“Salmon Woman” Merisha Lemmer, Choctaw
1. Whiskey Bottles QUESE IMC www.myspace.com/queseimcmusic
2. La Essencia LOCURA www.myspace.com/locuramusica 3. Native Puppy Love A TRIBE CALLED RED www.atribecalledred.blogspot.com 4. Santa Fe SAMANTHA CRAIN www.samanthacrain.com 5. A Net to Catch Lovers CLOUDFACE www.myspace.com/backwordzmedicine 6. Another’s Gone KINNIE STARR www.kinniestarr.net 7. Curse in Reverse BACKWORDZ MEDICINE www.myspace.com/backwordzmedicine 8. Red, Black on Blues Feat. Brutha War PURA FE www.purafe.com 9. All That I Know WINNEPEG’S MOST www.reverbnation.com/winnipegsfinest 10. Little Wheel Spin and Spin BUFFY SAINT MARIE words & music Buffy Sainte-Marie c. Gypsy Boy Music, www.creative-native.com 11. Prayers in a Song Tall Paul www.facebook.com/pointofcontactmn 13. Wandering ISKWE www.iskwe.com 12. Native Harmony CHEMAWA NATION
Native Hip Hop Workshop, 2011, Salem OR
DREAMS CONTENTS: We all battle fear. Fear of death, fear of failure, fear of being alone. As young people, we are learning how to deal with our fears - whether we will confront them head on or allow them to impact our decisions. As we grow, some of us may become consumed by fear, while others overcome them. As SNAG youth staff, we wanted to challenge ourselves and our peers to explore times when we were confronted with fear, and share how we dealt with them. As Native people, we know that many of our tribal cultures rely on dreams as teachers, in some tribes the world of dreams is where our songs and ceremonies come from. As we confront our fears, dreams of what we want our future to look like shape our reality, and offer a different element to this issue. Our SNAG staff also asked young people to tell us about some of their dreams, and what they are doing in their communities to make those dreams a reality. For this issue, SNAG staff held workshops with Native Youth from Chemawa High School in Salem, Oregon; with Northwest Youth Conference participants in Omak, Washington; and with local Bay Area youth. We explored what they fear, and what they dream of. We also feature in this issue SNAG’s Making Pathways presenter series with prominent Native artists, leaders, comedians and musicians, and the SNAG Bio-Bus, a bio-diesel powered shuttle bus. We also share how to organize to protect sacred sites, and as always, beautiful art. TO SUBCRIBE OR DONATE VISIT: www.snagmagazine.com TO SUBMIT ARTICLES, PHOTOS OR ART: email@example.com Cover Art: Jules Badoni, Dineh
Bunky EchoHawk, Activist/Artist
Drew LaCapa, Comedian
Sage Romero, Hoop Dancer
Winona LaDuke, Environmental Activist
Quese IMC, Singer/ MC
Jeremy Goodfeather, Guitarist/Singer
PERFORMANCE & PRESENTER SERIES
MAKING PATHWAYS is a project that we presented this year to our community to provide contemporary Native arts and social activism in an interactive speaker series. We explored topics that impact Native identity and social concerns with discussion and presentation infused with art and spirituality. We honored the work of contemporary Native performers, activists, artists, educators, and traditional spiritual leaders. The series was a huge intergenerational success that educated Bay Area Native youth and the larger Native community on issues of social activism and Native culture and arts. The past year’s community lecture series highlighted the work of notable Native American community activ-
ists, artists, performers and leaders including Winona
Ras K’dee, Panda and Drew LaCapa
Laduke (Anishinaabe) activist and environmental justice leader with Honor the Earth Foundation; Drew Lacapa (Apache) comedian; Pura Fe (Tuscarora) musician and activist who presented along with Jeremy Goodfeather (Mohawk) musician and activist; and Quese IMC (Pawnee/Seminole) musician and community organizer; Bunky Echo Hawk (Pawnee) contemporary fine artist, painter, and activist; and
Julia & Lucy Parker (Miowk/Pomo) traditional California Miwok basket makers.
Julia & Lucy Parker, Sage Romero, SNAG
We also featured other local performers, artists, educators, activists, and influential Native American community members who shared their talents before each presentation. Each evening presentation was free and open to the public, hosted in collaboration with Oakland’s Eastside Arts Alliance at the Eastside Cultural Center in Oakland, Calif This highly successful series was attended by hundreds of SNAG supporters and community members.
Artwork: Merisha Lemmer, Choctaw
Artwork: Anthony Sul, Ohlone
ECO-TRANSPORT - MOBILE JUICE BAR - MEDIA & SEED LIBRARY
SNAG Bio-Bus Activism
Environmental organizing through transportation and education!
The Project SNAG BioBus is a 20-passenger diesel bus running on bio-diesel. Future plans for the BioBus project are a full conversion to vegetable oil, installation of solar panels, mobile library, recording studio and organic juice bar. The bus currently serves SNAG urban Native youth by providing life-science educational curriculum and transport to Native community events, pow-wows and traditional ceremonies and educational forums. Mission Our mission for the SNAG BioBus project is to teach Native youth the importance of reduction of fossil fuel use, alternative energy sources, cycles of fossil fuel production and pollution, environmental sustainability, project planning and accomplishment, and living in balance with our natural world.The goal of providing clean mobility to urban youth is to provide opportunities to expand their life experience and knowledge of their Native traditions. We also aim to provide mobile music/media workshops to youth
in rural and reservation areas. The BioBus will bring these resources to youth in areas that lack resources to modern media outlets.The final component of SNAG BioBus is to provide Native youth with job experience and management skills through the mobile juice bar. The juice bar will also serve as an educational tool for healthy living/eating and a self-sustaining income earning component for SNAG and its youth leadership.
Our Goals Some of our goals for the BioBus
include, installation of solar panels, mobile seed/media library, mobile media center and recording studio, and organic juice bar. We have also launched Indigenous Experience Tours. If you have resources you would like to contribute to our project or would like more information about renting the bus please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Booking Transport The BioBus is currently available for rent to community organizations, schools, groups and/or individuals who would like to be provided transport and/or tours! Please contact snagmagazine@ yahoo.com to book your ride today! All proceeds will help us reach our Bio-Bus goals.
Tisina Parker, SNAG Youth Coordinator, tabling in front of the Bio-Bus at a the Oakland Water Writes Mural Release Party
Ras Kâ€™dee, SNAG director juicing some beets in our Mobile Juice Bar.
PODER (SF) and Communities for a Better Environment (LA) during a youth exchange
SNAG BioBus Release Party, April 22, 2011, held at Galeria De La Raza in San Francisco. SNAG youth staff member Charles (grass dancer) poses with artists Phillip Meshekey and Sista Hailstorm.
Artwork: Anthony Sul, Ohlone
Artwork: Anthony Sul, Ohlone
PROTECTI NG WHAT IS SACRED You know the old people say those places take care of their self, so something’s going on. But it is our destiny, from what we’ve been given, the way the stories go; we’re the caretakers of the land. So our job is to take care of the land. If we don’t go gather acorns, then the acorns will go away. If we don’t go deer hunting, then the deer will go away. If we don’t go pick roots or if we don’t go pick Indian tea if we don’t go and do any of these types of gatherings, we don’t go use Medicine Lake, If we don’t go to any other spiritual mountains and fast then what the stories say is that they will believe that they are living entities who have a life and were placed there for a reason and it’s for us to interact with them, then they’ll feel they’re no longer be needed and then they’ll go away. So I know that Medicine Lake is being used and people are praying, yet there is still danger there under direct threat from the white government and these unnatural types of drillings that go into the earth.” ~ Radley Davis
Artwork: Merisha Lemmer, Choctaw
By Morning Star Gali Between April 15 and August 1, 2011 a spiritual encampment was held in at the Sogorea Te Shell mound in Vallejo, CA. For 109 days we held a prayer vigil keeping a 15,000-yearold ceremonial and burial site protected. We formed a community centered on the prayer vigil. Unfortunately, we can no longer claim a victory in protection of this sacred site. (See http://protectglencove. org/2012/update-letter/). The effort to protect our sacred places is a continued effort to ensure the continuance of our cultural survival. When our sacred places are threatened, cultural genocide is being waged against us with an attack on our spiritual well-being and Indigenous way of life. The San Francisco Peaks to Mauna Kea, Bear Butte in South Dakota to the numerous places in California including Rattlesnake Island, Medicine Lake, and the Mojave Ancient Geoglyphs are being threatened by corporate development and recreational desecration spearheaded by the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. 10 points on effective organizing to protect sacred places • Spiritual platform - We strive to conduct ourselves and our efforts in a respectful and healthy way We do this through our grassroots campaign development. We recognize this is a battle we have been fighting since genocide and extermination of our peoples were waged against us. We must keep in mind that we are protecting our spiritual well-being and the future generations just as our elders of the past sacrificed to ensure that we are here today. • Strategy - As the younger generation it is our responsibility to learn from our elders’ past experiences and history. Seek them out, offer some tobacco and ask for them to share with you their lessons. We have found there is not one clear
route or easy strategy. From the local grassroots level to the International Arena such as the UN permanent forum on Indigenous Issues, every strategy should be sought to build a solid campaign. • Outreach - At Sogorea Te the organizers put out a broad call for support. This attracted all sorts of people from all backgrounds. Racism is the single most critical barrier to building effective coalitions for social change. People came because they were connecting to their humanity and a need to support one another during this occupation/protection. • Legal Avenues - From the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act to CA Senate Bill 18, the American Indian Religious Freedom Act to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, to filing an urgent action to the UN Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (U$ is a signatory), laws are in place that aid in the protection of our sacred places. Search out resources. Do the research, seek legal support in and outside your community. • Media Justice We are living in a time where technology is playing an important role in our ability to communicate on a mass scale. We can’t depend on corporate media to fairly tell our stories. Social media is an avenue where calls for action, urgent alerts, media releases can be circulated. Tell your stories, use, your voice, video and photos to get your story out! Be the Media! • Building Solidarity - The effort to protect our sacred places is more than just an “Indigenous Issue” We must connect our struggles against development and desecration to the larger battle against corporate greed, capitalism and consumerism. We stand for the environmental health and well-being of all, for the respect of the land and ourselves, striving to a way of harmony and balance.
• Ally support - This past summer we witnessed direct action strategies implemented by Native Youth and Allies. As the Holy San Francisco Peaks were being clear-cut and pipes for sewage wastewater were laid, peaks supporters locked down on roads, in the trenches and to bulldozers. Support was crucial in terms of documenting, jail support and public outreach. • Public Awareness & Interest It is crucial to Inform the public about harmful and toxic health effects such as sewage waste water being used in an artificial snow making process on the San Francisco Peaks or all out greed such as John Nady’s development of a vacation home on the ceremonial grounds of the Elem Pomo. As Jeneda Benally recently said about the awaited decision from the 9th circuit court of appeals, “No matter the outcome of the judges decision, mother earth has won. Sewage effluent snow will be a hard sell to winter recreationalists!” • Community The community efforts to protect sacred places are grassroots community efforts. Not one person, any amount of funding, or non-profit/NGOs has the answer. Be wary of easy claims by those that have a history of grassroots efforts being co-opted by nonprofits that claim to support Indigenous peoples and protect sacred places. Build a strong network, learn community-organizing and become media savvy. It’s your voice, your community and your generation that need to take the future steps for the health and harmony of our future generations. Resource list: truesnow.org * elemmodun.org * protectglencove.org * savetheknoll.org * protectsacredsites.org/ government-state-historical-societyresources * sacredland.org/shellmounds-of-the-bay-area * ipocshellmoundwalk.intuitwebsites.com * treatycouncil.org
Artwork: Ange Steritt, Coast Salish
indigenous woman ~ you are sacred
By Cara Kulwicki from thecurvature.com
There is a disproportionately high number of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls in Canada. Between 2000 and 2008, 153 cases of murder have been identified in NWACâ€™s Sisters In Spirit database. These women represent approximately 10 percent of the total number of female homicides in Canada despite the fact that Aboriginal women make up only three per cent of the total female population in Canada. The majority of women and girls in NWACâ€™s database were murdered, while 115 women and girls are still missing. The majority of disappearances and deaths of Aboriginal women and girls occurred in the western provinces of Canada. Over 2/3 of the cases were in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan.
A great majority of the women were young. More than half of the women and girls were under the age of 31. Measures designed to increase safety must take into account the needs of young Aboriginal women and girls. Of the cases where this information is known, 88 percent of missing and murdered women and girls left behind children and grandchildren. These children must have access to culturally appropriate support to deal with this trauma. Aboriginal women and girls are as likely to be killed by an acquaintance or stranger as they are by an intimate partner. Almost 17 percent of those charged were strangers. Aboriginal women and girls are more likely to be killed by a stranger than non-Aboriginal women.
Nearly half of murder cases remain unsolved. Nationally, 53 percent of murder cases have been cleared by charges of homicide, while no charges have been laid in 40 percent of cases. However, there are differences in clearance rates by province. The clearance rate for murdered women and girls ranges from a low 42 percent in Alberta to 93 percent in Nunavut. The majority of cases occurred in urban areas. 70 percent of women and girls disappeared from an urban area, and 60 percent were murdered in an urban area. But resources are also needed to respond to the needs of families in rural and on-reservervation communities. All of this information is vital to knowing where resources are needed
and which women are most vulnerable. Additionally, the report includes a short section on how Aboriginal women who do sex work are especially and disproportionately impacted. And while there is unfortunately no specific examination of their cases, it was explicitly noted that Aboriginal trans women are included in the number of missing and murdered women and girls.
and threats of violence) against Aboriginal women are more than three times higher than non- Aboriginal women (Statistics Canada 2006a, 64). And, nearly one quarter of Aboriginal women experienced some form of spousal violence in the five years preceding the 2004 GSS (Statistics Canada 2006b, 6).
"All r Gendeimed at While women come up missing or e a en and girls violenscw murdered in the urban areas, there om ill not cease u o n are many other forms of violence e g i Ind cannot and w ystematic perpetrated against Aboriginal simplytil and unlessagsainst women, including dramatically un violence disproportionate rates of sexual vionous e g i d n I lence and intimate partner violence. l l a eople p ." According to the 2004 General does Social Survey (GSS), Aboriginal women 15 and older are three and a half times more likely to experience violence (defined as physical and sexual assault and robbery) than non-Aboriginal women (Statistics Canada 2006b, 5). Statistics concerning family violence (which represent most of the available data) are particularly alarming.1 Statistics Canada reports that rates of spousal assault (physical or sexual assault Artwork: Jules Badoni, Dineh
Aboriginal women also report experiencing more severe and potentially life-threatening forms of family violence, such as being beaten or choked, having had a gun or knife used against them, or being sexually assaulted (54% of Aboriginal women versus 37% of non-Aboriginal women) (Statistics Canada 2006a, 65). 44% reported â€œfearing for their lives,â€?
compared with 33% of non- Aboriginal women and 27% of Aboriginal women reported experiencing 10 or more assaults by the same offender (as opposed to 18% of non-Aboriginal women) (ibid., 66). These reports also discuss how colonialism has had an impact on violence against women, primarily from the perspective of women and girls who are victimized, but also in terms of those Aboriginal men who perpetrate violence. Understanding and addressing colonialism and its strong continued impact on Aboriginal communities, including with regards to poverty, addiction, childhood abuse, and learned gender roles, is integral to ending violence against Aboriginal women and girls. Itâ€™s not enough to simply interrogate patriarchal violence if racist and colonialist state violence is not also addressed in entirely. Gendered violence against Aboriginal women and girls simply cannot and will not cease until and unless systematic violence against all Indigenous people does.
Artwork: Jaycee Beyale, Dineh
the stars below.... sama ntha cra i n SNAG staff spoke with Shawnee guitarist and vocalist Samantha Crain about expression, funny and memorable times on the road, the artists that most inspire her, and how she survives in the music business at the age of 25.
When was the moment you decided you wanted to be a singer? I don’t think there was an exact moment. I just feel like if there is something you want to do you have to work really hard at it and do it as long as you like doing it. When its time to do something else, you work really hard at that too...I’m not sold on the idea of a career. If I end up loving this my entire life then that’s what I will do. But I’m not against switching things up down the road.
What is it like traveling the world doing what you love? I feel very lucky to be able to do what I do, but I’ve stuck to a pretty regimented path in order to do it...One slip up and I would have myself in a situation where I wouldn’t be able to travel like this. Traveling is in my bones, I crave it and thrive off it and am inspired by it so I must do it in order to keep my creative juices flowing.
How do you stay grounded at such a young age? Well I’m not famous or anything so I’ve never had to deal with the prospect of an inflated ego. I’m not that young anymore now anyways, I’m 25 and I feel like there are 25-year-olds that have had the entire world on their shoulders.
What advice do you have for up and coming native women in the music industry? It would be the same advice I’d give anyone, don’t expect it to progress in the way you think it will happen. Just work hard and if you don’t like the work on the way up to “making it” then you just have to do something else because the majority of people won’t be famous or well known...You have to enjoy making music as a nobody or you are just wasting time.
paleotechnical.... quese imc SNAG staff sat down with Pawnee/Seminole vocalist, rapper and traditonal singer Quese IMC to discuss hip hop, his musical influences, and why he uses music as a means to uplift, heal and resist. Interviewed by Maija Arriaga and Lavina Martinez Maija: What was the first song that you heard that made you want to become a musician? Quese: I was listening to hiphop when I was young. Listening to Run DMC back in ’83,’84 and I really liked it. I thought it was really awesome I think it was “King of Rock,” one of those albums in ’85, ’86. But the first time I bought a hip-hop tape that changed my life it was Biz Markee and the album was called “Going Off.” I just remember I went to some warehouse and I bought that tape cause I had watched “Yo! MTV Raps” and on Yo! MTV Raps there was a video called “The Vapors” by Biz Markee and it blew my mind. It was like I couldn’t believe how amazing everything looked to me, the colors, the gold chains and everything. I was just captivated. And I already liked hip-hop but I think it was that song, “The Vapors” how it was really mellow, melodic and Biz Markee was so smooth with his flow. He kinda had a swag he was swaying from side to side as he rapped and I would say that was actually the first song that made me go buy a hip-hop tape. I would say that’s it – Biz Markee “The Vapors” off the album “Going Off.” Lavina: So Quese what was the first song you ever made, that you wrote? Q: The first song I ever wrote… I was rappin’ since I was 7. And the first time I ever performed I was in 4th grade and it was for the DARE program. “DARE to keep kids off drugs.” We did a little presentation and I was the lead and I had four friends behind me and I gave them all hip-hop names. My name was MC Free. Which was pretty much my initials M.C., I named our group the “Wiz Kid Crew.” I can’t remember that song but it was really dope. But the one before that, the earliest rhyme that I remember, was when I was 7 went like this: (Starts Rap-
Photo by Patrick
ping) “I’m 7 years old and I’m big and bold. My color isn’t black, my color isn’t white. My skins light brown and I can jam all night.” That was my first right there. M: How do you incorporate culture into your music? Q: Culture was before the music for me. The spirituality, the identity, the connection, the songs, the drum-
beat. It came before the hip-hop for me. Hip-hop came after as a subculture. The hip-hop came at a time for me that really moved me. It was Public Enemy “Stop the Violence” free South Africa, back in that time period of hip-hop. I really embraced that movement when I was a kid. I used to rock the Africa medallions. They used to have these necklaces. They were made out of leather and they had the continent of Africa on it with the colors. I used rock those and I used to try to rock the clock cause of “Flava Flav.” And I could never afford the gold chains at the flee market so I never really got to get the big gold chains but my brother went to New York one time (asks his brother “When did you go to New York that one time and you got me that chain?.... ’85?”). Yeah my older brother he was a DJ back then and he went to New York in ’85 and got me my first gold chain and it had “MC Free” at the end of it, like all the rappers. It was a small one, but it was so dope. That was in 4th grade, somebody stole it but the culture has always been a part of the hip-hop that I was going to make in my future but I didn’t know it. The movement that I was feeling within the movement, “Stop the Violence” [during that time], Public Enemy, that was the movement within hip-hop that later would influence me to put our [Native American] culture, our identity, our beauty, our struggle within hip-hop. It made me realize later on in life that I could choose this medium of hip-hop as a tool to reach people, that the way that we can reach people as a visionary, as an artist, and to me it was a beautiful thing cause we grew up in academics that showed us we could only be taught by non-Natives, white people. Even me, I got conditioned to think only a white person could teach me anything. It wasn’t until college when I went to a Native American University, Haskell, that I realized that a Native could teach me too. It was one of the learning processes in my musical career, in rap. I realized I could talk about being Native in my hip-hop. At first, in those days like ’92, ’93, people weren’t hearing that. For us, people didn’t start embracing Native hip-hop, I would say till 1998 when we starting having our annual event called “Culture Shock” here in Oklahoma City. So it was been definitely a journey for Native hip-hop. For me from ‘92,’93 I would say until 2003, when it really started to change with non-Natives getting into the underground scene into the mainstream scene and it seems like it took about 10 years for people to start changing but we were already getting people involved, getting
Artwork: Jaycee Beyale, Dineh
Artwork: Jules Badoni, Dineh
conTInued... people hip to Native hip-hop in like ’98 when we starting doing an event that we had to throw cause nobody else would do anything for Native hip-hop so we had to throw our own event. It is kinda like we always had to do it ourselves. We never really had that red carpet as Indigenous artists, we had to create that opportunity on our own. So my music was always rooted within that culture, in that ceremony, that identity. Now we have a bigger, wider understanding of the power of the spirit that we can put in our music as far as our ancestral beliefs. Because music is powerful, music is a tool that can change people’s lives. It is an instrument, a spiritual instrument that can literally bring a balance to what the other side is doing. Because there is another side to that music. You know, that destruction, that darkness that can be used to control the people, to trigger hate, through words, through symbolism. So as Indigenous people we can bring balance because we have gifts that have been given to us that give us the opportunity to use
the modern day gifts to change the world. To me it is not just Indigenous hip-hop. It is music that comes from that heartbeat, the drum, the hurt, the creation, and the star people, The Creator. And we are here today, we made it this far and we can use these tools, we can use them in a different way. So that is how and why, my music first and foremost comes from that creation that The Creator gave us and our spirituality. L: What is the most exotic place you ever performed at? Q: Hawaii. That place, I mean I have been to so many places but that place…. The only way I can explain it is that when I was there I just wanted to dig a hole and bury myself in it, let my head stick out, just let the earth surround me cause it was so powerful. I was so powerful, it was still connected to the past. The way I look at Hawaii, the land, the beauty
of it is probably the same way that a white person that LOVES Native Americans looks at a Native American elder. They are just so in awe, they are so fascinated by this Native American elder that has all this knowledge, this language, chiseled in all the Native American features, you know how that looks? They look at that Native like how I look at Hawaii. It was just so powerful, so connected, I just wanted to wrap my arms around it and be a part of it, and be there, be present. I would say Hawaii is the most beautiful place I have ever gone... …As far as spiritually exotic, within the people, that spirit drum is so powerful it moves from the music, moves through the words, moves through the people, moves in the people, out of the people and then back to me is so powerful. Even if it’s a small show is creates this space that’s so powerful that it’s like emitting beams of light to the earth from the universe and that right there is exotic, cause this land is exotic. That’s what this land is, amazing, beautiful, exotic. R – I have one more question about your new album, “Hand
Drum for Whisky Bottles,” what is your favorite song off the album? Q – Each song has a story itself that is spiritual within each song. I would say one song I really like is how it turned out, I really like “Iron Fist.” It seams like “Iron First took a journey on its own. Through the universe, so that one turned out really good. I also like “Life’s So Great.” R – Right on Quese any last words you’d like to say to the people out there? Q – Yea, I got one more thing, an update. SNAG Magazine allowed me to be a part of one of their pages.
I wrote a story about my experience when I was in high school here in Oklahoma, with a play called “Annie Get Your Gun” being banned because it was very stereotypical and they had non-Natives playing Natives and everyone was laughing and I stood up against it. The school was going to suspend me because I stood up against it. The school was like that is bull****. The school was like, that is not racist, But is was really racist, especially if it was any thing against blacks, Asians, south Americans, Jewish people then all hell would have broke loose, but because it was Natives, it was bull**** So when I was 16 I stood up against that. The next
day we had my mom and a bunch of AIM members come to the school and the school just got really scared and got really apologetic, “We’re so sorry, we’re so sorry.” And I was really adamant “Why is it bull****? As a Native American it’s bull****. Would you have said that to anybody else of any other culture or ethnicity? Because there was already prejudice in this state against Native Americans, especially back in ’95. Anyway so SNAG published that story I wrote about that experience in ’06 or something. Thanks for the interview. [to interviewers Lavina and Maija] You did really good, good questions, I am proud of you.
organize your mind....
SNAG staff connected with Jake Foreman (Shawnee) one of the founders of ‘Cycle of Life’ to talk bikes, growing food, health, and Native Youth leadership.
SNAG: Tell us about your organization?
Jake: The organiza-
tion started out with an idea, my father passed away in the spring of 2010 my last semester, as I graduated with my bachelors from UNM, and it made me do a lot of reflection and introspection and made me realize our impermanence of life here on this planet. That summer we went to visit my family in Hawaii. I started to
make a commitment to living a healthy lifestyle. I saw this cycle happening with my father and his father who passed away at age 52, and they didn’t even know each other. They were both from Oklahoma, Absentee Shawnee and it really effected my dad to not know his father or know that side of him, the culture the language, and it really reflected in his life. I didn’t want to repeat that cycle of suffering and
alcohol abuse, so I got really into bicycling and gardening and stopped drinking. I really want to live as healthy as possible so I won’t die young. My dad was an avid bicyclist, and into linguistics and Buddhism and making the connection between Indigenous world view and Buddhist world view. Throughout the year I started traveling to a lot of places, I went down to Mexico to Chiapas, Guatemala, I was going to all these
sacred places during spring and summer equinox and I was having some really intense experiences reflecting on myself and, purpose. During that time Cycles of Life came to me in my dreams. I dreamt of putting together this youth program, and doing this [bicycle] ride across New Mexico, retracing Coronado’s route as a way to heal and having a summer program that taught students the skills to live in a new econo-
my, I guess you can call a post-history economy, of learning how to farm, build your own bikes, be self sufficient. That’s how it all came together, a lot of synchronistic things happened. My sister got on board and we were able to get supported through the Native community academy and conservation corps. We got a group of 11 students who were with us 9am to 5pm throughout the summer.
around the world. That needs to stop. Bicycling is a fun way to get into exercising too, you start to realize what you put in your body, you start to see your food as nourishment to help you be stronger, and exercise.
SNAG: Can you tell us
more about your projects?
our own ceremonies and rituals to say thank you to the seeds, the earth, and the sun. It was a great experience. Now we are working with the youth to focus on social entrepeneurship. A lot of our youth don’t have a job and really need the money. Things are
SNAG: It’s interesting
you call your organization “cycles of life”, because your intention was to break the cycle of abuse. How is biking is a tool for your own health?
Jake: We figured if
you’re gonna make a program about health and healing; recognizing the cycles of suffering, historical trauma, and present day trauma we face; it’s important we address not only the mind, but also the body and spirit The physical side is just as important as the spiritual because we have to respect ourselves and our bodies, and we have to think about what we put in them. With bicycling you get to exercise and you start to not be so dependent on non-renewable resources such as oil and gas that’s perpetuating all this war. Teaching the youth that war is a direct threat to our sovereign rights all around the world. War has always been used to decimate us, it still is across the country and they are still colonizing
Jake: We have a com-
munity garden on the north side of Albuquerque, it was donated by a community member, we were able to plant in July and still have an amazing crop this fall. We started to understand a little bit about bio-dynamic gardening and composting, and we realized that our intentions were just as powerful as the physical work that we put in. So we literally did a lot of
really bad out there in the community for a lot of people. Teaching them skills and ways to use their own passions and talents as means to fulfill themselves is also important. We are also putting on events, we hosted an event called Tribal Vibrations, Conscious Meditations. It was a whole morning of lectures, and we had seed dialogues, we had two professors from UNM speak,
and there was also a presentation on NeuroDecolonization, talking about what it means to decolonize our minds and the scientific proof that we all really suffer from colonized minds, and that decreases our brain function, and how important it is to meditate, and break down all those barriers. SNAG: Being that the youth are our future, what words do you have for Native youth who want to get involved in projects like Cycles of Life? Jake: Stick with what you’re passionate about, and not only have an intention to do something for yourself but also for others. As Indigenous people, kinship has always been important and also community, and seeing yourself as a part of that community, and really honing what your good at, but also what you need help with to really contribute to the larger society. I think it’s imperative to start thinking about these things especially for young people because we don’t have the luxury that we did before in the past of chasing this illusion, this American dream. It’s really time to start thinking about ourselves and families and putting action to it by building gardens, by talking about more sustainable ways of living, because that’s the only path we really have. For more info check out: www.facebook.com/ CyclesofLife
Artwork: Spencer Cunnigham
Teressa Baldwin, Native Village of Kiana, Sitka, AK
These outstanding Native Youth were understanding for their heritage and naselected from a group of hundreds who tive tongue. She went to receive a deanswered President Obama’s call to on gree in Theater from share their stories of leadership and New York University (NYU) where she also community service The White House’s served as Co-Presof the Native Native American Youth “Champions of ident American Club. Since Change” honorees are: graduating, Madeline
Teressa Baldwin has been directly impacted by suicide and wanted to take action to help reduce the rate of suicide in her home state of Alaska. As a junior in high school, Teressa was appointed by Gov. Sean Parnell to the Statewide Suicide Prevention council and became one of the youngest appointed representatives in the state of Alaska. Teressa started her own organization teaching her peers about the signs of suicide and her own story about how suicide affected her life. Teressa has been able to work with 12 schools on suicide prevention programs and is hoping to expand to more. She feels her work is part of her life goal to help lower the rates of suicide in the rest of the country.
Navajo Nation Government. Levon currently sits on the Navajo Green Economy Commission which promotes green businesses/jobs and influences green legislation in the Navajo Nation. In addition, Levon has worked on wind energy development on the Navajo Nation to educate the people on the importance of sustainable development. He plans to use his education to help his community by bringing together the need for small businesses on the reservation with sustainable business practices.
has performed a Native play by William Yellowrobe Jr. and still plays an active role on the campus of NYU as she continues her education. Madeline also writes about her homeland including one short story in University of Nebraska’s forthcoming Anthology of New England Native Literature. She is currently working on her Masters’ thesis which will be a play illustrating the life of her ancestor Fidelia Fielding, the last fluent speaker of the Mohegan language.
Morgan Fawcett was diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) when he was 15. At the time of his diagnosis, Morgan knew that he wanted to help educate others about FASD. Morgan has organized concerts and benefits that allow to him to speak about FASD at school assemblies, colleges, community colleges, hospitals, churches and many more. Morgan has also created a flute program that has allowed him to donate over 650 Native flutes to at-risk youth and challenged individuals. The Alaska State Legislature recognized Morgan for his work by awarding him the NOFAS leadership award in 2011. Morgan hopes to begin college this year and show others that just because you are born with a disability, with help from friends, family and the community you can succeed. LeVon Totsohnii Thomas, Navajo, Cambridge, MA Levon Totsohnii Thomas is currently studying Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has been actively engaged with the
Artwork: Fanny Aishaa
Morgan Fawcett, Tlingit and Haida, Fort Jones, CA
Madeline Sayet, Mohegan New York, NY Madeleine Sayet keeps her culture alive by telling the stories of her tribal ancestry through storytelling and plays. Beginning as a teenager, Madeline spent summers creating and teaching shadow puppet plays of traditional stories in the Mohegan language to her Youth Camp. Madeline played a critical role in all aspects of the development and production of these plays which were intended to help children gain a deeper
Desiree Vea, Koloa, HI When Desiree Vea returned home to Hawaii in 2009 after attending college in New York, homelessness was at its highest since 1997, with its highest rates among Native Hawaiian. Moved by the needs of her community, Desiree began developing a curriculum to help homeless families transition to permanent rentals. During this time, Desiree helped the community see how important their voice was and as the 2011 legislative session
began in Hawaii, she conducted her first workshop of 12 people who came together to organize a poverty simulation at the capitol. This group continued with her support to create community cash-flow projects, multi-family markets and micro-enterprise. Iko’tsiskimaki “Ekoo” Beck Blackfeet, Missoula, MT
Artwork: Fanny Aishaa
Iko’tsiskimaki “Ekoo” Beck is an advocate against bullying. After
Emmet Yepa from the Jemez Pueblo tribe in New Mexico, is an environmental advocate in his tribe and wants to find solutions to help educate his people and future generations about the importance of recycling. Emmet helped to form the Walatowa Green Stars Recyclying Group in 2010 with four youth members focused on keeping their ancestral lands beautiful through recycling. The Green Stars currently educate students at local schools and have
earning the “My Idea Grant from AT&T and America’s Promise Alliance,” she was able to fund her project “Inspire to Lead.” With this program, Ekoo has implemented a program which is providing peer led prejudice reduction, violence prevention trainings for high school, middle school and elementary school students as well as after school programs. In the course of these trainings, participants learn more about the effects of bullying, prejudice and racism and how to end it. Ekoo’s program has impacted hundreds of students in Missoula through community and peer leaders. Due to Ekoo’s work on this important issue, she was appointed as a youth representative on the Board of Directors of America’s Promise Alliance led by and founded by General Colin Powell. Emmet Yepa, Jemez Pueblo Jemez Pueblo, NM
implemented recycling bins in designated areas within their pueblo. Since 2010, Walatowa Green Stars had been recognized with numerous awards and given opportunities to speak at local and national conferences. Emmet’s ultimate goal is for his tribe to eventually have its very own recycling center. Lorna Her Many Horses, Rosebud Lakota, Rosebud, SD Lorna Her Many Horses is dedicated to honoring the American Indian soldiers and veterans who serve this country at a higher per capita rate than any other ethnic group. She has worked with elders and language teachers to translate the Star Spangled Banner into Lakota and Dakota because she feels that our soldiers and veterans deserve to be honored in their own language. To make this a reality, along with the help of others, she was able to re-
cord and produced CD’s in her own community that have been given out to hundreds of Native American veterans and soldiers, and more than 50 schools and youth organizations. Tiffany Calabaza, Kewa (Santo Domingo Pueblo), Colorado Springs, CO Tiffany Calabaza is currently a student at Colorado College and has helped bring renewable energy technology to her hometown of Kewa, New Mexico. Tiffany worked with her advisor and others at Colorado College along with tribal members and leaders on education and development of the energy technology. Everyone agreed to convert one of their community windmills into a solar water pumping station that will allow livestock and other small wildlife to have a source of drinking water. The goal is to educate her community on renewable energy technologies so that it will raise awareness on the efficiency and benefits of engaging with this technology. Tiffany’s goal is to provide her people with solutions to allow the cattle to spread evenly throughout the rangelands and avoid over grazing, preventing further damage to our land. Cassandra Candice Steele, Pinoleville Pomo Nation Ukiah, CA Cassandra Steele started her tribe’s first traditional Pomo dance group and continues to work with a youth group she started to preserve their culture by learning traditions of basket-making, fishing, gathering, beading, speaking the Pomo language, singing traditional songs and ceremonial dancing. The main focus of the group is to improve life for youth in her community by preventing teen pregnancy, drug and alcohol abuse, suicide, bullying, and preserving their culture and tradition. Cassandra also works to teach environmentally friendly practices to her community, including building a proto type house for their tribal citizens. In July 2011, they broke ground on their first house which will use solar energy, composting toilets, rain water catch system, grey water system and hay bale materials with a culturally inspired
Champions of Change cont. physical design. Cassandra remains focused on bridging the gap between the elders and youth in her community to preserve their culture for future generations. Dallas Duplessis, Alaskan Native, Tulalip, WA Dallas Duplessis is an advocate for healthier eating on her reservation. After seeing firsthand the negative effects of unhealthy eating habits, Dallas was focused on making a difference. Dallas and her family have been involved in the Hilbulb Cultural Center program “Growing Together as families” which teaches families healthy eating habits. From her involvement with the Cultural Center, Dallas was inspired to start the Tulalip Youth Gardeners Club to inspire other kids to garden together with their families. Since the start of the club, they have been able to teach kids to learn about gardening during the opening of the Hilbulb Center, at the Boys and Girls Club and at the Evergreen State Fair where they won 10 ribbons. As their club says, their goal is not to be couch potatoes but to grow potatoes.
Cloudwriter Sola r Project After two years of work on my first selfproduced album Cloudwriter, I’m excited to use my musical work to promote and provide solar energy to a rural and economically challenged community. Being raised near the Ha-Bida Pomo Reservation in Point Arena/Manchester CA, I have come to know the struggles and resilience of my family and ancestors home. Ha, meaning “mouth” and Bida, “river,” together “Mouth of the River (Garcia River) has overcome, famine, disease, extermination laws, boarding schools, agrarian and ecological impacts and loss of cultural arts, language and traditional foods. We have only had electricity on our reservation since the 1950’s. We have seen our prophecies of ecological disaster, and loss of traditional ways come to pass. It is our right and our responsibility to make a change, and with your help we can do it together. All donations toward the Cloudwriter project will go to help install a 3-kilowatt solar project on the reservation. With a donation of $100 you will receive a signed CD. More info: email@example.com. The album: Produced/written by Ras K’dee, vocalist of Audiopharmacy, features production by Kenji 451 (Berlin, Long Lost Relative), and Teao (SF, Audiopharmacy). The album is a timely spiritual blend of soul, roots and hypnotic grooves and features vocals by Sunru Skywalka, Deuce Eclipse, Raw G, Songbird, Somos One (BRWN BFLO) and several other staple members of the AP collective. Buy the album online at audiopharmacy.com. All proceeds of the album will benefit the solar project.
Artwork: Nikila Badua
Artwork: Jaycee Beyale
EARTHDAY CELEBRATION 2011 SNAG Fashion Show Sage Romero Hoop Dancer
Barni Qaasim. Artwork: Lady Reni
Ras K’dee & DJ ChefLique
Background Artwork: Spencer Cunningham
T’a’c’wees - Traditional Song
CHEMAWA INDIAN SCHOOL SNAG NATIVE HIP HOP WORKSHOP SNAG had the privilege of working with youth at the Chemawa Indian School to produce a song in a four-day workshop Native Hip Hop Workshop. This is some of the writing that also came out of the workshop. Nakoosa Moreland Grand Ronde, 14 Power gives us the ability to do, pray, dance, sing. It gives us strength to be who we are, to go where our lives take us, to love with what we have and to be who we were meant to be. Change is to grow up, to become different. Sometimes you change for good or for bad. Your feelings can change. But you gotta know everything happens for a reason. You’re meant to be who you are. God made you that way. I am Native. I am God’s child. I am a queen for my tribe. I am from Oregon. I am from the Confederated tribes of Grand Ronde. I don’t know where I’d be without my Grandma. When my parents split. There was nowhere to go, no safe place to call home. My grandma took me in. I love her,
she means everything to me. I am afarid to hurt the people that mean the most, to loose my mom, my grandma. If we lost each other. I don’t want to loose hope. Faith is strength. Keep praying, stay faithful. I am a dancer, a Jingle Dancer. I am Pow Wow Royalty. It has helped make me myself. To dance is to express myself. My family is tough. My oldest brother spent two years in prisondrugs, alcohol, disabilities, finances, without a home. It’s taught me who I want to be. My grandma and my mom are my inspiration. I want to be successful, to make my mom proud, make something of myself, show them life can be good. I want to show them God is still out there. My goal is to be successful. I want to make my mom proud. She wants me to someday be Miss Indian World.
Orlando Gonzalez Blackfeet, 18 What power means to me is freedom. If you got money, more opportunities are open to you. With new opportunities you have the freedom to do things no one else can do and experience can give you power. Money = Power. Being a role model = Power. Change is modifying the future for the better. To make things better for yourself and others. I am Orlando. That’s all I am and will ever be. I am the leader of my own revolution, the innovator of my future. I am the future of my forefathers. I am a student of Chemawa. I am from the Blackfeet tribe of Montana. I am smart and stupid. I was scared when I ran away. My biggest fear is leaving this life and not leaving a legacy. Not leaving anything to
give my children or having nothing to show for my life. I learn from past experiences. The life lessons I was taught from my friends or family influenced my life in plenty of different ways. Nothing affects for shapes me except my family. My music, my failures, my inspiration are fed by music. My ability to do things amazing drives me. What gives meaning to my life is legacy. Whether I get rich somehow or get known somehow for doing something great. Winter Doney Billings, Montana, 16 My family is there for me when I need help or need a place to stay. I listen to music when I need to get something done. When I see my mother everyday and before I go to sleep. Do something about it. When something is wrong you have to do something.
Power to me is when I’m the one thing that is in control of myself instead of someone telling me what to do. Power is having faith in myself when there is no one around to help me. Another feeling of power would be when I would wake up and my day feels full of energy. I am a powerful, noble, special, high school student. I have hair, eyes, hands, feet and I can work. I was born on Oct 31, 1991. I’m kinda smart, not really. I think I am going to college. I am scared of heights. The last time I was scared was when I used to watch Chucky and I dreamed of him a lot when I was small. Chucky was my childhood nightmare. I also have a big fear of heights but I am totally into wanting to skydive and bungee jump. I love seafood, but I am afraid of the ocean. I am afraid of snakes, spiders, creepy crawlers - like if a centipede was crawling on my face.
I am a Native American living a hard life and going to an all Native boarding school. I am light skinned, tall, long hair and a little bit chubby. When I was scared was when my family and I took a vacation to Washington. My brothers and I went swimming. I started laughing and water got stuck in my lungs and I thought I was going to die.
When I am challenged, I make myself stronger and I forge through. Family makes me better and they are the only ones that have confidence in me when I am away from home. I am inspired when people have confidence in me. I like that attention.
My biggest fear is losing my mother. What inspires me is being blessed to see another day and seeing my family. What drives me is going to pow wows, concerts – music to my ears. Being with my mother drives me. What gives meaning to my life is my mother, my niece and nephew and my whole entire family. My life goal is to graduate from high school. I want to move to Detroit or somewhere and go to LSU or Southern California.
To me, power is prayer. Prayer gives you strength, and strength gives you courage to continue life. Without any power, where would you be in life?
Dasjon Jones, Navajo, 19
Arnellda Powskey, Hualapai, 17
Change is being able to take a chance. To make a difference you need courage and strength. I am a Ninja! I love my family! I was scared when my parets separated. I was scared when I first fell in love. My biggest fear is not gong to Shangri-la! Or losses
in my family. Tradition and memories, elders, ancestors, parents, community, family, traditions all shape who I am. Inspiration is my family, my brothers and sisters. My boy, G-ma! Myself, family, friends and Jugalo give me meaning. My life goal is to make some good money! To have a proper family and life and to make it to Shangri-la! Morgan Thomas, Apache, 17 Music My hidden place My hidden strength When I sing a song, Put a tune in place When my words are out Everything I want to say That’s my power My strength to sing To hold that strength I have To change. To change the bad things Than negative rain I change to make me Who I am, a human, a chick. Long live Morgan. I sat in the Darkland Felt so alone. I thought of loneliness It is just another fear But the biggest of all is rejection. I hate that. I am Apache I am a warrior I am strong That gives me confidence The people in my life give me light. Smiles. Love and everything beautiful. My mom, the Arizona sun, PEACEFUL MIND. Seeing others help people like me. The Earth is beautiful. Family is my reason to live.
Obi Easman ,15 Sissetoh Whapetoh, Dakota Power is strength from inside me. Power is a tornado or a thunderstorm. Power is the thing that everyone has. Power is my will to go- oh. When the times get harder I have to change. I am myself, I don’t hide from the world. If anything, each morning I wake up yelling “Good morning!!” to the world. What makes me different is that I choose to be myself and don’t care what other people say. I am scared when I think of losing my family. My culture shapes who I am because THE way affects my ways. My family shapes me because my family teaches me life lessons and teaches me what to do. Without them, I’d be nothing. My inspiration is my family because they are like the world to me. They could be tough at times and the next they are nice. I am passionate for reading. Christian Martell, 17 Assiniboine Sioux Power to me is having money, women, and skills on the basketball court. I define change by seeing bad things and turning them into good. My biggest
fear is not graduating from high school. My source of inspiration is the game of basketball. Larranna Labella, 17 Eastern Shoshone Power is having control over things. Change is making new decisions. I am from Wind River Reservation, Fort Washakie Wyoming. I am scared of snakes. My biggest fear is when my Auntie passed away because I didn’t want to lose her. I don’t know how my memories and tradition shape me. My family inspires me. My life goal is to become a lawyer or politician and finish college. Chris Burette, 15 Akime O’odham Power to me is something that is a special gift. Power to overcome the bad if you choose. The power to become something you choose. The power to support you and your family. Change is making a difference. To change your way in life if it is bad and change to good. I am a STAND STRONG person. I love my family and friends. I was scared when I almost lost my life. My biggest fear is losing
my father, my babies and my life. My father is my inspiration, knowing that he is there for me when I need him. My goal is to go to college and make something out of myself. Dale Clemons, 18 Acoma My power is the words in my songs. It’s what keeps me going strong, not only that, but my tradition. Change is a different path you take with your life, your feelings, your acts, and your responsibilities. I was scared when my grandpa ended up in the hospital. My biggest fear is loosing my tradition and my grandpa because that is who I am. I am driven by my favorite music and the thought of surviving another day. I am my family, my tradition as an Acoma man. My goal is to become a greatly known Native American rapper.
Pachaspajamas.com by Joe Mohr
F S , n o i t i l a o c t s i t r a s u o n e g i d n I cer Cunningham
Artwork by Spen
provides accessibility to arts and events that represent and challenge Indigenous identity, in the San Francisco Native American community. In the last year, IAC has received grants to participate in the San Francisco Arts Commission Community Arts & Education Art in Storefronts program, Galería de la Raza’s Grantwriting for Indigenous and Native American Artists program, and Southern Exposure’s Alternative Exposure program. The last two grants support their website, which aims to offer an interactive forum for networking and informing the Bay Area Native community of arts and events. The IAC website will be launched simultaneously with an art show at Galeria de la Raza in the summer of 2012. We spoke with artist Rye Purvis about the group’s vision, inspirations and appropriation.
ABOUT IAC: The Indigenous Arts Coalition (IAC) began as a San Francisco Art Institute student group founded by Nizhoni Ellenwood (Nii Mii Puu/Nez Perce and Apache) and Richard Castaneda (Pima) in 2008. Ellenwood and Castaneda created IAC in order to help foster a voice and create a community for artists of Native American and Indigenous backgrounds, living in San Francisco. Since 2008, the IAC has grown into an active community arts group that reaches out to and collaborates with the Native American community in San Francisco and at large.
How did the IAC begin? And what are your goals?
The Indigenous Arts Coalition began in 2008 by a group of Native artist attending college together. IAC began as a way for indigenous artists to come together as a local community to help support, acknowledge, promote, and maintain contemporary Native art within the instituation of school and in our community. Our goal is to spread awareness of contemporary native artists worldwide.
What inspires your art?
We inspire each other. Collectively we would name each other: Rye Purvis, Nizhoni Ellenwood, Richard Castaneda, Kool Kid Kreyola, Mario Ayala, T.F.M.,
Ashler Whiteface Horse Bearcrane, RP-Television, film, family, friends, Americana, cowboys n’ Indians. Inspiration comes from the situations and experiences that have made major impacts on our lives. Other indigenous artists have definitely played a role in inspiring our work, especially those within IAC. friends, film, television, etc influence us.
Speak to us about the appropriation of Native culture:
Native people have so much to offer, and to be pinholed in the way the mainstream sees us creates inconsistency and ignorance to who we really are. Recognizing the wrongness in appropriation like that in clothing from Urban Outfitters is a crucial first step for spreading awareness to those who may not “get” the objectification at first glance. It is up to all of us to show that we are a vibrant and strong culture and that there is much more to our people then the commercialization and misrepresentation of the colonizers’ view of our people. Although we are for the Native representation of our people in mainstream culture, it would be wonderful if we had more of a voice in how we are
represented and how our sacred and cultural visual elements are used - not misrepresented. Through our art, we can start a dialogue regarding many issues in Native America, both present day, as well as reference historical archetypes and romantic notions of the American Indian in the past, working specifically with our particular reservations at times. Re-appropriation is important, as well as humor when appropriate, and respect.
What’s the future of Native visual arts?
The future would deal with what has already happened in Native arts in the past and with a more contemporary feeling and a sense of breaking from what is expected. Native visual arts is continuously on the rise all around us. From Bunky Eckohawk and his work with Nike, to other Native artists in the SF community and organizations on a local scale - Native arts can only flourish, grow stronger and more prevalent in the art world.
We are a people of art and communication, we have so much to show the world and to educate
its people. it will be beautiful to see the way our arts continue to grow. in terms of iac, expect a lot more presence online and a lot more interactive features coming in the snext year, and beyond. Check us out for updates on Facebook and www.iac.org Artwork and images by Spencer Cunningham, Rye Purvis and IAC
being we, being free, stay free, we are <> with everything <>
bah bah.. BLACK SHEE
EP. have you any art?
BLACKSHEEP ARTIST COLLECTIVE
Pollution from LA to the Bay By Luisa Aguilar, 17
Last summer we had a fun and educational experience with People Organizing to Demand of Environmental and Economic Rights (PODER). We took a trip to Los Angeles to participate in an exchange with Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) to learn more about each other and how we can work together against the pollution in our neighborhoods that causes our families to have health problems. I was interested in learning more about the ways CBE organizes to decrease pollution in their neighborhoods so that we can bring back some organizing strategies to the city and apply them in our work to decrease pollution. While we were in L.A., CBE hosted a toxic tour, which broke down the contaminating industries polluting the neighborhoods of Huntington Park, Wilmington and East L.A. In these communities I remember the strong toxic smells and was angered that poor communities of color had to deal with living in this situation. On the toxic tour the oil refineries really stood out to me. It is crazy how many people have to live right next to the refineries. The majority of the neighborhood is made up of poor people of color, because rent is cheaper. We heard the testimonies of the youth organizers from CBE who live next to the refineries. They talked about how this has affected their families health, and how youth arenâ€™t allowed to speak out about it at their schools. Many of their families suffer from asthma, cancer and heart disease at a really high rate. One of the CBE youth actually talked to us about one of her personal experiences with one of her teachers where she had brought up the issue of how much pollution the refineries are causing and her teacher couldnâ€™t not talk about it because the principal did not allow it. The refineries invest a lot of money
Youth hold their noses from the stench at the rendering facilty (meat waste rendering) in Vernon.
Founders of the Mothers of East L.A., an organization that prevented the moving of a incinerater into East LA.
Jasmine breaks it down about the toxins coming out of this refinery blocks from her home in Wilmington
into the school and the principal preferred to side with the refineries to not jeopardized funding. It felt like the school was property of the refineries because they can regulate information because the school depends on them for money. Schools should be focusing on teaching youth how to think critically instead of trying to cover up pollution impacts in our neighborhoods. Environmental racism exists because government agencies have allowed for polluting industries to be concentrated in our neighborhoods because they think people of color canâ€™t stand up or have a voice. The oil being refined in L.A. not only hurts its local residents but also communities like mine in Southeast San Francisco. I live in the Excelsior district, which is nestled between both of San Franciscoâ€™s freeways, the 101 and the 280. You can often smell the car emissions in the air. I have three younger cousins that also live in the Excelsior district and they suffer from asthma. The oldest one has been hospitalized due to an asthma attacks, although she is better we are always worried that she can have an attack at any time. The homes right next to the freeways are covered in black soot, evidence of constant pollution emitted from the cars. The cars that run through these freeways and endanger our health are using the oil that is processed in refineries, like the one in L.A. Our communities are the most impacted by oil from the Bay to L.A., and we are going to continue to suffer if this issue isnâ€™t addressed, our families will continue to suffer until we unify and stop depending so much on oil.
Artwork: Jaycee Beyale
Artwork: Spencer Cunnigham
ALCATRAZ OVERNIGHT SUNRISE GATHERING SNAG and People Organizing to Demand Environmental and Economic Rights (PODER) camped out on Alcatraz the night before the Sunrise Ceramony. It was our first opportunity to experience an overnight stay in the historical landmark, which is the home of the Alcatraz Occupation of 1969-1971, where tribes from all nations came together to symbolically take back land stolen by the American goverment. One of the most memorable moments included sleeping in the cells in the maximum security â€œD Block,â€? spending time in the movie room to learn about the Alcatraz Occupation, and hearing from elder and original occupier Eloy Martinez. We also climbed to the very top of the lighthouse and looked out onto the view of San Francisco and the whole Bay Area at night.
Artwork: Fanny Aishaa
PEACE & DIGNITY JOURNEYS Peace and Dignity Journeys was founded in 1992 to continue the spirit of the traditions of all our ancestors. Every four years, Indigenous communities all over North, Central and South America witness and partake in the tradition of receiving runners with ceremonies unique to their community, sharing stories, song, dance, and the wisdom that comes from community elders and ceremony. Peace and Dignity Journey runners start simultaneously from both ends of the continent in Chickaloon, Alaska and Tierra del Fuego, and Argentina, running through the entire continent by foot from community to community and joining together for a final gathering in Central America, Panama. The 2012 run is dedicated to Water, reminding all who have forgotten that Water is an important resource and a shared resource for all. â€œOur Native communities are scattered, having been pushed to the remote corners of this great land. In spite of this, we remain connected through the core traditions our ancestors have given us which have passed the test of time and space. These traditions not only serve as a binding connection to our communities, but allow us to solve our common problems. Each journey is dedicated to a specific theme: 1992/500 Years of Indigenous Resistance/Dedicated to the Children; 1996/Dedicated to the Elders; 2000/Dedicated to the Families; and, 2004/ Dedicated to Honor Women and the Feminine Spirit, particularly Mother Earth. The 2008 journey is dedicated to the honoring of and preservation and protection of Sacred Sites. This is an inspiring event, impacting thousands of Native, Aboriginal, and Indigenous Peoples. As you may know, it takes a considerable amount of coordination and funds in order to provide the support runners need to move from one community to another (over 80 communities within a 6-month period.) Peace and Dignity Journeys is a grassroots organization supported by host communities, coordinated by a dedicated network of volunteers, and manifested through our strong runners.â€? For more information: www.peaceanddignityjourneys.com or contact Jose Malivido at 415-377-2502
us Envir g Mother onmental Netw ork Earth Co nf
erence 2 011
“You don’t need to take a toxic tour of the reservation,” said Kandi Mossett, IEN tribal climate change coordinator. “You can see it when you just drive onto Fort Berthold. They’ll see the trucks and the gas flares. You can see the glare off the clouds at night for miles.”
People Organzing to Demand of Environmental and Economic Rights (PODER) united with Communities for Better Environment L.A. to travel from California to the Indigenous Environmental Network’s “Protecting Mother Earth Conference” in North Dakota. This year’s conference focused on Energy, Climate, Water and the Importance of Health and Culture. Hosted by the people of the Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara Nations.
Arikara, Mandan and Hidatsa Village “Neuta Hidatsa Sahnish”
Designer: RagDoll Loft 1513 S.F. Model: Amanda Gallegos
TRIBAL TREND & FASHION INAPPROPRIATION By Amanda Gallegos, 21 Dry Creek Rancheria, Mishewal Wappo
xploitation or simply another trend? The tribal trend can be found on runways all over the world, and is becoming a prominent part of fashion. It may be quite popular with the mass market, trickling down into popular fast-fashion stores such as Forever 21, H&M and Urban Outfitters, however it is quite unpopular with the people who value the tribal culture most - Native Americans. Diane Baldwin, a 26-year-old Osage/Kaw/Cherokee (Wahzhazhe/Kanza/Tsalagi) Native who resides in the Bay Area, sees the use of tribal inspiration as “not representational of any Native community.” Reading blogs against Native American appropriation and speaking with my friends, I realize that many Native Americans see the “tribal trend” as much more then a trend; it is depleting a community to a commodity. A trend has a very short life and is disposable, consumed quickly and used even quicker, while the next trend is gracing the runway and gobbled up by the latest fashionista. Consumers who are buying tribal inspired products, such as the “ Navajo panties” sold at Urban Outfitters or the handbags with tribal beading resemblances on them, do not know the impact of their purchase. I myself, of Pomo decent, was an avid buyer of tribal inspired garments and accessories, because I thought it represented who I was and my ethnicity. However, the more I discovered the oppositions of tribal inspired products being sold in fast fashion stores it opened my eyes. “Borrowing” from and abusing the Native American community is not just a trend, but exploitation.
Tisina Parker (Miwok/Paiute/Pomo), a friend of mine and programs coordinator for SNAG, is a designer and student at California College of the Arts in San Francisco. She described the tribal trend in fast fashion as “a commodity, capitalizing on a culture, and making money off of native designs that are not even created by Native American designers.” Her words resonated with me and inspired me to think about my consumption. Although Native American culture is being used, there are more aspects of the consumption process that are the pressing issues. I asked my friend, a student at the Academy of Art in San Francisco, Kaila Abruzzo how she felt about the tribal trend and she said, “ I liked it until I discovered how disrespectful it was to Native Americans and Native communities.” Her response opens up the real issues, and that is the lack of thought that goes into consumption. Instead of buying the latest trend displayed in the windows of fast fashion stores, there should be more thought going into the actual consumption of products, such as where it comes from, who is gaining profit from it, and if it is capitalizing on a culture. The “tribal trend” does not represent the Native Americans of this world and I do not think people who are buying these products notice that. The use of tribal inspired products or tribal trends in fashion is reducing the Native American community down to a commodity that can be capitalized upon, which has been happening to the Native American communities for years. The use of symbols, patterns, and designs in clothing on textiles and beaded accessories is nothing short of using a community and exploiting them to make money. If more consumers knew this I think it wouldn’t be happening so often, and this traces back to the lack of consideration and awareness when buying fast fashion products. If anyone is to use tribal inspiration is should be a Native, because they appreciate and understand their culture (and if you are Native and do not know about your culture - learn!).
Designs By: NativeOne (Miwok,Paiute,Pomo) Model: Amanda Gallegos Photography: Delvin Wilborn
California 100% local fiber knit top Alpaca, Wool, Cotton
Designer NativeOne & Amanda G. Nuno Felt Silk Slip Oak gall/rust dye 7th Gen Spirit Dress
Photo: SNAG staff at UC Davis Pow Wow
Artwork: Patrick Burnham, Dineh
u n declaration on
13 September 2007 ~ The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples has been approved after 143 Member States voted in favor, 11 abstained and four â€“ Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States â€“ voted against the text. A non-binding text, the Declaration sets out the individual and collective rights of indigenous peoples, as well as their rights to culture, identity, language, employment, health, education and other issues. The Declaration emphasizes the rights of indigenous peoples to maintain and strengthen their own institutions, cultures and traditions and to pursue their development in keeping with their own needs and aspirations. It also prohibits discrimination against indigenous peoples and promotes their full and effective participation in all matters that concern them, and their right to remain distinct and to pursue their own visions of economic and social development. Article 1 Indigenous peoples have the right to the full enjoyment, as a collective or as individuals, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms as recognized in the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights4 and international human rights law. Article 2 Indigenous peoples and individuals are free and equal to all other peoples and individuals have the right to be free from any kind of discrimination, in the exercise of their rights, in particular that based on their indigenous origin or identity. Article 3 Indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development. Article 4 Indigenous peoples, in exercising their right to self-determination, have the right to autonomy or selfgovernment in matters relating to 4.Resolution 217 A (III). Their internal and local affairs, as well as ways and means for financing their autonomous functions.
Article 5 Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinct political, legal, economic, social and cultural institutions, while retaining their right to participate fully, if they so choose, in the political, economic, social and cultural life of the State. Article 6 Every indigenous individual has the right to a nationality. Article 7 1. Indigenous individuals have the rights to life, physical and mental integrity, liberty and security of person. 2. Indigenous peoples have the collective right to live in freedom, peace and security as distinct peoples and shall not be subjected to any act of genocide or any other act of violence, including forcibly removing children of the group to another group. Article 8 1. Indigenous peoples and individuals have the right not to be subjected to forced assimilation or destruction of their culture. 2. States shall provide effective mechanisms for prevention of, and redress for: (a) Any action which has the aim or effect of depriving them of their integrity as
distinct peoples, or of their cultural values or ethnic identities; (b) Any action which has the aim or effect of dispossessing them of their lands, territories or resources; (c) Any form of forced population transfer which has the aim or effect of violating or undermining any of their rights; (d) Any form of forced assimilation or integration; (e) Any form of propaganda designed to promote or incite racial or ethnic discrimination directed against them. Article 9 Indigenous peoples and individuals have the right to belong to an indigenous community or nation, in accordance with the traditions and customs of the community or nation concerned. No discrimina- tion of any kind may arise from the exercise of such a right. Article 10 Indigenous peoples shall not be forcibly removed from their lands or territories. No relocation shall take place without the free, prior and informed consent of the indigenous peoples concerned and after agreement on just and fair compensa-
tion and, where possible, with the option of return. Article 11 1. Indigenous peoples have the right to practise and revitalize their cultural traditions and customs. This includes the right to maintain, protect and develop the past, present and future manifestations of their cultures, such as archaeological and historical sites, artefacts, designs, ceremonies, technologies and visual and performing arts and literature. 2. States shall provide redress through effective mechanisms, which may include restitution, developed in conjunction with indigenous peoples, with respect to their cultural, intellectual, religious and spir- itual property taken without their free, prior and informed consent or in violation of their laws, traditions and customs. Article 12 1. Indigenous peoples have the right to manifest, practise, develop and teach their spiritual and religious traditions, customs and cer- emonies; the right to maintain, protect, and have access in privacy to their religious and cultural sites; the right to the use and control of their ceremonial objects; and the right to the repatriation of their human remains. 2. States shall seek to
of i ndige nous people's enable the access and/or repatriation of cer- emonial objects and human remains in their possession through fair, transparent and effective mechanisms developed in conjunction with indigenous peoples concerned. Article 13 1. Indigenous peoples have the right to revitalize, use, develop and transmit to future generations their histories, languages, oral traditions, philosophies, writing systems and literatures, and to designate and retain their own names for communities, places and persons. 2. States shall take effective measures to ensure that this right is protected and also to ensure that indigenous peoples can understand and be understood in political, legal and administrative proceedings, where necessary through the provision of interpretation or by other appropriate means. Article 14 1. Indigenous peoples have the right to establish and control their educational systems and institutions providing education in their own languages, in a manner appropriate to their cultural methods of teaching and learning.
cluding those living outside their communities, to have access, when possible, to an education in their own culture and pro- vided in their own language. Article 15 1. Indigenous peoples have the right to the dignity and diversity of their cultures, traditions, histories and aspirations which shall be appropriately reflected in education and public information. 2. States shall take effective measures, in consultation and coopera- tion with the indigenous peoples concerned, to combat prejudice and eliminate discrimination and to promote tolerance, understand- ing and good relations among indigenous peoples and all other segments of society. Article 16 1. Indigenous peoples have the right to establish their own media in their own languages and to have access to all forms of nonindigenous media without discrimination.
2. Indigenous individuals, particularly children, have the right to all levels and forms of education of the State without discrimination.
2. States shall take effective measures to ensure that State-owned media duly reflect indigenous cultural diversity. States, without prejudice to ensuring full freedom of expression, should encour- age privately owned media to adequately reflect indigenous cultural diversity.
3. States shall, in conjunction with indigenous peoples, take effec- tive measures, in order for indigenous individuals, particularly chil- dren, in-
Article 17 1. Indigenous individuals and peoples have the right to enjoy fully all rights established under applicable international and domestic
labour law. 2. States shall in consultation and cooperation with indigenous peoples take specific measures to protect indigenous children from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the childâ€™s education, or to be harmful to the childâ€™s health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development, taking into account their special vulnerability and the importance of education for their empowerment. 3.Indigenous individuals have the right not to be subjected to any discriminatory conditions of labour and, inter alia, employment or salary. Article 18 Indigenous peoples have the right to participate in decision-making in matters which would affect their rights, through representatives chosen by themselves in accordance with their own procedures, as well as to maintain and develop their own indigenous decisionmaking institutions. Article 19 States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent before adopt- ing and implementing legislative or administrative measures that may affect them. Article 20 1. Indigenous peoples have
the right to maintain and develop their political, economic and social systems or institutions, to be secure in the enjoyment of their own means of subsistence and develop- ment, and to engage freely in all their traditional and other economic activities. 2. Indigenous peoples deprived of their means of subsistence and development are entitled to just and fair redress. Article 21 1. Indigenous peoples have the right, without discrimination, to the improvement of their economic and social conditions, including, inter alia, in the areas of education, employment, vocational training and retraining, housing, sanitation, health and social security. 2. States shall take effective measures and, where appropriate, spe- cial measures to ensure continuing improvement of their economic and social conditions. Particular attention shall be paid to the rights and special needs of indigenous elders, women, youth, children and persons with disabilities. Article 22 1. Particular attention shall be paid to the rights and special needs of indigenous elders, women, youth, children and persons with disabilities in the implementation of this Declaration. 2. States shall take measures, in conjunction with indigenous peoples, to ensure that indigenous women and children enjoy the full
Artwork: Ernesto Montejano
Poster: Chandra Narcia
protection and guarantees against all forms of violence and discrimination. Article 23 Indigenous peoples have the right to determine and develop pri- orities and strategies for exercising their right to development. In particular, indigenous peoples have the right to be actively involved in developing and determining health, housing and other economic and social programmes affecting them and, as far as possible, to administer such programmes through their own institutions. Article 24 1. Indigenous peoples have the right to their traditional medicines and to maintain their health practices, including the conservation of their vital medicinal plants, animals and minerals. Indigenous indi- viduals also have the right to access, without any discrimination, to all social and health services. 2. Indigenous individuals have an equal right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. States shall take the necessary steps with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of this right. Article 25 Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinctive spiritual relationship with their traditionally owned or otherwise occupied and used lands, territories, waters and coastal seas and other resources and to uphold their responsibilities to future generations in this regard. Article 26
1. Indigenous peoples have the right to the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired. 2. Indigenous peoples have the right to own, use, develop and control the lands, territories and resources that they possess by reason of traditional ownership or other traditional occupation or use, as well as those which they have otherwise acquired. 3. States shall give legal recognition and protection to these lands, territories and resources. Such recognition shall be conducted with due respect to the customs, traditions and land tenure systems of the indigenous peoples concerned. Article 27 States shall establish and implement, in conjunction with indigenous peoples concerned, a fair, independent, impartial, open and transparent process, giving due recognition to indigenous peoplesâ€™ laws, traditions, customs and land tenure systems, to recognize and adjudicate the rights of indigenous peoples pertaining to their lands, territories and resources, including those which were traditionally owned or otherwise occupied or used. Indigenous peoples shall have the right to participate in this process. Article 28 1. Indigenous peoples have the right to redress, by means that can include restitution or, when this is not possible, just, fair and equita- ble compensation, for the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned or other-
wise occupied or used, and which have been confiscated, taken, occupied, used or damaged without their free, prior and informed consent. 2. Unless otherwise freely agreed upon by the peoples concerned, compensation shall take the form of lands, territories and resources equal in quality, size and legal status or of monetary compensation or other appropriate redress. Article 29 1. Indigenous peoples have the right to the conservation and pro- tection of the environment and the productive capacity of their lands or territories and resources. States shall establish and implement assistance programmes for indigenous peoples for such conservation and protection, without discrimination. 2. States shall take effective measures to ensure that no storage or disposal of hazardous materials shall take place in the lands or ter- ritories of indigenous peoples without their free, prior and informed consent. 3. States shall also take effective measures to ensure, as needed, that programmes for monitoring, maintaining and restoring the health of indigenous peoples, as developed and implemented by the peoples affected by such materials, are duly implemented. Article 30 1. Military activities shall not take place in the lands or territories of indigenous peoples, unless justified by a relevant public interest or otherwise freely agreed with or requested by the indigenous peoples concerned. 2. States shall undertake
effective consultations with the indig- enous peoples concerned, through appropriate procedures and in particular through their representative institutions, prior to using their lands or territories for military activities. Article 31 1. Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge and tra- ditional cultural expressions, as well as the manifestations of their sciences, technologies and cultures, including human and genetic resources, seeds, medicines, knowledge of the properties of fauna and flora, oral traditions, literatures, designs, sports and traditional games and visual and performing arts. They also have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their intellectual property over such cultural heritage, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural expressions. 2. In conjunction with indigenous peoples, States shall take effec- tive measures to recognize and protect the exercise of these rights. Article 32 1. Indigenous peoples have the right to determine and develop priorities and strategies for the development or use of their lands or territories and other resources. 2. States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indig- enous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands or territories and other resources, particularly in
connection with the development, utiliza- tion or exploitation of mineral, water or other resources. 3. States shall provide effective mechanisms for just and fair redress for any such activities, and appropriate measures shall be taken to mitigate adverse environmental, economic, social, cultural or spiri- tual impact. Article 33 1. Indigenous peoples have the right to determine their own iden- tity or membership in accordance with their customs and traditions. This does not impair the right of indigenous individuals to obtain citizenship of the States in which they live. 2. Indigenous peoples have the right to determine the structures and to select the membership of their institutions in accordance with their own procedures. Article 34 Indigenous peoples have the right to promote, develop and main- tain their institutional structures and their distinctive customs, spiri- tuality, traditions, procedures, practices and, in the cases where they exist, juridical systems or customs, in accordance with international human rights standards. Article 35 Indigenous peoples have the right to determine the responsibilities of individuals to their communities. Article 36 1. Indigenous peoples, in particular those divided by international borders, have the right to maintain and develop contacts, relations and cooperation, including activities for spiritual,
cultural, political, economic and social purposes, with their own members as well as other peoples across borders. 2. States, in consultation and cooperation with indigenous peo- ples, shall take effective measures to facilitate the exercise and ensure the implementation of this right. Article 37 1. Indigenous peoples have the right to the recognition, observ- ance and enforcement of treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements concluded with States or their successors and to have States honour and respect such treaties, agreements and other con- structive arrangements. 2. Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as diminishing or eliminating the rights of indigenous peoples contained in treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements. Article 38 States, in consultation and cooperation with indigenous peoples, shall take the appropriate measures, including legislative measures, to achieve the ends of this Declaration. Article 39 Indigenous peoples have the right to have access to financial and technical assistance from States and through international coopera- tion, for the enjoyment of the rights contained in this Declaration. Article 40 Indigenous peoples have the right to access to and prompt decision through just and fair procedures for the
resolution of conflicts and disputes with States or other parties, as well as to effective remedies for all infringements of their individual and collective rights. Such a decision shall give due consideration to the customs, traditions, rules and legal systems of the indigenous peoples concerned and international human rights. Article 41 The organs and specialized agencies of the United Nations system and other intergovernmental organizations shall contribute to the full realization of the provisions of this Declaration through the mobiliza- tion, inter alia, of financial cooperation and technical assistance. Ways and means of ensuring participation of indigenous peoples on issues affecting them shall be established. Article 42 The United Nations, its bodies, including the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and specialized agencies, including at the country level, and States shall promote respect for and full application of the provisions of this Declaration and follow up the effectiveness of this Declaration. Article 43 The rights recognized herein constitute the minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of the indigenous peoples of the world. Article 44 All the rights and freedoms recognized herein are equally guaran- teed to male and female indigenous individuals. Article 45 Nothing in this Declaration may be construed as dimin-
ishing or extinguishing the rights indigenous peoples have now or may acquire in the future. Article 46 1. Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, people, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act contrary to the Charter of the United Nations or construed as authorizing or encouraging any action which would dismember or impair, totally or in part, the territorial integrity or political unity of sovereign and independent States. 2. In the exercise of the rights enunciated in the present Dec- laration, human rights and fundamental freedoms of all shall be respected. The exercise of the rights set forth in this Declaration shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law and in accordance with international human rights obligations. Any such limitations shall be nondiscriminatory and strictly necessary solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for meeting the just and most compelling requirements of a democratic society. 3. The provisions set forth in this Declaration shall be interpreted in accordance with the principles of justice, democracy, respect for human rights, equality, nondiscrimination, good governance and good faith.
Artwork: Jules Badoni, Dineh
For this issue, SNAG staff held workshops with Native Youth from Chemawa High School in Salem, Oregon; with Northwest Youth Conference parti...
Published on Apr 24, 2012
For this issue, SNAG staff held workshops with Native Youth from Chemawa High School in Salem, Oregon; with Northwest Youth Conference parti...