Phony Amerindian Hallelujah
28 August 2006
Phony Amerindian Hallelujah
27 August 2006
Messages there are reinforced by a broader, national publication, The Catholic News, which also covers Arima events in occasional articles on its own website. On the other hand, by selecting a parishioner, a non-Carib, as the radio commentator, this also allows the Church an inside edge, that is, an edge over the Caribs who are politely treated as mute participants from whom, and about whom, we rarely hear during the ceremony itself. Over the years, the Church has utilized the Festival to offer sermons that seem to promote a very basic theme, one that could be summarized as: "you aren't Caribs now so much as Catholics, and Trinidadians, so forget the past and remember your devotion to the Church." Sometimes the message is subtle, and sometimes it is abrasive and blunt, like today's ceremony by chief celebrant Father Clyde Harvey, although even here, as we shall hear, the message can sound quite confused, perhaps deliberately so.
[ADDENDUM, posted 28/08/2006: I had forgotten to bring attention to one of the other gems of exaggeration and distorted representation featured by the church, and its radio commentator, during this mass. Soon after the mass commenced, I was initially delighted, though a bit puzzled, to hear of "the proclamation of the gospel in Amerindian". In Amerindian? The entire congregation would do so? I wondered what that could mean. Well, what it means in fact is that the church's own choir would now play at being Amerindian, and without much in the way of effort or imagination either. What they did was to set the Hallelujah to stereotypical tom-tom music. My personal recommendation to the church and its choir: leave the job of being Amerindian to the Amerindians.
22 August 2006
The Bismarck Tribune,
August 14, 2006
"Everett, WA: Venezuela's state-owned oil company wants to offer deep discounts on home heating oil to American Indian tribes in the Pacific Northwest, The Herald of Everett reported Saturday. Representatives of oil-giant Citgo Petroleum Corp. have contacted the Tulalip Tribes near Marysville, the Yakama Nation in central Washington, the Nez Perce and Coeur D'Alene tribes in Idaho, and others with information about a possible 40 percent discount on home heating oil.
Citgo is the Houston-based subsidiary of an oil company controlled by Venezuela and its controversial elected president, Hugo Chavez.
The idea is still in the exploratory stage, Citgo spokesman Jorge Toledo said.
'We're going to meet with some tribes in the West Coast within the next few weeks to consider the feasibility of a program there,' he said. A local meeting is scheduled Wednesday at a SeaTac hotel.
While heating oil is widely used on the East Coast, it's been mostly replaced by natural gas in the West. Heating oil is essentially the same product as diesel fuel. Citgo first delivered discounted heating oil to low-income communities last year in Massachusetts, New York and other Northeast states. Using the slogan, 'From the Venezuelan heart to the U.S. hearths,' Citgo sold fuel to eligible homes and nonprofit organizations. By spring, the company had delivered nearly 40 million gallons of heating oil to 181,000 American households, company President Felix Rodriguez said.
The city of Chicago declined a deal with Citgo for fueling public buses that could have saved $15 million. City leaders said they were reluctant to deal with Chavez."
Indian Country Today,
August 16, 2006
"Phoenix, AZ: Indigenous in the Americas are demanding that the 'doctrines of discovery,' the papal bulls that led to the seizure of American Indian homelands, be rescinded. At the Summit of Indigenous Nations on Bear Butte in South Dakota, delegations of indigenous nations and nongovernmental organizations passed a strongly worded resolution condemning the historical use of the doctrine of discovery as an instrument of genocide.
Tupac Enrique Acosta, coordinator at Tonatierra in Phoenix, said the effort at Bear Butte continues the indigenous battle to halt genocide of indigenous peoples and seizures of their homelands in the Americas. Tonatierra was among the organizations at the Summit of Indigenous Nations taking action to rescind the doctrines of discovery:
Papal Bull Inter Caetera of 1493 and the 1496 Royal Charter of the Church of England. 'The Indigenous Nations have resolved, here at the base of Mato Paha [Bear Butte], that the Pope of the Catholic Church and the Queen of England and the Archbishop of Canterbury rescind these doctrines of discovery for having served to justify and pave the way for the illegal dispossession of aboriginal land title and the subjugation of non-Christian peoples to the present day,' according to the summit's statement.
Forty delegations of indigenous spiritual and political leaders, as well as NGOs, signed the resolution. 'These papal bulls have been the basis for the extinguishment of aboriginal land title and the subjugation of indigenous peoples of Abya Yala [North and South America]. The implementation of the papal bulls evolved in the United States through the Supreme Court decision of Johnson v. McIntosh  which established the precedent for the denial of aboriginal title to American Indian lands in the United States,' according to the summit.
'It has been resolved by 23 Nations and NGO's and 100 individual signatories that the 'Doctrine of Discovery' is a legal and political fiction in violation of the rights of indigenous peoples and intellectual act of oppression which continues to serve to suppress and repress the indigenous peoples in the Western Hemisphere.'"
08 August 2006
Dr. Mary Druke Becker, passed away in June 26, 2006 in Munich, Germany of a sudden heart attack. She is mourned by friends and associates at the Newberry and across the country.
Mary Druke Becker's association with the Newberry began in 1978 when she was appointed Associate Director of the Documentary History of the Iroquois Project. This project, underwritten by a three-year grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (and subsequently supported by the Library), is a comprehensive compilation of all treaties and agreements entered into by the Iroquois Nations, with various colonial and imperial states. Originally projected at some 2,000 documents, its size and scope grew dramatically and ultimately reached a total of 9,255 documents. This dramatic expansion was due in no small measure to the efforts of Mary Druke Becker, who, working closely with Center Director Francis Jennings and Project Editor William Fenton, coordinated activities, conducted research in archives and repositories, and consulted with members of Iroquois communities on matters of interpretation and presentation. These contacts drew Chief Jacob Thomas (Cayuga) of the Six
Nations Reserve in Canada, to the Library as a consultant. In 1980 Thomas presented the Center with his reproduction of an Iroquois Condolence Cane.
In 1984, Syracuse University Press published The History and Culture of Iroquois Diplomacy: An Interpretative Guide to the Treaties of the Six Nations and their League, edited by Jennings, Fenton and Druke. This publication is a companion to Iroquois Indians: A Documentary History, the 50-reel microfilm record of the documents collected and reproduced through this massive project.
Dr. Becker's association with the Center continued after she had left for subsequent academic postings. In 1991, the Center distributed her Recent Books and Articles in American Indian History," as well as a 1992 supplement.
In keeping with Becker's determination to share the fruits of her considerable labors, the Newberry Library transferred paper copies of the Iroquois documents to the Iroquois Museum, Howes Cave, New York. The Newberry holds a microfilm copy, and administrative records from the project.
A seminal figure in the long history of the Newberry Library's McNickle Center, Mary Druke Becker is remembered fondly by staff, scholars, librarians and associates, and on their behalf, I extend my condolences to family and friends.
Brian Hosmer, Director
Across a vast distance, two tribes share a bond
Friday, August 04, 2006 - Bangor Daily News
HAMPDEN - The two narrow dugout canoes wobbled in the deep water, but didn't tip as the paddlers approached their brothers sitting afloat in traditional, handcrafted birch bark canoes.
In the rear of each dugout, a tattooed man of the Chocoe tribe, wearing a loincloth, stood and paddled, while a Chocoe woman, dressed in a bright cloth skirt and bandeau top, crouched in each bow.
The Chocoe Indians are used to maneuvering the canoes, also known as piraguas, or pirogues, in the shallow waters of their village, Mogue, in the Darien rain forest of Panama, not the deeper water of the Penobscot.
As the Chocoes and Penobscots met in a historic moment on the dark water of the river, the canoes and dugouts turned and headed toward a large vessel.
The members of the Chocoe tribe were paddling alongside the Pajaro Jai, a 92-foot wooden ketch that they handcrafted, to meet members of the Penobscot Indian Nation who were paddling downriver in two of their own traditional birch bark canoes.
The crew of the Pajaro Jai, whose name means "enchanted bird," has traveled from Panama and is meeting with indigenous people all over the world. In addition to the Penobscots, tribal historian Donald Soctomah of the Passamaquoddy Tribe of Pleasant Point also went on board the ketch Thursday and presented the Chocoes with traditional gifts.
The purpose of the Chocoes' voyage is to bring attention to conservation efforts and the dilemma of the region's indigenous people to create a self-sustainable future for themselves.
The Pajaro Jai will be moored at the Waterfront Marina in Hampden today and is expected to be in Maine for the next few days. The tribal members have no set plans for touring the state.
The sound of traditional drums being played by both tribes echoed across the water as the Penobscot Indian Nation Boys and Girls Club girl drummers chanted and sang from a nearby pontoon boat and the Chocoes sang and drummed on the Pajaro Jai's deck.
Listening to the drums and watching the two tribes meet in the river, Jim Brunton of Westport, Conn., founder of the Pajaro Jai Foundation, searched for a way to describe the moment.
"Does this get you in the gut?" he asked. "It gets me in the gut."
There was something primitive and extraordinary about the meeting of the two tribes, who live thousands of miles from each other but have much in common.
"We never thought we'd find other indigenous people like ourselves so far from home," Brunton said, translating for Chocoe member Nilsa Caisamo when members of both tribes met Thursday afternoon at Indian Island.
The two tribes talked about their environmental concerns, and the Penobscots shared ways that they themselves monitor the water quality of the area.
"We try to keep an eye on the companies that are discharging toxins into the water," Penobscot Chief James Sappier said.
"They are hoping to gain that kind of control of their area," Brunton said of the Chocoes. "They did have it, but it's slipping away."
Most important, Sappier stressed the importance of working with other tribes in the area.
"We have to work together," Sappier said. "If we don't work together, the government will suppress us."
One of the Chocoes' main goals is to create a marketplace for themselves, where they can sell baskets and hand-carved furniture that they make in Mogue.
Brunton's plan for the future includes bringing satellite equipment to the area to give the tribe Internet access.
"If they can build this boat," Brunton said, referring to the Pajaro Jai, "does anybody really think they can't use the Internet?"
The Web would provide an outlet where Chocoes could sell their products at fair market value, subtracting the middleman from the equation.
"They have to do something, or accept a miserable future," Brunton said.
Chocoe Indians land after 3,000-mile sail
Thursday, August 03, 2006 - Bangor Daily News
BUCKSPORT - The tremendous white sail billowed on the 108-foot main mast of the Panamanian wooden ketch Wednesday as it made its way up the river and under the Penobscot Narrows Bridge that's now under construction.
Traditional drums being played on board by members of the Chocoe Indian tribe, crew members of the 92-foot vessel, could be heard along the riverbank.
Jim Brunton was a speck on the deck of the boat as he waved to his sister, Alice Keen, of Belfast, who was standing on shore to see the boat in person for the first time. Burton had called her a few hours before to let her know when he could be expected to arrive in Bucksport.
The $1.4 million Pajaro Jai, which means enchanted bird, was the brainchild of Brunton, a software entrepreneur from Westport, Conn. He financed the boat and his Pajaro Jai Foundation through his software business and the sale of 180 acres of oceanfront property in Maine.
"This has been years in the making," Keen said as she watched her brother sail closer. "This really looks beautiful."
The purpose of the voyage, which started June 4 in Colombia, is to bring attention to conservation efforts and the dilemma of the region's indigenous people to create a self-sustainable future for themselves.
The crew docked the vessel at the Bucksport town dock for the night before continuing up the river to meet today with representatives from the Penobscot Indian Nation.
They are planning to anchor near the Waterfront Marina in Hampden because the main mast is too tall to make it under the bridges any farther up the river.
"The great things is, she's fast for a wooden boat, and comfortable," Brunton said.
Once one is on board, the detail of the completely handcrafted boat, which dwarfed the other boats dotting the Bucksport town dock, is remarkable.
"It's very minimalist," Brunton said while standing on the deck. "That's the classic beauty. Nothing extra."
But hand-carved details in the areas below deck are intricate and meaningful to those on board from the village of Mogue in the Darien rain forest of Panama.
The crew, some of whom have never seen the ocean, weathered stormy 10-foot seas near Jamaica kicked up by Tropical Storm Alberto.
"These people are inspirational," Brunton said. "[They want to] find a way to try and make the future brighter for their kids."
Activists to celebrate International Day of the World’s Indigenous People on 9 August at the UN
For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Hollywood actress, activists and artists to celebrate International Day of the World’s Indigenous People on 9 August at the United Nations
WHAT: International Day of the World’s Indigenous People observance at the UN Headquarters.
HIGHLIGHT: A panel discussion “Indigenous Peoples: human rights, dignity and development with identity” will be held. Speakers include Q'orianka Kilcher, lead actress in the 2005 Hollywood film, The New World. The young actress is a descendant of the Huachipaeri and Quechua people of Peru and will speak about her recent trip to the country.
A significant achievement has been the recent adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by the Human Rights Council in June. Indigenous peoples are looking forward to the final adoption of the Declaration by the General Assembly before the end of the year.
The Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People runs from 2005 to 2015. The Day’s events will draw upon the Decade’s theme of “Partnership for Action and Dignity”.
WHEN: Wednesday, 9 August, 2:30pm
WHERE: Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, United Nations Headquarters, 1st Avenue & 46th Street
MEDIA ARRANGEMENTS: Journalists without UN accreditation who wish to attend the event should send a request on company letterhead signed by a supervisor to Mr. Gary Fowlie, Chief, UN Media Accreditation Unit, United Nations at fax (212) 963-4642. Media accreditation forms and general information for the media can be found at www.un.org/media/accreditation
For further information on accreditation and media access questions, contact: +1 (212) 963-6934
For more information or interviews, please contact:
Oisika Chakrabarti, Department of Public Information, tel: 212.963.8264, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
For Secretariat of the Permanent Forum, please contact:
Mirian Masaquiza, Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, tel: 917.367.6006,
(2:30pm, Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, United Nations Headquarters)
2:30 p.m. Film Screening: Indigenous Peoples and the United Nations
3:05 p.m. Messages for the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People
Welcome and Spiritual Ceremony
Secretary-General, Kofi Annan;
Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs and Coordinator of the Second International Decade of the World's Indigenous People, José Antonio Ocampo;
Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Chairperson of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
3:30 p.m. Panel Discussion: “Indigenous Peoples: human rights, dignity and development with identity”
Speakers include Phrang Roy, Assistant President, International Fund for Agricultural Development; Wilton Littlechild (Cree Nation-Canada), Member of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues; Romy Tincopa, Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of Peru to the UN; and Q'orianka Kilcher, lead actress in the 2005 Hollywood film, The New World.
4: 30 p.m. Indigenous Cultural Performances
Art Exhibition by indigenous artist Inty Muenala (Kichwa)
The event is organized by the Secretariat of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues DSPD/DESA and the NGO Committee on the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. For more information of the Day’s events, please visit: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/en/
Foreword by Kamau Brathwaite
With the paintings of Ulrick Jean-Pierre
Edited by Cécile Accilien, Ph.D., Columbus State University, GA; Jessica Adams, Ph.D., University of California-Berkeley; and Elmide Méléance, Montgomery County (MD) Schools.
This new perspective on Haitian history features essays that augment the historical paintings of renowned contemporary Haitian-American artist, Ulrick Jean-Pierre. Poet, playwright, and scholar Kamau Brathwaite has written the powerful Foreword to this volume, which combines scholarship, experience, and inspiration to reveal the complex history of the island of Hispaniola. Chapters cover pre-Columbian and colonial history; critical events and people of the Haitian Revolution; the tangle of U.S.-Haitian relations, including the special relationship with Louisiana; Haitian connections to South America; and the contested border with the neighboring Dominican Republic. Revolutionary Freedoms also includes an interview with the artist, a section on women in the nation's history, and suggested reading.
265 pp., hardcover
45 color reproductions
Caribbean Studies Press
7550 NW 47th Avenue
Coconut Creek, FL
06 August 2006
Hopefully more shows will be dedicated to the issues arising from the book, Indigenous Resurgence in the Contemporary Caribbean, the first and only book of its kind.