Sunday, 24 July 2016

Questions of identity

What defines Native American identity?

Is it enrollment in a tribe/band?
Is it possession of a blood quantum?
Is it family, friends and residence on tribal lands?

The biggest non-Native allies of Native Americans are on the left of American politics and yet many Natives see white Americans as illegal immigrants in their country - a stance more in line with the American right - as outlined by a Donald Trump supporter to Alex Jones recently.

What makes someone an immigrant?
How far back does "legality" go?

I am a white, Anglo-European Lawful Permanent Resident in these United States. That is the legal framework to my not being sent back to England by the US Federal Government. Yet, I never sought or received permission from the Lakota or Ojibwe to stay on their lands.

Such a step is deemed unnecessary by the federal government, founded by English settlers and bolstered by multiple waves of immigration by invite, as well as waves of immigration by necessity for poorly paid jobs.

I'm an anarchist, therefore my ideal world would not include borders and restrictions on where people could live. I'm also a pacifist, so that world would see peaceful settlement of all races - not violent conquest followed by generations of anger and dispossession.

Identity would be a voluntary decision and a matter of co-operation with your chosen group.

I'm the editor for Niijii Radio. I was recently greeted by a station founder with "oh, you're the British guy".

We'll see what my identity becomes.

Friday, 22 July 2016


The road to the off-season is paved with good intentions.

Thursday, 21 July 2016


Hello, I'm a journalist. Accusations of bias or inaccuracy used to irritate me the most, since I was trained to at least attempt an accurate and unbiased report.

However, "complete objectivity is nothing no flesh and blood being can achieve" (Michael Grade, in his autobiography - It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time, link coming).

Therefore, a new accusation has emerged as the rallying cry amidst the plurality of voices - that of uniformity.

I, a veteran journalist and producer on non-profit platforms, stand accused of being part of an amorphous mass known only as "the media" - also occasionally lengthened to "Mainstream Media" or MSM,  even though no one can agree what 'mainstream' means.

Often you will hear accusations of exclusion from the media or MSM on those very same platforms.

I've engineered a few sessions where I heard such things. Usually, when challenged, I've been told "Oh, but not you. You're good."


Be precise with your accusations of bias or exclusion and hell, maybe be precise with your complements too.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Personal v professional

This weekend sees a footy team from the air force base in Minot, ND travel east to play FC Fargo.

As the Communications Director of FCF, I am responsible for how the club communicates with the public. Normally this is social media and press releases but tomorrow I'll also be on the public address system.

The challenge? I'm a committed pacifist and have been for years.

Meanwhile, as an English immigrant to Minnesota who has barely been here, I am also responsible for the social media of KKWE.

Challenge #2: The station operates for the Ojibwe of Gaa-waabaabiganikaag and that is the voice that that social media must have.

I'm pretty sure I'll cope. Those challenges are why a degree in journalism is useful.

Pointless arguments

In this age of corporate personhood, how personal should corporate social media be?

Would your club/association/company trash another city wherein an opposing club (etc.) was based?

My personal opinion is that trash talking is better off left to the fans. Especially when that talk descends into ad-hominem abuse.

I spend my life around robust opinions and in a country where free speech is a constitutional right, but I'd just rather be attacked for the flaws in execution rather than just shouted at like we were in a bar.

Ironically, we also lost on our merits, but I was so sick of the arguments I had essentially pressed the mute button by then.

As ever, just my thoughts.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Post 3: After another 2 years

I am going to try to blog more frequently than I have been doing. Having migrated to be with my wife, I have found that I have nowhere to vent. 

Work consists of editing work for the independently-owned, tribally focused radio station KKWE 89.9 FM Niijii Radio in the Gaa-waabaabiganikaag Ojibwe reservation and all sorts of communications work for the startup soccer club FC Fargo

I live in the city of Moorhead, Minnesota on the east bank of the Red River of the North and the lake-bed of the glacial Lake Agassiz. On the west bank is the city of Fargo, North Dakota.

Fargo was founded as Centralia in 1987 and I kinda like the name. It's not like the film.
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