Monday, October 16, 2017
Guardians of the Sun, Helen Hardin.
Helen Hardin (May 28, 1943 – June 9, 1984) (also known as Tsa-sah-wee-eh, which means "Little Standing Spruce") was an American painter. Her parents were Santa Clara Pueblo artist, Pablita Velarde and a Caucasian former police officer and Chief of Public Safety, Herbert Hardin. She started making and selling paintings, participated in University of Arizona's Southwest Indian Art Project and was featured in Seventeen magazine, all before she was 18 years of age. Creating art was a means of spiritual expression that developed from her Roman Catholic upbringing and Native American heritage. She created contemporary works of art with geometric patterns based upon Native American symbols and motifs, like corn, kachinas, and chiefs. In 1976 she was featured in the PBS American Indian artists series.
Helen Hardin was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the daughter of Santa Clara Pueblo artist, Pablita Velarde and Herbert Hardin, a former police officer and Chief of Public Safety, US State Department. Her first language was Tewa. She was named Tsa-Sah-Wee-Eh at a naming ceremony at the Santa Clara Pueblo about a month after she was born. Hardin was raised by her artistic mother and her family at the Santa Clara Pueblo and she went to school and lived among the Anglo world for much of her life. She saw herself as "Anglo socially and Indian in [her] art."
At six years of age Hardin won first prize for a drawing. Her works were sold when she was nine with her mother's at Gallup ceremonial events. Although she was influenced by her mother's techniques and works, Hardin wanted to create her own style. Her relationship with her mother became increasingly difficult as Hardin became more artistic and as a consequence of her parents' divorce in 1957 or 1959.
She studied drafting at Albuquerque's St. Pius X High School, a parochial Catholic school. In the summer of 1960 Hardin attended the University of Arizona's Southwest Indian Art Project, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation. Also while in high school she was featured in Seventeen magazine. In 1961 and 1962 she attended the University of New Mexico, where she studied architecture and art, although her mother wanted her to study business. Her mother also said she didn't like her paintings. Hardin considered her own work to be non-traditional, yet she was influenced by native pictographs, petroglyphs and pottery designs and the works of her teacher Joe Herrera, who was a Cubist from the Cochiti Pueblo.
Hardin's relationship with her high school boyfriend, Pat Terrazas, continued after graduation and they had a daughter, Margarete Bagshaw, in 1964. Hardin had to sneak opportunities to paint because both her boyfriend and her mother disapproved. She went to Bogotá, Columbia in 1968 as a respite from the abusive relationship with Terrazas and an unhealthy relationship with her mother. She said of that time, "I awoke to the fact that I was twenty-four years old, I was locked into an unhappy [relationship], and I was not painting. I didn't know who I was or what I was. In search of personal freedom, I took Margarete... and left the country."
In 1973 she married Cradoc Bagshaw. Her relationship with her mother improved in the 1980s, and Velarde began to be supportive of her work. Hardin was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1981 and died in New Mexico in 1984.
Her search for identity was woven with her spiritual explorations. She signed her early paintings in her Indian name, Tsa-Sah-Wee-Eh, or Little Standing Spruce, to separate herself from her celebrated mother's reputation.
Helen Hardin, The Woman Series: Changing Woman, Medicine Woman, and Listening Woman, 1981-1984
She was a studio artist, who from the 1960s to mid 1970s lectured and exhibited paintings at Albuquerque's Enchanted Mesa Gallery. Hardin's early artistic works were characterized as traditionally realistic and she signed them with her Tewa name, Tsa-Sah-Wee-Eh. She was influenced by her spirituality and the protective, supportive "angels" in her life.
Up to 26 layers of paint - including ink washes, acrylics, airbrush and varnish - were applied to create her works; Hardin painted tiny dots called stipples; spattered paint with a toothbrush, like Anasazi pottery; and applied transparent washes.
In 1964 Hardin made the painting Medicine Talk for her first major solo exhibition at Enchanted Mesa. While with her father in 1968 in Bogotá, Colombia, she began painting in earnest and had a successful show at the American Embassy, where she sold 27 paintings. Since her reputation in the United States was tied with her mother's success, she had not been sure the degree to which she had success based upon her own merit. In Columbia her success was based on her talent alone.
When she returned to United States, her art became more geometric and abstract, and she used deep colored paints. Hardin was said to have brought a "new look" to Native American art by New Mexico Magazine. The publicity was a turning point in her career, its publicity led to greater success and recognition. In 1971 she had a show in Guatemala City.
As her career matured and she gained confidence, Hardin became known for painting complex works that combined colorful images and symbols from her Native American heritage with modern abstract art techniques. Her work frequently incorporated images of women, chiefs, kachinas and designs from pueblo pottery, and integrated modern elements as her career advanced. For instance, the paintings of kachinas and blanketed chiefs integrated geometric patterns made with drafting templates, rulers and protractors. Kachinas, or heavenly messengers, had special spiritual meaning, similar to the saints from her Catholic tradition, connecting between people on earth and heaven.
She was filmed in 1976 for a series on American Indian artists for Public Broadcasting System (PBS). Other filmed artists included R. C. Gorman, Charles Loloma, Allan Houser, Joseph Lonewolf, and Fritz Scholder.
Bountiful Mother made in 1980 represents two aspects of motherhood from the Pueblo and Hopi culture: Corn Mother and Mother Earth. The cultivation and consumption of corn was so central to the pueblo culture that it was "... a living entity with a body similar to man's in many respects ...the people built its flesh into their own." In the work, the woman's fertility is symbolized by the kernels of blue corn of her body. In 1981 she made the self-portrait Metamorphosis: "The features were contained within a perfect circle, a Jungian archetype of psychic wholeness and the symbol for Hardin of life itself, but everything else about the painting was fragmented, jagged and asymmetrical," said Jay Scott, her biographer, of the "tormented pieces of her life."
At her death at the age of 41, Hardin was recognized as one of the finest and most innovative Indian artists of her generation. She was among the first modern Indian painters to combine her non-Indian art materials and techniques with an Indian sensibility, merging past and present in a new way.
She created a series that included Changing Woman, Medicine Woman, and Listening Woman. The last work, Creative Woman was intended to be part of the series but the she died before it was created. The paintings portrayed the "intellectual, emotional, and sensitive" aspects of womanhood.
Hardin was commissioned to create children's book illustrations for Clarke Industries and design coins for Franklin Mint's History of the American Indian series.
She received honors for her work at the Heard Museum, Scottsdale National Indian Arts Exhibition, Philbrook Art Center, the Inter-Tribal Ceremonial at Gallup, New Mexico, and the Santa Fe Indian Market. At these shows she won "Best of Show", first prize and grand awards.*
Kin 146: White Electric World-Bridger
I activate in order to equalize
I seal the store of death
With the electric tone of service
I am guided by the power of heart
I am a galactic activation portal
To transcend is to go beyond the present state of conditioned being; this is the purpose of life.*
*Star Traveler's 13 Moon Almanac of Synchronicity, Galactic Research Institute, Law of Time Press, Ashland, Oregon, 2017-2018.
The Sacred Tzolk'in
Manipura Chakra (Limi Plasma)
Sunday, October 15, 2017
Cecilia Fire Thunder
Cecilia Fire Thunder (born Cecilia Apple; October 24, 1946) is a nurse, community health planner and tribal leader of the Oglala Sioux. On November 2, 2004, she was the first woman elected as president of the Tribe. She served until being impeached on June 29, 2006, several months short of the two-year term. The major controversy was over her effort to provide for women on the reservation needing family planning services after the South Dakota legislature banned most abortions throughout the state. The tribal council impeached her for proceeding without gaining their consensus.
A founder of community-based health clinics while living and working in California for two decades, Fire Thunder was among founders of the Oglala Lakota Women's Society after her return to the reservation in 1986. She serves on the National Advisory Board of the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS) and has worked at a shelter for domestic abuse. She is the coordinator of the Native Women's Society of the Great Plains.
Early life and education
Born Cecilia Apple on October 24, 1946 on the Pine Ridge Reservation, she is the third of seven daughters of the late Stephen and Lollie (Featherman) Apple. Her father was a traditional singer and her mother a culture-keeper; the family spoke Lakota at home. Her grandparents are Frank and Theresa (Garcia) Apple and John and Mary (Ice) Featherman. Her sisters are Shirley Murphy, Mary Hawk, Dinah Apple, Carmine Red Eagle, Joanne Apple, and Wanda Apple (Wanda is deceased).
When Cecilia went to the Catholic Red Cloud Indian School, she had to speak English in class. In 1963 her family moved from the reservation to Los Angeles, California in a Bureau of Indian Affairs-sponsored urban relocation program. The BIA encouraged Native American migration to cities to take advantage of educational and job opportunities.
Marriage and family
Apple married Ben Fire Thunder while living in Los Angeles, and they had two sons, James and John Fire Thunder. She has two granddaughters from her son John, Katie and Hannah Fire Thunder.
Organizations and affiliations
As a young nurse in California, Fire Thunder started community-based health clinics in Los Angeles and San Diego, learning to work in a different culture and to seek resources locally. She was able to persuade doctors from the University of Southern California and the University of California Los Angeles to donate time to the clinic.
After more than 20 years away, in 1986 Fire Thunder returned to the Pine Ridge Reservation and started work at the Bennett County Hospital. She was among the founders of the Oglala Lakota Women's Society. From her years working as a nurse, she had learned of the physical, developmental and learning problems for children born to alcoholic mothers, and encouraged women to get preventive treatment. She serves on the National Advisory Board of the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS), founded in 1990. In her work for Cangleska, Inc., a domestic violence shelter, she also dealt with women who suffered from abuse related to poverty and alcoholism on the reservation.
A Lakota native speaker, Fire Thunder has also been active in tribal efforts to recover and revive use of the Lakota language among its young people and adults. She sees use of the language as integral to their culture.
On November 2, 2004, Cecilia Fire Thunder was elected as the first female president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe of the Pine Ridge Reservation to serve the two-year term. She defeated both Russell Means, notable as an activist in the American Indian Movement (AIM), and the incumbent John Yellow Bird Steele. In 2005 the tribal council suspended her, initially for 20 days, in an action that ran to 66 days. They began impeachment proceedings related to allegations that she used tribal land as collateral for a US$38 million loan from the Shakopee Tribe in Minnesota to help pay off short-term debt of the Oglala tribe that totaled $20 million; the remainder of the loan was invested for casino expansion to generate revenue. Fire Thunder said the allegations were false, and she had openly negotiated the loan as part of straightening out the tribe's financial status. After the complaint was dismissed by the council on December 30, Fire Thunder returned to her position.
In 2005 Nebraska state officials, Attorney General and Congressman Tom Osborne, approached the OST tribal council suggesting collaboration for increased policing at Whiteclay, Nebraska, a perennial problem because of its extensive beer sales to people from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Possession and consumption of alcohol is illegal at the reservation, but alcoholism is widespread, contributing to many social and health problems. In a unique agreement, the state proposed to deputize OST police (additional staff to be hired) to patrol Whiteclay to prevent beer from being transported to the reservation. Initially the council rejected the proposal, saying the $100,000 grant would be insufficient. It later approved the measure.
In March 2006 Fire Thunder announced her intent to create a Planned Parenthood clinic on her own land, within the reservation. She was responding to the state legislature's passage of a law banning virtually all abortions within South Dakota. She believed that her constituents needed full family planning services, and that the sovereign reservation would not be subject to state laws. In 2004 public opinion polls had shown that 68% of people surveyed in South Dakota supported options for abortions in some cases, so the new law generated controversy across the state.
Fire Thunder's plan attracted widespread media coverage and controversy within the reservation. Some tribal members marched in protest in May 2006 against the planned clinic; others objected to the way Fire Thunder had proceeded. At their council meeting on May 31, 2006, the Oglala Sioux tribal Council suspended Fire Thunder from her duties as president, saying she had not gained their consensus before inviting Planned Parenthood to the reservation. In addition, the Council issued a ban on all abortions on tribal land.
A month after the suspension, the tribal council voted on June 29, 2006 to impeach Fire Thunder from her duties as Tribal President. They made six charges against her, notably related to the Planned Parenthood clinic, for which they said she had not gained tribal council consensus. Other charges were that Fire Thunder used the media, the U.S. Post Office and the Oglala Sioux Tribe to solicit funds for the clinic. On June 30, 2006, Alex White Plume, tribal vice-president, assumed the role of President Pro Tem, which he held until the November 2006 election.
The council and succeeding chief never organized to spend the federal grant money to support deputized police to patrol at Whiteclay, and the funds were rescinded in late 2007. During the same period, in 2006 and 2007 tribal activists held blockades on the road inside the reservation to prevent beer from being brought from Whiteclay and continued to demand action by Nebraska.
Fire Thunder challenged the impeachment decision, but was unsuccessful. As of 2010, she is the coordinator of the Native Women's Society of the Great Plains.
Legacy and honors
Because of her groundbreaking election as president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and work on women's issues, Fire Thunder has frequently been invited to speak at universities and groups about Lakota women and her experiences, as seen in the following:
March 2010, Women's History Month, New York University, Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality
September 2010, Tribal Leaders Summit, Bismarck, North Dakota - speaking on issues of domestic violence and concentrating resources for children.*
Kin 145: Red Lunar Serpent
I polarize in order to survive
I seal the store of life force
With the lunar tone of challenge
I am guided by the power of navigation.
When we open past the world system of the conditioned perceptions, then we enter into a vastly different level where a whole new cosmos dawns.*
*Star Traveler's 13 Moon Almanac of Synchronicity, Galactic Research Institute, Law of Time Press, Ashland, Oregon, 2017-2018.
The Sacred Tzolk'in
Visshudha Chakra (Alpha Plasma)
Saturday, October 14, 2017
Linda K. Hogan (born 1947) is a poet, storyteller, academic, playwright, novelist, environmentalist and writer of short stories. She is currently the Chickasaw Nation's Writer in Residence. She now lives in Tishomingo, Oklahoma.
Linda Hogan is American, born July 16, 1947 in Denver, Colorado. Her father, Charles C. Henderson, is a Chickasaw from a recognized historical family. Her mother, Cleona Florine (Bower) Henderson was of white descent, Linda's uncle, Wesley Henderson, helped form the White Buffalo Council in Denver during the 1950's, to help other Indian people coming to the city because of The Relocation Act, which encouraged migration for work and other opportunities. He had a strong influence on her and she grew up relating strongly to both her Chickasaw family in Indian Territory (Oklahoma) and to a mixed Indian community in the Denver area. At other times, her family traveled because of her father's career in the U.S. military. Her family lived in Germany for three years. She descended from a family of storytellers who helped shape her writing. Along with being an author, Hogan is also an environmentalist who spent eight years volunteering at a wildlife rehabilitation center. Two out of those eight years were spent at veterinarian school and the other six were spent at Birds of Prey Rehabilitation Center in Colorado. The work was very physical so Hogan reached a point where she was no longer able to handle it. Now, she does good for animals by talking and writing about them. Hogan married Pat Hogan and had children, Sandra Dawn Protector and Tanya Thunder Horse.
Hogan earned a Master of Arts (M. A.) degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1978 at the Colorado Springs campus. She then briefly moved to Maryland with her husband and later moved back to Colorado where she went to school in Boulder. Her first university teaching position was at Colorado College in 1980-1984, the next was in American Indian Studies and American Studies at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis (1982-1984). Hogan started writing in her late twenties after working with orthopaedically handicapped children. During her lunch hours, she would read Kenneth Rexroth’s work, which gave her the confidence to start writing publicly She kept a journal that she wrote in religiously. As she began to write essays and fiction, she realized that the energy she put into writing in a journal, had a new outlet. As she wrote she also discovered that she was writing about the beauty of nature every morning and she believed she could do more for nature in less private writing settings. After writing her first book, Calling Myself Home, she continued to write poetry. Her work has both a historical and political focus, but is lyrical. Hogan’s lyrical work is considered to have a voice of literary activism and in it is Native spirituality and indigenous knowledge systems of all genres. She considers her work politically centered because it is about a world view that cannot be separated from the political. Her most recent books are The Book of Medicines (1993) and Rounding the Human Corners. (2008) and a book of new and selected poetry containing work from the 1970's until 2014. Published in 2015.Hogan also has worked with Brenda Peterson in writing, Sightings, the Mysterious Journey of the Gray Whale for National Geographic books. She also wrote the script for the PBS documentary, Everything Has a Spirit, regarding Native American religious freedom.
She is also a novelist and essayist. Her work centers on the world of native peoples,the environment, and from her own indigenous perspective. She is currently known by students of ecological literature and eco-poetics. She was a full professor of Creative Writing at the University of Colorado and then taught for two years in the University's Ethnic Studies Department. Her most recent teaching has been as Writer in Residence for The Chickasaw Nation for six years, and a faculty position at the Indian Arts Institute in Santa Fe.
Hogan has published works in many different backgrounds and forms. Her concentration is on environmental themes as well Southeastern tribal histories and indigenous spirits and culture. She has acted as a consultant in bringing together Native tribal representatives and feminist themes, particularly allying them to her native ancestry. She strives to balance the perception of male and female power in Native American culture that was disrupted by the effects of the early Christian Americans. Her work, whether fiction or non-fiction, expresses an indigenous understanding of the world. She has written essays and poems on a variety of subjects, both fictional and nonfictional, biographical and from research. Hogan has also written historical novels. Her work studies the historical wrongs done to Native Americans and the American environment since the European colonization of North America.
Hogan was a professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Oklahoma.Hogan is the second minority woman to become a full professor at the University of Colorado. She is the (inaugural) Writer-in-Residence for the Chickasaw Nation in Oklahoma. In October 2011, she instructed a writing workshop through the Abiquiu Workshops in Abiquiú, New Mexico. She currently teaches one class a year in the graduate writing program at the University of Colorado as she keeps up with her schedule from her other work. Supporting solely herself and her home, Hogan keeps very busy but rarely works full-time because otherwise, she would not be able to write.
She has now returned to her Chickasaw homeland in Oklahoma, where she lives in Tishomingo with her family. Hogan feels as though she owes the future to her children and grandchildren. She says that her home is a place for her grandchildren particularly because they are given the opportunity to explore nature. Along with this, she believes that tradition and language are extremely important, especially in Native American culture, which is why her family is so important to her. Her work is completely dedicated to her children.
Awards and recognition
2016 Throreau Prize from PEN
Native Arts and Cultures Foundation 2015 National Artist Fellowship
Mountains and Plains Booksellers Spirit of the West Literary Achievement Award, 2007
Writer of the Year (Creative Prose), Wordcraft Circle Award, 2002
Lifetime Achievement Award, Native Writers' Circle of the Americas, 1998
Colorado Book Award, 1996
Lannan Award, 1994, for Outstanding Achievement in Poetry
Colorado Book Award
Solar Storms (1996)
The Book of Medicines (1993)
Oklahoma Book Award for Fiction, 1991 (Mean Spirit)
Guggenheim Fellow, 1991
Finalist, Pulitzer Prize for Literature, 1991.
American Book Award, Before Columbus Foundation, 1986
Stand magazine Fiction Award, 1983
Five Civilized Tribes Play Writing Award, 1980
Inducted into the Chickasaw Hall of Fame in 2007
Indios, poems, Wings Press 2012
The Inner Journey: Views from Native Traditions (ed.) Morning Light Press, 2009, ISBN 978-1-59675-026-5
Rounding the Human Corners: Poems, Coffee House Press, 2008, ISBN 978-1-56689-210-0
People of the Whale: A Novel; W. W. Norton & Company, 2009, ISBN 978-0-393-33534-7
The Woman Who Watches Over the World: A Native Memoir. W.W. Norton. 2001. ISBN 978-0-393-05018-9.; W. W. Norton & Company, 2002, ISBN 978-0-393-32305-4
The Sweet Breathing of Plants: Women and the Green World, 2000; North Point Press, 2001, ISBN 978-0-86547-559-5
Power. W. W. Norton & Company. 1998. ISBN 978-0-393-04636-6.; W. W. Norton & Company, 1999, ISBN 978-0-393-31968-2
Dwellings: A Spiritual History of the Living World. W.W. Norton. 1995. ISBN 978-0-393-03784-5.; Simon and Schuster, 1996, ISBN 978-0-684-83033-9
Solar Storms. Scribner. 1995. ISBN 978-0-684-81227-4.; Simon and Schuster, 1997, ISBN 978-0-684-82539-7
The book of medicines: poems, Coffee House Press, 1993, ISBN 978-1-56689-010-6
Red Clay: Poems and Stories, Greenfield Review Press, 1991, ISBN 978-0-912678-83-2
Mean Spirit Atheneum, 1990, ISBN 978-0-689-12101-2
Savings: Poems. Coffee House Press. 1988. ISBN 978-0-918273-41-3.
Seeing Through the Sun. University of Massachusetts Press. 1985. ISBN 978-0-87023-472-9.
Eclipse, American Indian Studies Center, University of California, 1983, ISBN 978-0-935626-18-6
Daughters, I Love You, Research Center on Women, 1981
A Piece of Moon (1981)
Calling Myself Home, Greenfield Review Press, 1978
Dennis, Helen M. Native American Literature: Towards a Spatialized Reading. London, Routledge 2006. pp. 61–85.
Kin 144: Yellow Magnetic Seed
I unify in order to target
I seal the input of flowering
With the magnetic tone of purpose
I am guided by my own power doubled.
Liberation is attained when the ego is transcended.*
*Star Traveler's 13 Moon Almanac of Synchronicity, Galactic Research Institute, Law of Time Press, Ashland, Oregon, 2017-2018.
The Sacred Tzolk'in
Svadhistana Chakra (Kali Plasma)
Friday, October 13, 2017
Ms. LaDonna Harris (right) meets with her Native American supporters in Oklahoma.
LaDonna Vita Tabbytite Harris (born February 26, 1931) is a Comanche Native American social activist and politician from Oklahoma. She is the founder and president of Americans for Indian Opportunity. Harris was a vice presidential candidate for the Citizens Party in the United States presidential election, 1980 alongside Barry Commoner.
LaDonna Harris, President of Americans for Indian Opportunity (AIO), is a politician and national leader. She has been a consistent and ardent advocate on behalf of Tribal America. In addition, she continues her activism in the areas of civil rights, environmental protection, the women’s movement and world peace.
Harris was raised by her maternal grandparents in Indian country on a farm near the small town of Walters, Oklahoma during the Great Depression. Harris began her public service as the wife of U.S. Senator Fred Harris. From the 1970s to the present, she has presided over AIO, which advances, from an Indigenous worldview, the cultural, political and economic rights of Indigenous peoples in the U.S. and around the world. She helped found some of today’s leading national Indian organizations including the National Indian Housing Council, Council of Energy Resource Tribes, National Tribal Environmental Council, and National Indian Business Association.
She has been appointed to many Presidential Commissions, including being recognized by Vice President Al Gore, in 1994, as a leader in the area of telecommunications in his remarks at the White House Tribal Summit. She was a founding member of Common Cause and the National Urban Coalition and is a spokesperson against poverty and social injustice. As an advocate for women’s rights, she was a founder of the National Women's Political Caucus.
In 1980, as the Vice Presidential nominee on the Citizens Party ticket with Barry Commoner, Harris added environmental issues to the national debate and future presidential campaigns. She was an original member of Global Tomorrow Coalition and the U.S. Representative to the OAS Inter-American Indigenous Institute, and VNESCO. She is an honorary Member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority.
Harris has raised three children: Kathryn Tijerina is Executive Director of the Railyard Park Trust in Santa Fe; Byron is a technician in television production in Los Angeles; and Laura works with her mother as the Executive Director at AIO. Harris' grandson, Sam Fred Goodhope, calls her by the Comanche word for grandmother, Kaku.
Harris helped the Taos Pueblo regain control of Blue Lake, and she helped the Menominee tribe gain federal recognition after their tribe had been terminated by the US federal government.
In the 1960s Harris, as the wife of a United States Senator, lived in Washington, D.C. and was in constant social and political contact with the top echelons of the Democratic Party, up to and including President Lyndon B. Johnson and the First Lady. At the same time, her daughter Kathryn - at the time a university student - was deeply involved in the Anti war movement opposing the Vietnam War, which was conducted by the same President Johnson. Kathryn used to bring home other student activists to stay the night, and used the parental home as an unofficial headquarters where activists prepared for the next day's demonstrations and confrontations with police - with the tacit consent of her parents.
With the end of her husband's Congressional career, LaDonna Harris moved away from mainstream politics within the Democratic Party. In 1980 she was the Vice Presidential nominee of the short-lived Citizens Party as the running mate of Barry Commoner; however, she was replaced on the ballot in Ohio by Wretha Hanson.
Harris endorsed Bernie Sanders for President during the 2016 Democratic presidential primaries.
She is an honorary co-chair of the Women's March on Washington, scheduled for January 21, 2017, the day after the inauguration of Donald Trump as President.
In the past, Harris served on the boards of the Girl Scouts of the USA, Independent Sector, Council on Foundations, National Organization for Women, National Urban League, Save the Children, National Committee Against Discrimination in Housing, and Overseas Development Corporation.
Currently, she served on the boards of Advancement of Maori Opportunity, Institute for 21st Century Agoras, National Senior Citizens Law Center, and Think New Mexico. She serves on the advisory boards of the National Museum of the American Indian, American Civil Liberties Union, Delphi International Group, and National Institute for Women of Color.
Literature and film
In 2000, Harris published her autobiography, LaDonna Harris : A Comanche Life ISBN 0-8032-2396-X. A documentary about Harris' life is being filmed "LaDonna Harris: Indian 101", by director/producer Julianna Brannum.
Comanche Nation's adoption of Johnny Depp
After reading interviews of the filming of the 2013 movie The Lone Ranger, and that Johnny Depp's reprisal of the role of 'Tonto' will be as a Comanche, Harris decided to adopt Depp into the Comanche Nation. She discussed the idea with her adult children, and they agreed. A traditional ceremony took place on May 16, 2012 at Harris's home in Albuquerque, New Mexico. “Welcoming Johnny into the family in the traditional way was so fitting... He's a very thoughtful human being, and throughout his life and career, he has exhibited traits that are aligned with the values and worldview that Indigenous peoples share”, Harris said.
In the original Radio Broadcast, Tonto was identified as being Potawatomi. Depp has identified himself as being Cherokee but is not enrolled in any Cherokee or other tribe.*
Kin 143: Blue Cosmic Night
I endure in order to dream
I seal the input of abundance
With the cosmic tone of presence
I am guided by the power of accomplishment.
Cosmic History is a relief measure urging us to step back from the history books and the information superhighway and take another look.*
The Sacred Tzolk'in
Ajna Chakra (Gamma Plasma)
Thursday, October 12, 2017
Susan Shown Harjo
Suzan Shown Harjo (born June 2, 1945) (Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee) is an advocate for American Indian rights. She is a poet, writer, lecturer, curator, and policy advocate, who has helped Native peoples recover more than one million acres (4,000 km²) of tribal lands. After co-producing the first Indian news show in the nation for WBAI radio while living in New York City, and producing other shows and theater, in 1974 she moved to Washington, DC, to work on national policy issues. She served as Congressional liaison for Indian affairs in the President Jimmy Carter administration and later as president of the National Council of American Indians.
Harjo is President of the Morning Star Institute, a national Native American rights organization. Since the 1960s, she has worked on getting sports teams to drop names that promote negative stereotypes of Native Americans. In June 2014, the Patent and Trademark Office revoked the Washington Redskins trademark; the owner said he would appeal. By 2013 two-thirds of teams with American Indian mascots had changed them due to these public campaigns.
On November 24, 2014, Harjo received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States' highest civilian honor.
She was born as Suzan Shown on June 2, 1945 in El Reno, Oklahoma. Her mother was Cheyenne and her father Muscogee, and they lived on his allotment near Beggs. One of her maternal great-grandfathers was Chief Bull Bear (Cheyenne).
Between the ages of 12 and 16 she lived with her family in Naples, Italy, where her father was stationed while in the US Army. Upon her return to the States, she moved to New York City, where she worked in radio and the theater.
The roots of Suzan Shown Harjo's activism date from the mid-1960s, when she co-produced Seeing Red, a bi-weekly radio program on New York's WBAI FM station; it was the first Indian news show in the United States. Some of her pioneering radio work is preserved at the Pacifica Radio Archives in Los Angeles. She worked on it with her husband, Frank Harjo, whom she met and married in New York. They also worked on issues of protecting religious freedom for American Indians. In New York she worked in independent theatre and radio, producing and performing in numerous plays. After seeing sacred garments in the Museum of the American Indian in New York in 1967, she worked for repatriation to tribes of such items and for changes in museum policies.
They moved to Washington D.C. in 1974, when Suzan Harjo started working as a legislative liaison for two law firms representing Indian rights. For a time she was also news director for the American Indian Press Association.
In 1978 President Jimmy Carter appointed Harjo as a Congressional liaison for Indian affairs. Harjo worked with multiple subcommittees within Congress to advocate Native American positions in the formation of federal policy. Harjo supported such issues as hunting and fishing rights on traditional lands, voting, and land contracts rights. Indian activists were filing longstanding claims for historic insufficient payment by the federal government for Indian lands under numerous treaties, and government representatives suggested there should be a statute of limitations for such claims. Her continued lobbying related to religious freedom helped lead to passage of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act (AIRFA) in 1978, which Carter supported.
In a Statute of Limitations for Indian Claims hearing on February 17, 1982, Harjo noted that the federal government had failed to comply with laws already in place to pay tribal nations settled claims since 1966. Harjo also fought for land rights. Congressional delays added to the time to settle such cases. As a Washington Post article reported on this issue, Harjo said, "They're adding 10 to 15 yrs. to a litigation process that is now going on… What I'm fearful is that tribes that are now negotiating in good faith… will back off and refuse to compromise."
National Congress of American Indians
Suzan Shown Harjo served as the Executive Director of the National Congress of American Indians (NCIA) from 1984 to 1989. The NCAI, a non-profit organization to represent all Native American Indians as well as Alaska Natives, was founded in 1944.
Harjo persisted in working with Congress to support Native American rights to traditional hunting and fishing. She supported gaining more funds for Native American education. The NCAI goal was to ensure Native American children were educated, and with her leadership they gained increased appropriations for that purpose in 1984, 1986, and 1988. Harjo pressed the Congressional committee to gain access to government documents related to programs for Native Americans, and asked for continued support of Native American attempts at economic development. In the 1980s, she was concerned about declining federal support for health clinics on reservations and the adverse result of subsequent higher mortality rates among Native Americans.
During this period, Harjo continued to work on issues of repatriation of sacred items from museums to tribes, and changes in the ways researchers dealt with American Indian human remains and artifacts. Her work, together with hundreds of others, resulted in additional reforms and national legislation in 1989 and 1990.
She has spoken out against the negative portrayals of Native Americans in stereotypes featured in movies and television. Harjo has criticized author Ward Churchill's controversial claim of Native American ancestry, which is unsupported by documentation. She has publicly denounced his claims.
Harjo has appeared as a spokesman for Native American issues on many television programs, including Oprah!, C-SPAN, and Larry King Live.
Harjo is also a columnist for the online newspaper Indian Country Today.
Harjo contributed to development and passage of federal legislation protecting Native sovereignty, arts and cultures, language, and human rights. These include the 1978 American Indian Religious Freedom Act; which allowed the protection of Native Americans for practice of traditional religion and rituals. In the first year of its enactment, it enabled the first repatriation of sacred items to American Indian tribes.
She also was involved in working for the 1989 National Museum of the American Indian Act, which authorized establishment of the museum at two sites, at the former Customs Building in New York City, and construction of a new building on the Mall; the 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), which allows tribes to reclaim their human remains and ceremonial items from publicly funded institutions; and the 1996 Executive Order on Indian Sacred Sites.
Morning Star Institute
As president of the Morning Star Institute, which she founded in 1984 in memory of her late husband, Frank Harjo, Suzan Harjo promotes sacred land claims and protection for traditional cultural rights, artistic expression, and research. In this and other positions, she has lobbied and helped secure the return of one million acres, including holy lands, to the Cheyenne, Arapaho, Lakota, Zuni, Taos, Mashantucket, and other Indian nations. She has gained passage of laws to extend the amount of time a Native American can sue for damages against third parties, create protections for Native American children, and institute protective measures for Indian lands and tribal governmental tax status.
The MSI sponsors Just Good Sports, devoted to ending use of American Indian mascots and stereotypes by sports teams, a cause of Harjo's since the 1960s. Along with seven Native plaintiffs, including Vine Deloria, Jr. and Mateo Romero, Harjo was a party in Harjo et al v. Pro Football, Inc., filed on September 12, 1992 with the US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) to cancel the registration of the Washington Redskins football team, as they said the name was disparaging to Native Americans. The three PTO judges unanimously ruled in favor of the Native Americans plaintiffs.
But, Pro Football appealed to the United States District Court, which ruled against the plaintiffs on the question of laches. The U.S. Supreme Court declined the plaintiff's petition for judicial review and refused to hear the Native American group's appeal. This case was followed by Blackhorse et al. v. Pro Football , in which six young Native American plaintiffs challenged the federal trademark licenses of the Washington football team name.
Harjo has continued to speak publicly in favor of a change. On June 18, 2014, the US Patent and Trademark Office again revoked the registration for the Washington Redskins, saying the name was "disparaging." The team owner said he would appeal.
Activism by Harjo and others has resulted in dramatic changes in the sports world since the late 20th century: by 2013 two-thirds of teams with American Indian mascots had dropped them due to these public campaigns by Harjo and others. She also has worked with college and high school sport teams to eliminate names that reinforce negative stereotypes associated with Native Americans.
Harjo worked on the 1992 Alliance, formed to develop alternative ways to mark the Quincentennial of Columbus' arrival in the Americas, which Native Americans considered the beginning of terrible times for them. She ensured that tribes that have survived were celebrated, as well as mourning tribes that became extinct. Harjo has also written poems related to this history.
The Morning Star Institute has organized the National Prayer Day for Sacred Places, an annual event to highlight efforts to protect and preserve places sacred to Native Americans.
Harjo has been selected or invited for stays at universities to lead special classes in poetry and policy. In 1992 she was the first Native American woman to receive the Montgomery Fellowship at Dartmouth College, which was originally established to educate American Indians. In 1996 she was the first Native person to be selected as a Stanford University Visiting Mentor.
The School for Advanced Research (SAR) in Santa Fe, New Mexico awarded her two succeeding fellowships in 2004, the Dobkin Artist Fellowship for Poetry and the Summer Scholar Fellowship. At SAR, Harjo chaired two seminars, about Native Identity and Native Women's Cultural Matters. At the University of Pennsylvania Museum in 2006, she chaired a seminar on "US Civilization and Native Identity Policies." In 2008, Harjo was selected as the first Vine Deloria, Jr. Distinguished Indigenous Scholar at the University of Arizona.
Harjo first published her poetry in an Italian magazine, when she was 12 years old. "I began writing poetry because of the poetics and density of Cheyenne and Muscogee oral history as related by my Cheyenne mother and her parents and my Muscogee father and his parents," says Harjo. For the first International Women's Day in the 1970s, Harjo wrote the poem "gathering rites" and read it at "Women/Voices at Town Hall" in New York City. She was one of 20 American women writers featured that day, who included Alice Walker and Nikki Giovanni. Harjo also has presented the poem on the West Steps of the US Capitol.
During her fellowships at the School for Advanced Research in 2004, Harjo wrote poetry inspired by oral history related to her time working for land claims, repatriation laws and policies. She also is a columnist for Indian Country Today Media Network and a contributing writer to First American Art Magazine.
In New York, she married Frank Ray Harjo (died 1984). He was an artist and they co-produced Seeing Red, a biweekly news program on WBAI radio. They had two children together.*
Kin 142: White Crystal Wind
I dedicate in order to communicate
I seal the input of spirit
With the crystal tone of cooperation
I am guided by the power of timelessness.
All teachers and messengers throughout history are part of a unified matrix when viewed through the lens of the synchronic order.*
The Sacred Tzolk'in
Muladhara Chakra (Seli Plasma)
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Joy Harjo (born Joy Foster on May 9, 1951, Muscogee) is a poet, musician, and author. Born in Oklahoma and based in the Southwest, she took her paternal grandmother's surname when she enrolled in the Muscogee Nation. She is often cited as being highly influential as a figure in the second wave of the artistic Native American Renaissance of the late 20th century. She studied at the Institute of American Indian Arts, completed her undergraduate degree at University of New Mexico in 1976, and earned an M.F.A. at the University of Iowa in its Creative Writing Program.
In addition to her books and other publications, Harjo has taught in numerous United States universities and has performed at poetry readings and music events, also releasing five CDs. Her books include Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings (2015), Crazy Brave (2012), and How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems 1975–2002 (2004).
She was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma on May 9, 1951, as Joy Foster. Her father, Allen W. Foster, was Creek and her mother, Wynema Baker Foster, has mixed-race ancestry of Cherokee, French, and Irish. Harjo was the oldest of four children.
When Joy enrolled at age nineteen as a member of the Creek Tribe’s Mvskoke Branch, she took her paternal grandmother’s last name “Harjo” (it is a common name within the Creek Tribe).
Her parents divorced due to her father’s drinking and harsh behavior. He was both emotionally and physically abusive when drunk. Harjo’s mother second marriage was to a man who disliked Indians and was also very abusive. Both of these harsh childhood relationships took a negative toll on Joy Harjo. At one point she became afraid to speak, which caused her to have difficulties with teachers at school.
Joy loved painting and found that it gave her a way to express herself. At the age of sixteen, she was kicked out of her family house by her stepfather. She moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, and studied at the Institute of American Indian Arts.
Harjo married Phil Wilmon, another student. They had a son whom they named Phil Dayn. Harjo and Wilmon later divorced.
She enrolled at the University of New Mexico, beginning as a premed student. Harjo later changed to an Art Major. She became a creative writing major and was inspired by different Native American writers.
After Harjo had poetry readings with Simon Ortiz, he became a mentor. They developed a close relationship and had a daughter together, Rainy Dawn.
She graduated from the University of New Mexico in 1976. Harjo earned her graduate degree from the University of Iowa in the M.F.A Creative Writing Program.
Harjo has taught at the Institute of American Indian Arts from 1978–1979 and 1983–1984, Arizona State University from 1980–1981, the University of Colorado from 1985–1988, the University of Arizona from 1988–1990, and the University of New Mexico from 1991–1995.
She also attended the Anthropology Film Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to take classes on filmmaking.
Known primarily as a poet and musician, Harjo has played alto saxophone with the band Poetic Justice, edited literary journals, and written screenplays.
In 1995, Harjo received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas.
In 2002, Harjo received the PEN Open Book Award, formerly known as the Beyond Margins Award for A Map to the Next World: Poetry and Tales. In 2008, she served as a founding member of the Board of Directors for the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, for which she serves as a member of its National Advisory Council.
Harjo joined the faculty of the American Indian Studies Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in January 2013.
In 2016 Harjo was appointed to the Chair of Excellence in the Department of English at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Literature and performance
Harjo has written numerous works in the genres of poetry, books, and plays. Harjo's works often include themes such as defining self, the arts, and social justice.
Harjo uses the oral tradition as a mechanism for portraying these issues, and believes that "written text is, for [her], fixed orality". Her use of the oral tradition is prevalent through various literature readings and musical performances conducted by Harjo. Her methods of continuing oral tradition include story-telling, singing, and voice inflection in order to captivate the attention of her audiences. While reading poetry, she claims that starts not even with an image but a sound," which is indicative of her oral traditions expressed in performance.
Harjo published her first volume in 1975, titled The Last Song, which consisted of nine of her poems. Harjo, through many readings and performances, shows great passion and emotion for the subjects she writes about. She often mixes both reading and singing her poems during performances, displaying two elements of her works.
Harjo uses symbolism throughout her poetry to express her beliefs and values. She draws from personal experiences to shape her writing. In her poem titled "She Had Some Horses", she uses many different forms of symbolism. As an important animal in Native American culture, the horse has been often used as a symbol. This poem has four sections; they are each arranged to complement one another. In this poem, Harjo uses sounds and rhythm to energize her poetry. Chris Rohit wrote on her Christoph Young blog, "The many symbols of each repetition of a horse represented the experiences of the Native American woman, by starting each line with "She had horses" helped strengthen the Native's identity." Harjo used this distinct repetition to show a woman as strong as the animals she most depended on in daily life. She also used this distinct imagery to tell a story of a Native woman who had been victimized but showed her survival through an animal. Harjo uses repetition to emphasize her ideas.
She leaves the overall meaning of the poem up to the reader to complete. "This poem is all about the people in Joy's life and she referred to them all as horses, with a specific trait or characteristic following that. They were all the same but at the same time, different." Harjo is using horses in her poem to compare herself to all of the people in her community. She is using horses in her poem to explain how she feels in her community with others around her.
Julia Morse wrote, "Harjo's poems ache with grit, grief and nature. Her lines are curt and heavy but they construct delicate stories." In this poem, Harjo explains her growing years by using an animal very important in Native American culture. Harjo uses symbolism to express her hardships and values.
As a musician, Harjo has released five CDs, all of which won awards. These feature both her original music and that of other Native American artists. Harjo's mother was a singer. Harjo learned to play the alto saxophone and the flute later in life. She also sings and acts, frequently touring with her music group known as the Arrow Dynamics.
In 2009 Harjo won the Native American Music Award for best female artist. She has received several other awards (see below) for her CDs.
She began to play the saxophone at the age of 40. For her it fills the void she felt left by her singing voice. She had also learned that her paternal grandmother, whose surname she took when enrolling in the Creek nation, had loved the instrument from her years in Indian Territory before Oklahoma was admitted to the union in 1909. Harjo believes that when reading her poems, she can add music by playing the sax and reach the heart of the listener in a different way. When reading her poems, she speaks with a musical tone in her voice, creating a song in every poem.
In addition to her creative writing, Harjo has written and spoken about US political and Native American affairs. Her website contains several blogs expressing her views on current political issues and her strong support for women's rights and equality. She is also an active member of the Muscogee Nation and writes poetry as "a voice of the indigenous people".
Harjo's poetry explores imperialism and colonization, and their effects on violence against women. She sometimes places her poem in a common setting, such as drinking in a bar in "An American Sunrise", and connects it to deep issues within the indigenous culture. Scholar Mishuana Goeman writes, "The rich intertextuality of Harjo's poems and her intense connections with other and awareness of Native issues- such as sovereignty, racial formation, and social conditions- provide the foundation for unpacking and linking the function of settler colonial structures within newly arranged global spaces".
In her poems, Harjo often explores her Muskogee/Creek background and spirituality in opposition to popular mainstream culture. In the United States, residents are influenced by the proliferation of images from television, film, and other media. In a thesis at Iowa University, Eloisa Valenzuela-Mendoza writes about Harjo, "Native American continuation in the face of colonization is the undercurrent of Harjo’s poetics through poetry, music, and performance." Harjo's work touches upon land rights for Native Americans and the gravity of the disappearance of "her people", while rejecting former narratives that erased Native American histories.
While Harjo’s work is often set in the Southwest, she writes about individual struggle. She reflects Creek values, myths, and beliefs. Harjo reaches readers and audiences to bring realization of the wrongs of the past, not only for Native American communities but for oppressed communities in general. Her activism for Native American rights and feminism stem from her belief in unity and the lack of separation among human, animal, plant, sky, and earth. Harjo believes that we become most human when we understand the connection among all living things. She believes that colonialism led to Native American women being oppressed within their own communities, and she works to encourage more political equality between the sexes.*
Kin 141: Red Spectral Dragon
I dissolve in order to nurture
I seal the input of birth
With the spectral tone of liberation
I am guided by my own power doubled.
Once a conditioned pattern is established in the mind, many impressions will automatically be rejected, and those that are accepted will be filtered through the conceptual mind.*
The Sacred Tzolk'in
Sahasrara Chakra (Dali Plasma)