143rd Anniversary of the Sand Creek Massacre of Nov. 29th, 1864

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Chief Black Kettle:

I want you to give all these chiefs of the soldiers here to understand that we are for peace, and that we have made peace, that we may not be mistaken by them for enemies.


A Cheyenne cemetery is in the same direction as where my mother told me she watched gypsies camp through her west window as a girl, about ½ mile from that house. I have reverently walked though that Cheyenne cemetery as early as ten, looking at the headstones and wondering who they were and where they came from. I did not know then, that in that cemetery were descendants from the Sand Creek Massacre.  

The Approaching Genocide Towards Sand Creek

Simultaneously, Roman Nose led the Dog Soldiers in battle while Black Kettle strove for peace. Chief Black Kettle was promised complete safety by Colonel Greenwood as long as he rose the U.S flag above him.(1) Black Kettle persisted in his calls for peace in spite of the continuing exterminations and the shooting of Lean Bear.

(All bold mine)



Source

Lean Bear, a leading peacemaker who had previously met with President Abraham Lincoln in Washington, D.C., was shot from his horse without warning by U.S. troops during a Kansas buffalo hunt.
The troops were acting under orders from Colonel John M. Chivington who commanded the military district of Colorado: “Find Indians wherever you can and kill them” (The War of the Rebellion, 1880-1881, pp. 403-404).

Perplexed by the continuing genocide, Black Kettle sent for Little White Man, known as William Bent.Almost prophetic, both agreed in their meeting that a war was about to be born if nothing changed. Black Kettle’s peaceful attempts tragically failed, even though he took his people to Sand Creek, fully expecting peace.His last effort for peace was raising the U.S. flag just prior to the massacre.

Source

“…Though no treaties were signed, the Indians believed that by reporting and camping near army posts, they would be declaring peace and accepting sanctuary.

However on the day of the “peace talks” Chivington received a telegram from General Samuel Curtis (his superior officer) informing him that “I want no peace till the Indians suffer more…No peace must be made without my directions.”

Unaware of Curtis’s telegram, Black Kettle and some 550 Cheyennes and Arapahos, having made their peace, traveled south to set up camp on Sand Creek under the promised protection of Fort Lyon. Those who remained opposed to the agreement headed North to join the Sioux.

The Sand Creek Massacre of November 29, 1864

Black Kettle and his people had every reason to expect complete safety from their bloodshed after agreements for peace were made and the Dog Soldiers left to join the Sioux. Nonetheless, Chivington’s troops advanced on the Cheyenne and Arapaho near dawn. The sound of those approaching hooves must have sounded ominous.

U.S. soldiers inevitably chased the defenseless Cheyenne and Arapaho by horse and foot with knives and guns in hand. Their victims had to be positioned before ripping off their scalps, cutting off their ears, smashing out their brains, butchering their children, tearing their breastfeeding infants away from their mother’s breasts, and then murdering those infants. The “Bloody Third” soldiers necessarily had to kill the infants before cutting out their mother’s genitals

The one question I never saw asked in the congressional hearings was, “Didn’t you disgraceful soldiers realize they were family?”


Kurt Kaltreider, PH.D. “American Indian Prophecies.” pp. 58-59:

-The report of witnesses at Sand Creek:

“I saw some Indians that had been scalped, and the ears cut off the body of White Antelope,” said Captain L. Wilson of the first Colorado Cavalry. “One Indian who had been scalped had also his skull smashed in, and I heard that the privates of White Antelope had been cut off to make a tobacco bag of. I heard some of the men say that the privates of one of the squaws had been cut out and put on a stick…”

John S. Smith…

All manner of depredations were inflicted on their persons; they were scalped, their brains knocked out; the men used their knives, ripped open women, clubbed little children, knocked them in the heads with their guns, beat their brains out, mutilated their bodies in every sense of the word…worse mutilation that I ever saw before, the women all cut to pieces…children two or three months old; all ages lying there.

From sucking infants up to warriors.

Sand Creek being a deliberate massacre is not contested, especially since the “Bloody Third” set the village in flames and took all the evidence back to Washington to hide it.


Source

Letters written by those at Sand Creek From Lt. Silas Soule to Maj. Edward Wynkoop, Dec. 14, 1864:

“The massacre lasted six or eight hours…I tell you Ned it was hard to see little children on their knees have their brains beat out by men professing to be civilized….They were all scalped, and as high as a half a dozen [scalps] taken from one head. They were all horribly mutilated…You could think it impossible for white men to butcher and mutilate human beings as they did there, but every word I have told you is the truth, which they do not deny…I expect we will have a hell of a time with Indians this winter.”



Source

Before departing, the command, now the “Bloody Third”, ransacked and burned the village.
The surviving Indians, some 300 people, fled north towards other Cheyenne camps.

Medicine Calf Beckwourth sought Black Kettle to ask him if peace was yet possible, but Black Kettle had moved out to be with relatives. Leg-in-the-Water replaced him as the primary chief; so, Beckwourth asked Leg-in-the-Water if there could be peace. Principle chief Leg-in-the-Water responded with these powerful words.


Dee Brown. “Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee.” p. 94:

“The white man has taken our country, killed all of our children. Now no peace. We want to go meet our families in the spirit land. We loved the whites until we found out they lied to us, and robbed us of what we had. We have raised the battle ax until death.”(1)



Source

…despite broken promises and attacks on his own life, speak of him as a great leader with an almost unique vision of the possibility for coexistence between white society and the culture of the plains…


 

The 139th Anniversary of the Washita Massacre of Nov. 27, 1868

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The intent to commit genocide at Washita is hidden in plain view, unless key elements are brought together. These are: that the Cheyenne were placed on land where they would starve while promises to avert starvation were broken; that George Bent observed how Civil War soldiers did not harm white women and children by a “code of honor,” while Indian women and children were slaughtered; that Sheridan declared “The only good Indians I ever saw were dead;” and that the War Department did not differentiate between peaceful and warring Indians. Hence, the orders “to kill or hang all warriors.” As the consequence, the intent was to kill all men
of a specific race.

We’ll begin with Custer prior to the Washita Massacre along with the fact that the Cheyenne were forced onto land wherein they would starve.

Part 1: The Intent to Commit Genocide

Custer’s tactical errors of rushing ahead of the established military plans and dividing his troops are well known.

Source

On the verge of what seemed to him a certain and glorious victory for both the United States and himself, Custer ordered an immediate attack on the Indian village.

Contemptuous of Indian military prowess, he split his forces into three parts to ensure that fewer Indians would escape. The attack was one the greatest fiascos of the United States Army, as thousands of Lakota, Cheyenne and Arapaho warriors forced Custer’s unit back onto a long, dusty ridge parallel to the Little Bighorn, surrounded them, and killed all 210 of them.

Yet, what enabled him to get back “on the course” after his court martial in 1867 and his being relieved by President Ulysses S. Grant temporarily in 1876?

The answers to that question are deception, wisely having prevented Washita from being labeled a massacre by halting the slaying of women and children at Washita; thus, sidestepping a full investigation as Sand Creek was (my speculation), and more lies.

Forcing and binding those Native Nations onto land where they could not survive by hunting or agriculture, breaking promises to provide those survival means, and propaganda revolving around the Kansas Raids reset Custer “on the course.” Moxtaveto (Black Kettle) was innocent.

What about the Dog Soldiers, weren’t they somehow to blame? An old Indian joke goes, “When the whites win, it’s a victory; when the Indians win, it’s a massacre.” Let’s look at what occurred amongst the Chiefs after the Sand Creek Massacre and prior to the Kansas Raids to find some answers, in between the “victories” and the “massacres.”

(Bold mine)



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And so, when the Chiefs gathered to decide what the people should do, Black Kettle took his usual place among them. Everyone agreed Sand Creek must be avenged. But there were questions. Why had the soldiers attacked with such viciousness? Why had they killed and mutilated women and children?
It seemed that the conflict with the whites had somehow changed. No longer was it just a war over land and buffalo. Now, the soldiers were destroying everything Cheyenne – the land, the buffalo, and the people themselves.

Why? George thought he knew. He had lived among the whites and had fought in their war. He knew their greed for land and possessions – Their appetite for these things was boundless. But they also obeyed rules of warfare peculiar to them. They waged war on men, and only on recognized fields of battle. In the great life-and-death struggle between North and South even then raging in the East, prisoners were routinely paroled and released or held in guarded camps, where they were fed and cared for. And the whites never warred on women and children who were protected by law and by an unshakable code of honor –

Still Black Kettle counseled peace. A war with the whites, he said, could not be won. The newcomers were too numerous, their weapons too strong. Besides, they had the ability to fight in winter when Cheyenne horses were weak and food was scarce… For Black Kettle, Cheyenne survival depended on peace. War could only bring more Sand Creeks, more deaths, more sorrow – One by one the council Chiefs smoked the red stone war pipe, each recognizing the importance of his decision. When the pipe reached Black Kettle, he passed it on, refusing to smoke. But the others took it up, indicating they would fight.


Hence, the Kansas “Raids” were the only means left available to keep what was promised to them: the ability to survive. The land “given” to them was neither harvestable nor huntable. Those “raids” were the last resort of self defense for survival.

The Last Indian Raid in Kansas


Source

Black Kettle miraculously escaped harm at the Sand Creek Massacre, even when he returned to rescue his seriously injured wife. And perhaps more miraculously, he continued to counsel peace when the Cheyenne attempted to strike back with isolated raids on wagon trains and nearby ranches.
By October 1865, he and other Indian leaders had arranged an uneasy truce on the plains, signing a new treaty that exchanged the Sand Creek reservation for reservations in southwestern Kansas but deprived the Cheyenne of access to most of their coveted Kansas hunting grounds.

Furthermore, General Sheridan never had any intention of peaceful relations with Black Kettle whatsoever.

(Bold mine)



Dee Brown. “Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee.” P. 169.

In his official report over the “savage butchers” and “savage bands of cruel marauders,” General Sheridan rejoiced that he had “wiped out Black Kettle, a worn – out and worthless old cipher.”

He then stated that he had promised Black Kettle sanctuary if he would come into a fort before military operations began. “He refused,” Sheridan lied, “and was killed in the fight.”


In fact, it is owed to General Sheridan himself the “American aphorism,” “The only good Indian is a dead Indian.” It started as “The only good Indians I ever saw were dead.”

Whether or not Black Kettle strove for peace or the Dog Soldiers fought, they were all as “good as dead.”  The extermination policy set Custer “on the course” to Washita.

(Bold mine)



Source

Given the War Department’s mandate that all Cheyennes were guilty for the sins of the few in regard to the Kansas raids, there is no question that Custer succeeded in this pur­pose by attacking Black Kettle’s village. His instructions from his supe­riors had been “to destroy their villages and ponies; to kill or hang all warriors, and bring back all women and children.”


Part 2: The Approaching Genocide at Washita

Custer was pursuing the snow tracks of Dog Soldiers that would eventually lead to Black Kettle’s village on Thanksgiving Day in a cruel irony. The cruelest irony however, was that Black Kettle and his wife would be slain nearly four years to the day that they both escaped Chivington at the Sand Creek Massacre. Black Kettle’s honesty concerning young men in his village he could not control was of no avail. He and his village were going to be “punished” and broken beyond any immediate or distant recovery.

John Corbin, the messenger from Major Elliot, rode up and informed Custer of two large Indian snow tracks. One was recent. Preparations were then made to pursue the “savages” as covertly as possible. Smoking ceased and weapons were bound to prevent visual or aural detection. In addition, the 7th whispered and paused frequently as they rode slowly towards the future tracks that would lead to Black Kettle’s village. Simultaneously, Black Kettle received dire warnings that he and the others ignored. A Kiowa war party gave the first warning of having seen soldier’s tracks that were heading their direction. It was discounted. Black Kettle’s wife, Medicine Woman, gave another warning that night before the 7th’s arrival of an intuitive nature during the meeting in the Peace Chief’s lodge by firelight. She begged them to move immediately. It too was dismissed. They would move the next day, instead.

Black Kettle had already moved their camp recently, which the returning war party that had helped in the Kansas Raids learned upon their returning. November 25th found this war party dividing into two different directions in order to reach their destinations the quickest. Approximately 139 of them traveled to the big village on the river, while about 11 of them led Custer straight to Black Kettle. A bell around one dog’s neck enabled all the dogs to be located easily by the tribe, and after a Cheyenne baby cried, Custer pinpointed their exact location. He coordinated the attack to begin at dawn from four fronts.

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Thompson’s troops would attack to the North East, Myer’s and Custer’s troops positioned to attack to the East and South East, while Elliot would attack to the South.

Custer knew their mobility was greatly hampered in winter time; consequently, that was an important element in the “campaign.”

Part 3: The Genocide At Washita

The sensory components of the genocide at Washita in now Cheyenne, Oklahoma must be held in mind in order to capture the entire breadth of it. These are sound, smell, and sight. For example, the shrill crying of the noncombatant Cheyenne women and children, and the yelling of the charging 7th Calvary with their knives and guns would have been beyond deafening. And the fog with gunpowder smoke must have been worse than any nightmare, while the red blood – stained snow and the smell of death permeated the ground and air.


The Death & Vision of Moxtaveto ( Black Kettle)

A woman dashed into the village to warn Black Kettle of the coming troopers; he hastily snatched his rifle from his lodge and fired a warning shot for all to awaken and flee. If he had attempted to meet the soldiers and ask for peaceful negotiations, that would have been useless; as a result, he then mounted his horse with his wife, Woman Here After, and tried to escape through the North direction. His horse was shot in the leg before bullets knocked him and his wife off the horse and into the Washita River, where they both died together.


Source

“Both the chief and his wife fell at the river bank riddled with bullets,” one witness reported, “the soldiers rode right over Black Kettle and his wife and their horse as they lay dead on the ground, and their bodies were all splashed with mud by the charging soldiers.” Custer later reported that an Osage guide took Black Kettle’s scalp.


Stan Hiog. “The Peace Chiefs Of The Cheyenne.” p. 174

Moving Behind, a Cheyenne Woman, later stated: “There was a sharp curve in the river where an old road – crossing used to be. Indian men used to go there to water their ponies. Here we saw the bodies of Black Kettle and his wife, lying under the water. The horse they had ridden lay dead beside them. We observed that they had tried to escape across the river when they were shot.”

Location of  Black Kettle’s death


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Warriors, eleven who died, rushed out of their lodges with inferior firepower to defend the village. Simultaneously, the overall noncombatants ran for their lives into the freezing Washita River.



(Taken with permission)

The words of Ben Clark, Custer’s chief of scouts, brought the truth out after Custer distributed propaganda about one white woman and two white boys as having been hostages in Black Kettle’s village. There were no “hostages, a Cheyenne woman committed suicide. Speculating, here is why.

She didn’t want her son mutilated by Custer or a 7th Calvary soldier; she didn’t want her vagina ripped out and put on a stick, worn, or made into a tobacco pouch. So, she killed her son and herself first.


Jerome A. Greene. Washita. Chap.7. pp. 130-131

There, as the people fell at the hands of the troopers, one woman, in a helpless rage, stood up with her baby, held it out in an outstretched arm, and with the other drew a knife and fatally stabbed the infant – erroneously believed by the soldiers to be a white child. She then plunged the blade into her own chest in suicide.

(Location of the genocide at Washita, a few yards from Black Kettle’s death)

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The 7th hunted them down and murdered them. Although the orders were to “hang all warriors;” it was much more convenient to shoot them. All wounded Cheyenne were shot where they laid.

Osage scouts mutilated women and children. They did a “roundup” of their own by using tree limbs to herd the defenseless Cheyenne women and children back to the village, where the mutilations could continue. Custer halted the slaying of women and children at one point, but he raped them later in captivity.

One Osage scout beheaded a Cheyenne.


Jerome A. Greene. Washita. Chap.7. pp120

They (Osages) “shot down the women and mutilated their bodies, cutting off their arms, legs and breasts with knives.”

The 7th captured the Cheyenne and started bonfires. They burned the 51 lodges to the ground. Winter clothing that was depended upon for winter survival was incinerated in the flames, as was food supplies. Weapons and all lodge contents were burned also, including any sacred items.

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Finally, 875 horses were shot, thus stripping away their last means of survival and independence.

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Dee Brown. “Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee.” P.170

Late in December the survivors of Black Kettle’s band began arriving at Fort Cobb –

Little Robe was now the nominal leader of the tribe, and was taken to see Sheridan he told the bearlike soldier chief that his people were starving – they had eaten all their dogs.

Sheridan replied that the Cheyennes would be fed if they all came into Fort Cobb and surrendered unconditionally. “You cannot make peace now and commence killing whites again in the spring.” Sheridan added, “If you are not willing to make a complete peace, you can go back and we will fight this thing out.”

Little Robe knew there was but one answer he could give.

“It is for you to say what we have to do,” he said.



American Holocaust

(It is worth noting also that the Fuhrer from time to time expressed admiration for the “efficiency” of the American genocide campaign against the Indians, viewing it as a forerunner for his own plans and programs.)

The Cheyenne women were “transported” by an officer named Romero to the other officers once they were prisoners at Fort Cobb.

Rape.

Custer “enjoyed one” every evening in the privacy of his tent. Presumably, he stopped raping the Cheyenne women when his wife arrived.


Source

Custer’s wife, Elizabeth (Bacon), whom he married in 1864, lived to the age of ninety-one. The couple had no children. She was devoted to his memory, wrote three books about him, and when she died in 1933 was buried beside him at West Point. Her Tenting on the Plains (1887) presents a charming picture of their stay in Texas. Custer’s headquarters building in Austin, the Blind Asylum, located on the “Little Campus” of the University of Texas, has been restored.


Jerome A. Greene. “Washita.” Chap. 8, p.169.

Ben Clack told Walter M. Camp: many of the squaws captured at Washita were used by the officers…Romero was put in charge of them and on the march Romero would send squaws around to the officers’ tents every night. [Clark] says Custer picked out a fine looking one and had her in his tent every night.”

This statement is more or less confirmed by Frederick Benteen, who in 1896 asserted that Custer selected Monahseetah/Meotzi from among the women prisoners and cohabited with her “during the winter and spring of 1868 and ’69” until his wife arrived in the summer of 1869. Although Benteen’s assertions regarding Custer are not always to be trusted, his statements nonetheless conform entirely to those of the reliable Ben Clark and thus cannot be ignored.”

Further information regarding accurate numbers of deaths, captives and list of names are in Jerome A. Greene’s wonderful book, “Washita.”

Source

We have been traveling through a cloud. The sky has been dark ever since the war began.

Black Kettle

Native Voices: Black Kettle


I did imagine hearing crying voices when I went to the site of the Washita Massacre a couple months ago, and before writing

Moxtaveto’s (Black Kettle’s) Extermination on November 27, 1868 & a Request. The elders say it’s haunted, like they said they could hear children cry at the Sand Creek Massacre.

To end this, I will quote former Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell from the dedication of the Sand Creek Massacre, “If there were any savages that day, it was not the Indian people.”

Thanksgiving

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“In a little more than one hour, five or six hundred of these barbarians

were dismissed from a world that was burdened with them.”


“It may be demanded…Should not Christians have more mercy and

compassion? But…sometimes the Scripture declareth women and children must perish with their parents…. We had sufficient light from the word of God for our proceedings.”


-Puritan divine Cotton Mather, Magnalia Christi Americana



Frank James, a Wampanoag tribal member, would have given a speech in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1970; however, the ones in charge of the Thanksgiving ceremony at Plymouth Rock denied Frank James from ever uttering it. I learned about this in The Thanksgiving Day Massacre…Or, would you like Turkey with your genocide?


The timeline itself along with basic knowledge of the Pilgrim’s religious beliefs exposes the fact that historically speaking, Thanksgiving was literally about gratitude for genocide. Furthermore, the low population counts of the Pequot in more recent years points to how the devastating effects of the English’s, or Separatists’, or Pilgrims’, or Puritans’ crime of genocide almost destroyed the Pequot population. The English, who no doubt formed an American Colony in New England, claimed the land as theirs by the Doctrine of Discovery, which is still in effect today as federal law. To be accurate, the word genocide was not created until 1944 by Raphael Lemkin;nonetheless, the word genocide is appropriate when discussing the near extermination of the Pequot. To be clear, the Doctrine of Discovery legally applied to the Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in New England, but not to the Pilgrims in New Plymouth. What was the difference?


No Doctrine of Discovery –


Puritans, Indians, and Manifest Destiny. p. 47.


Thus it became necessary for the Pilgrims to enter into a mutual assistance pact with the Wampanoags. To the pilgrims, this became their “deed of cession,” authorizing them to seize unspecified acreage.


– or, Doctrine of Discovery,



Source


The Doctrine of Discovery provided that by law and divine intention European Christian countries gained power and legal rights over indigenous non-Christian peoples immediately upon their “discovery” by Europeans. Various European monarchs and their legal systems developed this principle to benefit their own countries. The Discovery Doctrine was then adopted into American colonial and state law and into the United States Constitution, and was then adopted by the federal legislative and executive branches, and finally by the U.S. Supreme Court in Johnson v. M’Intosh in 1823. Johnson is still federal law today and the Doctrine of Discovery is still being applied to Indian individuals and the American Indian Nations notwithstanding its Eurocentric, religious, and racial underpinnings.


It was all the same in both of their usages. There was no difference.


Patent Granted by King Henry VII to John Cabot and his Sons


…to find, discover and investigate whatsoever islands, countries, regions or provinces of heathens and infidels, in whatsoever part of the world placed, which before this time were unknown to all Christians…
And that the before-mentioned John and his sons or their heirs and deputies may conquer, occupy and possess whatsoever such towns, castles, cities and islands by them thus discovered that they may be able to conquer, occupy and possess, as our vassals and governors lieutenants and deputies therein, acquiring for us the dominion, title and jurisdiction of the same towns, castles, cities, islands and mainlands so discovered;…


However, Roger Williams tried to “make a difference;” in good conscience he stated:


Puritans, Indians, and Manifest Destiny. p. 48.


“We have not our land by patent from the King, but that the natives are the true owners of it, and that we ought to repent of such receiving it by patent…” For his radical ideas Williams was expelled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1635.”


Now that all that is stated, let us go to the  specifics of the timeline.


First, the Pilgrims landed in Wampanoag controlled land in 1620.


Norton, Katzman, Escott, Chudacoff, Paterson, Tuttle. “A People & A Nation.” Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company. p. 52-53.

The Pokanokets (also called Wampanoags) controlled the area in which the Pilgrims settled, yet their villages had suffered terrible losses in the epidemic of 1616 – 1618. To protect themselves from the powerful Narragansetts of the southern New England coast (who had been spared the ravages of the disease), the Pokanokets decided to ally themselves with the newcomers. In the spring of 1621, their leader, Massasoit,  signed a treaty with the Pilgrims, and during the colony’s first difficult years the Pokanokets supplied the English with essential foodstuffs.

  Yet, where were they beforehand and why did they set sail?


Norton, Katzman, Escott, Chudacoff, Paterson, Tuttle. “A People & A Nation.” Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company. p. 52-53.

Separatists were the first to move to New England. In 1609 a group of Separatists migrated to Holland, where they found the freedom of worship denied them in Stuart England. But they were nevertheless troubled by the Netherlands’ too – tolerant atmosphere; the nation that tolerated them also tolerated religions and behaviors they abhorred. Hoping to isolate themselves and their children from the corrupting influence of worldly temptations, these people, who were to become known as Pilgrims, received permission from a branch of the Virginia Company to colonize the northern part of its territory.


Next, there was just one feast in 1621, not a succession of feasts. Why? There was probably only one feast, because “it became necessary for the Pilgrims to enter into a mutual assistance pact with the Wampanoags,” and these.


Puritans, Indians, and Manifest Destiny. p. 49.


The fact is that to the Puritan, the Native American was the instrument of Satan. For Cotton Mather the Indians were “doleful creatures who were the veriest ruins of Mankind, who were to be everywhere on the face of the earth”; and even Roger Williams, the great friend of the Indians, said they were devil – worshippers.


Top 10 Myths About Thanksgiving By Rick Shenkman


…the Pilgrims never would have invited the Indians to join them. Besides, the Pilgrims would never have tolerated festivities at a true religious event. Indeed, what we think of as Thanksgiving was really a harvest festival. Actual “Thanksgivings” were religious affairs; everybody spent the day praying. Incidentally, these Pilgrim Thanksgivings occurred at different times of the year, not just in November.


Consequently, the European invasion brought a whole new level of violence to the native tribes,


Puritans, Indians, and Manifest Destiny. p.75 – 76


…But tribal rivalries and wars were relatively infrequent prior to Puritan settlement (compared to the number of wars in Europe)…Neither would have increased if it were not that a colonizing European nation was asserting political jurisdiction, in the name of God, over indigenous New England societies…When thus threatened with the usurpation of their own rights, as native tribes had been threatened years before by them, Puritans came to the defense of a system of government that was similar, in important ways, to the native governments that they had always defined as savage and uncivilized… 


and out of that heightened violence came the massacre for which Thanksgiving is named.


Thanksgiving Day Celebrates A Massacre


William B. Newell, a Penobscot Indian and former chairman of the Anthropology department at the University of Connecticut, says that the first official Thanksgiving Day celebrated the massacre of 700 Indian men, women and children during one of their religious ceremonies. “Thanksgiving Day” was first proclaimed by the Governor of the then Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1637 to commemorate the massacre of 700 men, women and children who were celebrating their annual Green Corn Dance…Thanksgiving Day to the, “in their own house”, Newell stated.


– small snip –


—–The very next day the governor declared a Thanksgiving Day…..For the next 100 years, every Thanksgiving Day ordained by a Governor was in honor of the bloody victory, thanking God that the battle had been won.”


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Historically revised events of and after 1621: that the feast was of friendly intent and not a political ploy since “it became necessary for the Pilgrims to enter into a mutual assistance pact with the Wampanoags;” that there were successive feasts which involved the Indians; and that ignore the Pequot Massacre, “For the next 100 years, every Thanksgiving Day ordained by a Governor was in honor of the bloody victory, thanking God that the battle had been won..” all hide the truth. Adding to every one of those assertions is Frank James’ suppressed speech that he would have spoken publicly if he had been allowed to do so in 1970.


THE SUPPRESSED SPEECH OF WAMSUTTA (FRANK B.) JAMES, WAMPANOAG To have been delivered at Plymouth, Massachusetts, 1970


…Even before the Pilgrims landed it was common practice for explorers to capture Indians, take them to Europe and sell them as slaves for 220 shillings apiece. The Pilgrims had hardly explored the shores of Cape Cod for four days before they had robbed the graves of my ancestors and stolen their corn and beans.

Mourt’s Relation describes a searching party of sixteen men. Mourt goes on to say that this party took as much of the Indians’ winter provisions as they were able to carry.


Massasoit, the great Sachem of the Wampanoag, knew these facts, yet he and his People welcomed and befriended the settlers of the Plymouth Plantation. Perhaps he did this because his Tribe had been depleted by an epidemic. Or his knowledge of the harsh oncoming winter was the reason for his peaceful acceptance of these acts. This action by Massasoit was perhaps our biggest mistake. We, the Wampanoag, welcomed you, the white man, with open arms, little knowing that it was the beginning of the end; that before 50 years were to pass, the Wampanoag would no longer be a free people.

What happened in those short 50 years? What has happened in the last 300 years? History gives us facts and there were atrocities; there were broken promises – and most of these centered around land ownership. Among ourselves we understood that there were boundaries, but never before had we had to deal with fences and stone walls. But the white man had a need to prove his worth by the amount of land that he owned. Only ten years later, when the Puritans came, they treated the Wampanoag with even less kindness in converting the souls of the so-called “savages.” Although the Puritans were harsh to members of their own society, the Indian was pressed between stone slabs and hanged as quickly as any other “witch…”


Let me wrap this all up by sharing some words by His Crazy Horse and relaying what the Maine Episcopalians are advocating.


(From a footnote to an interview with David Swallow appearing in Sacred Hoop, Winter 1998/99, 23.)


His Crazy Horse:


I salute the light within your eyes where the whole Universe dwells. For when you are at that center within you and I within mine, we shall be as one.


Episcopalians vote to rescind 1496 charter


BANGOR – Maine Episcopalians passed a resolution at their annual convention Friday that calls for England to rescind a charter issued more than 500 years ago.

The resolution calls for the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Queen of England to disavow the 1496 royal charter issued to John Cabot and his sons, according to information on the Web site for the Episcopal Diocese of Maine. It passed by a vote of 175 to 135.


– snip –


“My objective is universal recognition that the doctrine is repugnant and should not be used to justify the taking of property and other rights from indigenous people,” Dieffenbacker-Krall said Sunday in a phone interview. “The more we build consensus, the closer we are to achieving the goal that universal recognition of the doctrine is wrong to justify actions by nation states.”

  Also read about it here


Here’s a petition to sign to Rescind the Papal Bulls


In my own personal experience, fully owning my past leads me to a more balanced, healthier, and more rewarding relationship with others. My hope is that if this history is owned, if cultural genocide and genocide denial are disempowered; that the lies that fuel U.S. colonialism into foreign nations in modern times might halt.


Unlearning the Language of Conquest Scholars Expose Anti-Indianism in America. p.  219


As difficult as it may be for non – Indians to realize the corruption of American Institutions, such as universities, or to recognize the hypnotic effect of propaganda and hegemony, it may be far more difficult for them to mitigate the shadow side of their own cultural histories. In this chapter a non – Indian (David Gabbard) scholar stresses how vital it is to do so nonetheless, for until a true realization occurs, the United States of America will likely continue its similar intrusions of colonialism in other parts of the world and on other people. He points out that for this realization to take place, we must recognize First Nations scholarship as a set of practices aimed at helping everyone remember themselves and that efforts to discredit that scholarship and the worldviews that it attempts to recover can keep us in a cycle of genocide that will ultimately consume us.

  A lofty dream to be sure; yet, those wonderful human beings of the Christian faith are beginning just that process. They have brought tears of gratitude to my eyes and stirrings in me I cannot express for not having the words.


Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and may what the Maine Episcopalians are trying to do fill you with as much gratitude as it has in me.

How I Learned to Savor Thanksgiving

What follows is a heavily edited version of my last year’s Diary on Thanksgiving.

I forced myself to watch the History Channel’s Desperate Crossing: The Untold Story of the Mayflower last weekend. I don’t feel as if I totally wasted my time. Including performances and interviews of some Wampanoags, descendants of the indigenes who saw the Puritans make landfall 387 years ago, made the program a good deal more palatable than it might have been.

I would have preferred a bit more about how one reason the Pilgrims were “persecuted” in England and Holland was because of their efforts to get everyone to comply with their own crabbed view of religion. Something they also did here in America. Not dissimilar from what some modern day others would like to do now. But what an improvement the program was over past efforts.

For the past few years, my wife – who supervises the largest English as a Second Language program in the United States – and I have had numerous conversations with Los Angelenos of various ethnic and religious backgrounds about the turkey they’ll be eating three days from now. Doesn’t matter if they’re originally from Senegal or Guatemala, Belarus or Vietnam, Scotland or China, it’s the same story with all of them: turkey has to be on the table.

Not that it’ll be a traditional turkey dinner with cranberry sauce and yams and stuffing. Trimmings can range from Libyan tajeen to a cold Vietnamese egg soup whose name I’ve forgotten. And everybody’s bird seems to be done just a little differently. Two years ago, I got to taste Thai turkey, which is definitely not for mild palates.

I don’t buy the “melting pot” theory of American history, nor am I a sappy kind of guy. On the other hand, since I had my Thanksgiving “conversion,” I’ve found something distinctly appealing, yes, even uplifting, about this widespread integration of cultures through the medium of food and family get-together.

I love conversation, I love food and I love celebrations. This year, as last, we’ll be celebrating with friends at the Santa Clara Pueblo home of a college friend. A few years ago, I wouldn’t’ve done this.

Because, when I was a child, we never celebrated Thanksgiving. My grandfather forbade it. A white man’s holiday based on white men’s lies, he said. His take on the holiday was no distortion. But his opposition to commemoration was doubly disappointing for me. I was born on Thanksgiving. Actually, November 28. But, that year, 1946, Thanksgiving fell on the 28th, and ever since, it’s been my designated birthday, whatever the actual date.

While other kids, including other kids with Indian roots, celebrated Thanksgiving with all kinds of food, our house might as well have been shrouded in crepe. Based on what made it to our table, I think he may even have told my grandmother to cook less than usual. Nobody grumbled. My grandfather was an honest, principled man, but quick-tempered, and although he rejected almost every other teaching in the Bible, he believed fully in the bit that sparing the rod would spoil the child. We were not spoiled.

We left the South and my grandfather when I was 10. I had half a dozen guests at my first-ever birthday party – on Thanksgiving Day – when I was 12. I was ecstatic. Thereafter, until my senior year in high school, I celebrated Thanksgiving and my birthday with a party. Cake and turkey. It was then, 44 years ago, that I began reading in earnest about America’s historical treatment of indigenous people, including my ancestors.

That year, November 28 again fell on Thanksgiving. But I didn’t celebrate. No party. And that’s the way it was for the next 29 years, during which I reiterated my grandfather’s warning. He had not been mistaken about the holiday being founded on the fruits of mass murder instead of some friendly, integrated get-together.

The Wampanoags who arrived on what many of us were taught in school was the “first” Thanksgiving, were not invited to the feast with the Plymouth Pilgrims in 1621 after having rescuing them from certain starvation. Massasoit and about 90 of his men just showed up. What followed was three days of eating and entertainment, much of which included large quantities of beer. The tension was surely palpable. In the sole firsthand, contemporaneous account we have, nobody called it “thanksgiving.” Not long afterward, in an act of raw treachery that was precursor to a thousand others over the years, Captain Myles Standish, military commander of Plymouth colony – determined to make a pre-emptive strike against a non-existent military threat – strode into a Wampanoag village with his men on the pretext of trading. He left with the severed head of Wituwamat, which he stuck on a wooden spike at Plymouth.

The real first Thanksgiving was declared in 1637 by Massachusetts Bay Colony Governor John Winthrop, he of the famous “city upon a hill” speech. That celebration capped off the Mystic, Connecticut, massacre of 400-700 Pequots, southern neighbors of the Wampanoags, remnants of a tribe already deeply wounded by epidemics of smallpox and measles. Survivors were executed or sold into slavery in the West Indies. Proclaimed Winthrop, “This day forth shall be a day of celebration and thanksgiving for subduing the Pequots.”

The descendants of Massasoit’s Wampanoags who had sat down in 1621 were treated to their own slaughter during King Philip’s War 54 years later. After decades of being pushed off their old lands, the Wampanoag were led in resistance by “King Philip,” known among his own people as Metacom. When the year of fighting was over, his wife and son were captured and sold into slavery in Bermuda. Metacom was decapitated and his head publicly displayed for more than 20 years. Once again, survivors were executed or sold into slavery, with a bounty of 20 shillings offered for every Indian scalp and 40 shillings for any captive able-bodied enough for enslavement.

On June 20, 1676, the governing council of Charlestown, Massachusetts, proclaimed:

“…It certainly bespeaks our positive Thankfulness, when our Enemies are in any measure disappointed or destroyed; and fearing the Lord should take notice under so many Intimations of his returning mercy, we should be found an Insensible people, as not standing before Him with Thanksgiving, as well as lading him with our Complaints in the time of pressing Afflictions:

The Council has thought meet to appoint and set apart the 29th day of this instant June, as a day of Solemn Thanksgiving and praise to God for such his Goodness and Favour…”

That slaughter of “heathens” and the round-up of survivors which followed allowed more European immigrants to squat on what had once been Indian land. It was a theme that kept being repeated for the next 220 years right across America. My own people – Seminoles, an amalgam of Creeks, Apalachees, runaway slaves and “renegade” whites – eventually fought three wars, and kept a few slivers of their traditional lands, although most were force-marched to “Indian Territory,” where their descendants still live today.

Every year, I ranted about these brutal injustices, about the hypocrisy of Thanksgiving, and the fate of the people who suddenly were in the way. And then, 13 years ago, I let it go. Not that I changed my mind about the atrocities that had occurred or the lies that had been told about them. Not that I become enamored with the foolish iconography of Thanksgiving, including elementary school displays of construction paper Pilgrim hats and feathered headbands. Not that I did not and do not fully understand the feelings of those who cannot bring themselves past their rage at this celebration which has been given a full platter of historical up-is-downism.

But I got tired of missing out on the celebration and the food … and I missed having a birthday party. And I realized, finally, that I also had missed the point that this holiday can be a healer, a remembrance of our roots but with our eyes on the present and the future. So, this year, as in the past few, I’ll be together with some of my best friends, white, red and black. As we have for several Thanksgivings, we’ll tell the children (and grandchildren) the true story of Thanksgiving.

And we’ll give thanks that we live in a country where remembering the past need not shackle us to it.

Kill the Indian, save the man

( – promoted by navajo)

This was official U.S. government policy towards the education of Indian Children for decades.

A great general has said that the only good Indian is a dead one, and that high sanction of his destruction has been an enormous factor in promoting Indian massacres. In a sense, I agree with the sentiment, but only in this: that all the Indian there is in the race should be dead. Kill the Indian in him, and save the man.
Capt. Richard H. Pratt on the Education of Native Americans

In one sense I agree with Pratt’s sentiments. But only in the belief that education is critical for all peoples. But an  education that destroyed cultures, families, self-worth and identity is what Pratt proposed, what Congress agreed with and what is a large part of the problems found in the native community up to this day.

The first schools weren’t so bad in that they were on the Reservations where the kids could live at home and be with their families. However, these schools soon gave way to Indian Boarding schools. These boarding schools were set up with the express purpose of separating Indian children from their families, the communities and their traditional beliefs, their whole world in fact.  The government believed the only way to make the Indian what they thought he should be was in fact to kill the Indian in him. Unfortunately, all the really succeeded in doing is destroying the man (or woman) in many cases.

Most of the Indian parents had no problem with schooling for their children. They fought for it, even knowing that their kids would be taught in English and would to an extent begin to adopt White ways. Being forced onto lands which could not support the traditional ways of life, these parents knew that it was impossible to live in all the traditional ways and that the only way out of the extreme poverty forced upon was through education. But they were also determined that their children would hold onto their traditions, beliefs and culture while learning to function in the “white” world.

The government vehemently disagreed with this. Their belief was that only way to take care of the Indian “problem” was to take generations of Indian children, remove them from their families and all they had ever known and loved and in this way destroy their culture.  For the many Native families whose kids were forced to attend boarding schools all the government really accomplished in many cases was to destroy Indian communities and families. I do not the exact number of Indian children who attended boarding schools. I can tell you that in the 1930’s there were approximately 300,000 Native Americans in the U.S. Of these about 100,000 had attended boarding schools for some period of time.

The boarding schools were definitely not the type that white people sent their kids to get the best education possible. The Indian boarding schools were often run like the Russian gulag camps set up for political dissidents with a bit of education thrown in.  Only in the case of Indians, it was children who were being raised by “cultural dissidents” who were sent to be reeducated.  And the farther from home they could sent the better. In many cases the children would not see their families for years. And some never saw their families again. The conditions in the boarding schools were deplorable more often than not.  The nutrition was inadequate, they were often filthy and there was next to no healthcare. Disease was rampant,  and children with TB  and other contagious diseases often not only lacked medical care,  they were in many cases left to live in the same dormitories and attend classes with the kids who would then be exposed to these diseases. When parents tried to prevent their children from being sent away, food rations were cut, arrests made and the children were literally kidnapped and sent away.  Once at boarding schools, many children tried to run away.  Punishment for them was harsh, from beatings to starvation and isolation. In one case at Wrangell Institute boarding school which my father attended, a girl who had runaway was caught and forced to stand tied up in a hallway for hours. When she grew tired and leaned or tried to sit she was beaten with a stick. When she fell, she was beaten until she managed to get up again.
Many children died at these boarding schools, and the extent of these deaths is just now being investigated. For example:

During the first decades of the federal government’s Indian boarding schools, stories of morbidity and mortality among students were prevalent. Don’t Know How, a Lakota father, shared an all-too-common experience. Anticipating the return of his daughter from Hampton (Virginia) Institute, Don’t Know How constructed a new house, purchased a store, and adopted to the extent he could the trappings of white America. His daughter, meanwhile, returned from Hampton suffering from consumption. Within days she succumbed to the scourge of Indian Country: tuberculosis. Soon thereafter, Don’t Know How’s other daughter departed for Hampton, where in a few years she followed her sister “to the little cemetery on the hill.” In Hampton’s first ten years of educating American Indian students, one of every eleven students died (31 of 304) at school and one of every five died as did Don’t Know How’s daughters soon after returning home.

http://muse.jhu.edu/…

“A more complete history of the abuses endured by Native American children exists in the accounts of survivors of Canadian “residential schools.” Canada imported the U.S. boarding school model in the 1880s and maintained it well into the 1970s-four decades after the United States ended its stated policy of forced enrollment. Abuses in Canadian schools are much better documented because survivors of Canadian schools are more numerous, younger, and generally more willing to talk about their experiences.
A 2001 report by the Truth Commission into Genocide in Canada documents the responsibility of the Roman Catholic Church, the United Church of Canada, the Anglican Church of Canada, and the federal government in the deaths of more than 50,000 Native children in the Canadian residential school system.
The report says church officials killed children by beating, poisoning, electric shock, starvation, prolonged exposure to sub-zero cold while naked, and medical experimentation, including the removal of organs and radiation exposure.”

Recent invesitigations of U.S. boarding schools have reported the following:

Both BIA and church schools ran on bare-bones budgets, and large numbers of students died from starvation and disease because of inadequate food and medical care. School officials routinely forced children to do arduous work to raise money for staff salaries and “leased out” students during the summers to farm or work as domestics for white families. In addition to bringing in income, the hard labor prepared children to take their place in white society-the only one open to them-on the bottom rung of the socioeconomic ladder…
Native scholars describe the destruction of their culture as a “soul wound,” from which Native Americans have not healed. Embedded deep within that wound is a pattern of sexual and physical abuse that began in the early years of the boarding school system. Joseph Gone describes a history of “unmonitored and unchecked physical and sexual aggression perpetrated by school officials against a vulnerable and institutionalized population.” Gone is one of many scholars contributing research to the Boarding School Healing Project.
Rampant sexual abuse at reservation schools continued until the end of the 1980s, in part because of pre-1990 loopholes in state and federal law mandating the reporting of allegations of child sexual abuse. In 1987 the FBI found evidence that John Boone, a teacher at the BIA-run Hopi day school in Arizona, had sexually abused as many as 142 boys from 1979 until his arrest in 1987. The principal failed to investigate a single abuse allegation. Boone, one of several BIA schoolteachers caught molesting children on reservations in the late 1980s, was convicted of child abuse, and he received a life sentence. Acting BIA chief William Ragsdale admitted that the agency had not been sufficiently responsive to allegations of sexual abuse, and he apologized to the Hopi tribe and others whose children BIA employees had abused.
The effects of the widespread sexual abuse in the schools continue to ricochet through Native communities today. “We know that experiences of such violence are clearly correlated with posttraumatic reactions including social and psychological disruptions and breakdowns,” says Gone.

The abuse has dealt repeated blows to the traditional social structure of Indian communities….. Today, sexual abuse and violence have reached epidemic proportions in Native communities, along with alcoholism and suicide. By the end of the 1990s, the sexual assault rate among Native Americans was three-and-a-half times higher than for any other ethnic group in the U.S., according to the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics. Alcoholism in Native communities is currently six times higher than the national average. Researchers are just beginning to establish quantitative links between these epidemic rates and the legacy of boarding schools.

http://www.amnestyus…

In my family’s case, my dad was sent to a boarding school about 800 miles from home. This was in the early 1930’s and that was an incredible distance to cover in those years.
His sister was sent from Alaska to a boarding school in Kansas. My grandmother was not able to stop this. It was only when her husband (who was white) returned after several years in Sweden that he was able to get the kids back. In my mother’s case, she and her brothers and sisters were lucky because a church had started a local school for Indian kids in the town of  Saxman which they were able to attend.
As I said they were among the lucky ones. The kids and parents who were separated throughout their school years were harmed in two ways people don’t always consider. First, children learn to parent by being parented. When they do not have role models to parent, they literally do not know how. So when they have kids, they are often lost as to how to raise them.

In interviews with some of the individuals who had ateended boarding school, comments like this were heard”

We heard from several respondents that their time away at boarding school, even when a good experience, contributed to their lack of parenting skills. One respondent said the following:

Although we had some chances to do things, but we did miss out a lot that we could’ve learned from our parents. And then one thing that I often talk to my friends about is the fact that we missed out on being raised by our parents, being taught by our parents. And we missed out in having the opportunity to observe our parents raise kids our age. Because we were kids, we were 12 years old, 11, 12, 13 year old kids being away. The guidance, we missed out the guidance that we could have received from them… So when I see parents not doing anything with their children,
not talking to their children, not disciplining their children, parents that are my age, I think about that. Because when I look at the parents, I see they’ve gone to St. Mary’s or Bethel or Edgecumbe or Chemawa, Oregon, Chilocco, Oklahoma, all those boarding schools that were popular at that time, they’re the parents that went.

The phenomenon of children being removed from their homes affected not only the students, but their home villages as well. One respondent described the phenomenon of a healthy village being turned upside down: When the children were taken away to boarding school the parents turned to
alcohol for solace. Three other interviewees, from two additional communities, shared similar tales about the adults from their villages becoming alcoholics after the children were sent away.

http://www.iser.uaa….

When the kids were taken from their parents, many times the parents just gave up. I’m sure most of us realize that when we have kids, we (hopefully) realize we have to grow up, become responsible, and work for our kids future. However, when kids on the reservation were taken away, that incentive was lost for many parents. With their kids torn from them, leaving them depressed and despondent, without hope, it was not unusual for the parents lives to also spiral downward. It has led to cycle of despair for many families on many reservations. Fortunately, many  The thing people should be surprised about concerning the level of abuse and neglect on, (and often times off) reservations is that it is not worse than it is.
The work of women like Georgia Littleshield is what is going to turn this type of thing around. I thank all of you who support her.

Happy Thanksgiving! Pass the genocide gravy.

( – promoted by navajo)

Crossposted from Left Toon Lane, Bilerico Project & My Left Wing

click to enlarge

The early settlers of Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts were particularly grateful to Squanto, the Native American and former British slave who taught them how to both catch eel and grow corn and also served as their native interpreter. Without Squanto’s assistance, the settlers might not have survived in the New World.

The Plymouth settlers (who came to be called “Pilgrims”) set apart a holiday immediately after their first harvest in 1621. They held an autumn celebration of food, feasting, and praising God. The Governor of Plymouth invited Grand Sachem Massasoit and the Wampanoag people to join them in the feast. The settlers fed and entertained the Native Americans for three days, at which point some of the Native Americans went into the forest, killed 5 deer, and gave them to the Governor as a gift.

And we just kept thanking them…

The Indian Removal Act, part of a U.S. government policy known as Indian Removal, was signed into law by President Andrew Jackson on May 28, 1830.

The Removal Act was strongly supported in the South, where states were eager to gain access to lands inhabited by the “Five Civilized Tribes”. In particular, Georgia, the largest state at that time, was involved in a contentious jurisdictional dispute with the Cherokee nation. President Jackson, who supported Indian removal primarily for reasons of national security, hoped removal would resolve the Georgia crisis. While Indian removal was, in theory, supposed to be voluntary, in practice great pressure was put on American Indian leaders to sign removal treaties. Most observers, whether they were in favor of the Indian removal policy or not, realized that the passage of the act meant the inevitable removal of most Indians from the states. Some Native American leaders who had previously resisted removal now began to reconsider their positions, especially after Jackson’s landslide reelection in 1832.

Most white Americans favored the passage of the Indian Removal Act and it passed after bitter debate in Congress.

The treaties enacted under the provisions of the Removal Act paved the way for the reluctant-and often forcible-emigration of tens of thousands of American Indians to the West. The first removal treaty signed after the Removal Act was the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek on September 27, 1830, in which Choctaws in Mississippi ceded land east of the river in exchange for payment and land in the West. The Treaty of New Echota (signed in 1835) resulted in the removal of the Cherokee on the Trail of Tears.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Note 1: Thanks for the invite to post, I deeply appreciate it.

Note 2: My cartoons are always designed to invoke conversation and move people to act. It is not my intent to inflame.

Note 3: Town Called Dobson will be on hiatus until Monday, November 26th.

I Want Olbermann to Cover Pretty Bird Woman House

( – promoted by navajo)

Olbermann’s contact information


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


Artwork by Tigana.

I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired of the main television media ignoring American Indian issues in general, and I’m even more sick and tired of conservative personalities spewing their racist venom towards American Indians. I think Olbermann would cover the critical issue of Pretty Bird Woman House if he were asked to by enough of us, but let’s look at some spewing of racist venom towards American Indians by conservative personalities first after a generalized observation of mine.

Ironically, conservative personalities seem to actually “mention” Indian issues more than non – Indian liberal ones by my observations alone. Take for example, Anne Coulter’s “The little

Injun that could.” Why?

I think it’s because conservative personalities such as Coulter, Limbaugh, and O’Reilly find American Indians to be easy targets towards which they can project their racism, having accepted the lies of colonialism.

 


Colonial Education

The process of colonization involves one nation or territory taking control of another nation or territory either through the use of force or by acquisition. As a by-product of colonization, the colonizing nation implements its own form of schooling within their colonies. Two scholars on colonial education, Gail P. Kelly and Philip G. Altbach, help define the process as an attempt “to assist in the consolidation of foreign rule” (Kelly and Altbach 1).

Coulter, Limbaugh, and O’Reilly all seem to have accepted the lies of colonialism by my estimations of them; consequently, Limbaugh spewed anti – Indian rhetoric, while O’Reilly didn’t know what hit him. We’ll address Limbaugh first.


What in the hell was the uncompassionate, climate – disintegrating – denying – bully Limbaugh thinking when he spewed his racist venom towards eighteen year old Cheryl Charlee Lockwood  ofSt. Michaels, Alaska?

(Bold and underline mine)


A crying shame: Rush Limbaugh adds Alaskan to polarizing efforts

The young woman, Cheryl Charlee Lockwood, 18, of St. Michaels was one of several young leaders to speak during the “Youth Leadership on Climate Change” hearing. It coincided with Power Shift 2007, a national youth summit involving thousands from across the nation on what the student organizers called “the climate crisis.”

– snip –


Mr. Limbaugh’s first-day reaction was to inaccurately and insultingly describe Ms. Lockwood as a 13-year-old Inupiat (she’s Yup’ik) girl from Alaska and cast her on par with the white actor who played the “crying Indian” during 1970s TV commercials aimed at littering. He decried her emotional testimony as a nauseating Democrat ploy.

– snip –


The coup de grace was Mr. Limbaugh laughing with a woman caller who claimed to be a former Alaska resident, now “a Texan by choice.” Of Ms. Lockwood’s testimony she said, “if they’re losing their way of life, that would probably mean the liquor store was closing.”

What a disgusting and vile expression of modern racism. Add that to the truths that at least in Tulsa, “American Indians are more likely to be regarded with prejudice than are other minorities by white TU students, a study shows,” and this racist remark that was spewed after the Oklahoma Centennial protest –

Indians mark centennial with protest march at state Capitol

To all my Indian brethren – for those who are unhappy with what the “imperialists” did to your culture – move to the panhandle, set up teepees, and hunt for your food. If that’s what you want to go back to, quit whining and protesting and JUST DO IT!

– and the picture of racism against American Indians just keeps becoming larger and more complete. So,  what was Limbaugh thinking?

He was thinking anti – Indian and racist thoughts. Glaringly obvious, he would never cover Pretty Bird Woman House, except in a racial and discriminatory manner. What about O’Reilly?

O’Reilly might still be in an emotional hangover from being put aptly in his place.

TWEAKING BILL O’REILLY

As it turned out, Bill O’Reilly himself was among those to see the video. Television’s angriest talking head was not pleased. O’Reilly responded to the video by airing it on his Fox News cable program and calling the Fairies “nutso” and “child abusers,” among other things, while suggesting that social services open a case to track down the little girl. Thankfully for the little girl, social services stayed away, but the attention did not. The video exploded across the blogosphere, and a million and a half hits and several death threats later, these child-abusing atheists became the 18th most subscribed-to band in the history of YouTube, right behind platinum-selling MC Mike Jones.

So, scratch racist, conservative, Bush Republicans off the list for possibly helping; I think Keith Olbermann (email here) is the one to contact, don’t you?


Please make a donation to the Pretty Bird Woman House if you can, and let’s get Keith Olbermann in on this.


Mr. Olbermann,

I respectfully request that you seriously consider covering the Pretty Bird Woman House in a future broadcast.


The vital information that you need to know is at the internet location listed below.


http://www.prettybir…


Thankyou for your time and consideration. Please help.


Sincerely,


Anonymous

Native American Heritage and Thanksgiving – A Resources Diary

( – promoted by navajo)

(cross-posted from DailyKos)

American Indians, Native people, Native Americans – somehow Thanksgiving is one of the times in the year when I hear the word ‘Indian’ most often (unless casinos or a sports team are in the news). 

Which is no doubt why November is Native American Heritage Month.  Though I can’t say I’ve seen any mainstream (ie, not on a blog) PR for that this year.  Have you?  Maybe it’s just me… 

In any case, would you like to know more about Native American lives now, understand more about the past history, find out where they live, what they’re working for, how they vote in your state?  How easy it is for them to register to vote in your state?

Or have you wondered about the truth behind the myths of Thanksgiving?  If you know about all that, ever wish you had an alternative curriculum for your local school teachers? 

Or would you just like some conversation pieces for the family dinner on Thursday?  Or a fry bread recipe?

Follow me over…

I learned about the American Indian Movement as a child in the 70s.  If you have no clue who they were and are, you could start with the 1972 Trail of Broken Treaties.

My father worked with members of AIM, some of whom came to dinner and invited us to a couple of pow-wows.  At my progressive elementary school our teachers taught us a little about what really happened to the Indians in Minnesota, and invited a Lakhota speaker to visit our class.  She brought one of the 5th graders up to the front and by talking to him warmly and unintelligibly in her language, got him to agree to sell her back the state, with a handshake.

But I think the most visible Indian I knew (other than the possibly ersatz anti-littering one in the ad), was Buffy Sainte-Marie, singer, and still very current activist.  Her songs are powerful, and sadly, as with too many anti-war songs from the Vietnam era, not particularly dated.

Her music was blacklisted by LBJ, but is still very much available, and known around the world.  And the royalties she earns go a lot farther than her personal bank account.

She became a singer after getting her PhD.  She had expected to eventually become a teacher on a reservation, but took a break to try the coffeehouse folksinger circuit.  With the fortune she made from her music career, she founded The Nihewan Foundation for Native American Education, and later, the Cradleboard Teaching Project , both of which are very active now.

I also remember her from Sesame Street (some good pictures).  I recently read this:

During the five years that Buffy Sainte-Marie spent as a semi-regular on “Sesame Street”, it was always her hope to convey in the Native American episodes one message above all: Indians Exist. We are alive and real, and we have fun and friends and families and a whole lot to contribute to the rest of the world through our reality.

But as I grew up, I learned that most people I met had some ideas about American Indians but often little knowledge of Native history in this country, or if they had that, they often knew little to nothing about what is actually happening now, both the good and the bad (beyond casinos of course).  And in recent years, I had fallen completely out of touch myself.  It’s easy to do if you don’t actually know any Indians well, even if you’re interested. You won’t see that news on TV, or even hear it on NPR very often.  They still seem to be a minority among minorities, just under 3 million according to the 2003 census data.

So, I thought I’d write up a quick list of resources for this November and Thanksgiving.  Let me know what glaring gaps you see in the list, I’m looking to know more myself.

To begin with, I found this Thanksgiving curriculum, called Teaching About Thanksgiving on a site full of other good documents and resources called EWebTribe. The curriculum is for children, but I wish everyone would read at least the introduction (by a Native historian and school teacher), and pass it on to any teachers you know. Recipes, a craft, and other ideas for teaching are included.

There is a museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts, called Plimoth Plantation  They publish a beautiful book that corrects the myths of the “Pilgrim” settlers and Thanksgiving, and they also have this Thanksgiving FAQ on their website.  I’m taking my kids there in a few years when they’re both old enough to grasp it all.

To learn more about current events, here’s some places you can start – there’s so much out there, I’m scratching the surface, but I’m hoping there will be additions in the comments!  My time is limited and constantly interrupted…

To begin with, there are 562 federally acknowledged tribal entities, not including Alaska natives (who have their own list of over 300, also available through that link).

Tribal entities have the right to form their own governments, to tax, to enforce criminal and civil laws, to establish membership, license and regulate activities, zone, and exclude persons from tribal territories.  Though those rights have been stepped on with great regularity.  The limitations on their power include the limitations placed on states (no independent foreign relations, currency, wars, etc).

If you haven’t already seen it, visit Native American Netrootsnavajo started that one, a great place to start, and it seems to be the best place to find interested Kossacks, though JammerML suggested not long ago that a RedKos diary series be started on DailyKos – does anyone know if this has been taken up since then? 

Indian Country Today bills itself as The Nations’ Leading American Indian News Source (and yes, that apostrophe placement is intentional). 

Online radio stations include:
AIROS Native Network
and
First Voices Indigenous Radio

Here’s a list of links to Tribal websites – who is closest to you?

The Bureau of Indian Affairs – our tax dollars at work…

A few years ago there was a PBS special that profiled four Lakota families, and life on the Pine Ridge reservation.  It’s titled Homeland and the website is still up with a lot of material from the show, pictures of the families on the reservation, and even a frybread recipe  (with additional instructions for making it into “Indian tacos” – I’ve also had it with powdered sugar, maple syrup, and straight as a side bread).

For the “Electing Democrats” angle – how do Native Americans vote?  Here’s a report from the 2004 election

For more data and demographics, here’s the
American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) Data and Links
website from the Census Bureau.  They’re here all right.  Check out the data for your state.

Offline, here’s a couple of books for you if you don’t know much about Native history in this country:
Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee by Dee Brown is the classic. And once you’ve read that, follow it up with:

Lakota Woman – Mary Crow Dog – a more recent memoir.

What got me going on all of this again was, of course, Norman Bier’s original diary on Pretty Bird Woman House last spring, which got me involved, trying to find ways to support the shelter.  I’ve been delighted to see so many Kossacks stepping up with more and more offers of help, donations, and the publicity.  It sounds like the Amnesty International event on Nov. 15th was a great success and even more is likely to come of that – the shelter may be able to buy that house across from the police station soon!  If you want to help, just go on over to the ChipIn (or send your rich auntie).

But also, take a look at some of what has already been accomplished. Sacred Circle, is a national resource center located on the incredibly poor Pine Ridge reservation is the model and center for the work that is being done to end violence against Native women. 

However there is no doubt at all that they need all the help they can get!

So, this November, do some reading, learn about the issues, find out what you can do, and take some positive action of your own.  Give something back to the Indians. 

And never forget to be thankful for all you have, and all we have in this irreplaceable beautiful land we live in, together. 

Here’s to a better future for all Americans.

looking for a native indian person to correspond with

Hello!
I’m a french woman, I really would like to correspond with a native indian person, to meet her or hiw – why not?
I’m very interested by this people’s history, I live in France but I would be very very happy to go to the USA to

meet indian people..
Thank you for answering me..
Marion
PS: sorry, I’ve not practiced my english since a long long time..

Posted in Uncategorized

The Medicine Bluffs: Celebrating Native American Heritage Month (Photo Diary)

( – promoted by navajo)

The Medicine Bluffs are very sacred to me personally, and I want to share the feeling of awe, mystery, and power that I get whenever I have been there with very few words, letting the Medicine Bluffs and its history speak for itself.

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This unique landmark at the eastern end of the Wichita Mountains was noted, described, and explored by all early expeditions and was held in deep reverence by the Indian tribes of this area from time immemorial . The four contiguous bluffs form a picturesque crescent a mile in length on the south side of Medicine Bluff Creek, a tributary of Cache Creek and Red River; it is evidently the result of a ancient cataclysm in which half of a rock dome was raised along a crack or fault.

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When Fort Sill was established in 1869, the Indians named it “The soldier house at Medicine Bluffs.” The site is rich in legends and history.

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You are facing the north side of Bluff No. 3, which consists of a sheer cliff 310 feet high, rising abruptly from the creek. A rock cairn erected by medicine men on its summit was still standing when Fort Sill was founded. Here the sick were brought to be healed or disposed of by the Great Spirit, young braves fasted in lonely vigils seeking visions of the supernatural, and warriors presented their shields to the rising sun for power.

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  Legends say that this was also a famous place for Indian suicides. The huge fissure between No. 2 and 3 was known as the “Medicine Man’s Walk.”

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From The Spirit of Goyathlay (“one who yawns”), or Geronimo


When we speculated in print on why our soldiers use the name (“Geronimo!”)
of a dead Apache chieftain (no, Geronimo was a medicine man, seer, and intellectual leader) for their slogan, several alumni of airborne regiments reported stories of its origin. A plausible one came from Arthur A. Manion. “At Fort Sill, Oklahoma,” he wrote, “a series of rather steep hills, called, I believe, Medicine Bluffs, was pointed out to all new arrivals. It was said that one day Geronimo, with the army in hot pursuit, made a leap on horseback down an almost vertical cliff a feat that the posse could not duplicate. The legend continues that in the midst of this jump to freedom he gave out the bloodcurdling cry of “Geronimo-o-o!”
Hence the practice adopted by our paratroopers. I hope this helps. It’s at least colorful, if not authentic.”
 

I tried to imagine where he escaped at –

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Who knows but him?

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And the clouds, the wind, and the moon.

Green Indigenous Film Festival

Inaugural Global Green Indigenous Film Festival
To Be Launched in New Mexico April 18-20, 2008.

Call For Film Submissions

Press Release under the fold.

For Immediate Release
October 14, 2007

Contact:  Stephine Poston
505/379-6172, stephposton [at] msn.com

Albuquerque, NM – The National Tribal Environmental Council (NTEC) and the New Mexico Tourism Department, will take the global stage, April 18-20, 2008, launching its inaugural Global Green Indigenous Film Festival.  The film festival will be held in conjunction with NTEC’s 15th Environmental Conference April 15-18, 2008. 

The Global Green Indigenous Film Festival and the conference will be held at the El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  “For nearly 20 years NTEC has been working with and assisting tribes throughout the country to protect, regulate and manage their environmental resources.  An international film festival of this caliber adds a new dimension that will bring innovative ideas together as a means for protecting the environment that the global community can benefit from.  We extend an invitation to people around the world to come see the powerful work being done by Indigenous communities to protect mother earth,”‘ stated Jerry Pardilla, NTEC Executive Director.

Founded in 1991, NTEC a national non-profit organization based in Albuquerque, New Mexico has a membership of 184 tribes working to protect and preserve tribal environments.  “NTEC can lend its strong presence in Indian Country to provide a forum that gives Indigenous people a voice about environmental concerns that lead to global solutions.  I believe this international film festival will let the world know that Indigenous communities around the world are doing their part to protect mother earth for generations to come,” said Joe Garcia, President of the National Congress of American Indians.

Award winning actor, director and musician Gary Farmer (Dead Man/Smoke Signals), is a member of the film festival team.  Charmaine Jackson-John, film festival director is accepting submissions for films and videos that address indigenous environmental concerns and issues from all countries.

Formats accepted: DVD, VHS, Beta SP.

Film entries should be mailed to: 
ATTN: Global Green Indigenous Film Festival
2501 Rio Grande Boulevard, NW,
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87104,

Deadline for entries is January 18, 2008.

###
One World, One Environment
NTEC’s mission is to support Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages in protecting, regulating and managing their environmental resources according to their own priorities and values.

Visit www.ntec.org for more information. 

Moxtaveto’s (Black Kettle’s) Extermination on November 27, 1868 & a Request

( – promoted by navajo)

When I wrote this last March,

The Death & Vision of Moxtaveto (Black Kettle)

Custer was pursuing the snow tracks of Dog Soldiers that would eventually lead to Black Kettle’s village on Thanksgiving Day in a cruel irony. The cruelest irony however, was that Black Kettle and his wife would be slain nearly four years to the day that they both escaped Chivington at the Sand Creek Massacre. Black Kettle’s honesty concerning young men in his village he could not control was of no avail. He and his village were going to be “punished” and broken beyond any immediate or distant recovery.

a Cheyenne Man had me when I was at Washita of the bench where he told me was the location of Moxtaveto’s extermination by Custer.

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I sat under the tree facing the Washita River and thought hard about it.

Moxtaveto’s village was right here in this field; also, the larger camp, consisting of the Kiowa, Arapaho, and Cheyenne Dog Soldiers was in this general direction.

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The trees surrounding it along with it being at a lower level provided good protection from the elements; in addition, the Washita River was their water source, which was very close by as you can see. Although the Washita River has changed in some parts regarding its flowing in river basins, it has remained consistent here. The trees, snow, and fog just couldn’t protect the Cheyenne from Custer on the day of November 27, 1868.

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After the woman warned Black Kettle that morning of the approaching 7th and Moxtaveto shot his rifle to warn everyone, the freezing snow and cold winter weather would have made it much more difficult to escape.

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The song, “Garry Owen,” would have added to the fear and confusion that they must have felt.

Remembering this,

The Death & Vision of Moxtaveto (Black Kettle) (Conclusion)

Warriors, eleven who died, rushed out of their lodges with inferior firepower to defend the village. Simultaneously, the overall noncombatants ran for their lives into the freezing Washita River.

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I realized that the water would have been freezing cold.

(Taken with permission)

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Freezing.

The Death & Vision of Moxtaveto (Black Kettle) (Conclusion)

The sensory components of the genocide at Washita in now Cheyenne, Oklahoma must be held in mind in order to capture the entire breadth of it. These are sound, smell, and sight. For example, the shrill crying of the noncombatant Cheyenne women and children, and the yelling of the charging 7th Calvary with their knives and guns would have been beyond deafening. And the fog with gunpowder smoke must have been worse than any nightmare, while the red blood – stained snow and the smell of death permeated the ground and air.

Finally, spraying bullets that first struck Moxtaveto’s horse in the leg, then struck him and Woman Here After – fatally. 

Source

“Both the chief and his wife fell at the river bank riddled with bullets,” one witness reported, “the soldiers rode right over Black Kettle and his wife and their horse as they lay dead on the ground, and their bodies were all splashed with mud by the charging soldiers.” Custer later reported that an Osage guide took Black Kettle’s scalp.

Specifically, this is the precise location where the Cheyenne man told me that Moxtaveto and his wife, Woman Here After, were exterminated.

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Stan Hiog. “The Peace Chiefs Of The Cheyenne.” p. 174

Moving Behind, a Cheyenne Woman, later stated: “There was a sharp curve in the river where an old road – crossing used to be. Indian men used to go there to water their ponies. Here we saw the bodies of Black Kettle and his wife, lying under the water. The horse they had ridden lay dead beside them. We observed that they had tried to escape across the river when they were shot.”

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Personal Conclusions

Moxtaveto had the right to have all of his peaceful attempts honored. Morally speaking, there is no way, no how, that it should have been otherwise. Yet, did his peaceful attempts in fact fail?

If it had not been for Moxtaveto’s peaceful efforts before the Sand Creek Massacre along with their innocence and defenseless, Lt. Captain Silas S. Soule may not have felt motivated to speak out in the face of the dominating anti – Indian sentiment, thus playing a key role in correctly changing the definition of Sand Creek from a battle to a massacre.

Source

Soule wrote what he witnessed at Sand Creek: ”… hundreds of women and children were coming
towards us and getting on their knees for mercy.”

The Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site (Part 3)

Captain Silas Soule of the first Colorado Calvary is remembered as the hero who stood up to Chivington before, during, and after the massacre. It cost him his life. His letters to friends and his testimony was crucial in correcting the definition of Sand Creek from a “battle” to a massacre.

Not so, if a small insubstantial number of warriors had been there.

Eleven warriors were at Washita; consequently, it was they who unintentionally led Custer to Moxtaveto’s camp, not by Moxtaveto’s invitation nor blessing. No matter, for that is all it took for Washita to be classified as a battle. Never mind the fact that the 7th shot all of the wounded Cheyenne, instead of taking them into captivity by following orders.

To answer my question, “Did his peaceful attempts in fact fail?” raises two more questions before my request.

Was Dr. Martin Luther King a failure because he was shot? Was Mahatma Gandhi a failure because he was assassinated? Of course not, and that leads me to my final request.

If it had not been for Moxtaveto’s peaceful efforts before the Sand Creek Massacre and Washita, if this was not the Centennial of Oklahoma’s Statehood, and this if this were not National American Indian Heritage Month; the reader of this (who might have to power to make what I’m going to request a reality) might not understand all the reasons why I firmly believe that a day in the month of November should be dedicated to his honor: Moxtaveto, or Black Kettle Day on November 27.

He and everything he stood for need and deserve to be remembered with “faith, truth, humility and respect.”

Source

As a Peace Chief following pipe tradition, he would have been taught the four central tenets of faith, truth, humility and respect. Black Kettle is remembered as much for how he lived as how he died.

Black Kettle had the right to have all of his peaceful attempts honored, and recognizing that basic human right would surely make this entire world a better place. There is no way, no how, that it should be otherwise in my view.

Should there be a Moxtaveto, or Black Kettle Day on November 27?

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