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Monday, August 15, 2016

Recent News Articles

Subsistence and Sport Hunter Individual Rights
One of the issues that arose during the negotiations of the act was the management of Alaska Native subsistence rights to land. The topic proved too difficult to settle quickly, and so negotiations over subsistence rights were deferred to later committees and commissions. Since 1971 to the present, the protection of Alaska Native subsistence rights have not been settled. In effect Indigenous Peoples in Alaska were barred subsistence hunting and gathering on federal, state, and private lands that were not in indigenous control. Alaska Natives found that the 44 million acres spread across the state were too small and not configured properly to sustain their subsistence needs.

5 More Things You Thought You Knew About American Indians
What is the difference between Progressive and Traditional Indians?  A hundred years ago American Indians were the “Vanishing Race,” but within the 21st century we now have extensive and continuing debates about how Natives can advance as a people. Some say you can act as a traditional and observe ceremonies but still gain an education and adapt to modern society. Others say that our cultural knowledge is corrupted by modern practices and that it is a constant struggle to maintain a personal and tribal identity. All the relevant political organizations that have been formed this past century by Native people are covered here, yet we now face the same contemporary struggles that American society as a whole fights over. 

A Native American Parent Confronts a Pervasive NFL Slur

Native Lives Matter: Police Killing Native Americans at Astounding Rate
"Students are expected to wear appropriate clothing to school. Clothing that offends others or disrupts learning is inappropriate. Clothing that includes references to gangs, drugs, alcohol, and sex is not acceptable." Make no mistake: Wearing and displaying Washington NFL team merchandise is an affirmative act of discrimination. It also says a lot about the person wearing it, displaying it, and defending it. It's hard to understand that treating people respectfully means defending the slur you wear or allowing it to be worn on teachers' and students' chests.

Police are Killing Native Americans at Higher Rate than Any Race, and Nobody is Talking About It
Earlier this month, Native American activist, Rexdale W. Henry, 53, was arrested for failure to pay a traffic fine. Five days later, on July 14, Henry would be found dead in a Neshoba County, Mississippi jail cell.Just days before Henry’s tragic death, another Native American woman was found dead in a jail cell. She was arrested for an alleged bond violation over a traffic charge. Sarah Lee Circle Bear was heard by her cellmates screaming for help prior to being found unresponsive in her cell.

Are U.S. History Textbooks Still Full of Lies and Half-Truths?
In conjunction with my latest book, Founding Myths: Stories that Hide our Patriotic Past, I have reviewed twenty-two current elementary, middle school, and high school texts. Fourteen were displayed at a recent National Council for the Social Studies convention, while eight are approved for use in California, which has among the strictest criteria in the nation. I compared the mythologies of the American Revolution discussed in my book with those perpetuated in these texts, and the results are startling. Although some texts fare better than others, all are culpable of some serious lapses.

Likewise, current texts include some mention of the Native American presence in the Revolutionary War, but their narratives display a serious bias. In chapters on the post-war period — right at the moment of the greatest white incursion onto Native lands in United States history— the Indian presence mysteriously disappears. Discussions of white conquest appear earlier and later in these texts, but not at the critical point of our nation’s founding, when it is most relevant but also most embarrassing. The pan-Indian resistance movements of the 1780s — again, the largest coalitions of Native Americans in our history — are entirely neglected. With nary a nod to the impact on indigenous people, the texts celebrate the ordinances of 1785 and 1787 — blueprints for westward expansion and death knells for Indian sovereignty.

Some say these myths are harmless — what damage can stories do? Plenty. They change our view of historical and political processes. Myths that celebrate individual achievement mask fundamental truths of great import. The United States was founded not by isolated acts of heroism but by the concerted revolutionary activities of people who had learned the power of collaborative effort. “Government has now devolved upon the people,” wrote one disgruntled Tory in 1774, “and they seem to be for using it.” That’s the story the myths cover up. -

Paul Revere’s Ride (Longfellow, 1861) said that farmers had to be awakened from their slumbers by a man from Boston, even though the farmers themselves had already staged a revolution and spent six months arming themselves to defend it. The myth that Jefferson was responsible for the ideas in the Declaration of Independence (started by his political supporters) hid the fact that people from the hinterlands of Massachusetts were ready to go that route long before. The end result: not one current textbook chronicles the first overthrow of British rule. How strange that the story of any revolution can be told without at least a mention of the initial overthrow of political and military authority.

Are Ethnic Indians a Threat to Indigenous Rights?

Racism of Baseball Mascots

A Conversation With Sherman Alexie About Thunder Boy Jr. and Other Stuff
His first children’s book.

Native Headdresses in TLC’s ‘Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding’?

It's time to acknowledge the genocide of California's Indians
Between 1846 and 1870, California’s Indian population plunged from perhaps 150,000 to 30,000. Diseases, dislocation and starvation caused many of these deaths, but the near-annihilation of the California Indians was not the unavoidable result of two civilizations coming into contact for the first time. It was genocide, sanctioned and facilitated by California officials.

Inside the fight between Daniel Snyder and Native American activists over ‘Redskins’
In January 1992, when the Buffalo Bills played Washington in the Super Bowl, an estimated 3,000 demonstrators turned out to denounce the name at the Metrodome in Minneapolis. Using language later echoed by Snyder, then-owner Jack Kent Cooke vowed to never change it.

Best books by or about American Indians? First Nations?
Links to posts on American Indians in Children's Literature and elsewhere that'll help you find ones selected by Native people (me, and other Native people, including members of the American Indian Library Association!

We are not "people of color"
A common phrase used to describe minority or underrepresented populations is "people of color." American Indians are not, to quote Elizabeth Cook Lynn, a member of the Crow Creek Sioux tribe and founding editor of Wicazo Sa (a leading journal in American Indian Studies), "people of color." Cook-Lynn writes: Native populations in America are not "ethnic" populations; they are not "minority" populations, neither immigrant nor tourist, nor "people of color." They are the indigenous peoples of this continent. They are landlords, with very special political and cultural status in the realm of American identity and citizenship. Since 1924, they have possessed dual citizenship, tribal and U.S., and are the only population that has not been required to deny their previous national citizenship in order to possess U.S. citizenship. They are known and documented as citizens by their tribal nations.