Native American News Roundup, August 14-20, 2022
Here is a summary of news related to Native Americans in the United States this week:
Oscars apologize to Sacheen Littlefeather 50 years after Marlon Brando’s protest speech
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences apologizes to Sacheen Littlefeather, the actress who spoke on behalf of Marlon Brando at the 1973 Academy Awards, rejecting his best actor award for mistreatment of Native Americans .
In a 45-second speech, Littlefeather explained that Brando’s raison d’etre was to protest “the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry and on television in film reruns, and also with recent events at Wounded Knee”, referring to the then month-old occupation. from a small settlement on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
She was taken offstage to gasp and mock; backstage, she read aloud a more than 700-word statement by Brando protesting America’s treatment of Native Americans.
“We lied to them. We cheated them out of their land. We starved them into signing fraudulent deals…” Brando wrote. “What kind of moral schizophrenia is it that allows us to shout at the top of our national voice… that we live up to our commitment [to Indians] when every page of history and every thirsty, hungry, humiliating day and night of the last 100 years of American Indian life contradicts that voice? »
Littlefeather’s speech broke an FBI-imposed media blackout on the Wounded Knee standoff.
“After this incident, I was boycotted,” Littlefeather said in a 2019 short, Sacheen: Breaking the Silence. “The FBI went around Hollywood and told production companies that if they had me on their show, they would shut down their production.”
On June 18, David Rubin, then director of the Academy, wrote an open “statement of reconciliation” to Littlefeather, which will be presented to him in person at an event at the Academy Museum in September.
“The abuse you suffered because of this statement was unwarranted and unwarranted,” the letter reads. “The emotional burden you have experienced and the cost of your own career in our industry is irreparable. For too long, the courage you have shown has gone unrecognized. For this, we offer you both our most sincere apologies and our sincere admiration.
Littlefeather, 75, reacted with wry humor.
“As for the Academy’s apologies to me, we Indians are very patient people – it’s only been 50 years!” she says.
Educators Challenge Oklahoma’s Critical Race Theory Law
Two Oklahoma school systems are appealing a state Board of Education decision to downgrade their accreditation for alleged violations of a year-old state law banning discussions of race or sex in class.
In Tulsa, a high school teacher complained that during professional development training in August 2021, she heard “statements that specifically shame white people for past offenses in history, and state that all are implicitly biased by nature.”
In January 2022, a parent complained that children at a Mustang Municipal public school felt uncomfortable during an anti-bullying exercise.
On July 28, the Oklahoma Department of Education downgraded both schools to “accreditation with disclaimer” status, which the department said websitemeans that they “have failed to meet one or more of the standards and the deficiency seriously impairs the quality of the school’s educational program”.
‘It’s not about bowing your head in shame, it’s about knowing what happened,’ said Cherokee Nation leader Chuck Hoskin, Jr.., Tulsa’s KTUL told Monday. “I think if there’s one point in history that needs to be looked at critically, it’s the way the federal government, the way the United States has treated the Indian tribes. Young people need to know this. »
Cut Inflation Act invests millions in Native American climate and energy projects
President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed the Inflation Reduction Act, a law that aims to control inflation by reducing the deficit and lowering the prices of prescription drugs and to fight climate change by investing in energy production household and by promoting clean energy solutions.
The ERI will invest over $720 million to support Indigenous-focused climate solutions and advance tribal energy development priorities, including:
- $150 million to help tribes install electricity in homes.
- $75 million to help tribes with energy development.
- $225 million for the development of Tribal high-efficiency electric home rebate programs.
- $235 million for Tribal Climate Resilience, including hatchery operation and maintenance.
- $25 million for Climate Resilience Funding to the Department of the Interior’s Office of Native Hawaiian Relations.
- $12.5 million for Tribal Drought Emergency Relief
The act also establishes an Energy Loan Guarantee Program to give eligible tribes and indigenous communities access to billions of dollars through grants, loans, loan guarantees and competitive contracts.
Ireland honors Haudenosaunee passports
Members of the Haudenosaunee Nationals (formerly Iroquois Nationals) men’s under-21 lacrosse team were in Ireland this week to compete in the Men’s Under-21 World Lacrosse Championship. games and were thrilled when the Dublin customs authorities recognized and stamped their Haudenosaunee passports.
It was out of diplomatic courtesy that not all governments granted them. As the Buffalo News reported last week they were unable to compete in the world championships in Britain because that nation refused to accept their passports.
“They treated us like anyone expects to be treated,” Nationals board member Rex Lyons said.
This is quite fitting, considering that it was the Haudenosaunee who invented the game over 1,000 years ago, and have been playing it ever since.
The Haudenosaunee Confederacy is made up of six nations, the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca and Tuscarora nations of New York and Canada. It began issuing passports to its citizens in 1923 as an expression of their sovereignty, but other nations have not always honored them. In 2010, the team could not participate in the championships in Great Britain, which did not accept their passports.