First Nations

National Indian Health Board, Indian Health Service Meet to Discuss Funding for Tribal Health Programs, Services

Native News Online - Tue, 2019-09-17 11:00

Published September 17, 2019

TEMECULA, Calif. — Sunday, during a quarterly board meeting and in advance of the National Indian Health Board’s (NIHB) National Tribal Health Conference, the NIHB Board of Directors met with the Indian Health Service (IHS) leadership to discuss funding for programs. The Board also voted on a new executive committee member and resolutions to support its work in Washington, DC and throughout Indian Country.

IHS Principal Deputy Director RADM Weahkee was joined by Deputy Director for Intergovernmental Affairs P. Ben Smith and Director of the Office of Management Services Athena Elliot. They spoke about efforts to work with NIHB to continue its current cooperative agreements that fund a portion of the organization’s advocacy and technical assistance work with tribes, like the Tribal Leaders Diabetes Committee and outreach and education on the Affordable Care Act.

“NIHB Board of Directors appreciates and values our partnership with IHS, and it’s at these meetings that we have an opportunity to express our concerns and recommendations to the federal agency that oversees health care services for all of Indian Country,” said NIHB Board Chairperson and Great Plains Area Representative Victoria Kitcheyan. “It’s imperative as tribal leaders and health advocates that we hold agencies like IHS accountable to their trust responsibility to provide quality health care for all tribal citizens. Funding through the IHS cooperative agreements is critical in carrying out NIHB’s mission of strengthening Tribal health systems.” In addition to meeting with IHS, the NIHB Board of Directors also elected a new Member-at-Large to serve on the Board’s Executive Committee. Marty Wafford, who is the chairperson of the Southern Plains Indian Health Board and the current Oklahoma City Area Representative, will fill a vacancy recently created by an outgoing officer. Ms. Wafford serves as the Under Secretary of Support for the Chickasaw Nation Department of Health. “I am blessed to serve on the NIHB board and now elected to executive committee,” said Ms. Wafford. “Participation on the board helps the Oklahoma City Area have a stronger voice about our health care and makes us more informed advocates for policies made on a national level that help our people.” The NIHB Board of Directors also passed several resolutions, including supporting the expansion of the Community Health Aide Program; calling on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to hold formal Tribal consultation to finalize and implement the Tribal Public Health Agenda; elevating the position of the IHS Director to Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS); and urging Congress to establish an “indefinite discretionary” appropriation for IHS to fund lease obligations under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (ISDEAA). Passed resolutions guide the policy and advocacy plan for the organization. This week, NIHB brings together more than 600 Tribal leaders, health providers, health experts and advocates to focus on strengthening health policy through advocacy and federal relations and highlights that health is a key component of the federal trust responsibility and a pathway to sovereignty.

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Join the City of Moriarty & Campo de Oro for Hemp Harvest Forum, October 3, 2019 at the Moriarty Civic Center

Native News Online - Tue, 2019-09-17 11:00

Published September 17, 2019

MORIARTY, N.M. — The City of Moriarty and Campo de Oro LLCare excited to announce and invite the surrounding East Mountain communities to the Hemp Harvest Forum presented at the Moriarty Civic Center in Moriarty, New Mexico, on October 3, 2019 at 5:30 p.m.

The Hemp Harvest Forum is set as a dynamic educational venue to foster public dialogue about the state’s hemp program, sustainable hemp business practices and to inform the public about the environmental attributes of hemp and hemp consumer products. “This year farmers have ushered in a new era of hemp cultivation on American soil, reclaiming the virtues of hemp after nearly 80 years of prohibition. We are pushing the threshold of opportunity for future generations of farmers and consumers, and a narrative of healthy lifestyles, sustainable agriculture along with community and environmental stewardship,” said Jeremy P. Diaz, CEO, Campo de Oro LLC.

Hemp farmers of the Estancia Valley and 30 other counties will harvest for the first time this century. The New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) has issued 16 Hemp licenses in Torrance county. Hemp education is critical for communities to understand the positive environmental and economic impacts of this plant and hemps legal status both state and federally due to the 2018 Farm Bill. The NMDA and Agricultural Environmental Services Division, and the New Mexico Environment Division (NMED) have worked diligently to get the hemp program started on the right foot in 2019 and open economic opportunity for farmers, processors, distributors and businesses.

Jill Browning, N.M. Hemp Association Chair emphasized: “These educational community events are vital for New Mexicans to acquire the facts on the burgeoning hemp industry and to learn about the impact hemp is positioned to have environmentally and economically in their communities.”

The hemp market is poised to impact and revitalize rural communities and support a model for improving sustainable agriculture. “The City of Moriarty looks forward to the upcoming Hemp Forum to educate the City of Moriarty and the surrounding communities about the new hemp industry and share facts and statistics on the very highly regulated hemp industry. We look forward to seeing you on Thursday at the Civic Center!” said Ted Hart, Mayor of Moriarty. A hemp product display and a hemp inspired menu will be provided for guests to sample starting at 5 p.m. prior to the Hemp Forum commencing at 5:30 p.m. Contact Brenda Tapia, Marketing & Communications Manager, City of Moriarty for additional information at (505) 832-4406 or

Get the full scoop on topics of concentration presented by N.M. Hemp Association, USDA, NMDA, Scepter Labs, Campo de Oro LLC, Torrance County Sheriff’s Department, and agriculture attorney A. Blair Dunn planned for the upcoming Hemp Harvest Forum at

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September 16-20 is Bristol Bay Salmon Week in DC

Native News Online - Tue, 2019-09-17 11:00

Published September 17, 2019

WASHINGTON — From September 16 -20, 27 restaurants in Washington, DC and Wegmans locations in Maryland and Virginia will feature wild sockeye salmon from Bristol Bay, Alaska on their menus and in their aisles. They are participating in the inaugural Bristol Bay Salmon Week, sponsored by the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association (BBRDSA). Bristol Bay in southwest Alaska is home to the world’s most prolific commercial wild sockeye salmon fishery, responsible for producing more than half of the sockeye sold worldwide.

During the 2019 Bristol Bay fishing season, a near-record 43 million sockeye were harvested in Bristol Bay, with over 56 million fish returning. These returns support over 10,000 jobs and a billion-dollar annual economy associated with the over-130-year-old commercial fishery and a thriving sport fishery, whose ripple effects extend far beyond Alaska. Just as important, these epic summer runs that turn Bristol Bay’s rivers and streams red with salmon are the lifeblood of a Millennia-old Alaska Native way of life.

“Bristol Bay Salmon Week gives is an opportunity to showcase these special fish that feed the world,” said Andy Wink, executive director of BBRSDA. “I hope Washingtonians will visit our partner restaurants to learn more about Bristol Bay and the sockeye it produces – and enjoy some delicious wild food.”

Restaurants participating in the week are located across the city and are diverse in their fares. In addition to some of the top seafood-focused restaurants in the District, Mitsitam Cafe at the National Museum of the American Indian will prepare salmon using traditional recipes from the Alaska Natives who call the Bristol Bay region home. Joining Mitsitam Cafe are a food truck, delis, a fishmonger, several Asian restaurants, and many others. Each restaurant is taking its own unique approach for featuring sockeye salmon on their menus, which itself showcases the versatility of the fish.

Want to find out how DC restaurants are featuring salmon? Visit one of these participating restaurants September 16-20:

  • Art and Soul
  • Bidwell
  • Blue Duck Tavern
  • The Bombay Club
  • Brasserie Beck
  • Brothers and Sisters
  • Brookland’s Finest
  • Call Your Mother Deli
  • Convivial
  • Coppi’s Organic
  • The District Fishwife
  • Emelie’s Equinox Fast and Saucy food truck
  • Grillfish High Street Café
  • Himitsu Maketto
  •  Marcel’s Mitsitam Cafe at the National Museum of the American Indian
  • Neopol
  • Savory Smokery (three locations in DC & Baltimore)
  • The Red Hen
  • The Salt Line
  • Slapfish DC
  • Spoken English

While the primary purpose of Bristol Bay Salmon Week is to celebrate these incredible fish and the amazing people who bring them to the world, it is also a recognition that the Bristol Bay fishery faces threats. The proposed Pebble Mine, which is now going through the permitting process, represents a significant, long-term threat to the world’s most abundant wild salmon run.

In addition to BBRSDA, other sponsoring organizations for Bristol Bay Salmon Week in DC are Antarctica Advisors, LLC, The Conservation Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development, and United Work and Travel.

For more information about Bristol Bay Salmon Week, please visit You can also follow the conversation on social media at #BristolBaySalmonWeek to learn more about how participating restaurants are featuring salmon. We will also have people who rely on Bristol Bay’s bounty available to speak to the media upon request, as well as representatives from some of the participating restaurants.

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Attawapiskat family to meet with Ontario coroner to push for inquest into daughter’s death

APTN News (Canada) - Tue, 2019-09-17 06:23

Sheridan Hookimaw was known for her bright smile and short, curly hair. (APTN file)

Kathleen Martens
The mother of Sheridan Hookimaw continues to push for answers in the 2015 suicide death of her 13-year-old daughter.

Even though the regional coroner has already turned down the idea of holding an inquest.

This Thursday, Stephanie Hookimaw is scheduled to meet with Ontario’s chief coroner, Dr. Dirk Huyer, at the Parish Hall in Attawapiskat First Nation.

Huyer has the power to overrule the regional coroner’s decision.

“If the family’s not satisfied with the response that the regional coroner gives,” Huyer said in a telephone interview Monday, “there is legislative opportunity to ask me.”

However, Huyer declined to reveal whether he intends to overturn the decision until he meets with Stephanie.

He confirmed he will be accompanied by officials from Nishnawbe Aski Police Services, which polices the northern Ontario community and investigated Sheridan’s death.

READ MORE: Corner’s office investigating death of Attawapiskat girl Sheridan Hookimaw

The meeting was organized by the Family Information Liaison Unit (FILU), which was created to work with families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, but Huyer said can help with broader death investigations.

There are FILU branches in each province and territory.

Stephanie was unavailable to comment on the upcoming meeting. But has said her daughter’s death – and the ensuing youth suicide crisis that followed – should be investigated as a matter of public interest.

“It seems multiple factors contributed to Sheridan’s death,” she wrote in a 2017 letter requesting the initial inquest.

“In addition to the bullying she experienced at school, her physical health put Sheridan at greater risk for self-harm, particularly when coupled with the lack of suitable housing available in the community. Further, much of the medical care she required was not available in Attawapiskat.”

While no other Attawapiskat teens died, dozens contemplated or attempted suicide six months after the death of Sheridan, who was known for her bright smile and short, curly hair.

In Ontario, a death by suicide does not automatically trigger an inquest but the coroner has the discretion to call one if it’s deemed in the public interest.

Stephanie has told APTN News circumstances leading to suicide in the remote Cree nation are on par with the deaths of seven Indigenous students in Thunder Bay that led to a wide-ranging inquest there.

She has also singled out the physical and mental health impacts of toxic black and green mold in the home she shared with Sheridan.

And how families are stuck in the homes because of chronic housing and funding shortages.

The role mold may have played in Sheridan’s death is of interest to Kitchener, Ont., building contractor Mike Galt, who found himself sickened after a surprise exposure on a jobsite.

The research he did as he worked to restore his own health led the two to exchange information and they’ve remained in touch ever since.

Galt will be watching to see if an inquest is called and whether mold makes it onto the agenda because he believes there is a connection.

“People living in a natural environment should not be living in crappy houses,” he said Monday.

“There is a connection. That connection needs to be fleshed out.”

READ MORE: Family wants inquest into Attawapiskat girl’s suicide

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Saskatoon college launches investigation into staff member after racist comments posted on social media

APTN News (Canada) - Tue, 2019-09-17 06:18

Dennis Ward
The MC College in Saskatoon, Sask., has suspended a staff member without pay while it investigates screenshots posted on social media on the weekend.

The personal messages were shared on Facebook by Tami Eileen Whitehawk and widely shared over the weekend.

The messages are from Chelsea Kowalchuk, a hair styling instructor at the college.

“Hahaha sorry you’re a fat ugly bitch that his family hates!!! You are an Indian let’s face it his family disowns you. You are pathetic.  You will never compare to me!!!” Kowalchuk wrote to Whitehawk.

Another shared message says, “Haha sorry you’re a pathetic broke Indian.’

Whitehawk is not a student at the school but is in a relationship with Kowalchuk’s ex-husband and was in an online exchange with her at the time.

“I don’t believe this is the way a MC college teacher should act,” Whitehawk responded. “Telling me I’m ugly because I’m native.  Awful, @mc college.”

Whitehawk, from the Cote First Nation, said she posted the messages online to expose Kowalchuk.

She told APTN News that the attacks have been going on for six months.

Kowalchuk could not be reached for comment.

Whitehawk’s posts of the screengrabs were also shared by the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN).

“Racism and racist comments can never be justified or tolerated under any circumstances,” the FSIN wrote online.

FSIN called on MC College Saskatoon to terminate the teacher immediately.

“Many of our First Nations students have attended this school and they don’t deserve this type of attitude from their teachers” said in the Facebook post.

MC College President Joe Cairo also took to social media to address the outrage.

“MC College is extremely concerned of recently posted screenshots on social media of a personal text thread that involved one its instructors.  Upsetting derogatory comments were made by the instructor,” wrote Cairo.

“There is never an excuse to use such comments and we are saddened that a staff member felt the need to use them.”

Cairo said the staff member has been suspended without pay and issued an apology to existing First Nations students and clients.

“These views do not reflect MC College or its staff. We will use this unfortunate incident as a sign that we still have much work to do to overcome past prejudices” wrote Cairo.

The school has not apologized directly to Whitehawk.

MC College is a school for make up, hair and fashion designers.



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National Arts Centre Indigenous theatre honours trailblazing artists at Moshkamo opening

APTN News (Canada) - Tue, 2019-09-17 06:02

Shelby Lisk and Annette Francis
On a grey Saturday morning, dozens of canoers sat on the edge of the Rideau Canal just outside downtown in Ottawa waiting to make the historic journey to the National Arts Centre to officially open the Indigenous theatre festival, Mòshkamo.

The paddlers included Algonquin Elders and Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation community members, along with NAC staff.

(Artistic Director, Kevin Loring, waves from his canoe during the procession along the Rideau Canal to open the NAC Indigenous theatre Mòshkamo festival. Shelby Lisk/APTN)

“I was so honoured, so deeply profoundly proud. No words to describe that feeling I had when I saw my people, our people, journey in that water. A practice we’ve been doing since time immemorial,” said Algonquin Elder Claudette Commanda.

“Some of us did not go into a canoe, but let me tell you, each and every one of us that are here right now at this moment, we are in that canoe, in spirit, in heart, in respect, love and kindness. Let us paddle that canoe together in peace and friendship.”

(Claudette Commanda beams with pride as she welcomes everyone on behalf of the Algonquin Nation. Shelby Lisk/APTN)

For the Algonquin Elder, the work that the National Arts Centre has done, with Kevin Loring, Artistic Director of Indigenous Theatre, and Lori Marchand, Manager Director of Indigenous Theatre at the helm, is profound and unprecedented.

While she welcomed everyone on behalf of the Algonquin Nation, she shared her gratitude to the NAC.

“Thank you to the leaders of the National Art Centre. I truly appreciate that, we truly appreciate that and we know that indeed this is a true action of the rights relationship that was always intended between our ancestors and your ancestors,” said Commanda.

(NAC President and CEO, Christopher Deacon, addresses the packed crowd in the Canal Lobby at the NAC for the opening of the Mòshkamo festival. Shelby Lisk/APTN)

NAC President and CEO, Christopher Deacon, took the stage to acknowledge the work that has been going on behind the scenes to bring Mòshkamo to life.

He thanked the many people who have made this historic opening possible, including the Assembly of First Nations, Métis National Council, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the Native Women’s Association of Canada, Grand Chief Verna Polson and the Algonquin advisory council, who played a critical role in consulting with the NAC in the development of the Indigenous theatre.

He said Indigenous theatre is taking its rightful place next to the well-established English and French theatres at the NAC.

“Today, 50 years after the NAC’s grand opening, our engagement with Indigenous artists and commitment to their work has arrived at a new place. Our new commitment, made today, is to have Indigenous artists lead the creation and performance of Indigenous stories, music and dance,” said Deacon.

Kevin Loring was appointed Artistic Director on June 15, 2017 and has spent the last two years travelling the country to see Indigenous work and meet with artists and arts organizations.

Performing arts organizations from around the world have now started to contact Loring to consult on how to empower Indigenous arts in their own countries.

Loring, Nlaka’pamux from British Columbia’s Lytton First Nation, brought traditions from his home community to the opening, with a traditional blanketing ceremony to honour four Indigenous theatre trailblazers – Muriel Miguel, Tomson Highway, Margo Kane and Marie Clements.

(Kevin Loring hugs performing artist and writer, Margo Kane, as he brings her on stage to honour her work. Shelby Lisk/APTN)

With each actor, director or playwright they brought on stage, they told stories of how those visionaries influenced their own work and guided them to the place they are now – making history for Indigenous people at the NAC.

(Lori Marchand hugs Muriel Miguel during the blanketing ceremony for four Indigenous artists: Muriel Miguel, Tomson Highway, Margo Kane and Marie Clement. Shelby Lisk/APTN)

“We are honouring today, artists that have had a personal impact on the two of us. On our trajectory, on our artistry. They’ve blazed the trails that we walk on today. This exists because they have existed. This exists because they fought the battles that needed to be fought,” said Loring.

“This exists because of their love and today we are going to reflect that love back to them.”

The artists that were honoured included Kuna/Rappahannock choreographer, director and actor Muriel Miguel, Cree playwright and author Tomson Highway, Cree/Saulteaux performing artist and writer Margo Kane, and Métis playwright, performer, director, producer and screenwriter Marie Clement.

Marchand and Loring both told personal stories about the artists as they brought them on stage.

Marchand, a member of the Syilx (Okanagan) First Nation, mused about the first time she met Muriel Miguel at Native Earth performing arts, saying that it was the first time in her life that she had been in a room “full of people like herself”.

Loring described his first encounter with Tomson Highway’s work as the first Indigenous play he ever read in his life.

He performed a monologue from Highway’s play, Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing, for his university class in Kamloops, B.C.

“In that moment, I became an artist and that is all thanks to Tomson Highway,” said Loring.

Loring and Marchand reminded us all that this profound historic moment for the NAC Indigenous theatre comes from the years of hard work of Indigenous artists that came before.

(Muriel Miguel, Tomson Highway, Margo Kane and Marie Clements stand proud with their gifted blankets. Shelby Lisk/APTN)

The  Mòshkamo festival continues until September 29, with shows, workshops and masterclasses, including the play the unnatural and accidental women written by Marie Clements and directed by Muriel Miguel.

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Unique tutor-learner relationship sets example when it comes to literacy, language revitalization

APTN News (Canada) - Tue, 2019-09-17 05:54

Chris MacIntyre
Kwanlin’ Dun First Nation Elder Louie Smith has spent most of his 86 years living and learning on the land.

When Smith was a child an outbreak of tuberculosis at the school in Carcross, YT, forced Smith’s father to remove him from class.

Louie only spent two weeks at the school and never learned how to read.

“A lot of kids died there,” says Smith. “You play around today and tomorrow you already die in the Carcross school.

“So that’s why I never went to school”

(Ted Ackerman and Louie Smith spend two days a week at the House of Learning reading, sharing stories and history with each other. Photo: Chris MacIntyre/APTN)

Louie always wanted to learn how to read.

He says that once you learn to read, you can learn to sing.

When Smith reached his 80s , a family member suggested he register with Yukon Learn – a not for profit agency whose mandate is to help Yukon adults improve their literacy.

After a few different tutors, Louie finally met Ted Ackerman in 2015.

Ackerman had been volunteering with Yukon Learn since 2013 and was excited at the opportunity to work together with a First Nation Elder.

For the past four years, two times a week, Louie Smith and his tutor Ted Ackerman spend their mornings surrounded by books at the House of Learning building in Whitehorse.

Their reading lesson always starts off with a cup of fresh coffee and usually a story from Smith’s childhood.

Smith isn’t the only one learning at these weekly tutoring sessions.

Ackerman is also on the receiving end.

(From the left: Kwanlin’ Dun elder Louie Smith, Ted Ackerman, Kwanlin Dun Chief Doris Bill and Yukon Premier Sandy Silver at the Council of the Federation Literacy award presentation. Photo: Chris MacIntyre/APTN)

Smith shares his stories and history of First Nation’s culture and has been teaching Ackerman words in Southern Tutchone.

Ackerman says being able to teach and at the same time learn is a rich experience.

“Literacy is not just the reading and writing, that’s a large part but it’s also the understanding of knowledge of the world around you,” he says.

“Louie is highly literate in Yukon First Nation culture and he shares that with me.”

Recently Smith and Ackerman were presented with the 2019 Council of the Federation Literacy Award.

The award recognizes contributions to literacy and First Nation language revitalization.

(Literacy Award : The Council of the Federation Literacy medals. Photo: Chris MacIntyre/APTN)

With permission from the Kwanlin’ Dun First Nation, the pair have preserved over 100 items of First Nations history through recordings and books.

There are no plans to stop the tutoring sessions and Smith has even said that he’d like more.

Through the time spent together, Smith continues to learn how to read and Ackerman gets a greater understanding of First Nation culture.

“I’ve read the Truth and Reconciliation report and I’ve read the Together Today for our Children Tomorrow and both of those documents talk about sort of what the institutions and the organizations of our cultures and country need to do to help our cultures co-exist,” says Ackerman.

“I think if there’s a lot more of me and Louie doing things we wouldn’t need those big documents as much”.

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Métis premier Bob McLeod of NWT looks back on 8 years in office

APTN News (Canada) - Tue, 2019-09-17 05:45

Charlotte Morritt-Jacobs
Bob McLeod has a few remaining weeks governing the Northwest Territories.

The Métis man from Zhahti Koe, Fort Providence was the first person to be re-elected premier of the N.W.T.

But now he’s decided to retire.

“I felt that I didn’t want to be committed for another four years and I didn’t really want to be in politics when I’m 70 years old,” McLeod said.

He noted his leadership style as inclusive and cited his success on “letting the managers manage” in office.

“Our first get together our cabinet said is that one of the things we should all aspire to is not to lose any ministers. I’m really proud that we had eight years of good government and didn’t lose a single minister.

“We didn’t lose any motions on non confidence,” he said.

During his time as premier there were several significant infrastructure projects including the $350-million hospital in Yellowknife, the $300-million Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway and the $202-million Deh Cho Bridge, the last major river to be bridged.

McLeod said there are still some pages left unturned as he gets ready to call it quits.

“The one that everyone always talks about of course is land claims and self government. We made some progress not as much progress as we wanted to but some of the claims have been negotiated going on thirty years.

“It’s disappointing to me that I’ll have to join the list of Premiers that weren’t able to,” Mcleod said.

Unlike its neighbours Nunavut and the Yukon, the N.W.T. never fully recovered from the 2008 recession.

“It’s worrisome especially because exploration is down. Even with that we have mining projects, Mackenzie valley natural gas pipeline was approved and yet it never got built,” he said.

In 2017, the Premier made headlines as he issued his “red alert.” He suggested Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had acted out of colonialism after a moratorium on Arctic oil and gas development was announced in 2016.

“Over a period of time we hadn’t produced a single molecule of oil and gas in a territory that historically has been producing oil and gas since the 1930s.

“We had an immediate response from the federal government the next morning and I think our relationship has improved significantly,” McLeod said.

The 19th Legislative Assembly will be elected on Oct. 1, 2019.


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New search in Baker Lake, Nunavut locates body of missing father

APTN News (Canada) - Tue, 2019-09-17 01:44

Kent Driscoll
A month after RCMP and the local search and rescue stopped looking, a community led search in Baker Lake has located the body of Solomon Tulurialik.

The search for Tulurialik, 29, started on July 31 and stopped on Aug. 13 after police and volunteers failed to find him.

The community fundraised and brought in Crossman Consulting, an American sonar team.

On Sept 13, the second day of searching, the team found Tulurialik’s remains in 30 metres of water, and roughly 500 meters from shore.

Nunavut RCMP’s investigation led them to believe that Tulurialik had tried to swim to shore from a boat that had run out of gas.

Following the recovery, Nunavut’s coroner will now investigate the cause of death.

Tulurialik was a popular figure in the central Nunavut community of roughly 2,000 residents.

He coached local Midget age hockey, and many of his players wore their uniforms to his memorial service.

He also worked for Agnico Eagle Mines as a long haul truck driver and as a truck driver for Arctic Fuel.

Family say he was a gifted singer and musician.

The initial search involved 200 volunteers, 70 boats, 50 all-terrain vehicles, drone flights, boats with sonar and dragging teams.

In 2018, Tulurialik received an award for bravery from the Commissioner of Nunavut.


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Thousands of Elders talk climate change, language and culture in Winnipeg

APTN News (Canada) - Tue, 2019-09-17 00:50

Jolene Banning
Nearly 4,000 First Nation, Metis and Inuit Elders converged on Winnipeg last week for a multi-day conference on everything from climate change to language and cultural revitalization.

This is the second year the conference has been held.

This year’s theme is “Coming Home.”


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Premier meeting with Innu leadership over MHA’s racist remarks

APTN News (Canada) - Mon, 2019-09-16 22:09

Lake Melville MHA Perry Trimper (left) was re-appointed to the environment portfolio by Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball (right) on Sept. 6. Photo: @PremierofNL / Twitter.

Justin Brake
Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball is meeting with Innu leadership in Labrador today in the wake of a political scandal in that province involving a cabinet minister caught making racist comments about the Innu.

APTN News has learned that Ball, who is also the province’s self-appointed Minister of Intergovernmental and Indigenous Affairs, flew to Happy Valley-Goose Bay Monday morning to meet with Innu Nation Grand Chief Greg Rich and other Innu leaders.

Rich told APTN on Friday that remarks made by former Environment Minister and Labrador MHA Perry Trimper in a recorded phone message to the grand chief’s assistant last week are “very hurtful and disappointing,” and that the Innu are still “shocked” by them.

“It affects all people in all parts of Labrador,” Rich said in a phone interview.

“It was very hurtful and very disturbing, when racist remarks come from government — that’s very hard to believe. It makes you wonder what kind of attitude the government shows to Aboriginal peoples in Labrador. It makes you think twice.”

Last week Innu Nation—which represents two Innu First Nations in Labrador—leaked the recorded phone call from Trimper to Dominic Rich, the grand chief’s executive assistant.

After Trimper’s message to Rich the call does not hang up; instead, it records a conversation between Trimper and an unnamed woman.

During the conversation Trimper can be heard using words like “entitled,” “god-given right,” and “race card,” in reference to the Innu.

The call was reportedly in relation to the Innu Nation’s request for translation services at a provincial motor vehicle registration office in Labrador.

Trimper has apologized to the Innu and resigned as a cabinet minister. He is still MHA for the Lake Melville riding in Central Labrador, where he represents the Innu of Sheshatshiu First Nation.

On Thursday Trimper told APTN he was “frustrated and mad at myself,” over the comments.

“Thirty-two years living and working in Labrador, and I’ve worked hard on my reputation,” he said.

“Whether or not my comments were recorded, they’re inappropriate.”

Trimper has a long history working with the Innu Nation and with some of the communities’ members.

In 2015 he was appointed minister of environment and conservation, and in 2016 came under fire from people across Labrador over his handling of the fallout from the Muskrat Falls hydro project, which scientists have projected will impact local traditional foods and leave some Inuit exposed to unsafe levels of mercury.

In 2017 Trimper was elected speaker of the province’s house of assembly, and on Sept.6 of this year was re-appointed environment minister.

On Friday he resigned his cabinet seat in the wake of the leaked recording.

Rich said on Friday that he didn’t know whether Innu Nation would request Trimper’s resignation as MHA.

But he did say the Innu have outstanding questions and concerns about the recording, including the unknown identity of the person Trimper was speaking with.

The woman in the recording remarked that the Innu “certainly don’t think the same way that we do,” and that “they have a feeling of entitlement,” to which Trimper replies: “The race card comes up all the time.”

Trimper then notes that he’s “been 32 years working with you guys, don’t play that on me.”

Lake Melville MHA Perry Trimper served as House speaker for two years before his reappointment to cabinet earlier this month. Photo: Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Trimper told APTN that he wasn’t making racist remarks, but that he was responding to recent accusations or racism — though he didn’t say who specifically made the allegations.

“It’s been suggested that maybe you’re racist, and all I was saying; please don’t play the race card on myself,” he said. “I just, through that conversation, was expressing frustration that when some might suggest that I’m racist because I haven’t delivered [as a politician]. That’s all that was.” “Many of these people are my friends,” Trimper continued.

“I’ve worked with them closely, set up companies, helped them relocate their community,” he said, alluding to the 2002 relocation of Davis Inlet to Natuashish.

“So I just was offering in the conversation that I am by no mens racist toward the Innu — in fact, it’s may I say the opposite. I’ve dedicated a lot of my career to helping Innu.”

Nevertheless, Trimper admitted that “when you’re making statements to anyone, and we’re dealing with a topic as sensitive as—I should be very careful and make sure that the words I use reflect the person that I am. And that wasn’t the case here.”

Opposition leader Ches Crosbie of the province’s Progressive Conservative Party has questioned whether Trimper should remain in the Liberal caucus or continue to represent the people of his riding.

“It is essential that the regional minister have the confidence of the communities he represents”, Crosbie said on Friday. “Trimper clearly lost the ability to work with the Innu, most of whom live in his district of Lake Melville.”

Grand Chief Rich said Friday that over the weekend Innu leaders would be discussing “racism in the government,” and how prevalent they feel that racism may be.

“And also the programs and land claims that are at the table — is that one of the reasons we’re not making headway in reaching some of the issues that are at the table?” he said.

Innu Nation Grand Chief Greg Rich says Trimper’s comments have left the Innu wondering about the depth of institutional racism is within the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. APTN file photo.

The Innu Nation has been working on a land claim with Ottawa for decades.

Progress has stalled in recent years, they say, while the feds make headway with the NunatuKavut Community Council (NCC), a group with a competing land claim, with the province’s support.

Rich also wonders if the attitude, he says, Trimper represented in the recorded conversation has anything to do with the Liberal government’s lengthy delay in launching a promised inquiry into the Innu child welfare crisis.

He said Innu Nation has “reached out to the province and said let’s get this inquiry started, because it feels like it’s being shelved.”

On Friday Ball told reporters that Trimper’s remarks “are not comments that reflect this government.”

The premier said he thinks Trimper should be given a second chance and that the MHA has not demonstrated similar behaviour in the past.

A spokesperson from the premier’s office told APTN Monday that Ball would return to St. John’s from Labrador Monday evening following his meeting with Innu leaders.

Asked if Innu would accept Trimper’s apology, Rich said, “listening to my people, they’re shocked and they’re not ready to accept an apology from him. So I have to listen to my people, what they say.”

He said the Innu want to know the identity of the woman in the recording, and that they feel Trimper’s unwillingness so far to reveal her name indicates the MHA is more committed to protecting her than to his relationship with the Innu.

“This woman was talking about the [child welfare] inquiry, and she giggled or chuckled when he was talking. And that kind of behaviour sends a message to the Innu people that they think this is a joke — but to us it’s not.”


The post Premier meeting with Innu leadership over MHA’s racist remarks appeared first on APTN News.

Bipartisan House Members Co-lead Solutions to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Crisis

Native News Online - Mon, 2019-09-16 11:02

Published September 16, 2019 

WASHINGTON — Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI-04) helped introduce the BADGES for Native Communities Act with Congresswoman Deb Haaland (N.M.-01) to fight violence against Native women and address the missing and murdered indigenous women crisis. The BADGES for Native Communities Act will address barriers that stand in the way of improving the efficiency of law enforcement agency data sharing and officer recruitment and retention – both of which are imperative to address the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women. The bill will also ensure Tribes can continue important public safety programs that work to increase protections for Native communities by making them permanent.

“The crisis of murdered and missing Native American women devastates communities who often lack the resources and tools to take the appropriate steps. Expanding access to criminal and missing persons data between tribal and federal law enforcement agencies will make Native American communities safer and help protect the most vulnerable in Indian Country,” said Rep. Gwen Moore. “I successfully fought to include protections for Native American women in the 2013 Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and supporting this legislation is another reminder that our work is far from over.”

“Everyone deserves to be safe and free from the cycle of violence, but a legacy of violence against native women and children perpetuates the disproportional violence that they experience. VAWA has shown us how impactful congressional public safety measures can be. It’s why I’m leading the BADGES Act to support the resources and data systems that will help us prevent violence, solve missing persons cases, and help end the missing and murdered indigenous women crisis,” said Rep. Deb Haaland, Co-Chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus.

The Senate version of the BADGES for Native Communities Act is led by U.S. Senator Tom Udall and has been referred to the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. The House bill has bipartisan support from co-leads Representatives Tom Cole (Okla.-04), Sharice Davids (Kans.-03), Markwayne Mullin (Okla.-02), Don Young (Alaska), Ruben Gallego (Ariz.-07), Tom O’Halleran (Ariz.-01), Norma Torres (Calif.-35), Dan Newhouse (Wash.-04), Gwen Moore (Wis.-04), and Paul Cook (Calif.-08).

“It is fitting that the introduction of the BADGES for Native Communities Act falls on the 25th anniversary year for VAWA, which has been instrumental in making native communities safer. Although we have made strides in the right direction, more can still be done. Far too often, tribal members suffer the consequences of the dysfunctional relationship between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and National Institute of Justice. Moreover, Tribes have only half of the amount of local law enforcement officials necessary to effectively police and protect their communities. By streamlining federal criminal database coordination and incentivizing efforts to recruit more law enforcement officials, the BADGES Act represents a necessary step toward making Native American communities safer,” said Rep. Tom Cole, Co-Chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus.  

“Improving coordination and information sharing between law enforcement agencies is vital to increasing the safety of Indian Country and addressing the epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women. I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing the BADGES Act, which will help ensure the health and safety of Native communities and allow survivors to seek the justice that they deserve,” said Rep. Sharice Davids.

“The silent crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women is wreaking havoc on our families and our communities,” said Rep. Markwayne Mullin. “All parties have to work together to fight back against this epidemic of violence. Our priority must be to protect native women and children and this legislation will help federal, state, tribal, and local law enforcement agencies better coordinate their efforts.”

“Alaska Native communities are home to some of the most remote population centers in our great state. Because of the difficulty in travel and communication, crime – particularly the scourge of missing and murdered indigenous women – has reached a crisis level,” said Rep. Don Young. “Alaskans from all walks of life have been horrified by recent headlines detailing stories of violence, sexual assault, and other crimes, and it is crucial that we take action to make our communities a safe place for everyone. The BADGES Act will increase public safety by bringing down the barriers preventing law enforcement from properly coordinating and providing Native communities with increased access to law enforcement data. I am proud to co-lead this legislation and am grateful for the work of Congresswoman Haaland on this important issue. It is my great hope that we can soon turn the tide in the fight against crime being perpetrated in our Native communities, and I will keep working to ensure that Alaska is a safe place for all.”

“For too long, Indigenous communities have been denied the attention and resources they need to ensure the safety of their people and get justice for missing and murdered Indians,”said Rep. Ruben Gallego, who chairs the Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States. “I’m proud to support this bipartisan bill, which would improve data collection, facilitate federal coordination with tribes, and increase resources for tribal law enforcement – steps that will make a real difference in Indian Country and help begin to curb the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women.”

“Within Arizona’s First Congressional District are 12 different native tribes and nations, all of whom who face significant hurdles in their pursuits for justice both in and out of the courtroom,” said Rep. Tom O’Halleran. “As both a public servant and a former police officer, I have dedicated much of my life to protecting our most vulnerable and advocating for underrepresented communities like many in Indian Country. I know just how difficult our criminal justice system can be for these individuals. Today, I am proud to join my colleagues to introduce the BADGES Act to streamline public safety and criminal justice reform for Native American communities and strengthen tribal sovereignty in the process.”

“On the 25th Anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act, it has never been more important to reaffirm our commitment to addressing the crimes against missing and murdered indigenous women,” said Rep. Norma Torres.“ That’s why I’m proud to work with Congresswoman Haaland to introduce legislation that would facilitate data sharing between law enforcement to tackle this crisis head on and strengthen public safety in Indian Country.”

“For too long, Native American communities and law enforcement agencies have struggled to access coordinated federal crime data. The BADGES for Native Communities Act aims to address this issue by providing tribes and tribal law enforcement access to federal resources and criminal databases needed to effectively investigate cases of missing and murdered indigenous women. It strengthens our tribal communities’ ability to enforce public safety by addressing the lack of resources and the shortage of qualified law enforcement personnel facing Native communities in Central Washington and across the country. I will continue to work to bring justice for indigenous women and their families and look forward to this legislation being signed into law,” said Rep. Dan Newhouse.

“I’m proud to cosponsor this important legislation on the week of the 25th Anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act. The BADGES Act will bridge data gaps in the federal government to improve cooperation with Indian Country law enforcement, provide grants to fight the missing and murdered Indigenous women crisis, and initiate studies and demonstration programs that will ensure safety for Native American communities. I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance this critical legislation,” said Rep. Paul Cook.

The BADGES for Native Communities Act bridges agency data gaps and ensures safety for Native communities by:

  • Addressing inefficiencies in federal criminal databases;
  • Increasing Tribal access to federal criminal databases;
  • Improving public data on missing and murdered indigenous women cases and Indian Country law enforcement staffing levels;
  • Promoting more efficient recruitment and retention of BIA law enforcement;
  • Providing Tribes with resources to improve public safety coordination between their governments, states, and federal agencies; and
  • Mitigating against federal law enforcement personnel mishandling evidence crucial to securing convictions of violent offenders.
  • The BADGES for Native Communities Act has broad support from victim advocate organizations, tribal officials and public health organizations:

“It’s imperative that Congress and the U.S. Government honor the trust responsibility and do everything in their power to support tribal authority to end the crisis of violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women and bring all perpetrators to justice. BADGES is one small step forward, we look forward to continuing our work with Representative Haaland and the rest of Congress to continue the momentum of change needed to end violence against Native women.” — National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center 

“The BADGES Act seeks to ensure justice for our relatives who are navigating multiple justice systems, promotes adequate response and will improve systemic coordination at several levels to allow for more effective access to data. Eliminating barriers to safety and coordinating existing efforts makes sense. Our tribal communities need this now.” — Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women (CSVANW)

“I applaud Rep. Deb Haaland for introducing the House companion bill of the BADGES Act, and I commend the efforts by our federal partners in improving data collection and information sharing with the Navajo Nation and our sister nations. I would like to emphasize that data compiled by any agency are actual stories of indigenous families—we must hold them sacred. When the Navajo Nation initiated the Missing & Murdered Diné Relatives (MMDR) project, we made it a point to work with Navajo families and to tell their stories through the creation of a data institute, advocacy campaign, and community action. We are also pleased to know that this Act will provide grant opportunities to assist the Navajo Nation in bulking up its response to addressing MMDR and we look forward to continue working with our federal partners.” – Council Delegate Amber Kanazbah Crotty, 24th Navajo Nation Council

“Seattle Indian Health Board has shed light on the gaps in and the challenges of collecting data that informs policies and resources addressing the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls crisis. The BADGES Act takes an important step in bridging law enforcement data gaps to address the issues that have caused our missing and murdered loved ones to go unnoticed for centuries. We stand with our tribal partners to increase interagency coordination, and will continue to support all efforts to ensure the safety of our relatives regardless of where they reside.” — Seattle Indian Health Board

“The United States, in partnership with Tribal Nations, must do more to address the shameful rates of missing and murdered Native people. This includes ensuring parity for Tribal law enforcement–both in access to crime information, as well as opportunities for recruitment and retention of personnel. USET SPF supports the BADGES for Native Communities Act as a strong step toward more fully delivering upon the trust responsibility and obligations, as well as better supporting the exercise of our inherent sovereign rights and authorities to protect our people and communities.” – President Kirk Francis, USET Sovereignty Protection Fund

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Chickasaw Nation Annual Meeting and Festival Set for Sept. 27 – Oct. 5

Native News Online - Mon, 2019-09-16 11:00

Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby delivers State of Nation Address last year.

Published September 16, 2019

ADA, Okla. — A time of reunion, fellowship and cultural pride; the Chickasaw Nation Annual Meeting and Festival gets underway Sept. 27 and continues through Oct. 5.

This year marks the 59th Annual Meeting of the Chickasaw Nation and 31st Annual Chickasaw Festival. Each year, friends and family from across the country attend the weeklong event, which is highlighted by Governor Bill Anoatubby’s State of the Nation Address Saturday, Oct. 5.

In 1960, more than 100 Chickasaws met at Seeley Chapel near Connerville, Oklahoma, to discuss the state of their nation and a vision for the future. Annually, the Chickasaw Nation pays tribute to this historic event by celebrating Chickasaw pride and progress during the Chickasaw Nation Annual Meeting and Festival.

The week features the coronation of tribal princesses, stickball, fun runs, archery, horse shoes, senior and junior Olympics, golf tournament, coed slow-pitch softball and artists of southeastern tribes displaying their wares at the Southeastern Art Show and Market (SEASAM).

Venues in the Tishomingo, Ada, and Sulphur areas will host activities throughout the week, beginning with a social game of stickball, stomp dance and a traditional cornstalk shoot at Kullihoma, located 7 miles east of Ada on S.H. 1.

Several activities are planned in Tishomingo, including a one-mile fun walk and 5K run, co-ed softball tournament, a golf tournament, museum tours, Junior Olympics and a stickball tournament.

Three young ladies will be crowned Chickasaw Princess, Little Miss Chickasaw and Chickasaw Junior Princess during the Chickasaw Princess Pageant at the Ada High School Cougar Activity Center. New princesses will serve the remainder of 2019 and into autumn 2020 as ambassadors of the Chickasaw Nation at events around the state and across the nation.

The Chickasaw Nation Annual Meeting and Festival takes place Sept. 27-Oct. 5 in Tishomingo, Ada and Sulphur. Activities are planned for attendees of all ages.

Chickasaw Cultural Evening will include artists, Chickasaw Press authors, a traditional meal of pashofa, grape dumplings, pork and fry bread at the Chickasaw Cultural Center.

Chickasaw Nation Arts and Culture Awards, conducted on the cultural center campus will honor the Silver Feather Award recipient and name the Dynamic Chickasaw Woman of the Year.

The hub of activity is the Chickasaw National Capitol, located in Tishomingo, where attendees learn to play stickball, try their hand at archery, tour historic Chickasaw Nation buildings, stomp dance and learn techniques in ancient arts and crafts during the week.

The Southeastern Art Show and Market (SEASAM) takes place at the historic capitol grounds in Tishomingo. The show is open to all artists of Southeast and Woodlands tribes.

Other events include a parade, arts and crafts vendors, cultural demonstrators, food booths, a health fair, horseshoe tournament, children’s activities, entertainment, a parent/child fishing tournament, storytelling, and stomp dance and stickball demonstrations.

A complete listing of events, locations and schedules is available online at Event schedule is subject to change. Please visit often for the latest event updates.

Follow Chickasaw Nation social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates.

For more information call (580) 371-2040 or 1 (800) 593-3356.



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The New Mexico Indian Affairs Department Awards over $540,000 to Special Projects and Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Programs in New Mexico Tribal Communities

Native News Online - Mon, 2019-09-16 11:00

Published September 16, 2019

SANTA FE, N.M. – The New Mexico Indian Affairs Department (IAD) on Friday announces $297,324.00 in Special Projects funding and $249,300.00 in Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program (TCPP) funding that was awarded across several tribal communities or tribal serving organizations by the Special Project Grant Program.

During the 2019 New Mexico Legislative Session, IAD received a General Fund Appropriation to support special projects in Fiscal Year 2020 that benefit NM tribal communities. From this appropriation the department made funds available for projects that identify and address a need of tribal communities across New Mexico.

The Indian Affairs Department receives an appropriation from the Tobacco Settlement Revenue Oversight Committee for Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Programs. The committee continues to fund the department to direct tobacco cessation and prevention campaigns in tribal communities.

“IAD’s Administrative Services Division works closely with New Mexico tribal governments and tribal serving entities to ensure New Mexico’s tribal communities continue to receive the funding they need in order to provide services and programs to their community members,” said Secretary Lynn Trujillo. “We are proud to be able to fund such important projects through these funds.”

One of the projects funded is with the Keres Children’s Learning Center. “The goal of our program is to work with community elders and parents to support younger generations as they develop in the Keres language,” said Keres Children’s Learning Center Executive Director, Trisha Moquino. “The best way to do native language revitalization is through intergenerational language immersion.  This strengthens the language at all age levels and prepares our young people for lifelong bilingualism.

Below are the awarded Special Projects and a description:

New Mexico Kids Matter, Tribal Serving Organization, $33,379

Native American Children in Foster Care Project

Pueblo of Zuni, Tribal Government, $35,000

Zuni Veterans Project

Explora Science Center and Children’s Museum, Tribal Serving Organization, $49,404

Native MESA: To increase Native students’ motivation and persistence in STEM

Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Tribal Serving Organization, $49,500

Professional Development for Tribal Librarians: Archival Training on Print & Digital

Keres Consulting, Inc., Tribal Serving Organization, $32,206

Youth Diabetes Prevention Program

Keres Children’s Learning Center, Tribal Serving Organization, $49,971

Building Community through an Intergenerational Model of Keres Language Fluency

Pueblo of Pojoaque, Tribal Government, $47,864

Pojoaque Youth Employment and Resilience Project

Below are the awarded Tobacco Cessation Prevention Programs and a description:

Pueblo of Acoma, Tribal Government, $15,094

Smoking Cessation & Prevention

Albuerque Area Indian Health Board, Inc., Tribal Serving Organization, $23,200

Commercial Tobacco Cessation & Prevention

Capacity Builders, Inc., Tribal Serving Organization, $27,795

Tobacco Free

Pueblo of Pojoaque, Tribal Government, $14,338

Be Tough – Don’t Puff Part II

Keres Consulting, Inc., Tribal Serving Organization, $28,979

Commercial Tobacco Outreach Program

Albuerque Indian Center, Inc., Tribal Serving Organization, $31,528

Tobacco Cessation

Mescalero Apache Tribe, Tribal Government, $40,471

Tobacco Cessation & Prevention

Native American Community Academy, Tribal Serving Organization, $25,249

Tobacco Cessation & Intervention Program Expansion

Oso Vista Ranch Project, Tribal Serving Organization, $42,646

NM Native American Community Outreach Education

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Cherokee Heritage Center Invites Students to Experience Cherokee Culture Firsthand

Native News Online - Mon, 2019-09-16 11:00

Published September 16, 2019

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Area students are invited to experience Cherokee culture firsthand through interactive opportunities offered at the Cherokee Heritage Center.

Ancient Cherokee Days is held Oct. 3-4, and Cherokee Heritage Days runs Nov. 7-8. Both events feature similar curriculum for school-age children.

“Education has always been a priority for the Cherokee people, and events like these allow us to expand the boundaries of the classroom,” said Dr. Charles Gourd, executive director of Cherokee Heritage Center. “It is vitally important that we support our educators and take an active role in teaching an authentic and accurate account of our history from our perspective. These students will enjoy an immersive experience that will not only teach, but celebrate, the history, culture and art of the Cherokee people. We hope that through events like this we continue to challenge the notion that our culture exists only in history books and get more people to understand and appreciate what makes Cherokee culture so special.”

Admission for each event is $7 per student and accompanying adults are only $2. Teachers and bus drivers are free. Admission includes entrance to the Cherokee National Museum, the Trail of Tears exhibit, Adams Corner Rural Village and Diligwa, an authentic re-creation of Cherokee life in the early 1700s.

The outdoor cultural classes feature interactive curriculum and games based on Cherokee lifestyle in the early 18th century, including craft demonstrations in pottery making, basket weaving, food grinding, weapons or tool making, and language.

Additional stations feature Cherokee games such as chunkey, marbles, stickball, blowguns, language activities and more. Face painting is offered at $1 per design and represents Cherokee tattoos from the early 1700s.

Groups are encouraged to make their visit a daylong event. Picnic tables are available for guests bringing lunches, and there is ample parking for school buses and private vehicles.

Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. and the event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For more information or to register for the events, please contact Tonia Weavel at 918-456-6007 or

The Cherokee Heritage Center is the premier cultural center for Cherokee tribal history, culture and the arts. It is located at 21192 S. Keeler Drive, Park Hill, Oklahoma.

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What You Didn’t Know About Running a Successful Charity Raffle

Native News Online - Mon, 2019-09-16 11:00

Published September 16, 2019

You want to raise money for a good cause. Excited, you ask friends and family to support you. But all you get are empty promises or little to no support. Organizing a charity raffle goes a long way to raise funds for a cause or charity without looking like you’re begging or desperate.

And the best part is, you’re not alone. Thousands of charities around the world run raffles to raise more money for their own personal causes each year. So it’s a practical, well-proven, and time-tested method to help achieve income goals. However, you need to jump through some hoops before you get started.

It’s easy to run a charity raffle but …

You need a license to start with. Obtaining one is easy. In some instances, it’s not even required. For example, if you run a charity lottery as part of an event, no need for a license. But you need one if you’re running a standalone raffle.

Next, you need to know where to source your raffle prizes. Running a raffle is about a charity making 100% profits and keeping them all. But even so, supporters need to win prizes to keep motivated in supporting your charity or cause for weeks on end.

If you can have prizes donated to your cause by corporates, supporters and partners, the better as you’ll save sums of money. (Note: the prizes you choose depend on the people buying raffle tickets).

Get prizes that flatter supporters, the kind that attracts them to the raffle. You can have cash prizes as well as mind-blowing but ingenious prizes to encourage your supporter base to try the raffle.

A charity lottery is only profitable with a proper plan in place

Mapping out your goals will help save time and money. You can hire professional charity raffle providers to handle everything for you including fueling engagement. All these require planning ahead of time. For the record, well-planned charity lotteries increase success of other future campaigns.

A clear plan also helps identify who your target support base is, and what you want to achieve for your charity after the raffle is done with. After crafting a great plan for your charity raffle, promote it. Go out of your way and hire a marketing team if possible. It will help get word out fast.

You can run marketing campaigns both online or offline. This marketing strategy is worth its weight in gold as it can help inject emotion and persuade supporters to turn out in large numbers. If you focus on this pointer you’ll be home and dry. Even woo more supporters to the lottery.

A quick reminder: Your local authority needs to know how much profit you earn from the raffle. And whether 20% of the income was directed to funding the intended cause. This legal requirement is important after 3 months for all standalone raffles you run.

The post What You Didn’t Know About Running a Successful Charity Raffle appeared first on Native News Online.

Machine Man: Pond Inlet’s Luke Peterloosie creates originals north of the Arctic Circle

APTN News (Canada) - Sun, 2019-09-15 20:39

Kent Driscoll
You hear it before you see it. A noise like an angry lawnmower echoes through the north Baffin community of Pond Inlet.

However, north of the Arctic Circle in this Inuit town of 1,700, there aren’t any lawns.

There is a motor bicycle.

With a large front wheel and a smaller back wheel, stretched out frame, and small engine, you won’t ever see a motorized bicycle like this one anywhere else.

That is exactly what the creator of the motor bicycle – Pond Inlet’s Luke Peterloosie – was hoping for.

“I was thinking to make a bicycle,” said Peterloosie. “I wanted to make it differently, because the bikes are all the same, I wanted to make a different one.

“So, I took a bike, I cut it up, welded it, put it all together, got the parts in and started bicycling.”

(This is it, Luke Peterloosie’s motor bicycle. Everyone in Pond Inlet had nearly identical bikes, so he decided to make something himself. You can pedal it, or run the engine. If pushed, it will go near 35 kmph. Photo: Kent Driscoll/APTN)

One look through Peterloosie’s stuffed shed and workshop and you know this is a serious builder.

He is a figure recognizable to anyone who lives in a fly-in community.

When parts are hard to find and expensive to ship, there is usually a guy with a welder and skill who can make you something that works.

Peterloosie has the welder, and two ATVs are in various states of repair and disrepair, filling most of the shed.

Outside, a stack of snowmobile corpses, sectioned bicycles, and a washing machine.

Next to that, a machine that would be the envy of many Nunavummiut, the Super Bravo.

The Yamaha Bravo snowmobile is legendary in the North.

Produced for 30 years – from 1982 to 2011 – it is valued in Nunavut because it works.

The engine is simple enough that even a basic knowledge of small engine repair can fix a problem.

Luke gives us a tour of his Bravo snowmobile 

You can’t over state how important that is, when being stranded on the land in the winter could be fatal.

In the community of Arviat, they still have Bravo races annually, despite the last Bravo coming off the assembly line eight years ago.

Peterloosie had a Bravo body kicking around, after the engine had thoroughly died.

He also had an idea.

“The Bravo we had, the engine broke down. So I took the motor out and put in a bigger engine, a 340 Yamaha,” says Peterloosie.

“I put it in there, I had to put mounts to it, to straighten the belt, and then I start it up.”

When asked to start up the Bravo, Peterloosie declined, saying that it was pretty loud.

The next day at the airport, one of his neighbours confirmed that fact, thankful that no demonstration was given.

Inuit have been expert engineers since time immemorial.

The iglu is a geometric master piece. The ulu –the curved blade favoured by Inuit women – is efficient and uses physics to maximize physical effort and it would be hard to improve on the sleek watertight design of a qajaq.

Peterloosie sees his mechanical creativity as an extension of that legacy.

“I have built qajaqs twice, on my own (and) with my father. I saw his work making qajaq, I just looked at it and I made my own,” he says.

Peterloosie’s father – the late Jayko Peterloosie – was a beloved elder in Pond Inlet, and a renowned artist and performer.

John Raulston-Saul once told an Iqaluit crowd that he keeps a Jayko Peterloosie carving on his desk and looks at it every morning.

(Luke Peterloosie learned how to make things alongside his father Jayko Peterloosie. This qayaq frame was made by his father, but Luke’s plans are more ambitious, and louder. Photo: Kent Driscoll/APTN)

One of the elder Peterloosie’s qajaq frames stands out amongst the other items in the younger Peterloosie’s machine yard.

A full one, with complete seal skin cover and tools, hangs on the wall in the dining room of Pond Inlet’s only hotel.

“It makes me proud,” says Peterloosie with a grin. “I learned it from my father, he passed it on, I passed it on to my kids.”

He even tried to make a helicopter once. It didn’t get off the ground. It was basically a lawn chair with a rotor and blades, but he didn’t finish the project.

Family members were relieved.

As for his next project, Peterloosie has his eyes on a four wheeled creation.

He has an oversize engine that he thinks would be perfect for a go-kart.

However it turns out, it is bound to be another eye-catching original.



The post Machine Man: Pond Inlet’s Luke Peterloosie creates originals north of the Arctic Circle appeared first on APTN News.

Former Muscogee (Creek) Nation Chief Pleads Guilty to Bribery Charge

Native News Online - Sun, 2019-09-15 20:10

Former Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief George P. Tiger

Published September 15, 2019

TULSA, Okla. — George P. Tiger, the former principal chief of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, pleaded guilty Friday to one count of bribery of accepting $61,900 while serving as chairman of the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town Economic Development Authority Board.

Tiger faces up to 37 months in federal prison.

In court on Friday, Tiger admitted accepting more than one bribe from Aaron Dewayne Terry Terry, who held various management and control positions in companies owned by the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town, a 350 member tribe, located in Wetumka, Oklahoma.

“Mr. Tiger took advantage of the position of trust he had been given by the people of the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town,” U.S. Attorney Brian J. Kuester commented. “Instead of acting in the best interests of those he was appointed to serve Tiger sought out and received unlawful profit for himself.”

Tiger won election to the principal chief position of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation in 2011, but was defeated by James Floyd, who is not seeking another term this year. Tiger is currently running for the position. While Muscogee (Creek) Nation prohibits felons from serving in elected offices, Tiger name will still remain on the ballot for the nation’s primary election set for September 21.



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Navajo Nation Vice President Lizer Advocates for Navajo Children & Families at the 2019 First Things First Tribal Consultation

Native News Online - Sun, 2019-09-15 11:02

Navajo Nation Vice President Myron Lizer and First Things First Navajo Nation Region representatives during the 2019 First Things First Tribal Consultation in Phoenix, Ariz. on Sept. 12, 2019.

Published September 15, 2019

PHOENIX  — On Thursday, Navajo Nation Vice President Myron Lizer was joined by the First Things First Navajo Nation Regional Director Memarie Tsosie and First Things First Navajo Nation Region Partnership Council member Yvonne Kee-Billison, during the 2019 First Things First Tribal Consultation in Phoenix, Ariz. to advocate for healthy development and learning for young children and the strengthening of families on the Navajo Nation.

Since 2006, the First Things First Navajo Nation Region has been designated to serve as one of the critical partners in creating a family-centered, comprehensive, collaborative, and high-quality early childhood system that supports the development, health, and early education of Navajo children from birth to age of five. Approximately 10,900 children within the First Things First Navajo Nation Region are under the age of six.

“Healthy development in the early childhood years provides the building blocks for educational achievement, responsible and disciplined citizenship, lifelong wellbeing, strong kinship and self-identity, and successful parenting of the next generation. As leaders we need to ensure our young children and families have the resources and services to achieve a strong foundation of development, learning, family and cultural values, and love,” said Vice President Lizer.

The tribal consultation allows First Things First to improve the government-to-government relationship with Arizona’s 22 federally recognized tribes, and enables the tribes to advocate for early childhood development and health services and policies.

During the consultation, Vice President Lizer spoke of the need for more culturally appropriate education and professional development for early childhood professionals on the Navajo Nation. Currently, the First Things First Navajo Nation Region provides professional development in partnership with Northland Pioneer College and the Navajo Nation Child Care and Development Fund program, however, more educational programs are needed, especially in rural communities, he added.

According to the Regional Director Memarie Tsosie, accessibility to education and professional development for early childhood professionals is challenging due to the lack of adequate telecommunications and transportation. Moreover, only one of the Nation’s tribal universities, Navajo Technical University, offers a bachelor of arts in early childhood education program.

Recommendations to the First Things First board members included the creation of early childhood education programs and institutions in rural tribal communities and to hold an inter-tribal early childhood summit to begin addressing issues and concerns discussed at the session.

The Office of the President and Vice President recognizes early childhood development is key to ensuring the social and emotional health of Navajo children and families. First Lady Phefelia Nez was also recently recommended to serve on the First Things First Navajo Nation Region Partnership Council.

Other tribes present at the session included the Hualapai Tribe, White Mountain Apache Tribe, Pascua Yaqui Tribe, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, Havasupai Tribe, Ak-Chin Indian Community, Hopi Tribe, and Gila River Indian Community.

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Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) Scholarship Dinner and Auction Raised $354,458 for Student Success

Native News Online - Sun, 2019-09-15 11:00

AIA Director of Institutional Advancement Danyelle Means, along with some of the volunteers from the event. Photo by Eric Davis.

Published September 15, 2019

SANTA FE, N.M. — IAIA Director of Institutional Advancement Danyelle Means (Oglala Lakota), has announced that the IAIA Annual Scholarship Dinner and Auction, held on August 14, 2019, raised at least $354,458 for critically needed scholarship funds that assist IAIA students in reaching their academic and artistic goals. These funds will support 209 students, with the school awarding 520 scholarships this Fall.

The Office of Institutional Advancement (OIA) honored students, staff, and faculty volunteers with a Thank You party on September 4, 2017. Danyelle Means   thanked all for their assistance at the Dinner. Several students remarked on their experience and the rewards of giving back to the school that has done so much for them.

People who contributed works and/or experiences to the auctions at the Dinner included Representative Deb Haaland (Laguna Pueblo), Amangiri Resort,    Tommy Orange (Cheyenne/Arapaho) ’16,  Keri Ataumbi (Kiowa) ’96 & Atumn Borts-Medlock (Santa Clara Pueblo), Gregory Lomayesva (Hispanic/Hopi), George Alexander (Muscogee[Creek}) ’16, Patricia Michaels (Taos Pueblo) ’89, Cara Romero  (Chemehuevi) ’05, Diego Romero (Cochiti Pueblo) ’86, Rose B Simpson (Santa Clara Pueblo) ’07 and ’18, Jeff Kahm (Plains Cree) ’92, Jody Naranjo (Santa Clara Pueblo) ’90, Tania Larsson (Gwich’in) ’17, Kevin Red Star (Crow) ’65, Dale Chihuly, Glenda Loretto (Jemez Pueblo) ’93, and more.

Lead sponsors for the event included the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation and the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians. Additional sponsors included Stagecoach Foundation and Walt Disney Imagineering.

Director of Institutional Advancement Danyelle Means commented: “Every year the generosity of those who attend our Scholarship Dinner and Auction amazes me. From our volunteers, students, and alumni who donated their artworks — to the sponsors and attendees who came and generously gave, we are grateful. Thank you for another stellar year!”.

To arrange an interview with Danyelle Means, please contact Eric Davis at 505.424.2351, or

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