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We must all demand that the treaties be honored and the Lakota foster children be returned home! “The rate and manner of removal of Indian children is tantamount to genocide; it accomplishes the same results as forced transferal of our children to boarding schools in the past. It leads to the erasure of our dignity as original peoples of this continent.” For a full briefing on the ongoing, de facto genocide against Indian people in South Dakota, visit the Lakota People’s Law Project website.
Read his blog post here! GET INFORMED!
READ HERE: http://lakota.cc/14nhcCL
please boost and spread so more people can know about the reality of these children in South Dakota and their families fighting against genocide
This breaks my heart so much. My own country is still trying to wipe us out. The residential schools may have been closed and reformed to be pro-Native, but the genocide is still happening, our children are still being taken away.
The ICWA is happening in other states as well, but SD is getting hit hard by it. The Lakota, who have fought and fought continuously against the U.S. government, are still fighting for their rights.
Native children are taken from their homes and placed into WHITE foster care (despite there being vacant Native foster homes available, where by the time they “age-out” over 60% of them will end up lost, in prison, or dead. Our children are being stripped, once again by the U.S., of their culture and their family, for state money.
This has to stop. ICWA needs to be amended.
While the country will celebrate their fiction, romanticized idea of Thanksgiving, our children will be taken away and put into a home where their identity will be stripped of them.
We’re still here, U.S.
Listen to us for once, and you’ll understand that as long as we are still here you will never kill the Indian and save the man with any of your loophole laws.
The Infamous Government Order Mandating Forced Haircuts for Native Americans
Commissioner of Indian Affairs William Atkinson Jones sent this letter to superintendents of all federal reservations and agencies in January 1902. The notorious missive soon became known as the “haircut order.”
This makes me so mad. No one knows about this, no one knows about the boarding schools, no one knows about Wounded Knee or the Long Walk. No one knows our land is still being auctioned off, ignored by the treaties. I’m just some romanticized Disney portrayal of a red skinned American.
I hate to overtake the post, but this particular letter was addressed to the Mendocino county reservations and it hits super close to home. The United States took Native children from their homes, but that wasn’t enough during this time. While children were being kidnapped and pushed into abusive environments (which has caused many of us to grow up in abusive homes, thanks to the boarding schools) the United States cut our hair. It was just another step in killing the Indian and saving the man.
My great great grandfather was killed because of this. After hiding his children from the boarding school collectors he refused to have his hair cut and was killed for it. He was shot in the back of the head on his own land, and in the eyes of his own country he was just a dangerous savage from the dusty hills of southern California who refused to be assimilated.
You refuse to assimilate and you get killed.
|Anonymous: I read your about and I'm wonder what's it like being a Native American female in a predominately white male profession. Are there any other Native Americans in science?|
It’s lonely. Over the last decade only 15 Native Americans received a PhD in physics.
Stats from a study in 2008. Not much has changed since then.
Of course there are Natives in science. You just don’t hear about them too often, or if you do hear about them they’re first considered something else.
I knew many STEM hopefuls in high school, and since I live in a heavily populated Native region I’ve come across a few STEM Natives at my colleges.
One of my main inspirations is Fred Begay, a Native nuclear physicist. There’s also John Aldridge (last I heard he was still working at caltech??) who got a doctor of philosophy in physics. John Herrington of NASA’s STS-113 mission is an enrolled member. Charee Peters has a physics degree (and is a female!)
|Anonymous: What's your opinion on blood quantum? I know I'm 1/8 Kiowa but if people ask my heritage I never say I'm part Native American because I always get criticized for being only 1/8. Its scary how discriminatory some people can be about it. What are your thoughts?|
I think it’s sad that you and people like you are being shamed for not having a 100% fraction of Native blood. It’s almost as if we’re closing ourselves off to purify our lines.
I have a love, hate relationship with bq. I understand it’s usage, but who am I to determine if someone is Native or not?
My older sister is blood-wise half Native, and I always find myself saying that she isn’t Native. She didn’t grow up as I did; she grew up in a white household, doesn’t speak our language, doesn’t know our stories or culture, so therefor to me she isn’t Native despite having a high percentage of Native ancestry (there’s also personal reasons for me shunning her into non-Nativeness, but that’s a different story).
But see, the problem with bq is that there are full blood Natives who grew up just like she did, and that’s where the concept of bq begins to grow controversial and quite frankly, shitty.
There are full blood Natives who don’t know their language (either through the loss of it or through personal nonchalance), their stories, or their culture, but they are seen as Native through bq.
And then there are Natives with only 1/8 determined “Native blood” who know their language, their songs, their stories, their culture and they are told that they don’t have enough Native blood to be Native.
Bq causes us to not see Native as a race or ethnicity, but as a sort of rite of passage into a culture. To be Native you must not only possess the blood, but have lived the life of a Native; you must know what it means to be Native in order to be called one. And very rarely can people become Native if they’ve previously hailed anything non-Native.
Bq is complex, controversial and mostly I hate it, but when it comes to keeping people out who claim they have a Cherokee princess great grandmother and wear war bonnets bq becomes useful.
People will always be discriminatory, unfortunately. I still sometimes am on the receiving end of it because I now live a “privileged, non-Native life”.
The system is complex and corrupt, and if people are shaming you because of your bq you have every right to tell them to shut up.
|numantinecitizen: If you had a time machine would you go back and give the Nations lasers to shoot down all the wooden white people ships?|
No. No matter how horrible the string of events set in motion by Columbus’ discovery of the Americas has proven to be, I wouldn’t alter the past.
I don’t like the idea of altering history, especially when it changes the present and future. That seems selfish, considering it would have surely saved hundreds of us, but we’re survivors and I think that counts for something.
|eclecticchaos: As to the reply from that war bonnet anon, I think this is very important to understand. I know 100% percent I am 1/8th Cherokee, despite having no official affiliation (a long story) but the only thing I wear is jewelry that was handcrafted by different tribes out of love and respect for them and my ancestors as well as to support small businesses in the community. Wearing something like that is just as awful as tattooing traditional tattoos with no meaning or understanding of it.|
There you have it, even from another Native: don’t wear warbonnets if you didn’t earn it, but feel free to buy and wear Native inspired products from Native artists.
Wearing a warbonnet = not respect
Supporting Native artists = respect
|Anonymous: One of my friends on Facebook isn't white, but she has a picture of her wearing a war bonnet for fun. She doesn't have any tribal affiliation (she is latina). Should I confront her about it?|
Yes. The fact it’s “for fun” is really degrading. To dress as a Native for fun. I don’t really like the sound of it. It’s almost as if we’re just a costume you can pick out for a play day - like we’re pretend.
The fact is, it’s not for fun. It’s not just a piece of clothing, it’s a significant piece of regalia that is meaningful to specific tribes. They aren’t just cool hats, they must be earned to be worn.
Also, you could be white, black, or even a Native and still get called out for appropriation. If I wore a warbonnet I would instantly be confronted. I’m not from a tribe where warbonnets are worn, and I definitely didn’t earn to wear it.
So, yes, I would say something.
|atrociousaardvark: So, when I was a kid I was always confused by the word Indian b/c people always use it to refer to Native Americans instead of South Asian Indians but I've also heard stuff like Indian American or Aboriginal along with Native American and basically my question is: which is the most right/least wrong/what terms should I just never use/if I know a person's tribe should I call them that/etc|
Hope you don’t mind I publish this. I’ve had this come up once a few months back, so I’ll answer it again with a more definitive answer.
We don’t use Indian. Indian refers to people who are directly from India or a descendant of such.
In the U.S. the most popular terms are Native American and American Indian - which is the politically correct term now. Either terms are fine, really, but it depends solely on the person. My grandfather preferred Native American if you had to use one, but I know people who use American Indian since everyone born in America is a Native to the land. I prefer Native American, but will often just say Native.
In Canada the common term is indigenous, in Alaska it’s Alaskan Native, etc.
So in terms of what is most right you’re better off using Native American, American Indian, or indigenous. Those are the acceptable umbrella terms for us since you can’t walk up to one of us and go, “Hey, you’re Cahuilla!”
But if you happen to know someone who identifies with a tribe you can use that as an identifier if they prefer it. It gets tricky though because there are some tribes that have an English name and the linguistic name, and then you fall back into the trap of which one is more acceptable.
For instance if someone were to acknowledge me as a Diegueño I’d be a little upset. I don’t identify with the English-given name for my tribe, I identify with our original name Kumeyaay or Kamia depending on which side of the border you come from. Same goes for the Diné. I haven’t met a Diné who prefers to be called Navajo, but I know that there are some who don’t care.
So if you come across a Native you’re better off using what they prefer. Don’t be afraid to ask. Just don’t call us Indian. We aren’t from India, and the only Indian applicable to us is NDN.
“Walking With Our Sisters” is a commemorative art installation for the missing and murdered indigenous women of Canada and the United States.
Representing the unfinished lives of over 600 missing or murdered Indigenous women in Canada, the Walking With Our Sisters project contains only part of a moccasin, the vamp. The vamp, the top part of a moccasin, is most visible and is often beautifully decorated.
Walking With Our Sisters is a commemorative art installation to honor the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women from Canada and the United States. Organizations such as the Native Women’s Association of Canada have documented nearly 600 cases of murdered and missing indigenous women in Canada that have occurred over the past 20 years. Because of gaps in police and government reporting, the actual numbers may be much higher according to Amnesty International of Canada. Although similar data is not available in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, American Indian women are 2.5 times more likely than other races to be victims of sexual assault.
A large collaborative installation artwork, Walking With Our Sisters will be presented as a winding path of more than 300 feet of fabric on which the 600 vamps will be laid on the floor. Visitors will have to remove their shoes to walk along a fabric path next to the vamps.
Christi Belcourt, a painter living in Espanola, Ontario of the Otipemiswak/Michif or Métis Nation, came up with the idea while working on a series of paintings to honor women. She paints in acrylic on large canvases depicting floral designs on black background; the images resemble beadwork, she says.
While envisioning her new project, she began noticing the large number of Indigenous women reported missing by friends and family on Facebook. The lack of response from authorities bothered her as she considered that some of the missing girls were the same age as her 15-year-old daughter.
The idea of creating a work that would at once honor and provoke discussion about the number of missing and murdered Indigenous women emerged. “It just blended together,” she recalls.
At first she considered doing the project alone, but the idea of beading six hundred pairs of moccasin tops was daunting, so she began sending out Facebook messages asking for help. Within days she had commitments from more than 200 people who wanted to create vamps for the project. Soon, the project took on a life of its own; she got inquiries from other artists who wanted to get involved as well as people asking how the installation could be brought to their communities.
Belcourt envisions the installation this way: after cedar is laid down on the floor of the exhibition or gallery space, red cloth will be placed over the top. A gray fabric path will wind over the red cloth, its shape defined by the size and dimensions of the space. The vamps will then be placed on the gray path, allowing people to walk beside them. Tobacco will be available at the entrance to the pathway for those who wish to use it for prayer. People can place the tobacco in a vessel at the exit of the installation.
“The installation becomes a place for prayer,” she explains. “There is also sensory memory that people will take with them after leaving the exhibit. It’s not like walking into a space and just seeing work, you have to experience this.”
Before the exhibit is set up in its first venue—the Haida Gwaii Museum in Haida Gwaii, British Columbia for an August 23 opening—Walking With Our Sisters collective members will feast the vamps in ceremony. This sends a message that the artists are following traditional protocol and will encourage those hosting the installation to honor it with their own traditional ways, according to Belcourt.
Each pair of vamps represents the unfinished life of one woman. Belcourt and the creators of Walking With Our Sisters hope that the experience of walking next to the vamps will have a strong impact on participants and encourage people to begin speaking about the issue of missing and murdered women. “There has been an awful silence around this,” she observes. “There has been a silence by government, by police and by the dominant society; it’s as though Indigenous women’s lives aren’t considered important,” she says.
Belcourt’s hope is that visitors to the installation will be empowered to speak about this to other people and that concern will spread. She notes that there has been a call to the Canadian government for a national inquiry into the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women. “So far, the government has resisted this call,” she says.
Belcourt and her fellow artists received funding by crowdsourcing via Rockethub, Twitter and Facebook. So far, they have raised about $5,000, which covers fabric and supplies. “No one is getting paid for this work, it is 100 percent volunteer,” she adds.
So far, the exhibit is booked to tour through 2018 in Canada and the U.S.
Belacourt says that if she receives more than 600 vamps, the “overage” will be incorporated into the project. “It is widely believed that there are more than 600 missing and murdered Indigenous women. The 600 number refers to the cases verified by the Native Women’s Association of Canada,” she notes.
The following description is listed on the Facebook Walking With Our Sisters page under the “about” tab, “This project is about these women, paying respect to their lives and existence on this earth. They are not forgotten. They are sisters, mothers, daughters, cousins, grandmothers. They have been cared for, they have been loved, and they are missing.”
Growing up in the Midwest, I heard many things said about the Native American ethnicity. Some things were good, most were bad, but all had one thing in common: They were sweeping generalizations – overarching assumptions that ascribe a specific set of characteristics to all people of a certain culture. Otherwise known as stereotypes. And to move beyond them, first we have to understand them.The article is from an American perspective, but I think many of the points still have merit in a Canadian context. Also a good reminder about the dangers of positive stereotypes.