Posted by on Oct 22, 2014 in Featured

Bellingham City Council Renames Columbus Day “Coast Salish Day”

Bellingham City Council Renames Columbus Day “Coast Salish Day”

Hours after Seattle’s Mayor Ed Murray signed Seattle’s “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” resolution into law, the Bellingham City Council, located two hours North of Seattle, voted unanimously to rename Columbus Day to “Coast Salish Day” in recognition of the regions Coast Salish Peoples. “Why do we celebrate an individual [Columbus] when so many bad things happened because of what he did?” -Roxanne Murphy The resolution was drafted by Bellingham City Council member Roxanne Murphy (Nooksack). During the Oct 13th hearing an outpouring of support from community members filled the Bellingham city council chambers expressing their support for the renaming of Columbus Day to Coast Salish Day. Bellingham’s resolution follows similar resolutions passed by Seattle, Minneapolis, the Seattle School Board and the Portland School Board. COAST SALISH DAY WHEREAS, the second Monday in October currently serves as Columbus Day in United States; WHEREAS, Washington State does not celebrate Columbus Day; WHEREAS, research has shown that Coast Salish Tribes including the Nooksack Indian Tribe and the Lummi Nation have lived, worked and...

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Posted by on Aug 16, 2013 in Featured, News

Filming Sundance: Tradition, Technology, and Journalism Collide, By Kevin Gonzaga

Filming Sundance: Tradition, Technology, and Journalism Collide, By Kevin Gonzaga

A few weeks ago I was invited to help at a Sundance ceremony that was being organized and run by friends of mine in the Native American community. Sundance is a sacred ceremony common to a number of Native American tribes (mostly from the Northern Plains) that is held annually during Summer. True to indigenous form, this was a “learn-by-participating” experience for me and essentially nothing was described or explained to me beforehand. The one thing that was made clear though was that it was forbidden to take pictures or film the ceremony in any way. So one can imagine my surprise yesterday when I discovered that the Aboriginals People’s Television Network (APTN) was releasing a several part feature on the Sundance ceremony. APTN was invited to observe, film and report on the Sprucewoods Sundance by its leader, Chief David Blacksmith, and they had accepted.  APTN reporter Shanneen Robinson and her film crew attended and filmed the Sundance ceremony. APTN is now releasing the feature in a series of episodes. The controversial decision...

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Posted by on Feb 24, 2013 in Featured, News

Grand Forks High School KKK incident is Accepted Racism -Kevin Gonzaga

Grand Forks High School KKK incident is Accepted Racism -Kevin Gonzaga

I flew into Grand Forks, North Dakota, a few days ago to participate in an open house for the psychology program at the University of North Dakota. I have been eager to experience Grand Forks for myself as I have been considering moving here for several years. While normal concerns, such as the weather and the quality of academics at UND have been on my mind, I am also concerned about the prevailing culture in the area, especially in regards to race relations. While I am half-Dutch I am also half-Filipino and am very clearly part of an ethnic minority. I have been curious to know how I will be treated and perceived in such a community. I have not had to wait too long to get a rough gauge for Grand Forks in this regard. My host family is Native American. In our time visiting I expressed the fact that I had never experienced racism first hand growing up in California but knew it was different elsewhere, and...

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Posted by on Jan 22, 2013 in Featured, News

Idle No More Caused by Changing Demographics. by Kevin Gonzaga

Idle No More Caused by Changing Demographics. by Kevin Gonzaga

Title: A Demographic Shift And Historical Realities Combine To Fuel Idle No More. Idle No More: a grassroots movement circling around First Nations, Inuit, and Metis (FNMI) issues in Canada to a worldwide indigenous rights movement. As I was listening to people introduce themselves at a recent solidarity rally in L.A. I realized there were representatives from indigenous groups from all over Turtle Island (North America) and even some from South America. In addition to this there were many settler allies, such as myself. This small sign of the global support Idle No More is enjoying left me wondering, “Why has this gone so far? Why now? What has enabled this movement at this point and time in history?” While there are certainly numerous factors that should be considered, I believe a major component of Idle No More’s success and spreading influence is due to a demographic shift and historical realities that have produced a cohort of indigenous youth that are forming the backbone of the movement. There at...

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