Red Sox fan, Motown aficionada, poker player and, yes, trailblazing leader, too – friends, family and famous people remember Wilma Mankiller More than 1,200 people turned out yesterday to memorialize Wilma Mankiller, the former Cherokee leader who became the first woman to lead her nation. “She always saw you a little better than you were, so you became better,” women’s rights activist Gloria Steinem, one of Mankiller’s closest friends, said during the service. As the Associated Press recounts here, under Mankiller’s leadership, the Cherokee Nation tripled its enrollment, doubled employment and built new health centers and children’s programs. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Clinton in 1998.
Alaska village health clinic closes because workers fear for safety
The violence in the Yukon River village of Nunam Iqua can get so out of hand — and policing is so minimal — that staffers at the local health clinic have shut it down. The nearest hospital is an hour’s plane ride away and law enforcement is spotty. The Anchorage Daily News reports here that fewer than half the villages in the region have safety officers, meaning the clinic must sometimes treat victims of violence while their attackers are still nearby.
Dry weather traps cattle on Navajo Nation; several die trapped in stock tanks
Stock tanks on the Navajo Nation are drying up after a long, wet winter, trapping cattle who become mired in deep mud, then ironically die of thirst, according to this Navajo Times story. The fast-drying conditions disguise the mud beneath the surface soils, says Chapter President Ron Gishey Sr., who’s been using his truck and chains to free several trapped cattle.
Former Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes leader to run for Legislature
James Steele Jr., former tribal council chairman of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, formally announced his candidacy for the Montana Legislature. Steele is running for the state House of Representatives. The Char-Koosta News reports here that Steele will host a reception at Salish Kootenai College between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.
University of Montana’s Kyi Yo powwow is next weekend!
The skills of some of the best Native American dancers and drum groups in North America will be on display at the annual Kyi-Yo Celebration on Friday and Saturday, April 16-17, at the University of Montana’s Adams Center. The theme of this year’s celebration of heritage and artistry is “Existing in the 21st Century.” The first Grand Entry event will be held at 7 p.m. Friday. Saturday Grand Entry times are noon and 6 p.m. Head dancers this year are UM students Tashina Hunter and Darin Cadman Sr. More information is on the Kyi-Yo Web site. See the Missoulian story, here, for activities at the University of Montana all week that coincide with Kyi-Yo.
Malcolm McLaren, former manager of the Sex Pistols, said three words just before he died: “Free Leonard Peltier.”
Peltier is serving life in prison for the murder of two FBI agents on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in the 1970s. His most recent application for parole, last year, was denied.
McLaren died at age 64 last week of mesothelioma. His last words were reported here in the Telegraph of London, among other places.
His son, Joe Corre, said that “My father was a very special person – a person who changed the world. I am incredibly proud of him. He was an old warrior. The world would have been a very different place without him. He produced nothing short of a revolution.”