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July 4 Weekend: Togetherness, Health and Cultural Resilience. That’s It

NATIVE NEWS TODAY - July 4, 2017 - 8:14am

Indigenous celebrations on July 4 weekend have been rooted in over a century of history as a time to strengthen Native identities and communities.

The post July 4 Weekend: Togetherness, Health and Cultural Resilience. That’s It appeared first on Indian Country Media Network.

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July 4 Weekend: Togetherness, Health and Cultural Resilience. That’s It

July 4: America Is Celebrating Its Democracy, Not Its Freedom

NATIVE NEWS TODAY - July 4, 2017 - 8:14am

On Trump’s first July 4 as president we see America stepping down from the role of world leader, but there is a clear message of survival.

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July 4: America Is Celebrating Its Democracy, Not Its Freedom

Without the First Americans, There Would Be No USA

NATIVE NEWS TODAY - July 4, 2017 - 7:00am

European immigrants would not have survived long enough to form the 13 colonies or celebrate the Fourth of July if it weren’t for Natives on the east coast

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Without the First Americans, There Would Be No USA

Farm Bill important to Indian Country

NATIVE NEWS TODAY - July 3, 2017 - 12:39pm

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) is reminding Indian
Country that it needs to work with Congress and naturally allied groups
to support programs that cover the entire food chain, from producers to
consumers, who are all bunched together under what is called “the farm
bill.”

Two researchers with the Indigenous Food and Agriculture
Initiative (IFAI) at the University of Arkansas School of Law have
pulled together all that is at stake for Native people and tribes in a
new study, Regaining our Future: An Assessment of Risks and
Opportunities for Native Communities in the 2018 Farm Bill.

The
SMSC funded study shows how 70 percent of the U.S. Department of
Agriculture budget most years is used for various feeding, nutrition and
food safety programs that affect all Americans and all Native people
regardless where they live. The rest of the USDA budget is spread out
over conservation, water quality, trade promotion, economic development,
insurance and farm income stabilization programs that give the bill its
name.

The study was prepared and written by the Initiative’s
Janie Simms Hipp (Chickasaw Nation), a former senior advisor for tribal
relations to former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and Colby D.
Duren, the IFAI’s policy director and former staff counsel for the
National Congress of American Indians.

Their findings will come as
a surprise to many people on the knife, fork and spoon end of the food
chain. It happens about every five years when Congress rewrites and
updates food, farm, nutrition and related natural resource legislation
lumped together under the so-called farm bill.

While access to
food and good nutrition is important to all Americans, the Hipp and
Duren study stresses that Natives are involved in every step of the food
chain from farming and ranching on down, and Natives and tribes are
also engaged participants in soil, water and resource protection.

Charles
R. Vig, chairman of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community,
emphasized those linkages in announcing publication of the new study.

“Today
a food and nutritional health crisis grips most of Indian Country,” Vig
said. “As Congress prepares to shape the next farm bill, there has
never been a more critical time for Native Americans to unite to defend
our interests.

“Tribal governments, Native producers,
environmental stewards and Native community members must work together
to involve Congress in helping us solve this crisis,” he added.

Hipp
said in an interview that complexities for Native Americans with food
and agriculture policies come partly from their own diversity. “Seventy
percent of our people now live in urban centers,” she said. “But our
land base is rural.”

Meanwhile, she said, this often disconnects
Native food producers from urban consumers. “We have always been food
producers. Our people need to feed themselves; we need to build out our
food system.”

That is a SMSC objective and why it supports urban farming projects,
including in the Shakopee and Prior Lake area. That prompted SMSC
officials to reach out to Hipp and colleagues at the special Arkansas
center more than two years ago.
Hipp said that looking at farm bill
legislation title by title, “a lot of people can read the report and see
themselves connected to the farm bill. It is ‘the people’s bill’,” she
said.

One of the smaller titles in the bill, for promoting American
food exports, actually has special importance for Minnesota tribes and
Natives entrepreneurs, given the number of special Native foods
companies based here. The study calls for including Native foods and
companies at all U.S.-led trade promotion tours and conferences.

Much
is at stake for the Native Americans and nearly all other Americans
whose lives are touched in some way by the farm bill. Pressures are
building in Congress to separate the bill between programs for producers
and the food, nutrition and safety portions. That would break the
coalition that has kept “the people’s bill” as part of public policy for
nearly 150 years.

SMSC and Arkansas’ IFAI have allies for getting
the report out to tribal leaders and all who are engaged with Native
food and health activities. The study’s announcement statement noted
Hipp and Duren consulted closely with Intertribal Agriculture Council,
Intertribal Timber Council and National Congress of American Indians in
preparing the report.       
As for SMSC, supporting pure, or basic
research, across the breadth of Indian Country is not new. The
Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative research project is a
continuation of a commitment made in 2015 by the Shakopee Mdewakanton
community.

SMSC, the largest Native American philanthropic
contributor, launched a $10 million campaign two years ago called Seeds
of Native Health to improve Native nutrition and food access through
grants. As part of that, it funds research education and
“capacity-building efforts,” the tribe explained.

In has partnered in
that work with the American Diabetes Association, American Heart
Association, AmeriCorps VISTA, Better Way Foundation (Minneapolis-based
foundation supporting child well-being, family and community efforts),
the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis’ Center for Indian Country
Development, First Nations Development Institute (Longmont, Colo.),
MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger (Los Angeles-based with state
programs), Notah Begay III Foundation (Pueblo, N.M. foundation that
supports children’s health initiatives), and projects and programs at
the University of Arkansas’ IFAI and University of Minnesota.

The Regaining Our Future study is available online at SMSC’s Seeds of Native Health site, at
http://seedsofnativehealth.org/regaining-our-future-report (http://seedsofnativehealth.org/regaining-our-future-report) .

 

 

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Farm Bill important to Indian Country

Courts, Pipelines and Liabilities: Minnesota may want to take note

NATIVE NEWS TODAY - July 3, 2017 - 12:33pm

“We applaud the courts for protecting our laws and regulations from
undue political influence, and will ask the Court to shut down pipeline
operations immediately.” – Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault
II

For the past two weeks, Minnesotans and tribal members have packed  Department of Commerce meetings on the Draft  Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS)  on Enbridge  Line 3.  Thousands of people have come to ask questions of the state, in what is a very, very short timetable for a major project.

The DEIS is 5000 pages in length, but under heavy fire as inadequate.  Four tribal governments have intervened in the process: Red Lake Nation intervened in mid June, Fond du Lac, White Earth and Mille Lacs all have filed as intervenors.

ome huge questions loom. Enbridge, for instance, has stated that it will take over $l.2 billion to remove the aging Line 3 with all the “leaks and anomalies.” But they have not stated  who will pay for this or how much more it might cost if we were to clean up the “legacy contamination” under the line.  

At all meetings, people (Native and non-Native) have asked why the Ojibwe communities should be sacrificed for a Canadian tar sands pipeline, when the tar sands industry is on its last breath.     

The final DEIS is scheduled to be out in the fall and the pipeline’s certificate of need (what they need to begin construction) could be issued by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission  as early as April of next year. At a St. Paul press conference in June,  Minnesota State Representatives Mary Konesh Podien – flanked by others, including Frank Hornstein, John Marty and Karen Clark – challenged the adequacy of the state’s draft environmental impact statement and asked for a new Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on pipeline abandonment, prior to any new pipeline approvals.

The EIS is on a very fast track to keep with Enbridge’s convenience, and a Pawlenty imposed deadline. In comparison, the state of New York took seven years to review proposals for fracking, before the moratorium was issued. A federal  ban on lead shot took decades for review.

“Complex decisions take time,” Honor the Earth Attorney Frank Bibeau said, “particularly when there are thousands of comments as to the inadequacy of the EIS, and huge regional and global implications. The interests of Minnesota citizens require due diligence in review by policy makers.”

In the meantime, two major legal cases, may impact significantly on the state’s liability and Minnesota’s future.

In mid June, Michigan’s Attorney General filed new charges of involuntary manslaughter against five officials in the Flint Water Crisis investigation, among them the head of Michigan’s Health Department.

Michigan indictments on state negligence have resulted in l3 charges for state officials who “did not act to protect the interests of Flint citizens.” The city of Flint, Michigan came to international attention when their drinking water system collapsed. “The Flint Water Crisis was and is a failure of leadership”, a report issued by Michigan Attorney General Bull Schuette notes.   “… A cause of the breakdown in state management was a fixation, a preoccupation with data, finance and costs instead of placing the health, safety and welfare of citizens first.”

“Michigan’s example may be a forewarning to Minnesota public officials. In particular, drinking water issues are already a concern in many northern tribal communities, and new threats will likely exacerbate those conditions,” Bibeau said.

Meanwhile, the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) continues to be challenged.  Federal Judge James Boarsberg (DC)   ruled in June that approval permits issued by the Trump administration violated the law in certain critical respects.

According to attorneys at Earth Justice, “The Court did not determine whether pipeline operations should be shut off and has requested additional briefing on the subject and a status conference on June 21…” 

The Standing Rock Tribe responded. “We applaud the courts for protecting our laws and regulations from undue political influence,” said Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II, “and will ask the Court to shut down pipeline operationsimmediately.”

The legal case involves similar issues to that of the proposed Line 3, particularly with regards to the environmental injustice of setting a pipeline near tribal people instead of near a white community, as was originally planned. DAPL was rerouted to be directly north of the Standing Rock reservation so as not to impact the city of Bismarck. 

The Minnesota Department of Commerce notes that the tribal community bears the largest impact of this proposed project:, despite route alternatives.  At Evidentiary Hearings,  Enbridge  leadership testified that the route through tribal lands was the least risk to the broader society. Not that different than DAPL. The DEIS also notes, “… A finding of ‘disproportionate and adverse impacts’ does not preclude selection of any given alternative.” 

As Earth Justice explains, “The Obama administration made a carefully considered decision that these Treaty Rights needed to be respected in connection with an oil pipeline immediately upstream of the reservation. The Trump administration ignored that advice, and acted as if the Tribe does not exist.”

In short, the Michigan indictments of State and County officials, and the Standing Rock federal court decision could have serious implications for Enbridge’s future in the region. As tribal governments line up on the side of their people, state and northern county officials might be cautious about those oaths of office. It seems that Michigan’s Attorney General found out the hard way that oaths were to serve the public. Northern counties and state may want to review their oaths of office in the face of massive pressure by a Canadian pipeline company.   

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Courts, Pipelines and Liabilities: Minnesota may want to take note

Peter d’Errico: Addressing the real problem with immigration in America

NATIVE NEWS TODAY - July 3, 2017 - 5:25am

The debate on immigration requires addressing the domination of the original peoples of the land, Peter d’Errico writes on Indian Country Media Network.

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Peter d’Errico: Addressing the real problem with immigration in America

Terese Mailhot: It takes a community to exploit indigenous women and girls

NATIVE NEWS TODAY - July 3, 2017 - 5:12am

For indigenous women the danger of exploitation is a constant threat, whether they are on the rez and off, Terese Mailhot writes in Indian Country Media Network.

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Terese Mailhot: It takes a community to exploit indigenous women and girls

Adrian Jawort: The ‘Indian savages’ in the Declaration of Independence

NATIVE NEWS TODAY - July 3, 2017 - 5:00am

There’s hypocrisy within the Declaration of Independence, Adrian Jawort writes on Indian Country Media Network.

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Adrian Jawort: The ‘Indian savages’ in the Declaration of Independence

Tiffany Midge: Hey there are other Native writers besides Sherman Alexie

NATIVE NEWS TODAY - July 3, 2017 - 4:43am

Even though you’ve never conceived of there being any other indigenous authors besides Sherman Alexie, does not mean that no other indigenous authors exist, Tiffany Midge writes on Indian Country Media Network.

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Tiffany Midge: Hey there are other Native writers besides Sherman Alexie

Native Youth Get Inside Look at Golf Industry

NATIVE NEWS TODAY - July 2, 2017 - 7:15pm

Native Youth Get Inside Look at Golf IndustryNative youth took part in the annual Native American Youth Golf Day this past week at the Santa Ana Golf Club owned and operated by Santa Ana Pueblo. Not only did the kids get a chance to play golf, but…..

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Native Youth Get Inside Look at Golf Industry

The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, July 2, 2017

NATIVE NEWS TODAY - July 2, 2017 - 1:17pm

Wilma Mankiller documentary premieres, an oil train lawsuit verges on trial, and other incidents in Indian country during the Week That Was July 2.

The post The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, July 2, 2017 appeared first on Indian Country Media Network.

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The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, July 2, 2017

Enhanced Tribal Card Can Be Used Instead of Passport

NATIVE NEWS TODAY - July 2, 2017 - 9:42am

The Pascua Yaqui Tribe are expanding to other tribes an enhanced tribal card with electronic verification of identity that allow them to cross the border.

The post Enhanced Tribal Card Can Be Used Instead of Passport appeared first on Indian Country Media Network.

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Enhanced Tribal Card Can Be Used Instead of Passport

The Power of Blackfeet Women

NATIVE NEWS TODAY - July 2, 2017 - 8:30am

In traditional Blackfeet society, women were spiritual pillars, holier than the pope, something European settlers did not understand.

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The Power of Blackfeet Women

Navajo Technical University Achieves Veterinary Accreditation

NATIVE NEWS TODAY - July 2, 2017 - 8:30am

Navajo Technical University becomes first tribal college to achieve accreditation from the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Council on Education.

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Navajo Technical University Achieves Veterinary Accreditation

Movie Trailers: 8 Native and Indigenous Feature Films You Might Have Missed

NATIVE NEWS TODAY - July 2, 2017 - 8:07am

Inuk, Maori, Mayan and more, here are 8 Native and Indigenous feature films and documentaries worth watching or might have missed

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Movie Trailers: 8 Native and Indigenous Feature Films You Might Have Missed

Tanka Bar Launches Crowdfunding Campaign to Reach Untapped Markets

NATIVE NEWS TODAY - July 1, 2017 - 2:41pm

The creators of the beloved Tanka Bars are turning to the public for funds to update their digital marketing capabilities and expand distribution to untapped markets. Native American Natural Foods, based on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in Kyle, South Dakota, has launched a crowdfunding campaign on Wefunder.com with the goal of raising more than $1 million.

The Tanka line of buffalo snacks is based on the traditional Lakota recipe,

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Tanka Bar Launches Crowdfunding Campaign to Reach Untapped Markets

Some Old, Some New, Some Hilarious: 10 Funny and Uplifting Pow Wow Videos

NATIVE NEWS TODAY - July 1, 2017 - 12:12pm

It’s time to laugh, sing and celebrate! Here are a great selection of pow wow videos just for you Indian country!

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Some Old, Some New, Some Hilarious: 10 Funny and Uplifting Pow Wow Videos

Why Many High-Achieving Indigenous Students are Shunning University

NATIVE NEWS TODAY - July 1, 2017 - 12:12pm

Indigenous students remain vastly underrepresented in higher education in Australia.

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Why Many High-Achieving Indigenous Students are Shunning University

American Xenophobia: A Force From the Colonial Onset

NATIVE NEWS TODAY - July 1, 2017 - 11:09am

The debate about immigration is just another example of American xenophobia that does not address the dominating force over the original peoples of this land.

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American Xenophobia: A Force From the Colonial Onset

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