Tuesday, February 12, 2013

catching up. Whew!

I have been pretty busy, Graduate Student at University of idaho.  Took a new job as Department head at Salish Kootenai College, in Native American Studies.  Completing my degree in May, I think.  I have been working with some interesting things, Epistemology, and i will write and publish soon about my Native "String" Theory.  I got married to Laurie Holton Finley in November.  My father left us and the world a week before Thanksgiving.  I'm still plugging along, and will keep on going, just eb patient and I will return to writing.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

New look, New material coming soon!

I am working on my Master's degree in Education, and just wanted you to know that I am going to start posting again, trying for once a week. I will put it on my calendar. Right now i am reading "Indigenous Methodologies" by Kovach. I just finished, a week ago "Research is Ceremony" by Wilson, so expect to see Axiology, Epistemology, Methodology and Ontology. Cosmology may be tossed here and there as well. I will add Wikipedia/Wiktionary definitions soon. Have a great day, Salish Silver signing off from Moscow, ID, Home of the Vandals!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

I have been working at flintknapping for the last couple weeks. It is pretty challenging, and not as hard as it seems it could be. I have a few things to figure out, and I will be able to teach this a whole lot better. Sorry for the lack of posts over the last couple years, lots of things going on to take up my time. Back to blogging here and there. The science behind all of this knapping technology would encompass geology of the area, knowing where to get the best rock available for this type of work (making arrowheads), and then the break characteristics of the stone itself. Physics, i guess, in the way silica based rock breaks in a conchoidal (looks like a shell) fracture. I will put up some pics of my notcher/pressure flaker and the billets i have made. Some copied, but all made by myself.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Another Book for the list

I am just about through reading Wolf Totem by Jiang Rong. This is a great book about grassland ecology and the role wolves should play in it, as well as the consequences of removing them. I think this is very important information in light of recent developments in Montana. Wyoming and Idaho concerning wolves. If the wolves are hunting and thinning the elk herds, doesn't that mean that the elk left will be better? Or are the elk hunters getting too lazy to really go after the animals? I was under the impression that hunting elk was sort of a right of passage. Not everyone I know that hunts goes elk hunting. I am too lazy to go hunting for elk. I don't want to get up at 3 in the morning and drive an hour and a half, and then walk for three miles to put an animal down in God knows what country, and then try and get all of the meat and animal back before it spoils, or have to fight off a grizzly bear, or twenty other things. I have been elk hunting, for sure, and seen elk. But not anywhere I would take one. I am all for healthy, strong animals. I am all for a healthy ecosystem here in the mountains. I am going to go out on a limb here. Sheep are like a fast food for wolves. Probably not the best diet. And to use an anthropomorphism: Just like us, an easy meal is too great an opportunity to pass up. After a few Big Macs (or lambs or calves) it is just too much work to go home and cook. Maybe there is something in that stuff that makes us complacent. I don't think wolves should eat domestic livestock. But I do think that they play a key role in the future of the forest and grasslands of Montana.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Information about my tribe

I am very proud of my tribe, and the fact that I a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. That being said, I just received a link to a website that helps talk about some of the myths associated with tribes and tribal people. Click on the video tab and watch the seven little movies. I think it is very informative, and well worth your time if you live near a reservation, need more information about indians, or if you are unsure of just what is what in regards to tribal people.
Here is the link:

Friday, March 20, 2009

Blending of Art and Science.

I have an interesting blend of art and science to report this time. On March 29, I will be having an exhibit of my art work at the Museum of the Plains Indian in Browning, MT. If you're in the neighborhood, stop by in the evening and meet me. My art will be displayed until May 10, so there will still be time to go and see what's going on. I have some of my jewelry on display/sale, as well as cultural items made from bison horn. Where does science com into all this? Well, I like to use acrylic pains, which as far as paint goes is pretty new, in use only since the early 60's. In my jewelry I use my knowledge of chemicals to make things easier & faster. I have some experience in metal finishing from a previous job, and that help me make shiny things, as well as make good decisions on what types of abrasive to use. When I paint in watercolours, the interaction of light, paint and paper always is interesting, as well as wet-in-wet and wet-on-dry looks and the technical aspects of paint in those instances. The ability to use technology to send out this message is also a great benefit, as well as interesting that different batches of electrons can be pushed anywhere in the world and made to fit a computer screen of almost any ilk and be comprehensible to the many. I have likewise drawn pictures of my lab experiments, and sometimes taking several renederings to make them just so, a point where I like them, or at least live with them. This sort of encoding of information is processed deep in our psyche. Man (and his counterpart) have for a long, long time recreated some version of natural and other events in the form of art. The cave paintings and petroglyphs of both the new and old worlds show a reverence that is unquestionably linked to nature, and all its myriad forms.
I have a quote sent to me by a good friend, who in his wisdom was able to make sense out of my ramblings and found a written western example where all spirits are sort of reconciled, and I think it's pretty gran, so I'll add it here. One note, though, I am sort of non-denominational, call myself a catholic because of cultural reasons (ask me) and I actually have quite a number of Bahai's as friends. This is a tribute to their ideals, morals and just plain good-peopleness. They know who they are!

Non-existence therefore is an expression applied to change of form, but this transformation can never be rightly considered annihilation, for the elements of composition are ever present and existent as we have seen in the journey of the atom through successive kingdoms, unimpaired; hence there is no death; life is everlasting. So to speak, when the atom entered into the composition of the tree, it died to the mineral kingdom, and when consumed by the animal, it died to the vegetable kingdom, and so on until its transference or transmutation into the kingdom of man; but throughout its traversing it was subject to transformation and not annihilation. Death therefore is applicable to a change or transference from one degree or condition to another. In the mineral realm there was a spirit of existence; in the world of plant life and organisms it reappeared as the vegetative spirit; thence it attained the animal spirit and finally aspired to the human spirit. These are degrees and changes but not obliteration; and this is a rational proof that man is everlasting, everliving. Therefore death is only a relative term implying change. For example, we will say that this light before me, having reappeared in another incandescent lamp, has died in the one and lives in the other. This is not death in reality. The perfections of the mineral are translated into the vegetable and from thence into the animal, the virtue always attaining a plus or superlative degree in the upward change. In each kingdom we find the same virtues manifesting themselves more fully, proving that the reality has been transferred from a lower to a higher form and kingdom of being. Therefore non-existence is only relative and absolute non-existence inconceivable. This rose in my hand will become disintegrated and its symmetry destroyed, but the elements of its composition remain changeless; nothing affects their elemental integrity. They cannot become non-existent; they are simply transferred from one state to another.

Through his ignorance, man fears death; but the death he shrinks from is imaginary and absolutely unreal; it is only human imagination.


As to the existence of spirit in the mineral: it is indubitable that minerals are endowed with a spirit and life according to the requirements of that stage. This unknown secret, too, hath become known unto the materialists who now maintain that all beings are endowed with life, even as He saith in the Qur'án, "All things are living."

-- Abdu'l-Bahá, Bahá'í World Faith

Shey Hoy

Monday, March 16, 2009


A while back I saw Gran Torino. As a movie it was OK, but some of the underlying material was quite intriguing to me. (may contain spoilers) The main character makes some decisions that shape the path that he takes. There are outside forces that make him change his viewpoint on many things including his new neighbors, who at one time he feels he may have been shooting at instead of helping or interacting with. One incident changes what he feels he must do to protect his "family" of sorts. the gritty texture of this film makes you identify with the main character, and maybe I'm the same sort of guy. I would have done exactly what Clint did in this flick. It was a small price to pay for the knowledge that people would be safe and protected. I think that if the circumstances are right, we are all heroes, given the chance. A hero may not always be doing what is right, but he/she knows what has to be done and then does it. How many times has a instance come up where you could be a hero and didn't take it? Maybe to some, buying a meal or coat is heroic. How about giving up your place in line to an elderly person? How many material decisions can you make that will make you a hero? Is the recycler a hero? The people that sell fair trade goods? Is the farmer in the rainforest who cuts two acres of forest to palnt his crops a villain because he knows no different life? Do you live a sustainance lifestyle, or even try? Maybe all americans should start, so we can again be heroes to the world.
Shey hoy.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

St Louis Arch

I went to St Louis two weeks ago and my hotel was very close to the Arch. A pretty interesting piece of engineering, all stainless steel and concrete construction. I paid and went up in the pods that are part Ferris wheel, elevator and classified as a tram. At the top (630 m) I looked around and saw the curvature of the Earth, barges and miles and miles of development. As the Gateway to the West, it is impressive and awe-inspiring. But after I returned to the ground level, I thought about what it could really represent to natives. This was a memento to the history of the opening of the Indian lands and the forced removal of natives from their respective ORIGINAL homelands.
It also starts to beg the question of why there are no national monuments to NATIVE AMERICAN heroes and feats. Why not a monument to Chief Joseph, Geronimo, or Black Elk? Is there a library dedicated to Vine Deloria or N. Scott Momaday? Does the philosophy department on any campus have a room or building named for V.F. Cordova? Are native artists like Terry Gardipee or DG House asked to be faculty or invited to shows just like the non-native artists? Is there a research plot named for the advances in plant genetics that gave us corn, squash, potatoes and beans? None of these things (which by the way feed many of the people on this ol' rock currently) has ever been given adequate praise and recognition.
Native peoples have had more done to them in the name of both good and bad and survived all of them, and still maintain our core beliefs. Bioterrism, genocide, warfare of all kinds we have suffered, yet the bones of our ancestors still support and guide us through our lives.
I'm not saying today, or tomorrow, but sooner or later the principles which native peoples use to better and maintain their lives will parrallel what the mainstream believes.

Enough for today, Shey Hoy

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Strawberry Corn/

I was in a local store sometime in December, and picked up some dried strawberry corn ears. They are red and shaped sort of like strawberries, and were right next to the Indian corn. What exactly the heck is "Indian" corn, as opposed to sweet corn or field corn? I suppose that the tricolor ears of dried corn were all that the poor natives could grow, having no giant factory farms to do all of the work of sorting all of the colors out in each ear. (You may detect a small amount of facetiousness here) Hybrid corn is one thing, but to call a particular strain of mutt corn Indian corn is a bit misleading. All corn started out as Indian corn. Native American corn. Actually, and most probably South American Indian corn. There is evidence that corn was adapted to almost every environment on both Americas. There are heritage varieties that have more protein and less sugar than current corns, whose genetics are owned by Monsanto or ADM or some other world farming and seed conglomerate. These older and less manipulated corns may be better food stock than the newer ones, but aren't they grown commercially? Too much manual labor. Not easy to convert to harvest by machine. Too short. Not enough product per plant.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Back in Business

Sorry for the extended delay in posting. I've had some issues with different things, but am now back at the keyboard. I have several interesting stories to relate, and some new topics to bring to you. I post again later this week.

Until then, be indigenous to where you are.