FCNL highlighted three major funding needs in a memo delivered this week to key appropriators in the House and Senate. The three concerns were school construction and maintenance, health care, and the Indian Child Welfare Act. In these three areas the needs of Indian Country have been historically underfunded. The president proposed increased funding for Indian health care, but given the need, even that proposal seems too small. We urged the appropriators to support funding at least at the president’s proposed levels, and strongly encouraged them to find additional funding to meet the critical levels of need.
Of the three areas, the need for additional funds for school construction and maintenance is the most pressing. In 2007 the Office of the Inspector General, Department of Interior, reported that failure to improve conditions in schools in Indian Country “will likely cause injury or death to children and school employees” (NIEA Testimony, Feb 2010). Despite this, funding has steadily decreased in this area.
In order to make our voice heard, FCNL wrote a letter to members of the Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies in both houses, and attached our budget summary.
WHAT YOU CAN DO: 1. Find out if your Congress members are on the Senate or House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies. You can do this on our website: Go to “Contact Congress” on the left hand side of our homepage (www.fcnl.org) Enter your zip code. Click on your representative and senators, and look at their committees. Does Appropriations show up? If so, click on “Subcommittees” and then “Interior, Environment and Related.”
2. Especially if your representative or senators are on the Interior Subcommittee, please contact your members of Congress! The Interior Subcommittee handles funding for a wide range of programs that are important to Indian Country. Let your representative and senators know that you would like to see increased funding for Indian Country in the areas of school construction and maintenance, health care, and the Indian Child Welfare Act
2. Census 2010 (From Janeth Campbell) ———- Dear Native Friends,
Today is our opportunity to be counted as American Indians. I am proud to claim my native heritage by checking the American Indian box, and writing in Muscogee Creek as my tribal affiliation. Many of our ancestors did not have this opportunity. They had to hide to protect their family and ancestral lands, but the law protects us now.
Census information is collected only once a decade, and becomes the data used to allocate voting Representatives and Senators in the US Congress and the various State Legislatures. Allocations of funding, housing, education, health care, food subidies, and many other government services are based on this grouped data. Individual data is not released for another 72 years, by law.
Please encourage your relatives and associates to mail in the form this week, noting residents in their homes on Census Day, April 1, 2010. When the mail in form is completed, the Census Workers will not have to visit your home to ask these 10 questions.
Note that the household will only be counted as an American Indian household if the Person 1 is of some type of Native Heritage.
If you do not have your forms yet, or want to contact knowledgeable folks from the National Conference of American Indians who support this Census, contact them directly by emailing Jacqueline (Johnson) Pata at email@example.com or listen to native stories at
Take Pride in our Heritage, Honor our Ancestors, find a Native Youth to mentor, and Be Counted as a descendant of our Native Ancestors.
Blessings to you all this Springtime Day!
3. Endangered Language Fund Announces 2010 Request for Proposals
The Endangered Language Fund provides grants for language maintenance and linguistic field work. The language involved must be in danger of disappearing within a generation or two.
The work most likely to be funded is that which serves both the native community and the field of linguistics. Work which has immediate applicability to one group and more distant application to the other will also be considered. Publishing awards are a low priority, but will be considered.
Grants in this round are expected to be less than $4,000 each, and to average about $2,000. Eligible expenses include consultant fees, tapes, films, travel, etc. Overhead is not allowed. Grants are normally for a one-year period.
Researchers and language activists from any country are eligible to apply. Awards can be made to institutions, but no administrative costs are covered.
Visit the fund’s Web site for the complete RFP.
— “In many ways, it is the indigenous cultures’ relationship to the earth that represents the only real hope for the long term survival of people on any scale in the world.” — John Mohawk
A Navajo Nation first: community-owned apartments NewsWest9.com AP – April 3, 2010 1:55 PM ET SHIPROCK, NM (AP) – Almost 100 Navajo families have a new home after the opening of the $14 million Chaco River Apartments in …
Unique community housing project opens on Navajo Nation KOB.com A new community-owned and -operated apartment complex will house nearly a hundred Navajo families. The new Chaco River apartment complex in Shiprock is the …
Program Aims To Find Victims Of Radiation Exposure cbs4denver.com The US Department of Justice will select 30 students to travel the vast Navajo Nation and other communities this summer. The student interns, 15 each in two …
Program aims to find victims of radiation exposure Sierra Vista Herald Larry Martinez knows of thousands of them who live on the Navajo Nation, and this summer he hopes to get some help finding more in the towns that dot the …
Treaty Days to be annual celebration Weeklong event will replace July 4th fair
WINDOW ROCK – The Navajo Nation will no longer be celebrating the Fourth of July with a fair – but it will begin annually celebrating the signing of the Treaty of 1868 that established the tribe’s relationship with the federal government.
Navajo Tribal Utility Authority Selects Atlantic Tele-Network For 4G LTE Service TMC Net Providing a new era of wireless network services to the residents of Navajo Nation, Atlantic Tele-Network, a subsidiary Commnet Wireless LLC, will develop and operate a 4G Long Term Evolution wireless network in that area…
… More than 30,000 households, approximately 135,000 people, and 1,000 businesses in 15 of the largest communities in the Navajo Nation will get fixed and mobile service through this 4G LTE project. These areas include Window Rock, Shiprock, Kayenta, Chinle, and Tuba City. Also, an additional 49 tribal communities will get high capacity connectivity on the combined middle-mile backbone with this project.
As far as the records show, no one has spoken Shinnecock or Unkechaug, languages of Long Island’s Indian tribes, for nearly 200 years. Now Stony Brook University and two of the Indian nations are initiating a joint project to revive these extinct tongues, using old documents like a vocabulary list that Thomas Jefferson wrote during a visit in 1791.
Chief Harry Wallace, the elected leader of the Unkechaug Nation, said that for tribal members, knowing the language is an integral part of understanding their own culture, past and present.
“When our children study their own language and culture, they perform better academically,” he said. “They have a core foundation to rely on.”
The Univ. of North Dakota decides to change it’s mascot after a ND Supreme Court decision.
The contemporary depiction of the Fighting Sioux at UND is in stark contrast to the demeaning, exaggerated characterizations of Fighting Sioux over much of the 80-year history of the nickname. It is this racially insensitive history the university couldn’t overcome…
Jesse Taken Alive (is) a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council and former tribal chairman. He and his family have been involved in the effort to get UND to abandon the nickname since the early 1990s… Standing Rock’s approval was needed to keep the nickname. Supporters gathered 1,004 signatures asking for a vote on the nickname, but the tribe’s constitution doesn’t allow for such a referendum, Taken Alive said.
At the same time, the council was dealing with other pressing matters including damaging storms, a tribal housing shortage, water quality problems and crime and suicide epidemics.
“Fire shuts down Native treatment facility”
A fire broke out Saturday on the Sioux San Hospital in Rapid City. It’s the old TB sanitorium.
The Native Healing Program is a 10-bed, 30-day, in-patient substance-abuse treatment facility, according to Gloria One Feather, the program’s director. The program can serve 130 patients a year and is always filled to capacity…
(I)t was too early to tell whether the building is salvageable or if a new facility will be needed. The current structure was built about 100 years ago.
Melinda Gopher is running for Montana’s at-large Congressional seat.
I have lived a life of delays, disappointments, and dreams deferred… I do not regret this. I regret the position this nation put native people in… If you look at the totality of my life; you can see that I was bred to be an effective outsider. This has always been my strength, and I have learned to capitalize on my lifetime of disadvantages–to develop an outside-the-box mental method. I believe this is a key leadership trait.
An ASU journalism student won an Edward R. Murrow Award, one of the most prestigious honors in professional broadcast journalism.
Colton Shone, 21, a junior at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, won the Murrow Award for a story he reported and produced for KTAR-FM in Phoenix. The winning story, a Halloween feature on a haunted maze in Glendale, won in the “Use of Sound” category for large market radio stations in Region 3, which covers Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.
Shone, who is Navajo, said the underrepresentation of Native American journalists leads to a lack of coverage of issues important to those communities. He has traveled around the state to talk with Native American students and with the few Native American television journalists.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The world’s largest gathering of Native American and indigenous people will take place in Albuquerque, N.M. April 22 – 24. The 27th Annual Gathering of Nations, considered the most prominent Native American powwow in the world, will host more than 150,000 people and more than 500 tribes from throughout the United States, Canada and around the world celebrating their culture and traditions through dance, music, food and indigenous dress including feathers, bells, jingles and fringes.
As part of the Gathering of Nations, a young Native American woman will be crowned Miss Indian World and represent all Native and indigenous people as a cultural goodwill ambassador. Dozens of Native American and indigenous women representing their different tribes and traditions will compete in the areas of tribal knowledge, dancing ability and personality assessment.