Welcome to News from Native American Netroots, a Sunday evening series focused on indigenous tribes primarily in the United States and Canada but inclusive of international peoples also.
A special thanks to our team for contributing the links that have been compiled here. Please provide your news links in the comments below.
Immediate attention is need in Winter Rabbit’s diary, Action: “Oklahoma Advisory Council on Indian Education Act”.
“Please help to spread the word that we need to contact our State Representatives to make them aware that HB 2929 will be brought to the floor of the House TODAY for a final vote before being sent to the Governor’s office. We need our legislators to know of our interest in this bill and its passing the House. This is our chance to make a mark in Indian education for our children and grandchildren to meet their needs more effectively by engaging the collaborative energies of this state body to guide the process of dialogue, deliberation, and discussion of how to serve our native students of the state of Oklahoma! Together we can make this happen in the best interest of our people. Aho! Mvto!”
Society to Preserve Indigenous Rights & IndigenousTraditions
As of posting time there was no indication that a vote had taken place.
Let me know of any updates you may be aware of.
The Ecuadorean legislature’s decision to hold a non-binding vote among the country’s indigenous communities on a controversial water bill that sparked weeks of protests by native groups has calmed things down — for now.
Fernando Cordero, the head of parliament, managed to ease tempers among the indigenous movement by proposing a “non-binding pre-legislative consultation” among Ecuador’s native peoples, who make up nearly 40 percent of the population of close to 14 million.
The initiative has postponed for several months the legislative vote on the government’s water reform bill, which indigenous associations say would give mining companies and agribusiness privileged access to water and would hurt their small farms, while left-leaning President Rafael Correa argues that it would better regulate the water system.
A key figure in British Columbia’s first nations community has announced he is stepping aside from his provincial leadership role in hopes that doing so will help inspire greater unity.
“We are at a low tide with B.C. first nations unity,” Grand Chief Doug Kelly wrote in an open letter Tuesday as he announced he will not run again for executive of the First Nations Summit.
“In many respects, I think we’ve lost our way,” he added in an interview Thursday, speaking of a collection of leaders called the First Nations Leadership Council.
On Monday, June 14th a U.S. District Court Judge will hear oral arguments in a lawsuit challenging the proposed use of treated sewage effluent on the San Francisco Peaks located in Northern Arizona. This case addresses whether or not a private, for-profit business, Arizona Snowbowl Resort Limited Partnership (ASR), which operates on public land managed by the United States Forest Service (USFS), will be permitted to make fake snow using treated sewage water. The current legal challenge has forced the ski business to agree not to begin development.
The case known as The Save the Peaks Coalition, et al. v. U.S. Forest Service will be heard before Honorable Judge Mary H. Murguia. The suit asserts, among other things, that the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) prepared by the USFS ignores the possibility of human ingestion of snow made from treated sewage effluent.
It’s a common myth that dark-skinned people don’t get skin cancer. But they can. And they do. Everyone is at risk for skin cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, more than one million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed annually. That’s more than cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon combined. It’s estimated that one American dies every hour from skin cancer. And skin cancer is on the rise.
But there’s good news: Most skin cancers are highly curable if found in the earliest stages. That’s why this summer the society wants everyone – light- or dark-skinned – to take active precautions against skin cancer. To help you get started, ACS, as part of the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention, has designated the Friday before Memorial Day, May 28 as “Don’t Fry Day,” a day devoted to practicing sun safety while still enjoying the warmer weather.
The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi has earned LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification by the U.S Green Building Council for three homes on the tribe’s Pine Creek Reservation. The three homes will be used as rental units for low and moderate-income tribal elders and families.
LEED for Homes, a green home certification system, assures that homes are designed and built to be energy and resource efficient and healthy for occupants. Alliance for Environmental Sustainability, a Grand Rapids-based USGBC LEED for Homes Service Provider, assisted the tribe in its efforts.
“The tribe hopes to serve as a model for green homebuilding and greener living for the entire community,” said Homer A. Mandoka, tribal vice chair. “These homes are the latest in quality, design and leadership. They can inspire many to live greener by reducing our environmental footprint, trimming our utility bills and coming home to a healthier place to live.”
Organizers behind Alberta’s biggest aboriginal film festival say the Edmonton event will be offering up more than just films this year.
Helen Calahasen, an executive director with the Dreamspeakers Film Festival, says it’s partnering up with Alberta Aboriginal Arts for this year’s festival in Edmonton June 2 through June 5. The move will mean moviegoers at the festival can also enjoy a variety of live plays at its Rubaboo Arts Festival.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The United States formally apologized to American Indian tribes Wednesday for “ill-conceived policies” and acts of violence committed against them.
Republican Sen. Sam Brownback read the congressional resolution at an event attended by representatives of five Indian nations at the Congressional Cemetery in Washington: the Cherokee, Choctaw, Muscogee (Creek), Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate and Pawnee nations
Four of the five are based in Oklahoma, and the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate are in South Dakota. The Cherokee originally were from the Southeastern United States but were forced to migrate to Oklahoma in the early 1800s.
PEACH SPRINGS, Ariz. (AP) – The Hualapai Tribe is celebrating the first book written in more than 30 years that documents the northern Arizona tribe’s history.
The tribe collaborated with author Jeffrey Shepherd over 10 years to assemble bits of history. Shepherd will give a lecture and sign copies of the book, “We are an Indian Nation,” next Monday and Tuesday evening at the Hualapai Cultural Center.
The center opened earlier this year with a ceremony that included drumming, dancing and singing performances.
BIG BAY, Mich. – The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Tribal Council promised it would continue to fight the Kennecott Eagle Minerals nickel and copper mine even if the owner moves the entrance, at a meeting with those defending sacred Eagle Rock May 8.
In mid-April, Kennecott started initial work on its mine – dubbed the Eagle Project – but has reportedly offered to move the mine portal about 100 yards west of Eagle Rock, that has been a site of Ojibwa ceremonies for at least 170 years. Since April 23, American Indians from several tribes and non-Natives have been camping at the base of sacred Eagle Rock to protect it from bulldozers.
“What we are trying to do here is save Mother Earth,” KBIC Tribal Council President Warren “Chris” Swartz told campers during an official council meeting in the shadow of Eagle Rock. “Mother Earth is crying for our help.
Twenty years ago, on the 100th anniversary of the Wounded Knee massacre, Gov. George Mickelson proclaimed a Year of Reconciliation among the races and cultures in South Dakota.
This February, Gov. Mike Rounds commemorated what Mickelson began with a proclamation of a Year of Unity.
Many South Dakotans, particularly in Indian Country, felt a renewed sense of hope after Mickelson’s efforts. But the definition of success for such endeavors varies.
Thomas Shortbull, president of Oglala Lakota College in Kyle, cautions, “If you’re going to have a Year of Unity, don’t do it unless you have some financial means to change things.”
Rounds is aware of the potential that the Year of Unity could end up as so much talk.
Disgruntled IHS Patients
Angel White Eyes never imagined her six-hour wait at an Indian Health Service facility would be of interest to so many. But her Facebook group about the experience — “I just spent 6 hours at IHS just for them to give me Tylenol” – has drawn more than 1900 members since she started it in January.
The group’s name is a summary of what happened on her trip to the clinic. To date 1,946 people from throughout Indian Country have signed onto the group, most of them to share their own frustrations with the IHS.
Many of the group members posted about their long wait at IHS clinics: “I went to IHS and sat there for four hrs just so they could tell me to go home their full!” or “i love it when i go there and its like a family reunion. you see all your family you havent seen in a while and your like: “whur u been at?” and they like: “right here at the clinic” lol”
Indigenous leaders from around Latin America warned of economic development practices that sabotage their communities and the environment at a hearing held in Washington, D.C., last week. The hearing was the first in a series to be held by the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in Congress.
Ellen Lutz, executive director of Cultural Survival, which worked with the commission to set up the hearings, stated after the session: “The hearings provided Latin American indigenous peoples with their first opportunity to tell the U.S. Congress what happens when governments determine that the resources on indigenous lands actually belong to the state. Invariably the state claims that the lands are not indigenous or that what is underneath them belongs to the public and thus can be exploited by state or corporate interests.”
PAGOSA SPRINGS, Colo. – Every 18.6 years, the moon rises between ancient twin pinnacles in an event known as the Northern Lunar Standstill, inspiring awe among those who witness it in southwestern Colorado’s San Juan National Forest near the Southern Ute Indian Reservation.
During the lunar event, at high latitudes the moon appears to move in a short time period from high in the sky to low on the horizon, marking a time significant to Bronze Age cultures in Europe and probably to other ancient cultures, including those represented at Chimney Rock.
Although the Colorado landmark was earlier designated a federal Archaeological Area and National Historic Site, it would be further protected as a National Monument under legislation introduced May 3 by U.S. Rep. John Salazar and U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, both Democratic legislators from Colorado.
The indigenous peoples of the Amazon region of Bolivia have declared themselves in a “state of emergency” and announced that on May 20 they will begin a 1,000-kilometre march to La Paz to demand that the government defend their territory from being plundered by oil, logging and mining companies.
“The country’s constitution is being violated, as is the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 169, which recognises the territories and rights of indigenous peoples,” said María Saravia, the communications secretary of the Confederation of Indigenous Peoples of Eastern Bolivia (CIDOB), which represents one million members.
“We cannot continue turning a blind eye to the situation. If we don’t reach an agreement with the government, the march will begin on May 20,” Saravia told IPS.
BROWNING, Mont. (AP) — Elouise Cobell sat behind her cluttered desk here in the windblown heart of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation and peered at a visitor through dark glasses that couldn’t quite hide the deep bruise that ran down her cheek to her jaw.
Her appearance made her a bit self-conscious, offering an unexpected glimpse of a woman who had built a reputation for fearlessness after 14 years standing toe-to-toe with the federal government in an attempt to recover billions of dollars of squandered Indian trust money.
Cobell, 64, fainted in Washington, D.C., during a trip in April to meet with congressional leaders. She hit the sidewalk hard and was rushed to the hospital to treat a fractured orbital bone. She hadn’t slept the night before her collapse and spent that whole day rushing from meeting to meeting, she explained.