Archive for the ‘Stoney Nakoda First Nations’ Category

Whisper American Horse, 5, of Gordon, Neb., dances a jingle dance during the Sacred Breath Pow Wow. (Rapid City Journal/Seth A. McConnell)

Whisper American Horse, 5, of Gordon, Neb., dances a jingle dance during the Sacred Breath Pow Wow. (Rapid City Journal/Seth A. McConnell)

Sacred Breath Pow Wow Aims for Smoke-Free South Dakota

The powwow this weekend in Rapid City, S.D., was for a cause – a couple of causes, actually: Emphasizing to Native people the difference between just smoking, and the use of sacred tobacco. And, says this Rapid City Journal story, it also honored the people working to make South Dakota a smoke-free state. “We need to do the right thing – and in this ‘here and now,’ the right thing is not to smoke,” says Oglala Lakota College President Tom Short Bull, whose campus is completely smoke-free. “We are probably the only college in the United States that can say that,” he said. “Most have designated smoking areas, but smoking is banned everywhere on OLC.” And the college president, who is not the world’s tallest man, joked that his family had warned him smoking would stunt his growth. “Looking at me now – imagine how much worse it would have been for me had I smoked. I’m the poster child of the smoke-free campaign.” Read more about efforts to stop smoking at the Black Hills Center For American Indian Health, here.

Alberta Reserve Moves to Block Gas Pipeline

Canada’s Stoney Nakoda tribe is looking at a little-used bylaw to stop a petrochemical firm from building a pipeline within 300 meters of its border. The Eden Valley band has only 500 members, and a Canadian government agency says that hardly qualifies the reserve as an urban center, which would activate the bylaw pushing back the Petro-Canada pipeline1.5 kilometers, according to this story in the Financial Post. But Stoney Nakoda First Nations leaders say many of the people living on the tiny reserve don’t have phones, making it difficult to notify them if there were a leak.

California Tribe Halts Gold-Mining Efforts

Small-scale miners in California will no longer be able to go for gold with suction-dredge mining because of concerns of the effects on salmon runs, according to this AP story, which calls the development a major victory for the Karuk Tribe. What makes the victory particularly sweet is that the tribe originally was displaced by miners in the 1850s Gold Rush, and only recently faced the modern-day threat from a type of mining that stirs up silt and mercury in riverbeds. Other tribes and environmental groups joined the Karuk in pressing for the legislation signed last week by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Congressional Apology to Tribes Moves Forward in Senate

Slow, slow progress here, but progress nonetheless. On Thursday, the Senate Indian Affairs Committee approved S.R. 14: “a joint resolution to acknowledge a long history of official depredations and ill-conceived policies by the Federal Government regarding Indian tribes and offer an apology to all Native Peoples on behalf of the United States.” Previous attempts to pass similar resolutions, in 2005 and 2007, came to naught. Maybe this year will see success. Here’s a story on the resolution.

Gwen Florio