Let’s Make 2017 the Year of Being Kind | How to Write in the Age of Trump | #NotNormal | Mitakuye Oyasin

“Whoa.” …only 25 percent of Americans believe we’re living in a kind society, according to a poll by Kindness […]

Source: Let’s Make 2017 the Year of Being Kind

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Overnight, America — its past, present, and future — had become unreal….

For me, the symptom of that experience is a constant traumatic alertness, a terrible,  exhausting need to pay attention to everything and everybody and not succumb to the temptation of comforting interpretation.   Trauma makes everything abnormal, but the upside is that living with and in a mind where nothing appears normal or stable is the best antidote to normalization.screen_shot_2017-01-18_at_6-22-45_pm

There is no choice, in other words, other than owning a split mind that would probe and test America, all of its parts, all of its lies, all of us. “Reality” has finally earned its quotation marks. This is a consequence of an unimaginable catastrophe, to be sure, but a good writer should never let a good catastrophe go to waste. The necessary thing to do is to transform shock into a high alertness that prevents anything from being taken for granted — to confront fear and to love the way it makes everything appear strange.

READ: Stop Making Sense, or How to Write in the Age of Trump | Village Voice

 

By LT

Back in December I lost Oglala relative Ellowyn Locke, age 68.  Lost in the way that I can’t go visit her in Porcupine on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota or call her on the phone.  I can only visit her in dreams.  I can reread her letters.  Her artist brother Merle told me I can bring a red rose to her grave then I will feel better.

I am not doing well at all, grieving the most important friend I ever had.

Yes, I have memories, her teaching me, teasing me, photos and all the stories. I also have many gifts she made me.  My ONE SMALL SACRIFICE book cover has the family beadwork Ellowyn sewed on the doll she gifted me.

Years ago, I bought a hand bag that had Hopi dancers on a bright turquoise fabric to give to Ellowyn.  I made the mistake of taking the purse when we went to visit Sara Thunder Hawk.  Of course Sara really admired the purse and I knew I should give it to her, but I already planned to give to Ellowyn. I felt so horrible I couldn’t give it to Sara.  I had brought gifts for Sara but I knew that purse was what she wanted.  I prayed and prayed Sara would forgive me!  That was my learning experience.  Imagine the most precious thing you own – like a ring.  Could you give it up?  If a Lakota elder likes it, you give it to them.  That is what we do… Material objects are never as important as giving.  I could never refuse a gift either, like when Ellowyn gave me moccasins, even though they were too big.  It would hurt her deeply if I refused them.  I learned to bring a load of gifts every time I went to see my relatives and my car would be full when I left to go back home.

In 2015, I couldn’t reach her by phone and panicked. Ellowyn had been taken to a rehab facility after breaking her ankle.  By 2016, she was the longest living dialysis patient on their rez – over 10 long years.  I have photos of her on dialysis in Wounded Knee from an earlier trip.  My relative had the will to live but her body was getting weak.  She said repeatedly she would accept a new kidney if the donor was living but that wasn’t likely to happen.  That call never came.

On the phone in 2016, I told her I was not ready for her to die. That was selfish of me, I know.  I felt bad when I said it.  Like a big sister, she talked to me about all the fun we had… all the years and stories.. so she comforted me!

Here’s a story I wrote about her life in 2007… here

I call Ellowyn Strong Walking Woman, Winyan Washaka Mani.  She is very strong and cares deeply for her family, her relatives and her tribe.

Ellowyn taught me the most important thing I know, which is Mitakuye Oyasin, which translates to we are all related, and relatives.

Pilamaye, thank you for letting me speak about family. I thank my relative Ellowyn for naming me and for making me her relative.

What do we do now? #Election2016

 

By LT 

(White Lash video: what DO we tell our kids and grandkids? The truth, all of it…)

I’m sure there are plenty of people gloating, in shock, or some even panicking, over the electoral vote for The Donald, as if this one particular presidency is going to make our life better, worse and/or different.  I’m sure there are still optimists out there who think that this guy will change everything and rapidly. Or that Trump is the first common man’s president, since he’s a non-politician and considered an outspoken revolutionary.

When I was editor of Ojibwe Akiing, I recall when Jesse Ventura (left photo) was that guy too.  He was elected governor of Minnesota (1999-2003) and he said (coming from a background of no political experience) that he would not meet with special interests. That was when the tribes in Minnesota requested to meet with him. This knucklehead was unaware of the federal treaties and the government-to-government relationship with tribes.  In Minnesota, there are seven Anishinaabe (Chippewa, Ojibwe) reservations and four Dakota (Sioux) communities.  Lackluster in his governance and low on experience, Ventura didn’t last long in the political arena.  [He told tribes he had used hand grenades to catch fish. Just toss the grenade into a lake and BOOM! Yup, true story.]

We’d assume the learning curve for any non-politician to take office is pretty steep.  What could possibly happen? or go wrong? or nothing happens – like with Obama who was blocked by Congress at every turn?

Other journalists and I are making a list of what is going to affect tribes in the near future with The Donald Presidency.  (Like the Supreme Court Justice appointment.) Personally I don’t think the Standing Rock protectors are safe, the Dakota Access PipeLine (hashtag #NoDAPL) will proceed quickly and some protectors could actually be murdered, a bloody sacrifice for Big Oil interests. Trump invested in pipelines.

I watched the protests last night on TV.  I applaud them but will it work?

My husband is a mix of African American and Native American.  He has lived through many presidents and has lived a very different experience than me, one that is hard for me to fathom.  Frisked for being black? The Danger of DWB: Driving while Black? Hands Up: Don’t Shoot Me (or us)??

Can you for one minute imagine that?

This is real life in America.  Not wanting to take a leisurely drive to hill-towns near us because he could be a target and shot in cold blood by some random rifle-carrying racist?  Don’t take unnecessary risks?  This is his thinking, yet I can only imagine what it’s been like for him; I cannot live his experience in his skin but I am living it my own way.

My husband could be killed. That has been and will continue to be my fear and my reality and more so, due to The Donald presidency.

What I fear most with the Donald President is an increase in racial violence and police killings of non-white Americans.  It’s a real fear, one that was witnessed in the campaign rallies when non-whites were targets, and Trump eagerly encouraged it. It’s hard to tell what “the real Donald is”, as in real life. Was his campaign all “show”? It felt poisonous. Is he dangerous and a psychopath?

I am afraid of Trump and many many other people are, too.

Wishing this would end won’t help us now.  I cannot stop feeling that it’s our reality now.

I ask for your prayers that we rise up united and reject racism at its foundation and core and not be the racist misogynist sexist country that Trump is/was/or will be encouraging.

Thank you for reading this blog! Peace and Love UNITED…

 

 

trumpwarrenpocahontas

 

***Wikipedia:  Trump’s populist[9][10] positions in opposition to illegal immigration and various free trade agreements, such as his opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership,[11][12][13][14] have earned him support especially among white[15] blue-collar voters and voters without college degrees.[16][17] Many of his remarks have been controversial and have helped his campaign garner extensive coverage by the mainstream media, trending topics, and social media.[18][19]

QUOTE:

  • “From the start, Trump targeted the (mostly) white working class, which happens to be 40 percent of the country. And he’s done it not just with issues, but with how he talks — the ball-busting, the “bragging,” the over-the-top promises…  But it speaks volumes — whole encyclopedias — about the ignorance of our political and media elites that they’re only now realizing that much of what Trump’s been doing is just busting balls.  It’s a blue-collar ritual, with clear rules — overtly insulting, sure, but with infinite subtleties. It can be a test of manliness, a sign of respect, a way of bonding and much more.  Why Trump Wins

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Ventura in 2016

✓ Ventura endorsed Gary Johnson for the 2016 presidential general election.[6]

Read about the Ventura legacy:

Before Trump, there was Jesse Ventura — and an improbable victory …

MPR: The political legacy of Jesse Ventura

***Ventura’s campaign was unexpectedly successful, with him narrowly defeating both the Democratic and Republican candidates. The highest elected official to ever win an election on a Reform Party ticket, Ventura left the Reform Party a year after taking office amid internal fights for control over the party. [WIKI*]

Survivor | Hero | Umran’s brother | you/me/we

Former Indian school student remembers good, bad times

By CHRISTINA LIEFFRING SOURCE

GENOA, NEBRASKA — Sid Byrd, a former student at Genoa Indian Industrial School, opened his talk in August at the annual school reunion with a story about his name.  “My middle named used to be Oliver, but I changed it to Howard because I got sick and tired of initialing S.O.B,” he said.

The 97-year-old (or 97 winters, as his tribe says) is a gifted storyteller who managed to slip in slivers of humor while recalling the hardships and discrimination he faced while attending the Indian school.  Byrd grew up in Porcupine, South Dakota, as a member of the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe. In 1927, Byrd was sent to the Genoa Indian School to receive a Western education. His biggest struggle as a child was learning to speak English. Byrd, who grew up speaking Lakota, said English had many sounds that did not exist in his native language. And children were harshly punished for speaking their own language.

Byrd recalled a story of a little boy who was crying one night while others were sleeping and began to pray in his native tongue. He was reported and punished by being sent to “the hole.”

“God hears all prayers, whatever language,” the boy told Byrd. “Was it wrong for me to pray?”

KEEP READING

Standing Rock Tribal Nation needs your HELP with their big standoff with Big Oil #NoDAPL:

On HEROES:

According to Joseph Campbell, the hero emerges from humble beginnings to undertake a journey fraught with trials and suffering.  He or she survives those ordeals and returns to the community bearing a gift — a “boon,” as Campbell called it — in the form of a message from which people can learn and benefit.  So, properly, the hero is an exceptional person who gives his life over to a purpose larger than himself and for the benefit of others. Campbell had often lamented our failure as human beings “to admit within ourselves the carnivorous, lecherous fever” that seems endemic to our species. “By overcoming the dark passions,” he told Moyers, “the hero symbolizes our ability to control the irrational savage within us.” READ

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By Lara Trace

I’m back (blazing a bright new writing path I hope). A big birthday happens for me in a few days. I have a 9-9 birthday. This year is 9-9-9.  That can mean an end or completion. At this six decade milestone, I find myself more excited to plan the next 30+ years… There is more… more adventure, more everything.  Sid Byrd the survivor is my inspiration – 97 and still telling stories!

As this presidential campaign makes abundantly clear, no hero is going to swoop in to save us. We have to be our own heroes.

How you/me/we SEE the world and VISION the future, that matters most.

These massive overt and covert military defeats prompted one former CIA acting director to campaign for the killing of Russians and Iranians in Syria during an interview in the mainstream media. (Really?)

War is a global industry. As Americans, we don’t have bombs hitting our house and all these world conflicts are massively confusing and frightening. There are powerful people (very few) making decisions we don’t agree with or understand, obviously.

Then this happened. This image (below) of Umran, a little Syrian child, age 5, gripped the world. It shook us awake.  We ask (and ask and ask), why is any war or this war necessary?  What is the religious or political dogma behind it?  Why are there so many militarists at war?  Does war bring peace or more war?  Who benefits from any war?    Who are all these Arms Dealers and weapons manufacturers*?  [The arms industry is one of the most profitable and powerful industries in the world.] Who are the private contractors?  Who decides who drops the bombs?  Who wants What?  Is this war in Syria about oil (again) or seizing land or just another tribal conflict you/me/we can’t understand?  Who knows the truth?  Why and how did the US evolve in to this righteous world bully?  Who today is better at being the conqueror: Russia, China or America? Or are we seeing another illusion (again) and is something bigger manipulating us like pawns and puppets?

Does this small child understand the powers-that-be who bombed his village, his family and killed his brother?

Umran’s brother Ali, age 10, died from his injuries on August 20.

What I’ve learned from many elders is we are all related, all human. There will always be disagreements, feuds, conflicts.  People create reasons, dogma, and rationale to fight and make war games on each other.  We can also disarm.  We can also negotiate.  People can always choose to negotiate, to unite, to stand down, and to not kill. (People must unite.)

How in the world? MAKE PEACE in your own family, in your own corner of the planet, in your own community, in your own heart!

If you/me/we don’t, many more children will be harmed and killed.

US Has Killed More Than 20 Million In 37 Nations Since WWII *Weapons manufacturing is a $400 billion dollar industry. 6 of the 9 most powerful weapons companies are located in the U.S

READ

In a recent speech by the Pope at the Vatican, he denounced the leaders of the war/weapons industry of being greedy tyrants, profiting from other people’s deaths:

“This is why some people don’t want peace: they make more money from war, although wars make money but lose lives, health, education. The devil enters through our wallets.”

Keep an OPEN MIND!

Ask yourself: Who makes the money?

 

{p.s. Hope you like the new blog design. It still needs tweaks…xoxox}

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“When You Dial 911 and Wall Street Answers”: How Private Equity Profits off Our Daily Lives | Democracy Now!

When you woke up this morning, chances are your morning routine was touched in some way by a private equity firm.  From the water you drink to the roads you drive to work, to the morning newspaper you read, Wall Street firms are playing an increasingly influential role in daily life.  So says a compelling new article in The New York Times, “This Is Your Life, Brought to You by Private Equity.” For more, we speak with New York Times reporter Danielle Ivory, one of the contributors to the series as well as co-author of the recent article “When You Dial 911 and Wall Street Answers.”

Source: “When You Dial 911 and Wall Street Answers”: How Private Equity Profits off Our Daily Lives | Democracy Now!

Required Reading: How cultural appropriation is hurting indigenous artists

Janet Rogers says cultural appropriation is when one person from one culture, takes culturally distinct items, aesthetics, spiritual practices or artwork from another culture and mimics it. (Blair Russell)

How cultural appropriation is hurting indigenous artists:

Q: How is it harmful to Indigenous art and artists?

A: It really is our number one source of private direct revenue into our communities, so it’s got a huge economic impact. From a cultural side, it’s a written language here to us on the coast. A lot of people don’t understand that when they are appropriating our artwork that our history, our culture and even our laws are codified into this, so that when you take it and you manipulate it and you bastardise it and you put it out there as your own without understanding the meaning, you’re doing significant damage.

Source: Required Reading

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‘My ancestor the Indian Princess’ – Vita Brevis

 

[1] Recognition in a tribe is not always a black or white issue and there are exceptions to this rule, such as instances where one is raised in the culture or on a reservation but does not have other requirements for membership such as a blood-quantum requirement. This statement is not speaking to those circumstances.

Interesting post, but the info about the DNA test is misleading. Due to the fact that not every child inherits every gene from his parents, etc., it is quite possible for a sibling or a first cousin to have Native American (or any other) DNA markers when another one does not. The fact that you do not have a particular type of DNA does not mean that you do not have an ancestor with that heritage; it simply means that in the gene lottery, you did not get those particular genes from great-grandma, or whoever it was who had that ancestry. That is why old fashioned genealogical research with documents and cluster DNA testing of several siblings or other relatives is more helpful for determining your actual heritage.

Source: ‘My ancestor the Indian Princess’ – Vita Brevis

ALTERNATIVE TO THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY

Still relevant TODAY

lara trace hentz

J. Glenn Evans reads a story J. Glenn Evans reads a story (Photo credit: javacolleen)

By J. Glenn Evans

Below is the address I made at the University of Washington the 30th of January 2013 before a meeting of the Socialist Alternative Party.  It reflects my thoughts on where we are today and what we must do to redeem the dream of a true democracy that our founding fathers set out to create for us.  I strongly feel that more of our citizens must run for public office and replace the corporate toadies that have come to rule us.  Power lies within the political offices to make the necessary changes.  Our neglect to monitor the actions of our elected representatives and demand less secrecy is why we have lost our government.  We must began to reclaim our government starting at the local scene with city councils, school boards, county and state offices.

A group of

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‘I Am Not an Incident. I’m a Little Girl’: Adoptees Share Art and Pain | Broadly

While my well meaning, adoptive family gave me as much affection as they could muster, their attempts often felt like taping a bandaid over a bullet hole.

Source: ‘I Am Not an Incident. I’m a Little Girl’: Adoptees Share Art and Pain | Broadly

Precious Little Justice for Hyun-su

Hyun-su’s death was completely preventable because he should never have been placed with these people.

elle cuardaigh

killer

The one, single decent thing Brian O’Callaghan has done in the past two years was to admit to killing “Madoc”, the child he and his wife bought from Korea.

“Former NSA official sentenced to 12 years in death of adopted son”

Did I say bought? I meant adopted. I get those words mixed up because there is little difference between the two, but also because 3-year-old Hyun-su was treated like a defective puppy by his owners. And international adoptees are very much like puppies to the adoption industry.

If Hyun-su was physically harmed over the course of three months or if it really was a one-time, unplanned assault, O’Callaghan’s actions both before and after cannot be described as anything other than premeditatively abusive.

Deliberately hiding his PTSD  – going so far as playing with his prescribed meds in order to pass drug screening – was just the first offense. That he would even consider…

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Violence is just one part of childhood trauma. So why are we focusing so much on childhood violence? « ACEs Too High

“Although violence can beget violence, it’s hardly the only cause of violence,” says Dr. Vincent Felitti, co-principal investigator of the CDC-Kaiser Permanente Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACE Study), groundbreaking epidemiological research that showed a direct link between 10 types of childhood trauma and the adult onset of chronic disease, mental illness, violence and being a victim of violence, among many other consequences.

“Basically there’s lots of other ways,” he says. “Humiliating people. Isolating people. Verbally provoking them. All of those have potential for producing violence in response.”

In addition, violence can provoke nonviolent behavior that can be just as damaging as violence. In other words, childhood trauma does not equal only violence.

Source: Violence is just one part of childhood trauma. So why are we focusing so much on childhood violence? « ACEs Too High

Finding Dory As An Adoption Story

The adoption theme in movies creates much needed discussion.

Red Thread Broken

In this mid-July heat, one of the most classic summer activities is going to the dark, highly air-conditioned movie theater to sit down and relax for a while. I went to see the much anticipated “Finding Dory” a few weeks ago, and, as usual, Pixar delivered a complex and highly emotional movie. I was surprised, however, by the deep connection I felt to Dory in our adoption stories and longing to find our first families.

Most remember Dory as the talkative, optimistic, memory-impaired companion from Finding Nemo, but in this film viewers get much more backstory on Dory and how she became separated from her family. Like many adoptees, Dory’s beginning is marked by a series of seemingly unanswerable questions.

A poignant line that stuck with me was when Dory experienced one of her first flashbacks and expressed her love and the loss of her parents. She says, “All I know…

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Systemic Sexism In Canada Could Derail National Inquiry

we all deserve better

RED POWER MEDIA

This article was originally published by: http://www.telesurtv.net.

By: Dr. Pamela D. Palmater / teleSUR, Published 6 July 2016

The national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls may be derailed if Trudeau doesn’t tackle institutionalized discrimination.

After former Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s 10-year war against First Nations, the environment, democracy and basic human rights; an overwhelming number of Canadians embraced political change and elected a Liberal government headed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Literally overnight, the language, symbolism and public messaging from the federal government changed. Trudeau announced that Canada would work cooperatively with First Nations on a “Nation to Nation” basis and, as part of this new relationship, that he would seek to undo some of the harm done by the Harper regime. To this end, he committed to review all the legislation imposed on First Nations during the last decade and seek to repeal any which…

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Retired UWSP professor talks about dark history of Native American treatment – The Portage County Gazette

Over the years, Wrone said he’s read more than 40 history books used in schools, and not one mentions the atrocities against Native Americans. “Once in a while they’d give a sentence on Cherokee removal, but never really explained what happened. So I went to the original sources, and there we found the reality,” he said. Wrone said it is important for us to remember these deeds to ensure they don’t happen again. “It is important for us to remember this is a part of our heritage as Americans and that we have this (in our history). It’s not just one institution, it was many institutions involved here – including religious, civilian and military – and that we have that element in us. We have to know it exists in order to define and prepare ourselves better for the future. We have to be honest,” he said.

Source: Retired UWSP professor talks about dark history of Native American treatment – The Portage County Gazette