Native Americans

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Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a surprising 5-4 decision in the case of McGirt v. Oklahoma; the Court ruled that much of the eastern half of Oklahoma is still an Indian reservation. In doing so, the Court affirmed that -- because Congress had not expressly disestablished the Muskogee Creek Reservation, which was created well over a century ago -- that Reservation still exists when it comes to the Federal Major Crimes Act.

Facebook / Union Public Schools

Union Public Schools announced Monday that it will "entertain a proposal" to change its mascot from a derogatory term for Native Americans it shares with Washington's NFL team.

“We have been having conversations internally for quite some time about the possibility of making a change,” said Superintendent Dr. Kirt Hartzler in a statement posted to the school district's Facebook page. “Many, both inside and outside our community, have had conflicting emotions over the years regarding Union’s mascot, and we strongly believe that now is the time to take up this issue once again."

Flickr/Mrs. Gemstone / https://www.flickr.com/photos/gemstone/8162709569/

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Native American voting rights advocates are cautioning against states moving to mail-in ballots without opportunities for tribal members to vote safely in person.

In a wide-ranging report released Thursday, the Native American Rights Fund outlined the challenges that could arise: online registration hampered by spotty or no internet service, ballots delivered to rarely-checked Post Office boxes and turnout curbed by a general reluctance to vote by mail.

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A presidential task force charged with coming up with ways to address missing and slain Native Americans will resume tribal listening sessions Wednesday.

The task force held a handful of sessions in person with tribes and tribal organizations before the coronavirus hit. It’s now turning to teleconferences and webinars to update tribes on its work and get feedback.

Four sessions are scheduled through June 3.

Our guest is Walter Johnson, the Winthrop Professor of History and Professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. His new book is a far-reaching, unflinching, and complicated account of race relations in his hometown: St. Louis, Missouri. From Lewis and Clark's 1804 expedition to the 2014 uprising in Ferguson, the course of American events, Johnson argues, has been charted in St. Louis. His book moreover shows how the imperialism, racism, and capitalism that have defined the city have likewise defined our nation's history.

U.S. Treasury

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Several Native American tribes sued the federal government Friday, seeking to keep any of the $8 billion in federal coronavirus relief for tribes kept out of the hands of for-profit Alaska Native corporations.

The U.S. Treasury Department is tasked with doling out the money by April 26 to help tribes nationwide stay afloat, respond to the virus and recover after having to shut down casinos, tourism operations and other businesses that serve as their main moneymakers.

Our guest is the Tulsa-based author Hunter Howe Cates, who tells us about his new book, "Oklahoma's Atticus." It's a work of biography/history that profiles his own grandfather, Tulsa County public defender and Creek tribal member Elliott Howe. Howe, as we learn, was closely involved in the investigation and trial of a Tulsa murder case that made national news back in the early 1950s. On Nov. 7th, Cates will do a free-to-the-public reading and signing in connection with this work at Magic City Books.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we revisit our fascinating 2017 conversation with David Grann, the bestselling author and staff writer at The New Yorker Magazine. At that time, Grann was promoting his then-new book, "Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI" (which has been optioned for a much-talked-about film version). Grann will deliver a free-to-the-public Presidential Lecture here at TU on Tuesday the 22nd; his talk begins at 7:30pm in the Reynolds Center.

On this edition of our program, we discuss one of the cases that will be heard when the U.S. Supreme Court comes back into session next week. "Sharp v. Murphy" (previously known as "Carpenter v. Murphy") is a case that turns on whether Congress disestablished the Muscogee (Creek) Nation reservation. Although this question pertains specifically to the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, the Court's decision might also end up applying to reservations of the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Seminole Nations. Our guest is a locally based expert on this case, TU Law Professor Judith Royster.

(Note: This show originally aired back in February.) Our guest is the novelist Margaret Verble. Her new book, which she tells us about, is "Cherokee America." Set on the American frontier in the spring of 1875, and specifically in the Cherokee Nation -- which would later be part of Oklahoma -- this novel follows a series of complex family alliances and cultural and racial clashes in the aftermath of the Civil War. It's a vivid (and often funny) novel of blood relations and home lands, of buried histories and half-told truths, and of past grief and present-day harm.

Many of us living here in Oklahoma -- and indeed, living all over the nation -- are today both pleased and proud to affirm that Joy Harjo, the much-celebrated, 68-year-old writer and musician based in Tulsa, was recently named by the Library of Congress as the 23rd Poet Laureate of the United States. A member of the Muscogee Creek Nation, Harjo is the first Native person to be selected for this honorable role. On this edition of StudioTulsa, we listen back to a conversation that we aired with Harjo in 2012, when her well-regarded memoir, "Crazy Brave," had just appeared.

Our guest is the Oklahoma-based author, attorney, and legal scholar Walter Echo-Hawk.

Our guest is David Treuer, an Ojibwe writer from the Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota, whose previous books include four novels and two books of nonfiction. He joins us to discusshis new book, a well-regarded historical study called "The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present." As was noted of this work in a front-page appreciation in The New York Times Book Review: "An informed, moving, and kaleidoscopic portrait....

Our guest is the novelist Margaret Verble. Her new book, which she tells us about, is "Cherokee America." Set on the American frontier in the spring of 1875, and specifically in the Cherokee Nation -- which would later be part of Oklahoma -- this novel follows a series of complex family alliances and cultural and racial clashes in the aftermath of the Civil War. It's a vivid (and often funny) novel of blood relations and home lands, of buried histories and half-told truths, and of past grief and present-day harm.

On this edition of ST, we listen back to our April 2017 chat with David Grann, the bestselling author and staff writer at The New Yorker Magazine, about his book, "Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI." As was noted of this book by a critic writing for Time: "Nearly 100 years ago, the Osage tribe of Oklahoma were thought to be the wealthiest people per capita in the world, thanks to their oil-rich reservation, kindly sold back to them by the federal government that had snatched it away.

On this installment of ST, we learn about the Osage Nation Museum in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

On this encore edition of ST, we hear from the Oklahoma-based writer and writing teacher Brandon Hobson, whose latest novel is "Where the Dead Sit Talking." Set in rural Oklahoma during the late 1980s, it's a lyrical and at times troubling story about a fifteen-year-old Cherokee boy who's been placed in foster care. As was noted of this book in a starred Publishers Weekly review: "Hobson's narrative control is stunning.... Far more than a mere coming-of-age story, this is a remarkable and moving novel."

(Note: This show originally aired back in February.) "Bobby BlueJacket: The Tribe, The Joint, The Tulsa Underworld" is a well-researched book exploring little-known aspects of American crime, Native American identity, and smalltown politics in the 20th century. It's also an engrossing biography of a real and remarkable person: Bobby BlueJacket, born in 1930, who grew up in Tulsa amid teenage rumbles, mean streets, dangerous pool halls, and Midwest safecracker crews -- and who actually went from being a career thief to a prison journalist to a Eastern Shawnee Indian activist.

Our guest on ST is Kendra Taira Field, an assistant professor of history and director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at Tufts University.

T. C. Cannon (1946–1978, Caddo/Kiowa), Small Catcher, 1973–78. Oil on canvas. Collection of Gil Waldman and Christy Vezolles. © 2018 Estate of T. C. Cannon. Courtesy of the Heard Museum, Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Craig Smith.

We learn about a striking show on view at the Gilcrease Museum here in Tulsa; "T.C. Cannon: At the Edge of America" will run through October 7th of this year. It is, per the Gilcrease website, "the first major traveling exhibition of Cannon's work since 1990 and explores the dynamic creative range and legacy of an artist whose life was cut short at age 31.

Our guest is the Tulsa-based author Joe Johnston, who's originally from Missouri, and who's written many books over the years on various topics. He joins us to talk about his newest publication, a folksy, far-ranging, and conversational history of Southern cooking -- from sun tea and fruitcake and vegetables to "the Colonel's chicken" and BBQ and beyond.

Our guest is the writer and writing teacher Brandon Hobson, whose new novel, "Where the Dead Sit Talking," has just been published. Set in rural Oklahoma during the late 1980s, it's a spare, lyrical, and at times troubling story about a fifteen-year-old Cherokee boy who's been placed in foster care. As was noted of this book in a starred Publishers Weekly review: "Hobson's narrative control is stunning....

"Bobby BlueJacket: The Tribe, The Joint, The Tulsa Underworld" is a just-published book exploring little-known aspects of American crime, Native American identity, and smalltown politics in the 20th century. It's also a biography of a real and remarkable person: Bobby BlueJacket, born in 1930, who grew up amid teenage rumbles, mean streets, dangerous pool halls, and Midwest safecracker crews -- and who actually went from being a career thief to a prison journalist to a Eastern Shawnee Indian activist. Our guests on ST today are Michael P. Daley, the author of this new book, and Mr.

The 2017 Tulsa American Film Festival, or TAFF, showcasing indie features and shorts from across the United States -- with a focus on local, classic, student, Native American, and Okie-rooted films -- continues here in T-Town at several different venues. Tonight, the 13th, the TAFF will present the Oklahoma Premiere of a new documentary film about the life and work of Wilma Mankiller, who in 1985 was the first woman elected as Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we learn about the work of Kay WalkingStick, a widely celebrated American landscape artist who once referred to herself as "a New York painter and a Cherokee woman." Now 82, and equally (and impressively) adept in both abstract and representational styles, WalkingStick is the subject of a newly opened retrospective exhibition at the Gilcrease Museum here in Tulsa.

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we listen back to an interview that we first aired in January with John M. Coward, an associate professor of communication here at the University of Tulsa. At that time, Coward joined us to discuss his then-new book, "Indians Illustrated: The Image of Native Americans in the Pictorial Press." This book is a social, cultural, and pictorial history of how Native Americans were illustrated in the many and various magazines and newspapers that popped up all over the nation in the latter half of the 19th century.

Our guest on this installment of ST is David Grann, a bestselling author and staff writer at The New Yorker Magazine whose new book, just out, is getting rave reviews. That  book is an unsettling and in-depth work of nonfiction, "Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI." As was noted of this book by a critic writing for Time: "Nearly 100 years ago, the Osage tribe of Oklahoma were thought to be the wealthiest people per capita in the world, thanks to their oil-rich reservation, kindly sold back to them by the federal government that had snatched it away.

Our guest today is John M. Coward, an associate professor of communication here at the University of Tulsa, who tells us about his new book, "Indians Illustrated: The Image of Native Americans in the Pictorial Press," just out from the University of Illinois Press. As noted of this book at the UIP website: "In the second half of the nineteenth century, Americans swarmed to take in a raft of new illustrated journals and papers.

On this edition of ST, we speak with the author Peter Cozzens, who has written several acclaimed books on the Civil War and the American West. He chats with us about his newest book, which is just out: "The Earth Is Weeping: The Epic Story of the Indian Wars for the American West." Per Douglas Brinkley, writing for The New York Times Book Review, this book is "a detailed recounting of random carnage, bodies burned, treaties broken, and treachery let loose across the land.... Cozzens admirably succeeds in framing the Indian Wars with acute historical accuracy....

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