Beadwork and Ceremony

The beautiful bright purples, yellows and reds of the Nez Perce. The yellow, red, black and white of the traditional medicine wheel. The lilac and blue of the camas flowers of Kalispel art. The muted pink, teal and green of the Crow. Whether made on a loom or stitched using the single or two-needle method, Native American traditional beadwork is a sight to behold. 

Windspeaker.com recently featured commentary by Drew Hayden Taylor entitled, ‘The Shame of Skirt Shaming,

In it, readers are forced to endure the bitter tirade of a male author who seeks to shame traditional practitioners of Native ways, including elders and medicine people, for strictly adhering to centuries-old ceremonial protocol that requires women to cover themselves while participating in sacred rites passed down over millennia.

Fuck Your Disenrollment Bullshit

In 2011, my uncle, aunt and two cousins were disenrolled from the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe by an apparent majority vote after a year-and-a-half of politically motivated votes, debates, arguments and Council after Council meeting. It is all on film, one relative after the next defending or objecting to my uncle’s, and by proximity, his children’s tribal membership.

Racism Can Cause PTSD

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is an increasingly common mental health difficulty that can be faced by soldiers returning from war, battered women and individuals who have experienced mental, physical or verbal assault or abuse as children or adults. An experience of racism like my cousin’s could also cause PTSD.

Colorism In Indigenous Communities

There is a strong rhetoric, even among communities of color, that women with lighter skin are more conventionally attractive, more low key and easier to be around, while the darker your shade of skin, the more you are perceived as difficult, petty and unattractive.

So You Want to Go On Canoe Journey

Canoe culture is about honor, dignity, self-respect and family. It hearkens back to ancestral ties. Said Gary Johnson, former chair of the Chinook tribe, “We know when that fog and mist comes in, that our ancestors are traveling in that fog, traveling with us, and all those people who have gone before us and have shown us the way.”

Buck vs. Bell—Eugenics Fun, WTF America

Back in 1927, the Supreme Court ruled that the government had authority to sterilize anyone deemed unfit, including the intellectually disabled “for the protection and health of the state.” Seen as an endorsement of removing defective stock from the human gene pool, health professionals, legal authorities and groups across the country began wiping out the chances for “unseemly” people to procreate behind the shield of the greater good. 

Mi’kmaw Sisters Launch First Aboriginal Crisis Counseling Services in Nova Scotia

Sisters Mindy Gallant-Zwicker and Robyn Hazard from the Mi’kmaw First Nation are opening an Aboriginal crisis counseling service for those living on reserves in mainland Nova Scotia. Because of the significant treatment dropout rates and underutilization of mental health services experienced in Aboriginal communities, they have taken it upon themselves to Indigenize the system.

Interview with Eunice Tso, 2016 Native Woman Business Owner of the Year: “Be honest and ethical if you want to remain in the Native Business world”

Earlier this year, the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development named Eunice Tso the 2016 Native Woman Business Owner of the Year. Today Tso, the founder of ETD, Incorporated, is considered one of the premier consulting forces within the Navajo Nation. Her initial vision to form a small, highly specialized environmental consulting business has evolved over the past 20 years to be an agent of both continuity and change for Navajo lands.

 

Connecting Diné Suicides and Wastewater Pollution

For the last century, many people have had a reckless relationship with their environment. The kind of relationship that involves ignoring the Earth, botanicals and bodies of water outside their front door until some catalyst creates a change – a large damaging storm, an earthquake, wildfires, a drought or a health mandate from their therapist or spiritual advisor. You know, something powerful, potentially dangerous and out of the ordinary.