Natives Ask: What Is A Tariff and How Does It Affect Indian Country?

” Trump has launched a campaign to fight a trade imbalance against China because ‘China and other nations trade unfairly with the United States.’ The goal is to use tariffs (or the threat of tariffs since they have not yet occurred) to get China to back down on other trade issues. What does this mean? And, how will Indian Country be impacted?” M. Trahaunt, ICTMN

Photo depicting international trade. ICTMN

 

Excerpt:  What Is A Tariff? And How Does A Campaign Against China Affect Indian Country? By Mark Trahaunt, ICTMN

“It’s important to say over and over again that a tariff is fancy word for a tax. A tariff affects how much corporate consumers are charged for, say, steel from China that is used to make a car.

And in response to such a tariff — China will levy a similar tax on its consumers when they buy pork, making that meat more expensive in China…Each side will tax products and the result will cost consumers more. And the producers of those products will make less money.

That’s where Indian Country comes in.

The tax bill will be paid every time someone buys a product that’s on the list, such as a car. And, on the other side of the ledger, Native American consumers will benefit as the price of pork (and its competitor, beef and chicken) drop because there will be more supply on the market. But the producers, the farmers, will make less.

According to the National Congress of American Indians: ‘Agriculture is increasingly important to Native economies, representing the economic backbone of more than 200 tribal communities and witnessing an 88 percent increase in the number of American Indian farmers between 2002 and 2007. According to the Census of Agriculture, in 2007 annual Indian agriculture production exceeded $1.4 billion in raw agriculture products.’

This is the trade deficit — and the Trump administration’s goal is to shrink it. And there is evidence that this trade deficit impacts wages and job creation, especially in manufacturing jobs.”

Category: Business, Politics

Navajo Ranchers: “We Need to Manage Feral Horses”

“The March 1, Navajo Times covered the feral horse issue (Hunt canceled, feral horses a growing problem, page A1). Here’s a response by a guy with the name of a horse. In 2013, I helped the Department of Agriculture with a horse roundup. We had a crew that rounded up horses in 54 chapters. That was five years ago. Why is the president just now stating, ‘We do need to implement a horse management plan’? The plan should have been done in 2013.'”The Navajo Times

Navajo ranchers wrestle a feral horse. High Country News

Excerpt:  Feral Horses…The Navajo Times

“He also stated, ‘Horse management plan includes castration, birth control and adoptions.’ The option is ludicrous. Sounds good but each animal will continue eating 32 pounds of forage and drinking 10 gallons of water per day. We need forage and water for livestock that bring us revenue. Rez ranch life has its challenges. Can’t speak for other producers but for me it’s too many wild, unbranded, unclaimed feral horses, followed by drought and open range.

Horses wait in a cement culvert along Highway 160 for a Navajo Nation agriculture horse trailer. Navajo-Hopi Observer

Trying every strategic planning to improve beef cattle business isn’t working. Open range is a terrible way to make a living raising livestock on the rez, financially that is. In the summer months I spend money feeding, watering, buying salt blocks and range cakes for my cattle.

But in open range, the major concern is many, many feral horses at Oakridge Wildhorse Country Ranch. Named the ranch for many feral horses that nobody owns. I have horses for ranch work; I don’t need more than three.

Feral horses deplete natural springs at Oakridge. I want to ask the guy from Betatakin to come get the feral horses. I’ll help with the roundup and trucking…BIA and Navajo Nation will continue blaming everything and everyone except the fact that they allow resource mismanagement to continue for almost a century.”

Category: Animals

Natives Join March For Our Lives in Remembrance of Red Lake Shooting in 2005

“Hundreds of thousands of people came together Saturday as over 800 cities all over the world participated in organized #MarchForOurLives protests. The movement was spawned by the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last month in Parkland, Florida. The movement also honors any of the schools affected by shootings to include Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Columbine and Red Lake.” V. Schilling, ICTMN

March 21, 2005 — Red Lake tragedy.

Excerpt: Hundreds of Thousands Gather for #MarchForOurLives Protests Regarding Gun Control- V. Schilling, ICTMN

“Cities that have had major gatherings of thousands of people include Washington, D.C., New York City, London, Amsterdam, Houston, Los Angeles and others.

‘The kids are leading the movement,’ said Democratic Senator Chris Murphy in a news release. Murphy is from Connecticut, the state where 20 children aged between six and seven were killed in December 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

In New York, marchers wore bright orange to represent the official color of a gun control advocacy group and walked toward Central Park. In Washington D.C.,  protesters held signs with with hundreds of messages and images of shooting victims…In Parkland, Florida, chanters shouted ‘Enough is enough!’

Barack and Michelle Obama released a letter to the students of Parkland, praising their ‘resilience, resolve and solidarity’ and said they helped ‘awaken the conscience of the nation.’

Former U.S. President Barack Obama

Barack Obama also tweeted: ‘Michelle and I are so inspired by all the young people who made today’s marches happen. Keep at it. You’re leading us forward. Nothing can stand in the way of millions of voices calling for change.’

In relation to Indian country, the #MarchForOurLives movement takes places 13 years after the Red Lake tragedy. On March 21, 2005, a 16-year-old Native youth Jeff Wiese shot his grandfather, his grandfather’s partner and several of his classmates and adult employees at Red Lake High School before taking his own life. Including Weise, 10 people died.”

 

Category: Social

An Offensive Native Statue Comes Down!

“San Francisco will take down a controversial statue depicting a submissive Native American man after an outcry sparked by a deadly rally last summer in Charlottesville, Va., led the city’s arts commission to vote unanimously this week to remove it. The statue, known as ‘Early Days,’ shows a Native American man at the feet of a Catholic missionary, who towers over him and gestures toward the ground…”  M. Gold, The New York Times

The sculpture shows a Native American man at the feet of a Catholic missionary. Credit Jeff Chiu:Associated Press

Excerpt: San Francisco Will Remove Controversial Statue of Native American Man — By Michael Gold, The New York Times

“Critics have called the statue racist and disrespectful, saying it promotes genocide, portrays Native Americans as inferior and relies on inaccurate stereotypes. (Among the specific critiques: that the person depicted in the statue is styled like a Plains Indian rather than a member of any California tribe.)

“It’s more than just racist,” said Mariposa Villaluna, who helped organize a grass-roots campaign to remove the statue. ‘It celebrates human subjugation.’

The statue has been the focus of heated debate in the past. In the early 1990s, when the city announced a plan to move the Pioneer Monument to its current location, Native American activists urged the city to leave ‘Early Days’ behind.

After years of debate, the city kept the statue but installed a plaque meant to add historical context…But the decades-long effort to move “Early Days” to storage was reinvigorated in August, after a deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville over the potential removal of a statue of the Confederate general Robert E. Lee…The city is planning to remove the statue sometime this year, according to Kate Patterson, a spokeswoman for the arts commission. It will be moved to storage and replaced with a plaque that details the reasoning behind the decision.”

Category: Social

Sherman Alexie: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Predator!

“The Native American Carnegie Medal award-winning writer of 26 books and writer and producer of the movie Smoke Signals, Sherman Alexie (Spokane-Coeur d’Alene,) has been accused of sexual predatory behavior and sexual harassment by several dozen women. Since last Saturday, allegations against the author have reached a fever pitch on social media.” V. Schilling, ICTMN

Sherman Alexie. The
Current

Excerpt: Sherman Alexie Called Out For Sexual Misconduct For Over A Twenty-Year Period, By Vincent Schilling, ICTMN

“[According to Litsa Dremousis—a close friend of Alexie for over 15 years] ‘In multiple instances, he explicitly threatened to end women’s careers if they told anyone he had sexually harassed them… It seems—at least so far—that he targeted Native American women writers particularly hard.’

On Wednesday, Alexie issued a public apology amid the allegations of sexual misconduct stating, ‘Over the years, I have done things that have harmed other people, including those I love most deeply. To those whom I have hurt, I genuinely apologize. I am so sorry.’

‘I reject the accusations, insinuations, and outright falsehoods made by Litsa Dremousis, who has led charges against me. Ms. Dremousis has portrayed herself as simply being a friend of mine. She has withheld from the public the fact that she and I had previously been consenting sexual partners.’

Dremousis said women were afraid to confront Alexie due to his prominence in the world of literature. She confided in friends that because she knew him, she would volunteer to confront him…Alexie states Dremousis is only telling a partial truth and claims he has no recollection of making threats.

Dremousis informed Indian Country Today via phone that National Public Radio has the largest reach in the country and she sent several victims of Alexie to NPR who have agreed to come out against Alexie publicly…Several journalists have confirmed NPR will be the first outlet to give reports first-hand from the victims of Alexie.

She also surmises that Little Brown Publishing would most likely not publish a sequel to Alexie’s award-winning The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. She also doesn’t think there will be a movie based on the book which is now in pre-production.

Washington DC-based bookstore Duende District has stated they will also no longer be carrying Alexie’s books… Duende District is a WoC-owned business & our mission is to uplift voices of color, esp. women of color, & we do not separate Alexie’s work from his actions.'”

Category: Social

Film “Road of Iniquity”: A World Of Native Gangsters

“First Nations filmmaker Mark Ennis (Maliseet Algonquian and a member of the Tobique First Nation in New Brunswick, Canada) can now add ‘internationally-recognized’ to his resume as the Cine Las Americas film festival based in Austin, Texas will be showcasing his film, ‘Road of Iniquity’…Road of Iniquity tells the story of a young man who returns home after being released from prison. He struggles to gain a sense of normal life after prison, and gets caught in the middle of a conflict between two First Nations organized crime factions operating a lucrative drug trade through the U.S./Canadian border.” V. Schilling, ICTMN

Poster for film Road of Iniquity

Excerpt: Road of Iniquity, Highlights A Gritty World of Native Gangsters-Vicent Schilling, ICTMN

“Filmmaker Mark Ennis told ICMN in an email, Road of Iniquity is a film devoid of the persistent stereotypes of spirituality and stoicism that often plague Native characters represented in scripted entertainment.

Road of Iniquity. Characters Edward and Gabe.Courtesy Maliseet Fury Pictures and Kistikan Pictures.

‘My intent was to tell a story in a modern way, to offer a world where the Native characters are real people with the same universal wants, needs and desires as anyone else.’

Scene from Road Of Iniquity.

‘Native people have been consistently essentialized as the ‘Other,’ which has given way to the continuing portrayal of Natives as mysterious, stoic beings—portrayals that scream of rote, one-note representations.’

Justin Rain and Linsay Willier in scene from Road of Iniquity. twitter

The film features Native actors Justin Rain, Linsay Willier, Michael Lawrenchuk and Justin Courchene, and a song by A Tribe Called Red – ‘Burn Your Village to the Ground,’ as well as songs by Indigenous artists Leonard Sumner and Billy Joe Green.”

Category: Films