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Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 01:11 PM PST

American Indian Forest Management

by Nulwee

This is a quamash (camas) meadow. You can see the life-giving camas plants as the violet-blue flowers. The major tree species are the sacred oak (Quercus alba and other spp.) and madrone (Arbutus menziesii). Mostly, the landscape is dominated by quamash, sea blush, (the pink flowers, Plectritis speciosa) larkspurs, (Delphinium spp.) various forbs, mosses, rushes, bunchgrasses. This landscape was typical across the lowlands of the Willamette Valley, from what is now Eugene, north to Portland, and across the Columbia River in what is now Vancouver. Were you to judge by all the douglas fir trees around. you wouldn't believe that the area once looked like a 'sea of lakes'--blue camas meadows.

Today, 99% of the northern Willamette's camas meadows are gone--forever--drained, bulldozed, or buried in concrete. Fish & Wildlife has classified some of these species of wildlife, including the pale larkspur, as endangered. Many of the native animal dwellers were eliminated from the area a century ago.

How did these meadows come about? What interactions did native people have with them? In American Indian cultures, it is essential to understand human beings as part of natural systems as much as the bear, deer, trees and streams.  These landscapes did not exist and persist in spite of humans, but because of humans: because of American Indians.  Humans actively managed our ancestral lands for thousands of years, practicing the scientific disciplines we now call forestry and range management.

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Thank you to whomever out in the vastness of the interwebs created this image, and to the Keith Olbermann Fan Page on Facebook for passing it along.  Here you go, our modern Republican Party. With some picture-perfect type-casting:

While I always liked the suave Professor and think that Huntsman is a brilliant replacement, the choice of Ron Paul for the pearls-clutching Mrs. Howell probably takes the cake.

Discuss

Who knows whether or not it's too late for Huntsman to pull an upset in New Hampshire. But it's probably too late for Romney to make a compelling argument, when and if Romney's the nominee, that he's going to be a uniter for the country.

Huntsman raised a point that probably hasn't been much made since the 1970s: the idea of service to one's country over ideology. I can already see the anti-Romney attack ads writing themselves. Can't you? The sheer pettiness of the modern GOP has become insufferable.

Discuss
red_black_rug_design2American-Indian-Heritage-Month
photo credit: Aaron Huey
Don't worry if you missed previous installments. This diary will serve as a stand-alone and as part of the series.

In the 20th century, there were two separate, legal, Modoc entities: the Klamath Tribes of Oregon, which includes the Klamath, Modoc, and Yahuskin peoples (a band of Snake Indians), created by an 1864 Treaty, and the Modoc Tribe of Oklahoma, who were created out of the US Army's POWs from the Modoc War of 1872-1873.

Blogging is a self-reflexive and responsive activity. Several commentators have appeared, calling these diaries "whining" about the past. Not relevant to present concerns.  That is not true.  This is a generational series, and by starting off with contact, we've worked our way with a context to the 20th century. We've covered the eras of (Fur) Trade, the First Reservation System (they stay over there) the Second Reservation System, (they move to there) the Indian Wars in the West, (kill the people) forced removal (we send them there) the Assimilation Era (save the man, kill the Indian) and now we come to a forgotten time. It's forgotten even though many of its survivors are still alive: The Termination Era. And many of you were alive then, too.

What is Termination? If I was to tell you that an Indian tribe legally existed and then it later didn't, you might find that a little surprising. But that's exactly what happened, multiple times, in modern American history.  So along came a proponent of assimilation.  He was a Western senator, a Mormon, moderately conservative, of the Republican Party. And he had a plan that would legally extinguish Modoc people in Oregon.

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In case you missed anything...
Part I describes the first generation of Modoc people to contact European-Americans, and the slow war in the Klamath Basin that destroyed the Second Generation. The Ben Wright Massacre is analyzed.

Part II encapsulates the Third Generation's great crisis and the process leading to the Treaty of 1864, the significance of the Oregon reservation system, and Keintpoos' years off the reservation before the US Army intervened, concluding with the escalation of tensions into full-blown war. We celebrate Thanksgiving at the end of November: at that time in 1872, Modoc people were fighting US Army from natural trenches in fiercely cold weather.

Part III covers the Modoc War of 1872-1873 as experienced by over 20 Modoc people, President Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, famous settler Lindsay Applegate, and others. It depicts the assassination of General Canby and the fall of the third generation since contact.

After the war's conclusion, Keintpoos' severed skull ended up in the Smithsonian. Brancho and Slolux spent life in prison at Alcatraz Island. Winema died in the Spanish Flu epidemic in 1920. And the Modoc people were halved, and one half was shipped to Oklahoma.

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Gingrich, this afternoon:

Meanwhile, this was happening.

Every once in a while, a political candidate appears who, for his or her constituency, summarizes the demographic and cultural story and baggage of the constituency--its zeitgeist. The right has just found their's.

Newt is all too much like a median Republican.  He's an older, new money, Southern, white, angry man.  Looking and sounding like your base matters.  I'm not saying that these traits are destiny, merely that Gingrich reflects these times so well. Did you hear the roaring applause at the end of the clip? The reason why Gingrich will remain competitive, at least for now, is that there is no viable alternative who can express the dreams and feelings of base voters like Newt. Romney certainly doesn't, nor Perry, and even Cain has his weaknesses.

Shocker: everything Gingrich says is pretty much a lie, or at least highly disengenous.  Those UC Davis students need to take a bath, (drop out?) and get a job? Should they take lobbying work like Newt did?  Is the income taxes paid on his cruise-job consulting work the kind of resources Newt's pretending like he worked hard for? O-kay.

This is a culture war, and I've lived in it my entire life. We've not emerged from Nixonland. As much as some on the left claim that we're not in a generational war, we very much are. Here we see a man who speaks for those older Americans terrified of losing their medicare and social security. Some of that constituency has paranoid fantasies about ungrateful, lazy, young brown people. And they just cannot abide the prospect of a few half-assed people gaming a social welfare state, even as the same struggling people don't seem especially concerned with the rich plundering trillions. In other words, not only does Newt know what he's saying isn't true, he's speaking to the primal, deep-seated feelings of conservatives quite concertedly. He appeals to their Horatio Alger fantasies.  As much as we see the negativity of the Republican Party, it's actually a deeply idealistic one.  We see the lie of hard-working Americans being somehow thwarted by taxes (especially dubious when you don't have a job) but what these snake oil men are also suggesting, in the same breath, is that anyone will succeed if they work hard enough and Comrade Obama and his big bad government gets out of the way.  We see Newt's bitterness and obnoxious generalizations, but it's a bitterness shared by millions of Americans who refuse to live in a complex modern world and blame economic struggle on hippies.

If a candidate is going to win the Republican primary process, I'd suspect it would be the one Republicans are excited for.  For now...

From Mother Mags, who wrote this in the comments:

I missed that part where he told the (1+ / 0-)
tea party protestors to get a job.
Discuss

The Battle of Lost River


In Part II, I had concluded with the Third Generation's great crisis. The Modoc were destroyed as an independent people, and forced into being part of the Klamath Tribes on Klamath Indian land, to the north, in Oregon. Keintpoos with Cho'ocks and Scarfaced Charley and their families had left the reservation to go back to Lost River. The Battle of Lost River, which broke out when the army and a Linkville militia attempted to force the return of the people, and their disarmament, ended with deaths and injuries on both sides. The Modoc all retreated near Tule Lake to Lava Beds. Hooker Jim's band massacred settlers in the area around the lake, right at the heart of the Applegate Trail in Modoc country.

It was the last day of November, 1872.

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Ethnography


Prior to contact, the Modoc people inhabited an area approximately 5,000 square miles in southern Oregon and the northeastern corner of California, where today Modoc County corresponds somewhat to traditional geography. To the southwest (moowat and Tgalam) Mt. Shasta rises up, covered in shining blue ice. Modoc people would make pilgrimages to the sacred mountain every year, but would not dwell there.  Sacred journeys were also made to Medicine Lake: a healing volcanic feature now used as a recreation park.  To the east (lobiitdal') lies Goose Lake, and to the north (yaamat) in Klamath land is Mt. Mazama.  Today, Mazama is known as Crater Lake.

Thousands of years ago, oral traditional states, the ancestors of the Modoc and the much more numerous Klamath people hid in caves from the catastrophic eruption of Mazama.  Beyond the terrifying images of raining ash and fire imaginable, this event affected world climate.

In between these boundaries are Klamath Lake, Tule Lake, Lost, Williamson and Sprague Rivers, hundreds of marshes, many seasonally dry, pine forests, the lush Cascade mountains, high desert, and alkali flats most desolate in appearance.  The geography dictated the lifestyle: considered harsh by other Indian peoples, Modocs were nonetheless blessed with the bounty of wocas, a pond-lily seed, during the annual harvest season, salmon and suckerfish, as well as plentiful duck, pelican, goose and other waterfowl, many deer, moose, bear, elk, and delicious berries and roots like camas. Traditionally, they are a weaving and hunting people. Tule reed is the principle fabric source.

This stark land was one of the last places in the 48 where European settlers, desirous for land, timber and gold, would venture. It would become the setting for the most expensive Indian war in US history.

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Prior to contact, the Modoc people inhabited an area approximately 5,000 square miles in southern Oregon and the northeastern corner of California, where today Modoc County corresponds somewhat to traditional geography. To the southwest (moowat and Tgalam) Mt. Shasta rises up, covered in shining blue ice. Modoc people would make pilgrimages to the sacred mountain every year, but would not live on it.  Sacred journeys were also made to Medicine Lake, a healing volcanic feature now used as a recreation park.  To the east (lobiitdal') lies Goose Lake, and to the north (yaamat) in Klamath land is Mt. Mazama.  Today, Mazama is known as Crater Lake.

Thousands of years ago, oral traditional states, the Modoc and the much larger Klamath peoples' ancestors hid in caves from the catastrophic eruption of Mazama.  Beyond the terrifying images of raining ash and fire imaginable, this event affected world climate.

In between these boundaries are Klamath Lake, hundreds of marshes, many seasonally dry, pine forests, the lush Cascade mountains, high desert, and alkali flats most desolate in appearance.  The geography dictated the lifestyle: considered harsh by other Indian peoples, Modocs were nonetheless blessed with the bounty of wocas, a pond-lily seed, during the annual harvest season, salmon and suckerfish, as well as plentiful duck, pelican, goose and other waterfowl, many deer, moose, bear, elk, and delicious berries and roots like camas. Traditionally, they are a weaving and hunting people. Tule reed is the principle fabric source.

This stark land was one of the last places in the 48 where European settlers, desirous for land, timber and gold, would venture. It would become the setting for the most expensive Indian war in US history.

Continue Reading

This is a real exchange that took place this morning on Facebook. The only thing that will be omitted are revealing names and information.

I am friends with generally progressive-minded people (some conservatives from high-school. One or two tea-party fans, and a D.C. and Bakersfield-born Republican or two). This person is white and also very progressive.

I had posted a flyer for an Inter-Tribal Powwow. "powwow [is at such and such times on such and such dates and certan place]. Stop by; it's free to all." First comment.

Mr. A: Do they count quechua or aymara, or only "indians" from within the united states's borders? Apparently they don't matter much in Latin America
about an hour ago · Like

Nulwee: Who's "they?" Inter-tribal powwows are open to all tribal peoples. [As for] Latin America [it's] ruled by those of European descent.
52 minutes ago · Like

Mr. A: Well i guess you don't count Evo morales, Hugo Chavez, etc.. What about those of Japanese descent? Alberto fujimori?
47 minutes ago · Like

Mr. A: I think Bolivia is the only nation with a native American majority
46 minutes ago · Like

Mr. A: And "they" was obviously referring to the organizers of the event
45 minutes ago · Like

Mr. A: Again, doy. I was merely referring to the u.s. Government. you must seem white to [people there]
38 minutes ago · Like

Nulwee: American Indians/First Nations are the native people of the Americas. America is not just the US. And I think you're missing the implication of the poster and the name.
38 minutes ago · Like

Nulwee: Did you really need to perpetrate the power of prejudice based on one's appearance with that comment?
32 minutes ago · Like

Mr. A: Well Yeah. Just messing with you because you always Facebook emo. B) youv
31 minutes ago · Like

Nulwee: The hell? An invitation to an inter-tribal (hint, hint: pan-racial) powwow is not the place to cast prejudice about me or my ethnicity [and people here]
28 minutes ago · Like ·  1 person

Mr. A: Lol you Are always so angry. Are you ever going to find peace? Housm
28 minutes ago · Like

Mr. A: You even
28 minutes ago · Like

Mr. A: Moved where there aren't many white people.
27 minutes ago · Like

Nulwee ‎...I wonder why. And I'm not angry, but thanks for playing the "angry Indian" card. Your behavior is totally inappropriate, though
23 minutes ago · Like

Mr. A: Ahem. Almost every post you make is angry. I agree with you nearly 100% on everything but realize Facebook is a joke.
20 minutes ago · Like

Mr. A: Oh, and does my Jewish tribe count since they were genocided too?
19 minutes ago · Like

Mr. W: WOW! Did all of that really just happen?! All my loving thoughts to indigenous peoples whom have been ripped from the land, so that consumerist possessionist (pretty sure that is not a word) could breed cattle to feed to RICH WHITE PEOPLE! Nulwee peace will come one day, when all of humanity can see that under all of this bullshit we just need the same thing! Eachother, and this Earth.
18 minutes ago · Like

Nulwee: ‎@Mr. A Funny, my recent updates don't look that angry.

This is what can happen when people in other time zone's drinking hours can see your Facebook.  Were you to judge Mr. A based on his routine behavior and his ostensible beliefs, you wouldn't think of him as especially bigoted, at all.

However, this situation is a microcosm of the American Indian experience.  

  • 1) The Indian is judged superficially, based on appearance. ("You look white [or black]" or "You look Mexican/Filipino/Asian/Various brown ethnicity.") What matters is how the perception of the individual fits with the perceivers mental assortment of archetypes, stereotypes, and recallable images.  An example of how this happened to Meteor Blades is here; backtrack to see the hidden comment. I've known people with very classic Indian looks who are asked if they're Italian or Mexican or Filipino, in spite of the braids, jewelry or other hints.
  • 2) The Indian is labelled as angry. This presents a Catch-22 with stereotyping and prejudice, because to protest one's offense will further fuel the "angry" label.
  • 3) The Indian is assumed to be hostile to non-Indians, especially whites.
  • 4) The Indian's suffering, his heritage of ethnocide is chalked up to the Holocaust or other genocides as a way of diminishing or disputing the reality, or else, laying claim against the Indian's unique role in human history.

I was subtle, but inter-tribal powwows are, by the very nature of the term "inter-tribal" open to all races. I've never actually seen a powwow, inter-tribal or not, that excludes. Inter-tribal powwows even welcome non-Indian dancers.  Mr. A. was just too drunk to pick up on it, probably. The mentor who taught me also pointed out how Jewish and Arab peoples are tribal peoples, and how that means we have some commonality.  Way back, most if not all peoples have tribal heritage.

Terra shares some insightful thoughts:

 I had a hard time following it too until he (2+ / 0-)
got into the swing of things. You see, some people just really fucking hate the idea of marginalized groups coming together to support each other. They always try to poke holes in it for not being 'inclusive' enough, because they personally don't feel included.

This happens all the time on threads about, for example, women's rights...I once saw a news article comments section about domestic abuse in Afghanistan turn into an argument about how American men are oppressed in child custody situations -- and it only took THREE comments on the news article for it to happen. There's a huge "yes, but what about ME???" component to this. Some people are used to being the center of attention and are extremely uncomfortable with the idea that not every discussion is going to be about them and their issues. So this Mr. A guy, who from what I gather is not even Native American at all, was trying to find ways to discredit this gathering of Native Americans just because he is uncomfortable with the whole idea of a gathering of Native Americans. There must be "SOMETHING" wrong with it, and by golly, he's going to figure it out! It doesn't even matter if the holes he pokes in it wouldn't fit him anyway -- the fact that he's able to find what he thinks is a general problem with the gathering is enough to make him feel comfortable again.

Also, cacamp has a must-read comment on anti-Indian hate speech and civil rights history, below.

Discuss

Fri Sep 30, 2011 at 08:41 AM PDT

Fire This Man, MSNBC!

by Nulwee

One day after Herman Cain goes on CNN to call African-Americans "brainwashed," guess who rushes to his defense over at MSNBC? Could it be the one who would most likely have a preference for white sheets and fondness for 1930s, military regalia, of a certain region of Europe?


Pat Buchanan:
"I think the African American community has embraced Great Society liberalism which has been devastating for the African American family," he said. "...I admire Herman Cain for standing up and going against, if you will, the conventional wisdom, and being a tough African American businessman."

In that clip Buchanan referenced, Cain called African-Americans "brainwashed" against conservatism.

"Brainwashed?" Bashir said. "That's a fairly strong term."

"I think what he's saying is they bought a lot of liberal propaganda on the liberal plantation and I think he's right!" Buchanan replied staunchly.

"On the liberal plantation. Wow." Bashir said.

"That's right," Buchanan said.

Last Month

BUCHANAN: And let me tell you, your boy, Barack Obama, caved in on it [Bush tax cuts] in 2010 and he'll cave in on it again

AL SHARPTON: My what? My president, Barack Obama? What did you say?

*BTW, is it too much to point out that it's offensive that the Buchanan clip is titled "Buchanan goes off the reservation?" Whew-ie.

Not only does Pat Buchanan have the privilege of being a rich, old, white man, with which status he can get away with saying these bigoted attacks.  After all, it's hard to imagine any hispanic or black or American Indian commentator calling white people "brainwashed" as a regular, paid commentator on a cable network. Buchanan even gets the additional privilege of being a cable news commentator.  I don't know about you, but I sure would enjoy the money that provides!  In effect, Buchanan is rewarded for perpetrating stereotypes and prejudice, two aspects of racism in 2011 America. That's neither right morally nor sensible.

Now, call me crazy, but I would suspect that there are more relevant commentators in the national conversation, who could fill a precious and limited number of seats on cable news talk shows, with experience more recent than the Nixon administration. Just a thought.

I don't have to list every one of Pat Buchanan's instances of racism during his MSNBC tenure (and before, for you pre-history buffs) because you can help do that for me in the comments more accurately than I, on my own! Let's get a list.


Discuss

Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 02:20 PM PDT

The Tragedy I Choose To Remember

by Nulwee

I not only remember those who died horrifically 10 years ago, I choose to remember what's happened between then and now. All the torture, all the bombs, all the blood. As the weeks turned into months, and more and more Afghans were erased by our Judge Holden-wannabe Administration, swept under the rug as enemy combatants. As fireballs burst into the sky during Shock and Awe, the darkness of that Baghdad night poured into my soul. I remember the millions of refugees from across Southwestern Asia.  Do you remember Omar Khadr, who was barely into puberty before he was tortured severely enough to destroy his mental health for the rest of his life?

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