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Today's feature on National Native news the Chippewa spearfishing battle reaches public television. I'm now a more public television documentary lighting the seventh fire takes its title from a Chippewa prophecy of a spiritual awakening that will spread beyond the Chippewa themselves. It offers a graphic look at how the Chippewa of northern Wisconsin have had to struggle to restore their centuries old tradition. The program's producer is McCaw Sandra sunrising also up. She spoke with National Native news is Diane Hamilton about how the prophecy applies to the treaty rights struggle and the resistance it has met the prophecy and that is really about people coming together over the environment and. In many ways it seems that that is happening now. Certainly I think that is the hope. One of the things that I found there with that many people are speaking of the at a certain age called the seventh fire which is marked by a return of tradition. The prophecy is talked
about for example the coming over here in gray. And this gives you some idea of how long the prophecy is going anywhere. Can they have predicted the coming of the white man here to this continent. It was interesting to me to try to interweave. The prophecy with current political day realities. I remember you know stories that we got from Wisconsin back then and and all the hate the violence that was going on there I remember. You know terms like timber nigger and all the other hateful things that were said. And you bring that all out. I mean it's in it's right in your face isn't it. One of the most graphic things is what we do is allow the story to unfold basically from people they're Spearfish And then there are the crowds at the protests. It's all done really without a narrator in the interests of trying to get the purest possible story we could in other words really from the point of view of. People in that area. And the crowd that
they give me is you hear them I basically. Or what they would have seen had you wandered onto the scene and just been you know part of that angry mob or part of that angry crowd. And it was quite shocking to really see that racism was alive and well in the. In the 1990s. Do you think that this has any particular relevance with what's going on today in looking at some of the scenes. The mob and of the angry crowd. You really get in an edited version of what. Something like pure hate looks and feels like. And. You can't help but really associate that with some of the things that have happened recently such as the Oklahoma bombing and other. Things that are happening that are of a very hateful nature. How would you characterize you know the view towards native fishing rights today. I mean if there are continued to be organizations like stop treaty abuse on par What do you feel the climate is today.
Well I believe that the prophecy in that area really talks about people coming together over the earth over issues concerning the environment and. One person told me well I was with interviewing him that. That these people throwing rocks at it now will be the same people who will be allies with this in the future because they will realize that really they love this land as much as we do but they are just misdirected in their love for this land at the moment that they will soon. Basically become more and lightened and start to join with the tribes in that area to try to find ways to really protect the environment and protect the earth. Is there anything else you'd like to add at this point to reemphasize one of the issues that I would like to mention is that I am a member of the Native American producers alliance. I think that basically being able to launch something on PBS I
believe it's a pretty good produced program on appeal be. It's really a major victory in the sense that there we really don't have those kinds of victories every day or every year or every decade unfortunately because we are still in the process of trying to say hey we would like the right to tell our story. Subzero sun rising also produced lighting the seventh fire for PBS as point of view series. It airs across the nation on July 4th. She spoke with Dionne Hamilton National Native news features are made possible by the threshold Foundation and by the National Endowment for the Arts. Of the. Internet. Today's feature on National Native news native Hawaiians who want sovereignty reflect on what the July 4th means to them. I'm Nelly Moore. Across the country the Fourth of July was filled with parades picnics and fireworks.
It's a day when most Americans celebrate their independence and freedom. But for many Native Americans it's a more somber day. On July 4th more than 100 years ago the nation of Hawaii was proclaimed the Republic of Hawaii and officially put under U.S. control. Hawaiians say Independence Day is not a day of mourning but rather a day of reflection as they move forward with hopes for sovereignty in the future. And as Craig DeSilva reports from Hawaii Public Radio in Honolulu this July 4th holiday will be remembered by Native Hawaiians through recreating the events that took place a century ago. I've Samford Beedle president of the provincial government of the Hawaiian Islands by virtue of the charge to me given by the executive and advisory councils of the provisional government and the ACT dated July 3rd 1894 proclaimed the Republic of Hawaii as the Southern authority over and throughout the Hawaiian Islands.
From this time fort on July 4th to 94 while Americans were celebrating Independence Day by firing cannons from one of the harbor sen for Dole one of the masterminds behind the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy. Stood on the steps of Irani palace the home of Hawaii's reigning monarchs and read a proclamation declaring the Republic of Hawaii into existence and trained in the best use of political machinery may prove that republics can exist and flourish in the tropics. They build later became Hawaii's first governor. The event brought Hawaii closer to U.S. control. At home winds remembered the day through a cast of characters who reenact what happened on the same steps more than a century ago in hundreds of good government. And finally and safely distribute that power among all races here and create the Republic which the great South American despaired of. This is the supreme mission of America to the Orient. Hayden Burgess ho and sovereignty leader who organized the re-enactment says it was a significant step in Hawai history. But many native Hawaiians consider it a leap
backwards. It took away the right to self-determination. So this is the same stuff that Americans were celebrating on the Fourth of July. How he was robbed of those same rights the right to self-determination the right to liberty the right of a people to determine for themselves their own government. No you don't you Silva wrote the script for the re-enactment. She based much of her research on the Hawaiian language newspapers that were published at the time. Silva says in contrast to what many people think records show that Native Hawaiians rallied against the move to form the Republic of Hawaii 5000 to 7000 people showed up to protest this coming announcement of the Constitution which was enacted without their agreement or participation in writing. There were petitions before the United States Congress and President Grover Cleveland had already said that the overthrow was illegal that he did not agree with it that the monarchy should be restored but the monarchy was never restored after an unsuccessful rebellion against the new government.
Queen Livy will Kalani Hawaii's last reigning monarch was imprisoned in her own home at your Lani palace. She died without seeing her nation returned. But Silva says Hawaiians have never lost hope. The winds did have organized resistance. They did fight every step of the way for sovereignty and it's been a continuous fight all the way through to today. And so we're engaged in a struggle that has been going on since actually before 1893 but it was all the other patriotic leaks together with the loyal subjects of the wine Kingdom in mass meeting assembled representing by far the greater majority of the legitimate voters of this country do hereby most solemnly protest against the promulgation of a new constitution found without the consent and participation of the people. And we also protest against changing the form of government from the one under which we have lived peacefully and
prosperously for many years in the recreation voices are also used to demonstrate what native Hawaiians were thinking about at the time. Hayden Burgess says it's events like these that help Hawaiians rediscover their heritage and recover their culture. Participants also grapple with contemporary issues like their move toward sovereignty land rights and health for national head of news in Honolulu Hawaii. I'm Craig DeSalvo National Native news features are made possible by the threshold Foundation and by the National Endowment for the Arts. Today's feature on National Native news the looting of Native America. I'm Nelly more collectors traffickers and tourists are removing the artifacts of native peoples from the Americas at an alarming rate. All the legislation and accords among North Central and South America would stem the flow of native antiquities to foreign countries. The problem
doesn't seem to be getting any better. As we hear in this 1993 report from Ben Fenwick is a group of ruins near the Mexican city of the haka. As we hiked toward the center I am led by a native Mesa Tech Guide hernández a worker at the site for more than 20 years before as pyramids rise above a plaza where the peoples conducted the affairs of their world over 2000 years ago. Some natives who live locally gather to sell his various crafted items. One holds up a mask of jade like stone obviously of recent make. Then an elderly man opens his hand to reveal a small clay figure he wants to sell. Take this. This is. The looting of native sites in the Americas from Alaska to Peru has intensified during
the last two decades and continues. One native man at the site said he had no problem selling artifacts to the Germans French English Japanese or Americans. He later refused to be interviewed on tape. University of Oklahoma archaeologist Paul menace. And the reason is archaeologists were concerned as that's the record for most of humanity. And we're losing it throughout the world we're losing that record from the area I work in in New Mexico in the embrace where 95 percent of the 95 percent of the site's been destroyed. And fact in the last since 1970 they have been using bulldozers to take sites out. And a bulldozer doesn't leave much fuel remaining. The study has happened here in Oklahoma down in southeast Oklahoma where you have mountains and burial mounds and Temple mounds of the western most extension of the Mississippi and people as a. The tradition of prehistoric tradition it reached its heights of most dense population and large cities and Spyro is an example in Oklahoma.
And there we have a lot of these mounds being looted and they have been looted and continue being looted today for the artifacts efforts to stop the trade in native artifacts are recent only in the past decade have international accords been set up to stem the hemorrhage of artifacts from the Americas. One such accord is the convention on means of prohibiting and preventing the illicit import export and transfer of ownership of cultural property signers to the accord agree not to import artifacts from accord countries which includes most in the Americas. However Germany Great Britain and Switzerland are but three of the countries which have not signed the accord. Other steps being taken by affected countries involve laws on the national level. Only last fall the United States Congress signed into action a set of laws to further tighten those already on the books. Mexico's laws have existed for years and are among those most strict. But there are resources for enforcement lag behind statutory efforts. Hernández says that sites like Monte Ya-Bon officials have to concentrate on preventing the
loss of larger artifacts. But the smaller ones which can tell as much about the lives of the ancient peoples who made them. Often end up on the Knick Knack shelves of tourists history lost forever. Hernando says his country has seen many treasures carted away since contact with the Spanish. But even though the artifacts are disappearing he says they aren't the most important thing to his people. Does it make you angry that some pieces are being taken away by. Closely and rather trite boredom or did people do that now is not the astonishment at this Iraq. I mean. For emphasis or not as stoops and picks up ancient pieces of pottery strung across the dirt parking lot next to Monte Ya-Bon.
But his explanations are lost as the next tourist bus from Mohawk up pulls up to unload for National Native news. I'm been been waiting. For a. National Native news features are made possible by the threshold Foundation and by the National Endowment for the Arts. Public. Radio. International. Today's feature on National Native news what a new building can do to reclaim my heritage. I'm Nelly Moore. That's what I miss as a small tribe of coastal sailors living north of Seattle. The tribes once forbidden religion has seen a revival with the construction of a traditional cedar washing house called the smokehouse. Jane Fritz visited the noose one of much smokehouse in 1994. As we hear in this report it was nearly 50 years ago that the religious singing and dancing known as cion began to re-emerge the swinish religion had gone underground.
Our traditional religion was outlawed or our elders were put into jail for teaching our young people our traditional religion our dances are young people were taken away from their families and put into boarding schools. Linda DE is a member of the Smoke House committee for the swinish Indian community and women. Horse vision and dedication led to the construction of the cedar building where the CME is now practiced it is an imposing structure 200 feet long and 40 feet high. The Smokehouse has two large rooms. This is the dining area where the people and their guests are fed and on the other side of the cedar plank wall is a ceremonial hall where only those who have completed an intensive initiation are drumming singing and dancing. They are marked by painted black faces and crimson clothing. The Smokehouse is now the center of rituals and a place of healing reclaiming a culture that was slipping away. I noticed as soon as the building started people within the
church started carving again and started doing a basket making story learning a language started bringing about the traditions that had almost been lost. Many many many kitchens are being brought in. It's going to strengthen our people here the next generations the smokehouse dining area isn't finished until more money can be raised to buy modern kitchen appliances. But ceremonial room is reminiscent of ancient times with its earthen floor in cedar post carvings of sacred animals and mythological figures. The totems bloom in the smoky light from the two giant fires burning on the floor for all its simplicity. There is a spiritual presence here felt even during its construction. At one point in time we realized that the building itself took on its own voice in its own life and from that point on we realized that it had very little to do with our ability to be
carpenters or plumbers or anything else it was something much more special. Ray Williams is the smokehouse committee co chairman. They had a lot to do with with what the others had been introducing to us all along and said basically if you have a very good dream. What something should be like. As long as you cultivate that dream and as long as you nurture and as long as you respect it and pay attention to the lessons and the teachings that go along with that then it will take its own shape in its own form in its own time. And that was one of the most valuable lessons that we had found and now that the songs and the dances and of the drums and the voices are returning to that sacred space we're feeling that there's an incredible amount of potential in that very same arena where the very same structure because it is one that's designed for healing and it's one that's designed for the harnessing of the beautiful spiritual energy and to share that very same
energy with anyone who enters the building to spend time with people. The next morning the smoke house is empty. The fires are out. The smoke has cleared and the sound of rain is on the roof. The daylight streaming through the smoke holes in the ceiling reveal the details of the carved cedar totems see on dancer Larry Campbell talks about how the smoke house will help build cultural understanding and demonstrate the strength of traditional swinish spiritual ways. What we're trying to do is we're trying to reach out and we're trying to share this part of us were to people so there not many people can understand who we are and to say what we have has validity. You know survive comparison you're from haven't haven't invalidity it was in the spirit of sharing that Washington Governor Mike Lowery participated in the treaty Day ceremonies the first governor to do so since territorial days
for National Native news. I'm Jane Fritz in Spokane Washington. National Native news features are made possible by the threshold Foundation and by the National Endowment for the Arts. Today's feature on National Native news Neda photographers and writers in a circle of nations. I'm Natalie Moore. For years imagery about Native Americans has been controlled by non-natives and there are still a few books that portray native America as it is today. But one such book a circle of nations voices and visions of American Indians brought together the writings of 11 contemporary Native authors and paired them with the imagery from 22 native photographers. As we hear in this 1994 report from Sam Fuqua the words and pictures in a circle of nations weave together a new definition of tradition a tradition that is alive and changing with the cultural landscape. It's a continuous
connection of past and present that runs through the work of the native writers who contribute original essays to the book including Mark Trahant Joy Harjo Simon Ortiz and Linda Hogan who writes a memoir about her grandmother living in rural poverty without water. My grandmother became a quiet tender woman. The double knot of America was tied about her and inescapable. Like most of the Chickasaw women she became an active church goer practicing the outward shape of Christianity while retaining the depth of Indian traditional religion a reverence for all life. She lived outside the confines of the white world within an older order holding the fragments of an Indian way closed within her hands. She was the face of survival. The face of history and spirit in a place where even women were forced to take up arms to protect
themselves at death. She made a statement of resistance. Her gravestone disavowed Oklahoma state hood. The white world. It reads born and died in Berwyn Indian Territory. Linda Hogan reading from her essay in a circle of nations all the work of Hogan and some other contemporary Native writers is starting to reach a wider audience. The work of Native American photographers is harder to find. This book helps change that with over 100 pictures by native photographers from across the U.S. and Canada including Bernice Morris and Sheldon Preston marionette Pember Kenny Blackbird and Joe Martin Cantrell. The work of money Russell a Navajo is an example of the variety of photographs in a circle of nations in the space of a few pages Russell shows us a young woman in traditional dress at an Apache puberty ceremony a volunteer fireman at the auction an Indian community the Laguna Pueblo baseball team and a breathtaking picture. The last one in the book from the Navajo
reservation in Monument Valley Arizona against a backdrop of dramatic rock formations. Two men one on horseback the other on a three wheeled motorbike prepared to bring in the cattle at the end of the day. Basically we wanted to give and give an opportunity to say their own words and show their own pictures of their people in a way that they would like to be seen. Richard Cohn is co-owner of beyond words publishing of Hillsboro Oregon in 1090 they put out a hugely successful book called wisdom keepers meetings with Native American spiritual elders that volume and circle of nations are part of the company's Earth song collection beyond words donates a portion of the proceeds from the Earth Song series to Native organizations like the American Indian Institute and the Native American Rights Fund. Cohn says there's a deliberate connection between the earlier book wisdom keepers and a circle of nations and wisdom keepers we had already been able to put forth the worth of the photograph. The elders who were well we saw this new generation coming
forward who will be the older writer Linda Hogan says books like circle of nations help break down the stereotypes of Native Americans frozen in time a hundred years ago. I think it begins to do that. And I think also there are other books and publications that are coming out that I think are expressing the real lives of Indian people today and in the recent past. And that all of that together is going to have a lot of power not just to crack stereotypes but let's think of them as a not that it gets watered and grows a tree for National Native news. I'm Sam few national native news features are made possible by the threshold Foundation and by the National Endowment for the Arts. This is National Native news. Our preachers producer is Dionne Hamilton with production assessments and engineering by Kevin Smith. Music by Mickey Hart for National Native news. I'm Nelly Moore. Public. Radio. International.
National Native News Special Features
Producing Organization
Koahnic Broadcast Corporation
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Koahnic Broadcast Corporation (Anchorage, Alaska)
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National Native News is a nationally broadcast news series that provides news for Native and non-Native Americans from a Native American perspective.
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In the first segment, producer Sandra Sunrising Osawa of the Makah discusses issues of race faced by the Chippewa and her film "Lighting the Seventh Fire" which aired during PBS's Point of View series. Hayden Burgess and writer Noenoe Silva discuss Hawaiian sovereignty in the shadow of the Fourth of July in the second segment. Paul Minnis discusses the looting of Native antiquities despite legislation across the Americas in the third segment. The Monte Alban ruins of Oaxaca are highlighted by site worker Elmer Hernandez. The fourth segment reports on the building of a traditional Swinomish smokehouse as the Seyowen religion reemerges after years of being outlawed. The last segment looks at the impact of the publication of "A Circle of Nations: Voices and Visions of Native America" on the imagery of the Native community.
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Associate Producer: Hamilton, D'Anne
Copyright Holder: Koahnic Broadcast Corporation
Producing Organization: Koahnic Broadcast Corporation
Reporter: Fuqua, Sam
Reporter: Moore, Nellie
Reporter: Fritz, Jane
Reporter: DeSilva, Craig
Reporter: Fenwick, Ben
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Identifier: NNN07031995 (Program_Name_Data)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Generation: Air version
Duration: 01:15:00
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Chicago: “National Native News Special Features,” 1991-07-02, Koahnic Broadcast Corporation, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed December 4, 2023,
MLA: “National Native News Special Features.” 1991-07-02. Koahnic Broadcast Corporation, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. December 4, 2023. <>.
APA: National Native News Special Features. Boston, MA: Koahnic Broadcast Corporation, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from