2016 Election: Natives Feel The BERN!

“As President Obama prepares to leave office, Native Americans hold their breath. The level of representation and visibility Obama has offered Natives is unprecedented in the history of our federal government… It is imperative, then, that whoever is put in the White House next is committed to tackling the issues that plague Native communities. Which is why Bernie Sanders could be Native Americans’ best bet for 2016.” J. Brammaer, BNR

Natives Feel the Bern

Natives Feel the Bern

Excerpt: Is Bernie Sanders Native Americans’ Best Bet for 2016? John P. Brammaer, BNR

“Native Americans are the group most likely to be killed by police. More than one in four Natives lives in poverty. Alcoholism, domestic violence, and crime run rampant in reservations across the country. A big plus for Natives is that Sanders has consistently been in favor of Native American sovereignty.

Bernie Sanders at the rally at the American Indian Center in Minneapolis MN

Bernie Sanders at the rally at the American Indian Center in Minneapolis MN

He believes Natives should have the right to prosecute under their own legal system non-Native persons who commit crimes on reservations. In keeping with this, he voted in favor of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, which would give tribal governments jurisdiction over domestic violence crimes.

He also stands with Native Americans in their opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline, which would bisect Lakota lands…Sanders voted in favor of Healthcare for Indigenous Peoples, which sought to address issues preventing Natives from obtaining health care.

Talking about the wishes of Native Americans when it comes to the federal government can be tricky…But what remains clear is that the president of the United States can do a lot of good for Native communities. Obama proved that.

Natives for Sanders

Natives for Sanders

And as it stands right now, Bernie Sanders has proven to be the candidate that Natives would stand to benefit the most from if he were to take office.

My hope is that Hillary Clinton, still the most likely nominee for the Democrats in 2016, takes notice of this…Our indigenous peoples are speaking, and I hope all of our presidential candidates are willing to listen.”

“Bernie Sanders respects and values Native Americans and believes the U.S. needs to support and work with our First Americans to improve their standard of living.”~Natives For Bernie~

Category: Politics

Skateboarding Changes Native Youth for the Better!

“To the outside world, South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, home to the Lakota people, is known as one of the most impoverished areas in the U.S… Last fall, the Stronghold Society and Levi’s Skateboarding released a documentary called Skateboarding in Pine Ridge. The documentary captures the completion of the most recently built skate park on Pine Ridge, with pro skaters teaching some of the reservation’s children how to skateboard.” K. Bachor, Time Magazine

Photo-redbulletin

Photo-redbulletin

Excerpt:  Skateboarding Is Changing Native Youth Culture by Ken Bachor, Time Magazine

“Historically, in 1890, it was the site of the Wounded Knee Massacre. In recent years, its population—up to 40,000, by some estimates—has faced a variety of problems, including a high youth suicide rate, drug and alcohol issues, vandalism, gang activity and high unemployment.

CT719ak256?

Over the past five years, a non-profit organization called the Stronghold Society has been working to make reservations like Pine Ridge a better place for future generations, through skateboarding.

Lakota kids and friends. Photo- metrereader

Lakota kids and friends. Photo- metrereader

Everything we do is to inspire [the youth] through skateboarding, music and the arts, says Executive Director Walt Pourier. It’s creative expressive means to help them get a voice and to be heard within these creative realms.

Pine Ridge Scate club. Photo- metrereader

Pine Ridge Scate club. Photo- metrereader

Pine Ridge currently has two out of an expected four skate parks completed. When you start to continually show the poverty story, what ends up happening is the youth, this generation, starts to believe in that, Pourier says, because that’s what the world sees them as, and they become it.”

“You raise a whole generation and they start to say, You know what, I don’t need alcohol in my life, I don’t need drugs in my life, I don’t need this gang mentality in my life, I want to get educated and learn, [showing] everybody who we are as an indigenous way of life.” ~ Walt Pourier~

Category: Culture

The Most Offensive Logo? Try Whitesboro, New York

“Hold up, is that a pioneer choking a Native American to death?”: ‘The Daily Show’ causes a major ‘oops’ with the Whitesboro official seal…if you’re going to have a racist seal, why not have it here, in the deep south … of upstate New York.” S. Burris, Salon

Seal of Whitesboro. Photo-Salon.com

Seal of Whitesboro. Photo-Salon.com

Excerpt: The Daily Show…Sarah Burris, Salon

“Daily Show correspondent Jessica Williams sat down with activists from the Lenape First Nations tribe to talk about the offensive city seal of Whitesboro, New York.

Williams couldn’t believe that anything could ever be more offensive than the Redskins logo, until she saw the seal which features a white pioneer choking a Native American to death.

Whitesboro’s Mayor Patrick J. O’Connor aka ‘Whitey McWhiterson,’ however, says that the seal is absolutely not racist. Oh, thank God, because it looks like that white man was totally choking this American Indian man to death, she [Williams] told the mayor.

Mayor O’Connor claimed that the seal depicts our founder, Hough White… who was engaged in a friendly wrestling match… he did not choke [the Native American].

UPDATE (A week later)

Whitesboro told The Daily Show this week that it’s changing the seal after all.  Gizmodo

The Daily Show aired a segment about the racist town seal in Whitesboro, New York…The Whitesboro mayor called Williams (Daily Show correspondent) yesterday morning to tell her that the town would change the seal. No word on what the new one will be. Hopefully, it won’t be so racist.”

You Tube video

Category: Culture

Natives Honored for Film The Revenant, A Golden Globe Winner!

“Leonardo DiCaprio accepted the Golden Globe at the 2016 Golden Globes 73rd awards ceremony for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture his role in the film Revenant… he took a moment to thank the Indigenous community involved in the making of the film. ‘I want to share this award with all the First Nations people represented in this film and all the indigenous communities around the world.’ V. Schilling, ICTMN

 Forrest Goodluck as Hawk in The Revenant. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation


Forrest Goodluck as Hawk in The Revenant. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Excerpt: DiCaprio Shares Golden Globe …with First Nations People Vincent Schilling, ICTMN

During his acceptance speech DiCaprio paid the customary respects by thanking all of the cast and crew and his parents – and as the music began to play to usher him off the stage, he took a moment to thank the Indigenous community involved in the making of the film.

Native actor Duane Howard as Elk Dog in film Revenant. Photo-theprovince

Native actor Duane Howard as Elk Dog in film Revenant. Photo-theprovince

Duane Howard and Melaw Nakehk'o both star in film The Revenant. Photoedgyk.

Duane Howard and Melaw Nakehk’o both star in film The Revenant. Photoedgyk.

It is time that we recognize your history and that we protect your indigenous lands from corporate interests and people that are out there to exploit them.

Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant PA:Twentieth Century Fox

Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant PA:Twentieth Century Fox

The Revenant is a retelling of the life of the real Hugh Glass (DiCaprio). In the early 1820s a group of about 45 American trappers are camping in a wilderness forest in what is now Montana. They are a fractious and grim bunch. Their Hugh Glass is accompanied by his grown son, Hawk (Forrest Goodluck), whose murdered mother was a Pawnee Indian. More than 30 men are killed when Indians attack. Their chief Elk Dog (Duane Howard) is searching relentlessly for his daughter Powaqa (Melaw Nakehk’o) whom he believes was kidnapped by trappers. Glass, his son and a few of the men survive.  Glass is attacked by a mother grizzly bear trying to protect her cub. It is a horrid attack, made worse when Glass wounds the bear. Glass is barely alive when his men find him. A “revenant” is the spirit or soul of a dead person who appears to the living…”

“It is time that we heard your voice and protected this planet for future generations.”  ~Leonardo DiCaprio~

Category: Native Actors

The Force Awakens With Native Artist Ryan Singer!

“The Force Awakens opened  in theaters across the world. The intergalactic saga has pulled-in generations of fans since its debut nearly 40 years ago. Its social impact is huge. Ryan Singer knows that. Raised on the Navajo Nation, Singer’s vibrant paintings blend the landscapes and characters of both the Navajo reservation and Luke Sykwalker’s home planet, Tatooine. He told Arizona Public Radio’s Gillian Ferris he’s been thinking about Star Wars since the first time he saw it.” G. Ferris Knau Public Radio

The New Ambassadors, by Ryan Singer, acrylic on canvas, 2015

The New Ambassadors, by Ryan Singer, acrylic on canvas, 2015

Excerpt from interview: Paintings Connect Star Wars And The Navajo Nation Gillian Ferris, Knau Public Radio

GF: You were 4 or 5 when the original Star Wars came out in 1977. Can you tell the story of the first time you saw the movie?

Artist Ryan singer. Credit- Roberto Rosales

Artist Ryan singer. Credit- Roberto Rosales

RS: Yeah. I was living in a place called Many Farms, it’s just north of Chinle, Arizona. I must’ve been in kindergarten or pre-school. And, I’m not sure how we raised the money, but we got some money together and our parents chipped in, and we drove all the way down to Phoenix. I just remember the big cardboard displays and all the things hanging around the refreshment stand and stuff like that. So, that made a big impression on me.

GF: Your artistic ambition also started very early. When did your love of art merge with your love of Star Wars?

To (water) It Binds Our Universe Together, Ryan Singer, acrylic on canvas, 2015

To (water) It Binds Our Universe Together, Ryan Singer, acrylic on canvas, 2015

RS: I think it was sort of a natural kind of progression, I guess. But I always loved watching the movies. Always could relate to the movies. During my teens, I would draw sort of like comic book-surreal drawings, like black and white drawings, and I would throw in little Star Wars symbolism, or just like a little hint of Star Wars in there just to, kind of like, add the symbolism in hidden images and stuff like that. And as I got older I started to, kind of like fusing pop-culture imagery with the Navajo culture. Somehow that Star Wars just, kind of like, manifested in there. And, I always thought of Tatooine as the desert that was close to Tuba City where I grew up, and the Sand People nomadic people real similar to how the Navajos were.

AT Walkers Near Shiprock, Ryan Singer, acrylic on canvas, 2015

AT Walkers Near Shiprock, Ryan Singer, acrylic on canvas, 2015

GF: Could you describe one of your paintings? The one I’m thinking of is the one that depicts the Tuba City Trading Post.

RS: The Tuba City Spaceport? Yeah, that was a painting I did a few years ago that sort of came to me with the whole idea of Tatooine and Tuba City almost being the same world or something. Similar worlds…Have the Navajo people interact with the Star Wars characters. You know, like, they’re trading, they’re meeting there like an actual trading post, talking and doing all kinds of stuff.

Tuba City Spaceport Ryan Singer, acrylic on canvas, 2012

Tuba City Spaceport Ryan Singer, acrylic on canvas, 2012

GF: What are people’s reactions to this combination of Navajo life and culture and Star Wars life and culture?

RS: They really like the idea that people are, kind of like, the same no matter what. You know what I mean? Might not be from the same place or have the same language, but there’s always this ability to, sort of, get along, or they can exist – coexist – in the same place at the same time. That’s what I think is cool.

Bounty Hunter and Trickster Encounter, painting by Ryan Singer

Bounty Hunter and Trickster Encounter, painting by Ryan Singer

Read more about Ryan Singer here

“As far back as I can remember I have always loved art—drawing, painting, making music. What I like most about it is the freedom to create something—anything—from nothing. Like all artists, my work has evolved and changed over the years but what has stayed constant is my desire to express myself as a modern Native American artist.” ~Ryan Singer~

Category: Culture

Native Designers for 2016!

“Native fashions have become common-place, in a good way. It’s no longer a special treat, maybe a once or twice a year thing. It’s now a Real Thing, a Big Thing, and a blossoming industry of many busy hands originating locally with tribal designs, lots of indin-genuity and landing on the international stage.” ICTMN

TOC Legends

TOC Fashion

TOC Fashion

“TOC Legends is the reality of He-mi-ka-las, Pamela Baker, a native artist/designer from North Vancouver, B.C. He-mi-ki-las’s expression of her culture, through visual arts have found it’s place in the vibrantly creative world of fashion designs and for which she has been recognized throughout North America.” Native online

B. Yellowtail

byellowtailMiss Apsaalooke wrap dress

byellowtailMiss Apsaalooke wrap dress

byellowtail embroidered:beaded crow rose micro suede dress

byellowtail embroidered:beaded crow rose micro suede dress

“Founded in December 2014 and based in Los Angeles, B.Yellowtail is a fashion line created by designer Bethany Yellowtail, who’s vision and brand values reflect her Apsaalooke (Crow) & Tsetsehestahese & So’taeo’o (Northern Cheyenne) Native American heritage. A celebration of ancestral tradition, beauty, and culture, B.YELLOWTAIL embraces authentic, indigenous design through wearable art.” 

Dorothy Grant (Haida)

Dorothy Grant dress

Dorothy Grant dress

Dorothy Grant jacket

Dorothy Grant jacket

“Grant has been an internationally renowned contemporary fashion designer for over thirty-two years. In 1988, Grant became the first designer to merge Haida art and fashion utilizing her formal training at the Helen Lefeaux School of Fashion Design. Grant believes that her clothing embodies the Haida philosophy Yaangudang meaning “self-respect. The driving force behind her clothing designs is “empowerment, pride and feeling good about oneself. Her website www.dorothygrant.com is extensive with several lines.”

Native Designer Cher Thomas

Cher Thomas design. website

Cher Thomas design. website

Cher Thomas design.

Cher Thomas design.

“Cher Thomas Designs is a fashion label started by designer Cher Thomas that creates traditional regalia for O’odham and Yuman natives and an annual contemporary collection. Cher Thomas’ designs have been featured in magazines and runways around the world… The Cher Shares program is an extension of Cher Thomas Designs, which enables the designer to share her profits and her personal experiences navigating the fashion industry with established non-profit and educational programs.” 

Jamie Okuma (Luiseño/Shoshone-Bannock)

Jamie Okuma's fabulous Blue Boots.

Jamie Okuma’s fabulous Blue Boots.

Christian Louboutin shoes decorated by Jamie Okuma

Christian Louboutin shoes decorated by Jamie Okuma

Okuma began bead working as a child creating her own dance regalia for powwows near her home, on the La Jolla Luiseño Reservation. Her fully beaded blue high heel boots have caused a media sensation.

“They embodied the dreams and memories of generations of women. Patterns and skills passed from mother to daughter extended a tangible record of tribal traditions, family honor and spiritual awakening…” ~Native American Cultural Arts~

Long ago beauty...NativeAmericanCulture

Long ago beauty…NativeAmericanCulture

 

NEW: Tribalpedia Has Added The Osage Nation

Category: Culture