoyed a huge following all over the world, so this gave me lots to explore, and also attracted followers to my blog. Over time, I managed to get help from many others in the community, and I was able to learn how to add images, change themes, and much more.

Fast forward five years, and my WordPress blogs have become my main hobby. The first thing I do after I get up, and the last thing I do before going to bed. In between, I read other blogs, comment on posts, and reply to comments on mine. Blogging makes me content…

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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

 

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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…

Some book reviews! here is what i’m reading

Poetry and Book Reviews BY LT

I have a few book reviews to share.  Check with your local bookseller and library for these titles:

AshiAkira’s HAIKU POEMS

Wise words are snapshots. In three-sentence-structures with five-seven-five syllables, in snippets of one man’s movement across the cosmos, Japanese elder AshiAkira shares 496 of these precious moments in his new collection HAIKU POEMS [ISBN: 978-1-4834-6846-4].

As Ashi explains in his introduction, “By catching a glimpse of nature’s work, only a momentary spark, and jotting it down in words as a reflection of our mind, we may get closer to knowing it.”

Out of thousands he’s done, his first collection of haiku-style was randomly chosen by the 79-year-old poet, and each is as joyful as it is sacred. (He’s working on a new book now and  it should be out soon.)

34

Wherever you are,

You are watching this same moon

Together with me.

65

Hear sparrows chirping.

I can tell what’s going on.

They can’t keep secrets.

85

Weather forecasters—

Basically honest people,

So I forgive you.

128

Clouds flowing away

Bring my words with you to her.

Stars twinkle like her eyes.

221

A crow on a branch

Watches other birds away

Like a lonely king.

283

Humming of mother

Long ago, but it still sounds

In my gray-haired head.

333

Dragonflies move fast.

They hover from time to time.

They see the world well.

377

Evening subway train,

Many people busy texting.

A child smiled at me.

414

The middle of August,

Anniversary of war’s end.

Hunger remembered.

466

Crows on a tree branch

In black robes like Buddhist monks

In meditation.

He writes:
Since the haiku poems must be squeezed into such a small number of syllables, we need a special poetic license to write them: the license to kill, to kill the grammar. And, for now:

Whatever language

Say it in five-seven-five rhythm

My heart will follow

My friend AshiAkira’s new book is a beauty, a ravishing art, pleasing and easy on the eyes, and lovely to the heart.  

Visit Ashi and his writing at his blog: https://ashiakira.wordpress.com/

*** THE MISSING GIRL

Some writers make it seem easy to craft a story.  Author Jacqueline Doyle is so friggin’ good she’s literally scared the crap outta me. Well, her eight stories did.  I read the book in one sitting, and writing this good, it should be known about and shared. But not everyone wants to see inside the mind of a predator, or their prey. Or a serial killer. Or a victim. Eight chapters – that is it.  Each story is unique, powerful, not technically graphic (blood and gore) but terrifying, and it is about horror -and the horrible.

The Missing Girl was published by Black Lawrence Press in 2017, and has already won the Black River Chapbook Competition.

One reviewer wrote: “In these dark and edgy stories, Doyle has made a dispassionate study of the degradation of girls and the twisted hearts of those who hunt them… Prepare to be very disturbed.”

This book is not for everyone. But those with the stomach for it, you won’t ever forget these stories.

FMI: Black Lawrence Press

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I’m now reading Adam Rutherford’s new work! (top photo)

REVIEW: … Rutherford is the author of A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Human Story Retold Through Our Genes.  (excerpt) …Nor is Rutherford happy with some of those who seek to commercialise modern genomics, and in particular derides ancestry companies that have claimed their DNA tests reveal the identity of Jack the Ripper; that Prince William harbours Indian blood; and that it is possible to trace living descendants of the Queen of Sheba. This is “PR dressed up as research”, we are told. For Rutherford, modern genetics has far less to say about us as individuals than we have been led to believe. On the other hand, he is confident it sheds a great deal of light on us as a species. Demonstrating these divergent concepts is not easy.  Happily, Rutherford is up to the task. He has produced a polished, thoroughly entertaining history of Homo sapiens and its DNA in a manner that displays popular science writing at its best.

What really caught my attention is the DNA bullshit ads luring in people …This DNA marketing is used like ammunition and The Holy Grail. And to my horror, we know they are storing our DNA results but are they using them in some way nefarious? DNA is our signature and belongs to humanity. It is not something a company should own. L/T

(click to read)  A New History of the First Peoples in the Americas 

[A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived is published by W&N (£20). Click here to buy it for £16] I bought my copy on Amazon.com

I will be getting this:

Dead White Men is not only a searing indictment of colonialism but also a painful reminder of the violence that underpins the logic of exploration. Each poem strikes at the heart of the issue: there are often unarticulated, unacknowledged Indigenous presences here that have been flattened over by the lies and mirages of empty landscapes. Dead White Men is a stinging and difficult journey, and one that continues to remind us that stolen land has always been the most pressing concern for Indigenous peoples and settlers. This is an absolutely essential book.’
– Jordan Abel, author of Injun

full review: Dead White Men.  Shane Rhodes.  Coach House Books.  Toronto, Ontario.  2017.

***Just in case:

(click) How to find an academic research paper 

Looking for research on a particular topic? We walk you through the steps we use here at Journalist’s Resource.

*** The power of a name!

Trace. As a noun, a way or path. A course of action. Footprint or track. Vestige of a former presence. An impression. Minute amount. As a verb, to make one’s way. To pace or step. To travel through. To discern. To mark or draw. To follow tracks or footprints. To follow, pursue. –  Lauret Savoy Thoughts

In order to remember, one must also forget. Otherwise each of us would drown in a sea of every detail of every experience of every day of our lives. To make sense of things, to function—to gain retrospect—we must forget, and instead sort what remains in memory. To remember—re-member—is to piece together constituent parts toward some whole. Re-membering is selecting, arranging, interpreting. “The memory is a living thing,” noted Eudora Welty, “it too is in transit.”

*** Alaska U.S. Senators Say No to Trump to Rename Denali:  Trump seemingly bent on reversing everything his predecessor did while in office thought he would throw in the reverting back to Mt. McKinley

Source:  November is American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month – Native News Online

 

Unpleasant Hostile Design? | Homelessness Growing | Celebrity and The House That Pinterest Built

Unpleasant designs take many shapes, but they share a common goal of exerting some kind of social control in public or in publicly-accessible private spaces. They are intended to target, frustrate and deter people, particularly those who fall within unwanted demographics. READ

Anti-sleeping spikes in storefront window by Kent Williams (CC BY 2.0)

WATCH:

Unpleasantly designed book with sandpaper dust jacket by Unpleasant Design… The idea of “unpleasant” design is at the intersections of design and (literally) structural oppression. Urban areas have been attempting to change human behavior for hundreds of years, and in the modern day resort to all sorts of exclusionary designs. This book is a short chronicle of these “features,” as well as a brief documentation of counter-movements (think “The Yes Men”).
Meanwhile, some guerrilla efforts have been made to fight back against unpleasant designs. Artist Sarah Ross, for instance, created a set of “archisuits” designed to work in and around specific deterrents. In one such suit, pads with gaps let the wearer sleep on segmented benches.
Whether you think a certain form of design is exclusionary but serves a greater good, or believe it is just hostile and offensive, it is important to be aware of the decisions that are being made for you. Designs that are unpleasant to some are put into place to make things more pleasant for others, and that latter category might just include you.
Archisuits for bench sleeping by Sarah Ross

We posted here earlier on racist  Hostile Architecture

With the rise of destructive hurricanes and fires, we’ll be seeing more and more homeless people, through no fault of their own.  And the scourge of homelessness is beginning to gain attention across the USA after seeing how Hurricane Maria decimated Puerto Rico’s housing.

Homeless People have been noticing hostility for a long time, and until we start seeing what is really happening, we cannot change it… L/T

99% Invisible posts

The main thing to take into account for these designers is how people move — or perhaps, more accurately, stampede — in response to threats. Researchers draw from studies of how people move, observations of real-life tragedies, and computer modeling in order to determine how people behave in crowds: how they get stuck, trampled, or endanger others in their attempts to escape.

https://twitter.com/bukowski_dave/status/920730605746376705

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Now if you are really wealthy, you can build whatever you like. Like Diane Keaton’s home in LA, CA.
The House that Pinterest Built defines what home and house mean to the celebrated movie star, who is known for her love affair with houses and design. Filled with ideas that reveal a personal yet engaging aesthetic, this volume includes compelling photos from Keaton’s past homes and those she admires, as well as a multitude of details from every corner of those spaces and objects that excite and inspire the house designer and dreamer—dramatic staircases and magical light fixtures, film stills and book covers, pottery and art—drawn from the visual treasure trove known as Pinterest and Keaton’s private collection, as she creates and designs her newest house.
And for $65, you can own her book, which I find INSANE. (She doesn’t have any reviews on Amazon which probably means no one has bought it yet.)
Book Review

“In “The House That Pinterest Built” (Rizzoli, $65, 272 pp.) Diane Keaton provides a privileged peek into her 8,000-square-foot industrial-chic dream home. It’s a sprawling brick structure in west Los Angeles’s Sullivan Canyon boasting the kind of rough-hewed, reclaimed features that proliferate on Pinterest, and Ms. Keaton’s book takes cues from her preferred inspiration engine. Photos of pools, staircases, ladders and chairs that the actress and author pulled from the site and from her own archives ultimately provided blueprints for her home, offering a unique, crowdsourced twist to the closed-door world of celebrity living. ‘Once upon a time, scrap bookers, collage artists, image-driven addicts and appropriators like me were lonely hunters,’ Ms. Keaton wrote in the book’s introduction. ‘Now dare I say billions of people discover, seize and enlarge their reference pool with the variety of beauty allocated from others.’ ”
The New York Times

We could easily fit 6 small families into 8,000 square feet! What is wrong with this picture?

And for $62 you can own this book:
I have no gripe on Ms. Keaton or her books. I don’t put much social value on Hollywood anyway. But for me, I have been on the most poverty-stricken reservations in the USA, and to see how we mistreat Indigenous people, like in Puerto Rico and Pine Ridge, SD, it’s an atrocity in full color. There is no excuse for homelessness and poverty and neglect in 2017.  There really is no excuse. L/T

***WHAT?? Slavery in 2017 –> Sky TV’s Adele Robinson followed a non-profit group as they executed a predawn rescue of a Polish family that had been enslaved by human traffickers in the Midlands, UK. 

First Nations Leaders Mourn Passing of Tragically Hip Frontman Gord Downie | RED POWER MEDIA

“I honour the life and work of Gord Downie, a dedicated and accomplished artist who used his profile to advance reconciliation and build support for First Nations peoples,” Bellegarde said Wednesday in a statement.

READ: First Nations Leaders Mourn Passing of Tragically Hip Frontman Gord Downie | RED POWER MEDIA

 

If there is a heaven, Gord is already there.

Our earlier post: HERE

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]