Posts

Showing posts from 2018

Native Americans Scored Big Election Wins in Washington State and Beyond

Image
Article first appeared in In These Times in November 2018.  For more on topics like this, see my book,  American Apartheid: The Native American Struggle for Self-Determination and Inclusion,  available wherever books are sold.   TACOMA, WASH.—Chester Earl, 45, and about 300 members of Washington state tribes—from Tulalip, Yakama, Lummi, Quinault, Port Gamble S'Klallam, Earl’s own Puyallup community and more—are gathered at an election night party in a Tacoma catering hall, singing, drumming, dancing, feasting and watching returns from around the state and country. “It’s incredible,” Earl exclaims  (photo above)   as the big news comes in: Initiative 940, a Washington state ballot initiative which approves new police reform measures, has passed with  more than 60 percent  of the vote. Earl and about 15 of the attendees have just returned from a  two-week  reservation-to-reservation tour,  N8tive Vote 2018 . The tour held rallies on the state’s 29 tribal homelands and encou

Digital Smoke Signals

Image
A version of this article appeared in  Rural America In These Times  in October 2018.  For more on topics like this, please see my book,  American Apartheid: The Native American Struggle for Self-Determination and Inclusion,  available wherever books are sold. S ilicon Valley met Indian country in Minneapolis. In a two-day early-October session, longtime software developer Deepak Puri taught tribal representatives—from Leech Lake, Red Lake, Menominee, Rosebud, Sisseton-Wahpeton, Crow Creek, Lower Brule, Navajo, and more—to use cheap, fast, off-the-shelf technology to supercharge voter access to the polls in Indian country.  As Puri explained the steps, attendees dug into their cellphones and laptops and quickly created a succession of bots, videos, coded maps, and other high-tech items. The  results looked to be effective weapons against the continual and extreme suppression of the Native vote, covered by  In These Times   and by Rural America In These Times, including  here , 

20,000 Native Voters for North Dakota?

Image
A version of this article appeared in Rural America In These Times in October 2018.  For more on topics like this, see my book,  American Apartheid: The Native American Struggle for Self-Determination and Inclusion,  available wherever books are sold. Buffalo at play on Standing Rock. A major voting hurdle for Native American voters in many states used to be thought of as a kind of force of nature, like gravity or sunshine: Indian reservations generally didn’t have named, numbered streets. And without these designations on the tribal IDs that Natives carry, they could easily be banned from voting.​ There appeared to be no way around the problem when North Dakota recently declared that was the case there—no ballot box access for Native voters unless were willing to undertake prohibitively long and costly drives and other hurdles to get an alternate ID. “It is a voter-suppression technique North Dakota targets at its Native population,” accused OJ Semans, the Rosebud Sioux co

Now available—American Apartheid: The Native American Struggle for Self-Determination and Inclusion

Image
This short video includes images and descriptions from my book, now available wherever books are sold, including online from the publisher at igpub.com:  American Apartheid: The Native American Struggle fo r Self-Determination and Inclusion .  The video can be seen on YouTube at:   https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=mx1jJZkMGxU&feature=youtu.be

Navajo Candidate Kicked Off Utah Ballot Files Suit

Image
This article was first published on the  Rural America In These Times  site in August 2018. Willie Greyeyes, third from left, stands with fellow Utah Diné Bikéyah board members at a 2015 Bears Ears gathering. Diné Bikéyah means “people’s sacred lands” in Navajo.   (Image: utahdinebikeyah.org) S an Juan County, Utah’s white Republican establishment isn’t going down without a fight in this year’s elections—or at least a whole lot of shenanigans. That’s according to a new  federal lawsuit  filed by Willie Grayeyes, a Navajo candidate for one of the three seats on the county commission. San Juan County is challenging Grayeyes’s residency, just as it did during the 2012 election. Grayeyes passed muster then, and the county ended up certifying him as eligible to run for office.  This time though, the county is giving the challenge its best shot. According to the lawsuit by Grayeyes, a Navajo and Democrat, the county has nixed his right to run for the commission seat in District 2

Plant a Tree and Save the World—Easier Than You Think!

Image
A version of this article was published by  Rural America In These Times in June 2018.  For more on topics like this, please see my book,  American Apartheid: The Native American Struggle for Self-Determination and Inclusion,  available wherever books are sold. TNAFA director Clayton Apikan Brascoupé takes a break from teaching. D on’t despair, if you feel political decisions nowadays are not being made on your behalf—or even against your wishes, says Clayton Apikan Brascoupé, a Mohawk farmer who has lived and worked for many years at Tesuque Pueblo, in New Mexico.  His solution? “Start by planting trees,” Brascoupé advises. “They are a positive answer to climate change and much more. Trees build up soils organically and increase their water-holding capacity. They sequester excess climate-altering carbon dioxide. They attract beneficial insects that help other crops and produce food, medicine, building material and other useful items. Planting them can transform a community