The biggest surprise in George Bush’s State of Union speech in January may have been his acknowledgment—for the first time—that global warming was a serious issue. A month earlier the Environmental Protection Agency took the remarkable step of proposing that the polar bear be listed as a threatened species because of global warming in the Arctic. One might put Bush’s environmental enlightenment…
If you look at Rick Bartow’s artwork you might assume that he is a highly trained, lifelong artist. Certainly his résumé supports that notion. His paintings, drawings, and sculpture are in the collections of a half-dozen museums around the world, including the National Museum of the American Indian, as well as corporate headquarters, upscale stores, and universities from Arizona to Tokyo. They…
Scenes from the Pilgrim Story: Myths, Massacres, and Monuments
An art installation by Sam Durant
Massachusetts College of Art
November 7-22, 2006
Reviewed by Kathleen Kilgore
Did those old museum dioramas ever creep you out? You know, the brown mannequins in droopy leather loincloths, Daddy Indian skinning a deer, the papoose in his cradleboard dangling from a tree branch, and Mama grinding grits…
Among the states of the United Nations, the ones that have concerns about the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples tend to focus on three elements: the lack of a definition of “indigenous,” land rights, and the concept of self-determination. For those states, these elements seem to threaten economic and political chaos on several fronts. But that is largely because states do not…
Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War
By Nathaniel Philbrick
New York: Viking, 2006
Reviewed by Linda Coombs
The new moon in May is the time of the Wampanoag New Year, when Mother Earth brings forth new life and new light after a dark winter season. Ironically, it was the new moon in May last year when Nantucket author Nathaniel Philbrick published his newest book,…
Police documents printed on onionskin crinkle audibly with the rise and fall of my uncle’s breath. His eyes rove over the documents produced on an archaic typewriter with a wild menagerie of Vietnamese punctuation—squiggles, dots, and tiny circles—scrawled in by hand. We are in a one-story, doorless box that serves as the local police station of a hamlet in the lush coffee-plantation region of…
The world’s indigenous peoples have a serious human rights problem: The nations of the world refuse to recognize that indigenous peoples have human rights.
All countries are ready to recognize that individual indigenous persons have rights. Those rights are the same as the rights of all human beings, and are now well secured by international human rights law and by the laws of many…
As we Americans come to terms with the fact that our vast consumption of fossil fuels is fueling vast changes on our planet, indigenous peoples who live in those marginal places are facing climatic reordering of their very existence. Peoples accustomed to some relief from arid conditions now find themselves living in a permanent desert. Peoples accustomed to predictable rainfall find their homes…
The knowledge traditions of Salish country are neither old fashioned nor out of date. Indeed, this body of knowledge collected in the people, stories, songs, and the land has the most modern application: prevention and treatment of chronic diseases that now afflict growing numbers of native peoples as well as non-natives living in Salish country. We use “Salish country” to identify a region of…
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