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Crown won't appeal verdict in Brady Francis hit-and-run case

CBC ABORIGINAL NEWS - May 27, 2020 - 10:25am
Brady Francis, 22, of Elsipogtog

The Crown won’t appeal Maurice Johnson’s acquittal last month in the hit-and-run death of Brady Francis. A judge had ruled the Crown failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

Categories: CANADA

Women entrepreneurs in Alberta fight to ensure their businesses survive the pandemic

CBC ABORIGINAL NEWS - May 27, 2020 - 10:00am
Alèthe Kaboré

Alberta entrepreneurs are navigating the hurdles of child care and gaps in financial aid to make it through the pandemic.

Categories: CANADA

Fired. 'This is the right call'

INDIAN COUNTRY MEDIA NETWORK - May 27, 2020 - 9:22am

Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said the department would conduct a full internal investigation, and prosecutors will decide whether to file criminal charges against the officers involved


Basketball takes a timeout

INDIAN COUNTRY MEDIA NETWORK - May 27, 2020 - 9:12am

'We love our sports and having to pause sports activity now is difficult'


Eighth Generation Steps Up Help Fight COVID-19 Pandemic – Expansion Plans for Downtown Portland Delayed

NATIVE NEWS ONLINE - May 27, 2020 - 9:02am

Potlatch is a term applied to ceremonies that were celebrated by Indigenous groups all along the Northwest Coast.

Published May 27, 2020

SEATTLE — The coronavirus pandemic may have delayed Eighth Generation‘s plans to open a beautiful new brick-and-mortar retail store in downtown Portland, Oregon but it can’t stop the Native-owned business. 

Eighth Generation recently donated over 10,000 masks to Seattle-area health clinics to slow the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eighth Generation is located in Seattle’s Pike Place Market and was founded by Louie Gong (Nooksack). Late last year, Gong sold the business to the Snoqualmie Tribe and agreed to stay on as the operator of a business that has become popular in Indian Country because of its line of blankets and other products that were created by Native American artisans. Eighth Generation’s motto is “Inspired Natives, Not Native-inspired.”

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, plans to open a downtown Portland, Ore. retail location have been delayed.

On Thursday, Eighth Generation introduced the “Oregon Potlatch” blanket, which was originally slated to launch in tandem with the grand opening of Eighth Generation’s much anticipated Portland retail store. The new blanket was designed by Portland-area artist Shirod Younker (Coquille/Miluk Coos/Umpqua) and Tony A. Johnson (Clatsop/Wahkiakum/Lower Chinook), current tribal chairman of the Chinook Tribe.

Potlatch is a term applied to ceremonies that were celebrated by Indigenous groups all along the Northwest Coast. While it may be organized and carried out differently by different culture groups, “the potlatch universally is a recognition, a public validation of rank accomplished by the ceremonial distribution of wealth” (Blackman et al. 1981:30)

“It has been exciting to watch Louie and Eighth Generation grow as a Native-owned business, their dedication to working with Native artists is making real, Native artwork, available to everyone in a culturally appropriate way. It is an honor to support them in this effort.” shared Cheryle A. Kennedy, Chairwoman of the Grand Ronde Tribe.

The post Eighth Generation Steps Up Help Fight COVID-19 Pandemic – Expansion Plans for Downtown Portland Delayed appeared first on Native News Online.


Rep. Haaland, Sen. Warren pen editorial in Washington Post: “The federal government fiddles as Covid-19 ravages Native Americans”

NATIVE NEWS ONLINE - May 27, 2020 - 8:52am

Rep. Deb Haaland and Sen. Elizabeth Warren are call out the federal government’s response to COVID-19 in Indian Country. (Photo: Haaland Twitter account.)

WASHINGTON — Representative Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) sounded off against the Trump Administration’s treatment of tribes in a Washington Post opinion piece titled “The federal government fiddles as covid-19 ravages Native Americans.”

The opinion piece, published on Tuesday, calls out the White House for initially fighting against direct aid to the nations 574 federally recognized tribes and also takes to task the Treasury Dept. for its slow-footed distribution of $8 billion in approved relief funds to tribal governments.  Haaland is one of four American Indians who serves in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Haaland and Warren write: “For generations, the federal government has failed to honor its promises to Native American people. Now, covid-19 is ravaging Native communities, killing young people and elders alike, and devastating tribal economies. We are fighting in Congress to ensure that sovereign Native nations have the resources needed to protect the health and well-being of their citizens during this pandemic. The novel coronavirus’s terrible impact in Indian Country underscores that the federal government must live up to its unique legal and moral obligations to Native nations and act as a partner to help build security and resiliency for the future.”

For the entire opinion piece, click here.

The post Rep. Haaland, Sen. Warren pen editorial in Washington Post: “The federal government fiddles as Covid-19 ravages Native Americans” appeared first on Native News Online.


Task force on missing Native Americans resumes sessions

INDIAN COUNTRY MEDIA NETWORK - May 27, 2020 - 8:31am

Four sessions are scheduled through June 3


A year after MMIWG inquiry's final report, Manitoba advocates say they're disappointed by lack of progress

CBC ABORIGINAL NEWS - May 27, 2020 - 6:00am
Sagkeeng MMIW

Some of the people who worked on, or testified for, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls say they've heard "nothing" from different levels of government since the final report was published almost one year ago.

Categories: CANADA

Travel restrictions reveal double-standard, says Canoe Lake Cree First Nation resident

CBC ABORIGINAL NEWS - May 27, 2020 - 6:00am
Rose Durocher

Rose Durocher longs to see her family, but can't because of provincial travel restrictions imposed on her community, despite there being no known local active cases of COVID-19.

Categories: CANADA

Quebec Cree pass mandatory self-isolation law

CBC ABORIGINAL NEWS - May 27, 2020 - 6:00am
Waswanipi checkpoint

'We were concerned with the laws coming from the government of Quebec. They didn't necessarily make sense for us and at times they were contradictory,' said Paul John Murdoch, secretary of the Cree Nation Government.

Categories: CANADA

Lack of coroner's inquest in death of inmate Cornell Henry 'beyond maddening,' lawyer says

CBC ABORIGINAL NEWS - May 27, 2020 - 6:00am
Cornell Henry

Don Worme says the Henry family's "access to justice" issues highlight why an inquest is needed. 

Categories: CANADA

Two Manitoba police officers charged with crimes related to intimate images

CBC ABORIGINAL NEWS - May 27, 2020 - 6:00am
Independent Investigation Unit

Two Manitoba police officers are facing criminal charges stemming from the recording, watching and distribution of intimate images and videos, CBC News has learned.

Categories: CANADA

First Nations commercial fishermen consider starting season as they await federal relief

CBC ABORIGINAL NEWS - May 27, 2020 - 5:00am
Chris Clarke

A group of First Nations commercial fishermen in Manitoba are wondering if they should start fishing even with little chance they can sell their catch, worried that money won't flow soon enough from a federal relief package.

Categories: CANADA

New Data Shows Navajo Nation Passed the COVID-19 Surge Peak in late April

NATIVE NEWS ONLINE - May 27, 2020 - 12:36am

Published May 27, 2020

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — The Navajo Department of Health in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service reported 48 new cases of COVID-19 for the Navajo Nation. The total number of deaths has reached 158 as of Tuesday. 

Preliminary reports from nine health care facilities indicate that approximately 1,585 individuals have recovered from COVID-19, with more reports still pending. The total number of positive COVID-19 cases for the Navajo Nation has reached 4,842.

Navajo Nation cases by Service Unit:

  • Chinle Service Unit: 1,186
  • Crownpoint Service Unit: 503
  • Ft. Defiance Service Unit: 237
  • Gallup Service Unit: 837
  • Kayenta Service Unit: 757
  • Shiprock Service Unit: 785
  • Tuba City Service Unit: 423
  • Winslow Service Unit: 83

*31 residences are not specific enough to place them accurately in a Service Unit

During an online town hall on Tuesday, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer, with IHS Director RADM Michael D. Weahkee and Navajo Area IHS Director Roselyn Tso present, announced the Navajo Nation passed the COVID-19 surge peak in late April, much sooner than initially projected.

IHS Director Michael J. Weahkee met with Navajo Nation leaders on Tuesday.

Recent data and new surge projections provided by the Navajo Area Indian Health Service on May 24, indicate that the COVID-19 surge peak for IHS hospitalizations, including ICU admissions and ventilations occurred from April 21 to April 26 – an entire month earlier than initial surge projections on March 27.

“We are seeing some very good implications based on new data and new reports from the Navajo Area IHS, but I can’t emphasize enough that we have to remain cautious and diligent in order to continue bringing the numbers down in terms of hospital visits and new cases. Let’s continue to stay home as much as possible, wear protective masks, practice social distancing, and wash our hands as much as possible. We are beating the virus so let’s continue to fight strong and overcome this pandemic together,” President Nez said on Tuesday.


To Donate to the Navajo Nation

The official webpage for donations to the Navajo Nation, which has further details on how to support  the Nation’s Dikos Ntsaaígíí-19 (COVID-19) efforts is:  http://www.nndoh.org/donate.html.


For More Information

For more information including reports, helpful prevention tips, and more resources, please visit the Navajo Department of Health’s COVID-19 website at http://www.ndoh.navajo-nsn.gov/COVID-19. To contact the main Navajo Health Command Operations Center, please call (928) 871-7014.

For up to date information on impact the coronavirus pandemic is having in the United States and around the world go to: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/?fbclid=IwAR1vxfcHfMBnmTFm6hBICQcdbV5aRnMimeP3hVYHdlxJtFWdKF80VV8iHgE

For up-to-date information about COVID-19, Native News Online encourages you to go to Indian Health Service’s COVID-19 webpage and review CDC’s COVID-19 webpage. 

The post New Data Shows Navajo Nation Passed the COVID-19 Surge Peak in late April appeared first on Native News Online.


Big Oil loses appeal, climate suits go to California courts

INDIAN COUNTRY MEDIA NETWORK - May 26, 2020 - 10:19pm

A U.S. appeals court has ruled against major oil companies in lawsuits brought by California cities and counties seeking damages for climate change


Alaska mine opponents say federal change favors project

INDIAN COUNTRY MEDIA NETWORK - May 26, 2020 - 9:00pm

‘This is a con game, a giant bait and switch’


Indigenous folk-rock legend Willie Thrasher and his masterpiece ‘Spirit Child’ LP

NATIVE NEWS ONLINE - May 26, 2020 - 8:05pm

Willie Thrasher, an Indigenous folk-rock legend who spent the 1970s and ‘80s touring Canada and the United States, now lives in Nanaimo, B.C. (courtesy photo)

After spending a bulk of the 1970s floating across his native Canada and the United States, performing his pensive brand of Indigenous folk rock, singer-songwriter Willie Thrasher went into the studio and recorded his masterpiece, 1981’s Spirit Child LP.

It’s a poetic, moody tracklist that spans genres. It’s obviously inspired by his Inuit culture, but also his love of rock ‘n roll and pop music. Those elements, and the passion behind it, created a genuine, emotionally raw hybrid. When songs truly come from the heart, it’s evident, and it’s clear Thrasher was mining inspiration from the mysterious authentic place all songwriters aspire to reach one day, though most never will.     

Rustic songs on Spirit Child, like “Beautiful,” echo the classic 1960s-era folk-rock records like The Byrds’ Sweetheart of the Rodeo or The Band’s Music from the Big Pink. But what sets Thrasher apart is his ability to clearly and unapologetically pay homage to his people and the earth. 

Thrasher delves deep into woods, especially on tracks like “Wolves Don’t Live By the Rules,” which sonically transports you to a hilly, wooded trail, as the tune hurriedly scampers along to sporadic howls. His experimental nature stays on display throughout both sides of this album. Tunes like “Old Man Carver” twists the album into psychedelic loner-folk territory that both Neil Young and Bob Dylan would tip their hats to.  

With a stack of songs so well-crafted, it’s hard to say which track is “best,” but that title may have to go to “Silent Inuit.” The sullen four-and-a-half minute jangly guitar ballad is layered with a female co-vocal, giving it an otherworldly abstract-pop vibe — similar to duos like Serge Gainsbourg & Brigitte Bardot or Lee Hazelwood & Nancy Sinatra

“Silent Inuit

Fall away

From home

All alone

Travelling with the wind

Sleeping with the moon

Letting the great spirit walk over you

Silent Inuit

Please don’t cry

You’ll be home someday”

-lyrics by Willie Thrasher

While it didn’t become a national sensation, “Silent Inuit” did score some regional airplay at the time of its release, but that’s where the minimal commercial fanfare stopped.

“We travelled and heard our songs a little on the radio,” Thrasher recalled years later. “Someone would say they heard ‘Eskimo Named Johnny’ or ‘Spirit Child’ on the radio and were really proud of me. So back then it was really tough to push our album because we had no agent, no manager. It was just financed by CBC and had nothing else to push it.”

The 1981 “Spirit Child” album by Inuk singer-songwriter Willie Trasher is brilliant folk-rock with an Indigenous heartbeat.

The record, originally released by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), indeed slid into obscurity, but Thrasher kept on and, many years later, it paid off. In 2015, his legacy was preserved when Light In the Attic Records reissued an expanded edition of his Spirit Child album and also included him on Native North America (Vol. 1): Aboriginal Folk, Rock, and Country 1966-1985, a stellar 2014 compilation spotlighting largely overlooked Indigenous troubadours. (Listen to the entire collection on a YouTube playlist, here).

Looking back on Thrasher’s life, it’s not hard to see where the inspiration for Spirit Child came from. He was born in 1948 in Aklavik, a hamlet located in the Inuvik region of the Northwest Territories, Canada. 

At five years of age, Thrasher was taken from his family and sent to a residential school. The already troubling time was exacerbated when he was forbidden to practice his Inuvialuit culture due to a shameful initiative by the Canadian government to assimilate Indigenous people into mainstream society.

Thrasher began to look to music for solace and by the mid-’60s was drumming for The Cordells, one of the first Inuit rock bands. After a stranger recommended the band should dig deeper into their Aboriginal roots, and look away from the pop charts, Thrasher had an epiphany. After The Cordells split up, a 19-year old Thrasher  picked up a guitar and started to write songs about his Inuvialuit heritage, even after losing a portion of his left middle finger in a work accident.

With nothing holding him back and his guitar case in hand, he hit the road. The young songster spent the 1970s and ‘80s as a musical vagabond, travelling from town-to-town, belting out his batch of honest songs for small crowds. 

However, since his sudden boost of critical notoriety following his more recent deal with Light in the Attic Records, Thrasher has enjoyed the well-deserved acclaim he should’ve received years ago. In a 2015 interview, he said he was thrilled to introduce people to his songbook to new fans and bigger crowds, including high-profile festival spots at Austin Psych Fest and Levitation Vancouver.

“It’s different and really weird because I remember playing those songs 30 years ago,” he told Vice. “And 30 years ago, those songs were new, lively. I had long hair and we travelled all over under the great Northern Lights, plus doing festivals in Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton, Winnipeg, the States. We were really enjoying our music so much. And now that feeling inside is coming out again. It gives me lots of energy to perform again. Plus, my voice has changed since then. It’s better now, and my guitar playing is better controlled now.”

Today, Thrasher lives in the town of Nanaimo, B.C., where he, of course, continues to keep it real. He performs as a city sanctioned busker with his partner Linda Saddleback. 

So if you’re walking down the streets of Nanaimo and happen to hear the words of “Spirit Child” reverberating in the wind, look twice, because it just might be the genius songwriter himself, singing it where it was meant to be sung — under the open sky.

The post Indigenous folk-rock legend Willie Thrasher and his masterpiece ‘Spirit Child’ LP appeared first on Native News Online.


Navajo Nation has 105 new virus cases, 1 more death

INDIAN COUNTRY MEDIA NETWORK - May 26, 2020 - 7:54pm

'We are working hard to make sure the daily numbers begin to decrease consistently'


Navajo Nation Leaders Honor Fallen Warrior with Wreath Laying Ceremony on Memorial Day

NATIVE NEWS ONLINE - May 26, 2020 - 7:46pm

Navajo Nation Vice President Myron Lizer (l) with President Jonathan Nez (r) at the Memorial Day wreath laying ceremony at Window Rock, Ariz. – Courtesy photographs.

Published May 26, 2020

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — Navajo Nation leaders placed a wreath to honor fallen warriors on Memorial Day at Veterans Memorial Park in Window Rock. The park lists the names of Navajo men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the United States armed forces and those who are still missing in action.

Flags were lowered to half-staff at Veterans Memorial Park in honor of the many who gave their lives in service to our country. 

With the Navajo Indian Reservation on lockdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s wreath laying ceremony was live streamed.

The names of Navajo Nation men and women who gave their lives in the U.S. armed forces and those missing in action are posted in Veterans Memorial Park in Window Rock, Ariz.

“Today, we pay special tribute in honor of all the warriors who fought for this country and gave their lives for everything that we have including our land, our language, and our sovereign ability to determine our own future,” Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said. “To this day, we have many of our sons and daughters who continue to serve and protect our country and they are always in our prayers as well, along with the Gold Star and Blue Star families. No words can express our appreciation for the unimaginable sacrifices they and their families have made.”

Joining President Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer was Miss Navajo Nation, Shaandiin Parrish, whose grandfather was a Navajo Code Talker.

“My grandfather was a code talker. His name was Paul Parrish, so this holiday is significant for my family and important to me because it’s a time that our family remembers the sacrifice he made not only for our family, but for our country as well,” Parrish said during the ceremony.

Following the wreath laying ceremony, President Nez and Vice President Lizer distributed food, water, and supplies to Navajo veterans. The event was later opened to the general public once all veterans had received the items. Overall, the Nez-Lizer Administration distributed food, bottled water, and other supplies to 580 Navajo families on Monday. 

Vice President Lizer spoke about the importance of remembering and commemorating the sacrifices that past and previous warriors offered for our country and to preserve our freedom.

“We thank the Creator for blessing our Nation with so many great warriors and for giving us our sacred language that helped us in times of conflict. Our Diné men and women have given so much to this country of ours and they deserve the utmost respect and honor. Their families and loved ones are always in our prayers,” Vice President Lizer said.

Former Vice President Rex Lee Jim provided the opening prayer and Navajo Veterans Administration Executive Director James D. Zwierlein served as the master of ceremony.

The post Navajo Nation Leaders Honor Fallen Warrior with Wreath Laying Ceremony on Memorial Day appeared first on Native News Online.


Arizona Senate adjourns without taking up coronavirus bills

INDIAN COUNTRY MEDIA NETWORK - May 26, 2020 - 7:39pm

'We stunned everyone. Powerful cedar and prayers,' says Senate Minority Whip Jamescita Peshlakai, Navajo



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