View Full Version : Invisible Indians/Invisible History
Jun 17th, 2004, 5:14 PM
I decided to start this thread because there has been an inaccurate comment or two here and there about Indigenous People. These comments have ranged from basic myths, total lack of recognition of Indian contribution, commenting as if we dont exist "today" and even that we should just give it up and assimilate (a veiled stab that our culture is worth little today and it belongs in history books :Blbl:). Ive placed it here since what Ill be posting can be found in historical works.
People have also asked questions and posted good info which is great! But since it seems to crop up quite often since I have big, proud fingers that wont hesitate to elevate Indigenous People and it usually is OT for that particular thread, I made a "home" of sorts here.
Im not doing this to slam anyone and this thread is not for the purposes of attacking people. I can use their own commentary in the thread it was posted in for that. Its just simply for people to be able to educate themselves on historical facts that they may not have been taught about in school or if they want to learn, dont know where to look. I will however, post information in answer if innaccuracy has been posted elsewhere.
Feel free to ask any questions, just dont expect a certain answer. And if you dont agree with the answer well hey, you asked.
Now my disclaimer, I am NOT a teacher or "Elder", I DO NOT hold any "important" position in the Indian community, I wasnt raised on the "rez" and I do not speak for the people of Indian Country. I am NOT a "shaman" and I wont talk about specific ceremony unless it is a very general answer. Im just simply someone who is very protective of Indigenous culture and thrilled when someone from the "outside" wants to know the truth.
Jun 17th, 2004, 5:27 PM
What is the correct pronunciation for Noquisi? I was collecting my son from school earlier today and running through a few half-baked guesses. It would be nice to get it right, even if it is just a thought process while reading your posts.
Jun 17th, 2004, 5:41 PM
What is the correct pronunciation for Noquisi? I was collecting my son from school earlier today and running through a few half-baked guesses. It would be nice to get it right, even if it is just a thought process while reading your posts. Thanks for asking! "Noquisi" is Cherokee for "star". I chose the nic because I had been reading through the AO forum and realized there were quite a few star and sky buffs out there and Cherokee were/are no different. Much of our oral history is based on stories of the stars and sky including the "creation" of earth.
It is pronounced "nokweesee" in the closest of english sound translation. If you would like to hear how it sounds coming from a native speaker, go to this link...
Cherokee Lexicon (http://www.cherokee.org/Culture/Lexicon.asp)
You can put in any english word and if there is a Cherokee translation, you can see how it would be in Cherokee and hear it pronounced. You can also put in Cherokee words and find out what they translate to in english. :thumbs:
Jun 17th, 2004, 6:00 PM
Thankyou, that was really cool. I'll probably keep returning to the link.
By the way, Ghosts avatar is not a picture of him and the picture is over ten years old. (Jan'93). He'd better watch he doesn't get his backside sued. He's just having a laugh at someones expense.
I look forward to finding out more. Diolch yn fawr. (Welsh for 'thankyou very much).
Jun 17th, 2004, 6:17 PM
I chose to use the word "invisible" because it fits with alot of thinking from other people I meet and encounter.
Way back in my "powwow" days I was told a story from another Cherokee. They had been walking by the vendors booths and had overheard a woman tell a child that there were no "real" Indians anymore, that we were extinct. I can imagine how hurt this person felt because Ive heard it myself more than I care to think about. I have even had people get in my face and tell me that all the Indians are dead.
I remembered that story after being sent an email about a book discussing the rise of Indigenous power here in North America and the influence it has had on other Indigenous cultures, specifically in Latin American countries.
I wont post the entire excerpt here except for this piece that I found to be very enlightening...
The resurgence of the indigenous peoples of the Americas means many things. One is that there are usually cracks somewhere in the inevitable and the obvious. Another is that capitalism and state socialism do not define the range of possibilities, for the indigenous nations often represent significantly different ways of imagining and administrating social and economic systems as well as of connecting spirituality to politics. Indigenous people have been relegated again and again to history's graveyard; as the Zapatistas and other visionaries and insurrectionaries they have, instead, generated the birth of another future. "Another world is possible" has become a rallying cry, and in some ways this is their world, the other future drawn from another past recovered despite everything. This resurgence also demonstrates the sidelong ways of change: from an argument in Geneva to a land mass in northern Canada, from a critique of the past to a new path into the future, from ideas and words to land and power. This is how history is made, out of such unlikely materials, and of hope.
Rebecca Solnit is the author of 'Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities' (from which this piece is an excerpt) and seven other books, including 'River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West.' She lives in San Francisco.
Most specifically was this that caught my attention and stirred up for me to name the thread the way I did...
Indigenous people have been relegated again and again to history's graveyard You can read the whole excerpt here...
Thanks for visiting.
Jun 17th, 2004, 6:19 PM
Thank You DN for taking the time to teach thoes of us willing to learn. Might just learn a few words in Cherokee. Just learned the first one! Noquisi = Star and to be able to hear how it is pronounced well that is just icing on the cake!
Jun 17th, 2004, 6:24 PM
Thankyou, that was really cool. I'll probably keep returning to the link. Your welcome.
By the way, Ghosts avatar is not a picture of him... Damn!
You will have to watch your backside as well. My sister visits these forums on occasion and is a great fan of the Welsh, especially the men. :nudge:
Jun 17th, 2004, 6:53 PM
Thank You DN for taking the time to teach thoes of us willing to learn. Might just learn a few words in Cherokee. Just learned the first one! Noquisi = Star and to be able to hear how it is pronounced well that is just icing on the cake! Youre welcome, or in Cherokee gvlieliga (for some reason this one is not in the Lexicon). I forgot that in the Lexicon you can also see the word in the Cherokee syllabary. Its not an alphabet because the symbols represent sounds, not letters.
The Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma(CNO) or "Western Band" and the Eastern Band(EB) Cherokee have made great strides in furthering the learning and teaching of our culture (not spirituality, thats a private matter) to anyone who wants to learn it, not just among ourselves. The CNO have been more aggressive in getting this information out. Although most people who are interested are usually of Cherokee lineage, its not uncommon for others to attend classes. What is even better, they made language classes available online because they recognize that many of us on the "outside" want to still keep in touch with our heritage and learn it if we dont know it.
Jun 17th, 2004, 9:36 PM
Feel free to ask any questions, just dont expect a certain answer. And if you dont agree with the answer well hey, you asked.
Hi Defiant Noquisi! I'm very curious to know, are you a full blood Cherokee? I just get this image in my head that most Indians (particularly the men) are some what similar to John Redcorn from King of the Hill . Pardon my ignorance, I have little knowledge. Beat some sense into me!
Jun 18th, 2004, 9:06 AM
You will have to watch your backside as well. My sister visits these forums on occasion and is a great fan of the Welsh, especially the men.
Your sister has good taste Defiant Noquisi I haven't been disappointed by a Welshman yet and your link was educational. Who is the woman in your picture? She looks both strong and beautiful. is that battle dress or some other form of traditional clothing?
Jun 18th, 2004, 10:04 AM
Hi Defiant Noquisi! I'm very curious to know, are you a full blood Cherokee? I just get this image in my head that most Indians (particularly the men) are some what similar to John Redcorn from King of the Hill . Pardon my ignorance, I have little knowledge. Beat some sense into me! I am not full blood, I am a mutt. At least your view of us being like John Redcorn is more modern day than many I have encountered who think we all still live in tipi's, which Cherokee never lived in.
Victor Aaron (Yaqui) was the man with the voice behind John Redcorn. Sadly, Victor was killed in a car crash 4 months before the episode even aired.
He was also on an episode of Dr. Quinn/Medicine Woman
Jun 18th, 2004, 10:21 AM
Your sister has good taste Defiant Noquisi I haven't been disappointed by a Welshman yet and your link was educational. Who is the woman in your picture? She looks both strong and beautiful. is that battle dress or some other form of traditional clothing? I dont know much about that with Sis but hopefully well be headed kind of in that direction next fall. We were going to go to Northern England this year but there is too much to do.
The woman in that picture is none other than Sandahl Bergman who was dressed in her "Immortal Valeria" costume for the movie "Conan, the Barbarian", one of my very favorite fantasy movies.
Its also kind of a "bookend" for the avatar of the hottest man on AO if not alive, Vegas Ronin. :D
Jun 18th, 2004, 11:36 AM
Thanks Defiant Noquisi. I've seen the film at least twice, I just didn't recognise it. What about the traditional Native American dress, did they dress as portrayed in the old western films, was there different dress for different occasions? Were the woman respected as equals and did they all have the beautiful long black hair or are these just hollywood stereotypes?
Jun 18th, 2004, 1:24 PM
the hottest man on AO if not alive, Vegas Ronin
You know, the ladies always love my smile...Don't you?
Jun 20th, 2004, 3:16 AM
Thanks Defiant Noquisi. I've seen the film at least twice, I just didn't recognise it. What about the traditional Native American dress, did they dress as portrayed in the old western films, was there different dress for different occasions? Were the woman respected as equals and did they all have the beautiful long black hair or are these just hollywood stereotypes? You nailed it on the head with "Hollywood stereotypes", well, for the most part.
The type of attire you see in those old Westerns was very similar to what the Plains tribes would wear. However, it seems that alot of Indians in those movies wore headresses. The problem is that very few wore those. They were reserved for a man that had attained very high honors and bravery as well as becoming a Chief and/or medicine man in their respective community.
Another problem with those movies is that by the time they were filmed, Plains Indians for the most part werent wearing that type of clothing anymore. By that time, most all Plains Indians had been rounded up into concentration camps aka "reservations". Most of the buffalo had been killed off, deer and other game animals used for skins were inaccessible because Indians wernt allowed to leave the reservations.
There are over 550 federally recognized Indian Nations in the US. Each Nations clothing was different from the other. Take for instance the Cherokee, before european contact the woman wore a skin draped over one shoulder similar to a toga and a wrap around skirt. Kids ran around with the least amount of clothing possible, nudity wasnt something to be ashamed of. Men wore a type of breechcloth and the shirt was kind of like a short bathrobe with a belt that tied it.
Hair was different too. Cherokee women wore theirs as long as they could grow it. The men would shave their heads or wore what was called a "scalplock" which is everything shaved except for a patch of hair that was long in length.
Here is a link where you can compare clothing styles of different regions and nations as well as comparing them to what you have seen in the movies...
Here is a description of post contact dress from the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma that is still worn today on special occasions...
Jun 20th, 2004, 3:18 AM
You know, the ladies always love my smile...Don't you?
MacCheeeeeezThat is quite a grin MacTootha! :D
Jun 20th, 2004, 11:53 AM
I really enjoyed looking at all the different attire. No surprise to learn that Hollywood was taking liberties, it is in their nature. They would gladly re-write history to suit themselves. The sad thing then is that someone watches a film and thinks they know the facts.
I admire you for keeping your origins alive and putting the work in on the research, you really know your stuff and it must give you immense pride. I hope so anyway. Thankyou.
Jun 20th, 2004, 9:32 PM
I really enjoyed looking at all the different attire. No surprise to learn that Hollywood was taking liberties, it is in their nature. They would gladly re-write history to suit themselves. The sad thing then is that someone watches a film and thinks they know the facts. No kidding! Look what they did to Sir William Wallace in "Braveheart" as well as the liberties they took in "Gladiator". Entertaining most certainly and based on actual history, of course. But "factual?" Not so!
I admire you for keeping your origins alive and putting the work in on the research, you really know your stuff and it must give you immense pride. I hope so anyway. Thankyou. Thanks for the good words. I do my best to learn from the people who live it everyday, not from books or movies. Many people believe that we live in the past, our beliefs are archaic and that we should just pack it in and become "progressive". These are the same people that wouldnt tell a Jew, Christian or Buddhist the very same thing.
We all have a "past" and it is up to each of us as individuals to decide how we live our lives and whether or not we choose to have ties with what happened in the past.
The problem for many modern day Indigenous people is that outsiders want to place us in the past because we are still grounded in our ancestral traditions. Somehow they miss that we live for today. That would be similar to expecting a Jew and/or Christian to put on woven skirts and wearing sandals in order to practice their beliefs.
I spoke at the school my son attended and the first question I asked them was, "What do you think of when you hear the term Indian or Native American?" Here it is 2004 and the answers still surprise me;
Feathers and long hair
War Chants such as "WooWooWoo" and smacking their hands to their lips
I think you get the idea. So I asked them have they ever thought that Indians were capable of using cell phones, driving semi-trucks and watching the Weather Channel? They were pretty embarrased but they got the idea. Young people are generally more accepting (once they learn if they didnt know already) that Indians are not much different than anyone else. As I type this I am using a computer and wearing sweat pants and my pickup truck, not a pony, is parked outside. :D
I guess it shouldnt surprise me since most history books depict the Indians of the past painted with war paint and wearing feathers and skins. A few books have updated "slightly" with a picture of Indians at powwows but again, at many powwows the dancers are wearing some form of old traditional clothing in honor of the ancestors or an updated colorful regalia. This type of clothing is certainly not what is worn everyday!
Our past is our future. Us passing on our old ways isnt any different than teaching early American history, practicing an old religion or upholding the Constitution.
We survive and are alive here and now. Every fight we win, every treaty we try to have upheld and every person we teach that we are still here ensures our survival. Every assimilation project we beat, every government genocide project we discover and every chance we have at protecting soveriegnty will gaurentee it. We dont want to end up as memories in history books and remains in museums.
Jun 22nd, 2004, 8:18 PM
Spending more then a few years on the Coeur d'Alene indian reservation located in the panhandle of Idaho with a full blooded Arapahoe as my stepmom (even now) I can comment on some of the misconceptions facing Native people, as well as say some of the problems previously held by Natives are working slowly away because and this is in the last decade.
When I lived there I lived in a basic home (all homes looked alike came in 2 or 3 colors and went a few blocks) provided by the government. There was a nice size lumber yard there as well as a clinic a store (Benewah Market) a few basic mom and pop operations. There was a Native school with a poor attendance and the main school (Plummer/Worley later Lakeside) dogs where rampant and wild, you literally had to watch your ass or you could become dog food, alcohol abuse was rampant as well as marijuana smoking. Most of the Coeur d'Alene tribe lived off government monies, luckily at the time my father worked at the lumber mill and my step mom got monthly checks from the oil companies using her tribes lands.
I had a lot of fun out there did a lot of things, woods, rivers, lakes all around that was the life for a kid I loved it but there where problems, suicide was a large one and happened at a rate that you would not see in most other small American towns, spousal, physical assaults where a problem as well.
I went to many Pow Wows of many different tribes, from state to state from Montana to Oregon as my mom created authentic tribal wear (When I say authentic I mean from skinning the deer to letting the hide stink to high heaven to scraping it with a sharp bone to holding it together with the sinew(sp) the backstrap of the deer) which she sold for extra money at the events as well as participated in them.
Jump fast forward about a decade last time I went there about 7 years ago, the casino's and bingo hall where open, the old "same" houses where still there but now you see something else, new paint, nice yards, nice cars, flowers on the side of the road, new buildings, new homes being built, a new tribal school with a high attendence, clinic with modern technology all this because they got the one thing other states are denying them, a means to make money.
Jun 22nd, 2004, 11:07 PM
from skinning the deer to letting the hide stink to high heaven to scraping it with a sharp bone to holding it together with the sinew Ive still got a deer hide and 3 coon hides to cure.
all this because they got the one thing other states are denying them, a means to make money. Damn straight on that. Many people think that the government pays for everything and sends money to everyone similar to welfare.
Ill get more into this one later. I need sleep.
Jun 27th, 2004, 5:22 PM
Im posting info from Australia in regards to the Aboriginal People there.
Canberra April 16, 2004. Australia's 14-year experiment with indigenous self-government is over, with the Howard Government yesterday announcing it would abolish the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission. In a frightening move of defiance directed towards the Indigenous people of Australia, Prime Minister John Howard has discussed plans to abolish the Aboriginal self-government project known as ASTIC.
ASTIC has had many problems over the years and Howard hasnt helped matters, it has always appeared that ASTIC was in his crosshairs. However, the importance of ASTIC cannot be diluted. When the program was created, it was the first time Aboriginal People had a dedicated, stronger and more national voice.
Howard has had his own troubles in the past, he allegedly has mislead Parliment more than a few times and has been unbending in his opinions towards ASTIC and Aboriginal People in general. But rather than fixing what is broken or replacing it with something else, Howard wants it dissolved and broken up into no less than eight departments with Aboriginals appointed into consultant positions. What this means is that Aboriginals will no longer have a dedicated voice of their own in federal government.
Under Howard's new plan, those services will be divided among no fewer than eight government departments. A group of Aborigines will be chosen as consultants to the government agencies, but Aborigines will no longer have a dedicated voice in the federal government. Thus they will again become clients of white power, buffeted by good intentions, cultural ignorance and bureaucratic confusion.
Jun 27th, 2004, 8:45 PM
Under Howard's new plan, those services will be divided among no fewer than eight government departments. A group of Aborigines will be chosen as consultants to the government agencies, but Aborigines will no longer have a dedicated voice in the federal government. Thus they will again become clients of white power, buffeted by good intentions, cultural ignorance and bureaucratic confusion. As long as the aboriginals aren't persecuted in any way, I'm in agreement with the decision. Its a textbook case of culture shock. The aboriginals are the closest thing to primordial man still living, and that's not meant as an insult; if anything its a tribute to all of mankind. For whatever reason, they as a people elected to live in the stone age prior to the white man's intervention. Now that the white man is there, he's not leaving, and the aboriginals either can not or will not govern/manage themselves the way whites do. The aboriginal's only hope of survival is assimilation. Which a lot of them have done (The departed lead singer of INXS was 1/2 aboriginal). The old tribal ways of many cultures should be remembered but not adopted as a real way of life in today's society. Any leader that espouses such, will lead his people to certain death.
Jun 27th, 2004, 9:26 PM
aboriginal's only hope of survival is assimilation. Which a lot of them have done (The departed lead singer of INXS was 1/2 aboriginal). The old tribal ways of many cultures should be remembered but not adopted as a real way of life in today's society. Any leader that espouses such, will lead his people to certain death. Yeah, that guy committed suicide too. Great example.
If you were not one of the sexiest men alive, I would blast your post for the cultural ignorance that it is as well as your rude "hit and run" tactic in the chatroom.
However, since you ARE one of the sexiest men alive and since this thread is for educational purposes, I will ignore your insolence and disrespect.
I will caution other readers that the above example is exactly the type of rhetoric that propagates cultural genocide today. Since VR is uneducated in the ways of Indigenous people, he does not understand how our culture is not something we can just set aside like a book on a table. For us, giving up our culture IS death so he might as well kill us now. What he also fails to realize is that even though many did "assimilate", they were NOT treated as equal and instead were treated as the lowest of life forms. That type of treatment is hardly proof that one should give up their entire way of life and beliefs for something "better".
Also, there are many other cultures besides the Aboriginals that choose to try and live as best they can in a traditional manner despite the encroachment of modern life. It is hardly the business of one person to dictate how another should live their life.
Since death by protecting our culture IS honor, there would be little argument as to what way most Indigenous people might go and that includes myself. Assimilation is NOT the answer but we already know that the real answer that will clean up this travesty of bias is coming and is discussed quite frequently here.
There is only one fight you will get out of me VR. Red Sonja says so. ::P: :Bott:
Jun 27th, 2004, 10:18 PM
Yeah, that guy committed suicide too. Great example. I would argue that his lifestyle led to his demise and not anything cultural, in an ethnic way.
If you were not one of the sexiest men alive, I would blast your post for the cultural ignorance that it is as well as your rude "hit and run" tactic in the chatroom. Hah! Who needs Micky when we have you?! I wanted to get your attention, and nobody else's my dear. :fencing:
Since VR is uneducated in the ways of Indigenous people, he does not understand how our culture is not something we can just set aside like a book on a table. For us, giving up our culture IS death so he might as well kill us now. You don't have to give up your culture. Just adapt it to modern life. My culture is all but dead. Like Warf in Star Trek, I find honor in working/fighting for the Federation; whilst drawing strength from my Savage background.
Assimilation is NOT the answer but we already know that the real answer that will clean up this travesty of bias is coming and is discussed quite frequently here. This may well be true. It may be the more Savage that are able to survive or it may be the ones that the Federation deem an asset. I'll approach the situation from the apropiate angle. I know that's a Merc way of looking at it but hey, I am Ronin after all. :jap:
Jun 27th, 2004, 11:41 PM
I would argue that his lifestyle led to his demise and not anything cultural, in an ethnic way. Very true. Still, it was very sad to hear that this exceptional musician and writer felt he had no reason to live. RIP
Hah! Who needs Micky when we have you?! I wanted to get your attention, and nobody else's my dear. Well you most certainly did! Thanks for the flowers but I could never replace the king of merciless spin doctors.
You don't have to give up your culture. Just adapt it to modern life. My culture is all but dead. Dear, I am reading and responding to posts via a computer with broadband, I drive big trucks and I use a cellphone. How much more modern must I be? One of the most traditional Elders I know owns a construction company. However, just as much as it is our choice to live as we do, we also support the Elders who have chosen to remain less influenced by modern conveniences. The strength and survival of our Nation depends on it.
As far as your culture being all but dead, Im not sure about all of them but I do know that the Seminoles are alive, doing well and the culture is still strong. I respect your choice to be culture nuetral, but if you did decide to learn and/or affiliate with your Seminole roots, I know right where to take you and would very happily do so. :yumyum: :kiss:
Like Warf in Star Trek, I find honor in working/fighting for the Federation; whilst drawing strength from my Savage background. You can do that and be traditionally minded. I work for two leaders and two Nations and I find honor in both.
This may well be true. It may be the more Savage that are able to survive or it may be the ones that the Federation deem an asset. I'll approach the situation from the apropiate angle. I know that's a Merc way of looking at it but hey, I am Ronin after all. Yes, those who can adapt to the change will survive but it will be a whole new world. The ones with the most strength and knowledge of the old ways might be the most likely candidates but who knows? We might end up with a "Close Encounters" type ending.
Jun 28th, 2004, 9:09 AM
This is a bit off topic but i recently came across an oddity while navigating with www.globexplorer.com. Its very curious & i think people should take a look. I have no idea what this site is but it may be very easily explained by mining or something.
Believe me or not, it was the first place i zoomed into. It seems to be very easy to find from a nationwide map of America.
Long: -106.59047 (use www.globexplorer.com )
Its located West between the San Andreas Mts. & Oscoro Range/Mts. of New Mexico. Nearest Holloman AFB. I'm not positive but i believe from the research ive done that it is in a restricted government/military area. I spoke to a Mescalero resident who has told me they have some rights to visit some area's there with gov't permission.
If anyone knows what this site is, please let me know as its really bugging me now.
Jun 28th, 2004, 7:47 PM
That's a cool site but its way off topic. Start a new thread with it.
Jun 30th, 2004, 4:49 PM
The 500 Years Committee is a group of people dedicated to educating the public about the use of Indian people as mascots and names for sports teams, most particularly the "Cleveland Indians". Check it out....
Committee of 500 Years (www.geocities.com/comm500years)
Jul 7th, 2004, 5:20 PM
Yes the same would obviously go for the NFL franchise of your nations capital. These names were probably given many years ago and I'd like to think that new teams would not be given such names.
Do you know of any examples of teams naming their sides out of respect for the native people?
It shouldn't matter how long the names of the sport franchises have been going, they should change their names if people are genuinely offended. Admit that the people of yesteryear were wrong, change the name and move on. :respect:
Jul 7th, 2004, 6:46 PM
Yes the same would obviously go for the NFL franchise of your nations capital. Thats the ugliest one we have to face. If you were to look it up in the dictionary, it is a disparaging term much the same as the *N* word is in regards to black people. It doesnt make any sense to alot of us that any other group of people can deem something offensive and get it removed but we cannot. We are human beings, we are not mascots.
Do you know of any examples of teams naming their sides out of respect for the native people? The teams "say" that it was done out of respect so generally speaking, all of them. However, if you wanted to honor someone, would it not be prudent to ask that person/group in what way they would like to be honored? Also, I find it very difficult to place much credence in anothers view of what would be considered an honor when they most likely do not understand the culture. Its not impossible and many people on the "outside" have honored Indian people. But, they didnt do it by acting in an offensive and racist manner.
Another thing, we are the only group of people singled out for use as team names and mascots in professional sports. Why is this? Why not "honor" other ethnic groups and not just us? Or, why not eliminate this type of "honor" altogether and make it fair for everyone?
What this type of activity does is further promote racist stereotyping that had begun hundreds of years ago. Rather than learning from past harmful thinking and correcting it, we are constantly told "It is just a game". If it was "just a game" then there should be no difficulty in changing these things, but there is.
It shouldn't matter how long the names of the sport franchises have been going, they should change their names if people are genuinely offended. Admit that the people of yesteryear were wrong, change the name and move on. :respect: You are correct, they should all be changed and hundreds of schools across the country have done so. It is interesting that young people are much more flexible and understanding about this than adults are. It is most often the adults who do not want these changes made. Realistically, there is alot of costs involved in making this type of change. Many of us have suggested that the old names and mascots could be phased out as the new ones are introduced and marketed.
Jul 7th, 2004, 6:56 PM
Thanks for the quick response. It's good to know that some of the schools are doing something about it. Let's hope in time the Washington franchise will follow their example.
Does Kansas City 'Chiefs' who play at Arrowhead stadium I believe, constitute another one? Is this more of the stereotypical perception you mentioned earlier in this thread?
Jul 7th, 2004, 7:40 PM
Does Kansas City 'Chiefs' who play at Arrowhead stadium I believe, constitute another one? Is this more of the stereotypical perception you mentioned earlier in this thread? It is and it isnt. Im not as offended by the use of "Chiefs" as I am "rskins" but again, there is the stereotypical mentality of mascots and fans to deal with. No symbol is more popular in stereotyping an "Indian" than the feather headdress.
The depiction of the "Chief's" headdress as it is commonly known outside of Indian culture, symbolizes a Plains male who has shown prowess, bravery and contribution to the community in all that he has done. He was a very wise man and was usually a very spiritual person such as a medicine man, NOT neccessarily a Chief. However, he was always a very well respected community leader. Each eagle feather on the headdress was earned and there was a story behind it, it wasnt just a simple token of appreciation. There were other markings and endowments on the headress to symbolize other honors as well.
The problem with using this type of symbol is that very few actually earned the right to have and wear one. It took incredible feats of prowess, integrity, intelligence and humbleness, not always killing a bunch of enemies. Also, there are many other cultures out there that use feather ornamentation on the head, You can see many examples here....
By using it in depicting a mascot, it implies that most all males earned one. It also lumps all Indian males into a category they dont belong in. The Cherokee people never had head attire such as that, but you might be surprised in how many people today believe all Indian males of any Nation wore them. Indian Nations are just as different in comparison as any other culture.
Also, nothing is more embarrassing to most Indians than seeing a usually white male, scantily clad in leather and all decked out in the best feathered finery the local craft store can provide. He is usually wearing "war paint" and stirring up the fans with "war whoops" and crazy dancing.
Since a medicine man was a holy man and most likely not(but not always) a Chief and not neccissarily a warrior, he wouldnt be running around "whooping", he was most likely a quiet, humble man and not a participant in battle.
Using sacred spiritual and honor objects as identification for mascots reduces them to nothing more than play items. Also, by acting out with war whooping and dancing, it trivializes the importance of these things in Indian culture, glorifies war and killing (as in slaughtering the other team) and perpetuates the stereotype that Indians are bloodthirsty, merciless savages.
Jul 7th, 2004, 7:51 PM
Absolutely. Thanks again, I enjoy the knowledge you share.
Jul 7th, 2004, 8:24 PM
You are welcome. Hey, where is Ghost and Ruby?
Jul 8th, 2004, 10:37 AM
I was talking to ghost (robbie) yesterday and apparently Ruby was actually his wife (Jenn). They were banished for being one and the same person. They sort of teamed up on MickyD too, we were all a bit childish.
I'm gonna miss looking at myself 10 years ago. That photo was taken when I was in a band and Robbie did an article on us. I've known him ever since. He's a good guy. Jenn seemed very interested in this thread, I'm sure she still looks in on it every now and again. Keep this thread open.
Iechyd da (Good health/cheers!) :toast:
Jul 8th, 2004, 12:05 PM
I was talking to ghost (robbie) yesterday and apparently Ruby was actually his wife (Jenn). They were banished for being one and the same person. They sort of teamed up on MickyD too, we were all a bit childish. I found out about them getting a spanking this morning. Im guilty myself of extroverted strength in posting but the really nefarious colorful metaphors were really not needed. Live and learn.
I'm gonna miss looking at myself 10 years ago. That photo was taken when I was in a band and Robbie did an article on us. I've known him ever since. He's a good guy. Jenn seemed very interested in this thread, I'm sure she still looks in on it every now and again. Keep this thread open. Im gonna miss seeing that pic too! :grin So hows about uploading a recent one eh? My sister is reading posts right now and would like to chat with a Welsh man Im sure. :D
Jul 8th, 2004, 2:29 PM
Here is a description of post contact dress from the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma that is still worn today on special occasions...
Oh sissy I am going to have to smack you upside the head heheheh. The whole tear dress thing is a myth folks (sorry sis, i know you love them but I just had to call you on this). Women brough scissors on the Trail, heck or women even brought their spinning wheels (over a thousand spinning wheels made it from eastern indian territory to western indian territory). The dress was created for a PAGENT :D
Sky (who loves her sister but hates tear dresses, well, with the exception of one)
Jul 8th, 2004, 2:49 PM
My sister is reading posts right now and would like to chat with a Welsh man Im sure. :D
I indeed I would. I was disappointed that I was unable to go to Wales when I vacationed in the UK...so sad. Someday I'd like to visit the County of Powys, I have an ancestor who came from that area. I'd also like to hike the forests. I understand that the old growth trees put ours to shame.
Jul 13th, 2004, 10:07 AM
Oh sissy I am going to have to smack you upside the head heheheh. The whole tear dress thing is a myth folks (sorry sis, i know you love them but I just had to call you on this). Women brough scissors on the Trail, heck or women even brought their spinning wheels (over a thousand spinning wheels made it from eastern indian territory to western indian territory). The dress was created for a PAGENT :D Sorry Sis, there was supposed to be another paragraph and link there. That was very misleading the way I posted it and now I cant find the damn link. :eek:
Jul 13th, 2004, 10:09 AM
I indeed I would. I was disappointed that I was unable to go to Wales when I vacationed in the UK...so sad. Someday I'd like to visit the County of Powys, I have an ancestor who came from that area. I'd also like to hike the forests. I understand that the old growth trees put ours to shame. We will have to make it a point to get you there next fall. :grin
Jul 18th, 2004, 8:51 AM
We will have to make it a point to get you there next fall. :grin
I'm sure you would receive a very warm and friendly welcome. :thumbs:
Jul 18th, 2004, 12:13 PM
Ill bet if you cut out alot of that background in your avatar and made it so we could see you better, it might get warmer. :D
Jul 18th, 2004, 12:40 PM
Ill bet if you cut out alot of that background in your avatar and made it so we could see you better, it might get warmer. :D
Believe me, you really wouldn't want to see the full picture, the last ten years have not been kind. :burger:
Jul 18th, 2004, 9:11 PM
Im responding to Moishes post here rather than in the original thread since this particular part of the post is Indian related. To get the original "flavor" of it which includes my condemnation of Israel not being much different from the Nazi's who attempted to commit genocide against them, please go here for the full thread.....
My posting starts on page three of that thread with post# 53. Now on to Moishe's post.........
If you read every day about drunken, thieving Indians and the UN condemned drunken, thieving Indians; and the state governments were making laws about the drunken, thieving Indian problem; and Minnesotans were constantly shooting and killing drunken thieving Indians; and France thought that drunken, thieving Indians were the biggest threat to world peace; and the Muslim nations decided it was okay to murder drunken, thieving Indians because they, after all, were descended from apes and pigs; and they believed that drunken, thieving Indians murdered white babies to smoke their blood in their pipes; etcetera; etcetera; ad nauseum....
And NOONE ever stood up and said - HEY! What the Hell is the Matter with you People?? Sure there are drunken, thieving Indians, but not most, not many, and what about your own drunken thieves? Why is it only Indians? What is WRONG with you People??
I imagine, if this were the case, you would feel like most people were anti-Indian.
Okay, for starters I would not say that anyone speaking out against Indians is anti-Indian as long as what they were speaking against is based in fact. However, since most Indians are not drunken thieves, I do not see where you continually using it proves your intent. In fact, it detracts from it. Ill try to answer as best I can with what you have given me.
First of all, the reality is that we, collectively as Indians in the US are no where near the population of Israel but we have what they dont, space. Look at this from the scientific side; Israel has a population of about 6,200,00 people crammed into an area roughly the size of New Jersey. We have a population of about 2,500,000 spread across the US. Just the Israeli population alone, crammed onto land that is arid, where fresh water is scarce and the land difficult (but not impossible) to cultivate, that poses an enormous problem already. The area was already crowded enough before the Jewish people started to congregate there.
The UN has never condemned us for anything because we have not commited terrorist acts against an entire group of people. Im not saying we cant because it should be obvious since 9/11 that anyone can. I am saying that we dont and wont. It is against our beliefs to do such a thing. We will not cast out our beliefs aside to further some agenda nor to gain our country back. This is a huge difference between us. We have that much faith in the Creator righting the wrongs that we trust the Creator to do that. We are not that arrogant in thinking we should do it ourselves. Thats not to say that we wont or dont try to defend what we were gaurenteed by treaty, but we have no plans to take over the country. In a similar vein, just because we believe it to be true that the Creator will clean things up, doesnt mean we will act in an irrational manner to make it happen faster either.
Our history with the UN was bleak up until about the last five years. The UN would continually ignore the problem of Indigenous peoples and crimes committed against them until a very large collective group of Indigenous people met at the UN for meetings. Since then they have taken us more seriously but we still have a long way to go. Still, we did not elbow out an entire group of people and take over the land in order to create a place for ourselves. It certainly would be interesting and I think pm88 brought it up in another thread, what if Russia sponsored us with weapons and such and we took our lands back by force? Would anyone support us in doing this? Most likely not so why should the Jewish people be treated any different and/or with less leniency?
Since we have never attempted (at least since the 1900's anyway) and wont attempt to wipe out people here, nor are we using terrorism to gain our lands back, no one has any reason to try and wipe us out. We are not a threat to any foreign countries nor world peace because we dont act in this manner. The only "threat" we pose is by making it public that the US will try to hide or cover up its ugly history. This is that lovely picture that people like to paint over. Just like Los Angeles did in the early 50's by advertising the lovely weather, the wonderful industry, elbow with Hollywood stars or become one yourself and the wealth one could gain if they moved there. Oh yeah, they forgot to tell these new hopefuls about the organized crime, crooked cops and how difficult it was to actually make it there.
While other countries have spoken out against the US for what it has done to us, the US has virtually ignored us. Its interesting that during the Sydney games there was much honoring towards the Aboriginals. The US made it a point of reporting about what the Australian Parliment had done to them yet conveniently never mentioned what it had done to us. Likewise, Australia has done the same towards the US.
Drugs and alcohol addiction is a horrible problem for any people, not just Indians. I speak up about this regularly. In regards to Indians on the rez it is an Indian problem and Indians need to deal with it. If they wont then its their problem. Thankfully they are but much more needs to be done. Crack is becoming a worse problem than alcohol but again, on rez it is a rez problem and up to them to deal with it. Asking for help from outside is fine, anything that will deal with the problem. But it is up to them to determine how they want to deal with it.
I also speak out about using stereotypical imagery when talking about Indians. Here it is 2004 and people still romanticize Indians as being some brave warrior on the Plains wearing buckskins and smoking a peace pipe to the Great Spirit, a similar view I see you using when posting about the Jewish people. They dont see us like me for example, driving big trucks, using cell phones and utilizing computers such as I am now. The difference is that I chose to educate people, not run them over with bulldozers or use poisonous gas. I will continue to try and educate.
The US created laws that we could not practice our religions so we fought back in the courts and won. People trying to fake our arts and make a buck while advertising it as "Native American" were stopped by getting laws passed and taking them to court. We slowed down grave robbers and culture vultures from desecrating graves and selling bones, mummies and grave objects to museums with NAGPRA. With the same act museums are to return the bones to the rightful Nations so that they can be reburied and the dead rest in peace.
That is the biggest difference. We use the law, diplomacy, history and our beliefs in making our wants and needs known. We use these same things to get laws passed to protect us even though recently bulldozers were running over homes of Navajo people. Even though people want nuclear waste stored on or near reservations. We dont resort to elbowing out an entire culture of people which causes them to also act out. We dont thumb or nose at the US and ignore its laws in a collective and publically damning way through violence and terrorist acts.
Where violence was resorted to was in the late 60's when Indian civil rights was born. That is when the American Indian Movement was created. The early to mid 70's brought the take over of the BIA building and documents were taken. Among those documents was discovered a secret government program forcibly sterilizing Indian women through bribery and outright just doing it even if they had gone in for a hang nail. There was no big media blitz talking of this, but they sure did talk about the Indians "on the warpath". Nothing about trying to commit genocide on us by permanently taking away our women's rights to have babies.
Should we have reacted the same and took white women and forcibly sterilized them? Should we have gone and murdered people because our people were mysteriously dissappearing, never to be seen again? Should we have committed murder against white drunks because Indian drunks were being beaten to death, their bodies dumped out in feilds and then it is said they died from freezing? Should we have gone and taken over towns of white people because the feds surrounded our reservations? Should our people have reacted to being forced onto reservations aka concentration camps by taking over towns of white people and then forcing them to live on reservations?
The media barely reported these things and instead reported on the "angry" Indians. Damn right they were angry and for good reason!
Why is it now, in 2004, that Jews can label something anti-semitism but if Indians say something is racist we get brushed aside and told we are being "honored"?
Jul 21st, 2004, 3:52 AM
What are peoples views on this? I'm sure you've been following events DN.
Jul 21st, 2004, 10:56 AM
What are peoples views on this? I'm sure you've been following events DN. Predictable outcome? I thought it was predictable as far as scientists winning their side. The problem I have with it is that it *IS* an ancestor, therefore it should be covered under NAGPRA. I personally think its a good thing for them to refocus on closing loopholes and strengthening NAGPRA by its original intent. For all intensive purposes that court case for Kman should have never occured.
Sep 4th, 2004, 9:03 AM
As the question of your name popped up in another thread, I'd like to ask about Native American names. Were these really handed out to children or is this yet another Hollywood myth? I know I ask a lot of these questions but I thinks it's really healthy that you get the chance to dispel certain rumours and myths.
The names always seemed so cool, much better than the reason we are all given names. If this is not fiction do you or your sister have one?
Sep 4th, 2004, 11:51 AM
Names are a tribal affiliation thing. It would depend on what Nation you belonged to whether you were given a naming ceremony such as Plains Nations do. Most of what you see in movies is a rip-off from a Plains Nation. Alot of other Nations do not have naming ceremonies or use animals and such in their names.
People get upset with me when I tell them I have no Indian name. Sorry I cant be all Hollywood for them.
Sep 6th, 2004, 4:57 AM
People get upset with me when I tell them I have no Indian name. Sorry I cant be all Hollywood for them.
Yes, isn't their lack of understanding and want for historical romanticism just a selfish, lack of vision and an all too obvious direction to be taken given the media BS that they are spoon fed from birth? I don't seem to see the history lessons at schools putting them right either.
As for myself, having re-read my last post I can see that I got to making it sound like I was falling into the romanticism trap with such BS comments as "The names always seemed so cool, much better than the reason we are all given names." WTF was I on when I wrote that? I am just here trying to seperate the colours in the mix, i.e learn the truth and kill all this bs. Futile given that I live 1000s of miles away and this all has no bearing on my life whatsoever.
I am trying to gauge whether there are any similarities between peoples perception of Welsh people and the pre-conceived perceptions people have of other nations and races. Maybe TV and the media put the negative ideas into the heads of the perceived victims too. Maybe we think most people have preconceptions about us that actually they don't.
If you ask a Welshman to describe an English person, describing a Welshman then that is when you would get the stereotypical, 'miners, outdoor toilets, sheepshaggers, leeks, toasted bread with cheese, heavy drinkers, simple/thick, behind the times and beneath them'. Most English people don't feel this way at all but in TV, the majority of portrayals of Welsh people do nothing to dispel the fantasy. I'd like to think that nowadays, many people can see beyond that.
I hope that it works that way in other countries too. I still feel that this was a good thread to start and I feel that I have learnt something from it. Thanks.
Sep 8th, 2004, 1:32 AM
Yes, isn't their lack of understanding and want for historical romanticism just a selfish, lack of vision and an all too obvious direction to be taken given the media BS that they are spoon fed from birth? I don't seem to see the history lessons at schools putting them right either. I think it was back in the early 90's, a program was underway to address just that, correcting and making more accurate the way history, especially in regard to American Indians is taught in schools. Rather than using archaic and biased historical standards, a small group of people (sponsored by none other than Mrs. Lynne Cheney, the V.P.'s wife) set out to study and make recommendations as to how to fix the problems.
It ended up becoming a social and political nightmare with Mrs. Cheney as well as Rush Limbaugh being the most vehement and public opposers. She very publically attacked this group even before their findings were published and she did so with relish. Thankfully, the findings were published but alot of wind was knocked from the groups sails because of her.
To learn more about this I suggest these books; Lies My teacher Told Me, Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong and History on Trial: Culture Wars and the Teaching of the Past. The latter is the published findings Mrs. Cheney so publically attacked.
Even after all of that, America still seems afraid to teach history as it happened. A rather strange thing dont you think?
As for myself, having re-read my last post I can see that I got to making it sound like I was falling into the romanticism trap with such BS comments as "The names always seemed so cool, much better than the reason we are all given names." WTF was I on when I wrote that? I am just here trying to seperate the colours in the mix, i.e learn the truth and kill all this bs. Futile given that I live 1000s of miles away and this all has no bearing on my life whatsoever. It has more of a bearing than you realize. Since your studies would be from the opposite side of the fence, is the history in regards to the U.S. that you are taught more accurate or the same as what we get here? It looks as if you have chosen to learn more accurate lessons in history than what you have been taught. On the global scale, this is a very good thing. Im sure that the Irish, Scottish and Welsh have their own bones to pick regarding how history is taught about them. I know its wrong here, or at least it was when I was younger. See below.
I am trying to gauge whether there are any similarities between peoples perception of Welsh people and the pre-conceived perceptions people have of other nations and races. Maybe TV and the media put the negative ideas into the heads of the perceived victims too. Maybe we think most people have preconceptions about us that actually they don't. You have now touched on an enormous problem here. In fact the media has more to do with our problems than anyone else and for some of the same reasons that are posted about here in other threads. Its not a problem that is exclusive to American Indians. In fact, its a problem that covers alot of peoples around the globe. They just got really good at it practising on us.
Back in 1998, a large group of people mostly comprised of small gas station and convenience store owners in New York state began a protest that greatly impacted the gasoline and tobacco sales on reservations there. The store owners gripe was that they were losing millions of dollars in business from non-Indians to reservation stores because the gas and tobacco was much cheaper and much less to no taxes were paid upon purchase by non-Indians. They wanted these products taxed. Governor George Pataki decided to do something about it.
The problem that made this situation turn ugly was that according to treaty, and negotiations are to be made on the federal level, not state. Yet Mr. Pataki took it upon himself to fix this "problem". Many tribal members began to protest, the New York Thruway was closed in Irving and the then Rt. 17 was closed in Salamanca. No one was allowed on or off the rez's and gasoline deliveries were halted which compromised the Seneca Nation. Protests were also ongoing on the Oneida rez's too.
The media was all over the "Indians on the warpath" mentality. I have to give them some credit, their reports had been much more accurate than had been in the past. Heck, just to even have them report about it at all was a big thing since they usually ignore us. However, it was not without problems.
One report was of an old woman who unsuccessfully tried to murder or "assault" the tribal President. What an embarrassment for her! It is a very old custom that when someone does something wrong and not in the best interest of the community they are to be shamed. In this case the woman brought scissors to cut his hair, which is the stongest of shamings in Indian Country. The media dramaticized the situation into something it was not and the woman went from doing the right thing in regards to the community and tribal tradition, to attempted assualt and almost murder in the press.
What she wanted to shame the tribal President for was that he had sold out to Pataki and signed agreements with the state rather than waiting and negotiating with the federal government as they are supposed to do by treaty right.
The imact to the Nation's has really hurt them and turned back the progress in soveriengty issues that they had fought so long to uphold. Now, rather than having an exclusivity with the federal government (because each Nation is considered its own "country" within a country) the state has taken hold and makes demands that would not normally be allowed by treaty.
If you ask a Welshman to describe an English person, describing a Welshman then that is when you would get the stereotypical, 'miners, outdoor toilets, sheepshaggers, leeks, toasted bread with cheese, heavy drinkers, simple/thick, behind the times and beneath them'. Most English people don't feel this way at all but in TV, the majority of portrayals of Welsh people do nothing to dispel the fantasy. I'd like to think that nowadays, many people can see beyond that. Hehehe, yeah thats an enormous problem anywhere I think. I know when I was a kid the Welsh were barely even mentioned if at all except other than in reference to the Queen. I know that the Irish, while getting more print in the already heavily biased textbooks than the Welsh, didnt get a whole lot more except in regards to a few historical figures, the Potato Famine and that bastard St. Patrick. Oh yeah, cant forget leperchauns. The Scottish got a whole lot more than the other two. Probably because of the popularity of Sean Connery if nothing else.
I hope that it works that way in other countries too. I still feel that this was a good thread to start and I feel that I have learnt something from it. Thanks. Your welcome. Im always open to helping people learn the right stuff as I am learning it too.
Sep 13th, 2004, 11:45 PM
Good medicine for the world
Posted: September 09, 2004 - 2:58pm EST
by: Roberto Dansie / Correspondent / Indian Country
Indian America has given medicines, food, resources
and wisdom to the four corners of the Earth, literally
touching every single member of the human family of
today. Indian wisdom has given us corn, a crop that
through thousands of years of careful breeding, Indian
farmers adapted to any weather and any kind of land.
Today, corn grows over a larger area than does any
other cultivated food in the world. Indian America
gave the world potatoes, tomatoes, beans, pumpkins,
squash, chocolate (cacao), vanilla, papayas, chilies,
hickory nuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds, maple syrup,
avocados, pineapples and many other plants and
The economies of many nations now depend on these
Indian crops. The United States leads the world in
maize production. Russia is the world’s producer of
potatoes and sunflowers. China leads in the production
of sweet potatoes, India in peanut production and West
Africa in the production of cacao.
And yet, the greatest contribution of Indian America
to the world has been its people. In 1926, when the
president of the United States wanted Europeans to
know and love Americans, he named as his personal
ambassador a man by the name of Will Rogers, a
Cherokee philosopher and comedian.
All of the land that is known as the continent of
America is and has always been Indian land. The people
of this land were not separate from it. Life went in a
circle and it was understood that every living thing
served a purpose. Beyond the wide diversity of
cultures and languages in Indian America, there was
one common agreement: That the noblest way to follow
the human path was to walk the earth in a sacred way.
When the whole world is sacred and in balance, our
soul is well. When sacredness leaves the world and
greed takes over, the soul suffers.
In the Indian healing ways, to care for ourselves and
to care for the land is the same thing. The inner and
the outer world are one. To lose this understanding is
a sign that you are not walking in a sacred manner,
that you have become bad medicine for the world.
Medicine in the Indian view is not just a plant, or a
remedy. Medicine is your relations, your view of the
world, your way of being. And if your way of being is
out of balance with life, you become an illness to
yourself and your community. Bad medicine is at the
root of human suffering. The fact that any Indians
live today at all, is a tribute to the wisdom, love
and the good medicine that indigenous people have
managed to keep alive.
The first Europeans to encounter the Indian people
described their kindness and wisdom, as well as the
development of their civilizations. Years ago, Indian
healers shared their wisdom with European newcomers,
who later took the remedies back to Europe. The French
explorer Jacques Carter wrote one of the first
accounts of such Indian generosity in 1535. Carter
lost many of his men to scurvy, but the Wyandots along
the St. Lawrence River taught him how to cure it. The
French voyagers were taught that a tea brewed from the
leaves and bark of the black spruce tree, rich in
vitamin C, cured scurvy. It was those men, grateful
for the tree having literally saved their lives, who
named it l’arbor de vie, the tree of life.
The most significant example of Indian teachings was
the use of the bark from the quinine cinchona tree
that produces quinine, a substance that cures many
ailments including malaria. The introduction of
quinine to Europe in 1630 marked the beginning of
modern pharmacology. This medicine also made European
settlements in America possible. Records of Virginia
for 1671 reported that European settlers were dying of
malaria at the rate of one of every five persons.
Malaria was seldom fatal after the incorporation of
The old wisdom of Indian healers is still a resource
that the people of the world continue to benefit from.
In Mexico the healing properties of the bark of
another tree, known to the Mayans as tepescohuite,
eliminates pain from burns and regenerates the skin.
Tepescohuite is now a common ingredient in burn
salves. Another popular Indian herbal remedy seen in
drug stores today is echinacea, also known as the
purple coneflower, which is a native plant to the
prairie. The Omaha Indians used this plant as an
analgesic for headache, toothache, eye irritation and
as an antidote for poisonous conditions such as
Some healing modalities of American Indians have taken
the fields of modern psychiatry and psychology to new
grounds: "The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of
Mental Health" has now a new category under the
heading "Spiritual Crisis" to describe positive trends
that emerge in the psychotherapeutic process when the
healing intervention is done out of a model of
wellness - such as the one used by traditional Indian
healers - instead of one of pathology.
On the other hand, the sweat lodge and other
traditional healing ceremonies have proven effective
in the treatment of numerous maladies including
substance abuse and psychosocial disorders. Other
tribal traditions such as the talking circle have made
their way in to the United Nations where they are used
to promote truth and reconciliation.
This is where good medicine begins. Traditional
healers know many paths to purify one’s heart, and
each land and tribe has its own way. From the four
corners there is the knowledge on how to make a path
with a heart. Indian America continues to remind
humanity that we are meant to walk this earth in a
sacred manner; that we are all connected in the web of
life: That the red road opens before us all, as the
drum of life that beats in every heart.
Roberto Dansie is a clinical psychologist. In 1997 he
received the golden medallion from the National Indian
Health Board for his contributions to health in Indian
country. He lives in northern California. This article
can be found at
Oct 12th, 2004, 8:23 AM
If someone were to tell you that they were going to set up a holiday to honor someone, you may be curious enough to ask who it is and what they had done to be worthy of that type of honor. You might be surprised at what you hear in the case of Cristobal Colon aka Christopher Columbus, the still mistakenly honored "discoverer" of the "New" World.
First, I wouldnt exactly consider a bunch of islands a new "world". I agree that what he did changed the world, but his landing certainly does not merit "discovery" status. Millions of people had already been living on those islands for thousands of years and boating between them. Like Chris Rock said, it would be like someone walking into your backyard and claiming it for themselves.
However, the attitude of "discovery" was only a fortelling of the destruction and genocide to come.
Some interesting notes about the history of Columbus. Although he was born in Genoa, Italy and also resided in Portugal, the majority of his years were spent residing in Spain and he was most certainly a Spanish citizen. Yet many Italians claim him as their own almost disregarding the fact that he was a Spanish citizen, and murderer. In fact, there are many Italians out there that believe what Columbus did was as significant as the birth of Christ.
Columbus's many agreements with the Spanish crown were recorded in his "Book of Priviledges", one of four books he had commisioned. Although he was awarded the right to bear arms by the Royals after the success of his first voyage, Columbus took it upon himself (in other words, he usurped royal decree) and made many modifications to his coat of arms including using royal colors and images.
For as smart and as experienced as a seaman as Columbus was, his belief that he had reached the Indies never wavered. He died still thinking he had reached the East. He also claimed he had sighted land first even though the lookout was the first. He was charged with various "bad" administration charges and eventually jailed. His men, for the most part, did not care that much for him and the Spanish clergy became most adamant against him because of his treatment (and an almost complete termination of) the Indigenous people of the islands.
In fact, Columbus' first critic was one of the friars working for him. Bartolome de las Casas, wrote extensively in his own journals as well as publically protested against the Indian genocide Columbus was levelling against the Indgenous population. He wrote that Columbus treatment and view of the Tainos "was very far from the purpose of God and His Church." Strange since Columbus was a very devout Christian, much more so than most of his contemporaries.
In 1892 there was a movement to canonize Columbus but eventually it was decided he could not be a saint. The decision was made not because of the enormous slavery and slaughter he had orchestrated against the Tainos and not because of his part in creating the African to "New" world slave trade. It was based on something even more heinous....he had a son out of wedlock.
Some early childrens books credit Columbus with "discovering" that the earth was round. What they neglected to mention was that most all the educated people of the 1400's already knew this.
Interesting that the US honors only two people with holidays using their names; Columbus, the man who initiated racism and the slave trade and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who spent his life trying to wipe out its (racism and slavery) legacy.
Much of the corrections of history are regarded as "revisionist" rather than by it's more truthful descriptive of balancing out history with the truth. The legacy of Columbus is still being defined and still up for grabs.
Is it still neccessary to "honor" a man 512 years later that meant nothing but death and destruction to a single group of people? Why not ask the Jewish if they would feel "honored" if a holiday were named for Hitler or ask the Black population if Gov. Faubus were placed on the $20 bill.
Dec 12th, 2004, 7:08 AM
I thought this was cute.....
Dec 12th, 2004, 8:58 AM
The always phenominal John Trudell. Please note that he does not specifically make his speach American Indian. He is speaking of all people.
Dec 15th, 2004, 3:11 AM
[dripping sarcasm]Ah, Death Rattle, I see you are bettering your attitude already. A post containing some actual valid arguments!! Congratulations!! [/dripping sarcasm]
Dec 17th, 2004, 9:03 PM
Here is a neat Christmas ecard from the Cherokee Nation. ENJOY!!! :D
Nov 24th, 2005, 3:19 PM
As many of us sit down with our families to enjoy a wonderful meal, there are many others who are standing on an island and remembering the past.
Today, a group of American Indian activists are on Alcatraz Island in rememberance of two important events in the lives of Indian people. The first, the 35th anniversary of the occupation of Alcatraz Island by Indians begun on November 9, 1969. The second, a rememberance of the first thanksgivings, the real thanksgivings. To you Thanksgiving is a day to enjoy family, hope and prosperity. For many American Indians, it is a day of mourning.
The Occupation of Alcatraz Island
The occupation of Alcatraz wasn't just an occupation. It was the awakening of the fight for civil rights for American Indians. Begun by Indian college students, the occupation was started as a way to draw attention to the plight of Indians and the way they had been treated by the American government. This symbolic occupation begun by a few people became a large scale gathering which lasted for 19 months, ending in 1971. Initially, the island was symbolically "taken" but after further negotiations among the "Tribe of All Nations", the deed to the island was demanded in order to establish an Indian cultural center, museum and university. By the end of the occupation Indians got none of these things. However, what they did get was national attention for the long ignored crisis of American Indians and the birth of Indian civil rights organizations.
The "Real" Origins of Thanksgiving
While many sit at tables full of edible holiday splendor, a silent ignorance pervades the many Americans (and in October, Canadians) who "celebrate" a holiday of thanks. The recent history of Thanksgiving is that it is in rememberance of all we have to be thankful for. What has been long forgotten is that Thanksgiving was born in murder and blood.
The true origins of this holiday began with the arrival of the first "boat people" to Northeast America but as you know them, pilgrims. These sick and destitute people who had virtually no chance of survival were rescued by Indians who helped them to survive the winter. They fed them with many of the things that may be on your table today such as turkey, cranberries, pumpkins and squash. They taught them how to survive. The pilgrims spread, started small towns and became "colonists". Many times the friendliest of these colonists would share in the annual harvest gatherings that Indian people held. All that would change in 1637.
The Pequot Indians had gathered in the longhouse for thier annual harvest festival. To a Northeastern/Eastern Woodlands Indian, the longhouse is the same as a synagogue to a Jewish person, a church to a Christian or a mosque to a Muslim. It was a very special and ceremonial time of year.
While the Pequots were inside the longhouse in prayer, the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony thinking the Indians were plotting against him, ordered the English militia and Dutch mercenaries to murder the Indians inside. The longhouse was set ablaze. Those who werent burned to death were cut down by musket and saber as they ran out of the longhouse to escape the flames. More than 700 Pequot men, women and children were murdered that day.
The governor declared a day of "thanksgiving" for the success of that day and during the feast, the decapitated heads of Pequots were kicked through the streets. For the next 100 years afterward, the day was marked by various colonies and towns. In "celebration" some towns would invite Indian people only to re-enact that terrible day by hanging and slaughtering Indians for entertainment. Since then many things about this holiday have changed. What will never change is the murderous roots by which this "holiday" was created.
Indian people don't want Thanksgiving eliminated or changed. What we do ask is when talking and teaching of it, speak the truth in rememberance of our ancestors..
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