May 21, 2020

Dennis Banks FBI File

Dennis Banks passed away on October 29, 2017. On November 1, 2017 I filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the FBI for any files related to Banks. Most of the FBI files related to the American Indian Movement have been public for a number of years but I was curious to see if the FBI would release anything new Banks following his death. After I filed the request the only thing I heard was a notice saying my request was overly broad and I could reduce the scope to enable faster processing. Read more

August 3, 2017

From the Archives: The Vanishing Americans

Here’s a little article I pulled from a digital copy of The Indian, May 28, 1970: The Indian, May 28, 1970 What really drew my attention to the article was the blending of traditional identity with contemporary rock music, then I decided to see if they ever managed to get that record made. There’s no entry for the Vanishing Americans in my encyclopedia of native music, but the band did end up touring with Bonnie Raitt. Read more

September 3, 2015

Bob Englehart's Golden Hill Paugussett Cartoon

In her book, Cash, Color, and Colonialism: The Politics of Tribal Acknowledgement, Renee Cramer made a passing reference to a cartoon in the Hartford Courant on the controversy over the potential federal acknowledgement of the Golden Hill Paugussetts in Connecticut. The small tribe, mostly located in the southwest part of the state, had a large percentage of members with African American heritage, which hindered their application for recognition because they didn’t “look Indian. Read more

October 15, 2014

The West, The Wild West, and California

Monday’s freshman American history survey ended with the students having to write about what the defined as the west and what would fall into the “wild west.” Most of the students tended to favor a geographic approach to the west with the general concensus being anything from roughly Oklahoma to the Pacific was “the west.” The bigger debate came when they had to define the mythic or “wild west.” A lot of students took the view that the wild west was something out of Tombstone: sparsely populated deserts. Read more

July 24, 2014

Always Take First Hand Accounts With a Grain of Salt

One of the many books I picked up today at the library was We Are Still Here: A Photographic History of The American Indian Movement, a good looking large glossy text produced by the Minnesota Historical Society Press which included photographs by Dick Bancroft and text by Laura Waterman Wittstock. Both Bancroft and Wittstock had interactions with AIM during the height of the Red Power period; Bancroft as a sympathetic photographer and Wittstock as a journalist. Read more

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