Got my signed cd’s from @frankwaln @kvskvnv and @darkwaterrising. Pretty much sums up how amazing this year’s Native American Heritage Month was!
Film Captures the Work that Led Wilma Mankiller to Chief at First Nation Film Festival
"The Cherokee Word for Water" is a feature-length motion picture that tells the story of the work that led Wilma Mankiller to become the first modern female Chief of the Cherokee Nation. First Nations Film and Video Festival will be hosting screenings of "The Cherokee Word for Water" as part of their Fall film festival.
Dog Biscuits and Courage: An Enterprising Woman Raises Awareness of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Melissa Clark, who prefers to be called Lissie, is a fighter, a survivor. Her business story is a tribute to her fortitude. Lissie struggles to lead a normal life, but she has excelled, despite being told as a child that she wouldn’t be able to learn. Her parents were alcoholics, and Lissie was born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), one of the first in Montana to be so diagnosed over 30 years ago.
So I have been following the case of Adoptive Couple v. Baby girl for quite sometime. It has been a long and difficult custody battle. I feel pain for any family that has to go through the court system and be told how they should exist. I have a presentation tomorrow and I have been researching the case in preparation for it. I wanted to have a well-rounded perspective so that I could speak from both sides so I started reading the comments and tweets from various sources. I was not prepared for what I was reading. So many angry people in the world throwing hateful words back and forth through the veil of the internet. It made me sick.
My own opinion on the case is that it is a bigger issue than just one little girl being adopted. This is about the preservation of an entire people that have faced oppression and genocide for the past 500 years. These are my people. I am so lucky to exist and to be here with my family, it’s a miracle really that my ancestors made it through all that colonialism and destruction. The Indian Child Welfare Act is meant to stop this adopting out of native children and protect a culture and people from extinction. Veronica belongs with her people, and now she is just another lost child or splitfeather.
There is a lot of misinformation circulating about this case and even some questionable interpretations of the law made by the Supreme Court. I don’t think that it is possible to know who is really telling the truth in this case but each side has such a vastly different story as to what happened it is obvious that someone is lying. My heart tells me that Dusten Brown is a truthful and honorable man that just wants to take care and have his daughter in his arms
I also have to look at the perspective of the Adoptive parents the Capobiancos. I believe that in their minds they are doing the right thing. I think that this is subconsciously supported by a white savior complex in justifying their custody of Veronica. What I mean by that is that they feel that they are saving Veronica from a terrible life with her father. They are wealthy and white. Two things that Dusten Brown is not. They can provide her with so many opportunities with their financial status. What she will be missing though is her culture.
Of all the comments and opinions that I have read the majority are innately racist. They claim that Veronica isn’t even Cherokee because of her and her father’s blood quantum. This is not relevant to the case. The court is not questioning Dusten’s tribal authenticity but that didn’t stop Scalia from throwing in his two cents on the Brown’s tribal heritage. These are probably the comments that affected me the most. I have always been taught the one drop rule. Regardless of percentage you are Indigenous. The fact that so many people brought this minor detail up makes me sad that we as a people must be put into a category of the lesser and that others must justify their racism by claiming that I am not really Indigenous even though that is how I have always self-identified as Indigenous.
My one question that never seemed to be answered was whether Veronica was asked her opinion as to what was going on and who she wanted to live with. I don’t believe so. Shouldn’t that be the most important question? In ten years when Veronica is 14 years old she will wonder about her birth parents. This will lead her to do research and to find all this documentation about the court case and how important she was to thousands of people. How will her adoptive parents explain and justify what they did? Will she resent them for taking her away from her biological father? Only time will tell. I hope that when that day does come there will be no more lost Indian children separated from their parents.
My heart aches for Veronica Brown and family. I hope that all involved in this case find peace and love.
Juana Briones (1802-1889)
Art by Hey Lady Wanderlust (tumblr)
A native Californian, Juana was born to a Mexican family in Santa Cruz which at that time was part of the fringes of the Spanish empire. As a young girl, she moved with her family to the San Francisco Presidio. Juana married at age 18 and bore eleven children, eight of whom survived into adulthood. She also adopted an orphaned Native American girl who she raised as her own.
Juana’s husband was abusive and in 1840 Juana obtained a legal separation from him, incredibly unusual for the time. Juana ran a dairy farm in what is today the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco and a cattle ranch in Palo Alto. Many Latinos lost their land due to insufficiently documented ownership when California became a state in 1850, but Juana managed to document her landownership and retain her property despite being illiterate. Juana was also locally known as a healer who incorporated Native American traditions.
There are numerous memorials to Juana in the Bay Area. Plaques commemorating Juana can be found in San Francisco on the Lyon Street steps and on a bench in Washington Square Park. A park and an elementary school in Palo Alto are named in her honor.
Consider Cherokee girl’s rights to maintain ‘cultural identity,’ United Nations official says
A United Nations official who focuses on the status of indigenous peoples called on state, federal and tribal authorities Tuesday to ensure that the rights of a nearly 4-year-old girl in the middle of a custody dispute are considered.
This poor girl. Why don’t people understand that these laws were created for a reason. ICWA was created to protect our culture and our future. Saying that this isn’t a problem anymore is naive. The degradation of our culture is alive and well and baby Veronica is a prime example of how we are slowly and quietly being pushed out still to this day.
(Source: Washington Post)
Blog: Cultural appropriation is a bigger issue than mascots
Well-recycled AP poll numbers suggest that four out of five Americans think the Redskins should keep their name as it is. It’s an issue, many Native activists agree – but certainly not the only one. Here’s what activists point out the public also needs to know: