Posts Tagged ‘Flathead Indian Reservation’

Written by Vince Devlin, photographed by Kurt Wilson, of the Misosulian:

With the Mission Mountains shining in the background, members of the 10Sticks lacrosse club of the Flathead Reservation lift their sticks to break at the end of a recent practice. (Photo by KURT WILSON/Missoulian)


PABLO – Centuries before the sport was called lacrosse, it had people who played it, and what a game it was.

Up to 1,000 men at a time would grab sticks, and chase a ball over fields that could run for miles.
A single game could last 72 hours.

“I don’t know if this part is true,” Alex Alviar says, “but I’ve heard stories about it. They’d play for two to three days, and there were no boundaries, just goals that were three to five miles apart. They’d hide in trees with the ball, and I suppose they could run out at night and score a goal.”

Native Americans invented lacrosse – “The Creator’s game,” some of them called it – although it took a French Jesuit priest, Jean de Brebeuf, to give it its present-day moniker.

Brebeuf first saw Iroquois Indians play the game in 1637 and dubbed it la crosse, which in French, means “the stick.”

The field and number of players to a side (10) have shrunk in the centuries since, but lacrosse’s forerunner is very much a traditional Native game.

For Alviar, a teacher at Salish Kootenai College who grew up playing the sport in Detroit and continues to do so in Missoula, it didn’t seem right that as lacrosse began gaining popularity in Montana (see related story, Page A1), the state’s Indian reservations weren’t a part of it.

So he brought lacrosse to the Flathead Indian Reservation last year.

“What I’m seeing more and more of in my classrooms is a lot less male students,” Alviar says. “I wanted to create a program to give additional support to high school kids. I think it helps them with academics, with making healthy choices and emotionally, and that can help with them having higher educational goals.”

“Plus,” he adds, “it’s just fun. It’s a Native game, and they should be there.”

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The bison battles in Montana continued Wednesday. As Republicans decried the move by Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, a Democrat, to move genetically pure bison from Yellowstone National Park to the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, Schweitzer visited the National Bison Range on the Flathead Indian Reservation to discuss transporting more Yellowstone bison there.

A bison rounded up on Tuesday waits in a pen as Schweitzer and federal, state and tribal officials toured the facility. (Photo by TOM BAUER/Missoulian)


Missoulian reporter Vince Devlin was with Schweitzer at the range:

    MOIESE – A dozen or so bison, chased by hollering horseback riders, thundered down a hillside at the National Bison Range Tuesday, oblivious to the human battles taking place in their name.

    The “mini-roundup,” as Bison Range manager Jeff King explained, had a purpose – to cull out four of the animals for placement in a display pasture near the Visitor Center.
    But it was timed to coincide with a visit by Gov. Brian Schweitzer and federal officials the governor has verbally sparred with over wildlife management decisions in recent months.
    Specifically, the U.S. Department of Interior in December initially turned down Schweitzer’s proposal to relocate dozens of what the governor called “brucellosis-free, genetically pure” bison captured outside Yellowstone National Park to the Bison Range.

    At the time, Schweitzer called the Bison Range herd “genetically impure mongrels” and blocked the Interior Department from transporting fish or wildlife anywhere within the state or across state lines in response.

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Missoulian reporter Vince Devlin had this good news from the Flathead Reservation last week:

ST. IGNATIUS – S&K Technologies had somewhere between 40 million and a billion reasons to celebrate Friday.
One of the firm’s seven companies, S&K Aerospace, landed a U.S. Air Force contract worth almost $1 billion, CEO Tom Acevedo confirmed.

While the bulk of the money will go to purchasing and repairing military equipment for more than 80 nations around the world, the contract will be worth $40 million to $50 million to S&K Aerospace to oversee the program for the next five years.
The $975 million contract is triple that of any previous contract S&K, owned by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, has been awarded.

“What’s more exciting is that it was a full and open competition,” Acevedo said. “It means we can go up against any company of any size, and compete for and get these types of contracts.”

This one is believed to be the largest of its kind in the world.

URS Corp., headquartered in San Francisco, has held the federal contract for the past 10 years.

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Casey Lozar (Photo courtesy American Indian College Fund)


Casey Lozar, an enrolled member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, was promoted to the position of vice president of resource development for the Denver, Colorado-based American Indian College Fund.

In his new role, Lozar is responsible for resource development for all fundraising departments at the Fund, a Fund news release said.

ICTMN had the story as well.

Lozar grew up in northwestern Montana and along with his job at the AIC Fund is working toward an MBA at the University of Colorado.

    Lozar’s career includes having received two prestigious professional honors. He was named as one of the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development’s 2010 Native American 40 Under 40 Award, which recognizes 40 existing and emerging American Indian leaders under 40 years of age who demonstrate leadership, initiative and dedication to achieve significant contributions in their careers, communities, and to Indian Country. He was also named as one of 12 of the Independent Sector NGEN Leadership Fellows.

Jenna Cederberg

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A camper fights with camp organizer Steve Archibald for the shinney ball at Heironymus Park in Hamilton Wednesday. The traditional Salish game is similar to field hockey. (Photo courtesy of Jack Rouse)


Here’s an interesting and uplifting story about a new camp that brings the youth of two nations together to keep traditions alive:

By Laura Lunquist, of the Ravalli Republic:

Sometimes one critical grant can bring different people with similar ideas together.

The culmination of one local set of ideas and grants started Wednesday when 21 seventh-graders from the Bitterroot and Flathead valleys came together in Hamilton for the first Salish-Bitterroot Summer Camp and Cultural Exchange.

Camp coordinator Steve Archibald welcomed the campers at Hieronymus Park, saying they were the first of many to reach across the Clark Fork River to celebrate both the Salish and the recent history of the Bitterroot Valley.

“This is the place the Salish called home. The park is one of the campgrounds of the Salish, so we decided to start here,” Archibald said.

After introductions, nine campers from the Bitterroot and 12 from the Flathead Indian Reservation intermingled and split into two teams to learn the traditional Native American game of shinney, which is similar to field hockey.

“I expect those of you who know the game to help those who don’t,” said Marie Torosian of the People’s Center in Pablo as she taught the basics. “It used to be the duty of the youth of the tribe to teach the younger children because it taught teamwork and the fact we need to look after each other.”

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Hewankorn, Burke and Salois stand outside the mission. They’re among some 500 people who recently reached a settlement with the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus for reported abuse, but they say what they really want is an apology. (Photo by TOM BAUER/Missoulian)


If you haven’t already read Missoulian reporter Gwen Florio’s two-day look at the legacy of abuse at the Jesuit-run school and mission on the Flathead Indian Reservation, here is the set of stories.

Florio spent time with three tribal members who endured years of abuse at the hands of both priests and nuns. What does the recent $166.1 million settlement settlement with the Northwest Jesuits mean for the abused who have lived with the past so long? It’s been a long, hard road that continues for most victims, despite the pending settlement.

Part one:
Anguish has never healed for Natives physically, sexually abused at St. Ignatius mission

    (Garry) Salois, (Francis) Burke and (Leland) Hewankorn are among some 500 people – nearly all of them Native American or Alaskan Native – who prevailed in a $166.1 million bankruptcy reorganization against the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus, better known as Jesuits.

Part two: Silence shrouds St. Ignatius Jesuit abuse case as settlement vote nears

    ST. IGNATIUS – The recent $166.1 million settlement for people who were sexually abused in Jesuit-run schools and missions on Indian reservations and Alaskan villages made international headlines.

    But here, where so much of the abuse occurred, the silence surrounding the case is as cold and deep as the stubbornly lingering snow on the Mission Mountains.

Also listed with the stories is a set of abuse resources.

Jenna Cederberg

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There are few in the world of higher education who aren’t holding their breath as Congress and state legislatures talk cuts, cuts, cuts. And tribal colleges are no exception.

The Missoulian’s Vince Devlin examines what massive funding shortages could do to Salish Kootenai College, on the Flathead Indian Reservation.

SKC, arguably the most successful tribal college in the nation, could face up to $1 million in cuts, which would mean laying off faculty, and see a steep decline in student assistance funds.

    There’s been much talk about how proposed cuts at the federal and state levels will affect Montana’s university system, including its community colleges, SKC President Luana Ross says.

    But she’s seen little discussion about the potential effects on Montana’s tribal colleges.

    SKC is facing the loss of almost $500,000 in direct state and federal funds. If that happens, says Lon Whitaker, vice president of business affairs on the Pablo campus, the fallout – including higher tuition, which could lead to a drop in enrollment – could double the impact on the school, and take away job training and educational opportunities for people who need it most.

    . . .

    “The way out of poverty is education,” SKC’s president says. “That’s almost a no-brainer.”

Jenna Cederberg

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Ray Halbritter (Courtesy ICTMN)

Ray Halbritter (Courtesy ICTMN)


Indian Country Today Media Network site launches
The new Indian Country Today Media Network launched this week under the motto “Serving the Nations, Celebrating the People.”

The site include news alert and recent posts section under a slideshow-like format containing its features. Not only are the photos done more justice, videos are now also have a spot to call their own. Reader shared content is being actively solicited.

I spent some time on the site Friday afternoon, but not enough. Take some time to look around if you haven’t yet.

Oneida Nation CEO Ray Halbritter posted this in his site introduction message:

    The website will serve as a one-stop destination for the vast and growing number of people interested in our news, culture, ideals and businesses. Most important is the website’s social network: The nations’ first true online community and forum for all of our disparate and common interests.

Maggie Goode first Native American appointed to federal board
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes member Maggie Goode was recently named to the USDA’s Federal Crop Insurance Corporation board of directors. It makes her the first Native and first Montanan to hold a spot on the board, the Char-Koosta reports.

Goode’s family ranches in northwestern Montana, near the small town of Niarada. She will serve a four-year term.

    The FCIC consists of a ten-member board, with each being nominated to and then selected and appointed for a four-year term by the Department of Agriculture Secretary. Goode said, she is still unaware of who may have nominated her for the position.

    Goode said, she is honored for the appointment and is pleased that a tribal member will be involved in the decision making process. “Tribes need involvement at all levels; county, state and federal,” she added.

Crow Tribe discusses water settlement bill
From Susan Olp of the Billings Gazette:

CROW AGENCY — In 1998, Clara Nomee, then chair of the Crow Tribe, instigated negotiations with state officials over a possible water compact.

On Tuesday, she sat on the stage of the Multipurpose Building in Crow Agency as speaker after speaker, including U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, talked about the importance of the recently passed federal bill that would quantify the tribe’s water rights and bring hundreds of millions of dollars in water projects to the Crow Tribe.

“It’s for the benefit of employment of the people,” Nomee said in a soft voice, over the din of a loudspeaker. “And it’s for the betterment of the reservation.”

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Bud Moran (Courtesy of CSKT)

Bud Moran (Courtesy of CSKT)


E.T. “Bud” Moran, who will represent the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes at this week’s Tribal Nations Conference in Washington, D.C., is hoping discussion priorities center on topics like health care, housing and economic development.

As the Missoulian’s Vince Devlin reports, Moran also wants the burgeoning deficit to be a topic of focus.

    “One of the major things we think about at this level is deficit reduction,” Moran said before departing for Washington. “The federal deficit is going to affect everyone, and it’s going to affect future generations.”

    That’s where the “seven-generation” philosophy comes in. When Indian tribes make decisions, he said, they consider not just immediate impacts, or impacts five or 10 years down the road, but how their decisions today will affect the next seven generations to come.

    The Tribal Nations Conference, the second since Obama took office, offers the leaders of 565 American Indian tribes an opportunity to “interact directly with the president and representatives from the highest level of his administration,” according to the White House.

CSKT also made the news today for a unique land deal that will help protect and repair 6 miles of riverbank along Little Bitterroot, which runs through the Flathead Indian Reservation in northwestern Montana. Vince Devlin has that report for the Missoulian as well.

Jenna Cederberg

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Working out of the television studios at Salish Kootenai College in Pablo, Frank Tyro has been producing public television programming on the Flathead Reservation since 1988. (Photo by KURT WILSON/Missoulian)

Working out of the television studios at Salish Kootenai College in Pablo, Frank Tyro has been producing public television programming on the Flathead Reservation since 1988. (Photo by KURT WILSON/Missoulian)


Native-owned public TV station holding auction this week
KSKC-Public TV, broadcasting from its home on the Salish Kootenai College campus on the Flathead Indian Reservation, will kick off its annual fundraiser on Monday. The live broadcasts and auctions are legend in the area. You can get any number handmade, hand-painted items, or even a year’s worth of cookies (a dozen delivered to you each month), as the Missoulian’s Vince Devlin reported this week.

The TV station is only one of a few on Native-owned in the country. Station manager Frank Tyro keeps things running there, with local content and regular public TV programming.

Tune in to see for yourself this week (you can watch online, too!) and give to a good cause.

MTPR new director Sally Mauk talks with Native journalist Duncan McCue
Listen to the interview: Duncan McCue has been a TV reporter with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for the last 12 years, producing stories for the CBC’s flagship evening news program called “The National.” He’s also one of the few Native journalists in Canada. In this feature interview, McCue talks with News Director Sally Mauk about his career – and about reporting on Native issues.

Little Bighorn monument still awaits improvements
Its a popular monument in dire need of more space, and talks about upgrades first discussed almost 30 years ago at the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument are set to start again.
As the Billings Gazette reporter Lorna Thackeray reports, Battlefield Superintendent Kate Hammond has scheduled meetings to talk about fixing issues like museum overcrowding, park lot woes and a “chronologically backward” tourists roadway.

Hammond wants all stakeholders at the table. But that’s a tall order

    Moving forward has never been easy at the 1876 battlefield surrounded both by controversy and the Crow Reservation.

    Expanding park boundaries seems always to be the sticking point. In the past, the Crow Tribe has resisted efforts to enlarge the park, which Hammond said would require congressional approval. It is unlikely Congress would approve a boundary change without the tribe’s support.

    The Custer Battlefield Preservation Committee, a nonprofit organization set up with the idea of buying land for the National Park Service, has 3,500 acres of land it would love to donate, said Jim Court. Court is a former Little Bighorn Battlefield superintendent and was chief fundraiser for the Preservation Committee.

A ‘Good Day to Die’ wins another award
Received more good news from “A Good Day to Die” filmmaker Lynn Salt this week: The film, based on the story of Dennis Banks and the American Indian Movement (A.I.M.) movement he co-founded in 1968, won Best Documentary at the American Indian Film Institute Film Festival in San Francisco.

“We are moving toward distribution and will let you know when we have it,” Salt said in an e-mail.

Buffalo Post will keep readers updated as well.

Jenna Cederberg

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