Native Americans

Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples. They are composed of numerous, distinct Native American tribes and ethnic groups, many of which survive as intact political communities. The articles posted here cover a broad range of issues impacting the Native communities of the United States.

Washington Redskins, Choose a New Name

Redskins

Lisa Bloom: Some Native Americans consider the “R” word their “N” word. And those who live in the minority group know far better than the rest of us which terms are used to demean them. Those observations deserve our respect.

Anatomy of Stephen Colbert’s Racist Joke

stephen colbert racist joke

Scot Nakagawa: Given his obvious good intentions (yes, there should be no place in our culture for a football franchise that uses a racist, anti-Indian epithet as their brand name), I would much rather educate Colbert than cancel him.

The Fat Takers’ Pipeline

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Winona LaDuke: The Lakota, like many other Native people, see a big infrastructure project like the Keystone XL pipeline, which moves profits from one corporation to another, across their land, as more than a black snake of the fat taker. It is a threat, and there is no new water.

Hundreds of Tribal Representatives Join Huge Rally to Oppose Fracking

Tribes Oppose Fracking

Dan Bacher: Hundreds of indigenous people from California and across the country gathered with a crowd of over 4,000 people at the State Capitol in Sacramento on March 15 to send a clear message to Governor Brown: ban fracking, an environmentally destructive oil extraction practice that pollutes groundwater, rivers and the oceans.

Monster Slayers: Can the Navajo Nation Kick the Coal Habit?

navajo coal

Winona LaDuke: A war is raging between traditional Dine people seeking to maintain their way of life between six sacred mountains and the relentless economics of fossil fuels. The battles between these two mighty forces have put the largest Native tribal government in a difficult position.

Redskins: Is Racism Really This Blind?

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Bruce Reilly: All the Super Bowls and all the Quentin Tarrantino films will never turn a slur into an acceptable label, no matter how common the usage. People aren’t out on the Rez saying, “Yo, what up Redskin?” Nobody of Native American heritage ever introduced themselves as a Redskin.

Red State Mania

hopi prayer

James Rhodes: Does the fact that my combat service guarantees me socialized medicine make me more worthy to live than other classes of people? I am of the Hopi mindset that we were all created by One and that evil reigns supreme when we forget or neglect the needs of the many for the benefit of the few.

Idle No More

theresa spence

Winona LaDuke: This weekend, hundreds of Native people and their supporters held a flash mob round dance with hand drum singing, again as a part of the Idle No More protest movement. This quickly emerging wave of Native activism on environmental and human rights issues has spread like a wildfire across the continent.

Russell Means: Truth-Teller

russell means

Tom Hayden: Russell was a reminder that the wars against indigenous people, and the conquest of their resources, are far from over, and that we cannot be fully human until remorse with our eyes wide open allows the possibility of reconciliation.

Why a Hidatsa Cares About Pe’Sla

north dakota oil field

Twyla Baker-Demaray: The place that my mother took us to when I was a child is now home to a huge oil rig, literally smack dab on the spot where we used to pray. I have to say each time I drive by that place, I hurt.

Militarization of Indian Country

the militarization of indian country

Georgianne Nienaber: The Militarization of Indian Country examines in dreadful detail how the military has poisoned, murdered, and exterminated parts of indigenous populations. It is carefully organized into sections examining the deep ties between the military and indigenous people, how the economy drives the military and vice-versa, the military’s appropriation of Indian lands, and a somewhat hopeful prognosis for future relations if America rethinks her priorities.

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