Gabriel Frey separates each layer of ash as if he is peeling an onion. He removes one thin layer after another until he reduces what had been a formidable stick of wood into a small bundle of flexible ribbons. He then narrows each with a hand-held, handmade splitting tool, and weaves the strips seamlessly into one of his ash baskets.
Frey, a Passamaquoddy who works in the basement studio of his Orono home, is busy preparing baskets for seasonal markets in Maine and elsewhere, including several for the Smithsonian Institution, which commissioned him to make baskets for its New York gift shop. He is among a large group of American Indian artists from Maine whose reputations are growing nationally, enhanced by their successes at juried American Indian art markets across the country.
Davis Filfred has future generations of the Navajo Native American tribe on his mind.
A member of the Navajo Nation Council, Filfred fears for the fate of nearly 547,000 hectares (1.35 million acres) in the US state of Utah, filled with ceremonial sites, dwellings, rock art and cultural resources that date back thousands of years.
"We're trying to protect and preserve for generations to come, and if they destroy it, we're just going to [have to] say, 'That place used to be Bears Ears,'" he told Al Jazeera, referring to the Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah.
November is Native American Heritage Month. First proclaimed by President George H. W. Bush in 1990, it is an opportunity to acknowledge the histories and cultures of Native people across the U.S., highlighting the challenges they have faced, their sacrifices and their contributions.
“Native Americans have influenced every stage of America's development,” noted President Donald Trump in his October 31, 2017 proclamation. “They helped early European settlers survive and thrive in a new land. They contributed democratic ideas to our constitutional framers. And, for more than 200 years, they have bravely answered the call to defend our Nation, serving with distinction in every branch of the United States Armed Forces.”
This month, VOA is highlighting Native American contributions to U.S. language, history and culture.
In Wisconsin, a 14-year-old Native American teenager was shot dead last week by a deputy in the Ashland County Sheriff’s Department. Jason Pero was a member of the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians. The shooting occurred after police received a 911 call about a man walking down the street with a knife. Investigators now believe the 14-year-old was the one who had made the 911 call. Pero’s grandfather criticized the police for using lethal force. Alan Pero said, “He got murdered out in front of the house here. He’s a boy. There’s warning shots. There’s Tasers. There’s pepper spray. You don’t go right on a 14-year-old kid and go for the kill zone.”
Hundreds of Native Americans paid tribute to their heritage during the 10th annual Big Time Pow Wow at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn on Saturday.
Participants from all over the western United States gathered to celebrate Native American culture and traditions. This year’s theme was “Honoring Children and Families of Yesterday and Today.”
Sponsored by the Sierra Native Alliance & the Campaign for Community Wellness, the pow wow also honored and remembered U.S. service members and veterans with a gourd dance of respect to all protectors and providers.
The gathering, which ran from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., opened the pow wow at 1 p.m. with the Grand Entry, featuring all the dancers — young and old — dressed in regalia and entering the center circle for traditional dancing.
"I think a lot of people get blown away by, 'Wow, there were a lot of tribes, and they covered the whole country!' You know, this is Indian land," says Carapell...a, who calls himself a "mixed-blood Cherokee" and lives in a ranch house within the jurisdiction of the Cherokee Nation.
For more than a decade, he consulted history books and library archives, called up tribal members and visited reservations as part of research for his map project, which began as pencil-marked poster boards on his bedroom wall. So far, he has designed maps of the continental U.S., Canada and Mexico. A map of Alaska is currently in the works.
Gunner Blaskey We are still not teaching in schools this genocide which all but eliminated many cultures and nearly an entire group of people.
Native American Heritage Month
November is Native American Heritage Month, or as it is commonly refered to, American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month.
The month is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people. Heritage Month is also an opportune time to educate the general public about tribes, to raise a general awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present, and the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges.
Apple gets sued for patent infringement dozens of times each year, mostly by little-known shell companies with no products—the types of companies often derided as "patent trolls." But the newest lawsuit seeking royalty payments from iPad sales is likely a first: the recently created plaintiff, MEC Resources LLC, is wholly owned by a Native American tribe. The MEC lawsuit appears to be using Native American legal rights to avoid having the US Patent Office perform an "inter partes review" that could invalidate the patent.