( – promoted by navajo)

Kevin Woster:

Many years ago, the federal courts ruled that the Black Hills of western South Dakota had been taken illegally from the American Indian tribes –

As governor, would you consider transferring Bear Butte State Park land and management to a consortium of American Indian Tribes as a gesture of reconciliation from the state?

Mike Rounds, Republican candidate in 2006:

“I do not believe that Bear Butte State Park, and it is a state park,
should be transferred to a Native American tribe.

I’m not sure which Native American tribe you might suggest (that) you hold
that they are all sovereign.

SD Governors Discuss Bear Butte

Why is the Bear Butte issue more critical than ever?

From Protect Bear Butte:

(Seems only first link in bulletin is still working)

Contact us at

—————– Bulletin Message —————–

From: NDN News

Date: Apr 23, 2008 10:17 PM

Hello Everyone,

Please forward this flier widely! If you can, print them out, distribute them, post them, whatever you can think of! Please help spread the word! If you want it as a Microsoft word document, for easier printing, email me! We appreciate all of your help and support to protect sacred sites!

Thank you!In peace & solidarity,(name not posted)

www. NDNnews. com

www. ProtectSacredSites. org http://bearbutte. blogspot. com/“Providing news and information about Native American Issues & Causes” “Helping to make a difference for our people in Indian Country, one day at a time.

What will you do today to help make a difference?” “Our sacred lands are all that remain keeping us connected to our place on Mother Earth, to our spirituality, our heritage and our lands; what’s left of them. If they take it all away, what will remain except a vague memory of a past so forgotten?”

Join our friends list on my space at http://www. myspace. com/ndnnews and

Also, join our yahoo group at Protecting our Ancestors & Sacred Sites


Protect Sacred Sites Indigenous People, One Nation is a grass roots organization, which works towards protecting our sacred sites across the country. We are a local organization actively working on the Protection of Bear Butte, in South Dakota.

BEAR BUTTE ISSUE MORE CRITICAL THAN EVER! SACRED SITES ARE WORTH THE FIGHT! Greetings to all my relations, I am writing to you today to alert you to the commercial desecration of land held sacred by nearly all the Plains American Indian Nations, Bear Butte.  This blatant disregard for the spiritual beliefs and traditional and cultural treasure of thousands of people is evidenced by the continuing and mounting presence of bars, clubs, strobe lights, a proposed stadium, and other venues of crass commercial entertainment. Bear Butte is a sacred site located eight miles west of Sturgis, South Dakota. It is registered as a National Historical Landmark. Bear Butte is sacred to the Plains Tribes, many continue to travel to the mountain each summer to pray and hold their annual ceremonies. Instead of praying in peace, traditional people are forced to pray with loud music from bars, mufflers and flashing strobe lights over the mountain. For the past few years there has been a continual encroachment of bars and venues heading towards the sacred mountain. In the summer of 2006, the massive two story bar opened just one mile from the mountain, called Sturgis County Line. Their goal is to have a 50,000 seat concert stadium and a RV park, in addition to the newly built two story bar. The owner of this location, Jay Allen has been disrespectful from the start. He initially wanted to call the location “On Sacred Ground” and erect an 80-foot Indian statue pointing towards the sacred mountain. Of course this was not viewed lightly, there has been a major battle to shut Jay Allen down, ever since.

There have been several developments since the summer of 2006, expansions are in progress and things are potentially getting worse. On April 14, 2008, Jay Allen announced a new partnership with a travel corporation from Boston, MA. In addition to this new partnership, they announced their plans to open the Sturgis County Line, year round. Biker rally events are NOW scheduled in June, July and August for the Sturgis Rally. So far, over a thousand bikers are scheduled to attend each event in June and July. The concert venue will be moving forward, by next summer they could have a 50,000 seat concert stadium, one mile from Bear Butte! With this new year round expansion, it will virtually become impossible ALL summer, to pray in peace at Bear Butte.  This issue has escalated and is now, more critical than ever. We are continuing the struggle to Protect Bear Butte and hope you will join us in these efforts!  

What YOU can do to help! Help us create awareness for the continual desecration of sacred sites, including Bear Butte. Get actively involved! Take Action! Help spread the word! The goal is to create public awareness across the country about desecration of our sacred sites! Being proactive and creating awareness, is one of the many ways, WE EACH can help to make a difference. Join our Bear Butte Working Group! We need pro-active, dedicated people who are willing to help in this continual struggle. Email us to find out how YOU can help Protect Bear Butte!  Talk with as MANY BIKERS as you can! Ask for their support on this issue, to not endorse Jay Allen’s Sturgis County Line.

The motto is Bikers for Bear Butte!

Sign up for our email updates! We send out announcements, updates, action alerts, upcoming meetings, hearings and information about current status.

Contact us at

Governor Schweitzer just sent me email…

Yes, THAT Governor Schweitzer; he just sent me an email about his efforts to abate the bison “management” problem in Yellowstone – follow me after the jump.

We’ve known for some time that bison who strayed out of the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park have been subject to removal, even slaughter, because of rancher’s fears of their cattle contracting brucellosis from the bison. Many of us wrote officials, asking if there wasn’t some better way to address the problem than what amounted to indiscriminate slaughter – and they responded.

Here’s the relevant parts of Gov Schweitzer’s message:

I would like to direct your attention to the recent Government Accounting Office (GAO) report on the Interagency Bison Management Plan, its shortcomings, and the inability to move to Step 2 of the Plan (expected to occur during the winter of ’02-’03).

The GAO conclusions track very closely changes that I have been advocating, including consummation of a grazing agreement with the Royal Teton Ranch, allowing for removal of that cattle herd, and passage through the ranch for hungry bison.

The State of Montana will continue to work with the land owners, livestock interests, wildlife and conservation groups, and the federal agencies that bear responsibility for bison management. At this point, negotiations have been completed with the Royal Teton Ranch, site of the largest cattle herd near the park. As directed by the Interagency Bison Management Plan, this agreement will better secure Montana’s disease-free status while providing more tolerance for bison…

As is urged by the GAO report… we will continue to seek and support vaccine research that provides protections against brucellosis, work with other willing landowners on creative grazing and management agreements, and utilize fair-chase hunting to manage bison in a manner similar to other large game species.

Sounds like some measure of success to me – although “fair-chase hunting to manage bison” is a phrase that lends itself to wide interpretation and potential abuse, if previous experience is any guide, and therefore stands out as a red flag. Keep an eye on that!

Kudos to Gov Schweitzer, who is proving our assessment of him to be correct; he is a valuable ally and supporter of common-sense progressive values.

We’ll be watching this as it works itself out. I’ll add more as I look into it – please post any additional info you dig up as well.

It’s Official! It’s now Piestewa Peak!

( – promoted by navajo)

I just got an email from the U.S. Board on Geographic Names:

This is to inform you…


Here’s the full text:

This is to inform you that the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, at its April 10, 2008 meeting, approved the proposal to change officially the name of Squaw Peak in the City of Phoenix to Piestewa Peak.  At the same meeting, the Board did not approve the proposal to change the summit s name to Swilling Peak.  The change has been recorded in the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS), the nation s official geographic names repository, which is available and searchable online

Congratulations to everyone who took part in this effort.

Back to the Artificial Environment & Back Again

( – promoted by navajo)

I drive home from having been with the Earth Mother for any length of time and feel clarity about our artificial environment. The longer I’ve been with her, the more profound the clarity is. I stare straight in the face of “progress” as phone lines, gas stations, and eventually the hazy horizon over the city appears.


I can’t help the feeling of wrongness I feel, though I can see some progress is useful, schools are for example. Still, I can’t help the feeling of wrongness. This isn’t meant to be a judgment of the wrongness of civilization, but by the time I describe this feeling; it probably will be.

I feel freedom when in the loving arms of the Earth Mother, and I try unsuccessfully to hang on to it. I see trees in wooden floors,


rocks in buildings, and I think of how steel is made that constructs buildings.



A generally hard, strong, durable, malleable alloy of iron and carbon, usually containing between 0.2 and 1.5 percent carbon, often with other constituents such as manganese, chromium, nickel, molybdenum, copper, tungsten, cobalt, or silicon, depending on the desired alloy properties, and widely used as a structural material.

When it strikes me again that all these things are from the Earth Mother, I catch myself thinking, “What for?”

I believe she promised to take care of us and support life, but it’s up to us to be respectful of her. I’m not going to list all of the ways I think we as a human race have been disrespectful and destructive, but here are some words from Chief Arvol Looking Horse.


Look around you. Our Mother Earth is very ill from these violations, and we are on the brink of destroying the possibility of a healthy and nurturing survival for generations to come, our children’s children.

Our ancestors have been trying to protect our Sacred Site called the Sacred Black Hills in South Dakota, “Heart of Everything That Is,” from continued violations. Our ancestors never saw a satellite view of this site, but now that those pictures are available, we see that it is in the shape of a heart and, when fast-forwarded, it looks like a heart pumping.

The Dine have been protecting Big Mountain, calling it the liver, and we are suffering and going to suffer more from the extraction of the coal from there and the poison processes used in doing so.

The Aborigines have warned of the contaminating effects of global warming on the Coral Reefs, which they see as Mother Earth’s blood purifier.

The Indigenous people of the rainforest relay that the rainforest are the lungs of the planet and need protection.

I think the decisions to use her flesh should be made with the eyes of the heart, for it is only by using her
flesh that we can continue the artificial environment, or quite frankly, the fake environment. Not much else to say, except that after I’ve returned to her loving arms; I dread leaving.


Because I know the feeling of wrongness and confinement will start feeling normal, so I get back to her as soon as I can.


And when I leave it starts all over again; back to the artificial environment and back again.

Can anyone help me on traditions of health care practices?

I am currently in Nursing School and I am doing a project on Cultural Diversity in Healthcare. If any Native American female or male could post the answers to the following questions below & state what tribe they belong to I would GREATLY appreciate it!

1) Have you or anyone you know received care in a hospital or clinic?

2) How would you describe your interactions with your healthcare provider?

3) Did you feel any discrimination of any kind while receiving care?

4) Do you prefer a male or female nurse or physician?

5) Is there any special care or needs that you would like or need while in the hospital?

6) Are there any special requirements or traditions about receiving healthcare or with taking medications?

7) What do you feel is the best remedy for a cold?

Who do you receive health care from?

You have no idea how much you are helping me and others to help increase cultural awareness in the health care field to provide better care to everyone equally.

Sitting Bull Was Right: “This is your story of my people!” (HBO’s “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee”)

( – promoted by navajo)


Historical revisionists of American Indian history portray indigenous people being as violent as white Europeans were before they arrived on this continent and after settlement. Consequently, HBO’s “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” was no exception in the scene with Sitting Bull and Col Nelson Miles on the Buffalo Robe, as Miles justified the genocide he was committing as “You were as violent as we are, we’re doing the same thing to you that you did to them (paraphrasing).”


Miles challenges Sitting Bull’s account of the Lakota people as champions of the plains. “The proposition that you were a peaceable people before the appearance of the white man is the most fanciful legend of all. You conquered those tribes, lusting for their game and their lands, just as we have now conquered you for no less noble a cause.” Sitting Bull exclaims, “This is your story of my people!” Miles responds, “This is the truth, not legend.”

This is the truth, not historical revisionism. There are general and specific reasons why Sitting Bull was right. To get the answers as to why, we turn to the scholarship of James Demeo. First, we’ll look at his conclusions to get the general overview.

Unlearning the Language of Conquest Scholars Expose Anti-Indianism in America. “Peaceful verses Warlike Societies” essay by James Demeo. p. 150 – 151


This evidence, drawn from history, archeology, and anthropology, speaks clearly: The New World prior to Columbus was a far less violent place than the Old World. And it can be argued that, in spite of many terrible events which followed after Columbus, the New World remained a less violent place all the way down through the centuries because of its geographical isolation from the more violent Saharasian empires…This summary suggests the general vindication of the vast majority of Native American values and peoples as standing on the peace – making side of history. Certainly, not all Indigenous American cultures fit the peaceful images given in Dances with Wolves, but it is not an exaggeration to say that the majority did.

To go to the specifics, we’ll go to page 148 of his essay under the heading “Archeological Evaluations.” This is number 3 of a list of 9 in which other listings are of Michigan, Illinois, and Southern California to list three of them.

Unlearning the Language of Conquest Scholars Expose Anti-Indianism in America. “Peaceful verses Warlike Societies” essay by James Demeo. p. 148

3. South Dakota, Crow Creek, c. 1300 C.E. Site of a tribal massacre of around 500 men, women, and children, but with a deficit of reproductive – age females.15


At least fifty Middle Plains Woodland skeletons and the Crow Creek massacre mass burial bones have been examined. A few Siouan skeletons from various places have been evaluated. A significant number of bones came from skeletons for which there was little or no provenience. The oldest human remnants we have seen from South Dakota (carbon dated 3,800 BP +/- 110 years) were 16 incomplete skeletons from the Hilde Gravel Pit near Lake Madison (161,162). The Middle Plains Woodland skeletons, the Crow Creek villagers (probably proto-Arikara) (361) and the Hilde Gravel Pit skeletons are pre-Columbian; those in museums, private collections, and salvage archaeology skeletons are primarily post-Columbian.


Who Carried Out the Massacre and Why?:
We cannot know for certain. Several explanations are possible. One is that it was some outside group, perhaps displaced Middle Missouri villagers from the north. Another suggests that some distant group from the east or west came through the area and massacred the villagers. Though neither can be ruled out, some problems suggest that it would have been difficult to do due to villages size, protection, and the fact that relatives lived in villages nearby.

Another explanation suggests that overpopulation combined with climatic instability caused competition for arable land. The massacre may have been carried out by one or several allied villages of the same culture. Evidence of malnutrition in the paleopathology suggests part of the hypothesis could be true. Computer simulation suggests that the hypothesis is feasible.

So, the only possible evidence, simply because of its location, does not at all justify “You conquered those tribes, lusting for their game and their lands, just as we have now conquered you for no less noble a cause.”

In addition, just above the “Archeological Evaluations” is stated:

Unlearning the Language of Conquest Scholars Expose Anti-Indianism in America. “Peaceful verses Warlike Societies” essay by James Demeo. p. 148

Even the most aggressive and warlike of the Native American empire – building  cultures (i. e., the Aztecs) never came close to the systematic murder and destruction seen at the hands of various Saharasian butcher – kings (e. g., Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan, Ivan the Terrible, Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Mao Tse – Dung, Pol Pot, ect.). In fact, the overwhelming percentage of New World Peoples, even after all the trauma and destruction which followed Columbus,  maintained significant elements of their peace – oriented matristic cultures, all the way into the 1800’s.

Dick Wolf states in the 2007 edition of Cowboys and Indians about the movie, “The reason Law & Order has been on for 17 years is that it tries to point out on a weekly basis that the world is in shades of gray.” Perhaps this is why a friend of mine thought Col Miles was right: Wolf’s innovative use of “gray.” Never does Wolf use his “shades of gray” to distort the moral line when it pertains to rape, murder, or theft. A rapist, a murderer, and a thief are always clearly on the wrong side of the law. Never have I heard an officer say, “She deserved it, they had it coming, or they shouldn’t leave their stuff lying around where someone can steal it.” To the contrary,  his “shades of gray” that I have seen in Law & Order  pertain to trying the case, where after the trial the one clearly on the wrong side of the law may go free as a result of politics or loopholes in legislation. Why Wolf didn’t do the same with Sitting Bull and Col Miles in the movie I don’t know, but I do know this – Sitting Bull was right. And, there are no “shades of gray” when it’s about genocide.

To conclude, there’s nothing like a protest to bring these racists’ and revisionists’ ideas out in the open. BTW, the sign that I saw said “Dawes Commission + land run = Genocide
(wasn’t mine, but that’s what it said).”

Notice the framing the commenter uses, not knowing that “the vast majority of Native American values and peoples (are on) as standing on the peace – making side of history,” and what an excuse it makes for them to be racist.

(video and definition added)

‘We’re part of Oklahoma history’

Jubilation and outrage marked festivities at an American Indian parade Saturday in downtown Oklahoma City.

The Society to Preserve Indigenous Rights and Indigenous Traditions hosted the parade, which kicked off about 9 a.m. at the corner of Reno and S Hudson avenues.

– snip –

Others walked the length of the parade carrying handmade signs bearing slogans such as “Frybread Power” and “Dawes Commission + land run = organized theft.”

(The youth in the beginning are stickball players, which is an ancient game that southeastern American Indians called the “little brother to war.” Requiring many of the same skills and rituals as war, stickball historically settled disputes between towns and sometimes between tribes.)

(from comments)

“You were here FIRST and they RAN over you,” is CUTE, plus it’s clever revisionist history. Wouldn’t it be closer to the truth to say someone was here before the current Indian residents and the current Indian residents either knocked politely on their doors and requested entrance or the current Indian residents trampled, beat, stole, pillaged, razed, shackled and raped them to get THEIRS? Will we get that depiction in your revised history of the American Indian? When the “Great White Father in Washington” moved you from your homelands in Georgia, Louisiana, Florida, etc., and “gave” you land in Oklahoma, didn’t someone else have to be moved off YOUR new land? Will your “true” depiction incorporate what happened to those the current Indidan residents displaced? So much for INDIGENOUS. DOUBLED. You also bought and sold other human beings the way you buy and sell “frybread.” Power up that depiction in your history of the American Indian, o truth seekers.

I’ll say it again, Sitting Bull was right.

Sitting Bull

“The white man knows how to make everything, but he does not know how to distribute it.”

Responding to a Super Delegate’s Request

( – promoted by navajo)

Free urges Oklahoma Indians to exercise power

Kalyn Free, the founder and president of the Indigenous Democrat Network, says Oklahoma Indians need to exercise their political clout.

– snip –

But Free, a member of the Choctaw Nation, says Oklahoma tribes aren’t doing enough to wield their political power. She also says Democrats aren’t reaching out to Indian Country, citing Republican efforts to target Native voters.

There’s a couple things I’d like Kalyn Free to know.

I’m going to fill in what I didn’t say in“Dead Indian Creek” & Cultural Hegemony and tell you who Archie Hoffman is and who the president was that could have made things better for Hoffman and all the Cheyenne he tried to help, necessarily including my first cousin (I spoke of him in this diary).

Racism was clearly present in the land theft surrounding Fort Reno. Perhaps those that still use “Dead Indian Creek” can pretend that land theft stopped in the 1800’s, if they acknowledge it at all. Well,

“They want the land given back to them on a platter,” Landow told FRONTLINE when he refused an on-camera interview. “They brought in innocent people like me. They’re a bunch of goddamn uneducated Indians.”

it didn’t.


(Article from 2000)


Fort Reno is a research station that contains a graveyard sacred to the Cheyenne-Arapaho, but is currently under federal control. Senator Don Nickles (R-Oklahoma) currently has language in a pending bill that continues funding for the research station which would prevent transfer of the land back to the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribe.



Charles Surveyor was chairman of the Cheyenne-Arapaho tribes of Oklahoma. In 1883 the federal government confiscated a 9,500-acre parcel of tribal land known as Fort Reno. Today there is speculation there may be oil and gas beneath it.


We don’t want no $100 million for our land or nothing. We want our land back, what’s rightfully ours. That was all we wanted. That’s still what we want.

Archie Hoffman was the former tribal secretary, who tried to help in the return of Fort Reno to the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes. Here’s what Hoffman told Moyers.

ARCHIE HOFFMAN, Former Tribal Secretary:

We knocked on every Senator’s and Congressman’s door in Washington, D.C. We went in there asking for help. Nobody said, “We’ll help you.” How are we going to get somebody’s attention, you know?

Here’s where President Clinton came in and what he said.

Then he asked me, “Do you have any important thing to say?” I got to our Fort Reno deal, and I talked and started going to a little history about that. And he asked his secretary, “Do you have anything on that?” She said yes, she had the whole package here and all that. And he said- “Well, we”- I can’t quote the right words, but it was something like, “We’ll look into it and see what can be done,” or something to that effect, right there.

President Clinton said words to the effect of “We’ll look into it and see what can be done” after saying, “Do you have any important thing to say?”

Well, nothing was “done” and Franklin Harrison, representative of the Tribal Business Committee of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma had “something important thing to say.”


Mr. President, my people face terrible hardships. Everyday, we confront poverty, hunger and high unemployment. And even more terrible is the high rate of teen suicide. The current tribal land base, consisting of 10,405 non-contiguous acres, is remotely situated and not conducive to economic development. With the tribal population now at over 11,000, we have outgrown this land base. The reclamation and development of the Ft. Reno property presents the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma with a critically important opportunity. It offers us the chance to build economic, political, and cultural stability within our tribes, and even more importantly, it offers us the chance to work together, to rebuild our pride and self-confidence, to establish our independence and to seize our future.

The Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes have produced a comprehensive conceptual prototype of land use development which offers a creative and economically viable plan for the utilization of the Fort Reno property. This land holds great potential for economic development in the form of businesses which would serve the Native American community and the local non-Native community. Tribal plans for the land also include agricultural development which would provide not only food and employment, but a very real opportunity to work hand in hand with the Department of Agriculture in a way that would be beneficial both to the Agricultural Experimental Station and to the Tribes.

– snip –

Mr. President, it is my duty to inform you that the principles which you outlined in your “MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES” of April 29, 1994 concerning “Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal Governments” have been violated every step of the way in the case of the Fort Reno land transfer. The Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes have made every effort to surmount every bureaucratic requirement with which we have been confronted, only to be continually frustrated in our efforts.

If Clinton had done the right thing, the “chance to build economic, political, and cultural stability” would not have been lost. Allow me to elaborate on the “right thing” before proceeding.

Fort Reno was abandoned on August 18, 1868 under provisions of the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty.

Once again, treaties must not be “the supreme Law of the Land.”

Constitution Background



This Constitution, and Laws of the United States which shall be made Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United Stated, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding

Proceeding, Pewo would most likely not be saying what I quote below from him today, considering they were going to use it to build “cultural stability.” Remember that Fort Reno (now) is a research station that contains a graveyard sacred to the Cheyenne-Arapaho, but is currently under federal control. (info. from 2000).

Here is what Pewo said very recently, for which I hold Clinton morally accountable in the relevant timeline.

Between two worlds

“I don’t really have anyone to talk to any more in my language, other than my wife,” Pewo said. “Our language is almost gone. I’m now the oldest one around here. There’s nobody I can go see. I get lonely. I cry.”

Hillary takes the credit for the goods things Bill did and says, “Life for Americans was better under the Clintons,” she has said. Not for the Cheyenne it wasn’t, and it’s still not.

Since we can thank Bill in the relevant timeline for a “language almost gone,” we can also possibly thank Hillary for that in the relevant timeline. Part of the “cultural stability” sought with having Fort Reno returned would most certainly have been about preserving the language.  

My first cousin doesn’t want to learn about his culture or language, including the stories that would be passed down to him orally. Thanks Bill. Thanks Hillary. For nothing.
I can not escape the thought that his life would be better if Fort Reno had been returned.  

Let me say it again, I hold Clinton morally accountable in the relevant timeline.

Finally, here is a first hand account from comments of how Hillary lies to Native Americans and evidence of her knowledge and involvement in one vital concern to the Native Americans I’ve communicated with on the internet.

(Emphasis mine)

Here it is!

Carter Camp’s personal account:

McCain and the Cross of Coal: GOP Front-Runner Tied to Theft of Navajo Lands

I spent a month in DC trying to get LP’s pardon finalized after the White House led us to believe he had a very good chance at being pardoned. On thankgiving I stood in front of the white house all day long fasting for him and the other ndn political prisoners. The last day was hell when we had to phone my brother Leonard and tell him we had failed and Clinton had lied to us all along. To make it worse our main contacts were in Hillary’s office so I know for sure she was part and parcel of lying to his supporters and the final decision to deny his pardon. I’ll never vote for her or support her or forgive her.

I think she’ll lie out of one side of her mouth and do irreversible damage with the other.

Those are the things I want Kalyn Free to know.

Black History: The Native Americans

( – promoted by navajo)

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

click to enlarge

The first Native American group encountered by Christopher Columbus were the Island Arawaks (more properly called the Taino) of Boriquen (Puerto Rico), the (Quisqueya) of the Dominican Republic, and the Cubanacan (of Cuba). It has been said that of the 250,000 to one million Island Arawaks living in 1492, only about 500 had survived by the middle of the 16th century, and that the group was considered extinct by the middle of the 17th century. However, DNA studies show that the genetic contribution of the Taino to that region continues, and the mitochondrial DNA studies of the Taino are said to show relationships to the Northern Indigenous Nations, such as Inuit and others.

European settlers brought infectious diseases against which the Native Americans had no natural immunity. Chicken pox and measles, though common and rarely fatal among Europeans, often proved deadly to Native Americans. Smallpox proved particularly deadly to Native American populations. Epidemics often immediately followed European exploration, sometimes destroying entire villages. While precise figures are difficult to arrive at, some historians estimate that up to 80% of some Native populations died due to European diseases.

In 1617-1619, smallpox wiped out 90% of the Massachusetts Bay Native Americans. As it had done elsewhere, the virus wiped out entire population groups of Native Americans. It reached Mohawks in 1634, Lake Ontario in 1636, and the lands of the Iroquois by 1679. During the 1770s, smallpox killed at least 30% of the West Coast Native Americans. Smallpox epidemics in 1780-1782 and 1837-1838 brought devastation and drastic depopulation among the Plains Indians. By 1832, the federal government established a smallpox vaccination program for Native Americans (The Indian Vaccination Act of 1832).

In the sixteenth century Spaniards and other Europeans brought horses to the Americas. Some of these animals escaped and began to breed and increase their numbers in the wild. Horses had previously migrated naturally to North America but the early American horse became game for the earliest humans and became extinct about 7,000 BC, just after the end of the last ice age. The re-introduction of the horse had a profound impact on Native American culture in the Great Plains of North America. As a new mode of travel the horse made it possible for some tribes to greatly expand their territories, exchange goods with neighboring tribes, and more easily capture game.

During the 17th century, Indian slavery, the enslavement of Native Americans by European colonists, was common. Many of these Native slaves were exported to off-shore colonies, especially the “sugar islands” of the Caribbean. Historian Alan Gallay estimates that from 1670-1715, British slave traders sold between 24,000 and 51,000 Native Americans from what is now the southern part of the U.S.

Slavery of Native Americans was organized in colonial and Mexican California through Franciscan missions, theoretically entitled to ten years of Native labor, but in practice maintaining them in perpetual servitude, until their charge was revoked in the mid-1830s. Following the 1847-1848 invasion by U.S. troops, Native Californians were enslaved in the new state from statehood in 1850 to 1867. Slavery required the posting of a bond by the slave holder and enslavement occurred through raids and a four-month servitude imposed as a punishment for Indian “vagrancy”.

The Haida and Tlingit Indians who lived along the Southeast Alaska’s coast were traditionally known as fierce warriors and slave-traders, raiding as far as California. Slavery was hereditary, the slaves being prisoners of war. Among some Pacific Northwest tribes, about a quarter of the population were slaves. Other slave-owning tribes of North America were, for example, Comanche of Texas, Creek of Georgia, the fishing societies, such as the Yurok, that lived along the coast from what is now Alaska to California, the Pawnee, and Klamath.

After 1800, the Cherokees and some other tribes started buying and using black slaves, a practice they continued after being relocated to Indian Territory in the 1830s.

The nature of slavery in Cherokee society often mirrored that of white slave-owning society. The law barred intermarriage of Cherokees and blacks, whether slave or free. Blacks who aided slaves were punished with one hundred lashes on the back. In Cherokee society, blacks were barred from holding office, bearing arms, and owning property, and it was illegal to teach blacks to read and write.

By contrast, the Seminoles welcomed into their nation African Americans who had escaped slavery (Black Seminoles).

There were historical treaties between the European Colonists and the Native American tribes requesting the return of any runaway slaves. For example, in 1726, the British Governor of New York exacted a promise from the Iroquois to return all runaway slaves who had joined up with them. This same promise was extracted from the Huron Natives in 1764 and from the Delaware Natives in 1765. There are also numerous accounts of advertisements requesting the return of African Americans who had married Native Americans or who spoke a Native American language. Individuals in some tribes owned African slaves; however, other tribes incorporated African Americans, slave or freemen, into the tribe. This custom among the Seminoles was part of the reason for the Seminole Wars where the European Americans feared their slaves fleeing to the Natives. The Cherokee Freedmen and tribes such as the Lumbee in North Carolina include African American ancestors.

After 1800, the Cherokees and some other tribes started buying and using black slaves, a practice they continued after being relocated to Indian Territory in the 1830s. The nature of slavery in Cherokee society often mirrored that of white slave-owning society. The law barred intermarriage of Cherokees and blacks, whether slave or free. Blacks who aided slaves were punished with one hundred lashes on the back. In Cherokee society, blacks were barred from holding office, bearing arms, and owning property, and it was illegal to teach blacks to read and write.


When I went to school, we were never taught Black History. We never learned about the Black leaders, the long, agonizing history that brought most Blacks to America. Those atrocities were glossed over in favor of mindlessly boring topics like the X Y Z Affair.

This series of cartoons will review Black history as told from a Black mother to an interracial child. This series will be ugly, course, horrific and truthful. I will mostly abandon the commentary for an article on Black history.

This series is not about Obama or Hillary. I want to you to try to imagine how Black families tell their children of the atrocities their ancestors, all of them, suffered because of the color of their skin. Try to imagine how Black families counsel their children when someone calls them “nigger” for the first time. Can you imagine the bone crushing emotion that must well up? Can you imagine the agony, frustration and anger?

Can you imagine being the Black preacher who tries to paint a picture of a just God every Sunday? Especially in a country that claims where the notion of racism is a thing of the past, the job is difficult.

These strips may at times be entertaining and sometimes they may not – mostly not.

I don’t want you to laugh so hard you cry, I want you to cry so hard you do something about it.

BIRTH OF A NOTION WALLPAPER is now available for your computer. Click here.

American Indians, Hollywood, and Stereotypes

( – promoted by navajo)

Racism is based on ignorance and is passed down generationally.  One racist adult caretaker may infect a few children with their racism; however, one racist film or television show would infect many more and more deeply ingrain any racism that already was in existence in my opinion. Examples such as in the following video have contributed to anti – Indian sentiments in the popular American culture in the relevant generations who viewed such films.

How Hollywood stereotyped the Native Americans

The main question I posed in “Stereotypical Elements (that) appear… in Athletic Contests” was “Who are they imitating?” It is vital to understand that in such “run – of – the – mill – westerns,” language exists that dehumanizes the American Indian and rationalizes genocide. Quoting a scene from “The Great Sioux Massacre (1965)” in the video above,

A man doesn’t forget easily when his wife and kids were butchered.

The Cheyenne, wasn’t it?

Cheyenne, Apache, Blackfoot, Sioux – they’re vicious killers all of them; they ain’t even human.

the film justified the genocide committed at the Sand Creek Massacre by stating “they’re vicious killers all of them; they ain’t even human.” Let’s look at “Celluloid Indians: Native Americans and Film” by Jacquelyn Kilpatrick to break down how such racist films dehumanize the American Indian more specifically before identifying who the actors in “The Great Sioux Massacre (1965)” were imitating.

Author Jacquelyn Kilpatrick outlines three elements of stereotyping American Indians in films: mental, sexual, and spiritual.

Celluloid Indians: Native Americans and Film

The stereotypes of Native Americans can be divided into three categories: mental, sexual, and spiritual, the most meaningful of which is probably the mental.

Although the actual words stupid and dumb are seldom seen in descriptions of Natives – perhaps because fighting a stupid enemy or having a dumb sidekick is not especially flattering – Native Peoples have been firmly placed in the lower echelons of intelligence by many European Americans since first contact was made. Benevolent terms such as “innocent,” “primitive,” and “unsaved” indicate a lesser intelligence, and the more antagonistic descriptors certainly point to comparative dimness. For instance, while the word stupid does not imply a lack of cleanliness, the word dirty does imply stupidity, and we are all familiar with the terms dirty redskin, filthy heathens, and so forth. This follows the pattern of stereotype development Perkins notes: “The most important and the common feature of the stereotypes of the major structural groups relates to their mental abilities. In each case the oppressed group is characterized as innately less intelligent…”  

The presumed lack of mental prowess may have something to do with the image of the Native American as intensely sexual – more creature than human, more bestial than celestial. Sexuality has historically constituted an important dimension of Hollywood Indians, both male and female, producing a very scary character. We repeatedly see the lustful savage attacking the white woman, requiring that he be killed immediately. And we have the lovely “Indian Princess” who is enormously attractive but must die before any damage is done to the purity of the gene pool…

The “spirituality” of Native Americans is brushed off as primitive or heathen in many run – of – the – mill – westerns…

Before identifying who the actors in “The Great Sioux Massacre (1965)” were imitating, we need to recognize that the stereotypes in such “run – of – the – mill – western” weren’t taken from American Indian tribes who resisted the U.S. extermination policy against them peacefully, those stereotypes were taken from “…Warrior Societies which had a key beginning and a key ending in 1825 and 1878…”

“Stereotypical Elements (that) appear… in Athletic Contests”

These facts in my opinion: that the U.S. traded weapons to the American Indians which naturally increased violence, and that the U.S. did not keep its treaties and created desperate conditions wherein American Indians would either have to starve or fight; may possibly provide a foundation for historically understanding and doing away with “stereotypical elements (that) appear… in athletic contests” and such stereotypical elements in “run – of – the – mill – westerns (added).”

The U.S. traded weapons to the American Indians which naturally increased violence.


And the Chiefs and Warriors, as aforesaid, promise and engage that their tribe will never, by sale, exchange, or as presents, supply any nation or tribe of Indians, not in amity with the United States, with guns, ammunition, or other implements of war.

And trade in general increased violence, as well as how “Europeans and Americans manipulated traditional hostilities.”

Encyclopedia of the Great Plains Indians

Edited by David J. Wishart. p. 103

Destructive war in the plains intensified after contact because of migration of eastern tribes (the Cheyennes and the Lakotas, for example) into the Plains as settlement moved west, because Europeans and Americans manipulated traditional hostilities, and because tribes competed for access to European and American trade, especially in fur – rich areas of the Northern Plains and Prairie Provinces.  

The increased violence caused by weapons trade and “Europeans and Americans manipulated traditional hostilities” affected not only Indian Nation to Indian Nation, but it also spread from Indian Nation to white settlers. This certainly wasn’t the last conflict, but the last Indian Raid was in Kansas in 1878. Within those raids and the brutality therein lie much racial resentment in my personal conversations and readings, and quite understandably so. There were deaths on both sides and it matters not to the surviving family members why their ancestor died, only that they were murdered and how. I don’t pretend to have the answer for that; I just know that this racism we are speaking of is not the solution. Let us continue.

The U.S. did not keep its treaties and created desperate conditions wherein American Indians would starve as part of the extermination policy against them, and that meant making a choice to fight in order to survive or to starve to death.

Custer’s Indian Hostages: (One White Woman & 2 White Children, Part 1)

Moxtaveto lost even more respect for signing the Little Arkansas Treaty of 1865 after the Sand Creek Massacre. It gave some land to Black Kettle and others, promised food and other survival necessities, promised that conflicts would be handled by taking Indians into custody rather than being murdered, “and that no white person, except officers, agents, and employees of the Government, shall go upon or settle within the country embraced within said limits, unless formerly admitted and incorporated into some one of the tribes lawfully residing there, according to its laws and usages.”

Custer “Stayed The Course” & The Kansas Raids

Confining and binding those Native Nations to 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,” as if they were without severe provocation in the first place.

Furthermore, the Sand Creek Massacre descendants were

Encyclopedia of the Great Plains Indians Edited by David J. Wishart. p. 49

…promised indemnities under the Treaty of Little Arkansas Treaty in 1865, which had not yet been paid as of 2001, although the Cheyenne Sand Creek Descendants Association continues to make legal efforts to collect the funds.

And at that Massacre at Sand Creek

“Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” by Dee Brown. p. 92.

Chivington and his soldiers destroyed the lives or the power of every Cheyenne and Arapaho chief who had held out for peace with the white men.

So: trade in general increased violence, how “Europeans and Americans manipulated traditional hostilities” increased violence, the U.S. not keeping its treaties helped create violence, and the Massacre that started the so called “Indian Wars” that involved “destroy(ing) the lives or the power of every Cheyenne and Arapaho chief who had held out for peace with the white men -“ created much, much, more violence.

– snip –

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

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.

Now, who was the actor in “The Great Sioux Massacre (1965)” imitating in the attitudes portrayed? Chivington, the butcher of the Sand Creek Massacre.



“the Cheyennes will have to be roundly whipped — or completely wiped out — before they will be quiet. I say that if any of them are caught in your vicinity, the only thing to do is kill them.” A month later, while addressing a gathering of church deacons, he dismissed the possibility of making a treaty with the Cheyenne: “It simply is not possible for Indians to obey or even understand any treaty. I am fully satisfied, gentlemen, that to kill them is the only way we will ever have peace and quiet in Colorado.”

“The Great Sioux Massacre (1965)”

A man doesn’t forget easily when his wife and kids were butchered.

The Cheyenne, wasn’t it?

Cheyenne, Apache, Blackfoot, Sioux – they’re vicious killers, all of them;
they ain’t even human.

When asked at the military inquiry why children had been killed, one of the soldiers quoted Chivington as saying, “NITS MAKE LICE.”

Author Jacquelyn Kilpatrick outlined three elements of stereotyping American Indians in films: mental, sexual, and spiritual. The “most meaningful of which is probably the mental,” Kilpatrick stated.

Chivington, the butcher of the Sand Creek Massacre had said “It simply is not possible for Indians to obey or even understand any treaty,” which was an attack on the intelligence of the Cheyenne. The actor in “The Great Sioux Massacre” who said “they ain’t even human” echoed Chivington, the butcher of the Sand Creek Massacre who said “Nits make lice.” Both statements rationalize the genocide committed at the Sand Creek Massacre. In addition, “Non – human” in such a context means “lacking intelligence,” or “not as smart as.” Certainly, “lice” are not seen as having very high intelligence and both – dehumanize. It should be abundantly clear that such “run – of – the – mill westerns”  have contributed to anti – Indian sentiments in the popular American culture in the relevant generations who viewed such films.

Finally, similarly to what the Consolidated Indigenous Shadow Report says about Indian Mascots on page 72,

Although the United States would probably respond that racist mascots and logos are an exercise of free speech that it has reserved under the Convention, they reveal the depth and pervasiveness of the racism against Indigenous Peoples so deeply engrained in the history and psyche of the United States and the dominant culture.

“run – of – the – mill westerns” also “reveal the depth and pervasiveness of the racism against Indigenous Peoples so deeply engrained in the history and psyche of the United States and the dominant culture.”

* I deliberately used the word “imitated” as opposed to “resembled.” That was due to the fact that the last Indian Boarding School did not close until the very early 1970’s, while the Forced Sterilizations of Indigenous Women were during the 1970’s. Both were prior to and during the The Siege of Wounded Knee 1973, respectively. In that light, I used the word “imitated” deliberately.


The Great Sioux Massacre is an entertaining pack of lies about Custer’s Last Stand. General Custer (Philip Carey) is herein depicted as a bastion of tolerance, whose efforts to secure fair treatment for the Indians lead to several confrontations with corrupt government officials.

Obama Promises Native Policy Advisor

( – promoted by SarahLee)

With 4.5 million Native Americans in the U.S., both Clinton and Obama need the Native American vote in some key states, and are therefore courting votes.

A while back, I diaried their policy proposals. Both were good, but I found Obama’s more comprehensive.

Now, Obama has come out with a proposal that puts him ahead of Clinton as far as I’m concerned. Yet one more reason I support him.

Obama will have an American Indian Policy Advisor on his senior White House staff. This guarantees a voice for Native Americans within the White House.

The Rapid City Journal reported on this today

“That is huge,” Keith Harper, a Native-law attorney in Washington, D.C., said.  “We’ve never even really had anybody in the door of the White House. They’ve been in the old executive office building in some back corner. And in this administration, they haven’t even been around at all.”

Obama’s chief of staff, Pete Rouse, seems on top of the issues:

Rouse said health care, education and economic development ranked at the top of Obama’s concerns for Natives. Obama co-sponsored the reauthorization of the Indian Healthcare Improvement Act, a federal law that hadn’t been updated for about 15 years.

“We have an obligation, a responsibility to provide full Indian health care, and in my memory, we’ve never done it,” Rouse said Thursday. “Nobody was out there advocating to do it at the highest levels of the administration. Right now, Indian policy concerns don’t have a fighting chance because they don’t have the visibility or the clout behind them.”

Obama addresses twice as many specific tribal concerns in his platform as Clinton’s agenda, Rouse said.

“Obama’s feelings on this is, we’re sort of running an insurgent campaign,” Rouse said. “He’s running from outside of Washington, a ‘change campaign.’ And from the beginning, he’s set out to include Native Americans in this coalition for change.”

I personally like this philosophy as well:

“One of the big issues here is to empower tribes to solve their own problems … in a way they want to solve them. Washington can’t say, ‘Here’s a bunch of money,'” Rouse said. “‘This is how you got do it.'” In order to do that, you need that dialogue with someone who is in the White House who has the sensitivity to Indian Country and tribal perspectives, and who also has the ear of the president.”

To me, Obama’s support is clearly sincere and I feel trustworthy.

Black Hills & “The (Real) Supreme Law of the Land”

( – promoted by navajo)

…Among the Courts’ cases, 240 of 375 recognized American Indian treaties have been cited 992 times in 342 opinions between the years 1884 and 2004.

Constitution Background



This Constitution, and Laws of the United States which shall be made Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United Stated, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding

So, why is Pe Sla in the Black Hills likely to become a “Sea of Houses?”

The first reason, is that treaties must not be “the supreme Law of the Land.”


In the 1868 treaty, signed at Fort Laramie and other military posts in Sioux country, the United States recognized the Black Hills as part of the Great Sioux Reservation, set aside for exclusive use by the Sioux people. In 1874, however, General George A. Custer led an expedition into the Black Hills accompanied by miners who were seeking gold. Once gold was found in the Black Hills, miners were soon moving into the Sioux hunting grounds and demanding protection from the United States Army. Soon, the Army was ordered to move against wandering bands of Sioux hunting on the range in accordance with their treaty rights. In 1876, Custer, leading an army detachment, encountered the encampment of Sioux and Cheyenne at the Little Bighorn River. Custer’s detachment was annihilated, but the United States would continue its battle against the Sioux in the Black Hills until the government confiscated the land in 1877. To this day, ownership of the Black Hills remains the subject of a legal dispute between the U.S. government and the Sioux.

A second reason is, the Forest Service and the Pennington County Highway Department are ignoring that fact thatthe Lakota Nation has never accepted any money for the Black Hills; it legally belongs to the Lakota Nation.


Articles of a treaty made and concluded at Fort Laramie, in the Indian Territory, between D. D. Mitchell, superintendent of Indian affairs, and Thomas Fitzpatrick, Indian agent, commissioners specially appointed and authorized by the President of the United States, of the first part, and the chiefs, headmen, and braves of the following Indian nations, residing south of the Missouri River, east of the Rocky Mountains, and north of the lines of Texas and New Mexico, viz, the Sioux or Dahcotahs, Cheyennes, Arrapahoes, Crows, Assinaboines, Gros-Ventre Mandans, and Arrickaras, parties of the second part, on the seventeenth day of September, A.D. one thousand eight hundred and fifty-one. (a)

– snip –

ARTICLE 3. In consideration of the rights and privileges acknowledged in the preceding article, the United States bind themselves to protect the aforesaid Indian nations against the commission of all depredations by the people of the said United States, after the ratification of this treaty.

– snip –

The territory of the Sioux or Dahcotah Nation, commencing the mouth of the White Earth River, on the Missouri River; thence in a southwesterly direction to the forks of the Platte River; thence up the north fork of the Platte River to a point known as the Red Buts, or where the road leaves the river; thence along the range of mountains known as the Black Hills, to the head-waters of Heart River; thence down Heart River to its mouth; and thence down the Missouri River to the place of beginning.

Last of all that I’m mentioning, is that they need to especially adhere with common sense to the first, third, and fourth points made by Judge Elmer Dundy in his decision after the trial of Standing Bear.

(emphasis mine)

“First. That an Indian is a person with the meaning of the laws of the United States,
and has therefore the right to sue out a writ of habeas corpus in a federal court and before a federal judge, in all cases where he may be confined, or in custody under color of authority of the United States, or where he is restrained of liberty in violation of the constitution or laws of the United States.

– snip –

“Third. That no rightful authority exists for removing by force
any of the relators to the Indian Territory, as the respondent has been directed to do.

   “Fourth. That the Indians possess the inherent right of expatriation as well as the more fortunate white race, and have the inalienable right to ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,’
so long as they obey the laws and do not trespass on forbidden ground.

As I said before.

To conclude and once again, “It is only a matter of time that further abuse and possible desecration will take place so that we must tell the story of this sacred site.  Action must be taken to preserve this prairie for future generations;” and, if they were considering condemning hundreds of churches for the sake of “development” or uranium for that matter, we wouldn’t even be having this discussion.

So, what’s the real “supreme Law of the Land” when it comes to the United States dealing with the American Indian Nations?

Red Cloud

“They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but they never kept but one; they promised to take our land and they took it.”

Navajo Nation likely to lose Internet service

In a nutshell, because of a billing dispute, Internet service is likely to be shut off Monday for the whole Navajo Nation. There’s more…

(For brevity, I’m excerpting from the referenced article without comment.)

The thousands of Navajo Nation residents who rely on the Internet to work, study and communicate across their 27,000-square-mile reservation will be out of luck Monday, if their service provider shuts access as planned…

A tribal audit last year revealed that Utah-based provider OnSat Network Communications Inc. may have double-billed the tribe, and it raised questions about how the tribe requested bids for the Internet contract…

Through the Washington, D.C.-based USAC, the FCC reimburses 85 percent to 90 percent of the costs for Internet service to 70 of the tribe’s 110 chapter houses, which operate like city governments. The Navajo Nation covers the other 10 percent to 15 percent of the cost and offers service inside the chapter house and nearby through Wi-Fi…

The USAC told Navajo President Joe Shirley Jr. in a March 28 letter that it is withholding money for OnSat for 2006-07 because of the possible overbilling and because the tribe didn’t comply with federal rules that require it to select the most cost-effective service or equipment through a fair, open and competitive bidding process…

The Navajo Nation has until May to respond to USAC’s letter, and the USAC can release full or partial funding or continue to withhold funding, said spokeswoman Laura Betancourt…

OnSat will continue to provide Internet services for the tribe’s Division of Public Safety and the Office of the President and Vice President, offices whose satellite service isn’t dependent on FCC funding, Fitting said…

Navajo President Shirley said reservation residents have come to rely on Internet access to improve their professional and educational lives.

“It would be a very sad day for the children and people of the Navajo Nation if the dark clouds descend, the lights go out, and access is denied to the chapter houses on the reservation, in large part, because USAC has failed to timely fund our application,” Shirley said in a December letter to Mel Blackwell, vice president of USAC’s Schools and Libraries Division.

Death of an American Indian Linguist

( – promoted by navajo)

 Dr. Blair Rudes was a linguist & scholar of American Indian languages from UNC Charlotte. He died at the age of 57 from a heart attack.


Word has spread slowly about the death last month of Dr. Blair Rudes.

The linguist and renowned translator of American Indian languages died of a heart attack after working out at a gym near UNC Charlotte.

Some students got the word from professors and classmates.

And some of the people most touched by Rudes’ work — members of the Algonquan, Tuscarora and Catawba tribes — are still learning of the news


The last known speaker of Algonquian died in the 18th century. But Rudes helped restore the language.

Sara Whitford of the Coastal Carolina Indian Center learned the news Friday from me. “I’m devastated,” said Whitford, who has roots among the coastal Algonquans and Tuscarora of Eastern North Carolina.

She and Rudes became friends when he worked on restoring the Algonquian language for the 2006 film “The New World.”

My heart is broken for the work he won’t be able to do, but his legacy will live on,” she said. “Not everyone can say they have done what he has done, giving a language back to its people.”

Because Rudes had no family in Charlotte, his academic family in the English Department is fielding calls from people across the nation and arranging for a memorial service, said Pereira.

Representatives of the Catawba, Tuscarora and Powhatan nations will take part in the memorial service, Pereira said.

There is a nice tribute to Dr. Rudes over at Life After Jerusalem.

Dr. Rudes was an excellent researcher and a friend to the Indian tribes of South Carolina. He will be missed.

As a scholar, Dr. Rudes is best known for writing the Tuscarora-English/English-Tuscarora Dictionary, which the University of Toronto Press published in 1999. He also edited several other books and published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. At the time of his death, he was completing a three-volume work titled The Catawba Language.

In recent years, Dr Rudes received several important honors. In 2006, the Tuscarora Indian Nation honored him for his contributions to preserving the Tuscarora language. In 2007, the South Carolina General Assembly passed a bill honoring Dr. Rudes for his contribution to the South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs. Most recently, the State University of New York at Buffalo (where Dr. Rudes received his Ph.D. in 1976) gave him with their Distinguished Alumni Award.

“What is life?

It is the flash of a firefly in the night.

It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime.

It is the little shadow which runs across

the grass and loses itself in the sunset.” Crowfoot

I pray that Dr. Rudes spirit will be in peace.

McCain and the Cross of Coal: GOP Front-Runner Tied to Theft of Navajo Lands

( – promoted by navajo)

According to an article over at the American Computer Science Organization:

A public research website: has brought together diverse historical elements of factual proof that Senator John McCain’s was the key “point man” introducing, enacting and enforcing law that removed Dineh-Navajo Families from their reservation on the Black Mesa in Arizona. The McCain revised law relocated them to Church’s Hill, Nevada (a Nuclear Waste Superfund Site, called “the New Lands” in PL 93-531). The Dineh-Navajo, a deeply spiritual and peaceful people, engaged in only peaceful resistance to being moved off lands they’d owned since 1500 A.D. Nonetheless, the Public Press and UN depicted brutalization, rights deprivation and forcible relocation.

The cain2008 website quotes from the UN report directly:

“The Black Mesa region in Arizona, USA is home to the indigenous communities of the Dineh (Navajo) and Hopi peoples. This region also contains major deposits of coal which are being extracted by North America’s largest strip mining operation. The coal mines have had a major impact on families in the region. Local water sources have been poisoned, resulting in the death of livestock. Homes near the mines suffer from blasting damage. The coal dust is pervasive, as well as smoke from frequent fires in the stockpiles. Not coincidentally, the people in the area have an unusually high incidence of kidney and respiratory disease.”

“The Dineh (otherwise known as Navajo) were stripped of all land title and forced to relocate. Their land was turned over to the coal companies without making any provisions to protect the burial or sacred sites that would be destroyed by the mines. People whose lives were based in their deep spiritual and life-giving relationship with the land were relocated into cities, often without compensation, forbidden to return to the land that their families had occupied for generations. People became homeless with significant increases in alcoholism, suicide, family break up, emotional abuse and death.”

— Marsha Monestersky for the UN Commission on Human Rights and Women Enacting Change at the UN

Will we hear more about the plight of the Sovereign Dineh Nation (SDN) in the mainstream media, or from the Democratic candidates? I won’t hold my breath, as Native American issues don’t even seem to register on their radar. That was made more than clear when Democratic President Bill Clinton left American Indian Movement [AIM] leader Leonard Peltier to rot in prison on frame-up murder charges, after already serving 25 years. Oh, and this was despite pleas for executive clemency for Peltier from Coretta Scott King, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Humans Rights, among others.

The Minnesota History Society briefly describes AIM’s history:

AIM’s leaders spoke out against high unemployment, slum housing, and racist treatment, fought for treaty rights and the reclamation of tribal land, and advocated on behalf of urban Indians whose situation bred illness and poverty. They opened the K-12 Heart of the Earth Survival School in 1971, and in 1972, mounted the Trail of Broken Treaties march on Washington, D.C., where they took over the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), in protest of its policies, and with demands for their reform.

The revolutionary fervor of AIM’s leaders drew the attention of the FBI and the CIA, who then set out to crush the movement.

Leonard Peltier was a victim of the FBI program, Cointelpro. But it’s not just secretive policies of the FBI and CIA. Mainstream politicians have participated in the rape and destruction of Native Americans since this nation’s inception. Politicans like McCain work in tandem with the repressive apparatus of the state to line the pockets of the coal, mining and energy companies at the expense of the lives of poor Native Americans, mindlessly destroying their cultures in the process.

John McCain’s lurid participation in the latest scandal is part of a terrible history, part of a history that must be cleaned up if this country is to survive in any effective sense, and not continue its dizzying descent into moral and economic chaos and violent repression.

Hat tip to Winter Rabbit for alerting me to this story. See her excellent article on it at Daily Kos.

(This article originally posted at Invictus.)