The Eastern Woodlands Indigenous Collective Feeds Community

“In caretaking each other, we know that we can provide and have what we need, and that’s how we live abundantly” ~ Eastern Woodlands Rematriation Collective~ The Boston Globe, October 12, 2021


Eastern Woodlands’ Community Meals

Excerpt: The Eastern Woodlands Rematriation Collective nourishes abundance in Indigenous communities throughout New England  By Jocelyn Ruggiero, The Boston  Globe October 12, 2021

“Hidden from view at the base of a steep wood and brick stairway, Rachael Devaney’s family cottage sits on the shore of Long Pond, mid-Cape. This water is home to many creatures: muskrat, opossum, ducks, snapping turtles, frogs, minnows, and freshwater clams, while osprey, eagles, and seagulls populate the sky above. There’s a saltwater exchange on the shore opposite the cottage — the pond is less than two miles from the Atlantic Ocean — and, in Eastern Woodlands culture, a waterway that flows between fresh and salt is a place of regeneration and cleansing.

Rachael Devaney speaks with fellow members while preparing a number of fruits and vegetables in Centerville. Nathan Klima for the Boston Globe

Although Devaney is Salvadoran and not Indigenous to Massachusetts, where her adopted family raised her, she’s deeply connected to the Eastern Woodlands tribes.

In her teens, a mentor introduced her to the Wampanoag culture, taking her to Native socials, harvests, and powwows throughout New England.

A striped bass cooking over a wood fire in Centerville. Nathan Klima, The Boston Globe

Her exposure not only educated her about these tribes but also her roots, by connecting her with people who looked like her and showing her ways of life that were similar to those of her ancestors…….There’s a lot of teasing, laughing, and storytelling. Although the people who gather at Long Pond this afternoon belong to different Native tribes, as members of the Eastern Woodlands Rematriation Collective, they are all kin.

Photo by June Sapiel.

Formally organized in 2018, the Collective is a group of matriarchal-centered Native people, two-spirits, and men. The term “two-spirit” is used by certain Native communities to represent beings who embody both male and female genders.

The Collective aspires to a nonbinary understanding of gender, mirroring more fluid genders that exists in nature, where, for instance, many plants have both male and female reproductive structures. And whereas colonization undermined the leadership roles of Indigenous women, the Collective strives to restore feminine power…Beside the weathered deck that leads from the cottage to the Long Pond’s shore, four trunks rising from an oak tree are covered in pale gray-green lichen. Its branches shade Kristen Wyman, a member of the Nipmuc Tribe, as she sits at a table and cuts an heirloom watermelon for the party, setting the seeds aside for future planting. There’s a colorful harvest in front of her: Algonquin squash, carrots, Hot Portugal chili peppers, and corncobs from Maine; Nipmuc squash from Rhode Island, apples from Massachusetts, and from El Salvador, corncobs, zapote, and almond seeds, and a dark, slightly spicy honey collected from hives in coffee fields…’Rematriation’ is at the heart of everything the Collective is and all that it does.

Wampanoag Sherry Pocknett- Photo- courtesy of Sherry Pocknett

Wyman explains the concept in this way, while: ‘patriarchy is about dominance and control and overpowering, matriarchy is about life, growth, nurturing, and abundance. . . . The best way that we can understand that is through seeds. One seed can lead to hundreds and thousands. In caretaking each other, we know that we can provide and have what we need, and that’s how we live abundantly. As opposed to this patriarchal world, where it seems everything’s about survival of the fittest and whoever has the most is the one that’s going to come out on top.’

Darwin González descales a freshly caught striped bass. Photo- Nathan Klima, The Boston Globe

The Collective’s growing initiatives throughout New England take place on privately held land, state parks, and tribal land like the Hassanamisco Nipmuc Reservation in Grafton.”

For more information about the Eastern Woodlands Rematriation Collective

A Native American Proverb


LGBTQ Natives Are Still Assaulted or Beaten!

“If LGBTQ people get assaulted or beaten up in a hate crime on tribal land, it’s often not prosecuted,” one advocate said. D. Avery, NBC News, Nov. 9, 2021

Somah Haaland.Samuel David Katz

Excerpt: LGBTQ American Indians report high levels of depression and abuse, By Dan Avery, NBC News, Nov. 9, 2021

“Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender American Indian and Alaskan Native (AIAN) adults have higher levels of mental health issues, physical abuse and economic instability than their non-LGBTQ peers, according to a new report. 

The study, released last month by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law in advance of Native American Heritage Month in November, found 42 percent of AIAN LGBTQ adults have been diagnosed with depression, compared to less than a quarter of non-LGBTQ Native people and just 6.7 percent of the general U.S. population. 

AIAN LGBTQ adults, particularly women, are also more likely to engage in high-risk health behaviors, including heavy drinking, according to the findings.

Three-quarters of respondents reported not having had enough money to make ends meet in the prior year, compared to less than half of non-LGBTQ AIAN people…‘The complex picture of health and economic vulnerabilities of AIAN LGBT people is likely a product of factors shared with all Indigenous peoples, such as the impact of historical trauma, and those shared across LGBT people, such as anti-LGBT stigma,’ said lead author Bianca D.M. Wilson, a senior scholar of public policy at the Williams Institute and the report’s lead author, told NBC News.

Bianca D.M. Wilson, Ph.D., is the Rabbi Zacky Senior Scholar of Public Policy at the Williams Institute. Her research focuses primarily on system-involved LGBTQ youth, LGBT poverty, and sexual health among queer women.

In the report, Wilson stated that, ‘It is critical that policies and service interventions consider the LGBT status and multiracial identities of AIAN adults.’

Somáh Haaland, who is queer and nonbinary and uses gender-neutral pronouns, is the media coordinator for the Pueblo Action Alliance. Haaland also lives with clinical depression.

‘The unique intersection of being Native and queer can feel incredibly isolating, both in a displaced urban setting and in our own communities,’ they told NBC News…’In white queer spaces they experience racism and disconnection, while at home or on their reservation they may feel like being out could exclude them from cultural activities or simply being in community with their people,’ said Haaland, whose mother is Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland…’Being queer and being Indigenous are both beautiful identities to carry that are sacred when they intersect,’ they said. ‘But we often must fight twice as hard just to show that we are worthy of living and thriving.’

Sharon Day was one of two children to come out in her family. In 1987, she helped organize the Basket and the Bow, the first national gathering of gay and lesbian American Indians, held at the Minneapolis American Indian Center. (The annual event was later renamed the International Two-Spirit Gathering.)

‘You’re part of a group already dealing with racism and historical trauma and, within that group —  if you’re queer — you can be alienated from your community and even your family,’ said Sharon Day, a member of the Ojibwe nation and executive director of the Indigenous Peoples Task Force in Minneapolis. ‘For people living on reservations, these are small, rural communities that are slower to change.’


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Hopi Leaders Attend Restoration of Bears Ears”

“On Oct. 8, 2021, President Joe Biden signed a proclamation restoring the Bears Ears National Monument to 1.36 million acres in San Juan County, Utah, effectively reinstating environmental protections to an expansive and varied landscape.” Navajo Times, November 9, 2021

Courtesy photo Vice Chairman Clark Tenakhongva at the Perfect Kiva in Bears Ears National Monument on Oct. 1 after a grueling, six-mile hike.

Excerpt:  Hopi leaders attend Biden restoration of Bears Ears, Navajo Times, Nov. 9, 2021

“Hopi Chairman Timothy L. Nuvangyaoma and Vice Chairman Clark W. Tenakhongva attended the signing of the proclamation along with other federal, state and tribal leaders, according to a news release from the Hopi vice chairman’s office.

‘The signing of this proclamation and the restoration of Bears Ears is an important victory for all Native people,” Tenakhongva said. “On behalf of the Hopi people, I thank President Biden…’

The Bears Ears monument was originally established in December 2016 by the Obama administration following a multi-year effort by Indigenous-led organizations to protect the public lands.

The creation of the Bears Ears monument was significant because for the first time in history, Native nations were given a voice in managing a national monument as the proclamation called for the establishment of a Bears Ears Commission, staffed by a representative of each of the tribes comprising the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition.

These tribes include the Hopi Tribe, Pueblo of Zuni, Navajo Nation, Ute Indian Tribe (of the Uintah and Ouray), and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe…Following the signing of the proclamation, Biden was gifted with a hat, Hopi tribal flag, and a Hopi veteran’s lapel pin by Tenakhongva, to which Biden reportedly responded, “Clark, you are one man who has worked so hard on this matter, and I have so much respect for you. You never gave up. Please continue the work of the Nation, your people and the world.”


2021 Halloween Fun Events Native Style!

The Following Halloween Events are Listed in The Navajo Times:

ROCK SPRINGS, N.M. — Rock Springs Chapter will host a Halloween drive-thru event on Friday, Oct. 29, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Due to COVID-19 and for the safety of everyone, please remain in vehicle and wear protective face mask. Information: Cheryl, 505-722-9470.

FORT DEFIANCE – Fort Defiance Chapter announces a Halloween Trick-or-Treat on Friday, Oct. 29, from 3:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. The event will include a costume contest, pumpkin carving contest, prizes, and treat bags. Information: 928-729-4352.

This is Andres Ramirez @4 months old. Mom is Elizabeth Curley and father Walter Ramirez. They are great 1st time parents! We had to try on his Lobster Halloween costume!

GALLUP — Join Octavia Fellin Public Library for Halloween Trivia on Friday, Oct. 29, at 4 p.m. Learn about historical events, tidbits, and other fun facts about Halloween. Top three contestants will be eligible to win Halloween-themed prizes. Live on Zoom and Facebook. Information: 505-863-1291.

LEUPP, Ariz. — Leupp Nazarene Church announces a Halloween Eve gathering for children on Saturday, Oct. 30, at the Leupp baseball field (east of the closed post office) from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The event will include testimony from Pastor Darrell Begay, singing, candy, and food. Information: Darrell, 928-853-5321.

Halloween Fun 2021

FARMINGTON — The Spooktacular 5K Race will be held Saturday, Oct. 30, at Berg Park in Farmington. Registration opens at 5 p.m., race begins at 5:40 p.m. Entry fee is $15 with awards to age group winners and overall winners. Information: Lenny Esson, 505-686-8878.

HOUCK, Ariz. — Halloween Trunk or Treat will take place Sunday, Oct. 31, at the Houck Chapter House parking lot from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Activities include a Costume […]

‘Light the Night’ Halloween Concert:  Winslow Restoration Church 323 N. Alfred Avenue, Winslow, AZ— The “Light the Night” Halloween Concert is scheduled Sunday, Oct. 31, at Winslow Restoration Church (323 N. Alfred Ave.) at 5 p.m. Performers include Joshua Long (O’Ryan […]

Have Fun and Please Stay Safe! Talking-Feather


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The Lummi People are Fighting to Preserve Their Heritage: Fishing

Like all Coast Salish tribes, the Lummi identify as ‘salmon people’… Yet over the past century, global warming, habitat destruction, pollution, shipping traffic and other factors have decimated the Pacific salmon population. So Lummi fishers have turned, with some reluctance, to crab and shellfish for sustenance and income.” T. Kim, The New York Times, Oct 23, 2021

Photographs by Damon Winter – The New York Times

Excerpt: Can This Tribe of ‘Salmon People’ Pull Off One More Win? By E. Tammy Kim, Photographs by Damon Winter, The New York Times, October 23, 2021

“One afternoon this August, I boarded the Salish Sea, a crabbing boat named after the inland ocean that gives the Washington State coastline its defining divot. Dana Culaxten Wilson, one of the most prolific fishers in the Lummi Nation, and his crew of two were on their final outing of a 30-hour ‘crab opening,’ a period approved for tribal commercial crabbing…Colorful buoys marking crab pots dotted the sound.

Dana Culaxten Wilson and his grandson pulling crab pots. Photo- Damon Winter

Mr. Wilson and his crew — his grandson and an old friend — used a pulley to hoist the pots, then shook their skittering contents into a bin; they sorted the red-orange heap and transferred larger crabs into a barrel for sale…Crab and shellfish have become important sources of income and sustenance for the Lummi as fish stocks have declined. Words like adaptation and resilience are often used to discuss our response to accelerating climate change. They also describe, and terribly understate, what the Lummi and other Native peoples have had to do to survive.

Photo-Damon Winter

Time and again, the Lummi have confronted existential threats and built broad, unlikely coalitions with environmental activists and white fishers…But there is always a new threat in the congested waterways of the Pacific Northwest: The tribe must now persuade the Canadian government not to expand a shipping port into the Salish Sea.

The Lummi do not use nets when fish show signs of distress. Photo- Damon Winter

Lummi citizens speak of life ‘pre-contact’: the land, community and traditions their ancestors enjoyed before colonization in what is now Washington and British Columbia. The bloody history of settlement broke up this way of life, but the Lummi did everything they could to retain their right to fish…The Lummi have done what they can to bring the salmon back.”

To Learn more about The Lummi visit Tribalpedia

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Vice President Kamala Harris Featured Speaker at 2021 NCAI convention

“Tribal leaders heard Harris’ and President Joe Biden’s commitment to tribal sovereignty that included a big announcement.” ICT-October 12, 2021

Vice President Kamala Harris gives speech at the 78th Annual National Congress of American Indians. in Washington DC Photo- Jourdan B. Begays, Indian Country Today. October 12, 2021

Excerpt: “Harris said the Biden/Harris administration is renegotiating the memorandum of agreement on Public Law 477. This plan was established in 1992 under President George H. W. Bush.”

See Vice President’s Harris’ speech here:

Read more about Public Law 477 here.