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Webmaster's Blog - Native American Resources

A place to put resources of a more ephemeral nature, such as events, recommended new websites, new books, etc.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Florida State Can Keep Its Seminoles

There was never any doubt where the Seminole Tribe of Florida stood on Florida State University's nickname. The tribe helped university boosters create the costume for the Chief Osceola mascot, approving the face paint, flaming spear and Appaloosa horse that have no connection to Seminole history.

Yesterday, the National Collegiate Athletic Association agreed with the 3,100-member tribe and the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, which had also endorsed the nickname. The N.C.A.A. removed Florida State from the list of universities banned from using what it called "hostile and abusive" mascots and nicknames during postseason play.

"The N.C.A.A. executive committee continues to believe the stereotyping of Native Americans is wrong," Bernard Franklin, the association's senior vice president for governance and membership, said in a statement. "However, in its review of the particular circumstances regarding Florida State, the staff review committee noted the unique relationship between the university and the Seminole Tribe of Florida as a significant factor."

Saturday, August 20, 2005

The Newest Indians

On a crisp morning in March at the Jaycee Fairgrounds near Jasper, Ala., the powwow was stirring. Amid pickups with bumper stickers reading ''Native Pride'' and ''The earth does not belong to us. We belong to the earth,'' small groups gathered to check out the booths selling Indian rugs, dancing sticks, homemade knives and genealogy books. On one side, under her camper's tarp, sat Wynona Morgan, a middle-aged woman wearing a modestly embroidered Indian smock and some jewelry. Morgan had only recently discovered her Indian heritage, but, she said, in some ways she had known who she was for years. ''My grandmother always told me that she came from Indians,'' Morgan told me. She is now a member of one of the groups meeting here in Jasper, the Cherokee Tribe of Northeast Alabama, which itself is new, having organized under that name in 1997. The tribe is committed to telling its story, in part through an R.V. campground named Cedar Winds that will eventually expand to include an ''authentic, working Cherokee Indian Village.''

A New Dawn for Museums of Native American Art

PHOENIX - Decorated with spirals and migration symbols, Nathan Begay's multicolored jar resembles an ancient assemblage of shards. But it's actually a synthesis of historical and modern: Mr. Begay, a 46-year-old artist of Hopi and Navajo descent, created it five years ago.

Its inclusion with some 2,000 other objects in the Heard Museum's new exhibition of its permanent collection here reflects a sweeping change in the way museums are presenting Native American art. Rather than focusing on an ethnographic past, they are celebrating the full continuum of such art, juxtaposing contemporary pieces with historical ones and integrating native voices - often first-person narratives - into explanatory text and media.

From the Heard, to the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis, to the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, museums with substantial Native American collections are aggressively pursuing new work.

Friday, August 05, 2005

NCAA Bans Indian Mascots During Postseason

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- The NCAA banned the use of American Indian mascots by sports teams during its postseason tournaments, but will not prohibit them otherwise. The NCAA's executive committee decided this week the organization did not have the authority to bar Indian mascots by individual schools, committee chairman Walter Harrison said Friday.

Nicknames or mascots deemed ''hostile or abusive'' would not be allowed by teams on their uniforms or other clothing beginning with any NCAA tournament after Feb. 1, said Harrison, the University of Hartford's president.

Monday, August 01, 2005

'Grave concern' over Roberts nomination

The Gwich'in Steering Committee issued a statement of ''grave concern'' over Roberts' nomination, calling attention to a brief he wrote for the state of Alaska in the 1997 U.S. Supreme Court case Venetie v. the State of Alaska. The court sided with Alaska, ruling that most Native lands there were not part of ''Indian country.''

Said steering committee representative Luci Beach, ''In two landmark cases, Roberts has argued that the rights of the state of Alaska supercede the sovereignty and subsistence rights guaranteed to Native peoples by the federal government ...

''This is sadly indicative of the Bush administration's disregard and contempt for basic tribal and human rights, which has also been signaled by Bush's incessant push to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge regardless of the impact to the land or the people.''