TO ALL MEMBERS of RED ROAD: November 30, 2011 1:31 PM
I haven't been around that much lately, but I will try & be here more often. I like the MEDITATION's & without them I wouldn't have such a great outlook on life as I do now? DEBRA RINCON LOPEZ in Portland OREGON USA. (Debrinconcita) on some other SITES is my BLOG NAME & NICKNAME ToO:
This is news revelant to those who live in Southwest California and Arizona..
4th Annual Fall Festival & Studio Tour
at the Smoki Museum
September 27 and 28, 2008
The 4th Annual Fall Festival & Studio Tour will kick off on Friday, September 26th with the 4th Friday Art Walk and continue on Saturday, September 27th, and Sunday, September 28th, with artists demonstrations, music & dance performances, staged readings and more through out the City of Prescott!
This year, Smoki Museum is please to announce it will be hosting a venue during this years Fall Festival and Studio Tour. The venue will be held in the Pueblo Building located at 147 N. Arizona St. Four Native American Artists we be featured and demonstrate their work. Those artists include:
§Bathsheba Vervoorn (Apache) Painter
§Seneca Brosseau, (Navajo) Jeweler
§Priscilla Tacheney, (Navajo) Photographer
§Ryan Huna Smith (Chemehuevi/Navajo) Painter/Illustrator
The venue at the Smoki Museum will be held on Saturday, September 27th, and Sunday, September 28th from 9:00am 5:00pm.
The event including museum admission on Saturday and Sunday is free and open to the public!
Event sponsored by the Prescott Area Arts and Humanities Council.
The San Francisco Film Society and the Presidio Trust cant promise either a clear night or a foggy one, but they can promise live music and comedy on the lawn in front of the Main Post Theatre in the Presidio beginning at 5 p.m., followed at 7 p.m. by a cartoon, newsreel and Vincente Minnellis An American in Paris, starring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron. BYO: lawn chairs, blankets, and dinner. More at SFFS and the Presidio Trust.
Group plans for prayer group at Bear Butte during rally Encampment scheduled Aug. 1-12 on Northern Cheyenne Tribe property By Kevin Woster, Journal staff
STURGIS -- An American Indian group will maintain a spiritual encampment near the base of Bear Butte during the Sturgis motorcycle rally, with prayers dedicated to the protection of the rocky mountain held sacred by many tribes.
This trail leading toward Bear Butte is near the site of a prayer gathering planned for Aug. 1-12 on land owned by the Northern Cheyenne Tribe. Participants in the peaceful encampment, which will be held during the Sturgis motorcycle rally, will pray for the butte, as well as for indigenous nations and their sacred sights and other needs. (Jason Gross, Meade County times)
Participants in the Bear Butte Prayer Gathering also will pray for the protection of indigenous nations and their sacred sites, U.S. military personnel, nations that are being hurt by armed conflicts, starving people of the world and the environmental effects of global warming.
Tamra Brennan of Sturgis, a member of the working committee that is organizing the encampment, said it should not be called or considered a protest action.
"We're not going to do any marches or things like that," she said. "This is not a protest at all. It's strictly a peaceful prayer camp."
Organizers will maintain the camp Aug. 1-12 on property owned by the Northern Cheyenne Tribe along S.D. Highway 79 on the west side of the mountain. It will be a traditional American Indian camp with lodges but no open fires.
People taking part in the prayer gathering may come and go or stay at the camp, Brennan said. Non-Indians and motorcycle riders are welcome, if they come in the right spirit and show proper respect.
"Everybody is welcome, as long as they come in a peaceful way and they come to pray," Brennan said.
Bear Butte was the focus of protest marches and demonstrations during the motorcycle rally last year. Protest participants and organizers were critical of rally-related developments coming closer to Bear Butte and unsuccessfully sought restrictions on that development from Meade County officials. They also asked bikers attending the rally to avoid driving to or past Bear Butte on Highway 79 to reduce noise and activities that could disturb the tranquility of the mountain and spiritual peace of worshippers.
Some of those who took part in the protests are now organizing the prayer gathering this year, which will coincide with the rally. The well-known motorcycle gathering is scheduled from Aug. 6-12, but really begins a few days sooner.
"We kind of put our efforts together to do something a little more peaceful," Brennan said.
The prayer-camp area will be near the entrance to Bear Butte State Park. Alcohol, drugs and weapons will be banned from the camp. Tape recorders and video equipment will be allowed only when and where authorized by encampment coordinators, a release by the working groups said.
News reporters will be required to check in with authorities at the gathering, to limit disruptions of the worshippers, Brennan said.
"We're not going to allow TV camera crews to just walk around," she said. "We will designate one or two members to deal with the media when they come. We just don't want people videotaping or taking pictures when people are praying."
The Northern Cheyenne Military Society will police the camp and work with local law enforcement officials to help keep order and maintain respect for the mountain, the release said.
The working group is taking donations to help cover costs of the prayer gathering at Bear Butte International Alliance, Box 4232, Sturgis, S.D. 57785. Donations should be marked specifically for the prayer gathering.
In peace & solidarity, Tamra Brennan Founder/Director Protect Sacred Sites Indigenous People, One Nation www.protectsacredsites.org
"Our sacred lands are all that remain keeping us connected to our place on Mother Earth, to our spirituality, our heritage and our lands; what’s left of them. If they take it all away, what will remain except a vague memory of a past so forgotten?"
Currently tribes are organizing to continue the struggle for recognition of religious freedom and protection of Bear Butte mountain as a sacred site. Many tribes hold a vast history of homage to this sacred mountain through spiritual covenants and creation history. Tribal affiliation with Bear Butte dates back thousands of years and various tribes each have their significant tribal name for this mountain that represents their own history. "Within this history is the instruction to pay homage during a particular time of the year when all of creation is in attention and human beings make sacrifices for continued life on this earth. This time of year has been dictated for thousands and thousands of years while the Sturgis Bike Rally is a miniscule 67 years old. Who is being naive here?" said camp organizer Marcella Gilbert.
"Fortunately by creation human nature holds compassion and truth in light even in the most challenging of times and the biker culture has proven that these values can be powerful," remarked Gilbert. Bikers locally and nationally have offered support to this issue in many ways, one of which was by the Southern Cruisers who hosted a rally near New Orleans recently to support the efforts of protecting this sacred site from encroachment. Many bike rally attendees are in support of allowing native people to have their space to pray, and have offered to stay away from highway 79 during the rally. Simple gestures build big success and community. "A big thank you goes out to those bike rally participants who support the Bear Butte issue with simple gestures, including deciding not to ride near Bear Butte," said Gilbert.
The Bear Butte Prayer Gathering is a spiritual encampment scheduled for August 1-12, 2007. The first 4 days will encompass setting up camp logistics, which will involve a lot of work. Anyone who wants to assist in this working process is welcome during those first 4 days of August. August 5-11th the camp will focus on prayer and August 12th will be the day we break camp. Tribes are encouraged to attend and all other people who believe in prayer and protection of the earth are welcome. Please be as self sufficient as possible as there are limited resources for showers and toilets. Open fires will not be allowed, bring coleman or solar stoves or something similar that is controllable for cooking needs.
The camp will be set up in traditional camp circles and follow strict traditional protocol and natural law. Videotaping, loudspeakers, alcohol, drugs, violence, weapons, confrontation, cultural or spiritual exploitation will not be tolerated. Persons or groups who can not follow traditional protocol will be asked to leave the premises. This is not a protest camp.
Media communication will be filtered through the Bear Butte working committee who will have designated spokespersons who will speak on behalf of the encampment. Please be aware that the weather will most likely be very hot. Remember to have plenty of water available and be able to find some place cool if need be.
Children are welcome however please be aware that the open range buffalo pasture is very close to the camp site therefore keeping a close eye on your children is a must.
The Bear Butte working committee is working hard to attain resources to provide a first aid station in cases of emergencies and minimal comforts for the elderly if possible. For a detailed list of needs, please visit our website at www.BearButtePrayerGathering.org go to the "How you can help section" for our latest needs list. You can also now make your donations via Pal Pal, by visiting our website and clicking on the Donation button. Or click on the link provided below.
Many needs remain to be met and your tax-deductible contributions and donations can be sent to the Bear Butte International Alliance, PO Box 4232, Sturgis, SD 57785. For more information contact the Bear Butte Working Committee at www.bearbutteprayergathering.org or Ann White Hat - (605) 347-4127 or Marcella Gilbert - (605)
[ send green star]
BEAR BUTTE PRAYER GATHERING Northern Cheyenne lend support to tribes seeking to establish a twelve-day spiritual encampment at Bear Butte during the Sturgis Bike Rally this summer.
The Bear Butte Prayer Gathering will be held from August 1st - 12th on 120 acres of Federal Trust Land managed by the Northern Cheyenne Tribe. The land is located on the southwest side of the mountain, just north of the Bear Butte State Park entrance. After several meetings between a group of organizers from across South Dakota and the Northern Cheyenne tribe, a concerted effort is in progress to make this prayer camp a reality for all tribes who have paid homage to this mountain for centuries past and for those whose spirituality has brought them to this sacred site only recently. Special focus of prayer activities are for servicemen men and women, and nations impacted by armed conflict and hunger, as well as for the protection of the mountain and effects of global warming.
A brief history of the Bear Butte issue includes the encroachment of bars and campgrounds onto sacred lands. "Recently, there has been a push by big businesses and individuals who reap economic gain at astronomical levels during the annual Sturgis Bike Rally to use the sacred site of the northern plains tribes to boost their income by exploiting its beauty and sacredness in return for greenbacks. It has become evident that federal laws passed to protect sacred sites for indigenous peoples in this country have no meaning. Money, it seems, is considered more powerful and more important than the creation, the land and its natural people are suffering in its wake," stated Anne White Hat, member of the Bear Butte Prayer Gathering Working Committee and the Bear Butte International Alliance.
"Many attempts to seek justice and compromise by the tribes with the local Meade County Commissioners have seemd to substantiate this over and over again," indicated Jay Red Hawk, member of the Working Committee and the Bear Butte International Alliance. Tribal representatives indicated they have been dismissed, ignored, and treated with disrespect in their attempt to stop encroachment onto sacred lands as the commission continues to grant big business and individuals access to these areas of land for inflated land prices. "Prices that many tribes or individuals cannot afford, not to mention the blatant treaty violations that continue play a role in any land transactions in the Black Hills as a whole," furthered Red Hawk.
The most recent development just 1 mile of the north face of Bear Butte is owned by Arizona-based developer Jay Allen who has boasted his intention of building the largest biker bar in the world covering over 600 acres. Tribes have pushed for a 4 mile buffer zone around the sacred mountain to protect the land and those tribal people who may be praying on the mountain during the time of year that the bike rally takes place. Just days after the 2005 Sturgis motorcycle rally several tribal members met with Jay Allen to discuss concerns about the potential impact of his development, the Sturgis County Line. "When Allen was informed about the sacrifices made annually by tribal people at Bear Butte, his response was simply, 'They should know better than to pray up there during the rally, how naive,'" reported the Bear Butte International Alliance. Since that statement, Allen has been able to complete construction of a bar with a parking lot to hold over 100 bikes and cars, both of which are within 3 miles of the sacred mountain.
Smaller scale setups have come to exist even closer, the Free Spirit Campground is actually at the base of the north face and even up the side and houses a small bar to host bands and strippers. Sacred tobacco ties left on the mountain by native people can be seen around the tents that campers set up to stay at the Free Spirit Campground. A fifteen minute helicopter ride is made available during the rally so bikers and tourists can fly around the top of the sacred mountain for $85 dollars per flight. "Many tribal people who pray on the mountain at this time are disrupted constantly and must endure the constant noise of rock bands and the drone of bikes twenty four hours a day," reported Red Hawk.
Logistics and Preparation August 1 - 12, 2007 After several meetings between organizers from across South Dakota and the Northern Cheyenne tribe, a concerted effort is in progress to make this prayer camp a reality for all tribes who have paid homage to this mountain for centuries past and for those whose spirituality has brought them to this sacred site only recently. At this time we are calling on those who wish to participate and those who wish to support this gathering to assist us with preparation.
The schedule for the week is as follows:
August 1st - 4th Prepare the Camp - Blessing of the Grounds Those who wish to assist in preparing the campgrounds and setting up the camp are urged to arrive during this time.
August 5th - 11th Prayer Days Those who wish to participate in prayer and scheduled activities should arrive during these days.
August 12th Take down the Camp. A more detailed daily schedule will be announced.
There are many ways you can help. We are posting various 'wish' lists along with a budget for this gathering and respectfully request your assistance to help us provide basic services, including first-aid/medical services and at least one evening meal a day. Thank you in advance for any assistance you can provide this grassroots effort. Any amount of assistance or funding is always appreciated, no amount is too small, it all helps to make a difference!
WATER Water buffalos (large water tanks on a trailer), water tanks Large beverage coolers Bottled water
MEALS We are asking organizations, programs, community groups, families, and businesses to consider sponsoring or co-sponsoring one or more meals. Donations of water, food and supplies are more than welcome! We are also asking for monetary donations to rent a refrigeration unit, please refer to the budget if you or your group is interested in assisting with this need.
FIRST AID TENT We are seeking volunteer doctors, nurses, medics, first-response teams, etc. to help ensure basic medical assistance and first aid is available throughout the gathering. Canopy Tent, Cots, snake bite kits, First-Aid kits, medical supplies, water, Gatorade, Powerade, electrolyte replenishing fluids, water coolers.
SHADE, LIGHTING AND CAMPING SUPPLIES Canopy tents are needed, all sizes and shapes. Flashlights, Batteries, and solar lighting. There is no access to electricity or open fires so we need creative lighting systems and supplies. Tables, chairs, benches, Tipi's, poles, tents Propane, propane cookstoves, coffee pots, pots, cooking utensils, serving dishes. Cleaning supplies
SIGNAGE Paint, brushes, plywood, banner and sign making materials, fabric or banner material, and volunteer painters and carpenters.
SECURITY AND COMMUNICATIONS As horse-mounted security will be provided, we are seeking assistance with horse care needs, including, watering tanks, tack, temporary fencing/corral, horse feed and hay. Radio units, flashlights, batteries
DOCUMENTATION As a way to document this gathering from the voices of the participants, we encourage daily journaling by all. Take a few minutes to express your experience throughout your stay at Bear Butte. Please consider donating notebooks, journals, and pens.
CHILDREN'S TENT We would appreciate your help in providing a youth centered area for children of all ages. This can be a place where we can culturally engage and enrich children and young adults through art, music and storytelling. Please consider donating: canopy tent, shading, storytellers, drummers, singers, artists, teachers, grandma?s, art supplies, journals, seating.
BUDGET A1 Portables (porta-potties) $27.50/day/toilet x 12 x20 $6600 Dumpsters deposit $2000 3 dumpsters(10yrd) x $175 + 4% tax $546.00 Emptying of dumpsters 2 dumpings x 546.00 $1092.00 Landfill charge $38.11 x 3 tons $114.33 Refrigerator truck (24 ft) $150/day x 12 days $1800. Diesel fuel $3.00 x 40 gals x 4 fills $480 Food and water 12 days x 500+ persons (estimated) $6000 TOTAL $18,632.33 We may not need 3 of the 10-yard size dumpsters but estimated on the higher end, as well with the porta-potties.
DONATIONS Please contact members of the Working Group to coordinate your generous offer of help and thank you again for any assistance you can provide this grassroots effort.
Monetary donations are tax-deductible and can be made payable to: Sicangu Way of Life Project or the Bear Butte International Alliance Mail to: Bear Butte International Alliance PO Box 4232 Sturgis, SD 57785 Remember to mark your gift to the ?Bear Butte Prayer Gathering?.
Please arrive and be prepared to be as self sufficient as possible. No open fires. For Information and to Support this Grassroots Effort with Much-Needed Donations Please contact Members of the Working Committee: Tamra Brennan 605-347-2061 Tamra@ProtectSacredSites.org www.ProtectSacredSites.org
Firefighters battle the 8,200-acre Cascade Complex fire in Idaho. Credit: Dave Grider
Firefighters head toward fire lines at Monument Complex fire in Oregon. Credit: Robert "Robo" Robustelli
Higher humidity and some rain Tuesday helped firefighters in the battle with a massive wildfire burning in Idaho and Nevada, one of dozens of large fires still burning across the West. Forecasters warned that scattered dry thunderstorms could move into the region Wednesday afternoon which could spark additional fires.
As firefighters made progress on the nearly 600,000-acre Murphy Complex wildfire, the last of the evacuation orders was lifted Tuesday for the small town of Jarbidge, Nev. The most active part of the fire was in Nevada, where five other fires were burning. At the Idaho-Nevada border, the Duck Valley Indian Reservation remained without power for another day after the fire burned utility poles last week. The Shoshone-Paiute Tribe declared a state of emergency for the reservation.
More firefighters – now totaling about 730 - were brought in to battle the blaze which was 20 percent contained. Officials said they expected full containment Aug. 4.
Nationwide, 42 large wildfires were reported burning in 11 states on Tuesday covering nearly 1.5 million acres, the National Interagency Fire Center reported. In the West, fires were burning in California, Utah, Montana, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington and Wyoming. The Murphy Complex fire was one of 14 blazes in Idaho that have scorched more than 840,000 acres in that state.
The Mato Paha Spiritual Forum: Religious Freedom and Human Rights
Debra White Plume Owe Aku, Bring Back the Way Manderson, SD 57756-0325 605-455-2155 Voice Ph email@example.com www.bringbacktheway.com
21 July 2007
The Mato Paha Spiritual Forum: Religious Freedom and Human Rights will be held on Sunday, August 5, 2007 beginning at 1:00pm in the afternoon at the Mother Butler Center in Rapid City, South Dakota.
The Forum will gather Traditional Healers (Medicine Men) and Spiritual Leaders from the Oglala Band, Sicanju Band, Hohwoju Band of the Lakota Nation, and the Mdewakantonwan Band, and Sissetonwan Band of the Dakota Nation, and Arapahoe and Cheyenne Nations. The Healers and Leaders will come together to provide ancestral teachings regarding the spiritual significance of Bear Butte (Mato Paha) to the Oceti Sakowin (Great Sioux Nation) in the spiritual and cultural life-way of the people.
Guest speakers also include Chief Oliver Red Cloud of the Lakota Nation, Chief Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper of the Onondaga Nation, noted scholar Henrietta Mann, Cheyenne; and stateswoman Rosalie Little Thunder of the Seventh Generation Fund and South Dakota Peace and Justice. Reverend Gail Arnold of the SD Association of Christian Churches and John Sprague of the Christian Peacemaker Team will speak as well regarding Human Rights and Religious Freedom.
The Mato Paha Forum is the first time in decades that Traditional Healers (Medicine Men) from across many Tribal Nations have come together in one forum to speak to the people regarding sacred places and the traditional Lakota way of life, as well as sharing the Forum with the Christian Churches from the region, and from a global organization such as the Christian Peacemaker Team. Organizers of the Forum have scheduled this event to provide awareness to the general public in light of the increasing controversy over development related to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally that is occurring near Bear Butte.
The Guest Speakers are each well-known in the Human Rights and Freedom of Religion arena, from their work in their own Tribal Nation communities to organizations with a global view and impact.
The Mato Paha Forum is open to all, and all people from all walks of life are welcome to attend. There will be Lakota Drum Groups and Singers present and an evening meal is offered to all participants.
The Mato Paha Forum is sponsored by Bring Back the Way, the Black Hills Sioux Nation Treaty Council, Horse Owner’s Society, and the Seventh Generation Fund.
Smith wins another term as chief By Will Chavez 7/11/2007 1:29:04 PM (CST) Cherokee voters on June 23 re-elected Principal Chief Chad Smith, elected 15 Tribal Councilors and will decide two council seats in the July 28 runoff election. Tribe lends McKey organization helping hand By Will Chavez 7/17/2007 3:48:22 PM (CST) When members of the McKey Cherokee Community Organization in Sequoyah County didn’t have a place to meet they gathered their resources, abilities and even tools to refurbish a former school building and created a community center. Proposed coal-fired plant shelved By JoKay Dowell 7/17/2007 3:38:47 PM (CST) Due to the work of the Sequoyah County Clean Air Coalition and increasing expenses, plans for a coal-fired power plant to be built in the county have been scrapped. Public Trail of Tears meeting slated for Tahlequah 7/11/2007 2:23:34 PM (CST) The public is invited to help the U.S. National Park Service evaluate the possibility of adding more routes to the existing Trail of Tears National Historic Trail during meetings scheduled for July. Former Supreme Court Justice visits Cherokee Nation By JoKay Dowell 7/5/2007 9:11:26 AM (CST) During a two-day visit in June, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor saw education in action and spoke to nearly 400 Cherokee citizens as a panelist for the Leadership Forum for Indian Youth and Families. Smith wins another term as chief
Principal Chief Chad Smith, flanked by Deputy Chief Joe Grayson, thanked his supporters during the Smith/Grayson watch party. By Will Chavez
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Cherokee voters on June 23 re-elected Principal Chief Chad Smith to his third consecutive term, elected 15 Tribal Councilors, passed a referendum affirming a constitutional amendment and forced runoffs for two council seats.
According to the Cherokee Nation Election Commission, Smith received 8,035 votes, or 59 percent of the vote, beating challenger Stacy Leeds, who received 5,675, votes, or 41 percent.
On election night, Smith thanked the 17 people that were a part of his campaign team who ran for Tribal Council seats.
“We had 17 people join Team Cherokee who got out and created a championship team to lead the Cherokee Nation toward the future. They gave 100 percent, and we are proud of each and every one of them,” he said. “Sometimes we didn’t get the points we needed. I can tell you this, those who did not win the election are still a part of the team, and I can tell each and every one of you are still dedicated to our Cherokee people.”
Leeds, a former CN Supreme Court justice, said she was grateful for the hard work people put forth for her campaign.
“I am pleased that we ran such a good race and I have no regrets. I am humbled with the outpouring of support for the campaign and with all the hard work of so many volunteers,” she said. “I am amazed with the folks who gave freely of themselves physically, spiritually and financially. I have great hope for the future of the Cherokee Nation and my prayers are with our people.”
In the race for deputy chief, incumbent Joe Grayson Jr. defeated Raymond Vann 61 percent to 39 percent. Grayson received 8,286 votes while Vann received 5,275 votes.
The results for the Tribal Council seats were:
Dist. 1 – Cherokee District (Cherokee County - 2 Seats) For Seat 1, incumbent Bill John Baker with 1,594 votes (64 percent) defeated Barbara Dawes Martin who received 915 votes (36 percent). Incumbent Audra Smoke-Connor will face off against Tina Glory Jordan for Seat 2 in the July 28 runoff election. Smoke-Connor received 584 votes (23 percent) and Glory Jordan received 1,091 votes (44 percent). David Walkingstick and Amon A. Baker, also vying for Seat 2, received 365 (15 percent) and 456 (18 percent) votes respectively.
Dist. 2 – Trail of Tears District (Adair County - 2 Seats) For Seat 1, Joe Crittenden received 908 votes (57 percent) and defeated Rita Bunch, who garnered 694 votes (43 percent). In the Seat 2 race, incumbent Jackie Bob Martin, who received 539 votes (33 percent), will face off in July against Jodie Fishinghawk, who received 497 votes (30 percent). Other hopefuls in the Seat 2 race included Bob G. Leach with 286 votes (17 percent), Jack L. Christie with 281 votes (17 percent) and Ronnie Joe Hale with 34 votes (2 percent).
Dist. 3 – Sequoyah District (Sequoyah County - 2 Seats) In the race for Seat 1, incumbent David W. Thornton with 624 votes narrowly defeated Sam Ed Bush Jr., who received 615 votes. In Seat 2, challenger Janelle Lattimore Fullbright defeated incumbent Phyllis Yargee by a vote of 737 (56 percent) to 543 (42 percent).
Dist. 4 – Three Rivers District (Muskogee, Wagoner and McIntosh counties – 1 Seat) Incumbent Don Garvin will retain his seat as he defeated Micky Igert by a vote of 745 votes (69 percent) to 340 votes (31 percent).
Dist. 5 – Delaware District (Delaware County and part of Ottawa County - 2 Seats) In Seat 1, challenger Harley Buzzard with 618 votes (53 percent) beat incumbent Melvina Shotpouch who received 456 votes (39 percent) and Susan Lamb Reed with 88 votes (8 percent). In Seat 2, challenger Curtis G. Snell received 702 votes (66 percent) to defeat incumbent Linda Hughes-O’Leary, who received 355 votes (34 percent).
Dist. 6 – Mayes District (Mayes County - 2 Seats) In Seat 1, Chris Soap with 403 votes (55 percent) defeated Sue Fine with 250 votes (35 percent) and Jerry D. Troglin with 62 votes (9 percent). For Seat 2, incumbent Meredith Frailey, who ran unopposed, retained her position with 615 votes.
Dist. 7 – Will Rogers District (Rogers County - 1 Seat) Incumbent Cara Cowan Watts will retain her seat with 719 votes (75 percent), defeating challenger Thelda Rucker Boen, who had 237 votes (25 percent).
Dist. 8 – Oolagah District (Washington County and part of Tulsa County - 2 Seats) For Seat 1, incumbent Buel Anglen with 770 votes (75 percent) defeated challenger Roy Herman, who had 259 votes (25 percent). For Seat 2, Bradley Cobb with 696 votes (68 percent) defeated Stephen D. Earley, who received 323 votes (32 percent).
Dist. 9 – Craig District (Nowata and Craig Counties - 1 Seat) Charles “Chuck” Hoskin Jr., who received 513 votes (69 percent), defeated Rodney Lay, who had 228 votes (31 percent).
At-Large District (outside the 14-county CN boundary - 2 Seats) In Seat 1, Julia Coates with 1,969 votes (74 percent) defeated Taylor Keen, who received 718 votes (26 percent). In Seat 2, Jack D. Baker who had 1,986 votes (74 percent) will retain his seat, defeating challenger Sean R. Nordwall, who received 690 votes (26 percent).
In addition to the races held for elected officials, a resolution affirming the 2003 Constitutional amendment, which removed the federal approval requirement from the CN Constitution, passed by a vote of 7,946 to 3,955 (67 percent to 33 percent).
Although results are not official until certified by the CNEC, it is not expected that results will change significantly. For detailed election results, visit www.cherokee.org.
Groundbreaking American Indian lawyer diesRamon Arthur Roubideaux died in Tucson, Ariz.By Journal staff
A Rosebud Sioux Reservation man, who was well-known for his legal career, died Tuesday.
Ramon Arthur Roubideaux, 82, died in Tucson, Ariz.
He was born November 15, 1924, in Rosebud, and was an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, according to information provided by his family.
They said Roubideaux was the first American Indian to be a private-practice attorney in the state. He worked in several areas, including Fort Pierre and Rapid City.
Before his legal career, Roubideaux was in the Air Force, where he was commissioned 1st Lieutenant and awarded the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and three battle stars.
On the advice of Congressman Francis Case, Roubideaux went to Washington, D.C., and began law school at George Washington University in October of 1946.
Roubideaux served as assistant to the chief clerk of the South Dakota House of Representatives in 1951 and 1953 sessions.
He was appointed Assistant Attorney General in January of 1951. In 1954, he was appointed city attorney, and in 1956, he was elected states attorney for Stanley County on the Democratic ticket. He was re-elected states attorney for seven successive two-year terms.
Roubideaux also served in a legal capacity in various American Indian groups and with several tribes through the years. He also served as a negotiator during the Wounded Knee occupation in 1973 on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
His Indian name was "Brave Eagle."
Roubideaux retired from his law practice in 2002 and later moved to Tucson with his wife to live with their daughter.
A Spiritual Leader experiences a changing of his worlds, and returns to the earth. Corbin Harney Has Died!
Press Contact: Julie Ann Fishel, Western Shoshone Defense Project 775-468-0230 or 775-397-1371 (firstname.lastname@example.org) Corbin Harney, Western Shoshone Spiritual Leader Passes On Public Statement by Corbin’s Immediate Family
July 10, 2007 (Turtle Island). Corbin Harney Spiritual Leader of the Western Shoshone Nation crossed over at 11:00 a.m. this morning in a house on a sacred mountain near Santa Rosa, CA (Turtle Island). He had dedicated his life to fighting the nuclear testing and dumping.
That battle claimed his life through cancer.
Before he passed, he said to remember: “We are one people. We cannot separate ourselves now. There are many good things to be done for our people and for the world. It is important to let things be good. And it is important to teach the younger generation so that things are not lost.”
According to witnesses present, in the morning fog, the spirits of four Shoshoni dog soldiers were outside on horseback before Corbin’s passing. But then one of the Shoshone present, Santiago Lozada, yelled “Tosawi Tosawi!” (White Knife). And then the fog shifted and there were thousands of spirits waiting.
Corbin passed peacefully at the end. He was only worried that he still had more to do. When he finally let go and went with the dog soldiers, Red Wolf Pope, grandson of Rolling Thunder, was present and sang him the Tosawi death song to call the dog soldiers to come take him home. Golden eagles continue to circle the house hours after his crossing.”
True to form Corbin joked around several days ago that he was going to go at 11:00, and kept his promise.
Over his lifetime, Corbin traveled around the world as a speaker, healer and spiritual leader with a profound spiritual and environmental message for all. He received numerous national and international awards and spoke before the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Corbin also authored two books: “The Way It Is: One Water, One Air, One Earth” (Blue Dolphin Publishing, 1995) and a forthcoming book, “The Nature Way”. Numerous documentaries have been made about his work and message.
In 1994, Corbin established the Shundahai Network to work with people and organizations to respond to spiritual and environmental concerns on nuclear issues. He also established Poo Ha Bah, a native healing center located in Tecopa Springs, California. He will be missed but always honored for his work and dedication to traditional ways.
Corbin Harney is descended from generations of Newe (Shoshone) traditional healers and was always grateful for the many extraordinary teachers who shared their knowledge in his lifetime. Corbin is survived by his daughter Reynaulda Taylor; granddaughters Ann Taylor and Nada Leno; grandsons Keith, Jon and Joel Leno and William Henry Taylor; seven great-grandchildren; two great-great grandchildren; and his sister Rosie Blossom’s family and many cousins and other family members as well as many, many friends around the world. Corbin was preceded in death by his mother, father, sister, grandparents, uncle, great granddaughter, cousins, and friends.
A very special thanks to Patricia Davidson, Corbin’s caregiver in his final months; Dominic Daileda, Corbin’s friend and companion for his support and compassion in hard times, and the family of Dixie and Martin van der Kamp for opening up their home and their hearts to Corbin and his family and friends during his time of need.
Dates and times for services are being made with official announcement to follow. Three day services are planned at the home of Larson R. Bill, So Ho Bee – Newe Sogobe (Lee, Nevada –Western Shoshone Territory) with burial services at Battle Mountain Indian Community, Battle Mountain Nevada.
Family contact information (non-media only): Donations may be made either to the immediate family through: Reynaulda Taylor P.O. Box 397 Owyhee, Nevada 89832 775-757-2610 or 775-757-2064 email@example.com
Or, to: The Corbin Harney Way 6360 Sonoma Mtn. Rd. Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Tribal leaders are meeting in Anchorage, Alaska for the National Congress of American Indians Mid-Year Conference. One issue Alaska Natives are focusing on is climate change.
Public hearings wrap up on a proposed project to bring water to Navajo communities in Arizona and New Mexico. It would consist of two pipelines running more than 250 miles, and would bring water to 43 Navajo communities.
People in Canada pick the country's seven natural wonders in a national campaign. The canoe and the igloo were chosen under the amazing human creation category.
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In Oklahoma, a Cherokee Nation court grants temporary citizenship to non-Indians and descendants of Freedmen. In March, Cherokee voters approved an amendment to the tribe's constitution to clarify eligibility for citizenship. More than 250 people have appealed in tribal court.
There are often misconceptions about Native fishermen. A new study challenges claims that Native American fishermen are unethical. The study will appear in the Journal of Human Ecology.
An Alaska Native corporation is expanding its business ventures. Sealaska recently purchased an aluminum and steel fabricator. Officials hope it will help them win contracts in aerospace and other industries.
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The new U.S. Postal Service rates have many Alaska Natives worried. The rates for Alaska's discount mail program are going up. The program ensures groceries and other basic supplies arrive regularly to many communities not accessible by road.
An electrical fire recently forced the Navajo Nation to shut down one of the reservation's five detention centers. That leaves the tribe with only 80 jail beds to handle thousands of arrests each year.
Shinnecock tribal members are confident their claim was made in a recent court case. The trial challenging the tribe's right to build a casino near Long Island, New York, wrapped up in federal court last week.
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Tribal colleges in North Dakota are getting thousands of dollars for educating non-Native students. Governor John Hoeven signed the funding bill into law on Thursday.
Tennessee lawmakers pass a bill to protect school mascots. On Thursday, the state Senate voted to strip state agencies from banning mascots, including those using Indian symbols and names. Many Native Americans want to get rid of the mascots and say there are more than 100 schools in the state using Indians names.
Columbus Day opponents criticize Democratic lawmakers in Colorado for not banning the holiday. Colorado was the first state to celebrate Columbus Day 100 years ago. This week, members of the American Indian Movement and even some Italian Americans expressed their concerns at the state capitol.
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In Canada, residents of the Red Earth First Nation in northeastern Saskatchewan are now home. More than a week ago, hundreds of residents were evacuated due to floodwater. Many people were taken by bus to motels and a civic center in Saskatoon. Other First Nations communities in the province are also dealing with spring runoff.
Hundreds of people help dedicate the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site in Colorado. According to the Denver Post, on Saturday, about 400 people, including Cheyenne and Arapaho tribal members, attended the dedication ceremony. Nearly 150 years ago, U.S. soldiers slaughtered Cheyenne and Arapaho people at the site. It's located southeast of Denver and will be official opened to the public in June.
Tribal colleges in North Dakota will soon get help for educating non-Native students. Last week, the state legislature passed a funding bill for the schools. A similar bill failed in repeated attempts in South Dakota.
For the first time ever, five tribes in Wisconsin are receiving nearly 19-million dollars in housing tax credits. Tribal housing authorities say the credits will help provide homes for impoverished families and elders.
A frank discussion at an Indian law conference last week underscored the heated emotions surrounding the recent ouster of the Cherokee Freedmen. On March 3, voters of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma approved a change to their constitution that denied citizenship to the descendants of African slaves. The move overturned a tribal court decision that upheld the membership rights of the Freedmen. Since the election, the national news media has covered the story with a focus on the racial aspects of the controversy. Leaders of the Cherokee Nation responded that the vote was about their inherent ability to define their identity. Speakers at the Federal Bar Association's Indian law conference didn't necessarily disagree with that contention at a panel on the dispute. But they said the attempt to shift the debate to one of sovereignty ignores some key issues, including an 1866 treaty at the heart of the dispute, as well as racial discrimination. "Cherokee Nation leaders are making statements that they can break the treaty any time they want to," said Marilyn Vann, the president of the Descendants of the Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes and the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit that challenges how African descendants have been treated by the tribe. "I would be alarmed by that," added Vann, who noted that the tribe has cited the treaty to defend its rights in other cases. "If a tribe can break the agreement, the fed government can break the agreement." Carla Pratt, a professor at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law, charged that the removal of the Freedmen really was about race. Traditional notions of tribal citizenship weren't always based on blood quantum, she told attendees of the conference. "Do we really honor ancestors when we refuse to recognize their descendants?" she said. "I really hopes tribes can get away from this notion of blood as the essence of Indian identity." Kevin Noble Mallard, a professor at the Syracuse University School of Law, said the attempt to remove African descendants from tribal rolls amounted to a "redwashing" of history. His tribe, the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, lost federal funding after voters tried to deny citizenship to the Freedmen by instituting a blood component to their constitution. "Seminoles of African descent became pariahs within the Seminole Nation," he said. "It stigmatized Black people whether they were Freedmen or blood Indians." Mallard has African ancestors but descends from the Mekusukey Band, which is not one of the two Freedman bands of the Seminole Nation. Some attendees of the conference sympathized with the efforts of the Freedmen. Steve Emery, a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe of South Dakota, said tribes who limit membership strictly by blood aren't respecting their relatives. "Today at Cheyenne River, there is no such thing as a blood quantum," he said, citing traditional Lakota notions of family that go beyond blood. "We know who each other are." Emery spoke of daughter's mixed-race children, whom he helps provide care for since their father was critically disabled in an accident. "We need other blood in our cultures," he said. "We always had it." Others were conflicted because they believe tribes should be able to define membership without outside interference. "Sovereignty is the right to make a bad decision," said Gavin Clarkson, a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Clarkson, however, said tribes should take a broader view of citizenship because it could aid in areas like criminal jurisdiction. "There might some kind of long term benefit for Indian Country if we can adopt some expansive notion of Indian identity," he said. Heather Dawn Thompson, also Cheyenne River, was the only person who outright opposed the Freedmen efforts. She accused Vann of undermining the sovereignty of all tribes and she criticized the Freedmen for seeking support from the Congressional Black Caucus. "This is already having extensive impacts on the appropriations process," said Thompson, who serves as legislative affairs director for the National Congress of American Indians in Washington, D.C. She said "friends" on Capitol Hill have discussed proposals to allow tribal membership disputes to be heard in federal courts, although she didn't identify by name any of the lawmakers. "If you identify as Indian," the Freedmen shouldn't challenge a decision made by the tribe, Thompson argued. "If you identify as Black," the Freedmen should pursue other means of enforcing the treaty. Representatives of the Cherokee Nation or the Bureau of Indian Affairs didn't take part in the panel. Cherokee Chief Chad Smith has repeatedly called the vote an exercise of the tribe's right to define citizenship. The BIA hasn't yet taken a stand on the ouster of the Freedmen, although the agency took action against the Seminole Nation under similar circumstances. Assistant secretary Carl Artman has said he is studying the issue. Meanwhile, the Cherokee Nation
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TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – On March 3, Cherokee Nation citizens voted by nearly 3-to-1 to amend the tribe’s constitution and restrict tribal citizenship to descendants of Indians by blood listed on the Dawes Rolls and to exclude descendants of Freedmen and intermarried whites.
Voting at 30 polling sites and by absentee ballot, citizens approved the constitutional change in a special election. Unofficial results were 6,702 citizens voted in favor and 2,041 voted against.
The amendment limits citizenship in the CN to descendants of people who are listed on the CN’s final rolls as Cherokee, Delaware or Shawnee.
“The Cherokee people exercised the most basic democratic right, the right to vote,” Principal Chief Chad Smith said. “Their voice is clear as to who should be citizens of the Cherokee Nation. No one else has the right to make that determination.”
The special election results are set to become law unless a challenge is filed by March 12. The CN Supreme Court will have up to six days to review any challenge and make a determination.
Marilyn Vann, president of the Descendants of Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes, said the election results undoubtedly would be challenged.
“We will pursue the legal remedies that are available to us to stop people from not only losing their voting rights, but to receiving medical care and other services to which they are entitled under law,” Vann said.
Vann and four other Freedmen filed an injunction in February in federal court to stop the special election, but were denied. U.S. District Judge Henry Kennedy did leave open the possibility the Freedmen case would be back in court if their citizenship rights were removed.
“He did say if they were voted out we would be back in court,” Jon Velie, an attorney for the Freedmen, said. Velie added that by voting out the Freedmen and intermarried white descendants, the CN is risking its sovereignty. “The vote of the Cherokee people is really not just a vote to vote out the Freedmen, but it may be a vote to violate a treaty. The Treaty of 1866 re-established the government-to-government relationship with the United States. A condition of that treaty was the inclusion of the former slaves into the tribe and their membership, so by violating the treaty it puts a pretty precarious position on what the relationship with the United States would be for violation of a conditional treaty.”
Smith said the issue of Cherokee citizenship is something that should be left up to Cherokee voters and added that the number of voters who turned out to vote on the constitutional amendment was actually more than the approximately 6,700 who approved a revised CN Constitution four years ago.
“This was an unexpectedly high turnout, considering it was a special election with nothing else on the ballot. I think that reflects the idea that this is an issue that has been close to the heart of the Cherokee people and an issue they have thought about carefully before voting,” Smith said.
The special election was brought about by a petition of registered Cherokee voters, and was the first ever stand-alone election for the tribe to vote on a constitutional amendment.
The petition drive followed a March 2006 ruling by the CN Supreme Court that stated the 1866 Treaty assured Freedmen descendants tribal citizenship. Following that ruling, approximately 2,800 Freedmen descendants enrolled as tribal citizens.
Sequoyah Students Serve as Legislative Pages, Earn “Page of the Week”
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Baron O’Field and Caleb Whitekiller, seniors at Sequoyah Schools, recently served as legislative pages at the Oklahoma State Capitol, and each earned the honor of “page of the week” during their time of service.
“I’m not sure that any other school has ever had ‘page of the week’ two weeks in a row,” said Gerald Livingston, Sequoyah social studies teacher who helps arrange the page program at Sequoyah. “That says a lot about the type of kids that we have representing our school.”
O’Field, 18, served as a page for Representative Gus Blackwell and Whitekiller, 18, served as a page for Representative Mike Brown.
“It was an unforgettable experience,” Whitekiller said. “I would recommend it to others, even if you are not interested in government.”
O’Field was elected by other pages to serve as “Governor” during a mock legislation session while in Oklahoma City. He is the son of Mike and Veronica O’Field. Whitekiller is the son of George and Twila Whitekiller. Both students are from Tahlequah and are Cherokee Nation citizens.
The Senate Page Program is for Oklahoma high school students in grades 9 through 12 who are at least 14 years of age. A page must be sponsored by a State Senator, and each Senator has a limited number of page appointments for the legislative session. Each Senator’s office has its own criteria and often selects their own pages.
Sequoyah School, a boarding school for Native American students, originated in 1871 as an orphan asylum to take care of many orphans who came out of the Civil War. It has since served as the Sequoyah Orphan Training School and the Sequoyah Vocational School. Now known as Sequoyah Schools, it is named for Sequoyah, a scholar who developed the Cherokee syllabary. In November 1985, the Cherokee Nation resumed the operation of Sequoyah. It is regionally and state accredited for grades 7-12 and has become the school of choice for more than 400 students every year.
For more information about Sequoyah call (918) 453-5400 or visit the Sequoyah School Web site at www.sequoyah.k12.ok.us
Cherokee Nation to Host Traditional Games Competition
TAHLEQUAH, OK — The Cherokee Nation will be hosting traditional native games competitions in various communities, beginning Saturday, April 21, in Tahlequah. The games are being held in conjunction with the 55th Annual Cherokee National Holiday which takes place in Tahlequah over Labor Day weekend.
“Traditional games are a large part of our history,” said Chad Smith, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. “These competitions help the Cherokee Nation to keep its culture alive by passing the knowledge and skills associated with these games down to our younger generations of Cherokees.”
Traditional games such as horseshoes, Cherokee marbles, corn stalk shoots, stickball competitions, hatchet throwing and blowgun competitions will be held in the months leading up to the Cherokee National Holiday. The winners of each community competition will be invited and encouraged to participate in the play off games at the Holiday on Sunday, September 2.
“We have a lot of fun holding these community competitions,” said Lou Slagle, Holiday Event Coordinator. “I encourage everyone to come out and take part in these community games. Even if you don’t participate, they are great to watch.”
There is no entry fee required. Community games will be played in the following locations:
Tahlequah, west of Cherokee Nation complex, Saturday, April 21
Kansas, OK, City Park, Saturday, May 5
Catoosa, Rogers Point Park, Saturday, June 9
Sallisaw, City Park Hwy 64, Saturday, July 14
Bell, Bell Powwow Grounds, Saturday, August 4
The Cherokee National Holiday has been held yearly since 1953, in honor of the signing of the 1839 Cherokee Constitution. This year’s theme is “Common Values, Common Ground,” in commemoration of the rich history that exists between the Cherokee Nation and the state of Oklahoma.
For more information about the traditional native games competition, contact Lou Slagle at (918) 453-5544 or (918) 453-1689.
The Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma votes to deny citizenship to former descendents of African slaves. On Saturday, nearly 7,000 Cherokee voters took part in the special election. The amendment to limit citizenship was approved by more than 70% of the vote.
The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs will hold a hearing this week on the Indian Health Care Improvement Act. Tribal leaders and the National Congress of American Indians have identified the Act as a top priority in Indian Country. It came close to passage last session.
Some state lawmakers in Washington want to limit the amount of huckleberries a person can pick. The Yakama Nation would like to see more done to protect its harvest of the purple berries.
Members of the National Caucus of Native American State Legislators are addressing Native issues. There are more than 60 American Indian, Native Hawaiian and Alaska Native state legislators.
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Today is the one year anniversary of the Six Nations' occupation of a former housing development site in Ontario, Canada. Six Nations people held a march this morning and gave speeches. Land claim talks are still underway between the Six Nations and the government.
The chairman of the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians is applauding teachers for ousting their union at the Bahweting Anishnabe School. Teachers at the native charter school voted last week to decertify the Michigan Education Association.
Actress Irene Bedard is traveling the country, gathering support for her latest project. She is reaching out to Native youth.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Tribal leaders at the National Congress of American Indians Executive Council Winter Session identify the top two priorities in Indian Country. Yesterday, the leaders said there needs to be immediate reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act and tribal inclusion in the Combat Meth Act.
The grassroots political organization INDN's List official launches "Prez on the Rez." Yesterday, in conjunction with NCAI's session about 150 people from across the country attended a reception. INDN's List President Kalyn Free says tribal leaders are excited to speak to candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for President.
South Dakota Representative Stephanie Herseth introduces a bill to grant federal charter to the National American Indian Veterans Association. Herseth says Native Americans have the highest rate of military service of any ethnic group in the country and they deserve this special recognition.
Tribal law experts stress the importance of having a strong tribal judicial system to enable business growth on reservation land. They raised this issue during the South Dakota Indian Business Conference recently held in Rapid City.
Monday, February 26, 2007
The National Congress of American Indians is hosting the 110th Congress Executive Council Tribal Nations Legislative Summit this week in Washington, D.C. NCAI and tribal leaders will discuss issues members of Congress will be debating this session.
South Dakota state lawmakers will consider a bill this week in the Senate aimed at improving the government to government relationship with tribes. The bill also aims at improving education for Native Americans. It has already passed in the House.
An Alaska Native snowboarder claims her first national crown. Callan Chythlook-Sifsof won the title at the U.S. Snowboardcross Championships on Sunday in Tamarack, Idaho.
Used vegetable oil from a tribal casino will soon fuel some vehicles at the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe in northern New York. According to the Associated Press, engineers are helping the tribe design and construct a biodiesel production system.
Friday, February 23, 2007
Native women in Montana are teaching youth about domestic violence in a class at an alternative school on the Flathead Indian Reservation. According to the U.S. Justice Department, American Indian women experience the highest rate of violence than any other race.
Dr. Iris Pretty, a Native American researcher, is speaking about cultural factors that support student success. She recently spoke to students at a tribal college in North Dakota.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Senator Byron Dorgan and Senator Pete Domenici meet with dozens of people in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Tribal leaders voiced concerns yesterday about health care, suicide, budget cuts, education, sacred sites and other issues. Many of the leaders were disappointed the senators didn't stay to hear all the concerns.
The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe announces an agreement with New York State on a gaming compact for a casino in the Catskill Mountains. The deal brings the Mohawks closer than ever to tapping into the lucrative New York City gaming market.
A new mentoring program in Sioux Falls aims at improving the graduation rate of Native American students.
Monday 19 February 2007 February 19, 2007 11:17 AM
Nur wakes up, having had a sleepless night with no news from the clan for the last few days, tries to connect, signs a few petitions, wants to comment ,but withalds, knows she fails miserably with words at times, remembers one petition significantly about buffaloes and the message she forwarded about them returning or having been there all the time, goes to hospital regarding her mom with Alzheimer's disease and spends nearly 4 hours there for some reports and significations and then picks her daughter up from school who wants to go and buy more of Winx Club toys and eat more hamburgers and drives backhome, goes through the bunch of hungry stray dogs and cats she is responsible of now and wonders whether Art has started the flute he was gonna make for her and wonders in all her efforts to belong and to understand why she feels so much connected; she decides to tell them a joke-a funny story.
This is from the Black Sea Region, to the north, where Temel and Dursun are and have always been;
Temel takes awalk by the riverside in the early hours, sees Dursun walking on the other side. Shouts at Dursun; Ula Dursun, how can I cross to the other side?
Dursun thinks hard for a few moments and shouts back; Ui, Temel, you are teasing me, you are already on the other side.
It's one week since the Hopi Tribe in Arizona elected a new leader, now the election is being contested. Ben Nuvamsa won with a little more than 50-percent of the vote. The Hopi people elected a new leader after former chairman Ivan Sydney was kicked out of office last year. A meeting will be held today regarding the challenge.
Anthropologists, tribal leaders and Native scholars will gather in Southeast Alaska this spring for an academic event. It's called Sharing our Knowledge: A Conference of Haida, Tlingit and Tsimshian Tribes and Clans.
A meeting aimed at ending poverty among Canada's First Nations was recently held in Saskatchewan. It brought together six of Canada's premiers and 700 business and Native leaders.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Two Navajo tribal members and two environmental groups file a federal lawsuit to derail proposed uranium mining in northwest New Mexico.
Today, the House of Representatives will begin a three day debate on the War in Iraq. Representatives will debate a non-binding resolution that says Congress "disapproves" of President Bush's decision to send more troops to Iraq.
The winter can be difficult for tribal members in many parts of South Dakota, where single digit temperatures have already hit many parts of the state this year. But a grant from a private foundation will help some of those people cope with heating bills.
The Arizona State Legislature is considering a bill to help fund a monument for Navajo Code Talkers. But a Hopi council member says the monument should recognize all Native American code talkers, including members from his tribe.
The South Dakota Small Business Administration is preparing for its first Native business conference. The number of loans given to Native American businesses in the state rose last year. Yet, one SBA official says more still needs to be done.
A thirteen-year-old First Nation's teen becomes part of hockey history. Akina Shirt from the Saddle Lake First Nation sang the national anthem in Cree at a hockey game on Saturday.
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A storm warning is in place today for many parts of Oklahoma. As people in the state brace for the winter storm, Governor Brad Henry is asking for federal disaster relief for counties hit hard by last week's ice storm. Thousands of people, including many Native communities, are still without electricity and water.
The Oglala Sioux Tribe in South Dakota wants the University of Illinois to return clothing and regalia worn by the university's mascot. Yesterday, the tribe sent a resolution to the school. The school purchased the outfit in 1982.
North Dakota Senator Byron Dorgan takes over leadership of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. Yesterday, the Senator was elected chairman during the committee's first meeting of the 110th Congress.
While many Native American communities are finding steady and often generous revenues from tribally-owned casinos, some officials are branching out in other areas to help sustain their economies. One tribe in Wisconsin is doing just that and backers hope will have a big pay off.
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More than 200 students at a First Nation school in Canada are told to stay home due to air quality concerns. According to the Kenora Daily Miner and News, the band leader of the Wabaseemoong First Nation is concerned about illness related to mold and airborne asbestos. In recent years, the Ontario school has been the object of health concerns and over crowding.
In Montana, on the Fort Peck Reservation, the community college is working to reduce the rate of diabetes among Assiniboine Sioux people. The college is using a youth mentoring program to start kids on the right path of diet and exercise.
A Yupik teenager is making her dreams of competing in the Olympics a reality. Callan Chythlook-Sifsof is a member of the U.S. National Ski and Snowboard team. Over the weekend, she represented the U.S. in Switzerland and raced top athletes in the World Snowboard Championships. The athlete finished 19th in the qualifying rounds, but did not qualify to compete on Sunday.
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NCAI Applauds Senate Vote Defeating the Vitter Amendment Vote a Major Victory for Indian Country's Political Voice 01/11/2007
WASHINGTON-January 11, 2007- The Senate voted 56-40 yesterday to table an Amendment offered by Senator Vitter (R-La.) that would have severely limited the ability of tribes to support the candidates of their choice in federal elections. National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) President Joe Garcia called it "a major victory for tribal participation in the political process."
Senator Vitter's Amendment would have inappropriately amended the Federal Election Campaign Act to define tribes as corporations, thereby prohibiting tribal campaign contributions. According to Garcia, "Indian tribes are sovereign governments with a profound obligation to provide for the health and welfare of their communities. To equate our governments to corporations whose sole mission is to maximize profits for their shareholders, is deeply offensive." Garcia went on to thank the Senators who voted to table the Amendment saying, "This vote was a vote against the continuation of long-standing attempts to disenfranchise the first Americans and silence our political voice."
Senator Vitter introduced similar legislation in the 109th Congress. In response to what it called important errors in the media stories about this issue last year, the FEC issued an advisory clarifying that Indian tribes are subject to the nation's campaign finance laws to the same extent as any other entity. To read the FEC's Advisory visit www.fec.gov/press/press2006/20060202Tribenotice.htm.
Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day and many people are remembering the civil rights leader. Yet, some students at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign campus seem to have forgotten the lessons King taught. School officials are investigating threats made on the internet by non-Native students against Native Americans. In November and December, some students at the school posted racist and threatening comments on Facebook, a social network website. The comments were spurred by the dispute over the school's mascot "Chief Illiniwek."
Senator Jeff Bingaman re-introduces a measure aimed at giving Native American communities access to anti-meth grants. Bingaman says a bill was enacted last year to help law enforcement agencies and governments fight methamphetamine addiction across the country. He says tribes were left out due to a drafting error. The measure to include tribes passed in the Senate last year, but not in the House. The Senator hopes it will get movement in the new Congress.
Friday, January 12, 2007
Senator Tim Johnson is out of intensive care. Senator Johnson is recovering at a hospital in Washington D.C. It has been nearly a month, since Johnson was placed in critical condition after undergoing brain surgery to repair a hemorrhage.
South Dakota will help tribes in the state gain federal tax credits for some projects aimed at improving life on reservations. The governor talked about plans to help tribes during his State of the State Address.
For generations, Russian Orthodox Alaskans, many of whom are Alaska Native, celebrate Christmas with caroling, which they call "starring." The St. Michael's Cathedral Choir and parishioners went starring on Sunday in Sitka, Alaska.
Lawmakers say President Bush's new strategy for Iraq will impact Native Americans. The president told the nation last night he wants to increase the number of troops in Iraq by more than 20,000.
New York's new Governor says he'll find a way to tax non-Natives who buy tax-free cigarettes from Native-owned stores. This comes after a court issued an injunction on a law requiring the state to collect the taxes.
The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe in Minnesota is setting up a pension plan for its retirees. According to the Associated Press, the band's chief executive says tribal members would work seasonally and were paid little or nothing, and with Social Security they were poor in their old age.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
The United States Supreme Court is slated to hear opening arguments today in a case involving two school districts that serve a high number of Native American students. At issue is whether the two districts in New Mexico are being shortchanged by the Department of Education.
Some Native American organizations are applauding William Myers dropping his judicial nomination. Yesterday, Republican officials announced four of President Bush's nominees to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals asked to have their nominations withdrawn. The National Congress of American Indians and The Inter-Tribal Economic Alliance are pleased with Myers' withdrawal. Myers' came under attack from people in Indian Country for his disregard to protect Native sacred sties.
The Blackfeet Nation in Montana is assessing damage on its reservation after a powerful windstorm. According to the Associated Press, winds up to 90-mph and one that clocked in at 110-mph hit the community last week. The storm destroyed two homes and damaged more than 50 others. A bank account has been set up to help people who were impacted by the windstorm.
A Native American drug unit in Arizona tracks down more than three tons of marijuana. According to the Arizona Daily Star, the Shadow Wolves tracked several pickup trucks carrying more than seven-thousand pounds of the drug last week. This is the largest seizure for the unit since they were reassigned to Immigration and Customs Enforcement in October. They use traditional Native tracking skills with modern police techniques to catch drug smugglers.
Tuesday, January 9, 2007
This week marks the fifth anniversary of The No Child Left Behind Act. It was designed to improve student achievement levels in schools across the country. Yet, many people believe it's not working. Including some educators in Indian Country who say the law is not benefiting Native children.
The land containing the original grave site of Sitting Bull has been given back to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota.
An animated children's TV show based on Aboriginal creation tales is getting international interest. According to the Calgary Sun, the show "Raven Tales" which is produced in Calgary, Canada, is attracting the attention of Arab TV Al-Jazeera Children's Channel. It has shown interest in buying the show.
An associate tribal judge is considering a dispute over the chairmanship of the Three Affiliated Tribes in North Dakota. Former Chairman Tex Hall wants a new election.
The State of Arizona agrees to reimburse the Navajo Nation for the foster care of Navajo children. The children will soon benefit from being raised by their relatives.
The spirit of giving is taking flight this week in South Dakota, as ten-thousand gifts are being handed out on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The Wings of Eagle Ministry is giving people food, toys, blankets and other gifts.
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As judges across Canada approve a settlement for former residential school students, Native leaders are calling it a legal victory. They also want an apology from the government.
The Internet is one way many Native American and Alaska Native artists market their work. Some Native artists even sell online. Auction sites like eBay sell thousands of Native American arts and crafts. The Indian Arts and Crafts Board is working with eBay to protect authentic work and to get more artists online.
The Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans gives a holiday gift to its employees that also helps the local economy.
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Seminole Tribe of Florida buys Hard RockROBERT BARRAssociated Press
LONDON - The Seminole Tribe of Florida is buying the Hard Rock business, including its massive collection of rock 'n' roll memorabilia, in a $965 million deal with British casino and hotel company Rank Group PLC, the tribe announced Thursday.
The Hard Rock business includes 124 Hard Rock Cafes, four Hard Rock Hotels, two Hard Rock Casino Hotels, two Hard Rock Live! concert venues and stakes in three unbranded hotels.
With it, the tribe acquires what is said to be the world's largest collection of rock memorabilia, some 70,000 pieces including Jimi Hendrix's Flying V guitar, one of Madonna's bustiers, a pair of Elton John's high-heeled shoes and guitars formerly owned by Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and Chuck Berry.
"This is a proud moment for the Seminole Tribe of Florida and for all Indian tribes," said Mitchell Cypress, chairman of the elected Tribal Council. "It is also an opportunity for the Seminole Tribe to diversify its business operations and help a very successful company to achieve even greater growth."
Cypress and Seminole Gaming Chief Executive James Allen said in a statement the tribe would work with Hard Rock International management to build on existing growth plans.
In addition to its two Seminole Hard Rock hotels & casinos, the Seminole Tribe owns and operates five other casinos in Florida. More than 90 percent of the tribe's budget now comes from gaming revenue.
Nearly 3,300 Seminole Indians live on and off reservations throughout Florida. Rank said it would keep the Hard Rock Casino in London but under the Rank Gaming brand.
"We have maximized the value of Hard Rock through this disposal following a thorough strategic review and competitive auction," said Rank Chief Executive Ian Burke.
The sale, which is subject to shareholder approval, is scheduled to be completed in March.
The television show "America's Most Wanted" will air a segment on the missing Red Lake brothers in Minnesota on Saturday. Tristan White and Avery Stately were last seen outside their home on the Red Lake reservation last Wednesday. Authorities are still investigating their disappearance, but so far searches have turned up no clues.
It's no secret methamphetamine abuse is plaguing tribal communities. Now the fight on the dangerous drug will be used through media outlets. Yesterday, on National Methamphetamine Awareness Day, tribal leaders and government officials announced a new public awareness campaign.
The United Nations delays the vote on the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Indigenous Peoples Caucus believes many countries, including the United States, influenced the decision.
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The Red Lake Nation in Minnesota will continue to search for two missing little boys. The search has been scaled down to local authorities, after ground and air searches were called off over the weekend by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. There's still no sign of 4-year-old Tristan Anthony White and 2-year-old Avery Lee Stately. The brothers were last seen playing outside their house last Wednesday morning. The FBI says it's unclear whether the boys were abducted or wandered off. They're offering a 20-thousand dollar reward. Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI or the Red Lake Tribal Police.
The Oglala Sioux government is in limbo three weeks after thousands of tribal citizens went to the polls to choose their new leaders. The current president and the Tribal Appeals Court have since called for a new election. Some newly elected members say the November 7th results should stand.
Statistics show American Indians are seriously overrepresented in the armed forces today. Native people serving in the military is nothing new, Indians have fought in conflicts for the U.S. government as early as the Spanish-American War. Yet, an advocate for veterans says awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD, is something new to many tribal communities.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
The Three Affiliated Tribes is remembering the first soldier from their community to die in the "War on Terror." A memorial service was held today for Corporal Nathan Goodiron, on the Ft. Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota. Goodiron was killed on Thanksgiving Day when a rocket-propelled grenade hit his vehicle in Afghanistan. He was serving with the National Guard.
November is American Diabetes Month. More than 100 Native people across the country are managing their diabetes with a new online workshop and study. It's free and is being offered by the Stanford University School of Medicine. Participants in the six-week course can log on at their leisure. Each week they learn new self management techniques, such as how to take care of your feet, to nutrition and relaxation tips. More information can be found at https://indiandiabetes.stanford.edu
A white buffalo calf considered sacred to many Native people has died in a thunderstorm. The buffalo named "Miracle's Second Chance" was the third such animal born on a Wisconsin ranch.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Indigenous people around the world are ready to see the United Nations adopt a declaration on their behalf. The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples has been in the works for more than 20 years. It has already been accepted by the Human Rights Council. The UN General Assembly is expected to vote and adopt it soon, but not without opposition from some countries.
Teen births across the country drop to the lowest levels ever, according to a new government report. How do Alaska Native and Native American teens fair? Brady Hamilton is with the National Center for Health Statistics and helped author the report. Hamilton says overall it shows a significant drop among Native teens since 1991. The report also looked at childbearing age, birth weights and births among unmarried women
Native American Democrats gained more state seats than Republicans across the country. 64 Native Americans were elected to sever in their state legislature. More than 40 of them are Democrat and nearly 20 Republican, according to the Indigenous Democratic Network or INDN'S List.
Men take note: Native American wellness advocates say many problems affecting kids such as juvenile delinquency, domestic violence, and poor grades can be helped by simply being a good father. Fatherhood was a new topic addressed at a Native American health conference in Wisconsin.
Tribal leaders discuss legislation that would settle the historic Indian trust lawsuit Cobell vs. Kempthorne. The Bush Administration is under fire by many people in Indian Country for its proposed changes to transfer much of the trust management to tribes. Tribal leaders met with lawmakers yesterday, in Washington, D.C.
Another First Nation reserve in northern Ontario, Canada is in a drinking water crisis. Native leaders in the province fear the water poses an increased health and safety risk to the people. A water emergency has been declared for the Pikangikum community.
Today is the 30th anniversary of the "Great American Smokeout." It's an event people across the county take part in to quit smoking for 24 hours. Statistics show tobacco use is highest among Natives in the Northern Plains. Favian Kennedy is the Director of the Northern Plains Tobacco Prevention Project. Kennedy says they're working with tribes on a "Smoke Free Homes Campaign." They're asking Native families to voluntarily pledge to smoke outside or quit all together to reduce health risks associated with second hand smoke.
Newly elected Senators are making their rounds on Capitol Hill this week, including Democrat Jon Tester from Montana. He has already met with Montana tribal leaders and is learning more about issues in Indian Country. Tester was assigned to the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. He says improving housing, healthcare and business opportunities on reservations is a high priority.
A tribe in New York is getting help to heat homes on its reservation this winter from South America. Venezuela's CITGO company is giving the Akwesasne Mohawks free oil.
Tribal officials are meeting this week in Rapid City, South Dakota to address cancer among Native Americans in the Northern Plains. Cancer researchers, survivors and health officials from Iowa, Nebraska and North, and South Dakota are at the Cancer Summit.
It's one week after the elections and there's still a hotly contested U.S. House race in New Mexico. It's down to a few thousand provisional ballots that are still being analyzed by election workers for the race between Democrat Patricia Madrid and Republican Heather Wilson. Incumbent Wilson was endorsed by many Native American organizations in the state.
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On Capitol Hill, committee assignments are being doled out for the 110th Congress when it convenes next year. The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs is expected to have two new members. Jon Tester from Montana and Claire McCaskill from Missouri have been assigned to the committee. Both are newly elected in their states and are Democrats. The current Chairman of the committee, Senator John McCain from Arizona will retire from his seat. Vice Chairman Senator Byron Dorgan from North Dakota is expected to replace McCain.
Voters changed more than the Congressional shift in power, they also made it clear on how they want their own states governed. In Michigan, voters approved a ban on race-and-gender consideration in government hiring, and university admissions. The ban won't extend to the state's 12 tribes, who are sovereign nations and make their own laws governing affirmative action. Yet, the ban could impact Native students who chose to go to instate colleges.
The annual revenue of Alaska Native corporations continues to grow. This week, Sherri Buretta gave an overview of the growth from the last six years. She's the President of the Association of ANCSA Regional Corporation Presidents/CEO's. ANCSA stands for the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. Buretta says the latest data includes 12 state and 29 village corporations. She says the Native companies' payout to shareholders was nearly 118-million dollars. The financial data was unveiled during a meeting at the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce.
The University of North Dakota will be allowed to use its "Fighting Sioux" nickname and logo in post-season play. A judge made the decision over the weekend. The school is in a lawsuit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
A report shows contaminated water is not the only problem plaguing the Kashechewan community in Canada. Some major recommendations have been made to the government, including relocating the entire community. One year ago, an outbreak of e-coli in the water supply forced residents to leave their homes.
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Tim Giago (Nanwica Kciji) 10/16/2006 October 31, 2006 7:10 AM
Indian contributions to Native American Day irrelevant to white media in South Dakota
For more than 100 years the white editors of the largely white owned media in the State of South Dakota, have had the freedom and the opportunity to push the state governor and legislators to create a Native American Day as an official state holiday.
For more than 100 years they have had the freedom and the opportunity to push the governor and the legislators to make an effort to heal the terrible race relations between Indians and whites in South Dakota by proclaiming a year when Indians and whites could visit each other and talk about their problems, their differences and their commonalities, in essence a Year of Reconciliation.
Those 100 years passed without constructive action by any of the white media because they did not have a vested interest in what happens on the nine Indian reservations in the state. It may not have been because of racial prejudice on their part, but more than likely it was because they just didn’t give a damn. Indians were out of sight and out of mind.
Last week South Dakota was the only state in the Union to celebrate Native American Day as an official state holiday. The day became a holiday because the editor and staff of a small, weekly newspaper called The Lakota Times, based on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, pushed Governor George Mickelson and the state legislators with countless editorials into making it happen.
It took a man named Lynn Hart, a man of mixed racial heritage, half black and half Indian, to stand before the body of legislators in Pierre, S. D., and read one of the many editorials written by me to that body of lawmakers urging them to create a Native American Day to honor all Native Americans in the state.
It has been 16 years since this happened and it has been 16 years since Gov. Mickelson wrote a letter to the Lakota Times telling our readers that he would accept my challenge to create a Native American Day and to proclaim a Year of Reconciliation between Indians and whites. Both actions set precedents and both actions happened because the editor and staff of the Lakota Times fought tooth and nail to make it happen. We had a vested interest in our future.
Gov. Mickelson was killed in a tragic plane crash before he could really put the state efforts behind reconciliation or the holiday in motion, but he was big enough to say that neither event would have happened without the consistent urging of the editor and staff of the Lakota Times. Gov. Mickelson was my friend and he visited with me two weeks before his death and we talked about how we could make reconciliation work. Since his death not one single state governor or legislator has had the guts to pick up the flag of reconciliation and run with it.
If one was a visitor to South Dakota last week one would never know the history of Native American Day by watching local television or reading the editorials in the largest newspapers in the state. That’s because the South Dakota media executives apparently believe that the Lakota people do not have the intelligence to make anything positive happen in this state. In their minds, the only reason these good things occurred is because a white man was there to get it done. These white media has usurped the success of Native American Day, a holiday initiated by Indians, by rewriting history to make it an event initiated by whites.
At this stage in my life I really do not care who gets credit for these events, but I totally resent and reject the arrogance of the white media in this state because they would push the Indian people that instigated Native American Day and the Year of Reconciliation totally out of the picture and give 100 percent of the credit to a white governor who would not have enacted either policy if he had not been pushed to do so by Native Americans.
Neither Gov. Mickelson nor the media in this State had reason to consider Columbus Day a bad holiday. They loved Columbus Day because they believed that they would not be here enjoying the fruits of America if not for him. As Indians, we saw it differently. Columbus was not one of our heroes because he was largely responsible for bringing the hordes of settlers to this continent that resulted in the near annihilation of all Native Americans. We had a clear and definite reason to ask the governor to cancel Columbus Day and replace it with Native American Day.
As Indian citizens of this State we are sick and tired of being considered irrelevant when great events are created that advance the positive aspects of South Dakota that eventually lead to improving race relations. As the states largest minority we have been discriminated against in those 100 years while the state media sat on their hands and said nothing. We are proud that a small, Indian owned weekly newspaper accomplished in one year what the white owned media behemoths failed to do in 100 years.
As Lakota people we had a vested interest in improving our lot in this state that was once known as the Mississippi of the North. Our small efforts helped to turn the tide of racial discrimination and opened the doors of dialogue between Indians and whites and we accept this major achievement with pride.
The Lakota Times did in one year what the rest of the media in South Dakota failed to do in 100 years. And now we ask this same white media not to push us to the sidelines as if our contributions to Native American Day and the Year of Reconciliation were irrelevant. We stood tall and fought for the changes you now celebrate, changes that would not have happened even to this day if it had not been for the staff and editor of the Lakota Times.
Finally the Bennet-freeze area will have the ban lifted.U.S. govt. stepped in 30-40 yrs. ago to "help" settle land disputes.The freeze on building created bad blood and suffering for all in the area.Families unable to repair a roof or window were sleeping in their trucks.Any repairs and the Hopi police were out to stop Navajo peoples.Once good neighbors & with intermarriages,there was no longer the sharing of grazing lands etc.
This measure was meant to be a short temporary one.The area now has lost many of it's elders and their stories.Families moved to bordering towns,grandmothers were sleeping in large cardboard pampers boxes for shelter.I beleive Nov. 7th or 17th the ban is finally lifted.
Navajo farmers and Navajo President has exercised their right as a soveirgn nation.They will be doing business & selling food to Cuba.
There is 50% unemployment rate within the Navajo Nation.
Gangs & drugs have found their way to remote areas.Elders are afraid and often robbed of their monthly checks.
The toolman coming in from Gallup on 1st Mesa (for any folks living there) is bringing drugs & alcohol under the big oak tree.Send him on his way!!He truly brings bad medicine.
Until he is taken care of,there will be no more trips from this woman to bring kibble for the locals to feed their animals or the strays.
Navajo Nation has plans for four casinos to benefit the tribe.It helps with education as one example,brings locals jobs.It also brings other sorts of "issues" with the decision.
The fake snow on the slopes-is The sacred peaks or San Francisco Peaks.Considered sacred holy land this fake snow insults mother earth and the tribal cultures.We live at the base on the back side of these peaks.Consider emailing the good mayor,Joe Donaldson or contact tribal govt. to see if there is anything you can do to help.
Due to years of drought,there is little snow to even keep the ski lifts open.There is plenty of environmentally friendly business to invite investors to choose the city of Flagstaff.Instead they are penalized and choose Prescott or other areas in Az. that will welcome the jobs,commerce and offer tax incentives.
Instead,they choose predatory actions on the native populations.
Uranium has YET to be cleaned up.Some is right by the Little Colorado River!
Animals graze,drink-not to mention people and what farmers may grow.
What also happens in "clusters" is that a generation from a particular area may bring children in for medical attention.Some born with no ears in "clusters"We don't see that in local papers!
Peabody co. is draining & using much precious water for their mining.
Sacred pools are drying up.They have not given families their 'truckloads' of coal for winter either.Elders and children are cold.I have no idea how they managed to renew their contract on the rez.
Just a few tidbits to ponder...
As a non-native I do not presume to know the details-I do see the results!
David Melmer Indian Country -- Dorothy Firecloud Dorothy Firecloud
DEVILS TOWER, Wyo. - Dorothy Firecloud is the first American Indian woman to become the superintendent at the nation's first-ever national monument, Devils Tower.
The path she took to get there was not easy, but does hold great hope for others who have similar backgrounds and help.
Firecloud, Lakota, grew up on a near-destitute location in White River, S.D., on the Rosebud Reservation, where young people still see little hope for a future.
She lived with her grandparents in a one-room house with no electricity and no running water until age 9. She lost her mother in an automobile accident, after which she was shuffled from one family to another by the social services system. She and her sister spent some time at St. Francis Mission School on the Rosebud Reservation, where they were treated well by one of the nuns and a social worker. Firecloud then was placed with a good and caring Rosebud family.
She had good Lakota teachers: her grandparents.
''I remember lying in the living room [of her grandparent's home], a kerosene lamp for light, and I listened to the elders talk. It was the most comfortable time of my life,'' she said.
''My grandmother told me stories of the spirits; it was a way of keeping us under control.''
It may have been the spirits that guided her through life.
One of her life's lucky times, she said, occurred when she and some young people drove to Minneapolis; her friends left her there, alone. She then met up with a woman who she now calls mother: a probation officer named Melissa Tappio whose family came from Pine Ridge. Tappio still plays an important role in her life.
Firecloud attended a Bemidji, Minn., community college and watched as her friend, who became her sister, attended law school in Minneapolis. Tappio is foster mother to both.
She attended school in Albuquerque and worked in a law firm that specialized in Indian law and water rights. She said that helped her get interested in law.
''I thought if non-Indians can do it, so can I.''
She then earned a law degree from the University of New Mexico and passed that state's bar exam.
''I am the first Indian woman attorney from White River,'' she said.
Firecloud worked for the BIA as a water rights specialist and was detailed three times to Washington, D.C., in the office of Indian affairs. She then moved over to the National Forest Service and became a tribal liaison for water rights.
She also served with an all-women's forest service group at the Tlingit community of Hoonah in Alaska, and then was appointed to as deputy supervisor of the Black Hills National Forest.
''I made the comment that I wanted to go the Black Hills, and that opportunity became available.''
She said mentors continued to open doors for her and offer her opportunities, and she took advantage. She served as deputy of the Black Hills National Forest for eight months before she was appointed superintendent at Devils Tower, which is part of the National Park Service.
Moving from one agency to another with a promotion to the position of superintendent is very rare, she said.
Firecloud said she follows the Lakota beliefs. She participates in sweats and is also a pipe carrier. A pipe that was given to her at age 25, on the day she quit alcohol, has sustained her non-drinking life. She said her goal is to learn the Lakota language. Her grandparents spoke Lakota at home, but she never continued the practice.
Firecloud has lived in Arizona with the Zuni; in Alaska; in Washington, D.C.; in Albuquerque; and now again in South Dakota. Her youngest son, Sean, has made the journey with her.
''Sean thinks he is the deputy superintendent [at Devils Tower],'' Firecloud said.
''I tell kids they are lucky to be Indian. There is a connection to the Earth and Indian people feel it.
''I love being Indian.''
Firecloud wants to mentor youth much as she was mentored. She plans to teach youth from the various reservations to meet visitors at the monument and talk about their culture. Her plans, she said, are to erect a tipi at the monument and give youth a chance to interact with people from all over the world.
Firecloud's office, located within sight of the tower, is surrounded by ponderosa pine and other flora in a biodiverse area that includes plenty of wildlife. Much of the wildlife can be seen strolling past her office window.
''It is extra-special that I am here. I am at one of the most beautiful sites in the world, and I get paid for it,'' she said.
Firecloud is trusted with protecting a site that is sacred to many of the tribes that call the northern Plains their homelands.
A White Mountain Apache man is arrested in connection with a series of rapes on the Fort Apache Reservation in Arizona. 29-year-old Jimi Aday was taken into custody on Friday, according to the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The BIA says Aday has been charged with kidnapping and aggravated sexual contact. The BIA Task Force is still investigating.
The lack of dental care among Native people is causing problems, especially for those living in rural areas. That's an issue an Alaska Native leader raised at the National Indian Health Board Conference. The conference wrapped up in Denver, Colorado, on Friday. For many Native people, tooth decay is a major health problem.
A strong police presence at a rally in Ontario, Canada, helps keep the peace. A land dispute by Native people and the Canadian government has spurred several protests by Natives and non-Natives. Over the weekend, police kept the two sides apart at the rally held by non-Native people.
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October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Kathryn Coe is the Director of Shared Services for Special Populations with the Arizona Cancer Center. She says 10 years ago, Native American women had the lowest rates, but breast cancer is becoming more common. Coe says early detection can help save lives.
A two year inquiry into the death of a Native protestor in Ontario, Canada, more than 10 years ago, just recently wrapped up. His brother sat through months and months of testimony. He says now there's a sense of closure.
A Wisconsin man is spending prison time after posing as a bio-warfare expert and former federal official. He's serving time for defrauding the Lac du Flambeau Tribe.
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Ohio Representative Bob Ney formally accepts a plea agreement in federal court. He pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy and making false statements. Ney admitted to taking money, gifts and favors in return for official actions on behalf of Jack Abramoff and his clients. Abramoff and his associates bilked tribes out of millions of dollars.
A public siren in a Nevada town is the object of a race relations debate between Native Americans and non-Natives. Minden is located south of Carson City. The siren was originally used to warn Native Americans to get off the streets.
Tobacco cessation programs in Indian Country are often looked at last, says an attendee at the National Indian Health Board Conference in Denver, Colorado. According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among American Indians and Alaska Natives. And tobacco use is a major risk factor for the disease. An Alaska Native leader says there's a need for more programs to reduce recreational tobacco use.
Many Montanans, including Native Americans, want federal plans to stop oil and gas drilling on the Rocky Mountain Front wrapped up. A bill to protect the Front has been approved by a Senate committee, but it still needs further action. The legislation has to be finished by the end of the year, or the bill will die.
Tribal groups in Southeast Alaska are suing the state to block aerial spraying of herbicides on a remote island. The area is used by Alaska Natives to gather subsistence foods. A Native-owned corporation recently won a state spraying permit.
The state of drinking water for First Nations communities is a national disgrace, according to a new report. The report by an environmental group shows Canada needs national drinking water standards because testing and treatment regulations vary greatly across the country. Aboriginal people and other Canadians are at risk of developing waterborne illness.
A new campaign featuring personal stories from tobacco users is set to air on national television and radio. It's all in an effort to get other people to quit. The National Cancer Institute, the Department of Health and Human Services and other agencies are targeting youth. Jason Swant is a Health Educator with the Montana Tobacco Youth Prevention Program. Swant says they're encouraging everyone to get involved and particularly Native Americans. Now through October 27, 2006, people interested in the challenge can call 1-800-QUIT-NOW. The successful quitters of this challenge will be announced in February.
The Navajo Nation is declaring a State of Emergency for the western portion of its reservation. An extreme storm impacted residents living in and around Tuba City, Arizona. Sgt. Dempsey Harvey with the Navajo Department of Law Enforcement says assessments are currently underway. During yesterday's storm, residents reported seeing a tornado, but Sgt. Harvey says that has not been confirmed by the National Weather Service. The tribe is expected to get help from county officials and the Red Cross.
Jim Prentice, Canada's Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs says divorce laws on reserves need to change. He says there needs to be equalized property rights, because Aboriginal women and children are being impacted.
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Key advocates with the Tribal Supreme Court Project are meeting at the National Congress of American Indians Convention this week. The project aims to protect the rights of Native Americans.
Many tribes across the country are seeking control over environmental issues on their reservations, rather than having the federal government over see them. The Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa wants to set its own water quality standards. The Wisconsin tribe is making its case to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
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Secretary of the Interior, Dirk Kempthorne says resolution to the Indian trust lawsuit should be mutually acceptable. Kempthorne made the comments during the opening remarks at the National Congress of American Indians Convention. It's underway in Sacramento, California.
Alaska Native leaders are tackling several important issues facing villages in Southeast, Alaska. They're meeting this week in Hoonah, a Tlingit village west of Juneau. Subsistence living is at the top of the agenda.
The 63rd Annual National Congress of American Indians Convention begins in California. People from across the country are meeting this week in Sacramento. Get-out-the-vote in Indian Country is among the issues being addressed at the convention.
Minimum wage workers in Michigan are getting a nearly $2.00 an hour raise this week. The federal minimum wage is $5.15 per hour. The increase is the first of three that will take place over the next two years under legislation signed by Michigan's governor. One Michigan tribe is responding to the wage increase by matching it.
South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson says Indian tribes can use Federal Emergency Management Agency trailers. Nearly 10,000 housing trailers are sitting at an airport in Hope, Arkansas. The trailers were intended to be sent to the Gulf Coast to help Hurricane Katrina survivors. On Friday, Congress approved a homeland security spending bill with the provision allowing FEMA to sell or donate the trailers. According to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, about 90,000 Native American families are homeless or under-housed.
KYLE — A respected spiritual leader who taught the Lakota language to hundreds of students on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation has died.
John Around Him, 64, died at his home near Kyle Wednesday night after a battle with bone cancer. A relative said his cancer was diagnosed when doctors ran tests related to pre-existing heart problems.
“I think he was one of the most respected spiritual leaders on the reservation,” Oglala Lakota College president Tom Short Bull said. Around Him has taught Lakota language at the college for three years.
“We as Lakota people do not do enough to recognize and give appreciation to people who are contemporary heroes to us,” Short Bull said. “And that’s what I see John as being, one of the heroes of this reservation.”
Around Him was honored last month when Gov. Mike Rounds declared Aug. 28 as “John Around Him Day” in South Dakota.
Around Him, who spoke Lakota as his first language, had a long relationship with Little Wound School in Kyle, where he worked as a bus driver and served on a Parent Advisory Committee before beginning his work as a language teacher.
Matilda Montileaux, a second-grade teacher and language teacher who worked closely with Around Him, said he taught elementary, middle school and high school students over the years. He gave opening prayers at school functions, announced for powwows and helped start a youth drum group, Eagle Mountain Drum Group.
“They were young boys then, and now, they basically have families of their own,” Montileaux said. “And they’re still singing.”
Around Him did extensive work with Indian inmates in South Dakota prisons, trying to help them maintain their connection to culture and heritage. He offered pipe and sweat-lodge ceremonies to Indian inmates, who comprise 24 percent of the state’s prison population, according to state officials. Around Him also did cultural-awareness training for prison staff.
Short Bull said Around Him also worked with at-risk youth.
“He helped so many young people who were having difficult times, going through the Lakota traditional ceremonies to help straighten their lives out,” he said.
“He was a very good counselor,” added Montileaux, who is also Around Him’s niece. “I don’t know if he knew that he had those abilities.”
Around Him also held sundances for years in honor of his father and wife.
Those who knew him say his passing is a big loss for Lakota people.
“In terms of him being here physically, it’s a major loss,” Montileaux said. “But I think what he has taught us, we should be able to use to carry on. Basically it’s up to us to carry on the teachings. Not just about the language, but about life in general.”
Short Bull said Around Him had stepped up to fill a void when longtime Lakota language instructor Calvin Jumping Bull died last year. Jumping Bull had given songs and prayers at OLC graduations for years.
“Now, the issue is who is going to come and fill the void that John has left,” Short Bull said. “Hopefully, someone will step forward, but we’re really losing a lot of really good people on this reservation.”
Around Him was honored by South Dakota officials last month for his work with state prison inmates. At the time, he said he didn’t know when he would be called home, “but I want you to continue on with my work.
“The students, they all need to learn,” Around Him told listeners. “They will carry on, they will learn the words and the songs.”
Around Him, a Vietnam veteran, was active in the American Legion Post No. 265.
Native Issues in Courts/Congress September 21, 2006 6:45 PM
One thing i do know is that this article is correct in many ways. Using waste water to "make snow" has a very yellow tinge in my mind and i Personally would be concerned about health and safety issues . Uranium minning has been going on here on the Navajo Land for a while; the age people are living to i have no knowlage of-- However the health care here on the Navajo is "one step below jungle medacine" since i have both recieved care and worked within the system as well. Indian Health services are a Part of the Public Health services which is "run" by the Dept of the Navy. Sure hope our soldiers get better care than here on the rez. Diane/az
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In New Mexico's historic uranium beltway, environmentalists are meeting in the Pueblo of Acoma. They're looking at ways to solve problems linked to mineral mining. Many advocates are raising concerns that directly impact Indian Country.
A study recently released by Harvard University shows people on South Dakota's nine reservations have some of the shortest life spans in the United States. The average age is 66-years. A tribal health official say life expectancy among Natives in the state won't improve without more health care funding.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Nearly a thousand First Nations people are evacuated due to dozens of fires burning in northern Ontario, Canada. Fire Manager Jeff Gadury says four First Nations communities are surrounded by the blazes. Gadury says the heavy smoke is creating havoc for firefighters, rescue teams and residents.
The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs approves the nomination of Carl Artman to be the Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Artman is a member of the Oneida Tribe in Wisconsin. His nomination now moves to the full Senate.
A bill to alter the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act fails to pass in the House. One lawmaker argued it challenged tribal sovereignty.
A battle to protect a Native sacred site goes before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals today in San Francisco, California. Tribes want to stop a ski resort in northern Arizona from using waste water for snowmaking.
Mohawk ironworkers remember September 11, 2001, on the fifth anniversary of the attacks. Michael Swamp is the Business Manager for Ironworkers of Local 440 in Utica, New York. Swamp says Mohawk ironworkers from New York and Canada knew right away they needed to go to ground zero. With a van full of boots, hats, gloves, water and other supplies they arrived at the scene two weeks after the attacks. Swamp says it was shocking. About 20 Mohawk ironworkers helped in the clean-up efforts. George Norton is one of them. He's from the Kahnawake Reserve in Canada, which is about a seven hour drive away from New York City. Norton is a foreman with the Local 40 Ironworkers. He says he was appointed by his union as a crane foreman in the clean-up. Norton was at ground zero today and was one of thousands of people who attended a ceremony at the site. He says five years later, it's still hard to forget. There are generations of Mohawk ironworkers who are renowned for being unafraid to walk on the high beams. In the 1960's, Mohawks from Canada and New York helped build the World Trade Center.
It is being billed as the largest water diversion plan in the United States in a century, and the hearings begin today. The Southern Nevada Water Authority says the massive water diversion is needed to support the expected influx of one-million new people to Las Vegas. That doesn't sit will with Virginia Sanchez, a Duckwater Shoshone who says the tribe feels a duty to speak up. Sanchez says the growth of Las Vegas threatens to sacrifice large parts of rural Nevada, leaving a barren zone. Sanchez says the diversion plan threatens to turn rural Nevada into a sacrifice zone, the same way the Duckwater Reservation was put at risk during nuclear weapons testing back in the 1950's. The hearings will take several weeks and are expected to focus on the authorities' claim that they would divert only excess water, while opponents say there is no excess.
Wednesday, September 6, 2006
President Bush says there are continuing terrorist threats to the nation. The President issued the warnings during his speech yesterday, which came just hours after the White House released an updated plan for fighting terrorism. Ed Wilson is the Veterans Affairs Coordinator for the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes in Oklahoma. Wilson says people should pay attention to the President's timing when he talks about terrorist threats. The President spoke about the war on terrorism less than a week before the fifth anniversary of the September 11th attacks.
More than one-thousand tribal leaders and government officials are in Bismarck this week for the United Tribes Intertribal Council Summit. They're addressing several issues impacting tribes.
According to a new study, people underestimate the number of calories in fast-food which can lead to weight gain. Being over weight or obese is a problem among many Native Americans. Marcia Roper is a Registered Dietician and Diabetes Educator with the Indian Health Council in California. Roper says fast-food doesn't have to be excluded from your diet. Roper says learning nutritional facts is the best way to maintaining a healthy weight. A tribal college in North Dakota is not only benefiting Native students, but the local economy as well. The United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck had a 47-million dollar impact on surrounding communities last year. The school's President, Dr. David Gipp says the school is in its 37th year and continues to expand.
Monday, September 4, 2006
Victims of domestic violence in Southeast Alaska have a new safe haven. The Sitka Tribe, along with 12 local partners, received 1 of 15 grants nationwide to open the facility. The Sitka Family Justice Center is the only one in the state and will be a model for other rural and tribal communities.
When Congress redesigned the country's welfare system ten years ago it made a special provision for Native Americans. Tribes across the country use funds to develop and implement their own welfare programs.
Friday, September 1, 2006
Today we wrap up our special five part series on the damage from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. One year later there's still a lot of rebuilding. One of the most difficult questions people face is whether to rebuild or move on. The decision is no different among Native people south of New Orleans. Education may hold the key to survival for bayou tribes.
Tribal leaders and educators urge lawmakers to help preserve Native languages. Yesterday, a field hearing on the issue was held by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. More than 150 people attended the hearing in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The committee will take testimonies to Capitol Hill, when the House reconvenes next week.
The threat of hurricanes is nothing new to tribal communities in the gulf coast. Over the decades, storms have intensified, taking its toll on the way of life among many Native people who depend on the land and sea to survive. In part four of our special five part hurricane series, reporter Jenni Monet explains a once booming fishing industry surrounded by lush livable land is now at the mercy of Mother Nature.
A Montana legislative committee says it doesn't want to seek new accountability standards. The standards would monitor how funds are spent teaching Native American history. The law "Indian Education for All" has been in place since the early 70's but was just funded for the first time last year.
One year ago today, Hurricane Katrina shocked the nation with her strength and devastation. In our special five-part series reporter Jenni Monet takes us on the road through the United Houma Nation in Louisiana on a furniture distribution drive with Mission Native America. Tomorrow, we look at how the hurricane may impact the tribe's fight for federal recognition.
Tribal operations in Florida are closed today as they brace for Tropical Storm Ernesto. Both the Seminole and Miccosukee tribes are located in the southern part of the state. Seminole Emergency Manager, Curt Sommerhoff says they're prepared for the worst conditions. They're advising tribal members to be self sufficient for at least three days with food, water and supplies. The tribe has issued mandatory evacuations for special needs people and has set up shelters. Schools and tribal offices will also be closed tomorrow. Ernesto is expected to hit the state this evening.
Monday, August 28, 2006
Today we begin our special five-part series on Native Nations impacted by Hurricane's Katrina and Rita one year after the devastating storms. An estimated 10-thousand Native people lost their homes and possessions. Jenni Monet traveled to the region and reports on the many challenges Natives in Louisiana still face. Tomorrow, we take a look at people in Indian Country who continue to help the southern Louisiana tribes.
An Athabascan and Inupiaq man is appointed to the Federal Subsistence Board. Alaska Native leaders wanted a say in the selection of the new Chairperson, but didn't get a chance to give their input because of the fast government appointment.
Tribal officials and Native American landowners are weighing on the proposed settlement by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee to the Cobell vs. Kempthorne Indian trust lawsuit. Staff members from the committee are traveling around the country to gather comments on the Indian Trust Reform Act of 2005. This month they've traveled to Washington State and Arizona. Tomorrow, they'll be in Rapid City, South Dakota. Senator John McCain, the committee chairman, is expected to introduce the settlement to Congress next month. Lead plaintiff, Eloise Cobell, filed the class-action lawsuit more than 10-years ago over the mismanagement of Indian trust accounts by the federal government.
A Wisconsin school board is asking a tribe for help in its fight with the state to keep its high school's Indian nickname. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction wants all schools with Native American mascots and logos to change them.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
This year's monsoon season hits the State of New Mexico hard. Officials in the state are keeping an eye on the forecast, including the Mescalero Apache Police Chief. The tribe is located in the southern part of the state about 20 miles from the City of Ruidoso. Chief William Mitchell, Jr. says flash floods are the main concern. Not only can a person get caught in the current but debris from flash floods can be harmful. More thunderstorms are in the forecast for southern New Mexico today.
A federal appeals court is upholding a judge's ruling that redraws the boundaries of three South Dakota legislative districts. The new districts will give more Native Americans a chance to be elected to legislative positions.
Talks will resume between Aboriginal leaders and the Canadian government over a land dispute in southern Ontario. Yesterday, an appeal panel ruled there was no legal basis to stop negotiations. Earlier this month, a Superior Court judge said there would be no further talks until Native protesters ended their occupation. Since February, Native protesters have occupied the construction site in Caledonia. The protesters say the land was wrongly taken away from them by the Crown more than 200 years ago.
While thousands of people in El Paso are being evacuated, the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo is safe for now from flooding. The Texas tribe is located south east of the city. The tribe has opened its Community Wellness Center for evacuees and National Guard Troops. The tribe has two communities near the Rio Grand River. The river is swollen from the rain and can overflow at any time. Texas officials are working with authorities in Mexico to monitor the dam. More rain is in the forecast for El Paso.
Dozens of tribal leaders from across the country are in Santa Fe, New Mexico for the two-day Tribal Leaders' Conference on Homeland Security and Domestic Preparedness. Dan Martinez is the Fire Chief and Emergency Management Services Coordinator for the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs in Oregon. Martinez says in emergency situations government agencies need to work side by side with tribes and recognize tribal sovereignty. Among the topics on today's agenda, tribal leaders will discuss global disaster information.
Alaska Governor Frank Murkowski signs a law aimed at reducing colon cancer rates. The legislation mandates that state-regulated insurance plans cover colorectal cancer screenings. Alaska Natives have the highest rate of colon cancer than any other population in the United States. Health officials say preventative measures like early screening can help reduce that number. Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium Chairman and President Don Kashevaroff says the legislation will help supplement an already tight health care budget. Alaska is the 19th state in the nation to require colon cancer screening coverage.
The Senate Indian Affairs Committee narrowly approves the Lumbee Recognition Act. Republican North Carolina Senators Elizabeth Dole and Richard Burr face a battle to get the bill passed.
A wildfire burning on the east side of Glacier National Park is threatening tribal lands and logging interests. The Red Eagle Fire has consumed 25-thousand acres.
Hundreds of Indigenous leaders gather for the Summit of Nations at Bear Butte. They're discussing the protection of sacred sites.
President Bush intents to nominate Carl Artman to Assistant Secretary of the Interior for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The announcement came from the White House yesterday. Artman is a member of the Oneida Nation in Wisconsin. He currently serves as Associate Solicitor for the Indian Affairs Department. Prior the position Artman worked for the Oneida Nation as Chief Council. The Bureau of Indian Affairs says it's looking for a rapid confirmation of Artman. The position of Assistant Secretary has been vacant for a year and a half since Dave Anderson resigned. No word on when a formal nomination will be made.
The Senate Indian Affairs Committee pulled a bill from consideration that would offer a settlement in the Cobell vs. Kempthorne lawsuit. Republican Arizona Senator John McCain says he is committed to delivering a settlement.
No new date yet for a second run-off election to decide who will be chairman of the Red Lake Nation in Minnesota. The tribe's election board overturned the results of the July 19th run-off election between Floyd Jourdain and Judy Roy. According to the Associated Press, there were allegations that Jourdain tried to buy votes and misused tribal funds and privileges. Campaign season was tense this year following the 2005 fatal shootings on the reservation and scathing drug trafficking charges publicized earlier this year.
The Wisconsin Attorney General says methamphetamine use and trafficking is down in the state. But that's not the case for tribes. Officials are troubled by high rates of meth production and usage on reservations.
The heat wave continues across the country. In Oklahoma, temperatures have been in the triple digits in many areas of the state. In Stillwater, temperatures reached 103 degrees yesterday. The Iowa Tribe is about 20 miles south of Stillwater. Linda BigSoldier, Vice Chairman of the tribe says they've been feeling the heat. BigSoldier says the tribe is taking steps to make sure its members are safe from the heat. Oklahoma may get some relief, as a cold front is expected to hit the state this week.
First Nations leaders from Manitoba, Canada testify before a government panel about their struggles to access clean drinking water. The Manitoba Keewatinook Ininew Okimowin or MKO represents 30 communities. MKO Grand Chief Sydney Garrioch says the struggle for clean water has been going on for 20 years. The government panel will gather comments from First Nations and present the findings to the minister next month.
Some Native American leaders feel tribal languages are in jeopardy. The President of the National Indian Education Association says Congress can help revive Native languages.
Monday, July 31, 2006
As President Bush visits the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida today, one Florida tribe says it's well prepared this season. The Seminole Tribe has communities across the state. The tribe's Emergency Manager Curt Sommerhoff says when a storm approaches they get on a conference call with several agencies, including the National Hurricane Center. Sommerhoff says they're constantly on the lookout especially in August. While tribal members brace for upcoming hurricanes, some tribal buildings are still being repaired from last year.
The nation wide heat wave is adding fuel to wildfires. More than 40 Bureau of Indian Affairs fire fighters from Nevada are battling blazes in three states. BIA Fire Manager Stan Heinrichs says a heat wave isn't helping the 180,000 acre fire in the far eastern part of Nevada. While Nevada may see cooler temperatures this week, the rest of the nation still faces record setting temperatures.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services wants to know what critical health issues are facing American Indian women. Department officials gathered information during a listening session at the United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck, North Dakota. The information will be used to develop a Minority Women's Health Summit.
Our first story comes from Alaska, where Inuit people from around the world gathered in Barrow for the Inuit Circumpolar Conference. Student Journalist Barbara John reports about the conference returning to the village for the first time since it was formed there nearly thirty years ago. Barbara John is Athabascan and Yupik. She's a 16-year-old student with the MEDIAK program in Anchorage.
Our second story is from Cherokee, North Carolina, where the annual meeting for the North American Indian Women's Association was recently held. It was created in 1970 and promotes the well being of North American Indians. Student Journalist Kaitlin Blaylock reports about Marcella Le Beau, a Lakota woman, who's a founder of NAIWA. La Beau will soon be recognized for a lifetime of achievement. Kaitlin Blaylock is a 10th grader and a student with the Cherokee Youth in Radio Program. She's a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
President Bush signs legislation to extend the Voting Rights Act for 25 more years. Many tribes like the Navajo Nation made efforts to get the legislation passed. Leila Help-Tulley with the tribe's Office of the Speaker says they gathered thousands of letters from Navajos who support the Act. The letters were then sent to Congressional members. Among other benefits, the language provision in the Voting Rights Act protects the use of tribal languages at the polls.
Lawmakers approve legislation on "reservation shopping." Nearly two decades ago, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was passed. Since then, some tribes have expanded casino enterprises to lands off the reservation. Some lawmakers want to regulate that practice.
The Potawatomi Tribe is turning some of its casino profits into alternative fuels and bio technology businesses. The tribe is investing in more non-gaming businesses.
Red Lake Chairman Floyd Buck Jourdain is facing Secretary Judy Roy in a runoff election today. The general election was held in May. In that election, Jourdain received 47-percent of the votes and Roy 29-percent. Neither candidate won 50-percent of the vote required to win. The May elections were the first since tribal member Jeff Weise shot and killed nine people before taking his own life on the Chippewa reservation in Minnesota last year.
Cecilia Fire Thunder is ousted once again as President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. A tribal judge reinstated Fire Thunder and later reversed the decision.
Inuit leaders promote unity and address challenges and rights of Indigenous people at the Inuit Circumpolar Conference. The ICC represents Inuit people of Alaska, Greenland, Russia and Canada. 72-delegates from the Inuit nations gathered for the conference in Barrow, Alaska. Other Inuit issues addressed during the four day conference included climate changes, hunting and whaling rights. The conference drew nearly 1,000 people.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
More than 700 people are taking part in the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Disparities Summit in Bethesda, Maryland. About a dozen tribal representatives are meeting with researchers, doctors and community advocates to network and discuss ways to reduce death rates in tribal communities. Native Americans in the northern plains region and Natives in Alaska have the highest rates of cancer. People looking for more information can call the National Cancer Institute's toll free number 1-800-4-Cancer.
The State of Montana is looking for ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A Northern Cheyenne man says he'll work to include cultural sensitivity in the state's energy policies.
Monday, July 17, 2006
Space shuttle Discovery lands at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Discovery and its crew ended a 13-day mission to space safely, three yeas after the fatal Columbia accident. John Harrington, the first Native American to fly in space, is a veteran of the National Aeronautics Space Administration's 2002 mission. Harrington, a Chickasaw tribal member, says NASA has identified many safety issues
The Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma says it's making progress in its land claim efforts in Ohio. The tribe wants to return to the state and eventually operate Ohio's first Native American casino.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court reaffirms the rights of tribes to operate casinos in the state. Owners of the Dairyland Greyhound Track sued the state over the legality of Indian casinos in Wisconsin.
Judge Royce Lamberth is removed from the historic Indian trust case Cobell vs. Kempthorne and the Interior Department will be allowed to connect to the internet again. The U.S. Court of Appeals handed down the decisions yesterday. Keith Harper, Class Counsel, Kilpatrick Stockton Law Firm says the court interpreted some of Lamberth's findings as bias. It's rare in a civil action to remove a Judge from the case. Lead Plaintiff Eloise Cobell says she'll continue her fight for justice. Department of Interior officials and Judge Lamberth were unavailable for comment.
Members of the Assembly of First Nations will elect a new leader today. Tribal leaders will cast their ballots at the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Center, in Vancouver, British Columbia. Two men are competing for National Chief. Phil Fontaine from the Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba is the incumbent. Fontaine is running for a third term. His opponent is Bill Wilson of the Cape Mudge First Nation in British Columbia. The national organization represents First Nations people. There are more than 630 First Nation communities in Canada. Results from the election are expected later today.
Lumbee tribal leaders are testifying before the Senate Indian Affairs Committee today. The North Carolina tribe is seeking full federal recognition status. In 1956, Congress passed legislation that grated the tribe recognition but denied the benefits of other federally recognized tribes such as education, economic development and health care. That legislation also prohibited the tribe from going through the Bureau of Indian Affairs to obtain full federal recognition status. This is the third time the tribe has testified before congressional leaders on the issue.
Tobacco will kill a billion people this century, according to public health officials. Two new reference guides chart the global tobacco use and cancer. Dr. Kenneth Chu is Chief of Disparities Research Branch Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities of the National Cancer Institute. Chu says Native Americans and Alaska Natives have the highest smoking rates among all racial groups. Jeremy McClain with the Wisconsin Native American Tobacco Network says tobacco is sacred among many tribes. McClain says tobacco is not to be used for recreation. People wishing to kick the smoking habit can visit the National Cancer Institute's website www.cancer.gov.
The Nez Perce Tribe is taking a new approach to improve racial tolerance in the workplace. The Idaho tribe already requires new employees to participate in classes on Nez Perce history and culture and is now requiring employees to attend diversity training. The tribe is taking this step because many employees are recruited from across the country.
More than 50 people from Virginia Indian tribes will travel to the English city where Pocahontas is buried. They are making the trip to Gravesend, about 26 miles from London, to participate in events commemorating the arrival of the English to Jamestown, Virginia. Chief Steven Adkins of the Chickahominy Tribe says it's time Natives had a voice in the commemoration. Tribal leaders, youth and elders will take part in cultural demonstrations, scholarly discussions and ceremonies throughout the week. They'll also attend a church service at St. Georges Cathedral the burial site of Pocahontas. Chief Adkins says they want substance in the events. They're also scheduled to meet with members of parliament.
Protesters occupying a construction site in southern Ontario, Canada say they'll stay put even with changes taking place. Henco Industries Limited was developing the subdivision in Caledonia. It sold the land to the Ontario Provincial Government last week. Protester Janie Jamison says despite this agreement they're not going anywhere. Members from the Six Nations have been occupying the site since February. Confederacy chiefs are still in talks with the government to resolve the issue.
Many athletes are returning home with medals they won at the North American Indigenous Games in Colorado. The City of Denver hosted thousands of Natives from across the country and Canada. Athletes competed in 16 different sports including golf, swimming and basketball. Athletes reflected on a week of tough competition at the closing ceremonies on Saturday.
Astronauts are conducting a second spacewalk today during Space Shuttle Discovery's stay at the International Space Station. The spacewalk started shortly after 8 o'clock eastern daylight time this morning. The 13-member crew has been in space for nearly a week. John Harrington, the first Native American to fly in space, is a veteran of the National Aeronautics Space Administration's 2002 mission. Harrington, a Chickasaw tribal member, conducted space walks during that mission. The Discovery crew received good news yesterday. NASA cleared the shuttle Discovery to return to earth. The astronauts are scheduled to return next week.
Some centers in the U.S. that recruit, train and support Native American medical students are losing federal funding due to cuts in Title-VII. The University of North Dakota's "Indians into Medicine" program is one of the centers facing major cuts by Congress. Title-VII funding makes up nearly half of the budget for the UND program.
More than two years ago this week, a five-year-old Aboriginal girl vanished from her hometown of Regina, Saskatchewan. The Tamra Keepnees case is still very much on the minds of people in the community. Her disappearance sparked the most comprehensive, massive search by the Regina police and the community. Erica Beaudin is Executive Director of the Saskatchewan First Nations Women's Commission. Beaudin says the community gathered yesterday for the little girl. Police are still investigating Tamra's case. A 25-thousand dollar reward is being offered for information leading directly to the discovery of Tamra.
Space Shuttle Discovery reaches its destination. Discovery docked with the International Space Station just before 11 o'clock eastern daylight time this morning. John Harrington, the first Native American to fly in space, is a veteran of the National Aeronautics Space Administration's 2002 mission. Harrington, a Chickasaw tribal member, says missions to space are very important. The purpose of the current space mission is to deliver supplies, equipment and a third expedition with 13-crew members to the station. The astronauts are scheduled to stay at the station until July 14th.
The North American Indigenous Games are underway in Denver, Colorado. The golf event started yesterday. It's a three day competition featuring 54-holes of stroke play. Jessica Dailleboust is one of the people competing in the golf event. She is Comanche and 18-years-old. Dailleboust says she thinks the exposure offered by the games will help her in her future goals. The games end on Saturday.
Fires are closing in on more Aboriginal communities in northern Saskatchewan, Canada. Smoke from a forest fire has prompted government officials to order the elderly and ill people to leave their homes. People from the La Plonge reserve were asked to leave yesterday. Residents from the Stanley Mission, Grandmother's Bay and Sucker River communities have already been evacuated. Many people are being housed in the community of La Ronge, which is about 140 miles north of Prince Albert. More than 100 fires are burning in northern Saskatchewan.
More than 100 fires are currently burning in Saskatchewan, Canada. Residents from the Stanley Mission, Grandmother's Bay and Sucker River communities have been evacuated, more than 1,000 people in all. The Prince Albert Grand Council, which represents 12 bands, is providing emergency services. Council member Richard Kent says dry weather conditions and lightning have sparked fires throughout the province. Kent says since the three communities are in remote forest areas, evacuation efforts have been challenging. People are being housed in the community of La Ronge, which is about 140 miles north of Prince Albert.
The swimming competition starts today at the North American Indigenous Games in Denver, Colorado. More than 100 people are participating in swimming events. Youth to elders are competing in 70 different events, including 14-year-old Raymond Montour. Montour is Gun Lake Potawatomi and Acoma. His mother Lisa Montour says she's very excited. Montour says Raymond will compete in three swimming events this week. She hopes swimming will stay with her son for a lifetime. The games end on Saturday.
Former U.S. Attorney Thomas Heffelfinger will serve Native American abuse victims in a new role. Heffelfinger was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Family Advocacy Center of Northern Minnesota. The center treats victims of abuse in 15 counties, which includes three reservations. Heffelfinger says the center is important. He is now in private practice at Best and Flanagan in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Today many people will celebrate the Fourth of July holiday with fireworks. On the Isabella reservation in central Michigan, competition between fireworks sellers has exploded. Fierce competition prompted the tribe to regulate the sale of fireworks by tribal members.
This is the second day of competition at the North American Indigenous Games in Denver, Colorado. Athletes competing in the games are also building a unified Indigenous sprit.
Researchers are wrapping up an expedition in Wisconsin, one of several states they're visiting to find evidence of Bigfoot. Despite a lack of scientific evidence that Bigfoot exists, many Native people have long spoken of such a being.
Researchers from Greenpeace, an international environmental organization, are visiting the Bering Sea this week. They will study the health of the marine ecosystem. The trip is also about rebuilding relationships with Alaska Natives. Many Aleuts remember the organization's protests against the Pribilof Islands' fur seal harvest in the late 1970's.
The North American Indigenous Games kicks off in Denver, Colorado. The opening ceremonies reflected not only the athletic spirit, it also included Native pride.
Native Voice One hits the airwaves with a successful launch. NV1 is a radio network that offers 24-hours of Native programming from public affairs to news and music. Burt Poley, NV1 Network Manager says the launch on Saturday went smoothly. NV1 is replacing AIROS, the American Indian Radio on Satellite, which will discontinue its distribution service. NV1 is a division of Koahanic Broadcast Corporation, which produces three national programs, including National Native News.
Tribal leaders want the Senate Indian Affairs Committee to put pressure on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Millions of dollars of block grants and loan guarantees are being withheld from tribal housing programs by HUD. HUD's decision to withhold money is due to a court ruling against the department. Tribal leaders say Native American housing programs are desperately seeking funds since HUD's freeze.
The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers is holding a series of public meetings to address concerns regarding a land transfer to a North Dakota tribe. Approximately 24,000 acres will be transferred to the Three Affiliated Tribes under a proposed plan. The tribe asked the department two years ago to assess the land transfer. Tribal Chairman Tex Hall says they are pleased with the proposal despite the opposition by the state of North Dakota. A public comment meeting will be held tonight at the Four Bears Casino in New Town, North Dakota. The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers will respond to public comments before the final proposal is made.
Tomorrow Independent Native News will broadcast its last program. The daily five-minute radio newscast focused on issues relating to Native Americans, Alaska Natives and First Nations people. KUAC in Fairbanks, Alaska has been producing INN since 2003. Robert Hannon, KUAC News and Public Affairs Director says production of the program will end July 1st. He says budget cuts are the reason for ending the program.
A week before the Fourth of July holiday a proposed flag amendment to the U.S. Constitution fails by a single vote. Yesterday's vote in the Senate would have prohibited the desecration of the U.S. flag. 67 votes were needed to send it to states for ratification, but it only received 66. Tribal leaders across the country have varying opinions about the amendment. Jeff Parker is the President of the Bay Mills Indian Community in upper Michigan. President Parker says Congress should spend its time on other matters. Some tribal leaders say they would support an amendment to protect the U.S. flag because of the high number of Native people in the U.S. military.
This is the final week of oral arguments for the U.S. Supreme Court's 2005 session. The justices will be writing opinions over the summer and will wrap up the session at the end of September. One Native American project is closely watching the rulings. The Tribal Supreme Court Project is a collaboration between the National Congress of American Indians and the Native American Rights Fund. Richard Guest with NARF oversees the project. He says tribes need to be aware of Supreme Court rulings in Indian Country and Indian law. There are several cases before the high court that will directly impact Indian Country.
Fish in the Spokane River are a little safer to eat. New data shows some chemical levels are decreasing in the fish. By federal law, the State of Washington has to meet PCB standards set by the Spokane Tribe. The tribe says the state still has a long way to go to meet its standards.
More than 20 fires are burning in Nevada and California. Bureau of Indian Affairs firefighters are battling many of the blazes. A ten person camp is fighting the Balls Canyon Fire which is burning about 10 miles north of Reno. The Balls Canyon Fire has burned more than 1,500 acres and is about 50 percent contained. So far, tribes in Nevada are safe. Meanwhile, in Arizona a fire on the San Carlos Apache Reservation is burning. Nearly 2,000 acres have burned since Saturday.
It's National HIV Testing Day. Health organizations are conducting HIV and AIDS outreach in their communities across the country. Since 1995, AIDS diagnosis among Native Americans and Alaska Natives is increasing faster than non-natives, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Barbara Johnson an Onondaga is the Community Educator for the HIV/AIDS program with the American Indian Community House in New York. Johnson, who's in Syracuse, will help raise awareness today. Johnson says it's important for all Native Americans to educate themselves. It's estimated that each year 40,000 people become infected with HIV in the United States.
A weekend of heavy rain creates problems for commuters in the Washington metropolitan area. The rain caused a mud slide over the Capital Beltway, a freeway which circles D.C. and suburbs in Maryland and Virginia, forcing its closure. The weather also disrupted train service and washed out roads. Many Native people live and work in the Washington metropolitan area. The National Weather Service has issued flash flood warnings for the Washington metropolitan areas with moderate to heavy showers. The weather service advises people not to drive into areas where water covers the roadway.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says mining waste found on the shore of a Washington lake poses little danger to the people who use it. Tribes in the region are not convinced of the government findings.
More information continues to surface in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. Emails between Jack Abramoff and Grover Norquist, a Washington lobbyist revealed that tribes and other foreign groups were asked to contribute $100,000 in order to meet with Washington officials, according to the Associate Press. Emails were obtained by the Associated Press, federal investigators and prosecutors. A recent report by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee shows Abramoff bilked six tribes out of millions of dollars.
CHEROKEE, N.C. - Cherokee runners carried flaming torches down a mountainside
at dawn Friday to the tribe's historic homeland and a reunion with members who
fled the Smoky Mountains nearly two centuries ago.
Both the Eastern Band Cherokee and the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee
Indians in Oklahoma trace their origins to the ancient city of Keetoowah, which
once stood a short distance from what is now a reservation for the Eastern
The joint council meeting Friday of their leaders, near a mound that is all
that remains of Keetoowah, was the first between the tribes.
"In our life, we rarely get that chance where we're able to do one thing for
our people," tribal elder Tom Belt told the runners. "This is that time. It is
not a small thing."
The Eastern Band, which numbers about 13,500 members, descends from Cherokees
who remained in western North Carolina after the rest of the tribe was removed.
The Keetoowah Cherokee, who fled the mountains in the late 1820s and also ended
up in Oklahoma, are known as the "Original Settlers" and count about 12,000
Cherokees descended from those who traveled the Trail of Tears compose the
much more populous Oklahoma Cherokee Nation.
Belt prayed in the Cherokee language with about eight Eastern Band runners -
boys, girls, young women and men - and reminded them that long ago the Cherokee
were told that their tribe would one day be separated and later made whole
Such ceremonies, Belt said, "are markers that tell us we are still one
The 8-mile torch run began at the site of an eternal flame that was kindled
in the 1950s. Cherokee officials say that fire can be traced to a flame that
Cherokees took with them when the U.S. government forced them out of the Smokies
in the late 1830s and marched the tribe along the Trail of Tears to what later
"It's our original site," said George Wickliffe, chief of the Keetoowah
Cherokee and leader of a delegation of about two dozen from the tribe's
headquarters in Tahlequah, Okla. "This is where we all come from, all of us. The
original fire still exists."
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed
The Senate Indian Affairs Committee releases its final report on lobbyist Jack Abramoff. The 357 page report names six tribes involved in the lobbying scandal. The report also reviews the five hearings the committee held on the matter and gives a number of recommendations for the court and tribes. Abramoff and his associates bilked tribes out of millions of dollars.
The Senate Indian Affairs Committee considers two bills to grant federal recognition to six Virginia tribes and one Michigan tribe. Tribal leaders from those states testified before the Senate committee yesterday.
Maori women are in Albuquerque, New Mexico this week to learn more about Indigenous businesses. The New Zealand women are taking part in the International Indigenous Business and Entrepreneurship Conference. Maori women often have trouble getting business loans.
Lawmakers continue to debate when to bring home troops from Iraq. Yesterday, Senate Democrats presented two plans for reducing the number of troops in Iraq. One plan calls to remove nearly all U-S troops by next July. The other plan would begin withdrawals this year without a deadline. Keith Heavyrunner works with a number of Native American veterans groups nationwide, including the National Native American Veteran's Memorial Project. He's a Vietnam veteran and member of the Blackfeet Nation. Many people in his family are veterans. In November his brother returned from duty in Iraq. Heavyrunner says he would like to see the troops come home. The Senate is expected to vote on both proposals today or tomorrow as Congress wraps up debate on the Defense Authorization Bill.
A teenager is sentenced for making threats against the Red Lake High School in Minnesota. U.S. District Judge Ann Montgomery sentenced the teenager yesterday. The teen admitted to making terroristic threats and will spend at least four months in a youth treatment center in Minnesota, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The teenager made the threats a few months ago causing the school to lock-down for the remainder of the school year. The threats came a little more than a year after the fatal shootings when 16-year-old Jeff Weise killed nine people on the Chippewa reservation and then took his own life. His cousin Louis Jourdain was arrested in connection with that case. Jourdain was tried and sentenced for his part. No information is being released about the most recent case because it's a juvenile matter.
The National Congress of American Indians mid year session is in full swing in Sault Saint Marie, Michigan. For the time, NCAI is bringing together tribal leadership with academic scholars and researchers to discuss tribal policy and law. Sarah Hicks, Director of NCAI's Policy Research Center says this exchange is important, as historically researchers have exploited tribal communities. Hicks says this trend is reversing and researchers are now more accountable to communities. NCAI says the exchange of ideas between tribal leadership and academics is important and it's a step to insure culturally appropriate research is conducted in tribal communities.
The new Secretary of the Interior Department addresses delegates at the National Congress of American Indians Mid Year Conference and Trade Show. Dirk Kempthrone spoke live via satellite from his office in Washington D.C. The theme of the mid year conference is "Culture and Commerce in the Era of Homeland Security." Tribal leaders will discuss International Indigenous business as well as Pandemic Influenza update for Indian country, domestic violence and elders teaching youth. NCAI's mid year session started yesterday in Sault Saint Marie, Michigan.
Hundreds of fire fighters continue to battle the Navajo Mountain fire on the Arizona-Utah border. The fire is burning about 60 miles east of Page, Arizona.near the Navajo communities of Navajo Mountain and Rainbow City. More than 3-thousand acres have burned since the fire started on June 10th. Today conditions are hotter and dryer with 20 mile per hour winds. More than four hundred fire fighters and ground support are battling the blaze. The Navajo Nation is currently under a burn ban. No open flames, burning of trash or vegetation or smoking outdoors is allowed.
Native American remains found in a Bloomington Illinois home will be turned over to state custody. A decision was made public Friday to donate the 27 skulls to the State Museum. Joseph Standing Bear of Midwest Soaring, an Illinois Native American organization has been trying to secure the remains for reburial and is disappointed the remains are in state custody. The Illinois State Preservation Agency says since the remains are not the ancestors of a federally recognized tribe the state doesn't have to turn the remains over for reburial. The remains will be in state custody until the Native American Graves and Repatriation Act Changes. The skulls were found by an Illinois homeowner in her attic at the end of May. The remains are believed to have been collected by the previous homeowner who's now deceased.
Dry weather conditions cause several fires on the Navajo Nation. The Navajo Mountain fire is currently burning about 60 miles northeast of Page, Arizona. The fire is five percent contained and with cooler temperatures and some humidity fire officials say the outlook is good today. The fire is being battled by crews from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service. The Navajo Nation is asking for donations to help feed the hundreds of fire fighters. The fire has already burned thousands of acres
The Senate Finance Committee approves two bills that would improve healthcare for Native Americans. Lawmakers say the bills would increase access to healthcare in Indian Country and help fight the spread of methamphetamine.
Talks to end the standoff over a Native occupation of a construction site in southern Ontario are back on. They nearly collapsed after a weekend of violence as frustration mounted on both sides.
A homeowner in central Illinois makes an eerie find. She came across Native American artifacts and remains in the attic of her new home in Bloomington. The former homeowner is now deceased. He collected the items before the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act became law. It's now up to the current owner to decide what to do with the items. Joseph Standing Bear is President of Midwest Soaring, an Illinois Native American organization. Standing Bear is encouraging the current owner to turn over the remains to his organization for reburial.
Many people in Indian country are hitting the pools, rivers, and waterholes to swim this summer. But health and safety officials say when it comes to drowning minorities, especially Native Americans are most at risk.
Today people across the country are celebrating National Flag Day. The day was established to commemorate the adoption of the U.S. flag in 1777. Tribal flags often fly next to the U.S. flag at many tribal offices. Julia Lookout with the Osage Nation say Native people honor veterans and their Nations every day.
Russell Loudhawk - Wake held today June 14, 2006 10:30 AM
Wake is scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday June 14 and June 15 at the Lone Man School in Oglala. Traditional services are planned for Friday June 16 at the Black Hills Cemetery in Sturgis, North Dakota.
Leonard Peltier Defense Committee
"I received the sad news today that my brother, Russell Loudhawk journeyed to the spirit world on June 11, 2006. Russell was a brother, and a strong AIM warrior who dedicated his life to our cause. I will miss him"
A Federal Court of Appeals rules to suppress documents in the Cobell vs. Norton case. The decision was made on Friday. The documents outlined the destruction of files relating to the mismanagement of the Individual Indian money accounts by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Eloise Cobell, lead plaintiff in the case says the decision doesn't impact her legal fight. However, Cobell says the Department of Interior needs to resolve the case because it's been proven the federal government has mismanaged individual accounts. Department of Interior officials were unavailable for comment.
Tropical storm Alberto, the first storm of this year's hurricane season is brewing in the Gulf of Mexico. The National Weather Service predicts Alberto will likely become a hurricane. It has issued hurricane and tropical storm warnings throughout Florida. The Seminole Tribe in south Florida is already getting heavy rain from the storm. Seminole Emergency Management officials say right now their communities are not in the direct path of Alberto but they're still taking precautions.
Congressman Tom Udall is spearheading a bill to improve burial sites on tribal lands for Native American veterans. The New Mexico Democrat says grant money would help tribes with the costs.
No federal recognition for some 4,000 Native Hawaiians.The Senate blocked efforts yesterday to debate a bill.As Capitol Hill News Bureau's Chad Pergram reports... it could have created a sovreign government for Native Hawaiians.
The Food and Drug Administration licenses a new vaccine to fight cervical cancer. Gardasil could protect many young women between the ages of 9 to 26 by preventing the transmission of some types of the human papilloma virus or H.P.V. The virus is responsible for about 70 percent of cervical cancer cases. Charon Asetoyer of the Native American Women's Health Education Resource Center says that the vaccine could be a lifesaver for many women.
Native energy groups say wind power from the High Plains can provide a stable energy source and bring an economic boost to tribes. As Aspen Public Radio's Kirk Siegler reports, a 30 megawatt tribally-owned wind power project on South Dakota's Rosebud Sioux Reservation is a step closer to reality.
The Senate is poised to vote today on "The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act." Six years after the bill was introduced. Senators finally debated on it yesterday. Hawaii Senators Daniel Akaka and Daniel Inouye introduced the bill. Not all Native Hawaiians support the Senator's efforts. As Capitol Hill News Bureau's Jill Morrison reports, the bill took heavy fire yesterday from conservative Republicans who oppose it.
For the first time representatives directly from the Department of Homeland Security will visit a Native Nation today. Chet Lunner, the Executive Director of the Department of Homeland Security State and Local Government office will address the Tohono O'odham Nation's tribal council and then will tour their international border. This comes on the heals of President Bush's visit to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center this week. . . . The O'odham Nation has 75 miles of land on the U.S. - Mexico border . . . Chairman Vivian Juan Sauders says it's critical Homeland Security officials see the border first hand.
Broadcasters may soon be slapped with huge fines for airing indecent material.by the Federal Communications Commission. Yesterday, the House passed a bill to raise the F-C-C's indecency fine to as much as $325,000.for a single violation. That's an increase from the current fine of $32,500. The maximum fine for several violations on a one TV or radio show would be $3,000,000. Loris Taylor, Executive Director for Center for Native American Public Radio says tribal stations need to be aware.
President Bush is in southern New Mexico today touring the Federal Law Enforcement Training sites in Artesia, New Mexico. The Center trains Border Patrol and other enforcement agents. It's also home to the B.I.A. Indian Police Academy. As Antonia Gonzales reports about one-hundred members of the Academy are at the presidential event.
Today is National Hunger Awareness Day. Hunger is a continuing problem for many tribes. In one Idaho community, a grant is helping the Idaho food bank feed kids at the Lapwai Boys and Girls Club. Chuck Whitman will be coordinating the project.
United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck, North Dakota is building a two-point-seven-million-dollar apartment complex for students and families. As North Dakota Public Radio's Tracy Fugere reports - the project gives students hands on experience and investors a tax credit.
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Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne meet with tribal representatives from the National Congress of American Indians on his first day in office yesterday.
Tribes in New York State are trying to regain their footing after the U.S. Supreme Court threw out the historic Cayuga land claim case.
The Navajo Nation in Window Rock, Arizona received a surprised visit from one of televisions most famous celebrities, Oprah Winfrey.
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
The Co-Founder of Incite, Women of Color Against Violence is working with Native communities across the country. Andrea Smith is helping communities create new strategies to combat violence.
An Alaska Native village is leading the way with its environmental and conservation efforts. The Chickaloon Village Traditional Council built a greenhouse using recycled products and will eventually use renewable energy. Chickaloon leaders hope this project will be a model for other tribes.
Tribes react to the confirmation of former Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne, as the new Secretary of the Interior. Shoshone-Bannock Chairman Blain Edmo says he's disappointed. Nez Pierce Chairman Rebecca Miles says she supports Kempthorne. On Friday the Senate confirmed Kempthorne by a vote of 85 to 8. He replaces Gail Norton and will oversee the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
The Senate and House versions of the Immigration Reform Bill have major differences. The Senate passed its version last week. Lawmakers say both versions will help Native Americans.
Runners trek alongside a Northern California river for Chinook salmon. They carry a symbolic salmon from the mouth of the Klamath River to the Iron Gate Dam.
Students on the Hopi reservation in Arizona are learning more about alcohol abuse through a program called "Protecting You Protecting Me." Hopi High schoolers have a 20-percent higher than state average of alcohol abuse. Student journalist Tasha Curtis reports about the program which hopes to decrease that number by educating high schoolers and having them teach younger students. Tasha spoke with students at Second Mesa Day School. She's Hopi and a graduating senior at Hopi High. Stan Bindell, the radio class instructor mentored Tasha.
Teenagers on the Cherokee Indian Reservation in North Carolina are trying to do something about drug and alcohol related deaths. Student journalist Driver Blythe reports about the youth who hope a nation wide hour of silence by the Boys and Girls Clubs of America will bring awareness to the problem. Driver is a 5th grader and a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee. Merritt Youngdeer with the Cherokee Youth in Radio Program mentored Driver. Youngdeer is also Eastern Band of Cherokee.
Three Native teens receive youth fellowships from the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts. The recipients are 14-year-old Thomas Lovato from Santo Domingo Pueblo; 15-year-old Paris Larson Brent a Blackfeet, Navajo and Apache; and 17-year-old Krystal Schultz a Navajo. The teen's art work can be seen on the website www.swaia.org .
A Native veteran is worried about the theft of personal information from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The theft includes names, Social Security numbers and birth dates of more than 26-million veterans discharged from the military since 1975. The information was stolen from a Veterans Affairs employee's home after it was taken by the employee against department policy. Thomas Berry of the National Native American Veterans Association says the Veterans Affairs' decision to keep the theft a secret was a mistake. The Veterans Affairs has set up a hotline to answer questions. That number is 1-800-fedinfo or 1-800-333-4636.
Another attempt is being made to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling. The House of Representatives is expected to vote today on the American-Made Energy and Good Jobs Act, which includes a provision to open 2,000 acres of ANWR to oil drilling. House Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo who introduced the bill says America needs more American-made energy. Luci Beach, Executive Director of the Gwich'in Steering Committee says that's not the answer to America's energy problems. Some Native Alaskan villages do support opening ANWR to oil drilling.
A summer program at Harvard Medical School is helping Native American students. Students from the Fort Peck Reservation addressed drug addiction and unemployment they see at home.
Six members from an Indonesian family have died from the bird flu and world health officials are investigating if it was spread from person to person. This news comes just days after IHS officials met with tribal leaders to educate them on this deadly disease. Dr. Richard Church is the Director for the Office of Public Health Support for IHS.
Community organizations are accusing Los Alamos National Laboratory of violating the Clean Water Act. The group includes Native Americans. They intend to sue the U.S. Department of Energy and regents of the University of California who manage the lab in Northern New Mexico. They're demanding the lab honor its agreement to clean up pollution and stop creating contaminants that are getting into the Rio Grande River.
Residents in northwest Alaska are evacuated due to seasonal flooding. The Mayor of Koyokuk requested help to evacuate the women, children and the elderly. The village is mostly Athabascan. Officials with the Division of Homeland Security were called in to help. They moved people to nearby Galena and Fairbanks. This year large ice chunks damaged the city's sewage system and threatened the drinking water. Mayor Jason Malemute wonders if this year's water rise is due to global warming.
New evidence shows that perhaps Geronimo's remains are in Connecticut. The great-grandson of Geronimo is getting offers of help to locate his grandfather's remains.
More than 800 tribal leaders and housing professionals are meeting this week in Honolulu, Hawaii. The National American Indian Housing Council's 32nd Anniversary Convention and Trade Show started yesterday. NAIHC Chairman Chester Carl says homeownership is one goal for Native Hawaiians.
The position for Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior is still vacant. The department oversees the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne's was nominated by President Bush for the job. But his nomination is being stalled. Earlier this month, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved his nomination. But Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu placed a hold on Kempthorne's nomination.
Native protesters occupying a construction site in southern Ontario, Canada take a step in ending the dispute over land. The protesters removed one barricade as a gesture of goodwill.
A Senate vote paves the way to make English the official language in the United States. Senators added two provisions to the Immigration Reform Bill last week to make English the national language or the nation's common and unifying language. The National Congress of American Indians wants to make sure Indigenous languages are protected. NCAI Executive Director Jacqueline Johnson says Indian Country should be concerned.
Red Lake tribal members in Minnesota will have to vote again for their Chairman. Red Lake Tribal Chairman Floyd Buck Jourdain will face Tribal Secretary Judy Roy in a runoff election. In last week's election, Jourdain received 47-percent of the votes and Roy 29-percent. Neither candidate won 50-percent of the vote required to win the election. A runoff is scheduled for July. The elections were the first since teenager Jeff Weise shot and killed nine people before taking his own life on the Chippewa reservation last year.
The leader of the Tohono O'odham Nation in Arizona has some concerns with the President's proposal on immigration reform. Chairwoman Vivian Juan-Saunders says last year 1,500 immigrants a day crossed the U.S., Mexico border through their nation. She says the tribe spends three-million dollars annually on border related issues. President Bush proposes beefing up border patrol with more funding and thousands of National Guard troops.
It's the first real shred of evidence that supports the story that members of the Skull and Bones Society members robbed Geronimo's grave. A freelance journalist found a letter verifying the theft.
Three fatal alligator attacks have spread fear among some people in Florida. But, the Seminole people have lived along side the reptiles for years.
For the next two weeks New York City will be the Indigenous capitol of the world. Today begins the United Nation's Fifth Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. More than 15-hundred leaders worldwide are expected to attend, including advocates from Indian Country.
The Senate Indian Affairs Committee responds to calls from Indian Country to hold hearings on issues other than Indian gaming. Yesterday the committee focused on diversifying tribal economies.
Lawmakers are set to vote on the Immigration Reform Bill by the end of the month. Indigenous people from Native communities throughout Latin America are among those immigrating to the United States. They're leaving subsistence and small farming communities looking for economic survival.
The House of Representatives is holding hearings to consider creating more federal guidelines to regulate Indian gaming. Native leaders from gaming tribes are concerned this proposal will lead to more oversight of other types of Indian gaming and create more bureaucracy.
About 90-percent of homes on reservations are without adequate weatherization resulting in significant energy loss. This issue was the focus of a national energy conference that wrapped up yesterday in Denver, Colorado. Tribal leaders, state and federal officials discussed solutions to this energy crisis.
The National Congress of American Indians is teaming up with several civil rights groups to address the Voting Rights Act. Congress is currently considering whether to renew several of the provisions. NCAI Executive Director Jackie Johnson says they're especially concerned about the language provision.
Five teenage vandals will avoid serving jail time. The owners of the vandalized site in Wisconsin offered them an alternative sentence.
The Northern Cheyenne Nation is trying a new method in its fight on methamphetamine. The tribe is using bumper stickers with slogans like "Don't Meth with Me" and "Dancing with Meth is Dancing with Death," to raise awareness about the drug.
Jessica Abeita filed a report on issues surrounding Title-V which provides funding for urban Indian health care. Bush's 07' budget eliminates fudning for these programs. Abeita is Isleta and an intern with National Native News. She's is a junior at the University of New Mexico.
In Anchorage, about 400 youth from across Alaska are competing this week in the Native Youth Olympics. Heather Alexie filed a report on the event. She is 17-years-old and from Chuathbaluk, Alaska. Fellow student Barbra John helped with the story. The students are mentored by Shannon Gramse with MEDIAK's radio project in Anchorage.
Student journalist Josiah Chissoe met up with Native golfer Notah Begay on the Santa Ana Pueblo in New Mexico. Begay shared a few tips on the game with the 11-year-old, but also his message for strong tribal communities. Josiah is Osage and Cherokee and a fifth grader in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His mentor is Jenni Monet. She's a member of the Laguna and Zuni tribe and also freelances for National Native News.
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Convenience store owners in New York are suing the state over the issue of Indian taxes. The new law requires tax collection on tobacco products and gas sold to Indian businesses isn't being enforced.
An article in the May/June issue of Yale Alumni Magazine offers new clues to the rumors that Geronimo's remains were stolen by the university's Skull and Bones society. A former senior editor of the magazine discovered a 1918 letter from Skull and Bones society members. To view the letter and article go to www.yalealumnimagazine.com .
An auction for Native artifacts is taking place today in New York. More than 40 items being sold are from Canada's fur trade industry which has angered many Aboriginal people who want the collection returned to them. A Canadian museum raised money to buy the collection.
No bidders on the tribal college Si Tanka University in Huron, South Dakota. It failed to sell at the auction.