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American Indians


  • Originally published 07/09/2013

    Kevin Gover: Johnny Depp’s Tonto Isn’t Offensive, Just Weird

    Kevin Gover (Pawnee) is the director of the National Museum of the American Indian.I admit that I went to see “The Lone Ranger” expecting to be disappointed and quite likely offended by the portrayal of Indians in the movie. Both Disney and Johnny Depp, the star of the movie, had promised to remake Tonto, the iconic Indian from the television series of the 1950s. Mr. Depp’s Tonto, they said, would not be simply the “faithful Indian companion” to the title character. No, indeed. Mr. Depp’s Tonto, they said, would be the star of the movie, a character who would make Indians proud.

  • Originally published 04/18/2013

    American Indian tribes turn to technology in race to save endangered languages

    LAS VEGAS — In a windowless conference room in a Las Vegas casino, about three dozen people are swishing their fingers across iPads, trying out test versions of new apps and screening for glitches.But these are no Silicon Valley techies in town for one of the city’s massive electronics shows. Many are from far-flung American Indian reservations, and their high-tech devices are serving a decidedly old-school purpose: trying to save their languages from the brink of extinction.Experts say a growing number of tribes are trying to revitalize their languages, which in some cases are spoken by only a small handful of people. And increasingly, they’re enlisting technology in the effort....

  • Originally published 03/20/2013

    Dig aims to save Native American burial mounds

    Toye Heape stood on the slope of an ancient Native American burial mound, confident in the significance of what was beneath his feet.The 1,800-year-old site has long been known to historians. But Heape, vice president of the Native History Association, was still excited to see state archaeologists slowly burrowing into the dirt last week. The excavation, scheduled to end Friday, was never intended to prove specifically what rests within the two small hills that sit just south of Highway 96 in the Westhaven subdivision. The intent is simply to preserve them. “For the Native American community, whether (the site) gets on the National Register (of Historic Places) or not, it’s still a sacred place,” Heape said. “Our feelings about it won’t change.”...

  • Originally published 10/17/2013

    Uncovering the Tea Party's Radical Roots

    If we put the Tea Party's claim to be Jeffersonians in the proper historical perspective, we come out not on the far right but on the far left.

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