Indigenous People’s Day and A Reply is in Order

Monday October 8 is Indigenous People’s Day – dont know what that is – well check it out as it’s important and if u r surprised to know u were never taught about this day but know all to well the tale of Christopher sailing the ocean blue in 1492 – u will see see how things work.  The bloke didnt discover nothing cuz the lands were already found and founded and full of happy and healthy people until – BAM WHAM and NO THANK YOU Mam – in stomped racism, imperialism, nationalism, and militarism and GENOCIDE!

Yet its something we never talk about and most school kids don’t even know about.  You can bet your bottom dollar if it was done to u.s. (meaning the invasion and biological warfare (yes we did biological warfare on Native people) slavery, torture, murder to white folks, it would be honored every year with much ado but since our fore fore fore fathers did the doing to Native people – it is morphed, glorified, celebrated in schools as a GREAT THING and all the messy and horrible parts simply wished/whisked away from public view.
So maybe we can see if we can get a wee bit of things right.  Recently i learned that the Intertribal Freindship House sent a letter to CSD advocating for the removal of the Bear Hunt sculpture and in return they got…


as in zero – as in no reply at all.

Well, that aint cool.  Especially since one of their chief concerns is the impact of the negative imagery on the children most especially the Native Deaf students at CSD.

So i’m thinking since CSD’s Superintendent Virnig has said that CSD is really down with multiculturalism, he would at least see the value in responding to the Intertribal Friendship House – especially seeing how Berkeley, CA. formally recognizes Indigenous People’s Day and the folks of the Intertribal Friendship House are Indigenous People and the statue they are objecting to is supposed to represent them aka Indigenous People.  So I am hoping (its what i do – try as i may to stop it i always come back to hoping for the better angels of our nature) maybe on this day OFF of school, Supt Virnig can show some respect and honor them with a reply.

this way Supt Virnig will be showing some respect for the folks who are the most affected by the misrepresentation unjustly prominently displayed in front of CSD to this very day.

To the Intertribal Friendship House – thank you very much for sharing your point of view and experiences and for reaching out to CSD.

A reply that actually explains why you, Supt. Virnig have sided with honoring Tilden (when he didnt even want CSD to have that statue) over honoring Indigenous people is in order.

To all the readers – please do SOMETHING today as a shout out against the genocide and injustices targeted against Native people yesterday, today and tmw.  Its wrong and we know it and must own up to it.  Don’t turn your back on what we done.


14 thoughts on “Indigenous People’s Day and A Reply is in Order

  1. Excellent article! We should encourage any Deaf Native American make a new statue that would represent true Native Americans! I understand that Tilden never want to have his Bear Hunt displayed there. We should respect Tilden and Native Americans’ wishes to remove the statue.

  2. I think I should have said “ASK”, not encourage. I think encourage is more of patronizing. Ask is more of respect. Or any word that can be even better. I am open to that!

  3. You left out the importance of the statue to the Deaf community and school. This is a very one-sided informational article

  4. Deafchimpmunk – i would love to see Native American De’VIA art at CSD and your desire syncs up with what the Intertribal Friendship House has called for too

    Jean – did you want for a blank message to get posted?

    Concerned Citizen – you can find out more at this link (which i linked in this entry) – scroll down for vlogs on the topic also.

    The statue was taken and kept by the school against Douglas Tilden’s wishes. This is mentioned in this entry. Is this the “importance of the statue to the Deaf community and school” you wanted me to address?

    i’m getting mighty puzzled by:
    1. some folks treasuring this statue remaining where it is over Tilden’s wishes
    2. some folks treasuring a Deaf artist over the offense the statue causes for American Indians, POC and allies
    3. you crying “one-sided” on INDIGENOUS PEOPLE’S DAY. If anything has been one-sided – it has been HISTORY against Native people
    4. oh – and how you dont seem to have any problem with Supt Virnig not EVEN dignifying the Intertribal Friendship House with a reply and his not providing ANY rationale or justification for keeping the statue as is

    So after you have read the previous entry here and seen the vlog entries – enlighten us – what is the importance of this offensive statue to the Deaf community and school and note – i too am a CONCERNED citizen. I’m concerned that you appear to value a thing more than living people.



  5. ok removing my running thoughts of 1942 ocean blue with lots of terrorizing ashes of columbus during the world war 2 since we may not know how often anyone who can opened columbus’ tomb with no security lock so often?

    Now go back to the open letter of the Intertribal Friendship House issue- did they send the green certified card in the mail ? and check the date of Supt Virnig or his secretary recieve the mail??
    The letter was sent on August 9 is 2 months and one day old which that is too long time ignoring the requesting letter. The letter is asking to remove.

    Why can’t anyone inform Supt. Virnig to call 24 hours business services call San Leandro Crane Service in Castro Valley, Calif to pick up the Bear Hunt

    and then move to where in CSD-F art department to weld or melt the bear down???

    that Phone nbr: 510-589-3951
    or Alternate: 510-582-2156

    Tell the Crane Services to send a bill and Supt. Vernig can use his credit card and then fundraising to remove the bear?

    Have anyone in CSD-F talk about where?

  6. Tilden’s biographer, Mildred Albronda concluded that Tilden chose the Bear Hunt to send the Bear Hunt group of statues to CSD in Berkeley to satisfy CSD’s demand for repaying his stipend because it was one of his practice pieces, or novice works, that he didn’t deem to be his work as a mature artist.

    All this needs to be taken into account in deciding how it should be intetpreted today. Tilden was an incredible underdog/oppressed person himself who literally *starved* to death because CSD refused to give him a job as a teacher (!) This is not a metaphor. Tilden actually did starve to death.

    I don’t think the Intertribal Friendship House had the full context of the whole story at hand when they wrote their letter. Let’s please not fall into the trap of letting ourselves become divided (internally, or in relation to other oppressed people), because that plays into the hands of the hegemonists, including audist hegemonists.

    Too many people have jumped into the fray on this issue without reading or even scanning Mildred Albronda’s book.

  7. Shawn – re my initial reversing of the numbers – sorry it sent u investagating the influence of Columbus in 1942

    Re supt Sean virnig – I emailed the links to these entries and he said he forwarded my email to the state. I assume that is what he said to the intertribal friendship house, which is basically forwarding / passing the buck and not responding to our concerns

    Brian – page numbers re Tilden saying the Bear Hunt statue was a practice piece and that he died from starvation

    Re ur comment re the intertribal groups letter – I don’t understand what u r saying


  8. First of all, if it was a practice piece then Tilden may have just chosen the Native American theme for practice and was copying another statue in Paris that had a similar theme but used an ancient inhabitant of what came to known as the European continent.

    Second, if he deliberately chose CSD as the final place of disposition for the statue, to be placed in an out-of-the-way alcove at the school, that would be more like placing the statue in an out-of-the-way place where the general public would not see it. CSD Berkeley was not a museum.

    It’s not a page in Mildred Albronda’s book. I was referring to this webpage:

    Ron Roizen contacted Mildred Albronda and she told him that based on the information he was giving her (about the Fremiet statue, which she didn’t know about before), she thought the Bear Hunt was probably an early practice piece that Tilden made when he was a student. He was simply using the theme of the Fremiet statue as a way to practice. In that case, we need to be careful not to over-interpret the meaning of Tilden choosing a Native American for his practice piece.

  9. Maybe today it does today, if Tilden had deemed it to be a mature work for display to the general public, but if the whole culture was racist then, does it make sense to villify Tilden? Martin Luther King had extra marital affairs. Should we interpret his life history by only focusing on that and villify MLK?

    What I am trying to say is that too many people jumped too quickly on this issue without any real attempt to provide contextualization. Also what sense does it make to publicly ostracize Sean Virnig for not answering a letter? Is that a huge offense worth putting the reputation of CSD Fremont in jeopardy at a time when many residential schools are struggling to obtain funding? Where is the solidarity?

  10. Brian

    i aint vilifying Tilden. I love the bloke

    we are talking about the statue – today in 2012

    re: MLK Jr – pls dont believe every lie that J Edgar Hoover planted on folks. Deceit is NOT sweet.

    re: context – we actually have it. running backward in time trying to connect alot of “ifs” are not context. the context is that there is this HUGE statue in front of a school for children that is offensive. that is the context

    re: ostracizing Sean Virnig – brian – wow. This wittle write up is ostracizing Superintendent Virnig? i have never met him but im sure when and if i do – we will like each other. He has red hair after all.

    what i am doing here is making the invisible VISIBLE.
    Native Americans, DYUSA, & community members have formally informed the Supt of CSD they have a big problem with that statue and he has NOT addressed their concerns and/or provided a reason for leaving the statue as it is where it is

    so please tell me WHO is putting CSD reputation at risk? it aint the truth seekers i assure u
    CSD has an opportunity to do good and do right and when they do do they will soar even higher

    re: solidarity – wow.
    Our solidarity should be to truth and justice for all our people – not just blindly to Deaf schools or Deaf sculptors etc.

    Im sure you got thrown that crappy line during the Unity for Gallaudet protest – so surprised to see u try to toss that one out now.



  11. Maybe Supt Vernig has to write up the important announcement : Attention: Sculpturers. Need to melt the Biting Bear’s mouth to change the Kissing Bear mouth becuz that might be match to the Bear’s both flopping ears ?

  12. shawn – ur funny. no i dont think that is what the Supt is planning
    issue is largely with the misrepresentation of Native Americans and a kiss will not make the boo boo go away.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s