How to wear Native fashions without committing cultural appropriation. Also included: a photo album of gorgeous Native designs. (via)
The Curse of Chief Wahoo. "Are we paying the price for embracing America's last acceptable racist symbol?".
Is this just another version of the minstrel show? The Pendleton Round-up is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Part of its attraction is the performance of a "American Indian" dance pageant, whose participants are compensated traditionally. "A century later, the mill still provides blankets, and families are still paid to appear, $5 per person each day at the arena. Beef and vegetables are provided, as are tokens for other food. The winner of the “Best Dressed Indian Award” at the parade gets 50 silver dollars. The winner of the “Oldest Indian Couple Award” gets 100 silver dollars in a pouch."
Forty Thanksgivings ago Alcatraz Island was occupied by a number of Native American activists as a protest. The occupation lasted until June of 1971 The best place to learn about it is PBS's website for Alcatraz Is Not an Island, Jim Fortier's documentary about the Alcatraz Occupation. Besides an overview of the events it has video interviews with the people involved. [RealPlayer required] Here are photographs of the occupation, mostly from newspapers. For a flavor of how the local media covered the events, here's the San Francisco Bay Area Television Archive's Occupation of Alcatraz Collection which has over 40 contemporary newsreports [MPEG4]
Plains Indian Ledger Art is a website devoted to the art that Plains Indians developed in the latter half of the 19th Century when they got access to paper and modern painting tools. The gallery has 14 different ledgers, including the famous ledger by Black Hawk. The ledgers depict all kinds of scenes, amusing, violent, mythical, mundane and lots of other facets of life for the Plains Indians. There is also a short history of ledger art but for a bit more information read Drawing on Tribal History by Inga Kiderra.
The Lakota People have withdrawn from their treaties with the United States, citing numerous violations of those treaties by the US. They plan to start their own country, issuing passports and drivers' licenses and living tax-free.
One hundred and thirty years ago today, George Armstrong Custer divided his forces in the face of a superior enemy and rode to his death at the Little Big Horn. The actual battle lasted about 15 minutes, but the fight over Custer's legacy is going into its second century. Visit the battle memorial (webcam view) explore the archeology of the site, or read an Indian account of the battle. The battle has attracted artists as varied as Charlie Russell (this poster of his painting was distributed by Anheiser Busch and hung in bars across the United States), Thomas Hart Benton, and Kicking Bear (Mato Wanartaka). Little Big Horn is a lonely place today.
Tse-whit-zen. Excavation for the Hood Canal Bridge near Seattle has unearthed a huge prehistoric Indian village and alienated tribal spiritual leaders.
US Bureau of Indian Affairs 'misplaces' about $137 billion "...hundreds of thousands of Indians in the largest-ever class-action lawsuit against the government have put the cumulative total at $137.2 billion owed [royalties due from BIA leasing of Indian land for lucrative mineral, oil, logging, cattle grazing, and other concessions]....Sometimes the checks might arrive for hundreds or thousands of dollars, and sometimes those checks might only amount to pennies on the dollar. On Indian reservations, the problem has reached crisis levels; a check written out for a smaller amount than expected—or no check at all—can mean the difference between housing and homelessness. " ....but we don't have the money, I told you: it must have fallen out through that hole in my pants' pocket... Treaty, what treaty? Oh, that treaty....
Some Good News for a Tuesday Now that a third cabinet official has been held in contempt over the handling of funds owed to Native Americans, is a big check in the mail? Or will the Interior Department claim that they are out of stamps?
People are reduced to cartoons says a Native American activist regarding sports teams with "Indian" mascots. The NFL's Redskins are dropping the Indian head from their helmets. Is this a sign they may one day consider changing the name? Maybe the designers of the Salt Lake City Olympic mascots can teach us Washingtonians something about honoring native traditions while respecting their wishes. (or maybe the SLC designs are just goofy. me, i just wanna be able to wear my team's logo without a crisis of conscience.)
In 1545 and 1576, plagues swept across the Yucatan peninsual in Mexico and killed 17 million people, including 80 percent of the native Indians. The traditional view is that American Indians succumbed to European diseases to which they had no natural resistance. A new and subtle theory says that the plagues were not imported but were in fact of local origin. It doesn't let the Europeans off the hook though.