July 6, 2018
For Alaska Native youth, a healing journey takes them to My Grandma's House
Through mud, rain, wind, bus and boat, 11 warriors and surrogate auntie Cynthia Erickson of Tanana struck forth by river in mid-June to tell their stories in Fairbanks, Minto, Tanana, Ruby and Galena. The journey and soul searching was part of a healing excursion called My Grandma’s House.
Their goal was to break the cycle of abuse and the implicit silence surrounding it.
Erickson is an Athabascan storeowner in Tanana whose house is a safe home to many children. She is proud of her people and of village life, so she fights to protect Alaska’s indigenous cultures. She pointed out that domestic, alcohol and drug abuse, as well as suicide, are not just a rural Alaska problem, but have become global cancers. In Alaska, the abuse statistics are high, and in the villages, it is visible to all.
Four years ago, at the Alaska Federation of Natives annual convention, when Erickson and her then-4-H group from Tanana cried out to break the silence of abuse, there was a public outburst of “We need to protect the children!”
As time continued, the protest subsided and the predation continued.
Erickson pondered what next to do. She had dreamed of a map of Alaska with safe homes, “Grandma’s Houses” in each community, places where a trustworthy person with a key could have a secure place to protect children.
Native Americans seek to rename Yellowstone peak currently honoring massacre perpetrator
Mount Doane is a 10,500ft peak in Yellowstone national park, named for Lt Gustavus C Doane, a US army cavalry captain and explorer. In January 1870, he led a massacre that killed around 175 Blackfeet people, and he continued to brag about the incident throughout his life.
Hayden Valley, a broad valley that holds Yellowstone Lake, was christened for Dr Ferdinand V Hayden, a geologist and surveyor. He also advocated for the extermination of tribal people who refused to comply with federal dictates.
A group of Native Americans say such names can no longer stand. The Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association, an organization of tribal chairmen of 16 Sioux tribes from Nebraska and the Dakotas, is pursuing an application to change Mount Doane to First Peoples Mountain and Hayden Valley to Buffalo Nations Valley.
The proposal echoes moves to take down monuments commemorating Confederate leaders and proponents of slavery. And it mirrors other efforts across the US – and online – to rename landmarks bearing appellations rooted in racism.
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Some of the places most sought after by recreationists are also culturally, spiritually or economically vital to tribes. We need to honor that.
the Native American Vietnam Veteran Who Confronted Loss Through Art
In 2013, artist Rick Bartow suffered a major stroke. Within days of nearly losing his memory and motor skills, he was back in the studio, drawing and painting his way back to health. Until his death, just three years later, Bartow continued to produce artworks drawn from his personal history, Native American ancestry, and friendships with artists and indigenous peoples from around the world. Rick Bartow: Things You Know But Cannot Explain at the Autry Museum surveys the four-decade career of an artist who confronted personal loss and history through the restorative and transformative powers of art making.
Also in Art News...
When antique dealer Ray Stevenson first saw the Chinle Boarding School student artwork in an attic at a Shreveport garage sale in 2000, he had no idea what he was looking at. All he knew was that he was drawn to the children's drawing.
Remembering Anthony Bourdain, Who Helped Share the Stories of Hawai‘i
For nearly two decades, Anthony Bourdain, the chef-turned-writer-turned-travel TV host, reminded his audience that many of the world’s greatest meals—and cooking pros—weren’t found solely at Michelin-starred and James Beard award-winning restaurants. They were also found at the hole-in-the-wall eateries, in diners and prepared by family. He was a champion of street vendors and dishwashers, forever advocating for refugees and immigrants and underdogs who carved a life out for themselves in the kitchen.
Bourdain visited Hawai‘i on numerous occasions—most notably for his television shows. He came to the Islands for a 2008 episode of No Reservations. When Bourdain returned to Hawai‘i in 2015 for Parts Unknown, he took a deeper look and explored the Islands in a way that few outsiders—especially those shooting a syndicated television show—would dare.
He talked about Hawai‘i’s colonial past (“There was the overthrow of Queen Lili‘uokalani, and the U.S. takeover of the Hawaiian government …”), the military presence in the Islands (“Beginning in 1941, and continuing into the ’70s and beyond, the U.S. Navy had been using the beautiful neighboring island of Kaho‘olawe as a bombing range. You could feel the shockwaves as far away as Maui and Moloka‘i …”) and Hawai‘i’s current status as a multicultural mixing place (“Hawai‘i is America. As American as anything could possibly be. Yet it also never shed what was there before, and the layers and layers that have come since.”)
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The underground cooking method that was a staple at family gatherings growing up has become a passion for the 34-year-old Nakahashi, who shares the method not only as a way to popularize Hawaiian traditions but also to promote healthier cooking.
“Return” is a story of hope and action lighting a path to health for all Americans.
The film follows six courageous women from tribes across the continent reconnecting with the earth by harvesting, preparing and celebrating their food.
Today's History Lesson:
Although Kit Carson is a significant part of U.S. history, people outside of the Southwest generally have no idea who he was. He was a frontiersman, famous as a tracker and wilderness guide and for shaping New Mexico. But for the Navajo, he is the devil — and the reason is the Long Walk.
The evolutionary history of dogs has always been a bit murky, as today's dogs are like a "soupy mix" of genes from various breeds. But by looking at genes from more than 71 archaeological dog remains in North America and Siberia and comparing them with modern dog genes, the team was able to trace their elusive steps.