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Indigenous peoples of the Americas

Million-acre St. Lawrence Island land title signed over to native population

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By Travis Khachatoorian / KTUU |

SAINT LAWRENCE ISLAND, Alaska – In one of the biggest land conveyances in US history, the federal government officially signed the title to Saint Lawrence Island over to its native population.

More than one million acres of land was researched and surveyed by the Bureau of Land Management in preparation for the title transfer. Using GPS mapping and aerial photography, the BLM took three years to complete the process before handing over ownership of the island.

“This is the largest survey we have ever done, and the fourth largest conveyance that the US government has ever done in one fell swoop,” said BLM director Neil Kornze.

Multiple BLM officials from Washington DC, Anchorage and Nome flew into the villages of Gambell and Savoonga on Wednesday for an official document signing ceremony. The conveyance of land finalizes a process the Alaska Natives of St. Lawrence Island have been waiting for since President Nixon signed the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 (ANCSA.)

“The descendants of our forefathers would have clapped their hands just like we did with the signing of the patent,” said Gambell village elder Branson Tungiyan.

With the title in hand, the villages of Gambell and Savoonga will share ownership of the sixth biggest island in the US.

Full ownership of the island was a decision made by the village elders decades ago. When ANCSA first passed, villages across Alaska were offered a piece of a near billion dollar settlement to sell large portions of their land to the federal government.

Savoonga and Gambell elders opted out of the payout. Instead they received no money, no opportunity to become part of a larger regional native corporation, but rather received opportunity to own the former St. Lawrence Island Reserve, now giving them 900 miles of coastline, mountains and lakes.

“One of the things [the elders] told us is, ‘as long as you are owners of the island, the island will take care of you,’” said president of Kukulget Corporation Perry Pungowiyi.

“You keep the land instead of the money, because money runs out,” said Tungiyan.

The BLM gave the native population interim conveyance of the land in 1979, only to receive the final title when the government finished its survey of the land. The survey for St. Lawrence Island wasn’t completed until 2016.

“The ANCSA entitlement in total [statewide] was about 44 million acres, and that’s roughly the equivalent size of the State of Washington,” said Erika Reed, Alaska BLM deputy state director of lands, cadastral survey and pipeline monitoring. “That’s about the acreage that we’ve been surveying and conveying over the last 45 years.”

Pungowiyi said, so far there’s no plans for greater development of the island. He said, most important to the village at this point is to preserve the land their ancestors have inhabited for thousands of years.

“This is home. This is where I live. I feel at peace when I’m here. I have no worries other than fish and game,” said Pungowiyi. “Here it still feels like we’re living with our ancestors.”

Source: KTUU. Retrieved from: http://www.ktuu.com/content/news/Massive-land-transfer-388618852.html on August 1, 2016

Peabody Essex Museum receives grant to support Native American Fellowship

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Setting up for “Native Fashion Now” at the Peabody Essex Museum.

DAVID L RYAN/GLOBE STAFF

Setting up for “Native Fashion Now” at the Peabody Essex Museum.

The Peabody Essex Museum has received a $750,000 grant to expand a fellowship program intended to train aspiring Native American museum professionals. The three-year grant, awarded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will enable the museum to increase the number of fellows it admits annually, extend the program to 12 weeks, and introduce more formal mentoring programs.

“We’re absolutely delighted to be partnering with the Mellon Foundation,” said PEM director Dan Monroe. “It offers an opportunity for more young Native American leaders to significantly strengthen their capabilities to be successful in many cultural arenas — be it in their communities or in the context of their existing institutions, whether it’s an art museum like PEM or another organization.”

First created by the museum six years ago, the Native American Fellowship program is believed to be the only one of its kind in the country. Reserved for students of Native American or native Hawaiian descent, the program provides specific fellowships in curatorial, educational, media, and manuscript processing. Read More…

Movement replacing Columbus Day with events honoring Native Americans gains steam around US

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Movement replacing Columbus Day with events honoring Native Americans gains steam around US

Travis Mazawaficuna of the Dakota Nation (Sioux) Native American tribe arrives with others to the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples outside the United Nations in Manhattan, New York, in this file photo taken August 9, 2013. REUTERS/Adrees Latif/Files

About four miles from the world’s largest Christopher Columbus parade in midtown Manhattan on Monday, hundreds of Native Americans and their supporters will hold a sunrise prayer circle to honor ancestors who were slain or driven from their land.

The ceremony will begin the final day of a weekend “powwow” on Randall’s Island in New York’s East River, an event that features traditional dancing, story-telling and art.

The Redhawk Native American Arts Council’s powwow is both a celebration of Native American culture and an unmistakable counterpoint to the parade, which many detractors say honors a man who symbolizes centuries of oppression of aboriginal people by Europeans.

Organizers hope to call attention to issues of social and economic injustice that have dogged Native Americans since Christopher Columbus led his path-finding expedition to the “New World” in 1492.

The powwow has been held for the past 20 years but never on Columbus Day. It is part of a drive by Native Americans and their supporters throughout the country, who are trying to rebrand Columbus Day as a holiday that honors indigenous people, rather than their European conquerors. Their efforts have been successful in several U.S. cities this year.

“The fact that America would honor this man is preposterous,” said Cliff Matias, lead organizer of the powwow and a lifelong Brooklyn resident who claims blood ties with Latin America’s Taino and Kichwa nations. “It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.”

But for many Italian Americans, who take pride in the explorer’s Italian roots, the holiday is a celebration of their heritage and role in building America. Many of them are among the strongest supporters of keeping the traditional holiday alive.

Berkeley, California, was the first city to drop Columbus Day, replacing it in 1992 with Indigenous Peoples Day. The trend has gradually picked up steam across the country.

Last year, Minneapolis and Seattle became the first major U.S. cities to designate the second Monday of October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

This month, Portland, Oregon, Albuquerque, New Mexico and Bexar County, Texas, decided to eliminate Columbus Day and replace it with the new holiday. Oklahoma City is set for a vote on a similar proposal later this month… Read More

Source: http://www.rawstory.com/2015/10/movement-replacing-columbus-day-with-events-honoring-native-americans-gains-steam-around-us/

Call for Contributors – 50 Events That Shaped American Indian History, May 15, 2015

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Call for Contributors
50 Events That Shaped American Indian History
$100 per entry,  up to 2 entries per contributor, payment upon publication. Greenwood Publishers.

Please email donna.martinez@ucdenver.edu for a list of the Table of Contents.  Please respond with your top four topic choices. Editor will confirm your assignment (up to 2 choices) within 1-2 weeks.  Entry outline and style guidelines will be sent. First draft due date is May 15th.

Self-Determination and Self-Defense in Cherán, Michoacán

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Self-Determination and Self-Defense in Cherán, Michoacán

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On December 11, 2012, the US Justice Department announced that banking giant HSBC was immune from prosecution despite overwhelming evidence that they consistently failed to implement controls against money-laundering. Assistant attorney general Lanny Breuer said: “Had the US authorities decided to press criminal charges, HSBC would almost certainly have lost its banking license in the US, the future of the institution would have been under threat and the entire banking system would have been destabilized.”

The entire banking system would have been destabilized?”

orignal article here

 

 

 

About the website:

 

 

 

 

 

 

elenemigocomun.net

began as a bilingual website aimed at spreading awareness about, and solidarity with, social movements in Oaxaca, Mexico. The site was launched to support the 2005 documentary film El Enemigo Común (The Common Enemy) which is an exposé of repression and resistance in Oaxaca. The film documents paramilitary activity against indigenous communities from 2002 through 2005 and provides historical context for the expansion of capitalism and empire in Oaxaca.

Daniel Heath Justice talk, “Being a Good Relative, Becoming a Good Ancestor: Other-than-Human Kinship and the Decolonial Imperative”

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Dr. Daniel Heath Justice

(First Nations Studies Program and English, University of British Columbia)

“Being a Good Relative, Becoming a Good Ancestor: Other-than-Human Kinship and the Decolonial Imperative”

5-6:30pm, Wed Nov 27, Coach House, Green College, UBC

Abstract: From the nineteenth-century decimation of prairie bison herds and imposition of patriarchal farming techniques to the contemporary decline of coastal fisheries and narrowed concerns of familial obligations, a consistent pattern in Eurowestern political and economic colonialism worldwide has been the targeted suppression of Indigenous kinship relations with the other-than-human. While variously dismissed by colonial agents as “pagan,” “primitive,” or illusory, such expansive familial relations are in fact substantive to and expressive of Indigenous political, ceremonial, and intellectual practices of self-determination and cultural and political distinctiveness. This presentation will consider a few illustrative examples of the other-than-human as a vital concern in Indigenous decolonization and resurgence politics today, while critically engaging the potential consequences of an absence of such considerations in contemporary activism and scholarship.

Speaker Info: Daniel Heath Justice is a Colorado-born Canadian citizen of the Cherokee Nation. He is Chair of the First Nations Studies Program and Associate Professor of First Nations Studies and English at UBC on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Musqueam people. His work includes Our Fire Survives the Storm: A Cherokee Literary History, the Indigenous epic fantasy The Way of Thorn and Thunder: The Kynship Chronicles, and the co-edited anthologies Sovereign Erotics: A Collection of Two-Spirit Literature and, with James H. Cox, the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Indigenous American Literature. Current projects include a cultural history of badgers and a study of critical kinship in Indigenous literature.

All those attending talks in this series are invited to stay for dinner at Green College with the speaker. Those interested in attending dinner are asked to make a reservation at least by noon the business day before. Contact 604-822-8660 or visit the Green College website for details.

Oecologies: Inhabiting Premodern Worlds is a new Speaker Series sponsored by Green College that gathers scholars from the humanities living and working along the North American Pacific coast to investigate the idea of “oecology,” an older spelling of the modern concept “ecology.” For event details, abstracts, and speaker information, please visit oecologies.com or view the event poster. Also follow us on Twitter (@Oecologies) and “Like” us on Facebook (facebook.com/oecologies)! Oecologies also holds a reading group in advance of each talk in the Speaker Series. If you are interested in attending, please contact Dr. Robert Rouse (robert.rouse@ubc.ca). If you have other questions about Oecologies, please do not hesitate to contact me (nardizzi@mail.ubc.ca) or our assistant, Carmel Ohman (carmelohman@gmail.com).