Posts Tagged ‘Indian Country Today’


Indians to Arianna Huffington: What About Us?

   Posted by: buffalo_post    in Native journalists, native news

As Rob Capriccioso reports, the new “GlobalBlack” section on Huffington post announced this week has Natives wondering why they’re not getting the same attention on the uber popular news blog.

Indian Country Today asked several Native news watchers why they thought Indian Country deserves the same attention

    “I think a mainstream media site could feasibly host a Native American section,” said Brian Bull, assistant news editor at Wisconsin Public Radio. “We’re the First Nations… as far as relevancy’s sake, there’s history, politics and financial influence galore within Indian country, which can certainly establish Native people as a relatively small—but significant—demographic.” He noted that there are 565 federally recognized tribes and many state recognized ones with unique and powerful stories to share in every major news-making area.

    Native attention has increasingly turned toward the Huffington Post because it’s a news-based website showing major signs of growth and strong financial backing.

    “Huffington Post’s site would only benefit from having a Native American section—after all, news should reflect all people regardless of race,” said Lori Edmo-Suppah, editor of the Sho-Ban News, which covers the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. “Currently the public doesn’t know enough about Native people because our news is rarely covered, as many still think our people are in the past.”

    Edmo-Suppah said there would “definitely” be enough Indian contributors to make a strong page, and the right person just needs to seek them out. “Information would depend on who is hired to write it and it must be someone who is aware of current and past issues, because Native people always have to remember teachings passed on through culture and traditions.”

Jenna Cederberg

Tags: , , , , , ,

Ray Halbritter (Courtesy ICTMN)

Ray Halbritter (Courtesy ICTMN)

Indian Country Today Media Network site launches
The new Indian Country Today Media Network launched this week under the motto “Serving the Nations, Celebrating the People.”

The site include news alert and recent posts section under a slideshow-like format containing its features. Not only are the photos done more justice, videos are now also have a spot to call their own. Reader shared content is being actively solicited.

I spent some time on the site Friday afternoon, but not enough. Take some time to look around if you haven’t yet.

Oneida Nation CEO Ray Halbritter posted this in his site introduction message:

    The website will serve as a one-stop destination for the vast and growing number of people interested in our news, culture, ideals and businesses. Most important is the website’s social network: The nations’ first true online community and forum for all of our disparate and common interests.

Maggie Goode first Native American appointed to federal board
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes member Maggie Goode was recently named to the USDA’s Federal Crop Insurance Corporation board of directors. It makes her the first Native and first Montanan to hold a spot on the board, the Char-Koosta reports.

Goode’s family ranches in northwestern Montana, near the small town of Niarada. She will serve a four-year term.

    The FCIC consists of a ten-member board, with each being nominated to and then selected and appointed for a four-year term by the Department of Agriculture Secretary. Goode said, she is still unaware of who may have nominated her for the position.

    Goode said, she is honored for the appointment and is pleased that a tribal member will be involved in the decision making process. “Tribes need involvement at all levels; county, state and federal,” she added.

Crow Tribe discusses water settlement bill
From Susan Olp of the Billings Gazette:

CROW AGENCY — In 1998, Clara Nomee, then chair of the Crow Tribe, instigated negotiations with state officials over a possible water compact.

On Tuesday, she sat on the stage of the Multipurpose Building in Crow Agency as speaker after speaker, including U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, talked about the importance of the recently passed federal bill that would quantify the tribe’s water rights and bring hundreds of millions of dollars in water projects to the Crow Tribe.

“It’s for the benefit of employment of the people,” Nomee said in a soft voice, over the din of a loudspeaker. “And it’s for the betterment of the reservation.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Follow the link to the “latest evolution of Indian Country Today” and you’ll be greeted by an under construction sign of sorts.

But on Jan. 14, ICT will make an expansion as it launches an upgraded and expanded version of itself with Indian Country Today Media Network. New features will include the updated site and a weekly magazine, PR Newswire announced.

Ray Halbritter, Nation Representative and CEO of the Oneida Nation, which owns ITC, made the announcement through Newswire on Thursday.

    Thanks to Halbritter’s vision, guidance and his desire to keep pace with today’s expanding media environment, Indian Country Today Media Network was created. “It has always been my desire to create a destination that can bring all the Nations together,” said Halbritter. “With Indian Country Today Media Network we have created a full service media platform that is current, timely, sophisticated, inclusive and widely available. Our whole community now has a place to go to get news, exchange ideas, and communicate with one another.”

    The website and magazine will provide essential news and information from Indian Country, featuring new artists and cultural highlights, and give life to the most forceful voices in the national community. The network will also offer online services in the areas of education, business and events—everything from listings of Tribal Colleges to the latest pow wows.

Jenna Cederberg

Tags: , , , , , ,

A roller coaster year in the courts for cigarette tax fights, Indian Country Today recaps the happenings and what it meant for Indian nations.

The “cigarette tax war” is one of ICT’s top stories of 2010.

Much of the turmoil took place in New York, where a law was passed by the legislature to ensure non-Indian residents who bought cigarettes bought on reservations were charged a state tax, to be collected from tribes that have already purchased the cigarettes. That fight is currently tied up in the courts on appeal.

    The law provides an onerous system whereby nations can opt into a coupon system to get a refund of the taxes they’ve already paid on tax-free cigarettes sold to Indians, or an allocation system in which a wholesaler can tie up a nation’s entire allocation of cigarettes even if the nation or individual retailers have not ordered stock for the wholesaler. . .

    So far, the nations have managed to stop the state from implementing its new tax collection scheme. On Dec. 9, a three-judge panel of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the state’s request to lift injunctions in place that stop the state from collecting cigarette taxes sold on Indian land while several challenges to the tax laws are pending. All of the pending lawsuits against the state have been consolidated into one case in front of the federal appeals court.

Also making waves was the federal Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act passed this year.

    The federal PACT Act – Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act – which had been bouncing from Congress to Congress in various incarnations for a number of years was signed into law by President Barack Obama in April.

    The new law bans the U.S. Postal Service from delivering cigarettes and certain other tobacco products – a move that will effectively extinguish the mail order tobacco trade run by the many business owners of the Seneca Nation of Indians and other Indian-owned tobacco businesses around the country.

Jenna Cederberg

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,


Homolovi ruins in Arizona to reopen

   Posted by: buffalo_post    in Hopi, Native history, Native sites

Hopi pottery demonstrations are one of the more popular visitor attractions at Arizona’s Homolovi Ruins State Park. (Photo courtesy Ellen Bilbrey/Arizona State Parks)

Hopi pottery demonstrations are one of the more popular visitor attractions at Arizona’s Homolovi Ruins State Park. (Photo courtesy Ellen Bilbrey/Arizona State Parks)

The Great Recession forced the state of Arizona to shut the gates to this ancient, honored cluster of prehistorical sites early this year. The home to more than 300 archaeologically significant areas at Homolovi Ruins State Park has sat unseen since February.

But Indian Country Today reported this week that the park is being prepped to reopen.

Although Arizona’s budget is still deeply in the red, the Hopi Tribal Council recently reached an agreement with the Arizona State Parks Board to help subsidize operations of the park. This will open the park again, with state parks department running its operations.

The park was one of 13 shut by legislative action to help offset Arizona’s heavy deficit. A specific opening date will be announced soon, ICT reported.

    “When the park closed, the Hopi people became worried that once again pot hunters could start desecrating our ancient homelands,” said Hopi Land Team member and tribal council representative Cedric Kuwaninvaya, Sipaulovi. “Now, in partnership with park representatives, the City of Winslow, and others, we can again protect and preserve our ancient homelands and share our cultural heritage.”

    Homolovi, a Hopi word meaning “place of the little hills,” features a cluster of some 300 archaeological sites including several separate pueblo ruins built by various prehistoric peoples from 1250 – 1400 A.D. The park serves as a center of research for tribal migration of that time period and while archaeologists study the area and confer with the Hopi to unravel area history, Arizona State Parks provided an opportunity for visitors to personally experience two of the seven ruins.

    Most visited is the largest, Homolovi II, an excavated site with about 1,200 rooms, 40 kivas or underground ceremonial chambers, clusters of pit houses, and three large plazas. Petroglyphs can be found along certain sections of the nearby Tsu’vo trail.

Jenna Cederberg

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

An aerial view of the Puna Geothermal Venture plant located in Pahoa, Hawaii. The plant produces 30 megawatts of power each year supplying approximately 20 percent of the electrical power on the Big Island of Hawaii.  (Photo courtesy Puna Geothermal Venture)

An aerial view of the Puna Geothermal Venture plant located in Pahoa, Hawaii. The plant produces 30 megawatts of power each year supplying approximately 20 percent of the electrical power on the Big Island of Hawaii. (Photo courtesy Puna Geothermal Venture)

The heat from Hawaiian goddess Pele’s volcanos is the hot topic on the Pacific Ocean island these days, as Rebecca Jacobs of Indian Country Today reports.

Talks about developing the geothermal energy that radiates there have some saying it would violate Pele’s gift of heat by manipulating it. Others say the gift should be used for the good of the people, especially because of the high demand and high cost of energy.

A University of Hilo Kipuka Native Hawaiian Student Center’s Eia Hawaii Lecture Series allowed people to discuss the different sides of the issue recently.

Talk of geothermal power sources is a statewide concern. The Hawaiian senate created a committee to investigate the possibility of making geothermal heat the state’s main energy source and is continuing to take comments and doing research on the topic. Some businessmen have said finding investors and funding for research would be obstacles to complete conversion.

One geothermal power plant already exists on the Big Island, near Puna.

    At Puna Geothermal Venture, Kaleikini, Native Hawaiian, manages the operations of the 30-megawatt power plant that is contracted to provide approximately 20 percent of the Big Island’s electrical needs.

    “It’s clean. It’s local. It’s here – it’s indigenous,” he said.

    PGV, owned by parent company Ormat of Reno, Nev., has operated a closed geothermal system in the lower Puna region for 17 years. It now employs 30 full-time staff and contributes $3 million to the local economy. Royalties are also paid to the state due to the fact that the steam is considered a state-owned mineral.

Jenna Cederberg

Tags: , , , , ,

The Seneca Pumped Storage Project has a production capacity of 450 megawatts generating electricity with the water of the Allegheny River through the Kinzua Dam and its Allegheny Reservoir on the Seneca Nation Allegheny Territory. (Courtesy of Seneca Nation of Indians)

The Seneca Pumped Storage Project has a production capacity of 450 megawatts generating electricity with the water of the Allegheny River through the Kinzua Dam and its Allegheny Reservoir on the Seneca Nation Allegheny Territory. (Courtesy of Seneca Nation of Indians)

The Seneca Nation of Indians this week took an initial step in what will mostly likely be a years-long process to earn ownership rights and regain a sensitive, important piece of historical land in the Kinzua Dam and hydroelectricity plant.

Indian Country Today reports that Seneca President Robert Odawi Porter announced the nation filed application documents with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Nov. 30 for the license to operate the Seneca Pumped Storage Project.

The current owners’ license expires in 2015, and the process through the FERC could take up to five years.

The dam was built to help with things like flood control, and eventually began being used as a hydropower production plant run by private companies for profit. Opened in 1965, the dam construction meant that more than 800 Seneca people were displaced.

    The government forced 147 Seneca families out of their homes on 10,000 acres of their treaty-protected Allegany territory in a fertile valley, and relocated them several miles away. The homes were burned and the land was flooded to build the Allegheny Reservoir. The flooded land drowned significant cultural, sacred and ceremonial sites, including a longhouse and burial grounds.

    The hydropower project was already permitted by the federal government before the Seneca Nation was informed of plans for its construction. The nation has never been invited to share in the project’s significant financial benefits.

    Jenna Cederberg

    Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

While in Hawaii, the Iroquois Nationals held a clinic with the support of Nike, which has partnered with the team since 2006. The clinic involved 80 Native Hawaiian students, most of whom have never before seen the sport. (Photo courtesy Jill Zanger)

While in Hawaii, the Iroquois Nationals held a clinic with the support of Nike, which has partnered with the team since 2006. The clinic involved 80 Native Hawaiian students, most of whom have never before seen the sport. (Photo courtesy Jill Zanger)

Instead of London, it was Hawaii for the the 2010 Iroquois Nationals lacrosse team.

The team was denied travel opportunity to play in London after a passport dispute grounded them in the United States.

It made for great use of the unused London tickets.

Indian Country Today reports that the team not only participated in the Hawaii Lacrosse 20th Anniversary Invitational Tournament in Waikiki, but also held a clinic with Native Hawaiian students.

    “We were given a very elaborate greeting (at the University of Hawaii’s Kamakakuokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies), and we remarked that it was similar in spirit and protocol to our traditional greeting ceremony. It was the unification of the two groups. We were very at home,” Percy Abrams, the team’s executive director, told reporter Cindy Luis of the Honolulu Star Advertiser.

    The clinic “was much more than a cultural exchange. For the students at Ke Kula Kaiapuni ‘o Anuenue, the Hawaiian immersion school in Palolo Valley, it was an educational experience that linked the Hawaiian sovereignty issue to the recognition problems encountered by the (Iroquois Nationals) last summer,” Luis reported.

    Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


Indian vets score a win in Congress

   Posted by: buffalo_post    in Politics, Uncategorized

Indian Country Today reported this week that Congress has passed the Indian Veterans Housing Opportunity Act, which will help Native veterans get housing assistance along with federal disability and survivor aid they qualify for.
Rob Capriccioso reported that the legislation is headed to President Barack Obama’s desk to be signed into law.

    Until now, the benefits had been considered income under NAHASDA, thus reducing support. NAHASDA was passed in 1996 to allow tribal communities to more easily access housing grants by providing support to families who make less than 80 percent of the median income of their area.

    The flaw was fixed under the legislation by specifically excluding veterans’ benefits from the definition of income.

Here’s one more article about the Indian Veterans Housing Opportunity Act.

Jenna Cederberg

Tags: , , , , ,

We in the news business are being deluged these days by reports of the imminent death of “paper” newspapers and the concurrent rush go digital in every format possible.

In the midst of all the wailing and gnashing of teeth is the Native Sun News in Rapid City, S.D., which debuted a year and a half ago as a defiantly paper newspaper and has stayed that way ever since. As publisher Tim Giago wrote about that decision:


    You won’t find us on the Internet. So many of my Indian readers do not have computers or do not even have access to them. Native Sun News will go back to the traditional way of providing news for Indian country. The paper will have serious news, but we will never abandon that Indian sense of humor that so many non-Indians accuse us of not having. You will be able to hold our newspaper in your hands, sip on a hot cup of coffee, and read the news you used to love to read in The Lakota Times and Indian Country Today.

The paper is especially tough on cases of alleged corruption.

Native Sun News is often the only news outlet to publicize cases like the one involving Donita King, whose story was featured in the July 21 issue. King, an enrolled member of the Assiniboine Sioux on the Fort Peck Reservation in northeastern Montana, says that she and her family have been fighting for years for the money due from her oil-rich allotments.

People are widely familiar with the issue of Native Americans being cheated out of royalties on their land allotments, thanks to the massive Cobell v. Salazar class-action suit against the Interior Department.

But as King tells Native Sun News managing editor Randall Howell, it’s not the U.S. government, but tribal officials, who have been cheating her family. King, who is legally blind, says the money due her family has instead been directed to fake accounts set up by powerful people in the tribe.

As Howell reports, “What started out as a ‘simple probate search’ more than two decades ago, after King’s father had died, has resulted in nearly 50 grand-jury indictments over allotment fraud.”

King, who is a descendant of Hunkpapa Sioux Chief Sitting Bull and who says the long fight has resulted in death threats to her and her family, calls the whole mess a “path of shame.”

And the only place you can read about it is the Native Sun News “The only Indian newspaper that cowboys can read, too!”). You can look at a reproduction of each week’s front page and read a column by Giago online every week at And, even though reading the entire newspaper defiantly remains a tactile experience, you can follow Native Sun News, and discussions about its stories, on both Facebook and Twitter.

Gwen Florio

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,