Posts Tagged ‘Wind River Reservation’

Talking dictionaries aim to document, preserve endangered languages

Tito Perez, a shaman from the Chamacoco community in Puerto Diana, Paraguay, is shown. Words and sentences from the Chamacoco language can be heard in a new talking dictionary. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, National Geographic, Chris Rainier)

Using ancient languages in danger of being lost, National Geographic has created eight new talking dictionaries, according to the Canadian Press.

    The dictionaries contain more than 32,000 word entries in eight endangered languages. They comprise more than 24,000 audio recordings of native speakers pronouncing words and sentences, along with photos of cultural objects.

    Among the participants on a panel about the use of digital tools at the AAAS meeting was Alfred (Bud) Lane, among the last known fluent speakers of Siletz Dee-ni, a Native American language spoken in Oregon. Lane has written that the talking dictionary is — and will be — one of the best resources in the struggle to keep his language alive.

The languages have been recorded and written, but part of the project also involves taking photographs of native speakers.

Native student responds to a Times article about his home
Did you read the Feb. 3 New York Time’s article on the Wind River Reservation?

A lot of students from Wind River did, and they responded in a variety of ways about their feelings of how the story depicted their home.

    Students on the Wind River reservation read and discussed the piece in classes at Fort Washakie Charter High School, and, according to Michael L. Read, an English teacher there, felt that “the article seemed to reinforce the stereotypes that they get labeled with frequently.” In an e-mail, he wrote, “These students know that there are problems in their community, but they also love it and are fully committed to honoring their ancestors and the future.”

One student, Willow Pingree, responded through a comment online. It’s worth reading and reflecting on. (Pingree’s entire letter is printed online on a Times learning blog.)

Montana to allow hunters to shoot wandering Yellowstone bison
There’s no bison management agreement yet when it comes to how tribes and government agencies will manage bison in Montana, but on Thursday the state announced it would allow hunters to shoot the animals if they wander outside Yellowstone National Park.

Associated Press reporter Matt Volz has the story.

    Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials say that allowing hunters to enforce those tolerance areas is an adjustment to an Interagency Bison Management Plan change that expands the boundaries where bison can wander. It would allow hunters to shoot bison that stray beyond designated areas during or outside of the bison hunting season.

    . . .

    The plan was approved in a 4-1 vote. Commissioner A.T. “Rusty” Stafne, a former Fort Peck tribal chairman, voted against the measure, saying the agreements with the tribes should be in place first.

    Neighboring farmers and ranchers fear the bison will spread disease and destroy their property.

    Two lawsuits are pending over allowing bison to leave Yellowstone in search of food at lower elevations in the winter. A third lawsuit aims to block the relocation of the 68 bison to Fort Peck and Fort Belknap.

Jenna Cederberg

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Anjalene Catron, 13, practices her punches with her mom, Jolene Catron during the S.T.O.P. (Survival Thinking, Observation and Planning) workshop at the Arapahoe School on the Wind River Reservation. (Kerry Huller/Star Tribune)

Anjalene Catron, 13, practices her punches with her mom, Jolene Catron during the S.T.O.P. (Survival Thinking, Observation and Planning) workshop at the Arapahoe School on the Wind River Reservation. (Kerry Huller/Star Tribune)

The Young Ladies’ Society sounds like a tea-and-cookies sort of group. It’s anything but.

A group of girls at Arapahoe Charter High School on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming formed the group after three teenage girls were found dead on the reservation in 2008. Another young teenage girl was killed in April, and girls also tell of sexual assaults during drinking parties.

As Kristy Gray of the Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune writes, here, the Young Ladies’ Society see their job as to say “enough.” They proclaim themselves as “Taking Back the Rez.” Gray writes:

    The society they formed is geared toward 11- to 18-year-old girls. The five founding members signed sobriety vows. They hope to be role models and to expand the society to a community-wide effort for girls of any background, tribe or race. They want to have monthly workshops on all kinds of topics, free for young women.

    [This week was] their first public event, a workshop called STOP — Survival Thinking, Observation and Planning. It stresses prevention first, then fighting back.

The best thing about the group is that it’s a grass-roots effort, not something imposed from above.

Let’s hope the young women stick with it, and that other young women take notice – and that men and boys do, too.

Gwen Florio

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Wyoming Indians junior Tom-Elk Redman, senior John Redman and senior Santee Moss celebrate their Class 2A championship after beating Southeast on Saturday night. (Tim Kupsick/Casper Star-Tribune)

Wyoming Indians junior Tom-Elk Redman, senior John Redman and senior Santee Moss celebrate their Class 2A championship after beating Southeast on Saturday night. (Tim Kupsick/Casper Star-Tribune)

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Tetona Dunlap is a graduate student in journalism at the University of Montana. She is an enrolled member of the Eastern Shoshone tribe from the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming.

Tetona Dunlap

Tetona Dunlap

It came down to milliseconds this year in the Wyoming Class 2A boys basketball championship.

The Wyoming Indian Chiefs players, coaches and fans held their breath as they watched senior guard Colby Sturgeon of the Southeast Cyclones put up the ball. Sturgeon’s shot bounced off the backboard and into the basket, but it was too late, as the final buzzer sounded a repeat championship for the Chiefs.

The final score was 52-51. Both teams entered the state tournament with almost perfect seasons of 25 wins and one loss.

Senior Caleb Her Many Horses told the Casper Star Tribune, “It went down to the end, all the way down to the end,”

Senior Slade Spoonhunter and junior Brian Willow Jr. were selected for the All-State team. Spoonhunter was also selected as Player of the Year and Coach Craig Ferris was honored as Coach of the Year for the Southwest Conference. Spoonhunter, Her Many Horses, Willow and junior Lorenzo Underwood all received All-Conference honors as well.

The Wyoming Indian Lady Chiefs also made it to the state tournament. They placed fourth after losing 46-55 to Lovell. Junior Ranell Oldman received All-State and was the player of the year for the Southwest conference. Oldman was also selected for the all-conference team and was joined by fellow players junior Ambrosia Brugh, senior Kristen Washakie and senior Kirsti O’Neal.

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It’s that time of year again: ESPN highlights rez ball

   Posted by: buffalo_post    in Uncategorized

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Lest anyone forget, ESPN reminds us that this is the best time of year on many reservations. Why? Because it’s time for basketball.

This piece in the Winter 2009 edition of ESPN Rise Hardwood introduces people who don’t know about rez ball to a level of play that, once seen, is absolutely addictive.

The documentary above, “Chiefs” – about the Wyoming Indian High School teams on the Wind River Reservation – was originally shown on PBS. Even if you’ve seen it before, it’s worth watching again.

Gwen Florio

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Tetona Dunlap

Tetona Dunlap

Networking in the competitive art world is half the battle to becoming a successful artist. Starting in September Native American artists on the Wind River Reservation will have the opportunity to enroll in a 10-month program designed for emerging artists.

“In art school they teach you how to create art, but they don’t teach you how to transfer that to the real world,” said Native Emerging Artists Training (NEAT) instructor Dannine Donaho, “learning how to network is something that is lacking.”

Each month the class will focus on one topic leading up to a juried exhibition at the Lander Art Center. Some of the topics included photographing artwork, digital editing, and framing, matting and packing. The ultimate goal of the program is to teach people how to apply to juried shows.

The juried art show is also open to professional Native American artists not participating in the program.

“With each juried show an artist applies to the more people will recognize your name,” said Donaho, “this shows your dedication as an artist.”

Tetona Dunlap

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When it comes to their heritage, anyway. That’s the opinion of Marty Conrad, a member of the Choctaw/Creek Tribe of Oklahoma, with long experience as both a Native teacher and, of course, student.

Conrad is one of two “instructional facilitators” in Wyoming’s Fremont County School District 1, who recently completed a course helping them to better teach Native students, according to this release from the University of Wyoming.

Fremont County encompasses the Wind River Reservation, of the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes, and its public schools have a large population of Native students. Those students, says Conrad, “learn better when there is something about their tribe or culture that is integrated into the curriculum.”

He and Christine Rogers are the first graduates of the new University of Wyoming graduate program for teachers of American Indian children.

Gwen Florio

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Tetona Dunlap

Tetona Dunlap

When I was in college I took a Native American Law and Policy class. One of our big projects was to research a local tribe. My group was given the Winnebago tribe of Nebraska. I never really thought much about tribal economics until I learned about Ho-Chunk Inc. and how this Winnebago company helping create an economic infrastructure on the Winnebago Reservation.

Ho-Chunk Inc. was formed in 1995 to funnel the tribe’s investments away from gaming. It is a company that now has 18 subsidiaries that market products and services to a national and international market. Some of the subsidiaries products and services they provide include office furniture and equipment, communications and computer hardware, telecommunications, transportation, media, marketing and public relations. HCI has grown to more than 500 employees with operations in Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, Minnesota, Indiana, Louisiana, Florida, Washington, D. C., Mexico and Iraq according to their Web site.

The reason why I bring up this company is because recently the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes received $33 million in a settlement from a 1979 federal lawsuit over alleged mismanagement of tribal trust funds and resources. Northern Arapaho tribal members were awarded $1,550 and Eastern Shoshone members received $3,500. The settlement was split equally between the two tribes. The Eastern Shoshone have fewer enrolled members than the Northern Arapahos and received more per individual.

According to the Wind River News, local businesses and banks reported a boom in purchases and bank account openings. Banks that were normally closed on weekends opened their doors specifically to cash settlement checks.

In this struggling economy, this settlement check was a blessing for local businesses outside the reservation lines. Tribal members bought expensive merchandise such as televisions, furniture and vehicles. But with 85 percent of the total settlement going to tribal members, and the remaining 15 percent going towards tribal government programs, most of the money awarded to the tribes was circulated in an economic infrastructure outside of the reservation. If one wants to buy groceries, household items, clothing and vehicles; you have to travel off the reservation.

Right now the Eastern Shoshone tribe has some enterprises that include the Shoshone Rose Casino, which is currently expanding their building to include a restaurant and more gaming space. The Northern Arapaho have three casinos including the Wind River Casino. In 2008, the Wind River Casino commissioned the independent study by GVA Marquette Advisors as a follow-up on a study conducted in 2001. The study found that the Wind River Casino has contributed 90 million to the local economy. Furthermore, as a result of the Wind River Casino, the total annual sales tax revenue added to Fremont County is $800,000 and the total annual sales tax revenue added to the state is $1, 600,000. This does not include the more than 500 jobs created.
The fact is, there is a great deal of money circulating on the reservation, we just have to find a way to channel it back onto the reservation.

Both tribes could see further payment from the ongoing litigation dealing with the mismanagement of tribal resources and trust funds by the Federal government. How great it would be to have this money remain inside of the reservation economy, but until then, future settlement checks will probably be spent in neighboring off-reservation towns and cities.

Tetona Dunlap

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