Natives Say Goodbye to Prospector Pete Statue!

“Towering over the courtyard at California State University, Long Beach, is the statue of Prospector Pete, the epitome of the rugged 49ers who came to the state looking for gold and land. To some, it is an innocuous icon harkening back to the university’s first president, Pete Peterson, who frequently spoke of having ‘struck the gold of education.’ For others, the bearded and weathered statue is an upsetting relic that sanctions the brutish treatment of indigenous people in the state during the Gold Rush.” J. A. Real, The New York Times

The statue of Prospector Pete at California State University, Long Beach.CreditCreditThomas R. Cordova:The Orange County Register

Excerpt: Icon or Insensitive Relic? Prospector Pete Is On Its Way Out! By Jose A. Del Real

As scholars and students on campuses across the country grapple with debates over free speech and political correctness, Prospector Pete has emerged as a divisive symbol in California.

“Walking by a statue that’s put in a prominent place on campus, in an almost honorary way, that’s another type of trauma that’s being imposed on me. This is a part of our family history,’ said Miztlayolxochitl Aguilera, 20, who is of Tongva Indian descent. ‘I heard the stories of murder and rape and genocide growing up. Somebody else, they might not notice the statue. They might not feel what I feel as a California Indian when I see that symbol on campus.’

The school was built on the former site of the sacred village of Puvungna, where the Tongva indigenous people lived long before European contact…Now, after years of activism and a formal committee inquiry, Jane Conoley, the university’s president, announced last month that the statue will be formally moved. The cartoonish Prospector Pete costume mascot used at athletic games, which has been slowly phased out in recent years, will also be formally retired.

Ms. Aguilera, who recalled when her grandmother forbade her from acknowledging her indigenous ancestry, out of fear that it would lead to further marginalization, praised the move.

‘This is an acknowledgment of our trauma as indigenous people who suffered,’she said. ‘And it’s also an acknowledgment that we have to learn about these histories, about what’s going on around us.’

While the decision has not drawn the sorts of controversy and protest seen on other campuses and in other parts of the country, some alumni have questioned whether the university is merely catering to students and, in the process, severing ties with part of its past. ‘We have heard from some who believe we are censoring the history of our campus and bending to political correctness,’ said Terri Carbaugh, a university spokeswoman…Prospector Pete will be moved to a new alumni center after the university breaks ground on the project, which it intends to do next spring. The precise timeline and location have yet to be announced.”

Category: Culture, Native Rights

Native Frank Waln live in Cambridge MA, Harvard Square

“Lakota Hip-Hop artist Frank Waln will perform in Cambridge MA to mark this first public celebration of Indigenous Peoples Day.” City of Cambridge

Frank Waln live in Harvard Square.

Excerpt: Cambridge Celebrates First  Indigenous Peoples’ Day

“Lakota hip hop artist Frank Waln will perform in Cambridge MA, Harvard Square at Winthrop Park.

Frank Waln is an award winning Lakota Hip Hop artist, producer, and audio engineer from the Rosebud Rez in South Dakota. A recipient of the Gates Millennium Scholarship, he attended Columbia College Chicago where he received a BA in Audio Arts and Acoustics.

Frank Waln – Lakota- with his ride on the Love Water, Not Oil tour!

His awards include three Native American Music Awards, the 3Arts Grant for Chicago Artists, and the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation 2018 NationalArtist Fellowship for Artistic Innovation.

Native Frank Waln (c) Photo- Bandcamp Daily

He has been featured in The Fader, Vibe, NPR, Paper Magazine, ESPN, and MTV’s Rebel Music. Frank Waln travels the world sharing his story through music and presentations focusing on healing and reconnecting to our roots. This concert is open to the public.”

Frank Waln by Shepard Fairey (for MTV’s Rebel Music)

Friday, October 5, 2018: Frank Waln live in Harvard Square,  Cambridge MA, Winthrop Park 7pm  –Admission is Free

Additional Events for Indigenous People’s Day in Boston MA

Saturday, October 6, 2018: Boston Marches for Indigenous Peoples Day 

Rally at 1:00pm at Park Street Station, Boston, followed by march to Columbus statue. 

Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/275381606436747/

Monday, October 8, 2018: Indigenous Peoples Day Walk – Celebrating Culture and Resistance

Starting Point: NAICOB, 105 South Huntington Avenue, Jamaica Plain, MA  11:00 am

All are welcome to walk with NAICOB and Indigenous students from Harvard University in celebration of Indigenous Peoples Day! NAICOB will open our doors at 11:00 am to prepare for the walk with a light breakfast. The first stop is the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The final stop is Matthews Hall in the Harvard Yard in Cambridge, MA, where the Harvard Indian College once stood. Once in Harvard Yard, highlights include Native American performers and speakers, handmade Indian tacos, cultural appreciation, and community building.

Co-Sponsors: Harvard University Native American Program

 

Category: Culture | Tags:

Natives Do Not Trust Brett Kavanaugh!

“Many Native Americans worry that Supreme Court justice candidate Brett Kavanaugh could work to restrict tribal sovereignty, which they say is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.” VOA

Photo- VOA

Excerpt:  Native Americans Worry Trump Supreme Court Pick Threatens Sovereignty-VOA

“Native Americans have expressed concern about Trump’s pick for Supreme Court justice, Brett Kavanaugh… Many believe that Kavanaugh does not recognize the sovereignty of tribes, which govern themselves as independent nations within the United States.

Tribal nations, through hundreds of treaties with the government, ceded more than half a billion hectares of land in exchange for reservations, services, protections and rights — chief of which was sovereignty, the right to rule themselves and make decisions about how to use their own land.

Alaska Natives Press Lisa Murkowski to REJECT Brett Kavanaugh

Their sovereignty, they argue, was recognized by America’s founding fathers and is implicit in the wording of the U.S. Constitution, which gives Congress the power ‘to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes.’ But the nature of the relationship began to change in the 19th century.

‘We went from an era of sovereign-to-sovereign relationships into an era of military conquest by the U.S. of tribes and their territories,’ said Harvard University international economics professor Joseph P. Kalt, an expert on tribal sovereignty. ‘Tribes depend pretty heavily on lots of federal statutes to create a place for tribes to govern — things like the Indian Child Welfare Act, the authority of the Interior Department to acquire land in trust for tribes so that they can expand their land bases,’ said Matthew L. M. Fletcher, a member of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians in Michigan…But when lower court cases get to the Supreme Court, in some cases, a 200-year precedent doesn’t seem to matter.

He said many tribes worry that if a conservative Republican like Kavanaugh is confirmed, the Supreme Court could reverse some of the gains they’ve made over the last 40 years, particularly with regard to the environment…The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) has urged tribal leaders to watch the confirmation hearings carefully, noting that Justice Anthony Kennedy, whom Kavanaugh would replace, was a key vote on important tribal issues.”

Category: Native Rights, Politics

The New Venom Movie Review by Vincent Schilling, ICT

“This week I want to discuss the new Venom movie trailer that has JUST come out much to my delight. The film stars Tom Hardy as the investigative journalist Eddie Brock. Hardy is a great actor known for such films as Dunkirk, The Revenant, Mad Max: Fury Road and The Dark Knight Rises.” V. Schilling, ICT

They are Venom — and they’re 50 shades of scary.

Excerpt: About Venom, By Vincent Schilling, ICT

Venom, technically-speaking, is an alien symbiote aka a parasite of sorts that embeds itself into its human host and feeds off of their emotions. They not only grab onto your neurological system and can control body function, but also can embed themselves into your thought processes, thus they can communicate through your thoughts with telepathy.

Venom originally came to existence in The Amazing Spider-Man #252 (May 1984) – though Venom at that time was a bit abstract. Spider-Man’s costume was revealed to be an alien. Venom’s full first appearance was in The Amazing Spider-Man #300 (May 1988)…The Venom movie takes place in the Sony Marvel Comics Universe, so no Spider-Man. Venom has even lost the spider emblem on his chest. During the trailer, there are a lot of patients held and subjected to connecting with symbiotes of different colors, they make up Riot, Scream, Phage and Toxin. All with different enhanced abilities.

Image- ICT

One of the symbiotes unmentioned in the trailer is Carnage. He is a hugely popular super villain in the Marvel world. Carnage is a symbiote that merges with a serial killer Cletus Kasady. When researching the iMDB page, Woody Harrelson is listed in the movie in one of the tops spots, but his character name is not revealed.

Rumors are hinted at in some places online, but I am making the prediction that the Oscar winner is going to play Cletus Kasady, thus becoming Carnage, a blood-like symbiote that bonds with Kasady, embodying his serial killer spirit.

In as much as the symbiotes infect their hosts, the symbiote becomes part of the person, thus Carnage becomes the deadliest of supervillains. We will see.”

Category: Films | Tags:

For Natives: When The Food Source Ends..The Opioid Addiction Begins

“For thousands of years, the Klamath River has been a source of nourishment for the Northern California tribes that live on its banks. Its fish fed dozens of Indian villages along its winding path, and its waters cleansed their spirits, as promised in their creation stories. But now a crisis of opioid addiction is gripping this remote region. At the same time, the Klamath’s once-abundant salmon runs have declined to historic lows…many members of the Yurok, Karuk and Hoopa tribes see a connection between the river’s struggle and their own.” J. Del Rea, The New York Times

From left- Yurok Chief Justice Abby Abinanti; Codie Donahue, and Yurok tribal attorney Amy Cordalis. Credit A. Hootnick for the New York Times

Excerpt: Sick River: Can These California Tribes Beat Heroin and History? By Jose A. Del Rea

“It’s no coincidence to me that this opioid problem and the river crisis are happening at the same time; when that resource is gone, it leads to a sense of despair,” said Amy Cordalis, the Yurok tribe’s general counsel. Nationally, Native Americans are the hardest-hit demographic in an overdose death epidemic that has affected every corner of the country. Between 1999 and 2015, there was a 519 percent increase in the number of overdose deaths among rural Native Americans, according to a 2017 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, compared to an increase of 325 percent in rural areas overall. Abuse of painkillers and heroin have played significantly into those trends.

Dead Chinook salmon on the banks of the Klamath River during a 2002 fish kill. An estimated 34,000 salmon perished.CreditYurok Tribe Fisheries Department

In Yurok country, tribal leaders have pursued an aggressive agenda of cultural revival since the early 1990s in an effort to keep traditions alive. The process has not always been smooth. A decade ago, there was friction when tribal leaders were deciding how to manage $92 million in back payments from the federal government for logging on Yurok land. Ultimately, 90 percent of the money was disbursed to members in a lump sum. Some questioned the wisdom of that decision by the tribal leadership, suggesting the money would be quickly spent, rather than saved.

Since then, the river’s intensifying troubles have caused spiritual pain, in addition to exacerbating economic anguish.

Upper Klamath River Flow Management Harms the Lower Klamath River

‘In part, there’s a tremendous feeling of guilt, I think. The economics of it matter, yes, but it’s so much more than that for us,’ said Yurok Chief Justice Abby Abinanti. ‘Our worldview is that we’re here in partnership with these other beings, the river and the fish. We have obligations to them.’ ‘Now it feels like the river is as sick as it has ever been. I think last year was the first time in history that the Yurok people did not fish on the Klamath,’ Ms. Cordalis said. ‘When you start separating those ties, it really affects people.’

The mural that greets visitors outside of the Yurok tribal building

The effects of heroin — and meth before it — have seeped into every aspect of life. Outside the Yurok tribe’s bureau, a mural created by the Yurok children shows the river flowing through lush forests and curving past villagers performing traditional prayer-dances. In one panel, a Native American woman wanders the forest collecting wood and acorns, while kayakers splash in the river’s waters.

But unwinding across the painting are darker scenes too: broken bottles, needles, depictions of suicides, and dead fish…Four out-of-date dams upstream, built in the early- to mid-20th century, have sparked residual ecological strain downstream. Now the solution that tribal members hoped for — their removal — awaits approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Before the dams went up, the river was the third-largest producer of salmon in the United States. Last year, the Yurok tribe had to cancel commercial and subsistence fishing altogether because of the lack of fish. During some parts of the year, the waters become so toxic that people are advised not to swim or make contact with the river…As they wait anxiously for the dam removal to be approved, tribal leaders are also looking for inclusive ways to bring drug treatment to the region, where abuse is often stigmatized.

One solution proposed by Ms. Abinanti and others are Yurok ‘wellness villages,’ planned living sites along the river where the tribe can help reintegrate people who have struggled with addiction.

Ms. Cordalis, the general counsel to the Yurok tribe, has been using the law to protect the Yurok way of life for its roughly 6,000 members. In March, the Yurok joined other communities nationally and filed a lawsuit against several opioid companies with the Northern California Federal District Court. The suit claims that opioid addiction has increased crime, led to economic losses and increased hospital and administrative costs…For many, the idea of culturally relevant addiction treatment brings hope. Codie Donahue, 38, lost his children and wound up homeless after he and his girlfriend became addicted to methamphetamine and heroin. Mr. Donahue, who has Yurok and Karuk lineage, recently checked into a drug rehab program in Eureka, a few hours from his hometown, Orleans, Calif.

He recalled the holy ceremony he once performed as a high priest for the Karuk Indians. In the ritual, he and others would pray in hopes that the river would wash away the sins of his tribe.”

Category: Healing, Health

Joe Shirley Jr. and Jonathan Nez are the Candidates for Navajo President!

“Navajo Nation Vice President Jonathan Nez will face former tribal president Joe Shirley Jr. for the tribal presidency in the November general election after they finished as the top two vote-getters in Tuesday’s primary election.” N. Lyn Smith, AZ Central

Navajo Nation Presidential candidate Joe Shirley Jr. walks with his supporters Tuesday at the Window Rock Sports Center  (Photo- Jon Austria:The Daily Times)

J. Nez thanks his supporters. Photo- .Canora Courierjpeg

Excerpt: Nez, Shirley top presidential race in tribe’s primary election, By N. Lyn Smith, AZ Central

‘It’s a humbling thing that happened tonight. There was overwhelming support from the Navajo people,’ Nez said in an interview…With the top contender established early in the night, attention turned to who would be the runner-up, which was a close race between Shirley and Tom Chee.

Approximately 500 votes separated the two men throughout the evening. Chee eventually finished in third with 6,411 votes. Shirley’s supporters made their presence known as they entered the sports center with shouts of ‘Shirley strong.’

‘What can I say? Other than that I feel glad, I feel like a winner. I didn’t have any doubts that we’d be here. We worked hard and had a good team in place and looking forward to the real race that’s going to begin,’ Shirley said in an interview after hugging Nez. He commended Nez for running a good campaign.

Joe Shirley.

‘It’s not about coming in No. 1 or No. 2 for primaries, it’s just about making it,’ Shirley said.”

Category: Politics