Indians

Conquest Leaves a Sour Taste

December 8, 2012

. Who’d a thunk it? Five hundred and twenty years of military assault, ethnic cleansing, physical and cultural genocide, theft, lies, deception, dishonor, broken treaties – oh, you can’t even count the number of broken treaties – broken trusts and misappropriation of funds, and nothing seems to work quite right. Things are – how do [...]


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Forty-Five Thousand, Nine Hundred and Fifty Six Days (or Thereabouts)

November 28, 2012

. Many top stories are receiving their usual high levels of attention, from the structural taxation reforms bandied about in the face of the “fiscal cliff” that is really a graded driveway to Israel and Gaza. What receives no attention? The usual, including from among the far left advocates of “peace and justice” who pretend to be [...]


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Reflections on the Spirit of Resistance

November 22, 2012

. Paul Newman’s 1967 film Cool Hand Luke, the apex of journeyman Stuart Rosenberg’s directorial career, imbued popular culture with many iconic scenes and memorable lines. (“What we have here – is failure to communicate.” “Sometimes nothin’ can be a real cool hand.”) Among the famous scenes is that of the prison camp boxing match [...]


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Conspiracies

October 4, 2012

. I was talking with my class the other day about the methodology of fully-developed conspiracy theories and my general skepticism toward them. The undeveloped conspiracy theory works off a form of radical skepticism. How do you know we really landed on the moon? Have you been witness to any of the reality of the [...]


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I Am a Man: When American Indians Were Recognized as People Under U.S. Law

July 7, 2012

. This is the story I have meant to share.  You had to know the story of the Massacre of the Cheyenne first. That took place at Fort Robinson, Nebraska on January 9, 1879. This story, and these events, played out only months later, in Omaha, Nebraska, in the spring of 1879. Though I draw on [...]


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Thomas Jefferson, Architect of Deception

June 13, 2012

. I head in a few days to Columbus, Nebraska for an NEH workshop on the Legacies and Landmarks of the Plains Native Americans. One of the books I’m reading in preparation is “I Am a Man”: Chief Standing Bear’s Journey for Justice, by Joe Starita. Standing Bear was a Ponca Indian chief whose efforts to return his [...]


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CineFile – Cheyenne Autumn

January 8, 2012

. Yesterday’s post on Geronimo put me in mind of John Ford‘s Cheyenne Autumn. The excerpt from We Shall Remain noted how within only several years of Geronimo’s capture he had transformed in the American consciousness from demon savage into the iconic fierce warrior. (The U.S. special forces operation that killed Osama bin Laden was code-named “Geronimo.”) John Ford spent much [...]


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How We Lived On It (45) – Geronimo

January 7, 2012

. Just over three years ago, Julia and I were present for the aftermath of a blessing ceremony – the participants and witnesses of which had been Apaches only – on the San Carlos Apache reservation. “The purpose of the ceremony,” I wrote at the time, “was to prepare the land for the installation of [...]


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A Melancholy Thanksgiving

November 23, 2011

This is the first Thanksgiving without my brother, who died in May, so it will be a melancholy holiday for my family. It was Jeff’s favorite holiday, as it is mine, and we will try to honor what he loved in it, and why he and Anne hosted our family feasts on the day for [...]


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Warriors in Transition

November 4, 2011

. A little while back I stopped in at the New York branch of the National Museum of the American Indian. It is housed in the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, a monumental Beaux Arts building at the Battery and a National Historic Landmark  listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It has been adapted on [...]


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In Memory of Elouise Cobell

October 18, 2011

. This blog began in late 2008 to recount my yearlong nationwide travels through Indian Country with documentary photographer Julia Dean. Those travels themselves were inspired by my publication earlier that year of “Aboriginal Sin,” in Tikkun. The article (scroll down for an image link on the right) presented an overview of the historic assault [...]


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“Special” Rights and the Accomplices to Discrimination That Are Those Who Call Them So

September 2, 2011

In a recent Indian Country Today essay, Peter d’Errico, the eminent Native American rights advocate, argued that “we need to be careful with the phrase ‘special rights.’ Perhaps we shouldn’t even use it.” In this instance, I think d’Errico is too moderate in his judgment. d’Errico was writing about the term specifically in its application [...]


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Time to Renounce the Doctrine of Discovery

July 25, 2011

Not much reason amid all the attention on reaching a debt deal that most people, including in the media, would have paid any attention to a meeting of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. Not much reason ever, by normal lights. Still, the happy advent of Gay marriage in New York managed to catch [...]


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The Navajo Concentration Camp at Bosque Redondo

February 4, 2011

The premise from which I write about American Indian issues is that while some Americans are ignorant, callous, and self-justifying about the nation’s history with Native America – and sometimes, still, clearly racist – most people are ignorant in the innocent sense of simply lacking knowledge. Most Americans, one can learn merely from raising the [...]


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Native America in the Courts of the Conqueror

January 28, 2011

Image via Wikipedia A common sense of the matter among those little knowledgeable or arrogantly unreflective about the Native conquest in what became the United States is that it took the form, simply, of ages old civilizational conflicts, in which one expanding and militarily superior culture historically and amorally superseded another. Like the Persian Empire [...]


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Cobell v. Salazar Heads for Settlement after 14 Years

December 3, 2010

This email arrived from Elouise Cobell late yesterday afternoon. As I stated in my last Ask Elouise letter of November 22, 2010, the Senate passed the Cobell Settlement as part of the Claims Resolution Act of 2010. Since that time, I and our Representatives have been advocating for the successful passage of our settlement to [...]


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The Lakota and the Pine Ridge Reservation

November 30, 2010

Aaron Huey, an extraordinary photographer and journalist of growing acclaim has covered stories all over the world, from Afghanistan to walking across the U.S. Probably no project of his – and it is very much a personal project, not an assignment – has garnered more attention than his several years establishing relationships and photographing on [...]


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A Proper Apology to Native America

November 26, 2010

Though I have been advocating for a few years now an annual day of remembrance of the crimes against Native America, to coincide in historically instructive fashion with Columbus Day, Thanksgiving is, for what should be obvious reasons, a good time to remember too. Indian Country Today reports, President Barack Obama will be asked – [...]


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The End of the Indian Wars: 120 Years and Counting

November 24, 2010

I first wrote about Cobell v. Salazar in Tikkun in March, 2008, when that Individual Trust Fund lawsuit was already 12 years old. Lead plaintiff Elouise Cobell‘s pursuit of an accounting and settlement of land use fees collect in trust by the Department of the Interior since 1887 had met nothing but delay and obstruction [...]


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The American Indian Tribal Colleges

November 8, 2010

(This is a guest post by Brian Jenkins of BrainTrack. BrainTrack is the oldest and largest directory of universities and colleges on the Web. It provides information on over 10,000 institutions listed from over 190 countries. Brian has been writing about education and career topics for BrainTrack for the past two years. He has contributed [...]


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Facing National Wrongs

October 8, 2010

Over the past several days Jeffrey Goldberg has been blogging about what I like to refer to as recalcitrant Southern boobs – the kind of people who display the Confederate Stars and Bars, who advocate and maintain that flag as any part of a state symbol, or who argue that there was anything honorable in [...]


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