Tag: Native American

Native American Green candidate for Lieutenant Governor in California

While perusing my California Sample Ballot to decide between Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee, I was suddenly shocked.  What to my wondering eyes should appear but this listing of occupation for a candidate for Lieutenant Governor:

Cultural Spiritual Advisor

What the???   Right there under the name of James “Jimi” Castillo, the Sample Ballot read

Cultural Spiritual Advisor

No shit?  Is this for real?  Jimi’s party affiliation was listed as Green, so I went to my Green Voter Guide to check.  Sure enough, we Californians have the opportunity to vote for a “Cultural Spiritual Advisor” for Lieutenant Governor rather than Democrat Gavin Newson or Republican Abel Maldonado.

Here’s a snip:

While Gavin Newsom is a multi-millionaire businessman

funded by a multi-billionaire oil heir, Green Party Lt.

Governor Candidate Jimi Castillo is a Native American

spiritual leader of Tongva/Acjachemen ancestry, the first Native

American to run for the office of Lieutenant Governor

in California. A Marine Corps Vietnam veteran, as well as

a member of the statewide Bear Clan Society, Castillo has

a lifetime of hands-on experience working directly with

people and communities, particularly in counseling youth

at correctional facilities (he was a counselor and Board

member for the Southeast Area Counseling Center in Santa

Fe Springs), defending and educating on Native American

culture in ceremonial and prayer events, and speaking at

conferences and classes at UCLA’s American Indian Studies

Center and the UCLA Native American Student Association.

More below the fold from green voter guide (pdf)

Buffy Sainte-Marie, Gentle Activist

On this past Sunday evening, I sat with my daughter, a 7th grader, and went over homework with her. She needed colored pencils to complete an assignment for History. Teacher had talked to them about Columbus Day and the homework was to draw… the faux version of history taught to the poor leetle 5th graders on one page, and divided by the spiral bound, the true version on the other. (scans below in comments.LL) She colored while I read aloud to her from Zinn.  I know she is in a great (public) school, gifted and all that, plus an IB program, but still … maybe there is hope if middle school curriculum is embracing some truth in its history classes. Buffy St. Marie knows a thing or two about that concept.


Democracy NOW! aired a full hour yesterday evening with Buffy St. Marie. I only caught a few minutes of it while I was in my car, but I found the links as soon as I got back home, so I thought I’d share here in essay form. PLEASE take the time to go view/read transcript there.

She kind of made me cry a little.

Utopia 14: Monument

If you want people to get nothing done, convince them they are on one side of something. —Carolyn Casey

Turtle Women Rising – October 10-13

Native American veteran Eli Painted Crow is leading this drumming event for peace in Washington DC.

Please do what you can to support this event.

I, the carrier of the spirit of Randgríðr, the White Shield, Handmaiden of Freyja Vanadis

will be attending and lending all the energy toward this working that I can.

If you want to save our nation and our world – join in as you can.

Apologizing for Genocide (Edited 2x)

The closest I’ve come to trying to understand genocide, is to imagine the worst, most disgusting, evil, dehumanizing, anti-evolutionary, shameless, insatiable, vile, and incomprehensible thing imaginable – and try multiplying that by infinity.

Forced Sterilizations of Indigenous Women

The sterilizations of indigenous women were covert means of the continuation of the extermination policy against the Indian Nations. At least three indigenous generations from 3,406 women are not in existence now as the result. The sterilizations were not unintentional or negligible. They were genocide. What would the indigenous culture and political landscape be now? One can only imagine, but the sterilizations like the relocations – were forced.

The Spider and the Ducks


This is an old Lakota myth as told by John Lame Deer in Lame Deer Seeker of Visions.1

I’m paraphrasing a bit here:

Iktome was an evil spiderman, a smart-ass who liked to play tricks on everyone.  One day he was walking by a lake and he saw some ducks swimming around.  He suddenly grew hungry for roast duck.  So he stuffed his bag with a bunch of grass and then walked over to the shore.  The ducks saw him and cried out, “Where are you going, Iktome?”

“I’m going to a big powwow.”

“What’s in your bag Iktome?”

“It’s full of songs which I am taking  to the powwow.  Good songs that you can dance to.”

The ducks begged him to sing the songs for them.  The tricky spider made a big show of not wanting to do it.  He said he didn’t have time for it.  Finally, he pretended to give in because they were such nice ducks.   “OK, I’ll sing for you, but you have to help me.”

“O yay!  We’ll do whatever you want. Just tell us the rules.”

“Well, first you must form three rows.   In the front row I want all the fat ones.  In the middle row go all those who are neither fat nor thin.  The scrawny ones go in the back row.  Now you have to act out the song.  Do whatever the words tell you.  Here goes the first song…   ‘Close your eyes and dance.'”

The ducks in their rows shut their eyes and started flapping their wings.  Iktome took a big club from underneath his coat.  “Sing along as loud as you can and keep your eyes shut.  Whoever peeks will get blind.”   He ordered them to sing so that their voices would drown out the “thump thump” of his club as he hit them over the head.  One by one he went down the front row bashing the ducks.   He was in the middle of the next row by the time one of the skinny ducks in the back row opened his eyes and saw what Iktome was up to.  

“Holy crap!     Hey wake up!”, it yelled.  “Iktome is killing us all!”

The ducks that were left opened their eyes and ran away.  Iktome didn’t care.  He already had more duck than he could eat.  

Pretty Bird Woman House Update: It’s a GO!

Cross-posted on the Daily Kos under betson08

First of all, I want to express my deepest gratitude to all the Kossacks and other members of the netroots community for your commitment to the survival of the Pretty Bird Woman House.  Helping this shelter has been one of the most gratifying things I’ve ever done, and some of that has to do with the outpouring of caring and compassion that I witnessed while I was doing this project.

This morning I received an email informing me that the McLaughlin City Council had unanimously approved the shelter’s petition to operate in the house it wants to purchase. This was a wonderful accomplishment given some initial misgivings that some of the City Council Members had expressed.

A complete update on that and the fundraiser is below the fold.