Five Things for Indian Country Today

A story about news, quotes, events, photos and other items relevant to Native Americans, Indian Country, and American Indians.

A round-up of events, news, quotes, photos and more that are relevant to Indian country. Here are five for today.

Take a Hike


Sitka National Historical Park

Actually, this is for tomorrow, June 1, which is the American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day. One national park that is all in for the day is Sitka National Historical Park. The park is hosting a day-long event in honor of National Trails Day. The event will be held at the park’s Visitor Center from 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM and is a day dedicated to park trails, health and the community of Sitka. Free presentations and activities will occur on the hour. We will have booths from our local partners set up in the lobby, local dog walkers are encouraged to come out and take a photo with a ranger or get a healthy treat for your 4-legged friend, and kids can join in the fun as well. To find other National Trails Day events, which are taking place all across the country, go here.

The New Stadium Sound, Appropriated From Native Cultures?

A crowd shakes its caxixis.

“Friends, Brazilians and soccer fans, lend me your ears – the shimmy and shake of the caxirola is coming to a football match near you soon,” writes Sarah Holt of CNN.com. “The pear-shaped plastic percussion piece is to be the musical instrument of choice for the 2014 World Cup after it was given the seal of approval by Brazil’s ministry of sport. About time, too, some might argue after the raucous cacophony of the vuvuzela – the long, plastic horn trumpeted on the terraces during the 2010 soccer World Cup in South Africa. … If the buzzing vuvuzela, whose raspy monotones drew comparisons to a swarm of angry bees, provided the sound track to the World Cup three years ago, Brazil’s aural arouser is based on the caxixi, a woven South American Indian instrument filled with dried beans. Designed to produce a gentler sound – similar to maracas or rain sticks – and dressed in the green and yellow colors of Brazil’s national flag, the caxirola has also been given a ringing endorsement by the country’s President Dilma Rousseff.”

But the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil aren't so thrilled. South American Indians are saying that the caxirola is nothing more than a rip-off of the traditional instrument caxixi, and Native cultures are due recognition. 

The Art of Dance

This video of an incredible hoop dance performance by members of the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers will get you moving for the weekend.


Fighting Words

A crowd shakes its caxixis.

With headlines this week about Congress members urging Washington, D.C., NFL team owner Dan Snyder to change the club's name, we are reminded of something the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian Director Kevin Gover, of the Pawnee Nation, said about the name "Redskins" being the most offensive term for a team, at least to his ear.

"It is the equivalent of the N-word," Gover said. "That's how it was used when I was a child. That's the name people chose to call me if they wanted to hurt my feelings, and I think that's still the case in many circumstances."

Photo of the Day

From the World Eskimo Indian Olympics, the ear pull event.

Courtesy World Eskimo Indian Olympics