Dark Light

In a deep coma like sleep with lucid awareness eye realized my body was made of a dark moving light. Something grabbed me at the center of this dark light body, pulled me up and pointed my “head” at the gold/red Thai Aum hanging above me just to the right and directly across from a small mirror. The Aum was covered in the same swirling black light of which my own body was made and this same black light was moving between the mirror and the Aum. Twas an event eye will always remember and treasure.

This was a few weeks ago and it kept returning to memory so yesterday eye told my brother and behold, he had just read a book earlier in the day talking about the Hopi knowledge of dark light.  

O’odham

( – promoted by navajo)

The Sonoran Desert stretches across Southern Arizona and Northern Sonora (Mexico). It is a hot, dry place. It is also the homeland for Indian people who call themselves O’odham.  

Papago by Curtis

Papago Map

The name O’odham means “we, the people.” The Spanish, the first European people to enter the area, called them Pimas Altos meaning Upper Pima Indians. The word Pima comes from the phrase pi-nyi-match (“I don’t know”) which was often the reply which the O’odham gave to the Spanish explorers.

The O’odham speak languages which are classified as Uto-Aztecan which means that they are linguistically related to other Indian nations such as the Hopi, the Ute, the Paiute, and the Shoshone, as well as many Indian nations in Mexico.

Today, there are two basic O’odham tribes: the Akimel O’odham (River People) who live along the Gila River and the Tohono O’odham (Desert People) who live to the south in what is now the Papago Reservation.  

The Spanish, the American government and many non-Indian people have long used the name Papago in referring to the Tohono O’odham. Papago is from Papahvio-otam (“bean people”) which is the name given them by the neighboring Akimel O’odham.

According to the elders, the people have lived in the Sonoran Desert since they were created. One creation story says that Earthmaker scraped dirt from his chest and made it into a ball.

Then he stamped on it to flatten it out until it reached the edge of the sky. Then he made all of the things on the earth – the mountains, the rivers, the clouds, the animals, and the plants.

Earthmaker then made a small man with a beard and called him Eetoi. Earthmaker then made Coyote, a special being who could communicate with the supernatural. Using clay, Earthmaker then made people. The people were perfect and they did not die. However, there were too many people and soon they began fighting among themselves. Earthmaker and Eetoi then destroyed the people with a flood.

After the flood Earthmaker, Eetoi, and Coyote decided to create new people out of clay. To get just the right color, they baked the new people. Coyote’s batch was first and he burnt them black. The creators breathed life into them and then threw them away, far on the other side of the world. The second batch, made by Earthmaker, weren’t cooked long enough and they were white. The creators breathed life into them and threw them away, across the sea. The third batch, made by Eetoi, were baked nice and brown. The creators breathed life into the people and they stayed in the land where they had been created. Earthmaker gave Eetoi the title of Elder Brother.

Eetoi lives in a cave in the Baboquivari Mountains which are located southwest of Tucson, Arizona. When the people need him, that is where they find him.

Archaeologists tell us that the O’odham are the descendents of the Hohokam who were farming in the Phoenix area and along the rivers in southern Arizona more than a thousand years ago.

The homeland of the O’odham people was first claimed by the Spanish under the European concept of discovery which states that Christians have the right to claim and govern all non-Christian nations. In 1821, O’odham land became a part of Mexico and under the Mexican constitution they became Mexican citizens. In 1854, the United States bought much of the O’odham territory from Mexico. The O’odham were neither consulted nor told about this sale. Under American law, the O’odham lost their citizenship. Many of the O’odham simply ignored American jurisdiction and continued to claim their Mexican citizenship.

The United States did not purchase all of the O’odham territory from Mexico. As a consequence, the O’odham, like a number of other Indian nations, has to contend with an international border which divides its people. While most O’odham today live in the United States, there are still many O’odham who live in the Mexican state of Sonora.

Without negotiating a treaty with the O’odham or consulting with them, the United States simply extended federal Indian policy to them. In 1857 the government appointed the first Indian agent for them.

The Tohono O’odham and the Akimel O’odham have never been at war with the United States, nor has the United States ever negotiated a treaty with them. From the very beginning of the American occupation, O’odham warriors helped the army in their battles against the Apache. From the O’odham viewpoint, the Apache were traditional enemies who had been raiding into O’odham territory for a long time. The American army, therefore, was a convenient ally to help the O’odham stop the Apache raids.

The first Papago or Tohono O’odham reservation was unofficially created in 1864 when a two square league area around the Mission San Xavier del Bac was set aside for their exclusive use. The area was officially placed under the jurisdiction of the Indian agent in 1874.

In 1912, President William Howard Taft issued an executive order creating the 47,600 acre Ak-Chin reservation in Arizona. The reservation was created in part in gratitude to the O’odham for their help in the wars against the Apache in the late 1800’s.

With the creation of the Ak-Chin Reservation, the Bureau of Indian Affairs filed for a water appropriation on behalf of the Ak-Chin Indian Community which called for a total of 70,000 acre-feet annually. Non-Indians in the area were upset about the size of the reservation and about the water appropriation. Within four months of the original executive order, President Taft issued a second executive order which reduced the size of the reservation to 21,840 acres.

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued an executive order to create the 3.1 million acre Papago Reservation for the Tohono O’odham. The town of Indian Wells was renamed Sells after Indian Commissioner Cato Sells and became the headquarters for the new Indian agency. The creation of the reservation was opposed by the Tucson Chamber of Commerce, the Arizona state land commissioner, and the Pima Farm Improvement Association.

The Papago Reservation both south and west of Tucson in southern Arizona is the second largest Indian reservation in the United States. It is about the size of the state of West Virginia.

Lots of people seem to think that Indians didn’t know about alcohol until the Europeans brought it to this continent. However, the Tohono O’odham were making an alcoholic ceremonial drink from the fruit of the saguaro cactus long before Europeans even knew that this continent existed. Called tiswin, it is drunk in conjunction with a rain ceremony. During the ceremony the people make themselves drunk, much like the plants in the rain.

There are a lot of people, including some eminent historians, who seem to think that the last military battle against Indians took place in 1890 at a place called Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Reservation of the Oglala Sioux in South Dakota. In fact, the American army continued its war against Indians through the rest of the nineteenth century and the twentieth century. While the Tohono O’odham have always been friendly toward the Americans, there have been a few skirmishes. One of the most interesting of these skirmishes took place in the 1940s.

The basis for these skirmishes began in 1924 when the United States Congress passed legislation giving all Indians full American citizenship. This was done without consulting with Indian people. In 1940, the United States Congress passed another bill giving Indians citizenship. While many states, including Arizona, simply ignored both citizenship bills and denied Indians the rights of citizenship, the United States government insisted that as citizens Indians must register for the draft. In 1940,  at the Tohono O’odham village of Toapit, 30 men under the leadership of Pia Machita refused to register for the draft. Marshals and Indian police attempted to arrest the leader, but they were roughed up and forced to release the 84 year old Machita. The Tohono O’odham then escaped into the desert. Pia Machita eluded the American army and federal marshals until 1941.

Oral tradition among the Tohono O’odham tells of army planes bombing villages during this time in an attempt to capture the draft rebels. The army’s unofficial story, again told as oral tradition, is that they were not bombing the villages, only dropping flour sacks on them to mark them so that they could be found from the ground.

Culturally, the O’odham don’t fit the common stereotypes of Indians who lived in tipis and hunted buffalo. Instead of tipis, the O’odham lived in dome- shaped lodges made from a framework of saplings and thatched with grass and/or leafy shrubs. These lodges were 12 to 20 feet in diameter. In addition to this lodge, they also built ramadas to provide them shade. These ramadas – which are still commonly used – provided an outdoor living and cooking space.  

While the Plains Indians kept a Winter Count which recorded their history on skins, the O’odham kept calendar sticks. These sticks contained a notch for each year and then markings to show the events for the year. The calendar sticks are considered to be personal rather than tribal and so they are traditionally destroyed when the person keeping them dies. Most anthropologists consider the calendar sticks to be mnemonic devices (which help the owner remember the events) rather than a form of writing.

Papago Baskets

Papago Basket Flat

With regard to arts, the O’odham have gained a reputation for their fine basketry. The first evidence of the commercialization of O’odham basketry was seen in 1900 when the basketweavers began incorporating yucca into their baskets. Yucca is scarce and is used only in baskets which are intended to be sold to outsiders. In addition, they began making coiled baskets for the tourist market. These coiled baskets were easier to make than their traditional “tree” or plaited baskets.

Papago Basket with lid

Papago Basket

The Wounded Knee Massacre: 120th Anniversary

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The Sand Creek Massacre and the Washita Massacre both led to the Wounded Knee Massacre. The Sand Creek Massacre brought the realization that “the soldiers were destroying everything Cheyenne – the land, the buffalo, and the people themselves,” and the Washita Massacre added even more genocidal evidence to those facts. The Sand Creek Massacre caused the Cheyenne to put away their old grievances with the Sioux and join them in defending their lives against the U.S. extermination policy. The Washita Massacre did that even more so. After putting the Wounded Knee Massacre briefly into historical perspective, we’ll focus solely on the Wounded Knee Massacre itself for the 120th Anniversary of the Wounded Knee Massacre.

Black Kettle, his wife, and more than 150 Cheyenne and Arapaho had just been exterminated, and Custer’s 7th was burning the lodges and all their contents, thus stripping them of all survival means. Sheridan would wait until all their dogs had been eaten before “allowing” them into subjugation, then Custer would rape the women hostages in captivity.


Jerome A. Green. “Washita.” p. 126.

Far across the Washita Valley, warriors observed the killing of the animals, enraged by what they saw.

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What did they see, feel, and think?


http://books.google.com/books?…

And so, when the Chiefs gathered to decide what the people should do, Black Kettle took his usual place among them. Everyone agreed Sand Creek must be avenged. But there were questions. Why had the soldiers attacked with such viciousness? Why had they killed and mutilated women and children?

It seemed that the conflict with the whites had somehow changed. No longer was it just a war over land and buffalo. Now, the soldiers were destroying everything Cheyenne – the land, the buffalo, and the people themselves.

See it? Feel it?

They witnessed and felt the Sand Creek Massacre happen, again.

Consequently, a number of Cheyenne who were present at Washita helped defeat Custer at Little Bighorn.

So, let us proceed from the Sand Creek Massacre,

Why does this say Battle Ground after there was a Congressional investigation?

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and from the genocide at the Washita “Battlefield” –

No, it was a massacre.

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Petition to Re-name

The Washita Battlefield National Historic Site toThe Washita National Historic

Site of Genocide

AND WHERE AS:

According to the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethical, racial or religious group as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;

(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life

calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

WE, the undersigned members of the Native American community and the public at large, request that this site of the attack by the United States military against 8,500 Plains Indians camped as prisoners of war along the Washita River in 1868 be designated as the Washita National Historic Site of Genocide.

– to the Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890.

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Harjo: Burying the history of Wounded Knee

But Wounded Knee was 14 years after Little Bighorn. Would the soldiers have held a grudge that long and why would they take it out on Big Foot? They blamed Custer’s defeat on Sitting Bull, who was killed two weeks before Wounded Knee. The Survivors Association members had the answer: ”Because Big Foot was Sitting Bull’s half-brother. That’s why Sitting Bull’s Hunkpapa people sought sanctuary in Big Foot’s Minneconjou camp.”

The Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890

The first intention of the U.S. Army in part was to detain Chief Big Foot under the pretext that he was a “fomenter of disturbance,” remembering that Native Americans did not have equal rights at that time in the Constitution.

In addition, the real intention was doing a “roundup” to a military prison camp, which would have become an internment and concentration camp in Omaha after they were prisoners. Colonel James W. Forsyth had orders to force them into going there.

Speculating, I bet at least part of the rationalization for the massacre was so the soldiers wouldn’t have to transport them to the military prison in Omaha. Murdering them would have been easier. Then, they could’ve had another whiskey keg, like they did the evening right before this massacre, when they celebrated the detainment of Chief Big Foot. The soldiers may have even been hung over, depending on amount consumed and tolerance levels; moreover, if the soldiers were alcoholics, tolerance levels would have been high.


massacre:

n : the wanton killing of many people [syn: mass murder] v : kill a large number of people indiscriminately;

“The Hutus massacred the Tutsis in Rwanda” [syn: slaughter, mow down]


Source

White officials became alarmed at the religious fervor and activism and in December 1890 banned the Ghost Dance on Lakota reservations. When the rites continued, officials called in troops to Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations in South Dakota. The military, led by veteran General Nelson Miles, geared itself for another campaign.


Source

Big Foot and the Lakota were among the most enthusiastic believers in the Ghost Dance ceremony when it arrived among them in the spring of 1890.

Chief Big Foot’s arrest was ordered by the U.S. War Department for being a “fomenter of disturbance.” Chief Big Foot was already on his way to Pine Ridge with his people, when the 7th U.S. Cavalry with Major Samuel Whitside leading them approached him on horses. Big Foot’s lungs were bleeding from pneumonia.

Blood froze on his nose while he could barely speak. He had a white flag of surrender put up as soon as he caught glimpse of the U.S. Calvary coming towards them. At the urging of John Shangreau, Whitside’s half-breed scout, Whitside “allowed” Big Foot to proceed to the camp at Wounded Knee. Whitside wanted to arrest Big Foot and disarm them all immediately. Ironically, the justification for letting Big Foot go to Wounded Knee was that it would prevent a gun fight, save the lives of the women and children, but let the men escape. The Warriors wouldn’t have left their women and children to perish, but since the following was reported to Red Cloud:


Red Cloud

“…A white man said the soldiers meant to kill us. We did not believe it, but some were frightened and ran away to the Badlands.(1)

I believe Whitside didn’t want the Warriors to have such an opportunity, under direct orders by General Nelson Miles.


(1): “Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee” by Dee Brown, pp. 441-442. (December, 1890).

“Later in the darkness of that December night (Dec. 28) the remainder of the Seventh Regiment marched in from the east and quietly bivouacked north of Major Whitside’s troops. Colonel James W. Forsyth, commanding Custer’s former regiment, now took charge of operations. He informed Whitside that he had received orders to take Big Foot’s band to the Union Pacific Railroad for shipment to the military prison in Omaha.

Then, came the disarming.


..Colonel Forsyth informed the Indians that they were now to be disarmed. “They called for guns and arms,” White Lance said, “so all of us gave the guns and they were stacked up in the center.” The soldier chiefs were not satisfied with the number of weapons surrendered, so they sent details of troops to search the tepees. “They would go right into the tents and come out with bundles (sacred objects) and tear them open,” Dog Chief said. “They brought our axes, knives, and tent stakes and piled them near the guns.” Still not satisfied, the soldier chiefs ordered the warriors to remove their blankets and submit to searches for weapons…

Yellow Bird, the only medicine man there at the time danced some steps of the Ghost Dance, while singing one of it’s songs as an act of dissent. Simultaneously, the people were furious at the “searches” when Yellow Bird reminded everyone of their bullet-proof shirts. To me, this was the void in time when the Ghost Dancers chose peace over war, and made it possible for the resurgence of their culture to occur in the future. A psychological justification for my saying so, is the Ghost Dancers would also have been Sundancers. Part of the well-known intent behind the Sundance is “that the people might live.”

Continuing on; next, was false blame.


…Some years later Dewey Beard (Wasumaza) recalled that Black Coyote was deaf. “If they had left him alone he was going to put his gun down where he should. They grabbed him and spinned him in the east direction. He was still unconcerned even then. He hadn’t pointed his gun at anyone. His intention was to put that gun down. They came and grabbed the gun that he was going to put down…(1) in proceeding paragraph, p.445.


Source

…The massacre allegedly began after an Indian, who was being disarmed, shot a U.S. officer.


Source

Hotchkiss guns shredded the camp on Wounded Knee Creek, killing, according to one estimate, 300 of 350 men, women, and children.


My Journey to Wounded Knee

More people survived if they tried to escape through this tree row, because there was more tree cover.

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More were massacred if they tried to escape through this tree row, because there was much less tree cover.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

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The truth has still been tried to be slanted and concealed, even after over one century ago, because the old sign said that there were 150 warriors. The truth is, there were only 40 warriors.

It was nothing less than false blame, deceptive actions, and blatant lies by the blood-thirsty troopers that started the Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890. In recognition of the governmental policy of using smallpox infected blankets as germ warfare against Native Americans since the first presidency, the Sioux Wars, and all the “successful” extermination by the U.S. government prior to this last “battle;” would they have had the atom bomb, they would have used it too.

For that would have been more convenient, than loading their remaining victims (4 men and 47 women and children) into open wagons and transporting them to Pine Ridge during the approaching blizzard for alleged shelter at the army barracks, then to the Episcopal mission “unplanned.” They left the survivors out in that blizzard in open wagons for who knows how long, while “An (singular) inept Army officer searched for shelter.”(1)

What that tells me is: they didn’t plan on having any survivors. They planned on exterminating them. Of course, there wasn’t any room at all in the army barracks for 51 people, so they had to take them to the mission. Well…if they’d been white, they would’ve found room for a measly 51 white people.



Source

“…A recurring dream in the mid-1980s directed a Lakota elder to begin the ride as a way to heal the wounds of the 1890 massacre. It continues today to honor the courage of the ancestors and to teach the young to become leaders…The Big Foot Ride began in 1987 at the urging of Birgil Kills Straight, a descendant of a Wounded Knee Massacre survivor. Each year, the riders have come together to sacrifice and pray for the 13-day trip from the Standing Rock Reservation beginning on the anniversary of the death of Sitting Bull and ending at Wounded Knee on Dec. 28, the day before the anniversary of the massacre…”


Source

“…The two-week Ride started in 1986 after a dream told one of its founders that it would “mend the sacred hoop” and heal the wounds of the famous massacre. For the first four years, the ride was led in intense cold by Arvol Looking Horse, keeper of the White Buffalo Calf Woman pipe bundle in Green Grass, S.D. It is now carried on by youths from the Lakota nation, starting in Grand River near Mobridge, S.D. on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation and continuing south 200 miles to Pine Ridge…”

So Many Stories

This is one a guy I know who lives in Albuquerque, told me. His name is Mark, but he has other ways of Mark to be named.

He’s a very cool guy, about my age, in his early 50’s.

His lady is an elephant vet. She is fine. I met her once, at a party they and I were both invited to.

She goes around the elephant world, trying to keep people who have enslaved elephants, from abusing them.

He told me once, “Ringling Brothers is like the Dark Star!”

They are both such sweet people. So kind, so caring. So loving. So intelligent.

So worried.

He comes down here every spring for the Mescalero Mescal roast. He has good friends there, has for a long time.

He comes by and visits me. He does not judge.

He just ignores my strangeness.

He comes by and asks to see my garden.

Last time he got me out under my clothesline.

And he gave me a backrub, a good backrub!

That’s Mark. Mark rocks. Even when I don’t see him for a year, doesn’t matter.

Mark rocks.

Marcos.

He is known by that name.

Mark, my friend

shows up here in the spring

He won’t quite let me ignore him

and it’s not about sex, at all

though his girlfriend is a fine elephant vet

and a great lady.

Meanwhile, Mark shows up at times.

I gave him a large drum, made by people south of

that terrible border.

I brought him into that house

One of my two messed up houses

The ones with all of the broke

I’d told Mark he was going to get a drum.

And I brought him in to that room, that house.

And I presented him that that drum. A good drum. Big one.

And I saw it on his face, for just a few seconds.

He was a little boy given a drum.

I saw it  for just a second.

I just made this 50 year old guy back into whooppee,

One of the best moments of my life.

Miep  

Posted in Uncategorized

The Bannock War

( – promoted by navajo)

A casual reading of almost any book on American history-from popular accounts to textbooks to scholarly tomes-reveals that there have been a lot of conflicts or wars with American Indians since the creation of the United States. In 1907, the War Department officially enumerated 1,470 incidents of military action against American Indians between 1776 and 1907. This suggests that there was about one military action per month against Indians during the first 131 years of the nation’s existence. This count does not include a number incidents or wars involving state militias and volunteer groups, such as vigilantes. In some instances the military action was a single battle, in others there were a series of battles.

According to the War Department, only two of these actions have the formal status of “war” under U.S. Army terminology: the 1877 Nez Perce War and the 1878 Bannock Indian War.

Of the two “official” wars delineated by the War Department in 1907, the 1878 Bannock War is probably the least known. The Bannock are a Great Basin tribe which migrated from the desert areas of southeastern Oregon to the more propitious and well-watered region found at the confluence of the Portneuf and Blackfoot streams with the Snake River in present-day Idaho. When the Bannock moved into the Snake and Lemhi River valleys and the Bridger Basin, they came into close contact with the Shoshone, a group which is linguistically and culturally related. The Bannock language belongs to a branch of the Uto-Aztecan family known as Western Numic while Shoshone is Central Numic. Bannock culture tended to emphasize war more than Shoshone culture.

The Bannock call themselves Bana’kwut (“Water People”), and they often were called Buffalo Eaters and Honey Eaters by other tribes.

The Bannock War was about camas: Camassia quamash, a plant with a blue or purple flower which has a nutritious bulb about the size and shape of a tulip bulb. For many of the tribes in Idaho, Eastern Washington, Eastern Oregon, and Western Montana, camas was a major food item. It was gathered in late spring or early fall. It was either eaten raw or steamed in a pit for immediate consumption. If the camas was to be preserved, the camas bulbs were pounded in a mortar to make a kind of dough. The dough was then shaped into loaves, wrapped in grass, and steamed again. After the second cooking, the loaves were made into smaller cakes and dried in the sun. Without stores of camas, people would be ill prepared for the cold months of the year.

In Idaho, one of the most important camas areas was known as Camas Prairie.

In 1867 the Bannock met in treaty council with the American government at Long Creek. The Americans wanted to confine the Bannock as well as the Shoshone to a reservation so that the land could be opened for American settlement. In the discussions about the reservation, Chief Taghee told the Americans:

“I want the right to camp and dig roots on Camas prairie, when coming to Boise to trade.”

At this time, popular opinion among non-Indians in Idaho called for the extermination of all Indians. An editorial in the Idaho Statesman advocated that the military continue to kill Indians. According to the editor:

“The idea that the Indians have any right to the soil is ridiculous…They have no more right to the soil of the Territories of the United States than wolves or coyotes.”

Another newspaper editorial suggested:

“This would be our plan of establishing friendship on an eternal basis with our Indians: Let all the hostile bands of Idaho Territory be called in (they will not be caught in any other manner) to attend a grand treaty; plenty of blankets and nice little trinkets distributed among them; plenty of grub on hand; have a jolly time with them; then just before the big feast put strychnine in their meat and poison to death the last mother’s son of them.”

The following year, the Bannock and the Shoshone met in treaty council with the Americans at Fort Bridger, Wyoming. Once again the Bannock insisted that Camas Prairie be included in their reservation and article 2 of the treaty expressed this desire. However, instead of saying “Camas” Prairie, the wording of the treaty indicated “Kansas” Prairie.

In 1870, the American government, instead of establishing a separate reservation for the Bannock, assigned them to the Fort Hall Reservation which they were to share with the Shoshone. In moving to Fort Hall, the Bannock were to give up all rights to areas outside of the reservation, including Camas Prairie. Under military escort, the Bannock were moved to the reservation. The soldiers expressed little sympathy or concern for the Indians they were herding and some Indians were killed for slowing the procession down.

Life on the Fort Hall Reservation during the 1870s was not good for the Bannock and Shoshone. While the American government had promised to provide the Indians with rations as they made the transition from a hunting and gathering way of life to a more settled agricultural lifestyle, the promised food supplies were meager. Hunger was a regular part of life. By 1877, the Shoshone and Bannock were starving. To alleviate the hunger, the Indians once again travelled to Camas Prairie were they harvested camas to prepare for the coming winter.

In 1877, the Americans were afraid that the Bannock and Shoshone might join with the non-treaty bands of Nez Perce in their war against the United States. After the camas harvest, the chiefs travelled to Boise to meet with the governor and express their peaceful intentions. Once again, the Bannock explained to the Americans the importance of camas.  Bannock leader Major Jim asked that Camas Prairie be included in the Fort Hall Reservation. He complained that the Americans were driving their hogs and cattle onto Camas Prairie and destroying the camas. The Americans were grateful to hear that the Shoshone and Bannock did not intend to join the Nez Perce, but they did nothing about the Camas Prairie situation.

The food shortages at the Fort Hall Reservation did not improve, and by 1878 the Indian agent felt that he had no choice but to encourage the Indians to hunt outside the reservation. Bannock chief Buffalo Horn visited the territorial governor and obtained permission to buy $2 worth of ammunition for deer hunting. With Indians hunting off the reservation, fears and rumors about Indian wars spread throughout the non-Indian settlements.

Once again the Bannock went to Camas Prairie to obtain the food they needed. They found that American settlers had turned their cattle loose in the area and so the Bannock insisted that the Americans remove the cattle. The Americans belligerently refused, insisting that the Indians had no rights to the land.

The Shoshone and Bannock then met in council to discuss what to do next. Bannock chief Buffalo Horn and about 200 Bannock and Paiute warriors decided to go to war against the Americans.  The Boise Shoshone under the leadership of Captain Jim and the Bannock under the leadership of Tendoy opted for peace and returned to their reservations.

Buffalo Horn and a war party of 60 warriors were attacked by American volunteer troops. While the Indians killed two volunteers and wounded several others, Buffalo Horn was badly wounded. After several days travel, he asked to be left behind to die.

After Buffalo Horn’s death the war party went to Oregon. At the Malheur Reservation, Paiute Chief Winnemucca refused to join the war against the Americans and was taken prisoner. Sarah Winnemucca, his daughter, snuck into the camp and helped the chief and about 75 others to escape.

In Oregon, Oytes and Egan assumed leadership of the rebel group. Egan was initially a reluctant leader, but he was persuaded to become the war chief. Oytes was a Dreamer Prophet and this created problems for the Americans. Part of the reason for the Nez Perce War a year earlier was to eradicate the Dreamers-followers of the Washat Religion of the prophet Smohalla.

At this time, the regular army entered the picture. The army was headed by General O.O. Howard-America’s Christian general. Howard had fought against the Nez Perce and was strongly opposed to Smohalla and his Dreamer movement. He saw himself as a Christian warrior fighting against the forces of evil. Howard and his army were soon in pursuit of the rebel Indians.

At Silver Creek in Oregon, the Americans caught up with the war party and carried out a daring daylight attack with the scouts and some of the troops charging through the camp. Egan led a countercharge, but was wounded first in the wrist and then was shot in the breast and the groin. He was carried off by his warriors and Oytes assumed command. Though badly wounded, Egan directed a retreat and the war party crossed over into the John Day Valley with the army in pursuit.

The war party headed for the Umatilla Reservation hoping to enlist them in the war. Near the reservation, they engaged the army in a day-long battle in which five warriors were killed. The Umatilla under the leadership of Chief Umapine watched the battle from a hilltop. The next day, the Umatilla held council with the Americans. The Umatilla agreed to capture or kill Egan and in exchange tribal members were to be pardoned for their role in the war.

Egan regrouped his warriors in Oregon’s Blue Mountains and waited for the Umatilla to join him. A large party of Umatilla under the leadership of Umapine, Five Crows, and Yettinewitz, came into the camp to talk with Egan. The Umatillas then opened fire, killing Egan and 13 of his warriors. The Umatilla retreated with Egan’s scalp before his followers could react.

Following the death of Egan, the Bannock and Paiute broke into a number of smaller groups which were pursued by the troops. At Birch Creek, the Umatilla under Umapine surprised part of the fleeing war party. They killed 17 warriors and captured 25 women and children.

One of the small raiding parties decided to make a run for Canada to join Sitting Bull and the Sioux. They followed the Bannock trail through Yellowstone National Park where they encountered a survey team. The Bannock managed to capture the survey crew’s animals and supplies.

The army, under the command of Col. Nelson Miles, was actually in Yellowstone National Park. They were not on active duty, but were there as tourists. They surprised a Bannock camp near Heart Mountain, killing 11 and capturing 31.

Southwest of Yellowstone Lake, the army met some of the escapees from the Heart Mountain battle. After a brief fight, the Indians surrendered. While the army reported only one Indian killed, the captives reported that 28 were killed. One observer of the battle wrote:

“The Bannock decided to surrender to the troops, and they moved in a peaceful manner to do so. Nevertheless, volleys of gun-fire were poured into them and several of them were killed.”

The writer concluded:

“It seemed to me that killing these Indians when it was plainly evident they were trying to surrender was a violation of the humanities. They did not respond to the fire.”

Oytes and his followers elluded capture for another month.

In looking back at the causes of the Bannock War, the territorial governor explained that Camas Prairie was the Indians’ garden and it provided them with an abundant supply of vegetable foods. The governor further explained that the government had failed to follow through with the treaty stipulation to assign the prairie as part of the reservation for the Bannock. He recommended that immediate action be taken to assign it to the Fort Hall Reservation or to compensate the Indians in some other way.

In an interview with the Omaha Herald, General George Crook explained that the root cause of the Bannock War was hunger. He said:

“It cannot be expected that they will stay on reservations where there is no possible way to get food, and see their wives and children starve and die around them. We have taken their lands, deprived them of every means of living.”

Crook later wrote:

“Our Indian policy has resolved itself into a question of warpath or starvation; and, merely being human, many of them will choose the former alternative where death shall be at least glorious.”

The Idaho Statesman disagreed with General Crook, and the editor wrote:

“It was not the want of food which started them upon the warpath, but their savage thirst for blood, which had not been restrained and prevented by proper discipline and Governmental supervision.”

A brief poem

I Am A River

I am a river, I move

Sometimes I have waves, I thrust!

Things fall into me

And sometimes I am done with things.

I move!

I am a river, I change

And am changed

Because that’s what rivers do.

Carlsbad NM flood plain map 4

Cement sculpture and bark

Somewhere around here, I have a photo of the acequia madre, all dry and with the decaying concrete structures. One of the first photos I took. Unfortunately, I was a little slow on the uptake as to storing photos.  

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged

Native American Spirituality: The Omaha Venerable Man

( – promoted by navajo)

Among the Omaha there are two objects which are sacred to the tribe: Sacred Pole or Venerable Man and the Sacred White Buffalo Hide. These two sacred objects and their pipes occupy the center of the camp circle during times of tribal ceremony. The Venerable Man has been with the Omaha for several centuries: he was with them when the Ponca were still a part of the Omaha. He signifies the unity of the Omaha people.  

The most important ceremony involving the Venerable Man is Anointing the Pole. The pole is set up at a 45-degree angle facing the north star. The traditional ceremony involved in greasing the Sacred Pole each year and was a ceremony of thanksgiving for the gifts received from hunting.

In 1888, ethnologists Alice Fletcher and Francis La Flesche (Omaha) persuaded Yellow Smoke, the keeper of the sacred pole of the Omaha – the Venerable Man – to send the sacred object to the Peabody Museum in Massachusetts for safekeeping.

Recognizing that the ethnographic significance of the Venerable Man would be greatly reduced without a precise and detailed account of the ritual songs and sacred stories associated with it, they also persuaded Yellow Smoke to speak of these things and to allow the story to be recorded. Yellow Smoke was hesitant to speak of these things as this was punishable by the supernatural. However, Joseph La Flesche (Iron Eye), the father of Francis La Flesche, agreed to accept for himself any penalty that might occur following the revealing of these sacred traditions.  After Yellow Smoke finished telling the story, Iron Eye became ill and died two weeks later.

Joseph La Flesche had opposed traditional ceremonies and advocated assimilation into American culture. As the principal Omaha chief he had refused to support the annual renewal ceremony  (Anointing the Pole) for the Venerable Man. Following this he developed an infection in his leg which resulted in its amputation. Traditional Omaha feel that this was a result of his refusal to participate in the ceremony.

A century after the Venerable Man left the Omaha people to live in a museum basement, he returned to them. In 1989, Harvard’s Peabody Museum returned the Venerable Man to the Omaha tribe at the tribal powwow in Macy. The Omaha brought him back hoping that his return to the tribal circle would bring all his relations “blessings for a long time to come.”

In 2000, the Venerable Man was set upright in accordance with Omaha traditions in a special Plexiglas case at the University of Nebraska. He will return home to the tribe when the tribe can afford to build a museum to protect his fragile wood.

Marriage between Indians and Non-Indians

( – promoted by navajo)

In 1808, President Thomas Jefferson told an Indian delegation who was visiting Washington:

“You will unite yourselves with us and we shall all be Americans. You will mix with us by marriage. Your blood will run in our veins and will spread with us over this great Island.”

We don’t know what response the Indians had to Jefferson’s words, but many non-Indians tended to be less than enthusiastic about marriage with Indians and about the children which might result from these unions. While the large fur trading companies at this time-Hudson’s Bay Company and the North West Company-encouraged their traders to marry Indian women as a way of gaining trading partners, there was strong opposition to the idea of Indian men marrying non-Indian women.  

Jesuit missionary Lawrence Palladino, writing in 1893, stated:

“Experience has amply proven that the Indian cannot be civilized except on Christian principles, through Christian methods, in Christian schools, by Christian teachers.”

Christian missionaries, both Protestant and Catholic, in their attempts to convert Indians, ranted against Indian forms of marriage such as polygyny (the marriage of a man to more than one women), the sexual freedom of Indian women, and the ease of Indian divorce. They preached that Indians needed to be married in the Christian fashion. While the missionaries were attempting drag Indians into “civilization,” they did not view the Indians as equals and they discouraged marriage between Indians and non-Indians.

In 1816 the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions declared that it proposed for the Cherokee-

“To make the whole tribe English in their language, civilized in their habits, and Christian in their religion.”

In 1817, the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions established the Foreign Mission School at Cornwall, Connecticut to provide an education for young men from “heathen” nations. The following year, two Cherokee men-John Ridge and Elias Boudinot-enrolled in the Foreign Missions boarding school. The two men were cousins who had completed all the education the mission schools in the Cherokee Nation could provide. They hungered for more education, and the missionaries selected them for further training with an eye on making them into missionaries.  What the missionaries didn’t envision, however, was love and marriage.

In 1824, John Ridge married a non-Indian, Sarah Bird Northrup. The local newspapers denounced the couple. In the local churches, the marriage was denounced on racial grounds by Christian preachers from their pulpits. Following the marriage ceremony, the couple immediately left the area to avoid being mobbed.

The following year, Harriet Gold, the nineteen-year-old daughter of one of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions’ Foreign Mission School board, asked permission to marry Elias Boudinot. Community residents as well as agents of the school openly and vocally opposed the marriage. The citizens of Cornwall, led by the bride’s brother, rallied to burn the couple in effigy on the village green. Agents for the school voiced their opposition to all such marriages and labeled the couple’s conduct as “criminal.” They complained that such marriages were an affront to community sensibilities and violated guidelines of proper decorum.

Jeremiah Everts, the corresponding secretary for the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions defended the marriage. He wrote:

Can it be pretended, at this age of the world, that a small variance of complexion is to present an insuperable barrier to matrimonial connexions? or that the different tribes of men are to be kept forever and entirely distinct?

In order to prevent such marriages in the future, the school was closed.

The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions was not the only Christian missionary group to be troubled by the marriage between an Indian man and a non-Indian woman. In 1933, in New York City, Ojibwa Christian minister Peter Jones married a non-Indian. The New York press reported:

“It was the first time we ever heard the words ‘man and wife’ sound hatefully.”

Other newspapers called the marriage “improper and revolting.”

During the nineteenth and much of the twentieth centuries many states passed laws which prohibited the marriage between Indians and non-Indians. In 1855, for example, the Washington Territorial Legislature passed the Color Act which declared void all marriages between non-Indians and persons of “more than one-half Indian blood.” The law decreed penalties for any clergyman or territorial official who solemnized such marriages. This law was repealed in 1868. Some of the other states which prohibited marriage with Indians included:

Maine: law enacted in 1821 and repealed in 1883

Massachusetts: law enacted in 1705 and repealed in 1843

Rhode Island: law enacted in 1798 and repealed in 1881

Arizona: law enacted in 1865 and repealed in 1962. The Arizona law actually prohibited anyone of a mixed racial heritage from marrying anyone.  

Idaho: law enacted in 1864 and repealed in 1959

Nevada: law enacted in 1861 and repealed in 1959

Oregon: law enacted in 1852 and repealed in 1951

North Carolina: law enacted in 1715 and overturned by the Supreme Court in 1967

Tennessee: law enacted in 1741 and overturned by the Supreme Court in 1967

Bad News for Indian Country: INDN’s List Closes

How does the American Indian improve his life today?  If he’s not completely strapped down by the terrible conditions of most of our reservations he or she would get involved with politics.

That’s how we change things.

It was good for us that groups like INDN’s List existed to help elect American Indians to public office. Today we received the news that INDN’s List is going to shut down.

Native American Netroots is deeply saddened to lose this important group.

More below:

My email notification:

In 2005, many of you joined in my dream and vision of building an organization to recruit, train, support and elect American Indians to public office across America.  Some of you volunteered countless hours, some gave thousands of dollars and others the proverbial widow’s mite, some shared your expertise at our INDN Campaign Camps, one made a quilt while others generously bid on it, and hundreds of you sent encouraging words of inspiration and prayed for our candidates and staff.

As we say goodbye to another year, we also say goodbye to INDN’s List.  I am deeply saddened to tell you that INDN’s List is closing our doors.  In 2009 and 2010, I personally financially supported INDN’s List and paid most of our overhead and salaries.  Regrettably, we have simply been unable to expand our donor base beyond a handful of visionary tribes, unions and individuals.  And, the tribes who supported us in our first four years just did not come through these last two years.

Because of you, in the last six years, INDN’s List has achieved tremendous success.  We helped American Indians win 63 elections.  Prior to this election cycle, we won 70% of our races.  We helped an American Indian woman win statewide office in Montana, helped Indians win office in several chambers where they had never served, helped bring more Indians into office than at any point in history and were instrumental in holding caucuses on reservations for the first time in a presidential primary in Nevada.

Equally as important, INDN’s List trained hundreds of volunteers, staff and candidates and cast a bright spotlight on the dearth of Indians serving in public office.  I have always said, “Little Indian boys and girls cannot be what they cannot see.”  I am most proud that INDN’s List played a role in giving future generations of Indian children concrete examples of what they can be.

The Republican onslaught took out so many of our excellent office holders and candidates.  Sadly, INDN’s List will not be around to help Indians regain the ground we have lost.  Even with our major losses, Indians are more represented today than we were six years ago.

This would not be true without the generous support of several tribes, labor unions, organizations and individuals. Among the most faithful of our supporters are:

Governor Howard Dean * Congressman Mike Honda * Senator Al Franken * Senator Michael Brown * Chairman Gus Franks * Vice Chairman Glynn Crooks * Chairman Robert Martin * Councilwoman Mary Ann Andreas * Chief Jim Gray * Chairman Ron Allen * Councilman Bill John Baker * Councilwoman Cara Cowan Watts

Jim Adelman * Sam Alexander * Sandra Beasley * Richard Bell * Lorene Bishop * Carma Lee Brock * Steve Bruner * Jessa Bush * Lori Cain * Anne Caprara * Rob Capriccioso * Lawrence Crooks * Brian Daffron * Ada Deer * Lindsay Earls * Tom Farris * Susan Filbert * Peggy Flanagan * Jim and Sally Frasier * Andy Frye * John Gaines * Todd Goodman * Lisa Gover * Louis Gray * Faye Hadley * Dennis Hall * Willie Hardacker * LaDonna Harris * Laura Harris * David Harrison * Joan and Ken Hilterbrand * Robert Holden * Adam Holmes * Gordon Holmes * Representative Chuck and Stephanie Hoskin * Megan Hull * Patricia Ireland * Somelea Jackson * John Jameson * Marlene Jones * Dana Jim * Woody Kaplan * Micah Kordsmeier * George Krumme * Celinda Lake * Frank Lamere * Barbara Lee * Bob Lemon * Representative Al McAffrey * Jason McCarty * Luckie McClintock * Tammy McCullar * Dorthy McGill * Theresa McMillan * Brad Miller * David Ocamb * Dave Parker * Jodi Rave * Bill and Rose Ann Risenhoover * Joan Rogin * Susan Rowe * Courtney Ruark * Laura Sanders * Charles Siegel * Marty Smith * Dane Strother * Ronda Talley * Andy Tobias * Mark Trahant * Frosty Troy * Jennifer Vanderheide  * Merv Wampold * Mary Beth Williams * Vickie Winpisinger * Sherilyn Wright

Forest County Potawatomi * Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community * San Manuel Band of Mission Indians * Muckleshoot Indian Tribe * Tulalip Tribes * Chickasaw Nation * Cherokee Nation

IBEW  * NEA  *  UAPP  *  TWU  * USW  * IBT * SEIU * AFL-CIO * Democracy for America * EMILY’s List * Native American Times * Indian Country Today * 21st Century Democrats * Wellstone Action

The past six years have been extremely challenging and deeply rewarding.  I will always cherish the memories of watching Claudia Kauffman take her oath of office to become the only Indian woman serving in the Washington Senate, and Al McAffrey become the first openly gay man elected to the Oklahoma House, and Chuck Hoskin be the standard bearer for Indian Country both in Oklahoma and across the nation, and helping elect Denise Juneau as the first Indian woman to hold statewide office in Montana and Barbara McIlvaine Smith as the first Indian in the Pennsylvania House.

My dream of seeing the first Indian woman in Congress, an Indian Governor and ultimately an Indian President lives on.  They are all out there, somewhere.  And maybe, just maybe, INDN’s List has helped show them the way.  

I have been deeply blessed and honored to have your support throughout these last six years.

In deepest gratitude and admiration,

    Yakoke, *

Kalyn Free

   Kalyn Free

   President, INDN’s List

* “Thank You,” in Choctaw.

PS: If you need to contact any of us, here is our new contact information:

Kalyn Free

[emphasis mine]

We needed this group, now what are we going to do?

This is terrible.

American Indians and Museums

( – promoted by navajo)

In 1842 an entrepreneur named P.T. Barnum opened the American Museum on Broadway in New York to entertain the public with exotic and strange “curios”. Barnum and others considered these “curios” to be educational as well as entertaining. In addition to stuffed animals, the museum also contained Indian artifacts and presented exhibits of live Indians. The Indians were exhibited as public curiosities who re-enacted traditional ceremonies.  While the ceremonies were billed as “traditional,” they were modified to fit non-Indian tastes and to conform with non-Indian stereotypes about what Indians were, what they looked like, and what their ceremonies involved.

Barnum's Museum

While Barnum may have been one of the most flamboyant exhibitors of Indian “curios”, he was certainly not the only one. During the nineteenth century there was a growth in the number of museums – both public and private, both large and very small – which exhibited Indian artifacts and, sometimes, the Indians themselves.

Some Indian people bury their dead and they include in these burials many artifacts which were important to the individual. Many of these artifacts are well-made, beautiful, and strange to European eyes. For the museums in the nineteenth century and during much of the twentieth century, these grave goods made good exhibits. In fact, the remains of the Indians who were buried with the goods were often put on display as well. Non-Indians seemed to have a morbid curiosity about Indian skeletons.

During the nineteenth century, museums seemed to be convinced that Indians were a “dying race”, destined for extinction in the near future. Therefore, the large museums, such as the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. and the Peabody in Boston, sent out expeditions to Indian country to obtain artifacts. From the Pueblos in the Southwest, these expeditions shipped boxcars filled with pottery, blankets, carvings, and other objects. In other parts of Indian country, they looted graves. At times the amount of Indian material coming into the Smithsonian was overwhelming. It was not uncommon to have artifacts stacked outside until space inside could be found for them.

During the twentieth century, museums seemed to view Indian people as a “vanished race” and their exhibits spoke of Indians as though they no longer existed. It is no wonder that museum educated people where sometimes startled when they encountered or read about Indians who were still living.

The focus of many of the nineteenth century museum exhibits was to demonstrate the idea of cultural evolution. Non-Indian Americans and Europeans were seen as the most highly evolved members of the human species and it was felt that the different Indian cultures represented lower levels or stages in cultural evolution. At the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, the ethnological exhibits ranked the peoples of the world on an evolutionary scale which started with savagry and culminated with civilization (exemplified by contemporary American society. The exhibits made clear to the visitors that racial typologies were legitimate categories for understanding human evolution and that racial types could be arranged in categories of savage and civilized.

Museums, like Hollywood movies, have tended to show Indian people as living in the past. Thus tourists to Indian country are sometimes amazed to find Indians driving pickup trucks, living in houses (not tipis), speaking English without the word “ugh”, and earning a living in the “modern” professions.

In the past two decades, museums have been changing. There have been two important factors involved. The first of these is that the tribes themselves have been taking control of their own destiny. This means, in part, a greater effort to record, interpret, display, and describe their own history and culture. Tribal museums often incorporate their oral tradition into the development and interpretation of the displays.

One of the finest examples of tribal museums is the Makah Cultural and Research Center in Neah Bay, Washington. This center was founded in 1979 to help teach Makah children about their culture and history. Their mission statement:

http://content.lib.washington….

1. To protect and preserve the linguistic, cultural and archeological resources of the Makah Indian Nation.

2. To provide policy direction in the area of linguistic and cultural management to the Makah Tribal Council and other interested organizations.

3. To educate Tribal members and the public in the cultural heritage, and language of the Makah Indian Nation.

4. To stimulate research which will benefit the Makah Nation and the academic community by providing a comprehensive center for the Makah-oriented research.

5. To promote economic development for the Makah Tribe of the Makah people.

The center also contains a very large collection of pre-contact artifacts from the Ozette archaeological site. Ozette was a Makah village which was partially covered by a mudslide before the arrival of the Europeans. While many people call this center a museum, some tribal members object to the term because they feel that the word “museum” carries an image of a “dead” culture rather than the living culture which is presented in the center.

Makah

Within the center, visitors can experience Makah life in a longhouse which is an exact reproduction of one found in Ozette. Explanations of Makah culture which accompany the exhibits show that this is a living culture, not just a tribe which is frozen in the past.

Another example of a tribal museum is the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center in Mashantucket, Connecticut. Funded in part by revenues from the tribal casino, the museum is one way for the Pequot to tell non-Indians “We are still here” in spite of the fact that many history books still speak of them as an extinct tribe. Using lifelike dioramas, the museum takes visitors into Pequot village life prior to the arrival of the Pilgrims. This museum is the largest Indian owned and operated museum in North America.

The second factor in the changes which are happening in museums was the passage of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (commonly called NAGPRA) in 1990. This act requires a number of institutions, such as museums, federal agencies, and universities, to inventory certain categories of human remains and associated funerary objects. Culturally affiliated tribes are then to be notified of these remains and objects so that they can be reclaimed by the tribes.

NAGPRA jurisdiction includes Indian burials, burial artifacts, and sacred cultural objects whether they are found on federal, state, local, or private land. Items do not need to cross state lines to be subject to this law.

One of the implications of NAGPRA is that museums are now talking and consulting with the culture committees from the tribes. Exhibits are more sensitive to Indian concerns and attempt to explain Indian cultures and history from a perspective that takes Indian viewpoints into account.  

The sad truth about New Jersey Indians

As a member of New Jersey’s Indigenous population I understand why the road to recognition of any form has been so arduous. Let’s take for example my tribe, the Ramapough Lenape Nation. We have more evidence than most tribes have as to our existence but failed our Federal Recognition bid. Does this mean we are not Native American? NO! The BIA admitted in court in 2002 that we were Native American (see petition of cert, 2002). Their excuse was they didn’t know what tribe. Let’s look at the mechanics of this.. At the time before the Indian Gaming laws were ratified, people like Donald Trump were afraid that any Native Tribe recognized here in New Jersey would have the right to instantly open a casino and take away all of Atlantic City’s business. Trump started a negative campaign against any and all tribes here in NJ as fake and invalid. He starts a lawsuit against major players who would have otherwise supported Recognition. A false newspaper story circulates about questionable ties between the Ramapough and some plans for a fake casino. (Gee, i wonder who planted that? We have never wanted one). Cohen writes his thesis denouncing our heritage and publishes it. His theories can’t be proven. Despite Cohen’s fable, NJ has Sen. Edward Carey investigate our background and found Cohen was wrong. Based on Sen Carey’s work, NJ recognizes the Ramapough as a Native American Tribe. Roger Joslyn, one of the top 3 genealogist in the country proves our ancestry and yet the BIA ignore his work. Cohen writes to Carey stating if “we get recognized, we could lay claim to half of Bergen and Passaic counties.” Word of this spreads to every town council near and including Mahwah and they all submit signed order denouncing our Federal Recognition. Even IMUS got on the bandwagon. When Trump appeard on his radio show, Imus repeatedly called us “a bunch of drunk Injins” on the air.

 Our failure was not based on evidence, but based on fear. Let’s look at some of the evidence. Bergen County has a 300 year old map. The original map of the ‘Ramapough Tract’ by William Bond drawn on animal skin. The map shows the Kiersted Trading Post on the Ramapough River. It even shows who they were trading with. The Ramapough long houses are also printed on the map at the mouth of the Ramapo Pass. We are mentioned numerous times in many historical books.

  We allowed everyone to prey on us over the years. Now we have Carol H. who’s the mouthpiece for two gentlemen who are trying to claim Sand Hill as their heritage. One was living in australia claiming to be a “Shaman” was a practicing “newager” for money. (any blood knows no real Medicine Man take money for services) The other was raised in California under the Jewish faith. How can you claim to be anything except what you were raised as? Was he raised among the SandHill? NO! Then how can it be?

 We as Native Americans allowed these people to come to our homeland once again and disrupt our way of life. To Carol H. I say to you, Keep your words of my family out of your mouth. You have no idea what you speak of. You are not Native and neither are who you represent. Your billion dollar lawsuit was tossed out with the bathwater. Crawl back under the rock whence you came.  

by the way.. Holloway’s last name isn’t really his.. it’s Stacy..you better check whom you’re dealing with

http://dockets.justia.com/dock…  

Posted in Uncategorized

The American Indian Liberation Army

( – promoted by navajo)

In 1836 the Indian Liberation Army was created under the leadership of General Dickson (also known as Montezuma II). Dickson, the Métis son of the British fur trader Col. Robert Dickson. His basic plan was to lead an expedition west across the Great Lakes and to the Red River area of Saskatchewan, gathering supporters as he traveled. Then, the army would turn south, capture and plunder Santa Fe (which was then a part of Mexico), and finally journey west where they would capture California. In California, the plan was to establish an Indian government (or perhaps an Indian monarchy, Dickson is a little unclear on this). In California, the new government would prohibit all without Indian blood from owning land. This was the idea that General Dickson  promoted in Montreal and other cities in Eastern Canada.  

Those most receptive to General Dickson’s message were the Canadian Métis (primarily the sons of Scots fur traders and their Indian wives) and the Cherokee who had been forced from the homelands in the American southwest. A number of Métis sons of North West Company and Hudson’s Bay Company fur trading partners soon joined the expedition:  

John George McKenzie, the Métis son of Sir Alexander MacKenzie, was known to have a grudge against the Hudson’s Bay Company and probably saw the expedition to the Red River as a way of getting revenge against the company. McKenzie persuaded his step-brother Charles McBean to join the effort.

John McLoughlin, Jr. was the son of Chief Factor John McLoughlin. He had studied medicine in Paris and at McGill University in Canada. He was known for his extravagant living which often caused quarrels with his uncle Simon Fraser. He had applied to enter the Hudson’s Bay Company but had been refused by Governor Simpson.

Alexander Roderick McLeod, Jr. was the son of one of the Chief Traders of the North West Company.

When the Indian Liberation Army left Buffalo, New York, it had about 60 members. When they reached Sault Ste. Marie nearly a month later, there were only 20 members left. Desertion and sickness had taken its toll. One of the major losses to the party at this time was that of John George McKenzie who became sick.

At Sault Ste. Marie the newspaper took notice of the small band of “pirates of the lake.” Hudson’s Bay Company Chief Trader William Nourse became concerned as the expedition did not have a sanction to pass through Company territory. In addition, there was the concern that the Indian Liberating Army might create unrest among the Métis. After some investigating, Nourse concluded that the expedition would probably “go up in smoke” and concluded that they were harmless.

When the “Army” reached the Red River area of Saskatchewan there were only 11 members left. General Dickson vanished to the south.

The Hudson’s Bay Company, concerned that John McLoughlin, Jr. might cause problems, hired him as a clerk and surgeon. He then joined his father and brother in the far west. A few years later he was murdered by the men of his post. Governor Simpson presumed that he had brought the murder upon himself by his misconduct.

Alexander Roderick McLeod, Jr. was also hired by the Hudson’s Bay Company as an apprentice clerk. His Company career was soon cut short because of sexual misconduct. He left Canada, living for a while in Minnesota, and later joined the Union Army during the Civil War. He died of disease during the War.

Charles McBean returned to live with his father in eastern Canada.

John George McKenzie, who had left the “Army” at Sault Ste. Marie, soon died of his illness.  

American Indian movies

( – promoted by navajo)

Hello there.

I hope this is the right place to ask this question, if not then I do apologise.

I have been watching a few movies lately and am wondering if anyone can recommend a movie with a good depiction of Amercan Indians.

The best I have seen is Geronimo, it’s the only one that looks into mind and beliefs of the Chiricahua.

I thought Walter Hill did a fine job and the Indian actors were the best I’ve seen especially Steve Reevis and Wes Studi. The locations where it was shot were just stunning and the pace of the film was just right.

So any recommendations would be grately appreciated.

I am an Englishman from the south east of the UK.

Many thanks.

Posted in Uncategorized

Obama Will Sign Rights Declaration

What with the Afghan war review, tax-cut extensions, omnibus budget bill, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal, and the DREAM Act, a bit of good news got mostly ignored Thursday. President Barack Obama informed representatives of  hundreds of recognized American Indian tribes that he will sign the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Obama made the announcement during a speech at the 2nd Annual White House Tribal Nations Conference:

And as you know, in April, we announced that we were reviewing our position on the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. And today I can announce that the United States is lending its support to this declaration.    

The aspirations it affirms – including the respect for the institutions and rich cultures of Native peoples – are one we must always seek to fulfill.  And we’re releasing a more detailed statement about U.S. support for the declaration and our ongoing work in Indian Country.  But I want to be clear:  What matters far more than words – what matters far more than any resolution or declaration – are actions to match those words.  And that’s what this conference is about.  That’s what this conference is about.  That’s the standard I expect my administration to be held to.

Let me respond with one of the first words my Seminole grandmother Simmalikee taught me more than 60 years ago: “M’vto,  Mr. President. Thank you.” This is a small but welcome step in the right direction.  

Although not legally binding, the human rights declaration, a public acknowledgment of indigenous peoples’ rights to self-determination, property, religion, language and culture, has been sought for decades. When it was first voted on at the U.N. General Assembly in 2007, only four votes were cast against it – Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States. Canada now remains the only hold-out.

Susan Masten, a Yurok who is chairperson of the board of directors of the Indian Law Resource Center (ILRC), had this to say:

Robert T. Coulter, a Potawatomi who is founder of the ILRC, wrote a column praising Obama’s announcement.

At Indian Country Today, the Oneida Nation-owned weekly based in  Canastota, N.Y., Rob Capriccioso reported:

The president also used his summit speech to clarify his support for the Native American Apology Resolution, which he signed last year, after which he did not make an out-loud apology to Native Americans for the historic federal injustices noted in the legislation. Some Natives said at the time that for the apology to hold weight, he should say it out loud.

“It’s a resolution I fully supported – recognizing that no statement can undo the damage that was done; what it can do is help reaffirm the principles that should guide our future. It’s only by heeding the lessons of our history that we can move forward.”

Heeding history’s lessons is good advice in a lot of matters.

American Indians have been next-to-invisible in our nation’s discourse over the past 120 years, marginalized, ignored, discriminated against and cheated simply because we can be without political repercussions. Voter suppression that would raise holy hoopla if it were imposed on any other ethnicity gets little attention. Indian poverty, crime, domestic violence, endemic joblessness, resource rip-offs and a multitude of other ills are covered by the media in the most superficial and stereotypical manner when they are acknowledged at all. It’s not untypical to hear non-Indians say that casinos have made things all better.

Signing the indigenous rights declaration won’t make all these problems go away, of course. And there are no doubt those who would love to see this as merely a feel-good symbolic ritual that requires no follow-up. But, if it’s taken seriously, it should spur “actions to match those words,” such as the recently signed Claims Resolution Act. As Masten, Coulter and others say, this is just a beginning. There have been false starts before. But the Obama White House has already done more than the past 11 administrations to advance the rights of Indian nations. Most important of all, it has shown the good sense to listen.

Posted in Uncategorized

Obama Will Sign Rights Declaration

What with the Afghan war review, tax-cut extensions, omnibus budget bill, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal, and the DREAM Act, a bit of good news got mostly ignored Thursday. President Barack Obama informed representatives of  hundreds of recognized American Indian tribes that he will sign the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Obama made the announcement during a speech at the 2nd Annual White House Tribal Nations Conference:

And as you know, in April, we announced that we were reviewing our position on the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. And today I can announce that the United States is lending its support to this declaration.    

The aspirations it affirms – including the respect for the institutions and rich cultures of Native peoples – are one we must always seek to fulfill.  And we’re releasing a more detailed statement about U.S. support for the declaration and our ongoing work in Indian Country.  But I want to be clear:  What matters far more than words – what matters far more than any resolution or declaration – are actions to match those words.  And that’s what this conference is about.  That’s what this conference is about.  That’s the standard I expect my administration to be held to.

Let me respond with one of the first words my Seminole grandmother Simmalikee taught me more than 60 years ago: “M’vto,  Mr. President. Thank you.” This is a small but welcome step in the right direction.  

Although not legally binding, the human rights declaration, a public acknowledgment of indigenous peoples’ rights to self-determination, property, religion, language and culture, has been sought for decades. When it was first voted on at the U.N. General Assembly in 2007, only four votes were cast against it – Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States. Canada now remains the only hold-out.

Susan Masten, a Yurok who is chairperson of the board of directors of the Indian Law Resource Center (ILRC), had this to say:

Robert T. Coulter, a Potawatomi who is founder of the ILRC, wrote a column praising Obama’s announcement.

At Indian Country Today, the Oneida Nation-owned weekly based in  Canastota, N.Y., Rob Capriccioso reported:

The president also used his summit speech to clarify his support for the Native American Apology Resolution, which he signed last year, after which he did not make an out-loud apology to Native Americans for the historic federal injustices noted in the legislation. Some Natives said at the time that for the apology to hold weight, he should say it out loud.

“It’s a resolution I fully supported – recognizing that no statement can undo the damage that was done; what it can do is help reaffirm the principles that should guide our future. It’s only by heeding the lessons of our history that we can move forward.”

Heeding history’s lessons is good advice in a lot of matters.

American Indians have been next-to-invisible in our nation’s discourse over the past 120 years, marginalized, ignored, discriminated against and cheated simply because we can be without political repercussions. Voter suppression that would raise holy hoopla if it were imposed on any other ethnicity gets little attention. Indian poverty, crime, domestic violence, endemic joblessness, resource rip-offs and a multitude of other ills are covered by the media in the most superficial and stereotypical manner when they are acknowledged at all. It’s not untypical to hear non-Indians say that casinos have made things all better.

Signing the indigenous rights declaration won’t make all these problems go away, of course. And there are no doubt those who would love to see this as merely a feel-good symbolic ritual that requires no follow-up. But, if it’s taken seriously, it should spur “actions to match those words,” such as the recently signed Claims Resolution Act. As Masten, Coulter and others say, this is just a beginning. There have been false starts before. But the Obama White House has already done more than the past 11 administrations to advance the rights of Indian nations. Most important of all, it has shown the good sense to listen.

Posted in Uncategorized

Obama Will Sign Rights Declaration

What with the Afghan war review, tax-cut extensions, omnibus budget bill, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal, and the DREAM Act, a bit of good news got mostly ignored Thursday. President Barack Obama informed representatives of  hundreds of recognized American Indian tribes that he will sign the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Obama made the announcement during a speech at the 2nd Annual White House Tribal Nations Conference:

And as you know, in April, we announced that we were reviewing our position on the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. And today I can announce that the United States is lending its support to this declaration.    

The aspirations it affirms – including the respect for the institutions and rich cultures of Native peoples – are one we must always seek to fulfill.  And we’re releasing a more detailed statement about U.S. support for the declaration and our ongoing work in Indian Country.  But I want to be clear:  What matters far more than words – what matters far more than any resolution or declaration – are actions to match those words.  And that’s what this conference is about.  That’s what this conference is about.  That’s the standard I expect my administration to be held to.

Let me respond with one of the first words my Seminole grandmother Simmalikee taught me more than 60 years ago: “M’vto,  Mr. President. Thank you.” This is a small but welcome step in the right direction.  

Although not legally binding, the human rights declaration, a public acknowledgment of indigenous peoples’ rights to self-determination, property, religion, language and culture, has been sought for decades. When it was first voted on at the U.N. General Assembly in 2007, only four votes were cast against it – Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States. Canada now remains the only hold-out.

Susan Masten, a Yurok who is chairperson of the board of directors of the Indian Law Resource Center (ILRC), had this to say:

Robert T. Coulter, a Potawatomi who is founder of the ILRC, wrote a column praising Obama’s announcement.

At Indian Country Today, the Oneida Nation-owned weekly based in  Canastota, N.Y., Rob Capriccioso reported:

The president also used his summit speech to clarify his support for the Native American Apology Resolution, which he signed last year, after which he did not make an out-loud apology to Native Americans for the historic federal injustices noted in the legislation. Some Natives said at the time that for the apology to hold weight, he should say it out loud.

“It’s a resolution I fully supported – recognizing that no statement can undo the damage that was done; what it can do is help reaffirm the principles that should guide our future. It’s only by heeding the lessons of our history that we can move forward.”

Heeding history’s lessons is good advice in a lot of matters.

American Indians have been next-to-invisible in our nation’s discourse over the past 120 years, marginalized, ignored, discriminated against and cheated simply because we can be without political repercussions. Voter suppression that would raise holy hoopla if it were imposed on any other ethnicity gets little attention. Indian poverty, crime, domestic violence, endemic joblessness, resource rip-offs and a multitude of other ills are covered by the media in the most superficial and stereotypical manner when they are acknowledged at all. It’s not untypical to hear non-Indians say that casinos have made things all better.

Signing the indigenous rights declaration won’t make all these problems go away, of course. And there are no doubt those who would love to see this as merely a feel-good symbolic ritual that requires no follow-up. But, if it’s taken seriously, it should spur “actions to match those words,” such as the recently signed Claims Resolution Act. As Masten, Coulter and others say, this is just a beginning. There have been false starts before. But the Obama White House has already done more than the past 11 administrations to advance the rights of Indian nations. Most important of all, it has shown the good sense to listen.

Posted in Uncategorized

Obama Will Sign U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

What with the Afghan war review, tax-cut extensions, omnibus budget bill, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal, and the DREAM Act, a bit of good news got mostly ignored Thursday. President Barack Obama informed representatives of  hundreds of recognized American Indian tribes that he will sign the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Obama made the announcement during a speech at the 2nd Annual White House Tribal Nations Conference:

And as you know, in April, we announced that we were reviewing our position on the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. And today I can announce that the United States is lending its support to this declaration.    

The aspirations it affirms – including the respect for the institutions and rich cultures of Native peoples – are one we must always seek to fulfill.  And we’re releasing a more detailed statement about U.S. support for the declaration and our ongoing work in Indian Country.  But I want to be clear:  What matters far more than words – what matters far more than any resolution or declaration – are actions to match those words.  And that’s what this conference is about.  That’s what this conference is about.  That’s the standard I expect my administration to be held to.

Let me respond with one of the first words my Seminole grandmother Simmalikee taught me more than 60 years ago: “M’vto,  Mr. President. Thank you.” This is a small but welcome step in the right direction.  

Although not legally binding, the human rights declaration, a public acknowledgment of indigenous peoples’ rights to self-determination, property, religion, language and culture, has been sought for decades. When it was first voted on at the U.N. General Assembly in 2007, only four votes were cast against it – Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States. Canada now remains the only hold-out.

Susan Masten, a Yurok who is chairperson of the board of directors of the Indian Law Resource Center (ILRC), had this to say:

Robert T. Coulter, a Potawatomi who is founder of the ILRC, wrote a column praising Obama’s announcement.

At Indian Country Today, the Oneida Nation-owned weekly based in  Canastota, N.Y., Rob Capriccioso reported:

The president also used his summit speech to clarify his support for the Native American Apology Resolution, which he signed last year, after which he did not make an out-loud apology to Native Americans for the historic federal injustices noted in the legislation. Some Natives said at the time that for the apology to hold weight, he should say it out loud.

“It’s a resolution I fully supported – recognizing that no statement can undo the damage that was done; what it can do is help reaffirm the principles that should guide our future. It’s only by heeding the lessons of our history that we can move forward.”

Heeding history’s lessons is good advice in a lot of matters.

American Indians have been next-to-invisible in our nation’s discourse over the past 120 years, marginalized, ignored, discriminated against and cheated simply because we can be without political repercussions. Voter suppression that would raise holy hoopla if it were imposed on any other ethnicity gets little attention. Indian poverty, crime, domestic violence, endemic joblessness, resource rip-offs and a multitude of other ills are covered by the media in the most superficial and stereotypical manner when they are acknowledged at all. It’s not untypical to hear non-Indians say that casinos have made things all better.

Signing the indigenous rights declaration won’t make all these problems go away, of course. And there are no doubt those who would love to see this as merely a feel-good symbolic ritual that requires no follow-up. But, if it’s taken seriously, it should spur “actions to match those words,” such as the recently signed Claims Resolution Act. As Masten, Coulter and others say, this is just a beginning. There have been false starts before. But the Obama White House has already done more than the past 11 administrations to advance the rights of Indian nations. Most important of all, it has shown the good sense to listen.

Posted in Uncategorized

Obama Will Sign U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

What with the Afghan war review, tax-cut extensions, omnibus budget bill, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal, and the DREAM Act, a bit of good news got mostly ignored Thursday. President Barack Obama informed representatives of  hundreds of recognized American Indian tribes that he will sign the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Obama made the announcement during a speech at the 2nd Annual White House Tribal Nations Conference:

And as you know, in April, we announced that we were reviewing our position on the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. And today I can announce that the United States is lending its support to this declaration.    

The aspirations it affirms – including the respect for the institutions and rich cultures of Native peoples – are one we must always seek to fulfill.  And we’re releasing a more detailed statement about U.S. support for the declaration and our ongoing work in Indian Country.  But I want to be clear:  What matters far more than words – what matters far more than any resolution or declaration – are actions to match those words.  And that’s what this conference is about.  That’s what this conference is about.  That’s the standard I expect my administration to be held to.

Let me respond with one of the first words my Seminole grandmother Simmalikee taught me more than 60 years ago: “M’vto,  Mr. President. Thank you.” This is a small but welcome step in the right direction.  

Although not legally binding, the human rights declaration, a public acknowledgment of indigenous peoples’ rights to self-determination, property, religion, language and culture, has been sought for decades. When it was first voted on at the U.N. General Assembly in 2007, only four votes were cast against it – Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States. Canada now remains the only hold-out.

Susan Masten, a Yurok who is chairperson of the board of directors of the Indian Law Resource Center (ILRC), had this to say:

Robert T. Coulter, a Potawatomi who is founder of the ILRC, wrote a column praising Obama’s announcement.

At Indian Country Today, the Oneida Nation-owned weekly based in  Canastota, N.Y., Rob Capriccioso reported:

The president also used his summit speech to clarify his support for the Native American Apology Resolution, which he signed last year, after which he did not make an out-loud apology to Native Americans for the historic federal injustices noted in the legislation. Some Natives said at the time that for the apology to hold weight, he should say it out loud.

“It’s a resolution I fully supported – recognizing that no statement can undo the damage that was done; what it can do is help reaffirm the principles that should guide our future. It’s only by heeding the lessons of our history that we can move forward.”

Heeding history’s lessons is good advice in a lot of matters.

American Indians have been next-to-invisible in our nation’s discourse over the past 120 years, marginalized, ignored, discriminated against and cheated simply because we can be without political repercussions. Voter suppression that would raise holy hoopla if it were imposed on any other ethnicity gets little attention. Indian poverty, crime, domestic violence, endemic joblessness, resource rip-offs and a multitude of other ills are covered by the media in the most superficial and stereotypical manner when they are acknowledged at all. It’s not untypical to hear non-Indians say that casinos have made things all better.

Signing the indigenous rights declaration won’t make all these problems go away, of course. And there are no doubt those who would love to see this as merely a feel-good symbolic ritual that requires no follow-up. But, if it’s taken seriously, it should spur “actions to match those words,” such as the recently signed Claims Resolution Act. As Masten, Coulter and others say, this is just a beginning. There have been false starts before. But the Obama White House has already done more than the past 11 administrations to advance the rights of Indian nations. Most important of all, it has shown the good sense to listen.

Posted in Uncategorized

President Obama hosts the White House Tribal Nations Conference

This conference provides leaders from the 565 federally recognized tribes the opportunity to interact directly with the President and representatives from the highest levels of his Administration.  

Each federally recognized tribe was invited to send one representative to the Conference.  

This will be the second White House Tribal Nations Conference for the Obama Administration, and continues to build upon the President’s commitment to strengthen the nation to nation relationship with Indian Country.

You can watch the opening session live starting at 8:30-AM Eastern. Video Link embedded below and at: http://www.mytribetv.com/ and at the Whitehouse video feed here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/live/white-house-tribal-nations-conference-opening-session

Song about the pride of Native Americans

( – promoted by navajo)

I am curious if anyone has heard the song ‘San Jacinto’ by Peter Gabriel and what their thoughts are about the song.

‘San Jacinto’ tells the story of an Apache boy coming of age through a rite of passage ritual in the San Jacinto mountains in California. It illustrates the fight of all Native Americans to maintain traditions and a way of life against the relentless onslaught of the Europeans.

[Vid embed and lyrics posted by navajo, 12.20.10]  


San Jacinto

Thick cloud – steam rising – hissing stone on sweat lodge fire

Around me – buffalo robe – sage in bundle – rub on skin

Outside – cold air – stand, wait for rising sun

Red paint – eagle feathers – coyote calling – it has begun

Something moving in – I taste it in my mouth and in my heart

It feels like dying – slow – letting go of life

Medicine man lead me up through town – Indian ground – so far down

Cut up land – each house – a pool – kids wearing water wings – drink in cool

Follow dry river bed – watch Scout and Guides make pow-wow signs

Past Geronimo’s disco – Sit ‘n’ Bull steakhouse – white men dream

A rattle in the old man’s sack – look at mountain top – keep climbing up

Way above us the desert snow – white wind blow

I hold the line – the line of strength that pulls me through the fear

San Jacinto – I hold the line

San Jacinto – the poison bite and darkness take my sight – I hold the line

And the tears roll down my swollen cheek – think I’m losing it – getting weaker

I hold the line – I hold the line

San Jacinto – yellow eagle flies down from the sun – from the sun

We will walk – on the land

We will breathe – of the air

We will drink – from the stream

We will live – hold the line