Tribes Gather to Block a Pipeline

“Horseback riders, their faces streaked in yellow and black paint, led the procession out of their tepee-dotted camp. Two hundred people followed, making their daily walk a mile up a rural highway to a patch of prairie grass and excavated dirt that has become a new kind of battlefield, between a pipeline and American Indians who say it will threaten water supplies and sacred lands.”  J. Healy, The New York Times

Tribes move to block pipeline. Photo-trendolizer

Tribes move to block pipeline. Photo-trendolizer

Excerpt: Occupying the Prairie: Tensions Rise as Tribes Move to Block a Pipeline — By Jack Healy, The New York Times

“The Texas-based company building the Dakota Access pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners, calls the project a major step toward the United States’ weaning itself off foreign oil. The company says the nearly 1,170-mile buried pipeline will infuse millions of dollars into local economies and is safer than trucks and train cars that can topple and spill and crash and burn.

“The Texas-based company building the Dakota Access pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners, calls the project a major step toward the United States’ weaning itself off foreign oil. The company says the nearly 1,170-mile buried pipeline will infuse millions of dollars into local economies and is safer than trucks and train cars that can topple and spill and crash and burn. But the people who stood at the gates of a construction site where crews had been building an access road toward the pipeline viewed the project as a wounding intrusion onto lands where generations of their ancestors hunted bison, gathered water and were born and buried, long before treaties and fences stamped a different order onto the Plains. People have been gathering since April, but as hundreds more poured in over the past two weeks, confrontations began rising among protesters, sheriff’s officers and construction workers with the pipeline company. Local officials are struggling to handle hundreds of demonstrators filling the roads to protest and camp out in once-empty grassland about an hour south of Bismarck, the state capital. More than 20 people have been arrested on charges including disorderly conduct and trespassing onto the construction site. The pipeline company says it was forced to shut down construction this month after protesters threatened its workers and threw bottles and rocks at contractors’ vehicles. Leaders from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, whose reservation lies just south of the pipeline’s path, say the protests are peaceful. Weapons, drugs and alcohol are prohibited from the protest camp. Children march in the daily demonstrations. The leaders believed the reports of pipe bombs were a misinterpretation of their calls for demonstrators to get out their wooden chanupa pipes — which have deep spiritual importance — and pass them through the crowd. The conflict may reach a crucial moment on Wednesday in a federal court hearing. The tribe has sued to block the pipeline and plans to ask a judge in Washington to effectively halt construction. The pipeline’s route starts in the Bakken oil fields of western North Dakota and ends in Illinois. There have been no moves so far to disband the camp or keep people from demonstrating. But Sheriff Kirchmeier told reporters that the demonstration had become an unlawful protest, and Gov. Jack Dalrymple, citing public safety risks, declared a state of emergency on Friday.”

But the people who stood at the gates of a construction site where crews had been building an access road toward the pipeline viewed the project as a wounding intrusion onto lands where generations of their ancestors hunted bison, gathered water and were born and buried, long before treaties and fences stamped a different order onto the Plains.

People have been gathering since April, but as hundreds more poured in over the past two weeks, confrontations began rising among protesters, sheriff’s officers and construction workers with the pipeline company. Local officials are struggling to handle hundreds of demonstrators filling the roads to protest and camp out in once-empty grassland about an hour south of Bismarck, the state capital.

More than 20 people have been arrested on charges including disorderly conduct and trespassing onto the construction site. The pipeline company says it was forced to shut down construction this month after protesters threatened its workers and threw bottles and rocks at contractors’ vehicles.

CJ Clifford, a member of the Oglala Lakota. Photo- globalnews

CJ Clifford, a member of the Oglala Lakota. Photo- globalnews

Leaders from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, whose reservation lies just south of the pipeline’s path, say the protests are peaceful. Weapons, drugs and alcohol are prohibited from the protest camp. Children march in the daily demonstrations. The leaders believed the reports of pipe bombs were a misinterpretation of their calls for demonstrators to get out their wooden chanupa pipes — which have deep spiritual importance — and pass them through the crowd.

The conflict may reach a crucial moment on Wednesday in a federal court hearing. The tribe has sued to block the pipeline and plans to ask a judge in Washington to effectively halt construction. The pipeline’s route starts in the Bakken oil fields of western North Dakota and ends in Illinois.

There have been no moves so far to disband the camp or keep people from demonstrating. But Sheriff Kirchmeier told reporters that the demonstration had become an unlawful protest, and Gov. Jack Dalrymple, citing public safety risks, declared a state of emergency on Friday.”

“They need to stay out… They don’t know where the burials are. They don’t know where the sacred sites are. I’m trying my best to keep the peace.” ~ Jon Eagle Sr.~ historic preservation officer for the Standing Rock Sioux

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NetFlix: Bucking Bulls and Broken Bones

“Superlatives fall like thudding hooves in the Netflix documentary series Fearless available on Friday. Bull riding is definitely the most dangerous sport in the world. It’s the fastest-growing sport in America. Professional Bull Riders, whose 2015 season the series chronicles, is a global phenomenon.” M. Hale, The New York Times

Photo- dailymail

Photo- dailymail

Excerpt: Netflix’s ‘Fearless’ Explores the World’s ‘Most Dangerous Sport -By Mike Hale

“Between the entertainment-sports conglomerate WME-IMG and Netflix, the deep-pocketed streaming service, there was probably a lot of money available to produce four hours of television (across six episodes) about bull riding.

Fearless, directed by Michael John Warren, looks good and moves smoothly. The graphic design and music are several levels above those of the cable reality series in this genre.

Native Dakota Louis rides Maverick.-pbr

Native Dakota Louis rides Maverick.-pbr

There isn’t quite enough content to fill those four hours, though. The wary but amicable relationship between American and Brazilian riders provides some diversion.

Yet the competitions, including the season championship, aren’t terribly dramatic, except for the somber moments when paramedics have to be called into the ring.

But Fearless has one great ace up its sleeve. Nothing looks quite like the slow-motion footage of those eight-second (or shorter) rides.

Kaique Pacheco in “Fearless,” a new documentary series on Netflix that explores bull riding. Credit Alberto Gonzaga:Netflix

Kaique Pacheco in “Fearless,” a new documentary series on Netflix that explores bull riding. Credit Alberto Gonzaga:Netflix

Untitled

The riders become rag dolls, their bodies jerking and folding in seemingly impossible ways. Often there’s the grisly bonus of seeing them fly off the bulls’ backs and desperately try to avoid their jackhammering hooves.”

Photo-likalaugh.org

Photo-likalaugh.org

Category: Social

Chuño: The Space-Age Food Invented by the Incas!

“What did the Incas and NASA have in common? They both faced the problem of long journeys through harsh, forbidding territory. And remarkably, centuries before NASA’s quest for ways to feed astronauts in space, the Incas had already found the answer.” S. Romero, The New York Times

Potatoes- Photo-inquisitiveeater

Inca Dried Potatoes- Photo-inquisitiveeater

Inca traditional foods of chunos (freeze dried potatoes) corn and quinoa. Photo- tastingtogether

Inca traditional foods of chunos (freeze dried potatoes) corn and quinoa. Photo- tastingtogether

Excerpt: A Space-Age Food Product Cultivated by the Incas By Simon Romero New York Times

“Their empire ran up and down the Andes, with a network of roads and terraced farms… They needed nourishing foods that traveled well and could be stored in bulk for a long time.

Inca Farming Terrace. Photo- Colin Glynn

Inca Farming Terrace. Photo- Colin Glynn

Terraqces at Machu Pichu. Photo-interamericaninstitute.org

Terraqces at Machu Pichu. Photo-interamericaninstitute.org

Chuño (pronounced CHOON-yoh) is essentially freeze-dried potatoes, developed by a culture that had none of today’s food-processing technology.

Villagers in the altiplano, the high tablelands of Bolivia and Peru, still make it the way the Incas did, using the warm days and frosty nights of June to repeatedly freeze and thaw the potatoes, and stomping them with their bare feet to remove the skins and liquids. Chuño can be stored and eaten for a decade after it has shrunken and dried.

Ramona Bustos walking barefoot on potatoes to create chuño, a freeze-dried Andean staple, near La Paz, Bolivia, in 2013. Credit Juan Karita

Ramona Bustos walking barefoot on potatoes to create chuño, a freeze-dried Andean staple, near La Paz, Bolivia. Credit Juan Karita

Closeup of Indigenous woman stepping on potatoes, preparing them for freeze dry-Image Source- Huff Post

Closeup of Indigenous woman stepping on potatoes, preparing them for freeze dry-Image Source- Huff Post

Chuño, largely unknown outside the Andes, takes a little getting used to. Newcomers who try it often remark that it tastes nothing like a potato, likening its, um, unusual flavor to Styrofoam or chalk. What about the smell? It’s better not to ask, though chuño’s aroma has been compared to dirty socks.

Inca children grow up eating Chuño. Photo- superteachertools

Inca children grow up eating Chuño. Photo- superteachertools

Truffles. cbsnews

Truffles. cbsnews

It does win some style points for its earthy appearance, akin to truffles. The descendants of the Incas still prize chuño, which is often served spiced with ají, an Andean chile.”

During the holidays in 2015, the crew aboard the Space Station enjoyed- Smoked Turkey, Candied Yams, Rehydratable Corn, Potatoes Au Gratin. 

During the holidays in 2015, the crew aboard the Space Station enjoyed- Smoked Turkey, Candied Yams, Rehydratable Corn, Potatoes Au Gratin.

“Chuño provides the food needed to survive.” ~C. A Sammells~anthropologist

Category: Culture

Navajo Beef Program: Helping Local Navajo Families

“The Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise (NNGE) in conjunction with Labatt Food Service and Navajo Nation Leadership is celebrating… The program now features 23 local Navajo ranching families raising high quality beef. Since its launch November 2012, the program has grown in revenue for local Navajo ranchers, product distributed and customer base and by the end of 2016 is projected to produce $2.3 Million in revenue.” NativeNewsonlineNavajo Nation Gaming Enterprise's Navajo Beef program expands. - Photolabattfood.com

Excerpt: $2.3 Million Navajo Beef Program Benefits 23 Local Families-NativeNews

“We are proud to partner with local ranchers and improve their quality of life in conjunction with Labatt and our Navajo Nation leadership team, stated Derrick Watchman, CEO of NNGE.

Derrick Watchman, CEO of NNGE

Derrick Watchman, CEO of NNGE

The Navajo Beef Program is part of our larger commitment to Buy Navajo and allows our properties to better showcase world-class Navajo cuisine to the world while generating much needed revenue and jobs for the Navajo people. We would like to thank the Navajo Nation Council – including Council Delegate Lorenzo Curley – for their efforts to make this visionary program a reality.

The program involves local Navajo Ranchers like Travis Platero and family. The Platero family lives on the H-P Ranch in Haystack, NM, where producing premium quality livestock is a way of life… A proud cattleman, Travis looks forward to growing the family’s cattle business and teaching his kids many of the skills his dad taught him.

Twin Arrows

Twin Arrows

Navajo Beef is featured at the award-winning Zenith Steakhouse at Twin Arrows Resort in Flagstaff as well as available at Fire Rock Navajo Casino, Northern Edge Navajo Casino and Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort’s four other dining venues…

Through the Navajo Beef Program ranchers – at Padres Mesa Ranch in Chambers Ariz., 14R in the New Lands area and Turquoise Grazers in Window Rock, Ariz. – uphold traditional practices to produce premium, quality beef that is always tender and full of flavor. Navajo Certified Beef is Choice grade or better and aged 21 days.

Labatt Food Service, the tenth largest food distributor in the country, ensures the quality of the beef, that local Navajo ranchers receive fair payment and that the entire animal is used.”

“The success of this program allows the ranchers to improve their lives and increase the quality of life in their communities.” ~Al Silva~ Chief Operating Officer of Labatt Food Service.

Category: Navajo

Native Describes Encounter with the Tlicho Sasquatch!

“A man who spent two days alone on an island after capsizing his canoe says he had a terrifying encounter with a mythical creature — and in the N.W.T.’s Tlicho region, he’s not the first.” H. Bird, CBC NewsOriginal-

Lac La Martre by trailer605

Lac La Martre by trailer605

Excerpt:  N.W.T. man tells of encounter with nàhgą — the Tlicho sasquatch By Hiliary Bird, CBC News

On July 17, after boating hours from Whati to the most northern tip of Lac La Martre, 42-year-old Tony Williah spotted some garbage in the water ahead of him — a plastic bag bobbing in the waves. Williah slowly brought his boat up beside it.

He reached in to get it but just as he did, a wave rocked the boat and he fell over the side and into the frigid water. He struggled to pull himself up back into the boat but his clothes, heavy with the weight of the water, kept pulling him down. He grabbed a plastic bag of supplies and began the long, tiring swim to shore.

Tony Williah recovers at Stanton Territorial Hospital. Photo- CBC News

Tony Williah recovers at Stanton Territorial Hospital. Photo- CBC News

I managed to swim to an island at the end of the point, Williah told the CBC in Tlicho in his Yellowknife hospital room last week. He says that’s when he encountered the bushman. All of a sudden, there was a big man standing beside me, he said.  

The creature's footprint reportedly measure 40 centimetres in length. CBCNews 2014

The creature’s footprint reportedly measure 40 centimetres in length. CBCNews 2014

He must have walked away because I heard some branches break throughout the bushes. I packed up my clothes in a white bag and readied myself to leave. When he was rescued by the RCMP and Canadian military, he would tell the story of his encounter with a bushman to whoever would listen.

Beings with powerful magic

For many in the Tlicho region the presence of bushmen, or nàhgą as they’re known in the Tlicho language, is a reality that goes back thousands of years. The terrifying human-like creatures are known for stealing people from bush camps. Tlicho columnist John B. Zoe described them in 2010 in N.W.T. News/North. Generally they are silent and for the unfortunate few who have seen them, these symptoms can be experienced: the back of the neck will tingle, skin will break into goose bumps, unstoppable shivers, the heart beats faster, accompanied by shortness of breath.

Tlicho elder Michel Louis Rabesca

Tlicho elder Michel Louis Rabesca

Tlicho elder Michel Louis Rabesca learned about nàhgą when he was a boy living in the bush with his parents. I got the story from my grandma because my grandma lived in the bush all the time, Rabesca says.

Rabesca says the Tlicho people and nàhgą have lived in the same region since time immemorial. He says nàhgą look just like human beings, and even wear modern clothes.

But, he says, nàhgą have powerful magic. They lure people toward them and steal them, never to be seen again. There’s even stories of nàhgą stealing moose and caribou carcasses. Rabesca says when he was little, his grandmother told him a story about one of his relatives who encountered a nàhgą and was never seen again.

They took him…Some people heard him talking, screaming ‘Help,’ but nobody can do nothing. Rabesca says that as development pushes people further into the bush, interactions with bushmen will only increase.”

“The Hopi elders say that the increasing appearances of Bigfoot are not only a message or warning to the individuals or communities to whom he appears, but to humankind at large… they see Bigfoot as a messenger who appears in evil times as a warning from the Creator that man’s disrespect for His sacred instructions has upset the harmony and balance of existence.”

Category: Culture

War and Death Story in Drawings

“June 25 was the 140th anniversary of the Battle of the Little Bighorn otherwise known as the Great Sioux War… The United States today is engaged in two deadly counterinsurgency wars in Afghanistan and the Islamic State…Examining the stunning drawings made in 1881 by Red Horse, a Mnicoujou warrior who fought at the Little Bighorn, provides timeless lessons about war.” S. Sagen, The New York Times

Drawing by Red Horse, “Untitled from the Red Horse Pictographic Account of the Battle of the Little Bighorn” (1881), graphite, colored pencil, and ink.

Drawing by Red Horse, “Untitled from the Red Horse Pictographic Account of the Battle of the Little Bighorn” (1881), graphite, colored pencil, and ink.

Excerpt: A Real War Story, in Drawings, BY Scott D. Sagen, The New York Times

“Red Horse, who surrendered the year after the battle, was living on the Cheyenne River Agency, a reservation in South Dakota, when he made the drawings. He spoke no English, and his initial account of the battle to American officials was delivered through Plains Indian sign language — coded hand signals that Native Americans on the Great Plains used to communicate across tribal lines. He later made the drawings with colored pencil and pen to help researchers check the accuracy of the interpretation of his sign-language testimony. But I think that the drawings are the real Red Horse testimony — more direct, eloquent and moving than the translation.

Drawings by Red Horse. Credit National Smithsonian Institution

Drawings by Red Horse. Credit National Smithsonian Institution

These drawings, housed at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, are the Little Bighorn through Lakota eyes. In one, of Last Stand Hill, where Lt. Col. George Custer and many of his Seventh Cavalry troopers were overwhelmed by Lakota and Cheyenne warriors, Red Horse displays his pride in the Native Americans who shot bullets and arrows into fleeing cavalrymen, pulled soldiers off horses or stabbed them with spears.

The cavalry horses appear in columns of two, mostly bluish-gray in the front row and sorrel in the back. This color coordination was not a figment of Red Horse’s imagination. Custer had issued a coloring of the horses order, forcing cavalrymen to trade horses with one another so that each troop company rode mounts of a uniform color.

Drawings by Red Horse. Credit National Archives:Smithsonian Institution

Drawings by Red Horse. Credit National Archives:Smithsonian Institution

Red Horse’s drawings are brutally honest and honest about brutality. His depiction of the scalped and mutilated bodies is an uncensored portrayal of the consequences of revenge and hatred.

In an era in which the Islamic State beheads its enemies, it is worth remembering that mistreatment of prisoners, mutilation and taking of body parts was once common in warfare. The Third Colorado Cavalry Militia killed more than 200 Cheyenne men, women and children in the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre, taking body parts and scalps and waving them for the crowds in their victory parade in Denver.

During the 2011 trial of the ‘Kill Team’ — American infantrymen stationed near Kandahar, Afghanistan, who murdered civilians for sport — it was revealed that one soldier carried home fingers of the victims as trophies. We should feel gratified that four of those soldiers were found guilty in the killings. Red Horse portrays the face of battle without the rules of war.”

“…stay the hand of vengeance in war, both to defeat the beast in our enemies and to control the beast within ourselves.” ~ Robert H. Jackson~ United States Solicitor General (1938–1940)