Posts Tagged ‘vince devlin’

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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The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe on the Flathead Indian Reservation in western Montana held council elections in mid-December. The winds of change must of been blowing hard that day.

As Vince Devlin of the Missoulian reports, four of five incumbents were voted out of office.

The CSKT council consists of 10 seats come up for election every two years. Once the councilors are seated, they choose a chairman.

    PABLO – Tribal government on the Flathead Indian Reservation will take on a decidedly different look Friday, when the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Council elects a new leader and four new council members are sworn in.

    Voters last month turned four of five incumbents out of office, including Tribal Chairman E.T. “Bud” Moran.

    Only council member Terry Pitts of Dixon was able to hang onto his job, defeating challenger Anita L. Orr Matt 659-626.

    Every other incumbent went down to defeat. The casualties included both Moran, who represented the Pablo District, and former Chairman James Steele Jr. of Arlee.

    “I’ve said before that Jimmy the Greek would have lost his shorts in a tribal election,” said former CSKT Chairman Fred Matt, who himself lost a 2006 council race that cost him the leadership position. “I can’t see any rhyme or reason to why it happens. There were no hot-button issues. I really think a large number of people just vote to change. They don’t always have a specific reason.”

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From Vince Devlin, of the Missoulian:

PABLO – An educational partnership agreement announced Wednesday morning between the Naval Undersea Warfare Center of Newport, R.I., and Salish Kootenai College here seemed to kill a lot more than two birds with one stone.

At its most basic level, the agreement will provide internships for SKC students who will assist with research and development of digital acoustic sensor technology at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center.

But that’s just the start.

It should also help the college recruit science, technology, engineering and mathematics students to its campus who can take advantage of the opportunity.

It will fund sabbaticals for SKC faculty members so that they can participate in the research.

That will help Luana Ross, first-year president of SKC, steer the tribal college in the “research institution” direction she is pursuing.

And the CEO who helped broker the agreement says the tribally owned company he runs benefits as well.

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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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Photo by Kurt Wilson, of the Missoulian

Photo by Kurt Wilson, of the Missoulian

Missoulian photographer Kurt Wilson’s photo from the National Bison Range accompanied Vince Devlin’s update on the range since a federal judge in Washington, D.C., rescinded a funding agreement in September that removed about a dozen Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal employees from the U.S. wildlife refuge.

Happy New Year from the Buffalo Post. Sunday Brunch will return next week.

Jenna Cederberg

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