This Week in Native American News (2/2/18): Removing Mascots, Reducing Suicide, and Welcoming New Tribes

this week in native american news lutheran indian ministries

February 2, 2018

Chief Wahoo is Saying Goodbye

indians-chief-wahoo-dropped-baseball-85a11208ee5d55e5.jpg lutheran indian ministries native news

Native Americans took to social media Monday to celebrate the pending “death” of Chief Wahoo, the longtime logo of the Cleveland Indians baseball team which features a garish “Indian” caricature that is offensive to America’s first peoples.

But the victory is only a small one for Twitter users, using the hashtag #NotYourMascot: The Cleveland Indians won’t be changing the team's name; the team will still be able to sell Chief Wahoo merchandise, and fans won’t be blocked from wearing clothing bearing the logo.

In a statement released Monday, Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said he told team owner Paul Dolan that the time had come to remove the caricature that has appeared on players’ caps and uniforms since 1948.

“Over the past year, we encouraged dialogue with the Indians organization about the club's use of the Chief Wahoo logo,” Manfred said. “During our constructive conversations, Paul Dolan made clear that there are fans who have a longstanding attachment to the logo and its place in the history of the team.

"Nonetheless, the club ultimately agreed with my position that the logo is no longer appropriate for on-field use in Major League Baseball, and I appreciate Mr. Dolan's acknowledgment that removing it from the on-field uniform by the start of the 2019 season is the right course."

Read the full story here


Far North Canadian First Nation Fighting Suicide and Succeeding

Peter Kanayuk was one of the several facilitators at the community's healing workshops earlier this month. (Submitted by Inuit Ilagiit)

Peter Kanayuk was one of the several facilitators at the community's healing workshops earlier this month. (Submitted by Inuit Ilagiit)

The Nunavut hamlet of Pangnirtung is developing a five-year action plan on suicide prevention and will revive an old society to help carry it out. This comes after a series of workshops that were held in the hamlet earlier this month.

About 140 youth, parents, and elders participated in the two-week long healing programs guided by10 facilitators and two volunteer psychiatrists from Canadian Executive Service Organization, an international development organization based in Ontario.

"We want to become more self-sufficient," said Markus Wilcke, who is a board member of Inuit Ilagiit that hosted the workshops. Inuit Ilagiit is a not-for-profit organization that aims to address poverty in the community. "Rather than a top-down perspective from institutions … we want to actually turn things upside down."

Wilcke said the dialogues, in both English and Inuktitut, pointed to the pattern of generational trauma affecting residents young and old.

But Peter Kanayuk, an elder and one of the facilitators, said he has witnessed healing happening in the past two weeks.

"Some of the elders were talking about what they go through. I saw that they were feeling much better at the end of the day," Kanayuk said.

Pangnirtung, Nunavut, didn't have a suicide in 2017. That hasn't happened in the community since 2000, according to recent statistics.

Read the full story here


Also in "healing" news:

PHOTO: Edward Daly [R] says having Kodie [L] involved in his recovery made all the difference. (ABC News: Katherine Gregory) lutheran indian ministries native news

Drug and alcohol rehabilitation will work better if families are involved, experts say

The theory is being tested at The Glen, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre for men, tucked away on the New South Wales Central Coast.

They have teamed up with Relationships Australia to develop a more comprehensive family support program.

For Edward Daly, who was at the centre to get over his ice, alcohol and gambling addictions, having his partner involved in his recovery made all the difference.

And Now There Are 573! Six VirginiA Tribes Get Federal Recognition

Senator Tim Kaine (left) Chief Stephen Adkins (Chickahominy), Chief Lee Lockamy (Nansemond) and Senator Mark Warner (far right) share a moment of congratulations. Courtesy Office of Senator Mark Warner

Senator Tim Kaine (left) Chief Stephen Adkins (Chickahominy), Chief Lee Lockamy (Nansemond) and Senator Mark Warner (far right) share a moment of congratulations. Courtesy Office of Senator Mark Warner

After a nearly two-decade long fight for federal recognition through legislation, President Donald Trump has signed legislation, known as the Thomasina Jordan act, to grant federal recognition of six Virginia Indian tribes.

The last tribe to receive recognition was also a Virginia tribe, the Pamunkey. With the passing of this final legislation on Monday, the number of federally recognized tribes in the Commonwealth of Virginia now stands at seven. The amount of federally recognized tribes now stands at 573.

After the president signed the legislation on Monday, Rep. Rob Wittman announced the results on Monday evening immediately after giving tribal leaders of the six tribes — the Chickahominy, Eastern Chickahominy, Upper Mattaponi, Rappahannock, Nansemond and Monacan — the good news.

Wayne Adkins, first assistant chief for the Chickahominy, told the Richmond Times, “It’s definitely a historic day for the tribe and for the commonwealth … We’re really looking forward to planning the future of our tribe.”

Read the full story here -AND- Discover what it means for a tribe to be federally recognized


Your History Lessons for the Week:

Phases of the blood moon.	(CC via Pixabay) lutheran indian ministries native news

World history would be very different without the blood moon eclipse of 1504

Imagine if you didn’t know the big eclipse was coming, and a stranger came along claiming to have direct contact with the moon’s creator—then demonstrated as much by predicting its disappearance from the sky.

That’s what happened in 1504, in Jamaica, when Spanish explorer Christopher Columbus performed a deception that would alter the world’s future.

Children are shown attending class at the Nanaimo Indian Hospital in a CBC-TV story from 1964. (CBC Archives ) lutheran indian ministries native news

'Mind-boggling, hard-to-fathom' treatment at Nanaimo Indian Hospital

Sharon Whonnock's first memory is being transferred to the Nanaimo Indian hospital where she says she spent nearly a decade tied to a bed for almost 24 hours a day while being treated for tuberculosis.

One of the original academics who looked at the topic says the paternalistic system affected all aspects of life and the hospital system was intertwined with the residential school system. Children were sent to the hospitals from the schools and from the schools to the hospitals. 

“Mariposa Indian Encampment, Yosemite Valley, California” by Albert Bierstadt, 1872. lutheran indian ministries native news

From Yosemite to Bears Ears, Erasing Native Americans from US National Parks

Today, the foundational myth of America’s National Parks revolves around the heroic preservation of “pristine wilderness,” places supposedly devoid of human inhabitants that were saved in an unaltered state for future generations. This is obviously a falsehood: Places like Yosemite were already home to thriving communities that had long cherished—and changed—the environment around them.

More than a century later, the United States has done little to acknowledge the government-led genocide of native populations, as well as the continued hardships they face because of the many bad-faith treaties enacted by the U.S. government. This story is an elemental part of our National Park system, the great outdoor museum of the American landscape, but the myth continues to outweigh the truth. How did the National Park Service evict Yosemite’s indigenous communities and erase their history, and can it come to terms with this troubling legacy today?

It's hard to fit so much news in such a small space.
To read all of this week's news, visit the LIM Magazine.

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