Saturday, February 27, 2010

It Is Indian, NOT Native American

I just spent another twelve days in the hospital with complications from the removal of a kidney stone. As she has always done, my mom spent every day for ten to fourteen hours a day sitting in my room, training and supervising new staff, helping me do anything I needed and mostly she read.

One of the books she read was COUNTING COUP, which chronicled one year in the life of seventeen-year-old Sharon LaForge, on the Crow Reservation in Montana. In many ways, it was like reading about a girl living on the Standing Rock Reservation like we did from 1960 to 1963, when my dad taught and coached at the high school in McLaughlin, South Dakota. McLaughlin is a small town of about 750 people in North Central South Dakota, about twenty miles from the North Dakota border.

Mom read several passages that could have simply substituted the word McLaughlin and it would have happened in the 1960's in South Dakota rather than the 1990's in Montana. The part of COUNTING COUP I want to share with you is the Author's Note in the front of the book. Here it is:

Larry Colton, freelance author of COUNTING COUP, a true story of basketball and honor on the Little Big Horn stated, During my fifteen months on the Crow Reservation. I rarely heard a tribal member refer to him/herself as a Native American. They called themselves Indians.

Because our ancestors most likely came across the Bering Sea, we’re not really natives, explained John Pretty On Top, a Crow Sun Dance leader. It's more accurate to call us First Americans.

I have had a problem with many of the so-called politically-correct terms for a long time, and using Indian instead of Native American is one of them. Frankly, all hyphenated American usage bothers me.

On a side note: In Indian tradition, a warrior gained glory by touching his enemy in battle and living to tell the tale. They called it ... COUNTING COUP.

I look forward to your comments.



Monday, February 22, 2010

The Bloom Box

I learn something new whenever I watch 60 Minutes. Last night was no different. Lesley Stahl did this piece entitled The Bloom Box. If you missed it, check it out:

Watch CBS News Videos Online

We now have all kinds of battery power and have had for many years. The story elicits two questions right away. What makes this different from all the other battery ideas? And, how can we make it work? I am sure I am not the only person asking these questions.

There is a great deal of discussion going on now about rebuilding the electric grid. My next question is, will we even need to rebuild the electric grid if The Bloom Box — or something like it — is developed to be the next generation of electric power?

Will we soon see a landscape with no power lines? As we all know, change is inevitable. I believe this is just the beginning of how our children and grandchildren will get their electric power. I find it very exciting!

I look forward to your comments.



Thursday, February 4, 2010

Look Ma, No Hands!

In 1975, Bonnie Consolo won an Academy Award nomination for the documentary film A Day in the Life of Bonnie Consolo. I remember seeing it and being amazed at all the things she did without arms. She was truly amazing!

I was a newbie then at only four years post injury, and to watch this woman, drive a car, cut her boys hair, prepare the family dinner and do many other things with her feet was a real eye-opener for me! You can learn more about Bonnie's life and her accomplishments by clicking here. Bonnie passed away in 2005 at the age of 67. Naturally, she was a motivational speaker.

Now, we have another incredible young woman who is making a name for herself who, like Bonnie, was born with no arms. Young Jessica Cox has done Bonnie one better and has become a licensed pilot. Yes, she is the only licensed pilot in the United States who has no arms!

Check out this video from Inside Edition from about a year ago:

What do you suppose is her chosen career? You got it, another keynote speaker! Surprised? Neither am I. You can learn more about Jessica by clicking here. She is another example of a motivated young person making great strides to make the world a better place. I am sure we will hear a lot about her for many years to come. I wish her well.

I look forward to your comments.