Those Primitive Indians Just Don’t Understand, No.

Obama Legacy; Bears Ears National Monument.

The Fight for Bears Ears has been going on for a very long time; people have been happy with Pres. Obama’s protective national monument status. Now the GOP is arguing that us dumb Indians, gosh, we just don’t understand. If places are declared national monuments, it will seriously impact our primitive lives, and we wouldn’t be able to do native stuff, like gather firewood, so um, just give us the land, and everything will be great! There really isn’t deep enough mockery for these arrogant colonialists.

Speaking alongside Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke about the Trump administration’s order to review — and potentially shrink or eliminate — nearly 30 national monuments, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said Native Americans were “manipulated” into their support for the 1.35 million acre Bears Ears National Monument southeastern Utah.

“The Indians, they don’t fully understand that a lot of the things that they currently take for granted on those lands, they won’t be able to do if it’s made clearly into a monument or a wilderness,” Hatch said on Sunday. “Once you put a monument there, you do restrict a lot of things that could be done, and that includes use of the land… Just take my word for it.”

Oh, right. We should just take the word of a white man. Gosh, that’s worked so well in the past.

Hatch’s dismissal of native voices is not only condescending, it is incredibly inaccurate in the case of Bears Ears. Protections for Bears Ears were nearly 80 years in the making. Most recently, the Bears Ears Intertribal Coalition, which brought together five tribal nations, pushed for the protection of the Bears Ears region. After the group received no substantial response from the Utah Congressional delegation about protecting the area, the group opted to propose that President Barack Obama should create a national monument, which he did in December 2016.

[…]

But variations of Hatch’s argument have been routinely made by critics of the national monuments — namely, Republican politicians in Utah. Gov. Gary Herbert (R) has long purported that a national monument would get rid of critical tribal activities, such as firewood gathering. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) similarly stoked fears that the federal government would seize native American land for the monument. Utah state legislator Mike Noel (R), who is looking to join the Trump administration, launched an investigation into the tribal support of a Bears Ears National Monument, calling it a “charade.”

These accusations are part of a continued misinformation campaign targeting tribal members that started during the lead-up to the monument designation. In the summer of 2016, flyers meant to antagonize local Navajo were found posted around towns adjacent to the now national monument. One of the flyers impersonated an Interior Department press release that claimed the government would be taking over four million acres of Navajo reservation land. Others suggested the national monument would ban firewood gathering and Native American access.

Think Progress has the full story.

It’s – It’s A Cookbook!

Loud-mouthed Loon Dave Daubenmire has a warning for Christians, but why not let everyone in on the secret? Aliens! It’s Aliens, people, start your screaming now!

Religious Right activist “Coach” Dave Daubenmire issued a rather cryptic warning on his “Pass The Salt Live” webcast this morning when he suggested that efforts are underway to deceive Christians into welcoming “extra-dimensional beings” who will soon appear as rescuers of the world.

Citing an article listed on the website of apocalyptic End Times activist Steve Quayle, Daubenmire warned that some unnamed “they” are “setting us up for the appearance of these, I believe, extra-dimensional beings that are going to come as our rescuers, the ones who are going to rescue the world and the very elect themselves, if it was possible, will be deceived.”

Yeah, okay, someone has watched The Twilight Zone a bit too much. Is the ‘extra-dimensional’ bit necessary? Seems to me if you want to sell aliens coming here with a “ooh, we’ll rescue you” con going, it would be in their interest to look like the peacemaker on Famous Fantastic Mysteries, complete with white doves, a symbol christians can be relied upon to fall for, with oohs and aahs.

Daubenmire then cited another article about the “imminent return” of the “cloudeaters,” whom he asserted were an ancient race of giants, as he marveled that “this stuff is now falling into the mainstream thought, mainstream media, mainstream science” but Christians are not paying attention.

Oh, yes, cloudeaters, giants who have this amazing technology, and they are gonna come back from … somewhere. Let’s take a look at the synopsis of Unearthing the Lost World of the Cloudeaters: Compelling Evidence of the Incursion of Giants, Their Extraordinary Technology, and Imminent Return:

UNEARTHING THE LOST WORLD OF THE CLOUDEATERS is a book unlike any other, one that demands the Smithsonian to open its hidden warehouses so the history of ancient America can be rewritten! As chronicled by Dr. Thomas R. Horn, radio legend Stephen Quayle, and two teams of investigators and film crews (following a secret conference with leaders of the Ute Nation, Zuni, and Hopi tribes) the most compelling evidence is finally unveiled involving pre-Columbian, dragon/giant-worshiping interlopers who traversed the Atlantic Ocean and secret Anasazi routes to corrupt the earliest Americans with portal-opening sorcery, human sacrifices, ritual cannibalism, and technology of the fallen ones. NOW, FOR THE FIRST TIME, IN UNEARTHING THE LOST WORLD OF THE CLOUDEATERS: DISCLOSED! The truth behind the great Smithsonian cover up REVEALED! The pre-Flood architecture of the Giant Kings DECIPHERED! Pre-Flood angel civilizations and the remnants of Watchers UNCOVERED! The secret of the Anasazi and why they disappeared overnight UNVEILED! Ancient hidden stargates that medicine-men still use to see the future CONFESSED! The sacred mountains where the giant bones are kept EXPOSED! What tribal elders confessed about returning giants UNMASKED! Giant, cannibalistic gods that demanded human sacrifice DISCOVERED! Children of Cloudeaters, six-fingered, six-toed mutants UNWRAPPED! Shapeshifters, Skinwalkers, and other sky people UNEARTHED! Where the gates will open when the Cloudeaters return Learn the secrets to America’s earliest history and the truth about the giants in its past and future as you travel with Dr. Thomas R. Horn and Stephen Quayle into the most groundbreaking, history-altering investigation primed to challenge predominant, institutional dogma and scientific orthodoxy.

Well, that has crackpot written all over it. I can easily assert that the “leaders” of the Ute, Zuni, and Hopi nations had nothing to do with this, unless they were indulging in a joke. Joking about may well have happened, but I don’t expect someone like Mr. Quayle can easily discern humour. There’s just an astonishing amount of “every story we could think of” in that conspiratorial and paranoia spiced stew. So, according to Coach Dave, this “stuff” is now falling into mainstream thought, media, and science. I gotta say, that’s news to me. I’d think if scientists were going to raise the alarm about giants and mutants, they had the best opportunity ever at all the Marches for Science, but I didn’t see any signs warning people about the imminent return of cloudeaters or anything else. Haven’t seen anything on various blogs kept by scientists, either. Of course, if giant cephalopods are involved at all, PZ may well keep quiet about this one. Well, let’s see how Coach Dave finishes up:

“The MK Ultras, the satanically ritually abused children,” he said, “all that kind of stuff, it is right before our face.”

Oh, are people still going on about that nonsense? Is it too much to ask you christians on the lunatic fringe to pick one and go with it? You started with aliens, just stay with it. As for the satanist silliness, please, please, get it through your dense heads: Lucifer is a key player in the christian mythos. The whole thing falls apart without him. Anyone who is actually serious about satanism is also a christian, they just prefer a different perspective. All that “stuff” might be right in front of your face, Coach Dave, but it sure as hell isn’t in front of mine. No MK Ultra moles, no satanic children, no dragon/giant worshipping interlopers, no giants, none of it. A person might be tempted to think you’re doing a bit of mind altering acid yourself. So, anyone seen anything suspicious lately?

Via RWW.

#Hints You Are In Hell.

The U.S. Forest Service is not happy. They have very good reason for that, too. Some reading on the destruction to come:

Trump to sign executive order putting two decades of national monuments in jeopardy.

Trump’s order on national monuments decried as corporate ‘give-away’.

Via Raw Story.

Copwatch Premieres At Tribeca Film Festival.

Copwatch Documentary still.

Copwatch will be premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival, April 23rd to April 28th, if you can grab a ticket and watch!

Copwatch is the true story of We Copwatch, an organization whose mission is to film police activity as a non-violent form of protest and deterrent to police brutality. Around the country, a network of regular people take up cameras to bear witness to police actions and hold law enforcement to accountability. Director Camilla Hall profiles several We Copwatch members, including a young California dad who’s found direction in this activism, and Ramsey Orta, the man who filmed Eric Garner’s fatal Staten Island arrest in the devastating video that has galvanized protestors and activists nationwide. And yet Orta is the only person involved in these incidents who has seen the inside of a jail cell. In her powerful directorial debut, Hall crafts an intriguing and incredibly timely profile of citizen-journalist-activists who are seeking to disrupt the ever-present challenge of police violence.

—Opal Bennett

If you’re unaware of We Copwatch, please become aware, and if you haven’t supported We Copwatch, please consider doing so now. You can get a snazzy T-shirt or hoodie!

Dakota Access Allowed to Keep Risks Secret.

© Marty Two Bulls.

It’s not enough that the pipeline went through, and once again, drinking water is threatened (which is fine, of course, because Indians), but ETP can now keep risk information to themselves. Just keeps getting worse. And to those people who think they are helping through vandalism? You aren’t, so fucking stop it.

Despite concerns that the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline could threaten the primary source of drinking water for the Standing Rock Sioux, a federal judge ruled that the pipeline’s developer can keep some information about spill risks secret from the public.

The ruling — which would permit Energy Transfer Partners, the developer of the pipeline, to keep information about spill risks at certain points along the pipeline shielded from the public — comes after unknown protesters used a torch to burn holes in empty above-ground segments of the pipeline. The Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes had argued that information about spill risks could potentially strengthen their case for more environmental review of the project.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg rejected that argument, saying that shielding the information from public view would prevent vandalism of the pipeline.

“The asserted interest in limiting intentionally inflicted harm outweighs the tribes’ generalized interests in public disclosure and scrutiny,” Boasberg said in his ruling.

[…]

Pipeline spills in North Dakota are not uncommon — according to analysis from the Center for Biological Diversity, North Dakota has averaged four pipeline spills a year since 1996, costing more than $40 million in property damage.

Under the Trump administration’s proposed budget, the Environmental Protection Agency would face sharp cuts in its enforcement programs, limiting its ability to enforce and penalize companies that violate environmental laws. When pipeline operators, for instance, violate laws like the Clean Water Act by spilling pollutants into waterways, the EPA is normally the agency that imposes fines on those operators. Last week, for instance, the EPA and the Department of Justice issued a fine against a pipeline operator in Ohio that violated the Clean Water Act by discharging approximately 1,950 barrels of gasoline from a pipeline into nearby waterways.

Think Progress has the full story.

The Farce That Is “The Wall”.

Ryan Zinke (Twitter).

Ryan Zinke (Twitter).

Just when you think rethuglicans really could not possibly go lower or more regressive, *bam*. Ryan the fink Zinke has a problem with the stupid wall – placing it on U.S. land would cede the Rio Grande, oh no wtfbbq!!!11!1 The solution? Doesn’t seem to be one right now, outside of making sure endangered animals are endangered right into extinction. It seems the only way to keep the Rio Grande would be to either steal land from Mexico, or build it on Mexico’s land and claim it for uStates. Or something. Jesus Fuck. There’s that Colonial mindset at work.

E&E News reports that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke talked about the logistics of building a border wall while speaking at an event held by the Public Lands Council this week, and he said the Trump administration didn’t want to build the wall on American soil because it would mean ceding the entire Rio Grande river to Mexico.

“The border is complicated, as far as building a physical wall,” Zinke said. “The Rio Grande, what side of the river are you going to put the wall? We’re not going to put it on our side and cede the river to Mexico. And we’re probably not going to put it in the middle of the river.”

Zinke didn’t elaborate on how the wall would get built if it wasn’t located on America’s side of the Rio Grande or in the middle of the river, which implies that it would be built on the Mexican side of the border.

Elsewhere in his talk, E&E News reports Zinke said the Trump administration will seek a waiver to the Endangered Species Act so it can build the wall in jaguar habitats that are for now protected from “destruction or adverse modification.”

Via Raw Story. And, Ryan fucking idiot Zinke has now said there’s no such thing as clean energy. Nope.

Neither Wolf Nor Dog.

Courtesy Roaring Fire Films.

Courtesy Roaring Fire Films.

Fans of Kent Nerburn’s book Neither Wolf Nor Dog, will be thrilled to know the movie has finally been made, to great acclaim so far. This was David Bald Eagle’s final role.

It has taken twenty years for the bestselling novel, Neither Wolf Nor Dog to get made. And Indian Country was the venue as the independent film opened up Friday February 24 at the Yakama Nation Heritage Theater in Toppenish, WA, in theaters in Bemidji and Rochester, MN, and in South Dakota, where much of the film is set. These were the four sites to host the film’s theatrical premiere and they provided a very successful opening as the film was held over for another week at most of the venues.

Based on Kent Nerburn’s 1996 bestselling novel of the same name, Neither Wolf Nor Dog is the story of a well-meaning white writer (Nerburn himself, played by Christopher Sweeney) who is drawn into Native culture when a Lakota elder asks him to turn a box full of notes into a book. The elder — a man named Dan is played by 95-year-old David Bald Eagle — uses the opportunity to poke holes in Nerburn’s — and the audience’s — assumptions about Native people.

David Bald Eagle walked on his journey to the spirit world this past July at age 97, but was able to view the film and said, “It’s the only film I’ve been in about my people that told the truth.”

[…]

This is Scottish director Steven Lewis Simpson’s third feature film made in South Dakota. Christopher Sweeney, Richard Ray Whitman, Roseanne Supernault, Tatanka Means, Zahn McClarnon (seen in ‘Fargo’, ‘Longmire’ and ‘Mekko’) and newcomer, Harlen Standing Bear Sr. make up the rest of the outstanding cast.

[…]

Simpson ran a grassroots operation distribution, telling indie filmmakers on Facebook how he self-distributed, hand delivered prints and paid an absolute minimum for a Facebook ad, as Neither Wolf Nor Dog premiered in 3 states. It’s successful opening now sets the stage as the initial audience ratings should help for a wider release around the nation.

In the multiplexes that showed Neither Wolf Nor Dog, the competition was all Hollywood films of the moment, and Simpson’s beat them all comfortably, only the top 3 films in the US that weekend had a better screen average attendance. And it was all word of mouth, local media, grassroots support and very much with the help of Facebook. The audiences have given the film a 9.3/10 rating on IMDB so far and the reports from people have been extremely complimentary.

[…]

The films world premiere was at the oldest continuously running film festival in the world, the Edinburgh International Film Festival, where it’s first review was 5 stars, receiving an incredible audience and critical response. And fans of Nerburn’s novel gave the film a standing ovation at a special South Dakota Book Festival screening.

ICMN has the full story. Be sure to look out for the film wherever you are!

Decolonize Your Gitch.

summer-peters

Summer Peters is hoping to inspire other Indigenous women to push the boundaries of Native art. (Andrea Noline).

Summer Peters, an Ojibway artist, recently won an award for her piece, Decolonize Your Gitch. I have to say, I quite like it, there’s a joyous assertiveness to it, and a bit of happy, rebellious fuck off in there as well. The piece has come under fire from some, there are people who say it promotes violence against native women, but I think those arguments can be consigned to the same old rape culture arguments women always hear, that for some reason or other, it’s totally our fault if we end up raped, beaten or murdered. There are also a number of people, usually not native, who object to any modernization of traditional Indigenous arts.

An Ojibway artist is taking a feminist stand against online critics, who say she should be ashamed of her recent award-winning piece called Decolonize Your Gitch.

Summer Peters recently won a judge’s choice award at a U.S. art festival for her artwork, a bra and thong beaded with traditional floral designs.

After she posted it to social media, “I would say 99% of the people liked it,” Peters said.

But others objected to the piece, accusing her of “promoting violence towards native women.”

“There was a guy that said I should be ashamed of myself, my family should be ashamed of me, that I was nuts, that I was crazy, that my beadwork was shitty,” said Peters.

In response to her critics, Peters wrote in an Instagram post:

“I will take all the negative criticism so that Native lady artists in the future will maybe have an easier time … women should not be told what to do, what to wear in attempts to avoid sexual violation, we should not have to cover up and/or NOT wear a pretty bra & panty set or bikini because we might be violated and it would be all of our faults.”

You can read more here.

Kliluk in nsyilxcen.

spottedlake_2

In the heart of British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, lies a lake like no other. Known as kliluk in nsyilxcen, it is a site of deep spiritual and cultural significance for the Syilx Okanagan people. Throughout winter and into spring, this lake looks like any other body of water, nestled away in the rolling hills with a shallow depth and shimmering surface.  However, as the summer sun grows hotter and its rays beat down on the lake, water evaporates, lowering the surface level over time. As the water level drops, interesting shapes begin to break the surface.

As the summer heat drives on, it becomes clear that these shapes are sections of giant circles, which are normally lying invisible just below the surface. Now, with the hot summer providing no relief or added water, the circles continue to reveal themselves. Colourful pools of water appear at their centre, displaying gorgeous hues of yellow, blue and green. These beautiful ‘spots’ give this magical lake its English name – ‘Spotted Lake’. The lake’s beauty is only half the story though – its history is fascinating as well.

‘Spotted Lake’ has no outflow; no river or creek to drain it, and receives all its water as run-off from the surrounding hills. Each year, as snow melts and flows into the basin, it brings with it minerals and salts, which accumulate year over year, century over century. As the summer sun evaporates the water, the salts become exposed and the spots change in size and colour over a matter of months, creating these beautiful fluctuating hues, based on the mineral composition of each spot.

You can read more here. And a couple of videos:

Indigenous Activism Roundup.

Protesters gather outside of the White House. CREDIT: Natasha Geiling.

Protesters gather outside of the White House. CREDIT: Natasha Geiling.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Mni wiconi—”water is life”—appear to be empty words to the federal government, but they now constitute a battle cry for Native nations as they rise together in the U.S. capital today to voice their discontent with the Trump administration’s policies regarding indigenous rights and power.

[…]

Organizers also want the public to know that this gathering is not just about the Dakota Access Pipeline, even though it now serves as the symbol of all that’s wrong with the government-to-government relationship that tribes and the federal government are supposedly involved in. Tribes point to the Trump administration’s fast-track actions on the pipeline sans meaningful consultation and environmental review serving as the tipping point for Indian country by making a mockery of free, prior and informed consent—the right of every other sovereign nation in the world. They hope to make the point that the federal government, in going forward with the pipeline against the tribes’ wishes, abdicated its role as trustee to protect the tribes’ rights and resources, and violated their sovereignty and self-determination.

Full Story at ICMN. Think Progress also covers this story.

Tipis on the National Mall, near the White House, as water protectors gather for a march advocating for indigenous rights and a halt to environmental destruction. Kandi Mossett/Facebook.

Tipis on the National Mall, near the White House, as water protectors gather for a march advocating for indigenous rights and a halt to environmental destruction. Kandi Mossett/Facebook.

“The Standing Rock movement is bigger than one tribe,” the Standing Rock Sioux said. “It has evolved into a powerful global phenomenon highlighting the necessity to respect Indigenous Nations and their right to protect their homelands, environment and future generations. We are asking our Native relatives from across Turtle Island to rise with us.”

Full story at ICMN.

There is No O’odham Word for Wall.

TUCSON, ARIZONA—The Tohono O’odham Nation Executive Branch is firm on their stance against a border wall being built.

“[It’s] not going to happen,” said Tohono O’odham Nation Chairman Edward Manual. “It is not feasible to put a wall on the Tohono O’odham Nation…it is going to cost way too much money, way more than they are projecting.”

TON Chairman Manuel went on to say, “It is going to cut off our people, our members that come [from Mexico] and use our services. Not only that we have ceremonies in Mexico that many of our members attend. Members also make pilgrimages to Mexico and a border wall would cut that off as well.”

ICMN has the full story.

This Is My Body.

1 MA7XcJEmVWHKbOPof9j8yA

This Is My Body. A figure stands in the middle of the image with arms outstretched. A red headband covers the forehead and long, loosely braided dark hair, parted in the middle. White streams down the face, and the eyes are red and swollen. The body has a bleeding wound on its side, a hole in each palm, and three rubber bullet wounds. Dark figures with riot gear border the figure to the right, while water from a vehicle cannon shoots down at the figure. (Art done by Joann Lee Kim).

Joann Lee Kim has a stunning body of work, do yourself a favour and wander over for a long look. I came across Ms. Kim’s work at The Establishment, specifically an article by Dae Shik Kim Hawkins Jr., about the days when 500 ministers descended on the NoDapl camp. I was there for that, and talked to several of the ministers. The ones I spoke with all seemed rather dazed and overcome by everything happening at the camps. The particular perspective of the article is an interesting one, and quite important, I think: Christianity Is Co-opting The Justice Movement. It’s an excellent article. Solidarity is more important than ever, as is making sure that solidarity is intersectional and inclusive. When it comes to christian involvement in major social justice fights, particularly indigenous ones, it is very important that attention is seriously paid to the colonial roots and colonial mindset which still rules most peoples’ thinking and actions, especially those of churches.

Have a read, highly recommended. And when you’re done, have a look around at the rest of The Establishment, a lot of good writing going on there.

Cultural Codex.

culturalcodexhome-720x445

https://culturalcodex.com/

A new online publishing platform is working to preserve and share knowledge of the cultures and languages of indigenous communities. Cultural Codex, developed by software company Dadavan Systems, invites anyone to contribute stories and experiences that record aspects of indigenous culture they want to celebrate, through personalized galleries that support text, video, photographs, and sound recordings. Currently in its early stages, the website features just a few dozen examples so far, but its creators envision archivists, artists, curators, museums, cultural and language centers, and many others producing online exhibitions and libraries that feature everything from archival material to personal reflections. Like those ancient, handwritten books from which the project takes its name, the growing resource will come together as a collaborative effort.

For a new platform, there’s a lot to see already, so do a bit of exploring and learn a little! Cultural Codex.

If you’d like to read more about the project, Hyperallergic has you covered.