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

Tribes Need Fed Recognition to Protect Their Land

“Can Native American Tribes Protect Their Land If They’re Not Recognized by the Federal Government?” D.  Utacia Krol, The Revelator


Excerpt: Tribes without recognition struggle to protect their heritage, By Debra Utacia Krol, The Revelator

“State laws and policies in California have made some progress possible, but many tribes still lack legal recognition and struggle to maintain their cultural heritage and the environment. Louise Miranda Ramirez has fought to protect her ancestral lands and cultural sites for most of her 60-plus-year lifetime.

‘It’s so hard to save our lands and ancestors when we’re living in areas with people who make lots of money and don’t care about us,’ says Ramirez, the tribal chairwoman of the Ohlone/Costanoan Esselen Nation, known as OCEN. Ramirez and her fellow leaders have a rough task on their hands: Their traditional lands encompass Carmel, Pebble Beach, Big Sur,  Asilomar and other highly coveted — and uber-expensive — communities along the Central California coast and Coast Ranges. Preserving burial sites, protecting traditional gathering areas from development and preventing villages from being bulldozed was at one time virtually impossible, as the tribe lacks federal recognition.

Native Stewards of the Amah Mutsun tribe tend hummingbird sage

Nearby, the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band is addressing similar issues. ‘Creator gave us the responsibility to care for Mother Earth and all living things’  says Chairman Valentin Lopez. The Amah Mutsun’s lands lie within the contemporary northern Salinas Valley, portions of San Benito County and Pinnacles National Park. ‘We knew that we had to find a way to exert stewardship over those lands to restore our relationship with the land.’  Like Ramirez’s tribe, Amah Mutsun is also not federally recognized.

California has the largest number of non-federally recognized tribes in the United States…In 1851-52, shortly after the state entered the Union, the country negotiated 18 treaties with California tribes guaranteeing lands and other rights. But the Senate refused to ratify the treaties, leaving most California Indians without land or legal protections. Only Natives who ended up on small settlements called rancherias eventually received federal recognition, which didn’t all last.

Then, in the 1950s, Congress terminated 109 tribes across the country, including 41 California tribes. Some of those tribes have never been restored. Today 55 tribes in California lack federal recognition, more than 20 percent of non-recognized tribes nationwide, according to the Government Accountability Office.

The Winnemem Wintu learned that descendants of their salmon are thriving in a New Zealand river. The tribe has been fighting to return them home.

One of the best-known examples of how non-recognized tribes’ rights get overrun concerns the Winnemem Wintu Tribe. The 125-member tribe in Northern California has called the McCloud River home for millennia, but saw its lands taken by the federal government in the 1940s when Shasta Dam was constructed. Many of the tribe’s village, burial and cultural sites soon disappeared under the reservoir’s rising waters — and the salmon runs, upon which much of Winnemem’s culture and food supply is centered, are gone.

So where does this leave tribes like OCEN, Amah Mutsun and Winnemem? Ironically enough, the tribes have turned to the state of California, which in recent years is finally making up for its history and recognizing the environmental and cultural advantages of working with all the Indigenous peoples within its borders.

In fact, the situation is better for tribes in California than on the federal level, says Angela Mooney D’Arcy. She’s the executive director of the Sacred Places Institute for Indigenous Peoples, an organization that advocates for Native peoples and helps them to build their own advocacy structures… One of D’Arcy’s goals is to showcase how Indigenous peoples can similarly use state laws and policies to reclaim lands. Amah Mutsun and other California tribes have created land trusts — nonprofits that work with landowners and agencies to preserve important cultural and ecological sites… Non-recognized tribes are still navigating choppy waters, though. D’Arcy points out that California cities and counties are the next level of government that needs education on inherent sovereignty, and federal and state policies can come into conflict when non-recognized tribes exert their rights.”

Category: Culture

The Red Dress: Symbol to Bring Awareness to Missing Indigenous Women

“This dress is fashioned after the traditional buckskin dresses of the Northern Plains, but made with velvet in powerful electric red. For our necklace, we referenced the Turtle Mountains, the medicine wheel, the cycles of life, and the wild prairie rose. The dress and necklace is the second set that we have designed to bring awareness to the thousands of missing and murdered Indigenous women from throughout the US and Canada.” J.  R. Metcalfe and T. Jerome, Beyond Buckskin

The Red Dress, II (2019)


Excerpt:  The Red Dress II (2019) J.  R. Metcalfe and T. Jerome, Beyond Buckskin

“Edged in a rich matte gold, each bead holds a prayer that these precious souls will be found and justice served. I am grateful for the opportunity to create, always; it is immensely therapeutic for me to go through the process, especially when I think of and pray for the thousands of women who had their power to create unjustly stripped from them.

*The dress will be on display at the Plains Art Museum in Fargo, ND, as part of their exhibit Waasamoo-Beshizi (Power-Lines), which will be on view Jan 31-July 31.

(The first Red Dress was purchased by the Turtle Mountain Community College to be included in their permanent collection.)

Category: Culture

Beautiful Native Fashion Designs Still Remain in Display Cases

“In the world of fashion, elements of indigenous culture are reduced to the latest misappropriated trend called ‘tribal’. N. D. Henry, ICT

Acoma designer Loren Aragon’s Disney princess-inspired gown based on an Acoma olla pot. (Photo- National Museum of the American Indian)

Excerpt: … successful designers remain trapped in display cases, By Niya D. Henry, ICT

“Growing up on the Navajo reservation, television was my only resource to the outside, American world… Today, if you walk into any tribally-owned casino, in the midst of all that beautiful, modern architecture, there is always a section dedicated to cultural artifacts from the past. Similarly, if you are traveling in the Southwest, and you stop by a jewelry shop or dine-in at a local restaurant, you will see a mish-mash of indigenous culture on full display like some curated collection.  Attend any Coachella or Burning Man festival, and you will see this trend run amok via makeshift headdresses, leather fringes, and faux-feathered accessories –

Fortunately, a group of emerging indigenous designers is changing the way indigenous culture is represented on the runways of fashion week. Still, a bulk of their work is reserved for the vacant display case in some newly commissioned project.

In 2017, notable designers such as Project Runway alum Patricia Michaels (Taos), Bethany Yellowtail (Crow & Northern Cheyenne), Jared Yazzie (Diné), Jamie Okuma (Luiseño/Shoshone-Bannock) and Orlando Dugi (Diné), were part of a travelling exhibition called Native Fashion Now, which took up residence in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian – New York.  The exhibition featured contemporary works by indigenous designers ‘making their mark in today’s world of fashion.’ As groundbreaking as the exhibit was, it still encapsulated Native Fashion as relics.

Designer Loren Aragon

Fashion designer Loren Aragon created a couture dress for the Walt Disney Company using this traditional Acoma Pueblo pottery as inspiration.

This past summer, and fresh off his 2018 Designer of the Year win at Phoenix Fashion Week, Acoma designer Loren Aragon of the couture fashion brand ACONAV, was handpicked by the imagineers of Walt Disney World to design a Disney princess-inspired gown based off an Acoma olla pot pulled from the Smithsonian. The finished product was nothing short of breathtaking.

Acoma designer Loren Aragon’s Disney princess-inspired gown based on an Acoma olla pot from the Smithsonian. (Photo- ACONAV)

‘This project made me realize that there is support behind what I’ve been trying to push for, as far as representing Native Art, Native Fashion, and Native Culture by Native People. It gave me the confidence to speak to the ideas of us Natives being able to represent ourselves outside of our communities and outside of the usual Native-themed museums, galleries, casinos, et cetera,’  said Aragon. Still, Aragon had some reservations about the inadvertent limitations of museum-based projects. I strongly agree that we can’t let this be our limiting factor. The more people see our work in the modern world, the more visible and existent we are to the world.”

Category: Culture, Fashion