BLACK NDNS

BLACK NDNs. "If you know I have a history, you will respect me."

peyoteflower submitted:

Video (pt.1) from the Instituto Latinoamericano de la Comunicacion Educativa about the Black Seminole ndns who settle in Coahuila and formed the town El Nacimiento de los Negros.

After spending over two years in prison, Patricia Spottedcrow greets her children when they get home from school.

Oklahoma woman serving 12 years for pot case released from prison

OKLAHOMA CITY — Patricia Spottedcrow once faced 12 years in prison, but on the morning she was released on parole, it took less than 20 minutes to walk free.

Spottedcrow had to call a friend to pick her up from Hillside Community Corrections Center in Oklahoma City, her mother hadn’t even arrived from Kingfisher yet when corrections guards asked Spottedcrow to leave the prison’s grounds.

Her friend drove her to a nearby pharmacy parking lot, so she could reunite with her mother, Delita Starr, and her attorney, Laura Deskin.

“Oh, man, this is wonderful!,” Spottedcrow said. “I’m so excited I can’t take it!”

She was released Thursday morning after completing the community corrections-level portion of her sentence required by Gov. Mary Fallin as a condition of her parole. She entered prison Dec. 22, 2010.

Spottedcrow’s 12-year prison sentence for selling $31 worth of marijuana garnered widespread attention after her story was featured in a 2011 Tulsa World series on women in prison.

She was originally handed a 12-year sentence in a blind plea before a judge for selling a “dime bag” of marijuana to a police informant. It was a first-time offense, but because children were in Spottedcrow’s home when she was arrested, a charge was added for possession of a dangerous substance in the presence of a minor.

Gov. Fallin agreed in July to approve parole for Spottedcrow upon the unanimous recommendation of the Pardon and Parole Board.

Corrections officials had told Spottedcrow her release date would be sometime near Dec. 15, but she was told this week it would be even a little earlier than planned.

Starr wiped away tears as she hugged her daughter in the drugstore parking lot.

“It’s been a long time coming,” she said.

Spottedcrow’s reunion with her four children - now ages 11, 6, 5 and 3 - would have to wait a few hours, until the school bus arrived back in Kingfisher. The children were in school and daycare and Starr didn’t want to ruin their perfect attendance records, she said.

The women hugged and thanked all the people who had prayed, written letters and offered support to the family since Spottedcrow began serving her prison sentence in 2010.

“We’ve got a new road and we’ve got to travel it together,” Starr said.

Deskin, Spottedcrow’s attorney, said she first heard about her client’s case through the Tulsa World article and local activists, and was “absolutely shocked” at what had happened in Oklahoma’s legal system.

Now, they plan to focus on the possibility of post-conviction relief for Spottedcrow and possibly modifying the 30-year suspended sentence Starr received for her role in the crime, Deskin said.

[Source: Tulsa World]

****** FREE GENEALOGY WORKSHOP ******
The National Museum of the American Indian (NYC) will be hosting a Genealogy workshop hosted by Angela Walton Raj on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 6PM. Raj, who maintains the African-Native American website, will be give “step by step strategies in documenting Native ancestry in African American Families using 19th and 20th century records”. The workshop is FREE and open to the public, no RSVP required.
Please help spread the word about this wonderful opportunity.
I have class during this time but if you are able to attend this event and can perhaps take notes or provide some form of summary for others, please let me know.
- Jal

****** FREE GENEALOGY WORKSHOP ******

The National Museum of the American Indian (NYC) will be hosting a Genealogy workshop hosted by Angela Walton Raj on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 6PM. Raj, who maintains the African-Native American website, will be give “step by step strategies in documenting Native ancestry in African American Families using 19th and 20th century records”. The workshop is FREE and open to the public, no RSVP required.

Please help spread the word about this wonderful opportunity.

I have class during this time but if you are able to attend this event and can perhaps take notes or provide some form of summary for others, please let me know.

- Jal

Tribe Fights With Slaves’ Kin: Court Weighs Whether Cherokee Must Extend Rights to Its Freedmen’s Progeny

An old dispute about whether the descendants of slaves freed by the Cherokee Nation more than a century ago qualify as members of the tribe is heating up again in a federal court.

The Cherokee Nation abolished slavery in 1863, and three years later it signed a treaty with the U.S. granting tribal rights to the Cherokee’s freed slaves, or “Freedmen,” many of whom had migrated with the tribe decades earlier to present-day Oklahoma.

But the Oklahoma-based Cherokee tribe, which has more than 310,000 members, later narrowed its citizenship criteria, excluding many descendants of the Freedmen and rendering them ineligible for a broad range of tribal benefits, such as business loans, medical services, housing assistance and college scholarships.

About 25,000 Freedmen descendants have been wrongly excluded from Cherokee citizenship, said Marilyn Vann, president of an Oklahoma-based Freedmen’s advocacy group. While a sovereign nation, the Cherokee don’t extend citizenship to all those within a certain territory but rather limit membership to those who share a common ancestry.

After almost 10 years of legal battles, including in Cherokee tribal courts and federal court in Washington, D.C., the Freedmen’s citizenship status appears headed toward a resolution before Judge Terence Kern in Tulsa, Okla.

The Cherokee Nation filed a complaint this year, asking Judge Kern to rule that a 1866 treaty didn’t grant citizenship to Freedmen descendants. On July 2, the Interior Department filed a counterclaim against the tribe, saying Freedmen descendants should enjoy all rights of native Cherokee. A group of Freedmen descendants also filed a July 2 claim contending the Cherokee Nation had violated the U.S. Constitution by perpetuating the “badges and incidents” of slavery.

"Hopefully, we can move forward on this issue," Bill John Baker, principal chief of the Cherokee, said in a statement. "This matter has been held up in the court system for several years, and now that we have everyone at the table, we can get a definitive ruling."

The litigation will hinge partly on the legality of a 2007 vote in which Cherokee amended their constitution to grant citizenship only to those descended from at least one person listed as Indian on a government census of Cherokee taken more than 100 years ago. That definition excludes most Freedmen descendants, although more than 1,500 people who had an Indian ancestor qualify as citizens.

The Cherokee declined to be interviewed about the litigation. But in a summary of the Freedmen dispute posted on the Cherokee website, the tribe said its 2007 vote on citizenship wasn’t meant to discriminate against Freedmen descendants.

"The Cherokee people determined that the Cherokee Nation should return to what it had been since time immemorial—an Indian tribe made of Indians," according to the website.

Some experts in Indian rights say the Cherokee Nation has a sovereign right and duty to limit its membership, particularly as the tribe has become increasingly assimilated into American society and more people claim some affiliation with the tribe.

"The Cherokee people are sensitive because of efforts by non-Indians to claim to be Indians with nothing behind the claim," said G. William Rice, a professor at the University of Tulsa College of Law and member of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians. Mr. Rice noted the recent questions over whether Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts candidate for the U.S. Senate, exaggerated her possible Indian ancestry, an allegation Ms. Warren has denied. She has said that she has Native American ancestry, but she hasn’t been able to document that heritage.

Jon Velie, an Oklahoma lawyer who represents Freedmen descendants in the Tulsa case, said the Cherokee don’t have a right to discriminate against his clients because of their race. “The tribe is arguing, ‘We can do whatever we want,’ in the same way Southern states in the 1950s said, ‘Segregation is a states’ rights issue, and we can do whatever we want,’ ” he said.

Clint Carroll, a Cherokee citizen and professor in the University of Minnesota’s Department of Indian Studies, said a ruling in favor of the Freedmen would be a blow to the Cherokee’s tribal sovereignty. But if the tribe wins the right to define its citizenship as it sees fit, it would face the lingering perception that it had excluded people based on race.

"I can see both sides of the debate," he said. "We are at a fork in the road, and both paths lead to bad things."

Write to Nathan Koppel at nathan.koppel@wsj.com

A version of this article appeared July 17, 2012, on page A3 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Tribe Fights With Slaves’ Kin.

American Red and Black: Stories of Afro-Native Identity

The film follows its protagonist Vella, as she makes tentative forays into the Native American portion of her lineage.  This process leads her to consider a more expanded racial identity, despite the fact she has always thought of herself as an African American or Black woman.

 Vella’s saga is interspersed with the stories and/or opinions of five other individuals: Tall Oak, Rick, Minty, Jolene and Sequoyah- all of whom possess strong multicultural identities.

Film by Alicia Woods

Martha Redbone

Martha Redbone’s role as a leading voice in contemporary Native American music is recognized by the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of the American Indian who have collected and presented her work and she is beloved by music connoisseurs everywhere.”

[Submitted by: touchtheskybutterfly]

a-lostbird:

Maceo Leatherwood, Mo’ Pak, 1990. Acrylic on canvas, 36 x 48 in. A native of Washington, D.C., and the former art director for NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Mr. Leatherwood considers himself an artist-traveler who enjoys cross-cultural experiences. His love of horses came form childhood visits with his African-Algonquian maternal grandparents on their farm in Maryland. His paternal grandparents were African-Iroquoian from North Carolina. 

a-lostbird:

Maceo Leatherwood, Mo’ Pak, 1990. Acrylic on canvas, 36 x 48 in. A native of Washington, D.C., and the former art director for NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Mr. Leatherwood considers himself an artist-traveler who enjoys cross-cultural experiences. His love of horses came form childhood visits with his African-Algonquian maternal grandparents on their farm in Maryland. His paternal grandparents were African-Iroquoian from North Carolina. 

(via alostbird)

rip don littlecloud.

deluxvivens:

deluxvivens:

Stanford Powwow 2007

The man in this picture, taken at a powwow a few years ago,  is Seminole indian Don Littlecloud. He passed away this weekend after a battle with cancer.

(via karnythia)

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