On March 22, 1621, a Native American delegation walked through what is now southern New England to meet with a group of foreigners who had taken over a recently deserted Indian settlement. At the head of the party was an uneasy triumvirate: Massasoit, the sachem (political-military leader) of the Wampanoag confederation, a loose coalition of several dozen villages that controlled most of southeastern Massachusetts; Samoset, sachem of an allied group to the north; and Tisquantum, a distrusted captive, whom Massasoit had brought along only reluctantly as an interpreter. Massasoit was an adroit politician, but the dilemma he faced would have tested Machiavelli. About five years before, most of his subjects had fallen before a terrible calamity. Whole villages had been depopulated. It was all Massasoit could do to hold together the remnants of his people. Adding to his problems, the disaster had not touched the Wampanoag’s longtime enemies, the Narragansett alliance to the west. Soon, Massasoit feared, they would take advantage of the Wampanoag’s weakness and overrun them. And the only solution he could see was fraught with perils of its own, because it involved the foreigners—people from across the sea.
The Indians who first feasted with the English colonists were far more sophisticated than you were taught in school. But that wasn't enough to save them In addition to providing a beautifully written account of what happened, the article does something subtle but incredibly cool in using a Native centered perspective that really illuminates how dramatically silenced and othered Native voices are in other accounts. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Nov 28, 2013 -
In 1971, the newly-created US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hired a bunch of freelance photographers to collectively document environmental issues around the country. They were given free rein to shoot whatever they wanted, and the project, named Documerica
, lasted through 1977. After 40 years, the EPA is now encouraging photographers to take current versions of the original Documerica photos and are showcasing them on flickr at State of the Environment
. There are location challenges
, and a set has been created with some of the submissions, making side-by-side comparisons
. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Aug 8, 2013 -
This iconic photo
of the first Aboriginal woman to enlist in the Canadian Women’s Army Corps was used as a recruitment tool, and "appeared all over the British Empire [in 1942] to show the power of the colonies fighting for King and country." Its original caption in the Canadian War Museum read, "Unidentified Indian princess getting blessing from her chief and father to go fight in the war."
Its current caption in The Library and Archives of Canada reads: "Mary Greyeyes being blessed by her native Chief prior to leaving for service in the CWAC, 1942."
But as it turns out, the two people in the photo had never met before that day. They weren't from the same tribe or even related and Private Mary Greyeyes was not an "Indian Princess." 70 years after the photo was taken, her daughter-in-law Melanie made sure the official record was corrected. Via [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Jan 22, 2013 -
In the Shadow of Wounded Knee.
Along the southwestern border of South Dakota is one of the most poverty-stricken places in the United States—the Pine Ridge Reservation, home of the Oglala Lakota people. After 150 years of broken promises, they are still nurturing their tribal customs, language and beliefs. Via [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Oct 25, 2012 -
In 2005, Steven Spielberg and Dreamworks produced a 6 episode miniseries that spanned the period of expansion of the United States into the American West, from 1825 to 1890. Through fictional and historical characters, the series used two primary symbols--the wagon wheel and the Lakota medicine wheel -- to join the story of two families: one Native American, one White settlers, as they witnessed many of the 19th century's pivotal historical milestones. The award-winning Into The West
can now be seen in its entirety on YouTube
. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Sep 20, 2012 -
After years of work, New Zealand scholar Sally-Ann Lambert just released volume 2 of her 9-volume linguistics series. “Hlingit Word Encyclopedia: The Origin of Copper”
is a 630-page encyclopedia of the SE Alaskan native language Tlingit. She traveled to Sitka for a mid-January book release and found one little problem: none of the Tlingit native speakers or scholars there recognized the language in it. [more inside]
posted by msalt
on Feb 8, 2012 -
: “I wanted to call my father and tell him that a white man thought my brain was beautiful”.
Sherman Alexie doing his thing in The New Yorker, excerpted from his upcoming book (early review
; interview 1
posted by Non Prosequitur
on Oct 5, 2009 -
Here are some ways
to shrink your unnatural water- and gas-guzzling lawn and plant something that is beautiful and requires no
water usage, no mowing, and is more likely to attract more interesting wildlife. With this much lawn
in the U.S., and incessant water shortages
, and other water issues
in our present and looming in the future, why not go native? Naturally, there are objections
, since local ordinances often don't allow for natural prairie lawns, and the neighborhood stick-up-butt committees are quick to remove
things they consider eyesores. What is your lawn worth to you?
posted by taursir
on Sep 9, 2007 -
Bill O'Reilly respondsYouTube
to a 8 year oldYouTube
(though he leaves out her saying "that idiot O'Reilly"). Bill and his "expert" Wendy Murphy (who claims that the ACLU supports child sex abuse)
agree that the girl's performance is child abuse - "the ultimate inhumane treatment of a child". Murphy goes on to highlight the danger possibility of "some [religious] nut [who] wants to hunt this family down." The many comments
at YouTube illustrate this point – while some are supportive, others call her a slut, and Tanzman6 (who has belonged to Right to Life and Peer Ministry clubs)
"This little chink should shut the fuck up. We should have killed her parents in Viet Nam when we had the fucking chance. Burn the bitch."
While the child obviously had help with her material, is O'Reilly right that statements like "religion has caused the genocide of nations" is propaganda about which she understands nothing? Even after considering that she is Lakota (Sioux) and probably related to Greg Zephier, an American Indian Movement Leader? [most material taken from Jesus's General]
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts
on Dec 7, 2006 -
When Everybody Called Me Gah-bay-bi-nayss
- an ethnographic biography of Paul Peter Buffalo, son of Ojibwa medicine woman and grandson of the great chief Pezeke. Buffalo died in 1977, but spent his last dozen years chronicling his heritage and the things the elders told him. Be sure to check out the entry on John Smith, a wonderful character more popularly known as Wrinkle Meat
posted by madamjujujive
on Nov 16, 2006 -
Drugs on the Rez.
It's a hell of a life going from utter poverty, where your mom gets you drunk so you'll stop complaining about being hungry, to being able to buy your kids toys with $100 accessories and sending them to private schools, to going back to literally not having a quarter to call your dad. In this case, the money came from Canadian oxycontin
. It's not just Native Americans who are targeted by the authorities. It's also Indians
. There's a pretty good newish book on the subject of black markets, Illicit
. Laos' opium market is apparently gone -- in favor of meth
and Afghanistan's market
is black in name only, so why keep up the facade
posted by raaka
on Feb 20, 2006 -
...three decades of freedom denied. Thirty years ago today—February 6, 1976—the Canadian government arrested Leonard Peltier...later extraditing him to the U.S. for trial (sic).
Some Peltier FAQ
. Another informative site
. How the other side
sees it. Peltier and the American Indian Movement (AIM
). Sign the online petition
As Dylan sang about Hurricane
: "To see him obviously framed couldn't help but make me feel ashamed to live in a land where justice is a game."
posted by mickeyz
on Feb 6, 2006 -
is a drink that is enormously popular in South America. Given to the world by the Guarani Indians
, its a bitter brew reminiscent of tea but with interesting
properties. A coworker returned from Argentina and brought me some. I'm addicted.
posted by Dantien
on Feb 28, 2003 -