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.
During this last week the most important stories came from those in this community.
If you haven’t already read these diaries, they are a must read….
A reality check of crimes against humanity, still continuing as you read these words.
SarahLee published a diary with a video at
Heartbreaking to watch, heartless not to watch.
Winter Rabbit’s diary Gov. Henry, Please Sign Indian Educ. Advisory Bill (HB2929) Action on this is time essential, please take part in it.
HOUMA, La. – The worst oil leak in U.S. history has grown to 19 million gallons since BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded April 20.
And the oil, still gushing into the Gulf of Mexico is wreaking havoc with tribal lives in Louisiana.
“The smell of the oil is really bad, people describe it as smelling like you were in an engine room,” said Brenda Dardar Robichaux, principal chief of the United Houma Nation May 26 of vapors with potential toxicity.
The Environmental Protection Agency can’t send a representative to their tribal community for five days. “They told us to keep the children inside. In essence our children are in house arrest, their health is at risk.”
Nearly half the homes inspected on Long Plain First Nation still don’t have working smoke detectors – more than a month since a two-year-old boy died in a fire on the Manitoba reserve.
Fire officials are conducting a safety audit of every home in the community following the death of Curtis Laporte.
The toddler was pulled from a burning house on May 1 but attempts to revive him at the scene were unsuccessful.
Fire Chief Randy Merrick vowed to ensure every home in Long Plain, about 100 west of Winnipeg, was up to code. So far he’s been through 160 homes and has another 200 to go.
Agriculture Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon announced that Indian tribal organizations and states operating the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations have received more than $4.5 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding appropriated for the purchase of equipment and the improvement of facilities needed to provide food assistance to low-income families on and near Indian reservations.
“It is imperative that people throughout the country have access to safe and nutritious food, and through the Recovery Act, we’re investing resources to enhance the availability of food on Indian reservations and tribal lands. The Obama administration is committed to increasing the health and nutrition of the American people, and these Recovery Act investments will help further that goal.”
Through FDPIR, USDA purchases food that is provided to low-income households, including the elderly, living on Indian reservations, and to Native American families residing in designated areas near reservations and in the State of Oklahoma. Currently, there are 271 tribes receiving benefits under FDPIR through 98 Indian tribal organizations and five state agencies. Almost 90,000 low-income individuals receive a monthly FDPIR food package.
– U.S. Park Police on June 2 identified the woman arrested for tying herself to a White House fence as actress Q’orianka Kilcher.
Authorities said the 20-year-old Kilcher chained herself to the fence June 1 and her 41-year-old mother, Saskia, poured a shiny black substance over her, according to charging documents. They said the substance was not toxic or flammable.
U.S. Secret Service spokesman Max Milien said the Kilchers told authorities they were protesting against Peru’s government and president, Alan Garcia, for selling land to oil companies. Garcia was meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House. Q’orianka Kilcher’s father is a Peruvian Indian.
Park Police spokesman Sgt. David Schlosser identified the two, who were scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday in D.C. Superior Court. Q’orianka Kilcher, who played Pocahontas in the 2005 film, “The New World,” faces an unlawful entry charge. Her mother is charged with destroying property.
Kilcher’s agent Carlyne Grager confirmed the mother-daughter arrests and said the actress is a strong supporter of indigenous populations around the world.
Mistreatment of Indians is America’s Original Sin, and the narrative is consistent. They lose their land, get portrayed as caricatures of social maladies, and are ripped off by the likes of Jack Abramoff. So it’s no surprise that a tale with a very different ending, namely the righting of a horrible wrong affecting 500,000 Native Americans, proceeds with virtually no notice.
Indeed, you’d think that even Tea Party diehards should rally to this cause, given their anti-government and pro-property rights passion. They might even want to pay homage to the intrepid female accountant-turned-banker, who inspired one of the most fiercely litigated disputes against the federal government in history. But they likely won’t. Who will? Not even many Indians believe that belated fairness is now on the way, given more than a century of government abuse and deceit whose undisputed facts strain credulity.
The facts are these: Following the House’s approval, the Senate is considering whether to approve a $3.4 billion settlement of a 15-year-old lawsuit, alleging the government illegally withheld more than $150 billion from Indians whose lands were taken in the 1880s to lease to oil, timber, minerals and other companies for a fee.
Indigenous peoples in Peru finally have a law that obliges the state to consult them about any project or provision that affects their territory or communities. But it will be difficult to implement, as the body charged with this task is in need of reforms, and additional legislation is needed before it can be fully enforced.
It took the single-chamber Congress 16 years to pass the law on indigenous peoples’ right to prior consultation after the country ratified International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 169, which commits nations to protecting indigenous and tribal peoples.
Native peoples must be consulted in advance on any legislative or administrative measure, development or industrial project, plan or programme that directly affects their collective rights, according to the new law approved by the legislature on May 19.
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr. has scheduled six meetings throughout the Navajo Nation to brief the public on a proposed redistricting plan for a 24 delegate Navajo Nation Council.
Last Friday, the Navajo Nation Supreme Court ordered that the Navajo Board of Election Supervisors (NBOES) certify the results of the Dec. 15, 2009 special election in which Navajo voters supported reducing the council to 24 delegates and authorized a Presidential line item veto for spending legislation.
Because of delays and inaction by the NBOES and the council to develop a reapportionment plan, the court also ordered that President Shirley present a plan to NBOES by June 11, and that NBOES approve it by June 18.
In traditional stories of the Anishinaabe, the Seven Grandfathers gave the people seven gifts by which to live their lives in a good way. In this column, the younger generation reflects on the meaning of the Seven Grandfathers……
In traditional stories of the Anishinaabe, the Seven Grandfathers gave the people seven gifts by which to live their lives in a good way. In this column, the younger generation reflects on the meaning of the Seven Grandfathers.
The bumper stickers were born before the holiday.
They could be seen on cars coming and going from the Indian reservations in America. They read “Custer died for your sins,” or “Custer wore Arrow Shirts.” And then came the holiday.
The Indian holiday on June 25 marks the 134th anniversary of the thrashing of George Armstrong Custer’s Seventh Cavalry at the Little Big Horn, or Greasy Grass, as the Indians called it. On all of the Sioux Indian reservations in South Dakota it is a statewide holiday. The Cheyenne and the Arapaho, also participants in the great victory, have joined the celebration.
They celebrate the day their ancestors handed the United States Army one of its worst defeats in all of the so-called “Indian Wars.” The Indians called them the “White Man Wars.”
Ironically, Custer considered himself to be a religious man. And yet the fatal charge he made into the valley of the Greasy Grass happened on a beautiful Sunday afternoon…..
The Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina ended its relationship with a lobbying firm that was hired to push for federal recognition.
The contract with Lewin International drew intense opposition. Critics said it would have derailed the federal recognition bill in Congress and subjected the tribe to huge penalties for not pursuing a casino.
“We appreciate all that the folks at Lewin International have done to help, but unfortunately the contract itself has become a distraction from our mutual efforts to achieve full federal recognition for the Lumbee Tribe,” Chairman Purnell Swett said in a statement. “We all know that perception is reality up there in Washington. Anything that could take away from our recognition work — whether real or imagined — has to be dealt with.”
Their paths all had different routes – theft, forgery, addictions – but at the end of May, seven women shared the same status: graduate.
Years spent cultivating cynicism and mistrust were cast aside as the Montana Women’s Prison inmates were awarded certificates for graduating from the Pathways to Self-Sufficiency program offered by Montana State University Billings.
“Today is a major accomplishment for us,” said Twila Johnke, one of the graduates who also was the featured inmate speaker.
For her fellow inmates in the program, that sentiment could not be overstated. Education is a rare commodity in prison. Only about one in four inmates in the women’s prison have a high school diploma and about 30 percent have neither a GED nor a diploma. And having specific skills to enter the workplace upon probation and re-entry into society is sometimes equally rare.