About the Author

Jean Kirsten Johnson


Articles by Jean Kirsten Johnson

The art of Fara Sorensen

SCAPPOOSE, Ore. – “When I was young, my mother tried to instill in us children various different traits and show us how she grew up. She was very proud of her Native American heritage and would wear her weather beads on bad days. She also wrote a poem ‘Baby...

Button blanket stitches together the generations

VANCOUVER, Wash. – “Is that my blanket?” 9-year-old Conner Clifton asked, dark eyes riveted on the gift. Within moments Cindy Clifton, Tlinglit, had her son wrapped in the button blanket and was blinking away her tears as he stretched his arms. The sun symbol Clifton and her sister, JoAnn appliqued...

Lawsuit filed to stop dental therapists

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Eight dental therapists who trained in New Zealand programs are cleaning, drilling, filling and extracting teeth in rural Alaska. But the American Dental Association doesn’t like it. The therapists are not licensed in the state, and the training they received in New Zealand isn’t accepted as by...

Yakama ‘pullout’ rumors inaccurate

PORTLAND, Ore. – Recently the Yakima Herald-Republic and the Portland Oregonian newspapers blared out news that the Yakama Nation had pulled out of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission. At issue, the reports said, were unfair fishing citations, with the major controversy surrounding Jeff Sohappy – nephew of Sohappy...

The fine lines and soft hues of Alix Mosieur

PORTLAND, Ore. – A check for $850 was rendered, and a red “sold” sticker was affixed to the placard on the wall beside the portrait of Chief Rain in the Face. Artist Alix Mosieur, Nez Perce and Blackfeet, and purchaser Larry Sargent stood before the framed canvas in Bonnie Wild...

Tribes and states focus on problem gambling solutions

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The dramatic rise of Indian gaming in the past decades has brought the subject of problem gambling squarely into the public debate. National Problem Gambling Awareness Week, March 6 -- 12, was staged this year to educate gamblers and their families about how gambling can become a problem as as...

Running down through the centuries: The Hopi way

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- Hopi men and boys have been running back and forth from their mesa-top pueblos to their cornfields 500 feet below for centuries. Prior to the acquisition of horses and, later, motor-powered vehicles, Hopi hunters also ran, not only considerable distances but also at great speeds to capture game. Running has...

Corn, beans and squash – An enduring trinity

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- Long before the Pilgrims sailed into Plymouth harbor, tribes living in what today is called Arizona developed a distinctive cuisine around corn, beans and squash. It was corn, believed to be the ultimate source of life, that dominated. The earliest cultivars came in an array of colors -- red, white,...