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Sen. Udall Leads Bipartisan Group of Indian Affairs Committee Senators in Introducing Legislation to Address Law Enforcement, Public Safety Needs in Native Communities

June 14, 2019 - 12:00am

Published June 14, 2019

WASHINGTON — On Wednesday, U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.), vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), and Tina Smith (D-Minn.), all members of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, introduced the Bridging Agency Data Gaps & Ensuring Safety (BADGES) for Native Communities Act.

This bipartisan bill addresses critical public safety needs in Indian Country by addressing federal inefficiencies that hurt Bureau of Indian Affairs law enforcement recruitment and retention, increasing the effectiveness of federal missing persons resources, and giving Tribes and States resources to coordinate responses to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) crisis.

Vice Chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Tom Udall – D – New Mexico

“For too long, poor coordination, limited data, and an unacceptable lack of federal resources have erected enormous barriers to justice all across Indian Country,” said Udall. “When public safety programs are underresourced, crimes are underreported and cases go unsolved. Our bill addresses these barriers head on by increasing the efficiency of federal law enforcement programs and providing Tribes and states with the tools they need to ensure that Native communities are safe and strong.”

“We’ve got to do everything we can to end the crisis of violence in our tribal communities and bring its perpetrators to justice. This bipartisan legislation will help do that by improving communication and coordination between agencies, bolstering tribal law enforcement, and empowering tribes to address public safety in Indian Country,” said Tester.

“All too often, violent crimes in Native communities go unreported, and many tribal law enforcement do not have enough support to protect their jurisdictions. It’s unacceptable that Nevada’s tribal communities lack access to federal resources that allow Native people to keep their family, friends and neighbors safe. This legislation marks an important step in improving tribal and federal coordination so that we can protect and strengthen Native communities in Nevada, and throughout the country,” said Cortez Masto.

“Native American communities, particularly indigenous women, face much higher rates of violence versus the national average. Alarmingly, law enforcement officials in Indian Country often lack access to the data and resources necessary to prosecute and prevent these crimes. We must do more to ensure public safety in our Native communities. This is why I am proud to work with my colleagues on the Senate Indian Affairs Committee on legislation to give tribal law enforcement the tools they need by expanding access to federal criminal data bases, streamlining recruitment and retention procedures, and supporting best practices for investigating and prosecuting cases in Indian country,” said McSally.

“The safety of all Minnesotans—including people on tribal lands—is critical to communities being able to thrive,” said Smith. “I’m glad to see this bill has bipartisan support because we need to take steps—in red counties, blue counties, and everywhere in between—to address the missing and murdered indigenous women crisis, and to increase resources to help keep Native communities safe.”

The BADGES for Native Communities Act, which will receive a legislative hearing next week in the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, is supported by a number of Native organizations and Tribes.

“The All Pueblo Council of Governors is pleased to see the enhanced access to data sharing and tribal law enforcement support in the BADGES for Native Communities Act,” said Paul Torres, Chairman of the All Pueblo Council of Governors. “For too long, barriers to accessing national crime information have hindered the ability of tribal communities to protect their members.  The BADGES Act shines a light on this chronic problem and offers concrete, carefully crafted solutions to advance public safety and interagency law enforcement coordination on cases of interest to tribal nations.  The end result will be improved responses to crime and safer tribal communities.”

“The DOJ Tribal Access Program is a valuable tool for the Pueblo of Acoma Law Enforcement Services in accessing essential data so that we can better serve and protect our community.  Extension of the TAP under the BADGES for Native Communities Act will help ensure that more tribal nations are able to benefit from this exceptional program.  Together with other strong provisions in the bill–such as the proposed five-year demonstration program for an in-house BIA background check system–we believe the BADGES Act will contribute to greater public safety across Indian Country.  We look forward to exploring ways in which the tools developed under this Act could be used to advance important related issues like tribally-conducted background checks and tribal law enforcement training,” said Governor Brian Vallo, Pueblo of Acoma.

“The BADGES Act takes common sense steps to fill gaps in Indian Country criminal data collection and addresses shortfalls in staffing of justice officials on Indian lands that will improve emergency response times,” said Butch Blazer, President of the Mescalero Apache Tribe. “The bill improves procedures for federal law enforcement to file and share criminal information, with a focus on the crisis of missing and murdered Native people. By codifying the DOJ TAP program, the bill will ensure that our tribal officers retain access to information that is critical to their safety and to the secure management of our SORNA and foster care programs. We give our strong support for this important bill, and urge Congress to advance the measure as soon as possible.”

“On the Navajo Nation, disastrous outcomes occur from failed communications across multiple jurisdictions when coordinating efforts to address reports of missing or murdered indigenous persons on the Navajo Nation. Through this bill, we hope to solve the problems with federal data and reports involving missing Indian people as well as tribal access to that data,” Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said. “We express our great appreciation that this bill will address critical public safety needs in Indian Country by bridging agency data gaps and ensuring safety for native communities.”

“The Navajo Nation now spans four states and over a dozen counties. With dozens of law enforcement agency partners, responding to cases of Missing and Murdered Diné Relatives requires improved coordination between law enforcement agencies and enhanced data sharing and input in federal databases,” said Seth Damon, Speaker of the 24th Navajo Nation Council. “I thank Senator Udall for seeking to address an issue that is all too common across Indian Country.”

“The Navajo Nation, like other indigenous nations in the U.S., have grappled with the issue of data collection and analysis. I applaud the efforts of this bill to aid tribes in addressing crime and social issues,” said Delegate Amber Kanazbah Crotty. “As any expert may tell you, data is integral to how we view and understand social problems, strategize, and create long-term solutions. As we continue working to bring our Missing and Murdered Diné Relatives home, I appreciate Senator. Udall for taking a step forward to aid indigenous communities. In addition, I would call on the federal government to grant tribes access to how federal agents investigate missing and murdered cases, and to increase transparency through providing us that critical information.”

“As a former tribal prosecutor, I am all too familiar with the shortcomings among existing resources for handling missing and murdered persons cases,” said Delegate Eugenia Charles Newton, Chair of the Law and Order Committee. “It is critical that the federal government fulfill its obligations to deliver justice for Native Americans by implementing appropriate tools, proven solutions, and innovative programming. By streamlining data sharing processes, strengthening existing resources, and developing new programming, the BADGE Act will empower federal, state, Tribal, and non-profit organizations to design better protocols for addressing the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous women. Safe communities are the cornerstone of development, and I am confident this bill will begin to provide a clear understanding of all the issues regarding public safety in Indian Country.”

As vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Udall has led a number of initiatives to improve public safety in Indian Country.  Last Congress, Udall helped secure passage of the Ashlynne Mike AMBER Alert in Indian Country Act and convened hearings and listening sessions to hear from Tribes about Indian Country’s Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)MMIW, and public safety priorities.  In January, Udall introduced the [http://:%20https:/]Native Youth and Tribal Officer Protection Act, a bipartisan bill to address violence against Native women, children, and Tribal law enforcement. Last month, Udall led a day of action to highlight the important role VAWA reauthorization must play to address the MMIW crisis and increase public safety in Native communities.

Udall was also a leader in the 2013 effort to amend VAWA to restore Tribal jurisdiction over domestic violence crimes committed on reservations, which was instrumental to ensuring that Native women enjoy the same protection from domestic abuse as all other women in the United States.

The full text of the bill is availablHERE.

The post Sen. Udall Leads Bipartisan Group of Indian Affairs Committee Senators in Introducing Legislation to Address Law Enforcement, Public Safety Needs in Native Communities appeared first on Native News Online.


Rep. Haaland Secures New Mexico Jobs, Military Housing Protections, Contamination Cleanup, Climate Change Provisions in NDAA

June 13, 2019 - 10:42pm

Rep. Deb Haaland

Published June 13, 2019

WASHINGTON — After a 21-hour, U.S. House Armed Services Committee markup to address the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Congresswoman Deb Haaland (NM-01) secured provisions that bolster New Mexico jobs, military housing protections, contamination clean up, and military resilience in the face of climate threats. At the markup, the full committee considered each subcommittee’s proposals, the Committee Chair’s report, and member amendments. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, Haaland focused on ensuring the priorities of the New Mexico were included in the NDAA that will head to the floor.

“New Mexico is home to many jobs, military families, and installations that rely on the National Defense Authorization Act for support. But, at the moment military families are struggling with unsafe military housing conditions, many New Mexicans don’t have access to the good paying jobs on base and at the labs, and our military readiness is threatened by climate change. My goal this year was to ensure we had a strong bill that would support our military families, address climate threats to our military readiness, and support the jobs that New Mexico’s military installations and national labs provide,” said Congresswoman Deb Haaland. “After a long markup process, I’m pleased to say that many of the priorities I’ve worked on and supported are included in this bill which will meet the needs of our state through the next year.”

One of Haaland’s top priorities is to ensure New Mexicans have the skills needed to take advantage of good paying jobs in the state so young people can stay in the state when they are finished with school. Last week, she and the New Mexico delegation introduced the Department of Energy National Labs Jobs ACCESS Act, which connects local high schools, higher education institutions and job training programs to military installations and national labs for job training purposes. Haaland introduced an amendment to ensure the NDAA included those pieces to fill the skills gap for good paying jobs in New Mexico, and that amendment was included in the final version of the NDAA that will move the House Floor.

As the daughter of Marine Corps and U.S. Navy veterans, Haaland knows the sacrifices military families make for the country. After hearing about unsafe housing conditions from Kirtland Air Force Base (KAFB) families, Haaland demanded answers during a House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness hearing that covered the mismanagement of housing programs for military families. She later introduced a comprehensive bill along-side U.S. Senator Warren (D-Mass.) to address unsafe military housing. Several provisions from that bill were included in the NDAA last night.

The New Mexico Air National Guard has requested an aircraft to enhance their mission, and Haaland has been working through her position on the committee to move that priority forward. Her amendment to request a report of additional options for achieving deployable flying missions at each Air National Guard organization throughout the country is a step needed to fill the need at Kirtland Air Force Base.

The Department of Defense has identified climate change as a threat to military readiness, but a recent report noted that the department’s preliminary assessment of climate change effects at military installations relied on past experience rather than an analysis of future climate change vulnerabilities. During a House Armed Services Committee hearing in March, Haaland questioned Department of Defense officials on climate change impacts on military housing and readiness. She later cosponsored legislation introduced by Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX) that would require the Department of Defense to adapt to climate change threats, and that language was included in the NDAA.

Haaland, one of the first Native American women serving in Congress, is a staunch advocate for tribes and meaningful tribal consultation. Upon recognizing that impacts to tribal lands and communities were not considered before planning Department of Defense construction projects, she introduced an amendment that would require the department to prove they have already begun the tribal consultation process upon requesting funds for projects. Haaland used the debate opportunity to inform members about the unique status tribes hold in the U.S. Constitution. 

As part of Haaland’s commitment to take care of military families, protect and grow New Mexico jobs, and tackle climate change, the following provisions were included in the NDAA which will now move to the House Floor:

Supporting Jobs at New Mexico Military Installations and National Labs

  • Targeted apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs that utilize local high schools, community colleges, universities, and other higher education institutions and workforce intermediaries, working in partnership with local military installations, national laboratories and National Nuclear Security Administration sites, to fill skills gaps in critical sectors of the workforce, so New Mexicans have access to good paying jobs. 
  • Combat mission helicopter simulator to enhance Kirtland Air Force Base training operations
  • Require a report of additional options for achieving deployable flying missions in each of the 54 National Guard organizations;
  • Replacement to Kirtland Air Force Base helicopter storage facility
  • Air Force plan to leverage commercial investments to integrate launch capabilities for small satellites and space assets for the Department of Defense and Kirtland Air Force Base
  • Establishment of the White Sands National Park in the State of New Mexico


Housing Protections for Military Families

  • Require the military services to implement a tenant bill of rights for military residents of privatized military family housing;
  • Establish tracking and accountability mechanisms for military family housing complaints;
  • Direct Secretaries of the military departments on the manpower requirements and execution plan to staff military housing offices and headquarters to fill gaps in oversight personnel;
  • Assess mold mitigation and remediation efforts in military housing units


Contamination Cleanup for New Mexico Communities

  • Requirements for Kirtland Air Force Base to report the progress made to remediate contaminated soil and groundwater and detail the Air Force plans to engage and coordinate with local water utility authority, State environmental agencies, and surrounding communities;
  • Study on best practices for cleanup and disposal of PFAS-contaminated groundwater, soils, and filters and gaps;
  • Periodic health assessments and physical examinations provided by the Department of Defense include specific information related to exposure to burn pits, toxic airborne chemicals, and other airborne contaminants;
  • Blood testing for each Department of Defense firefighter during the annual physical exam to determine and document potential exposure to PFAS chemicals;
  • Assistance for New Mexico dairy farmers affected by PFAS contamination

Military Resilience Facing Climate Change Threats

  • Updates to building practices and standards to promote military installation resilience, energy and climate resilience, and cyber resilience;
  • Study on 10 most vulnerable military installations within each service based on the effects of sea-level rise, flooding, drought, desertification, wildfires, and thawing permafrost; mitigations that may be necessary to increase installation resiliency; and an estimate of the cost of mitigations;
  • Briefing on efforts and opportunities to reduce expenditures on, and waste from, single-use plastics within the armed forces

Tribal Protections

  • Updates to Department of Defense tribal consultation measures, so that impacts to tribal communities from Department of Defense construction projects are considered earlier in the approval process

Military Sexual Assault

  • Utilizing best practices to standardize sexual assault prevention and response training across services

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Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribes Mourns Passing of Sub-Chief Julius Simon Peters

June 13, 2019 - 12:00am

Julius Simon Peters

Published June 13, 2019

ISABELLA INDIAN RESERVATION — The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe would like to extend their deepest sympathy for the loss of Sub-Chief Council member Julius Simon Peters who was nicknamed “The Governor.”  Peters passed on June 10, 2019, with his family at his side.  He was known to Council members for his quick wit and sensible approach.  He once was quoted as saying “Remember, when you are on Tribal Council, everyone is family and we are all equal.”

Peters created the Tribal logo in the early 70’s as part of a contest.  The first published story of his design was in January of 1994.  What follows is the meaning of the Tribal logo published by the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Observer on August 16, 2005:

“At the age of seven, I lost my mother. I then went on to live with my Grandfather and my Grandmother.  The middle of the logo symbolizes the headdress worn by my Grandfather, Simon Peters. Simon Peters was a traditional man with old Indian values. My grandfather’s headdress was made of eagle and pheasant feathers. The eagle is a sacred bird of the Indians. He chose the pheasant feathers for the reason that it was a beautiful bird to him. The top of the logo symbolizes the Yolk my grandmother, Annie Peters, wore upon her chest. She had once told me the floral design meant beauty and love. The acorns upon the logo were worn by both my Grandfather and Grandmother. They considered the acorns to be a symbol of Indian people. My grandparents had once stated to me, “The acorns are like the Indian people. Once small and new to the world, but with time, love and care, they will stand tall, beautiful, and mighty.”

The logo has been a part of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe for approximately 45 years and will continue its journey in the community. The highly visible logo has been reproduced for official purposes such as letterhead and business cards to a myriad of promotional items. The Tribe currently holds the copyrights to the logo.

Peters served on many different Tribal Council Administrations starting in the early 70’s.  He worked in Mt. Pleasant for the Coca-Cola Plant in the early 60’s along with Gibson Factory and Ferro Manufacturing until he retired in 1972.  He is the father of 4 children, 10 grandchildren and 4 great-granddaughters.  

The Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Council would like to offer their condolences to the family, friends and community for the loss of Julius Peters and know that his spirit will live on through the Tribal logo.

The post Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribes Mourns Passing of Sub-Chief Julius Simon Peters appeared first on Native News Online.


New Mexico Indian Affairs Department Announces over $1.8 million in TIF Project Funding for the Navajo Nation

June 13, 2019 - 12:00am

Published June 13, 2019

WINDOW ROCK — Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer are pleased with Wednesday’s announcement from the New Mexico Indian Affairs Department that the Tribal Infrastructure Fund board has awarded more than $14 million in funding across 11 tribal communities in New Mexico, which includes over $1.8 million for the Navajo Nation.

“Vice President Myron Lizer and I are very thankful to the TIF board for recognizing and funding the needs of our communities, especially those in rural areas,” said President Jonathan Nez, “ We are very optimistic that the Navajo Nation and the State of New Mexico will work well together to complete these projects to help our overall community development efforts.”

The $1.8 million in funding for the Navajo Nation includes:

·      $400,000 to construct a new Head Start facility in the community of Tse’ii’ahi

·      $975,000 for a water system improvement project in the community of To’hajiilee

·      $501,113 for the phase two design of a community water system in the community of Chichiltah

The TIF board met on June 7 in Santa Fe, N.M., where the board approved the $14 million for tribes in accordance with the Tribal Infrastructure Act of 2005, which recognizes that many of New Mexico’s tribal communities lack basic infrastructure, resulting in poor health, social and economic conditions. The nine-member board thoroughly evaluates and scores each project proposal from tribal communities to ensure that critical need is established.

Navajo Nation Division of Community Development Executive Director, Dr. Pearl Yellowman, was recently appointed to serve on the TIF board by New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham at the recommendation of President Nez and Vice President Lizer.

“These projects are absolutely essential and, in some cases, long overdue. Hundreds of families across New Mexico’s tribal communities will benefit from these investments. State government must always be proactively seeking measures that will meet the needs of our rural neighbors, tribal neighbors and any neighbors who lack crucial infrastructure – and my administration will continue to explore means of honoring and rebuilding sacred government-to-government partnerships,” said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, regarding the $14 million in funds for tribes.

New Mexico Indian Affairs Department Secretary Lynn Trujillo also spoke about the importance of the funds for tribes and expressed her appreciation to the many supporters who advocated on behalf of the New Mexico tribes.

“The New Mexico Indian Affairs Department is honored to be able to make these awards to so many important projects in Indian Country. I’m thankful to our Governor and to our Legislature for their leadership and their continued support for the Tribal Infrastructure Fund. These resources are used to fund critical infrastructure projects that impact the daily lives of thousands of New Mexicans,” said Secretary Trujillo.

“$1.8 million is a great investment for our Navajo communities. We are truly grateful to Gov. Lujan Grisham, Secretary Trujillo, and the entire State Legislature for supporting these projects for the Navajo Nation,” said Vice President Lizer.

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Learning Foreign Languages, How Will This Help in College?

June 13, 2019 - 12:00am

Published June 13, 2019

Learning foreign languages while in college can be very fun. You do not even have to be major in them before you learn any one of them. Solid parlance skills can help in complementing any subject and can also give you, as a graduate, an advantage in the job market. Learning foreign languages can help enrich your experience in college.

Benefits of learning a foreign language

Helps in amplifying your studies: every study area can be greatly complemented by languages, and there are a lot of departments that are developing courses which integrate functional parlance use into other areas like social services, engineering, health and businesses. This helps students learn how to apply all of the lingo skills for their careers in the future. There is no need to minor or major in any tongue before you can enjoy the benefits of languages.

Stay long, start early: if you are going to become very proficient in a tongue, it is important that you complete a long uninterrupted instruction sequence. A good way to learn is through reading and writing in the lingo you’re learning. You can find free papers and run your essays through a plagiarism checker on sites like where there is a do my essay option.

Helps improve your future prospects: when you have language skills as a job candidate, you get an edge over your monolingual competitors. These skills are among skills that are most required in all occupations. When you know another
tongue, the range of your potential paths for a career is broadened exponentially from sports, finance, national security, health care, engineering, business, law enforcement, and tech and beyond.

Impact the coming generation: when you are vast in different ones, you can help the coming generation by teaching. If you are highly talented and interested in languages, you can help shape the lives of young people by teaching them. There is a huge demand for educators and teachers, and there are also a lot of impressive hiring incentives.

Serving your country: there are many government agencies that require people with lingo skills, and some of them offer scholarships to students interested in them and are willing to pursue a career there.

Seize the opportunity to study and travel abroad: you do not have to wait till you graduate before you tour the world. There are a lot of intern and study abroad destinations that are open to skills possessing students. These programs greatly
outnumber programs that are English specific.

Enrich your brain: different researches have shown to us that bilingual usually have better problem-solving and critical thinking skills and also have improved mental flexibility, concentration and memory. These are things that college students can benefit from and put to good use.

Build community and make friends: when you are new on campus as a student, things can be a bit intimidating for you and a very good way for you to connect quickly with peers that are like minded is lingo programs. Most of these programs
offer smaller classes, extracurricular activities and dormitories.

Best languages to learn

Some of the best languages to learn as a student in the college are:
● Spanish: Spanish-speaking market is one of the fast-growing in the world;
● Chinese: this one is spoken by more than one billion people so it is one that you
should consider learning;
● German: this is one of the most common ones in Europe;
● French: this is spoken in five continents;

Tips for learning a new language

Some of the tips for learning a new language to help boost your lingo experience in university
or college include:
● Try to find online resources and apps that you can start using.
● Try to find a grant or scholarship to help fund your travels or studies.
● Try to search for any summer program that is well suited to the language you are
interested in.
● Find courses in your area or field.
● Take your skills abroad to a country where your language of interest is spoken.

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Interior’s Law Enforcement K-9 Unit Apprehends Heroin Traffickers and $559,000 in Heroin in New Mexico

June 13, 2019 - 12:00am

Published June 13, 2019

Bureau of Indian Affairs – Office of Justice Services Drug Enforcement officer seizes nearly ten pounds of heroin

LAGUNA PUEBLO, N.M. — The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services (BIA-OJS) Officer Nicholas “Nick” Jackson and his K-9 Kofi seized 4.3 Kilos (9.4 pounds) of heroin, which has an estimated street value of approximately $559,000.00, on the Pueblo of Laguna in New Mexico last week.

“We are so proud of BIA-OJS Officer Jackson and K-9 Kofi for another big seizure,” said Assistant Secretary of the Interior Tara Sweeney. “The BIA is committed to its ongoing efforts to protect tribal communities from the opioid crisis.”

On June 5th, Officer Jackson and K-9 Kofi were assigned to traffic enforcement on Interstate 40, within the exterior boundaries of the on the Pueblo of Laguna in New Mexico. BIA-OJS Officer Jackson observed two rental vehicles traveling in tandem and attempted to catch up to one of the vehicles for the traffic violation. The other vehicle began to drive erratically in an attempt to draw Officer Jackson’s attention away from the first vehicle as the first vehicle accelerated in an attempt to flee.

The driver threw two white-colored bags out of the rear passenger window. Once the vehicle came to a stop, the driver exited the vehicle and began to flee on foot. After several commands to stop and surrender, K-9 Kofi apprehended the driver and was taken into custody by Officer Jackson.

A New Mexico State Police Officer arrived at the scene where Officer Jackson provided a briefing of events, including the driver discarding the white bags on the interstate. The state officer searched the area around mile maker 126 and located the white-colored grocery bags containing what later field-tested positive for the presence of heroin.

The investigation is ongoing by BIA-OJS DDE and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

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Forest County Potawatomi Community Citizen, Kevin Allis, to Lead NCAI

June 12, 2019 - 6:26pm

Kevin Allis

Published June 12, 2019

WASHINGTON — Today, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) is delighted to announce that Kevin Allis has accepted the role of its first Chief Executive Officer (CEO). In this role, Allis will be responsible for leading and managing all strategic and operational aspects of the organization while creating a vision for the future long-term success for NCAI and the NCAI Fund. Allis will report directly to the NCAI Executive Committee.

Allis, a member of the Forest County Potawatomi Community, comes to NCAI with demonstrated leadership within the government relations industry where he spent time building strong working relationships with key congressional offices, relevant administrative agencies, and other advocacy organizations, to strategically advance top priorities for Indian Country. Kevin’s previous roles include Executive Director of the Native American Contractors Association, Board Chairman of the Potawatomi Business Development Corporation, and founder of Thunderbird Strategies, LLC, a government relations firm specializing in advocacy of Native American rights. Allis is also an attorney and former law enforcement officer who served the Baltimore Police Department for 8 years.

“NCAI, in its 75 years, has defined, defended, and continues to champion efforts to promote Native resiliency and tribal sovereignty. I am sincerely humbled by the honor to lead this organization, and appreciate the opportunity and challenge to continue the great work of this historic organization in strengthening tribal sovereignty and  safeguarding our traditions and customs for generations to come,” stated Allis.

The NCAI Executive Committee interviewed several well-qualified candidates for the CEO position. “As we embark on a new chapter with the hiring of our first CEO, we are pleased to welcome Kevin Allis to the National Congress of American Indians. We are fortunate to benefit from Kevin’s considerable expertise and look forward to working together to protect and advance tribal sovereignty,” said NCAI President, Jefferson Keel, of the Executive Committee’s selection of Mr. Allis. “We look forward to formally introducing our new CEO at NCAI’s Mid Year Conference and Marketplace, June 24-27 in Sparks, Nevada.”

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Two American Indian Congresswomen Vote for Bill to Enforce Subpoenas in Court

June 12, 2019 - 12:02am

Rep. Deb Haaland (Laguna Pueblo and Rep. Sharice Davids (Ho-Chunk)

Published June 12, 2019

WASHINGTON — The only two American Indian women members of Congress voted to pass H.Res.430, a resolution allowing congressional committee chairs to enforce subpoenas in court if their requests go ignored.

Tuesday’s vote was made mainly along party line with the House voting 229-191 to pass the Civil Contempt and Subpoena Enforcement Resolution.

Rep. Sharice Davids, a tribal citizen of the Ho-Chunk Nation, issued the following statement on her vote for, Civil Contempt and Subpoena Enforcement Resolution:

“The Department of Justice must be nonpartisan and uphold the rule of law. Likewise, the leader of that department – the Attorney General – must always be independent and focused on doing the right thing, regardless of the politics.

“But Attorney General Barr has refused to release an unredacted version of the Mueller report and its underlying evidence to Congress – even after the House Judiciary Committee issued a subpoena. This is a dangerous disregard for congressional oversight and accountability, an important function of Congress as a co-equal branch of government.

“The Civil Contempt and Subpoena Enforcement Resolution helps to enforce Congress’ subpoena power so we can gather critical information that matters in the lives of the people we represent, and compels Barr to provide key evidence underlying the Mueller report, as well as the unredacted report itself, that Congress needs to assess Mueller’s findings.

As a lawyer, I understand that this is about the rule of law. 

In this country, if you are supposed to show up in court and you don’t go, there are real consequences. A subpoena from Congress is no different. This resolution is an important step to ensure Congress can continue to perform its oversight function and to ensure that no one is above the law.”

Rep. Deb Haaland, a tribal citizen of the Laguna Pueblo, tweeted: “There is a mass coverup at the White House. Congress needs to access to the paper trail, so we deliver the truth.”



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Cherokee Nation Celebrates National Flag with New Exhibit

June 12, 2019 - 12:00am

Published June 12, 2019

“Where Your Flag Has Flown” opens June 14

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Learn about the history of the Cherokee Nation’s flag in a new exhibit at the Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum.

“Where Your Flag Has Flown” will be on display June 14 through Jan. 31.

The exhibit explores the history and symbolism of the 40-year-old flag and its use throughout history, utilizing photos and stories from Cherokee Nation citizens across the world.

“This exhibit pays tribute to the Cherokee Nation flag and the weight it bears with our citizens,” said Cady Shaw, interpretive manager for Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism. “We hope this exhibit helps educate the public about the flag’s creation and the powerful symbolisms behind its intricate design.”

The Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum is located at 122 E. Keetoowah St. It is open Tuesday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Originally built in 1844, the Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum is Oklahoma’s oldest public building. The 1,950-square-foot museum features exhibits in three historic aspects: the Cherokee National Judicial System, the Cherokee Advocate and Cherokee Phoenix newspapers, and the Cherokee language, with a variety of historical items, including photos, stories, objects and furniture.

For information on Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism, including museum operations, please call (877) 779-6977 or

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CNAY Announces the 2019 CNAY-Columbia Scholars

June 12, 2019 - 12:00am

Published June 12, 2019

WASHINGTON — The Center for Native American Youth, in partnership with Columbia University’s Summer Immersion Program for High School Students, selected Native high school students for full-tuition, residential scholarship to attend a 3-week pre-college program during summer 2019 in New York City.

This year, CNAY worked with Columbia to identify two Native youth who are making an impact in their community and will continue making an impact while at Columbia University.

“Building pathways to opportunity is central to our work and mission at CNAY,” said CNAY Executive Director Erik Stegman. “We’re grateful for our partnership with Columbia University and their recognition of the skills, talent, and cultural strength that Native youth bring to higher education.”

CNAY is proud to announce the selection of Alex Davis of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and Parrish Pipestem of the Eastern Band of Cherokee as 2019 CNAY-Columbia Scholars.

Alex Davis

Alex is currently a Junior at Jenks High School in Jenks, Oklahoma. As a member of the Future Farmers of America at Jenks High, she has participated in more than seven competitions with her lamb — Lamborghini.  Alex hopes to pursue a degree in International Agribusiness to serve her tribal community through food security and the revival of traditional foods. She also attended the Native Youth in Food and Agriculture Summit at the University of Arkansas this past year. Alex plans to take a course focuses on globalization to understand more about how global politics impact the livelihood of Native farmers and consumers.

Parrish Pipestem

Parrish is currently a sophomore at Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He is involved in the Youth Philanthropy Initiative, which recognizes 25 young leaders in the Tulsa area to assist them in creating their own non-profit program. As co-founder of the Tulsa Native Youth Board, Parrish focuses on creating community for Native youth in the Tulsa area. Parrish plans to take Introduction to Business, Finance, and Economics at Columbia to further his passion for economic and community development.

Congratulations to Alex and Parrish on their selection as 2019 CNAY-Columbia Scholars. Visit for other opportunities for Native youth.

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PSA: Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission Hosting Vehicle Purchasing “Do’s and Don’ts” Seminars

June 12, 2019 - 12:00am

Published June 12, 2019

ST. MICHAELS, NAVAJO NATION (Ariz.) — The Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission in partnership with Navajo Nation Department of Self Reliance are hosting a seminar on Vehicle Purchasing: Do’s and Don’ts. Topics include Learn to spot gimmicks, ads to lure you in, Do your homework before you go to any dealer, what to know during your purchase, and after the sale, what should you be concerned of. The seminar sessions will be at the following locations and will be open to the public, due to limited seating at the locations the seminars will be a first come first serve.

WHEN: Tuesday, June 18, 2019

TIME: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

WHERE: Farmington Department of Self Reliance Office

710 E. 20th Street, Farmington, New Mexico  87401


WHEN Wednesday, June 19, 2019

TIME: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

WHERE: Crownpoint Department of Self Reliance Office

Lower Point Rd, Hwy 371, Route 9

          Dine Family Empowerment Office Complex

          Crownpoint, New Mexico  87313


WHEN: Thursday, June 20, 2019

TIME: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

WHERE: Gallup Department of Self Reliance Office

2907 East Aztec, Gallup, New Mexico  87301


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23rd Annual NativeVision Camp for Native American Youth Returns to Bernalillo, NM

June 12, 2019 - 12:00am

NativeVision campers attack the ball during the lacrosse clinic at Shiprock High School in previous event. Photo by Ray Landry

Published June 12, 2019

BERNALILLO, N.M. — Hundreds of Native American youth from over 15 different tribes will attend the 23rd annual NativeVision sports and life skills camp June 13-15 in historic Bernalillo, NM. Nearly 50 former professional, Olympic, and collegiate athletes will lead basketball, football, soccer, lacrosse, and track and field training clinics and pass along lessons for healthy living and reaching educational goals.

The Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health and Five Sandoval Indian Pueblos will jointly welcome youthbetween the ages of 7-18 to Bernalillo, which is located 15 miles north of Albuquerque between the Sandia Mountains and the Rio Grande. Other major partners include Notah Begay III (NB3) Foundation, which will lead soccer clinics, and Ralph Lauren, whose graphic designers will be leading art workshops.

“We are thrilled to offer this opportunity to children and youth from our tribal communities,” said Nathan Mascarenas, NC Project Director of the Five Sandoval Indian Pueblos, Inc. “NativeVision offers a powerful mix of sports training, educational workshops, and mentoring to keep children on a healthy path toward success.”

NativeVision is powered by passionate, committed athlete-mentors from across the U.S., some of whom have been volunteering since the first camp in 1997. Returning to this year’s camp are four renowned indigenous men’s lacrosse coaches: David Bray (Seneca), member of the American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame and former coach for Cornell University and the Iroquois Nationals; Justin Giles, Muscogee (Creek), who played for the University of Virginia and the Iroquois Nationals; Ira Thorpe Huff, of the Tonawanda Seneca Nation; and Alf Jacques (Onondaga), a renowned traditional wooden stick maker and coach of the Onondaga Red Hawks Lacrosse. When not practicing their stick skills, campers will learn from these inspiring coaches about the Native American origins of lacrosse.

Other indigenous athletes will lead some of the basketball and track and field clinics.

NativeVision is also proud to be bringing back sports legends such as Anthuan Maybank, who won an Olympic gold medal for the men’s 4×400 meter relay, and welcome new coaches such as Kerry Jenkins, a former professional football player with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Jets.Other highlights of the three-day camp in Bernalillo, which also hosted NativeVision in 2008, include:

  • Workshops led by indigenous community members on yoga and meditation, bullying prevention, mental health, and substance abuse,
  • A community feast followed by the awarding of two college scholarships to Native American high school students, honoring their commitment to academics and community, and encouraging all the campers to strive for similar goals,
  • An arts workshop for the younger campers, led by a delegation from Ralph Lauren,
  • The NB3FIT soccer curriculum led by NB3, and
  • Opening and closing ceremonies featuring indigenous singers and dangers as well as inspiring words from local tribal leaders.

Evaluations from past years show that NativeVision has an energizing effect on the motivation of children and adolescents to achieve their educational goals and pursue healthy lifestyles. For example, in surveys following last year’s camp, participating youth were more likely to say they would attend college. They also planned to exercise more and drink fewer sugar-sweetened beverages.

All food, activities, and workshops at NativeVision are free of charge for the youth, supported by charitable donations to the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health. Supporters of this year’s camp include the Ellen and Michael Kullman family, the NFL Players Association, US Lacrosse, the Ralph Lauren company, Santo Domingo Pueblo, Casey Family Programs, the McCune Foundation, Presbyterian Healthcare Foundation, and many generous individual donors.


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Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Forces TransCanada Contractors to Leave Reservation

June 11, 2019 - 6:58pm

Published June 11, 2019

EAGLE BUTTE, S.D. — Members of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe identified vehicles traveling through the Cheyenne River reservation after 5 p.m. local time yesterday on June 10, 2019. Once the vehicles were identified the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Police Department responded and escorted the vehicles off the reservation in the direction they had arrived.

Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe resolution number 304-2012-CR requires that “..any and all Keystone XL trucks and escort vehicles that drive onto our reservation be turned around immediately and go back the way they entered the reservation…”

The vehicles presence was first alerted to tribal officials by concerned tribal members who noticed the vehicles parked in a parking lot in Eagle Butte, South Dakota. After determining the identity of the company which hired the vehicles and the purpose of the cargo, law enforcement escorted the vehicles east on highway 212.

Cheyenne RIver Sioux Chairman Harold Frazier

Chairman Frazier stated, “Any vehicles or personnel working on the Keystone XL pipeline are not welcome on this reservation. Unlike the United States we welcome free speech and concerned citizens standing up for the law. This is Sioux Territory, we will not stand for more encroachments and defilement of our land. I would like to thank the tribal members who brought this to our attention and stand with them in our opposition to the KXL pipeline.”

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“Topping-Out Ceremony” Marks Debut of New We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort Name and Logo

June 11, 2019 - 12:23am

As part of an ancient tradition, a special white painted beam with a Christmas tree placed on top was hoisted into place by a large construction crane to bring the building good luck and mark the intermediate point of the construction project. Photos by Larry Arbanas, courtesy of WeKoPa Casino Resort.

Published June 11, 2019

FORT MCDOWELL Ariz. —  Last Thursday, members of the Yavapai Nation hosted a Topping-Out Ceremony at the location of the new We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort.   In addition to marking an important milestone in the construction project, the ceremony also marked the debut of the new name We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort (formerly Fort McDowell Casino) and the new logo.   The new casino is located in the heart of Fort McDowell’s Yavapai Nation on the eastern edge of Scottsdale, Arizona.   The function of the Topping-Out Ceremony is to bring a building good luck and mark the intermediate point of the project.   This point identifies that the construction team is about to dry-in-the-roof, which means the roof can provide semi-protection from the elements.   The structural phase of the building remains on schedule to open the We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort in the summer of 2020.

As part of an ancient tradition, a special white painted beam with a Christmas tree placed on top was hoisted into place by a large construction crane.   A banner was adorned with the logos of the project team: Kitchell Construction (General Contractor); Thalden Boyd Emery (Architects); W.E. O’Neil (Owner Representative); along with the We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort’s new logo and the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation tribal seal.   The beam was signed by casino and resort employees, construction crew, tribal members and tribal elders and the project construction team in a special signing ceremony prior to the placement by the Kitchell construction crew.   The commemorative beam was placed in the framework of the new facility’s Porte Cochere.   The new multi-million dollar casino property will be 244,000 square feet and includes a 4 story parking garage, a larger casino area with a garden court, specialty high end dining, sports bar with entertainment stage and other new amenities.

Photos by Larry Arbanas, courtesy of WeKoPa Casino Resort.

The We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort was created by the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation to serve as a major Arizona vacation destination.   From outdoor adventures to relaxing spa retreats, this new venue will offer premium accommodations, championship golf, fun gaming, Southwestern entertainment and unique shopping.   Visit for more information.

Tribal President Bernadine e Burnette signs the commemorative beam for the Topping Out ceremony for the new multimillion dollar WeKoPa Casino Resort.

The Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation is a 950 Native American tribe that call Central Arizona’s upper Sonoran Desert home.   Located to the northeast of Phoenix within Maricopa County, Arizona, the 40 square mile reservation is a small part of the ancestral territory of the once nomadic Yavapai people, who hunted and gathered food in a vast area of Arizona’s desert lowland and mountainous Mogollon Rim country.   The We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort is located at 10424 N. Fort McDowell Road, Fountain Hills,
AZ 85264
.   Telephone: 480-789-7000.

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Rep. Sharice Davids Secures Funding for National Levee Safety Initiative in FY2020 Appropriations Bill

June 11, 2019 - 12:00am

Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kan.)

Published June 11, 2019

WASHINGTON —  Rep. Sharice Davids secured an additional $10 million in funding for the National Levee Safety Initiative (NLSI) to keep Kansas communities safe in an Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2020.  

This marks the first funding increase since the initiative’s establishment in 2014, bringing the total appropriated funding level up to $15 million.   

“We’ve seen historic flooding across the Midwest this spring, damaging our communities and farms and reminding us all of need to have resilient flood infrastructure in place. Yet we are still relying on levees that are on average 50 years old and not built to withstand the severe flooding facing our country. That’s why I’ve advocated for the National Levee Safety Initiative, and why I’m so glad we were able to secure additional support for this critical program to help keep Kansas families safe,” said Davids.   

This U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ initiative sets levee safety guidelines, maintains the National Levee Database, provides for levee rehabilitation and repair, and supports Kansas’s levee safety programs. Levee systems provide critical flood control for communities. 

But the program has yet to receive funding other than for the National Levee Database, and a 2016 Government Accountability Office report found that the Army Corps had difficulty implementing many aspects of the NLSI due to a lack of funding.  

“Improving our levee system now will prevent billions of dollars in future flood damage repairs and will save Kansas taxpayers money. We can’t wait any longer – we must act now to protect our communities and avoid unnecessary future costs. I look forward to seeing this bill come to the House floor,” said Davids 

In April, Davids urged the House Appropriations Subcommittee to include critical funding for the NLSI as they develop the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for FY2020.   

Now that the funding has been included in the Appropriations bill, it will move to the House floor for a vote.  

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New York Tribes Participates in New York State- Native American Relations Committee Roundtable

June 11, 2019 - 12:00am

Joining the roundtable discussion were (from left) Senator Daphne Jordan, Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr., Chief Eric Thompson, Senator Tim Kennedy (chair), Chief Michael Conners, Oneida Nation Representative Ray Halbritter, Senator Rachel May and Senator Gustavo Rivera. (not pictured: Seneca Nation Delegate Rick Jimerson).

Published June 11, 2019

ALBANY, N.Y.The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, Oneida Indian Nation and Seneca Nation of Indians participated in the New York State Standing Committee on State-Native American Relations Roundtable on Ohiarí:ha/June 6, 2019, which was the committee’s first convening in 8 years. It was an opportunity to discuss issues of commonality and uniqueness with the State, as well as steps towards addressing pressing concerns. In the coming months, the Senate Standing Committee will visit each Native community to continue discussions.

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Orlando Artist Mateo Blanco Honors the Hopi Tribe with Sculpture

June 11, 2019 - 12:00am

Published June 11, 2019

ORLANDO, Fla. — Watching futuristic movies, many people don’t recognize the stylistic elements Hollywood borrows from Native American tribes.

Orlando artist, Mateo Blanco, is on a mission to change this. On Thursday, June 6, his latest piece “Hopi Girl” will debut at the Orlando Museum of Art’s 1st Thursdaysevent.

The piece is of a young Hopi girl, featuring her native hairstyle made popular by Princess Leia in the “Star Wars” franchise. Over time, this hairstyle has become a representation of female strength and prosperity.

Blanco created this piece to bring recognition to the Hopi culture and honor its influences on our society.

The medium of the sculpture – rope – is a metaphor. A strong material, rope represents the pain every woman must endure and the strength that guides her through it.

“On a recent trip to Arizona with my parents, I was able to reconnect with my roots,” said Blanco. “My mother is a descendant of Native Americans, so I wanted create a sculpture as a tribute to her and our ancestors. Always a fan of “Star Wars”, I thought this piece was an excellent chance to draw attention to the influences the Hopi tribe has had on our culture.”

Mateo Blanco is a world-renowned visual and vocal artist. Known for his unconventional use of mediums and edible materials, Blanco’s sense of wonder is present in everything he creates. Noteworthy projects include portraits of Jennifer Lawrence in peanuts, Dolly Parton recreated in pieces of cloth and string, and Elsa from Disney’s “Frozen” in sugar crystals. His art can be found in Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museums, as well as in museums and private collections around the world. Blanco’s recently re-released album “Mateo Blanco 724” can be found on iTunes, Spotify, Tidal, Google Play and Amazon Music.

To view Blanco’s art and other projects, visit

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New UIC Report on Racial Inequity for Native Americans in Chicago Released

June 11, 2019 - 12:00am

Published June 11, 2019

CHICAGO —  Did you know Chicago is one of the country’s primary population centers for Native Americans?

The city is home to the largest population of Native Americans in the Midwest, the second largest east of the Mississippi River, and the ninth largest in the U.S.

Despite the 39,000 Native Americans representing more than 100 tribes living in Cook County, they are generally considered as “historical figures” or confined to reservations, according to researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy.

Their new report, “Adversity and Resiliency for Chicago’s First: The State of Racial Justice for American Indian Chicagoans,” documents the historical and ongoing contributions of Native Americans in Chicago and examines how racial inequity impacts members of this community today.

“The contemporary challenges faced by this population are deeply connected to the past and impossible to understand without acknowledging the history of Native American exclusion and the ongoing barriers created by systems of racial discrimination,” said William Scarborough, report co-author and research assistant at the institute. “By making these inequities visible, we hope to inform future pursuits aimed at addressing racial injustice in Chicago.”

Top findings in six key areas in the report include:


  • Today, Native Americans in the U.S. are just as likely to live in urban spaces as the general population.


  • The Brighton Park and Lakeview neighborhoods are home to the city’s largest segments of Native Americans.
  • Half of Native Americans in Chicago are rent-burdened — paying more than 30% of their income in rent.
  • Researchers find evidence of housing discrimination toward Native Americans, who are almost twice as likely to be denied a home loan as whites after accounting for the gender of the applicant, presence of a co-applicant, loan amount, income and neighborhood.

(Mis)Representations of American Indians in Popular Culture

  • When Native Americans are depicted in U.S. culture, they are most often represented as historical figures from the “long ago past,” thereby overlooking their importance as active members of contemporary U.S. society and contributors to it.
  • Native American imagery in sports mascots or team names fosters negative cultural biases about Native Americans that increases discrimination against them by other groups and has harmful effects for Native American health and self-identity.


  • Native Americans are less likely than whites to have a college degree.
  • The wage increase associated with a college degree is lower for Native Americans than for all other race groups in Chicago.
  • The analysis suggests test preparation and college readiness are areas for the Chicago Public Schools to place greater attention to support more than 1,000 Native Americans enrolled in the system.


  • Native Americans in Chicago have higher levels of unemployment and lower median household income than whites in the city.
  • Native Americans are paid 20% less than similarly positioned whites in Chicago, which is similar to the racial wage gap for black residents and larger than that experienced by Latino and Asian American residents.


  • The adult incarceration rate in Illinois is much higher for Native Americans than for whites.
  • Rates of incarceration for women in Illinois are higher for Native American women than for women in all other racial/ethnic groups.

The report also includes commentaries written by Native American community leaders and scholars, who further examine these matters and the efforts being made to overcome these barriers.

Those providing commentary include Janeen Comenote, executive director of the National Urban Indian Family Coalition, who provides a demographic overview of urban American Indians and Alaska Natives and discusses government policies influencing these demographic shifts and subsequent community responses.

Jasmine Gurneau, manager of Native American and Indigenous Initiatives at Northwestern University, focuses on the process of data collection and determining who “counts” as Native American.

Shelly Tucciarelli, executive director for Visionary Ventures NFP, and Pamala Silas, associate director for the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research at Northwestern University, deliver co-authored commentary focused on where Native people are living in Chicago and the social and housing issues they face in the current housing market.

Cynthia Soto, director of the Native American Support Program at UIC, writes about benefits of university programs that are established to both serve the unique backgrounds and experiences of Native American students, as well as to educate the campus community on the history and culture Native American people.

Expert commentary from Angela Lecia Walden, research assistant professor for the Center for Dissemination and Implementation Science and clinical assistant professor at the department of psychiatry’s Institute for Juvenile Research at UIC, examines the impact of pervasive stereotypes on Native American health outcomes.

“It is our hope that the research presented here will contribute to broader efforts taking place to transform our city into a more equitable environment for all residents,” said Amanda Lewis, director of the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy and professor of African American studies and sociology.

Additional co-authors on the report are Faith R. Kares, associate director of the institute; and Iván Arenas, associate director for community partnerships in the institute.

The new report, which was supported by funding from the Spencer Foundation, is the latest in a series from the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy that explores racial justice in Chicago. Its 2017 report, “A Tale of Three Cities: The State of Racial Justice in Chicago,” detailed the divergent conditions for blacks, Latinos and whites in the intersecting domains of housing, economics, education, justice and health. “A Tale of Diversity, Disparity, and Discrimination: The State of Racial Justice for Asian American Chicagoans,” which highlights major demographic changes in Chicago’s Asian-American community, was released in April 2018.

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Navajo Nation Finalizes Disaster Declaration Agreement with FEMA

June 11, 2019 - 12:00am

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and FEMA Region 9 Administrator Robert J. Fenton sign the FEMA-Tribe Agreement at the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, Ariz. on June 10, 2019.

Published June 11, 2019

WINDOW ROCK — Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region 9 Administrator Robert J. Fenton, signed a FEMA-Tribe Agreement in Window Rock on Monday, between the Navajo Nation and FEMA – a major step forward in the Nation’s effort to secure the reimbursement of emergency funds expended in the month of February due to severe snowstorms that impacted many Navajo communities. 

On May 21, President Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer were informed by FEMA that President Donald J. Trump granted the Major Disaster Declaration for the Navajo Nation, which requires the signing of the agreement that includes various provisions to guide the reimbursement process in accordance with the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.

“Vice President Lizer and I are very thankful to all of the Navajo Nation Department of Emergency Management, divisions and programs, chapters, Council members, our congressional delegation, volunteers, and many others who were proactive and worked together to collect and document the funds and resources that were used during the emergency. As you know, we devoted many of our resources to helping the elderly people in remote areas – much of which was conducted by the Nation’s Community Health Representatives under the Division of Social Work,” stated President Nez.

The Major Disaster Declaration also designated Federal Coordinating Officer Benigno Bern Ruiz to coordinate and assist the Navajo Nation in executing the FEMA-Tribe Agreement for disaster assistance governing the expenditure of federal funds.

On Feb. 19, President Nez signed an emergency declaration for the Navajo Nation based on forecasted storms that eventually brought significant snowfall to many Navajo communities. Throughout the emergency response efforts, President Nez and Vice President Lizer held numerous meetings and used Public Service Announcements, social media, and other resources to continuously remind chapters, divisions, and others to document all expenses.

On March 5, Vice President Lizer personally delivered a letter to U.S. Vice President Mike Pence stating, “We respectfully ask for support from the Trump-Pence Administration to assist the Navajo Nation to secure reimbursements for financial resources used during this period.  To that end, the Trump-Pence Administration is kindly asked to concur with the Navajo Nation’s declaration of emergency to facilitate the reimbursement process.”

“This was truly a collaborative effort and it’s due to the proactive approach that was taken to declare an emergency, to keep the public and employees informed, and to constantly tell our staff to account for all expenses incurred during the emergency period,” Vice President Lizer said.

President Nez also requested that the Navajo Nation Council allocate funds for an existing budget line item for disaster relief under the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety during the upcoming fiscal year 2020 budget session.

The Nez-Lizer Administration will continue working with FEMA on the reimbursement process that includes a recovery scope meeting, submittal of damage inventory, site inspection, internal financial procedures, and more.

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All Suspects in the Yakama Indian Reservation Murders Have Been Captured

June 10, 2019 - 9:47am

James Cloud has been captured.

Published June 10, 2019

TOPPENISH, Wash. — The Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation issued the following press release this morning relating to the capture of the last suspect wanted in the questioning of five people murdered on the Yakama Indian Reservation on Saturday, June 8:

James Cloud has been captured. His identity has been confirmed by two different law enforcement agencies. Currently there are no other suspects wanted in connection with the murders that were committed on the Yakama Reservation on Saturday, June 8, 2019.

Yakama Nation would like to thank all the law enforcement agencies that were involved in the capture of this and all other suspects in these crimes. We would also like to thank the community

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