Eagle Feathers and Hollow Ceremonial Practise: Rape in Pow-Wow Country A Repost from opthunderbird

Family Values

Family Values

Here is an important post from opthunderbirdinfo. Rape and intimidation is a problem for women all around the world, not just in Pow Wow Country. If we had any doubts about this, they were erased on our recent trip. The flip side of this is men, seemingly everywhere, are confused and, often, angry, caught up in confusing and emasculating social conditions and expectations. The combination seems to lead, inevitably, to great suffering.

Dawn Marie Marchand writes:

When I was 18, I was a virgin. I was quite proud of it. Somehow, despite some of the things that had happened to me, I had managed to retain that. I was very close to my grandmothers. They both believed so strongly in not having sex before marriage. It was hard to keep myself in this condition. I didn’t date much. I didn’t judge or blame others because I knew how hard it was for me to not indulge. I never wanted to be a single mom, and I knew single motherhood was likely if I became a teen mom. I didn’t want to become a statistic. I wanted to meet the right guy – the one who would stick around – and wanted to marry me.  just. My parents have been married over 40 years now. My story turned out much different than my Mom’s.

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A Thoughtful Post

From Dancing With Decolonization comes this insightful post. It applies to Disability as much as to Tribal life. Colonizing influences are ubiquitous and difficult to root out; Sometimes it is a challenge simply to identify them.

Undoing my Unknowing

The following is an excerpt of a recent paper I wrote for an Aboriginal Social Work Theory that focused on my personal decolonization. I wanted to share it because, my introduction to “decolonization” left me with a lot of grey areas,  the untangible, and sometimes down right confused me on what this process may look like. Every journey is different and unique but here is a short snippet of my journey.

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Another View of Idle No More

Autumn SunsetHere is a reblog of a post from Renee Holt at 4theloveofthe people. Idle No More looks very different in the heart of Indian Country than it does here in Vermont. As one might expect, the issues facing Native people are somewhat different here. Yet the underling questions of personhood and sovereignty are unifying, as is our concern for Our Mother the Earth. In a post titled To Be Or Not To Be Idle No More Renee writes:

From its inception, I’m certain there were Indigenous people in our community who were skeptical of the Idle No More grassroots Peoples movement. It almost seems natural that we have those in our community who will stand by and watched with skepticism while others join in a movement for the People.

I thought I would state in this long over due 2013 blog, today is Day 41 of Chief Theresa Spence’s hunger strike. Not only is she protesting peacefully, she is strong with our creator. Within the Indigenous community we are taught, when one is fasting, one is also strong with the creator. Chief Spence is in a prayerful place conducting interviews, reading current affairs, and has awakened a sleeping giant. Since the first day she declared her hunger strike, Idle No More has become something more for First Nations people in the Canadian provinces, but also Natives across reservations in the US.

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Soldier Tales

P1030764Here is a thoughtful post from Just A Rez Chick. The subject is Wounded Knee and the medals given to U.S. soldiers who participated in the assault. There is considerable disagreement about what actually happened that day. What is clear is that Native people were massacred. As I read her post, I thought of my dad whose military service, as a relative of those who died at Wounded Knee, was in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. He was proud of his military service and our Native heritage. He also wrote “Caucasian” on his forms. One has to wonder how that was for him…..



We’re Still Here

“Confirmation” by Julie Buffalohead (2009), NMAI, NYC

We think often about survival. Being a Jewish/Scott/Native American/Welsh family, genocide is always present. Last night we held our annual Ancestors Ceremony. The event is public, and draws folks from throughout the community. Often genocide is an explicit presence. This year’s festivities were quieter, more playful. Many of those remembered passed recently.

Still, continuity remained a theme. Today I chanced upon the following blog post from Dancing With Colonization. I hope you enjoy it.

Resiliency and Transformation

There’s an ache inside of me today and it’s not a painful one, it isn’t uncomfortable, and I don’t want to wish it away. When I prod and poke this feeling and try to discover the source of it, I sense it is an acknowledgment of the resilience of our people.

They say the body remembers. My blood runs with memories of ancestors who struggled and triumphed. Who dared to exist when the white world around them told them they didn’t have a right to live as they were.

We, as Indigenous people, are brilliantly beautiful and resilient beyond measure. Our languages still make homes in our Grandmother’s and Grandfather’s mouths even after the tongue was silenced with a language that weighed heavy upon the tongue and spirit.

We are still here.

Think about that. Read More.

Learn more about Julie Buffalohead’s work!

A Personal Respons to Warren and Brown


Believe it or not, inside this building are both artifacts from Native cultures across the Americas, and demonstrations of continued Native cultural and legal resistance. Powerful metaphor, eh?

Today I have a cold. I can’t hear and can barely see. This has brought me to thinking more about the Senate Race in Massachusetts, and about politics in the United States in general. I don’t usually write about politics; maybe the cold has created this deviation from the norm.

So what is it that I am thinking? Just this. Neither Elizabeth Warren nor Scott Brown has been willing to talk about the core issue raised by Warren’s claim to First Nations heritage. That issue is the genocide which underpins the wealth of the United States. While Warren has continued to defend her assertion that her grandmother was Cherokee, she has, to the best of my knowledge, refused to talk about the many families who were never enrolled, who gave up tribal status, or who were disenrolled. Each of these categories holds a set of stories about greed, assimilation, and the ongoing practice of genocide against First Nations people in the U.S.. Some of these institutionalized abuses of power were a direct result of politics within the Cherokee nations, yet most were a direct and well planned assault on Native people by the United States government. Anyway, it’s as though she, and Brown, have this strange cold-like condition where they can neither see nor hear the reality of colonial history. Continue reading

Apparent Racism in the Massachusetts Senate Campaign

The past few weeks have brought to the surface a great deal of seeming racism in the U.S. Senate campaigns of Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown of Massachusetts. Last week proved especially disturbing. Here are few posts by others who have been following the campaigns. Continue reading

Brown, Warren, Racism, and the Politics of Identity

The Band Played On

Down in Massachusetts they have been having a brouhaha about whether Elizabeth Warren is Native or not. Her opponent in the Autumn elections, Sen.Scott Brown, has harshly criticized her for claiming to be Cherokee, yet having no proof. Others have also been highly critical, including Cherokee tribal members. (For a thoughtful Native critique of Warren see Lily Teague’s post at Cherokesdemandtruth.) Continue reading

Spring, History, and Reparation

In The PinkThe leaves are out and the lilacs are in bloom. This morning the squirrels have joined the birds in mating. This make for some entertaining moments at the feeders a everyone seems engaged in some playful, or occasionally confrontational, mating behavior. Spring is truly here!

This being an election year, we humans are engaged in some enigmatic behaviors of our own.  Down in Massachusetts the  election contest for the Senate, apparently lacking any real issues to address, appears focused on whether Elizabeth Warren meets criteria as a Native American. Nationally, Indian identity is a hot topic in Native and Neocolonial circles alike. Short Stories For Children entered the fray by writing sensibly about her experience as a Mixed Blood: Continue reading