For reasons we’ve given up trying to understand, the Bureau of Indian Affairs yesterday delayed by a single day its long-awaited decision on federal recognition for the Little Shell Band of Chippewa, in west-central Montana. (The state has recognized the tribe, and its congressional delegation supports recognition.) Given that the Little Shell formally began the process 31 years ago – and more generally sought it in the 1860s – what’s one more day? Still, we’re not holding our breath. That said, we’ll update as soon as we hear something.
Native American blessing attempts to remove “Talladega Jinx” from famed speedway
We’ve been posting a lot about non-Native people appropriating Native American ceremonies for their own purposes as a result of the recent deaths in a so-called sweat ceremony run by a New Age guru. Here’s a story about the flip side of that particular coin. In this case, Racin’ Today makes much of the so-called Talledega Jinx that haunts the NASCAR track that supposedly is built atop Native American burial mounds.
Rick Humphrey, president of the Talladega track, called in Robert Thrower, tribal historic preservation officer and cultural authority director for the Poarch Band of Creek Indians in Alabama. Thrower performed a blessing asking that balance be restored to the land.
“With the controversy that surrounded Talladega when we first opened, it’s a possibility that there has always been some unbalance here,’’ Humphrey says. ”I’m confident in saying that after this ceremony however, we don’t have to worry about that anymore and we are looking forward to a great AMP Energy 500 race weekend.’’
More swift foxes to roam Fort Peck Reservation
The Fort Peck Reservation in northeastern Montana has been instrumental in the restoration of the swift fox, an endangered species, to its traditional territory. The fox once was completely wiped out in Montana, but an estimated 500 now roam the state. Now, 30 more swift foxes have been released on the reservation, joining that thriving population. Les Bighorn, a wildlife technician for Fort Peck Fish and Game, tells the Billings Gazette, here, that the species is also a central character in the creation story of the Assiniboine tribe and an important cultural icon.