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Posts tagged "Indigenous people"



A Taste of Indian Country: New Magazine Dishes Up Native Cuisine, Health and Food Sovereignty

Sassy, friendly, erudite, helpful: Native Foodways is a handsome new food magazine from food-and-health nonprofit Tohono O’odham Community Action (TOCA), in Sells, Arizona. The publication dishes up, and dishes on, food-related topics from around Indian country.

ooooohhhh i would love to get a copy of this!!

(via ethiopienne)





Indian Photographing Tourist Photographing Indian, Zig Jackson (Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara)

Ugh these people and their damn cameras.

White lady (at my school’s powwow): “Can I take your picture?!”

Me: “Go away, white woman.”

At least she asked, I’ve had to step in front of my daughters repeatedly to foil the photos of self-entitled tourists who want some souvenir pics. Generally my skunk-eye gives them the message, but occasionally they actually get offended, like “I wasn’t doing anything wrong!”

This actually happens a ridiculous number of times when my kids are just playing outside. Like me, my kids are usually coded white, so it’s not that these (always female) photographers are trying for ethnic flair. But my daughters will be playing, and suddenly this woman is shoving a camera in their faces. I live in a neighbourhood with a lot of white artists (glad to be leaving actually) so there are a lot of people wandering around ‘looking for inspiration’. Only once have one of these women asked my permission to photograph my children, which I refused. I had to tell the others to stop, and I got very upset with them. Three times these self-entitled moniyawak argued with me about it, like what was I doing interfering with their amazing work? On one occasion, my partner had to step in and tell the woman to leave because he could tell I was a breath away from beating her face in. You are NOT entitled to my children, in any way.


(via apihtawikosisan-deactivated2014)

Sometimes when I’m alone, I wonder why life has to be so hard for our people. It’s puzzling that some of our own people will turn against us. Is it money? Power? Greed? We were here because we were asked to be here, to stand as protection to the traditional families who continue to follow the original instructions as handed down to us from generation to generation in the form of our Creation stories. I am told there is now an investigation being implemented for the murder of the sixty some people killed during that reign of terror. It’s an outrage that it took over 40 years to discover that a bullet hole in the back doesn’t sound like death by natural cause. We were there also, to protect the land from being raped by the government for uranium. We have evidence of the chemical dumps placed on our land without the knowledge or consent of our members and the leaking of radiation 5 times the safe level, polluting the veins of our mother earth and turning our sacred water into a poison that would cause our child bearing women to abort their unborn babies and cancer replacing natural cause on the death certificates of many of our people. I am not trying to make this a gloom and doom message. I am only trying to give an understanding to some of our young people that we need to continue to protect all that is sacred to us, our Elders, our women and our children, our culture and way of life and each other…But as you can guess, I am getting tired. I just want to be home with my people. I want to wake up to the sound of the birds singing outside my window and the smell of “cowboy coffee” coming from the kitchen instead of hearing the clanging of cell doors and jingling of rings of keys. Please! Continue to fight for what is right. That is all I can ask.
Leonard Peltier, on the 38th anniversary of the incident at Oglala today (June 26, 2013), which has now been declared Leonard Peltier Day by the Oglala Lakota Nation [source] (via nitanahkohe)


Baseball Team - Tulalip Indian School - Everett, WA 1912

(via nitanahkohe)


Educators in Indian country are working feverishly and creatively to deal with the cuts to federally funded preschool-to-grade 12 programs mandated by the so-called “sequester.” The sequester, a series of automatic federal spending cuts totaling $85 billion in 2013 and $9 billion for each year from 2014 to 2021 for a total over $2 trillion, was authorized by the Budget Control Act of 2011. It went into effect in March because Congress could not agree on a budget that would reduce deficit spending by $2.4 trillion over the next decade as part of the effort to deal with the country’s nearly $7-trillion debt.

Head Start, intended to promote school readiness in children from birth to five years old from low-income families by supporting their cognitive, social and emotional development, serves 1 million children a year nationwide. The program was developed in the mid-1960s as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty. Sequestration is expected to knock out five percent of Head Start funding across the board, even though most Head Start programs cannot currently accommodate all families who apply, according to the Health & Human Services Department’s Administration for Children & Families, under which Head Start operates. 

Approximately 70,000 children are expected to lose access to the program because of these cuts. In 2013, Head Start programs nationwide will take a $406-million hit as a result of the sequester. Of that amount, nearly $2 million will come from Indian Head Start, according to the National Indian Education Association.

Melissa Harris, director of the Catawba Indian Nation Head Start in South Carolina, is proud of her program, which serves 80 children, most of them from the tribe, at one center on the reservation, for the full year. She says the sequester is devastating her program. “Right now, we’re downsizing from five days of service to four days for the summer.” Not only will this reduction affect the children’s preparation for school but, Harris adds, “we’re concerned about meals. We serve two meals a day. On Fridays, will the children have a meal? Will they be watched by siblings or adults? Every weekend this summer will be a three-day weekend and we’re not sure the children’s basic health and safety needs will be met…We recognize the responsibility to get the U.S. budget in order, but this is not where you start, at the foundation of our children’s lives.”

Of the $2 million in cuts Indian Head Start must deal with, more than one-tenth, or $.4 million, will come from the Navajo Nation’s program, which serves 2,115 children in Early Head Start and Head Start and through home-based education activities. Director Sharon Singer notes that it costs more to serve rural areas, which often do not have accessible services and where transportation is always a challenge. “We’re looking for ways to cut costs and still serve our children and families,” she says.

The Navajo Nation began restructuring its Head Start program in November 2012 to build a high-quality program. That initiative will help cope with the funding cuts. “As part of the restructuring program,” says Singer, “we expect to reduce employees by 30 percent. We’ll combine positions and hire highly qualified teachers who can each be responsible for more children. And we’ll streamline our program, cutting out middle management and offering direct services to children and families.”

For now, says Singer, the Head Start program will be able to continue serving the same number of children, but further funding cuts will affect services. “Head Start provides a continuous program from Early Head Start to Head Start to kindergarten, which is so critical now that Common Core standards require that children be able to read by third grade or not be promoted. Our job is so important. It provides the foundation in learning and literacy for our children.”

The Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians of Oregon’s Head Start program will take a much smaller cut—$48,000, but its program is smaller and the impact will be serious. DeAnn Brown, director of the program, says they will close one week early this year and start two days later next, and they will need to cut supplies to classrooms and teacher training dollars. Brown says her program serves 112 children and about the same number of families. It is a center-based Head Start program with seven classrooms. The program operates 3.5 hours a day, 4 days a week during the school years and serves both breakfast and lunch. “The cuts will be felt by everyone,” she says. “It’s only a week, but families are still dependent on Head Start for childcare. They’ll have to make other arrangements for that week. A week’s worth of childcare is a lot for our families.” Another concern, again, is nutrition. “Children rely on Head Start for two-thirds of their nutritional needs four days a week. Some kids might not get the nutrition they count on when Head Start is not operating for those days…We hope there are no further cuts. As it is, we still don’t serve all the kids we could. Further cuts would impact our enrollment. We hope there aren’t any.”

The 2 million in cuts to American Indian Head Start programs is not just a matter of consequence for the nation’s tribes. National Indian Education Association President Heather Shotton says, “When the federal government does well by our Native children, it does well by everyone’s children…. When budget cuts hurt the education of Native children, they harm education for everyone’s children.”


Focus on the two ladies:  Michelle Thrush, from the  Cree Nation in  Canada in the black dress;  and  Misty Upham from the Blackfeet Nation in the USA in a light dress. Misty says they are the first Native Americans to walk the Cannes red carpet. Also, the man right behind Misty is Puerto Rican actor Benicio del Toro.   They are doing so for their movie Jimmy P. Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian

I’m here for Upham’s y’all-ain’t-ready everything on the carpet.

(via tayarijones)


I can’t even begin to state how much I adore this week’s Crush, Janet Mock, and how much I loved interviewing her! 

While I calm my happy ass on down, please check out the first half of the interview at the main blog, then come back for this second part, in which Janet and I talk about socio-racial politics in Hawaii, what she’s planning to avoid this summer, and her love for Mad Men.

You’re from Hawaii. And you’ve seen how some conservatives constructed Hawaii as practically a foreign country in regards to demanding POTUS Obama’s birth certificate from the state. What other images/stereotypes do “mainlanders” have about Hawaii that’s divisive to progressive politics?

Like the people of the “mainland,” the people of Hawaii are not a monolith (we don’t all surf, we don’t all dance hula and we are not all Asian) and have a rich history with their land. And this may be getting way too deep, but my mother’s mother was Native Hawaiian (meaning indigenous Polynesian people of the Hawaiian Islands) and her father is Portuguese, and if it weren’t for the U.S. military’s occupation of Oahu, my mother would not have met my dad – a Naval officer and black man from the South  – and I would not be here. To be part Native Hawaiian and part black, I am a product of Hawaii and the mainland – which shapes my existence and political perspective and relationship to my homeland. When I think of Hawaii, I think about how missionaries came to Hawaii feeling that they were going to “do good,” forcing their religion and western values to an indigenous people they wrongly viewed as savage and ended up doing quite well instead, making major money in industries like sugar and pineapple and of course tourism. For Native Hawaiians (kanaka maoli) in the Hawaiian sovereign movement, they do feel Hawaii is separate and was colonized and stolen. The U.S. history of the Hawaiian islands is a revisionist telling of the story of our statehood, and like most indigenous people, Native Hawaiians have been displaced on their own land and would actually love for Hawaii to be its own sovereign “foreign” land again, as wrongly appropriated by the conservatives who wish to dismiss President Obama as “un-American” or “foreign.”

How/why did you move to New York City? Along those lines, what are you into outside of your incredible activism? Hobbies? Books you’re reading? Music you’re into? Movies you can’t wait to see?

I moved to Manhattan to study journalism at New York University and get a job as a magazine editor. Luckily, after earning my masters, I landed at People.com, where I worked for more than five years writing and editing stories, creating fun pun-filled photo galleries and of course developed my voice in social media. Right now I’m into everything, from following my dear sister in this movement Reina Gossett’s active archiving and retelling of the activist roots of trans women of color like Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson. I’m also into Instagram selfies, sharing curly hair photos and every bright lip color I find. I’m into books that critique and expand ideas of womanhood and blackness. I thoroughly enjoyed Sister Citizenand Iconicas well as Black Cooland How To Be Blackand Seasonal Velocities, and read This Bridge Called My Backtwice in one month. I also have a summer reading list of women of color writers’ classic and new works, like Salvage the Bones, Kindred, The Summer We Got Free, Drinking Coffee Elsewhere,and Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self.Oh, and I want to read the Katharine Hepburn (she’s my fave movie star) style book Rebel Chic,as well as Nevadafrom Imogen Binnie. As for music, my tastes are pretty mainstream, not original at all – though I have been listening to Diana Ross‘“Home”from The Wizon loop while writing. It soothes me and inspires me to own my space in this world. As for films, it’s about to be summer movie season so I am boycotting Hollywood, though I will see Free Angela Davis & All Political Prisoners.I’m more of a TV girl anyway, live-tweeting Mad Men, Scandal, The Mindy Projectand eyeroll-inducing escapism like The Real Housewives of Atlantaand Beverly Hills.

Anything else you want to add?

I just want to thank you for finding me crush-worthy and sharing your first-ever #nerdland appearance with me. I love that we got the chance to discuss Scandal in such a giddy and hopefully impactful way. For me, it was just amazing to be embraced as another woman who has something to say. Not dismissed as a trans woman, but embraced as a fellow sister. Often I fell I must put my pop culture passions at bay to discuss more pressing trans issues in mainstream media so it was awesome to show my other intersections, as a woman of color, as a visible trans woman, and yes, as a pop culture lover!

Ma’am, since you’re a Mad Men lover, we may have to recruit you for our Mad Men roundtable!


Welcome to the new McDonald’s Happy Meal Toy. Yes seriously. Full story here

Y’all need to read it to believe it. And I’ll leave it at that.



How one woman is building homes for the poor out of plastic bottles

Ingrid Vaca Diez is on a mission to build better homes for the poor.

With few funds and little support, she uses the only resource she can find in abundance - empty plastic bottles.

Her own life in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, is one of relative comfort but she is shocked by the rising level of poverty she sees around her.

Though completely self-taught, she designs and builds new homes using recycled plastic bottles filled with dirt as the “bricks”. So far, she has built 10 of these homes.

The people she is trying to help are rural, indigenous migrants, often living in single room, dirt floor shacks.

Watch here

So. Fucking. Smart.

Y’all, THIS!!

(via so-treu)