Posts Tagged ‘Chippewa Cree Tribe’

Election day is done and there’s been a shift in the direction Washington may take. The Dems fell in many situations. But here’s a report from the Great Falls Tribune recapping what many Native leaders are calling progress made a year after Democratic President Barack Obama called a Native American summit where he instructed federal agencies to work more closely with tribes on a number of wide-reaching policies and programs. A top Native American Affairs adviser tells Tribune reporter Ledyard King the president is committed to continuing the “regular and meaningful consultation and collaboration” with tribes.

    That dialogue, fostered by a president who eagerly sought out the Native American vote in 2008, helped ensure that programs specifically tailored for Native Americans were included in the sweeping health care reform bill Congress passed in March. It helped propel final passage in July of a long-awaited Tribal Law and Order Act that will expand tribal authority and federal assistance on reservations wracked by crime. And it helped push the administration to settle an 11-year-old class-action lawsuit, known as the Keepseagle case, in October, so that thousands of Native American farmers and ranchers who were improperly denied access to government aid for years can begin filing for federal compensation.

    “This is like night and day,” said Democratic State Sen. Jonathan Windy Boy, a member of the Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation.

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School can’t oust Lipan Apache boy over braids
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the Needville (Texas) Independent School District can’t punish a Lipan Apache boy for wearing his hair in braids. Kenney Arocha and Michelle Betenbaugh had argued that their son’s hair, which has never been cut, conforms to their Native American religious beliefs, according to the Houston Chronicle, here.

Federal disaster declaration for Rocky Boy’s Reservation
President Barack Obama yesterday declared the Rocky Boy’s Reservation a disaster area, making it eligible for federal money for repairs. Flooding on the reservation broke water lines, leaving hundreds of members of the Chippewa Cree tribe without water for two weeks and causing millions of dollars in damage, according to this Associated Press story.

Navajo Nation Supreme Court says no third term for president

The Navajo Supreme Court has denied President Joe Shirley Jr.’s quest for a third consecutive term, the AP reports here. “I respect the decision of our Supreme Court justices,” Shirley said. “They had the final say. They decided and now I know that this is the end of it.”

Report details abuse of indigenous people in Peru

A report by the Missionary Indigenous Council takes a look at the treatment of indigenous people in Brazil. The report shows they are dealt abuse by police and landowners, lack proper nutrition and health care, and crowded out of their homelands by vast public works such as the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam in the state of Para. Read more in this Agence France-Presse story.

New Nez Perce National Historic Trail map released
A new map of the Nez Perce (Nee-Me-Poo) National Historic Trail is now available at Forest Service and National Park Service offices and online through Discover Your Northwest, the National Forest Store and the USGS Store, according to the Char-Koosta News, here. The map details locations along the 1,170 mile trail. Or, you can see it online here.

Aboriginal warrior’s remains, once displayed in museum, are reburied
A 19th century Aboriginal warrior named Yagan whose severed head once was displayed in British museum, has been reburied with proper ceremony in western Australia. The Associated Press reports here that the private ceremony was held yesterday by the Noongar Tribe, and coincides with the opening of the Yagan Memorial Park outside of Perth.

Gwen Florio

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Both the Chippewa Cree Tribe in northern Montana and Sioux on the Yankton Reservation in South Dakota were hit hard by floods late last month. Apparently the state of Montana won’t be able to provide help to the Rocky Boy’s Reservation, so now they’re hoping for a federal disaster declaration. Here are stories from the Associated Press on the situation at both reservations, as well as word of help to Rocky Boy’s from the from the Indian Health Service:

HELENA (AP) – Chippewa Cree tribal leaders were awaiting word on whether last month’s flooding on the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation would be declared a disaster by President Barack Obama.

A disaster declaration would give the tribe access to millions of dollars in federal assistance to repair damage to roads, public buildings and other infrastructure.

Gov. Brian Schweitzer asked Obama for the declaration earlier this week.

On Friday, state emergency officials said there wasn’t enough home damage to qualify for federal individual assistance.

A damage assessment concluded that out of the 94 privately owned homes in the area, two received major damage and nine had minor damage.

The flooding forced the evacuation of dozens of homes and left others without drinking water

Meanwhile, the Indian Health Service announced today that it’s providing more than $1 million in help to the Chippewa Cree Tribe. The IHS news release follows:

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Here’s the entire story from Matt Volz of the Associated Press:

Flooding on the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation has left more than 200 homes without drinking water, forced the evacuation of at least 38 families and cut off access to the reservation’s only health clinic, a Chippewa Cree tribal leader said Tuesday.

A dam is threatening to overflow and several roads are impassable on the reservation in north-central Montana, Chippewa Cree Executive Administrative Officer Neil Rosette said.

More than 4 inches of rain has fallen on the reservation since Thursday, adding to already unseasonably high amounts of spring rain.

Now, the water won’t recede from the saturated land and tribal leaders are working with engineers with the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs and state emergency personnel to figure out what to do.

“There’s nowhere for it to go,” Rosette said of the water.

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iber Reservoir at Lake Elwell - Future home of Rocky Boy's/North Central Montana Regional Water Treatment Plant. (Chippewa Cree Construction Corp. photo)

Tiber Reservoir at Lake Elwell - Future home of Rocky Boy's/North Central Montana Regional Water Treatment Plant. (Chippewa Cree Construction Corp. photo)

Today brings a couple of good-news announcements from the feds:

First, out of New Mexico, comes this news from the Treasury Department: Treasury Deputy Secretary Neal Wolin and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson have announced $1 billion in stimulus bond authority for 58 tribes across the country.

The news release goes on to say three New Mexico pueblos are receiving bond authority as part of the program. That includes the Pueblo of Acoma, which intends to use $5 million from the Recovery Act’s Tribal Bond program to construct a steel production facility in rural New Mexico. The Pueblo of Acoma is already the largest employer in Cibola County.

For the complete list, check out this link.

And, in Montana, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has announced $20 million for the Rocky Boy’s North Central Rural Water project.

The Bureau of Reclamation funds will go to treat water at Lake Elwell and transmit it to approximately 43,000 users on Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation and several other communities in the region. The project is part of the implementation of the Chippewa Cree Tribe’s water right settlement.

Gwen Florio

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