Gary Fife/Radio Communications Specialist
Federal budget problems and coins, Indian veterans monument, school avoids ‘fake’ gas attack
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma — “They don’t look like Indians to me.” — Prez You-Know-Who in 1993 hearings on Indian gaming a before U.S. Senate committee, describing Connecticut tribes. His casino went bankrupt. Their tribal casino didn’t.
OK, you awake now?
Here in late January, there’s a lot of attention being paid to our U.S. non-budget and the governmental shutdown.
This quote is part of a May analysis posted by www.Indianz.com: “As expected, the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Indian Health Service are among the many losers in Trump’s fiscal year 2018 budget. Details released on Tuesday (May 23) show both agencies being reduced to levels not seen in nearly a decade, essentially setting the clock back on gains seen during the Obama era.”
Other departments important to Native American tribes are facing similar cutbacks.
By the way, there have been no meetings for the White House Council on Indian Affairs. This was a group established to keep contact between tribal governments and the federal government.
The White House has not said whether it would continue the group or not.
There goes the tribal consultation.
While we’re looking at stuff from Disneyland-On-The-Potomac, the ‘Washingtonian’ magazine asks the question: “Why Is a R–skins Blanket On Display in the American Indian Museum?” (They didn’t modify the name there, I did.)
Here’s what a museum staff member said: “We wanted to focus on the larger phenomenon of mascots beyond the Washington team. The museum has taken a very strong stand that it should change its name. But even if all of those teams changed their names tomorrow, there would still be a huge phenomenon of Indian imagery in American life and conversation. We want that to be the main focus.”
For something a little more positive, the United States Mint announced at the end of December that it would issue the next $1 coin with the likeness of the legendary Sac and Fox athlete Jim Thorpe stamped on it. It will be issued in the spring,
It’s Public Law 110-82, the “Native American Coin Program” that is the basis for the government’s practice of striking coins with Native American themes, like that of Sacagawea. Now, if they could add several more millions of them to the budgets of Native American programs.
The U.S. military’s information paper ‘Stars and Stripes’ reports a national monument to Native American veterans will be presented to the nation on Veterans Day in the year 2020.
Sound simple? It won’t be. The design is supposed to include representations of 567 tribes, women warriors, veterans families, an element of spirituality, tribes who rode horses, tribes who didn’t ride horses and cover several wars. On top of that, it’s supposed to welcome vets to the National Mall and help in the healing process.
One museum staffer is hoping that one of its planned inscriptions will have a positive effect, “I think the most bigoted white supremacist, when he reads what (Lakota veteran and Medal of Honor winner Woody Keeble) Woody did, saving the lives of his fellow soldiers, he’ll say, ‘Gee, maybe these guys aren’t so bad after all.’ ”
Remember, Native warriors have fought in every war this country has had, including the ones to establish the nation, the one to divide it and all the wars after that.
Whoever gets chosen to design the monument has one hell of a task to perform. More power to them.
Hey, here’s some more good news. The famed Sun Dance Film Institute just announced eight Indigenous-made films premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, Jan. 18-28, in Park City, Utah.
In addition, there was a special 20th Anniversary Archive Screening of ‘Smoke Signals,’ directed by Chris Eyre (Cheyenne/Arapaho) with the screenplay by Sherman Alexie (Spokane/Coeur d’Alene).
Remember that flick? Indians being themselves. What a refreshing change, except for the terrible wig that Adam Beach had to wear on the way home after visiting his late father’s trailer.
Any Chilocco School graduates out there? I’ll bet you were relieved that your former alma mater was spared a ‘simulated’ chemical attack last fall.
My Loved One and I had a heck of a chuckle listening to the Estehvtke (white) newscasters butchering the pronunciation of the school name.
Excuse me, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security called it a “non-hazardous attack.”
The Cherokee Nation raised objections about the plan and was soon joined by local residents in opposing and finally halting the project.
‘Gee, maybe these guys aren’t so bad after all.”
Let’s leave it at that. Hvtvm Cerecares — I’ll see you again.