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to tell us what you're working on, share your show & tell, vent, whatever you want...
...this is an open thread. Nothing is off topic.
It's been a busy week, and we have a lot to get through today - good, bad, and ugly.
The good: Increasingly strong tribal commitments to environmental activism. Greater federal attention paid to ensuring that South Dakota complies with the Indian Child Welfare Act [ICWA]. Greater federal awareness of the sad state of disrepair of too many tribal schools. Celebrating the strength of community and education, with some help from the Vice President's wife.
The bad: A perceived public dissing of tribes by the State Department. A very obvious dissing of tribes and the BIA by South Dakota state officials. A $40 million shortfall for tribal schools, thanks to the sequester.
And the very, very ugly: The story of a man who desecrated Indian graves and Indian bones for self-aggrandizement and profit - bones that remain unrepatriated nearly a century later.
Let's get to it.
We begin today with a walkout.
ON KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE
Last Thursday, representatives from 11 Plains tribes were slated to meet with officials from the State Department to press their concerns about the Keystone XL Pipeline. The meeting never took place.
Angered at the perception that they had been passed off to "low-level officials," the tribal representatives walked out.
In an impromptu press conference staged immediately afterward, tribal leaders issued a unified demand to President Obama: Meet with us directly and in person, "nation to nation," or not at all.
I've written previously about one of the tribal representatives who spoke at the press conference: Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca Nation), sister of Kossack Carter Camp (cacamp). As usual, she pulled no punches:
"We find ourselves victims of another form of genocide, and it's environmental genocide, and it's caused by the extractive industries," she said.Other tribal leaders were equally blunt. Bryan Brewer, president of the Oglala Sioux Nation at Pine Ridge, declared, "I will only meet with President Obama." Pawnee Business Council vice president Charles LoneChief asserted that the public was "still misinformed" about the toxic effects the pipeline would have on area water supplies.
Robin LeBeau, Cheyenne River councilor, was even more direct:
"What the State Department, what President Obama needs to hear from us, is that we are going to be taking direct action," she said.The 11 tribes involved in the aborted meeting came from three states: Cheyenne River, Crow Creek, Lower Brulé, Pine Ridge Oglala, Rosebud, Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota, Standing Rock, and Yankton Sioux Nations in South Dakota; the Ponca and Pawnee Nations from Oklahoma; and Idaho's Nez Percé.
The last few weeks, we've reported on the scheduled summit between South Dakota Sioux tribes and the BIA, intended to resolve the state's continued theft of Indian children for racism and profit. The summit occurred as scheduled, and has been pronounced a success on several fronts - with one notable exception:
Once again, South Dakota state officials abdicated their responsibilities, failing even to show up.
NPR, which has been following this story since 2011, has the report:
[NPR reporter Laura] SULLIVAN: Top officials from Washington took their seats. The secretary of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, officials from the Department of Health and Human Services, staffers from three Members of Congress and two trial attorneys from the Department of Justice's Civil Rights division. But the seats for South Dakota state officials were empty.Unsurprisingly, one of the elected state officials who failed to show was none other than Governor Dennis Daugaard. I've criticized Daugaard harshly in the past, dating back to his tenure as lieutenant governor under Republican Mike Rounds during the ice storms of the winter of 2009-2010 - deadly storms that disproportionately harmed Indians. Rounds and Daugaard did everything in their power to avoid issuing the needed disaster declaration for tribal lands, until members of this site launched a full-court press to force them to do so. Even so, Daugaard steadfastly refused to post any contact information for his office on his official state Web site. So I'm sure people will understand why I find his failure to appear last week utterly unremarkable - and state officials' protestations equally unpersuasive.
Of course, protesting they are: According to Kim Malsam-Rysdon, secretary of the state's Department of Social Services, the state "only learned about the new date last week. 'With that kind of notice we weren’t able to participate in it,' she said.
Except, you know, the new date has been reported statewide - nationwide, even - for weeks. And they were notified of the date change at the same time as everyone else. And, of course, they have more than just one person who could have been sent to represent the state.
But that's the kind of cowardice the tribes have come to expect from Dennis Daugaard and his associates.
More from "This Week In American Indian News" and Latest Updates on Kossack Regional Meet-Up News Below the Frybead Thingey
In her first appearance before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs last Wednesday, new Interior Secretary Sally Jewell testified that the state of many of the nation's tribal schools is "embarrassing." She was not referring to the quality of the teaching, but rather, the dilapidated and dangerous state of the buildings and other facilities. Currently, 63 tribal schools across the country are identified as being in "poor condition," a label that covers sins ranging from leaking roofs to rodent droppings to toxic mold to sewage problems to buildings that cannot withstand winter winds. As Senator Al Franken (D-MN) noted in opening remarks:
"When the wind starts blowing at a certain rate, they have to leave the school because it doesn’t meet the safety standards. This can be when it’s 20 below zero in northern Minnesota. It puts the Indian education system to shame."When both Franken and Tim Johnson (D-SD) pressed the Secretary on immediate needs, she responded frankly that the answer is money. Despite a backlog of $1.3 billion (yes, billion with a "b") on scheduled construction for tribal schools, federal budget cuts have now reduced the monies available for Indian schools by some $40 million.
If you want to help find a solution, there are two things you can do today: 1) Press your elected officials to end the sequester, now; and 2) ask President Obama to seek additional funding specifically for construction and repair of tribal schools.
In her address, she highlighted the experiences of a number of the 176 embers of the college's class of 2013: Sherwin Becenti, a former college dropout who re-enrolled and on Friday earned an Associate's degree in environmental science; Dwight Carlston, Navajo Tech's 2012 Student of the Year and the 2013 Student Congress president for a consortium of all tribal colleges in the nation, whose Associate's degree is in environmental science and natural resources; Jerrilene Kenneth, another college dropout who served four years in the U.S. Army, deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, and returned to earn an Associate's degree in early childhood education; and Dody Begay, Navajo Tech's first-ever recipient of a Bachelor's degree - in information technology. The college itself has already hired Mr. Begay.
A longstanding supporter of (and former teacher at) community colleges, Dr. Biden also emphasized the importance of community:
"You all care so deeply about this place that generations of your family have called home," she said. "You all have a stake in each other's future because you are now and always will be part of this shared community."The Aspen Institute (I know, I know, but in this country's halls of power, Aspen matters) has named Navajo Technical College to its list of the nation's 120 top community colleges for the last two years in a row - the only community college in New Mexico and the only tribal college in the country to make the list. In addition to two-year Associate's degrees, the school has begun offering Bachelor's degrees, and is currently investigating the possibility of expanding its curriculum to include Master's degrees in select programs.
Dr. Biden arrived at the Navajo Nation on Thursday and spent the day meeting with tribal officials before appearing at Friday's commencement.
The institution in question is the Catalina Island Museum in California, which has staged an exhibit on the atrocities committed by Ralph Glidden, a self-appointed, self-described (and thoroughly unprofessional) "archaeologist" who in the 1920s and 1930s plundered hundreds of Tongva Indian graves.
The account of Glidden's conduct is frankly horrifying. At the behest of a New York foundation, he stole thousands of funerary and other objects from his "excavation" of the graves, as well as bones, skulls, and allegedly entire skeletons. He then desecrated the Indians' remains for fun and profit:
He also built an island museum that incorporated Native American bones as architectural elements, including windows edged with finger and toe bones, leg and arm bones as shelf brackets and ceiling panels decorated with vertebra and shoulder blades.Admission to his so-called "Museum of the American Indian" was thirty-five cents per person. One person quoted in the linked article who as a girl visited the horror show reported that he kept an Indian skull with a light in it.
Not content with appropriation and exploitation, Glidden was also an unreconstructed con artist and racist:
Glidden was often short of money but relentlessly self-promoting. His finds and museum made headlines, especially after he claimed to have found a stone urn containing the skeleton of a girl - possibly a princess - surrounded by the buried skeletons of 64 children and a 7-foot-8 man.The exhibit's narrative is unusually blunt for such endeavors:
"The fact that he treated skeletal remains as something titillating, and felt justified in doing so because they were Native American - and not Caucasian or European - is as grotesque as it is inescapable."Now, the Catalina Island Museum needs to take the next step, and do the final right thing: Repatriation. The artifacts were transferred to the museum after Glidden's death; the human remains were sent to UCLA. Both institutions need to step up and repatriate everything back to the Tongva.
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
Saturday, May 25th
Koscadia Kossacks Meet-up for Ojibwa
LOCATION: Sara R's house
Address to be given to RSVP'ers • Portland, OR
ORGANIZER: Send Sara R a kosmail to attend.
Latest diary: Portland, OR Meetup - Sat. May 25
2. state of confusion
3. Sara R
5. Horace Boothroyd III
9. also mom of 5
Saturday, June 1st
Baja Arizona Kossacks 3rd Annual Picnic
TIME: 4:00 PM
LOCATION: ItsaMathJoke's home
out in the desert near Vail • Vail, AZ
ORGANIZER: Send Azazello a kosmail to attend.
Latest diary: Baja Arizona Kossacks Open Thread: Picnic Edition
2. Azazello's Spousal Unit
5. cosmic debris
8. sneakers563 et fam
10. AZ Sphinx Moth
Saturday, June 1st
Atlanta Area Kossacks Kick-off Meet-up
TIME: 2:30 PM
LOCATION: Manuel's Tavern
602 N Highland Avenue Northeast • Atlanta
ORGANIZER: Send racheltracks a kosmail to attend.
Latest diary: Atlanta Meet-Up
1. One Pissed Off Liberal
9. prose and thorn
Lily O Lady
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: [Waiting for linked diary]
3. betson08 (if event is in April)
June 20th - 23rd • REGISTER HERE • BOOK YOUR HOTEL!
These tables have been organized for our groups to connect during NN13 in the plenary sessions. This is where the opening and closing keynotes take place along with many noon-time-speaking events. Box lunches are sometimes provided and it's great to have a place reserved with familiar faces. If you're attending you're invited to start a table or sit at any of the established ones. Just let me know in the comments or send me a Kosmail. Please note: This is not assigned seating. You may sit at any of the reserved tables at any time. I plan to move around and mingle. There will be over 2500 people there so being able to find each other is nice.
Netroots Nation 2013 in San Jose: Plenary Session Table Reservations
1. side pocket √
2. mrs. side pocket √
3. kimoconnor √
5. lineatus √
6. Cali Scribe
7. Glen the Plumber √
8. remembrance √
9. jotter √
10. aha aha √
1. Lusty √
2. RainyDay √
3. norm √
4. catilinus √
5. Lorikeet √
8. maggiejean √
9. paradise50 √
10. smileycreek √
2. dharmasyd √
5. BeninSC (Honorary)
7. Senor Unoball
9. slouching √
1. edrie √
2. Jeff in CA
3. Mrs. Jeff in CA
4. mber √
5. Susie Raye √
6. vcmvo2 (Honorary)
7. N in Seattle (Honorary) √
8. dangoch √
10. ceebee7 √
Central Valley Kossacks:
2. Kestrel √
3. Caddis Fly √
5. peregrine kate (honorary)
6. ProvokingMeaning (honorary)
7. mrsgoo √ (mrgoo √)
8. ToKnowWhy √
9. MaKettle √
1. nomandates √
2. texasmom √
3. texasdad √
Los Angeles Kossacks:
2. jakedog42 √
3. susans √
NYC and beyond:
1. sidnora √
2. belinda ridgewood √
4. Todd Beeton
6. thankgodforairamerica √
7. devtob √
8. LuLu √
9. chicklet √
Community Quilt Project:
1. Sara R
3. loggersbrat √
4. ramara (Arizona) √
5. Horace Boothroyd III
6. linkage √
Military Community Members:
3. angelajean (Maybe)
4. exlrrp (Maybe)
6. llbear (Maybe)
Cheers & Jeers Readers:
1. vicki √
2. Sharoney √
3. Spousal Unit √
4. brillig √
5. mik √
6. K1 √
8. Arenosa √
Gay Men of ANY Certain Age:
2. gizmo59's partner?
3. Dave in Northridge √
6. cooper888 √
7. gotmooned √
8. FogCityJohn √
10. sfbob √ (Plus TrapperSF √, dinner only)
Native American Netroots:
1. navajo √
2. Meteor Blades
3. 4Freedom √ (maybe)
4. no way lack of brain
5. translatorpro √
6. Kitsap River √
7. Charles Curtis Stanley √
9. TFLS's guest
10. TFLS's guest
Those with the √ have RSVP'd for the dinner below, you can join us also.
Just say in the comments or Kosmail me.
Wednesday, June 19th
Cheers & Jeers - * New Day * Dinner
TIME: 5:30 PM
LOCATION: The Brit (Britannia Arms)
173 W. Santa Clara St. (walking distance from Conv. Center) • Downtown San Jose
Every year since 2007, Common Sense Mainer has organized a dinner for the readers of Cheers & Jeers who attend Netroots Nation. It has grown every year. Last year we had over 100 Kossacks attend. CSM always chooses a restaurant willing to handle a large crowd WITH SEPARATE CHECKS. (!?!) Yes, I know, hard to believe but it's worked the last several years. This year CSM has negotiated with The Brit for a special menu and separate checks are secured. If you'd like to join us please leave a comment in this diary and you'll be put on the RSVP list below. This year * New Day * and SFKossacks are co-hosting. All regional groups are invited to attend in addition to the loyal C&J following that Bill and Michael have.
ORGANIZER: Send navajo a kosmail to attend or leave a comment.
And the above event is followed by the official opening event featuring Howard Dean:
Liquid Courage party to open NN13
Our friends at the Courage Campaign have announced that they’re throwing a party to open Netroots Nation 2013. Gov. Howard Dean will be there!
TIME: 7:30 - 9:30 PM
LOCATION: The Tech Museum
201 South Market St. (walking distance from Conv. Center) • Downtown San Jose
Arrive early on Wednesday to pick up your credentials at the Convention Center which will get you into the Liquid Courage event.
TheFatLadySings is working with Eric at Netroots Nation to try to assemble a fleet of power scooters and power chairs that can be reserved and rented by those who need them at a discount. We need to assess how many people will make use of this service. Please Kosmail TheFatLadySings with your needs for NN13.
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
17. Dr. Lori (not attending, quilt only)
Sunday, June 23rd
Post NN13 Birding Event
TBD • TBD
ORGANIZER: Send lineatus a kosmail to attend.
2. Senor Unoball
3. peregrine kate
Maybees:Latest diary: http://www.dailykos.com/...
Okay, let's plan to wander around Sunday after the convention is over. This can be the official wandering. We will meet up at the convention center and have a nice half-day trip in the area. Out-of-area birders will probably get to see a few new things; I'll figure out someplace that will be of interest to non-birders or casual birders as well (i.e., someplace cool to wander around in general).
Additionally, I'm probably going to do some short trip (for my own happiness) early morning or at lunch, just to take advantage of being in the South Bay with all of its wonderful spots nearby. Anyone who wants to join in, kosmail me. What I might do is send emails or texts to say where to meet up for an impromptu short trip.
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 Check In! 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
16. Thinking Fella
17. Blu Gal in DE
Ed in Montana
Dave in Northridge
Saturday, July 20th
Dkos Asheville, North Carolina Kossacks Meet-up
[Address] • [City]
ORGANIZER: Send randallt a kosmail to attend.
Latest diary: [Waiting for linked diary]
2. Otteray Scribe
7. Captain Sham
9. Burns Lass
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?