Papal Bullsh**t (holidaze)

Papal Bullsh**t (holidaze)
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Papal BS (holidaze)

Hi Folks:
Please read the following before viewing the attached pictures we took at Virginia Beach, Virginia on May 15, 2014. This statement made by Dalhousie University professor Susan Sherwin, about the underlying cause of racism, is the best description I’ve ever read. It puts into words why it is so hard to get society to recognize, and accept that the systemic racism that victimizes First Nations Peoples exists: “...the greatest danger of oppression lies where bias is so pervasive as to be invisible...”
On Monday many places in the Americas will be celebrating Columbus day, a day set aside to honor him for the “discoveries” he never made (in the United States of America it’s a national holiday.)
His so-called “discovery” should not live on and he should not be honored because Columbus did not discover anyplace - you cannot discover what has already been discovered. Just because the people who did the original discovering were a people of color does not change the fact that they discovered the Americas first! But White supremacist racism lives on” and is no better highlighted than by the erecting of a statue honoring Columbus in Puerto Rico, a savage White man with bloody hands. It lives on because White supremacist mentality reduces people of color to invisibility and thus they cannot be accredited for anything. His legacy for the Americas was death and destruction for the Indigenous Peoples of the two Continents and slavery for Africans!
From Tony Castanha, re. the subject of Papal Bull burning, October 9, 2014, Puerto Rico, : “The (Papal Bull Burning) here will be held on Sunday October 12 at 4pm in the town of Arecibo at La Posa del Ovispo. This is near where officials are actually erecting a huge Columbus statue along the lines of the "Statue of Liberty." 'Ae, you heard me right... in the Year 2014 they are erecting a huge statue of the Hitler of the Caribbean.”
All the best,
Mi'kmaw Sa'qmaw (Elder) (Dr.) Daniel N. Paul, C.M., O.N.S., LLD, DLIT 


Andre Cramblit, Operations Director
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April Carmello Growing Up Native (profile)

April Carmello Growing Up Native (profile)
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“Let me introduce myself,” says April Carmelo.

“I am Wintu, Maidu, Tongva, Acjachemen. I am the

granddaughter of Daniel Carmelo Sr. and Maria

Sepulveda, and William Frank Timmons and Mary  Jane

Gorbet. I am the youngest of seven children born to Anna

Timmons and Daniel Carmelo Jr.”

She is also a winner of the CTA American Indian/Alaska Native Human Rights Award. Carmelo received the award for demonstrating leadership and commitment in equal educational opportunity, eliminating stereotypes and preserving cultural heritage, traditions and values.
She’s the Indian Education Specialist for the Shasta Union High School District, which includes elementary schools in the Redding/Shasta area. A classified employee, she is a Shasta Secondary Education Association member.
The first thing people notice is the tribal tattoo on her face. “I put a lot thought, prayer and time into this,” she says. “I had seen pictures of women with tattoos, and knew I would eventually get one. It’s my commitment to my culture, my family and all the people who have made so many sacrifices. It’s very personal for me.”
Carmelo made news in 2012 when her son was the victim of a hate crime in the Shasta Lake area. A man attacked her son as he skateboarded by his house, yelling racial slurs and pointing a shotgun at him and her. The attacker was never prosecuted for lack of evidence, which Carmelo described as unjust. “If the roles were reversed and I was out wielding a gun threatening to kill people, I would have been in  jail,” she says.
For the full profile go to :
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Disease Debilitates This Single Native Mother of Two

Disease Debilitates This Single Native Mother of Two
Opportunity To Assist Family In Need
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Ginger Rogers, American Indian Education Center Director

Ginger is 28 years old and is from the Hoopa Indian Reservation.  After high school she went away to college, first to Southern Oregon University in Ashland and then to San Diego State University.  She put herself through school and obtained a degree in American Indian Studies with a minor in Psychology, all while raising two young sons (currently ages 7 & 5) on her own. This in itself is a huge accomplishment. However, Ginger had more challenges than other young single mothers putting herself through school because at the same time she suffered from very poor health. At one point Ginger was bedridden for six months and had to take a medical leave from school. The doctors could never agree on a diagnosis. She was misdiagnosed with fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus, to name just a few.  One doctor was even considering multiple sclerosis. However, no treatment helped and her condition continued to deteriorate.
But there is some good news!  Ginger has finally made some helpful connections, thanks to knowledgeable friends.  She has now seen a doctor who knows what is wrong and can treat her. Ginger has discovered that she has Late Stage Lyme disease.  The devastating part is that Ginger recalls the tick bite. She was even tested for Lyme disease in 2005 and her test actually came back positive. Unfortunately, since there is such widespread misconception that Lyme disease is rare in California, her health care provider at the time told her it was a false positive. As inconceivable as it is, because Lyme is not yet recognized by the medical establishment as a "real" disease, insurance companies will not cover the cost of treatment. Her doctor visits and medications have to be paid for out-of-pocket. Our goal is to raise $8,625 to carry Ginger through the first year and a half of these medical bills. 
Ginger has a small group of friends who are helping her.  We have all pitched in and paid $1,050.00 for her first medical visits and medication over the last couple of months to get her started. Unfortunately we just can’t manage it all on our own and we are asking for your help.
Please help us get Ginger healthy.  We want her sons to know her as we have known her, and we want her to be able to do the good work she loves to do on the Reservation.
Please join me in supporting Ginger Rogers in order for her to get access to the medical care she needs.
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columbus Day

columbus Day
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Native News Network

What Does Columbus Represent?

Columbus Day? True Legacy: Cruelty and Slavery

Eric Kasum
Once again, it's time to celebrate Columbus Day. Yet, the stunning truth is: If Christopher Columbus were alive today, he would be put on trial for crimes against humanity. Columbus' reign of terror, as documented by noted historians, was so bloody, his legacy so unspeakably cruel, that Columbus makes a modern villain like Saddam Hussein look like a pale codfish.
Question: Why do we honor a man who, if he were alive today, would almost certainly be sitting on Death Row awaiting execution?
If you'd like to know the true story about Christopher Columbus, please read on. But I warn you, it's not for the faint of heart.
Here's the basics. On the second Monday in October each year, we celebrate Columbus Day (this year, it's on October 11th). We teach our school kids a cute little song that goes: "In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue." It's an American tradition, as American as pizza pie. Or is it? Surprisingly, the true story of Christopher Columbus has very little in common with the myth we all learned in school.
Columbus Day, as we know it in the United States, was invented by the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal service organization. Back in the 1930s, they were looking for a Catholic hero as a role-model their kids could look up to. In 1934, as a result of lobbying by the Knights of Columbus, Congress and President Franklin Roosevelt signed Columbus Day into law as a federal holiday to honor this courageous explorer. Or so we thought.
There are several problems with this. First of all, Columbus wasn't the first European to discover America. As we all know, the Viking, Leif Ericson probably founded a Norse village on Newfoundland some 500 years earlier. So, hat's off to Leif. But if you think about it, the whole concept of discovering America is, well, arrogant. After all, the Native Americans discovered North America about 14,000 years before Columbus was even born! Surprisingly, DNA evidence now suggests that courageous Polynesian adventurers sailed dugout canoes across the Pacific and settled in South America long before the Vikings.
Second, Columbus wasn't a hero. When he set foot on that sandy beach in the Bahamas on October 12, 1492, Columbus discovered that the islands were inhabited by friendly, peaceful people called the Lucayans, Taínos and Arawaks. Writing in his diary, Columbus said they were a handsome, smart and kind people. He noted that the gentle Arawaks were remarkable for their hospitality. "They offered to share with anyone and when you ask for something, they never say no," he said. The Arawaks had no weapons; their society had neither criminals, prisons nor prisoners. They were so kind-hearted that Columbus noted in his diary that on the day the Santa Maria was shipwrecked, the Arawaks labored for hours to save his crew and cargo. The native people were so honest that not one thing was missing.
Columbus was so impressed with the hard work of these gentle islanders, that he immediately seized their land for Spain and enslaved them to work in his brutal gold mines. Within only two years, 125,000 (half of the population) of the original natives on the island were dead.
If I were a Native American, I would mark October 12, 1492, as a black day on my calendar.
Shockingly, Columbus supervised the selling of native girls into sexual slavery. Young girls of the ages 9 to 10 were the most desired by his men. In 1500, Columbus casually wrote about it in his log. He said: "A hundred castellanoes are as easily obtained for a woman as for a farm, and it is very general and there are plenty of dealers who go about looking for girls; those from nine to ten are now in demand."
He forced these peaceful natives work in his gold mines until they died of exhaustion. If an "Indian" worker did not deliver his full quota of gold dust by Columbus' deadline, soldiers would cut off the man's hands and tie them around his neck to send a message. Slavery was so intolerable for these sweet, gentle island people that at one point, 100 of them committed mass suicide. Catholic law forbade the enslavement of Christians, but Columbus solved this problem. He simply refused to baptize the native people of Hispaniola.
On his second trip to the New World, Columbus brought cannons and attack dogs. If a native resisted slavery, he would cut off a nose or an ear. If slaves tried to escape, Columbus had them burned alive. Other times, he sent attack dogs to hunt them down, and the dogs would tear off the arms and legs of the screaming natives while they were still alive. If the Spaniards ran short of meat to feed the dogs, Arawak babies were killed for dog food.
Columbus' acts of cruelty were so unspeakable and so legendary - even in his own day - that GovernorFrancisco De Bobadilla arrested Columbus and his two brothers, slapped them into chains, and shipped them off to Spain to answer for their crimes against the Arawaks. But the King and Queen of Spain, their treasury filling up with gold, pardoned Columbus and let him go free.
One of Columbus' men, Bartolome De Las Casas, was so mortified by Columbus' brutal atrocities against the native peoples, that he quit working for Columbus and became a Catholic priest. He described how the Spaniards under Columbus' command cut off the legs of children who ran from them, to test the sharpness of their blades. According to De Las Casas, the men made bets as to who, with one sweep of his sword, could cut a person in half. He says that Columbus' men poured people full of boiling soap. In a single day, De Las Casas was an eye witness as the Spanish soldiers dismembered, beheaded, or raped 3000 native people. "Such inhumanities and barbarisms were committed in my sight as no age can parallel," De Las Casas wrote. "My eyes have seen these acts so foreign to human nature that now I tremble as I write."
De Las Casas spent the rest of his life trying to protect the helpless native people. But after a while, there were no more natives to protect. Experts generally agree that before 1492, the population on the island of Hispaniola probably numbered above 3 million. Within 20 years of Spanish arrival, it was reduced to only 60,000. Within 50 years, not a single original native inhabitant could be found.
In 1516, Spanish historian Peter Martyr wrote: "... a ship without compass, chart, or guide, but only following the trail of dead Indians who had been thrown from the ships could find its way from the Bahamas to Hispaniola."
Christopher Columbus derived most of his income from slavery, De Las Casas noted. In fact, Columbus was the first slave trader in the Americas. As the native slaves died off, they were replaced with black slaves. Columbus' son became the first African slave trader in 1505.
Are you surprised you never learned about any of this in school? I am too. Why do we have this extraordinary gap in our American ethos? Columbus himself kept detailed diaries, as did some of his men including De Las Casas and Michele de Cuneo. (If you don't believe me, just Google the words Columbus, sex slave, and gold mine.)
Columbus' reign of terror is one of the darkest chapters in our history. The REAL question is: Why do we celebrate a holiday in honor of this man? (Take three deep breaths. If you're like me, your stomach is heaving at this point. I'm sorry. Sometimes the truth hurts. That said, I'd like to turn in a more positive direction.)
Call me crazy, but I think holidays ought to honor people who are worthy of our admiration, true heroes who are positive role models for our children. If we're looking for heroes we can truly admire, I'd like to offer a few candidates. Foremost among them are school kids.
Let me tell you about some school kids who are changing the world. I think they are worthy of a holiday. My friend Nan Peterson is the director of the Blake School, a K-12 school in Minnesota. She recently visited Kenya. Nan says there are 33 million people in Kenya... and 11 million of them are orphans! Can you imagine that? She went to Kibera, the slum outside Nairobi, and a boy walked up to her and handed her a baby. He said: My father died. My mother died... and I'm not feeling so good myself. Here, take my sister. If I die, they will throw her into the street to die.
There are so many orphans in Kenya, the baby girls are throwaways!
Nan visited an orphanage for girls. The girls were starving to death. They had one old cow that only gave one cup of milk a day. So each girl only got ONE TEASPOON of milk a day!
After this heartbreaking experience, Nan went home to her school in Minnesota and asked the kids... what can we do? The kids got the idea to make homemade paper and sell it to buy a cow. So they made a bunch of paper, and sold the paper, and when they were done they had enough money to buy... FOUR COWS! And enough food to feed all of the cows for ONE FULL YEAR! These are kids... from 6 years old to 18... saving the lives of kids halfway around the world. And I thought: If a 6-year-old could do that... what could I do?
At Casady School in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, seemingly "average" school kids raised $20,000 to dig clean water wells for children in Ethiopia. These kids are heroes. Why don't we celebrate "Kids Who Are Changing the Planet" Day?
Let me ask you a question: Would we celebrate Columbus Day if the story of Christopher Columbus were told from the point-of-view of his victims? No way!
The truth about Columbus is going to be a hard pill for some folks to swallow. Please, don't think I'm picking on Catholics. All the Catholics I know are wonderful people. I don't want to take away their holiday or their hero. But if we're looking for a Catholic our kids can admire, the Catholic church has many, many amazing people we could name a holiday after. How about Mother Teresa day? Or St. Francis of Assisi day? Or Betty Williams day (another Catholic Nobel Peace Prize winner). These men and women are truly heroes of peace, not just for Catholics, but for all of us.
Let's come clean. Let's tell the truth about Christopher Columbus. Let's boycott this outrageous holiday because it honors a mass murderer. If we skip the cute song about "In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue," I don't think our first graders will miss it much, do you? True, Columbus' brutal treatment of peaceful Native Americans was so horrific... maybe we should hide the truth about Columbus until our kids reach at least High School age. Let's teach it to them about the same time we tell them about the Nazi death camps.
While we're at it, let's rewrite our history books. From now on, instead of glorifying the exploits of mass murderers like Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Genghis Khan, and Napoleon Bonaparte, let's teach our kids about true heroes, men and women of courage and kindness who devoted their lives to the good of others. There's a long list, starting with Florence Nightingale, Mahatma Gandhi, Rev. Martin Luther King, and John F. Kennedy.
These people were not adventurers who "discovered" an island in the Caribbean. They were noble souls who discovered what is best in the human spirit.
Why don't we create a holiday to replace Columbus Day?
Let's call it Heroes of Peace Day.

Indian Country Today 
Native History: 
Columbus Icon and
Genocidal Manic Lands in New World

Christopher Columbus and the Indian by Howard Zinn
[Howard Zinn is an author and lecturer. His most noted work, from which this selection is excerpted, is is A People's History of the United States.]

Arawak men and women, naked, tawny, and full of wonder, emerged from their villages onto the island's beaches and swam out to get a closer look at the strange big boat. When Columbus and his sailors came ashore, carrying swords, speaking oddly, the Arawaks ran to greet them, brought them food, water, gifts. He later wrote of this in his log:
"They... brought us parrots and balls of cotton and spears and many other things, which they exchanged for the glass beads and hawks' bells. They willingly traded everything they owned.... They were well-built, with good bodies and handsome features.... They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance. They have no iron. Their spears are made of cane.... They would make fine servants.... With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want."

These Arawaks of the Bahama Islands were much like Indians on the mainland, who were remarkable (European observers were to say again and again) for their hospitality, their belief in sharing. These traits did not stand out in the Europe of the Renaissance, dominated as it was by the religion of popes, the government of kings, the frenzy for money that marked Western civilization and its first messenger to the Americas, Christopher Columbus.

Columbus wrote: "As soon as I arrived in the Indies, on the first Island which I found, I took some of the natives by force in order that they might learn and might give me information of whatever there is in these parts." The information that Columbus wanted most was: Where is the gold?

The Indians, Columbus reported, "are so naive and so free with their possessions that no one who has not witnessed them would believe it. When you ask for something they have, they never say no. To the contrary, they offer to share with anyone...." He concluded his report by asking for a little help from their Majesties, and in return he would bring them from his next voyage "as much gold as they need . . . and as many slaves as they ask." He was full of religious talk: "Thus the eternal God, our Lord, gives victory to those who follow His way over apparent impossibilities."

Because of Columbus's exaggerated report and promises, his second expedition was given seventeen ships and more than twelve hundred men. The aim was clear: slaves and gold. They went from island to island in the Caribbean, taking Indians as captives. But as word spread of the Europeans' intent they found more and more empty villages. On Haiti, they found that the sailors left behind at Fort Navidad had been killed in a battle with the Indians, after they had roamed the island in gangs looking for gold, taking women and children as slaves for sex and labor.

Now, from his base on Haiti, Columbus sent expedition after expedition into the interior. They found no gold fields, but had to fill up the ships returning to Spain with some kind of dividend. In the year 1495, they went on a great slave raid, rounded up fifteen hundred Arawak men, women, and children, put them in pens guarded by Spaniards and dogs, then picked the five hundred best specimens to load onto ships. Of those five hundred, two hundred died en route. The rest arrived alive in Spain and were put up for sale by the archdeacon of the town, who reported that, although the slaves were "naked as the day they were born," they showed "no more embarrassment than animals." Columbus later wrote: "Let us in the name of the Holy Trinity go on sending all the slaves that can be sold."

But too many of the slaves died in captivity. And so Columbus, desperate to pay back dividends to those who had invested, had to make good his promise to fill the ships with gold. In the province of Cicao on Haiti, where he and his men imagined huge gold fields to exist, they ordered all persons fourteen years or older to collect a certain quantity of gold every three months. When they brought it, they were given copper tokens to hang around their necks. Indians found without a copper token had their hands cut off and bled to death.

The Indians had been given an impossible task. The only gold around was bits of dust garnered from the streams. So they fled, were hunted down with dogs, and were killed.

Trying to put together an army of resistance, the Arawaks faced Spaniards who had armor, muskets, swords, horses. When the Spaniards took prisoners they hanged them or burned them to death. Among the Arawaks, mass suicides began, with cassava poison. Infants were killed to save them from the Spaniards. In two years, through murder, mutilation, or suicide, half of the 250,000 Indians on Haiti were dead.

When it became clear that there was no gold left, the Indians were taken as slave labor on huge estates, known later as encomiendas. They were worked at a ferocious pace, and died by the thousands. By the year 1515, there were perhaps fifty thousand Indians left. By 1550, there were five hundred. A report of the year 1650 shows none of the original Arawaks or their descendants left on the island.
The chief source-and, on many matters the only source of information about what happened on the islands after Columbus came is Bartolome de las Casas, who, as a young priest, participated in the conquest of Cuba. For a time he owned a plantation on which Indian slaves worked, but he gave that up and became a vehement critic of Spanish cruelty. In Book Two of his History of the Indies, Las Casas (who at first urged replacing Indians by black slaves, thinking they were stronger and would survive, but later relented when he saw the effects on blacks) tells about the treatment of the Indians by the Spaniards. It is a unique account and deserves to be quoted at length:

"Endless testimonies . . . prove the mild and pacific temperament of the natives.... But our work was to exasperate, ravage, kill, mangle and destroy; small wonder, then, if they tried to kill one of us now and then.... The admiral, it is true, was blind as those who came after him, and he was so anxious to please the King that he committed irreparable crimes against the Indians..."
Las Casas tells how the Spaniards "grew more conceited every day" and after a while refused to walk any distance. They "rode the backs of Indians if they were in a hurry" or were carried on hammocks by Indians running in relays. "In this case they also had Indians carry large leaves to shade them from the sun and others to fan them with goose wings."

Total control led to total cruelty. The Spaniards "thought nothing of knifing Indians by tens and twenties and of cutting slices off them to test the sharpness of their blades." Las Casas tells how "two of these so-called Christians met two Indian boys one day, each carrying a parrot; they took the parrots and for fun beheaded the boys."

The Indians' attempts to defend themselves failed. And when they ran off into the hills they were found and killed. So, Las Casas reports. "they suffered and died in the mines and other labors in desperate silence, knowing not a soul in the world to whom they could tun for help." He describes their work in the mines:

"... mountains are stripped from top to bottom and bottom to top a thousand times; they dig, split rocks, move stones, and carry dirt on their backs to wash it in the rivers, while those who wash gold stay in the water all the time with their backs bent so constantly it breaks them; and when water invades the mines, the most arduous task of all is to dry the mines by scooping up pansful of water and throwing it up outside....

After each six or eight months' work in the mines, which was the time required of each crew to dig enough gold for melting, up to a third of the men died. While the men were sent many miles away to the mines, the wives remained to work the soil, forced into the excruciating job of digging and making thousands of hills for cassava plants.

Thus husbands and wives were together only once every eight or ten months and when they met they were so exhausted and depressed on both sides . . . they ceased to procreate. As for the newly born, they died early because their mothers, overworked and famished, had no milk to nurse them, and for this reason, while I was in Cuba, 7000 children died in three months. Some mothers even drowned their babies from sheer desperation.... In this way, husbands died in the mines, wives died at work, and children died from lack of milk . . . and in a short time this land which was so great, so powerful and fertile ... was depopulated.... My eyes have seen these acts so foreign to human nature, and now I tremble as I write...."

When he arrived on Hispaniola in 1508, Las Casas says, "there were 60,000 people living on this island, including the Indians; so that from 1494 to 1508, over three million people had perished from war, slavery, and the mines. Who in future generations will believe this? I myself writing it as a knowledgeable eyewitness can hardly believe it...."

Thus began the history, five hundred years ago, of the European invasion of the Indian settlements in the Americas. That beginning, when you read Las Casas--even if his figures are exaggerations (were there 3 million Indians to begin with, as he says, or less than a million, as some historians have calculated, or 8 million as others now believe?) is conquest, slavery, death. When we read the history books given to children in the United States, it all starts with heroic adventure--there is no bloodshed-and Columbus Day is a celebration.

The treatment of heroes (Columbus) and their victims (the Arawaks) the quiet acceptance of conquest and murder in the name of progress-is only one aspect of a certain approach to history, in which the past is told from the point of view of governments, conquerors, diplomats, leaders. It is as if they, like Columbus, deserve universal acceptance, as if they-the Founding Fathers, Jackson, Lincoln, Wilson, Roosevelt, Kennedy, the leading members of Congress, the famous Justices of the Supreme Court-represent the nation as a whole. The pretense is that there really is such a thing as "the United States," subject to occasional conflicts and quarrels, but fundamentally a community of people with common interests. It is as if there really is a "national interest" represented in the Constitution, in territorial expansion, in the laws passed by Congress, the decisions of the courts, the development of capitalism, the culture of education and the mass media.
2 Howard Zinn, "Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress," A People's History of the United States

September 26, 2003
Columbus Day
White supremacist mentalities guide the actions of whites who idolize individuals such as Columbus as heroes. How could any descent human being say otherwise? For example, Columbus’s staunch supporters steadfastly ignore the fact that he, by landing on a small Caribbean Island and capturing people to be sold as slaves, began what would be the world’s most horrendous human tragedy, the complete destruction of a great many of the civilizations of two continents, and the near destruction of the remainder, a process that included the massacre of tens of millions of First Nations Peoples.
The number of our Peoples who died, and in many cases who are still dying, because of the European invasion he initiated, is incalculable. The closest number one can estimate, when taking into consideration that the slaughter started in 1492 has continued to a certain degree to this day, is several hundred millions. And, the vast majority of the millions who are the remnant of the original great civilizations that once prospered across the two continents, live a poverty stricken existence. This is something that should instill in the people whose ancestors begot the horror shame, not pride.
The idolizing of such barbarians as Columbus by European descended populations is not restricted to any one corner of the Americas. For instance, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, there is a park named in honour of Edward Cornwallis, the Province’s eighteenth century blood thirsty British colonial Governor, who participated in an attempt to commit genocide - it contains a large statue of him. He, and his Council, on October 1, 1749, decided to try to exterminate the Mi’kmaq indigenous to what is now Canada’s Maritime provinces. The method chosen by them to try to realize their inhuman goal was to issue a Proclamation offering a bounty of ten pounds (British money) for the scalps of the people, including women and children. On June 21, 1750, perhaps because the scalps were not coming in fast enough, they issued another proclamation upping the bounty to fifty pounds.
Unfortunately, not knowing their histories, many of our Peoples innocently participate in the idolizing of these monsters. In view of this, I believe that it is time for us to undertake an in-depth education process that would instill in our Peoples the historic knowledge that would eventually see them undertake a complete boycott of any celebration, building, park, arena, etc. named in honour of the monsters who promoted the slaughter of our ancestors. In honour of the memories of our persecuted ancestors, can we in good conscience aspire to do anything less?
Daniel N. Paul

Andre Cramblit, Operations Director
Northern California Indian Development Council
241F Street Eureka California 95501
(707) 445-8451

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October Is Anti-Bullying Month

October Is Anti-Bullying Month
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Working Together to Provide Resources to Prevent Bullying This Month and Every Month

October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month and it’s a good time for schools (including personnel and students), communities, districts, and states to take stock of current efforts to reduce and prevent bullying.

Do current school climates make students feel safe, allowing them to thrive academically and socially? Are youth comfortable speaking up if they are being bullied? Are members of the community engaged and are the media aware of best practices when it comes to reporting bullying stories? Continue Reading

Andre Cramblit, Operations Director
You are receiving this email because your have requested to part of the list or your job is related to American Indian education.

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Ethnic Impostors (cultural appropriation)

Beware of Ethnic Imposters does seem to go unchallenged and accepted for a White person to impersonate a Native American. New Age “spiritual” Native Americans, shamanism, and cultural appropriation are just a few examples of modern ethnic imposters. There is an obvious monetary gain for those that exploit Native culture in this way.
There is another, more sinister, type of imposter. In many communities ethnic imposters are often mentally ill people who have borderline personality traits that adopt values, habits and attitudes of the Native people that they spend time with. There may or may not be a monetary value in this practice but there is something else to be gained by these ethnic imposters. These individuals have a significant and persistent unstable self-image or sense of self and present as righteous avengers of past mistreatment. Nobody has been more mistreated then Native Americans (in the individuals thinking) and so these individuals take on the persona, often change their name to something Native sounding and reinvent themselves. Soon the individuals are assuming leadership roles in the political or activist realm which takes away from legitimate Native voices which are often ignored or silenced by the media.
Traditionally Native American people don’t challenge others’ claim to be Native as it is thought to be harmless but it is important that ethnic imposters be challenged on cultural appropriation on all levels because culture is the only thing remaining after colonization has stripped everything else away.

Native American wannabes: Beware the Weasel Spirit

by Lou Bendrick

I once stayed at an upscale spa that had a Native American theme. We padded around on Navajo rugs, awoke to morning drumming and disrobed in locker rooms referred to as kivas. At night, instead  of finding a chocolate on my pillow, there was a woven dream catcher. This failed to soothe my Spirit Self. In fact, I fretted: Was that dream catcher made by an impoverished person on a reservation while my fat ass was at a spa?

I've always been the guilty type. This guilt is why I'm unable to retain an open mind when it comes to my town's latest craze: Native American spirituality, known widely as the Born-Again Navajo movement. (Okay, I just made that term up.)

Although Telluride, Colo., is not approaching Sedona-like sensibilities (as far as I can tell, no one has sent an energy cone up to the mother ship), former dentists here do rename themselves Moonfeather She-Wolf and Blackcloud Dancer. Peruse the local newspaper and you might find Shamanic Healers listed next to Windshield Repair Services in the classified ads. Moonlight drumming is the second-most popular activity after golf.

Amid Born-Again Navajos (most often New Jersey-born Caucasians), spirit animals, or totems, are the latest trendy pets. I thought totems were carved things sold next to the rubber tomahawks. Of course, I also thought a sweat lodge was pretty much the same thing as a Swedish sauna.

This cultural ignorance is why I have chosen the spirit name White Dork. True, I could have picked Rainbow Claw Warrior or Crying Sunshine She-Bear, but White Dork seemed somehow more fitting. Most Born-Again Navajos have spirit animals, charismatic megafauna such as wolves, bears or eagles. I think I've finally found my own spirit animal, too: The weasel. Small and beady-eyed, symbol of irritation.

Like many Americans, I found myself "questing" for life's deeper meaning, attempting to find a less patriarchal, more nature-based spirituality. This is why I recently participated in a ceremony that involved a new moon (that is, no moon), chanting, drumming, singing off-key, rattles, water bowls, feathers and several New Jersey-born women huddled around a lump of charcoal in lieu of a campfire on the deck of a condo. (Let me remind you, I have chosen the name White Dork.) While parts of this ceremony were beautiful and meditative, I felt something was missing. Namely, a Native American.

True to form, I felt guilty, too, like I'd performed a Japanese tea ceremony at a backyard barbecue or received holy communion at Wal-Mart. I felt like a White Dork who was taking the best of another culture's spirituality without earning it, looking for a New Age quick fix instead of doing the long, hard work of self-exploration. I was a hypocrite, conveniently adopting values but not living them - communing with animal spirits and buying shrink-wrapped beef.

While much of this cultural co-opting is at heart very well-meaning, Native Americans are getting weary, if not pissed off. Members of the Lakota tribe have declared war on exploiters of their ancient spirituality. Their declaration states that they have "suffered the unspeakable indignity of having our most precious Lakota ceremonies and spiritual practices desecrated, mocked and abused by non-Indian "wannabes," hucksters, cultists, commercial profiteers and self-styled "New Age" retail stores and ... pseudo religious corporations have been formed to charge people money for admission into phony "sweatlodges' and "vision quest" programs ..."

Born-Again Navajos - if they're devout - must take this declaration of war seriously. After all, among its soldiers are White Dork and her Spirit Weasel, pathfinder of cynicism and King of the Rodent World. Together they will rain on the parade of any Rainbow Spirit Journey - and then go take holy communion at Wal-Mart.

Lou "White Dork" Bendrick is a contributor to Writers on the Range, a service of High Country News ( She lives in Telluride, Colorado.

Top Ten Ways to tell if you are from the Wannabi (want to be) Clan

By Dr. Coyote (borrowed and adapted from an earlier posting)

10. You were born white but just realized that there was a possibility that you are native, you just don't know what tribe, and so you joined AIM or you know you are native because of your cheekbones or feel it in your soul.  And dang I just enjoy buffalo burgers or jerky so I must be….

9. You think Russell Means is a god, and he can do no wrong, or support Leonard even though you are not quite sure if he is innocent or guilty or what exactly the particulars are of that case?

8. You think Fry Bread is traditional food and smoking a cigarette or using commercial tobacco outside your tipi/tent counts as a prayer.

7. Protesting for Indian rights (doesn't matter what tribe) means a sit in or holding a sign while trying to wear your new ribbon shirt you bought from the white guy at the local "trading post".  Well only if it fits in your schedule and you happen to be in the area (within a 10 minute drive and there is free parking)

6. You go to the local Indian bar and buy the ndns drinks cuz you want to talk about their customs and "culture” and sing pow wow songs like the old times and just hang with the skins, but cant stand the idea of a warm tall bud at 10 AM on the side of the road after sawing up firewood or being up all night hunting or fishing

5. You try to date an ndn girl but you decide she's too round and rugged for your tastes (and her name wasn’t Running Deer) and her hair wasn’t jet black anyway and it was short so you decide to date the hippie wannabes with the hemp jewelry and long hair instead, plus she has a dog that is part wolf and your think you are wolf clan ennit.

4. You get the pre-requisite tribal tattoo placed where everyone can  see it, so they can ask you what tribe you are, but no one ever  does OR your car is carefully calculated to look “NDN” (i.e. dream catchers or safety pin headdresses on the mirror or bumper stickers bought from a vendor at a pow wow) OR the more tacky beadwork the better and  you wear your hair long for no particular reason and braid it because it looks cool, and hey doesn’t the smell of burning sage in your clothes make you smell Indian?

3. You find your beadwork for your regalia in a pawnshop and  proudly wear it at every powwow not knowing that everyone who is a  serious powwow person knows where you got it from and you've only been to contest powwows and no traditional powwows  because they don't run them on time and every one shows up late.  (ndn time) Besides going to every Pow Wow in every small town is what it really means to be on the red road right?  Traditional ceremony, isn’t that a pow wow?

2. You had a vision or sweat and found out you were Indian all along but just separated from the people and need to reconnect with the blood…What live on a reservation(or urban relocation area)  with no electricity and get paid $9 an hour if you can find a job , commodity cheese what is that?  Get all my health care from the IHS Clinic????

And the Number 1 way to tell if you are from the Wannabi (want to be) Clan DRUMROLL…

1. You use phrases like ennit and NDN cause you are a true skin and you are easily offended and whine about this post because while some of it is true about others….HEY, who in the hell does that Dr. Coyote thinks he is judging me as a Native if he ain’t walked in my moccasins…

(just laugh!)


Octogenarian Preserved An Endangered Native American Language (language)

How An Octogenarian Preserved An Endangered Native American Language

Jordan Kushins
Yesterday 8:30pm

It's easy to take translations for granted when Google can swap between Albanian and Zulu with the click of a button, but even that tech has real world limitations. Marie Wilcox is the last fluent speaker of Wukchumni, one of 130 different endangered Native American languages in the United States that don't have any kind of digital—or analog—legacy.

Over the course of seven years in California's San Joaquin Valley, she worked with her daughter and grandson to catalog everything she knows about the language. First, she hand-scrawled memories on scraps of paper; then, she hunt-and-pecked on an old keyboard to complete a dictionary and type out legends like "How We Got Our Hands." Next, she recorded the whole thing on audio for pronunciation—it's very specific!—and posterity.

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​and video clip ​

Cultural Exchange or Cultural Appropriation 

Cultural appropriation is a term that isn’t often heard in daily conversation, which means it’s inevitably misunderstood by those who feel attacked by feminists, sociologically-informed bloggers, and others who use the term.

Many a white person sporting dreadlocks or a bindi online has taken cultural appropriation to mean the policing of what white people can or can’t wear and enjoy.

Having considered their fashion choices a form of personal expression, some may feel unfairly targeted for simply dressing and acting in a way that feels comfortable for them.

The same can be said for those who find criticisms of the Harlem Shake meme and whatever it is Miley Cyrus did last month to be an obnoxious form of hipsterdom – just because something has origins in black culture, they say, doesn’t mean white artists can’t emulate and enjoy it.

And then there are people who believe that everything is cultural appropriation – from the passing around of gun powder to the worldwide popularity of tea.

They’re tired of certain forms of cultural appropriation – like models in Native American headdressesbeing labeled as problematic while many of us are gorging on Chipotle burritos, doing yoga, and popping sushi into our mouths with chopsticks.

They have a point.

Where do we draw the line between “appropriate” forms of cultural exchange and more damaging patterns of cultural appropriation?

To be honest, I don’t know that there is a thin, straight line between them.

But even if the line between exchange and appropriation bends, twists, and loop-de-loops in ways it would take decades of academic thought to unpack, it has a definite starting point: Respect.

What Cultural Exchange Is Not

One of the reasons that cultural appropriation is a hard concept to grasp for so many is that Westerners are used to pressing their own culture onto others and taking what they want in return.

We tend to think of this as cultural exchange when really, it’s no more an exchange than pressuring your neighbors to adopt your ideals while stealing their family heirlooms.

True cultural exchange is not the process of “Here’s my culture, I’ll have some of yours” that we sometimes think it is. It’s something that should be mutual.

Just because Indian Americans wear business suits doesn’t mean all Americans own bindis and saris. Just because some black Americans straighten their hair doesn’t mean all Americans own dreadlocks.

The fact is, Western culture invites and, at times, demands assimilation. Not every culture has chosen to open itself up to being adopted by outsiders in the same way.

And there’s good reason for that.

“Ethnic” clothes and hairstyles are still stigmatized as unprofessional, “cultural” foods are treated as exotic past times, and the vernacular of people of color is ridiculed and demeaned.

So there is an unequal exchange between Western culture – an all-consuming mishmash of over-simplified and sellable foreign influences with a dash each of Coke and Pepsi – and marginalized cultures.

People of all cultures wear business suits and collared shirts to survive. But when one is of the dominant culture, adopting the clothing, food, or slang of other cultures has nothing to do with survival.

So as free as people should be to wear whatever hair and clothing they enjoy, using someone else’s cultural symbols to satisfy a personal need for self-expression is an exercise in privilege.

Because for those of us who have felt forced and pressured to change the way we look, behave, and speak just to earn enough respect to stay employed and safe, our modes of self-expression are still limited.

African American Vernacular English (AAVE) is consistently treated as lesser than Standard English, but people whitewash black slang and use expressions they barely understand as punch lines, or to make themselves seem cool.

People shirk “ethnic” clothes in corporate culture, but wear bastardized versions of them on Halloween.

There is no exchange, understanding, or respect in such cases – only taking.

What Cultural Exchange Can Look Like

That doesn’t mean that cultural exchange never happens, or that we can never partake in one another’s cultures. But there needs to be some element of mutual understanding, equality, and respect for it to be a true exchange.

I remember that at my sister’s wedding, the groom – who happened to be white – changed midway through the ceremony along with my sister into modern, but fairly traditional, Nigerian clothes.

Even though some family members found it amusing, there was never any undertone of the clothes being treated as a costume or “experience” for a white person to enjoy for a little bit and discard later. He was invited – both as a new family member and a guest – to engage our culture in this way.

If he had been obnoxious about it – treated it as exotic or weird or pretended he now understood what it means to be Nigerian and refused to wear Western clothes ever again – the experience would have been more appropriative.

But instead, he wore them from a place of respect.

That’s what cultural exchange can look like – engaging with a culture as a respectful and humble guest, invitation only.

Don’t overstay your welcome. Don’t pretend to be a part of the household. Don’t make yourself out to be an honored guest whom the householders should be grateful to entertain and educate for hours on end.

Don’t ask a bunch of personal questions or make light of something that’s clearly a sore spot. Just act like any polite house guest would by being attentive and knowing your boundaries.

If, instead, you try to approach another culture as a mooch, busybody, or interloper, you will be shown the door. It’s that simple.

Well, maybe not as simple when you move beyond the metaphor and into the real world. If you’re from a so-called melting pot nation, you know what’s it’s like to be a perpetual couch surfer moving through the domains of many cultures.

Where Defining Cultural Appropriation Gets Messy

Is the Asian fusion takeout I order every week culturally appropriative? Even though I’m Black, is wearing dreadlocks appropriating forms of religious expression that really don’t belong to me?

Is meditating cultural appropriation? Is Western yoga appropriation? Is eating a burrito, cosplaying, being truly fascinated by another culture, decorating with Shoji screens, or wearing a headscarf cultural appropriation?

There are so many things that have been chopped up, recolored, and tossed together to make up Western culture that even when we know things are appropriative in some way, we find them hard to let go of.

And then there are the things that have been freely shared by other cultures – Buddhism for example – that have been both respected and bastardized at different turns in the process of exchange.

At times, well-meaning people who struggle with their own appropriative behavior turn to textbooks, online comment boards, Google, and Tumblr ask boxes in search of a clear cut answer to the question, “Is this [insert pop culture thing, hairstyle, tattoo, or personal behavior here] cultural appropriation?”

That’s a question we have to educate ourselves enough to, if not answer, think critically about.

We have a responsibility to listen to people of marginalized cultures, understand as much as possible the blatant and subtle ways in which their cultures have been appropriated and exploited, and educate ourselves enough to make informed choices when it comes to engaging with people of other cultures.

So if you’re reading this and you’re tired of people giving white women wearing bindis crap for appropriating because “freedom of speech,” recognize that pointing out cultural appropriation is not personal.

This isn’t a matter of telling people what to wear. It’s a matter of telling people that they don’t wear things in a vacuum and there are many social and historical implications to treating marginalized cultures like costumes.

It’s also not a matter of ignoring “real” issues in favor of criticizing the missteps of a few hipsters, fashion magazines, or baseball teams.

Cultural appropriation is itself a real issue because it demonstrates the imbalance of power that still remains between cultures that have been colonized and the ex-colonizers.


Regardless, this is not an article asking you to over-analyze everything you do and wrack yourself with guilt.

Because honestly, no one cares about your guilt, no one cares about your hurt feelings, and no one cares about your clothes or hair when they’re pointing out cultural appropriation.

When someone’s behavior is labeled culturally appropriative, it’s usually not about that specific person being horrible and evil.

It’s about a centuries’ old pattern of taking, stealing, exploiting, and misunderstanding the history and symbols that are meaningful to people of marginalized cultures.

The intentions of the inadvertent appropriator are irrelevant in this context.

Therefore, what this article is asking you to do is educate yourself, listen, and be open to reexamining the symbols you use without thinking, the cultures you engage with without understanding, and the historical and social climate we all need to be seeing.