Sunday in Honolulu:
Greeted the sun, the mango tree, banana trees,butler bird, doves, mynah birds.
Breakfast of hash browns, biscuits, scrambled eggs, mango and blueberries, iced tea. Yum.
Rewrote a dream for a lit mag's call for dream material."The Fire and the Gatekeeper".
Worked up a syllabus.
Ordered some short blue boots with stars. School shoes.
Practiced saxophone: scales II V I's, played along with Prince's Musicology for a little funk session, the rehearsed some of my own tunes--
Practiced guitar. Grace. And working through a classical guitar book.
40 minutes on bike.
Read an old New Yorker in my stack of back issues. Am prompted by a review to read English writer Hilary Mantel's new novel, Beyond Black. The main character's spirit guide isn't called Oz or Running Deer, she says, but Morris. And he's a grizzled old criminal whose fly is often undone. While she is leading her psychic meetings, he is out in the parking lot, opening car doors, loosening the straps on baby seats...
Cooked up sofkey: flint corn and lye
Visit with J. Quapaw and his wife. He's Creek from home. The sofkey for him, Tiger and me.
Cleaned up quickly before Quapaw came.
Washed dishes again.
Visited with Mike who came and loaded up L's canoe for sale to try it out. He bought it.
Talked to my granddaughter and son in WI, and my daughter in NM.
Meant to call Tiger. Will take him sofkey tomorrow. He gets his new leg this week.
Practiced new song. Round dance version of Remember.
This isn't in order.
Responded to emails.
Looked for Alex Kuo. Does anyone know where he is?
Reprinted by permission of Allison Hedge Coke. Excellent letter.
military funds to Colombia
Sen. Tim Johnson
July 24, 2005
Dear Senator Johnson,
As a recent visitor to Medellin on a peace mission, I must write to you on the behalf of my Indigenous friends there. Being from South Dakota, you know fully well the impact of hostile takeovers on tribal people. It happened in the US a hundred years and longer ago and is currently happening in Colombia under each group warring there. The Indigenous people have claimed neutrality and are remaining peaceful. Yet, hundreds of thousands have been slaughtered rather than protected by the rest of the world funding this war from all angles. What is at stake is actually the landbase of the Indigenous peoples. You must look at this situation closely and do all you can to rectify the misinformation going out to Americans regarding this and to protect the lives of the Indigenous people there struggling to survive on their homelands under the gun of people with other agendas.
Like the American Revolution here, the land that was lost (in the 1770s), as you know, was actually Indigenous homelands, and the people burned out and flooded out by the generals were Native people in their own homes. On my father's side, our tribe lost 88 villages during the revolution and it is estimated that perhaps 3/4 of our people were killed in that and previous warring that was not ours, was not caused by us, and whereas actually then technically guerrilla Americans (mostly British subjects before the day they claimed otherwise) wanted out of their own regime that taxed them and wanted to expand themselves onto Native lands.
Though, unfortunately, it is often taught much differently in school and media, this was truly the case at hand and is actually very obvious once you stop to look at the actuality of the situation.
As you know, I am a constituent. I am heartedly calling upon you regarding recent Colombia legislation on the foreign operations appropriations bill. Please, in the future, support new policy toward Colombia, and vote YES on any amendments that cut military aid to Colombia, or that cut military aid and transfer it to social aid. Plan Colombia is supposed to end this year, and given its failures, I believe it should be replaced by a policy that works. Drug crop fumigation in Colombia has not helped lessen the price or availability of drugs on U.S. streets, and direct human rights violations by the Colombian military have increased since U.S. aid began in 2000. We need a major shift away from fumigation and military aid, and toward alternative development programs and aid to displaced families. I would like you to work diligently to change this policy, and to prioritize social assistance instead of military aid.
The fumigation is causing health hazards to the Indigenous people. I was sprayed in the fields as a child working in agriculture (in the US) and ended up with 15 years of carcinoma probably directly related years later. This is a sample of what is present danger with the massive Agent Green (Round-Up) spraying on Indigenous peoples, their lands and their foods. It is doing nothing to curb drug use or abuse in the US and people are dying and gaining health woes.
I have friends, who are very peaceful Native artists and poets there who are in certain danger in their own homes and it breaks my heart. Please as a leader from a state with so many Native constituents, please work to save what is left of the Native people and lands in Colombia and introduce legislation that will guarantee them lands and livelihood. You, of all the people in office, should have bearings on the state of the Native people in the Americas. In South America, there is still time to preserve many of the cultures which are intact still and not duplicate the extent of damage to Indigenous America as a result.
In the strength of unity through peace,
Allison Hedge Coke
Sious Falls , SD