Daily Archives: February 26, 2016

Free showing of the film: Incident at Oglala

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Free showing of the film: Incident at Oglala

February 26th, 2016
6pm
906 Columbia Street SE Olympia 98501 David William Building 2nd Floor
Olympia, WA 98506
Robert Redford narrates this documentary about the violent events that took place in 1975 on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Indian activists ended up in an extended standoff with FBI agents, and the result was several deaths, including two FBI agents whose killing was never clearly attributed to a specific gunman. Nevertheless, the government laid blame for the killing on Leonard Peltier, a Sioux political leader and activist with the American Indian Movement. Peltier has been in prison since 1977. The film details the brutal federal policies towards Indian people and the discrepancies in the government’s case against Peltier.
Other Links
Downtown Olympia mural honors Native American activist
Mural Unveiled in Honor of Leonard Peltier | Cooper Point
Chauncey Peltier – Mask Magazine
Let Leonard Peltier Paint – ICTMN.com
‘I’m Going to See Your Cop-Killing Dad Never Sees Freedom’
FBI interferes with exhibit of work by the renowned Native
Paintings by Leonard Peltier Hosted by The Olympia Food
Who is Leonard Peltier

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Mark Shark on “Make No Bones About It.” 2-28-2016 5 pm

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In His Own Words

Born in St. Louis Missouri some years back, to a musical heritage, my earliest memories include watching my parents practice on the beautiful black Steinway piano in our living room.

Both my mother Mary Bray, and my father William Schatzkamer, were concert pianists who met at Julliard.

After graduating they played many concerts together, then my father spent years on the road recording for RCA, touring with Paul Robeson, then onto Professor Emeritus and Conductor of both the Washington University and the Gateway Symphonies of St. Louis.

Both high achievers, my mother graduated from Smith College, received a masters degree in Ed. Psych from Washington University and her Ed.D from U Mass in Amherst. In addition to having four children she also enjoyed educating with the Head Start program, teaching music, and writing. Mark Shark, playing guitar for John Trudell I started most of my days listening to my father practice Brahms, Scriabin,  Bach, Beethoven and ended most days singing Pete Seeger folk songs with my mother out of the Fireside Songbook as she played along.

I believe all of us, my brother Bill and sisters Laura and Nina at some point attempted to learn piano, but we were quickly intimidated by either our lack of innate ability or the fear of the bar that was set before us.

I clearly remember the first time I heard an electric guitar.  I was riding in the car with my dad when Chuck Berry came on the radio “ugh” he exclaimed “what dreck!”  and he quickly turned the radio off.

I quickly turned it back on desperate to learn more about this exciting new sound!

My father glanced suspiciously over at me, his menacingly high arched brow raised the question before he spoke “You like this noise Mark?”

“I do like it Pi, it’s great…it’s exciting!”

His large shoulders slumped heavily and I could feel the distance starting to take shape between us but neither of us said more.  He indulged my desire for the radio as we drove on.  One mans poison…

About this time my older brother Bill brought home his very own record player and broadened my musical horizons with John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee.

He invested in an electric guitar and started teaching himself to play.  I loved watching him figure it out and wanted to play too, but he was left handed and switching the guitar around was not convenient.

I would have to get my own.

I started singing in bands around the eighth grade with my friends and after a while bought a guitar and started taking lessons with Doug Niedt.  Even then Doug was freakishly good and completely disciplined and driven to  know his instrument.  Naturally, he expected me to be as committed as well, and sadly, he was quickly disappointed.

I was interested in playing songs.  I didn’t care about knowing the intricacies of the instrument.

I did not practice scales, chords, and modes as instructed, and he immediately showed me the door.  His time was valuable and he couldn’t waste it.  (Doug was then a freshman in high school.)

I was shocked and shamed into promising him I’d go through Sal Salvador’s’ Single String Studies and Mel Bays’ chord method  books if he would give me another chance and teach me songs by the Animals and the Lovin’ Spoonful!  He agreed, and I continued to play and learn throughout  high school.

Playing the Bar Mitzvah circuit and school dances was fun and a chance to put a sound together.  I spent hours practicing scales and chord patterns and I didn’t necessarily enjoy that, however I am eternally grateful to Doug for insisting that I do it.  He was absolutely right…it has made me a better musician; thanks again Doug.

At seventeen I attended Webster College in St. Louis for two years and eventually tired of that and took a job with a show band.

I was restless, and being on the road seemed exciting.  Not to mention the money was… well, seductive.

It didn’t take too long for me to realize that although fun, and certainly exciting on some levels, playing in a show band was inevitably a dead end street.

I wanted to create on my own and knew I didn’t have the depth of knowledge I needed in order to do what I wanted to on the guitar.

I noticed that Jerry Hahn (a favorite Guitar Player magazine columnist of mine) was teaching at Wichita State University.  I called him on a whim and told him that I wanted to know how chords and scales all fit together, and that I wanted to learn how to play “outside.”

Jerry chuckled and said quietly that he could help me with all that, but first I should learn how to play “inside!”

I moved to Wichita at twenty one and began taking music theory and guitar classes with Jerry.  Learning from him was a life changing experience and I still use his book “The Complete Method for Jazz Guitar” when I teach today.  My time at Wichita State was inspirational, but brief, and after completing one year the road called again.

If my choice of music was disappointing to my parents, my decision to leave school before earning a degree was the proverbial icing on the cake.  Nevertheless, I packed up and moved out to California.  We lost my brother Bill in December of 1978 and I couldn’t spend one more cold chilling winter in St. Louis.

California was the promised land then — the place where it was all happening — and I wanted to be part of that scene.

The year was 1979 and L.A. was all I had heard it would be, both good and bad.

Fascinated by the palm trees, the girls, and the music scene I took every job I could find in every hell hole imaginable.

My playing continued to broaden as it must when you’re trying to pay the rent.  One night I’d be playing Jobim at a wedding, another night would be Kool and the Gang at the Hacienda Lounge, another found me rising from the basement of Disneyland on the Tomorrowland stage wearing an electric blue tuxedo and playing disco, another would be covering George Jones at the Stetson in Garden Grove, and yet another would be doing Lightning Hopkins at the Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach.

Some were enjoyed more than others, but all of them prepared me for life as a musician.

In the summer of 1982 fate smiled kindly when my friend Gary Ray brought guitarist Jesse Ed Davis to the Lighthouse.

Jesse was larger than life.  He had enjoyed a spectacular career playing with Conway Twitty, then through fellow OKC musician Leon Russell he moved to L.A. and never looked back.  Jesse had played with the incomparable Taj Mahal, John Lennon, Gene Clark, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne, Eric Clapton, you name it — he did it. I was thrilled (to say the least), and the first song we played together was Willin’ by Lowell George.

The moment Jesse hit the first note of that beautiful song I was done.

Jesse Ed Davis

Nothing I had ever played could compare to the soulful longing he expressed, seemingly effortlessly, on his guitar.  It was pure magic.

My guitar playing ability exists in pre-Jesse and post- Jesse realism.  Everything I had done up until that point was centered on the technical and musical concepts I was attempting to master.  Jesse showed me how to channel emotion into the guitar not necessarily by playing lots of notes, or even complex chordal tonalities, but rather through the simple yet profound concept of  sustained beauty through the music.

More often than not, less was more, what he edited out of his playing was genius.  He had plenty of country, blues, and jazz chops for sure, but he also had something more.

Every note he played had meaning, and an emotional depth and soul that few musicians ever achieve.  He never played a note just to play it…he chose very wisely and because of that was able to channel the emotion of a song in an unbelievably meaningful and beautiful way.

As luck would have it I had begun to play slide guitar in G tuning by then and was hoping to meet someone who could shine a light.

Jesse was that light.

What I learned just from watching him play in E tuning those first few months at the Lighthouse was life changing.

I continued playing with Jesse till we lost him in June of 1988, and while I wish we had had more time, I am and will always remain, grateful for everything he was…and everything he inspired me to be.

…Which leads us to the wonderful world
of alternate tunings.

It’s hard to say how long it would have taken me to master some of these tunings without Jesse’s help, but suffice it to say he shortened my road quite a bit.

In those days there were few books or videos on the subject.  It wasn’t taught as part of a music program in schools, and finding a journeyman to show you the way was a long shot.

People like us just sort of “felt” our way through.

You learned what to play (or what NOT to play) by falling on your face and doing it differently next time you got the chance.  Jesse not only showed me HIS way but introduced me to many other like minded people who shared the same passions I do.

It eased my path as a guitarist who is always hoping to find the right balance between the neck, the bar, the note, the string, and the finger.

This book is my version of the light Jesse, and so many others, generously shared with me.

The Tao of Tunings focuses on an in depth analysis of seventeen of the most widely used and unusual tunings.

Tuning maps to help guide your way, along with tablature and standard music notation, cd examples, and a comprehensive view of perceiving and navigating your way around these strange new lands.

You are not alone.

Among the artists I have admired and studied most are:

  • Jesse Ed Davis
  • John Lee Hooker
  • Bonnie Raitt
  • Lowell George
  • Jackson Browne
  • David Lindley
  • Ry Cooder
  • Muddy Waters
  • Leo Kottke
  • Taj Mahal
  • Joni Mitchell
  • Michael Hedges
  • David Crosby
  • Stephen Stills
  • Neil Young
  • Martin Simpson
  • Debashish Bhattacharya
  • Robert Johnson
  • Leonard Kwan
  • Keola Beamer
  • Duane Allman
  • George Harrison
  • Eric Clapton
  • Keith Richards
  • Sonny Landreth
  • Daniel Lanois
  • Ali Akbar Khan
  • Pierre Bensusan
  • Alex de Grassi
  • Jimmy Page
  • Elizabeth Cotton
  • John Fahey
  • Robbie Basho
  • Robbie Robertson
  • Lightnin’ Hopkins
  • Bach
  • Mississippi John Hurt
  • Julian Bream
  • Roscoe Holcomb
  • Ali Farka Toure
  • James Burton
  • Elmore James

I could go on but…

This book and the information in it is the culmination of the last forty years of my life spent in every dive from here to Tucumcari, Tehachapi to Tonopah.

There have been quite a few nice surprises along the way, most of which I’ll never forget.

I‘ve had the pleasure to have played and recorded with many of my own personal heroes:

  • Jesse Ed Davis
  • Jackson Browne
  • Bonnie Raitt
  • Terry Evans
  • Crosby, Stills, and Nash
  • John Trudell
  • Taj Mahal
  • George Harrison
  • Bob Dylan
  • John Fogerty
  • Jennifer Warnes
  • Bob Weir

I am eternally grateful for each and every experience, and I hope you enjoy the journey as much as I have.

Peace and Gratitude,

Mark Shark
Los Angeles, California
November 2008

Tao of Tunings In His Own Words

Michelle Roberts on Make No Bones About It. 2-28-2016 at 4pm

Genocide: A Year In The Life of The Nooksack 306 By Nooksack Tribal Councilwoman Michelle Roberts

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I am the great granddaughter of Annie George, the daughter of ancestral Nooksack Chief Matsqui George. I belong to the Nooksack Tribe, and last year I was elected to our Tribal Council by the Nooksack People.

Thursday marks the one-year anniversary of the date when disenrollment against my extended Nooksack family and I—known as the “Nooksack 306”— began. Since December 19, 2012, we have been persecuted in ways unimaginable anywhere else in America.

I live on the Nooksack Reservation, which is situated in Whatcom County, just east of Bellingham, in Northern Washington. I have 3/4 American Indian blood. I am also part Filipino-American by way of my grandfather. But because of my “Indipino” mixed blood, Nooksack Tribal Chairman Bob Kelly proclaimed in recent Secretarial election propaganda that my family and I have “weaker ties to Nooksack than the rest of us who are currently enrolled here.” (Incidentally, Bob Kelly has been adopted into our tribe; he has zero Nooksack blood.) In other words, we have been blatantly discriminated against, through tribally funded mailings and a federal taxpayer funded election. Meanwhile, federal officials, ranging from local BIA Superintendent Judy Joseph to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Assistant Secretary Kevin Washburn, have turned a blind eye to the illegal use of a federal election as a weapon of discrimination and genocide. That simply would not happen anywhere else but in Indian Country.

I have sued in Nooksack Tribal Court for racial discrimination under the Nooksack Constitution Equal Protection Clause and for misuse of tribal funds. But the Tribal Court Judge dismissed my claims, citing Bob Kelly and his Council faction’s ability to assert the Tribe’s sovereign immunity from any suit. That resulted from recent changes that they made to the Nooksack judicial code, to shield themselves from the very civil rights claims that they foresaw my family and I bringing against them. To date I have not been able obtain any legal recourse at all for violation of my civil rights. That simply would not happen anywhere else in America.

This summer, I was abruptly fired from my day job as the Human Resource Manager at the Nooksack River Casino, where I had worked for six years. I was fired simply because I was “an employee at will.” Twelve other members of my family have likewise lost their tribal jobs this year. In reality, I was fired by Bob Kelly and his Council faction because I have spoken out against the injustices that my family and I have suffered. I also cannot seek any legal recourse for blatant workplace retaliation. That simply would not happen anywhere else but in Indian Country.

During back-to-school season this fall, several of my nieces and nephews and other youth in our family from ages 3 to 19, were denied a $275 schools supply stipend by Bob Kelly and his Council faction—simply because they are among the 64 Nooksack children “proposed for disenrollment.” Our children were humiliated when they were denied financial aid for new backpacks and supplies, only to see all of their friends with new things for the first day of school. If that were not awful enough, this month our families’ holidays were dampened when Bob Kelly and his Council passed a Resolution that likewise denied us and our children $250 in Christmas support because we are “subject to pending disenrollment proceedings.” That simply would not happen anywhere else in America.

For the last year, I have not been notified of various Tribal Council meetings, despite my elected seat on the Council. At the meetings that Bob Kelly and his Council faction have told me about, he has ordered me to leave them due to unspecified “conflicts of interest” relating to the pending disenrollment process against me and my voting constituents. Or I have been allowed to participate by conference call, only to be muted by Bob Kelly from his off-reservation home when I spoken from my heart. That simply would not happen anywhere else but in Indian Country.

Over the last year, I have been unsuccessful in my formal pleas that Bob Kelly and Council his faction convene some form—any form—of public meeting of the Nooksack People. Still, there has not been a democratic meeting at Nooksack this entire year. That despite the clear requirements of our Constitution that the Chairman at least convene an open tribal meeting of the Nooksack People on the first Tuesday of every month. A government shutdown for an entire year – that simply would not anywhere else in America, not even Washington, DC.

On two occasions this year, nearly 200 enrolled members of my Tribe—some proposed for disenrollment, some not—have signed a petition for the recall Bob Kelly, due to his failure to honor the Nooksack Constitution or any notion of democratic government. On both occasions, he and his Council faction simply refused to allow the recall petitions to go to a vote of the Nooksack electorate. They suppressed the Nooksack People’s right to vote, twice. That simply would not happen anywhere else but in Indian Country.

Meanwhile, we possess federal probate records, expert opinions from two Ph.D. anthropologists, recorded sacred oral testimony from one of our deceased matriarchs, and even a 1996 legal opinion and enrollment record from the Tribe’s lawyer, all of which all makes clear that we are, and have always been, properly enrolled Nooksack. But we have no place to go with this proof. That is because over the course of the entire last year, Bob Kelly and his Council faction have deliberately denied my family and I—and really, our entire Nooksack Tribe—access to any political process, access to any electoral process, access to any judicial process, and access to any other forum where Indian democracy or due process might reign.

That simply would not happen anywhere else in America.
Michelle Roberts is an enrolled member of the Nooksack Tribe and an elected member of the Nooksack Tribal Council.