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

 

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EXCERPT:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

From Teen Vogue, here.

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

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

 

By LT (your intrepid reporter)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks to everyone for reading this long post! XOX

 

 

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Change Is Coming: Youth Suicide Pacts, Canada’s Move Away from the 141 Year Old Indian Act and more news

By Lara Trace Hentz

I am still on my hiatus, of course, but these stories I have covered on this news blog before (kinda). I will be back later in 2017. That is, if we don’t suffer a nuke someday soon.

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From August 11, 2017 at Indian Country Today

Wawatay News reported that the Canadian Army responded to a declaration of emergency by the government of Wapekeka, an Oji-Cree community of about 400, located about 375 miles north of Thunder Bay. The emergency was an epidemic of youth suicide. The First Nation asked for outside help after the third suicide by a 12-year-old girl this year and discovery of suicide pacts among some youngsters.

The Army sent a unit of Rangers—an all-indigenous unit of part time reservists—with an assignment to conduct night patrols and daytime activities for at risk youth.

Chief Brennan Sainnawap commented in extending thanks to the responding Rangers:

There were no suicides after the Rangers arrived. There were attempts but no suicides. The Rangers coming in helped our staff on the ground and the whole of the community to have a chance to rest. We were traumatized and exhausted. The Rangers gave us breathing room.

The Rangers did not approach the assignment as policing. They spread out in the community and tried to get to know the kids, but they did take custody of some suicide paraphernalia. They made lots of referrals to suicide counselors. A few kids were airlifted for emergency treatment.

As the government was able to bring in more civilian help the reservists withdrew as a unit, but individual friendships remain. If Chief Sainnawap’s evaluation is correct, the Rangers hit the sweet spot of signifying to the kids that the government cares without becoming an oppressive force.

Cousin Ray helpfully pointed out once more that the responding unit was indigenous, and it might have been harder for a unit made up of settlers to find the sweet spot even with the best intentions.

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For First Nations, the end of the Indian Act is an opportunity to return to tradition and empower indigenous female leaders

Sandra LaFleur • August 12, 2017

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Jody Wilson-Raybould’s historic announcement of a move away from the 141 year old Indian Act had to have left some Assembly of First Nations (AFN), and provincial Indigenous leaders scratching their heads. Indigenous activist leaders (land protectors, water protectors, suicide watch groups), Native Women’s Association of Canada {NWAC}, Idle No More {INM}, Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP), grassroots people and the average non-indigenous Canadian are also likely, wondering what a life beyond the Indian Act means and how the move will affect them in their day to day lives.

… Let’s use Monaco as an example

The Treaty of Versailles is an agreement between France and Monaco similar to that of First Nations treaty’s with the Crown (Britain’s representative; Canada), is eerily similar in basic foundation….

Monaco has its own law enforcement similar to what is already implemented on most First Nation communities. And the near two mile sovereign state also has a Constitution of Monaco (adopted in 1962 and updated to reflect government power and legislative changes). Furthermore and somewhat, simplistically, Monaco’s agreement with France came in part by Monaco’s cessation of land to (similar as First Nation’s and the Crown’s agreement on land), France and in return, an agreement was reached wherein, a part of France’s obligation is a responsibility to militarily protect Monaco.

There are many more similarities however; the Treaty of Versailles could be a starting point in building First Nation, nation-to-nation legislation, with Canada.

First Nation government leaders, activists, FN women’s groups and all affected parties need to start the process.

The process could be as simple as surveying individual First Nation members on who they would like to see sit at the helm; in mediating the drafting of new legislation.

Read the entire Op-ED: Change Is Coming: Canada’s Move Away from the 141 Year Old Indian Act – Indian Country Media Network

 

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A new Navajo law criminalizes human trafficking on the country’s largest American Indian reservation.

READ: Navajo Sign Law Criminalizing Human Trafficking – Indian Country Media Network

 

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U.S. House appropriators did what they could before recess to limit dramatic cuts to American Indian programs proposed by the Trump administration.

READ: Trump’s Proposed Cuts to American Indian Programs Still in Play – Non Profit News For Nonprofit Organizations | Nonprofit Quarterly

 

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Museums Move to Return Human Remains to Indigenous Peoples – The New York Times

top photo

 

Standing Rock Protectors | Free Leonard Peltier | Where is Media on #NoDAPL

Native American Activist Winona LaDuke at Standing Rock: It’s Time to Move On from Fossil Fuels

While Democracy Now! was covering the Standing Rock standoff earlier this month, we spoke to Winona LaDuke, longtime Native American activist and executive director of the … (watch video)  Read More →

AMY GOODMAN interview: Is facial recognition technology being used (at the protectors camp)?

Standing Rock Tribal Chief DAVE ARCHAMBAULT II: That’s a crazy question, Amy, and I’m glad you ask it, because when you have a lot of people in an area, there’s all this paranoia that is present. And we don’t have to be paranoid anymore. We need to be proud of who we are. This is a big time in history. We need to hold our chins high and show our faces. We’re not doing anything wrong. And if facial recognition technology is out there, I would doubt that it’s here. All authorities have to do is go on Facebook, go on the Democracy Now! videos, and they’ll see people’s faces there. And that’s where authorities are getting information. The people who are videoing incidents determine—we create the evidence on ourselves with these—with our iPhones and social media. I would highly doubt that facial recognition is something—we have our own websites, we have our own Facebook pages. We give all the information that is out there to the authorities through social media. [(Blackwater?) Trucks have been seen taking photos of people since this comment.]

***The “No Dakota Access PipeLine” (#NoDAPL) camp in North Dakota has grown each and every day… YES YES…we are united… “It’s historic because the 200 or so tribes that are protesting the construction of the $3.7 billion Dakota Access Pipeline have not united together for more than 150 years,” says Jennifer Cook is the policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union of North Dakota.

North Dakota v. Amy Goodman: Arrest Warrant Issued After Pipeline Coverage

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Fletcher Law360 Commentary: “The Right Side Of History: Obama’s Administration And DAPL”

Here:

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, hundreds of Indian tribes that support its position, and the thousands of Indians that stand by its side in Cannonball lost an important ruling by a federal court on the Dakota Access Pipeline fight (DAPL), only to learn minutes later that the Obama administration, the defendant in Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. United States Army Corps of Engineers, would dramatically reverse its position and grant most of the relief requested by the tribe.

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Seattle lawyer explains why the North Dakota pipeline protests mark a historic moment

Cape Cod Times:  …And with hundreds of natural gas, oil, and petroleum pipeline accidents that have occurred in just the last 20 years, including when Shell Oil’s Texas pipeline burst in 2013, irreparably poisoning the Vince Bayou; and the 2011 Exxon Mobil pipeline break, which spilled 1,000 barrels of crude oil into the Yellowstone River in Montana, U.S. residents should be worried that the project could move forward.

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Leonard Peltier has been in prison for 40 years Published September 12, 2016 WASHINGTON – To mark his 72nd birthday today, Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) released a new video urging President Obama to grant clemency to Anishinabe-Lakota Native American activist Leonard Peltier before leaving office. The video highlights Amnesty International’s human rights concerns about Peltier’s case…

via Amnesty International USA Releases Video Urging President Obama to Free Leonard Peltier — Native News Online

My earlier post on interviewing Peltier

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Standing Rock is HUGE news but somehow ABC, NBC, CBS (US MEDIA) aren’t covering it… hmmm. WHY? I tell my students, go look on Twitter… or read Indian Country Today News Media online and we can always count on Democracy Now with Amy Goodman!

https://twitter.com/GreenTheNewBlue/status/775731364201136128

(click links in tweets)

So there you have it… see you next week…L/T

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Native Americans in newsrooms #NativeLivesMatter

“It is no secret that Washington faces a serious debt problem, but last time I checked, it was not because we are spending too much on Indian housing, healthcare or education.  It is not because we are spending too much on addressing the scourge of diabetes in Native communities, improving crumbling infrastructure or creating jobs in Indian Country.  It is not because we are spending too much supporting Native American veterans who put their lives on the line to defend our nation, or creating economic opportunities for Indian youth. It is profoundly hypocritical that the United States, year-after-year, decade-after-decade, does so little to honor its trust responsibilities to Native peoples.  It’s time for real change.” – Bernie Sanders READ MORE

 

By Lara Trace (Independent Voter)

The above quote is from Bernie Sander’s website on his stance on our government’s trust responsibilities to tribes.  Bad thing is: most people don’t even know or care that tribes exist in 2016.

I’ve mentioned on this blog I worked at News From Indian Country (1996-1999).  When I started working as a journalist, there were just two Native American-owned-operated national print newspapers. TWO!  (There are still two and more online news outlets now*.)  At that time, in the mid 90s, I was one of 350+ Native journalists and a member of Native American Journalists Association (NAJA). Very few of my friends worked at a mainstream newspaper like USA TODAY or the New York Times.  I knew two Native men (John and Charlie) who held those prestigious jobs and neither are writing for those newspapers in 2016.

By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37491489
Minnie Two Shoes, By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37491489

I recall when my Assiniboine Sioux friend Minnie Two Shoes did a brief stint as a journalist at the Duluth News Tribune.  We worked together at News From Indian Country (NFIC).  Minnie helped found the Native American Press Association in 1984, which became the Native American Journalists Association in 1990. She edited two magazines: Native Peoples and Aboriginal Voices when I knew her.  I drove Minnie to the hospital in Hayward when it was first discovered she had breast cancer.Minnie Two Shoes died in Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 9, 2010 after battling cancer.[9]

Minnie was among the leaders and founders of the American Indian Movement. Yep, those warriors like John Trudell!

Minnie, John Trudell and Paul DeMain, founder of NFIC, made an indelible impact on me.  I credit them for teaching me crucial things I could never learn from books or in a classroom.   I met many fantastic Native journalists when I belonged to NAJA over the years.  (NAJA AWARDS 2002) And I admit it was their influence that I am a publisher now at Blue Hand Books because the majority of journalists I know (and knew) are also great writers writing great books, not just news articles for tribal newspapers.

Now imagine this: The population of Indian Country in 2010 was 2,553,566.  That number is growing.  It’s not a huge population but it is noteworthy in the respect that state by state, very little is taught about Native people, or our history, or our ancestral territory or treaty rights, which can breed contempt among non-Indians, and even worse, breed racism.  When I traveled to Pine Ridge in the early 90s, I was told South Dakota citizens were known and feared for their racism toward tribes—to me that was appalling, unreasonable and actually very dangerous.  At one time it was said that Canada was more racist but that depends on who you’re talking to… This kind of hate is like a virus that spreads from one generation to another.  The American Indian Movement was instrumental is bringing awareness of hate crimes and many unsolved murders happening in the 1970s involving Indians being killed by non-Indians across the USA.

If more non-Indian people understood history, it would definitely transform and diminish these hateful attitudes.  With good consistent writing about tribes in mainstream newspapers, then perspective could shift attitudes and create unity and respect, which is sadly and sorely lacking today.

 

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I posted here about my time in Pine Ridge and interviewing Leonard Peltier and John Trudell.  And I mentioned how I found out that my relative’s nephew Allen Locke was murdered by police.

*FMI: NativeWeb Resources: Newspapers – Native & Indigenous

National Native News daily podcast:  HERE

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The following story is KEY to any discussion about Native Americans in news rooms and across Indian County. We need good stories and websites and newspapers who give accurate reporting and reflect the truth.

Police kill Native Americans at almost the same rate as African-Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Between 1999 and 2013, an average of .29 per 100,000 Native Americans were killed by police, compared to .3 per 100,000 for blacks and .11 per 100,000 for whites. “America should be aware of this,” argues Chase Iron Eyes, a lawyer and a leader of the Lakota People’s Law Project, which runs a publicity campaign called Native Lives Matter. But for the most part, America is not aware of this.

That may be changing, albeit slowly, as both mainstream media and Native American-run digital outlets begin to cover American Indian issues more robustly.

“We’re not necessarily focusing on the shadows and the sadness,” says Jason Begay, a Navajo who grew up on a reservation and runs the Native News Project, “but on how people are persevering.”

Tristan Ahtone, a member of the Kiowa tribe of Oklahoma who often reported for Al Jazeera America, won a following among Native Americans and others for writing about new topics, such as how one tribe is invoking treaty rights to stop another oil pipeline, the rethinking of the militant American Indian Movement that grew up alongside the Black Panthers in the 1960s, and an international indigenous basketball tournament. His approach: “Stop looking at Indian Country as a foreign place with foreign people doing foreign things. It keeps us apart from each other, and reinforces the idea that these people are different, that they’re victims, that they’re helpless. They get covered when there’s doom, gloom, or there’s blood. The cumulative effect is that you’ve got communities that are isolated from the rest of the country and generally distrustful of journalists, and that just creates a continuing cycle.”

Ahtone is one of only a handful of Native American journalists. There are 118 self-identified Indian journalists working at U.S. daily newspapers, according to 2015 data from the American Society of News Editors. That’s .36 percent of all U.S. newsroom employees.  Native American activists say there need to be more newsroom internships and training programs for aspiring Native American journalists.

READ ON…

And I’ll leave you with this quote about diversity in writing and publishing:

“You will be tokenized. Even when you get to write about your own experience of being a minority in America—you know, even that can be turned against you. Are you going to be used later on as leverage against an accusation of racism? Will you then be seen as a collaborator? In most cases the answer is yes….

“Hiring is a crucial step, but it is reformist. It’s not going to really fix anything, just sand off the rough edges, right? Because there is far more concern about appearing racist rather than not doing racist things. It’s not just a publishing thing. What else can I say but dismantle capitalism? And I don’t know that anything radical enough to do that wouldn’t hurt a lot of the people that we are trying to save. Barring world historical change, I don’t see really anything happening but a new paint job. It is systemic racism for a reason, it’s so essentially wound up with the system upon which everything is built.  You can ameliorate it.  You can palliate it.  But you can’t cure it.  This is what I sound like when I’m optimistic.” —Tony Tulathimutte, novelist, Private Citizens

READ MORE (top graphic)

My writing on this blog (and publishing new books here) is my humble attempt to broaden perspectives about Indigenous People/American Indians/First Nations… Thank you all for reading and following this blog! You matter to me! xoxoxo

 

Coverage of Transfer of Veronica to Adoptive Couple

Robin, Veronica and Dusten Brown
Robin, Veronica and Dusten Brown

Yesterday # BABY VERONICA was handed over to the adoptive couple in Oklahoma.

Read more here: http://www.splitfeathers.blogspot.com

NEWS: Coverage of Transfer of Veronica to Adoptive Couple

Tulsa World here.

SCOTUSblog here.

Indian Country Today here.