Potraits of New Zealand’s Mighty Mongrel Mob

Gangs are the tribes of 21st centurty nation states. A bureaucratic tribal government is no more a tribe than a county or state government.


Bung-Eye Notorious, 2008. C-Type Photograph, 1.9M x 1.5M

I explained that I wasn’t trying to “tell their story,” expose them, or some shit like that. Instead I told them I wanted to take martial portraits. And you know, regardless of where the Mob are viewed in the social hierarchy, these men have committed to a creed and fought battles, sometimes to the death. Basically the more they thought it was honest, the more they understood I wanted to produce something more complex than a cultural postcard. Then once there was go-ahead from the top, the guys down the bottom were happy to cooperate. These guys are hierarchical.

If that’s not a description of a warrior than I don’t know what is.

See the rest of the potraits.

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How the Civil War Became the Indian Wars

This article is required reading. United States imperialism began with forts in Indian Country. The wars in the Middle East are an expansion of 19th century Indian policy. Pacification of our people is complete when we salute the flag and send our young men to the other side of the globe to fight for the empire that destroyed our tribes.

Crazy Horse and his band of Indians on their way from Camp Sheridan to surrender at Red Cloud Agency, 1877.Credit Library of Congress

New York Times


One hundred and fifty years after the Civil War, collective memory casts that conflict as a war of liberation, entirely distinct from the Indian wars. President Lincoln died, schoolchildren throughout the United States learn, so that the nation might live again, resurrected and redeemed for having freed the South’s slaves. And though Reconstruction is typically recalled in the popular imagination as both more convoluted and contested – whether thwarted by intransigent Southerners, doomed to fail by incompetent and overweening federal officials, or perhaps some combination of the two – it was well intended nevertheless, an effort to make good on the nation’s commitment to freedom and equality.

But this is only part of the story. The Civil War emerged out of struggles between the North and South over how best to settle the West – struggles, in short, over who would shape an emerging American empire. Reconstruction in the West then devolved into a series of conflicts with Native Americans. And so, while the Civil War and its aftermath boasted moments of redemption and days of jubilee, the era also featured episodes of subjugation and dispossession, patterns that would repeat themselves in the coming years. When Chief Joseph surrendered, the United States secured its empire in the West. The Indian wars were over, but an era of American imperialism was just beginning.

Read the whole article at New York Times

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B.C. First Nations leaders’ new book calls for native self-determination

CBC News – British Columbia

Two B.C. First Nations leaders have just written a book that outlines the challenges Indigenous people face and offers solutions that they believe could benefit their people and the rest of the country.

It’s called Unsettling Canada: A National Wake-Up Call.

“I think it is important for not only Indigenous people, but Canadians to understand the struggle,” said author Arthur Manuel, who is also the former chief of the Neskonlith Indian Band.

“When you add up all the Indian reserves in Canada, the land we got is 0.2 per cent and we are expected to make a living off of that. The rest of the land 99.8 per cent is under federal, provincial jurisdiction and that’s one of the reasons why indigenous communities are mostly poor.”

Continue reading

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Lummi Youth Learn the Bigger Picture: Canoes Join Kayactivists Protesting Arctic Drilling

One of the more exciting developments in the Pacific Northwest and Cascadia has been the resurgence of tribal canoe families and tribal canoe journeys. In my own tribe, the landing of the canoes in Juneau, AK for our biennial Celebration has become my favorite part of our week long festivities, and it isn’t even an official part of the event. Dance groups are fun, but the physical, mental and spiritual conditioning demanded by a canoe journey are more in line with our traditional forms of tribalism.

Frank Hopper, a contributor for AI/AN ATS and Lingit Latseen really captures what this means with his piece covering the Seattle area protests against Arctic drilling.

Lummi Youth Learn the Bigger Picture: Canoes Join Kayactivists Protesting Arctic Drilling

by Frank Hopper

Mary Catherine Brewer/Facebook
Kayaks and canoes surrounded the Royal Dutch Shell oil rig on May 16 to protest arctic drilling.

Before there were roads, interstate highways, light rail systems and airports, there were… canoes. For thousands of years, Native people living on the Salish Sea, the area along the southwest coast of British Columbia and the northwest coast of the United States, used canoes not just for travel, but also as a profound form of cultural expression. Their creation and use were spiritual, teaching respect, camaraderie and selflessness. They used no fossil fuels and created no pollution. And they were powered by the most mysterious of engines, the human heart. So what could be more fitting to use when confronting a 307-foot tall giant capable of poisoning vast areas of ocean and shoreline?


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Visiting at.óowu at the Portland Art Museum

Lingit Latseen

In March I visited the Portland Art Museum along with some clan relatives and Aandeyein to view and handle Naanyaa.aayí at.óowu, Teikhweidi at.óowu and Raven (probaly Kiks.ádi) at.óowu dating back to the 1800’s. NAGPRA claims are in process or planned for many of these objects to return them to their ancerstral homes in Lingít Aaní. These items are our title to the land and proof of our legitimacy as sovereign Tlingit clans.

The process of assimilation was strong and deliberate during the 1800’s and 1900’s. Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian people were forced to give up clan allegiances and our tribal way of life in order to receive the protection of the United States government. Our at.óowu was seperated from the people and placed in museums, symbolically burying our culture alive. Returning these objects to their respective clans is a reversal of this process and a revolutionary act.

Raven Staff. Probably Kiks.ádi, the clan from which my clan, the Teeyhíttaan, originates. — at Portland Art Museum. Raven Staff. Probably…

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Grim report warns Canada vulnerable to an aboriginal insurrection

Lingit Latseen

Calling the Native Youth Movement and American Indian Movement! The National Post reports that The Macdonald-Laurier Institute, a think tank, predicts a possibly grim future for the Canadian Nation State due to unrest among Natives. The reason is a recipe of factors that are trigger points for unrest and insurrection: a high percentage of disadvantaged youths coupled with vulnerable infrastructure. We’ve seen this same recipe recently in the Arab Spring uprising as explained by William Lind in his article The Gangs of Aleppo. All of this points to the possibility of 4th Generation Warfare coming to the North American continent.

From the National Post:

A more pessimistic report, by Douglas Bland, suggests that Canada has all the necessary “feasibility” conditions for a violent native uprising — social fault lines; a large “warrior cohort”; an economy vulnerable to sabotage; a reluctance on the part of governments and security forces to confront…

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I primarily blog at http://lingitlatseen.com now.

Lingit Latseen

This American Life: Tribes

A Native American tribe is doing exactly the opposite of what you’d think they’d do: they’re kicking people out of the tribe, huge numbers of them, including people whose ancestors without question were part of the tribe.

Listen to the episode here….

Above is an interesting piece on This American Life about tribes that are purging their membership rolls. It would seem that the chief motivation is to increase the share of the pie for those who remain in the tribe. At stake are casino profits and various social services and cash assistance. Of course divisions happened in the past. The danger here is that federal enrollment is what defines a tribe these days. In other words, a bureaucratic entity has taken over defining who is and who is not Native.

My clan was founded through a division; but of course this was hundreds of years…

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