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Mexico’s new President incorporated indigenous ceremonies in his inauguration


Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's inauguration ceremony included indigenous healers who performed a purification ceremony on stage in front of the audience and people of Mexico. The act was intentional to show his support of Indigenous peoples of Mexico......

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Troublemaking: A Mohawk Tradition and the Heroes of Alcatraz


By Doug George-Kanentiio
 -Akwesasne Mohawk-

One of the more admirable traits of the Mohawk people is the ability to shake things up, to disturb the complacent, to agitate, confront and demand.

It was no mere chance that Skennenrahowi, the Peacemaker, decided to enter Mohawk territory first as they had the most formidable reputation, one based on cruelty, vengeance and plain meanness. His reasoning was that if he could shift the Mohawks away from being artists of war to proponents of peace he could effect similar changes in any people, at any time.

Skennenrahowi succeeded but not before he proved to a doubtful people that he was, in truth, a messenger from the Creator. But he did not extinguish Mohawk characteristics such as their innate intelligence, their physical toughness, their willingness to speak out when moved by an issue or to take leadership in the face of adversity. The Mohawks then, and for most of our history, refused to be passive even in times of danger.

In the past century we have many examples of Mohawks who refused to bend to the forces of oppression. These people were not complacent with the ways things were but risked liberty, home security and their personal safety to take a stand in defense of what they believed to be right.

In the first decades of the 20th century Akwesasne in particular was mired in factionalism. The border was set, the elected councils in place and the traditional customs called the “longhouse” virtually invisible. The Nation council leaders had been jailed and one of their supporters killed by the RCMP for resisting the imposition of the Indian Act system. Despite repeated attempts to get rid of the St. Regis tribal council New York actively intervened and kept the “trustees” in place.

Yet the idea, the dream, of a united Mohawk people at Akwesasne would not fade. A new era of activism began after World War I when Iroquois leaders from New York to Wisconsin sought o assert the right to self determination. From the Oneidas of Wisconsin came Laura Cornelius Kellogg, one of the founders of the Society of American Indians, a group of Natives from across the United States who shared their common experiences and adopted a pro-unity strategy. Ms. Cornelius-Kellogg wanted the revival of the Iroquois Confederacy as a recognized entity in the world and the return of lands stolen by New York State. She was the first person to travel to Europe using an Iroquois passport and she came to Akwesasne to help the Mohawks regain control over the territory under the jurisdiction of the Mohawk Nation Council.

Grand councils were held at Akwesasne where Ms. Cornelius Kellogg spoke with passion. She helped win the Paul Diabo case in the US Supreme Court which recognized the aboriginal right to cross the border and thereby saved the economic lives of thousands of Mohawks.

Grand councils were held at Akwesasne where Ms. Cornelius Kellogg spoke with passion. She helped win the Paul Diabo case in the US Supreme Court which recognized the aboriginal right to cross the border and thereby saved the economic lives of thousands of Mohawks. She was a real troublemaker as seen by the US and tribal council supporters. She gave inspiration to the people to reject the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 which in turn led the clanmothers of the Nation to block the entrance of the old tribal building on St. Regis Road and order the tribal council to disband. Those brave ladies were certainly troublemakers.

As were the families who built the longhouse on Route 37 at great personal risk. At that time a family could have lost their jobs, been evicted from their homes and stripped of their enrollment status if they were seen to have taken part in the ancient rituals. But a group of young people refused to concede to the accusation that they were “dancing with the devil” and renewed the ceremonies.

Among these brave ones, these troublemakers, were Alec Gray, Joe Mitchell, Ross and Madeline David, Mike Boots and Ray Fadden. It was Mr. Fadden who added to this fire when he took Mohawk history into the schools and made those stories into a source of pride. He raised a generation of young Mohawks to extract the wisdom and teachings of their grandparents and restore dignity to a people. Among his compatriots was Ernest Benedict, one of the first Mohawk college graduates, the editor of the first Mohawk newspaper and a man who was jailed because he defied the US and said it had no right to draft Mohawks into World War II. Ernie did serve with distinction but he never compromised on his ideals.

Another contemporary was Phillip Cook. Although he remained a Christian throughout his life he was an advocate for the restoration of the traditional government. He was elected as one of the three trustees for the Tribal Council but knew the people wanted that “elected” system out. So after receiving almost universal support he, and the other trustees, disbanded the Tribe in 1948 only to have New York State hold an off territory election and using the threat of the New York State Police return the tribe to power.

In the 1950’s we had the leadership of Frank Thomas-Standing Arrow. He had been taught by his elders that the Mohawk people had never sold their ancestral lands despite the fraudulent Seven Nations of Canada and Joseph Brant “treaties”. Rather than wait for litigation he acted and in 1957 moved his family and other Mohawks to the Schoharie Creek at its confluence with the Mohawk River west of Amsterdam. He held on for two years until New York once again sent in the troopers to burn their longhouse and dismantle the community.

But Standing Arrow was right, direct assertion of Mohawk sovereignty was a possibility. His troublemaking inspired young Mohawks such as Tom Porter to become advocates for traditional knowledge and a group of Kahnawakeronons to act on that knowledge in May of 1974 when they moved to secure a camp at Eagle Bay, NY and give birth to Ganienkeh. What Standing Arrow did was to show the viability of the longhouse in political matters. A Nation Council could govern and was seen as leading the move towards unifying Akwesasne.

Among the people affected by Standing Arrow was Mike Kanentakeron Mitchell. He made serious trouble when he and his friends blocked traffic on Kawehnoke to protest the imposition of import duties on goods taken from the “US” to Mohawk homes north of the border. What Mr. Mitchell did on December 1968 ignited a national movement to assert aboriginal rights across Canada.

From that incident, which received worldwide attention, came the publication Akwesasne Notes, the most influential Native news journal in history, And the White Roots of Peace, the travel troupe which was the most effective advocate for Native sovereignty. Both were sanctioned by the Mohawk Nation Council and made Akwesasne the beacon for the rights of indigenous people worldwide. Now that was epic troublemaking.

Then came the takeover at Alcatraz in November, 1969. The Native peoples of the US were ready for the spark which would ignite the movement and it came from Richard Oakes, the son of Irene Foote (my grandmother’s niece) and Arthur Oakes, both Akwesasnoronons. Richard was schooled in Mohawk nationalism by the White Roots when the troupe visited San Francisco in early 1968. He promoted the ideas of Standing Arrow, Ray Fadden and Ernie Benedict-his edicts read at Alcatraz were absolutely pro-Native sovereignty and when he swam to that island on November 9, in 50 degree water through 250 yards of lethal currents he initiated what we all have benefited from: the principles of Native self determination and the use of direct action to assert those rights. Oakes did not wait for the courts, he did not engage in useless, confidential negotiations with government officials, he would not be coerced by those who wanted to take a more “reasonable” approach to Native rights. He saw the dangers of appeasement so he stripped off his shirt, plunged into the San Francisco Bay and did a perfect Akwesasne backstroke to Alcatraz. Joining Oakes in that epic swim were Joe Bill, Ross Harden, Jim Vaughn and Jerry Hatch.

And so began a truly historic trouble making with international ramifications.

Richard Thariwasatse Oakes would be murdered in 1972 in his 30th year but his legacy is wide reaching. When he was shot and killed a national caravan was organized to go to Washington and demand his death be investigated by the federal government. This caravan, originally named after Oakes, would become the Trail of Broken Treaties and arrive in DC in later October, 1972 on the eve of the US national elections. The headquarters of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (an agency then led by Akwesasne Mohawk Louis Bruce) was occupied and ransacked (some say by government agents). After leaving the BIA with money given by the Richard Nixon reelection campaign many of the occupiers would rally to the call for support at Pine Ridge, South Dakota in February, 1973. With the American Indian Movement in prominence the standoff at Wounded Knee, SD would last for over 100 days and become the longest armed standoff between the US and Native peoples in the 20th century.

There would be other incidents of trouble at Akwesasne and elsewhere across both Canada and the US. To respond to this the Americans would pass new legislation including the 1988  National Indian Gaming Act, a law impossible to conceive of without Native activism with an economic slant. If those troublemakers had not been brave enough to take their stands we would all still be under the heavy hand of Indian agents, hostile courts and oppressive state and federal legislatures.

With Oakes at Alcatraz were the original group: LaNada Means War Jack, Joe Bill, David Leach, John Whitefox, Ross Harden, Jim Vaughn, Linda Arayando, Bernell Blindman, Kay Many Horse, John Virgil, John Martell, Fred Shelton, Rick Evening, Jerry Hatch and Al Miller with prime organizer Adam Fortunate Eagle and spokesperson John Trudell.  Peter Blue Cloud Aroniawenrate Williams of Kahnawake would become the poet and chronicler of Alcatraz.

We should all be grateful for those Native patriots even as we look for those in this generation to show the same leadership, to show the same courage and unbending will as their troublemaking grandparents. With Oakes at Alcatraz were the original group: LaNada Means War Jack, Joe Bill, David Leach, John Whitefox, Ross Harden, Jim Vaughn, Linda Arayando, Bernell Blindman, Kay Many Horse, John Virgil, John Martell, Fred Shelton, Rick Evening, Jerry Hatch and Al Miller with prime organizer Adam Fortunate Eagle and spokesperson John Trudell.  Peter Blue Cloud Aroniawenrate Williams of Kahnawake would become the poet and chronicler of Alcatraz.

Other events and laws which came about directly because of the new activism coming from Alcatraz:

BIA takeover

Wounded Knee 1973

Ganienkeh 1974

The end of the termination era and the restoration of federal recognition to many nations including the Menominee and Klamath

The enactment of the American Indian Freedom of Religion Act

The passage of the Indian Education Act

The enactment of the American Indian Child Welfare Act

The expansion of Indian Health Services

The enactment of the Indian Self Determination law

The founding of the Indian Water Rights Office

The passage of the Native Graves Protection and Repatriation Act

The passage of the Indian Gaming Act

The founding of the National Museum of the American Indian

The 1978 Longest Walk

The 1977 Native presence at the United Nations Human Rights forum in Geneva

And the 2007 passage of the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

And yet there is still no formal recognition of Richard Oakes at Akwesasne. Perhaps on the 50th anniversary of the swim to Alcatraz we can do something tangible to give him and his compatriots the honour they deserve.


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An open government; Three weeks & three questions


By Mark Trahant

-Indian Country Today-

What’s next? Will there be another government shutdown? And what about the border?

President Donald J. Trump signed into law during Janauary, a three-week spending bill to fund about a quarter of government operations. That ended the longest government shutdown in history. More than 800,000 federal employees did not get paid during the shutdown, plus the interruption in revenue for federal contractors, including tribes and nonprofits.

Yet the White House is already talking about another shutdown unless Democrats on Capitol Hill agree to his original pitch for $5.7 billion wall along the U.S. and Mexico border.

“No one wants a government shutdown, it’s not a desired end,” said Mick Mulvaney, the White House acting chief of staff on “Fox News Sunday.”“But when the president vetoes a bill that’s put in front of him as a spending package, sometimes that has effect of shutting the government down. We don’t go into this trying to shut the government down.” He said the president will push for a wall where it’s needed “the quickest” and not a 2,000 mile structure.

Let’s look at three big questions: What’s next in this fight? Will there be another government shutdown? And what about the border?

What’s next?

The practical takes over the first week. Government agencies have to catch up on a month of work piling up. Contracts, phone messages, decisions, even collecting garbage, basically the works. This will take time.

There will be a lot of demand, for example, from tribes and non-profit organizations to get cash flow restarted to pay for self-governance and other contracts with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Indian Health Service.

As for employees, Mick Mulvaney, the White House acting chief of staff, said on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” that the government will move quickly to pay employees. “Some of them may be later this week, but we hope that by the end of this week, all of the back pay will be made up and, of course, the next payroll will go out on time.”

One issue that must be sorted out: overtime. In in order to make due during the shutdown some agencies required overtime from the employees that did work. How will that overtime be paid? And what will that do to agency budgets since the furloughed employees will also be paid? In the lawsuit filed by federal Indian Service employees, for example, the documents said some law enforcement agents exceeded 70 hours in a work week.

In Congress the next step is a conference committee. The House will argue for its language, which includes funding for border security but not a new wall, and the Senate which would give the Trump administration wide latitude about where to spend $5.7 on a border wall. (A wall along the entire border has additional cost and legal hurdles, as much as $70 billion, plus the cost of buying what is now private property.)

The conference committee will look for language that can pass both the House and the Senate. It could split the difference or try for a larger immigration bill that adds priorities from the Democrats, such as permanent legal status for residents who arrived in the United States as children without authorization.

The committee could ask for more time with an additional temporary spending bill or a continuing resolution.

Will there be another government shutdown?

The president remains a wild card. Any deal that results from the conference committee is likely the product of a give and take between the Senate and the House. It will not be the president’s demand for a wall or else. So will he shut the government again?

The White House is already saying yes. That started Friday, Jan 25th when the president made the announcement about the government reopening. “So let me be very clear: We really have no choice but to build a powerful wall or steel barrier,” he said. “If we don’t get a fair deal from Congress, the government will either shut down on February 15th, again, or I will use the powers afforded to me under the laws and the Constitution of the United States to address this emergency. We will have great security.”

“So let me be very clear: We really have no choice but to build a powerful wall or steel barrier,” he said. “If we don’t get a fair deal from Congress, the government will either shut down on February 15th, again, or I will use the powers afforded to me under the laws and the Constitution of the United States to address this emergency. We will have great security.”

President Donald Trump

That leaves the White House with the option of trying to build a wall using emergency powers instead of an appropriation from Congress.

The potential of a shutdown could unite Republicans who think that is a poor way to govern.

Congress has the power of the purse. It can override the president on spending or on legislation. That could happen if there is another shutdown fight.

There is also a new found support for members of Congress wanting to take federal employees out of the equation, perhaps even coming up with legislation that would prevent a future shutdown.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, for example, apologized to federal workers and said she is supporting measures to make certain that it does not happen again. “If there was every any silver lining to this, it was to understand that there was no good reason for a shutdown ever, but also I think we gained a little bit of appreciation for the good work that our federal employees do for us, -- the work that they do is important and we appreciate it,” she said.

This idea could include the legislation introduced by Sen. Tom Udall, D-New Mexico, that would protect the revenue to tribes through the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Indian Health Service. (A measure that tribes have long supported.)

And what about the border?

Later that day the Tribal Border Alliance held a press conference outlining their ideas for the border. There are 26 federally–recognized tribes with homelands that include the southern border.

But in Congress and in the White House there remain deep divisions about immigration policy, enforcement, and even the definition of a crisis on the border. That’s even before there is a debate about the wall.

At the Rose Garden, the president said, “I believe that crime in this country can go down by a massive percentage if we have great security on our southern border. I believe drugs, large percentages of which come through the southern border, will be cut by a number that nobody will believe.”

However as the Brookings Institution reports: “The crime statistics, with few exceptions, tell a very different story. In 2014, 14,249 people were murdered, the lowest homicide rate since 1991 when there were 24,703, and part of a pattern of steady decline in violent crime over that entire period.”

Brooking found no evidence “that undocumented residents accounted for either the rise in crime or even for a substantial number of the crimes, in Chicago or elsewhere. The vast majority of violent crimes, including murders, are committed by native–born Americans.”

Brookings also points out that drug smuggling will continue. Most of it now is through border points and a wall would have to be at least 70 feet deep to prevent tunnels from being constructed.

And this comes at a time when unauthorized immigration is shrinking. According to Pew Research, “the nation’s unauthorized immigrant population grew rapidly between 1990 and 2007, reaching a peak of 12.2 million. Since then, the population declined to 10.7 million. Unauthorized immigrants from Mexico make up half of all unauthorized immigrants and have been a driver of the group’s population decline – the number of unauthorized immigrants from Mexico fell from a peak of 6.9 million in 2007 to 5.4 million in 2016.”

The White House continues to raise the possibility of declaring a national emergency in order to build the wall without Congress. But that raises other questions, too. An emergency order will be challenged in the court system and that will prevent construction immediately. What’s more an emergency order might only work for this year’s funding, money that would have to be spent before Sept. 30, 2019. After that Congress would have to appropriate more funds. Another concern by many conservatives is that if Trump does use emergency powers to build a wall, the next president could use the same authority to use federal resources for climate change or another priority of the Democrats.

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

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Walking On as listed in the Febuary 2019 NFIC


Arizona, Fort Defiance – Funeral services for Harrison A. Watchman Sr. 70, were held Jan. 2, 2019 at the Potter’s House in Fort Defiance.  Interment followed in Fort Defiance.  Harrison was born Oct. 23, 1948, in Shiprock, into the Tachii’nii (Red Running Into the Water People Clan), born for Naaneesht’ezhi Tachii’nii (Charcoal Streaked Division of the Red Running Into the Water Clan).  Harrison passed away Dec. 25, 2018 in Gallup.

Harrison is survived by his wife, Elouise Watchman; sons, Harrison Watchman Jr. and Keith Stewart; daughters, Valentina Sallis and Gwen Watchman; mother, Helen Silentman; brother, Phillip Silentman; sisters, Merlinda Miles, Christine Randolph and Linda Church; and grandson, Brayden Watchman.  He is preceded in death by his son, Dean Watchman; father, Tony Chicharello; stepfather, Harry Silentman; son-in-law, Keith B. Sallis; sister, Laura Jean Homer; and brothers, Willis Watchman and Henry Watchman.

Harrison attended New Mexico Highlands University.  He worked at Navajo Forest Products Industry, and Peabody Western Coal Co., and 26 years at P&M Coal Mine and 10 years at Navajo Transit. (Navajo Times, January 3, 2019)

Arizona, Steamboat – Funeral services for Joshua Michael Sholley, 30, of Sawmill, AZ., were held Jan. 3, 2019 at the Bethel Navajo Baptist Church in Steamboat.  Burial followed at the family plot in Steamboat.  Joshua was born Jan. 18, 1988, in Yuba City, CA., into the Tsenjikini (Honey Combed Rock People Clan), born for Bilagaana.  Joshua passed away Dec. 22, 2018 in Fort Defiance.

Joshua is survived by Tonika Tsosie; son, Jacoby Tsosie; daughters, Kloie Tsosie and Taelynn Tsosie; and grandparents, Genevieve and Johnny F. Attson Sr.  He is preceded in death by his mother, Joan M. Attson Sr.

Joshua was employed with Navajo Nation Oil and Gas and also Sawmill Chapter House and Richard Casey Construction Co. (Navajo Times, January 3, 2019)

Arizona, Black Mountain – Funeral services for Marcus Charley, 36, of Cottonwood, AZ., were held Jan. 5, 2019 at the Black Mountain Mission Church.  Burial followed at the Black Mountain community cemetery.  Marcus was born Jan. 15, 1972, in Fort Defiance, into the Ma’ii Deeshgiizhinii (Coyote Pass Clan), born for Todich’ii’nii (Bitter Water Clan).  Marcus passed away Dec. 29, 2018, in Chinle.

Marcus is survived by his sons, Joshua B. Charley, Marquis Charley, and Marc Charley; mother, Mary C. Charley; brothers, Virgil and Matthew Charley; and sister, Coranda Whitesheep.  He is preceded in death by his father, Thomas Charley Sr.; and brother, Thomas Charley Jr.

Marcus worked with the National Park Service, Mountain State Railroad Company and other construction companies. (Navajo Times, January 3, 2019)

Arizona, Chinle – Funeral services for Lucy Ruth VanWinkle, 78, in Chinle, were held Dec. 24, at the Church o Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Chinle.  Interment followed in Nazlini, AZ.  Lucy was born Mar. 8, 1940, in Chinle, into the Deeshchii’nii (Start of the Red Streak People Clan), born for Ma’ii Deeshgiizhinii (Coyote Pass Clan).  Lucy passed away Dec. 20, 2018, in Albuquerque.

Lucy is survived by her sons, Teddy Draper III, Wendell Draper, Michael Draper Sr., Teddy Draper Jr. and Otto Draper Sr.; daughters, Lorranine Wilson, Theodora Draper, Gloria Begody, Wendy Draper, Theocia Begay, Geneva Stephens and Celia Tsinajinnie; brothers, Daniel Deeshchiinii and Luther VanWinkle; sisters, Cecelia VanWinkle, Lena Nez, Tressia Dedman and Sophia VanWinkle; and 32 grandchildren, 37 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchildren.  She is preceded in death by her parents, Margaret and Jones VanWinkle; sister, Bertha Goldtooth; and brothers, Cecil VanWinkle and Herman VanWinkle.

Lucy received a GED, associate’s degree and bachelor’s degree. (Navajo Times, January 3, 2019)

Arizona, St. Michaels – Funeral mass for Richard Gerald Foley, was held Dec. 28, 2018 at the Mother of Mankind Catholic Church in St. Michaels, AZ.  A rosary preceded the mass.  Richard passed away Dec. 17, 2018 at home in Mesa, AZ.  Burial will be in New York.

Richard is survived by his wife, Michelle L. Yazzie; brothers, Greg Foley and Michael Foley; sister, Patricia Foley Hill; and numerous nieces, nephews and grandchildren.

Richard had a passion for coaching and teaching. (Navajo Times, January 3, 2019)

Arizona, Kayenta – Funeral services for Isabel M. Kitsale, 96, were Jan. 5, 2019 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Kayenta.  Interment followed at the family site near Chilchinbeto, AZ.  Isabel was born June 15, 1922 in Chilchinbeto region, into the To’aheedliinii (Water Flow Together Clan), born for To’ahani (Near the Water Clan).  Isabel passed away Dec. 30, 2018 in Gilbert, AZ.

Isabel is survived by her son, Calvin; daughter, Florence; sister, Ruth Luna; grandson, Jim; and granddaughter, Christina.

Isabel was employed for over 30 years with the BIA Boarding School in Kayenta, before retiring. (Navajo Times, January 10, 2019)

Arizona, Fort Defiance – Funeral services for Lee Christopher Bitsuie, 76, were held Jan. 11, 2019 at Our Lady of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Fort Defiance.  Burial followed at the Fort Defiance Veterans Cemetery.  Lee was born Aug. 10, 1942, in Steamboat, AZ, to KeaAhene and Irene Bitsuie.  Lee passed away between Dec. 29, 2018 and Jan. 5, 2019 in Steamboat Canyon, AZ.

Lee is survived by his daughters, Dorothy, Ruby, Sarah, Cheryl, Cherie, Charmaine, Carolene, Alicia, and Sky; sons, Al, Leland, Adrian, Andrew, and Christopher; sisters, Charlene Yazzie and LaRose Chiquito; brothers, Wallace, Howard, Lester, Paul and Wilbur A. Bitsuie; and 30 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren; aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, friends and military comrades.  He is preceded in death by his parents; brother, Frank KeaAhene; sister, Ida Yellowhair; daughter, Caroletta Bradley; and son, Leroy Gorman.

Lee joined the U.S. Army and served in Vietnam war earning a Purple Heart and other commendations.  He served with the 25th Infantry Division.  Upon returning to civilian life he held jobs and positions with the Navajo Nation government.  He also held a position of commanding the Steamboat Veterans Organization. (Navajo Times, January 10, 2019)

Arizona, St. Michaels – Funeral services for Jerome Thomas Nez, 36, of St. Michaels, AZ., were held Jan. 16, 2019 at the Mary, Mother of Mankind Parish Mission in St. Michaels.  Burial followed at the St. Michaels cemetery.  Jerome was born Nov. 7, 1962, in Fort Defiance, into the Kiyaa’aanii (Towering House Clan), born for Todich’ii’nii (Bitter Water Clan).  Jerome passed away Jan. 2, 2019, in Orlando, FL.

Jerome is survived by his father, Thomas N. Nez; brothers, Jamie and Alex Nez; sister, Margarita Nez; and grandparents, Elizabeth Keeto, Tom Nakai Nez and Mary J. Nez.  He is preceded in death by his mother, Helen J. Keeto; brothers, Victor Keeto and Jeremie Nez; and grandfather, Henry Keeto.

Jerome worked in construction. (Navajo Times, January 10, 2019)

Arizona, Fort Defiance – Graveside service for Stanley Ben, 76, of Fort Defiance was held Jan. 17, 2019 at the Fort Defiance Veterans Cemetery.  Stanley was born in 1943 in Fort Defiance, into the Naakai dine’e (Mexican Clan), born for Totsohnii (Big Water Clan).  Stanley passed away Jan. 13, 2019 in Fort Defiance.

Stanley is survived by his wife, Alice Ben; sons, Leon Hunter Sr. and Wesley Harvey; daughters, Yanniibah Brunello, DawnLei Hunter Ben, Nasbah Hunter Ben, Seanna Hunter Ben and Emma Boisselle; brother, Calvin Ben Sr.; and sister, Mary Francis Bedonie.  He is preceded in death by his mother, Josephine Bilagody Ben; father, Charlie Chee Ben; sister, Marian Joe; and brother, Leonard Ben.

Stanley was one of the first five students to graduate from Intermountain High School and one of the first students of Navajo Community College.  Stanley served in the U.S. Navy during Vietnam and worked in the maintenance and transportation department for O.N.E.O.  He also worked with St. Michaels and Oak Springs Head Start bus driver and maintenance for Navajo Housing Authority. (Navajo Times, January 17, 2019)

Arizona, St. Michaels – Funeral services for Milton Bluehouse Sr., 82, were held Jan. 17, at the St. Michaels Catholic Mission Church.  Milton was born Feb. 29, 1936, in Ganado, AZ., into the Tl’izi lani (Many Goats Clan), born for Honaghaahnii (One-walks-around Clan).  Milton passed away Jan. 14, 2019 in Ganado.

Milton is survived by his wife, Irma Bluehouse; daughter, Bernadette Bluehouse; and sons, Milton Bluehouse Jr., Douglas Lowery and Darwin Lowery.  He is preceded in death by his parents, Alice and Sam Bluehouse; sister, Roberta Bluehouse; and brother, Homer Bluehouse.

Milton attended Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University and served in the U.S. Army from 1959 to 1961.  Milton was interim Navajo Nation president, interim Navajo Nation vice president, Navajo Nation Council delegate, Ganado Chapter president, Ganado Chapter Treasurer, Ganado School Board president and Ganado School Board vice president. (Navajo Times, January 17, 2019)

Minnesota, Red Lake – A wake for Gennie Kingbird, “Gezhibaay-aashiik”, “Whirl Wind Woman” 41, of Ponemah began on Jan. 10th 2019 and continued with her traditional service on Jan. 12, 2018 at the Boys and Girls Club in Ponemah, MN.  Interment followed in the Kingbird Family Burial Grounds at Ponemah.  Gennie was born in Bemidji, MN and Apr. 22, 1977 to Bernice and Alfred Kingbird, Sr.  Gennie passed away Jan. 6, 2019 at the Red Lake HIS Hospital in Red Lake, MN.

Gennie is survived by her daughter, Miyah Kingbird; sons, Clarence Patterson, Jr., Damon Patterson, Ethan Kingbird and Jeremiah Kingbird Jr.; father; brothers, Lonny (Bobbi Jo), T’Jay, Tobie (Colette), Patrick Kingbird and Alfred Kingbird Jr.; sisters, Shanna (Alvin Johnson, Jr.), and Leah (Linsey) Kingbird; uncles, John (Rita) and Rudy Kingbird; aunties, Andrea (David) Rosebear and Mona Nelson and Roberta (Sami) Syed, Judy French, Mardel (Roland) Iceman and Elsie (Robert) Rushman and Beverly Cloud; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.  She is preceded in death by her mother; grandparents, John and Julia Kingbird, Sarah and Fred Kingbird Sr.; aunties, Brenda, Roberta, Carol and Verna Kingbird, Regina French, Elsie Burr, Lillian Jones, and Grace Perkins; uncles, Harlan Kingbird Sr., Francis Stillday, Gerry Kingbird and Fred Kingbird Jr. (The Red Lake Nation, January 25, 2019)

Minnesota, Red Lake – A memorial gathering for Robert Malone III, 82 of Red Lake was held at the Olson-Schwartz Funeral Home Jan. 11, 2019.  Robert passed away Jan. 6, 2019 at the Fargo VA Hospital. (The Red Lake Nation, January 25, 2019)

Minnesota, Red Lake – Memorial services for Peggy Nelson, 59 of Clearbrook, MN., were held Jan. 14, 2019 at the United Methodist Church in Fosston.  A private interment will be held at a later date.  Peggy was born Sept. 28, 1959 to Robert and Lois (Dunning) Ball in Fosston, MN.  Peggy passed away Jan. 9, 2019 at the Essentia Health Hospital in Fosston.

Peggy is survived by her husband, Wally; children, Dana (Keith) Wojciechowski, Jolene Nelson, Ben (Jill) Nelson, and Brady (Amanda) Nelson; grandchildren, Kally Wojciechowski, Isaiah Lande, Paxton Gauger, Molly, Maddy, and Gus Nelson, Talia, Harvey, and Elloise Nelson; father, Robert Ball; sisters, Debbie (Ernie) Moen, Judy (Paul) Ophus and Roberta (Paul) Freeman; Norma Erickson; and many family and friends.  She is preceded in death by her, mother; brother, Randy Ball; nephew, Bobby Ball and grandparents.

Peggy received her Bachelor’s degree in Home Economics form the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie.  She taught Family, Home and Consumer Science at the Red Lake High School form 1993 to 2019. (The Red Lake Nation, January 25, 2019)

Minnesota, Red Lake – Services for Paul Thornhill, 39 of St. Paul, MN., were held Jan. 18, 2019 at Gichitwaa Kateri Church in Minneapolis, MN.  Paul was born Jan. 21, 1979 to Richard Defoe and Pamela Nelson in Coon Rapids, MN.  Paul passed away Jan. 11, 2019.

Paul is survived by his children Sasha Thornhill and Paul Thornhill Jr.; special friend, Holly Beth Johnson; mother; twin brother, Alex (Nikki) Thornhill; siblings, Matthew (Demeri) Thornhill, Patrick (Marie) Blanchard, Carl Nelson, Dylan (Anna) Nelson, Ruby Mitchell, Richard (Annie) Defoe Jr., Brooke Defoe, Crystal (Myron) Cobenais Sr., Richelle May, Danielle May, Shanoah May and Christopher Defoe; many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews.  He is preceded in death by his father; grandparents; grandmother, Priscilla Defoe; brother, Donovan (Sam) Schoenborn; cousin, James Lee Gibbs and aunt, Mary Thornhill.

Paul worked for PROM Catering which let him travel all over the United States doing catering events. (The Red Lake Nation, January 25, 2019)

Minnesota, Red Lake – Funeral services for Harlow Edward Berg, 86, were held Jan. 26, 2019 at Samhold Lutheran Church, in Gonvick, MN.  Military Honors were accorded by American Legion Post #304 of Gonvick, MN.  Interment followed at Samhold Lutheran Cemetery.  Harlow was born Sept. 8, 1932 to Robert and Getta in Gonvick, MN.  Harlow passed away Jan. 17, 2019 at Sanford Medical Center, Bemidji, MN.

Harlow is survived by his wife, Tippy; children, Tim (Roxanne), Kevin (Sheryl), and Terri (Keith); grandchildren, Derek (Molly), Matt (Melissa), Jonny (Molly), Megan and Jenna; great-grandchildren, Owen, Evie, Greta, Ethan, Regan, Nora and Charlie; sister-in-law, Virginia (Ginny) Berg and Mavis Eck; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.  He is preceded in death by his parents; brother, Robert Berg, Jr.

Harlow was drafted into the Army during the Korean War (1953-1954).  He served in the Heavy Mortar Company 53rd Infantry in Fort Richardson, Alaska.  Harlow and his wife owned Gonvick Oil Company and he also was a rural mail carrier.  He served with the Gonvick Fire Dept. and Samhold Lutheran Church as a sexton and as a trustee and Gonvick-Trail School Board and Gonvick City Council and he was a member of the Gonvick American Legion. (The Red Lake Nation, January 25, 2019)

Minnesota, Red Lake – A wake for Nancy Lynn Roy, 52, was held on Jan. 22, 2019 and continued until her traditional service Jan. 24, 2019 at the Red Lake Community Center in Red Lake, MN.  Burial followed at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Red Lake, MN.  Nancy was born Jan. 24, 1966 to Hubert and Alma (Greene) Roy.  Nancy passed away Jan. 20, 2019 at Sanford Medical Center in Fargo, ND.

Nancy is survived by her sons, Ricky and Ryan Roy; 4 grandchildren; sisters, Debra Roy, Kimberly Greene, and Rhonda Roy; brother, David Roy; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.  She is preceded in death by her parents; brother, Paul Roy; niece, Denise Thompson; great-nephew, Sylis Thompson, and numerous family and friends.

Nancy worked as a Personal Care Assistant for Home and Heart. (The Red Lake Nation, January 25, 2019)

New Mexico, Gallup – Funeral services for Lewis E. Becenti Jr., 40, were held Jan. 11, 2019 at Rollie Mortuary in Gallup.  Burial followed at the Sunset Memorial Park.  Lewis was born Sept. 22, 1978, in Gallup, into the Ashiihi (Salt People Clan), born for Kinyaa’aanii (Towering House Clan).  Lewis passed away Jan. 5, 2019, in Albuquerque.

Lewis is survived by his step-mother, Darlene Becenti; siblings, Lewianna, Madeline Becenti and Lane Becenti Sr.; children, Anfernee, Jasmine, and Leonissa Becenti; aunt, Harriet Beceny; and grandchild, Jesse R. Charley.  He is preceded in death by his mother, Carol Ann Yazzie; and father, Lewis Becenti Sr. (Navajo Times, January 10, 2019)

New Mexico, Gallup – Funeral services for Emmett Cadman Jr., 43, were held Jan. 18, 2019 at the Rollie Mortuary Chapel in Gallup.  Burial followed at the Gallup City Cemetery.  Emmett was born July 12, 1975, into the Naakai dine’e (Mexican Clan), born for Todich’ii’nii (Bitter Water Clan).  His nali is Kiyaa’aanii (Towering House); chei is Tachii’nii (Red Running Into the Water People).  Emmett passed away Jan. 9, 2019.

Emmett is survived by his daughters, Kayano Lee and Keisha Cadman; sons, Jyrus W., Jarron T., and Noah E. Cadman.  He is preceded in death by Mildred Calvin Cadman; brother, Casey K. Thomas; sister, Darvna C. Cadman; grandparents, Marrion J. and Tulley Calvin and Alice R. Jones and Emerson Cadman Sr.

Emmett was a well known carpenter in the Gallup and surrounding areas. (Navajo Times, January 17, 2019)

New Mexico, Kirtland – Funeral services for Lillie Edison, 86, were held Jan. 11, 2019 at the Cope Memorial Chapel in Kirtland.  Interment followed at the Kirtland cemetery.  Lillie was born Mar. 10, 1932, in Upper Fruitland, NM., into the Bit’ahnii (Folded Arms Clan), born for Todich’ii’nii (Bitter Water Clan).  Lillie passed away Jan. 2019.

Lillie is survived by her son, Samuel Edison; daughters, Marylou Boone, Pauline Alston, Annie, Darlene, Shirlene Edison; sister, Joanne Barber; eight grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.  She is preceded in death by her father, Naataanii Yazhi Begay; mother, Edith Benally; and brothers, Jimmy Benally and John J. Begay. (Navajo Times, January 17, 2019)

New Mexico, Sheep Springs – Funeral services for Lupita A. Washburn, 54, were held Jan. 15, 2019 at the Sheep Springs Pentecostal Church in Sheep Springs.  Interment followed at the Sheep Springs cemetery.  Lupita was born Apr. 20, 1964, in Gallup, into the Kinlichii’nii (Red House People Clan), born for Tachii’nii (Red Running Into the Water People Clan).  Her nali is Kinyaa’aanii (Towering House); chei is Honaghaahnii (One-walks-around).  Lupita passed away Jan. 4, 2019 in Gallup.

Lupita is survived by her sons, Felix L. Washburn and Greg C. Begay; daughter, Laura M. Washburn; father, Harry A. Begay; brothers, Larry, Leonard, Alvin and Robert Begay and Lester Johnson Sr.; and sisters, Alvina, and Veronica Begay, Victoria Williams, Theresa Yazzie and Michelle Foster.  She is preceded in death by her mother, Mary R. Begay; and nephews, Sheldon C. Begay and Lester Johnson Jr. (Navajo Times, January 17, 2019)

Washington, Bellingham – A prayer service for Eric Joseph Landsem, 24, was held Jan. 9, 2019 and funeral service was held Jan. 10, 2019 at the Wexliam Community Building. (SQUOL QUOL, January 2019)

Washington, Bellingham – A prayer service for Yvonne Annette “Bon” Solomon, 68, was held Dec. 30, 2018 and funeral service was held Dec. 31, 2018 at the Wexliem Community Building.  Yvonne was born Oct. 29, 1950 in Bellingham to William and Rosemary (Washington) Phair.  Yvonne passed away Dec. 27, 2018.

Yvonne is survived by her sons, Marvin Phair, Elias Hoskins, and Richard Solomon Jr.; daughters, Sarah Lawerence and Vanessa Jimmy; sisters, Ardellina Johnson, Francine Phair, Nadine Joy, Patty Phair, Janine Hillaire, Wendy Phair, and Lisa Phair; brothers, John Phair Sr. and Murray Phair; 13 grandchildren, 5 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.  She is preceded in death by her parents; husband, Rick Solomon Sr.; son, Hank Hoskins Sr. and brother, William Phair Jr. (SQUOL QUOL, January 2019)

Washington, Yakima – The Dressing Service for Trudi Lee Clark, 55, of Wapato, WA., was held Dec. 27, 2018 in the Toppenish Creek Longhouse with the overnight religious services following.  Funeral services were held at sunrise Dec. 28, 2018 in the Toppenish Creek Cemetery.  Trudi was born Aug. 6, 1963 to Martin and Sally (George) Hannigan in Toppenish, WA.  Trudi passed away Dec. 23, 2018 in the Virgina Mason Memorial Hospital at Yakima, WA.

Trudi is survived by her husband, Gary Clark; daughters, Tashina Thomas and Staci Sam;n4  grandchildren, brothers, Wendall Lee, Lee Hannigan, George Lee, Isaac Hannigan, Martin Hannigan Jr. and Marvin Hannigan; sisters, June Williams, Mabel Pacheco, Marian Dave, Debra Gardee-Lee and Julia Skwanqhqn; numerous nieces and nephews.  She preceded in death by her parents and seven siblings.

Trudi worked as an office assistant for the Yakama Nation and accounts receivable-bookkeeper for Yakama Power and she was also an EMT and firefighter. (Yakama Nation Review, January 16, 2019)

Washington, Toppenish – The Dressing Service for Elizabeth Edna Aleck, 53 was held Jan. 8, 2019 in the Wapato Longhouse with overnight religious services following.  Graveside services were held in the Simpson Cemetery Jan. 9, 2019.  Elizabeth was born Sept. 26, 1965 in Yakima, WA.  Elizabeth passed away Jan. 4, 2019 near Toppenish, WA.

Elizabeth is survived by her children, Farrel Aleck, Jasmine Martinez, James Martinez and Rachel Munoz; eight grandchildren; brothers, Byron Wheeler, Buster Wheeler, Arnold Denver and Eddie Aleck Jr.; sisters, Beatrice Kiona, Leah Aleck and Agnes Ketchem; numerous nieces and nephews.  She is preceded in death by her parents; and sister, Anna Wheeler. (Yakama Nation Review, January 16, 2019)

Washington, Seattle – A graveside service for Rita D. Mendoza, 70 of Toppenish, WA., was held in the 1910 Shaker Church Cemetery Jan. 3, 2019.  Rita was born July 18, 1948 in Yakima, WA.  Rita passed away Dec. 23, 2018 in the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle.

Rita is survived by her husband, Jose Mendoza; sons, Daniel Ross and Jose Mendoza Jr.; daughter, Angelica Mendoza; brother, Don Miller; sister, Linda Pratt; eight grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren.

Rita was a secretary for Yakama Nation Court Services.  She is an enrolled member of the Yakama Nation. (Yakama Nation Review, January 16, 2019)

Washington, Wapato – The Dressing Service for Caroline Adrianna Pacheco (Tulilkwy), 34 was held Jan. 5, 2019 in the Valley Hills Funeral Home at Wapato, WA., with overnight religious services following in the Toppenish Creek Longhouse.  Burial services were held Jan. 7, 2019 in the Toppenish Creek Cemetery.  Caroline was born Sept. 7, 1984 in Toppenish to Angel G. Pacheco Sr. and Eliza E. Lara.  Caroline passed away Jan. 3, 2019.

Caroline is survived by her mate, Joel John, Curtis Yallup Jr., Issiah Johnson, Armanii Yallup, Andre Yallup, Angel Pacheco, Omar Lara, Jorge Lara, Rosanna Phillips, Ryan Phillips, Benny Phillips, Andrew Phillips, Anthony Phillips and Jacob Phillips, Reese John and unborn child, Jerry Meninick, Eliza Lara, Angel Pacheco, and friends and family.  She is preceded in death by her grandparents, Caroline Charles, Clarence Charles and Marylou Talpocken.

Caroline worked for Yakama Nation Credit Enterprise Office and the Yakama Nation General Council Executive Board Office. (Yakama Nation Review, January 16, 2019)

Wisconsin, Hayward - The Funeral Service for Stuart Blaine Miller, age 63, of LCO was held Jan. 10, 2019 at Pineview Funeral Service in Hayward.  Military Honors will be accorded by LCO AmVets Post #1998. Stuart passed away Jan. 6, 2019 at his home.  Stuart was born Jan. 25, 1955 in Hayward, WI to George and Audrey (Gokey) Miller.

Stuart is survived by his daughter, Raeanna (Kevin) Saltz; grandson, Kevin Saltz Jr; granddaughter, Michelle Saltz; brother, Troy Burchfield; sisters, Karen Ackley, Margaret (LaVern) Miller-Timp, Kelli Fowler, Darlene Fowler; many nephews & nieces.  He is preceded in death by his three infant sons, Stuart, Anthony & George Miller; parents; brothers, Gary Miller, Dave Miller, Gene Burchfield; sisters, Gloria Miller & Andrea Sparks.

Stuart joined the United States Marines in 1974. While in the service Stuart was an aircraft & engine mechanic.  After his military service he worked for LCO Development as a truck driver.

Wisconsin, Hayward – A Mass of Christian Burial for Bradley D. Trepania Sr., age 45, of LCO was  held Feb. 5, 2019 at St. Francis Solanus Indian Mission in Reserve.  Burial followed in St. Francis Cemetery. Bradley Dean Trepania was born Nov. 8, 1973 in Chicago, IL to Carol (Penass) and Joe “Geeb” Trepania.  Bradley passed away  Jan. 31, 2019 at Essentia Health Miller Dwan Medical Center in Duluth, MN.

Bradley is survived by his mother; sons, Bradley Trepania Jr, Blake Trepania, Brody Trepania; daughters, Teah Nickence, Nicolette Trepania, Paige Trepania, Mariah Trepania; nine grandchildren; brothers, Robert Trepania, Joseph R. Trepania III, Jason “Buck” Thayer; sister, Stephanie Thayer; grandfather, Gerald Mortenson; many nephews, nieces & cousins.  He is preceded in death by his father; sister, Jayme Thayer; grandfather, Joseph Trepania Sr.; grandmothers, Beverly Trepania, Harriet Penass.

Bradley worked various jobs at the LCO Casino and also worked at KOA Campground in maintenance.

Wisconsin, Hayward – A  Mass of Christian Burial for Suzanne A. Quaderer, age 69, of Lac Courte Oreilles was held Feb. 7, 2019 at St. Francis Solanus Indian Mission in Reserve.  Burial followed in St. Francis Cemetery in Reserve. Suzanne Agnes DeBrot was born Nov. 11, 1949 in Hayward, WI to Earl and Phyllis (Bachand) DeBrot.  Suzanne passed away Feb. 2, 2019 at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire, WI.

Suzanne is survived by her husband, Keith; sons, Jamie (Kim) Fleming of Couderay, Kenneth Jay (Edwina) Quaderer; daughters, Darcie Quaderer and Roxie (Jeff) Quaderer; 13 grandchildren; 4 great grandchildren; brothers, Dale DeBrot, Warren DeBrot; sisters, Deanna Baker, Catherine Chambers and Elaine DeBrot; many nephews & nieces.

She is preceded in death by her parents; son, Keith “Sonman” Quaderer; brother, Wayne DeBrot; nephews, Ronald Quaderer, Marlon Carley & Jonathon Baker.

Suzanne attended Globe Business College in Minneapolis and worked for the State of Minnesota. After returning to LCO she attended Mt. Scenario College in Ladysmith, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education.  She worked in the Lac Courte Oreilles School System for 43 years and had planned on retiring this year.

A memorial service for Thomas M. Disselhorst, 71, Bismarck, was held January 20th, at United Tribes Technical College at the James Henry Gymnasium.  Thomas passed away Dec. 30, 2018 from injuries sustained in a car accident near Richardton, ND.  Tom was born in Seattle, Washington on Pearl Harbor Day, December 7, 1947.

Thomas is survived by his brother, Barry Disselhorst (Tania); sister, Suellen Spencer (Christopher), Lori Wolf (Tom), Cindy Bashford (Gregg), Linda Seymour; several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Tom attended the University of California in San Diego (UCSD).  In 1975 he obtained a law degree from the University of California - Berkeley Law School. Tom was brought on as a staff attorney for United Tribes Technical College in 1980. For 39 years he worked in various roles including legislative advocacy, administration, contracts, and policies. He passionately taught courses in Business Law and Federal Tribal Law. Throughout his career, he maintained a private law practice representing many students and others with various legal issues, arguing before tribal courts as well as in civil and criminal courts.

Over the years Tom provided legal counsel to the Turtle Mountain band of Chippewa, and the Three Affiliated Tribes (Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara) as well as others.

He was a founder and board member of the North Dakota Peace Coalition, a member of the North Dakota Martin Luther King Holiday Commission, the North Dakota Progressive Coalition and a recipient of the annual Prairie Peacemaker Award given by the Peace Coalition.

Tom loved to play piano. He played for the Bismarck - Mandan Unitarian Universalist Congregation services for many years. He was civil, ethical, a good listener, cheerful, having an excellent sense of humor, and a passionate advocate of Native American causes. He will be deeply missed by his family, many friends, and all who knew him.

Navajo Code Talker Alfred K. Newman passes on at 94 in New Mexico


A Navajo Code Talker who used his native language to outsmart the Japanese in World War II has died in New Mexico at age 94.

Navajo Nation officials say Alfred K. Newman passed away January 13th at a nursing home in Bloomfield.

Newman was among hundreds of Navajos who served in the Marine Corps, using a code based on their native language to outsmart the Japanese in World War II.

During World War II, Newman served from 1943-45 in the 1st Battalion, 21st Marine Regiment and 3rd Marine Division and saw duty at Bougainville Island, Guam, Iwo Jima, Kwajalein Atoll, Enewetak Atoll, New Georgia and New Caledonia.

Newman is survived by his wife of 69 years, Betsy. They had five children, 13 grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

Former Navajo Nation President Milton Bluehouse Sr. walks on



Milton Bluehouse Sr., who served six months as Navajo Nation president during a time of political upheaval, has died.

Bluehouse died the morning of January 14th weeks after doctors discovered he had late-stage cancer, said his son, Milton Bluehouse Jr. He was 82.

Bluehouse became president in July 1998 after two tribal presidents facing ethics charges left office. Albert Hale agreed to resign rather than face allegations he misused tribal funds. Hale’s vice president, Thomas Atcitty, took over and appointed Bluehouse to be second in command.

Within months, the Navajo Nation Council removed Atcitty for accepting free trips and golf games from companies doing business with the tribe.

Bluehouse was known for his skills as an orator in the Navajo language, ensuring the federal government upheld its obligation to the tribe and maintaining traditional values.  

“Mr. Bluehouse was always open-minded,” said Willie Tracey Jr., the manager of the Ganado Chapter where Bluehouse was registered. “He was a caring person (in) what he talked about, what he planned for, what he wanted to do. He always had people in mind. He was a good advocate in doing what he could through his leadership”

Outgoing Navajo President Russell Begaye ordered flags lowered across the reservation.

In his short time as president, Bluehouse outlined an ambitious plan to offer physical training for at-risk youth, create 2,000 jobs in two years and expand policing and community-based prevention programs.

“I’m not about to roll over and play dead just because some people may think I only have four months,” he said.

Bluehouse sought the presidency as a write-in candidate in November 1998, but finished in third place.

He was raised in a traditional Navajo lifestyle that included sheep herding and graduated from the Ganado Mission School in 1958. He then served three years in the U.S. Army.

Bluehouse’s career included consulting and advocacy work. He represented Ganado on the Tribal Council before he served in the tribe’s top elected office. He lost a bid in 2010 to recapture the council seat.

He challenged the Tribal Council when it attempted to use a loan to build a casino and led an effort to recall former Navajo President Ben Shelly over his administration’s support of a settlement for water rights in the Little Colorado River basin in more recent years.

“Honorable Milton Bluehouse, Sr. was a great leader for the Navajo Nation and he will be greatly missed,” said Tribal Council Speaker LoRenzo Bates. ”He was a strong advocate for many issues, especially for upholding and protecting the sovereignty of the Navajo people.”

Within his own family, Bluehouse was a mentor and teacher who brought his children to community meetings. He would wake them up before the sun rose to check on the livestock and get hay for the animals, Bluehouse Jr. said.

”Those were moments when he taught us how to work hard and to learn from hardship for things that come up in life like this,” Bluehouse Jr. said.

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Envisioning Our New Ilisagvik College Campus


Community members and Iḷisaġvik College faculty, staff and students met over ice cream and conversations at the Iñupiat Heritage Center to discuss envisioning our new Iḷisaġvik College Campus, and the guest speaker was none other than the "Eskimo Ninja" himself, Nick Hanson.

The post Envisioning Our New Ilisagvik College Campus appeared first on Tribal College Journal of American Indian Higher Education.

Steven Newcomb: We the people of the dominated Native nations


Mark Charles Calls for Assimilating Native People into “We the [American] People” By Steven Newcomb (Shawnee, Lenape) originalfreenations.com During a recent TED Talk, a man named Mark Charles, who is of Navajo and Dutch ancestry, and who identifies as a...


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