Tag: Native Americans

A Charter School Gets Canceled for Wanting to Teach Indigenous History

There’s an old saying that history is written by the victors. It’s not entirely accurate, as evidenced by both Lost Cause narratives and the paucity of historians on battlefields. But there is a kernel of truth in there regarding the distortion and dilution of history over time, before it reaches the eyes and ears of schoolchildren. History, more precisely, […]

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Will Whale Hunting Return to the Pacific Northwest?

NEAH BAY, Wash. — The hunters paddled frantically, closing in on their target. When they drew near, one of them stood in the cedar canoe and thrust a harpoon into the spine of the 30-foot gray whale. With the help of fishing boats, the men towed their catch into a small cove in Neah Bay […]

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The Vigilante President

President Donald Trump has often flaunted the brawn of his supporters, adding a baseline of menace to his increasingly embattled presidency. “Law enforcement, military, construction workers, Bikers for Trump … These are tough people,” he said at a 2018 campaign event in St. Louis, Missouri. “These are great people. But they’re peaceful people, and antifa […]

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Searching for the Ancestral Puebloans

On a cool spring day, in the bewitching crystalline light for which New Mexico is famous, I stood in the middle of the Acoma Sky City and looked out into the ocean of desert at an island of pale red and dun colored rock called Enchanted Mesa. My tour guide, Marissa Chino, a young Acoma […]

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Spill, Baby, Spill

Last week, the Keystone pipeline sprang a leak. Again. This time, it released 383,040 gallons of oil into the northeastern wetlands of North Dakota. Two years ago, the same pipeline, which spans some 2,600 miles from Canada to Nebraska before splintering off, burst in South Dakota. Initial reports from TransCanada, the company recently renamed TC […]

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States Are More Worried About Pipeline Protesters Than Spills

Last week, the Keystone pipeline sprang a leak. Again. This time, it released 383,040 gallons of oil into the northeastern wetlands of North Dakota. Two years ago, the same pipeline, which spans some 2,600 miles from Canada to Nebraska before splintering off, burst in South Dakota. Initial reports from TransCanada, the company recently renamed TC […]

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Sean Sherman’s 10 Essential Native American Recipes

Growing up on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in the 1970s, I ran wild with my cousins through my grandparents’ cattle ranch, over the hot, sandy South Dakota land of burrs and paddle cactus, hiding in the sparse grasses and rolling hills. We raced over the open plains, and through shelter belts of tall elm […]

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The Fight to Save Chaco Canyon

On Wednesday, the House voted to pass the Chaco Cultural Heritage Area Protection Act, which would permanently ban any drilling or mining within a ten-mile radius of Chaco Canyon. The canyon is a historic and sacred site in New Mexico for the Pueblo nations and the Diné (Navajo Nation). It currently exists as a checkerboard […]

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‘Lakota America’ Puts the Tribe of Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse Front and Center

At first glance, “Lakota America” is every inch a sober, stately work of scholarship — and one long overdue. It is purportedly the first complete history of the Lakotas, the tribe of Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, the regime that long dominated the American interior, thwarting Western expansion with charm, shrewd diplomacy and sheer might. […]

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Indian Country Deserves a Better Hero Than Richard Nixon

You only need one hand to count the number of American presidents who could be considered vaguely positive, progressive partners for Indian Country. Most of those lauded for defining the upper limits of America’s potential reserved their worst tendencies for the Indigenous population. Abraham Lincoln openly threatened Native nations and their citizens with violence on […]

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Fed Up With Deaths, Native Americans Want to Run Their Own Health Care

RAPID CITY, S.D. — When 6-month-old James Ladeaux got his second upper respiratory infection in a month, the doctor at the Sioux San Indian Health Service Hospital reassured his mother, Robyn Black Lance, that it was only a cold. But 12 hours later James was struggling to breathe. Ms. Black Lance rushed her son back […]

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The Unofficial, Columbus-Free Indigenous Peoples’ Day Celebration

Roughly five miles from the nation’s largest Christopher Columbus celebration, hundreds gathered Sunday and Monday on Randalls Island to celebrate indigenous people at an event that has become part of a larger conversation about how New York City should honor controversial historical figures. Though other cities, including Los Angeles, Denver, Dallas, Phoenix and Washington, have […]

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Columbus Day or Indigenous Peoples’ Day? Depends Where You Are

Since 2015, several Council members in the District of Columbia have attempted to rename Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day. On four different occasions, the measure petered out and died. This year, Council member David Grosso tried a new approach, introducing emergency legislation and undermining the control of the chairman. The approach worked. A majority […]

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The Atlanta Braves Drag Their Feet as Fans Keep Chopping Their Arms

Last Friday, Ryan Helsley could have said nothing. A 25-year-old rookie pitcher in the relief rotation for the St. Louis Cardinals, Helsley is currently playing in his first-ever Major League Baseball playoff series, against the Atlanta Braves. After the Cardinals claimed Game 1 last Thursday night in Atlanta, Helsley could have put his head down […]

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The Next Standing Rock Is Everywhere

There won’t be another Standing Rock. At its height, the mobilization against the Dakota Access Pipeline, beginning in 2016, was a historic Native-led movement against the same kind of land grabs Indigenous people have been fighting for centuries. The protests, on their own, were similar to hundreds of others; but the brutality of the private […]

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Arizona Man Accused of Killing 6-Year-Old Son During Attempted Exorcism

An Arizona man has been charged with first-degree murder after the authorities said he killed his 6-year-old son by forcing hot running water into his mouth for several minutes as part of an attempted exorcism. The man, Pablo Martinez, 31, told responding police officers that the child had a demon inside of him and needed […]

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We Didn’t Stand a Chance Against Opioids

My ancestors had no written language, so they told their stories to the trees. Ten thousand years after the Tlingit people settled Alaska’s southeastern archipelago, these islands remain stippled with monuments to their myths: totem poles, carved from massive logs of cedar and adorned with images of animals and spirits, rise up from the damp […]

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The Governor, the Seneca Nation and the Completely Rotten Highway

CATTARAUGUS INDIAN RESERVATION, N.Y. — If ever you wanted a tangible symbol of the execrable relationship between Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and New York’s largest Native American tribe, it is the three miles of cracked, rutted and completely rotten highway running through this lakeside reservation. The highway, Interstate 90, is so deteriorated that federal authorities […]

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IT: Chapter Two and the Great American Tradition of Selling Native Spirituality

There’s laziness, there’s racism, and there’s lazy racism. About 45 minutes into IT: Chapter Two, which remained atop the box office last weekend, the three-hour movie reveals it’s aiming for the latter.  For this sequel to the 2017 film, Argentinian director Andrés Muschietti was tasked with interpreting an epic, and epically weird, work. Like with most adaptations, there was […]

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