May 1, 2007

Native Media, Natives in Media

On May 1, we listened to and watched audio and video from Natives. Here's the run down, but not in order:
1) clips from a 1949 episode of "The Lone Ranger"
2) Clip from the film "Naturally Native" IF you go to production you can see the trailer for the film--including some of what we watched in class.
3) I tried to play a clip from "Seat at the Drum" but i could not get the DVD player to cooperate.
4) Blackfish Drum group "Duck n Dive"--nice video that shows a little drummer-in-training, as well how the drummers keep time and keep with the song.
5) "Indian Car" by Keith Secola, an Ojibwe musician--here's a live version called NDN KARS
6) Joann Shenandoah clip from her CD "Matriarch"
7) video of Pura Fe singing "Don't Trade Your Legs For A Pair Of Wings"
8) Rez Hogs singing "it's Native" on Native Hip Hop
9) Episode five of "The Dead Dog Cafe Comedy Hour" from a radio show from Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
(if you want an "authentic Indian name" for yourself or your relations go to AUTHENTIC INDIAN NAME GENERATOR--fill in the necessary info and get your own Dead Dog Cafe authentic Indian name. Some Indians have felt that the name generator promotes stereotypes about Indian names as unnecessarily or absurdly descriptive. What do you think?)
10) "Dream Song" sung by Kimiwun, recorded on wax cylinder by Frances Densmore in 1910. The song as well as other traditional and contemporary music, including Keith Secola's "Indian Car", is on "Ojibway Music from Minnesota: A Century of Song for Voice and Drum" from Minnesota HIstorical Society Press.
11) Jim Pepper, the well-know but late jazz musician playing Witchi Tai To on New York University's Hemisphere Studies site, which features the audio/visual collection of the American Indian Community House of New York City.

To access the audio/video you may have to scroll down the page and/or click on a separate link.
Have fun.

April 13, 2007

EVENT: ART Exhibtion: Ojibwe painters

New Skins: New Paintings by Andrea Carlson and Jim Denomie

Friday, April 6, 2007—Sunday, May 27, 2007
Minnesota Artists Gallery
Minneapolis Institute of Arts
2400 Third Avenue South
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55404

Hours: Tu, Wed, Fri, Sat 10-5
Sun 11-5

Free Exhibition

April 4, 2007

Boarding Schools

On Tuesday, April 3, we talked about Boarding Schools.
the readings came from this site
About Indian Boarding Schools
the source of a few of pages is
Assimilation Through Education: Indian Boarding Schools in the Pacific Northwest
part of the University of Washington Libraries Digital Collections.
Most of the other pages have the source at the bottom of the page, and even if the link is broken, they list the full citation.

We also talked a little about corporal punishment as part of everyday American culture at the time of boarding school, so that what the Indians were being subject to was probably no different than what non-Indian children got. However as Alex Grill pointed out, most Indian group did not use corporal punishment to control their children so that Indians were not used to nor understand this kind of treatment.

We also talked about how other groups have had to deal with cultural genocide, although probably not by the same means or to the same extent as Indians.

We listened to the oral histories of Harriett Nahanee and Virginia Baptiste recounting their experiences in residential schools in Canada--the equivilent of the US boarding schools--from Hidden from History: Voices of the Canadian Holocaust

Here are images of the Cherokee, North Carolina boarding school, particularly nice since they are dated, from Donna Beck at Western Carolina University.

It is hard to teach the boarding school material--there is no way not to have an emotional reaction--as instructor i have to go past that reaction to present the material in class. While no one in my immediate family when to boarding school, i mentioned in class how my grandmother, whose own mother died in the 1918 influenza epidemic, sent her cousin/brother to the Indian boarding school St. Boniface in Banning, California where she lived at the time. Eventually we lived up the street from the school on the edge of town in the 1960s. My grandmother sent her brother/cousin there because she was a teenager and responsible for him after her mother's death. She wanted to give him an education.

April 2, 2007

7 Events for April

(Courtesy of Chris Munger)

Sunday, April 15, 2007
11:00 AM—5:00 PM

Inspiring: Traditional and Contemporary Arts of Native America

Minneapolis Institute of Arts
2400 Third Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404

The museum is located one mile south of downtown Minneapolis at the intersection of 3rd Avenue South and East 24th Street.

Celebrate traditional Native American culture with a performance of storytelling, music, and dance by Chickasaw/Choctaw M. Cochise Anderson. Examine the MIA’s permanent collection of Native American arts, and a special exhibition featuring the work of two contemporary artists working from the narratives of their Anishinabe ancestry. Free.

They also have a permanent exhibit that might be of interest -


EVENT 2: speaker
Gerald Vizenor
University of New Mexico
will talk on "Survivance: Theory and Practice in Native American Narratives"
Monday, April 9
120 Nolte Center


EVENT 3: Play reading and Talk/Discussion

Marcie Rendon, White Earth Ojibwe, playwright/writer
will visit the American Indian Theatre course
April 18
in Scott 4

2:30-3:45: play reading _SongCatcher: A Native Interpretation of the Story of Frances Densmore_
3:45-5:00: Marcie talks about her work.

Please know students and others can come sit in and or take part in the reading. The room is large and the theatre class is small, so there is plenty of room for visitors. We've divided up the class in two parts so that if someone can't come to the first part they can come to the second without a lot of interruption.
e-mail Prof. Coronado for more info


St. Paul Indian Education Traditional Powwow
April 13
6-8 PM
The American Indian Magnet
1075 E. Third St
St. Paul, MN
Info: 651-293-5191


EVENT 5: Powwow

April 28:
Minneapolis Traditional Powwow
Grand Enteries at 2pm & at 6pm
Feast at 4:30pm

Indian Center
1530 East Franklin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN.
Info: Windy Downwind 612-455-2837

This is an opportunity for families to sing, dance, socialize and enjoy our cultural tradition. Head Dancers are Patrick and Rachel LeGarde. Children 11 and under MUST be accompanied by an adult or they will not be admitted.



Office of University Women
Reel Dames Film Series

*Thursday, April 19*
"Mohawk Girls"
Exuberant, intimate look at issues of American Indian identity, culture and family.
Discussion: Peggy Flanagan, White Earth Band of Ojibwe, Mpls. School Board member
*6:30 p.m.
Nicholson Hall 125*

FREE but Space Limited. RSVP Now.
612-625-9837 - OR -

here's a link to the poster with other events


New Voices in Native Media
April 13 and 14
7:00-10:00 pm

Center for Independent Artists
4137 Bloomington Ave. S., at the Instituto de Cultrua Y Educacion.
For more info, call 612-724-8392.

New Voices in Native Media honors youth and new filmmakers. A special reception opens this two-night mini-film festival; the filmmakers and their families are invited to talk about their films. The juried selection of short films, videos, and animations are shown at local screening rooms around the Twin Cities. Free and open to the public. In collaboration with Independent Indigenous Film and Media. Hosted at the Center for Independent artists.

March 12, 2007

Dine' and Emotional Effects on Things

On March 1, we discussed Luci Tapahonso's poem "Sháá ?ko Dahjiníleh Remember the Things They Told Us" and, briefly, "The Forth World" from Navajo History. Tapahonso talks about how if person cooks while upset the discord will be transfered to the food, which when eaten will transfer to the person eating. I mentioned how the Laura Esquivel's Like Water for Chocolate illustrates this--particularly when the cook, Tia, cries in the wedding cake batter. When the wedding guests eat the cake it makes them sick--there is a shot in the movie showing all them standing outside wretching their guts out. After class, i spoke with a student who mentioned some of the experimentations that physicists are doing along these lines. I remembered a book about a man who worked with water crystals, looking at how the crystals form when subject to different words/thoughts. (i called a friend to get the information) The man, Masura Emoto has written volumns on his work--The Message in Water some of which is available online at Welcome to the World of Water! If you click on the Water Crystal Main Page, you'll find menu of crystal--click on one and get a slow slide show of crystals with the words or prayers, a pull down from the top, imparted to the water that caused inspired that particular crystal.

March 9, 2007

Issues with Tribal Land use on reservations

On March 20 we discussed Tribal Businesses and Industries from a political perspective. One issue that comes up with respect to economic development is landuse--for areas where reservation land has been subject to the General Allotment Act--which over time has created checkboard reservations and fractionated plots with many owners who must agree on land use. The Indian Land Tenure Foundation helps Indians deal with this problem--if you read their information on Allotment you'll see how complicated the rules are for land use, or if you want to sell or such.

Cherokee Removal/Trail of Tears

On February 20, We talked about Cherokee cosmology and i showed maps of the Cherokee Removal as well as maps of the Cherokee reservation today.

This page shows maps of the progressive eroding by the United States of the Cherokee landbase.

Cherokee land cessions map with treaties and dates showing the various parcels of land that were ceeded.

Map of The Trail of Tears

This takes you to a PDF document which has maps of the current Cherokee reservation in North Carolina.


I've shown some United States maps in class to help orient y'all to where the Indian reservations and communities are and to show routes of relocation/removal such as for the Cherokee.

I've used US Geological Survey which i found here. I've used the Indian Land Areas and Indian Lands in the United States

Since then i've found Nationalatlas which has a nice US map of federally owned lands--of which Indian reservations, since they are held in trust by the US, are considered owned by the US government. They also have maps by state including Minnesota, which are more detailed.

Dine' Long Walk

In the readings for March 6, oral histories by Howard W. Gorman and Teddy Draper, Sr. talk about how two different groups of Dine' dealt with their forced removal. Mr. Gorman's relatives were removed to Fort Sumner in New Mexico from their home in the Canyon de Chelly area of Arizona. Mr. Draper's relatives were able to hide out in the mountains and not be removed.

This map shows the Navajo (Dine') reservation

Another more detailed map of Dine Bike'yah (Navajo country) shows the topography so you can see where the canyons and high areas are. You can click on the map to make it larger. Chinle, Canyon de Muerto, and Canyon de Chelly, Ganado, which Gorman and Draper mention in their stories, in the middle of the map near the eastern border of Arizona and New Mexico.

Four Primary Routes the Dine' walked from where they lived in Arizona to New Mexico.
This map shows each route separately.

This map shows the four corners area with the Navajo reservation and large cities and town--this is a good map to use to follow the removal routes in relation to a larger geographic area.

Stereotypes: Mascots

While there is a lot of info online about Indian Mascots, I'll focus on a few items that David Roderiguez mentioned in his class presentation

In a back-lash move one sport team named themselves the Fighting Whites, although they've come to be known as the "Fighting Whities" and Cafe Press sells T-shirts and other items with their logo and slogan "Every thang's gonna be all White"
Here's background on them

Apparently after years and years of mounting pressure and protest Chief Illiniwek dances his last dance on February 21, 2007. However the big push came from the NCAA, since the University of Illinois is now elligible to host NCAA games with the demise of the Indian mascot. This page includes a press release, video of the last dance and other info on the Chief's retirement.


Evelyn Wilkins came to speak on March 6 and showed up some string games and told us about the website
Dine String Games that shows videos how-tos of many string figures. The website has links to Inuit and Hawaiian string figure webpages.

Stereotypes: Language, Image and Association

On February 1 we discussed various stereotypes, some for white--like the greedy villain in Walt Disney's "Pocahontas" and gender based stereotypes of the Walt Disney Pocahontas as beautiful in a model kind of way with magical powers to talk to trees and little animals. We deconstructed the scene where Pocahontas meets John Smith since, for some inexplicable reason he is able to subdue her in a place he just arrived to and should know very little about while this is a place where Pocahontas must know every nook and cranny. We also talked about how John Smith tells Pocahontas "You don't understand a thing I said" as if he understand everything she's just said and/or that his inability to understand her language is not as important as her inability to understand hers.

This discussion lead us into bodily ideas in U.S popular culture since John Smith is also model perfect--tall, blond, buff--a handsome man which one would assume young male viewers, perhaps others, would identify with. With this I remembered an article which showed that male dolls, okey 'action figures' have changed since the 1970's so the muscular bodies in the latest dolls would be unattainable by a regular man--even one predisposed to have a muscular physique. The article Evolving Ideals of Male Body Image as Seen Through Action Toys shows examples of male action toys so you can visually compare the differences. I stated that this is a modern phenomenon of creating body ideals that are unattainable by even the most physically attractive/muscularly predisposed of human. A few students felt differently and one brought in examples from East Indian art that showed that some of statuary showing ideals of women they felt like that not attainable because of the large breasts and small waist. Since I’ve seen average women with similar bodies—that is average in that they have not had breast enlargements nor were they wearing corsets, I’m not convinced. Here are some of examples of the Indian statues:
Sundari beneath the Mango Tree
Devi Slaying the Buffalo
Jain goddess Sarasvati

It’s important to note that these images are of goddesses or ideal beings, in general, whereas we have a different, secular relationship to images of personalities and performers such as Dolly Parton. One student said that the breasts of the East Indian statues were “Dolly Parton?-sized. Here are some shots of Dolly Parton for comparison:
CMT 100 Greatest Duets Concert
Dollywood Benefit
Mohegan Sun Concert 2006
Mohegan sun Concert 2006

Another area where American Indians and women have been stereotyped is allegorical figures of the four continents depicted in statuary and paintings, some as early as the 1500s.
Here’s what I showed in class
Kensington Gardens shows a statue of "Africa"

The Four Continents from Cesare Ripa’s iconographia

The Four Continents, 1903-1907 in front of the George Gustav Heye Center in lower Manhattan

shows a number of images of America as Indian woman, usually naked.

The Indian Queen image shows “America? as an Indian woman seated on an armadillo

Chez Mumu’s BleuBlog for Paris: Orsay I, shows images of
Statue du continent africain (Africa)
Statue du continent nord-américain (North America)
Statue du continent sud-américain (South America)
Statue du continent asiatique (Asia)
Statue du continent européen (Europe)
Statue de l'Océanie (Australia and the Pacific islands)

Depictions of men are just as interesting.
A Stereotype we didn’t cover in class but that comes up frequently is “The End of the Trail?

The “Crying Indian? Public Service Announcement (PSA) with Iron Eyes Cody from 1971, by Keep America Beautiful, Inc.

Lakota spoof video “Dr. Greene’s Flesh Wound Reliever?

February 3, 2007

More Spring Events: Powwow, Talks, Exhibition

Cherish the Children Pow Wow
9th Annual Celebration
Central High School, 275 North Lexington Parkway, St. Paul, MN
Saturday, February 17, 2007
1 PM and 7 PM Grand Entry
Sunday, February 18, 2007
1 PM Grand Entry
5 PM Feast
for more info Ain Dah Yung Center Powwow

Prof. Angela Pulley Hudson
"To Make Crooked Ways Straight: Indians, Slaves, and Settlers in the Creek Nation, 1790-1820s"
Monday, Feb 12, 3:30-5pm
102 Walter Library
(Prof. Slocum is a candidate in CLA's Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies search)

Prof. David Martinez
"From the Land of Sky-Blue Water: Charles A. Eastman, Minnesota and the World of the American Indian"
as part of the "Diversity through the Disciplines" Prof. Martinez will be one of four speakers
Thurs. February 8, 2:30-4:30pm President's Room in the Coffman Memorial Union
(Prof Martinez is in the dept of American Indian Studies)

Brenda Child
"My Grandfather's Knocking Sticks: Gender, Labor, and the Great Depression in Ojibwe Country"
Thurs. February 15, 7pm (short reception after)
Marshall Room, Christensen Center
(Prof. Child is a prof. of History in the dept of American Studies, and also teaches in American Indian Studies)

"Building Ties"
Culturally sensitive housing designs for the Hmong and Ojibwe people by interior design students of the University of Minnesota, under the direction of Dr. Tasoulla Hadjiyanni.

The exhibition features interior spaces to support cultural practices like cooking traditional foods, religious customs, and gathering with friends and family. Culturally sensitive design can improve mental, emotional, and physical well-being and can ease new immigrant groups' adjustment to American life. Seventeen residential design solutions are included.

Event date(s): 2/4/2007 - 6/3/2007

Gallery Hours:
Tue., 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Wed., Fri., Sat., and Sun., 1 to 5 p.m.
Thurs., 1 to 8 p.m.

OPENING RECEPTION: Sunday, Feb. 4, 3-6pm.

Hennepin History Museum
2303 Third Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Phone: (612) 555-5555

Although there is no mention of the exhibition on the museum website (at least when i looked)-- it really is at the museum.

Continue reading "More Spring Events: Powwow, Talks, Exhibition" »

January 26, 2007

Some Spring Semester Events at UMN

Friday March 23, 3:30-5:00 Ofelia Zepada, Tohono O'odham writer and poet will speak--location TBA

Monday April 9, 4-6 pm Gerald Vizenor, Chippewa scholar and writer will speak--location TBA

November 7, 2006

Native American Systems of Knowledge-Clara Sue Kidwell

This entry supplements Chapter 5: "Natve Systems of Knowledge" by Clara Sue Kidwell in A Companion to American Indian History

Wampum belts and treaties

George Washington Covenant Belt (Reproduction)


What is Wampum?

THE PLEIADES--also referred to as The Seven Sisters
The Pleiades


Four Planets and the Pleiades

Toltec Mounds

Mound Function Analysis

Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site

Dresden Codex

Caracol Tower Chichen Itza

Notes on the Mayan Calendar