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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving Articles 2016

Jane Fonda at Standing Rock

Fonda, an Academy-Award winner repeatedly recognized for her innumerable gifts, arrived at Standing Rock during the week of Thanksgiving and donated seven butchered bison for a celebratory meal hosted by actress Shailene Woodley. In an interview conducted by Native visionary Tracy Rector of Longhouse Media for Indian Country Today Media Network, Fonda observed that people such as herself who brought things to help the people standing in opposition to the Dakota Access Piepline “end up getting much more than we’ve given” thanks to the prayerfulness, resilience and hope that permeates the camps. She cited the meal’s opening prayer by Jesse Jay Taken Alive as having particular meaning, thanks to his sharing of indigenous wisdom. Most of all, she emphasized the palpable feeling of hope that filled her because of the positive attitudes of the people she encountered.

Story of Squanto 
“The graveyard of [Tisquantum’s] people became Plymouth Colony.” “We learn about Columbus landing in 1492 and it’s as if nothing happened for over 100 years until the Pilgrims landed,” Mann added. “But the Tisquantum story gives you this tiny peek into that all the people involved had been interacting for more than a century.”
Tisquantum most likely was not the name he was given at birth. In that part of the Northeast, tisquantum referred to rage, especially the rage of manitou, the world-suffusing spiritual power at the heart of coastal Indians’ religious beliefs. When Tisquantum approached the Pilgrims and identified himself by that sobriquet, it was as if he had stuck out his hand and said, “Hello, I’m the Wrath of God.”

“We learn about Columbus landing in 1492 and it’s as if nothing happened for over 100 years until the Pilgrims landed,” Mann added. “But the Tisquantum story gives you this tiny peek into that all the people involved had been interacting for more than a century.”

Standing Rock is Why I Don't Celebrate Thanksgiving
"The police claim that the Sioux and their supporters are "trespassing," but the problem with that has always been: How do you trespass on your own land?

Well, when I was in the second grade, my mother and father broke down the truth about "Manifest Destiny," a lofty phrase that whitewashes the truth about Europeans taking Native American lands by force, lies and larceny.

Which brings me to one extremely frustrating conclusion, which is that President Barack Obama "could" send troops or federal agents to protect the protesters. The president "could" seek to resolve the pipeline issue between both parties."

Decolonizing Thanksgiving
"The idea that Native Americans are all dead is a powerful one. I know this because I teach Native American and Indigenous Studies at the college level. Students come to my classes knowing very little about Native Americans, but almost always speaking of Native Americans in the past tense. I work to combat that perception in each and every class, but I see that my students sometimes have difficulty reconciling what they learn in my classes with what they have learned before. This is true despite the fact that I am Native Hawaiian and speak often about my own experiences and research, and that at least a handful of my students are Native American themselves. The difficulty is not an individual failure to absorb the class material, but a symptom of living in the United States and experiencing the ongoing perpetuation of anti-Indigenous ideologies that are built into this nation's foundation." 

Roxanne Dunbar on Thanksgiving
"It’s never been about honoring Native Americans," indigenous historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz says of the origins of Thanksgiving. "It’s been about the origin story of the United States, the beginning of genocide, dispossession and... warfare."

North Dakota Pipeline
NY Times: The department’s video was meant to portray the protesters as dangerous troublemakers, but the photos and videos in news reports suggest a more familiar story — an imbalance of power, where law enforcement fiercely defends property rights against protesters’ claims of environmental protection and the rights of indigenous people. American Indians have seen this sort of drama unfold for centuries — native demands meeting brute force against a backdrop of folly — in this case, the pursuit of fossil fuels at a time of sagging oil demand and global climatic peril.

Presidential Proclamation
"On this holiday, we count our blessings and renew our commitment to giving back. We give thanks for our troops and our veterans -- and their families -- who give of themselves to protect the values we cherish; for the first responders, teachers, and engaged Americans who serve their communities; and for the chance to live in a country founded on the belief that all of us are created equal. But on this day of gratitude, we are also reminded that securing these freedoms and opportunities for all our people is an unfinished task. We must reflect on all we have been afforded while continuing the work of ensuring no one is left out or left behind because of who they are or where they come from."

National Museum of American Indian
What’s the gravest threat for Native Americans today?
"Surely one of them, perhaps the largest, is the ignorance of the non-Native public about the Native American past and present. Because that leads to misunderstanding in evaluating contemporary issues."

Standing Rock Sioux

On Dec. 4, hundreds of veterans will muster at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. The mission: To stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. “We’re not going out there to get in a fight with anyone,” Clark Jr. says. “They can feel free to beat us up, but we’re 100% nonviolence.” You may have heard of Clark Jr.’s father. Wesley Clark Sr. retired from the Army in 2000 as a four-star general. His career began in the jungles of Vietnam.

Because the Corps neglected to consult the Standing Rock Sioux, as it was required to do under the National Historic Preservation Act (Section 106), the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Interior, and the American Council on Historic Preservation all criticized the assessment, but the project was eventually approved. The decision was a major victory for Energy Transfer Partners, the Texas-based parent company of Dakota Access LLC, which estimates the pipeline will bring $156 million in sales and income taxes to state and local governments and create thousands of temporary jobs.

For the Standing Rock Sioux, the Dakota Access project poses two immediate threats. First, the pipeline would run beneath Lake Oahe, the reservoir that provides drinking water to the people of Standing Rock. (An earlier route that avoided native lands was ruled out in part because it posed a danger to drinking water.) Second, according to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, the building of the pipeline would destroy the sacred spots and burial grounds that were overlooked in the Corps’ assessment. But as the protests have intensified, and more outsiders, including members of more than 200 Native American tribes from across North America, have become involved, Standing Rock has, for some, come to represent something much bigger than a struggle between a disenfranchised people and a government-backed, billion-dollar corporation. It’s a battle to save humanity from itself.

Thanksgiving Anxieties, Political and Personal
"Until we can tell the truth about our history, there is little hope for the future…  Whatever the actual details of the 1621 celebration involving Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians (and there is ongoing debate about various factual claims), Thanksgiving is one way the dominant culture minimizes or denies the larger historical context of Europeans’ genocidal campaign against indigenous people to acquire the land base of the United States. Without that genocide, there is no United States. For the victors’ descendants to take a day off to give thanks without acknowledging that seems, well, just a bit sociopathic.… 

And whatever one’s personal relationship to the holiday, the political question remains: Why is it “normal” in the United States to celebrate a holiday that is based on a profound distortion of history? That kind of inquiry should lead us to related questions.… "

Native American Girls Describe the REAL History Behind Thanksgiving