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

****

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. ”

****

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)

***

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]

**

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]

*

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

Advertisements

Witness Blanket: Carey Newman

A small collection of contributed material Master Carver Carey Newman used to create a large-scale six-foot tall and 30-feet wide red cedar installation titled Witness Blanket, designed using items reclaimed from residential schools, churches, government buildings and other traditional structures. ( Photo: CHAD HIPOLITO/THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

Master Carver Carey Newman holds a prototype 3×3 feet red cedar base that will be used as a template for Witness Blanket. (CHAD HIPOLITO/THE GLOBE AND MAIL)
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/arts-video/video-artist-confronts-the-painful-legacy-of-residential-schools-in-witness-blanket/article14749585/?videoembed=true

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/news-video/video-residential-school-survivors-surprised-by-exhibit/article23171094/?videoembed=true

Ottawa forced to turn over reports of electric chair use at St. Anne’s residential school

Jordan Chittley

Jordan Chittley, CTVNews.ca Writer, @jchittley

January 15, 2014  

For the past year and a half, lawyer Fay Brunning has been fighting to get the federal government to hand over documents about the St. Anne’s residential school.

It’s a school that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and a judge described as having the worst cases of abuse out of any residential school in Canada. Brunning, who represents survivors, says they were taken away from their parents at age five or six for 10 months a year. They were forced to eat vomit, subjected to sexual and physical abuse and put in an electric chair.

“The little ones first,” recalls Edmund Metatawabin to the Wawatay News in July. “And I was, I think, about number seven or eight, meaning I was one of the smaller ones.”

The children sat on a wooden seat with their arms strapped to a metal chair. A Brother held a wooden box with a crank ready to send the electric charge.

“Your feet is flying around in front of you, and that was funny for the missionaries,” Metatawabin says. “So all you hear is that jolt of electricity and your reaction, and laughter (of the Catholic school administrators) at the same time. We all took turns sitting on it.”

An Ontario judge recently ruled the federal government must turn over the documents, meaning adjudicators in the future will have the documents when making decisions in compensation claims under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Act. Survivors will no longer have to prove the level of abuse in each case.

“They are very relieved the justice system has worked,” says Brunning about survivors she spoke to today. “They want to believe the apology meant something.”

Brunning says because of the residential schools, survivors are still afraid of authority. For many, they are marginalized individuals and often find themselves on the wrong side of the law. “If law can work in their favour, that is probably a first.”

Here is an interview with a survivor:

St. Anne’s is in Fort Albany in northern Ontario. It was open from 1904 to 1976 and had hundreds of aboriginal children from remote James Bay communities walk through its doors. A police probe from the 1990s turned up evidence of horrific abuse, including an electric chair. A government had said Ottawa received the documents from police on an undertaking they would not be passed on to anyone. Ontario Superior Court Judge Paul Perell says the government misinterpreted its obligations and should turn over the more than 7,000 records to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The reports must also be turned over to the Independent Assessment Process, an out-of-court process for the resolution of claims of abuses suffered at residential schools.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt told Kevin Newman Live in an email the government is “pleased that the court clarified we can now disclose St. Anne’s residential school documents, and, now that we have the court’s permission, we will do so.” His office declined to answer any follow-up questions.

“(This is) a huge victory for the survivors of St. Anne’s and a complete repudiation of the Conservative government who have undermined the rights of these victims again and again,” says New Democrat MP Charlie Angus to CP.

“I feel ashamed. I grew up in northern Saskatchewan and didn’t know this was going on,” Brunning says. “I went to law school because I like to help people and this is really rewarding work.”

After a year and a half and more than $250,000 spent from Brunning’s law firm Sack Goldblatt Mitchell, she is very relieved at the decision and will keep fighting for survivors.

“How do you give people back their lives,” she says. “We have to come to grips with our past.”

Doesn’t this constitute genocide?

archive photo

Truth and Reconciliation Commission officials expect toll to rise as more records reviewed

OTTAWA — Thousands of Canada’s aboriginal children died in residential schools that failed to keep them safe from fires, protected from abusers, and healthy from deadly disease, a commission into the saga has found. So far, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Canada has determined that more than 4,000 of the school children died.

####

If 4,000 people die at the hands of others like in Palestine right now, doesn’t that constitute genocide? This happened in America too and where are the headlines? As we slowly uncover more and more history and the atrocities, it’s too late, it’s done. The children are gone. No one stands trial. No one is put in prison.

What did we do to deserve this? Why would Creator allow this to happen? And more importantly I ask, how can we stop it? Where do we go from here?  How do you cope with things that happened in the past that are still going on?

It’s a fair and honest question.

I cannot bear to think of innocent children being murdered – anywhere. We are living among monsters, very scary people…Lara/Trace

Archive Photo

“I was given that porridge I got sick on and I had to eat that … And if you don’t eat, then you’re going to get beat up some more, and you’re going to get punished – and if you throw up again you’re going to have to eat that too, so what choice do you have?” Metatawabin, 66, says at times he and his classmates were forced to sit in an electric chair – either as punishment or as entertainment for the staff at St Anne’s Indian Residential School, which operated from the early 1900s to 1976 in northern Ontario province.  Now, Metatawabin says, the government is hiding information about the school… St Anne’s was part of a government-supported school system to “assimilate” aboriginal children.  About 150,000 indigenous children were forcibly removed from their families by the federal government for decades starting in the 1800s and put into church-run residential schools. Many suffered physical and sexual abuse and squalid living conditions, and a Truth and Reconciliation Committee recently said at least 4,000 children died – a number that could be much higher…”

via Canada accused of hiding child abuse evidence – Features – Al Jazeera English.

 

Native people depend on our ancestors and the unborn for the answer and for understanding.

Intergenerational Trauma

The Union of Ontario Indians received funding through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada to develop tools and erect a monument to pay tribute to Anishinabek Nation members who attended Indian Residential School. The project is entitled “Honouring Our Children, Families, and Communities Affected by Indian Residential Schools”.

As part of the project, a series of five educational videos were created. In this video M’Chigeeng First Nation citizens Krystine Abel and her mother Eve Abel talk about how Eve’s experience as a student at St. Joseph’s residential school in Spanish, Ontario in the 1950’s had an impact on Eve’s parenting and Krystine’s sense of identity as an Anishinaabe Kwe. Eve has lived in Toronto for over 40 years and has two daughters and one granddaughter. Krystine is now studying Social-Cultural Anthropology at the University of Toronto.

For more information about the Anishinabek Nation Indian Residential Schools Commemoration Project, visit http://www.anishinabek.ca/irscp/