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Ancient Voices - Contemporary Contexts

American Indian Institute, Bozeman, Montana


No. 035, February 2014


Fast Draws Attention to VA Sweat Lodge Ceremonies

By Dan Bammes

"The Salt Lake Veterans Affairs Medical Center has promised to continue Native American healing ceremonies every week - but the spiritual leader who's conducted them may not be leading them any longer.

"Arnold Thomas, an ordained Paiute-Shoshone holy man with a master's degree in social work, has been conducting sweat lodge ceremonies at the VA hospital for the past ten years. But he resigned last week…"

Read the entire article.


Coal-Hungry World Brings Tough Choices For Native Americans

"Inside a ceremonial longhouse in northern Oregon last September, the sun's rays spilling between the high-peaked beams, Davis Yellowash Washines was seated in full ceremonial dress -- yellow headband, red sash, beaded shoes. A rawhide drum rested in his hand, and to his left sat four teenage boys, each with his own drum and mallet. One wore a black Chevrolet T-shirt. They thumped their instruments and called out native songs as an organized smattering of young children bounced rhythmically counter-clockwise around the dirt floor. Two dozen fellow members of the tribal community, seated in folded metal chairs, looked on.

"'This longhouse is used for lots of occasions,' Washines said between songs. 'But this one is significant.'"
Read the entire article.


'Extinct' Sinixt Nation Maintain Mt Sentinel Logging Blockade

"For the past week, members of the Sinixt Nation have maintained a peaceful encampment on Mt Sentinel logging road at Pass Creek, British Columbia. Despite being declared officially extinct by the Canadian government in 1956, their very real presence is blocking the A.F. Timber Company from 'harvesting' 15,250 square meters of timber on unceded Sinixt territory without proper consultation."

Read the entire article.


Cuomo's "State of the State" Offers Nothing to the Iroquois

by Doug George-Kanentiio

"Nothing new for the Iroquois in New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's 2014 State of the State address delivered on January 8 in Albany.

"The State will continue to pretend the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy does not exist. He deliberately did not invite the legitimate representatives of the Confederacy to the State Capitol since it would require him to acknowledge that the Grand Council of the Haudenosaunee does indeed speak on behalf of the majority of the 80,000 plus Iroquois." Read the entire article


Oren at the United Nations

"Faith keeper of the Onandaga Nation, Oren Lyons address[ed] an international audience at the United Nations on August 9th 2013 - International Day of the World's Indigenous People. On this day, the Two Row Renewal Campaign 400 yr. anniversary paddle completes the paddle down the Hudson River, from Albani[sic] New York to Pier 96 in Manhattan." Listen to the radio broadcast.


We Can't Eat Gold in Bristol Bay -
An Interview with Yup'ik spokesman
Bobby Andrew

"Bobby Andrew (Photo: Gigi Marcantonio) Bristol Bay, Alaska, has re-captured headlines as the battle to protect the area from the extractive industry continues. Last week the Pebble Mine Partnership's efforts to establish a vast gold mine in the region was dealt a devastating blow by the EPA's latest watershed assessment. This extensive study definitively reveals that large-scale mining operations would have severe detrimental effects on local fisheries, wildlife and Native culture in the home of the world's largest and most spectacular wild salmon runs."

Read the enitre article.


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