Browsed by
Month: October 2017

There Are Big Problems Out There

There Are Big Problems Out There

Halloween is right around the corner. I have written about why you should not dress up in a Native American costume before on this blog, and there is no shortage of commentary out there on the Internet Machine about why doing so can be destructive, hurtful, stupid, and in bad taste. Dressing like indigenous peoples, and the appropriation of the outward manifestations of Native American culture by non-Indians: they are common complaints. You do not have to work hard to…

Read More Read More

My Imposter Story: Some Thoughts on Ralph Ketcham

My Imposter Story: Some Thoughts on Ralph Ketcham

A couple of weeks ago I attended a memorial service for one of my graduate school professors, Ralph Ketcham, who had died last spring.  A great and productive scholar and teacher, active up until the end.  A lot to admire. I wanted to finish Ralph’s final book, Public Spirited Citizenship: Leadership and Good Government in the United States, before I wrote more about my experience with him.  As in so much of Ralph’s scholarship, James Madison’s political writings, and Madison’s…

Read More Read More

Some More Thoughts on Why We Need Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Some More Thoughts on Why We Need Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to apologize for the damage done by residential schools for First Nations children in Newfoundland and Labrador.  He will do so on November 24.  Like many apologies, I suppose, it is not enough to erase the trauma suffered by so many First Nations families. In the end, however, there are limits as to what can be done to address the crimes and the mistakes of the past. Acknowledging, apologizing, and a pledge to…

Read More Read More

A Plea for Justice on Indigenous Peoples’ Day

A Plea for Justice on Indigenous Peoples’ Day

In Native American history, there are lots of guilty parties, but Christopher Columbus is guiltier than most. There is absolutely nothing edifying in this story of avarice, violence, and religious bigotry, save for the native peoples who at times and places survived the carnage. The continued celebration of Columbus Day does a historical injustice to the native peoples of two continents and the Caribbean. The Columbus Day holiday found its origins in the Italian-American community. Columbus, quite likely from Genoa,…

Read More Read More

#MMIW

#MMIW

I posted about the Senate Indian Affairs Committee meeting on human trafficking in Indian Country last week.  The upshot of the hearings was disappointing.  All acknowledge a problem exists but there is little data on its scope.  At the hearings, the Justice Department seemed uninterested to committing the resources necessary to gather that data.  Anyone who studies Native American history closely will note, however, that the Justice Department has never prioritized crime committed in Indian Country. Though the Obama Administration’s…

Read More Read More

The Second Amendment is A Big Part of the Problem

The Second Amendment is A Big Part of the Problem

The act of terrorism that occurred last night in Las Vegas has caused me to revisit an opinion piece I wrote for a local newspaper several years ago, in the wake of the shooting at New Town.  The original piece is behind a paywall, but I have copied here the manuscript.  The urgency grows, as does my sense that nothing will be done. ******************************************************************************     Thirty thousand Americans die every year from gunshot wounds, whether from homicide, suicide or…

Read More Read More

css.php