2011 Retrospective: June
The Truth Lies Buried At Fort Laramie
A visitor at Fort Laramie could take the complete historic tour and get little knowledge about the grim consequences of the wars the U.S. Army waged against the Northern Plains tribes. It’s time for the National Park Service to start telling the whole truth.
The many tribes of Oklahoma helped themselves and their neighbors when devastating tornadoes struck and uprooted lives. Their efforts included setting up shelters for displaced families and organizing crews to help with relief and recovery, everything from clearing trees to making sandwiches.
In yet another affront to Indian country, military prosecutors are justifying the imprisonment of a Guantánamo Bay detainee by citing the illegal actions of Andrew Jackson during his brutal invasion of the Seminole Nation, ignoring the fact that Jackson’s aggression was condemned by Congress.
The 1491 Diet
A back-to-the-earth food movement is leading to more-healthful diets for some Indians as well as taking them back to their tribal roots—and vegetables. The emphasis is on food sovereignty as a way of reestablishing traditional agricultural practices and restoring cultural meaning to the food they eat.
Tweeting While Indian
Globalization is often a force of destruction, a hegemonic bulldozer plowing over landscapes of indigenous culture. The Internet only amplifies globalization’s power—pervasive online “world languages” dominate the web and continue pushing Native tongues into obsolescence. But Kevin Scannell says online tools of globalization have created positive opportunities equal to or greater than their dangers. In March, he created IndigenousTweets.com, a website that aims to preserve and proliferate indigenous language by connecting Twitter users online.
Miss Indian World
Crowned Miss Indian World 2011-12 at the Gathering of Nations in Albuquerque, Marjorie Tahbone, 22, (half Inupiat on her mother’s side and half Kiowa on her father’s side) from Nome, Alaska will spend the next year encouraging other women to aim high for opportunities in their lives.
Okla. State Leads Nation in Native Graduates
Oklahoma State University tops the nation in American Indians who graduate with a bachelor’s degree for the second year in a row. A close second was Northeastern State University.
Festival Draws Eyes Globally
The Red Earth Festival went worldwide yet again as cameras and mics from around the globe turned to the celebration of Native American culture in Oklahoma City. The spectacular parade gathered 100 tribes from all over North America. The proud procession through the streets, and the showcase of dance and art in the convention center for the next three days, attracted news crews from foreign countries. This year it was journalists from Germany and the United Kingdom who trekked in. In years past, Russian and Chinese reporters met in the journalism pool.
Lack of Progress on Aboriginal Issues
Canada’s Conservative government got a tongue-lashing as the auditor general, Sheila Fraser, delivered a blunt series of interviews as she left her office at the end of May. “Too many First Nations people still lack what most other Canadians take for granted,” she said. “After 10 years, I have come to believe that more fundamental changes are required if we want to see meaningful progress in the well-being of First Nations. We cannot simply continue to dothe same things in the same way. There needs to be a serious review of programs and services to First Nations—we need to identify what services should be provided and by whom, as well as the funding required and the expected results.”
Two northern California tribes kicked off their summer concert seasons with heated competition and sold-out shows on May 21. In reponse to the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation’s Cache Creek booking John Fogerty, former lead signer, song writer and guitarist for Creedence Clearwater Revival, the United Auburn Indian Community booked the singer’s former band mates, Creedence Clearwater Revisited, at its Thunder Valley Casino.
Cache Creek Casino Resort has long served as the main economic engine for the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation. Now, however, the tribe is expanding in a new, more culinary, direction.
—Click here if you missed our January 2011 retrospective.
—Click here if you missed our February 2011 retrospective.
—Click here if you missed our March 2011 retrospective.
—Click here if you missed our April 2011 retrospective.
—Click here if you missed our May 2011 retrospective.