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Thread: Paging Gazhekwe

  1. #876


    I could think of many words beyond disgusting that would describe this sacrilige. It is another attempt at the current culture to attack every vestige of our being as Native Americans. I long for the day that people begin to respect and honor our beliefs again.


  2. #877

    Default Black Elk's Story - White Buffalo Calf Woman

    I post the video because it comes with beautiful music and images, to hopefully cleanse the evil that is out there in the name of money, anything for money.

    @PlymouthRes, that was pretty much my reaction to this appalling offering. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  3. #878

    Default SCORE for the modern day moccasin telegraph -- White Buffalo hunt will stop

    White Buffalo Hunt Causing Uproar Throughout Indian Country Will Stop

    By Jack McNeel March 7, 2012

    “We’re outraged,” James Swan remarks regarding the white buffalo hunt offered by a Texas hunting ranch. “We don’t have a problem with people having [white buffalo]. We just have a problem with people making big bucks killing them.”

    Swan is a Cheyenne River Sioux tribal member and President and Founder of United Urban Warrior Society. “In our Lakota ways our creation story starts with the white buffalo. Over the centuries the white buffalo, to us, is a very sacred part of our culture and part of our spirituality. Our people didn’t have a written language. Everything was passed down through stories over the centuries and white buffalo was a center part of everything we do.”

    The story on the white buffalo hunt was posted to Indian Country Today Media Network on Monday afternoon and kicked off a firestorm of Facebook activity. Late Tuesday, Aaron Bulkley, owner of Texas Hunt Lodge, which advertised the $13,500 buffalo hunt on its website, spoke with ICTMN about the matter.

    “We’ve had a ton of feedback from people since the white buffalo story came out, and I understand the white buffalo is sacred to Indians,” he said. “It’s been on the website for three years and all of a sudden people are excited about it. I do understand their point. I’m not saying I disagree with it or agree with it but I am going to take it off the website.”

    Asked directly if he would be offering white buffalo hunts at all, he responded, “Not for white buffalo.”

    Bulkley also explained that white buffalo were not rare like in earlier days. “There are multiple breeding ranches all over the U.S. that breed white buffalo.” He also said the numbers are well over 50 throughout the country including many in Texas. “If you breed a white buffalo to a white buffalo you will have a white buffalo.”

    Swan had questioned if the animals were beefalo, a buffalo-cattle cross, or true buffalo but felt either way it was wrong. “The argument would be it looks like one (buffalo) and everybody thinks it is. The argument that it’s not technically a buffalo to me just doesn’t work.”

    Bulkley cleared up that question, saying, “They’re buffalo, not beefalo.”

    “These hunter guys, they obviously know the significance of the sacred white buffalo because of the way they advertise it. I don’t know what could hurt the native community harder than something like this,” Swan said.

    Cynthia Hart-Button was even more emotional about hunting white buffalo. She is President of Sacred World Peace Alliance with Lakota ancestry. She and her husband also have 14 white buffalo on their Oregon property, three born this past year.

    “I am repulsed!” was her response. “I am beyond … just completely beyond! I am so adrenalized right now because of these buffalo.”

    She and her husband work with various tribes and provide hair that has been shed by their buffalo to Pendleton Mills for blankets, but not before they do prayer circles and prayers on the hair.

    The number of white buffalo has definitely increased in recent years. Dan Sharps is a biologist at the National Bison Range in Montana, where the famous white buffalo “Big Medicine” was born in 1933 and lived till his death in 1959. Sharps said he recalled that the incidence of white buffalo in naturally occurring herds in earlier years was “something like one in ten million.”

    Sharps said that the entire population of buffalo is about half a million. That combines the number between private herds and those found in such places as federal and state herds. That’s a far cry from the wild populations that supplied Native Americans with food, tools, clothing and housing for many generations but it is also a significant increase from the low point around 1900.

    The increase in the percentage of white buffalo can be attributed to better knowledge about genetics and breeding. Keith Aune works with Indian tribes throughout Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas through his job with the Wildlife Conservation Society. “In nature it’s a fairly rare event (white buffalo) and that’s where Native people’s interest comes from as a very special thing. What’s happening today with better breeding and a better understanding of genetics, people are finding these lines they can breed and create more abundant white buffalo and that’s going to be a huge challenge.”

    But at this time, the challenge is more immediate. “Our goal is to bring this awareness, to shut this down,” Swan remarks. “The eagle is also sacred to our people but it’s also a national emblem so it’s protected. We need to get the same status for the white buffalo to become a protected species. Not buffalo in general but just the white buffalo. If they keep exploiting this, all it’s going to do is create more, longer animosities between the indigenous peoples and the non-indigenous peoples.”

    Read more: http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwor...#ixzz1oRpDJeqp

  4. #879

    Default Mindimooyenh -- She who holds things together, a celebration of the role of women

    Holding Our World Together -- Ojibwe Women and the Survival of Community
    by Brenda J. Child, associate professor of American studies at the University of Minnesota.

    Editor’s note: A new book details the ways in which Ojibwe women kept the cultural flame alive from contact onward. In honor of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, Indian Country Today Media Network highlights this work on an underrported subject. See also the story from our chat with historian and author Brenda Child.

    In Ojibwe tradition, mindimooyehn—“one who holds things together”—is the term for a mature, older woman.

    “Far more than merely designating an ‘old lady,’ ” historian Brenda Child writes, “mindimooyehn-—an idea born of women’s autonomy—evokes the status, strength, wisdom and authority of the older female in Ojibwe society.”

    In her latest book, Holding Our World Together: Ojibwe Women and the Survival of Community (Viking, 2012), Child, an enrolled member of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, documents the status, strength, wisdom and authority that women employed in nurturing their families and communities.

    She intertwines women’s personal stories through the centuries with accounts of changes in Ojibwe society up to today. The author also spans distances, surveying North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan to illustrate the roles of women within Ojibwe communities. Her book reveals the authoritative -places held by women in all aspects of life—spiritual, familial, political and -economic—and how they adapted to the changes to traditional culture through first contact with Europeans, creation of reservations and the migration of some into urban settings.

    This is history from the people’s perspective. Because she focuses on personal stories and because of her own Ojibwe heritage and family history, Child brings a relevance to this historic work that is often lacking in accounts that use conflict as a springboard. She gives a true sense of how people lived—and lived with each other. And that makes for a history that can actually teach us how to lead fuller, better lives today.

    Read more:

  5. #880

    Default How we will pay for this warmer than usual winter--but remember, this isn't the first

    Native Knowledge and Modern Science Foresee Ill Effects of Mild Winter

    By Ruth Hopkins
    March 9, 2012

    There’s no denying the lower 48 has had an unseasonably warm winter thus far. A balmy winter season may seem like a well-needed reprieve that we all should celebrate, but scientists warn there are consequences for such imbalance in a temperate climate where animals, plants and even us humans are specifically adapted for four seasons.

    Expect to see increased numbers of biting insects out earlier than usual this year. Cold weather triggers diapause—a prolonged sleep period similar to hibernation that occurs in insects like mosquitoes, flies and ticks. Without the cold necessary to put them to sleep, these insects will have more time to reproduce, increasing their numbers. Typically we see these insect populations peak in late summer. This year, we could see a population spike much earlier. Biting insects also serve as vectors for certain blood borne diseases, like West Nile (transferred by mosquitoes) and Lyme Disease (carried by deer ticks). If there is an increase in these insect populations, we could see a greater number of humans contracting these illnesses, and earlier. A lack of cold weather allows pathogens to proliferate too. Gardeners and farmers could see above average rates of disease in produce as a result.

    Traditional Native practitioners of food and medicine are also experiencing difficulty due to the mild winter. Dr. Ed Galindo, (Yaqui) a faculty member at the University of Idaho, and an affiliate faculty member at both Idaho State University (Biology), and Utah State University (Physics), is working with a Frank Finley (Salish Kootenai), a faculty member at Salish Kootenai College, who is researching the effects of this mild winter on plants and wildlife.

    “What we are finding is that native plants are coming out of winter hibernation very early and they are smaller in size. This is a concern for tribal members, mainly Elders, who have a set ‘time’ in their minds when to look for the plants and may have a hard time seeing them,” Dr. Galindo warns.

    Another concern is that after months of mild winter, we’ll see a sudden freeze after plants and crops have already begun to de-winterize. If a budding plant freezes, it will likely die before the growing season has even begun.

    Fauna are being affected by a warmer winter season too. Dr. Galindo states, “As far as animals, we have seen migration patterns start to change as well. For example, many geese that use to go south for the winter now stay year round. I worry about this as they may not find all the food they need for the winter and they will have their young that now will stay year round.”

    Amphibians are particularly susceptible to cold temperatures, and a lack of snowfall prevents them from finding the insulation they need to survive, especially if a freeze occurs after a mild winter.

    Warmer temps could fool hibernating animals into leaving their dens much earlier. This could present a danger to humans who live in areas where they may come into contact with a bear that’s been awakened too early from his typically long winter’s nap.

    Those who raise animals or livestock could also see an increase in diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites.

    Fish like the salmon are more susceptible to bacterial kidney disease (BKD) in warm water. Infection by BKD causes significant mortality among wild and farmed salmon alike.

    While one could argue that the warmer winter will enable animals to find more food and produce more offspring, the danger therein is a population boom is nearly always followed by a subsequent population crash.

    This year, forest fires could also become an increased danger to flora as well as fauna. Mild temperatures and a lack of significant snowfall have led to drier conditions in many areas, dramatically increasing the opportunity for forest fires to take place.

    The effects of a mild winter are far reaching, as Dr. Galindo cautions: “These weather patterns affect not only the two-legged, but our plants, and winged and four-legged animals. This is also very specific for the area. For example, the further north, the more dramatic the changes are on animals, plants and people.”

    Read more: http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwor...#ixzz1of6IB6M7

    Gazhekwe's view: Just take comfort in the fact that we have had winters as mild or milder in recent memory, and somehow we all survived. Maybe there have been far reaching changes, birch trees dying out up north, West Nile wiping out crow and blue jay populations in some areas, Pine blight taking hold and wiping out beautiful mature landscape trees... But maybe there are some changes for the better, too. Still, experiments here in Titusville, FL with planting Christmas palms in view of warmer winters failed big time with a ten day freeze last winter. Detroit got a bit of a warm boost with the grow charts changing this year. They say it reflects the city's climate compared to more rural areas.

  6. #881

    Default Clarifying the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) for CNN

    Gazhekwe here: Just so you know, Indian tribes have lost countless children to adoption over the last several generations. ICWA and in Michigan, MICWA, were passed to address the adoption of Indian children outside their tribes. Here is Anderson Cooper's report, followed by the Open Letter attacking Cooper's report:

    An Open Letter to CNN and Anderson Cooper


    CNN Editorial Board:

    Anderson Cooper’s 2/21/2012 story regarding an Oklahoma Cherokee, Iraq veteran father who stopped a would-be adoption of his daughter was an example of poor and dangerous journalism. It was poor quality for its lack of fact checking and dangerous because it puts innocent children and families at risk. We demand that CNN give time for the truth to be told in hopes that the potential damage done by Mr. Cooper’s careless and cavalier reporting can be mitigated.

    A closer examination of the facts in this case, had Mr. Cooper chosen to adhere to the ethics of his profession, would have revealed that questionable practices by some parties, not the laws or the father, are the culprit. The case has many layers, including the father’s rights, laws protecting parents serving in our armed forces, state adoption laws, and American Indian law. CNN has jumped to conclusions without regard to the facts, and worse yet, fabricated a biased opinion based on questionable claims of one side rather than present a balanced news story.

    The court decision to unite the father and daughter are consistent with both Oklahoma and South Carolina state laws on adoption. It involves law that protects military personnel defending our country. Nonetheless, there have been numerous attempts in the media to criticize the relevant federal law, the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA)—a law that was enacted to stop the abuses that often occur in placements of American Indian children which requires that adoptive placements are done in an open and clear manner. If one accepts CNN’s reporting of this case, two obvious violations of the Indian Child Welfare Act occurred before the child was even two weeks old, yet were completely ignored by their legal expert. Instead of covering any of the real issues, Mr. Cooper and CNN’s legal expert chose to attack a loving father and ICWA.

    We believe the court decisions in this case will clearly identify the missteps and violations that occurred and that this adoption attempt was unlawful. This incident is a perfect example of why adherence to and enforcement of existing adoption laws is critical. When those that facilitate adoptions ignore the law, they put children and families at high risk.

    We have all heard about the outcomes of the questionable practices in this case in the media; there is no doubt that they are agonizing. No family should ever have to go through this kind of experience. If private adoption agencies and attorneys adhere to the law, illegal adoption attempts and the trauma inflicted on children, biological families, and adoptive families will no longer be perpetuated.

    CNN’s coverage of this story appears to support—and even advocate for—breaking state and federal laws. We believe this is a breach of professional journalism ethics and that Mr. Cooper should apologize and set the record straight.

    National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA); North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC);National Congress of American Indians (NCAI); Child Welfare League of America (CWLA)

    The National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) is the most comprehensive source of information on American Indian child welfare and the only national Indian organization focused specifically on the tribal capacity to prevent child abuse and neglect through training, research, public policy, grassroots community development, and compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978.

    Founded by adoptive parents in 1974, the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) helps reform systems, alter viewpoints, and change lives through advocacy, education, adoption support, and leadership development in the United States and Canada.

    The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), founded in 1944 in response to termination and assimilation policies that the United States forced upon tribal governments in contradiction to their treaty rights and status as sovereigns, works to inform the public and Congress on the governmental rights of American Indians and Alaska Natives.

    Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) is a powerful coalition of hundreds of private and public agencies serving vulnerable children and families by advancing policies, best practices, and collaborative strategies that result in better outcomes.

    Read more: http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwor...#ixzz1oj6bGHyF

  7. #882

    Default Anglo Doom Myth Debunked (Again)

    NASA Crushes 2012 Mayan Apocalypse Claims

    The agency's Near-Earth Objects Program head points out many fallacies, including the claim that an imaginary planet will collide with Earth in December. Thousands of astronomers have not seen this

    By Natalie Wolchover and Life's Little Mysteries | March 9, 2012 | Scientific American

    Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory have put out a new video to address false claims about the "Mayan apocalypse," a non-event that some people believe will bring the world to an end on Dec. 21.

    In the video, which was posted online Wednesday (Mar. 7), Don Yeomans, head of the Near-Earth Objects Program Office at NASA/JPL, explains away many of the most frequently cited doomsday scenarios. [See video]

    Addressing the belief that the calendar used by the ancient Mayan civilization comes to a sudden end in December 2012, and that this will coincide with a cataclysmic, world-ending event, Yeomans said: "Their calendar does not end on December 21, 2012; it's just the end of the cycle and the beginning of a new one. It's just like on December 31, our calendar comes to an end, but a new calendar begins on January 1."

    Yeomans also attempted to allay fears regarding potential causes of a Mayan apocalypse, including Nibiru, an imaginary planet that some people think is swinging in from the outer solar system just in time to collide with Earth in December. "This enormous planet is supposed to be coming toward Earth, but if it were, we would have seen it long ago. And if it were invisible somehow, we would have seen the [gravitational] effects of this planet on neighboring planets. Thousands of astronomers who scan the sky on a daily basis have not seen this," he said. [Believers In Mysterious Planet Nibiru Await Earth's End]

    He added that there is zero possibility of a NASA cover-up. "Can you imagine thousands of astronomers who observe the skies on a daily basis keeping the same secret from the public for several years?"

    As for solar flares, Yeomans explained that these do exist — in fact, two massive solar flares erupted just days ago, sending bursts of solar radiation into space — but they are part of the sun's normal 11-year cycle. Radiation from solar flares can damage orbiting satellites, but Earth's magnetosphere shields its inhabitants from the blasts, and the flares are not a health concern.

    "Then we have planetary alignments," Yeomans said. Some doomsayers believe the other planets and the sun will align with the Earth in December and cause catastrophic tidal effects. "Well, first of all, there are no planetary alignments in December of 2012, and even if there were, there are no tidal effects on the Earth as a result. The only two bodies in the solar system that can affect the Earth's tides are the moon, which is very close, and the sun, which is massive and also fairly close. But the other planets have a negligible effect on the Earth."

    (Incidentally, it is perfectly normal for the sun and moon to align, bolstering each other's gravitational pulls on Earth and generating higher-than-normal ocean tides. This happens twice each month.)

    Addressing the claim that Earth's axes are going to shift on Dec. 21, 2012, he said: "The rotation axis can't shift because the orbit of the moon around the Earth stabilizes it and doesn't allow it to shift." He noted that the magnetic field does shift every half-million years or so, but "there's no evidence it's going to happen in December, and even if it were to be shifting, it takes thousands of years to do so. And even if it did shift, it's not going to cause a problem on the Earth apart from the fact that we're going to have to recalibrate our compasses." [What If Earth's Magnetic Poles Flip?]

    Invoking the astronomer Carl Sagan's famous maxim, he said: "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Since the beginning of time there have been literally hundreds of thousands of predictions for the end of the world, and we're still here."
    Another link to the debunk video:

  8. #883

    Default A Tribute to One of Our Own

    Pokagon Band Chairman to be Honored by Native American Financial Officers Association

    By ICTMN Staff March 14, 2012

    Matthew Wesaw, chairman of the Pokagon Band of Indians, was recently named Tribal Leader of the Year by the Native American Financial Officers Association and will accept his award March 21 at NAFOA’s annual meeting in New Orleans.

    “Out of more than 550 tribes in the United States, Pokagon Band caught the attention of experts for its solid finances and enterprise expansion plans,” said John Warren, Pokagon Band treasurer in a tribal press release. “Bankers have told us that some countries should take note on how we manage financial resources.”

    Wesaw is a retired Michigan State Trooper, who has devoted his career to public service and has served as vice-chairman of the tribal council before being named chairman in 2009. A resident of Lansing, he has been the recipient of three gubernatorial appointments, serving on the Michigan Community Service Commission, as past chairman of the Michigan Commission on Indian Affairs, and as only the second Native American to be appointed to the Michigan Civil

    Rights Commission according to the release. He now serves as that commission’s chairman. He has served as area vice-president for the National Congress of American Indians since 2009 when he was elected by leaders of the Midwest’s 27 federally recognized tribes.

    “It is such a privilege to honor and recognize the excellent work Chairman Wesaw is doing to benefit Indian country,” said Bill Lomax, NAFOA president in the release. “He is truly an innovator and an inspiration.”

    Read more

    NOTE: The first Indian person appointed to the Michigan Civil Rights Commission was Beverly Clark, Detroit attorney, a member
    Aamjiwnaang First Nation, Sarnia (If my memory serves me well.)

    BEVERLY CLARK, M.A., J.D. (1982-1991)
    a Detroit lawyer, made history when she became the first American Indian on the Commission following her appointment by Governor William Milliken. Prior to her appointment, she had been active in several legal and American Indian organizations, including the board of directors of Michigan Indian Legal Services. She was the first female president of the Michigan Trial Lawyers Association and also served as president of the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan.
    She also chaired the Detroit Human Relations Commission. She held several positions on the Commission, including vicechair and chair. From the Civil Rights Commission 40th Anniversary book, 2003.
    Matthew Wesaw, Holt, - Appointed September 2004
    In 2001 Matthew Wesaw retired after serving as a Michigan State
    Police officer for 26 years. During his career with the Michigan State
    Police, Mr. Wesaw served at the Jackson, Flat Rock, and Lansing
    posts before being promoted to Uniform Sergeant in 1986. He was
    later transferred to the Criminal Investigation Division, where he
    became Detective Sergeant and served in the Organized Crime
    and Auto Theft Units. In 1995 he was elected to the full-time position
    of Vice President of the Michigan State Police Troopers Association
    (MSPTA). He served as the Vice President of the MSPTA until his
    retirement in January of 2001. Mr. Wesaw then worked as the
    Director of Government Relations for the Michigan State Police
    Troopers Association until 2008. He now serves as the elected
    Chairman of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, a federally
    recognized tribe located in Dowagiac, Michigan.
    Mr. Wesaw has
    been involved in many Native American organizations, including
    being a past board member of the Lansing North American Indian
    Center, past chair of the Commission on Indian Affairs under
    Governor John Engler, and current member of the Nokomis
    Learning Center. Mr. Wesaw is also a former appointee to the
    Michigan Community Service Commission.
    Matthew Wesaw
    attended Great Lakes Christian College and has a degree in
    Criminal Justice from Lansing Community College. He lives in Holt
    with his wife, Gloria and their daughters, Carly & Kelsey.,4613,7-13...6644--,00.html

  9. #884

    Default Pine Ridge holds the line on Keystone

    Pine Ridge Residents Halt Canadian Mine Equipment Transportation Through Reservation
    By Vincent SchillingMarch 9, 2012

    On the morning of March 5, a Wanblee resident was forced off the road as huge semi-tractor-trailers made their way through the Oglala Sioux Nation’s Pine Ridge Reservation. The woman made a few phone calls to other residents and within a short time a parade of cars came to stop in Wanblee, just inside Pine Ridge. Tribal residents set up an impromptu blockade and did not allow two trucks bearing the logos TOTRAN Transportation Services, Inc. to progress any further.

    After a six-hour standoff, several tribal members were arrested and tribal police escorted the trucks on their route.

    Whether or not the trucks equipment were part of the Keystone XL Pipeline project is unclear, although the drivers of the semi-trucks said they were heading to Canadian mines. According to the paperwork of the drivers, their two oversized vehicles were hauling equipment called “treater vessels” (equipment that uses intense heat to separate gas and oil and other elements) from Houston, Texas to Alberta, Canada. The vehicles weighed 229,155 pounds each and the value of each vessel was listed at $1,259,593.00.

    In a March 6 article in the Rapid City Journal, a Keystone XL Pipeline spokesman says the trucks were not part of his company, TransCanada, However statements from Oglala Nation Vice President Tom Poor Bear conflict with the Keystone XL Pipeline spokesman regarding a phone conversation he had with representatives with the state of South Dakota.

    Poor Bear says that while in transit to join tribal members at the blockade he spoke with JR LaPlante, the Secretary of Tribal Relations for the Governor of South Dakota Dennis Daugaard and that LaPlante admitted to the arrangement.

    “He said, ‘Mr. Poor Bear, I want to apologize. The South Dakota Department of Transportation and… ’—and then he named a couple senators and himself—‘had a meeting a couple weeks ago to reroute these trucks that are holding these pipes and water tanks that are going to Canada for the Keystone pipeline,” said Poor Bear. “He said, ‘We had to reroute them through your reservation.’”

    “I said, ‘Mr. LaPlante; I took a lead in opposing the Keystone pipeline, as well as our neighbors the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, and said that we oppose the pipeline and you allowed them to come through our reservation without asking permission?’

    Poor Bear told Indian Country Today Media Network that the truck drivers have been instructed to travel through the Pine Ridge Reservation as part of a behind-the-scenes arrangement between the state of South Dakota and the Canadian Corporation in order to save the $50,000 per vehicle permit charge the state of South Dakota would have charged the Canadian corporation to utilize state highways.

    Poor Bear was not happy about the deal struck behind the scenes. “I said, ‘That is not building a relationship between the state of South Dakota and us as the Oglala sovereign nation. Why did you not have the courtesy or respect to contact our chief of police, our tribal chairman, myself, or our tribal Council and let us know that you were going to reroute this through our reservation?’”

    When Poor Bear arrived at the blockade, he was met by about 40 tribal members who had used their cars to stop the trucks from going any further and spoke with tribal police at the scene. “I told law enforcement that these people have the right to stop these trucks and they are legally here.”

    Poor Bear says he and tribal police tried to find a safe turnaround for the trucks, but could not. “Myself and an officer went up and down the road to see where they could turn around and it was impossible,” he recalls. “The only way they could have turned around was at the Crazy Horse School Road but they would’ve tore up the road, and then it would’ve taken out some high lines which would have caused the people in Wanblee to go without electricity for 6 to 8 hours.”

    Despite the lack of an alternate route for the truckers, tribal members did not want to allow them to pass. Approaching the six-hour mark of the standoff, Tribal Police Chief Richard Greenwald thanked Poor Bear for keeping things calm, but warned they would have to let the trucks through. Greenwald said that if tribal members did not comply, tribal police would have to arrest them.

    According to Poor Bear, Greenwald wasn’t happy that the huge trucks had to pass through the reservation, but asking tribal members to move was a matter of public safety. Poor Bear agreed with Greenwald about tribal safety, but the crowd refused to move and instead, sat down in front of the trucks.

    Tribal police arrested several tribal members and charged them with disorderly conduct.

    Pine Ridge resident Debra White Plume, among those arrested, said, “When the tribal police gave a warning to move off the highway or be arrested, five of us refused to give an inch. All five of us were arrested.”

    They were all released later that day on their own recognizance; they were issued a self-bond and did not have to pay bail to be released. “I’ll guess we’ll have to go to court, I don’t know what is going to happen now,” said White Plume.

    White Plume says the truck drivers informed the people in the blockade that they did not know they were crossing an Indian reservation, and would tell their corporate office in Canada that the route should be avoided in the future.

    A. Gay Kingman, the executive director of the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association in Rapid City, South Dakota says, “Something is very wrong—years ago, all our Sioux Tribes in [South Dakota] fought State jurisdiction. Consequently, all our reservations in [South Dakota] are non-[PL] 280, which means the state is not supposed to have jurisdiction on our reservations. This should not be allowed to escalate and we cannot have any people hurt. The people will continue to prevent the XL trucks from entering the Pine Ridge Reservation.”

    Poor Bear says the tribe is setting up a meeting with Daugaard and LaPlante and the Department of Transportation, scheduled for either March 13 or 14. At that meeting Poor Bears says he plans to inform the state that the trucking company owes the Nation $100,000 for using Nation roads, since the Canadian Corporation was going to pay a $50,000 permit fee for each of the two trucks to pass through the state of South Dakota.

    ICTMN attempted to contact LaPlante for comments, but he has not returned the call.

    Read more:

  10. #885

    Default Walking in Two Worlds

    Adventures Living Off Rez

    By Ruth Hopkins, March 17, 2012

    I moved away from home two months ago for work. For the past six years, I’d been living on the Lake Traverse Reservation of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate where I am enrolled. I’ve lived on reservations throughout the Dakotas my entire life. The only time I’ve lived off-reservation was when I was a college student. Still, college life takes place in a fish bowl. Since moving I’ve realized that I didn’t receive full-on exposure to life off rez until now.

    How could things be so different for a Native family moving off the reservation to a city only an hour’s drive away?

    You’d be surprised.

    Yes, we’ve traveled abroad. We’ve all been exposed to the same television shows, music and movies, read many of the same books and magazines, and have western educations too- but the subtleties of daily life would prove there’s more to mainstream society than fast food and reality TV.

    Cultural differences have been most pronounced in my children. During a routine shopping trip, a Caucasian clerk called my son, who has very long hair, a girl. When I enrolled him in school, it seemed to bother the majority non-Native faculty and staff that he didn’t make frequent eye contact. When speaking with us, they would search for his eyes, and he would divert his gaze. I explained to them that we are from an American Indian Tribe where not making direct eye contact is the norm and is even considered a sign of respect. After my daughter started school there, she returned home demanding to know whether or not she had a “rez accent.” She’d been teased about it at her new school.

    Here, elders live in nursing homes or apartment complexes by themselves. There’s a huge focus on individualism, and the accumulation of money and material things. People are very religious, but not very spiritual.

    I’ve had my own experiences over the past few months as well. A month into my job, a co-worker told me I was “too humble.” She didn’t realize that according to my culture, she had just paid me a huge compliment.

    The first time a non-Native invited me out to lunch, I didn’t realize they expected me to pay for my own food. Every other time I’ve been invited to dinner on the reservation or with other Natives off-reservation, the party who invited me always offered to pay for my dinner, or I’d pay for theirs if I had invited them, although dinners out didn’t happen that often on the reservation. Our preferred social events are feeds—huge potlucks where everyone contributes their own dish, and everyone is free to take home a watecha plate.

    Giving off rez is also much different. Non-Natives give, but it’s via a special event where they receive recognition. On the reservation, giving is expected. Even Native people who have very little will contribute to giveaways, and to deny their gift is to insult them. Here in mainstream society, people say no to offers of food, gifts, or hospitality all the time and it’s not considered rude.

    Everyone’s in a rush too—but that’s not new to me. I’m 21st century Indigenous. We know how to hustle, even if that means working three or four jobs to make life work.

    Mostly there’s things I just plain miss about the rez. Since we’ve moved we haven’t received a single visitor. I’ve had to stop cooking so much. Back home, I always cooked extra because friends and family members stopped by unannounced on a regular basis. Here, I don’t even know my neighbor’s names. There’s no stray dogs either. In rez neighborhoods there’s dogs who don’t belong to any one person, but they still have names. Multiple people feed them, pet them, and love them. Here, everyone’s dogs are tiny and primarily stay indoors.

    It’s also become apparent that wherever I go in mainstream society, I will be expected to be a representative of my Tribe and Natives in general. I regularly receive questions related to my race and nationality. Inquiries have probed my opinion on everything from boarding schools and mascots, to questions about what kind of movies ‘we’ like or if I personally know another Native they’ve heard of.

    Non-Natives also tend to assume that whatever I think or believe is what all Natives think or believe. As a result, I’ve started to preface many of my answers with a warning; reminding non-Natives that I’m only speaking for myself, not all Natives. The only way to cure ignorance is to answer their questions. I hope it helps them develop a basic understanding of who Natives are while also recognizing that deep down we’re all just human beings.

    Even though there’s been awkward moments, I’m satisfied with my decision to move off reservation. There’s been more positive experiences than negative ones. Yes, we miss home- but we can visit.

    Natives are members of a global community now and if there’s anything this experience has taught me, it is that the world needs us. We have a lot to offer. If we choose, we can get out there and represent. We can carry our home in our hearts….and take the world by storm.

    Ruth Hopkins (Sisseton-Wahpeton/Mdewakanton/Hunkpapa) is a writer, speaker,former science professor and tribal attorney. She is a columnist for Indian Country Today Media Network and

    Read more:

  11. #886

    Default US Justice System, Protecting Itself at the Expense of the Innocent

    At first glance, the facts seemed straightforward.

    In October 1991, after a long-running family feud, Douglas White, a Lakota medicine man from South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, was accused of sexually abusing his two grandsons. In January 1993, the 72-year-old White was sentenced to 292 months in federal prison with no hope of parole.

    There was, however, more to his story. When two young video artists started delving into it nearly 20 years ago, they realized how much remained to be told. They embarked on a complex journey that produced their startling 2011 documentary Holy Man, the USA v. Douglas White, and in the process, uncovered dramatic new evidence that turned the government’s case against White inside out. The film is narrated by Martin Sheen.

    Jennifer Jessum is the founder and director of Flying Limbs Inc. Productions. She served as director, producer, cinematographer and editor for Holy Man, while her husband, Simon Joseph, took on the roles of writer, producer and cinematographer. ...

    Jessum says it was much later, when the duo had relocated to the West Coast, that they learned about the case against him. ...

    “We requested to do on-camera interviews, but the Federal Bureau of Prisons told us it was a ‘security risk,’ ” says Joseph. “That pushed us to look toward the case, to see where we could do the most good.” He pauses. “We started seeing a lot of holes.”

    The duo learned that after sexual assault allegations were made against White in October 1991, the tribal court on Pine Ridge fully investigated the case, brought it to trial and dismissed it for lack of evidence. Then, more than a year later, the federal government inexplicably reopened the case and charged White with the same crime.

    Double jeopardy means being tried twice for the same offense, and is prohibited by the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. But, Jessum and Joseph say, it’s all too common on reservations.

    To make matters worse, White had no means to hire a lawyer and was defended by a court-appointed attorney. He was tried by an all-white jury at a federal court in Rapid City, South Dakota, 100 miles from his home, in a language he did not fully understand. He was convicted despite the fact that there was contradictory testimony and no physical evidence.

    U.S. District Judge Richard H. Battey sentenced White to 25 years in prison.
    According to Jessum and Joseph, White continued to pursue his work as a medicine man within the prison walls. “He didn’t understand why he was in there,” Jessum says. “He thought, I’m innocent. Let me out! It was a horrible place, but he was incredibly respected by the other inmates and the people who worked there. ...

    According to Joseph, the team had interviewed Roy Helper Jr., one of the two grandsons who accused White of abuse, several times. Nothing much came of it, until one day in October 2007, “Roy called us and said, ‘I need to talk to you today,’ ” Joseph recalls. “His wife had just had a baby boy; it was a big moment for him. He explained that he’d been carrying this burden his entire life and was ready to let go.”

    Helper met the film crew at a hotel in Rapid City, and he confessed on film that he had lied about the alleged abuse. He said that he and his brother, Lloyd, were under tremendous pressure from lawyers, judges and “people in suits,” and he said the experience was frightening. He also indicated that they were coaxed to say certain things. In return, they were told they would get money, toys, even a horse. (They received none of those things.)

    “We were just little, dumb, stupid Indian kids, being tossed around,” Helper says in Holy Man, his voice choked with emotion. “Eventually it’s going to come out. Like today.” ...

    Next, viewers learn that White’s ex-wife, Evelyn, admitted that no abuse occurred, despite her accusations against her for former husband so many years ago; ... And the boys’ mother, Geraldine, who formally accused White in 1991, admits that years later, when she asked Lloyd (the other boy) if the old allegations were true, he said they weren’t. ...

    “After Roy confessed that he had never been abused, we realized that this was new evidence of Douglas’s actual innocence, because the only real evidence at the trial was the contradictory testimonial evidence of the two boys,” Joseph explains. “So I contacted [attorney] Terry Pechota, and he agreed to take the case on. ..

    In response to the psychological evaluation and polygraph results [that the abuse never occurred], three members of the original jury recanted their guilty verdicts and signed affidavits. The petition was filed with the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in October 2008, and after its approval in March 2009, the case was sent to U.S. Magistrate Judge Veronica L. Duffy for her to make a recommendation to the Senior District Court judge, who had not yet been determined.

    Duffy approved a petition for the case to be expedited, based on White’s failing health. And on July 31, 2009, she recommended an “immediate evidentiary hearing” to Judge Richard H. Battey—the same judge who had sentenced White to 25 years in prison.

    In August, the U.S. Attorney’s office objected to the request for a new trial, insisting that White learned about Roy Helper Jr.’s confession in 2004, years before it actually took place [making the appeal untimely. A petition had been filed including signed statements from Louis Helper and his mother, but not Roy]. ...

    “Gilbert never contacted Roy Helper at this time, nor did he ever obtain an affidavit from him,” Joseph explains. “When Douglas filed his petition, he made a reference to the enclosed ‘affidavits,’ in plural, suggesting that he had affidavits from both boys. But this was never part of the submitted court record, and the government knew it, but this little verbal slip was all they needed to argue that the one-year statute of limitations on disclosing new evidence had run out.
    Joseph immediately contacted Roy Helper and White to have them clarify what had happened in notarized affidavits, stating that the confession had occurred for the first time in 2007. They submitted the affidavits to Judge Battey as evidence proving the U.S. Attorney’s claims were false. “We asked him to reconsider his ruling, but he ruled against Douglas again [on October 21, 2009],” Joseph says. ...

    White’s legal team appealed Battey’s decision to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals and requested that the court remove him from the case. They also asked for White to be released while the government prepared for trial. ...

    They ran out of time. Douglas White died in prison on November 24, 2009. According to Jessum and Joseph, the government has never explained why it prosecuted White a full year after tribal court dismissed his case—or why it insisted on denying White a new hearing in light of such significant new evidence.

    “That’s what was most horrifying for me, as we kept gathering evidence of his innocence and of his wrongful conviction,” Jessum says. “We have more [evidence] than any court could ever ask for. This opens up a deeper darkness. You see how ugly the system is. They let an innocent man die in prison to protect the system.” ...

    Despite that, Jessum and Joseph point to a larger message of hope. “The film is a testimonial to Douglas, his spirit and the Lakota spirit,” Jessum says. “The things indigenous people have gone through is so horrific, yet they maintain their spiritual connections, their humor.”...

    Visit At press time, Flying Limbs Inc. Productions expected to have DVDs available for purchase this summer.

    Read more:


  12. #887

    Default Come celebrate the vernal equinox with the ancestors of Chaco Canyon

    "The Spirits are still a part of this place"

    We visited Chaco and stayed a couple of nights in the campground. It is a beautiful awe inspiring place full of the voices of the ancients, if you have the ears to hear them. There are many places to visit and beautiful hikes to be taken. It is a remote place now, but a thousand years ago, it was a bustling metropolis with roads coming in from all directions. Water was more plentiful then and there was enough space for crops and good hunting.

  13. #888

    Default Opposition to Keystone goes Presidential

    President Obama in Oklahoma to Support Part of Keystone XL Pipeline

    Indian Protestors On Hand

    Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Challenges.

    CUSHING, OKLAHOMA – Bowing to public sentiment about the high price of gasoline across America, President Obama is on a two day, four state, trip that is slated to promote his administration's commitment to American made energy.

    President Obama is there to discuss his administration's "commitment to improving and supporting the infrastructure that helps us leverage our domestic resources, while also ensuring these projects are developed in a safe and responsible way," according to White House release.This morning, to the dismay of many American Indians and environmental organizations, President Obama will visit Cushing, Oklahoma to announce he supports the construction of the southern route of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.

    The White House continued "the pipeline will help address the bottleneck of oil that has resulted in large part from increased domestic oil production in the Midwest."

    President Obama's announcement will be made at a storage yard holding pipes that will be used for the construction of the pipeline.

    A group of American Indians who are part of the Coalition against the Keystone XL Pipeline will protest President Obama during his visit to Cushing. They will be joined by American Indian actor Richard Roy Whitman, Yuchi-Muscogee Creek.

    “My understanding is the pipelines will be used to transport oil that is in holding tanks here in Oklahoma. This oil does not contain tar sands. My concern is tar sands oil will be sneaked in from Canada before we know it,”
    said Whitman this morning.

    “That is why I am going to protest this pipeline.”
    “President Obama is an adopted member of the Crow Tribe, so his fast-tracking this project that will desecrate known sacred sites and artifacts is a real betrayal and disappointment for his Native relatives everywhere,” said Marty Cobenais of the Indigenous Environmental Network.

    “Tar sands is devastating First Nations communities in Canada already and now they want to bring that environmental, health, and social devastation to United States tribes.”

    Principal Chief George Thurman of the Sac & Fox Nation in Oklahoma will be an honored guest at the Cushing presidential visit, even though he has publically opposed the Keystone XL pipeline.

    “I am looking forward to meeting President Obama,”
    Principal Chief Thurman stated to the Native News Network.

    posted March 22, 2012 10:40 am edt

  14. #889

    Default LTB Tribe considers going back to the old ways in marriage recognition

    Tribe may legalize gay marriage The Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians’ tribal council is considering an amendment to the tribal constitution that would recognize same-sex marriages. If the amendment is adopted, the tribe would be the first in Michigan and among a few nationwide to legalize gay marriages. Most of the about 4,000 people in the tribe live in the northern Lower Peninsula. If the measure is approved, at least one partner would have to be a member of the tribe. The proposal currently is in a public comment period.
    From the Free Press this morning.

  15. #890

    Default Spring Beauties

    I posted the story on March 7, 2010, post 301. That year, the flowers came out April 11, post 336. Last year, they appeared April 27, post 665. This year, they popped up today, March 27, a whole month earlier.

    Here is the rerun of the story:

    The Spring Beauty

    An old man was sitting in his lodge, by the side of a frozen stream. It was the end of Winter, the air was not so cold, and his fire was nearly out. He was old and alone. His locks were white with age, and he trembled in every joint. Day after day passed, and he heard nothing but the sound of the storm sweeping before it the new-fallen snow.

    One day while his fire was dying, a handsome young man entered the lodge. His cheeks were red, his eyes sparkled. He walked with a quick, light step. His forehead was bound with sweet-grass, and he carried a bunch of fragrant flowers in his hand.

    "Ah, my Son," said the old man, "I am happy to see you. Come in. Tell me your adventures, and what strange lands you have seen. I will tell you my wonderful deeds, and what I can perform. You shall do the same, and we will amuse each other."

    The old man then drew from a bag a curiously wrought pipe. He filled it with mild tobacco, and handed it to his guest. They each smoked from the pipe, and then began their stories.

    "I am Peboan, the Spirit of Winter," said the old man. "I blow my breath, and the streams stand still. The water becomes stiff and hard as clear stone."

    "I am Seegwun, the Spirit of Spring," answered the youth. "I breathe, and flowers spring up in the meadows and woods."

    "I shake my locks," said the old man, "and the snow covers the land. The leaves fall from the trees, and my breath blows them away. The birds fly to the distant land, and the animals hide themselves from the cold."

    "I shake my ringlets," said the young man, "and the warm showers of soft rain fall upon the Earth. The flowers lift their heads from the ground, and the grass grows thick and green. My voice recalls the birds, and they come flying joyfully from the South-land. The warmth of my breath unbinds the streams, and they sing the songs of Summer. Music fills the groves wherever I walk, and all Nature rejoices."

    And while they were thus talking, a wonderful change took place. The Sun began to rise. A gentle warmth stole over the place. Peboan, the Spirit of Winter, became silent. His head drooped, and the snow outside the lodge melted away. Seegwun, the Spirit of Spring, grew more radiant, and rose joyfully to his feet. The Robin and the Bluebird began to sing on the top of the lodge. The stream murmured past the door, and the fragrance of opening flowers came softly on the breeze.

    The lodge faded away, and Peboan sank down and dissolved into tiny streams of water, that vanished under the brown leaves of the forest.
    Thus the Spirit of Winter departed, and where he melted away the Indian children gathered the first blossoms, fragrant and delicately pink, the modest Spring Beauty.

    This is an Ojibwe legend that I first heard as a youngster one spring as we admired patches of spring beauty nestled in sunny spots in the woods. Here, I am fortunate to have a patch of wild spring beauty that pops up in my front yard, usually late in April. They live on the roots of a great ash tree that unfortunately had to be cut down a couple of years ago. I hope they can continue to survive, though their host tree is gone.
    Last edited by gazhekwe; March-22-12 at 07:19 PM.

  16. #891


    Here is the trailer to the movie, Holy Man, the story of Douglas White and the US justice system. I posted the story about this movie above, Post 886.

    Holy Man is the story of Douglas White, an 88 year old Lakota Sioux medicine man from Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, who spent 17 years in federal prison for a crime he did not commit. During the making of this film, filmmakers uncovered new evidence of White's innocence and brought the case back to Federal Court.

  17. #892

    Default Remember John T. Williams, late woodcarver of Seattle? Shot by SPD 8/30/2010

    McGinn announces major reforms for Seattle police
    The city is proposing a sweeping and ambitious package of reforms in response to a scathing federal report on the Seattle Police Department following a series of high-profile incidents involving minorities.
    By Mike Carter, Seattle Times staff reporter, 3/29/2012

    Mayor Mike McGinn and Police Chief John Diaz have announced a sweeping and ambitious package of reforms in response to a scathing federal report on the Seattle Police Department following a series of high-profile incidents involving minorities.

    The 20 proposed reforms are aimed at "supporting a just and effective police force," McGinn said during a news conference Thursday morning at Seattle City Hall. The changes are to be implemented over the next 20 months, he said.

    McGinn, Diaz and Mike Sanford, the department's assistant chief of operations, said the reforms fall under five major categories: Protecting constitutional rights; training for Seattle's values; earning public trust; using data-driven practices; and partnering with the public.

    Among the areas addressed in the initiatives are ensuring officers prevent low-level offenses from escalating; preventing biased policing; training new officers so they understand the history and culture of Seattle; ensuring that all officer use-of-force incidents are reported; community outreach; changing the way officers manage public demonstrations, including limiting the use of pepper spray; and developing a binding code of ethics for officers.

    "These initiatives reflect the values of our city," Diaz said. "The people of Seattle deserve a police department that is effective and just."

    The changes are aimed at addressing many of the issues cited in a U.S. Department of Justice report that concluded the Police Department's officers have engaged in a "pattern and practice" of excessive force. The Justice Department's investigation also uncovered troubling evidence of biased policing, but lacked the data to find a pattern.

    McGinn, in a statement, said the proposed police initiatives "go far beyond a response to the Department of Justice report," and address concerns in the community that go back years. He promised the changes would be "lasting and sustainable" and pledged to hold Diaz and his command staff accountable.

    Many of the initiatives contain an element of community involvement, from hiring to training to setting a new policy for use of force. McGinn said he "expects the community to be a full partner with us."

    McGinn issued his "vision for the future" two days after members of the City Council sent the mayor a letter expressing disappointment that an effort to collaborate on police reforms had failed.

    While McGinn credited his meetings with the council as being helpful, Councilman Bruce Harrell ² who heads the council committee that oversees police ² said the mayor's plan was put together "without any real input from the City Council."

    "One of my concerns is that this is a very top-down plan," Harrell said. "I think we were hoping for a more holistic approach."

    Still, Harrell called the plan a "good template" that will involve negotiations with the Justice Department, City Council for funding and likely the Seattle Police Officers' Guild.

    The Justice Department's 11-month investigation was launched at the request of the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington and nearly three dozen minority community groups following the fatal shooting of a First Nations woodcarver by a Seattle police officer, and other high-profile incidents with citizens.

    The 41-page report said the Justice Department investigation found "deficiencies in SPD's training, policies and oversight" and that "starting from the top, SPD supervisors often fail to meet their responsibility to provide oversight of the use of force" by officers. The report, released Dec. 16, concluded that one of every five instances of force by Seattle officers violates the Constitution's protections against illegal search and seizure.

    In releasing the findings, Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez, head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, said the department's practices to assure accountability and public trust are "broken" and that the only sure fix is through court-ordered, long-term reform and an outside special monitor to oversee it.

    Diaz and McGinn initially reacted to the report with skepticism. Diaz questioned the methodology used by the Justice Department, saying he and his commanders examined the same data and did not reach the same conclusions. However, a few days after the release of the report McGinn ordered Diaz to immediately begin carrying out department reforms. McGinn also said he would convene a public review panel to oversee the city's response to the report.

    One of the sticking points with McGinn and police, sources have told The Times, is whether there is a need for court oversight of the changes recommended by the Justice Department.

    Kathleen Taylor, executive director of the ACLU of Washington, said the organization was encouraged by the proposed reforms.

    "We urge the City to speedily negotiate a consent decree with the DOJ that will include a monitor and court oversight," Taylor said in a news release. "Seattle cannot solve the longstanding problems of SPD culture and accountability without that assistance. A consent decree is critical to ensure that reforms are thoroughly implemented and are sustained for the long term."

  18. #893

    Default Hitting the Powwow Trail

    Here is the current Powwow Listing from It will be updated as new listings or changes are posted. You can search by location. Note there will be several powwows in northern Ohio and at least one in northern Indiana as well as the ones in Michigan.

    The 21st Annual Bay Mills Honoring the Veterans Powwow will be June 29-July 1 at Bay Mills.

    [FONT=Georgia, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif]

  19. #894


    gazhekwe have you ever seen this.

    It was shown in this documentary maybe 1974

  20. #895


    No, I hadn't seen it. What a great story, thanks for posting it!

    I thought of some discussion overnight. In the 70s, affirmative action was taking shape. This program is a pure form of affirmative action, training people who didn't have the opportunity due to access issues, including discrimination. Discrimination against American Indians was (and is) common in areas surrounding reservations, where most jobs are. In one form, the employer just assumes there are no Indians that qualify, and does not recruit in their community. In another, the employer actively rejects Indian applicants because of the belief that Indians are lazy and will miss too much time due to drunkenness.

    Affirmative action is a delicate science, first the program has to fit the need, then the commitment must come at all levels. It doesn't always work very well. I was present at a presentation by Chrysler at Bay Mills Community College a few years back, where just such a program was discussed. They gave a name in reference, but when I called the person, they didn't know what I was talking about. Good to see Datsun did it right at least in the beginning.

    Follow up is important as well to assure the new workers are not having any issues on the job, issues like attendance to which employers are hypersensitive when it comes to Indians. Employers just know Indians will miss time or be tardy so the Indian worker must be very careful about being there and on time.
    Last edited by gazhekwe; April-01-12 at 08:18 AM.

  21. #896

    Default This is fun! Eye Candy with a Two Spirit Twist

    Aboriginal Transgender Miss Universe Canada Contestant Jenna Talackova Fights Disqualification—And Wins

    By ICTMN Staff April 3, 2012

    UPDATE: Jenna’s back in the pageant!

    Lake Babine First Nation member Jenna Talackova was born male. Four years ago, though, she underwent a sex change operation. Today she is a 23-year-old woman striking enough to make it into the Canadian Miss Universe Pageant. [Lake Babine First Nation is in Central BC]

    Enter Donald Trump, whose pageant has disqualified her for being formerly male. The decision came down shortly after it was revealed that Talackova was transgender. Talackova, selected from among 65 finalists for the May competition to be held in Toronto, has refused to back down.

    “I’m disqualified, however I’m not giving up,” she tweeted after getting the news. “I’m not going to just let them disqualify me over discrimination.”

    She and attorney Gloria Allred, known for taking on high-profile cases, held a press conference in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

    “Jenna entered this competition and gave the pageant her time, her best efforts and her money,” Allred said at the press conference, Talackova at her side, as TMZ reported. “She did not think for one moment that what she looked like at birth would be relevant. She did not ask Mr. Trump to prove that he is a naturally born man, or to see the photos of his birth to view his anatomy to prove he was male. It made no difference to her. Why should it have made a difference to him?”

    Supporters of the six-foot-tall transgender beauty are circulating a petition via the Internet asking that Talackova be reinstated.

    “Ms. Talackova has been disqualified from the Miss Universe Canada contest solely for being transgender,” says the petition, started by one Oscar Dimant in Brooklyn, New York. “This is discriminatory, unjust, and quite frankly disgusting. She is a woman and deserves to be treated as any other woman would be. What kind of genitals she was or was not born with (and even what kind of genitals she has today) is completely irrelevant. This petition is to get her reinstated as a contestant, since she was unfairly disqualified.”

    Pageant rules say that entrants must be “naturally born” females, according to the Associated Press. On April 2 the pageant posted a statement on its website saying that Talackova can compete “provided she meets the legal gender recognition requirements of Canada, and the standards established by other international competitions.”
    Allred said that the pageant’s statement did not go far enough by not eliminating the transgender rule entirely and said she and Talackova “are considering all of Jenna’s leagal options,” and has met with legal teams in Canada, New York and California.

    Read more:

  22. #897

    Default The Old Ones tell of Climate Change in our time

    Margaret Hiza Redsteer uses Navajo memories to track climate change

    High Country NEWS - April 04, 2012By Danielle Venton

    Margaret Hiza Redsteer has long known the Navajo Nation. Of Crow descent, she grew up near the Montana-Wyoming border, and in the 1970s moved to an area of Arizona then shared by the Navajo and Hopi tribes. She married a Navajo man and they had three children. While living on the reservation, she often heard people talk about how much the land's vegetation had changed. "But at that point," she says, "it hadn’t really clicked what that meant – that it indicated climate change."

    In 1986 the 29-year-old Hiza Redsteer and her family resettled in Flagstaff, where she began to study geology at the university. After 14 years of schooling, she returned to the Navajo Nation with a Ph.D., as an employee of the U.S. Geological Survey in the early 2000s. Her research specialty was studying volcanic deposits near Yellowstone. But, as she grew convinced of the harmful effects of climate change on reservation livelihoods, she decided to switch focus. Her pioneering work using aerial photographs, GPS maps and remote laser sensing data to track landscape level changes on the Navajo Nation was written about in "Shifting sands in Navajoland," (HCN story; 6/23/08).

    Now, Hiza Redsteer is pushing to find out even more about ecological changes her original data could not track by incorporating a rarely-used form of climate data into her research -- the accounts of Indian elders. She has extensively interviewed many elders, and now their perspective is illuminating new aspects of the region's environmental history.

    High Country News If I was a Navajo child, what would I hear about the weather and climate growing up?

    Margaret Hiza Redsteer The elders often talk about the difference in grass, how tall, how thick, how much of it there used to be. Some people say when they were young and herding sheep they had to stay right with the herd. If they didn’t the sheep would get lost in the grass. It's not like that now.

    HCN What have you learned from these oral histories?

    Hiza Redsteer The elders' memories can give us information that the physical records can’t. They give a much better picture of what the ecological changes have been. For example, people talk about how, in the winter, the snow was chest high on the horses. They talk about using particular streams for irrigation of crops, but many of those aren’t even flowing now.

    It helps us fill in gaps too. There are huge time gaps in some of the earlier photography. We have a photo set from 1936, for instance, but then the next photo set we have from the area is from 1954. That’s a huge gap in time when you’re trying to unravel how the landscape changed and what caused it.

    HCN Is there a difference between the kind of information you can get through oral and analytical methods?

    MHR We can model evapotranspiration rates based on temperature; we can make observations of soil moisture. But one thing that we can't do very easily is project back to what those conditions were like when there was more snow. One of the things we’ve learned (from oral accounts) is that soil moisture conditions were much different. In the Southwest we expect precipitation during two distinct periods: winter rains, followed by a dry windy spring, then the summer monsoons. Springs have become much warmer; we can see that in the meteorological record.

    We've learned from the elders that the soil stayed moist all through the spring until the summer monsoon arrived. Now, if you were to go out in the springtime during the dry windy season, you could dig a very big trench and not run into any wet sand or soil. The ecological effects are huge because shallow rooted plants aren't going to do as well.

    It's also hard to reconstruct where plants and animals were in the past. The elders have told us that when there were cottonwoods in the Little Colorado river there were lots of beavers. They used to see cranes migrate through the area in the spring, stopping in the marshes around lakes that aren't there now.

    HCN Since human memories are fallible, how do you know what to trust?

    MHR It is striking how well the oral history accounts match with the meteorological data that we have. For instance, there was a record snowstorm in December 1966. And a lot of people remember that, but aren’t sure if it was in 1966 or 1967, but they knew it was that particular winter. That’s pretty close!

    Also, we have safety in numbers -- we've done about a hundred interviews. We look for people that have lived their entire lives on the reservation, living a traditional lifestyle. And we seek out people who are more knowledgeable about plants. The medicine men in particular, because they keep track of what plants and animals are around so they can use them in ceremonies.

    Also, interviews from people in specific areas are very consistent. And we're seeing that people who live in the drier low-lands are seeing a different timing of changes than people who are living higher, among the buttes, ponderosa, pinyon and juniper trees. We're trying to understand that difference more clearly.

    HCN How will this information help the Navajo?

    MHR It takes the information that the elders have to offer and provides it to the community in a clear format, so they can discuss how they want to plan their land use. It really raises people's awareness.

    HCN Are the Navajo going to be able to survive the next two centuries of climate change?

    MHR That's the real concern. I think they -- along with a lot of native people and society in general -- are going to have to decide what is important to them and what their identity is. There are going to be cultural changes, there is no way for that not to occur. A lot of people have already moved away from having livestock. There is just no water for them; there is no feed. And to haul hay to the reservation all the time is really expensive. You're often making a poor living or losing money in the deal. People have some livestock now, just not very many, and mostly for ceremonial purposes.

    HCN You've spoken with indigenous people all over the world about changes they've seen in their local environments.What are some of the similarities that you hear in those conversations?

    MHR It's interesting because a lot of them say that they can't predict the weather anymore. Things have changed so much that their traditional calendars don't work. From people in the Amazon, in Africa, in Asia, that's a worldwide unified statement.

    Often they blame themselves for the changes, because they're not following their traditions anymore. They blame themselves for becoming Westernized, driving cars, having wage jobs and not taking care of the land and having the same ceremonies like they used to. Most of the traditional religions have a tone of stewardship, a tone that Western society doesn't have. They think that because they're not taking care of the land that's why this is happening. In a way, you know, that's true (thinking abstractly) but it's really kind of tragic that they're blaming themselves for these changes.

    HCN How do you react?

    MHR I've discussed it with a lot of medicine men, that they're not to blame. Some are finally coming around, though it's taken a while. They still think, though, that they're partly responsible. It's a hard point to get across.

  23. #898

    Default Bread of life -- Recipes from Indian Country

    The Bread of a Tribe

    By Dale Carson April 7, 2012

    Every nation in Indian Country has their own recipe for bread—many are a variation of cornbread.
    While breads are often geographically identified, the different types of bread are generally shared by all.

    Here in the Northeast, we love our johnnycakes and nut breads, wild rice bread, appones and pumpkin bread. The Southeast commonly uses hominy, sweet potatoes, and many other combinations. Bannock shines in the Plains, as tortillas of every shape and size rule in the Southwest, as does Buckskin bread in the Northwest.

    Before there were refined wheat or whole wheat flours, Native women were more than proficient in producing flours from such things as cattails, acorns, beans, amaranth, chestnuts, quinoa, wild rice along with other organic plants. The process from plant to flour, in most cases, is very labor intensive. Today, you can find many unique flours from ancient grains and nuts in health food stores. I have purchased chestnut, quinoa and wild rice flours, finding very subtle differences. All are very fine and almost powder-like.

    I’m not a fan of yeast; I’ve just never had much luck using it. Our ancestors never had yeast. Batter-quick breads suit me best, as they are easy to assemble and amiable to last-minute inspired additions. Chopped dried fruit, nuts of any kind, herbs, spices, even vegetables like squash and tomatoes are great in bread.

    Another type of Native bread I really like and find super useful is tortillas. As wraps and tacos, they are perfect food holders.

    Buckskin Bread
    Preheat oven to 400 degrees, grease or spray an 8-inch cast iron skillet or pie plate. If using the cast iron skillet only, put it in the oven while it preheats, greased but not filled.
    2 cups flour
    1 teaspoon sea salt
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 cup water

    Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and blend or whisk the water in quickly. Remove pre-heated skillet from oven very carefully and put dough in, press down a little to make it even, or, put dough in pie pan and also press down to make even. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool some and serve warm.

    Sweet Potato Bread
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease or spray a large baking sheet
    6 sweet potatoes
    3 tablespoons light brown sugar (or substitute equivalent)
    ½ teaspoon cinnamon
    3 tablespoons flour
    3 tablespoons softened butter

    Peel and boil sweet potatoes until soft, about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool some and mash until smooth, add butter, cinnamon and sugar, blend well. Add the flour to help the mixture hold together while you make it into large patties. Put the patties on the baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes.

    Note: Sweet potatoes keep very well, almost a month after purchase, as long as they are kept cool and not refrigerated. 45-55 degrees is best to store them dry. Do not peel until you’re ready to cook them. They contain beta-carotene and vitamins C and E.

    Nut Bread
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a loaf pan.
    1 cup whole milk or water
    1 cup honey
    ½ cup sugar (or substitute)
    ¼ cup softened butter
    2 egg yolks2-1/2 cups flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon salt
    ¾ cup crushed nuts (walnuts, pecans or hazelnuts)

    Put honey, milk or water in a saucepan and scald (bring almost to a boil). Add sugar and stir until it dissolves. Cool, then beat in butter and egg yolks. Add dry ingredients, beat well and add nuts. Put into the loaf pan and bake one hour. Cool on a rack.

    Flour Tortillas
    2 cups of flour
    ¼ cup lard
    1 teaspoon salt
    ½ cup lukewarm water

    Mix flour and salt together in a large bowl. Use your hands to work the lard into the flour mixture, then add the water, mixing and kneading the dough until it is smooth and elastic. Divide the dough into ten balls, pat them flat, stretch them and, if you have a rolling pin use it to make them really, really flat, then do it. Get a griddle or frying pan very hot and drop the tortillas one side at a time until it looks spotty or freckled, flip to do other side. Serve warm immediately, or store for later use.

    Dale Carson, Abenaki, is the author of three books: New Native American Cooking, Native New England Cooking and A Dreamcatcher Book. She has written about and demonstrated Native cooking techniques for more than 30 years. Dale has four grown children and lives with her husband in Madison, Connecticut.

    Read more:

  24. #899

    Default A wonderful experience tonight at Music Hall

    Lakota Indian Dance Troupe at the Music Hall

    Detroit, a city that knows a thing or two about music, is hosting a show that can bring the energy and skill that the denizens of Motown can appreciate.
    The Detroit News reports that the Lakota Sioux Indian Dance Theatre is bringing its “spiritually, visually and aurally stunning production Cokata Upo! Come to the Center to the Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts,” tonight.This three-act show will give the Motown audience the group’s incredible live act, with “traditional, sacred and courting songs with narratives and creation stories, dance, music and video backdrops,” as the News writes.“Founded in 1978 on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, the dance theater consists of highly acclaimed performers of the Sioux Nation. The troupe tours the nation frequently, has visited Greece and was featured in the opening celebration of the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.,” the News reports.“We absolutely try to make it an experience,” Henry Smith, head of the Indian dance theater, told the News. “What we want to cultivate is an appreciation of the depth of the Lakota.” While the show is filled with incredible sound, color and dance, Smith told the News that the drum serves as the foundation of the show.“The drum is the heartbeat. It gets people involved and it moves people. It is like a catalyst,” he said.For more on this story, click here. For information on tickets, see below:
    Lakota Sioux Indian Dance Theatre

    8 p.m. Friday
    Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts
    350 Madison, Detroit,
    Tickets: $30-$50
    Call (313) 887-8501

    Read more:

  25. #900

    Default Scary Tucson school board member on Daily Show

    Now this is the scariest guy I have seen in awhile, lots scarier than a mugger, even, because he can hurt so many.

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