Native Americans

Academic Boycotts and Re-Colonization by Theory

February 3, 2014

(The full text of the following essay was published by Scholars for Peace in the Middle East.) from “Academic Boycotts and Recolonization by Theory“  As a matter of international justice, however, conceptually distinguishing and crucial in consideration of what constitutes an indigenous people have been the following characteristics, developed for the Working Paper on the Concept [...]


26 comments Read the full article →

The Trope Dope: “Check Your Privilege”

December 9, 2013

In the final analysis, Madame Bovary is just another trope. Unknown academic wag. dope: an illicit, habit-forming, or narcotic drug; a stupid person; [slang] the inside scoop, the poop, the skinny, the lowdown Cant kills ideas. Leaves them dead in the field, their tongues swollen and hanging. Flies buzzing. (They fell in love too easily. [...]


1 comment Read the full article →

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 [...]


2 comments Read the full article →

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 [...]


10 comments Read the full article →

Not So Random Questions, Facts, & Observations about Gaza & Israel

November 17, 2012

. If forces in Mexico – drug cartels, for instance – were firing rockets and missiles into an area roughly covering 25% of the United States this is what it would look like. If the U.S. equivalent of one million Israelis were under threat of this bombardment on a daily basis, running for cover, hiding [...]


9 comments Read the full article →

Writing Paradise

October 25, 2012

. I learned at an early adult age, with only minor but memorable pain, not to hero-worship. When we lionize people, we tend to forget the natural inclination of the lion to consume the person. I prefer admiration. Admiration works from the muck up. While hero worship sets up the faithful for a fall, admiration [...]


14 comments Read the full article →

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 [...]


4 comments Read the full article →

Pine Ridge: In the Shadow of Wounded Knee

August 2, 2012

. The photographs, text, video and audio below are from the August edition of National Geographic magazine, all courtesy of the magazine. The photography is by Aaron Huey, whose work we have highlighted before at the sad red earth, the story by Alexandra Fuller. Huey has spent the past seven years documenting the lives of  the Oglala [...]


0 comments Read the full article →

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 [...]


2 comments Read the full article →

Massacre of the Cheyenne

June 27, 2012

. The story I mean to relate is for tomorrow. This is another story. This one needs to be told first, as Joe Starita tells it first, for context, in his I Am a Man: Chief Standing Bear’s Journey for Justice. Standing Bear’s story is of the Ponca tribe. This story is of the Cheyenne. [...]


4 comments Read the full article →

A Lost Covenant

June 19, 2012

. Among all the Native tribes of North America to whom sacred bundles were part of their spiritual tradition, there was none to whom the bundles and the ceremonial prayers that accompanied them were more central than the Pawnee. According to the Kansas Historical Society, Sacred bundles were a powerful part of Pawnee ceremonies linked to planting and [...]


6 comments Read the full article →

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 [...]


4 comments Read the full article →

Imagine the Dred Scott Decision Were Still the Law of the Land

April 2, 2012

. An Indigenous People Forum on the Impact of the Doctrine of Discovery was held on March 23 on the floor of the Arizona State House of Representatives. “The event was hosted by the Native American Caucus of the Arizona State Legislature, and presided over by the O’otham Hemuchkam upon whose traditional territories as O’otham [...]


3 comments Read the full article →

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 [...]


2 comments Read the full article →

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 [...]


7 comments Read the full article →

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 [...]


5 comments Read the full article →

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 [...]


1 comment Read the full article →

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 [...]


Read the full article →

“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 [...]


2 comments Read the full article →

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 [...]


2 comments Read the full article →

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 [...]


1 comment Read the full article →