Oglala Woman To Head USDA Agency in South Dakota
Elsie Meeks (Rapid City Journal)
Elsie Meeks, who is Oglala Lakota, will lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development agency in South Dakota, according to this
Rapid City Journal story. Previously, Meeks headed the First Nations Oweesta Corp., which helps provide investment capital and assistance to help Native communities develop financial institutions.
Keep Up With Stimulus Projects in Indian Country
Rather than getting news piecemeal from around the country, here’s a government site that puts it all together. So far, it highlights the water projects on reservations, money to combat violence against Native women, and other health care efforts. Let’s keep an eye on it and see what else is in the pipeline.
Navajo Nation Marks Anniversary of Spill that Spurred Uranium Ban
There’s a reason the Dine ban uranium mining, despite intense pressure to allow it. Thirty years ago this month, what Navajo President Joe Shirley called “the largest peacetime, accidental release of radioactive contaminated materials in the history of the United States” occurred on the reservation. Some 94 million gallons of acidic water poured into the north fork of the Rio Puerco after an earthen uranium-tailings dam failed, according to this AP story in the Arizona Daily Star. Unfortunately, the incident was overshadowed by the Three Mile Island disaster the same year. But the tribe is working hard to make sure that people remember. People made a seven-mile walk last week to commemorate it.
Native Wedding Traditions
On a much happier note, Indian Country Today has this story about Jody Colbert, a member of the Comanche Tribe of Oklahoma, and her Native-themed floral wedding designs. The fourth-generation granddaughter of Quanah Parker now heads Mother Earth Floral Design, which combines her beadworking skills with those as a floral designer. In addition to weddings, she also creates centerpieces for conferences.
Native-owned PR Firm is Liaison Between Indian Country, Media
Jason Oberle at American Indian Policy Blog posted an item about a 1680 PR, a Native-owned public relations firm in Albuquerque. The company is the brainchild of Herman Gallegos, who is Jicarilla Apache, and Ken Lingad of Isleta Pueblo. Read the post here.
Preserving Native Languages, Ten Teens at a Time
NPR had this piece this morning on efforts to preserve Native languages. It focuses largely on a program in Utah aimed at Shoshone teenagers, but also mentions other efforts.
And Native Radio Stations, Too
NPR followed up its story on languages with this piece on the proliferation of radio stations on reservations. Both stories make for very enjoyable listening.
Tags: American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, Apache, buffalo post, Comanche, Indian Country Stimulus Plan, Native American news, Navajo, Oglala Lakota, Shoshone, USDA