Couldn’t Help but Judge by Comparison

“Over six years, they led the examination of the Indian residential school system, combing through myriad documents and witnessing the courage of survivors who shared their stories. Their final report invites all Canadians to confront the inequities of the past, and calls on governments and individuals alike to move forward, with greater understanding, towards reconciliation.”

Actor Tom Jackson, a past recipient of the Order of Canada, brought Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, to tears after the formal ceremony with a moving call to action to improve the standing of the country’s Indigenous people.

Governor General apologizes for saying Indigenous people were immigrants

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A Humble Celebration of Immense Symbolic Power in Indian Country

Banana bread, hot coffee, and later on mutton stew with frybread for all, that bone chilly Saturday. And a heart felt praise to President Barack Obama. It was about the first time in American history first nations were acknowledged, ratified, and officially included in the management of federal lands. And it was the beginning of a ceremony of healing long overdue.

It barely made the news.

On Saturday 7, 2017 people celebrated the designation of Bears Ears as a National Monument, at the Navajo Nation Monument Valley Welcome Center at the Arizona-Utah borders. About 400 people gathered, embraced the news, cheered, and reflected upon what it took to bring that victory, what it means, and what is yet to come.

Navajo Nation President, Mr. Russell Begaye, was there, along with Vice President Jonathan Nez, Alfred Lomaquahu, Vice Chairman of the Hopi Tribe, former Ute Mountain Ute Councilwoman Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk (the first person contacted by the White House to nreak the news about the designation back in December), Shaun Chapoose, Chairman of the Ute Tribe of Uinta Ouray Reservation, Eric Descheenie, Representative-elect for the Arizona House of Representatives and former Co-Chair of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition, and Navajo Nation Council Delegate Davis Filfred, who represents five Utah Navajo districts.

“Bears Ears is our place of healing,” observed Eric Descheenie.“The opposition cannot compromise our ability to heal. It is absolutely critical that we develop a space for high-level intellectual conversation where we can talk about who we are and what it means to be human. Bears Ears Commission has created such a space.

The narrative has to shift. Please recognize that indigenous people carry a different body of knowledge. Let’s embrace that difference, support one another, and champion the new narrative.”
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The Deafening Silence that Scents the Air Under our Noses

Organic synergy: Ute Prayer Trees.

Monument, CO. One site out of several in the state.

 

Being, and Being in the World | Open-Air Cremation in Colorado

Death rites are becoming more down-to-earth here in the West. As eco-minded baby boomers age, they’re seeking out alternatives to the trappings of  modern funerals — with all their concrete burial vaults and chemical embalming. Even cremation uses a lot of energy. Instead, they’re choosing to be buried wrapped in shrouds or in plain pinewood caskets, and even, in one small Colorado town, cremated in the open air, using piñon and juniper boughs. Crestone, Colorado, has hosted one of the only legal providers of open-air cremation in the United States since 2008.  –High Country News intern Kate Schimel

See the photo-essay here | HIGH COUNTRY NEWS

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Three Kiva Ruin | Ancestral Pueblo | Utah, USA

@2014 Styliani Giannitsi Photography

@2014 Styliani Giannitsi Photography

Voodoo Practice in New Orleans | Before and After Katrina

After Katrina went many of the practitioners of voodoo, a faith with its origins in the merging of West African belief systems and Catholicism.  Locals claim that the voodoo community was 2,500 to 3,000 people strong before Katrina, but after that number was reduced to around 300.

Prior to the storm, celebrations and ceremonies were race segregated and those who adhered to Haitian- and New Orleans-style voodoo kept their distance.  After the storm, with their numbers decimated, they could no longer sustain the in-groups and out-groups they once had.  Voodoo practitioners forged bonds across prior divides.

Voodoo is Rebounding in New Orleans After Katrina | Newsweek

MARIE LEVEAU

Going Home | France and Germany Return Remains of Indigenous Peoples

Twenty Maori heads taken from New Zealand more than 200 years ago are finally on their way home after an emotional ceremony in Paris.
A French senator fought for five years to change the law so the Toi moko could be returned.

The saga has opened a worldwide debate about the holding of artifacts from other countries. Maori Heads Returned After French Senator’s Fight for 5 Years

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Repatriation of scalps from a German museum to tribes in the United States is revealing the rift between the countries in the treatment of human remains as museum artifacts. Held by the Karl May Museum in Radebeul, the 17 scalps are part of a larger collection devoted to mythologizing a fictional vision of the American West.

Repatriation of Scalps from a German Museum to Native American Tribes