Posts Tagged ‘Native American news’

7
Oct

Black Hills Pow Wow starts tomorrow!

   Posted by: admin    in Powwow

Holly Meyer of the Rapid City Journal has the details:

Terry Fiddler of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe dances through the grand entry at the Black Hills Pow Wow in January. (Steve McEnroe/Rapid City Journal)

Terry Fiddler of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe dances through the grand entry at the Black Hills Pow Wow in January. (Steve McEnroe/Rapid City Journal)

Organizers said they expect the 24th annual Black Hills Pow Wow to bring about 12,000 people to the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Sponsored by the Black Hills Pow Wow Association, the event is expected to draw a record number of people, according to Ira Taken Alive, secretary of the association.

In accordance with Gov. Mike Rounds’ declaration that 2010 is a Year of Unity, this powwow’s theme is “Celebrating Unity and Reconciliation” and the events’ speakers will emphasize the theme, Taken Alive said.

“We want to convey that it’s not just a Native event. It’s not just for Natives; everyone’s welcome,” Taken Alive said.

A favorable weather forecast, prize money for contests and a major drum group are some of the biggest reasons people will come to Rapid City for the weekend powwow, Taken Alive said.

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The leader of a group representing First Nations communities in Manitoba say many are dangerous short of fire services, the CBC reports.

David Harper heads the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak, representing northern chiefs. He says he’s gotten no response to his efforts for more services, despite the dire need:

    A toddler died in a fire earlier this year in this house on the Long Plain First Nation. (CBC photo)

    A toddler died in a fire earlier this year in this house on the Long Plain First Nation. (CBC photo)

    In January, a CBC News investigation found seven out of 10 First Nations communities couldn’t provide help in a fire. Trucks and equipment are often in poor working condition and volunteer firefighters can be difficult to recruit.

    According to statistics from fire officials, nearly a quarter of fire fatalities in Manitoba occur in First Nations communities.

    The investigation followed the death of an 11-year-old boy whose remains were found in the rubble of a house that burned down on Shamattawa First Nation.

“It’s just like we’re forgotten,” says Nancy Powderhorn, director of operations in Tadoule Lake – which has no fire service at all.

Gwen Florio

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Hundreds of the firefighters battling wildfires around the country are Native American (see video above). Among their most important tools are their expensive boots, which can cost as much as $400 a pair.

But as the Washington Post’s Ed O’Keefe reports, those firefighters have been fighting the Bureau of Indian Affairs for more than two years over reimbursements for their boots:

    But BIA has failed to respond to a September 2009 federal arbitration ruling that ordered the agency to reimburse firefighters for boots they must purchase as a condition of employment. Some federal firefighting agencies provide at least partial reimbursements, the arbitrator said, citing a previous ruling by the Occupational Safety Health Administration.

    Federal requirements for fire-resistant leather firefighter boots that rise above the ankle and last for more than one seven-month fire season range in price from $250 to more than $400 a pair, depending on the brand, according to union officials.

“If you’re going to have First Americans be the first responders on wildfires in California or in Colorado, it seems to me that you ought to provide the fire equipment,” Michael Jennings, executive director of the Federation of Indian Service Employees, tells O’Keefe.

Gwen Florio

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Corey Ducharme with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service drives bison toward the monitoring station during the annual roundup at the National Bison Range on Monday morning. In recent years, motorized vehicles have replaced horseback riders. (LINDA THOMPSON/Missoulian)

Corey Ducharme with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service drives bison toward the monitoring station during the annual roundup at the National Bison Range on Monday morning. In recent years, motorized vehicles have replaced horseback riders. (LINDA THOMPSON/Missoulian)

Members of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes took part in the annual roundup at the National Bison Range yesterday, despite an ongoing court battle over range management. Vince Devlin of the Missoulian has the story:

MOIESE – Bison thundered through a driving rain and down a hillside here Monday morning, their hoof beats indicating that no matter what happens in courtrooms a continent away, the annual October roundup at the National Bison Range will go on.

This one did so with the help of half a dozen people who lost their jobs at the National Wildlife Refuge less than a week ago because of a judicial decision.

Six Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes employees were among the 25 or so people working to round up the animals, collect biological data and monitor the health of the herd.

Except on Monday, they weren’t CSKT employees. They became “emergency U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hires” who returned at the request of the agency, and with the knowledge of the District of Columbia Court that last week effectively terminated their jobs by rescinding a federal agreement with the tribes.

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From the Rapid City Journal in South Dakota:

Nearly 3,000 registered voters are expected to vote today at local precincts on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Polls will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Voters will need to present a photo ID at their respective districts to vote for executive and council representatives, according to Dorothy Brown Bear of the Oglala Sioux Tribe Election Office.

Election judges went through training Monday for the first reservation-wide voting using electronic balloting, Brown Bear said. Precinct locations include Crazy Horse School, Eagle Nest District; Lacreek Community Action Program office, Lacreek District; Kyle CAP office, Mediator Church and St. Henry’s Catholic Hall, Medicine Root District; Oglala CAP office, Brother Rene Hall at Our Lady of the Sioux and Red Shirt School, Oglala District; American Horse School, Pass Creek District; Billy Mills Hall, Pine Ridge Village; Sharp’s Corner Baptist Church and Porcupine Clinic, Porcupine District; Calico CAP office, No. 4 Payabya LTLI Building, Slim Buttes, Red Cloud, Blue Community Building at Wolf Creek, Blue Community Building at Wakpamni Lake and Batesland College Center, Wakpamni District; and Manderson CAP office, Rockyford School and Wounded Knee Community Center, Wounded Knee District.

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Whisper Camel, a wildlife biologist with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, stands on top of the wildlife overpass over U.S. Highway 93 near Evaro last week. Camel has been gathering data on wildlife crossing the highway since before its reconstruction through the Flathead Reservation, and it appears that animals are learning to use the safe crossings. Photo by TOM BAUER/Missoulian

Whisper Camel, a wildlife biologist with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, stands on top of the wildlife overpass over U.S. Highway 93 near Evaro last week. Camel has been gathering data on wildlife crossing the highway since before its reconstruction through the Flathead Reservation, and it appears that animals are learning to use the safe crossings. Photo by TOM BAUER/Missoulian


Praise for wildlife crossings onFlathead Indian Reservation
Bear crossing underneath U.S. Highway 93. Photo courtesy CSKT, MDT and WTI-MSU

Bear crossing underneath U.S. Highway 93. Photo courtesy CSKT, MDT and WTI-MSU


The part of U.S. Highway 93 North that goes through the Flathead Indian Reservation in western Montana is known there as the Peoples Way. But as Vince Devlin of the Missoulian writes, it caters to critters, too. The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, in conjunction with other agencies, have constructed a number of highway overpasses and tunnels to protect wildlife that otherwise would have to cross the highway. There are 41 crossings on the 56-mile stretch, says Whisper Camel, a wildlife biologist for the tribes.

The Montana Department of Transportation calls it “one of the most extensive wildlife-sensitive highway designs to occur in the continental United States.”

South Dakota takes Indian education in a new direction
From Cheat Brokaw of the Associated Press: The state Education Department is collaborating with teachers, school administrators and others to take a new approach to improving academic achievement and graduation rates among American Indian students, who as a group lag behind South Dakota’s non-Indian students. Five-year goals and plans to improve American Indian students’ performance will be put together by the Indian Education Advisory Council, a group of educators from across the state who have a lot of experience in teaching those students, said LuAnn Werdel, director of Indian education for the state Education Department.

Tribes to bury Native American skull used as college mascot
KGW-TV in Albany, Ore., reports that members the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde plan a ceremony to bury a human skull that once served as a college mascot. The case began with a man who’d taken the skull to Sweet Home grade school for show-and-tell in 1984, when he was a boy. It ended up at Albany College – now Lewis and Clark College – whose mascot is a pirate with a skull and crossbones. University of Oregon anthropologists say the skull is that of a Native American woman.

Bill would require First Nations financial reporting

A conservative Saskatchewan lawmaker has proposed a bill that would require First Nations chiefs and council members to report salaries and expenses, CBC reports. Although there’s already a process for such reporting, Kelly Block says the bill would make disclosure automatic.

Gwen Florio

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Every Saturday, Buffalo Post features stories from Native Sun News, published in Rapid City, S.D.

By Randall Howell
Native Sun News Correspondent

nativesun
HOT SPRINGS –– Early voting for the general election is underway at Pine Ridge and Hot Springs for Shannon County residents.

In fact, Fall River County Auditor Sue Ganje traveled to Pine Ridge village on Tuesday, Sept. 28, to set up equipment and prepare the reservation’s polling place – the office of the county’s Lakota Language Program at the old Indian Health Services hospital, just off Highway 18 west of the “Four Way.”

Ganje, who serves Shannon County as a contracted auditor, said that polls would be open for 22 days “right up to the day before” the general election itself on Tuesday, Nov. 2.

“We’ll be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. five days a week, except for Oct.11 – a holiday,” said Ganje, who told Native Sun News that the early voting program got the nod from Shannon County Commissioners during the Friday, Sept. 24, meeting. Oct. 11 is Native American Day in South Dakota.

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nativesunEvery Saturday, Buffalo Post features stories from Native Sun News, published in Rapid City, S.D.

By Randall Howell
Native Sun News Correspondent

PINE RIDGE –– A candidate for the Oglala Sioux Tribe’s Pine Ridge District representative continues to await a response to a complaint he has filed with the tribe’s Election Commission.

Bruce Whalen, a first-time candidate for tribal council representative in Pine Ridge District, said he filed his complaint early last week.

The complaint was filed by Whalen in connection with his inability to get a copy of the commission’s meeting minutes wherein it reportedly altered the candidate filing frame because several “chose by their own free will” to go off-reservation to get the drug tests – decisions that several candidates said would delay paperwork establishing
viable candidacy.

“They are changing the rules … changing horses in mid-stream, changing the rules in the middle of the game,” Whalen told Native Sun News. “Not only did they change the rules, but also they won’t provide me with the minutes of the meeting where it happened.”

Meanwhile, Whalen has charged the commission and the Tribal Council with violating its own open-meeting rules and then meeting to extend the filing deadline to accommodate candidates who went off-reservation for those drug tests. Several candidates reportedly complained that because they did so they could not meet the filing time frame.

Hence, the Election Commission apparently adjusted the time frame to meet the filing needs of those candidates, contends Whalen.

The tribe’s top election commissioner – Francis Pumpkin Seed – conducted the ballot positioning session for the tribe late Wednesday but did not supply minutes of the time-frame-change meeting, though Whalen was present.
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nativesun
Every Saturday, Buffalo Post features stories from Native Sun News, published in Rapid City, S.D.

By Randall Howell
Native Sun News Correspondent

WANBLEE –– Tag used to be a school-yard game.

That kind of tag is rarely played by school children anymore.

Today, the word has taken on a new gang-like meaning, often referring to a graffiti-based, black-paint “tag” or symbolic territory marking on the exterior walls of a house or public building, such as a post office.

And, a significant number of Wanblee residents say they have had enough of that kind of tag to last several lifetimes.

“They (graffiti vandals) have tagged and retagged some buildings around here many times,” said Phyllis Swift Hawk, a long-time Wanblee resident and one of those re-organizing and rekindling the community’s five-year-old, unimplemented Neighborhood Watch program.

“The initial momentum ran out of steam somewhere along the line,” said Swift Hawk, who is helping spearhead the revival of the program, which has Oglala Sioux Tribe’s Department of Public Safety cooperation and blessing. In fact, Sgt. Larry Romano reportedly has been assigned to the community, though the Wanblee Law Enforcement substation has been shut down after the building recently was condemned as structurally unsound, according to Swift Hawk.

“We have to do something to turn this thing around,” said Swift Hawk, who noted that the fading away of the first such program left community members awash in a subsequent sea of drug use, under-age drinking and vandalism.

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The Toronto Globe & Mail has Q&A with “Avatar” director James Cameron, who toured the oil sands in Alberta for three days this week and then joined First Nations leaders to ask Canada to protect the area from development.

The aboriginal community of Fort Chipewyan is downstream from the oil sands. The Lubicon Cree First Nation, Mikisew Cree First Nation, Duncan Lake First Nation and the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation are among those directly affecged by development there.

Cameron’s actions weren’t universally welcomed. As the Globe & Mail points out, the Edmonton Sun ran Cameron’s photo under the headline “Dipstick!” and also wrote an editorial calling him a hypocrite.

And Montana’s governor, Brian Schweitzer, took a poke at Cameron, accusing him of “blowing smoke,” according to the Associated Press.

“Any of these people who say they don’t like the oil sands, you ought to ask them if they’ll invite you to their house, and unless they’re living naked in a cave and eating nuts, they are totally dependent on petrol,” Schweitzer said.

Gwen Florio

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