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Valentine’s Day

THE INDIAN LEADER -

by Tiffany Blevins

Valentine’s Day is really frustrating from a women’s perspective in regards to what kind of gift is acceptable to give a
man. Every holiday I come across that includes gift giving is always frustrating in this way. Men are so
hard to shop for. Everything they want is super expensive: tools, sports gear and equipment, video games,
things for their car, and the list can go on and on. Spending like 50$ + on a non major holiday is painful.
Now with girls, you can buy them some ten dollar boquet of flowers, five dollar stuffed animals or even
write a poem, that costs nothing out of your wallet, and they LOVE it. I remembe this one Valentine’s
Day, I was in the 5th

grade. I had the biggest crush on this one boy in my class (we will call him C.C.).
C.C. was just about the sweetest country boy you could ever meet. So I decided to get him a V-Day gift to
tell him how I felt. So I watched some romantic comedies to get ideas on what people like for vday. I
wanted to get it right so I got him: A box of chocolates, a stuffed animal, a single rose, and of course a
card confessing my affections. To top it off I combined it all into a lovely gift basket and left it in the
front office for him to deliver. BIG MISTAKE! I was the absolute laughing stock of my grade that day.
Aparrently it is odd for boys to receive those kinds of things. C.C on the other hand was not unkind to me,
but he did avoid me for a month before we regained our normal friendship after the weirdness of rejection
faded. Well what I learned that day was, most men, do not like the same type of gifts that girls do,
generally speaking ( I know there are always the exceptions). 15 years have passed since my 5th
grade
failure and I still have a hard time figuring out what to get a guy, and even more pressure on finding the
right gift for him that won’t break the bank. Come on guys, help us girls out with some gift ideas 20$ or

under and save those bigger items for bigger holidays like Christmas.

Make America Think Again

THE INDIAN LEADER -

by Allen Stephenson

Its been several days since President Trump’s State of the Union address, a highly
anticipated, albeit mixed bag of political rhetoric. While the first half of his speech seemed to
focus on his slogan “Make America great again,” we can only question how the logistics of the
policies he sets forth could happen. The President undoubtedly is making good on his word at
face value. His policy of putting “America first” became evident with the subject matter in the
beginning his address. Tax cuts, the economy, regulatory reform, trade and new ideas on
immigration, but in terms of the American people, just who are they?
"Tonight, I call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground,
and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people we were elected to serve," Trump
exclaims at one point. The American people are many things and one of them is most definitely
divided. The irony of calling people to come together when the government itself was on
furlough several days prior is glaring. It was also painfully apparent that Bipartisan policies were
no where to be found and not happening anytime soon. Trump appeared to be bragging almost
about undoing every Obama era regulation, even to the point of declaring that Guantanamo Bay
prison in Cuba would stay open. An insult to injury as it were, to Obama’s long-standing struggle
to shut the prison down during the time of his presidency.
The arena of American politics is a savage one to say the least, so where then do we as
Native Americas draw the line between hope and political despondency? In the surge of
American energy production Trump has consigned land from the Arctic National Wildlife
Refuge in Alaska and offshore for oil drilling and fracking. “We have ended the war on
American energy. And we have ended the war on beautiful, clean coal.” Trump claims in his

speech. This is troubling to indigenous people for many reasons, but is he aware of that? Just
how much do Indigenous people add up in his vision for the American people? Its hard to say.
We can do more than hope however by staying informed and knowing how political discourse
works in the white man’s court is a critical start, if not necessary for the future of our people. The
president discussed many things having to do with the “greatness” of our country and presented
the lives of veterans and their stories in true hallmark fashion towards the conclusion of his
speech, but nary a word on Russia or pending investigations on possible collusion, go figure.
The new American politico doesn’t have to be some middle aged white guy touting
outdated political values based on profit and private ownership. He or She, could be someone
from Wolf Clan, A water protector, someone with powerful medicine, someone with long hair or
who was raised by their elders. Someone that danced jingle dress or straight. This person could
be indigenous, this person could be you or me.

Welcome to Sovereignty

THE INDIAN LEADER -

by Allen Stephenson

Today we welcome six new tribes into Haskell Indian Nations University as they gain
Federal recognition! The six tribes in question The Chickahominy, Eastern Chickahominy,
Upper Mattaponi, Rappahannock, Monacan, and Nansemond of the Virginia commonwealth
have been fighting for their status for the past two decades. This outcome was achieved by
Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act of 2017 which was
passed in the House of Representatives in May of 2017 and again by the Senate in January 2018.
As we welcome these tribes into their newly acquired status we should reflect on why this is
important.
Sovereignty is integral to the success and future of any and every tribe currently residing
in American or it’s many and varied territories. Why is it important you ask? It’s important
because Federal acknowledgement or recognition means the United States government
recognizes the right of an Indigenous tribe to exist as a sovereign entity. There are still a plethora
of terms and stipulations that come along with Native Sovereignty and rules we must follow and
hoops to jump through, but Federal Recognition is the first step to giving ourselves agency with
the government of the United States.
Federal recognition of Indian tribes is also similar to the diplomatic recognition that the
United States extends to foreign nations. When a tribe is federally recognized, it has the right to
establish a tribal government and enter into agreements with the federal government in much the
same way the federal government makes agreements with Canada and Mexico.

Tribes without federally recognized status do not share these same benefits and have
historically suffered greatly at the loss of recognition, the Menominee are a prime example. The
Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act will allow tribes to
Compete for educational programs and other grants only open to federally recognized tribes.
Repatriate the remains of their ancestors in a respectful manner. Many of these remains reside in
the Smithsonian, but without federal status there is no mandate to return the remains.
Provide affordable health care services for elder tribal members who have been unable to access
care.
Overall the lives and political power of these Virginia Natives will grow stronger and
help promote self-governance within Indian country. This is a win, this is a cause for celebration,
and this is a people returning home after fighting the good fight for many years. The battle may
be won, but the war is far from over, remember where you came from.

Haskell Highlight Night

THE INDIAN LEADER -

By Shirley Cypher

Haskell Highlight Night kicks off the semester by letting new and continuing students participate and join
different clubs and organizations on campus. It’s a great way to help students to adjust to campus life by
joining a club of their interest.
The Spring 2018 Haskell Highlight Night was held in Tecumseh Hall. It’s an event that lets students join
clubs on campus and visit information booths. Students also participated in random drawings for door
prizes such as gift baskets and gift cards. With different clubs from the Haskell Band to joining a
fraternity or sorority and different clubs in between. There’s always something for everyone to join and
be a part of the campus life here at Haskell.
For more information about clubs/organizations, you can look online at the Haskell website under
Student Senate. You can also look under the Student Senate’s Facebook page. And look for posted flyers
across campus for various clubs to join.

Education is the Key to Success

THE INDIAN LEADER -

by Amanda Smith

            Haskell Indian Nations University has been a college that provides us an easy way to get our education. Not many students realize that our school provides as much as it can to help students get a degree. Haskell wants us as Native students to succeed, we have many that look up to us and at us, we’re in a Non-Native community that think we are all the same but we all come from different tribes and all have goals to accomplish. It’s about us making a change in our communities on the reservations, and showing that Haskell is not just a Native college but an institution that helped many get an education and going farther to become more successful.

One alumni commented, “Haskell was the place where I started my education, it may still look the same since I graduated but it’s the best decision I made, I got the chance to learn about other cultures, made new friends from other states and lastly got my bachelors”. Haskell isn’t a big campus, but that’s what makes it better, we have easy access to being able to sit in a room less than 20 people, we get one-on-one contact with our instructors, and we get the help we need. It’s a start to achieving our goals we have in mind, we want the best and Haskell gives it to us.

Many don’t realize that other students at universities are struggling to pay tuition, room and board, textbooks, and classes. One student stated, “Haskell was a good choice for me, especially if you’re a parent and have a job, it was affordable, flexible class schedules and very helpful”. As for us here at Haskell we are paying less, many complain about how it’s too much to pay but they need to know we may be a small college, but it beats having to go to a college with over 50 students in one classroom or paying for textbooks. Our success starts here, with many relatives from all over the states who all share the same goal to get an education. We can accomplish our goals no matter what.

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