This week's stories: DOE issues tribal energy loan guarantee program; The second 2018 Ucross Fellowship for Native American Visual Artists announced; Savage Storm wins Division 1 NABI championship; Cyclists finish 2018 Remember the Removal Bike Ride; The 2018 Fiesta Bowl Lori Piestewa National Native American Games.
- Duluth, Minnesota (NFIC) -
Paul DeMain: Introduce yourself, tell us who you are and what your main activities are nowadays.
Winona LaDuke: Okay, Boozhoo Inawemaganidoog, Binesikwe Indashinikaaz. My name is Winona LaDuke and I live on Round Lake on the White Earth reservation in Northern Minnesota.
I’m Anishinaabe, I’m Bear Clan, I’m a traditional harvester, a farmer, I’m an economist by academic training, and I’m the executive director of Honor The Earth, a national Native foundation.
DeMain: Tell us a little bit about how you view the fossil fuel industry in 2017. And then take us into what the alternative would be if we were to focus on renewable energy job development.
LaDuke: Right. Our economy is largely driven by the fossil fuel industry. We live in a society where they say that about a fifth of our money as an economy is spent on energy, and most of that is on fossil fuels.
We’ve made a set of choices in the larger industrial society which make things super inefficient, meaning that between point of origin and point of consumption, about 57 percent of our energy is wasted.
We’ve made a lot of bad choices in the colonial ... I actually call it the predator, or the Was’ichu, or more the Windigo economy. That’s what I’m calling it now, the Windigo economy. You have an economy that’s predicated on not only taking more than you need and kind of laying things to waste, but it’s so wasteful that it requires this massive influx of oil and fossil fuels.
And in that process, our economy is extracting more and more. And we’re at this point where it’s known as extreme energy, or extreme extraction, where you get to the point in time where... in my lifetime we’ve consumed 50 percent of the known oil. And there’s still a whole bunch left, but the stuff that’s left is really, really hard to get.
And so you have stuff like blowing off the top of 500 mountain tops in Appalachia to keep the coal going, and this point where it’s going, to India or to someplace else, or like the remaining oil that is there, you can only get out by fracking, busting up the bedrock of mother earth and putting 600 and some chemicals down there, or the tar sands, which is basically tar, asphalt, that you gotta add a bunch of stuff to and then shove it in a pipeline and hope that’s gonna work out for you.
Regular oil pipeline eruptions, leaks and accidents, and events like the Husky Oil Refinery explosion this May of 2018 in Superior, Wisconsin remind people on a regular basis that oil production, transportation and use has additional cost factors to the environment and human life.
Photo by B.King - Earth First Journal
Or maybe you’re gonna get the last bit of oil in this fossil fuel industry from going 20,000 feet under the ocean and hoping that’s gonna work out for you until you end up with something like the deep water horizon, which is what we’re gonna have more and more of.
You’ve got this end of the fossil fuel era where you’re in this super extreme extraction. And so you have an economy that’s totally addicted to fossil fuels, it’s set up in a really inefficient manner, and it’s set up in a way which basically doesn’t reaffirm a relationship to mother earth, it instead continues to consume mother earth. And it’s a cannibal or a Windigo economy. And we’re in the last pieces of it because there’s really not that much left.
And so you see this moment in time where in world geopolitics there’s continued fighting, we all know it, whether it’s what’s going on in the Middle East, or the US is in the process of trying to take over Venezuelan oil resources.
The single largest oil reserves in the world are actually in Venezuela, and the United States is destabilizing the Venezuelan economy in the process of trying to get access to that Venezuelan oil.
You see the fossil fuel economy which drives everything, and the vagaries of a fossil fuel economy, which in turn ripple their effect on us. I mean, why would you hitch your economy to such a crazy world of extraction? Why would you wanna be subject to the whims of Exxon and all of those guys as terms of pricing, and just kinda destabilize yourself all the time?
And so you’re at this moment of un-enlightenment in the United States. But what you see is that on a worldwide scale there’s a massive move towards divestment in fossil fuels. That move is led by, whether it is the Norwegians, banks out of Paris, governments, and the Rockefellers themselves. Those who founded a lot of the oil industry are divesting in fossil fuels because it is time to move into the next economy.
And so some choices have been made by the society, and Indian people, first of all we’re the last generally to receive electrification, and so we didn’t quite get all the way in there. But whatever we have now that has trickled down has really put our communities in a really precarious situation. And so we’re part of it, we’re kind of at the bottom of it.
But in the larger picture, the (oil) economy is at its end, and there’s this desperate, desperate move, this desperate move to, whether it is take over these remaining oil resources, or figure out, in Canada particularly, they’re trying to figure out how to get that damn oil out. And you got a situation where you have tar sands, that there’s a rise in divestment and there’s new projects coming online, the Fort Hills project is coming online, and that may give 200,000 barrels a day by the time they get done. And they don’t actually have pipelines for those projects.
And so on one hand, you’ve got a Canadian economy which is today totally hooked to tar sands, Canada is a petro state, and 90 percent of the loonie is predicated on what is in the tar sands.
And so if I was like a smart country, I wouldn’t base my economy on one thing. Smart economies are diversified, but the Canadian economy is almost entirely based on the tar sands.
DeMain: So you’ve pictured this dirty fuel greedy capitalistic driven last extreme extraction. There are examples of countries that have taken a different approach, Rockefellers decided they’re not gonna invest. Tell us what the future could be if policymakers at the governmental level ...
LaDuke: If there was vision? Right, okay. So we can only combust so much to keep the planet, the temperature from rising. And it turns out that we could only combust 550 giga tons of carbon, which is a lot. I’m not sure how much that is, but it’s a lot.
And what I know is that the oil companies on their books have 2785 giga tons of carbon listed as assets, and that’s on their books. And in business school, they call that an asset, but I would call that a liability. That’s what I would refer to it as.
And so there’s this moment in time where enlightened people, whether they are investors or whether they are governments, are saying climate change is gonna cost us 20 percent of world GDP by the year 2020.
We’re already seeing a rise in disasters significantly, significant storms. If you look to the year 2017, what you see is massive storms in the South destroying and laying to waste islands essentially.
And then you see fires that are raging to the West, that continue to rage to the West in proportions that have never been seen, catastrophic fires. And then of course you see a crazy man with orange hair in the East who continues to propose to move down this same path. No?
And so you’re at this moment of un-enlightenment in the United States. But what you see is that on a worldwide scale there’s a massive move towards divestment in fossil fuels. That move is led by, the Norwegians, banks out of Paris, governments, and the Rockefellers themselves. Those who founded a lot of the oil industry are divesting in fossil fuels because it is time to move into the next economy.
And so you see this move on one hand to move away from it, and then this move by the Trump administration to stay entrenched in this economy. And even when Trump said that he wouldn’t go along with the Paris accord, I think the heads of 100 major corporations said, “We’re still gonna abide by that,” because there are a lot of people in the world that recognize that the instability of climate change, and the instability of continuing down the path of fossil fuels, is an instability that is not survivable by the larger society, let alone a lot of islands of Indigenous people.
And so choices are being made by countries, this divestment movement of five trillion dollars away from fossil fuels who are now looking into investments in renewables. And while you see one path that is un-enlightened, you see, as in Anishinaabe prophecies, this green path which there is a massive movement towards.
The present administration talks about reducing fuel efficiency in vehicles. What you have is, first it started with Volvo, and now you’ve got GM, you got major car companies that are saying, “We’re gonna move to electric cars. We’re not even gonna stay in the fossil fuel economy.” And increasing numbers of vehicles are being produced, following the Tesla example, to move us into a post fossil fuel economy of transportation.
You see basic choices, like we looked at the Dakota Access Pipeline, also known as the Dakota Excess Pipeline, and we saw that 3.8 billion dollars is spent on a pipeline to bring oil from the Bakken into an archaic and crumbling infrastructure of oil pipelines in this country.
You see that, and on the other hand you see that if you didn’t spend that 3.8 billion dollars on that pipeline, you could have 323 two megawatt wind turbines.
You could have about 160,000 solar five kilowatts of solar for houses in North Dakota, right? And you could have about 61,000 solar thermal panels.
And so there’s this basic choice, and when we look at energy security, what we need to look at is, what actually is energy security for the future? And what is energy security for all of us? And bad choices have been made, but increasingly more countries, for instance, Germany is I think about 30 percent, 40 percent renewables, Denmark similarly.
Most enlightened countries ... and even the US military is increasingly moving towards renewables. I believe that one of the single largest solar projects in the state of Minnesota is actually at Fort Ripley. And the military sees, even in itself, as much as I have conflicts with the military, the military sees that stability and security is associated with renewables.
DeMain: The extractive industry’s call to order is jobs, jobs, jobs.
Winona LaDuke: There’s about four times as many jobs in renewables as there are in fossil fuel industries. And at this point in time, there are more people employed in solar than there are in the fossil fuels industry.
And as we look ahead, the projections are that there will be an increase in renewables, in investment in renewables, that is significant, and a decrease in fossil fuels.
And if you look for instance at whether it is nuclear power or new fossil fuel construction, that is on the decline. They tried to bring nuclear power in under the Obama administration. Every one of those projects has failed. The last one was Duke Energy, and that one also just failed.
So millions, there are billions of dollars being invested in nuclear power on plants that can’t come in. No new coal plants are coming online. Those are all being transitioned out into whether it is biomass or ... I disagree with the term of being a lower impact with natural gas. But there’s a transition that is happening, and it is happening across the board.
A lot of what I’m interested now is in this discussion about what the transition looks like, because in the present configuration, every economy is destabilized by fossil fuels. Every economy is destabilized over the long term by this extreme extraction.
A lot of what I’m interested now is in this discussion about what the transition looks like, because in the present configuration, every economy is destabilized by fossil fuels. Every economy is destabilized over the long term by this extreme extraction.
I look here in the North, and we were looking at deposits of ore that are like one percent, or less than one percent. And the amount of energy that is required to extract Northern Minnesota’s copper in this last round necessitates a huge amount of infrastructure that is not necessary for this last little bit of extraction.
So if you made a set of choices where you rebuilt infrastructure in Indian country and elsewhere where you moved from the extractive economy, the Windigo economy, to something that was a much lower load of energy consumption, whether it is not necessitating five new power plants, or the electrical generation from four or five power plants to power giant mines in Northern Minnesota or perhaps in Northern Wisconsin, we would be looking at a totally different economy in the future. And that economy is a relocalized economy.
The fact is, is that these centralized power and centralized energy systems, not only do they not reaffirm local energy in communities, but they also don’t create local jobs and local security.
And so to me the answer is really in our projects, for instance on White Earth, we just did 20 kilowatts of solar at Honor The Earth for the Pine Point Elementary School. That’s not gonna change things there, but say you have a village where, on my reservation and on every reservation, people are spending 30 percent of their income on their heating bills in the winter time. And a lot of our tribes don’t even have wood heat anymore in our hut housing projects.
And so we are constantly at this moment of fuel poverty trying to figure out if we’re gonna survive or if we’re not gonna survive through the winter. And my tribe itself is paying most of those electrical and heating bills, adding to a deficit which is compounded with an opioid crisis.
And so if I was trying to stabilize something and our tribe is a microcosm of America, ‘cause everybody is dealing with, whether it is the vagaries of a fossil fuel economy, how you’re gonna heat, particularly in the North, and this opioid crisis, which is taxing every community, particularly every rural community.
To me the long term stability of my village of Pine Point, is in how you reduce the misery in that village in part by having some kind of a local self-reliance where you’re not totally trying to figure out how you’re gonna survive.
And I think that, that issue is across the board. I mean, people are hustling to survive pretty much in every community. And as winter comes, it increases, our concerns increase.
DeMain: You said that your push is to change the industry to renewable energy, What does the resistance at Standing Rock represent? And how is that going to impact Line #3 and other future battles?
Winona LaDuke: For four years, the Anishinaabe people battled the Sandpiper in Northern Minnesota, which was a fracked oil pipeline coming out of North Dakota. It was intended to be 640,00 barrels a day of oil coming from North Dakota, and the only possible route that Enbridge could have. They told us it was a central route. And so for four years our people went to every hearing, we prayed, we had ceremonies, we rode our horses, we pushed in every arena, and we got a lot of support by non-Indian people because Northern Minnesota, is not North Dakota, and a lot of non-Indian people love their water as much as we do.
And Minnesota itself doesn’t actually have any oil, so it doesn’t have an interest in being just a pass through state.
After defeating the Sandpiper in August 2nd of 2016, the Enbridge Corporation announced that it had purchased 28 percent of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
And so Enbridge Corporation is who emboldened Energy Transfer Partners, which was not on the best financial footing, in order to build a pipeline. And they came in as a support mechanism to try to figure out how to get that oil out of the Bakken.
And that pipeline, we all know the story of that, that originally it was slated to go through north of Bismarck. In order to avoid the white population of Bismarck, they put it just north of Standing Rock. The picture to me is really not only just of environmental racism and questions of environmental justice, but it’s also a question of infrastructure.
People of Standing Rock don’t have adequate infrastructure, you got a hospital that was 50 years ago, you got roads that have no shoulders on them, you have crumbling infrastructure throughout those villages, and people who freeze to death 100 miles from the Bakken because they don’t have adequate access to heat, and so much fuel poverty.
I remember Matthew King said ... “The only thing sadder than an Indian who is not free is an Indian who doesn’t remember what it’s like to be free.”
It’s so ironic and so tragic, this dichotomy between the large oil corporations and the people who have always stood for their land. To all of us it was a Selma moment, that’s how I look at it. And if you contextualize it in the history of American movements and social movements, Standing Rock is a Selma moment when we all woke up, we all woke up and said, “This is what it looks like on the front lines.” And I think to a great extent we found ourselves at Standing Rock. There’s a lot of people that came to Standing Rock, and they saw what was going on, and they kept watching it, and they kept watching it, and they said, “You know, I want to be that person that I’m supposed to be. I’m going to go to Standing Rock and find myself,” and that’s when I feel like a lot of us did at Standing Rock.
I remember this in the privilege of my life I got to interview Matthew King who is one of the great Oglala chiefs, and I remember Matthew King said ... What he said, “The only thing sadder than an Indian who is not free is an Indian who doesn’t remember what it’s like to be free.”
To me, Standing Rock was that moment where we remembered what it was like to be free. We remembered what it was like to create a camp of thousands of people, and to create all this infrastructure, and to feed our people, and to have millions of people not only watching us, but supporting us, and saying, “We are with you,” and coming out whether they’re clergy or whether they’re school teachers.
Everybody came to Standing Rock to be there to be present, and I was so proud to be part of that. We were all proud to be part of that moment. In our lessons of Standing Rock, there are a number of them. One of the lessons is, is that frankly I mean the regulatory system is so skewed.
They always talk about it as the “just us” system. But to me, clearly when President Trump can come in and just totally eliminate any regulatory safeguards that you possibly had in a system that you want to work because we all want the system to work, but the system does not work. But when he comes in and basically changes everything, that we all felt and we all saw that, but at the same time we convened, we stood strong.
Ariel photo of an Alberta Tar Sands mine in Canada.
DeMain: There’s lots of lessons to be learned.
Winona LaDuke: There’s a lot of lessons. One is that we can stand together. Another is, is that we can find our courage. Another thing is, is that we faced the military. We faced the military. I mean the use of Tiger Swan on our people and use of all of that equipment on our people should not happen in civilian society, and yet at the same time what we are looking at is that is probably what they’re going to try to roll out on line three. Lessons that we learned from
Standing Rock is one: Stand together. Two: Try to figure out how to have a unified command because they had a unified command. We did not have a unified command, and we’re going to need a unified command on line three.
Another lesson is have a long haul strategy. Figure out where you’re camping.
We have the opportunity to be proactive, we have the opportunity to push them back before they get any closer. We have the opportunity in Minnesota, which is where the battle is. The battle is not in Canada, and the battle is not going to be in Wisconsin because Canada has approved that pipeline, and it’s moving towards us, and Canada’s economy is entirely predicated on access to oil, and access to pipelines, and this is the only pipeline that is viable to move forward in a ... The Keystone Pipeline is not going to move forward because they don’t have any shippers, they don’t have any route.
That’s two years back. Two to three years back before they can move into that at all. The transmountain pipeline may be able to move forward.
Morgan’s trans pipeline may be able to move forward, and that is really the golden pipeline because it gives access to China, which is what ultimately Canada wants. But this pipeline is the pipeline that they are all throwing down on because this is the one that is the largest, and it feeds into the US markets.
We have this opportunity to be preemptive on this, and to think where we’re going on it.
But in November of 2017 the Duluth, Minnesota Police announced that they were purchasing $83,000 worth of riot gear in 2018, and another $43,000 worth of riot gear in 2019 for the city.
We looked at that, and I was thinking, “Who is going to cause that riot in downtown Duluth that they would need that much riot gear? Is that Wisconsin trying to invade Deluth?
The fact is, is that Duluth police were purchasing that riot gear for the line three battle because we are already here in Duluth, and we are camping on the line south of Duluth.
When we heard about that, we went to the Duluth City Council meeting, and we showed up in some numbers, and we showed up with church people, and local community people who said, “We don’t really feel like Duluth needs $83,000 worth of riot gear.” Duluth can probably purchase some things that would help with civil society more. At that moment when we saw that they were purchasing that riot gear, and that they are trying to gear up these local police departments in Minnesota for basically defending a Canadian oil pipeline company from the citizens of Minnesota we stood and faced them. But I feel like in Minnesota, this is a different battle than in North Dakota.
DeMain: Bringing the battle to Minnesota I see moose, I see wild rice. What’s happening to the moose population?
Winona LaDuke: I’m glad you see moose. I don’t see any. Oh god.
DeMain: What’s happening to the season of tapping? April is maple syrup month.
Winona LaDuke: It was. Now it’s February. Anishinaabe territory is almost 50% water. If you think about our territory, if you think about our lakes including our Great Lakes, that is our territory. If you think about that, you know we are over half water.
Not only is it the fifth of the world’s water, but all of that water has to be taken care of. You have to keep the temperature correct. You have to keep the quality of the water good, and Minnesota’s water, and the water of our territory is very precious to all of us. You can still drink the water from the lakes and the boundary waters, and there’s very few places in the world that you could still drink that water. At the same time, a combination of impacts whether it is industrialized agriculture in the southern part of Minnesota moving to the north. 42% of lakes in Minnesota are already impaired because of industrialized agriculture.
You have mining around the range, which the state of Minnesota is looking at expanding and allowing the sulfur standards to increase in order to basically designate some lakes as national sacrifice areas for the mining industry, and increase the amount of lakes that will be destroyed by sulfuric acid in Northern Minnesota.
70% of the wild rice has already been impaired. In Minnesota, what remains is rice that we need to defend. They’ve cleared the rice out of lakes in Southern Minnesota, but the north is still strong with our rice. You have crashing of one population after another.
We all feel it. I mean as I drive through my territory there are no birds and there are no insects. There were no insects this year. That is the result of all of the chemicals. Then what happens to the fish? What happens to the birds that eat those insects, right? There used to be billions of passenger pigeons, and there used to be billions of geese. You don’t see that anymore. You see a decline in all of those populations. Significant decline in all of those populations.
You see the moose, which two years ago we were able to get listed on the endangered species list because there’s been about an 80% drop in the moose population in Minnesota already. That is a combination of many things including habitat impact, and climate change.
As the climate changes, it transforms the whole territory.
As the climate changes in Minnesota, all of these things become more and more delicate, and more and more at risk. What we don’t need is anything else, and that’s why this battle over whether it is the pipelines or over the battle of mining is so important because all of those little beings count on us to be able to ... Or big beings like a moose. They count on us that we will not mess this up. This last little bit that we have. That’s this moment.
What I see is that in our prophecies they talk about the Time of the Seventh Fire, and they say, “In this time, we’ll have a choice between two paths. One being well worn, but scorched and the other being green.” As I see where we are going, there is this move on globalization, and certainly the Trump administration the Windigo economy as it has been for the past 300 years of extraction, and mining, and pillaging.
Then there is this move that says, “We cannot continue that.” I looked through the north, and what is increasing dramatically is the rise of solar energy. What is increasing dramatically is the rise of local food systems where you don’t have to transport your food from California or from Chile where you can eat more and more local foods at much lower carbon impact.
What I see is not only the rise of fuel efficiency, but I see the rise of things like the electric car. In my case, I look at this and I think of the pieces that we need to transform, and so this last year I started to work on hemp.
DeMain: I wanted to ask you how you saw the end battle, you wouldn’t be doing this if you didn’t think there’s something hopeful about it. Is there hope? Where are we going to be 200 years from now or 1000? What are you grandchildren seven generations from now going to get? Are they going to be able to look back and say, “She was hopeful.”
Winona LaDuke: We all look out there and see the same thing, and maybe some of us are more tuned to what we see. The grief that we experience from the loss of things. That is so deep, and you know it is because you watched it as I like you have more winters behind me that I have ahead of me.
I think about the things that I used to see that I don’t now. I mean first I think about when things return, and I’ve been part of seeing things come back. I’ve been part of seeing the sturgeon come back to my territory, and I saw what that did to our people like when we saw something that can come home, and we could take care of it, and we could ... It could be present in our lakes again.
I’ve seen the return of our food systems. I’ve worked a long time to bring back our corn varieties, and I visited with someone a couple of days ago who was talking about taking a Bear Island flint corn, and open pollinating it with an Argentinian corn that is orange, and increasing our corn varieties, our traditional corn varieties.
It’s the traditional varieties, and if you add in these other varieties like this Argentinian variety it’s all full of beta carotene.
I think about how with vision and prayer you can make something even more beautiful. One day our Bear Island flint will adapt some of it, we will have a corn that is this beautiful possibility for feeding so many people, and I think about corn perhaps as a little bit of a lesson because corn didn’t exist in nature. It only exists as a result of a relationship between humans and the plant, and humans and the creator.
In that, many days I really am weary of humans. I lose my patience with us, I lose my ... Well, I try to keep, many of us try to keep a connection to that which is real. I watch generations and people getting more and more into a box, and that box might be that they don’t leave the res or that box might be that they don’t even leave their house anymore. They just watch TV or their box might be their little phone.
But then I see someone break out and go back into the woods, and experience what it is like to be so present in the greatness of a place where you pick Labrador tea. Or go out and listen to the waves that are so much more ... They’re so much larger than us. I mean this natural world is so much larger than us, and I see people in this younger generation, many of them came to Standing Rock, and while the 1% may not like us, their children do. Their children are with us.
Enbridge officials asked law enforcement officials to remove Winona Laduke from 2016 public hearings after she asked Enbridge representatives if they planned to bring their security dogs, tear gas, rubber bullets and other military equipment from Standing Rock, North Dakota to northern Minnesota for the battle over Line #3 HTE Photo
While I see the bastions of old power stand, I see that more and more people turn from them, and I see more and more people not only do the right thing in terms of an economy, but do the right thing in terms of their heart and finding their courage. I have great hope. I look at my descendants, and I have many who have come to me and they’re now my descendants, and I look at them, and I have great hope for them as I see how they find themselves, and I believe the creator watches over us, and takes pity on us. and helps us to find our way if we ask.
Then I look at where we are going, and I feel that in the face of the craziness of the Windigo Economy we have always had those who fight the Windigo and the Anishinaabe have killed the Windigo many times in the winter. Now is the time to kill the Windigo.
That’s what we must summon up in our courage in ourselves to do that, and as we do that we find that place that is good, and that path is there for us, and many of us have been working to make that path. I look at the courage of our history, and then I look at the teachings that you get from watching. The adaptation of whether it is a species or something as beautiful as a seed in corn.
If we did not ... When we plant each spring, it is a payer and hope that we will be able to harvest. A seed gives us that hope because when you plant that seed it is not just one seed that comes from it, it is hundreds of seeds that are in the case of that old squash. They say that there’s 1600 seeds per squash. If a plant is not hope, if the plant did not believe that it was going to continue it would not give you seeds.
What I know is, is that in the non-seed varieties that are GMO there is no hope. But in our relatives that are those plants, there is tremendous hope. It is our job to create the ability or restore the ability in our soil for those plants to come back or those plants to grow again.
To me, I look at the younger generation and I do have hope, and I look to our relatives particularly those that are those plants, and I have great hope. Then we all do the best we can in our lives. You cannot do everything, but what I know is, is that I’ve spent most of my life fighting bad ideas.
What I’m far more interested in is articulating where we are going. To me, the next economy is one that is based not on taking more than you need and laying to waste because that is a Windigo Economy, but is on taking only what you need, and leaving the rest, and in restoring our covenant with the creator, and our covenant with creation where we as agents of so much destruction are also agents of so much change that is good and of beauty.
To me that’s what the next economy looks like.
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This week's stories: The Winnebago tribe is a top leader in renewable energy; Joanne Shenandoah partners with RNCI to bring attention to #WhyWeWearRED; The Iroquois Nationals arrive in time to compete in the World Lacrosse Championships despite passport issues; New law allows school districts to transfer land to the Housing Authority of the Cherokee Nation; Rap artist, Buggin Malone releases new album and saves a life.
Kenneth S. Cohen ©2018
- Special to News From Indian Country -
Part 1 The US National Institutes of Health
Many people concerned with the rights of North America’s original peoples are aware of the heinous history of colonialism and the abuses perpetrated by boarding schools (and racist education in general), church indoctrination and subjugation, social services that break up families, military genocide, land-theft, and a “health-care” system sometimes sanctioned to sterilize Native women and inflict disease.
Arizona, Lukachukai – A celebration of life for Marvin Andrew McKenzie, 62, of Tsaile, was held May 31, 2018 at Lukachukai Chapter House. Marvin was born Nov. 14,1955, into the Naakai dine’e (Mexican Clan), born for Kinlichii’nii (Red House Clan). Marvin passed away May 24, 2018.
Marvin is survived by his son, James McKenzie; mother, Betty McKenzie; sisters, Judith, Claire, and Kathleen McKenzie; and brothers, Patrick, Gilbert, Edward, and Jeremy McKenzie. Marvin attended Wheaton College, San Jaun College and University of New Mexico, earning a degree in fine arts from Dine College. (Navajo Times, May 31, 2018)
Arizona, St. Michaels – Funeral services for Irvin Begay, 51, of St. Michaels was held June 1, 2018 at the Nazarene Church in St. Michaels. Burial followed in St. Michaels. Irvin was born Sept. 20, 1966, in St. Michaels, into the Honaghaahnii (One-walks-around Clan), born for Ashiihi (Salt People Clan). Irvin passed away May 27, 2018 in Hopi, AZ. Irvin is survived by his wife, Lucinda C. White; sons, Garrison and Merle Begay; daughters, Rocinda and Cerain Begay; parents, Chee and Helen Begay; sisters, Marie Brown and Marie Begay; and five grandchilden. He is preceded in death by his sister, Annie Williams. Irvin worked for the BIA Forestry for over 20 years. (Navajo Times, May 31, 2018)
Arizona, Fort Defiance – A memorial service for Carlton Davis Williams, 55, of Fort Defiance was held June 2, 2018 at the Presbyterian Church in Fort Defiance. Carlton was born Nov. 23, 1962 in Fort Defiance, into the Kiyaa’aanii (Towering House Clan), born for Naakai dine’e (Mexican Clan). Carlton passed away Apr. 26, 2018.
Carlton is survived by his mother, Laurita W. Jones; and sister, Dorothea Williams. He is preceded in death by his father, Douglas Williams Sr.; sister, Carla Williams; brother, Douglas Williams Jr.; and grandparents, David and Rhonda Watchman and George and Kerry Williams. Carlton attended technical training at ABC Welding School in Phoenix, obtaining a commercial Class A license and LP3S classification in HAZ/MAT training. He was employed as a certified welder and CDL Class A HAZ/MAT operator. He worked for the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, as a welder at American Homesteaders, Inc. Nations Gas Technology as a gas technicain, and at Natural/Water Resources. (Navajo Times, May 31, 2018) Ashiihi (Salt People Clan), born for Todich’ii’nii (Bitter Water Clan).
Arizona, Birdsprings – Funeral services for Junior Nez, 85 were held June 9, 2018 at the Birdsprings Full Gospel Church. Interment followed at the Birdsprings Full Gospel Church family plot. Junior was born Sept. 9, 1932 in Leupp AZ., into the Ashiihi (Salt People Clan), born for Todich’ii’nii (Bitter Water Clan). Junior passed away June 4, 2018, in Payson, AZ. Junior is survived by his wife, Betty Ann Nez; adopted sons, Micheal, Aruther, Peter, Joe Manygoats, and Randy Thompson; daughter, Judy Nez; adopted daughters, Lenora Brown, SueAnn Long, and Marcella Proctor; brothers, Dennis and Kenneth Nez; and 31 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his mother, Carrie Curley; and father, Julius Nez.. Junior served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. (Navajo Times, June 14, 2018)
Arizona, Kayenta – Funeral services for Edward Chato-Seaton, 28 were held June 8, 2018 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Kayenta. Interment followed at the Kayenta community cemetery. Edward was born Mar. 1, 1990 in Durango, CO., into the Tabaaha (Water’s Edge Clan), born for the Todich’ii’nii (Bitter Water Clan). Edward passed away June 4, 2018 in Kayenta. Edward is survived by his parents, Genevieve Chato and Edward Seaton; brothers by, David Kasch and Shondee Seaton; and sisters, Julie Curley, Shannon Seaton and Bianca Seaton. He is preceded in death by his grandparents, Edgar and Mary R. Chato, and Eddie and June Seaton. Edward was a Manuelito Schorlarship recipient. He attended the University of Arizona and Pima Community College in Tucson. (Navajo Times, June 14, 2018)
Arizona, Ganado – Funeral services for Joyce Moore, 73 of Cornfields, AZ., were held June 21, 2018 at All Saints Catholic Church in Ganado. Burial followed in Cornfields. Joyce was born Oct. 23, 1944 in Cornfields, into the Honaghaahnii (One-walks-around Clan), born for Kiyaa’aanii ( Towering House Clan). Joyce passed away June 16, 2018 in Ganado. Joyce is survived by her sons, William Bizadi Jr., Marvin Moore, Jerrell Chee, Ryan Friday, and Trent Friday; sisters, Marlene Friday, Lily Salway, Rosemary Sam, and Ella Merriman; and 11 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her husband, Phillip R. Moore; son, Darrell Roanhorse; and Brenton Nez, Shannon Salway, Marie Friday, Joseph Friday Jr., and Joseph Friday Sr. Joyce became a certified nursing assistant and worked for the Navajo Tribe for 25 years and as a community health representative for 19 years. (Navajo Times, June 21, 2018)
Arizona, Kayenta – Graveside service for Richard B. Singer Jr., 60 was held June 23, 2018 at the Kayenta community cemetery. Richard was born Oct. 5, 1957 in Bellemont, AZ., into the Honaghaahnii (One-walks-around Clan), born for Todich’ii’nii (Bitter Water Clan). Richard passed away May 29, 2018 in Denver. Richard is survived by his son, Reginal Singer; and siblings, Elwood Gene Sr., Lorraine Tsinaginnie, Lorretta Singer, Sharine Sonny, Regina Sundseth, Karen Garcia, Beverly Thomas, Patricia Osif and Dawny Singer. He is preceded in death by parents, Richard B. Singer Sr. and Katherine B. Singer; and siblings, Richard E. Singer, Ritchie Singer and Arloa Singer. Richard was an EMT and studied at Denver Pharmacy School and Blackfox Training Institute. He was employed by StorageTek. He was involved with the elderly program in the Denver Indian Center Inc. and the Native American Talking Circle at the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless and the Denver Public Library. (Navajo Times, June 21, 2018)
Arizona, Nazlini – Funeral services for Ruth Bia Tracey, 84 of Nazlini, AZ., were held June 18, 2018 at the Solid Rock Baptist Church in Nazlini. Interment followed in Nazlini. Ruth was born Apr. 14, 1934 in Nazlini, into the Ta’neeszahnii (Tangle Clan), born for Ma’ii deeshgiizhinii (Coyote Pass Clan). Ruth passed away June 12, 2018 in Flagstaff. Ruth is survived by her son, Arnold Tracey; brother, Austin Bia; and sisters, Lucy, Helen, Ilene, and Lerna Bia. She is preceded in death by Bernard Tracey Sr. (Navajo Times, June 21, 2018) Arizona, Cornfields – Funeral services for Virginia Sue Moses, 68 were held June 18, 2018 at the Lighthouse Assembly of God Church in Cornfields. Interment followed at the Cornfields cemetery. Virginia was born June 28, 1949 in Ganado, AZ., into the Tabaaha ( Water’s Edge Clan), born for Kiyaa’aanii (Towering House Clan). Her chei is Edward Todach. Virginia passed away June 11, 2018 in Irving, TX. Virginia is survived by her brothers, Leroy, Max, Thomas Jr., and Marvin Sr. Moses and Wilfre Smith Jr.; and sisters, Verna Poncho, Julia Moses, and Willeta Smith. (Navajo Times, June 21, 2018)
Minnesota, Redby – An all-night wake and funeral services for Matthew “Matt” Dunkley, Sr., 34 of Sioux Falls, SD., was held June 4 and June 5, 2018 at the Redby Community Center. Matthew passed away May 31, 2018. Matthew was born July 26, 1983 to Michael D. Dunkley, Sr., and Marcia Zoe Thompson in Park Rapids, MN. Matthew is survived by his wife, Kyrie DuMarce-Dunkley; children, Niin-Day, Lucas, Jeremiah and Matthew Jr.; father; siblings, Zhawin, Opichee, Lavender, Michael Jr., Benayshi, Ginew, Jeremiah, Gewaden and Medazway; many aunts, uncles and cousins. He is preceded in death by his mother; grandmother, Theresa Mattie Dunkley; aunt, Patricia Jean Eylandt. Matthew honorably served in the U.S. Army for 10 years with tours in Afghnistan and Iraq. He received the following commendations; Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal and Combat Infantry Badge. (The Red Lake Nation, June 22, 2018)
Minnesota, St. Paul – A traditional service for Karen Jean Cloud, “Bagajikwe”, “Giving Woman” 58, was held June 7, 2018 at the Boys and Girls Club in Ponemah, MN. Karen passed away May 31, 2018 at home. Karen was born Oct. 7, 1959 to Betty (Stillday) and Wallace Cloud, Sr., in Red Lake, MN. Karen is survived by her life-long partner, Fabian Sayers, Sr.; children, Fabian, Nadine (John M.), Teresa (Charles H.) Cloud; sisters, Sandra Cloud and Orianna Kimbrell; brother, Floyd (Patti) Cloud; special sister, Victoria Fineday; special brother, Chris (Ginny) Cloud; 17 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins and many loved ones. She is preceded in death by her parents; daughter, Angela Cloud; brother, Wallace Cloud, Jr.; grandparents, Roy and Helen Cloud and Warren and Alvina Stillday; and step-son, Fabian G. Sayers, Jr. Karen received her Certified Nursing Assistant and her TMA certificates. She worked at the Jourdain Perpich Nursing Home from 1994 thru 2006. In 2008 she started work at the Little Six Casino. (The Red Lake Nation, June 22, 2018)
Minnesota, Duluth – A traditional service for Charles “Charlie” Wayne Lightfeather, Sr., “Asin-inini”, “Rock Man”, 34, was held June 11, 2018 at the Boys and Girls Club in Ponemah, MN. Charles passed away June 5, 2018. Charles was born Oct. 6, 1983 to Bernice Lightfeather and Gregory Johnson in Duluth, MN. Charles is survived by his wife, Jessica Lightfeather; Charles Jr., Carter Lightfeather, Karen Jourdain, Raine Jourdain, Jayden Lightfeather-Jourdain, Jamie Johnson, Mythias and Truce Lightfeather, Malita Spears, Charlize, Kahlil, Nibi Lightfeather-Spears; brothers, Terry Sr., Terrance, Nodin, Devin Lightfeather, Lance and Brandon Johnson; sisters, Teresa, Crystal, Brandee Lightfeather, Robin and Nagani Johnson; numerous nieces, nephews, aunties, uncles, cousins, friends and his pow-wow bros and sisters. He is preceded in death by his mother; and others who have passed. (The Red Lake Nation, June 22, 2018)
Minnesota, Red Lake – Funeral service for Geraldine Margaret (Richey) Bombay, 71, was held June 13, 2018 at Little Rock Community Center in Red Lake, MN. Geraldine passed away June 8, 2018. Geraldine was born July 27, 1946 to Anna (Beaulieu) and George Richey, Sr., in Red Lake, MN. Geraldine is survived by her sons, Marvin Yellow, Jr., Donald Yellow, Darin Yellow and Melvin Yellow; daughters, Marian (Dave Jorgenson) Yellow and Susan (Floyd) Iceman; step-son, Tony Bombay; step-daughter, Angela Bombay; brothers, William M. Richey and George M. Richey, Jr.; sister, Juliana C. Williams; grandchildren, Sarah, Carmen and Valerie McGraw, Douglas and Clarence Yellow, Alicia Lyons; great-grandchildren, Aliyah, Gabriel and Eli Norris, Miigis and Makoonz Lagou and Rylynn Lyons, Brett and Sammy Jo Lagarde; and many friends and relatives. She is preceded in death by her parents; ex-husband, Marvin Yellow, Sr.; husband, Sam Bombay; daughter, Theresa Ann McGraw; six sisters and five brothers. (The Red Lake Nation, June 22, 2018)
Minnesota, Minneapolis – Funeral service for Todd L. Weldon Jr. 25, of Minneapolis MN., was held June 7, 2018 at the Little Rock Center in Red Lake, MN. Interment followed at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Red Lake, MN. Todd passed away June 1, 2018. Todd was born July 9, 1992 to Todd Weldon and Lisa Neadea in Minneapolis, MN. Todd is survived by his parents; brothers, Robert Conboy and Dale Neadeau; grandmother, Gloria Weldon; step-father, Robert Necklace; step-brothers, Brandon Dunkley, Jake Necklace, and Micah Necklace; and other relatives and friends. He is preceded in death by his grandmother, Margaret Neadeau; grandfathers, Dudley LaRonge and Danny Chavez; and uncle, Dale Neadeau. (The Red Lake Nation, June 22, 2018)
Minnesota, Red Lake – Britney Ann (Yellow) Lussier, “Mizhakwad”, “Clear Sky”, 21, passed away June 16, 2018 at the University of Minnesota. Britney was born Oct. 16, 1996 to Rodney Lussier and Delores Tobbi Yellow in Bemidji, MN. Britney is survived by her parents; grandmother, Lois Lussier; siblings, Janis Hegg, Jeremy Hart, Jr., Gerilyn Yellow, Justyce, Samantha, Brycen and Bryon Lussier; special friend, Brian Roy; aunt, Carolyn Feather; uncles, Austin Head, Tony Bellanger and Melvin Feather, Jr.; and many extended family and friends. She is preceded in death by her baby, Lussier-Roy; grandfather, Edward Lussier, Jr.; grandparents, Geraldine and Toby Yellow; aunts, Sara and Leanne Lussier; and cousin, Rashelli Bravo. (The Red Lake Nation, June 22, 2018)
Minnesota, Bena – A traditional funeral service for Merle Jameson Wakonabo, 49 was held June 18, 2018 at the Red Lake Community Center. Merle passed away June 12, 2018 at home. Merle was born Apr. 3, 1969 in Sauk Center, MN. Merle is survived by his twin brother, Myron (Melissa) Wakonabo; several half brothers and sisters; sons, Ryan Ojibwe and Makoons, Mark, Tyrell, Thomas and Merle III Wakonabo; daughters, Theresa, Mya, Esther, Marissa, Tasheen and Jenny Wakonabo; 4 grandchildren, nieces and nephews, Cindy, Jessey, Charles, Dominic and Hunter; his significant other, Grace Wakonabo; and many cousins and friends. He is preceded in death by his son, Merle Wakonabo, Jr.; parents, Mark and Esther Wakonabo; sister, Chanel Wakonabo; grandparents, Charles and Mary Spike; and nephew, Myron Wakonabo, Jr. (The Red Lake Nation, June 22, 2018) Minnesota, Cass Lake – A traditional service for William Clifford Jones, Sr., “Animikii” “Thunder Being” 25, of Cass Lake were held June 13, 2018 at the Veteran’s Memorial Building in Cass Lake. William was born Feb. 14, 1993 in Bemidji, MN., to Patrice (Beaulieu) and James Jones, Jr. William passed away June 7, 2018 at the Cass Lake IHS Hospital. William is survived by his parents; children, William Clifford Jones, Jr., Nicholas James Jones and Jazerae Renee Jones; sisters, Davina (Lonnie) Curry, Rae’Dahn (Austin) Dailey, Shayla Beaulieu; brothers, Brett (Joycelyn) Beaulieu, Drew (Alisha) Curry, Charles (Michelle) Jones, and James (Valerie) Jones; grandparents, Wanda “Quig” Jones and James (Della) Jones, Sr.; great nephew, Zane Weyaus and numerous aunties, uncles, cousins, and other relatives and friends. (Debahjimon, June 2018)
Minnesota, Longville – A two-night wake and memorial service for Damar Ugine Flowers, 13 of Longville were held May 30, thru June 1, 2018 at his mother’s home. Damar was born Oct. 31, 2004 in Bemidji, MN to Carolee (Goose) Geving and Andre Flowers. Damar passed away May 28, 2018 Damar is survived by his parents; brothers, Trey and Journey Flowers, Brayden Jackson, and Brody Johnson; sister, Danaesha Flowers; aunties, Kaylia Flowers and Marissa Mangum; uncles, Adrian, Samuel and Darius Flowers, Donald and Raymond Geving; and numerous relatives and many friends. He is preceded in death by his grandpas, Gregory Geving and Andre Halburden; great-grandpas, Samuel Goose and Donald “Snap” Geving; great-grandmas, Caroline Monroe and Louise Bongo; cousins, Samuel Wilson and Sonny Ringle; and friend, Jared Boye. Damar was a drummer, dancer, a quiz bowler and part of a unity. (Debahjimon, June 2018)
Minnesota, Cass Lake – A wake and traditional service for James Joseph Dorr, 74 of Cass Lake was held May 29 and May 30, 2018 at the Veterans Memorial Building in Cass Lake. James was born Mar. 1, 1944 in Cass Lake. James passed away May 25, 2018 at the Cass Lake IHS Hospital. James is survived by his son, Cody (Breann) White; daughters, Regina Nickaboine, Kimberly Windom and Dora White; sister, Caroline Hulett; special granddaughter, Valynncia White; many more grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren, Zoe and Zacari. He is preceded in death by his parents, Christina and Jess; brother, John Dorr and sister, Evelyn Staples. (Debahjimon, June 2018)
Minnesota, Cass Lake – A wake and funeral service for Helen Jean (Losh) Headbird, “Shaa-goo-da-shi-gai-equay” 84 was held May 29 thru May 31, 2018 at the Mission Community Center in Mission, MN. Helen was born May 18, 1934 in Onigum, MN to Emma Losh and Albert Claypool. Helen passed away May 27, 2018. Helen is survived by her son, Thomas Headbird; daughters, Wanda (Bill) Headbird-Croaker, Tina (Cowboy Wind), Susan Headbird and Nancy (Barney) Kingbird; 38 grandchildren, 75 great-grandchildren, 4 great-great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and many family members and friends. She is preceded in death by her parents; sons, Randolph Sr., Emmanuel Jr., Gary and Darryl Headbird Sr., and Bert Gale-Headbird; brothers, John Losh and Jim Beaulieu; sisters, Rita Buck and Dorothy Losh; granddaughters, Amanda Headbird and Endonnis Baird; grandsons, Brenton and Ronnie Headbird and others relatives. (Debahjimon, June 2018)
Minnesota, Inger – Terry Lee Robinson, 60 of Inger passed away May 19, 2018 at St. Mary’s Hospital. Terry was born Sept. 2, 1957 in Cass Lake to Laura Robinson and Bernie Smith. Terry is survived by his sons, Lee and Keith Robinson; daughters, Laura and Kiera Robinson; grandchildren, Andriana Robinson-Primeaux, Jaiden Shaugobay-Perez, Jeremy Primeaux Jr. and Robert Robinson; brothers, Bernard Robinson and Raynard Petersen; sisters, Molly Fairbanks and Dorothy Robinson; nephews, Victor, Bernard Robinson Jr., and Daniel Howard; niece, Kayla Hager; aunts, Patricia Garbow-Lond, Trudelle Robinson, Sandra Charwood; uncle, Simon (Crum) Grabow, Brian (Buckwheat) Robinson, William Bowstring, Otto Reyes, Jim Stukel, Dale Welsh, and many family, friends and relatives. Terry attended the University of Minnesota-Duluth and earned an associates degree in art. He worked for ISD 709 and the City of Duluth. (Debahjimon, June 2018)
New Mexico, Rehoboth – Funeral services for Florence M. “Flo” Barton, 75 was held June 4, 2018 at the Rehoboth Sports and Fitness Center. Burial followed at the Rehoboth cemetery. Florence was born May 12, 1943, in Fort Wingate, NM., into the Ashiihi (Salt People Clan), born for Maasht’ezhi. Florence passed away May 26, 2018 in Fort Wingate. Florence is survived by her mother, Mary Holtsoi; son, Stewart Barton; daughter, Trudi Barton; brothers, Raymond, Gary, Willie, Darryl and Jeffrey Holtsoi; and sisters, Louise Nez, Sharon Toadlena, Darlene Doka, Goria James, Kathy Holtsoi, Patricia Holtsoi, Donna Owens, Ramona Holtsoi, and Terri Holtsoi. She is preceded in death by her husband, Stewart C. Barton Jr.; daughter, Tammy Barton-Damon; stepfather, Billie Holtsoi; and granddaughter, Priscilla Barton. Florence worked for Gallup Indian Medical Center and then went to school on an Indian Health Services scholarship, earning a bachelor’s degree in medical records administration from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford, Oklahoma. She retired for the business office at Gallup Indian Medical after 40.5 years working for the federal government. She worked for a few years as the alumni coordinator for Rehoboth Christian School and she was a retired board member of the Gallup Inter-Tribal Indian Ceemonial after 30 years. (Navajo Times, May 31, 2018)
New Mexico, Gallup – Funeral services for Jacqueline Whitman, 48, of Oak Springs, were held May 31, 2018 at the New Life Apostolic Church in Gallup. Burial followed in Oak Springs. Jacqueline was born June 10, 1971 in Gallup, into the Kiyaa’aanii (Towering House Clan), born for Dibelzhini (Black Sheep Clan). Jacqueline passed away May 23, 2018 in Gallup. Jacqueline is survived by her sons, Ryan Betonie, Delane Smith, Shandon Smith, and Octavio Chischilly; daughters, Valya Cisco and Alice D. Ann Whitman; parent, Jackie Chischilly; brothers, Ansiem and Duane Chischilly; sisters, Victoria Owens and Tilda Yazzie; and grandchildren, Rashon and Kelsie Cisco. She is preceded in death by her mother, Elsie Ann Chischilly; and daughter, Katezinzki Ariel Begay. (Navajo Times, May 31, 2018)
New Mexico, Gallup – Funeral services for Mamie L. Murphy, 86 were held June 7, 2018 at the St. Francis Church in Gallup. Interment followed at the Rehoboth cemetery. Mamie was born Jan. 21, 1932 in Mexican Water, AZ., into the Tachii’nii (Red Running Into the Water People Clan), born for Totsohnii (Big Water Clan). Mamie passed away June 4, 2018 in Gallup. Mamie is survived by her daughter, Alfreda Chischilly; and sons, Vernon and Aaron Murphy. She is preceded in death by her husband, Johnnie Murphy; parents, Whitehair and Mary Ann Begay; and brothers, Timmie, Jimmie and Bennie Begay. (Navajo Times, June 14, 2018) New Mexico, Gallup – A memorial service for Garry J. Benally, 47 was held June 23, 2018 at the Lighthouse International Ministries Church in Gallup. Garry was born Apr. 5, 1971 in Shiprock, into the Honaghaahnii (One-walks-around Clan), born for To’aheedliinii (The Water Flow Together Clan). He died June 14, 2018 in Breadspings, NM. Garry is survived by his brothers, Felix and Gerald Benally. He is preceded in death by his mother, Mary Stella Benally and father, Leonard Benally. (Navajo Times, June 21, 2018)
New Mexico, Pinehill – Funeral services for Helen L. Domingo, 87 of Pinehill/Torreon were held June 22, 2018 at the Nazarene Church in Pinehill. Burial followed at the family plot. Helen was born Jan. 10, 1931 in Ramah, NM., into the Ashiihi/Ma’ii deeshgiizhinii (Salt People Clan/Coyote Pass-Jemez Clan), born for Ta’neeszahnii (Tangle Clan). Helen passed away June 14, 2018 in Bernalillo, NM. Helen is survived by her sons, Melvin, Donald, Mark, Wilfred and Veron Barney, Alex, Ernie, Karl W., and Joe Domingo Jr.; daughters, Laving Barney Gott, Priscilla Barney Castillo, Cecelia Barney Chinana, and Helena M. Domingo; brother, Albert Frank; and 54 grandchildren and 62 great-grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her husband, Joe Domingo Sr.; parents, Rafael Rafelito and Margaret Alonzo; sister, Alice Jake; and brothers, Wilson, George, Jackson, and Johnson Rafelito and Tommy Frank. (Navajo Times, June 21, 2018)
New Mexico, Crownpoint – Funeral services for Carson Etcitty Craig Sr., 72 were held June 23, 2018 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Crownpoint. Burial followed at the family plot. Carson was born Jan. 26, 1946 in Crownpoint, into the Bit’ahnii (Folded Arms People Clan), born for Kiyaa’aanii (Towering House Clan). His chei is Tachii’nii and Nat’oh dine’e (Red Running Into the Water People/Tobacco People Clan); nali in Tsenabahilnii (Sleep Rock People). Carson passed away June 19, 2018. Carson is survived by his wife, Margie D. Craig; sons, Vernon Brown, William, Lyle, and Carson Craig Jr.; daughters, Velliyah Craig-Beauvais, Candice, Deirdre, and Marna Craig; brothers, Benjamin Craig Sr. and Boyd Craig; sisters, Georgiana, Lisa, and Ava Craig; and 11 grandchildren and one great-grandson. He is preceded in death by his mother, Ruth Etcitty Devore; father, George Craig; sisters, Laverne Tsosie and Loretta Craig; brothers, Roger and Jerry Craig. Carson work under the Navajo Tribe in the Office of Navajo Economic Opportunity, and Behavioral Health and Substance Abuse Program. He retired as a substance abuse prevention specialist at Navajo Technical University. (Navajo Times, June 21, 2018)
Utah, Brigham City – Funneral services for Matthew J. Johnson, 96, were held June 2, 2018 at Myers Mortuary in Brigham City. Matthew was born June 16, 1921 in Leupp, AZ., to Jim Lefthand and Helen Chee Riggs. Matthew passed away May 20, 2018. Matthew is survived by his wife, Marilyn; children, Yazzie (Gail Bird), Kerry Allen (Vera), Carol Ann, Linda Kay Montez, and Dale Kelly (ArLene); sister, Louise Curley; and 11 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents; son, David; granddaughter, April; and great-granddaughter, Cecillia. Matthew worked on ships during WWII and was a guard and then a dorm room manager at the intermountain Indian School in Brigham City. (Navajo Times, May 31, 2018)
Utah, Monument Valley – Funeral services for Samuel T. Holiday, 94 were held June 15, 2018 in Monument Valley. Burial followed at the Kayenta Community Veterans Cemetery. Samuel was born June 2, 1924 to Billy Holiday and Betsy Yellow. Samuel passed away June 11, 2018. Samuel survived by his children, H. Helena Begaii, Herman H. Holiday, Carol Todecheene, Lupita “Baysha” Holiday, Corina S. Holiday-Boxton, and Samantha “Serta” Holiday; and 35 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by wife, Lupita Mae Holiday; children, Mabel B. Austin and L. Lisa Miller; and grandchildren, Rhayannon and Rhaylynn Redhouse. Samuel was a U.S. Marines in which he served in the 4th Marine Division, 25th regiment H and S Company. He became a Navajo Code Talker in WWII. (Navajo Times, June 14, 2018)
Wisconsin, Hayward - Mass of Christian Burial for John F. Bluesky, age 71, of New Post was held June 12, 2018 at St. Ignatius Catholic Church in New Post. Burial will be in New Post Cemetery. Military Honors will be accorded by LCO AmVets Post #1998. John passed away June 8, 2018 at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth, MN. John Frank Bluesky was born November 16, 1946 in Hayward, WI to John and Margaret “Maggie” (Martin) Bluesky. John is survived by his life partner, Myrna DeNasha; brother, George (Jackie) Bluesky; stepsons, Douglas and David DeCora; step-daughters, Charlene Trepanier and Roberta Lynn Crowe; many grandchildren, great grandchildren, nephews & nieces. He is preceded in death by his parents, John & Maggie; brothers, Alfred Mustache, William Mustache; sisters, Lucille Corbine, Margaret Cooper; grandson, Andrew Crowe. John served in the U.S. Army as a Medic during the Vietnam War. He worked for LCO Development and retired from LCO Housing.
Wisconsin, Hayward - Tribal Funeral Rites for Al Miller were held June 14, 2018 at New Post Community Center in New Post. Burial was in Whitefish Cemetery. Al was born Sept. 30, 1960 in Hayward, WI to Burleigh and Mary (Taylor) Miller. Al is survived by his son, Alan Robert Miller; one grandson; siblings, Clyde Miller Sr., Burleigh (Renee) Miller Jr., Brenda Miller (Alfred DeMarr), Robert Miller and Doug (Dorthea) Potack; many nephews & nieces. He is preceded in death by his parents, Burleigh & Mary; brothers, Duane, Rick & Brian Miller.
Wisconsin, Hayward - A Memorial Mass was held July 5, 2018 for Kathryn A. King, age 73, of Lac Courte Oreilles at St. Francis Solanus Indian Mission in Reserve. Kathryn passed away June 27, 2018 at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Duluth, MN. Kathryn Ann Martin was born July 5, 1944 in Hayward, WI to Mary Martin. Kathryn is survived by her daughters, Jacqueline Bennett & Danielle Carley; sons, Merlyn Bennett, Andre Bennett & Jeremiah King; step-daughter, Brandi King-Foster; step-son, James W.R. King; 18 grandchildren; 12 great grandchildren; and brother, Chuck Martin. She is preceded by her mother, Mary; husband. Harold “Big Jim” King; sons. Louis Bennett and Jay Bennett; granddaughter. Chanda Isham; great granddaughter. Makaria Anderson; and brother. LeRoy Martin.Kathryn and her husband lived in the Beloit area where she worked for the city and the school system. Kathryn owned her own shop where she sold Native American Arts and Crafts. She then became a foster parent, loving over 30 children. They returned to LCO after their retirement and Kathryn began taking classes at LCO Community College.
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By Arne Vainio, M.D.
News From Indian Country
One of our teachers, James Vukelich, posts the Ojibwe Word of the Day on Facebook every Thursday and I try to never miss it. These are beautiful lessons in what the words in our language mean, where those words came from and how our ancestors could see the best place to put some of our most important lessons so they wouldn’t be lost is in the language itself.
Gwayakwaadiziwin means honesty, but it means much more than that. It means to live a life so others can see your honesty and integrity and virtue. It means following through with what you say you will do.
The next day I was off work and I was thinking about living my life in that way and I didn’t take the first drink of my coffee. Instead, I remembered when George Earth was dying and he asked me to pour some of the spring water I collected on the ground at his funeral. Since then I make it a point to spill some of my coffee on the ground in the mornings before I take the first sip and I offer it to George and all of my relatives who have passed on. I offered my asemaa to the four directions and to the spirits in the water and to the earth and to the sky. It felt good to start my day in that way and I had lots of things to do and I silently vowed to do everything with integrity.
I had to go to the bank and the wait was long for some reason. I went to the store and I got into the line right after someone who had a full cart and she cut in front of me, even though she could see I only had three items. I needed to bring the rest of the liquid nitrogen I used for my mad science demonstration back to the welding supply place. I forgot to put it in my car and I had to drive back home to get it. I had to go to the tool supply place because I needed a new chain for my saw and I didn’t have the right part numbers, so I couldn’t pick it up. I ordered an antenna for my wife’s car from the internet and it didn’t pull in any radio stations and I had to go to the post office to send it back and I was third in line.
My hope was to work on one of my old cars and I hadn’t been able to do that for a long time. I finally got back home and realized I drove over 45 miles a couple of days before to pick up an engine stand and I didn’t bring part of it home. I had to drop everything and get into my rusty old truck and try to drive 45 miles again and get there before they closed.
I was trying to hurry and I came to a traffic light that is never green. This was a light that normally takes forever to turn green once it turns red and I was sure I was going to make the light and…
A pickup truck pulled out from a side road right in front of me and I had to slam on the brakes to slow down and I was sure he was going to make me miss that light. I could have let this pass, but instead I laid on the horn and stopped in front of him as he was pulling out from the side road. He stopped and I was able to go around him, but not until I got a good look at him. I was expecting a younger person who would maybe give me the finger or shake a fist at me and I wanted whoever it was to know they didn’t even look before pulling out in front of me and that this could have caused a serious accident. I thought maybe this was a beginning driver who might learn something from such a close call.
What I didn’t expect was an old man who was at least 90 years old. The skin on his face was thin and wrinkly. His eyes were blue and his hair was white and his head had a steady side to side tremor. He was alone in the truck and I could tell he was used to being alone. He didn’t look at me with anger or apology and he didn’t look at me at all. Instead, he threw his hands into the air and I could see him start crying. His hands were in the air in a gesture of giving up, of complete surrender and he slammed on his brakes and I went around him and I made it through the light and I left him behind.
Who else left him behind? His wife? His brothers and sisters? All of his friends from work? He most likely outlived all of them.
His vision and his hearing and reflexes were not what they used to be and I sensed he was isolated and alone and his long life had allowed those things most important to him grow old and die or to simply fade away.
In my hurry, I could see I was the straw that broke the camel’s back for him and I couldn’t stop thinking about him on my 45 mile drive. I thought about him as a young man, strong and with his entire future ahead of him. I thought of him finding love and raising children who inevitably found lives far away and only saw him occasionally and had a hard time talking to him on the phone. I saw a 90 year old man holding on to the last of his independence.
I saw the fragility of that independence and no doubt he had been seeing signs of it for a long time. Now his hearing and vision loss almost caused an accident and he would be too well aware he was the cause of it.
I picked up the rest of the engine stand with about five minutes to spare before they closed. I noticed my own strength as I picked up the steel frame and lifted it over the side of the truck and thought about what it would mean to have that strength taken away from me.
On the way home there was a rock outcropping on the top of a hill. I stopped my truck on the side of the road and I climbed until I was overlooking a small valley. I put my asemaa out for that old man. I had never seen him before and had no reason to think I would ever see him again. He would never know I climbed this hill for him and maybe he wouldn’t even see it as important.
I saw it as important. A light breeze picked up and it took my asemaa and it carried it out over the valley. I asked forgiveness from those who had gone on before me. I asked forgiveness from the old man.
On the first day of my new way of life, gwayakwaadiziwin, I didn’t live up to the lessons our old ones put into our language. My brief moment of anger had a lasting effect on someone else.
A moment of kindness would have lasted forever.
Arne Vainio, M.D. is an enrolled member of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and is a family practice physician on the Fond du Lac reservation in Cloquet, Minnesota. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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By Ricey Wild
News From Indian Country
There’s so much to screech and yell about I don’t know where to start, so I’ll begin with my angst. I used to have long, black hair which is so Indian I don’t know where to start except I hate those ‘romantic’ Indian cards with their absurd blowing locks. I had my hair cut in 2013 cuz because I am unable to maintain long hair due to my disability so I got it cut really short.
Thirty years ago, Anishinaabe teacher, Maryellen Baker, had a dream in which she was called to help to spread the Anishinaabe teachings with others. Her work began with creating a center for wellness, and has become more urgent as all of us have witnessed the pollution of the waters. Water is life, and it is the role of women to protect and bless the water, and the role of men to support women in that work.
This week's stories: Groundbreaking research reveals depth of discrimination against Native American; University group launches water purification project for the San Carlos Apache; “American Indian Business: Principles and Practices,” a book written for Native Americans by Native Americans; Native American students attend leadership Institute at Princeton University; “Woman Walks Ahead” set for wider theater release.
By Winona LaDuke
- For News From Indian Country -
Apparently $5 million is the price to buy a pipeline route in Minnesota. In an unprecedented process, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission issued a 5-0 approval of the Certificate of Need for Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline. In a second move they approved tentatively a route permit for the company’s preferred route, awaiting modifications by the Fond du Lac Band of Ojibwe.
By MATTHEW BROWN
- BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) -
Montana's Crow Tribe has been unable to account for $14.5 million it received for transportation programs, marking the second time in less than two years the tribe has been faulted for its handling of federal grant money, government investigators disclosed Monday.
By AD CRABLE
- CONESTOGA, Pa. (AP/LNP newspaper) -
Until Paul Nevin produces a soft bristle brush and bucket of Susquehanna River water from his johnboat, the tip of a softly rounded boulder in the tailrace of the Safe Harbor Dam looks like any other rock.
By LEW FREEDMAN -
- Cody Enterprise CODY, Wyo. (AP) -
The two golden eagles flew at each other with ferocity, doing aerial battle 300 feet above where Dr. Charles Preston stood in the Big Horn Basin.
Preston was spellbound as the birds grappled with their talons, battling over territorial rights for nesting.
This week's stories: The opening of the 17th Protecting Mother Earth conference; Design selected for the National Native American Veterans Memorial; ‘Native America’ a new series to air on PBS; ‘Bowwow Powwow’ a new children’s picture book told in two languages; The rise of Supaman.
By YOUSSEF RDDAD
- Associated Press -
North Dakota author Francie Berg’s last book about the American buffalo was a guide for adventurers eager to get out on back roads to see the historic sites where the great animal once flourished. Then she found she had more to say.
By CHRISTOPHER VONDRACEK
- RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP/ Rapid City Journal) -
The children speak in Lakota. Their teacher, Savannah Greseth, walks the aisles of seated second graders, counting to 15 with them. “Wanji, n˙npa, y·mni.” Only when she prepares a short video does a child speak up in English.
“Can I turn off the lights?” asked a student.
“Há?,” or “yes,” Greseth responded. The student scampers up to hit the lights, and the video starts. Children softly pat hands on the carpet and sing along with the teacher on the screen, who sings T?awápaha Olówa? or the “Lakota Flag Song.”
“T?u?kásilayapi, t?awápaha ki?há?.”
So opens the Lakota immersion class at General Beadle Elementary School in Rapid City, the Rapid City Journal reported. The class is a year old. Next year, Greseth will move to full-time with her own classroom. But there’s nothing new about speaking and singing in Lakota.
“This language predates Rapid City,” Greseth said.
Around a poster of Charlie Brown pasted on the hallway space of the converted classroom, flags of the nine Sioux nations in South Dakota line the wall. Sometimes the kids point up to tell Greseth which tribe their family comes from. The class comprises Native American and non-Native students.
“They get a sense of pride that they get to share their background knowledge,” said Greseth. “Some kids have said ’Lakota’ is their favorite class.”
Most don’t come from Lakota-speaking homes.
“Some will come in knowing a word or two.”
After the movie, the white boards come out, and Greseth sounds out letters.
“Yah-Yameni,” Greseth said.
The children scribble “Ys” on the boards and hold them up for approval.
Next, the children move to BINGO or WAGMU. Greseth made the cards herself..
“It just has the right amount of letters and,” she claps her hands, indicating syllabic stress, “bin-GO and wag-MU.”
“Same amount of squares. Nothing too special.”
Students can enroll in Lakota language at many colleges from the University of South Dakota to Sitting Bull College. On Pine Ridge, students learn Lakota, too. The Lakota classes offered in public schools in Rapid City include an elective at North Middle School and a language class at Central High School. But when Sarah Pierce took over last summer as the city’s director for Title VI, which funds education programs for Native American students, she wanted to implement language programming more regularly at the elementary level.
“I knew all about her expertise in this and asked if she’d be willing,” Pierce said.
Both Pierce and Greseth are enrolled Oglala Lakota. Pierce grew up near Rockyford and took Lakota at Red Cloud Indian School (where she met Greseth), but she envies the instruction students at General Beadle receive from Greseth.
“They’re learning the foundation of the language,” Pierce whispers, while the student sound out letters with their teacher, who uses non-verbal cues such as opening her eyes wide when a student’s answer surprises her.
Greseth loves language. She received degrees at Sisseton Wahpeton College and Black Hills State University and a Lakota Language certificate from Oglala Lakota College. At Central High School in Rapid, she also took French and Spanish. But her study of Lakota - she’s learned from teachers and elders at language programs from Pine Ridge to Standing Rock - began at age 6.
“My unci, or my grandma, she speaks some (Lakota), but she went to the boarding school so not a whole lot,” Greseth said.
Boarding schools, as part of assimilation, forbade and punished children speaking in their native language. Today, Lakota is considered “critically endangered.” The Lakota Language Consortium in 2016 reported that 2,000 first-language speakers were alive, down two-thirds from a decade earlier.
But at General Beadle, and many schools, efforts are underway to preserve the language. It’s more than just learning the diacritics and glottal stops (which creates a popping sound), but values.
“We learn the values of wówachi?t?a?ka, or patience and tolerance, and wócha?tet’i?ze, or courage, and what that looks like from a Lakota lens."
Seventy percent of General Beadle Elementary’s students are Native American, many Lakota. But learning Lakota is not only culture-building, it’s also good training. Studies suggest bilingual students have more brain activity, can more easily make friends, and land better jobs.
“Lakota is a world language,” Greseth said. “And it should be valued as such.”
Lakota has no official orthography, so Greseth uses what she calls “user-friendly” spellings from the Lakota Language Consortium. Materials come packaged with games on the iPad, flash cards, and laminated posters of animals with names highlighted.
This summer, preparing to teach Lakota full-time in the fall (she currently spends half her day in the Jobs for Graduates program at North Middle School), Greseth plans to deepen her curriculum with traditional Lakota stories. She said her own children are even learning, slowly.
“WastÈ! Wagmuluha!” she said, congratulating a student whose WAGMU card filled up.
The other students sit four to a table and reverently wait the next sound.
“Gnus’ka,” Greseth said.
“That’s grasshopper,” Pierce said.
Students who have the “g” sound quickly place markers over the letter.
At the end of class, high school seniors arrive in their graduation gowns to high-five students for the annual graduation walk, trotting past the sign Greseth had posted on the wall of her makeshift classroom: “Tanyá? Yahípi.”
“It means ’welcome,”’ Greseth said. “Literally it said, ’It’s good that you’re all here.”’Support IndianCountryTV.com or NFIC. Thank YOU!!
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By KYLIE MOHR
- JACKSON, Wyo. (AP/Jackson Hole News And Guide) -
Tensions run high when treaties are broken and gold booms turn to busts.
Journeys School fourth- and fifth-graders got a taste of 1800s Wyoming life as they tested The Bozeman Trail, a new game that could teach students about Native American history and the socio-economic forces that led to change on the Northern Plains during the second half of the 19th century.
This week's stories: Healthy kids healthy futures app contest; Pacific lamprey returning to Umatilla River; Gil Birmingham costars in the new TV series ‘Yellowstone’; 2018 N7 collection unveiled; Canadian rapper releases new video about Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.
By STEVE KARNOWSKI
- MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -
Minnesota regulators opened two days of final arguments on whether they should approve Enbridge Energy’s proposal for replacing its deteriorating Line 3 crude oil pipeline from Canada across Minnesota.
By TAMMY AYER
- YAKIMA, Wash. (AP/ Yakima Herald-Republic) -
As she stood outside and studied the sky on Jan. 7, photographer Toni Reed didn’t like what she saw. Three women, her subjects, waited nearby in light rain and fog.