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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I wrote this Preface in the 2016 anthology Stolen Generations:

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

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

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

We were never expected to survive.

I’m not sure we did.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Justin Secakuku: Native Love is Respect

For Justin Secakuku, Hopi from Shugopavi, Arizona, Native love is respect.

While the traditional roles and duties of men and woman may differ from one tribe to another, Native women should be treated with utmost respect, he says, “because they are the life of your family and your people and your culture, and because they carry on the family name.” Women traditionally play a vital role in both the family and the community, he says. “They should be honored and loved for what they do and thanked on a daily basis. Without them your legacy can’t be carried on.”

He notes the Hopi people are a matrilineal society. “Everything pretty much starts with the woman. When you are born you take your mother’s clan, her village, and her ethnicity. If someone from a different tribe has a baby with a Hopi woman, the baby would be full-blooded Hopi…. The more girls there are in a family the longer the clan will live on.”

Secakuku says Hopi women, like his great-grandmother, who is in her mid-90s, pass on important cultural traditions and perspectives. “They are self-respecting and respectful of others,” he says.

Native love is also “taking care of each other,” adds Secakuku. Maintaining strong family ties and not falling out of relationships is critically important everywhere.

Speaking against the mistreatment of women, he encourages men to “really think about all your partner does for you, your community… . Women are life because they bring life into this world; they carry on the family.”

Individuals and communities must gain the courage to speak out if women are being mistreated, he says. “I know a lot of communities are scared to hurt their image … or meddle in other villages, but (it is important) to speak up.”

More effective law enforcement is also needed, he says. “It is very difficult to prosecute offenders… . (They) go to jail for only a day or a few hours.”

JUSTIN SECAKUKU is a member of the Hopi Tribe of Arizona and lives in the village of Shugopavi. On camera, Justin shares the Hopi view of white corn, known as the corn mother, and likens it to the value of women in Native communities to give and produce life. Justin was interviewed as a part of a joint project of the Indian Law Resource Center and the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center to define Native love. To help restore safety to Native communities, the project is raising awareness about violence against Native women and empowering Native people to speak out about traditional cultural values that honor and respect Native women.

New Video Campaign on Ending Violence Against Women and Redefining Native Love

Protecting Native Women Today and Tomorrow

The Indian Law Resource Center and the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center are partnering to raise awareness and help end violence against Native women.  The resources at http://www.indianlaw.org and http://www.niwrc.org — including videos, posters, Facebook banners, FAQs, and a domestic violence toolkit — were created to support and inform advocates, tribal leaders, lawmakers, and the public in dialogue on this critical issue.


Black Mesa
Black Mesa (Photo credit: cm195902)

Tell University of Illinois, Carbondale, to give them back! http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2013/04/peabody-coal-seized-1-million-navajo.html

Now, at the University of Southern Illinois, the Center for Archaeological Investigations says the seizure of Navajo and Hopi artifacts was funded by Peabody Coal. The university even brags about the seizure: We are currently working on a 5.5-year project to inventory and rehouse the Black Mesa Archaeological Project (BMAP) collections. BMAP is one of the largest, longest running projects in the history of North American archaeology. Fieldwork spanned seventeen years, from 1967 to 1983, and at its peak employed more than 200 persons in a single summer. Nearly 2,500 archaeological sites were identified, and more than 200 sites excavated, on the 256-square km of Black Mesa leased from the Hopi and Navajo by Peabody Energy. Fieldwork produced more than one million artifacts, which the CAI curates along with the field notes, maps, photographs, and other associated documents. Carried out in collaboration with the Hopi and Navajo and generously funded by Peabody Energy, this project will ensure that the BMAP collections are properly curated now and far into the future. http://cai.siu.edu/staffpages/lapham.html – Center for Archaeological Investigations
Tell University of Southern Illinois, Carbondale, to return them to Navajos and Hopis!!! http://cai.siu.edu/staffpages/lapham.html
Southern Illinois University Carbondale‘s facebook https://www.facebook.com/SouthernIllinoisUniversityCarbondale?fref=ts

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