Lakota Freedom: Starting off with an update on the Lakota Freedom story, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council says that it will consider the recent declaration of withdrawal from treaties spearheaded by Indian activist Russell Means.
“Avis Little Eagle says she understands the frustration that led Lakota activists to announce a plan to withdraw from the tribe’s treaties with the U.S. government. However, the vice chairwoman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council advocates holding the federal government to the provisions in those treaties, rather than withdrawing from them. “I see where they’re coming from,” she said of American Indian Movement leader Russell Means and other members of the Lakota Freedom Delegation who declared the Lakota people’s independence to the State Department last week in Washington, D.C. “But we, as elected officials, on a daily basis we refer to those treaties because to us they are living documents,” Little Eagle said Wednesday from the tribe’s headquarters in Fort Yates, N.D. Little Eagle said council members will probably discuss the delegation’s letter, ‘and I can’t say what action they will take.'”
While the Lakota Freedom group claims years of consultation with elders and tribal leaders, at this point I still can’t find any reports of local tribal leaders stepping forward to support treaty withdrawal. Considering the comments of Avis Little Eagle, it seems unlikely the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council will take any action to support a withdrawal from treaties.
Sorry, We Thought You Were A Witch: A substitute teacher in Shreveport, Louisiana has been fired from her job for her alleged religious affiliation. Jennifer Harmon, who has blue hair, was asked if she was a Wiccan by a fellow substitute teacher (she isn’t), and shortly thereafter was called in by the Principal and dismissed.
“Jennifer Harmon. The 39-year-old mother of one recently was told her blue hair was unacceptable after nearly a week of substitute teaching at Vivian Elementary/Middle School. But Harmon, whose appearance has remained the same since early 2006 and was evident during her substitute application process, doesn’t think it was her hair color or an accompanying nose piercing that got her in trouble. Rather, it was religion. The same early December day a fellow substitute teacher asked if she was Wiccan, Harmon found herself in Principal Jamie (Rene) Tolbert’s office answering questions about her appearance and whether she had discussed religion with students. ‘Not only was I extremely confused and upset because I was never made aware of any policy prohibiting teachers from having blue hair and nose piercings, but when (Tolbert) asked me about religion I started to panic,’ said Harmon, who said she is not Wiccan and does not subscribe to any particular religious faith. ‘Of course, I never spoke to the children about religion. I would never do such a thing.'”
The complaint (or possibly complaints) against the teacher seem like a bizarre game of telephone (a parent told a teacher who told the Principal), and could come down to the gossip of a single parent. Meanwhile Harmon, who outside of her blue hair dressed modestly while teaching, has gotten support from other parents and staff over the issue. Can the mere rumor of Pagan allegiance endanger your job as a teacher? Similar cases have occurred this year, and it leaves the victim in a legaly murky area where you can’t claim religious discrimination for a “perceived” faith. It remains to be seen if Harmon will be able to continue teaching in the area.
Guillermo del Toro Watch: It has been announced that the Pan’s Labyrinth director is co-producing a new movie with Clive Barker entitled “Born”.
“Clive Barker and Guillermo del Toro are getting ready to explore the dark side of Claymation” Twitch reports that the duo will be co-producing Born, a film adaptation of Barker’s story about a family who gets more than they bargained for when they move to the English countryside. Dan Simpson, who adapted the source material, is directing; Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany have signed on to star.”
The film is described as a mixture of The Sixth Sense, The Wicker Man, Rosemary’s Baby, and Straw Dogs, which seems like a good combination for those who love occult-laced thrillers. Guillermo del Toro is also slated to direct an upcoming adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s “At the Mountains of Madness”.