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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Gender Fluid Native Americans

Click this link for Facebook video

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.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Arawak Taino Links

Presencia Taina
Taino history in video format:

Arawak Language
From United Confederation of Taino People: What we know as the Taíno language is mainly an Arawakan language... It is important to keep that there is no one Arawak language. In addition, "Taíno" also has a number of other languages that influence its composition. Among these are meso-american languages, Tupi-guarani languages, and Cariban (Carib) languages. Attached is a link to the Akawaio language for those interested in reviewing the wider scope of linguistic connections and inter-relationships. Akawaio is a Cariban language closely related to Makushi and is still spoken in parts of Guyana, Brazil, and Venezuela. Again, this is not an Arawakan language and this dictionary should not be used as a "Taíno" dictionary. - Múkaro

Thursday, July 13, 2017


UNDER CONSTRUCTION - not a complete list

CON-Against Mascots
How to Argue Against Racist Mascots (2017)

The Washington Football Team Can Legally Keep Its Racist Name. But It Shouldn’t (2017)

CityLine: Native Americans Racist Mascots and Imagery (2017)
This site has a video and discusses the Massachusetts Bill that has been filed and Native American "consent."

The lack of education on Indigenous People's history (2017)
This site has an audio recording

Why the “Chief Wahoo” logo isn’t just a Native American problem (2017)
"Prior and during World War II, there were plenty of racist images that Americans were exposed to that depicted the Japanese as dangerous and un-trustworthy. Those images were depicted through cartoons, posters, and comics to influence people psychologically into fearing the Japanese and to develop a negative perception of them."'

During the 19th century, fictional characters like the Buck and the Pickaninny were blackface characters that were created as racist stereotypes of African-Americans. Each character had specific set of characteristics that displayed negative stereotypes about African-Americans. Those characters were used in television, cartoons, movies, and other pop culture to show that African-Americans were inferior. Native Americans are facing similar depictions in regards to “Chief Wahoo”. More importantly, the racist image of characters like “Chief Wahoo” have been studied as has having a negative impact on the social identity development and self-esteem of American Indian young people.

What's in a name? In Tewksbury, it depends who you ask (2015)
The Sun conducted an online poll asking whether Tewksbury sports should keep the Redmen name or change it. The poll received 532 responses:  * Change it: 53.9%  * Keep it: 46.1%

On Warpath over Redskins (2014)

The Pentucket Sachem? (2013)

PRO-Mixed Mascot
Among Mass. Natives, Mascot Issue Reveals A Mix Of Pride And Pain (2017)
This site included a map of schools with "names."  The older powwow attendees agree: The mascots don't offend them if they're presented respectfully.

"Maybe it didn't damage us — maybe we came to understand our identity as more of an adult with an adult brain. But the research is clear about how damaging these are" to young people, Fox Tree says. What's more, Fox Tree says, the images force a paradoxical invisibility on natives like her — many Americans know the cartoon mascots better than the real people they represent.