. . . . . ========================================================== Start of Phil Konstantinís August 2005 Newsletter ========================================================== Greetings, I just got back from a short trip to Texas. My son Ron just graduated from Abilene Christian University. Ron has had many challenges in his life, including suffering from acute Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Syndrome for most of his life. Throw in a couple of other significant medical problems & injuries, and you get an idea of what an uphill struggle going to college has been for him. I could not be prouder of him. Ron hopes to become a minister. He is now looking for an appropriate seminary school. This is a somewhat abbreviated first newsletter. I'll be posting more items in subsequent Parts later this month. Phil ======================== X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X ======================== Featured Link of the Month for August 2005 The "Link of the Month" for July 2005 is "A Circle Of All Nations." According to this page, "The Circle of All Nations is a global eco-community unified by Elder William Commanda's fundamental and unshakeable conviction that as children of Mother Earth, we all belong together, irrespective of our individual colour, creed or culture. The Circle of All Nations is neither an organization nor a network. Rather it is a growing circle of individuals committed to respect for Mother Earth, promotion of racial harmony, advancement of social justice, recognition and honouring of indigenous wisdom and peace building. The core values sustaining the Circle are love, forgiveness, compassion respect and responsibility. William Commanda is the eighty nine year old Algonquin Elder from Kitigan Zibi Reserve, Quebec. The great, great grandson of Pakinawatik, the hereditary Anicinabe chief who led his people to settle in their traditional hunting and trapping grounds in the Ottawa River area in the mid eighteen hundreds, Elder Commanda is Keeper of three Wampum Belts of sacred and historic importance." The website has some interesting discussions, whether you agree, or not. http://www.circleofallnations.com/ ======================== X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X ======================== The "Treaty of the Month" is Treaty Number Two (Manitoba Post Treaty). It is between between the Canadian Government, and the CHIPPEWA. They sell 35,700 square miles of land, in exchange for certain reservation lands, an annuity, schools and other items. You can see a transcript of the treaty here: http://www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/pr/trts/trty1-2_e.html ======================== X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X ======================== A friend of mine is an author. They (Yes, I use a non- gender-specific title as I am intentionally omitting their name) have had many books and articles published. They have won the highest awards in their primary field of fiction. They have also novelized major Hollywood motion pictures. This gives you an idea of the quality of their work. My friend is writing a new novel which involves some American Indian characters. My friend is not American Indian and wondered how we would feel about a white person writing such a story. My friend is quite sincere & respectful. I gave her my opinion, but I am interested in your opinion, too. I have included a slightly edited version of my friend's inquiry below. Let me know what you think. I will post some of the replies. "Dear Phil, Thanks again for letting me ask you some questions. I have this idea for an alternate history in which the Minoan culture (pre-Mycenaean, pre-Classical Greek & Rome) is the first group of Europeans to cross the Atlantic. In other words, a novel about what might have happened if the first (sustained) contact between eastern and western hemispheres was in the service of trade and diplomacy rather than conquest and exploitation. And the more I thought about it (and the more I wrote -- about 100,000 words before the family matters derailed it), the more I wondered if I even should write it. And, if I did, could I get it right? One viewpoint character is by birth from the Chimacum tribe (but, it's complicated, was raised on Crete). Some friends of the main character Iakinthu (a former bull- leaper) are Massachusetts. What's your opinion of white people writing books that include American Indian characters? Do any of us ever get it right? Do you flinch at the thought? Thanks much," ======================== X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X ======================== This article appeared in the LA Times today. One of the people being interviewed is Joseph RedCloud, a subscriber and occasional contributor to this newsletter. Chief Justice # NCAA makes the right call by cracking down on Indian mascots Four hundred years ago, middle America was populated by a group of native tribes known as the Illini. They were among history's first underdogs ó hunters and farmers outmanned by war, disease and displacement. There were once 12,000 Illini in the area. Today there are none. That is, if you don't count the guy who entertains the University of Illinois sports crowds by pretending to be a whooping Illini chief, dressing like a caricature and dancing like a fool. He's historically inaccurate. He's morally questionable. He's also, finally, thankfully, endangered. Making a rare move that actually reeks of education, the NCAA on Friday banned from its postseason tournaments the use of 18 Native American nicknames and mascots it considers abusive. The University of Illinois is on that list. That means if it makes it to basketball's Final Four again, the words "Illini" and "Fighting Illini" will have to be as invisible as the culture they diminish. Florida State is also on that list. So if it returns to baseball's College World Series, it will be without a flaming shred of "Seminole." Then there is Southeastern Oklahoma State, which Ö well, considering its nickname is the "Savages," one can only hope they disband the athletic program entirely. "It's about time," said Joseph Red Cloud, an administrative assistant with the influential Oglala Sioux tribe in Pine Ridge, S.D. "These names have always meant something different to Indians and non-Indians. They say they are honoring us. But many of us don't find it honorable." To many sports fans, Native American nicknames are inspiration. To many Native Americans, they are infuriating. To many sports fans, the "Fighting Illini" is symbolic of their Midwestern spirit. To which Native Americans ask, um, fellas, why do you think the original Illini were fighting in the first place? Many feel that allowing Native Americans to force nickname changes is as silly as allowing folks from Ireland to mess with Notre Dame. Yet few of those critics are from a culture that has been stolen, hidden and now demeaned. In other words, Notre Dame fans, leprechauns weren't real people. "These names and images have a damaging effect on Native Americans because it freezes us in our past, it distills our humanity to a one-dimensional term," said Joseph Gone, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan who once fought for the elimination of mascot Chief Illiniwek when he was a student at Illinois. Gone said he was stunned by the effect that the chief's presence had upon the racial attitudes on campus. "When I got there, I thought, sure, a mascot could be relevant," he said. "But then I saw how the Native American students on campus felt cheapened, they would have things thrown at them, they underwent a very bitter experience." He thought removing the chief would be easy. "I thought, he's just a mascot, right?" Gone said. Wrong. At Illinois, as in other places, the Native American nicknames have become as important as the ancient library or tree-lined quad. It's as if, instead of trying to recapture an identity, Native Americans are being accused of stripping one. To understand the importance of the NCAA's fist here, one must understand the stubbornness of those it cannot touch. Think about this: It's illegal to drive around the Washington, D.C., area with a license plate reading "Redskin" because it's considered defamatory, yet the town's pro football team continues to embrace the same name. Now think about this: The term "Redskin" was originally used by settlers who paid money to bounty hunters for the decomposing skin of dead Native Americans. Yet politicians and influential media members sit silently while awaiting their weekly allotment of tickets. "On one hand, Washington says it wants a government-to-government relationship with Native Americans," Red Cloud said. "But on the other hand, politicians walk outside to a team with a nickname that degrades us. What is that?" Then there is the Atlanta baseball team, which, even as it is celebrating the racial fight of star Hank Aaron, continues to trumpet the racially ignorant Braves. "I don't know any young Native Americans anywhere who are called braves," Red Cloud said. And don't forget the Cleveland Indians, who insist on using a buck-toothed, bright-red figure as their mascot. "I have never seen anyone who looks like Chief Wahoo," Red Cloud said. Will the NCAA's decision force a change in the pros? Probably not. There are millions of dollars tied up in those Redskin T-shirts and Indian mugs, and, in the world of sports, money always trumps manners. But the NCAA's decision could certainly force a change in the college names. All it takes is one national championship game to be played with a patch over your nickname for a president to be convinced. While the NCAA has no jurisdiction over the conference-ruled bowl championship series, look for the football playoff folks to eventually follow suit. And wouldn't that be fun for Florida State then? Although, officially, the Seminole Tribe of Florida has no problem with it. "If I had a child and wanted to name it after you, wouldn't you consider it an honor?" asked Max Osceola, a tribal council member. "Once again, we have non-natives trying to decide what is right for natives." Known as the Unconquered Seminoles, it is the only tribe that never lost a war and never signed a treaty. It carries huge weight in their state, particularly in Tallahassee, where tribal consultants have helped the horse-riding Seminole mascot remain true to their heritage. Said Osceola: "We have a great relationship with the university, we think our tribe is represented well." Said Red Cloud: "I'm glad for them. But very few tribes are like that." Said Osceola: "I agree, I am angered by many other things I see, I can only speak for us." At least somebody is finally speaking for all of them, the NCAA taking a long-awaited step toward the sort of tolerance that is true learning. One day, perhaps, the trivialization of a culture will no longer be dressed as school spirit. And racism will no longer be disguised as the Tomahawk Chop. Bill Plaschke can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. To read previous columns by Plaschke, go to latimes.com/plaschke. ======================== X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X ======================== Random historical events for August August 1: 1813: Today, Fort Stephenson, at modern Fremont, Ohio, will be attacked by British Major Henry A.Proctor, and 1200 British and Indians. The fort is defended by Major George Croghan, and 120 men. The Americans will fire only when the British and Indians are at close range. During the two day battle, the Americans will have only one man killed. The British and Indians will sustain more than 1200 casualties. August 2: 1792: MOHEGAN Samson Occom dies today in New Stockbridge, New York. A protege of Rev.Eleazar Wheelock, Occom will learn numerous foreign languages, become an ordained minister, be the first Indian to preach in England, minister to many Indian tribes, and be instrumental in the establishment of Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. August 3: 1889: General Crook, and the other treaty commissioners, were having no luck in convincing the large groups of SIOUX and the Standing Rock Agency to agree to move to smaller reservations, and to sell their "excess" lands for $1.50 an acre. Sitting Bull continued to "disrupt" the meetings with his angry denunciation of any attempts to sell Indian lands. Crook decided he would make more progress by talking to the tribal leaders individually. On this date, without informing Sitting Bull, Crook held a final meeting. Local agent James McLaughlin had his tribal police surround the meeting site to prevent any of the rabble-rousers from attending. Eventually, Sitting Bull worked his way past the police, and addressed the meeting. Sitting Bull was incensed because he had not been informed of the meeting. McLaughlin told the meeting that everyone knew of the meeting. At that time, Chief John Grass, and many of the other Chiefs came forward to sign the treaty, and to break up the large reservation. Sitting Bull vented his frustration at the other Chiefs, but he was out voted. August 4: 1862: In July, the money promised to the SANTEE SIOUX in Minnesota was scheduled to arrive. When Little Crow, and the other SIOUX, reported to their reservation's upper agency on the Yellow Medicine River, they were told the money had not arrived. The winter had been bad, and the summer crops were poor. Little Crow asked Agent Thomas Galbraith to open up the local warehouse, which was full of food. Galbraith said there would be no food if there was no money. On this date, Little crow, and 500 SIOUX warriors surround the badly outnumber soldiers guarding the warehouse. The SANTEE break in and start unloading supplies. The commanding officer of the garrison, Timothy Sheehan, understands the frustration of the hungry Indians, and he convinces Galbraith to officially issue the food to the SANTEE. Little Crow also gets a promise that the lower agency will also issue supplies. The SANTEE then leave peacefully. August 5: 1881: The Crow Dog murder case goes to the Supreme Court. August 6: 1846: The old settlers and the new emigrants factions of the CHEROKEE have been arguing over who has legal control of the CHEROKEE Nation since the late 1830s. It has even been proposed that the nation split into two tribes. Today, the different sides will sign a treaty in Washington,D.C. The treaty will confirm that there will only be one CHEROKEE Nation. August 7: 1869: A solar eclipse is draw on Lone Dog's chronicle of the years. (see my website for a photo of Lone Dog's winter count record http://americanindian.net/2004w.html ) August 8: 1699: The TOHOME Indians live along the gulf coast in Alabama and Mississippi. Tiday, in Biloxi, they will formally establish peaceful relations with the French. August 9: 1911: Ishi ("the last of his tribe") comes into Oroville, California. August 10: 1815: The half brother of Cornplanter, Skaniadariio (Handsome Lake) was born near Ganawagus, New York sometime around 1735. He fought in many battles during the French and Indian Wars, and during the American Revolution. Later he would battle alcoholism. One day a vision led him to give up drinking and to promote traditional Indian ways among his people. He became a Chief among the SENECA based on his wise council. He once spoke before President Jefferson on behalf of his people. His teachings have been handed down among the IROQUOIS. He died today in Onondaga. August 11: 1988: The ALEUT receive restitution for loses in WWII today. August 12: 1878: The PAIUTE Chief Oytes, and his followers, will surrender today. This will effectively end the PAIUTEs' participation in the BANNOCK war. August 13: 1587: Manteo, a CROTAN Indian has converted to the Church of England. Today, he is baptized by Sir Walter Raleigh. In respect for his help with Raleigh's colonists, Raleigh gives him the title of "Lord of Roanoke and of Dasamonquepeuk." August 14: 1559: Tristan de Luna y Arellano has been appointed to establish Spanish settlements on Pensacola Bay by the Spanish Viceroy in Mexico. Today, his expedition of 13 ships, several priests, 500 soldiers, and 1000 settlers will arrive in Pensacola Bay, in Florida. Much of the expedition will be killed or starve because of a hurricane which struck the area a few days later. August 15: 1642: In instructions to the Pennsylvania Governor John Printz, of New Sweden, the Queen of Sweden wished for "the wild nations" to be treated kindly, and in a humane manner. She also stated that the Indians were the "rightful lords" of this land, and must be treated accordingly. August 16: 1812: SHAWNEE Chief Tecumseh has been commissioned as a Brigadier General by the British. With his Indians forces, he will be instrumental in the surrender of American force at Fort Detroit, today. August 17: 1876: President Grant, by Executive Order today, corrects a survey mistake, and returns Uncompahgre Park, and some prime farm land, to the UTE Reservation. August 18: 1863: As a part of the Canyon de Chelly Campaign, Kit Carson, and General James Charlatan, were trying to starve the NAVAJOs into submission. Today, General Charlatan will put a bounty on NAVAJO livestock. Every good horse or mule would bring twenty dollars, quite a sum for those days. Each sheep would earn one dollar. August 19: 1854: a MINICONJOU SIOUX, named High Forehead, kills a sickly cow near Fort Laramie, in southeastern Wyoming. The cow's owner complains to the fort's commander. A brash Brevet Second Lieutenant John L.Grattan, and 30 volunteers leave the fort today to find the SIOUX involved. Grattan goes to Conquering Bear's BRULE SIOUX camp near Ash Hollow, and demands the Indian who shot the cow. Grattan makes numerous threats at the SIOUX, but they won't hand over High Forehead. During the parlay, a shot rings out, and Grattan's artillery gunners open fire on the camp. Conquering Bear tries to get both sides to stop shooting, but he is hit by an artillery round. Eventually, all but one of Grattan's men will be killed in the fighting. (see my photo of the battleground at : http://americanindian.net/2003p.html ) August 20: 1851: One in a series of treaties with California Indians is signed today at Lipayuma. This treaty says it will set aside lands for the Indians and protect them from Americans. August 21: 1871: Treaty Number Two (Manitoba Post Treaty), is concluded between the Canadian Government, and the CHIPPEWA. They sell 35,700 square miles of land, in exchange for certain reservation lands, an annuity, schools and other items. August 22: 1862: Today, 800 SANTEE SIOUX will attack Fort Ridgely, in south-central Minnesota. The fort is defended by approximately 150 soldiers, and two dozen volunteers. The SIOUX will sneak up to the fort, and try to set fire to it. When the SIOUX attacked, the Army responded with an artillery barrage. Little Crow will be wounded in the fighting, and Mankato will take over. The artillery will make the difference in the fighting, and the SIOUX will retreat. August 23: 1724: British forces under Capt. Moulton stage a supprise attack on an ABENAKI village at Norridgewock. 27 people, including a resident French priest Father Rasles, would be scalped by the English. The village would be burned. This would be a big blow to the spirit of the local Indians. August 24: 1869: For his actions on July 8, 1869, Mad Bear will receive the Congressional Medal of Honor today. August 25: 1737: A agreement will be signed today by Thomas Penn and MUNSEE Chiefs Manawkyhickon and Nutimus. The agreement will call for Indian lands to be sold along the Delaware river for the distance that a man could walk in a day and a half. This would be called the "Walking Purchase" and would be performed on September 19, 1737. August 26: 1858: In what would be called "The Battle of Four Lakes," force under Colonel George Wright fight for about three hours with COEUR d'ALENE, COLUMBIA RIVER, COLVILLE, KALISPEL, and SPOKANE Indians. The Army will defeat the Indians. (see pictures of the area on this website: http://www.washingtonwars.net/Four%20Lakes.htm ) August 27: 1832: Black Hawk surrenders. August 28: 1676: The last Indian surrenders in the King Philip's War. August 29: 1758: The First State Indian reservation, in New Jersey, is established today. August 30: 1690: A combined force of British, YAMASSEE and YUCHI Indians attack the Spanish mission of San Juan de Guacara in northern Florida, today. Many TIMUCUA Indians in the area have been converted to Christianity or are loyal to the Franciscan monks. All of the TIMUCUA Indians at the mission will be killed in the fighting. August 31: 1905: Today, Ely Samuel Parker (Donehogawa) dies in New York City. During his lifetime he will be a SENECA Chief, an engineer, a lawyer, the New York City Building Superintendent, a Brigadier General in the Civil War where he will write the surrender papers signed at Appomattox, and the first Indian Commissioner of Indian Affairs. Born in 1828, he will be buried in Buffalo, New York. ======================== X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X+X ======================== Thatís all for now. Stay safe, Phil ========================================================= End of Phil Konstantinís July August Newsletter ========================================================= . . . . . . .
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