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Native Americans in the United States

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/

The Carolina Postdoctoral Program For Faculty Diversity, Due: Nov. 16, 2015

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THE CAROLINA POSTDOCTORAL PROGRAM FOR FACULTY DIVERSITY

THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION IS NOVEMBER 16, 2015 at 11:59 EST

As part of a continuing commitment to building a culturally diverse intellectual community and advancing scholars from underrepresented groups in higher education, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity (CPPFD) is pleased to offer postdoctoral research appointments for a period of two years. The purpose of CPPFD is to develop scholars from underrepresented groups for possible tenure track appointments at the University of North Carolina and other research universities. Postdoctoral scholars will be engaged full-time in research and may teach only one course per fiscal year. This program is funded by the State of North Carolina.

The CPPFD is a nationally recognized and extremely competitive program. We typically receive more than 750 applications per year and typically fund 4-5 new postdoctoral researchers per year.

Stipend
$42,000 per calendar year and $2,000 per year research fund for research expenses, including travel.

Eligibility
Applicants must have completed their doctoral degree within the past five years and no later than July 1st of the current year.
The primary criterion for selection is evidence of scholarship potentially competitive for tenure track appointments at the University of North Carolina and other research universities.

AN IMPORTANT SECONDARY CRITERION IS THE SUPPORT OF PROSPECTIVE DEPARTMENTS.
Preference will be given to U.S. citizens and permanent residents. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill strongly encourages applications from American Indian, African American, and Hispanic scholars.  (American Indian candidates should be enrolled citizens of a federally-recognized tribe or a North Carolina state-recognized tribe.)

Application materials
Cover letter addressed to Vice Chancellor Barbara Entwisle
Curriculum vitae
A statement of research plans (1-3 pages)
A personal statement on why you should be selected for this program (1–3 pages)
Writing samples (e.g., publications and/or dissertation chapters) – Visual Artists should include a portfolio of their artwork in lieu of writing samples.*
Three references for letters of recommendation

All Materials must be submitted through online application system to be accepted.  Link will be active September 15, 2015
*VA Candidate’s Portfolio should include on a CD/DVD up to 16 images and/or 4 videos as well as a short description of each image/video. The CD/DVD should be mailed separately to

Office of Postdoctoral Affairs
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
301 Bynum Hall, CB#4100
Chapel Hill, NC  27599-4100

Deadline
The application deadline is November 16 at 11:59 EST.

Contact Information
For questions or additional information regarding the Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity, please contact:

American Indian and Indigenous Studies (AIIS)
Jenny Tone-Pah-Hote (Kiowa Tribe)
Coodinator, AIIS (in American Studies) and
Assistant Professor of American Studies
tonepahh@email.unc.edu

Jennifer Pruitt
Program Coordinator, CPPFD
jennifer_pruitt@unc.edu

Sibby Anderson-Thompkins
Director, Office of Postdoctoral Affairs
opa@email.unc.edu

The Native American Dream: Ojibwe Woman Leads Sustainability Movement Off Reservation

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The Native American Dream: Ojibwe Woman Leads Sustainability Movement Off Reservation

9/10/15

Raising chickens, rabbits, and goats, and producing enough organic crops to keep a family of three plus friends and neighbors well fed brings to mind hay barns and fields amid a rural landscape.

But the farm-like environment of Monycka Snowbird’s property sits in the center of Colorado Springs, a city of more than 440,000 residents. Snowbird and her two daughters butcher their own meat, collect eggs and milk, and make cheeses and soaps in addition to growing and harvesting a variety of vegetation, which flourishes on about a tenth of an acre.

Urban farming—also known as urban homesteading or backyard or micro farming—isn’t rare, but what makes Snowbird’s endeavors unique is the mix of indigenous knowledge, techniques, and values the Ojibwe mother of two infuses into the food and household products she makes and teaches others to practice.

“You can’t be sovereign if you can’t feed yourself,” says Snowbird, 40, borrowing a line from Winona LaDuke (Anishinaabe), an environmental activist and founder of Honor the Earth. “One of the ways colonizers controlled Indian people was to take our food sources away. Let’s reclaim our food.”

Snowbird works with both Native and non-Native organizations throughout the Pikes Peak region to educate and promote the benefits of urban food production. She leads educational classes for children and adults, including seed cultivation, plant recognition, harvesting, livestock butchering, and more.

Read more at https://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/09/10/native-american-dream-ojibwe-woman-leads-sustainability-movement-reservation-161680

White House renames Mount McKinley as Denali on eve of trip

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White House renames Mount McKinley as Denali on eve of trip

Updated 10:16 pm, Tuesday, September 1, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration will change the name of North America’s tallest mountain peak from Mount McKinley to Denali, the White House said Sunday, a major symbolic gesture to Alaska Natives on the eve of President Barack Obama’s historic visit to Alaska.

By renaming the peak Denali, an Athabascan word meaning “the high one,” Obama waded into a sensitive and decades-old conflict between residents of Alaska and Ohio. Alaskans have informally called the mountain Denali for years, but the federal government recognizes its name invoking the 25th president, William McKinley, who was born in Ohio and assassinated early in his second term.

“With our own sense of reverence for this place, we are officially renaming the mountain Denali in recognition of the traditions of Alaska Natives and the strong support of the people of Alaska,” said Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.

Ohio politicians reacted angrily, although it wasn’t immediately clear if or how they could stop it. Rep. Bob Gibbs, R-Ohio, said McKinley deserved to be honored, and invited his colleagues to join him to try to block what he called Obama’s “constitutional overreach.”

“This political stunt is insulting to all Ohioans, and I will be working with the House Committee on Natural Resources to determine what can be done to prevent this action,” Gibbs said.

The announcement came as Obama prepared to open a three-day visit to Alaska aimed at infusing fresh urgency into his call to action on climate change. To the dismay of some Alaska Republicans, the White House has choreographed the trip to showcase melting glaciers and other cherished natural wonders in Alaska that Obama says are threatened by warmer temperatures.

But Obama’s visit is also geared toward displaying solidarity with Alaska Natives, who face immense economic challenges and have warned of insufficient help from the federal government. As his first stop after arriving in Anchorage on Monday, Obama planned to hold a listening session with Alaska Natives. The president was also expected to announce new steps to help Alaska Native communities on Wednesday when he becomes the first sitting president to visit the Alaska Arctic. Read More…

CFP – Middle West Review Special Issue: The Indigenous Midwest, Due: Sep 1, 2015

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CALL FOR PAPERS
Middle West Review
Special Issue: The Indigenous Midwest
The Middle West Review, a new interdisciplinary journal about the American Midwest published by the University of Nebraska Press, will be publishing a special issue focused on the Indigenous Midwest. The journal aims to generate interest in critical study of the Midwest as a distinctive region and to provide space for scholarship that moves beyond the homogeneous narratives of settler patriarchy that dominate popular perceptions of the Midwest. The special issue seeks scholarly essays that work at the intersection of Native American and Indigenous Studies and Midwestern Studies.
The editors are particularly interested in essays that emphasize the U.S. Midwest as Indigenous homelands, as a series of historically contested borderlands, as a region that continues to be structured by settler colonialism in the present, and as a site of Indigenous endurance and resurgence within and beyond both reservation and urban communities. The editors are also interested in submissions that explore Indigenous experiences in the Midwest as they intersect with issues of multiraciality, class, gender, and sexual orientation. Analyses of environmental problems affecting Indigenous communities are also welcome. The temporal focus is open across all time periods and submissions are invited across all scholarly disciplines.
Article submissions should run between 6,000 and 10,000 words (including footnotes) and must follow the Chicago Manual of Style. Review essays that engage multiple books that have recently been published in the field, exhibitions, events, or multimedia should run between 2,500 and 5,000 words. Photo essays with accompanying artist statements are also welcome.
Submit manuscripts by September 1, 2015, via email to the co-editors, James F. Brooks (jbrooks@history.ucsb.edu) at the University of California-Santa Barbara and Doug Kiel (doug.kiel@williams.edu) at Williams College.

Teaching Tribal History Is Finally Required in Washington Public Schools

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Teaching Tribal History Is Finally Required in Washington Public Schools

The Next Fight: Getting Teachers Across the State to Embrace the Curriculum

TEACHING THE TRUTH: Educator Shana Brown, in front of Broadview Thomson School in North Seattle. With a shoestring budget, she’s helping lead the push for accurate Native American history in Washington’s public schools. Kelly O

When Shana Brown was in 11th grade, her US history teacher took a metal wastebasket, flipped it upside down, and started banging on it like a drum. “Go, my son, get an education! Go, my son, get off the reservation,” he sang. Brown had grown up on the Yakama Indian Reservation, but went to public school nearby.

“Yeah,” she says, letting several seconds pass after telling that story. We’re sitting at a cafeteria table on one of the basketball courts of the Chief Leschi School, a cluster of buildings set among fields of plump Puyallup Valley strawberries, raspberries, and rhubarb. A warm breeze drifts in from a propped-open door in the back.

Brown recounts this memory precisely, patiently, and sitting absolutely straight. She’s been teaching for 24 years. For the last seven of those years, Brown has taught language arts and social studies in Seattle Public Schools. But for nearly half the time she’s been teaching, she’s also been painstakingly crafting a curriculum that aims to correct the marginalizing Pilgrims-and-Indians version of history and Native culture so many kids in this state still learn. That’s why she’s here at Chief Leschi, a tribal school on the Puyallup Indian Reservation, with more than 30 eager teacher-trainers equipped with big, blue binders that read, “Since Time Immemorial: Tribal Sovereignty Curriculum.”

Teachers at the training are anxious about what happens next. In May, Governor Jay Inslee signed a groundbreaking piece of legislation that mandates Washington kids learn history, culture, and government with input from the state’s 29 federally recognized tribes. It goes into effect July 24, just in time for the start of the next school year.

Washington is only the second state in the country to require teachings about this country from its indigenous people; Montana was the first. But unlike the $4.4 million the Montana legislature allocated for its tribal curriculum, Washington’s law didn’t set aside any funding. Whatever funding there is comes from the tribes themselves, private organizations, and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s internal budget. Together, they’ve raised about $300,000. Read More…

Source: http://www.thestranger.com/news/feature/2015/06/24/22438654/teaching-tribal-history-is-finally-required-in-washington-public-schools

Native Americans across the US reclaiming cultural cuisines with businesses built on traditional foods

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For many residents of the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, getting to a supermarket requires a two-hour drive to Rapid City. It’s an expensive trip for people living in the third poorest county in the US. Many residents have no access to transportation, leaving only one option: on-reservation convenience stores that stock processed, long-shelf-life foods.

To combat these poor nutrition options, many tribes are reclaiming traditional foods as a way to correct severe health and economic disparities. All across the country, Native American entrepreneurs are combining traditional values with common-sense business strategies to tackle hunger, unemployment and unsustainable food production practices.

Pine Ridge didn’t become a food desert by itself. Along with other tribes throughout the country, the Oglala Sioux endured generations of war, forced removal and assimilation policies that dismantled traditional economies and food systems.

The reservation system prompted dramatic changes in the diet of Native peoples in the US. Restricted or prevented altogether from traditional hunting and agriculture practices, many tribes were forced instead to accept government food relief programs that distributed basic staples heavy on salt, sugar and fat. The rapid change in diet, aided more recently by fast food and more sedentary lifestyles, have contributed to an epidemic of diabetes, obesity and other health problems in Indian Country.

Like others who have turned to local, sustainably produced foods to effect social change, Native Americans are embracing the so-called food sovereignty movement, a term coined in the 1990s by the international peasant group La Via Campesina, to restore culture and economic autonomy.

“There’s a cultural revolution going on in Indian Country, reconnecting people to the rituals of where food came from, why food is sacred,” said Mark Tilsen, co-founder of the Pine Ridge-based food producer Native American Natural Foods.

Tilsen and his business partner, Karlene Hunter, are at the forefront of this revolution. Launched in 2007, their business is now one of the most successful Native-owned food companies in the country. Its primary product, Tanka Bar, is a line of energy bars made from prairie-fed, antibiotic-free buffalo meat and based on a traditional Oglala recipe. The natural and organic market research firm Spins ranks it as the third best-selling jerky in US natural supermarkets.

According to Tilsen, tanka means large or great, and conveys the idea of tremendous or generous acts for the benefit of others. The name is a vehicle for telling not only the story of the company, but of their people’s struggle for survival and self-determination after the government oversaw a mass extermination of the buffalo in the late 19th century. As their main food source was driven to near extinction, Plains peoples were forced onto reservations.

Tilsen and Hunter didn’t set out to build a better energy bar. They wanted to support Native buffalo producers who were working to restore the sacred animal to the prairie. And they wanted to boost the economy and health of Pine Ridge. Read More…

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/jun/13/native-american-tribes-diet-health-traditional-foods-business-entrepreneur?CMP=share_btn_fb

“This energetic movement is really taking stock of how food impacts the health of Native peoples, but also the economy and social existence of Native communities,” said Raymond Foxworth, vice president of grant making and development for the First Nations Development Institute (FNDI), which supports tribal economic development programs.