The Challenging Life of Inupiat Teens

Being a teenager is tough wherever you live; but as shown in a documentary by filmmaker Nick Brandestini, living as a Native teen in rural Alaska is very complicated. Children of the Arctic tells the story of four Inupiat teens growing up in the small community of Barrow, Alaska.” J. Asenap, ICTMN

An image from Children of the Arctic by Director Nick Brandestini (Photo Film Website)

An image from Children of the Arctic by Director Nick Brandestini (Photo Film Website)

 

Excerpt: Children of the Arctic…By Jason Asenap, ICTMN

“The teens highlighted in the film include Josiah and Flora, a young couple in love who are trying their best to adhere to a traditional lifestyle at home while pursuing an education outside of their Native community. There is also Maaya, who gives suicide prevention presentations but craves simple teen activities like eating fast food and going to malls, and has dreams of moving to Arizona.

Samuel, 14, is an avid hunter and has been since he shot his first caribou at the age of six. Website

Samuel, 14, is an avid hunter and has been since he shot his first caribou at the age of six. Website

Finally there is Ace Edwards, who is being groomed for a leadership role in the community but becomes overwhelmed by the plans his community has for him.

Ace, 17, is a charming young man with a plan and a faux-hawk. Elders see Ace as a future leader of the community. Photo website

Ace, 17, is a charming young man with a plan and a faux-hawk. Elders see Ace as a future leader of the community. Photo website

The film addresses the challenges young Indigenous youth face today, including the role youth play in the continuation of culture and some of the tough decisions youth have to make, such as moving away and getting an education or staying home and helping the family in whale harvesting. 

Flora, 18, is a driven young woman who cares deeply about the preservation of Iñupiat culture. Photo- website

While Ace clearly has frustrations and thirsts for more traditional knowledge, Josiah and Flora fear that when they go away to college, they will be missing out on many events in the community, and valuable time with their elders…The community is heavily Christian and the influence of Christianity creates tension between religion and traditional Inupiat culture, a common theme in many Native communities.

Inupiat Teens. Photo- film website

Inupiat Teens. Photo- film website

The Inupiat and surrounding communities are also scarred by suicide. Ace’s brother committed suicide, and Maaya tries to help her community heal through her presentations on suicide prevention.

Josiah, 18, is passionate about Native traditions and an enthusiastic member of an Eskimo dance group

Josiah, 18, is passionate about Native traditions and an enthusiastic member of an Eskimo dance group

The film also shows that the heart of the community is in the whale harvest. After the whale is hunted, traditional songs are played as the women butcher and meat is cooked.”

Hold on to what is good, Even if it’s a handful of earth.

Hold on to what you believe, Even if it’s a tree that stands by itself.

Hold on to what you must do, Even if it’s a long way from here.

Hold on to your life, Even if it’s easier to let go.

Hold on to my hand, Even if someday I’ll be gone away from you.

~Pueblo  Prayer~

Illustration for suicide prevention success story in NW Alaska

Category: Alaskan Natives

Tribes in Conflict over Killing Bald Eagles

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Friday dropped its legal challenge to an American Indian tribe killing bald eagles for religious purposes on its Wyoming reservation… The Northern Arapaho share the reservation with the Eastern Shoshone Tribe, which opposes killing eagles.” B. Neary, ABCNews

Bald Eagles with baby. Photo The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Bald Eagles with baby. Photo The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Excerpt: Fish and Wildlife drops legal challenge to Eagle killings  By Ben Neary, ABC News

U.S. District Judge Alan B. Johnson in Cheyenne previously ruled that the Fish and Wildlife Service violated the Northern Arapaho Tribe’s religious freedoms by denying permission to kill bald eagles — the national bird — on the Wind River Indian Reservation for its annual Sun Dance.

Wyomingmedia

Wyomingmedia

Johnson stated the First Amendment prohibited the federal government from burdening one American Indian tribe’s exercise of religious rights to benefit another tribe…The government keeps eagle feathers and body parts in a federal repository in Colorado that tribal members may seek to use in religious ceremonies.

Northern Arapaho Tribe members have said it’s unacceptable for them to use an eagle carcass from the federal repository for the Sun Dance. They have emphasized that tribal religious leaders strictly regulate and limit the killing.The Eastern Shoshone Tribe had filed a friend of the court brief in the federal appeals court supporting the Fish and Wildlife Service’s appeal of Johnson’s ruling.”

CLICK TO WATCH LIVE EAGLE CAM:  In 2014, a pair of mated Bald Eagles chose the most idyllic of nest sites within the United States’ National Capital (Washington, DC), nestled high in a Tulip Poplar tree amongst the Azalea Collection at the U.S. National Arboretum, which is operated by the United States  Department of Agriculture. © 2016 American Eagle Foundation, EAGLES.ORG. We appreciate your cooperation!

 

Bald Eagle 3

Category: Uncategorized

The Grizzly Bear Dance: Beautiful and Sacred

“You may have already seen the videos shared online on various YouTube and Facebook pages. A grizzly bear dancer dancing at the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) Pow Wow. She is possibly one of the only female Grizzly Bear dancers in the world… the dance was absolutely mesmerizing.” T. Brown Powwows.com

Laura Grizzlypaws- Pow Wows.com

Laura Grizzlypaws- Pow Wows.com

Excerpt: St’át’imc Grizzly Bear Dancer Shares Her Story by Toyacoyah Brown, Powwows.com

“I don’t know about you, but I had never seen anything like it in my neck of the woods and was wondering a little bit more about the dance and its origins. I reached out to the dancer in the videos and she was willing to share her story… Below is a little bit more about her journey.

Laura John was born and raised in Lillooet, British Columbia in the Interior Plateau region, she is of St’át’imc descent. Her St’át’imc name is Stálhalamcen – Grizzly Paws… She belongs to the people of Xwisten the Bear Clan. She is a mother of three children (boys). All three boys carry St’ảt’imc names as their first name and were named through ceremonial practice and the Elders of her family. Laura is a dancer, drummer, singer/songwriter, academic, educator and a language and cultural advocate.

  The Bear Dance 

The cultural expressions of the St’at’imc are a very important aspect of the St’at’imc with songs, dances and the social interactions of the people. The Grizzly Bear dance is an expression of culture that is unique and authentic.

I walked where the Grizzly Bear dances. I feel his pleasure, excitement and freedom on the earth and in the wind that carries his messages from the past. I dance where the Grizzly Bear danced his steps leaving an ancestral footprint on the land like a cellular memory in my blood. His face is a shadow that calls to me as the wind calls his name St’alhalam. The Grizzly Bear he sings his songs as we unite under his skin. I now walk where he left his ancestral footprints. I heard his prayer, I felt his pain, I am his anger, I am his hope, I am his faith.”

NOTE:  Laura Grizzlypaws at Gathering of Nations will be coming to the Oregon State University Pow Wow on May 14th in Corvallis Oregon

“I truly believe as Indigenous peoples we should be embracing our traditions, our songs, stories and dances and bringing them to life to instill hope, to have faith and to give thanks for ourselves, while honoring our ancestors and especially to give hope to our younger generations.~ Laura Grizzlypaws~

Category: Dancing

The Beauty of Pow Wow Regalia…And How To Create Your Own!

“These elaborate Native American outfits are very unique to each dancer, but they also speak of familial ties – as dancers move to the rhythmic beat of the drum, they tell of their tribal affiliation and ancestry, reveal their individual personality, family heritage, and spiritual quests.” Tracey, Prairie Edge

Fancy Pow Wow dancer Fabian Fontenelle. Photo- national geographic

Fancy Pow Wow dancer Fabian Fontenelle. Photo- national geographic

Excerpt: History and Tradition Mixed with Personal Style By Tracey, Prairie Edge

“Embodying the spirit and soul of the culture, the dancers at Pow Wow are vibrant reflections of tribal history mixed with personal style.
The regalia worn during Pow Wow is a cherished garment – it is often made or commissioned by those special to the dancer.

Verna Street Fancy Shawl Spotlight Dance - Mountain Eagle Pow Wow. Photo Marty Thompson Rezboyz Photography.

Verna Street Fancy Shawl Spotlight Dance – Mountain Eagle Pow Wow. Photo Marty Thompson Rezboyz Photography.

While beautiful and rewarding once it’s done, making regalia is also a time intensive process and is often made to be with the dancer for many years. These outfits will evolve and change over a lifetime – enhanced with a new scarf, roach or even face paint, further embellished with beads, feathers, shells, or fringe, or (due to the intense dancing and wear) repaired and made new.” 

Making Regalia with Juaquin Lonelodge 

Juaquin Lonelodge

Juaquin Lonelodge

“From the Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho Nation, here in Oklahoma, I Juaquin Lonelodge, am proud to bring you,  Making Regalia It is a show, which I believe, is the first ever in Native American Culture to showcase step-by-step instructional videos in making Native Attire. With the help of CATV47, I plan to continue showcasing Native Art from the Traditional to the Contemporary.   H’aho! (Thank you)” Juaquin Lonelodge

You Tube “Making Regalia” Videos

Moccasin Alterations

Special guest host, Verna Street demonstrates how to make alterations on a moccasin for a growing child. Published on Jan 29, 2016

Moccasin Alteration with guest Verna Street

Moccasin Alteration with guest Verna Street Fancy Shawl Dancer.

Decorative Carry Bag

Juaquin gives step by step instructions on how to make a simple, decorative carry bag. Episode includes some basic sewing tips.

Decorative Bag.

Decorative Bag.

Fancy Dance Regalia, drawing by Kathryn Darnell (from pg. 55, Marsha MacDowell, ed. Contemporary Great Lakes Pow Wow Regalia

Fancy Dance Regalia, drawing by Kathryn Darnell (from pg. 55, Marsha MacDowell, ed. Contemporary Great Lakes Pow Wow Regalia

 

Making Regalia Roach Spinners

Juaquin Lonelodge is back with a brand new edition of Making Regalia. On this latest episode they have recurring guest Red Sky Whapeppah in the studio to help construct a roach spinner.

Making Roach Spinners See diagram

Making Roach Spinners See diagram

Bustle construction

Juaquin Lonelodge and his special guest, Dwight Whitebuffalo discuss and demonstrate bustle construction.

Guest Dwight Whitebuffalo demonstrates bustle construction.

Guest Dwight Whitebuffalo demonstrates bustle construction.

“To many people their outfits are a part of them. Some people dreamed of their outfits and they hold special meaning. A lot of people I know, their outfits have been handed down to them from their grandfather or grandmother. These aren’t just something we throw together.”  ~Bedahbin Webkamigad~

Category: Pow Wows

Meet 12-Year-old Navajo Lead Actor in Nemo Há’dèístíí/ Finding Nemo

“Twelve-year-old Quinton Kien is not exactly your typical Hollywood actor but he blew this one out of the water. As the voice of the title character in the Navajo version of Disney Pixar’s Finding Nemo, Kien made quite an impression on his grandmother Julia Hildreth.” Donovan Quintero, Navajo Times

Quinton Kien is helping Disney-Pixar create a Navajo language version

Quinton Kien is helping Disney-Pixar create a Navajo language version

Excerpt:   12-year-old shines in new Navajo-dubbed Pixar film, Donovan Quintero, Navajo Times

“Nizhoní, said Hildreth, of Steamboat, Ariz., at the premiere on Monday night in Albuquerque at the Century Rio 24 theaters. Kien played the voice of “Nemo” in this latest installment where the Navajo Nation Museum collaborated with Hollywood executives to dub the movie in Navajo. The first film to be dubbed in Navajo, Star Wars, was done in 2013.

Actor Quinton Kien.

Actor Quinton Kien.

This project was different from Star Wars, said Navajo Nation Museum Director Manuel Wheeler. There was a lot of dialogue and emotion aimed towards children and that was what we were looking for. With the way it was received on Monday, Wheeler said the first screening went beautifully. The audience seemed to react to it.”

Nemo Há’dèístíí/ Finding Nemo is now on DVD

If you think this trailer is awesome, wait till you see the whole movie!! The Nemo Há’déést’įį’ DVD’s are coming!! Pre-order at navajonemo.com or come to the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, AZ on TUESDAY APRIL 26 at 8AM to purchase your copy!!  For more info call  NNM at 928.871.7941.

Navajo Museum

 “ Nemo Há’déést’íí” : With some elders in the audience, I think the benefits of making this movie is they can watch this with their grandchildren,.” ~Manuel Wheeler.~Navajo Nation Museum Director 

Category: Native Actors

Natives Ask President Obama To Pardon Leonard Peltier

“Leonard Peltier, an Anishinabe-Lakota Native American serving two consecutive life sentences and imprisoned for over 40 years, remains a lightening rod in the Native American fight for human rights. When arrested he was a leading member of the American Indian Movement (AIM), an advocacy group and movement concerned with Native American rights and justice.” M. Muhammad, Finalcall.com

Leonard Peltier

Leonard Peltier

Excerpt: A Call for President Obama To Pardon Native American freedom Fighter,  By Michael Muhammad, Finalcall.com

“According to the organization’s website, AIM is first a spiritual movement, a religious rebirth, and then the rebirth of pride and dignity of a people. The organization emphasizes self-determination.

In 1975, during a confrontation involving AIM members, two FBI agents were shot dead. Mr. Peltier was convicted of their murders, but has always said he is innocent. To some he is a hero and to others he is painted as a thug.

Amnesty International has studied his case extensively over many years and remains seriously concerned about the fairness of proceedings leading to his trial and conviction. Amnesty believes political factors may have influenced the way in which the case was prosecuted.

Photo- oregonlive

Photo- oregonlive

In fact, the Commission has repeatedly denied parole on the grounds that Mr. Peltier did not accept criminal responsibility for the murders of the two FBI agents…Given the current climate of police misconduct, a failed criminal justice system pockmarked with injustices against Black and Native American people it is hoped President Obama will take a serious look at the clemency request, supporters say.”

“Innocence has a single voice that can only say over and over again, “I didn’t do it.” Guilt has a thousand voices, all of them lies.”  ~Leonard Peltier~ Prison Writings

Category: Law