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Ancient Voices - Contemporary Contexts

American Indian Institute, Bozeman, Montana


No. 066, November 2016



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Police Attacked Standing Rock Activists For Hours.
Why Are They Calling It A Riot?
Misleading narratives obscure the reality of the stand at Standing Rock.
By Evelyn Nieves

Nighttime at Standing Rock. (Jake Ratner)

"In a video streamed live on Facebook on the night of November 20, an army of riot police stand guard as fire hoses blast anti-Dakota Access pipeline activists on a bridge near Standing Rock in the subfreezing cold.

"Scenes of distress and chaos follow. A breathless medic describes seeing mass hypothermia and severe hand and head injuries from rubber bullets. Two soaking wet young men complain of being gassed with smoke bombs, tear gas, and mace. A man shot in the head by a rubber bullet is bandaged and carted away in a hatchback. People are choking, crying. Helicopters whir overhead. Amid it all, in the shadows broken by police floodlights, elders sing a Lakota prayer song..." Read the Entire Article.



From the Sioux to the Sault: Standing Rock spirit spreads to Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

A 63-year-old pipeline runs beneath the Straits of Mackinac. Great Lakes tribes-tapping into the Standing Rock spirit-want it stopped.

A "Sacred Water" story.

November 21, 2016

By Brian Bienkowski
Environmental Health News

Editor's Note: This story is part of "Sacred Water," EHN's ongoing investigation into Native American struggles - and successes - to protect culturally significant water sources on and off the reservation.

"SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich.-Two blocks south of the St. Mary's River and passing freighters, children from JKL Bahweting tribal school poured off buses, carrying drums, dancing and chanting.

"'Protect the water!' a young girl chanted. 'Protect it!' her classmates answered.

"The children were encouraged to raise a ruckus last week as gray clouds hung low and the last brittle, rust-colored leaves blew off trees in Michigan's far north. They were joined by other adult members of the Sault (pronounced 'Soo') Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, various First Nation communities in nearby Canada, the Bay Mills Indian Community and other locals in protest of a pipeline that's been sending oil through the region since shortly after World War II...." Read the Entire Article



Courtesy WH.gov
Turk Cobell accepts the Presidential Medal of Freedom on November 22 in honor of his mother, Elouise Cobell.

'Elouise Cobell is my hero': Awarded Posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom
Tanya H. Lee | 11/23/16

"On November 22, President Barack Obama awarded the nation's highest civilian honor to Elouise Cobell, Blackfeet. Her son, Turk Cobell, accepted the Presidential Medal of Freedom on his mother's behalf. 'It is a very exciting day for all of our family who are here in Washington,' said Cobell on the morning of the presentation ceremony.

"In 1996, Elouise Cobell became the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit alleging the U.S. government had failed to pass on to half a million individual American Indian landowners the royalties and fees they had earned under oil, timber and mineral leases negotiated and administered by federal agencies..." Read the Entire Article.



New app translates to Arapaho

By ALEJANDRA SILVA The Ranger Nov 19, 2016

"RIVERTON, Wyo. - A new application for smart phones and tablets translates words from English to Arapaho.

"The app can be downloaded for free from the Apple Store.

"An official release event was held to recognize the app's development and celebrate Arapaho elders, who also received accolades during a special dinner...." Read the Entire Article.



by Kiana Herold
November 14, 2016

Page One of The Treaty of Fort Laramie (aka the Sioux Treaty of 1868). Photo: Archives

"If treaties are the supreme law of the land, as the U.S. Constitution states, then how is it that treaties can be so easily broken by a government that claims to uphold a respect for the law? An even more unsettling question: how is it that the trail of broken treaties has been able to span generations under an outdated, imperial logic unknown to the majority of the U.S. citizens? The founding of the United States is predicated on this painful contradiction between principles of equality and rule of law on one side, and the colonial appropriation of land from native peoples who have inhabited them for millennia, on the other.

"The current resistance against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is inscribed in this contradiction, making evident the non-rule of law when it comes to appropriating native lands...." Read the Entire Article.





by Tristan Ahtone, Yes Magazine

November 22, 2016

Tohono O'odham Nation. Photo by biotour13 / Flickr.

"President-elect Donald Trump says that he will build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. It will stop undocumented immigrants from entering the country. It will stop drugs from entering the country. It will be 50 feet tall. It will be nearly a thousand miles long. And it will cut the traditional lands of the Tohono O'odham Nation of Arizona in half.

"The Tohono O'odham reservation is one of the largest in the nation, and occupies area that includes 76 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border. However, the tribe's traditional lands extend deep into Mexico, and tribal members live on both sides of the border: With tribal identification, they cross regularly to visit family, receive medical services, and participate in ceremonial or religious services...." Read the Entire Article.



What Really Happened at the First Thanksgiving? The Wampanoag Side of the Tale

This is a popular image of the first Thanksgiving, a painting by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris. But this is definitely NOT what happened.

Gale Courey Toensing | 11/23/12

"When you hear about the Pilgrims and 'the Indians' harmoniously sharing the 'first Thanksgiving' meal in 1621, the Indians referred to so generically are the ancestors of the contemporary members of the Wampanoag Nation. As the story commonly goes, the Pilgrims who sailed from England on the Mayflower and landed at what became Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620 had a good harvest the next year. So Plymouth Gov. William Bradford organized a feast to celebrate the harvest and invited a group of 'Native American allies, including the Wampanoag chief Massasoit' to the party. The feast lasted three days and, according to chronicler Edward Winslow, Bradford sent four men on a 'fowling mission' to prepare for the feast and the Wampanoag guests brought five deer to the party. And ever since then, the story goes, Americans have celebrated Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November. Not exactly, Ramona Peters, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe's Tribal Historic Preservation Officer told Indian Country Today Media Network in a conversation on the day before Thanksgiving 2012-391 years since that mythological 'first Thanksgiving.'

"We know what we're taught in mainstream media and in schools is made up. What's the Wampanoag version of what happened?.." Read the Entire Article.



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