Aborignial Puerto Rico

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The aboriginal Taíno name for the island that is today called Puerto Rico is Borinquen and thus people from the island are Boricuas. While the Taínos were the dominant aboriginal group on the island when the Spanish arrived in 1493, they only arrived on the island in the seventh century. They replaced an earlier island culture and by the year 1000 had become the dominant political, economic, and cultural power on the island.  

When the Spanish arrived in the Caribbean they found the native people there to be friendly. The Spanish had come to the Caribbean in search of great wealth: wealth from gold and silver; and wealth from agricultural crops such as sugar. Since it takes a great deal of labor to produce wealth from these things, they simply enslaved the Taíno. The impact of forced labor coupled with European diseases and deliberate murder soon decimated the Taíno population.

In 1511, the Taíno under the leadership of Urayoán and Agueybaná revolted. The revolt, however, was quickly put down by Ponce de León and the superior Spanish weaponry. By 1520, the Taíno population on Puerto Rico was considered almost extinct.

Like the other indigenous people in the Caribbean, the Taíno in Puerto Rico had an agricultural based economy. In addition, they engaged in trade with the people on the other islands, with the American Indian tribes in Florida, and with the people in Mesoamerica.

The Taíno culture emphasized creativity in pottery, basket weaving, cotton weaving, and stone sculpture. Both men and women painted their bodies and adorned them with jewelry made from bone, shell, stone, and gold. The presence of this gold jewelry encouraged the Spanish quest for wealth.

Feasts and dances were a part of the social, ceremonial, and religious life of the Taíno people. The Taíno drank alcohol which they made from fermented corn. Like Native Americans in other parts of the Americas, they also used tobacco in their religious ceremonies.  We don’t know a great deal about Taíno religion as the Spanish were not interested in recording it: they simply assumed that the Taíno didn’t have any religion.

One of the gifts from the Taíno to the rest of the world was the hammock. The term “hammock” is derived from the Taíno term “hamaca.” Hammocks were readily adopted by sailors all over the world as a convenient means to increase the crew capacity of ships. They also improved the sanitary conditions of the sleeping quarters. Today they are found in many American backyards.

In 1898, the United States decided that it wanted to become an imperial power so it acquired Puerto Rico as well as other colonies. Ignoring Puerto Rico’s aboriginal past, most Americans think of Puerto Ricans as hispanics in terms of both language and culture. Genetically, the Taíno DNA continues in many Puerto Ricans. More importantly, the memories of the aboriginal Borinquen have not been forgotten and many still call themselves Boricua and relate to this earlier culture.

The United Confederation of Taíno People (UCTP) was created in 1998. Its purpose is to protect, defend, and preserve the Taíno cultural heritage and spiritual tradition. Taíno cultural heritage and spiritual tradition includes but is not limited to the protection and maintenance of ancestral remains, sacred sites, artifacts, and religious practices which involve the use of ceremonial objects such as sacred plants and various feathers.  

In spite of suppression by both the Spanish and the Americans, some of the Taíno language has managed to survive.

Contrary to what has been thought and taught by some, the Taíno language was not completely extinguished. Portions were absorbed over time into the Spanish-speaking Caribbean. Spanish spoken in Boriken retains over 600 Taíno words.

Among words of indigenous origin are objects, geographical names, personal names as well as flora and fauna. A few contemporary cities and towns in Boriken include Yabucoa, Bayamon, Coamo, Ceiba, Caguas, Guanica, Areciboetc.

Many Taíno words are used as adjectives and verbs. For example, the phrase “dar mucho katei” and “joder la pita” means to be very bothersome. “Duro como el guayacan” refers to a person in good shape and “tiene unos macos bonitos” means having pretty eyes.

Source: http://www.boricua.com/taino/T…

Some Taíno words:

Ana: flower

Caona: gold

Ector: sweet soft corn (maize)

Ita: don’t know

With regard to religion, the Caney Circle has kept alive a modern version of the shamanic traditions of the Taíno.

At the heart of our belief in the vitality of spiritual experience is the knowledge that Cosmic wisdom exists within the concept of the sacred circle. This concept is similar to the concept of the North American Indian belief in the “Medicine Wheel” and Asian belief in the “Mandala”.



One Who Came Back

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In response to an earlier diary on American Indians as slaves, one reader asked what happened to the Indians who had been taken to Europe. While most died in Europe, often from unfamiliar diseases, there were a few who returned to their people in North America. This is the story of one who came back.  

Opechancanaugh (1544?-1641)

Among Indian nations prior to the European invasion, it was a fairly common practice for two nations to exchange young people. These young people would then be given the opportunity to learn the language and customs of the other nation. When they returned to their own nation, these people were able to serve as interpreters (of both language and custom) as well as ambassadors between the two nations. When Indian nations first began to have contact with the European nations – Spain, Portugal, France, and England – they saw a great deal of merit in continuing this practice. Consequently, many young Indians (mostly boys) were taken to European to learn European languages and customs.

In 1561 the Spanish explorer Pedro Menendez de Aviles entered what he called the Bahía de Santa María (now called Chesapeake Bay). The Powhatan Indians paddled canoes out to meet the Spanish ship. One of the Indians, a young man of about 16-17 years of age, was the chief’s son. Intrigued with the young man’s willingness to learn their ways, the Spanish asked permission to take him across the Atlantic to meet the King of Spain. They promised to return him with much wealth and many garments.

The designation “Powhatan” actually refers to a single village which was the main village of a confederation of villages. Initially there were about 7 villages in the confederacy and by the early 1600s there were over 30. The villages which were allied with the Powhatan in a confederacy were also considered to be Powhatan. Most histories do not distinguish between Powhatan as a village designation and Powhatan as a confederacy designation.

Unaware of the young man’s Indian name (or perhaps unable to pronounce it), the Spanish renamed him Luis. From an Indian viewpoint, the practice of taking a new name during a new phase of one’s life was not only acceptable, but expected.  

Luis was taken to Spain where he was introduced to King Philip II as an important chief (cacique) from Florida. He was placed with the Dominican friars so that he could learn Spanish and Christianity.

Pedro Menendez de Aviles returned to the Americas in 1563. True to his pledge to the Powhatan people, he brought Luis with him so that he could be returned to his people. However, the Archbishop of Mexico, fearing the Luis might relapse into his former “devil” worship, refused permission and Luis remained with the Dominicans in Mexico.

In 1566 the Spanish King named Pedro Menendez de Aviles adelantado (conqueror) of Florida and issued a royal order which gave the custody of Luis to him. In an attempt to carry out his word to the Powhatan (and to begin colonizing), the Spanish explorer set sail for the Bahía de Santa María (Chesapeake Bay), but he missed the entrance to the Bay and returned to Spain with Luis.

In Spain, Luis was placed with the Jesuits to further his knowledge of Spanish and of Christianity.

The Spanish Jesuits established a mission on Chesapeake Bay in 1570 as a way of extending the Spanish empire north of Florida. Accompanying the priests was Luis. Upon returning to his people, Luis found that his brother Wa-hun-son-a-cock had become the main chief of the Powhatan.

When Wa-hun-son-a-cock became the main chief, he took the name of his village and thus he was also called Powhatan.

The priests of the Spanish colony on the Chesapeake Bay were shocked when Luis began to revert to Indian ways by taking several wives. Before the entire company, Luis was sanctimoniously reprimanded and humiliated. In response Luis renounced Christianity and went to live in a village on the Pamunkey River. He discarded the name Luis and took the name Opechancanough which means “he whose soul is white.”

In 1571 the priests from the Spanish colony at Chesapeake Bay persuaded the Indians from Opechancanough’s village to return to their mission with them. However, the Indians killed the priests and then attacked the mission, killing all except for one boy (Alonso). This incident marked a change in the relationship between the Powhatan Confederacy and the Spanish Jesuits. Instead of submission and respect, the attributes which the Jesuits attempted to instill among the Indians through humiliation and brutality, the Indians now openly viewed Spaniards and Christianity with hatred.

When the Jesuit supply ship from Havana arrived it was not met with the expected signals and did not land. There was, however, a brief fight during which the Spanish obtained one captive. From this captive they found out that only Alsono had survived the attack on the mission.

In response to the attack on the mission, the following year the Spanish sent an armed ship with 30 soldiers to invade Powhatan territory. The Spanish soldiers killed several Indians and managed to capture Alonso. They found that Alonso had almost forgotten how to speak Spanish.

For the next three decades, the European written histories of the Americas make no mention of Opechancanough (once known as Luis). In the early 1600s, however, he emerges again as an Indian leader who is dealing with the English settlers in Powhatan territory.

In 1607 the English established a colony at Jamestown. The English colonists were unprepared for life in the Americas. The Powhatan, on the other hand, were excellent farmers and they freely shared their surplus crops (corn, beans, squash) with the English. One of the figures who emerged as an important emissary between the colonists and the Powhatan nation was Opechancanaugh’s niece, the youngest daughter of Powhatan (formerly known as Wa-hun-son-a-cock), a girl called Pocahontas.

From an Indian perspective, the food was freely given to the colonists as a gesture of friendship and good will. Many of the colonists, however, viewed the good as something the Indians “owed” them as tribute to the “natural superiority of the English.” A year after the establishment of the colony, the hungry colonists under the leadership of Captain John Smith attempted to obtain corn from the Pamunkey who were under the leadership of Opechancanough. When the chief indicated that he was unwilling to trade, the captain held a gun to the chief’s breast and threatened to kill him unless their boats were filled with twenty tons of corn. He also told Openchancanough that if his boats were not filled with Indian corn, he would fill it with their dead bodies.

By 1610, the Powhatan Nation was fed up with the English and their supreme chief asked them to leave. The tensions between the two people were marked with many small skirmishes. The Powhatan had the ability to exterminate the English but declined to do so because they believed that human beings – including the English – had honor and would do the right thing by leaving when they were not welcome. When the Powhatan stopped trading with the English, the English faced starvation and began eating their own dead.

The arrival of new supplies and new soldiers from England allowed the colony to survive and to begin a war against all of the Indians in the area. The English, under the banner of Jesus Christ, waged a religious war against the Indians who they saw as the dangerous servants of the Devil.

By 1613 the English colonists had still not acquired the skills they needed for survival in North America and were reliant on the good will and surplus crops of their Indian neighbors for food. By this time, the good will had worn a little thin because of English arrogance and an attitude that implied that the Powhatan people should be their servants. The Powhatan nation, hoping that the starving English would go home, stopped giving them food and stopped trading with them. In a desperate attempt to blackmail the Powhatan chief into giving them food, the English colonists kidnapped Pocahontas.

The following year, as a condition of her release from her English captors, Pocahontas agreed to marry John Rolfe and to change her name to  Rebecca Rolfe. At the Christian English-style marriage ceremony, Pocahontas was given away by her uncle Opechancanough.

In 1614 the English colonists concluded a formal, written treaty with the Chickahominy in which the Indians agreed to send an annual tribute payment of corn to Jamestown. While this appeared to be very favorable for the English, the treaty between the English and the Chickahominy was actually masterminded by Opechancanough. In a master stroke of forest diplomacy, Opechancanough deluded the English into believing that the Chickahominies were their allies while at the same time he was secretly drawing the once recalcitrant tribe closer to membership in the Powhatan empire.

In 1616 the English colonists obtained the new snaphance muskets which used a flint on steel ignition rather than a burning wick. Opechancanough convinced the English to share the new guns with the Indians and to show their warriors how to use them. In exchange, the English were allowed to give Christian instruction to the Indians.

By 1616 the English had still not learned how to provide their own food. Instead of raising food crops, they had focused their energies on raising tobacco which they had hoped would become a major cash crop. Once again they ran out of food and were on the point of starvation. To survive, they send for their annual tribute of corn from the Chickahominy. Instead of sending corn, the Chickahominy simply claimed that they had already paid the tribute. The next day, the English went to war and killed 20-40 Chickahominy.

The English were unaware of the fact that they had been manipulated into this incident by Opechancanough who had advised the Chickahominy to resist the English demands and who had told the English that the Chickahominy were killing English cattle and swine.  

In 1618, the supreme chief of the Powhatan died and his lame younger brother Itopatin became the new Powhatan. The older brother, Opechancanough, had popular support from the people and there was some struggle for leadership between the two men. While Opechancanough did not assume the position of supreme chief, he was perhaps more powerful than the Powhatan.  

By 1622, Opechancanough’s nephew, Nemattanew (Jack of the Feathers) had emerged as a charismatic war chief. He revitalized native culture and the warrior traditions. He would go to war covered with feathers and with swans’ wings attached to his shoulders. He was able to bewitch and confuse enemy warriors, including the English soldiers, and was thought to be invulnerable to bullets. However, the colonists soon disproved this claim when they shot and killed him.

Opechancanough then carried out an attack on the English colonies, killing 350 of the settlers (one-fourth of colony’s total population). The plan of attack was so skillfully devised, the organization of forces so effective, the element of surprise so perfectly preserved, that the English preferred to credit the Spanish with designing the strategy. They refused to believe that an Indian could have devised such a strategy. They continued to view Indians as “savage” and as “incapable of planning.” While there was no evidence of Spanish involvement, the English insisted that the Spanish had to have planned the attack.

In retaliation for the attack, the English carried out a series of raids on the Indians. Instructions from London to the Virginia colonies called for a perpetual war to exterminate the Indians and the Governor of Virginia issued a directive to kill, rob, and hunt down the Indians of the area.

In 1641, Thomas Rolfe, the son of Pocahontas, petitioned the Governor for permission to visit his mother’s uncle Opechancanough. At the time it was against the law for the colonists to speak or visit with the Powhatan. Permission was granted and he visited his mother’s people.

The aging Opechancanough and his warriors shattered the uneasy peace with the colonists in 1641. The Powhatan were defeated and Opechancanough was captured. One of the colonists then shot him in the back and he died. Opechancanough was nearly 100 years old at the time of his death.  

Thank You Mr. Olbermann (Steele: “Honest injun on that”)

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Mr. Olbermann,

I was pretty exhausted from moving again for the third time in six months for good reasons, although I had to sweep a few streets till I got the job I moved for. Pictures weren’t hung up yet when this racial utterance came out of Steele’s mouth.

Normally Mr. Olbermann, Republicans and their political allies say and do things like that that aren’t even mentioned in the main media. I’ve gotten used to it, where these issues being ignored feel normal. Makes you feel invisible sometimes.  But you didn’t do that afterwards, you mentioned it after Steele said it. I was sitting on my couch I hadn’t sat on for a half year with boxes all around and almost cried I was so grateful. So I just wanted to say thank you. Mr. Olbermann, thank you for that and all the great work you do.

As for Steele, you need to not write books and read a few. Enough said.


As in the progressive stages of annihilation outlined by Stannard, dehumanization preceded destruction. As David Stannard writes in American Holocaust, The Conquest of the New World, Indians were considered “Nothing more than a half-filled outline of humanity whose extermination was a logical and necessary solution to the problem.” European settlers described “Indians as ‘ugly, filthy and inhuman beasts, [and] newspapers commonly characterized them as swine, snakes, pigs, and baboons…”

In the Crockett Almanacs, Indians are called “red niggers…” “injun savages…”

Demonstrates the use of “injun” as a vehicle for humor, excluding any possible consideration for the Indian as human…


During a Jan. 4 appearance to promote his new book on the Sean Hannity Fox News cable program, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele discussed conservative principles, at one point insisting that the Republican Party does not need to modernize. He hit home the point with the words, “Honest injun on that.”

Within this animal metaphor, the “injuns” inability to be civilized confirmed the idea of their bestiality, which could thus be seen as fundamental, pernicious, and stubbornly resistant to improvement.

If someone can find the video of Olbermann mentioning it, please post, I couldn’t find it.

Early European Mythology of American Indian Origins

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At the beginning of the European Age of Discovery in the sixteenth century, Europeans knew that all human beings had originally come out of the Garden of Eden and that this Garden of Eden was located at the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in present-day Iraq. They knew this because of the stories in their origin myths and they accepted these myths as absolute fact. Thus, when they encountered people living in the distant Americas, they were faced with two basic problems: (1) were these people human, and (2) if they were human, how did they get from the Garden of Eden to the Americas? Related to the second question is the question of why these people were there.  

European scholars during the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries simply disregarded Native American origin stories which explained where the people had come from and why they were there. In many cases these scholars were unaware of Native American origin stories and in other cases they simply assumed that these origin stories must be false if they conflicted with the European story of creation.  

Fairly soon after word of people living in the Americas reached European scholars and clerics, they concluded that these people must be human. This meant that the scholars had to now answer the questions of “how” and “why” and do so in such a fashion that was compatible with their own origin stories.

One of the first scholars to attempt to answer these questions was José de Acosta. A Jesuit scholar, de Acosta had occupied an academic chair in theology before being sent to the Americas. Unlike some of the other earlier authors who had written about the history of the Americas, such as Francisco López de Gómara whose Historia general de las Indias (General History of the Indians) had been published in 1554, de Acosta had first-hand experience with Native Americas.

In 1590, José de Acosta’s Historia natural y moral de las Indias was published. In this work, he postulated that American Indians had arrived in the Americas by walking across a land bridge from Asia. This reason was not based on Indian oral tradition nor on any “hard” evidence that such a bridge had existed. Instead it was based on biblical knowledge: he believed that the human species had originated in the Old World based on the teachings of the Bible. Therefore, the only logical way for them to have reached the continent was by walking.

Like the other early European scholars, José de Acosta had to explain why the descendants of Noah had become the idolatrous barbarians. For this he provided a theory of their degeneration to a state of savagery and a posterior reinvention of culture under the tutelage of Satan.

The theme of Indians being under Satan’s spell, of Indians worshiping Satan, is a theme which has often emerged in explaining the existence of Indians in the Americas.  In 1756, for example, Jonathan Edwards, the missionary to the Stockbridge Indians, preached that Indians had been guided by Satan away from the Gospel, eastward across Asia, and then to North America. In North America, Indians were Satan’s peculiar people and their religion was devil worship.

Approaching the topic from a different viewpoint in 1622, English scholar Edward Brerewood in Enquiries Touching the Diversity of Languages, and Religions, Through the Chief Parts of the World speculated that the Tartars (now known as Mongolians) were the first people to enter the Americas.

A number of writers, both scholars and clerics, addressed the issue of why there were Indians in the Americas and why they either had no religion or they were Satanists. In 1634, letters from well-known theologian Joseph Mede to New England ministers suggested that Indians had migrated to the Americas because the Devil had led them there. Afraid of losing his dominance in Europe as the Gospel spread, Satan had gathered together hordes of barbarous northerners who had never heard of Christ. Satan then promised them an empty land superior to their own. On this land they would thrive in a kingdom over which he would rule.

In 1642, Dutch philosopher and theologian Hugo Grotius, in his On the Origins of the Native Races of America, concluded the Indians were the descendents of Germans and Chinese. He postulates that some of the ancestors of the American Indians came from Europe, passing from Norway to Iceland, and then from there to Greenland and the Americas.  

In Jewes in America, or probabilities that the Americans are of that race, published in 1650, Thomas Thorowgood made a comparison of Jewish and Indian cultures in an attempt to prove that Indians were really Jewish. He suggested that Indians were descended from one of the lost tribes of Israel. He cited the similarity between Indian and Jewish rites, knowledge of the flood, dancing, and circumcision. Taking into account Indian stories, he wrote:

The Indians do themselves relate things of their Ancestors, suteable to what we read of the Jewes in the Bible, and elsewhere, which they also mentioned to the Spaniards at their first accesse thither

The Indians judge the Sunne, Moone and Starres to be living creatures, a thing so avowed in the Jewish Talmud shewing it to be a thing easie enough for the Heavens to declare the glory of God

The rites, fashions, ceremonies, and opinions of the Americans are in many ways agreeable to the custome of the Jewes, not onely prophane and common usages, but such as be called solemn and sacred.

This evoked a response from Sir Marmon l’Estrange whose 1752 work Americans no Jews, or improbabilities that the Americans are of that race pointed out that the features mentioned by Thomas Thorowgood were general human customs and not evidence that Indians were Jews.

Several centuries later, why should we care what these early Europeans had so say? American Indians are acutely aware that the European presumption of having a universal origin story is ethnocentric at best and often imperialistic. In the ensuring centuries, the religious explanations have given way to scientific explanations, and Indian people question why these explanations should take precedence over Native American origin stories. The resentments nurtured by these early explanations which ignored and degraded Indian religions have generated a strong skepticism about the motives of any non-Indian who attempts an explanation of Indian origins.  

Indian Languages

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It is estimated that there were between 250 and 400 distinct American Indian languages were being spoken in what is now the United States and Canada at the time of first contact with Europeans. By the 1960s, there were 175 Indian languages still being spoken north of Mexico. Of these languages, 136 had fewer than 2,000 speakers and 34 had fewer than 10 speakers. By 2007, it was estimated that only 154 Indians languages were still being spoken and that half of these were spoken only by elders.

At the present time, it estimated that there are 46 Indian languages which are still being spoken by significant numbers of children. Languages which are being learned by children have some chance of survival.  A flourishing language is one in which the contact or colonial language (English) is used almost entirely as a second language. In North America only Navajo, Mississippi Choctaw, and some Cree communities fit this definition.  

Language is more than a collection of sounds which can be formed into meaningful words: it is a form of communication which allows us to talk about the future and the past as well as the present; which allows us to talk about fantasy as well as reality.

Humans are born with the capacity to acquire language. During the first few years of life, children acquire language or languages. While all languages have about the same amount of complexity, they vary greatly in their sound patterns and in the way in which they categorize both time and the perception of the material world. As a result, we see the world through the language or languages that we speak.

The Hollywood vision of American Indians has them speaking in grunts with an occasional “ugh” or “how” thrown in for good measure. The implication in many movies and in many popular writings is that Indian languages are somehow “primitive” and less developed than European languages. Indian languages are as fully developed and as complex as English. Indian languages, in spite of the common stereotypes, are as capable of expressing feelings, imagination, creativity, poetry, and thoughts as any European language. They are very different from English which means that translation is not just a matter of word substitution.

During the nineteenth century, many Christian missionaries went to work with Indian tribes assuming that because Indian cultures were felt to be “inferior” to Euro-American culture, the Indian languages would be somehow simpler and less complex. Many of these missionaries, in their attempts to translate Christian concepts into Native languages, found this to be a difficult job. On the one hand, Native languages often lacked words for important Christian concepts, such as “religion,” “god,” “heaven,” and “hell.” As a consequence, many missionaries assumed (and some still assume) that Indians also lacked religion.

In addition, the concept of time in the Indian languages was often very different than in the Indo-European languages. In talking about the past, for example, there is a tense that indicates that the speaker had personally witnessed a past event and that it was an event related by another person. In some languages there are multiple past tenses which indicate how long ago something happened.

Another feature of language is what the linguists call syntax: sentence structure and formation. In English, for example, we use a subject-verb-object syntax. That is, word order tells us what is the subject of the sentence and what is the object of the sentence. In many Indian languages, action may be expressed in a prefix or suffix without having to use a verb. In Ojibwa (Anishinaabe), for example, almost four-fifths of all words are verbs, whereas in English nouns, adjectives, and adverbs predominate. Ojibwa orators put the verb first in a sentence, before the noun. Ojibwa-speakers learning to speak English have to learn to talk backwards.

Morphology refers to word structure and formation. Languages may use prefixes or suffixes or compounding to change the meaning of the word. Many Indian languages differ from European languages in that they use morphology rather than syntax to express changes in meaning. Many Indian languages are polysynthetic, which means that they use a process of word formation in which a single word contains grammatical and semantic information that would be expressed in a sentence in Western European languages.

In Navajo, an object at rest is placed in one of 15 general categories based on criteria such as animate/inanimate, size, position, cohesiveness, rigidity, shape, and degree of containment. These general categories are signified by the verb stem. Each of these 15 general categories is further subdivided into 15 categories based on variables such as plurality, grouping, and patterning. When a speaker of Navajo describes an object at rest, he places the object in one of 225 categories.

The Navajo language, and particularly Navajo grammar, reflects and reinforces the Navajo world-view of motion. The Navajo world is a world of motion-a world of action in which all beings and entities are either acting or being acted upon; a world of change in which both individual entities and systems are constantly going through phased cycles and processes of deformation and restoration; a world of things in motion and things at rest, but one in which even things at rest are defined by the withdrawal of motion and are classified according to their ability or potential to move or to be moved.

Historical Linguistics:

One approach to the study of language is historical linguistics, which studies the history of language(s) and how languages have changed over time. Historical linguistics involves the comparison of languages with a view to ascertaining which ones are related. For example Indo-European is the common ancestor of languages such as Latin, Greek, Sanskrit, Anglo-Saxon, etc. A grouping of related languages is known as a language family. A language family is composed of a group of related languages.

Understanding language families is one of the keys to understanding the historical relationships between the Indian groups. In other words, the language provides us with some clues about the history of the language and its people. It can provide some insights into migrations and to the divisions of different groups. By overlaying languages and geography, we can get suggestions about aboriginal homelands as well as migrations.

In comparing languages within the same family, glottochronology can be used to determine how long ago two languages shared a common ancestor, how long ago they separated from each other. Glottochronology is simply a mathematical method for calculating when two related languages split apart. It is generally felt that glottochronology has a practical range of about 5,000-6,000 years. In other words, glottochronology can date the separation of two languages as long as this occurred within the past 5,000-6,000 years.

Importance of Indian Languages Today:

Retention of the native language is an important issue for many tribes. At the present time, many Native American communities have language programs to try to teach their languages to children. As a consequence there are on many reservations programs which are intended to maintain the language. In communities in which the children no longer speak the native language, the goal is language revival in which the Indian language is taught as a second language. By 1986 there were 98 language projects involving 55 different Indian languages. There was an enrollment of more than 14,000 students in these programs. By 2006, there were 62 native languages being taught in 101 language project.  

A study conducted on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation by media anthropologist E. B. Eiselein found that: “Among Northern Cheyenne Tribal members, 42% understand the Cheyenne language well; 42% understand it a little; and 16% don’t understand it at all.” Among people over 55 years of age, 69% understand the language well. Among teenagers, on the other hand, only 4% understand the language well and 67% understand it a little.  The study also found that 78% of the tribal members are very interested in having radio programs that teach Indian language. Among teenagers, only 65% are interested in this type of radio program.

In 1990, Congress passed the Native American Languages Act which declared “a national policy of respect for Native American languages and encouragement of their continued vitality.” In 1997, the Indigenous Language Institute began to put an emphasis on the revitalization of Indian languages, not just their preservation. With new technologies, such as computers, and working with Native communities, languages can be revitalized as a part of daily life.  

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Light skinned vs. Dark skinned

I am a college student and I am trying to work on my final essay in my Comp II class.

I am trying to find opinions from Native People on how, if any, differences exist between light skinned natives and dark skinned natives.

I would great appreciate your thoughts and opinions on this topic that I may use.

Do you find that dark skinned Natives look differently upon light skinned Natives?  Is so, in what way (and vica versa).

Thank you for your help and thoughts!

DJ McClure

American Indian Voting Rights

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During the first part of the twentieth century, American Indians were granted citizenship by Congressional action on several different occasions. While citizenship is often felt to be associated with the right to vote, this has not always been the case with regard to Indians. The right to vote is a right which has been traditionally controlled by the states. The states had tended to view Indian voting and Indian citizenship as two separate items. While the struggle by African Americans to obtain the right to vote is fairly well known, the struggle by American Indians to obtain this right is less well known.  

In North Carolina, there was some confusion over whether or not the 1924 act giving citizenship to Indians applied to the Cherokee. In response, Congress passed another act in 1928 which specifically granted citizenship to the North Carolina Cherokee. However, Eastern Cherokee leader Henry M. Owl was denied the right to register to vote in 1930. The registrar refused to register Indians because they were not citizens. In response, Congress passed another act once again reaffirming citizenship for the Eastern Cherokee. Local newspapers protested Congressional interference with local affairs and county registrars continued to deny Cherokees the vote until after World War II. North Carolina denied Indians the right to vote claiming that Indians were illiterate. The superintendent of the Cherokee Agency reported: “We have had Indian graduates of Carlisle, Haskell, and other schools in stances much better educated than the registrar himself, turned down because they did not read or write to his satisfaction.”

In 1946, North Carolina county registrars refused to register Eastern Cherokee war veterans to vote. The Cherokee appealed the decision to the governor and attorney general, but nothing was done.

In Arizona two Pima Indians attempted to vote in 1928. The Arizona Supreme Court in Porter v. Hall concluded that Indians were not entitled to vote because they were “wards of the government” and persons “under guardianship” were prohibited from voting by the state constitution. The Arizona Attorney General’s office ruled in 1944 that Indians who were living outside the reservation and who were subject to state laws and state taxation were not eligible to vote.

Some states passed legislation to disenfranchise Indians. In an effort to deny Indians the right to vote, the Montana state constitution was amended in 1932 to permit only taxpayers to vote. Since Indians on reservations did not pay some local taxes, they could not become voters. The Montana state legislature in 1937 passed a law requiring all deputy voter registrars to be qualified, taxpaying residents of their precincts. Since Indians living on reservations were exempt from some local taxes, this requirement excluded almost all Indians from serving as deputy registrars. It thus denied Montana’s Indians access to voter registration in their own precincts.

A 1937 report by the Solicitor General found that several states denied Indians the right to vote. In response to the inquiry by the Solicitor General, Colorado’s attorney general replied: “It is our opinion that until Congress enfranchises the Indian, he will not have the right to vote.” Word of the 1924 citizenship act had apparently not yet reached Colorado. Indians were not allowed to serve on juries in Colorado until 1956 and tribal members on reservations were not allowed to vote until 1970.

The Solicitor General also found that four states-Idaho, New Mexico, Maine, and Washington-denied Indians the right to vote because of the phrase “Indians not taxed” in Article 1 of the Constitution.

Utah denied Indians the vote because Indians on reservations were not actually residents of Utah but were residents of their own nations. Indians were thus considered non-residents and hence not eligible to vote. In 1957, the Utah state legislature finally repealed the legislation that prevented Indians living on reservations from voting.

Many historians cite 1948 as the year in which Indians finally won the right to vote. Court rulings in Arizona and New Mexico affirmed that Indians have the right to vote. The Court ruling in New Mexico was started when Miguel Trujillo, Sr. (Laguna), a teacher, attempted to register to vote and was refused by the recorder of Valencia County. In the ruling, the Court found that New Mexico had discriminated against Indians by denying them the vote, especially since they paid all state and federal taxes except for private property taxes on the reservations.

In Arizona, Frank Harrison and Harry Austin, both Mohave-Apache at the Fort McDowell Indian Reservation, attempted to register to vote and were not allowed to register. In Harrison v. Laveen the Arizona Supreme Court overturned the earlier Porter v. Hall decision and agreed with the plaintiffs that their Arizona and United States constitutional rights had been violated.

In Maine, Indians were finally given the right to vote in 1953 when the state accepted the 1924 Indian Citizenship Act.

During the past fifty years, the focus has shifted from obtaining the right to vote, to getting Indians elected to local, state, and federal offices. States and local governments in the western states have responded by diluting the Indian vote through redistricting plans. However, this is the subject of a different diary.  

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Negotiating American Indian Treaties

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A treaty is simply an agreement between two sovereign nations. In the American political system, a treaty involves three basic steps:

(1) First, there is negotiation. Representatives from the U.S. government meet with representatives of the other governments, discuss mutual concerns, and arrive at some sort of agreement.

(2) This is then followed by Senate confirmation. The Senate, according to the Constitution, advises the President on international matters. Thus, the Senate has the opportunity to debate and discuss the agreement, and to confirm it.

(3) Finally it is signed-proclaimed-by the President.  

From the time the U.S. Constitution was adopted in 1787 until 1871, the United States government, following the legal view that Indian tribes are nations, negotiated and signed treaties with Indian nations. The process of negotiating Indian treaties can best be viewed as a form of internal diplomacy and foreign affairs and provides some insights into how the United States deals with other countries.

Legally a treaty is a form of law which is superior to state and local law. George Washington envisioned treaties with Indian nations as binding on both parties in perpetuity. He felt that both the power and the honor of the federal government would be pledged to their enforcement.

In the first Indian treaty negotiated under the Constitution-a treaty with the Creek Confederacy in 1789-George Washington interpreted the constitutional requirement to obtain “the advice and consent” of the Senate as meaning that he had to appear in person before the Senate prior to treaty negotiations. This proved to be a bit of a fiasco and never again would a President appear in person to seek the advice and consent from the Senate on a treaty. Hereafter, the treaty would be sent to the Senate for their approval after it had been negotiated.

The first problem in negotiating an Indian treaty was to determine with whom it should be negotiated. In 1787, in his Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States, John Adams recommended that political leaders pay attention to the governmental structures of Indian nations, particularly the separation of political powers and their democratic legislative structure. Unfortunately no-one paid any attention to Adams’ advice.

In general, the United States was unaware of how most American Indian governments worked and the fact there was great diversity in these governments. Wishing to negotiate with as few sovereign entities as possible, the American negotiators failed to understand Native American concepts of sovereignty. On the Great Plains, for example, each band was an autonomous unit, but the Americans tended to ignore this fact and simply grouped bands who spoke a somewhat similar language together as a single tribe. The concept of tribe, as we use it today in referring to Indian nations, is actually a concept which was superimposed upon Indian peoples.

Many American Indian governments in the nineteenth century were participatory democracies in which all had a right to speak and be heard in council. No single leader had the right to tell another person what to do. Leadership was by persuasion and example, not by authority and force. Deliberations would generally continue until all agreed and those who disagreed would simply leave and would, therefore, not be bound by the council decisions.

American negotiators preferred to deal with dictatorships rather than democracies. Since almost no Indian nations were dictatorships, this meant that the United States simply appointed the chiefs with whom they negotiated. In this way, the United States only had to deal with a handful of Indian leaders, leaders who tended to be agreeable to American interests as they had been appointed by American officials. The United States often ignored leaders who were chosen by Indian people and preferred to deal with the “puppet dictators” which it had set up. The Americans maintained their chiefs by putting them on the payroll and by putting them in charge of distributing gifts and money to their people. By encouraging graft and corruption, the Americans hoped to gain the loyalty of the leaders they appointed.

Very often the men appointed as chiefs by the Americans were not men who were recognized as traditional leaders. In addition, the Americans refused to recognize the existence of women leaders. In fact, they often refused to allow Indian women to participate in the treaty negotiations.

One example of the Americans inability to deal with women leaders can be seen in 1831 in their negotiations with Black Hawk’s Sauk in Illinois. The band had returned to their traditional home of Saukenuk, an area which they had farmed for many generations. They were met by an American militia force who insisted that the Sauk had no right to be in Illinois, nor to farm their traditional lands. The Sauk met in council with the Americans to see if they could settle the matter peacefully. Black Hawk told the Americans that the women owned the fields, not the men. Then a woman selected by the other women addressed the Americans. In her short speech she declared the land-especially the cornfields and gardens-actually belonged to the women rather than the whole tribe, and let it be known that the women had never sold any of the land nor consented to the transfer of it to the United States. The American negotiator simply dismissed her comments and said that the President did not send him to make treaties with women nor to hold council with them.

There are numerous examples of the American negotiators engaging in “making chiefs” by appointing the men they want as “supreme” chiefs. At the Fort Laramie Treaty Council in 1851, for example, each tribe was asked by the American negotiators to provide a single chief of the whole nation. After council with his people, chief Terra Blue of the Brulé (one of the Sioux tribes), said: “we have decided differently from you, Father, about this Chief for the nation. We want a Chief for each band.” The Americans responded by selecting a single chief-Frightening Bear–to represent the entire Sioux nation.

At the 1855 treaty council in Walla Walla, Washington, the Americans lumped 14 autonomous, culturally distinct, and sovereign Indian nations together under the designation “Yakama” and then declared Kamiakin as head chief. While the Americans claimed that Kamiakin signed the treaty on behalf of the 14 “confederated” bands, Kamiakin insisted that he touched the pen to the paper only for himself and only to indicate his personal friendship with the Americans. He made no claims of representing any group.

While the concept of negotiation might conjure up an image of give and take, of talking and listening, the American negotiators often seemed to be incapable of listening. They came to the councils with an outcome already predetermined by their ideology and had no intention of letting either facts or opposing viewpoints get in their way. They often came with a treaty that they wanted to impose upon the Indian nations. At the Walla Walla treaty council, Governor Isaac Stevens became frustrated with the Indians’ reluctance to simply sign the treaty he had brought with him that he held the treaty up and told them: “If you do not accept the terms offered and sign this paper you will walk in blood knee deep.”

In the treaty negotiations with the Creek Confederation in 1787-the one that President Washington had sought a priori Senate approval for– Alexander McGillivray, the Creek Head Chief, told the Americans that he would not have this treaty crammed down his throat. He gathered up his 900 warriors and left. Secretary of War Henry Knox informed President George Washington: “We have the Mortification to inform that the Parties have separated without a treaty.”

The United States stopped making treaties with Indian nations in 1871. Angered by the budget considerations in the Indian treaties, the House of Representatives attached a rider to an appropriations bill which stopped all treaties. Since that time there have been agreements with the Indian nations, but these agreements, unlike treaties, have to be approved by both houses of Congress.

Today there are many American Indian people who feel that the dealings and negotiations that the United States is having with the tribal peoples of Iraq and Afghanistan are similar to the negotiation process of the American Indian treaties.  

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Movie question – Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

New to this, non-Native, maybe.  I’m one of “those people” with reported but unverified Native ancestry; that’s why I’m a family historian.

Anyway, just watched the DVD of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee last night.  Scene 3 in the menu – Cedar Creek, Sitting Bull, Gall and others are overlooking the arrival of Col. Miles and troups.  Sitting Bull says, “Bare colt”, doesn’t he?  Is that what I heard?  Repeated minutes later by Sitting Bull’s son and that he was a friend of Custer.  Was that the name they gave Miles?  I have a personal reason for wanting to know if that’s what they said in that scene.

Thank you.

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California’s Mission Indians

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At the time of first European contact, California had the widest variety of Native American languages and cultures in North America: there were more than 100 languages, making it the most linguistically diverse area in North America. We don’t know exactly how many tribes there were in California prior to the Spanish invasion. Today, there are many different Indian nations in California which are classified as “Mission Indians.” There are many tribes, such as the Luiseño, Gabrielino, and Juanino, who take their names from the Spanish missions rather than their aboriginal designations. In order to understand how these Mission Indian nations were formed, we must start by looking at the Spanish missionary efforts in California.  

The Spanish entered the Americas driven by the Three Gs: Gold (some authors prefer to use Greed), Glory, and God. The massive amounts of wealth that the Spanish acquired through their conquests of Mexico and Peru inspired expeditionary forces to move north into Florida, New Mexico, and California. In all of these areas, the initial invasion was a Christian missionary force backed up by soldiers.

The Spanish missionary program was designed to bring about the total conversion of the Indians: to change them from pagans into Christians and from Indians into tax-paying Spanish citizens. This process was envisioned as having four basic stages:

(1) misión (mission) which was to include initial contact and the explanation of the importance of God and the King. Spain, like other European nations, operated under the assumption that non-Christian nations were base and immoral, and the church was obligated to effect conversion. The Spanish were steeped in a legacy of religious intolerance and conformity which featured a messianic fanaticism accentuating both Spanish culture in general and Catholicism in particular.

(2) reducción (reduction) which was to reduce the Indians’ territory by bringing them into a segregated community centered around a church. Indian people did not come joyously or freely to live and work at the new missions. Soldiers simply snatched Indian families from outlying hamlets to convert them, change their social habits and turn them into a New World peasantry. The Indian response to the missions was to flee, either in small groups or in large groups.

(3) doctrina (doctrine) in which the Indians would receive instructions on the finer points of Christianity.

(4) curato (curacy) in which the Indians would become tax-paying citizens.

The formation of the Mission Indians began with the Spanish policy of congregación: the forced resettlement of Indian populations in nucleated settlements. The formation of large communities facilitated the conversion to Catholicism of the Indians. Many priests felt that it was a burden to have to visit the many small dispersed Indian communities. It was also easier for royal officials to collect tribute and organize labor drafts in the new larger communities.

The missionaries, with the help of well-armed soldiers, congregated Indians into fairly large communities which were organized along the lines of those in the core areas of Spanish America. Here Indian converts were to be indoctrinated in Catholicism and taught European-style agriculture, leatherworking, textile production, and other skills deemed useful by the Spaniards. By using Indian labor to produce surplus grain supplies for the Spanish military garrisons, the Franciscan missionaries were able to view Indians as both potential converts and labor.

The Franciscan missions were basically slave plantations which required the Indian people to work for the Spanish under cruel conditions. Indians did not come freely to the missions and once there, they were held against their will. Many attempted to escape, and the soldiers stationed at the mission would attempt to recapture them. Escape attempts are severely punished by the Franciscans.

The Franciscans, backed by a small number of soldiers stationed at the missions, imposed a rigid system of coerced and disciplined labor, enforced by the use of corporal punishment and other forms of control. This punishment including public flogging, and the use of the stocks and shackles. While the public use of corporal punishment humiliated and physically injured the individuals being punished, and it did not necessarily alter or control the behavior that the Franciscans found objectionable.

One early visitor to the missions remarked about the Indians that “I have never seen one laugh.” Most of the Indians died in the new mission environment.

The Spanish sought to Christianize the Indians by enslaving them. The Spanish intent was to expropriate not only Indian lands and resources, but Indian labor as well. Part of their goal was to obliterate all features of Native American culture and society and to create a replica of Spain in California in which land-owning Spanish would be served by an Indian peasant class.

From the viewpoint of the Spanish, Indians were a form of labor which could be exploited. The success of the Spanish colonies in the Americas were based on this exploitation. In order to maximize the profits of their colonial enterprise, the Spaniards created institutions that siphoned off surplus agriculture products and provided labor for major building projects. One of these Spanish institutions was repartimiento.

Repartimiento was the Spanish policy which gave the Spanish colonists the right to use native labor for religious education. Repartimiento functioned as a part of the Spanish mission system in all parts of the Americas, including California. Under this system, labor quotas and the conscription of people to serve on labor gangs were organized through the villages served by the missions (or, from an Indian viewpoint, the villages which served the missions).

In addition to using Indian labor for themselves, the Franciscans also provided Indian labor for both military garrisons and for individual Spanish colonists. Access to mission Indians gave settlers additional labor at key points in the agricultural cycle, as well as for other uses, such as building construction. In other words, the Spanish colonization of California would have been more difficult without the Indian slave labor.

The Death Toll in the Missions

The death rate among Mission Indian was quite high-high enough that it alarmed the Spanish officials. In 1797, the Spanish governor outlined the causes for the high Indian mortality rates in the missions: (1) the heavy work load and poor diet of the Indians living in the missions, (2) the practice of locking women and girls in damp and unsanitary dormitories at night, (3) poor sanitation, and (4) loss of liberty and mobility in the missions.

The governor’s report described the dampness in the dormitories and reported that many did not have even a single blanket to use at night. The use of the dormitories for the women and girls was a form of social control as the missionaries felt that the Indians were promiscuous. Thus they used the dormitories to protect and control the virtue and virginity of single girls and women.  

One of the problems of congregation was that it placed large populations in fairly spatially compact communities. This contributed to problems of sanitation and water pollution. It also facilitated the spread of disease.

Death rates were chronically higher than birth rates among the Mission Indians and this meant that for the missions to maintain their Indian workforce they had to continually “recruit” from the outlying tribes.

In the California missions, the new European diseases-smallpox, mumps, measles, malaria- killed many of the Indians who were forced to live there. The Mission Indians also died from respiratory ailments and illnesses caused by poor sanitation. They died from syphilis-introduced to the Indians by the soldiers and the colonists-and by the use of mercury for treating it. The death rate was probably enhanced by the lack of medical attention. The missionaries tended to believe that epidemics were a punishment sent by God and that they should not interfere with the will of God. The ultimate objective of the Franciscan missionaries was to ensure the Indians’ eternal salvation by their conversion. From the Franciscan viewpoint, there was no moral dilemma as long as the deaths of thousands of converts contributed toward populating heaven. Suffering on earth and receiving the sacraments were seen as necessary for salvation.

While epidemics, such as measles and smallpox, were devastating to the Mission Indians, these epidemics do not adequately explain the chronically high mortality rates in the California missions. The missions were geographically isolated from the rest of New Spain until the early nineteenth century and this tended to isolate them from many epidemics.  However, the climate of coercive social control that existed in the missions engendered a negative psychological response among Indian converts. This contributed to stress which reduced the efficiency of the body’s immunological system.

One response to the stress of mission life and its destruction of Indian cultures was for women to have abortions. This, in turn, contributed to the population decline.

For Indian women of childbearing age the death toll in the California missions was exceptionally high. When the missionaries attempted to destroy native cultures, they also denied young women access to traditional child-care knowledge.  

Another cause for the high death rate among Indians who were enslaved in the missions was the unsanitary conditions in which they were forced to live. This was particularly true in the dormitories for the women and girls. While the Spanish understood that there was a correlation between disease and unsanitary living conditions, the missionaries’ concern for social control was stronger than their concerns for sanitation.


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Perhaps the best known Virginia Indian is Pocahontas. Her story has become a myth among non-Indians which perpetuates many common stereotypes and misunderstandings about Indian people in Virginia.  

Pocahontas was born about 1596 to an elite family. While she was given the childhood nickname “Pocahontas’ shortly after birth, her clan name was Matoaka. The name “Motoaka” is sometimes translated as “White Feather”. Among Algonquian-speaking people such as the Powhatan, Beloved Women-women who had great spiritual power-wore white feathers to signify their power. Her name, therefore, may be an indication that her clan viewed her as a Beloved Woman.

Most English writers assume that Pocahontas was the daughter-usually described as the “favorite” daughter-of the Powhatan. However, it is evident that she was in line for a leadership position, and, since the Powhatan were a matrilineal people, the Powhatan was not her father, but her maternal uncle. His relationship to her is much more like that of an uncle-niece relationship in a matrilineal society than that of a father-daughter relationship.

Matoaka went through her vision-quest and obtained her spiritual power at a fairly young age, perhaps 7 or 8. To obtain her vision, she was taken to a hobbomak, a clearing marked with an arrangement of rocks in an area of great spiritual power. In seeking her dream, she would have been guided by the Council of Women. For a period of time-usually four to seven days-she would have remained within the hobbomak, depriving herself of food and drink, and perhaps sleep.

According to oral tradition, Matoaka saw in her dream the coming of many ships with white sails. She saw the villages of her people shrinking and then disappearing. She saw what appeared to be a large shell midden, but then realized that it was a pile of bones, not shells. She found a quahog shell in her hand which then turned into a three-feathered fan. In her vision, she saw a strange bearded man come ashore.

In 1608, a small party of Englishmen under the leadership of Captain John Smith set out to find the headwaters of the Chickahominy River and to contact the Powhatan, whom they viewed as the “King” of the Powhatan Alliance. Smith was captured by a Pumankey war party.

Smith’s capture came just prior to the great ceremony of Nikomis which celebrated the Woman Who Fell From the Sky. The dates for this celebration were set by star patterns. Thus instead of killing him, the Indians kept him alive in so that he could go through the “death and rebirth” part of this ceremony. Smith, not speaking the language and being totally ignorant of Indian ways, didn’t have a clue about what was happening. All he knew was that he was taken into a great hall where he thought he was about to be killed when a young girl-Matoaka-threw herself across his body and saved him from being beheaded.

Smith expected to be beheaded as this was a common form of execution among the English at this time and the heads of those executed often lined English streets. It was not, however, a form of Indian execution.

From an Indian viewpoint, Smith’s old identity was being killed so that he could be reborn with a new identity: as an adopted clan member. As a Beloved Woman, Matoaka had the power to choose who would be adopted. Her status as a Beloved Woman was evident by the fact that she was adorned in white feathers. Smith was given the new name of Nantaquod.

One of the functions of Beloved Women in the Algonquian-speaking tribes of Virginia was to select which war captives were to be adopted into the clans and which were to be killed. Deciding who was to live and who was to die was a woman’s prerogative.

Smith would later write that he was saved from beheading because the Powhatan, whom he wrongly assumed was the father of Matoaka, doted on her so greatly that granted her wish to save his life. Smith did not understand that he was taking part in the ancient huskanaw ceremony of ritual death and remaking. Nor did he understand that women in the Algonquian-speaking cultures of Virginia had great political power.

During the next year, Matoaka appeared at Jamestown several times. On one occasion, when the English were once again starving due to their inability to grow their own food, she appeared with a dozen or so helpers, bringing them food.

On one occasion in 1609, Matoaka warned John Smith about the potential for an Indian attack. While there are many who see this as evidence of her turning her back on her people, this warning seems to have been deliberately designed and implemented by the Great Council so that she would have the total trust of the English.

From about 1609 to 1612, Matoaka disappeared from the view of the English. During this time she was training in the ways of the midéwiwin, the Great Medicine Society, and was being groomed as a woman of great spiritual and political power.

As an adept in the midéwiwin, she obtained the sacred name Amonute. This name was never revealed to the English.

About 1610, she married Kuocum, a Powhatan warrior and trader, and gave birth to her first child. She was about 14 or 15 years old at this time.

In 1612, the starving English colonists kidnapped Pocahontas and held her for ransom. Their plan was to use her to obtain food from the Powhatan, whom they believed was her father. No ransom, however, was paid.

As with the warning in 1609, it appears that Pocahontas colluded with the English to arrange for her kidnapping. In retrospect, it appears that she was infiltrating English society as a spy. As a captive who was trusted by the English, she was in a position to pass information about the colonists on to her people.

Pocahontas was then taken to the English settlement of Henrico where she was dressed in English clothing so that her bare breasts and tattoos would be covered. She was also instructed in Christian beliefs and baptized. She was given the English name of Rebecca and out of respect for her royal birth she was called Lady Rebecca. She was then married to John Rolfe and in 1615 gave birth to a son who was named Thomas.

In 1617, Lady Rebecca, John Rolfe, and their son Thomas set sail for England. She was also accompanied by several of her tribal members. Her retinue, evidence of her royal status as a “princess”, included about 8 tribal members, none of whom had converted to Christianity. Among those who accompanied her was the priest Uttamatamakin (also known as Tomakin, Tomocomo, Tomo) whose skills as a shaman were highly developed.

In England, Lord and Lady De La Warr (for whom the state of Delaware is named) was appointed to serve as her sponsors. De La Warr was the governor of the Virginia Colony. While in England she attended performances of Twelfth Night and The Tempest. The reports at the time indicate that Lady Rebecca had a good command of English, she dressed attractively, she comported herself with quiet dignity, and danced gracefully. She was treated with the respect of a royal ambassador of one great nation to the court of another.

Lady Rebecca was introduced to the English Royal Court. Her husband, a commoner, was not introduced to the Royal Court. She also had an audience with King James. Her audience with King James was unusual for the King was known to dislike women (he preferred young boys). However, Lady Rebecca had a boyish figure which was pleasing to the King and engaged him in conversation regarding religion, a subject of great interest to him.

Lady Rebecca, also known as Pocahontas and Matoaka, died in England at the age of 21. The official English accounts report that she took sick with a “wasting disease” and soon died. There are others, however, who feel that she was murdered.  

An English Education

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Since the early days of the European invasion of the North American continent there has been a great deal of effort and concern expended regarding the education of American Indians: education that would teach them European ways and help strip them of any vestiges of Native American culture. A number of well-known educational institutions, such as Harvard University, actually have their roots in Indian education.

In this diary I would like to examine some of the efforts of the English colonists to provide a European-style education for American Indians. Much of this education focused on the training of Indian missionaries and ministers.  

Harvard College was established in 1650 to provide education for both English and Indian youth. Five years later, a large Indian college was constructed on the Harvard campus. In 1665, the first Indian graduated from Harvard: Caleb Cheeshateaumuck, an Algonquian from Martha’s Vineyard. He was considered an outstanding scholar who could read, write, and speak not only English, but also Latin and Greek.

Harvard was not particularly successful in attracting American Indian scholars. By 1677, the large Indian college on the Harvard campus housed only the Cambridge Press. The press was originally imported to print Indian bibles in order to save Indian souls. In 1677, however, the press was used for printing the colonists’ narratives of the King Philip’s War, which most often painted an unsympathetic view of Indians. While earlier English writers had emphasized the potential for converting the Indians to Christianity, after King Philip’s War, Indians were described as irredeemable monsters.

In 1698, Harvard University pulled down the Indian College building and used the bricks to build Stoughton College. In its short history, few Indian scholars had attended Harvard.

Other efforts in higher education can be seen in Virginia. In 1693, the College of William and Mary was established by royal charter in Williamsburg, Virginia. The new college was dedicated in part to the Christianization of Indians. Its charter envisioned students graduating from the school of philosophy, then going on to the school of divinity where they would become ordained as missionaries for the Church of England. Seven years later, the College opened an Indian school with financial support from the estate of Sir Robert Boyle. When Sir Robert had died in 1691, his estate provided money for the education of the Indians of Virginia.

In 1723, a brick building – Brafferton College – was built at the College of William and Mary to provide living accommodations for Indians. The Indian School at William and Mary continued to provide education for Indian students until it was abolished about 1786.

One of the other notable attempts at educating Indian youth was Moor’s Indian Charity School. This school was founded in 1754 by Eleazar Wheelock in Lebanon, Connecticut with a benefaction from Joshua Moor. Wheelock feels that Indian missionaries can be supported for about half the cost of English missionaries; they speak the Indian language; and they are accustomed to Indian lifestyles. Wheelock writes: “Indian missionaries may be supposed better to understand the tempers and customs of Indians, and more readily conform to them in a thousand things than the English can; and in things wherein the nonconformity of the English may cause disgust, and be construed as the fruit of pride, and an evidence and expression of their scorn and disrespect.”

The Indian boys who attended the school were separated from their own culture and were given a classical education in Latin and Greek. By the British standards of the time, Moor’s School was an outright success

Indian boys were required to work on the school’s farm half of the day-a task classified as “husbandry”. However, most of the Indian students showed little interest in farm chores.

Indian girls attended academic classes only one day a week. The rest of the time they were delegated to non-Indian households where they worked as servants (some would say that they were slaves). Like their female English counterparts in New England, they were taught subjects that would assist their husbands’ needs because Wheelock remained convinced that their presence augured well for future wifely companionship for the Indian missionary husbands.

Three young Mohawk men – Joseph Brant, Negyes, and Center – were sent to Moor’s Charity School in 1761. All of the Mohawk kept their horses ready so that they could flee back to their own country. Center and Negyes soon returned home, but Brant stayed on to improve his written Mohawk and to learn spoken and written English. Joseph Brant, whose Mohawk name was Thayendenegea, was the son of Aroghyiadecker (Nickus Brant), the grandson of Sagayeenquarashtow (one of the sachems who visited Queen Anne’s court at the beginning of the century), and the brother of Molly Brant, the consort of Sir William Johnson, the British Indian superintendent.

Mohawk Joseph Brant returned home from school in 1763 at the request of his sister Molly. According to Indian accounts, Molly was upset because her brother was required to do work in the garden. Among the Mohawk and other tribes, working in the garden was considered to be women’s work.

In 1768, Moor’s Indian Charity School closed. About 50 Indian students had studied at the school and 15 had returned to their homes as missionaries, schoolmasters, or assistants to non-Indian ministers.  

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American Indians as Slaves

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When the subject of slavery in the Americas is discussed, many people assume that this is about the 13 million Africans who were captured, enslaved and transported to the Americas to work on the plantations. Yet the history of slavery in the Americas starts long before this. From the very beginning of the European discovery of the American continents, Europeans were involved with slavery: not African slaves, but American Indians.  

First, some background: social scientists often describe three forms of slavery: (1) chattel slavery, (2) debt slavery, and (3) contract slavery. What I am about to describe is chattel slavery. In this type of slavery, a person is captured, and then sold into permanent servitude. In this type of slavery the legal term “own” applies.  In chattel slavery, “persons” are synonymous with “property”. As chattel, slaves have no rights and are not paid for their labor. They also have no control over their bodies and may be required to provide sexual services.

Europeans came to the Americas looking for wealth. Initially, they were not really trying to establish colonies for their surplus population, but to extract wealth from the resources which they found. In addition to gold and silver, the Europeans found wealth in the slave trade. The slave trade by the 15th century was well established in Europe.

By the year 675 there was a well-established trade in slaves in Europe with the Frisians occupying the major role as slave merchants. About 750 the slave trade expanded. It was driven in part by the Islamic world, centered in Cairo, Damascus, Tunis, and Cordoba. The Muslims had a great need for labor and thus there was a ready market for slaves. Some of these slaves came from Africa and some of them from Europe. The Vikings soon became the major suppliers of slaves and Viking wealth was built upon the slave trade. It should be kept in mind that Spain at this time was an Islamic country and a major buyer of slaves. In 1492, the Catholic monarchs of Spain, Isabella and Fernando, unified Spain and drove out the Muslims. At the same time, Spanish ships began seeking out wealth in the Americas.

The Spanish involvement in the American Indian slave trade started very early. On his second expedition to the Americas in 1493, Christopher Columbus enslaved over 500 Native Americans and sent them to Spain. In addition to the search for gold and other riches, slavery at this time was a major Spanish objective in the New World.  

In 1495, the Spanish, under the leadership of Columbus, rounded up 1,500 Arawak. They selected 500 to be exported to Spain as slaves, 500 to serve as slaves to the Spanish on the Island, and the remaining Indians were released. Columbus proudly boasted to the Spanish monarchs about the slave potential and its economic benefits. Columbus captured and exported more Indian slaves-about 5,000 — than any other single individual. On the other hand, Spanish Queen Isabela opposed slavery and returned many slaves to the Caribbean. In addition to capturing the Indians as slaves, the Spanish also hunted the Indians for sport and slaughtered them for dog food. Columbus’ legacy in Haiti is an example of 15th century genocide and slavery.

By 1516 the Spanish census estimated that there were only 12,000 Native Americans in Haiti, down from an estimated 8 million before the Spanish conquest and 3 million in 1496. This population decline was caused by a combination of factors: (1) diseases introduced by the Europeans which proved deadly to the natives, (2) slavery which resulted in both death and deportation, (3) deliberate killing of Indians by the Spanish, and (4) dropping birth rates which are a common reflection of cultural stress.

The Spanish used religion as a way of justifying capturing Indian slaves. In 1519 Catholic Bishop Juan de Quevedo declared that Indians were slaves by nature because some people were by nature inferior.

The Spanish slavers did not limit themselves to the Caribbean islands and what is now Latin America, but they were soon sailing along the coast of North America looking for additional wealth.  In 1520, the Spanish explorer Pedro de Quxós landed at Winyah Bay, South Carolina.  He explored the area and exchanged gifts with the Guale. Then, in order to make the voyage profitable, he captured 60 Guale to be sold as slaves.

The following year, two more Spanish slavers- Pedro de Quejo and Francisco Gordillo-sailed up the Atlantic coast of North America to what is now South Carolina. They traded peacefully with the Catawba and then they forcibly abducted about 60 men and women after enticing them aboard the ships with trinkets. About half of the captives died at sea and the rest were taken to Santo Domingo as slaves. The Spanish justified their actions by claiming that the Indians were cannibals and sodomites, and thus slavery and warfare against them were justified.

Not all Europeans supported the idea of slavery in general nor of American Indians in particular. In 1537, Pope Paul III issued a papal bull (a declaration) Sublimis Deus in which he declared that Indians were not to be enslaved nor were they “to be deprived of their liberty or the possession of their property, even though they be outside of the faith of Jesus Christ.” The Spanish King, however, disagreed with the bull and confiscated all copies of the bull before it could reach the Americas. He then prevailed upon the Pope to revoke the bull.

In 1550, the Spanish King Charles called together all of the leading theologians and scholars in a council in Valladolid. The group was asked to determine the criteria by which a just war could be waged against Native Americans. Bartolomé de Las Casas presented the idea that Christianity should be spread by kindness and example rather than by the sword. Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda argued that Indians were brutes who should become the servants of civilized peoples. Spanish authorities suppressed the detailed defense of the humanity of Native Americans prepared by Las Casas. Sepúlveda’s ideas were widely circulated and were used as justification for enslaving Indians.

The Spanish were not the only Europeans who were looking for slaves in the Americas during the sixteenth century. The Portuguese began capturing Beothuks in what is now Newfoundland in 1501. They exported what Gaspar Corte-Real described as people with “manners and gestures most gentle” to Europe where they were sold as slaves.

The Portuguese were not the only European slavers sailing off the Canadian Maritimes: in 1507 Norman fishing vessels captured seven Beothuks in Newfoundland and brought them back to France as slaves.

In the seventeenth century, the English became active in North America. While the English were more focused on obtaining land for colonists, they also engaged in the slave trade. In 1614, for example, English Captain Thomas Hunt captured 26 Wampanoag in what is now Massachusetts. The captives were then taken to Spain where they were sold as slaves. In this same year, another Englishman, John Smith, the former commander at Jamestown, led slave raids into New England where he captured Wampanoag and Nauset who were then sold into slavery.

In 1619 the first African slaves arrived in Virginia, marking the beginning of what many consider to be the slave era in North America. While the English colonists used the African slaves on their plantations, they also continued to capture American Indians who were used as slaves on their plantations or sold in the Caribbean slave markets. Europeans and later Americans continued to capture and enslave Indians until the end of the nineteenth century.  

Mohegan Succotash

( – promoted by navajo)

The oral history of the Mohegan tells that they came from “west by north” of another country, that they passed over great waters, that they had once lived beside a great body of water affected by tides, and from this they obtained their name – Muh-he-con-nuk – which means “great waters which are constantly moving”. They faced great famine and migrated toward the east where they found many great bodies of water, but none which flowed and ebbed.

As with other eastern tribes, corn was one of the principal foods of the Mohegan. Corn was prepared in a number of ways, including making hominy of the kernels and making a stew of beans and corn called succotash. Succotash is a basic American Indian dish. Among the Indian nations of the Northeast, succotash was kept simmering at all times so that any hungry visitor or family member could be fed.  

Since agriculture was an important economic and subsistence activity, some ceremonies were conducted during the harvest. The Green Corn Ceremony was usually held in August when the first corn ripened. For a period of about two weeks, the community leaders would eat only at night. As a part of the thanksgiving for the harvest, the Green Corn Ceremony included feasting.

Mohegan Succotash

4 ears of fresh sweet corn

3 to 4 cups of fresh lima beans (frozen may be substituted)

1 ½ cups of water

½ cup of butter (to be really authentic, you should use bear grease instead of butter)

1 ½ cups of sliced green onions

1 green and 1 red bell pepper, sliced and diced

With a large, sharp knife cut corn cobs into 1 ½ inch lengths. Place corn, beans, water, and butter (or bear grease) in a large saucepan. Salt and pepper to taste.

Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in green onions and peppers and continue to simmer for 6 to 10 minutes, until beans are tender and peppers are tender-crisp. Remove lid and cook over high heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until liquid is reduced to about ½ cup.

About bear grease: bears were often hunted and their skins were tanned using a mixture of animal brains, bird livers, and fish oil. In addition, bear grease was applied directly to the body and in this way provided additional warmth in the winter and in the summer it served as an insect repellent.

With regard to hunting, deer provided about 90% of the meat consumed by the New England tribes. The Indian nations managed game resources by hunting only one quarter of their territory at a time. This practice not only allowed animal populations in previously hunted quarters to make a comeback, it also reduced the wariness that is characteristic of animals which are under more or less constant pressure from hunters.

Indian hunters also used fire as a form of game management. Areas were regularly burned over and this was then followed by a renewal of shrubby vegetation which then served as both food and cover for the game animals. The burning increased the rate in which forest nutrients were recycled into the soil and thus plants tended to grow more luxuriantly following burning. As a consequence, they supported more game animals. Thus, hunters were actually harvesting food sources which they had been consciously instrumental in creating: they were not simply “gathering” wild resources.

Obama Please Help The Crow Creek Tribe (Update x3)

( – promoted by navajo)


The 35-year-old chairman was camped on 7,100 acres of wind-swept, snowy land owned by Crow Creek Tribal Farms. The IRS recently seized the tract and on Dec. 3 auctioned it off for $2 million less than its $4.6 million value to pay a purported tax bill for the tribe, a separate legal entity.

Mr. President,

It is in a weary state I write this. I know you have a lot on your mind right now, so just continue reading, which I am grateful you do.

“It’s the Black Hills gold rush all over again,” said historian Waziyatawin, Ph.D., Wahpetowan Dakota from Upper Sioux and a University of Victoria research scholar. “Nowadays, the press is reporting on a green energy land rush and Department of the Interior efforts to free up millions of acres for wind and solar development. Open prairie land, such as that on Indian reservations in the Plains, is suitable for such enterprises. So the U.S. government is going after the poorest of the poor to find the resources it needs.”

Mr. President, please do something.


On Dec. 4 an action was taken against Crow Creek tribal land near my district that shook the absolute foundations of Indian law all the way back to the 1800s. Yet, few people were in the small room in Highmore, S.D. to see this monumental action and few other tribes even know it has taken place. Any tribe with land should shutter with the magnitude of what this precedent could mean for themselves or their individual tribal members.

The Internal Revenue Service collected against 7,100 acres – 11 square miles – of Indian owned land in Hyde County, S.D. This particular parcel was part of the original Crow Creek treaty boundaries, but the treaty was subsequently broken and this land was sold to LeMaster. Interestingly enough, our tribe was able to use settlement money from another federal land taking to purchase this land back in 1998.





December 7, 2009

Dear Brothers and Sisters;

Recently, the IRS has seized and auctioned 7100 acres of our prime development land on the Crow Creek Reservation. We have tried to raise funds for months to save our land. Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful. We have tried to stop them from auctioning off our land through the justice system, however justice did not prevail.

It is no secret that Buffalo County is the poorest county in the nation and that 78% of the people on our reservation live far below the poverty line; this is why we are reaching out to our Native Brothers and Sisters. Only you know the importance of retaining our land base.

Recently, we were granted a trial for a judge to decide whether or not we should be allowed to keep this property, which they already sold to a non-Indian. This allows us 120 days to raise 4 million dollars to purchase our land back and clear up the levy that the IRS ($600,000) has on the property.

Any financial assistance that you could give to us would be greatly appreciated. We have set up an account at Wells Fargo in Chamberlain, South Dakota and all donations are tax deductible. The bank can be contacted at 605-734-6001 or contact Leroy Bear Thompson at 605-245-2304. Your kindness and generosity is greatly appreciated.

Contact: Wells Fargo Bank

Attn: Cindy Adams

201 S Main

Chamberlain, SD 57325

Account Name: Save CCST Lands Fund

Account Number: 9917827345

Contact: Cindy Adams 605-734-6001

Contact: Leroy Thompson, Jr. 605-245-2304 or 605-730-0091


Brandon Sazue, Chairman

Crow Creek Sioux Tribe

Posted by brendanorrell@gmail.com at 9:15 PM  

2nd Update:

Action Alert! Please sign online petition Crow Creek Sioux Land is NOT For Sale

Saturday, December 12, 2009, 1:35 AM

Please help spread the word about our online petition to support the Crow Creek efforts! There is NO reason why we shouldn’t have several thousand signatures before this weekend is done!

Everyone PLEASE UNITE together on this issue. This issue could set a precedence and next time it could be your lands!

Crow Creek Sioux Land is NOT For Sale


To: Bureau of Indian Affairs, President Obama, SD Governor Rounds, SD Senator Tim Johnson, SD Senator Thune,U.S. Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin

On December 3, 2009 the Internal Revenue Service unlawfully auctioned off 7100 acres located on Crow Creek Sioux Tribal land.

The land is owned by Crow Creek Tribal Farms, Inc. a Tribal corporation and distinct legal entity from the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe.

According to the recent motion for temporary restraining order, filed by the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, the IRS seized and auctioned the land to recover $3,123,789.73 dollars in unpaid employment taxes. The document states, Because of erroneous tax advice received from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe became delinquent in the payment of employment taxes collected by the IRS beginning in 2003. The BIA had informed the Tribe that, because it was a federally recognized Tribe, it was not necessary to pay federal employment taxes.

The Crow Creek Indian Reservation was created by the 1868 Treaty, Act of April 29, 1868, 15 Stat. 635, and by Section 6, Act of March 2, 1889, 25 Stat. 888.

The Crow Creek Sioux Reservation encompasses Buffalo County and portions of Hyde and Brule Counties . Crow Creek Sioux Tribe is consistently documented as one of the poorest Reservations in the Nation, with 78% of their members living below the poverty line.

This despicable and irreparable action from the IRS, could ultimately eliminate 20% of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribes Reservation lands.

This action taken by the IRS could ultimately set a precedence, allowing the continual land grab on Tribal Lands. We must ALL UNITE and take a stand on this issue, to voice Tribal Lands are NOT for Sale !

We the undersigned, hereby request the immediate return of the unlawfully auctioned Crow Creek Sioux Tribal Lands.

Click this link to sign the petition!


Update #3:

From dharmafarmer, thank you!

Winter Rabbit (9+ / 0-)

Kimberly Teehee, a member of the Cherokee Nation, was appointed by President Obama as Senior Policy Advisor for Native American Affairs.  Could it help to contact her?  I can’t find an email address, but the Whitehouse switchboard number is 202-456-1414.

by dharmafarmer on Tue Jan 05, 2010 at 05:03:31 AM PST

[ Parent | Reply to This |

The FBI & Indian Reservations

( – promoted by navajo)

In 1881, a Brulé Sioux chief named Crow Dog shot and killed Spotted Tail, another Sioux chief. As a result of this incident the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is in charge of criminal investigations on most Indian reservations today.  


In 1881, there was no question about what happened: Crow Dog had deliberately killed Spotted Tail. In Sioux culture the focus of law in this type of matter is not on punishment, but healing the social and cultural wounds which have resulted from the incident. Therefore, the council met and sent peacemakers to the families of Crow Dog and Spotted Tail. Following tribal law, they settled the matter for $600, 8 horses, and one blanket which Crow Dog’s family promptly paid to Spotted Tail’s family. Under Brulé law, the matter was now settled and tribal harmony was restored.

However, the Americans were deeply offended by this type of justice and demanded that Crow Dog be hung. Even though the matter had been settled so far as Sioux law was concerned, the Americans arrested Crow Dog and prepared to hang him (acknowledging that there would be the formality of a trial first, but the outcome was already predetermined.)

Unfortunately for the Americans who wanted to see Crow Dog hung for murder, the case went to the U.S. Supreme Court. To the amazement of most Americans who were unfamiliar with the U.S. Constitution, the Supreme Court, in Ex Parte Crow Dog, ruled that the United States did not have jurisdiction over crimes committed on Indian reservations. Indian tribes, according to the Constitution and previous Supreme Court rulings, were sovereign nations and traditional Indian law was seen as a part of that sovereignty. Crow Dog was subsequently released, returning to his people as a hero, but in the eyes of American authorities he was a troublemaker.

Once again, many Americans found themselves angry with the Supreme Court over a decision about Indian tribes. There were the usual mutterings of “there ought to be a law….” As usual, Congress listened to those who had muttered, and in 1885 passed the Seven Major Crimes Act which extended federal jurisdiction over reservations regarding the crimes of murder, manslaughter, rape, assault with intent to kill, arson, burglary, and larceny. Thus, the U.S. assumed jurisdiction of crimes by Indians against Indi¬ans and weakened the sovereignty of the Indian nations.

Since 1885, the Seven Major Crimes Act has been revised a number of times by Congress. In addition, in 1953 Congress passed Public Law 280 giving state governments the right to assume civil and criminal jurisdiction over Indian reservations in California, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oregon, Wisconsin, and Alaska. The law was created in part because of Congress’s perception of the “lawlessness” of the reservations and a concern to protect non-Indians living near the reservations. It was also a part of a program to terminate all federal responsibility for the reservations.


As a result of Crow Dog and the Major Crimes Act, major crimes on most Indian reservations today are federal crimes which are to be investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). From an Indian perspective the FBI is not particularly well-regarded for either its empathy nor its sympathy regarding either Indians or their cultural traditions. For most FBI agents, investigating crimes on Indian reservations is a low priority assignment and one which does not lead to career advancement.

There are several basic concerns about having the FBI investigate major crimes on reservations. First, the agents are only on the reservations for a limited time and have few real contacts in the community. This means that there is often a lack of trust on both sides: the community doesn’t trust the agents and the agents don’t trust community members.

The second concern is a lack of cultural awareness. While the FBI today invests a great deal of money and effort in training agents in foreign languages and foreign cultures, there is no training in American Indian languages and cultures even though the reservations are sovereign nations within the United States. Not only are agents often unaware of the differences in Indian cultures between the different reservations, they are also often unaware of Indian law and Indian history.

Crime rates on the reservations are very high, and very few crimes are solved. In order for the FBI to do a more effective job of providing criminal investigation on Indian reservations, they must be provided with cultural training and must be allowed to sustain greater contact with the communities.  

United States a Corporation?



The United States is a Corporation

Yes, you read the title correctly. We are not living in a country with a government of the people, by the people, for the people, but we are part of a giant Corporation, The United States Corporation, and the President of America is the CEO. We are only the employees. This Corporation, in its turn, is owned by another Corporation, The British Crown.

You may have noticed that the national flag of the United States always has a god fringe when displayed in court or federal buildings, and you see this also in federally-funded schools and on the uniforms of US troops. Under the International Law of the Flags, a gold fringe indicates the jurisdiction of commercial law, also known as British Maritime Law, and, in the US, as the Uniform Commercial Code, or UCC. The gold fringe is not part of the American flag known as the Stars and Stripes, but it is a legal symbol indicating that the court, government building, school or soldier is operating under British Maritime Law and the Uniform Commercial Code; military and merchant law.

For example, if you appear in a court with a gold-fringed flag your constitutional rights are suspended, and you are being tried under British Maritime (military/merchant) Law. If it seems strange that a court or building on dry land could be administered under Maritime or Admiralty Law, look at US Code, Title 18 B 7. It says that Admiralty Jurisdiction is applicable in the following locations:

1) the high seas

2) any American ship

3) any lands reserved or acquired for the use of the United States, and under the exclusive or concurrent jurisdiction thereof, or any place purchased or otherwise acquired by the United States by consent of the legislature of the state. In other words, mainland America.

All this is founded on Roman law, which goes back to Babylon and Sumerian law, because the Illuminati have been playing this same game throughout the centuries wherever they have gone. The major politicians know that this is how things are and so do the top government administrators, judges, lawyers and insider ‘journalists’.

Americans think that their government and legal system is pegged in some way to the Constitution, but it is not. The United States, like Britain and elsewhere, is ruled by commercial law to overcome the checks and balances of common law. It’s another monumental fraud. The US court system does not operate under the American Constitution, but under corporate law. It is the law of contracts and you have to make a contract with the Corporation for that law to legally apply to you.


Hopi JROTC places second in NARD parade

PHOENIX, Ariz. – On Oct. 10, the Hopi JROTC Bruin Battalion marched with the Colorguard Team in the annual Native American Recognition Days (NARD) parade.

10/20/2009 4:08:00 PM


Posted in Uncategorized

American Indian Alcoholism

( – promoted by navajo)

One of the most common stereotypes about Indians is that of the drunken Indian, a reflection of a higher rate of alcoholism among Indians. While there are many who feel that Indians are biologically or genetically incapable of consuming alcohol in a “normal” fashion, research on alcoholism generally does not bear this out. The persistence of the idea that Indians metabolize alcohol differently and therefore get drunk on less alcohol and are therefore more likely to become alcoholic is based on the drunken Indian stereotype rather than on any scientific research on the etiology of alcoholism.

Another common misconception is that Indian people did not have alcohol until the European invasion. While most Indian cultures did not include alcohol, there are some notable exceptions. Both the Tohono O’odham and the Apache, for example, produced alcoholic beverages long before the coming of the Europeans. The use of alcohol in these cultures, however, was generally ceremonial rather than social and as a consequence there is no evidence that it resulted in alcoholism.

Indian people learned to drink European alcohol such as rum from people who were not “normal” drinkers. That is, the early frontier Europeans – the traders, the trappers, the explorers – were often social rejects in their own society. Many were alcoholics. The drinking pattern which they taught Indians was not the polite social drinking of upper class European society, but rather it was the alcoholic model of the lower classes. Indians learned from these people that the purpose of drinking was to get drunk and drunkenness was to be expressed in violence and anti-social behavior.

There are several dimensions to alcohol in European-Indian relations. First, traders liked using alcohol as a trade good for several reasons: it was something that Indians wanted; it was consumable and therefore Indians would trade for it again and again; it was addictive and therefore Indians would trade for it again and again; and drunken Indians were more easily swindled during trading sessions. Indian agents liked alcohol because drunken Indians were more easily swindled during treaty negotiations.

On the other hand, there were those who were against the use of alcohol by Indians. Many traditional leaders, seeing the damage created by alcoholism, have called for a return to traditional ways, ways which did not include alcohol.

In 1832 the United States passed a law which states: “No ardent spirits shall be hereafter introduced, under any pretense, into the Indian country.” This total prohibition applied to traders and non-traders and allows no exception. During the next century, numerous laws – federal, state, territorial, and local – attempt to stop Indians from being able to obtain or consume alcohol.

The prohibition against Indian drinking continued into the twenties century. For example, in 1948 Congress passed legislation which allows Indians to use alcohol only for mechanical, scientific, or medicinal purposes.

In 1953 Congress ended the prohibition against selling alcohol and firearms to Indians. The tribes, with the approval of the Secretary of the Interior, were allowed to regulate the introduction of alcohol into Indian Country. As a result, there are some tribes which allow alcohol to be sold, possessed, and consumed on the reservation, while there are others that prohibit alcohol.

There are some who feel that the high rate of alcoholism and the high number of deaths which are alcohol related are a direct consequence of the federal prohibition against alcohol. This prohibition did not allow Indian cultures to develop their own norms for the use of alcohol.

Alcoholism is one of the most serious health concerns among Indians today. The death rate from alcoholism is often underreported for alcoholic death can be manifested in liver disease as well as in homicide, suicide, and death by accident and misadventure. In addition, alcoholism impacts children in the form of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and Fetal Alcohol Effect (FAE).

To combat alcoholism, treatment programs and education are needed. To be effective, however, these programs need to be culturally relevant. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), for example, is generally viewed as an efficient treatment program for alcoholism. AA developed to meet the needs of middle class English-speaking alcoholics and tends to be most effective among Indians who are highly assimilated into American culture. When modified to reflect Indian values and language AA becomes more effective among Native Americans.

One example of an effective approach to dealing with alcoholism in American Indian communities is the Red Road to Wellbriety.

Wellbriety means to be both sober and well. It means to have come through recovery from chemical dependency and to be a recovered person who is going beyond survival to thriving in his or her life and in the life of the community. The Well part of Wellbriety means to live the healthy parts of the principles, laws and values of traditional culture. It means to heal from dysfunctional behaviors other than chemical dependency, as well as chemical dependency itself. This includes co dependency, ACOA behavior, domestic or family violence, gambling, and other shortcomings of character

On many reservations and in some urban areas, there are traditional ceremonies – such as the sweat lodge and the Sun Dance – which combat alcoholism through abstinence. In addition, many powwows are “alcohol-free” and promote abstinence and sobriety. These traditional approaches appear to be making inroads against alcoholism.  

Tribal Government



How well do you know your Tribal Government Council?


Apr 22, 2009

   OMG!! I’m a Klamath Tribal Member that wants to remain “Anonymous”!! For my family’s protection! After the Afro-Man Concert at Legends, there was an After-Party where I will keep un-named, still for my protection, and one of our Tribal Council member was at partying up with the rest of us! Everything was cool, and nobody cared about her being there. We all party and who cares what goes on. Then all hell broke loose, and the cops showed up, but we were able to calm everything down when 5.0 showed up! That Tribal Council Member acted like she was untouchable and started talking s*#* with one of my invited guests. I asked her to knock it off, as this was my home, and then she started cussing and yelling at me and some other tribal girls got involved and told her to respect MY HOME and knock it off! As she drank more, she became more beligerent and spouted off that she was a “Tribal Council Leader” and she could do whatever she wanted to do! I told her to leave the party, at which she spit in my face, as she opened up another bottle of her beers and she told me to go F’ my self! That’s when I called the cops, but other tribal members that were present, whisked her away in their car and by the time the cops arrived, she was gone. They asked me to tell me who she was, but I do not know her name, but I could only describe her as highly, fancy dressed, with dark hair, short and heavy set, and cussed dramatically! After asking other tribal members if they knew who she was, the ones that knew who she was, told me that they knew her as Jeannie. Some called her just as a McNair. Other tribal members at our party said they only knew her as Corrine Hicks’ daughter, but they would not come forward with her identity to police, because they did not want this news to smear our Tribal Government! We kicked her out and after that, the after-party remained mild and there were no other altercations after her supporters swept her away before the cops could do anything.



Back in September, I read the above post.  I also saw the picture of the Tribal Council and I wanted to take a closer look at the council members, so I enlarged the photo and ran it through a few filters.







At a distance, she appears to have bangs covering her forehead. There are no bangs. Her skin is mottled from the bottom of her eyes up.





This is a carving by Lawrence Jacquez of a Lenadyooshi, or Skinwalker.  



His eyes appear to be closed.  









  News Stories

   Hopi council restructures government

   “What you are doing does not represent my ancestors, it does not represent my descendants, and it does not represent me!” Francis shouted.



   ICT: Indians v. Enviros at Hopi/Navajo

   “I never thought I would see the day when being ‘Hopi’ meant being anti-environment, pro-big corporate energy, and actually promoting pollution and global warming in favor of ‘the almighty dollar,'” Alph Secakuku said.




Posted in Uncategorized