Tag Archives: Ndns

NDN Veterans

Long time readers will remember I used to work for my uncle. I made him a webpage that still exists in its retro glory.

LWW 2 is a Vietnam Veteran.

He was named after his uncle, LeRoy Wayne, who died in WWII (photo above, I don’t know what he’s doing with the plant). I thought I had an article about him bookmarked somewhere but I’m not finding it right now. One time we were clearing the cemetery on Memorial Day and the living LWW said it was unnerving cleaning off a grave with his name on it.

Here it is again, a real statistic: throughout US history Indians serve in the military in greater numbers than any other ethnic group.

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Veteran’s Day

These figs have no relation to today’s post.

In Indian Country, it’s well known that Indians serve in the military in greater numbers per capita than any other ethnic group. If you attend a tribal community function, a Color Guard of our veterans will be there.

According to this 2011 Guardian article Why Native Americans Fight and Die for the Same Army That Slew Their Ancestors Indians form 1.7% of the US active duty forces and make up 0.8% of the US Population.

This 2007 Christian Scientist Monitor piece on NDNs in the US Military has a similar statistic. Indian Country Today has written a brief history of NDN military service.

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Last of His Tribe

I started this post a couple weeks ago when I learned that Ishi was inducted into the California Hall of Fame. (Along with others including Warren Beatty and Joe Montana – what a weird hall of fame.)

The sentence that stood out for me was, “Ishi means man in the Yahi language and was not his real name. Reportedly, there were no elders left to name him.”

I did not remember hearing this before and thought the world’s saddest story turns out to be even sadder. I haven’t read the book since I was in school. While doing my due diligence on Wikipedia I noticed that this tidbit is in the first paragraph so I probably did already learn this but blocked it out.

It’s a sad, sad story about a man whose entire tribe is wiped out by white people settling in California. Check out this bit from Wikipedia: miners settling in California “put[] pressure on native populations.”

That’s not how I would tell the story but I don’t have time or the heart to revise it right now. I am on my way out the door for a long weekend in California. I’ll be offline until next week.

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Do you know why the Indian rain dances always worked? Because the Indians would keep dancing until it rained.

If you ever have the opportunity, go see Sherman Alexie. I’ve been seeing him do readings since I moved here. Twenty years ago it was in a classroom at Clackamas College.

We’ve both come a long way since then.

I have another week or so of the insane busy. Then a return to the amazing content that you’ve come to expect from me. Ahem.

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Turkey Day Is Here

In honor of Thanksgiving. Lefty was my great-uncle, my grandfather’s younger brother. I’d like to point out that none of the get-up in that photo is traditional to our tribe. I think Aunt Genie was a Montana Indian so we can cut them a little slack.

Meanwhile, I drank the Kool Aid! I’m spatchcocking.

I’ll let you know how it turns out.

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Put On Your Clothes

Aiee. What a day. I’m glad tomorrow’s a half day. I’m going to try to get a few cooking projects started tonight.

November is Indian Heritage Month or something like that. I was going to write some Indian themed posts and tweet some links but, oops.

Here’s a great URL for buying Native. I’m trying to fight my earring addiction but it won’t hurt if I just look around a bit.

I swear I recently read that the average person spends less than $100 a year on clothes. Does that sound right? I hate buying clothes and I spend at least $100 a year. Even when I was dead broke and shopping at Value Village I think I hit about $100.

Am I so out of touch? I know lots of families are having it really tough right now.

I put on a pair of pants yesterday that I realized I hated. I think I’ve been wearing them at least 5 years but I still feel bad putting them in the giveaway bag.

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Big Announcement: RED TAPE Story Collection

Cover by R. Toby Linwood (Wampanoag/Okanagan)

I’ve been talking about this forever, but FINALLY! My story collection is out into the world and available for eReaders.
It’s called: Red Tape Stories from Indian Country.

It’s a collection of nine speculative fiction stories including three that were already published. All the stories have some connection to the people and lands of the Karuk Tribe.

Here’s the Table of Contents and a little bit about the stories.

The Battle of Little Big Science
(previously appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction) This was my Clarion West week #3 story.

Estelle Makes the Casino Run
(previously appeared in Innsmouth Free Press) I wrote this for a contest with my Clarion West classmates.

Social Security
(previously appeared in The Wordstock Ten) This was my submission story for Clarion West.

Field Work
This was my Clarion West week #2 story. Are you seeing a theme here?

The Medicine Woman of Talking Rock
Yup, Clarion West Week #5.

Clarion West Week #6. This was me trying to do something different since you’re supposed to stretch yourself at the workshop.

Trusted Leader
This was my Week #7 story – the first thing I wrote after I left the workshop. The process was gruesome but I like the way it came out after about 5000 drafts.

Fish Killer
This story has nothing to do with Clarion West. I was upset about the dredge mining situation on the Klamath and needed to work it out.

The Casino Gargoyle
This was another submission story I wrote when I misunderstood the application instructions.

All of this can be yours with just a few clicks.

It’s available for Kindle at Amazon or in all other formats at Smashwords.

Special thanks goes to my Clarion West class and instructors. Also giant tower of thank you pies to Douglas Lucas for help with finalizing the manuscript and Eden Robins for the title. (Note to Douglas and Eden, that tower of thank you pies is a figure of speech. Don’t expect an actual tower of pies.)

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Build Your Tether

Apparently I was so excited about our first pre-season game at home, I forgot how to use my camera. When I went to download, this was the only photo. I know I took more than that.

But not many. Because it was cold. Above freezing, but just barely. Add that to my list of crazy love for the Timbers. Sitting outside wearing 200 layers and jumping around like the Pillsbury Doughboy in 30-something degrees. 16,500 people came out for a pre-season game. We played San Jose and see that #8? That’s Wondo. He has played for the US National team and he’s Kiowa and my hero.

But I love the Timbers more!

My favorite website is the Awl. About twice a year I go through a thing where I pare down all my Internet activity but the Awl always makes the cut.

Earlier this week they posted this video: http://www.theawl.com/2012/02/bon-iver-towers which they referred to as the new trailer for The Hobbit. And since I’m 1000 years old and don’t know the first thing about Bon Iver. I didn’t get the joke and I very happily clicked the link thinking: OOH! New Hobbit trailer.

Then I watched it unfold and I was thinking: huh, so is that a Hobbit? Oh. But he’s wearing shoes. And he has a fish net? That he’s throwing into his truck?

It’s sad how long it took me to get that it *wasn’t* a new Hobbit trailer. And I’m a regular of the website. D’oh!

The music made me want to stick forks in my ears.

Remember when all the music was Mötlëy Crüë and Dëf Lëppärd? Don’t you wish that would come back?

Meanwhile, Adrienne K took on the video in a whole different context today.

Apparently this video is a tribute to Native American preservation land.

Never heard of Native American preservation land?

No one has. Because there’s no such thing. And “a tribute” meaning what? Adrienne does a great job of breaking it all down.

Meanwhile, I’m going to clean my ears out with some Ratt.

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Special Events

Last night was our annual auction for NAYA. Awesome event as always. The bidding is too rich for us so we buy golden raffle tickets. If you win the raffle you can pick one of the auction items. Bob and I always argue about which prize we’d take. This year I would have wanted the button blanket and paddle or the antique squash blossom necklace. He wanted the trip to Maine.

Luckily, we didn’t win so we didn’t have to duke it out.

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For Those About To Feast

I have about a half hour before I need to hit the kitchen in order to have dinner ready by 5pm. I made the Crème Brûlèe yesterday. I bought the culinary torch which I can’t wait to use and 6 ramekins. Note to Kitchen Kaboodle: could you just pony up the extra 3½¢ per item it would cost to get stickers that peel off easily rather than the crapshit you use so I have to spend a half hour scraping and goo-goning to get my new ramekins clean?

My mother-in-law was kind enough to clip an article for me from one of her magazines that tells a common version of the first thanksgiving story including happy pilgrims and Indians whooping it up with lots of sharing, caring, giving and general good cheer.

In return, I’ve clipped for her a few articles that tell a less common version of the story which is a little darker and shows a side of the pilgrims that is not so generous.

From Deconstructing the Myths of The First Thanksgiving

Myth: The First Thanksgiving occurred in 1621.

Fact: No one knows when the “first” thanksgiving occurred. People have been giving thanks for as long as people have existed. Indigenous nations all over the world have celebrations of the harvest that come from very old traditions; for Native peoples, thanksgiving comes not once a year, but every day, for all the gifts of life. To refer to the harvest feast of 1621 as The First Thanksgiving disappears Indian peoples in the eyes of non-Native children.

Quoted from: The Hidden History of Massachusetts

According to a single-paragraph account in the writings of one Pilgrim, a harvest feast did take place in Plymouth in 1621, probably in mid-October, but the Indians who attended were not even invited. Though it later became known as "Thanksgiving," the Pilgrims never called it that. And amidst the imagery of a picnic of interracial harmony is some of the most terrifying bloodshed in New World history.

From The Thanksgiving Myth

Jump 129 years to 1621, year of the supposed "first Thanksgiving." There is not much documentation of that event, but surviving Indians do not trust the myth. Natives were already dying like flies thanks to European-borne diseases. The Pequot tribe reportedly numbered 8,000 when the Pilgrims arrived, but disease had reduced their population to 1,500 by 1637, when the first, officially proclaimed, all-Pilgrim "Thanksgiving" took place. At that feast, the whites of New England celebrated their massacre of the Pequots. "This day forth shall be a day of celebration and thanksgiving for subduing the Pequots," read Massachusetts Bay Governor John Winthrop's proclamation. Few Pequots survived.

To end on a lighter note from Addams Family Values:

[As an Indian, ad-libbing during a Thanksgiving play]
Wednesday: Wait, we can not break bread with you. You have taken the land which is rightfully ours. Years from now my people will be forced to live in mobile homes on reservations. Your people will wear cardigans, and drink highballs. We will sell our bracelets by the road sides, and you will play golf, and eat hot h'ors d'ourves. My people will have pain and degradation. Your people will have stick shifts. The gods of my tribe have spoken. They said do not trust the pilgrims, especially Sarah Miller. And for all of these reasons I have decided to scalp you and burn your village to the ground.

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