November 16, 2018
Once oppressed people finding their place in modern US
Black River Falls is a small logging town surrounded by thick woods, picturesque lakes and bucolic red wooden farm buildings; its cows and cheese have earned Wisconsin the title “America’s Dairyland”. This is the ancient homeland of the Ho-Chunk, a warrior tribe related to the Sioux whose bloody history saw them uprooted and forcibly moved to South Dakota and Nebraska before finally returning around 50 years ago, to reclaim their turf from the government. The Ho-Chunk do not live on a reservation and about 3,000 of them call Black River Falls home.
It looks as though most of them are gathered at the Memorial Pow Wow Grounds, an outdoor arena encircling a green field that is already packed with flamboyantly dressed dancers, singers and musicians. At 11am, I take my seat on the bleachers just as the Grand Entry begins.
In Similar News…
He has five minutes to convey a story, using small hoops as his medium to paint each scene, as part of the 28th Annual Heard Museum World Championship Hoop Dance Contest held in Phoenix earlier this year.
"The competition opens everyone's eyes to the Native American culture," said Timothy Clouser, the museum's facilities director and a Navy veteran. "I find it very fascinating how each dancer puts their own artistic expression in their dance and story they are trying to convey. Not one dance is the same."
Healing totem in Juneau channels a higher voice to strengthen survivors
Even the wood chips in Wayne Price's ongoing project have meaning.
The master Tlingit carver and University of Alaska Southeast faculty member is deep into the process of creating a healing totem pole for Aiding Women in Abuse and Rape Emergencies, Juneau's gender-inclusive shelter for survivors of gender-based violence. The finished totem will tell a story created by Price's wife, Cherri, but the cedar chips carved off the main log are symbolic, too.
"This came about when I had a vision in a sweat lodge, which led to my own personal recovery," Price told the Capital City Weekly after putting some painting on pause in his UAS workshop. "In that sweat, I was granted a vision and told I had to create a healing totem or dugout, and I asked, 'How does it become a healing totem or dugout?' I was told by my creator, that keeps me sober, that each chip that comes off this totem represents a life that's been affected by domestic violence or sexual assault. Of all the chips that come off this totem, there won't be enough. That helps to bring awareness through my art to a pretty serious situation."
Since his vision 15 years ago, Price has made four healing totems and five healing dugouts that have raised awareness for causes including boarding school atrocities against Alaska Natives, and misuse of alcohol and drugs.
Ancient Meals Made New
During college, I spent a year taking my Native American grandfather to treatments for liver disease. Because it's often a preventable condition, I was always asking his doctors, "How did this happen?" I had the same question during my part-time job taking elders from my community, the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, to the grocery store and doctor's appointments, cleaning their homes, and helping with basic care. They were all suffering from diseases — colon cancer, diabetes, asthma — that barely appeared among our communities until about 100 years ago. The elders told me that they thought if they'd had access to traditional foods, they would be healthier.
In the Muckleshoot creation stories, we are taught that when we stop eating traditional foods, we lose our identity. That's what brought me to the Muckleshoot Food Sovereignty Project, where I work as a coordinator. "Food sovereignty" basically means tribal people should have access to traditional foods, but there are all kinds of challenges to that. There are treaties in place that guarantee that certain tribes are entitled to take half of the fish available for harvest, but those rules aren't being upheld. Our modern lifestyle doesn't help: People have to take time off their jobs now to fish or harvest fruits and vegetables.
For Native Heritage Month, Let’s Learn More
The National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) Native Knowledge 360° Essential Understandings about American Indians is a framework that offers new possibilities for creating student learning experiences. Building on the ten themes of the National Council for the Social Studies' national curriculum standards, the NMAI's Essential Understandings reveal key concepts about the rich and diverse cultures, histories, and contemporary lives of Native Peoples. These concepts reflect a multitude of untold stories about American Indians that can deepen and expand your teaching of history, geography, civics, economics, science, engineering, and other subject areas.
Today’s History Lesson (aka Everything you Never Knew About Thanksgiving)
P.S. Read one or read them all, but be aware of indiscrepencies, history is full of them. Have a question? Ask us or Google it! :)