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Colstrip Awarded Nearly $1 Million Grant for Workforce Planning and Worker Training

TRIBAL COLLEGE JOURNAL -

The funding covers workforce training for Colstrip and other communities in Eastern Montana affected by coal-related layoffs, including the Northern Cheyenne, Crow, and Fort Peck Assiniboine & Sioux reservations.

The post Colstrip Awarded Nearly $1 Million Grant for Workforce Planning and Worker Training appeared first on Tribal College Journal of American Indian Higher Education.

Video of Cherokee student detained at Marymount College for showing tribal ID goes viral

INDIAN COUNTRY MEDIA NETWORK -


On Sunday May 6th, 2018, Nicolas Rojas attempted to visit the Marymount California University dorms with a friend who attended the school. Rojas, who is not a student at that campus attempted to enter using his Cherokee Tribal Nation ID card. When Rojas says the security guard became agitated, he began to video the incident. He tweeted it and the video has since gone viral with over 245,000 views.

In the wake of the incident, the Marymount California University has issued a formal statement and the MCU President has apologized to Rojas.

Rojas has told Indian Country Today the entire situation has been upsetting and that the school’s explanation was not acceptable for the actions of the security guard, Joseph Girgi.

“On Sunday I went to go study with my friend at her college and instead was humiliated. The guy checking IDs at the gate was fine until I handed him my Cherokee Nation tribal identification card. He then told me I had to leave, yelled at me and threatened to have me arrested. He became very hostile with me, started harassing me and put his hands inside my car, during which I started to record him, said Rojas.

Rojas says he was told to leave, but the security guard did not give back his ID, nor explain why he wouldn’t give it back.

“He told me I had to leave but he had taken my ID with him and refused to give it back until I left and parked at a different school nearby. The whole interrogation took over a half an hour and I had a project due that Monday, I just wanted to study with my friend but instead was threatened to be arrested several times without reasoning,” he said.

“As he was harassing me, he let several people in without even looking at them fully or even requesting any form of ID. I spoke to him calmly while he unprofessionally yelled at me.”

On Sunday I went to go study with my friend at her college and instead was humiliated.
The guy checking IDs at the gate was fine until I handed him my tribal identification card (Cherokee Nation).
He then told me I had to leave, yelled at me and threatened to call the police. 1/ pic.twitter.com/femuJdLvy6

— nicolás (@Nicoderojito) May 9, 2018

He became very hostile with me, started harassing me and put his hands inside my car, during which I started to record him. He told me I had to leave but he had taken my ID with him and refused to give it back until I left and parked at a different school nearby. 2/ pic.twitter.com/jQEPL3SVoe

— nicolás (@Nicoderojito) May 9, 2018

Indian Country Today reached out to Marymount California University who sent this statement via email.

Last week there was a verbal confrontation between a visitor to MCU’s residential campus and one of our campus safety & security officers and we want to acknowledge and address it.

It is our obligation to keep students safe while on our campus and as a standard procedure all visitors to our residential community are required to leave a valid picture ID with security as they enter the premises.  The ID is returned when they depart. As it happened on May 6, our Campus Safety Officer was not familiar with the type of ID that was presented and his reaction captured on video was based on that lack of familiarity as well as to comments made by the visitor prior to the start of the video recording.

It is the responsibility for all of our employees to be professional at all times, and we regret that this was not the case when this situation took place.

Since that time, we have provided training and counseling for our security personnel in order to prevent a similar incident from happening in the future.

“As an institution of higher learning and a community that is inclusive and welcoming to all, we sincerely apologize to Nicolas,” said Marymount president, Brian Marcotte.

pic.twitter.com/9yEP57ock6

— Marymount California (@MarymountCU) May 16, 2018

Rojas said he reviewed the statement from the University and said there were inaccuracies, and other visitors to the University have reached out to him stating they did not have to leave their ID’s with security. He had also been to the University previously and did not have to leave his ID.

“I was notified by many Twitter users that attend Marymount that this guard is extremely strict on certain students. I don’t understand why he held onto my ID considering he already told me that I would not be allowed to enter the campus. He took my ID with him as he was threatening to have me arrested.” Rojas’ ID was returned after a Resident Advisor showed up and demanded the ID back.

An MCU student by the name of Ashley (who asked that her last name not be revealed) says she reached out to Rojas because she had seen the video and that Rojas was one of many students given problems when trying to visit.

She told Rojas the security guard had given her problems on many occasions and had previously denied her entry even though she was an MCU student.

“I was going into the dorm. He asked for my ID and I gave him my student ID. He said I had to go because my ID was fake. I knew it wasn’t because the school gave it to me. He was telling me to leave or he would call the cops. I just went inside and he was yelling that the cops were coming for me and my car,” Ashley told Indian Country Today.

Rojas says he is hoping this can be a learning moment and is hopeful changes can be made.

“Ideally I would want campus wide diversity talks, and all guards to have a day of retraining. I personally feel that many institutions are not a welcoming places for minorities, and this demonstrates the hostility many of us face just trying to even enter a campus. Campuses should be places of sanctuary for all attempting to further themselves through education.”

Follow Indian Country Today’s associate editor and senior correspondent, Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter

The post Video of Cherokee student detained at Marymount College for showing tribal ID goes viral appeared first on Indian Country Media Network.

New Mexico’s Laguna Elementary School receives $26.2 million for new school construction

INDIAN COUNTRY MEDIA NETWORK -


The U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced Wednesday that the Laguna Elementary School in New Laguna, New Mexico, will receive $26.2 million for the construction of a new school.

“As Secretary of the Interior, I am responsible for the education of 48,000 native children in the Bureau of Indian Education school system​, and that is an honor and responsibility I take very seriously​,” Zinke said in the news release. “I applaud the Laguna Department Of Education’s commitment to providing a first class education to its students​ and for developing a successful plan​. An investment in our youth is an investment in our future​. I am hopeful that the proposal President Trump and I put forward to rebuild Indian schools is passed by Congress.”

“The Pueblo of Laguna is realizing a dream come true with the award to replace the previously condemned Laguna Elementary School,” said Laguna Pueblo Governor Virgil Siow in the release. “Our Pueblo Administration and Council has worked for many years to obtain funding for a modern, state of the art school to replace the current school. Finally, our children will learn in a safe and modern environment. This school will benefit future generations to come. We are very grateful to the Creator for this blessing and the opportunity for our community.”

The school’s superintendent Patricia Sandoval, Pueblo of Laguna, told Indian Country Today that the students deserved to have a new school and were excited about the changes to come.

“I think this school was probably state-of-the-art back in the 60’s as one of the first BIE-operated schools, but that is not the case any longer. We are delighted we will be able to get a new school. This has been a long time coming. I am fortunate to be the superintendent when this is taking place, but a lot of people did a lot of work and fought to get this done. I am extremely grateful for that,” she said.

“The kids are also excited about the groundbreaking ceremony coming up on the 24th. People need to come and see these kids faces and how happy and excited they are.”

Courtesy Laguna Department of Education Facebook

The Laguna Elementary School is holding a groundbreaking ceremony on May 24th.

The Laguna Elementary school’s principal Holly Gurule told Indian Country Today she was also glad for the upcoming changes.

“We are all very excited about this opportunity for a new school and we appreciate our community and our superintendents efforts to create such an opportunity for us. This school is very old and a new building will reflect the structure of our community, and allow us to incorporate culture into the classroom while also meeting our growing enrollment.”

The Laguna Elementary School replacement project will support the construction for an education facility serving approximately 220 students in grades ranging from kindergarten to fifth. The school is slated to be built on a 48,200 square foot campus and includes a Cultural Arts classroom, an additional computer lab, permanent stage space and increased allotments for Special Education therapy and resource classrooms. The school will be designed for sustainability and is expected to achieve the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver certification status.

In 2016, through the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) replacement school construction process, Indian Affairs selected 10 schools for replacement. Laguna Elementary School was the first 2016 NCLB School to complete the planning phase. The Pueblo of Laguna has elected to manage the project using a design-build contract for their new school utilizing an amendment to their existing education grant.

For more information on the The Laguna Elementary School groundbreaking ceremony on May 24th. Visit their Facebook event page.

Follow Indian Country Today’s associate editor and senior correspondent, Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter

The post New Mexico’s Laguna Elementary School receives $26.2 million for new school construction appeared first on Indian Country Media Network.

Report finds Indian Country’s population is slowing, part of a national trend

INDIAN COUNTRY MEDIA NETWORK -


American Indians and Alaska Natives have had some of the fastest growing population rates in the United States. But that could be changing. Dramatically.

New numbers from the Centers for Disease Control show a slowing of the American Indian and Alaska Native birth rates, especially among younger women and girls.

Data from the Vital Statistics Surveillance Report reports that nearly 30,000 American Indians and Alaska Natives were born last year and 9.418 Pacific Islanders or Native Hawaiians.

There were a total of 3.9 million births in the United States from all races.

The states with the most American Indian and Alaska Native babies were: Oklahoma with 4,595 births; Arizona at 4,250; New Mexico, 2,650; Alaska, 1,898; South Dakota,1,805, California, 1,412; Montana, 1,230;  Minnesota, 1,042; Washington, 1,113. The CDC says only nine American Indian or Alaska Native babies were born in Washington, D.C. And Vermont has the smallest number of any state with 14 babies.

There were 9,418 Native Hawaiians or Pacific Islanders born in the United States last year, the most coming from Guam at 2,102 births, California, 1,809, and Hawaii,1,683.

There were 897,518 Hispanics born in 2016.

For American Indians and Alaska Natives, the CDC builds its database using what it describes as “single race” statistics drawn from birth certificates. The data are based on 99.93% of 2017 births and is considered provisional.

Nationally, the CDC said the birth rate for females aged 10–14 reached a record low for the United States in 2015 and 2016, at 0.2 births per 1,000 females, down from 0.9 in 2000.

The data from 2000 to 2016 show American Indian and Alaska Natives births declined from 1.1 per 1,000 females aged 10-14 to 0.3 births per 1,000.

Birth rates for Hispanic females also declined during the same time period from, from 1.7 per 1,000 to 0.4 in 2016.

NCHS, National Vital Statistics System, Natality.

Nationally, the CDC said the birth rate for females aged 10–14 reached a record low for the United States in 2015 and 2016, at 0.2 births per 1,000 females, down from 0.9 in 2000.

These numbers raise more questions than answers. For example: Does this reflect an improvement in teen education about sexuality? Or a general, long-term decline in reproduction? The economy? The mindsets of millennials? Or just a blip in the data? More questions than answers.

The CDC says “a number of factors have been cited for the downward trend in teen childbearing in general, including delayed initiation of first sex, decreased sexual activity, and for sexually active teenagers, the use of effective contraception. The decreasing trend observed among those aged 10–14 is similar to the decreasing trend observed among females aged 15–19.”

These numbers match a decline in the number of babies being born across the United States. The national birth rate hit a record low in 2017. The report said some 3.8 million babies were born in the country, a 2 percent drop from the number born in 2016, and the lowest recorded number of births in 30 years.

Even with the declines, the CDC noted that the U.S. birth rate for females aged 10–14 remains one of the highest among industrialized countries. “Childbearing by very young mothers is a matter of public concern because of the elevated health risks for these mothers and their infants and the socioeconomic consequences,” the CDC says.

The bigger picture continues to show a record low in births, the lowest number in 30 years, the CDC found. The provisional number of births in the U.S. was 3,853,472 — down 2 percent from 2016, the largest 1-year decline since 2010 — with a provisional general fertility rate of 60.2 births per 1,000 among women ages 15-44, a decline of 3 percent.

It takes 2,100 births per 1,000 women to replace any given generation. The rate has generally been below replacement since 1971.

Mark Trahant is editor of Indian Country Today. He is a member of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. Follow him on Twitter

The post Report finds Indian Country’s population is slowing, part of a national trend appeared first on Indian Country Media Network.

Viva Las Vegas! Shoni Schimmel signs with the WNBA Aces

INDIAN COUNTRY MEDIA NETWORK -


The Las Vegas President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Bill Laimbeer announced Tuesday that the Aces have signed three-year WNBA veteran Shoni Schimmel.

In response, Schimmel tweeted on Tuesday, “Viva Las Vegas!!!”

SIGNING ALERT?
The #LVAces are proud to announce the signing of @schimmel23. Welcome to Las Vegas! pic.twitter.com/UkuhIe3UIH

— Las Vegas Aces (@LVAces) May 15, 2018

Viva Las Vegas!!! ?

— S.Schimmel (@schimmel23) May 15, 2018

Schimmel is a three-year WNBA veteran and two-time WNBA All-Star who has played for the New York Liberty and Atlanta Dream. The Aces WNBA team calls Schimmel a jack-of-all-trades, as Schimmel brings “career averages of 6.7 points, 2.0 rebounds and 2.8 assists to the Aces, while connecting on 37.1 percent of her shots from beyond the arc.”

As described by Sam Gordon in the Las Vegas Review-Journal “The Aces signed Schimmel over the weekend, hoping she can alleviate some of their 3-point woes.”

Schimmel last played for the New York Liberty under the direction of now Aces coach Bill Laimbeer in 2016.

“It feels great just to get back into the WNBA to be around fellow faces and fellow coaches,” Schimmel said to the Review-Journal. “I played for Bill before, and it’s been great just to come back and get familiar with him again and relearn everything.”

Schimmel has said publicly she needed to take some time off for herself to recover from a concussion and to spend time with her grandmother who was ill. Her grandmother died in November.

As a rookie, Schimmel was named MVP of the 2014 All-Star Game after scoring 29 points and giving eight assists.

Schimmel was a three-time, First-Team All-Conference college player at Louisville. Schimmel led the Cardinals in scoring and assists in each of her final three seasons. She finished her college career ranked sixth in NCAA history with 387 three-pointers.

When Schimmel played for the Atlanta Dream during her 2014 season, her No. 23 Atlanta Dream jersey became a viral sensation due to her popularity in the Native American community and was the top seller among all the WNBA players.

Follow Indian Country Today’s associate editor and senior correspondent, Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter

The post Viva Las Vegas! Shoni Schimmel signs with the WNBA Aces appeared first on Indian Country Media Network.

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