Native Americans

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'To Us, Thanksgiving Is a Day of Mourning'

Native American group is holding solemn event in Plymouth

(Newser) - Members of Native American tribes from around New England are gathering in the seaside town where the Pilgrims settled—not to give thanks, but to mourn Indigenous people worldwide who've suffered centuries of racism and mistreatment. Thursday’s solemn National Day of Mourning observance in downtown Plymouth, Mass., will...

Senators Urge Biden to Remove 'Shame on Nation'

They want him to revoke medals awarded after Wounded Knee massacre

(Newser) - Soldiers who gunned down Lakota women and children in one of the worst massacres in American history do not deserve the nation's highest military honor, 17 senators argued in a letter to President Biden this week. The lawmakers—16 Democrats and independent Sen. Bernie Sanders—said it was "...

Meet Canada's 'Rachel Dolezal'
Meet Canada's 'Rachel Dolezal'

Meet Canada's 'Rachel Dolezal'

CBC finds Carrie Bourassa, a leader in Indigenous health, is not Indigenous

(Newser) - One of Canada's leading experts in Indigenous health issues gave a TEDx talk in 2019 dressed in a shawl and Métis sash. Holding a feather, Carrie Bourassa identified herself as "Morning Star Bear," before describing Métis, Anishinaabe, and Tlingit heritage. In a shocking twist, a...

Native Americans' Calls to Drop Gesture Fail to Move Braves

Groups dispute baseball's contention that they support the 'dehumanizing' imagery

(Newser) - The NFL's Washington Football Team has dropped its slur of a team nickname. The Cleveland Indians are becoming the Guardians. High schools are rethinking their warrior mascots . But in Atlanta, the Braves have only doubled down on their long-criticized "Tomahawk chop"—in which fans gesture with their...

Teacher Wears Headdress, Whoops in Math Lesson

California teacher placed on leave after video of 'SohCahToa' lesson goes viral

(Newser) - A California teacher accused of mocking Native Americans in an effort to teach a trigonometry mnemonic has been placed on leave. In video apparently taken by a student at John W. North High School in Riverside, the teacher, wearing a faux headdress, whoops and makes tomahawk motions as she chants...

Rare American Language Loses One of Its Last Speakers

Marie Wilcox spent 20 years creating a Wukchumni dictionary

(Newser) - Marie Wilcox, a Native American woman in California who saved her tribe’s dying language, has died. She was 87. Wilcox was once the last fluent speaker of Wukchumni but she worked for more than 20 years to produce a dictionary of the language spoken by her tribe in California’...

Salmon Ban Leaves Tribes Looking for Food

Alaska has banned fishing for dwindling salmon on the Yukon River

(Newser) - In a normal year, the smokehouses and drying racks that Alaska Natives use to prepare salmon to tide them through the winter would be heavy with fish meat, the fruits of a summer spent fishing on the Yukon River like generations before them. This year, there are no fish. For...

She's Been Missing Since 2020. Now FBI Offers $10K For Info

Mary Johnson disappeared from the Tulalip Reservation in November

(Newser) - The FBI is offering $10,000 for information that leads to the arrest of whoever is responsible for the disappearance of a Native American woman from Washington State. Per CNN , 40-year-old Mary Johnson was last seen on the Tulalip Reservation in late November. She was reportedly en route to a...

Storied Ski Resort Makes 'a Big, Big Statement'

Squaw Valley, host of 1960 Olympics, changes name to Palisades Tahoe

(Newser) - The largest ski resort at California's Lake Tahoe will no longer be known as Squaw Valley. The Olympic Valley resort cast off its 72-year-old name on Monday, unveiling its new moniker, Palisades Tahoe. The resort, a host site for the 1960 Winter Olympics, had announced an upcoming name change...

Colorado's 1864 Order to Kill Native Americans Voided

Gov. Jared Polis rescinded the awful proclamation Tuesday

(Newser) - Colorado Gov. Jared Polis on Tuesday rescinded a 19th-century proclamation that called for citizens to kill Native Americans and take their property, in what he hopes can begin to make amends for "sins of the past." The 1864 order by Colorado’s second territorial governor, John Evans, would...

Tribes Want Changes on Museums Transferring Remains

Institutions have been slow to give up ownership to Native Americans

(Newser) - New rules being drafted by the Biden administration could speed up the process—which essentially is stuck—for museums and other institutions to return the remains of Native American to their tribes. The government set up a system in 1990, but institutions still have possession of the remains of more...

They're Called 'Pothunters,' but Some Say 'Grave Robbers'

'Washington Post' explores the 'endless robbing of Native American graves'

(Newser) - In the lingo of their field, they're known as "pothunters." As Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson explains in a lengthy Washington Post article, the term refers to people who might be most charitably described as amateur archeologists. On the other end of the spectrum, they might be called grave...

Tribe Buys Back Maine Island Stolen 160 Years Ago
A Treaty Gave Them the Island
in 1794. They Now Have It Back
in case you missed it

A Treaty Gave Them the Island in 1794. They Now Have It Back

'It's been every chief's goal ever since to return it,' says William Nicholas

(Newser) - Members of the Passamaquoddy tribe frequented Maine's Pine Island (Kuwesuwi Monihq) for millennia before the arrival of white settlers, who brought deadly diseases. Graves of tribal members who died of smallpox remain on the island, but prior to March, they hadn't been visited by members in more than...

CNN Drops Analyst Dismissive of Native American Culture
CNN Drops Rick Santorum

CNN Drops Rick Santorum

Calls to fire former senator followed his off-air remarks dismissive of Native American culture

(Newser) - Rick Santorum's interpretation of history has cost him a job. CNN has sent the senior political commentator on his way after remarks he made off the air last month about Native American culture, Variety reports. Speaking to students at a Fight for Religious Freedom seminar, Santorum said: "We...

Harvard Asked to Return Standing Bear's Tomahawk

Oklahoma lawyer, a descendant, makes the request

(Newser) - An Oklahoma lawyer who's a descendant of Chief Standing Bear of the Ponca Tribe has called on a Harvard University museum to return a relic it has on display, arguing that it lacks a moral right to possess it. "Standing Bear's tomahawk in your possession is an...

Santorum: 'There Was Nothing Here' When Settlers Arrived

'There isn't much Native American culture in American culture'

(Newser) - Native Americans aren't the only people angry at Rick Santorum over remarks belittling their contribution to American culture—and their very existence before the arrival of European settlers. The former Republican senator told a conservative youth group Friday that in contrast to countries like Italy or China, American culture...

This Is How to Right the Wrongs Done to Native Americans

David Treuer makes the case that our National Parks should be given to them

(Newser) - David Treuer's piece for the Atlantic is peppered with so many bold lines it's hard to whittle down which to share. But this is a strong one: "The American West began with war but concluded with parks." In his lengthy piece, Treuer, himself a Native American...

Denver Addresses 'Wrongs of the Past' With a Gift of Bison

Parks department is giving surplus bison to indigenous tribes over 10 years

(Newser) - The city of Denver was in the game of selling bison. But in a new move, it's opting to gift bison to indigenous tribes across the country as a form of reparations. Denver Parks and Recreation keeps two bison herds descended from a small number of Yellowstone bison, and...

Deb Haaland's Confirmation Is a First

Senate approves first Native American Cabinet secretary

(Newser) - "It's difficult to not feel obligated to protect this land," Deb Haaland said during her confirmation hearings, "and I feel that every Indigenous person in this country understands that." That will be her job, now that the Senate has confirmed her appointment as secretary of...

Biden Pick Would Break a 245-Year String

Native American has never overseen US policy with tribes

(Newser) - President-elect Joe Biden plans to nominate New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland as interior secretary, a historic pick that would make her the first Native American to lead the agency that has wielded influence over the nation's tribes for generations, per the AP . Tribal leaders and activists around the country,...

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