President Donald Trump continues his history of calling Senator Warren Pocahontas in public.

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President Donald Trump continues his history of calling Senator Warren Pocahontas in public.

Once Again: President Donald Trump Calls Senator Warren Pocahontas at NRA Rally

President Donald Trump continues his history of calling Senator Warren Pocahontas in public

Today and on the 99th day of his presidency, President Donald Trump spoke at an NRA rally in Atlanta, Georgia. Continuing his history of calling Senator Warren Pocahontas in public, Trump made another reference today. Trump is the first sitting president since 1983 to address the National Rifle Association annual meeting held in Atlanta.

When addressing the crowd in an attempt to rally his base after a rocky start to his presidency, Trump looked ahead to the next presidential campaign and said he had, “a feeling that in the next election you’re going to be swamped with candidates.” He then added in a reference to Senator Elizabeth Warren, “It may be Pocahontas, remember that.”

Within less than an hour of President Trump’s ‘Pocahontas’ remark, the term ‘Pocahontas’ began to trend on Twitter and garnered mainstream attention.

Buzzfeed editor David Mack quickly posted a tweet with the video snippet.

“Here’s the president of the United States making an offensive joke about Native Americans, calling @SenWarren “Pocahontas.””
As reported previously by ICMN and other national and international news outlets, President Donald Trump has made it a habit of calling Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) Pocahontas throughout his campaign for the president and even now that he holds the highest office in the United States.

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Donald Trump continues to call Sen. Elizabeth Warren Pocahontas

AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

Trump’s prior incident of name-calling occurred February 2017, when he reportedly told Democratic Senators in a meeting that “Pocahontas is now the face of your party.”

In February of 2017, President Trump reportedly called Senator Warren Pocahontas when he told Democratic senators in a meeting that “Pocahontas is now the face of your party,” as quoted by CNN.

Trump’s remark came soon after Warren received widespread media attention for being shut down by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) while she was reading a letter on the Senate floor by the late Coretta Scott King. The letter by Coretta King urged Congress to block the 1986 nomination of Jeff Sessions to become a federal judge, as it would undo the work of King’s husband, Dr. Martin Luther King.

Sessions was denied the federal judgeship, but was confirmed by the Senate on February 8, 2017 to become Trump’s Attorney General.

The NRA annual meeting stands recognized as the most powerful gun lobby in the country, and its members gave candidate Donald Trump overwhelming support during the 2016 presidential election.

Follow Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) – ICMN’s Arts and Entertainment, Pow Wow, Sports Editor, News Photographer and Political Contributor –

Native American students show that their “Culture is Not a Distraction,” a popular meme using images of students in graduation caps and regalia. Montana recently passed a bill allowing students to wear eagle feathers and regalia at graduation ceremonies.

Courtesy Facebook/Western Native Voice

Native American students show that their “Culture is Not a Distraction,” a popular meme using images of students in graduation caps and regalia. Montana recently passed a bill allowing students to wear eagle feathers and regalia at graduation ceremonies.

Montana Passes Bill to Allow Tribal Regalia at Graduations

Native American Students Prepping For Colorful Graduation

Until April 21, schools across Montana had the ability to prohibit Native American students from wearing traditional regalia and eagle feathers at graduations. Stories of Native students having to strip their caps of beads before being able to walk proudly at their own graduations are not uncommon in Big Sky Country.

But with the recent signing of SB 319 by Gov. Steve Bullock, government agencies and schools are effectively prohibited from creating policies that bar Native American students from wearing items of cultural significance at public events.

“SB 319 allows for us to showcase a part of our Native American culture, and take pride in the fact that as Native American students we have accomplished a huge milestone in life,” Georgeline Moresette, a Billings (Montana) West High School senior, said in a press release.

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A cohort of Native high school students from across the state attended and testified at the Montana House of Representatives in Helena in April. The vote carried 67-33, furthering “the state’s recognition of the distinct and unique cultural heritage of the American Indians and the state’s commitment to preserving the American Indians’ cultural integrity.

The bill was introduced by Montana Democratic Sen. Jen Gross. “High school graduation is a rite of passage, and Montana students from diverse backgrounds will now have the ability to show pride in their accomplishment. I’m thrilled the Legislature recognizes the significance of allowing our Native youth to express their cultural identity in meaningful ways in time for graduation this year.”

Western Native Voice, a non-profit, non-partisan social justice organization, held meetings last summer where the idea for the bill originated. “After learning that rules around traditional regalia and other objects of cultural significance were being inconsistency implemented across the state, Western Native Voice worked with Indian Caucus Members, Sen. Gross and Native leaders to craft and introduce legislation to clarify and set a clearer standard across all communities,” the organization said in a release.

Montana’s new bill is just the latest in the saga of American Indian graduation regalia around the country. In 2015, a California high school senior sued his school for the ability to wear an eagle feather at graduation.

“In this day and age, this is still a surprise,” Matthew Campbell, a staff attorney with the Native American Rights Fund, told the Billings Gazette. “Part of it is the lack of understanding about how important these items are.”

Five years ago, Aspen Many Hides (Blackfeet/Turtle Mountain Chippewa) was forced by her Polson High School principal to remove beads from her cap or she couldn’t walk.”

“Minutes before we were walking, one of my friends’ moms was ripping out the beadwork,” Many Hides recalls. “I thought, ‘Why wouldn’t a student be able to represent who they are at graduation?’”

Many Hides is now a Salish Kootenai College student who will graduate with a teaching degree this year. She was so elated about the bill’s passage she’s had a friend start on a beaded cap, moccasins and a ribbon skirt. “I’m gonna go all out,” she said.

She’s also looking forward to the Native American students she will teach to have the ability to express their culture at public ceremonies with their regalia. “I know the students I’m teaching are going to be able to represent who they are at graduation and that’s really great,” she said. “If I’m able to show who I am when I’m graduating it’s a pretty big deal. You got your whole family there, your extended family. It’s time for celebration.”

Cary Rosenbaum (Colville Confederated Tribes) is a correspondent for Indian Country Media Network. Follow him on Twitter: @caryrosenbaum.

Whiteclay, Nebraska alcohol sales

Alcoholism is rampant in Whiteclay, shown here.

Fight Over Whiteclay Alcohol Sales Still Going

Following a Nebraska judge’s ruling to overturn the liquor commission’s decision to pull the liquor licenses, state AG filed an appeal halting sales for the time being

Call Thursday the day the music died for Whiteclay’s four beer store owners. For now. After the Nebraska State Liquor Commission’s stunning unanimous decision to deny renewal of licenses to the Whiteclay businesses in Lincoln last week, the legal fur has flown fast and furious.

Beginning Thursday morning, 400 miles east of Whiteclay, Lancaster County District Court Judge Andrew Jacobsen ruled the Liquor Commission acted beyond their scope when they denied renewal of the licenses on April 19. Mere hours later, Nebraska’s Attorney General’s Office challenged Jacobsen’s order citing a law that suspends lower court rulings for up to a half year pending appeal to the Nebraska Supreme Court. The state’s appeal supersedes the Judge’s earlier decision, effectively reverting current standing to last week’s bombshell decision.

With Nebraska’s state offices closed for the weekend, starting with Arbor Day today, Jumping Eagle Inn, State Line Liquor, Arrowhead Inn and D&S Pioneer Service will be forced to close at midnight on Sunday. That closure could be permanent. Their attorney, Andrew Snyder, has advised his clients not to sell alcohol after their licenses expire midnight Sunday. Snyder said he will file an appeal on Monday.

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Snyder set Thursday’s legal contretemps in motion when he requested a delay to enforcement of the commission’s decision that would keep the four beer stores open upon further appeal. Instead, Judge Jacobsen blew past that request by ruling the commission’s action “void on its face.” He quickly ordered the Liquor Commission to reinstate the licenses to keep the beer stores open.

The judge confined himself to ruling on the Liquor Commission’s lack of legal grounds for refusing to renew the licenses. The commissioners had chiefly cited a woeful lack of adequate law enforcement in Whiteclay, a requirement for a license. But the Lancaster County judge ruled that such a standard can only be applied to new licenses, not existing ones. Jacobsen pointed to a 1996 case when the Grand Island Latin Club received a favorable ruling from the Nebraska Supreme Court. The court said non-renewal of a liquor license can only occur when the license holder has been convicted of a crime.

As might be expected, the beer store owners sent up balloons, while those who just a week ago had shared hugs and kisses in the Liquor Commission hearing room in Lincoln were instantly dismayed and angry. But it was not to last for long. Upon news of the States Attorney’s appeal and its automatic six-months ramifications for the booze merchants – there was no joy in Mudville. Again, for now.

Those who have long fought against alcohol sales in Whiteclay, men like Bruce Bonfleur of Whiteclay and Bryan Brewer of Pine Ridge, are keeping their powder dry. “It’s been a bit topsy-turvy for celebrations. I am sure that this will all work out for the good, in the end,” said Bonfleur. “We’ll just have to wait and see.”

All four beer stores face further simmering legal trouble in the form of allegations by the Attorney General of selling to bootleggers operating on the nearby Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. A hearing on this and other potential charges looms ahead, the outcome of which, could spell the permanent end of alcohol sales in Whiteclay, a tiny, unincorporated town of eight residents perched right on the border of the Oglala Lakota’s current homeland.

The battle over alcohol sales, and the social pathologies apparent on Whiteclay’s streets, have caused heartache and controversy for years. After several large street protests and demonstrations and appeals to the state over the years, the Liquor Commission decided to require the four beer stores to reapply for their licenses last November. The commission’s stated justification, after several decades of automatic renewals, was concerns about law enforcement after a Sheridan County Commissioner told the Liquor Commission that Sheridan County “absolutely” lacked the ability to provide a minimum of public safety for Whiteclay.

At that same April 6 hearing in Lincoln, Tate win Means, then Attorney General for the Oglala Sioux tribe, told liquor commissioners that criminal acts precipitated by beer sales in Whiteclay occur daily on Pine Ridge Reservation, and that Sheridan County does next to nothing to help. “They take the money, we keep the problems,” said someone in attendance.

As the founder of Lakota Hope Ministry in Whiteclay, Nebraska, Bruce Bonfleur has long believed in the impossible. Call it an article of faith, he says. “About 20 years ago I received a call by God to come to the Pine Ridge Reservation to help restore God’s people, the Lakota. This turn of events is what many of us have been praying for.”

The day of the commission’s ruling, The Lincoln Journal Star reported: “Commissioner Bruce Bailey of Lincoln, his voice shaking, read a list of reasons he felt gave the commission authority to close the stores: the frequency of ambulance calls to Whiteclay and the stores themselves, ‘very moving’ stories of debauchery and violence on the streets in Whiteclay, and a unanimous resolution by the Oglala Lakota Tribe’s executive committee that the beer stores should be closed.”

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The Omaha World-Herald reported that “Bruce and Marsha BonFleur and Abram Newman of Lakota Hope told commissioners that they regularly encountered street people who had been assaulted, including women who had been sexually assaulted. Newman said he doesn’t call 911 because it won’t do any good.”

Four unsolved murders in Whiteclay and testimony about sexual assaults of young girls in Whiteclay was a “driving force” behind the decision, Bailey said.

Janice Wiebusch of Kearny, the third commissioner, said that many of the crimes would not have occurred in Whiteclay with adequate law enforcement patrolling. One of the conditions in issuing a liquor license in a community or neighborhood in Nebraska is having adequate law enforcement coverage.

Whiteclay’s four liquor stores, Arrowhead Inn, Jumping Eagle Inn, D&S Pioneer Service and State Line Liquor are restricted to selling only beer and malt beverages.

Besides Snyder’s expected appeal on Monday, the liquor commission will be scheduling a hearing in June involving, “22 alleged violations of liquor statutes by the Whiteclay beer stores, including selling to bootleggers. Those could also result in the stores losing their licenses,” reports the World-Herald.

Since the commission’s ruling, the Nebraska Legislature has approved a new task force to address public health issues surrounding Whiteclay according to the Journal Star. Already, the state has razed two abandoned buildings in Whiteclay that functioned as flop houses. Further work is being done to demolish old foundations where buildings once stood. Hoping to capitalize on the momentum generated by the Liquor Commission’s decision, Bonfleur and other community members have founded Whiteclay Redevelopment Organization. Their desire is to partner with Oglala Lakota tribal members to bring needed businesses to the area.

Roughly estimated, Whiteclay sells 3.5 million cans of beer a year. Beer store owners contend their businesses are legal and that law enforcement is better than it used to be, though the nearest Nebraska law enforcement remains 22 miles away and ambulances from Pine Ridge Reservation respond to nearly 160 potential emergencies in or near Whiteclay annually.

The World-Herald reports, that the last time the commission sought to deny a Whiteclay liquor license was in 2004 and the appeal took 20 months. That denial stemmed from a denial of license for the Arrowhead Inn following evidence stating the store’s owner was unqualified to hold a license. The denial was eventually overturned by the State Supreme Court.

HDIMT, April 28th, Deity Smites Cherokee Stickball Field?, the poles on a stickball ground in Tahlequah sustained a direct hit by lightning leaving just a few splinters standing,

Courtesy David R. Comingdeer

This pole on a stickball ground in Tahlequah sustained a direct hit by lightning leaving just a few splinters standing.

HDIMT: Deity Smites Cherokee Stickball Field? Plus, Comanche Flea Dip

Is a splintered stickball pole a message from the creator, or punchline?

The Cherokee Nation, like the Muscogee Creek Nation where I was born and raised, is situated in what weather reporters call “tornado alley.” The thunderstorms that often birth tornados have been active this year, and Cherokees were recently reminded that those storms can cause damage without throwing off funnel clouds.

One of the poles on a stickball ground in Tahlequah sustained a direct hit by lightning leaving just a few splinters standing.

On Facebook, Cherokee Rick Fields speculated on the significance of the stickball lightning strike:

Scientific view: Lightning will strike a high point in an open field.

Extremist Religious View: This is God showing disapproval of pagan ways.

Cherokee View: We need a new pole for stickball. Probably a new fish, too.

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The Texas Legislature only meets every two years for 140 days, which means it must get right down to business and take care of the important stuff.

That must have motivated Rep. Tom Oliverson (R-Cypress) when he noticed the lack of a Texas flag emoji on the internet and how people were taking advantage of the similarity of the Chilean flag. In response to this crisis, Oliverson introduced House Concurrent Resolution 75:

RESOLVED, That the 85th Legislature of the State of Texas hereby reject the notion that the Chilean flag, although it is a nice flag, can in any way compare to or be substituted for the official state flag of Texas and urge all Texans not to use the Republic of Chile flag emoji in digital forums when referring to the Lone Star Flag of the great State of Texas.

While I’m glad to see the Texas Legislature keep on top of the important issues of the day, I did wonder out loud why they did not just produce a Texas flag emoji?

My Republican cousin Ray Sixkiller shot down a flag emoji produced by the state, calling my idea “socialism.”

Investopedia reported that Amazon has been granted a patent on an “aquatic storage facility,” which is fancy talk for using a body of water as a warehouse. A package would be charged with enough air to keep it from floating or sinking. It would remain at Goldilocks depth until summoned by a signal that would set off a kind of reverse parachute. The parachute would wind up protruding on the surface, easily snagged by a drone or a human.

Amazon already patented the “Airborne Fulfillment Center,” a warehouse in the sky that would circle cities at 45,000 feet and hand off deliveries to drones. The AFC could be moved to sporting events to peddle swag carrying the logos of both contending teams.

Cousin Ray thought it would be a natural for Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnic.

At another outdoor event where Amazon could have sold paraphernalia if they had an Airborne Fulfillment Center ready to fly, The Washington Post printed photos of some of the best homemade signs at the rally for science on Earth Day. I’m old enough to remember the “Sputnik scare” that led to the country bearing down on science education and the “speed reading” fad begun by JFK when he showed how he was able to read so many newspapers. Both science and reading were popular.

Things have changed when the occupant of the White House does not get his information from print sources and whether the earth is warming, the existence of the greenhouse effect, and the efficacy of immunizations are all matters of opinion. So it is that scientists have a demonstration that is part of an attempt to reclaim a position that informs policy. At that demonstration, these signs were photographed:

“Alternative Facts” are Not Statistically Significant

Got Plague? Yeah, Me Neither. Thank a Scientist

Make America THINK Again

Make Earth Cool Again

In Peer Review We Trust

I caught it on NPR but found it was everywhere in the news that President Trump traveled to Walter Reed to personally present the Purple Heart to Sgt. Alvaro Barrientos, who left one of his legs in Afghanistan. Trump’s remarks were brief:

When I heard about this I wanted to do it myself. So congratulations. Tremendous.

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This remark is an example of what sets my teeth on edge about Trump’s claim that he learned as much about war in his military prep school as I did in boot camp. Or my son or my father or my grandfather did in their boot camps. I wonder what he learned in prep school that made him say that he “always wanted” a Purple Heart or think that a soldier should be congratulated upon being wounded?

My pal Alan was a combat medic in Vietnam. I must ask him if he remembered to congratulate every GI he treated.

Former Republican Congressman turned newshound Joe Scarborough remarked on the fact that FBI Director James Comey announced the Clinton email investigation was reopened when new emails were found but at the same time kept mum about an investigation of the other candidate for political collusion with Russia:

On the day Americans went to vote in the presidential election, one candidate was being investigated by the FBI. And it was not Hillary Clinton.

CBS reported on conflicts with words that threatened to become conflicts with fists over the removal of four monuments to the Confederate States of America in New Orleans.

The first one removed was described by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu as the most offensive. It honored the Crescent City White League, the organization behind an abortive attempt to overthrow the biracial Reconstruction government in New Orleans. An inscription on the so-called Liberty Monument added in 1932 noted that the Yankees eventually withdrew and “recognized white supremacy in the South.” That inscription was covered over in 1993.

The work of removing the monuments is done at night by masked workers to minimize conflict, with mixed success. Supporters of the monuments are having candlelight vigils and the workers, in response to threats, are wearing masks and flak jackets and are watched over by police snipers.

The other three monuments are in honor of P.G.T. Beauregard, Robert E. Lee, and Jefferson Davis, all important Confederate historical figures.

“I guess they are important,” Cousin Ray whispered grimly, “if your taste runs to treason.”

Newsweek reported that Saudi Arabia has been elected to the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women.

Hillel Neuer of U.N. Watch told Newsweek the secret ballot election “is like making an arsonist into the town fire chief.” Greta van Susteren pointed out that women die in Saudi Arabia because they must have a related male to take them to a doctor and that male must give permission for a mammogram. Should the mammogram show something suspicious, the male relative must give permission for a biopsy.

“Saudi women wanted to protest,” Cousin Ray snarked, “but they couldn’t get permission.”

WTVF reported that Christine Humphries of White Bluff, Tennessee, had trouble sleeping on a stormy night. When she finally got drowsy, she went to bed. Just as she was nodding off, she felt something touch her arm and thought it was her cat. She woke suddenly when it flashed on her that her cat had fur.

A scream, a leap out of bed, a call for help, and deputies were removing a three-foot chicken snake from her bed. The snake—a harmless species—was released in the woods.

The woman was no longer drowsy.

KXAN reported on a more dangerous snake that had a facedown with a house cat in Laguna Vista, Texas. It was a very large rattlesnake, and the Laguna Vista Police Department broke up the ruckus with the cat, captured the rattler with a snake pole, and took it away in a sack for parts unknown.

Honestly—and understanding this will upset some people—rattlesnakes captured in cities are most often killed. Snakes like the one in the previous item, lacking venom, will not harm people and they generally feed on animals human beings would as soon not have nearby.

The Laguna Vista PD took the opportunity opened by breaking up the fight between the snake and the cat to warn the public that it’s the time of the year that the snakes are waking up and people need to be careful out there.

Normally, if there is any way to relocate a troublesome animal, the relocation will happen. Last year, Parks and Wildlife officers were called over an alligator that was terrorizing a wildlife refuge near Houston. The officers called in professional gator hunters, who caught the largest gator recorded in Texas at about 14 feet and 900 pounds. It may now be visited at Gator Country Wildlife Park near Beaumont.

The Comanche Nation News carried an ad informing tribal citizens of a free rabies clinic and self-service flea and tick dip “for Indian owned pets only.” There is a clinic on May 6 and two more clinics on May 13. See the News or contact tribal government for locations. Before each pet is served, papers must be produced.

Cousin Ray was disappointed because his dog is a mutt he adopted from the shelter and it has no AKC papers. He perked right up when I told him the papers requirement is for the humans—as in CDIB—not the dogs.


The idea that American Indians are a unity, or one people, is a Western concept. Terms such as American Indian, Native American, Amerind, are Western terms. The people who have inhabited the Americas never understood themselves in this way, but rather referred to themselves by their nation, whether it be Dené or Hnahñu, and they maintained separate identities with very different cultures and languages. Even genetically they are different from one another, although unfortunately most genetic studies tend to lump them all together, so these differences are obscured. Yet the Western perspective of simplifying the vast indigenous variety of this hemisphere is certain to lead to an oversimplification over how this hemisphere was occupied.

With all the advancements in science, we still know very little about what was happening on this planet 5,000 years ago, much less 15,000 or 50,000 years ago. Every day new discoveries add to our knowledge of the past, and yet it seems that more mysteries surface than do answers.

It was presumed, up until very recently, that modern humans were less than 40,000 years old. This presumption was once a driving force in limiting the age of Indians in the Americas, since it was assumed they could not be older than the peoples of Europe or Africa, and it would take a long time to migrate to the New World. It is now known that modern humans are at least 200,000 years old, and likely much older.

Moreover, there was in the past more than one kind of human. The recent discovery of the Denisovan hominin, along with the Neanderthals and a number of other, unclassified remains, such as Grimaldi Man and Chancelade Man, indicate a wide variety of ancient humans existed contemporaneously. The significance of this has yet to be understood.

There have been enormous environmental changes over the past 100,000 years, so pronounced that it is difficult to comprehend their effects on humans and other living things. The last ice age, known in North America as the Wisconsinan Glaciation, began approximately 85,000 years ago and ended about 11,000 years ago. It reached its peak extent of ice about 20,000 years ago. It was not a smooth transition, and during this time there were abrupt climate changes. Approximately 14,000 years ago there was a major climatic event, known as the Older Dryas, in which the Northern Hemisphere cooled significantly. A short period of warming then occurred, followed by the Younger Dryas, another period of cooling also known as “the big freeze,” which began approximately 12,000 years ago and lasted about 1,000 years.

Many volcanic events, such as the Lake Toba super-eruption in the Indonesian island of Sumatra approximately 70,000 years ago, had global consequences and may have triggered mass human migrations.

The archaeological record of ancient Indians in the Americas is sparse, but that does not mean that Indians were not here in the deep past. The “culture history” of ancient humans is little understood, and our perspectives on how they lived, sustained themselves, and organized their societies is largely based upon old prejudices and discredited theories of social evolution. What little we do know, it does appear that the culture history of ancient Americans is different from the ancient peoples of Europe or Asia.

Paleoindians lived in the Americas for thousands of years and did not leave many traces of their settlements because they lived relatively close to nature. This is evident in the oldest accepted archaeological site, Monte Verde in Chile. The preservation and discovery of the site was extremely fortuitous. It was situated near a creek that at onetime overflowed and subsumed the camp, becoming a bog. The bog inhibited the decay of the organic matter in the settlement so that the wooden posts, clothing, hearths, bones, and even a chunk of meat were preserved. Otherwise an open-air camp of this type, once abandoned, would have disappeared thousands of years ago, a victim of the elements.

One certain effect of climate change is that the sea levels have risen more than 300 feet since the glacial maximum, inundating hundreds of thousands of square miles of coastlands about 12,000 years ago. It should be noted that today, 80% of the world’s population lives within 60 miles of the oceans and would be forced to move if the seas rise another 300 feet. Whether or not the majority of Paleoindians were living along the coasts is now almost impossible to discover. Yet in an intriguing find in 1970, the crew of a scallop trawler 60 miles off the Virginia coast hauled a mastodon tusk onto its deck along with an eight-inch stone blade. The tusk was radiocarbon dated to be 22,760 years old.

In 2016, after a thirty-year battle, the underwater site, Page-Ladson in Florida, was finally accepted to be 14,550 years old, making it the oldest in North America. But other sites in North America remain controversial because of their possible ancient dates. The most compelling of these sites is Meadowcroft Rockshelter in Pennsylvania, which points to Paleoindian habitation as early as 19,000 years ago. Meadowcroft has received unyielding criticism from Clovis die-hards such as C. Vance Haynes, professor emeritus of archeology at the University of Arizona, who claim the early radiocarbon dates are the results of contamination (now refuted), but otherwise have been unable to challenge the validity of the site.

New excavations at Buttermilk Creek in central Texas indicate the site may be 15,500 years old, and the large collection of tools gives this site substantial weight. There are also a large number of sites in which the remains of extinct animals have been found that show signs of having been butchered by Indians. For example, at La Sena in Nebraska, mammoth bones that appear to have been fractured by humans were radiocarbon dated at 22,000 years ago.

By contrast to the stubbornness found in most North American archeologists, in Central and South America, the acceptance of ancient, pre-Clovis sites is matter of fact. For example, the Monte Verde site in Chile has more than one level. The upper level, MV-II, is universally accepted as having human occupation reliably dated to 14,800 years ago. A lower level, MV-I has what appear to be hearths, stone tools and wood artifacts. While North American archaeologists have been hesitant to even discuss this level, Mario Pino Quivera, a geologist with the Universidad Austral de Chile, who co-excavated the Monte Verde site, is emphatic about the burnt wood that he believes comes from an ancient hearth. “There is no doubt these are real human artifacts,” and “there is no doubt to its age–its 33,000 years old.”

A recent study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society in 2013, by a team led by Richard Fariña of the University of Uruguay, proposed that a site near Sauce, Uruguay, showed evidence of giant ground sloths having been butchered by humans, with the sliced bones found along with stone scrapers. The fact that the site and bones were radiocarbon dated to be more than 30,000 years old drew little controversy in South America.

Yet in North America, these ancient dates are met with scoffing disbelief. For example, the Pedro Furada site in Northeastern Brazil, a rock shelter with what are believed to be hearths and associated stone tools, has been radiocarbon dated to be more than 22,000 years old. As Alex Bellos of the Guardian explained in 2000, the Pedro Furada site “has divided the academic community into two sides–roughly between US archaeologists, who refuse to accept it, and South Americans and Europeans, who do.”

Many important sites in Latin America have never had their findings published in English, and so are fairly unknown to North American archaeologists. For example, the Rancho La Ampola site near El Cedral in the Mexican state of San Luis Potosí, has extensive documentation, so much so that a pamphlet of inter- disciplinary papers, entitled Rancho “La Amapola”, Cedral: Un sitio arqueológico-paleontológico pleistocénico-holocénico con restos de actividad humana, published by Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History in 2012, states that the stone tools, worked animal bones, and the hearths at the site “conclusively proves the presence of man in Mexico more than 31,000 years ago.”

The schism between North American and Latin American archeologists is long- standing and dates back to Aleš Hrdlička’s trips to Latin America in the early 20th century, where he proceeded to debunk the research of a number of Central and South American archaeologists. It begs the question; if Monte Verde had been principally excavated by a South American archaeologist, rather than Tom Dillehay, would the site have been accepted.

Yet as the North American archaeologists wait to uncover “indisputable proof,” a smoking gun that may some day overturn the current dogma, the evidence continues to accumulate that Indians have been in this hemisphere far longer than 15,000 years.

The linguistic evidence has always been clear. Indians are extremely ancient, so ancient, that, with the possible exception of the Athabaskans, there is no linguistic connection between modern Indians and modern Asians.

The genetic record is more complex and the results of recent studies are difficult to evaluate. It is essential, when studying Indians, to genetically map individual nations, given how different they are from each other. Sadly, the genetic evidence is hamstrung by the pseudoscientific classifications of Joseph Greenburg that is used in most genetic studies. Greenburg attempted to eliminate the diversity of Indian peoples and so lumped most of them into one group. This makes it much easier than examining the genetic makeup of 150 distinct peoples, but it has led to wildly divergent outcomes between similar genetic studies, often done in the same year.

Lumping so many different tribes into a single massive group makes it easy to create false relationships between Indians and Asians. The perceived unity of American Indians also creates a self- fulfilling data set, so therefore, haplotypes that are not believed to be originally American Indian, but are still found in some American Indians, are tossed out on the assumption they are the result of later European or African admixture. Add to this is that most geneticists are heavily predisposed to the Bering Strait Theory, sometimes leading to interpretations not supported by the data itself.

But in spite of the difficulty in evaluating the genetic studies because of these flaws, the genetic data is also clear, like the linguistic evidence, that Indians are very ancient, much more ancient than the Bering Strait Theory currently allows. So great are these ages–that Indians have been a genetically separate peoples for as much as 40,000 to 50,000 years–that the possibility exists of many migrations, back and forth between the Americas and Asia, between some Indian and Asian groups.

But not all Indians. There are those Indian nations that show only the most remote connection to Asian peoples, so remote that certain genes bear no resemblance whatsoever. Using HLA haplotypes to study some Central and South American Indian tribes, a study in 2006 led by A. Arnaiz-Villena from the University of Madrid, entitled “The Uniqueness of Amerindians according to HLA genes and the Peopling of the Americas,” found that “While other worldwide populations are genetically related following generally a smooth geographic gradient, Amerindians appear apart.” Indeed so apart from other world populations that the time depth needed for such change must have been very great.

If Meso and South American Indians come from Asia, they must have originated from a very different Asian people as those existing nowdays.

Two sites in the Americas, one 5,000 miles from the other, have been conclusively dated to be more than 14,500 years old. Yet even then the ice cap still posed a formidable barrier to migration. So while it is possible that Paleoindians first migrated from Asia 15,000 years ago, it is not probable. The evidence: genetic, linguistic, and archeological, paint a more diverse picture and a much earlier date.

It would appear that the past is more complex than the simplistic assumptions that currently hold sway. The idea of a straight-line migration from Africa through Asia through the Bering Strait to the New World is only one possibility out of many.

It is just as likely there were many migrations and back migrations, which may have changed the composition of each continent, Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas, multiple times. History, as far back as records tell us, is replete with massive migrations, often through entire continents, so much so that for example, Indians are now only a tiny minority in this hemisphere.

Based on his expeditions to Beringia in the late 19th century, the father of American anthropology, Franz Boas, proposed that Indians had migrated to the Americas before the last glacial maximum and when the ice age ended there was then a back- migration from the Americas into Asia. Large scale population movements like these would have led to intermixtures that show up today in genetic markers, but as to who came first, or later, or who moved where, or when, these genetic similarities cannot yet answer.

What happened in the ancient past, we do not know. But one thing we do know, the Bering Strait Theory is not a scientific theory, it is a myth. As a myth it has stifled our understanding of the past, not enhanced it. For more than a century it has been above criticism, upheld by dogmatism so ferocious that to challenge it was academic suicide.

As science moves forward, the myth is beginning to disappear. Finally, we may now be able to look at the past with open eyes.

From the Nottoway pow wow. Photo Vincent Schilling International Women's Day.

Vincent Schilling

From the Nottoway pow wow.

Pow Wow Planner Apr. 28-30, 2017 – Featured Weekly Pow Wow: Harvard U. 22nd Annual

This weekly pow wow planner for Apr. 28-30 includes the Harvard U. 22nd Annual Pow Wow

We at Indian Country Media Network continue to be excited to alert our readers of upcoming pow wows as the pow wow trail continues to heat up. Our Pow Wow Planner for Friday Apr. 28 through Sunday Apr. 30, 2017 is listed below.

ICMN’s featured weekly pow wow is the Harvard University 22nd Annual Pow Wow which takes place in Cambridge, MA on April 29th. Head Drum is Youngblood Singers and Invited Drums are Silvercloud and Storm Boyz. Chris Newell is the MC and Jennifer Weston and Niyolpaqui Moraza-Keeswood are the Head Dancers. For more information visit the Harvard University Native American Program website or Facebook event page.

The Harvard Pow Wow is this weeks featured pow wow for the ICMN pow wow planner.


The Harvard Pow Wow is this weeks featured pow wow for the ICMN pow wow planner.


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Here is our list of pow wows happening April 28th through 30th:

Choctaw-Apache Tribe 24th Annual Pow Wow, April 28-29
Choctaw-Apache Tribal Grounds
217 Gene Knight Road
Noble, LA  71462
For more information visit the Choctaw-Apache Pow Wow website or Facebook page.

MSU 28th Annual Spring Honor Dance and Pow Wow Celebration, April 28-29
Minot State University – Dome
400 11th Avenue Northwest
Minot, ND  58707
For more information visit the MSU Native American Cultural Center website or Facebook page.

Gathering of Nations, April 28-29
Tingley Coliseum at Expo NM (NM State Fair Grounds)
300 San Pedro Dr NE
Albuquerque, NM  87108
For more information visit the Gathering of Nations website or Facebook event page.

Ohlone 25th Annual “Big Time” Gathering and Pow Wow, April 28-30
Tony Cerda Park
400 West Grand Avenue
Pomona, CA  91766
For more information visit the Costanoan Rumsen Carmel Tribe website or Facebook event page.

Meherrin-Chowanoke Pow Wow, April 28-30
Ahoskie Creek Recreational Complex
Edgewood Drive
Ahoskie, NC  27910
For more information visit the Meherrin-Chowanoke website, email, or phone 252-301-6081.

Harvard University 22nd Annual Pow Wow, April 29
Harvard University – Radcliffe Quadrangle
51 Shepard St
Cambridge, MA  02138
For more information visit the Harvard University Native American Program website or Facebook event page.

United Cherokee 19th Annual Pow Wow and Festival, April 29-30
3550 Creek Path Road (next to EMA Building)
Guntersville, AL  35976
For more information visit the Pow Wow event listing.

Redbud Trail Rendezvous, April 29-30
37 E 375 North
Rochester, IN  46975
For more information visit the Redbud Trail Rendezvous website or Facebook event page.  Check out our Pow Wow listings here (updates ongoing).

Attention Pow Wow planner organizers:
You can also update your information on our Pow Wow email list.
By adding your email, you’ll enable us to contact you on select Pow Wow updates & announcements.
We will only send a few emails each year, and it will only be used by our internal Pow Wow team.
Add your email for the Pow Wow email list here:
If you are not a pow wow organizer, please be sure to send them this article.

Follow ICTMN Correspondent Lisa J. Ellwood on Twitter at

Supreme Court on Tribal Sovereign Immunity: a Smelly Pot of Fish Head Stew

The SCOTUS decision on Lewis et al. v. Clarke this week could ultimately effect the full ‘vitality’ of tribal sovereign immunity

So, the Supreme Court has spoken; An employee of a Tribal Governmental Entity or Arm of the Tribe (Mohegan Gaming Authority) who is sued in State Court for injuries he caused in an off-reservation car accident, when sued in his individual capacity by an injured Plaintiff, is not entitled to the defense of tribal sovereign immunity simply because tribal law allows for the Tribe, or its entity or arm, to indemnify him for actions arising from his employment activities. He cannot claim that the Mohegan Tribe’s Sovereign Immunity bars the State Court suit against him in his individual capacity.

Specifically, the Supreme Court said: We hold that, in a suit brought against a tribal employee in his individual capacity, the employee, not the tribe, is the real party in interest and the tribe’s sovereign immunity is not implicated. That an employee was acting within the scope of his employment at the time the tort was committed is not, on its own, sufficient to bar a suit against that employee on the basis of tribal sovereign immunity. We hold further that an indemnification provision does not extend a tribe’s sovereign immunity where it otherwise would not reach. Lewis et al. v. Clarke Certiorari to the Supreme Court of Connecticut.

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Intergenerational Trauma: Understanding Natives’ Inherited Pain

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The SCOTUS opinion is a pretty narrow decision that does not immediately effect the full vitality of Tribal Sovereign Immunity under the Kiowa Principal that was upheld in the recent Bay Mills decision. However, it ultimately could, if the State Court enters a judgment saying the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority (even though it is not present in the case) must pay for the damage the employee did, and the State Court finds that the tribe waived its sovereign immunity under the tribe’s own Indemnification Law. How can the State Court do this in the absence of the tribe (Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority)? The Connecticut State Supreme Court essentially told the plaintiff to take his case to Mohegan Tribal Court. Would the Connecticut State Supreme Court now uphold a judgment of the Connecticut Court, even in the absence of the tribe? Would the U.S. Supreme Court uphold the State Court decision that the tribe (Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority) waived its immunity from State Court by way of the tribe’s Indemnification Law and that a State Court judgment ordering the tribe to pay is valid and enforceable? How would the plaintiff then collect on his State Court judgment? He still must go to the Tribal Court for enforcement if he seeks to be paid by the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority under the Mohegan Tribal Indemnification Law, unless the plaintiff can convince the State Court to seize tribal assets, such as bank accounts, to satisfy the judgment.

Theoretically at least, the State Court has no jurisdiction to subpoena the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority (tribe) into State Court. If the State Court Judgment is entered in the absence of the tribe (Tribal Gaming Authority), and in the face of a motion to dismiss for failure to join an indispensable party (The Tribal Gaming Authority), how does the State Court enforce its own judgment saying the tribal entity must pay? Should not the plaintiff be made to take his State Court Judgment and go to the Tribal Court for its enforcement against the Tribal Gaming Authority? One would think so. Should not the Tribal Court ultimately determine whether the judgment is valid and, in doing so, make its own Findings of Law regarding the Tribal Indemnification Law and its own Finding of Facts regarding whether the Employees conduct is, or is not, covered under the Tribal Indemnification Law? One would think so. The Connecticut Court could do as a Montana Court did recently, and allow seizure of tribal bank accounts to satisfy a State Court judgment.

The Supreme Court has stirred a smelly pot of Fish Head Stew and will not be able to put the lid back on the boiling over pot. (Apologies to Yakima relatives.) It does not bode well for the tribes for the Supreme Court to “tinker” with the Doctrine of Tribal Sovereign Immunity which predates the Federal and State Sovereign Immunity to which the SCOTUS analogized in making its decision. And, this decision is not consistent with its Bay Mills decision whereby the Supreme Court said that the tribe’s actions off the reservation, in the conduct of commercial activity, did not waive its immunity from State Court actions. In dictum, that Supreme Court panel advised the State to go after individual tribal employees who were running the tribe’s commercial activity (off reservation gaming) as the court advised they would not be entitled to the protection of Tribal Sovereign Immunity for activities off the reservation that violated State Law. As one of my colleagues put it “the Supreme Court has called the tribes’ bluff” made in winning the Bay Mills decision and the court’s hand trumps the tribes heretofore winning hand.

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Intergenerational Trauma: Understanding Natives’ Inherited Pain

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Tribal Employees are now at risk for their conduct in carrying out their scope of duties under tribal employment off the reservation, that coincidentally amounts to a compensable injury under State Law. Theoretically, if the employee’s duties to the tribal employer, coincidentally, amount to a violation of State Criminal Law, could he be arrested? What other activities that Tribal Employees and Officers conduct off the reservation may violate State Law? What about internet transactions conducted by Tribal Employees on the Reservation that supposedly violate the State Law at the other end of the Internet transaction? What happens with the whole “prohibitory versus permitted but regulated” analysis of Cabazon?

The SCOTUS did not rule as to whether the Mohegan Tribe’s Indemnification Statute entitles the plaintiff to recover from the Tribal Entity under the tribal indemnification clause and made no opinion as to whether the Tribal Indemnification Statute acts as a waiver of tribal sovereign immunity as the question was not before the SCOTUS. Further, SCOTUS noted that the Tribal Indemnification Statute allows the tribe to refuse indemnification under certain circumstances in relation to the employees conduct that would potentially be outside the scope of his employment. The question, of whether his conduct was “inside or outside the scope of his employment or outside the boundaries of conduct the tribe has determined it will indemnify,” could only properly be answered by the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority (as a factual finding by the administrative body responsible for interpreting the Tribal Indemnification Law) and/or the Mohegan Gaming Disputes Court and/or the Mohegan Tribal Court.

The ultimate answer will/should come from the Tribal Jurisdiction, and not from a State Court. Even if the State Court makes such a factual finding (without the presence of the Mohegan Tribe or its entity in the State Court action), and the State Court enters a judgment that supposedly entitles the plaintiff to recover from the employee’s employer (Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority) under the tribes’ Indemnification Law, that judgment would have to be taken into Tribal Court for enforcement. Such enforcement would be against the Tribal Entity that was not joined in the State Court action. The Tribe (Tribal Gaming Authority) could contest the judgment on several grounds in Tribal Court, not the least of which would be the State Court’s lack of jurisdiction over the Tribal Gaming Authority. One would think that in the interest of judicial economy the State Court should have told the plaintiff to take his case to Tribal Court. But, that was not the State of Connecticut’s goal here. What they wanted to do was take a bite out of Tribal Sovereign Immunity, and have successfully done so. To what end?

The ultimate payer under the Tribal Indemnification Statute is the Tribal Gaming Authority over which the State Court wielded no authority (jurisdiction). If the State Court judgment is brought to the Tribal Court for enforcement, the Tribal Court, under notions of comity (absent a tribal law giving full faith and credit to State Court judgements), could decline to enforce the judgement and engage in its own factual finding as to whether the actions of the employee were, in fact, actions that would disqualify the employee, because his actions were outside the scope of his employment or outside the scope of coverage in the Tribal Indemnification Law, from being indemnified. How does that serve judicial economy? It doesn’t.

So, did the Supreme Court think of the practical and logistical consequences of its decision? I seriously doubt it. Should the State Court consider these matters on remand? One would hope so. What court would want to enter a judgment that supposedly would be paid by the tribe (Tribal Gaming Authority) over whom it has no jurisdiction and the tribe not being a party in the State Court action? I supposed it could do so noting that the plaintiff must take his judgment to the Tribal Court for enforcement. What it really should do is tell the plaintiff to take his case to Tribal Court. That’s what a responsible court might do. As the Brief of Respondent (Employee) points out the plaintiff “could have and should have taken his claim to Tribal Court.” It will probably end up there, if he ever expects to collect.

Harold Monteau is a Chippewa Cree Attorney and former Federal Court of Indian Offenses Judge writing from New Mexico. He can be reached at

Nahko Bear - Screen capture website

Screen capture website

Nahko Bear.

From Australia to Standing Rock: Videos From the Indigenous Artist You Need to Know, Nahko Bear

From San Francisco to Australia to Standing Rock and #NoDAPL, Nahko Bear is selling out shows worldwide

If you are not yet aware of Nahko Bear, you should take a look at an artists who is bringing his music to the world’s stage. His rock collective, Nahko and Friends is a hip-hop / folk group led by Nahko Bear, (Puerto Rican/Native American/Filipino) that continues to grow in popularity. Proof of this popularity can be seen with millions of views on a majority of his YouTube videos.

Nahko Bear says without formality, that he is an artist and a citizen in service to the planet. He also says his current tour, Medicine for the People, was born out of a public, musical journal of his journey toward personal, spiritual, and social healing.

In addition to his latest journeys all over the world to include Australia and the front lines of Standing Rock amidst the NoDAPL water protectors, he will also be performing this weekend during the Gathering of Nations at a sold-out event known as Dear Patriarchy alongside the likes of Winona LaDuke, Radmilla Cody and Tanaya Winder.


Download Today! 50 Must-See Modern Native Films and Performances

Enjoy films for and about real Indians Natives when you download our special free report, 50 Must-See Modern Native Films and Performances!

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Nahko Bear and Medicine for the People - Screen capture website

Screen capture website

Nahko Bear and Medicine for the People.

In recognition of his continued contributions to the world and to indigenous people, here are a collections of videos and music created by Nahko Bear.

Love Letters to God

Published in January of 2017 and directed by Josue Rivas, Love Letters to God is a video highlighting the plight of the Standing Rock

water protectors. The song is from the album HOKA by Nahko and Medicine for the People.

Nahko “Warrior People” – Gondola Sessions

On a gondola ride up Aspen Mountain, Nahko Bear from Medicine for the People gives a passionate performance of his song “Warrior People.”

Nahko and Medicine for the People – I Mua (Official Video)

Starring Hawane Rios, I Mua is another beautiful track by Nahko Bear.

Nahko – Build a Bridge (Live at the Independent, San Francisco)

In this beautiful live performance, Nahko Bear sings about feeling disconnected as an Indigenous man in a non-indigenous upbringing. His melodic “Build a Bridge” lyrics are echoed by an audience, many of which are moved to tears.

Great Spirit

In an almost prayerful tune, Nahko Bear calls to the Great Spirit and it’s connection to all people of the world.

For more information about Nahko Bear to include tour dates, news and more music, visit his website at


Follow Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) – ICMN’s Arts and Entertainment, Pow Wows and Sports Editor –

Michael Smyth (Landon Liboiron) held by the bloody hand of Declan Harp (Jason Momoa) in ‘Frontier,’ the six-episode, one-hour drama from Discovery Canada series which was shot in Newfoundland, Canada. Photo credit: Duncan de Young. CNW Group/Discovery

Photo credit: Duncan de Young. CNW Group/Discovery

Michael Smyth (Landon Liboiron) held by the bloody hand of Declan Harp (Jason Momoa) in ‘Frontier,’ the six-episode, one-hour drama from Discovery Canada series which was shot in Newfoundland, Canada.

Jason Momoa Serves Indigenous Justice by Slitting British Army Throats in Netflix Series, ‘Frontier’

Working alongside Native actors Tantoo Cardinal and Jessica Matten, 2017 set to be one of the best and busiest years yet for blockbuster actor and producer Jason Momoa

A TV show about colonial North America that opens with Jason Momoa dispassionately serving up Indigenous justice by slitting British Army throats in disputed territory can’t be bad. And in the first season of the Netflix historical epic drama, Frontier, the star power of Jason Momoa continues to rise and 2017 is set to be his best year yet.

Jason Momoa serves up Indigenous justice by slitting British Army throats in disputed territories in the Netflix series, ‘Frontier.’ Courtesy CNW Group/Discovery

Courtesy CNW Group/Discovery

Jason Momoa serves up Indigenous justice by slitting British Army throats in disputed territories in the Netflix series, ‘Frontier.’

Frontier has alternately been described as a fur trade Game of Thrones or Black Sails. Set in the 1700s, the series not only depicts the violent battles between the Hudson’s Bay Company and French, Scottish, and Colonialist American interests in undercutting their stranglehold on the trade – but the battles of indigenous tribes with the settler colonialists.

A key player in undermining British acquisition and control of colonial wealth is the Jason Momoa fictional Métis fur trader Declan Harp, head of the Black Wolf Company.

Anti-hero Harp is a ruthless man with a fearsome reputation driven by dark secrets and a thirst for revenge against his former employer, Hudson’s Bay Company.

“I want you to do me a favor,” he tells a cowardly Redcoat he decides to spare after dispatching the first. “I want you to run on home and I want you to tell them — you tell them I’m here.”


Download Today! 50 Must-See Modern Native Films and Performances

Enjoy films for and about real Indians Natives when you download our special free report, 50 Must-See Modern Native Films and Performances!

Download Today!

Frontier isn’t short on Indigenous talent. In addition to Momoa, the cast includes renowned Métis actress Tantoo Cardinal as Okimaw Kamenna and Métis/Saulteaux-Cree actress Jessica Matten as bad-ass Ojibwa Tracker Sokanon, Harp’s right arm in Black Wolf Company.

The show’s Creative Consultants are Blackfoot/Sami actor, producer, and filmmaker Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Muskego-Cree Jackie Hookimaw Witt.

Frontier was renewed for a second season before its first had even aired.

Watch the official trailer .

Follow ICTMN Correspondent Lisa J. Ellwood on Twitter at

White Clay, Nebraska; Back from the Dead; Cartoon by Marty Two Bulls

Marty Two Bulls

White Clay, Nebraska; Back from the Dead

White Clay, Nebraska; Back from the Dead

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