Indian Country Today - Arts News

Native American Idols: Perspective on Aranesa Turner From Charly Lowry

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 00:00

When Aranesa Turner, Pomo, popped up on American Idol in January, many Natives (and this website) wondered whether she was the first American Indian to have a shot at w...

Talking Stick 2014: Drama, Dance, and the Electric Powwow in Vancouver

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 00:00

Talking Stick, the annual Native arts takeover of Vancouver, BC, is here. For the record, we'll call it by its full name: ...

If Only! 'Columbus Day Cancelled' & 9 Other Long-Overdue Headlines

Wed, 02/19/2014 - 00:00

Considering all of the news Native American people see on a daily basis that is tough to stomach—why not have a bit of fun? We all know those news stories we would like to see happen, so we thought we would take some time to construct a few.

Here are 10 headlines Natives would love to see:

President Obama Forces Government to Honor All Treaties

In a stunning move by the President Barack Obama has decided to honor all of those old Native American treaties created throughout history. President Obama also told all of those affected Native Americans, “to get ready to move back to your ancestral lands, get paid back for all of those resources used over the years and check all of your mailboxes tomorrow for a big, fat check.”

Snyder Agrees Redskins is Offensive

In a surprising turn of events, Redskins team owner Dan Snyder has broken down and admitted his team’s name is racially insensitive. “I actually feel kinda bad about it and I realize the games my dad and I went to as a kid have nothing to do with another culture’s feelings.” After talking with a stadium packed full of game-goers Snyder also said, “Yeah, money also had a lot to do with it.”


Orlando Dugi's Fashion: Masterpieces of Beads and Silk [20 Pictures]

Tue, 02/18/2014 - 00:00

Orlando Dugi, Navajo, is a self-taught fashion designer from Grey Mountain, Arizona who is currently based in Santa Fe....

Watch Derrick Suwaima Davis Win Seventh Hoop Dancing Championship

Tue, 02/18/2014 - 00:00

On Sunday, February 9, at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Derrick Suwaima Davis confirmed his status as the world's greates...

Is Jason Momoa of 'Game of Thrones' the Next Great Native Star?

Mon, 02/17/2014 - 00:00

If you watch Game of Thrones, you know him as Khal Drogo. If you watched Stargate: Atlantis, you know him as Ronon Dex....

‘Killer of Enemies’ Brings Apache Warrior Lozen to Life

Sun, 02/16/2014 - 00:00

Abenaki storyteller Joseph Bruchac’s latest young adult book, Killer of Enemies, introduces readers to Lozen and her post-apocalyptic world in which technology no longer works.

Lozen must rely on survival skills learned from her father and uncle to take on gemods—genetically modified beings.

Before the Cloud wiped out the technology, Lozen lived in a world of haves and have-nots—those with technological enhancements were in power, those without served those in power, the Ones.

After the Cloud, Lozen’s mother and brother are held hostage by the remaining Ones because they need Lozen’s special monster-hunting abilities. Before the Cloud, some Ones mixed animal DNA to create gemods and keep them as pets. Now they roam free.

Besides what she learned from her family, Lozen has special survival skills similar to those of her namesake, Apache warrior Lozen, born in the 1840s. She uses those skills to take on the gemods. Lozen in Killer of Enemies can sense when enemies are near and make herself unnoticeable to them.

Bruchac published his first book of stories in 1975, and now has more than 100 titles in print. He’s won numerous awards including a 2014 American Indian Youth Literature Award from the American Indian Library Association for Killer of Enemies.

Indian Country Today Media Network spoke with him about his latest book.


Dan and Dave Greene Discuss Their 'Bigfoot Bounty' Experience

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 00:00

Brothers Dan and Dave Green (Mohawk/Tuscarora/Chippewa) were one of the teams competing on the Spike series $10 Million Bigfoot Bounty....

Video: 9 Romantic Songs for Valentine’s Day

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 00:00

For those looking to add a little something more Native to their Valentine’s Day celebrations, check out these romantic songs, some from pow wows around the country, others just plain romantic.

Maybe instead of buying flowers and chocolates, your special someone would enjoy being serenaded.

Video of Ralph Kanip valentines round dance 2013

Video of Honey Bunz (Round Dance)


Niagara Falls and Sap: Valentine Poems by Alex Jacobs and Janet Rogers

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 00:00

It's the day we love to love (or love to hate) -- Valentine's Day....

Zazzle Removes Offensive Valentine’s Day Products

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 00:00

Shortly after posting a list of Native-themed Valentine’s Day gifts, the artistic product website Zazzle has removed two of the products listed in the article and issued a response on Twitter.

RELATED: 10 Native-Themed Valentine’s Day Gifts to Avoid

When asked what people thought of the product, responses on Twitter and Facebook ranged from “racist” to “shameful,” among others.


Lummi Elder Remembers Shirley Temple Black

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 00:00

Lummi Nation elder Henry Hillaire, 90, remembers the late Shirley Temple Black not as the the most famous child film star of the 1930s, or as a U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Ghana and Czechoslovakia, or as Chief of Protocol of the United States, but as a woman who used her renown and her respect and compassion for others to help foster economic development on the reservation when she visited in the 1970s. Here are Hillaire's memories of Black as told to an ICTMN correspondent, with some clarifying notes inserted in italics:

We had a lunch and we talked about the nature of things, the way Native Americans have been treated. She was a very nice lady and she told me all of her feelings about how she felt about people. She was [supportive of] anybody who was taken advantage of by people or the government. The government at that time was in the period when they want to do away with Indian reservations. 

The Lummi had signed a treaty and we talked about that. [Under the 1855 Treaty of Point Elliott, the tribes and bands in western Washington Territory who were signatories ceded their ancestral lands, with the exception of specified tracts reserved for their use and occupation. The treaty granted the tribes non-exclusive rights to fish "at usual and accustomed grounds and stations" and to hunt and gather on open and unclaimed lands.] After we signed the treaty the government took half of that land back [to sell to non-Indians under the allotment policy. By the end of the 1950s, the Lummi had lost 40 percent of their reservation].

They gave the highlands on our reservation away, then the reservation was all river bottom. The Government created a little peninsula of land on the river bottom; they guided the river to the north and shut that off and guided the river to the south and left us on a little peninsula, the only place where we could live.

The land became more and more unusable—it was a wetland. That was what was left for us to make a living on. The land we tried to use it at first for planting corn and oats, but the source of our survival was the sea, the tidelands. [However, Washington state and local governments had been unrelenting in separating the Lummi from the sea and the exercise of the fishing rights guaranteed to them in the Treaty of Point Elliott.]


Eliminated from 'American Idol', Aranesa Turner Keeps on Singing

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 00:00

It was another frustrating episode of American Idol for fans of Aranesa Turner, Pomo, whose talent has won her many fans, particularly in Indian country....

Native 'American Idol' Singer Aranesa Turner: 'Greatness Is in You'

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 00:00

On February 12 and 13 -- tonight and tomorrow night -- 20-year-old Aranesa Turner, Pomo, will again be among the ever-shrinking pool of contestants striving to be the next winne...

11 Little-Seen Drawings by Modernist Apache Sculptor Allan Houser

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 00:00

Allan Houser, or Haozous (1914-1994), an enrolled member of the Fort Sill Apache Tribe, is known as one of the preeminent American artists of the 20...

10 Native-Themed Valentine’s Day Gifts to Avoid

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 00:00

Nothing says Valentine’s Day more than a naked baby shooting arrows into your heart. But what if the baby was Native? Now that would be an appropriate Native-themed Valentine’s Day! Before you romantics run out to grab chocolates, flowers and maybe a teddy bear—we thought you might like to reflect on some other possibilities… to avoid.

If your loved one happens to be Native American and you are considering any of these gifts, you should think about sticking to the chocolate and flowers. Otherwise cupid won’t be the only one shooting an arrow at you.

Customizable Native American Vintage Valentine Tie

As the Zazzle website says, “What’s a tailored suit without a custom tie! Create one-of-a-kind ties for yourself or your loved ones.” And nothing says fashion more appropriately than the description: “O, be mine, fairest of maidens! Heap hard heart.” An Indian maiden hides behind a heart-shaped shield as love's arrows are fired by a Native American in this vintage Valentine from 1908 by Ellen Clapsaddle. And it’s only $35.


Watch Time Lapse Video of Plenty Coups Mural in L.A.'s Indian Alley

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 00:00

When photographer Pamela Peters' photography exhibition ...

Shirley Temple Black, Depression-Era Screen Star, Walks On at 85

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 00:00

Shirley Temple danced into the hearts of America with her charming smile and adorable dimples in the 1930s reaching the kind of childhood stardom no other has attained since. She walked on at her home in Woodside, California at the age of 85 on Monday night.

From 1935 to 1939 she was the most popular movie star in America—the handsome Clark Gable was a distant second, she was photographed more than President Franklin D. Roosevelt and received more mail than Greta Garbo, reports the New York Times. She even has a drink named after her—the sweet concoction of lemon-lime soda and grenadine topped with a cherry created by the Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood.

She started acting at age 3, won an Academy Award at the age of 6 and earned $3 million before reaching puberty. Her first major movie was in 1932 when she appeared in “War Babies,” part of the “Baby Burlesks” series of short films. But when public interest waned as she grew up, she didn’t let that discourage her.


Colonize This! Inuit Throat Singer Tanya Tagaq Tames 'Nanook'

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 00:00

Wearing a shiny gold tunic and hand crafted silver etched head piece with bear claw accents and sealskin mukluks, Inuit style throat singer Tanya Tagaq took the stage at Vancouv...