this is for the native girls who were adopted. this is for the native girls who live on a reservation. this is for the lesbian native girls. this is for the trans native girls. this is for the light-skinned native girls. this is for the dark-skinned native girls. this is for the native girls who will never know they’re identity. this is for the native girls who can’t speak their native language. this is for the native girls that do speak their native language. this is for the fat native girls. this is for the skinny native girls. this is for the native girls who are uncomfortable in their own body & skin. this is for the native girls who are confident in their own body & skin. this is for the native girls who have health issues. this is for the native girls who have a mental illness. this is for the native girls who are bad at school. this is for all native girls. you matter & you deserve better.

A reminder WHY Republicans let the Violence Against Women Act expire ...

As I quoted the New York Times in this post in February (when the Republicans failed to reauthorize the act, which has now died), Republicans rejected the Violence Against Women Act because: 

The main sticking points seemed to be language in the bill to ensure that victims are not denied services because they are gay or transgender and a provision that would modestly expand the availability of special visas for undocumented immigrants who are victims of domestic violence — a necessary step to encourage those victims to come forward.

So think of this way: the Republicans decided it was better to protect NO women than to ALSO protect gay women, or transgender women, or undocumented women. If we weren’t talking about the contemporary Republican Party, this would be impossible to believe. Now it’s only expected. And vile.
Bernie Sanders Names Tara Houska Native American Advisor to the Campaign

Bernie has named a new Native American advisor to the campaign. Tara Houska is a tribal rights attorney, as well as an environmental activist and a contributing columnist to Indian Country Today Media Network (ICTMN)


In her new role, Houska, who is Couchiching First Nation, will field press inquiries, recruit voters – particularly Native Americans – and assist with drafting Sanders’ Native American policy.

Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, a Democrat, has said he will “work with the Native American community in preserving their heritage, and their way of life” and that he will do “everything” he can to “redress [treaty violations].”

Houska is also a National Campaigns Director with the environmental justice group, Honor The Earth, led by Native American leader and activist, Winona LaDuke. She is also founding board member of Not Your Mascots.

Houska plans on making sure that Native American issues are heard. She is a strong Native, female, environmental and human rights voice, and is a great addition to Team Bernie.

“I hope to elevate Native American issues at a high level,” she said. “Too much of America is unaware of the plights our communities face, and we are tired of hearing more of the same from politicians. I look forward to continued and expanded outreach in Indian country. Our voices and our votes matter.”

See Tara Houska talk about “America’s Other Water Crisis” on YouTube

Where do I begin? I spent the last thirty minutes listening to a group of arrogant and condescending non educators disrespect my colleagues and profession. I listened to a group of disingenuous people whose own self-interests guide their policies rather than the interests of children. I listened to a cabal of people who sit on national education committees that will have a profound impact on classroom teaching practices. And I heard nothing of value.

“I’m thinking about the current health care debate, "I said. "And I am wondering if I will be asked to sit on a national committee charged with the task of creating a core curriculum of medical procedures to be used in hospital emergency rooms.”

The strange little man cocks his head and, suddenly, the fly on the wall has everyone’s attention.

“I realize that most people would think I am unqualified to sit on such a committee because I am not a doctor, I have never worked in an emergency room, and I have never treated a single patient. So what? Today I have listened to people who are not teachers, have never worked in a classroom, and have never taught a single student tell me how to teach.”

—  2009 National Teacher of the Year Anthony Mullen, describing his experience at a national conference on the future of teaching in his blog post, “Teachers Should Be Seen and Not Heard.” This should be read.

“Support the troops, or else.” January 25th, 2015. Self-published #83. #184 overall.

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So there’s a post circulating around tumblr that essentially says we must vote for Clinton because people will die under a Trump presidency, and I can only assume that by “people” they specifically mean AMERICANS dying because of specific domestic policy decisions – obviously ignoring all the deaths Clinton would/will help cause abroad, considering her history of imperialism and backing dictatorial coups that murder indigenous rights activists. And, I mean, if we’re to expect more neoliberalism under her presidency (as we should, considering the trends and considering the policies she and her husband supported in the 90s), I wouldn’t be surprised to see gutted welfare, more deportations, and an expanded prison industrial complex locking up more people for private profit.

This is by no means an endorsement of Trump, just a rejection of Clinton. Vote for her in November if you want, but considering all the possibilities that can totally happen under, yes, a Clinton presidency, you should be helping us oppose her starting in January. Maybe the Left can be emboldened under a Clinton presidency, but that should only be done apart from her and apart from establishment liberalism and the Democrats. Enough of this American exceptionalism that treats “people dying” as AMERICAN PEOPLE DYING limited to a republican/Trump presidency – people have been dying abroad (and even domestically) en masse under the reign of democrats and republicans, and it’s our duty to oppose that (yes, even under democrats, liberals).

By a nearly unanimous vote, the American Psychological Association’s Council of Representatives has voted to adopt a new policy barring psychologists from participating in national security interrogations. The resolution puts the APA on the side of international law by barring psychologists from working at Guantánamo, CIA black sites and other settings deemed illegal under the Geneva Conventions or the U.N. Convention Against Torture, unless they’re working directly for detainees or independent third parties defending human rights. Tune in to Democracy Now! for our special report from the APA’s annual meeting.

I think the only people that should have a responsibility for singing about social issues or politics or anything like that are the ones that aren’t full of shit about it you know? Or the ones that aren’t preaching. You know, I mean if you are going to write a political song it’s gotta come from the same place as where you write a love song. You know it can’t just be some empty rhetoric and a bunch of finger pointing, you have to have yourself involved in it. So it’s like when I have a song like ‘Don’t wanna be an American idiot’, I’m talking about myself and what’s going on in my country at the same time, how do I fit into it and how do I feel alienated from it at the same time. So it’s self-depricating but it’s also trying to empower yourself.
—  Billie Joe Armstrong (Time interview with Rebecca Keegan)
Indigenous Canadians Join Fight Against Massive Pipeline in North Dakota
The protest at Standing Rock has been called the largest gathering of Native Americans in a century.

For days, images of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota lingered in Erica Ryan-Gagne’s mind, and kept her awake at night.

Thousands of people have joined the tribe in solidarity against the Dakota Access Pipeline, a four state, $3.8-billion oil pipeline that will cross the Missouri river and, many fear, endanger the water supply for millions, and disturb traditional sacred burial grounds. It’s been called the largest gathering of Native Americans in more than a century.

“Something inside was saying ‘just go for it,’” said Ryan-Gagne, who hails from Haida Gwaii, an archipelago on the north coast of British Columbia.

She decided to embark on the 30 hour drive to Standing Rock, and wrote a public letter calling on support from the leadership of the Haida nation, with Ryan-Gagne acting as the representative for Haida Gwaii.

She said support from the Haida nation now would be especially helpful, as two chiefs were stripped of their titles earlier in the year for accepting money from the oil giant Enbridge and supporting another proposed pipeline in BC.

“If I can show up with [a letter of support for the people at Standing Rock] from the council of the Haida nation, it’s going to have a heavier impact,” she said. “People want to help. People want to show support in some way but they just don’t know what that looks like, feeling like they have a local face to stand up and do it, say 'let’s go.’”

And she’s not alone. From across Canada, Indigenous people, allies, and environmentalists have traveled south of the border to join in a largely peaceful protest against a project they believe could have serious consequences. It’s been punctuated by clashes with law enforcement. More than twenty people have been arrested in recent weeks on charges including disorderly conduct and trespassing. As recently as this weekend, violence erupted after tribal officials said construction crews destroyed burial and cultural sites on private land. The Associated Press reported that protesters were pepper-sprayed and bitten by dogs owned by a private security company brought into the area. Several people were reportedly injured in the clashes from both sides.

Continue Reading.

On This Day, February 7, 1909: Geronimo (Chiricahua: “one who yawns”; often spelled Goyathlay or Goyahkla in English) passed away.

He was a prominent Native American leader of the Chiricahua Apache who fought against Mexico and the United States for their expansion into Apache tribal lands for several decades during the Apache Wars. Geronimo was an expert tactician and leader, successfully evading both the US and Mexican military for over a year. He died of pneumonia on February 17, 1909, as a prisoner of the United States at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

Via El Machetero
Harper’s 10 Year War on First Nations
Pamela Palmater

Today, First Nations in Canada live 7 to 20 years less than the average Canadian, while over half of First Nations children live in poverty. Indigenous children make up less than 4% of the population but nearly 50% of all children in foster care nationally. In Manitoba, Indigenous children make up 90% of all children in care. The Harper government, however, has refused to take action to tackle these problems. Indeed, the government’s inaction has exacerbated them.

A brief note to the #Occupy movement

To the #Occupiers:

Folks, you won. It’s time to get out of the tents and move forward.

Seriously: you won. Prior to your movement, the only thing anyone talked about in American politics was austerity. About the need for budget cuts aimed at the poorest and most vulnerable parts of society. About the need to do whatever the “job creators” needed to get around to restarting the US and global economies.

But now the conversation has changed. Now people are talking about inequality. About the need to think about the role democratic citizens ought to play in shaping the economic and social worlds in which they live. About the exclusion of many voices from the political system.

This is a remarkable accomplishment. In the context of the neoliberal ideological triumphs of the last 30, post-Reagan years, in fact, it’s a miraculous accomplishment.

Now is the moment to seize this momentum and apply it to a political program. What steps need we take to correct the ills of crony capitalism? How can we ensure greater democratic participation in social and political decision-making? What can we–all of us–do to make sure the system does not remain rigged such that the elites reap most of the benefits while paying virtually no price for their status other than ever-lower taxes?

Pushing these goals will build on the legacy of the #Occupy movement and aim it towards changing the real world. It is crucial that this be done.

Unfortunately, the movement is coming dangerously close to being about the right to camp anywhere anyone wishes to. And that’s not really a big deal at all.

The time to mature and change and adapt is now. I’d be happy to help, but you have to decide what you want. And if all you want is the right to camp wherever you want, then, you are going to watch your accomplishments fade into dust.

I wish you the best.
Federal Bill Seeks First Native American Land Grab in 100 Years
House bill seeks to take 100,000 acres of Ute tribal lands and hand them over to oil and mining companies.
By EcoWatch

Even as the Dakota Access Pipeline protest in Standing Rock has galvanized Native Americans across the U.S., a bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Utah Republican Congressmen Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz seeks to take 100,000 acres of Ute tribal lands and hand them over to oil and mining companies. Will Bears Ears be the site of the next standoff?

Why Do I harp on COINTELPRO so much?

Because it is DIRECTLY responsible for today’s current state of political apathy among Black youth. During the 1940s, 50s, and 60s even the most “non-political” Black teen played at least some role in ORGANIZED political activity to advance the station and standing of Black people in America. Look at those Black protest photos closely; many of the people you see in them are teenagers.

If you weren’t inclined to support the NAACP you could join the Urban League. If not the UL, then perhaps CORE. If not CORE, then SNCC. If not SNCC then the BPP. If not the BPP then BLA. Or perhaps, like your parents, you were UNIA members. If not the UNIA then the NOI. Or the MST. Or the KOY. Or the SCLC. Or the RNA. Or the AIM. Or the Young Lords

THE FBI’s Counterintelligence Program (COINTELPRO) disrupted destroyed or totally diluted ALL of the those pro-Black and pro-Brown political organizations, leaving a dearth of uncompromising dedicated field-tested Black leadership in their wake, which most of Black America generally and Black youth in particular suffer from today.

A lack of visionary uncompromising Black leadership. The lack of experience of working VOLUNTARILY with and for OTHER BLACK PEOPLE from different walks of life, on a cause bigger than ourselves and greater than a paycheck. The total foreignness of the concept of a Black unity independent of the politics of either the Democrat or Republican parties.

So many of the ORGANIZATIONS that Black people had created to help them combat white supremacy and Black disunity were destroyed by COINTELPRO.

Where there is no vision… the people perish.