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Welcome to News from Native American Netroots, a Monday evening series (delayed until Wednesday this week) 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.

The UNDRIP.  It’s time, Uncle Sam.

We'll begin with very important that exmearden wrote about in a front page piece yesterday. If you haven't yet, please go read "The UNDRIP.  It’s time, Uncle Sam." It addresses the United States refusal, for many years, to vote for United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) The U.S. and Canada are the only no votes left to enact this in the United Nations.
This needs our action before July 15th.
From exmearden's diary, emphasis mine:

You have until July 15th, if you want input into the process, to send email or write to the US Department of State.
exmearden provides a thorough explanation, and links to resources to learn about UNDRIP.



Gallery: Design Build Bluff: Sustainable Homes For People Who Need Them

Design Build Bluff is a university design and build course started by Hank Louis at the University of Utah School of Architecture. It's the type of program you wish you were a part of during school and one that you will probably want to help out with when you learn more about it. DBB just finished its seventh sustainably-built house in Navajo Nation in Southern Utah. Their latest house in a string of super affordable and sustainably-built structures, is a testament to the hearts of those involved and the amazing education in green building the students are receiving.

NOTE: The photo gallery provides not only images, but also a lot of information in the captions about the sustainable features.



Harvard officials defend Kagan on Indian issues

With Elena Kagan’s Senate confirmation hearing looming, top Harvard University officials are defending her record on Native American issues. Meanwhile, some Indian groups and individuals are supporting her nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, despite her largely unknown positions on Indian law.

"Elena Kagan as dean [of Harvard Law School] had such a strong interest in the issues of Indian country and Indian law that she allocated funds from her discretionary funding to support work in that area," said Martha Minow, current dean of Harvard Law School. She said Kagan used funds to support Indian scholars, conferences, and visiting tribal law officials.

Still, some scholars have blamed Kagan for failing to racially diversify her staff when she served as dean from 2003 – 2009. Of the 32 tenured and tenure-track academic hires she made while in the position, only one was a minority, of Asian descent.



EPA: Kennecott Needs No Fed Permit for Mich. Mine

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says Kennecott Eagle Minerals Co. doesn't need a federal permit to build a nickel and copper mine in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

The agency informed the company of its ruling in a letter made public Friday.

EPA said previously that a federal permit was needed for the mine's wastewater discharge system. The letter said it is now not required because the company announced a redesign in March.



Running for ammo-Vet finally receives Bronze Stars for conduct in combat in Vietnam

ou read about veterans who receive their medals 40 years late because the government lost the paperwork or some such thing.

For Lee Chee, it wasn't like that. It just took him a while to want his two Bronze Stars.

Chee, now 63, remembers hitchhiking home to Cottonwood, Ariz., after his discharge from the Army, weary of life, weary of death, stunned that the government had denied him compensation for Agent Orange-related health problems, stung by the epithets people were hurling at returning Vietnam vets.



American Indian Film Institute
Tribal Touring Program
Summer 2010

The American Indian Film Institute (AIFI) is proud to announce dates for the 2010 Tribal Touring Program. The Tribal Touring Program is designed to expand AIFI’s media services to tribal and rural communities across the United States. The Tribal Touring Program, presented in the Summer, uses media as a tool for cultural and economic development. It is structured around media empowerment & literacy, digital training workshops, community film festival and, months later, youth-to-media-maker dialogue at the American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco.



Fifth Annual Vine Deloria, Jr. Indigenous Studies Symposium

The purpose of this symposium is to bring together Native and non-Native scholars and tribal elders who are interested in honoring the life and work of our friend, colleague, and mentor, Vine Deloria, Jr., and in presenting new ideas and expanding knowledge in several key areas that Vine devoted to his life to. The symposium will focus on Indigenous philosophy, Native science, religion, and spirituality.



Coming Up This Week on Native America Calling

Monday July 5th Freedom, Independence & Interdependence:
At a time when many Americans feel like they’re losing many of their freedoms that they’ve come to expect, many Native Americans are engaged in defending all the political, economic and religious mechanisms that define who we are as Native people. America has been built on the ideal of rugged individualism, but tribalism is a time-tested model of interdependence. Are Native people moving towards a new independence based on the old traditions of interdependence? Our guest will be attorney Kirke Kickingbird (Kiowa), Of Counsel/Hobbs Strauss Dean & Walker Law Firm.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010– Current Events:
The skills of ironworkers will be put to the test during the 8th Annual Ironworkers Competition at the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino. The National Alliance to Save Native Language will hold their Native Language Revitalization Summit in Washington D.C. Northwest Indian College will host the 5th Annual Vine Deloria, Jr. Indigenous Studies Symposium. The focus this year will be on indigenous philosophy, Native science, religion and spirituality. Do you have a current event that you would like to share over our electronic talking circle?

Wednesday, July 07, 2010– The Homesick Blues:
For those of us who have moved away from our tribal communities, we all get homesick at one time or another. Why do we get homesick? Whatever the reasons, summer seems to be the season to experience it. Whether you've been away at school, work, or the military, coming home can bring a sense of nostalgia that might be hard to shake when you return to the daily grind. Do we as Natives experience homesickness differently than others? What strategies do you use to shake off the homesick blues? Guests TBA.....



New Indian Law Papers on Tribal Same-Sex Marriage & Carcieri

The Boston College Third World Law Journal has published two Indian law papers.....



Senate Indian Affairs Committee approves Indian housing bills

The Senate Indian Affairs Committee approved two Indian housing bills at a business meeting on Wednesday.

H.R.3553, the Indian Veterans Housing Opportunity Act, ensures that Indian veterans who receive federal disability and survivor benefits are not denied support under the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act. The bill passed the House in April.

"Housing assistance for disabled Native American veterans is fatally flawed and means that the bigger the sacrifice the veteran has made for this country, the higher their rent and the more likely they are to be excluded from housing assistance altogether," Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) said in a press release. "Penalizing Native American veterans for collecting disability payments is simply not right, and I am glad that the Committee voted today to correct this injustice."



Long lost relative found and celebrated

June 20 was a busy day of celebrations for the Yuu-cluth-aht (Ucluelet) First Nations; it was Father's Day, an elder's birthday, young people were being given their traditional Nuu-chah-nulth names and a long lost relative was reunited with her family.

Nine years ago, Vi Mundy's sister passed away, but just before she died she recounted to her mother of a child she had and gave up for adoption years before.

"My sister was a nomadic person, very independent, but she would check in with the family from time to time," Mundy explained. "She lived all over the place, even in Hawaii, which is where she had her daughter."



Natives want improved education law

WASHINGTON – Indian educators are making clear that congressional reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act must address Native American concerns.

At a June 17 oversight hearing of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, several tribal leaders and educators said the law has been problematic, leading to learning shortfalls for some Indian youth.

The hearing was titled, "Did the No Child Left Behind Act Leave Indian Students Behind?"



Hopi farmers continue to utilize centuries-old dry farming methods

HOPI RESERVATION, Ariz. - In northern Arizona, where the average yearly rainfall is about 12 inches or less, the Hopi people have managed to endure and thrive by utilizing a tried and true method of farming that is totally dependent on natural precipitation.

This dry farming method is based on faith, keen observation, Hopi science methods and what the ancestors say is a "heart full of prayer."



Summit yields human rights violations report

A group of southwestern tribes has filed a collective report for the United Nations Human Rights Council, documenting the human rights violations imposed on the indigenous peoples of the area by the United States government.

The 125-page report was filed with the U.S. State Department and will become part of the U.N. Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review, a process created by the U.N. General Assembly in 2006 as a mechanism by which the human rights records of all 192 U.N. member states are reviewed every four years.
........The report also urges that "the United States swiftly adopt the Declaration (on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples) and join the rest of the world in recognizing that indigenous people around the globe, including those within its own boundaries, are entitled to freedom, religion, culture, autonomy and resources which we require for our continued existence."



Woman finds salvation in the native traditions of her ancestors

Native residential schools tried to take the "Indianness" out of the child, said Donna Dubie, who runs an aboriginal counselling centre in downtown Kitchener.

And as someone who practises her native traditions and holds the Creator at the centre of her world, Dubie said it’s not her job to make people "instant Indians."

But the 53-year-old Cambridge woman, who has been on a healing journey to cleanse herself, hopes she can help other natives experience and understand their ancestral teachings.



'Don't Minimize' Impacts of Amazon Oil Spill

Pluspetrol's Jun. 19 petroleum spill has left the Marañón River, in the Peruvian Amazon, with oil and grease levels thousands of times greater than the maximum allowed for human consumption, affecting more than 4,000 local residents.

"The oil slick covered the entire width of the Marañón River, with devastating effects for flora and fauna. Fish and aquatic plants have been destroyed," states the report by chemical engineer Víctor Sotero, of the government's Peruvian Amazon Research Institute (IIAP), connected to the Ministry of Environment.

IPS obtained access to the report and to the laboratory test results of the spill that occurred Jun. 19 in the northeastern region of Loreto, when the hull of a barge transporting crude oil ruptured, releasing about 400 barrels (159 litres per barrel) of the oil into the river.



Council supports Cherokee’s nomination to U.S. court

The Tribal Council passed a resolution at its June meeting supporting the prospective nomination of Cherokee Nation citizen Keith Harper to the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Harper would replace Oklahoman Robert Henry, who resigned from the Denver-based court to accept Oklahoma City University’s president’s position.

Council Speaker Meredith Frailey said the appointment is significant to the CN.



Cherokee National Youth Choir Celebrates 10 Years

The award-winning Cherokee National Youth Choir is celebrating ten years of music and performances. Throughout the 2010 the choir will make several appearances to perform, including a special anniversary concert to be held late this summer in conjunction with the 58th Cherokee National Holiday.




Indigenous leaders not sold on native title changes

Indigenous leaders and native title experts have branded plans to change Australia's native title rules as paternalistic and racist.

New South Wales Native Title Service Corporation CEO Warren Mundine is opposed to plans to set up a new body to oversee native title payments to Aboriginal communities to ensure they are not squandered.

He says there are already governance problems with the current regulatory bodies without creating another layer of bureaucracy. A native title expert says there is little evidence that money is being wasted.


Clean Water Out of Reach for Native Peoples

Of the many things that are not within the reach of everyone in Paraguay, safe drinking water is the one the indigenous population longs for most.

"The water we get from the reservoir is not fit to drink, but we drink it anyway. We have no other option; it's not clean water, but it is water," Neira Esquivel, a Sanapaná indigenous woman from the village of Karanda'y Puku, in the vast Paraguayan Chaco region, told IPS.

Esquivel travelled to Asunción with leaders of her community to demand water, food and formal recognition of their land rights from the National Indigenous Institute.




red_black_rug_design2

Originally posted to Oke on Mon Jul 05, 2010 at 07:33 PM PDT.

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