Republic of Cliven Bundy.

Ammon Bundy, son of rancher Cliven Bundy, speaks at an event Friday, April 10, 2015, in Bunkerville, Nev.  Credit: AP Photo/John Locher.

Ammon Bundy, son of rancher Cliven Bundy, speaks at an event Friday, April 10, 2015, in Bunkerville, Nev.
Credit: AP Photo/John Locher.

Cliven Bundy may be in jail, but he still has friends in Congress.

The U.S. House of Representatives next week is expected to vote on a proposal that would exempt 48 counties, primarily in the West, from the law that has been used for more than 100 years to protect archaeologically, culturally, and naturally significant resources in the United States, including the Grand Canyon and the Statue of Liberty.

The counties that would be exempted from the Antiquities Act of 1906 cover more than 250,000 square miles — an area nearly the size of Texas. The amendment, which was authored by Rep. Stewart (R-UT) and Rep. Gosar (R-AZ), appears to have two main purposes.

First, it would block the efforts of local communities in Maine, Utah, Arizona, and elsewhere which have been asking President Obama to establish new national monuments in their states.

In southern Utah, for example, the president would not be able to respond to the requests of tribal nations that he protect the Bears Ears area, which is a hotbed of grave robbing, looting, and desecration of sacred sites. It would also prevent the president from protecting Gold Butte in Nevada, where Cliven Bundy illegally grazed his cows for decades, as a national monument.

Though Rep. Gosar argues that the bill prevents local voices from being ignored, in both of the above cases there is strong local support for these national monuments. Seventy-one percent of Utah voters declared their support for a Bears Ears monument and the same percentage of Nevadans support the protection of Gold Butte.

The bill would also block a grassroots call to protect the Grand Canyon from uranium mining, the expansion of which would fall in Rep. Gosar’s district. The petition to protect the area has recently reached more than half a million signatures.

Second, the Stewart-Gosar amendment would make a major concession to the demands of scofflaw rancher Cliven Bundy and his followers who argue that the U.S. government should have no authority over national public lands in the West. Bundy and his sons Ammon and Ryan were arrested and indicted in February for their involvement in armed standoffs with federal law enforcement officials in Nevada and Oregon.

Jesus Christ. Anymore, you have to stay buried in your news media of choice just to know what evil the conservative asshole party is up to day by day. This is awful. I haven’t read enough yet to know if there are ways to fight this, but if I find them, I’ll post.

Full story here.

Trans Guidelines: 10 More States Sue.

Shutterstock.

Shutterstock.

A second lawsuit has been filed by states objecting to the Obama administration’s call for schools to avoid discriminating against transgender students, including the recommendation that trans students be allowed to use restrooms and locker rooms matching their gender identity.

Ten states led by Nebraska filed the suit in federal court in that state, the Associated Press reports. The other states in the suit are Arkansas, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Eleven other states, led by Texas and joined by some school districts and public officials, filed a similar suit in May. Both name the U.S. departments of Education, Justice, and Labor as defendants, plus the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The new suit uses much of the same language as the previous one and contends that federal government departments and agencies do not have the right to interpret the law as they did, declaring that a prohibition on sex discrimination in education also bans discrimination based on gender identity. The sex discrimination clause is in Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

I knew this was coming, but it really hurts to see ND in that list.

The federal guidance document on treatment of trans students, issued in May, is not legally binding, but it does advise schools on how to comply with their legal obligations to students. Schools that do not comply may lose federal funding.

The new filing means that nearly half the U.S. states are challenging the Obama administration’s guidance, and doing so based on a “1972 understanding of sex,” notes Zach Ford at ThinkProgress.

They can’t go home to the 1950s, but they’ll take it as close as they can get.

Full story here.

27.

William Howard Taft took office in 1909, the same year America’s first permanent movie studio opened in Fort Lee, New Jersey.

William Howard Taft took office in 1909, the same year America’s first permanent movie studio opened in Fort Lee, New Jersey.

William Howard Taft took office in 1909, the same year America’s first permanent movie studio opened in Fort Lee, New Jersey.

Champion Film Company, the precursor of Universal Studios, used its location along the Jersey Palisades to film scenes from the “Wild West,” launching a movie genre that from its beginning proved problematic. Years before Hollywood was established as America’s film capital, more than a dozen companies made movies from Fort Lee, transforming local scenery and historic buildings into scenes from the stereotypical West.

These early westerns often portrayed Indians in derogatory ways, prompting a delegation of Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians to travel to Washington in early 1911. Concerned that Indians were “discreditably depicted in moving pictures,” the delegates sought an audience with Taft and Robert Valentine, the commissioner of Indian Affairs.

As part of their visit, chiefs Big Buck and Big Bear accompanied a Washington Post reporter to a local theater. The movie they watched followed the story of an Indian woman who, after falling in love with a white man, stabbed the man’s wife with a poison arrow, the Post reported in February 1911.

“If the white people would only take the pains to study Indian characteristics … he could possibly produce something worthy of presentation to the public,” Big Buck told the Washington Post. After viewing the movie, he and Big Bear planned to ask Taft to “close up” the movie house.

“It is bad to be lied about to so many people (and to be) helpless to defend yourself,” Big Bear told the Post.

Valentine was sympathetic and said that he had “seen productions wherein the Indian was pictured as a cannibal, thief, and almost every evil thing one can imagine,” the Post reported. Yet Taft did not respond to requests from Big Bear and Big Buck, and the National Board of Censorship continued to approve the films.

[…]

Throughout his presidency, Taft contended with the rise of the Native American Church and its sacramental and medicinal use of peyote, which the Bureau of Indian Affairs viewed as a threat to Christianity. In 1909, the BIA began investigating peyote meetings and in 1912, the Board of Indian Commissioners lobbied Congress for a law criminalizing its use.

“The danger of the rapid spread of the habit, increased by its so-called religious associations, makes the need of its early suppression doubly pressing,” commissioners wrote in their annual report.

In his final message to Congress, in December 1912, Taft spoke of the government’s role as guardians of the Indians and its responsibility for their “condition of health.”

“In spite of everything which has been said in criticism of the policy of our government toward the Indians, the amount of wealth which is now held by it for these wards per capita shows that the government has been generous,” Taft said. He called on Congress to allocate funding for Indian health “in order that our facilities for overcoming diseases among the Indians might be properly increased.”

Two weeks before leaving office, Taft broke ground with a silver shovel on the proposed 165-foot National American Indian Memorial, to be built on Staten Island. Although Congress set aside the federal land for the project, it did not receive funding and was never constructed.

Full Article at ICTMN.

Gyasi Ross on MSNBC.

“I think we have to be very clear, Donald Trump is just a symbol for an antiquated outdated mode of thought that unfortunately still exists.”

“I think we have to be very clear, Donald Trump is just a symbol for an antiquated outdated mode of thought that unfortunately still exists.”

Gyasi Ross, ICTMN’s Editor at Large, appeared on All In With Chris Hayes last night to address Donald Trump’s candidacy and, specifically, Trump’s 1993 quote, “They don’t look Indian,” as part of the presumptive Republican Presidential Candidate’s reoccurring shtick.

Hayes opened the segment by bringing up the opening of Foxwoods resort and casino in Connecticut, which presented competition to Trump’s casinos in Atlantic City. “Under federal law,” Hayes went on, “Native Americans don’t pay taxes on casinos located on their land.” In 1993 Trump sued the federal government by arguing that the law gave an unfair advantage to a certain class of citizen.

Trump was called to testify before Congress and got into a heated exchange with Representative George Miller. That’s when Trump delivered his infamous phrase, “They don’t look Indian.”

Hayes followed the video clip of the exchange by soliciting comments from Ross, and referred to Trump as the “great determiner of who has what ancestry.”

Ross, a Blackfeet Nation citizen, responded, “This is not a new script at all. … In many ways Native people have historically served as the canary in the coal mine in regards to racial relations and this is no different.

ICTMN has the full story, video below.

https://youtu.be/8_GKkst6tM0

You may rejoice, I must mourn.

Wikimedia Commons.

Wikimedia Commons.

History News Network has a good article up, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” by Anne Pastore. It’s good reading for Colonial Day. Here’s just a bit:

African-American attitudes leading up to the Civil War toward Independence Day itself were perhaps best expressed by Frederick Douglass in his 1852 speech named after its most famous line, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” Asking the crowd why they have asked him, a black man, to speak on this occasion celebrating freedom in a country where his people are not free, his oration demands acknowledgement of slavery, “the great sin and shame of America.”

“Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you, this day, rejoice are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity, and independence bequeathed by your fathers is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought light and healing to you has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn.”

I learned a few things I didn’t know, and I have yet more reading to do. Wherever there’s a declaration of independence, there’s often a pile of bodies under that declaration, and it’s important to remember the cost to all peoples, not just the spoils of the victors.

There’s a great need for such reflection, because the March of American Stupidity stomps on:

The one-time Florida representative and retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel GOP Rep. Allen West  is extremely concerned by his observation that Americans use the phrase “Happy Fourth of July” to greet each other instead of “Happy 240th American Independence Day,” or better yet, “Steadfast and Loyal, Happy 240th American Independence Day.”

West is afraid that the country is not only becoming less Christian, but also less patriotic.

“I’ve noticed something as it relates to today and that which it represents,” West wrote on his blog. “We’ve seen our move away from Merry Christmas to Happy Holidays, and even Happy Winter Solstice. We’ve become so damaged by the talons of political correctness that it now threatens the very existence of our Republic. And I mean its very founding.”

[…]

He concludes, “On June 14th 1775 our Continental Army was formed, the motto of today’s U.S. Army is ‘This We’ll Defend.’ Let us all defend these free and independent states from a new tyranny and make a stand for Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness…not charlatans who believe they can promise our individual happiness. Steadfast and Loyal, Happy 240th American Independence Day!”

Mr. West, you can take your Steadfast and Loyal, Happy 240th American Independence Day and shove it. Full story here.

Shameful Camps.

custercamp

I have, at best, been vaguely aware of Fort Abraham, having gone past it often enough. That vague awareness has now been shattered, and not in a good way.

Fort Abraham State Park in North Dakota offers a Saturday morning kids’ program called “Becoming a Soldier of Fort Abraham Lincoln”. The free program states that “children will learn about soldier life at Fort Abraham Lincoln and what it takes to be part of Custer’s 7th Cavalry.”

Fort Abraham is located just north of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, home of Tatanka Iyotake (Sitting Bull).

The program, which runs from late May to early September, says it will “introduce kids to military life on the Dakota frontier as a solider living at Fort Abraham Lincoln in 1875.” Kids will also take the ‘official oath of enlistment’ into the U.S. 7th Cavalry.

[…]

Custer’s surprise attack happened at dawn. He ordered his men to destroy “everything of value to the Indians,” and in a few hours over 100 Cheyenne’s had been killed including Black Kettle, his wife, and over 800 horses. Custer also took over 50 women and children into captivity.

While originally labelled as a “Battle” the slaughter at Washita River was later called a “massacre of innocent Indians” by the Indian Bureau.

[…]

In 1890, a blood thirsty and revenge driven 7th Calvary rounded up a peaceful band of Lakota, primarily Ghost Dancers, under Chief Big Foot and slaughtered over 300 women, men, and children known as the Wounded Knee massacre.

It is incomprehensible that the Fort Abraham State Park would find it appropriate to encourage children to find out what it takes to be a part of a legacy soaked in genocide.

I agree, it’s incomprehensible. When there’s a tacit refusal to teach children actual history, warts and all, they can hardly be blamed for developing untruthful and biased views. (There was a recent discussion about Custer here.) It’s not surprising that white attitudes towards indigenous people remains so negative when this whitewashing is taking place in the heart of Indian country. It’s sad and burdensome to see that lying about Custer is still so very important to some people. “History comes to life”. Yes, a very whitewashed, colonial version, which celebrates the largest mass murder in U.S. history, the Massacre at Wounded Knee.

https://youtu.be/v68KVexu628

Full Story at Last Real Indians.

Moving on to a Christian camp in Arkansas called Camp War Eagle. You already know it’s bad from the name alone. You just don’t know how bad. Yet.

[Read more…]

26.

Theodore Roosevelt. Whitehouse.gov.

Theodore Roosevelt. Whitehouse.gov.

When Theodore Roosevelt took office in 1901, he already had a long legacy of animosity toward American Indians.

Seventeen years earlier, Roosevelt, then a young widow, left New York in favor of the Dakotas, where he built a ranch, rode horses and wrote about life on the frontier. When he returned to the east, he famously asserted that “the most vicious cowboy has more moral principle than the average Indian.”

“I don’t go so far as to think that the only good Indians are the dead Indians, but I believe nine out of every 10 are,” Roosevelt said during a January 1886 speech in New York. “And I shouldn’t like to inquire too closely into the case of the tenth.”

[…]

Roosevelt’s seven and a half years in office were marked by his support of the Indian allotment system, the removal of Indians from their lands and the destruction of their culture. Although he earned a reputation as a conservationist—placing more than 230 million acres of land under public protection—Roosevelt systematically marginalized Indians, uprooting them from their homelands to create national parks and monuments, speaking publicly about his plans to assimilate them and using them as spectacles to build his political empire.

[Read more…]

Relay!

2016-Metra-Poster-Long-Ed2-1

The 2016 PIHRA races are off to an exciting start, and even more exciting, the finals will be taking place in Billings, Montana, which is close enough for us to go, so it looks like we’ll be taking a week in September. Maybe two, if we make wacipi earlier in September. From Lakota Country Times:

According to the PIHRA website “Indian relay is America’s oldest sport. It dates back over 400 years to when the horse was first re-introduced to the native cultures of the America’s. Lakota culture insists that this was in fact the second coming of the horse and its reintroduction and in fact the relationship to the plains cultures and the horse is perhaps much older than that is realized. Archeology seems to support that view.”

The PIHRA would add, “It appears that Indian relay developed independently amongst the Indian nations. Different cultures have different oral histories of its origins and most likely they are all true representations. To one tribe relay was used as war games, to another a relay to hunt the buffalo, to another a way to outrun the wild horses to enable their capture,” said the PIHRA.

The Modern version of the sport is currently experiencing a time of rapid growth and has over 50 teams currently vying for one of thirty spots in this year’s World Championships set to be held in Billings, MT on September, 22, 2016.

During the relay portion of the race Riders and Holders line up and await a starting gunshot. After the start riders leap on horses and race three laps exchanging horses after each lap. Fifteen horses and 20 warriors are on the track at the same time working for that seamless exchange. Each team consists of a rider, an Exchange Holder who holds the horse the rider mounts, a Mugger who catches the horse the rider jumps off, and a Back Holder who’s job it is to secure the extra horse during horse rotation.

The PIHRA requires team members to be dressed in tribal theme oriented regalia or traditional ribbon shirts while the rider’s regalia will display moccasins, breechcloths and/or leggings. All horses will be marked with traditional tribal war paint and decorations in colors determined by team tradition which may include medicine and feathers and any distinguishing personal symbol, mark and color.

Ashton-JReeIMG_36191-720x636

Garrel-Snell-720x636

Horse1

Horse2

There’s much more to read and see at Professional Indian Horse Racing Association. Check the schedules, if you’re going to be in the areas this year, grab a ticket.

Remember the Removal, 2016.

Courtesy Cherokee Nation Remember the Removal Bike Ride Elder Ambassador and Cherokee Nation citizen Sammy Houseberg leads the cyclists to the Cherokee Nation Courthouse as they complete the 950-mile trek.

Courtesy Cherokee Nation
Remember the Removal Bike Ride Elder Ambassador and Cherokee Nation citizen Sammy Houseberg leads the cyclists to the Cherokee Nation Courthouse as they complete the 950-mile trek.

The 2016 Remember the Removal Bike Ride cyclists rolled onto the Cherokee Nation Courthouse lawn Thursday, June 23 officially ending their 950-mile journey retracing the Trail of Tears.

Eight Cherokee Nation cyclists and seven Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian riders traveled seven states starting June 5 to honor their Cherokee ancestors who were forced to make the trek on foot more than 175 years ago. […] The cyclists started in New Echota, Georgia, and traveled over three weeks across Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas to arrive in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.

“This ride is an amazing journey. It’s vigorous and challenging, and I feel like we are taking away a family bond and a better sense of our tribe’s history, culture and ancestry,” said 2016 Remember the Removal cyclist and Cherokee Nation citizen Blayn Workman. “Because of this experience, I can also now tell others about what actually happened on the Trail of Tears. In school, you don’t learn about where they stopped along the trail or why they stopped or how many died, so now I can help further other people’s knowledge about the trail just as the ride helped further my knowledge.”

The cyclists visited various gravesites and historic landmarks significant to the history of the Trail of Tears, including Blythe Ferry in Tennessee, which was the last piece of Cherokee homeland the ancestors stood on before beginning the trek to Indian Territory. Riders visited Mantle Rock in Kentucky, which provided shelter to the ancestors as they waited for the Ohio River to thaw in order to cross safely, and also stopped to pray at Shellsford Cemetery in Tennessee, where Cherokees who died on the route are buried in unmarked graves.

2016 Remember the Removal Bike Ride participant and Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians citizen Jack Cooper hugs his mother Jill after completing the 950-mile bike ride. (Courtesy Cherokee Nation)

2016 Remember the Removal Bike Ride participant and Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians citizen Jack Cooper hugs his mother Jill after completing the 950-mile bike ride. (Courtesy Cherokee Nation)

[…]

The Cherokee Nation started the ride in 1984 as a leadership program and so that Cherokee youth would never forget the hardships of their Cherokee ancestors. Of the estimated 16,000 forced to make the journey to Indian Territory, approximately 4,000 died due to exposure, starvation and disease.

For the first time since the program began, participants received three hours of college credit from Northeastern State University after completion of the ride. Also, the U.S. National Park Service awarded a copy5,000 grant to the Remember the Removal Bike Ride for cyclists to promote the national parks along the trail.

The 2016 Remember the Removal Bike Ride included the following:

Cherokee Nation

Amicia Craig, 24, Tahlequah

Stephanie Hammer, 24, Tahlequah

Nikki Lewis, 23, Tahlequah

Kelsey Girty, 21, Warner

Amber Anderson, 23, Warr Acres

Kylar Trumbla, 23, Proctor

Blayn Workman, 16, Muldrow

Glendon VanSandt, 16, Siloam Springs

Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians

Marisa Cabe, 49, Wolfetown, North Carolina

Cole Saunooke, 16, Yellowhill, North Carolina

Tom Hill, 57, Yellowhill, North Carolina

Tosh Welch, 38, Wolfetown, North Carolina

J.D. Arch, 49, Wolfetown, North Carolina

Jack Cooper, 15, Birdtown, North Carolina

Aaron Hogner, 31, Wolfetown, North Carolina

The Cherokee Nation also had Cherokee Nation citizens Stacy Leeds, Dean of Law at the University of Arkansas, ride as a historian, Vietnam veteran Sammy Houseberg ride as an ambassador and Kevin Jackson ride as a Cherokee Nation marshal and trainer.

The 2016 Remember the Removal Bike Ride is chronicled on Facebook.

ICTMN has the full story.

Battle at the Greasy Grass.

Indians charge Custer’s cavalry. (Courtesy National Anthropological Archives/Smithsonian Institution)

Indians charge Custer’s cavalry. (Courtesy National Anthropological Archives/Smithsonian Institution)

140 years ago, on June 25th, 1876, the Battle at the Greasy Grass was fought. Lakota, Dakota, Cheyenne, and Arapaho were camped at the Greasy Grass along side the Little Bighorn River. What was one of the few victories of Indians against the colonial military is historically described as a tragedy, the horrific slaughter of a noble man and great military leader. Poor Custer. Certainly, at the time, the battle at the Greasy Grass was depicted as a tragedy to be avenged, those animals (Indians) needing to be put down, and we were. It wasn’t long after Greasy Grass that much more effective arms were granted to the military, repeating rifles rather than single shot, etc. Crazy Horse was killed in captivity by soldiers. That was followed by the Massacre of Wounded Knee. The U.S. has held a grudge over the Greasy Grass for all these years. Everywhere, there are monuments littered of those who slaughtered countless Indians, including Custer, but there are no monuments to the valiant fighters of the Greasy Grass, of those who saved and protected so many lives, as there were six to eight thousand Indians gathered at the Greasy Grass.

Ruth Hopkins has an article at Last Real Indians, Fighting with Spirit, How Greasy Grass Was Won.

ICTMN has an article, The Battle of the Greasy Grass 140 Years Later: The Complete Story in 18 Drawings.

The Lakota Times (subscription only) notes that “The Battle of Greasy Grass/The Battle of Little Bighorn”will begin at 2 p.m. on June 25th. Admission for Learning Forums is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, $9 for students, & half off for members (includes museum admission). The Journey Museum is located in Rapid City at 222 New York St, 2 blocks east of the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center right across from the Club for Boys.

A 2010 article from Smithsonian Magazine highlights the Battle at the Greasy Grass from the point of view of the victors, a rare case when the victors are Indians.

Happy Victory Day.

Jim Boyd has walked on.

jcc_1409

Jim Boyd, musician and Colville tribal chairman has walked on. Jim was well known for his music as a member of the bands XIT, Greywolf and Winterhawk, and for four songs in the iconic Indian Country classic movie Smoke Signals. Jim Boyd was also instrumental in the recent historic canoe journey and intertribal gathering, which has brought profound joy to so many people. Also instrumental in that effort was Virgil Seymour, who also walked on recently, another great loss to the Colville people.

Jim has walked on, but I will look to the stars, listen to his voice, and whisper thank you.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fFWrfI1YLU

Native Music Icon and Colville Chairman Jim Boyd Walks OnJim Boyd’s Passing the Second of Two Devastating Losses for Colvilles‘There are No Words’: Reviving Canoe Culture on the Upper Columbia River.

25.

William McKinley took office as the Dawes Commission, headed by Henry Dawes, was dismantling the Five Civilized Tribes. Established in 1893, the commission was charged with convincing the Choctaw, Creek, Chickasaw, Seminole and Cherokee to accept individual land allotments and register with the federal Dawes Rolls.

William McKinley took office as the Dawes Commission, headed by Henry Dawes, was dismantling the Five Civilized Tribes. Established in 1893, the commission was charged with convincing the Choctaw, Creek, Chickasaw, Seminole and Cherokee to accept individual land allotments and register with the federal Dawes Rolls.

One of the last major armed conflicts between American Indians and the U.S. Army occurred during William McKinley’s watch.

Nineteen months after McKinley took office as the 25th president of the United States, the Third Infantry chased an Ojibwe man to his reservation on the shores of Leech Lake, a 110-acre body of water in central Minnesota, where the man sought refuge from white laws. Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig, 62, was being transported to Duluth as a witness in a federal bootlegging trial when he escaped, triggering military action to recapture him.

Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig, not to be confused with the two Ojibwa chiefs by the same name, was an Ojibwa man who lived on Leech Lake. His escape from unjust arrest kicked off a battle between Leech Lake Ojibwa and a small U.S. Army contingent. (Courtesy Minnesota Historical Society)

Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig, not to be confused with the two Ojibwa chiefs by the same name, was an Ojibwa man who lived on Leech Lake. His escape from unjust arrest kicked off a battle between Leech Lake Ojibwa and a small U.S. Army contingent. (Courtesy Minnesota Historical Society)

The incident came as relationships deteriorated between the federal government and the Ojibwe, who subsisted on the sale of timber from the reservation. Timber companies, exploiting a loophole in the law that allowed them to take dead pine and pay a fraction of what it was worth, were setting brush fires on the reservation to make the trees appear dead and harvesting the wood on the inside.

Frustrated, Ojibwe leaders at Leech Lake sought redress from the government. In late September 1898, they petitioned McKinley to stop the practice.

“Our people are carrying a heavy burden, and in order that they may not be crushed by it, we humbly petition you to send a commission to investigate the existing troubles here,” they wrote in a letter. “We now have only the pine lands of our reservations for our future subsistence and support, but the manner in which we are being defrauded out of these has alarmed us.”

McKinley did nothing to intervene.

Meanwhile, a U.S. Marshal arrived on the reservation to arrest two men accused of helping Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig escape, but a group of 40 Ojibwe overtook the marshal and set the men free. The marshal returned to his base and requested military assistance to arrest everyone who helped free the men.

On October 5, 1898, an army of 80 soldiers—mostly inexperienced—descended by boat on the eastern shore of Leech Lake. A soldier fired first and a force of 19 Ojibwe responded in a conflict known as the battle of Sugar Point. Six soldiers and one white civilian were killed.

[…]

McKinley took office as the Dawes Commission, headed by Henry Dawes, was dismantling the Five Civilized Tribes. Established in 1893, the commission was charged with convincing the Choctaw, Creek, Chickasaw, Seminole and Cherokee to accept individual land allotments and register with the federal Dawes Rolls.

Prior treaty agreements exempted the Five Civilized Tribes from the Dawes Act of 1887, which allowed the President to break up reservation land and reassign it to individual allottees. But the Curtis Act of 1898, whose purpose was to dismember the sovereign status of the Five Civilized Tribes, overturned those treaties and abolished the tribes’ governments, invalidated their laws and dissolved their courts.

More formally known as An Act for the Protection of the People of the Indian Territory, the Curtis Act also extinguished land ownership claims, allowing the President to break apart tribal lands into smaller portions and open “surplus” lands to white settlers.

A proponent of assimilation policy and the allotment program, McKinley signed the act in June 1898. Six months later, he told Congress that the Five Civilized Tribes were showing “marked progress.”

The act was “having a salutary effect upon the nations composing the five tribes,” he said. “The Dawes Commission reports that the most gratifying results and greater advance toward the attainment of the objects of the Government have been secured in the past year than in any previous year.”

[…]

“Hawaii was an important strategic asset,” Gould said. “McKinley couldn’t have cared less about the Native population in strategic terms.”

In his final message to Congress, in December 1900, McKinley spoke of the “uncivilized tribes” on the newly annexed islands.

“Many of those tribes are now living in peace and contentment, surrounded by a civilization to which they are unable or unwilling to conform,” he said. “Such tribal governments should, however, be subjected to wise and firm regulation, and, without undue or petty interference, constant and active effort should be exercised to prevent barbarous practices and introduce civilized customs.”

Full article at ICTMN.

Roots of Orlando Massacre Run Deep.

seminole-war-in-everglades

The tragedy that occurred in Orlando in the early morning hours of June 12 did not begin a year ago, or a decade ago. Its historical roots go back almost 200 years, to the tragedies that occurred in the swamps of Florida, when the U.S. Army forcibly removed the Indigenous Peoples from the area.

Today, America is indisputably a nation of civilian gun owners, and a major reason for that is those very Seminole Wars. The NRA estimates there are 300 million guns in the hands of everyday citizens, and the argument that often justifies that extraordinary number is the “right to bear arms” contained in the Bill of Rights.

Pamela Haag, author of The Gunning of America: Business and the Making of American Gun Culture disputes that. She writes, “We became a gun culture not because the gun was symbolically intrinsic to Americans or special to our identity, or because the gun was something exceptional in our culture, but precisely because it was not… It was like a buckle or a pin, an unexceptional object of commerce.”

In 1837, during the very early days of the transition from the art of gunsmithing to the mass production of firearms, Samuel Colt advertised his “Patent Repeating Rifle” in the New York Courier and Enquirer, with little result. The average citizen did not need multi-firing arms and was not willing to pay extra for them, according to a gun expert quoted by Haag.

Then Colt decided to hawk the repeaters to the U.S. military. Having failed to gain the support of the head of the Army’s Ordinance Department, he took his product directly to field officers. Specifically, to officers engaged in the Seminole Wars in the Florida Everglades.

A precursor to excess military equipment being dumped into cops shops all over uStates, and amped up departments to justify said military equipment.

One Col. William S. Harney, sent by President Andrew Jackson to Florida to wrest control of the land from the Seminoles, was losing, in part because the Seminoles had observed that the soldiers were defenseless when they were reloading their single-shot weapons. In 1835, the Seminoles defeated the U.S. Army in what was one of the military’s biggest defeats in the Indian Wars. The Dade Battle left more than 100 Army troops on the battlefield; reportedly only three of the force survived.

Colt himself delivered 500 rifles and a few pistols to Harney in St. Augustine in 1838. Harney defeated the Seminoles, writing later, “I honestly believe that but for these arms, the Indians would now be luxuriating in the everglades of Florida,” instead of having been forced marched to Oklahoma.

The Second Seminole War was fought near what are now the cities of Tampa, Ocala and Bushnell in Central Florida. Ocala and Bushnell are just north of Orlando.

Colt’s new invention – the repeating rifle – won Andrew Jackson’s bloody war against the Indians in Florida.

[…]

That means several million people have paid from $400 to $2,500 to own a kind of rifle – a repeater rifle – that has been linked to tragedy for almost 200 years in U.S. history.

We’ve ceased to be a blood-soaked nation. We’re a nation with blood overflowing. It has to stop.

Full article at ICTMN.