Canada’s First Nations mark half-century of voting rights
Wednesday is the 50th anniversary of the day when all members of Canada’s First Nations finally received the right to vote. “It was a pretty major event in its time. It changed society’s understanding of aboriginal people,” says Federal Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl, who will hold a reception Wednesday on Parliament Hill. But as the Montreal Gazette reports here, that with “low voter participation, significant under-representation in most governments and social conditions on reserves mimicking that of Third World nations, the impact of enfranchisement on Canadian First Nations has been questionable.”
Tribe works with TV station on documentary of Native people in California
The San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians has helped KVCR-TV produce a series on the experience of Native people in California after colonization. It’s the third installment of a documentary that began by focusing on the San Manuel band and now looks at other tribes in California, according to the San Bernardino Sun.
Dene Kay Thomas named new Fort Lewis College President
Here’s the entire AP story from Durango, Colo:
A college president praised for her relations with the Nez Perce and Coeur d’Alene tribes in Idaho has been picked as president of Fort Lewis College in Durango.
Dene Kay Thomas, president of Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho, since 2001, will become president of Fort Lewis College on July 1. She succeeds Brad Bartel.
Thomas faces declining enrollment at Fort Lewis and calls for the school to cut $1.6 million from its budget by time she takes office, and an additional $2.9 million by 2012.
Thomas says she’ll work closely with school’s Native American students and the tribes they represent. The school enrolls students from 122 tribes, which make up 20 percent of the student population.
Tribes doing better, but should brace for inflation
The good news presented at the Native American Financial Officers Association last week in New Orleans, is that tribes are doing better than ever economically. The bad news is that inflation could, and probably will, hit. “Never in history have tribes had revenue growth and access to investor capital the way they did in 2001 – 2007,” William Lomax, the group’s president and a citizen of the Gitxsan Nation. But, he says, “Given the amount of money (the federal government) has been pumping into the system, it is only a matter of time before inflation takes off. It might be one year, three years or five years, but I’m sure it is coming.” Read Dave Palermo’s report here in Indian Country Today.
Pastor spreads gospel of flight in Alaska Native villages
The Tundra Drums calls Grant Funk “a Johnny Appleseed of village aviation.” The minister’s passion is to produce pilots and flight mechanics in the villages, both as a practical matter and a way of giving students more career choices. Right now, there’s only one aviation vocational program in Alaska’s rural high schools, he says.
Congrats to Salish Kootenai College’s Bison and Lady Bison!
The Salish Kootenai College teams dominated the IHEC National Indian Basketball Tournament, the Char-Koosta News reports here. The Bison pulled a three-peat in defeating Northwest Indian College, 109-103, and the Lady Bison tromped Oglala Lakota College, 72-57.
Tags: Alaska Natives, buffalo post, Dene Kay Thomas, First Nations, Fort Lewis College, Gitxsan Nation, Gwen Florio, IHEC, KVCR-TV, Lewis-Clark State College, National Indian Basketball Tournament, Native American Financial Officers Association, Salish Kootenai College, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, SKC Bison, SKC Lady Bison, voting rights, William Lomax