Posts Tagged ‘buffalo post’

'Facing the Storm' (Courtesy of ICTMN)


The PBS series “Independent Lens” has picked up “Facing the Storm: Story of the American Bison,” for its fall run. The film was directed by Doug Hawes-Davis, who through the movie tells the story of the bison’s fight to remain wild in the hills of the west as humans did their best to drive the animals to extinction.


ICTMN reports
that the film, made in coordination with Missoula, Mont.-based High Plains films, will be shown on PBS sometime this fall.

    Using archival materials and interviews with experts, the filmmakers tell the story of the eradication of approximately 30 million buffalo from the Great Plains areas in less than 50 years. Although not of Native descent, Hawes-Davis gives an excellent account of the American Indians’ relationship with the Bison.

The Missoulian’s Joe Nickell wrote a review of the film when it debuted at the Wilma in Missoula in October 2010.

You can see several trailers for the film or order it as the High Plains Film website.

Jenna Cederberg

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Mark Trahant


Mark Trahant is a writer, speaker and Twitter poet. He is a member of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes and lives in Fort Hall, Idaho. Trahant’s recent book, “The Last Great Battle of the Indian Wars,” is the story of Sen. Henry Jackson and Forrest Gerard.

Last week President Barack Obama held his first town hall on Twitter. A really great idea and I plunged in with this question:

“#AskObama Indian Cntry’s unemployment rate is unacceptable. Cutting govt jobs will make this situation far worse. What steps to fix this?” @TrahantReports

A Twitter town hall is a great idea. In theory. This first round revealed three huge problems.

First, the president didn’t play the game. Twitter requires focus, honing and shaping ideas into 140 characters.

This is not an easy thing to do, but its very nature it changes the conversation. Twitter captures raw essence, not routine answers. The president stuck with routine answers.

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Monday is International Mother Language Day. Did you know the world shares 7,000 languages? Did you know more than half are endangered?

Linguist and leading specialist in the study of endangered languages K. David Harrison discusses these numbers and what it means for the health of the world’s intellectual history in a column for Huffington Post.

Harrison’s “Emerging Languages, Emergent Knowledge” column notes this: . . . we are now at risk of entering an informational and evolutionary bottleneck, heading for a global memory wipe as languages vanish.

What does this mean for ingenious peoples throughout the world?

    While the top of the economic pyramid may be dominated by a few players, the knowledge pyramid is inversely skewed, with just 0.2 percent of the world’s population possessing a full 80 percent of our languages, and the vast knowledge they encode.

    Humans spent millennia functioning in oral societies. Longevity of information was ensured by distributing it across multiple brains, and evolving complex social structures to ensure inter-generational transmission. In our knowledge-based economy, we now outsource most memory tasks to digital media, no longer memorizing stories, poems, or even phone numbers. But a hard drive is less durable than each successive medium that came before it: paper, papyrus, clay, stone, and human memory.

Just so you know: Feb. 21 is International Mother Language Day, established by UNESCO in 1999, “to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world.”

Jenna Cederberg

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Native American Passions is up and running, and has plenty of users so far. The site is devoted to connecting Native Americans and to those “interested in Native Americans” and the culture.

It bills itself as a 100 percent free online dating and social networking site for the Native American community, where members can come for romance, chatting or friendships. It’s a part of the Passions Network for online dating.

You need a username and password to sign up. Most already using the site have pictures posted with their profiles. There’s a lot to explore on the site, without logging in it’s hard to tell what exactly is free. There are more than a few links to dating sites that aren’t “100 percent free.” Looks like there are about 30 questions to answer in the “About me” section and about the same in the “About my match (what I’m looking for)” section.

    Members can take advantage of the ‘Native American Groups’ to find other members based on which tribe they belong to. More than 50 tribes are represented by members within the site already, including Apache, Blackfoot, Cherokee, Choctaw and Cree, among others. Aside from finding members based on their tribal affiliation, members can browse a large number of other groups meant to help define what it is they are looking for on the site (ie. chat, dating, marriage, etc.). There is even a group specifically to help members find others who enjoy attending Pow Wows.

Jenna Cederberg

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Thanks to the Tank Bar team for this photo.

pine ridge winter

Brian Brandt of Rapid City, S.D., took this beautiful photograph during his recent drive down to Kyle, S.D., home of the Tanka Bar headquarters. For more of Brian’s photos and a great story of his travel partner Louise Engelstad and their cat Leesha, see Goin Mobyle.

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Arvel Bird (Courtesy of Arvel Bird press kit)

Arvel Bird (Courtesy of Arvel Bird pres kit)


Renowned Native violinist Arvel Bird will perform twice during the Honoring Traditions Eastern Woodland Celebration powwow in Lancaster, Ohio, this weekend.

Anywhere from 20 to 30 Native nations are expected to show up to the annual event, according to the Lancaster Eagle-Gazette.

    “People have been asking us to get him to come to our celebration every year,” Everhart said. “But we couldn’t until this year.”

    Bird was born in Idaho and raised in Utah. Originally trained as a classical violinist, he was inspired by Appalachian, bluegrass and Celtic styles. He is also a Native American flutist.

    Today he blends his classical training and Native American roots into his own songs, Everhart said.

Arvel will perform his well-known blend of Native American, Celtic, and Folk music throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday from his award-winning CDs,– Animal Totems, Animal Totems 2, Rakish Paddy, Red River Jig and Ride Indian Ride, his website said.

Jenna Cederberg

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A two-month-old girl is dead, despite a brave attempt to save her from a burning home on a northern Manitoba reserve. (Photo Credit: Island Lake RCMP Detachment)

A two-month-old girl is dead, despite a brave attempt to save her from a burning home on a northern Manitoba reserve. (Photo Credit: Island Lake RCMP Detachment)


Another tragic headline, just the latest in a string of disturbing fire deaths, telling of the loss of a two-month-old baby girl in Manitoba has First Nation leaders there calling for better fire fighting equipment.

The girl’s death was the second of babies in the region in just months. The Global Toronto reports that the fire killing the little girl had to be put out with snow. Now, tribal leaders want the federal governments help in securing better fire fighting equipment.

    Manitoba Grand Chief Ron Evan wants to know “how many more children have to die” before Indian and Northern Affairs Canada improve emergency response equipment in northern communities.

    Evans says that in the last five years, 29 people have been killed in fires on Manitoba reserves and 11 of them were children.

    INAC began a review of firefighting on Manitoba First Nations in May after a two-year-old boy died on the Long Plain First Nation.

    Federal government officials say there is no short-term fix for the problem and they’re still working on a long-term solution.

Jenna Cederberg

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Betty Mae Tiger Jumper (Courtesy of House of Prayer)

Betty Mae Tiger Jumper (Courtesy of House of Prayer)


First she broke through the binds of segregation to get her high school degree. This made her the first Seminole Indian to graduate from high school. Betty Mae Tiger Jumper, who was also the tribe’s first health director and the first (and only) woman to lead its Tribal Council, died last week at age 88.

The Sun Sentinel in Florida reports that Jumper died at her home. A memorial service was held for her on Monday.

    Mrs. Jumper was extensively involved in tribal government. She was among the original group that gathered under the Council Oak in Hollywood to create the Seminole Tribe’s constitutional government and helped gain federal recognition of the tribe.

    She chaired the Tribal Council from 1967-1971.

    In 1970, she was one of two women appointed by then- President Richard Nixon to the National Congress on Indian Opportunity. She was a founder of the United South and Eastern Tribes, which became a powerful lobbying force for Indian interests.

    “Because she was mixed race — she was half-Caucasian, she was half-Seminole — they told her they couldn’t do those things. She went against the taboos of the tribe,” her son said. “It gave her more willpower and more energy.”

Jenna Cederberg

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Mike Trahant

Mike Trahant


Mark Trahant is a writer, speaker and Twitter poet. He is a member of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes and lives in Fort Hall, Idaho. Trahant’s recent book, “The Last Great Battle of the Indian Wars,” is the story of Sen. Henry Jackson and Forrest Gerard.

Are we a nation doomed to be violent? How do we know when our political rhetoric has gone too far? How do we find or encourage a more civil discourse?

I was struck by the words of Rep. Gabrielle Gifford. She objected to an advertisement last March by Sarah Palin: “The way that has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district,” Gifford said on MSNBC. “When people do that, they have got to realize there are consequences to that.”

She continued: “Chances are, you’re going to have a couple of people, extremes on both sides, frankly, not just the Republican side. We have Democratic extreme activists as well. Most of our country is in the middle, but we do have these polarized parts of our parties that get really excited. And that’s where again community leaders, not just the political leaders, all of us need to come together and say, there’s a fine line here.”

Words have consequences – and Gifford (and so many others) are innocent victims of those consequences. It wasn’t just painted targets but political campaign slogans of “lock and load” or “never retreat, reload.”

I know the counter-argument. Don’t blame the rhetoric because the Tucson shooter was a disturbed young man. That may be. But that doesn’t change the weather; the political climate is threatening.

Just Google the words “Democrats are …” Some 6 million entries pop up filling in that last word as being Marxists or a willingness “to rob us of our freedoms.” These words go beyond a simple political disagreement: We on the other side are wrong or evil. We listen to calls for us to be exorcised from the nation’s discourse.

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Nkwusm school director Rosie Matt pages through the second edition of the Salish Language Translation Dictionary in the language school’s storage room, a former bowling alley. Some 4,000 copies of the dictionary were printed in August. (Photo by Linda Thompson/Missoulian)

Nkwusm school director Rosie Matt pages through the second edition of the Salish Language Translation Dictionary in the language school’s storage room, a former bowling alley. Some 4,000 copies of the dictionary were printed in August. (Photo by Linda Thompson/Missoulian)

By JENNA CEDERBERG
of the Missoulian

Four thousand new doses of medicine for the Salish language arrived at the Nkwusm language immersion school in Arlee this summer.

The second edition of Nkwusm executive director Tachini Pete’s Salish language translation dictionary was printed in hardback form in August and copies are now being housed in the school where students learn the Native language each day.

The book, “Selis nyo?nuntn: Medicine for the Salish Language” includes English to Salish translations in the updated, streamlined form.

A scholar of the language for 16 years, Pete knows elders are elders and won’t be around forever. Around 50 fluent Salish speakers remain today, and few are under the age of 75.

“That’s always been my motivation, that other people could learn, not just me. I just want to provide the best tool they can have,” Pete said.

It’s the first time the language has been presented in this form so completely. Pete’s first edition was 186 pages long. The latest edition boasts 816 pages. It’s not only filled in with a treasure trove of new words and information, but it’s in a more useable form, Pete said.

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