NEW! Teaser for Our Documentary “Forget Winnetou!” Coming in 2017

NEW! From Flying With Red Haircrow Productions, the interview trailer for Forget Winnetou: Going beyond #NativeAmerican #Stereotypes in #Germany. Coming in 2017, it’s the fruition of years of work and experiences, from myself and colleague Timo Kiesel.

“Native stereotypes damage everyone, especially young people, especially in a country with a genocidal history. It teaches its okay to be culturally abusive to others and perpetuate misconceptions. Winnetou is the ultimate native stereotype.”

To learn more please visit our website. For regular updates and news on current events, please follow us on social media.

At Red Rising Magazine-“Professions-What do “Real Natives” Do?”

My latest think piece at Red Rising Magazine, featuring a photo of our graphic artist Natasha John, from our documentary Forget Winnetou!. Please visit RRM for the full article.
rr-art

The definitions of “real Indian” as opposed to “not authentic” Indian, based on ancestry or blood quantum level, or additionally on physical appearance, dress, behavior and attitude, can be compared to deciding what is a traditional or non-traditional profession as a means to judge dedication or connection to heritage and culture. This all being distinctly aside and separate from non-natives claiming to be natives, or those with distinctly questionable native heritage appropriating and then benefiting from being “Native” in non-native circles, mind you.

In whatever indigenous tribe, people or group, for the majority the reality and understanding maybe that there isn’t (or shouldn’t be) division between anything done, spoken, achieved or studied so as to be considered non-traditional or traditional. It is all connected. There is no compartmentalization of belief, activity or work. In everything you do, whether recognizable to others as “native”, it is Native because you as a Native did it, accomplished it, and added it from who and what you are.”

#Poetry for a #NewYearsEve- “To Kiss You At Midnight”

midnight

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TO KISS YOU AT MIDNIGHT

 

In the old wooden box beneath my bed, rumpled bills,

scattered coins look almost enough to come to you

but alas, I know, they are too few.

I would give them all and more if only I could kiss you.

 

Playing all the sad songs from 1982,

re-recorded cassettes, precious, far from new,

I would burn them, crush them, hurl them into watery hell

if I could see your face to kiss you.

 

The single photo of the mother I barely knew,

sepia pale, curled and ragged edged:

wide brow, lips slim, like mine the eyes so blue,

but even this precious memory I would sacrifice to kiss you.”

 


And I say from “A” New Years Eve because people from different cultures and countries celebrate/recognize it at different times. The poem is from my first collected book of poetry titled, “CORE” (2014), available at Amazon, Smashwords and other online retailers. Post about its release here on-site.

The poem was written with the knowledge and from the perspective of the young deaf gay man whose biography I helped write and prepare for publishing. It is entitled, “Silence Is Multi-Colored In My World”, and an award in category, best GLBT memoir/biography in the 2012 Rainbow Awards.

 

Editorial reviews:

“It made me laugh, broke my heart, and made me think of so many things.  What a funny, bright, kind and loving young man!  His pain makes me hurt, yet he had such an enormous capacity for love in spite of the cruelty and injustices he endured.  I just want to hold him in my arms and not let go.” –Nancy Ferrer, Outlaw Reviews

“I read this book in a single sitting. It is an inspirational, often poignant, occasionally brutal, collection of essays about love, life, beauty, suffering, triumph, joy, pain and responsibility. I do not generally like collections of essays as a format preferring a straight line narrative. Had I read only the synopsis of this work without the author’s additional comments in requesting the review I would not have picked it up. Do not judge this book by its synopsis. Pick it up. Read it. Five stars.”- Bob Cherny, The LL Book Reviews

“As someone who has devoted their life to sound, and I suppose, at the same time silence, it is always very compelling for me to learn the perspective of someone who is deaf, and understands the vibration spectrum in a very different, but no less meaningful way….This book transcends all differences, stereotypes, judgements and becomes the sharing forth of a very honest human experience relevant to all of us, connected to all of us.“-Ana Cristina Caelen, Sound Therapist and Composer

“Silence Is Multi-Colored in My World is a beautiful and moving collection of essays, diary and blog entries written by a young deaf man. I read this collection with a sense of wonder, humility and inspiration and the writing deeply touched me on a multitude of levels. The honesty with which the writing conveys the joys and sorrows, fears and pains, hopes and dreams of this man serves as a testament and reminder of the capacity of the human spirit to not only persist but also to thrive and to soar.” –Indigene, Indie Reviews

“NGO’s, Accomplices & Why ‘Ally’ Is the Wrong Term” #IndigenousRising

Allies. Supporters. Friends. When all the aforementioned, by whatever description, bring additional issues too many don’t want to address, let alone admit. So what can be done, especially from an indigenous perspective? It is a critical time of critical need, of native revitalization and resurgence, when internal or external forces must not hold entire movements back. Ultimately, they will not, I believe, but I also feel, like so many others, these problems must be solved right now before they continue or allowed to grow further. Mistakes of the past must not be repeated. Allowances, excuses or generosity rewarded with treachery.

Originally posted on Warrior Publications: Conspiracy At Fort Michilimackinac, by Robert Griffing. by Zig Zag, Warrior Publications, December 22, 2016 Ally: to unite or form a connection or relation between… to form or enter into an alliance (two factions allying with each other). Merriam-Webster Dictionary There’s been some discussion over the last couple of years…

via On the Question of Allies — Unsettling America

The Historical & Modern Dangers of Non-Native Interpretation of #StandingRock & #Indigenous Movements

dsc_2560I’m currently finishing Spirits of Blood, Spirits of Breath by Barbara Alice Mann, which was published in 2016 by Oxford University Press. While it has many, many, many truths the majority of the non-native world, academicians, scholars, so-called experts and others have overlooked, ignored or missed, there is some which  some natives don’t or only minimally know, also. Not excluding myself from some of that reality either. Much of it I was aware of or had learned on some level, but some, not in depth at all.

Yet for this post in particular, and considering the situation at the camps at Standing Rock who remain determined in the face of what others might see as overwhelming odds, the challenges of interpretation of native motives has always been an issue since Europeans first invaded. Misinterpretation is the more apt word, but the interpretations and labels placed on natives and native behavior, beliefs or traditions, especially by self-termed allies or “friends” has been problematic, arguably even as much as outright mendacity. It can all serve the same purpose in the end.

“The dangers of native enthusiasm and interpretation in translation of native concepts by non-natives (sometimes with natives facilitating this) has led to some of the greatest massacres and aggressive response by the USA military. Wounded Knee was a response to interpretation and sensationalization by those who returned from a Ghost Dance (Wovoka, Paiute). While (textbook) history does say the US feared the Ghost Dance Movement, they only knew more about it as scholars interpreted it as a “Messianic” movement and military deployed to kill.”

Similarly, the dangers of fabrications, lies and sensationalization such as we’ve seen at Standing Rock, the fearmongering, rumors and gossips on both sides of the DAPL issue has been the cause of much unrest, trauma and turmoil, even if one side may consider themselves pro-Standing Rock. It can be seen to serve the same purpose of villification and reduction in the eyes of the “corrupted” law, especially as arrested and arraigned water protectors are now facing trials.

“The myth these scholars started was that Wovoka wished to replace Jesus with himself, which was nothing of the sort. And these things were written by enthusiasts/experts on “Indians”, even making themselves spokesmen, to detrimental, deadly effect even while they were making a name for themselves who, since they got the natives killed, had no or few to gainsay. “Friend” of the people. Why are natives so wary? This is why.”

Barbara Alice Mann goes on to debunk the origin of the Bering Strait theory using their own reasoning, the myth that natives were all fighting each other anyway, that they were sworn enemies, the reality of how missionary Christianity and Catholicism were the main components of native genocide and ethnocide, particularly deadly to sacred ones such as medicine people, women’s societies and two-spirits (using the modern intertribal term). Full review coming soon for NAIS, Native American Indigenous Studies Association.

I classify this an essential read for Native American/Indigenous Students students, natives and non-natives alike, but particularly for anyone who believes any of the myths about the original peoples of Turtle Island. Some of which they likely do not realize as such, and have accepted as fact. This book is classified widely as one pertaining to religion, but that’s again an interpretation of non-natives. Spirituality is inseparable from traditional native life, cultures and traditions. So this is about NATIVES, past and present. Simply that.

To learn much more about “U.S. Colonial Policies Impacting Indigenous Spirituality & Sacred Sites”, because yes, ethnocide & genocide of the original peoples of Turtle Island is still ongoing, please visit Indigenous Action Media.