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Comanche Nation asks Supreme Court to hear dispute over rival tribe's casino

INDIANZ.COM (gaming) - April 8, 2019 - 2:39am
The Comanche Nation is trying to keep a dispute over a new Chickasaw Nation casino alive in the court system.

The Conversation: First Nations slowly reclaim their ancestral territories

INDIANZ.COM - April 8, 2019 - 1:58am
Over the past 20 years, the courts have validated long-standing claims by First Nations that Canadian governments have systematically ignored and violated the terms of treaties negotiated between 1871 and 1921.

Montana Free Press: Urban Indian provider helped man get back on track

INDIANZ.COM - April 8, 2019 - 1:16am
Jason McNees benefited from services provided by the Helena Indian Alliance. Now he's helping others.

NPS designated Cherokee house as Trail of Tears site

NATIVE KNOT - April 8, 2019 - 1:00am

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – A house built around 1826 in present-day Cleveland by Alexander Harvey “Harve” Wilson for his Cherokee bride, Jane Swan, has been designated as being part of the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail by the National Park Service.

Trail of Tears Association members, the NPS, a Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce representative and Charleston-Calhoun-Hiwassee Historical Society members gathered March 29 on the lawn of the house to dedicate an NPS sign designating the property as a Trail of Tears site. 

The NPS partnership certification agreement signed in 2014 states the Wilson-Ervin House at 914 Walker Valley Road meets the national historic trail criteria established by the National Trails System Act. In 1838, Cherokee people traveled through Cleveland on their way to holding camps in Charleston, just northeast of Cleveland, and the tribe’s makeshift capital at Red Clay was nearby. 

During the ceremony, the house’s current owners, Bob and Nancy Erwin, spoke about acquiring the house in 1979 and its history. Bob said it’s believed the house was built between 1826 and 1831. One story about the house is that it had been built before 1826 “in the condition of a log cabin,” and after Wilson and Swan married in December 1826 and moved in, they expanded it. 

“There’s really no good written records of those early years, but there are lots of traditions within the family. Family traditions are sometimes accurate; sometimes they are not. They are all that we can tell you at this particular point,” he said. 

He said family stories state Alexander got along with his Cherokee neighbors and was accepted by the Cherokee Nation. Behind the house is a stream, and beyond that there was once a field that was used for stickball play, the “Cherokee version of knock down, drag out,” he said, and the Cherokees held meetings next to the stream and played in it. 

“Apparently, what we can conclude from those early two years is that he (Wilson) fit in very well with the Cherokees. The only problem we’ve ever identified is that in one of the ball games it got just a little rougher than usual and one or two of them had just a few too many, and a couple of people were killed. He was called out to restore order, which apparently he did. Obviously, he was well received by the people, so he could infuse some degree of order,” Bob said. 

Wilson and Swan had five children. She died around age 39. Wilson remarried about a year after Swan’s death to Sarah (who was called Sally) Ross, who was related to Principal Chief John Ross. Bob said he did not know how closely she was related to Chief Ross. Sally died when she was 29. 

Wilson eventually created a 1,000-acre farm, which was passed on to his and Sally’s son, Wood Alexander Wilson, before another descendant, Tom Wilson, inherited the farm. 

“He (Tom) was a very likable person,” Nancy said. 

After being in the Wilson family for approximately 153 years, the house was sold to the Erwins in 1979. 

“Bob said to me, ‘do you want that house?’ and I said yes. It was really for me,” Nancy said. “It was just an impulsive, emotional bond. There was something here. I don’t know what it was.”

After entering the home, a statement from Bob and Nancy hangs near the front door with a photo of the Wilson family in front of the home about 1900. 

The statement, in part, reads: “Through the years, we have come to love and respect the house for it continues to stand true, providing comfort and shelter for those who are privileged to live within its walls. Our feelings about the house have been kindled by more than an interest in its rich history or by a curiosity about its past days. Rather, they spring from a feeling of special kinship with those who lived here before us, including our Cherokee predecessors. We sense the integrity of their ways of life and of their deep feelings of love for this land.”


Chickasaw Cultural Center Welcomes Spring with Lineup of Community Events

NATIVE KNOT - April 8, 2019 - 1:00am

SULPHUR, Okla. — During the month of April, the Chickasaw Nation will host events open to the public at no charge at the Chickasaw Cultural Center, 867 Cooper Memorial Road.

Knowledge, health, community, nature, art and tribal libraries are on the calendar just in time for spring.

April’s opportunities are explained below, but more information can be found by visiting ChickasawCulturalCenter.com.

April 7-13 | National Library Week

The Chickasaw Nation will celebrate the significance of libraries during National Library Week Sunday, April 7, to Saturday, April 13, at the Chickasaw Cultural Center.

According to the American Library Association (ALA), National Library Week was first sponsored in 1958 by the ALA and libraries across the country. It is now observed each April as a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support.

Special activities are planned throughout the week at the cultural center. Visitors can browse the rare book collection and artifacts on display, get hands-on with make-and-take crafts or take advantage of the cultural center’s daily attractions.

Visitors will be entered in a drawing for a chance to win a free book. Unique bookmarks depicting various historical events will be given away daily, and visitors can create their own bookmarks 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., Saturday, April 13.

The Chickasaw Nation Tribal Library and Holisso Research Center are two libraries situated in the Chickasaw Nation allowing individuals to broaden their understanding of Chickasaw history and culture while introducing visitors to many other resources.

The Chickasaw Nation Tribal Library in Ada, 1003 Chamber Loop, has something for all ages. The selection of books includes fiction, periodicals, children’s books, biographies, histories, magazines, and general reference materials. Audiobooks and DVDs are also available.

A genealogist and cultural research specialist are on staff for anyone interested in researching the Dawes Commission rolls for ancestors or explore Chickasaw history and culture.

Chickasaw citizens and Chickasaw Nation employees living in the 74820 or 74821 ZIP code are eligible to obtain a library card. Genealogy and research services are open to all visitors at no charge.

The Holisso Research Center at the Chickasaw Cultural Center includes a library with a large variety of books focusing on the Chickasaw Nation and other Native American tribes.

Dawes Commission rolls, historical records, cemetery records, government records, and family files are also located within the center.

The center is open to anyone interested in digging deeper into Native American life, history, and culture.

April 20 | Inkana 5K Fun Run

The second annual Inkana Run, a partnership run between the Chickasaw National Recreation Area and the Chickasaw Nation, is planned for Saturday, April 20. The unsanctioned 1-mile fun run/walk and 5K run will start at 8 a.m.

The course will start at Veterans Lake and end on the Chickasaw Cultural Center campus. Participants should park at the Chickasaw Cultural Center and ride the provided shuttles to the starting point. The last shuttle bus will leave at 7:15 a.m.

The $25 entry fee will benefit the Chickasaw Foundation for the division of social services general education scholarship.

Pre-registration is due April 5 and guarantees participants a T-shirt. Contact Janet Milburn at Janet.Milburn@Chickasaw.net to pre-register or call (580) 470-2131 to be directed to the nearest pre-registration site.

On-site registration begins at 6:30 a.m. at the Chickasaw Cultural Center.

April 20 | Easter Celebration

The Easter Bunny has planned a visit to the annual Easter celebration from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, April 20, at the Chickasaw Cultural Center.

The bunny will pass out Easter totes to children and pose for photographs. Other festivities include games, make-and-take crafts, stomp dances, and cultural demonstrations.

The family-friendly film “Hop” will be played at 11:30 a.m. and “Peter Rabbit” at 2:30 p.m. in the Anoli’ Theater.

April 20-28 | National Park Week

In recognition of National Park Week, the Chickasaw Cultural Center and the Chickasaw National Recreation Area (CNRA) have joined together to celebrate the natural springs, wildlife and lush foliage awaiting visitors at the CNRA.

Demonstrations and films are planned throughout the week of Saturday, April 20, to Sunday, April 28.

Episodes of “National Parks: America’s Best Idea” will be screened 2:30 p.m., April 20-28, at the cultural center’s Anoli’ Theater.

Park week is a good time to explore the Inkana Bridge, which connects the Chickasaw Cultural Center and the CNRA, offering access points near Veterans Lake and the traditional village.

For nearly 7,000 years, Native people seeking to relax and renew their spirit have cherished the springs that now form the CNRA.

The terrain at the CNRA is part of an ecotone in which the eastern deciduous forest meets the mixed-grass prairie. Because of this, a rich diversity of wildlife lives among the densely wooded areas, rugged slopes and rolling prairie lands.

Bison, white-tailed deer, bobcats and other wildlife may be observed, photographed and enjoyed by tourists who visit the park.

The property once belonged to the Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations following removal to Indian Territory in the 1830s.

Recognizing that Oklahoma statehood was looming, tribal leaders turned over ownership of the land to the federal government in 1902 with the understanding it would be protected for future generations. It was called Sulphur Springs Reservation.

In 1906, Congress designated it as Platt National Park to honor a Connecticut lawmaker, Orville Platt, who sponsored legislation to protect the area. At the time, it was the nation’s seventh national park. It is the only national park to be established at the request of a Native American tribe.

In 1976, Congress renamed it the Chickasaw National Recreation Area.

April 27-28 | Native-Pottery Market

Native potters from across the region will gather for the Native-Pottery Market 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, April 27, and noon to 5 p.m., Sunday, April 28, at the Chickasaw Cultural Center.

In conjunction with the Native-Pottery Market, the Chickasaw Cultural Center will host the Native-Pottery Symposium in the Anoli’ Theater. This will be a learning experience, bridging academic and artistic perspectives on Native pottery, offering a series of talks which will shine a light on topics such as traditional pottery revitalization and the diverse methods and styles of modern Native potters.

The potters will have a wide variety of unique, hand-crafted pottery for sale and will feature live pottery demonstrations in the lobby of the Anoli’ Theater.


GrowStrong Recipe: Acorn Squash and Apple Soup

NATIVE KNOT - April 8, 2019 - 1:00am

Although March brought severe weather on the Great Plains of South Dakota, causing setbacks for the dozens of budding gardeners participating in Oyate Teca’s gardening coursethey are by no means discouraged.

In fact, they are more determined than ever to proceed with their coursework, learning hands-on gardening techniques in the Oyate Teca community garden, which they will then put to good use in gardens of their own following the last frost of the season in mid-May.

And, come June, July and August participants will be able to reap what they have sowed, savoring the fresh-picked tomatoes, and other vegetables and fruits harvested from their own back yards.

Our GrowStrong recipe today is Acorn Squash and Apple Soup.


How Tribes Are Harnessing Cutting-Edge Data to Plan for Climate Change

NATIVE KNOT - April 8, 2019 - 1:00am

Climate change is already damaging Indigenous ways of life. But tribes are adapting.

The village of Taholah on the Quinault Indian Nation is just a stone’s throw from a pebbled stretch of beach pocked with the tiny holes of razor clams. The town is wedged between Washington state’s rocky Pacific coastline and a hillside of towering cedar and Douglas fir evergreens.

It’s been the home of the Quinault peoples for 12,000 years. And for the last 50-odd years, the home of tribal member Larry Ralston.

Back in 2008, when Ralston first learned climate change would cause sea levels to rise, he thought of those clams. “If we lose them, well, that is who we are,” he’d said then. “The cultural and subsistence significance of this is dramatic.”

Pacific Northwest tribes like the Quinault are already experiencing the effects of climate change, and they’re already adapting. A new collection of scientific resources developed through a collaboration with the University of Washington is helping Northwest tribes plan and prepare for the impacts of climate change.

Quinault people speak of “clam hunger,” a physical, emotional, and spiritual craving that connects them to their ecosystem, their ancestors, their very existence. Clam hunger can drive people to eat this food despite scientists and resource managers telling them that toxins render it unsafe, researcher Kate Crosman told the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound. Crosman studies the effects of climate change on coastal communities.

Even before the ocean started to rise, other effects of climate change began harming clam populations. Over the past several years, hypoxia, related to climate change and ocean acidification, has killed thousands of shellfish on Quinault beaches.

Dead shellfish and fish routinely rot now on Taholah’s beaches. “Some are still living—literally gasping for oxygen,” Quinault Marine Resources scientist Joe Schumacker said.

The Makah Tribe, located on the northwest Washington coast, is also witnessing the negative effects of climate change, said Michael Chang, Makah Tribe climate adaptation specialist.

“For the Makah, whose traditional area is the northwest Olympic Peninsula and marine waters in Washington state, the environment, the culture, and the community are all interconnected,” he said.

And the Makah have started planning and preparing for climate change adaptation. They began with an ocean acidification impacts assessment back in 2015 that snowballed. When they did that assessment, they found that they couldn’t talk about impacts to ocean resources without also talking about impacts to the land and the air, and about the impacts of all of those resources on the tribe’s culture, Chang said. “So instead of one specific project, we are viewing this as an iterative planning process.”

Now, the tribe is completing multiple related projects, including impacts assessments, community engagement plans, an adaptation plan, carbon footprint analysis, and a carbon mitigation plan.

Resources developed by the Climate Impacts Group at University of Washington for tribes in the Pacific Northwest and Oregon, Nevada, and Utah’s Great Basin may prove useful to tribes like the Quinault and the Makah. The collection of resources is designed for the 84 tribes in those regions in their various stages of the climate preparation process. The package will help tribes evaluate impacts, conduct vulnerability assessments, perform adaptation and economic planning, and locate financial resources.

The collection of resources is designed for the 84 tribes in these regions in their various stages of the climate preparation process.

The Makah have already tested out the CIG resources, which provide Western climate science and planning materials tailored to the unique needs of tribal communities. The tribe is currently incorporating those resources into their climate adaptation plan. The tools and resources are useful in taking large regional climate data and zooming in to provide information at a more local scale, Chang said.

“This is super-helpful because many regional climate models can’t provide hyper-local climate projections, which is crucial when making planning and adaptation decisions,” Chang said. Using the CIG models, it’s possible to determine the potential effects on individual streams, rivers, and forests, he said.

CIG researchers reached out to every tribal chairperson seeking input into what climate information their tribe wanted or needed to prepare for climate change, said Meade Krosby, the project lead, and Climate Impacts Group senior scientist.

All told, it took two years to compile the resources.

“It was a huge team effort that included university scientists, a tribal advisory group, and tribal staff and community members from across the Northwest and Great Basin,” Krosby said. “It was driven by needs expressed by tribes as they plan for climate change and the effects it could have on their natural and cultural resources.”

The online guides offer data specific to geographic areas of interest for different tribes, accessible via user-friendly interactive tools.

“We made it easy for the tribes to use. It puts all the information together in one place,” Krosby said. “You look up your tribe, a map pops up, and you can explore how 20 different things—from sea level to snowpack—are expected to change in the future.”

Stefanie Krantz, the climate change coordinator for the Nez Perce Tribe in Idaho’s Columbia River Plateau, said the tribe has already benefitted from the work CIG did in scaling down the climate data. “We were going to have to process all of the data ourselves, and develop visualizations,” Krantz said. “They built graphs for us. We had already done some of the work, but it saved us so much time.”

The Nez Perce is also using the site’s streamflow data, a critical measurement of water and aquatic habitat quality for culturally important salmon, Krantz said. The Nez Perce had already created stream temperature maps—relevant to salmon survival—for the entire Columbia River Basin. “Not having to [also] develop stream flow graphs and maps ourselves is very helpful,” Krantz said. “Climate Impacts Group also provided maps for other topics such as soil moisture, which is quite helpful.”

Gradual and extreme climatic events are already transforming the cultural identity and quality of life in the regions, according to the recent Fourth U.S. National Climate Assessment.

Temperatures have risen nearly 2 degrees since 1900, the report says.

The region can expect a sea-level rise, flooding, ocean acidification, and extreme events like heavy precipitation, Krosby said, as well as diminished snowpack, pervasive drought, increased wildfires, and other threats, some difficult to anticipate. And the communities on the front lines of climate change dependent on natural resources for their livelihoods, like tribes and Indigenous peoples, are experiencing the earliest and often the worst effects.

Their cultures are deeply connected to their ancestral lands, waters, and natural resources. There is a need to protect the viability of their economies and livelihoods as the changing climate impacts their hunting, gathering, and fishing, forestry, agriculture, energy, recreation, and tourism enterprises.

Salmon, crucial for nearly all the tribes in the region, is projected to lose 22 percent of their habitat by late century due to warming stream waters if nothing is done to stop or slow carbon emissions, according to the National Climate Assessment. The CIG resources include projections of how stream temperatures and stream flows might change, Krosby said.

The tribes in the Pacific Northwest are leaders in climate adaptation and have mounted multifaceted responses to the threats they face.

If a tribe wants to know how their salmon might be affected, they can look up projections of individual stream temperature changes to see which reaches may become too hot for salmon survival or which may offer cold water refuge from warming.

“If you want to use Western climate science to inform planning, you need specific local data that can be difficult and expensive to get hold of if you’re not at a university,” Krosby said.

There’s plenty of other resources available, including a tribal climate technical support desk that tribal members and staff can call with questions. Krantz has used the hotline to get more advanced advice from Krosby.

“Meade can point us to scientists [who] have the information we want. If we need more information about wildfires, she can point us in the right direction,” Krantz said.

The tribes in the Pacific Northwest are leaders in climate adaptation and have mounted multifaceted responses to the threats they face, Krosby said. CIG’s tailored, state-of-the-art climate data further provide resources and data at a level of detail not yet available to most cities around the country.

Some tribes may use the tools extensively, and others may not need them at all, Krosby said. In any case, their access to such cutting-edge science and resources could serve as a model for other tribes and communities as they prepare for climate impacts.

In 2015, a toxic bloom of algae unprecedented in scope, intensity, and toxicity, said Quinault scientist Schumacker affected marine and shellfish fisheries all along the West Coast.

Scientists linked the bloom to warmer waters in the Pacific. As the coastal bloom decay, it promotes ocean acidification and low-oxygen conditions. Scientific findings posted at Climate.gov predict that warmer ocean conditions will become more persistent as a result of global warming, posing a risk of more frequent domoic acid closures along the West Coast and, no doubt, more clam hunger.

The CIG tools do not address ocean conditions, although Crosby said they plan for the next iteration to do so. But recently she connected a tribe’s climate change coordinator, who called CIG’s technical support desk for resources on ocean acidification, with the Washington Ocean Acidification Center at UW, who “was happy to take the call,” she said.

“There’s been huge interest in using this to serve tribes throughout the country,” Krosby said. “We’re talking about expanding.”


Young Navajo Mother, a Police Officer, Trains to Rescue Hostages

NATIVE KNOT - April 8, 2019 - 1:00am

GALLUP, N.M. — Her blood type, O-positive, is stitched into her ballistic Emergency Response Team vest — in case of emergency personnel need to know as soon as possible.

The breeze is cold but that doesn’t bother Gallup Police Officer Nicole Diswood, 26, as she trains with seven other ERT officers making a vertical assault entry from the rooftop of a multiple-story building. After graduating from Farmington High, and serving in JROTC all four years of high school, Diswood enlisted and trained at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri, to be part of the military police.

“I joined to get out of Farmington,” she said. “I wanted to travel and I wanted to be on my own.” More than eight years later, she serves with the New Mexico National Guard’s 126th Military Police Company.

She has worked as a welder’s helper and these have toughened her so the cold breeze does not faze her. The single mom of a 5-year-old boy wasn’t always jumping off edges of buildings strapped to a rope with a rifle in hand, training to rescue hostages from bad guys. Prior to becoming a police officer, she often wondered what she could do for her little family.

She worked many jobs, like waitressing and being a cashier, to support herself and her son. But working odd jobs wasn’t enough to put food on the table.


Rep. Cole Supports Violence Against Women Act

NATIVE NEWS ONLINE - April 8, 2019 - 12:01am

Published April 8, 2019

WASHINGTON — Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) today voted in support of H.R. 1585, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). While Cole expressed concern about several partisan provisions in this version of reauthorization, he spoke at length on the House floor yesterday about the great importance of VAWA to tribal nations. Cole is a member of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma and co-chair of the Native American Caucus.

Cole’s remarks as delivered on the House floor are available below.

I have always tried to consider legislation within its full context and look at the overall benefit of the bill, and I’ll certainly do the same with respect to the Violence Against Women Act. Certainly, there are provisions in this version of the reauthorization with which I profoundly disagree – those are particularly related to the Second Amendment. This includes a misguided provision to strip someone of their right to possess a firearm following a misdemeanor conviction. Frankly, I hope and expect that these provisions will change as the bill progresses through the legislative process.

To enact VAWA, to actually achieve the objective, my Democratic friends are going to have to do something they haven’t done so far: actually compromise. And they’ll have to compromise with the Republican Senate and a Republican president, or this important legislation will not come into law.

However, there are compelling things about this legislation that I believe particularly are consistent with my own views and my own voting record on tribal sovereignty and protection of Native women. And I want to be supportive where I can be.

In 2013, Congress authorized the tribal courts’ jurisdiction over non-Indian offenders that are arrested for committing domestic violence or assault against women tribal members on Indian lands. The legislation we are considering today expands this jurisdiction to include not only women, but also tribal children. Further, it extends critical protection to tribal police officers.

There are several important amendments that will be debated related to Indian Country, and I urge the adoption of all of them. I support the right of tribes to enact their own definition of domestic and sexual violence, rather than replacing it with the federal government’s definition. States already have this flexibility—tribes should as well. In addition, I also believe tribal law enforcement should have the authority to have access to national crime information systems.

Mr. Speaker, more than four out of five American Indian and Alaska Native women have experienced violence in their lifetime. More than half of American Indian and Alaska Native Women have experienced sexual violence in their lifetime.

American Indian and Alaska Native women are almost twice as likely as White women to have experienced violence in the past year. Native women face murder rates more than 10 times the national average in some parts of the country. They also are almost twice as likely to have experienced rape than non-Hispanic White women over the course of their lifetime.

Given these statistics of acts of violence, 96 percent of American Indian and Alaska Native women who are victims of sexual violence experienced violence at the hands of a non-Native perpetrators. To reiterate, nearly all the violence committed against Native women is committed by non-Natives.

Mr. Speaker, I do not believe the protection of all women and children is or should be treated as a partisan issue. Tribal governments, through trust and treaty obligations should have the same authority as states to protect women and children in vulnerable situations. All states, tribal and local law enforcement authorities should have access and use of the same tools to prevent these crimes, on or off the reservations.

As I’ve said before: hunters know where to hunt, fishermen know where to fish and predators know where to prey. The passage of a reformed Violence Against Women Act gives tribes badly needed tools to combat the epidemic of violence and abuse in Indian Country.

Mr. Speaker, I urge all Members of the House or Representatives to work together in a bipartisan manner to create in the end a bill that can pass both chambers and be enacted into law.

The post Rep. Cole Supports Violence Against Women Act appeared first on Native News Online.


Sister Community Program Connects Cherokees across the Country

NATIVE NEWS ONLINE - April 8, 2019 - 12:00am
Guest Commentary

Published April 8, 2019

Relationships make the world go round. And that’s exactly why Cherokee Nation’s Community and Cultural Outreach Department helped foster connections between at-large Cherokee communities and local nonprofit groups within the tribe’s boundaries. This “sister community” effort was started to provide community organizations, both local and at-large, an opportunity to exchange ideas, knowledge and resources.

Chief Bill John Baker

At our annual CCO conference, we hosted a networking session that offered local and national organization leaders the chance to get to know each other and share their missions and objectives. At the end of this session, they paired up to form sister communities, and those connections are still alive and thriving. CCO facilitated the partnerships, but the communities themselves have done all the hard work of outreach and maintaining contact. Additionally through CCO, we are able to offer grants for the local community groups to send out one or two representatives from their organization to visit their sister community and do a presentation for them.

Having a sister community keeps Cherokee organizations connected, as they send each other their newsletters and flyers and simply keep in touch with their mutual needs. If one of the groups is doing a fundraiser, then the other might help out in some way with a donation. If an organization is doing a coat drive or an Angel project, we’ve seen the sister community also do a coat drive and send the collected coats to the sister community or adopt several Angels. It’s Cherokees helping Cherokees.

The Mt. Hood Cherokees in Portland, Oregon, and the Stilwell Friends of the Library here in Adair County have established a strong bond of friendship and communication. These sister communities have come to understand the importance of connecting through Cherokee partnerships, as they continue to visit in person and exchange cultural, historical and social information.

When we had extreme flooding here in 2016, the Neighborhood Association of Chewey opened their community building to shelter flood victims. Their sister community in Houston sent gift cards to NAC for them to distribute to Cherokees in need. It wasn’t long before NAC was able to return the favor. When Houston sustained damage from Hurricane Harvey in 2017, NAC and others here in northeast Oklahoma quickly collected supplies. Our CCO team hauled two large cargo trailers of donated supplies to Houston, and the Cherokee Nation at-large group in Houston organized the distribution on site.

Today, we have 25 organized at-large Cherokee communities through CCO. Not every group has found a sister just yet, but our goal this year at the upcoming CCO conference is to make sure that all of our at-large groups have a sister community.

The current CCO sister communities include


·         Central OK Cherokee Alliance (Oklahoma City, OK) and Webbers Falls Museum

·         Central Texas Cherokee Township (Austin, TX) and Adair Co Historical Society

·         Cherokee Citizens League of Southeast Texas (Houston, TX) and Cherokee Elders

·         Cherokee Community of Central California (Bakersfield, CA) and Muldrow Cherokee Community

·         Cherokee Community of North Texas (Dallas, TX) and ORCO

·         Cherokee Community of Puget Sound (Seattle, WA) and Jeremiah 29

·         Cherokee Society of the Greater Bay Area (San Francisco, CA) and Cherokees for Black Indian History Preservation

·         Cherokee Township of San Antonio (San Antonio, TX) and Tailholt

·         Colorado Cherokee Circle and Brushy Cherokee Community

·         Cherokee of the Greater Central Valley (Fresno) and Mid County Community Org

·         Greater Wichita Area Cherokee Community (Wichita, KS) and Tahlequah Men’s Shelter

·         Kansas City Cherokees (Kansas City, MO) and Vian Peace Center

·         Mt. Hood Cherokees (Portland, OR) and Stilwell Public Library Friends Society

·         Tsa-La-Gi LA (Los Angeles, CA) and Cherokees for Black Indian History Preservation

·         Valley of the Sun Cherokees (Phoenix, AZ) and Indian Women’s Pocahontas Club

·         Capital City Cherokees (Washington, DC) and Stilwell Public Library Friends Society

For more information about Cherokee Nation’s CCO department, visit their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CNCCO/.

Bill John Baker is principal chief of the Cherokee Nation.

The post Sister Community Program Connects Cherokees across the Country appeared first on Native News Online.


IAIA 2019 Spring Senior Graduating Exhibition

NATIVE NEWS ONLINE - April 8, 2019 - 12:00am

IAIA Class of 2019 Spring Graduating Seniors Participating in the Exhibition

Published April 8, 2019

SANTA FE, N.M. — Seventeen seniors from the Studio Arts and  Museum Studies programs will present their senior projects in the IAIA 2019 Spring Senior Graduating Exhibition — from April 19, 2019 through May 18, 2019. THIS EXHIBITION IS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

The Opening Reception for the exhibition will be held on Friday, April 19th, 2019, from 5:30-8:00pm. Refreshments will be served. Exhibitions will be on display on the IAIA Campus at the Balzer Contemporary Edge Gallery,the Allan Houser Haozous Sculpture and Foundry Building Gallery, the Barbara and Robert Ells Science and Technology Building, and behind the Student Union Building. The IAIA campus is located at 83 Avan Nu Po Road, minutes from the intersection of Rodeo Road and Richards Avenue, on the south side of Santa Fe.  For directions and a map of the campus, please visit iaia.edu/about/visit. In their final semester, the students work closely with advisors, gallery and museum studies staff, faculty, and their fellow students to develop their artistic practice and to create a thematically and conceptually-focused body of work. The IAIA 2019 Spring Senior Graduating Exhibition represents the capstone of each students’ course of study as well as their academic experience at IAIA. IAIA President, Dr. Robert Martin (Cherokee), mentioned that “we invite everyone to take advantage of this opportunity to witness first-hand the amazing talent and creativity of IAIA’s graduating seniors who have sacrificed and worked diligently to successfully complete their bachelor’s degrees.” The IAIA 2019 Fall Graduating Seniors and their Degrees
  • ALI (Tohono O’odham Nation), BFA Studio Arts
  • Tess Atcitty (Navajo), BFA Studio Arts – Painting and Ceramics
  • Greg Ballenger (Navajo), BFA Studio Arts – Painting
  • Lorenza Chavez-Marcais (Chicanx, Mescalero Apache Descant), BFA Museum Studies.   Minor Studio Arts – Painting
  • Dason Coyote Culver (Cherokee Descent), BFA Studio Arts – Sculpture
  • Charlie Cuny, BFA, Studio Arts
  • Derayna DeClay (White Mountain Apache Tribe), BFA Studio Arts – Painting
  • Monique Duke, BFA Studio Arts – Digital Arts
  • Maryelizabeth M. T. Harrison (Diné), BFA Museum Studies
  • Chaz John (Winnebago, Mississippi Band Choctaw), BFA Studio Arts – Painting
  • Jennifer Juan (Tohono O’odham Nation), BFA Museum Studies
  • Mia Olson (They/Them/Their) (Mvskoke Creek), BFA Studio Arts – Printmaking and Jewelry
  • RB Pablo (Diné), BFA Studio Arts Sculpture, Minor Museum Studies, Certificate Business and Entrepreneurship
  • Tina Sparks, BFA Studio Arts – Painting and Textiles
  • Shundina Spencer (Diné, Apsaalooké, Colville), BFA Studio Arts – Painting
  • Anangookwe Wolf (Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe), BFA Studio Arts – Jewelry and Textiles
  • Hounsoun Youn (Korean), BFA Studio Arts – Ceramics

For further information, or to interview any of the students, please contact

Eric Davis at 505.424.2351, or eric.davis@iaia.edu.

The post IAIA 2019 Spring Senior Graduating Exhibition appeared first on Native News Online.


Lance Morgan Starts New Law Firm Championing Tribal Rights & Tribal Economies

NATIVE NEWS ONLINE - April 8, 2019 - 12:00am

Lance Morgan, Leonika Charging-Davison, Sheila Corbine, Nikki Ducheneaux, Danelle Smith and Burton Warrington

Published April 8, 2019

Big Fire Law & Policy Group LLP Poised to Bring Prosperity to Indian Country

OMAHA, Neb. — Lance Morgan, former managing partner of a national Indian law firm and current CEO of Ho-Chunk, Inc., has announced that he has left his former law firm to start a new tribally-owned firm focusing exclusively on the representation of tribes and tribal entities.

The new law firm, Big Fire Law & Policy Group LLP, will take an innovative and
strategic approach focused on the unique needs of tribal clients in the areas of business development, tribal governance, natural resources, treaty rights, gaming, and litigation. Big Fire Law & Policy Group LLP has offices in Omaha and Winnebago, Nebraska and Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, but will represent tribes and tribal entities from coast-to-coast and injurisdictions across the Nation.

“Big Fire Law & Policy Group is named for my grandfather Harold Big Fire, who fought every day of his life to make a future for his family despite tough obstacles. With Big Fire Law & Policy Group, we are bringing the Big Fire spirit to tribal representation. Tribes continue to face much adversity and our team is ready to fight hard and help build the future of Indian Country,”
Mr. Morgan said.

Big Fire Law & Policy Group LLP is 100% Native-owned and majority woman-owned.
Partners and founders joining Mr. Morgan include Danelle Smith (Winnebago), Sheila Corbine (Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians), Leonika Charging (Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation), Nicole Ducheneaux (Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe/Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes), and Burton Warrington (Prairie Band Potawatomi/Menominee Tribe). Together, the Big Fire partners bring more than 100 years of experience in tribal representation to the firm.

Lance Morgan is a nationally known expert in tribal economic development. In addition to Mr. Morgan is President and CEO of Ho-Chunk, Inc., one of the premiere tribal corporations in the United States and internationally. Mr. Morgan is a 1993 graduate of Harvard Law School.

In 2011, Mr. Morgan was selected as a “Champion of Change” by the White House for his work in tribal economic development. In 2012 he was awarded the Nebraska Builder Award by the University of Nebraska and the keynote speaker for commencement ceremonies. Mr. Morgan was also honored with Advocate of the Year Award by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency in 2014.

Mr. Morgan will focus his practice on advising other tribes on creating the legal and
corporate infrastructure necessary to build strong tribal economies. His practice will also include strategic planning and financing for tribal economic development.

The post Lance Morgan Starts New Law Firm Championing Tribal Rights & Tribal Economies appeared first on Native News Online.


What does the media get right, wrong, and how it can improve telling Indigenous stories

CBC ABORIGINAL NEWS - April 7, 2019 - 7:00pm
FB live panel image

On Monday at 4:30 p.m., watch the live panel discussion 'Indigenous stories in the media' right here, as part of Turtle Island Reads events hosted by CBC Montreal.

Categories: CANADA

Rare artwork created by children in residential schools displayed at Museum of Vancouver

CBC ABORIGINAL NEWS - April 7, 2019 - 6:01pm
MOV residential schools

A new exhibition focuses on the creative minds of children separated from their families.

Categories: CANADA

Rep. Haaland Celebrates House Passage of the VAWA Reauthorization

NATIVE NEWS ONLINE - April 7, 2019 - 3:32pm

Rep. Deb Haaland speaks in support of VAWA

Published April 7, 2019

WASHINGTON — Immediately after the U.S. House passed the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization, Congresswoman Deb Haaland, Vice Chair of the Democratic Women’s Women’s Caucus, celebrated its passage joining women congressional leaders at a press conference.

Haaland’s remarks as prepared for delivery are below:

Thank you, for the introduction. Congresswoman Debbie Dingle and Congresswoman Gwen Moore, thank you for your leadership – I’m so honored to be here.

 Every human being deserves to feel safe.

 And every person whose safety has been threatened by violence deserves justice. But, our communities are facing a harsh reality – there is a cycle of violence that plagues them.

 The Violence Against Women Act provides critical protections for families who are in the cycle of domestic violence, and has proven to be effective preventing violence from happening in the first place, providing resources for families in the cycle of violence, and ensuring there are tools to seek justice.

 Previous versions of this bill had a blind spot.

 I belong to a community where women are 10 times more likely to be murdered than the national average – and the silent crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women is linked to violence.

 The VAWA we passed today is more inclusive and there are provisions targeted specifically at getting justice for women in Indian Country.

 The protections for tribal communities will have an important impact for children, tribal officers, and the silent crisis of missing and murdered Native women.

 We’re taking steps for the people, and I’m pleased that today we can deliver good news to our communities.

The post Rep. Haaland Celebrates House Passage of the VAWA Reauthorization appeared first on Native News Online.


After losing sister to an overdose, woman dedicates life to helping Indigenous youth

CBC ABORIGINAL NEWS - April 7, 2019 - 12:32pm
Jaylene Delorme-Buggins

After struggling with addiction and her own mental health issues, Jaylene Delorme-Buggins has dedicated her life to helping youth. Now she's travelling across the country to work with remote First Nations.

Categories: CANADA

'I felt robbed': Indigenous mother says baby's apprehension was wrong

CBC ABORIGINAL NEWS - April 7, 2019 - 12:00pm
Evelyn Tait

Emotional and psychological problems plagued her during pregnancy, but instead of getting help after her daughter was born, woman says she wasn't given a chance.

Categories: CANADA

Searching for an Inuk role model to end violence against women

CBC ABORIGINAL NEWS - April 7, 2019 - 10:32am
Rebecca Kudloo

The Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada wants to find a star for a campaign to end violence against women in the Inuit communities of Canada.

Categories: CANADA

What difference does it make to have Native Americans in Congress? This.

INDIAN COUNTRY MEDIA NETWORK - April 7, 2019 - 9:26am

Congress voted to pass Violence Against Women Act; Legislative path ahead is complicated by sharp divisions over human rights, gun provisions


When adults are sent to jail, their children are an 'invisible group,' lawyer says

CBC ABORIGINAL NEWS - April 7, 2019 - 9:00am
Child and parent stock

Lawyer Verena Tancalls the children of incarcerated Canadians an "invisible group," whose best interests are overlooked by the criminal just system. In a new report commissioned by the Quaker group Canadian Friends Service Committee, she examined a year's worth of sentencing reports and found no cases where judges referenced the defendant's children.

Categories: CANADA


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