Digital version available at www.joomag.com.
For an English translation of this and all of the “In Our Languages” articles visit newsfromnativecalifornia.com/blog.
The Brown brothers are very busy guys.
Make that very, very busy guys.
In fact, the younger Brown, Dahkota, a Stanford freshman,
recently saw fit to hand the reins of the nonprofit he’d developed way back in eighth grade over to older brother Dahlton. The latter Brown received a bachelor’s degree from Stanford and then went on to complete a master’s degree in the Policy, Organization, and Leadership Studies program at the Stanford Graduate School of Education in 2016. Native Education Raising Dedicated Students (NERDS) will look to Dahlton as he takes command of the newly recognized nonprofit this fall.
The California Indian world has responded to the threat of the Dakota Access Pipeline with an outpouring of support for and solidarity with Native communities across the nation. If constructed, the pipeline, also known as DAPL, would cause immeasurable damage to the Standing Rock Sioux Nation’s water access and their sacred sites.
As a Native American woman, I recognize and appreciate our elders as so many of us do. We know they have much to offer our tribal communities through their wisdom, which comes from life experiences and being in places at the right time. I know an elder who gives so much of her time, knowledge of ethnobotany, and, most of all, her passion for the living plants on this earth.
The ending of this past summer was filled with fiery activism from Native American people across the country showing their support to the Standing Rock Sioux Nation and their opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline. The indigenous community of Los Angeles was no exception and there was a full weekend of demonstrations in late August.
Anna Lilia Rameshwar may be traditionally considered an outsider of
the Pala tribe in San Diego, but she has been a lifelong linguistic student of American Sign Language and Spanish and now adds to her Native American language goals Pá’enexily, the Cupeño language. Rameshwar teaches Pá’enexily through music that she has written specifically for preschoolers. Toddlers are learning colors, letters, and numbers by singing in Pá’enexily. She cares. Passionately.
Book Review by Ishmael Elias
There is a trick to catching the praying mantis. It involves sitting very still in the back of the hay barn and waiting until she brings herself within reach of your hands. She’s not a very quick-moving thing. You can just chase her down and bring her in by force, but she’s also very delicate. If you aren’t careful you could crush her. It’s better to be still and wait. You can’t make any noise; even the sound of your
breath must be almost non-existent.
For generations, many in our tribal communities have had bad experiences with education, especially given the history of how it was used—specifically in boarding schools—to distance us from our cultures. Today, thankfully, a lot has changed. There are many tribal people who are working within and alongside our state’s education
system to ensure that Native students are succeeding while celebrating their heritages.
This past summer an all-star youth basketball team with Inter Tribal Sports (ITS) earned a special spot in the World Youth Basketball Tournament in Kailua, Kona, Hawaii. The effort behind this unique opportunity, being the first and only Native American team to compete in the games, was spearheaded by coach Ricardo Macias (Cahuilla).
Standing in bright sunlight on a cloudless Los Angeles morning, we faced the four directions and remembered those who have gone before us. Cleansed by sage and ochre, we sang and mourned the dead. A familiar experience to some, but these people were not recently deceased, they were part of a reburial ceremony taking place on a small
piece of land where hundreds of people had already been reburied, bordered by a waterway that had displaced many of them and the housing development that displaced the rest. Breathing deep the sage smoke and dust, we stood together, once again, to rebury our dead.
I notice a lot of talk on “decolonizing.” We must decolonize, people say. HashtagDecolonize. Street art murals with a Native woman standing proud with the word “decolonize” defiantly scrawled on the bottom. I knew the dictionary version, and I liked the idea of it. It’s a challenging, powerful word. But as an Indigenous person, I didn’t know how to apply it to my everyday life. How are we supposed to withdraw from
colonization when it permeates our entire way of life and has been doing so since colonists stepped foot onto the New World? How does an entire group of people literally withdraw from a colony?