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

American Work from the Ground Up

Labor Day is the American holiday designated to honor workers.  Historically, the day arises from the American Labor Movement in the late 1800’s.  The tradition continues — you likely noticed it last weekend – as a way of honoring the contributions of American workers to the health and wellbeing of our country. Also vital to the country’s emergence and continuing welfare is American Wilderness – a presence, a natural fact, that has… Read More

Mayo Summit – Listen to These People

Galena, Alaska was at 39 below zero four days before Christmas in 1997.  At 40 below, the airport closes. Air travel is the most reasonable way to get into Galena in winter.  The other ways are by snow machine or dog sled.  A hand full of tribal leaders from the Yukon River basin were gathering on that day because they had become acutely concerned for the health of the river.  Toxic dump… Read More

The VRA and Racism “the country’s original sin”

What a week. With a 68-32  margin, the U.S. Senate passed immigration reform – a heartening step even in the face of the subsequent response by the usual suspects in the House of Representatives rolling their eyes and offering sound bites that essentially communicate (again…), “in your dreams.”  In what likely stands as a more inspiring demonstration (and interpretation) of democratic action, Texas Senator, Wendy Davis together with thousands of citizens of… Read More

Violence May Thwart Public Voice, but the Ideas Won’t Go Away

My sister in Gainesville, Florida is recently back from Turkey — Istanbul and a rural city where she and her daughter worked a while on an organic olive farm.  The olive work was only perfect for getting to know the culture of rural Turkey a bit, but it was also the only way for these two women to travel together.  The younger is a college student, the older (celebrating her 50th with… Read More

Native – nonNative Partnerships: One Step in Making it Real

Yay!  A publication. Lots of you know that I write pretty regularly for scholarly outlets.  I don’t mention that stuff often here, but word just came in from the Teachers College Register (TCR) of Columbia University that a very cool commentary just went live on the TCR webpage for this week.  It’s title — PARTNERSHIP WITH NATIVE AMERICAN COMMUNITIES:  CAN HIGHER EDUCATION SHOW UP?  It’s only free for a week, then TCR charges for… Read More

Human Parades: A Sampling (…read to the bottom)

Last Saturday, Portland Oregon had a clustering of human processions.  Every year this time the Rose Festival hits its climax with the Grand Floral Parade — the second largest floral parade in the nation next to Pasadena’s Rose Parade on January 1.  Typical to Oregon’s modesty and as true to its chutzpah, the Rose Festival was established a mere 17 years after the first parade in Pasadena way back in the first… Read More

Day after Memorial Day in Montana

The past few days have, for me, been filled again with Montana.  Specifically the valleys just northeast of the Beartooth/Absaroka range of the Rockies.  Yesterday our country gave an entire day to a remembrance many of us make far more often during the year in honor of the people who have given their lives in service to this country.  On that day I stood in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone, the country’s… Read More

What are the Barriers to Social Justice?

On Friday I had the opportunity to speak briefly with a small group of friends and colleagues about social justice.  It was a time that qualifies for sure as a moment in the story of my life.  And the particular narrative of that time is transition – big transition – so big that I’m not yet prepared to write about it here.  Odd, since this is the place I write and write… Read More

Succession – We’re in Great Hands

This week’s blog is a montage.  My qualification to put these images together here with my ideas about what I’ve seen and experienced of the Student Alliance Project arises only from the generosity with which the young adults of this thriving community organization have informed and befriended me as an ally. Last night I attended a celebration.  There were hundreds of people in a room that barely held them, sitting at circular… Read More