10 Indigenous People Whose Statues Should Replace Columbus’
By Mark Trahant
In every case, far more stone monuments remain than are removed. A survey by the Southern Poverty Law Center found some 1,800 named memorials honoring Confederates. Add to that union generals. And military leaders from the American Revolution, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
The generals are men of course. One study said there is a "staggering lack of public statues of women." A database in the New Statesman in the U.K. and The Washington Post in the U.S. found only 13% and 7% of statues in these countries depict historical women as opposed to historical men.
So what's next? How do we make the stone-tablet version of our history more representative of the actual history?
Wednesday, President Donald Trump nixed the idea of renaming military bases to make the country more reflective.
"These Monumental and very Powerful Bases have become part of a Great American Heritage, and a history of Winning, Victory, and Freedom," Trump tweeted. "Therefore, my Administration will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations. Our history as the Greatest Nation in the World will not be tampered with. Respect our Military."
A few statues of American Indians and Alaska Natives are spread out across the country. In fact: Some of the most representative locations are Congress and a few state legislatures. In the U.S. Capitol (standing alongside Andrew $%!* Jackson, colonizer Junipero Serra, would-be dictator Huey P. Long and missionary killer Marcus Whitman) there is Kamehameha I, Po'Pay, Will Rogers, Sakakawea, Sarah Winnemucca, Standing Bear Washakie and Sequoyah.
So at least 4% scoundrel (certainly could have added more names to that side of the ledger) and 8% Indigenous.
Let's play "what if?" What if the rest of the country was like that? Who should we be honoring?
Imagine the 20th century and the Native leaders that could be honored on civic plazas, in front of city halls or on university campuses. (Yes, there are a few now, but we are talking numbers. At least 2% of all the statues. And even better is the 7% goal set by Congress' own example.)
The list could include:
Vine Deloria Jr., Standing Rock. It's hard to chronicle Vine Deloria in terms of his importance to the country and to Native America. He was a thinker. An architect of change. And, always, a writer. When it comes to honoring the past, Custer Died For Your Sins defines the possible. "Crazy Horse never drafted anyone to follow him. People recognized that what Crazy Horse did was for the best and was for the people," Deloria wrote. "When Crazy Horse was dying, having been bayoneted in the back at Fort Robinson, Nebraska, Crazy Horse said to his father, 'Tell the people it is no use to depend on me any more.'
"Until we can once again produce people like Crazy Horse, all the money and help in the world will not save us. It is up to us to write the final chapter of the American Indian upon this continent."
Deloria could have been writing about himself.
Lucy Covington, Colville. She was a rancher-turned-politician who led the fight against the failed policy of termination in the 1960s. Termination was an idea to save money by ending the federal government's relationship with tribes. (She would sell a cow to pay her way to Washington.) One of the tools that she used in this fight: a tribal newspaper. She started Our Heritage, a newspaper with the mission of informing tribal members about the issues. She would lead a quiet campaign to quell what she called the "present fever and fervor for termination."
Howard Rock, Inupiat. He was the legendary founder and editor of The Tundra Times. He once called his newspaper an "unselfish venture." The Tundra Times was essential reading for anyone and everyone interested in Alaska issues. Rock maintained a nonpartisan editorial position but endorsed individual candidates based on Native issues. He also wrote about Native culture, and the newspaper carefully followed and reported on the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act developments until the legislation became law in 1971.
Annie Dodge Wauneka, Navajo. She became a nurse caring for patients during an influenza pandemic. She had the flu when she was young and gained enough antibodies to be immune. Later she traveled door-to-door on the Navajo Nation explaining tuberculosis. She was the first woman member of the Navajo Nation Council. And she was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Jackson Sundown, Nez Perce, born as Waaya-Tonah-Toesits-Kahn. He was a champion rodeo rider who became a folk hero because of his performance in the 1916 Pendleton Round-Up.
Elizabeth Peratrovich, Tlingit. She championed equal rights for Alaska Natives. She is credited for persuading lawmakers to pass the Anti-Discrimination Act of 1945, the first anti-discrimination law in the United States. Every year on Feb. 16, Alaska celebrates Elizabeth Peratrovich Day.
Billy Frank Jr., Nisqually. Frank was a tribal leader who fought for treaty rights, and that included defying the state of Washington on the river. He said: "I was not a policy guy. I was a getting-arrested guy." But those arrests led to something. He became friends with those who shackled him. He was appointed to offices by the same governors who once had him arrested. He convinced the entire establishment in the Pacific Northwest that he was, indeed, right—and that folks were better off joining him in his cause.
And because of Billy Frank Jr., the salmon survive today and have returned to streams where they were once extinct. And the tribal communities of the Northwest are stronger in so many ways.
Wilma Mankiller, Cherokee. She was the first woman elected as principal chief of the Cherokee Nation. In a speech at Emory University, she told a story about the United States sending a negotiation team to meet the Cherokees and draft a treaty. One of the initial questions was: "Where are your women?" Cherokee women often accompanied their leaders at important ceremonies and negotiations—and it was inconceivable that the representatives from the federal government would come alone. How can you negotiate anything with only half your people or half a way of thinking? Mankiller was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Helen Peterson, Cheyenne and Lakota. She was the long-serving executive director of the National Congress of American Indians during much of the termination era. But that was her second career. Before that, she was an expert in Latin America, promoting human rights for farm workers and other Latin Americans. In 1949 she represented the United States at an international conference in Peru. She was a friend of Eleanor Roosevelt, who encouraged her to move to Washington, D.C. "The Indians are their own best spokesmen, their own best diplomats; but they can exercise these roles effectively only in proportion to their opportunities to exchange information and to use their combined strength and concerted voice," she wrote in an article calling for more participation by Native people in elections. Her son, Max Peterson, put Helen Peterson's career in perspective when she died. "During those times, there were no women in power, really," he said in the Denver Post. "Her accomplishments don't sound like much now because a lot of women are doing the same things, but back then, doing those things were a big deal. She went to Washington as a lobbyist. That was an exclusively male area, and she managed to do a great job on behalf of Indian legislation and Indian rights."
Forrest Gerard, Blackfeet. Gerard was one of the first American Indians to work on Capitol Hill and helped guide the Senate past the policy of termination into tribal self-determination. He worked for U.S. Sen. Henry Jackson and the Interior Committee where the "golden era" of Indian policy bills rolled off a legislative assembly line, the Indian Finance Act, the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, and the Indian Health Care Improvement Act.
This list, of course, is not the end—only the beginning. Because in a country of this size and diversity it makes little sense to cling to statues that honor only a few, including historical figures unworthy of such acclaim. There remains a richer story that has yet to be told, chapter by chapter, stone by stone, and generation by generation.
Mark Trahant is editor of Indian Country Today and a Professor of Journalism at the University of North Dakota. He is a member of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes and has written about American Indian and Alaska Native issues for more than three decades. Trahant is a YES! contributing editor.
Reposted with permission from YES! Magazine.
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By Joni Sweet
If you get a call from a number you don't recognize, don't hit decline — it might be a contact tracer calling to let you know that someone you've been near has tested positive for the coronavirus.
Interviews With Contact Tracers<p>Contact tracing is a public health strategy that involves identifying everyone who may have been in contact with a person who has the coronavirus. Contact tracers collect information and provide guidance to help contain the transmission of disease.</p><p>It's been used during outbreaks of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), Ebola, measles, and now the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.</p><p>It starts when the local department of health gets a report of a confirmed case of the coronavirus in its community and gives that person a call. The contact tracer usually provides information on how to isolate and when to get treatment, then tries to figure out who else the person may have exposed.</p><p>"We ask who they've been in contact with in the 48 hours prior to symptom onset, or 2 days before the date of their positive test if they don't have symptoms," said <a href="https://case.edu/medicine/healthintegration/people/heidi-gullett" target="_blank">Dr. Heidi Gullett</a>, associate director of the Center for Community Health Integration at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and medical director of the Cuyahoga County Board of Health in Ohio.</p>
“You’ve Been Exposed”<p>After the case interview, contact tracers will get to work calling the folks who may have been exposed to the coronavirus by the person who tested positive.</p><p>"We give them recommendations about quarantining or isolating, getting tested, and what to do if they become sick. If they're not already sick, we still want them to self-quarantine so that they don't spread the disease to anyone else if they were to become sick," said Labus.</p><p>Generally, the contact tracer won't ask for additional contacts unless they happen to call someone who is sick or has a confirmed case of the virus. They will help ensure the contact has the resources they need to isolate themselves, if necessary. The contact tracer may continue to stay in touch with that person over the next 14 days.</p><p>"We follow the percentage of people that were contacts, then converted into being actual cases of the virus. It's an important marker to help us understand what kind of transmission happens in our community and how to control the virus," said Gullett.</p>
Why You Should Participate (and What Happens If You Don’t)<p>A <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(20)30457-6/fulltext" target="_blank">Lancet study</a> from June 16, which looked at data from more than 40,000 people, found that COVID-19 transmission could be reduced by 64 percent through isolating those who have the coronavirus, quarantining their household, and contacting the people they may have exposed.</p><p>The combination strategy was significantly more effective than mass random testing or just isolating the sick person and members of their household.</p><p>However, contact tracing is only as effective as people's willingness to participate, and a small number of people who've contracted the coronavirus or were potentially exposed are reluctant to talk.</p><p>"Contact tracers have all been hung up on, cussed at, yelled at," said Gullet.</p><p>The hesitation to talk to contact tracers often stems from concerns over privacy — a serious issue in healthcare.</p>
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By James Shulmeister
Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change.
If you have a question you'd like an expert to answer, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
What was the climate and sea level like at times in Earth’s history when carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was at 400ppm?<p>The last time global carbon dioxide levels were consistently at or above 400 parts per million (ppm) was around <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/nature14145" target="_blank">four million years ago</a> during a geological period known as the <a href="http://www.geologypage.com/2014/05/pliocene-epoch.html" target="_blank">Pliocene Era</a> (between 5.3 million and 2.6 million years ago). The world was about 3℃ warmer and sea levels were higher than today.</p><p>We know how much carbon dioxide the atmosphere contained in the past by studying ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica. As compacted snow gradually changes to ice, it traps air in bubbles that contain <a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/annals-of-glaciology/article/enclosure-of-air-during-metamorphosis-of-dry-firn-to-ice/09D9C60A8DA412D16645E6E6ABC1892F" target="_blank">samples of the atmosphere at the time</a>. We can sample ice cores to reconstruct past concentrations of carbon dioxide, but this record only takes us back about a million years.</p><p>Beyond a million years, we don't have any direct measurements of the composition of ancient atmospheres, but we can use several methods to estimate past levels of carbon dioxide. One method uses the relationship between plant pores, known as stomata, that regulate gas exchange in and out of the plant. The density of these stomata is <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/095968369200200109" target="_blank">related to atmospheric carbon dioxide</a>, and fossil plants are a good indicator of concentrations in the past.</p><p>Another technique is to examine sediment cores from the ocean floor. The sediments build up year after year as the bodies and shells of dead plankton and other organisms rain down on the seafloor. We can use isotopes (chemically identical atoms that differ only in atomic weight) of boron taken from the shells of the dead plankton to reconstruct changes in the acidity of seawater. From this we can work out the level of carbon dioxide in the ocean.</p><p>The data from four-million-year-old sediments suggest that <a href="https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2010PA002055" target="_blank">carbon dioxide was at 400ppm back then</a>.</p>
Sea Levels and Changes in Antarctica<p>During colder periods in Earth's history, ice caps and glaciers grow and sea levels drop. In the recent geological past, during the most recent ice age about 20,000 years ago, sea levels were at least <a href="https://science.sciencemag.org/content/292/5517/679.abstract" target="_blank">120 meters lower</a> than they are today.</p><p><span></span>Sea-level changes are calculated from changes in isotopes of oxygen in the shells of marine organisms. For the Pliocene Era, <a href="https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2004PA001071" target="_blank">research</a> shows the sea-level change between cooler and warmer periods was around 30-40 meters and sea level was higher than today. Also during the Pliocene, we know the West Antarctic Ice Sheet was <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/nature07867" target="_blank">significantly smaller</a> and global average temperatures were about 3℃ warmer than today. Summer temperatures in high northern latitudes were up to 14℃ warmer.</p><p>This may seem like a lot but modern observations show strong <a href="https://journals.ametsoc.org/jcli/article/23/14/3888/32547" target="_blank">polar amplification</a> of warming: a 1℃ increase at the equator may raise temperatures at the poles by 6-7℃. It is one of the reasons why Arctic sea ice is disappearing.</p>
Impacts in New Zealand and Australia<p>In the Australian region, there was no Great Barrier Reef, but there may have been <a href="https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/BF02537376.pdf" target="_blank">smaller reefs along the northeast coast of Australia</a>. For New Zealand, the partial melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is probably the most critical point.</p><p>One of the key features of New Zealand's current climate is that Antarctica is cut off from global circulation during the winter because of the big <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3402/tellusa.v54i5.12161" target="_blank">temperature contrast</a> between Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. When it comes back into circulation in springtime, New Zealand gets strong storms. Stormier winters and significantly warmer summers were likely in the mid-Pliocene because of a weaker polar vortex and a warmer Antarctica.</p><p>It will take more than a few years or decades of carbon dioxide concentrations at 400ppm to trigger a significant shrinking of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. But recent studies show that <a href="http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/521027/" target="_blank">West Antarctica is already melting</a>.</p><p>Sea-level rise from a partial melting of West Antarctica could easily exceed a meter or more by 2100. In fact, if the whole of the West Antarctic melted it could <a href="http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.695.7239&rep=rep1&type=pdf" target="_blank">raise sea levels by about 3.5 meters</a>. Even smaller increases raise the risk of <a href="https://www.pce.parliament.nz/publications/preparing-new-zealand-for-rising-seas-certainty-and-uncertainty" target="_blank">flooding in low-lying cities</a> including Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington.</p>
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