Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Red Rhythms Conference

Red Rhythms: Contemporary Methodologies in American Indian Dance, May 5-7, 2004, UC Riverside Campus.

Announcing a conference exploring contemporary American Indian dance as a vibrant, active, socio-cultural historical practice.

This event will showcase some of the exciting new work that contemporary Native American and Aboriginal dancers and choreographers are doing now, and facilitate a way for these artists to meet and network with one another. It will include dance performances by local California Indian dance groups, and an evening of Aboriginal and American Indian stage dance featuring works by both established and emerging Native dancers and choreographers.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Sorry for not being a stereotype

How many of you would know an American Indian if you saw one? My guess is not many. Certainly not the bank teller who called security when an Indian woman -- a visiting scholar -- tried to cash a check with a tribal identification card. When asked what the problem was, the teller replied: ''It must be a scam. Everyone knows real Indians are extinct.''

And not the woman who cut in front of me at the grocery checkout a few months ago. When I confronted her, she gave me the once over and said: ''Why don't you people just go back to your own country.''

OK, lady, after you, I said, when I thought of it the next morning.

Monday, April 26, 2004

Rap, Rage, REDvolution by Cristina Verán

Conjuring up the charge of cavalries and natives on some futuristic-western warpath, OutKast stormed the 2004 Grammys in February with the brazenness of the former, while bedecked as the latter. Resplendent in neon green Halloween-Hiawatha approximations of Native American regalia%u2014fringe, headbands, and feathers%u2014Andre and Big Boi rose before smoking teepees, prancing proudly through their chart-slaying "Hey Ya!," the chorus of which is itself evocative of powwow singing. Was it some kind of tribute, or did the winners of the Album of the Year Grammy unwittingly channel Al Jolson's "Mammy"?

Saturday, April 24, 2004

New! Joy Harjo Mailing List Available

A mailing list has been established for information about Joy Harjo's performances, appearances, new books and CD releases. You may sign up for this list now.

Must see sculpture exhibit

You must visit the online version of the Roxanne Swentzell's "Juggling Worlds" sculpture exhibit that was held last yeat at the Poeh Museum on Pojoapue Pueblo. The introductory essay by Mateo Romero describes it well:

"Rhythm, balance, emotion, shyness, children, love; these are words I use to describe the sculpture, art and life of my friend Roxanne Swentzell. If I were to respnd to the es- sence of her work, it is the mastery of the three- dimensional form within the emotive context of the human figure."

See this exhibit online and, if you ever get the chance, see the sculpture in person. For those in the Southwest, see a few at the Heard Museum.

Friday, April 23, 2004

Cayugas Not Subject to N.Y. Local Zoning

UTICA, N.Y. (AP) -- A federal judge on Friday ruled that property the Cayuga Indians want to turn into a gaming hall is sovereign land not subject to local zoning laws.

The ruling, which could affect similar disputes in New York state, allows the tribe to convert a former auto parts store in Union Springs into a gaming hall.

The ruling also bars the three municipalities involved in the case from trying to block construction of the gaming hall, which is designated to include bingo and other competitive games of chance, but excludes slot machines or other casino games.

'First American Art': Artifacts for Art's Sake: An Eclectic Array

Can a carved and painted Native American mask from the 19th century provide the same aesthetic frisson as, say, a 20th-century Modernist work? By the standards of Charles and Valerie Diker, longtime collectors, yes indeed. In their Manhattan apartment they prove the point by setting out top-flight historical Native American objects with works by Joan Miró, Mark Rothko, Louise Nevelson and others of the Modernist persuasion.

In their eyes, there is no difference between the aesthetic and emotional pleasures derived from European and American art and that of Native Americans. And they are spreading the word.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Tim Giago Bows Out of Senate Race

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) -- An American Indian newspaper publisher dropped out of the race for Senate on Tuesday, saying he trusts Sen. Tom Daschle to focus on Indian issues in his re-election campaign.

Tim Giago had planned to run as an independent against Daschle, the Democratic incumbent, and former Rep. John Thune, a Republican. But he said Tuesday that he was concerned about hurting Daschle's chances in the race.

``I am not an unknown entity,'' said Giago, who publishes the weekly Lakota Journal. ``I could have drawn a lot of support that would have drained the support from Sen. Daschle.''

Giago said he met with Daschle on Saturday, and the senator agreed to meet in August with leaders from the nine Indian tribes in South Dakota.

One Banker's Fight for a Half-Million Indians

WASHINGTON, April 19 — Like many other American Indians, Elouise Cobell, a banker and Blackfoot from Montana, inherited some land from her parents. The federal government had long agreed to pay her family for farming, grazing and timber-cutting on the property.

But the government checks arrived in what seemed like a haphazard way, Ms. Cobell says. Some years the checks arrived, but many years they did not.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Court Upholds Tribal Power It Once Denied

WASHINGTON, April 19 — The Supreme Court ruled Monday that Indian tribes have the authority to prosecute members of other tribes for crimes committed on their reservations. And because tribes act as sovereign nations in such prosecutions, the court said, ordinary principles of double jeopardy do not apply and do not bar the federal government from bringing a subsequent prosecution for the same offense.

The 7-to-2 decision was welcomed by Indian tribes, which in a 1990 Supreme Court decision lost the authority to enforce their criminal laws against members of other tribes. Congress promptly amended the Indian Civil Rights Act to restore that power. The case on Monday required the Supreme Court to decide both the nature and the validity of the Congressional action.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Interior Accused of Shortchanging Indians

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A court-appointed investigator has resigned from the multibillion-dollar lawsuit by American Indians against the Interior Department, contending the government wanted him off the case after he found evidence that energy companies got special treatment at the expense of impoverished Indians.

Alan Balaran, the special master in the case, contends his findings could have cost the companies millions of dollars and that department officials with ties to the industry ``could not let this happen.''

``Justice has been much too long in coming for the hundreds of thousands of Native Americans. ... Billions of dollars are at stake,'' according to the resignation letter made public Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth.

Saga of native Americans provides modern lessons on terms of peace

British colonialists wiped out entire tribe in 'pre-emptive' attack

By Tamim al-Barghouti,
Special to The Daily Star, Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Arab History and Identity

Off Boston Harbor there is a small island to which one can cross a bridge on foot. The island hosts the state courthouse, a number of fine restaurants and a small green park. It offers a magnificent view of downtown Boston, especially in the morning, when the eastern sun shines on the grand hotels, banks, luxury apartments and sky scrapers of the city. But of course, I am not writing about tourism.

If you pay attention, just as you cross the pedestrian bridge to the island, you will notice a big disc of metal attached to the ground, with illustrated descriptions of some important events from the city's past. One of the illustrations is of a native American chief holding a rifle. According to the paragraph next to it, this was Metacomet son of Massasoit, known to the English as King Philip, head of the Wampanoag Indians who lived in what are now called the states of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Saturday, April 03, 2004

New category !!!

I have added a Blogs category on the Home pages Index. Visit these people, see their comments, photos, and join the conversation.