Showing posts from 2019

Tribes Work for World Heritage Designation of Ohio Earthworks

This article appeared on Rural America In These Times in 2019.  For more on topics like this, see my book,  American Apartheid: The Native American Struggle.... Ohio’s monumental earthworks were laid out with a “god’s eye view” in mind, says a research team. I n October, Chief Billy Friend of the  Wyandotte Nation  addressed a crowd in Dublin, Ohio. It was a celebration of the city’s new  Ferris-Wright Park , which features examples of the ancient geometric earthworks and mounds, or artificial hills, that dot the state. A newly appointed member of the board of trustees of the state’s history agency, Ohio History Connection, Chief Friend greeted the throng and introduced himself in the Wyandot language. He then shifted to English, explaining that tribal elders chose his name. “It means ‘he who talks a long time,’” he quipped. Responding to nervous laughter, he assured listeners that his remarks would be brief. Ancestors of today’s Native people built the earthen sites bet

First-Ever Native American Presidential Forum Showcases Growing Electoral Clout + UPDATE!

This article was first published in  In These Times  magazine in August 2019.   For more on topics like this, please see my book,  American Apartheid: The Native American Struggle... . UPDATE SEPT 6, 2019 — As soon as the lights went out on the first-ever Native American Presidential Forum in Sioux City, host organization Four Directions headed for North Carolina. There the voting-rights group, headed by OJ and Barb Semans, Rosebud Sioux, began delivering Lumbee tribe members to early-voting offices for a special election.  Then Hurricane Dorian hit. The state closed voting offices in four counties, including the one where most Lumbees live. Determined to fight for voting equality, Four Directions petitioned the state to make up the lost time. “We got the hours,” said Four Directions consultant Bret Healy. “ We faced North Dakota blizzards getting tribal members to the polls in 2018. Now, we’re working through a hurricane.”  “‘We the people’ has never meant ‘all the people,’”

Removing the Stain of Wounded Knee

This story first appeared on Rural America In These Times in 2019. For more on topics like this, please see my book, American Apartheid: The Native American Struggle... . B odies frozen in the snow, a baby with five bullet wounds, small children shot at such close range their clothes and bodies were singed with gunpowder. Lieutenant General Nelson Miles was shocked by what he found at Wounded Knee. He arrived from his headquarters in Rapid City, S.D., several days after the carnage, which occurred December 29, 1890. A battle-hardened Civil War veteran, he was appalled by what he called in a letter to his wife, “the most abominable criminal military blunder and a horrible massacre of women and children.” Over Miles’s objections, 20 Congressional Medals of Honor were soon awarded to the U.S. Army soldiers involved. When more medals were suggested later in 1891, Miles called them “an insult to the memory of the dead.”  Reps Cook, Haaland and Heck, standing l to r, with Marcella LeBea

Native Americans Take Power: The New Wave of Indigenous Elected Officials

To read my article about the Election 2018 successes of Native political candidates nationwide, published by  In These Times magazine in January 2019, go to For more on topics like this, please see my book,  American Apartheid: The Native American Struggle for Self-Determination and Inclusion. U.S. Congressional Representative Deb Haaland, New Mexico U.S. Congressional Representative Sharice Davids, Kansas State Senator Ruth Anna Buffalo, North Dakota State Senate Minority Leader Troy Heinert, South Dakota County Commissioner Willie Grayeyes, San Juan County, Utah