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Boujou!

The past week has been a very mixed bag in Indian Country - some good, some bad, but lots of news (and lots of editorial comment today), so let's get to it.

NEW SOUTH DAKOTA ICWA LAWSUIT

On Thursday, family members from the Oglala Sioux, Rosebud, and Standing Rock Sioux tribes, along with the Oglala and Rosebud Sioux Nations, have filed suit in a South Dakota federal court, alleging that the state routinely violates the Indian Child Welfare Act [ICWA] in adoption and foster care proceedings. Oglala Sioux tribal president Bryan Brewer says that in Pennington County, S.D., more than half of the children removed from their homes are Oglala Sioux tribal members. He adds:

"For years Pennington County, courts, judges and the Pennington County’s attorney have allowed the state of South Dakota and the Department of Social Services to take children — Indian and non-Indian — from their homes and family and place them in foster homes for months at a time, without requiring the state to produce any meaningful evidence in a fair and meaningful hearing. This is an abuse of state power."
 photo DanaFastHorseICWASuit2_zps3c0ab8ca.jpg The plaintiffs seek class-action certification; declaratory relief finding that, as a matter of law, state officials violated the Due Process Clause and the ICWA; and both preliminary and permanent injunctions requiring "adequate" and "meaningful" procedures, including notice and hearings. The ACLU of South Dakota and the Hanna Law Office are representing the plaintiffs. You can read the complaint here [.pdf]. You can view additional photos from the plaintiffs' press conference here.
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SEQUESTER UPDATE:  INDIAN SCHOOLS ARE FIRST AND HARDEST HIT

 photo RedLakeHighSchool_zpse1fd5d64.jpg Months before the sequester begins to affect ordinary American schools, it is already having a deep and devastating impact on tribal schools. The primary reason is the immediate loss of "'Impact Aid," discussed in my round-up two weeks ago; for tribal schools, it is often a primary source of funding. In Minnesota, several tribal nations, including the White Earth Nation, the Red Lake Nation, and the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, are planning or have already begun implementing cuts to basic programs.

At Fond du Lac, officials expect to lose at least 25 Head Start slots for Native children. White Earth is considering ending the school year early, and is already planning for the possibility that it will have to consolidate all 6th-, 7th-, and 8th-graders into one classroom this fall. Red Lake, however, has already been adversely affected: Still reeling from the 2005 fatal shootings of seven people by severely troubled student Jeff Weise, the school system has already been forced to cut security staff. But the sequester will have long-term adverse impacts, as well:

The cuts come as tribal schools have begun making strides against their historically low graduation rates. For the class of 2012, graduate rates for American Indians rose 3 points — the first sizable increase in years. Typically in Minnesota, 45 percent of American Indian students earn a high school diploma in four years. The statewide graduation rate for all students is 87 percent.
In the reporting on this issue, one word recurs repeatedly:  "Devastating."
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HISTORIC PRESERVATION:  OSAGE ENSURE SURVIVAL OF ANCIENT SUGARLOAF MOUND

 photo OsageTouringSugarloafMound_zps9ae8fa39.jpg Members of the Osage Nation are thought to be the contemporary descendants of the original builders of the ancient earthworks, or mounds, in what is now the St. Louis area. In 2009, the tribe purchased the land holding the last surviving such earthwork, known as Sugarloaf Mound. Last week, 25 tribal members traveled to the area to tour the mound (and the house that currently sits atop it), to determine what steps will be needed to ensure the land's proper historic preservation.

"We want to remove the house, reconstruct a part of the mound the best we can and build an education center to the side," said Deidre Bigheart, executive director for governmental affairs for the Osage Nation.

Bigheart said the mound would not be used as an archaeological site, however.

"Too much damage has already been done," she said. "We want to preserve it. We consider it a sacred site."

Tribal member Wendy Ponca, also part of the group touring the site, was even more pointed:
"We want people to remember the Osage," Ponca said. "That this is the only remaining mound and others weren’t preserved? Shame on us, the American nation."
With so much of our peoples' histories lost unnecessarily, seeing descendant nations saving their ancestors' stories is welcome indeed.
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LIVING HISTORY:  CHESTER NEZ, LAST ORIGINAL CODETALKER,
PUBLISHES NEW MEMOIR

 photo ChesterNez_zps9758ec80.jpg Among the original 29 Navajo CodeTalkers in World War II, only one survives today: Chester Nez. In 2011, Hastiin Nez published a memoir of his service, Code Talker: The First and Only Memoir By One of the Original Navajo Code Talkers of WWII. Now, he has written a new memoir. Both prequel and sequel, The Life and Times of the Code Talker details his formative years on the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico as well as the years since his return from the war, and places his service into the context of his culture and traditions.

About six years ago, I and my mother were privileged to meet Hastiin Nez, along with three other original CodeTalkers who have since walked on. It was a chance meeting in Albuquerque; even then, he was wearing his signature yellow traditional shirt, as pictured in the photo. My mother, who regarded them as the heroes they were, desperately wanted to take their photo, but I wasn't brave enough to ask. Their driver, however, realizing what she wanted, agreed to introduce us. They graciously welcomed the woman who wanted the photo, and seemed pleased that her daughter, despite being non-Navajo, could say Yá’át’ééh properly. They generously allowed us the photos (which are currently packed away), a few  wartime stories, and their thanks for our respectful interest even as we were thanking them for their kindness.

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FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS:  MT STATE'S "I LEAD" TRAINS INDIAN EDUCATORS

 photo WilliamMendoza_zpsbb849786.jpg The U.S. Department of Education has awarded a $1.2 million grant to Montana State University to support its Indian Leadership Education and Development [I LEAD] Program. Administered in conjunction with Little Big Horn College, the new grant will provide for training another 40 American Indian educators for leadership roles, such as superintendent and principal positions, in majority-Native schools.

I LEAD program director William Ruff explains the importance of training Indian educational leaders in very frank terms:

"In Montana, we have 2.7 percent of the teaching staff who are Native American and four percent of principals, but 12 percent of the population is Native American. We have a long way to go before we achieve representation. There needs to be a Native American voice in schools with Native American students, or the achievement gap is doomed to continue. There must be a voice recognizing the importance of identity and diversity to help create changes in schooling at local, state and federal levels. . . . If administrators are able to walk in two worlds, trust grows between the school and the community and that gives a voice to Native American education."
So far, 68 students have graduated from the program; 50 of those are now employed in positions of educational leadership. Perhaps the best-known graduate is William Mendoza (Oglala-Sicangu Lakota), pictured above at right. Mr. Mendoza grew up on the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations in South Dakota, and has served as both Deputy Director and Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Tribal Colleges. In December, 2011, President Barack Obama named him Executive Director of the White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education.
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COMEDY:  THE WARRIOR WOMAN AND THE BIGOT

 photo Ponka-WeVictors_zps5120ac49.jpg Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State, bigot, and "immigration adviser" to the failed Romney campaign, met his match and then some at a legislative hearing last week. The architect of Arizona's "Papers, please" law, Kobach is now pushing legislation that would repeal a state law that provides for in-state tuition to Kansas colleges and universities based on graduation and residency, irrespective of immigration status. Kobach informed those in attendance that the current law conflicted with federal law, adding: "U.S. citizens should always come first when it comes to handing out government subsidies."

He - like the Republicans on the panel - was unprepared, however, for questioning by one Democratic House member, Ponka-We Victors (Ponca/Tohono O'odham). At the end of her questions for Kobach, Representative Victors noted matter-of-factly:

"I think it’s funny[,] Mr. Kobach, because when you mention illegal immigrant, I think of all of you."
Of course, her point went unappreciated by the Republicans present. Arlen Siegfreid (R-Olathe), chair of the House Federal and State Affairs Committee, said, "Please don't do that."

I rather doubt that Ms. Victors will take his advice anytime soon.

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TRAGEDY:  A LEGACY FOR WIYAKA MAZA WACI

 photo AJLongsoldier_zps785b6fb0.jpg Last week, Montana state hearings officer Terry Spear upheld an earlier ruling by the Montana Human Rights Commission finding that Blaine and Hill Counties exhibited "discriminatory indifference" in the jailhouse death of 18-year-old A.J. Longsoldier (Assiniboine/Gros Ventre, Ft. Belknap Indian Community).

His real name was WiYaka Maza WaCi, or "Iron Feather Dances." To the outside world, he was known as Allen J. "A.J." Longsoldier, Jr., a student at Haskell Indian College and a former basketball star at Hays/Lodge Pole High School in Montana. According to his obituary, he idolized NBA stars like LeBron James and Michael Jordan. His love of basketball was outweighed only by his love for his family:

He was a mama's boy, who always kissed his mom and would tell her "Mom, there are three things I love in this life, what are they? Dayna would reply, "Basketball, basketball, and basketball." A.J. would state, "No mom, you, my brother and sisters, then basketball in that order."
In August, 2009, he was picked up by police and jailed on a contempt of court charge. While incarcerated, he complained of feeling ill; jail officials noticed that he talked to himself, appeared to be hallucinating, and even pulled out a clump of his own hair. They did nothing about it until he had been jailed for two days; by the time they finally transferred him to Havre Hospital, it was too late. He died there, of acute alcohol withdrawal, or what used to be known as delirium tremens. After pressure from the family, the Ft. Belknap Tribal Council, and even NCAI President Jefferson Keel (Chickasaw), the state's Human Rights Commission investigated; last September, the Commission found that officials of the two counties involved discriminated against Mr. Longsoldier on the basis of disability status - i.e., alcoholism. Tribal officials, however, have made clear their opinion that the discrimination extended to Mr. Longsoldier's race, as well.

In upholding the Commission's ruling, Mr. Spear ordered the counties to pay $300,000 to Mr. Longsoldier's estate as compensation for his emotional distress during incarceration in the days prior to his death. Perhaps the ruling and the award are legacy enough for WiYaka Maza WaCi, but I selfishly hope that his story inspires his family and fellow tribal members to work in his name to eradicate the kind of casual racism and discrimination that leaves a gravely ill teenager caged and dying.

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Chi miigwech.
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Latest Updates on Kossack Regional Meet-Up News Below the Frybead Thingey

:: COMMUNITY BUILDING UPDATES ::
Let's build communities!

Every region needs a meatspace community like SFKossacks.
We take care of each other in real life.
I urge YOU to take the lead and organize one in your region.
Please tell us about it if you do and we're here for advice.


THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY

Click >>>HERE to see a list of all the regional Kossack groups that have organized for social and activism events. There are handy links to contact each organizer to join.

>>>Instructions on HOW TO FORM A NEW DAILY KOS GROUP

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:: Events Currently on the Books for ALL Kossacks ::
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Saturday, March 30th

Houston Area Kossacks Meet-up and Potluck

TIME: 1:00 PM
LOCATION: Libby Shaw's house
[Address] • [City]

ORGANIZER: Send Chrislove a kosmail to attend and get address.

RSVPs:
1. Chrislove
2. nomandates
3. Libby Shaw (host)
4. Mr. Libby Shaw (host)
5. Alan Luckey (honorary Kossack, Organizing for Action)
6. suesue
7. Mr. suesue
8. cosette
9. doraphasia
10. miscanthus
11. mister mustardhead
12. Blood

Maybees:
Delilah

Latest diary: Houston Area Kossacks: April 6 Meet-Up RESCHEDULED for Saturday, March 30! (Please RSVP again!)
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Paradise and Chico Kossacks (final)Saturday, April 6th

Paradise & Chico Kossacks Picnic, Kite Flying and Hike

TIME: TBD
LOCATION: Table Mountain
Butte County • Northern California

ORGANIZER: Send paradise50 a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. paradise50
2. smileycreek
3. Darryl House
4. Mrs. House
5. norm
Maybees:
Latest diary: [Waiting for linked diary]
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Saturday, April 6th

Kossacks Meet-up for Dave in Northridge

TIME: TBD
LOCATION: TBD
[Address] • [City]

ORGANIZER: Send navajo a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. navajo
2. Dave in Northridge
3. Steveningen
4. kimoconnor
Maybees:
lineatus
Lorikeet
dharmasyd
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Saturday, April 6th

Colorado COmmunity Kossacks Pot Luck

TIME: 2:00 PM
LOCATION: ColoTim's home
Address given by Kosmail • Denver

ORGANIZER: Send ColoTim a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. ColoTim
2. Frankenoid
3. Ginny in CO
4. coloradocomet
5. State Senator Irene Aguilar
6. whoknu
7. Colorado is the Shiznit
8. Badkitties
9. RockyMtnLib
10. LeftCandid
11. blind cynic
12. comoonbeam

Maybees:
victoria2dc
acpa
blue aardvark
KellyRN2

Latest diary: Colorado Meetup - April 6th, 2013
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New England Kossacks Banner
DailyKos readers who live and/or work in New England
(Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont)

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Sunday, April 7th

Connecticut Kossacks Meet-up

TIME: TBD
LOCATION: TBD
[Address] • [City]

ORGANIZER: Send Phil S 33 a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. Phil S 33
2. thankgodforamerica
3.
Maybees:
annieli
Latest diary: Last Chance Meet-up in Connecticut (for me)
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April: Post Tax Day

Southern Cal Inland Empire Kossacks Meet-up

TIME: TBD
LOCATION: TBD
[Address] • [City]

ORGANIZER: Send SoCaliana kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. SoCaliana
2. pucklady
3. Unbozo
Maybees:
Latest diary: So Cal IE Kossacks: April Meetup
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Kansas & Missouri Kossacks

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Friday, April 19th

Kansas & Missouri Kossacks Meet-up

TIME: TBD
LOCATION: Springfield Brewing Company
305 South Market Street • Springfield

ORGANIZER: Send tmservo433 a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. tmservo433
2.
3.
4.
5.
Maybees:
Latest diary: [Waiting for linked diary]
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Saturday, April 20th

Chicago Kossacks Celebrate Earth Day

TIME: Morning, see diary below for details
LOCATION: The Heller Nature Center
2821 Ridge Road  • Highland Park

Followed by pizza at broths & Mr. broths home.

ORGANIZER: Send figbash a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. figbash
2. broths
3. Mr. broths
4. Chitown Kev
Maybees:
Latest diary: Hey Chicago - Time for a Meet-Up!
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Dkos Asheville
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Saturday, April 20th

Dkos Asheville's First Meet-up

TIME: TBD
LOCATION: The Bywater
796 Riverside Dr. • Asheville

ORGANIZER: Send randallt a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. randallt
2. davehouck
3. Otteray Scribe
4. eeff
5. people power granny
6. Joieau
7. LamontCranston
8. cultjake
9. GordonNC (UID 5123 & City Councilman)
10. DawnN
11. SteelerGrrl
12. SteelerDude
13. Captain Sham
14. Sandy on Signal
15. gulfgal98
16. gigihopes

Maybees:
polecat
Land of Enchantment
jnhobbs
alicia (plus two)
Nic Goodman
Audri
ecthompson
emmasnacker

Latest diary:Dkos Asheville Open Thread

From randallt: "DKos Asheville is hosting a meet up and we've managed to cast a wide net! Asheville NC is the epicenter of cool progressive in the heart of the mountains and we have folks traveling from Eastern Tennessee, the Southern Highlands and Charlotte. So don't let the distance keep you away, come to Asheville, sign up today! You know you want to."

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Sunday, April 28th
NYC Kossacks Brunch and a Show!
ORGANIZER: Send sidnora a kosmail to attend.

 Whym Restaurant NYC
Brunch:
TIME: Noon (with Show at 3PM)
LOCATION: Whym
889 9th Avenue (between 57th & 58th) • NYC
RSVPs:
1. sidnora
2. Denise Oliver Velez, Special Guest of Honor
3. devtob
4. LuLu
5. MBNYC
6. friends of LuLu
7. mconvente
8. joanbrooker
Maybees:
Batya the Toon
belinda ridgewood
thankgodforairamerica
kathny
 PlayBill Ann Richards
Theater:
TIME: 3:00 PM
LOCATION: The Vivian Beaumont Theater
150 West 65th St. (Broadway) • NYC
RSVPs:
1. sidnora
2. Denise Oliver Velez, Special Guest of Honor
3. devtob
4. LuLu
5. MBNYC
6. friends of LuLu
Maybees:
Latest diary: NY Metro Meetup: Theater Party, Sunday 4/28!!
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Atlanta Area Kossacks

Potentially in April or May

Atlanta Area Kossacks Kick-off Meet-up

TIME: TBD
LOCATION: TBD
[Address] • [City]

ORGANIZER: Send navajo a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. One Pissed Off Liberal
2. racheltracks
3. annrose
Maybees:
pragmaticidealist
Latest diary: [Waiting for linked diary]
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New York Hudson Valley Kossacks

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boran2
DATE TBD

NY Hudson Valley Kossacks' First Meet-up

TIME: TBD
LOCATION: Hudson House
2 Main Street • Cold Spring, NY

ORGANIZER: Send boran2 a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. boran2
2. thankgodforairamerica
3. betson08 (if event is in April)
Maybees:
Latest diary: [Waiting for linked diary]
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Netroots Nation Header
Netroots Nation 2013 in San Jose: Plenary Session Table Reservations
June 20th - 23rd  •  REGISTER HERE



SFKossacks:
1. side pocket [First Lieutenant]
2. mrs. side pocket
3. kimoconnor
4. citisven
5. lineatus
6. Cali Scribe
7. Glen the Plumber
8. remembrance
9. jotter
10. Mrs. jotter
SFKossacks:
1. Lusty
2. mrsgoo
3. norm
4. boran2 (Honorary)
5. Lorikeet
6. FogCityJohn
7. slksfca
8. madhaus
9. boatsie
10. maggiejean
SFKossacks:
1. Kamakhya
2. dharmasyd
3. Ebby
4. Bustergirl
5. BeninSC (Honorary)
6. sfbaytransplant
7. Senor Unoball
8. paradox
9. slouching
10. shanikka
Native American Netroots:
1. navajo
2. Meteor Blades
3. 4Freedom (maybe)
4. no way lack of brain
5. translatorpro
6. Kitsap River
7. Charles Curtis Stanley
8. TheFatLadySings
9. TFLS's guest
10. TFLS's guest
Central Valley Kossacks:
1. tgypsy
2. cooper888
3. gotmooned
4. paradise50
5. smileycreek
6. Caddis Fly
7. Kestrel
8. peregrine kate (honorary)
9. ProvokingMeaning (honorary)
10.
Lone Star Kossacks:
1. nomandates
2. texasmom
3. texasdad
4. doraphasia
5. krwheaton
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
Cheers & Jeers:
1. Bill in Portland Maine
2. Common Sense Mainer
3. vicki
4. Sharoney
5. Spousal Unit
6. cskendrick
7. brillig
8. mik
9. K1
10.
Los Angeles Kossacks:
1. Shockwave
2. jakedog42
3. susans
4. murphy
5. Dave in Northridge
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
NYC and beyond:
1. sidnora
2. belinda ridgewood
3. belinda ridgewood's guest
4. Jimdotz
5. theroaringgirl
6. thankgodforairamerica
7. hayden
8.
9.
10.
Community Quilt Project:
1. Sara R
2. winglion?
3. loggersbrat
4. ramara (Arizona)
5. Horace Boothroyd III
6. linkage
7.
8.
9.
10.
Military Community Members:
1. DaNang65
2. drnatrl
3. angelajean (Maybe)
4. exlrrp (Maybe)
5. ccasas
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
Misc. registered Kossacks + regions:
1.  
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
Hopefully we can put together whole tables for them.


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Community Quilt Project

Community Quilt Project NN13 Flash Mob Photo


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smileycreek is organizing and asking all Community Quilt recipients to bring their quilts to NN13. We'll assemble at a pre-designated location and time for a group photo with one of the NN13 professional photographers. It will be a group hug celebrating one of the most beloved community building projects we have here at Daily Kos with Sara R and winglion at the center of it. navajo and Glen the Plumber are going to scout out and select a location in advance for all to meet with their quilts for a memorable photo opportunity. Stay tuned.
Date: TBD Time: TBD
1. paradise50
2. Dave in Northridge
3. remembrance
4. BeninSC
5. mimi
6. cskendrick
7. DaNang65
8. llbear (not attending, quilt only)
9. Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse (may not attend)
10. Smoh (not attending, quilt only)
11. slksfca
12. belinda ridgewood
13. Ebby
14. Bustergirl
15. Kitsap River
16. Charles Curtis Stanley
17.
18.
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Glacier National Park
June 27- June 30th

Glacier National Park Kossack EPIC Meetup!

TIME: 24/7
LOCATION: Glacier National Park
402 9th St W • Columbia Falls, Montana

ORGANIZER: Send arizonablue a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. BlueJessamine
2. arizonablue
3. Mr.arizonablue
4. Truman
5. Ojibwa - arriving for the weekend
6. MTmofo
7. figbash!
8. spottedbear
9. jakedog42
10. Oke
11. cooltraveler
12. Mr.cooltraveler
13. state of confusion
14. Lute the Norwegian
15. Josh Blue
16. NormAl
17. winifred3

Maybees:
Joan McCarter
slksfca
Ed in Montana
Thinking Fella
BoiseBlue
BoiseBlue GF
Dave in Northridge

Latest diary: Glacier National Park Check In! Glacier National Park Meetup - Part II w/ lodging and campground info!
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Send navajo a kosmail if you post a diary about an event so we can update our round-up.

Okay. Floor's open.
Tell us what you are doing on this NEW DAY?

Originally posted to Connect! Unite! Act! on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 07:30 AM PDT.

Also republished by Native American Netroots and SFKossacks.

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