Archives For Opinions

Raising children just isn’t as easy as it used to be! by Felina Silver Robinson

Like peas in a pod our children are unearthed and birthed into this unknowing world. Given a clean slate of what lies ahead. The world will become their oyster. Our role as their parents is to guide them safely through life until we can sem them out into the world on their own. In doing so, we have to teach them morals. The lessons parents learn are usually a start to how they choose to raise their own children. Quite often the choice ends up being that the opposite is done in rearing their own children. Times have changed in so many ways. There do remain places that you can leave your door unlocked, and your car keys in the ignition and know that they’ll be there when you return. Those places however are few and far between today.

It’s hard in today’s society with the rules now placed upon parents. Many come from a time when just the right twig could be torn from just the right tree and placed upon the back or the buttocks of the misbehaving child. That was replaced with slaps to a bare bottom with a strong upper hand. During the school day, students were punished by sitting in plain view of their classmates with a dunce cap upon their head or they were slapped across their hand with a ruler a designated number of times based on their punishment.

Today, children threaten their parents with a call to department of children and families or to the police should they even think of raising a hand to them. The law now deems it illegal in some states to spank your child. Leaving some parents to be parented by their own children. This is not to say that violence is the answer in any case. If you ask me, people have been conditioned to believe that being physical with an individual whether for good or bad, gets the most desirable response in the end. However, most often, situations get out of control and all you’re left with is anger and unresolved issues. Quite often, affected individuals end up being even more violent than they initially were.

Which brings me back to how difficult it now is to raise the children of today. It feels like  children have the upper hand. Today, children talk back and tell their parents that they “have a voice”, “they’re old enough to do what they want without our permission. “I don’t have to listen to you”. At any given moment they will turn on their heels and walk either into their bedroom slamming the door then putting on their headphones to block out their parents; or they walk out the front door feeling powerful enough not to turn back or check in. Now defiance rules.

Not all is lost. There still remains a large number of very mild mannered children that are introverts and don’t like noise. Thus making them somewhat more submissive and easier to control, meaning that they are more likely to accept whatever is asked of them.

Parents must decide how they can win back the respect that shouldn’t have been lost in the first place. Parents should never feel powerless. They must know that here is always a better answer than violence. The best thing we can do for our children is to always listen to what children have to say and make them feel like they are a part of both the discussion and the resolution, which should include their punishments. Talking through actions can help individuals see where they went wrong with the hope that they will realize that their is always a better or different way to get what one wants or needs. This is most definitely attainable without hurting others. Time as well as careful thought and consideration of all involved brings amazing results.


1. Robert Redbird, iconic Native American artist, dies

Native American artist Robert Redbird, an Oklahoma-born member of the Kiowa tribe, became well-known for his depictions of Kiowa life and spirituality. Click through the gallery to see samples of his work.

2. Walking to Save Oak Flat [7 Photos]

Photo by Marc Dadigan
After gathering at the California State Capitol February 27, more than 100 walkers including Native supporters representing several tribes and allies marched through the streets of Sacramento to honor the one year anniversary of the San Carlos Apache’s occupation of the sacred lands at the Oak Flat campground. Under the terms of a deal approved by the U.S. government in December, Phoenix-based Resolution Copper will take control of 2,400 copper-rich acres in and around Oak Flat. In return, the company will transfer about 5,400 acres of privately owned parcels of conservation land throughout Arizona to the U.S. Forest Service.

3. As Serious as Lead Poisoning: Hillary v. Bernie

Carlos Osorio/AP
The Democrats engaged policy on a level that risked putting the audience to sleep after the Republicans had their audience yelling and hooting and rolling in the aisles.

4. This Land Was Made for Decolonized Love

5. The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, March 6, 2016

6. Akwesasne Mohawk Hosts NHL Native Alumni Game and Community Celebration

Courtesy Joe Francis
Akwesasne All Stars Team Captain Scott ‘Butter’ Thompson and NHL Native Alumni Pro Hockey Team Captain Reggie “The Riverton Rifle” Leah await the puck drop from Grand Chief Abram Benedict.

7. Pope Francis, The Saints and Native Sprituality Held Hostage

8. Tribes Decide How to Spend Indian Housing Block Grants; A Legacy of Sovereignty Act

When it comes to Indian Housing Block Grants the federal government doesn’t know what the tribes will do with the money as it’s up to the tribes.

9. Seeking the Trump Thumper: GOP Debate XI

Paul Sancya/AP
Republican presidential candidates, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and businessman Donald Trump argue during a Republican presidential primary debate at Fox Theatre, Thursday, March 3, 2016, in Detroit.

10. Consensus and Self-Determination

Background image: Constitution of the United States Foreground photo: White Deer, a proud Mohawk in 1901 at the Indian Congress, Pan-American Exposition.

1. Ken St. Marks: NMAI’s Meet Native America Series

Chairman Ken St. Marks, Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation. January 2016, Box Elder, Montana.


2. Video: Drone Films Spellbinding Dance of Blue Whale Mother and Calf

Sea Shepherd Society/YouTube
Crew of a boat trolling for poachers in the Antarctic Ocean spotted a rarely seen blue whale and her calf, and sent a drone to get this footage.


3. 6 Prop Bets on Super Bowl 50: Will Beyoncé Culturally Appropriate?

Photo courtesy
Beyonce, above, dons a feather headdress. She is slated to perform at halftime during Super Bowl 50 on February 7.

4. Orange Crush: Omaha Tribe Issues Invitation to Peyton Manning for Superbowl 50

AP Images
“OMAHA” As Peyton Manning leads the Denver Broncos into Sunday’s 50th Super Bowl against the Carolina Panthers, the Omaha have extended an invitation to Manning to visit the tribe’s homeland in Nebraska.

5. For Diné Beader, Business Is Good During Playoff, Super Bowl Season

Photo courtesy Lilah Sandoval
Lilah Sandoval, Diné, beaded this Bronco medallion. Sandoval was born and raised in Denver, and said a large number of Native Americans in Denver are Broncos fans.

6. Gyasi Ross Schools Mackelmore: White Privilege, White Guilt, and the Role of White Allies

Wesley Roach, Skan Photography
Gyasi Ross just dropped a new track called White Privilege 3.

7. Native Humor: Pow Wow Jokes and More Stick Figure Indian Cartoons

Vincent Schilling
This episode of Native Humor: Pow Wow Jokes and More Stick Figure Indian Cartoons, brought to you by Vincent Schilling.

8. Hilarious! Comic Jonny R. aka ‘The Ojibwe Outlaw’ is Fostering a Career in Laughs

He is Hilarious! Known as Jonny R., or the Ojibwe Outlaw, the 39-year-old is entering his seventh year in comedy.

9. To Know Where You’re Going, Learn Where You Came From

10. The Revenant’s Elk Dog: A Conversation with Duane Howard

Kimberley French ©Twentieth Century Fox
Elk Dog portrayed by Duane Howard on the site of ‘The Revenant’


1. Don’t Wait for the White World to Catch Up

2. Revenant Actor Forrest Goodluck On Playing Leonardo DiCaprio’s Son

20th Century Fox (Dave Allocca)
Forrest Goodluck and Leonardo DiCaprio at the New York Premiere of “The Revenant”

3. Juneau Kicks Off Campaign Breaking Fundraising Record

Campaign Photo
Denise Juneau is a candidate for Congress in Montana.

4. Native Cooking: All About Herbs

Saffron Harvesting Iran Wikipedia
Safa Daneshvar/Wikipedia
Farmers are seen here harvesting Saffron in Iran. Because the herb has to be hand-harvested it is one of the most expensive.

5. Scared and Spied On Under Harper, Why Child Advocate Didn’t Give Up

via The Tyee
Cindy Blackstock, Gitksan First Nation, fought tenaciously for nine years to get equal funding for indigenous children on reserves as executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada.

6. After 2015 Performance, Artist Frank Waln Mocked by CT High School’s ‘The Rez’ Twitter Account

Melinda Jane Myers Photography/ Twitter screen capture
Frank Waln was criticized this week on Twitter by students of a West Hartford High school cheering section who call themselves ‘The Rez’

7. After Mascot Ban at CT High School – Parent Designs ‘F*ck You’ Finger Headdress T-Shirt

After a mascot ban, an angry parent and Conard Chieftain high school alumni created a t-shirt with an image of a Native American man in a headdress with an emblem of a ‘f*ck you’ middle finger hidden in the medallion

8. Nine First Nations Unite With Declaration Against LNG Tankers in B.C. Salmon Waters

Daniel Mesec
The nine allied tribes of Lax Kw’alaams supported by several other First Nations, pose for a photo after the signing of the Lelu Island Declaration, Saturday January 23. Chief Yahaan (Don Wesley) holds up the declaration for all to see.

9. Burns Paiute Tribe Responds to Oregon Militia Video

Screen capture from Bundy Ranch video

10. Supreme Court Rules Against Menominee Tribe, Denies Cert on NAGPRA Claim

The Supreme Court recently ruled against the Menominee Tribe of Wisconsin and declined to hear arguments in a NAGPRA case involving 12 Kumeyaay tribes.


What should have happened…by Felina Silver Robinson

Bethenny Frankel is a single mom. Time is not something she has a lot of. She like many of us wear multiple hats and Bethenny is no exception. Bethenny is a mom, a reality tv personality, and a business owner. When she finally has the time to go shopping, I’m sure much like me, she has everything thought out and timed.

In an article published in Eonline entitled “Bethenny Frankel Rants About Kmart Workers Who “Speak No English,” Is Dubbed a “Racist””. Bethenny was called a racist. This truly got my blood boiling. Bethenny meant no harm and certainly wasn’t being malicious in her ranting. Bethenny’s only hope at the time was to find someone, anyone that spoke English that could help her with something as simple as shoes. I’m sure we have all been in the very same place.  I know that I certainly have.

I know that we live in a free country which is the reason that so many people choose to come to the United States.  There have been many occasions  where I couldn’t get the help I needed due to language barriers.  It’s always been my feeling that if you work in an area where helping customers is key, then you definitely need to be able to speak the language of the majority.

To be compared to Donald Trump is outrageous and an outright insult to Bethenny.  She truly did not deserve that. People say a lot of nasty things when they don’t think they will have to answer for it and of course it is a lot easier to do over social media.

People should tread lightly when talking about race. It’s not so easy to take things back once said. Situations such as these can cause irreparable damage. Bethenny deserves better treatment than this.

There are definitely more serious matters that people should be spending their time on.

When We Let Race Get In The Way©

By Felina Silver Robinson

Right before the holiday break BHS (aka Brookline High School) put out its latest edition of the Sagamore. As both a parent of two separate generations of children at BHS and being a former graduate, I am always interested in hearing about what’s going on at BHS. I was excited to see what was going on.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t get past one of the cover page articles entitled: “Back to School Night altercation follow-up leads to show of solidarity.

I’ve lived in the town of Brookline for all but the first three years of my life. Brookline is more than important to me.  I have always urged my children to both trust in and believe in the Police Department as well as all of its municipalities. I have friends and neighbors who are a part of the police force and they have been there when I’ve needed them. This is why I am now perplexed by the current events that have taken place.

Police officer when on duty or off duty must always retain composure and present themselves in the appropriate manner as their actions reflect the entire police department. Any driver must always observe their surroundings and safely operate a motor vehicle. Motor vehicles are deadly weapons. Driving in a school area is supposed to be in a reduced speed. Looking for parking spaces are supposed to be done airing on the side of caution assuming that students or other pedestrians are most likely walking around the area. The off-duty officer in question and not named in the article was driving with his ex-wife and teenage daughter also not named in the article came upon Juliette Estime, Gabriela Torres and two other students not named in the article. The Officer unsafely approached the students with his car. The students were standing in a space that the officer wanted. A verbal altercation ensued and it wasn’t pretty. Race language was thrown into the mix.  The students were left feeling unsafe about the entire situation and just wanted to get away from it all.

The meeting was meant to bring some level of closure to the students but instead, it brought them questions as to why there was no reprimand for the officer nor was there an apology for the students involved.

How can Chief O’Leary say that while what the officer did was wrong, they don’t find him at fault for what took place. This in itself is a total contradiction. If the students continue to see that there is no reprimand  or recourse at all for the actions of those in power, they will find it harder and harder to both respect and trust those in power.

Unrelated to the aforementioned incident, I’ve recently learned of other incidents involving officers of color being treated badly by their peers and the use of racial slurs putting the officers of color in uncomfortable enough standing that they don’t feel comfortable coming to work or working for the Brookline Police Department any further. Why does it feel like we are slipping backwards?

Please note, that I know that there are many officers that conduct themselves properly and have nothing but the utmost respect for their peers and I value each of those individuals.

I want what everyone else wants and that is to feel safe in my surroundings and to always be able to respect and trust in those  in positions of power. We need to be sure that all of our police officers also feel safe in their work environment while at the same time all officers conduct themselves appropriately whether on-duty or off.

Acknowledging wrongdoings still comes with some sort of reprimand. An apology goes a long way, but only when the sentiment is truly meant by the deliverer.

Brookline is a wonderful place to live. I would hate for anyone to get the wrong idea about what goes on here. There is certainly more good than bad. But when and if bad occurs, we must deal with it and NOT brush it under the rug. We must care about the messages we send to both the children and the adults of our diverse community.

With that being said, I’m pleased that at least BHS is now offering a Racial Awareness class. I think it should be mandatory for at least Freshman and Seniors. It would be great if it was required each year, but I’m not sure if that would work staff wise. This course is key for the proper understanding for all party involved as to how key race is in our relationships and understanding one another.

It’s my hope that all of the current issues can and will have the appropriate outcome for all involved. May everyone choose to stay strong, stand proud, and conduct themselves with pride

1. 12 Awesome Rock Your Mocs Photos From Around the World

Facebook – Michelle Reid, Antarctica
Rock Your Mocs took place all over the world in 2015.

2. USDA Seeds Grassroots Economic Development in New Mexico

3. Little Mortgage Lending in Any of SD Reservation-Only Counties

4. Akwesasne Man Who Alleged Mishandling by Canadian Border Agents Walks On

via Cornwall Seaway News
Antoine Delormier and his wife, Donna Delormier, in September after he alleged being dragged from his vehicle and pinned face-down on the pavement by Canadian border guards while trying to get himself to the hospital. Antoine Delormier died on November 24 at age 67.

5. Red Nation TV

Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 6.42.16 PM

6. The Hub – Native American Indian TV Show

7. Where are the mainstream TV shows about American Indians?


8. ‘Saints & Strangers’: The Real Story of That First Thanksgiving?

Saints and Strangers Trujillo Queypo
National Geographic Channels/David Bloomer
Raoul Trujillo as Massasoit, center and Kalani Queypo as Squanto, right, in National Geographic Channel’s two-night movie event “Saints & Strangers.”

9. Epic Native American Music – Cherokee Tribe

10. Native American Indians Spiritual Vocal Shamanic Music