Archive for May, 2011

The wolves that roam the 840,000 acres of Red Lake Band of Chippewa tribal land in North Dakota are going to be a watched a little more closely this fall.

A $200,000 federal grant won by the tribes will help launch a satellite tracking study of timber wolves there, the Grand Herald Forks reports.

There are around 60 wolves on the land and they will be tracked by 10 collars. Wolves in that region were recently delisted from federal protection and management will now fall directly under tribal control.

    If all goes according to plan, (wildlife director for the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Jay) Huseby said the band will trap and collar the wolves this fall. The goal, he said, is to collar five wolves within the core of the Red Lake Indian Reservation and five on tribal lands at the Northwest Angle. He said the band hopes to tap into the expertise of biologists from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and other agencies to capture the wolves.

    . . .

    The two-year tracking study marks the second phase of a research project that began in 2008. Huseby said the first phase involved getting information on wolf abundance and distribution to help the tribe develop its wolf management plan.

    The initial research included trail cameras, Huseby said, but with the management plan now in place, being able to track wolves with satellite technology will be “huge,” in terms of the information it provides.

Jenna Cederberg

By Jeri Clausing, of the Associated Press:

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The statistics are staggering, but far from new: Three-fifths of Native women have been assaulted by their spouses or intimate partners and one-third of Indian women will be raped during their lifetimes.

In some tribal areas, Native American women are murdered at a rate more than 10 times the national average, according to figures from Justice Department’s Office of Violence Against Women.

But after years of what some Indian women’s rights activists say has largely been a lack of inaction by the authorities, U.S. Attorney Ken Gonzales is set to announce the hiring of a tribal prosecutor as special assistant U.S. attorney focused almost exclusively on domestic and sexual assaults on tribal lands in New Mexico.

It’s part of a pilot program by the Office of Violence Against Woman, Gonzales’ office said, that will give funding for the new prosecutors to a handful of U.S. attorneys around the country.

“I think a lot of people will be pleased to see this,” said Corrine Sanchez of Tewa Women United, an intertribal group that was started as support group for women concerned about issues that include the high rates of domestic and sexual crimes. “There is still such a huge lack of prosecution on the U.S. attorney’s side on sexual assaults.”

Likewise, she said, there is a lack of tribal resources to deal with the crimes, mistrust among victims and the complications all victims face when they are assaulted or abused by a family member or loved one.

“It’s a multi-layered issue,” she said. “Because there has been this lack of response there is still a mistrust to report. People feel nothing is being done.”

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WNBA: Sun cut former Nevada star Tahnee Robinson
Tahnee Robinson had her dreams cut short this week after being cut by the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun.

Robinson, the first Native to be drafted into the professional women’s league, had a standout career at the University of Nevada. She reacted to the cut with dignity, as reported by the Reno Gazette Journal.

    “It’s been a learning experience. The first day was really tough for me,” she said. “You can’t be behind or you’ll get beat. You don’t want to be the weak link, you want to keep up with everybody. It’s tough.”

Urban Native Girl does Pendleton panache

Courtesy of ICTMN via

If you haven’t heard, Urban Native Girl keeps us up-to-date on all things fashion. This week for ICTMN, she’s got some Pendleton picks and some hots items from last month’s Gathering of Nations. You’re going to want to check out what she saw and why it’s hot.

Check out these Pendleton Vans.

    Peeps from all over Indian Country are buying them, and every purchase supports the Native non-profit organization Nibwaakaawin, the organizer behind the All Nations Skate Project, so you can feel positively wholesome about this hot addition to your sneaker collection.

Recipe for relief: ‘Energizer bunny’ feeds Crow Tribe’s evacuees, workers
Jane Holds the Enemy has the right recipe for helping everyone get through the recent floods that have ravished the Crow Agency in eastern Montana.

She and her family have been putting in 15-hour days to make sure the victims of the floods are fed. As Donna Healy of the Billings Gazette reports, it’s people like Holds the Enemy who make hard times just a little easier.

    Last Sunday morning, Holds The Enemy opened the little café that she manages in the college’s student union building. She put away the cash register at the end of the cafeteria counter and started serving pancakes and bacon to a few hungry people. Her daughter, Holly, and granddaughter, Maren, pitched in to help.

    Word spread quickly.

    “I was even on Facebook. We had to laugh,” Holds The Enemy said.

    For a week since then, she has put in 15-hour days, serving three home-cooked meals a day to 300 or more people who have either helped in the relief effort or been flood victims. Through the week, friends and relatives joined the effort.

Jenna Cederberg


Buffalo Post Pic of the Week: A veteran of three wars

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The Spokesman-Review photo

Glen Douglas was a veteran of three wars.

Douglas, who recently passed, was born on the Okanogan Reserve in Canada, a Lakes-Okanogan Indian and part of the Colville Tribe. He joined the U.S. Army when he was just 17, the start of a long and distinguished career that saw him take part in three wars: World War II, the Korean War, and Vietnam, ICTMN reports.

Buffalo Post remembers and salutes Douglas and all the brave veterans this Memorial Day weekend.


Tribes awarded more than $7M for conservation projects

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From Outdoor News:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced more than $7 million in Tribal Wildlife Grants will go to 37 Native American Tribes in 16 states to fund a wide range of conservation projects.

“Tribal lands provide important habitat for hundreds of species across the nation, and Tribal Wildlife Grants are a critical tool to help conserve them,” said Service Acting Director Rowan Gould. “These projects reflect our commitment to collaboration with Native American tribes and to our collective efforts to conserve fish, wildlife and plants for present and future generations.”

More than $54 million has gone to Native American tribes through the Tribal Wildlife Grants program since 2003, providing support for 335 conservation projects administered by participating Federally-recognized tribes. The grants provide technical and financial assistance for the development and implementation of projects that benefit fish and wildlife resources and their habitat, including non-game species.

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Crow Tribe searches for residents stranded by flood

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Families and elders isolated by the massive flooding on the Crow Agency were of main concern for search teams, which spread out across the reservation yesterday looking for the stranded Wednesday.

As Matthew Brown of the Associated Press reports, Crow tribal officials sent search teams Wednesday to remote parts of their reservation to look for people. The flooding had subsided slightly since it peaked early this week, but meteorologists say the threat of more flooding remains.

    The 60-mile stretch of Interstate 90 from Hardin to the Wyoming line reopened Wednesday after being closed for days. Officials will be able to get supplies to the community of Lodge Grass, which had been cut off and where people had been running low on food, water and fuel.

    Tribal officials say the flooding has damaged at least 50 homes on the Crow Reservation and left dozens of families homeless. About 150 people from the reservation remain at a shelter at Montana State University-Billings, along with another 43 people from outside Billings, according to the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

    An unknown number of people from the nearby Northern Cheyenne Reservation also have been evacuated because of concerns of flooding along the Rosebud Creek and Tongue River.

Native American Public Telecommunications had this posted on its Facebook page:

    The Crow reservation has been besieged by flooding and is in dire need of donations of drinking water, non-perishable food, diapers, formula & baby food. Donations can be delivered to Little Big Horn College at 8645 South Weaver Drive in Crow Agency or mailed to LBHC, P.O. Box 370, Crow Agency, MT 59022. PHONE: 406.638.3100. Your prayers & donations are greatly appreciated.

Jenna Cederberg


Penn. Girl Scout forming bond with Pine Ridge

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Colleen Tully has chosen the Indian name “Tiyospaye,” (in English, translates to “extended family) to use during her upcoming trip from Pennsylvania to South Dakota.

Tully (Cherokee) is an 18-year-old Girl Scout who has planned to do work this summer on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation as a part of her Gold Start project, the Pennington Post reports. She has visited Pine Ridge once before and is now bringing a group back with her to complete several projects for the community.

    The key initiative of Tully’s project is to offer a much-needed glimmer of hope to the reservation-dwellers, and help them to rebuild their dignity by introducing possibilities. “They need empathy, not sympathy,” says Tully, who adds that the missionary work shows the Native Americans that there are people who not only care about, but understand, their plight.

    To get the ball rolling, Tully, a member of Pennington Presbyterian Church, got in touch with Looking Elks, the minister for the Presbyterian Church of Porcupine, a small community on the Pine Ridge reservation. From there, she used her professional-style networking skills to build a strong group of contacts, until finally, she had the full endorsement of the Pine Ridge people.

    “The community is very excited that we’re coming,” Tully says. “Everything we’re doing is what they have asked for.”

Tully heads for Pine Ridge June 25 with students from three other Pennsylvania high schools.

    The visitors will be engaging in a gardening project, a mural project and the installation of a wheelchair ramp at a community center building.

Jenna Cederberg

By Alex Morrell, of the Green Bay Press Gazette:

KESHENA — The Menominee Tribe of Indians today will debut first lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move! in Indian Country” campaign at the Woodland Bowl amphitheater in Keshena.

The program, which aims at ending childhood obesity, runs from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and will include information booths and 19 activity stations for families and children of all ages, such as traditional lacrosse, a relay, indigenous tag and capture game, and an obstacle course.

Tribal Chairman Randal Chevalier said the tribe was selected to launch the initiative in
part because Menominee County, which largely shares common boundaries with the
Menominee Reservation, ranked last out of 72 Wisconsin counties in overall health factors and outcomes.

“I can attest that there is no better place for this initiative,” Chevalier said. “Becoming a healthier community starts with our children, so I am delighted that we can address these issues in such a big way.”

The tribe struggles with high rates of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, smoking and abuse of drugs and alcohol, Chevalier said, but the tribe has also taken initiative
to develop programs to encourage healthy living, including a diabetes prevention

The Let’s Move! initiative, organized and facilitated by Obama and several national
and local agencies, has four main goals: create a healthy start on life, develop
healthy learning communities, increase physical activity and foster healthy comprehensive food system policies.

“They really wanted to start this initiative with our youth and children and teach them
a better way to break that cycle,” Chevalier said. “We look forward to working together with all of those agencies to help with the problems in our community.

Kirstyn Enemy Hunter, 9, rides her bike in the floodwater in Lodge Grass on Tuesday. At that time, the water had started to recede. (DAVID GRUBBS/Gazette Staff)

As Lodge Grass, a small town on the Crow Agency in eastern Montana, slowly recovers from a flood that washed through there this week, plans are coming together in Washington, D.C., to give tribes better access to disaster funds.

The Billings Gazette continued its coverage of the Lodge Grass floods. Today, the Gazette reports the slow cleanup begins.

    By Tuesday morning, a restoration crew had pumped an estimated 212,000 gallons of water from the basement of the Little Horn IGA here, but the ground was so saturated that more kept seeping in.

    “It was a nasty mess in there,” store co-owner Doug McCormick said. “All the floors were just covered in mud.”

Rob Capriccioso, of ICTMN, reports from Washington:

    On May 24, (Nick J.) Rahall, (D-WV) introduced legislation that he said “reinforces Indian tribe sovereignty during major disasters and emergency situations.” The bi-partisan bill would amend the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to authorize tribes to directly request the President of the United States to release federal resources.

    . . .

    Tribal officials noted to Rahall that under current law, tribes that face a disaster or emergency situation must rely upon a state governor to ask the president for an emergency declaration, which in turn triggers federal resources. This process is harmful to tribal sovereignty, according to Indian leaders who say that as sovereign nations, tribes should be able to have a direct relationship with the federal government in emergency situations.

Jenna Cederberg

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Crow Agency almost completely isolated from flooding

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The driver of this pickup truck had to be rescued Sunday after he tried to drive through the floodwaters east of Crow agency. (DAVID GRUBBS/Gazette Staff )

The several towns and plenty of residents were completely isolated on the Crow Agency in eastern Montana as flood waters continued to rise there.

A flood emergency was declared on the reservation as roads and even a hospital were closed, the Billings Gazette reports.

Compromised water systems were also making it difficult for doctors to do their work.

    High water has surrounded the Indian Health Service hospital, making it difficult to access. Dr. Doug Moore from the area IHS office in Billings said hospital staff basically spent the weekend at the hospital.

    “As of 11 p.m. last night, we had four patients,” he said. “Three could go home if they could get there.”

    . . .

    Supplies and a Big Horn County Health Department nurse were ferried to water-bound Lodge Grass, part of the way by boat.

    Vehicles took the supplies as far as possible toward the flooded area of Interstate 90 where a boat carried them to dry pavement on the other side. From there, they were driven to Lodge Grass, where another boat took them to dry areas of the town. A shelter has been set up at Lodge Grass High, the highest point in town.

    Lodge Grass is without electricity or telephone service, but at last report had clean water.

You can view the Gazette’s photos and full coverage of the flooding in eastern Montana here.