tohono o'odham

On Jan. 25, President Trump signed an executive order instructing construction to begin on a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Environmentalists and civil rights activists say the proposed wall on the southern border with Mexico is a threat to the environmental rights of the people who live on both sides of the border.

“When you have such beautiful wilderness areas as we have here in Arizona, the idea of putting this large wall that prevents the migration of animals, that scars the earth itself, and especially knowing how ineffectual it is, is something that is just sad,” said Juanita Molina, the executive director of Border Action Network, an organization that advocates for the health and wellness of people who live along the border. “The reality is that border communities are porous by nature.”

Molina, who lives in Benson, Ariz., said the wall could cause flooding and debris build-up on both sides of the border. (Chris Clarke of KCET has reported that a concrete wall “would cause catastrophic flooding in the desert.”) Molina also said there could be legal and ethical consequences if people try to build on the land of the Tohono O'odham Nation, whose reservation straddles the border, and whose leaders have spoken out for years against a border wall. But even if no part of the wall materializes, she said, the rhetoric around it has already caused rifts in her community.

The Environmental Consequences Of A Wall On The U.S.-Mexico Border

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images


Tohono O'odham- The Tohono O'ogham are a Native American people found in the US state of Arizona and the Mexican state of Sonora. The Tohono O'ogham’s traditional territory crosses the US-Mexican border, which has caused difficulties with both American-Mexican and Native American-Federal Government relations. Unlike Native peoples on the Canadian-American border, the Tohono O'ogham were not given dual citizenship when the land became part of the US in 1853. For over a century this was not much of an issue, with Mexican and American Tohono O'ogham largely being allowed to pass the border freely to work, participate in religious ceremonies, and visit relatives. This has become more difficult since the 1980s with the rise of stricter border enforcement. Since 2001 there have been several bills introduced to Congress to give American citizenship to all members of the Tohono O'odham Nation but they have been unsuccessful, This is largely because birth records on the reservation are largely informal, leading to problems in verifying if someone truly is part of the nation. Further issues have arisen due to illegal immigration and the drug trade, with the Tohono O'ogham government wanting reimbursement from the federal government for border-related law enforcement and emergency services.


I'itoi, the Man in the Maze
The world was made by Earth-maker out of the dirt and sweat which he scraped from his skin. The flat earth met the sky with a crash like that of falling rocks, and from the two was born I'itoi, the protector of Papagos. He had light hair and a beard. I'itoi and Earth-maker shaped and peopled the new world, and they were followed everywhere by Cyote, who came to life uncreated and began immediately to poke his nose into everything. 

“But in real life … when you look at the maze you start from the top and go into the maze … your life, you go down and then you reach a place where you have to turn around … maybe in your own life you fall, something happens in your home, you are sad, you pick yourself up and you go on through the maze … you go on and on and on … so many places in there you might … maybe your child died … or maybe somebody died, or you stop, you fall and you feel bad … you get up, turn around and go again … when you reach that middle of the maze … that’s when you see the Sun God and the Sun God blesses you and say you have made it … that’s where you die.”

Being an Urban Indian/Native :D
Ya’at’eeh. Seeing Radmilla Cody at the 55th Grammy Awards Ceremony of 2013, makes me so proud to be a Navajo of the Navajo Nation as well as a Hopi, Tohono O’odham and a Native American. It gives me hope that I to can achieve an accomplishment as big as hers. I myself am a pianist and a violinist and want to major in music in hopes of making it into Juilliard, the school of dance, drama, and music. All my life I’ve encountered racial discrimination from other Navajos because of my ambitions and dreams of becoming a professional violinist. Its hard for me to understand why they, our own people, would carry on such a way of life that involves making others feel bad. I left the reservation life at the age of 6 when my mother was offered a job as a histologist at the New York Downtown Hospital in lower Manhattan. Never did I think that I would ever leave my ma’sani Grace, who taught me almost everything I know. About 8 months after everything was finally ready for my father, brother, sister and I to move in with my mother in our new home in Queens, New York, I somehow felt that what lead ahead of me was going to be the beginning of the rest of my life. When we got off the plane at JFK airport, I was scared of out of my socks by the huge skyscrapers that were in the distance. As I looked around, I was amazed to see so many light skinned people. Unlike the rez, of course you’re surrounded by people of the same color as you, but New York was just over whelming. Then the time came for my brother, sister, and I to be registered at the schools in our neighborhood. I attended Cambria Heights Elementary school, and I found myself surrounded by Italian, Korean, Spanish, and Arabic children, and here I was the only Native American in the school. The rest of that time, I was begging my parents to take me back my ma’sani’s house, longing for the taste of mutton stew, the smell of freshly cooked frybread, the sight of grandma at her loom, the presence of my cousins, uncles, aunts, grandparents, and the best of all seeing the open space of the land. For 2 years after the big move, I hadn’t seen or talked to my relatives since. I lost my mother tongue and couldn’t speak Navajo anymore, I lost many of the teachings from my grandparents. As each day went by, I lost bits and pieces of myself. As I grew older, I began to catch on to the Italian and Spanish languages, then my family became memebers of the Catholic Church, but my family still managed to hold onto our Navajo traditions. Then 9/11 happened. My parents were very eager to move out of Manhattan after the incident at the WTC, but that plan didn’t go through because of my mother’s job, there wasn’t anything left for us on the rez, except for family and friends, but nothing that could financially support the life we were living in NYC . 5 years later, I finally got the opportunity to visit my relatives. After 7 years of living in the big city, the boy that used to play with sticks and rocks, and herd the sheep, disappeared behind my accent, and personality, and my talent of music at the piano and the violin. I was no longer considered a Navajo by my old childhood friends. Today, many of my family members don’t accept me or my family. Whether or not if its jealousy or fear that we will think less of them as reservation Navajos. To overcome this break between family rivals and bigotry, my musical talents are what bring me to a place of remembrance of who I was before, and the fun times I shared with those before I left. I have hope and faith that they will forget about my difference and see me for who I am.

I began my little goodbye trip to Tucson with Baboquivari Peak, in the Tohono O'odham Native American reservation. The mountain is sacred to the tribe,and considered the navel to the world. It was definitely breath-taking/kind of nerve racking considering the border control vehicles and helicopters that seem to be very present. I would most definitely recommend this to anyone, just make sure you have a sturdy car the road there is a bit…uh…bumpy.

A Tohono O'odham (Papago) story describes how, long ago, the hero I'itotoi brought the victims of a giant killer-eagle back to life. Those who had been dead the longest and were the most decayed and pallid, he turned into white people. Because they had been dead so long that they had forgotten everything they once knew, I'itoi gave then the power writing to help them record and remember. Clearly from the Tohono O'osham point of view, literacy is a kind of crutch: far from being the emblem of cultural superiority, it is evidence that Europeans are lost, ignorant and detached from a knowledge of themselves.
—  The Earth Shall Weep
James Wilson ‘98

I tried to get this pic of my Indian fry bread with honey in front of the Mission while it was still whole, but my husband tore off a piece for himself before I could. It IS irresistible! Tohono O'odham tribe members set up their cooking area under ocotillo-roofed ramadas and boil that flattened dough ball in a huge pot of lard. You can get your fry bread topped with a sweet choice of honey, cinnamon & sugar, powered sugar, plain, or with red or green chili, beans, cheese, or any combination. I’m craving some just writing about it…

At San Xavier Del Bac Mission (built 1783-1797), 9 miles South of Tucson Arizona on the Tohono O'odham Reservation.


Looking for a new fc to play? Here’s a list of NATIVE WOMEN FCs to add to your rps! The RPC tends to exclude Natives so I thought why not introduce you to a couple of fcs through gifs! A good majority of them are underused. 


TANAYA BEATTY (da'naxda'xw, himalyan)
Ages: 18 - 25
Labels: the girl next door, the free spirit, the bad ass, the troublemaker.
Ages: 18 - 25
Labels: the girl next door, the mean girl, the stoner, the guarded one.
ALEECE WILSON (black canadian, métis, irish, italian)
Ages: 18 - 25
Labels: the stoner, the geek, the heartbreaker.


KHADIJHA RED THUNDER (african american, cree, latina)
Ages: 18 - 25
Labels: the preppy one, the mean girl, the artist, the drug dealer.
JARA COURSON (choctaw, seminole)
Ages: 16 - 22
Labels: the girl next door, the hopeless romantic, the fashionista.
Ages: 20 - 27
Labels: the outspoken one, the queen bee, the beauty queen.


SYMPHANI SOTO (african american, hispanic, native american)
Ages: 18 - 25
Labels: the beauty guru, the queen bee, the heartbreaker.
HON'MANA SUEKTEOMA (tohono o'odham)
Ages: 18 - 25
Labels: the activist, the artist, the awkward one.
NIKKI GOULD (mi'kmaq)
Ages: 16 - 22
Labels: the bad ass, the free spirit, the activist.

My earlier post of vintage photos of Pima and Tohono O'odham women harvesting saguaro failed to credit the photographer, Edward S. Curtis, shown here in a ca. 1889 self portrait. Curtis worked in the desert southwest in the early 1900s with support from J. P. Morgan. In addition to taking over 40,000 photographs of American Indians, he also produced more than 10,000 wax-cylinder recordings of their music and speech. 

The first comic book with an all-Native American superhero team returns

Comic books may be meant for kids, but they’re not child’s play. So says Jon Proudstar, creator of Tribal Force – the first comic book to feature an all-Native American superhero team.
Time spent counseling child-abuse victims and violent youth offenders – often from the Pascua Yaqui and Tohono O'odham reservations near his Tucson, Ariz., home – taught Proudstar the value of cultural awareness. He didn’t learn about his own Yaqui heritage until his maternal grandmother told him when he was 5.

I don't trust nor do I like the government.
In my American history class, we were discussing the actions of Edward Snowden who has been in the media for some time now. Snowden leaked some secret government info about the existence of NSA (National Security Agency) and now people are calling him a grandiose narcissist because he’s against the spying of our social media connections as well as phones, credit card purchases, etc. I explained to the class when the teacher asked what my thoughts were on the case. I said, “I don’t trust the government nor do I like the government. My reasons for not trusting the government go way deeper than this case. Reasons that only an individual who’s grown up both living the reservation life and the urban city life like myself would understand the backstabbing and deceiving the government has done and brought upon to the American Indian.”   *an utterly uncomfortable silence from the both the teacher and students as I sat back down*

The teachers including the principal have sent complaints about what I said to our school district.
  I guess I should expect in the near future to be accused of suspected terrorism.