Native Mascots Are A Direct Result Of America’s Fabricated Colonial History

The negligence of our nation’s history has allowed for the continued racist representation of Native Americans, specifically when discussing their representation as mascots in amateur and professional sports. Several scholars have chosen to raise awareness to the ongoing misrepresentation and racist imagery that is present in amateur and professional sports by arguing against the allowance of such images, claiming such representation to be a by-product of a postcolonial society that allows for cultural imperialism, where the idea of Native American lives and presence are simply a thing of the past and not of the present day. The continued misrepresentation and racist portrayal that has plagued Native American communities simply reinforces a false image that does not fully and adequately reflect Native American cultures, peoples, epistemologies, and complexities.

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Save Sinjajevina Fighting To Stop Military Training On Pastoral Land

Given this position of the Ministry and the Government of Montenegro, and in anticipation of the abolition of the decision on the military range in Sinjajevina made in September 2019, Save Sinjajevina insists that the installation of a military training ground in this area would violate an international UNESCO protected area. This is even more striking taking into account that it was inaugurated without any environmental impact assessment, nor a social impact assessment. While the environmental values of the Biosphere Reserve are in great part assured by the continued traditional uses of local communities dwelling in these highlands, and who would be forced out with the military ground along with the conservation values of their traditional uses.

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After 400 Years, It’s Time To Take Down The Monumental Insult

I am sending a gift, a box of “Indian corn,” to the Wall Street Journal editorial board as a reminder of what really happened in colonial North America and is commemorated by the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday.

On this 400th anniversary of what we believe to be the first Thanksgiving, the Wall Street Journal is poised to print its insulting Pilgrim Journal version of early colonial history for the 60th time.

Not only is the account suffused with the racist sentiment, but it is also factually incorrect to a grotesque degree. The newspaper is impugning its own credibility and not just its core values.

In 2020, I wrote to the Wall Street Journal imploring them to retire the editorial and was ignored. This year I organized a petition to remove the offending commentary.

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Mass Killings, Native Erasure

Upon his arrival into the “New World” Columbus and his crew unleashed a vicious and relentless wave of violence against the Indigenous populations. From enslavement, to mass rapes, to mass killings Columbus and his men inflicted grotesque levels of violence never before seen in the Western hemisphere. By 1508, an estimated three to five million Indigenous peoples from the Island Nations had died since the time of Columbus’s arrival.

The genocide had begun, one driven, and backed, by an ideology under the Doctrine of Discovery that claimed European Christians had a God given right to set forth and colonize any lands not occupied by European Christians.

Throughout the Western hemisphere, colonization and genocide followed from the eastern shores to the Pacific Ocean.

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Texas, Big Oil Target Indian Children In Bid To End Tribal Sovereignty

If the Supreme Court overturns the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) — a federal law that keeps Native children with Native families — tribal sovereignty could soon be a thing of the past in the U.S. Should the Supreme Court rule in the plaintiffs’ favor in the case of Brackeen v. Haaland, we could quickly see a return to blatant, pre-1978 genocidal practices — when Native babies were legally stripped of their families, culture, and identities.

It’s critical that every one of us take immediate action. Before you do anything else today, sign our petition telling President Biden and the Department of Justice to defend ICWA, Secretary Haaland, and tribal sovereignty with every available means.

In this landmark case, the Brackeens — the white, adoptive parents of a Diné child in Texas — seek to overturn ICWA by claiming reverse racism.

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I Awakened Here When the Earth Was New

In late March 2021, 120 traditional owners from 40 different First People’s groups spent five days at the National First People’s Gathering on Climate Change in Cairns (Australia). Speaking on the impact of the climate crisis on First People, Gavin Singleton from the Yirrganydji traditional owners explained that ‘From changing weather patterns to shifts in natural ecosystems, climate change is a clear and present threat to our people and our culture’.

Bianca McNeair of the Malgana traditional owners from Gatharagudu (Australia) said that those who attended the gathering ‘are talking about how the birds’ movements across the country have changed, so that’s changing songlines that they’ve been singing for thousands and thousands of years, and how that’s impacting them as a community and culture.

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Sit-In To Mourn 215 Children Buried At Residential School

Toronto, Canada – A small group of people rallied Monday in front of the statue of Egerton Ryerson on the Ryerson University campus to stage a sit-in mourning the 215 children found buried at the Kamloops Indigenous Residential School last week.

In an Instagram post, a group called X University, Indigenous Students fighting for social justice & human rights,  (@wreckonciliation_x_university) said “we will be occupying the space until we meet 215 pairs of shoes.” The group has adopted ‘X University’ in place of Ryerson University’s current name in protest and to demand it be changed given Ryerson’s role in designing the model for residential schools.

Those gathered were seen forming a circle around a drummer who was singing.

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Colombia: Over 3,600 Indigenous Rights Violations In The First Months Of 2021

The recent upsurge in state and right-wing violence has left all of Colombia reeling, but Indigenous communities have been particularly affected by it. This is evident from recent data published in a report by the Human Rights Observatory of the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC). The report revealed that between January 1st and March 9th of this year, a span of little more than two months, over 3674 Indigenous people in Colombia registered human rights violations. 

An ONIC press release summarized the harsh realities of the conditions Indigenous people face in the country; “The displacement caused by the armed conflict in Colombia has claimed the lives of thousands of our Indigenous brothers and sisters that have been killed or have fallen in the crossfire.

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Lessons From Down Under: Supporting Indigenous Stewardship

Indigenous Guardians across the country are managing lands and waters, protecting important animals like salmon and caribou and ensuring development occurs responsibly. We are caring for lands and waters we love on behalf of our Nations.

This work is good for the land, and it’s good for people too. Guardians programs provide local jobs rooted in culture and connections between youth and Elders. They transform people’s lives and strengthen our communities.

Investment in Indigenous-led conservation helps create these positive results—and with more investment we can expand them. Canada can look to Australia for a model of the proven benefits of long-term support.

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The Solutions We Seek Exist With We, The People

Traditionally, indigenous communities did not measure time in a linear way. Everything was cyclic.

All motion is cyclic. It circulates to the limits of its possibilities and then returns to its starting point. What is not resolved will reappear on subsequent rotations around the sun.

Now, as we settle into the winter months, comes the time for reflection and introspection. We may be grateful for the victories of the past year, but we must also build strength and energy for what is to come. We are still in the darkness of the tunnel and cannot see the light ahead. Behind us is 245 years of a failed colonial project. Ahead of us, unseen, is the future. The tunnel is not infinite.

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Water Should Not Be Traded On Wall Street

On December 8, 2020, several media sources reported that fresh water started to be traded on Wall Street as a commodity such as gold and wheat. This comes as water scarcity is increasing in California and many parts of the world and as we near a global water crisis. A water crisis is worrisome enough, yet more alarming is the fact that our Mother Water will be controlled by a privileged group of people who will determine its value to the world.  

As Indigenous Peoples of Abya Yala (the Americas), we have seen how our territories were turned into private property for the benefit of settlers and their governments. Although we might have lost our livelihoods in certain cases, we are resilient and we continue asserting our rights to collective lands and land protection.

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Native Youth Provide For Community And Elders During Covid Pandemic

2020 has been a year of many trials across Indian Country. Across our many Nations, rural, city and everywhere in between, we are all coping with the catastrophic effects of the COVID-19 virus. We have missed gatherings, ceremonies, and the everyday celebrations as part of quarantine and to keep those we love safe. Our loved ones lost during this time often died alone, while those of us left behind have had to mourn them without the touch and care of being physically together. Left to pick up the pieces as we try to move forward has left so much anxiety and depression in our young, elders, and even us adults.

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Decolonizing Thanksgiving And Supporting Indigenous Peoples

This week, as some people in the United States celebrated the mythical ‘Thanksgiving’ dinner, Indigenous Peoples held a National Day of Mourning and continued their resistance to defend the land and water. As Native American, Matt Remle, writes:

“Despite colonial efforts to exterminate, terminate, relocate, and assimilate Indigenous populations, Native communities continue to resist efforts to both desecrate Unci Maka and strip Native peoples of their languages, spirituality and communities.”

Settler colonialism continues to this day in the United States…

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The Ongoing Incarceration Of California’s Indigenous Peoples

For 25 years, Indigenous rights activists fought for an official UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples  — for a document that doesn’t just affirm our individual human rights, but asserts our inherent and inalienable collective rights as Indigenous peoples. In 2007, that document was finally adopted by the General Assembly. Article 10  of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples  states that “Indigenous peoples shall not be forcibly removed from their lands or territories.

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