at the Edge of America

There is a voice in the trees

i can hear it from the asylum window

the priest is at odds with himself

about my condition

there is a voice in the trees

it hovers just beyond the river’s bend over there.

the world is at odds with itself

about situation like this

there is a lady in a room of no windows

there is a lady in a room purged of love

i am at odds with priests and worlds

there is a humming lady,

in a room,

in the trees,

where the river bends,

over there. – T C Cannon

Cannon, who died when he was just 31, made enduring and vibrant works melding Native American and more mainstream artistic and pop culture imagery.
Cannon, who died when he was just 31, made enduring and vibrant works melding Native American and more mainstream artistic and pop culture imagery.

North Dakota, Native Americans and Voter ID

How far can Trump go?  Or, republicans for that matter. First immigrants, then to challenge birthright citizenship…now…Native Americans!  WTF?  There are natural American Citizens and they belong to the land.  Native Americans meaning…natal, original, born unto American heritage!

FORT BERTHOLD INDIAN RESERVATION, N.D. — For more than a year, Tiffany Hunts Along has lived in a cherrywood mobile home high on a ridge in western North Dakota, where she knows every jagged hilltop and every flat field. But when asked last week about her street address, she was stumped.

“Hold on,” said Hunts Along, 40, after reaching for her newly issued tribal identification card. “That’s right — I live on Medicine Otter Loop.”

When she, her husband and their young children — Native Americans belonging to the Three Affiliated Tribes, also known as the M.H.A. Nation — moved into the White Oak Park community, there was no street signage and no direct postal service to the home. She fetches the family’s mail from the nearest post office on the other side of town; her old tribal ID had listed her address as a post office box.

She never bothered to learn her street’s name — until now.

Hunts Along plans to cast a ballot in Tuesday’s midterm election, but a change made by North Dakota lawmakers has forced her and an estimated 5,000 tribal citizens who may have IDs with a post office box address to obtain either a new state-issued or tribal identification showing their street address in order to vote. The requirement — meant to prevent voter fraud, state officials say — went into effect in early October.

Nowhere in North Dakota is the registration process more complex — and urgent — than on reservations. Voter rights groups are scrambling to ensure residents understand why they might be turned away at the polls when they present an ID. Absentee ballots must list a home address as well, not a post office box.

The 11th-hour push comes amid a competitive U.S. Senate race in solidly red North Dakota, where the stakes are high: Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, a Democrat, won by fewer than 3,000 votes in 2012. Native Americans, who largely vote Democratic, helped to tip that race in her favor, and she earned more than 80 percent of the vote in the state’s majority-Native counties. Recent polls, however, have given her GOP challenger, Rep. Kevin Cramer, a double-digit lead. His victory would boost the Republican Party’s chances of holding on to their slim majority in the Senate.

Jesse McCloud helps Whitney Agard Whitebull fill out voter ID information at his home on the Standing Rock Reservation in Fort Yates, N.D.

At least 1,360 people have gotten new IDs since the law was changed, according to tribal officials across the state, amid a major get-out-the-vote effort across North Dakota’s five reservations ahead of Election Day. To apply for new IDs, tribal citizens are digging through housing documents or calling their county or 911 services to nail down their address. When actual ones can’t be determined through the local government, tribes have been creating their own as a workaround.

Patty Ferguson-Bohnee, director of Arizona State University’s Indian Legal Clinic, said post offices are an integral part of Native Americans’ lives, and that she had never heard of a state reworking voting laws to target people who rely on P.O. boxes.

“This alleged voter fraud shouldn’t trump Native Americans’ fundamental rights,” Ferguson-Bohnee said. “This is a practice, a targeted practice to try and suppress the vote.”

‘ALL WE WANT IS OUR VOTE’

North Dakota is the only state in the nation that doesn’t require residents to register before voting — long held as a point of pride in this sparsely populated prairieland.

In previous elections, voters could use a variety of documents to prove they are state residents and have a current address.

For those lacking the appropriate ID, state law even allowed poll workers to vouch for a voter’s identity — which was helpful in rural communities, including on reservations, where people are more likely to know one another. Voters could also self-certify their ballot by signing an affidavit at the polling station.

But after Heitkamp won in 2012, the state’s Republican-led Legislature decided stricter rules were necessary in the event of voter fraud. Republican state Rep. Dan Ruby told The Nation that his party’s loss “shined a light” on the issue of strengthening voter ID registration and made it a priority, but denied any bill was introduced in order to suppress the Native vote.

As lawmakers rewrote the voter ID registration laws, several Native American voters who say they were disenfranchised in 2014 filed a lawsuit in 2016 claiming the changes were unconstitutional.

http://www.nbcnews.com/video/north-dakota-s-native-americans-scramble-to-comply-with-voter-id-law

 

Our First Teacher is Our Own Heart

 

tc cannon 7tc cannon 1tc cannon 3tc cannon 5

Do not judge your neighbor until you walk two moons in his moccasins.

#Cheyenne

It is less of a problem to be poor, than to be dishonest.

#Anishinabe

Seek wisdom, not knowledge.  Knowledge is of the past!  Wisdom is of the future!

#Lumbee

The sky would have no rainbow if the eye had no tears.

#Tribe Unknown

Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize we cannot eat money.

#Cree

Religion is for those who are afraid of going to hell.  Spirituality is for those who have already been there.

#Sioux

When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced.  Live your life so that when you die…the world cried and you rejoice.

#Cherokee

 

Crowded by Blood

Odd, this, the red skin shame.

Clans of others…

with roots deeply, weakened by transgressions.

That appear hunted like game.

Had my blood been a search part for organic matter.

A reason to mimic heritage.

But, surely, that would be treason alone.

Or, perchance, within a tribe…the coming of age.

Dreams of nature would cultivate.

Would suffice.

Yet, amassed in blame.

No authority to believe my soul of privilege.

Alone but crowded by blood.

Only shame.

blood 3

blood 2

Akin to a Melting Pot

 

Are we the first?  Is New Hampshire as…un-diverse…as many critics say?  If so, is that significant?  And, what of our ancestors?  How the hell do those naysayers think we ended up in this land…north of a frigid witch’s tit?

In my own family, up until the mid 1990’s, I had not been told about my own exclusivity on ‘being in the minority.’

My grandmother, who had been often referred to as, the dumb Pollock!  My father who deliberately and without forethought, distinguished Native Americans as, drunks, lazy and no good!

Funny, in the midst of my confusion of being gay.  Ironic, standing in the land of women ‘should be seen and not heard.’  Strange…with all these supposed, bloodline infirmities, I had not been told the following:

My grandmother in actuality was Polish and Russian!  Something she had been too ashamed to share until much later in her life.  My father?  Well, it wasn’t until I became a fully pledged addict that he stated,

“It isn’t so surprising.  Her being an alcoholic.  Indians are known for their love of drugs!”

Course, it just so happened my paternal grandmother, who died of complications due to hard living…was half Cherokee.

Needless to say, there I stood in the depths of minority.  An addict, a woman, a lesbian, part Russian, part Native American!

This is not about politics.  It isn’t even related to living in the minority.  Perhaps, it is quite the opposite.

The ‘melting pot‘:

Multicultural surrounding where all the different cultures slowly become more uniformed generation after generation by adopting bits and pieces of other cultures and giving away some of their own traditions.

Melting pots…had been something that encouraged me to be different.  To seek the unique.  To be proud of the idea..we all didn’t row over to America at the same time or on the same boat.  That each and everyone one of us…who proudly calls themselves, Americans, looked for a better life.

In that manner, I am no different from my adopted dogs.  Both mongrels.  Each of them quietly called, Heinz 57’s!  A collaborative mixture of everything they ever were…and, everything they will ever be.

 

…funny I think we were on the same boat back in 1694

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If we stare hard enough in these, the inhuman winds; we shall find we are all akin.
If we stare hard enough in these, the inhuman winds; we shall find we are all akin.