Being an election year, ICMN thought it appropriate to take a look at United States presidents and their policies toward Native Americans throughout the history of this country. Each week, we featured a president beginning with George Washington and ending with Barack Obama.
Presidents weren’t the only historical figures ICMN focused on. Like every year, we took a hard look at Christopher Columbus, which cities celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day instead, and how Columbus even got his own holiday. This year there was even a campaign to write Columbus a letter and tell him how you really feel.
Another important topic this year was reconnection. Natives all over Turtle Island were reconnecting to traditional ways. In California, the ancient art of basket weaving was revived; and on the Upper Columbia River, canoe culture is thriving. Another way Natives reconnected this year was through various rides. The Remember the Removal bicyclists completed 950 miles to honor those along the Trail of Tears; 167 horseback riders completed 100 miles along the Nez Perce Trail to honor their ancestors; and for the 11th year the Dakota 38+2 Memorial Ride sought solace and healing for those hanged on December 26, 1862.
ICMN often looks back at important moments and events in Native history. In 2016, Steve Russell researched what happened at Cahokia and Robert Aquinas McNally wrote a series about the Modoc War—from who really caught Captain Jack to photographing and reporting on the war to the aftermath of the hangings at Fort Klamath.
Finally, 2016 was the year the Bering Strait Theory was put to rest. Two studies put an end to the long-held theory that the Americas were populated by ancient peoples who walked across the Bering Strait land-bridge from Asia some 15,000 years ago.