Indians are lousy television? Your Gift on Thanksgiving

By Lara/Trace

Don’t feel bad about knowing little to nothing about American Indians or First Nations in North America. I have a special treat for you on this day of Thanksgiving and our ways of giving thanks.  It’s a half-hour talk by a Native scholar K. Tsianina Lomawaima.  Give yourself this gift. Just remember how Indians are lousy television.  WHAT?  Ha!

So watch this

The Second Thanksgiving (by We Are Thomasse)!

Here’s an earlier post on Thanksgiving. (photo at left) Do American Indians celebrate Thanksgiving?

I wanted you all to know I am doing research on the abolitionists who became reformers in Indian Country.  These people were the thinkers of the day, in the time periods of the 1800s until early 1900. I’m reading more than I am writing. I understand it would be a good thing if I wrote more essays for this blog. And I plan to… eventually.

There is a post I wrote coming tommorrow.

I make lists. I thank all the people in my life and the ancestors who prayed for me before I was born.  I know they are your ancestors too.

Be grateful for everything, even the chaos. We are here. We are the witness. We are more powerful than we can imagine.

Happy Thanksgiving. Thank you all for reading this blog.

(Top Photo: I shot this down the road last year. It was the right light. And that horse is a buddy of mine. He’s very photogenic.)


Think boatloads of immigrants on Turkey Day

I took this photo on Manitoulin Island in Ontario
I took this photo on Manitoulin Island in Ontario

By Lara/Trace

After the speech on immigration by Obama, I decided it’s time you and I confess some of us are descendents of immigrants!

So I decided to google: My (adopted) grandmother Romaine Baert immigrated from Belgium as a child. She and her brother Emil arrived at Ellis Island in New York City (circa 1900). How did she become a US citizen?

One google answer was from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

My great-grandmother emigrated from Italy to the USA and married an American. Do I have a right to Italian citizenship? LINK

By Italian law a woman could not pass on the right to citizenship until January 1st 1948. You would have to verify whether your grandmother maintained her Italian citizenship – and therefore did not become an American citizen – at least until the birth of her son/daughter, which had to have taken place after January 1st 1948.

Hmmm, a bit confusing, right? I didn’t find an answer. I had to think about that and the boatloads of people who arrived on these shores not that long ago and in the past centuries; some of these immigrants I do share blood with.

My adopted family name DeMeyer (BAERT) is from Belgium, not my blood, and they are recent immigrants.  My family name KILDUFF is the name of one maternal great-grandpa who immigrated from Ottawa to Wisconsin. One of my cousins Peter (in Ontario) sent me our history about the Kilduff migration from Eire (Ireland) to Quebec to Ottawa. There lies some of my immigrant roots.

My other cousin Charles helped me to trace my BLAND ancestry (The Northern Neck Blands of Virginia) (the bad ones, the dark ones) (our inside joke) dating back to Virginia and Kentucky. (They settled here 300+ years ago.) They came here on boats too.

In my adopted family, my maternal adopted grandma Kathryn was from Great Britain. I knew her. She never lost her British accent! Since she came on a boat and married an American, she became American (circa WWI)… (I seriously doubt they did a background check on Kath or any of my immigrant grandparents.)

All of these ancestors were immigrants – callously unaware or ignorant of the fact they were INVADING a continent filled with people. This land was occupied by Indigenous People who were hunted, murdered and removed to reservations to make way for THEM, boatloads of immigrants.

One People

We are a hemisphere of immigrants. So remember that this Thanksgiving Day Nov. 27.  Think about who we should be thanking for this land, this bounty, this country we call America.  Remember this modern holocaust is still going on, still being felt, still being lived by my other relatives who are Indigenous. (Indian Country is a poverty-stricken Third World still surrounded by America.)

At your Thanksgiving feast, ask your own family, how did your grandparents (or great-grandparents) become citizens?


In the News

TWO WORLDS: Helping Scholars Understand Indian Adoptions

Book Review by Author Margaret D. Jacobs: (Excerpt) Though not scholarly, this book Two Worlds is of great significance to scholars of Native American Studies…


Number of Aboriginal children in care a ‘national disaster’ : APTN Report on Number of Native Kids in Care in Canada

Over 5,000 Aboriginal children are in care of the province of Alberta. They represent nearly 70 percent of kids.
The number grows to 5,600 Aboriginal children in Saskatchewan or 83 percent of all kids in care.
But it’s Manitoba that has the highest numbers.
More than 10,000 Aboriginal children, 87 percent, are under the care of the province.

LINK: Canada’s National Disaster #flipthescript #adoption


Bernie Buzz:

On major issue after major issue, including immigration reform, where the Senate passed a comprehensive bill last year, the Republican-controlled House has refused to act. On Thursday, in response to a broken immigration system, the president acted on his own to protect millions of families. Bernie applauded the president but found it truly amazing that the major broadcast TV networks refused to air Obama’s prime-time address. “People can be for immigration reform or against it, but clearly we need an intelligent, informed debate.” SOURCE
Immigration Speech


Very few schoolchildren are also taught… about the deprivations and atrocities that occurred to the Indians afterwards, first at the hands of the colonists and then by the United States government.

For those non-Indians who wish to commemorate the origins of Thanksgiving, there are many ways to do so. One would be to urge public schools to tell the whole story about the Indian experience. Another would be to lobby Congress to enact more helpful Indian policies and programs. A third would be to donate to organizations that give assistance to Indians in their efforts to rejuvenate their governments and restore their economic, political, and social structures, such as the Native American Rights Fund, the Association of American Indian Affairs, the National Indian Child Welfare Association, and the National Congress of American Indians, among many.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday. Hopefully, this year and in years to come we will spend part of the holiday reflecting on its origins and dedicating ourselves to fostering the values of the Indians who selflessly assisted their new neighbors.

Read his column here:

Stephen L. Pevar is the author of The Rights of Indians and Tribes, Fourth Edition.


From Lara: I am not thankful for colonists. I am grateful for the Mother we call Earth every single day…

6 Reasons the Fiscal Cliff is a Scam

6 Reasons the Fiscal Cliff is a Scam | Alternet.

Read more here: