Charles Red Dog Family, Eagle Butte, 1922

Charles Red Dog

National Native American Heritage Month Proclamation

 

 Bigfoot Memorial Riders image by Sarah Penman –click on photo for more information.

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release
October 29, 2010

Presidential Proclamation–National Native American Heritage Month

——-
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A PROCLAMATION

For millennia before Europeans settled in North America, the indigenous peoples of this continent flourished with vibrant cultures and were the original stewards of the land. From generation to generation, they handed down invaluable cultural knowledge and rich traditions, which continue to thrive in Native American communities across our country today. During National Native American Heritage Month, we honor and celebrate their importance to our great Nation and our world.

America’s journey has been marked both by bright times of progress and dark moments of injustice for American Indians and Alaska Natives. Since the birth of America, they have contributed immeasurably to our country and our heritage, distinguishing themselves as scholars, artists, entrepreneurs, and leaders in all aspects of our society. Native Americans have also served in the United States Armed Forces with honor and distinction, defending the security of our Nation with their lives. Yet, our tribal communities face stark realities, including disproportionately high rates of poverty, unemployment, crime, and disease. These disparities are unacceptable, and we must acknowledge both our history and our current challenges if we are to ensure that all of our children have an equal opportunity to pursue the American dream. From upholding the tribal sovereignty recognized and reaffirmed in our Constitution and laws to strengthening our unique nation-to- nation relationship, my Administration stands firm in fulfilling our Nation’s commitments.

Over the past 2 years, we have made important steps towards working as partners with Native Americans to build sustainable and healthy native communities. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act continues to impact the lives of American Indians and Alaska Natives, including through important projects to improve, rebuild, and renovate schools so our children can get the education and skills they will need to compete in the global economy. At last year’s White House Tribal Nations Conference, I also announced a new consultation process to improve communication and coordination between the Federal Government and tribal governments.

This year, I was proud to sign the landmark Affordable Care Act, which permanently reauthorized the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, a cornerstone of health care for American Indians and Alaska Natives. This vital legislation will help modernize the Indian health care system and improve health care for 1.9 million American Indians and Alaska Natives. To combat the high rates of crime and sexual violence in Native communities, I signed the Tribal Law and Order Act in July to bolster tribal law enforcement and enhance their abilities to prosecute and fight crime more effectively. And, recently, my Administration reached a settlement in a lawsuit brought by Native American farmers against the United States Department of Agriculture that underscores our commitment to treat all our citizens fairly.

As we celebrate the contributions and heritage of Native Americans during this month, we also recommit to supporting tribal self-determination, security, and prosperity for all Native Americans. While we cannot erase the scourges or broken promises of our past, we will move ahead together in writing a new, brighter chapter in our joint history.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 2010 as National Native American Heritage Month. I call upon all Americans to commemorate this month with appropriate programs and activities, and to celebrate November 26, 2010, as Native American Heritage Day.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.

                 BARACK OBAMA

Elouise Cobell  vs the USA for years and years–and still no payment.

Ongoing Legacy of the Boarding Schools

What will this winter bring to Pine Ridge?

Many of you have read and viewed the photographs posted from a 1922 Social Survey done on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation.  I’ve repeatedly stated my purpose of informing and educating others about the living conditions on the reservation in 1922.  A variety of images and texts have motivated comments about this ‘history.’  Well this ‘history’ is ongoing, it has not ended as a some of you have noted via the Cheyenne River Youth Project links and posts.  Maria Yellow Horse Brave Heart-Jordan has written extensively about the ongoing consequences of historical events upon Lakota people. In “Return to the Sacred Path” she outlined her theory of intergenerational unresolved trauma and continuous grief within Lakota culture. She also created and implemented a culturally centered method to attempt to effectively address these ongoing issues. But the breadth and depth of the issues involved is vast and there are no quick fixes.  

Today I’d like to share the ‘scribblings’  of a friend currently living on Pine Ridge.  What follows is a small portion of shared current experiences from a caring individual with no agenda for any personal gain.

J’s  “Scribblings”:    

Accidents involving loose animals are very common on the rez.  “John” once totaled a car when he hit and killed a horse sending its blood and guts through the broken windshield all over him.  Do I make you feel that you would like to visit me???!!  Why am I so drawn to this place with all its problems?  All I know is that I am and that I will try my hardest to make a difference if and when I can.

Last week I discovered that a Lakota friend was about to have her electricity cut off.  She had just returned to work after months of recovering from an accident in which her leg was run over by a car and fractured badly.  There was no sick leave or unemployment benefit.  She has children at home and also takes care of several young grandchildren, two of whom require electric nebulizers to help them breathe.  I heard her on the phone trying and failing to get help.  Lacreek, the white-owned electricity company, is notorious for its unwillingness to work with people and the tribal groups she contacted said they had no resources to help her.  I already knew that her partner had died in her arms during an asthma attack a few weeks ago.  She had given him CPR, but when she called 911 the ambulance was responding to another emergency and did not make it to her house in time.  Eventually I got up the courage to ask her what was happening and she was willing to talk.  She told me that she owed money, but had had no income while recuperating in order  to pay that and other bills.  I spent the next day contacting non-profits and foundations and managed to get her power bill paid by two groups and a promise to fill her empty propane tank from another.  What is really sad is that I know she is only the tip of an iceberg and there are many others in dire need that have already been cut off.  And winter hasn’t even begun yet!

 Yesterday I found out that my friend’s  propane tank was still empty.  She had called the company (white-owned again) repeatedly and the customer service person insisted that there was no payment on record.  This was entirely untrue as money had been sent electronically.  After a lot of back and forth the president of the non-profit finally got someone on the phone who agreed that the money had been received and said that they would deliver the gas later in the day.  I will have to check today that it actually happened.  Apparently the charity has had this problem with the Lakota Plains Propane Company on several occasions.  What is wrong with everyone here?  There is no choice for utility providers and no-one at the existing ones seems to care at all.

My Lakota friend asked if the charities could also help also her relative.  It turns out that her relative has had no power for seven months.  The children are having to stay with their grandparents as the house is too cold.

Several people have asked me how they can help.  A number of charities purporting to support Native Americans are actually only self-serving and get very bad ratings on the independent watchdog service www.charitynavigator.com.  One of these is National Relief Charities.  It operates under several different entities, most notably American Indian Relief Council and American Indian Education Fund (I think the latter is its correct title).  This organization has fantastic sob-story marketing and sends out massive quantities of worthwhile sounding appeals, but more than 50% of its $20 million plus annual income is spent on fundraising, the executive staff salaries are very high, and only a tiny fraction actually makes it to fund their programs.  It is not right that they and other similar groups attract people who want to help relieve this crippling poverty and then misuse their donations.  The wasted money is desperately needed by those simply trying to survive in conditions that should be totally unacceptable in modern America .

 The two groups that helped my Lakota friend are ONE Spirit (www.nativeprogress.org) and Hearts of the Sacred Spirit (www.heartsofthesacredspirit.org).  Both are 501(c)(3) organizations and donations to them are tax-deductible.  Neither is large – in fact the latter is run by a husband and wife out of their home.  Both are all volunteer groups and no-one gets paid a salary.  Both work only on the Pine Ridge Reservation and have contacts here that inform them of the local needs.  Money goes directly to the needy without red tape or delays.

There is another organization that lists many Lakota-run groups and the reservation schools and runs donation drives for their specific needs.  (www.friendsofpineridgereservation.org.  It does an amazing job of providing school supplies, clothing, books, sewing supplies, etc., etc.

A big organization that is very active on this and other reservations is Running Strong for American Indian Youth, which has a top rating from BBB.  Their spokesman is Billy Mills, a Lakota man who won an Olympic gold medal in long distance running.  I saw him and met a number of the group’s officials at a community garden run by Roots and Shoots a couple of months ago.  They were visiting the reservation to check on the programs that they fund.

Life is uncertain from day to day.  I love the children that I work with and try to give them the attention that they crave.  People (especially teenagers) commit suicide at an alarming rate and desperately need jobs and hope.  Both are in very short supply.  Change must come from within, but those trying to improve the situation (and I have come across a number of them) need help and support (without religious or other outside agendas attached) so that they can implement the good ideas that they have.

Clicking on the photograph will take you to the Eagle Nest Center’s website for more information about Pine Ridge.

For another persepective consider viewing the work of Aaron Huey.

Aaron Huey is a photographer who has worked extensively on Pine Ridge. His work can be viewed at: http://www.aaronhuey.com/#/photo-galleries-1/pine-ridge/PR_web001

Black Bull, Eagle Butte, 1922

Black Bull

 

Black Bull

 

Black Bull p. 2

   As with all other such documents posted here, this is from the National Archives in Kansas City, Missouri. All materials are in the public domain. This information is from Record Group 75.  Material is posted in order to make it available to those who would not otherwise have access. It is also posted, with respect for the people portrayed, in order to educate and inform others about the living conditions on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation, South Dakota, in 1922.  The attitudes and perspectives presented in such documents are solely those of the ‘writers’ of the documents–who are so far unknown to me. I am willing to attempt to answer any questions about the materials to  the best of my ability.

Bad Warrior, Eagle Butte, 1922

Bad Warrior

Bad Warrior

 

Bad Warrior p.2

By switching focus from the Cherry Creek district to Eagle Butte it is possible to offer some photographs of people. This is due to the fact that there are more photographs in general from the other districts than for the Cherry Creek district. Also, apparently  people were more cooperative with the survey takers and photographer–no, I do not know the identities of these government employees for the 1922 survey.  According to the survey Bad Warrior had sold some land.  I think the house itself speaks to the issue of prosperity.  And in an attempt to address certain potential questions–hunger often prompted the slaughter of cattle before the time deemed appropriate by the district’s Head Farmer. Head Farmers were White men who were put in charge of teaching White agricultural and cattle raising practices to Indian people.  But this was not the beginning nor the end of the scope of the Head Farmers’ duties–one might consider them the social/cultural/legal enforcement authorities of assimilation policy.  Many of them made it their business to know, in order to control, every aspect of the lives of the Indian Wards of the Government. Some were good people—and others were not so decent.

All materials are in the public domain from the National Archives in Kansas City, MO.  Documents are from Record Group 75. These documents are posted in order to make them available to people who would not otherwise have access to them. They are  posted with much respect for the people represented.  This information is also presented in order to educate and inform others about the living conditions on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation in 1922, South Dakota.  

Shanti Om

Albert Useful Heart, Eagle Butte, 1922

Albert Useful Heart

I’m posting this photograph of the Albert Useful Heart family from the Eagle Butte District of the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation, South Dakota because it is one of the rare instances of children present at home with their parents.  This photograph is from the same collection as the other 1922 surveys. All materials are in the public domain. All are available for public viewing at the National Archives in Kansas City, Missouri.  This photograph is from Record Group 75. Materials are posted in order to make them available to people who would not otherwise have access. They  are also posted in order to educate and inform others about living conditions on  the Cheyenne River Reservation in 1922.

Abraham Bull Head, Eagle Butte, 1922

Abraham Bull Head

 

Abraham Bull Head photo

 

Abraham Bull Head p. 2

 

These documents and photograph are all from Record Group 75, National Archives, Kansas City, Missouri. All materials are in the public domain. They are posted here to make them available to people who would not otherwise have access. They are also posted in order to educate and inform regarding the living conditions on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation in 1922, South Dakota. Take note that this post is for Abraham Bull Head of the Eagle Butte District.  There are more Cherry Creek District surveys. I thought it might be good to offer documents from other districts as well.

Acts the Bear, Cherry Creek, 1922

Acts the Bear

 

Acts the Bear p.2

 

These and all other documents like them posted here are in the public domain. They are from the National Archives branch in Kansas City, Missouri. All are from Record Group 75. They are posted in order to make them available to those who would not otherwise have access to the materials. They are also posted in order to educate and inform others about the living conditions on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation, South Dakota  in 1922.

I feel as if I’m been remiss in posting these social surveys of late. Will try to get them back on a regular schedule asap. As usual, if anyone wants a survey name listed on the index (can be found via the “search box”, please leave a comment indicating  your interest and I will post the survey as soon as possible.

Hunkpapa Information Questing?

Okay folks, this is probably of most interest to the people who visit and view the 1922 Cheyenne River Indian Reservation Social Surveys but seldom post comments. That’s cool. You come, you read, you return when another survey hits the blog. No problem. The blog stats tell the story. 

Now, heads up though for this question which I’m asking because the post I’m considering will take up a decent amount of space and require more effort at my end than most. So, I want to know if there’s any interest out there–especially amongst the silent types–before I waste time and effort on posting such a long list of names. 

Anyone interested in knowing the names of heads of families of the Hunkpapas of Sitting Bull’s Band who returned to the Standing Rock Reservation in May of 1891 after being POWs at Fort Bennett and Fort Sully since December 23rd of 1890?

Yes, I’ve got a list and I’ve checked it as best I can–more than twice. 

Bull Creek in Cherry Creek District, 1922

Charles Crow, Cherry Creek, 1922

Charles Crow

Charles Crow p.2

These documents and others like it are in the public domain. They reside in the National Archives branch in Kansas City, Missouri. They are from Record Group 75. They are posted in order to make them available to people who would otherwise have no access to the information. They are also posted in order to educate and inform others about living conditions on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation, South Dakota, in 1922.

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