Mary Annette Pember

Native American women come to terms with an epidemic of sexual assault.

This Thanksgiving, as an Ojibwe woman, I will grieve for what Europeans did to native peoples here. But I will also give thanks for life.

About 30 percent of elementary students in Winner, South Dakota, are Native American. Only 1 percent finishes high school.

In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue on a mission of plunder for Spain. When he arrived here, he commenced the virtual annihilation of the indigenous peoples of the Americas.

Native land should not be a biker bar
By Mary Annette Pember

August 15, 2006

Bikers and developers need to take a hard look at the damage wrought by their merrymaking near sacred places. Last week, the 66th annual Sturgis Bike Rally in South Dakota drew thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts. But it is also drew attention to the rights of Indians.

Honoring Indians of Alcatraz occupation, 35 years later
By Mary Annette Pember

June 6, 2006

Thirty-five years ago this month, federal officials escorted a little ragtag group of Indians and supporters off Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay. The 19-month occupation of the island helped bring about a sea change in the relationship between the U.S. government and Indian country.

Indian Heritage Month needs more than lip service
By Mary Annette Pember

November 14, 2005

November is National American Indian Heritage Month, and President Bush is paying only lip service to it.

Spielberg's TV series simplified depiction of native people
Mary Annette Pember

July 28, 2005

Steven Spielberg's latest television epic, "Into the West," traveled some tired trails in its effort to tell the story of the occupation of the American West and the toll it took on native people.

Abramoff, DeLay sell selves to highest bidder
Mary Annette Pember

June 28, 2005

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay has disgraced the Texas voters who helped bring him to power.

He has come to embody the very image of a corrupt politician, selling his influence to the highest bidder. DeLay's unholy alliance with lobbyist Jack Abramoff is a perfect example.

Breakdown of Indian family has its roots in the past
By Mary Annette Pember

April 13, 2005

The tragedy on the Red Lake reservation in Minnesota has placed native people and our "social ills" on the mainstream media news for our 15 minutes.

Most of these stories retrace the same well-traveled ground, citing our high levels of poverty, substance abuse and lack of opportunities, before we recede, once again, into news oblivion.


Subscribe to Mary Annette Pember


Subscribe to The Progressive

We need to improve the condition of workers this Thanksgiving weekend. Here's what you can do.

“Climate change isn’t an ‘issue’ to add to the list of things to worry about, next to healthcare and taxes,” Klein...

Real leaders need to lead a push back against the firestorm of fear about Muslims—not fan the flames.

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

Public School Shakedown

Progressive Media Project