is journeying across the United States to record and share the essence of contemporary Native Culture with the world. There are at least 562 Tribal Nations recognized by the US Federal Government.
posted by Deoridhe
on Nov 28, 2013 -
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 -
For your culinary enjoyment, I present NativeTech
's collection of recipes
, which you can browse by recipe category, regions, types of dishes, and alphabetically (the site is pretty vast, and you can find recipes throughout the site
). For more manageable lists, here is a mixed collection of Native American Recipes
, from Apache acorn soup
to Zuni corn soup
(there's more listed than soups, I promise). One Feather
has shared some favorite recipes
, and then there's the Native Food blog
, with recipes and more information.
posted by filthy light thief
on Nov 17, 2013 -
This is probably one of the most unusual and creative dub records you're ever likely to hear. Imagine typical bottom-heavy, bass-filled Jamaican dub reggae -- complete with horns, percussion, the whole nine yards -- mixed with traditional Native American vocal music (don't ask how it works, just believe that somehow it does). Now add spoken word samples from Native American, black, Russian, women's lib, and other sociopolitical leaders discussing the effects of colonial imperialism and totalitarian governments on the common man (and, of course, woman), and what you get is this radically inventive album. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Dec 29, 2012 -
Environmental and Native American activists in Flagstaff, AZ face federal charges
for allegedly "interfering with a forest officer" after a protest action in which they "quarantined"
the Coconino National Forest Service lobby to protest a decision permitting the expansion of the Arizona Snowbowl ski resort onto the San Fransisco Peaks
– a site regarded as sacred
by the Navajo, Hopi, and Havasupai people. The proposed expansion entails the use of treated sewage effluent, aka reclaimed wastewater
for snowmaking operations. These events occurred on the same day that the USDA and Forest Service issued a final report (pdf)
which outlines recommendations for working more closely with Native representatives surrounding sacred sites issues.
posted by Scientist
on Dec 11, 2012 -
Throughout the west, prospectors and settlers clashed with native people, diminishing the populations of tribes greatly reduced by disease. By the 1850s, it was believed that all Native Americans were "civilized," before those in the young field of anthropology were able to record first-hand accounts of native people in their own elements. In 1853, a lone native woman was found on a remote island off the coast of southern California, but she contracted dysentery and died after she had been on the mainland for only seven weeks. Then in 1911, a bedragled native man was found in a farmer's slaughter house corral in rural Northern California. He was the last of his people
, and he lived to share a glimpse of an ancient way of life, in his five years spent living amongst anthropologists, doctors, and linguists. He was Ishi, the last Yahi
(Snagfilm; also on Hulu
, and Amazon Instant
). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Aug 8, 2012 -
The Oglala Sioux tribe of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation have just filed a lawsuit against
Anheuser-Busch, InBev, SABMiller, Molson Coors, MillerCoors and Pabst, along with the four off-licences in Whiteclay, seeking $500m (£310m) in damages for their alleged encouragement of the "illegal sale and trade in alcohol" to members of the tribe.
upon briefly in early comments
, Whiteclay (pop. 11) has been long known for its disproportionate volume of liquor sales, with over 5 million cans of beer sold each year, while Pine Ridge, who outlawed drink on its property, and has a population of 20,000, suffers from a disproportionate percentage of families with at least one alcohol dependent adult member (no less than 85%).
posted by infini
on Feb 18, 2012 -
Why are Indian Reservations So Poor?
Forbes writer John Koppisch says it's because of a lack of individual property rights. In a detailed response
, the executive director of non-profit organization Village Earth says: "I find it ironic how academics and journalists try to come up with new theories to explain poverty on reservations but fail to take into account the obvious. The government owes Native Americans at least 45 Billion dollars yet, in the settlement offered by the Obama administration, they are being compensated for less that .06% of that." [more inside]
posted by desjardins
on Dec 14, 2011 -
Fred Martinez was nádleehí, a male-bodied person with a feminine nature, a special gift according to his ancient Navajo culture. He was one of the youngest hate-crime victims in modern history when he was brutally murdered at 16. Two Spirits explores the life and death of this boy who was also a girl, and the essentially spiritual nature of gender. (previously)
posted by Trurl
on Nov 10, 2011 -
Pete Standing Alone has come full-circle in his dedication to preserving the traditional ways of his people on the Blood reserve in Southern Alberta. His 50 year journey from cultural alienation to pride and belonging has been uniquely captured by the NFB in the Pete Standing Alone Trilogy. [more inside]
posted by Devils Rancher
on Nov 9, 2011 -
"Because you know most babies don't cry ..."
"In South Dakota, Native American children make up only 15 percent of the child population, yet they make up more than half the children in foster care. An NPR News investigation has found that the state is removing 700 native children every year, sometimes in questionable circumstances. "
posted by HuronBob
on Oct 25, 2011 -
"Indian country begins where the serene prairie of Custer county gives way to the formidable rock spires marking out South Dakota's rugged Badlands. The road runs straight until the indistinguishable, clapboard American homesteads fade from view and the path climbs into a landscape sharpened by an eternity of wind and water. At this time of year, the temperature slides to tens of degrees below freezing and a relentless gale sets the snow dancing on the road, a whirligig of white blotting out the black of the asphalt."
A sobering look at one Native American community
and their hopes during the Obama years, by The Guardian's Chris McGreal
posted by saturnine
on Jan 10, 2010 -
: “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 -
Archaeologists and Native Americans race against the border fence.
The REAL ID act authorized government agencies to bulldoze long-standing environmental, cultural and anthropological standards. But a team of activists worked delicately behind the scenes to win millions of dollars in federal funding and the go-ahead for a last-ditch effort to study ancient artifacts. Archaeologists have faced similarly rushed projects elsewhere
along the fence route.
posted by univac
on Mar 31, 2009 -
Tales of the Beanworld ("A most peculiar comic book experience")
recently resumed publication after a long hiatus. It's a strange and abstract mix of Native American mythology and culture, with a strong ecological focus, into an wonderfully charming cosmology. While it certainly invites, uh, overthinking
, it's also entertaining on a purely casual level.
A sample short Beanworld story
is on the Dark Horse Comics Myspace page.
If you have questions about it, the BeanWeb
just may have answers, along with illustrations from the comics. There is now a Beanworld Wiki
to supplement it, and creator Larry Marder keeps a blog
where he talks about things bean.
Okay, now that it's properly introduced... the real
point of this post is to link to this awesome Beanworld Flash cartoon
, animated by Fashionbuddha and with music by They Might Be Giants!
posted by JHarris
on Dec 20, 2008 -
Helen (Hunt) Jackson
was an author
and an activist. Her
mom died when Helen was 14, her dad 3 years later. Helen's first child died at 11 months, her second at 10 years old. In 1879 she was inspired
after hearing Chief Standing Bear describe how the U.S. government took Native Americans' land. She
began to publish in support of Native American rights. 1881 brought her book A Century of Dishonor
[pdf], branded with the words "Look upon your hands! They are stained with the blood of your relations".
In 1883, she published her most famous work, Ramona
, a novel about racial discrimination set in California.
If that's too much to take in, and now you need some kitties, she's still got you covered. Letters from a Cat
(1879) is being featured at Archive.org
today. [more inside]
posted by cashman
on Aug 25, 2008 -
On November 29, 1864, John Chivington led the Colorado Volunteers in a dawn attack in which at least 150 Cheyenne men, women and children were slaughtered (many of their corpses grotesquely mutilated), bringing a new wave of Indian-white conflict to Colorado's high plains along the Santa Fe Trail. The Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site
was officially dedicated today
See photos of some of the people
involved, read some contemporary propaganda
concerning the event, as well as actual testimony
from witnesses and perpetrators.
posted by flapjax at midnite
on Apr 28, 2007 -
Say you live in a forest and have limited resources. You need to make signposts to point out trails, water sources, meeting places and the like, but your readers might speak a variety of languages. Also, you want the signposts to last a really long time. What do you do? Create trail trees
! Now say you live in the 21st century. What do you do? Create a database
! And blog about it
posted by DU
on Apr 13, 2007 -
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 -