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Month: June 2018

The Onondagas and the Movies, Part II: John Big Tree

The Onondagas and the Movies, Part II: John Big Tree

On July 7, 1967, Chief John Big Tree died on the Onondaga Reservation.  Born Isaac Johnny John, perhaps in 1877 in Michigan, the Seneca actor appeared in nearly five dozen movies between 1915 and 1950.  He played a scout in “Stagecoach” along side a young John Wayne in 1939, and with Henry Fonda in “Drums Along the Mohawk,” and, again with John Wayne, in “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon.”  That was 1949, his second-to-last film. He played Chief Pony That…

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What You Need to Read, June 2018

What You Need to Read, June 2018

It’s that time of the year again.  Let me know if you think I missed something that I ought to have included.  It is summer break, and I hope you find something here you can use.   Allard, Seth. Guided By the Spirits: The Meanings of Life, Death, and Youth Suicide in an Ojibwa Community, (New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis, 2018). Alt, Susan M. Cahokia’s Complexities: Ceremonies and Politics of the First Mississippian Farmers, (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press,…

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The Onondagas and the Movies, Part I: “The Iroquois Trail”

The Onondagas and the Movies, Part I: “The Iroquois Trail”

One of the things about doing newspaper research, I find, is how easily it can lead to distraction.  I am at a point in my research where I am still formulating questions, where I still have so much to learn.  I am not looking for any one thing.  Rather, I am trying to collect as much information as I can about the Onondagas and their history.  In this sense, nothing I find is irrelevant, and everything I read might be…

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Obligations: More Thoughts on Teaching and Learning on Native Ground

Obligations: More Thoughts on Teaching and Learning on Native Ground

A while back I published a piece in the local newspaper arguing that the State University of New York ought to provide free tuition to Haudenosaunee peoples on whose lands many SUNY campuses stand. (Actually, SUNY should provide free tuition to ALL New Yorkers, but that is another argument).  My essay read as follows: New York State is to be applauded for implementing the Excelsior Program to make attendance at a SUNY school affordable for working-class families. But because Excelsior…

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