Natives Experience More Discrimination in Majority-Native Areas

“More than half of Native Americans living on tribal lands or other majority-Native areas say they have experienced racial or ethnic discrimination when interacting with police (55 percent) and applying for jobs (54 percent). That’s according to new poll results being released Tuesday by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.” J. Neel, NPR

Excerpt: Poll: Native Americans See Far More Discrimination In Areas Where They Are A Majority By Joe Neel, NPR

“Location appears to have a big influence on whether Native Americans experience discrimination because they are Native American. In the example above, discrimination in police encounters was reported three times more often by American Indians living in majority-Native communities than by those living in more mixed areas.

Even disregarding where people live, our poll found Native Americans reported significant discrimination in their everyday lives — jobs, health care, education and other areas.

‘The poll is important because it allows Native Americans to speak to a broad range of Americans about the serious personal problems they face in dealing with employers, police and the courts,’ says poll director Robert Blendon, professor of health policy and political analysis at the Harvard Chan School. ‘It shines a light on the very high level of slurs and personal insults this community faces in their day-to-day interactions with others.’

In addition to asking people about their personal experiences, we also asked about their perception of discrimination within their local community. Nearly half of Native Americans in majority-Native areas believe that where they live, other Native Americans are ‘often’ discriminated against because of their race or ethnicity. In nonmajority areas, that perception is much lower.

Some people have asked why we’re dividing our data between ‘majority’ and ‘nonmajority’ areas and not between ‘tribal’and ‘nontribal’ lands. A main reason is that there are many areas that are not tribal lands but still have large populations of Native Americans. Asking about the local neighborhood’s composition tells us more about how people interact in their home environment and the prevalence — or lack of — discrimination.”

Category: Culture

Don’t Miss The Seneca White Deer Tour This Month!

“Bus tours of the former Seneca Army Depot, are about to get going again. The people taking the tours will likely be looking for a particular attraction…it is the white deer, of course, that have generated so much chatter and photos online in recent years.” R.  Gorbman, WSKG-NPR

Seneca White Deer-photo- wikipedia

Excerpt: Seneca Army Depot Tours Begin Later This Month, Randy Gorbman, WSKG-NPR

“The former army depot in Seneca County hasn’t been used for military purposes in a number of years but a local farm equipment company owner, Earl Martin, bought several thousand acres of the former depot and created Deer Haven Park, which he hopes will be a tourist attraction, since there already is a lot of interest in the white deer herd, an unusual genetic variation located at that site.

Seneca White Deer-photo: Ithaca Journal

Dennis Money is president of the organization Seneca White Deer. He says last time they did a count a couple of years ago, there were about 75 white deer, and the number is likely less than that now. But he says tour-goers still have a decent chance to see them.

‘We don’t guarantee you’re going to see a white deer, and I tell people, this is not a Walt Disney movie, we don’t have them tied to every tree. This is real life, some days you’re going to see a bunch and some days you’re going to see one,’ Money told WXXI News.

Money says the whole idea of the tours, which were last held about five years ago, is to not only showcase the white deer, but the rich military and civilian history of that property.

The Seneca White Deer are rare. rebrn.com

“We’re going to be creative, we’re going to come up with different ideas, we’ve already talked about having biking trips and photography trips and teaching classes in wildlife biology.”

The tours begin on November 16. You can get more information at www.senecawhitedeer.org

 

Category: Animals

“Dennis Banks, American Indian Civil Rights Leader, Dies at 80”

“Dennis J. Banks, the militant Chippewa who founded the American Indian Movement in 1968 and led often-violent insurrections to protest the treatment of Native Americans and the nation’s history of injustices against its indigenous peoples, died on Sunday night at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. He was 80.” R. McFadden, The New York Times

Mr. Banks in 2010. He was the 2016 vice-presidential nominee of the California Peace and Freedom Party, which identified itself as socialist and feminist. Credit Chris Polydoroff:Pioneer Press

Excerpt: Dennis Banks, American Indian Civil Rights Leader, Dies at 80 -By Robert McFadden, The New York Times

“Mr. Banks and his Oglala Sioux compatriot Russell Means were by the mid-1970s perhaps the nation’s best-known Native Americans since Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, who led the attack that crushed the cavalry forces of Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in the Montana Territory in 1876.

The American Indian Movement leaders Dennis Banks, seated at right, and Russell Means at a news conference in July 1973. CreditUnited Press International

Mr. Banks, whose early life of poverty, alcoholism and alienation mirrored the fates of countless ancestors, led protests that caused mass disorder, shootouts, deaths and grievous injuries. He was jailed for burglary and convicted of riot and assault, and he became a fugitive for nine years. He found sanctuary in California and New York but finally gave up and was imprisoned for 14 months.

He once led a six-day takeover of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington, and mounted an armed 71-day occupation of the town of Wounded Knee, S.D., on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Wounded Knee was the scene of the last major conflict of the American Indian Wars, in which 350 Lakota men, women and children were massacred by United States troops in 1890.

While his protests won some government concessions and drew national attention and wide sympathy for the deplorable social and economic conditions of American Indians, Mr. Banks achieved few real improvements in the daily lives of millions of Native Americans, who live on reservations and in major cities and lag behind most fellow citizens in jobs, housing and education…His severest detractors, including law-enforcement officials, said he let followers risk injury and arrest while he jumped bail to avoid a long prison sentence and did not surrender for nearly a decade.

Mr. Banks and Mr. Means first won national attention for declaring a “Day of Mourning” for Native Americans on Thanksgiving Day in 1970. Their band seized the ship Mayflower II, a replica of the original in Plymouth, Mass., and a televised confrontation between real Indians and costumed “Pilgrims” made the American Indian Movement leaders overnight heroes…Mr. Banks was the 2016 vice presidential nominee of the California Peace and Freedom Party, which identified itself as socialist and feminist. The party’s presidential candidate was Gloria La Riva. As a single-state ticket, they won 66,000 votes.

In recent years, Mr. Banks lived with some of his children in Kentucky and Minnesota. He was an honorary trustee of the Leech Lake Tribal College, a two-year public institution in Cass Lake, Minn. Mr. Means, who also appeared in movies and wrote a memoir, died on the Pine Ridge Reservation in 2012 at age 72.

‘Maybe we opened up some eyes, opened some doors,’ Mr. Banks told The Los Angeles Times. ‘And it was at least an educational process here. Fifteen years ago, there was no newspaper here, no radio station. Now there’s more community control over education.’

In 1990, both men joined a ceremony at the Pine Ridge Reservation commemorating the centenary of the Wounded Knee massacre.”

Category: History

Natives Remind People: “We Are A Culture, Not A Costume!”

“It’s October, and with it comes the annual Halloween tradition of young and old alike dressing up and going out either door-to-door in hopes of scoring serious candy, or having a good time at a costume party. Unfortunately, some traditions surrounding Halloween are plain racist, such as the marketing and selling of ‘costumes’ that ‘represent’, however stereotypically, ‘other’ cultures. Stores shelves, sadly, will be lined with fake head dresses, buck skin outfits, and ‘war’ paint (along with kimonos, turbans, and other ‘representations’ of various cultures) for would be costume wearers.  N. Altaha

Excerpt: I am NOT a costume! by Noel Altaha

The following comes from Noel Altaha (White Mountain Apache) who made a video titled  ‘I am NOT a costume!’, in response to this racist tradition. Using creative tools to persuade others to agree with your stand was the assignment. My classmates presented great examples, (not texting and driving for example) and I wanted to have others see my view on this holiday. Theories may include self-affirmation theory, central route persuasion, and emotional approach.

Native Appropriations

Dressing as someone else’s culture has lasting impacts on everyone’s psyche. Granted it could not be explicitly noticeable but there is evidence suggesting the negative effects on stereotyping in social psychology. My research has focused on Native American Historical Trauma (HT) and unresolved grief. According to this theory due to European Colonization there has been a collective and continuous loss in Native communities. The mourning process continues through one’s lifetime and passes onto the next generations, thus the term intergenerational trauma. The symptoms of HT includes but are not limited to low self-esteem, hyper-vigilance, alcoholism, substance abuse, suicidal ideation, etc. etc. etc.

Toddler Boy Indian Costume

Ignorance of the historic trauma has profound negative impacts on Native peoples suffering or experiencing the historical trauma. So when you wear an “Indian” or ‘Savage’ or ‘Native American’ costume you are basically stereotyping a culture, you are also making their culture a historical reference that sends a message to everyone: Native Americans no longer exist, only in history books and old western films. You are not recognizing the present day Native people who are professors, doctors, actors, and nurses who still identify with their Native culture and are successfully existing in the modern world.

I certainly do not dress as a white person for Halloween and have not ever seen the costume “colonizer” at my local retail stores and if it did I would think there would be letters from upset offended white people. I do not want to make this all about a race issue because it more than that. This is about respecting oneself through becoming educated and it is about healing for a people who have and continue to suffer from the impacts of HT.”

Category: Culture | Tags:

We Should Harvest like Our Ancestors

“It’s time for the harvest. Traditionally, the Oceti Sakowin (Great Sioux Nation) are hunter gatherers…I was taught that our ancestral teachings and spiritual instructions were not just a part of our history, but that they should be maintained, kept alive, and practiced continually because they can save us when situations are dire. It only takes one natural disaster to remind us that ‘modern civilization’ is often a house of cards that is not infallible. If you watch the news, you know a time is coming when we won’t be able to look to the government and outside organizations to rescue us, although Native Nations can work together.Native communities need to start focusing on themselves and preparing for difficult times.” R. Hopkins, ICTMN

Kansas Historical Society

Excerpt: Harvest like Our Ancestors: The Resistance is Fertile, R. Hopkins, ICTMN

“It’s time to pick medicine too. The prairie sage is tall. We start collecting sage and sweetgrass ahead of sundance, but we continue to collect enough to last us through the winter, which is well into March in the Dakotas. Do not pull them out by the root, and leave an offering along with a prayer of thanks for your bounty. There are many other Native plants that can be harvested and dried for medicine, like yarrow and purple coneflower.

Purple Coneflower. photo-metroblooms.org

If you’ve never used these wild medicines before, I caution you against doing so unless you’re under the guidance of an elder, medicine person, or ethnobotanist. We like to pick from designated areas as well, as some plants have been exposed to manmade pollution and aren’t suitable for consumption.

Prairie Sage, White Sagebrush

We planted, as well. On my reservation, ancient caches of corn were discovered. Today, tribal members are reviving the practice of gardening, not only to preserve tradition, but for better health and to promote community sustainability and food sovereignty.

The Three Sisters. Gardening harmony. Native American Indians planted corn, beans and squash

By growing our own seeds, we are combating the movement towards all plants and seeds being GMO (Genetically-Modified Organisms). I don’t think people realize what type of modifications are being made to plants and seeds, with insect, fish and other materials being integrated into them. In the end, we hold that knowledge of a pure food source, in our indigenous seeds. We need to protect that knowledge, share our seeds and continue on the tradition of growing our own foods.”

Category: Culture

“Wanted: Navajo People – or their kids – Who Appeared in Old-Time Westerns”

“From about 1941 to 1957, the Navajo Reservation was visited by dozens of filmmakers who wanted to include the beauty of the scenery in their movies.  A documentary producer is researching those good old days and is looking for Navajos who appeared as extras in movies like John Ford’s ‘Stagecoach’ or ‘A Distant Trumpet.’ B. Donovan, Navajo Times

 

On the set of film Stagecoach. photo- Vanity Fair.

Excerpt: Wanted: People – or their kids – who appeared in old-time westerns, By  Bill Donovan, Navajo Times

“The problem for many of these films, however, is that they were made 70 or 80 years ago and most of those who were in the films have passed on. So the producers are also looking for children whose parents or grandparents may have been in the films and remember the stories they told about being in the films.

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, director John Ford’s favorite scene for films. photo- tripadvisor

This is a low-budget documentary so people who are interviewed will receive no pay but it will give them a chance to preserve some of the film history that is unique to Navajo country.

Scene from film A Distant Trumpet

Scene from film Stagecoach by John Ford

If you want to be a part of the project, the person in charge of the project, Duncan Harvey, will be in the area this weekend and is looking for people to talk to.

The landscape of colossal sandstone formations straddling the Arizona-Utah state line has become an iconic image of the American West

He can be contacted at 602-765-7977 or 602-317-6337.

Category: Culture, Films