Category Archives: Culture

Japan to Recognize Indigenous Ainu… Finally!

“The [Japanese] government approved a bill Friday to recognize the country’s ethnic Ainu minority as an ‘indigenous’ people for the first time, after decades of discrimination against the group. The Ainu people have long suffered the effects of a policy of forced assimilation. While discrimination has receded gradually, income and education gaps with the rest of Japan persist.” The Japan Times

Japan prepares law to finally recognize and protect its indigenous Ainu people – The Washington Post

Excerpt:  Japan to recognize indigenous Ainu people for first time

“It is important to protect the honor and dignity of the Ainu people and to hand those down to the next generation to realize a vibrant society with diverse values,’ top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga told reporters.

Japan to recognize indigenous Ainu people for first time.

‘Today we made a Cabinet decision on a bill to proceed with policies to preserve the Ainu people’s pride.’ The bill is the first to recognize the Ainu as ‘indigenous people’ and calls for the government to make “forward-looking policies,” including measures to support communities and boost local economies and tourism.

Map showing location of Ainu populations

Ainu have lived for centuries on Japan’s northernmost main island of Hokkaido, as well as nearby areas including Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands.

They struggled to pass down their language and culture after the Japanese government implemented an assimilation policy beginning in the Meiji Era (1868-1912), as Japan was modernizing.

Ainu are indigenous people of Hokkaido, with their own culture, music, arts, food and language.

The Ainu culture that should be appreciated. Lake Akan

Photo- Ainu woman with facial tattoo and child. allabout-japan

The Ainu traditionally observed an animist faith, with men wearing full beards and women adorning themselves with facial tattoos before marriage. But like many indigenous people around the world, most of Japan’s Ainu have lost touch with their traditional lifestyle after decades of forced assimilation.

Navajo Singer Radmilla Cody visited The Ainu in 2012.

The Ainu population is estimated to be at least 12,300, according to a 2017 survey, but the real figure is unknown as many have integrated into mainstream society and some have hidden their cultural roots.

Ainu people wearing traditional clothes at the Ainu Museum, City of Shiraoi, Hokkaido, Japan. Smithsonian

The new bill states its purpose is to ‘realize a society where the Ainu people can live with their ethnic pride, which will be respected’ by others. The government will subsidize projects aimed at promoting Ainu culture and organized by local municipalities. The law would also simplify procedures for Ainu to get permission from authorities to collect timber from national forests for their rituals, and to catch salmon in rivers in a traditional way.

The first edition of Ainu Food Festival will take place in Sapporo Pirika Kotan (Hokkaido, Japan) Credit

In addition to the new law, the central government also plans to open a national Ainu museum and park in the Hokkaido town of Shiraoi in April 2020…’It is a major step forward on policies towards the Ainu people,’ said Masashi Nagaura, chief of the Ainu policy bureau of the Hokkaido Prefectural Government that has spearheaded policies for the ethnic minority.”

Category: Culture

In Zombie Film ‘Blood Quantum’ The Natives Are Immune!

“The dead are coming back to life outside the isolated Mi’gMaq reserve of Red Crow, except for its Indigenous inhabitants who are strangely immune to the zombie plague.”

Michael Greyeyes, Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Forrest Goodluck

Excerpt:   First Look at Cannes Zombie Title ‘Blood Quantum’ By Brad Miska

“YZ Films will handle worldwide sales (except Canada) on zombie thriller ‘Blood Quantum’, which they also executive produced, at the upcoming Cannes Marché, reports Deadline…A tribal sheriff must protect his son’s pregnant girlfriend, apocalyptic refugees, and other members of the reserve from the hordes of walking white corpses.

Directed and written by Mi’gmaq filmmaker Jeff Barnaby, the movie stars ‘Fear The Walking Dead’ and ‘True Detective’ actor Michael Greyeyes, Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers (On the Farm) and Forrest Goodluck (The Revenant), and was produced by John Christou for Prospector Films and Rob Vroom. Madrona Drive will also executive produce.”

Watch for Updates here


Category: Culture

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Loves NM: films New Jumanji Movie Here!

“Actor Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has been filming a movie in New Mexico, and the Land of Enchantment has clearly entranced the star. ‘You feel the spirit down here. It’s a very spiritual place.’ The former WWE wrestler has been in the Four Corners area to film the newest Jumanji movie.” E.Davoran, Farmington Daily Time

President Jonathan Nez
First Lady, Phefelia Nez
Vice President Lizer
Second Lady Lizer

Excerpt:  Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson loves New Mexico and the feeling is mutual, Erin Davoran, Farmington Daily Times

‘The mana is real down here. And these drives have just been spectacular,’ Johnson said in an Instagram video on April 25 while driving his truck in New Mexico.’ I just want to thank everybody in the Four Corners area for being so loving and so supportive and so welcoming,’ he said in the video.

Before New Mexico, shooting for the third Jumanji film took place in the jungles of Hawaii and the snowcapped mountains of Alberta, Canada, Johnson said in the post. 

The currently untitled Jumanji sequel is slated to premiere Dec. 13.

It follows the success of first sequel, 2017’s ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,’ which grossed more than $62 million worldwide, according to IMDb, and was well-received from both critics and audiences alike.”

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Cheech and Chong help The Puyallup Tribe Open Cannabis Store

“The Puyallup Tribe is hosting the grand slam of 4/20 celebrations by opening it’s second legal cannabis store in the Tacoma area, Commencement Bay Cannabis while hosting the iconic marijuana users, Richard ‘Cheech’ Marin and Tommy Chong.” V. Schilling, ICT

Cheech and Chong

“Cheech and Chong, known for such movies as ‘Up in Smoke,’ ‘Nice Dreams’ and more, have long been known for their movies involving the comedy surrounding heavy marijuana use. In addition to their use in movies in the 70s and 80s, they now advocate for the use of marijuana in medicinal ways as well as recreational use.

Cheech and Chong get everyone rolling at Commencement Bay Cannabis | Tacoma Weekly

Commencement Bay Cannabis is the second cannabis retail location that is part of Puyallup Tribal Cannabis Enterprises, an organization that is utilizing the growing popularity of the cannabis industry to create jobs and careers, education and training to tribal members and work to contribute to the tribal economies in the region.

‘Having Cheech and Chong here takes what would have been a great event to a new level,’ said Puyallup Tribal Council Chairman Bill Sterud in an emailed statement to Indian Country Today. ‘This store is an important part of the Tribe’s economic development, and it’s wonderful to see our long-term plans coming together.’

Cheech and Chong at new store. | Weekly Weedly

The store has an impressive inventory as well as other offerings to benefit the public in terms of recreational and the medicinal use of marijuana. The store sells marijuana flowers, buds, oils, topicals, and edibles. It also has a self-serve kiosk as well as medically-certified consultants in selecting cannabis in terms of its medicinal benefits.”

Category: Business, Culture

Don’t Miss 2019 Gathering of Nations Pow Wow!

“Announcing the 2019 Gathering of Nations Pow Wow Entertainer Lineup! Performance area’s include the GON Pow Wow Arena, Roving (through the Pow Wow Grounds) and at Stage49 – A global stage for Native American & Indigenous contemporary and traditional entertainers. April 26 & 27, 2019″ GON

“The Gathering of Nations (GON) Pow Wow is Friday & Saturday, April 26 & 27, 2019. It will be held on the Pow Wow Grounds at Tingley Coliseum/Expo NM. Competition Native American Singing and Dancing, featuring over 3,000 participants from various tribes across North America. GON includes Stage 49 (Contemporary Music/Performance stage), Indian Traders’ Market (over 400 Arts & Crafts vendors), Native Food Court and more. It’s an all ages, rain-or-shine event. The public is invited.”

Additional Information Here

Category: Culture

Museum of Natural History Corrects Flawed Painting…Finally

“On the first floor of the American Museum of Natural History, a diorama depicts an imagined 17th-century meeting between Dutch settlers and the Lenape, an Indigenous tribe inhabiting New Amsterdam, now New York City. It was intended to show a diplomatic negotiation between the two groups, but the portrayal tells a different story.” A. Fota, The New York Times

This diorama at the American Museum of Natural History was amended in a way that allows museum goers to see the historical inaccuracies it perpetuates. Credit- A. Mohin, NYT

Excerpt: What’s Wrong With This Diorama? You Can Read All About It, Ana Fota, The New York Times

“The scene takes place in what is now known as the Battery, with ships on the horizon. The tribesmen wear loincloths, and their heads are adorned with feathers. A few Lenape women can be seen in the background, undressed to the waist, in skirts that brush the ground.

They keep their heads down, dutiful. In front of a windmill are two fully clothed Dutchmen, one of them resting a rifle on his shoulder. The other, Peter Stuyvesant, colonial governor of New Netherland, is graciously extending his hand, waiting to receive offerings brought by the Lenape.

Critics have said the diorama depicts cultural hierarchy, not a cultural exchange. Museum officials said they had been aware of these implications for a while, and now they have addressed them.

The narrative, created in 1939, is filled with historical inaccuracies and clichés of Native representation, said Bradley Pecore, a visual historian of Menominee and Stockbridge Munsee descent. ‘These stereotypes are problematic, and they’re still very powerful. They shape the American public’s understanding of Indigenous people.’

About a year ago, the museum asked Mr. Pecore to help solve the diorama problem…The solution offers a lesson in the changing nature of history itself. And it’s written on the glass. While the scene remains intact, 10 large labels now adorn the glass, summarizing various issues. They were carefully chosen after a research process that took most of 2018.

The largest one, visible from a distance, invites visitors to reconsider this scene.’

The labels say, for instance, that if the scene had been historically accurate, the Lenape would have been dressed for the occasion in fur robes and adornments that signified leadership positions.

The women did not wear impractical skirts that dragged behind them. Further, some are likely to have been part of the negotiations, as women in Lenape societies (past and present) typically hold leadership roles.

While only Stuyvesant was originally identified, the new labels also take note of Oratamin, a respected leader of the Hackensack, a Munsee branch of the Lenape. The list goes on, but it is not complete; there’s only so much room on the glass.”

~Our Thoughts and Prayers Go Out To The Muslim Community and To The People of New Zealand~ Talking Feather