Friday, May 14, 2010

What's happening?

I've had a few people write to ask about the lack of posts in the last two weeks. There's a lot going on right now. The usual end-of-semester trip and grading demand time, but, on top of that, there's been a great deal of discussion taking place over the newly signed laws in Arizona. I'm a member of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA). Our annual meeting is scheduled for this month, in Tucson.  I chose to honor the boycott of Arizona and withdrew from the meeting. You may be interested in studying the discussion and differing viewpoints on boycotting/not boycotting. It is an extensive discussion, available at the NAISA page

In the midst of all that, I was amongst a large group of people at the University of Illinois who are recipients of a series of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests from a student at the university. Within a five day time period, I am being asked to provide a copy of "all communications and documents" in which I've used the words listed below.

I believe that these requests themselves are public record. The university is keeping an incomplete log of requests here, so I think it is ok for me to write about them here on American Indians in Children's Literature

I've submitted a reply, stating that I am unable to submit the requested documents within the five business day time frame. I believe that means I have an additional seven days to respond. As you (readers of my work) would guess, every single email I've sent in that time period falls under the scope of the request. And, every single article, essay, and book chapter I've written also falls under the scope of the request. We are easily talking about thousands of pages...

Every single email I send has the word "Indian" in it because it is in my automatically-attached signature line that states my university faculty unit ("American Indian Studies") and my blog title ("visit my  Internet resource: American Indians in Children's Literature"). It also includes every post to this blog, and every comment that has been submitted to me (when you submit a comment, it goes to my email.)

As the next ten days unfold, I will, if allowable my law, update this page.



Request#2827, from 2/01/2010 to 5/11/2010:
Jerry
Romano
Mascot
Fanatic
radical
the Chief
Diversity
Racist
Indian
In Whose Honor
Dozier
Ethics
Review
Protest
Rally
iresist
warrior
kaufman
Antonio
Scandal


Request #2828, from 12/05/08 to 5/07/2010:Mascot
Fanatic
radical
the Chief
Jesus
Diversity
Racist
Indian
In Whose Honor
Dozier
Ethics
Review
Protest
Rally
iresist
Antonio
Scandal 

Request #2829, from 5/08/09 to 5/07/2010
Mascot
Newman
pro-mascot
abortion
pro-chief
the Chief
Catholic
Jerry
Rally
iresist
I Resist
Antonio Quinones
Scandal 

Request #2830, from 5/08/09 to 5/07/2010:
Mascot
Mascot Committee
Fanatic
radical
the Chief
Weber
Student Senate
Resolution
Committee
Cuts
Diversity
Racist
Indian
In Whose Honor
Newman
Catholic
Dozier
Ethics
Review
Protest
Rally
iresist
I Resist
Antonio Quinones
Scandal



6 comments:

Charlotte said...

oh my gosh...that is utterly mind-boggling. Good luck with it!

Tricia said...

Debbie,
I'm sorry this FOIA request is taking so much of your precious time. Don't worr, we'll be here when you get back.

Matthew said...

unbelievable!


I'm wondering how Dozier was picked out?

Beverly Slapin said...

Hi, Debbie,

There's been a lot of information coming through Pacifica Radio, and much activity here in the Bay Area in support of the Arizona boycott, especially in but not limited to the Raza community. A few days ago, three undocumented UC Berkeley students were arrested in a sit-in, and they are now facing deportation. One of them is from Iran. By taking a principled stand in not attending the Arizona conference, you are holding hands with these courageous young people.

I'm sorry about the FOIA imbroglio, and what it's causing for you. Seems that whoever figured out this tactic has found a way to shut down (or at least slow down) the work of any public individual or organization they don't like. It's scary.

mb said...

"a large group of people at the University of Illinois who are recipients of a series of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests" At least you are not alone in this, and presumably have some legal backup from the U.

This would seem to be a gigantic issue: if your email is a reply and quotes someone else's correspondence, they too are being exposed willy-nilly.

I hope you are free soon to do your real work. As sometimes (volunteer) tribal librarian and constant passionate reader, I have conversations with you in my head All The Time.

Come back soon.

Miriam B.
(using my own identity and not the Tribal Library account to sign here)

Anonymous said...

Although isnt that the same university that gave up its race-based mascot ONLY because the NCAA said they had to if they wanted to fully participate in money-generating NCAA events? Presumably at least some of the same attorneys were advising the university administration during the years of protest against the mascot -- and the FOIA request seems to have a lot to do with the mascot.