This Week in Native American News - June 24, 2016

This Week in Native American News - June 24, 2016

Sherman Alexie Releases New Book for Children

Page from "Thunder Boy Jr." by Sherman Alexie

Page from "Thunder Boy Jr." by Sherman Alexie

Sherman Alexie, Native Spokane-Couer d'Alene poet, writer, and filmmaker, has released a new book aimed at a new audience. "Thunder Boy Jr." is the story of a young Native boy who doesn't want to share his name with his dad - an issue Alexie also struggled with at the death of his father.

Writing to this younger generation is new to Alexie who is best known for his works aimed at adults and teens, including: "The Long Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven" which was adapted as the film "Smoke Signals" and his semi-autobiographical young adult novel "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" which won multiple awards.

I perfectly enjoy silly kids’ books. There’s silly element to this book—farts and burps, silly, funny kids’ stuff. But I also wanted a book that had ideas. And that those ideas would be understandable by kids and adults at the same time. That’s what’s difficult to create, the idea of hearing and rebelling against tradition. A kid reads it and thinks of being yourself. An adult reads it and hopefully thinks of the larger concept of questioning tradition. Read the full interview here.

The Juaneno Indians Regain a Piece of History and Culture

Colored ribbons placed by Juanenos Indians surround sacred burial ground in San Juan Capistrano. Photo credit: Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times

Colored ribbons placed by Juanenos Indians surround sacred burial ground in San Juan Capistrano. Photo credit: Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times

Though the piece of land being returned to the Juaneno Band of Mission Indians of the Acjachemen Nation in California measures only 1.3 acres, it is significant. The land, though it will still be owned by the city, will be turned into a public park and will house a Juaneno Cultural Center to about the tribe. The Juaneno will now have open and easy access to what was once sacred tribal ground.

Most significant, however, is the city's recognition of the value of this land to the Acjachemen Nation's history and its vow to help protect it.

"We've never had a piece of land dedicated to our sole use since the Spanish," said Romero, who has governed the tribal council since 2013. "We haven't had any land to conduct a ceremony. For the city to recognize that is tremendous. The fact that we can connect with our ancestors here is a great victory." Read the full story here.

Canadian Indigenous Artists Visualize the Future

Alethea Arnaquq-Baril speaks at a meeting of the Senate's Standing Committee on Aboriginal Peoples. Photo credit: CBCNews

Alethea Arnaquq-Baril speaks at a meeting of the Senate's Standing Committee on Aboriginal Peoples. Photo credit: CBCNews

To celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary next year, the 2167 Project will use the creative genius of six Indigenous artists and filmmakers to create an image of what the country will look like in another 150 years.

Through the use of virtual reality, Canadians will be able to see the nation of their great-grandchildren.

"For some of the people who maybe their voices have been silenced in the past, we're allowing them to imagine Canada in the future — 150 years in the future, through an Indigenous lens," said Nyla Innuksuk, co-founder and producer with Pinnguaq.

The immersive art installations will premiere next year at the TIFF Bell Lightbox and imagineNATIVE film and media festive. Read the full story here.


Tidbits:

Bent Native Tree Marker

Ever seen a tree like this? The bent trees are thought to be trail markers created by Native Americans. Read more here.

 
Inuit state at York University

Canada celebrated National Aboriginal Day on June 21st and in honor of the holiday, York University in Toronto dedicated their new, Nunavut-carved statue. Read more here.