FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: New anthology sheds new light on the STOLEN GENERATIONS

The new book STOLEN GENERATIONS finally hit on Amazon!

Blue Hand Books

Published 4-20-16 Published 4-20-16

Greenfield, Massachusetts [2016]  — Award-winning Native journalist Trace Hentz continues her heart-rending efforts to peel away the malodorous layers of Native American adoption with her newest book, Stolen Generations: Survivors of the Indian Adoption Projects and 60s Scoop (Publisher Blue Hand Books).

“What is significant about this new book?  Everything,” Hentz said.  “Ten years ago there were no books on stolen generations.  Now we have more than one generation who have experienced the Indian Adoption Projects and 60s Scoop.  These survivors have bravely documented their life experience in their own words in three anthologies (Two Worlds, Called Home and now Stolen Generations) that I’ve compiled so far.”

Hentz (formerly DeMeyer) has worked tirelessly since 2004 to shed light on the dark corners and secret crevices of American Indian adoptions, and by extension, all adoptees.

“For me, that is all I hoped for, prayed for,” Hentz said.  An…

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Blog Bonus: Native American Photogs

NEW UK EXHIBIT: STILL – Native American Photographers

15th March – 28 May, 2016 (RAINMAKER Gallery is the UK showcase for contemporary Native North American Indian art and jewellery.)

RAINMAKER GALLERY, 123 Coldharbour Road, Bristol BS6 7SN, UK

Artist’s Talk with Cara Romero, Thursday April 21st, 3pm-4pm
Artists’ reception with Cara Romero and Diego Romero, Thursday April 21st, 6pm -8pm

STILL showcases the recent work of fine art photographers Cara Romero, Will Wilson, Kali Spitzer, Robert Mesa and Zoe Urness.  Their compelling photographic images of water, dance and stillness explore concepts of suspension and continuance in a rapidly changing world.

Global changes in climate, environment and economies have impacted significantly in the most vulnerable areas of the world, and Indigenous North Americans see these effects daily.  Chemehuevi artist Cara Romero draws these delicate relationships to a fine point in her series ‘Water Memories’. Her breathtaking underwater images expose the fragile and essential relationships that exist between people, water and life. These beautifully conceived photographs show an immersed environment where the Native American figures are portrayed under the surface, suspended in a drowned landscape.

“‘Water Memories’ are photography dreamscapes dealing with Native American relationships to water, the forces of man and of Mother Nature.  They are individual explorations of space, memory, and diverse Indigenous narratives that are both terrifying and peaceful.” Cara Romero

TOP PHOTO: Distinguished Diné artist Will Wilson’s tranquil, panoramic self-portrait captures a prayer offering by the lone figure of the artist within a vast waterscape. 

Since 2005, I have been creating a series of artworks entitled ‘Auto Immune Response’ (AIR), which takes as its subject the quixotic relationship between a post-apocalyptic Diné (Navajo) man and the devastatingly beautiful, but toxic environment he inhabits.  The series is an allegorical investigation of the extraordinarily rapid transformation of Indigenous lifeways, the dis-ease it has caused, and strategies of response that enable cultural survival.Will Wilson

From his on going series ‘Critical Indigenous Photographic Exchange’ (CIPX), Wilson uses the early photographic technique of tintype to present modern static images of dancers in an historic fluid medium.

Kali Spitzer (Kaska Dena / Jewish) also experiments with the wet plate alchemical process of tintype producing magical and magnificent portraits of contemporary Indigenous women who appear as if through an antique mirror. Navajo photographer Robert I Mesa  captures fleeting moments of inter-tribal pow wow with his incandescent portraits of Fancy Dancers. Zoe Marieh Urness (Tlingit & Cherokee) creates timeless sepia toned portraits of Indigenous landscapes containing contemporary Native Americans still ‘Keeping The Traditions Alive’.

This exhibition presents technically and aesthetically brilliant images that together speak of the strong identities, cultures and connections to Mother Earth still thriving at the heart of Indigenous communities. 

STILL is curated by Dr Stephanie Pratt (Dakota) and Joanne Prince Director of Rainmaker Gallery

To book for the Artist’s Talk with Cara Romero please contact the gallery. The talk will take place at Redland Quaker Meeting House, 126 Hampton Rd. BS6 6JE. The cost is £7 per person.

Further talks will be held at The American Museum In Britain with both Cara Romero and Diego Romero on the 20th and 22nd April respectively.

SOURCE:
===LAST YEAR

Debra Yepa-Pappan’s work

‘CAPTURED’ showcases the work of fine art photographers Cara Romero, Will Wilson, Zoe Urness, Sara Sense, Tailinh Agoyo and Debra Yepa-Pappan, who surprise and delight with sublime and arresting imagery that challenges preconceived notions of American Indians.
Their post on Captured exhibit in 2015: HERE
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AND meet a friend of mine Chris Pappan

Chris Pappan, his wife Debra Yepa-Pappan and their daughter JiHae visited Bristol for the opening of their exhibition FIRST PEOPLE, SECOND CITY co-curated by Dr Max Carocci from the British Museum and Joanne Prince, Director of Rainmaker Gallery.

Artist’s Statement:

I am an American Indian. I am Osage, Kaw, Cheyenne River Sioux, and mixed European heritage.
I don’t walk in beauty, I just try not to step in dog shit.
I don’t listen to the wind, I listen to people’s cell phone conversations.
I go to Pow Wows to celebrate a pan-Indian culture.
I don’t walk the Red Road, I walk down Kedzie Boulevard. I live 20 feet above the earth.
I listen to Norwegian Black Metal and 70’s Prog Rock.
I need to learn the language of my people.
I make paintings to bring awareness that Indians are still here.
I distort images because people perceive a distorted image of Native Americans in the collective conscience.
I prefer the term Indian over Native American, but I use both.
I wonder why many people want to know what “percentage” Indian I am.
I am blessed in that I don’t know anyone who is currently addicted to drugs, been a victim of domestic violence or committed suicide.
I am blessed in that I have a loving wife and beautiful daughter.
I am an American Indian living in the 21st century.

 

(Indians are also known for their good-hearted goofiness, like Chris obviously… Lara/Trace)

asshole

Make it Obvious Where You Went Wrong (scandals, too)

You are trying to get it right, but you might not.  Maybe though you got almost there.  If you got almost there, don’t cover your tracks.  Don’t make it seem like your work is perfect. …

KEEP READING: Make it Obvious Where You Went Wrong

 

By Lara Trace

Now that I am finishing up STOLEN GENERATIONS, I do need some time off from blogging.  So I will be gone a few months (it’s necessary). If you need reading material (of course you do): read the fantastic diverse blogs (I follow 225+) (bottom of this blog.) THE MIX too.

I often read Eric Linus Kaplan’s blog [Honest ontology, fantasy and comedy. Writer on “Big Bang Theory” and of “Does Santa Exist: A Philosophical Investigation”] (his post is above)

What Eric writes is profound, mind bending, good.  Like The Big Band Theory is profound, mind bending and good.

Make it Obvious Where You Went Wrong?  If we stop to consider America’s military secrets, Cointelpro, political secrets, assassinations, plots, first we’d be blown away at the truth (BOOM) – overnight we’d have a new world – but that all depends on if the military ever came clean.  All modern wars are wars by and for the private bankers, fought and bled for by third parties unaware of the true reason they are expected to gracefully be killed and crippled for.  The process is quite simple. […keep reading]

I am thinking of all the times in my last 59 years where I was wrong.  I cannot tell you honestly how many times it happened but it was LOTS.

No, folks, I won’t be blogging it now but I do want you to think about it, too.  And in the HEAT of this political campaign, perhaps all the presidential candidates should tell us when they were wrong and admit their mistakes.  Then explain it so we all know (so we can understand and learn from their mistake). Humility is sadly lacking in politicians, right?

I often think of the Pres. Clinton-Monica scandal and his almost-impeachment, and how Hillary (HRC) didn’t divorce him when many of us expected she would.  (Which made me realize then that not all marriages are based on fidelity but many are money-based and power-driven.  Their union was not a mistake.  It was intentional.  I’ve only watched a few episodes of House of Cards about power-hungry wolves in designer clothes in DC.  People in power (men and women) do have extra-marital affairs.  I have an ex-husband who would agree since he did (more than once.)

That early marriage of mine was a good learning experience AND a mistake.

Here is a post about scandal from my favorite guy TubularSock: http://tubularsock.com/2016/03/28/scandal-scandal-everywhere/

Learning is life long. Learning is what we do as humans. And as we learn, we might falter and make mistakes. That’s how we grow up.

I aim to be as honest as I can be with myself. And admit my mistakes.

It’s the best I can do…

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There are times to read history and there are times to make history. – David Batstone

 

I have a question for you:  Do you rip out all those drug ads in magazines? I do it every time a magazine arrives. It’s not a mistake. It’s therapy. Do you do it, too?

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And I had to share this!

On Amazon

The Human Antenna and What It Can Do

Dr. Robin Kelly has combined science, traditional concepts of healing and his own extraordinary insights to evolve “the Human Antenna,” and here he tells us just what it all means, and how we can literally remake ourselves as healthier, more energetic and, in the end, more deeply conscious and deeply human beings.

Bruce H. Lipton, PhD says this of Dr. Kelly’s quest:

‘On a quest to be a better healer, physician Robin Kelly embarked upon an epic journey that transformed his patients’ lives, his own life, and one that can possibly transform your life as well. Expertly weaving together traditional Western medical science, Eastern medicine’s energy philosophy and a dash of quantum physics, Dr. Robin Kelly concocts a powerful and wise prescription for self-healing and self-empowerment. Filled with astounding scientific insights, wit, wisdom and heart, The Human Antenna is a delight to read.’

Play MP3 (7.7 MB)  |  http://www.williamhenry.net/revelations1.mp3

More on William HERE

 

(see you back here in a few months) xox

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2001: A Space Odyssey + Interstellar

By Lara Trace (sci-fi lover)

My wonderful cousin Dr. Charlie Bland is a movie expert.  Charlie (aka Afraid of His Horses) teaches movie history (college level) and analyzes all genres and loves films!  (I love many too, of course. I’m still hooked on all things Star Trek. That Gene Roddenberry was a total genius-visionary, right? And I am a X-Files/Chris Carter fan, too.  Lately quantum physics/mystics documentaries occupy my free hours.)

In Seattle, I met a Face Reader, a Sikh, who told me that the public is/was often given important messages/urgent warnings via movies.  I didn’t forget that.  It’s important. How are hidden warnings given now?  (You Tube? Hollywood? Netflix? Sitcoms?)

Here is Charle’s recent suggestion:

While we were discussing Interstellar, my friend Sumit and I suggested that you also watch 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), a magnificent film which you in a younger generation might not have seen or heard of.  This is to reinforce that suggestion, if you truly liked Interstellar, you will love 2001.  You can rent it from Netflix (or buy it or ask your library to get it.)

The Director, Stanley Kubrick (1928-1999) was known as a great director of the 20th Century, but made only a relative handful of films. 2001 is ranked #6 on the Sight and Sound Magazine list of ALL-TIME great films.  Kubrick, much more than the director of Interstellar limited exposition about science and like all the great directors, relied on the visual image you see to convey the drama and beauty of the science that unfolded. His 1968 film was visionary in many ways, including IPads, Skype, Voice print Identification, evidence of a wormhole in science fiction and above all, Artificial Intelligence that grows and challenges man’s wisdom.  A major characteristic of all Kubrick’s films was his personal misanthropy toward mankind.

He thought mankind was ridiculous and doomed to self-annihilation. In his Dr. Strangelove, (1963)  the film ends with a cowboy riding an atomic bomb to its destination which sets off a worldwide nuclear holocaust.  You can detect Kubrick’s misanthropy visually in the clip below when the two tribes of antecedents to humanity jump up and down and wave their arms at each other and in the explicit knowledge that without external God like intervention, we would have been doomed from the start.  This is reinforced by the religious tone of the music, most importantly the “Atmosphere’s”  of Gyorgy Ligeti (1923-2006) whose music permeates the film.  But the major theme is conveyed in Richard Strauss, “Thus Spake Zarathustra”, a tone poem to Frederick Nietzsche’s classic book by the same title that articulates the idea of the Overman who transitions from primitive to God-like attributes.

2001 unfolds in three stages: Dawn of Man; the Jupiter Mission; and The Stargate/Infinity.  The Dawn of Man sequence below runs for 9.5 minutes , Especially Important is the scene that begins at 2:25, when our antecedents wake to find in their midst an object they could not possibly have created themselves. It is a Monolith, one of three that guide the “Odyssey” throughout the film.  The music accompanying the scene is Ligeti’s “Il Kyrie” which suggests the awe and wonder with which our antecedents greet this object.  If you are interested, I attach an orchestral presentation of the same music which enables you to see the vocal and instrumental interaction that creates this beautiful music.  The second scene begins at 5:35 as our antecedent, desperate and starving, turns his eye to the Monolith.  His facial gestures suggest to me that this is the first prayer, and lo, the Monolith responds in a way that for Kubrick, underlines just how hopeless we all are.  The accompanying music is Richard Strauss, “Thus Spake Zarathustra.”  Enjoy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2iiPpcwfCA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWqxPp6SvMw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypEaGQb6dJk

 

BIG THOUGHT: Anthony Peake, in his new book Immortal Mind, points to scientific studies that shows consciousness survives brain death, and suggests that it does not and cannot die. Sounds profoundly good to me!  Visit AnthonyPeake.com.

 

I’m reading: When Spirits Visit by my friend MariJo Moore.

vt-constitution

BONUS: I don’t know why we don’t know this stuff

By Lara Trace (as an independent scholar-journalist)

Years ago when I first moved here to western Massachusetts, I attended a five-college consortium on Slavery in New England.  My head was spinning since I had never encountered this much in-depth history as editor of the Pequot Times in Connecticut. (I had published a paper in the Pequot Times about the Genocide and Enslavement of the Pequot by Dr. Kevin McBride and had done my own research.)

Yet, the ghosts of slavery were still hidden, buried, obscure.

The truth in stories probably existed in expensive books that I had not read.  I had also done my own research FIRST CONTACT into American Indian slavery and presented my research at a few conferences (2001-2002). Yes, Indian Slavery.  For additional help, I posted inquiries on AmerInd H-Net.  A few scholars had done bits of research, scattered here and there.

I am happy to report that it took time but there IS more written on American Indian slaves – finally, yes. Read on…

Mrs. Town Destroyer’s Ill-Gotten Fortune

Until quite recently, few modern Americans, even historians, knew that many thousands, if not millions, of Native North Americans once lived and died in slavery.  The publication in 2002 of James Brooks’s Captives and Cousins and Alan Gallay’s The Indian Slave Trade brought the bare fact and some of the dynamics of Indian slavery to the attention of scholars for the first time.  In the decade since then, studies of indigenous enslavement in North America have multiplied, as many innovative ethnohistorians turned their attention to a once-unknown institution.  Knowledge of Indian slavery has even begun to spread into the mainstream; Slate Magazine recently ran a cover story on the Indian slave trade and on Indians’ enslavement of African-Americans.

One of the bright young scholars researching Indian slavery, Kristalyn Shefveland, spoke last week at my university on the interrelationship between indigenous slavery and gender politics during Bacon’s Rebellion.*  Prof. Shefveland’s larger research project examines the relationship between Native peoples and the colonial government of Virginia during the “tributary period,” when Anglo-Virginians converted thousands of Indians either into tribute-paying subordinates or chattel slaves. Among her other observations, Kristalyn noted that many of Virginia’s wealthy colonial families built their fortunes on the trade in Indian men, women, and children, whom they employed as laborers or sold to the West Indies.

Shefveland will be posting some of her findings here on the Turtle Island Examiner this summer, and her book on Indian tributaries and slaves in colonial Virginia comes out this fall.   For now, though, let me note just one of many fascinating anecdotes she shared: one of the wealthy colonial families that profited from Indian slavery was that of John Custis, whose 1708 will identified 30 slaves (mostly but not necessarily all African) and six Indians as part of his property. Custis’s descendents capitalized on his investment in human beings, putting the family’s wealth into more slaves, land, and tobacco, so that by mid-century his grandson Daniel Parke Custis had become well-to-do. Daniel died in 1757, but not before passing his fortune on to his wife Martha Dandridge Custis and their children.  Martha became a propertied and eligible widow, and, like most women of her class and time, joined her fortunes to those of another gentlemen.  Her second husband, a well-connected young surveyor and militia officer named George Washington, had inherited his own legacy of interracial violence from Virginia’s past.  As in contemporary Europe, fame and fortune in early America came not from innovation or toil, but from family connections and sheer violence.

* The rebellion’s name probably belongs in quotation marks. As J.D. Rice recently pointed out, most of the fighting in 1675-76 occurred not between white colonists, but between white Virginians and Native Americans.

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BIG NEWS:  What To Do About The Undeniable Connection Between Elite Universities (HARVARD) And Slavery

WBUR Boston | March 16, 2016 |  On Monday, Harvard Law School decided to officially change its seal — the slave-owning Royall family coat of arms will be scrubbed from the school logo by next year.   But what does this latest cleansing of university history mean in the larger context of elite education and its racist past?   According to Craig Steven Wilder, professor of history at MIT, “The American academy never stood apart from American slavery—it stood beside church and state as the third pillar of a civilization built on bondage.”

Listen at: http://radioboston.wbur.org/2016/03/16/elite-universities-slavery

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TOP IMAGE: Vermont State Constitution, circa 1777.

Long before Vermont became our 14th state, its people were known for their independence. They were not excited about joining the new United States; nor did they want to remain a part of the British crown. They liked being independent and made that clear to the other colonies on more than one occasion.  Such an opportunity came on July 2, 1777.  In response to abolitionists’ calls across the colonies to end slavery, Vermont became the first colony to ban it outright.  Not only did Vermont’s legislature agree to abolish slavery entirely, it also moved to provide full voting rights for African American males.  On November 25, 1858, Vermont would again underscore this commitment by ratifying a stronger anti-slavery law into its constitution.  The harshest treatment for free blacks in New England was found in Connecticut.  Through a series of different legislative acts created before and after the Revolutionary War, it became nearly impossible for free African Americans to live in the state.  For example, free blacks could not walk into a business without the proprietor’s consent, nor could free blacks own property.

==============VISIT: NMAAHC WEBSITE==================

Slavery, Hollywood, and Public Discourse

Civil War era Photo of slaves on plantation

Family on Smith’s Plantation, Beaufort, South Carolina, circa 1862. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress

Slavery: perhaps the last, great unmentionable in public discourse. It is certainly a topic that even today makes people very uncomfortable, regardless of their race.

American society has often expressed its internal problems through its art.  Perhaps the most powerful medium for important discussions since the turn of the last century has been the motion picture.

For decades Hollywood has attempted to address the issue of slavery. For the most part, films have represented the period of enslavement in a manner that reflected society’s comfort level with the issue at the time. Director D. W. Griffith’s 1915 silent drama, Birth of a Nation, for instance, depicted African Americans (white actors in black face) better off as slaves.  Griffith’s movie showed the institution of slavery “civilizing” blacks.  Birth even made it seem like slaves enjoyed their lives and were happy in servitude.

That wasn’t the case, of course, but it was what white society wanted to believe at the time.

Birth of a Nation

More than two decades after Birth of a Nation, the portrayal of African Americans in films had changed only a little. 1939 saw the release of one of Hollywood’s most acclaimed movies, Gone with the Wind. Producer David O. Selznick believed he was serving the black community with respect — he made sure the novel’s positive portrayal of the Ku Klux Klan was eliminated from the film, for example. But Gone with the Wind nevertheless treated the enslaved as relatively happy, loyal servants, a depiction that continued to reflect America’s segregated society. History was made, however, when Hattie McDaniel became the first African American to win an Academy Award for her role as “Mammy.” Still, her part, and the parts of the other black actors drew harsh criticism from major African American newspapers and civil rights groups.

Nearly forty years later, one of Hollywood’s most meaningful attempts to portray the period of enslavement came in 1977 with the television blockbuster mini-series, Roots. Based on Alex Haley’s 1976 best-selling book, Roots: The Saga of an American Family, the mini-series was groundbreaking on many levels. It was a dramatic series with a predominantly African American ensemble that captured a record 37 Emmy nominations — television’s highest artistic award.

Promotional photograph of actor Hattie McDaniel (1939)

Promotional photograph of actor Hattie McDaniel (1939).

And Roots marked the first time America witnessed slavery portrayed in detail. Along with the scenes of transporting, selling, and trading men and women, were scenes showing the brutality African Americans often suffered at the hands of slave owners. The depictions of abuse and cruelty were limited, of course, by the medium and by what American society would accept at the time. In keeping with the series’ marketing campaign, the show focused heavily on the family’s ultimate triumphs. For all of Roots’ firsts, and there were many, it was ultimately a story of resiliency.

Fast forward three-plus decades — American society is undeniably changed. African Americans are regularly featured in movies and television shows. The nation elected, then re-elected, an African American president, Barack Obama.

Drawing critical acclaim today is the movie 12 Years a Slave. 12 Years is a watershed moment in filmmaking. Not only does it feature remarkable performances, excellent cinematography, and powerful direction; it also offers the first realistic depiction of enslavement.

Unlike prior motion pictures and television shows, 12 Years does not retreat from the brutality many blacks endured. The movie is not for the faint hearted, as the violence and cruelty it portrays is not the highly stylized violence found in films like Django Unchained. 12 Years is true to the reality that for years many Americans treated fellow human beings with ruthless brutality — and that reality is harder to face.

12 Years a SlaveThe film, however, is not only drawing praise from critics — it recently received nine Oscar nominations, including Best Picture — but enjoying audience appreciation, as well. With that appreciation comes an opportunity to bring the discussion of slavery to the mainstream.

This, then, is an exciting time for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Among its many virtues, the Smithsonian is a great legitimizer with a long tradition of providing venues for Americans to examine their shared history. One of the over-arching goals of the National Museum of African American History and Culture is to create a place where issues like enslavement can be viewed through an unvarnished lens.

America today needs this discussion and I believe it is ready for it, a sentiment undergirded by a belief in the public’s ability to deal with and care about the issue. The great strength of history, and African American history, is its ability to draw inspiration from even the worst of times. No doubt people throughout the nation and around the world will find that inspiration when they visit the Museum and view our major exhibition on “Slavery and Freedom” when our doors open in late 2015.

Before I close, I want to recommend four insightful narratives written by African Americans during this period of American history. The first is Solomon Northup’s book, 12 Years a Slave. Next is Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, by Harriet Jacobs. One of the first books to describe the sexual abuse and torment that female slaves endured, Incidents became one of the most influential works of its time. Our Nig: Sketches from the Life of a Free Black, by Harriet Wilson, is believed to be the first novel published by an African American in North America. Though fictionalized, Wilson’s book is based on her life growing up in indentured servitude in New Hampshire. Finally, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, remains today one of the most important autobiographical works ever written by an American.

“This Museum will tell the American story through the lens of African American history and culture. This is America’s Story and this museum is for all Americans.”  –Lonnie G. Bunch III, director

Members of the Tuskegee Airmen Circa May 1942 to Aug 1943 Location unknown, likely Southern Italy or North Africa

The Campaign to Build America’s Next Great Museum

We need a total of $500 million to build this museum. Given the importance of this Museum to our nation, Congress committed to provide half of this amount. We must raise the remaining $250 million from the private sector, including friends like you, corporations, foundations, and other organizations. Can we count on you to build this museum? We welcome gifts at all levels — from $35, $50, $100 to $10,000 or whatever you can afford.When you make a gift today, you can choose to become a Charter Member and receive a wide array of benefits.

Join us as we build America’s next great museum the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

12 Years a Slave book cover Incidents book cover Our Nig book cover Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass book cover
12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northrup. 1853. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs. 1861 Our Nig: Sketches from the Life of a Free Black by Harriet Wilson. 1859. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas, An American Slave by Frederick Douglass. 1845.

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And this is so good: Meet Misty:
https://mfaconfessions.wordpress.com/2016/01/06/tiger-lily-is-my-little-sister/

Yellow Medicine Review : (Story) Mary. Find here: http://yellowmedicinereview.com/id13.html

 

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“The essence of all slavery consists in taking the product of another’s labor by force. It is immaterial whether this force be founded upon ownership of the slave or ownership of the money that he must get to live” -Leo Tolstoy

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(Horrifying) Declassified Documents Disclose CIA Mind Control Programs

By Wes Annac, Culture of Awareness Most people would probably laugh at the idea of government mind control programs, but as the declassified CIA documents we’ll examine here make clear, it was (and…

Source: Declassified Documents Disclose CIA Mind Control Programs

 

Top photo: www.phantompowerblog.com

Diversity in Publishing 2015 E

Native Americans in newsrooms #NativeLivesMatter

“It is no secret that Washington faces a serious debt problem, but last time I checked, it was not because we are spending too much on Indian housing, healthcare or education.  It is not because we are spending too much on addressing the scourge of diabetes in Native communities, improving crumbling infrastructure or creating jobs in Indian Country.  It is not because we are spending too much supporting Native American veterans who put their lives on the line to defend our nation, or creating economic opportunities for Indian youth. It is profoundly hypocritical that the United States, year-after-year, decade-after-decade, does so little to honor its trust responsibilities to Native peoples.  It’s time for real change.” – Bernie Sanders READ MORE

 

By Lara Trace (Independent Voter)

The above quote is from Bernie Sander’s website on his stance on our government’s trust responsibilities to tribes.  Bad thing is: most people don’t even know or care that tribes exist in 2016.

I’ve mentioned on this blog I worked at News From Indian Country (1996-1999).  When I started working as a journalist, there were just two Native American-owned-operated national print newspapers. TWO!  (There are still two and more online news outlets now*.)  At that time, in the mid 90s, I was one of 350+ Native journalists and a member of Native American Journalists Association (NAJA). Very few of my friends worked at a mainstream newspaper like USA TODAY or the New York Times.  I knew two Native men (John and Charlie) who held those prestigious jobs and neither are writing for those newspapers in 2016.

By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37491489

Minnie Two Shoes, By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37491489

I recall when my Assiniboine Sioux friend Minnie Two Shoes did a brief stint as a journalist at the Duluth News Tribune.  We worked together at News From Indian Country (NFIC).  Minnie helped found the Native American Press Association in 1984, which became the Native American Journalists Association in 1990. She edited two magazines: Native Peoples and Aboriginal Voices when I knew her.  I drove Minnie to the hospital in Hayward when it was first discovered she had breast cancer.Minnie Two Shoes died in Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 9, 2010 after battling cancer.[9]

Minnie was among the leaders and founders of the American Indian Movement. Yep, those warriors like John Trudell!

Minnie, John Trudell and Paul DeMain, founder of NFIC, made an indelible impact on me.  I credit them for teaching me crucial things I could never learn from books or in a classroom.   I met many fantastic Native journalists when I belonged to NAJA over the years.  (NAJA AWARDS 2002) And I admit it was their influence that I am a publisher now at Blue Hand Books because the majority of journalists I know (and knew) are also great writers writing great books, not just news articles for tribal newspapers.

Now imagine this: The population of Indian Country in 2010 was 2,553,566.  That number is growing.  It’s not a huge population but it is noteworthy in the respect that state by state, very little is taught about Native people, or our history, or our ancestral territory or treaty rights, which can breed contempt among non-Indians, and even worse, breed racism.  When I traveled to Pine Ridge in the early 90s, I was told South Dakota citizens were known and feared for their racism toward tribes—to me that was appalling, unreasonable and actually very dangerous.  At one time it was said that Canada was more racist but that depends on who you’re talking to… This kind of hate is like a virus that spreads from one generation to another.  The American Indian Movement was instrumental is bringing awareness of hate crimes and many unsolved murders happening in the 1970s involving Indians being killed by non-Indians across the USA.

If more non-Indian people understood history, it would definitely transform and diminish these hateful attitudes.  With good consistent writing about tribes in mainstream newspapers, then perspective could shift attitudes and create unity and respect, which is sadly and sorely lacking today.

 

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I posted here about my time in Pine Ridge and interviewing Leonard Peltier and John Trudell.  And I mentioned how I found out that my relative’s nephew Allen Locke was murdered by police.

*FMI: NativeWeb Resources: Newspapers – Native & Indigenous

National Native News daily podcast:  HERE

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The following story is KEY to any discussion about Native Americans in news rooms and across Indian County. We need good stories and websites and newspapers who give accurate reporting and reflect the truth.

Police kill Native Americans at almost the same rate as African-Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Between 1999 and 2013, an average of .29 per 100,000 Native Americans were killed by police, compared to .3 per 100,000 for blacks and .11 per 100,000 for whites. “America should be aware of this,” argues Chase Iron Eyes, a lawyer and a leader of the Lakota People’s Law Project, which runs a publicity campaign called Native Lives Matter. But for the most part, America is not aware of this.

That may be changing, albeit slowly, as both mainstream media and Native American-run digital outlets begin to cover American Indian issues more robustly.

“We’re not necessarily focusing on the shadows and the sadness,” says Jason Begay, a Navajo who grew up on a reservation and runs the Native News Project, “but on how people are persevering.”

Tristan Ahtone, a member of the Kiowa tribe of Oklahoma who often reported for Al Jazeera America, won a following among Native Americans and others for writing about new topics, such as how one tribe is invoking treaty rights to stop another oil pipeline, the rethinking of the militant American Indian Movement that grew up alongside the Black Panthers in the 1960s, and an international indigenous basketball tournament. His approach: “Stop looking at Indian Country as a foreign place with foreign people doing foreign things. It keeps us apart from each other, and reinforces the idea that these people are different, that they’re victims, that they’re helpless. They get covered when there’s doom, gloom, or there’s blood. The cumulative effect is that you’ve got communities that are isolated from the rest of the country and generally distrustful of journalists, and that just creates a continuing cycle.”

Ahtone is one of only a handful of Native American journalists. There are 118 self-identified Indian journalists working at U.S. daily newspapers, according to 2015 data from the American Society of News Editors. That’s .36 percent of all U.S. newsroom employees.  Native American activists say there need to be more newsroom internships and training programs for aspiring Native American journalists.

READ ON…

And I’ll leave you with this quote about diversity in writing and publishing:

“You will be tokenized. Even when you get to write about your own experience of being a minority in America—you know, even that can be turned against you. Are you going to be used later on as leverage against an accusation of racism? Will you then be seen as a collaborator? In most cases the answer is yes….

“Hiring is a crucial step, but it is reformist. It’s not going to really fix anything, just sand off the rough edges, right? Because there is far more concern about appearing racist rather than not doing racist things. It’s not just a publishing thing. What else can I say but dismantle capitalism? And I don’t know that anything radical enough to do that wouldn’t hurt a lot of the people that we are trying to save. Barring world historical change, I don’t see really anything happening but a new paint job. It is systemic racism for a reason, it’s so essentially wound up with the system upon which everything is built.  You can ameliorate it.  You can palliate it.  But you can’t cure it.  This is what I sound like when I’m optimistic.” —Tony Tulathimutte, novelist, Private Citizens

READ MORE (top graphic)

My writing on this blog (and publishing new books here) is my humble attempt to broaden perspectives about Indigenous People/American Indians/First Nations… Thank you all for reading and following this blog! You matter to me! xoxoxo

 

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Blog Bonus: Harvard Slavery, Stand For Trees, Drumpf

Harvard Law to Abandon Crest Linked to Slavery

By ANEMONA HARTOCOLLIS | The New York Times | MARCH 4, 2016

Harvard Law School is poised to abandon an 80-year-old shield based on the crest of a slaveholding family that helped endow the institution, as campuses across the country debate the use of historic names and symbols that some consider offensive.

On Friday, a law school committee said the shield did not represent Harvard values. It shows three sheaves of wheat, a symbol that is derived from the family crest of an 18th-century slave owner, Isaac Royall Jr., who endowed the first law professorship at Harvard, though the gift did not by itself create the law school. The image of the wheat appears under the word “Veritas,” or “Truth” in Latin, the Harvard motto.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/05/us/harvard-law-to-abandon-crest-linked-to-slavery.html

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There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew.
— Marshall McLuhan

Stand For Trees

We are on track to lose up to 90% of the world’s rainforests by the year 2020 thanks to deforestation. It’s time we Stand For Trees before it’s too late. Purchase Stand For Trees Certificates and protect forests in need: http://standfortrees.org

StandForTrees-ShareImages-ClimateChange

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and we can’t forget we’re in the middle of a campaign… as if we could forget!

“Donald Trump is giving voice to a tribe of white people who felt unheard. Now that he’s helped them find their voice, I don’t think they’ll fall silent once he’s been defeated. If he is defeated….”

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Blog Bonus: Halibut Hook

Halibut Hook

BOSTON– Throughout history Native Americans have had their land, possessions and culture taken away. But in recent decades the U.S. government has worked to right some wrongs through repatriation. Museums and federally funded institutions are required to go through their collections and report artifacts that might belong to tribes.

Now a small theological school in Newton is navigating this complex legal process for the first time.

Its collection of about 125 Native American artifacts includes one known as the Halibut Hook, and a lot of people are interested in its fate.
“Halibut Hook,” Haida or Tlingit artist, ca. 1800 (Courtesy of the Peabody Essex Museum, via the Andover Newton Theological School)

David Katzeek is one of them. He sang for me over the phone, like tribal fishermen have for centuries as they lower a V-shaped, ornately carved, wood-and-bone hook into the water

“We would stomp our feet,” Katzeek recalled, and continued to chant in his ancestral language. The ceremonial hook is part of a ritual that helps fishermen honor the fish’s sacrifice. Halibut, like all living things, have a spirit, he believes, and his tribesmen would talk and sing to the fish below.

“They would be warning and letting the halibut know that it was coming to do battle with them,” Katzeek said, then explained the meaning behind the fishermen’s words: “‘You’re going to fight with this, it’s going to fight with you.’ ”

Katzeek leads the Thunderbird Clan in Southeast Alaska. He says the Halibut Hook (known to him as the G̱ooch Ḵuyéik Náxw, translation: “Halibut Hook with Wolf Spirit”) is a treasured spiritual object.

Now Katzeek and the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes are fighting to reclaim the Halibut Hook they believe is theirs.

But the hook is not in Alaska — it’s in Massachusetts, in the collection of the Andover Newton Theological School (ANTS), the oldest graduate seminary in the United States.

The tribes didn’t know where this Halibut Hook was until last summer. That’s when they learned the financially struggling school was thinking of selling or transferring dozens of Native American artifacts as it weighed the future of its campus. (In November ANTS announced it was putting the campus on the market, citing decline in enrollment, and would either relocate or merge with another school.)

The school’s trove — along with the Halibut Hook — has been stored at the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) in Salem for decades.

“This Halibut Hook — which has carved clan figures on it — is quite distinctive,” the museum’s director, Dan Monroe, told me. “A just straight-forward, functional Halibut Hook has quite a different form.”

Monroe looked at a photo of the Halibut Hook while in his office. He explained that the story of how an object like this hook might go back to Alaska, after decades in Massachusetts, reveals the complexities of a legal process that repatriates potentially sacred artifacts.

“The level of pain surrounding these issues is hard for many people to understand,” Monroe said, “but it’s very real.”

He knows the dark history behind that pain well. The PEM holds the largest collection of Native American artifacts in the Northern Hemisphere. And Monroe lived and worked in Alaska for years, where he developed relationships with the tribes there.

He talked to me about missionaries who fanned out across the U.S. in the late 1800s and 1900s to convert Native Americans. With westward expansion, he said people feared Indian culture would be eradicated.

“There had already been tremendous displacement of native people through disease, warfare and forced removal from their tribal lands, so there was there was this ‘fear of the vanishing red man,’ ” Monroe described, “which was the way that this was characterized. Consequently not only missionaries but natural history museums began an intensive period of collecting Native American material.”

That’s where a law known as NAGPRA comes in. The acronym stands for the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. Monroe had a hand in designing it in 1990.

“The whole history of Indian policy in this country is painful,” said Melanie O’Brien, the NAGPRA program manager at the U.S. Department of the Interior. “NAGPRA was enacted to try to help fix some of those painful pasts.”

Since 1990 the act has required museums and federally funded institutions to submit lists of human remains and sacred or cultural objects. Hundreds of tribes can review the inventories and make claims to their cultural heritage.

Staff at the Andover Newton school say they didn’t fully understand its responsibility to NAGPRA that came to light when it briefly explored the sale or transfer of its Native American collection. The Interior Department alerted the school that it needed to comply with the law and is helping the school navigate the repatriation process.

“It’s a daunting responsibility,” admitted Nancy Nienhuis, a dean at the school, “and I’m not an expert — I’m a theologian by training, so this is new territory for me.”

Now it’s also become her job to document dozens of artifacts, consult with experts, and ultimately contact dozens of tribes. It’s like sleuthing, Nienhuis said, because the histories behind many of the objects — including the Halibut Hook — are elusive and challenging to trace.

It is believed that in the 1830s a Presbyterian missionary is responsible for five of the objects. Others were gifts from alumni. But Nienhuis said most of the paperwork and information about the artifacts’ pasts has been lost overtime.

“It’s not like a movie where you get to see that story unfold. We don’t know who the original donor was. We don’t know if they’re the ones who received the objects originally,” she said. “Did someone give it to them? Are they the daughter or son of someone? Without knowing exactly how things came to us, it’s very difficult to be able to tell the story of any particular object.”

Piecing those stories together takes a long time, Nienhuis said, because it’s crucial for the school to get it right. O’Brien explained that while the repatriation process is rigorous and intentionally deliberate, careful and slow, “I don’t think that Congress envisioned it would take quite so long to resolve the rights to all of these cultural items,” she said. “I’m not sure that Congress realized how many were in the possession or control of museums and federal agencies.”

But according to O’Brien, ownership rights to more than 1.6 million Native American cultural items, human remains and funerary objects have been resolved since 1990.

Even so, scores of others — like the Halibut Hook — are still undetermined.

That’s frustrating to tribe members and Rosita Worl, president of the nonprofit Sealaska Heritage Institute in Juneau.

“Some clans haven’t had what we call ‘at.óow’ — they’re clan ceremonial objects, and they haven’t been able to participate in our ceremonies,” Worl explained.

Worl has been working with clan leaders, including Katzeek from the Thunderbird Clan, on their claim to the ceremonial Halibut Hook. She’s of the Tlingit tribe and told me that when sacred objects are repatriated, the healing effects reach beyond a single tribe.

“It’s brought museums and tribes together. We have better working relationships,” she said. “I also think it’s contributed to the knowledge about the belief systems and spirituality around the objects.”

Worl is a former NAGPRA Review Committee member and acknowledged the 25-year-old law isn’t perfect. Barriers include a lack of funding and the amount of time and money tribes, museums and institutions spend on the repatriation process. Next week the NAGPRA Review Committee will ask Congress for more support.

Meanwhile, Worl hopes the unfolding story of this Halibut Hook’s fate raises awareness for other institutions that might not know or understand what they might have in their collections.

Photo credit: “Halibut Hook,” Haida or Tlingit artist, ca. 1800 (Courtesy of the Peabody Essex Museum, via the Andover Newton Theological School)

 

Massachusetts State Flag Controversy:

It’s no Confederate flag, but our banner is still pretty awful …

Jun 25, 2015 – Though the Massachusetts state flag is not as overtly abhorrent as the one … Over the years, controversy has flared up over the state’s official …

Does Massachusetts’s Flag Depict Violent Conquest? Should

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Indian Country Today Media Network

Jun 25, 2015 – Is it time we got rid of Massachusetts‘ strange imagery? … the controversy over the Confederate flag that flies outside of South Carolina’s state … And then there’s the state flag of Massachusetts (above), which prominently …

 

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Love is the one and only answer

available on Kindle and Amazon.com June 1st

available on Kindle and Amazon.com

By Lara Trace

I am going to have a poem Swallow Manifesto in the new collection TENDING THE FIRE by the famous photog Chris Felver who is in San Francisco. He came to see me and took my photo last winter.  I also read two poems for him for his video exhibit.  My prose WHAT I KNOW is not going to be in his book so I’ll share it:

What I Know

The open heart remains a sacred mystery

As wisdom grows,

the greatest love delivers hope

That is what we know.

 

All around us, lovers get tangled and twisted

Human nature is brutal and obsessive

And fear so instinctual

That is what we know.

 

Long ago a monster changed me

In one moment crushing my heart in his hands

I learned then if I fear, I can’t love

That is what I needed to know.

 

Love lessens pain, washes away sadness

And massages the contours of memory

Love can heal anyone

That is what I wanted to know.

 

Love can end a child’s curse

Love can move lovers to fight monsters

And win.

That is what I know.

 

As sacred a mystery, love is the cure

The medicine, the magic,

The sword and the savior

Love is what I know.

 

© 2012 (revised from 1990) (published in SLEEPS WITH KNIVES) [I call my poet self “Sleeps with Knives” because I have met sharks and monsters. I use the penname Laramie Harlow for poetry] Chapbook link

I’ll post when Tending the Fire is available from the University of New Mexico.

 

EDIT: Einstein didn’t write to his mystery daughter – I was spoofed… so I deleted the info…

 

=========== AND WE ALL NEED TO LAUGH=========

When you laugh, powerful endorphins, which act much the same way as morphine, are released in the brain.  Endorphins trigger a feeling of well-being throughout your entire body. So its good medicine!  I hope you will all spend time laughing. BIG BELLY LAUGHS…guffaws.  HUGE LAUGHS! We need to balance the world and your love and laughter will help do this.  I love you (no joking) …Lara Trace

TOP JOKE OF ALL TIME

A woman gets on a bus with her baby. The bus driver says: ”Ugh, that’s the ugliest baby I’ve ever seen!” The woman walks to the rear of the bus and sits down, fuming. She says to a man next to her: ”The driver just insulted me!” The man says: ”You go up there and tell him off.  Go on, I’ll hold your monkey for you.”

and it’s time to JIGGY too! (A cheer to my Erie kin on March 17)

 

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Bonus Read: Hateful Things Exhibit, Bad Food, Progress

SAGINAW, MI — A collection of racist memorabilia and objects depicting caricatures of black people will be displayed at a Saginaw museum in February, called Black History Month.

“Hateful Things,” a 39-piece traveling exhibit from the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia at Ferris State University, is coming to the Castle Museum of Saginaw County History.

The exhibit “represents nearly 150 years of violence against African Americans through objects and images that embody the terrible effects of the Jim Crow legacy,” a Castle Museum news release states.

“Hateful Things” will be on display from Tuesday, Feb. 9, through Sunday, April 24, at the Castle Museum, 500 Federal in downtown Saginaw.

Top Photo and above: From Hateful Things Exhibit

 

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Aboriginals: “We’re all dying from bad food”

Aboriginal people are seven times more likely to die of diabetes than other Australians and 37% of urban Aboriginal children are overweight or obese by the age of two. Aboriginal film-maker Warwick Thornton’s thought-provoking photos are the focus of a Survival news report.

Progress can kill: the report

Around the world, “progress” and “development” are robbing tribal peoples of their land, self-sufficiency and pride and leaving them with nothing. Taking tribal peoples’ land and imposing “our” model of development is the cause of untold misery and suffering.

This will be news to many people, for whom development simply means bringing education, infrastructure and healthcare to the world’s poorest nations.

But “progress” is often simply the excuse used by industrialized society to justify crimes of land theft, genocidal violence and slavery.

We have made “Progress can kill” available as a download as well as a free printed booklet. Please help us spread the word by requesting copies in the post for distribution. Their future is in your hands.  [Survival International refuses government money so we cannot be silenced by those guilty of violating tribal peoples’ rights. ]

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“This 1926 Eugenics Exhibits Sums Up What the Elite Think About You and Your Family”

westermanAside from the Eugenics Record Office set up at Cold Spring Harbor on Long Island, the movement would train and send case workers around the country to take family pedigrees and compile data used to argue who had good breeding or not and who deserved the right to reproduce or not.  They set up exhibits at county fairs for “public education” on eugenic matters.  They would even sponsor something called “Better Baby” and “Fitter Family” contests at these fairs to judge “human stock” the way other organizations attending county fairs judged other things like prize pigs and heirloom tomatoes.

Again, eugenics didn’t end when it fell out of favor because of the Nazis during World War II; it was simply forced to go underground.  It got renamed and buried in more benign scientific sounding areas, like genetics, human ecology, and bioethicsThe Rockefeller Foundation and other elite family foundations quietly continued their quest for population control of the general “riff raff” through different means.

Read this BLOG: “This 1926 Eugenics Exhibits Sums Up What the Elite Think About You and Your Family”

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Star Stories of the Dreaming

 

By Lara Trace

Our relatives down under have stories very much like our tribal relatives in North America tell about creation and our descent from the stars. We share the idea that we are all connected and related.  The Lakota say “Mitakuye Oyasin” which means we are all related. If you stop and think about this, it’s everyone. Not just a certain skin or tribe or human. And it includes every blade of grass, every bird, every animal, every insect, every mountain, every drop of water. In other words, everything.

If more of us understood and embraced this idea – a greater respect and reverence would happen for all living things on Turtle Island, Mother Earth.

Our mother is below our feet but we come from the stars.  Breath in the Beauty of this idea every day, please.

About Star Stories

STAR STORIES of THE DREAMING documentary now showing

When the ancient wisdoms of the universe held by the oldest culture on earth meet modern astrophysics a new concept is born – cultural astronomy.

Increasingly Aboriginal people in Australia are being recognised as the first astronomers.

In the meeting of minds between Prof. Ray Norris, CSIRO astrophysicist project leader of the Evolutionary Mapping of the Universe (EMU) and Ghillar extraordinary parallels emerge in the two cultures – such as ‘wormholes’ and the pathway to Bullima, the Euahlayi Sky Camp, via the hollow Coolabah tree.

In Star Stories of The Dreaming Ghillar Michael Anderson shares publicly for the first time teachings passed to him as the knowledge holder for his People, the Euahlayi.

Star Stories of The Dreaming includes the Euahlayi Stories for:

▪ Wurrum-boorrool – Big river in the sky (Milky Way)

▪ Mil-Mulliyan – Eye of the Creator – Venus – Evening star

▪ Mulliyan-gar – Eye of the Creator – Morning Star – Mars

▪ Goolee-bhar – Coolabah tree hollow, way to Bullima, the Sky Camp – Coalsack Dark nebula

▪ Moo-dthe-gar – White cockatoos – 5 Stars of Southern Cross

▪ Goomar-why – Sacred Fire near coolibah tree– Alpha Centauri Pointer of Southern Cross

▪ Wunnargudjilwon – 3rd wife of Bhiaime – Large Magellanic Cloud

▪ Wullar-gooran-bhoon – Younger brother to Wunnargudjilwon – Small Magellanic Cloud

▪ Birringooloo – Mother Nature – Uluru her resting place

▪ Gunumbielie – 2nd wife of Bhiaime, Caterer who now lives at Goomar-why, Sacred Fire

▪ Gwaimudthun & Gweeghular – Night & Day– Dark & Light – moieties – 19 mile plain, Brewarrina

▪ Garwaar-ghoo – Featherless Emu – Dark nebulae in Milky Way, Dust lanes and Galactic bulge

▪ Bahloo – Moon, Waan – crow; Oolah – wood geckco

▪ Yhi – sun

▪ Mei Mei – Seven Sisters – Pleiades – Narran Lake and surrounding lakes; Bigoon – water rat; Gayadharri – platypus, Ghay-gharn – wood duck

▪ Birray Birray – Brothers – Orion’s Belt

▪ Womba Womba yiraay – Crazy Old Man at his camp – Aldebran

▪ Wirrawilbaarru – Whirly wind – Bad spirit travels inside whirlywind – lives behind Scorpio and entry in and out is through black holes in Scorpio;

▪ Buuliis – baldy mounds

▪ Star maps/astral navigational waypoints – two chains of waterholes – Beta Sagittarii to Gamma Arae; Beta Sagittarii to Zeta Scorpii

These are phonetic spellings of Euahlayi words

Euahlayi Astronomy parallels with Einstein’s space-time theory

Ghillar Michael Anderson shares the Stories of the universe that can be told publicly. He has been doing this though oral presentations and now for a broader audience in the recently premiered film ‘Star Stories of The Dreaming’. In these Star Stories he has revealed ancient Stories of the stars, the Blackholes and the creation of the natural world that we all now belong to. Very recently Western scientific research has now confirmed these very ancient Stories about the Aboriginal world of Creation. The ancient Stories go much deeper than what science has delivered so far.

 

A team of scientists have announced that they had heard and recorded the sound of two black holes colliding a billion light-years away, a fleeting chirp that fulfilled the last prediction of Einstein’s general theory of relativity – New York Times. Read More

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A few years ago MariJo Moore and I collected stories for the book Unraveling the Spreading Cloth of Time: Indigenous Thoughts Concerning the Universe. Even the title evokes this idea we are all interconnected and western science and Native philosophy can and do connect.

You can read a preview here: LINK

Read more about this book.

Here is one of my favorites from Unravelling:

AMONG THE STARS

by MariJo Moore

Various Mayan elders have encouraged their people to go to the sacred sites and perform rituals in order to “take in the knowledge of the sun.” By doing this, the Maya hope to understand what they have in their memories and use this knowledge to wake up society as to the environmental damage being wrought on earth.

Some Hopi elders have said that if just one person continues to practice traditional ways, there is hope that the energies deeply entwined in the universe will continue balancing. I am determined to remain positive and believe there are those who do want to stop the senseless abuse and neglect of others and this planet. For those who let material gain and greed rule their lives, perhaps something will cause a great change in their patterns of thought. After all, time is definitely a circle that guarantees what goes around comes around.

 

When all secret thoughts of the universe are known, life will begin again.

When dark waters breathe into the bluing mouth of the sky,

when all that sprouts from the blazing core is singed in harmonious change,

when masculine and feminine energies are equally accepted,

when time crawls inside itself, exposing eternal existence,

then all shall know there is, always has been, everlastingly will be

a Sacred Place where spirits gather to pray for all in all.

 

Let us become consciously, ceremoniously grateful.

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Blog Bonus Read: Johnny Cash’s Bitter Tears

By Lara Trace

I hope you will spend some time and watch these videos and read these stories:

New Database offers insight into the lives of escaped slaves (Harrowing to read)

Telling the Story of Slavery (we need more stories like this one and museums)

An adoptee reunion story you won’t forget

Where are your guts? Johnny Cash and Native Americans

 

BITTER TEARS Documentary on PBS: In one of the most impactful and thoughtful interviews I conducted for my book, the late musician and American Indian Movement activist John Trudell explains:

“In my mind, the Indians could never have a civil rights movement. The civil rights issue was between the Blacks and the whites, our issue was around law. It was legal. There are five kinds of law in America: common law; criminal law; constitutional law; statute law; and treaty law. That’s important to note — treaty law is one of the five principal laws in America. The agreements that the United States made with the tribes were legal agreements. So our movement was based around treaty law and making sure these were upheld and not broken. This isn’t about morals and ethics — I mean, of course it is to a degree — but the United States has a legal responsibility to us. So in the end this is about the law.”

For PBS air dates, please visit: http://www.pbs.org/program/johnny-cashs-bitter-tears/

 

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and I have a big love for this cool thing called Tiny Letters – you get a quickie post from some amazing writers each week… [I know you have plenty to read already but in case you want to try something new delivered to your inbox] check it out:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/bimadewunmi/sign-up-and-get-your-life?utm_term=.jkwlwL1Gk&sub=4144245_7918024

Like this excerpt from Caroline Crampton’s Tiny Letter:

Things to read

“The internet is not the real world; it’s not a place where you are you, or even a place where your favourite characters are your favourite characters. The internet is a midsummer night’s dream where everything gets mixed up and you get to be a little bit daring and out of the ordinary. A place not unlike a magical school that exists just beyond the reality you know. Except the secret world of the internet is a lot more fucked up than the Wizarding World, not least because Harry/Hermione shippers live there.”

When Hermione Granger’s adventures in teenage witchhood also doubled up as valuable sex education. Email to Pocket.

[P.S.] I am doing a Tiny Letter for my blog THOUGHT BOMB

 

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One of the most powerful moments in Oscar history

The unbelievable story of Why Marlon Brando rejected his 1973 Oscar for ‘The Godfather’

The Godfather was not too pleased with the Academy.

The man who made offers others couldn’t refuse once refused the movie industry’s heftiest honor.

On March 5, 1973, Marlon Brando declined the Academy Award for Best Actor for his gut-wrenching performance as Vito Corleone in “The Godfather” — for a very unexpected reason.

Here’s how it went down.

The Movie That Brought Brando Back

In the 1960s, Brando’s career had slid into decline. His previous two movies  — the famously over-budget “One-Eyed Jacks” and “Mutiny on the Bounty” — tanked at the box office. Critics said “Mutiny” marked the end of Hollywood’s golden age, and worse still, rumors of Brando’s unruly behavior on set turned him into one of the least desirable actors to work with.

Brando’s career needed saving. “The Godfather” was his defibrillator.

In the epic portrayal of a 1940s New York Mafia family, Brando played the patriarch, the original Don. Though the film follows his son Michael (played by Al Pacino), Vito Corleone is its spine. A ruthless, violent criminal, he loves and protects the family by any means necessary. It’s the warmth of his humanity that makes him indestructible — a paradox shaped by Brando’s remarkable performance.

“The Godfather” grossed nearly $135 million nationwide, and is heralded as one of the greatest films of all time. Pinned against pinnacles of the silver screen — Michael Caine, Laurence Olivier, and Peter O’Toole — Brando was favored to win Best Actor.

Drama At The Awards Show

On the eve of the 45th Academy Awards, Brando announced that he would boycott the ceremony and send Sacheen Littlefeather in his place. A little-known actress, she was then-president of the National Native American Affirmative Image Committee.

oscars 70s marlon brando native american

Brando sent Sacheen Littlefeather in his place, to address the American Indian rights movement.

On the evening of March 5, when Liv Ullman and Roger Moore read out the name of the Best Actor award recipient, neither presenter parted their lips in a smile. Their gaze fell on a woman in Apache dress, whose long, dark hair bobbed against her shoulders as she climbed the stairs.

Moore extended the award to Littlefeather, who waved it away with an open palm.  She set a letter down on the podium, introduced herself, and said:

“I’m representing Marlon Brando this evening and he has asked me to tell you … that he very regretfully cannot accept this very generous award. And the reasons for this being are the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry —”

The crowd booed.  Littlefeather looked down and said “excuse me.”  Others in the audience began to clap, cheering her on.  She continued only briefly, to “beg” that her appearance was not an intrusion and that they will “meet with love and generosity” in the future.

Watch the scene unfold:

Why He Did It

In 1973, Native Americans had “virtually no representation in the film industry and were primarily used as extras,” Native American studies scholar Dina Gilio-Whitaker writes. “Leading roles depicting Indians in several generations of Westerns were almost always given to white actors.”

But they weren’t just neglected or replaced in film; they were disrespected — a realization that crippled Brando’s image of the industry.

Marlon Brando

Brando was 48 when he became the second person to reject an Academy Award for Best Actor.

The following day, The New York Times printed the entirety of his statement — which Littlefeather was unable to read in full because of “time restraints.”  Brando expressed support for the American Indian Movement and referenced the ongoing situation at Wounded Knee, where a team of 200 Oglala Lakota activists had occupied a tiny South Dakota town the previous month and was currently under siege by U.S. military forces.

He wrote:

The motion picture community has been as responsible as any for degrading the Indian and making a mockery of his character, describing him as savage, hostile and evil. It’s hard enough for children to grow up in this world. When Indian children … see their race depicted as they are in films, their minds become injured in ways we can never know.”

A tsunami of criticism toppled over Brando and Littlefeather following the Oscars, from peers in the industry and the media.

Still, Brando lent the Native American community a once in a lifetime opportunity to raise awareness of their fight in front of 85 million viewers, leveraging an entertainment platform for political justice in unprecedented fashion. His controversial rejection of the award (which no winner has repeated since) remains one of the most powerful moments in Oscar history.

 

[check out the Twitter hashtag #OscarsSoWhite for more about 2016….  Lara]

RUTH HOPKINS

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