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Thread: Paging Gazhekwe

  1. #326


    U-M initiates process for returning American Indian human remains

    By Rick Fitzgerald
    Public Affairs

    U-M has begun outlining a process for the transfer of Native American human remains to Indian tribes.

    Vice President for Research Stephen Forrest said the most recent activities are in response to the U.S. Department of the Interior’s March 15 publication of a final rule clarifying how museums and other agencies — including the university — should handle Native American human remains that are under their control but for which no culturally affiliated Indian tribe has been identified.

    Other resources
    • Web site of the Advisory Committee on Culturally Unidentifiable Human Remains under NAGPRA
    Culturally Unidentifiable Native American Inventory Database for the U-M Musem of Anthopology

    “Now that the Department of the Interior has clarified the rule for transferring culturally unidentifiable human remains, it is important that the university reach out to tribal leaders and facilitate the transfer process,” Forrest said.

    Forrest said he anticipates having a process in place by the time the new federal rule takes effect May 14. The university has in its possession the remains of about 1,390 individuals unidentifiable with an existing tribe.

    “The rule change recently announced provides a clear path for the transfer of the human remains in our possession,” Forrest said. “We will move down that path in a transparent, swift and respectful manner.” Officials and traditional religious leaders will be included in the consultation process. A letter to relevant tribes will be sent soon.

    Last fall Forrest appointed the 12-member Advisory Committee on Culturally Unidentifiable Human Remains under NAGPRA to provide advice and guidance on the procedures used to notify and consult with groups from whose tribal or aboriginal lands the remains were removed. The new rule was adopted because the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 did not include rules for the disposition of culturally unidentifiable human remains.

    The Department of the Interior published a proposed rule for public comment in 2007. The department received 138 written comments from Native American tribes and organizations, museums and scientific organizations, federal agencies and the public. The final rule addresses issues raised during that process.

    NAGPRA required federal agencies and organizations that receive federal funds to submit to the Department of the Interior inventories of Native American human remains in their possessions and to include their best judgment as to whether the remains are culturally affiliated with a present day Indian tribe or known earlier group or are culturally unidentifiable because no shared group identity can be reasonably traced.

    Culturally affiliated remains are repatriated upon request after a public comment period.
    The new rule specifies that after appropriate consultation, transfer of culturally unidentifiable remains is to be made to an Indian tribe from whose tribal or aboriginal lands the remains were excavated or removed.

    The U-M Museum of Anthropology has in its collection unidentifiable Native American remains from archaeological sites in 37 states.

    Now that the new rule has clarified the process, Forrest said his office will be the university point of contact for requests and will take the necessary steps to facilitate the transfer of Native American human remains in the U-M collection to tribes.

  2. #327

    Default Such a beautiful moon tonight!

    It is the first full moon after the equinox and is called the Egg Moon, Grass Moon or Easter Moon. It will be full at 10:25 pm our time.

    Here is an interesting article about it from Earthsky:

    This is the start of a new moon on the Ojibwe Calendar, where it also has several names, depending on the location of the people using the name, or whether it is a cold spring or a warm one. I have not heard the frogs or loons yet so I would pick the first name for this new moon this year. I think the snowshoes were not an issue here this year.

    Iskigamizige-giizis Maple Sap Boiling Moon

    Omakakiiwi-giizis Frog Moon

    Bebookwedaagime-giizis Snowshoe Breaking Moon

    Maango-giizis Loon Moon

    Last edited by gazhekwe; March-29-10 at 07:56 PM.

  3. #328

    Default Ziigwan - Springtime Tasks

    It is past time to be in the sugar camps working. Here are some of the things that were done:

    The women made birchbark baskets to hold the sap, and small containers to hold the sugar.
    The men cut cedar shakes to direct the sap from the tree into the basket
    The men cut holes in the trees and positioned the cedar shakes.
    For 20-30 days, everyone worked on the sugar. The children helped tend fires and gather sap. The women tended the sap as it boiled,
    The men went fishing often on the ice, and the fish was cleaned and dried or smoked for preservation.

    Once the sugaring was done, fish began spawning and everyone went to the streams to catch as many as possible. We still do this today when the smelt are running. There used to be sturgeons, and of course, muskies, pike and walleye, bass and trout. Fish were a huge source of food and trade. Drying and smoking the fish continued full time.

    Cedar and basswood bark was harvested, for building wigwams, making rope.

    Early spring food plants and medicines were gathered, wild leeks, skunk cabbage, jack in the pulpit,

    During Springtime when people came together, there would be a big celebration and feast, and during this time, many ceremonies would take place, such as vision quests, naming ceremonies, spiritual gatherings, music and dance.

  4. #329

    Default Chocolate Easter Bunny Ears

    Well, maybe not really, but here is the reason those ears are so nice and long, according to MicMac legend. The MicMac are still up on the east coast near the mouth of the St. Lawrence and southward into Maine.

    How Rabbit got his long ears

    A long time ago when Rabbit was first on this earth he had very short ears. One day he had nothing to do. He was very bored so he decided to play a trick on all the other animals.

    He told Beaver, "Did you know that the sun is not going to rise again?"
    Of course Beaver told Squirrel and Squirrel told Chipmunk and Chipmunk told Skunk and so on. The story soon got around and all the animals were worried.

    The animals were all upset. They said, "If the sun is not going to shine anymore it will be dark and cold like winter. We will have to gather our food and get ready right now."

    Even Bear was worried. He began to eat and eat the blueberries around him so he could grow fat and store his food. Squirrel was busy gathering all the nuts he could find. Everyone was busy getting ready for the sun not to shine again. They had no time to play even though it was a nice summer day.

    Now Rabbit really thought this was funny. He hid in the bushes. He was laughing and laughing as he watched the other animals all running around trying to get ready for the sun not to shine anymore. Along came Kluskap. Normally the animals were all very glad to see Kluskap. They usually gathered around to talk to him. But this day no one ran up to greet him.

    Kluskap asked Bear, "How are you? How is everything going?"

    Bear said, "I don't have time to talk to you."

    Kluskap just kept walking. No one paid any attention to him. Kluskap went back to Bear.

    "What's wrong with you? You're not talking to me. What is going on? Talk to me. Something is wrong!" Kluskap said.

    "Well, don't you know?" Bear said. "The sun is not going to shine anymore and we have to hurry up. I have to get ready for winter now. That is what everyone is doing."

    Kluskap told bear, "Whoever told you that story is lying. It's not true."

    So Kluskap called a meeting with all the animals and they all gathered around him in a circle. He got to the bottom of it.

    He said, "Who told you Bear?"

    Bear said, "Raccoon told me."

    And Raccoon said, "Well, Chipmunk told me."

    Everyone said who they heard the story from, all the way down to Beaver.

    Beaver said, "It was Rabbit that told me."

    Kluskap said, "Well, where is Rabbit?"

    Rabbit was really scared so he hid in the bushes. Kluskap knew for sure then that Rabbit had started the story.

    "Where is Rabbit?" he asked again.

    "Not here. He is gone. He must be hiding," Beaver said.

    Kluskap went and looked in the bushes. He found Rabbit and when he did he grabbed him by his ears and lifted him up. That is how Rabbit got his long ears.

  5. #330

    Default Some Big Moccasins, Walking On

    Wilma Mankiller, women’s rights heroine, walks on

    By Rob Capriccioso

    Story Published: Apr 6, 2010
    Story Updated: Apr 6, 2010

    WASHINGTON – Wilma Mankiller, former principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, passed away at age 64 in the morning hours of April 6 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

    Mankiller was best known for her leadership of her tribe, at which she served 12 years in elective office, the first two as deputy principal chief followed by 10 years as principal chief.

    During her time in office and beyond, she was viewed nationwide as a strong Native American advocate, and had many friends in the women’s rights movement.

    Mankiller retired from public office in 1995, but was never far from the public eye, serving as a board member on various organizations, including the Women Empowering Women for Indian Nations nonprofit. She also shared her wisdom at several learning institutions, including the University of Arizona.

    Among her many honors, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton.

    “Our personal and national hearts are heavy with sorrow and sadness with the passing this morning of Wilma Mankiller,” said Chad Smith, principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, in a release.

    “We feel overwhelmed and lost when we realize she has left us but we should reflect on what legacy she leaves us. We are better people and a stronger tribal nation because her example of Cherokee leadership, statesmanship, humility, grace, determination and decisiveness. When we become disheartened, we will be inspired by remembering how Wilma proceeded undaunted through so many trials and tribulations.

    “Years ago, she and her husband Charlie Soap showed the world what Cherokee people can do when given the chance, when they organized the self-help water line in the Bell community. She said Cherokees in that community learned that it was their choice, their lives, their community and their future. Her gift to us is the lesson that our lives and future are for us to decide. We can carry on that Cherokee legacy by teaching our children that lesson. Please keep Wilma’s family, especially her husband Charlie and her daughters, Gina and Felicia, in your prayers.”

    Mankiller requested that any gifts in her honor be made as donations to One Fire Development Corporation, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing Native American communities.

    Tax deductible donations can be made at as well as The mailing address for One Fire Development Corporation is 1220 Southmore Houston, TX 77004.

    According to the Cherokee Nation, Mankiller’s memorial service will be held April 11 at the Cherokee Nation Cultural Grounds in Tahlequah, Okla.

  6. #331

    Default Some words of comfort

    These words came after Wilma Mankiller's passing, but they also apply to the passing of other loved ones.

    We are all better because of her extraordinary presence.
    With her passing, we all must work even harder in trying to fill the immense void.
    We are, indeed, fortunate, to now have her as one of our spirit guides.
    May our tears wash away our sadness so we may see to follow her path of righteousness.

    Gwen Shunatona
    Prairie Band Potawatomi
    Pawnee, OK

    [Note: Prairie Band Potowatomi originally came from southern Michigan and northern Illinois. They were sent to Kansas and Oklahoma during the infamous Removal era of the 1830s.]

  7. #332


    Having the honor of working here in the Oklahoma Region we are morning the loss of a vibrant leader for her people as well as all....

  8. #333

    Default Just a little more about Wilma Mankiller

    Obama, BIA head and others praise Mankiller’s life, legacy Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (AP) April 2010

    President Barack Obama and others are praising the life and legacy of former Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Wilma Mankiller.

    Mankiller battled numerous ailments, including breast cancer and lymphoma, but it was pancreatic cancer that took her life April 6. She was 64. Funeral services were scheduled for April 10th at 11am in Talequah, Oklahoma. Obama said Mankiller transformed the relationship between her tribe and the federal government and served as an inspiration to all women.

    Bureau of Indian Affairs head Larry Echo Hawk says her childhood, her family’s financial struggles and relocation to California as part of a federal government program helped her gain insight on how to improve the lives of her people.

    Cherokee Chief Chad Smith said when tribal members can be inspired by Mankiller’s grace in the face of so many trials and tribulations.

    Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole says we won’t soon see anyone like Mankiller again.
    Comments on Passing of ex-Cherokee Chief Wilma Mankiller


    “I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Wilma Mankiller today. As the Cherokee Nation’s first female chief, she transformed the Nation-to-Nation relationship between the Cherokee Nation and the Federal Government, and served as an inspiration to women in Indian Country and across America. A recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, she was recognized for her vision and commitment to a brighter future for all Americans. Her legacy will continue to encourage and motivate all who carry on her work.” – President Barack Obama.


    “We are saddened by the passing of our friend Wilma Mankiller, a woman who exemplified the enduring strength of the human spirit. As the first female Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, she was not only the guardian of the centuries-old Cherokee heritage but a revered leader who built a brighter and healthier future for her nation. During her two terms, she worked to create jobs, break down social and economic barriers, improve access to health care, and address the roots of both rural and urban poverty. She led her people with dignity and grace, fostering a sense of community, cooperation, and shared values.” – Former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

  9. #334

    Default And here is some Sugar

    This video shows how to finish the maple syrup into sugar. It's about the end of the maple season here.

  10. #335

    Default The man behind the sugarmaker

    This is about Jim Northrup, 'Nish writer and husband of the sugarmaker in the preceding video. Direct from his own writings, his history:

    I used to be known as a bullshitter but that didn't pay anything. I began calling myself a storyteller - a little better, more prestige - but it still didn't pay anything. I became a freelance writer. At first it was more free than lance, then I started getting money for my words (Rez Road Follies, p. 2)

    Here he wrote about Sugar Bush:

    Yup, we made maple syrup again. The cycle of seasons continues and we were able to gather our share of the annual gift. I told my grandson, Aaron, the Creator must like us: we were given syrup again.

    Last month, my brother, Vern, Aaron, and I made snowshoe trails to walk on at the sugar bush. We did a good job but at the last minute we moved the sugar bush. We went to another place that had hip-deep snow. My cousin, Chuck Greensky (identified as Chuck Greenday in a story by Julie Shortbread), and our kids made new trails in the new sugar bush. We like taking our kids along when we do things like this. It gives them fuel for their I-used-to-go-to-the-sugar-bush-with-my-dad stories. I think the cold outside air makes you sleep more. After breaking trails all day, we went home and slept like Rip Van White Guy.

    My brother, Russ, and cousin, Butch Martineau, are at their sugar bush. Butch said he tapped one tree that squirted like a fire hydrant, cutting trenches in the snow. I told him all my trees squirt like that. Russ and Butch like sugar bush and the storytelling that goes on there. Russ did a great imitation of a Sawyer elder talking sugarbush: "You just tap the trees and then you just wait." He used the gestures and voice that we all recognized as belonging to one of our family members. It is the kind of story you hear around a boiling kettle of hot sap, eyes burning in the wood smoke. .....

    Read more here:

  11. #336

    Default Spring Beauties, Post #301

    My Spring Beauties are blooming! They came out on Friday, and today the sun is perfect for their picture.

  12. #337

    Default The struggle continues

    UP mine threatens sacred tribal rights

    For far too long, the voices of affected and concerned Ojibwa people have been ignored in the midst of Kennecott's proposed Eagle Mine in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

    I am a member of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, and we did not invite Kennecott, a subsidiary of multinational mining giant Rio Tinto, to come into our ceded homelands and reservation territory to explore for minerals, blast into our sacred site, and leave behind a dying legacy of colonialism.

    Indigenous peoples throughout the world are on the front lines of similar pressures to develop resources within their homelands, with little regard for their aboriginal rights. There is little mainstream media attention bringing awareness to these issues, despite a global movement for indigenous rights and numerous case studies on the impacts of mining and other extractive industries on indigenous communities.

    In addition to the proposed Eagle Mine, Rio Tinto's intentions to open up six additional mine sites, and increasing mineral exploration throughout the entire Lake Superior basin, are threatening Ojibwa treaty rights. Through treaties with the federal government, Ojibwa leaders ensured permanent reservations and retained rights to hunt, fish and gather on ceded lands. If the water and land are polluted from harmful mining, how will our treaty rights and cultural values be honored and continue into the future?

    Under Michigan law, a mining permit applicant must demonstrate that a mine will not pollute, impair or destroy natural re-sources. Unfortunately, Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality (now folded into the Department of Natural Resources and Environment) failed to place the burden of proof on Kennecott to prove that it can mine safely.
    There is no example of a successful sulfide mine with similar design and location as Kennecott proposes. The potential for mine collapse and irreversible acid mine drainage makes the proposed Eagle Mine especially controversial due to its location within a delicate watershed and underneath the Salmon Trout River, which flows directly into Lake Superior.

    A sacred site to the Ojibwa people, Eagle Rock, stands at the heart of resistance as Kennecott's proposed mine portal. On Aug. 19 last year, Administrative Law Judge Richard A. Patterson recommended that Eagle Rock be protected as a place of worship. However, Steven Chester, the previous director of the DEQ, ignored this recommendation and approved Kennecott's mining permit on Jan. 14. Chester alleged that Eagle Rock is not legally a place of worship because it does not consist of any built structures, which is rooted in his subjective understanding regarding a place of worship. This is ethnic discrimination in the enforcement of Michigan's environmental policies.

    These issues demand national attention and the mobilization of citizens and leaders before Kennecott continues to assert its ability to move full force ahead despite an appeals process and without approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Water Act. The EPA should be obligated to protect sensitive areas of national significance like the Great Lakes.

    The protection of Eagle Rock should also be enforced under the U.S. Constitution's Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment and the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978. Furthermore, we need stronger laws specifically dedicated to the conservation of Native American sacred places. We cannot stand to lose the places that reinforce our relationship to the sacredness of Mother Earth and our identity as a people.

    Jessica L. Koski of Baraga is a graduate of Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College and Michigan Technological University. She is currently working on a master's degree at Yale University.

  13. #338

    Default Why Are Traditions Important?

    This is from a teaching given by Dr. Rosemary White Shield, Anishinabe/Choctaw, in a session on Nokomis Endaad (Grandmother’s House). White Shield is the curriculum developer, coordinator and researcher for the Native American Parenting Traditions Revisited Program. She is also a consultant for the Minnesota Department of Health. The teachings were from the Fourth Annual Red Lake Drug and Gang Summit in February.

    ... White Shield cited historical trauma as being significant and alcohol as the common denominator. “Some Native scholars say that the effects of historical trauma are now being passed down generation to generation. There is an effort among many Indian nations to heal the effects of historical trauma, and learning about these factors is key to that healing.

    Historical trauma refers to a cumulative wounding across generations as well as during one’s lifetime. Victims of genocide during Indian-European wars is estimated to be up to 13 million indigenous people. Using conservative estimates, 2/3 of indigenous people in North America were exterminated between 1500 and1900; and 90 percent of American Indian children were forcibly placed in boarding schools by 1930. The theory goes on to say that there is an “intergenerational transmission,” meaning there is a psychological transfer of trauma response across generations.

    Her presentation described that colonization and forms of assimilation result in “altered states of self,” a loss of traditional values and culture. Colonization has historically used sexual violence as a primary tool of genocide – for Native women – to stop them from being mothers. The presentation states that colonization encompasses a wide range of strategies, “not only to destroy peoples, but to destroy their sense of being a people.”

    The answer according to White Shield is the decolonizing of indigenous minds by re-centering indigenous values and cultural practices within research practice, and an essential piece is an indigenous peoples’ struggle for self-determination.

  14. #339


    There are three subjects that will grab my immediate attention. They are: Peggy, Handball, and Maple Syrup.
    Re: Ziigwan - Springtime Tasks. A splendid brief describing the art of "sugaring."
    I submit a description of a more modern preparation, but not as charming, for making syrup.
    It is past time to be in the sugar camps working. Here are some of the things that were done:
    The women made birchbark baskets to hold the sap, and small containers to hold the sugar.
    The men cut cedar shakes to direct the sap from the tree into the basket
    The men cut holes in the trees and positioned the cedar shakes.
    For 20-30 days, everyone worked on the sugar. The children helped tend fires and gather sap. The women tended the sap as it boiled,
    To wit: Counterpoint:
    (A Mom and Pop operation.)
    December 1: Make weekly trips to the Log Cabin Restaurant in Gladstone and garner the empty liquor bottles that, by previous agreement, they had saved for me. They would be sterilized and sealed during the winter months.

    March 1, any year.
    Retrieve 5280 feet of miscellaneous plastic tubing from the crawlspace under the house. 50 separate coils of varying lengths. Each spile and tee branch on every coil has a metal tag, numbered to correspond to the tags hanging on 325 trees. (Our own Maple Sugar Bush.)
    Tune up the gas engine drill, put on the snowshoes and pray to all of the “sugar gods” that the 3 feet deep snow will not be to soft. A firm, hard crust will let me glide, as fast as I can move my legs, and let me tap all of the trees in 2 days, and install the appropriate tubing.
    Day 3. Distribute, anchor and connect 8- 50 gallon plastic barrels to their proper roadside location. They serve as the collecting points when the deluge of sap, whimpering a bit at the beginning of a “run” and then rising to the crescendo of a tsunami, and then you know that all is right with the world and the heavens.
    That is just the “road” work. The Sugar shack comes next!
    (At the end of a season, every inch of tubing, fittings, 50 gallon barrels, 5 gallon barrels, (about 50) , hydrotherms, thermometers, and any and all instruments used in the process of sugar making are sterilized and sealed for next year’s use.)
    10 face cords of firewood had been cut, split and stacked in the sugar shack during the summer. (Five full cords had been cut and stacked to warm the house.)
    Day 4. Undress the stainless steel evaporator. Fill the sap pan with water and give it a “wet” run. Good. No leaks. Check the 300 gallon storage tank for leaks.
    3 - 50 gallon barrels on the pickup truck and 4 other barrels in the shack plus the 50 - 5 gallon pails were standing at attention as additional storage.
    Happiness was when the sap was running like an iceboat during the day and then, at night, a deep freeze set in, resulting in a freezing of the sap, we happily chopped away the ice which was pure water and made the remaining sap richer in sugar content.
    The early run’s of sap were the very best. The highest one I ever had was 6%.
    That let me boil 15 gallons of sap to get 1 gallon of syrup. Near the end of the season, 2% or less demanded 40 or more gallons of sap.
    Any syrup maker will agree that a very light colored maple syrup, rapidly boiled, has the cherished qualities that tantalize the tongue. A very dark and heavy maple syrup is sold to the commercial “sugar beet” syrup makers so they can claim that 2% of their product is maple syrup. (Syrup Makers disdain any dark syrup.) Caveats abound when buying corrupt, mixed syrups.
    Back to the “liquor” bottle reference. Next to Peggy and a Potato, a Galliano bottle, filled with a clear, 7.1 (degree) maple syrup, is a maiden no man should ever deflower.
    Various remarks about our methods of syrup making.
    1. Absolute sterility of all the equipment and tools used.
    2. Not a single additive is added to the sap.
    3.The boiling temperature of water is taken twice daily, at 10:00 am and 4 pm.
    Water does not always boil at 212 degrees. We always had variations between 211.4 and 212.3 degrees. Elevation and atmosphere are always conundrums.
    4. Perfect syrup is accomplished when the final temperature of the sap, in the “finishing tank,” is 7.1 degrees over the actual boiling point, as described above.
    A special thermometer, graduated in 1/10 degrees, and a Hydrotherm, are the ultimate instruments used to produce perfect syrup. A Hydrotherm displays the combination of temperature and density with a 1 % margin.
    5. Too thick syrup will crystallize and too thin syrup will develop mold.
    Now, with all that razzle dazzle information, why is it I always go back to that very first effort when my pal K.O and I made a 2 quart batch of syrup, using copper pipe for spiles, 1 gallon, plastic milk jugs to hang on the spiles, five gallon pail to collect the sap from the jugs and our “finishing technique” which pronounced the syrup as being finished by the diminishing size of the bubbles.
    Probably just what the natives did a couple of hundred years ago.
    To summarize:
    Making Maple Syrup is NOT an art form.
    Making Maple Syrup is NOT a manufactured mystery or miracle.
    But,,,, it is the closest thing to making love, ,,,but not quite.
    Yes, everything that goes around,,,,,,,,,,

  15. #340


    Tom, the process you and KO devised was the one we used on our ten trees. The level of expertise you developed is impressive. I am reminded of the legendary Susan Johnston, Oshawgushcodaywikwe, who with her family produced close to THREE TONS of syrup per season.

  16. #341


    Gaz: 3 tons=6000 pounds=540 gallons of syrup. (11.1 pounds per gallon. Over a period of 12 years we made 900 gallons, with our best year being 105 gallons.

  17. #342


    It does sound unbelievable, doesn't it? I am sure it was the output of the whole bush, not just the one family. They still call the place Sugar Island, up in the St. Marys near the Soo.

  18. #343


    And if you cross over the St. Mary's river, from Neebish Island, you could well be within spitting distance of the property that used to belong to Bill and Agnes Heimiller. Agnes was my maternal "great-aunt." Barbeau was their mailing address.

  19. #344


    I was just in Barbeau last fall. The place still looks about the same. Still no traffic light.

  20. #345

    Default The Ongoing Sedona "sweat lodge" story

    Motivational speaker Ray hit with another lawsuit

    By Felicia Fonseca
    Flagstaff, Arizona (AP) April 2010

    An Arizona self-help guru charged with manslaughter in the sweat lodge deaths of three people has been sued by several people who contend they lost out on thousands of dollars paid in advance for self-help seminars that were never conducted.

    A lawsuit filed April 2 in Maricopa County Superior Court contends James Arthur Ray and his Carlsbad, Calif.-based company, James Ray International, misled plaintiffs during sales pitches for the events and haven’t responded to calls or letters requesting refunds.

    Ray has been named in other civil lawsuits that accuse him and the owners of the retreat where he held a deadly October sweat lodge ceremony of negligence, fraud and other actions. Sweat lodge ceremonies commonly are held by American Indian tribes to cleanse the body.

    The lawsuit accuses Ray of breach of contract, consumer fraud and unjust enrichment. It names three plaintiffs but estimates up to 1,000 people are similarly situated.

    Susan Smyser of Las Vegas, paid nearly $8,000 for two events; Patricia Franklin of Mesa paid almost $3,350 for two events; and Kim Wilson of Los Angeles paid more than $12,500 for four events, according to the lawsuit.

    The plaintiffs contend Ray used prepaid fees to cover past events or fund his own wealth. They also say he lacked the assets or capital to conduct events or refund advanced fees without continued sales and collection of those fees.

    A refund policy posted on Ray’s Web site says buyers have three days from the date of a transaction to cancel. Event registration fees then are considered nonrefundable, though the policy doesn’t address what happens when Ray cancels an event. Buyers can make a one-time transfer by paying an additional fee for an event held within a year of the one they initially signed up for, the policy states.

    A representative for Ray said his attorneys haven’t reviewed the complaint.

    Ray stopped holding events shortly after the two-hour ceremony he led near Sedona in October resulted in the hospitalization of 18 people and the deaths of Kirby Brown, 38, of Westtown, N.Y., James Shore, 40, of Milwaukee, and Liz Neuman, 49, of Prior Lake, Minn.

    Prosecutors have said that Ray recklessly crammed more than 50 people inside the structure. His attorneys have called the deaths a tragic accident, and Ray has pleaded not guilty to three counts of manslaughter. His criminal trial is scheduled to begin Aug. 31.

  21. #346

    Default oe Rose: The Oskibimadizeeg (The New People)

    A little talk about the Seventh Fire.... The New People [Oss' kih bih ma' diz eeg]. Be sure and watch the youtube at the end.

    Welcome to IndianCountryTV - Spirituality Produced by Nick Vander Puy
    Reserve, Wisconsin (

    According to some Ojibwe prophecy, during the time of the Seventh Fire, which is figured to have started with the boat landing spearfishing protests in Wisconsin in the late nineteen eighties, a new people will emerge to retrace their steps back to natural living.

    During this time, the journey of the natural people of the earth, the Oskibimadizeeg, (the New People) will take them to elders for advice.
    According to teachings in The Mishomis Book the light skinned race will be offered a choice between following the road towards unlimited technology and spiritualism. If the slower, less damaging path towards spiritualism is followed the Seventh Fire will light the Eighth Fire, an era of peace, brotherhood, sisterhood, and love.

    During the Native American Week at Northland College, Ashland, Wisconsin in March Professor Joe Rose (Bad River Ojibwe) talked about the emerging New People.

    "There are four colors on the medicine wheel, red, white, black, and yellow. They will come together during the time of the Seventh Fire."

  22. #347


    Why does our history begin on the east coast?
    By Jack D. Forbes
    News From Indian Country April 2010

    Heretofore the history of the United States has been largely treated as the story of a process, rather than the complete history of a land “from sea to shining sea.” And this process always begins either in Europe or on the Atlantic Coast of North America.

    Allow me to contrast the history of England with the history of the United States. In the history of England one finds that a “land,” i.e., England is the focus, and events tend to be portrayed from earliest times to the present even though sources might be archaeological, geological, paleontological, or literary.

    Thus, the story of England is not the story of the Celtic migrations, the Roman conquest, or of the Germanic migrations, or the Danish invasion, or the Norman French conquest. Rather it is the story of the land and its peoples regardless of race, culture, languages, or origin.

    These different peoples may settle in England from various directions, arriving on a variety of coast lines.

    But United States history and regional histories, (such as the history of “the west” or ‘the south”) are virtually always focused on the westward movement of the British or English peoples across the Atlantic and then the subsequent growth and expansion of the area of British control.

    This is followed by the British colonial rebellion against Britain, the development of the United States of North America, soon to be called the United States of America, and the expansion and growth of the dominant white population of the United States and their culture, literature, and institutions. Significantly, the growth and decline of the Spanish and French empires in North America and the adjacent Caribbean receive scant attention usually. Thus, for example, the establishment of Jamestown in Virginia in 1607 is given great attention “as the birthplace of America” while the Spanish settlements of St. Augustine (1565) and Santa Fe (ca. 1598-1610) are often ignored.

    Once British North America (Canada) has made it clear that it will not join the USA, its history is dropped except for brief mention of the effort to conquer it in the War of 1812. Similarly the other British colonies that remained with Britain, such as Barbados, Jamaica, Bermuda, and the Bahamas, cease to be areas of U.S. history interest, in spite of the fact, I might add, that Native American captives (slaves) from the mainland were often sold to those islands. But then, the entire subject of the enslavement of the First Americans is very lightly treated, and usually not at all.

    Since there commonly is no attempt whatsoever to tell the story of the settlement of the Americas by Native Americans, except perhaps for a very brief reference to the Bering Straight theory; and certainly no attempt to reconstruct the history of the First Americans, we are presented with the fact that United States history is not the history of the land called variously North America, “America,” or the United States. Instead it is a racially focused history telling the story of only one great people and their institutions.

    It is an “east coast history” which subordinates the continent’s story to an ethnocentric and geocentric distortion.

    It is my argument that US history, constructed in such a fashion, is inherently biased. It also deprives us and our youth of a deep and full understanding of the story of our land, a story which must begin when North and South America broke loose from their ancient connections with Europe and Africa and moved across the Earth’s surface to their present location, a movement which eventually sees North and South America combining to form the continent called America, joining together where Panama and Colombia meet.

    Needless to state, the history of the various climatic ages and of the Ancient Americans, with their epochal migrations and colonizing of every section of the hemisphere, forms a fascinating and essential part of the history of our land; but one which is ignored, in spite of the fact that a significant percentage of our population (all who are of Mexican, Central-South American, Puerto Rican, and American Indian ancestry), have direct ties to that marvelous story. Large numbers of African-Americans also had ancestors who were ancient pioneers of the Americas.

    Thus I call upon educators and upon the public to demand history texts and curricula, which are free of racial preferencing and of ardent imperialism and which, instead, tell the incredibly rich and beautiful history of all of our peoples. We can start our American history from the west, from the north, from the south, from the east. California, or Alaska, or Oregon, or Mexico can begin our story. California does not have to wait until 1848 to become part of our land. It was a part of our “country” long before Columbus, and long before Jamestown or Plymouth Rock.

    In short, we must try to persuade our European-American fellow-citizens to stop their fascination with the triumphs and adventures of their European ancestors and ask them to come home to America, the real land, and its entire history.

    Jack Forbes has been writing about the history of our land since the 1950s. His most recent effort to awaken interest in Ancient American History is his book “The American Discovery of Europe,” about Indians crossing the Atlantic to Europe and elsewhere long before Columbus’ voyage,

    News From Indian Country

  23. #348

    Default Ways of thinking about things

    The history piece above is a look at shifting how we look at things. As we go through our suns, moons and seasons, the more years that pile on, the more things seem to come up that we just believe or accept because they are. How often do we think about shifting our outlook for a fresh perspective.

    Example, someone posted last night on my Facebook page that they were so excited making a ceremonial dress for their little girl for her naming ceremony next month. She is so anxious to get everything traditional and everything right for this event. Wouldn't you know, someone commented that they thought we are only supposed to make ceremonial garb in the winter, not in the spring or summer. Hmmm.

    Is this a tradition that has spiritual meaning? Or is it based on the traditional lifestyle, when spring, summer and fall were so busy that any time taken for personal pursuits could have a negative impact on the family and maybe even the whole community? One less person available to fish, hunt, filet and hang fish and meat for drying, gathering fruits, berries, nuts and seeds to put up for winter, could make a big dent in the community stores for the coming winter season.

    Nowadays, we do not live a traditional lifestyle for the most part. We probably have jobs to make money to buy our food and clothing. Sure, we may also hunt and gather foods in the traditional ways, but that does not usually make up the mainstay of our winter diet. Those of us who are not busy with such pursuits are not impacting the community by not producing food and goods for community use.

    Another issue is the materials used in the regalia. Feathers, skins and bone beads could involve killing birds and animals for their hides and feathers and bones. Spring is no time to be hunting just for decoration, but there would be hunting for food and those creatures that serve as food do have hides and feathers that could be harvested for future use in ceremonial garb. Nowadays, we can order those things from places like Crazy Crow and Noc Bay Trading Company year round should we choose to go that route.

    So, would it be OK for the woman to make the regalia now, to prepare for the ceremony? Tradition tells us that Indian communities in the old days did take time to prepare for feasts and celebrations at times in the Spring and Fall. Did that include making regalia? Maybe not, but it might include refurbishing and adding to what we had already. Repairing and refreshing decoration happened year round.

    It is something to think about.

  24. #349

    Default Echohawk for Supreme Court?

    American Indian Supreme Court push

    Originally printed at

    WASHINGTON – Justice John Paul Stevens’ retirement from the U.S. Supreme Court has some tribal legal advocates calling for an American Indian replacement.

    Stevens, who announced April 9 he would retire in late June or early July, has served on the court since 1975. A member of the court’s liberal voting bloc, he slowly grew stronger on tribal issues, including sovereignty, during his tenure, legal observers said. Still, the consensus is, he had a long way to go.

    “Justice Stevens’ record on Indian issues is a mixed bag,” said Chris Stearns, a Navajo attorney for Hobbs Straus Dean & Walker and a commissioner with the Seattle Human Rights Commission. “His 35-year tenure on the court meant he was involved in some of the most significant cases in Indian law history.

    “He wrote the Supreme Court’s 1989 opinion affirming the Boldt decision upholding Washington tribal fishing rights and rejecting the state of Washington’s appeal led by then-Attorney General Slade Gorton. That case remains one of the most profound recognition of the power of treaties.”

    Stearns added that Stevens was “the lone voice of reason” on the court during the controversial Carcieri decision of 2009, in which he argued in favor of the Narragansett Tribe’s position.

    On the other hand, Stearns noted that Stevens sometimes dissented against tribal interests in cases favoring tribes, such as Cabazon, which involved gaming, and Holyfield, which involved the Indian Child Welfare Act.

    Matthew L.M. Fletcher, director of the Indigenous Law and Policy Center at Michigan State University, expanded on Stevens’ anti-tribal decisions, saying that his legacy in Indian law is “very, very bad.”

    Fletcher said that Stevens was particularly tough in the area of federal Indian law preemption cases, where all tribal taxation cases fit.

    “During the 1970s and through the 1980s, the tax cases were hit and miss because the court was unsure how to handle them. But in 1989’s Cotton Petroleum case (authored by Stevens), the court placed the advantage squarely with the states and local governments. From then on, the court only took cases far out of step with its settled understanding. …”

    Fletcher also believes Stevens would “have eviscerated tribal sovereign immunity long ago,” since he often has argued against any form of immunity, tribal, federal and state, for decades, to little or no avail.
    Many Indian law experts believe the Supreme Court is weak on tribal issues because it has never had any knowledgeable members of that field.

    To remedy the situation, some Native American-focused organizations are rallying for an Indian face on the bench. John Echohawk, director of the Native American Rights Fund, has been floated as the most common name, even receiving a nod in The Nation publication, which is influential in some Washington circles.

    Richard Guest, a legal expert with NARF, said officials with his organization are soon to have a meeting with White House officials regarding Echohawk’s qualifications, which range from tribal and federal expertise to nonprofit and legal aid issues.

    “We believe we have a strong case to share regarding John Echohawk – not only because he is a strong Native American legal authority, but he also has diversity of perspective.”

    The National Native American Bar Association is also pushing for a Native candidate, sending the White House a letter April 14 to make that case.

    “Our first goal is to try to get a Native person in there,” said Heather Dawn Thompson, the immediate past president of the organization. “It’s always a long shot, but we actually think we have as good a shot as anyone else.”

    Reasons for hope include a USA Today poll last year that indicated a majority of American people saying they’d like to see an Indian nominated to the court.

    Plus, Thompson said the wide-ranging legal experience of Indian law experts should be a factor.

    “Every Native attorney is a constitutional scholar, by definition. In this field, you just have to be a state and federal law expert. … every single issue that could come up is addressed in this field.”

    Fletcher took a hesitant view of the likelihood of a Native selection. “Sadly (very, very sadly), John Echohawk (or any other American Indian, or Indian law-focused practitioner) is definitely not a serious contender. Most realistic possibilities for the Supreme Court nomination are already federal or state judges in order to avoid the obvious question, ‘What is the nominee’s judicial experience?’ And there simply are not any American Indians on the federal bench, and only a small handful on state appellate benches.”

    The NNABA has long made the case that the absence of Indian federal judges across the board needs to be remedied, especially since such cases tend to disproportionately affect Native Americans.

    Among the non-Indian names mentioned for the bench, none are notable on Indian issues, and there is little consensus on who would be best in terms of tribal affairs.

    President Barack Obama is expected to make a decision on his selection by summer. No matter the candidate, a tough confirmation battle is expected in Congress, given the increased politicization in that body lately.

  25. #350

    Default Apology Resolution C

    Brownback urges apology resolution public ceremony

    Originally printed at

    SAN DIEGO – Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., envisions a public ceremony to announce the passage of the Native American Apology Resolution.
    The Kansas senator introduced an apology in 2004 in partnership with former Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, of the Northern Cheyenne Nation. The Senate finally passed a version of the resolution last October and President Barack Obama signed it into law as part of a defense appropriations bill in December.
    “I’ve been pushing the administration to have a major public ceremony, but they aren’t taking it on yet,” Brownback told Indian Country Today at the National Indian Gaming Association’s annual Indian Gaming Trade Show & Convention in early April.
    Brownback was a guest speaker at the convention where he discussed the apology during a NIGA membership meeting. He is stepping down from his Senate seat this year to run for governor in Kansas.
    He handed out copies of the resolution, which says in part that Congress, “apologizes on behalf of the people of the United States to all Native Peoples for the many instances of violence, maltreatment, and neglect inflicted on Native Peoples by citizens of the United States.”
    The resolution also “urges the President to acknowledge the wrongs of the United States against Indian tribes in the history of the United States in order to bring healing to this land.” It comes with a disclaimer that nothing in the resolution authorizes or supports any legal claims against the United States and that the resolution does not settle any claims against the United States.
    “Now this may seem like just words, but we worked five or six years to get these passed and we were never able to get one passed. This has been a long time coming. I think this is historic and I think it’s incredibly significant. Canada did this (issued an apology to the First Nations) and I thought it was a very significant thing, but it has to be the president,” Brownback told the audience.
    He said the resolution was not the end, but the first step toward a healing process.
    “It’s my hope that tribal leaders here will see this as a positive step forward on healing and making a full reconciliation between the U.S. and tribal leadership, tribal leadership and the states and the states recognizing the sovereignty that’s there.”
    The presidential signing of the bill took place without any fanfare or announcement just before Christmas. Like the eternal philosophical puzzler, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” questions soon popped up regarding the validity of an apology that no one knows about.
    Brownback hoped tribal leadership would put forward an effort in the form of resolutions from the National Congress of American Indians, the United South and Eastern Tribes and NIGA urging Obama to have “a very public ceremony, invite the tribal leadership to be there and then the country knows about it. We passed it, but nobody knows about it. It isn’t like it didn’t happen, because it did, but you need to bring the resolution to the country. The words have been stated and now it is law,” Brownback said.
    In late February, the Friends Committee on National Legislation, urged Obama to publicly acknowledge the Native American Apology Resolution.
    “This apology deserves national recognition and public acknowledgment. To give true hearing to the apology, we respectfully request that you hold a White House ceremony with tribal leaders to formally issue the apology to Native peoples. We also look forward to additional steps in an action plan that will help to right the past wrongs,” the FCNL said.
    Brownback and a number of legislators have sent a letter to the president urging him to hold a ceremony, and a similar letter from the NCAI is circulating among tribal leaders.
    Tribal leaders at the NIGA event are confident a ceremony will take place this year. While the public ceremony is hugely important, they said they recognized that the president may have other pressing, priorities. The leaders suggested a good time for an apology ceremony would be around the time of the second Native American Heritage Day in November and that they are hopeful it will take place then.

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