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Native Americans in the United States

White House renames Mount McKinley as Denali on eve of trip

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White House renames Mount McKinley as Denali on eve of trip

Updated 10:16 pm, Tuesday, September 1, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration will change the name of North America’s tallest mountain peak from Mount McKinley to Denali, the White House said Sunday, a major symbolic gesture to Alaska Natives on the eve of President Barack Obama’s historic visit to Alaska.

By renaming the peak Denali, an Athabascan word meaning “the high one,” Obama waded into a sensitive and decades-old conflict between residents of Alaska and Ohio. Alaskans have informally called the mountain Denali for years, but the federal government recognizes its name invoking the 25th president, William McKinley, who was born in Ohio and assassinated early in his second term.

“With our own sense of reverence for this place, we are officially renaming the mountain Denali in recognition of the traditions of Alaska Natives and the strong support of the people of Alaska,” said Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.

Ohio politicians reacted angrily, although it wasn’t immediately clear if or how they could stop it. Rep. Bob Gibbs, R-Ohio, said McKinley deserved to be honored, and invited his colleagues to join him to try to block what he called Obama’s “constitutional overreach.”

“This political stunt is insulting to all Ohioans, and I will be working with the House Committee on Natural Resources to determine what can be done to prevent this action,” Gibbs said.

The announcement came as Obama prepared to open a three-day visit to Alaska aimed at infusing fresh urgency into his call to action on climate change. To the dismay of some Alaska Republicans, the White House has choreographed the trip to showcase melting glaciers and other cherished natural wonders in Alaska that Obama says are threatened by warmer temperatures.

But Obama’s visit is also geared toward displaying solidarity with Alaska Natives, who face immense economic challenges and have warned of insufficient help from the federal government. As his first stop after arriving in Anchorage on Monday, Obama planned to hold a listening session with Alaska Natives. The president was also expected to announce new steps to help Alaska Native communities on Wednesday when he becomes the first sitting president to visit the Alaska Arctic. Read More…

CFP – Middle West Review Special Issue: The Indigenous Midwest, Due: Sep 1, 2015

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CALL FOR PAPERS
Middle West Review
Special Issue: The Indigenous Midwest
The Middle West Review, a new interdisciplinary journal about the American Midwest published by the University of Nebraska Press, will be publishing a special issue focused on the Indigenous Midwest. The journal aims to generate interest in critical study of the Midwest as a distinctive region and to provide space for scholarship that moves beyond the homogeneous narratives of settler patriarchy that dominate popular perceptions of the Midwest. The special issue seeks scholarly essays that work at the intersection of Native American and Indigenous Studies and Midwestern Studies.
The editors are particularly interested in essays that emphasize the U.S. Midwest as Indigenous homelands, as a series of historically contested borderlands, as a region that continues to be structured by settler colonialism in the present, and as a site of Indigenous endurance and resurgence within and beyond both reservation and urban communities. The editors are also interested in submissions that explore Indigenous experiences in the Midwest as they intersect with issues of multiraciality, class, gender, and sexual orientation. Analyses of environmental problems affecting Indigenous communities are also welcome. The temporal focus is open across all time periods and submissions are invited across all scholarly disciplines.
Article submissions should run between 6,000 and 10,000 words (including footnotes) and must follow the Chicago Manual of Style. Review essays that engage multiple books that have recently been published in the field, exhibitions, events, or multimedia should run between 2,500 and 5,000 words. Photo essays with accompanying artist statements are also welcome.
Submit manuscripts by September 1, 2015, via email to the co-editors, James F. Brooks (jbrooks@history.ucsb.edu) at the University of California-Santa Barbara and Doug Kiel (doug.kiel@williams.edu) at Williams College.

Teaching Tribal History Is Finally Required in Washington Public Schools

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Teaching Tribal History Is Finally Required in Washington Public Schools

The Next Fight: Getting Teachers Across the State to Embrace the Curriculum

TEACHING THE TRUTH: Educator Shana Brown, in front of Broadview Thomson School in North Seattle. With a shoestring budget, she’s helping lead the push for accurate Native American history in Washington’s public schools. Kelly O

When Shana Brown was in 11th grade, her US history teacher took a metal wastebasket, flipped it upside down, and started banging on it like a drum. “Go, my son, get an education! Go, my son, get off the reservation,” he sang. Brown had grown up on the Yakama Indian Reservation, but went to public school nearby.

“Yeah,” she says, letting several seconds pass after telling that story. We’re sitting at a cafeteria table on one of the basketball courts of the Chief Leschi School, a cluster of buildings set among fields of plump Puyallup Valley strawberries, raspberries, and rhubarb. A warm breeze drifts in from a propped-open door in the back.

Brown recounts this memory precisely, patiently, and sitting absolutely straight. She’s been teaching for 24 years. For the last seven of those years, Brown has taught language arts and social studies in Seattle Public Schools. But for nearly half the time she’s been teaching, she’s also been painstakingly crafting a curriculum that aims to correct the marginalizing Pilgrims-and-Indians version of history and Native culture so many kids in this state still learn. That’s why she’s here at Chief Leschi, a tribal school on the Puyallup Indian Reservation, with more than 30 eager teacher-trainers equipped with big, blue binders that read, “Since Time Immemorial: Tribal Sovereignty Curriculum.”

Teachers at the training are anxious about what happens next. In May, Governor Jay Inslee signed a groundbreaking piece of legislation that mandates Washington kids learn history, culture, and government with input from the state’s 29 federally recognized tribes. It goes into effect July 24, just in time for the start of the next school year.

Washington is only the second state in the country to require teachings about this country from its indigenous people; Montana was the first. But unlike the $4.4 million the Montana legislature allocated for its tribal curriculum, Washington’s law didn’t set aside any funding. Whatever funding there is comes from the tribes themselves, private organizations, and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s internal budget. Together, they’ve raised about $300,000. Read More…

Source: http://www.thestranger.com/news/feature/2015/06/24/22438654/teaching-tribal-history-is-finally-required-in-washington-public-schools

Native Americans across the US reclaiming cultural cuisines with businesses built on traditional foods

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For many residents of the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, getting to a supermarket requires a two-hour drive to Rapid City. It’s an expensive trip for people living in the third poorest county in the US. Many residents have no access to transportation, leaving only one option: on-reservation convenience stores that stock processed, long-shelf-life foods.

To combat these poor nutrition options, many tribes are reclaiming traditional foods as a way to correct severe health and economic disparities. All across the country, Native American entrepreneurs are combining traditional values with common-sense business strategies to tackle hunger, unemployment and unsustainable food production practices.

Pine Ridge didn’t become a food desert by itself. Along with other tribes throughout the country, the Oglala Sioux endured generations of war, forced removal and assimilation policies that dismantled traditional economies and food systems.

The reservation system prompted dramatic changes in the diet of Native peoples in the US. Restricted or prevented altogether from traditional hunting and agriculture practices, many tribes were forced instead to accept government food relief programs that distributed basic staples heavy on salt, sugar and fat. The rapid change in diet, aided more recently by fast food and more sedentary lifestyles, have contributed to an epidemic of diabetes, obesity and other health problems in Indian Country.

Like others who have turned to local, sustainably produced foods to effect social change, Native Americans are embracing the so-called food sovereignty movement, a term coined in the 1990s by the international peasant group La Via Campesina, to restore culture and economic autonomy.

“There’s a cultural revolution going on in Indian Country, reconnecting people to the rituals of where food came from, why food is sacred,” said Mark Tilsen, co-founder of the Pine Ridge-based food producer Native American Natural Foods.

Tilsen and his business partner, Karlene Hunter, are at the forefront of this revolution. Launched in 2007, their business is now one of the most successful Native-owned food companies in the country. Its primary product, Tanka Bar, is a line of energy bars made from prairie-fed, antibiotic-free buffalo meat and based on a traditional Oglala recipe. The natural and organic market research firm Spins ranks it as the third best-selling jerky in US natural supermarkets.

According to Tilsen, tanka means large or great, and conveys the idea of tremendous or generous acts for the benefit of others. The name is a vehicle for telling not only the story of the company, but of their people’s struggle for survival and self-determination after the government oversaw a mass extermination of the buffalo in the late 19th century. As their main food source was driven to near extinction, Plains peoples were forced onto reservations.

Tilsen and Hunter didn’t set out to build a better energy bar. They wanted to support Native buffalo producers who were working to restore the sacred animal to the prairie. And they wanted to boost the economy and health of Pine Ridge. Read More…

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/jun/13/native-american-tribes-diet-health-traditional-foods-business-entrepreneur?CMP=share_btn_fb

“This energetic movement is really taking stock of how food impacts the health of Native peoples, but also the economy and social existence of Native communities,” said Raymond Foxworth, vice president of grant making and development for the First Nations Development Institute (FNDI), which supports tribal economic development programs.

South Dakota American Indians win in landmark child welfare case

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South Dakota American Indians win in landmark child welfare cas

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South Dakota Indian families and Tribes have just won a major legal victory, under the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) that will resonate throughout the state and nationwide, as well. The decision issued by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Jeffrey L. Viken for the District of South Dakota on Mar. 30, ordered the state to comply with the ICWA, which mandates that Indian children be placed with tribal relatives or other tribes before non-Indian placement is considered.

South Dakota’s Department of Social Services was not only placing Native children in white foster homes first, but was also denying Indian parents and guardians any due process rights in the hearing process.

Viken ruled in favor of all the Indian plaintiffs’ claims and in his written opinion found that the state’s Seventh Judicial Circuit Court’s Presiding Judge Jeff Davis and other defendants “failed to protect Indian parents’ fundamental rights to a fair hearing.” Further, Viken found that state officials violated the ICWA of 1978.

Indian children were being forcibly, routinely, and illegally taken by state DSS workers from their homes; there was lack of adequate notice given to Native parents of hearings at which the children were placed in state custody; parents were not allowed to examine evidence or cross-examine witnesses and many hearings lasted only 60 seconds and most lasted an average of less than five minutes. In all of the cases heard by Judge Davis, one of several judges who heard the Indian child cases, Judge Viken found that Davis ruled against Indian families 100 percent of the time.

The background of the lawsuit is that for years DSS has removed over 740 Indian children from their homes annually and in overwhelming numbers sent them to white foster homes. There have also been instances of horrific sexual abuse, the most infamous being the Mette case which this writer has extensively reported.

This landmark victory in federal court resulted from a class action lawsuit which alleged that the state of South Dakota routinely violated the constitutional rights of Native parents and provisions of the ICWA. The case focused on the first 48 hours after an American Indian child is taken from home by DSS.

The lawsuit was filed in 2013 by private attorney Dana Hanna and Steven Pevar from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of the Oglala Sioux and Rosebud Sioux Tribes and parents Rochelle Walking Eagle, Madonna Pappan and Lisa Young representing all Indian parents in Pennington County, South Dakota. This was a federal civil rights lawsuit filed against Presiding Judge Jeff Davis, Pennington County Prosecutor Marl Vargo, state Department of Social Services Director Lynne Valenti and Pennington County Department of Social Services employee Luann Van Hunnik.

The lawsuit zeroed in on the very first court appearance and what happens in the “48 hour temporary custody hearing.”

Attorney Hanna called the custody hearings “shams.” Hanna added that the ICWA was passed in 1978 by Congress because of “Institutionalized anti-Indian racism” in state courts. Hanna further characterized the South Dakota court system in these cases as “fundamentally racist.” …Read More.

Aalto University helps Quileute nation relocate after whales warn of impending tsunami

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Aalto University helps Native Americans relocate after whales warn of impending tsunami

yle UUTISET 9.4.2015

A rare Native American tribe from the Pacific Northwest says whales have informed them that a natural disaster will soon wipe out their reservation in Washington State. They have started a Move to Higher Ground project to move their community to a new location. By a series of coincidences, Finland’s Aalto University was selected by the tribe’s council to draw up the building plans.

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The Quileute community of La Push, Washington lies on the shores of the Pacific Ocean in an earthquake-prone area of the Cascade Mountains. Image: Trev Harris, Aalto-yliopisto

Finland’s Aalto University is helping a rare North American indigenous people design a new hometown that is out of harm’s way, in a cooperative effort with a backstory as unlikely as any that could be imagined.

The Quileute tribe of La Push, Washington holds a ritual each year, where every woman, man and child in the reservation summons local whales, dolphins, sharks, seals and other marine species to the community’s beach by playing drums. The tribe’s chief then wades among the animals and interprets the sounds they make.

In 2014, tribal leaders said they received information from the Pacific Ocean whales that a tsunami would soon hit their community. La Push is located at the intersection of three tectonic plates, and is prone to earthquakes of a 9-point magnitude.

The tribe immediately started to make plans to move their community to higher ground. It applied for and received money from both the State of Washington and the federal government to fund the relocation. Read More…

 Source: http://yle.fi/uutiset/aalto_university_helps_native_americans_relocate_after_whales_warn_of_impending_tsunami/7916402

Job – Director of the Native American Program at Dartmouth

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https://searchjobs.dartmouth.edu/postings/30112

Position Title
Department     Dean of the College
Position Number     0120701
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In the forty years since the Kemeny administration’s reinvigoration of the College’s founding ideals, Dartmouth has established its preeminence among peer institutions in the recruitment, retention, breadth, and achievements of the American Indian student population. Dartmouth’s Native American Program (NAP) is an exemplary model, and, it is grounded in the following core commitments which the Director proactively upholds: support for Native American education; facilitation of the holistic development of Native students; reflection of the value that self-determination has in the lives of Native students; maintenance and expression of Native American cultural identity; and, cultivation of a strong ethic of community engagement within the College community, its Native communities and its external relationships.
Position Purpose

The Director of the Native American Program (NAP) will be to guide the vision, development and implementation of a dynamic program; and, to provide direction, leadership, and consultation in the educational, social, cultural, and personal development of Native American students at Dartmouth College. These priorities are accomplished through: 1) Program Vision, Development, Implementation and Evaluation 2) Student Advising and Mentoring 3) Community Advocacy 4) Budget and Personnel Administration, and 5) Community Engagement and Collaboration. We seek a student-centered colleague with a deep commitment to the wellness and academic achievement of Native students, a passion for collaboration and respect for diverse points of view, and a strong desire to work as part of a community.

Native Americans protest canonization of Junipero Serra at Carmel Mission

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Native Americans protest canonization of Junipero Serra at Carmel Mission

Native American Martin Lion attends a ceremony protesting Father Serra’s slated canonization at Carmel Mission on Sunday in Carmel. (Vernon McKnight-Herald Correspondent)

CARMEL >> On Sunday mornings, Rudy Rosales helps clean and maintain the graves of his ancestors at the Carmel Mission; either by pulling weeds or placing the abalone shells that adorn the humble mounds of earth.

It’s a ritual that connects the Ohlone Indian with his Catholic traditions and his indigenous roots. And as former tribal chairman of the Ohlone Costanoan Esselen Nation, he wasn’t exactly pleased Sunday, when more than 100 Native Americans from all over California descended onto the Mission Cemetery to hold a ceremony and protest the announced canonization of Junipero Serra, founder of the California Mission system.

“Why didn’t they boycott their own missions?” he asked. “Two thirds of our tribe is Catholic; my mom was a strict Catholic. A lot of tribal members did not ask if it was okay.”

Led by the American Indian Movement, dozens of Native Americans from different tribes from all over California gathered on the Carmel Mission Cemetery for a ceremony to honor their ancestors and their history on one of the most sacred days in the Catholic calendar.

The timing and place was chosen because Junipero Serra, the Franciscan friar who founded the first nine of the 21 missions in the California system, is buried there. Pope Francis announced in January he would bestow sainthood onto the friar when he visits the United States later in the year.

The news was met with incredulity and anger by many in the Native American community, who blame the California mission system for many of the atrocities their ancestors had to endure. They began organizing the ceremony/protest soon after the announcement. Read More…

Ireland Pays Tribute to Choctaw Nation’s Kindness

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Ireland Pays Tribute to Choctaw Nation’s Kindness

By Toyacoyah Brown on March 15, 2015

Joe McCarthy, East Cork’s municipal district officer, explained the reason for the project to the Irish Examiner: “These people were still recovering from their own injustice. They put their hands in their pockets and they helped strangers. It’s rare to see such generosity. It had to be acknowledged.”

each feather is unique.jpg

Of course the acknowledgement could not be small in stature. Officials chose a unique idea from sculptor Alex Pentek to pay homage to the Choctaw. See the artist’s rendering below of the Kindred Spirits sculpture.

Alex Pentek. Kindred Spirits. 2013. Memorial to the Choctaw Nation’s aid to Ireland during the the great Famine. from Alex Pentek on Vimeo.

On his Vimeo page Alex Pentek writes this:

By creating an empty bowl symbolic of the Great Irish Famine formed from the seemingly fragile and rounded shaped eagle feathers used in Choctaw ceremonial dress, it is my aim to communicate the tenderness and warmth of the Choctaw Nation who provided food to the hungry when they themselves were still recovering from their own tragic recent past.

I have also chosen feathers to reflect the local bird life along the nearby water’s edge with a fusion of ideas that aims to visually communicate this act of humanity and mercy, and also the notion that the Choctaw and Irish Nations are forever more kindred spirits.

I would love to see this in person! I am sure a representative from the Choctaw Nation will be on hand later this year to witness the unveiling of the statue. We will keep you posted if so!

Read more: http://www.powwows.com/2015/03/15/ireland-pays-tribute-to-choctaw-nations-kindness/#ixzz3Uh9L78wG

US Senate Confirms First-Ever Native American Woman As Federal Judge

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The Senate confirmed Diane Humetewa to the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, making her the first-ever Native American woman to serve on the federal bench.

WASHINGTON — The Senate quietly made history on Wednesday night when it confirmed Diane Humetewa as a federal judge — the first Native American woman to ever hold such a post.

Humetewa was confirmed 96-0 to serve on the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. She is a former U.S. attorney in Arizona and a member of the Hopi tribe. She is now the first active member of a Native American tribe to serve on the federal bench and only the third Native American in history to do so. Read More…