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.
Congress leaders, the Obama administration, and the nonprofit sector are each adding new tools to Indian country’s employment needs box.
Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., introduced legislation in June meant to grow jobs in Indian country, while providing greater access to capital, financial services, and streamlined job training.
Dorgan, chair of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, said the bill would help create jobs on reservations by improving access to investment capital and removing road blocks to tribal participation in federal jobs programs.
A Native American lacrosse team’s principled stand this week on behalf of their tribe’s sovereignty should make government officials in two countries blush and embolden other tribes to stand up for their own sovereignty.
The Iroquois Nationals lacrosse team had sought to travel to the United Kingdom to compete against England in the opening game of the 2010 World Lacrosse Championships in Manchester on July 15. The U.S. State Department initially refused to allow the team to travel out of the country because the tribal passports they carried didn’t have security features required after Sept. 11.
While the U.S. State Department eventually approved a one-time travel waiver to the team on July 14, the British government refused to accept the team’s Haudenosaunee Confederacy passports just hours after the State Department announced its decision.
The controversy over the Iroquois Nationals lacrosse team's effort to fly overseas with their tribe-issued passports has brought up issues about what it means for Native American's to have national sovereignty. Though the State Department offered to expedite U.S. issued passports for the team, the team manager said traveling with anything but their Haudenosaunee confederacy passports would be an insult to their culture. Now, the issue is dividing Native American nations across America.
Sanford Nabahe of the Lone Pine Paiute-Shoshone told WCBS, "Any documents or IDs we put forth recognizing our members should also be recognized by the federal government and other governments. The (federal) government has given us that autonomy." And since tribe land is independent from the U.S., they don't feel the need to carry U.S. passports. One team member said, "You know that as a young person that you are sovereign, that you are not part of the United States. We were the first people here."
A new book by former "Seattle Post-Intelligencer" Editorial Page Editor Mark Trahant tells how Sen. Henry M. Jackson, an advocate of policies that could have killed Native Americans' cultural heritage, changed while working with a Native American congressional staffer.
Business is booming in Whiteclay, and it’s not just the 4.6 million cans of beer sold there last year.
Many people know Whiteclay as the small, unincorporated village on the border of Nebraska and the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, a tiny spot on the map with a big alcohol problem. It’s where four beer stores sold 191,649 cases of beer in 2009, according to the Nebraska Liquor Commission. That translates into about 4.6 million cans.
But two Whiteclay business owners said few people realize the border town is also the place that sold $2.7 million worth of groceries in 2009.
College officials visited the Monacan Indian Nation tribal facility on Bear Mountain last weekend as part of a statewide college outreach to Native Americans throughout the state from middle school to high school.
The Virginia Indians Pre-College Outreach Initiative is a five-year effort funded by a grant, said Elaine Humphrey, associate director for research and development at Virginia Tech’s Center for Academic Enrichment and Excellence.
This is the second year of the five-year grant, which was made possible by a professor, John Galbraith, who began an endowment to help Virginia’s Indian nations become more involved in higher education, Humphrey said.
Sitting in his hotel room overlooking the land of the mighty Lummi Nation, Anthony Fernandes, aka Block Savage of Savage Family, is thinking about his future and his people. Teaching at a music mentor academy at the Lummi Nation Reservation just north of Bellingham has refreshed Fernandes, and recharged the energy and planning behind his forthcoming record, Native Amerikkkan Idol.
A member of the Lower Elwha Klallam Peoples, Block Savage hails from the Northwest - or as he calls it, "The illegally occupied territory now known as Washington state." He says this with a clever smile, and he's not joking. One of the founding members of the Native American organization known as Savage Family - which aims to utilize hip-hop and other mediums to give voice to Native Americans who've seen their history and culture basically gobbled up and discarded by Manifest Destiny - Fernandes has an everlasting commitment to highlighting the plight, struggle and heritage of Native American people via the art and culture of hip-hop.
"I grew up with hip-hop, but at the same time hip-hop is a force that, as Quincy Jones said, ‘Is a force that if harnessed correctly can change the world.' It's a force that can make a positive or negative impact upon the youth," says Fernandes. "If used right, we can change the world from the ground up."
Native American leaders pressed members of Congress and federal education officials this week to provide relief from provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act that they see as obstacles to running the language-immersion schools they need to keep their languages from disappearing.
As part of a two-day national summit here on revitalizing native languages, three founders of immersion schools that are teaching children Cherokee, Ojibwe, and Native Hawaiian contended that some No Child Left Behind provisions present huge hurdles for language-immersion programs or schools and conflict with schooling rights spelled out in another federal law, the Native American Languages Act. That 1990 law says it is U.S. policy to "encourage and support the use of Native American languages as a medium of instruction."
Native languages are alive and well, and they need the federal government to help their voices flourish.
That was the message of a group of Indian educators who gathered for the National Native Language Revitalization Summit on Capitol Hill July 13 – 14 to make legislators and administrators aware of their concerns and desire for support.
Meetings with Congress members and Obama administration officials took place throughout, and some federal officials took part in the event, promising to help strengthen Native languages.
It lasted 13 years in America and gave life to nationally syndicated crime, the income tax and opposition by the United States Brewers' Association to Women's Suffrage: the right for women to vote.
All of this is detailed in a new book by Daniel Okrent; Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition. The book, according to columnist George Will, "recounts how Americans abolished a widely exercised private right -- and condemned the nation's fifth largest industry -- in order to make the nation more Heavenly. Then all hell broke loose."
Prohibition was introduced and imposed on Indian reservations for several reasons. First of all unscrupulous traders and agents used alcohol to induce Indians to sell furs and other goods and ridiculously low prices, and caused Indians to sign away large tracts of lands, lands that in all probability, did not belong to them or their tribe. It was like the government found an Indian, poured alcohol down his gullet, and then said, "Here's a treaty for land: just put your mark on it." There was also a great fear among the settlers that their enemies, in those days the French or the British, would ply the Indians with alcohol and turn them loose on the settlers. This, in fact, did happen occasionally.
From a few yards away, they look just like rocks.
But as Paul Nevin pulls his motorboat closer, his finger traces a shape in the air, and suddenly, in the golden, waning light, the image of a bear practically leaps off the rock.
Native Americans carved images in rock on islands in the middle of rocky rapids in the Susquehanna River, near Safe Harbor, Lancaster County.
Mitchell Technical Institute President Greg Von Wald believes a groundbreaking agreement between his technical school and Sinte Gleska University on the Rosebud Reservation will benefit both schools.
The agreement, approved last week by the Mitchell Board of Education, will bring a one-year wind turbine training class to the SGU campus in Mission.
Von Wald, formerly of Rapid City, said he previously had the college as a client when he worked in the telecommunications industry.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is unhappy with Republicans. It’s not exactly a new situation, but this time it’s over a proposed $3.4 billion settlement between the Obama administration and Indian individuals who have been bilked for ages by the federal government.
Some Native-focused Republicans say they want to strengthen the Cobell v. Salazar settlement to better serve individual Indians. A number of Indians also want to see the settlement modified, so some GOP and tribal interests have converged on the matter.
Reid, meanwhile, says the Republicans want to prevent justice for Native Americans
The American Indian Community Development Corp. (AICDC) was recently awarded nearly $7 million in grants from the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Fund of the United States Treasury and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
AICDC will use the funds to begin the process of establishing a CDFI and building a 47-unit apartment complex for American Indian, or Native American, community elders.
A CDFI, according to the CDFI Fund website, is designed to spur economic growth in urban and rural low-income communities by providing more access to capital.
AICDC received $108,322 from the CDFI Fund and was one of 45 organizations in 19 states to be awarded the funding, according to Indian Country Today newspaper. By creating a CDFI, AICDC hopes to be able to offer more financial options to help increase homeownership among American Indians in Minnesota
Today’s passage of the Tribal Law and Order Act is an important step to help the federal government better address the unique public safety challenges that confront tribal communities. The fact is, American Indians and Alaska Natives are victimized by violent crime at far higher rates than Americans as a whole. Native communities have seen increased gang and drug activity, with some tribes experiencing violent crime rates at more than ten times the national average. And one in three Native women will be the victim of rape in her lifetime.
For the past few months, the mainstream media has focused on the environmental and technical dimensions of the Gulf mess. While that’s certainly important, reporters have ignored a crucial aspect of the BP spill: cultural extermination and the plight of indigenous peoples. Recently, the issue was highlighted when Louisiana Gulf residents in the town of Dulac received some unfamiliar visitors: Cofán Indians and others from the Amazon jungle.
What could have prompted these indigenous peoples to travel so far from their native South America? Victims of the criminal oil industry, the Cofán are cultural survivors. Intent on helping others avoid their own unfortunate fate, the Indians shared their experiences and insights with members of the United Houma Nation who have been wondering how they will ever preserve their way of life in the face of BP’s oil spill.
A culturally rich state, Louisiana has been home to people of mixed racial descent for hundreds of years. In the 18th and 19th centuries, French settlers intermarried with Indian women. The Houma is a Louisiana state-recognized tribe of about 17,000 people which lives along coastal marshes. Traditionally the Indians have survived off the land, working as trappers or fishermen.
The remains of 19th-century aboriginal warrior Yagan have been laid to rest in western Australia, nearly 180 years after he was killed and his severed head was displayed in a British museum.
The private ceremony held July 10 by the Noongar tribe coincided with the opening of the Yagan Memorial Park in Swan Valley, just outside of Perth.
"The Yagan Memorial Park is a fitting tribute to the life, struggles and death of Yagan and to the memory of all aboriginal people who suffered and died in support of their land, culture and heritage," West Australian Premier Colin Barnett said in
Four American Indian and Alaska Native leaders in Washington state are running for election or re-election to state and national office.
Dino Rossi, who is of Tlingit, Irish and Italian ancestry, is running for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. He hopes to replace Democrat Patty Murray. Rossi is a former state senator who ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2004 – losing by 133 votes – and in 2008. He is one of 15 candidates, including Murray and former NFL tight end Clint Didier.
Under Washington state law, the top two vote-getters in the Aug. 17 primary – regardless of political party affiliation – advance to the Nov. 2 general election.
Another good reason to support IndnsList.
Here's how you can do it and win a masterpiece of a quilt:
From Sara R's announcement diary:
The Community Quilt Project Supports INDN’s List
"All My Relations"
It is with great pleasure that I announce a drawing for a quilt. The above pictured star quilt, "All My Relations", was made from 200 diamond shaped patches signed at the 2008 Netroots Nation in Austin, TX. An additional four signatures of prominent bloggers were appliqued in the four corners: Meteor Blades, Speaks Lightning (known as Ojibwa on Daily Kos), Winter Rabbit, and Dengre. A full list of signatories may be found here. My own design, I machined pieced and hand quilted this piece.
I made the quilt in a promise to navajo to make something to support Native American people. She chose the beneficiary – INDN’s List, an organization supporting the election of Native Americans to public office. Please visit the INDN’s List website and learn more about them!
Every contribution of $10 or more per day on this Act Blue page between now and August 15, 2010 will represent one chance in a drawing for the quilt on the last day of August.
The quilt measures 65" x 67", is made of cotton fabrics, cotton batting, and is decorated with Austrian crystals, Czech beads, and a piece of rutilated quartz at the center. The quilt is sleeved for hanging.
The quilt in a hoop for hand quilting
The quilt could be yours.
If you cannot donate, you may also enter by writing an essay of 50 words or less on this subject: "INDN's List's Mission -- Why it Benefits Everybody". Put the title in the subject line and email your essay on or before August 15, 2010 to communityquilts (at) yahoo (dot) com. If we find your essay to be topical, we will enter you for one chance in the drawing – one essay per person.
The quilt will be on display at the Community Quilt table in the Exhibit Hall at Netroots Nation – please come by for a closer look!
Thank you in advance for your support of INDN’s List.
All My Relations.
Here are navajo's closeups of 3 of the 4 special patches:
Since 2005, INDN's List has helped elect 45 American Indian candidates in 16 states. We have won 70% of our races and have brought about an unprecedented wave of electoral victories in Indian Country.
This November, all of that progress is at risk!
The Republican Party believes 2010 will be the year they retake legislative chambers across the country. They are spending record amounts of money on legislative races. And their money is targeting several candidates we worked so hard in the past to elect. They are also using Karl Rove style tactics to attack our elected officials and lie about their records.
The only way we can fight this attack is through your donations! Every single donation is vital. Please take a moment to donate $25, $50, $200, or whatever amount you can possibly spare.
INDN's List not only directly contributes to the campaigns of American Indian candidates across the country, but we also provide strategic guidance and tactical advice that allows American Indian candidates to run the smartest campaigns possible. That is how we have achieved so much success in the past. This year, with the proper resources, we can make sure our candidates are not overrun by Republican lies and Republican money.
We need your help today! Your contribution will be put to work immediately to ensure our candidates have the resources they need to fight back.
In fact, if we are able to raise enough money, we have a plan to actually win new seats this November. INDN's List has identified several races where Indian candidates have a real opportunity to win new seats. With your help, we can win legislative seats in states that have never had an Indian representative, like Wisconsin and Kansas. We have targeted a candidate running statewide in Arizona, which has never elected an Indian statewide!
Please donate now to help us not only defend our elected officials who are being targeted by the GOP but actually pick up additional seats! Let's continue the progress of electing American Indian candidates throughout America.
President, INDN's List
PS: This is the most important time for donations! We are making important targeting decisions and your donations will help us expand our map to protect our incumbents and challenge new seats where there is a great opportunity to pick them up! Please donate today to help make 2010 our best year yet.
*"Thank You," in Choctaw.
From the comments in the announcement diary:
Kalyn Free is a Choctaw woman who is also a very successful attorney specializing in environmental law. She ran in a primary against Dan Boren (the rightwing bluedog democrat) a few years back when the seat came open. As some here know the Boren family is very powerful in Oklahoma politics and also very conservative. Kalyn was beating Boren and it looked like she would win until the Boren machine broke out their dirty tricks and big warchest to spread some downright filthy lies about her. Oklahoma almost had a progressive Congresswoman in their delegation!
After that defeat Kalyn took it upon herself to work to make sure native candidates can recieve the help she wasn't able to get. She founded "Indins List" and has worked tirelessly to elect Native American democratic candidates. Indins List not only provides what monetary support they can they also recruit and train their selected candidates.
Kalyn is also one of three Native American members serving on the Democratic National Committee. I can't think of a more worthy political organization to donate to if one wants to support Native American candidates.
by cacamp on Wed Jul 14, 2010 at 07:13:45 PM PDT