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Shakopee Mdewakanton Donates More Than $2 Million to Tribes & Nonprofits in Minnesota and Across the Country

April 12, 2019 - 12:00am

Published April 12, 2019

PRIOR LAKE, Minn. — The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) today announced more than $2 million in grants to 12 tribes and nonprofit organizations in Minnesota and across the United States.

The SMSC’s donations will help fund several projects, including building a new community space for Native artists and cultural practitioners, expanding an early childhood learning center, and supporting business development for tribal gaming enterprises.

Shakopee Mdewakatan Chairman Charles Vig

“Each of these projects seeks to help Native communities thrive economically, socially or culturally,” said SMSC Chairman Charles R. Vig. “Our tribe is proud to share our resources and help these tribes and nonprofits in their important work.”

Recipients include:

  • Bad River American Legion Post 25 (WI) – $150,000 toward the purchase of a permanent office location.
  • Blackfeet Nation (MT) – $250,000 to fund the construction of a convenience store and gas station.
  • Delaware Nation (OK) – $300,000 toward the construction of a new early childhood learning center.
  • Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma (OK) – $250,000 toward the expansions of the Eastern Shawnee Early Child Learning Center and Wellness Center.
  • Eastern Shoshone Tribe (WY) – $300,000 toward operational support for the Shoshone Rose Casino.
  • First Peoples Fund (SD) – $200,000 toward the Oglala Lakota Artspace capital campaign.
  • Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs (NE) – $50,000 toward the new Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte Center, including helping to replace the roof and preserve historic artifacts.
  • New Mexico Community Capital (NM) – $50,000 toward the Native Entrepreneur in Residence program to help it fulfill match requirements associated with two federal government awards.
  • Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (WI) – $332,000 for capital improvements and program-related support for the Legendary Waters Resort & Casino.
  • Rural America Initiatives (SD) – $100,000 toward the construction of a greenhouse, community garden, playground fencing and landscaping at its new Head Start facility.
  • Sac & Fox Nation of Missouri in Kansas and Nebraska (KS) – $17,000 toward upgraded computers and systems for its new tribal operations building.
  • White Earth Nation (MN) – $500,000 to remodel and expand the Pine Point Community Center, as well as replace furnaces on the reservation.

Guided by the Dakota tradition of helping others, the SMSC has donated more than $350 million to organizations and causes in the past 25 years. The tribe is the single-largest philanthropic benefactor for Indian Country nationally.


The post Shakopee Mdewakanton Donates More Than $2 Million to Tribes & Nonprofits in Minnesota and Across the Country appeared first on Native News Online.


Vince Logan Joins Native American Agriculture Fund Leadership

April 12, 2019 - 12:00am

Vince Logan

Published April 12, 2019

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Institutional investment advisor and corporate lawyer Vince Logan has joined the Native American Agriculture Fund (NAAF) as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Investment Officer. Mr. Logan, a member of the Osage Nation, is responsible for NAAF’s $266 million portfolio and charged with overseeing the finance department, implementing financial systems, and managing the investment program. As CFO/CIO, he is to ensure that NAAF operates at the highest levels of transparency, ethics and good governance.

“We are thrilled that Vince Logan has joined the Native American Agriculture Fund and know that his expertise and experience will serve our organization well,” said Elsie Meeks (Oglala Lakota), NAAF Board chairperson. “He is a mentor to many professionals in Indian Country and beyond, and his work in financial and investment leadership will continue to have a lasting impact through NAAF.”

Nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2014, Mr. Logan served as the Special Trustee for American Indians at the U.S. Department of the Interior. Calling on his financial and regulatory background, he led the Office of the Special Trustee in reaffirming its position as a leader in government accountability, Indian Trust reform, financial education and Interior oversight mandates.

“Vince Logan is truly a visionary leader in Indian Country and the financial industry, and he brings an immeasurable wealth of knowledge to the role of CFO/CIO for the Native American Agriculture Fund,” said Janie Simms Hipp (Chickasaw Nation), CEO/President of the Native American Agriculture Fund. “Our organization focuses on the needs of Native farmers and ranchers, and the Native food systems and agriculture economic development goals of their communities. We are confident that Vince Logan will help us accomplish these intertwined and critical missions.”

Prior to the NAAF role, he served as a senior advisor at Permanens Capital L.P. in New York, an institutional investment manager offering investment solutions for foundations, endowments, high net worth families and sovereign wealth clients.

“Vince has been instrumental in launching our tribal wealth practice and shares our focus on ‘Good Governances = Good Investments.’ As one of the leading voices advocating for financial education for Native Americans, his move to NAAF is truly great news for Indian Country and we will continue to support him in his efforts,” said John J. Regan, Permanens Capital L.P., CIO/founding partner.

Mr. Logan has worked in New York in both asset-based financing as a lawyer and in asset management as an investment advisor. As a lawyer, he practiced in aircraft, shipping and equipment finance, and as an investment advisor, he focused on institutional asset management, permanent fund development and financial education for clients.

Mr. Logan is an Oklahoma State University Foundation Governor and is formerly chairman of the board for the Oklahoma Tribal Finance Consortium. He volunteers at tribal youth events teaching financial skills and has mentored numerous young professionals, guiding them through careers in law and the securities industry. He was educated at Oklahoma State University, the University of Oklahoma College of Law, Queen’s College, Oxford, and the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.

The post Vince Logan Joins Native American Agriculture Fund Leadership appeared first on Native News Online.


Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College to Host Annual Law Enforcement Expo on April 17

April 12, 2019 - 12:00am

Published April 12, 2019

CLOQUET, Minn. — Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College is hosting the 16th annual Law Enforcement Career Expo and Campus Visit Day from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 17, 2019, in the Lester Jack Briggs Cultural Center on campus. The event is open to the public and admission is free.

The Law Enforcement Career Expo is designed to provide information about the wide range of career opportunities available in the criminal justice field. Representatives from more than 35 local, regional, tribal, state and federal law enforcement and corrections agencies will be present to discuss current and future job openings and the type of training and background qualified applicants should possess.

For prospective college students and people who are considering a career change into the field of law enforcement, the expo is an excellent opportunity to learn more about career employment opportunities and where to receive the necessary training.

Representatives from the Law Enforcement program and the Corrections program at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College will highlight and explain the classroom training and skills training components of the popular degree programs at the college. Tours are also part of the Campus Visit Day event.

A Campus Visit Day for any interested students runs concurrently with the Law Enforcement Career Expo. Faculty and staff from range of academic programs and campus departments will be available to meet and answer questions about degree requirements, financial aid, housing, Thunder Athletics, student activities, provide tours, apply for admission, and more.

A free, picnic-style lunch and unique displays and exhibits related to law enforcement are also part of the expo.

For more information, contact Cassandra Nicholson at 218-879-0846.

The post Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College to Host Annual Law Enforcement Expo on April 17 appeared first on Native News Online.


Ho-Chunk, Inc. Pushes Ballot Initiative Filed to Expand Nebraska

April 12, 2019 - 12:00am

Ho-Chunk, Inc. want to see expansion of horseracing in Nebraska as a means for economic development.

Published April 12, 2019

LINCOLN, Neb. —  A proposed ballot initiative filed with the Nebraska Secretary of State would allow voters to decide whether to expand gambling at state-licensed horse race tracks.

The campaign committee – Keep the Money in Nebraska – is seeking to amend the Nebraska state constitution to legalize gambling, along with two statutory initiatives to regulate casino gaming.

Lance Morgan

“Nebraskans’ money is funding other states’ priorities. There’s a lot of good this money can do right here in Nebraska,” said Lance Morgan, President and CEO of Ho-Chunk, Inc.

The State of Nebraska is missing out on taxes and proceeds from about $500 million that residents wager annually in surrounding states, according to petition sponsors. Expanded gaming would generate an estimated $50 million in new tax revenue to help fund property tax relief, K-12 public education and the Nebraska Gamblers Assistance Fund.

Ho-Chunk, Inc. and the Nebraska Horsemen’s Benevolent Protection Association (HBPA) are partnering to bring the issue to Nebraska voters in the November 2020 election. Ho-Chunk, Inc. is the award-winning economic development corporation owned by the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska. The Nebraska Horsemen’s Benevolent Protection Association is a non-profit group of thoroughbred owners and trainers.

“I am very pleased that the Nebraska Horsemen are continuing their partnership with Ho-Chunk, Inc. and Nebraska’s First People. This union of past and present insures a bright future for horse racing and will stem the flow of Nebraska dollars to neighboring states,” said Barry Lake, President of the Nebraska Horsemen’s Benevolent Protection Association.

Sponsors are optimistic the time is right. Polling in 2015 showed Nebraskans favored allowing casino gambling but a petition drive ended without the required number of signatures. This time simpler ballot language, fewer questions and a new signature collection group are involved.

The post Ho-Chunk, Inc. Pushes Ballot Initiative Filed to Expand Nebraska appeared first on Native News Online.


David Bernhardt Confirmed as Secretary of the Interior; House Indian Affairs

April 11, 2019 - 9:15pm

David Bernhardt – Native News Online photo by Levi Rickert

Published April 11, 2019

WASHINGTON — The United States Senate confirmed David Bernhardt as the 53rd Secretary of the Interior on Thursday, April 11, 2019. The position is viewed as one of the most important federal posts to American Indians and Alaska Natives because the Interior department houses Indian Affairs, which oversees the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Bureau of Indian Education.

Amidst concerns raised by Democrat, Bernhardt, a former lobbyist and Interior Department veteran, was confirmed by a 56-41 vote. Four members of the Democratic caucus — Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Martin Heinrich (N.M.), Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) and Angus King (I-Maine) — joined all Republican senators to support Bernhardt’s confirmation.

From 2001 and 2009, Bernhardt held several positions within the Department of the Interior, including serving as Solicitor. In that capacity, he led the International Boundary Commission between the United States and Canada and was responsible, along with his Canadian counterpart, for maintaining the 5,525 mile international boundary between these two nations. Prior to that, he served then-Secretary Norton as a deputy solicitor, deputy chief of staff and counselor to the Secretary, and as director of Congressional and Legislative affairs and counselor to the Secretary, according to his biography on the Interior Department’s website.

A native of Rifle, Colorado, Bernhardt earned a B.A. in political science with a minor in business administration from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley in 1990. He graduated with honors from the George Washington University National Law Center in 1994 and is admitted to various state and federal court bars. He is married to Gena Bernhardt. They have two children and reside in Arlington, Virginia.


The post David Bernhardt Confirmed as Secretary of the Interior; House Indian Affairs appeared first on Native News Online.


The Indian Land Tenure Foundation Releases New Educational Video Game on Indigenous History

April 11, 2019 - 7:40am

Published April 11, 2019

ST. PAUL, Minn. —  The Indian Land Tenure Foundation, a national, community-based organization serving American Indian nations and people in the recovery and control of their rightful homelands, is excited to announce the release of a new educational video game that teaches about the impact of allotment acts on Indigenous peoples in the 1890s. Available on PC/MAC, iPads, Android tablets and Chromebooks, When Rivers Were Trails is an accessible, educational 2D adventure game that will help teach young people about an important and often-overlooked period of time in United States history.

When Rivers Were Trails was developed by ILTF in collaboration with Michigan State University’s Games for Entertainment and Learning Lab thanks to support from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. The game follows an Anishinaabeg in the 1890’s who is displaced from Fond du Lac in Minnesota to California due to the impact of allotment acts on Indigenous communities. More than 20 indigenous writers were tapped in the development of When Rivers Were Trails, bringing their valuable experience to the project.

When Rivers Were Trails Trailer from Elizabeth LaPensée on Vimeo.

Download When Rivers Were Trails on PC/MaciPadAndroid/Chromebook

Players are challenged to balance their physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being with foods and medicines while making choices about contributing to resistances as well as trading with, fishing with, hunting with, gifting, and honoring the people they meet as they travel through Minnesota, the Dakotas, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and eventually must find a place to call home in California.

The journey can change from game to game as players randomly come across Indigenous people, animals, plants, and run-ins with Indian Agents. Gameplay speaks to sovereignty, nationhood, and being reciprocal with land. When Rivers Were Trails is available for download on PC and Mac, Apple’s AppStore and the Google Play Store.

The game features creative directing by Nichlas Emmons, creative directing and design by Elizabeth LaPensée, art by Weshoyot Alvitre, and music by Supaman and Michael Charette.

Indigenous writers include Weshoyot Alvitre, Li Boyd, Trevino Brings Plenty, Tyrone Cawston, Richard Crowsong, Eve Cuevas, Samuel Jaxin Enemy-Hunter, Lee Francis IV, Carl Gawboy, Elaine Gomez, Ronnie Dean Harris, Tashia Hart, Renee Holt, Sterling HolyWhiteMountain, Adrian Jawort, Kris Knigge, E. M. Knowles, Elizabeth LaPensée, Annette S. Lee, David Gene Lewis, Korii Northrup, Nokomis Paiz, Carl Petersen, Manny Redbear, Travis McKay Roberts, Sheena Louise Roetman, Sara Siestreem, Joel Southall, Jo Tallchief, Allen Turner, and William Wilson, alongside guest writers Toiya K. Finley and Cat Wendt who contribute African American and Chinese experiences.


The post The Indian Land Tenure Foundation Releases New Educational Video Game on Indigenous History appeared first on Native News Online.


Celebrate the 27th Annual Eiteljorg Museum Indian Market and Festival on June 22-23

April 11, 2019 - 12:01am

World champion hoop dancer Tony Duncan (Apache/Arikara/Hidatsa) and his family will perform again at the Eiteljorg Museum Indian Market and Festival on June 22-23.
File photo courtesy of Hadley Fruits Photography.

Published April 11, 2019

Favorite artists and entertainers enliven one of nation’s top Native American art markets

INDIANAPOLIS — One of the region’s best art and cultural experiences returns to downtown Indianapolis the weekend of June 22-23: the Eiteljorg Museum Indian Market and Festival. More than 100 Native American and First Nations artists and performers from more than 50 cultures across the U.S. and Canada will converge on the Eiteljorg Museum to show and sell their fine art, including jewelry, pottery, beadwork, basketry, paintings and sculpture.

The 27th annual Indian Market and Festival takes place on the beautiful Eiteljorg grounds from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time both days, and features artists’ booths both outside and inside the museum. Seasoned art collectors and first-time market-goers alike will appreciate the personal interactions with artists and wide variety of Native fine art available. Cultural experiences and performances are a big part of the weekend, and this year’s entertainment includes dancing, music and storytelling. Thousands of visitors typically attend the market, held the weekend after Father’s Day in June each year.

“Visitors often say Indian Market and Festival broadens their cultural horizons by allowing them and their families to experience Native American art for the first time and meet the exceptional artists in person,” Eiteljorg President and CEO John Vanausdall said. “Experienced art collectors always enjoy the opportunity to purchase Native art close to home without traveling great distances. Non-collectors enjoy the memorable market and festival experiences. And returning artists appreciate the Hoosier hospitality and the opportunity to get reacquainted with old friends and meet new collectors and fans.”

After a modest start in 1993, the Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival now is considered one of the top Native American art markets in the nation. Artists are invited to participate through a juried selection and must be members of a federally or state recognized tribe. Many of the artists also submit their artwork for judging as part of the weekend’s juried art competition. Ribbons and cash prizes are awarded to top artists in multiple divisions. Last year, nearly $25,000 in prize money was awarded to artists.

For the general public, adult tickets to the Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival are $15 at the gate either day. Advance adult discount tickets of $13 can be ordered online at or by calling 317.636.WEST (9378). Youth and children ages 17 and under are free at Indian Market and Festival. For Eiteljorg Museum members, free admission to the market is available for the individual named on the membership card, but the admission fee will apply for their non-member adult guests.

Tickets to Indian Market and Festival also include museum admission, so plan to experience the museum galleries featuring special exhibitions: A Sense of Beauty: Showcasing the Power and Beauty in Native Art and Bringing Friends Together: Contemporary Hopi Carvings from the Eagle, Perelman and Rader Collections, as well as the new Western art galleries exhibit,Attitudes: The West in American Art. Artist demonstrations and art-making opportunities for the entire family will be available both days, popular food vendors return, and market-goers also can enjoy the Museum Café and Museum Store.

Visitors to the Eiteljorg Museum Indian Market and Festival on June 22-23 can meet more than 100 Native American artists and shop for their fine art.
File photo courtesy of the Eiteljorg Museum.

A lineup of accomplished Native American performers will appear on the Indian Market and Festival stage all weekend:

·         World champion hoop dancer and flute musician Tony Duncan (Apache/Arikara/Hidatsa) and his family return to the Eiteljorg for performances and hoop-dancing workshops. Duncan and his fellow dancers astounded the crowds with their high-energy hoop-dance moves at Indian Market and Festival in 2014 and 2017, and they are back this year by popular demand.

·         The award-winning band Son of Hweeldi performs a blend of rock, soul, blues and world music based on Navajo and Apache histories that they call “resistance rock.”

·         An a capella group, Sisterz in Song, features a trio of young women vocalists from Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara cultures who perform traditional songs.

·         Cultural storyteller Jacque Tahuka Nunez performs “Journeys to the Past,” describing the lifestyle of California’s first people, the Acjachemen Nation of Orange County.

For the entertainers’ onstage performance schedule, visit

For the second year in a row, the Eiteljorg will host the Market Morning Breakfast on Saturday morning June 22, for early-bird art collectors who want to meet the artists in a more relaxed setting before the big crowds arrive. Reservations are required to attend the Saturday breakfast; contact or 317.275.1316 for details.

The 27th annual Indian Market & Festival is sponsored by Ice Miller LLP, Arts Midwest and the Mrs. Margot L. Eccles Arts & Culture Fund, a fund of the Central Indiana Community Foundation. The entertainment stage sponsor is the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation. Additional support is provided by the museum’s Mrs. Robert S. Eccles Fund.

The post Celebrate the 27th Annual Eiteljorg Museum Indian Market and Festival on June 22-23 appeared first on Native News Online.


SUWA Calls on BLM to Halt Mechanical “Vegetation Treatment” Projects in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

April 11, 2019 - 12:00am

Published April 11, 2019

MOAB, Utah — Citing a new report on the lack of scientific evidence supporting “vegetation treatment” projects on public lands, the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA) and its members are calling on the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to halt work on three massive “vegetation treatment” proposals within the original boundaries of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

The peer-reviewed report*, released in February, 2019 by the Wild Utah Project – a Utah-based non-profit organization focused on conservation science  – analyzes the existing scientific literature on mechanical vegetation removal projects on western public lands. The report finds little evidence to support the BLM’s assertion that vegetation treatment projects improve forage or habitat for wildlife, or reduce stream erosion and runoff.

The Scientific Uncertainty and Fiscal Waste of BLM’s
Vegetation Removal Program in the West

In response to the report and ongoing plans by the BLM to conduct mechanical vegetation treatment projects on nearly 135,000 acres of the original 1.9 million acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, SUWA Wildlands attorney Kya Marienfeld released the following statement:

“Large-scale vegetation removal projects are an extreme and unproven management approach that simply do not belong on our public lands, and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument should never be the subject of the most aggressive and invasive treatments like chaining, mastication, and mulching. These projects are completely incompatible with protecting the fragile ecological, paleontological, and archaeological resources in Grand Staircase.”

The BLM’s current mechanical vegetation treatment plans in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument include:

  • Proposing to use chainsaws and mechanical masticators on up to 93,000 acres of public lands within a 610,000 acre area of the Paria River watershed.

  • Authorizing the removal of pinyon pine and juniper trees from more than 30,000 acres of within Skutumpah Terrace area northeast of Kanab. SUWA and conservation partners have appealed this project to the Department of Interior Board of Land Appeals.

  • In three additional proposals at the heart of Grand Staircase (including Alvey Wash, Last Chance Gulch, and Coal Bench), the BLM plans to use heavy machinery including bullhog masticators to strip more than 13,000 acres of native vegetation, including pinyon and juniper trees and big sagebrush.

The post SUWA Calls on BLM to Halt Mechanical “Vegetation Treatment” Projects in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument appeared first on Native News Online.


First Nations Awards 17 Keepseagle Fast-Track Grants

April 11, 2019 - 12:00am

Published April 11, 2019

LONGMONT, Colo. — First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) today announced the 17 inaugural grantees under its Keepseagle Fast-Track Grants to Support Native Farmers & Ranchers program.  This new grant program is an outgrowth of the Keepseagle vs. Vilsack case that spanned more than 18 years in federal litigation.

This new grant program falls under First Nations’ existing Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative (NAFSI).  These grants provide much-needed assistance to grow or expand programs and services to organizations in Native communities that serve Native farmers, ranchers and food producers. (In two instances – Coffee Pot Farm and Rosebud Economic Development Corporation – funding was partially provided byAgua Fund.)

The grantees are:

  1. Alexander Pancho Memorial Farm, Sells, Arizona, $40,000 – The farm is a community-based grassroots effort to revitalize the ancient art of dryland farming on the Tohono O’odham Nation. This project will increase the capacity of a new generation of farmers through hands-on apprenticeships, workshops, classes, events and other forms of technical assistance.
  2. Blackfeet Achievement Center, Browning, Montana, $40,000 – The tribe will conduct an economic and technical feasibility study to examine the benefits and challenges of constructing a multi-species meat-processing plant. The plant will reconnect the community to traditional cultural foods by restoring commercial and wild bison herds, and will improve economic opportunities for producers and communities through value-added agriculture and nature-based businesses.
  3. Choctaw Fresh Produce, Choctaw, Mississippi, $40,000 – Choctaw Fresh Produce will deliver freshly harvested, locally grown organic produce to tribal members living on or near the Choctaw Indian Reservation in east-central Mississippi.  Additionally, it will host cooking demonstrations to educate tribal members about health and nutrition, with a specific emphasis on working with tribal elders and diabetics.
  4. Coffee Pot Farm, Winslow, Arizona, $40,000 – Coffee Pot Farms is a Native American woman-owned business located in Dilkon on the Navajo Nation. It will establish a Native food co-operative to revitalize traditional corn fields, organize business workshops for local farmers, write and define culturally-appropriate food policies, and educate tribal members about Native food sovereignty.
  5. Ekvn-Yefolecv, Weogufka, Alabama, $40,000 – Ekvn-Yefolecv is an Indigenous ecovillage that seeks to build an agricultural complex to conserve/restore bison and sturgeon to decolonize the Maskoke diet with traditional, bioregional animal proteins and vegetables. Additionally, the complex also will include a language immersion program where students can participate in agricultural/ceremonial practices involving bison, sturgeon and vegetable crops.
  6. Fort Peck Community College, Poplar, Montana, $40,000 – Fort Peck Community College’s Agricultural Department will create a new program to educate tribal youth on farming and ranching in their ancestral homelands. Native and non-Native youth will participate in cultural activities and workshops, and plant a community garden intended to decrease food insecurity and encourage youth to live a healthy lifestyle.
  7. Laulima Kuha’o, Lanai City, Hawaii, $40,000 – Laulima Kuha’o is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of the Indigenous peoples of Lanai by promoting community-based economic development.  Native Hawaiian youth will participate in a series of agricultural workshops and events designed to further their connection to the ‘aina (land) and increase local food production.
  8. Learning Center at the Euchee Butterfly Farm, Inc., Leonard, Oklahoma, $37,000 – The Learning Center at the Euchee Butterfly Farm, Inc. is a nonprofit founded by the Muscogee (Creek) Nation to provide training in butterfly farming to tribal citizens. Muscogee youth and adults will receive on-site training to produce butterflies for commercial sale and learn about economic development regarding small, non-traditional agricultural businesses.
  9. Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, Mashpee, Massachusetts, $40,000 – The tribe has depended on shellfish harvesting long before first contact with the pilgrims. It seeks to preserve this traditional way of life by expanding the current shellfish farm to share this tradition with future generations, improve its capacity to engage national markets, and increase revenue to improve the economy.
  10. Oneida Nation, Oneida, Wisconsin, $40,000 – The Oneida Nation promotes the development of food sovereignty and agriculturally based economic capacity within the 11 Wisconsin Indian communities.  It will purchase, install and develop teaching tools for two professional juicers and one freeze-drying unit.  This project will increase the skills and capacity of Wisconsin Indians to create and produce value-added products as a means of economic development.
  11. Pauma Band of Luiseño Indians, Pauma Valley, California, $40,000 – The Pauma Band of Luiseño Indians has managed 160 acres of avocado and citrus groves for the past 30 years. The funding will purchase tools and equipment to increase production by 25 percent, produce 500 pounds of traditional seed crops, and partner with the Indian Health Council to improve access to traditional and healthy foods for a least 100 tribal members through cooking classes, farm tours, farm box delivery, and an improved farm stand.
  12. Pueblo of Jemez, Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico, $30,400 – The pueblo will convert an unused domestic well to an agricultural relief well for delivering water to Jemez farmers via the Pecos irrigation canal, and to add a water filling station for farmers to access water for small gardens and livestock. This project addresses the long-standing problem of water delivery, and increases the number of farmers and youth involved with traditional farming practices.
  13. Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma, Quapaw, Oklahoma, $40,000 – The tribe owns a meat-processing plant, feeding facility, greenhouses, beehives, row crops and a coffee-roasting facility that aim to increase community access to fresh, healthy foods, bolster the tribal economy, and increase Native food-system control. It will create 10 farmers’ markets, where it can educate 50 tribal members at each location about the health and economic benefits of locally grown foods.
  14. Rosebud Economic Development Corporation, Mission, South Dakota, $39,600 – Rosebud Economic Development Corporation established the Sicangu Food Sovereignty Initiative in 2014 to address food insecurity and diet-related illnesses on the Rosebud Reservation. It will launch a pilot program for new ranchers and farmers to implement incubator farm operations, and promote farming and ranching as a viable career option and source of livelihood.
  15. Rosebud Ranch and Farming Enterprise, Rosebud, South Dakota, $40,000 – Rosebud Ranch and Farming Enterprise was established by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe to breed and produce Angus cattle. It will offer range workshops to tribal members, ages 8-18, about rangeland grasses and plant identification, including traditional Lakota plants used for food and medicine. The goal is to use ranching to teach Lakota youth about kinship with the land.
  16. Southwest Indian Agricultural Association, Inc., Casa Grande, Arizona, $40,000 – Southwest Indian Agricultural Association, Inc. is a nonprofit organization with more than 300 members from 20+ Southwest tribes. This project will provide outreach and hands-on training on sustainable farming/ranching, community gardening, food safety, irrigation and agribusiness to 100 Native farmers. It will also provide technical assistance to individual farmers on business planning and grant assistance.
  17. White Mountain Apache Tribe – Water Resources, Ndée Bikíyaa, The People’s Farm, Fort Apache, Arizona, $40,000 – The White Mountain Apache Tribe established Ndée Bikíyaa (The Peoples’ Farm) in 2010.  This project will increase the scope of the farm with a series of workshops focused on agribusiness education and skill-building. Through this education and training, participants will acquire skills to strengthen their identity as farmers and stewards of the land and water and catalysts of local traditional food economies.

The post First Nations Awards 17 Keepseagle Fast-Track Grants appeared first on Native News Online.


Registration Now Open for 2019 American Indian Tourism Conference

April 11, 2019 - 12:00am

Hard Rock Tulsa is owned by the Cherokee Nation.

Published April 11, 2019

The conference, scheduled for September 16-19, 2019 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa, is organized by the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association and hosted by Cherokee Nation. ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Registration is now open for the 21st annual American Indian Tourism Conference (AITC), which will be hosted by Cherokee Nation, September 16-19, 2019 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa in Catoosa, Oklahoma. The conference, organized by the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) is the only national conference in the U.S. dedicated to travel and tourism in and for Indian Country Every year, AITC brings together tribes, tribal enterprises and other travel industry experts for networking, business development and informative, enterprise-level breakout sessions that cover topics of interest with respect to tourism development and marketing. Now in its 21st year, AITC is held regionally throughout the United States every September. American Indian Tourism Conference Date: September 16-19, 2019 Location: Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa 777 W Cherokee St, Catoosa, Oklahoma 74015 “We are excited to bring the 21st Annual American Indian Tourism Conference back to Oklahoma this year,” said Travis Owens, AIANTA At-Large Board Member and the director of cultural tourism and community relations for Cherokee Nation Businesses. “Not only will Cherokee Nation be able to showcase its many new developments, including the new Cherokee National History Museum, but we will also have the opportunity to learn from other tribes around the country about their tourism developments.” Each year, AITC kicks off with unique mobile workshops that highlight the culture of the host tribe and foster networking opportunities for attendees to share, teach and learn from one other. This year’s mobile workshop will provide a deeper dive into cultural activities showcasing several neighboring Oklahoma tribes. A favorite AITC event, the Enough Good People Awards Gala & Silent Auction, held on Wednesday, September 18, 2019 at 7:00 p.m., will honor the best and brightest in Indian Country tourism including Tribal Destination of the Year, the Best Cultural Heritage Experience Award and the Excellence in Customer Service Award. Also, AIANTA’s Board of Directors recognizes individuals who have made a significant impact on tribal tourism and/or who have helped AIANTA achieve its mission. Accompanied by dinner and a silent auction, the dinner serves to raise funds for AIANTA’s tourism and hospitality scholarship program. Conference registrations begin at $425 for AIANTA members who register by the early bird deadline (May 31, 2019). A select number of exhibitor spaces are available at $800 per booth. As with previous years, the conference will also feature a local artisan fair, and artisans are encouraged to secure a table for just $150. To register for the 21st annual AITC, visit for more information.

The post Registration Now Open for 2019 American Indian Tourism Conference appeared first on Native News Online.


Rep. Haaland on Passage of Important Southwest Water Protection Legislation

April 11, 2019 - 12:00am

Rep. Deb Haaland

Published April 11, 2019

Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan Authorization Act Passes U.S. House

WASHINGTON — Congresswoman Deb Haaland (NM-01), Vice Chair of the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee, released the following statement after the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan Authorization Act passed the U.S. House:

“In New Mexico, water is sacred – we know it is a limited resource that needs to be protected. The effects of climate change and drought have put a strain on our water resources and the communities who rely on them. By forging this agreement, we’re making sure our water is used wisely.”

The Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan is an agreement that establishes new water conservation measures to protect water in the Colorado River Basin, which New Mexico relies on. The bill authorizes the use of voluntary water reductions and innovative management strategies to avoid historic lows in Colorado River reservoirs, which would trigger dramatic water delivery cuts to Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, California, New Mexico and Nevada.

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Interior Department Law Enforcement Seizes $2.3 Million in Illegal Drugs on Southern Border

April 10, 2019 - 8:55pm

Published April 10, 2019

WASHINGTON — From March 20, 2019 through March 28, 2019, the Department of the Interior (DOI) Opioid Reduction Task Force conducted a Criminal Interdiction Operation focusing on areas of highway known for high drug trafficking into and around Indian Country. The operation yielded an estimated $2.3 million in federally illegal drugs.

The operation occurred on the Tohono O’odham Reservation, located in Arizona on the Southern Border of the United States. The results of the Operation are below.

422 traffic Stops:

  • 14 traffic citations issued
  • 129 vehicle searches
  • 83 K-9 deployments
  • 40 K-9 alerts

50 Total Arrests:

  • 42 Federal Illegal Entry Arrests
  • 1 Tribal Failure to Appear Warrant (Tribal)
  • 1 Alcohol Related Arrest (Tribal)
  • 1 Assault and Battery Warrant Arrest (Tribal)
  • 1 Molestation w/minor (Federal)
  • 2 Dangerous Drug (State)
  • 1 Sexual Assault (Tribal)
  • 1 Weapons Trafficking (Federal)

Controlled substances seized (Total combined street value: $2.3 million):

  • 31.15 grams of Methamphetamine (approx .06 pounds)
  • 480,239.19 grams of Marijuana (approx. 1,058 pounds)
  • 0.2 grams of Heroin

The Opioid Reduction Task Force consists of Special Agents from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), Division of Drug Enforcement (DDE), BIA K-9 uniformed officers, the Tohono O’odham Police Department (TOPD), the Native American Targeted Investigations of Violent Enterprises (NATIVE) Task Force, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security of Investigations (HSI), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the National Parks Service (NPS), the United States Border Patrol (USBP) and Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS).

The Joint Task Force on Opioid Reduction was formed in 2018. It is led by the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services in coordination with State, local, Tribal and other Federal partners. In the first year, Joint Task Force Operations in Arizona, New Mexico, North Carolina, Washington, Montana, and other states have led to the seizure of millions of dollars’ worth of fentanyl, heroin, methamphetamine and other drugs, and hundreds of arrests and indictments.

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Calm before the Storm: Pine Ridge Reservation Braces for Winter Blizzard

April 10, 2019 - 9:53am

Calm before the storm on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Published April 10, 2019

PINE RIDGE INDIAN RESERVATION —  Still reelign from massive flooding and without federal assistance, the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation braces for another major storm.

“A potentially historic storm will arrive late Wednesday, bringing a variety of precipitation types, strong wind gusts in excess of 50 mph, and very heavy snow totals,” the National Weather Service in Minneapolis warned. “Prepare now for a severe winter storm.”

As the storm, named Winter Storm Wesley, bears down, promising more severe weather for the home of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, tribal leaders say the reservation has a long way to go to recover from flooding caused by Winter Storm Ulmer in mid-March.

That storm, they say, damaged more than 75 structures, displaced 1,500 individuals and destroyed critical culverts and roads, causing millions of dollars of damage to infrastructure.

In the wake of Ulmer, Pine Ridge President Julian Bear Runner joined the South Dakota State Senate in requesting a federal disaster declaration for South Dakota (SR-7), which would trigger quicker action by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Bear Runner is also seeking assistance from South Dakota’s leadership. Just over a week ago, he delivered a letter to Governor Kristi Noem requesting assistance from the South Dakota National Guard on recovery efforts and emergency response to future storms.

“The first storm created devastating impacts for our tribal nation,” Bear Runner said in a statement. “It is our great hope that going forward we will be able to work hand in hand, in a timely manner, with state and federal agencies to respond to the long-term challenge of recovery.”

Tribal officials have also been in direct communication with FEMA, but said the agency has only one tribal liaison for Region VIII, which includes all of South Dakota and five other states. They say that at least five other Sioux tribes in the region have suffered damage from Ulmer, with the most significant problems occurring on the Pine Ridge, Rosebud and Cheyenne River Reservations.

Bear Runner said he is hoping that more people will sign onto his tribe’s petition to President Donald Trump spelling out the need for a federal disaster declaration similar to the one made for Nebraska several weeks ago.

Chase Iron Eyes, public relations director for the Oglala Sioux Tribe, said that the relationship between worsening storm systems and climate change is not lost on the Bear Runner administration. He said his tribe’s young president is holding Washington accountable for negligence in regard to climate policy.

“Trump’s insistence on circumventing court decisions designed to reign in oil pipeline development on, or near, Sioux tribal land is particularly egregious given our current suffering,” said Iron Eyes. “Mr. Trump apparently has no respect for scientific or indigenous perspectives on what is causing these super storms, and he has no respect for the rule of law.”

On the heels of Ulmer, a Trump executive order attempted to circumvent a Montana court ruling blocking the Keystone XL pipeline, a project which would move 800,000 gallons of tar sands crude oil daily from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico across unceded Sioux treaty lands.

Steve Wilson, the Oglala Sioux Tribe’s emergency response manager, said that, since taking his post in September of 2016, he’s experienced an increase in extremely unusual weather at Pine Ridge. “Last July, we saw baseball-sized hailstones and 60 to 80 mile-per-hour winds,” Wilson said. “And this current flooding is the worst I’ve seen in my lifetime. Weather patterns are changing.”

Iron Eyes said he was heartened to see Carmen Yulín Cruz, mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, mention the situation at Pine Ridge in a recent national news appearance, and he echoed her stated concerns about FEMA’s failure to provide for communities of color in the aftermath of natural disasters under the Trump administration.

“Despite $10 million in damage caused to our homeland during the hailstorm last year, no support has been forthcoming from FEMA,” Iron Eyes said. “Now we face yet another weather catastrophe, and at least for the moment, we are once again largely without help.”

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Rep. Haaland Marks 100 Days in Office with House Floor Speech

April 10, 2019 - 12:56am

Rep. Deb Haaland

Published April 10, 2019

WASHINGTON — On Tuesday, Congresswoman Deb Haaland (NM-01), a tribal citizen of the Pueblo of Laguna, marked her first 100 days in office with a House Floor speech highlighting significant legislative accomplishments. The speech was part of the freshman class’ 100 Days For the People special order. Haaland’s remarks as prepared for delivery are below.

>>>WATCH: Haaland Marks 100 Days in Office with House Floor Speech

If we think back to the beginning of this Congress, we started the 100 days under an unnecessary government shutdown – I met with constituents, federal workers, business owners in my district who were forced to suffer for the President’s frivolous campaign promise.

At the end of the day, we funded the government and made sure federal workers received back pay.

All the while, we were setting up a path to work For the People – making our communities a priority, NOT the wealthy and well-connected, but people who suffer when they lose a paycheck and rely on affordable health care.

We’re in a special moment in history – a moment when our freshmen class of House members look more like the people we represent and our experiences reflect the experience of everyday Americans. 

I’m a single mother.

I’ve pieced together health care for my daughter and me.

I’m still paying my student loans.

This class of freshman lawmakers knows struggles many are going through. And with the new majority, it’s clear we’re working FOR THE PEOPLE. 

We passed a bill that will ensure everyone has an opportunity to participate in our democracy while taking steps to end corruption. 

The most significant land legislation of our time made it across the finish line, including provisions of my first bill to designate land for everyone to have access to in New Mexico. 

It was a huge win for my state, because, in New Mexico, we value our natural heritage and resources, and we believe in protecting the places we hold dear for future generations to enjoy.

The Public Lands Package makes all of those things possible.

It’s also a prime example of what our Democratic majority can get done, because we’re willing to work across the aisle and push legislation through. 

Our progress includes things like fighting for equality with the Paycheck Fairness Act and a resolution condemning the President’s transgender troops ban. 

Fighting for prosperity for everyone by introducing a $15 minimum wage and passing the Dream and Promise Act.

And tackling the challenges of our time with the Violence Against Women Act and forging a path to address Climate Change with an unprecedented number committee hearings uncovering the climate change realities facing our communities and working on pieces that will create a Green New Deal for everyone.

In 100 days you can get a lot done, and we’re looking forward to getting more done For the People in the next 100 days.

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New Website Launched to Assist Pine Ridge Reservation Residents Still Suffering from Last Month’s Storm

April 10, 2019 - 12:03am

Residents of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation have suffered from lack of safe drinking water.

Published April 10, 2019

PINE RIDGE INDIAN RESERVATION — A new website has been launched to provide support to those on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation who are still suffering the negative impacts from last month’s storm that produced massive flooding and lack of drinking water., was launched as a place to find needed information and provide support. Please share it with anyone who might be able to help!

Topline priorities to care for families, elders, and displaced citizens are bottled water and storage containers, nonperishable food, diapers, toilet paper, and hygiene products.

And the rebuilding effort will be massive. Putting people back in residence requires some big ticket items, including vehicles of all kinds (especially UTVs), and green building supplies.

Massive flooding cut Pine Ridge Indian Reservation residents off from everyday supplies.

Recovery items are needed: such as generators, fuel containers, water pumps, shovels, and other tools.

Please email  Chase Iron Eyes directly at the tribal office to inquire before sending specific items so he can verify the items are still top-priority:

Human resources are also essential. The Oglala Sioux Tribe is looking for grant writers, contractors, engineers, skilled laborers, bookkeepers, and administrative assistants who are experts in their field and able to cover the cost of a trip to Pine Ridge.

If you can join us here, please email us at before coming so we can discuss logistics.

Please send relief items to:
West Hwy 18
OST President’s Office
Pine Ridge, SD 57770

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American Indian College Fund Staff Publish Article on Role of Place and Ecology at Tribal Colleges and Universities

April 10, 2019 - 12:00am

Published April 10, 2019

DENVER — From curricula to campuses, tribal colleges and universities, which serve communities on or near Indian reservations, are rooted in Indigenous cultural beliefs. Cheryl Crazy Bull, President and CEO of the American Indian College Fund, with Emily White Hat, Director, Strategy and National Outreach of the College Fund, have published a scholarly paper exploring how tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) incorporate tribal values and knowledge of land sustainability and ecology into their institutions, making them substantially different from other academic institutions. Both women are also members of the Sicangu Lakota nation in addition to their roles at the College Fund.

The article, titled Cangleska Wakan: The ecology of the sacred circle and the role of tribal colleges and universities, is available in the International Review of Education, 65(1), 117-141. A Digital Object Identifier, to help readers find the article more easily in print and online, is 10.1007/s11159-018-9760-8. The paper is also available at the International Review of Education website.

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NTU’s Men’s Rodeo Team Finds Momentum in Spring Season 

April 10, 2019 - 12:00am

Erik Becenti ropes his steer while Hiyo Yazzie of Mesalands Community College trails. The team finished with a time of 7.5 seconds at the NMSU rodeo on March 31, 2019.

Published April 10, 2019

LAS CRUCES, N.M. — Navajo Technical University’s men’s rodeo team has found momentum in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association’s (NIRA) Grand Canyon Region’s spring rodeo season.  Several of NTU’s rodeo athletes have positioned themselves for a late run at qualifying to the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR).

After NTU placed 3rdat the New Mexico State University rodeo on March 31stin Las Crucas, NM, the men’s team sits in 5thplace behind Meslands Community College, Cochise College, New Mexico State University, and current leader, Central Arizona College. Steer wrestler Jared Pino is ranked 5thnationally as is team roping header Erik Becenti, who trails Central Arizona College’s John Henry Gaona by 10.5 points for 4thplace. NTU’s other ranked cowboys include team roping header Jay Becenti (12th) and Tyson Charley (10th).

“I have a lot of talented students on my team,” explained coach Nicole Pino, who has been at the helm of NTU’s rodeo team for the last several years. “I’m proud of them all.”

Environmental Science and Natural Resources major Jared Pino dismounts his horse while competing in the steer wrestling event. Pino finished 5that the NMSU event and currently sits 5thin the NIRA’s national standings.

At the NMSU rodeo, four out of NTU’s six rodeo athletes received points moving them up in the college rodeo standings. Erik Becenti and Jared Pino each placed 5that the event, as they both chipped in 69 points each to NTU’s team standings. Pino pinned his steer with a time of 18.9 seconds, and Becenti turned in a time of 7.5 seconds with his roping partner Hiyo Yazzie of Mesalands Community College. Contributing most to NTU’s 390-point team score was the tandem of Jay Becenti and Tyson Charley, who placed 2ndin the team roping event with a run of 6.6 seconds.

“We are a small team, but we can be fierce,” stated Coach Pino, who expressed confidence in her team in closing out the rodeo season on a high note.

Header Jay Becenti turns his steer as healer Tyson Charley looks to rope the hind legs. The team finished with a run of 6.6 seconds, placing 2ndat the NMSU rodeo in Las Cruces, NM.

The final rodeo of the 2018-2019 season will be the Grand Canyon Regional Rodeo, April 19-20thin Socorro, NM. The top three finishers in the year-end standings qualify for the CNFR, which will take place in June in Casper, WY. For more information about NTU’s rodeo team, please contact coach Nicole Pino at

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Waging In The Kentucky Derby: Expanding Your Betting Profit Through Winning Streaks

April 10, 2019 - 12:00am

Published April 10, 2019

It’s the horse racing season of the year and the most esteemed tournament in the United States which is the Triple Crown Series will start a few days from now. It is composed of three major legs starting of with Kentucky Derby on May 4, 2019, followed by the Preakness Stakes which will be on May 18, 2019, and concluded by Belmont Stakes on June 08, 2019.

While Preakness and Belmont are still far, let’s get to talk first the first leg which is the Kentucky Derby. This horse racing event will set the mood of the Triple Crown Series because, throughout the history of the Kentucky Derby, this is the most attended horse racing tournament out of the three. Aside from that, it is also where the favorite horses emerged and cited to might clinch the Triple Crown.

Also, aside from the fact that the Kentucky Derby is attended by strongest horse racers found across the country, horse racing fans are looking forward to the sports betting they can ultimately join. While you take part in the Kentucky Derby betting game, it is possible that might end up to have a winning streak. While you get that winning momentum, let’s give you some tips on how you can maximize your Kentucky Derby betting earnings.

Don’t Get Too Conceited

The Kentucky Derby betting game comes in different categories and if you ingest the right skill and strategy, you might be able to grow your bank account productively. For some bettors, if they experience winning too much they get too excited and overwhelmed. In this case, you might think you are already genius when it comes to betting and you may either enjoy the winning streak or end up the other way around.

If you feel you are already winning big and earning too much while you bet, keep that relaxed attitude and continue what you are doing. At the same time, don’t get so excited and conceited that you would like to bet even more as this is not a good betting attitude to wear. According to some sports analyst, a successful bettor maintains a calm attitude and do not show to a lot of people what are their emotions while they enjoy that winning streak mode.

Don’t Revise or Attempt To Change Your Approach

Every sports bettor has its own betting techniques and strategies that personally works for them. Ideally, there is no mathematical formula that every bettor can use to maintain a winning streak. They only spend ample time in studying the entries by referring to the recent Kentucky Derby odds and previous forms of every horse racers. Through this, you will be able to come up with the right betting strategy which will work to attain that winning streak.

That said, when these approaches work as you place your bets in the upcoming Kentucky Derby, you don’t need to change. Instead, continue doing it and observe a more winning betting game. Once you also maintain the winning approach you have developed, you can also show to all bettors your expertise when it comes to betting the right entry.

Do not attempt to change your betting approach as it might cut your winning streak. Dialing into the kind of approach you are applying and feeling that it’s working, that truly means you are doing well in betting. Continue doing this and feel that winning mood while you successfully grow your bankroll.

Increase Your Bets Sensibly

Once you have successfully incorporated the right approach in maintaining a winning streak betting for the Kentucky Derby, gradually increase your betting amount. In some cases, most bettors get overwhelmed in placing a huge amount of bets if they feel they win for a long time, but by the time they place that large amount they lose it. This should not be the right process you need to take as you are risking a huge amount you might lose.

In order to feel that, minimally increase the amount of bet you are going to wage. Don’t let the number of your bets determine your winning success. Don’t be tempted to ride along with your winning mood in which you are going to wage a huge amount right away. By increasing your bet amount gradually, you are securing the amount you are winning. Take note that you may earn less, but at least little by little you will be able to come up with a bigger betting profit.

Lastly, this is also the best way of managing your bank account. Betting in horse racing like the Kentucky Derby is expensive and inevitably you don’t want to lose right away what you have gained. Ideally, this is the best technique the professional bettors normally do that’s why they have been successful in any betting game.


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Udall, Heinrich, Luján, Haaland Introduce Legislation to Protect Chaco Canyon Area

April 9, 2019 - 5:30pm

Published April 10, 2019

WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Luján and Deb Haaland introduced the Chaco Cultural Heritage Area Protection Act, S. 1079, a bill to withdraw the federal lands around Chaco Canyon from further mineral development. The bill, alongside anticipated actions from State Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard, would help ensure the protection of Chaco ruins and the greater landscape surrounding the Chaco Culture National Historical Park by preventing any future leasing or development of minerals owned by the U.S. government that are located within an approximately 10-mile protected radius around Chaco.

The full text of the bill can be found HERE. More information on the bill can be found HERE. A map of the proposed Chaco Protection Zone can be found HERE.

“The greater Chaco region is a New Mexico treasure. Many Tribes in New Mexico can trace their ancestry and culture to Chaco, and consider these sites sacred. But even as archeologists are making exciting new discoveries about this region – and even as Tribes and the American public speak out in overwhelming support of protecting this precious landscape – Chaco is being threatened by expanding energy development, including recently proposed leasing inside this long-standing buffer zone. I am proud of my work with New Mexico’s Pueblos and the Navajo Nation to craft this bill to provide a fundamental baseline of protection for this sacred, archaeological wonder. This legislation honors New Mexico’s history and culture, recognizing that some places are just too special to lose,” said Udall, vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.

“The Chaco region holds deep meaning to New Mexico’s Pueblos, whose history and traditional knowledge live on in its thousands of ancestral sites, and to the Navajo Nation, whose lands and communities surround Chaco Culture National Historical Park. I’m proud to introduce legislation to protect the landscape nearest to the existing Park from federal mineral development. While we plan for any future energy development in the San Juan Basin, protecting these sites is something we should all be able to agree on. This is about listening to tribal leaders and all of the New Mexicans who are calling on us to preserve the integrity of Chaco’s irreplaceable resources. I will keep doing all I can to defend important cultural and religious sites and the sacred landscape of the greater Chaco region for future generations,” said Heinrich.

“This effort will preserve the greater Chaco region for generations to come. Chaco Canyon is sacred land that has been home to some of the most resilient communities in history, and it is our responsibility to protect against efforts that would destroy the legacy of the Chacoan people and other indigenous communities or harm these beautiful public lands. We must do everything possible to defend the greater Chaco area by halting future oil and gas development in the area, and I’m proud to support legislation that will further address the environmental, health, economic, and cultural needs of this region,” said Luján, U.S. House Assistant Speaker. 

“It’s important that we protect Chaco Canyon, both because it is a sacred place that should be valued the same way we value other sacred places, but also because public lands must be protected. However, time and again this special place has been put up to be exploited by big oil companies. By introducing these protections we’re going beyond protecting a beautiful piece of New Mexico, we’re recognizing the significance Chaco holds for the Native American community and to all New Mexicans. By keeping Chaco from being destroyed by the fossil fuel industry, future generations will have access to this special place,” said Haaland, the Chair of the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands.

Udall, Heinrich, Luján, and Haaland held a press conference call today with Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, All Pueblo Council of Governors Vice Chairman J. Michael Chavarria and New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands Stephanie Garcia Richard to announce the introduction of the bill. Audio of the call can be found HERE.

The Chaco Cultural Heritage Area Protection Act would withdraw minerals owned by the U.S. government from future leasing and development that are located within the Proposed Chaco Protection Zone – which surrounds the Chaco Culture National Historical Park – protecting the remaining Chaco ruins and landscape nearest the park. The bill withdraws 316,076 acres of minerals from the 909,000 acres of the Proposed Chaco Protection Zone of oil, natural gas, coal, gold, silver and other minerals owned by the federal government. This zone represents a roughly 10-mile radius around the park in which BLM had forgone mineral leasing for a number of years during the Obama Administration, but has proposed new leasing during the Trump Administration, making this legislation urgently needed. In respecting Tribal self-determination, only minerals owned by the federal government are subject to withdrawal – excluding minerals in the area that are owned by private, state, and Tribal entities.

The full text of the bill can be found HERE. More information on the bill can be found HERE. A map of the proposed Chaco Protection Zone can be found HERE.

The Chaco Cultural Heritage Area Protection Act is supported by Navajo Nation, All Pueblo Council of Governors (APCG), New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, Sierra Club, the Wilderness Society, and Southwest Native Cultures. A list of organizations and individuals offering support for the legislation is available HERE.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said, “As Native Americans, we are connected to the land and it is important to preserve sacred places. This is not only a Navajo teaching but an acknowledgment of a way of life for all indigenous peoples. The Nez-Lizer Administration stands firmly with the All Pueblo Council of Governors in protecting Chaco Canyon. We thank Senator Udall for continuing to be a champion for Indian Country through his sponsorship of the Chaco Cultural Heritage Area Protection Act.”

All Pueblo Council of Governors Chairman E. Paul Torres said, “Thank you Senator Udall and Senator Heinrich, for your leadership, and your unceasing commitment to support the efforts of our tribal nations in the preservation of the Greater Chaco Region. This land is a part of our histories as tribal nations, and holds life-affirming resources that many of our Pueblos still remember and use, as a vital part of our present identity through story, song, prayer, and pilgrimage. This landscape is a part of our past, present, and our future. Once these areas are developed, they are gone forever. We hope the reintroduction of this bill sends a strong message to Washington – that it must be understood that we will do all we can to take these resources our Creator gifted us and hand them to our children and our generations to come. We thank you Senators, the Navajo Nation, and the New Mexico State Land Office for our unified support in this movement to protect Greater Chaco.”

New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands Stephanie Garcia Richard said, “I am excited to join with Senator Tom Udall in ensuring state trust land included in the boundaries are off-limits to future oil and gas exploration. Protection of the Greater Chaco Heritage Area is critical and an important first step in respecting our tribes’ and state’s rich, cultural history.”

Mark Allison, Executive Director, New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, said: “Many Chacoan sites exist outside the Park’s official boundaries, so lease sales by BLM in the surrounding area almost always mean the loss of artifacts, history, and sacred sites as well as wildlands, habitat and dark skies. This bill represents a major step forward toward permanently protecting the area’s rich cultural heritage, world-class archaeological resources and sensitive natural landscape. We are proud to stand in solidarity with the All Pueblo Council of Governors and the Navajo Nation supporting this legislation. New Mexico’s entire federal delegation acting in concert sends an unmistakable message that this serious threat requires a serious response.”

Camilla Feibelman, Director of the Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter said: “We must protect sacred sites, communities and cultures, and our wild and special places, which is why the Greater Chaco region must be protected from expanded fracking. We applaud Senators Udall and Heinrich and Representatives Luján and Haaland for their efforts to ensure that the Greater Chaco region and the people who live there are safeguarded from the Trump administration’s attempts to sell it off to the fossil fuel industry.”

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NAJA launches Survey to Assess Perceptions of Press Freedom in Indian Country

April 9, 2019 - 12:58am

Published April 9, 2019

All readers, viewers and listeners of tribal media are encouraged to respond to the survey and SHARE it with friends and family who care about the independence of tribal media.

NORMAN, Okla. — On April 9, the Native American Journalists Association launched the Red Press Initiative survey designed to assess the perception of press freedom in Indian Country by gathering responses from the directors, producers and consumers of tribal media.

The survey is part of the Red Press Initiative, a groundbreaking program intended to research and report on the successes, and shortcomings, of tribal media operations. A vibrant Indigenous media is essential to an informed and engaged tribal citizenry, but the health and needs of these important news organizations is inconsistent and unclear.

CLICK to access the survey.

The Red Press Initiative will seek to better understand the current tribal media landscape, study success stories and best practices, and develop educational materials and trainings to support tribal media operations as needed.

NAJA believes that accurate and contextual reporting about Indigenous people and communities is necessary to overcome the biases and stereotypes commonly portrayed in popular media. Robust and diligent tribal media operations are the heart of efforts to curb these practices, and healthy tribal media operations should lead the way on best practices for reporting in Indian Country.

This groundbreaking initiative has been generously funded by the Ford Foundation, and has been joined by other press advocates including the Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders, the Democracy Fund, the Indigenous Media Freedom Alliance, and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

NAJA announced the project at the 2018 National Native Media Conference where a preliminary survey was conducted among NAJA members to gather data on some of the critical questions that the project will study. This preliminary survey revealed:

  • 23 percent responded that lack of financial resources was the greatest threat to tribal media, followed by 13 percent – lack of job security, and 13 percent – lack of editorial control.
  • 66 percent responded that the economic environment frequently or always impacts tribal media’s ability to be independent.
  • 76 percent responded that tribal media content is sometimes, frequently or always determined of government officials or other political interests.
  • 83 percent responded that stories about tribal government affairs sometimes, frequently or always go unreported due to censorship.

PLEASE SHARE THIS SURVEY! Sample social media posts to share the survey:

1: Commit to #Indigenous press freedom. Join the @najournalists Red Press Initiative today! #RedPressInitiative #NAJAeverywhere

2: More than 80% of #Indigenous reporters say that stories about tribal government affairs go unreported due to censorship. Support press freedom in Indian Country by participating in the NAJA Red Press Initiative. #NAJAeverywhere #NAJARedPress

Respondents who complete the survey can be entered into a drawing for prizes when the survey closes. Survey respondents who enter the drawing will have a chance to win an NTVS Resistance Bomber Jacket or a pair of Beats Solo3 wireless on-ear headphones. Additional prizes may be added to increase the number of winners.

Thank you for participating in this groundbreaking effort to better understand the press freedom of tribal media. Questions should be directed to NAJA at

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