Saturday, December 3, 2016

Lambert: Devils Tower a malapropism


Imagine pulling a clan up the Little Missouri River in dugout canoes 12,000 years ago.

Exploiting the gap between the Cordilleran and Laurentide ice sheets during the Wisconsin Glacial Episode those Clovis People were the first humans to see the Missouri Buttes and Devils Tower. They settled Paradise only to have their descendants watch it be destroyed by colonization.

With the Oglala Lakota Nation as an interested party Chief Arvol Looking Horse has submitted a request to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names saying the words “Devils Tower” are a malapropism.
Wyoming officials hold the name Devils Tower to be "sacred" for the way it attracts tourists and their dollars. They say changing the name will harm the tourist trade. Do they seriously believe the word “Devil” attracts tourists, instead of the unusual geological formation? The geological formation isn’t going to go away and tourists world-wide will always be attracted to it. Its pull for people of all backgrounds won’t be weakened by a name that more perfectly reflects its inherent magnetism.

Bear Lodge appeared on most 1874 to 1901 maps. In 1875, a translator with the Dodge Expedition mistakenly led Colonel Dodge to believe the Lakota term for “grizzly bear” meant “bad god.” Local corruption of the translation produced the even more insulting term, “Devil,” paving the way for “Devils” Tower.

If a translation of an English language place-name was both incorrect and offensive, it would be immediately corrected by an outraged English-speaking White majority, including Wyoming’s Federal and State elected representatives.

A local rancher says, “… the vast majority of all of the public worldwide recognize it ... as Devils Tower [and] don’t see it as an evil thing, as a bad thing.” To the 26 affiliated tribes, descendants of the people who were on the land first, this argument just compounds the insult. Being spiritually connected to the land, with long-standing spiritual names for its landmarks, calling their sacred landmark by the name of a demonic figure like the Devil, and then promoting it by that name world-wide, is to them a "bad and evil thing."

Isn’t it, therefore, a moral imperative that we make amends and restore the correct Lakota name to a landmark that actually is sacred to the Indians? Moreover, if we humbly recognize our error and restore the rightful traditional name, translated as Bear Lodge, the public world-wide might well see it as a good and noble act, and be all the more inspired to visit our area.

Call or write President Obama and ask that he make this respectful name change from Devils Tower to Bear Lodge National Monument.

LTE: SYLVIA LAMBERT, Interior, South Dakota appearing in the Casper Star.
The tower, a remnant of an intrusive laccolith, has been called Mahto Tipila or Bear Lodge for centuries by the Lakota.
Sen. Ogden Driskill, R-Devils Tower, has a family ranch at the base of the tower. “If they want to find something offensive, they ought to look at Custer, South Dakota,” he said. “Custer obviously had a problem with the Sioux, and I’ve heard nothing about renaming of Custer, South Dakota.” [Laura Hancock]
In the occupied Black Hills of South Dakota descendants of European colonizers are apoplectic over the proposal to restore the state's highest point to its Lakota name, Hinhan Kaga or A Making of Owls.

The ancestors of all American Indians living east of the Rocky Mountains saw that peak when the Clovis Culture crossed into the Cheyenne/Belle Fourche drainage then into the Missouri/Mississippi River system. Lakota is an Algonquin-based tongue and is spoken by a majority of South Dakota’s tribal nations. After migrating into present-day North Carolina and forced westward by manifest destiny then acquiring horses from Spanish exploiters the Lakota reclaimed the Black Hills.

Senator Lisa Murkowski and the US Park Service are doing what Alaskans are asking of Congress urging the body to approve a name change for North America's highest peak.
The Athabascan name, meaning “the high one,” has been a bone of contention between Alaska’s congressional delegation and Ohio’s, which has sought to preserve the current name honoring assassinated U.S. president William McKinley. “At home in Alaska, we just call it Denali because it’s part of our history,” Murkowski said, according to the statement. “Officially changing the name from Mount McKinley to Mount Denali will show the long-standing significance that the name Denali holds for Alaskans.” [KTUU teevee]
Restoring the dignity of endangered cultures is one tiny part of eliminating American Indian suicides and despair in South Dakota and Wyoming.

Humanure has been a feature of the Missouri River basin for 12 millennia but the Dakota Excess pipeline is the real human waste.

Of course, the South Dakota Democratic Party should urge President Obama to dissolve the Black Hills National Forest, move management of the land from the US Department of Agriculture into the Department of Interior; and, in cooperation with Bureau of Indian Affairs Division of Forestry and Wildfire Management, rename it Okawita Paha or He Sapa National Monument eventually becoming part of the Greater Missouri Basin National Wildlife Refuge. Mato Paha (Bear Butte), the associated national grasslands and the Sioux Ranger District of the Custer/Gallatin National Forest should be included in the move.

It's time for the State of South Dakota to abandon Bear Butte State Park that it claimed through colonization and remand it to the tribes for governance so they can restore its name to Mato Paha and for the US Park Service to add the name Mahto Tipila to Devils Tower National Monument.

ip photo: Missouri Buttes and Devils Tower at sunset. Click on the image for a better look.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Thune responsible for Facebook's fake news

Senator John Thune (earth hater-SD) has flip-flopped on Donald Trump's legitimacy so many times it looks like he's been bought.
Mr. Thune also asked directly whether the curators had “in fact manipulated the content,” something Facebook denied in a statement on Monday. Among Facebook users, 63 percent consider the platform to be a news service, according to a Pew Study. The company could ignore or refuse to comply with Mr. Thune’s requests on First Amendment grounds, said Floyd Abrams, a leading First Amendment lawyer. [New York Times]
After his Republican overlords stuffed his war chest Thune reversed his rejection of Trump in just a matter of days.
Once Donald Trump wrapped up the Republican nomination, Thune started showing up on vice presidential short lists before Indiana Gov. Mike Pence got the nod. By October, after disclosure of taped remarks in which Trump discussed groping women without their consent, Thune called on the billionaire businessman to withdraw from the race in favor of Pence.

HARWOOD: The head of the NSA said (Monday) at The Wall Street Journal CEO Council that no one should have any doubt that Russia got involved in our election for the purpose of achieving a specific effect. Are you concerned about Donald Trump's position on Russia, closeness with Russia, and Russia's role in this election?

THUNE: Russia is constantly looking for ways to undermine and disrupt our democratic systems. I mean, I think they wanted to create doubt, and skepticism, and anything they can do to raise questions about that. So sure. [CNBC]
If Thune can be such a spectacular liar it does make one wonder whether he has a direct connection to Russia, too.


Saturday, November 19, 2016

South Dakota law enforcement industry thrives on racism

Administrators from the Rapid City, Pennington County and state Highway Patrol law enforcement industry converged on Rapid City in the latest round of talks designed to address racism in South Dakota.
Rapid City Police Chief Karl Jegeris admitted that historic injustices still weigh on perceptions in the community. Chief Deputy Pennington County Sheriff Willy Whelchel agreed. "We do have a divide," he said. [KOTA teevee]
According to Bill Janklow's idea of public radio, Vaughn Vargas, a Cheyenne River Sioux tribal member and the Rapid City Police Department Community Advisory Coordinator, said law enforcement must be the first to set a good example.

Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, a member of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, said the forum turned into a discussion about how great South Dakota police departments are at enforcing the law and didn’t include nearly enough input from South Dakota's American Indian community.

Racism is endemic in South Dakota, especially in reservation border towns like Rapid City. In 2011 South Dakota's 7th Judicial Circuit Court Judge A.P. (Pete) Fuller was removed after reminding residents that RCPD is made up of "a bunch of racists."

Pennington County's behavior has been called shocking. The state seizes about 750 American Indian kids every year reaping nearly a billion federal dollars since the Indian Child Welfare Act was signed into law. This interested party has direct knowledge of abuses visited upon families by employees of the state from 1994 to 2000 and is all too close to this story. Mike Monahan helped. Here's his phone number: (605) 722-3957.

On the public dole Pennington County sent deputies and the State of South Dakota sent state troopers to beat up water protectors standing up at Standing Rock. How that translates to trust and civility between Whitey and tribal members remains a mystery.

Public broadcasting in South Dakota serves at the pleasure of the state's earth hater legislature and like every other media outlet in that chemical toilet it's a mouthpiece for the South Dakota Republican Party.

Cops' lives suck. Little wonder they abuse their families, alcohol, drugs, food, power, detainees and even occasionally murder their wives.

If South Dakota was serious about truth and reconciliation it would stand down, shut up and take the punishment it deserves.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Keillor: give Trumpers enough rope to hang themselves

If I could go back in time I'd kill baby Fred Trump.

When Garrison Keillor opened A Prairie Home Campanion in the Rapid City Civic Center Theatre on November 20, 1999 he cited a statistic that Pennington County has the highest per capita gun ownership in the United States. A nervous chuckle rolled through the audience.
The Trumpers never expected their guy to actually win the thing, and that’s their problem now. They wanted only to whoop and yell, boo at the H-word, wear profane T-shirts, maybe grab a crotch or two, jump in the RV with a couple of six-packs and go out and shoot some spotted owls. The past year of politics has taught us absolutely nothing. Zilch. Zero. Nada. The future is scary. Let the uneducated have their day. [Garrison Keilor, Trump voters will not like what happens next]
The annual White House Tribal Summit will be going away under a President Trump.

Donald Trump's fellow earth haters are already balking at his plan to spend a trillion dollars on infrastructure improvements and his federal trial on fraud charges is scheduled for 28 November.

The Republicans calling for calm is hypocrisy on Viagra. Had Clinton won the electoral college and Trump the popular vote white people would be slaughtering each other in the streets.

Pray the Yellowstone supervolcano will erase the Trump majority in the high plains.