The Struggle to Protect a Tree at the Heart of Hopi Culture

To Hopi traditionalists—Hopis who practice traditional culture—the humble one-seed juniper tree has deep cultural meaning. / Photo by Mark Sykes In the American Southwest, the loss of juniper trees at the hands of mining and development could cost the Hopi a crucial part of their heritage.    By Stewart B. Koyiyumptewa (left) and Dr. Chip Colwell[…]

For Native Americans, a River is a Sacred Place

Colorado River. AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File By Dr. Rosalyn R. LaPier / 10.08.2017 Associate Professor of Environmental Studies The University of Montana The environmental group Deep Green Resistance recently filed a first-of-its-kind legal suit against the state of Colorado asking for personhood rights for the Colorado River. If successful, it would mean lawsuits can brought on behalf of the river[…]

Her Ancestor Was a Slave to Cherokee Indians. Now She’s Applying to Be a Citizen of the Tribe

The family story Perline Boyattia grew up with said her ancestors were Cherokee Indians. Her oral history was similar to the spoken record of other black families in Oklahoma. / Photo by Jenni Monet A landmark decision offers opportunity for healing between descendants of slaveholders and slaves. By Jenni Monet / 09.06.2017 Four days after[…]

Kumeyaay Native American Oral Literature, Cultural Identity, and Language Revitalisation

Kumeyaay coiled basket, woven by Celestine Lachapa, 19th century / Photo by Durova (Wikimedia Commons), San Diego Museum of Man   By Dr. Margaret Field / 12.19.2013 Professor of American Indian Studies San Diego State University The Kumeyaay Community of Baja California Anthony Pico, PhD, tribal chairman of the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, speaking at[…]

Preserving Native American History in Ambrotype Photography

People at the United Tribes Technical College Powwow are photographed as an ambrotype in 2016. The crowd raised their right hands in support of Native Americans everywhere. / Ambrotype by Shane Balkowitsch Using an early photographic process, one photographer hopes to draw a line connecting what happened to the Dakota people in Mankato, Minnesota, 155 years[…]

Blackfeet Researcher Leads Her Tribe Back to Traditional Foods

Huckleberries / Creative Commons Forced assimilation destroyed most nations’ diets, but now Native youth are learning to integrate local foods back into their daily lives. By J. Gabriel Ware / 06.06.2017 Researcher Abaki Beck, 23, has vivid childhood memories of helping her mother, grandmothers, and aunts pick traditional foods and medicines on the Blackfeet Nation[…]

Ecuador’s Indigenous Cultures: Astride Orality and Literacy

Cofán Dureno indigenous activist in the Ecuadorean Amazon. / Rainforest Action Network, Creative Commons By Dr. Jorge Gómez Rendón / 12.19.2013 Professor of Anthropology University of Amsterdam Indigenous Languages in Ecuador: Survival and Change Distribution of Quechua sub-groups. Kichwa is shown in light blue / Wikimedia Commons Ecuador is the smallest of the Andean countries[…]

Why Native Americans Consider Water Sacred

An activist at a protest rally at the White House against the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines in Washington, D.C. Kevin Lamarque By Dr. Rosalyn LaPier / 03.21.2017 Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, University of Montana Visiting Professor of Women’s Studies, Environmental Studies, and Native American Religion, Harvard Universtiy The Lakota phrase “Mní wičhóni,”[…]

Native American Pottery

Navajo pottery / Dallas Museum of Art By Guity Novin / 03.23.2014 Graphic Designer, Artist The graphic design of the native American pottery is original and almost always symbolic . Technically, all known Pre-Colombian American pottery was made entirely by hand and there is no evidence that a native American potter ever invented the potter’s[…]

Geronimo: Life of a Warrior

Photograph of Geronimo kneeling with his rifle, by Ben Wittick, 1887 / Wikimedia Commons In 1906, Geronimo published his autobiography recounting the fascinating story of his life, from his years as a resistance fighter, to his capture and subsequent period of celebrity in which he appeared at the 1904 St Louis World Fair and met[…]

What Makes a Mountain, Hill, or Prairie a Sacred Place for Native Americans

A woman holds Pope Francis’ head during his meeting with representatives of indigenous peoples at the Vatican on Feb. 15, 2017. L’Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP By Dr. Rosalyn LaPier / 02.16.2017 Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, University of Montana Visiting Professor of Women’s Studies, Environmental Studies, and Native American Religion, Harvard Universtiy For several[…]

Utah’s New National Monument Marks Big Win for the Protection of Indigenous Cultural Sites

Road Canyon Citadel. Photo from Bureau of Land Management / Flickr. By permanently protecting an area rich in indigenous cultural history, Obama has shown that some things are worth more than money. By Jacqueline Keeler / 01.06.2017 On Dec. 28, with only 22 days left in office, President Obama set aside nearly 1.35 million acres in[…]

The Cherokee Are the Only Tribe Entitled to a Delegate in Congress. But Will They Finally Send One?

By Anthony Finley Co. of Philadelphia via Wikimedia Commons. To deal with a Trump administration, the tribal nation might now want to use that 200-year-old treaty right. By Tristan Ahtone / 01.04.2017 As President-elect Donald Trump prepares to occupy the Oval Office, much of Indian Country is bracing for the worst. But the U.S. Congress[…]

Cherokee Stories

These stories are from James Mooney’s History, Myths, and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees. Mooney was an ethnologist that worked for the Bureau of American Ethnology (BAE) in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Between 1887 and 1890 he did fieldwork with the Cherokee, mainly in North Carolina but also in Oklahoma. He published[…]

Native Americans of Puget Sound — A Brief History of the First People and Their Cultures

By Kenneth Greg Watson Historian Current scientific data indicate that Native Americans arrived from Siberia via the Bering Sea land bridge about 12,000 years ago, during the last Ice Age. Native Americans in King County, who are united by a common Lushootseed or Salish language system, believe they were created in this area at the[…]

Pipeline 150 Miles From Standing Rock Spills Over 170,000 Gallons of Crude

The pipeline leaked an estimated 176,400 barrels of crude into Ash Coulee Creek near Belfield, North Dakota. (Photo: North Dakota Department of Health) Monitoring equipment failed to detect the breakage, and it is unknown how long the pipeline was leaking before a landowner discovered it By Nika Knight / 12.13.2016 A pipeline just two and[…]

BREAKING: President Obama Denies Final Permits to DAPL, Construction Halted, Law Enforcement Pulls Back

By Matthew A. McIntosh / 12.04.2016 Brewminate Editor-in-Chief The Army Corps of Engineers, on orders from President Obama, has issued directives that Dakota Access Pipeline construction be halted based on its current easement projection.  DAPL will not be allowed to run the pipeline through the Missouri River as planned. As protesters celebrate the victory, law[…]

Veterans Arrive at Standing Rock to Act as ‘Human Shields’ for Water Protectors

Water protectors on horseback at the Oceti Sakowin camp. (Photo: Reuters) “I signed up to serve my country and my people.” By Nika Knight / 12.02.2016 As tensions grow in North Dakota, with multiple eviction orders facing the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in their battle against the Dakota Access Pipeline, U.S. military veterans on Friday[…]

Trump, Who has Invested in the Dakota Access Pipeline, Officially Endorses the Project

Rally against the Dakota Access Pipeline, St. Paul. MN, September 13, 2016 – Flickr CC Licensed photo Conflict of interest not just on display but flouted. President-elect Donald Trump has officially endorsed the Dakota Access Pipeline, a project in which he holds two different investments. The controversial project originates in the Bakken oil fields (fracking[…]

Indigenous Resolve ‘Stronger Than Ever’ as Feds Order DAPL Protest Camp Shut Down

The Oceti Sakowin camp is currently home to thousands of water protectors and allies. (Photo: Reuters) ‘If the Army Corps tears down this protest camp hundreds more will spring up in its place,’ says filmmaker Josh Fox By Deirdre Fulton / 11.26.2016 The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Friday informed Indigenous water protectors and[…]

More Sheriffs Refuse to Send Deputies and Resources to Standing Rock

North Dakota is stretched thin in its battle to protect the Dakota Access pipeline construction: Costs are nearing $15 million, and police reinforcements are diminishing. By Jenni Monet / 11.23.2016 Photos by Rob Wilson Agents with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection will be the latest agency assisting Morton County Sheriff Department deputies to guard[…]

Veterans Plan “Deployment” to Join Water Protectors’ Battle Against DAPL

Water protectors march against the Dakota Access Pipeline. (Photo: Andrew Cullen/Reuters) “Let’s stop this savage injustice being committed right here at home. If not us, who? If not now, when?” By Nika Knight / 11.24.2016 Over 1,000 U.S. military veterans are planning to “deploy” to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and peacefully support the[…]