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.
Hi. My name is Brook Spotted Eagle. I belong to a women’s society on my reservation in South Dakota. The Brave Heart Women’s Society. My mother is one of the founding grandmother’s who has brought it back to life. Over the last 100 years we’ve lost a lot of our ceremonies. I’ll have to check with the elders, but when I saw the Hidden World of Girls I thought it would be amazing to share with other Native women the Isnati coming of age ceremony for our girls. Give me a call if you’re interested. Thanks Bye.
That phone call led to the “Brave Heart Women’s Society” being interviewed by the Kitchen Sisters.
If you’re Native American medicine man, one with experience conducting Native American ceremonies and familiar with medicine wheels, sweat lodges, sacred pipes and eagle feathers, the U.S. Department of Justice may require your services.
According to a piece published by The Smoking Gun on Aug. 19, the DOJ posted an announcement on FedBizOpps.gov web site with that title, though it was later changed to “Native American Services/Spiritual Guide” (after Drudge Report published a link to the announcement).
ROSEBUD, S.D. (AP) The Rosebud Sioux Tribe is tackling its reservation housing shortage by becoming its own builder.
Tribal officials on Tuesday showcased the new 33,600-square-foot Ojinjintka Housing Development Corporation plant to U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and Sen. Tim.
Johnson, D-S.D., as part of a tour of the Rosebud Sioux Reservation.
Glenn Beck’s attempts to “reclaim the civil rights movement” and “pick up Martin Luther King’s dream” ring hollow when contrasted with the radio and TV host’s long record of racially-charged, offensive rhetoric…
…Assistance to Native Americans. On November 11, 2009, Beck said: “When the president was sitting there, or standing there, and he was talking about Native American rights in the middle of a tragedy, Fort Hood, it didn’t feel right. And it seemed, maybe to me, that he was even promising reparations.” [The Glenn Beck Program, 11/9/09]
IOWA CITY, Iowa — The statistics are staggering.
Unemployment on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation runs 85 to 95 percent. The median family income is $4,000 per year per capita, and life expectancy for the community’s residents is a full 20 years less than the national average.
“Pine Ridge is sometimes referred to as the domestic Third World,” said Nancy Iverson, a pediatrician whose debut film, “From the Badlands to Alcatraz,” will be shown Friday and Saturday at the Landlocked Film Festival in Iowa City. “It struggles with Third World issues, even though it is right here in the U.S.”
Such inequities — and the inherent health disparities that accompany them — require action, said the documentarian, who spent her childhood in Waterloo. So in 2003 Iverson recruited her first crew of reservation residents to join her in a swim from Alcatraz Island to the shores of San Francisco.
WASHINGTON – New signs are popping up on reservations nationwide. Not with directions to the latest powwow – but, rather, noting that certain projects on tribal lands have been funded by the Obama administration stimulus plan.
The signs tend to be innocuous in appearance, but it’s their cost, even the slightest amount, that has some tribal citizens concerned, especially in context of struggling Native American economies.
“I just wonder how much it all ends up costing if tribes have to pay to put a sign up every time they get some federal dollars,” said Faye Lalonde, a tribal citizen who lives near the Bay Mills Community in Michigan. “Is this the way it’s always going to be now? And how much will it cost over the long run?”
WINNIPEG, Manitoba – HighWater Press has just published “Stone,” the first comic book in the graphic novel series “7 Generations,” by author David Robertson and artist Scott Henderson. The ongoing “7 Generations” is a four-part graphic novel series that spans three centuries of an aboriginal family.
It tells the story of Edwin, an aboriginal teenager who attempts suicide. His mother realizes he must learn his family’s past if he is to have any future. She tells him about his ancestor Stone, a young Plains Cree man who came of age at the beginning of the 19th century. Following a vision quest, Stone aspires to be like his older brother, Bear, a member of the Warrior Society. But when Bear is killed, Stone must overcome his grief and avenge his brother’s death; only then can he begin a new life. It is Stone’s story that drives Edwin to embark on his own quest.
NEW YORK – Some 100 members of New York state Indian nations rallied on the steps of the Big Apple’s City Hall Aug. 23, to demand an apology from Mayor Michael Bloomberg over his invocation of Old West imagery in the dispute over taxation of cigarette sales on the state’s reservations.
With red-and-white pre-printed placards reading “Respect our Culture” and “Respect our Treaties,” the group demonstrated for an hour behind the police security checkpoint that guards pedestrian access to the historic building.
In a prepared statement, Chief Harry Wallace of Long Island’s Unkechaug Nation charged Bloomberg with the “use of imagery derogatory to the first nations people of North America in his attempt to pressure Gov. David Paterson to use violence, if necessary, in order to impose an unlawful act on the territories of Indian nations.”
Bolivia’s majority indigenous population is led by President Evo Morales, an Aymara Indian. During recent decades the country’s indigenous groups have made themselves increasingly heard, fighting for rights to land, political representation and their culture. But living in pockets alongside, and increasingly mixing with, the Aymara and Quechua Indians who make up the majority of the country’s 10.5 million people is a small, often overlooked population. They are Afro-Bolivians, who have shared in many of the indigenous population’s trials over hundreds of years.
Numbering about 35,000, Afro-Bolivians struggled for recognition in their country. In saya – traditional music born during slavery – they found the tool that gives their small community a big voice.
The Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe is calling into question the legality of a proposal that would redevelop the historic mill town of Port Gamble and set aside thousands of acres of North Kitsap timberland.
The tribe argues that the proposed North Kitsap Legacy Partnership would permanently harm Port Gamble Bay and may not be legal under the state law that directs growth to urban areas. The tribe favors pursuing alternatives that would place the development elsewhere.
“We don’t agree with the legality of some of the things they’re proposing,” Chairman Jeromy Sullivan said.
Kitsap County and the Pope Resources subsidiary that owns Port Gamble are nearing an agreement on a broad framework for a development plan for the legacy project.
The Oneida Indian Nation is moving its cigarette manufacturing plant from Buffalo to Oneida, N.Y., according to a press release issued by the tribe on Aug. 25.
In addition to creating 15 jobs in central New York, the relocation will ensure that customers of the tribe’s enterprises can still buy Oneida Indian Nation-manufactured cigarettes free of New York State taxes, the release said.
“By moving the plant to the Oneida homelands, the Nation is availing itself of a long-settled law that recognizes the right of Indian tribes to sell products they manufacture on their own reservations without interference from state tax laws. When an Indian nation manufactures its own products on its reservation, and sells those products on its reservation, federal law preempts state efforts to tax those products,” the tribe stated in the release.
The Rosebud Sioux Tribe Liquor Commission and the Todd County Commission have both approved an off-sale liquor license application from the Turtle Creek Crossing Supermarket. Store employees have indicated alcohol sales will begin this week.
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Growing up in Western New York, Irene Jimerson would accompany her mother, a Cayuga Indian, to tribal meetings at local community halls.
Some 20 to 30 Cayugas, most of them adults, would gather to talk about old and new business. Often discussion would turn to their ancestral homeland that encompassed 64,000 acres around the north end of Cayuga Lake.
“It was always the wish – the dream – that all the people had to be able to come and settle on our own land,” Jimerson recalled.
The “Missing Women Investigation Review” released by the Vancouver Police Department Aug. 20 documented widespread deficiencies in investigations of missing and murdered women – no surprise to families who’d been filing reports for more than two decades.
“It’s taken them 19 years to understand what we’ve been saying all along,” said Angela MacDougall, executive director of Battered Women’s Support Services. “We knew what was going on in the ’90s – women were being plucked off the streets. We said there were serial killers, and that women were going missing, and the police did nothing.
“For them to now say ‘sorry, we messed up’ is not good enough. Thirteen more women died because of their bungling, infighting, racism, sexism and jurisdictional issues.”
Due to human rights violations affecting the indigenous peoples of the country, Guatemala risks becoming “ungovernable” according to the U.N. official in charge of indigenous rights after a visit in June.
These problems revolve around the lack of indigenous rights to prior consultation, as well as territorial and civil rights in Guatemala according to James Anaya, the United Nations special rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people. Anaya (along with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights) also specifically mentioned that the Marlin Mine, owned by Goldcorp of Canada, was a source of many serious pollution allegations and was recently closed due to these problems.
The Native-American community is throwing out some strong accusations against Seattle police after the fatal shooting of a wood carver by a Seattle officer.
In an emotional news conference on Friday morning, angry community leaders said the shooting of John T. Williams was unjustified and just the latest example of police abuse against Native Americans.
Williams died after he was shot several times Monday near Boren Avenue and Howell Street.
In the past few years, an area on state land about 20 miles away from Marquette has caught the eye of a mining company called Kennecott. The area is called Eagle Rock in the Yellow Dog Plains, and is expected to yield 250 to 300 million pounds of nickel and about 200 million pounds of copper, as well as several other minerals. The project is expected to create many jobs in the Upper Peninsula, as well as encourage new mining operations here.
The site is also a sacred site to the Ojibwa Nation. The land was ceded to them in an 1842 treaty. This treaty gave Native Americans the right to hunt, gather, fish and conduct sacred ceremonies on Eagle Rock in the Yellow Dog Plains and all public lands in the central and western Upper Peninsula, stretching into Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Many against the mine have cited several reasons for their position, among them environmental concerns and the numerous controversies surrounding Kennecott’s parent company, Rio Tinto. But of all the reasons to be against this mine, the mining of a sacred site of a Native American tribe is the most concerning.
American Indians are 31 percent more likely to have had their homes foreclosed on than whites, and Native Hawaiians are 40 percent more likely, according to a report by the Center for Responsible Lending in Durham.
A total of 5.9 percent of American Indian homeowners who received loans on owner-occupied homes between 2005 and 2008 were foreclosed on between 2007 and 2009, according to the center, a research and policy group which also has offices in California and Washington, D.C. Even more, 6.3 percent, of Native Hawaiian homeowners were foreclosed on.
Extrapolating from a rough total of two million foreclosures done between 2007 and 2009, the Indian share of foreclosures (0.4 percent of the total) would come to about 8,000 Indian families foreclosed on.
The American Civil Liberties Union petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court late yesterday to review a case concerning an elections system that dilutes the American Indian vote in the city of Martin, South Dakota.
In the petition, the ACLU argues that a redistricting plan, adopted by the city in 2002, prevents American Indian voters from having an equal opportunity to participate in the political process and elect representatives of their choice in violation of the Voting Rights Act.
In May 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, in a divided 7-4 opinion issued by the full panel of judges, declined to block the city’s elections system, prompting today’s petition.
A group of American Indians in Minnesota is suing officials with the Bureau of Indian Affairs in an effort to restore its federal recognition as an Indian tribe.
In a lawsuit Wednesday, the Sandy Lake Band of Mississippi Chippewa said treaties dating back to 1825 recognize the group as its own tribe. The treaties also set up a reservation in Aitkin County. The lawsuit states Congress never terminated the tribe’s status, yet since 1980, the BIA hasn’t included the group on its list of federally recognized tribes. So members can’t get services.
Monday, September 6, 2010- Community Spirit Awards:
The First Peoples Fund, a national organization dedicated to supporting Native American artists, will honor Community Spirit Award winners with a ceremony. Each year First Peoples Fund recognizes outstanding artists for their unselfish work to bring spirit back to their communities through their artistic expression, commitment to sustaining cultural values and, ultimately, service to their people. Is there an artist in your community you’d like to recognize? Guests include Lori Pourier (Oglala/Mnicoujou Lakota) President/ First Peoples Fund, David Cournoyer (Sicangu Lakota) Board Member/First Peoples Fund and the Community Spirit Award recipients.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010- Current Events:
The beaches of O’ahu echo with the sounds of Native drums from around the Western Hemisphere as thousands of indigenous people converge on Waikiki for the “Healing Our Spirit” gathering. An American Indian Tourism Conference titled “Voices & Visions in Indian Country” is being held on the Tulalip reservation in Washington. The Native American Music Association has opened up their online voting to select the winners of the 12th Annual Native American Music Awards. Do you have an event you’d like to announce?
Wednesday, September 8, 2010- Reducing Back-to-School Stress:
Elementary, high school and college kids are flocking back to school and into new routines. They’ll have new classmates, new teachers and maybe even a new school to navigate. New surroundings bring with them new expectations and more intense schoolwork. Experts say helping your student understand what changes they’ll face can greatly reduce their back-to-school anxiety and can even help prevent high school and college students from dropping out. How do you alleviate yours and your child’s anxiety? Guests are Mary Jane Oatman-Wak Wak, (Nez Perce), Director of Indian Education/Idaho State Department, and Patricia Whitefoot (Yakama) Indian Education Director/Toppenish School District.
Thursday, September 9, 2010-Tribal Languages & Rosetta Stone:
Rosetta Stone is the leading language-learning software in the world. The Virginia-based company launched its Endangered Language Program six years ago to help revitalize Native languages. Rosetta Stone teamed up with a group called Navajo Renaissance and produced a software program for the Navajo language. Is your tribal language on the endangered list? Do you think a software program – in this high-tech, digital age we live in – is the answer to teaching the iGeneration their tribal language? Invited guests include Marion Bittinger, Manager/Rosetta Stone’s Endangered Language Program.
Friday, September 10, 2010- Healing From Abortion:
Abortion is one of those sensitive issues that impacts lives deeply, but is rarely talked about. For many mothers, after the abortion they experience disassociation with the event. The wound is so deep they are unable to feel it, and therefore they do not go through a proper mourning process. The fathers also feel the hurt and emptiness that comes along with an abortion, but they usually have no place to turn for comfort. Does abortion, addiction and mental disorders all go hand-in-hand? Our guest is licensed independent social worker Chenoa Seaboy (Sisseton-Wahpeton).
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News from INDN’s List
For the first time in Arizona history, an American Indian candidate has become a major party nominee for statewide office! INDN’s List endorsed candidate Chris Deschene, a Navajo and former member of the United Steelworkers, won the Democratic Party’s nomination for Secretary of State in a hotly contested race where he was outspent by over $30,000.
Now Chris moves on to the November 2nd General Election where he faces Ken Bennett, who was appointed to the office in 2009. If Chris wins in November, he will become the first Indian to serve statewide in Arizona. Furthermore, in Arizona, the Secretary of State is the state’s second highest executive officer. Since 1977, Arizona’s Secretary of State moved on to become Governor four times. Thus, Chris Deschene will be perfectly poised to become the country’s only sitting American Indian Governor!
Chris Deschene is living proof that the INDN’s List system of recruiting, training, funding and providing strategic guidance to Indian candidates works! He attended our “From the Table to the Ticket” training in 2006 where he impressed all of our staff as well as Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA), the Vice Chair of the DNC, who is also supporting Chris. He won election to the State House in 2008 and is now the Arizona Democratic Party’s first statewide American Indian nominee.
Since 2005, INDN’s List has helped elect 45 American Indian candidates to office. Today, we are proud to endorse four of these elected officials who are visionary leaders in their respective chambers and boards.
By becoming the Speaker Designate, Minority Leader, Board President, and serving on the powerful Finance Committee, these four INDN elected officials have shown what power Indian Country can wield in elected office…….
In 2006, INDN’s List was proud to help elect the first Indian to serve in the Pennsylvania legislature. Now, we have a chance to do it again! Wisconsin has never elected an Indian to either their State Assembly or State Senate. In an open seat election in a district that is pivotal for control of the State Assembly, the Democratic nominee, Mert Summers, is a member of the Oneida Nation….