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Updated: 8 hours 56 min ago

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.

Read More ...

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.

Read More ...

Northern Wisconsin Chippewa Tribes file lawsuit against State

December 26, 2018 - 6:51pm

MADISON, Wis. (CN)

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.

Read More ...

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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Line 3 Tar Sands Pipeline Challenged in Court: Youth, Environmentalists, Indigenous Rights Advocates sue to block Enbridge pipeline

December 19, 2018 - 7:23pm

  SAINT PAUL, MN -- Today, opponents of the Line 3 tar sands pipeline filed multiple lawsuits with the Court of Appeals challenging the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approval of the project. On June 28, the PUC approved Enbridge’s proposal to build a new Line 3 pipeline, which would run through Northern Minnesota and double the amount of oil running through the pipeline. The window to file an appeal opened on November 21, following the PUC doubling down on its decision by rejecting requests from intervenors to reconsider issuing the permits for the pipeline.

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I see spirits all around me now

December 19, 2018 - 5:32pm

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

He was nearing death. This moment was inevitable and he hadn’t eaten anything in the past ten days. Three days ago he started refusing water and he was intermittently awake at any time of the night or day. He had fought his cancer for as long as he could and decided to stop chemotherapy when it was making him too sick to be present for his family.

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It ain’t easy being Indian…(December 2018)

December 19, 2018 - 5:28pm

By Ricey Wild
News From Indian Country

So here I am staring at a blinking cursor wondering if I should bring you all into my most recent misery. I was teased about needing to wear a helmet before but now I’m gonna look into it. Sigh. For the record my previous injuries happened when I was stone cold sober so don’t even go there. This time I freely admit I was buzzed up and when I went to the bathroom at the Risky Raccoon Kasino I tripped over my patent leather Doc Marten’s and went down like a tree.

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Native News Update Dec. 7 , 2018

December 8, 2018 - 2:04am

This week's stories:  Alaska tribes petition for help to obtain relief from Canada’s mine violations; Memorial and Records Repository to be build honoring Native American Purple Heart recipients; Tribal leaders from the United States testify before Canada’s National Energy Board regarding proposed pipeline expansion project; New resources developed to assist Native American communities in evaluating their vulnerability to climate change; N. Scott Momaday documentary to debut at Sundance Film Festival; Marvel superheroes reenvisioned through Native style.

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White Supremacy vs The Peacemaker

December 2, 2018 - 5:10pm

By Danny Beaton

(Turtle Clan Mohawk)

 

Thousands of years ago when the Haudenosaunee people were in conflict warring among each other, the Five Nations were in turmoil in North Eastern Ontario Canada and the USA territory.

Things had gotten so bad around Lake Huron the people had become cannibals, eating flesh, killing, warring with each other while creating fear and jealousy.

Lucky for the Iroquois Nation a baby was born to the neighboring tribe of the Wyandot or Huron Nation near Lake Ontario.

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Thunderbird Group Launches NTV

December 2, 2018 - 4:37pm

By Sandra Hale Schulman 

- News From Indian Country - 

I want my NTV! An all native music channel is here, thanks to the innovation of Thunderbird Group, a Native American owned company headed up by C. Pony Vigil that was formed in August 2017 in New Mexico to focus on interconnecting Native communities through film and media.

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This Mohawk is pleased with Senator Warren’s honesty on heritage

December 1, 2018 - 6:17pm

By Doug George-Kanentiio 

- Akwesasne Mohawk (NFIC) - 

In my capacity as a writer for News From Indian Country and as a former editor of the journal Akwesasne Notes, I have extensive experience in responding to those who seek affirmation of their Native ancestry.

I am pleased, as are Mohawk people, when we receive such requests, as it demonstrates a need to find often distant familial relations and to affirm what was too often obscured by government bureaucracies and reluctant church administrators, the two key sources of Native census records.

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Native News Update November 30 , 2018

November 30, 2018 - 11:08pm

This week's stories:  Cherokee Nation helps with nuclear waste removal; A California tribe launches fundraising campaign for fire victims; The eleventh tribe signs the University of Idaho’s collaborative agreement; The Menominee Nation provides the wooden flooring for the NCAA’s Final Four tournament; Famous Dave’s makes top 50 restaurant brands list in the U.S.

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Native News Update November 23 , 2018

November 23, 2018 - 9:37pm

This week's stories:  Native Network teams up with Microsoft deliver broadband internet to tribal communities in Montana and Washington; Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum receives sash that may have belongs to Chief Osceola; Pendleton Woolen Mills takes part in Giving Tuesday by contributing to the American Indian College Fund; N’we Jinan releases latest Native American youth music video; The StrongHearts Native Helpline moves its national headquarters.

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It ain't easy being Indian... (November 2018)

November 21, 2018 - 3:37pm

By Ricey Wild
News From Indian Country

So this is my 20 year anniversary of writing my column being published, give or take a few months when I was deeply depressed; maybe like six or so at the worst. Plz don’t correct me if I’m wrong…I have issues.

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SYSTEM WIDE MONITORING PROGRAM (SWMP) TECHNICIAN- LSNERR

November 21, 2018 - 10:15am

SYSTEM WIDE MONITORING PROGRAM (SWMP) TECHNICIAN
LAKE SUPERIOR NATIONAL ESTUARINE RESEARCH RESERVE
UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN, COOPERATIVE EXTENSION

Position Description
 

WORKING TITLE: SWMP Technician (50%)

OFFICIAL TITLE: Research Technician I

TYPE OF APPOINTMENT:
This position is a 50% University Staff Temporary appointment in Cooperative Extension, a division of the University of Wisconsin-Extension. This position will be supervised by the Reserve Manager.

GEOGRAPHIC AREAS SERVED: Primarily northwest Wisconsin and northeast Minnesota, especially portions of Douglas (WI) and St. Louis (MN) Counties within the watershed of the St Louis River and boundaries of the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve.

OFFICE LOCATION: Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve (Reserve), 14 Marina Drive, Superior WI 54880

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Blackfeet Community College honors Elouise Cobell in Naming of New Building

November 20, 2018 - 7:47pm

BROWNING, Mont. (ICC)

Residents in and around Browning have long contended with lack of access to qualified healthcare professionals and services on the Blackfeet Reservation.

However, the recently opened $7.5 million Health Science & Education Building at the Blackfeet Community College (BCC) offers a long-term solution to help address these challenges. This new facility will advance training opportunities for Native American nursing and education students to meet increasing healthcare and education needs locally and throughout Montana.

On Monday, Nov. 5, the BCC held a special ceremony to name the new building in honor of Elouise Cobell, also known as Yellow Bird Woman, the late tribal elder and posthumous awardee of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Building Dedication                                     Photo contributed by MoFi

 “We believe that investing in quality health science education addresses the root cause of so many of the health disparities we see on the Blackfeet Reservation,” said BCC Interim President Carol Murray. “The new Health Science & Education Building replaces overcrowded and outdated facilities, creates capacity for more students, and attracts the faculty we need to train the next generation of healthcare professionals. It also brings us one step closer to expanding from a two-year to a four-year degree program in Education and Nursing.”

BCC named the new building Oahtkwii Piiksakii Iikohkon-Yellow Bird Woman Lodge in honor of Cobell, the late Blackfeet tribal elder, banker and rancher who was the lead plaintiff in the groundbreaking class-action lawsuit that challenged the U.S. government’s mismanagement of Native American trust funds. In 2015, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock proclaimed Nov. 5 of each year as Elouise Cobell Day in honor of Cobell’s birthday.

 Dignitaries speaking at the Naming Ceremony include Blackfeet Chief Earl Old Person, Blackfeet Tribal Business Council Chairman Tim Davis, BCC Board of Trustees Chairman James McNeely, BCC Interim President Carol Murray, Elouise Cobell’s son Turk Cobell, Blackfoot speaker and former POW Marvin Weatherwax Sr. and others.

With the support of BCC partners, BCC secured financing for the new $7.5 million Health Science and Education Building with the help of First Interstate Bank and an innovative federal program, New Markets Tax Credits, through the community-based nonprofit lender, MoFi. The New Markets Tax Credit programs help incentivize economic development projects in low-income communities around the country. MoFi works with investors to turn tax credits into cash, and then uses that cash to fund catalytic development projects.

“The opening of the Yellow Bird Woman Lodge represents the best of this community,” said Dave Glaser, President of MoFi. “We are thrilled to help finance a project that will create jobs, new facilities and, more importantly, pave the way for a brighter, healthier future for the people of Browning.”


 

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