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Native American Studies Research Guide: Native American History in the News

Featured Items (National)

Erin Weldon, "Google's latest Doodle: A Cherokee Engineer (that you should know about)", Indian Country Today, August 9, 2018.  The Google Doodle for the day honors Mary Golda Ross, the first Native American female engineer.

"Independence Day Memories of a Distinguished Native Veteran", Indian Country Today, July 4, 2018.  The U.S. prisoners of war were brutally treated–and then it got worse. On October 31, a North Korean major nicknamed “the Tiger” took command of the camp. This officer took the POWs on a forced march over mountains and through the bitter winter conditions without rest, beating them regularly. If a soldier couldn’t continue on, he was shot.

Bill Castanier, "New graphic novel puts American Indian storytelling in comic form", Lansing City Pulse, June 21, 2018.  A lover, hater, trickster and even a hipster looking for a new name all make appearances in “Sovereign Traces: Not (Just) (An) Other,” a new and ingenious collection of graphic short stories and poems recently published by Michigan State University Press.  The nine selections in the book include contributions by major North American Indian writers coupled with a variety of contemporary, sometimes comic book style illustrations by U.S. and Canadian artists.  Authors such as Louise Erdrich, Gerald Vizenor and Gordon Henry Jr. are represented in the illustrated collection which will become a continuing series.  Henry, who is an enrolled member of the White Earth Chippewa Tribe of Minnesota and teaches American Indian Studies at Michigan State University, serves as series editor. His novel, “The Light People,” won the American Book Award in 1995.  Another MSU professor, Elizabeth LaPensée — an award-winning writer and artist Anishinaabe from Baawaating, is co-editor. She illustrated and colored Erdrich’s “The Strange People.”

"Congress about to hear a voice that it's never heard before, Deb Haaland".   Indian Country Today, June 2018. There have been 12,244 men (and a few women) elected to the U.S. House, the Senate, or both since March 4, 1789. None of those representatives have been Native American women. As Debra Haaland put it during her campaign: “Congress has never heard a voice like mine.” Get the microphones ready. Halaand won the Democratic primary for New Mexico’s 1st congressional district. She still faces a Republican challenger in November, but there are two factors to consider here. First, it’s a district that mostly favors Democrats. Hillary Clinton won the district handily. And, beyond that, this is not a cycle that is working for Republicans anyway. Haaland is now the favorite.

"First Written Treaty Between U.S., Native Nation to be Shown at NMAI", Native Times, May 1, 2018. : In an effort to gain support for the Patriot cause, the Continental Congress of the United States dispatched U.S. treaty commissioners to negotiate a treaty of peace, friendship and alliance with the Lenape (Delaware), whose lands were strategically located between present-day Pittsburgh and British-held Detroit. Among other things, the treaty asked that the Delawares provide safe passage for American troops across their tribal lands in exchange for the recognition of Delaware sovereignty and the option of joining other pro-American Indian nations to form a 14th state with representation in Congress. Three Lenape leaders, White Eyes, John Kill Buck Jr. (also spelled Killbuck) and Pipe, signed the treaty Sept. 17, 1778, at Fort Pitt. Eleven Americans, most of whom were military officers, witnessed the signing. Ultimately, many Delawares ended up supporting the British in the War of Independence. Yet the treaty set an important precedent for U.S.–Indian diplomacy. Henceforth, the U.S. would deal with Native Nations as it did with other sovereign nations: through written treaties.

Mark Trahant.  "Trump Administration Supports Changing Indian Health Programs That Will Sabotage Treaty Rights". Indian Country Today, April 23, 2018. : Trump administration maintains tribes are a race rather than sovereign governments and Indian Health should not be exempt from Medicaid’s ‘race-based’ work rules.

Abe Streep, "What the Arlee Warriors Were Playing For", New York Times Magazine, April 4, 2018.  On Montana’s Flathead Indian Reservation, basketball is about much more than winning.

Steve Dubb, "San Francisco to Remove Statue that Demeans American Indians", Nonprofit Quarterly, March 7, 2018.

Eric Lipton and Lisa Friedman, "Oil Was Central in Decision to Shrink Bears Ears Monument, Emails Show", New York Times, March 2, 2018.

Matt Viser and Liz Goodwin, "Warren addresses claims of Native American heritage", Boston Globe, February 14, 2018. : Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Wednesday made a surprise appearance at the National Congress of American Indians, delivering a speech about issues facing Native Americans and defending herself from the "Pocahontas" slur repeatedly lobbed at her by President Trump.

Tim Giago, "Boarding school trauma still haunts Indian Country", IndianZ, February 5, 2018.

Anne Quito, "A design historian explains why the Cleveland Indians' offensive logo survived for so long", Quartzy, February 2, 2018.  Soon, baseball fans won’t have to bear with Chief Wahoo.  Heeding pressure from the Major League Baseball’s commissioner, the Cleveland Indians announced this week that it will phase out the red-faced mascot from its uniforms by next season. Like the name and branding of the equally controversial Washington Redskins football team, the Indians’s 66-year old symbol has been widely condemned as an offensive, “racist caricature,” and Native American groups have been calling for Chief Wahoo’s abolition since the 1970’s.

Steve Dubb, "Smithsonian Curator Weighs In on Baseball's Decision to Retire "Chief Wahoo"", Nonprofit Quarterly, February 2, 2018.

Vincent Schilling, "The Native History We Are Never Taught In School", Native Country Today, January 17, 2018. : As I have continued to learn about my culture, I have uncovered an alarming amount of hidden history that has been hidden from our children of today

Vincent Schilling, "And Now There Are 573! Six VA Tribes Get Federal Recognition as President Signs Bill", Indian Country Today, January 30, 2018.  Six Virginia tribes receive federal recognition: The Chickahominy, Eastern Chickahominy, Upper Mattaponi, Rappahannock, Monacan, and Nansemond.

Susan Shown Harjo, "'Hostiles' film depicts Native people as humans", IndianZ, January 29, 2017.  Hostiles is an epic tale of two small families that have an intimate relationship with war and lives on the run. One is a family of men, American soldiers, with an unexpected addition of a settler woman whose life had been shattered. The other is a Cheyenne family with a sole young child standing for the future – they’ve been stripped of freedom and possessions, but remain as evidence of an ancient continuum and heirs to a legacy of cultural magnificence and wisdom.

Vincent Schilling, "NO MORE WAHOO: Cleveland Indians To Discontinue Chief Wahoo Logo in 2019", Indian Country Today, January 29, 2018.  Commissioner Rob Manfred says of Chief Wahoo and Indians: ‘Major League Baseball is committed to building a culture of diversity and inclusion throughout the game’

John Stanton, "Who's Going to Believe Us?" : Native Americans Say They’re Targets Of Shootings And Jailhouse Rapes By White Law Enforcement", BuzzFeed News, January 9, 2018.

Michael Price, "Ancient Americans arrived in a single wave, Alaskan infant's genome suggests", Science, Jan. 3, 2018.

Tiana Radeska.  Photographer Edward S. Curtis’ recordings of Native American traditions are only existing documentation for over 80 tribes. Vintage News, December 29, 2017.

Vincent Schilling, "The Traumatic True History and Name List of the Dakota 38", Indian Country Today, December 27, 2017. The Dakota 38 execution was the largest mass execution in the United States and took place on December 26, 1862

Kevin Gover, "Five myths about American Indians", Washington Post, November 22, 2017.  Thanksgiving recalls for many people a meal between European colonists and indigenous Americans that we have invested with all the symbolism we can muster. But the new arrivals who sat down to share venison with some of America’s original inhabitants relied on a raft of misconceptions that began as early as the 1500s, when Europeans produced fanciful depictions of the “New World.” In the centuries that followed, captivity narratives, novels, short stories, textbooks, newspapers, art, photography, movies and television perpetuated old stereotypes or created new ones — particularly ones that cast indigenous peoples as obstacles to, rather than actors in, the creation of the modern world. I hear those concepts repeated in questions from visitors to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian every day. Here are five of the most intransigent.

Alicia Puglionesi, "How Early American Plays Turned Pocahontas into Fake News",, November 22, 2017. The mythical 'Indian princess' granted symbolic permission for massive land theft and displacement of native peoples.

Erin Blakemore, "Alcatraz Had Some Surprising Prisoners: Hopi Men",, November 20, 2017.  Al Capone. Whitey Bulger. The list of Alcatraz prisoners reads like a litany of gangsters and hardened criminals. But in the 19th century, the infamous island was also home to 19 prisoners rarely found in maximum security cells: Hopi men.  Their crime? Rebelling against plans to send their children to “assimilation” boarding schools hundreds of miles away from their reservations. But in 1894, their parents resisted—and paid the price.

Second Thanksgiving (by We Are Thomasse). The story of the First Thanksgiving seems so innocent and hopeful... so what on earth happened at that Second Thanksgiving to make it all go wrong? We Are Thomasse, November 16, 2017.

Christopher Klein, "Remembering the First Native American Woman Doctor",, November 17, 2017. A new book details how Susan La Flesche shattered not just one barrier, but two, to become the first Native American woman doctor in the United States in the 1880s.

Erin Blakemore, "California’s Little-Known Genocide",, November 16, 2017.  Although gold spelled prosperity and power for the white settlers who arrived in California in 1849 and after, it meant disaster for the state’s peaceful indigenous population.  In just 20 years, 80 percent of California’s Native Americans were wiped out. And though some died because of the seizure of their land or diseases caught from new settlers, between 9,000 and 16,000 were murdered in cold blood—the victims of a policy of genocide sponsored by the state of California and gleefully assisted by its newest citizens.

Vincent Schilling,  "6 Thanksgiving Myths and the Wampanoag Side of the Story", Indian Country Today, November 14, 2017.   The Thanksgiving Day Celebration Originated From a Massacre.

Vincent Schilling. "8 Myths and Atrocities About Christopher Columbus and Columbus Day", Indian Country Today, October 9, 2017. First up, Columbus never landed on American soil.

Adrian Jawort, "The Declaration of Independence — Except for ‘Indian Savages’", Indian Country Today, September 23, 2017. The hypocrisy within the Declaration of Independence

When the Salmon Industry Intentionally Poisoned Native Stock

Thing About Skins: The continued campaign against Indigenous foods and our sacred salmon

When the Salmon Industry Intentionally Poisoned Native Stock

Thing About Skins: The continued campaign against Indigenous foods and our sacred salmon

Ray Halbritter, "Indian Country Today Media Network to Cease Active Operations", September 4, 2017.   Indian Country Today Media Network announces operational hiatus to explore new business mode.   Website will remain intact until January 1, 2018.

Gyasi Ross, "When the Salmon Industry Intentionally Poisoned Native Stock", Indian Country Today, September 3, 2017.  The continued campaign against Indigenous foods and our sacred salmon.

Alysa Landry, "Propaganda: 6 Works of Art That Shaped America's View of Natives", September 1, 2017.  Not just art, these pieces represent artistic propaganda that had huge impacts on America's views of Natives.

Lisa J. Ellwood, "NJ Superior Court Rules Nanticoke Lenni-Lanape are Sovereign Tribe", August 31, 2017.  Judge rules Nanticoke Lenni-Lanape's civil rights violation lawsuit against the state of New Jersey for denying its status can proceed.

Sarah Sunshine Manning, "The Power of Oceti Sakowin Women", August 30, 2017.  Oceti Sakowin women continue to be committed to the land, their relatives and traditions.

Alysa Landry, "This Date in Native History ; Natives Occupy Mount Rushmore", August 29, 2017.  United Native Americans occupy Mount Rushmore over treaty rights.

Simon Moya-Smith, "Ugly Precursor to Auschwitz: Hitler Said to Have Been Inspired by US Indian Reservation System", August 27, 2017.  Hitler admired the US system, while the 'greatest nation' won't recognize its past.

Liz Navratil, "Northern Arapaho Boys of Carlisle Indian Industrial School Going Home", August 25, 2017.  Archaeologists working with tribes to return remains buried at Carlisle Indian Industrial School.

Alysa Landry, "How Mormons Assimilated Native Children", August 24, 2017.  Students who embraced the Mormon faith and succeeded academically often felt out of place on their reservations or among traditional Native practices.

Mark R. Day, "The True California Mission Story", August 23, 2017. Author and academic Michelle Lorimer takes the sugarcoating off California Missions with her book, 'Resurrecting the Past'.

Mark R. Day, "Dispelling the Mission Myths in California", August 22, 2017.  New book undercuts the myths behind the California Spanish missions.

Steve Russell, "5 Odd Facts About the Difficult, Tortured History of Virginia Indians", August 20, 2017.  Native women were caught up in sterilization of the "unfit" right up until the 70s; eugenics spread from the United States to Nazi Germany.

Sarah Sunshine Manning, "Native Baby Baskets and Cradleboards: Reclaiming the Medicine of Traditional Mothering", August 18, 2017.  Generations of tender and conscious Native parenting produced nations of children who were grounded, mindful, and confident.

ICMN Staff, "American History Myths Debunked: The Indians Weren't Defeated by White Settlers", August 18, 2017.  A plague named smallpox did the most damage, not the American history myth of settlers.

Dr. Dean Chavers, "Scalping in America", August 17, 2017. When and where did scalping in America begin?

Becky Little, "How Boarding Schools Tried to ‘Kill the Indian’ Through Assimilation",, August 16, 2017. Native American tribes are still seeking the return of their children.

Joan Tavares Avant, "Talking Stick and Feather: Indigenous Tools Hold Sacred Power of Free Speech", August 15, 2017.  These two time-honored tools were well thought out and created by indigenous leaders.

Christina Rose, "Echoes of Oak Flat: 4 Pick Sloan Dams That Submerged Native Lands", August 14, 2017.  The dams submerged nearly 700 miles of Native lands in the Missour Valley from Yankton, SD to Williston, ND.

Christina Rose, "Native History: The Day Tecumseh's Prophecy Rocked the World", August 11, 2017.  Tecumseh's successful mobilization of so many Natives proved to the United States that the war had not been won.

Alex Jacobs, "Ten Little Indians: A Genocidal Nursery Rhyme", August 10, 2017.  Historical literature describes history of genocide, 'Ten Little Indians' won't go away.

Alysa Landry, "10 Things You Should Know About Taos Pueblo", August 9, 2017.  The historic Taos Pueblo has built a tourism enterprise centered on traditional practice.

ICMN Staff, "Native History: Commemorating Battle of the Badlands 153rd Anniversary", August 7, 2017.  The Battle of the Badlands played a role in the reservation systems, Wounded Knee, and other issues being dealth with today.

Mary Annette Pember, "The Power of Ojibwe Women", August 4, 2017.  Ojibwe women survived European attempts to undermine their role as 'one who holds things together'.

Mark R. Day, "Amah Mutsun Tribal Chairman: 'Assimilation is Surender'", August 3, 2017.  Chairman Valentin Lopez presides over a ceremony for 2,000 Amah Mutsun buried in a shallow grave in 1885.

Alysa Landry, "Scalping of Jane McCrea Used to Portray Natives as Evil", July 27, 2017.  McCrea’s story added to colonial fiction of Revolutionary War and America’s view of Natives

Robert Aquinas McNally, "The Indian Killer Dubbed 'Knight of the Frontier', July 26, 2017.  Benjamin Wright, a hunter and tracker turned Indian bounty hunter.

Steve Russell, "Early Indigenous Peoples and Written Language", July 19, 2017.  Written language for early indigenous peoples included wampus belts, codices, and khipu.

Alex Hamer, "The Power of Haudenosaunee Women", July 18, 2017.  The strength of the Haudenosaunee women is legendary and can be see from the women's rights movement to Standing Rock.

Vincent Schilling, "8 Big Lies History Books Tell About Natives", July 14, 2017.  History books written by non-Natives don't share the truth when it comes to natives.

Vincent Schilling, "10 Native Inventions and Innovations That Changed the World", July 13, 2017.  Indigenous cultures have created thousands upon thousands of native inventions that are in use today.

Alysa Landry, "The Power of Blackfeet Women: In traditional Blackfeet society, women are 'holier than the pope" July 11, 2017.  In the early 19th century, a Blackfeet woman rose to prominence when she chose to learn the ways of a warrior.

Frank Hopper, "It Only Took Two Years: Andover Newton Begings Returning Native Artifacts to 396 Tribes", July 6, 2017.  Andover Newton Theological School warned by feds repeatedly to inventory and return Native artifacts.

ICMN Staff, "Fourth of July Remembrance: Chief Black Hawk's Farewell Speech", July 2, 2017.  On July 4, 1838 Chief Black Hawk, a Native American war leader of the Sauk Indian Tribe gave a farewell speech at Old Settlers Park in Fort Madison, Iowa.

Vincent Schilling, "Suppositories? Yeah, A Native Made It!", June 29, 2017.  Indigenous Inventions that Changed Our World.

Konnie LeMay, "Proclamation Sets Course Toward Sand Creek Massacre", June 27, 2017. The Sand Creek Massacre is one of the most heinous atrocities in U.S. history.

Alysa Landry, "Native History: President Calvin Coolidge Summers in Black Hills, Adopted by Sioux", June 23, 2017.  Calvin Collidge's adoption as Leading Eagel overshadowed by his decision not to run for re-election.

Alysa Landry, "Natives Participate in Poor People's Campaign; Protest BIA", June 20 ,2017.  Poor People's Campaign brings ethnicities together over common issue of poverty.

Lynn Cordova, "Supreme Court : Yes, You Can Trademark Disparaging Racial Slurs Like R-Word", June 19, 2017.  Washington NFL team says they are "thrilled" with the court's trademark decision; Natives take to social media to deride ruling.

Alysa Landry, "American Indian Movement Occupies Mount Rushmore", June 6, 2017. Natives led by American Indian Movement dragged off monument, demanded treaty be honored.

Vincent Schilling, "Memorial Day Tribute: American Indian Warriors Who Made the Ultimate Sacrifice in War", May 29, 2017.  This Memorial Day remember these warriors who have walked on along with many others.

Leeanne Root, "Who Was Richard Oakes?, May 22. 2017.  Mohawk activist Richard Oakes 'had a profound impact'' on the fight for Native Rights.

ICMN Staff, "The War of 1812 Could Have Been the War of Indian Independence", May 17, 2017.  What did the War of 1812 mean for Indian Country, for this land's indigenous people?

National Park Service, "Native History: Murder of Chief Lean Bear Leads to War, Sand Creek Massacre", May 16, 2017.  Chief Lean Bear gunned down toting peace medal and papers from President Lincoln, inciting the dog soldiers down the warpath.

Christina Rose, "Native History: Court Rules Standing Bear Is a Man With Rights", May 12, 2017.  The first American Indian civil rights case in the US was decided on this day.

Debra Utacia Krol, "Life Expectancy Falling in US -- But in Tribal Communities, Not So Much" May 11, 2017.  People are generally living longer n tribal commuities, but life spans still greatly lag more affluent counties.

Vincent Schilling, "Fight the Power: Heroes of Native Resistance, Women Warriors", May 9, 2017.  Women warriors like Lozen and Moving Robe are part of history for standing their ground.

Alysa Landry, "Native History : 71-Day Wounded Knee Occupation Ends", May 8, 2017.  Wounded Knee becasme a beacon for change, giving some people a sense of pride and hope.

Barry Babcock, "The Story of Donehogawa, First Indian Commissioner of Indian Affairs", May 6, 2017.  Ulysses S. Grant was aware of the corruption within the Office of Indian Affairs and looked to end it.

Peter d'Errico, "Lewis v. Clarke: Latest Hit on Tribal Immuity Law", May 3, 2017.  Are Native nations ready for the challenge to defend what is and isn't tribal immunity law?

Alysa Landry, "Andrew Jackson : Instigator of Indian Removal", May 2, 2017. : Andrew Jackson had one goal; all Indians must be 'beyond the great river Mississippi'.

Alexander Ewen, "Humans Populated Americas 130,000 Years Ago? Mastodon Finding Spark Controversy", Indian Country Today, April 27, 2017 : The prestigious science journal has published a report on 130,000-year-old mastodon bones that blows apart Bering Strait Theory.

Geoffrey Sea, "History Got It Wrong : Scientists Now Say Serpent Mound as Old as Aristotle", Indian Country Today, April 27, 2017 : Serpent Mound in rural Adams County, Ohio, is one of the premier Native American earthworks in the hemisphere. Its pristine flowing form was enhanced by major reconstruction in the 1880s. That reconstruction now appears to have been the second time in its long life that Serpent Mound has shed some of its skin....Estimates of the age of the earthwork are now radically revised as the result of a new radiocarbon analysis, suggesting that the mound is about 1,400 years older than conventionally thought. The new date of construction is estimated at approximately 321 BCE, one year after the death of Aristotle in Greece.

ICMN Staff, "American History Myths Debuked: White Settlers Did Not Carve America Out of the Untamed Wilderness", Indian Country Today,  April 18, 2017 : White settlers chose Plymouth for the recently cleared and planted fields, hardly untamed.

Duane Champagne, "Trump’s Policies Threaten Tribal Sovereignty", Indian Country Today, April 17, 2017 : Tribal sovereignty facing challenges with cuts to BIA, other resources.

Chelsey Luger, "Achieving Humanity Through Standing Rock", Indian Country Today, April 16, 2017.  The battle against the Dakota Access Pipeline got the world to recognize the humanity of Native Americans of the 21st century, even if only a little.

Rebecca Clarren, "A Right-Wing Think Tank is Trying to Bring Down the Indian Child Welfare Act.  Why?, Indian Country Today, April 13, 2017: Native Americans say the law protects their children.  The Goldwater Institute claims it does the opposite.

Jack McNeel, "Devils Tower: Name is 'Offensive, Disrespectful, Repugnant' to Tribes', Indian Country Today, April 7, 2017.  Senate bill considers designating Devils Tower as official name, tribes opposed.

Christina Rose, "Native History: Alcohol and Murder Result in Theft of 50 Million Acres", Indian Country Today, April 6, 2017: An 1804 altercation and subsequent treaty led to Black Hawk's War nearly 30 years later.

Mark Fogarty, "DAPO Fallout Continues: Defund Movement Passes $5 Billion", Indian Country Today, April 5, 2017.  From individuals to cities and tribes around the country DAPL banks are feeling the pressure.

Vincent Shilling, "6 Shocking Facts About Slavery, Natives and African Americans", Indian Country Today, April 4, 2017 : 1619, the year slavery was born, or was it?

Alysa Landry, "Native History: Ponce de Leon Arrives in Florida; Beginning of the End", Indian Country Today, April 2, 2017 : On April 2, 1513, Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon landed on the southeastern coast of Florida, claiming the territory for the Spanish crown.

Tanya H. Lee, "Why Teaching History Matters : 5 Professors Weigh In", Indian Country Today, March 14, 2017. : When teaching US history the Native American story is important for the future of this country

Rob Capriccioso, "Native Nations Rise March: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly", Indian Country Today, March 13, 2017. : Like any protest, the Native Nations Rise March had its ups and downs

Dina Gilio-Whitaker, "California v. Cabazon, 30 Years Later: Tribes Celebrate Historic Ruling for Indian Gaming", Indian Country Today, February 28, 2017. : Cabazon and Morongo Bands hosted a gala in honor of the 1987 Supreme Court ruling

Alysa Landry, "AIM Occupation of Wounded Knee Begins", Indian Country Today, February 27, 2017 : Wounded Knee is hailed as one of AIM's greatest successes.

Suzette Brewer, "Cabazon: The Raid That Changed Gaming History", Indian Country Today, February 24, 2017 :Thirty years ago this weekend, the Supreme Court decision in California v. Cabazon made Indian gaming a fact of life

Alice B. Kehoe, "Cahokia : America's Great City", Indian Country Today, February 22, 2017 : What happened to Cahokia inhabitants?

Rob Capriccioso, "Barack Obama and Richard Nixon Among Best Presidents for Indian Country", Indian Country Today, February 20, 2017 : ICMN highlights best presidents for Indian country, including Barack Obama and Richard Nixon.

Gale Courey Toensing, "Indian-Killer Andrew Jackson Deserves Top Spot on List of Worst US Presidents", Indian Country Today, February 20, 2017.  Andrew Jackson tops list of worst presidents for Natives.

Vincent Schilling, "The True Story of Pocahontas: Historical Myths Versus Sad Reality", Indian Country Today, February 16, 2017. :Pocahontas had a Native Husband and Native Child; Never Married John Smith

Indian Country Media Network, "Rounds: Expunge Old Native American Laws", Indian Country Today, February 9, 2017 :SD Sen. wants to remove outdated Native American Laws as a way to reconcile

Alysa Landry, "Dawes Act Signed Into Law to ‘Civilize’ Indians", Indian Country Today, February 8, 2017 :The Dawes Act put individual Indians at the mercy of the federal government

Theresa Braine, "The Real Bowling Green Massacre", Indian Country Today, February 4, 2017 : In 1643, colonizing European soldiers massacred dozens of Lenape people at what is today Bowling Green in New York City

Leah Donnella, "The Standing Rock Resistance Is Unprecedented (It's Also Centuries Old)", NPR, November 22, 2016.  As resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline in Standing Rock, N.D., concludes its seventh month, two narratives have emerged: (1) We have never seen anything like this before. (2) This has been happening for hundreds of years. Both are true. The scope of the resistance at Standing Rock exceeds just about every protest in Native American history. But that history itself, of indigenous people fighting to protect not just their land, but the land, is centuries old.

Evan Andrews, "10 Things You May Not Know About Sitting Bull",, December 15, 2015. Facts about one of the most legendary Native Americans of the 19th century.

Featured News (Michigan)

Blaire Topash-Caldwell, The Birch-Bark Booklets of Simon Pokagon. Michigan History, July/August 2018.

Care to Lay Odds on Off-Reservation Casinos in Michigan?  MIRS Capitol Capsule, July 6, 2018.

"Legislation granting Michigan tribes access to child protective records signed into law", News Release, March 21, 2018.  Sens. Judy Emmons and Wayne Schmidt welcomed representatives from Michigan’s Native American tribes to Lansing on Tuesday asSenate Bill 616 was signed into law.  The bill, now Public Act 56 of 2018, amends the Child Protection Law to update the list of individuals who have access to Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) records — specifically those related to child abuse.  Previous law stated that any report, document, or photograph filed with DHHS is a confidential record available only to certain individuals and entities, such as a law enforcement agency investigating a report of known or suspected child abuse or neglect. PA 56 would update that list to include social service representatives from one of the federally recognized tribes within the state of Michigan if the alleged abuse involved a Native American child.  “Documents related to a Native American child should be available to a tribal entity or tribal representative, especially when there is suspected abuse or neglect,” said Schmidt, R-Traverse City. “Tribes are sovereign governments with their own laws and the state should not limit their ability to investigate.”  Emmons agreed.  “By allowing tribal representatives access to certain records regarding child abuse within their tribe, we are creating a coordinated effort between the state of Michigan and each individual tribe with the goal of further curbing child abuse and neglect,” said Emmons, R-Sheridan.

Riley Murdock, "As Native American enrollment falls, community looks for solutions", State News, March 15, 2018.  Native American students have long made up less than 1 percent of MSU’s population. And in recent years, even that number has shrunk.

Malachi Barrett, "Kalamazoo votes to remove controversial Bronson Park fountain", MLive, March 6, 2018.  A controversial monument --  Fountain of the Pioneers -- pitting a Native American in headdress head-to-head with a westward-facing settler will be removed to make the park more inclusive.

Stateside Staff, "Leopold Pokagon: How a band of Potawatomi converted to Catholicism and avoided removal", Michigan Radio, November 15, 2017.

Stateside Staff, "A Harbor Springs boarding school worked to erase Odawa culture until the 1980s", Michigan Radio, November 8, 2017.  You have probably heard the phrase “school of choice” used when describing public education options in Michigan, but what about a “school of no choice?” That was the case for many native Michiganders for over a century.

Keith Matheny, "Vandal defaces historic Sanilac Petroglyphs carved by Great Lakes native Americans", Detroit Free Press, September 8, 2017.  A vandal or vandals defaced with graffiti centuries-old, native rock carvings at a state park near Cass City, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has announced.  The DNR and the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe are investigating the vandalism, which was discovered earlier this year at Sanilac Petroglyphs Historic State Park. The park features an outcropping of Marshall sandstone, with more than 100 petroglyphs carved into its surface by native people. The site represents the most extensive group of petroglyphs known in Michigan and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

ICMN Staff, "Big Upgrades at Michigan Casinos: Rebranding, Interior Facelifts, New Hotels & More", August 4, 2017.  At least five of the 23 Class III casinos in Michigan are undergoing major changes this year, or recently celebrated an expansion.

Dave Palermo, "Tweaking Michigan Online Gambling Bill Doesn't Resolve Many of the Legal Problems", Online Poker Report, July 12, 2017.

John Hogan, "Redskins mascot would be banned from Michigan schools under Senate bill", WZZM (Channel 13, ABC), June 23, 2017.  A state lawmaker wants to eliminate “Redskins’’ as a mascot for public schools and school sports teams; the latest move in a campaign to dismantle what has been called an insensitive reference to American Indians.  The bill introduced by Sen. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City, says schools shall not use the term “Redskins’’ for a mascot, name or nickname for the school, athletic team, student group or club.

Lynne Armitage, "Mackinac Island Finally Telling Native Side of History", March 30, 2017 : Agatha Biddle's home will be restored to tell Native history of Mackinac Island.

ICMN Staff, "FireKeepers Revenue to Fund Replacing Offensive Mascots at Michigan Schools", January 6, 2017.  Tribe, Michigan recently revised their gaming compact to provide up to $500,000 annually to state schools.

A Michigan tribe has gone to court in an under-the-radar bid to designate much of Hemingway country as the state's largest Indian reservation.  The Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians is suing the state in federal district court, claiming treaties in 1836 and 1855 gives the tribe sovereignty over 337 square miles of land and 103 miles of shoreline in northern Michigan.  The case is expected to take years to resolve. But, if a judge decides a reservation was established more than 160 years ago, most of Emmet County, part of Charlevoix County, the cities of Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Good Hart, part of Charlevoix and two Lake Michigan islands would fall under tribal jurisdiction.  Garret Ellison, "Tribe aims to make Petoskey area Michigan's largest Indian reservation", MLive, October 27, 2016.

"State of the Odawa", Northern Express, September 23, 2016.  It took centuries for the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians to become recognized as an Indian tribe by the United States. In the intervening years, that status has transformed their lives. A timeline of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians’ history, as chronicled on the bands’ website, begins in the 1600s

"Senator Schmidt's Bill to Promote Native American Heritage Becomes Law", News Release, June 24, 2016.  Legislation to recognize places throughout Michigan that are significant to the history of Native Americans, including along trails that served as a foundation for many state roadways, has been signed by the governor.  “Michigan has deep ties to Native American heritage and this law ensures that it is preserved and recognized,” said Sen. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City, the bill sponsor. “This continues our efforts to build and maintain a lasting relationship with the 12 Native American tribes that reside within Michigan’s borders.”  Senate Bill 523, now Public Act 247 of 2016, amends the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act to require a general recognition effort of Native American heritage and allows the state Department of Natural Resources to provide signage and recognition of places along trails in the Pure Michigan Trails network.

"Legislation to promote Native American heritage approved by Senate", Mt. Pleasant Morning Sun, January 22, 2016.  A state law that would recognize places throughout Michigan that are significant to the history of Native Americans was unanimously approved by the state Senate.  Among the areas that would be highlighted with official signage are the numerous trails that served as a foundation for many state roadways such as the Grand River Trail between Detroit and Grand Rapids. Also a contributing to the formation of Michigan’s current highway system was the trail from Toledo, passing through Saginaw to Mackinac and the St. Joseph Trail out of Detroit.  “The important legislation would help preserve and promote Native American heritage in Michigan,” said Sen. Wayne Schmidt (R-Traverse City). “The bill is part of our continued efforts to build and maintain a lasting relationship with the 12 Native American tribes that reside within Michigan’s borders.”

Frank Ettawagheshik, , "Old Indian Trail  From Cadillac to Traverse City", Explore Cadillac, December 4, 2015.  For a related article, see Loraine Anderson, "Scout rescues Old Indian Trail markers from oblivion", Traverse City Record-Eagle, September 8, 2013.

Emily Fox, "Native American boarding schools have nearly killed Michigan's native language", Michigan Radio, September 28, 2015.  The original language of Michigan is dying in the state.  Anishinaabemowin was the language of the Great Lakes for millennia—spoken by the Chippewa/Ojibwe, Odawa and Potawatomi tribes—known as the Anishinabek.  One of the biggest impacts on the language, that affected generations of families, was Native American boarding schools.

"Legislators Honor Michigan Indian Day with Resolutions, Plan to Promote Heritage", Michigan House Democrats News Release, September 25, 2015.  State Rep. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) and state Sen. Wayne Schmidt (R-Traverse City) have introduced legislation in honor of Michigan Indian Day. Each of the legislators introduced a resolution in their respective chambers memorializing the 41st celebration of Michigan Indian Day and recognizing the many contributions of Native Americans to our state. In addition, the legislators introduced bills in the House and Senate directing the Department of Natural Resources to create and implement a master plan to highlight and promote the history and culture of Michigan’s Anishinaabeg people. The purpose of the bills is to promote economic development and cultural tourism.  “Michigan, at the heart of the Great Lakes basin, has a rich and long history, extending long before Europeans first arrived,” Rep. Irwin said. “The indigenous tribes were the sole inhabitants of our state for more than 13,000 years, and there is a rich and underappreciated history to explore.”  The legislation has bipartisan support and was developed in consultation with tribal leaders, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and the governor’s tribal liaison. Tying in to the Pure Michigan Trails initiative, the Native American Heritage bills would make information available to people wishing to visit or learn more about the many places in Michigan that are significant to tribal history and culture.  The DNR would work collaboratively with tribal leaders to identify, preserve and promote awareness of significant sites.  “Today, we welcome many of our tribal partners to the annual State-Tribal Summit, and we say ‘Migwitch’ to our tribal partners,” Irwin continued. “But, in order to fully recognize the contributions of Michigan’s many Native Americans, including our 12 federally recognized tribes, we need to go beyond mere words of welcome and work together to bring jobs and economic development. My bill, House Bill 4914, is a way for all of us to work together to understand and promote these pleasant peninsulas we share.”

Irwin, who is a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, also attended an opening ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda on Thursday morning. Members of the Match-e-be-nash-she-wish Band of Pottawatami Indians led a morning prayer followed by singing and hand drumming. Later, leaders from various tribal governments observed the House of Representatives session and were recognized from the floor.

"Michigan Senate adopts Wayne Schmidt’s Indian Day resolution", Boyne City Gazette, September 24, 2015.  The state Senate on Thursday adopted a resolution sponsored by Sen. Wayne Schmidt to establish the fourth Friday in September as Michigan Indian Day.  Representatives from twelve Native American tribes from throughout the state were at the Capitol for the occasion, and Bay Mills Indian Community Pipe Carrier Dwight Bucko Teeple led the Senate invocation. Senate Resolution 93 in part recognizes the shared history between Michiganders and the peoples of the tribes and the partnership established in a government-to-government accord that helped to enhance and improve communication, foster respect for sovereign status, and facilitate the resolution of potentially contentious issues.

Erin Dietzer, "Descendants of Chief Waukazoo join Park Township centennial celebration", Holland Sentinel, August 1, 2015.  n the 1830s and 40s, Chief Waukazoo and about 300 Ottawa Native Americans lived in a village on Lake Macatawa, then known as Black Lake.  Now, over 150 years later, Waukazoo’s descendants are returning to the area to participate in Park Township’s 100th anniversary celebration from August 15-23.  Chief Waukazoo and his people actually left the area in June 1849. Waukazoo, along with Rev. George N. Smith, led the move further north and founded the village of Waukazooville in the area of what is now Northport.

Emily Fox, "How a Potawatomi tribe lost its culture and what it takes to bring it back", Michigan Radio, August 14, 2014.  Native American culture has been struggling to survive for more than a century. For a Potawatomi tribe in the Upper Peninsula, tribal culture almost vanished around the 1940s. But for the past four decades, there have been efforts to bring tribal culture back.

American Indian people continue to be one of the most invisible, underserved, underrepresented and overlooked populations nationally, but continue to be vibrant, resilient communities in both rural and urban areas.  Southeastern Michigan is no different; the seven county region of southeastern Michigan holds the largest American Indian population in the state, with approximately 1/3 of the population (over 48,000 Native Americans).  Serving the unique needs of this diverse Native American community, American Indian Health and Family Services of Southeastern Michigan (AIHFS) is a cultural home and wellness center.  Source ; Nickole Fox, "Culture is Critical : Serving the Needs of American Indians".  Dome, March 7, 2014

The Grand River Bands of Ottawa Indians were notified by the Office of Federal Acknowledgment in a Dec. 12 letter to the tribal chairman that its 1994 request for federal recognition was being “actively considered.”...The agency in the U.S. Department of the Interior will decide by Dec. 1 a “proposed finding” to determine if the Grand Rapids-based tribe has met seven criteria to allow department Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn to move toward a final decision. Those who follow the arcane world of tribal recognition were surprised the Grand River Bands petition has gotten to this point....If the assistant secretary were to grant the tribe federal recognition, it would move forward plans of a development group to put an Indian casino at the Harbor 31 business park development on Muskegon Lake. However, the final recognition could take another two years and putting everything in place for a casino-based destination resort to be constructed could take an undetermined number of years beyond that.  Source :Dave Alexander,  "'Active consideration' of Grand River tribal recognition raises possibility of downtown Muskegon casino", MLive, February 21, 2014.

A group of Mt. Pleasant-based Native Americans, including 66 removed from the rolls of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe in November, are seeking federal recognition of the original three bands of American Indians that first settled in Isabella County in the mid-1800s....No one has disputed that most of those behind the effort are Native American descendants of the original three tribes, but they claim to have been disenrolled from the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe for historical quirks linked to inappropriate rulings and poor record keeping by the federal government.  Source : Rick Mills, "Banished tribal members seek federal recognition", Mt. Pleasant Morning Sun, January 3, 2014.

Tribal activist Ben Hinmon said he sees a strong element of support for cutting the membership rolls among some candidates in the upcoming Tribal Council elections. The Tribe’s gaming income has been falling for years as a result of greatly increased competition, a bad economy and aging casinos....That’s led to a reduction of Tribal members’ incomes derived from profits from the Tribe’s business interests, Hinmon  said. Reducing the number of people who get that income in the form of per-capita payments would soften the impact....Hinmon said allowing collateral descent to form the basis of membership was very much in tune with the spirit of the times when it happened. He noted that the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe portrays itself as the successor of the historic Saginaw, Swan Creek and Black River bands of Ojibwe....“This ignores all of the earlier court rulings that urged the Tribe to heal,” Hinmom said. “The bottom line is that all those who trace collaterally trace their lineal ancestry to the Saginaw, Swan Creek and Black River bands.”  Source: Mark Ranzenberger, "Court ruling could lead to massive Tribal disenrollments", Mt. Pleasant Morning Sun, October 4, 2013.

After 20 years of legalized Indian casino gambling in Michigan, the state is trying to claw back a piece of the action from six tribes as high-stakes talks to extend gaming compacts proceed.  At stake: A share of a multi-billion-dollar industry and upwards of $40 million in potential annual revenue for the state.The tribes now pay 2 percent of slot machine and video gaming profits to local governmental units, a requirement spelled out in a federal consent decree that governs 20-year compacts finalized in 1993.They paid 8 percent to the state until after 1996, when voters approved construction of three non-Indian casinos in Detroit. That and approval of more Indian casinos broke decree terms that promised tribes exclusive rights for casino gaming in exchange for payouts to the state.  Multiple sources say the state wants that share back – or more.  Source : Ted Roelofs, "Michigan draws thin in new, high-stakes Indian casino tax negotiations", MLive, August 28, 2013.

Emily Fox, "Native American Boarding Schools Have Nearly Killed Michigan's Native Language.  Michigan Radio, September 28, 2015. The original language of Michigan is dying in the state.  Anishinaabemowin was the language of the Great Lakes for millennia—spoken by the Chippewa/Ojibwe, Odawa and Potawatomi tribes—known as the Anishinabek.  One of the biggest impacts on the language, that affected generations of families, was Native American boarding schools. Source : 

Robert Downes, "The Indians in Winter: : How they survived -- and thrived -- in a frozen land", Northern Express, March 13, 2011.

Patricia Ecker, "Workshops teach about Bandolier bags", Mt. Pleasant Morning Sun, January 14, 2010.  The Seventh Generation Program/ Elijah Elk Cultural Center  is charged with teaching traditional and cultural Anishinaabe ways, and Jefferson Ballew, cultural instructor for Seventh Generation, shared what he learned on the art of making the traditional shoulder bags.  "There were functional Bandolier bags that were useful for collecting and carrying food," Ballew said. "These were very practical.  "And in our collection at the Ziibiwing Center, there are beautifully crafted bags that are very fragile and not so practical," he said.  Ballew, a citizen of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi, said that he has a bag that he wears on the left side that holds all of his spiritual tools: medicine and pipe.  "The bag tells the story of the medicine," Ballew said. "And tools such as flint, knives, an awl would be kept in bag worn on the right side."  Ballew said that Bandolier bags were used to carry important items, and that they would be adorned with images that would identify one's "family, clan or nation affiliation."

Patricia Ecker, "Seventh Generation program harvests tobacco", Mt. Pleasant Morning Sun, September 2, 2009.  "Tobacco for Natives is sacred," Jefferson Ballew, a citizen of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi, said. "I know very few people who have actually seen it done like this.  "No one at Seventh Gen. I have seen old pictures, but this would be the logical thing to do."  It took two and a half hours to harvest the 125 plants that were hung in the People's Lodge or "Patamoewigawan, which is located in the woods just north of the community buildings at the corner of Remus and Shepherd roads.  Ballew said that he had help from several community members when constructing the lodge in the effort to "reestablish the village setting in the woods behind the (center) offices."  "The lodge is for social gatherings like naming ceremonies, funerals, celebrations, and memorials," Ballew said.

Levi Rickert, "Musings along the Wellbriety Journey to Forgiveness", Mt. Pleasant Morning Sun, Juy 5, 2009.  American Indians - and some non-Indians - from all directions of Michigan came to Mt. Pleasant to walk side by side to support the ideal of forgiveness to the non-Indians who encamped generation after generation of American Indian children in boarding schools. We came from cities, rural areas and reservations to voice support for the call for an official apology from President Obama on behalf of the United States government. Even though we - some 500 American Indians - had to brave a rainy beginning of the walk, the inconvenience was trivial in comparison to the suffering endured by those generations of American Indians who were forced to attend the boarding schools.  On the grounds of the Mt. Pleasant Indian Industrial Boarding School, we were greeted by the thunderous sounds of the drum and singing as we walked into the tent. The crowd suddenly swelled to some 600 because we were joined by those could not physically make the five-mile walk.  As I looked around the crowd against the backdrop of the closed boarding school, I mused I am proud to have been Ellen Moore Whitepigeon's grandson and I was glad I journeyed to Mt. Pleasant in her memory.  Levi Rickert is a tribal member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation. He is the former executive director of the North American Indian Center of Grand Rapids.

Andy Knott, "Tribes Build Muscle to Fight for Great Lakes", Northern Express, November 23, 2005.  Could an historic alliance of Great Lakes native peoples prevent the destruction of the lakes as we know them today?  “Imagine a future where there are bus tours of shipwrecks on the former bottomlands of the Great Lakes,” says Frank Ettawageshik, Chairman of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians. “We can’t let that happen.”
Ettawageshik is one leader bringing tribes from the U.S. and first nations from Canada together to oppose diversions and large-scale withdrawals from the Great Lakes basin. The nascent group, now called the United Indian Nations of the Great Lakes (UINGL), has met twice during the past year and is forming stronger relationships among themselves and with other groups involved in Great Lakes water protection.  The movement focuses on the future of the Great Lakes, while rooted in history and native tradition that knows no artificial national boundaries.

Keith Bradsher, "Michigan Pact Resolves Battle Over Limits on Indian Fishing", New York Times, August 8, 2000.

For additional articles, see Red Tape Blog and click on Native Americans.

The TurleTalk Blog also includes links to articles about Michigan Native Americans from time to time.

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