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Ancient Voices - Contemporary Contexts

American Indian Institute, Bozeman, Montana

  

No. 058, March 2016

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Contents

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Haudenosaunee delegates travel to Washington DC

By Frieda Jacques

"Washington, DC - On February 22nd 2016 a delegation of Haudenosaunee Chiefs and Clanmothers and observers met with federal representatives. The meeting was held in the Treaty Room of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building a few doors from the White House. The meeting was to recognize and honor the signing of the 1794 Treaty of Canandaigua.

"Our protocols were followed as was expected by our history with the United States. Chief Howard Thompson began with an Opening Address and then followed by Words of Condolence as is our custom when meeting with another Nation. One of the United States' representatives then spoke words of condolence to us. Finally the Invitation Wampum was returned signifying that the two parties have agreed to begin our meeting...." Read the Entire Article

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By rejecting $1bn for a pipeline, a First Nation has put Trudeau's climate plan on trial

Canada's Lax Kw'alaams show us how we can be saved: by loving the natural world and local living economies more than mere money and profit

Indigenous leaders gather on Lelu island where the Lax Kw'alaams First Nation has set up camp to protest the construction of the Petronas LNG terminal. Photograph: SkeenaWatershed Coalition

"Everything has a price. Everyone can be bought. We assume this principle is endemic to modern life - and that accepting it is most obvious to the impoverished. Except all over the world, people are defying it for a greater cause. That courage may be even more contagious.

"It has been in full supply in north-west Canada, where an oil giant is aiming to construct one of the country's biggest fossil fuel developments: a pipeline to ship liquified natural gas (LNG) out of British Colombia. To export it overseas via tankers, Malaysian-owned Petronas must first win approval for a multi-billion dollar terminal on the coast...." Read the Entire Article.

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'Our Language Is Like Medicine': Tlingit Immersion School to Provide a Path to Revitalization

"Genocide stole our Native languages and replaced them with shame. Native parents, who were often punished for speaking it in school, gradually stopped speaking and teaching their peoples' languages. As a result, new generations grew up not knowing their own mother tongue and instead faced a wall, a language barrier, keeping them locked outside their birthright. The resulting shame and anger are just some of the emotional baggage Native people carry with them when they try to learn their indigenous languages as adults...." Read the Entire Article.

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Mohawks threaten to block Energy East;
says project is threat to their way of life

"The Mohawk nation is threatening to do everything legally in its power to block the Energy East pipeline project, calling it a threat to their way of life.

"Despite perceptions opposition to the project is harboured mainly by mayors in Quebec, a Mohawk-driven Canadian First Nations movement against the project is picking up steam in other parts of the country...." Read the Entire Article.

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Standing Rock Sioux Tribe 'Pipeline will affect future generations'

Click to watch this video on YouTube

Joye Braun uses a megaphone during rally at Ft. Yates tribal meeting to prevent oil pipeline construction. COURTESY/LaDonna Allard

"FORT YATES -- As the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, headquartered here, mobilizes to prevent construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, the Iowa Utilities Board is holding a webcast public hearing March 9-10 of its latest deliberations about the hazardous liquid project application submitted by Houston-based Energy Transfer Partners and Phillips 66.

"The proposed 1,134-mile infrastructure plan, also known as the Bakken Pipeline, would carry Bakken crude oil from the fracking fields of Ft. Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota across Lakota ancestral territory in South Dakota, through Sac and Fox land in Iowa to Illinois, according to oil industry proponents...." Read the Entire Article.

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Supreme Court Unanimously Holds Reservation Boundaries not Diminished in Favor of the Omaha Tribe in Nebraska v. Parker

"On Tuesday, March 22, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in a unanimous decision written by Justice Clarence Thomas in favor of the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska in Nebraska v. Parker (14-1406) that an 1882 Act of Congress did not diminish the Tribe's reservation. The judgment upholds the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit...." Read the Entire Article.

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The Secrets of the Wave Pilots

For thousands of years, sailors in the Marshall Islands have navigated vast distances of
open ocean without instruments. Can science explain their method before it's lost forever?

"At 0400, three miles above the Pacific seafloor, the searchlight of a power boat swept through a warm June night last year, looking for a second boat, a sailing canoe. The captain of the canoe, Alson Kelen, potentially the world's last-ever apprentice in the ancient art of wave-piloting, was trying to reach Aur, an atoll in the Marshall Islands, without the aid of a GPS device or any other way-finding instrument. If successful, he would prove that one of the most sophisticated navigational techniques ever developed still existed and, he hoped, inspire efforts to save it from extinction. Monitoring his progress from the power boat were an unlikely trio of Western scientists - an anthropologist, a physicist and an oceanographer - who were hoping his journey might help them explain how wave pilots, in defiance of the dizzying complexities of fluid dynamics, detect direction and proximity to land. More broadly, they wondered if watching him sail, in the context of growing concerns about the neurological effects of navigation-by-smartphone, would yield hints about how our orienteering skills influence our sense of place, our sense of home, even our sense of self...." Read the Entire Article.

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Title Fight

The Tsilhqot'in Nation got its land back. Canada will never be the same

Canada is a test case for a grand notion-the notion that dissimilar peoples can share lands,
resources, power and dreams while respecting and sustaining their differences.
-Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, 1996

"YOU MIGHT FIND IT IMPROBABLE that a young boy playing on the eastern slopes of British Columbia's Coast Mountains once jumped on an iceberg and rode it down the Chilko River to where it joins the Fraser, and floated out to the sea. Or that when the iceberg melted, the boy turned into a salmon. Or that his family fished him from the water, and he transmogrified back into a human.

"You might also find it unlikely that such a story, and many others like it, was considered as evidence in a modern court of law. Most incredible of all, would you believe that the court case in question was won by the people who told these tales?..." Read the Entire Article.

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THE BADGER-TWO MEDICINE AREA
Too Sacred To Drill

"FOR MORE THAN 10,000 YEARS, the Badger-Two Medicine area near Glacier National Park in Montana has provided strength, subsistence and cultural identity for members of the Blackfeet Nation. The Blackfeet believe that their people were created among the mountains and springs that rise from where Badger Creek and the Two Medicine River trace their headwaters.

"But the Blackfeet aren't the only ones who value the region. The oil and gas industry also have their eyes on the area-and for more than 30 years, they've been fighting to drill the hell out of it...." Read the Entire Article.

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Disbelieved Fairbanks Four alibis show how anti-Native bias taints justice

"Eileen Whitmer knew Marvin Roberts wasn’t guilty of murder in 1997, because when the Fairbanks Four were supposedly on a rampage killing teenager John Hartman, Roberts was sitting at a table with her at a wedding reception.

"The Fairbanks Four defendants had many alibi witnesses, but they were convicted of murder anyway and spent 18 years in prison until being exonerated in December...." Read the Entire Article.

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