Respect and honor to those remembering the ancestors today - those praying at Wounded Knee, and those who are retracing the steps of the ancestors, on foot and horseback through the snow.
Names of the Dead
December 29, 1890
By SUSAN FIELD
Clare Managing Editor
A somber group of Saginaw Chippewa Tribal members on Thursday brought some of their ancestors home.
A sunrise ceremony at Central Michigan University’s Special Olympics building was followed by a procession of Tribal members bringing the remains of Saginaw Chippewa Tribal ancestors and funerary objects that were returned to the Tribe from CMU’s Museum of Cultural and Natural History.
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“The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe and Central Michigan University share a long and proud heritage of mutual respect,” said Pam Gates, interim dean of the College of Humanities and Social and Behavioral Science. “In honor of the proud culture, heritage and history of the indigenous people of this region, CMU will rightfully return the remains of Saginaw Chippewa tribal members in its possession to their families for proper burial.”
Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Chief Dennis Kequom said said he was humbled by CMU’s commitment to returning ancestral remains to the Tribe.
"I am very proud of what we have gathered here to do today and humbled by the care, understanding and sensitivity that Central Michigan University has displayed in the time it took to bring us to this point,” he said. “This historic event marks a new direction in our efforts to repatriate all of our ancestors.
“It is my hope for our Tribal community that other institutions throughout Michigan and elsewhere follow the lead of Central Michigan University. There are so many people to thank and we will have ample time for that over the course of these next two days. Today we proudly reclaim our own and return them home.”
Growing up in the Michigan parochial school system, we were told by the sisters that the word Hallow’een was a contraction of All Hallows Eve, and that Hallow meant holy or sacred. We were told that on this night when the border between the worlds became blurred, the Celtic tribes believed that the spirits of the dead were allowed to come back to earth. Because they believed that the spirits of the dead could walk among the world of the living, they feared what the spirits might do to them, and tried to disguise themselves to fool the spirits into believing that they weren’t living.
As an impressionable Native girl, that seemed pretty awesome to me back then. Unfortunately, all these traditions have been lost in a materialistic society that transforms everything into a commodity. Sex sells the best in the mainstream media, and this is reflected in the choices that young women make in Halloween costumes. I’ve heard that there are some college parties where women are not allowed to attend unless they are dressed "sexy." The backlash against feminist values is even more chilling when the costumes use other people’s ethnicity to appease the demands of a generation of young white men whose sexual attitudes were constructed almost entirely from pornography. As an indigenous woman, it is disheartening to see how a spiritually bankrupt, pornographic youth culture has transformed All Hallows eve into an opportunity to get drunk and engage in minstrelsy, abusing my image in the process.
While there have been many bloggers objecting to the hyper-sexualization of children and young girls and to the racist element of playing with another human being’s ethnicity on this day, there has been very little written from the perspective of indigenous women, who must confront both misogyny and racism on this day that once carried the connotation of "holy."
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Playing with racial stereotypes is about power. Those with white skin privilege have chosen to do the defining. Those of us without it are dismissed as hyper-sensitive and told to spend our time on issues that whites define for us as being more important. Those of you reading this that have white skin privilege and think it’s just harmless fun to try on the ethnicity of others, need to realize that dehumanization is the essential processes in the transformation of “good” well-intentioned people into perpetrators of evil.
There is no reason why you have to succumb to media indoctrination. There is no reason why Halloween has to be the most racist day of the year. As feminists, humanists, and white anti-racists allies, you can challenge undignified images that misrepresent indigenous people. You can chose to talk about racial stereotypes when you see people “just having fun” with other people’s ethnicity on Halloween. We all need to start honestly discussing who has the power to define others in this society and how we can view all human beings in their full humanity and not as one dimensional stereotypes.
When you are in a position of power, you have a responsibility NOT to mock people who are not in a position of power. Racial stereotypes only function are to reinforce outdated notions of white supremacy. You can choose not to engage in the degradation of your fellow human beings. You can contact he companies who manufacture these costumes and inform them how inappropriate they are. Ethnic costumes are meant to produce a reaction. If you are reading this, you now know that the reaction they produce in indigenous women is one of outrage and offense. If you know something offends a marginalized group of people, then why continue to do it? It’s time to turn Halloween back into a night that is sacred, by respecting all women’s bodies and respecting the dignity of all human beings.
On October 20th, 2010, we will wear purple in honor of the 6 gay boys who committed suicide in recent weeks/months due to homophobic abuse in their homes and at their schools. Purple represents Spirit on the LGBTQ flag and that’s exactly what we’d like all of you to have with you: spirit. Please know that times will get better and that you will meet people who will love you and respect you for who you are, no matter your sexuality. Please wear purple on October 20th. Tell your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and schools. RIP Tyler Clementi, Asher Brown, Seth Walsh, Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase and Billy Lucas. You are loved.
We are an allied group of local and non-local stakeholders and concerned citizens who wish to improve the Tara Skryne Landscape after the destruction wrought by the M3 Motorway through this most Sacred, Mythical, and Historical Valley of Ireland.
We are a volunteer, non politically affiliated organisation comprised of members of various groups who stood against the route of the M3 Motorway through the Tara Skryne Valley. Now that the Motorway has opened we stand together to demand the preservation of what remains of the Tara Skryne Valley ie. its protection against further inapproriate development as well as greater protection for our National Monuments and sacred places countrywide.
TaraWatch and Save Newgrange, in conjunction with a University of California, Berkeley, human rights lawyer, Matt Schwoebel, are launching a heritage rights survey online tomorrow.
The launch will coincide with the opening of the 34th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, which opens in Brazil today.
The Hill of Tara is being nominated at the UNESCO meeting, as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, by Ireland, along with a number of other sites, despite the fact that the M3 motorway has just opened in the middle of the proposed site. Bru na Boinne is under threat from the N2 Slane bypass, which will pass within 500 metres of the existing World Heritage Site, and impact over 44 related sites.
The survey asks Irish people if they believe their heritage is being adequately protected, and if they feel their human rights to heritage are being violated, particularly with regards to the treatment of the Hill of Tara and Bru na Boinne. The results will form part of a complaint to the UN Human Rights Committee and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Vincent Salafia of TaraWatch and Save Newgrange said:
“Many Irish people feel their human rights to heritage and culture are being continuously violated by the Irish Government, and we are offering them a chance to do something about it."
(Read the full press release...)
AMERICAN INDIAN MOVEMENT GRAND GOVERNING COUNCIL
July 14, 2010
Michael Fairbanks, Director
American Indian Movement-Santa Barbara
P.O. Box 204
Santa Barbara, CA 93102
Dear Michael and Santa Barbara AIM,
The American Indian Movement National Office located in Minneapolis, Minnesota is in full support of the Santa Barbara Chapter of AIM in their efforts to stop the airing of The Dudesons in America-Cowboys and Findians, and demanding an apology from MTV.
The American Indian Movement through the development of the National Coalition on Racism and Sports and Media http://www.aimovement.org/ncrsm/index.html has a long-time record of intolerance for racist imagery in regards to Native people here in America.
We condemn MTV for refusing to recognize the harmful effects of such broadcasting.
Clyde H. Bellecourt
American Indian Movement
Grand Governing Council
Anishinabe Ojibwe Nation
[signature on record]
P.O. BOX 13521, MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA 55414
TELEPHONE 612-721-3914/FAX 612-721-7826
Web Address: www.aimovement.org
We work on a daily basis with Cheyenne & Arapaho Students along with numerous other students that are members of other tribes. The negative images and stereotypes of Native Americans that have been created over the years are a constant detriment to the progress and self esteem of our students. Most recognize that a new language has emerged in the world, one that has grown to reach all nations with equal effect and understanding,… it is the language of Mass Communications. The average parent spends about 38 minutes a week in quality conversation with their kids, while the average kid spends 3 to 4 hours a day watching television. The American Medical Association recently reported that 60% of the information children receive comes from television. Mass media has become the second language of our children.
This MTV show manages to tear down much of the work we have accomplished.
(Read full letter here)
Red Face Minstrel Show Unamusing
“Cowboys and Findians” Not Merely Dumb, It’s Abusive
The other side of the coin is that there is a media blackout on Native issues. In this past year, there have been states of emergencies called from tribal leaders, and practically no media covered these stories. People were freezing to death in the plains area, starving to death in the southwestern region, and now, Native nations are struggling with the effects of the oil spill of the Gulf. Yet, ironically, MTV airs The Dudesons, stating the episode was created to honor Native people. This argument is frequently used with regard to the use of mascots in school and sports (think Carpinteria High School). Imposing one’s definition of “honoring” on someone else, and the “honoring” as a guise to hit upon every stereotype ever used to characterize Native people, is simply not good. Our cultures, our spirituality, and our ceremonies laughed at on an international level, with the everlasting shelf life of the Internet.
(Read full editorial)
The Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign has called a protest for this evening at 6pm, assembling at the Spire on O’Connell Street, Dublin 1 which will then march to the Israeli Embassy in Ballsbridge. Speakers at the event will be Aengus O Snodaigh TD and Chris Andrews TD, both of whom were refused access to the flotilla by the Cypriot authorities after coming under severe pressure from Israel. ICTU President Jack O'Connor will also speak. The IPSC is calling on people in Ireland to show their outrage at this murderous attack against unarmed solidarity activists by coming out on the streets today.More details on demonstrations and letter-writing campaigns on the IPSC website.
ICTU Condemns Israeli Assault
Date Released: 31 May 2010
Israel’s Assault on Aid Convoy akin to actions of a ‘Rogue State’
Congress President Jack O’Connor and General Secretary David Begg have jointly condemned the Israeli assault on the Gaza aid convoy, during which at least 10 civilians were killed.
The joint statement said: “This was a callous attack on innocent civilians which showed an utter disregard for all precepts of international law and human rights.
“The people on those boats were civilians engaged in peaceful humanitarian work, bringing much needed aid to the Gaza Strip and were no threat to anyone.
“To launch a military assault on a humanitarian convoy is beyond the bounds of all that is acceptable and should be judged as such by the international community. The assault was akin to the actions of a rogue state.
“On behalf of the Irish Trade Union movement we would like to extend our sympathies to those killed and injured in this attack and we are thankful that the Irish contingent appears to be safe and well.
“We lend our support to calls for an immediate suspension of the EU’s trade agreement with Israel and we also believe that the recent decision to accept Israel into full membership of the OECD should be reversed with immediate effect.”
Irish Government should expel Israeli Ambassador — AdamsSinn Féin leaders are attending demonstrations in Dublin, Belfast and Derry today to protest at the actions of Israel whose forces killed a number of civilians this morning when they attacked one of the ships taking part in the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams will attend a demonstration at Belfast City Hall at 4pm. Martin McGuinness is to attend a protest at the Guildhall in Derry at 5pm while Sinn Féin Vice President Mary Lou McDonald and Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD will attend an event at the Spire in Dublin’s O'Connell Street at 6pm.
Speaking from the Belfast demonstration Gerry Adams said:
“I welcome the fact that Minister Micheál Martin has summoned the Israeli ambassador to explain the actions of Israeli forces in killing up to 20 civilians taking part in a peaceful humanitarian mission to Gaza.
“This morning’s murderous attack is an affront to international law and has endangered the lives of Irish citizens. It requires a firm and resolute response by the Irish Government which must now expel the Israeli Ambassador.
“The government must also use its influence to discontinue the EU’s preferential trade agreement with Israel.
“In the wake of this morning’s tragedy, the Irish Government should support and seek the backing of other countries for a new international aid mission to Gaza which will ensure that necessary vital supplies reach the suffering people of that besieged area."
From: Sarcione, AJ - AJ.Sarcione@mtvstaff.com
Subject: RE: MTV & the Dudesonaimsb@ymail.com
To: "Aim Sb" -
Date: Tuesday, May 25, 2010, 1:51 AM
We appreciate your recent feedback regarding “The Dudesons In America.” It is never MTV's intention to offend anyone. The series is about creating lighthearted humor, that at times, could integrate various themes as part of the overall stunt or prank. We take viewer feedback very seriously and thank you for reaching out.
Senior Publicist, MTV
This is COMMUNITY ACTION ! Grassroots at its finest! WE'RE SEEKING EVERYONE OF ALL RACES, IN EVERY COUNTY OF AMERICA (ESPECIALLY LOS ANGELES COUNTIES) WHO CARE ABOUT AMERICAN INDIAN ISSUES!!!
BICONA (Black Indian Confederacy Of North America) is looking at organizing a protest with the Santa Barbara and the Los Angeles chapters of The American Indian Movement (AIM), against MTV because of their blatant disrespect for Native culture in their "Cowboys and Findians" episode. BICONA and AIM are looking for others to join in on the mission.
In regard to MTV's episode entitled "Cowboys and Findians", we find it appalling that in this day and age there are still those who show total disregard for traditional, spiritual and/or religious beliefs, as depicted in film and television. I see MTV's "Cowboys and Findians" as reckless, insulting and repulsive. The episode amounts to nothing more than a modern day American Indian minstrel show; reminiscent of the days of “Black face”. We are here to stand side by side with American Indian movement chapters and all other people/organizations, who, by the way, are of various races, to oppose this act of insensitivity.
MTV should be ashamed and take responsibility by removing this episode and any others that depict indigenous culture as nothing more than a joke... they should also issue a public apology to all indigenous people. I understand that AIM Santa Barbara had asked for a public apology and to remove the episode by June 1st, so if the demanda are not met, we will stand in solidarity with our Indian family, against your network.
Read full statement from BICONA...
Immigrants, Racism, Stereotypes, & MTV
from AIM Santa Barbara
Today at 7:21pm
Wait! Do these guys have GREEN CARDS? Are they IMMIGRANTS? Why didn't they spoof the freaking governmental freaks in Arizona? You don't hear anyone saying these Fins are taking Americans jobs do ya?! No one is asking these idiots if they have a Green Card! Are they legal? They look like Immigrants to me....
We watched The Dudesons last night. It was horrible. Over and over these crazy white men in headdresses and feathers would injure themselves and scream things like, "I'm becoming a Native American!" One man injured his testicles and anus, screamed, "I think I ripped my a***ole!" and his friends replied, "You're the Chief now!"
When they performed their "Break Out of Jail" skit, they asked one of the white men dressed as an Indian what he did to wind up in jail. He replied, "Honestly, it was my own casino that I burned down." Before they were slapped in the face with fish, the white men said, "True Native Americans, they fish with their mouth. And with their hands." The only authentic Native American on the show nodded his head and said, "It's true." The voiceover continues, "Native Americans are like bears. They catch fish with their mouths. This is a rite of passage for fishing."
MTV is a pillar of this economic and cultural racism. They have the power to create cultural attitudes and cultural shifts, especially among young people. But with shows like The Dudesons they are choosing to use this power to degrade and exploit.
Now some people have said that this is only comedy. “Why are you guys so riled up? It makes people laugh,” - Yes, it makes people laugh. But as someone put it very eloquently; “are they laughing at us or with us?” take a look at the clip. You decide.
What are the positives of this show? Will it open new roles for Native people in the industry? Will it interest people to research Native Culture? Does this show celebrate Native Diversity? Or does it perpetuate more stereotypes? How will this affect our Native children already being taunted at school? Does this show aid or hamper our causes such as and not limited to: high rates of suicide, domestic violence? Treaty right violations?
This is not just a National show, it will have INTERNATIONAL viewing.
AIM SB is asking you to take 5 minutes - 5 minutes to call or shoot off an email to MTV.
Below is a sample:
I am writing to protest your racist show, The Dudesons: Cowboys and Findians. Though you were able to find a Native American to participate in this culturally offensive display, he is only one man. Many others are appalled at the negative stereotypes you are promoting. It adds insult to injury that you gave the impression that Native peoples somehow approve of being depicted as animals and self-injuring fools.
You have already run this show three times this week. I add my voice to the demand that you stop this racist attack. Immediately. If you do not take the show out of rotation and issue an apology to the Native American people by June 1, 2010, a complete boycott of your network and all your sponsors will begin.
Please include AIM SB on the cc (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Senior Publicist he covers the Dudesons
See also: http://www.mtvpress.com/contacts/
PLEASE REPOST & Distribute WIDELY
The Denver Post published a biased and twisted article concerning the Lakota protest of the military helicopters attempting to land at Wounded Knee on Saturday. The Denver Post twisted the facts into a pro-military press release, disguised as a news article, without quoting any of the Lakotas or their reasons for halting the helicopters.
The statements by Debra White Plume, Lakota, and others were easily available on the Internet on Monday, even an armchair journalist at the Denver Post could have found those.
Read full post...
Whereas, the United States Military arrived at the Wounded Knee Mass Grave on May 1, 2010 in three Military Transport Helicopters that held 40 and more members of the Armed Services of the US without the free, prior, informed consent of the Oglala Lakota people and thus were prevented from landing.
Therefore, Be It Resolved, that the Oglala Sioux Tribe will take every action to see that the United States Reclaims the Twenty Medals of Honor from the 7th Calvary for their role in the Massacre at Wounded Knee, to remove any recognition the US Military bestows to its entities for the Massacre at Wounded Knee, and to obtain the return of personal items taken from Lakota people at the 1890 Massacre.
Therefore Be It Further Resolved, that the Oglala Sioux Tribe, its members, any entity, organization, or resident on the Pine Ridge Reservation will not allow the United States Military from this time forward to come anywhere near the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre Mass Grave in order to demonstrate Honor and Respect for the Lakota people buried there, and to ensure a peaceful, nonviolent, weapon-free zone for the Mass Gravesite area.
Read the full resolution... (page down past Debra White Plume's report)
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
April 30, 2010
President Obama Signs North Dakota Disaster Declaration
The President today declared a major disaster exists in the State of North Dakota and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the area struck by flooding beginning on February 26, 2010, and continuing.
Federal funding is available to State and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the flooding in the counties of Barnes, Benson, Cass, Dickey, Emmons, Foster, Grand Forks, LaMoure, Logan, Mercer, Morton, Nelson, Pembina, Ramsey, Ransom, Richland, Sargent, Steele, Stutsman, Traill, Walsh, and Wells and the portions of the Spirit Lake Reservation that lie within these counties.
Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures for all counties and Tribes within the State.
W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Justo Hernández as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected area.
FEMA said additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the State and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: FEMA (202) 646-3272.
"This event will feature some of the best Scottish Gaelic instructors from Cape Breton and the United States. The immersion weekend is a unique opportunity for learners of Scottish Gaelic to come together with more advanced and native speakers in both a classroom setting and informal gatherings. Whether you are a new learner with no experience or an advanced speaker, the immersion weekend will provide opportunities to speak Gaelic in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere."
FEMA DISASTER: Spring is just around the corner and South Dakota is finally designated a disaster from December storms
By Brenda Norrell
In one of the most pitiful delayed actions, the Obama administration's FEMA declared a disaster in South Dakota, months after the winter storms that first devastated the state in December.
While Lakotas from Pine Ridge, Cheyenne River Sioux and elsewhere in the Dakotas pleaded for aid in January and February, their pleas were ignored by the Obama administration. Cheyenne River Sioux were without electricity for weeks and fresh water for more than six days.
Indian Nations and individuals rallied to help the Lakotas blasted by repeated winter storms in December, January and February. An online campaign urging CNN to cover the disaster in the Dakotas only resulted in one brief mention.
While most attention was focused on Haiti, Lakotas suffered.
Now that spring is just around the corner, here's the disaster declaration: Read full post
(CNN) -- Self-help guru James Ray was arrested Wednesday after a grand jury indictment charging him with three counts of manslaughter in the deaths of three participants at an Arizona sweat lodge ceremony he organized last year.
Yavapai County Sheriff Steve Waugh said Ray was arrested at his attorney's office in Prescott, Arizona, Wednesday afternoon.
He will eventually be housed at the Camp Verde Detention Center, the sheriff's office said, and his bond has been set at $5 million.
Ray is charged with the deaths of Kirby Brown, James Shore and Liz Neuman.