Lipan Apache Legal Victory for Native American Religious Freedom!

Vice-chairman Robert Soto at the 2014 City of McAllen 4th of July Parade.

Vice-chairman Robert Soto at the 2014 City of McAllen 4th of July Parade.

This month, after eight years in court, my tribe has achieved a legal victory to defend our religious rights.

In 2006, federal officials violated a sacred powwow circle and confiscated feathers.Thanks to the tireless work of Lipan Apache Vice-chairman Robert Soto (my uncle, pictured above) and lawyers Milo Colton and Marisa Salazar, the feathers will be returned and given the respect they deserve. I’d like to emphasize that this ruling does not affect the eagle population. Our feathers are recycled from birds that die a natural death. Rather, the ruling challenges the federal government’s power to arbitrarily decide which Native Americans have the right to worship. As the Lipan Apache events page explains: The law is not only a win for the Tribe and other State Recognized Tribes but also for those who fit the definition of American Indians as stated in the 1997 “Revisions to the Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity,” 62 FR 58782-01: “A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America), and who maintains tribal affiliation or community attachment” and who are within 5th Circuit Court States: Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

In other words, the government has no right to claim that a “select few American Indians” are more equal than others.

You can read the press release below.

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Bricius, the Poet’s Son

Bricius

Earlier this week, I posted concept art for Bricius and his brothers, three characters from the Shining Ascension series. Above, artist Nick Robles has rendered Bricius in the comic’s visual style. Yep, SA will be a painted comic, much like Nick’s other work on “Clockwork Angels” (reviewed here by USA Today). Nick has a splendid eye for color, and he also did a lovely job capturing Bricius’s grumpy personality. ❤

 

 

Comic Book Teaser: The Brothers Three

Nick Robles has created more glorious character art for Shining Ascension. Nick, you’re awesome! ❤

Brothers Three

Maedoc the King’s Son (ax), Caratacos the Magician’s Son (spear), and Bricius the Poet’s Son (crouching) meet Bregga during her quest. Are they friends or foes? You’ll have to read the comic to find out! 😀

The half-brothers will appear in the Shining Ascension series, coming to the Internet early 2015.

Sneak Peek: Action on the Stormy Sea!

Fight!Breg defends a ship the only way she knows how: like a boss. This partial battle scene was illustrated by the exceptional Nick Robles. The rest of the action has been cut because it contains spoilers for the upcoming comic book series, Shining Ascension! As the deadline nears, I’ll be posting oodles of art and some teasers for the plot! Stay tuned ❤ Click on the pic for better resolution.

The Colors Birds See

I found the red-winged blackbird behind a pickup truck in the apartment parking lot. One wing bent and bleeding, she crowed defiantly as I approached. Blackbird stared me down with dark, round eyes, her feathered breast heaving, her mouth cracked open. It was summer in Texas, and the air near the concrete ground shimmered. I ran inside and returned with a towel and shoebox. Five minutes later, we left the parking lot in my Monte Carlo from the nineties, heading to the wildlife rehabilitation center thirty miles away. I hoped that somebody there could rescue Blackbird or, at the very least, provide a calm death. The working veterinarian gave me papers to sign, release forms that gave the center permission to treat Blackbird, as if she became mine when I interfered with nature’s plans. Continue reading

Comic Book Sneak Peek (Again!): Bregga and Faatin

The exceptional Nick Robles (http://www.nickroblesart.com/) has illustrated Faatin and Sir Bregga, the dynamic duo in a forthcoming comic book project (code name = Shining Ascension). Nick, whose most recent work includes the steampunk miniseries Clockwork Angels (RUSH), will tentatively be the primary artist. This means he’ll ink and color every page! Click on the image to view the full resolution version.

Sir Bregga (left) and Faatin (right) having a spirited chat.

Sir Bregga (left) and Faatin (right) having a spirited chat.

This illustration is one of my favorites, because it portrays the sweet companionship between Bregga and Faatin, two women whose paths entwine and result in tons of adventures. We’re set to begin production November/December of this year, so stay tuned for more updates, including character bios, plot teasers, and more art! ❤