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Tag: Current Events

Federal Recognition for Virginia Native Peoples?

Federal Recognition for Virginia Native Peoples?

Progress for Pocahontas’s people seeking federal recognition.  The United States House of Representatives last week approved by a voice vote the Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act, H. R. 984.  The Senate approved its version of the measure back in March. For background on who Thomasina Jordan was, you can read this resolution brought before the Virginia House in January 2000, a short time after her death. According to the report in indianz.com, the measure would…

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The Trump Administration Keeps Alive Fears of Termination

The Trump Administration Keeps Alive Fears of Termination

In the midst of all the other foreboding news coming out of Washington, it is difficult for me sometimes to follow Indian affairs as closely as I would like. Nonetheless, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke recently made some comments that caught my attention. Several weeks ago on this blog I suggested that fears of a return to Termination under President Trump are overblown.  The Indian policy of the United States for roughly the quarter-century following the Second World War, Termination included…

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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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We Cannot Forget What We Do Not Remember

We Cannot Forget What We Do Not Remember

I have told  myself that I would not write about Donald Trump, but the guy is the gift that keeps on giving, if by gifts one means a series of outrages that forebode some national or global calamity. This week, on the Ides of March, our Bronze Creon visited the grave of Old Hickory, Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States. Trump’s affection for Jackson is clear–a portrait of Jackson hangs in the Oval Office and, in a…

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Yeah, About that Issue of What is Fair and What is Unfair

Yeah, About that Issue of What is Fair and What is Unfair

A number of disgruntled readers of my piece on Donald Trump have reached out to me with angry emails.  My essay appeared in the Syracuse newspapers a week or so ago. One reader raised an argument with which may of us who teach Native American history are familiar, and with which we must contend.  Referring to the Oneidas of New York, who operate a lucrative casino and resort complex a short distance from Syracuse and just off the New York…

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Letter to that Lame Provost in Montana–Some thoughts on History and the Liberal Arts

Letter to that Lame Provost in Montana–Some thoughts on History and the Liberal Arts

Dear Provost, I’ve been thinking a lot about a piece Timothy Egan wrote that appeared in the New York Times back in August. Egan lamented “our Dumbed-Down Democracy,” and saw in the rise of Donald Trump evidence of a failure in, among other things, American civic education.  If Americans knew their constitutionalism, Egan argued, they would be less likely to support a candidate who showed no concern for the American constitutional tradition.  “The current presidential election,” Egan wrote, “may prove…

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The Cleveland Indians, FFS

The Cleveland Indians, FFS

The Cleveland Indians are a game away from the World Series, and the team’s post-season relevance offers an occasion to discuss the use of Native American images as mascots.  Chief Wahoo, the Cleveland Indians’ mascot, is as bad as they get.  According to a nice piece on Deadspin, “the franchise is celebrating by rubbing its racism in the faces of every person tuning in to watch baseball at the peak of its season.”  Despite pledging to rely less upon the…

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Andrew Jackson’s Removal from the Twenty-Dollar Bill

Andrew Jackson’s Removal from the Twenty-Dollar Bill

The Treasury Department recently announced its decision to remove Andrew Jackson from the front of the twenty-dollar bill, a decision justified by Jackson’s slaveholding and the large role he played in the odious policy known as “Indian Removal.” Jackson certainly bears responsibility for the removal of tens of thousands of Native American people from their homes in the eastern United States to new homes in the west.  He signed the Indian Removal Bill into law in 1830, presented Indians with…

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