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YES! Magazine: Oglala Sioux Tribe still dealing with devastating storms

INDIANZ.COM - May 13, 2019 - 1:25am
It took riders 10 hours to reach remote families stranded in the aftermath of the 'bomb cyclone' that devastated the Pine Ridge Reservation.

Cherokee Heritage Center Hosts Annual Gospel Sing

NATIVE KNOT - May 13, 2019 - 1:00am

The special event celebrates 20th anniversary on May 18

PARK HILL, Okla. — Spend the afternoon outdoors enjoying live gospel performances in Cherokee and English at the 20th annual Gospel Sing event Saturday, May 18, at Cherokee Heritage Center.

Performances from families, friends, churches and gospel groups will begin at 1 p.m. The free event is open to the public, and guests are encouraged to bring their own chairs.

The Gospel Sing concludes at 6 p.m. with a hog fry dinner, sponsored in part by Honor Keeler and the Oklahoma Pork Council.

For more information, please contact Becky Adair at (918) 456-6007, ext. 6160.

The Cherokee Heritage Center is the premier cultural center for Cherokee history, culture, and the arts. It is located at 21192 S. Keeler Drive, Park Hill.


Cherokee Nation offers 8-week smoking cessation classes

NATIVE KNOT - May 13, 2019 - 1:00am

TAHLEQUAH – When attempting to quit smoking, people are met with challenges in the process. Cherokee Nation Public Health offers quarterly smoking cessation classes for anyone, not just tribal citizens, in their journeys to become smoke-free by helping them face those challenges.
CN Public Health offers eight-weeks of classes using the Freedom From Smoking curriculum, which meets once a week. 

“It’s free for anybody, so you don’t have to be Cherokee, you don’t have to be Native. The eight weeks teaches people some coping skills and things that they can use to stop using tobacco products,” CN Public Health educator Sonya Davidson said.

She said they do encourage Native American participants to talk with their health care providers about nicotine replacement therapy. Non-Natives can call the 1-800-QUIT-NOW line to obtain the therapy.

“Week 4 is usually when we set our quit date. So we’ll go through the program, we’ll learn steps and things and triggers and patterns, and then in Week 4 they’ll stop using tobacco and either use their nicotine replacement therapy or if they want to go cold turkey, that’s completely up to them.” Davidson said.

In the classes, participants receive informational handouts, a CD with stress relief tips and a quit kit with small items such as sugar-free gum, hard candy or straws just to help them along the way.

“If I can help one person quit it’s definitely worthwhile,” Davidson said.

CN citizen Laura Rust is someone who has taken the classes and has successfully been smoke-free for three years. 

Rust said what motivated her to quit smoking was when her mother passed away of heart failure four years ago at age 74. She said her mother was also a smoker.

“She maybe could have lived a longer life. I’m thinking smoking didn’t help matters much, but its what she did. I mean as long as I can remember she smoked. My dad smoked. As a child, I started smoking at 16. I smoked my whole life. When she died I thought, I really need to quit,” Rust said.

She said when she first started trying on her own it was difficult. She began taking the classes in March 2016.

“You’ve got to set your mind to it. You’ve got to really want it because it’s not going to be easy. Still, every now and then I think, I want a cigarette. But when I smell it, I can’t stand the smell of smoke,” she said.

Rust said Davidson and other Public Health educators were supportive and there for her throughout her process. “They did everything they could to help me. They were encouraging and calling and checking on me.”

She added that if someone is ready and willing to quit, the classes help, but they have to “be ready.”

“I think you have to have your mind set when you want to do that class. You can’t just go in and expect them to fix you. You have to be ready,” Rust said. 

For more information, call 918-453-5000, ext. 3167 or email sonya-davidson@cherokee.org.


Nez-Lizer Honor & Remember Fallen Law Enforcement Officers

NATIVE KNOT - May 13, 2019 - 1:00am

WINDOW ROCK – Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer honor and thank all men and women law enforcement officers, including those who have given the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty, as the Navajo Nation recognizes “Navajo Nation Police Officer Day” on May 10.

“Our Navajo police officers serve and protect our communities day after day and we have several that have given their lives to protect our Diné people,” said President Nez. “We are very grateful to them and their families for all of their sacrifices. Vice President Myron Lizer and I keep them in our thoughts and prayers each day.”

In October 2017, the second Friday of May was declared as “Navajo Nation Police Officer Day” when the 23rd Navajo Nation Council passed legislation sponsored Council Delegate Edmund Yazzie, who is also a former police officer.

President Nez and Vice President Lizer acknowledge that the Navajo Nation remains in need of more police officers, but they also commend Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety Executive Director Jesse Delmar and Police Chief Phillip Francisco for recruiting more police officer candidates and increasing the number of officers in recent years.

“We’re seeing gradual improvements that will ultimately benefit the safety of our communities and our officers. On Navajo Nation Police Officer Day, we honor and remember the lives of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. We pray for them and their loved ones on this special day,” stated Vice President Lizer.

The Officer Down Memorial Page lists 14 fallen Navajo officers, which include the following:

·       Houston James Largo

·       LeAnder Frank

·       Alex K. Yazzie

·       Ernest Jesus Montoya, Sr.

·       Darrell Cervandez Curley

·       Winsonfred A. Filfred

·       Esther Todecheene

·       Samuel Anthony Redhouse

·       Hoskie Allen Gene

·       Andy Begay

·       Roy Lee Stanley

·       Loren Whitehat

·       Burton Begay

·       Hoska Thompson

“We ask all of our Diné people to pay tribute to these individuals and thank them for giving their lives for all of us,” added President Nez.


Photographs of the 20th Newe (Western Shoshone) “Walk on Sacred Land” Ceremony

NATIVE KNOT - May 13, 2019 - 1:00am

TONOPAH, Nev. — The 20th Annual Newe (Western Shoshone) “Walk on Sacred Land” Ceremony wraps up tomorrow in Tonopah, Nevada. The walk brings attention to the desecration of sacred land, and the storage of uranium and other radioactive materials in Yucca mountain, which is on the treaty territorial land of the Western Shoshone.

The Ceremony includes traditional Newe ceremony and a walk/run from Tonopah, Nevada  to Mercury Peace Camp/Nevada National Security Site to:

–  pray for healing of our traditional lands, contaminated by 70+ years of illegal nuclear testing and waste storage at the NNSS
–  pray for healing of all affected by radiation poisoning
–  pray for those who continue to occupy, pollute, and desecrate the land *
– raise awareness about the U.S. attempts to bury nuclear waste under Yucca Mountain, a sacred site
– call attention to the broken 1863 Treaty of Ruby Valley, which affirms Newe as sovereign, does not cede land ownership to the U.S. or give the government permission for NNSS or its activities.

One added aspect of the walk this year is organizers want to also bring attention to the tragic epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women. Several of the walkers have been wearing red to highlight their passion to bring an end to missing and murdered Indigenous women.

The is 20th Annual Newe (Western Shoshone) “Walk on Sacred Land” Ceremony led by Chief Johnnie Bobb.


These children's books are revitalizing a language

NATIVE KNOT - May 13, 2019 - 1:00am

Along with providing Native communities with basic needs like food and water, ensuring that children have opportunities to learn about their own distinct cultures and languages is just as important to us at Running Strong for American Indian Youth®. We partner with groups across Indian Country that have culturally-based programs designed to educate the next generation of Native youth.

We began our partnership with the Keya Foundation in 2016 with the selection of Annie Chasing Hawk as a Year 2 Dreamstarter. The Keya Foundation served as her mentor organization.

Right now, the Keya Foundation is in the process of producing a series of eight children’s books with stories told by Lakota elders on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation for its Intergenerational History project, funded with a grant by Running Strong.

Each story will include pages with Lakota translations to aid in the language revitalization movement with illustrations created by Cheyenne River youth. Through this project, the Keya Foundation aims to cultivate “stronger intergenerational relationships” among youth and elders.

The students have finished their first book, “Three Hunters and a Bear,” a Lakota story of the Big Dipper which was distributed to schools in the area, and they are currently in the production stages of their second book, “Inyan and Skan.”

“Our health and our DNA come from the land,” said one elder involved in the project. “We’ve been here so long, everything that grew out of the ground went into the animals and as we ate, into us. Once we die it goes back into the land.

“Everything comes from the land. The cycle continues and continues.”

To learn more about the program click here

To support our cultural programs click here


Native Brand ACONAV to Walk Tony Awards Red Carpet

NATIVE KNOT - May 13, 2019 - 1:00am

Phoenix Based Couture Fashion Brand ACONAV to Be Worn by Tony Awards Member Collen Jennings-Roggensack on June 9th in New York City

PHOENIX — This year the 73rd Tony Awards in New York City will have an authentic Native voice. The 2018 Phoenix Fashion Week Couture Designer of the Year continues to captivate audiences at the global scale starting with a commissioned princess dress for Walt Disney World, and an accumulation of features by top media sources throughout the southwest. Loren Aragon, CEO & Designer of ACONAV, is an alumnus of Arizona State University, and fans from his alma mater connected him with Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, ASU Vice President for Cultural Affairs, Executive Director of ASU Gammage, and Arizona’s only voter to the 2019 Tony Awards to be her dress of choice.

The Walt Disney World dress designed by ACONAV landed the cover of the AZ Redbook Magazine which caught the attention of Colleen Jennings-Roggensack and her staff. “I was excited to hear that Colleen requested me to design a custom gown for her red-carpet experience,” stated Loren Aragon, Designer of ACONAV. “I’m honored to have this opportunity with Colleen, to have my design recognized among renown designers at a premier awards event such as the Tony Awards!” exclaimed Aragon. Just three years after walking away from a career in mechanical engineering, Aragon has passionately grown his brand as it continues to rise with success and recognition as a leading Native American Couture Fashion brand. “It is an honor and privilege to wear a dress designed by Loren Aragon of ACONAV. His work is bold, innovative and evokes the global empowerment of women.’ stated Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, ‘it will be deeply moving to wear Loren’s work, which is dedicated to share, educate, and connect the artistry of Acoma ways of life. I am looking forward to sharing his talent and genius on the red carpet at the Tony Awards,” added Jennings-Roggensack. “We are very proud of what Loren and the team at ACONAV have accomplished in such a short time after winning designer of the year, he has only begun to shine,” stated Brian Hill, Executive Director of Phoenix Fashion Week.

The collaboration between Jennings-Roggensack and Aragon comes at an opportune time in the midst of a rapidly growing appreciation for Native fashion in the modern fashion industry. “There are many sources I draw my inspiration from in connection to the Acoma and Navajo cultures,” explained Aragon. “With Colleen as the epitome of what ACONAV celebrates, we will have all the inspiration needed for this one of a kind creation which will generate an awareness of our thriving Native culture and our natural place in fashion history to the rest of the world.” As preparation for the Awards continues, the Aragon Atelier is in full swing to make its red-carpet appearance, Sunday, June 9, 2019, at the Tony’s. 

Running Strong for American Indian Youth - Summer Feeding Program

NATIVE KNOT - May 13, 2019 - 1:00am

Beginning on Monday, June 3, Running Strong for American Indian Youth® will be sponsoring a Summer Feeding Program on the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation.

Over the course of the summer, a supervisor and cooks at three locations on the reservation will prepare hundreds of meals which will be served free of charge to any child who walks through the door.

The meals are essential for children who are not guaranteed a healthy meal once school is closed. 

Running Strong Executive Director Lauren Haas Finkelstein says the program first took shape when teachers on the reservation informed Running Strong staff that many of their students were returning to school after their summer vacation feeling lethargic and having lost weight.

We knew we had to act,” said Lauren. “Now, every summer we feed children five days a week at several community centers across the Cheyenne River Reservation. All kids have to do is show up, and we provide them with free healthy meals, including milk and fresh fruit.”

This year, Running Strong plans to provide hundreds of meals at three locations throughout the reservation, and we need your support to make this possible.

“The kids really inspire me to run this program,” food service manager Stacie Lee says.

To support our Summer Feeding Program click here


Registration Under Way for RNT Cyber Ethics Conference 2019

NATIVE KNOT - May 13, 2019 - 1:00am

The RNT Cyber Ethics Conference 2019 continues the discussion and exploration of the ethics of cyber security in areas of business, government, healthcare, innovative technologies and our critical infrastructure.

Presented by RNT Professional Services, the conference aims to bring together diverse industries to discuss the ethics of cyber security.

Set for September 23-25, the RNT Cyber Ethics Conference 2019 is targeted at professionals from legal, technology, business, government and medical organizations.

Attendees will have opportunities to meet with recognized thought-leaders in multiple disciplines to learn and discuss ethical challenges confronting society worldwide as we become increasingly interconnected.

Business owners, C-suite executive managers, legal personnel and IT professionals are encouraged to attend.

The three-day conference will be held at the Metro Tech Conference Center at the Metro Tech Springlake Campus-OKC, in Oklahoma City. Okla. The event begins with a welcome barbecue Monday evening at the Oklahoma History Center.

The Cyber Ethics Conference will feature 22 distinguished panelists and speakers in 25 sessions, including business leaders, lawyers and industry leaders.

Notable speakers include:

  • Ann Hinkle, Chief of Security Services Vanguard Infrastructures,  FBI Special Agent (retired)

  • Daniel Honore, CSO and Director of Information Technology at Village of Pleasant Prairie

  • Diana Candela, Associate Director, Security and Privacy at Protiviti

  • Garth Massey, CEO at Command Ready

  • Kevin Nally, Chief Information Officer at U.S. Secret Service

  • Kevin Owens, Cerberus Cybersecurity

  • Patricia Hammer, owner at P.K. Hammer Legal

  • Robin Meyer, Assistant General Counsel at Oklahoma Management and Enterprise Services

  • Ron Hulshizer, Managing Director at BKD, LLP

  • Steve Reese, CEO at Reese Energy Consulting, Inc.

  • Teresa Rule, President at RNT Professional Services

  • Tim Schmoyer, Principal Cybersecurity Engineer at MITRE

  • Tom Vincent, Attorney at Law at GableGotwals

  • Tore Audun Høie, Consultant at Fringilla

Topics to be covered will include biomedical ethics, incident response, liability, privacy and the internet of things.

Presentations and topics are designed to fulfill continuing education credits for PMP professionals, legal professionals and information technology specialists. Continuing Education Credits and Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) Commission Notification of Accreditation from the Oklahoma Bar Association are available for participants. Many other states will also accept these hours. Check with your state bar association.

The Cyber Ethics Conference will provide certificates of attendance and additional documentation as required for self-reporting.

Conference host, RNT Professional Services is an information, critical infrastructure and cyber security firm that specializes in strategy assessments and cyber security training for organizations of all sizes.

With more than 25 years of global experience, RNT Professional Services helps ensure that businesses and organizations operate securely in an increasingly connected world.

Based in central Oklahoma, RNT Professional Services provides vulnerability assessments for clients across the nation, addressing infrastructure, compliance and cyber security requirements.

A member of the American Indian Chamber of Commerce Oklahoma (AICCO), RNT Professional Services works with nonprofits, organizations, corporations, communities and Tribal governments. Its clients also include government contractors, the payment card industry and small manufacturers.

Corporate sponsorships and exhibitor opportunities for RNT Cyber Ethics Conference 2019 are available.

For more information, visit rntcyberethics.com or email ethicsconference@rntpros.com.

Register here.


Mashpee Wampanoag Chairman Cromwell: H.R. 312 is not about Senator Elizabeth Warren

NATIVE NEWS ONLINE - May 13, 2019 - 12:02am

Mashpee Wampanoag Chairman Cedric Cromwell

Published May 13, 2019

MASHPEE, Mass. — Cedric Cromwell, tribal chairman of the Mashpee Wampanoag, reacted to the pulling of a bill from the House of Representatives last week after President Trump tweeted: “Republicans shouldn’t vote for H.R. 312, a special interest casino Bill, backed by Elizabeth (Pocahontas) Warren. It is unfair and doesn’t treat Native Americans equally!”

The House was scheduled to vote on Rep. Bill Keating’s (D-Mass.) H.R. 312, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Reservation Reaffirmation Act, which updates the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 to affirm that the federal government can take land into trust for the benefit of tribes that received federal recognition after June 18, 1934.

In a press release distributed late last week, Tribal Chairman Cedric Cromwell immediately separated the tribe and it’s potential casino from Senator Warren, before detailing some specifics of H.R. 312.

“H.R. 312 is not about Senator Elizabeth Warren. H.R. 312 also is not about the developer that has been kind enough to lend the Tribe money to help us survive the inhumane and disgraceful burden that Rhode Island’s Carcieri case has inflicted on landless recognized tribes like ours,” Cromwell said.

“H.R. 312 is a deeply honorable legislative effort by both Republican and Democratic members of the House of Representatives to correct the significant wrongs that have been perpetrated against our Tribe over the years, and to ensure that our people have a chance to be self-sufficient.”

All this because of the U.S. Department of the Interior reversal last September of an initial 2016 decision on the tribe’s eligibility for the land under the Indian Reorganization Act, which would have allowed the tribe to construct and operate the casino.

The post Mashpee Wampanoag Chairman Cromwell: H.R. 312 is not about Senator Elizabeth Warren appeared first on Native News Online.


Rep. Haaland Renews Call to Pass Anti-Lunch Shaming Act After Uproar About Rhode Island District Lunch Shaming Policy

NATIVE NEWS ONLINE - May 13, 2019 - 12:00am

Rep. Deb Haaland

Published May 13, 2019

WASHINGTON — Last Friday, after a school district in Rhode Island announced that children whose parents had an outstanding lunch bill would be served sunflower butter and jelly sandwiches instead of a hot lunch, Congresswoman Deb Haaland (NM-01) renewed her call to pass the Anti-Lunch Shaming Act. The bipartisan legislation would prohibit school “lunch shaming” – the practice of discriminating against or stigmatizing children who have outstanding credit or don’t have enough money to pay for meals at school. The Anti-Lunch Shaming Act would ban schools from singling out children — such as by requiring them to wear hand stamps or do extra chores — because their parents or guardians have not paid their school meal bills.

The full text of the bill can be found HERE. A summary of the bill can be found HERE.

After seeing the news, Haaland tweeted:


The post Rep. Haaland Renews Call to Pass Anti-Lunch Shaming Act After Uproar About Rhode Island District Lunch Shaming Policy appeared first on Native News Online.


Top 10 Holiday Destinations for the Adventure Lover

NATIVE NEWS ONLINE - May 13, 2019 - 12:00am

Published May 13, 2019

There is a feeling of effervescent mix of anticipation and excitement, awe and a bit of nerves almost everyone gets every holiday season. You also have the same feeling as you plan presents and Christmas morning cocoa. It also comes when you start planning that adventure vacation you’ve always longed for.

Holiday seasons and adventure have a kind of blend that is irresistible. And who doesn’t want their holiday season to be full of wonder? The best way to plan your perfect adventure holiday is to take unique local tour offered by local tour providers at TripsPoint and these are the Top 10 Holiday Adventures you should consider in your next holiday vacation.

  1. Yachting in the Galapagos

Spend time under the sun, surrounded by friends, exotic and fascinating wildlife. You can also hop from one volcanic island to the other around the unique geologic features. There are a number of comfortable yachts where you can relax and put your feet up on deck and relax with gourmet meals and a sundowner.

  1. Wildlife Viewing in Kenya

If you’re hoping for a close encounter with wildlife, there is no other place to go than Kenya. You’ll wake up with the sun for game drives, hear the calls of majestic wildlife and discover the magic of a natural world that you won’t find anywhere else.

  1. “The Everything-ing” Cuba

There are too many adventures to be had in Cuba. You can start by paddling your Kayak through the labyrinths of lush mangroves before switching paddle for pedal and hopping on a bike through the waving fronds of banana trees and tobacco fields. It is too much of an adventure, but you can put your feet up, cruise in a colorful car and discover more.

  1. Steppe Trekking Patagonia

The Torres del Paine National Park Tours, the stunning mountains,p domes surrounded only by Steppe, and the bright turquoise lake makes Patagonia the destination that packs a punch.

  1. Hiking in Peru

The iconic Machu Picchu and the lush Huayna Picchu are two soaring mountains you would want to spend your nights under. In Peru, each trail is one of discovery – into the country’s rich Incan past, into a breathtaking natural world.

  1. Cruising Antarctica

Everything in Antarctica is big and vast. Glacial walls soar over 300 feet high. Sweeping Icebergs float the cold waters, serving as floatation devices for seals. Mass colonies of penguins paint the snow in giant swathes of color. Cruising Antarctica will give you that awesome moment where it’s you, your loved ones, and panoptic views.

  1. Kayaking Baja

Kayak Baja’s blues this winter, and discover why Jacques Cousteau was all about Baja. Mid-December is when Baja comes to life with blue, minke and fin whales passing by, and even the occasional orca.

  1. Jungle Trekking Costa Rica

From zip-lining to sea kayaking, hiking among the toucans and the chirping monkeys to swimming in waterfall pools. Costa Rica is abundant in eco-adventures that should be in everybody’s Christmas list. You can stay in luxurious eco-lodges, or maybe simply stare at the vast jungle tapestry that wraps you in a lush world of green.

  1. Safari South Africa

If you’re wild about wildlife, wine, and cast coastlines, this is the holiday destination for you. Cape Town captivates, your favorite African creatures roam the rolling Lowveld, Kruger National Park is what safari dreams are made of, you don’t want to skip it.

  1. Paddling the Amazon

Fill your holiday season with wonders in the world’s greatest rain forest on an intimate jungle adventure in the Amazon Basin. Paddling through the Amazon’s lush tributaries takes you through a world greater than you could imagine. You can do as the caiman alligator does and take a bite out of the Amazon this holiday.

The post Top 10 Holiday Destinations for the Adventure Lover appeared first on Native News Online.


Federal Bill Raises Awareness about MMIW

NATIVE NEWS ONLINE - May 13, 2019 - 12:00am

“Breaking the Silence: #MMIW #MeToo” art exhibit at the John Vaughan Library at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.

Guest Commentary

Published May 13, 2019

At Cherokee Nation, the largest tribal government in America, we recognize and respect women as life givers, culture bearers and the caretakers of our people. Their health, wellness and safety must be protected at all levels of government – tribal, state and federal.

We are grateful for support of The Not Invisible Act of 2019 (H.R. 2438), a bipartisan bill to increase national focus on the silent crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women. Introduced by U.S. Representatives Deb Haaland, Tom Cole, Markwayne Mullin and Sharice Davids, all citizens of federally recognized tribes, the bill will not only create national awareness of this epidemic, it will implement new measures to stop it.

The bill establishes an advisory committee on violent crime comprised of law enforcement, tribal leaders, federal partners, service providers and survivors, who will make recommendations to the Department of Interior and Department of Justice. If passed, the Act would create a position for an expert within the Bureau of Indian Affairs who would be responsible for improving coordination of violent crime prevention efforts across all federal agencies.

We at Cherokee Nation, a matrilineal tribe, support this effort and are thankful for the leadership, including the two Representatives from Oklahoma, for taking the lead on this critical issue. It is crucial that we not wait any longer to raise awareness about violence against Native Americans, especially women and children. The statistics are shocking.

Data from the National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that 4 out of 5 American Indian and Alaska Native women have experienced some form of violence in their lifetime. One of the leading causes of death for Indian women between ages 10 and 34 is homicide. American Indian and women experience murder rates 10 times the national average. Nationally, non-Native men commit the majority of assaults against Native women.

Chief Bill John Baker

Every Cherokee woman – every American Indian woman for that matter – has the absolute right to feel safe. As sovereign tribal nations, we must step forward and say these current realities can no longer be tolerated.

To say Cherokee women are an essential part of our tribe is an understatement, as 70 percent of our tribal workforce is women. They are strong leaders who drive our government forward and often do so while juggling family responsibilities. They are environmental stewards, physicians, soldiers, artists and policy makers. They are our mothers, grandmothers, wives, sisters and daughters. To appreciate Cherokee heritage and culture is to appreciate the role women have played in our historical and political past, as well as our future for the next seven generations.

For the protection of Native families and communities, the passage of this Act is necessary. With best practices being shared and the proposed advisory committee, we can successfully address the crisis that has plagued our tribes for decades. We can drive down the numbers through education, awareness and with better policing and prosecuting tools.

Recently, President Trump issued a proclamation recognizing Missing and Murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives Awareness Day. I would urge other tribal leaders throughout Indian Country to support this important piece of legislation because passage of the Not Invisible Act of 2019 is vital to our collective future. Previous efforts in Congress to reduce crime in Indian Country, including the Tribal Law and Order Act and Violence Against Women Act, have strengthened and improved our tribal justice systems. These successful laws complement the purpose of the MMIW bill that is before Congress now.

Bill John Baker is the principal chief of the Cherokee Nation.

The post Federal Bill Raises Awareness about MMIW appeared first on Native News Online.


Sundance Institute Selects 2019 Native Filmmakers Lab and Full Circle Fellows

NATIVE NEWS ONLINE - May 13, 2019 - 12:00am

Published May 13, 2019

Fellows will Gather at Native Filmmakers Lab on May 12-17, 2019 in Santa Fe, New Mexico

LOS ANGELES — Two Indigenous filmmakers, Kyle Bell (Creek-Thlopthlocco Tribal Town) and Peshawn Bread (Comanche) have been chosen to participate in the 2019 Sundance Institute Native Filmmakers Lab, continuing the Institute’s commitment to supporting Native American and Indigenous storytellers since its founding. This year’s recently selected Indigenous Program Full Circle Fellows also will attend the Native Filmmakers Lab.

The Lab will take place May 12-17 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. During the Lab, Fellows work with a cast and crew to shoot workshop versions of scenes from their short films under the expert creative mentorship of Indigenous Program alumni and other established filmmaking professionals serving as Advisors along with the Sundance Indigenous Program staff, led by Bird Runningwater. The Lab encourages Fellows to hone their storytelling and technical skills in a hands-on and supportive environment. Following the Lab, they will receive targeted support from supervising producers, grants to fund the production of their short films, and will attend the annual Native Forum at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival for ongoing support on their projects.

“The Native Filmmakers Lab is one of Sundance Institute’s most important annual programs for emerging Indigenous storytellers, offering them a unique and supportive space for collaboration and learning from accomplished Program alumni and Creative Advisors,” said N. Bird Runningwater (Cheyenne/Mescalero Apache). “Sundance Institute’s history of supporting talented Indigenous artists continues as we invite Kyle and Peshawn to carry out the creative process that will bring their projects to worldwide and appreciative audiences.”

“Alumni of the Native Filmmakers Lab have gone on to screen their short films at film festivals worldwide, including the Sundance Film Festival, and have advanced to attend top graduate film programs in the U.S. to further their craft,” said Runningwater. “Our labs also have served as a launching pad to begin the journey into writing and developing feature films.”

The filmmakers serving as Creative Advisors for this year’s Native Lab include: Sally Riley (Wiradjuri Nation) (Confessions of a Headhunter, Redfern Now) , Jennifer Reader (A Million Miles Away, Signature Move) , Gregory Nava (El Norte, My Family/Mi Familia, Frida), Shaandiin Tome (Diné)  (Mud – Hastl’ishnii, Deb Haaland – “Why not me? Why not now?”) and Shaz Bennett (Queen Sugar, Alaska Is a Drag). Peer Advisors for this year’s Native Lab include Shane McSauby (Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians) (Mino Bimaadiziwin) and Erin Lau (Kanaka Maoili) (The Moon and the Night). Both are Native Lab alumni (McSauby, 2016 and Lau, 2017).

Artists and projects selected for the 2019 Native Filmmakers Lab:

Kyle Bell

Kyle Bell (Creek-Thlopthlocco Tribal Town)


A young boy gets an opportunity to play college basketball, forcing him to make a tough choice of leaving behind his family and traditional upbringing.

Kyle Bell (Creek-Thlopthlocco Tribal Town) is an Emmy award-winning filmmaker from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Since his filmmaking career began in 2015, Kyle has won numerous awards for his documentary and cinematography work. Kyle’s work has premiered online as a Vimeo Staff Pick and, most recently, his short film Defend the Sacred, covering the Standing Rock movement, won the audience award at the 2017 Seattle International Film Festival.

Peshawn Bread (Comanche)

The Daily Life of Mistress Red

Peshawn Bread

A Native dominatrix for hire whips apologies out of her White male clients.

Peshawn Bread is a screenwriter, poet, and cinematographer from the Penneducah (sugar eater) and Yappaducah (root eater) bands of the Comanche tribe. Her writing capitalizes Indigenous women, sexuality and humorous experiences. In the winter of 2015, she was introduced and welcomed as one of Sundance Institute’s Full Circle Fellows. She was a 2015-16 recipient of the 4th World-Indigenous Media Lab Fellowship supported by SIFF (Seattle International Film Festival) in partnership with Longhouse Media, Sundance Institute and ITVS. Peshawn also participated in a Screenwriter’s “Designed Obstacles” workshop led by Joan Tewksbury (Thieves Like Us, Nashville). Throughout the years she has worked on many sets, including Drunktown’s Finest (2014) and Mud (Hashtl’ishnii) (2017). She currently resides in San Francisco where she is a fourth-year student at the Academy of Art University.

Full Circle Fellowship Program

The Full Circle Fellowship Program develops and supports 18-24 year-old Indigenous storytellers and is part of the Institute’s year-round offerings for Indigenous artists at all stages in their careers. In addition to participating at this month’s Native Filmmakers Lab, the Full Circle Fellows will be mentored throughout the year by esteemed independent filmmakers and Creative Advisors and will attend the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.

2019 Full Circle Fellows:

Petyr Xyst

(Laguna Pueblo)

Born in Albuquerque and raised in Seattle, Xyst’s projects explore ideas of community, existential dissonance and internal turmoil. Believing in the power of cinema to bring light to unexplored contemporary issues, his films necessarily reflect social and political themes in their bedrock, if not explicitly. Having made shorts in one form or another since early childhood, Xyst’s work dives head first into playing with the structural elements of cinema in story, technology and emotion. In the filmmaking program at his alma mater high school, Xyst’s projects have screened across the United States, receiving honors throughout and distribution on internet channels and television. He currently studies film production at the University of New Mexico.

Lejend Yazzie

Lejend Yazzie (Diné)

Lejend Yazzie studies film production with a focus on directing at Arizona State University (ASU). She is an activist, filmmaker, writer and artist who utilizes art and film as forms of activism an expression. Yazzie has written for her school’s Native college magazine, Turning Points, outlining her experiences as an Indigenous college student and filmmaker. As a freshman and sophomore, she interned at the Indigeneity session at ASU’s Human Rights Film Festival.

Jolene Patterson (Oneida)

Jolene Patterson is a photographer from Upstate New York, and comes from a large family of artists who promote their Oneida culture and heritage. Jolene’s biggest influence was her grandmother, the late Maisie Shenandoah, a Wolf Clan Mother for the Oneida people who spent her life fighting for Indigenous people. Following in her footsteps and carrying her grandmother’s name, Jolene attended the United Nations forum for Indigenous peoples and spoke on behalf of Indigenous youth. Through her life’s work, she plans to bring awareness about Indigenous oppression yet carry all the beauty and knowledge to share with the world. Jolene had a talent for photography so she decided to use this medium to start her path of shedding light on Indigenous people.

Jolene Patterson

Oneida Indian Nation Representative and Nation Enterprises CEO Ray Halbritter said, “Congratulations to Oneida Indian Nation Member Jolene Patterson and the other talented emerging Native filmmakers for being selected to receive this extraordinary opportunity. We are  thrilled that our collaboration with Sundance Institute has created yet another way in which our younger generation of Native youth can pursue their dreams and share our rich stories far and wide.”

The post Sundance Institute Selects 2019 Native Filmmakers Lab and Full Circle Fellows appeared first on Native News Online.


Gene ‘Iron Man’ Smith to Present His Passioni at Artesian Arts Festival

NATIVE NEWS ONLINE - May 13, 2019 - 12:00am

Gene Smith

Published May 13, 2019

SULPHUR, Okla. — Native American artist Gene “Iron Man” Smith says patrons who purchase art are getting much more than the piece that persuaded them to open their pocketbooks.

“When you buy a piece of art, you’re buying that person, you’re buying their mind, their passion, their blood, sweat and tears,” Smith said.

Smith, based in Norman, Oklahoma, is a metal artist whose creations can weigh over 500 pounds. His “brushes” are a cutting torch, welding machine, rubber mallet, hammer and anvil.

When he references “blood, sweat and tears” going into his sculptures, he means it.

“It’s tedious and hard on the hands,” he said. “My art is cut, curved, convex and concave. I don’t like anything straight because that’s too easy. I’ll beat on a piece of metal and curve it and shape it until it’s to the form I want.”

Smith will be joining over 100 other Native American artists showing their works at the 2019 Artesian Arts Festival in downtown Sulphur, Oklahoma, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Saturday, May 25.

Smith’s full size horse sculpture medaled at the 2018 Artesian Arts Festival.

This year he is working feverishly to complete “Rain Dance,” a life-sized running warhorse complete with war party symbols and carrying an 8-foot spear and a war shield.

Realism in presentation is always his goal.

“I like for my creations to look realistic,” he said. “I like it where you can’t see a weld, where it’s smoothed out. It takes a little bit more time and effort, but that’s the point I try to get to. I like that challenge.”

Another challenge is squeezing enough hours out of each day to work on his projects. Smith currently works fulltime at Haliburton in Duncan, Oklahoma, as a welder.

“My day starts at 2:30 in the morning and sometimes ends at 11:30 at night,” he said. “My art project time is after I get home from work. I’ll work for an hour or hour-and-a-half and by that time it’s 9:30-10:00, time to shower and get to bed.”

His first piece was a flower made from material used in chain link fences. His wife loved it and then one of her co-workers wanted one. Soon he was creating different kinds of Native American art which sold almost as fast as he could make them.

The Sulphur, Oklahoma, native says his heritage is half Dakota-Sioux and half Choctaw.

Along with Smith’s art, numerous other Native American cultures will be displayed through a diverse array of art media. More than 21 art disciplines will be represented at the 2019 Artesian Arts Festival. These include paintings, basketry, jewelry, sculpture, metalwork, beadwork and textiles.

Various art demonstrations and/or discussions will take place within the ARTesian Gallery & Studios. These will include such famed artists as Oklahoma and Chickasaw Hall of Fame inductee Mike Larsen.

Entertainment provided at no charge during the Artesian Arts Festival will include a children’s tent for make-and-take items and a senior arts and crafts area with several offerings from elder artists. Two stages will provide a venue for live performances.

Opening ceremonies will include a demonstration by the Chickasaw Nation Dance Troupe, with other tribal dance troupes performing throughout the day.

More than 15 food vendors will offer varied culinary delights. Shuttles will be available to transport patrons to and from the Chickasaw Cultural Center.

The Artesian Arts Festival takes place at the Artesian Plaza, located adjacent to the Artesian Hotel and Spa, 1001 W. First St., Sulphur.

For more information, contact Chickasaw Nation Arts & Humanities at (580) 272-5520 or email ArtistInfo@Chickasaw.net.

The post Gene ‘Iron Man’ Smith to Present His Passioni at Artesian Arts Festival appeared first on Native News Online.


Happy Mother’s Day: The Strength of Our Mothers

NATIVE NEWS ONLINE - May 12, 2019 - 4:35pm
Mother’s Day 2019 Commentary

Published May 12, 2019

Often, among Native people, mothers serve as the greatest soruce of strength within our families. Today, across America, Mother’s Day is being celebrated to remember and to thank our mothers.

This coming July, my mother will turn 88-years-old. With each passing day, I feel blessed my mother is still with our family. She remains a great source of strength within our family because of her ongoing prayers and encouragement.

As with so many other American Indian women, my mother has always been a woman of great determination and has never shied away from attempting to correct a perceived wrong. While my siblings and I attended school, Mother would often rally for us in the principal’s office if she thought a school teacher was picking on one of us simply because we were American Indians.

Several years ago, I was asked to contribute an essay to a book, entitled Thin Ice; Coming of Age In Grand Rapids. In that essay, Even Though I Was Not ‘Raised Indian,’ I wrote concerning my mother:

Jennie Whitepigeon Rickert Wicker

“My mother also taught me the valuable lesson of how one person’s voice can make a difference. One wintry Saturday morning when I was fifteen, Mother and I attended an Indian meeting at the old Westside Complex near downtown Grand Rapids. There were perhaps eight American Indians present, including my mother and me, to discuss American Indian affairs with Michigan state Senator Milton Zaagman. He apparently was reaching out to the American Indian constituency that particular morning. My mother raised her hand and told the senator that it was just ridiculous that the Michigan Commission on Indian Affairs consisted of more people who were not Indian than those who were. She asked him how people were not Indian could even know what Indian concerns were. The state senator listened and told her that he would look into the matter.

One day after school a few months later, my mother showed me a small article in “The Grand Rapids Press” that, as I recall, consisted of only two small paragraphs. It reported that Senator Zaagman had created legislation calling for the Michigan Commission on Indian Affairs to be made up of primarily American Indians.”

There is no doubt, my mother’s determination contributed to a certain aggressiveness I have had to employ in my line of work as I attempt make a difference in Indian Country.

As an American Indian journalist, I am blessed to meet and talk to American Indians from across Indian Country. In my many conversations, I often discover many American Indian mothers are similar to my own. Many of us have had mothers who taught us to stay strong in our daily lives.

Beyond my mother’s guidance about life matters, the greatest gift my mother bestowed to me and my siblings has been her unrelenting love. She is a strong woman of faith in God, who believes God is love. So, on this Mother’s Day, I honor my mother, Jennie Whitepigeon Rickert Wicker, who showed our family love and guidance.

Happy Mother’s Day!



The post Happy Mother’s Day: The Strength of Our Mothers appeared first on Native News Online.


These Law Firms Keep Their Partnership Ranks Lean

LAW360 (Native feed) - May 12, 2019 - 4:02pm
Want to be a partner at these firms? Better have rainmaker potential. Here is the list of firms with the most elite partnerships, according to Law360's annual law firm ranking.

Law360 Reveals 400 Largest US Firms

LAW360 (Native feed) - May 12, 2019 - 4:02pm
The annual Law360 400 ranks the largest U.S.-based law firms and vereins with a U.S. component by domestic attorney headcount.

Megafirms Drive Thirst For Tie-Ups As Firms Scale Up

LAW360 (Native feed) - May 12, 2019 - 4:02pm
The biggest of BigLaw raised the bar for size and pace in yet another record-breaking year for mergers, as more firms tried to compete by swelling their ranks, according to Law360’s annual law firm ranking.

'No negotiations:' Inuit group wants Arctic areas saved from development

CBC ABORIGINAL NEWS - May 12, 2019 - 1:21pm
Baffin Island

An Inuit land-claim group is asking the federal government to permanently protect large sections of the Eastern Arctic from any industrial development.

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