Click on October 11 – about hald way through.
In 1827 Cherokee’s Principal Chief (Pathkiller) died and the Cherokee people elected John Ross as his replacement. Ross was educated in the school system for mixed-blood Cherokee’s and received a lifetime of traditional teachings from Pathkiller and other tribal elders. Ross’ election represented an acknowledgment by the Cherokees that an educated, English-speaking leader was paramount in importance to blood quantum.
In his first year of office, Ross drafted the Cherokee Constitution. This allowed the Cherokee to create clear national policy that would withstand scrutiny from outside governments.
Then in 1830, the Cherokee faced a major problem. US President, Andrew Jackson
presented the Indian Removal Act to the States. It authorized the president to set aside lands west of the Mississippi River in exchange for Indian homelands claimed by States in the east.
Facing the possibility of the Cherokee being removed from their ancestral lands, Ross successfully defended Cherokee rights through the U.S. court system. The Cherokee won a series of cases including Worcester v. Georgia, which established the Cherokees’ rights as a domestic dependant sovereign. This meant that the Cherokee were no longer subject to the laws of Georgia and that Cherokee lands could not be claimed by the State.
This decision embarrassed Andrew Jackson politically and he became even more intent on moving the Cherokee west. Thus, John Ross’ new strategy was to prolong negotiations indefinitely or until Jackson left the Presidency.
In 1834 a minority Cherokee delegation, called the Ridge Party formed. They did not trust Ross and wished to negotiate the Cherokee removal treaty themselves with the US Government. Despite the fact that the Ridge Party had no formal support from the tribe’s General Council, the US Government and the Ridge Party quickly enacted the Treaty of New Echota, ceding Cherokee homelands.
All Cherokees were forced to move west in 1838. This became known as the “Trail of Tears”. On the Trail of Tears, approximately 4,000 Cherokees died, including John Ross’ wife, Quatie, a full-blooded Cherokee woman.
Many of the Ridge Party leaders were eventually killed by their own people. Meanwhile, the Cherokee continued to re-elect the 1/8th blood John Ross for 32 consecutive years.
Carver’s death a violent end to a tormented life
By Lynda V. Mapes
The police officer’s bullets tore into his body, taking the last thing John T. Williams had left to lose: his life.
Lummi fishermen receive more than $3 million in job assistance
Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission
Lummi Nation fishermen will receive more than $3 million in assistance from the U.S. Department of Labor, it was announced today. Lummi fishermen have been among the most affected by the decline of Fraser River sockeye salmon.
Frank: We are being heard
Billy Frank Jr.
I want to thank President Barack Obama for keeping his promises to Indian country. “I understand what it means to be an outsider. I know what it means to feel ignored and forgotten, and what it means to struggle. So, you will not be forgotten as long as I’m in the White House,” he told us a year ago when he invited all 564 federally recognized tribes for the first White House Tribal Nations Conference.
3 to 4 lbs venison cut into 1 to 2 inch squares
2 Quarts water
2 yellow onions, diced
2 tsp salt
pepper to taste
2 cups wild rice
4 carrots, sliced or diced
1 stalk celery, sliced
4 potatoes sliced or cubed
Brown venison in skillet; pour off excess fat then put venison, water and onions into a large pot cover and simmer for 3 hours. Add salt, pepper, and rice. Cook on low heat for another 30 mins. Add vegetables and cook to taste. Serves 10.
Seattle Clear Sky Native Youth Council is a program of Urban AI/AN Education Alliance. The SCSNYC organically evolved from a group of young urban Native Youth who expressed a desire to connect with other Native youth in our urban Seattle area. SCSNYC is a youth initiated, youth driven and youth centered group. SCSNYC formalized as a youth organization in February 2008. The purpose of the program as expressed by many youth was to fill a “void” in responding to the unique academic, social, spiritual, cultural, and athletic needs specific to Urban Native youth.
Mission Statement: We collectively promote and engage in cultural and traditional activities, and educational achievement. We strive to enhance our tribal identities, personal, and community growth and wellness. We advocate for social justice, equality, and visibility in the Seattle Public School community.
SCSNYC meets every Thursday at American Indian Heritage Middle College cafeteria from 6:00pm- 8:30pm. Services provided include: academic tutoring, mentorship, leadership building activities, as well as cultural, social and spiritual learning experiences. Another key feature of SCSYC meetings is FOOD, we encourage people to donate snacks, however, we generally provide food as food is an important aspect of community building and nurturing component for all participants.
SCSNYC is 100% volunteer based! Many Native and Non-Native volunteers commit to offering support through tutoring, mentoring, organizing, and fundraising activities. The time commitment volunteer’s donate is amazing, through their efforts SCSNYC has exceeded all measures of success! Mary Ann Peltier commented, “Our primary purpose in volunteering is to meet the needs of our Urban Native youth, we are filling a void in the SPS system, and as a result we are building a strong foundation for bridging the achievement gap”. Community members assist with facilitating activities, events and field trips as well as seek out resources for supporting various student needs.
Seattle Clear Sky Native Youth Council has established itself as a viable, vibrant, visible youth group. Mary Ann added “I am proud of the accomplishments and success stories we are witnessing, it is a privilege to take part in the strides these youth are making.” Students are developing stronger connection with their Native community, recognizing importance of tribal identities, and overcoming barriers in schools and gaining healthy coping skills for daily challenges such as: institutional racism, every day racism, poverty, identity issues, invisibility, and systematic marginalization. Empowerment through education, cultural learning, and tribal identity prepares our youth to rise above the unique challenges of the urban experience.
SCSNYC students participate in volunteerism which fosters community responsibility and tribal values as well as enhances personal and collective identity. Past activities include: Spirit Walk 2008/2009, UIATF Pow-Wow (2009), Indian Education Rally 2010, Native Graduation Ceremony 2008-2010, and Native Pride Basketball Camp 2008-2010. These events were opportunities for our youth to collaborate and establish alliances with Edmonds School District Indian Education, Eastside Indian Education, South West Youth and Family Services, and Red Eagle Soring youth group.
The beauty of Seattle Clear Sky Native Youth Council is that is a drop in program, 100% volunteer based, and solely geared toward meeting the academic, cultural, social, athletic, and spiritual needs of our urban Native youth. We are having a positive impact through positive action and we are committed to serving our urban Native kids while respecting their “voice”, as we achieve both collective and personal success.
If you have any questions pertaining to SCSNYC please feel free to contact me at (206) 524-5220.
Sarah Sense-Wilson (Oglala)
Chair, Urban American Indian Alaska Native Education Alliance
I’d like to bring an urgent concern to your attention – please allow me to tell you about something that happened to me today:
Winter’s coming. I’m trying to create a website for Rick Williams, so that he has a better chance of supporting himself selling his carvings- and having a documentable income and therefore increasing his chances of getting he and his TWO KIDS into subsidized housing (and hey, if anyone wants to help with that, please step right up). I arrived at Victor Steinbruck Park this afternoon to meet up with Rick and hear more about his tech needs. I sat down on the bench next to his brother Eric and chatted with his friend Linda… and about 20 minutes in, suddenly noticed how many cops I kept seeing. Three cruisers drove slowly by in a 20-minute span (I didn’t think to write down the first two car numbers, but the last one was car# 968), and over the course of the next 45 minutes three separate pairs of bike cops rode by.
“What’s up with all these cops?” I inquired curiously.
“It’s been like this since the shooting. Usually it’s the Pike Place Market security that patrols this area. We’ve never seen a cop presence anything like this here before”, replied Rick’s partner Linda Soriano. “They’ve been trying to intimidate us.”
Two bike cops then stopped directly across from us in the traffic triangle that juts into the street and stood on the curb with arms folded over their chests, staring intently. One took out a camera and began taking our photograph (this was officer B. Conway and his badge# is 6149). Pollyanna that I am, I was shocked at such a blatant show of intimidation. I had just been to the Native Advisory Council meeting at the Duwamish Longhouse on Friday and heard the SPD representatives avowing friendship and reconciliation. I walked across the street, taking pictures with my cell-phone camera to document this behaviour. The first words out of one of the cops as I approached was “Got a fucking problem?” (This officer’s name is T. Willoughby and badge# is 5560.)
“Excuse me, are you on duty?” I asked.
“Do I look like I’m on duty?” he sneered (not exaggerating).
“I didn’t know cops on duty use profanities with the public”, I replied.
“Can you prove I did?” he sneered again.
“I’m here to get your names and badge numbers and ask why you’re here photographing us.” He broke eye contact then and stopped talking to me, suddenly redirecting his attention to Rick’s boy Eagle Son (both cops started berating Rick for his parenting at this point and pointing out that his teenage son smokes – gasp! – cigarettes; is this in the job description of cops?); things started to feel really tense. Shortly after, two more bike cops (officers N. Etoh, badge# 6604, and _. Jokela, badge# 5453 – couldn’t get his first initial because he refused to show it to me) showed up, and next thing I know I’m surrounded by all 4, who are taking photographs of me, raising their voices and being intimidating, getting right in my face, and laughingly mocking me. It was the farthest thing from de-escalation; it was pure provocation. Their tone was disrespectful and belligerent from the first moment of contact, before I even had a chance to say anything. Fortunately, I’m not a reactive person, and even though my heart was pounding, I took out my moleskin notebook and started documenting what was happening. I didn’t respond to their taunts or say another word, feeling to do so might escalate the situation. When I had finished writing down all the names, badge numbers, and details of the encounter, I returned to the bench to sit down with Rick. Rick and Linda told me how the other street Natives are avoiding them for fear of reprisal by the police. They are feeling very alone and vulnerable as they experience this ongoing police intimidation and harassment. I was in shock. I’d naively believed that the SPD would be seriously minding it’s P’s and Q’s right about now with all the scrutiny of the force. There may have been an element of bravado involved, but these cops did not seem terribly afraid of the possible consequences of their actions. Just a brief encounter with these shamelessly disrespectful cops filled my bloodstream with cortisol and left me shaking. How must if feel to be Rick Williams and his family, to have been enduring this for WEEKS, on top of the grief of losing their family member to a senseless act of violence?
This is wrong. Not to mention illegal. And it has to stop NOW. I’ve made a statement to Rick’s attorney (Tim Ford), and I’ve called Tina Fox, the Native Advisory Council liaison. I’ve got photographs on my phone, and just as soon as a tech-savvy teen shows me how to get them onto my computer, I will send them along as well. A meeting with John Hays has been scheduled tentatively for next Tuesday (he’s out of town till then). Tina has let me know that Nick Metz has been unresponsive to communication from her since being promoted, and that Paul McDonagh (of Special Operations Bureau) has only called her right before meetings to find out the agenda. John Hays is the ONLY person who has reached out to Tina, and he was just demoted for unknown reasons. NOT A SINGLE other person on the SPD (aside from Officer Linda Hill, known to most folks here) has contacted their official liaison to the Native community outside of the meeting times to build the relationships they say they want to build.
I’m asking you – PLEASE – to take your cameras (video w/audio is best) and go to Victor Steinbruck Park during daylight hours to DISCREETLY keep the Williams family company and to help them feel safe, and to document whatever is happening. It’s critical that if you witness intimidation or harassment that you not escalate or insert yourself into the situation – don’t make it easy for the cops to demonize Natives and don’t give the police an excuse to kick your ass. These guys are angry and threatened; stay quiet, calm, steady, and non-reactive. If you do witness anything suspect, please document as extensively as you can and contact Rick’s attorney Tim Ford (firstname.lastname@example.org) or his attorney’s paralegal Christine Barone (email@example.com).
I’d like to obtain some video of this intimidation – then it won’t be so much a case of a bunch of cops saying “Oh, that didn’t happen.”
Please pass this along the moccasin telegraph. Please let folks know that Rick Williams and his family need our help.
Fern Renville, Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate
Red Eagle Soaring
Have harrassment to report? Contact attorney Nancy Talner (Urban Indian Legal Clinic) –
American Civil Liberties Union of Washington
901 Fifth Avenue, Suite 630
Seattle, WA 98164
(No phone calls or voice messages)
I’ve been retired for 3 years and volunteering with the Lummi Cedar Project of which I just retired after 18 years as their Chairwoman. It’s a 501c3 organization. It’s not part of the Lummi Business Council. The organization focuses on youth leadership development. 20-25 kids participate in our Summer Leadership Program. Two of the original youth are now running the program. Our Executive Director, Shasta, was a member and has since completed her Masters Degree and is now running the program. The other, Misty Oldham is completing her four year degree….
When and how did you get involved with the AIWSL?
1961 – 1967. I was their President for one year in 1966.
I first read about the Indian Center through a local newspaper advertisement and
thought, “That’s good”. But, I didn’t do more than that. I was in a family with alcohol problems and working at Boeing. I was depressed. Then, I saw in the paper that they were having beading classes. I took that opportunity to attend. When I showed up, I found this wonderful group of Indian Women present. Once I got involved they asked me to be the Secretary, which kept me really busy.
While I was doing that, I was learning about community service and how people from all parts of life can contribute. Then a friend introduced me to the12 step program and they gave me the tools necessary to make my life better and tools to help other people too.
Who were your AIWSL mentors? Can you tell us about them and what they taught you?
Pearl Warren was my main mentor. Pearl seemed to have a way of reaching out to
individuals. She could get in touch with them and see how they were feeling. She had the power to do things in isolation. That allowed us to protect people’s privacy.
Working at Boeing, I felt lost and kind of strange. Because there were 65,000 people
working and I wasn’t around many Indians. I stayed at Boeing for 12 years, volunteering at the AIWSL for the last 6 years. Pearl became my friend and confident, I was able to tell her how I felt, cut off from my early connections with Lummi People. I just wanted to move back home. While I was in Seattle, Pearl and the Indian Center gave me a comfort zone.
She gave me the opportunity to develop youth programs. It seems to me that a lot of those young women who were volunteering are now very productive people serving a lot of needs in Indian Country. Examples include, Julie Johnson, Teresa Hanway, Jackie
Hanson. Joan LaFrance. Joan for example went to Harvard and now evaluates Education Programs at tribal schools.
There was Dorothy Hall. She was from Clallam. Dorothy was Pearl’s assistant. She was very gentle, polite, considerate, refined and organized. Her and Pearl were well matched. Pearl was the big thinker and Dorothy was the organizer.
People like them were willing to work together and share. They nurtured one another well. The AIWSL was developed so that the individual could make good choices. I don’t remember criticism. I don’t remember put downs. It just didn’t seem like it was there. Conversely, at Boeing it was a dog eat dog atmosphere – it was not as comforting as I felt at the Indian Center.
As I ascended at the AIWSL, however, others felt that they were passed up. I learned that when you’re advancing you need to be considerate of how that will make others feel. That is a chore at Lummi. I learned that if you can do well for yourself and not be mean to other people in the process, you can eventually earn their trust.
Ella Aquino. She was part Lummi and part Yakima. She raised a large family in Seattle and gave a lot of volunteer time. She was a little tiny woman and full of energy. Being Lummi, she identified with me very fast. After I left, she continued running NW Indian News. She made a video tape called the something Princess. She left that with her grandchildren. She was a very futuristic elder. Early on, she learned how to use the computer to do the newspaper. She taught me pride and the importance of being a lady, being respected and representing your people in a good way by being honest. I can see her in my mind and I just remember how ethical and honorable she was. Being Lummi she gave me a wonderful sense of pride.
Adeline Garcia. I didn’t get as close to her, because she was very involved in her
Alaskan organization and I didn’t know anything about that. But Adeline was always so kind and welcoming to me. Even the last time I saw her. She still had that warmth and she reached out to me with her hand. She was very gracious and a wonderful role model.
I notice that you use the term Indian Center instead of AIWSL. Can you tell me
The AIWSL ran the Indian Center.
Being in the city and feeling so cut off from my people, and going to public school, you couldn’t get anything about Indian People. You had one place to go, the Indian Center. Pearl set it up so that each tribe was recognized for the good that we did. She did it so that everyone was treated equally. She believed that all tribes needed to be treated with respect. And we wanted to pass that on to young people so that they carried on that pride individually and they could respect people from other tribes.
The AIWSL tried to help people get jobs, find a place to stay, a get some dignity. All they asked in return is that people showed respect for the Indian Center. Don’t come here drunk or disorderly. And the people were respectful. I don’t’ remember anyone acting inappropriately. I remember that Pearl directed me to deliver baskets for Christmas with a guy from skid row. At first I had this dread, but he surprised me. He combed his hair and made himself presentable. He was gentle, polite and that was Pearl’s work. She knew how to move people in a good way. I loved that. It was the perfect social program.
So many people are down and out. The Indian Center gave me a place to go and even though I had stuff, I was in despair. But then I looked at this guy who had nothing and his problems were likely worse than mine. He came in the door and found a place that would help. I was so down and out, I felt suicidal. But when I came to the Indian Center, I didn’t feel that way.
You know the Dalai Lama? He talks about compassion and that’s the part I really can relate to. You have to demonstrate compassion. In our old culture, once you’ve invited someone in, you offer them respect, nourishment and culture. That’s the way it was at the Indian Center. If we can continue to carry that culture any place way go, we’re spreading our culture. That’s what the SIC meant to me.
Seattle, WA – October 20, 2010 – During this time of concern about urban stress and its effect on ecological and human sustainability in our city, intergenerational and intercultural unity, neighborhood vitality, and growing interest in traditional approaches to healing and indigenous foodways as a means of reclaiming health and balance, the native plants in the Bernie Whitebear Memorial Ethnobotanical Garden have much to reveal to us about the past and possibly our future.
The Bernie Whitebear Memorial Ethnobotanical Garden (located directly behind the Daybreak Star United Indians of All Tribes Cultural Center in Discovery Park) is a learning garden that contains a treasure of over 60 species of native plants. These plants are key to supporting the health, welfare, and traditions of the Coast Salish and other indigenous people of our region.
The Bernie Whitebear Memorial Ethnobotanical Garden was created seven years ago to honor the Native American leader whose courage and vision led to the forming of the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation, as well as, the building of the Daybreak Star Cultural Center and Sacred Circle Gallery in Discovery Park in Seattle’s Magnolia Neighborhood.
Over the next six months, Friends of Bernie Whitebear Garden Improvement Project will be making the Garden and the significance of the native plants that grow there more accessible to all. Stay tuned for ways you can become involved.