Read more about Oglala Lakota here (top photo)
Here’s a story I wrote about Ellowyn’s life in 2007 and the road blocks to the rez… here
The stories of three women who were abandoned by their parents during China’s one-child policy.
With a major gift of 91 works of Native American art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art will now include indigenous art in its galleries on American art.
Significantly, the museum states that the art will be displayed in the American Wing, as previously indigenous works from the United States were sequestered in the Art of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas galleries.
Sergei Kechimov, appointed guardian of a holy lake by his community, says the indigenous way of life is under threat…
VANCOUVER – On April 23, Vancouver will be the starting point for the pan-Canadian tour of Indigenous short films: “Wapikoni, Cinema on Wheels.” To celebrate this new adventure, Wapikoni Mobile and the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) are thrilled to present a special selection of 13 films made by young Indigenous filmmakers who have participated in Wapikoni’s filmmaking workshops. The choice of these works, with their unique stories, is aimed at discovering dynamic Indigenous voices and incredible talents coming straight from the communities.
The launch will take place on Sunday, April 23, at 4:30 p.m. at Vancouver’s Vancity Theatre.
Members of our teams will be on site to answer your questions and our projection caravan will also be there.
“Through the project “Wapikoni from Coast to Coast: Building Bridges and Reconciliation through Media Arts,” young Indigenous Canadians will have the opportunity to be heard and to exchange ideas. The audiovisual and musical creative workshops will give young creators the chance to express themselves, and the resulting works will be presented in several communities across the country. Let’s take advantage of the 150th anniversary of Confederation to have a positive dialogue and to strengthen relations between us all,” said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage.
From April to November, a caravan equipped with exterior projection equipment and staffed by two facilitators will travel west to east, covering 10 Canadian provinces and stopping in 100 Indigenous communities and 50 cities. The screenings will be in English, French and Indigenous languages.
Reconnecting Trafficked Children with Their Families. Next Generation Nepal rebuilds family connections torn apart by child trafficking and helps rural communities become stronger, healthier places to raise their children.
NGN Turns 10: A Decade of Rescuing and Reunifying Trafficked Children with their Families
|With your help, we have brought over 500 children home, raised awareness and started an initiative to stop trafficking before it begins.
It has been 12 years since I first arrived in Nepal for what I thought would be a small blip in my story. Little did I know that I was about to embark down a path that would change the entire trajectory of my life in ways I couldn’t imagine.
This journey began in 2004 when I volunteered at Little Princes Children’s Home on the outskirts of Kathmandu and met a group of boys and girls who would change my life forever. I’d been led to believe that these kids were orphans, which invoked heartfelt empathy and a strong desire for me to bring them joy in their young lives. I soon learned the truth—they had mothers and fathers, siblings and communities where they once had a full and happy life which they had been taken from. I was shocked to know these kids had been trafficked. It was because of this realization that I made a promise to do whatever possible to bring them and as many others back home. Out of that promise the seed that would grow into Next Generation Nepal was planted.
It took two years of commitment and hard work, but, in 2006, NGN was finally able to open the doors of its official office in Nepal and rescue the Little Princes. Soon after, I set off to the remote district of Humla in search of their families. This was the first rescue and reunification that NGN did.
Over the last 10 years, NGN has continued to grow. Today we work in 31 districts and have helped reconnect over 500 children with their families! In addition to our reintegration work, NGN is now considered an expert on ethical volunteering in Nepal, and our Community Anti-Trafficking (CAT) project works to prevent children from being trafficked in the first place.
NGN has persevered through a civil war, earthquakes and constant political unrest, but we have not let anything stand in our way in accomplishing our mission. Our teams continue to rescue, care and search in the remotest parts of Nepal for the families of these children so that we can bring them home.
NGN is celebrating the joy of 10 years of rescuing and reunifying trafficked children as well as broadening NGN’s reach into bringing awareness to families and communities of the causes of trafficking and stopping it before it begins.
There are still thousands of children who have been displaced from their families and living in abusive conditions for the financial gain of their captors. Please help us to begin this next 10 years by supporting NGN’s work so we can not only bring hundreds more children home, but to stop child trafficking at its core.
Conor Grennan (author)
MORE: After the Great Nepal Earthquake
April 25, 2016
I drove to the NGN transit home where I was overjoyed to find 17 children playing games in a make-shift tent of tarpaulins, and being cared for by our staff and —believe it or not— the Little Princes! Yes, the now young adults whom NGN Founder Conor Grennan had made famous as children in his book, “Little Princes,” had kept their promise that in the event of an earthquake they would protect the younger children. In addition to this we had a four-week supply of food, water and medicines, so even if the roads and airport were shut off, we could all still survive.
Within the heavily cracked walls of a room at the Central Child Welfare Board, I joined the Government and other NGOs to plan what our response would be for affected children. We knew that the situation in Kathmandu was not as bad as the rural areas. But we also knew that the traffickers were already prowling the villages looking for children to remove them from their frightened parents and place them in profit-making children’s homes. To make matters worse, several children’s homes were already announcing hundreds of new places for children to come to Kathmandu. It was like the previous decade’s civil war all over again—families would be torn apart by hollow promises of safety and education, only to be used as fundraising tools by organizations wishing to profit from the millions of dollars of disaster aid money flowing into the country. All these unscrupulous organizations needed to succeed in their plans were children to be falsely presented as “earthquake orphans.” We had to act fast.
…A child-friendly space is a basically a large tent that acts as a safe space for children after a disaster. In the NGN child-friendly spaces, the children were offered structured play and learning activities, psycho-social counseling and locally-prepared nutritious meals. This gave them the opportunity to regain a sense of normality in their lives, and allowed their parents some much-needed respite. But our child-friendly spaces were more than this—they also built trust with the local community, which, in time, allowed NGN to start raising awareness within the community of the dangers of child trafficking and the importance of family preservation.
By July we had established 11 child-friendly spaces in hard-hit villages where we had assessed there was a high risk of trafficking. We had also supported the Nepal Police to establish two transport check posts where we could intercept buses to search for children who might be being trafficked to Kathmandu. When we found unaccompanied children on the buses, we rescued them, and the local government returned them to their families.
By now we were also able to roll out our awareness-raising campaigns. These included a traveling acting troupe that performed a street drama about child traffickers pretending to be representatives of NGOs to lure vulnerable children to the city; several passionate street rallies led by school children demanding an “end to child trafficking”; leaflets and posters; competitions and speeches; and a radio jingle to reach the most remote families whom we could not access by road or foot.
An International Adoption Clouded in Deception
February 19th, 2012
February 20, 2012: Imagine a complete stranger telling you that your adopted daughter, who you always believed was an orphan, was actually not. “Surreal and heart wrenching” is how Ana would describe it.
|Names have been changed in the story to protect the privacy of those involved.
In early 2004, a Spanish woman named Ana wanted to adopt a Nepalese child. Nepal was still in an armed conflict and she was told that many children were losing their parents. She arranged a meeting with a representative at the Consulate of Nepal in Spain to find out more information. Ana was given the contact information for an orphanage in Nepal and started the complex process necessary to adopt a child.
After about one year, the adoption became official and Ana, overcome with joy, traveled to the orphanage in Kathmandu to meet her new daughter and bring her home to Spain. The orphanage had arranged for Ana to adopt Sunitha, a six-year-old girl with a personality that enchanted Ana from the beginning. As months passed, Sunitha quickly learned Spanish and slowly began assimilating to Spanish culture. “Sunitha was becoming a Spaniard, but I also wanted her to be aware of her Nepalese heritage. I did not want Sunitha to forget her origins,” said Ana…
According to The U.S. State Department website, the United States “continues to strongly recommend that prospective adoptive parents refrain from adopting children from Nepal due to grave concerns about the reliability of Nepal’s adoption system and credible reports that children have been stolen from birth parents, who did not intend to irrevocably relinquish parental rights as required by INA 101(b)(1)(F). We also strongly urge adoption service providers not to accept new applications for adoption from Nepal.” To read more about the US State Department’s guidelines on adoptions from Nepal click here.
Last year: Children left devastated by the earthquake in Nepal in 2015 were preyed upon by slave traders… Wealthy British families are buying children left devastated by last year’s earthquake in Nepal to work as domestic slaves. The children – who are as young as 10 – are being sold for as little as £5,250 (Rs 500,000, $7,468) by black market gangs operating in India’s Punjab region, according to an investigation by The Sun. I published about Nepal here.
Here is another adoption trafficking victim here.
Just remember conflict areas like Syria are ripe for human trafficking.
‘We are born of this earth, and this earth is ours. Niyamgiri belongs to us.’— Laksa Majhi
The Niyamgiri hill range in Odisha state, eastern India, is home to the Dongria Kondh tribe. Niyamgiri is an area of densely forested hills, deep gorges and cascading streams. To be a Dongria Kondh is to farm the hills’ fertile slopes, harvest their produce, and worship the mountain god Niyam Raja and the hills he presides over, including the 4,000 metre Mountain of the Law, Niyam Dongar.
Yet for a decade, the 8,000-plus Dongria Kondh lived under the threat of mining by Vedanta Resources, which hoped to extract the estimated $2billion-worth of bauxite that lies under the surface of the hills.
The company planned to create an open-cast mine that would have violated Niyam Dongar, disrupted its rivers and spelt the end of the Dongria Kondh as a distinct people.
The Dongria Kondh of India’s Niyamgiri Hills have won a heroic victory against mining giant Vedanta Resources to save their sacred hills. The Supreme Court told Vedanta in 2013 that the Dongria must decide whether to allow mining on the Mountain of the Law. The Dongria answered with an unequivocal ‘No’.
— Woody Woodpecker (@JonathanWood) February 22, 2017
The recent unearthing of a Native American City beneath the modern metropolis of Miami was the initial inspiration for filmmaker and video artist Dara Friedman’s latest work, Mother Drum. In the summer of 2015, Friedman travelled to powwows on the Swinomish Reservation in Washington, the Coeur d’Alene Reservation in Idaho, and Crow Agency Reservation in Montana, where she met with Native American Fancy dancers and drummers. Instead of presenting a straightforward documentation of these social gatherings, Friedman filmed the dancers and drummers performing solely for her camera, apart from the main events. The resulting footage is a poetic, evocative meditation on the power of movement, music, and ceremony. The three-channel video, just over 14 minutes, will be on view at Kayne Griffin Corcoran starting this Friday.
A performance featuring one of the dancers from the film will take place during the opening reception at 7:45pm.
When: Opens Friday, March 31, 6–8pm
Where: Kayne Griffin Corcoran (1201 South La Brea Avenue, Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles)
More info here.
Frank Waln, a Lakota hip-hop artist from He Dog…
Your history books (lies)
Your holidays (lies)
Thanksgiving lies and Columbus Day
Tell me why I know more than the teacher
Tell me why I know more than the preacher
Tell me why you think the red man is red
Stained with the blood from the land you bled
Tell me why you think the red man is dead
At different national and international venues, Lakota leader Dave Archambault Jr. has stated that the Lakota view the area near the potential construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline as both a “sacred place” and a “burial site,” or as both a place set aside from human presence and a place of human reverence.
Lakota scholar Vine Deloria Jr. described the “sacred stones” in North Dakota in his book “The World We Used to Live In” as having the ability of “forewarning of events to come.”
Deloria described how Lakota religious leaders went to these stones in the early morning to read their messages. Deloria shared the experiences of an Episcopal minister from 1919.
“A rock of this kind was formerly on Medicine Hill near Cannon Ball Sub-station…. Old Indians came to me… and said that the lightning would strike someone in camp that day, for a picture (wowapi) on this holy rock indicated such an event…. And the lightning did strike a tent in camp and nearly killed a woman…. I have known several similar things, equally foretelling events to come, I can not account for it.”
Deloria explained that it was “birds, directed by the spirit of the place, [that] do the actual sketching of the pictures.” The Lakota named this area Ínyanwakagapi for the large stones that served as oracles for their people. The Americans renamed it Cannonball.
“The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.” —Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting
I had heard and read of this mind virus years ago:
We did not think of the great open plains, the beautiful rolling hills, and the winding streams with tangled growth as “wild.” Only to the White man was nature a “wilderness” and only to him was the land infested by “wild” animals and “savage” people. To us it was tame. Earth was bountiful and we were surrounded with the blessings of the Great Mystery. Not until the hairy man from the east came and with brutal frenzy heaped injustices upon us and the families we loved was it “wild” for us.
~ Luther Standing Bear, Land of the Spotted Eagle6
Wetiko is an Algonquin word for a cannibalistic spirit that is driven by greed, excess, and selfish consumption (in Ojibwa it is windigo, wintiko in Powhatan). It deludes its host into believing that cannibalizing the life-force of others (others in the broad sense, including animals and other forms of Gaian life) is a logical and morally upright way to live. (Think of the political climate in the USA)
In his now classic book Columbus and Other Cannibals, Native American historian Jack D. Forbes describes how there was a commonly-held belief among many Indigenous communities that the European colonialists were so chronically and uniformly infected with wetiko that it must be a defining characteristic of the culture from which they came. Examining the history of these cultures, Forbes laments, “Tragically, the history of the world for the past 2,000 years is, in great part, the story of the epidemiology of the wetiko disease.”7
“Wetiko,” a Native American word, simply means “a diabolically wicked person or spirit who terrorizes others by means of evil acts.”
Dispelling Wetiko HERE
[You may have noticed this but the MIX emag/blog has closed its doors. We had a good run for three years, but with too many other pressing commitments, it was time to let that blog go… xox to all who read it… Trace]
Editorial – “Go Fighting Hamsters!” Gary Fife, Radio Communications Specialist
Editor’s Note: The following column contains strong language.
OKMULGEE, Okla.— Ever notice the phrase “federally recognized tribes” when it comes to identifying who is and who isn’t an Indian. If your tribe is not on the list, published by the BIA— (some say ‘Boss Indians Around’) in the Federal Register, then it could mean the differences between receiving services or not, funding or not, having a CDIB (Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood) card or even entering art shows.
Well, the BIA finally got around to publishing that list, like they’re supposed to according to law. 567. That’s the number of tribes having this political (political, not racial) relationship with the U.S. government. Now, if you are wondering where all these tribes are, a good many of them are Alaska Native Villages, recognized as local units of government—tribes. From the Absentee Shawnee of Oklahoma, to the Yupiit of Andreafski in Alaska, to the Zuni Tribe of New Mexico, we’re all good Indians, right?
Here’s what the feds said: “This notice publishes the current list of 567 tribal entities recognized and eligible for funding and services from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) by virtue of their status as Indian Tribes. The list is updated from the notice published on May 4, 2016 (81 FR 26826).” And…if just have to see for yourself:
Publication Date: 01/17/2017
Agencies: Bureau of Indian Affairs
Document Type: Notice
Document Citation: 82 FR 4915
Page: 4915-4920 (6 pages)
Agency/Docket Number: 178A2100DD/AAKC001030/A0A501010.999900253G (that’s a long one, huh?)
Document Number: 2017-00912
I guess if your tribe ain’t on it, you’re outta luck.
The emotional battle of an Indian child’s parental custody like Baby Veronica won’t be repeated, according to national news sources. Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court turned down an effort to hear a case involving a Native American girl who was ordered removed from a California foster home and reunited with relatives in Utah. “Lexi,” who is part Choctaw, was 6-years-old when she was taken from her foster home near Los Angeles under terms of the Indian Child Welfare Act.
From the “I Can’t Believe This Happened” category:
The Historical Society of Hanna’s Town, Pennsylvania actors performed a public execution re-enactment of the hanging of Mamachtaga to an enthusiastic crowd.
The Indian news outlet reported for the first time in the society’s history, the celebration coordinators chose to re-enact a public hanging, this time of Mamachtaga, a Delaware man convicted of murder in 1785. A video of the public hanging was posted on YouTube June 26, 2016. The video shows several children in the audience watching as men dressed in colonial dress hang a red-face painted ‘Mamachtaga.’ Several people, presumably re-enactors, shouted comments such as, “Dirty no good Indian deserves to be hung,” and “Murderers, that’s all that they are.”
Several people expressed outrage over the video in Facebook comments. “This is horrible,” commented one. “What is wrong with people? Letting their kids watch this s***! Nothing like family bigotry,” was also commented.
Many people have contacted both the Westmoreland County Historical Society and the volunteer group who participated in the re-enactment to let them know of their opposition to such depictions. ‘Indian Country Today’ says, “According to them, the issue of race did not enter into the re-enactment. Asked if the group would have done a similar performance if the criminal had been African American they said, ‘Yes.’ “Although the matter is under discussion, the committee doubted that the hanging would be included in next year’s Frontier Court Re-enactment Days celebrations.
Let’s hope not or what? The public hanging of Native men is still a spectator sport?
Let’s change the subject and mood.
Remember last year when I mentioned that a ritzy East Coast college was changing its mascot? “Lord Jeff” had been the mascot for Amherst College in Massachusetts. In the 1700s, he was the guy that suggested using smallpox infected blankets on the local Native people to get rid of them. The national mood to change sports team’s mascots motivated the school to make the change and several new ideas came to mind. The Amherst Facebook page reported in December a big list of names was submitted, and then pared down to about 30. One of them (and my favorite) was the ‘Hamsters.’
Could you imagine at some athletic competition when the team makes its appearance, it’s led by a squad of beautiful ‘Hamster-ette’ cheerleaders and they come out of a big HabiTrail plastic tube?
Nibble em’, nibble em’. Go Fighting Hamsters!
Tafvmpuce! Wild onion season’s not too far off! Ready for the dinners?
[Shortly after the posting of this article on Indian Country Today, the original video noted in this story was taken off of YouTube due to the public outcry. Also, Chief Chester L. Brooks of the Delaware Tribe of Indians located in Bartlesville, OK issued a strongly worded request for the video to be taken down, and the letter, which demanded immediate action from the Westmoreland County Historical Society of Pennsylvania to stop the reenactment, and expressed the tribe’s outrage that the historical society would go beyond the bounds of decency, also demanded an apology and that the removal of the video should be completed within ten days. READ THIS ENTIRE ARTICLE.]
Whether we like it or not, Saglutupiaġataq (“the compulsive liar” in Iñupiatun) is now president of the United States and Republicans control Congress. Federally recognized Alaska Native and American Indian tribes should brace for the worst, including the possibility that Congress may move to terminate federally recognized tribes.
Māori Portraits Offer a Window into New Zealand’s Colonial History @Auckartgal https://t.co/LJqxuf0sEA
— hyperallergic (@hyperallergic) February 13, 2017
Gottfried Lindauer’s portraits present a collective history of colonial New Zealand, capturing individual identities in a time of great social change and upheaval.
By Lara Trace Hentz
When I was editor of the Pequot Times in Connecticut, we had a visit from a Maori woman descended from Peter George. It was fascinating to meet her!
Here is a look at this interesting and devastating history…
This story map is about Peter George, an American Indian whaleman, citizen of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, and part of a whaling and seafaring dynasty that emerged from the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation in second half of the eighteenth century.
Peter was born in 1805, in the midst of social, political, and religious upheaval, and knew at an early age that there was little opportunity for the Pequots who remained on the tiny reservation in southeastern Connecticut. ,Like his father, uncle, and old brother, Peter went to New London and found work as a mariner. Peter’s seafaring career began by the time he was twenty-one years old and continued until he was nearly fifty. He was on eight known whaling voyages, bringing him to whaling grounds of the Falkland Islands, sometimes refered to as the ”Brazil Banks,” the south Atlantic, or “East Cape” of New Zealand, and the Pacific Ocean.
Between his voyages, Peter married twice, had children, built a house, and was involved in tribal affairs. Later in his life he was called “Captain” Peter George, an acknowledgement of a life spent at sea. Peter died at his home on the reservation in the summer of 1861 at the age of 56.
1805; Mashantucket, CT
In 1805, Polly Apes George, the wife of Peter George, gave birth to their second son, Peter. At the time of young Peter’s birth, several Pequot families had just finished their move to Brothertown, New York as part of a religious migration. Peter’s father (also Peter) and uncle, Benjamin George, who were considered among the “Cheifs and Councellors” of the Pequot Tribe, remained at Mashantucket with their families. Providing for their families was challenging as reservation lands continued to shrink. There were opportunities off the reservation and most Pequot men, including elder Peter and Benjamin, went to New London to find work as mariners.
1819; Old State House, Hartford, CT
After several Pequot leaders removed to Brothertown, the State of Connecticut appointed overseers began to manage the affairs of the tribe, as Indian people were widely viewed by whites as unable to do so. Though in practice earlier, the system was formalized in 1821. These men were required to manage the rent of tribal land, the accounting of provisons and other necessities allocated to tribal members, and to maintain a list of tribal member names. Problems with the white overseers at Mashantucket led to a string of petitions by members of the Pequot Tribe to remove corrupt and opportunistic men as their “guardians” and replace them with more honorable people.
1826; New London, CT – Courthouse
While his brother Peleg was away (possibly at sea), Peter was accused of an adulterous relationship with his brother’s wife, Lucretia. The complaint was brought by a member of one of the families renting Pequot land. A warrant was issued and Peter was arrested and brought before the local justice of the peace. Several in the Pequot communicty served as witnesses in the case and Peter was eventually found “Not Guilty in manner and Form as is alleged.” It is unclear what precipitated this false accusation, but many of the overseers and neighbors of the Pequot engaged in retaliatory activities following Pequot complaints to the General Assembly. In one instance, an outgoing overseer provided a list of people in the tribe and all members of the Goerge family were excluded.
1827; New London, CT Waterfrong
New London’s whaling fleet grew rapidly during the 1820’s and signing on board of a whaler meant good pay for a successful voyage. Peter was already considered a “seaman” by the time he departed for his first known whaling voyage in October 1827 aboard the ship Friends. He was about 5’7 1/2″ tall and identified by various customs officals as “dark,” “yellow,” and “Indian.” Working on a whaler was physically demanding. In port, preparation involved loading ballast and stocking the ship with supplies for the hunt as well as the food and water necessary for long periods of time at sea. At sea, men climbed rigging to raise and lower sails, maintaining and repairing sails, ropes, and deck areas. Although there is no record of Peter’s official position, we know from records that his brother was a cooper. Might Peter have also held this position?
The image above shows a scrimshawed sperm whale tooth, carved with image of the ship Friends. Script below sea reads: “Friends of New London Chaseing Whales.”
1832; “North Groton” / Ledyard
On May 2, 1832, Peter George married Lucy Fagins, an Eastern Pequot from North Stonington. On that same day he boarded the ship Palladium of New London, bound for the East Cape (New Zealand). This situation was a typical one for whaling wives and families as fathers, husbands, brothers and sons often left home for months and even years.
1831-1833; Off the Coast of New Zealand
Although we do not know exactly what Peter’s position was on the ship Palladium, we do know that whaling was dangerous and dirty work. Peter most likely joined the rest of the crew in small whaleboats like the model pictured. The crew would chase the whale and use a harpoon and killing lance to capture and eventually kill it. The whale would then be towed back to the ship, where it was “cut in” and “tried out.” The oil rentered from the whale was an importnant source of lighting in the 19th Century.
1832-1833; Off the Coast of New Zealand
This was Peter’s second voyage on the Palladium as it returned to the East Cape whaling grounds off the coast of New Zealand. Peter left New London this time with a familiar face, that of his cousin Solomon Apes. Only a few vessels had noted this particular destination prior to the Palladium visits. This time period coincided with increased European and American interaction with and settlement amongst the Maori tribes of New Zealand. By 1840, the Treaty of Waitangi (New Zealand’s founding document) had been crafted, which quickly resulted in escalating tension over land rights.
The year before the treaty was signed, Elisha Apes (Solomon’s brother), a crew member of the New London whaler Ann Maria, mutinied off the coast of New Zealand over the captain’s abuse of the ship’s boy. Eventually, an agreement was made and Apes put ashore at Port Otago. Soon after, he married a local Ngai Tahu woman and they had many children. Apes and his children were active in Maori land claims and some were well known sheep shearers and shore whalers. Most of Apes’ decendants remain in New Zealand to this day.
Apes never left New Zealand, but did his whaling relatives ever visit?
1833-1834; Off Shewville Road, Mashantucket, CT
Peter remained at Mashantucket for nearly two and a half years and was noted in a December 1833 tribal census — “age 28, part white.” During his stay, he planned to build a house, but for unknown reasons, he sold the timber intended for that purpose. Eventually, in early 1834, the tribal overseer commissioned a house to be built for Peter in the northwestern part of the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation.
1834; South Atlantic Ocean
In June 1834, Peter returned to sea – fittingly – aboard the ship Neptune of New London on a whaling voyage to the South Atlantic. Peter’s cousin, Elisha Apes, as well as Isaac Hazard (a Narragansett Indian) and Thomas Smith (a Mohegan Indian) were also aboard the nearly two-year voyage. Soon after his departure, a daughter, Lucy Ann George was born.
1839-1842; Galapagos Islands
By age 34, Peter was a seasoned whaleman having been on at least five whaling voyages. For eight years, he would only be on the land between voyages for a total of thirteen months. It is clear that the sea had become home. During this time, in October 1839, he joined the crew of the bark ship North America of New London along with George Cotrell (also Mashantucket Pequot), and John Uncas (a Mohegan). Headed to the Pacific Ocean, the voyage would last for two and a half years.
On this voyage was a young Yale graduate, Francis Allyn Olmsted – a passenger and observer- on his way to a warmer Pacific climate to relieve a chronic illness. Olmstead kept a journal on board that he later published in 1841 as “Incidents on a Whaling Voyage.”
Peter and his crewmates would have seen or participated in nearly everything that Olmsted recorded and illustrated, including the sea chanties Ho, Ho, and Up She Rises and Nancy Fanana. (To hear these songs, look for the two chanties on side bar, under Related Resources.)
1848-1852; Falkland Islands
On November 3, 1848, Peter George was among the crew of the ship Hudson with his nephew, Amos W. George, and Peter Babcock (Mashantucket Pequot), as it departed Mystic. Marine journals report that the Hudson was bound for the Falkland Islands on a whaling voyage. Though no crew list or logbook has been located for this voyage, other documents inform us of events that took place on board the vessel.
A little more than a year into the voyage, one of the crewmembers deserted the vessel, leaving behind all of his belongings. Subsequently, an auction of his possessions was conducted and a list created as “An Account of Articles Sold At Auction Belonging to J.M. Oat – Found After his Disertion, December 30th 1849.” The items purchased by Peter George were one duck frock and a dictionary; by Amos George, one pair duck pants, one pair of boots, one flint, and a lot of books and tracts; by Peter Babcock, one vest, one pair of duck pants, one flannel shirt, twenty four heads of tobacco and one bottle.
1849-1852; Puerto San Julian, Argentina
Later in the voyage, while at “Port Santa Cruz” (now Puerto San Julian, Santa Cruz Province, Argentina) with its “tender,” schooner Washington, the ship Hudson welcomed aboard for nearly a month, Benjamin F. Bourne. Bourne, who was a mate aboard the New Bedford schooner John Allyne earlier in 1849, had just escaped 97 days of captivity with the Indians of Patagonia. The accounts he shared with the crew of the Hudson soon made it into wider newspaper circulation around the Atlantic. His account was such a sensation that in 1853, he published a book about his experiences called The Giants of Patagonia.
This was Peter’s last confirmed voyage. He may have been on part of another voyage on the ship Kensington out of New Bedford, and his absence between May 1853 and January 1855, might suggest such a scenario. He was also on town expense in Groton for unknown reasons, so he may have taken ill after his return on the Hudson.
1856; Mashantucket, CT
In 1855, the Connecticut General Assembly appointed a committee to investigate the condition of the “Pequot Indians of Ledyard.” They reported that there were but thirteen tribal members, living in five houses dispersed across some 900 acres: mostly females – “some quite aged” while others “had chosen Negroes for companions.”
The committee reported that “it is not presumption to suppose, judging from the past, that they will soon become extinct” and recommended that some 700 acres of Mashantucket be surveyed, subdivided, and sold at public auction, with the proceeds going into a fund for tribal support. The remaining 179 acres would be designated as a “reservation for the use and benefit of Indians.” The General Assembly passed an act in June 1855, authorizing the land sale. Pequots, including “Capt. Peter George,” twice submitted a petition to the General Assembly protesting Connecticut’s illegal sale of tribal land.
1857; Courthouse, New London, CT
After the Pequot Land Sale, some tribal families were denied rights as citizens of Mashantucket and prevented from accessing tribal resources. Outraged, tribal members sued the overseer in April 1857 for the acknowledgement of their rights. Peter George, his sister Sally George Babcock, and her children were among the plantiffs. Following testimony in which they provided a genealogical history of their family, the New London Superior Court resolved the suit in their favor.
This was significant, as access to tribal resources mattered more than ever. Now in his 50s, Peter was aging, and after many years at sea, he had returned to the land. Living on the land and no longer earning a seaman’s lay must have been somewhat foreign to Peter. He was now cohabitating with another Pequot, Caroline Wheeler, and after the court case, began to recieve the benefits of tribal resources including access to cash for necessities, meat, potatoes, and dairy products in the winter, and seed corn, beans, and guano for fertilizer in the spring for planting. Clothing, supplies and shoes were also provided.
1861; Tribal Cemetery, Mashantucket, CT
At the outbreak of the Civil War in early 1861, many Pequots were still whaling in the Pacific Ocean. At home, Peter was sick. On Febrary 6th, a doctor went to the reservation “for attendance and medicine for Peter George.” In late May, the tribal overseer visited him. By August 4th, Peter died. He was 56 years old. Caroline’s daughter, Jane Wheeler, went “to Norwich after Coffin for Peter and notifying friends” of his death. Though no marked stone identifies his burial location, Peter was likely interred at the tribal burying ground known as “Peter’s Hill Cemetery.”
1913; Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History
In 1913, Yale Peabody Museum anthropologist, George Grant MacCurdy, visited the Pequots at Mashantucket. While there, he purchased from Jane Wheeler a whalebone handled knife. Who made this knife? Did Jane inherit the knife from her mother and Peter? Did it come from another Pequot whaleman? What other objects did Pequot whalemen like Peter leave behind?
Perhaps the whalebone handled knife went along with stories like this:
“My grandmother [Elizabeth George Plouffe] would tell us stories about how Pequots at one time were whalers, and this was even during the time the reservation was there and they used to come down here to Mystic and they used to go aboard the old whaling ships, like the Charles W. Morgan . . . and they would go out to sea. Sometimes they would be gone for three, six months and sometimes a year at a time. And then the Pequots would come back and they would (in the area after they’d finished their whaling voyage and then come back to the reservation), they would go back to the house, because it was the center of activity. And in those days they called the old house “the beehive.” And they would come back with their stories, and my grandmother said she could remember some of these stories from the time when she was a child, that her mother [Martha Hoxie] used to tell her because her mother was a child at that time. Martha Hoxie used to tell my grandmother how that when she was a kid when the men would come back from the whaling voyages and sometimes, well, oftentimes they’d bring back their bottles with ’em, and they would sit around jawing about their experiences, they’d get a little tipsy. And they’d get started getting a little loud and my great-grandmother, Martha Hoxie, would get a little nervous because she was a kid at the time, about their being loud and whatnot and she would run underneath her mother’s [Jane Wheeler] hoop skirt and hide. That was her place of refuge.” – Richard A. “Skip” Hayward, 1995
Historical Background: The Treaty of Waitangi (Māori: Tiriti o Waitangi) is a treaty first signed on 6 February 1840 by representatives of the British Crown and various Māori chiefs from the North Island of New Zealand. It resulted in the declaration of British sovereignty over New Zealand by Lieutenant Governor William Hobson in May 1840.
Interactive reproduction of the 1840 Waikato-Manukau copy of the Treaty of Waitangi
Those who explained the treaty to Māori generally stressed the advantages of bringing British settlers under the control of the Crown, which some chiefs had been asking for since 1831. They played down the impact of the British acquisition of sovereignty and its likely consequences for Māori. Missionary assurances that the treaty would be of benefit to Māori probably helped to overcome the caution of many chiefs. Some chiefs, especially in Northland, saw the treaty as a sacred bond or covenant directly between themselves and Queen Victoria. Many who signed were devout Christians who made no distinction between the Crown and the teachings of Christianity. Many Māori had clear expectations of how they would benefit. A sharing of authority would enhance chiefly mana. The country would be protected from acquisition by other foreign powers. A kawana (governor) would control Europeans, especially those buying land, who were causing trouble in some areas. The treaty would bring settlement, and with it both more markets for essential Māori services and desired trade goods.
Some chiefs realised that change was inevitable. The clock could not be turned back; the treaty was a way into the future.
The Native Land Court was one of the key products of the 1865 Native Lands Act. It provided for the conversion of traditional communal landholdings into individual titles, making it easier for Pākehā to purchase Māori land.
Coming little more than a year after the Waikato War, this legislation was to achieve what many believed had not been accomplished on the battlefield – acquiring the land necessary to satisfy an insatiable settler appetite. The operations of the Land Court affected Māori more than those of any other colonial institution. When old rivalries were played out in court, the ultimate beneficiaries were Pākehā. Historian Judith Binney described the Native Lands Act as an ‘act of war’.
The Court was required to name no more than 10 owners, regardless of the size of a block. All other tribal members were effectively dispossessed. The newly designated owners held their lands individually, not communally as part of (or trustees for) a tribal group. They could manage it, and sell it, as individuals and for their own benefit.
The first chief judge of the Court, Francis Fenton, maintained that judgements could only be based on evidence before the Court – so all claimants had to attend, whether they wanted to or not. Many Māori racked up large legal bills as a consequence. Those coming from out of town also faced the costs of food and accommodation. Lawyers, shopkeepers, surveyors and the like granted Māori credit while they awaited the outcome of their case. These expenses forced many Māori to sell the land they had been defending in order to settle their debts.
This process of alienating Māori land concerned some settler politicians. Former Attorney-General Henry Sewell had protested against the government’s policy of confiscating the land of Māori deemed to be ‘in rebellion’. Back in office in 1865, he asserted that the Native Land Court was designed to:
destroy if possible, the principle of communism which ran through the whole of their institutions, upon which their social system was based, and which stood as a barrier in the way of all attempts to amalgamate the Native race into our own social and political system.
Māori landholdings declined dramatically in the late 19th century. Between 1870 and 1892, 2 million ha of Māori land was transferred to Pākehā ownership. Whereas at the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 Māori owned almost all of the North Island, by 1892 they owned little more than a third, and a quarter of this was leased to Pākehā. Another 1.2 million ha of Māori land would be sold by 1900.
I am also sharing another post of Maori photos… and an art exhibit about this.
READ and LISTEN: Introducing: The Privacy Paradox – Note to Self – WNYC
From Duck Duck Go
[DuckDuckGo is the search engine that doesn’t track you. We protect your search history from everyone — even them!]
“Companies like Google uses your profile to filter the results they show you, based on what they think you are most likely to click on. This is commonly known as the “Filter Bubble.” It’s a form of corporate censorship that can be used to influence public opinion (even unintentionally), such as election outcomes and other political issues.”
Want to learn more about how you are being censored? Check out the TED talk by Eli Parsier.
While at the Aspen Ideas Festival in CO, Julia Angwin sat down with PBS’s Hari Sreenivasan to discuss what kinds of information data brokers gather about us, how they use it, and what we can do about it. Read a transcript of our conversation, or watch the video below.
Granted, in the absence of a national ID card, “we the people” are already tracked in a myriad of ways: through our state driver’s licenses, Social Security numbers, bank accounts, purchases and electronic transactions; by way of our correspondence and communication devices—email, phone calls and mobile phones; through chips implanted in our vehicles, identification documents, even our clothing.
Postcommodity is an interdisciplinary arts collective comprised of Raven Chacon, Cristóbal Martínez, and Kade L. Twist. Postcommodity’s art functions as a shared Indigenous lens and voice to engage the assaultive manifestations of the global market and its supporting institutions, public perceptions, beliefs, and individual actions that comprise the ever-expanding, multinational, multiracial and multiethnic colonizing force that is defining the 21st Century through ever increasing velocities and complex forms of violence.
Postcommodity works to forge new metaphors capable of rationalizing our shared experiences within this increasingly challenging contemporary environment; promote a constructive discourse that challenges the social, political and economic processes that are destabilizing communities and geographies; and connect Indigenous narratives of cultural self-determination with the broader public sphere. … and their historic land art installation Repellent Fence at the U.S./Mexico border near Douglas, AZ and Agua Prieta, SON.
Source: Postcommodity: About
Jay’s SXSW MOVIE REVIEW: