Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

Native biennial film festival to feature record number of Native
women filmmakers

Mark your calendars: The 2011 Native American Film + Video Festival at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in New York begins on March 31. It’s free and this year it will feature a larger number of women film makers, the Tanka Bar blog said.

    A movie that will make its premiere at the festival is Apache 8 by Sande Zeig, about an all-woman Apache wildland fire-fighting crew that has worked together for 22 years. Zeig said that all the firefighters would attend the festival, which she said was the best venue for the movie’s world premiere.

No “Indian” for comedy duo?
The ongoing controversy over the Fighting Sioux nickname and logo sparked an interesting request for the comedy duo “the Indian and the White Guy” when they were asked to cut out the word “Indian,” from performances if they played at UND’s Alerus Center, the Grand Forks Herald reports.

The duo’s manager said he was made aware of the stipulation but talks to have his clients perform didn’t get far.

    Phil Potter, national director of programming for VenueWorks in Ames, Iowa, said he was looking at Williams and Ree among several acts as possible entertainment at a “business after hours function” at the Alerus on March 17.

    “There were at least half a dozen acts we kicked around, and it never got to an offer point,” he said.

    Potter said he knew nothing of the nickname controversy until someone in Grand Forks mentioned it to him. Potter said he called Williams and Ree’s agent and asked “if that is too sensitive right now.”

    He said he made the suggestion that the act limit its references to Indians.

    He said the discussions didn’t advance further, and the event planners apparently decided “to do something smaller, maybe local,” and he didn’t think more about it.

“Living Sicker, Dying Younger”
If you’re still hungry, take some time to check out the University of Montana School of Journalism Native News Honors Project 2010 . It includes stories about the state of Native health from the seven Montana reservations and the urban outlook as well.

Photos, video and text included.

Jenna Cederberg

While in Hawaii, the Iroquois Nationals held a clinic with the support of Nike, which has partnered with the team since 2006. The clinic involved 80 Native Hawaiian students, most of whom have never before seen the sport. (Photo courtesy Jill Zanger)

While in Hawaii, the Iroquois Nationals held a clinic with the support of Nike, which has partnered with the team since 2006. The clinic involved 80 Native Hawaiian students, most of whom have never before seen the sport. (Photo courtesy Jill Zanger)

Instead of London, it was Hawaii for the the 2010 Iroquois Nationals lacrosse team.

The team was denied travel opportunity to play in London after a passport dispute grounded them in the United States.

It made for great use of the unused London tickets.

Indian Country Today reports that the team not only participated in the Hawaii Lacrosse 20th Anniversary Invitational Tournament in Waikiki, but also held a clinic with Native Hawaiian students.

    “We were given a very elaborate greeting (at the University of Hawaii’s Kamakakuokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies), and we remarked that it was similar in spirit and protocol to our traditional greeting ceremony. It was the unification of the two groups. We were very at home,” Percy Abrams, the team’s executive director, told reporter Cindy Luis of the Honolulu Star Advertiser.

    The clinic “was much more than a cultural exchange. For the students at Ke Kula Kaiapuni ‘o Anuenue, the Hawaiian immersion school in Palolo Valley, it was an educational experience that linked the Hawaiian sovereignty issue to the recognition problems encountered by the (Iroquois Nationals) last summer,” Luis reported.

Here’s the story from the Associated Press about the controversy surrounding the South Bend High School Indians:

(image South Bend High School website)SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — A Native American historian who objects to the Indian mascot nickname used by St. Joseph’s High School will meet with Catholic diocese administrators to air his concerns, a diocese spokesman said.

The diocese’s school superintendent, the principal of the school in South Bend and historian Brian Collier will meet Friday. The South Bend Tribune reported Wednesday that the meeting will be “private and preliminary,” according to Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend spokesman Vince LaBarbera.

Collier, who has two children attending Catholic school, said he didn’t think the Indian nickname and mascot was appropriate for the 800-student high school.

“I think you can’t have a disaffected group of people as your mascot,” he said.

Read the rest of this entry »

Here’s an interview in the Miami Herald with Tatanka, a Lumbee descendant and former WWE star, who has highlighted his Native American heritage in his wrestling career. (He talks about it in the video clip above, in a blustery, WWE sort of way – if you wait through the Italian part, Tatanka’s interview is in English.)

Herald reporter Jim Varsallone writes that Tatanka – whose real name is Chris Chavis – recently traveled to South Florida for a Coastal Championship Wrestling indie show, competing at the Miccosukee Resort & Gaming near Miami.

Tatanka tells Varsallone:

“It’s always awesome to come to sovereign native lands and be able to not only wrestle in front of your blood but more importantly represent who you are right on native land. So it’s an honor to be here. I’m very, very close with a lot of the Seminoles and Miccosukees. Living in Florida, I’ve gotten very close to a lot of people of the Seminole and Miccosukee tribes.”

Gwen Florio

Wisconsin Public Radio is reporting that the Osseo-Fairchild has been ordered to stop using its race-based mascot “The Chieftains.” It’s the first time a new state law banning such nicknames has been used.

The state Department of Public Instruction finds that the name is discriminatory and promotes stereotypes of Native Americans, Brian Bull reports. (Fox 21 picked up that report.)

If the district doesn’t drop the mascot within a year, it could be fined.

Harvey Gunderson, who along with his wife, Carol, is among those who complained, says he hopes the action will inspire similar moves at other schools.

“In fact several people have called to thank us and to say this was a victory for American Indians across the state of Wisconsin, and in fact a victory for American Indians across the entire nation,” says Gunderson, who adds he and his wife have been threatened for their stance.

Gwen Florio

Ya gotta love the fact that Mioshia Wagoner is getting her master’s degree in conflict management and dispute resolution.

Because this young Navajo and Chickasaw woman is more than capable of resolving conflict in a far more traditional – if not necessarily peaceful – way. As Donald Bradley of the Kansas City Star writes here:

    Wagoner, 27, trains at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, where she did her undergraduate work in American Indian studies. She went to China two years ago for the World Championships and brought home a silver medal for Team USA.

    Next week she heads to the national boxing championships at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. She has not fought for nearly a year because of an injury.

    Her goal: London 2012. For the first time, women’s boxing will be an Olympic event.

    No question that she is different from previous Kansas City area Olympic hopefuls. First off, there’s the fact that she studies peacemaking for a career and punches people in the nose for sport.

I don’t know about you, but that sure makes me want to read more. If you click on the link, there’s a video of Wagoner in the ring. Check it out.

Gwen Florio

In this undated AP file photo, Jim Thorpe, left, is greeted by a group of American Indians from a nearby reservation at St. Petersburg, Fla.

In this undated AP file photo, Jim Thorpe, left, is greeted by a group of American Indians from a nearby reservation at St. Petersburg, Fla.

The Associated Press sent this story out as a News Break this afternoon. It’s by Maryclaire Dale:

In this May 11, 2009 file photo, Jack Thorpe speaks during ceremonies for the unveiling of a bronze statue of his father, the great Olympic Jim Thorpe, at the new site of the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and Jim Thorpe Museum, in Oklahoma City. Jack Thorpe, a son of Jim Thorpe is suing the Poconos town that bears his father's name over the remains of the Native American often called the 20th Century's greatest athlete. (AP Photo, File)

In this May 11, 2009 file photo, Jack Thorpe speaks during ceremonies for the unveiling of a bronze statue of his father, the great Olympic athlete Jim Thorpe, at the new site of the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and Jim Thorpe Museum, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo, File)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A son of sports great Jim Thorpe sued the Pennsylvania town that bears his father’s name Thursday, demanding that it return his remains to Oklahoma under a federal law designed to give Native American artifacts back to their tribal homelands.

Jack Thorpe, 72, of Shawnee, Okla., sued in federal court in Scranton, saying he had waited until the last of his half-sisters died to avoid a family conflict over the lawsuit.

“The bones of my father do not make or break your town,” Jack Thorpe, a past chief of the Sac and Fox tribe, said of the defendants, who include numerous current and former town officials. “I resent using my father as a tourist attraction.”

His father, a native Oklahoman born into the tribe, overcame humble roots to win the decathlon and pentathlon in the 1912 Olympics. Jim Thorpe later earned enviable sums playing professional football and baseball, and somewhat less playing the Indian in B-list Hollywood movies, then struggled financially before his March 1953 death in California at age 64.

In a bizarre deal to draw tourists, the merging towns of Mauch Chunk and East Mauch Chunk, Pa., brokered a deal with Thorpe’s ambitious third wife that renamed the community Jim Thorpe in 1954 and brought his remains to a corner of the Pocono Mountains that he likely never saw.

Read the rest of this entry »

Happy Father’s Day!
Jim Boyd’s song, “Father and Farther,” was featured in “Smoke Signals,” the movie based on Sherman Alexie’s short stories. Meanwhile, in Carroll County, Ark., the annual Father’s Day Powwow is going on this weekend, according to this Carroll County News story. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads!

Sounding off on New York’s latest cigarette tax plan aimed at Native Americans

Managing editor Eric DuVall of the Tonawanda News does not think much of New York’s plan to tax tribes’ cigarette sales. Of the complicated plan, he says here: “Either system would be surely subjected to a court review, and considering either system does mean that Native Americans will be taxed on sales to fellow Native Americans, it’s likely to be struck down. And if it isn’t, I sincerely hope they go back to burning tires on the Thruway.”

Deadline extended in Keepseagle suit on behalf of Indian farmers and ranchers
Shades of Cobell – the deadline to settle a lawsuit on behalf of Native American farmers and ranchers denied access to USDA loans has been extended until July 29. A tentative agreement in a similar case involve Hispanic ranchers reportedly has been reached, Rob Capriccioso of Indian Country Today writes here. A report in the Keepseagle v. Vilsack case estimates Native farmers and ranchers were denied about $3 billion in credit, resulting in between $500 million and $1 billion in damages.

Salish language camp attracts students of all ages
Last week’s Salish language camp on the Flathead Indian Reservation in western Montana was a blend of old and new, B.L. Azure writes here in the Char-Koosta News. Part of the Salish Language and Culture Camp held by the Salish Pend d’Oreille Culture Committee involved lessons by Shirley Trahan, who used a MacBook Pro computer loaded with the Salish language font.

Wisconsin tells school to dump Ho-Chunk chief logo
The state of Wisconsin wants the Osseo-Fairchild high school to ditch its nickname — the Chieftains — and logo of a Ho-Chunk chief. Local parents Harvey and Carol Gunderson filed a complaint about the logo. “It’s about a matter of psychological harm to students. Research has found that it lowers the self-esteem of American-Indian students, but it raises the self-esteem of European-American students,” Harvey Gunderson tells WQOW, here. The state agrees, but a school board member is fighting the order. A hearing is set for June 28.

Gwen Florio

Notah Begay III has gathered an all-star lineup for his third annual Notah Begay Challenge (see video above from last year’s event), which raises money to fight diabetes and obesity among Native American youth.

Chief among them are former LPGA stars Annika Sorenstam and Lorena Ochoa, the Associated Press reports here.

“They’re very big advocates in their own right for their own causes. For them to get behind this says a lot about what we’re trying to do,” says Begay, who is Navajo.

Others playing in the Aug. 31 mixed team skins matchare LPGA players Suzann Pettersen, Cristie Kerr, Morgan Pressel and Anna Rawson and PGA Tour regulars Anthony Kim, Camilo Villegas, Hunter Mahan, Vijay Singh, and Rickie Fowler, who is part Navajo.

“To get players of this caliber, assemble this kind of field, pull players out of retirement and get them interested and behind what we’re doing is very inspiring to me,” says Begay. “It makes me want to continue to do even more for Native American youth.”

The NB3 Challenge is a collaboration between Oneida Indian Nation of New York, and the San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians of California, and is held at the Oneida-owned Turning Stone Resort and Casino’s Atunyote Golf Club.

Last years’ NB3 Challenge featured Tiger Woods, and raised more than $1 million.

Gwen Florio

An aerial view with the moon over the Kenai Mountains, Kachemak Bay, and the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (AP Photo/Scott Dickerson)

An aerial view with the moon over the Kenai Mountains, Kachemak Bay, and the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (AP Photo/Scott Dickerson)

Alaska tribe pins economic hopes on new ferry
The Seldovia Village Tribe in Alaska has unveiled the newest ferry in Kachemak Bay — the M/V Kachemak Voyager — which arrived last week at the Homer Port and Harbor. It’s part of a plan from a nearly $1 million boat ramp to be built by the tribe, according to this Homer Tribune story. The ferry will allow tribal members to more easily get to jobs in Homer, 45 minutes away by boat.

First Nations women stage 300-mile march to protest gender discrimination

Despite extensive changes, Canada’s Indian Act still promotes discrimination, especially against women, Indian Country Today’s Gale Courey Toensing writes here. Under the act, Native women who marry non-Native men lose their Indian status, and so do their children, something the protesters term “slow genocide.”

Funding snafu leaves Nunavut law school high and dry

Some 25 Nunavut students had hoped to study law by next September. But the government of Nunavut rejected a $3.6 million funding request from the Akitsiraq Law School Society, throwing those plans in doubt, the Nunatsiaq News reports here.

Grits are originally Native American

So says this San Francisco Chronicle story. Although somewhere along the line they became emblematic of Southern food, they’re made from hominy, which comes from corn – and you know who first cultivated that.

Reality check, during Stanley Cup, on Blackhawks’ name
WLS-TV in Chicago has this piece on the National Hockey League’s Blackhawks name. Check out the story and see what you think. This Flyers fan suggests an alternative – root for Philadelphia. Just sayin’.


Or this?

Gwen Florio