On The Wind: Shards - September/October 2011
Filming is underway on Winter in the Blood, based on the powerful novel of the same name by the late writer James Welch (Blackfeet/Gros Ventre). The allstar Native cast includes Chaske Spencer (Lakota Sioux) of Twilight fame; Gary Farmer (Cayuga/Mohawk) of Powwow Highway, Dead Man and others; Richard Ray Whitman (Yuchi-Muscogee Creek) of Barking Water, The Only Good Indian; Casey Camp (Ponca) of Barking Water; Michael Spears (Lakota) of Dances with Wolves, Imprint, Into the West; Julia Jones (Choctaw/Chickasaw); Joseph Grady (Blackfeet); Matthew Weasel; and relative newcomer Lily Gladstone (Blackfeet/Nez Perce), who has worked in drama with the Montana Repertory Theatre and Eagle Theatre Works. The independent production is seeking investors. For details, visit www.kickstarter.com/profile/winterintheblood.
First Lady Michelle Obama has embarked on a series of outdoor activities with Native kids to help combat obesity and other illnesses as part of her Let’s Move campaign. Indian youth, Mrs. Obama, St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford (Cherokee) and other important government officials planted a Native-themed garden at the White House in early June. In July, along with Haudenosaunee traditional lacrosse
stickmaker Alf Jacques, faithkeeper Oren Lyons (Onondaga) and other dignitaries, she hosted a lacrosse tournament.
An exhibition exploring the history of treaty-making in Minnesota, Why Treaties Matter: Self-Government in the Dakota and Ojibwe Nations has begun a multi-year tour of Minnesota. The groundbreaking show, sponsored by Minnesota Humanities Center, the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council and the National Museum of the American Indian, includes historical and contemporary photographs, 20 banners with
evocative text and a 10-minute video titled A Day in the Life of the Minnesota Tribal Nations. The exhibition focuses on a subject of tremendous importance to Native peoples and society in general that is little understood or appreciated. For details, visit www.mnhum.org/treaties.
The University of Nebraska College of Journalism and Mass Communications has released a 172-page full-color magazine titled Native Daughters and launched a related Web site that explores the important roles Native women have held and continue to fill in society today. For details, visit http://journalism.unl.edu/cojmc/news/nativedaughters.shtml.
An unusual book on Native ghost stories has been self-published by author Antonio Garcez (Mescalero Apache/Otomi) of New Mexico. American Indian Ghost Stories of the West is part of a series of books he’s written on ghosts covering most of the West. For details, visit www.ghostbooks.biz.
Wesley Dick (Northern Paiute), 45, has been heavily fined for gathering traditional plant materials on the Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge in Nevada, but has decided to fight the charges in court to defend what he feels are inherent rights guaranteed by treaties to collect such plants. Dick said, “These are our historic gathering areas, and I had only harvested enough tule reed to make a single duck decoy, which I was using to do demonstrations in schools. I found the reeds in a drainage ditch. I now face a punishment for doing what I was taught by my elders and what I am told is a becoming a rare craft.” Details: e-mail email@example.com.
The Miss Indian Arizona Scholarship Program will be marking its 50th anniversary on Oct. 8 with a gala dinner at the Chandler Center for the Arts. Each year the nonprofit parent association provides at least $6,000 in college scholarships to young Indian women. Details: 480/306-4533 or www.missindianarizona.com.