‘All Indians Are Dead?’ At Least That’s What Most Schools Teach Children



Alysa Landry, Indian Country Today


It’s time to break out the construction paper and synthetic feathers.

Students in schools across the country this month will learn about the first Thanksgiving, perpetuating a fairy tale about struggling pilgrims and the friendly Indians who shared a harvest banquet. This usually follows Columbus Day instruction that is similarly celebratory.

But for the vast majority of elementary and secondary students, lessons like these may be the only time they learn about American Indians at all. A staggering 87 percent of references to American Indians in all 50 states’ academic standards portray them in a pre-1900 context.

That means students are graduating from high school without even basic knowledge of contemporary Native challenges or culture, said Sarah Shear, associate professor of social studies education at Pennsylvania State University in Altoona. Shear, who this year earned a PhD in learning, teaching and curriculum from the University of Missouri, spent two years examining state-mandated U.S. history standards, coding each state six times in an effort to understand what students are learning about Natives.

The project began when Shear was teaching an undergraduate class in multi-cultural education. When she asked what students knew about America’s indigenous people, hands shot into the air.

“What they told me is that they learned about Thanksgiving and Columbus Day,” she said. “Every once in a while a student would mention something about the Trail of Tears. It was incredibly frustrating. They were coming to college believing that all Indians are dead.”

Shear partnered with other researchers to analyze states’ academic standards, lengthy documents that dictate what topics teachers should emphasize, including names of important people, dates, events and concepts. Textbook authors often tailor materials to meet those standards.

The study revealed a shameful lack of meaningful Native content, Shear said.

“All of the states are teaching that there were civil ways to end problems and that the Indian problem was dealt with nicely,” she said. “They’re teaching that this is what needed to happen in order for the United States to become the United States. The conflict had to be dealt with in order to manifest destiny. The relationship with Indians was a means to an end.”

The study also revealed that all 50 states lack any content about current Native events or challenges.

“Nothing about treaties, land rights, water rights,” Shear said. “Nothing about the fact that tribes are still fighting to be recognized and determine sovereignty.”

In some states, politics plays a huge role in determining academic standards, Shear said. Politicians, not educators, decide the “grand story” that teachers will tell students. In other states, standards may be simply—and shockingly—out of date. Either way, Shear said, the effect is a white-washing of history, a focus on the Euro-American story that is so narrow there’s no room for an indigenous narrative.

While state standards highlight topics that must be covered in the classroom, teachers still have leeway to tailor lessons or add content, said Tony Castro, assistant professor of social studies education at the University of Missouri. Castro, who served as a faculty assistant to Shear’s research project, said he was disappointed with the findings.

RELATED: 7 Things Teachers Need to Know About Native American Heritage Month

RELATED: Native American Heritage Month Resources for Teachers

“This kind of curriculum, these misconceptions, all that has led to the invisibilization of indigenous people,” he said. “What we teach acts as a mirror to what we value and what we recognize as legitimate. These standards are perpetuating a misconception and are continuing to marginalize groups of people and minimize the concerns or issues those people have about being full citizens in the American democracy.”

Shear’s research is being published in an upcoming issue of Theory & Research in Social Education. Meanwhile, here’s a snapshot of her findings:

Across all the states, 87 percent of references to Natives portray them prior to 1900, with no clear vision of what happened after that.

In half of the states, no individual Natives or specific tribes are named.

Of the Natives named in standards, the most common are Sacagawea, Squanto, Sequoyah and Sitting Bill.

Only 62 Native nations are named in standards; most are mentioned by only one state. One nation, the Iroquois, is mentioned in six states.

Only four states—Arizona, Washington, Oklahoma and Kansas—include content about Indian boarding schools.

New Mexico is the only state to mention, by name, a member of the American Indian Movement.

Washington is the only state to use the word “genocide” in relation to Natives. That word is used in the standards for fifth grade U.S. history.

Nebraska textbooks portray Natives as lazy, drunk or criminal.

Ninety-percent of all manuscripts written about Native people are authored by non-Native writers.


Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/11/17/all-indians-are-dead-least-thats-what-most-schools-teach-children-157822

Louie Gong’s ‘Inspired Natives’ Project Takes on Its Second Artist-Entrepreneur

Image source: eighthgeneration.comHeart Berry earrings by Sarah Agaton Howes, an Anishinaabe artist who has signed on with Louie Gong's Inspired Natives project.

Image source: eighthgeneration.com
Heart Berry earrings by Sarah Agaton Howes, an Anishinaabe artist who has signed on with Louie Gong’s Inspired Natives project.


By: Indian Country Today Media Network


I feel like I won the Native art lottery,” says Sara Agaton Howes, Anishinaabe from the Fond du Lac Reservation in Minnesota. Howes’ sense of elation these days comes from her affiliation with Inspired Natives the exciting venture by artist/entrepreneur Louie Gong, Nooksack.

Inspired Natives is about helping talented artists and craftspeople bring their work to consumers with efficiency, for fair compensation, and without sacrificing their artistic principles. It’s also, on a more theoretical level, about combating the cultural appropriation practiced by national chain retailers that carry goods “inspired” by Native aesthetics. Gong hopes to level the playing field for the artists he hand-picks by providing them with training, and the resources and structure of his own Eighth Generation label.

“I see the artists as partner,” Gong says. “They are capable of anything and hungry for ways to make their cultural art more sustainable. The challenge is that the business experience and capital needed to get something started is largely absent in our communities.”

“Our community deserves to do more than survive,” says Howes. “We can thrive. I’m on the edge of my seat for the future.”

RELATED: Why Buy “Native Inspired” Products When You Can Get the Real Thing?

How is just the second artist Gong has taken on; the first is Michelle Lowden, Pueblo Acoma.

To shop Howes’ creations, visit her page at the Eighth Generation website. You can also see more of her work on her official site, House of Howes.

Here is a selection of the pieces Howes is producing for Inspired Natives with 8th Generation; the recurring motif, a floral design based on her traditional beadwork, is called “heart berry.”


Heart Berry earrings, red on blue, by Sarah Agaton Howes for Inspired Natives.
Heart Berry earrings, red on blue, by Sarah Agaton Howes for Inspired Natives.
Limited-edition Heart Berry Galaxy S5 phone case by Sarah Agaton Howes for Inspired Natives,
Limited-edition Heart Berry Galaxy S5 phone case by Sarah Agaton Howes for Inspired Natives,
'Thrive' t-shirt by Sarah Agaton Howes for Inspired Natives
‘Thrive’ t-shirt by Sarah Agaton Howes for Inspired Natives


Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/11/25/louie-gongs-inspired-natives-project-takes-its-second-artist-entrepreneur-158018

With All Eyes on Keystone, Another Tar Sands Pipeline Just Crossed the Border

A worker places a containment boom on the Kalamazoo River to contain an oil spill on July 28, 2010. JIM WEST/ZUMA

A worker places a containment boom on the Kalamazoo River to contain an oil spill on July 28, 2010. JIM WEST/ZUMA


The Keystone XL pipeline may be in political limbo, but that hasn’t stopped another Canadian company from quietly pressing ahead on a pipeline project that will ramp up the volume of tar sands oil transported through the U.S. What’s more, the company, Enbridge, is making those changes without a permit, and environmental groups say it is flouting the law.

Calgary, Alberta-based Enbridge is the same company that spilled more than 1 million gallons of thick, sticky tar sands crude into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan in 2010. The spill was the largest of its kind in the U.S. and took four years to clean up.

Enbridge applied for a State Department permit two years ago for its latest project: a bid to increase the capacity of its “Alberta Clipper” pipeline from 450,000 to 800,000 barrels of tar sands crude per day. The Clipper crosses the border from Canada into the U.S. in North Dakota, so a presidential permit from the department would be required by law.

But, frustrated with the lengthy approval process, Enbridge engineered a work-around that appears to get the job done—without a permit. By running a connection between two parallel Enbridge pipelines right on the border with the U.S., the company will be able to swap the contents of each. As the crude approaches the border with Canada in the Alberta Clipper pipeline, it will be diverted into the parallel Line 3 pipeline, recently replaced with new pipe for the purpose, and swapped back into the Clipper once it reaches the U.S. Enbridge tells Newsweek it began pumping oil through the swapped section at the beginning of November.

It’s a slick move that is projected to increase capacity to 570,000 barrels per day, taking advantage of unused capacity on Line 3. But by the middle of next year, Enbridge attorney David Coburn tells The Washington Spectator, the pipeline will transport 800,000 barrels per day of Canadian tar sands oil into the U.S. with “no additional permit,” by adding new pumping stations to push more crude through the existing pipe. By comparison, the much-contested Keystone XL pipeline is projected to move 830,000 barrels per day.

Enbridge refers to the line-switching move as “temporary interconnections” while it awaits the State Department’s review of its original expansion application. But in an email to Newsweek, Enbridge spokesman Graham White says the work-around will be permanent if the State Department does not approve the application. In short, Enbridge found a way to increase its capacity just as much without a permit as it would have with one, and the State Department doesn’t mind.

In a June letter to the State Department, Enbridge’s lawyer made clear its intention to press ahead with the plan without the presidential permit.

“As we explained, the unforeseen Line 67 Project permitting delay at the department of over a year has led Enbridge to recently assess options for achieving this additional capacity.… Enbridge intends to construct the interconnections and Pump Upgrades, and to operate those facilities to increase the flow of oil on the Line 67 south of border segment, whether or not a new Presidential Permit is issued by the Department.” (Emphasis added.)

The next month, State Department staff member Patrick Dunn said in a letter to Enbridge that the work-around did not legally require federal authorization. The State Department declined Newsweek’s request for an interview with Dunn, whose position is not available on the department’s website but who is identified in a February letter obtained by DeSmog Blog as a deputy director at the Bureau of Energy Affairs. In 1997, Dunn graduated from a training program at the Petroleum Equipment Suppliers Association (PESA), a prominent industry group. PESA’s Foreign Service Officer Energy Industry Training Program is funded in part by the State Department.

Environmental and Native American groups claim Enbridge’s move is illegal, and are suing the State Department for violating the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and its own regulations by approving the work-around with neither a permit nor an environmental assessment.

“They’ve made this Orwellian decision that this crisscross magically alleviates them from going through the NEPA process. We think it is pretty clear that they’ve got their conclusions wrong,” says Jim Murphy, a senior counsel with the National Wildlife Federation who is litigating the suit. “It basically authorized the doubling of capacity without environmental review.”

In the midst of a highly publicized struggle over the Keystone XL pipeline, Enbridge would be wise to keep a low profile in its pursuits, and it appears to have worked, says Doug Hayes, a staff attorney at the Sierra Club who is also involved in the suit. The fight over the Alberta Clipper has barely made a ripple in the national press, perhaps because the minutiae of a legal battle over an adjustment to an already-existing pipeline is harder to digest than a plan for a brand-new pipeline like Keystone, he says.

But, Hayes notes, there is little difference. “What Enbridge is doing is building an entirely new pipeline in the same right-of-way and calling it ‘maintenance,’” he says. “Frankly, I don’t think this has ever happened before, where the State Department is deep into doing its full analysis while simultaneously allowing the project go forward before they’re done with their review process.”

Unless the legal challenge is successful, it appears Enbridge will meet its goals without the public upheaval that has marked TransCanada’s Keystone XL efforts.

Unlike Keystone XL, which would create several thousand temporary construction jobs (though only 35 permanent ones after one or two years of construction dry up), there are few or no job creation prospects from Enbridge’s small border-crossing project. Even if some Americans got temporary work, construction is already over. So could the U.S. at least stand to gain tax revenue from Enbridge’s expansion?

Not as much as you might think.

Enbridge Inc. announced in September it would be transferring a 66.7 percent interest in the Alberta Clipper to Enbridge Energy Partners, its subsidiary. Enbridge Energy, which already held a 33 percent interest in the pipeline, operates as a master limited partnership (MLP), or what Forbes describes as “income and a tax shelter rolled into one investment.” Enbridge states on its website that Enbridge Energy is designated an MLP “for federal income tax purposes.”

“Accordingly, they do not, as an entity, pay federal income taxes. This allows for a higher potential cash flow payout to unitholders.” Tax is paid by the unit holders.

How much Enbridge’s taxes on the Alberta Clipper will decrease remains to be determined, according to White, Enbridge’s spokesman, but “it will be consistent with all laws and regulations,” he says. Enbridge does not pay taxes or fees per barrel of oil it transports, but increasing the flow does increase Enbridge’s profits, so the U.S. will see some additional tax revenue on whatever part of its profits, if any, are still taxable.

The Alberta Clipper begins in Alberta, crosses the Canadian border into North Dakota and continues for 327 miles to Superior, Wisconsin, crossing Minnesota along the way. The oil would be stored in holding tanks before flowing to Cushing, Oklahoma, and then to the Gulf Coast for refining and export, as determined by shippers and refineries.

Alexandra Klass, a professor at the University of Minnesota Law School, told Inside Climate News that Enbridge’s strategy isn’t surprising. “This happens in environmental reviews all the time. You seek approval for smaller pieces, which on their own don’t seem like they’ll have a big environmental impact. But considered cumulatively, they do.”

For Winona LaDuke, a prominent Native American activist from the White Earth Ojibwe tribe of northwestern Minnesota, the State Department’s Alberta Clipper decision amounts to a violation of several long-standing treaties between tribes and the U.S. government.

“All of the tribes in Minnesota have their own treaty areas. Those are all traversed by these pipelines. The Supreme Court upheld our rights to fish, harvest and live within those treaty areas. The Clipper traverses one of our best rice harvest areas. The federal government is required to consult with us on a nation-to-nation basis. With Keystone, the State Department asked to consult with the tribes. But in this case, the State Department didn’t even uphold the need to,” LaDuke says.

LaDuke’s tribe and dozens of other Minnesota tribes are fighting not only the Alberta Clipper, but two other major Enbridge pipelines that cross over Native territories. Enbridge’s track record of more than 800 spills between 1990 and 2010, according to the company’s own records as compiled by the National Wildlife Federation, make harm almost inevitable for the tribal land in the pipeline’s path, she says.

“Say you live someplace for 8,000 years. You are the poorest people in the state of Minnesota. But it is a good life, it is the life the Creator gave you. You can drink the water from a lake in northern Minnesota. Then the Enbridge company comes through, and they say they’re going to put in their pipeline. They say, Don’t worry, we’ll pay you some money. But you say, No, that will change the ecosystem. They say, Don’t worry about it. They mow everything down. They have spills,” LaDuke says. “The interest is not a public interest, it’s a private interest. So this is eminent domain. It’s a combination of the worst choices for us.”

The tribes surrounding the Great Lakes have been harvesting wild rice for thousands of years, a livelihood LaDuke says is threatened by the risk of spills from Enbridge’s pipelines. “We’re going to fight them. We have no choice. Wild rice is our life. It feeds our people. With them threatening to damage our rice, we have no choice. You’ve seen the Native opposition to the Keystone XL. Ours will be just as big.”

Oregon, Washington Prison Inmates Enlisted To Rear Threatened Plants & Animals

Inmate Adrianne Crabtree and ODOC Captain Chad Naugle plant violets in a meadow of the Siuslaw National Forest to support recovery of the threatened Oregon Silverspot butterfly. | credit: Larkin Guenther Institute for Applied Ecology

Inmate Adrianne Crabtree and ODOC Captain Chad Naugle plant violets in a meadow of the Siuslaw National Forest to support recovery of the threatened Oregon Silverspot butterfly. | credit: Larkin Guenther Institute for Applied Ecology


By Tom Banse, Earthfix

In a growing number of Northwest prisons, inmates are rearing endangered plants, butterflies, turtles and frogs for release in the wild.

It started just over a decade ago at a minimum security prison near Olympia. Now inmates at four Washington prisons and three in Oregon are raising dozens of different types of plants, insects and animals to use in restoration, many of them rare or endangered.

Tom Kaye directs the Institute for Applied Ecology, one of the partners in the Oregon Sustainability in Prisons Project. He said the advantages of working in prisons outweigh the security complications.

“The inmates are capable of giving more attention to these organisms than anyone else because they have more time to commit to it,” Kaye said. “They can really nurture and take care of these animals. The same thing is true for these plants.”

In Oregon, inmates at the state prison near Ontario are growing sagebrush to support habitat restoration for the greater sage grouse. Inmates at a correctional center in Salem are rearing threatened golden paintbrush on the prison grounds for seed production. Female inmates at Oregon’s Coffee Creek prison grow the early blue violet, which provides sustenance for rare butterflies when out planted on the Oregon Coast.

Oregon Department of Corrections sustainability coordinator Chad Naugle said, “There is huge interest on the inside” to get these work assignments.

Kaye described gardening as a “calming” activity for inmates, who in addition can acquire vocational skills while they help to rehab the environment. “There are substantial gains on all sides,” said Kaye. “We’re able to get so much more done for ourselves in the mission we are trying to accomplish… it really helps us extend our capacity.”

Prison nurseries in the older program in Washington state have raised 64 different plant species for restoration of South Puget Sound prairies according to Sustainability in Prisons Project program manager Kelli Bush. The Washington program has also partnered with Northwest zoos and state and federal agencies to rear endangered animals as well.

“Since 2009, over 700 federally-threatened, state-endangered Oregon spotted frogs have been reared from eggs to adults at Cedar Creek Corrections Center,” wrote Bush via email from Olympia. “Frogs are released into Pierce County wetlands each fall. To increase the sustainability of this project, crickets are raised as a supplemental food source.”

The minimum security Mission Creek Corrections Center for Women near Belfair raises the endangered Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly from larvae for release into the wild.

The Washington prison program was co-founded by The Evergreen State College and Washington State Department of Corrections in 2003. Participating inmates are paid a nominal rate for their labor. Federal and foundation grants cover most of the program costs.

This was first reported for the Northwest News Network.

Can a First Nations-led Movement Stop Big Oil?

Thousands of people turned up to voice their opposition to the Enbridge pipeline Joint Review Panel last year in Vancouver, British Columbia last year. The demonstration, organized by Rising Tide and endorsed by 50 groups, marched from Victory Square to the hotel where the closed-door meeting of the government panel was taking place. (Photo: Caelie_Frampton/flickr/cc)

Thousands of people turned up to voice their opposition to the Enbridge pipeline Joint Review Panel last year in Vancouver, British Columbia last year. The demonstration, organized by Rising Tide and endorsed by 50 groups, marched from Victory Square to the hotel where the closed-door meeting of the government panel was taking place. (Photo: Caelie_Frampton/flickr/cc)


By Andrea Paldraman, Common Dreams

Can a First Nations-led, people-driven movement really have the power to stop Big Oil?

The folks behind the Pull Together campaign think so. The Pull Together initiative supports First Nations in B.C. who are taking to the courts to stop Enbridge’s Northern Gateway project.

Led by the Gitxaala, Heiltsuk, Kitasoo/Xai’xais, Nadleh Whut’en, Nak’azdli and Haida — nations united in their fierce opposition to tar sands oil endangering their traditional territories — Pull Together’s involvement synchronized with a very active movement against tar sands pipelines in B.C. and community-based opposition Enbridge in particular. The campaign is using a new model of online fundraising that, combined with real-world, grassroots organizing, is delivering solid results.

It’s a model where Indigenous leadership combines with cutting-edge organizing strategies — online, on the land and on the streets. Through a unique blend of real-world events and online fundraising, Pull Together has raised an astonishing $250,000, and is looking forward to realizing a goal of $300,000 by the end of 2014.

B.C.’s opposition to Enbridge is strong and growing. While the company is delaying the project, and investors are growing uneasy, according to RAVEN’s Susan Smitten, “Stopping the project will take a court-ordered resolution, because Enbridge has no intention of giving up on the project.”

While First Nation’s constitutional rights can be a powerful tool to ensure affected communities have a stake in projects in their traditional territories, Smitten points out, “First Nations stand as a last and inviolable line of defense against environmental destruction — if and only if the nations can afford to uphold those rights in court.”

“I know First Nations have an incredible amount of power on that legal side of things,” says Jess Housty, of the Heilsuk First Nation council. “But… I know what tribal government’s resources are and I know what our responsibilities are. And they are really broad! We’re responsible for virtually every aspect of the welfare and the development of our community.”

“The thought of a lawsuit added on top of that is such a huge capacity strain. I have a huge amount of admiration for my community, and for many other communities, that never hesitated to take on court challenges. But I wondered where and how and when the support would come.”

The support Housty and other First Nations leaders are enjoying has been building, with involvement by many people and groups over many years.

Pull Together has tapped into a powerful anti-tankers and pipelines movement that represents the majority of British Columbians who don’t want the Enbridge project to proceed. The campaign has motivated organizers, businesses, and community groups who understand the power, and principle, of standing with First Nations opposed to oil and gas development on our west coast.

“The Pull Together campaign is driven by people who care and are politically astute,” said kil tlaats ‘gaa Peter Lantin, President of the Haida Nation. “They can see how the future of the country is shaping up and want to be part of it.”

From Haida Gwaii to Nelson, Kitsilano to Kitgaatla, B.C’s creative, tough, and committed culture is coming out in full force to fight Enbridge. Alliance building between NGOs — Sierra Club B.C. and RAVEN have joined forces on the campaign– offers a way forward for an environmental movement that has suffered from fragmentation in the past.

Who knew stopping a pipeline could be so much fun?

While the goal of stopping a pipeline is deadly serious, the means to that end are less of a struggle, and more of a celebration.

With over 40 events, 100 online fundraisers and 30 businesses involved, Pull Together is lighting up B.C. The campaign got its start with a spaghetti dinner hosted by Friends of Morice-Bulkley Valley in Smithers.

From that original $2,000 fundraiser, the campaign gained steam with an Island All-Stars gala on Pender Island, featuring Daniel Lapp, Mae Moore and Lester Quitzau that brought in $8,000. Salt Spring Island’s “Only Planet Cabaret” brought in $5,000 over three sold-out shows in Victoria and on the islands, while tickets to the Pull Together show at St. Barnabas in Victoria, featuring headliners Compassion Gorilla and Art Napoleon, sold fast.

Says Sierra Club B.C. campaigns director Caitlyn Vernon, “It’s incredible to think that Pull Together began in the summer with a community group in Terrace raising $2,000, and now we have raised a hundred times that!”

The campaign has inspired artists, from Kitgaatla nurse and photographer Paulina Otylia, who donated family portrait sessions for the campaign, to Franke James of “Banned on the Hill” fame who has contributed limited edition prints. At last weekends’ East Side Culture Crawl, Shannon Harvey’s Monkey 100 studio is featuring “Wish You Were Here” woodcut postcards with proceeds to Pull Together.

Businesses are pulling too: Salt Spring Coffee held a “Lattes for the Coast” fundraiser this week, while the B.C. Kayak Guide Association has assembled an online fundraising team comprised of kayak guides and outfitters. Moksha Yoga B.C. have raised nearly $10,000 for the campaign by holding fundraising karma yoga classes and in-studio film screenings. Led by Eric Mathias, Moksha have extended their reach to include 25 yoga studios all across B.C. who have pledged to “Stretch Across B.C.” and fundraise for Pull Together.

The fundraising initiative is rapidly spreading both online and off, as people recognize this is a strategic way to stop Enbridge — and send a powerful message to Ottawa.

“It’s a big undertaking, but we’re not alone,” says Marilyn Slett, elected chief of the Heiltsuk First Nation. “We have people supporting us, really good people from all over the world and from B.C.”

“It’s a good feeling knowing that were standing together united in solidarity with British Columbians at large.”

There’s a saying among B.C. First Nations: many paddles, one canoe. Who knew stopping a pipeline could be so much fun?

School Board hears First Reading of “Since Time Immemorial” Tribal Sovereignty Curriculum

Source: Marysville School District
On November 17, 2014, the Marysville School District Board of Directors heard a report from Dr. Kyle Kinoshita, Executive Director of Learning and Teaching, for the following instructional materials:  “Since Time Immemorial” Tribal sovereignty curriculum

In 2009, the state legislature passed State House Bill 1495, strongly encouraging all districts, especially those in proximity to Tribal Nations, to incorporate the history and culture of the local tribes into the curriculum.  In 2011, OSPI created the “Since Time Immemorial” Tribal sovereignty curriculum to outline the general history of Washington State Tribes for grades K – 12.
The curriculum materials will be available for public inspection at the Marysville School District Service Center beginning November 24, 2014 until December 7, 2014, from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm.  More information is available at:  www.indian-ed.org.  Public comment on the proposed adoption is welcomed.  Written comments may be addressed to the Assistant Superintendent, at 4220 80th Street NE, Marysville, WA  98270.  Comments received will be forwarded to the Instructional Materials and Curriculum Committee and the Board of Directors.  The Board of Directors will take action on the proposed curriculum at the December 8th board meeting.


Hundreds of American Indians Rally Against Washington NFL Team

Norman “Wounded Knee” O’Deocampo addresses the protesters.

Norman “Wounded Knee” O’Deocampo addresses the protesters.


By Blu Wakpa, Native News Online , November 24, 2014


OCCUPIED TAMIEN OHLONE TERRITORY (Santa Clara, California) – After successful demonstrations in O’odham (Glendale, Arizona) and Dakota (Twin Cities, Minnesota), four-hundred Indigenous Peoples and their allies poured into Tamien in solidarity with a national grassroots campaign to change the name and mascot of the Washington NFL team. Traveling by carpool, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), and out-of-state flights, many amplified a growing voice for decolonization in sports.

The demonstration began at 8 a.m. with a prayer at one of many desecrated sacred sites (shell mounds and burial grounds) maintaining its indigenous Ohlone place name, Ulistac. According to Corrina Gould, a Karkin and Chochenyo Ohlone, Uli is the name of an Ohlone warrior who inhabited the area and stac refers to place/land. The prayer to the land and ancestors was followed by a march to Levi’s Stadium held prior to the game between San Francisco and Washington.

The peaceful event included a two-hour series of passionate and informed speeches from local, regional, and national activists, including people Indigenous to the area and upcoming leaders like Jacqueline Keeler of Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry (EONM) and Dahkota Brown a 16-year-old Wilton Miwok student and founder of Native Education Raising Dedicated Students (NERDS). Elders who’ve inspired future generations also spoke on the topic, including Charlene Teeters and Clyde Bellecourt of the National Coalition on Racism in Sports and the Media (NCRSM).

Asian, African, and European people also educated fans by engaging, chanting, and holding picket signs and banners. Tribal African music blessed the event and recognized the similar histories between the African and Indigenous diaspora. Mexica (Aztec) dancers joined together in prayer, symbolizing the remembrance of the so-called Latino/Hispanic’s Indigeneity and pan-Indigenous interests across the colonial US-MX border.


Santa Clara Rally 1123


Radio and television ads criticizing the nickname were aired throughout Ohlone and Miwok territories leading up to the game. Many broadcasters became allies when they chose not to mention Washington’s mascot. Audiences must understand the scalps of Indigenous Peoples were captured to collect bounties from the United States and expand White Supremacy outside of Europe.

Although Washington’s team owner, Dan Snyder, has vowed to “never change the name” and the NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell said earlier this year the nickname has been “presented in a way that honors Native Americans,” the demonstrations outside Levi’s Stadium and nationwide indicate Indigenous decolonization and self-determination is inevitable.

As fans passed the demonstration, many were quite surprised. “I’ve been a Washington fan for a long time and I’ve seen more resistance the last few years,” says Brian Jones, 35. He continued, “This demonstration helps me understand the mascot impacts actual people. It made me think about the other side of this issue.” John, 29, agreed saying, “When I see actual Native American’s are offended—I have to respect that.”

A die-hard Washington fan, Robert Magnini, 60, said, “I’ve been a fan since I was a kid. I think the name is offense and we need to change the name as soon as possible.”

Not all Indigenous Peoples agree, including Joseph Rey Potter, 14, who passed the demonstration wearing a Washington jersey and a Pomo baseball hat. “My Dad was a fan, so I just stayed with it. I understand it’s racist, but I’m just a fan of the game.” Potter concluded, “If they changed their name, I’d be a bigger fan.”

Kris Longoria and Antonio Gonzales, co-chairs of the Bay Area Coalition Against Racism in Sports and Media, said they will continue to escalate pressure on the NFL football team and build more partnerships with local organizations and government institutions.

Many urgent struggles exist across the Western Hemisphere and we must all do our part to challenge colonialism and honor Indigenous nations, leadership, and goals.


A grandmother and her granddaughter appeared severely wounded, covered in bloody hair and hair buns held together with knives. “Redskin means someone whose been scalped, so me and my grandma put fake blood all over to show what a redskin means,” said Calissa Gali, 11. “None of my friends know what redskin means. They should learn at school, but some of the teachers don’t want to talk about it.”

Sacred Sites Protection & Rights of Indigenous Tribes (SSPRIT) has transferred the pain of another desecrated Ohlone Shell Mound in Karkin by decolonizing Vallejo High School’s Apaches and Solano Middle School’s Chieftains this year. The connections between appropriated sacred sites and stereotypes in sports are undeniable.

SSPRIT are now contractors, collaborating with students and administrators to educate about Indigenous mascots at school assemblies. Teacher training was also included in the negotiations to foster an integrated ethnic studies program across the school district. A duplication of this attainable model is also occurring with the Carquinez Coalition to Change the Mascot (CCCM) for John Swett High School Indians in Karkin (Crocket, CA).

Changing Washington’s name and mascot is not the end of changes to come. Colonization was several lifetimes of trauma and decolonization will take several lifetimes of healing. We envision post-colonialism. We’re not your mascot anymore.

Bay Area Coalition Against Racism in Sports is sponsored by American Indian Movement-West, Bay Area American Indian Two-Spirits, Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry, Indian People Organizing for Change, Sacred Sites Protection & Rights of Indigenous Tribes, ANSWER Coalition, Idle No More SF Bay, and National Lawyers Guild San Francisco Bay Area Chapter. National ‘Change the Mascot’ supporters can be found at: http://www.changethemascot.org/supporters-of-change/

#NotYourMascot #ChangeTheName #ChangeTheMascot #NoHonorInRacism

 Native News Online Photos by Arthur Jacobs


Art Of The American West Comes To The Tacoma Art Museum


Buffalo At Sunset by John Nieto


By Jennifer Wing, KPLU

Images of the American West line the walls of a brand new addition to the Tacoma Art Museum. The collection, a gift from a German family with ties to the Northwest, is a once-in-a-lifetime acquisition that is raising the museum’s profile.

The transformation of the Tacoma Art Museum over the last two years began with a phone call between the museum’s director and the lawyer for Erivan and Helga Haub. The museum was looking for a donation to help with the redesign of its lobby. But Laura Fry with the museum says the Haubs, through their lawyer, made an incredible and unexpected offer.

“He said, ‘Well, would you be interested in their collection of Western American art?’” Fry said.

That conversation resulted in the new 16,000-square foot addition designed by Tom Kundig. It houses four galleries that contain what is now one of the top collections of Western American art in the world. The collection boasts 295 paintings and bronze sculptures, 130 are currently on view. The Haubs also gave money for the construction of the new wing and set up endowments for 10 new positions, including Fry’s, who is the collection’s curator.


Albert Bierstadt, Departure of an Indian War Party, 1865

Albert Bierstadt, Departure of an Indian War Party, 1865


“This is the biggest donation of artwork in the Tacoma Art Museum’s History,” said Fry. “In 79 years of operating, this is our single biggest gift. So this really does transform the institution.”

By this point, you’re probably wondering: Who are the Haubs?

“Erivan and Helga Haub are from Germany. They also have a home here in Tacoma and a ranch in Wyoming,” said Fry.

The Haubs made billions in the grocery store business. They came to the U.S. after World War II and honeymooned near Tacoma. Because the medical care was better here than in Germany at the time, all three of their children were born at Tacoma General Hospital.

In a video produced by the museum, Erivan Haub says his dream of seeing the American West started when he was young and read books by Karl May. The stories glorified the plains Indians of the American West. They were as popular in Germany at the time as the Harry Potter series is today.

“The story of the west I had learned long before I ever came to the west through Karl May who was a famous German author that made me hungry to get to see this and to get to experience it myself. So we made it to America and never regretted one moment of it,” said Haub.

Cinematic images of the American West dominate the Haub collection. Wide open plains, blue skies hanging over mountains and rivers and Native Americans in formal dress.

Fry points to a painting, two feet tall and three feet wide, of a buffalo grazing on the wide prairie. As real and detailed as a photograph, the image by Nancy Glaizer is called Birds of a Feather. This is the first piece the Haubs bought in 1983. It’s the painting that started the collection.

“It shows a group of bison in Yellowstone park,” said Fry.” Here you have this proud bison bull. He’s rendered in this photographic detail. But you have little birds resting on his back. It shows how he’s part of the whole ecosystem even though he’s this giant bull. These little tiny birds are still benefiting from his presence. It’s showing the whole cycle in Yellowstone.”

The Haubs, who are now in their 80s, both lived through WWII and avoided artworks with images of violence. Helga Haub says the couple never started off with a master plan for their art.

“We did not collect with vision of ever giving it to a museum. We only collected what we liked,” she said.

As artworks filled up the walls and shelves in their homes they started purchasing with more guidance from professional galleries. Some of the standout works include Gilbert Stuart’s portrait of George Washington. This is the image printed on the dollar bill. It’s from 1791 and is the oldest piece in the collection.

There is also Piñions with Cedar, the museum’s first painting by Georgia O’Keeffe. Fry says the painting of a bare leafed tree in the desert can be used as a bargaining chip.


Piñions with Cedar by Georgia O'Keeffe, 1956

Piñions with Cedar by Georgia O’Keeffe, 1956


“It will give us a greater ability to borrow from other institutions to bring really wonderful works here,” Fry said.

Images and sculptures depicting Native Americans from the Northwest are absent from the collection. To bring the Native American perspective into the fold, the museum is asking prominent native artists to comment on specific pieces in the collection. Their honest, and sometimes critical, reflections are part of the exhibit.

Marvin Oliver, a Seattle-based premier Native American printmaker and sculptor, is thrilled TAM has this collection, but says many of the paintings aren’t historically accurate. To really know what you are seeing Oliver says you need to read the labels to understand the context in which the pieces were made.

“Some people will say, ‘Gee, you know this is really glorifying the noble savage and the beautiful maiden,’ whatever, you know. But you don’t know what the intention is. it kind of puts it in a stereotypical category. It’s up to the museum to document and identify each and every piece that has the correct labeling. And they’ve done a pretty good job of that,” Oliver said.

Over the years Erivan And Helga Haub have supported other Tacoma institutions. They’ve contributed to the Museum of Glass, the LeMay Car Museum and the University of Washington’s Tacoma campus.

In a Seattle Times article about the Haubs in 1994, Erivan foreshadowed what we see today. He told the reporter, “If I construct anything, there it must be extraordinary, something Tacoma can be proud of.”

Washington State Official Joins Northwest Tribes in Urging Oil Train Regulation

Associated PressThis derailment and explosion of a train carrying Bakken crude in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, Canada in July 2013, killed 47 people. Northwest tribes and the State of Washington say, 'No thanks.'

Associated Press
This derailment and explosion of a train carrying Bakken crude in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, Canada in July 2013, killed 47 people. Northwest tribes and the State of Washington say, ‘No thanks.’



Indian Country Today


Washington State’s rail system is aging, and that combined with the flammability of Bakken crude oil spell danger for ecosystems and people, a top official and 10 tribes said in a Seattle Time sop-ed on November 20.

The Quinault have spoken out numerous times against such rail transport, a practice with potentially tragic consequences as evidenced by the July 2013 explosion in Lac Megantic Quebec, that killed at least 47 people.

RELATED: Lac-Mégantic Rail Tragedy Resonates in Quinault Nation as Victims Are Memorialized

The Quinault as well as Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark, issued a joint statement in conjunction with the op-ed piece. Tribes, Goldmark noted, are rightfully at the forefront of this debate.

“Tribal leaders bring unique perspective and concern about threats to our treasured landscapes,” Goldmark said in the statement issued jointly with the 10 tribes. “It’s an honor to join them in this important message about the growth of oil train traffic in our state and the threat it poses to public safety, environmental sustainability, and our quality of life.”

Swinomish Tribe Chairman Brian Cladoosby said it was time to move away from the Northwest’s “pollution-based economy” in general and oil trains in particular.

“We are the first peoples of this great region, and it is our responsibility to ensure that our ancestral fishing, hunting and gathering grounds are not reduced to a glorified highway for industry,” said Cladoosby, who is also president of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), in the statement posted at the website of the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. “Our great teacher, Billy Frank, Jr., taught us that we are the voices of the Salish Sea and salmon, and we must speak to protect them. If we cannot restore the health of the region from past and present pollution, how can we possibly think we can restore and pay for the impact of this new and unknown resource?”

Besides Cladoosby, Goldmark and Quinault Nation President Fawn Sharp, the statement was signed by Lummi Nation Chairman Tim Ballew II; Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation Jim Boyd; Cowlitz Indian Tribe Chairman William B. Iyall; Hoh Indian Tribe Chairwoman Maria Lopez; Squaxin Island Tribe Chairman David Lopeman; Quileute Tribe Chairman Charles Woodruff; Tulalip Tribes Chairman Herman Williams Sr., and Gary Burke, chairman of the board of trustees of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

Together they urged policy makers to take up critical regulatory issues surrounding the increased traffic of oil trains throughout the state of Washington.


Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/11/20/washington-state-official-joins-northwest-tribes-urging-oil-train-regulation-157937