Category Archives: my own thoughts

America, meet the real Pocahontas

These facts are well-documented: Pocahontas was kidnapped by the men of Jamestown. Then, while in captivity, she was impregnated by and married to one of her captors, John Rolfe. Like one of the Boko Haram girls. He took her to … Continue reading

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Science, myths, and alternative histories: An overview of what we know about the peopling of Turtle Island

Migration across the Bering Land Bridge is a controversial subject among Native Americans, kind of like creation and evolution with Christians. It’s also a hot topic among archeologists and anthropologists. The science behind the peopling of the Americas in still … Continue reading

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The Native women in the Capitol Rotunda

In the center of the US Capitol, under the iconic white dome, is a large round room called the Rotunda. There are eight niches in it, circling the room, each with an oil painting twelve feet tall and eighteen feet … Continue reading

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Birders detect dramatic changes as Davis climate warms

[A version of this was originally published in the Davis Enterprise.] In 2002, the cover of The New York Times Magazine featured a silhouetted man standing on frosty mauve ice and staring through binoculars into a rosy polar sky. The … Continue reading

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Going nuclear: The high school mascot of mass destruction

Much has been written about the use and social purposes of Native mascots. I summarize most of the peer-reviewed literature, 18 papers, at this blog post. Several of those papers describe how the use of mascots assert the power and … Continue reading

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Sitting on 700: The short story of my lifelist

Sometime long ago when I started birding, when I was seven, I read that the ultimate lifetime goal for birders in the US was to see 700 species in North America. For birders, “North America” was defined by the American … Continue reading

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The movie Wind River and white saviors: A review of reviews

Wind River, a 2017 crime thriller set in the winter wilderness of the Wind River Indian Reservation, focuses on the on-going epidemic of assaulted and missing Native women and girls. Examples of the problem are not hard to find. The … Continue reading

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