First American Indian lesbian elected to state legislature
A mid-term election to replace a vacant seat in the Minnesota Legislature made history last week, as Susan Allen became the first Native gay person to be elected as a state legislator, ICTMN reports.
On her website, Allen states, “I am a passionate supporter of marriage equality. As a lesbian, I feel this inequality every day. I will use my position as State Rep to speak loudly against the marriage amendment and in favor of equality for all Minnesota families. . .”
When speaking to Indian Country Today Media Network, Allen said, “This is a big win as an LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) candidate, for communities of color and especially for the American Indian community. I felt that this is important to be running as an out, lesbian, Native American. It is interesting that some publications for Native Americans they are reluctant to print that. I think that this is something that we’re struggling with in minority communities. I think it is really important to start talking about that and to have some sort of healing process.”
Perma pictographs link tribal people to the dawn of their being
Char-Koosta reporter Bernie Azure takes readers to the Perma pictograph site near the Flathead Indian Reservation where a remediation process is taking place to ensure the ancient site remains intact.
Last week, representatives from the Cultural Preservation Office, the Division of Fire and the Salish Pend d’Oreille Culture Committee Elders Committee journeyed to the Perma pictographs to assess damage and to begin planning for projects to mitigate the damage and to curtail future potential for damage by limiting access to the area.
According to Ira Matt of the CPO, the pictographs remained essentially intact for thousands of years until being discovered. Since the 1960s there have been at least a half dozen incidents of vandalism and looting of the pictographs as well as incalculable incidents of damage to the surrounding delicate landscape due to overuse of the area for camping and partying. Also lost, as result of looting is the spiritual offerings left at the area that has been used for vision quests.
California tribes see economic growth beyond casinos
An economic forecast seminar in California made note that economic opportunities beyond gaming exist and can help tribes thrive.
The conference, as OrovilleMR.com reports, was attended by members of numerous tribal members and associations. It also examined what could be done to help business thrive for tribes.
The Center for Economic Development is currently working on two efforts for Indian tribes: developing the infrastructure to get high-speed Internet to the 111 tribes in California, and working with the U.S. Economic Development Administration to identify 20 Northern California tribes to assist with economic development strategies.
Another panelist, Craig Norte of the Federal Reserve Board, listed five barriers to obtaining bank loans: land complexity in terms of legal issues, such as land being held in a trust for a tribe; the lack a legal infrastructure; geographical remoteness; lack of communication; and the low-to-moderate incomes and “checkered credit” on reservations.