Defying the Supreme Court

Ted Cruz Channels Andrew Jackson

Trail of Tears

Trail of Tears

Although I don’t always agree with Supreme Court decisions I respect the authority of the country’s highest court.

When Ted Cruz told NPR this week the court ruled incorrectly on marriage equality and national health care I felt a chill. Continue reading

Posted in american indian, Indian, native american, Native Science | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Talking about race

American Indian posers
red face

I’m glad we’re talking about race, although the heinous acts that led to the conversation should never be lost in the discussion.

Problem is, the very word race stems from difference—not just cultural—but perceived biological and intellectual differences that underpin policies that gassed Jews and sterilized Blacks.

You can trace the topic of race to the mid-1800s in North America.

While settlers were itching to cross the Sioux Holy Road through the Black Hills to gain access to the west, physicians created hierarchies of race sanctioned by science.

Caucasians were considered “intellectually endowed” and “superior both in civilization and intelligence.” Continue reading

Posted in american indian, authenticity, framing, Indian, native american, science, writing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Kennewick Man’s back in the news

But it’s the same old story

Image by © Marty Two Bulls, from Indian Country Today

Image by © Marty Two Bulls, from Indian Country Today

A science writer called me with a head’s up.

The Journal Nature was ready to release news that scientists would soon announce the 9200-year-old skeleton from the Pacific Northwest was indeed related to modern-day Indians.

New techniques allow researchers to examine DNA scraped from the bones of the skeleton called Kennewick Man. Continue reading

Posted in american indian, authenticity, Kennewick Man, NAGPRA | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Best brand money can buy


You can’t avoid the Bruce-Caitlyn Jenner story if you use social media, watch TV or shop at a grocery store.

Photos and stories wave from every media channel that catches your eye.

When I first saw the busty woman in a white corset on my facebook feed accompanied by a caption with the name Jenner, I skipped it, figuring it’s just another Kardashian-Jenner pseudo-news event.

Turns out the posts were a clever come-on by Vanity Fair to entice readers to check-out Bruce Jenner’s entrance-as-a-woman. Continue reading

Posted in authenticity, Bruce Jenner, ethics, framing, journalism, writing | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Chocolate Diet Hoax


First do no harm

There’s something creepy if you have to lie to get what you want.

So it bothers me when someone gets trapped into doing something she might not do without a nudge.

For example, Portland took the national stage over Christmas in 2010 when a teenager was seduced in an FBI sting operation that made him think he could blow up a piece of Portland.

The teenager was found guilty after trying to ignite a fake bomb downtown and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Was he nudged? Continue reading

Posted in framing, health, journalism, science, science communication, scientific hoax, social media, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When images harm

The Mascot Ruling in Oregon

One lesson I’m learning is that conflict requires you to get inside the head of your opponent.

And while this perspective presumes you’re wearing battle fatigues, the point is to understand someone else’s viewpoint in order to reach a resolution.

This week the Oregon Department of Education reaffirmed its policy to ban American Indian mascots at public schools by striking down an amendment to keep the team names intact–an issue that’s been discussed formally for more than a decade here in Oregon. Continue reading

Posted in authenticity, framing, Indian, journalism, mascots, native american, native press, Native Science, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Drinking a cup of tea, I stop a war

Memorial Day

A cup of tea from the Allied armies in 1944

A cup of tea from the Allied armies in 1944

We learned that freedom of speech is sacrosanct: that you should always allow someone the courtesy of saying something idiotic and extreme for fear that anything that quashes freedom could sanction yours.

That sort of freedom was always theoretical.

In our small berg where I was a reporter, fresh from college, we didn’t have rallies by the IRA or the KKK.

The Vietnam War was over and, to be frank, the issue of freedom of speech never arose.

But I always hoped I would be asked to commit to a cause, and that I would side with our freedom to speak.

Today I’m not so sure. Continue reading

Posted in american indian, framing, freedom of speech, Indian, journalism, Memorial Day, native american, Native Science, science, science communication, writing | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments