Largest tribe in East called NC home for centuries. Feds say it’s not Indian enough.

Posted in Arts, History, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2019-02-19 18:51Z by Steven

Largest tribe in East called NC home for centuries. Feds say it’s not Indian enough.

The Charlotte Observer
2019-02-15

Bruce Henderson

The largest American Indian tribe east of the Mississippi, North Carolina’s Lumbee, counts 55,000 members and has called the state’s southern coastal plain home for centuries. But to the federal government the tribe exists largely in name only.

Unlike the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in the Smokies, the Lumbee have no reservation and no glitzy casino.

Instead you might notice on a drive to the beach that U.S. 74 in Robeson County, Lumbee territory, is called American Indian Highway. Lumbee tribal offices are housed in a turtle-shaped building in Pembroke, the heart of their community. A school that opened there in 1887 to train American Indian teachers is now UNC Pembroke.

South of the highway, a state historical marker commemorates the Battle of Hayes Pond, in which armed Lumbees routed Ku Klux Klan members intent on intimidating them in 1958.

Reader Elisabeth Wiener of Durham wanted to know about the history of the Lumbees, their native territory and why they aren’t a federally recognized tribe. She queried CuriousNC, a special reporting project by The Charlotte Observer, The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun that invites readers to ask questions for journalists to answer…

Read the entire article here.

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Self-identification or tribal membership: Different paths to your heritage

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2019-02-16 23:26Z by Steven

Self-identification or tribal membership: Different paths to your heritage

Medill Reports Chicago
Medill News Service
2019-02-12

Lu Zhao, News Reporter
Medill Reports


Jasmine Gurneau made their wedding clothes by herself. “You have to wear it more than once,” Jasmine said to her husband. The arch behind them represents the four colors of four directions, which was made by Jasmine’s mother, Pam. (Provided by Jasmine)

It was a surprise for the 8-year-old girl when she first learned she is a Native American many years ago. Pamala Silas still remembers that day. She had transferred to a new school. Huddling in the chair, sitting beside her younger sister, Pam was introduced by the teacher as an “American Indian.” She couldn’t believe what she heard.

“What? Why did she say that?” Pam, in her 50s and proud of her heritage, said she harbored as a child stereotypes of Native Americans that, all too often, people saw on TV. “They’re all naked and crazy!”

Pam went home and asked her foster mother why they called her an Indian at school.

“Well, you are,” her foster mother said. She took out an encyclopedia, went to the American Indian section and showed Pam a picture of a man with a headdress on a horse. “You’re an Indian.”

“You are Menominee and you are Oneida,” Pam’s older sister said.

Pam had to write down the tribal names but didn’t even know how to spell them at that time…

Read the entire article here.

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The interracial love story that stunned Washington — twice! — in 1867

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2019-02-15 20:32Z by Steven

The interracial love story that stunned Washington — twice! — in 1867

The Washington Post
2019-02-13

Jessica Contrera


Eli S. Parker, a Seneca Indian who worked for Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, was engaged to Minnie Sackett, a young white woman, in 1867. (The History Collection/Alamy) (The History Collection/Alamy Stock Photo/The History Collection/Alamy Stock Photo)

When Ely Parker married Minnie Sackett, “the creme de la creme of Washington society” came to gawk

The wedding was a shock before it even began. In 1867, the nation’s capital learned that Minnie Sackett, the daughter of a prominent Civil War colonel, was engaged. Sackett was considered to be “one of the most beautiful women in the District,” according to the New York Tribune, with her high-neck lace collars and brunette ringlets piled atop her head.

Her soon-to-be husband, 39-year-old Ely S. Parker, had served in the Union Army as the private secretary to then-Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. It was Parker who drafted the terms of surrender that ended the war in 1865. So close was their friendship that Grant himself planned to escort the bride, whose father had died, down the aisle at Washington’s Episcopal Church of the Epiphany.

Why was their betrothal controversial? “It may not be generally known that Col. Parker is a full-blooded Indian,” the Tribune reported. “A near relative to the famous Red Jacket and of the present Chief of the six nations Cherokees.”

One hundred years before the Supreme Court would make interracial marriage legal throughout the country, a white woman was marrying an Indian man…

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Valley of the Guns: The Pleasant Valley War and the Trauma of Violence

Posted in Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2019-01-22 21:27Z by Steven

Valley of the Guns: The Pleasant Valley War and the Trauma of Violence

University of Oklahoma Press
October 2018
312 Pages
10 b&w illus., 3 maps, 2 tables, 2 charts
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-8061-6154-9
Kindle ISBN: 978-0-8061-6251-5
e-pub ISBN: 978-0-8061-6252-2

Eduardo Obregón Pagán, Bob Stump Endowed Professor of History
Arizona State University, Tempe

In the late 1880s, Pleasant Valley, Arizona, descended into a nightmare of violence, murder, and mayhem. By the time the Pleasant Valley War was over, eighteen men were dead, four were wounded, and one was missing, never to be found. Valley of the Guns explores the reasons for the violence that engulfed the settlement, turning neighbors, families, and friends against one another.

While popular historians and novelists have long been captivated by the story, the Pleasant Valley War has more recently attracted the attention of scholars interested in examining the underlying causes of western violence. In this book, author Eduardo Obregón Pagán explores how geography and demographics aligned to create an unstable settlement subject to the constant threat of Apache raids. The fear of surprise attack by day and the theft of livestock by night prompted settlers to shape their lives around the expectation of sudden violence.

As the forces of progress strained natural resources, conflict grew between local ranchers and cowboys hired by ranching corporations. Mixed-race property owners found themselves fighting white cowboys to keep their land. In addition, territorial law enforcement officers were outsiders to the community and approached every suspect fully armed and ready to shoot. The combination of unrelenting danger, its accompanying stress, and an abundance of firearms proved deadly.

Drawing from history, geography, cultural studies, and trauma studies, Pagán uses the story of Pleasant Valley to demonstrate a new way of looking at the settlement of the West. Writing in a vivid narrative style and employing rigorous scholarship, he creatively explores the role of trauma in shaping the lives and decisions of the settlers in Pleasant Valley and offers new insight into the difficulties of survival in an isolated frontier community.

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A mixed-race woman’s long quest to prove her Native American ancestry

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Biography, History, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Tri-Racial Isolates, United States on 2019-01-05 20:47Z by Steven

A mixed-race woman’s long quest to prove her Native American ancestry

The Washington Post
2019-01-04

Neely Tucker, Contributing reporter


Darnella Davis, center, with her siblings and their parents, John and Mary, in 1955. Mary was Muscogee Creek, and John said he had Cherokee blood; a grandfather received a land allotment for Native Americans. But Darnella’s Indian heritage was later disputed. (University of New Mexico Press; courtesy of Lafayette West)

When Darnella Davis was a shy, “sandy-colored and sandy-haired” teenager growing up in Detroit in the 1960s, she knew she was “part Indian.” It wasn’t entirely clear what that meant. In that era of Motown, the civil rights movement and the devastating 1967 riot/rebellion that wrecked that city, she knew that her Oklahoma-based family was not culturally kin to the black neighbors who’d fled sharecropping and the Deep South. As a standout arts student at the city’s premier (and racially mixed) high school, Cass Tech, she knew she wasn’t white, either.

Her dad talked of growing up as a Cherokee kid; people sometimes called her Muscogee Creek mom “Pocahontas,” and the family drove 19 hours to their ancestral spot in northeast Oklahoma every summer and school holiday. Her grandfather, Crugee Adams, had once grown rich there, drawing on the mineral rights of his land allotment for Native Americans dating back to the late 19th century.

So imagine her surprise when she applied for a post-graduate scholarship in Boston reserved for Native Americans and was told, both by the state of Massachusetts and the Cherokee Nation, that she wasn’t Indian, either. The resulting, decades-long experience of white and Native American bureaucrats telling her what percentage of Indian blood she must possess to qualify as a certified member of the tribe proved to be the background for “Untangling a Red, White, and Black Heritage: A Personal History of the Allotment Era.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Untangling a Red, White, and Black Heritage: A Personal History of the Allotment Era

Posted in Autobiography, Biography, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, Tri-Racial Isolates, United States on 2019-01-05 20:32Z by Steven

Untangling a Red, White, and Black Heritage: A Personal History of the Allotment Era

University of New Mexico Press
November 2018
312 pages
21 figs
6×9 in.
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-8263-5979-7
E-book ISBN: 978-0-8263-5980-3

Darnella Davis
Washington, D.C.

Examining the legacy of racial mixing in Indian Territory through the land and lives of two families, one of Cherokee Freedman descent and one of Muscogee Creek heritage, Darnella Davis’s memoir writes a new chapter in the history of racial mixing on the frontier. It is the only book-length account of the intersections between the three races in Indian Territory and Oklahoma written from the perspective of a tribal person and a freedman.

The histories of these families, along with the starkly different federal policies that molded their destinies, offer a powerful corrective to the historical narrative. From the Allotment Period to the present, their claims of racial identity and land in Oklahoma reveal inequalities that still fester more than one hundred years later. Davis offers a provocative opportunity to unpack our current racial discourse and ask ourselves, “Who are ‘we’ really?”

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Congress votes to end blood quantum requirement, applies to five tribes

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2019-01-04 19:26Z by Steven

Congress votes to end blood quantum requirement, applies to five tribes

KFOR-TV
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
2018-12-26

OKLAHOMA CITY — A bill ending a blood quantum requirement awaits President Donald Trump’s signature after it unanimously passed the U.S. House and Senate.

HR2606, also known as the Stigler Act Amendments of 2018, was authored by Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) and co-sponsored by Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02). The legislation amends a 1947 law and would remove the one-half degree Native American blood quantum restriction for holders of tribal allotment land.

The legislation specifically impacts citizens of five Oklahoma tribes: the Chickasaw, Cherokee, Muscogee (Creek), Choctaw and the Seminole nations

Read the entire story here.

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Charla Huber: Every Indigenous person is Indigenous enough

Posted in Articles, Canada, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation on 2018-12-31 03:27Z by Steven

Charla Huber: Every Indigenous person is Indigenous enough

The Times Colonist
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
2018-12-30

Charla Huber, Communications and Indigenous Relations
M’akola Group of Societies

New_dx-1230-ho ho huber.jpg
Devan Cronshaw, left, Riley McKenzie and Alita Tocher are all urban Indigenous people in the capital region.
Photograph By Charla Huber, Times Colonist

So often, we hear the words reconciliation and decolonization, and lately I have been wondering if people really understand their meanings. The more I read, learn and listen, the more important these words become to me.

I am a product of the Sixties Scoop and was adopted and raised by a non-Indigenous family. Being adopted and having no knowledge of or connection to my birth family growing up, I really held onto being Indigenous. It was the only thing that I ever knew about myself for sure.

Because I wasn’t raised in Indigenous culture, I have often wondered if I am Indigenous enough. This is especially heightened because I am half. I am very open about my heritage and my adoption, but I do struggle saying: “My family is from Fort Chipewyan and I have Inuit roots.” I’ve never set foot on my ancestors’ traditional territory…

Read the entire article here.

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Shirley Segree Cuffee (July 16, 1932 – November 10, 2018)

Posted in Articles, Biography, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2018-12-31 03:13Z by Steven

Shirley Segree Cuffee (July 16, 1932 – November 10, 2018)

Beyond The Dash
2018-12-28

Shirley Segree Cuffee

Shirley G. Segree Cuffee was born on Saturday, July 16, 1932 in the woodlands of Varina, in Henrico county, Virginia. She was born in her grandmother’s house on her 140 acre farm, to Native American (Powhatan/ Arrohateck, Cherokee) and African-American parents.

Her mother, Inez Selena Baugh was indigenous to that land and her father, James Bethea, was born in Cherokee, North Carolina.

Shirley was her mothers second eldest daughter (first daughter, Thelma “Nuni” Baugh [deceased]); and the eldest of her parents three children together. Before turning 2 years old, she moved to New York City with her parents where her younger brothers James Bethea, Jr., and Cleave Bethea where born.

In 1937, she and her family moved into the first, then “experimental” project in New York City, the ‘Harlem River Houses‘ located along the Harlem River Drive between 151st and 153rd streets in Harlem, New York

Read the entire obituary here.

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The DNA Industry and the Disappearing Indian

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Law, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2018-12-03 01:40Z by Steven

The DNA Industry and the Disappearing Indian

TomDispatch.com: A regular antidote to the mainstream media
2018-11-29

Aviva Chomsky, Professor of History; Coordinator of Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Studies
Salem State University, Salem, Massachusetts

DNA, Race, and Native Rights

Amid the barrage of racist, anti-immigrant, and other attacks launched by President Trump and his administration in recent months, a series of little noted steps have threatened Native American land rights and sovereignty. Such attacks have focused on tribal sovereignty, the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), and the voting rights of Native Americans, and they have come from Washington, the courts, and a state legislature. What they share is a single conceptual framework: the idea that the long history that has shaped U.S.-Native American relations has no relevance to today’s realities.

Meanwhile, in an apparently unrelated event, Senator Elizabeth Warren, egged on by Donald Trump’s “Pocahontas” taunts and his mocking of her claims to native ancestry, triumphantly touted her DNA results to “prove” her Native American heritage. In turning to the burgeoning, for-profit DNA industry, however, she implicitly lent her progressive weight to claims about race and identity that go hand in hand with moves to undermine Native sovereignty.

The DNA industry has, in fact, found a way to profit from reviving and modernizing antiquated ideas about the biological origins of race and repackaging them in a cheerful, Disneyfied wrapping. While it’s true that the it’s-a-small-world-after-all multiculturalism of the new racial science rejects nineteenth-century scientific racism and Social Darwinism, it is offering a twenty-first-century version of pseudoscience that once again reduces race to a matter of genetics and origins. In the process, the corporate-promoted ancestry fad conveniently manages to erase the histories of conquest, colonization, and exploitation that created not just racial inequality but race itself as a crucial category in the modern world.

Today’s policy attacks on Native rights reproduce the same misunderstandings of race that the DNA industry is now so assiduously promoting. If Native Americans are reduced to little more than another genetic variation, there is no need for laws that acknowledge their land rights, treaty rights, and sovereignty. Nor must any thought be given to how to compensate for past harms, not to speak of the present ones that still structure their realities. A genetic understanding of race distorts such policies into unfair “privileges” offered to a racially defined group and so “discrimination” against non-Natives. This is precisely the logic behind recent rulings that have denied Mashpee tribal land rights in Massachusetts, dismantled the Indian Child Welfare Act (a law aimed at preventing the removal of Native American children from their families or communities), and attempted to suppress Native voting rights in North Dakota

Read the entire article here.

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