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Saturday, February 10, 2018

Medicinal Plants


Thursday, January 11, 2018

Ice Age Baby Skeleton Rewrites History of the First Native Americans

Her genome revealed that she belonged to a previously unrecognized and distinct Native American population, which the study authors call the Ancient Beringians. In a paper released Wednesday, scientists from the Universities of Cambridge and Copenhagen explain that her genes are evidence that the Ancient Beringians came first: They were the initial offshoot of the ancestral population that led to the other Northern and Southern Native American groups historians already know about.

According to the team behind this study, North America was first settled by this shared, founding population, which then gradually split into the different sub-groups.

This finding helps clarify when the two separate branches of Northern and Southern Native Americans split from each other. Previously, scientists debated whether that divide happened after people migrated from Asia to Alaska, or whether genomically different groups from Asia made the cross-continental journey separately. Comparing the genome of the Sunrise Child-girl to the genomes of present-day Native American populations, the scientists found that the Ancient Beringians became isolated from the common ancestral population 20,000 years ago.

That time period comes before the split that led to the Northern and Southern groups, which occurred between 17,000 and 14,000 years ago. This suggests that there was likely just one wave of migration into the Americas.

Archaeological evidence supports the idea that humans lived in the Americas south of the continental ice sheets as early as 14,600 years ago, but the overall timeline of how and when the peopling of the Americas occurred has been clouded with discrepancies.

This new study indicates that the founding population of Native Americans diverged from the ancestral Asian group in northeast Asia 36,000 years ago during the Late Pleistocene era and migrated via the Beringia land bridge connecting northeast Asia to northwestern North America. In that region, harsh weather and glacial barriers kept some of the populations — like the Ancient Beringians — in one place for extended periods of time. The scientists behind this study believe that the split between the North and South Native Americans only happened after some of their ancestors were able to pass through the thawing, giant glaciers that covered Canada and parts of the northern United States.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Charlene Teeters on Mascots

American Indian artist, Charlene Teeters (from In Whose Honor film about Illinois Mascot) shines a light on the stereotypical images of American Indians used in mainstream America. Using the media of popular culture as her medium, she works with installation art. She bombards her audience with commercialized images and names used to portray American Indians, such as Redskins, Braves and juxtaposes them against photographs of friends and family who she considers real American Indians. Teeters hopes to bring a voice to the silence and visibility to invisible people. She uses art as a forum to raise the level of debate about stereotyping and racism in modern America.

QUOTES from above video:
We are just 2% of population… They say 2 million were dead, but it's probably closer to 20 million, and that's probably an understatement. This was probably the most complete and continual process of genocide in human history.

There are over 3000 sports teams w mascots.

Ignorance is our biggest enemy.  The battle used to be on the battlefield… the battle today is in the classroom… the courtroom… and we 're fighting over our self image and identities… the battle is over our image and we are trying to reclaim ourselves, our history, our culture, and our spiritual items and images… It is about self determination and self identification. 

We'll never have an equal voice in this country to heal ourselves if we can't keep from being trivialized and not listened to.

We all have responsibility to deconstruct the things that separate us; it's not just a Native American issue.  

We also have to challenge the confusion within our own community (internalized racism, oppression, and sexism).

and this video uses my sisters poster of "Would You Wear?"

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

National Day of Mourning (Thanksgiving)

Since 1970, Native Americans have gathered at noon on Cole's Hill in Plymouth to commemorate a National Day of Mourning on the US thanksgiving holiday. Many Native Americans do not celebrate the arrival of the Pilgrims and other Europeean settlers. Thanksgiving day is a reminder of the genocide of millions of Native people, the theft of Native lands, and the relentless assault on Native culture. Participants in National Day of Mourning honor Native ancestors and the struggles of Native peoples to survive today. It is a day of remembrance and spiritual connection as well as a protest of the racism and oppression that Native Americans continue to experience.

Plymouth, MA
Moonanum James (2017)

Moonanum's Father, Frank James (Text of Suppressed Speech)

Alcatraz Island, CA

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Teaching About Native Americans (TANA) Course

  1. Recognize we are not dead or only in history.  See us as contemporary people who have evolved in modern society. If we don't understand history (and how indigenous people have been made invisible), we can never understand inequities and fights for social justice.  
  2. There is no where else in the world that should be telling our story, if not here in North and South America.  We have a history intertwined with everything that is taught about this country from history to contributions. Therefore, First Nations should be present throughout curriculum across subject areas.  
  3. Language, images, books, television, movies more often than not, box us into a "single story." Educate yourself about stereotypes and cultural appropriation. We are hyper-visible in a way that supports white supremacy, while we are often not able to tell our own stories. 
  • An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (free pdf download here:[Roxanne_Dunbar-Ortiz]_An_Indigenous_Peoples'_Hist(
  • 1491 by Charles C. Mann
  • Indian Givers: How the Indians of the Americas Transformed the World by Jack Weatherford 
  • All the Real Indians Died Off: And 20 Other Myths About Native Americans by Dina Gilio-Whitaker and Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
  • The Truth About Stories: A Native Narrative by Thomas King


A "Taste" of the Teachings( 15 minutes)

This the a “kid friendly” video about Columbus (in the “Ms. Frizzle Magic School Bus” style) – Adam Ruins Everything (6 minutes) 

Someone Was Already Here – Nancy Schimmel Song (3 minutes)  

Christopher Columbus - One Word (3 mins)

 Reconsider Columbus PSA with Roberto Borrero  (1 minute)  

Columbus and the Taíno Genocide from 500 Nations (19 minutes)

Tisquantum’s Story with Nanepashenet (8 minutes)

and an Interview with Nani from 500 Nations (9 minutes)

The Mostly True Story Of The First Thanksgiving (7 minutes) 

Thanksgiving - One Word (3 minutes)

Native American Women Describe Thanksgiving History (2 minutes) 

A Real Thanksgiving Address in Original Language (2 minutes)

General Colonization (13 minutes)

Standing Rock Message (2 minutes)

More Information on National Day of Mourning (No Thanks Given)

Invisible Indian (5 minutes)
We Are Still Here (8 minutes)

 6 Misconceptions About Native American People (3 minutes)

What Makes the Red Man Red from Peter Pan (3 minutes)

Should Mascots be Banned? (3 minutes)

 Proud Not to Be a Mascot (2 minutes)

 Redskins - One Word (3 minutes)

Understanding the Issue - The Movement to Eliminate Mascots

Cultural Appropriation - in general (6 minutes)

Cultural Appropriation vs. Appreciation (4 minutes)

Cultural Appropriation - Native American model speaks out (2 minutes)

Cultural Appropriation of Native American Heritage (10 minutes)
Native Americans Try On Halloween Costumes (3 minutes)

What Really Happened at Standing Rock (6 minutes)

Monday, October 9, 2017

Why so many people claim to be Cherokee—who aren’t—and why that matters
Though the number of registered Cherokee tribal members today is around 300,000, nearly a million Americans claimed at least one Cherokee ancestor in the 2010 census.

To claim Cherokee ancestry is not just to empathize with the Cherokee people’s history, but to literally claim a connection to it—to the ongoing struggles of the Eastern Cherokee communities and to the story of the Cherokee rose, after the Cherokee were pushed off their land. Along the Trail of Tears, Cherokee women were said to look behind them and weep. And their tears, according to legend, turned into Cherokee roses. That so few people truly connect with this perspective is one reason it’s often overlooked—a problem exacerbated by false claims that minimize this history’s importance.

As a complex, living system of citizenship, tribal enrollment is not a hunch, a wish, or even a personal decision. The Cherokee people decide who is Cherokee and who isn’t, and this has ensured that a unique culture, against all odds, has remained so. A Cherokee rose, after all, is not A rose is A rose is A rose.