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Wounded Knee '73: 40th Anniversary of Occupation's Start
Last Wednesday, February 27, marked the 40th anniversary of the beginning of the American Indian Movement's occupation of Wounded Knee, on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Its conception and launch were led primarily by two of AIM's founders: Carter Camp (Ponca) and Dennis Banks (Ojibwa). [Note: This is not to say that others did not play major roles, both during the planning and execution; it simply credits the two most significant driving forces appropriately, as most media never do. Please also note that the link above implies no endorsement on my part of the article's content - on many grounds. Finally, I include here a link to the wiki on both the 1890 massacre and the 1973 occupation - and again, inclusion does not imply endorsement of all content.]
We are fortunate to have as fellow Kossacks two AIM members who were part of the occupation. Carter [cacamp] and Meteor Blades have both written on the subject from their vantage point in the middle of a 71-day ground war for the safety and sovereignty of our peoples. I know that I cannot do justice to the substance of the 1973 occupation - nor to the 1890 massacre - in this brief format. To try to shoehorn synopses into this small space would be a grave disservice to those who fought in either conflict. Instead, I highly recommend reading navajo's and MB's First Nations News and Views diary from last year (also linked below), which includes Carter's first-hand account. Before we get to that, though, I'd like you to take a look at a couple of images from the 1890 massacre, of Chief Big Foot and medicine man Yellow Bird. Fix these images firmly in your mind. Then think about everything we (Carter, MB, navajo, Ojibwa, Nulwee, Winter Rabbit, and myself) have written over the years about what conditions are still like at Pine Ridge. Then read Carter's account below, followed by the next piece.
Last year, Carter described the occupation through the lens of his own life experience:
In some areas of conflict between our people and those we signed treaties with, it is best to negotiate or "work within the system." But, because our struggle is one of survival, there are also times when a warrior must stand fast even at the risk of one's life. I believed that in 1973 when I was 30 and I believe it today at 70. But to me Wounded Knee '73 was really not about the fight, it was about the strong statement that our traditional way of living in this world is not about to disappear and our people are not a "vanishing race" as wasicu (white) education would have you believe. As time has passed and I see so many of our young people taking part in a traditional way of living and believing, I know our fight was worth it and those we lost for our movement died worthy deaths.
. . .
[I]n the cold darkness as we waited for Dennis and Russ to bring in the caravan (or for the fight to start), I stood on the bank of the shallow ravine where our people had been murdered by the 7th Cavalry [in 1890]. There I prayed for the defenseless ones, torn apart by Hotchkiss cannons and trampled under hooves of steel by drunken wasicu. I could feel the touch of their spirits as I eased quietly into the gully and stood silently, waiting for my future, touching my past.
Finally, I bent over and picked a sprig of sage — whose ancestors in 1890 had been nourished by the blood of Red babies, ripped from their mothers' dying grasp and bayoneted by the evil ones. As I washed myself with that sacred herb, I became cold in my determination and cleansed of fear. I looked for Big Foot and YellowBird in the darkness and I said aloud:
"We are back, my relations, we are home."
Carter was interviewed in the PBS series "We Shall Remain." Again, I highly recommend watching and listening to Carter's words - and reading the words of both Carter and MB on this seminal moment in our peoples' contemporary history.
EXTORTIONATE LAND PRICE BACK IN SPOTLIGHT
Two weeks ago, I wrote about the efforts of one James A. Czywczynski to extort some $4 million from the Pine Ridge Oglala for a spiritually significant piece of land that's been appraised at $7,000. The land abuts the memorial at Wounded Knee, including the burial ground of the 300 men, women, and children massacred by the U.S. Army in 1890. [The photo at right shows the "burial" on the land in question.]
Earlier reports also omitted one important fact:
It’s not the first time the land has been put on the market by owner James A. Czywczynski and his family, and the Oglala Sioux Tribe would like to acquire the property and possibly build a museum on the site. But the steep asking price makes the deal a virtual nonstarter for the tribe, one official said.
"Every year or two it comes up," and the price escalates, said Craig Dillon, a member of the tribal council who serves on its lands and economic development committees.
When he first started on the council, the asking price for the Wounded Knee land was about $1.3 million, Dillon said.
Earlier, I referred to Czywczynski's attitude as mindaweshki [greed]. That's not a strong enough word for it. In our language, Czywczynski would be a windigo. Because apparently, no amount will ever be enough to fill that gaping hole in his soul.
More News and Latest Updates on Kossack Regional Meet-Up News Below the Frybead Thingey
THE LATEST DAKOTA LAND GRAB
ProPublica is reporting on the latest in a long-standing effort to steal land and resources from the Three Affiliated Tribes [also known as the Mandan/Hidatsa/Arikara] in North Dakota:
Native Americans on an oil-rich North Dakota reservation have been cheated out of more than $1 billion by schemes to buy drilling rights for lowball prices, a flurry of recent lawsuits assert. And, the suits claim, the federal government facilitated the alleged swindle by failing in its legal obligation to ensure the tribes got a fair deal.
To get a real sense of the length, depth, and cost of the betrayals, you really need to read the whole thing. Then read Ojibwa's recent diary on fracking at Montana's Glacier National Park to see how these practices are spreading.
PROTECTIONS FOR NATIVE WOMEN
On February 28, enough members of the GOP-led House of Representatives abandoned their opposition to permit reauthorization of the [Ending] Violence Against Women Act [VAWA]. By a 286-138 vote, the House passed a bill containing the same language as the Senate version, including protections for Native women, members of LGBTQI communities, and undocumented immigrants.
Parker’s daze was understandable. Still catching her breath, she noted that some legal experts have said that there hasn’t been major tribal legislation that grants inherent tribal authority since the historic days of treaty times. "We’ve had other successes," she said, "but this will have a substantial impact on our sovereign ability to govern."
But work remains to be done. First, of course, the bill must be signed into law by President Obama, who has committed enthusiastically to doing so. Ms. Parker has already been invited to the White House for the signing ceremony, although at least publicly, that date has not yet been set.
Second, activists need to launch a new effort to bring Alaska Native women (who are Native American women as well, despite the government's longstanding efforts to shoehorn them into a separate category) within VAWA's protections.
And finally, we all must be ready for the inevitable appeals, which I fully expect to go to all the way up to the SCOTUS. Before long, everyone's voices and action will again be needed in support of this important law.
NATIVE LANGUAGE PRESERVATION
Last week, in a 44-6 vote, the Montana State Senate passed SB342, which would provide $2 million for a pilot program to preserve the traditional languages of Montana's eight tribal nations. Sponsored by Jonathan Windy Boy (D-Box Elder), the measure now goes to the Montana House. Montana Governor Steve Bullock (D) supports the bill, as do a number of Republicans in the state legislature.
Every year, the University of Oregon's Native American Student Union [NASU] holds a Mother's Day Powwow. To raise funds for this year's event, NASU members held a frybead competition [link goes to photo essay]. For a $3 cover charge, community members participated in the feast at the NASU longhouse and judged the entries. NASU leader Jay Stanley (Navajo) organized the event, welcomed elders, and gave attendees a little background on the role frybread plays among her people's culinary traditions. She presented first-place winner Naomi Strawser with a commemorative shirt.
Let's build communities!
Every region needs a meatspace community like SFKossacks.
We take care of each other in real life.
I urge YOU to take the lead and organize one in your region.
Please tell us about it if you do and we're here for advice.
THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY
Click >>>HERE to see a list of all the regional Kossack groups that have organized for social and activism events. There are handy links to contact each organizer to join.
>>>Instructions on HOW TO FORM A NEW DAILY KOS GROUP
Monday, March 4th
New York City Kossacks Meet-up
TIME: 6:00 PM
LOCATION: Spitzer's Corner
101 Rivington Street (Ludlow) • NYC
ORGANIZER: Send Sidnora a kosmail to RSVP
4. brooklyn liberal
8. Rosalie 907 + friends
9. blue jersey mom
11. Ollie Garkey
Its the Supreme Court Stupid
Batya the Toon
Sunday, March 10th
SFKossacks ALL-DAY Event to Roll Out the Red Carpet for a gilas girl
• Meet at the Ferry Building at 11:00 AM to take the 11:35 AM ferry to Tiburon.
I've reserved a group rate $20.00 round-trip per adult and $13.50 round-trip for seniors and children. Arrive in Tiburon at 12:30 PM
• Lunch reservation is at 12:45 at Guaymas for 20 people. We have an indoor terrace reserved with a beautiful view of the City.
We'll only have a little over 1.5 hours for lunch but luckily the dock is right at the restaurant and leaves at 2:35 PM. Arriving at the Ferry Building at 3:25 PM.
• Walk 3 blocks to Market & Main to catch the N-Judah at 3:55 PM. One way fare $2.00. Muni ride to 9th & Irving to arrive at 4:24 PM. Walk 1/2 mile into Golden Gate Park to the
Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park. Arrival at 4:40 and the garden is open until 6:00 PM. Admission: Adult $5.00, Seniors $3.00, Children $1.50.
• 6:30 PM Park Chow for dinner at 6:30 PM, a 10 min. walk from GG Park.
• Take return Muni N-Judah at 8:30 PM or 8:49 PM back to BART at the Embarcadero.
RSVPs for Dinner at Park Chow near Golden Gate Park:
RSVPs for Ferry Ride and Guaymas:
1. a gilas girl*
3. side pocket
5. Meteor Blades*
6. Glen the Plumber*
11. no way lack of brain
1. a gilas girl*
3. side pocket
4. Meteor Blades*
12. Glen the Plumber*
no way lack of brain
Kansas & Missouri KossacksFriday, March 15th
LOCATION: Free State Brewing Company
636 Massachusetts Street • Lawrence
ORGANIZER: Send tmservo433 a kosmail to attend.
Latest diary: [Diva waiting...]
SFKossacks Welcome realalaskan with Birding in Point Reyes
LOCATION: Point Reyes National Seashore
1 Bear Valley Road • Point Reyes Station [exact location of event TBD]
ORGANIZER: Send lineatus a kosmail to attend.
3. Mrs. side pocket
4. side pocket
elfling and offspring
Saturday, March 23rd
LAKossacks Monthly Meet-up
TIME: 2:00 PM
LOCATION: Casey's Irish Pub
613 S Grand Ave. • Los Angeles
ORGANIZER: Send Dave in Northridge a kosmail to attend.
Latest diary: Attention, LA Kossacks! Valley Event in FIVE DAYS!
1. Dave in Northridge
2. Joe Bacon
Saturday, March 23rd
Central Ohio Kossacks Meet-up
TIME: 6:00 PM
TBD • TBD
ORGANIZER: Send VetGrl a kosmail to attend.
Latest diary: Central Ohio Kossacks MEETUP: March 23 at 6:00-ish p.m.
3. Don Midwest
5. Silvia Nightshade
Spirit of Life
Mid-March - Boston Kossacks First Meet-up
TIME: Possibly 2:00 PM, stay tuned
LOCATION: The Border Cafe
32 Church Street • Cambridge
ORGANIZER: Send GreyHawk a kosmail to attend.
Latest diary: Boston Kossacks - 1st Meetup
New York Hudson Valley Kossacks
NY Hudson Valley Kossacks' First Meet-up
LOCATION: Hudson House
2 Main Street • Cold Spring, NY
ORGANIZER: Send boran2 a kosmail to attend.
Latest diary: Diva waiting...
TBD - Late March or Early April Meet-up
LOCATION: ColoTim's home
Address given by Kosmail • Outside of Denver
ORGANIZER: Send ColoTim a kosmail to attend.
Latest diary: Colorado COmmunity Meetup - Flowers Edition
Kansas & Missouri KossacksFriday, April 19th
LOCATION: Springfield Brewing Company
305 South Market Street • Springfield
ORGANIZER: Send tmservo433 a kosmail to attend.
Latest diary: [Diva waiting...]
Dkos Asheville's First Meet-up
LOCATION: The Bywater
796 Riverside Dr. • Asheville
ORGANIZER: Send randallt a kosmail to attend.
Latest diary:Dkos Asheville Open Thread
3. Otteray Scribe
5. people power granny
9. GordonNC (UID 5123 & City Councilman)
13. Captain Sham
14. Sandy on Signal
Land of Enchantment
alicia (plus two)
From randallt: "DKos Asheville is hosting a meet up and we've managed to cast a wide net! Asheville NC is the epicenter of cool progressive in the heart of the mountains and we have folks traveling from Eastern Tennessee, the Southern Highlands and Charlotte. So don't let the distance keep you away, come to Asheville, sign up today! You know you want to."
Netroots Nation 2013 in San Jose: Plenary Session Table Reservations
June 20th - 23rd • REGISTER HERE
1. side pocket [First Lieutenant]
2. mrs. side pocket
6. Cali Scribe
7. Glen the Plumber
10. Mrs. jotter
4. boran2 (Honorary)
Native American Netroots:
2. Meteor Blades
4. no way lack of brain
6. Kitsap River
7. Charles Curtis Stanley
8. 4Freedom (maybe)
Central Valley Kossacks:
6. Caddis Fly
Lone Star Kossacks:
Cheers & Jeers:
1. Bill in Portland Maine
2. Common Sense Mainer
5. Spousal Unit
Los Angeles Kossacks:
5. Dave in Northridge
NYC and beyond:
2. belinda ridgewood
3. belinda ridgewood's guest
Community Quilt Project:
1. Sara R
4. ramara (Arizona)
5. Horace Boothroyd III
Hopefully we can put together whole tables for them.
Military Community Members:
3. angelajean (Maybe)
4. exlrrp (Maybe)
Misc. registered Kossacks + regions:
Community Quilt Project NN13 Flash Mob Photo
smileycreek is organizing and asking all Community Quilt recipients to bring their quilts to NN13. We'll assemble at a pre-designated location and time for a group photo with one of the NN13 professional photographers. It will be a group hug celebrating one of the most beloved community building projects we have here at Daily Kos with Sara R and winglion at the center of it. navajo and Glen the Plumber are going to scout out and select a location in advance for all to meet with their quilts for a memorable photo opportunity. Stay tuned.
Date: TBD Time: TBD
2. Dave in Northridge
8. llbear (not attending, quilt only)
9. Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse (may not attend)
10. Smoh (not attending, quilt only)
12. belinda ridgewood
15. Kitsap River
16. Charles Curtis Stanley
Glacier National Park Kossack EPIC Meetup!
LOCATION: Glacier National Park
402 9th St W • Columbia Falls, Montana
ORGANIZER: Send arizonablue a kosmail to attend.
Latest diary: Glacier National Park Meetup - Part II w/ lodging and campground info!
5. Ojibwa - arriving for the weekend
13. state of confusion
14. Lute the Norwegian
15. Josh Blue
Ed in Montana
Send navajo a kosmail if you post a diary about an event so we can update our round-up.
Okay. Floor's open.
Tell us what you are doing on this NEW DAY?