Posts Tagged ‘Gros Ventre’
As the catalogue to this new exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts points out, the artistry of the peoples of the Great Plains had to be functional, given their semi-nomadic nature.
So they created beauty for everyday use, on their clothing, their homes, and their implements, according to this story by Eric Newhouse.
The exhibit “breaks new ground,” associate curator Joe Horse Capture writes in the catalogue. “This is probably the first time a major art museum has held an exhibition devoted to a specific Native American tribe and curated by members of that same tribe. Tribal members also wrote the catalog.”
The catalog is dedicated to Horse Capture’s dad, George Horse Capture, who moved back to Great Falls from Washington, D.C., after retiring as senior curator of the National Museum of the American Indian. The elder Horse Capture also
contributed a historical and cultural narrative to the catalog, as did tribal artist and teacher Sean Chandler.
“Our tribe has always been a small one, and we lived in Canada for hundreds of years, so compared to other, larger tribes we are little known,” he wrote. “But many of us have earned college degrees and with the help of our elders over the years have located and gathered information from the four corners of the earth to provide this glimpse of our history and aspects of our culture.”
The exhibition includes a century-old hide war shield made that had belonged to Bull Lodge, a warrior and holy man, and am A’aninin shirt made from an animal hide and decorated with strips of beadwork down the chest and back and along the arms, Newhouse writes.
Many of the items were donated by Richard Pohrt Sr.
“Later in life, Pohrt gave objects that were sacred to the A’aninin back to the tribe,” Horse Capture says. He had considered himself as a caretaker of these powerful objects and felt compelled to return them. Such a close and personal relationship with a tribe is rare among collectors.”
Tags: A'aninin, buffalo post, Fort Belknap Reservation, George Horse Capture, Gros Ventre, Gwen Florio, Joe Horse Capture, Minnesapolis Institute of the Arts, National Museum of the American Indian, Native American news, Richard Pohrt St.., Sean Chandler, White Clay People
The January issue of Smithsonian magazine features this story on what it calls a “breathtaking” collection of 88 quilts stitched by members of Northern Plains tribes.
The National Museum of the American Indian is home to one of the largest such collections, and the article focuses on those acquired from a collector named Florence Pulford.
Pulford, a San Francisco Bay area homemaker, first got interested in quilts of the Plains tribes in the 1960s. According to NMAI curator Ann McMullen, these quilts—many bearing a central octagonal star—functioned as both ritual and practical replacements for Plains Indians buffalo robes. Bison hides had grown scarce as herds were hunted nearly to extinction in a campaign to subdue the Plains tribes during the late 1800s. Missionary wives taught quilting techniques to Indian women, who soon made the medium their own. Many of the patterns and motifs, McMullen says, “have a look very similar to [designs painted on] buffalo robes.”
Pulford would then sell the quilts, and return profits to the women.
More than a quarter of the quilts in the collection are by Almira Buffalo Bone Jackson, a member of the Red Bottom band of Assiniboine on the Fort Peck Reservation in Montana. Jackson died in 2004 at age 87.
Tags: Almira Buffalo Bone Jackson, Assiniboine, buffalo post, Florence Pulford, Fort Belknap Reservation, Fort Peck Reservation, Gros Ventre, National Museum of the American Indian, Native American news, Smithsonian
Ranchers fear the park’s bison carry brucellosis, a disease that causes stillborn calves. For years now, when bison go outside in the park in search of winter forage, they’ve been slaughtered to prevent the spread of the disease.
But some bison, after being declared disease-free, were spared. They’re the ones in the holding pens, and the idea is to use them to repopulate public and tribal lands across the West with free-roaming bison, writes the AP’s Matthew Brown, here.
However, those animals apparently will be relocated to a Montana ranch owned by billionaire Ted Turner, under a recommendation made by state and federal officials.
Turner already owns about 50,000 bison, and his restaurant chain Ted’s Montana Grill serves buffalo burgers. But Turner Enterprises general manager Russell Miller says the Yellowstone bison won’t be served up on a bun, and that the genetically pure Yellowstone bison will be kept separate from the others on his ranch.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks administrator Ken McDonald tells Brown that giving up bison to Turner’s ranch was not his preferred choice, and that his agency already is getting “a lot of backlash over the whole privatization thing.”
The tribes’ applications were judged insufficient, but officials say they’ll be given first choice the next time bison are available.
Is it just us, or is “Get over it” one of the more offensive phrases in the English language? Nona Main says she hears it a lot.
Main is Gros Ventre, from the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation in northern Montana, and she says people often tell her that the racism she perceives is all in her head, according to this story in Indian Country Today.
“A lot of that goes with the fact that a lot of people think that we have a victim mentality,” Main says. “And they say, ‘Get over it. It happened a long time ago.’ It didn’t happen a long time ago, it’s still happening. I’m not trying to play the victim, I’m trying to educate you about what’s going on in my world so you guys can stop treating people this way. I don‘t treat you that way.”
Main was part of a panel discussion on racism in Montana. Titled “There’s an Elephant in Our Community,” the event was sponsored by Not In Our Town, an organization against racial discrimination, and the Unitarian Universalist Fellow-ship church at MSU-Billings as part of American Indian Heritage Day. Main is a student at MSUB.
She says comments on the local paper’s Web site are an example of where negative stereotypes of American Indians prevail whenever there is a story about them.
“If you go on there, and you read the things that people say on there, you feel like saying, ‘Why can’t these people come up to me and tell me that to my face rather than hide behind a computer with a name that nobody knows you by? Can you come up to me and tell me that to my face what you think of me? Can you do that?’ And I don’t think any of them can.”
On this particular point, we heartily concur with Main.
And speaking of Indians in Montana, members of that state’s congressional delegation say they’re moving quickly on a bill to grant federal recognition to that state’s landless Little Shell Band of Chippewa. The tribe, whose 4,300 members live near Great Falls, Mont., has been formally seeking recognition for three decades. Today, the Bureau of Indian Affairs turned them down.
“It kind of hurts, naturally, but it’s not the end of the line,” Little Shell elder Roger Salois, 72, tells the Associated Press, here. “…But we’re still together, and we’re still Little Shell.”
The Little Shell have proven their persistence. Now it’s time for the state’s elected lawmakers to do the same.
Vernelle Chase, an enrolled member of the Gros Ventre Tribe of Montana’s Fort Belknap Reservation, has been named the Minority Advocate of the Year by an Oklahoma group.
That state’s Native American Business Center cited Chase’s work as tribal liaison for the Flintco Companies’ Native American Division headquartered in Tulsa, according to this Indian Country Today story.
“Anybody can raise a building, but being the world’s largest Native American construction company comes with a lot of responsibility,” Chase says. “We pride ourselves on providing diversity training for our employees and utilizing our experience to honor our commitments to projects with cultural sensitivity and relevance.”
Flintco’s Web site touts its work on the Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, N.M.; Fort Defiance Indian Hospital, Fort Defiance, Ariz., and the Santa Fe Indian School.
Yesterday, we wrote about the stimulus money being directed to water projects on Indian reservations. Today, a news release from the offices of U.S. Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester, details how it will play out on five Montana reservations:
* The Crow Tribe on the Crow Reservation in southeastern Montana will receive $1,033,610 to improve their sewer and water lagoon infrastructure.
* The Chippewa Cree Tribe on the Rocky Boy’s Reservation in north central Montana will receive $542,710 to repair the wastewater lagoon.
* The Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes on the Fort Peck Reservation in north east Montana will receive $589,680 to improve their wastewater infrastructure by stabilizing the walls of the water lagoon.
* The Gros Ventre and Assiniboine Tribes on the Fort Belknap Reservation in north central Montana will receive $572,700 to make upgrades to the water treatment plant.
* The Blackfeet Tribe on the Blackfeet Reservation in north west Montana will receive $29,900 to improve drinking water infrastructure by fixing a water main.
“This money will make such a difference for the folks in Indian Country,” Baucus said. “These are critical upgrades to water infrastructure that will help the entire community’s health, safety and economic development.”
“Access to clean water is essential for healthy communities, and this money will go a long ways toward making that a reality for Montana’s Indian Country,” said Tester, a member of the influential Senate Appropriations Committee and the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.