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Thursday, 10 March


Native People Respond to Rowling American Indians in Children's Literature (AICL)

As fans of Harry Potter know, there are two distinct responses to her "History of Magic in North America" stories. The first story was released on Monday, March 8, 2016. Fans were delighted to have more of her writing to read. Native people--those who are fans of her books, and those of us who study or write about representations of Native peoples in popular culture and children's literature--had a different response.

I'd been deeply immersed in a study of a handful of best selling children's books. This is in the popular Geronimo Stilton's Wild West:

I'd just read Rick Riordan's The Lost Hero where a main character's dad is Cherokee, making her half Cherokee. She's taunted by other characters who ask her if her dad is an alcoholic and if she'll do a rain dance. Riordan had those words come from what we might characterize as "mean girls." I assume he did that to, in that way, show them to be inappropriate things to say, but far too many people won't pick up on that nuance. I worry that, without a direct push-back on those taunts, people will view them as an affirmation of existing stereotypical ideas, and use those same taunts themselves.

When I read Rowling's story, I was furious. I used the f-bomb in a tweet at her. The emotion it expressed was real. Use of the word wasn't necessary. As I read tweets by Native people, I saw a range of emotion. Anger. And hurt, too. Native people who are my daughter's age grew up reading Harry Potter. This particular group are adults now, in their 20s. She--and they--were huge fans of eve...


Peru: Mercury poisoning “epidemic” sweeps tribe News from Survival International

A huge proportion of the Nahua tribe have been affected by the poisoning, which causes anemia and acute kidney problems
A huge proportion of the Nahua tribe have been affected by the poisoning, which causes anemia and acute kidney problems
© Johan Wildhagen

Up to 80% of a recently-contacted tribe in Peru have been poisoned with mercury, raising serious concerns for the future of the tribe. One child has already died displaying symptoms consistent with mercury poisoning.

The source of the Nahua tribe’s poisoning remains a mystery, but experts suspect Peru’s massive Camisea gas project, which opened up the tribe’s land in the 1980s, may be to blame. The project has recently been expanded further into the Nahua’s territory, prompting fierce opposition from the tribe.

Rampant illegal gold mining in the region is another potential source of the mercury poisoning.

The Nahua, who live inside a reserve for isolated Indians in south-east Peru, have also been suffering from acute respiratory infections and other health problems since they were contacted.

Other indigenou...


Berta Caceres Call on FMO to divest from the Agua Zarco dam! | SumOfUs Aboriginal News Group Newswire

Berta Caceres Call on FMO to divest from the Agua Zarco dam! | SumOfUs: Berta stood up to corporations and helped delay the construction of the Agua Zarca dam which, if built, would destroy her community's land and the Gualcarque River in Honduras. The dam was delayed due to protests for so long that investors started pulling from the project.

As a result, Berta became a target for corporate spying, intimidation, and ultimately murder, simply because money wasn’t being made.

This is why we are calling on the largest remaining investor of the dam, FMO (a Dutch Development bank) to join the Chinese investors Sinohydro and the International Finance Corporation in withdrawing financial support for this project immediately.


Bernie Sanders Promises “Level Playing Field” on Israel-Palestine Aboriginal News Group Newswire

Bernie Sanders Promises “Level Playing Field” on Israel-Palestine: -- [] -- “All I can tell you is I will make every single effort to bring rational people on both sides together, so that hopefully we can have a level playing field, the United States treating everybody in that region equally,” Sanders said.

Sanders’ proposal to treat both sides fairly makes him an outlier in the presidential race. The only other candidate to endorse such a position has been Donald Trump, who has said he would be “sort of a neutral guy” in his approach to negotiations. But Trump has also said that he would be “totally pro-Israel” in his policies.

Among the other presidential contenders, Marco Rubio has stated his intention to be unbalanced on the issue once elected, while Hillary Clinton has touted her pro-Israel credentials and made little mention of the Palestinians. In November, Clinton wrote an op-ed titled “How I Would Reaffirm Unbreakable Bond With Israel — and Benjamin Netanyahu,” promising uncritical support for a range of Israeli policies once elected.


Veteran Apologizes For Shoving Black Protestor At Trump's Kentucky Rally Aboriginal News Group Newswire

Veteran Apologizes For Shoving Black Protestor At Trump's Kentucky Rally: -- [] -- Al Bamberger, who can be seen in the video wearing a Korean War Veteran Association shirt and shoving University of Louisville student Shiya Nwanguma, said in a letter he mailed to the president of the KWVA that he acted that way after being knocked down by protestors and losing his jacket. He described his position as being "caught between a group of white supremacists and Black Lives Matter protesters."


William Apess (Pequot) on Depictions of Native People in Stories American Indians in Children's Literature (AICL)

Over at Reading While White, Megan Schliesman's The Long Haul notes that we're in the year 2016, and that people have been objecting to problems in children's literature for a long time. She lists twelve people and invites readers to add to her list. I'm on that list, and so are Doris Seale and Beverly Slapin. My post, today, is my response to Megan's invitation.

For Native people who wrote about depictions of Native peoples in story, we can go all the way back to 1829 and William Apess.

William Apess was a Pequot activist and author. In the 1830s, he helped the Mashpee Wampanoags regain control of their lands. In 1829, his autobiographical Son of the Forest was published. Apess was mixed blood. His paternal grandfather was a white man who married a Pequot woman. His father married a Pequot woman. Apess and his siblings were born, and they all lived with their mother's family. At some point his parents split up and left, and the kids remained with their maternal grandparents. Through all this they were very poor and his grandmother was especially cruel.

He writes about how his grandmother was out drinking amongst white people. She returned home, intoxicated, and asked him if he hated her. He answered yes because he didn't realize that "yes" was the wrong answer. She beat him again and again, breaking his arm. He was four years old when th...


Protestors Removed from Utah Senate After Offensive Comments From Senator Indian Country Headline News

A group of demonstrators were removed from the Utah State Senate gallery on Monday while protesting the Senate’s decision to kill a proposal to establish an Indigenous People’s...


PressTV-UK rally raps refugee women detention Aboriginal News Group Newswire

PressTV-UK rally raps refugee women detention: “Home Secretary, you are a woman too,” protesters chanted.

The demonstration was in solidarity with refugee women who come to the UK on the International Women's Day on March 8.

Those in attendance were upset by the treatment of women who had fled violence in their countries only to find a similar situation at Yarl’s Wood.

The notorious camp, which houses hundreds of women and is run by the private security firm, Serco, has been criticized for its treatment of the female detainees.


Magic & Marginalization: Et tu, JK? :( | Righting Red Aboriginal News Group Newswire

Magic & Marginalization: Et tu, JK? :( | Righting Red: For me the representation issue boils down to this: The mass media narrative around Natives is intensely problematic; if we’re mentioned at all, it’s within a stereotypical or fantastical sense, and very rarely goes beyond 1 or 2-D. Many consumers of this media have no idea we still exist as contemporary, multi-dimensional individuals, which makes these fantastical/fictional perpetrations very much a part of the problem in that NO ONE knows or cares to know any of the very real issues our communities face. Who cares about the epidemic levels of Native youth suicide when OMG JK ROWLING IS WRITING ABOUT MAGICAL INDIAN SKINWALKERS!!!


JK Rowling under fire for writing about 'Native American wizards' | Books | The Guardian Aboriginal News Group Newswire

JK Rowling under fire for writing about 'Native American wizards' | Books | The Guardian: The Harry Potter author posted the first part of a four-part series, the History of Magic in North America on her website Pottermore, on Tuesday. Subsequent episodes are being published each day at 2pm until Friday. Tying in to the release in November of the film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the short piece of writing deals with the magical New World in the 14th to 17th centuries.

Although the new insights into the universe of Harry Potter were welcomed by many, the author was strongly criticised online by a number of voices from Native American communities, particularly over her writing about skinwalkers, which in Navajo legend are said to be evil witches or wizards who can take on the form of animals.

Rowling writes that the myth “has its basis in fact … A legend grew up around the Native American Animagi, that they had sacrificed close family members to gain their powers of transformation. In fact, the majority of Animagi assumed animal forms to escape persecution or to hunt for the tribe. Such derogatory rumours often originated with No-Maj medicine men, who were sometimes faking magical powers themselves, and fearful of exposure.”


Condemning the Assassination of Berta Cáceres Indigenous Environmental Network

BertaBertaOn the occasion of International Women’s Day, we, the undersigned international human rights, environmental, social justice and Indigenous Peoples’ organizations, strongly condemn the murder of our colleague, indigenous leader, feminist and human rights defender Berta Cáceres on March 3rd, 2016 in La Esperanza, Intibucá, Honduras. We are profoundly concerned about how Honduran authorities are handling the investigation and the safety of key leaders within COPINH and other members of civil society directly linked to the case.


Revealed: “Brazil’s most corrupt politician” Targets Uncontacted Tribe - Native News Online Aboriginal News Group Newswire

Revealed: “Brazil’s most corrupt politician” Targets Uncontacted Tribe - Native News Online - José Riva, who has formerly been a deputy in Mato Grosso state, is in prison and currently being investigated for over 100 instances of alleged fraud, corruption, formation of criminal gangs, and other crimes.

Mr. Riva owns a ranch on the land of the uncontacted Kawahiva tribe, one of the most vulnerable peoples on the planet. He has repeatedly claimed that the tribe does not exist, despite video and photographic evidence proving they do, and has lobbied for the right to open up swathes of tribal land for cattle ranching and plantations.

He is a prominent advocate of PEC 215, a proposal to change Brazil’s constitution which, if implemented, could strip Brazilian tribes of their hard-won land rights.


Three women. Three deaths. One thing in common | Toronto Star Aboriginal News Group Newswire

Three women. Three deaths. One thing in common | Toronto Star: First there was Cheyenne Santana Marie Fox, 20, who dropped from a 24th-floor condo balcony in north Toronto on the evening of April 24.

Then, Terra-Janine Gardner, 26, who was killed by a freight train near Yonge St. and Summerhill Ave., late on May 14.

Finally, Bella Laboucan-McLean, 25, who fell to her death from the 31st-floor of a CityPlace condo in the early morning hours of July 20.

Their stories are different, yet tragically the same.

“The similarity is that they were all First Nation,” observes community activist Audrey Huntley who, like the grieving families and friends of the three young women, has been disappointed by the dearth of local media coverage of these horrific deaths.

Disappointed, but not surprised.

According to research by Kristen Gilchrist, co-founder of Families of Sisters in Spirit, missing and murdered aboriginal women receive 27 times less national print news attention than missing and murdered white women do — and even when they do, they get much less detailed and intimate coverage.

They are rarely headlines, merely statistics. If that.


British Parliament Tells NFL It Is 'Unacceptable' To Bring 'New Racial Slurs' To Britain | ThinkProgress Aboriginal News Group Newswire

British Parliament Tells NFL It Is 'Unacceptable' To Bring 'New Racial Slurs' To Britain | ThinkProgress: “We were shocked to learn the derivation of the term ‘R*dskin,’ pertaining as it does to the historic abuse of Native Americans,” Ruth Smeeth and Ian Austin wrote in a letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, a copy of which was obtained by ESPN. “The exportation of this racial slur to the UK this autumn, when the Washington team is due to play, directly contravenes the values that many in Britain have worked so hard to instill.”

The two members of the British Labor Party want the league to change the team’s name or, “at the minimum, send a different team to our country to represent the sport, one that does not promote a racial slur.”


State agency to remove #LeonardPeltier artwork Aboriginal News Group Newswire

State agency to remove convicted cop killer's artwork: -- [king5] -- Chauncey Peltier, Leonard's son, is exhibiting his father's paintings in galleries around the country in an attempt to raise awareness for his father's attempt to be granted a presidential pardon.

"He's nothing but a thug," said retired FBI agent Ray Lauer. "He's an unrepentant cop killer."

Lauer is a member of the Retired FBI Agents Association, which wrote a letter to Labor and Industries demanding the removal of the paintings.

A Labor and Industries spokesperson said the works will be "rotated out" of the exhibit next week and will be replaced by another artist.

The paintings were part of a lobby exhibit to mark National American Indian Heritage Month by the Department of Labor and Industries.


Indigenous child removal in Victoria ‘highest since white settlement’ | Australia news | The Guardian Aboriginal News Group Newswire

Indigenous child removal in Victoria ‘highest since white settlement’ | Australia news | The Guardian: Indigenous Australian children in Victoria are 16 times more likely than the state’s other children to be in out-of-home care, a report from the state’s Commission for Children and Young People tabled in parliament says.

“At current levels, the rate of Aboriginal child removal in Victoria exceeds that at any time since white settlement,” the report tabled on Thursday says.

“The Victorian rate of Aboriginal children in out-of-home care is now among the highest in Australia, and is significantly higher than comparable international jurisdictions.”

Of 6,500 children and young people placed away from their parents in Victoria, more than one in six were Indigenous Australians, with the number of Indigenous children in out-of-home care increasing by 9.5% a year compared with 5.3% a year for all children.

Aboriginal children make up just over 1% of the state’s children.


Burns Paiute Make First Visit After Armed Takeover of Malheur Refuge Indian Country Headline News

On Monday, March 1, nearly two months after armed militants took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, the Burns P...



A hard look at the past and present of MEDIA INDIGENA inspires its founding editor to stake out a bold new future.


Living the Life: Sex Abuse Leads to Sex Trafficking Indian Country Headline News

Native women and girls with their high rates of sexual assault are particularly vulnerable to sex traffickers....

Saturday, 15 August


Crowdfunding clean water for the source of Winnipeg’s water: Shoal Lake 40 First Nation mediaINDIGENA

Update on ambitious crowdfunder in support of Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, a community whose water has quenched Winnipeg's thirst for the past century, but are unable to drink it themselves.

IndyWatch First People News Feed Archiver

Go Back:30 Days | 7 Days | 2 Days | 1 Day

IndyWatch First People News Feed Today.

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IndyWatch First People News Feed was generated at Australian News IndyWatch.

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