“When you guys won’t advocate for the budget, how are we supposed to fix it?” —U.S. Sen. John Testor
Gary Fife/Radio Communications
Capitol Hill double talk; we lose; coffee mugs; Enka
OKMULGEE, Okla. — Recently, there was news coverage of the current and temporary head of the Indian Health Service who was in front of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee refusing to give an intelligent answer to a question from Montana U.S. Sen. John Testor.
Michael Weahkee was on Capitol Hill testifying before the committee about that department’s budget and was asked seven times whether the current budget figures would mean a reduction or increase in bucks for the IHS health care workforce.
Instead of giving a yes or no, Weahkee dropped deep into his bag of PR-speak to repeat an answer that only said, “It is a priority,” and, “We continue to prioritize,” blah, blah, blah. The only specific position he mentioned was “leadership.” That tells me more expensive bureaucrats instead of ‘boots-on-the-ground’ medical staff.
Testor got pretty hot as he stated that he had never had someone refuse to answer a direct question and added, “When you guys won’t advocate for the budget, how are we supposed to fix it?”
Testor got angrier over Weahkee’s double-talk, leaving the IHS witness squirming in his seat.
More to come later.
The legal brawl over trademarks used by the Disneyland-On-The-Potomac football team is over. We lost.
As reported by national sources, the U.S. Department of Justice has tossed in the towel after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a lower court ruling had to be reversed. It said the 4th Circuit Court decision against the trademark was unconstitutional. That case involved an Asian rock band that used a slang term about their eyes. They wanted the right to use the negative term, clearing the way for the football team to continue its use of ‘R-Skins’ as its name and trademark.
Gilda Yazzie, Navajo, has been elected as National Organization for Women vice president at the beginning of July, according to Indianz.com.
Yazzie declared a pretty ambitious agenda upon assuming office, “We are eager to continue the fight to dismantle interconnected systems of oppression–including racial injustice, LGBTQIA discrimination, and economic inequality. Challenging times lie ahead for feminists, but we will lead the grassroots movement to fight back!”
Yazzie has served on NOW’s board since the early 2000s. She grew up on the Navajo Nation with 11 siblings.
It’s good to have someone with first hand knowledge about Indian women’s issues in such a leadership role.
Any coffee hounds out there? Are you reading this with a mug of java, getting ready to take on the day? Here’s a new way to do it.
Here’s an interesting bit found in ‘Indian Country Today’ — Starbucks coffee cups with Pueblo designs on them.
I know with Starbucks you’re either ‘for ‘em or agin em,’ but here’s a case where a big corporation worked with Native artists, obtaining copyrights and actually paying for the designs. (Unlike another big corporation who put Dine’ designs on the butt of ladies underwear!)
Artists from five Pueblos originally created the coffee mugs as artwork for an exhibit down in the southwest part of the nation. But public interest in the mugs had company people taking notice and seeing dollar signs. When the mugs were available they were selling out quickly. Beautiful work by the artists.
Didn’t find them at the Starbucks website, but the All-Indian Pueblo Shumakolowa Native Arts website did have them for sale. A Native way to get your caffeine fix.
Speaking of stuff for sale, there’s been a lot of interest in the Mvskoke Media t-shirts. (Please forgive the blatant plug!) If you haven’t seen one, the shirts are black, bearing one of two designs: ‘Estecate’ with a stylized skull with braids; and ‘Mekko,’ reminiscent of a playing card with two designs facing outward. (We have mugs, too!)
There was an interesting Letter To The Editor in the ‘Tulsa World’ the other day. A recreational bicyclist wrote in about the bike trail that was moved to run behind the River Spirit Casino Resort. The writer mistakingly called it River Wind, but was thankful for the improved view. She asked, “How do you say ‘thanks’ in Creek?”
The headline writer got it right, using “Mvto,” adding the phonetic pronunciation, “Muhdoe.”
On behalf of the Creeks: “Enka.”
Hvtvm cerecares—I’ll see you again.