Land Back: Settler FAQ

A lot of people are saying #LandBack. The idea seems to be settlers should give back the land their ancestors stole. I hear about it more from Canadians than Americans, but the idea is circulating in both countries. I’m listening, politely I hope, but I’m not really sure about what I’m hearing. How far do … Read more

Native Lands

I’ve been enjoying the increasing popularity of territorial acknowledgments. Here’s an artcle from CNN: Leah Asmelash. “This app will show you what Indigenous land you’re on.” CNN. Mar. 22, 2021, retrieved Mar. 25, 2021. And here’s the app it recommends. A bit confusing in the way it presents information, but workable: Native-Land.ca As expected, it … Read more

Denver’s Territorial Acknowledgment

I wrote about Canadian territorial acknowledgments a few weeks ago. I wondered about doing them in the U.S. Turns out Denver City Council already does one. Embarrassingly, it also turns out I was at the meeting (via Zoom) when they adopted it (October 26, 2020). I made a mental note to come back later and … Read more

Territorial Acknowledgment

I’ve been thinking about the territorial acknowledgments they do in Canada. They open events and assemblies, particularly in urban and institutional spaces, with an acknowledgment that the land in that area is the the traditional homeland of the ___ people, and that it was ceded under the ___ treaty (or not ceded). We could use … Read more

Catoneras, An Indian Princess

One of my ancestors on my dad’s side was an Indian princess. Well, sort of. If you know me I know that I’m a rigorist in these matters. There are no Indian princesses because the “Indians” didn’t have royal families. And, the vast majority of these claims are hokum anyway. But Catoneras is one of … Read more

Becoming Indian

I’ve been chuckling about this video for a few days now. the1491s. “I’m An Indian Too“. YouTube <youtube.com>. Sep 21, 2012, retrieved Dec. 12, 2020. So then. When the laughing subsides for a bit, I’m ready to go on with some more reading around this topic. There’s a particularly active faux Red community on Geni.com. … Read more

Almost Métis

I used to think my dad’s ancestors were Métis. They’re not, but I ended up with a seemingly permanent interest. The Métis are a Canadian group, a mixture of Anglos and Indians from the area between the Great Lakes and the Rocky Mountains. Not all mixed-race people in Canada are Métis, just the ones where … Read more

Warren’s Cherokee Ancestry

I was at coffee with a friend a few days ago when we got mired in a debate about Elizabeth Warren. I was struck by how much misinformation I was hearing. It doesn’t need to be this hard. There is a political narrative that says Warren lied about her Cherokee ancestry. That’s a story for … Read more

Remembering Russell Means

Russell Means died 7 years ago today. I thought he was one of the truly great men of our time. Not everyone agreed. His obituary in the New York Times said, “He styled himself a throwback to ancestors who resisted the westward expansion of the American frontier. With theatrical protests that brought national attention to poverty … Read more

Navajo Rock Piles

“Navajo Historian, Wally Brown, teaches about rock piles. If you have ever stumbled across one, now you know what they were for. Maybe you could pick up the tradition and start a rock pile for your family, and make commitments to relatives, both close and distant.“ I love this idea. I come from a family … Read more