Monday, November 28, 2005

Q & A with Joe Garcia

For those out of the loop, Joe Garcia, the Governer of the Ohkay Owingeh (San Juan Pueblo) was recently elected President of the National Congress of the American Indian (NCAI). He recently had a brief but interesting Q & A about his agenda for Indian Country and what he sees as the major issues facing the tribes. I've quoted some of the highlights below:

What is your agenda for Indian country?

"What I want to do is unite the Indian nations of the United States of America. .."

..What should non-Indians know about Indians?

"We are all Indians or Native Americans, however we choose to be called, but we are not the same in the sense that the Pueblo Indians are diverse and they are different than the Plains Indians. So solutions people may impose or provide, one shoe does not fit all."

In what ways do you see tribal sovereignty being challenged across the country?

"I need to talk a little bit about language, culture and tradition. That's the basis for our sovereignty. If I no longer can speak my language and practice what I have as my way of life ... if I lose that, it diminishes the sovereignty part of it because I can no longer choose to practice what I believe is my way of life."

Read the rest here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Colorado AIM Blog

The Colorado chapter of AIM has a nice tribute to Vine Deloria as Sunday's entry:

"[Deloria] had the courage and the vision to challenge the dominating society at its core. He was unapologetic in confronting the racism of and policy, and he was prophetic in challenging young indigenous activists to hone their strategies."

This is also just a good blog. Take the time to check it out:

Monday, November 14, 2005

Vine Deloria, 1933-2005

"Vine Deloria Jr., the intellectual star of the American Indian renaissance, passed on Nov. 13, after struggling for several weeks with declining health." - Indian Country Today

My heart is incredibly saddened by this news. Like many Indians my age, Vine Deloria was my first experience of a radical Indian identity. I read God is Red when I was in graduate school, at the age of 22. It changed my life forever. Suddenly there was an eloquent and passionate voice saying all the things I knew to be true; things I hadn't been able to put into words and share with my Ivy League colleagues. Mr. Deloria said them for me and opened my eyes to another way of understanding and living as an American Indian. I went on to read Custer Died for Your Sins and Red Earth, White Lies, books that are on my mandatory Indian reading list to this day.

So, thank you Mr. Deloria. For all you did for us of the next generation, and the generation to come, and the generations after that.. You will be missed but we know your spirit has not left us.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Test Your "Native IQ"


"Why are the Washington Redskins, Jeep Cherokee, and Red Man Chewing Tobacco popular names when the Washington Brownskins, Jeep Chicano, and Black Man chewing tobacco would be considered offensive? Why is the Cleveland Indians baseball logo, Chief Wahoo, acceptable when other racial caricatures, such as Little Black Sambo and the Frito Bandito, are not?

"The answer, in part, is that anti-Indian prejudice does not receive as much attention as do other forms of racism. To counter this lack of attention, the following 10-item test will probe your knowledge of Native American issues. At the end, you will be able to compare your "Native IQ" with other people's scores..'