Indians. Current Events. NO, REALLY. PAY ATTENTION.

Breaking news – The moment I posted the last blog*, the news came through of acquittal of the white, male, armed and militant protestors who occupied the federal lands of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge last winter. That same moment, the news emerged of another round of arrests of Dokata Access Pipeline protestors, most of them Native Americans, and most of them peaceful. Coincidence? Yes, likely. Hipocritical and racist? Well, you judge for… Read More

A Great Indigenous Leader Honored with a Public Award

Late yesterday, the longstanding and visionary environmental organization, Ecotrust, announced this year’s awardees for the Indigenous Leadership Award.  Among the five leaders named is Roy Hunter Sampsel, my dear friend and mentor.  What well-deserved recognition.  This man is a giant of leadership! I had a nagging sense of incongruence when my first move to announce how thrilled I am with this news was to put it on facebook – but such is… Read More

Rebuilding Native Nations – A non-Native Perspective

  For the past 10 years, I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with Tribal Leadership — elected and traditional leaders of Native American Tribes in the U.S. and Canada.  This work has provided more opportunities to learn than I could  have imagined or even anticipated as a woman raised non-Indian in the U.S. The way I was raised to make sense of the world has lots of overlap with the way… Read More

High Summer & Highways – Solar Power in Action

  It’s hot.  It’s summer. Weather in the world has been, as we all know, weird.  Some people continue to spin this weirdness as normal, of no concern — circumstances that require no response on the part of the humans who live it. My friends Jon Waterhouse and Mary Marshall spend a good deal of time with indigenous people who live climactic weirdness.  The Elders among them have been noting alarming changes… Read More

Billy Frank — This is what Enduring Looks Like

A great man has left this life – the one we know together here on the bold curve of our planet.  Billy Frank, a Nisqually Indian man who was born and lived his whole life long – all 83 years – among the people of the Nisqually Tribe, among the tribal people of the Columbia River, of the Pacific Northwest, of North America, of the globe.  He accepted no slight to Native… Read More

Launching Clare Consultation: Right into the Big Middle of Change

  Maybe it’s being 14 years into a brand new millennium.  Maybe it’s living on this side of 2012, the year so long identified by the Mayan People for its pivot point – for signifying radical shifts in human awareness, in behavior and community.  Maybe it’s what I’ve heard a few very wise ones refer to as the quickening. Whatever the case, here we are.  Like it or not, aware or not,… Read More

On the Cusp of 2014 – Change and What Endures

Soon the calendar will shift for another roll through dates, through seasons and all the moments we have no way of knowing from here.  Each of us lives in our own contagion of this following that.  The unavoidable change that is living itself can sometimes feel unnerving — or at least the anticipation of it, the impossibility I already mentioned of knowing completely any change before it happens. I’ve been writing this… Read More

Neuroplasticity and Gratitude

I was never much of a fan of talk about the biological bases of behavior.  Already in the mid 80’s, there were innovative graduate programs popping up to explore brain-based treatments more nuanced than conventional treatments like ECT, Labotomy and psychotropic medication. Nonetheless, I remained decidedly a proponent of the nurture side of things.  This bias came in large part from working with kids in schools and seeing the folly, and really… Read More

Wasp stings are annoying — The crashing unpredictability of severe weather is deadly

Ok — From Fracking the past two weeks to wasps.  Tipping my hand here:  I find myself thinking of the former at the causal edge of ongoing climate degradation while the latter live on the continuous curve of the climate’s changes.  That, of course, places wasps in the company of all breathing and otherwise animate things (like people, rivers, pine cones, lentils …). In particular, wasps have been on my mind because… Read More

A Mandan-Hidatsa Elder and Civilian Warrior Speaks of Fracking

Today is Veteran’s Day.  Today we honor people who have placed their lives on the line to recover peace. Per Capita, more Native Americans serve in the U.S. military than any other ethnic group.  In recent data out of the Department of Defense (2010) the contrast shows up in the fact that while Native Americans make up 1.4% of the total U.S. population, they compose 1.7% of the country’s military.  Over 20%… Read More