indigenous thoughts


Happy World Indigenous Peoples Day!! Just thought I’d bless y'all with a few snaps of me, my friends, and family as a healthy reminder that indigenous people can look strikingly different from each other even in the family! ❤ (note: every person pictured is Native, except one person in the family pic)
Canada Legal Fight May ‘Destroy the Faith’ in First Nations Treaties
At stake in a case before the country’s Supreme Court: how much influence Canada’s indigenous groups will have over land and natural resources in their traditional territories.
By Dan Levin

OVER THE HART RIVER, Yukon Territory — The indigenous groups thought they had reached a deal: A vast landscape in the north of Yukon Territory would be mostly set aside for preservation, with only a small percentage allotted to industrial development.

But then the Yukon government decided to push aside this recommendation agreed to by a joint government-indigenous commission.

Instead, it favored far more development in the wilderness, which has huge deposits of coal, gas and minerals, including 18 billion tons of iron ore claimed by Chevron, the American petroleum giant.

Now the 26,000 square miles of the Peel Watershed — an area larger than the state of West Virginia where mountain sheep graze on the sides of snow-capped peaks, and grizzlies and wolves hunt caribou and moose along the banks of six pristine rivers — is at the heart of a legal battle before Canada’s Supreme Court.

Continue Reading.

Quebec Liberal MP Marc Miller holds speech in Mohawk

For the first time since Confederation, Mohawk was spoken in the House of Commons. Not by an indigenous person itself, but by a Marc Miller, an anglophone non-indigenous member of the Parliament of Quebec. Even though it is not his mother tongue, it is an exceptional gesture and example. He has been learning the Mohawk language secretly for months and wanted to pay tribute to the First Nations at the beginning of the National Aboriginal History Month. He wants to encourage more people to learn more about indigenous cultures and languages. His speech has been perceived very positive by others, also indigenous people: “I always thought they’d laugh at me and say, ‘Is this guy ridiculous? Who is this clown?’ But it’s been the opposite. It’s been extremely positive." 

Akwiratékha’ Martin who teaches Mohawk at Kahnawake’s immersion school said: “I applaud his efforts and it’s very respectful. […] I hope that he continues using the language in his job. But most of all, I wish that he helps get all (indigenous language) programs funded that are not recognized or funded by his government. I’m sure that he knows now that for us speaking our language is medicine and heals a part of our spirit.” 

Marc Miller spoke about the revelation this adventure gave him: "It’s very odd that we can say hello in 15 languages that aren’t Canadian, but we can’t say hello in a First Nations language. This is just the tip of the iceberg. If you can communicate, you can understand where people are coming from.”


July 6, 2017


by Nsrgnts

Venice, California native Votan Henriquez has prized his Mayan and Nahua roots since childhood. He told KCET that even before teachers convinced him he could make a living from art, he incorporated indigenous patterns into his tags. Through his company Nsrgnts he now infuses “indigenous thought and philosophy” into everything from t-shirts to skateboard decks. When Self Help Graphics on 1st St. in Los Angeles opened “The Art of Indigenous Resistance: Inspiring the Protection of Mother Earth” on Mother’s Day weekend—with support from Honor The Earth—Nsrgnts prepared the way with this large wheatpaste tribute to indigenous women, highlighting a Diné (the preferred name of the Navajo nation), Maori, Hopi, Tsawataineuk, and Kayapo. Believing that art has a unique power to evoke emotion and wake people up, the show was intended to raise awareness of issues affecting native people everywhere.  @nsrgnts  @honortheearthtour  @shg1970

anonymous asked:

I'm quite a dark Native American and every time I say I'm Indian people always look at me weirdly and make it hard for me to be proud as I feel like I just shouldn't say my ethnicity/race anymore.

Never let someone else tell you who you are.

I really struggle/d with identity issues growing up. I never felt “Indian” enough. I even went through a phase of never saying I was Native because I was so tired of having to explain to people why I didn’t look like Disney’s Pocahontas. Or that we still exist. Why was I so tall/light/dark/big/small? People would ask me my tribe and scoff when I answered saying they ‘never heard of it, must not be real’. Then they would turn around and inform me that they were descendants of Cherokee Chiefs and Princesses. Or else people would ask me “how much” not understanding how hurtful that is and that my answer would never satisfy people. I saw interviews on TV where people like Angelina Jolie, Cameron Diaz, Bill Clinton, etc would casually say they were Native American like it was a hobby. Native today. Greek tomorrow. I would look at their faces and then my own in the mirror wondering ‘Why don’t I look like them?’ I wondered what was wrong with me. 

Yet I didn’t get to blend in seamlessly with mainstream society either. In Farmington, NM I was assaulted by a random guy because I was a “dirty Native”. I had a person ask me on an interview, out of the blue, if I liked to drink because they “know how [we] are”. I had a bottle thrown at my head in Albuquerque while someone shouted at me to “Go back to Mexico”. I’ve been mistaken for Filipino, India Indian, Hispanic, Samoan, Pacific Islander, Mongolian repeatedly. 

I felt alone. Sometimes I still do. 

I feel like I disappoint people when they meet me. “You speak really well.” “Wow you are smart.” “You have really nice hair.” “I never met a real Native!” But why do people sound so surprised? These aren’t compliments to me. These make me curl up at night, wondering if I am pandering or if I am a traitor. They cause me to question myself. Then they make me upset because ‘Why wouldn’t I speak well? Why wouldn’t I be smart? Why shouldn’t I exist.’

I was invited to the White House a few weeks ago as a ‘representative’. I felt uncomfortable with that title. Also perhaps, deep inside, I didn’t feel Native enough. I can name 20 Native Women off the top of my head more deserving. I ended up speaking at a local Urban Indian health center instead that day and (hopefully) gave my spot to someone I felt was more deserving. She is Black American, Oneida, Caucasian and grew up on army bases around the world - never living on a reservation. But she knows her cultures. She is proud of her cultures. She is what I aspire to be. Confident. Proud. Constantly finding out new knowledge about her cultures. 

I wish I could give you a hug. You are not alone. You deserve to be proud. You deserve to be magnificent. You deserve to be loved. You deserve to be accepted. You deserve to define who you are.

Be proud of who you are. Your race is a social construct, but your culture and your knowledge defines you. There is no such thing as an ‘Ideal Indian’. You just being the best you is what is ideal. Embrace that.

An epistemological assessment of the impact of indigenous histories suggests that North American archaeology is, and should be, firmly rooted in anthropology (Kelley and Williamson 1996). As archaeology continues to engage with postcolonial theory and endeavors to decolonize its concepts and practices, those roots will become more apparent. Recent heritage research among the Inuit, Dene, and other First Nations has highlighted the political value of archaeology to indigenous peoples while demonstrating the fruitful outcomes of collaborative work.
—  T.J. Kristenson & R. Davis, “The Legacies of Indigenous History in Archaeological Thought.” Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory (2015) p. 535

adam parrish should not be indigenous and here’s why

THAT WOULD PERPETUATE HORRIBLE STEREOTYPES ABOUT INDIGENOUS PEOPLE! because (especially in canada where indigenous people are often treated horribly) (i live in canada, that’s why i say that) adam’s situation (the abuse, the lack of money, etc.) is a stereotype of indigenous people, and it is extremely harmful to indigenous people. just my thoughts, i’m sorry if you disagree.

I was having a discussion with some people about Columbus Day (now referred to as “Indigenous Peoples Day” in several areas, but still, frustratingly, unedited on my phone’s US Holidays calendar), and as I was reading through the replies and comments I found myself reading the same basic responses over and over: Columbus was bad and he killed a lot of people. Or: Columbus was an important part of history so we shouldn’t forget him. *Repeat.* And let’s be honest, my addition probably got buried in there and nobody will pay it much attention. But hey, tumblr loves a good ramble.

So, here are my thoughts about Columbus Day:

Let me start this with a preface: I understand the motivation behind making Columbus day a national holiday. I understand that he as a figure is symbolic of the very beginnings of the birth of our country, in the sense that he was the first of “us” (“us” being Caucasian people of European descent, since, sadly enough, we still don’t seem to think of indigenous people as part of “our” America) to arrive in this hemisphere, close enough in the timeline to the actual settlement of pilgrims that they showed up with his arrival fresh in their minds (unlike, say, the Vikings’ earlier voyages to North America). What Columbus Day does, in a way, is to prolong this collective memory, way past its relevance:

~ things we know now that the pilgrims didn’t ~

  1. We know that Columbus was not the *first* to “discover” the Americas, because we know about the Viking explorer Leif Erikson.
  2. We know that Columbus, and many other European invaders/colonizers, treated the indigenous people horribly; in the United States, we have watched this turn into full-on genocide.

So if we are well aware that Columbus is neither special nor especially nice, why should we celebrate him?

Think of it like this: did you care about Alexander Hamilton before Lin Manuel-Miranda blew up the musical scene? (Heck, did you even know about him? His face is on our ten-dollar bill, and I still can’t remember ever studying him in class.) If Hamilton didn’t exist, nobody but grade school students and nerdy US history enthusiasts would care about Alexander Hamilton. If Columbus Day was not a national holiday, nobody but grade school students and nerdy US history enthusiasts would care about Christopher Columbus. There are plenty of other historical figures to bring out of the history classroom and into popular culture, like George Washington or Martin Luther King Jr. Once we’ve moved past the history unit where we learn about first contact between Europeans and indigenous peoples in the Americas, and we learn about the pilgrims, and understand how Native Americans have been mistreated throughout the ages, we don’t need to be reminded of Columbus again. Let him fade back into the history books where he belongs: as just another guy, not elevated above the status of any other explorer, or any of the unnamed Native people he encountered.

And my thoughts about Indigenous Peoples day:

Now, this this is relevant. Native Americans are the single most important ethnic group in relation to the history of the land we live on; sadly, they are also one of the most forgotten-about groups in American society.

When we think about race in the US, we tend to think in terms of Black and White. It’s more obvious, more public – ever since enslavement, we have shoved these two groups of people together, wedging centuries of conflict and oppression between them even when they intermingled in cities and in neighborhoods. Meanwhile, ever since the first European immigrants began to build their first settlements on American land, Native Americans have experienced the opposite: not segregated waterfountains, but entirely separate communities; increasingly worthless treaties and hypocritical regulations, pushing them away, away from us, off onto arid plots of poverty hidden behind highway mile-markers somewhere on the road between suburbs and farmland. While African-Americans are excluded within “our” society, remaining in the public eye, Native Americans are excluded from “our” society, and none of us see. We slowly, but surely, forget that they exist.

Indigenous Peoples day is important because it brings Native Americans back into the collective mind again, at least for a day. When we think about Latinx, Asian, African-American people, we think in terms of now; when someone reminds us of Native Americans, we think in terms of the past. They have turned into symbols, mascots, characters separate from modern society. Native American representation on TV and in film is virtually nonexistent.

Men like Columbus, one among millions, don’t need to be remembered. They had their glory. They are no longer relevant. But Native peoples, who live here and now, who have always existed and continue to exist in this country whose history we claim to know and love so much, are extremely relevant. And we need to remember them, or we will continue to forget.

That is the difference.


So damn near everything in this society tells Women that they’re only good for being consumed by Men. This society teaches Women that it’s more important to get chose than it is to build. (I know hella Women who build for themselves anyway and they still sexy while doing it. )

But we live in a society where Women are constantly told that their value is mostly(if not solely) based on how consumable they are to Men.
Then we chastise Women in pictures like this for this “being all they have to offer”
When we don’t even know if it’s all they got to offer.

BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, Women are taught that this is where their value is then we constantly turn around and attack them for it?

There are so many contradictions within this patriarchy and those contradictions fall on the heads of Women who aren’t allowed to win because they’re too sexy or too plain, too flirty or too boring, too pushy or not determined enough.

We live within multiple oppressive power structures and most of them have situations where people just aren’t allowed to win.

This patriarchy is one of them and must be dismantled.

Kilchii the Chameleon Boy

Some headcanons/backstory about my lil baby Kilchii, whom I love with all my heart. My sweet precious baby boy

  • Kilchii is a Diné (Navajo) Native American boy
  • He was born in 1576, 9 years before the Spaniards made first contact with his tribe
    • He was born covered in blood, from head to toe and was thusly named Red Boy, or “Kilchii”
    • As much as they tried to wipe the blood off of the infant, his skin seemed to be stained crimson
    • As he grew older, his skin started to turn the shade of the others around him, but it would fluctuate from light to dark, depending on who he as around the most
  • At 5 years old, his peculiarity started to hit full force
    • He was able to turn his skin unnatural colors
    • His tribe hailed him as some sort of demi-god, and used his skills in camouflage to aid their hunting
  • At first, he was unable to control the changing of his skin. It happened purely based on his emotions
    • As he got older he learned how to control it by control his emotions. And sometimes, he is able to make cute little shapes. But it’s rare
      • The only time his skin changes to something of great detail, is when he is frightened and feels the urge to blend in, then his skin will take on the colors and shapes of his surroundings. 
    • There is many problems with his peculiarity thought. His eyes and hair do not change as well. If his eyes are open, he sticks out like a sore thumb, and can’t do much about his hair sticking out. 
      • His hair is very important in his culture and he only ever cut his hair twice, both times due to grieving. 
  • He was well loved by all of his tribe, and they all aimed to protect him
  • Then the Spaniards came
    • They thoughts Kilchii was some sort of demon, or witch and they tried to kill him
  • The rumors of the skin-changer started to spread, until it was heard by Miss Atseełtsoii (Known by most English speaking ymbrynes as Miss Hawk)
    • She traveled to Kilchii’s small band and took him safely away from the Spaniards
    • This was the first time he cut his hair, when he was grieving the loss of his parents, who were killed by the Spaniards for hiding Kilchii
  • Miss Atseełtsoii’s loop was set some time in early 16th century North America in the Rocky Mountains, where she only took in indigenous children
    • She thought that education was very important, so she taught the kids everything about how to survive, and even taught them Spanish
    • She even worked one on one with each of the kids to teach them the traditions, history and mythology of each of the kid’s tribes since most of their families didn’t get a chance too and she thought it was very important to stay connected to their culture
  • Miss Atseełtsoii was a very sweet woman, and it was very sad for everyone when her loop was raided by wights
    • This was the second and last time Kilchii ever cut his hair. His hair hand’t grown much from the first time he cut it, due to the fact that he cut it months before he entered Miss Atseełtsoii’s loop. He cut off 5 inches of his hair to grieve the loss of Miss  Atseełtsoii, his mother. 
      • His hair that once reached his butt, is now stuck at the same length, flowing down to his mid back.
    • Only Kilchii and a couple of other children made it out alive, and they were all taken in by another Ymbryne, Miss Condor of California
  • Miss Condor was much stricter than Miss Atseełtsoii, and she believed the only way to survive was to assimilate
    • Being in Miss Condor’s loop was the darkest time of Kilchii’s life. He was forced to learn English, forget about his tribes customs and adopt the religion of the White Men who’d invaded his homeland during the time he was in Miss Atseełtsoii’s loop. 
      • All of which he secretly rejected. He made sure to remember as much of Miss Atseełtsoii‘s teachings as he could so that when he got out of Miss Condor’s loop, he would be able to be himself again. Because he knew for sure he would get out one day. 
  • He wanted nothing more than to escape, but he couldn’t. It had been a couple hundred years, and he would surely die if he left. So he was stuck with Miss Condor for a couple of decades before she disappeared. 
    • No one knows what happened to Miss Condor, some say she left a note, warning other ymbrynes to take her children, but only the council would know for sure
  • After this, he was taken in by one Miss Emu. After spending what seemed like an eternity with the awful Miss Condor, Miss Emu was like a breath of fresh air. She was nice, and her other wards treated him with respect
    • He liked Miss Emu, but couldn’t see her as anything other than a caretaker. Some of the other kids called her mom, but Miss Emu was not mom to Kilchii. His own mother has died hundreds of years ago, in a wight attack. He loved Miss Emu, but Miss Atseełtsoii would always hold the title of “Mother” in his heart. 
  • He also had a problem with the day her loop was set in. February 15, 1961. It was eternal winter in France, something that Kilchii was not used to. He’d never even seen snow before he’d stepped foot into Miss Emu’s loop. He was not used to it, and it seemed like he would never get used to. 
    • Not only this, but there was the problem of the solar eclipse. Miss Atseełtsoii had taught him about the Sun and Moon gods, and how important a solar eclipse was. Every now and then, the sun would die, and the moon would bring it back
    • During the total cycle of the eclipse, he must pay his respects to the sun, and he can’t do anything. He cannot eat, sleep, use the restroom, or stay outside during the eclipse cycle or it could hurt his mind and body. 
    • Everyday, he wakes up at 6 am and meditates and prays until 10:30, as he is not able to do anything during the cycle of the eclipse. During this time, he can be completely patient and respectful, but as soon as the eclipse is over he’s playing with the other kids, running and babbling like any hyper nine year old
  • His best friend is 16 year old Aurelius, who also speaks Spanish. Having a couple hundred years of practice in this language, he is completely fluent and the other kids are confused how they can even understand each other when they talk at the same time like that
  • His Enlgish isn’t the best, and he can be very patient when the other kids can’t understand what he is trying to say, which is about 40-60% of the time depending on the day. 
  • He kinda butts heads with Frances though. He was raised viewing animals as food and clothing and other things, while Frances views the animals as his friends. They get in fights about it, but are mostly civil with each other. Everyone in the house knows not to bring up the topic around the two, as they can go at it until Kilchii is screaming in his native language. 
  • Kilchii is also one of the only kids that don’t have trouble taking care of Pip. Pip loves watching Kilchii’s skin change colors and get’s lost in a trance looking at him, and doesn’t turn to a puddle anytime Kilchii tries to pick him up or play with him. Kilchii doesn’t like little kids that much, as he was the youngest in his first loop, but he thinks Pip is alright. 
  • He also loves education. He’s always asking Miss Emu to get him new books to read on new subjects, asking her to keep him updated on the new discoveries of the modern world. It’s something that Miss Atseełtsoii instilled into him that he’s held onto. 
  • He loves to teach the other kids about his culture or the things he’s read about as well. Everyone loves listening to him tell the same stories he’d heard all throughout his childhood and time with Miss Atseełtsoii. 
    • He put’s a lot of thought and time into making sure everyone can understand what he’s saying in the story. He’s a good story teller in English, but he’s even better in Spanish and the best in his native language. 

In short, Kilchii had a hard life but he is my boy and I love him so much and I will protect him at any cost. 

(Disclaimer: I am a Pokagon native of the Midwest region, and have not been exposed to a lot of Navajo culture. Everything I’ve included about his tribe, I’ve learned from doing countless hours of research and asking Navajo people. If I have gotten anything wrong or said/done anything offensive, please correct me. It was not my intention to hurt anyone, I just want to include more representation of natives from tribes other than my own.)