Wednesday, December 29, 2010

December 29, 1890

Respect and honor to those remembering the ancestors today - those praying at Wounded Knee, and those who are retracing the steps of the ancestors, on foot and horseback through the snow.

Names of the Dead
December 29, 1890

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Grian-Stad Geamhraidh: A' Ghrian

Fàilte ort féin, a ghrian nan tràth,
'S tu siubhail ard nan speur;
Do cheumaibh treun air sgéith nan ard,
'S tu màthair àigh nan reul. 

Thu laighe sìos an cuan na dìth
Gun dìobhail is gun sgàth,
Thu 'g éirigh suas air stuagh na sìth,
Mar rìoghain òg fo bhlàth.

A' Ghrian - Traditional Gaelic song to the sun, 
from the original Gàidhlig, as recited by Iain MacNìll of Barra,
at the turn of the century before last.
#317 in the Ortha nan Gàidheal
And in English:

The Sun

I welcome you, sun of the seasons,
As you travel the skies aloft;
Your steps are strong on the wing of the heavens,
You are the glorious mother of the stars.

You descend into the deadly sea
Without distress and without fear;
You rise up on the wave of peace,
Like a youthful Queen in bloom.

translation ©2009 kpn

Thursday, November 04, 2010

And a Victory!

CMU returns Native remains to Saginaw Chippewa Tribe
Clare Managing Editor

A somber group of Saginaw Chippewa Tribal members on Thursday brought some of their ancestors home.

A sunrise ceremony at Central Michigan University’s Special Olympics building was followed by a procession of Tribal members bringing the remains of Saginaw Chippewa Tribal ancestors and funerary objects that were returned to the Tribe from CMU’s Museum of Cultural and Natural History.

... ... ...

“The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe and Central Michigan University share a long and proud heritage of mutual respect,” said Pam Gates, interim dean of the College of Humanities and Social and Behavioral Science. “In honor of the proud culture, heritage and history of the indigenous people of this region, CMU will rightfully return the remains of Saginaw Chippewa tribal members in its possession to their families for proper burial.”

Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Chief Dennis Kequom said said he was humbled by CMU’s commitment to returning ancestral remains to the Tribe.

"I am very proud of what we have gathered here to do today and humbled by the care, understanding and sensitivity that Central Michigan University has displayed in the time it took to bring us to this point,” he said. “This historic event marks a new direction in our efforts to repatriate all of our ancestors.

“It is my hope for our Tribal community that other institutions throughout Michigan and elsewhere follow the lead of Central Michigan University. There are so many people to thank and we will have ample time for that over the course of these next two days. Today we proudly reclaim our own and return them home.”

View the video of the procession and interview with tribal spokesman

May this victory serve as inspiration and precedent to all those who are still fighting to have their ancestors remains returned and reburied with dignity. I particularly take it as inspiration today as we work on reburial issues for the ancestors in the Tara-Skryne.

Previous post on repatriation efforts for the Saginaw Chippewa ancestors:
- Is your grandmother’s skull in a box in a stranger’s closet?

Tara Reburials - Action on Monday, November 8

On Monday, activists in Dublin will print out and hand-deliver the petition for the reburial of the ancestors whose graves were destroyed in the desecration of the Tara-Skryne valley. They will petition the Irish government at the Dáil Éireann and the National Museum of Ireland, Dublin.

If you have not yet signed, I ask you to please follow the links below and do so. If you can attend in person, please join the activists in Dublin on Monday, November 8 · 12:00pm - 2:00pm.

Petition for respectful reburial of ancestors:

Handing in the Tara Reburials Petition:

Previous posts:
- More Graves Desecrated, Ancestors Remains in Boxes on Shelves
- Meath Motorway Ancestors to be Reburied... well, some of them

Halloween, Women and Racism

Heather from Don't Pay to Pray weighs in with a thorough examination of how Samhain has been degraded from a holy day into mainstream Halloween celebrations that excuse and even encourage racist and misogynist treatment of women, especially indigenous women.

Halloween: The Most Racist Day of the Year
Growing up in the Michigan parochial school system, we were told by the sisters that the word Hallow’een was a contraction of All Hallows Eve, and that Hallow meant holy or sacred. We were told that on this night when the border between the worlds became blurred, the Celtic tribes believed that the spirits of the dead were allowed to come back to earth. Because they believed that the spirits of the dead could walk among the world of the living, they feared what the spirits might do to them, and tried to disguise themselves to fool the spirits into believing that they weren’t living.

As an impressionable Native girl, that seemed pretty awesome to me back then. Unfortunately, all these traditions have been lost in a materialistic society that transforms everything into a commodity. Sex sells the best in the mainstream media, and this is reflected in the choices that young women make in Halloween costumes. I’ve heard that there are some college parties where women are not allowed to attend unless they are dressed "sexy." The backlash against feminist values is even more chilling when the costumes use other people’s ethnicity to appease the demands of a generation of young white men whose sexual attitudes were constructed almost entirely from pornography. As an indigenous woman, it is disheartening to see how a spiritually bankrupt, pornographic youth culture has transformed All Hallows eve into an opportunity to get drunk and engage in minstrelsy, abusing my image in the process.

While there have been many bloggers objecting to the hyper-sexualization of children and young girls and to the racist element of playing with another human being’s ethnicity on this day, there has been very little written from the perspective of indigenous women, who must confront both misogyny and racism on this day that once carried the connotation of "holy."

... ... ...

Playing with racial stereotypes is about power. Those with white skin privilege have chosen to do the defining. Those of us without it are dismissed as hyper-sensitive and told to spend our time on issues that whites define for us as being more important. Those of you reading this that have white skin privilege and think it’s just harmless fun to try on the ethnicity of others, need to realize that dehumanization is the essential processes in the transformation of “good” well-intentioned people into perpetrators of evil.

There is no reason why you have to succumb to media indoctrination. There is no reason why Halloween has to be the most racist day of the year. As feminists, humanists, and white anti-racists allies, you can challenge undignified images that misrepresent indigenous people. You can chose to talk about racial stereotypes when you see people “just having fun” with other people’s ethnicity on Halloween. We all need to start honestly discussing who has the power to define others in this society and how we can view all human beings in their full humanity and not as one dimensional stereotypes.

When you are in a position of power, you have a responsibility NOT to mock people who are not in a position of power. Racial stereotypes only function are to reinforce outdated notions of white supremacy. You can choose not to engage in the degradation of your fellow human beings. You can contact he companies who manufacture these costumes and inform them how inappropriate they are. Ethnic costumes are meant to produce a reaction. If you are reading this, you now know that the reaction they produce in indigenous women is one of outrage and offense. If you know something offends a marginalized group of people, then why continue to do it? It’s time to turn Halloween back into a night that is sacred, by respecting all women’s bodies and respecting the dignity of all human beings.

'S Math Sin, a Fhraoch! Tapadh leat!

Adrienne over at Native Appropriations also weighs in on the topic with Paris Hilton as a "Sexy Indian": The Halloween Fallout Begins.

Jodi Rave addresses the problem with Paris Hilton: Dresses as “sexy, Indian warrior princess” for Halloween, and includes a review of Andrea Smith's magnificent, Conquest: sexual violence and American Indian genocide which I consider essential reading on misogyny, racism, cultural appropriation, and the many and sometimes surprising ways these oppressions intersect and support one another. Readers of this blog and colleagues in the fight to protect indigenous spiritual ways from appropriation and exploitation might want to take particular note of Chapter 6: Spiritual Appropriation as Sexual Violence.

You can listen to Andrea Smith speak on Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide, in this recording from 2007.

Moran taing a huile duine!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Spirit Day - Speak Out Against Bullying and Domestic Violence

Spirit Day - wear purple in memory of the recent suicides, speak out against bullying

On October 20th, 2010, we will wear purple in honor of the 6 gay boys who committed suicide in recent weeks/months due to homophobic abuse in their homes and at their schools. Purple represents Spirit on the LGBTQ flag and that’s exactly what we’d like all of you to have with you: spirit. Please know that times will get better and that you will meet people who will love you and respect you for who you are, no matter your sexuality. Please wear purple on October 20th. Tell your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and schools. RIP Tyler Clementi, Asher Brown, Seth Walsh, Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase and Billy Lucas. You are loved.

On the web today, my icon is the purple ribbon of a survivor of domestic violence. October is DV awareness month. It's fitting that today we are calling out bullies with the same symbols. The kid who viciously and chronically bullies other kids, if not stopped, will continue to be a bully. Bullies lash out at those they can reach, and those they can get away with bullying. The school bully often grows up to be the man who physically assaults his wife and children, or the woman who beats her kids. We need to stop bullies when they're young. Once they get older, they may not be fixable.

I am a survivor of homophobic bullying, and a survivor of domestic violence. Both almost killed me, but I got out. It can happen to anyone. And it does get better.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Preserving Sacred Sites in Ireland - Tara Skryne Preservation Group

The Lia Fáil (aka Stone of Destiny) atop the Hill of Tara,
County Meath, Ireland. Photo © Sean Gilmartin

Many of those involved in the struggle to stop the M3 Motorway are now involved in the Tara Skryne Preservation Group (TSPG), and are working to protect the sites that remain.
We are an allied group of local and non-local stakeholders and concerned citizens who wish to improve the Tara Skryne Landscape after the destruction wrought by the M3 Motorway through this most Sacred, Mythical, and Historical Valley of Ireland.

We are a volunteer, non politically affiliated organisation comprised of members of various groups who stood against the route of the M3 Motorway through the Tara Skryne Valley. Now that the Motorway has opened we stand together to demand the preservation of what remains of the Tara Skryne Valley ie. its protection against further inapproriate development as well as greater protection for our National Monuments and sacred places countrywide.

TPSG members are also involved in planning and coordinating the 2010 Sacred Fires event, and the UNESCO petition for World Heritage Status. You can check out their website and connect with them on Facebook.

In February 2010 - Imbolc - TSPG volunteers reconstructed the Inner Circle of the ancient Lismullin Henge. The M3 motorway bulldozed through this ancient site in the Tara-Skryne Valley.

While many are familiar with henges of stone, such as Stonehenge in England, many other sacred sites were surrounded with a circle of wooden poles which marked astronomical events, such as the place where the sun or moon would rise on a solstice or equinox. These sites have sometimes been forgotten until modern archaeology turns up the evidence of poles in the ground. As discussed in the video, the government knew they were destroying an irreplaceable sacred site when they bulldozed through. What does it do to the land, and the people, to now have cars and trucks speeding through the ceremonial enclosure?

View the video of the Lismullin Reconstruction

Monday, July 26, 2010

Gaelic Polytheist Rites and Customs

I am very pleased to note that my An Chuallacht Ghaol Naofa colleagues Treasa Ní Chonchobhair and Annie Gormlie have posted some excellent work lately.

Ritual within Gaelic Polytheism
is a solid introduction and overview of the earth-based ceremonies and customs that survive in Ireland and Scotland (and the diaspora). Some of the surviving traditions were lightly Christianised, others not so much. They've kept this work very traditional, and have been excellent about noting when a practice has undergone reconstruction, or when presenting ideas for reconstructing a more elaborate version of a surviving practice. I think they've successfully walked that line we all try to balance in GP, that of giving people enough ideas to be able to pray and observe the customs on their own, without publishing anything too private or personal about ceremony.

In (De)constructing Reconstructionist Ritual, Annie looks deeper into the common themes present in Gaelic rites, and discusses the process of maintaining tradition as well as looking to the ancient Celtic practices for additional material.

Due to it being a basic, consensus introduction, and needing to cover a wide variety of subject matter, we were only able to touch briefly upon specific rituals in the CR FAQ. Much work has been done in the past four years, and these articles are a welcome addition to the field. 'S math sin!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Irish Heritage Rights Survey and Tara UNESCO Nomination

From TaraWatch:

TaraWatch and Save Newgrange, in conjunction with a University of California, Berkeley, human rights lawyer, Matt Schwoebel, are launching a heritage rights survey online tomorrow.

The launch will coincide with the opening of the 34th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, which opens in Brazil today.

The Hill of Tara is being nominated at the UNESCO meeting, as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, by Ireland, along with a number of other sites, despite the fact that the M3 motorway has just opened in the middle of the proposed site. Bru na Boinne is under threat from the N2 Slane bypass, which will pass within 500 metres of the existing World Heritage Site, and impact over 44 related sites.

The survey asks Irish people if they believe their heritage is being adequately protected, and if they feel their human rights to heritage are being violated, particularly with regards to the treatment of the Hill of Tara and Bru na Boinne. The results will form part of a complaint to the UN Human Rights Committee and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Vincent Salafia of TaraWatch and Save Newgrange said:

“Many Irish people feel their human rights to heritage and culture are being continuously violated by the Irish Government, and we are offering them a chance to do something about it."

(Read the full press release...)

The survey is for those with Irish heritage, and those interested in preserving sacred sites in Ireland, as well as Irish citizens. The survey also asks participants their thoughts about the spiritual and ceremonial significance of Tara, Newgrange, and other Irish sacred sites.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Samhain at Tara 2007 - 2010

Samhain on the Hill of Tara, 2007
photo courtesy

Many of you reading this have been involved in the struggle to preserve the Tara-Skryne Valley from destruction. While some of the sacred sites in the valley have been irreparably damaged by construction of the superhighway, the struggle continues to preserve the rest of the valley from development. Earth-honoring peoples in Ireland and the diaspora are also working to preserve the ceremonial centers that remain, and to re-establish the old customs and rites that our ancestors observed at these sacred sites.

Many of you also participated in the 2007 Samhain event where we re-established the old custom of lighting the signal fires on Tlachtga, Tara, and the surrounding hills. Want to do it again?

The ritual we did in 2007:

I Stand With Tara

A Celtic Reconstructionist (Págánacht) ritual
for the protection of the sacred center:
the Tara-Skryne Valley in Ireland.

The night of Oct. 31 (Samhain) 2007


You can contact the usual suspects to co-ordinate participation this year. Join us on the Sábháil Teamhair (Save Tara) list for updates, and we hope to see you on Samhain, whether in person or in spirit.

People and groups who participated in 2007
(Twelve countries, twenty-two US states, and twenty areas of Ireland.)

Additional areas where the ceremonial fires were lit, that we heard about after the fact, include:
*Countries: England, Portugal, Saudi Arabia
*US States: Alabama, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi and Missouri

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Momentum grows in MTV boycott

Since my last post, additional chapters of AIM, and a number of other Native American actors and organizations, have added their voices to the protest against MTV's racist self-injury show, The Dudesons: Cowboys and Findians.

Today Clyde Bellecourt, speaking for the Grand Governing Council of the American Indian Movement, has condemned MTV for continuing to air the show despite protests.

Letter to AIM Santa Barbara, reprinted at request of recipients:

July 14, 2010

Michael Fairbanks, Director
American Indian Movement-Santa Barbara
P.O. Box 204
Santa Barbara, CA 93102

Dear Michael and Santa Barbara AIM,

The American Indian Movement National Office located in Minneapolis, Minnesota is in full support of the Santa Barbara Chapter of AIM in their efforts to stop the airing of The Dudesons in America-Cowboys and Findians, and demanding an apology from MTV.

The American Indian Movement through the development of the National Coalition on Racism and Sports and Media has a long-time record of intolerance for racist imagery in regards to Native people here in America.

We condemn MTV for refusing to recognize the harmful effects of such broadcasting.


Clyde H. Bellecourt
National Director
American Indian Movement
Grand Governing Council
Anishinabe Ojibwe Nation

[signature on record]

National Offices:
TELEPHONE 612-721-3914/FAX 612-721-7826
Web Address:

Billy-Talako Williamson of the Cheyenne & Arapaho Department of Education weighs in at length on working with the kids who are the target audience for this programming, and how these racist stereotypes, casually passed off as light humor, set back the efforts of anti-racist educators:

We work on a daily basis with Cheyenne & Arapaho Students along with numerous other students that are members of other tribes. The negative images and stereotypes of Native Americans that have been created over the years are a constant detriment to the progress and self esteem of our students. Most recognize that a new language has emerged in the world, one that has grown to reach all nations with equal effect and understanding,… it is the language of Mass Communications. The average parent spends about 38 minutes a week in quality conversation with their kids, while the average kid spends 3 to 4 hours a day watching television. The American Medical Association recently reported that 60% of the information children receive comes from television. Mass media has become the second language of our children.

This MTV show manages to tear down much of the work we have accomplished.

(Read full letter here)

Other groups who have joined the protest include:

ETA July 17, 2010: Bit by bit the mainstream media has been picking up the story, with coverage in the New York Post and numerous entertainment news outlets. The Santa Barbara Independent has published an excellent editorial by Michael Fairbanks:

Red Face Minstrel Show Unamusing
“Cowboys and Findians” Not Merely Dumb, It’s Abusive

The other side of the coin is that there is a media blackout on Native issues. In this past year, there have been states of emergencies called from tribal leaders, and practically no media covered these stories. People were freezing to death in the plains area, starving to death in the southwestern region, and now, Native nations are struggling with the effects of the oil spill of the Gulf. Yet, ironically, MTV airs The Dudesons, stating the episode was created to honor Native people. This argument is frequently used with regard to the use of mascots in school and sports (think Carpinteria High School). Imposing one’s definition of “honoring” on someone else, and the “honoring” as a guise to hit upon every stereotype ever used to characterize Native people, is simply not good. Our cultures, our spirituality, and our ceremonies laughed at on an international level, with the everlasting shelf life of the Internet.

(Read full editorial)

There are also preliminary reports, via a letter from an MTV-Canada executive, that MTV-Canada is pulling the show. There have also been positive responses from some of the advertisers about pulling their advertising from the show if it continues to air in the US. More on this as it develops.

Members of AIM LA, AIM SB and supporters
demonstrate at the MTV Movie Awards, June 6, 2010
Photo by Tim Keenan

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Grianstad an tSamhraidh - Áine Mhór - an Ghrian Mhór

Sunset viewed through the roofbox from inside Cairn G in Carrowkeel

The Summer Solstice this year in the Northern Hemisphere is on June 21st at 11:28 UT/GMT.

In the West of Ireland the Summer Solstice Sunset shines through the roofbox at Carrowkeel Cairn G, illuminating the chamber within.

This is much like the Winter Solstice phenomena at Newgrange and Maeshowe, and the Equinox Illumination at Loughcrew.

Thanks to Michael Fox of for the photos.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

MTV and Racism: Protest, Petition, Boycott

Activists are gearing up for a protest at the MTV Movie Awards, this coming Sunday in Los Angeles.

As MTV did not meet the demands of the email and phone protest, a boycott has begun. This petition has a list of the top advertisers for The Dudesons: Cowboys and Findians. Click on "letter" under the image on the left for the addresses of the sponsors who are being targeted in the boycott.

Silent boycotts are not as effective as active ones. Contact the companies and tell them why you are no longer buying their products. Call the cable or satellite company and tell them why you do not want to subscribe to MTV or other Viacom channels.

Monday, May 31, 2010

IPSC and ICTU Condemn Israeli Assault

The Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) and the Irish Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union (SIPTU) have condemned the Israeli assaults and joined the call for protests.
The Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign has called a protest for this evening at 6pm, assembling at the Spire on O’Connell Street, Dublin 1 which will then march to the Israeli Embassy in Ballsbridge. Speakers at the event will be Aengus O Snodaigh TD and Chris Andrews TD, both of whom were refused access to the flotilla by the Cypriot authorities after coming under severe pressure from Israel. ICTU President Jack O'Connor will also speak. The IPSC is calling on people in Ireland to show their outrage at this murderous attack against unarmed solidarity activists by coming out on the streets today.
More details on demonstrations and letter-writing campaigns on the IPSC website.

ICTU Condemns Israeli Assault
Date Released: 31 May 2010

Israel’s Assault on Aid Convoy akin to actions of a ‘Rogue State’

Congress President Jack O’Connor and General Secretary David Begg have jointly condemned the Israeli assault on the Gaza aid convoy, during which at least 10 civilians were killed.

The joint statement said: “This was a callous attack on innocent civilians which showed an utter disregard for all precepts of international law and human rights.

“The people on those boats were civilians engaged in peaceful humanitarian work, bringing much needed aid to the Gaza Strip and were no threat to anyone.

“To launch a military assault on a humanitarian convoy is beyond the bounds of all that is acceptable and should be judged as such by the international community. The assault was akin to the actions of a rogue state.

“On behalf of the Irish Trade Union movement we would like to extend our sympathies to those killed and injured in this attack and we are thankful that the Irish contingent appears to be safe and well.

“We lend our support to calls for an immediate suspension of the EU’s trade agreement with Israel and we also believe that the recent decision to accept Israel into full membership of the OECD should be reversed with immediate effect.”

Sinn Féin calls for expulsion of Israeli Ambassador after Gaza attack

From the Sinn Féin website:

Irish Government should expel Israeli Ambassador — Adams

Sinn Féin leaders are attending demonstrations in Dublin, Belfast and Derry today to protest at the actions of Israel whose forces killed a number of civilians this morning when they attacked one of the ships taking part in the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams will attend a demonstration at Belfast City Hall at 4pm. Martin McGuinness is to attend a protest at the Guildhall in Derry at 5pm while Sinn Féin Vice President Mary Lou McDonald and Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD will attend an event at the Spire in Dublin’s O'Connell Street at 6pm.

Speaking from the Belfast demonstration Gerry Adams said:
“I welcome the fact that Minister Micheál Martin has summoned the Israeli ambassador to explain the actions of Israeli forces in killing up to 20 civilians taking part in a peaceful humanitarian mission to Gaza.

“This morning’s murderous attack is an affront to international law and has endangered the lives of Irish citizens. It requires a firm and resolute response by the Irish Government which must now expel the Israeli Ambassador.

“The government must also use its influence to discontinue the EU’s preferential trade agreement with Israel.

“In the wake of this morning’s tragedy, the Irish Government should support and seek the backing of other countries for a new international aid mission to Gaza which will ensure that necessary vital supplies reach the suffering people of that besieged area."

You can also follow Sinn Féin on Twitter.

Brenda Norrell's coverage of the attack: Censored News -- Israel kills humanitarians on flotilla bound for Palestine.

Protest MTV's "Cowboys and Findians" - Sunday 6/6 - Los Angeles

The email, phone, letter and new media protest against MTV's racist show, The Dudesons in America: Cowboys and Findians, has resulted in only minor concessions from MTV.

They pulled the episode from the web, but are still airing it in reruns on MTV2. Out of the many people who have written in protest, only AIM Santa Barbara has received a response - a rather bland and vague note from AJ Sarcione, the Senior Publicist for the show:
From: Sarcione, AJ -
Subject: RE: MTV & the Dudeson
To: "Aim Sb" -
Date: Tuesday, May 25, 2010, 1:51 AM


We appreciate your recent feedback regarding “The Dudesons In America.” It is never MTV's intention to offend anyone. The series is about creating lighthearted humor, that at times, could integrate various themes as part of the overall stunt or prank. We take viewer feedback very seriously and thank you for reaching out.

AJ Sarcione
Senior Publicist, MTV

Members of AIM, BICONA, and others have continued to try to explain why this show is offensive, and have invited Mr. Sarcione to meet with them, but there has been no further response from Mr. Sarcione or any other MTV executives. The deadline is tomorrow, and there has been no indication that the demands will be met. So plans are proceeding for a full boycott of MTV, VIACOM, all of their sponsors, and protests at their doorsteps.

This coming Sunday, June 6, there will be a protest at the MTV Movie Awards. The show starts on Sunday, June 6 at 9 p.m. ET, at the Gibson Amphitheatre - 100 Universal City Plaza,  Universal City, CA - so the red carpet show will probably begin at about 3 p.m. Pacific.


BICONA (Black Indian Confederacy Of North America) is looking at organizing a protest with the Santa Barbara and the Los Angeles chapters of The American Indian Movement (AIM), against MTV because of their blatant disrespect for Native culture in their "Cowboys and Findians" episode. BICONA and AIM are looking for others to join in on the mission.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

So Who are the Dudesons "Honoring" Now?

The image above is from this fansite, where they mention the impending boycott of MTV and all their sponsors if MTV does not pull the shows and issue a public apology to the Native American communities by June 1, 2010.

Well, MTV, are you still happy about hiring these guys?

The Black Indian Confederacy Of North America has joined multiple AIM chapters in calling for a boycott and protests if the deadline is not met:
In regard to MTV's episode entitled "Cowboys and Findians", we find it appalling that in this day and age there are still those who show total disregard for traditional, spiritual and/or religious beliefs, as depicted in film and television. I see MTV's "Cowboys and Findians" as reckless, insulting and repulsive. The episode amounts to nothing more than a modern day American Indian minstrel show; reminiscent of the days of “Black face”. We are here to stand side by side with American Indian movement chapters and all other people/organizations, who, by the way, are of various races, to oppose this act of insensitivity.

MTV should be ashamed and take responsibility by removing this episode and any others that depict indigenous culture as nothing more than a joke... they should also issue a public apology to all indigenous people. I understand that AIM Santa Barbara had asked for a public apology and to remove the episode by June 1st, so if the demanda are not met, we will stand in solidarity with our Indian family, against your network.

Read full statement from BICONA...

The deadline is approaching.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Newspaper Rock: The Dudesons, Polish jokes, and minstrel shows

Newspaper Rock: The Dudesons, Polish jokes, and minstrel shows

Rob Schmidt weighs in on the ongoing discussion about The Dudesons and other racism that some people excuse because it "makes them laugh".

... It's the racism, stoopid.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Dudesons, MTV, AIM, and a Whole Bunch O' Racism

By now most people in the anti-racist blogosphere have heard about MTV's racist TV show, The Dudesons: Cowboys and Findians. (aka Cowboys and Pretendians)

Finnish Pretendian on the Dudesons

The American Indian Movement, Santa Barbara chapter, is coordinating an email, mail and phone protest. If MTV doesn't meet the deadline, the next step will be a boycott of MTV and their sponsors, and protests at their offices by Native activists and supporters. It's not the first time MTV has crossed the line with their racism, by any means, but this time we're going to try to do something about it.

Here's a press release, sample email, and contact addresses for writing and calling MTV.

Findiot Prepares to Injure Himself

Immigrants, Racism, Stereotypes, & MTV

from AIM Santa Barbara
Today at 7:21pm

Wait! Do these guys have GREEN CARDS? Are they IMMIGRANTS? Why didn't they spoof the freaking governmental freaks in Arizona? You don't hear anyone saying these Fins are taking Americans jobs do ya?! No one is asking these idiots if they have a Green Card! Are they legal? They look like Immigrants to me....

We watched The Dudesons last night. It was horrible. Over and over these crazy white men in headdresses and feathers would injure themselves and scream things like, "I'm becoming a Native American!" One man injured his testicles and anus, screamed, "I think I ripped my a***ole!" and his friends replied, "You're the Chief now!"

When they performed their "Break Out of Jail" skit, they asked one of the white men dressed as an Indian what he did to wind up in jail. He replied, "Honestly, it was my own casino that I burned down." Before they were slapped in the face with fish, the white men said, "True Native Americans, they fish with their mouth. And with their hands." The only authentic Native American on the show nodded his head and said, "It's true." The voiceover continues, "Native Americans are like bears. They catch fish with their mouths. This is a rite of passage for fishing."

MTV is a pillar of this economic and cultural racism. They have the power to create cultural attitudes and cultural shifts, especially among young people. But with shows like The Dudesons they are choosing to use this power to degrade and exploit.

Now some people have said that this is only comedy. “Why are you guys so riled up? It makes people laugh,” - Yes, it makes people laugh. But as someone put it very eloquently; “are they laughing at us or with us?” take a look at the clip. You decide.

What are the positives of this show? Will it open new roles for Native people in the industry? Will it interest people to research Native Culture? Does this show celebrate Native Diversity? Or does it perpetuate more stereotypes? How will this affect our Native children already being taunted at school? Does this show aid or hamper our causes such as and not limited to: high rates of suicide, domestic violence? Treaty right violations?

This is not just a National show, it will have INTERNATIONAL viewing.

AIM SB is asking you to take 5 minutes - 5 minutes to call or shoot off an email to MTV.

Below is a sample:

I am writing to protest your racist show, The Dudesons: Cowboys and Findians. Though you were able to find a Native American to participate in this culturally offensive display, he is only one man. Many others are appalled at the negative stereotypes you are promoting. It adds insult to injury that you gave the impression that Native peoples somehow approve of being depicted as animals and self-injuring fools.

You have already run this show three times this week. I add my voice to the demand that you stop this racist attack. Immediately. If you do not take the show out of rotation and issue an apology to the Native American people by June 1, 2010, a complete boycott of your network and all your sponsors will begin.


Please include AIM SB on the cc (

Melissa Barreto
Senior Publicist

Stephanie Berman
Senior Director

Jeff Castaneda
Vice President

Janice Gatti

Senior Publicist he covers the Dudesons

See also:


And here's a handy copy and paste to put all those addresses in the field of an email:;;;;;;

ETA 5.21.10: Jennifer Yuhas Gall weighs in with a strong post, an excellent sample letter, and a brief history lesson for MTV: The Dudesons in America ~ Racism and Stereotyping at its Finest…and Lowest.

ETA 5.22.10: MTV removed the video from their website sometime during the evening of 5.21.10. It was uploaded to YouTube, then removed by Viacom. Activists have reposted it here:

Cowboys & Findians-Part One

Cowboys & Findians-Part Two

MTV and Viacom are busy doing damage control online, but we need to keep after them as the episode is still scheduled to play in reruns on MTV. It's on the schedule a few times in the upcoming weeks. We'll be watching to see if it airs. And we are still waiting on that apology.

ETA later on 5.22.10
: Rob Schmidt has posted a good summation of the coverage and commentary so far: Natives Protest The Dudesons

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Great Urgency - by Arvol Looking Horse - May 11, 2010

Last night Lakota Chief Arvol Looking Horse, 19th generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe, sent out this statement about the current world situation, most notably the Gulf Oil Spill. Published with the author's permission.

Chief Arvol Looking Horse

A Great Urgency

To All World Religious and Spiritual Leaders

My Relatives,

Time has come to speak to the hearts of our Nations and their Leaders. I ask you this from the bottom of my heart, to come together from the Spirit of your Nations in prayer.

We, from the heart of Turtle Island, have a great message for the World; we are guided to speak from all the White Animals showing their sacred color, which have been signs for us to pray for the sacred life of all things. As I am sending this message to you, many Animal Nations are being threatened, those that swim, those that crawl, those that fly, and the plant Nations, eventually all will be affect from the oil disaster in the Gulf.

The dangers we are faced with at this time are not of spirit. The catastrophe that has happened with the oil spill which looks like the bleeding of Grandmother Earth, is made by human mistakes, mistakes that we cannot afford to continue to make.

I asked, as Spiritual Leaders, that we join together, united in prayer with the whole of our Global Communities. My concern is these serious issues will continue to worsen, as a domino effect that our Ancestors have warned us of in their Prophecies.

I know in my heart there are millions of people that feel our united prayers for the sake of our Grandmother Earth are long overdue. I believe we as Spiritual people must gather ourselves and focus our thoughts and prayers to allow the healing of the many wounds that have been inflicted on the Earth. As we honor the Cycle of Life, let us call for Prayer circles globally to assist in healing Grandmother Earth (our Unc¹I Maka).

We ask for prayers that the oil spill, this bleeding, will stop. That the winds stay calm to assist in the work. Pray for the people to be guided in repairing this mistake, and that we may also seek to live in harmony, as we make the choice to change the destructive path we are on.

As we pray, we will fully understand that we are all connected. And that what we create can have lasting effects on all life.

So let us unite spiritually, All Nations, All Faiths, One Prayer. Along with this immediate effort, I also ask to please remember June 21st, World Peace and Prayer Day/Honoring Sacred Sites day. Whether it is a natural site, a temple, a church, a synagogue or just your own sacred space, let us make a prayer for all life, for good decision making by our Nations, for our children¹s future and well-being, and the generations to come.

Onipikte (that we shall live),

Chief Arvol Looking Horse
19th generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Mòd Season 2010 - Gaelic Language, Song and Culture

Since none of my friends are currently being harassed by military helicopters (at the moment), we'll get back to some of our Gaelic coverage.

Courtesy A’ Seinn Còmhla, the blog of the U.S. National Mòd, we have news of this summer's festivals of Gaelic language and culture: The Mòd Season Begins. The local and national mòds feature performances and friendly competitions, and are a great opportunity for learners and native speakers alike to experience the traditional songs and stories that maintain so much of our lore.

Here's a video from last year's Mòd in Canada. I particularly like the waulking song by the second singer.

Waulking and other òrain luaidh (work songs) are traditionally sung in Gaelic by groups of women, with a lead singer improvising verses to tell a story, and the other women singing a chorus. Some were never sung in the presence of men. They are very rhythmic as they accompany otherwise boring work, and are an opportunity to share news and remember the history of the community. At times the content is humorous and even suggestive, and some of the songs carry the beliefs and customs that are crucial to our understanding of the earth-based Gaelic spiritual traditions. Whether spiritual or social, the music is one of our strongest bearers of tradition and an important part of a modern Gaelic spiritual practice.

òran, ùrnaigh, dànachd
gleidheadh, ùrnaigh, cleachdadh

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Mystery Military Choppers = Intimidation, No Matter Who Sends Them

Now both the OST Tribal Council and the Colorado National Guard are saying the choppers that tried to land at Wounded Knee on Sat, May 1, 2010 were not Seventh Cavalry, but were Colorado National Guard.

It took them a few days to tell people this.

Things were further muddled by KOTA TV reporting on May 3 that the helicopters were not from the South Dakota National Guard.

The people on the ground, defending Wounded Knee, calling in what they saw as it was happening, had every reason to assume the worst. The people at large had not been given adequate information or notice, let alone been asked for their consent. People calling in live from underneath the choppers thought they were Seventh Cavalry, which made perfect sense given what little information had been leaked.

As Debra White Plume reported: "A few people present said they heard President Two Bulls on KILI Radio the previous day, asking people to go to Wounded Knee to hear the presentation, but not much information was provided other than that there would be members of the 7th Calvary and National Guardsmen arriving in military air transport."

No matter who sent the choppers, sending American miltary choppers to Wounded Knee is grossly insensitive. They're lucky the protesters were peaceful. As the Lakota are a sovereign nation, this invasion could be seen as an act of war, and some would have chosen to meet it with fire. Thankfully there is now a resolution that the Military will not be allowed to trespass on this sacred site.

People who are unaware of the history here may not understand what it's like to be invaded by a hostile force, or to grow up with the stories of your family members who were murdered by invading military. Try growing up in Wounded Knee, or Belfast, or Palestine. I'm pretty sure you'll see it differently.

When I heard the choppers were coming, I did not think, "Peaceful Visit for a Cup of Tea and Chitchat." I thought, Apocalypse Now. And I know I'm not alone in this.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Media Fail: Denver Post Spins Wounded Knee into Pro-Military PR

Censored News Page 2: Denver Post: Biased and twisted article about military helicopters at Wounded Knee

The Denver Post published a biased and twisted article concerning the Lakota protest of the military helicopters attempting to land at Wounded Knee on Saturday. The Denver Post twisted the facts into a pro-military press release, disguised as a news article, without quoting any of the Lakotas or their reasons for halting the helicopters.

The statements by Debra White Plume, Lakota, and others were easily available on the Internet on Monday, even an armchair journalist at the Denver Post could have found those.

Read full post...

Watch the OST press conference yourself:

What I heard was Tribal President Theresa Two Bulls apologizing to the Lakota people for not communicating with the community before agreeing to let the choppers land. What I heard was her commending the protesters. What I heard was her agreeing the incident, and the events leading up to it, were handled badly by the Tribal Council. She apologized all around and asked for help and forgiveness. But the Denver post twisted this beyond recognition.

ETA: Additionally, a Resolution of the Oglala Sioux Tribe concerning the incident and future actions at Wounded Knee was PASSED, Monday, May 3, 2010. It reads in part:

Whereas, the United States Military arrived at the Wounded Knee Mass Grave on May 1, 2010 in three Military Transport Helicopters that held 40 and more members of the Armed Services of the US without the free, prior, informed consent of the Oglala Lakota people and thus were prevented from landing.

Therefore, Be It Resolved, that the Oglala Sioux Tribe will take every action to see that the United States Reclaims the Twenty Medals of Honor from the 7th Calvary for their role in the Massacre at Wounded Knee, to remove any recognition the US Military bestows to its entities for the Massacre at Wounded Knee, and to obtain the return of personal items taken from Lakota people at the 1890 Massacre.

Therefore Be It Further Resolved, that the Oglala Sioux Tribe, its members, any entity, organization, or resident on the Pine Ridge Reservation will not allow the United States Military from this time forward to come anywhere near the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre Mass Grave in order to demonstrate Honor and Respect for the Lakota people buried there, and to ensure a peaceful, nonviolent, weapon-free zone for the Mass Gravesite area.

Read the full resolution... (page down past Debra White Plume's report)

Support the Lakota in requesting the Medals of Honor be rescinded

Monday, May 03, 2010

Wounded Knee 2010 - Additional Reports, Press Conference

Lakota man running toward the helicopters
May 1, 2010
from Censored News

Brenda Norrell continues her coverage of the Wounded Knee situation with an article by Debra White Plume, including a proposed resolution about the Wounded Knee site that is being presented to the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council: Debra White Plume: Military Helicopters at Wounded Knee? Traditional Lakota Elders Say 'NO WAY!'

This post has a press release by Tribal President Theresa Two Bulls: Helicopters invited for 'educational and historical presentation'. I can't make out the text, but if I can find a text version I'll post it here so it's readable. As far as I can make out, this is the press release President Two Bulls reads in the video below.

The OST press conference was broadcast live today on KILI Radio, and videos of it are being posted to YouTube here:

Here's part one. I think there are five parts, though not all are posted yet.

ETA: More legible image of OST Press Release: Page 1 and Page 2.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Wounded Knee Aftermath - May Day 2010

Discussion continues among the Lakota who drove away the Seventh Cavalry yesterday, and among those who have helped get the word out and who stand in solidarity with these warriors.

We now have some video taken on the fly at the incident yesterday. It looks like the videographer was trying to keep the camera hidden. The sound quality is poor due to the wind, but you can see the choppers coming in, and the gunship that touched down. There's a very brief glimpse of the people running out onto the field, then more footage of people speaking to the police.

By all accounts, the confrontation yesterday was firm but peaceful. There has been some confusion and misinformation out there, so if you see quotes from people, I'd suggest checking your sources before running with them. In the heat of the moment there was a lot of speculation, and sometimes people's theories were reported as fact.

Wanbli Tate has posted, "The quote attributed to me saying that Theresa Two Bulls said she had only 24 hours notice of the helicopters coming is not a correct quote."

I'd also like to point out for those who missed it that Autumn Two Bulls, head of the women's warrior society, who we heard on the radio show yesterday, is not Theresa Two Bulls, the tribal president. Some people have confused the two of them, or don't seem to realize these are two different people.

What we know is that the Lakota people and the descendants only found out about the arrival of the Military at Wounded Knee about 18 hours before the attempted landing. How long members of the tribal council knew, and which members of the tribal council knew, is still a bit unclear. There has been no official statement from the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council about the incident.

Brenda Norrell has posted about it here: Lakotas Prevent Blackhawk Helicopters from Landing at Wounded Knee

As has David Sugar: Three blackhawks down and 7th cavalry retreats defeated once again

And Sarah Johns, who was one of the first to post while we were listening to the calls live from the Knee: 7th Cavalry defile Lakota Burial Ground @ Wounded Knee, S.Dakota

A list of the unarmed women, children and men murdered by the Seventh Cavalry at Wounded Knee, December 29, 1890

ETA: Follow the Wounded Knee tag below for followup on this.

One of the posts with clarifications on who sent the choppers: Mystery Military Choppers = Intimidation, No Matter Who Sends Them

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Warrior Women and Wounded Knee III

About half an hour ago, Black Hawk gunships tried to land on the killing field at Wounded Knee. Autumn Two Bulls reports that when the choppers tried to land the women ran out into the field and would not let them land. The choppers are gone. Updates to come. But for now it looks like the women drove away the 7th cavalry!

Blackhawk helicopter flies a mission over Iraq

For those unfamiliar with the background of Wounded Knee, read the text here, and please sign the petition: Wounded Knee Medals of Dis Honor

The situation is still a bit unclear. But here's what we know right now.

After months of coordinated days of action, calling and writing to get the White House, or anyone, to help out with the crumbling infrastructure on the reservations in the Dakotas, the suicide epidemic, the grinding poverty and lack of jobs, there was finally a response. Sort of:

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release
April 30, 2010

President Obama Signs North Dakota Disaster Declaration

The President today declared a major disaster exists in the State of North Dakota and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the area struck by flooding beginning on February 26, 2010, and continuing.

Federal funding is available to State and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the flooding in the counties of Barnes, Benson, Cass, Dickey, Emmons, Foster, Grand Forks, LaMoure, Logan, Mercer, Morton, Nelson, Pembina, Ramsey, Ransom, Richland, Sargent, Steele, Stutsman, Traill, Walsh, and Wells and the portions of the Spirit Lake Reservation that lie within these counties.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures for all counties and Tribes within the State.

W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Justo Hernández as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected area.

FEMA said additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the State and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.


Then late yesterday afternoon, the relatives network led to a few Oglala people finding out about a private meeting scheduled at Pine Ridge. Word leaked that the helicopters would be coming. Allegedly the meeting was so some representatives of the military could hear the NDNs side of the Wounded Knee Massacre. Huh? Why now? Why all of a sudden, with no real notice, without the descendants being notified at all, without anyone but a few people on the tribal council even being told this would happen? The traditional way would have been for the military to ask permission to come to Pine Ridge. Then, if permission was granted, to call a community meeting, with the appropriate representatives there, and everything done respectfully and openly. But this was about as far from that as you can get.

Perhaps they wanted a photo op of a military-style wreath-laying, with no one but a few token NDNs there. Perhaps they just wanted to land as close to the cemetery as possible then get out fast, before anyone who might have a problem with this could find out.

Now, if you've read the above links, you'll know that:

1. You don't send the modern Seventh Cavalry to Wounded Knee. Not unless it's to crawl on their knees in abject apology for the actions of those whose legacy they have chosen to carry on; not unless you've come to return the medals that were given to soldiers, and are still displayed, for their massacre of unarmed women, children and elders.

2. You do not land gunships on a burial ground. You just don't. How about if we drive monster trucks loaded with armed civilians into Arlington National Cemetery? Maybe armed warriors on horseback, with the horses taking a dump on the graves? How about if a bunch of Iraqis and Afghanis drive ATV's over the graves of soldiers who died in the Gulf Wars? Maybe some Nazis having target practice on the graves of World War II dead? How about that?

So, some are saying this was some sort of attempted PR stunt. Some kind of "apology". Well... maybe they should have talked to the people first instead of rampaging in in their colonialist, militarist, macho "glory". No glory for you, dudes. You messed it up once again.

Still waiting to hear where they landed, if they landed. But all the military, and the White House, has accomplished today is scaring the crap out of a bunch of women and children, who, despite any fear, put their bodies on the line to protect their land, to protect the graves of their ancestors.

History repeats at Wounded Knee.

The mass grave at the Wounded Knee Massacre site
in South Dakota on the Pine Ridge Reservation

Listen to the archived show with the live calls from the site as the choppers are trying to land: And stay tuned, I'm sure there will be another show on this later today or tomorrow.

Black Hawks equipped with M60 machine guns
near An Najaf, Iraq in May 2005

ETA: I don't want to forget the brave men who also stood up today. Alex White Plume and other men also stood against the choppers, and like the women, are still on site dealing with this. I was just so excited about these brave young women charging out there, and that was the first report that came in, that I had to run with it :-)

ETA: 4:30pm EST - Alex White Plume is reporting that, "A large number of people from three rezzes came to defend the ground of Wounded Knee. At 11:45 am three helicopters appeared above Wounded Knee. We were all in shock. It was true: the 7th Cavalry. I seen women and children running under the killing machines to keep them from landing. One chopper landed 50 feet from the cemetery. A society leader stood his ground and so he lifted off."

ETA: 6:45pm EST - This is footage of a Blackhawk helicopter over Iraq. You can see the guns, like the ones they used on women and children in Vietnam. Be ready for loud sounds... much like those that ripped the sky open over sacred ground in NDN Country today.

Wounded Knee III?

Right now, as I type this, Black Hawk Helicopters, Gunships from the Seventh Cavalry, are attempting to land on the Killing Field at Wounded Knee.

I will be posting more as news comes in, but right now you can follow the updates on twitter at #WoundedKnee

Just now we had a live radio broadcast from the Knee, with Autumn Two Bulls and others from the warrior societies calling in on cell phones as the choppers were trying to land.

The show should be archived momentarily, and there will probably be another on shortly. I will also update on twitter as news comes in.

I've decided to just do new posts rather than edit this one. Updates on main page. Here's the next one:

Thursday, April 01, 2010

ACGA Immersion Weekend, 2010

An Comunn Gàidhealach Ameireaganach (ACGA) presents its 14th Annual Scottish Gaelic Immersion Weekend, held for the fourth time in Colorado and the second time in Colorado Springs, from Thursday June 3 – Sunday June 6, 2010.
"This event will feature some of the best Scottish Gaelic instructors from Cape Breton and the United States. The immersion weekend is a unique opportunity for learners of Scottish Gaelic to come together with more advanced and native speakers in both a classroom setting and informal gatherings. Whether you are a new learner with no experience or an advanced speaker, the immersion weekend will provide opportunities to speak Gaelic in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere."

Instructors this year include Donnie MacDonald, Mòrag Burke and Caroline Root.

More info:

Thursday, March 11, 2010

CENSORED NEWS: Disaster Declaration Months Late for South Dakota

CENSORED NEWS: Disaster Declaration Months Late for South Dakota

FEMA DISASTER: Spring is just around the corner and South Dakota is finally designated a disaster from December storms

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

In one of the most pitiful delayed actions, the Obama administration's FEMA declared a disaster in South Dakota, months after the winter storms that first devastated the state in December.
While Lakotas from Pine Ridge, Cheyenne River Sioux and elsewhere in the Dakotas pleaded for aid in January and February, their pleas were ignored by the Obama administration. Cheyenne River Sioux were without electricity for weeks and fresh water for more than six days.
Indian Nations and individuals rallied to help the Lakotas blasted by repeated winter storms in December, January and February. An online campaign urging CNN to cover the disaster in the Dakotas only resulted in one brief mention.
While most attention was focused on Haiti, Lakotas suffered.
Now that spring is just around the corner, here's the disaster declaration: Read full post

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

James Arthur Ray Arrested, Indicted

DeathRay will face a jury...

(CNN) -- Self-help guru James Ray was arrested Wednesday after a grand jury indictment charging him with three counts of manslaughter in the deaths of three participants at an Arizona sweat lodge ceremony he organized last year.

Yavapai County Sheriff Steve Waugh said Ray was arrested at his attorney's office in Prescott, Arizona, Wednesday afternoon.

He will eventually be housed at the Camp Verde Detention Center, the sheriff's office said, and his bond has been set at $5 million.

Ray is charged with the deaths of Kirby Brown, James Shore and Liz Neuman.

Read the whole story...

Perp Walk


Mugshot courtesy Don't Pay to Pray

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Warrior Women and Winter Emergency in South Dakota

After the devastating ice storms, some of the Reservations in South Dakota have now been without heat, power, or even water for over a week.

More info on how to help on the YouTube page (Click on "more info")

Additional information and comments about this video on CNN's board

Call CNN and demand they cover the emergencies in South Dakota. The situation in Haiti is real to people, and viewers are moved to help, because news networks like CNN show the devastating footage of human suffering, in vivid detail, round the clock. Who wouldn't cry with compassion and want to get on the next plane when we see survivors pulled bleeding from the wreckage as their families cry and pray? It's human for people to care more about those they feel they know, and the media makes this connection for people. But the mainstream media ignores disasters on the reservations, and the current situation is no exception.

Yesterday activists bombarded CNN with calls, demanding coverage. CNN has promised to cover the situation on Pine Ridge, but we need to keep on them and make sure they keep their word. (CNN News Room: 404-827-2658)

For more information on how to help, Supporting SD Rez is posting frequent updates, and checking in with friends on the reservations to make sure the charities they recommend are legit.

Indigenous Rights Movement Radio is having frequent shows on the situation. Listen to the archived show with Grandma Wilma Thin Elk from the Wounded Knee District and Autumn TwoBulls. Last night's show has added momentum to the continuing discussions on increasing sustainable energy, and traditional food production on the reservations, and how these things can bring jobs and improve reservation economies. Any grantwriters out there want to lend a hand?

Autumn TwoBulls and her team, frustrated with the inaction of some of the mainstream charities and tribal councils, are working tirelessly to coordinate contact between families in need and those with the resources to help out.

You can also check out the Pine Ridge website directly, and get updates and contact info for donating to their emergency fund:

This thread on NAFPS includes news stories, friends posting in with updates from Standing Rock, Pine Ridge, and Cheyenne River Reservations, and their personal and professional feedback on relief efforts.

And yes, sign of the apocalypse and all, I'm on Twitter now, and reposting things about this, as well as the usual Gaelic stuff. Twitter is weird, but it sure is a fast way of getting the word out.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

And now they want to desecrate Brú na Bóinne

When this arrived in my inbox, I have to tell you, I thought it was a joke. It's not.

I thought it was going to be a satire about what the bastards were going to try next in terms of desecration of sacred sites. Those evil fuckers.

From Vincent Salafia at Save Newgrange:

RTE News - Slane bypass would run close to Newgrange (Video)

The Irish Times - Friday, January 22, 2010
Slane bypass to run close to Boyne heritage sites

THE NATIONAL Roads Authority has confirmed that the proposed route of the bypass of Slane village will pass some 500 metres “from the perimeter” of the buffer zone of the Brú na Bóinne Unesco World Heritage Site.

The road, which will be a dual carriageway, will have “the least impact” taking all factors into consideration, including the archaeology and heritage of the area, a spokesman said.

It will be 3.5 kilometres long and run to the east of the village, which is on the heavily used N2 linking Dublin with Derry and it has been the scene of at least 22 fatal traffic crashes in living memory.

Included in the scheme is a new bridge over the river Boyne which will be about 200 metres long.

The environmental impact statement has been published and submissions on it are being accepted by An Bord Pleanála, which will decide whether to grant permission.

Bypass Slane Campaign group spokeswoman Michelle Power said, “we welcome the plans and look forward to the day permission is granted and funds are allocated for its construction.

“After numerous fatal accidents human life must take precedence,” she added.

Brian Taylor, spokesman for An Taisce in Meath and a resident of Slane said: “I’d be very reluctant about anything that might hold up that road. It has been several years in the offing and it has gone through numerous public presentations and the route chosen appears to be the least offensive [one].”

A spokesman for the NRA said, “we have selected a route with the least impact. It is 1.5 kilometres from the core of the Brú na Bóinne and around that centre core is a buffer zone; this route is 500 metres from the perimeter of that buffer zone.”

However, the statement does say that also within 500 metres of the route are 44 archaeological and cultural sites. The next stage is for An Bord Pleanála to decide whether to hold an oral hearing into any objections or submissions on the proposed route.

Motorway ‘may cost ancient site World Heritage status’
Press Association – 22/01/2010 – 17:55:53

The ancient Bru na Boinne site around Newgrange may lose its World Heritage status if the proposed M2 motorway goes ahead, it was claimed today.

The National Monuments Forum warned if changes are not made to the new motorway plans, the area near the Boyne in Co Meath is likely to lose recognition from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco).

Dr George Eogan, Professor Emeritus of Archaeology at University College Dublin (UCD), said the new motorway is too close to the monuments and will have a considerable impact on the surrounding landscape.

“Five hundred metres is simply too close, and it is conceivable that Newgrange could lose its World Heritage Status,” he said.

The site can be saved if Environment Minister John Gormley fast-tracks the new National Monuments Bill 2009 according to the National Monuments Forum.

Vincent Salafia, National Monuments Forum spokesman, claimed the minister created unnecessary delays which place Ireland’s heritage at risk.

“We urge Minister Gormley to deliver this long overdue legislation and to ensure it is strong enough to protect Newgrange from this outlandish proposal,” Mr Salafia said.