28 July 2008

Matt Lauer spotted at IHOP on Mars ...

hey, Lauer-loving Brady Braves ... on this morning's today show, mr. "where in the world is matt lauer?" previewed what was coming up post-commercial break: "You, too, can conquer the space frontier if you have enough money" ... [cue Lauer smile]

just alter-spin "space" to "[wherever-Indigenous-Peoples-were/are]," add "guns" and "greed" after "money," and you've got yourself, today show fans, an historical global formula--from "australia" to the "americas"--tried-and-true ... as for the segment's topic? sir richard branson's virgin atlantic globalflyer ... for just $200,000, you can sign up for travelling to space, the new "colonization-awaits" vacation destination ... sweet ...

speaking of sweet, what was the first commercial after the segment on space travel? IHOP's "Discover America Pancakes" ad, of course ... yeah, IHOP's only about 516 years behind on that one ... we all know Mr. Ohio State Capital discovered america ... don't listen to those sources that tell ya Native folks were here pre-1492 ... those are the same sources that'll try to brainwash you into believing that Ind'ns, not IHOP, discovered pancakes ...

so, let us envision IHOP, the space-colonization, today show promoting pancake house, on Mars [sorry, Pluto--you don't count] ... and let us start a campaign for Lauer to appear in the soon-to-be ad campaign "IHOP Discovers Space Pancakes [and then profits from the Indigenous beings of outer space]" ... so sweet again ...

speaking of travels, the bureau of brady braves is relocating (again) this week ... something about ind'ns and relocation, ennit? ... once settled in like a 1907 sooner settler, we'll be back to the blogosphere ... take care ...

25 July 2008

Medicine Bluff: Sacred

dear brady braves ... what follows is an urgent July 24 letter from William Voelker, Chairman of Comanche Nation NAGPRA (Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act):

"Dear Friends:

Medicine Bluff, located at Fort Sill, Oklahoma has been a place of immense spiritual importance to Native Peoples since time immemorial. To the Numunuh (Comanche People) Medicine Bluff is a Sacred site and one of the last places of "tubitsi Puha" (True Medicine) that remains in close proximity to the main resident body of the People. The U. S. Army plans to desecrate the lee side of Medicine Bluff with the construction of a Training Service Center. There have been objections to the proposed building for over one year. The site is located north of Randolph Road directly across the road from the site of an unearthed burial which had to be exhumed only nine years ago. It stands to reason if a burial was disturbed south of Randolph Road the area North of Randolph and closer to the Bluff is even more sensitive. The decision to build in this particular site is totally arbitrary. There are many other suitable places on the base that could accommodate the building of the Training Service Center. We call on all those who still believe in keeping our Sacred Sites safe. In this eleventh hour, only public outcry will turn the tide. If you stand with us in this battle, please send your appeal to:

Major General Peter Vangjel, c/o Chief of Staff COL. Sam White at "sam.white@us.army.mil
Indications are that Friday, July 25, 2008 may be the last day we can appeal this plan that will forever impact this hallowed ground.

Udah! (Thank You!)Wahathuweeka a.k.a. William Voelker"

for video footage on this critical issue from the july CBC (Comanche Business Committee) meeting, see www.campcrier.net/comanche_news.htm.

24 July 2008

another knockout ...

update: congrats to Tahdooahnippah on his 2nd round KO tuesday night ... fight footage currently available, courtesy of the good folks at CampCrier.net, at http://www.campcrier.net/comanche_news.htm.

22 July 2008

Comanche Boy in Action Tonight

the bureau of brady braves sends good thoughts to Comanche Boy (12-0-1) and his opponent tonight. headlining at Remington Park this evening, George "Comanche Boy" Tahdooahnippah making Numunuu proud ... and good to see this morning's following coverage by Robert Przybylo in NewsOK.com:

"By day, Lawton's George Tahdooahnippah tries to protect the environment. Working as an environmentalist for his Comanche tribe, he said he's a certified tree-hugger. By night, it's his opponents who need protection. The 29-year-old super middleweight enters tonight with a 12-0-1 record with 11 wins coming by knockout. Tahdooahnippah, the "Comanche Boy,” highlights tonight's main event at Remington Park presented by CatBOX Entertainment.

He's taken the road less traveled to reach this point, but he wouldn't change a thing. A standout wrestler at Lawton Eisenhower, Tahdooahnippah attended the University of Delaware. In his second year there, he started to feel homesick. And that's when he found his calling. Tahdooahnippah, with a background in kickboxing, took a stab at a Toughman Contest. He reached the finals, and suddenly, the wrestler was turned into a boxer. "I've always had the speed and the movement, so it wasn't that tough a transition,” Tahdooahnippah said. "My grandfather used to participate in Golden Gloves tournaments, so fighting runs in the family.”

And with huge support from the Comanche tribe, Tahdooahnippah brings to each fight a distinct fan advantage. It starts with the entrance. A drum beats, native dancers walk out, and Tahdooahnippah enters the ring to rap from more native people. "I like to utilize everyone,” he said. "It's important to get the crowd on your side and bring that energy.”

Tahdooahnippah does his part, too. After each KO, he does his own victory dance. But with two boys, Nacona, 4, and George Jr., 1, and a fiancé, Mia, Tahdooahnippah knows it's time to step up the competition. When training for a fight, Tahdooahnippah wakes up at 6 a.m. to go on a morning run. From there, he goes to his environmentalist job. After work, it's to the gym for more training. So far, it's been working. Tahdooahnippah fought at Remington in April, winning via first-round knockout and is 3-0-1 this year.

With little amateur experience, each fight presents something new for Tahdooahnippah. "I'm still learning the game and all the little nuances that come with it,” he said. "But I'm very dedicated and really want to represent my people well.” Tahdooahnippah trains in a tiny gym in Elgin. He said he hopes his success spurs others into joining the sport and into giving back to the community.

Success in Lawton is nothing new. Grady Brewer won The Contender Tournament two years ago and grew up with Tahdooahnippah. "It's great to have someone like Grady for kids to look up to,” Tahdooahnippah said. "We want to show the kids that they can become something.”All of Tahdooahnippah's knockouts have occurred within the first three rounds. He's only fought 23 rounds in 13 fights. "I'm a crowd-pleaser,” he said. "I'm looking to get him out of there as soon as possible. That's what the people come to see.'"

16 July 2008

the "r-word" chronicles ...

First, belated happy 108th b-day wishes to Martha Berryhill, Muscogee/Creek.

Next, a brady [johnny] bravo [yes, a brady bravo is a good thing] to Ian Thomsen, a senior writer for Sports Illustrated, who recently wrote advice to Seattle's NBA franchise owner as he, an Okie, moves the club to Indian Territory/Oklahoma. On what not to call the new team, Thomsen says, "And don't get me started on how wrong it is to call a team the 'Redskins.'" Good to hear from someone at such a recognized sports news source.

Less recognized is something called BleacherReport.com. Robert Johnson, a writer over there, posted one of those articles yesterday, you know, the kind that's replete with the same pro-"Redskins"-as-mascot arguments. Our response, posted at the same site, reads as follows:

"Mr. Johnson: We ran across your article via http://www.indianz.com/. You wrote, "Our story begins nearly 20 years ago. During the early '90s a new fad was born. The phrase 'Politically Correct' entered the lexicon. [...] The 'Native Americans' began to find other places where they felt slighted: sports teams."

OUR STORIES (i.e., Indigenous Peoples' stories) began long before this one, on lands known dominantly today as "America." As for saying that "Indian"-related mascots did not become an issue until "the early '90s" for "Native Americans" (i.e., a non-Native-constructed term), you have thus ignored the work of preceding decades. Since the 1960s, over 3,000 schools (from elementary to college) have dropped "Indian"-related monikers. Folks, including non-Natives, are starting to understand.

Your perspective, Mr. Johnson, is arguably part of a shrinking collective of mindsets that supports "Redskins" and Wahoos as mascots and logos. You seemingly do not know what it means to be Ind'n, to be Indigenous, in the 21st-century. You're a newcomer to these lands, yet this is how you speak to Ind'ns? How can you tell folks, especially Indigenous youth, what should or should not offend them? It's not about being politically correct; it's about being humanly respectful (and respectfully human). Although you show little respect to Native Peoples in your trite, flawed writing, we still wish you well and hope that your research will lead you towards learning in good ways from your elders.


Brady, http://www.bradybraves.blogspot.com/


here's Robert Johnson's "starting-to-'get-it'-but-still-far-from-'it'" response to readers (and notice the apology to the if-offended, also known as an "apologizing-but-i-don't-know-why-i-am-apologizing" apology):

"So many responses, so many valid points. When I initially wrote this article, my intent was not to offend, but to point out how crazy this "politically correct" world has become.

It was never my intent to offend any of the surviving relatives of the indigenous people of what is now North America. If any were so offended, then I sincerely apologize.

Many have been quick to label me a racist based on my views. That's fine, you have that right.
I have never had anyone refer to me as a Redskin in anger or disgust. So my niavete I guess would be in the fact that I would never think to refer to anyone in that manner as the team name has a positive-feeling attachment for me...not a negative one. I'm not alone in this. The Washington Redksns have a huge fan-base. Hundreds of thousands of fans who all probably feel pretty much the same way. The images of a bounty on the head of every "red-skin" is not what I associated with the term, it was my team. I still feel that way. I will be honest and say that until it was brought up, and all of this fuss was created, I never would have known that word would have such power over anyone as to hurt them or cause anger.

This isn't a retraction, and it doesn't mean that my opinion has changed. To be honest, the only thing that would change my opinion would be if the team did change it's name because then all that would be left for me with that specific term would be an out-dated racial slur."

14 July 2008

attn: arizona voters and music fans across the lands ...

for an example of someone not playing indian, not masquerading in redface, check out this July 11 story ("Titla: The audacity of inclusion") at Indian Country Today. Mary Kim Titla (San Carlos Apache) is running for the congressional District 1 seat in Arizona. If elected, Titla will be the first Native woman in Congress. You can read her inspiring story here. The Bureau of Brady Braves encourages all brady bravers to check out www.gomarykim.com.

speaking of Titlas, another San Carlos Apache for y'all to check out is Boe Titla, a country singer-songwriter. his CD Native American Balladeer is available at cdbaby.com/cd/titlaboe. and anthropologist David Samuels, in his very impressive 2005 book Putting a Song on Top of It: Expression and Identity on the San Carlos Apache Reservation talks at length about Titla's musical expressions. the book’s title, which derives from what a young Apache said after she won a local pageant by performing Plains Sign Talk to Mariah Carey’s song “Hero,” refers to Apaches putting influences from inside and outside of their local communal spaces on top of each other. as discussed in chapter five, “Boe Titla’s Idiosyncratic Authenticity,” Titla—a self-described “Apache ballad singer and writer” whose influences include Apache relatives and country music performed by George Jones and Merle Haggard—fuses his singing of Apache-themed lyrics with his playing of country-western music.

speaking of relationships between Indigenous Peoples and country music, we look forward to reading more on the topic in the forthcoming (2010, says the publisher) Songs Out of Place: Country Musics of the World, edited by Aaron Fox and Christine Yano, from Duke University Press. hmmm ... wonder if Duke would also be interested in the intersecting stories of a lovely lady (who was bringing up three very lovely girls) and of a man named Brady (who was busy with three boys of his own), all six kids of whom would one day form--for 1 episode, ennit?--The Brady Six, that singing sensation behind the Greg Brady-penned classic tune "We can make the world a whole lot brighter." and then they met Indians in the grand canyon. THE END.

11 July 2008

These Lands of Ours-Yours-Theirs

To the Brady Braves in Comanche Country, you know our Nation’s Homecoming (54th Annual Pow-Wow) is coming up July 18-20 in the usual locale: Sultan Park in Walters, OK, with usual temps, so says Weather.com, of 100, 99, and 98, respectively. Good thoughts to all the dancers, including the Comanche Little Ponies. And don't forget, as stated on the flyer, "Committee not responsible for accidents, theft or divorces." Ayyyy--snaggers beware ...

To Brady Braves in Westerville, OH, with time-travelling abilities, you can check out “Otterbein College Summer Theater” as they perform A. R. Gurney's Indian Blood (June 26-29). Thanks to a fellow brady brave who brought this news to the bbb’s attention. This play focuses on a Buffalo (the city, not the animal or that big dude from Houston in an early episode of Conan O'Brien) family in the 1940s, though our informant was hoping for a “postmodern, revisionst take on Buffalo Bill's Wild West.” As a NY Times reviewer says with the following “Indian” eye-catcher [not to be confused with an “Indian” dream-catcher at your local dollar store]:

"Eddie ascribes his penchant for the milder forms of troublemaking to a drop or two of Indian blood [that he received from another character—his grandfather] in his veins." Wha? No great, great, great Indian Princess grandmamma responsible? And no “greats” before the grand? A revolution to the evolution of determining 1/1032 Indian blood descendants, ennit? Naw, just another piece of non-Native writing playing with Indianness through a character that associates the mild wild with savagery. ("Eddie, a student at the private Nichols School, uses his historical Indian bloodline as an excuse for a lewd drawing he made in class.")*

*Incidentally, the preceding portion of this blog post has been nonsensically sponsored by http://www.dnatribes.com/, which eerily popped up as a banner ad in the email we received informing us of the Indian Blood play. Perhaps the DNA folks, then, can assist Eddie. Or he can just claim Cherokee—most everyone else does, not counting that handful of pseudo-Wampanoags in Utah.)

To Brady Bravin’ fans of Barbra Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed comes her new book This Land is Their Land: Reports from a Divided Nation. (June 23 footage of Ehrenreich on Chickasaw-in’ Colbert Report here.) “Their” as in “Native Peoples,” ennit? And associating Ind’ns with the present through the verb “is”?! (unlike Wendell Hunt’s book This Land WAS Theirs: A Study of Native North Americans. [capitalization added]) Hold up, though—turns out her new book contains, as Publishers Weekly states, “62 previously published essays that show the rich getting richer and poor getting poorer.” Where're the Ind'ns?

A play off of Woody Guthrie’s classic 3-chordin' “This Land is Your Land,” Ehrenreich’s book title—like Guthrie’s song title—refers to Americans without addressing who’s been on these lands far longer than Italian immigrants and Swedish settlers combined, without addressing whose creation stories talk of originating here, without addressing the ambiguities of “your land” and “my land” and wondering who’s being included/excluded in the process and who’s being strongly urged to “share.”

Commendably, however, Ehrenreich uses “Their” to refer to that elite corporate America 1% who bring in more $$ than almost all the rest of Americans together. And so, Ehrenreich’s “Their” as the mighty, mighty monetarily rich—not Native Peoples—does evoke a joke from Vine Deloria, Jr.’s, Custer Died for Your Sins: when a White person asked an Indian “What did you call this land before [certain land-hungry, power-wielding, pre-"corporate America"] Europeans arrived?” the Ind’n simply replied, “Ours.” But "This Land is Ours Land" would be grammatically awkward; thus, in brady bravin' logic, we now understand.

06 July 2008

here come the "indians" [again]

1 year ago today, fellow brady braves, the guardian printed yuval taylor's article "Native American reservations" on representations of "indians" in pop music ... interesting examples and far too rare of work being reported on--so, "brady bravin' luck" to ya if'n trying to locate sources on this topic ... here's taylor's work:

"Perhaps OutKast will be straight on the internet this morning, trying to be the first to get tickets for the 2007 Native American Music Awards ceremony, which go on sale today. The hip-hop duo have a record of embracing Native American culture, after a fashion. During the 2004 Grammy Awards, a teepee descended from outer space and out popped OutKast, dressed in fake American Indian outfits, performing their hit Hey Ya! in the most outrageous example of contemporary minstrelsy I've seen.

But there was nothing that new about it. Pop songs have been both ridiculing and venerating Native Americans for well over a century now, doing everything but portraying them as real human beings. (OutKast's particular trope - Indians appearing from outer space in order to rescue a dying earth - had already shown up in places as diverse as Caetano Veloso's Um Indio in 1977 and Kansas's album Monolith in 1979.) [see Monolith cover to the right.]

There were plenty of songs about Native Americans in the 19th century, but the earliest 20th-century example I've found is Navajo, from 1903, whose chorus runs, "Nava, Nava, my Navajo/ I have a love for you that will grow." Making love to Indians was a popular fantasy: it's the subject of old folk songs such as Little Mohee and Shenandoah; Tin Pan Alley numbers including Mineola (or the Wedding of the Indian and the Coon) and Arrah Wanna (An Indian Irish Matrimonial Venture), and Yiddish comedienne Fanny Brice's 1921 I'm an Indian, a fantasy about marrying one. But it didn't stop when most other racial attitudes from that era became unacceptable. Even that most bleeding-heart of songwriters, Neil Young, sang: "I would give a thousand pelts to sleep with Pocahontas"; and Slick Rick devoted not one, but two jaw-droppingly explicit songs to sex with squaws.

There's an opposing tradition: the Indian as martyr. Again, you find this in old cowboy, Tin Pan Alley and country songs, but it became much more common in the 1960s and 70s, when we were treated to Johnny Horton's The Vanishing Race, the Raiders' No 1 Indian Reservation, Elton John's overblown Indian Sunset, Cher's No 1 Half Breed, and, of course, at least four Neil Young songs. The protagonists of these songs aren't fierce warriors: they're all Christ-like. A typical example is Joe Ely's much-covered Indian Cowboy, who saves the circus from burning down but dies in the process. The death doesn't seem necessary - why couldn't he have been a living hero? I guess things don't work out that way for Indians.

Brits liked their Native Americans fiercer. In the early 1980s they gave us Siouxsie and the Banshees; Adam and the Ants' stirring Kings of the Wild Frontier; the Cult, who devoted their career to the idea of the martyred savage; and Iron Maiden's galvanic Run to the Hills, the angriest Indian massacre song of all.

What about real Native Americans? Plenty of them have made music, from appalling acts such as the southern rock band Blackfoot to terrific performers such as Link Wray and Buffy Sainte-Marie, but none of them had hits with Indian-themed songs. The one exception was an intensely charismatic rodeo cowboy named Peter LaFarge, who wrote more than half of Johnny Cash's astonishing and gut-wrenching hit album Bitter Tears (1964) and made four records of Indian protest songs before his death in 1965, at the age of 34, most likely from a mixture of booze and pills. LaFarge wrote the only hit song about American Indian life that avoids romanticisation, ridicule, and hyperbole - Cash's The Ballad of Ira Hayes. Moreover, he was an Indian himself, who had been adopted at the age of nine by the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Oliver LaFarge, president of the Association on American Indian Affairs.

At least, that's what people think. In fact, I've ascertained that the greatest advocate for American Indians in pop music history was only pretending to be an Indian: he was actually LaFarge's natural son, with at best less than one percent Indian blood.

But in order to get his message across, didn't Peter LaFarge have to pretend to be an Indian? After all, in the pop-music world, real Native Americans don't exist. Which is why you won't be seeing the winners of the Native American Music Awards crashing the charts any day soon."

taylor elaborates on this discussion in a four-part series of posts at his co-authored (with hugh barker) blog http://www.fakingit.typepad.com/ (in reference to their 2007 book Faking It: The Quest for Authenticity in Popular Music) ... "Here Comes the Indians, Part One" available at http://fakingit.typepad.com/fakingit/2007/05/here_come_the_i.html ...

01 July 2008

attn: Pseudo-Cherokees

hey'all, brady braves ... from the Joint Council of The Cherokee Nation and The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, here is their adopted, as of 4/9/08, "A RESOLUTION OPPOSED TO FABRICATED CHEROKEE "TRIBES" AND "INDIANS":

WHEREAS, the Cherokee Nation and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians since time immemorial have exercised the sovereign rights of self-government on behalf of the Cherokee people; and
WHEREAS, the Cherokee Nation and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians are federallyrecognized Indian Nations with a historic and continual government to government relationship with the United States of America; and
WHEREAS, the Joint Council unites the Legislative Branches of government of the CherokeeNation and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, representing approximately 294,000 Cherokee people throughout the United States of America; and
WHEREAS, the two Cherokee Tribal governments share a common history prior to forcedremoval in 1838, and then separate histories to the present, yet our common language, culture, and traditions have made the Cherokee Nation and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians distinct and unique Native people from other Indian Tribes and other people, as was declared by the Joint Council in Resolution No. 3-92, adopted on August 11, 1992 in Cherokee, North Carolina; and
WHEREAS, the Cherokee Nation has been aware of a growing number of non-Indian groupsclaiming to be Cherokee tribes or bands and that these groups have been organizing and attempting to gain federal recognition, this problem being acknowledged by the Joint Council in Resolution No. 008, adopted on October 3, 1988 in Cherokee, North Carolina; and
WHEREAS, the Department of the Interior through the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Branch ofAcknowledgment and Research maintains the responsibility for addressing specific applications for federal recognition and the Cherokee Nation and Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians fully support the federal recognition process; and
WHEREAS, the history of the Cherokee Nation and Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is well documented and no other tribes or bands of Cherokee Indians exist aside from those already federally recognized, which includes the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma; and
WHEREAS, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the Cherokee Nation in Joint Councilassembled in Resolution No. 4-96, adopted on October 4, 1996 have previously expressedopposition to the "state recognition" process by the State of Georgia or other states in the United States who may seek to recognize a group of 'Cherokee' that do not already have federal recognition; and
WHEREAS, public funding by pseudo-Cherokee Tribes is of epidemic proportions and ofteninvolves membership fees; misleading presentations to school children and interference in a multitude of government functions including child welfare cases; and
WHEREAS, the sovereignty and reputation of the Cherokee Nation and the Eastern Band ofCherokee Indians, as well as members the general public continue to be in jeopardy due to the acts of individuals who organize and administer fabricated Cherokee tribes; and
WHEREAS, untold millions of federal dollars that are appropriated for the benefit of tribalpeople are being diverted from their intended purpose, including money distributed by federal agencies such as the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Native Americans, the Department of Labor, Department of Education, Department of Agriculture and other federal agencies.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Joint Council of the Cherokee Nation and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians do hereby support the federal recognition process of the Department of the Interior as administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs Branch of acknowledgment and Research, and endorse the criteria used by the Bureau of Indian Affairs as appropriate; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Cherokee Nation and Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians denounce the state or federal recognition of any further 'Cherokee' tribes or bands, aside from the those already federally recognized, and commit to exposing and assisting state and federal authorities in eradicating any group which attempts or claims to operate as a government of the Cherokee people; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that no public funding from any federal or state government should be expended on behalf of non-federally recognized 'Cherokee' tribes or bands or the individual members thereof; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Cherokee Nation and Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians shall call for a full accounting of all federal monies given to state recognized, unrecognized or 501(c)(3) charitable organizations that claim any Cherokee affiliation; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the federal and state governments should stringently apply a federal defInition of "Indian" that includes only citizens of federally recognized Indian tribes, to prevent non-Indians from selling membership in 'Cherokee' tribes for the purpose of exploiting the Indian Arts and Crafts Act; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that no 501(c)(3) organization, state recognized or unrecognized groups shall be acknowledged as Cherokee unless they are given written permission from a Federally-recognized Cherokee tribe; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that any individual who is not a member of a federally recognized Cherokee tribe, in academia or otherwise, is hereby discouraged from claiming to speak as a Cherokee, or on behalf of Cherokee citizens, or using claims of Cherokee heritage to advance his or her career or credentials; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that this Resolution shall be the policy of the Joint Council of the Cherokee Nation and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians until it is withdrawn or modified by subsequent resolution.

[editor's note: thanks to our friend, a Real Cherokee Nation Citizen in Tahlequah, for sharing this resolution with us.]