Monthly Archives: August 2013

Fern Renville on the next Make No Bones About It. 8-25-2013 at 4pm


Fern Naomi Renville is an enrolled member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate, but also carries her grandmother’s Omaha and Seneca-Cayuga blood. She is a graduate of the Evergreen State College, a mother of grown children, and the Director of Seattle-based Red Eagle Soaring Native Youth Theatre. Red Eagle Soaring programming integrates contemporary theatre with traditional Native performing arts, empowering youth to sustain their cultural heritage and take creative action on the issues affecting their lives.

Peter Boome on the next Make No Bones About It. 8-25-2013, 5pm

peter-broome-005-sfwAward Award winning Coast Salish artist Peter Boome is a member of the Upper Skagit Tribe of Washington State. He works in a variety of mediums with a primary focus on printmaking and graphic work. Peter earned his AA from Northwest Indian College, his BA from the Evergreen State College and his JD from the University of Washington School Of Law. He is currently finishing his Master’s of Environmental Studies at Evergreen State College, as well as pursuing a PhD through the School of Indigenous Graduate Studies Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi in New Zealand.

Peter’s work has been aggressively sought after by collectors throughout the world. His art pieces span the continents in various European countries as well as New Zealand, Australia, Asia and Africa. Peter is a regular attendee of many prestigious juried art markets and events throughout the country, such as the Santa Fe Indian Market. His work has shown at institutions such as the National Museum of the American Indian both in New York and Washington DC. Some other places Peter has also shown include the Heard Museum in Phoenix, the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis, the Autry Museum in Los Angeles, Indian Art Market in Santa Fe, and the Washington State History Museum where his work is part of the permanent collection. Peter’s work is carried by many galleries and art distributors throughout the world.

Peter works in a variety of mediums such as painting, carving, inlay, and glass work, but he is best known for his Hand-pulled serigraphs. He prints his own original work as well as the work of other artists. As a printer, Peter has worked with both new and established artists. He has worked with indigenous artists from New Zealand and Canada and has been active in printing indigenous work and giving back to his community. Through this commitment to his community Peter has introduced the work of many artists who would not have been otherwise able to have their work printed.

For more information about Peter and his art visit his website and blog at:   For questions about individual work such as pricing and availability or to contact Peter email him at:

Artist Statement

Peter’s artist statement says, “Art is all around us. Art is everywhere in life, there are lines, curves, shapes, colors, and shades all around us. Each culture has its own way of expressing the art of our world, a window through which we view the world. I am a Coast Salish Artist. My art is rooted in a historical design tradition. My art is a direct reflection of my culture; it is also a reflection of my personal, cultural, and world view.

I believe art is more than a simple reflection of culture. I feel art influences and guides cultures in many directions and ways. If you accept that art and culture are intrinsically connected you realize that art like culture is malleable, while based on a historic foundation both continue to evolve and expand. Our use and need of art is as strong as our use and need of culture. It is intrinsically connected; it surrounds us and often guides us. As an artist representing a distinct culture there is a moral obligation to carry on the artistic tradition with the upmost care and respect. We must carry on this tradition by honoring the past, representing the present, and laying the foundations for the future.”

For questions about pricing and availability and for more information about Peter or to view his work, check out his website and blog:

No No Keshagesh -Buffy Sainte Marie

Buffy Sainte-Marie is an amazing talent. She is a singer-songwriter, musician, composer, visual artist, writer, educator and social activist. She is one of the most influential Aboriginal figures in recent times. She is an intensely creative woman. She started her career in 1962 and is still going strong. Her songs have been covered by Donovan, Elvis Presley, Janis Joplin, Chet Atkins, Dean Wareham & Britta Phillips, Joe Cocker, Cher, Bobby Darin, Tracy Chapman, Neko Case, Gram Parsons, Neil Diamond and Courtney Love among many others. She has two degrees (including a PhD in Fine Art), she has won an Oscar, she was a regular on Sesame Street for five years, she has received two medals from Queen Elizabeth and she founded the Cradleboard Teaching Project, an educational curriculum devoted to better understanding Native Americans. And this only skims the surface of her remarkable achievements.

This is documentary traces Buffy’s fascinating path from her birth on a Cree reservation in Saskatchewan to her early success in the Greenwich Village folk scene, her subsequent musical and political activism, which earned her a spot on the government’s blacklist, and to her current role as artist, educator, unstinting activist and timeless musician. It includes interviews with Robbie Robertson, Joni Mitchell, Taj Mahal and Bill Cosby. It was released with her fifteenth album, the excellent RUNNING FOR THE DRUM. This wonderful documentary is directed by Joan Prowse.



(This is intended for non-profit commentary and educational purposes. No copyright infringement intended. Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.)

Lakota Nation Official Press Release Against Keystone XL Pipeline .







WHEREAS Chief Arvol Looking Horse, 19th Generation Keeper of The Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe of the Nakota, Dakota & Lakota Peoples of the Great Souix Nations and Honorary Citizen of his beloved… New Orleans has these words for the people of New Orleans & the world.

“Today I witness a lot of sickness on the face of the earth” and

” We have come to a time when we the people are the ones bringing
bringing all the prophecies of all the peoples closer & closer” and


The humans are so disconnected from the Spirit Mother Earth now
to succeed we must use the power of prayer. The signs of the white

animals are all over the world. We must be the voices of these white
animals, and

The Tar Sands is the biggest cancer on Mother Earth now they say the
Keystone Pipeline will not leak yet we witness pipe line leaks in Yellowstone
Arkansas and other places which they cannot clean up, and

Even now the oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico are poisoning the waters
which are the blood of Mother Earth, and

We must realize that Grandmother Earth is the Source of Life not a resource.
We must pray that our leaders stop thinking only of their personal profit
and open their hearts for healing and their minds to understand they are

risking the future of their own children and grandchildren and


On August 27th we gather on the Sacred Ground of Congo Square to pray for
the healing of the hearts and minds of our leaders. We shall be as fearless in
our prayers as the Spirit is fearless in our protection.
and now therefore



in the name of and by the authority vested in the Council of the City of New Orleans

Grandmother Rita Blumenstein, on the next Make No Bones About It. August 11th, 2013 at 4pm


We are free to be who we are—

to create our own life

out of the past and out of the present.

We are our ancestors.

When we can heal ourselves,

we also heal our ancestors,

our grandmothers, our

grandfathers and our children.

When we heal ourselves, we heal mother earth.

-Rita Blumenstein

photo by: Laura Avellaneda-Cruz

Grandmother Rita Pitka Blumenstein is a Yupik Elder and the first certified traditional doctor in Alaska. She is also an artist, a teacher, speaker and storyteller.  Rita’s teachings of the “Talking Circle” have been recorded and published, and she’s traveled the world to teach song, dance, basket weaving and cultural issues.  She donates these earnings to Native American colleges. 

Grandmother Rita was born on a fishing boat. Because her father died before she was born, Rita was raised by mother, grandmothers and great-grandmothers. All were wise women elders of her Yupik people. “I grew up with the Grandmothers, walked with the grandmothers and learned with the grandmothers,” she said of her family’s powerful teachings.

Grandmother Rita’s family lived in Tununak on Alaska’s Nelson Island. The bitter cold and barren tundra made life hard for the Yupik, whose name means “Real People.” With no forests or trees, the Yupiks said special prayers for the return of the driftwood each year. They also prayed to the animal spirits for help.

Rita began learning while in her mother’s womb. “My mother taught me that her tummy was my first world, and whatever she did while I was in her was something I learned,” Grandmother Rita says. ” Being in the Mother’s womb is like being under the ice; unsure of the light and hearing things but not clearly.” From the time of her birth, the Yupik grandmothers recognized Grandmother Rita’s spiritual being and healing powers.

When she was a young child, Grandmother Rita had diphtheria for two years and could barely breathe. All she could do was listen. By age 9, she was already receiving visions and was working as a healer. In a recent vision, she saw people looking up at the sky in terror.  It turned out to be 9-11.

Rita’s grandmothers stressed that school is important, but more important was learning about oneself.  From a young age, Yupik youth are taught that when they think of something, they also need to feel it. And when they feel something, they also need to think about it. “It is essential to allow yourself to know what you know, instead of driving yourself to be,” she believes. “When there is so much striving to be and become, we don’t often recognize what it is we really want when it’s right there in front of us.”

School helped balance Grandmother Rita between two worlds. Yupik people struggled with U.S. policies that ended the tribe’sfishing and hunting rightsand forced their children to attend schools outlawing tribal languages and traditions. “I caught the tail end of the old ways,” said Grandmother Rita. She believes her name, ” Tail End Clearing of the Pathway to the Light”  reflects her mission to heal. “The ceremonies, the  Potlach  are old ways. I can see now, today, that all that happened back then was for this purpose, for this life we are living today. It was for my work now. The ceremonies were about what all our ancestors were doing for the future, for future use. We just didn’t know back then that meant today.”

Grandmother Rita was married happily and peacefully to a Jewish man for over 40 years. During those years, they had six children but five died.  Today their living daughter jokingly calls herself a “Jeweskimo.”

In 1995, Grandmother Rita learned she had cancer. The cancer helped Rita recognize her lifetime of anger and sadness from not having a father.  She knew she had to heal at the deepest levels. “Emotions become physical, and the physical becomes emotional. Healing is about peeling,” she says. “God said there is only abundance, and the only way through is to forgive. Holding on to negative emotions becomes caner or another illness.  Our healing is not just for ourselves, it is for the universe. We forget who we are, and that is the cause of our illness.”

Today Grandmother Rita Blumenstein is a  tribal doctor for the South Central Foundation.  She uses plant and energy medicine to heal along with the  wisdoms learned from her own grandmothers. “I really still don’t know what it is I do, and I don’t know after what I did,” she explains. “The secret is that I don’t know anything. I am your friend, I am not sick, not sad, not angry. But what about you?”

Grandmother Rita is also teaching her teen-age granddaughter — who “talks to Mother Earth” — to be a healerand carry on the traditions. She tells her granddaughter that the whole universe is for everyone’s use. Nothing is to be owned, only shared.  “We are all here for the universe … Everything changes except the land we live on, and when that changes, we must accept it …When Mother Nature shows us she’s angry, that changes all of us.  My Grandmother taught me long ago that you become a human being when you learn to accept., when you learn to let go. We are here for the universe.”

Inviting the grandmothers to come visit her in Alaska , Grandmother Rita said,” When people think of Alaska, they go, ‘Brrr.’ But I say, when you have a cold heart, that’s when you’re cold. When you have a warm heart, that’s when you are warm. Come to Alaska, and we’ll warm you up!”