28 August 2008

one Flo to go, please

heya ... brady here ... in a rush 'cause i'm [ironically] waiting in e-line for my washington redskins flo card ... what's the "flo," you ask? ... why, it's the latest must-have for us supporters of our redskins ... it'll get us through lines at 'skins' ball games at least 30 seconds faster (guaranteed!) ... and if half-a-minute closer to my $349 seat can happen with prompt payment of just $100/yearly, then that's a bundle of buffalo nickels well spent ...

and it makes sense that such an important and valuable card for getting me through redskins' gameday lines 30 seconds faster would require the following: "It is MANDATORY for enrollment [into flocard] that TWO forms of identification documentation are brought to the enrollment." no problem there--i got xeroxed copies of my "Whirling Rainbow" fan club member card and--thanks to my well-spent $600 to Grand Chief Thunderbird IV--my "Kaweah Indian Nation" citizenship card. (attn: naysayers--i'm confident that the illegalities and disputes of my Kaweah-ness will be overturned anyday now, and then i'm in like flynn and on the go with my flo) ...

meanwhile, nba coach phil jackson is speaking on university of north dakota's "fighting sioux" mascot and logo ... as reported by usa today earlier this week, "Jackson did not specifically say UND should do away with the nickname, but he asked officials to ponder what could be gained by keeping it. Jackson said he had been asked by his Lakota friends to speak out against the nickname. He said UND has a chance to embrace change." what a slap from jackson to his alma mater during und's honoring of him ... it's like you just can't "honor" anyone nowadays without them speaking out against your indian mascots ...

ya ever see that 1999 outside the lines episode on "THE native american sports experience"? (THE one experience as shared by millions of native peoples, ennit? yes, that's THE one) ... it discussed jackson's "lakota teachings": "Phil Jackson, the former Bulls' and current Lakers' coach, uses teachings of the Lakota Sioux in his coaching. He would burn sage to cleanse the team of negative energy and show game film intercut with clips from a movie about a Sioux warrior. [val kilmer in thunderheart?] Jackson says he decorated the Bulls' team room at the Berto Center with Native American artifacts to reinforce in the players' minds that their journey together each season was a sacred quest."

26 August 2008

Medicine Bluff

heya, brady braves ... as reported last week, "A federal judge has blocked the U.S. Army from starting a construction project at Fort Sill in Oklahoma out of concern for the religious rights of the Comanche Nation. The tribe says it wasn't consulted about the development of a training service center near the foot of Medicine Bluffs, a sacred site at Fort Sill. Work was scheduled to begin on Monday until Judge Timothy D. DeGiusti issued a temporary restraining order. 'The court finds that, given the nature of the interests which plaintiffs in this case seek to protect, irreparable harm will result if the construction project commences,' DeGiusti wrote in the five-page order." that order can be read in its entirety via a link near the bottom of the page at http://indianz.com/News/2008/010446.asp.

in light of this critical situation, we--the staff of the bureau of brady braves--share with you an excerpt from wallace and hoebel's 1952 book the comanches: lords of the south plains (205-206):

"Medicine Bluff is another place commemorated in name and held in great reverence by the Comanches as being the abode of a powerful, benevolent spirit. It is located in Comancheria at the confluence of Cache and Medicine Bluff creeks. The two creeks empty into Red River [Pia Pasiwuhunu] and are overlooked by a precipitous bluff--Medicine Bluff. It is a mile in length, forming a perfect crescent, rising at once from the bed of Medicine Bluff creek, which flows at the base of the perpendicular scarp, to the height of 310 feet. The surface of the face of the bluff is perfectly regular and smooth. Moss covers the sides with a garb of pale green. The greater portion of the face is perfectly bare, though at some places a few stunted cedars have found lodgment in the crevices. From the rear the bluff presents three knolls, the center one being the highest. Mount Scott, about eight miles distant, stands forth with its pyramidal outline like a sentinel guarding the eastern gate of the Wichita Mountains.

There, from the bluff, according to a Comanche legend recounted by Thomas Battey, a powerful spirit looked over and cared for his people, saw that game was abundant and that his children were prosperous and happy. Comanche medicine men erected a cairn about six feet in height upon the summit of the principal knoll. Here the sick repaired or were brought by their relatvies or friends, and here they were left to its invisible and subtle power. Especially those who were past the cure of the medicine men were deposited on the altar and left to be disposed of by the spirit. If the sick had not offended the supernatural powers, they were suddenly healed and returned to their kindred. Sometimes they were transported bodily to the after world. But if they were notoriously bad, they were allowed to die, and the ravens descended from the air, and the wolf came up from the valley and devoured the body, and the bones were gathered up by the Evil Spirit and deposited in the land of terrors. At times the vicinity of the bluff became suddenly lighted up as by a great fire. The dews of night, the rain, and the wind circled about the spot of the altar at the very summit, but none of these agencies of nature trespassed, and the patient was thus left sheltered better than in his own tipi.

To the spirit was attributed the power of resurrection. Once an old warrior, who had long lived among the women of the village, having ceased to hunt or go on the warpath and having been turned out to wait his time to join his fathers, had struggled to the top of the bluff to die and be borne away to the after world. Each night after his departure, when darkness covered the face of nature, the awe-stricken people of the village below observed a great blaze, as if a fire had been built to alarm them. On the morning after the third night, a young man equipped as a warrior was seen descending the bluff, along the trail to the village. He approached the chief's lodge and sat by the fire. The warriors gathered around, but no one recongized him and so remained silent, waiting for him to speak. Lighting his pipe, decorated with beads and feathers of strange birds, the stranger, after all had made the ceremonial smoke, began his story.

When he had reached the top of the hill, he could see the village and hear the laughter of children, the mourning of his kindred, and the barking of the dogs. He could see the buffalo and deer in the distance, and the young warriors in all their pride and strength. Then he asked himself, 'Why do I live any longer? My fires have gone out. I must follow my fathers. The world is beautiful to the young, but to the old it has no pelasures. Far away to the setting suns are the hunting grounds of my people. I will go there.' After these words, he had mustered all he could of his failing strength and leaped into the air from the giddy height before him. He knew no more of the woes of life. He was caught up in midair and transported into a smiling country where there was no rain and no wind, where the great chiefs of all the Comanches were assembled. They were all young and chased the buffalo and feasted. There was no darkness. The Great Spirit was everywhere and everybody was happy.

The story capitvated the minds and imagination of the listeners, and the strange young warrior became at once an oracle and a big medicine man in the tribe. His counsel was all-powerful, and his abilities to cure were considered infallible. Reverence for the bluff was enhanced; and in the years that followed no Comanche would ascend to the summit of the hill except for a most sacred purpose. When white soldiers fired shots at the cliff to hear the echoes, the Comanche guide, Blue Leggings, was horror stricken, and he refused to scale the peak with the soldiers.

At times a young man, eager to take the warpath for the first time, ascended to the sacred spot in quest of his vision. Having provided himself with a shield, in accordance with ceremonial instructions the youth proceeded to the highest point of the bluff, reminaing for three successive days. A part of the cerremony included preenting the face of the shield to the rising sun each morning, as if warding off an arrow or a spear. The sacred surroundings of the place and the Sun, the emblem of the Great Spirit, casting its rays upon the shield were supposed to endow it with supernatural protective powers."

may those "protective powers" intervene now in preventing fort sill from disturbing Medicine Bluff.

18 August 2008

Crowbama's Chosen 10

revealed today are brief bios of the 10 individuals who will join Sen.
[Cr]O[w]bama backstage at the upcoming DNC in Denver ... among them is an Indigene: Holly Miowak Stebing of Anchorage, Alaska ...

"Holly, a 20-year-old Alaska Native Inupiaq, is spending her summer break from Stanford University at the First Alaskans Organization interviewing native elders about their experiences with segregation. Holly is passionate about improving healthcare access for Native Americans, and protecting Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from drilling. The 2008 presidential election is Holly's first as a voter. She says: "This was the first campaign I felt I needed to support. I don't have a lot of money, but I donate what I can because I believe in [Barack]." She will attend the convention with her mother who is the first Native American woman to pass the Alaska bar." (this info courtesy of a personal email from Barack to me ... and a few other thousands ... and thousands ...)

14 August 2008

what's the word? grand chief thunderbird!

heya, brady braves ... long time, no blog ... into fightin' illini country now ... no "chief illiniwek"-rezurrected spottings thus far (other than seeing pro-"chief" bumper stickers and "we love OUR chief" t-shirts and pro-"chief" yard signs and "chief before charmin" TP and ...) ... gotta love those folks who love their indians (over real indigenous folks) ...

heya, remember stephen colbert claiming 1/13 chickasaw-ness before winona laduke on the colbert report? now check out the colbert retort authored by j.d. colbert, a real chickasaw ... in case the link doesn't work later down the road, it's called "indian is as indian does" ...

as you faithful brady braves know by now, we here at the bureau like frauds; for without them, we'd have lesser material with which to work ... and dangit if we don't find it an outrage that one of 'em's in legal troubles right now in kansas ... as noted today at indianz.com ("leader of fake tribe guilty in immigration scam"), "A federal jury found a Kansas man who claims he is the leader of a tribe guilty for scamming immigrants with promises of U.S. citizenship. Malcolm Webber calls himself the Grand Chief Thunderbird IV of the Kaweah Indian Nation. Prosecutors said he sold $600 'tribal membership' cards to immigrants and told them it would help them cross the border and win U.S. citizenship."

well, sounds like the jury is anti-Family Guy ... so what if webber confused his "grand chief" moniker with peter griffin's great-grandfather's name "chief grand cherokee" (whom peter initially called "jeep grand cherokee") in the first-season episode "the son also draws" ... and sounds like the jury is anti-thunderbird wine, too ... ol' school'ers--you know what's the word: it's [grand chief] thunderbird [iv] ... and how's it sold? ... good and cold ... but apparently, the jury ain't hearing that ...

perhaps it'd do the kaweah indians good to sit-in on an upcoming panel at the Cherokee Nation's State of Sequoyah Conference ... the session's titled “Stealing Sovereignty: Fraudulent ‘Tribes’ and ‘Individuals’” ... heck, the kaweahs could even be the subtitle's guests of honor, ya know? ... but if all the world's a cherokee and if all the cherokees attend, then there just might be a whole lotta stealin' going on ... still, with whirling rainbows and big chief thunderbirds in attendance, wouldn't seeing the name tags alone be reason enough to attend?