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Category: Red Lives Matter

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…

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#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…

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Human Trafficking in Indian Country

Human Trafficking in Indian Country

“Human trafficking, the exploitation of a person typically through force, fraud, or coercion for such purposes as forced labor, involuntary servitude, or commercial sex,” Gretta L. Goodwin of the Government Accountability Office told the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs yesterday, is “occurring in the United States.”  Drawing upon evidence from the Office of the Attorney General,  traffickers seek out vulnerable individuals.  This vulnerability, Goodwin said, “comes in many forms, including age (minors), poverty, homelessness, chemical dependency, prior experiences of abuse,…

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On Charlottesville, and Our National Character

On Charlottesville, and Our National Character

In what ways does the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville matter? In the past two weeks I have listened to the Attorney General of the United States announce his determination to investigate discrimination on college campuses against…..wait for it….white people.  This move was endorsed by a President who has called Mexicans “rapists” and “animals,” and who has in as many words endorsed police brutality against African Americans and other people of color.  A sheriff’s deputy in Oklahoma, meanwhile, who gunned…

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Red Lives Matter-Recent News

Red Lives Matter-Recent News

An Ontario First Nations man, Romeo Wesley, was beaten by police in 2010, blasted with pepper spray, handcuffed, and stepped on. He died.  On the 20th of July, a coroner’s inquest ruled his death “accidental.”  According to the CBC report, Wesley had approached the nursing station at a medical facility in the Cat Lake First Nation, well north of Thunder Bay.  He was, according to the nurses, acting erratically. Police were called.  Then, “two officers pepper sprayed Wesley, tackled him…

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Indian-Bashing in Syracuse? The Crisis at the Onondaga Nation School

Indian-Bashing in Syracuse? The Crisis at the Onondaga Nation School

This is a story worth watching.  Laura Lavine is the superintendent of the Lafayette School district, which operates with state funding the Onondaga Nation School.  She is also the Republican Party candidate for mayor in the city of Syracuse.  Lavine runs on the slogan that she is “Progressive, Professional, and Prepared,” and there is scarce mention of the Grand Old Party on her website. She has pledged to get tough on crime in the city, improve its schools, and improve…

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#NativeLivesMatter

#NativeLivesMatter

Two important stories came across the line yesterday, and those of us who teach Native American history need to do a better job of following them.  On June 5, police officers killed Zachary Bearheels, a twenty-nine year old man with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Bearheels was punched in the head and shocked by a taser several times.  Omaha police have admitted that the officers’ conduct was a violation of departmental policy and that two of the officers involved would be…

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On The Way of the Human Being

On The Way of the Human Being

Yesterday one of my very good students told me that he was driving through New York’s Finger Lakes region, not all that far from my campus.  He was enjoying a nice spring day, noticing the signs remaining from the heyday of the Anti-Indian group Upstate Citizens For Equality, and listening to one of the blowhards on right-wing radio.  Slim pickings, sometimes, in the Finger Lakes.  Whoever it was that he listened to argued that Native Americans need to move on…

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The Trump Presidency and Indian Affairs: Let’s Read Critically, People

The Trump Presidency and Indian Affairs: Let’s Read Critically, People

I recently was invited to speak at a Teach-In on my campus.  The purpose of the gathering is to support student-activists interested in countering the policies of the Trump administration.  At the time that invitation was extended, some weeks ago, the Dakota Access Pipeline and the #NoDAPL movement were still very much in the news.   Since then, the Trump administration has fulfilled its promises to the oil men and the businessmen and fossil fuel addicts among us, and the pipeline…

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Donald Trump to Native America: Go To Hell

Donald Trump to Native America: Go To Hell

Today comes news that President Donald Trump, the Creon for the new millennium, will sign an executive order authorizing the completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline.   Before the confirmation of his nominee for Secretary of Interior, before any nomination for a new undersecretary for Indian Affairs at Interior, before any consultation with Native American tribes, before the confirmation of the fool he nominated to head the Energy Department (and who owns stock and sat on the board of the companies…

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