Saturday, November 6, 2021


Each week, my little local newspaper prints ‘How they voted’ – a record of action in both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. [It always kinds of surprises me that there was actually ‘action’ to record.] Last week, the House passed the Lumbee Recognition Act to federally recognize the Lumbee Indian tribe in North Carolina … AND the Pala Band of Mission Indians Land Transfer Act … AND the Old Pascua Community Acquisition Act … AND the Eastern Band of Cherokee Historic Lands Reacquisition Act. All of these restored and certified once purloined territory to its original inhabitants.

The Fall edition of Sierra, the Sierra Club magazine, had a portrait of US Interior Secretary Deb Haaland on its cover. And, on pages 18-27, an article headlined “A Living Testament” by Jenni Monet (also denizen of the Laguna Pueblo) gave a comprehensive portrait of the first Native member of our national Cabinet. Prior to her new post, Haaland served as a member of Congress from 2019 -2021. Her congressional district included most of Albuquerque and its suburbs. She was one of the first two Native American women elected to the U.S. Congress. She is a political progressive who supports the Green New Deal and Medicare for All. Respected and respectful, Secretary Haaland has made a pledge: “We must shed light on the unspoken traumas of the past, no matter how hard it will be.” 

An op ed in the Oct. 25 NY Times revealed that Frank Herbert, author of Dune, had close contacts among the Quileute and Hoh peoples of the Olympic Peninsula. One of them, Henry Martin, was a mentor, teaching him how white people had stolen Hoh lands and logged their forests. Another, Howard Hansen, wrote a memoir called “Twilight on the Thunderbird” in which he described the environmental devastation of the peninsula. Herbert incorporated these teachings into “Dune.” That book (and now movie) helped readers/viewers think about the environment not just on the level of lakes or forests but whole planets.

 Go Glasgow!!