Climate change region by region | Melting Glaciers | The Art of Blogging (with tips)

The Northern Great Plains is far from any ocean. Water melts off mountain snowpack, slowly trickles down glaciers**, and pools up in basins. The largely arid region is dominated by thirsty industries like agriculture, energy extraction, and tourism.  There’s a byzantine system of century-old water rights and competing interests.

Or as my dad, a Montana cattle rancher, puts it: “Whiskey is for drinking. Water is for fighting.”

Residents might want to steel themselves with a little bourbon as climate change will escalate those water woes, according to this report. Winters will end earlier and snow could decline as much as 25 to 40 percent in the mountainous regions.

It’s culturally critical, too:  The area is home to 27 federally recognized tribes that are already experiencing climate threats such as a lack of access to safe water and declining fisheries. …

“I am large. I contain multitudes,” Walt Whitman said of himself.  But he could have very well said it of the Southwest, where stretches of desert give way to soaring, snow-capped mountains.  Yet this might not be the case for long.

Climate change threatens all of this beautiful ecological diversity, as well as the 60 million people who call this area home, including 182 tribal nations.

In Alaska, water is life, life is shellfish, shellfish is power. But, alas, climate change is about to do a number on the state’s marine life, food webs, and species distributions. According to the climate assessment, ocean acidification is expected to disrupt “corals, crustaceans, crabs, mollusks,” as well as “Tanner and red king crab and pink salmon.”  Lots of indigenous peoples rely on that variety of marine life.

BIG READ: 2018: We broke down what climate change will do, region by region | Grist

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wishing you and yours health wealth and happiness and more great blogging in 2012 (an old WP photo I used for my post)

By LT

Blogging as an art? Oh my, oh my.  Where do I begin? (This is another long post but trust me, it’s about you.)

In June I was cleaning up and deleting old posts and I was happy to reread many of my old posts but not a single person had read them.  WHAT? That’s perfectly fine.

Whoever came up with the idea of “postaday” was nuts.

I cannot believe “I” tried to blog something every single day.  Back then I was getting the hang of it, so to speak.  When I started this blog in 2011, I had very little knowledge of WP or what blogging could be.  It’s a practice, like writing or yoga or raising pigs.

When you start blogging, learn as you go. And I want to STRONGLY encourage new bloggers to keep at it.

Start with:  Pick a topic/theme you like. Write posts around news articles…. Use links, photos, and videos. (Like I did above)

The big lesson for me was social media, aka sharing blog posts.  It took me two (dreaded) years of blogging to find readers and keep them.  And that is what you must expect.  It takes time, maybe years. Just remember, you will find your niche and you will become a greater writer, photog, chef, poet, or whatever you choose to blog about, if you persist.

Writing about adoption and being adopted was the reason I chose to blog in the first place. (“When you have a book, you must have a blog.” I didn’t create that lovely saying… but yup, it’s true.)  In 2013/4 I was dedicated to research the topic of human trafficking.  (I even did a radio interview about this blog topic when trafficking was a neglected yet news-worthy topic.)  Not grabbing any new readers on that topic for this blog, that didn’t matter to me as much as I needed to learn about it –and was SADLY shocked at what I did learn.   FYI: I also dedicated many 2015 posts to orphanage asylums around the US.  Of course “adoptionland” (adoption controversy) is closely related to human trafficking.  (Those are categories I chose for this blog.)  And, I usually tie-in and write about Indian Country which is my career!

When I tell non-blog friends I blog, after I explain what it is and that it’s perhaps addicting to be a reader/writer, I tell them my LARA blog is for “serious writing.”  (Of course I admit I might have a disorder called ADHD and I secretly experiment making other blogs but don’t yell “bloody murder” when no one reads them.)

OK, but seriously, Bloggers, just remember— YOU get to pick your poison/passion/past-time.  That is the magic key to blogging.  Educate yourself on whatever the topic and new readers will find you!  Even if they don’t find you, (SEO will) and you will learn more than you dare to dream and YOU be a better blogger (and person) for it.  (If you are tech-minded read up on SEO/search engine optimization — very boring stuff…) (11 tips that you can use to optimize your blog posts for SEO (like a Pro).

There are so many great bloggers out there now.  REALLY!!  More than a few years ago I used WP Reader to find blog suggestions.  Today in 02019 I follow (280+) (OMG, that many?) way too many great blogs to keep up with and sometimes I have to choose which blog(s) to read every week.  I do get posts via email which keeps some order to my disorder.

Do not think I don’t care if I don’t read your blog every time. I am simply trying to keep up. I’m old now.

One of the wonders of blogging is you can find bloggers in other countries and learn a great deal from them.  It’s a huge blessing to learn about other parts of this world and what they care about, or write about and share. Google Translate will help you if they are using another language, so anyone, even you can explore the big bad blogworld.

Engaging with others (with comments, shares and reblogs) is truly the best way to blog (and make interesting new friends).  By way of a perfect example, I highly recommend my UK friend Pete who blogs at beetleypete –  he is one of the kindest bloggers in the world.  His excellent blog is about “The musings of a Londoner, now living in Norfolk.”  HERE.

Don’t be discouraged, new and tired bloggers.  Keep at it.  Change your template/theme occasionally.  Maybe get a domain name, once you settle on a theme or niche, and use social media to reach others…  then go wild with that Twitter button!  You may want to blog weekly… or monthly or daily.  But trust me, “daily” is very very hard and requires great skill and loads of research + deep thought + time. (And you will miss all your TV programs, trust me on that.)

(OH NO, I have violated my own rules with this post – it’s WAY TOO LONG!)   (Forgive me this time and all the other times. I will do better.) There are no rules — just the ones you make for yourself…

I made a blog “BLOG SCOUTS” when I was teaching blogging at the local community college. Make art and a logo for your blog – readers love it!

TIP: If you do give up, leave your blog up. You may come back to it. (Put up a “I’m on Hiatus” post and let it sit.)

TIP:  On WordPress,  go to the dashboard and under settings, go to the SHARING tab.  Add the PINTEREST button to your blog.  It will bring you many new readers… I love sharing your posts to Pinterest (and Twitter)… it helps visually if you use a featured (top) photo for each blog post! (I’m not on FB and don’t share there.)

TIP:  You don’t have to “Like” the post but do click LIKE anyway- this tells the blogger you were there. It’s like saying, “hi there blog bud…”

Why this post about glaciers and blogs??

This fall I am working with a poet who retired from glaciology, which is the scientific study of glaciers, or more generally ice and natural phenomena that involve ice.  Dr. Richard Cameron has traveled the planet and I can’t wait to share his poetry with the world.  I will help him publish his collection (then brag/blog about it).

Blogging (and writing) will be a colossal chore if you let it….  Don’t let it!

If you have a blogging question or just want to shoot the breeze, my email is: laratrace@outlook.com

p.s. UPDATE::: Healthwise…I’m following the KETO diet, kinda, but it’s more strict.  It’s working wonders and my new hormone cream is the bomb! Can you tell I’m feeling better? 🙂

My dear husband Herb has been in the hospital for a ruptured appendix – his surgery was a success on June 24 but they kept him a week. That was not fun at all.

And you can also use this neat thing (the contact form) to ask me something?

 

 

District of Despair: Montana Reservation Schools | Alone | Loot | Bansky | Zinke gone

Just half of Wolf Point’s Native students graduate from high school, compared with about three-quarters of their white peers. In June 2017, the Tribal Executive Board of Fort Peck filed a civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights requesting a federal investigation into its contention that the Wolf Point school system discriminates against Native students.

“I think the sensitivity to different cultures, sometimes it ends with Native people,” said Ron Lessard, the acting executive director of the White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education since 2017.

Source: District of Despair: On a Montana Reservation, Schools… — ProPublica

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ALONE: 2018 QUOTE

In her essay “Alone in Company,” Chelsea Bayouth reflects on the role of an artist at the end of 2018:  “For me, it is to fear that every word or image is a window into public, political, and social tumult.  It means you have to be more vulnerable than you or anyone in times previous has ever been…. Social capital is the currency, and if you have none you are poor. ”

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Royal statues from the Palaces of Abomey in Benin, displayed at the Quai Branly Museum in Paris; they are among the works slated to be returned to Benin as soon as possible (photo by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra via Flickr)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ivory Coast is demanding that France return 148 works once looted from the country.  The Ivory Coast’s culture minister, Maurice Bandaman, confirmed that a list of works were sent to France and are set to be returned in 2019.  Bandaman also told Agence-France Presse, “At least 50 museums around the world have Ivorian works, and this does not include private collection,” indicating that France is not the only country with looted works. [Agence France-Presse]

The British Museum’s ‘Looting’ Problem  …headlines across the internet announced that the British Museum was to “return looted antiquities to Iraq.”

Clearly, the United States has an aversion to facing its past and is long overdue for a moment of truth and reconciliation. Read:  The Field Museum’s Native North American Hall starts to ask who it represents | Feature | Chicago Reader

One more: As Belgium Reopens Africa Museum, DR Congo Demands Restitution of Artifacts

(This is a trend I am very glad to see)

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Bansky

A new work by Banksy has appeared at the back of a car garage in Port Talbot, Wales last week. Since then, crowds have gathered at the scene, with local authorities having to manage and organize the groups of people. Banksy claimed responsibility for the work on his website and Instagram. The garage is owned by Ivan Lewis, a local steelworker. “I’ve never experienced anything like this,” said Lewis. “My phone is ringing, on my house phone there’s 1,000 messages on it.” [Art Daily]

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Shan Goshorn, “a Cherokee artist and activist known for her contemporary approach to traditional basket-weaving,” died of cancer at the age of 61. [Tulsa World]

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Under a cloud of scandal… the toxic Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is gone (fired) (top photo)

Can we call it a year now?  2017 and 2018 wore me out.  Cancer didn’t help but I feel woke enough.

02019 – please, do us a favor? Be kind to us. We deserve better!

xoxoxox

LT

Missionaries in Hawai’i | More Attacks on ICWA | Is Tulsa Indian Country? | MMIWG epidemic

Sending you all a big thanks for reading this news roundup and Happy Turkey “Big Food” Day tomorrow… Lara/Trace

An Exhibition Critically Explores the History of Missionaries in Hawai’i

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — In August 1806, five students on the campus of Williams College took refuge from a sudden thunderstorm beside a haystack and vowed to commit themselves to spreading the Gospel around the world.  This is Ground Zero of the American overseas missionary movement.

For many people, this moment marked the start of an outpouring of generosity and benevolence that saved souls and brought distant lands into the modern world.  Only recently has another narrative been recognized — one of shameless spiritual imperialism that trampled native cultures and eventually devolved into explicit political and economic oppression.

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The unexpectedly deep connection between the college in Williamstown and the Pacific islands, 5,000 miles away, is outlined with an extensive timeline along a wall, which highlights what was happening in each place. It mentions figures such as Sanford B. Dole, the son of missionaries who came to Williams in the 1860s, where he and other missionary descendants called themselves “the Cannibals,” and were active in the Lyceum.  Dole and two others from that group would help draft the “Bayonet Constitution” of 1887, which accelerated the process of undermining native Hawaiian leadership. When the monarchy was overthrown in 1893, Dole would serve as the Republic’s first president, until completing the handover to American power a few years later.

READ: An Exhibition Critically Explores the History of Missionaries in Hawai’i

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The Indian Child Welfare Act is vital to our continued survival. (There has been much written on this blog about ICWA and the book series Lost Children)

BIG READ: Why conservatives are attacking a law meant to protect Native American families – The Washington Post

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How can that be? In 1832, President Andrew Jackson pushed through the policy of “removal” of Indian nations from the eastern U.S., which destroyed the historic land base of the “civilized tribes.”  He promised the tribes new land in the West to be theirs “as long as the grass grows or the water runs, in peace and plenty.”  After the Trail of Tears, the U.S. signed a treaty that “solemnly guarantied” the new reservation lands in what is now Oklahoma. Many tribes elsewhere have found to their regret that Congress is permitted to decide that the grass ain’t growing any more. It can abrogate some or all treaty obligations—and even “terminate” a tribe altogether. But case law says there is a “clear statement” rule: If Congress wants to end a reservation, it has to say so.

READ: Supreme Court Must Decide If Tulsa Is ‘Indian Country’ – The Atlantic

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Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls (MMIWG)

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) highlighted the report in a press event in Washington, DC, this week where she talked about the importance of addressing the MMIWG epidemic. Murkowski was joined by U.S. senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Patty Murray (D-WA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Jon Tester (D-MT), Representative Gwen Moore (D-WI 4th District), and Juana Majel-Dixon (Pauma Band of Mission Indians), Executive Board Member and Recording Secretary of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI). The UIHI report identified the state of Alaska as the fourth-leading state for number of cases of MMIWG. Also, in the top ten states are New Mexico, Washington, Arizona, Montana, California, Nebraska, Utah, Minnesota and Oklahoma.

NEWS: New Report Identifies 506 Urban Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women & girls – Native News Online

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Mental Midgets | Musqonocihte: “…it’s a miracle we’ve survived this far…”

How is that for a book title? I just published a “short” book – I call it short because our attention spans are short… 🙂 LINK

Montana: Orphan Asylum 1892-1973

Orphans


St. Joseph’s Orphans Home
1892-1973
46°37’2.73″N 112° 1’9.53″W


COURTESY OF THE FACEBOOK GROUP ST. JOSEPH’S ORPHANGE CHILDREN IN HELENA, MT

Site of St. Joseph’s Orphans Home

St. Joseph’s Orphans Home, which stood on the northeast corner of Montana Ave. at Custer Ave.. The Home was built in 1892-93 by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, on land purchased by the Sisters and built with money donated by companies, businessmen and friends of the Sisters. It was demolished in 1973.

It had steam heat, with stairs and flooring of hard maple. Naturally, the boys department was entirely separated from that of the girls.

There was a marble altar in the orphans’ chapel, donated by the Galen family as a memorial of Matilda Galen (1837-1891). The whereabouts of the altar is unknown.

The building was badly damaged by the 1935 earthquakes, but it continued to operate into the 1960s. At the close of the orphanage in 1965, most of the 14 children remaining were Cuban refugees.
The following brief history and statement of condition of the home is from the Oct. 9 1921 Helena Independent :

THANKS TO SISTER DOLORES BRINKEL, SCL, ARCHIVIST OF THE DIOCESE OF HELENA FOR HER ASSISTANCE WITH THIS FEATURE ABOUT ST. JOSPEH’S ORPHANAGE.

SOURCE

St. Joseph’s orphans’ home was founded In Helena in the year 1892, starting as all things must, on a small plan, since growing to be one of the finest institutions of its kind in the northwest. Since it was founded it has cared for over 3,000 orphans, taking them in from infancy and giving them food, clothing, shelter and education until they were able to care for themselves or could be provided with suitable guardians or homes. The great majority of these charges have been maintained without the help of surviving parents, though in some cases small contributions have been received from this source. At the present time there are 180 children in the home. Less than $100 a month is being contributed toward their support by surviving parents, and the annual cost of operating the institution is about $25,000. The Sisters in charge are skilled through necessity in the exercise ot the most rigid economy.

At this lime an effort is being made to place the lands surrounding the home in a condition of cultivation that will supply some of the needs of the home and those of the boys large enough for farm work do their share in cultivating the farm.

The greater part of the money necessary to operate the home has been raised in the past by the solicitation of donations, but this year, owing to the depression in Butte, Anaconda and other Montana cities the subscriptions have fallen off materially and solicitation is not possible. The orphans are now receiving an education up to and including the first year of high school, and owing to tho dangers and templattons, under present day conditions, that confront the youth of the country it is well that the steps of the orphans are guided as far as possible along the path of life.

Lost Sparrow solves mystery but leaves wounds exposed

 

lost sparrow
Four Native American children adopted by the Billing family

I think of this important documentary LOST SPARROW all the time and wanted to share the links with you again. The earlier review I wrote is on this blog here and I’ve included it in TWO WORLDS: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects.

Review by Lara/Trace

On November 16, 2010, the documentary “Lost Sparrow” premiered on PBS Independent Lens.  Based on a true incident in 1978, two Crow Indian brothers (both adoptees) ran away from home and were found dead on railroad tracks the next day. Chris Billing’s film takes a closer look at what killed these two boys and what truth shattered his entire family.

The filmmaker is one of four biological children. His parents adopted six, with four of them from the Crow tribe. Billing was 16 when the boys died. The family buries them in New York and moves on with their lives. His parents eventually divorce.

The filmmaker narrates how his little brothers Bobby (13) and Tyler (11) were trying to help their sister Lana (who is also Crow). Lana told her brothers she was being sexually molested by their adoptive father. The two boys were going to Montana to get help. They knew who they were and knew their tribe.

As the film unfolds, Billings’ story becomes more about the despondent quiet Lana, and how she didn’t survive the sexual abuse or find peace after her brother’s heroic gesture and unfortunate deaths.  Lana runs far away from the adopters to North Carolina. Her pain is so deep the alcohol abuse seems the only antidote she can afford.

There are no signs of wealth where Lana lives; unlike the Billings and their homes in New Jersey and the summer mansion in upstate New York. Journalist-turned-filmmaker Chris Billing said it took three years to make the film. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Billing, agree to see Lana on film but neither managed an appropriate response to her troubled past. Dysfunctional denial, which Mr. Billing’s exhibited while filming, seems inappropriate and not an apology, considering the facts revealed during the course of filming. The man at the center of the conflict, the adoptive father, an all-controlling philanderer, rich businessman, acts like nothing happened, like he did nothing wrong. What you hope is he was charged as a pedophile and sent to prison. This didn’t happen.

What does happen is the filmmaker and his siblings repatriate the two boys to the Crow tribe and have them interned on tribal land.

Chris films the boys’ father and tribal family who knew the boys were adopted by a rich East coast family but could do nothing to stop the adoption. Their grief leaves the viewer tormented. After revealing the entire truth, the filmmaker said it did little to bond their family or cure old wounds, “If it was good for Lana, then making the film was worth it.”

Wounds this egregious and deep are not healed by a 78-minute film.

From the Lost Sparrow PR:  On June 27, 1978, a 44-car Conrail freight train struck and killed two Crow Indian brothers near the town of Little Falls, New York — a day after Bobby, 13, and Tyler, 11, had disappeared. The two boys had run away without warning from the white, Baptist family that had adopted them and their biological sisters seven years earlier, spiriting them from a troubled Montana reservation family to an idyllic Victorian castle across the country. Lost Sparrow recounts award-winning filmmaker Chris Billing’s investigation, three decades later, into the dark family secret that prompted his adopted brothers to flee.

Trace A. DeMeyer (Lara) is the author of One Small Sacrifice and Two Worlds: Lost Children of the Indian Adoption Projects… She lives in Massachusetts.

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