Coming home: Yurok Tribe celebrates 'repatriation'(culture)

KLAMATH >> Imagine the outcry that would be heard around the world if bandits broke into the Vatican (or into Mecca, or any other modern spiritual center), stripped precious metals from every surface, raided the tombs of the saints and sold their spoils to museums and private collectors for millions. A crime of this scale seems almost unimaginable in this day and age, but for hundreds of years it was common practice for unscrupulous traders to despoil Native American villages, burial sites and ceremonial centers, selling the artifacts and amassing huge personal collections.

While it's impossible to change the past, efforts have begun in recent years to "repatriate" purloined items to their rightful owners. On June 28, the Yurok Tribe hosted a Repatriation Ceremony (called Kwom-hle'-chey-ehl, meaning "They have come back") to celebrate the return of 128 ceremonial pieces used in the traditional Brush Dance.

"It is indescribably important that Yurok ceremonial items come back to the people and the land where they originated," said Cultural Resource Manager Rosie Clayburn in a news release about the event. "Not only do they belong with us, but they need to participate in ceremonies, which is their intended purpose. We are all out of balance until they are all home."

It took more than five years of negotiations with the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian to secure the release of these items, which are the second "installment" of artifacts described in a 2005 claim. The first batch was repatriated in 2010, bringing back 217 artifacts used in the White Deerskin Dance and the Jump Dance.

Tribal representatives said the majority of their items from the museum have now been returned, though the museum retains 15 caps that the tribe is working to reacquire. (The museum is conducting research to determine whether the caps qualify for repatriation under their definition of "sacred.")

"Our perspective is that those caps are ceremonial. They're used in dances, so to us they are sacred," said Clayburn. "When you're making something for a ceremony, a basket cap or a dress or anything else, you spend a lot of time gathering things. Everything on there is from the Earth — shells from the beach, bear grass from the hills and so on — and the materials have to be worked in the right frame of mind. The whole time you're making something, you're praying and bringing the object to life by putting your thoughts and prayers into it."

The most recent batch of returned items included a basket cap decorated with dentillium shells (also called 'dentalium' shells), dresses adorned with abalone, arrow quivers made with woodpecker scalps, "jump sticks" decorated with woodpecker heads and more.

"I'd like to thank tribal staff and the Smithsonian for working so hard to bring these ceremonial items home," said Thomas P. O'Rourke Sr., chairman of the Yurok Tribe. "This is where they belong. They are meant to be used in our ceremonies for healing and prayer."

According to the news release, "90 percent of the items were removed from Yurok territory by Grace Nicholson, an avid collector of Native American items in the early 1900s. The remaining 10 percent were collected by various non-Indian collectors throughout North America."

After Nicholson acquired the items, she sold some of them to wealthy private collectors Harmon Hendricks and George Gustav Heye, and they eventually became part of the Museum of the American Indian in New York. They remained there until a 1989 act of Congress created the National Museum of the American Indian and transferred stewardship of more than 800,000 objects to the Smithsonian Institution.

The act requires that Smithsonian museums create and carry out a repatriation policy "to inventory, identify, and consider for return — if requested by a Native community or individual — American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian human remains and funerary objects." The law was amended in 1996 to add provisions for "unassociated funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony." A similar law, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, was passed in 1990, and it directs repatriation efforts for other federally-funded institutions.)

According to the NMAI website (, "One common misconception about the NMAI's repatriation program is that the majority of the NMAI's collections, at some point in the future, will be repatriated. In fact, less than 3 percent (about 25,000 items) of the NMAI's collections fall within the four primary categories of eligible items for repatriation: human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony."

Clayburn said that the tribe's main focus has been on repatriating human remains and funerary objects, and now that most of those items have been returned, they're beginning to focus on the other categories. They plan to file repatriation claims with three more museums soon, including one in Del Norte County, one in Portland, Oregon, and one at the University of Washington.

"It's a feeling of overwhelming joy to see these items come home. It's like welcoming somebody home who has been away for a long time, like a prisoner of war. They're finally back and doing what they are made to do," said Clayburn.

"A lot of the elders who started this work are no longer here, but this is their life's work that we're continuing, and we'll keep it up until all of our items have been returned so that we can make the Yurok people whole, and put the world back in balance."

Contact Clay McGlaughlin at 441-0516.


Items that can be 'repatriated' include:

Culturally affiliated human remains: The legislation defines these as human remains with whom a demonstrable relationship of shared group identity can be shown to an existing federally recognized American Indian tribe, Alaska Native Village or Regional Corporation or Native Hawaiian organization, based on a preponderance of evidence.

Associated and unassociated funerary objects: Funerary objects are items that, as part of the death rites of a culture, are believed to have been intentionally placed with an individual at the time of death or later. An object is considered to be "associated" if the human remains with which it was originally interred are present at the National Museum of Natural History.

Sacred objects: These are specific ceremonial objects that are needed by traditional Native American religious leaders for the practice of traditional Native American religions by their present-day adherents.

Objects of cultural patrimony: An object having ongoing historical, traditional or cultural importance central to the Native American group or culture itself, rather than property owned by an individual Native American, and which, therefore, cannot be alienated, appropriated, or conveyed by any individual regardless of whether or not the individual is a member of the Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization and such object shall have been considered inalienable by such Native American group at the time the object was separated from such group.

Remains of individuals whose identity is known: The return of the remains of named individuals to lineal descendants was an established priority for the National Museum of Natural History, even prior to the passage of the NMAI Act. This policy continues to be in effect. Very few of the individuals whose remains are in the collections of the National Museum of Natural History are known by name.

Objects acquired illegally: In accordance with long-standing Smithsonian policy, the National Museum of Natural History may repatriate any materials acquired by or transferred to the National Museum of Natural History illegally or under circumstances that render invalid the Museum's claim to them.

Native America Calling Schedule July 21-25 (media)

Native America  Calling, 

Airs Live Monday - Friday, 1-2pm Eastern 

To participate call: 
1-800-996-2848 (1-800-99-NATIVE)

Monday, July 21, 2014 – Teaching Art

Creating art is an important tradition in many Native American and Alaska Native communities. Many artisans also make teaching those skills a high priority. Who is teaching traditional techniques to young people in your tribe or village? Are there artists who are reviving some art forms through education? How can teaching traditional art forms help to preserve cultural traditions? Join us as we hear from art educators from around Native America who are working with our young ones to keep art in their daily lives.

Break Music: Shawnee Stomp Dance (song) The Unconquered Spirit (artist) Chants and Trances of the Native American Indian, Vol. 1 (album)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014— Native in the Spotlight: Frank Waln

Frank Waln (Sicangu Lakota) is an award winning hip-hop artist from the Rosebud Sioux tribe in South Dakota. His hip-hop group, Nake Nula Waun, which means: “I am always ready, at all times, for anything” in Lakota, won two Native American Music Awards. His music tackles social issues like environmental concerns and he participated in the Healing Walk 2014. Join us for a conversation with Frank about his music and environmental justice. You are also welcome to call in and speak directly with Frank Waln about his life and work.

Break Music: AbOriginal (song) Frank Waln (artist) AbOriginal – Single (album)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - July Music Maker: Dawn Avery

Mohawk artist Dawn Avery is known for her alluring cello sounds and vocals. Her latest album “50 Shades of Red” offers listeners a 12-track exploration of peace and passion through sound. Avery says her album has a lot of love both sensual and spiritual. Tracks like “My Life With You” and “My Heart Is Strong” maneuver through a layered composition of lyrics and notes. We invite you to connect to Dawn Avery’s newest musical venture on our June Music Maker edition of Native America Calling. 
Break Music: Ndn Girl On Top (song) Dawn Avery (artist) 50 Shades of Red (album)

Thursday, July 24, 2014– Hawaiian Sovereignty

The current debate over Native Hawaiian sovereignty involves many Indigenous voices. While some are in favor of the U.S. of reestablishing a collective government-to- government relationship, others are opposed and often sight illegal occupation as the reason. Listening sessions on the matter are under way right now across the nation. Other issues connected to this discussion include federal recognition, community and culture. What do you think about the Native Hawaiian sovereignty movement? Given your own tribe’s history with the U.S. government, what would you like to add to the discussion?

Break Music: Chant (song) Mihana (artist) One Little Dream (album)

Friday, July 25, 2014– Beading 
Native artists have created beaded work for generations. Through the years, beading has evolved from large clay beads to small glass beads from Europe. Beaders today put their touch on everything from earrings to stethoscopes. Just about anything can be decorated with beads. Beading can take a long time, with intricate designs, while other creations are simple strings of beads crafted for volume and profit. Does your tribe have a unique style of beading? Does your family have a tradition of beading? Guests include: beaders Brian Zepeda (Seminole) and Summer Peters (Ojibwe).

Break Music: Show Stopper (song) BlackStone (artist) On The Oregon Trail (album)

Fedex Call In (mascot)



Fed-Ex National Call-in Day

Thursday, July 17

Call 1.800.Go.FedEx, and ask CEO Fred Smith to stop sponsoring racism and harm to children

Native American organizations and communities from across the country are calling on Fed-Ex, the Washington NFL team’s main corporate sponsor, to do what is right for America’s children, and cancel their sponsorship of the Washington football team.

Please join the call to action by using the sample script below to call Fed-Ex and let CEO Fred Smith know that you don’t want Fed-Ex to sponsor harm against Native children.

 Call: 1.800.Go.FedEx (1.800.463.3339)

When you call in:

1) Please be respectful to the customer service representative.

2) Please refrain from yelling or using profanity.

3) Please make sure you stay on the line until you receive a case ID number.


1) When prompted by the automated operator, ask for "Customer Feedback"

2) You will be transferred to a customer service representative. Ask to submit a Complaint to CEO Fred Smith.

3)  They will ask for your contact information. You can choose to share some or none of your information.

Hi, my name is _______.

I am calling as a consumer to let Mr. Smith know that I am very unhappy about Fed-Ex continuing to sponsor the Washington team. The name and mascot harms Native children by contributing to their negative self-image. I urge Fed-Ex to stand on the right side of history. Please withdraw your sponsorship of the Washington Team immediately.

4) You will be given a case ID number. You can call back with this number for a response to your complaint. 

For more information:

Chrissie Castro

Take Action


Preparing Native Communities for the Impacts of Climate Change

FACT SHEET: Taking Action to Support State, Local, and Tribal Leaders as They Prepare Communities for the Impacts of Climate Change

President Obama is focused every day on building on the progress America’s economy is making by creating jobs and expanding opportunity for all hardworking Americans.  As part of that effort, the President has put forward a comprehensive plan to invest in America’s infrastructure in order to create jobs, provide certainty to states and communities, support American businesses, and grow our economy. Investing in infrastructure has never been more important. In addition to the clear economic benefits of building a world-class infrastructure system, the third National Climate Assessment released earlier this year confirms that the impacts of climate change are already taking a toll on communities. To support communities in need of a more resilient infrastructure that can withstand impacts like more extreme weather and increased flooding, President Obama is responding to guidance from governors, mayors, county and tribal officials who are proven leaders in helping their communities prepare for climate impacts.

The President established the State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience last November to advise him on how the Federal government can best respond to the needs of communities nationwide already dealing with the impacts of climate change. The Task Force, made up of 26 officials from across the country, is holding its fourth and final meeting in Washington, D.C. today. They will provide their final recommendations to the President in the fall.

Today the President is announcing a series of actions to respond to the Task Force’s early feedback to help state, local, and tribal leaders prepare their communities for the impacts of climate change by developing more resilient infrastructure and rebuilding existing infrastructure stronger and smarter.

Providing Federal resources to support climate preparedness:

·         National Disaster Resilience Competition. The nearly $1 billion National Disaster Resilience Competition, announced by the President on June 14, will make resources available to communities that have been struck by natural disasters in recent years.  Building on the success of the Rebuild by Design competition after Hurricane Sandy, this competition will create replicable models of modern disaster recovery that apply science-based and forward-looking risk analysis to address recovery and resilience needs.  The competition will also help communities create and implement disaster recovery plans that will make them better prepared for future extreme weather events and other shocks. 

Today, new details for the competition are being announced by the President. The year-long competition will have two phases: (1) risk assessment and planning; and (2) design and implementation.  Many communities will be eligible for funding and technical assistance during Phase 1 to develop innovative, data-driven, and community-led approaches to recovery that increase preparedness for future disasters.  A subset of these communities will be invited to continue in Phase 2 to design solutions for recovery and future resilience. The best proposals will receive funds for implementation to demonstrate how communities across the country can build a more resilient future.  More information is available at

·         Helping tribes prepare for climate impacts. The Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Bureau of Indian Affairs today launched a new $10 million Federal-Tribal Climate Resilience Partnership and Technical Assistance Program that will help tribes prepare for climate change by developing and delivering adaptation training. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy will establish an interagency group to provide tribes with data and information, improve Federal collaboration, and assist with climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts.

·         Investing in the nation's rural electric system. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced awards totaling $236.3 million in funding for eight states to support improved rural electric infrastructure. A modern, reliable electric system is critical to attract and retain residents and businesses in rural communities. Supporting rural electric utilities' deployment of smart grid technologies will increase efficiency and reliability and bring more jobs to rural America.  President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack are committed to smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity, support the rural way of life, and ensure the Federal Government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.

·         Developing advanced mapping data and tools. The Department of the Interior’s U.S. Geological Survey and other Federal agencies today launched a $13.1 million 3-D Elevation Program partnership designed to bring Federal agencies, academia, corporate entities, states, tribes, and communities together to develop advanced 3-dimensional mapping data of the United States.  These data and related tools will be used in the areas of flood risk management, water resource planning, mitigation of coastal erosion and storm surge impacts, and identification of landslide hazards as an essential component of supporting action on climate resilience. More information is available at

·         Safeguarding access to quality drinking water amid drought. USDA continues to work with producers, communities, affected states and other agencies to help address the current West Coast drought. This week, the Department will announce additional funds to help rural communities struggling with drought. These funds will help rural communities that have experienced or are likely to experience a significant decline in the quantity or quality of drinking water due to severe drought and other emergencies.   

Rebuilding stronger and safer after natural disasters:

·         Establishing a Mitigation Integration Task Force.  In order to help communities build back stronger and safer in the face of new risks, FEMA has established a Mitigation Integration Task Force to develop and implement a Mitigation Integration Pilot Program by the end of August.  Working with State, tribal, local, and eligible private non-profit partners, FEMA will identify pilot projects in current and emerging disasters where there are specific opportunities to make investments that result in a more resilient outcome than using a single funding source and program.  This pilot program will work to equip communities to meet their recovery objectives and ensure that all resources are brought to bear through FEMA’s Mitigation and Recovery programs to minimize the impact of future disasters. This is part of FEMA’s goal of breaking the cycle of disasters -- saving lives, protecting property, reducing losses, and allowing individuals and communities to recover more quickly after a disaster.

·         Accounting for Climate Change in Hazard Mitigation Planning.  To ensure that States are preparing for the impacts of climate change, FEMA will release new guidance for State Hazard Mitigation Plans that calls upon States to consider climate variability as part of their requirement to address the probability of future events in state planning efforts. Last issued in 2008, FEMA’s guidance for these plans helps States prepare in advance of a disaster to identify and drive actions for more resilient and sustainable recovery, such as elevating or relocating homes and businesses to reduce flood risks associated with sea-level rise and more intense storms or rebuilding to higher standards. More information is available at

Building more resilient communities:


·         Committing to “Preparedness Pilots.”  The Administration today announced the launch of two “Preparedness Pilots” in cooperation with the City of Houston and the State of Colorado, with NASA (Johnson Space Flight Center) and the Energy Department (National Renewable Energy Laboratory).  The pilots will involve key Federal agencies in each community, including NASA, the Energy Department, the Department of Defense, the Department of the Interior, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Department of Agriculture. These pilots will bring together federal agencies and local communities to assess and plan for their region-specific vulnerabilities and interdependencies associated with the impacts of climate change. This effort will advance preparedness planning on the ground and help create models for other communities and agencies to follow.                                                                                                       

·         Making our coasts more resilient.  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) today announced new program guidance under Section 309 of the Coastal Zone Management Act to ensure greater consideration of how climate change may exacerbate challenges in the management of coastal areas.  Through this effort, $1.5 million of competitive funding will be available to help states and tribes make improvements to their coastal management programs. The guidance will help state and tribal coastal managers better prepare for the impacts of climate change and improve the safety of their communities.  More information is available at

·         Improving stormwater management. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today launched a Green Infrastructure Collaborative among government agencies, NGOs, and other private sector entities to advance green stormwater infrastructure.  Green infrastructure, such as urban forests and rooftop gardens, can be used as an important tool for building resilience to climate change impacts such as increased precipitation and heat island effects. Federal agencies will provide funding assistance in at least 25 communities across the country for green infrastructure projects, technical assistance to create integrated green stormwater management and hazard mitigation plans, and recognition and awards programs for innovative green infrastructure projects. Agencies will also add guidance on green infrastructure to existing Department of Transportation (DOT) and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) peer-to-peer exchange and training programs. The partnership will also provide a platform for conducting research on increasing affordability and effectiveness, sharing best practices, and developing actionable planning tools that decision-makers have been seeking.

·         Assessing climate-related health hazards. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today released a new guide, “Assessing Health Vulnerability to Climate Change,” to help public health departments assess local vulnerabilities to health hazards associated with climate change. The assessments will help inform targeted public health actions to reduce the health impacts of climate change. More information is available at:

American Indian and Alaska Native Children Exposed to Violence (opportunity/training)

DOJ Task Force on American Indian and Alaska Native Children Exposed to Violence

Listening Session Teleconference

Native-serving schools are increasingly affected by the aftermath of children exposed to violence. Native students often arrive at school showing repercussions from violence, the consequences of which result in poor academic achievement and destructive behavior. To ensure that the important perspectives of educators, parents, and stakeholders are heard, NIEA and federal partners scheduled a listening session conference call on children exposed to violence for Thursday, July 24, 2014 from 3:00 to 4:30pm (eastern).

Recently at the 2013 White House Tribal Nations Conference, Attorney General Eric Holder announced the creation of the Attorney General's Task Force on American Indian and Alaska Native Children Exposed to Violence.  Anchored by both a federal working group that includes U.S. Attorneys and officials from the Departments of the Interior and Justice and an advisory committee of experts, the task force examines the scope and impact of violence facing American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) children and makes policy recommendations to the Attorney General on methods to address these issues. 

The Advisory Committee has convened four public hearings and several listening sessions to examine the pervasive problems associated with AI/AN children exposed to violence in their homes, schools, and communities. This teleconference is the next opportunity to provide comments. The information collected from hearings and listening sessions will assist the Task Force, through the Advisory Committee, in developing policy recommendations. 

Important Information

  • Date: Thursday, July 24, 2014 
  • Time: 3:00 to 4:30pm (eastern)
  • Call-in Information: 866-939-8416     Passcode: 5185319
  • Additional Details: Please click HERE.

 For more information, please contact NIEA Policy Associate, Clint J. Bowers, at

SF Giants Native American Heritage Night Incident-Victory (update/mascotry/cultural appropriation)

How cool is that the SF Giants incident was broadcast on NPR Morning Edition just now. It included an interview with a Giants representative stating that they will be changing their policies and training to ensure that the concerns that were raised are addressed and that all fans are made to feel part of the Giants family and culturally insensitive items are now banned.

Native Culture Card (information)

The SAMHSA-produced pocket guide called the American Indian and Alaska Native Culture Card describes Native cultural differences, customs, and identity; spirituality; communication styles and etiquette; the role of veterans and elders; and health and wellness challenges.

It was originally designed for the U.S. Public Health Service Commission Corps who were deployed in response to suicide clusters or other traumatic events throughout Indian country. This publication has become one of the most requested SAMHSA resources.

Many grantees share the Culture Card at GONAs as a way to connect with outside community members on a deeper level and start the dialog that eventually leads to collaborations for the system of care planned under the Circles of Care grant.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is also using the Culture Card. It currently has plans to disseminate it nationally. The VA is also encouraging VA staff to participate in a related webinar with Captain R. Andrew Hunt, Public Health Advisor in SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services. Captain Hunt co-authored the Culture Card and is an enrolled member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina.

“All communities are different - history, beliefs, practices, communication, and the language used to talk about mental health issues” said Captain Hunt. “The Culture Card provides basic information so others can adjust and adapt their approach to meet that community and their cultural context.”

Native America Calling Schedule June 30 (media)

Native America Calling • 

Airs Live Monday - Friday, 1-2pm Eastern

To participate call: 1-800-996-2848 (1-800-99-NATIVE)


Monday, June 30, 2014 – Tribal Clans and Cultural Survival 
When you think of your own Native community, how strong is your clan system? Would you consider it the backbone of your tribal nation? On this edition of Native America Calling, we take a look at how our Indigenous nations are influenced and strengthened by our clan systems. What do clan structures teach us about nation-building and tribal values? What is being done in your tribe to make sure younger generations know about their clans and the importance of those clans for cultural survival? Guests include: storyteller, writer, and actor Ishmael Angalook Hope of the Inupiaq and Tlingit Nations.

Break Song: Qalurru (Dip Netting) (song) Pamyua (artist) Drums of the North:Traditional Yup'ik Songs (album)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014 — Current Events 
We want to hear about the exciting events happening in your community during the month of July! Join us as we learn more about events like Summer Sundays at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, the Survival First Voices Festival in Farmington and the Lori Piestewa National Native American Games. You can also call in to tell us about events, gatherings and celebrations taking place in July across Native America. 

Break Song: Pixou Falls (song) 
Oh My Darling (artist) In the Lonesome Hours(album)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014 - Surprising Businesses in Native America 
Gaming is a lucrative business venture for some tribes. But some Native nations are expanding into non-gaming business ventures. Did you know that the Chickasaw Nation has a chocolate factory? The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians owns a winery and the Suquamish Nation has a seafood company that sells geoduck clams internationally. Are you running a successfully non-gaming enterprise? Do you have a great story to tell about how you or your tribe got started in that business? Join us for a conversation with innovative tribally-run and Native-owned businesses.

Break Song: Nose Flute Dub (song) Paula Fuga (artist) Lilioki(album)

Thursday, July 3, 2014– Lacrosse
The roots of lacrosse go back father than almost any sport in North America. It's often called “the creator’s game” and many feel a spiritual connection to it. Since 2011, interest in lacrosse exploded in places like the Northern Plains with the formation of a new league and several tribal teams. Just a few months ago, the Tewaaraton Award was presented to two Native players for the first time. Do you keep up with lacrosse or a favorite team? Did you play lacrosse growing up? Are your children or grandchildren playing lacrosse today? What does this sport mean to you?

Break Song: Pilipuka (song) Patrick Landeza (artist)Kama`Alua (album)

Friday, July 4, 2014– ***ENCORE: Birth Stories*** 
Many children love to hear the story of when they were born. Do you know the story of your birth? Were you born during a natural disaster or in an unusual place? We want to hear your birth stories - either when you were born or when your own children were born! Do you enjoy hearing the tales of what was happening when a new life came into the world? How can these stories better help us understand our place in our families or our communities? Do you know the people who were in the room when you were born? Guests include: Christina Castro (Jemez/Taos Pueblo - writer, community activist and organizer, teacher at IAIA), Nicolle Gonzales (Navajo - Certified Nurse Midwife with Bridge Care for Women) and Ellen Blais (Oneida Nation of the Thames - an Aboriginal midwife and co-chair of the National Aboriginal Council of Midwives)

Break Song: A Capella Native American Church Song II (song) LeeAnne Brady (artist) In Jesus Name (album)

# # #

Walk A Mile In My Redface (information/education/mascot)

Professor’s TEDx Talk about Native American Mascots Selected as Editor’s Pick by TED

Author: TEDxUOregon, Portland State University
Posted: June 12, 2014

This spring, Indigenous Nations Studies program Director and Professor Dr. Cornel Pewewardy spoke in Eugene as part of TEDxUOregon. Professor Pewewardy, who is a nationally recognized expert on Native American mascots in schools and in the media, gave a talk entitled, “Walk a Mile in My Redface: On Ending the Colonial in Schools, Sports Culture, Mass Media and Civic Life.” 

Professor Pewewardy’s talk was recently selected as an “Editor’s Pick” amongst thousands of talks for a feature on the TED website. 

Professor Pewewardy is Comanche-Kiowa and an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation of Oklahoma. He was named “Teacher of the Year” by the National Indian Education Association in 2009 and was awarded the Carl A. Grant Multicultural Research Award by the National Association for Multicultural Education in 2011.

About TEDx
In the spirit of “Ideas Worth Spreading,” TEDx is a program of local, independently organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. A combination of live presenters and TED Talks videos help to spark deep conversation and connections in the community. Over the past five years, there have been more than 10,000 TEDx events in 167 countries.

Idle No More:Growing Resistance Across Turtle Island (news/community)


In the past few weeks, thousands of people across Turtle Island have been organizing major campaigns to protect Indigenous sovereignty, land, water, and, territories.  

NO to Northern Gateway

First Nations and non-First Nations gave a resounding NO when the Harper Government approved Enbridge Northern Gateway Project this week. People have joined in a wide variety of actions such as legal cases, mass rallies, and peaceful sit-ins in local MP’s offices. This is just the beginning!! There will be a wall of resistance as First Nations groups and other concerned citizens have vowed to fight the Canadian government’s approval of the Northern Gateway pipeline. The ongoing failure to consult First Nations violates Indigenous inherent rights. Enbridge’s Northern Gateway, a $7 billion pipeline, would carry tar sands oil from the province of Alberta to the coastal town of Kitimat, British Columbia, where the oil will be loaded onto tankers and transported along the coastlines.

As BC Grand Chief Stewart Phillip stated “It will not be the voice of lawyers that will defend the future legacy of our children and grandchildren – rather it will be what we as indigenous people, as British Columbians, collectively standing up in solidarity, side-by-side to fight and protect what we all treasure in this province – the lands and the waters.”

Onion Lake Walkers

Women Rising Up! Iskwewak Pasikowak! from the Onion Lake Cree Nation, Treaty 6 territory, conducted a day long ceremony reasserting inherent jurisdiction over land and water.  Indigenous people have been impacted by federal government policies such as the Indian Residential Schools, the Indian Act, The Child Welfare system, and the inaction on Missing and Murdered Women, which individually and together meet the criteria provided at the UN of genocide.  

Onion_Lake_WalkersjpgIn a symbolic “walking away” from Parliament, the Onion Lake and Kitigan Zibi women took back the power that Parliament affects over the honouring of all Treaties made with Indigenous peoples with the British Crown and Canada being the successor State.

Idle No More Organizer Lynda Kitchikeesic called the day of ceremony a symbolic “pushing back” against the Conservative government and believes it conveys the message of a turning point for First Nations. (Photo Credit: Clayton Thomas-Muller)

Athabasca Regions Healing Walk

Idle No More in solidarity with Athabasca Region Healing Walk

Healing Walk PosterNext weekend indigenous peoples and allies from across Turtle Island will gather in Fort McMurray, Alberta in the heart of the Canadian tar sands not to protest, but to pray for healing. We invite you to join us for the 5th and Final Tar Sands Healing Walk (June 27th-29th), to walk with us and pray for the land together. The Final Healing Walk is a part of a new beginning, to spread the healing to other communities who are impacted by resource extraction. No matter where you are there is something you can do to contribute to this year’s Healing Walk.

Encuentro2014 - Montreal

This year, the northern part of Turtle Island (Canada)  was chosen as the sight for Encuentro because Idle No More has had such a powerful impact on the world!! The Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics and Concordia University invite scholars, activists, and artists of all disciplines to examine the practical, ethical, aesthetic, theatrical, and performative dimensions of manifests and manifestations throughout the Americas at the ninth Encuentro, to be held in Montréal, Québec, June 21-28, 2014.

For More information on the Encuentro:

Encuentro: Getting ready to manifest!

Idle No More Flash Mob Round Dance Event June 27th

Idle No More Manitoba

Lake Winnipeg Water Walk

In 2013, Lake Winnipeg - the 10th largest fresh water lake in the world, was nominated “Most Threatened Lake” by Global Nature Fund. It was suggested that in 10 years this lake could die if action is not taken to help her heal. From July 12 - August 8, 2014, community members from all walks of life will come together to take part in the “Lake Winnipeg Water Walk” to help her begin that healing process. We have a fundraising goal of $20,000.00 to support the walk. Cash and cheques can be made out to Lake Winnipeg Water Walk, or online donations can be made through  Through community leadership and commitment, we can work collectively to ensure that our life giving water continues to flow and sustain future generations.  We are all responsible for the health of our waters - the time is now. “Ingah Izitchigay Nibi Onjay”- (I will do it for the Water)

Water Wednesdays Return!

> Wednesdays, 5:30pm @ Memorial Park in front of the Legislative Building <

Idle No More Winnipeg & Got Bannock are inviting the public to learn about water issues and participate in solutions to protect water for all people in Winnipeg and the world. We will share resources, have speakers, create art projects and have a different action every week to talk about this issue. In a new twist this year, we will also be collecting donations every week for GOT BANNOCK?, supporting Althea Guiboche “The Bannock Lady” as she continues to feed the hungry in honour of the village we once had. "Water and Love make Bannock" - Bring a donation for The Bannock Lady

Happy Solstice from Idle No More!!