Monday, October 31, 2005

Ponteach (Pontiac)

October 30, 1763: On this date, Pontiac informed Major Henry Gladwin, Commander at Fort Detroit, that he wanted peace and to end the fighting.


Pontiac's Uprising

By 1762, only the western Indians alone remained hostile. The Shawnees, Delawares, and other tribes harassed frontiersmen and their families during the harvest, scalping and killing many. Western parts of Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia were under a constant threat. Then in January, the news came to Detroit of the primary peace terms. The English would continue to have control. With the French eliminated, the Native Americans were left alone in their fight against colonial aggression. Most of the tribes now felt they must break the English grip before it could become permanent. Pontiac was capable, and ready to assume the role of leader. His call to arms was almost unanimously excepted. The Nations most strike as one, and crush the whites before they destroyed the Indians.

In April 1763, encouraged by Canadian frontiersmen of mixed parentage, several tribes banded together under the leadership of Pontiac in an effort to regain control of the Ohio Valley. Pontiac seems to have appeared out of nowhere, according to French and English records. He is was not mentioned prier to 1763. The first mention of Pontiac, comes from Major Henry Gladwin, commander of Detroit, in a report of his post being attacked by Indians under the leadership of Pontiac, an Ottawa chief. What is known of him, is that he was a charismatic orator, and natural leader. His meteoric rise to power proves this. Under the Ottawa chief Pontiac, Native American warriors captured most of the trans-Allegheny forts, with the exception of Fort Pitt.

The events leading up to Pontiac's rise were many. In the past, Indians had been able to keep the whites off balance, by playing one nation against the other. But now the French had been defeated in North America, and the English were in control of all the inland posts. Once there, they had begun to treat the Indians, not as friends, but as conquered people. To add to this, the French along the Mississippi, had been proclaiming that the lands would return to French control after peace agreements were written. After all that had been the way of the last war.

By May, each delegate had returned to his nation, ready to the regional objective given him. Pontiac himself would take the most important objective: Detroit, a strong fortification, garrisoned by two companies of Royal Americans and one company of Queens Rangers. Cannon were mounted in the corner blockhouses and two schooners were anchored at the water gate. Pontiac, knowing the Indian temperament would not tolerate a long siege, attempted to take the fort by subterfuge. He sent word to Major Gladwin, that the Indians wished to stage a calumet dance at his headquarters. To pledge English-Indian friendship. Once inside the walls of the fort, Pontiac and his men, would kill Gladwin and his men. The Indians would carry sawed off muskets under their blankets in order to accomplish this. Although Gladwin allowed the dance, he had his men armed and alert. Pontiac's plan could only fail, so the dance was completed, and the Indians withdrew.

Now Pontiac would have to put the fort under siege. Warriors rushed from the surrounding woods, and began firing on the fort. Gladwin was sent the message that if he surrendered now, the lives of he and his men would be spared, but if he chose to fight, all would be killed. Gladwin declined to surrender, but sent his second in command, Lieutenant Donald Campbell, and Lieutenant George McDougal, to Pontiac under a flag of truce. In order to convince both the Indians and Gladwin, of his determination, Pontiac took the men captive.

Almost simultaneously, the Indians attacked and took possession of forts Le Boeuf, Venango, Presque Isle, Sandusky, La Baie, and outposts on the Saint Joseph River, Miami River, the Ouibache (Wabash) River and at Michilimackinac. All the garrisons at these forts were weak and were dependent on the Indians for supplies. Fort Niagara was not attacked, but Forts Pitt and the Detroit were blockaded and exposed to Indian attack. Fort Sandusky, under the command of Ensign Christopher Paully, was the first to fall. The garrison was murdered, the fort burned, and Paully was taken captive to Detroit. Here he was burned to death, in sight of the fort.

Fort St. Joseph's, was the next to fall, on May 25. Recently built and staffed by a garrison of fourteen men, under Ensign Francis Schlosser, it was easily taken. Eleven of the garrison were killed. Schlosser and three surviving soldiers were taken to Detroit and exchanged for some Potawatomi prisoners Gladwin had been holding.

This was followed by the capture of Fort Miami ( Ft. Wayne, In. ), commanded by Ensign Robert Holmes. Holmes was tempted to follow his Indian mistress to her mother's wigwam. When he was clear of the fort, he was shot down. His sergeant, hearing the shot, ran out to give aid. He was also killed. Holmes' head was thrown over the wall of the fort. A French trader, soon called out to the garrison that they would be spared if they surrendered. Leaderless and terrified, they opened the gates only to be massacred. Only six were spared to later be burned at the stake. Fort Quiatanon, the most distant and isolated English post, was next to fall. Lieutenant Edward Jenkins, commander, knew there could be no hope of any reinforcements. This time, some French traders intervened to help. With their help, a surrender was negotiated, and although the fort was burned, the lives of every member of the command were spared.

Next came Fort Michilimackinac. Surrounded by Indians who had always hated the English, Major George Etherington still felt secure in the strength of his garrison. So it was that on June 4th, teams of Chippawa and Sauk began a game of lacrosse near the fort. Etherington and some off duty soldiers left the fort to watch the game. As the game progressed, a prearranged signal was given and the ball was kicked into the open gates of the fort. Then the players rushed towards the gates, where Indian women handed them weapons they had concealed under blankets. Once armed, the ballplayers continued through the gates, killing every soldier and English trader they could. Only Major Etherington, Lieutenant William Leslie, and some twenty men survived the initial attack. They were stripped and tied to trees, while the Indians decided what should be done with them. Shortly thereafter, a group of Ottawa appeared. Finding the fort taken, and no spoils left for them, they demanded they be given the captives. After much debate, the Ottawa were given Etherington, Leslie, and eleven of the soldiers. So it went for many fearful days, until they were released. A council that included a delegation of Sioux had been held to decided their fate, and the Sioux had persuaded the Ottawa to spare the English. "Not because we love the English, but because we hate the Chippewa!) The English were allowed to return to Montreal.

Fort Presque Isle was lost on June 18th. This was a wooden stockade with a blockhouse on one corner, commanded by Ensign John Christie with a garrison of twenty one men, plus six of Lieutenant Cuyler's men, making a total of twenty eight men. On June 15th, Indians appeared, and immediately began a very un-Indian-like siege. The tribesmen built a log screens, and hiding behind them, advanced the fort. Using this cover the Indians began a heavy fire on the fort. Christie was forced to pull back to the blockhouse. The Indians, sensing the troops were massed in the blockhouse, gained entrance to the stockade. This gave the Indians control of the fort's water supply, the well. The English were forced to dig a tunnel to reach the well. The Indians in turn dug a tunnel to site near the officer's quarters, in order to safely set fire to the blockhouse. Though the blockhouse was scorched badly, the English managed to extinguish the flames. Due to his belief that the Indians would soon be able to dig under the blockhouse and burn it, Christie opened negotiations. He was told through an interpreter that he had until morning to decide: surrender or die. He decided to surrender. The entire garrison was taken prisoner to Detroit, to be displayed to the garrison there. Christie was later exchanged, and lived to face a Court Martial for his quick surrender. He was testified against by some of his own men that survived.

June 19th, Fort Le Boeuf, garrisoned by thirteen men under command of Ensign George Price, is approached by Indians attempting to enter under the guise of needing a kettle to cook meat. The Indians are turned away, only to gain control of a nearby stone cellar. From this cover, they proceed to shoot fire-arrows at the fort. By nightfall, the roof of the fort is ablaze. Fearing they would be trapped under the collapsing roof beams, the English cut a hole in the wall opposite the Indians. While the Indians thought them near death, Price and the eleven surviving men escaped into the forest. Eventually they made their way to Fort Pitt.

The story of the fall of Venango is short and sad. It was a new, strong fort under the command of Lieutenant Francis Gordon. On June 18th, a party of Seneca approached the fort. Seeing the Indians and thinking them friendly, since they were Iroquois, he ordered the gate to be opened. Not a man lived to tell the tale. It was later told by the Seneca, all were massacred save Price. Him they managed by slow torture, to keep alive until late the next day.

Sir Jeffery Amherst, the British commander-in-chief, dispatched troops led by Captain James Dalyell, his aid-de-camp, to reinforce Niagara and Detroit. After a contingent took off for Niagara, the remainder continued on to Detroit, where they arrived on July 30th. Dalyell left the fort there with 250 men on July 31st to to engage the Indians in the region. The British were confronted by a superior force of Indians causing them to retreat, but not before Captain Dalyell and nineteen soldiers were killed. Colonel Henry Bouquet was dispatched with troops to relieve Fort Pitt. Fort Ligonier, which contained provisions for the relief of Fort Pitt, was also in danger. Two companies of light infantry sent to reinforce Fort Ligonier were joined by troops from Fort Bedford, thus negating any plan of Indian attack.

Bouquet assembled his troops at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and marched to Fort Bedford, arriving on July 25th. When the Indians learned of his presence, they raised their siege of Fort Pitt and concentrated their forces for an attack on the British troops. Bouquet moved his troops to Fort Ligonier on July 10th. After leaving stores there, he proceeded toward Fort Pitt. They stopped at Bushy Run, a creek to the east of Fort Pitt, to refresh the men and horses and on the night of August 4th set out for their destination.

The following day the advance guard was attacked by Indians from one side of the road. More troops were sent to the area of attack and drove the Indians back. The Indians continued to attack, however, at several points through the day and eventually surrounded the whole British force. Bouquet then opened up his files and moved some of the troops to make it appear as if they were retreating. The Indians, sensing an advantage, proceeded to attack, at which point the British troops closed in from the flanks. The remaining troops turned and met the Indians head-on, causing them to flee. The British returned to their encampment at Bushy Run, where the Indians attacked and were again dispersed. With the defeat of the Indians at Bushy Run the British continued to Fort Pitt unimpeded and replenished that post.

On September 3rd a schooner carrying provisions from Niagara entered the Detroit River. That evening it was attacked by some 350 Indians in canoes. While the fighting was fierce, the Indians were soon repelled and the provisions delivered to the starving garrison.

Major Henry Gladwin, at Detroit, continued to trade blows with the Indians. The schooner Huron, which was bringing supplies to the fort, anchored at the mouth of the river. Indians attacked the vessel, but failed to capture it and suffered heavy casualties. The Indians led by Pontiac lost their enthusiasm for battle because of the lack of significant victories and the deaths of several chiefs. Pontiac was forced to capitulate on October 31, 1763.


Ponteach (Pontiac), Odawa c 1720-1769

Pontiac was a man of medium build and dark complexion who highly valued personal fidelity. If Pontiac owed a debt, he would scratch a promissory note on birch bark with his sign, the otter. The notes were always redeemed. He was an early ally of the French in 1755, at Fort Duquesne, now the site of Pittsburgh, along with an allied force of Ottawas, Ojibwas, Hurons, and Delawares. He played a major role in the French defeat of English general Braddock in 1755 during the opening battles of what came to be known as the French and Indian War. Pontiac was probably born along the Maumee River in northern Ohio of an Ottawa father and a Chippewa mother. He married Kantuckeegan and had two sons, Otussa and Shegenaba. Pontiac held no hereditary chieftainship among the Ottawas, but by about 1760, his oratorical skills and reputed courage as a warrior had raised him to leadership.

By 1763, Pontiac had also formed military alliances with eighteen other Native peoples from the Mississippi River to Lake Ontario. After the British defeat of the French in 1763, Pontiac found himself faced on the southern shore of Lake Erie with an english force that included Robert Roger's legendary Rangers, who were self-trained as forest warriors. Rogers told Pontiac that the land he occupied was now British, having been ceded by France, and that his force was taking possession of French forts. Pontiac said that while the French might have surrendered, his people had not. After four days of negotiations, Rogers agreed with Pontiac's point of view. Rogers was allowed to continue to the former French fort on the present-day site of Detroit. Power was transferred as hundreds of Indians watched. Rogers and Pontiac became friends. Pontiac now looked forward to peaceful trade with the British, but when Rogers left the area, fur traders began swindling the Indians, getting them addicted to cheap liquor. Pontiac sent a belt of red wampum - signifying the taking up of arms - as far east as the Iroquois Confederacy then southward along the Mississippi. He appealed for alliance, telling assembled chiefs of each nation he visited that if they did not unify and resist colonization, the English would flood them like waves of an endless sea. By spring 1763, a general uprising had been planned by the combined forces of the Ottawa, Huron, Delaware, Seneca, and Shawnee. On May 9, each tribe was to attack the closest English fort. Pontiac's plan was betrayed to the commander of the British fort at Detroit by an Ojibwa woman named Catherine. Pontiac laid siege to Fort Duquesne at Detroit, and other members of the alliance carried out their respective roles. An appeal to the French for help fell on deaf ears, since they had been defeated. After a siege that lasted through the winter and into spring of 1764, the fort received outside reinforcements, tipping the balance against Pontiac after fifteen month.

After the rebellion ended, settlers swarmed into the Ohio Valley in increasing numbers, and the prestige of the old leader began to disintegrate. Pontiac now counseled peace. The younger warriors were said to have shamed him, possibly beating him physically in their frustration. With a small band of family and friends, Pontiac was forced to leave his home village and move to Illinois. On April 20, 1769, Pontiac was murdered in Cahokia, Illinois. According to one account, he was stabbed by a Peoria Indian who may have been bribed with a barrel of whiskey by an English trader named Williamson.

A statue memorializing Pontiac now stands in the lobby of City Hall in Pontiac, Michigan. (Pontiac, after whom General Motors named a long-lived automobile model, tried to erect a Native confederacy that would block Euro-American immigration into the Old Northwest.).


Thursday, October 27, 2005


October 27, 1837: After helping to lead a large group of Seminoles out of a relocation camp in Tampa Bay, Chief Osceola will be pursued by American forces under General Thomas Jesup. Today, while operating under direct orders of General Jesup, soldiers will invite Osceola to talk under a white flag of truce. When Osceola joins them, he will be taken captive. This will also be reported to have happened, in some sources, on October 21st.

A very interesting website debunking various myths about Osceola is to be found at:

The following is from Indian Health Services website at:

Early in the 18th century, several thousand indigenous people began emigrating southward into a vast and mostly unoccupied territory called Florida. These people came from several groups or tribes whose lives and homelands were being disrupted by American colonization efforts. Many were Muscogee speakers, part of the Creek Confederation living in Indian "towns" across Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and South Carolina.

Creek, Hitchiti, Apalachee, Mikasuki, Yamassee, Yuchi, Tequesta, Apalachicola, Choctaw, Oconee joined with the last of the aboriginal Florida Indians, escaped slaves, outlaws and others to seek better lives in the thick virgin forests, wide grass prairies and spring fed rivers of North Florida.

Muscogee speakers had a word for these "renegades" who fled native homelands for Florida soil, a word which sounded like si-mi-no-li and meant "wild" or "runaway". The Spanish also had a similar sounding word which meant the same thing: cimmarones.

A commonalty of purpose--refusal to be dominated by the white man--served to combine these many culturally-similar factions into one group that today is known as the Seminoles.

In those days, the fledgling United States government carried out a policy of extermination and displacement regarding American Indians. U.S. officials were particularly disturbed by the protection and shelter, this organized group of runaways (Seminole) offered to escaped slaves. In addition, the choice lands of interior North Florida were openly coveted by white settlers. Conflicts, skirmishes, ambushes and racial hatred erupted periodically on the new frontier.

When Spain could not control the Seminoles, the U.S. government took occupation of Florida. Legendary Indian fighter General Andrew Jackson spent nearly two decades trying to solve the Seminole Indian "problem". Three aggressive military campaigns-- the undeclared Seminole Wars--and at least four fraudulent treaties, not to mention President Jackson's Indian Removal Act (The Trail of Tears) sought to completely wipe out the Florida Seminoles, in body and spirit. More than 4,000 Seminoles were among those displaced to Oklahoma. Many died along the way. Some were duped and some were taken against their will, others went along willingly, pride beaten down by the intense conflict. Their descendants remain there to this day, organized as the distinct Seminole Nation of Oklahoma.

In addition to Jackson, an impressive list of U.S. Generals joined the fight to remove the Seminoles: Edmund Gaines, Zachary Taylor, Duncan Clinch, Winfield Scott, Robert Call, and Alexander Macomb were among the directors of a 40-year-battle to conquer the Seminoles.

Seven of those years--known to history as the Second Seminole War- -frame the most colorful era in modern Florida Indian history. The conflict began on December 28, 1835, when a band of Seminoles ambushed and killed U.S. Major Francis Dade and all but three of his 108 man regiment north of Tampa. It was a shocking defeat, one still studied today by military students.

Striking with surprise and disappearing into terrain unfavorable to conventional military warfare, several hundred Seminoles were able to elude capture by over 40,000 U.S. regulars and volunteers who served in Florida during the seven years of war.

Those years were further illuminated by two legendary Seminole leaders--the famous warrior Osceola and the inspirational medicine man Aripeka (a.k.a. Sam Jones). Elegant in dress, handsome of face, passionate in nature and giant of ego, Osceola masterminded successful battles against five different U.S. generals. Osceola was not a chief with the heritage of a Micanopy of Jumper, but his skill as an orator gave him great influence over Seminole war actions.

Osceola's capture, under a controversial flag of truce offered by General Thomas Jessup, remains today one of the blackest marks in American military history. A larger-than-life character, Osceola is the subject of numerous myths; his 1838 death in a Charleston, S.C. prison was noted on front pages around the world. Though his exploits were not as well publicized, Seminole medicine man Aripeka may have been more important to the internal Seminole war machine than Osceola. Aripeka was a powerful spiritual leader who used his "medicine" to stir Seminole warriors into a frenzy. He is known as the mastermind of several battles, including the 1837 ambush now known as the Battle of Okeechobee.

Many years older than most of the Seminole leadership of that era, wise old Sam Jones was a staunch resistor to removal. He kept the resistance fueled before and after Osceola's period of prominence and, when the fighting had concluded, was the only major Seminole leader to remain in Florida.

By May 10, 1842, when a frustrated President John Tyler ordered the end of military actions against the Seminoles, over $20 million had been spent, 1,500 American soldiers had died and still no formal peace treaty had been signed. Thirteen years later, fighting erupted again when a U.S. Army survey party--seeking the whereabouts of Aripeka and other Seminole groups--was attached by Seminole warriors under the command of colorful Billy Bowlegs.

The eventual capture and deportation of Bowlegs ended aggressions between the Seminoles and the Untied States. Historians estimate there may have been only 100-300 unconquered Seminole men, women and children left all hiding in the swamps and Everglades of South Florida.

The last group of survivors comprised at least two main factions: Muscogee speakers who lived near Lake Okeechobee and those who spoke the linguistically-related Mikasuki tongue and lived to the south. In the remote environs of such uncharted Florida wilderness, the Seminoles remained, isolated from Florida society and the rest of the world until the 20th century.

The descendants of these last few Indian resistors are the members of today's Seminole Tribe of Florida, the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida, and the (unaffiliated) independent or traditionalist Seminoles. Present day Seminoles are the descendants of Indians who refused to leave Florida when enforcement of the Indian Removal Act of 1830 resulted in the relocation of tribes from east the Mississippi River to Oklahoma. Today they still exhibit strong cultural ties to their past while demonstrating a propensity for entrepreneurship in gaming, cattle, agriculture, tourism, and land management.

The Seminole people are governed by a Tribal Council that includes the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, and a representative from each of the Seminole reservations: Hollywood, Brighton, Big Cypress, and Immokalee. All are elected officials, the Chairman and Vice- Chairman each serving a four year term and the representatives two year terms. A Board is responsible for all Tribal business activities and enterprises. A President and Vice-Chairman, who also serves as Chairman for the Council, make up the Board.


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Inca Gold

A new PBS Frontline documentary, "The Curse of Inca Gold," examines how a Denver company won the contract to operate Peru's Yanococha Mine, the richest gold mine in the world... It also shows how the rape of the Andes continues...

Here's an NPR audio report about the documentary

NPR : 'The Curse of Inca Gold': Mining Peru's Wealth

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Columbus Day

Eduardo Galeano on Columbus Day

by Eduardo Galeano
October 10, 2005
The Progressive

Did Christopher Columbus discover America in 1492? Or was it the Vikings before him? And before the Vikings, what about the people who lived there? Didn't they exist?

Official history relates that Vasco Nunez of Balboa was the first man who saw both oceans, standing on a peak in Panama. Were the inhabitants of that area blind?

Who gave corn and potatoes and tomatoes and chocolate and the rivers and mountains of America their names? Hernan Cortes? Francisco Pizarro? Were the people who were already living there mute?

We have been told, and still are, that it was the pilgrims of the Mayflower that populated America. Had it been empty before?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Because Columbus didn't understand what the Indians were saying, he concluded that they didn't know how to speak. Because they wore no clothes, were gentle, and gave away everything they had, he concluded they lacked the capacity for reason. And because he was certain of having discovered the Orient by the back door, he believed they were Indians from India.

Afterwards, during the second voyage, the admiral promulgated an act establishing that Cuba was part of Asia. The document of June 14, 1494, stated as evidence that the crew of the three ships recognized it as such. Whoever said otherwise was given thirty lashes, fined 10,000 maravedies, and had his tongue cut out.

The notary Hernan Perez de Luna attested, and the sailors who could write signed at the bottom.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The conquistadors demanded that America be something it wasn't. They saw not what was before them but what they wanted to see: the fountain of youth, the city of gold, the kingdom of emeralds, the country of sugar cane. And they treated the Americans as if they were what they imagined the pagans of the Orient to be.

Christopher Columbus saw on the shores of Cuba sirens with men's faces and chicken feathers and supposed that not far from there men and women had tails.

In Guyana, according to Sir Walter Raleigh, there were people with eyes in their shoulders and mouths in their chests. In Venezuela, according to Pedro Simon, there were Indians with ears so long they dragged on the ground.

On the Amazon, according to Christopher of Acuna, the natives' feet were shaped backwards, heels forward and toes behind. And according to Pedro Martin de Angleria, women mutilated one breast to be able to fire their arrows better.

Angleria, who wrote the first history of America though he never set foot there, also affirmed that in the New World there were people with tails, as Columbus had recounted, but according to him these tails were so long the natives could sit only in chairs with holes.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Black Code prohibited the torture of slaves in the French colonies. But it wasn't to torture them but to educate them that slaves' masters whipped their blacks and cut their tendons when they fled.

The Laws of the Indias, which protected the Indians in the Spanish colonies, were quite moving. But the gallows and pillory set up in the center of every Main Square were even more affecting.

The reading of the Request for Obedience was very convincing. This occurred on the eve of the assault on each village. It explained to the Indians that God had come to the world and left Saint Peter in his place, and that the successor of Saint Peter was the Holy Father, and that the Holy Father has shown favor on the Queen of Castilla who rules all this land, and that for this reason they should go from here or pay tribute in gold. If they didn't, war would be declared on them, and they would be made slaves along with their wives and children. But the Request was read in the middle of the night from the mountain in Spanish and without an interpreter, in the presence of the notary but no Indians, as they were asleep, miles away, and hadn't the faintest idea what was awaiting them.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Until not long ago, October 12 was Race Day. But does such a thing even exist? What is race but a useful lie to exploit and exterminate one's neighbor?

In 1942, when the U.S. entered the Second World War, the American Red Cross decided that the blood of black people would not be accepted in its blood banks. In this way they prevented the mixing of races, which was prohibited in the bedroom, from occurring through injection.

Has anyone seen, by chance, black blood?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Afterwards, Race Day became the Day of Encounter.

Were colonial invasions encounters, whether those of yesterday or those of today Shouldn't they be called rapes or violations instead?

Perhaps the most revealing episode in the history of the Americas occurred in 1563 in Chile. The fortress of Arauco was besieged by the Indians, who let no food or water in. Yet Captain Bernal refused to surrender.

From the stockade he screamed out, ''There will be more and more of us!''

'With what women will you make them?'' the Indian chief asked.

''With yours. We will make them bear children who will be your masters.''

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The invaders called the original Americans cannibals, but the real cannibal was the Cerro Rico de Potosi, whose mouths ate Indian flesh to feed Europe's capitalist development.

The invaders called them idolaters because they believed that nature is sacred and that we are the brothers of all those with feet, paws, wings, or roots.

And they called them savages. But they were not wrong about this.

The Indians were such savages that they ignored the fact that they had to obtain a visa, a certificate of good behavior, and a work permit from Columbus, Cabral, Cortes, Alvarado, Pizarro, and the pilgrims of the Mayflower.


Eduardo Galeano, a Uruguayan writer and journalist, is the author of ''Open Veins of Latin America'' and ''Memory of Fire." This article is copyrighted by, and reprinted with the permission of, IPS Columnist Service.

© Copyright 2005 IPS Columnist Service and The Progressive

Infoshop News - Eduardo Galeano on Columbus Day

Monday, October 24, 2005

Dems & Indian Country

The Democratic Party compared to the Republican Party when it comes to policies relative to Indian Country:

AlterNet: The Blue Tint of Indian Country

Friday, October 21, 2005

Pine Ridge 2005 & 1874

Two views of Pine Ridge:

October 2005:

NPR : Tribal, State Police Unite Against Crime in Nebraska

... and... October 23,1874:

"This morning, a bunch of Sioux take axes to the stripped tree that Red Cloud Agency Agent J.J.Saville has planned as a flagpole. The Indians do not want a flag on their reservation. When Saville gets no help in stopping the choppers from Indian leaders, he sends a worker to get help from Fort Robinson, in northwest Nebraska. As the two dozen soldiers from the fort are riding toward the agency, a large group of angry Sioux surrounds them. They try to instigate a fight. Suddenly, the Sioux police, led by Young Man Afraid of His Horses, ride up and form a cordon around the soldiers. The Sioux police will escort the soldiers to the agency stockade, averting a possible fight. Many Sioux will be frustrated by the events, and will leave the reservation."

[ ]

"Man Afraid Of His Horses, Younger (tasunka kokipapi) (Oglala Lakota ).. was an important leader of the Sioux during the 1860s and 1870s, at a time when Red Cloud's people forced the United States to abandon its forts along the Bozeman Trail en route to the gold rush country of eastern Montana. The colloquial English translation of Man Afraid's name is really the opposite of its original Lakota meaning, which is "He Whose Horses Inspire Fear in Others." He is also sometimes called Old Man Afraid of His Horses because his son was named after him. A hereditary chief among the Oglala Lakota, Man Afraid of His Horses was a war chief under Red Cloud during the war for the Bozeman Trail in 1866-1868. His son was a member of the Southern Cheyenne Warrior Society Crooked Lances and was allied with Red Cloud and his father. After the Oglalas' surrender and confinement to reservations, Man Afraid of His Horses served as president of the Pine Ridge Indian Council. He also made several trips to Washington, D.C., to advocate for the Oglalas. At the time of the Wounded Knee massacre in 1890, Man Afraid of His Horses was working with American Horse for peace, against Short Bull's and Kicking Bear's advocacy of resistance via the Ghost Dance."

[ ]

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Tecumthe (Tecumseh)

Our great leader Tecumthe died defending Our Land and People on October 5, 1813. He is quoted as once saying:

"When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home."
-- Tecumthe (Tecumseh), Shawnee

Go here for a recap on the day he died:


( Image courtesy of: )