INDIAN COUNTRY MEDIA NETWORK

Raymond Cormier Found Not Guilty in Death of 15-Year-Old Indigenous Girl Tina Fontaine


Spawning the hashtag #JusticeForTinaFontaine over the past month and more, the CBC has just announced that a Canadian jury has found Raymond Cormier not guilty of second-degree murder in the death of a 15-year-old First Nations girl by the name of Tina Fontaine.

Jury finds Cormier not guilty

— Caroline Barghout (@cbarghout) February 22, 2018

Tina Fontaine’s 72-pound body was found in Winnipeg’s Red River, wrapped in a duvet cover and weighted down with rocks, on Aug. 17, 2014.

Cormier, a 56-year-old man seen arguing with the teen days before her death, had been seen with an identical duvet cover and had allegedly admitted on tape that he had committed crimes against the teen, was charged on December 8th of 2015. Cormier has a lengthy criminal record with 92 convictions in  assault, weapons, drugs and fraud.

‘I’m not a saint’: What #RaymondCormier revealed to CBC about the case against him in #TinaFontaine‘s deathhttps://t.co/l5vtcXJGYD

— plainJane (@Mapleleafgirls) February 22, 2018

According to the CBC, The Crown had no forensic evidence or eyewitnesses directly linking Cormier to Tina’s death, and the cause of her death remains undetermined.

Cormier’s defense lawyers, Tony Kavanagh and Andrew Synyshyn challenged recorded evidence and argued the Crown’s case was built on “inferences made from recordings that are difficult to hear.”

CBC News

A memorial to murdered Sagkeeng First Nation teen Tina Fontaine, whose body was pulled from the Red River, wrapped in a bag, on Sunday August 17. She had been missing for just over a week.

At the verdict reading, family members of Tina Fontaine lined the courtroom, according to CBC national news reporter in Manitoba, Karen Pauls on Twitter, “#TinaFontaine‘s biological mother Valentina Duck just walked out of court and said “F&$! you if you think you can get away with this!”

#TinaFontaine‘s biological mother Valentina Duck just walked out of court and said “F&$! you if you think you can get away with this.” #mmiwg

— Karen Pauls (@karenpaulscbc) February 22, 2018

Pauls also said Tina Fontiane’s  great-aunt Thelma Favel, who raised her since she was four-years-old, “#RaymondCormier being led out. Thelma yelled at him before he left, now crying “My baby.” Supporters have circled her and are praying the Lord’s Prayer.”

#RaymondCormier being led out. Thelma yelled at him before he left, now crying “My baby.” Supporters have circled her and are praying the Lord’s Prayer. #mmiwg

— Karen Pauls (@karenpaulscbc) February 22, 2018

Here are reactions as recorded live by the CBC.

LIVE: Reaction to the #RaymondCormier trial verdict in the death of #TinaFontaine https://t.co/FORxE32tBC

— CBC Indigenous (@CBCIndigenous) February 22, 2018

Tweets from all over Indian Country are pouring in regarding the not guilty verdict.

Another Indigenous life failed. #ImSorryTina

— Kori B (@KoriRBaron) February 22, 2018

I don’t know what to do anymore. White friends. What am I suppose to tell my daughters? Serious question because I don’t know anymore. #JusticeforTinaFontaine

— Migizi Bebaayaad (@deejayndn) February 22, 2018

For more details, see the CBC article here.

 

Indian Country Today’s Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter

The post Raymond Cormier Found Not Guilty in Death of 15-Year-Old Indigenous Girl Tina Fontaine appeared first on Indian Country Media Network.

Native Actor Wes Studi Just Announced As An Official Presenter at the 90th Oscars


Standing alongside an impressive array of actors and actresses as Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) and others, Native Actor Wes Studi is one of the esteemed actors that will be presenting Oscars at this year’s 90th awards.

Producers Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd today announced 10 more presenters for the 90th Oscars® telecast. Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the Oscars will air live Sunday, March 4, on the ABC Television Network.

The additional presenters announced include Gal Gadot, Mark Hamill, Armie Hammer, Oscar Isaac, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Gina Rodriguez, Eva Marie Saint, Wes Studi, Kelly Marie Tran and Zendaya.

#Oscars News: Welcome our ten new presenters!https://t.co/bOsWNIHERy pic.twitter.com/wlUC4rN1OH

— The Academy (@TheAcademy) February 21, 2018

“Together, these artists represent some of the most beloved movies of our generation,” said De Luca and Todd. “It’s an honor to welcome them to the 90th Oscars stage.”

Shortly after the announcement, Wes Studi took to Twitter stating, “Exciting News! I’m going to be presenting the Sound Editing Oscar at the Academy Awards together with Laura Dern! Tune in at 5 p.m. PST, March 4.

Exciting News! I’m going to be presenting the Sound Editing Oscar at the Academy Awards together with Laura Dern! Tune in at 5 p.m. PST, March 4. https://t.co/88QzE0FlKW

— Wes Studi (@WesleyStudi) February 21, 2018

Studi most recently starred in “Hostiles” (2017). His starring credits also include the Oscar-winning films “Avatar” (2009), “The Last of the Mohicans” (1992) and “Dances with Wolves” (1990). Additionally, he appeared in the Oscar-nominated films “The New World” (2005) and “Geronimo: An American Legend” (1993). He will next appear in “A Dog’s Way Home.”

The 90th Oscars will be held on Sunday, March 4, 2018, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be broadcast live on the ABC Television Network at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. The Oscars, produced by De Luca and Todd and hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, also will be televised in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide. Additionally, “The Oscars: All Access” live stream from the red carpet and backstage will begin at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT on Oscar.com.

 

Indian Country Today’s Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter

The post Native Actor Wes Studi Just Announced As An Official Presenter at the 90th Oscars appeared first on Indian Country Media Network.

National Center Mourns the Passing of Longtime Board Member Larry G. Kinley


The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (The National Center / NCAEID) sends its deepest condolences to Lummi Nation and the entire Kinley family after the death of long-serving National Center Board Member Larry G. Kinley.

Kinley lost his battle with lung cancer on February 13th. A member of the Board since 1988, Kinley worked tirelessly to promote the values and goals of The National Center, the Lummi Nation, and all of Indian Country.

“In his 30-year tenure with The National Center, Larry brought wisdom and vision to our Board of Directors, and helped bring our organization into the 21st Century,” National Center Board Chairman Derrick Watchman said in a release. “He was a leader not only through his work at the National Center but also with the Lummi people and throughout Washington state. He will be missed by all who worked with him and had the honor of knowing him.”

Kinley began his life of service in the United States Army. After his service, he joined the Lummi Indian Business Council, where he served as Chairman from 1974-1975 and 1981-1989. He was instrumental in not only advancing the largest tribal fishing fleet, but also in expanding the Northwest Indian College (NWIC), the Lummi School District, Fisherman’s Cove, the Silver Reef Hotel Casino & Spa, the new Tribal Government administration building, several mini-marts, and a processing plant.

Kinley was instrumental in developing the Centennial Accord, which provided a bridge between the tribes and brought Tribal Leaders to the table with the Governor of Washington State and their agencies.

“Larry’s dedication to bringing economic opportunity to the Lummi Nation was unsurpassed,” National Center President and CEO Chris James said in a release. “He brought that same passion to his work at the National Center, and many tribes and Native entrepreneurs benefited from his expertise. Although he may be gone now, I know the National Center will carry Larry’s legacy through our mission of providing economic opportunity to Indian Country.”

About The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development

The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. With over 40 years of assisting American Indian Tribes and their enterprises with business and economic development – we have evolved into the largest national Indian specific business organization in the nation. Our motto is: “We Mean Business For Indian Country” as we are actively engaged in helping Tribal Nations and Native business people realize their business goals and are dedicated to putting the whole of Indian Country to work to better the lives of American Indian people- both now… and for generations to come.

The post National Center Mourns the Passing of Longtime Board Member Larry G. Kinley appeared first on Indian Country Media Network.

Native Nerd Movie Review: Black Panther Slashes at Colonialism Using More than Vibranium


Truth be told, I ordered tickets to see the “fan night movie premiere” over a month in advance to be sure I could see Marvel’s Black Panther in all its IMAX 3D glory. Yes, I even arrived two hours early for a 6:00 pm viewing and was not surprised to see an impressive handful of audience members as excited as I was to watch a film featuring a full cast of actors of color.

As the all-too familiar Marvel Comics Studio graphics began to play on the screen and I adjusted my 3D glasses in the dimming theater. I was surprised by something I didn’t expect. The theater was completely silent. No food wrappers crinkling, no idle chatter, nothing, I was…like so many others, completely mesmerized by Ryan Coogler’s take on a superhero based in Africa.

Matt Kennedy Disney Marvel Studios

Chadwick Boseman stars in ‘Black Panther.’

For so many of my childhood years, I have been force-fed the history ‘That any civilization of color was the less than superior race of people.’ I have been taught that the colonizers were the ones that brought knowledge, technology, weaponry and skill-sets to bring other ‘inferior races of color’ into the modern age.

I have always been taught: brown skin means you are inferior. I have brown skin as a Mohawk man. I grew up in the streets of Compton, feeling inferior, just as so many of my friends did. I never dreamed there would someday be a movie, where a black hero could be something ‘superior.’

I wept as the movie started. Many of my brown friends never made it out of the streets. Many never got to see a black President, many never got to see a black superhero.

Then a black director – a man with brown skin, did something SUPERIOR. He made a BRILLIANT FILM.

This movie undid so much of that damage in my childhood mind, I literally wept with relief that: “Yes, world, people with brown skin can be intelligent, people with brown skin can be scientists, they can be strong women warriors, brown people can excel more than colonizers have done in history.

There was a lot about Black Panther that a comic aficionado like myself could expect. (Prince T’Challa is bound to become king, that much is already known as per previous incarnations of Marvel movies as seen before this one.) But Prince T’Challa’s process of becoming King  is where the magic happens.

Let it be said, I do NOT speak for all Native American people, and I have coined the term “Native Nerd Review” because I was a skinny Native kid that love all nerdy things like science, comics, magic tricks, practical jokes and more. As a self-proclaimed Native Nerd, I’d like to think there are more Native nerds out there like me who get a kick out of Marvel and DC superhero movies, Zombies and so much more out there in this world so rich with geekdom.

The Fictional World of Wakanda

Before I go any further,  it is worth noting that this is not my first draft of this review, as I learned soon after writing it that Wakanda has an identical pronunciation to the Osage Nation’s word for Creator or God. I wanted to learn more about this and spoke to a number of Osage Nation members to include a news editor, language teacher, language students and another fellow comic enthusiast.

From their perspectives, they were not offended as the place was fictional. This is not to say another Native person might not be offended, but I did want to pay my respect, temporarily unpublish this article – then come back after I had paid my respects to research the topic.

I must say thank you to the readers of Indian Country Today for alerting me to this initially, no matter our place in the world, we are always at a place where we can receive the blessing to learn something.

All said, the fictional world of the Black Panther is a beautiful one. I was thrilled to see such a lack of stereotype among so many different tribes, similar to their are a world of differences in Native tribes on Turtle Island.

Ryan Coogler introduces different tribes of Africa. He shows that each tribe has separate belief systems, cultural perspectives, types of dress and regalia and ways of life. All of this is compared and contrasted to the urban ways of America, a powerful sentiment that resonates throughout the film.

Photo - Matt Kennedy Disney Marvel Studios

Chadwick Boseman stars and fights with Michael B. Jordan in ‘Black Panther’ .

There will not be any spoilers in this review. But Chadwick Boseman’s portrayal of the Black Panther / Prince T’Challa was elegant, charismatic and profound perfection. Michael B. Jordan’s performance as Erik Killmonger was pure brilliance. Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia was fantastic, Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett were genuine and enjoyable as always.

Worth mentioning most of all was the other shining star in Black Panther. Watch for Danai Gurira as the female warrior, though it would be impossible to miss it. Her performance was powerful brilliance and the truest representation of the power of women. Every time her powerful staff hit the ground with an ominous ‘boom,’ the whole audience would gasp. I was among them, losing my breath with each magic moment.

- Photo Disney - Marvel Studios

Danai Gurira in in ‘Black Panther’.

The costuming of the world of Wakanda is nothing less than pure genius, I marveled (Pun-intended) at the flawless wardrobe, the female warriors and the intricacies of tradition infused with the most modern of technologies. The set design was a miracle of cinema as presented by Patrick Dunn-Baker, for at more than one occasion, I felt myself literally gasping for air at some of the cinematic works of art I was looking at at any given time.

The movie was an absolute blast. I enjoyed every slash of vibranium claws by the Black Panther and screamed with excitement with the overtaking of the bad guys. I also screamed with excitement when one character uses the word ‘colonizer’ as an insult.

I enjoyed every single solitary moment of this spectacular film! It is a MUST SEE!

As I left the movie behind, I did go through a bit of a grieving process as a Native American man. I am all too familiar with the term ‘colonizer.’ I am all too familiar with being called (first-hand) an inferior race, even though indigenous peoples invented such things as watertight wetsuits, syringes from quills and animal bladders, medicines and more.

I grieved because Native Americans don’t yet have a superhero as completely fantastic as the Black Panther. He has a suit that is impenetrable, and has claws with the strongest metal in the world, vibranium.

I have hope that one day we will have a Native superhero without an eagle or wolf friend standing at his side, one that doesn’t have super tracking abilities or anything else related to the elements.

But with the success of Black Panther, people in the film industry will see how people of color films make a TON of money, and more than anything else, that seems to affect change in an industry that is slow to do much more than give an academy award to another musical film filled with non people of color. This is certainly not an undermining statement to the talents of all actors and actresses in the industry, but statistics are statistics.

If the Black Panther is overlooked by the Oscars this year, I am going to give the biggest SMH the social media world has ever seen.

In the meantime – GO AND HAVE THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE – GO SEE THIS FILM!

 

Indian Country Today’s Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter

The post Native Nerd Movie Review: Black Panther Slashes at Colonialism Using More than Vibranium appeared first on Indian Country Media Network.

Offensive Or Not? ‘Black Panther’ Fictional Wakanda Translates as ‘God’ to Some Tribes


As the Black Panther movie is breaking box office records all over the real world of Earth, there is a fictional world in the Marvel Universe that has been getting a bit of heat for its controversial pronunciation. The fictional East African Nation known as Wakanda in the latest Blank Panther blockbuster is pronounced identically to the Osage and Kaw Nation’s word for ‘God’ or ‘Creator.’

Marvel Wakanda Origins

Marvel Comics

The Fictional East African Nation of Wakanda appears in this map first put out by Marvel Comics.

Specifically, Wakanda — as far as the Marvel Comic’s definition stands— is a fictional East African territory that first appeared in Fantastic Four #52 in July of 1966. Wakanda’s physical location has changed places over the years (as might be expected with decades of comic stories that might vary inadvertently) and is home to such notable comic book heroes as Man-Ape, Gentle, Storm and of course, the Black Panther.

Marvel Comics

The ‘Black Panther’s’ ‘World of Wakanda by Marvel Comics.

In the Marvel movie world, Wakanda was first established into existence in Captain America: Civil War when it was shown on a map. The territory of Wakanda is known in the Marvel Universe where a large meteor of vibranium crash-landed, giving sacred powers to the territory and ultimately is used by sacred medicine people to empower the King of Wakanda.

But what do members of the Osage Nation say?

According to Shannon Shaw, a member of the Osage Nation and editor of the Osage News, the Marvel spelling is different, but the pronunciation is the same. “I have not yet seen the film, but I have read some reviews and that they spell it Wakanda. In our Osage language the word for God is Wah.Kon.Tah. I have been told how they pronounce it in the film is exactly how we pronounce it. So in essence, it is the same word.” said Shaw.

Osage tribal member and Osage language student Kilan Jacobs wrote to ICT in an email, “It did not bother me at all. It was a sacred home place to them. Beyond that, I have no way of knowing if in some real African language this is an actual place name or word they have as well. But overall I felt no disrespect or misdoing. The movie was great and uplifting.”

Other Osage tribal members also offered their comments to Indian Country Today via email.

Cherise Miller, an Osage tribal member and Osage language instructor wrote, “There are numerous English spellings of the word Wakanda. I’ve seen it both with an O or an A. I use the A version.”

Miller did say she saw the movie with her daughters.

“I saw the movie yesterday with my girls. It was weird to hear it used like that, but it was their sacred place. I didn’t feel it was used in a derogatory way. But it was used in their fictional context and language.”

Miller wrote that the use of Wakanda brought up other thoughts about how languages can be interpreted by other speakers of other languages.

“I wonder if English speakers would offended if we produced a cartoon about talking fish and they got upset that our Osage word for fish is Ho. I know there are some other words in languages like the Creek that have words that sound like ‘Fuk,’ but certainly has a different meaning. So all of this depends on the language base.”

Not the First Time For Wakanda in a Film

Osage News editor Shannon Shaw says that the Black Panther movie was not the first to use Wakanda. Even though the fictional territory had been created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1966, the first time Shaw says she had heard Wakanda used in a film was by Dan Aykroyd in Ghostbusters.

“In the original Ghostbusters film, when Dan Aykroyd is explaining where he thought up the Stay Puft Marshmallow man, was when he was a little boy at camp Waconda. Wakanda and Waconda sound the same, but Wah.Kon.Tah is pronounced a little bit differently.”

Newton Cass, an Osage tribal member remembers both instances first hand: “I remember reading the comic as a kid and remember my mind being blown that it was used. I always thought that it was used appropriately, being that we all come from the Creator, and it was used in that context.”

“It’s funny mentioning Ghostbusters,” wrote Cass. “Because I always thought it was weird the way Aykroyd said it.”

 

Indian Country Today’s Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter

The post Offensive Or Not? ‘Black Panther’ Fictional Wakanda Translates as ‘God’ to Some Tribes appeared first on Indian Country Media Network.

NCAI Issues Statement of Concern for President’s Proposed FY2019 Budget


On Wednesday, February 14, 2018, more than 500 tribal representatives from across the United States raised a unified voice in opposition to the FY 2019 President’s Budget during the Third General Assembly at the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) 2018 Executive Council Winter Session (ECWS) in Washington,

NCAI President Jefferson Keel, on behalf of the NCAI Executive Committee, voiced concern for the untenable cuts proposed for programs that directly uphold the treaty and trust obligations of the federal government to tribes.

“We seek only those things promised to us and every citizen by the U.S. Constitution, and the solemn treaties and agreements reached between our Tribal Nations and the United States. At the founding, the United States dealt with our tribal governments as sovereign equals. In exchange for federal protection and the promise of certain benefits, our ancestors gave forever to the people of the United States title to the very soil of our beloved country.  To settle the process for admission of new states, the thirteen original states agreed to transfer western land claims to the United States under the principles in the Northwest Ordinance, including:

The utmost good faith shall always be observed towards the Indians; their land and property shall never be taken from them without their consent; and, in their property, rights, and liberty, they shall never be invaded or disturbed, unless in just and lawful wars authorized by Congress; but laws founded in justice and humanity, shall from time to time be made for preventing wrongs being done to them, and for preserving peace and friendship with them.

These provisions signify the intent of the Framers to provide for the governance of Indian Country, a compact between the original states and all that followed. We have never asked anything except that these protections be continued. Today the federal government is threatening to limit this protection and these benefits.

The proposed budget cuts to tribal governmental services, if enacted, would represent a clear retreat from the federal commitments and treaty promises made to tribes.

This week, we see the President’s budget would cut the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) by about half a billion dollars, or 15%. BIA Social Services would be reduced by more than 30%, Indian Child Welfare by more than 25%, and critical human services programs, law enforcement and courts programs, environmental protection, housing, and education programs would face unconscionable reductions. Infrastructure programs such as the Indian Community Development Block Grant would be eliminated, and the Indian Housing Block Grant and road maintenance would be reduced.

We support proposals that treat tribal governments equitably, such as the proposed budgetary set-asides in the Department of Justice for tribes. Tribal parity should be the guiding principle for every other department or initiative as well, including addressing the opioid epidemic and building and repairing infrastructure.

We call on Congress to uphold the federal government’s trust responsibility to tribal nations. When tribal nations agreed to accept a smaller land base, the federal government promised to safeguard our right to govern ourselves and to enable tribal governments to deliver essential services, and provide them resources to do so effectively. That is the trust relationship embodied in the U.S. Constitution. Congress and the Administration are responsible for carrying out that trust in the federal budget.”

NCAI released the Indian Country FY2019 Budget Request and provided and in-depth analysis of the impact of the President’s proposed budget on tribes. To learn more, read the initial NCAI FY2019 Budget Analysis here.

###

About the National Congress of American Indians:
Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country. NCAI advocates on behalf of tribal governments and communities, promoting strong tribal-federal government-to-government policies, and promoting a better understanding among the general public regarding American Indian and Alaska Native governments, people and rights. For more information visit www.ncai.org.

 

 

The post NCAI Issues Statement of Concern for President’s Proposed FY2019 Budget appeared first on Indian Country Media Network.

Native Nerd Movie Review: Black Panther Slashes at Colonialism Using More than Vibranium


Truth be told, I ordered tickets to see the “fan night movie premiere” over a month in advance to be sure I could see Marvel’s Black Panther in all its IMAX 3D glory. Yes, I even arrived two hours early for a 6:00 pm viewing and was not surprised to see an impressive handful of audience members as excited as I was to watch a film featuring a full cast of actors of color.

As the all-too familiar Marvel Comics Studio graphics began to play on the screen and I adjusted my 3D glasses in the dimming theater. I was surprised by something I didn’t expect. The theater was completely silent. No food wrappers crinkling, no idle chatter, nothing, I was…like so many others, completely mesmerized by Ryan Coogler’s take on a superhero based in Africa.

Matt Kennedy Disney Marvel Studios

Chadwick Boseman stars in ‘Black Panther.’

For so many of my childhood years, I have been force-fed the history ‘That any civilization of color was the less than superior race of people.’ I have been taught that the colonizers were the ones that brought knowledge, technology, weaponry and skill-sets to bring other ‘inferior races of color’ into the modern age.

I have always been taught: brown skin means you are inferior. I have brown skin as a Mohawk man. I grew up in the streets of Compton, feeling inferior, just as so many of my friends did. I never dreamed there would someday be a movie, where a black hero could be something ‘superior.’

I wept as the movie started. Many of my brown friends never made it out of the streets. Many never got to see a black President, many never got to see a black superhero.

Then a black director – a man with brown skin, did something SUPERIOR. He made a BRILLIANT FILM.

This movie undid so much of that damage in my childhood mind, I literally wept with relief that: “Yes, world, people with brown skin can be intelligent, people with brown skin can be scientists, they can be strong women warriors, brown people can excel more than colonizers have done in history.

There was a lot about Black Panther that a comic aficionado like myself could expect. (Prince T’Challa is bound to become king, that much is already known as per previous incarnations of Marvel movies as seen before this one.) But Prince T’Challa’s process of becoming King  is where the magic happens.

Ryan Coogler introduces different tribes of Africa. He shows that each tribe has separate belief systems, cultural perspectives, types of dress and regalia and ways of life. All of this is compared and contrasted to the urban ways of America, a powerful sentiment that resonates throughout the film.

Photo - Matt Kennedy Disney Marvel Studios

Chadwick Boseman stars and fights with Michael B. Jordan in ‘Black Panther’ .

There will not be any spoilers in this review. But Chadwick Boseman’s portrayal of the Black Panther / Prince T’Challa was elegant, charismatic and profound perfection. Michael B. Jordan’s performance as Erik Killmonger was pure brilliance. Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia was fantastic, Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett were genuine and enjoyable as always.

Worth mentioning most of all was the other shining star in Black Panther. Watch for Danai Gurira as the female warrior, though it would be impossible to miss it. Her performance was powerful brilliance and the truest representation of the power of women. Every time her powerful staff hit the ground with an ominous ‘boom,’ the whole audience would gasp. I was among them, losing my breath with each magic moment.

- Photo Disney - Marvel Studios

Danai Gurira in in ‘Black Panther’.

The costuming of the world of Wakanda is nothing less than pure genius, I marveled (Pun-intended) at the flawless wardrobe, the female warriors and the intricacies of tradition infused with the most modern of technologies. The set design was a miracle of cinema as presented by Patrick Dunn-Baker, for at more than one occasion, I felt myself literally gasping for air at some of the cinematic works of art I was looking at at any given time.

The movie was an absolute blast. I enjoyed every slash of vibranium claws by the Black Panther and screamed with excitement with the overtaking of the bad guys. I also screamed with excitement when one character uses the word ‘colonizer’ as an insult.

I enjoyed every single solitary moment of this spectacular film! It is a MUST SEE!

As I left the movie behind, I did go through a bit of a grieving process as a Native American man. I am all too familiar with the term ‘colonizer.’ I am all too familiar with being called (first-hand) an inferior race, even though indigenous peoples invented such things as watertight wetsuits, syringes from quills and animal bladders, medicines and more.

I grieved because Native Americans don’t yet have a superhero as completely fantastic as the Black Panther. He has a suit that is impenetrable, and has claws with the strongest metal in the world, vibranium.

I have hope that one day we will have a Native superhero without an eagle or wolf friend standing at his side, one that doesn’t have super tracking abilities or anything else related to the elements.

But with the success of Black Panther, people in the film industry will see how people of color films make a TON of money, and more than anything else, that seems to affect change in an industry that is slow to do much more than give an academy award to another musical film filled with non people of color. This is certainly not an undermining statement to the talents of all actors and actresses in the industry, but statistics are statistics.

If the Black Panther is overlooked by the Oscars this year, I am going to give the biggest SMH the social media world has ever seen.

In the meantime – GO AND HAVE THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE – GO SEE THIS FILM!

 

Indian Country Today’s Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter

The post Native Nerd Movie Review: Black Panther Slashes at Colonialism Using More than Vibranium appeared first on Indian Country Media Network.

Shooter of Native Man ‘Not Guilty’– RCMP Investigating Facebook post: “He Got What He Deserved”


In 2016, a 22-year-old Red Pheasant First Nation man by the name of Colten Boushie was shot and killed by a 56-year-old farmer by the name of Gerald Stanley. Stanley was acquitted of second-degree murder last week by an all-white jury. The acquittal sparked outrage all over the world, most noticeably on social media.

In addition to the outrage, the RCMP is investigating reports that an officer made a post suggesting Colten Boushie “got what he deserved” in a Facebook group tilted “News Stories that Matter to or May Impact RCMP,” which has an approximate 1,200 members. According to an APTN report, the woman making the comment was allegedly an officer.

Her comment read: “Too bad the kid died but he got what he deserved. How many of us work on or near reserves and are getting fed up with the race card being used every time someone gets caught breaking the law?,” she said.

RCMP Facebook group claims Colten Boushie ‘got what he deserved’https://t.co/XDgF3IksaC pic.twitter.com/2p5m2PgWdU

— APTN National News (@APTNNews) February 15, 2018

“Obviously, this remark is absolutely appalling and unacceptable,” Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said in a teleconference with journalists Thursday as was reported in The Star. “It’s under very, very serious investigation to determine exactly what has happened here, and who is responsible for it.”

Since the initial post, The RCMP told the Star that there are no officers with the name linked to the Facebook account, but since that time, the user also put up the post of a gun silhouette, stating,  “This home is protected by the good Lord and a gun. If you came here to steal or do harm you might meet them both.”

Amazon

Similar to the post on Facebook: “This home is protected by the good Lord and a gun. If you came here to steal or do harm you might meet them both.”V

In the past week and a half since the non-guilty verdict, social media has erupted with pro and con sentiments for both Colten Boushie and  Gerald Stanley. Many of the posts contain the hashtag #JusticeForColtenBoushie.

In Canada you can still legally murder Natives. White farmer shoots him in the back of the head and then the justice system points a gun at the rest of us just to remind us our lives have no value. #JusticeForColtenBoushie https://t.co/8Ik0jSgrBc

— Anwaan Jiimiz (@SixEightSuited) February 10, 2018

The details of the killing. The way the RCMP treated his family. The court proceedings & verdict. Every single detail makes me shake with rage.

No one should be treated like this. And to be so callously degraded by settlers on your lands? The mind reels. #JusticeForColtenBoushie

— Jared A. Walker (@JAWalker) February 10, 2018

I am ANGRY and Devastated. And the Worst Part NOT Surprised! #JusticeForColtenBoushie#JusticeForColten#ColtenBoushie

Gerald Stanley found not guilty in death of Colten Boushie – https://t.co/RB0ZHJYxyR

— Delores Schilling (@DelSchilling) February 10, 2018

In an interview with CBC News, National Chief Perry Bellegarde called the Colten Boushie verdict ‘wrong.’

The post Shooter of Native Man ‘Not Guilty’– RCMP Investigating Facebook post: “He Got What He Deserved” appeared first on Indian Country Media Network.

VIDEO: Senator Elizabeth Warren Condemns ‘Pocahontas’ Slur: Commits to Indian Country


Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA) took the stage today to share remarks at the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) 2018 Executive Council Winter Session (ECWS.) During her remarks, she addressed her heritage, and committed to recognizing tribal sovereignty and committing to uplifting the stories of tribal communities.

Warren also called out the President’s use of Pocahontas. “Our country’s disrespect of Native people didn’t start with President Trump. It started long before President Washington ever took office…But now we have a president who can’t make it through a ceremony honoring Native American war heroes without reducing Native history, Native culture, Native people to the butt of a joke. The joke, I guess, is supposed to be on me.”

Warren then addressed the over 500 Tribal delegates about her heritage and made her family history clear – that her family members are not on any rolls, and that she is not an enrolled member or citizen of a tribe – but a descendant of a tribal community.

“And I want to make something clear. I respect that distinction,” said Warren. “I understand that tribal membership is determined by tribes — and only by tribes. I never used my family tree to get a break or get ahead. I never used it to advance my career.”

Then, she made a promise to lift up Native people. “I’m here today to make a promise: Every time someone brings up my family’s story, I’m going to use it to lift up the story of your families and your communities,” said Senator Warren.

NCAI courtesy

Senator Elizabeth Warren received a standing ovation and appreciative comments after her speech.

She went on to discuss stories she will uplift, including stories of missing and murdered Native women, the health care divide, tribal lands and natural resources, historic monuments like Bears Ears, access to capital and credit; and infrastructure and access to rural broadband.

“In addressing NCAI, Senator Warren addressed the world, and we are deeply honored by the courage she showed today,” said NCAI President Jefferson Keel. “We appreciate her candor, humility, and honesty, and look forward to working with her as a champion for Indian Country.”

Following the Senator Warren’s remarks, the NCAI Board of Directors, and NCAI Tribal Delegation rose to a standing ovation.

Senator Warren’s written remarks are available for download here.

Watch the video of her speech here:

Indian Country Today’s Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter

The post VIDEO: Senator Elizabeth Warren Condemns ‘Pocahontas’ Slur: Commits to Indian Country appeared first on Indian Country Media Network.

Native Humor and Love: A Fun List of Be My Native Valentine Tweets!


Today is Valentine’s Day! The day where some weird winged baby in a diaper goes around shooting arrows at people. (It’s kind of frightening when you think about it.) Considering many of you in Indian country were up late last night contributing to the Be My Native Valentine hashtag on Twitter, it is only fitting to highlight some of the best.

Thanks to Native Hashtags on Twitter for getting the Be My Native Valentine hashtag started.

Here are a great bunch of #BeMyNativeValentine tweets posted since yesterday.

Nice one Native #’s

#BeMyNativeValentine & make me LeLe

— Native #’s (@Native_Hashtags) February 13, 2017

Beads and Candy Hearts by Kat #NoDAPL

I’ll bead my heart out for you!  #BeMyNativeValentine pic.twitter.com/2MTIF5vYDH

— Kat #NoDAPL (@rasberet) February 14, 2017

Pernell Thomas nailed it with ‘Natives Be Like’!

#BeMyNativeValentine starter kit pic.twitter.com/I8MOPNW2kE

— #noDAPL -Pernell (@PernellThomas) February 14, 2017

Village Girl Forever says it well

#BeMyNativeValentine and I’ll rip my fry bread in half and share with you pic.twitter.com/JRrAEnZMQ6

— VillageGirlForever (@aie2009) February 14, 2017

Tipi Creepin Humor is cruising for love

#BeMyNativeValentine and we’ll cruise like this pic.twitter.com/kNLVgf4YJE

— tipicreepin’humor (@tpcreepinhumor) February 14, 2017

.inline-text-ad h1, .inline-text-ad h2, .inline-text-ad h3 { margin-top: 0; } .inline-text-ad h1 { font-size: 18px !important; font-weight: bold !important; } .inline-text-ad p { font-size: 1.0rem; } .inline-text-ad { border-top: 1px solid #cccccc; border-bottom: 1px solid #cccccc; padding-top: 20px; } @media only screen and (max-width: 768px) { .inline-text-ad { text-align: center; } .inline-text-ad h1, .inline-text-ad h3, .inline-text-ad h3 { font-size: 1.15em; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 460px) { .inline-text-ad h1, .inline-text-ad h3, .inline-text-ad h3 { font-size: 1em; } } Download Today! 50 Must-See Modern Native Films and Performances

Enjoy films for and about real Indians Natives when you download our special free report, 50 Must-See Modern Native Films and Performances!


Nothing like a Valentine’s Day Drum Song

OFFICIAL UNOFFICIAL #BeMyNativeValentine round dance song! Not bad I think. I sound better in person ???????? big S/O to Thomas KW for making lead pic.twitter.com/m9b1gf8w8C

— Skoden Danny Joe (@_E_A_D_) February 14, 2017

Martie Simmons has love for her NoDAPL protector

#BeMyNativeValentine & I’ll have the bail money ready for the next #noDAPL protest

— Martie Simmons (@msimmons444) February 14, 2017

Sydnee will lock the door like a true ‘Be My Native Valentine’

#BeMyNativeValentine and I’ll be sure to lock the bedroom door w one of the good butter knives

— sydnee (@sydneemarie403) February 14, 2017

Waylon’s Native Valentine will be ‘Idle No More’

#BeMyNativeValentine and our bed will be idle no more.

— Waylon, has no canoe (@BannockHammock) February 14, 2017

Go Brayden, Get Busy — just not in the same clan

#BeMyNativeValentine because you’re not my cousin or the same clan

— Brayden Sonny White (@RabzEast) February 14, 2017

How could Fancy Bebamikawe’s Valentine resist?

#BeMyNativeValentine and I’ll bead you some regalia

— Fancy Bebamikawe (@FancyBebamikawe) February 14, 2017

Robert Giving Respect Where Respect is Due

#BeMyNativeValentine because our women deserve our respect. They deserve to have us be warriors for them.

— Robert Lassiter (@BaseballFanRML) February 14, 2017

Only Native People will get this joke

Hey @DelSchilling #BeMyNativeValentine

By the foggy tree brook as a rainbow flies from your hand and a sun and desert lives in a bowl. pic.twitter.com/GWTCu4JvkM

— Vincent Schilling (@VinceSchilling) February 14, 2017

My Valentine’s Day wish

I hope everyone has a great Valentine’s Day. Truth be told, this day is not for everyone, as we should always do the best we can to share sentiments of appreciation and love, no matter the day.

There is a great story my wife’s mother told me in regards to Valentine’s Day. She told me that Valentine’s Day is a special day to our animal relatives, as they are all looking to choose their mates. On a whim, I went outside and saw geese on our lake, swimming in pairs.

Yes @DelSchilling, your mom is right.#Valentine‘s Day is when all the animals find their mates.

I literally just took this photo today. pic.twitter.com/H4fobGGV0u

— Vincent Schilling (@VinceSchilling) February 14, 2017

It is also worth noting that geese mate for life. A great lesson from our feathered relatives.
Much love to all on this Valentine’s Day.

For a few more Valentine’s Day fun stories, check out a few fun posts from previous years.

Native Humor: 10 Funny Native-Style Valentine’s Day Gifts

8 Native-Themed Valentine’s Day Gifts to Avoid

(This article was originally published in 2017)

Follow Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) – ICMN’s Arts and Entertainment, Pow Wows and Sports Editor –

The post Native Humor and Love: A Fun List of Be My Native Valentine Tweets! appeared first on Indian Country Media Network.

U.S. Senator Tom Udall’s Remarks at Listening Session on Combatting Violence Against Native Women


On Monday, a few hours after delivering the congressional response to the ‘State of Indian Nations 2018’ speech, (which was delivered by NCAI President Jefferson Keel,) U.S. Senator Tom Udall, vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, co-hosted a listening session on combatting violence against Native women. The listening session was part of the NCAI’s 2018 Executive Council Winter Session.

In the listening session, Udall sought input from Tribes on implementing and improving the landmark legislation that amended the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) to restore Tribal jurisdiction over non-Indians who commit domestic violence crimes on Tribal lands.   “Thank you for your work and advocacy on these important issues. Congress needs to hear directly from you – the Tribal leaders and stakeholders who are doing the daily work at the grassroots level to combat violence against Native women,” Udall said in his opening remarks. “We must make this a front-and-center issue, and your contributions here today help strengthen the call to do just that.”   In response to previous feedback from Tribes, Udall recently introduced the Native Youth and Tribal Officer Protection Act (NYTOPA) to build on the Tribal jurisdiction provisions in VAWA by extending protections to children and law enforcement personnel involved in domestic violence incidents on Tribal lands. The bill also will enhance federal coordination of victim resources for Tribal communities. Udall also was a leader in the 2013 effort to amend VAWA and restore Tribal jurisdiction over domestic violence crimes committed on reservations.   Udall’s remarks at the listening session are posted below:
  Welcome to everyone here. Thank you for joining us today.     Chairman Hoeven and I are hosting this listening session because it is important that the Senate record reflect your voices, your experiences, and your priorities.    Unfortunately, he could not be here this afternoon. But, I am pleased to work with him on this important issue – as the Republican and Democratic leaders of the Indian Affairs Committee.   Our work in the Committee and my work with other strong advocates for Native Women’s issues, like Senator Murkowski, shows that these are truly bipartisan priorities. We recognize that Indian Country is facing an alarming epidemic of violence against Native women, and we know that Congress must do more to support Tribes as they work to protect Native communities from violence.     Many of you were here when these issues were center stage in the Senate in 2013. It was a battle to amend VAWA and restore Tribal jurisdiction over domestic violence crimes committed on reservations.     Thanks to Indian Country’s tireless advocacy – we did it. It was a historic legislative victory.    Indian Country didn’t rest on the laurels of that victory, though. Over the last five years, Tribes across the country have worked to translate that landmark legislation into real-world outcomes. I hope that some of you will speak to that work in your comments today.     It is important for Congress to hear from folks on the ground implementing the laws we pass. Feedback is key to refining and improving the legislative process.   In fact, feedback from the five original VAWA Pilot Tribes served as the basis for the bill I introduced in December – S. 2233, the Native Youth and Tribal Officer Protection Act. This bill addresses three critical but unanticipated gaps in the 2013 special jurisdiction restoration: attempted domestic violence, family violence committed against Native children, and crimes against Tribal law enforcement tasked with arresting and prosecuting violent offenders under the 2013 restoration.   I hope some of you will provide more insight into the need for Congress address these gaps. We must build on the progress gained in 2013 – and your input will help us push this goal forward.   Chairman Hoeven’s SURVIVE Act is another measure that is key to addressing violence against women in Indian Country. I’m proud to co-sponsor this bill which will increase resources and assistance to Tribal victims of violence by creating a 5 percent Tribal set-aside in the Crime Victims Fund. S. 1870 is important because it reflects feedback from Tribes and Native victim services stakeholders, who have long decried the ineffective state pass-through structure of the Crime Victims Fund.     And, it will ensure that Native communities can finally access funding to support locally-designed, culturally-tailored victim service initiatives.    Part of the problem is that the high incidence of violence toward Native women and children isn’t well documented. Crimes go unreported, investigations are left un-started, and good data isn’t kept. Despite the warnings raised by Indian Country, the general public just doesn’t understand the extent of the violence being committed against Native women.   To draw attention to this issue over the last few years, I’ve worked with members of this committee to declare a National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls. And, just today, we introduced a resolution to continue this vital awareness tool into 2018.    Thank you for again for being here today. And, thank you for your work and advocacy on these important issues. Congress needs to hear directly from you – the Tribal leaders and stakeholders who are doing the daily work at the grassroots level to combat violence against Native women.     We must make this a front-and-center issue. And your contributions here today help strengthen the call to do just that. ###

On Monday, February 12, 2018, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) began hosting its 2018 Executive Council Winter Session (ECWS) at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C., where tribal leaders, the Administration, government officials, and members of Congress will convene.

Please review the NCAI’s draft agenda for the most recent list of speakers, including:

  •         Ryan Zinke, Secretary, Department of the Interior
  •         Ben Carson, Secretary, Department of Housing and Urban Development
  •         David Shulkin, Secretary, Department of Veteran Affairs
  •         Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, Department of Justice
  •         Jovita Carranza, Treasurer, Department of the Treasury
  •         Justin Buller, Associate, Deputy General Counsel, U.S. Army
  •         Minority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (CA)
  •         Congressman Jack Bergman (MI)
  •         Senator Heidi Heitkamp (ND)
  •         Congressman Darrell Issa (OH)
  •         Congressman Derek Kilmer (WA)
  •         Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (NV)
  •         Senator Jeff Merkley (OR)
  •         Senator Lisa Murkowski (AK)
  •         Congressman Tom O’Halleran (AZ)
  •         Congresswoman Norma Torres (CA)
  •         Congressman Steve Pearce (NM)
  •         Senator Tom Udall (NM)
  •         Congressman Don Young (AK)
  •         Byron Dorgan, Former U.S. Senator, Founder of Center for Native American Youth

About the National Congress of American Indians:

Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country. NCAI advocates on behalf of tribal governments and communities, promoting strong tribal-federal government-to-government policies, and promoting a better understanding among the general public regarding American Indian and Alaska Native governments, people and rights. For more information visit www.ncai.org.

The post U.S. Senator Tom Udall’s Remarks at Listening Session on Combatting Violence Against Native Women appeared first on Indian Country Media Network.

Indian Country Celebrates Across the Country With State of Indian Nations 2018 Speech


Hundreds filled Washington DC’s Knight Studio at the Newseum as President of the National Congress of the American Indians (NCAI) Jefferson Keel took the stage and delivered the State of Indian Nations (SOIN) 2018.

In addition to the hundreds in attendance, thousands in Indian country participated in Livestream watch parties across the country to hear the status of Indian country as delivered by President Keel.

Immediately following the SOIN, the senior United States Senator from New Mexico and a member of the Democratic Party, Tom Udall delivered the official Congressional response.

Shortly before the SOIN, two princesses from the Haliwa-Saponi Indian tribe shared their thoughts about introducing the event and delivering the opening invocation. Miss Haliwa-Saponi Selena Lynch, who introduced the event said she was excited. “It is a major honor to do this, I am the first Miss Haliwa-Saponi ever asked to do this.” Junior Miss Haliwa-Saponi Abby Richardson said though she was nervous, thought ‘it was a great privilege.”

Vincent Schilling

Shortly before the SOIN, two princesses from the Haliwa-Saponi Indian tribe shared their thoughts about introducing the event and delivering the opening invocation. Miss Junior Miss Haliwa-Saponi Abby Richardson and Miss Haliwa-Saponi Selena Lynch. President Keel is in the center.

NCAI President Keel’s #SOIN2018 Speech

To kick off his speech, President Keel remarked that the number of federally-recognized tribes had just recently been changed due to six Virginia state tribes that recently gained federal status, which was received with gracious applause.

“Normally, at this point I’d say: on behalf of the 567 federally-recognized tribal nations and dozens of state-recognized tribal nations that we serve, I’m honored to welcome you here today.

But, last month, six Virginia tribes were finally granted federal recognition. I congratulate the Chickahominy, Eastern Chickahominy, Upper Mattaponi, Rappahannock, Monacan, and Nansemond tribes on this long-overdue affirmation of their sovereignty.

So now, on behalf of the 573 federally recognized tribal nations and dozens of state-recognized tribal nations we serve, I’m honored to share this message of our power and purpose with members of Congress and the Administration,” said Keel.

During the SOIN, Keel ascertained that Indian nations are now “strong, resilient and everlasting,” and though many nations had been through great struggles, including his own Chickasaw tribe who were removed from Mississiippi in the 1830’s, Keel asserted Indian Nations have “inherent rights.”

“We have inherent rights.  Not only were we born with them – we have earned them. The right to be recognized as equal governments. The right to be seated at the table where key decisions are made.”

NCAI President Jefferson Keel on the state of Indian Nations. #SOIN2018 pic.twitter.com/jAJaY7mak8

— NCAI (@NCAI1944) February 12, 2018

Keel also said any disregard for the inherent sovereignty of tribal nations, failed policies and disparaging rhetoric was “unacceptable.”

Keel lauded Indian nations as great agriculturists who have put food on Americans tables, builders of the infrastructure of America and innovators. Keel noted in Arizona, Native businesses generate hundreds of millions of tax dollars and pay 1.9 billion in wages to tens of thousands of Native and non-Native employees.

“In Mississippi, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians provides 6,000 full-time jobs through its diverse array of businesses, more than half of which are held by non-Natives. It also has re-invested over $500 million of its profits in economic development projects across the state.

Not only do these jobs often pay more than other jobs, they’re not going anywhere. You’re never going to read about how they are being moved overseas. Because Native businesses don’t pull up stakes, even when market conditions change. We root our businesses in our local communities—for good.

You want to ‘Buy American’? Then do business with Indian Country,” said Keel to more applause.

Keel then asked policy makers to remove the barriers that stifle an estimated 1 trillion dollars through solar, wind, and traditional energy resources.

Keel noted the original forms of government came from the Native governments,to include the Iroquois Confederacy.

“Our proven ways of governing informed the governing approach forged by this country’s founders. The U.S. Senate acknowledged this fact in 1987, declaring — and I quote — ‘the Congress, on the occasion of the two-hundredth anniversary of the signing of the United States Constitution, acknowledges the contribution made by the Iroquois Confederacy and other Indian Nations to the formation and development of the United States.’ End quote.”

“We were peoples long before ‘We the People.'” – NCAI President Jefferson Keel #SOIN2018 pic.twitter.com/IDFG8Ik9jR

— NCAI (@NCAI1944) February 12, 2018

Near closing, and considering the recent tax overhaul of Indian Country’s top priorities were absent from the version the President signed in December, President Keel outlined three principles he outlined as crucial for improved tribal/governmental relations which were:

  • To honor and affirm the federal-tribal relationship.
  • To engage tribal nations on all matters of national policy that potentially impact them.
  • That tribal self-determination and self-governance is the only policy that has ever worked for Indian Country.

“Today, we call on federal policymakers to consult tribes on ALL major national policies,” asserted Keel. “All we want is a level playing field. That is only fair, and it’s not too much to ask.”

Congressional Response from Senator Tom Udall

Vincent Schilling


Senator Tom Udall, who serves on the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee delivered the Congressional response immediately after President Keel’s SOIN.

Senator Tom Udall, who serves on the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee delivered the Congressional response immediately after President Keel’s SOIN. Upon coming to the stage, Sen. Udall said he applauded President keel for his “powerful remarks” and that the NCAI was “fortunate to have his leadership.”

Senator Udall also congratulated the six tribes in Virginia who received federal recognition.

In the midst of Sen. Udall’s response, he addressed tribal sovereignty, law enforcement and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the importance of the survival of Native languages, the Farm Bill and economic development, energy and the opioid crisis.

“As Vice Chairman, three core principles guide my Committee work: respecting tribal sovereignty, promoting tribal self-determination, and ensuring that meaningful government-to-government consultation happens when federal action affects Indian Country.

“When I prepare legislation that affects Indian Country, I work to stay true to these principles. This means acknowledging that tribal sovereignty is written into the Constitution, reflected in treaties, and codified in federal law,” said Udall.

Vincent Schilling

President Keel and Senator Udall at #SOIN2018

Udall also stressed the importance of consulting, and engaging tribes whenever federal legislation affects their interests and making sure that tribes retain the authority to make decisions for themselves.

“Decisions made for Indians by Indians produce the best outcomes for the unique needs, cultures, and beliefs of their communities,” he said.

“President Keel’s address poignantly recognized the challenges Indian Country faces.  But it also recognized your successes and determination in uncertain times,” said Udall.  “I appreciate that sentiment. I pledge that I will do my very best to elevate and achieve your legislative priorities.”

 

Indian Country Today’s Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter

The post Indian Country Celebrates Across the Country With State of Indian Nations 2018 Speech appeared first on Indian Country Media Network.

Watch the National Congress of American Indians “State of Indian Nations 2018” Livestream Here


Jefferson Keel, President of the National Congress of American Indians will deliver the annual State of Indian Nations Address on February 12, 2018 from the Newseum in Washington, DC. For more information and for past President speeches, click here.

The event will be available for viewing Monday, February 12 for livestream starting at 10:30am (EST), and for later viewing through the month of February.

Follow @IndianCountry‘s coverage of the @NCAI1944 “State of Indian Nations 2018”

Follow the hashtag #SOIN2018

— Indian Country Today (@IndianCountry) February 12, 2018

Follow @IndianCountry’s coverage of the @NCAI1944 “State of Indian Nations 2018”

The post Watch the National Congress of American Indians “State of Indian Nations 2018” Livestream Here appeared first on Indian Country Media Network.

NCAI To Honor Distinguished Leaders at 20th Annual Leadership Awards


On Tuesday, February 13, 2018, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) will award seven distinguished leaders in Indian Country at NCAI’s 20th Annual Leadership Awards Ceremony at their Executive Council Winter Session (ECWS). The awards are given annually to individuals or groups who are critical to tribal issues as well as those who serve as champions in their institutions.

“NCAI and Indian Country owe a debt of gratitude to those who unselfishly give of their time, talent and spirit for the betterment of our peoples,” said NCAI President Jefferson Keel. “The Leadership Awards Ceremony continues to be a special event to show our appreciation for those who have committed tremendous service to Indian Country.”

Every year NCAI receives nominations in six award categories, including: Public Sector Leadership Award, Native American Leadership Award, Government Leadership Award, Congressional Leadership Award, Special Recognition Award, and Native Voice Award. This year’s honorees are below:

Public Sector Leadership Award

Google American Indian Network (GAIN), Employee Resource Group Making a Positive Impact in Indian Country

GAIN continues to foster tribal youth through programs and support, raise the visibility and awareness of tribal nations, and collaborate on solutions for improved services to Indian Country.

Native American Leadership Award

Mark Trahant (Shoshone-Bannock Tribe), Native American Journalist and Founder of Trahant Reports

Courtesy Trahant Reports

Mark Trahant, Trahant Reports

As an independent journalist, Trahant elevates the presence of tribal nations and peoples through journalism, media, and innovative technologies to advance the authentic histories, stories and modern issues facing tribal nations and their citizens.

Government Leadership Awards

Three tribes have been recognized for leading the successful implementation of the groundbreaking tribal jurisdiction provisions in the Violence Against Women Act of 2013:

  • Tulalip Tribes
  • Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation
  • Pascua Yaqui Tribe

Congressional Leadership Award

Senator Jerry Moran, United States Senator from Kansas

Senator Jerry Moran

Senator Moran demonstrated steadfast support of Indian Country and leadership in championing law and policies that strengthen tribal sovereignty and the federal government’s trust responsibility to tribal nations.

Special Recognition Award

Julie Johnson (Lummi Nation of Washington State), President of Julie Johnson, Inc.

Julie Johnson (Lummi Nation of Washington State.)

For the past 22 years, Johnson organized the National Indian Women’s Honoring Luncheon and continues to demonstrate strong support of Native women leaders and commitment to the continued success of present and future Native women.

Native Voice Award

Ray Halbritter (Oneida Nation), Representative of the Oneida Nation and Oneida Nation Enterprises CEO

As a leader who uplifted Native voices through Indian Country Today Media Network, Halbritter also championed accurate and respectful portrayals of Native peoples through the Change the Mascot movement.

###

About The National Congress of American Indians:
Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country. NCAI advocates on behalf of tribal governments and communities, promoting strong tribal-federal government-to-government policies, and promoting a better understanding among the general public regarding American Indian and Alaska Native governments, people and rights. For more information visit www.ncai.org.

 

The post NCAI To Honor Distinguished Leaders at 20th Annual Leadership Awards appeared first on Indian Country Media Network.

Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico to Deliver Congressional Response at the 2018 State of Indian Nations


United States Senator Tom Udall (NM) is confirmed to deliver the Congressional Response at the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) 16th Annual State of Indian Nations (SOIN) address on Monday, February 12, 2018, at the Newseum’s Knight Studio in Washington, D.C.

Senator Udall serves on the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee and advocates for the priority concerns of tribal nations and communities, including economic development, the federal government’s trust and treaty responsibilities, land management, and education and health programs.

Senator Udall’s Congressional Response will directly follow NCAI President Jefferson Keel’s SOIN address, which will outline the goals of Indian Country, opportunities for advancement by Native peoples, and the priorities for tribal nation’s government-to-government relationship with the United States.

Please refer to the full schedule below for more details:

WHAT:

2018 State of Indian Nations
Delivered by NCAI President Jefferson Keel

WHERE:

Knight Studio
Newseum
555 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
*Use the C Street Entrance

DATE:                                   

Monday, February 12, 2018

EVENT SCHEDULE:          

9:15 a.m.             Media Registration and Setup
9:50 a.m.            General Registration and Doors Open
10:15 a.m.           Final Seating
10:20 a.m.          Program Begins
10:30 a.m.          State of Indian Nations
11:00 a.m.          Congressional Response
11:15 a.m.           Questions & Answer Session/Press Availability
11:30 a.m.          Closing Remarks

Space is limited in the Knight Studio. Press should RSVP ASAP here, and contact NCAI Communications Associate Erin Weldon with any questions at NCAIpress@ncai.org.

###

About the State of Indian Nations:
Each year, the President of the National Congress of American Indians presents the State of Indian Nations address to members of Congress, government officials, tribal leaders and citizens, and the American public. The speech outlines the goals of tribal leaders, the opportunities for success and advancement of Native peoples, and priorities to advance our nation-to-nation relationship with the United States. For more information, visit http://www.ncai.org/about-ncai/state-of-indian-nations.  


About The National Congress of American Indians:
Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country. NCAI advocates on behalf of tribal governments and communities, promoting strong tribal-federal government-to-government policies, and promoting a better understanding among the general public regarding American Indian and Alaska Native governments, people and rights. For more information visit www.ncai.org.

The post Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico to Deliver Congressional Response at the 2018 State of Indian Nations appeared first on Indian Country Media Network.

Rebecca M. Benally: Final Appointee to the Tribal Treasury Advisory Committee Announced


Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) has recently announced Rebecca M. Benally as the final appointee to the Tribal Treasury Advisory Committee (TTAC) according to a release by the Native American Finance Officers Association (NAFOA.)

The appointment, announced by the Department of Treasury, signifies that Benally is the final appointment necessary for the TTAC to begin conducting business on behalf of Indian Country.

Benally is a member of the Navajo Nation and currently serves as the county commissioner of San Juan County in Utah. She is the first Native American woman to hold this post. Benally has over 20 years of experience in the education field as a teacher, school principal, and at the college administration level.

Rebecca M. Benally has been announced as the final appointee to the Tribal Treasury Advisory Committee! https://t.co/LhywkAWsOi pic.twitter.com/kxGqLBbtrX

— NAFOA (@NAFOAORG) February 8, 2018

Benally joins six other appointees to the TTAC who will serve an important role in Indian Country by advising the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury on taxation issues and establishing training and education programs for Internal Revenue Service field agents who work with tribal governments.

  • W. Ron Allen, Chairman and CEO, Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe
  • Sharon Edenfield, Tribal Council Member, Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians
  • Lacey Horn, Treasurer, Cherokee Nation
  • Patricia King, Treasurer, Oneida Nation
  • Lynn Malerba, Lifetime Chief, Mohegan Tribe
  • Eugene Magnuson, Treasurer, Pokagon Band of Potawatomi

For more information please visit www.nafoa.org. To submit comments or solicit feedback on the TTAC activities and policy ideas, use the following email info@ttacresources.org.

About the Native American Finance Officers Association (NAFOA.)

The NAFOA advocates sound economic and fiscal policy, develops innovative training programs in financial management, builds the financial and economic skills of the next generation, and convenes tribal leadership, experienced professionals, and economic partners to meet the challenges of economic growth and change. ###

Indian Country Today’s Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter

The post Rebecca M. Benally: Final Appointee to the Tribal Treasury Advisory Committee Announced appeared first on Indian Country Media Network.

Native Actress Irene Bedard Spearheads 2018 ‘Stop Disenrollment’ Campaign


On Thursday, February 8, 2018, the online visual advocacy movement, Stop Disenrollment, will launch once again. Stop Disenrollment went viral on February 8, 2016, and again last year on February 8, catching international media attention. The movement is poised to raise social consciousness again this year.

Prominent Native Americans like author Sherman Alexie, former U.S. Vice Presidential candidate Winona LaDuke, rapper-actor-entrepreneur Litefoot, film director Chris Eyre, fashion designer Bethany Yellowtail, and Olympic Gold Medalist Billy Mills headlined the 2016- and 2017-campaigns.

Courtesy image

Joining Bedard is award-winning Oneida musician Joanne Shenandoah, and emerging Suquamish musician-activist Calina Lawrence, who is helping catalyze a Native MeToo movement.

The visual advocacy movement is a grassroots Native reaction to tribal politicians who have, over the last decade, exiled thousands of their own relatives from tribal communities and homelands, through a colonially inspired practice called “disenrollment.”

Stop Disenrollment Poster

Motivated by graft and greed, it is estimated that by 2016, 11,000 Native Ameicans were disenrolled from almost 80 tribes—nearly 15% of United States-recognized tribes.

Dr. David Wilkins, the co-author of a recent book “Dismembered: Native Disenrollment and the Battle for Human Rights,” said the practice reached “epidemic” proportion in recent years.

But there are signs that with a sharp rise in awareness about disenrollment, the practice in Indian Country is in retreat.

After several consecutive years dating back to the early 2000s, during which multiple tribes were simultaneously disenrolling large swaths of tribal members according to Wilkins’ research, there has not been a new mass disenrollment effort since early 2016.

“While we are not out of the woods, it does seem that Indian Country is coming to its senses regarding disenrollment,” said Wilkins. “Disenrollment re-education efforts have taken many forms in recent years, and they seem to be working.”

When a picture is worth an infinite number of words. #StopDisenrollment https://t.co/2f4glQr8Wd

— Galanda Broadman (@NDNlawyer) February 8, 2018

As anecdotal proof, Wilkins cites the Cherokee Nation’s decision to forgo appeal of an August 2017 federal court decision requiring the reenrollment of 2,800 disenrolled Cherokee Freedmen; and Robinson Rancheria’s independent decision to reverse the disenrollment of 67 members last year.

Wilkins also cites a “helpful” federal policy change in 2016 as a reason why disenrollment is down.

Federal intervention in the 5-year Nooksack 306 disenrollment saga, spanning both the Obama and Trump Administrations and involving the withholding of $14 million in federal monies and the closure of Nooksack Northwood Casino, bears that out. According to Wilkins, “the Feds have finally said enough is enough.”

Having featured images from the Stop Disenrollment movement in his book, Wilkins heralds the movement as “very effective. . . . It has most certainly helped change tribal, federal and public opinion.”

For more information, visit the Stop Disenrollment website.

 

Indian Country Today’s Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter

The post Native Actress Irene Bedard Spearheads 2018 ‘Stop Disenrollment’ Campaign appeared first on Indian Country Media Network.

Hostiles Movie Reflects Native Culture With Sensitivity and Accuracy


Chief Phillip Whiteman

Scott Cooper’s Hostiles movie is a reminder to humankind that we are all connected, a notion that is a large part of Cheyenne culture and one that this country needs right now.

A classically styled Western with modern themes, the Hostiles movie tells the story of Army Captain Joseph J. Blocker (Christian Bale) who reluctantly agrees to escort dying Cheyenne Chief Yellow Hawk (Wes Studi) and his family back home to their tribal lands. Making the harrowing and perilous journey from New Mexico to the grasslands of Montana, the former rivals are forced to work together to survive, eventually transitioning their relationship from hate to respect and ultimately acceptance and love.

The movie is an echo of the actual historical journey of my Northern Cheyenne People in 1878-79 and the desire that our chiefs had to live in the north and bring their people home, regardless of military attitudes. More currently, it hearkens to retracing the footsteps of our ancestors in the Annual Fort Robinson 400-Mile Spiritual Run. This run by Northern Cheyenne youth honors their ancestors and symbolizes the strength and resilience of their spirit and heart as Cheyenne people. Although the movie is not based on historical events of the Cheyenne, I believe there are no coincidences.

It was important to Cooper that the film present an authentic portrait of the native peoples living in 1890s America, so as a culture and language consultant to the film, I worked with the native actors as well as Christian Bale to ensure their performances were rooted in the time and place of the film. I was fortunate that Bale took learning our sacred Cheyenne language very seriously and excelled at speaking it because using the historically accurate dialect of the Cheyenne language guided each character’s shift in perception of each other.

The set itself also was infused with native culture. We started each day of shooting with a blessing that brought the cast and crew’s energy into alignment, allowing them to be more effective and to complete the scenes in fewer takes. Because of this attention to detail, the movie elevates your consciousness and helps you become more “woke.”

American history has forgotten the love its First Nation peoples have for the land and America’s sacred landscape. We are connected to Mother Earth–the breathtaking scenery in the movie is a reminder of our responsibility to be good stewards of the land.

This movie is important with its message in this time of division and disconnection in this country. What we call “Turtle Island” was home to diverse First Nations peoples who spoke thousands of their own languages. Today America is home to many diverse populations. It’s in our respect for diversity that creates unity.

Today we are stuck in duality; it’s a perfect place to return to oneness. Blocker and Rosalie Quaid (Rosamund Pike) go through the process of acceptance, forgiveness and understanding in the film. Chief Yellow Hawk was already there. It was reflected in his belief system: his love, compassion, respect, honor, and sacrifice he had for his family. These basic principles that give us direction and lead us back to connection.

First Nations peoples have been historically traumatized because of attempted genocide. Today we are reconnecting our youth to history, culture, land and language; and to the spirit of resilience. We are still here. We must tell the stories, for too long Hollywood has depicted us as “the savage Indian.”

I commend Cooper for the making of this film and for portraying native peoples accurately. I brought my Cheyenne beliefs, way of life, whole heart and energy to the set of the Hostiles movie in the depiction of and understanding of the Cheyenne people.

We are all capable of being hostile, but love is a far greater force. We can forgive, but never forget. I encourage you to see this movie and go with an open mind and open heart.

Northern Cheyenne Chief Phillip Whiteman, Heoveve’keso (Yellow Bird), served as cultural advisor and language consultant on the Hostiles movie. He resides on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Lame Deer, Montana and can be reached at www.YellowBirdPrograms.org or 406.477.8781.

 

The post Hostiles Movie Reflects Native Culture With Sensitivity and Accuracy appeared first on Indian Country Media Network.

Beaded Vans Slip-ons by Standing Rock Sioux Artist Charlene Holy Bear featured in VOGUE


Standing Rock Sioux Artist Charlene Holy Bear has found herself thrust into the national spotlight. Her beautifully beaded Vans slip-on tennis shoes are now being featured in VOGUE magazine.

In the article Holy Bear told VOGUE that she made the beaded Vans tennis shoes four years ago as a last-minute consideration when going to the Gathering of Nation’s Powwow in Albuquerque.

The beaded Vans tennis shoes were an immediate hit and went viral as the readers shared the article.

Artist Charlene Holy Bear, a member of the Standing Rock Lakota Sioux Tribe, has become a viral fashion sensation after creating traditional powwow wear for her son out of a pair of Vans. https://t.co/PzIO6jJPjC

— Teen Vogue (@TeenVogue) February 6, 2018

Holy Bear told VOGUE she hadn’t had any time that year to prepare regalia for her family but wanted her 4-year-old son Justus to look cool wearing the slip-ons. “He had a new pair of slip-on Vans and I suddenly had an idea, looking at the checkerboard design,” said Holy Bear.

The process took Holy Bear three days. As a result of the exposure at the powwow, Holy Bear now has a long line of customers wanting their own pair.

“Those Vans really reminded me of traditional moccasins… I braided my son’s hair, put on those shoes and he was the coolest little guy at the powwow. People were stopping us to take photos, he made such a splash.”

And another pair is completed and heading out today…! Similar to another pair finished last month. My hands and back are protesting but I beaded them in record time!

A post shared by c.holybear (@c.holybear) on Jan 9, 2018 at 12:56pm PST

The photos of Holy Bear’s shoes made their way to social media. Amanda Miller, the communications director at PayPal contacted Holy Bear for a pair of the beaded Vans, even the Vans tennis shoe company sent the artist an entire pallet of sneakers to work on.

Holy Bear has been an artist her entire life, she crafted traditional dolls at five-years-old and won a second place ribbon at Santa Fe Indian Market. She studied fine art in college at the University of New Mexico.

You can check out Charlene Holy Bear’s website (there are also beautiful beaded earrings and jewelry in addition to the beaded Vans) here – https://c-holybear.squarespace.com/.

 

Indian Country Today’s Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter

The post Beaded Vans Slip-ons by Standing Rock Sioux Artist Charlene Holy Bear featured in VOGUE appeared first on Indian Country Media Network.

Native Trailblazers Announces 2017 Native Trailblazers Music Awards Winners: Country Star Teagan Littlechief Wins #1


Native country music artist Teagan Littlechief has just been announced as the overall top indie artist for the 2017 season’s Native Trailblazers Music Awards. The announcement was made on the Native Trailblazers Radio Show on Friday February 3rd.

The announcement of several Native indie music award winners were made on the Native Trailblazers radio program that airs each Friday at 8pm est. Winners included Brendt Diabo, Shawnee Talbot, Simon Moya-Smith, Rob Saw, Witk0 and more. The submissions were played back in 2017 for a Native indie music showcase and the names of the musicians were posted on the Native Trailblazers website where listeners could vote.

The number one indie artist, Teagan Littlechief, was recognized Friday and will receive PR support and a show segment on Native Trailblazers.

Native Trailblazers Radio Announces:
2017 Native Trailblazers Music Award Winners – Teagan Littlechief Wins #1

List of winners here: https://t.co/wt3AOppZCe

Make sure to check out the @NativeTrailblaz radio show every Friday at 8pm est! https://t.co/y9ZHMTSHAL pic.twitter.com/kkW5R6EFvZ

— Native Trailblazers (@Nativetrailblaz) February 3, 2018

The additionally-named top five indie artists were Indian City, Twin Flames, Brendt Thomas Diabo, Rob Saw (Both Diabo and Saw tied for third,) Simon Moya-Smith and Shawnee Talbot.

For the past eight years, the Native Trailblazers radio program—an online radio show that has featured Native American topics and is hosted by Delores Schilling, Vincent Schilling and occasional co-host Michael Bucher—has had an annual series of shows highlighting today’s independent Native artists from every genre to include folk, hip-hop, country and electronic, traditional and more.

In addition to the Native Indie artists, the Native Trailblazers radio show has also featured a long list of Indian country notables to include Smoke Signals director Chris Eyre, Indian country icon Buffy Sainte-Marie, Mr. Las Vegas Wayne Newton, political leaders in the U.S. and Canada, tribal leaders, tribal elders and much more.

Since first airing in November 2009, Native Trailblazers has entertained hundreds of thousands of listeners. The show was also nominated in 2011 and 2013 for an Aboriginal People’s Choice Music Awards, now called the Indigenous Music Awards or IMA’s.

Native Trailblazers is on BlogTalkRadio, an online radio site that receives millions of visitors daily. For more information about the Native Trailblazers radio show which airs Fridays at 8 pm EST, visit the website at www.NativeTrailblazers.com or listen Fridays at www.BlogTalkRadio.com/NativeTrailblazers.

The show’s 437 episodes are also available anytime on the BlogTalkRadio site in archives or as a free downloadable podcast on iTunes.

Here is the list of the 2017 Season Native Trailblazers Music Awards winners:

Native Trailblazers Music Awards TOP ARTIST

Teagan Littlechief (Country) – https://www.teaganlittlechief.com

Top 5 Native Trailblazers Music Awards Winners

Indian City – (Contemporary Rock) – http://www.indiancity.ca

Twin Flames (Contemporary Rock) – https://www.twinflamesmusic.com

(Tied for third place)

Brendt Thomas Diabo – (Contemporary Rock) – https://www.brendttdiabo.com

Rob Saw (Drum / Native Americana) – https://www.facebook.com/robsawnativeamericana/

Simon Moya-Smith (Alternative Rock) – https://twitter.com/SimonMoyaSmith / https://www.amazon.com/Purge-Simon-Moya-Smith-Chris-Bedan/dp/B06XG4L6PV

Shawnee Talbot (Alternative, Electronic) – http://www.shawneemusic.com

Native Trailblazers Music Awards Crowd Favorite

Witk0 (Hip Hop) – https://soundcloud.com/witkomusic

Native Trailblazers Music Awards Artist To Watch

Roger Cultee (Contemporary Rock) – https://rogercultee.bandcamp.com

###

You can follow the show and hosts on Twitter:

Delores Schilling – www.Twitter.com/DelSchilling
Vincent Schilling www.Twitter.com/VinceSchilling
Michael Bucher – www.Twitter.com/MichaelBucher
Native Trailblazers Radio Show www.twitter.com/NativeTrailblaz

The post Native Trailblazers Announces 2017 Native Trailblazers Music Awards Winners: Country Star Teagan Littlechief Wins #1 appeared first on Indian Country Media Network.

Pages