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So, Disney had . . . not such a good week.
Box office receipts for The Lone Ranger, which opened on what normally would've been a blockbuster four-day weekend, are disappointing, to say the least. Actually, the Lone Ranger and Tonto got their butts soundly kicked — by . . . minions? Yup — minions.
On top of the lousy take, The Mouse is learning what it's really like to deal with a bunch of angry Indians. Hint: It results in hellishly bad PR.
The critical reviews suck, to put it mildly. On top of that are the cultural reviews from Indians from tribes all over the country, and they're blistering. Disney comes in for its fair share of criticism for launching such a racist redface minstrel show in the first place, but special ire is reserved for Cultural Appropriator Extraordinaire Johnny Depp — and not all of it from Native sources, either.
It's encouraging to see that dominant-culture outlets are starting to get it.
Time to reward those who do, and keep the momentum going. Building a critical mass outside of Indian Country will eventually take down those stupid racist major league sports mascots, too.
Yes, even Dan Snyder's.
SURVIVED 1950 NORTH KOREAN "TIGER DEATH MARCH"
Spirit Lake Nation member Andy Shaw (pictured at right with former U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan) has been interviewed by a national media outlet for his service in the Korean
After a week devoted with varying degrees of sincerity to "patriotism," Mr. Shaw's story is worth revisiting here.
Mr. Shaw enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1948. He told his interviewer that he wanted "to see the world." Assigned to the 24th infantry Division, he was stationed in Japan when the conflict between North and South Korea erupted in the summer of 1950. His battalion was one of those sent to hold back North Korean forces while others in the safer South Korea worked to establish a defensive base of operations there.
"We were the closest to Korea," he says. "They loaded us up, and we landed in Korea on the Fourth of July. And it was hot. We didn't have no backing or nothing. The South didn't have any army."Within a week, Mr. Shaw and his comrades found themselves in the three-day Battle of Chochiwon — on the losing side. He and some 200 fellow soldiers were taken as prisoners of war by North Korean forces; eventually, their ranks grew to some 850 prisoners.
The POWs did not fare well even at the outset, suffering from disease and malnutrition in the camps. On October 31, however, their situation worsened drastically when command of the POW camp was assumed by a new officer, a North Korean Major known simply as "the Tiger" because of his fiercely brutal treatment of the prisoners. Apparently dissatisfied with the fact that the POWs had been permitted to languish in the interment camps, he launched a forced march of the prisoners, forcing them through a dangerous mountain pass in the dead of winter. It would have been a difficult trek for an athlete in peak physical condition; for the POWs, starving, sick, and ill-clothed against the wintry weather, it was torture.
During the course of the march, the Tiger ordered repeated beatings of the prisoners; any who dropped out of line, unable to continue, were summarily executed. In the end, 89 POWs were shot to death in this manner, giving rise to the major's nickname and the name of the march itself: the Tiger Death March. At the end of his three-year interment, Mr. Shaw was one of only about 260 survivors of the original 850 or so.
In 2007, then-Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) presented Mr. Shaw with the Prisoner of War Medal at a ceremony in Fort Totten, N.D. (shown above at right). But no medals can give back what he lost during those three years, nor can they make up for the centuries of losses Mr. Shaw and his people have survived at the hands of the U.S. government.
Shaw is among many Native Americans who served a country that hasn't always treated them well, says Brenda Bergsrud of the North Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs. "I still think that they honor this country," Bergsrud says. "They're proud to have served."All the more reason why their service needs to be recognized, and their care fully funded. Now.
The eight-inch pipeline, known as the Seminoe Pipeline, is owned by Phillips 66, and transports unleaded gasoline, diesel fuel, and jet fuel from its refinery in Billings, Montana, to outlets in other states. Part of the route crosses the Crow Reservation.
According to company officials, the leak was first detected via their Oklahoma "control center" at 5:30 PM local time on July 2; they shut down the pipeline and notified federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in the area.
"We are concerned," [Crow tribal chair Darrin] Old Coyote said. "The leak happend on allottees’ land. We’re trying to resolve the leak and work out the details later."Phillips 66 spokesperson Dennis Nuss has made all the appropriate noises about safety, insisting that the company adheres to a "very high standard" and that such leaks are "very uncommon." Unfortunately, this is not the first incident involving the Seminoe Pipeline: It ruptured twice in one week in 1997, spilling some 2,300 barrels' worth of gasoline in both the Lodge Grass area and near Banner, Wyoming. At the time, the pipeline was owned by the Conoco Pipe Line Co., which in 2004 was assessed nearly a half-million dollars in fines for environmental violations stemming from the incident. [By 2002, Conoco had already merged with Phillips Petroleum.] Phillips Petroleum installed new, sturdier pipeline and took other precautionary measures, but clearly, they were not enough to prevent another rupture.
No word yet on how long clean-up efforts will take, nor on the type and degree of environmental fallout from the leak.
More "This Week In American Indian News" and Latest Updates on Kossack Regional Meet-Up News Below the Frybead Thingey
As in the Atlanta Braves.
Numerous factors could come into play. The trade deadline is July 31, and Mr. Chamberlain will be a free agent at the end of this season. According to The New York Post (trust me; they've always done better at sports than at hard news and politics), the Yankees have no plans to keep him as part of the organization at season's end. Atlanta reportedly is looking to increase its bullpen strength. However, the San Francisco Giants are also rumored to be interested in him, and a Giants jersey might make for a better (and easier) fit.
Interestingly, none of the three Native players in the league play for either team with a racist mascot. [The other two are Jacoby Ellsbury (Diné), who plays for the Red Sox, and St. Luis Cardinal Kyle Lohse (Nomlaki).] But avoiding such situations is difficult for professional athletes of color in major-league sports. To pursue your dream at the highest levels, you trade away a lot of subtle but significant abilities. For Indian athletes, that includes the ability to decline to play for a team that employs racist mascots, imagery, and behaviors. Mr. Chamberlain may have no choice but to play for Atlanta, whether he likes it it or not, unless he wants to forfeit his career entirely. In a field where one's professional life is likely to run not much more than a decade at best, that's a huge sacrifice to make, particularly knowing that a refusal to play won't make any difference.
He also clearly sees himself as a role model for other Indian young people:
"It’s a question I’ve been asked since I got [to the majors]," said Chamberlain, who has averaged more than a strikeout an inning over his four-plus big-league seasons. "You really can’t pinpoint what’s lacking to get these kids to play baseball. I know Jacoby takes pride in being Native and having his family be involved with baseball and [tells kids] that you can play no matter what size, shape, color or nationality you are. … There aren’t a lot of Natives in sports in general, so as Natives ourselves, we need to give these kids the opportunities that some may not have."Mr. Chamberlain has a great deal of talent and expertise, and at age 26, the potential to be able to use them for many years yet. And after two months on the disabled list, his still-pinstriped return to the mound last Monday night saw him not only throw a 96-mph fastball but get his first win of the season.
If anyone here is on speaking terms with the Giants' front office, put in a good word. I'd rather see Native talent in a Giants jersey than surrounded by redface.
A note: Please, do not protest to me that the Atlanta Braves team name is not racist. It is. It appropriates a particular image identified solely with Native Americans and exploits it for the use and profit of others. There is no reclamation in it, no ownership for Indians. Add to that the fans' racist tomahawk-chop "war dance," the faux-Indian "war drums" music on the PA system, the literal redface minstrelsy, and the team's recent attempt to change the logo to the "Screaming Brave" caricature, and it becomes something very, very ugly indeed.
Last Friday, the Idyllwild Arts Foundation Theatre closed out Native American Arts Festival Week with a fashion show featuring eleven indigenous designers from the U.S. and Canada.
The show, a first for the venue, was produced by Dr. Jessica R. Metcalfe (Turtle Mountain Chippewa) of the "Beyond Buckskin" online boutique and blog. Headliners included the renowned Dorothy Grant (Haida), whose work is pictured above at left, and Patricia Michaels (Taos Pueblo), who was a runner-up on the just-ended 11th season of Project Runway.
Dr. Metcalfe designed the event as a sensory experience:
"Fashion is something that you have to experience live and in person."In keeping with that philosophy, she arranged for a reception after the show, where attendees could see, touch, and order the high fashion they'd seen on the runway only moments earlier. While shopping, they were able to sample a selection of American Indian foods by Native chef Freddie J. Bitsoie (Diné).
"These fashion designers represent Native American tribes from across North America and are leaders in Native American fashion design[.] Their work reflects their own personal heritage while exploring exciting new directions in contemporary fashion."Scheduled to open the show were the Cahuilla Bird Singers.
Ms. Anderson was a leader several times over: not merely chief executive of Mille Lacs, but its first woman chief executive, and the first woman to head any Minnesota tribal nation. After the 1991 death of tribal leader Arthur Gahbow, she was appointed to serve out his term; in 1992, she stood for and won election to the position in her own right, and was re-elected in 1996. In 2000, she was succeeded by another woman, Melanie Benjamin, as the tribe's chief executive.
During her tenure, Ms. Anderson was a fierce advocate for Native rights. She fought consistently to preserve tribal sovereignty. She worked to strengthen tribal environmental protections and law enforcement programs, and to ensure enforcement of tribal hunting and fishing rights under an 1837 treaty. Her work on the latter issue made her a target for hate mail and even threats of physical harm by non-Indians angry that they could no longer violate the treaty with impunity.
"This case is about more than hunting deer and catching fish," she told the Star Tribune in 1998, shortly before the 1999 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that validated the treaty rights. "It is about preserving and passing along the traditional ways that make us who we are — Ojibwe people."She also changed how the tribe handled the revenue from what were then its two casinos, switching from a program of dividend payments to individual members to using the monies to fund tribal human services, including schools and health clinics. It was that change that ultimately led to her challenge and defeat by Ms. Benjamin, who ran in part on a platform of returning some monies to tribal members individually. Nonetheless, Ms. Benjamin praised her predecessor:
"Marge Anderson was a great tribal leader for the band and a trailblazer for all of Indian Country. This is an extraordinary loss for the band."Ms. Davis is survived by her husband, Merlin Anderson, three children, and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
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
NEW GROUPS IN THE PROCESS OF ORGANIZING:These are the groups that have started since * NEW DAY * began. Please Kosmail navajo if you have started a group before that.Send a Kosmail to the organizers and ask for an invitation to the group.• Northern Indiana Area: Kosmail Tim Delaney
• Long Island: Kosmail grannycarol
• Northern Michigan: Kosmail JillS
• Nebraska: Kosmail Nebraska68847Dem
• Westburbia Chicago Kossacks: Kosmail Majordomo
• New York Hudson Valley Kossacks: Kosmail boran2
• North Carolina Triangle Kossacks: Kosmail highacidity
• Caprock Kossacks (Panhandle/Caprock/Lubbock/Amarillo area) : Kosmail shesaid
• West Texas Kossacks (including Big Bend Region and El Paso) : Kosmail Yo BubbaNote to the above new leaders: Feel free to leave a comment any day reminding readers about your new group. Also, tell us about your progress in gathering members. Kosmail me when you've chosen a good name for your group and have created a the group. Then I'll move you to the NEW GROUPS LIST. When you've planned a date for your first event I'll make a banner for you to highlight your event in our diaries and your diaries.
NEW GROUPS LIST:
• Kansas City Kossacks - Formed Oct 15, 2012, Organizer: [Founder stepped down]
ESTABLISHED GROUPS LIST: (List will grow as we discover them)
Sunday, July 7th
Chicago Kossacks Go to a Ballgame!
TIME: 1:00 PM
LOCATION: Fifth Third Bank Ball Park
34W002 Cherry Lane • Geneva
ORGANIZER: Send NormAl1792 a kosmail to attend.
Latest diary: Chicago(land) Kossacks Meet-Up July 7: Take Me Out to the Ball Game
4. Mr. broths
5-10. edwardssl & her family
12. Mr. luvs
13. never forget
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: [Coming soon!]
Thursday, July 18th
Phoenix Kossacks Meet-up for navajo
TIME: 6:15 PM Reservation name is Daily Kos
LOCATION: Rancho de Tia Rosa
3129 E. McKellips • Mesa
ORGANIZER: Send arizonablue a kosmail to attend.
navajo's in town one day, even though it's a Thursday we hope you can make it.
Latest diary: Phoenix Kossacks Meetup: Welcome Navajo to The Valley of the Sun!
2. Mr. arizonablue
5. Mrs. Azazello
7. Mrs. ninothemindboggler
9. mrs. thomask
11. Late Again
12. Mother Mags
13. Kane in CA
Kane in CA
Kane in CA friend
Mr. Late Again
dewey in the desert
Saturday, July 20th
Motor City Kossacks Consider Meeting-up in Hell to welcome tgypsy
15 miles northwest of Ann Arbor • Hell
ORGANIZER: Send peregrine kate a kosmail to attend.
Latest diary: Motor City Kossacks: Meet-up Sat. 7/20, 12-3 PM. Could it be in Hell?
1. peregrine kate
Saturday, July 20th
Southern California Inland Empire
TIME: 11:00 AM (Tour museum then lunch there)
LOCATION: Palm Springs Air Museum
745 North Gene Autry Trail • Palm Springs
ORGANIZER: Send SoCaliana a kosmail to attend.
Latest diary: SCIEK: Summer Meetup Location
Susan from 29
Saturday, July 20th
SFKossacks Welcome angelajean & Family to Elkhorn Slough, there will be otters!
ORGANIZER: Send lineatus a kosmail to attend.
Latest diary: [Waiting for linked diary]
Saturday, July 20th
Dkos Asheville, North Carolina Kossacks Meet-up
TIME: 1:00 PM
LOCATION: The Bywater
796 Riverside Dr. • Asheville
ORGANIZER: Send randallt a kosmail to attend.
Latest diary: DKos Asheville Open Thread 5/18/13: Frogs and tomatoes and snakes, oh my!
7. Captain Sham
10. Phil S 33
12. Christian Dem in NC
Sunday, July, 21st
Northern Arizona Kossacks Meet-up with navajo
TIME: TBD, early evening
[Address] • Sedona
ORGANIZER: Send navajo a kosmail to attend.
2. Sam Sara
Sunday, August 4th
NYC Kossacks Meet-up
LOCATION: Spitzer's Corner
101 Rivington Street (Ludlow) • NYC
ORGANIZER: Send Sidnora a kosmail to RSVP.
Latest diary: New York City Meetup - August - Choose your date
3. belinda ridgewood
6. Its the Supreme Court Stupid
7. blue jersey mom
13. No Exit
SFKossacks BBQ in the Wine Country
LOCATION: Andrew McGuire's home in the Wine Country
Address to be given privately to RSVPs • Windsor
1. Andrew McGuire
6. Hunter/elfling offspring
14. Mr. dksbook
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?