INDIAN COUNTRY NEWS

Native News Update May 4, 2018

This week's stories: American Indian Business Leaders honors founding members by creating the AIBL Founders Scholarship; Cherokee Nation Distributors named Sikorsky elite; Kaibab National Forest partners with Native American Tribes; National Day of Awareness for Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls.

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Native News Update April 27, 2018

This week's stories: A map drawn by a Native American for Lewis & Clark discovered; “100 Years: Woman’s Fight For Justice” available on Netflix; Comedian George Lopez receives the Charlie Hill Spirit Award at NIGA; First Native American treaty ever written on display at the National Museum of the American Indian; A coffee table book about the Cherokee wins a silver medal.

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Iroquois solutions to Mass Killings

By Doug George-Kanentiio
- News From Indian Country -

On the afternoon of February 14, a day typically given to expressions of affection, a nineteen year old boy entered the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida armed with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle.

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Miccosukee Indian Arts Festival honored old and new

By Sandra Hale Schulman
- News From Indian Country -

A rare cool breeze blowing through the Everglades brought out thousands of people to the Florida swamps earlier this year for the week long Miccosukee Indian Arts and Crafts Festival, now in its 41st year.

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Native News Update April 20, 2018

This week's stories: Southern Ute Tribe receives right to create water quality standards; New monument to honor Native Americans in Virginia; Tobi Young becomes first Native American to serve as a U.S. Supreme Court clerk; The Iroquois White Corn Project preserves and promotes the Indigenous strain of corn; Native Land app tells the real history of the land in America.

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The Maple: Chief of all Trees

By Doug George-Kanentiio©
News From Indian Country

When the Creator-Sonkweiiateson in Mohawk-planted the trees of the world a decision was made to make Wahta-the Maple-the chief of all trees. Not only did the maple carry the words of humans to his relatives but to that species was given another task.  In this part of the world the winter months may be long and cold, the land covered in heavy blankets of snow which makes food difficult to come by and would push the Mohawk people closer to their longhouse fires.

The Creator noticed that the people would become ill for lack of fresh food and their spirits would grow weary as they waited for the spring. He decided that he would speak to the Maple and see if something could be done. It was decided that the maple would allow its sap, its blood, to be taken and made into a drink, one that would replenish the body and lift the soul. So it was done; the Creator showed the people how to take a hollow sumac branch and insert it into a maple tree and then drink the pure syrup which flowed from the tube. The people were happy and thanked the Creator.

As is the way, the Creator had to leave this earth to travel to other worlds and tend to them. He was gone a very long time. One day he returned to see how the people were. This was in the latter days of winter but when he came to the longhouses he did not see plumes of smoke arising from the home fires. He would have normally been welcomed by the dogs of the village but they were missing. When he entered the longhouses there were but cold ashes and above him in the rafters food which had not been eaten. He wondered at this. When he left the longhouse he saw many footrprints of humans and dogs leading away from the village towards a forest of maple trees. He followed the tracks until he entered the grove and their saw the people sprawled upon the ground.

It was that they had become immersed in the maple syrup. They had taken the sumac tubes, inserted them into the trees and drank to much that they could hold no more and dropped to the ground.

The Creator saw that even the dogs had drunk of the syrup, copying the behaviour of the people, drunk of the syrup and lay there on their backs with their legs pointed to the sky. This was not good. The Creator aroused the people from their stupor and told them that no longer would they be able to drink the syrup right from the tree. They would have to work for it so he showed them how to take sap, place it into a container and bring it to a near boil until, after many hours, they would have syrup and, after more work, maple sugar. While both maple sap and syrup would remain a great medicine for the people they must not take it for granted.

The people were also shown how to speak to the maples, and then all trees. They would watch carefully for the maple to emerge from its sleep and gather to express their gratitude to wahta for its great gift before they tapped into the trees.  Once they had a harvest of syrup they would gather again and thank the Creator and wahta for this most wonderful of drinks. Should they do this then the maple would give its lifeblood to the people, should they fail the maples would one day leave the earth.

To this day the Mohawks, the inventors of maple syrup and maple sugar, gather at the longhouse to honour wahta by giving thanks. On the banks of the Nihahnawa:te (Raquette) and Kaniatarowanenneh (St. Lawrence) rivers you can still hear the Mohawks rise their voices in song and stomp their feet in dance as we celebrate the arrival of spring and the beginning of new life on Iethi:nistenha Ohnontsia-our Earth Mother.

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

By Ricey Wild
News From Indian Country

The Cat of the Month features The RZA. (Yes, as in Wu Tang Clan) I have a thing for musical geniuses. I was feeling all salty, grumpy, sad and stabby before he came sat on my lap and purred and kissed all that away. Well, for now.

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Nothing can help me now

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

She was working hard to breathe. She always worked hard, but this time was different. She didn’t even pay attention to me, she only looked straight ahead at nothing. There was fear in her wide open eyes as she struggled to catch her next breath.

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Native News Update April 13, 2018

This week's stories: Wells Fargo hires Dawson Her Many Horses to lead services to Native Americans; Fertile Ground Leadership Institute announced; Native American Basket exhibition at Eiteljorg Museum; Cherokee Nation teams up with Rogers State University to offer online language courses; New film “Indian Horse” exposes Canada’s residential school system; Native News Update available as Podcast.

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Native News Update April 6, 2018

This week's stories: Wisconsin Governor signs burial mounds bill and tribal ID bill into law; The American Indian College Fund hosts its’ annual Flame of Hope Gala; Cherokee Nation citizen receives national recognition; New Indigenous film released in response to the #MeToo movement; Rita Coolidge releases new album, “Safe in the Arms of Time.”

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Native News Update March 30, 2018

This week's stories: StrongHearts Native Helpline celebrates a successful first year of operations; Native Americans recognized by Archbishop José Gomez; 2018 Native American and Alaska Native children school program grant open; Healthy Children, Healthy Nations initiative looking for additional partners; The fiirst Native American fashion designer to have a gown worn at the Oscars.

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What are my options?

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

“I want to know how he could have missed part of the cancer. It was right there on the CT scan and he thought they got all of it. Now it’s back and it’s spreading and I have grandkids. This is his fault and I want to know what my options are.”

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Native News Update March 23, 2018

This week's stories: Cherokee tribes host Cherokee Days in Washington DC; NCAI releases “VAWA 2013’s Special Domestic Violence Criminal Jurisdiction Five-Year Report; Audiobook narrated by Joanne Shenandoah released; Committee raising funds to recognize former major league baseball player Louis Sockalexis; LIVE on Facebook and Instragram – the second season of the Litefoot Show.

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