Gnadenhutten (1772-82), the Huts of Grace, was a settlement of Delaware Indians in Ohio Country. They were peaceful Moravian Christians who worked hard and had nice things. In the US War of Independence (1775-83) they refused to fight or take sides.

By 1780 nearly all of the Delaware had turned against the US, the Long Knives. But not the Delaware Moravians. They remained neutral.

Detail of a statue of Buckongahelas.

In April 1781, Buckongahelas, a Delaware military commander who was fighting against the US conquest of Ohio (1777-94), came to take them to safety:

“Friends, listen to what I have to say to you:

“I am myself come to bid you rise and go with me to a secure place! Do not my friends, covet the land you now hold under cultivation. I will conduct you to a country equally good”

He reminded them:

“Look back at the murders committed by the Long Knives on many of our relations who lived peaceably as neighbors to them on the Ohio. Did not they kill them without the least provocation? Are they now, do you think, better men than they were?”

But not ALL White people:

“I admit that there are good white men, but they bear no proportion to the bad; the bad must be the strongest, for they rule. They do what they please.

“They enslave those who are not of their color, although created by the same Great Spirit who created them. They would make slaves of us, if they could; but as they cannot do it, they kill us.

“There is no faith to be placed in their words. They are not like the Indians, who are only enemies while at war, and are friends in peace. They will say to an Indian, ‘My friend; my brother!’ They will take him by the hand, and at the same moment, destroy him.

“And so you will also be treated by them before long. Remember that this day, I have warned you to beware of such friends as these.

“I know the Long Knives. They are not to be trusted.”

The Delaware Christians said they trusted the Long Knives and chose to stay.

In March 1782, a year later on a winter’s day, the Long Knives arrived, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel David Williamson. He saw their

“clothes, children’s caps, tea-kettles, pots, cups and saucers, etc., saws, axes, chisels, pewter basins, porringers, etc.”

He accused them of having killed Whites to get these things and sentenced them to death. To save on ammunition, he had them all clubbed to death as they prayed: 29 men, 27 women, and 34 children. And then carted off their stuff, pewter basins and all.

Only two boys escaped alive.

Who was the “heathen”? Who was the “savage”?

an 1855 picture of the massacre.

Tecumseh in 1810:

“You recall the time when the Jesus Indians of the Delawares lived near the Americans, and had confidence in their promises of friendship, and thought they were secure, yet the Americans murdered all the men, women, and children, even as they prayed to Jesus?”

A 2009 photo of the mass grave of those killed in the Gnadenhutten Massacre.

– Abagond, 2017.

Sources: Google Images; ICMNBritannicaTecumseh’s 1810 speechNative Sun NewsAmerican Rhetoric; “The Delaware: A History” (1972) by C.A. Weslag; “Facing East from Indian Country” (2001) by Daniel K. Richter. 

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Delaware Nation Princess 2016, Sariah Taylor Pemberton, left, and the Princess Program Manager Melanie Watkins-Quiver, pose outside the Pocono Cinema in East Stroudsburg, in a part of Pennsylvania where the Delaware used to live. “Pocono” is a Delaware place name. PHOTO BY MEG McGUIRE. Via delawarecurrents.org.

Note: This is a work in progress, a collection of notes.

The Delaware or Lenape (leh-NAH-pay) Indians are the Native Americans native to metropolitan New York City, New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania and eastern Delaware state in the north-eastern US. In Anglo American lore they are the ones who “sold Manhattan for $24.”

So what became of them? Did they disappear? Are they still walking the earth somewhere?

In the main, those who were not killed off by war or disease, sold into slavery, or who became part of White society, were driven west off their land. Most wound up in Oklahoma, some in Wisconsin. And some fled the US altogether and wound up in Ontario, Canada. In Ontario they found themselves among the Iroquois, in Oklahoma mostly among the Cherokee.

Lenapehoking, their homeland circa 1600.

Their migrations, 1600-1900.

The nitty-gritty, showing intermediate homelands. Their present reservations in 2017 are marked in red. The dotted line is the Cherokee Trail of Tears.

That is what history tells us. So far as I know there is not (yet) any sort of  genetic analysis.

In 1600 the Delaware numbered maybe 30,000 to 85,000, still living in their homeland.

In 2017 they number about 16,000.

Delaware tribes recognized by the US or Canadian government:

  • US: 13,505 enrolled members
  • Canada: 1,877

The last live on two different parts of an Iroquois reserve (the same one where Robbie Robertson learned to play guitar).

Note that not everyone necessarily lives on a reservation. In the case of the Six Nations reserve, for example, only about 38% of the Delaware do.

There is one more tribe, one that is recognized by a US state:

The Nanticoke are not Delaware Indians, but were a neighbouring people who lived to the south-west, in the Chesapeake Bay region.

There are other Delaware tribes, unrecognized by any government. It is hard to tell which are real and which are fake. Fake Indians are a real thing – if that makes sense.

In addition, there are countless individuals who simply melted into the White melting pot over the years, culturally and genetically. The Delaware, unlike other Natives, generally did not marry Blacks.

Religion: Christianity. Their Native religion died out in the 1940s or so. And with it went much of the old Delaware culture. Powwows and peyotism, which some take part in, are pan-Indian practices, not something that comes down to the Delaware strictly from their own culture.

Languages: English, Munsee, Unami.

  • Unami: on August 31st 2002 the last native speaker of Unami died: Edward Thompson of the Delaware Tribe of Indians in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.
  • Munsee: in 2009 there were still six natives speakers, all were over 70, all were living at Moraviantown in Ontario.

Race: Some can pass for White, some even have blue eyes, while others look markedly Indian. Their skin is lighter on average than in the 1600s, when it was sometimes almost black.

The Executive Committee of the Delaware Nation (Anadarko, Oklahoma), June 30th 2017.

– Abagond, 2017.

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Robbie Robertson: Peyote Healing


The lyrics are in Lakota Sioux, the music provided by Robbie Robertson & the Red Road Ensemble, and the pictures in the video are mainly from the #NoDAPL protests in 2016. Peyote songs are a genre in their own right. The Native American Church uses peyote as a sacrament in their religion.

This song was on Robertson’s 1998 album “Contact from the Underworld Of Redboy”. He received a Nammy Award for Lifetime Achievement that same year.

Robertson is a Canadian rock musician best known as a lead guitarist and songwriter with The Band.  I mainly know him, though, for Somewhere Down the Crazy River” (1987). His mother was Iroquois (Cayuga and Mohawk), his father Jewish. He learned to play guitar on her reservation in Ontario, Canada. In the middle of the night he listened to blues music on the radio coming out of Tennessee.

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Lakota (English):

Wani wachiyelo Ate omakiyayo (Father help me I want to live)
Wani wachiyelo Ate omakiyayo (Father help me I want to live)
Wani wachiyelo Ate omakiyayo (Father help me I want to live)
Atay nimichikun (Father you have done this)
Oshiya chichiyelo (Humbly have pity on me)
Wani wachiyelo Atay omakiyayo (Father help me I want to live)
Wani wachiyelo Atay omakiyayo (Father help me I want to live)
Wani wachiyelo Atay (Father I want to live)

Indian miseducation

Carlisle Indian Industrial School in 1885, the model for Indian boarding schools. Click to enlarge.

Indian miseducation (1830s- ) began in the US with Christian missionaries in the 1830s. In the 1870s the government started opening its infamous Indian boarding schools. They have nearly all been closed, but miseducation proceeds apace.

Catchphrase: Kill the Indian and save the man.

Native Americans had no trouble educating their children. For thousands of years they had been passing down the knowledge and values needed to live in North America and keep their societies going. They had no need of White education.

Deficit theory model: But Whites discovered their need for White education: Natives were “heathens” and “savages”!

Colonizing mission: Natives had a much better claim to the land than Whites, so Whites broke them militarily, spiritually and culturally. They broke them first with the US Army and then with schools:

Indian boarding schools: To destroy their cultures, Natives were often sent to faraway schools – to make their Native education next to impossible and to put a White education in its place. Those who refused to send their children to an Indian boarding school were thrown in jail. Canada and Australia were doing much the same thing.

Sun Elk, a Taos Pueblo Indian, went to the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in the 1880s:

“We all wore white man’s clothes and ate white man’s food and went to white man’s churches and spoke white man’s talk. And so after a while we also began to say Indians were bad. We laughed at our own people and their blankets and cooking pots and sacred societies and dances.”

Chiricahua Apache children in November 1886 (top), and four months later at Carlisle. Via gmu.edu.

Christianity was forced on them, even in government schools. Natives did not have religious freedom under law till 1978.

English was almost literally beaten into them: you got a beating if you were caught speaking your Native tongue. That is why Native languages are now dying out. Wichita died just last year (2016).

Intergenerational trauma: boarding schools featured not just beatings, but child abuse and sexual abuse too. The damage has been intergenerational and lasts down to this day.

Assimilation: despite all this, their forced assimilation into Anglo-Protestant culture failed: it did not end the racism against them. In fact, that racism was built right in, adding a layer of internalized racism to their souls.

The Hampton model of industrial education, which Booker T. Washington championed and W.E.B. Du Bois argued against, was applied to Indian boarding schools. It kept Natives at the low end of the labour market. Skull measurements in the 1800s and IQ tests in the 1900s proved to Whites that Blacks and Natives were not capable of much more.

In the 1970s most boarding school were closed. The few that remained opened were reformed.

In 1990 Congress passed NALA, the Native American Languages Act, but has not put much money behind it. Those taught in a Native language do better at school than those taught in English.

Today many Natives, like many Blacks, go to schools which are underfunded, underperforming, segregated, and Eurocentric. Tribes still do not control their own schools.

– Abagond, 2017.

Sources: Google Images; “For Indigenous Eyes Only” (2005) edited by Waziyatawin Angela Wilson and Michael Yellow Bird; “An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States” (2014) by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz; culturalsurvival.org (2012).

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How to study the Whites

How to study the Whites (Second Nations) of North America:

Native lens – only Native American writers and scholars can be trusted to be objective, know the facts, and have a good understanding of the Whites. White universities and professors are the blind leading the blind. White film, news and television cannot be trusted either since they are sunk in self-serving stereotypes, myths and lies.

ethnocentrism – dismiss the history that Whites tell as myth, their religion as superstition, their medicine as half quackery, their lifestyle as a huge waste of resources. Opportunists, of course, will try to paint their religion as “ancient wisdom” or something “spiritual”, but they are just out to make money. They are not accredited scholars.

deficiency model – the Whites are different because something is wrong with them. For example, they take, take, take. They cannot control their children. They are disrespectful. They are cruel to Natives for no apparent reason.

ethnographic gaze – send trained anthropologists to live among the Whites and write up their findings.

documentaries – human zoos are out, but you can still film documentaries of their everyday lives so people can see how they live. A good documentary about the Whites will show things like:

  • a house, both inside and out;
  • the mother engaged in food preparation;
  • the father at work or (for more drama) confronting a neighbour;
  • smiling children;
  • the grandmother (hopefully wrinkled with missing teeth) rambling incoherently (with subtitles) about the lost past (you may need to insert a two-sentence summary of White history);
  • the photogenic teenage daughter getting ready for a dress-up event (like a dance or a religious ceremony);
  • the event itself (so we can see the White culture in action in all its glory);

race and culture – mix the two up, like this post is doing.

museums – have archaeologists and anthropologists gather artefacts made by White people and put them in museums for further study. Broken pots are the best, the older the better. Good too are traditional costumes, like those worn by brides, priests or circus clowns. So are hunting weapons, spent shell casings, lost golf balls, human remains, and stolen artwork. All shown by region, and maybe ethnic group, but without historical context.

static past – study the Pilgrim Fathers more than the present-day Whites.

nation of immigrants – the US is best understood as a nation of immigrants, of people who came to the US from all over the world to make a better life for their families. The immigrants in turn are best understood through:

  • multiculturalism – study their cultures: food, dress, customs, etc. No need to understand their boring history or politics.
  • cameos – study their men and women who are important in Native history.
  • contributions – like penicillin and pizza.

White History Month – study White history one month a year, mainly through cameos and contributions, maybe throw in a documentary or museum trip. The same goes for Black, Asian and Latino history. The other five months of the school year are needed for studying Native history.

– Abagond, 2017.

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The Trumpification of the US

Climate Change

Climate change affects every corner of the American continent. It is making droughts drier and longer, floods more dangerous and hurricanes more severe.

The glaciers in Montana’s Glacier National Park are melting so quickly, they”re expected to disappear in the next two decades. Rising seas are consuming the world’s first wildlife refuge – Florida’s Pelican Island – which President Teddy Roosevelt set aside in 1903.

At t The U.S. Department of the Interior, we manages one-fifth of the land in the country United States, 35,000 miles of coastline, and 1.76 billion acres of the Outer Continental Shelf. We The Department also upholdthe federal government’s trust responsibilities to 562567 Indian tribes; conserve fish, wildlife and their habitats; manages water supplies for more than 30 million people; and protects the icons of our national heritage America’s natural treasures.

The impacts of climate change are forcing us to change how we manage these have led the Department to focus on how we manage our nation’s public lands and resources. Climate change may dramatically affect water supplies in certain watersheds, impact coastal wetlands and barrier islands, cause relocation of and stress on wildlife, increase wildland fires, further spread invasive species, and more.  The Department of the Interior contributes sound scientific research to address this and other environmental challenges. 

We at Interior are taking the lead in protecting our nation”s resources from these impacts and in managing our public lands to mitigate the effects of climate change. On Sept. 14, 2009, then-Secretary Salazar launched our first-ever coordinated strategy to address current and future impacts of climate change on America’s land, water, wildlife, cultural-heritage and tribal resources. Secretary Jewell has made climate change a priority.

The framework through which our bureaus coordinate climate-change science and resource-management strategies includes: 

  • A Climate Change Response Council — Under the leadership of secretary, deputy secretary and counselor, this council coordinates our response to the impacts of climate change within and among our bureaus. It also works to improve the sharing and communication of climate- change impact science, including through www.data.gov.
  • Eight DOI Regional Climate Science Centers — Serving Alaska, the Northeast, the Southeast, the Southwest, the Midwest, the West, Northwest, and Pacific regions, these centers synthesize existing climate-change-impact data and management strategies, help resource managers put them into action on the ground, and engage the public through education initiatives.CSCs are regional entities that extend from the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (NCCWSC), located at USGS headquarters. The NCCWSC was established by Congress in 2008 to help deliver scientific and technical information to help resource managers cope with a changing climate. Working in partnership with resource managers and scientists at national, regional, and landscape levels, the NCCWSC:
    • Forecasts fish and wildlife population and habitat changes in response to climate change.
    • Assesses the vulnerability and risk of species and habitats to climate change.
    • Links models of physical climate change (such as temperature and precipitation) with models that predict ecological, habitat, and population responses.
    • Develops standardized approaches to monitoring and help link existing monitoring efforts to climate and ecological or biological response models.
  • A Network of Landscape Conservation Cooperatives — These cooperatives engage Interior and other and federal agencies, local and state partners, and the public to craft practical, landscape-level strategies for managing climate-change impacts within the eight regions. They focus on impacts such as the effects of climate change on wildlife migration patterns, wildfire risk, drought, or invasive species that typically extend beyond the borders of any single National Wildlife Refuge, Bureau of Land Management unit, or national park.


Thus the changes to the US Department of Interior’s home page on climate change since a year ago, November 15th 2016. The picture and red text are new, the crossed out text is gone. 

– Abagond, 2017.

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Uranium One

Uranium One (2005- ) was a South African company bought by a Canadian uranium mining company in 2007. It has holdings in South Africa, Australia, Canada, the US, and Kazakhstan. Its holdings in the US are mainly in Wyoming and Utah. In 2014 it produced 11% of the uranium in the US.

In 2009 Rosatom, the Russian government’s nuclear energy company, bought 17% of Uranium One. In 2010 it had 51%, and in 2013 it had 100%.

In 2017 it is part of the latest Hillary Clinton scandal being pushed hard by Fox News – a year after she lost the presidential election! Congress is now looking into it. And Banana Republicans want the FBI to look into it too.

Trump himself brought up the Uranium One scandal back when he was running for president. On June 22nd 2016 he said:

“[Hillary Clinton’s State Department] approved the transfer of 20 percent of America’s uranium holdings to Russia, while nine investors in the deal funneled $145 million to the Clinton Foundation.”

Trump is talking about the deal in 2010 where Rosatom bought a controlling stake in Uranium One. The US government approved the deal when Clinton was Secretary of State.

The claim comes from “Clinton Cash” (2015) by Peter Schweizer of Breitbart News.

PolitiFact rates the claim as Mostly False:

“The bottom line: While the connections between the Clinton Foundation and the Russian deal may appear fishy, there’s simply no proof of any quid pro quo.”

First, the deal would not allow Russia to export uranium from the US. Thus no real “transfer”.

Second, only one of the nine investors gave money at the time of the deal: Ian Telfer. He gave between $1.3 to $5.6 million. While Clinton would presumably look more favourably on Telfer, the decision was not in her gift because:

Third, the deal required the approval of CFIUS (Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States). The State Department was only one of nine government agencies on that committee. There were also the departments of:

  • Treasury (chairman),
  • Defence,
  • Justice,
  • Commerce,
  • Energy,
  • Homeland Security,

and the:

  • Office of the US Trade Representative, and the
  • Office of Science and Technology Policy.

In addition to CFIUS, the deal also had to be approved by the:

  • Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and
  • Utah’s nuclear regulator,

All 11 approved the deal.

Fourth, the person who approved it at State was Jose Fernandez, the Assistant Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Business Affairs. He said that Clinton “never intervened with me on any CFIUS matter.” The Secretary of State generally does not, nor in this case is there (yet) any proof to the contrary.

Note that there might be some huge Clinton Foundation “pay to play” scandal, but so far this does not appear to be one.

Far more troubling is Trump’s Banana Republicanism. In the past US presidents did not use the power of the state to go after their defeated opponents. Obama did not go after Romney, etc. This is more like what they do in banana republics, where opposition leaders often find themselves in jail by election time.

– Abagond, 2017.

Source: mainly PolitiFact.

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