crankyskirt
crankyskirt:

Amazing story. Glad that the real, fuller story behind this photo is available. Yet another reminder that history is far from fair, or neutral, and that the “official” version is far from the only one.




STORY OF A CAPTION

When I first heard Melanie Reid tell the story behind this photograph at the Duty Calls edition of Rain City Chronicles, I was, like the rest of the audience, absolutely spellbound.
It didn’t take much to convince my editors at The Tyee that it was a captivating and important narrative that deserved a wider audience. But could I fact check it, they wondered? Could I verify that the caption on the photo did indeed change as Reid had described?
That proved to be a more difficult task. When I put my query to the Library and Archives of Canada (LAC), its senior rights and licensing specialist Nancy Fay told me that the short answer was, they didn’t know.
Ultimately, it’s up the individual archivists at any particular organization to determine a photograph’s caption. And when photos are in the public domain, like this one, the LAC has no control — or authority — over how they are captioned.
So it appears that there are at least three versions of this photo. One is the original caption that Reid described seeing in the Canadian War Museum: “Unidentified Indian princess getting blessing from her chief and father to go fight in the war.”
The second is the version that Reid says the photo was changed to after she identified the woman as her mother-in-law (The Tyee also spoke to Reid’s husband on the phone, who confirmed that yes, the woman in the photo was his mother). That caption was as Reid described in the end of her story: “Private Mary Greyeyes, Cree, from Muskeg Lake, Cree Nation, Canadian Women’s Army Corp.”
(This Department of National Defense website includes the photo with this caption as well.)
And the third is the one that the Library and Archives of Canada currently has attached to the photo: “Mary Greyeyes being blessed by her native Chief prior to leaving for service in the CWAC, 1942. Source: Library and Archives Canada/Department of National Defence fonds/PA-129070”
With no clear answer for my editors, we decided to go ahead and publish the story anyway. Mostly because it’s just such a darn good one, but also because it reminds us that history is often one particular version of events, and no one version is ever the whole story.
— Colleen Kimmett



What Does This Photo Say?
Images can mislead, as the subject of this one, my Cree mother-in-law, revealed to me. The story behind a famous Canadian war photograph.
 By Melanie Fahlman Reid, 7 August 2012, TheTyee.ca
[Editor’s note: Melanie Fahlman Reid is an instructor at Capilano University. Her areas of specialization include teaching composition, the British Literature Survey, and Drama. This is an edited version of a transcript of the story Melanie told at Rain City Chronicles “Duty Calls” edition in Nov. 2011. Transcription by Colleen Kimmett.]
I’m telling the story about that photograph, but it’s not really about the photograph. It’s about my relationship with the woman getting the blessing. That’s my mother-in-law, Mary Reid.
I married into a family that was dominated very much by the mother, and Mary kind of wanted a different kind of daughter-in-law, I think. I’d known her since I was 14. She met me when I was screaming at her son, telling him to fuck off and leave me alone.
And it kind of bounced up and down from there until we got married at 26. She organized the wedding and after the wedding she kept trying to remember what I did for a living.
She’d show up with brown pottery that she got at Super Value that she thought I’d like, and I didn’t, and brown towels.
She’d give me advice about how to cook at 5 a.m. to have dinner ready, and then when I came home I could just pop it in the oven.
It was a rough start. And though I kind of never got her, we got along better.
After her husband died, Mary got talked into going to a [military] service reunion. We encouraged her to go, to Calgary. I thought, great — Calgary! I drove her to the airport. And she came back with that photo.
‘They all knew me’
Now, I’d always known Mary had been in the Canadian Women’s Army Corp.
And that wasn’t unusual — I’m a boomer. My parents fought in the army for World War Two, my grandparents fought in World War One, and it’d been going on forever. I’m the first generation that didn’t fight in a war.
But I hadn’t quite realized what Mary did. She brought this picture back, and she said it was wonderful.
“They all knew me,” she said, “but I didn’t know them.”
And I asked her about that photo.
She joined up when she was a 20-year-old woman from Muskeg Lake, just north of Saskatoon. It’s a Cree reservation. Her brother had joined the war. It was the Depression, there wasn’t much to do, so she thought she’d join too. She wrote a letter, and she got a reply. The postmaster came and found her on the reserve. He was from Marscellin, and he said, “They’re looking for you.”
She went down to Saskatoon and took the dayliner to Regina, she told me. She was met by a sergeant and she had to go and get a test. She was the fourth woman to get the test and she was nervous. Everybody ahead of her had gone to school. Mary had gone to a residential school, and of course natives weren’t allowed to go past Grade 8 in those days. So she didn’t have a good education, she thought.
They were just starting to recruit women into the army in Canada, and each one, each woman ahead of her, was rejected. Mary went in and she took the test and she passed. And she became the first native woman in Canada — full status Cree — to join the Canadian Women’s Army Corp.
But that’s not the story. Though it’s a good story.
When Harry met Mary
When she enlisted, they didn’t really want her in the barracks. There was a lot of racism against natives and it was all kind of hushed up. But she said, “I knew what was going on.”
So she boarded outside the barracks. One day her sergeant and two Mounties showed up and said, “We’ll give you a good new uniform and a good lunch. We want you to take a picture.”
And this is the picture.
They drove over out to the Piapot reserve. The man standing there is a man named Harry Ball. He’s a World War One veteran. He wasn’t the chief of the Piapot reserve [at the time he was a councilor, and later became chief], but he was a vet. And he happened to be hanging around.
The regalia that he’s wearing was cobbled together by the Mounties. They went into people’s houses and pulled out a blanket here, an old headdress from a powwow there. And they found a pipe. The stem on it was pieced together with some tape and a bit of twine one of the Mounties had.
And they told them to pose. And this picture is apparently an Indian princess getting a blessing from the chief of her tribe.
Now Harry is from Piapot. Mary is from Muskeg Lake, Cree. And they didn’t know each other.
They took picture after picture. Mary joined up in June, so this picture was taken in late June in Saskatchewan. If you know much about the prairies, you know how goddamn hot it is there.
She’s kneeling in the grass. The grass is full of bugs. And they’re flying up and the Mounties are telling them to stand still and the photographer is trying to get the picture.
And Mary and Harry are talking. Mary says, “Christ.” (They’re speaking in Cree, and this is Mary’s story now, I’m telling you.)
And Harry says, “God it’s hot. What did you get for this?”
Mary says, “I get a good lunch.”
Harry says, “I got 20 bucks.”
Mary says, “So what are you bitching about? You get 20 bucks and I’m down here with bugs.”
And that’s the blessing that you see.
This picture was published in the Regina Leader-Post, and it went viral, I guess, in those days. It appeared all over the British Empire to show the power of the colonies fighting for King and country.
‘This is her real story’
Mary shipped out very rapidly and she went to the theatre of war. She became a laundress at Aldershot, which she hated. And when she asked her sergeant for a transfer, her sergeant wrote on the papers — which I have — “Does not speak English.”
So they shipped her off and she went to headquarters in London to become a cook for the war centre. She was a big deal. She got to meet this lady [Melanie points at a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II hanging up] who was then a princess, she got to meet the Queen Mother, she got to meet the King. She said every time they needed an Indian, there she was. She was known as the Indian.
Her picture was in a lot of London papers. And the headline of my favourite one reads, “She’s a full-blooded Indian but now she cooks for palefaces.” So she was always the Indian. She’d get proposals from what she called “limeys.” Limeys would write her letters, some of which we have, offering to marry her.
Mary stayed in the army, she was asked to stay on in England after the war ended. And she finally shipped back to Canada in 1946, at which point she was discharged and went home. She went back to Muskeg Lake. And this is her real story.
I asked her, I said, “How did you put up with this shit?”
(I’m a union activist, I’m usually out there on weekends protesting or getting arrested or whatever I do, and I always took the kids with me, which appalled her.)
And Mary said, “Well, my real story,” she says, “happened when I was on the reserve with my mom. My sergeant shows up with a couple of Mounties again, and they want to take a picture of me. It’s a federal election. So they came out and said, ‘Mary, you gotta come out and you gotta come and vote.’”
Now, Indians who fought in World War Two were allowed to renounce their treaty rights and vote.
So Mary says to them, she says, “Can my mom vote?”
And they said, “No, she didn’t fight in the war.”
She said, “Well, what about my cousins over there, can they vote?”
And they said no. They said, “C’mon Mary, you gotta come, we’ve got the photographer.”
And she said, “All those years, I said nothing. Now I’m saying no.”
When Mary told me that story, I finally kind of got her. That picture hangs in the Canadian War Museum, I found out in about 1995. And it was stated as “Unidentified Indian princess getting blessing from her chief and father to go fight in the war.”
So I thought, what I’m going to do is get that identified. I phoned Oxford Canada, they publish pictures in the Oxford University Press about native people in Canada. I phoned up and said, “I know who that woman is and I can prove it.”
So the author, in a panic, immediately pulled the picture in the next edition.
And Mary eventually went into a home.
Mary liked the army, it was the best days of her life. She liked how all the people knew who she was, and after she died, I found out that in the public archives of Canada (and this took me 12 years, this was me kind of paying back, for not getting Mary) the picture now reads: “Library and Archives of Canada, PA 129070. Private Mary Greyeyes, Cree, from Muskeg Lake, Cree Nation, Canadian Women’s Army Corp.”
And she’s not a princess.
This story was told at Rain City Chronicles, a Vancouver community-building storytelling night produced by Lizzy Karp and Karen Pinchin. The theme of the night was “Duty Calls.” They’re always on the hunt for new stories, community partners and friends, so get in touch at raincitychronicles@gmail.com, on Twitter @raincityvan or online here. 

crankyskirt:

Amazing story. Glad that the real, fuller story behind this photo is available. Yet another reminder that history is far from fair, or neutral, and that the “official” version is far from the only one.

STORY OF A CAPTION

When I first heard Melanie Reid tell the story behind this photograph at the Duty Calls edition of Rain City Chronicles, I was, like the rest of the audience, absolutely spellbound.

It didn’t take much to convince my editors at The Tyee that it was a captivating and important narrative that deserved a wider audience. But could I fact check it, they wondered? Could I verify that the caption on the photo did indeed change as Reid had described?

That proved to be a more difficult task. When I put my query to the Library and Archives of Canada (LAC), its senior rights and licensing specialist Nancy Fay told me that the short answer was, they didn’t know.

Ultimately, it’s up the individual archivists at any particular organization to determine a photograph’s caption. And when photos are in the public domain, like this one, the LAC has no control — or authority — over how they are captioned.

So it appears that there are at least three versions of this photo. One is the original caption that Reid described seeing in the Canadian War Museum: “Unidentified Indian princess getting blessing from her chief and father to go fight in the war.”

The second is the version that Reid says the photo was changed to after she identified the woman as her mother-in-law (The Tyee also spoke to Reid’s husband on the phone, who confirmed that yes, the woman in the photo was his mother). That caption was as Reid described in the end of her story: “Private Mary Greyeyes, Cree, from Muskeg Lake, Cree Nation, Canadian Women’s Army Corp.”

(This Department of National Defense website includes the photo with this caption as well.)

And the third is the one that the Library and Archives of Canada currently has attached to the photo: “Mary Greyeyes being blessed by her native Chief prior to leaving for service in the CWAC, 1942. Source: Library and Archives Canada/Department of National Defence fonds/PA-129070”

With no clear answer for my editors, we decided to go ahead and publish the story anyway. Mostly because it’s just such a darn good one, but also because it reminds us that history is often one particular version of events, and no one version is ever the whole story.

— Colleen Kimmett

What Does This Photo Say?

Images can mislead, as the subject of this one, my Cree mother-in-law, revealed to me. The story behind a famous Canadian war photograph.

 By Melanie Fahlman Reid, 7 August 2012, TheTyee.ca

[Editor’s note: Melanie Fahlman Reid is an instructor at Capilano University. Her areas of specialization include teaching composition, the British Literature Survey, and Drama. This is an edited version of a transcript of the story Melanie told at Rain City Chronicles “Duty Calls” edition in Nov. 2011. Transcription by Colleen Kimmett.]

I’m telling the story about that photograph, but it’s not really about the photograph. It’s about my relationship with the woman getting the blessing. That’s my mother-in-law, Mary Reid.

I married into a family that was dominated very much by the mother, and Mary kind of wanted a different kind of daughter-in-law, I think. I’d known her since I was 14. She met me when I was screaming at her son, telling him to fuck off and leave me alone.

And it kind of bounced up and down from there until we got married at 26. She organized the wedding and after the wedding she kept trying to remember what I did for a living.

She’d show up with brown pottery that she got at Super Value that she thought I’d like, and I didn’t, and brown towels.

She’d give me advice about how to cook at 5 a.m. to have dinner ready, and then when I came home I could just pop it in the oven.

It was a rough start. And though I kind of never got her, we got along better.

After her husband died, Mary got talked into going to a [military] service reunion. We encouraged her to go, to Calgary. I thought, great — Calgary! I drove her to the airport. And she came back with that photo.

‘They all knew me’

Now, I’d always known Mary had been in the Canadian Women’s Army Corp.

And that wasn’t unusual — I’m a boomer. My parents fought in the army for World War Two, my grandparents fought in World War One, and it’d been going on forever. I’m the first generation that didn’t fight in a war.

But I hadn’t quite realized what Mary did. She brought this picture back, and she said it was wonderful.

“They all knew me,” she said, “but I didn’t know them.”

And I asked her about that photo.

She joined up when she was a 20-year-old woman from Muskeg Lake, just north of Saskatoon. It’s a Cree reservation. Her brother had joined the war. It was the Depression, there wasn’t much to do, so she thought she’d join too. She wrote a letter, and she got a reply. The postmaster came and found her on the reserve. He was from Marscellin, and he said, “They’re looking for you.”

She went down to Saskatoon and took the dayliner to Regina, she told me. She was met by a sergeant and she had to go and get a test. She was the fourth woman to get the test and she was nervous. Everybody ahead of her had gone to school. Mary had gone to a residential school, and of course natives weren’t allowed to go past Grade 8 in those days. So she didn’t have a good education, she thought.

They were just starting to recruit women into the army in Canada, and each one, each woman ahead of her, was rejected. Mary went in and she took the test and she passed. And she became the first native woman in Canada — full status Cree — to join the Canadian Women’s Army Corp.

But that’s not the story. Though it’s a good story.

When Harry met Mary

When she enlisted, they didn’t really want her in the barracks. There was a lot of racism against natives and it was all kind of hushed up. But she said, “I knew what was going on.”

So she boarded outside the barracks. One day her sergeant and two Mounties showed up and said, “We’ll give you a good new uniform and a good lunch. We want you to take a picture.”

And this is the picture.

They drove over out to the Piapot reserve. The man standing there is a man named Harry Ball. He’s a World War One veteran. He wasn’t the chief of the Piapot reserve [at the time he was a councilor, and later became chief], but he was a vet. And he happened to be hanging around.

The regalia that he’s wearing was cobbled together by the Mounties. They went into people’s houses and pulled out a blanket here, an old headdress from a powwow there. And they found a pipe. The stem on it was pieced together with some tape and a bit of twine one of the Mounties had.

And they told them to pose. And this picture is apparently an Indian princess getting a blessing from the chief of her tribe.

Now Harry is from Piapot. Mary is from Muskeg Lake, Cree. And they didn’t know each other.

They took picture after picture. Mary joined up in June, so this picture was taken in late June in Saskatchewan. If you know much about the prairies, you know how goddamn hot it is there.

She’s kneeling in the grass. The grass is full of bugs. And they’re flying up and the Mounties are telling them to stand still and the photographer is trying to get the picture.

And Mary and Harry are talking. Mary says, “Christ.” (They’re speaking in Cree, and this is Mary’s story now, I’m telling you.)

And Harry says, “God it’s hot. What did you get for this?”

Mary says, “I get a good lunch.”

Harry says, “I got 20 bucks.”

Mary says, “So what are you bitching about? You get 20 bucks and I’m down here with bugs.”

And that’s the blessing that you see.

This picture was published in the Regina Leader-Post, and it went viral, I guess, in those days. It appeared all over the British Empire to show the power of the colonies fighting for King and country.

‘This is her real story’

Mary shipped out very rapidly and she went to the theatre of war. She became a laundress at Aldershot, which she hated. And when she asked her sergeant for a transfer, her sergeant wrote on the papers — which I have — “Does not speak English.”

So they shipped her off and she went to headquarters in London to become a cook for the war centre. She was a big deal. She got to meet this lady [Melanie points at a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II hanging up] who was then a princess, she got to meet the Queen Mother, she got to meet the King. She said every time they needed an Indian, there she was. She was known as the Indian.

Her picture was in a lot of London papers. And the headline of my favourite one reads, “She’s a full-blooded Indian but now she cooks for palefaces.” So she was always the Indian. She’d get proposals from what she called “limeys.” Limeys would write her letters, some of which we have, offering to marry her.

Mary stayed in the army, she was asked to stay on in England after the war ended. And she finally shipped back to Canada in 1946, at which point she was discharged and went home. She went back to Muskeg Lake. And this is her real story.

I asked her, I said, “How did you put up with this shit?”

(I’m a union activist, I’m usually out there on weekends protesting or getting arrested or whatever I do, and I always took the kids with me, which appalled her.)

And Mary said, “Well, my real story,” she says, “happened when I was on the reserve with my mom. My sergeant shows up with a couple of Mounties again, and they want to take a picture of me. It’s a federal election. So they came out and said, ‘Mary, you gotta come out and you gotta come and vote.’”

Now, Indians who fought in World War Two were allowed to renounce their treaty rights and vote.

So Mary says to them, she says, “Can my mom vote?”

And they said, “No, she didn’t fight in the war.”

She said, “Well, what about my cousins over there, can they vote?”

And they said no. They said, “C’mon Mary, you gotta come, we’ve got the photographer.”

And she said, “All those years, I said nothing. Now I’m saying no.”

When Mary told me that story, I finally kind of got her. That picture hangs in the Canadian War Museum, I found out in about 1995. And it was stated as “Unidentified Indian princess getting blessing from her chief and father to go fight in the war.”

So I thought, what I’m going to do is get that identified. I phoned Oxford Canada, they publish pictures in the Oxford University Press about native people in Canada. I phoned up and said, “I know who that woman is and I can prove it.”

So the author, in a panic, immediately pulled the picture in the next edition.

And Mary eventually went into a home.

Mary liked the army, it was the best days of her life. She liked how all the people knew who she was, and after she died, I found out that in the public archives of Canada (and this took me 12 years, this was me kind of paying back, for not getting Mary) the picture now reads: “Library and Archives of Canada, PA 129070. Private Mary Greyeyes, Cree, from Muskeg Lake, Cree Nation, Canadian Women’s Army Corp.”

And she’s not a princess.

This story was told at Rain City Chronicles, a Vancouver community-building storytelling night produced by Lizzy Karp and Karen Pinchin. The theme of the night was “Duty Calls.” They’re always on the hunt for new stories, community partners and friends, so get in touch at raincitychronicles@gmail.com, on Twitter @raincityvan or online here. 

rematiration-deactivated2013111

the thing is, people don’t lie to their kids about the holocaust of the jewish peoples by the nazis. How is it any harder to explain the holocaust of native people here in america to your kids?

adailyriot:

all i’m sayin is, the excuse is up.

tell the real history so we can move forward.

ihavethisblog

ihavethisblog:

karnythia:

Think Before You Speak: “I have the dark skin and hair like native americans do, so that goes…

thinkspeakstress:

hatey-mchaterson:

ungit:

thinkspeakstress:

So people stop being nice, because being nice GETS US NOWHERE.

Maybe as a compromise you could act a little rude but not to the extent of being a self-righteous, histrionic bitch about something ultimately trivial? That’s what makes societies function - fair compromise.

The really ironic thing about this is that their blog is called “Think before you speak” and it’s pretty clear that this person didn’t even put 30 seconds of thought into it before they wrote this incredibly racist and misogynist rant. Thanks for the hate speech, “Think before you speak”! You’re really ending Native American oppression and suffering! I’m sure all Native Americans everywhere will thank you for speaking over them and ruining their businesses selling Native American art, jewelry, and clothing to white people. Who needs food when you have Native Pride, right?

You want to help Native Americans? Do you REALLY want to help Native Americans? Then donate some money to this charity:

http://www.southwestindian.com/service/stove.cfm

Frankly, Native Americans could really give a shit about some white girl’s Halloween costume when they’re more worried about freezing to death this winter and trying to cook their meagre fucking meals over a campfire outdoors in the snow. You don’t really care about Native Americans. You’re just using them because you want to be pissed off at people and chew them out so you can feel superior to people on the internet. Prove me wrong. Give money to the Stove Assistance program. When every Native American has a stove, then you can bitch about Halloween costumes without being a hypocrite.

Can you read? I’m half Native American! I AM NATIVE AMERICAN. OOPS. And if you think Natives don’t care about this shit, you haven’t been looking hard enough because there are PLENTY of Native folk who have spoken out about this shit on many many MANY occasions. But very cute, trying to dictate what a group you aren’t apart of would and wouldn’t be offended by.

There’s also this thing called motherfucking intersectionality that everybody who wants to tell Native people what we get to be upset about seems to forget.

Because the erasure of Native people from mainstream dialogue obviously has nothing to do with mainstream culture’s ignorance of Native issues. Those things are definitely not connected. (Since y’all seem too dumb to function, let me clarify: I was being facetious. Those things are absolutely connected.)

deluxvivens-deactivated20130417

deluxvivens:

hatey-mchaterson:

Think Before You Speak: “I have the dark skin and hair like native americans do, so that goes…

ungit:

thinkspeakstress:

So people stop being nice, because being nice GETS US NOWHERE.

Maybe as a compromise you could act a little rude but not to the extent of being a self-righteous, histrionic bitch about something ultimately trivial? That’s what makes societies function - fair compromise.

The really ironic thing about this is that their blog is called “Think before you speak” and it’s pretty clear that this person didn’t even put 30 seconds of thought into it before they wrote this incredibly racist and misogynist rant. Thanks for the hate speech, “Think before you speak”! You’re really ending Native American oppression and suffering! I’m sure all Native Americans everywhere will thank you for speaking over them and ruining their businesses selling Native American art, jewelry, and clothing to white people. Who needs food when you have Native Pride, right?

You want to help Native Americans? Do you REALLY want to help Native Americans? Then donate some money to this charity:

http://www.southwestindian.com/service/stove.cfm

Frankly, Native Americans could really give a shit about some white girl’s Halloween costume when they’re more worried about freezing to death this winter and trying to cook their meagre fucking meals over a campfire outdoors in the snow. You don’t really care about Native Americans. You’re just using them because you want to be pissed off at people and chew them out so you can feel superior to people on the internet. Prove me wrong. Give money to the Stove Assistance program. When every Native American has a stove, then you can bitch about Halloween costumes without being a hypocrite.

So… last year when the US Senate Committee on Indian Affairs had an official hearing called Stolen Identities: The Impact of Racist Stereotypes on Indigenous People— was that random people randomly using Native issues to feel superior as well? Watch the webcast and let us know.


thinkspeakstress

thinkspeakstress:

hatey-mchaterson:

ungit:

thinkspeakstress:

So people stop being nice, because being nice GETS US NOWHERE.

Maybe as a compromise you could act a little rude but not to the extent of being a self-righteous, histrionic bitch about something ultimately trivial? That’s what makes societies function - fair compromise.

The really ironic thing about this is that their blog is called “Think before you speak” and it’s pretty clear that this person didn’t even put 30 seconds of thought into it before they wrote this incredibly racist and misogynist rant. Thanks for the hate speech, “Think before you speak”! You’re really ending Native American oppression and suffering! I’m sure all Native Americans everywhere will thank you for speaking over them and ruining their businesses selling Native American art, jewelry, and clothing to white people. Who needs food when you have Native Pride, right?

You want to help Native Americans? Do you REALLY want to help Native Americans? Then donate some money to this charity:

http://www.southwestindian.com/service/stove.cfm

Frankly, Native Americans could really give a shit about some white girl’s Halloween costume when they’re more worried about freezing to death this winter and trying to cook their meagre fucking meals over a campfire outdoors in the snow. You don’t really care about Native Americans. You’re just using them because you want to be pissed off at people and chew them out so you can feel superior to people on the internet. Prove me wrong. Give money to the Stove Assistance program. When every Native American has a stove, then you can bitch about Halloween costumes without being a hypocrite.

Can you read? I’m half Native American! I AM NATIVE AMERICAN. OOPS. And if you think Natives don’t care about this shit, you haven’t been looking hard enough because there are PLENTY of Native folk who have spoken out about this shit on many many MANY occasions. But very cute, trying to dictate what a group you aren’t apart of would and wouldn’t be offended by.
deliciouskaek

It’s time for this post again.

moniquill:

When is it appropriate to tag things #Native American:

Are you posting in an NDN language(ᏣᎳᎩ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ, etc)?

(I’d have examples here but I cant find any posts near the top of tags I follow and google’s being made of fail about searching. Anyhow…)

THE MOST APPROPRIATE. CARRY ON.

Are you, the poster, NDN - and posting something pertaining to your life or your family?

Examples:

Nakkyy posts about a summer program called “Math and Science for Minority Students”

Stuffmayalikes posts a family photo

Moniquill posts beadwork in progress and snark

Nativeamericansdoingstuff posts exactly what it says on the tin.

SUPER APPROPRIATE! In fact, you probably don’t have to read further since anything you post becomes relevant to #Native American by default!

For everyone else:

Are you posting photos, videos, or legitimate quotes of/by NDN people (even if they are not you)?

This kid in amazing regalia

This kid flipping a skateboard

This popular indigenous musician

This vintage photo of A Kalispel girl

APPROPRIATE!

Are you posting photos of art or works of fiction created by NDN people?

These beaded, quilled earrings

This steampunk video

This erotica excerpt

This beadwork in progress

This pottery, and the Yuma woman who made it

These Drawings

Everything posted by fyeahnativeamericanart

APPROPRIATE!

Are you posting about events in the tumblr/larger online NDN tags/community?

This discussion of a person who had an NDN skull as a curio

This blog about shit people say to NDNs

The post you are reading right now

APPROPRIATE!

Are you posting about events/facts concerning the NDN community offline?

This post about the appropriation of Lakota spirituality

This post about the housing crisis in Wasagamack

This post about teen suicide on the rez

A post about NDN representation in video games

APPROPRIATE!

Are you posting legitimate quotes ABOUT NDN people or communities, even if they are not BY NDN people, because they’re relevant to historical record and ongoing conversation (microagressions and discussions of racism qualify here)?

This post about the appropriation of War Bonnets

This 1830’s quote about manifest destiny

This De-Occupy Rattlesnake Island post

This post about the problematic language of the Occupy movement at large

APPROPRIATE!

All of the above is totally legit for #Native American! This list is not exhaustive, but you should get the idea.

Now on the other hand….

Are you posting pictures of dreamcatchers that were probably made in china (also applies to all other ‘native art’ not made by natives) because you bought it? Or your shitty, appropriative arts and crafts project?

A really shitty chicken feather ‘war bonnet’

Your ‘dream catcher’ made from the vomit of the bargain bin at the craft store

NOT APPROPRIATE.

Are you posting shit clearly made up by white people that’s attributed falsely to NDN people that you found on google and are SO DEEPLY MOVED BY?

That ‘two wolves’ bullshit (Why it’s bullshit)

This ‘Native American Proverb’

This asspull assertion about Native American Shamans

This ‘Native American Zodiac’

The Native American Code Of Ethics

NOT APPROPRIATE.

Are you posting art clearly made by non-NDNs which depicts Hollywood Indians or Appropriators? I AM LOOKING RIGHT AT YOU, CECILY.

The OP who thought she looked Native American because she’s with a wolf

Wolves in the Sky with feathers!

‘Indian Head’ tattoo. Just as offensive as the ‘Gypsy Head’ tattoos that are also popular kitchy flash.

Screencap from Disney’s Peter Pan

NOT APPROPRIATE*

Are you posting shit with pendleton patterns or random geometric patterns on it? How about random items made of leather, fur, or feathers? And this stuff is not specifically identified as being made by NDN people?

This cowl

This machine-printed felt blanket

This fleece jacket

NOT APPROPRIATE

Are you posting photos of yourself/your friends wearing busted-ass stereotype clothing/dressed as 50’s style Hollywood Indians? Or reblogging others’ photos of the same? HINT: IF SOMEONE IS WEARING A WAR BONNET OR OTHER HEADDRESS AND IT ISN’T AT A FORMAL, REVERENT OCCASION (POWWOW COUNT), IT IS PROBABLY THIS.

These two girls in war bonnets sitting on the floor

These hipsters sitting on a wood pile

This girl squatting in a riverbed

These little children at a ‘Thanksgiving’ event

This naked white woman in a chicken feather war bonnet on a horse

These photos of a woman and her child in ‘war paint’

NOT REMOTELY APPROPRIATE. CUT THIS SHIT OUT. THIS IS BAD AND YOU SHOULD FEEL BAD.

*Can be totally appropriate if you’re posting for the sake of discussing the problematic portrayal of Native Americans in the piece. Yes, this includes snarking the fuck out of it.

This list is also not exhaustive, but you should get the idea.

#NATIVE AMERICAN IS FOR THINGS PERTAINING TO ACTUAL NATIVE AMERICANS.

PLEASE REBLOG FREELY.

deliciouskaek

Caonabo was a cacique, or Taino chiefs, on the island of Hayti (called Hispaniola by the Spanish). In the book The Peoples of the Caribbean: An Encyclopedia of Archeology and Traditional by Nicholas J. Saunders, Caonabo’s name is defined as meaning “He Who is Like Gold”, or “King of the Golden House”,
Cacique Caonabo took revenge on the Spaniards and brought Fort Navidad to ashes (being a little dramatic here, but the fact remains it was destroyed).
In late winter of 1493, Columbus returned to Haiti, this time bringing with him a hoard of adventurers from Spain to settle in the eastern part of Hispaniola, since they arrived to find La Navidad annihilated. Haiti became divided, the Spaniards vs. the Taino Indians (Arawaks/Caribs). Caonabo more resentful than ever of the presence of the foreigners on his land took it up himself to lead the Tainos into a full-pledged revolt. Columbus recruited the services of Alonzo Ojeda, who tricked Caonabo into being taken as Columbus’s prisoner (they used a trinket that the Tainos thought sacred as a ruse to lure him, and from there they bound the Arawak chief).
(source)

Caonabo was a cacique, or Taino chiefs, on the island of Hayti (called Hispaniola by the Spanish). In the book The Peoples of the Caribbean: An Encyclopedia of Archeology and Traditional by Nicholas J. Saunders, Caonabo’s name is defined as meaning “He Who is Like Gold”, or “King of the Golden House”,

Cacique Caonabo took revenge on the Spaniards and brought Fort Navidad to ashes (being a little dramatic here, but the fact remains it was destroyed).

In late winter of 1493, Columbus returned to Haiti, this time bringing with him a hoard of adventurers from Spain to settle in the eastern part of Hispaniola, since they arrived to find La Navidad annihilated. Haiti became divided, the Spaniards vs. the Taino Indians (Arawaks/Caribs). Caonabo more resentful than ever of the presence of the foreigners on his land took it up himself to lead the Tainos into a full-pledged revolt. Columbus recruited the services of Alonzo Ojeda, who tricked Caonabo into being taken as Columbus’s prisoner (they used a trinket that the Tainos thought sacred as a ruse to lure him, and from there they bound the Arawak chief).

(source)

deluxvivens-deactivated20130417

deluxvivens:

apihtawikosisan:

liquornspice:

If someone tells a white and Native person they “don’t look Indian,” you can be pretty certain a chorus of angry voices will come to their defense, OUTRAGED, writing about how stereotypical images of Indians negatively affect people’s lives and we don’t all look like…

I feel like I’ve missed something going on here…it’s hard to keep up with tumblr sometimes, even with as much time as I’ve been spending here lately.  So I’m scrolling back to see what happened but wanted to comment initially anyway.  Anti-Black attitudes are huuuuge in a lot of native communities.  Even in communities (like mine) where there has been next to no actual real-life interaction with Black people at all.  It has always confused the hell out of me, especially considering that where I grew up, a specific (and distorted) US Black influence on our style of dress, on our musical choices and non-traditional dance styles was massive.  How do you elevate and denigrate at the same time? Dunno, but it happens.  I guess it starts with stereotypes.

black ppl in the us have been wondering that pretty much forever, lol. I would have thought that people who think that Black folks are that inferior would therefore stop listening to and creating from Black music and dance, stop using Black slang and language patterns etc but for some reason they never actually want to.

I have absolutely no idea how this impacts Black natives.  I am wholly ignorant on what it means day to day.  I honestly wasn’t even aware that there were many Black natives until fairly recently. 

tbh i  dont get anywhere near the amount of ignorant hostility we’ve seen on tumblr in from people i engage with in RL who actually know the history of eastern woodlands and coastal tribes, the enslavement of natives from those lands,  and the areas where my family is from. 

I’m sorry that you are experiencing shit that is obviously not okay, and worse, having that obvious fact denied.  But the fact that people are contributing to the information out there on what it means to be a Black native is pretty seriously important.  Even if those of you doing this get tired and say, ‘fuck this shit’, I’m at least aware that there is something to learn, which is an improvement to being oblivious.  So thank you, even if you walk away from these discussions forever.

thank you for this.

bad-dominicana

zoedelaluna:

70 Years Ago This Month the Navajo ‘Code Talkers’ Were Born

Joe Morris Sr. walked away from us on July 17. Keith Little walked away from us on Jan. 3.Jimmy Begay walked away from us Feb. 1. They were Navajo “Code Talkers,” three of the tribe’s 421 warriors who enlisted in the U.S. Marines to learn how to give Japanese intelligence headaches. Only a handful of those who joined up in the early months of 1942 remain and will soon also “walk away from us,” a common Navajo expression for dying. On Jan. 29, the last surviving member of the original 29 enlistees, Chester Nez, celebrated his 92nd birthday. Without them, their commanders and other officers have said, American casualties in battles for Japanese-held islands would have been far more ghastly than they were.

Those 29 and all the other Code Talkers were sworn to secrecy in case the code had to be used again. It was, in Korea and Vietnam. It was never broken. In 1968, the code and the story of its crucial role were declassified, freeing those who invented and used it to tell their experiences. Since then, more than 500 books have been written, several documentaries have been produced, Hollywood made a version called Windtalkers, a film that spends more of its time following Nick Cage around than it does Adam Beach (Saulteaux), who for his role spent six months learning Diné, the Navajo language. Famed sculptor Oreland Joe (Navajo-Ute) created the Navajo Code Talker Memorial at the Navajo Tribal Park & Veterans Memorial at Window Rock, Ariz. Oral histories were taken.

The original 29 Navajo “code talkers” at Camp Pendleton in 1942.

Yet, although President Ronald Reagan declared Aug. 14, 1982, National Navajo Code Talkers Day, it wasn’t until Dec. 21, 2000, 56 years after they first saw action, that the five surviving original Code Talkers and relatives of the other 24 received Congressional Gold Medals for their innovativeness and heroism. The other Code Talkers were awarded Congressional Silver Medals. The belated awards contained a deep irony. Many of these men who had saved untold numbers of American lives by using their native language had been punished for speaking that same language as children in boarding schools.  

It may come as a surprise to many who are acquainted with the story of the Code Talkers that the Navajos weren’t the only Indians used for code work during World War II. And they weren’t the first. The Army even used eight Chocktaw speakers to confuse German troops in 1918. In the the next war, the Army in both the Pacific and Europe used Lakota speakers, Oneidas, Chippewas, Pimas, Hopis,Choctaws, Sac and Fox and Comanches. But those Indians simply talked to each other in their Native language. The first 29 Navajo Code Talkers developed a real code. They could not even be understood by other speakers of Navajo.

The Marines had never used Indians for this purpose. But Philip Johnston, a white man who had grown up on the lands of the Navajo Nation, approached the Corps in mid-February with an idea. Why not use Navajos and members of other large tribes for military communications? Show us, the Marines said. So Johnston brought four Navajos with him to Camp Elliott, Calif., for a demonstration. They were given some military messages. They substituted some Navajo words and then, in pairs, went into separate rooms and communicated by radio. Gen. Clayton Vogel witnessed the success, the decoded messages were accurate renditions of their English originals. He recommended to his superiors that 200 Navajos be recruited.

(read more)