Archive for the ‘Native and Indigneous Socio-political issues’ Category

Here are some very interesting articles that were published through Indian Country Today Media.  Enjoy!

April 7, 2014 – “Peter Matthiessen crosses-over”

April 7, 2014 – “Chief Wahoo controversy”

April 7, 2014 – “What does American football have to do with genocide?”

April 6, 2014 – “Face-off redface”

Lechusza Aquallo

Sparrow Productions

7 April, 2014


Here’s a follow-up to the, now, award winning and global Native Hip Hop sensation “Supaman” (Chris Parrish, Crow) who has recently won accolades from MTV.  This article was published through Indian Country Today Media on March 24, 2014:

A quick tease from this brief article is included below.  This point answers as well as continues the discussions regarding the use of traditional dance regalia and non-Native music for current Native musician/artists.  Though Supaman’s comments are brief, they certainly need to be further discussed in order to see just how far the Native creative and expressive trajectory will ascend in the forming 21st century.

Enjoy the article and do not forget to hear more of Supaman’s music on Youtube:  “Prayer Song Loop”


“How did rapping and making music in your pow wow regalia come about?

I’ve always kept hip-hop and my Native culture separate, but I was at a pow wow dancing at Montana State Universty in Bozeman during Heritage Day. After we were done and they wanted me to rap. I said “OK, but let me change real fast I’ll come right back!” They said, “There’s no time. You need to go on right now.” So we rapped in our outfits for the first time, and it was a hit. People were like, “Wow, you never see that! People rap in their outfits.” But I’ve always kept them separated like I said, because there’s always going to be people, “You can’t do that! You can’t mix those together!” And they’re against it for whatever reasons.

But it shouldn’t be that bad with fancy dancing. I mean, that was a total contemporary style of dance anyway made up in Oklahoma for the tourists and Buffalo Bill’s Wild West shows. So it’s real contemporary, but people do get bent out of shape, and I understood that too and that’s why I never mixed them. But at the time I just went ahead and did it, and people really liked it. Then I was like, “Oh wow! People really liked that. I should do it more often.” Not even as a gimmick, but to show people that we do walk in two worlds as Natives. It’s a good thing to embrace who we are as Natives and be proud of it, but at the same time we express ourselves in different ways creatively.”

Lechusza Aquallo
24 March, 2014
Sparrow Productions

Here is an older article from Indian Country Today Media (March 17, 2014) which brings back to life the mascotting controversy.  The link is below and there is a short video embedded within the article.  Enjoy!

Lechusza Aquallo

Sparrow Productions

23 March, 2014

ESPN Uses Old ‘Sioux’ Mascot in On-air Mixup



Here is an article published on Sunday March 23, 2014 by Median Indigena (website included below).  As noted, this is the second within the series.  The article presents a number of interesting topics that certainly need to be further analyzed and discussed.
Please share and comment as necessary.  This work is compelling and one that is sure to strike a chord with most.
Lechusza Aquallo
Sparrow Productions
23 March, 2014

Indians Wear Red: The Causes and Solutions of Aboriginal Street Gangs

The following is the second in a series of graduate student writings to emerge from the partnership between MEDIA INDIGENA and the #UMNATV Colloquium series. Here, University of Manitoba Native Studies Masters student Joe Dipple shares his thoughts following a joint presentation by Larry Morrissette and Lawrence Deane last month.

Morrissette and Deane

Larry Morrissette (left) and Lawrence Deane

Larry Morrissette and Lawrence Deane spoke at the #UMNATV Colloquium series in February 2014. Their lecture — entitled Indians Wear Red: Colonialism, Resistance, and Aboriginal Street Gangs (based on the book of the same name) — addressed the causes of Aboriginal gang prevalence. Featuring the issue of Aboriginal gangs from the position of Aboriginal gang members, they suggested a few approaches to addressing this issue.

According to Deane and Morrissette, the men they worked with have much to teach about society, systemic racism, and colonization. Listening to these men is something not only the authors had to learn to do, but the organizations they worked with (and often tried to influence their research). Their work provides a model of empathic research and community involvement that is far more beneficial for all parties involved, as compared to an approach that goes for quick results with little community input.

Letting interviewees direct the research allows for community decision-making and the support of local, self-determination efforts (such as in education). This approach directly addresses the issues that culminate in Aboriginal youth gangs, which emerge most often from the vacuum created by systemic violence and disenfranchisement. As Deane states, gangs emerge within the power structures of close-knit communities: “The gang was the people they grew up with, it was their cousins.”

Throughout their research, Deane and Morrissette heard many stories of gang members being alone and living on the streets by the age of 12. Gangs were the place they could go to receive clothing, food, and shelter. This community was their way of overcoming the difficulties around them by becoming tougher than anything that could be thrown at them. These are deeply tied to the poverty created via the many layers of colonialism, as many of these men, as Aboriginal children, had very few opportunities in their lives. In turn, due to the institutionalization of oppression, these men were also often unable to give their children better then what they had inherited, so the cycle continues.

Finally, Morrissette and Deane stated the purpose of colonization is to keep colonized people numb, through the availability of things like drugs and alcohol, so they do not realize the pain that is being inflicted upon them. Deane directly tied these two together, stating: “Do we have a gang problem or do we have an addictions problem?” Morrissette then added: “Notice that there’s less and less bars in the north end and more pharmaceutical companies.”

In concluding, Morrissette and Deane argued that the effects of colonization have a deeply negative impact on Indigenous peoples in Canada and these can be addressed through self-determination and community-directed support. Communities, once given the opportunity to direct the support they are given, most often use resources available in effective ways. Self-determination empowers the disenfranchised to overcome many of the problems they face.


Morrissette and Deane with #UMNATV students

Although there are many difficulties associated with gangs, they are not the cause of the “problem.” That means the “problem” cannot be solved through hardline policies and legal attacks on gangs. Through community-directed support, self-determination, and a marked decrease in colonization (attitudes, policies, and media attention to name a few realms of colonization), the causes of gang prevalence can be diminished.  Supporting the community and the people within it, whether members of gangs or not, can only help the future generations of Indigenous people, especially children, in the inner-city.


Here is some new information just published today (March 21, 2014) from the website Venezuelan Analysis (  There are a lot of links here to go through which provide up-to-date information regarding this socio-political issue taking place during a revolutionary climate.  Not to turn a blind eye toward what is happening in the Middle East, Syria, the Ukraine, but, there is little to no information, or sufficient data, being offered in the American “lame-stream” media about this issue.  It will certainly have global implications.

Please read and share with others.

Lechusza Aquallo

Sparrow Productions

21 March, 2014


It’s yet another news packed week here in Venezuela, and it’s not over yet. The death toll has continued to rise in violent disturbances, and two opposition mayors have been detained under allegations of supporting violence. The National Assembly has also called for charges against opposition legislator, Maria Machado.
However, despite opposition violence, the government has taken new measures aiming to reduce food scarcity, and distributed 90 new ambulances to communal councils and hospitals.
As this newsletter goes out the OAS is expected to hold talks on the situation in Venezuela; so be sure to check VA in the coming hours for the latest news.
In solidarity,
Ryan for the VA team
“Mi Amigo Hugo” by filmmaker Oliver Stone is a gathering of testimonies of family, friends, intellectuals and politicians who honor and remember Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, leader of the Bolivarian Revolution and forerunner of the integration process throughout Latin American and the Caribbean in the 21st century. Broadcasted on TeleSur TV before actual release date.
In the early hours of Monday morning, Venezuela’s armed forces carried out a swift and precise operation that saw the state’s security apparatus restore order to the municipality of Chacao in the capital of Caracas.
One opposition mayor has been arrested and another jailed in relation to the street violence that has been occurring in their municipalities. Meanwhile, a soldier and a government worker were killed as a result of the opposition violence.
Venezuelan legislators have called for a criminal investigation into opposition National Assembly (AN) member Maria Corina Machado.
The Venezuelan government has declared it will sever all commercial ties with Air Canada, after the airline suspended operations in the country earlier this week.
Yesterday the national government handed out ninety ambulances to a range of communal councils, Integral Diagnostic Centres (CDI) and hospitals.
A controversial food card intended to combat scarcity was introduced on Sunday by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
On Saturday Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro announced his plans to propose to the United States the creation of a high commission to promote peace and respect between the the two nations.  The proposal comes after a week of exchanges between the two countries’ diplomats.
On the weekend civilians marched with National Bolivarian Guard (GNB) soldiers, and today the government declared part of Caracas “free” from violent protests. The march came as private media heightened its false statements about GNB actions.
If most people in English speaking countries believe that the media is far less free in Venezuela than in their own countries, it actually highlights the deplorable state of press freedom in their own.
Moodilar argues, “The left needs to rally behind the revolutionary process using a framing that educates people about the social forces at play in Venezuela”.
Venezuelan economist Simón Andrés Zuñiga responds to the neoliberal critics of Venezuela’s economic model and the problems it faces.
John Kerry’s rhetoric is divorced from the reality on the ground, where life goes on – even at the barricades
Of the many imaginative ways the opposition has proved itself hopelessly hypocritical, here are the top eight shameless contradictions.
Clodovaldo Hérnandez, Venezuelan writer and politician, talks about the criminalization of grassroots organizing, the right-wing strategy behind it, and goes on to explain why “the fate of the revolution rests in the communal councils” in an interview with newspaper Ciudad CCS, from March 10th, 2014.
In light of Kerry’s comments last Wednesday that alluded to possible sanctions, forty-six writers, intellectuals and public figures call on the U.S. Secretary of State to respect the legitimacy of the Maduro government and Venezuelan sovereignty.
Capitalism’s historical tendency, if any such thing exists, is not toward growing enlightenment but rather toward increasing barbarism. In the Bolivarian Republic, young people and students have recently taken to the streets, donning ski masks and white shirts to defy public order with the typical fascist combination of destructiveness and repudiation of intellect.
Amidst headlines dominated by the situation in Ukraine, this bit of news slipped by almost unnoticed at the end of February; Ben Rowswell replaced Paul Gibbard as Canadian ambassador to Venezuela. A quick look into the appointee’s background brings special significance to his promotion, especially as opposition protests escalate in Venezuela.
Socialists in the Asia-Pacific region pledge support for Venezuela’s socialist revolution, a year after Chavez’s death.

Bohmer, on the anniversary of Chavez’s death, examines some of Venezuela’s real problems, then analyses the current political situation and the violence taking place in Venezuela.