On-Going: Research Study on Native Suicide

I am currently conducting research as a grad student in the Native American Studies M.A. program at MSU Bozeman. My research interests are native/indigenous mental health and healing, and the effects of historic trauma and other contributing factors to suicide. In this study, I am currently seeking native/indigenous participants who have survived or experienced loss by suicide.

If you meet the conditions, you are invited to participate in this IRB approved research study, which consists of twelve questions. The purpose of this study is to better understand contributing factors from the perspective of survivors, friends, family and/or community members in order to help reduce and/or stop suicides. You are welcome to share this offer.

Participation is entirely voluntary. Continue reading

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Karl May Museum Reneges on Agreement to Return #NativeAmerican Scalps

These photos were taken by and copyright to Mark Worth, used with his permission.

These photos were taken by and copyright to Mark Worth, used with his previous permission.

Two years ago I was interviewed by Deutsche Welle TV on the topic of Native American scalps being held at the Karl May Museum in Radebeul, Germany. An American visitor had remarked and challenged the display, contacting me and several other Native American individuals and groups in an effort to have the scalps repatriated. I wrote articles for Indian Country Today and at my own website to help drawn attention to the situation, as well as educate others on why it is so important that the scalp(s) be identified and returned.

Native American culture, which is in fact plural, not singular, as there are thousands of different tribes many having their distinct languages, traditions and beliefs. The common denominator historically is almost all share the devastating results of invasion by Europeans. In Germany, Native Americans are popular, but mostly in past tense, as relics of the past just as they view these scalps. Stereotypes, caricatures, curious beings or things.The German public when asked rather laughed at the idea that anyone, even natives, might want these old scalps returned.

Despite talks, despite protests and calls from natives, and their previous agreement of returning the scalps, the Karl May Museum has reneged and again refused. They claim original ownership can’t be determined, so they do not know who to properly return it/them to. Well, the original owner had it on their head. IT WAS THEIR SCALP. Whoever bought or sold, that part is now irrelevant. It needs to be repatriated.

Returning the human remains to the person’s tribe is ethical, moral and right, so that it can be properly respected, cared for and returned to the earth but all the Karl May Museum can think of is money, ownership. They also don’t want to be set the precendent (DESPITE international human repatriation laws) that start the push for the many museums, hobbyists and private collectors to return their objects of curiosity and morbid thrills back to native tribes.

The Karl May Museum is absolutely in the wrong, and no amount of their posturing, blustering or supposed concern for “doing the right thing” makes their attitude okay. They’re wrong. The scalp(s) need to be returned. This is an yet another ugly example of how the collecting of “native goods/items/remains” or cultural appropriation through Indian hobbyists can cause international issues and continue historic trauma to Native Americans.

Karl May Museum hangs on to Native American scalp

My other articles on the topic:

 

On cultural appropriation & hobbyists (Off site interviews/comments):

 

On cultural appropriation, native/indigenous history & knowledge (On site articles):

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Activism, Current Events, Germany, Native American

Help Fund a Good Cause: “Fly Little Sisters to Graduation” (created Feb.2)

noel

Please consider helping fund a campaign by Noel Altaha, a 27 White Moutain Apache student at . Serving at the single parent of her young sisters since the age of 19, she is to be a first generation graduate from Columbia University in New York, and would love to have them see her make this monumental step.

“I’m Noel. I’m 27. I’m Native American from the White Mountain Apache Nation. I’m writing to ask for your help to raise flight and food money to fly my little sisters out to watch my Masters commencement in May 2016.

I am raising funds to cover the cost of flights and food for my two sisters and my two young nephews to fly from CO to NY.  As flight prices increase daily, I would like to raise the funds as soon as possible to avoid changes to my goal and budget.

I’m the eldest of my family and since 19, I’ve raised my two sisters on my own as a single parent. As a sister-turned-guardian, I’ve worked my tail off to provide the basics, food, shelter, education, and most of all love. Two  years ago, I had to temporarily depart from them. Amid the La Plata Mountains in CO, I ventured east to the City of New York to puruse my Masters in Science degree at Columbia University’s School of Social Work. It’s been an ongoing challenge being away from my sisters yet it’s also been a very rewarding experience and now the time has come. My graduation date is set for May 2016. “

You can read her full message at the GoFundMe website, as well as make a donation.

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Filed under Announcements, Native American, Personal Entries

A Jazz Collaboration-Poetry & Piano: “Conejitos Amarillos” with Uli Lenz

NEW! From Flying With Red Haircrow Productions:

Poetry can be many things & come in many forms, just like jazz: “Conejitos Amarillos” is a short energetic piece composed and performed by client and friend, the German jazz pianist Uli Lenz, combined with a poem by Red Haircrow. Inspired by Lenz’s thoughts on the song’s creation and the combination of jazz and animation in the iconic Tom & Jerry cartoons, Red Haircrow created a simple but fast moving musical story of comedic gravity about the idiosyncracies of rabbits.

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Filed under Announcements, Berlin, Jazz, Poetry

Native Perspectives Film Review: “The Revenant” (2015)

revenant

THE REVENANT

Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Writers: Mark L. Smith (screenplay), Alejandro González Iñárritu (screenplay)
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson & Full Cast

 

Review:
With its honest portrayal of life spend in nature, the shifts between intense action and often tedious but necessary patient waiting and work, “The Revenant” was rumored to be an unforgettable film centered on Leonard DiCaprio’s performance and it delivered. “The Revenant” is directed by Mexico-born Alejandro González Iñárritu, an award-winning writer, director and producer born, an artist known for works highlighting the complexity of human motivations and needs. Self-described as music more often influencing for his work than other films, one easily discerned this in his latest offering for it was like watching a movie equivalent of a symphony: slow movements, a rising crescendo, and at last a finalé and resolution.

There have been survival dramas in the past, and the closest equivalent I can think of is “Jeremiah Johnson” (1972), whose titular character was played by Robert Redford. A similar theme of vengeance against those who wronged and murdered his adopted native family is central, as well as the poignant ending. DiCaprio’s character Hugh Glass was left to die after a bear attack, though mostly because his former comrades rationalize this eventuality is best to save themselves from threatening natives. Thomas Hardy’s character, John Fitzgerald, is most outspoken to abandon Glass along with a half native son, whose people and all natives John deeply hates. However, he volunteers to stay behind to witness Glass’ passing, but as soon as the others leave his rancor is made evident to both Glass and his son. Continue reading

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Filed under Film Review, Native American, Reviews