Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Red Lake Memorial Fund

Please contribute to the Red Lake Memorial Fund to help the families who were affected by the shooting on the reservation on March 21, 2005. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Jim Thorpe and a Ticket to Serendipity

When Anthony Barone Jr. went to a local book auction with his sister Lee early this month, they came across a book from the 1920's, 'Jesse James and His Greatest Hauls,' a Wild West adventure of daring holdups.

Unimpressed by the condition of the book's cover, Anthony was not interested in purchasing it. But when the bidding crested at $6, Lee looked at her brother. 'What's six bucks?' she said. Anthony and Lee took the book home and ignored it for a week. They contemplated putting it back up for auction the next week, when Anthony decided he would at least flip through it.'I started leafing through the pages, and out dropped this big red ticket,' said Barone, a 44-year-old purchasing manager from Jamestown, N.Y. 'It literally fell into my lap.'

The ticket, six inches long, in good condition and with its stub still attached, was for an exhibition basketball game featuring Jim Thorpe and 'His World Famous Indians' on March 1, 1927. It did not indicate where the game was being played, other than at a Y.M.C.A. gym. Other teams listed on the ticket - 'Clothes Shop,' 'New Process' and 'Bankers' - were mysteries."

Saturday, March 26, 2005

University Changes Its Focus in Investigation of Professor

DENVER, March 25 - Prof. Ward L. Churchill cannot be fired from his job at the University of Colorado for controversial opinions like his comparison of some victims of the Sept. 11 World Trade Center attack to Nazi technocrats, the university said in a report released late Thursday.

But the professor could be fired if accusations of academic misconduct, including plagiarism, are borne out, the report said.

The report, by the university's interim chancellor, Philip P. DiStefano, is a fork in the divisive debate over Professor Churchill, whose name has become a rallying cry across the political spectrum in the past few months, ever since an essay he wrote shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks became widely known.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Days After Killings, a Tribe Seeks a Cloak of Privacy for Its Grief

RED LAKE, Minn., March 23 - The Chippewa Indians of the Red Lake Reservation have always set themselves firmly apart.

They have their own license plates, which bow to Minnesota statehood but feature the tribe's name on top. For a time in the 1980's, non-Indians even needed a tribal passport to do business here or to drive across the reservation. Most American Indian tribes allow people to own plots of land - in Red Lake, the traditional ways of communal property still adhere.

But the grief and shock unleashed when a troubled 16-year-old went on a shooting rampage here on Monday have shaken the walls of that cultural separation and raised questions about what holding the world at arm's length means, and what it costs.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

2005 Awards from the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas

Carter Revard (Osage) of St. Louis, Missouri, is the 2005 Lifetime Achievement Award winner from the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas. Dr. Revard, a professor emeritus from Washington University, is a major poet and essayist in contemporary Native American literature. He was born March 25, 1931, in Pawhuska, Oklahoma. He grew up in the Buck Creek Valley community, twenty miles from Pawhuska, on the Osage Reservation. He earned his Bachelor's degree from the University of Tulsa, a Master's degree as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford University, and a doctorate from Yale University. In addition to his creative writing, Dr. Revard is a medieval English literature scholar, and a participating Gourd Dancer in St. Louis and in Oklahoma. His books include My Right Hand Don't Leave Me No More (1970), Nonymosity (1980), Ponca War Dancers (1980), Cowboys and Indians, Christmas Shopping (1992), and An Eagle Nation (1993)---all poetry; and Family Matters, Tribal Affairs (1998) and Winning the Dust Bowl (2001), works of nonfiction. Many of his poems and essays are available on numerous web pages and in virtually all the major anthologies of Native American literature. His Osage name, Nompehwahteh ("Fear-inspiring"), was bestowed on him by his aunt in 1952.

Kim Shuck (Cherokee-Sac & Fox) of San Francisco, California, is the winner of the 2005 First Book Award competition in poetry from the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas. Ms. Shuck won the award for her book-length manuscript, "Smuggling Cherokee," a collection of poems drawing strongly from her Cherokee heritage, while at the same time, offering fresh insights into the lives and experiences of relocated Indians in large metropolitan areas. Born in San Francisco in 1966, the daughter of a "relocated" Cherokee father and a Euro-American mother from Oklahoma, Ms. Shuck attended San Francisco State University where she received both a Bachelor's (in art) and a Master's in Fine Arts (in textiles), she is currently involved with the California Poets in the Schools program and engaged in free-lance journalism. She has published in several journals and anthologies, most notably Gatherings XI, Native Realities, The Cream City Review, Shenandoah, and the anthology, The Other Side of the Postcard. She is the mother of three children.

Mia Heavener (Central Yup'ik) of Fort Collins, Colorado, is the winner of the 2005 First Book Award for prose from the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas. Her award-winning book-length manuscript is a novel entitled "Tundra Berries," a realistic depiction of present-day Yup'ik people living in southwestern Alaska, in which the issues of fetal alcohol syndrome and family dysfunction are prominent. Ms. Heavener was born in Centralia, Illinois, in 1978, of parents native to the Eagle River, Alaska area. She attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering. Her previously published work has appeared in Alaska Women Speak. She is presently in the Masters' program in creative writing at Colorado State University.  

Monday, March 21, 2005

18 people shot in Red Lake

Preliminary reports are sketchy and they are all unconfirmed, but it is believed as many as 24 people have been shot on the Red Lake Indian Reservation, and at the Red Lake High School, and as many as 10 are reported to have died as a result of those shootings.  The majority of the shootings took place at the school.

At the time of this writing, the school was still under lockdown and considered a hostile area yet, with local police, FBI investigators, state police, Leech Lake Police and county deputies at the scene, although students still in the building had all been released.

According to early reports, sometime after 2 p.m. a student of the school, allegedly shot his grandfather and grandmother at their home in the Back of Town (BOT) area in Red Lake, then went to the Red Lake High School in his grandfather's law enforcement vehicle, where he shot and killed a school security guard, 8 students and 1 teacher..  There are reports of 10-12 fatalities from the shootings, and 14 wounded--some critically.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Solstice Webcast from Chichen Itza

Sunday, March 20th marks this year's spring equinox and "Sun-Earth
Day", marked by a special webcast program live from Chichen Itza. The program will feature the Mayan solar
alignments of the site as well as current NASA research and observations
of the Sun - highlighting the importance of the Sun across the ages.
The broadcast will be in both English and Spanish.

You can view the webcast live at: The webcast will take place on Sunday, March 20th, 2005.

Schedule of the
program follows:

English Educational Program:
5pm EST, 4pm Mexico, 2pm PST
Observations of solar alignment - Bilingual in English and Spanish:
5:45pm EST, 4:45pm Mexico, 2:45pm PST

Spanish Educational Program:
6pm EST, 5pm Mexico, 3pm PST

Monday, March 14, 2005

Mother Culture, or Only a Sister?

On a coastal flood plain etched by rivers flowing through swamps and alongside fields of maize and beans, the people archaeologists call the Olmecs lived in a society of emergent complexity. It was more than 3,000 years ago along the Gulf of Mexico around Veracruz.

The Olmecs, mobilized by ambitious rulers and fortified by a pantheon of gods, moved a veritable mountain of earth to create a plateau above the plain, and there planted a city, the ruins of which are known today as San Lorenzo. They left behind palace remnants, distinctive pottery and art with anthropomorphic jaguar motifs. Most impressive were Olmec sculptures: colossal stone heads with thick lips and staring eyes that are assumed to be monuments to revered rulers.

The Olmecs are widely regarded as creators of the first civilization in Mesoamerica, the area encompassing much of Mexico and Central America, and a cultural wellspring of later societies, notably the Maya. Some scholars think the Olmec civilization was the first anywhere in America, though doubt has been cast by recent discoveries in Peru.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Tribe Lays Claim to 3,100 Square Miles of New York State

The Onondaga Nation, an Indian tribe based in upstate New York, filed a lawsuit yesterday claiming that it owns 3,100 square miles of land stretching from the St. Lawrence Seaway to the Pennsylvania border and including Syracuse.

The tribe contends that the State of New York illegally acquired the land in a series of treaties between 1788 and 1822 and has asked the Federal District Court in Syracuse to declare that it still holds title to the land, which is now home to hundreds of thousands of people and includes all or part of 11 counties.

It is the largest Indian land claim ever filed in the state. The tribe said that it does not want all of that land, however, but that its principal intent is to gain leverage to clean up polluted sites in the land claim area.

The lawsuit names as defendants the State of New York, the City of Syracuse and Onondaga County, as well as five corporations that, the nation contends, have damaged the environment in the claim area.