Extreme History Projects tells the Tales of Ft. Parker

Grant Bulltail tells the stories of Ft Parker era

16 April 2012 SHELLEY BLUEJAY PIERCE, Native Times Special Contributor


BILLINGS, Mont. – The Extreme History Project, based in Livingston, was on location this past week for filming and recording of oral histories for their Ft. Parker Oral History Project. The interviews, given by several elder members of the Crow tribe, detail the early reservation period during the 1868 to 1884 time frames and seek to preserve the wealth of information available from members of the community.

Filming took place at the Little Big Horn College, Crow Agency Montana, and in private residences where Marvin Stewart, Grant Bulltail, Mardell Plainfeather, Stan Stevens, and Walter Pease, all descendants of the early Indian agencies, recounted their own family history. The interviews were conducted by Marsha Fulton and Crystal Alegria of the Extreme History Project and were filmed and recorded by Adam Sings in the Timber of Sings in the Timber Photography.

The project, funded by The Montana Department of Transportation, and in partnership with Project Archaeology, will supply transcriptions as well as DVD’s of interviews to several institutions throughout Montana and be made available to the public. They will also become a part of the digital archive which The Extreme History Project is creating on their website.

“We were so fortunate to be able to connect with some of the descendants of people associated with both the first and second agencies,” states Marsha Fulton, co-director of the Extreme History Project.

“They very generously gave us their time and stories that have been passed down through their families. We learned so much more about these people and this time period which will fill in the history we have previously uncovered from documents and letters,” continued Fulton.

The first two Crow agencies, Fort Parker, located just outside of Livingston (a.k.a. the Mission Agency) and the second agency near Absarokee, served as the two initial locations for the tribe prior to the final move to their current location in southeast Montana near Billings. Fort Parker, the very first Crow Indian agency, was established by the Laramie Treaty of 1868. The Crow lost millions of acres of territory with the establishment of each of these agencies.

Crystal Alegria, co-director of the Extreme History Project explained, “These stories have much to tell us about the Indian perspective of this period which has long been un-documented. We believe that bringing this story to light can have real value in bringing communities together here in Montana, and across the country.”

The Extreme History Project is a public history organization which seeks ways of using history to build bridges between communities. The current oral history project will bring the surviving historical stories from both Native and non-Native community members in order to honor both sides of a conflicting time in U.S. history.

Alegria also noted that, “We feel it is so important for the general public to have easy and ready access to this information for research, opportunities and education.”

The Extreme History Project has been studying the history surrounding the site at Fort Parker in preparation for the oral history project, their book, documentary and community education programs. The organization strives to make history relevant for the community while finding new and innovative ways to experience the events that shaped the present.

For more information on The Extreme History Project, visit http://extremehistory.wordpress.com/

“Celebrate National Women’s History Month- Walmart inks distribution deal with Joanne Shenandoah for new album”

“Celebrate National Women’s History Month-  Walmart inks distribution deal with Joanne Shenandoah for new album”

ONEIDA, New York- March 6, 2012- Just in time to celebrate National Women’s History Month, Walmart and internationally recognized Native American musician, humanitarian and scholar, Joanne Shenandoah, reached an agreement for distribution of her new album, “Lifegivers.”  Arriving in strategically chosen stores, the CD hits the shelves today. Walmart stores across 12 states in the USA will carry Shenandoah’s latest album which serves as a tribute to women.

“Walmart clearly sees the potential in Native American music and has opened their hearts to this art form.  When people have a chance to hear the music, they love it!  My music is consistent with Walmarts’ commitment to enhancing lives and protecting Mother Earth for future generations,” explained Joanne Shenandoah about this distribution agreement.

Shifting from plastic CD containers to recycled paper was one of Shenandoah’s more environmentally conscious moves in developing the packaging for her latest work, Lifegivers.  Known for her strongly held belief in living a more sustainable and respectful life for the welfare of the planet and future generations, Joanne Shenandoah redesigned the typical CD packaging to be recycle-friendly.

Walmart is shipping the new album in advance of Mother’s Day which fits with the theme of Shenandoah’s newest music collection. Additionally, the album is released in March which celebrates and honors National Women’s History Month.

“Lifegivers is a tribute to the life cycles of women from the first beating of the heart to when her spirit leaves to walk across the stars along the Milky Way as she returns home to the Skyworld where she will be welcomed by her loved ones. Each song is meant to bring the listener to a place of celebration for every cycle of life. As I asked for these melodies to flow, I realized I was inspired by different aspects of rhythm and music from different cultures of the planet. It has been my great honor to be able to be embraced by many life-givers of the world; newborns, young women, pregnant women, women in love, women who sing, women who teach, and women of wisdom,” explains Ms. Shenandoah.

Joanne Shenandoah, Ph.D., is one of America’s most celebrated and critically acclaimed musicians being a Grammy Award winner and having earned over 40 music awards.  She has performed all over the world, including North and South America, South Africa, Europe, Australia and Korea, and most recently in Bethlehem, Palestine through her work with Project Peace on Earth. (http://www.projectpeaceonearth.org)

Shenandoah has performed at the White House, Carnegie Hall, 3 Presidential Inaugurations, Madison Square Garden, Crystal Bridges Museum, The NMAI-Smithsonian, The Ordway Theater, Hummingbird Centre, Toronto Skydome, The Parliament of the Worlds’ Religions, and Woodstock ‘94.

Ms. Shenandoah has given hundreds of lectures, commencement speeches, and workshops throughout the world. Ms. Shenandoah also appeared in “The Last Winter” which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival with a 5 star review.  She has been featured in numerous film, video and television documentaries as either an actress or narrator and composed music for these venues as well.

“Having the opportunity to sing for people all over the world has been such an honor. I am so very pleased that Walmart will be aiding me in getting this latest music out to so many locations across the USA. I truly hope and pray that the music will serve as a reminder as to the true worth of women and be a blessing to the listeners,” stated Joanne Shenandoah.

For more information about Joanne Shenandoah, her music, coming events and news, please visit http://www.joanneshenandoah.com/

Individuals wishing to purchase the new Lifegivers CD outside a Walmart marketed store may purchase it at- http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/joanneshenandoah

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For more information, to request photos or to schedule interviews with Ms. Shenandoah, please contact:

Shelley Bluejay Pierce

Thunderbird Public Relations















“Middle East Transformation- A concert of sacred music in Bethlehem offers world peace”

Grammy winning Native American singer Joanne Shenandoah and her daughter Leah both performed during the globally televised event.

(original link is at: http://www.nativetimes.com/life/people/6692-middle-east-transformation-peace-concert-features-native-artists)

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Wishing for global peace and taking action on making it a reality is a vastly different thing but on Christmas Day, 2011, a stunning array of the entertainment industries’ finest gathered in Bethlehem, Palestine, to do just that. Project Peace on Earth delivered a featured song during the Christmas Eve Day celebrations held directly in front of the Church of the Nativity and across from a Mosque in Manger Square, Bethlehem. On Christmas Day, the organization put on a globally televised concert at the Bethlehem Convention Palace, located next to the famed Solomon Pools.

Project Peace on Earth LLC  (PPOE) is a Los Angeles-based organization, and the result of 25 years’ worth of passion and effort on behalf of Steve Robertson, its Founder, Executive Producer & CEO. Robertson, who is driven to bring greater individual and collective world peace, has gathered some of the top transformational musicians, entertainment industry producers, leaders from higher education and personal development authors, amongst many others, in order to bring these concerts and other peace efforts from conception to reality on a global scale.

“Sacred Music is the most profound and expedient way to touch the heart and create a direct communion with the Divine.  The mission of Project Peace on Earth concert series is to deliver the most spiritually authentic musical experiences so that people are inspired to discover their inner most life calling and courageously act on it towards the overall goal of individual and world peace,” explains Robertson.

The live concerts and worldwide telecast from Bethlehem are the first of many planned concert events, TV, and film content, centered on the subjects of personal transformation and world peace.   PPOE aims to bring superstar musicians, performing inspiring and sacred music, to some of the worlds’ most sacred sites.

“We will plant a musical seed of love, peace and compassion that will forever uplift the heart and raise the spiritual vibration of the people.  Beginning in the Middle East and then around our world, the mission is to bring the possibility of a state of greater compassion, forgiveness, love and oneness. Ultimately, we will show that peace is profitable,” Steve Robertson said.

The musical artists that performed in Bethlehem included Joanne Shenandoah, a Grammy winning Native American singer and her daughter Leah, both of whom performed on Jonathan Elias’s new Prayer Cycle album entitled “Path to Zero.”  Gary Nicholson, the Grammy winning Texas Hall of Fame song writer, also performed. Hani Naser, the world renowned Jordanian percussionist and oud player and Fox Lima, co-composer and vocalist of Enigma MXX Social Song, rounded out this stunning list of performers.

Peter Joseph, famed for the “Zeitgeist Film Series,” produced video segments for the broadcast. Rutger Hauer, famed “Blade Runner” actor, and Shaun Monson, director of the films “Earthlings” and “Unity,” also produced a video for the concert telecast.

The shows’ live satellite telecast, directed by Marc Scarpa, was sent to tens of millions of homes worldwide through Melli TV/MTC and other broadcast carriers.  As well, viewers accessed the program via live-streaming, also directed by Scarpa, who has done likewise with the “40th Anniversary of Earth Day,” “Tibetan Freedom Festival,” and “ X-Factor” digital.

Serving as the Director of Social and Digital Media and working with Scarpa, was Kent Speakman, of the ENGAGEIA Agency.  Speakman worked on the project that allowed millions of viewers’ access to connect via social media platforms in conjunction with Scarpa’s live television satellite broadcast coverage of the event. Viewers were able to watch the event live on Facebook by integration of the Live Stream channel embedded into the page. The full program is available for viewing at any time by visiting www.projectpeaceonearth.org

This first concert in Bethlehem brought thousands of people together live, and tens of millions from every nation and faith through the full concert broadcast which benefitted UNRWA and Palestinian Refugee Youth. The event was made possible through the generous sponsorship support of VisitPalestine, the Convention Palace Bethlehem, Consolidated Construction Corporation, NeTours and the Ambassador Hotel, the Swiss Government and the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

PPOE brought a star-studded cast of talented people to this worldwide concert and also took important steps towards the promotion of inner and world peace in a region where peace is deeply hoped for and not yet realized.

Several other PPOE events are planned for this coming year in the Middle East and continuing forward globally.

They Call Her ‘Songbird’-Behind the Scenes with Joanne Shenandoah

They Call Her ‘Songbird’-Behind the Scenes with Joanne Shenandoah

by Shelley Bluejay Pierce, Thunderbird Public Relations for Native American Times

A grandmother waved her over after a concert to tell her that the Inuit believe songs are carried over the ice from the Ancestors’ land by the birds.

“She called me a song bird and said that birds bring their songs to me. She could envision where my songs came from. They come from beautiful places,” explained Joanne Shenandoah.

In this interview with Native American Times, Joanne Shenandoah speaks to some of her personal and cultural history that’s guided her to becoming one of the most beloved and awarded Native recording artists in history. Here, she shares from her heart about what has motivated, inspired, and kept her focused on giving to the world community for many decades.

NAT- Your music draws on Native tradition and you sing in the Oneida language. Your words may be unfamiliar to some listeners, but the music has global approval.  What do you feel the reason for this is?

Joanne- The vibration of music touches the soul and hearts of people. Music has been called the ‘universal language’ and speaks to us all. While I was in Istanbul, the call to prayer was a constant reminder throughout the land, and affected me although I did not understand the words. Music in different languages is vibrations of sound that bring us to a place of celebration or enlightenment.

A great artist, A. Paul Ortega, a Mescalero Apache Medicine man, once told me that I should never refuse to sing, as my voice will bring people together in a place which may never be otherwise together because of my gift. This is what I aim to do through my music. I have received so many letters and emails from people around the globe whose lives are positively affected by my music. What a blessing!

NAT- You recently participated in a concert held in Bethlehem on Christmas, 2011 with Steve Robertson’s, “Project Peace on Earth” (http://www.projectpeaceonearth.org/) that served as a global, musical prayer for peace. This must have been a life-changing event for you as you performed live on Christmas Eve at Manger Square, directly in front of the Church of the Nativity and across from a Mosque.  On Christmas Day, you performed in the full “Project Peace on Earth” concert at the Bethlehem Convention Palace which is next to the famed Solomon Pools.  Bringing thousands of people together live, and tens of millions from every nation and faith through the full concert broadcast, is a powerful experience. How did this concert and visit to the region impact you?

Joanne- Several thousand people were at Manger Square on Christmas Eve day and it was a moving experience to sing and share the message of peace. I was blessed to gift the Iroquois Hiawatha Belt to the minister of Tourism and Women’s Affairs of Palestine, Dr. Khouloud Diabes. I told her this flag represented Hiawatha, one of our prophets of peace. At a special dinner held for our delegation, I was given opportunity to explain to her in detail about how our Peacemaker brought the message of peace to the Iroquois through forgiveness.

It was with sacred respect that I visited the birthplace of Jesus and the Garden of Gethsemane and was so moved to sing an Iroquois Women’s song with my daughter Leah in the church of Mary Magdalena in Jerusalem. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26usZUTvQXk)

Going to the Holy Land was an adventure that I never knew was in my future, but it affected me greatly. Since I’ve had a chance to sing and dance with the Aborigines in Australia, with the Buddhists and traditional people of Korea, chant and dance with African women in Cape Town, I have come to realize that each culture has their form of worship along with their prophets of peace.

NAT- What are your plans for 2012 and what priorities do you feel we need to place before us as a global and united human race?

Joanne- I believe that a lot of people live in fear of the future. 2012 represents a transition to many people and our prophecies tell us that we will continue to survive as human beings. The key to survival will be the ability to live within sustainable societies which secure balance between basic human resource needs and the rights of other species. The Iroquois have a constitutional obligation to do nothing that causes harm which qualifies the rights of the unborn to clean water, fertile land and clear skies. To achieve this, the Iroquois incorporate the rights of others- from the earth to water, insects, animals, plants and trees-all have legal standing which must be respected.

NAT- You have recently gone out on your own and taken creative control of your music. What benefits has that brought you as an artist?

Joanne- “Lifegivers” is my first independent recording from start to finish. Creative management of the actual recording allows me to have direct control in respect to the buyers and then reaching the fans that have purchased my recordings in the past. I am honored to have been involved with helping to bring about the first Native American Music Awards through Ellen Bello. I am much honored to hold 13 Nammys which is the most any Native artist has received to date. It is wonderful seeing so many artists involved now and many of them are independent.

NAT- I know that you care deeply about the women- their growth and positive movement forward and your newest CD, “Lifegivers” is a testament to your honoring the entire lifecycle that women evolve through. Tell us what motivated this recording?

Joanne- “Lifegivers” pays tribute to the life cycles of women and each song is meant to celebrate the cycle of life. It has been my great honor to be embraced by many women of the world! The Iroquois hold that every human being is a remarkable gift of life, experience and creativity from the spiritual world. Each being has specific abilities and talents which must be nurtured by the extended family. Communal stability and peace is realized when children are free to explore the world and apply their talents without coercion or qualification. I have written songs to my daughter Leah and to other women directly in respect to our love, peace, and the commitments we hold to our children by helping them realize their dreams.

Ever since my daughter Leah was born, I have been began singing to her. Now, she is a magnificent singer and has been blessed with a golden voice. Her first recording will be out this year. I am so very proud to be her mother. She is a Cum Laude Graduate of Syracuse University and has her Master’s Degree from Rochester Institute of Technology. (www.leahshenandoah.com)

NAT- What is your wish for future generations?

Joanne- My biggest wish is that all people will have clean air, water, and fertile land to grow their food, sing their songs and dance their dances. I hope that people awaken, stand up and be counted, and they will love their children so much that they will care for the earth and use their Creator-given gifts to do so. I will continue my efforts to bring music that lifts the spirit and heals the soul.

Purchase Joanne’s new CD “Lifegivers” at: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/joanneshenandoah

Follow her home website at: http://www.joanneshenandoah.com/index.html

Originally from: http://www.nativetimes.com/life/people/6656-they-call-her-songbird-behind-the-scenes-with-joanne-shenandoah