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Updated: 8 hours 27 min ago

Native News Update February 1, 2019

February 2, 2019 - 12:41pm

This week's stories:  First all-Native bull riding team to compete in the PBR Global Cup USA; Cherokee Nation opens office to promote Native American filmmaking; Grammy’s Hall of Fame honors Link Wray’s “Rumble”; Native American actor Michael Greyeyes plays Trash Man in the third season of HBO’s “True Detective”; “Growing Native” four-part series released on DVD.

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The Meeting Place

January 27, 2019 - 6:11pm

By Danny Beaton (Mohawk)

We lost our spiritual leader here in Toronto last year. We seem to lose track of everything at times, but it all comes back as we ponder things, even the truth.

Asin, Stone or Grandfather was a Cree healer, medicine man, elder, activist, educator and more, like most of our leaders who are keeping our sacred native culture going.

One of my helpers remembers Vern so well he can recount the words Vern used in his ceremonies and when he repeats them I am embarrassed because I have forgotten. But just the same when I hear Uncle Vern’s words repeated, they are powerful and wonderful.

Vern ran ceremonies at “The Meeting Place” for many years. Almost the entire body - the homeless, alcoholics and drug addicts remember Vern with respect and happiness because Vern cared for everyone. Some people remember Vern from his sacred circles and teachings in the prison system and how he took care of them with his love and how they would meet up again with him at The Meeting Place where he ran ceremonies and gave counseling.

Vern also worked at Aboriginal Legal Services, never giving up on his people while fighting for their human rights and the healing of all. I remember going into the lodge with Vern and hearing him say, “When the flap is closed we are all the same color.”

After visiting The Meeting Place over this past summer and hanging out with staff and members, I learned first hand of the suffering and pain our homeless and addicts live with for many reasons: childhood poverty, domestic violence, neglect or life experiences such as loss of work and accidents/injuries, things that created their pharmaceutical addiction.

Asin was loved by many at The Meeting Place in downtown Toronto, a shelter for the homeless, the needy and people strung out on drugs or suffering from trauma. The Cree elder found it his life mission to be a healing blanket for his people and all people who were suffering or were spiritually broken.

This article is dedicated to all the caregivers and environmentalists, and to our sacred Mother Earth, because I feel that is what has been keeping the life-giving forces nurturing society. When I say caregivers I mean Native ceremonial people, the Indigenous and religious people of the world who have real values.

Vernon Harper, 1991 speaking in Toronto, Ontario.  Photo by Danny Beaton

Our oceans are being destroyed now at a fast pace. This has been known to scientists and articulated in the book “Sea Sick” by author Alanna Mitchell, who is a writer for The Globe and Mail. Because we the people and society are faced with a profound crisis due to the rape of the oceans and climate change, the people themselves are suffering with Mother Earth and the poison in her veins and body.

With the crisis of the health and safety of Mother Earth’s blood - rivers, lakes, oceans and aquifers are the real safety of all people, all human beings on this sacred Mother Earth - the leaders of the world must take some kind of action for life if life is to continue here on our sacred planet.

It was my ancestors, Mohawk and other elders, who taught me the little I know about how to give thanks, live with a Good Mind and respect all life on Mother Earth. I never forgot the elders across Turtle Island who shared their wisdom and ceremonies for us while we were young!

At The Meeting Place the wounded mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters look for a shelter or a place of stability, protection, rest and security, where many could get food, coffee, tea, showers, medical attention and help from social workers on site, ready, experienced and educated in care-giving.

The wounded are the many who have carried childhood trauma around inside their minds and spirit for a lifetime. There is help for the homeless; some are lucky and find permanent living space with the help of staff at The Meeting Place. But the homeless crisis is growing every day in Toronto, Ontario Canada and around the world.

There needs to be an example set by the government to address the issue of poverty, if the poor and homeless are to have human rights or justice.

It’s funny how, when all the hype about Climate Change and Global Warming was started by scientists back in the nineteen eighties no one was listening except environmentalists, some of the public and academics.

Now we are going through the same process of apathy, mismanagement and inaction from governments and leaders with the world poverty crisis in Toronto and the world unfolding, which will eventually lead to an increase in crime and depression.

With the support of native elders and the community, caregivers and social workers can do a better job at meeting the needs of people in poverty and stress. Once you get to know the homeless individually, even addicts who are users and you spend time with them every day, you will see the fire and gentleness every person carries in themselves.

Every person has a gentleness once they feel they are wanted and respected. People want to be trusted, but they do fail many times in life especially when they see people give up on them.

There was one woman I met this past summer at The Meeting Place who said: “Danny, I used to be a normal person, I had money in the bank, fifty thousand in my savings and I had a good job in an office. One day I was coming home from work in my car and the next minute I was flying through the air and I woke up with my legs inside my stomach. When I finally went home in a wheelchair, they put me on oxycontin, a painkiller and I was in rehab/therapy for my whole body. Within the same year my daughter had a major surgery and passed away. After getting addicted to pain killers and being traumatized with the loss of my daughter, it was not long before I started using cocaine and this went on for a few years. Then I was introduced to crack and heroin, which devastated me and I am still suffering from withdrawal.

Another woman I got to know very well told me her husband was in prison for life for killing a family friend over crack money, but later found the money in the house. And so her husband killed someone for nothing.

Elder Vern Harper helped her to understand the meaning of life through healing circles and giving thanks to all Creation, plant life, rivers, animals, fish life, and told her that the universe was alive all around us and that our ancestors would help guide us back to a place of peace and healing.

The people at The Meeting Place are not all broken spirits from childhood trauma or physically and mentally abused. There are circumstances in life that we cannot explain: why we fall into tragedy or injury, we cannot explain fate.

It is the poor and poverty that creates the suffering of the earth. My own calculations say 80% of addicts using crack cocaine wish they had never started because of the consequences, loss of family, loss of employment, loss of health, loss of one’s own self all devastating to an individual’s humanness.

What I am saying is society needs to understand how important ceremonial culture is to healing the crisis that is happening to Toronto, Ontario and every province in Canada.

Our elders and ancestors did the best they could to pass our way of life onto us. This is sacred and positive. It is in our minds, body and spirit as is Mother Earth.

When our elders are here on Mother Earth, they fill us up with their love, wisdom and our culture, so we can have a good life, take care  of  life  and  give thanksgiving to all life.

Thank you all for listening to me.

All my relations.

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Bad River Ojibwe and water protectors honored for defense of environment during solstice

January 27, 2019 - 5:41pm

By News From Indian Country - (Transcription by REV)

“Hello, everyone. Thanks again to the Sioux Chef for the wonderful cooking. I’m just gonna say a little bit about why we’re here. My name is Winona LaDuke and I’m the executive director of Honor the Earth, and this is our feast where we are thankful for the water that we have, because water is what brings us life.

“Today as I woke up by the lake and heard the lapping I remembered that this is a fifth of the world’s water, one of the most beautiful and most precious places in the world, and what a great gift it is that we get to be the people who live here by this great lake.

“So, we are just grateful for this moment in the middle of our winter, as it comes during the full moon. A time to be grateful for all of the gifts that the water in our territory has given us, and our opportunity, our spiritual opportunity to be the people that keep our commitment to this territory and our water.

“Take care of our water and take care of our future generations. So tonight is the night when we’re gonna honor some of those people who are doing that, ‘cause there are people everywhere that are doing the right thing and to remember that this is our opportunity to just summon up what we got to do.

“You know, you have that opportunity all the time, but this is a night that we are acknowledging some of those people. So as I thought about what to be grateful about, you know, our water, our territory, the life that was given to us here, I also wanted to make some special thank yous.

“We are headquartered on the White Earth Reservation a bit West of here, but we also have a new office here in Duluth because this is our lake and our territory. And so as Honor The Earth we’ve spent a lot of time... You know, I say I’ve spent most of my life trying to deal with stupid ideas?

“First it’s like this mine or maybe this power plant or maybe this pipeline project or ... You know what? It’s endless. Joe Rose, my uncle here, same thing. A lot of mining projects, things that would hurt our water.

“You know, but our organization has worked on a lot on advocacy issues and supported other organizations through a grant program to many indigenous people on a world-wide scale, but mostly in North America to protect their water and work on their language, protection of sacred sites, and protection of future generations.

“So we’re grateful to be that organization that does that, and a lot of you know that this past five years we’ve been working on these pipeline projects, these bad ideas that come from Canada. It seems like we have a lot of bad ideas that come from Canada these days, I have to say. But in this case it was ... First it was fracked oil pipelines from the Dakotas. Now it’s called the Sandpiper project intended to go here to Superior. We defeated that together in 2016. There is no more Sandpiper Project by the Enbridge Corporation.

Members of the Bad River Ojibwe Tribe join (l-r) Philomena Kebec, Beatrice Matus, (in front), Aurora Conely, elder Joe Rose, Lori Lemieux and Tribal Chairman Mike Wiggins while receiving recognition for their efforts to protect the waters of Lake Superior and the Bad River Watershed from mines, pipelines and corporate farming in the Chequamagon Bay Region of northern Wisconsin. Photos by DKakkak

“That’s what happens when people work hard and work together and you push the system and the social movement change that is going to be history.

“We write our own history. And now we are fighting the Enbridge Line #3, which is the single largest Tar Sands project out there.

“And I just wanted to give a little context, and I like to say this, because it was not my idea that I grow up and be a pipeline fighter. That wasn’t like my plan. But it’s such a bad idea that we had to organize on this one.

“But to give you a little context, a year and a half ago there was five big Tar Sands pipelines proposed. One of those was called Energy East to go from the Alberta Tar Sands to New Brunswick. One of them was called Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline intended to go from the Tar Sands to the Pacific Northwest. One was called the Trans Mountain Pipeline, intended a Kinder Morgan pipeline to go from Alberta to the Pacific Northwest to the west coast.

“And one is called the Keystone Excel Pipeline. You’ve heard of this one, right?

“And then one is called Enbridge Line Three. Five pipelines. Within the last year and a half we have seen most of those pipelines stopped. That is to say that Energy East, the single largest pipeline, never got approval at the National Energy Board in Canada.

Youth Intervenors in the Pipeline #3 permitting process and court cases on several levels were honored by representatives Nina Bergland (r) and her brother Nolan (r).

“That is to say that Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline did not get approval either. And then this fall a project known as the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Project, intended to go from the Alberta Tar Sands to the British Columbia, the Indigenous coast of that territory. In the Canadian appeals court, that court ruled that that pipeline project had not received consent from First Nations, consent from Indigenous people, and all permits for that pipeline were deemed null and void.

“What happened though is that the Premier Trudeau purchased that pipeline. But that is a pipeline without permits that is stuck in legal hell in Canada.

“The fourth pipeline is known as the Keystone XL, and last month (November) the Montana courts ruled that despite that Trump wanted to issue permits for that pipeline, they could not. He had to have a reason to issue a permit. He had to have reason to overturn Obama. And so that pipeline is also stuck.

“So what did I just tell you? That four of the five Tar Sands pipelines are stopped either in court or have never received permits. I’m thankful for that. That is what citizens movements and good political decisions and attorneys will do.

“Well today, something else happened in the state of Minnesota, and I don’t know if you all noticed that, but we have been fighting this Enbridge Line #3, because that 915,000 barrels a day of Tar Sands Oil is a bad idea. A bad idea for Minnesota, a bad idea for the world. It’s the equivalent of 50 new coal fire power plants. We don’t want that pipeline.

“So we’ve all been fighting away, doing our best, a little scrappy group. Honor The Earth. Little, just duking it out with the other citizens of Minnesota. Although that permit was issued by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, they issued the certificate of need and the route permit yesterday. Honor The Earth, White Earth Band, Red Lake Band, Friends of the Headwaters appealed those decisions, and today (Dec. 21st) the state of Minnesota’s Department of Commerce appealed the bad decision of the PUC.

“We’re very grateful. Which means that the state, the DOC is suing to stop this project too. So I just want to thank the state of Minnesota, the Department of Commerce and Governor Dayton for standing up for the little people and the water. Really grateful. Sometimes something good happens. And I just wanna be thankful for every time the system works, ‘cause I’d really like the system to work. That’s my prayer. One of my prayers.

“I’m also ready for the next economy. I wanna mention that. This last one I didn’t like too good, so we’re gonna move on.

“So that’s a little bit of our work at Honor the Earth. First of all I wanna thank the Sioux Chef for making it all happen with the food. You’ve got your dessert coming, so be good and you get dessert. But thank you to the Sioux Chef for this wonderful food.

“Now a lot of people are volunteers for this event and some of you are standing on the side. Can you all stand up? We got all kinds of volunteers that came out from our communities to help serve you and make this event possible, and I’m really grateful, ‘cause our organization ... All of us, this is about all of us working together to make a change and to make the beautiful things our descendants deserve.

“Thank you to Sacred Heart here for helping us with this beautiful site, this beautiful, beautiful location, and for your support for this event tonight.

The Sacred Heart Music Center was the site of the 2018 Solstice Gala for honoring Water Protectors and featuring the Sioux Chef crew. The structure built in 1896 and saved from demolition in 2007 is now days used for concerts, artisans and local gatherings in the Duluth region.

“I also wanna thank my Honor the Earth team. Now ladies, you wanna stand up? I got some water protectors back here. Come on, my ladies. You know, Honor The Earth is blessed with a lot of young people. There’s miss Emily and miss Kylie. You wanna give a wave? Then I got Eva back there and I got Alyssa and Nicolette. And my board chair is here. Do you wanna stand up Paul? This is the board chair of Honor The Earth, Paul DeMain.

“So I was thankful to have a lot of them come over to celebrate things, but I wanna say just a couple words. Emily and Kylie are water protectors. These are water protectors, and these are the kind of people that we honor and recognize.

“First I met Emily and then I met Kylie. But they, like Nicolette, they come from a place that you can’t drink the water any more. They come from Pennsylvania, and you can’t drink the water where those women live. And they came out here because you could still drink the water. And then those young women went to Standing Rock, and they stood with our people at Standing Rock. A lot of us all went to Standing Rock, but those young women they went to Standing Rock and they were arrested and charged. Felony charges for standing to protect the water.

“And I just wanna say there are some pretty courageous water protectors out there, and tonight we wanted to recognizing them, because to be a water protector is a good thing. It’s a good thing for all of us at this moment in time.

“Then I got Rick and Danielle from Wild Crafting. They provided the chaga for us tonight. One of our medicines from a territory, and you only get the medicine if you take care of the land, ‘cause the medicine grows where you take care of your good land, you know?

“And then John and Anne Hamilton from White Winter Winery provided the meat tonight. So I wanna thank and on behalf of the Bear Clan which likes meat very much we’re very grateful for that tonight. And Sarah Agatha Halls, from House of Halls in the back, she helped us with the awards. But she as a designer provided us a lot of support and tonight the awards come from her fine work.

“So that’s what I wanted to say. A little bit of the acknowledgment of that. And speaking of those awards I wanted to just start acknowledging some of the cool people that we came for tonight.

“Suzanne Deider is someone I don’t actually know, but we put out there as Honor The Earth, for people to nominate someone that they thought was a water protector, and this woman received a number of nominations. And so, Suzanne, I know that you checked in, but I don’t know where you are. Would you please come to the front?.

“She’s from the Spirit of the Lake community school, she’s a leader of the grandmother’s gathering at Madeline Island, which seeks to restore our innate human connection to water. She in the school provide important leadership for seven generations, and lead by example with reverence for the sacredness of the land, the people, and how we care for one another and how we show up for what’s important. So she was nominated by many members of the community tonight, so we wanted to honor her with a water protector award.

“Alyssa Hoppe, made a lot of this event possible and she is helping me blanket people tonight.”

Suzanne Dieder (pictured above): Alright, alright, wow. Well thank you. I’m not really worthy to be standing up here in front of you all. I’ve been sitting at a table listening to people talk who are working for water protection ... taught me all about corn tonight. And there are just so many amazing people in this room, so I guess I thank all of you for doing what you’re doing. I know we’re all in this together. We’re all by this big lake, and we love this big lake so much, as well as all the water that comes in. But thank you very much.

Winona LaDuke: So next we wanna honor Water Legacy as an organization. And so Gimiwun Naganub is gonna come up and accept the award on behalf of Water Legacy. And I just wanna say a couple of things about Water Legacy. When I look out there across our territory, Water Legacy is some guys that have been fighting bad guys for a long time. Protected a lot of our water and had a relentless battle against Parliament. And while bad decisions may be made by state agencies to issue permits, and backdoor deals maybe made by politicians to go and trade land, some bodies are standing up for us. And the legal battles ahead are gonna be led by Water Legacy, and we thank you for your hard work.

“And then I just wanna say that his grandmother and I, Esther Naganub, she is a fearless water protector, a great hero of our community, and so I’m really glad that we are able to provide this award to her grandson tonight on behalf of Water Legacy.

We’ll put this cool Sarah Agatha Halls blanket on you. It’s all great.

Gimiwun Naganub: I accept this blanket for Water Legacy, for which there are many more worthy people. I am truly humbled to be with that organization, because just the caliber of people. Paula Maccabbee, she is amazing. So thank you, and let’s keep the fight going.

Winona LaDuke: I had talked to Paula earlier on and she has a lot of commitments, and she was really happy to send Gimiwun, but you know, I thought of Paula Maccabbee who is relentless in her protection of the water here, and she is a Maccabbee. She is a Maccabbee. For those of you who know the story of Channukkah, the family that was holed up in the temple and the miracle of eight days of oil was the Maccabbees. That was the tribe. And that is where Paula’s name comes from. And you know, to think about that miracle ... When Channukkah came around this year I was praying for some miracles, ‘cause we will need some miracles. And so again just express our gratitude to Paula Maccabbee for their fearless work of Water Legacy. So thank you again to Water Legacy.

“So the third award we are gonna give is to the really tough guys of Bad River. Can we call you that? So you look out there across Indian country, and you know, I don’t know how it works out, but it seems like every Indian reservation is, they wanna do some dumb thing to ‘em. You know what I’m saying? Like I’ve been out there wandering around a lot in my life, and like you know, if it’s not a strip mine or nuclear waste dump or a pipeline or some crazy thing that somebody has proposed for some Indian Reservation, it just wouldn’t be the Rez. That’s just the way it is.

“And they’re on the shore of the lake, is the Bad River Reservation, and pretty much in my adult life I’ve seen one bad idea come out of that community after another, and every time these guys have stood up to it. This is the most ... I don’t know if there’s the scrappiest Ojibwe award, but you guys might have it. You guys totally might have it. It was the mines in the ‘80s and building multi-racial alliances to oppose big mines. Bad River has a long history of protecting the waters of our lake, and I’m really grateful for that and your courage. And last year there was the battle against the GTAC mine. Big, big taconite mine proposed just up at their headwaters. It’s like every time some new proposal comes in at Northern Wisconsin I look at that map and they say they’re gonna try to do something to Bad River, I say “Good luck. Good luck, that’s probably not gonna happen, ‘cause those guys are super, super tough.” So here we have the tribal chairman of the Bad River Reservation, as well as Joe Rose, one of their elders have come in.

“And actually, Philomena Kebec is in the back. Aurora, my niece. We’ve got one blanket we’ve gotta wrap you all in, so you gotta figure that out. And thank you all for being, I hate to use this word, but just being badass at Bad River.

“Come on, all Bad River. I mean just look at these guys. You would not wanna mess with these guys, right? I’m gonna give you guys all a hug. Thank you all very much..

“This is Mike Wiggins, who is the tribal chair of Bad River. A good, good friend of mine, and I’m grateful to be his friend and ally.

Mike Wiggins: Excellent. It’s an honor to be here tonight. And could we have a round of applause for Winona LaDuke? You know, I just had a spirited debate with a tribal member that was from a reservation who was receiving royalties from a recent decision for allowing pipeline and oil through their rez. And in some of that debate, there was a few moments where I felt like maybe I was on my heels, and the vision and the determination and the value and the messaging and that I always think of it as Thunderbird Vision, that ability to see the big picture, that birds-eye view of Winona LaDuke, in those moments when I’m on my heels, she arrives and helps me stand back up straight, and I’m just so grateful for that. I just wanted to acknowledge Winona.

“In 2017 we rejected Enbridge Line #5 on a lease renewal. Our tribal council at that time stood up and said Gaawiin (No) to the renewal of a lease for Enbridge Line #5 to operate on our reservation.

“Our tribal council speaks for our whole community. During a public hearing that our tribal council had, we had all of these folks and many more send a very, very overwhelming message of “no way”, to our tribal council, and they responded in kind by hearing us and echoing that with a tribal resolution. And so one of the things that’s happened since then is it’s been kinda quiet. And so quiet that even some of our own  members have been wondering like “Hey, what’s going on? I thought we were supposed to be battling Enbridge?” And after that initial rejection, our tribal council chose to enter into a confidentiality agreement, and it went into this dance of mediation. And mediation at first sounds really scary, like man, that seems like an acquiescence to selling out. But it wasn’t. It was a process of allowing Enbridge to look at a couple of, really I guess you would say, scary anomalies, as they call it. But scary sites within the boundaries of our reservation on that pipeline. Allowing them to look at that to check for safety while at the same time allowing our tribal environmental experts to swarm that integrity dig, as they called it.

“So they were taking soil samples and looking at the depth, looking at the pipe, looking at all of the things that they would need to determine if it was safe to just abandon and leave that thing in the ground, or if it ultimately had to be removed. It’s pretty complex, when you’ve got this big haz-mat snake running through your lands and underneath your rivers and stuff. So our tribe was using those opportunities to gather data. Data and intelligence that would allow us to go to war, and eventually battle in the courts and in the media and in the grassroots activism in the spiritual realm, with our ceremonies, to just say gaawiin to Line #5. I’m happy to say that our confidentiality agreement ended back in October, and we pushed hard to get out from underneath that.

“And so we’re at a point where we were gonna do something here tonight. Winona and I talked about that, and obviously we decided not to, but January 15th we’re gonna start telling the technical details, the environmental details of our story of why our land and water are leading us in that effort to reject Line #5.

“I would say really quickly that the power of the Bad River, the, the river itself, is just ... if left alone the Bad River would have that line destroyed in a matter of probably under 10 years. There’s another spot where, I like to look at the world this way. Where the Thunderbirds came and pounded our land and blew out a huge beaver dam that released and slammed right into the Line Five area and created another area where Line Five is compromised and is on its way to disaster. The work of those Thunderbirds, the work of the power of our river, are clear, tangible, animate leadership signals to us that our home says “No, get out”, right? And so we’re gonna follow that up with the work that we have to do as a tribe, as a people, to get Enbridge off of our reservation and remove that imminent threat to our waters and to Lake Superior. So I wanted to share that with you tonight and just give you a quick update.

“And so since I’ve already talked too long, I’ll just go a little bit further. I just wanna acknowledge my elder, Joe Rose. Joe Rose has been in just about every environmental battle our tribe has had for the last 60 years, and his leadership, his grace under pressure, and his tireless effort has just been unbelievable. Not only from I think way back to the Nutralysis Garbage Incinerator, and all this other stuff. Recently the GTAC battle. In moments where all of us were exhausted, Joe would come in with energy and that warrior mentality and just light everybody up, and we’re off and running again. And we hosted legislators that were moved. Some of ‘em, like Senator Bob Jauch, and Dale Schultz, talk about time spent with Joe and our people and ceremony at Waverly Beach, at Joe’s roundhouse, as some of the most significant and important days they’ve ever had in their careers and their lives. And so he’s been that kind of warrior for us.

Bad River elder Joe Rose has been involved in every environmental battle in the Chequamagon Bay area of Lake Superior for the last 60 years. Ran for county office in 2016 and won a seat on the Board of Supervisors.                                   Photos by DKakkak

“Recently, through his efforts on the Ashland County board he led numerous committees head-on into the battle against this 9,000 strong pig CAFO they wanted to locate up in the headwaters of Chequamegon Bay. A pig CAFO that would release about 9,000,000 gallons of pig sewage a year untreated into that system and into the big lake. And you know, over in Wisconsin here, for you guys that may not be from Wisconsin, down by Madison, ironically enough, where Scat Walker ... Did I say “Scat”? Sorry. Where Walker held court there as the governor, you know, their lakes are turning green. Their lakes are turning green with that toxic algae bloom, and you know, I pray that they can find a way to clean that stuff up, but when massive water bodies like Lake Monona and the Waushara River and that, when those are turning pea-soup green, it underscores the importance and the integrity of the work that guys like Joe Rose and all the other folks in Chequamegon Bay region or Lake Superior region by us. The work that they’re doing to say “no” to some of the CAFOs and all of those other issues that are on the wingtips of those types of pig operations, and stuff like that.

“So I just can’t say enough, and I would just like you to give a round of applause to my elder Joe Rose here and all of his water protection work. So. With that I’m just gonna end my comments and just say it’s an honor to be here with all of you. There’s so many heroes and warriors and just amazing folks in a crowd, it’s just really cool to see everybody.

Joe Rose (pictured above): My Anishinaabe name is Rising Sun, I’m Eagle Clan of the Bad River band, and a member of the Midewin, or the Grand Medicine Society. Anishinaabe tradition tells us that we have recently entered into a new age. We refer to it as the Age of the Seventh Fire. And it was prophesied that in the age of the Seventh Fire, the Anishinaabe people would turn and look back and retrace their footsteps. Their footsteps would take them back to ancient times and ancient knowledge. They’d begin to pick up the sacred bundles that had fallen by the wayside, and go to those elders who had to take them underground for generations because of persecution.     

“And it was also prophesied that in this age of the Seventh Fire that a new people would arise. The Anishinaabe people were given a very special gift. We refer to it as Maskiki. Loosely interpreted, it means “medicine”, but along with that medicine goes the knowledge and the wisdom of how to live in harmony and balance with the four orders of creation. With the physical world, the plant world, the animal world, and the human world.

“And so along with a special gift goes the responsibility. So it’s a responsibility of the Anishinaabe people to share that knowledge of how to live in harmony and balance with the natural world with the people who come in all four colors on the medicine wheel. Red for the native American people, yellow for the Asians, Black for the Africans, and White for the Europeans. And so it was also said that in this age of the Seventh Fire that a new paradigm will arise, a new way of thinking. Wealth will no longer be measured in terms of money, materialistic good, the insatiable lust for political power and control. But true wealth will be measured in terms of clean water, fresh air, pristine wilderness, and a restoration of the balance. And as I look out here tonight I see you. You are the new people. Mio-minik Indiniwaemagunadug.

Winona LaDuke: Migwetch Joe Rose, for that teaching tool. So, and our last awardees for tonight ... One more time I just wanna thank Bad River. Are they a cool bunch, or what? They came far, too. And our last honorees are dear to my heart. They’re all very dear to my heart, but tonight I wanna in particular Honor The Earth wanted to honor the Youth Climate Interveners. Now these are some young people, as you gathered in the name “Youth”, that have stood up. Teenagers. Teenagers up to in their 20s, and they have stood with us as Honor The Earth, fighting the pipelines. And what they said is, they’ll talk about who they are, but when you’re out there in the state regulatory process at the Public Utilities Commission and you’re looking across the table at Enbridge’s many, many lawyers dressed in white shirts, and you’re the people, and you know that that’s a big corporation that’s got one plan for you, that someone’s gonna have to stand up, and not everybody’s gonna like you when you stand up, and it takes a lot of courage, and they’re gonna try to smack you down in that system as much as they can, and discourage you.

“But you look up there and you see these young people. I went to a lot of hearings. We had a lot of lawyers, and I’m thankful to our lawyers, but what I have to say is the best lawyers there were the Youth Climate Interveners. They spoke their hearts, they asked their questions, and they stood for the youth. And so when I thought of how proud I am of this next generation, and how grateful I am, we really wanted to honor them tonight. So I’m gonna ask Nina and Nolan to come up here. Bring your sister up too. I believe your mother has come. But these two, every hearing. Every hearing. I’m really proud to know them, and really proud to stand with them as water protectors. And the next generation is beautiful. So we’re gonna give you a little blanket. The Nolan family can share the blanket,

Nina Bergland: (Lakota/Northern Cheyenne) Hello, everybody. My spirit name is Northern Lights Woman, and my English name is Nina Bergland. I am 19 years old, and I grew up in the East side of Saint Paul, here in Minnesota.

“I’m really honored to be here, to be able to speak in front of all you guys, to be able to receive this award on behalf of the Youth Climate Interveners. It’s been a long road. It’s been a long road for us, over this past year from having to attend all these hearings, attend all these different meetings and speaking in front of these people with the intimidation factor that they were really trying to push onto us, but we kept going. ‘Cause we cannot let these people make these bad decisions on behalf of our futures. We refuse to accept, defeat at the hands of a corporation that only is controlled by greed, that only cares about money. That our grandchildren deserve such a beautiful future that we will never stop fighting. That we refuse to stand down, because if our ancestors did that we would not be sitting here today.

“So always think about what kind of ancestor do you wanna be? Because I know that the ones who came before me thought, and did, and acted with me and my family, with my grandchildren in mind. So it’s upon us. We take it upon ourselves to enforce that same thought, because that’s what’s going to keep us going. That’s what’s going to ensure our children a beautiful future, it’s if we do every decision, we make every single decision with them in mind. So when we talk about how important it is that we continue on, we would not be able to drink the water now if it was not our ancestors saying “no”. We want our grandchildren to be able to have clean water. We want our grandchildren to be able to hunt and gather in the way in which they were. And so we did everything that we could with this regulatory process. We filed legal briefings. We wrote opinion articles. We spoke in front of these commissioners, in front of Enbridge themselves, and we straight up said “We refuse to let this pipeline go through.” So we fought it in the courts, and you will catch us on the front lines fighting for our future and fighting for our people, ‘cause we will never stand down. Because every day is a good day to die if it’s for your future. Thank you.

Nolan Bergland: Hello, my relatives. My Lakota name is Morning Star. My American name is Nolan Bergland. I’m 17 years old. I grew up here in Minnesota. I’m an enrolled member of the Northern Cheyenne Nation, but I’m also a proud Oglala Lakota. And throughout the last few years me and my family have gotten more into the pipeline movements, and learning more about how what happens to our lands impacts us, and when I look around at my nieces and nephews, I want them to grow up in a future where they can see the beauty that I was able to see. They will be able to breathe the clean air and drink the fresh water, ‘cause like my sister said, that’s what our ancestors thought about us. They wanted us to be able to see that glory that this earth has to offer, and I can only wish that we can continue fighting for our future, for our grandchildren.

Winona LaDuke: My sister here, Liz Jacquela and her family come up and sing again as an honoring for this.

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Native News Update January 25, 2019

January 25, 2019 - 2:11am

This week's stories:  Damage and lasting impact the Government shutdown is having on Indian Country – Message from Ernie Stevens, Jr.; Raising awareness about disaster aid on reservations; Patty Loew receives Martin Luther King Heritage award; The American Indian Graduate Center launches new brand identity and tagline; 13 year old water protector to speak at the United Nations General Assembly.

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A tribute to those who always imagined Native women in the Congress

January 21, 2019 - 10:45am

By Mark Trahant
- Indian Country Today -

Congress is not quite yet a representative body: Four Native Americans in Congress equals two-thirds of one percent.

January 2nd was all about Rep. Sharice Davids, D-Kansas, and Rep. Deb Haaland, D-New Mexico, the first two Native American women to be elected to the Congress of the United States.

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Seminoles host American Indian Arts Celebration

January 20, 2019 - 12:04pm

By Sandra Hale Schulman
- News From Indian Country -

Hoop dancers, films, artisans from New Zealand and even alligator wrestling made for a lively weekend Indian Arts festival at the Seminole Big Cypress Reservation nestled in the Florida Everglades this last November. The spacious Ah Tah Thi Ki Museum grounds hosted the Indian Arts Festival with dozens of vendors, regional foods, music and more.

Entering the grounds there were dozens of vendors selling gorgeous Seminole patchwork skirts, shirts, jackets and dresses with capes.

The Seminole have a particular style of dress whose history is catalogued in the nearby museum. Clothing in this hot humid mosquito and gator filled terrain required people to be dressed head to toe in light fabrics but keeping arms and legs well covered.

Heavy rows of bead necklaces and feathered headdresses topped feet clad in animal skin boots and moccasins. When sewing machines were introduced by traders in the early part of the century, a dense colorful row of rickrack and stripes were added into the mix. Inside the museum are mannequins and dioramas depicting how the Seminoles lived in this remote and often inhospitable climate.

As more complicated fabrics made their way into the area the fabrics got wilder with sequins, cartoons, and even camouflage patterns. A narrated fashion show brought out elders and kids alike to parade the history and evolution of the clothing.

Alligator wrestling is a huge part of the Seminole history. These prehistoric beasts have always been a source of food and clothing, now a large part of the tourist attraction with wrestling shows and airboat tours of the Everglades to see them out in the wild. Wrestler Billy Walker demonstrated how to drag them by the tail, mount their backs and hold their jaws open to see the surprisingly white mouth and rows of fearsome teeth as the crowd oohed and aahed. He made it look easy but be warned, many a Seminole have lost their fingers to this game, including former Chief Jim Billie.

Walker finished with the gator show then picked up a machete in a nearby chickee hut to chop open some palm stalks to get at the tasty heart of palm deep inside. Cut up into small pieces, the palm makes a good hot dish boiled with garlic or cold with tomatoes. The Seminole have a pretty rich diet with deer, birds, fish, turtle, gator and many wild plants to choose from.

After the wrestling and food tasting, a major attraction came out – Nakotah LaRance, (Hopi/Tewa/Assiniboine) from OhKay Owingeh Pueblo, New Mexico, the world’s best hoop dancer. With his five hoop routine, he’s acted in movies (three films in three years including Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee), danced in a music video (“Geronimo,” by The Knocks and Fred Falke), and put in a two year stint as a featured artist with the touring company Cirque du Soleil’s Totem, where he played the part of “an Amerindian dancer who traced the evolution of species with his rings.”

In his spellbinding performance, LaRance picked up each hoop and then effortlessly transformed them into a fluttering butterfly, a snapping gator, an elegant eagle, and other animal shapes. The finale turned the hoops into a globe he placed on the ground and danced around to symbolize that we are all one. Accompanied by a hand drummer, he is a top notch performer and a major attraction for the festival.

Miss Seminole and Jr. Miss Seminole

Seminole Goth

The Seminoles hosted a cultural exchange Wikuki Kingi and Tania Wolfgramm, Maori natives from New Zealand who demonstrated elaborate wood carving in the forms of clubs embedded with abalone shell and a canoe. Tania worked on a painting all week and presented the finished work, “Future intentions”, to the Seminole Tribe Culture Dept. Back in New Zealand, Wikuki created a landmark carved archway that holds symbols of the Maori history.

The Seminoles also hosted the filmmakers of “More Than A Word” a cutting documentary that analyzes various sports mascot and team names, particularly the Washington football team and their use of the derogatory term Redskins. Using interviews from both those in favor of changing the name and those against, “More Than A Word” explores this hot button topic and presents a deeper analysis of the issues surrounding the sports teams names.

The documentary also examines the history of Native American cultural appropriation and how far back this use of native names within sports organizations goes. The two filmmakers went to sporting events, protests, government offices and even to Native Comic Con to get the story on how the various sides feel about the issue. It’s a complex issue, one that works against history and prejudice.

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Native News Update January 18, 2019

January 19, 2019 - 2:30am

This week's stories:  MMIW campaign launches in South Dakota; Another Native American woman sworn into office wearing traditional regalia; Indigenous People’s March in Washington DC; AARP Oklahoma Indian Elders Honors accepting nominations; Rights of Manoomin has been adopted by the Whiter Earth Band of Ojibwe and the 1855 Treaty Authority.

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What do you hear?

January 17, 2019 - 1:57pm

By Arne Vainio, M.D.
News From Indian Country

This had been a complicated operation and the incision was long. The sutures needed to come out and this was going to take some time. After any surgical procedure, the sutures need to stay in long enough to allow the incision to heal and stick, but not so long that they become a wick for bacteria and a risk for infection.

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It ain’t easy being Indian...(January 2019)

January 17, 2019 - 1:41pm

By Ricey Wild
News From Indian Country

I bid 2018 no fond goodbyes, not one shred of wistful memories or lump in my throat of Auld Lang Syne. In fact, I tell last year to just piss off and that despite the massive effort to take me out it failed. Pfft! Begone! Begone I say!

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Chippewa establish Rights of Manoomin through-out 1855 ceded territory

January 16, 2019 - 8:21pm

Rice Lake, Minnesota - (ICC)

During January the White Earth Band of Ojibwe and the 1855 Treaty Authority adopted Rights of Manoomin for on and off reservation protection of wild rice and the clean, fresh water resources and habits in which it thrives. The Rights of Manoomin were adopted because “it has become necessary to provide a legal basis to protect wild rice and fresh water resources as part of our primary treaty foods for future generations” according to resolutions.

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Native nominees shine in several Grammy categories

January 14, 2019 - 6:57pm

By Sandra Hale Schulman
-News From Indian Country-

The 61st annual Grammy Awards will be held Feb. 10, 2019, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, and once again Native musicians, despite not having their own restrictive traditional music category, shine in genres from country to roots music to film.

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We should be giving sanctuary to Indigenous Natives from the South

January 14, 2019 - 6:31pm

By Doug George-Kanentiio
 -News From Indian Country-
When I watch the reports of the thousands of people coming north from their homelands in Central America I do not see Hondurans, Guatemalans, El Salvadorians; I see indigenous people, our southern kin, fleeing countries which have become overwhelmed by vicious gangs whose drug money comes directly from sales made in the United States.

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Walking On as listed in the January 2019 NFIC

January 14, 2019 - 5:58pm

Arizona, Fort Defiance – Funeral service for Sonyia Theresa Gray was held Dec. 12, 2018 at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament in Fort Defiance. Sonyia was born Apr. 4, 1991 in Gallup, NM. Sonyia passed away Nov. 22, 2018 in Phoenix. A Celebration of Life was held at the St. Dominic Hall in Fort Defiance.

Sonyia is survived by her parents, Duane and Theresa Tsosie. (Navajo Times, December 6, 2018)

Arizona, Fort Defiance – Funeral services for Melissa Ann Scott, 40, of Coalmine, NM were held Dec. 7, 2018 at the Good Sheppard Mission in Fort Defiance. Burial followed in Fort Defiance. Melissa was born Oct. 23, 1978 in Fort Defiance, into the Tachii’nii (Red Running Into the Water People Clan), born for Todich’ii’nii (Bitter Water Clan). Melissa passed away Dec. 3, 2018 in Coalmine.

Melissa is survived by her sons, Byron B. and Bryan Scott; mother, Louise Shirley; brothers, Darrell A., Jarrell Shirley and Mike Scott; sisters, Elouise Whitney, Elvera Saganey and Patricia Scott; and two grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her father, Alfred Shirley; brother, Michael Scott; aunt, Anita Scott; uncle, Oscar Scott; grandmother, Alice Scott; and grandfather, George Etsitty.

Melissa attended Dine College and received an associate’s degree in business administration. (Navajo Times, December 6, 2018)

Arizona, Tuba City – Funeral services for Lawrence Williams, 59, were held Dec. 8, 2018 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Tuba City. Interment followed at the Tuba City cemetery. Lawrence was born Oct. 17, 1959, in Monument Valley, UT., into the Ye’ii Tachii’nii dine’e (Giant People Clan), bprm for Biih bitoodnii (Deer Spring Clan). Lawrence passed away Dec. 3, 2018, at his home in Cameron, AZ.

Lawrence is survived by his daughters, Kimberly Upshaw and Lisa Marie Williams; sons, Lance, Lariat, and Robertson Williams; sisters, Linda Williams, Verlene Henry, Maeta Beck, Tinna H. Willie, Caroline Simpson, Alma J. Sutherland, June M. Wauneka, Velma Perez, and Audrey Payton. He is preceded in death by his mother, Evelyn Crank Huskon; father, Jerry Williams; and brother, Alex Williams.

Lawrence attended Utah Technical College studying to become an electrication. He worked as a rancher, worked in the uranium mines and became well known for making bows and arrows. (Navajo Times, December 13, 2018)

Colorado, Cortez – Funeral services for Elijah Blair, 90, were held at a later date in Page. Elijah was born Nov. 28, 1927 in McRoberts, KY. Elijah passed away Nov. 23, 2018 at Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George, UT.

Elijah is survived by his son, James Caler Blair (Sandy); daughters, Kathy Ann Blair (Robert Ingeholm), and Vonda Garland (Bill); and six grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents, James Lee and Maggie (Ison) Blair; wife, Claudia Nell (Caler) Blair; infant daughter, Sandra K. Blair; and siblings, Denver, Raymond, Bradley, Serena Blair, Hazel Tolliver, Pauline Forrester and Marian Morrison. (Navajo Times, December 6, 2018)

Minnesota, Red Lake – A traditional wake for Vernon Andrew John May,”Giiwedinowinini” (Northern Man), Migizii (Eagle Clan), 34, began Dec. 4, 2018 and continued until the service Dec. 6, 2018 at the Little Rock Center in Red Lake, MN. Vernon was born Aug. 9, 1984 in Red Lake, MN., to Valerie May and Vernon Jones. Vernon passed away Nov. 28, 2018 in Bemidji, MN.

Vernon is survived by his parents; seven children, Andrew, Tatum, Tessa, Vernon Jr, Tahzia and Curtis; sisters, Sarah May and Roseanne Heinonen; brothers, Jacob and Rick May; and numerous nieces and nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles. He is preceded in death by his grandparents, Sally E. Neadeau and Arnold G. May; aunt, Gail May; brother, Curtis Heinonen; nephew, Jason Timbear May; cousins, Timothy Geionety, Sally May-O’Keefe, Larry Smallwood, Delton Buckanaga and Jeff Bellcourt.

Vernon was a jack of all trades. (The Red Lake Nation, December 2, 2018)

Minnesota, Red Lake – A wake for Eileen Rochelle Mendoza, 67, began Dec. 10, 2018 and continue until her funeral service Dec. 12, 2018 at the Red Lake Community Center in Red Lake, MN. Interment was at the Episcopal Cemetery in Red Lake, MN. Eileen was born May 10, 1951 in Red Lake, MN., to Chester and Mamie (Gurneau) Morrison. Eileen passed away Dec. 5, 2018 at the Hennepin County Medical Center.

Eileen is survived by her son, Edwin Lone; daughters, Trina Fairbanks and Nikki Garcia; eight grandchildren, two great-grandchildren; sisters, Rhonda Morrison, Diane Graves and Marlys Morrison; many other relatives and friends. She is preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Gary, Greg, and Joseph Morrison; sister, June “Tiny’ May; grandson, Trey Fairbanks; nephews; and other relatives and friends. (The Red Lake Nation, December 2, 2018)

New Mexico, Gallup – Funeral services for Derryl Anthony Owens, 71, were held Dec. 18, 2018 at Rollie Mortuary in Gallup. Interment followed at the Sunset Memorial Park in Gallup. Derryl was born Dec. 28, 1946 in Los Angeles, CA. He passed away Dec. 11, 2018 in Brimhall, NM.

Derryl is survived by his wife, Lucy M. Owens; brother, Mark Churchill; children, Bruce Morgan, Victor, Tremayne, Phoebe, Lucinda, and Earlene Hicks; 17 grandchildren and 35 great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his mother, Lily Churchill and father, Eddie Owens.

Derryl worked at Gurley Motor Company for 39 years. (Navajo Times, December 2, 2018)

New Mexico, Gallup – Funeral services for Nancy Eskeets, 80, were held Dec. 20, 2018 at Rollie Mortuary in Gallup. Burial followed at the family plot in Mariano Lake, NM. Nancy was born Aug. 8, 1938, in Mariano Lake, into the Biih bitoodnii (Deer Spring Clan), born for Deeshchii’nii (Start of the Red Streak People Clan). Her nali is Ts’ah yisk’idnii (Sage Brush Hill); chei is Ashiihi (Salt People). Nancy passed away Dec. 16, 2018, in Grants, NM.

Nancy is survived by her sons, Timmy Dehiya, Darrell and Harold Eskeets; sister, Rose Ann Shirley; and brother, Stanley Dehiya. She is preceded in death by her parents, Angie and Frank Dehiya. (Navajo Times, December 2, 2018)

New Mexico, Gallup – Funeral services for Ann Shirley Tso, 82, of Gallup were held Dec. 8 2018 at the First Baptist Church in Gallup. Burial followed in Grand Junction, CO. Ann was born July 15, 1936, in Rehoboth, NM., into the Kiyaa’aanii (Towering House Clan), born for Todich’ii’nii (Bitter Water Clan). Ann passed away Nov. 5, 2018 in Gallup.

Ann is survived by her brother, Eddie Tsosie; sister, Jean Tso. She is preceded in death by her parents, Juanita and Mike Tso; brothers, Norman and Calvin Tso.

Ann attended Intermountain Bible College and Los Angeles City College. She worked for Peabody Energy and as a secretary in Los Angeles. (Navajo Times, December 6, 2018)

Washington, Yakama – Funeral service for Debbie Rae Baldwin, 63, were held Dec. 22, 2018 in the Valley Hills Funeral Home in Wapato, WA. Burial followed at the Reservation Community Memorial Park, Wapato, WA. Debbie was born Apr. 15, 1955 in Toppenish, WA., to Arlen Ramos and Ledenies “Mary” (Whalawitsa) Moses. Debbie passed away Dec. 12, 2018.

Debbie is survived by her parents; husband, Randy Baldwin; children, Jackie McLavey (Sterling) McLavey; grandchildren, Kayla (Briana) Deane, Nacona (Lewis) Fraser, Zoe and Dessa McLavey, and Danner and Jessie Deane; three great-grandchildren, Bryson Harnden, Forest and Hadley Fraser; and numerous other family members. She is preceded in death by her first husband, Gary McLavey; grandmothers, Kate Whalawitsa and Martha Moses; grandson, Stowse Lee Deane, and family members, Clarence, Ed, Jakie and Johnny Whalawitsa.

Debbie was a enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation. She worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington, Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico and Shepard Air Force Base in Texas. (Yakama Nation Review, December 19, 2018)

Washington, Toppenish – Funeral services for Victor L. Kahama, 84, of Toppenish were held Dec. 17, 2018 in White Swan Community Center. Burial followed in the Reservation Community Memorial Park, Wapato, WA. Victor was born Aug. 7 1934, in Tocoma, WA., to Ernest and Agnes (Bill) Kahama. Victor passed away Dec. 12, 2018 in Toppenish, WA.

Victor is survived by his sister, Maxine Kahama Hamilton; numerous nieces and nephews. He is preceded by his parents; and three siblings.

Victor was an enrolled member of the Yakama Nation. He served in the U.S. Navy. He worked as a carpenter and caregiver. He was a member of the Yakama Warriors Association. (Yakama Nation Review, December 19, 2018)

Wisconsin, Hayward - Tribal Funeral Rites for Anthony W. Woller, Waha Nuup, “Two Crow”, 30, of Hayward, WI were held Dec. 12, 2018 at Pineview Funeral Service in Hayward. Burial was in Round Lake Cemetery. Anthony passed away Dec. 10, 2018 at his home. Anthony William Woller was born May 19, 1988 in Hayward, WI to Robert Blackdeer and Shelley (Woller) Gerich.

He is survived by mother, Shelley (Duane) Gerich; father, Robert Blackdeer Sr.; grandparents, Joseph & Janice Goldman, and Letha Ellis; brothers, Robert Blackdeer Jr., Johnathan Blackdeer, Cody Gerich, Ryan Gerich; sisters, Heather Peterson, Angelina Blackdeer, Cara Jean Isham; uncles, aunts and numerous nephews, nieces and cousins.Anthony was preceded in death by grandfather, Dudley LaRonge.

During Anthony’s younger years he loved to play hockey, as a goalie and was known as “Brick”. During his teen years, Anthony discovered his true passion when he began to Drum with the Boys and Girls Club drum group, Grindstone Creek. RJ Smith introduced him to the Pow Wow Circuit.

Wisconsin, Hayward - A Memorial Mass for Mark D. Guibord Sr., age 59, of LCO was held Jan. 4, 2019 at St. Francis Solanus Indian Mission in Reserve. Mark D. Guibord, 59, of LCO. Mark passed away Dec. 25, 2018 at Maple Ridge Care Center in Spooner, WI. Mark was born Mar. 15, 1959 in Hayward, WI to Norma Guibord.

Mark is survived by his son, Mark Guibord Jr.; daughter, Belinda Guibord; six grandchildren; brothers, Eugene (Corrina) Guibord, Scott (Melody) Guibord, Michael (Shelly) Guibord; sisters, LuAnn (Ernie) Kolumbus & Wanda (Bert) LaBarge; and many nephews & nieces. He is preceded in death by his mother, Norma Guibord; son, Logan Guibord; and brother, Kevin Guibord.

Wisconsin, Hayward - Funeral Service for Stuart Blaine Miller, 63, were held Jan. 10, 2019 at Pineview Funeral Service in Hayward. Military Honors will be accorded by LCO AmVets Post #1998. Stuart was born Jan. 25, 1955 in Hayward, WI to George and Audrey (Gokey) Miller. Stuart B. Miller of LCO passed away Jan. 6, 2019 at his home.

Stuart is survived by his daughter, Raeanna (Kevin) Saltz; grandson, Kevin Saltz Jr; granddaughter, Michelle Saltz; brother, Troy Burchfield; sisters, Karen Ackley, Margaret (LaVern) Miller-Timp, Kelli Fowler, Darlene Fowler; and many nephews & nieces. He is preceded in death by his three infant sons, Stuart, Anthony & George Miller; parents; brothers, Gary Miller, Dave Miller, Gene Burchfield; sisters, Gloria Miller & Andrea Sparks.

He joined the United States Marines in 1974 as an aircraft & engine mechanic. After his military service he worked for LCO Development as a truck driver.

Wisconsin, Hayward - Mass of Christian Burial for Gary Michael Gougé, age 59, of Whitefish, WI was held Jan. 11, 2019 at St. Francis Solanus Indian Mission in Reserve. Burial followed in St. Francis Cemetery. Gary was born June 30, 1959 in Hayward, WI to Elmer “Tiny” and Martina (Frogg) Gougé. Gary passed away Jan. 5, 1919 at home.

Gary is survived by his mother; son, Jonathan Gougé; daughters, Bambi Cross, Debra Jack, Tara Gougé & Journie Gougé; and six grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his father: grandparents, George & Hattie Gougé, and Rachael Wade and James Frogg.

Gary was employed at LCO and Winter Grocery Stores as a meat cutter. Gary then worked for LCO Housing for over 20 years.

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Native News Update January 11, 2019

January 11, 2019 - 8:50pm

This week's stories:  Rep. Ruth Buffalo introduced bills to help solve crimes against Native Americans; The Cherokee Nation applauds passage of JOM reform bill; Native American Community Academy Inspired Schools Network named a winner in the My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge Competition; Wyoming tribal license plates to benefit Native American UW scholarships; Joy Harjo is named one of the new chancellors at the Academy of American Poets.

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Native News Update January 4, 2019

January 4, 2019 - 2:29pm

This week's stories:  New farm bill benefits tribes; Native American remains discovered in Washington; New museum exhibit supports the return of killer whale Tokitae; First tribal aviary in Northwest welcomes six eagles; Woolsey fire unearths cultural sites.

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Northern Wisconsin Chippewa Tribes file lawsuit against State

December 26, 2018 - 6:51pm


Four Chippewa tribes in northern Wisconsin filed a federal lawsuit against Governor Scott Walker and other officials over the state’s attempts to collect property taxes on reservation lands acquired through an 1854 treaty.

The complaint, filed November 30th in Madison federal court, says it is in response to state officials’ efforts “to assess, collect and enforce taxes under Chapter 70 of the Wisconsin Statutes upon properties owned in fee simple by the tribes and their members” within the boundaries of their respective reservations.

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Walking On as listed in the December 2018 NFIC

December 26, 2018 - 6:22pm

Arizona, Window Rock – A funeral service for Harrison Yazzie, 65, of Pine Springs, was held Nov. 2, 2018 at the Window Rock Christian reformed Church.  Harrison was born Dec. 29, 1953, in Fort Defiance, into the Honaghaahnii (One-walks-around Clan), born for Kiyaa’aanii (Towering House Clan).  Harrison passed away Oct. 29, 2018, in Flagstaff.

Harrison is survived by his spouse, Denise Williams Yazzie; sons, Westley Davis and Harris “Colby” Yazzie, Tye Browne, and Farin Begay; daughter, Delilah Browne Yazzie; brothers, Paul and Peterson Yazzie, and Rodger Frank; sisters, Elizabeth Ashley, Cecelia Benally, Helen Aseret, and Alice Yellowhair; and 10 grandchildren.  He is preceded in death by his parents, Katherine and Steven Yazzie; and grandparents, Mary and John Six.

Harrison attended the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 640 Apprenticeship Trade School in Phoenix and was employed with IBEW 640 for 35 years. (Navajo Times, November 1, 2018)

Arizona, St. Michaels – Funeral service for Laurice A. Price, 46, of Fort Defiance was held Nov. 3, 2018 at the Mary, Mother of Mankind Church in St. Michaels.  Interment followed at the family plot in Fort Defiance.  Laurice was born June 26, 1972, in Fort Defiance, into the Tabaaha (Water’s Edge Clan), born for Tl’aashchi’I (Red Bottom People Clan).  Laurice passed away Oct. 31, 2018, in Gallup.

Laurice is survived by her brother, Lorne A. Price; sisters, Lorinda Roanhorse and Lenora Whippi; and three grandchildren.  She is preceded in death by her parents, Dorothy and Lorenzo Price; and grandparents, Ruth and Dean Hickman. (Navajo Times, November 8, 2018)

Arizona, Fort Defiance – Funeral service for Tyrone Michael Allen Nez Sr., 39, of Fort Defiance, was held Nov. 10, 2018 at the Family Church Assembly of God in Fort Defiance.  Burial followed in Fort Defiance. Tyrone was born July 2, 1979, in Gallup, into Ashiihi (Salt People Clan), born for Todich’ii’nii (Bitter Water Clan). Tyrone passed away Nov. 3, 2018 in Phoenix.

Tyrone is survived by his sons, Tremahn, Trevon, Zavion, Julien Nez and Tyrone Nez Jr.; parents, Carolyn Bailey, Mike Nez;, and Helena Peshlakai-Nez; brothers, Christopher, Donovan, Marco Derrick, and Delbert Nez; sisters, Twila Dickson, Moriko, Delia, and Elizabeth Nez; grandparents, Nellie Wiedmeyer and Daniel Atcitty Sr.; and four grandchildren.  He is preceded in death by Lillian R. Atcitty and Monieka Monta Nez.

Tyrone attended the University of Arizona.  He was an artist, tattoo artist, and master gardener. (Navajo Times, November 8, 2018)

Arizona, St. Michaels – Funeral services for Laurice A. Price, 46, of Fort Defiance, were held Nov. 3, 2018 at the Mary, Mother of Mankind Church in St. Michaels.  Interment followed at the family plot in Fort Defiance.  Laurice was born June 26, 1972, in Fort Defiance, into the Tabaaha (Water’s Edge Clan), born for Tl’aashchi’i (Red Bottom People Clan).  Laurice passed away Oct. 31, 2018, in Gallup.

Laurice is survived by her brother, Lorne A. Price; sisters, Lorinda Roanhorse and Lenora Whippi; and three grandchildren.  She is preceded in death by her parents, Dorothy and Lorenzo Price; and grandparents, Ruth and Dean Hickman. (Navajo Times, November 8, 2018)

Minnesota, Prairie Island Indian CommunityArt Owen, “Sung Ska Natan”, “His White Horse Charges”, 68, passed away Oct. 27, 2018.  Art was born Dec. 7, 1949 to Amos and Ione Owen in Red Wing, MN. Services were already held.

Art enlisted in the Army and served in the Vietnam War.  When returned home he attended the University of Minnesota and London School of Economics where he studied political science. Art was the spiritual leader of the Prairie Island Indian Community. One of his biggest accomplishments was helping to recover a sacred peace pipe given by a Dakota chief named Sunka Ska (White Dog) to a U.S. soldier after the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862.  Art oversaw ceremonies to restore it to the community.  He also fought to change the names of Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis  and Barn Bluff in Red Wing to their Dakota names, which he did by building bridges though education. (Star Tribune, November 23, 2018)

Minnesota, Red Lake – A wake began Nov. 3, 2018 and continued until traditional services Nov. 5, 2018 for Keith Wayne Lussier Sr., “Waa-Waash Binesi”, “Swift Bird”, 63, of the Eagle Clan and Red Lake, MN., were held at the Redby Community Center in Redby, MN.  Interment followed at the Lussier family burial site at Red Lake.  Keith was born Apr. 2, 1955 to Marcella (StandingCloud) and William Lussier Sr., in Minneapolis, MN.  Keith passed away Nov. 1, 2018 at home.

Keith is survived by his wife, Polly Lussier; daughters, Clarissa and Rose Lussier; sons, Robert Lussier Sr., and Keith Lussier Jr.; grandchildren, Paul Lee, Rick, Darin, Westin, Lindsey, KaeLeigh, Lily, Keith III, John, Lucille, Robert Jr., Michael, LaRissa, Caylah, Cereena, Ivan, Amaya, Andrea and Elijah; great-grandchildren, Alayna and Aria; special niece, Money Woman Stately; other nieces and nephews and many friends. He is preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Wilma and Laura Lussier and Linda Lachner; nephews, Jason Lussier and Johnson BrownEagle and other relatives.

Keith was the Chairman of the Grand Governing Counsel of the American Indian Movement (AIM) and the Chairman of the Northern Eagle AIM Chapter of Red Lake. (The Red Lake Nation, November 9, 2018)

Minnesota, Red Lake – A wake began Nov. 6, 2018 and continued until traditional services on Nov. 8, 2018 for Dorothy “Dot” Wilma Cobenais, “Azha waa shik”, “Crossing Over” 73, of the Bear Clan and Redby, MN., were held at the New Redby Community Center in Redby, MN. Interment followed in the St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery at Red Lake, MN.  Dorothy was born Apr. 30, 1945 to Dorothy Roy and William Oakgrove in Red Lake, MN.  Dorothy passed away Nov. 2, 2018 at the Red Lake HIS Hospital in Red Lake, MN.

Dorothy is survived by her sons, Myron (Crystal) Cobenais Sr., Michael (LeeAnn) Cobenais and Gary Cobenais; sister, Sharolyn Ramsey; special granddaughter, Andi Cobenais; 15 grandkids, 15 great-grandkids; niece, Jackie Ramsey; goddaughter, Dion Kelly; many relatives and friends.  She is preceded in death by her husband, Duane Cobenais Sr.; son, Duane Cobenais Jr.; parents; granddaughters, Mikey Jo Cobenais, Noelle and Michelana Roy; nephew, Richard Ramsey Jr.; and aunt, Philomene Oakgrove.

Dorothy attended Small Business Administrative Classes in Chicago, IL.  She worked as crew leader for the YCC Program and a member of the Red Lake School Board and also at the Red Lake Food Distribution and Housing.  She formed the Helping Hands Committee in Redby District and was the Director of the Elderly Nutrition Program. (The Red Lake Nation, November 9, 2018)

Minnesota, Red Lake – A wake for Georgia “Georgie” Lee (May) Roy, 63, of Red Lake, MN began on Nov. 9, 2018 and continued until her funeral services on Nov. 11, 2018 held at the New Little Rock Community Center in Red Lake.  Interment followed in the St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery.  Georgia was born Apr. 26, 1955 to Margaret (Sumner) and Phillip May Sr. in Red Lake, MN.  Georgia passed away Nov. 6, 2018 at the Sanford Medical Center in Fargo, ND.

Georgia is survived by her husband, Bruce Roy; sons, Henry (Brooke) Jr., Phillip (Darcy) Sr. Sayers; daughters, Eileen (Will) and Merri Jo (Jon) Sayers; brothers, Gerald Sr., Phillip Jr., Tom Sr. and Darrell May, Sr.; sisters, Ramona, Vickie, Melvina and Carla May and Elgene Lasley; special grandson, Jerricho Redeagle; 21 grandchildren, 4 great-grandchildren, numerous nieces, nephews, and relatives and friends.  She is preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Ned, Peter and Clement May; grandson, Baby Hank; uncles, Dumpy and John Sumner; niece, Marilayne May and grandparents.

Georgia worked at the Red Lake Casino and as a Para at the Early Childhood Center. (The Red Lake Nation, November 20, 2018)

Minnesota, Red Lake – A wake began Nov. 12, 2018 and continued until the Traditional services for Lynette “Neddy” Sue Tyler, “Awanikwe”, “Fogwoman”, 69, of Red Lake were held Nov. 14, 2018 at the Red Lake Center.  Interment followed St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Red Lake.  Lynette was born Sept. 18, 1949 to Benedict and Mary (Prentice) Lawrence.  Lynette passed away Nov. 8, 2018 at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.

Lynette is survived by her sons, John Lee Tyler J., William, Ben, Marcus (Sabrina) Allen Tyler Sr.; daughters, Ceceilia and Gloria Tyler and Trudy (Chris) Jourdain and special daughter, Amelia “Mimi” Tyler; 26 grandchildren, 1 great-grandchild; sisters, Judy (Victor) Roy, Lisa (Earl) Thomas, Benita Lawrence, Davette Mason; brother Francis Lawrence; numerous nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Harold and Gerard “Gary” Lawrence; granddaughter, Kaitlyn Marie Tyler; grandson, James Anthony Tyler; nephew, Brian Lawrence; special son, Clarence Sayers Jr., and nephew, Anthony Chosa.

Lynette attended Bemidji State University and graduated with an associate degree in early childhood education. She worked at Red Lake Gaming, Red Lake Equay Wiigamig (women’s shelter), Red Lake Headstart and retired in 2018 from the Red Lake Immersion program. (The Red Lake Nation, November 20, 2018)

Minnesota, Red Lake – A wake began Nov. 15, 2018 and continued until funeral services Nov. 16, 2018 for Almeda Rose (Lussier) Strong, 81, of the Bear Clan and Redby, MN., were held at the New Redby Community Center in Redby MN.  Interment followed at the St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery at Red Lake, MN.  Almeda was born Dec. 18, 1936 to Isadore and Rose (King) Lussier.  Almeda passed away Nov. 12, 2018 at the Sanford Hospital in Bemidji, MN.

Almeda is survived by her children, Clayton (Luanne) Strong Sr., Winona (Jim) Dudley and Peter (Mary) Strong Jr.; siblings, Thelberta Lussier, Barbara Vasquez, Doyla Lussier, Jackie DeFoe, Lamonte Lussier and Joseph Thunder; grandchildren, Stephen, Clayton Jr., Floris, Floyd, Ron, Joe, Harrison, Derek, Rick and Dillon; great-grandchildren, Sean, Shane, Chase, Amera, Miles, Clayton III, Kiana, Jerrell, Lilah, Jayla, Ramena, Kachine, Patrick, Silas, Lorna, Harrison Jr., Robyn, Garrick, Arianne, Aaliyah, Paige, Aries, Tyrell, Andrew, Raelee, Areyanna, Nakiah, Sheanna, Tayvon and Ahniyah; and one great-great-granddaughter; many nieces, nephews, cousins, relatives and friends.  She is preceded in death by her parents; daughter, Lennette Rose Strong; brother, “Wishie” Thunder; grandchildren, Peter William Strong III and James Robert Dudley Jr.; great-grandchildren, Aiden Harvey Strong; twin boys, Dee and Carmen, and Gavin LaDuke.

Almeda attended Haskell Institute in Lawrence, KS. Almeda worked for Comp Health for more than 20 years before working as the Director of ENP.  She also worked as a Gift Shop Manager and Seven Clans Casino and the Head Start Program as a cook and after going back to school she learned how to care for special needs children and then became a Special Education Teacher’s Aide. (The Red Lake Nation, November 20, 2018)

New Mexico, Gallup – Funeral service for Larry A. Jones, 70, of Mentmore, NM., was held Nov. 1, 2018 at Rollie Mortuary Palm Chapel in Gallup.  Burial followed at Sunset Memorial Park in Gallup.  Larry was born Jan. 4, 1948, in Rocky Point, NM., into the Kinyaa’aanii (Towering House Clan), born for Tl’ogi (Hairy Ones/Weaver-Zia Clan).  His nali is Todich’ii’nii (Bitter Water); chei is Tabaaha (Water’s Edge). Larry passed away Oct. 29, 2018 in Albuquerque.

Larry is survived by his son, Robert “Ziggy” Jones; daughters, Kathleen  and Yolanda Jones; mother, Elizabeth Tom; stepfather, George E. Tom; brothers, Henry and Joseph Haley, and Dan Jones; and four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Larry attended Vo-Tech School for auto body and graduated for Haskell Indian Junior College.  He worked for Gurley Motors Body Shop and did labor/maintenance for his community in Mentmore. (Navajo Times, November 1, 2018)

New Mexico, Gallup – A memorial service for Jennifer Haley, 52, was held Nov. 2, 2018 at the Rollie Mortuary Chapel in Gallup.  Burial followed at the Gallup City Cemetery.  Jennifer was born Feb. 5, 1966, in McKinley County, NM., into the Tsi’naajinii (Black Streak Wood People Clan), born for Kinyaa’aanii (Towering House Clan). Her nali is Todich’ii’nii (Bitter Water); chei is Tachii’nii (Red Running Into the Water People). Jennifer passed away Oct. 20, 2018 in Albuquerque.

Jennifer is survived by her son, Steven Thomas; daughter, Danielle Haley; parents, Bessie and Tom David; sisters, Linda Frank Supka, Geneva Frank Yellowhair, Roberta David, Anita Benally, Genevieve Edwards, and Bertha Davis; and grandchildren, Nellie Rae Skeets and Isaiah Christopher Haley.  She is preceded in death by her brothers, Bobby Mark and Clinton Frank; and grandmother, Bah Hoskie.

Jennifer was a self-employed artist.  She served 10 years as chairman of AA Serenity House in Gallup, serving as chairperson of the AA group, Wings of the Storm. (Navajo Times, November 1, 2018)

New Mexico, Gallup – Funeral mass for Danny Begay, 73, was held Oct. 30, 2018 at the Sacred heart Cathedral in Gallup.  Interment followed at the Hillcrest Cemetery in Gallup.  Danny was born Sept. 18, 1945, Crownpoint.  Danny passed away Oct. 24, 2018, in Church Rock, NM.

Danny is survived by his daughters, Michelle Frank, Naiwah Standing Bear, Danielle and Martha Begay; and sons, Brannon and Onan Begay.  He is preceded in death by his wife, Martha C. Begay; mother, Martha Begay and sons, James Pioche Jr. and Marty Begay.  

Danny served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a sergeant in Vietnam and worked as an aviation structural mechanic. (Navajo Times, November 1, 2018)

New Mexico, Gallup – Funeral services for Larson McCork, 33, were held Nov. 2, 2018 at Rollie Mortuary in Gallup.  Interment followed at the Sunset Cemetery in Gallup. Larson was born Aug. 4, 1985, into the Tsi’naajinii (Black Streak Wood People Clan), born for Tachii’nii (Red Running Into the Water People Clan).  Larson passed away Oct. 27, 2018.

Larson is survived by his parents, Rena and Larry McCork; sisters, Gena and Sherry McCork; brother, Terry McCork; and four children, Larinda McCork, Larson McCork Jr., Laren McCork, and Laramie McCork.  He is preceded in death by his sister, Sharon McCork; nali, Lee McCork; and grandparents, Elizabeth Garcia and Kee John Garcia Sr. (Navajo Times, November 8, 2018)

New Mexico, Gallup – Funeral services for Virgil Woody Spencer, 36, were held Nov. 9, 2018 at Rollie Mortuary in Gallup.  Burial followed at the Gallup City Cemetery.  Virgil was born Apr. 22, 1982, into the Todich’ii’nii (Bitter Water Clan), born for Dziltl’ahnii (Mountain Cove Clan).  His nalis are Rachel B. and Sam Joe Spencer; cheis are Lloyd and Marie Baldwin.  Virgil passed away Nov. 3, 2018, in Purty Rock, Mentmore, NM.

Virgil is survived by his father, Woody Spencer; and daughter, Hope Spencer. He is preceded in death by his mother, Arlene Spencer; and brother, Lloyd Spencer. (Navajo Times, November 8, 2018)

New Mexico, Milan – A memorial service for Bill (William) Peck, 68, of Milan was held Nov. 9, 2018 at the Grace Baptist Church.

Bill is survived by his daughter, Katrina Peck; mother-in-law, Lenore Cain; and siblings (his and wife’s).  He is preceded in death by his parents, Buchard and Faye Peck; stepmother, Helen Peck; and family and friends. (Navajo Times, November 8, 2018)

New Mexico, Gallup – Funeral services for Annie B. Sandoval, 85, were held Nov. 9, 2018 at Rollie Mortuary in Gallup.  Burial followed at the Gallup City Cemetery.  Annie was born July 11, 1933, in Fort Defiance, into the Ashiihi (Salt People Clan), born for Tachii’nii (Red Running Into the Water People Clan).  Her chei is Bit’ahnii (Folded Arms).  Annie passed away Nov. 4, 2018, in Albuquerque.

Annie is survived by her sons, Danny Sandoval Jr. and Samuel Sandoval; daughters, Carol, Judith, and Christine Sandoval; brothers, Robert Betonie and Stanley Thompson; and sister, Lorreta Begay.  She is preceded in death by her husband, Danny Sandoval Sr.; son, Daniel Sandoval; daughter, Connie Sandoval; mother, Cecilia B. Thompson; brother, Johnny Betonie; and granddaughter, Racheal Sandoval. (Navajo Times, November 8, 2018)

New Mexico, Counselor – Graveside service for Mary H. Dennison, 84, was held Nov. 9, 2018 at the Counselor cemetery.  Mary was born May 15, 1934, in Counselor, into the Hashk’aa hadzohi (Yucca Fruit-Strung-Out-In-A-Line Clan), born for Tsenabahilnii (Sleep Rock People Clan).  Mary passed away Nov. 1, 2018 in Rio Rancho, NM.

Mary is survived by her daughters, Daisy and Ella Dennison; sister, Cha’pah Pinto; and 10 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.  Mary is preceded in death by her mother, Haz de baa Herrera; father, Mariano Herrera; husband, Willie Dennison; sons, Willie Dennison Jr. and Alex Dennison; sister, Louise Sala; and granddaughter, McKenzie Martinez. (Navajo Times, November 8, 2018)
New Mexico, Tinian – Funeral services for Ruth Ann Lewis, 83, of Rincon Marquis, NM were held Nov. 17, 2018 at the Tinian Baptist Church. Burial followed in Rincon Marquis.  Ruth was born Mar. 15, 1935 in Rincon Marquis, into the Naakai dine’e (Mexican Clan), born for Dziltl’ahnii (Mountain Cove Clan).  Ruth passed away Nov. 9, 2018 in Rincon Marquis.

Ruth is survived by her husband, Herbert R. Lewis; son, Michael Lewis; daughters, Patsy Gibson, Marilynn Sandoval, Jacqueline Toledo, and Sherri Shorty; sisters, Annie S. Yazzie, Esther A. Lewis, and Lita Arviso; and 17 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.  She is preceded in death by her parents, Werito and Grace M. Sandoval; sisters, Mary W. Sandoval and Julia Benally; and brothers, Richard, Jerry, Leonaard and Bill Sandoval. (Navajo Times, November 15, 2018)

New Mexico, Gallup – Funeral services for Johnny R. Dick Kercheva, 76, were held Nov. 16, 2018 at the Lighthouse Church.  Burial followed at the Gallup City Cemetery.  Johnny was born Oct. 7, 1942, into the Kinyaa’aanii (Towering House Clan), born for Todik’ozhi (Salt Water Clan).  His nali is Tsi’naajinii (Black Streak Wood People): chei is Tabaaha (Water’s Edge).  Johnny passed away Nov. 10, 2018.

Johnny is survived by his wife, Gladys Kercheva; sons, Robert Goldtooth, Jonathan and Donovan Kercheva; daugthers, Valentina Martin and Dianabelle Kercheva; sisters, Irene Dick, Lavee James, and Carol Dick; and brother, Eddie Rodriguez. He is preceded in death by his parents, Mary and John Dick; and brother, Roy Dick.

Johnny worked construction as a carpenter and was a silversmith. (Navajo Times, November 15, 2018)

Wisconsin, Hayward - Tribal Funeral Rites for Selma Buckwheat, “Sagamaakwe”, 82, of Green Bay were held. Burial will be in New Post Cemetery.  Selma was born Oct. 28, 1936 in Hayward, WI to Henry and Agnes (Barber) Smith. Selma passed away Nov. 7, 2018 at Bishop’s Court in Green Bay.

She is survived by her husband, Larry R. Buckwheat; son, Larry (Donna) Buckwheat; daughter, Leanne Buckwheat; grandchildren, Stephanie, Kevin, Cami & Daniel Buckwheat; great grandson, Brayden Buckwheat; brothers, Henry Smith, Donald (Carol) Smith, John Smith, Thomas Smith & Lawrence Smith; many nephews & nieces.  Selma was preceded in death by her parents Henry & Agnes; sisters Myrtle & Doris; brothers Edward, William, Robert and Theodore.

Selma worked many years volunteering knowledge of Native Culture for UW Green Bay, Saint Norbert College and various public schools around the area of Green Bay.

Wisconsin, Hayward - The Funeral Service for Shirley M. Martin, age 70, of Hayward, WI. was held, Nov. 13, 2018 at Pineview Funeral Service in Hayward.  Shirley was born July 26, 1948 in Springfield, OH to Arnold and Della (Whittaker) Curvin. Shirley passed away Nov. 8, 2018 at University of Minnesota Medical Center in Minneapolis.

Shirley is survived by her sons, Larry (Laura) Pack, David Belille Sr.; daughters, Cheryl (Randy Sr.) Alexander, Christina (Scott Humer) Lyles; grandchildren, Randy Jr., Tashina & Jacob Alexander, Dylan & Shelby Pack, Jarrod Yoak, and Rachel & David Belille Jr.; and 13 great grandchildren; many nieces & nephews.  She is preceded in death by her parents; 1st husband, David “Studie” Belille; 2nd husband, Joseph Martin; sisters, Barbara & Patricia.

Wisconsin, Hayward - Midewiwin Funeral Rites for Thomas DeWayne Hammer Sr.,‘” Niizhoo-gwaneb”,“Two Feathers”, 48, of Stone Lake, were held November 9, 2018 at Big Drum Ceremonial Center in Lac Courte Oreilles. Burial was in Historyland Cemetery in Hayward. Thomas was born Dec. 20, 1969 in Milwaukee, WI to DeWayne Sr. and Marjorie (Sharlow) Hammer.  Thomas passed away Nov. 5, 2018.

Thomas is survived by his sons, Thomas Hammer Jr., Francis Hammer and Kaden Martin; daughters, Jaymie Hammer and Jazzie Martin-Hammer; five grandchildren; brother, DeWayne Hammer Jr.; sister, Elizabeth “Nana” Knaack; niece, Andrea Vonckx; and nephews, DeWayne Hammer III and Helmet Hammer.  He is preceded in death by his parents; grandparents, Rita Lemieux and Walter “Bud” Sharlow; baby sister, Vanessa; aunts & uncles.

Tom grew up in the Reserve Community of the Lac Courte Oreilles reservation. He lived and worked in numerous cities including Milwaukee, WI, Bad River, WI, St. Paul/Minneapolis, MN, and Palm Beach, FL. Tom was an ultimate handy-man, a self-taught mechanic.

Wisconsin, CrandonMichael James Dunnington, 51, passed away Nov. 5, 2018 in Fort Myers, Fla.  

Michael is survived by his son, Cody Michael Dunnington; mother, Mary Ritchie; father, James W. Dunnington; and brothers, Wesley and Matthew Dunnington.  He is preceded in death by his grandmother, Verol M. Ritchie Tyler; great-grandfather, Valentine Ritchie; and great-great-grandfather, Henry Ritchie.

Michael served with the 101st Airborne Division in the U.S. Army in Desert Storm.  He was a helicopter maintenance mechanic. (Potawatomi Traveling Times, November 15, 2018)

North Carolina, Big CoveAmanda Sequoyah Swimmer, 97,  passed away Nov. 24, 2018 at her home in the Big Cove community in the federal land trust known as the Qualla Boundary of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee.  Amanda was born to RunningWolfe and Molly (Davis) Sequoyah.  Amanda married Luke Swimmer.

Amanda is survived by her daughters, Marilyn and Marina Swimmer and Flora Bradley; sons, Don and Virgil; granddaughter, Melvena; 30 other grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.

Amanda was forced to attend boarding school as a national effort to assimilate her into the mainstream culture. In fourth grade she ran away because of being punished for speaking her native Cherokee. She fashioned a life to preserve the Cherokee culture and keeping its language and pottery traditions alive. She was revered in the mountainous tribal lands of western North Carolina – honored there as a “Beloved Woman” – and renowned as one of her people’s most skilled potters.  Mrs. Swimmer’s work has been shown at the Smithsonian in Washington, the North Carolina State Museum and at local museums across North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee. It was also featured in the 2011 book “Cherokee Pottery: From the Hands of Our Elders,” by M. Anna Fariello.  Mrs. Swimmer was profiled in a 2000 documentary film, “Women of These Hills – Three Cultures of Appalachia.”  

In 2005, as an octogenarian, she was awarded an honorary doctor of humane letters degree by the University of North Carolina, Asheville, for her work in preserving Cherokee heritage and her role in founding the Cherokee Potter’s Guild.  Her other honors include the North Carolina Folk Heritage Award and the Mountain Heritage Award of the Western Carolina University.  Mrs. Swimmer was not considered a citizen under law at the time of her birth. She only became a citizen after passage of the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924.

Mrs. Swimmer was known for her pottery.  She took up pottery as a child after she discovered the clay near her home.  She and her mother sold pots to tourists and park rangers.  She was nominated for the title of “Beloved Woman,” and honor given by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to highly respected elders.  In her last years Mrs. Swimmer spent much of her time teaching – both pottery-making and the Cherokee language.  

For 10 years she was a volunteer at the Cherokee Elementary School, where she taught children pottery and told them stories about their culture and history.  She had an impact on the whole tribal nation.  Everybody called her grandmother. (New York Times, December 10, 2018)


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Editor – University of Wisconsin-Madison Environmental Resources Center

December 21, 2018 - 11:04pm

Editor – University of Wisconsin-Madison Environmental Resources Center
Appointment percentage: 50%-100% FTE
Salary: Minimum $42,167 ANNUAL (12 months)
Application Deadline: January 6, 2019

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Native News Update Dec. 21 , 2018

December 21, 2018 - 10:57pm

This week's stories:  Forest County Potawatomi launches anti-opioid campaign; Blood quantum restrictions in the Stigler Act to be taken out; Cherokee multimedia artist, Shan Goshorn passed away; 2019 Native American $1 Coin design unveiled; “Smoke Signals” named to the National Film Registry.

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Winter Solstice Gala to honor Water Protectors

December 21, 2018 - 4:49pm

Join Winona LaDuke and the 2018 Duluth Solstice Gala "Feast of the the Little Spirit Moon” Dec. 21st.

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