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Monday, 16 April


Debunking Tribal Lending Myths Native News Online

The Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake in California runs a successful Native loan company.


Published April 16, 2018

There are 573 federally recognized American Indian tribes in the United States. Contrary to popular belief, only about half of these sovereign nations operate in the gaming sector. This is due to a number of reasons, the main one being geography. A majority of sovereign tribes are not gaming tribes. They dont operate lucrative and extensive casino operations, they are small, often geographically isolated and economically distressed groups that are trying to provide for their members through economic development and economic diversification.

In order to better serve their members, tribes continue to branch out into new businesses sectors. They have entered into the fields of pharmaceuticals, health/medical, energy (green/renewable/fossil), e-commerce, online gaming, lottery, fantasy sports, hospitality, retail, aerospace, technology management, staffing, computer/information technology services, banking, and agriculture, to name but a few.

Levi Rickert

One of the areas where tribes have seen economic growth is in the financial technology sector by creating tribal lending enterprises (TLEs). Unfortunately, there are many myths and misinformation regarding Native American lending. As we look at these myths, remember that economically challenged tribes are pursuing economic development opportunities to provide services (housing, health, education, and assistance programs et cetera) and infrastructure to their members.

The first myth is the assertion of a rent-a-tribe, whereby non-Indians supposedly rent the sovereignty of the tribe. Not only is this myth false, it is inherently discriminatory to imply that  American Indians are rubes to be duped.

The reality is t...


Red Lake Nation Celebrates Its Constitutions 100th Anniversary Native News Online

Chairman Seki spoke to the importance of the work being done by Red Lake Nation Constitutional Reform Committee

Published April 16, 2018

100th Anniversary of the Red Lake Constitution, 1918-2018
Celebration Hosted by Red Lake Constitutional Reform Committee

RED LAKE INDIAN RESERVATION  At high noon on Saturday, April 14, 2018, the Red Lake Constitution Reform Initiative Committee (CRI), invited all Red Lake members, families, and guests to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Red Lake Constitution, 1918-2018. The event, held at the Red Lake Humanities Center, had an agenda that included a report on issues that affect the Nations language, culture, land and natural resources.

Upon entering the building, tirbal citizens signed in and picked up giveaways of fans, mugs, and handouts. Handouts included an agenda, a page listing the signers of 1918 and 1958 Constitutions, a copy of the 1958 Red Lake Constitution and Bylaws, and a collection of Tribal member feedback/suggestions/opinions gathered by CRI.
After an invocation by Spiritual Leader and Hereditary Chief Greeting Spears, Jr.Committee Chair Tharen Stillday opened the meeting, with a welcome and Introductions.


Rep. Cole Statement on Syria Action Missle Attack Native News Online

Published April 16, 2018

WASHINGTON   Congressman Tom Cole (Chickasaw), who represents Oklahomas 4th Congressional district and one of two American Indians in the 115th Congress, released the following statement in response to Friday nights strike by the United States, Great Britian and France against military targets in Syria:

Representative Tom Cole

President Trump and our allies were correct to strike Syrian targets in response to the illegal and immoral use of chemical weapons against its own citizens by the regime of Bashar al-Assad, said Cole. The President was also right to warn Russia and Iran to cease supporting the actions of the brutal Assad regime.

Two years ago, the Syrian regime pledged to forgo the use of chemical weapons, and Russia guarnteed that these commitments would be met. The Assad regime has broken its word, and Russia has failed to meet its obligations. Given those facts, America and its allies were justified to respond with military force.
I am proud that President Trump has used American power to enforce international law and the humanitarian instincts of the civilized world. As the President noted, the Assad regime must live within the rules of international law, and Russia and Iran must cease supporting the immoral tactics of Assads brutal regime.
More action may be needed in the days ahead. I am confident that the President and his advisors will continue to uphold and enforce international law in a dangerous world, Cole concluded.

The post Rep. Cole Statement on Syria Action Missle Attack appeared first on Native News Online.


Navajo Nation President Supports Increase to Veterans; Proposes $1.5M Allocation for Native News Online

During the Ft. Defiance Veterans Agency Council meeting, President Russell Begaye addressed the rumor that he denied an increase to veterans financial assistance funds. The president said his intent has always been to offer a proposal that will bring an immediate increase.

Published April 16, 2018

FT. DEFIANCE President Russell Begaye and Vice President Jonathan Nez have been updating Navajo Veterans Agency Councils to address fixing the Veterans Trust Fund Income Act to assure that funds can be distributed to Navajo veterans agencies.

Ive met with the Veterans Advisory Council to explain why the Veterans Trust Fund Income Act doesnt allow for funds to be allocated until Oct. 1, President Begaye said. Ive met with the controller and Navajo Department of Justice to discuss options to get proper funding to our veterans as soon as possible. However, to do this, legislation has to be introduced during the 2018 Spring Council Session.

Because of how the Veterans Trust Fund Act was written, a two percent set aside has already been put toward the principal of the Fund. Accessing funds from the principal will require a two-thirds affirmative referendum vote of all registered Navajo voters.

The president and vice president have remained diligent in finding a solution for Navajo veterans to see an immediate increase of funds for financial assistance.

After addressing the Ft. Defiance Veterans Agency on Thursday, Apr. 12, the Office of the President and Vice President (OPVP) met with members of the Veterans Advisory Council to propose a solution.

OPVP has proposed a $1.5 million dollar allocation from the Unreserved, Undesignated Fund Balance (UUFB) to fund Navajo veterans agencies. This allocation provides for an immediate increase in financial assistance to veterans.



Cherokee Nation Names New Executive Director of Health Services Native News Online

Dr. Charles Grim

Published April 16, 2018

TAHLEQUAH  Cherokee Nation citizen Dr. Charles Grim has been named the new executive director of Cherokee Nation Health Services.

Grim, of Hulbert, was appointed to the position this week by Principal Chief Bill John Baker. He will oversee operations of the largest tribal health care system in the country, including 2,400 employees and patient services at W.W. Hastings Hospital in Tahlequah and eight tribal health centers. The Cherokee Nation has more than a million patient visits per year.

Grim served as deputy executive director before being named interim executive director in November 2017.

As an administrator, Dr. Grim is uniquely qualified to lead our health department and ensure we provide the best health care possible for Cherokees in northeast Oklahoma, Chief Baker said. Today, Cherokee Nations health system is more proficient and responsive than ever, and Dr. Grim understands the treatment and prevention needs of our people. His experience, leadership and expertise have paved the way for health care that will meet the diverse needs of the Cherokee Nation going forward.

Grim graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry in 1983 and is board certified in dental public health. In addition, he also received a masters degree in health services administration from the University of Michigan.

During his career, Grim was appointed as the director of Indian Health Service by President George W. Bush and received unanimous Senate confirmation. Dr. Grim administered the nationwide multi-billion dollar health care delivery program from August 2002 until September 2007.

In his more than 25 years of services to IHS, Grim also served as an assistant surgeon general and rear admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.

I feel very honored to be appointed this role and for the opportunity to continue to lead a team that I have held close to my heart for a number of years, Grim said. As both an employee and a Cherokee Nation citizen, I appreciate Chief Baker and his vision for the future of the tribes health care system and I look forward to what we will all accomplish together for the health of our Cherokee Nation citizens.



Debbie--have you seen Marie Lu's "The Journey" in A TYRANNY OF PETTICOATS? American Indians in Children's Literature (AICL)

A Native reader wrote to ask me about Marie Lu's "The Journey" in A Tyranny of Petticoats" published by Candlewick Press in 2016, and edited by Jessica Spotswood. The reader said:

  • There aren't any Alaska Native authors in the anthology - just an outsider writing about one.
  • The story is about the Inupiaq protagonist's 1st contact with white people, and that alone is something I'm not really ok with non-Natives writing. On top of that, the protagonist's parents are both killed by white people - her mom is shot on the page and dies on the page, and then white people burn her village. Why is this necessary for an outsider to write?! Who is Marie Lu writing for? Because Natives already know how violent our deaths were at 1st contact at the hands of white people. We don't need to see that on the page in a non-Native's words. This is trauma porn for settlers.
  • The protagonist is rescued by missionaries. They're portrayed as the good guys. One of them even says "We are not all like them." Did Marie Lu just use "Not all settlers"!? I get the impression Marie Lu has no idea about the depth of atrocities against Natives committed by missionaries. Most Native authors would never write missionaries as the saviors of a story.
  • In the author's note, Marie Lu says Julie of the Wolves was one of her favorite childhood books. That book seems to have inspired her to write this story. Considering how problematic Julie of the Wolves is, which Marie Lu would know if she did a simple google search or actually talked to Native people, that's a big red flag.
  • The author's note also says "I loved reading about the Inuit culture." What sources did she read from? Because non-Native sources are always problematic. And did she do any research besides reading? Did she consult with Inupiaq/Inupiat people?
  • That leads me to my next question - since the protagonist is Inupiaq, why did Marie Lu say she read about "Inuit culture"? Inupiaq/Inupiat and Inuit aren't the same thing.
  • And more from the author's note: "The facts already feel magical." I'm uncomfortable when non-Natives use the word "magic" to describe our cultures. Both the author's note and the story itself come off as exotifying us.
The Native reader also said:

Sunday, 15 April


Rare Photos Depicting Lives of American Indians in Los Angeles to be Unveiled Native News Online

This photograph is part of a rare photo archive of American Indians finding hope and strength in Los Angeles in the 1970s.

Published April 15, 2018

Unveiling of The Peoples Home: Winston Street, 1974

LOS ANGELES These Days, a gallery on Winston Street in downtown Los Angeles, will host an exhibition of rare photographs of American Indians who became city dwellers in the 1970s. The unveiling by the United American Indian Involvement will take place on May 18, 2018 from 7 p.m. 10 p.m.

This unique photo exhibit and interactive experience shares a story of hope, community and resilience of Americas first and often forgotten people.

United American Indian Involvement was established as a nonprofit 501(c)3 by Marian Zucco and Baba Cooper in 1974 to provide shelter, food and a welcoming place for American Indians living on the streets of Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles. Through the U.S. government program of relocation (1956-1979), a large portion of American Indians were encouraged to leave their homes on reservations throughout the country to move to urban areas, including Los Angeles in hopes for a better opportunity for jobs and education, but the reality was a life of struggle

UAII has grown to become the largest one-stop provider of human services for American Indian/ Alaskan Native families and youth living in the Los Angeles County. Currently, we provide services to members from over 200 different tribes.

The exhibition will be on display for a limited time running from May 17, 2018 June 3, 2018.

CLICK HERE for hours, location and parking information. This event is in collaboration with These Days, Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, Occidental College and UCLA American Indian Studies.



Chickasaw Woman Selected to Clerk for US Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch Native News Online

Tobi Young

Published April 15, 2018

WASHINGTON  Tobi Merritt Edwards Young, a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation originally from Midwest City, Oklahoma, recently accepted a position as a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. Young is thought to be the first enrolled citizen of a Native American tribe, and the first woman from Oklahoma, to serve as Supreme Court clerk. She will serve at the Court for a year, starting in July 2018.

Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby said that the selection of Tobi Young marks an important milestone.

It is difficult to overstate the significance of having a well-qualified, experienced Chickasaw such as Ms. Young serving as Supreme Court clerk, Gov. Anoatubby said. Justice Gorsuch is well respected by tribal leaders for his understanding of tribal sovereignty and Indian law. His decision to select a Native American to serve as clerk underscores his appreciation of the importance of the Native perspective on Indian law.

Lawrence Baca, the first American Indian hired into the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division and 2012 winner of the Thurgood Marshall Award, has been a long-time advocate for having more Native Americans involved in the legal system.

In an article published by the Chicago Bar Association, John Levin wrote that Baca suggested that if there were a Native American sitting on the Supreme Court, or even a Native American Law Clerk, we would see more sensitivity to Native American concerns.

Coincidentally, Young crossed paths with Baca in the Civil Rights Division and he was helpful to her at the beginning of her career.

Justice Gorsuch gained experience in federal Indian law as a judge on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals and received support from numerous Native American leaders and organizations during his confirmation process.

Both the National Congress of American Indians and the Native American Rights Fund supported his nomination in a letter stating that Judge Gorsuch appears to be both attentive to the details and respectful to the fundamental principles of tribal sovereignty and the federal trust responsibility.

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes endorsed Judge Gorsuchs nomination, while Indian Country Today Media Network wrote that Gorsuch is seen by Indian law experts as more informed on tribal law than were many of Trumps other potential nominees.

Justice Gorsuch...


A Call for Art for Indigenous Youth Native News Online

Published April 15, 2018

WASHINGTON  Creative Native is a new Call for Art for Indigenous youth ages 5-24 years old. The Center for Native American Youth invites youth to submit an original artwork (painting, photograph, traditional art, etc.) that showcases what Generation Indigenous(Gen-I) means to them.This years Creative Native awardees will receive $200, funding for art supplies, and national recognition in the State of Native Youth Report. The cover artist will also be brought to Washington D.C. for the release of the 2018 State of Native Youth Report. Click here to learn more about the contest.

Submissions are due11:59 PM Eastern Time on May 9, 2018.Click hereto submit your art!

Eligibility:Applicants must

  • Self-identify as Indigenous;
  • Be between 5 and 24 years old by May 9, 2018;
  • Currently reside in the United States; and
  • Submit a high-resolution image or photograph of an original work of art.
    Examples include but are not limited to paintings, drawings, photography, sculptures, and traditional works such as beadwork, carvings, baskets etc.

To Submit:Complete theCreative Native Contest Entry Form and include the following:

  • A high-resolution photo or image of your artwork that demonstrates what Gen-I means to you;
  • A short bio and brief statement about your artwork; and
  • If you are under 18 years of age, the elec...


Wells Fargo Names Dawson Her Many Horses to Serve American Indian/Alaska Native Communities Native News Online

Dawson Her Many Horses

Published April 15, 2018

SAN FRANCISCOWells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) announced today that it has hired veteran banker Dawson Her Many Horses to lead the banks services to American Indian/Alaska Native governments and tribally owned enterprises. The new hire comes on the heels of Wells Fargos recent announcement of a five-year, $50 million commitment to American Indian/Alaska Native communities to help address their unique economic, social, and environmental needs.

In November, Wells Fargo pledged to expand its philanthropy programs, work to improve retail, commercial, and corporate products and services to meet the communitys financial and banking requirements, and help to create greater awareness of the cultures, history, and contributions of the Native American community. The commitment included funding for dedicated bank resources supporting tribal advocacy and community outreach initiatives, including hiring a business-relationship manager focused solely on the market segment.

An enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe of South Dakota, Her Many Horses brings 16 years of banking experience to the dedicated role. As senior vice president and senior relationship manager, he will work closely with the banks National Tribal Advocate as well as a cross-functional advisory council focused on identifying and addressing challenges within American Indian/Alaska Native communities through Wells Fargos business and operations, stakeholder and community engagement, policy and philanthropy. Based in Las Vegas, Her Many Horses will serve customers throughout the United States.

Dawson has a long history of serving this important community and truly understands the unique financial needs, said Patty Juarez, national diverse segments manager for Wells Fargos Wholesale Banking group. Wells Fargo is proud of our longstanding relationships with tribal governments and American Indian and Alaska Native customers, and Dawson is uniquely qualified to help us keep those connections strong.

Wells Fargo has served tribal governments and communities for more than 50 years and currently provides capital and financial services to more than 200 tribal entities in 27 states. In 2016, the company developed and published an Indigenous Peoples Statement in consultation with tribal leaders, indigenous stakehol...


Winds Cause Damage, Power Outages on Navajo Nation Native News Online

Special to the Times | Ray Landry
Thursdays high winds toppled the Indian statue outside Ortegas at the Navajo Travel Plaza in west Gallup.

Published April 15, 2018

WINDOW ROCK  Sustained winds up to 65 mph damaged buildings and caused power outages on Thursday.

According to the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, power outages occurred from Sheepsprings, New Mexico to Steamboat, Arizona, affecting hundreds of homes and businesses.

Navajo Times | Ravonelle Yazzie
Strong winds rip off the roof a mobile home near Kinlichee, Arizona on Thursday afternoon.

By 8:15 p.m., residents in Ganado were reporting their power being restored. It is not known if Sheepsprings had their power back on.

To add salt to the wound, a home in Kinlichee had its roof partially torn off. The roof of the Upper Fruitland Chapter House was also heavily damaged when the winds peeled the sheet metal away. Emergency personnel in Upper Fruitland said the chapter house was evacuated.

The National Weather Service has been issuing red flag warnings and wind advisories all week. The wind is expected to continue into Friday. While the weekend may bring some solace, the winds are expected to pick up again on Monday.



The Ashynne Mike Amber Alert Indian Country Signed into Federal Law Native News Online

Navajo Times | Donovan Quintero
A photograph of Ashlynne Mike is decorated by condolences handwritten and made into a poster at the Farmington Civic Center in Farmington.

Published April 14, 2018

WINDOW ROCKPresident Donald Trump signed into law the bipartisan Ashlynne Mike AMBER Alert in Indian Country Act today on April 13, 2018.

Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye and Vice President Jonathan Nez applaud Senator John McCain, Senator Tom Udall, Congressman Andy Biggs and many others for introducing and passing the bill to provide protection for Native American children.

Our children are sacred and we pray to never have a situation like Ashlynn Mike ever again. But in case we do, we have the tools and resources to implement an AMBER Alert ourselves, rather than waiting for others to do it for us, President Begaye said. This is a much-needed law in Indian Country because it provides other tribes the opportunity to attain funding so they can take matters into their own hands.

After the tragic death of Ashlynne Mike, President Begaye issued a directive for Navajo Nation public safety officials to undergo the necessary training and secure required documentation to purchase the software. This included a signed a memorandum of understanding with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to allow Navajo public safety officials access to the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS).

Last winter, President Begaye and Vice President Nez completed this process by signing a contract to purchase a mass notification software to implement an alert system for a number of emergencies, including AMBER Alert.

We are proud to be one of the first, if not the first, tribal nations in the country to have the capability to issue our own AMBER Alert, Vice President Nez said. The new bill passed by the federal government will provide these necessary tools for many Native American tribes across the country to protect their children.

The United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) currently operates a pilot program that offers AMBER Alert training services to Native America...

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