MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) _ Vermont has joined a handful of states in renaming Columbus Day to honor Native Americans.
Republican Gov. Phil Scott signed a bill into law last week recognizing the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples' Day.
Half a dozen states, including Vermont, and several cities, have made the change.
The governors of Maine and New Mexico signed similar measures last month.
Native American tribes and others say celebrating Italian explorer Christopher Columbus ignores the effect that the European arrival in the Americas had on the native peoples, who suffered violence, disease, enslavement, racism and exploitation at the hands of the settlers.
Vermont's law states that ``Vermont was founded and built upon lands whose original inhabitants were Abenaki people and honors them and their ancestors.''
The act takes effect July 1.
Meet the T. Rex Cousin Who You Could Literally Look Down On
BY SETH BORENSTEIN
AP Science Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Scientists have identified an early cousin of the Tyrannosaurus Rex, a pipsqueak that only reached the 3-foot height of a toddler.
The new dinosaur, found in New Mexico, is called Suskityrannus hazelae (SUE-ski-tie-ran-us HAY-zel-a), a name that uses a Native American word for coyote.
Sterling Nesbitt, a paleontologist at Virginia Tech, said this dinosaur lived about 92 million years ago _ millions of years before T. rex. It weighed up to 90 pounds, almost nothing compared to the nine-ton king of the dinosaurs.
Suskityrannus hazalae isn't the first or even smallest of the Tyrannosaurus family tree, but it provides the best example of how this family of modest-sized dinosaurs evolved into the towering horror of movies and nightmares.
The findings were announced Monday in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution.
American Idol Contestant Hopeful of Future Career
By TOMEKA SINCLAIR, The Robesonian
PEMBROKE, N.C. (AP) _ Despite not making it to the live stage on the televised hit singing show ``American Idol,'' Lumbee Tribe member Alexis Jones is positive about the experience and the chance to show off her culture on a national stage.
``You can be from the swamps of Robeson County,'' Jones said. ``You can go outside of the Robeson County borders and do great things and still come home and represent your people.''
It's been a whirlwind of activity for the 23-year-old University of North Carolina at Wilmington student since she received her golden ticket to compete in Hollywood for a chance to make it as the reality show's top singing talents in the country. This was Jones' third season competing on the show, but her first time going to Hollywood.
She won the right after going through a series of auditions that led her to sing in front of celebrity judges Katie Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie in Idaho. She received three yes votes after singing ``Spotlight'' and ``All I Ask'' by Adele. The yes votes earned Jones a golden ticket to compete in the show's grueling weeding out process known as ``Hollywood Week,'' which aired March 24 and March 25 on ABC.
Jones didn't make the cut but was confident in her ability as an artist and excited about the doors that are now open.
``People were crying,'' Jones said about contestants who like her didn't survive the grueling week. ``I was like, `It's OK you guys. This is not the end of the road for me. It's just the beginning.'
``I was not upset because I knew no one in that building has what I had,'' she said. ``I knew I was the best and there was nothing that could make me think otherwise.''
One of the things that set her apart in the competition is her culture, Jones said. She was Miss Lumbee in 2015 so she has a strong cultural connection to the Lumbee tribe.
During her Idaho audition in front the celebrities, Jones had the chance to talk about heritage when Perry asked about the wampum squash blossom necklace she was wearing. The necklace is a traditional American Indian design centered by an upside down crescent and accented by large flowering silver beads or squash blossoms.
Jones said she was surprised Perry knew about the native jewelry, and was happy for the platform to teach all three judges about the Lumbee people.
``It gave me the opportunity to talk about my Native American culture,'' Jones said. ``I talked about the fact that it was made of wampum and not turquoise, and I showed off the East Coast factor of my native people. I took those three celebrities to school that day.''
Despite not making it further on the show, Jones has strong backup plans for her future.
She currently is in her final semester at UNCW and is studying Environmental Science and minoring in Geospatial Science. She is the only female intern on a Metcon site at the school and owns a makeup business. She will graduate in May and is balancing her final exam load with her newfound fame.
``Everything is getting really crazy right now but everything is going to be OK,'' Jones said. ``I'm not going to lie and say I have everything together, but I'm taking it one day at a time.''
She held an autograph-signing event in Lumberton on Friday. Jones said she hopes her success will encourage people with similar aspirations to chase their dreams.
``Whatever demographic you come from or whatever racial background you have, you can always incorporate that into whatever you want to do,'' Jones said.
Information from: The Robesonian, http://www.robesonian.com
EPA Seeks Bids to Clean Up Uranium Mines in Southwest
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) _ The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is seeking proposals from small business to clean up abandoned uranium mines on the Navajo Nation and in northwestern New Mexico.
About 140 people attended a workshop held this week in Window Rock to learn more about the $220 million project.
The EPA expects to award multiple contracts to businesses with less than 750 employees.
The funding comes from a roughly $1 billion settlement with the successor of a company that mined the region. Companies extracted nearly 30 million tons of uranium for Cold War weaponry.
The EPA says it has funding to assess and clean up about 220 of the more than 520 abandoned mines.
Contract proposals are due May 28 for work on the reservation and around Grants, New Mexico.
Art Institute Delays Native American Exhibit Amid Concerns
CHICAGO (AP) _ The Art Institute of Chicago has indefinitely postponed a major pottery exhibit just weeks before it was due to open, citing concerns that the culture and voices of indigenous peoples aren't adequately represented.
Native American scholars against the scheduled opening said that much of the Mimbres pottery pledged to the Art Institute by one Chicago collector had come from ancestral gravesites.
``It's not art,'' said Patty Loew, director of Northwestern University's Center for Native American and Indigenous Research. ``If someone dug up your great-grandmother's grave and pulled out a wedding ring or something that had been buried with her, would you feel comfortable having that item on display?''
``Worlds Within: Mimbres Pottery of the Ancient Southwest'' was scheduled to begin May 26. The exhibit displays roughly 70 pieces of pottery from the Mimbres people. The pottery was created around A.D. 1100 in present-day southwestern New Mexico.
James Rondeau, the Art Institute's president and director, said that as the show's opening neared, it became obvious that more work needed to be done to include native voices in the project.
``The principal thing that we have not accomplished is to have an aligned indigenous perspective, scholarly and curatorial, with the project,'' he said. ``And I think that ultimately for us has been the crucial realization that our ability to reflect back what we were learning needed to be done in multiple voices, not just our voice.''
Kati Murphy, the museum's executive director of public affairs, said the delay came after officials conducted a Native American scholar's day meeting in December. The scholars gave the museum feedback about the need to collaborate with ``Native American nations who hold connections to the Mimbres people, including Pueblo leadership,'' Murphy said. The present-day Pueblos are the people believed to include descendants of the Mimbres.
The meeting was the first official discussion that included the scholars and ``was part of (the) larger process that led to our decision,'' she said.
Heather Miller, Chicago's American Indian Center executive, said she advised the museum that this issue touches a nerve and that the museum's decision to delay the opening is wonderful.
``Members of the (scholar's day group) were very adamant that this was not a good idea for them to move forward with,'' said Miller, one of the scholars. ``Now I feel great that our concerns and our issues were actually addressed by this institution.''
The postponement of the exhibit comes after the museum revamped displays of African Art in February.
This story has been corrected to show that a Chicago collector was not personally involved in the removal of artifacts from ancestral gravesites.
New Exhibit Features Recently Donated Inuit Art Collection
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) _ A new exhibition at the University of Michigan Museum of Art features a recently donated collection of Inuit art.
The museum in Ann Arbor is presenting ``Tillirnanngittuq'' (pronounced tid-ee-nang-ee-took), which showcases 58 works from the collection of Philip and Kathy Power that includes more than 200 stone sculptures and prints. The Powers gave the collection and $2 million to the museum last year.
The museum says the title of the exhibition translates from Inuktitut to ``unexpected.'' Most of the works on view are from the 1950s and 60s.
The term Inuit is used to characterize northern North America's native peoples.
UMMA Director Christina Olsen says in a statement that the exhibition marks ``an exciting new direction'' for the museum, which plans more Inuit art exhibitions, programs and research efforts.
Montana Tribes Renew Effort to Manage National Bison Range
KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) _ The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes have relaunched an effort to acquire a federal trust ownership agreement to manage National Bison Range in Montana.
The Flathead Beacon reports tribal leaders announced last week that they had notified the U.S. Department of the Interior and the state's congressional delegation of the plans to revisit a proposal to restore ownership of the 29-square-mile (76-square-kilometer) refuge.
The refuge operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is located completely within the Flathead Indian Reservation.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester says he is reviewing the proposal.
He says for the effort to be successful, it needs to guarantee public access and include local input as well as be supported by the entire congressional delegation.
Information from: Flathead Beacon, http://www.flatheadbeacon.com
State Bill Would Make November Alaska Native Heritage Month
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) _ November would be permanently declared Alaska Native Heritage Month under legislation previously in the state Senate.
The bill's sponsor, Anchorage Democratic Sen. Elvi Gray-Jackson, says introducing such bills is a way to show communities that lawmakers care. Gray-Jackson has also proposed permanently making February Black History Month in Alaska.
The Juneau Empire reports that former Gov. Bill Walker issued proclamations declaring November as Alaska Native Heritage Month, but those declarations weren't permanent.
Richard Peterson, president of the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, says Walker's actions were appreciated. But Peterson says a permanent, more formal recognition would be meaningful.
Gray-Jackson says it's a priority for her to get monthly recognitions such as this secured in state law.
Information from: Juneau (Alaska) Empire, http://www.juneauempire.com
Art Competition Brings in Diverse Collection of Artists
By KENTON BROOKS
MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) _ Lucille Brisson-Dickinson studies her work with a critical eye.
The 70-year-old Wagoner resident dabs a paintbrush into color and then applies it to the canvas. A fence takes shape to go along with hills, mountains and trees already on the painting. ``This fence didn't look good sitting by itself,'' she said. ``I wanted to extend it.''
Brisson-Dickinson was demonstrating her talent at the annual Veterans Affairs Art Competition, held at the Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center. She also entered the competition.
``I'm having a lot of fun,'' the 28-year veteran of the US Army Nursing Corps said to the Muskogee Phoenix. ``If I wasn't painting, I'd be working on crochet or knitting.''
The art competition began in 2008 and has been under the direction of Deborah Moreno, the medical center's recreation therapist and creative art coordinator, since then. Entrants can submit their work in categories that include art, creative writing, dance, drama and music.
Their work is based on the criteria of creativity/originality, skill and total presentation. Anonymous judges do the judging, and the entrant who receives the most points qualifies for the national competition in Battle Creek, Michigan, in October.
``I'm very passionate about this,'' Moreno said. ``This offers veterans ways of dealing with issues such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and pain. We offer the materials to get them started and see if there might be an interest.''
The art work isn't limited to painting. Crochet work was recently on display at the entry of the VA Center, but one veteran _ Jack Stafford _ proudly displayed his work in making red cedar boxes. The eight-year veteran of the Air Force and member of the Creek Nation Honor Guard made a box that held material and feathers used for a gourd dance.
``I use Eastern Red Cedar (from Tennessee) because moths and mites don't like it. It's a natural insecticide,'' the Muskogee resident said. ``There are no nails and screws used except for the hinges or the clasps.
He also takes special care with each box he makes and uses velvet for the bottom of the box. He oils the outside but not the inside.
``It's really kind of an honor to make them as they're used by Native Americans. I just love making them,'' Stafford said.
Information from: Muskogee Phoenix, http://www.muskogeephoenix.com
Alaska Native Weaving Project Honors Survivors of Violence
By BEN HOHENSTATT
Capital City Weekly
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) _ Lily Hope and her family are continuing her mother's work for an important cause.
The daughter of late acclaimed Chilkat and Ravenstail weaver Clarissa Rizal, Hope is an award-winning Tlingit weaver and weaving teacher who is now leading a new project called the Giving Strength Robe.
Dozens of Chilkat and Ravenstail weavers from all over North America will be weaving 5-inch-by-5-inch squares to create one traditional indigenous robe, a blanket-like garment worn over the shoulders. Once completed, the robe will be given to Aiding Women in Abuse and Rape Emergencies (AWARE), Juneau's gender-inclusive shelter for survivors of gender-based violence.
``I think (my mother) would say, `Doesn't this speak to the generosity of spirit of the weaving community and the community as a whole?''' Hope said in a phone interview. ``We're all giving our time to make collaborative art with a purpose.''
The project is the first effort by Spirit Uprising, a new nonprofit pursuing 501(c)(3) status that Hope and her family started to perpetuate the ancient art of weaving.
Chilkat and Ravenstail weaving are complex art forms traditionally practiced by Northwest Coast Alaska Native peoples, and make use of hand-twined textiles.
Hope said she got the idea for this robe after she saw a Facebook post in a Ravenstail and Chilkat Weaving Facebook group about work dedicated to survivors of domestic violence. The purpose of the robe is to draw attention to the issue of domestic violence in Alaska, and hopefully inspire positive feelings in survivors.
``We're all touched by it,'' Hope said. ``It's in our villages and communities.''
She added, ``We want to be bringing healing to those who may put this (robe) on their shoulders.''
Hope enlisted the help of her sister Ursala Hudson and aunt Deanna Lampe to get the project going, and put the call out to artists. The response was great, she said. More than 60 weavers from all over Alaska (including artists in Juneau, Anchorage, Ketchikan, Wrangell, Klawock, Sitka, Yakutat, Kake) committed to participating. Responses came in from other states, provinces and territories, too. Oregon, Washington, California, Colorado, New Mexico, British Columbia and Yukon will also be weaving squares.
Hope and her family sent out kits to the weavers that included materials, warp and west spun from merino wool. The effort was funded through contributions from weavers.
``Everybody donated or bought a kit for $50,'' Lampe said. ``We're hoping to crowdfund some kind of a booklet that could be published with every weaver's photograph and a short biography.''
So far about 16 squares have arrived in Juneau and several more are on their way to the capital city. All the squares will be in a teal, purple and white color palette.
``It's been cool to see them come in,'' Hope said.
Although this is the first project for their budding nonprofit Spirit Uprising, it's not the first time Hope and her family have done a collaborative weaving project. Hope's mother Rizal previously headed Weavers Across the Waters Community Robe project.
About 40 weavers contributed to that project, which was first used in a ceremony in August 2016 before Rizal's passing in December of that year. Hope led the completion of a bottom row and border for that robe, and it was finished in 2017.
Hope, Hudson and Lampe were all involved in that project that was
``I called my sister and said, `Isn't it about time we did another collaborative robe?'' Hope said, adding, ``We were all like, `I guess we're going to do this again.'''
She said her mother likely would have thought they were crazy for attempting such a stressful, involved undertaking again.
``I think that she would say, `Didn't you learn how much work that was last time? Ha ha ha,'' Hope said enunciating each laugh.
Weavers helping with the Giving Strength Robe were instructed by Hope to approach their work with thoughts of resilience, healing and compassion for survivors of domestic violence, rather than righteous anger directed at perpetrators of violence.
``It's important to come to weaving with grace, strength and positive thoughts,'' Hope said. ``When we are in a state of rage or coming at it with more anger than peace, we don't weave.''
Saralyn Tabachnick, Executive Director for AWARE, said she is moved by the project and its intentions.
``AWARE is deeply touched about this project, and honored to be the recipient of such generous, thoughtful and caring weavers,'' Tabachnick said. ``We are super grateful and fortunate to have Lily Hope in our community, building community and providing leadership. The depth and breadth of this project and the process is inspiring.''
Lampe said she didn't hesitate when her niece asked if she wanted to participate.
``It's for a good cause,'' Lampe said. ``We all know the stats of domestic violence. Plus, we all know somebody who knows somebody.''
An average of 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the U.S., according to statistics compiled by the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Nearly 30 percent of women and 10 percent of men have experienced one of those forms of domestic violence.
The robe is also meant to be a companion piece of sorts for Tlingit master carver Wayne Price's healing totem pole for AWARE, which is similarly intended to bring awareness to gender-based violence and healing to its survivors.
The pole is expected to be raised this spring, but the robe will be coming later this year.
``We wanted to have it done at the same time, but it's just not realistic,'' Hope said.
When the Giving Strength Robe is completed, Hope said there will be a reception and first dance for the garment, ``so it can come alive and have the spirit of dance put into it.''
Jicarilla Apache Nation President Resigns
FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) _ The president of the Jicarilla Apache Nation has resigned.
The Farmington Daily Times report s the northwestern New Mexico tribe announced Levi Pesata resigned from office on Friday, citing personal reasons.
The tribe says Vice President Edward Velarde will serve as interim president until a new president takes office.
During a special meeting in Dulce on Friday, the Jicarilla Apache Nation Legislative Council passed a resolution to hold a special election within 60 days to fill the vacancy.
Council members also thanked Pesata for serving five terms in office and for his contributions to the tribe.
Information from: The Daily Times, http://www.daily-times.com
Taxidermists Busy Repairing Trophies Damaged by Alaska Quake
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) _ Some Alaska taxidermists have been busy repairing animal mounts that were damaged in the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that struck the state's south-central region.
Anchorage television station KTUU reports taxidermists also have repaired Alaska Native art and other artifacts that were damaged in the Nov. 30 quake.
Russell Knight, who owns Knight's Taxidermy in Anchorage, is among those being called to repair animal trophies.
He says his shop has taken in about 75 mounts. That includes 30 mounts that were brought in immediately after the quake.
Knight says damaged trophies included broken sheep necks and deer with horns knocked off.
He says the shop was able to repair all but two of the damaged mounts.
Information from: KTUU-TV, http://www.ktuu.com
Oregon Governor: Feds Must Do More to Manage Fire-Prone Land
By ANDREW SELSKY
SALEM, Ore. (AP) _ The federal government needs to send more resources to do more forest thinning on public lands in Oregon, Gov. Kate Brown said Thursday as she searches for ways to stem wildfires that are getting bigger and more dangerous.
One possible option Brown said she would consider is allowing some fires to burn, but keeping them away from populated areas, as well as prescribed burns and increased thinning.
``Fire is an instrumental part of maintaining a landscape, a healthy landscape,'' Brown told reporters in a conference call. But she is being cautious about the approach, citing a megafire in 2017 that wasn't immediately snuffed out and that threatened the town of Brookings on the southern Oregon coast.
``I still feel the pain of the Chetco Bar fire,'' she said, referring to the blaze that scorched 190,000 acres over several months.
Wildfire experts like John Bailey, an Oregon State University professor of silviculture and fire management, say fires make forests more fire-resilient and healthy. They advocate using prescribed burns more aggressively.
As part of her efforts, Brown announced Wednesday an executive order establishing the Oregon Wildfire Response Council, tasked with evaluating the current response system to large fires.
``We have to re-examine how we fight fire,'' Brown said Thursday, noting the current model has been used for a century. She said federal public lands have been mismanaged for many years.
Since the 1970s, there has been little timber harvesting on federal lands, with a resulting increase of 57 percent more standing timber in the United States than existed in 1953, according to a study by Donald Healy, a forestry expert from Lynnwood, Washington, who formerly worked for wood products company Boise Cascade. He said the situation has ``set the stage for disastrous forest fires.''
The council Brown established is to make recommendations in September on the future of Oregon's wildfire response infrastructure. She said Democrats and Republicans will be members as well as Native Americans, and that it will ramp up quickly.
If its recommendations require changes in state law, legislation could be prepared for the Legislature in time for its 2020 session, Brown said. Some recommendations could be handled by executive order, though determining funding could take a year or two.
Council chairman Matt Donegan should also make sure federal partners are fully engaged, Brown said.
The U.S. Forest Service doesn't currently dedicate enough resources to properly thin national forests, Brown complained in the conference call. U.S. Forest Service land comprises about 14 million acres in Oregon, or roughly one-quarter of the state.
Brown and the governors of California and Washington state wrote President Donald Trump on Jan. 8 about the issue.
``The federal government is a major landowner and a critical partner in preventing, fighting, and recovering from wildfires,'' Brown, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee told Trump.
They asked the president to double the investment for managing federal forests in the three states, noting that the federal forest management budgets have remained flat in recent years.
Senate Republican Leader Herman Baertschiger Jr., of Grants Pass, said he's encouraged by the governor's actions.
``This is a great first step, but we need to take a serious look at how we manage our forests, including creating a long term 100-year plan to prevent these massive fires from occurring in the first place,'' Baertschiger said.
Follow Andrew Selsky on Twitter at https://twitter.com/andrewselsky
Tribal Land Known for Waterfalls Won't Allow Tour Guides
By FELICIA FONSECA
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) _ The thousands of tourists who travel to a remote Native American reservation deep in the Grand Canyon each year to camp near a series of picturesque, blue-green waterfalls will have to do so without the benefit of professional guides.
The Havasupai Tribe has decided not to allow outfitters to escort visitors this year down the long, winding path that leads to its small, roadless reservation and on to its main tourist draw: towering waterfalls that cascade into swimming holes that are warm year-round.
Tourists can visit the waterfalls, either by reserving a room at the tribe's only lodge or by snapping up a coveted permit for one of its hundreds of camping spots scattered amid a creek. But starting in February, they'll have to find their own way to the reservation's waterfalls and caves, and carry their own food and gear.
Abbie Fink, a spokeswoman for the Havasupai Tribe, said the Tribal Council's decision isn't a reflection on the outfitters. Rather, she said the tribe wanted to manage all tourist traffic itself.
``It's not solving a problem. It's returning the enterprise to the control of the tribe,'' she told The Associated Press.
For years, the tribe has set aside spots for tour companies, which often bought permits in bulk. The outfitters paid a licensing fee of several thousand dollars, and some had elaborate setups with gourmet meals, inflatable couches and massage therapists. Most brought just the essentials.
Fink couldn't say exactly how much tour guides paid or how many licenses have been issued in the past. She said the Tribal Council would re-evaluate outfitter licenses for 2020.
The tribe relies heavily on tourism and estimates that between February and November, it gets 30,000 to 40,000 visitors per year to its reservation deep in a gorge west of Grand Canyon National Park that's accessible only by foot or helicopter, or by riding a horse or mule. The tribe does maintenance in the campground and on the trails in December and January.
The tribe doesn't allow day hikes, so visitors wanting to take in its waterfalls and other sights must reserve overnight trips in the campground or at the sole lodge.
Rooms in the lodge, which can be booked only by phone, are sold out for the rest of this year. Reservations for 2020 start June 1.
Permits for 2019 camping spots become available online Feb. 1 and are expected to sell out in minutes. People on social media have been strategizing for months about how to boost their chances, including by setting up an account early, recruiting friends and family to try to book a trip and repeatedly refreshing multiple internet browsers.
The permits are $100 per person per night Monday through Thursday, and $125 a night Friday through Sunday, slight increases over last year. The tribe grants about 300 camping permits a day, Fink has said.
Adam Henry, co-owner of Discovery Treks, books between 100 and 200 people on the Havasupai trip each year but has had to stick to offering trips in other spots of the Grand Canyon. He says that's not always welcome news for tourists intent on venturing to the waterfalls.
The hike takes tourists 8 miles (13 kilometers) down a winding trail through desert landscape before they reach the first waterfall. Then comes the village of Supai, where 600 tribal members live year-round. Another 2 miles (3 kilometers) down the trail is the campground with waterfalls on both ends.
``The blue-green water is what people want to see,'' Henry said. ``It's certainly a significant bummer for people who aren't going to be able to get out there on their own.''
Christine Miller, who works with the tour guide company Wildland Trekking, said tourists can find packing lists online and videos on Havasupai to help plan their trip. The advantage to having a tour guide is knowing how to reach the sights off the main trail, including other waterfalls, caves and swimming pools.
``There are not really any good maps out there to tell you when to cross, when not to cross'' the creek, she said.
The tribe temporarily suspended licenses for outfitters in 2016 in part to review the impact that supplies loaded onto pack animals had on the animals and the trail. Fink did not respond to questions about what came out of that review.
Pennington County Gets $300,000 Grant for Justice Overhaul Work
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) _ Pennington County has been given a $300,000 grant for a leadership circle to advise the county on criminal justice overhaul efforts.
The Rapid City Journal reports that Lis Hassett, coordinator for the county's overhaul efforts, says the funding will be used to compensate a very ``diverse, well-rounded, supported group of individuals.'' The grant is from the MacArthur Foundation.
The goal is to tackle the issues of overburdened leaders and the lack of Native Americans and other minorities in decision-making roles. The new funding comes after the county received $1.75 million in 2017 to start programs to cut the jail population.
Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com
Davenport Museum Adds 'Really Cool' Works to Collection
By ALMA GAUL
DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) _ Looking at the photo, one can hardly believe it's real. An abandoned farmhouse rises from the middle of a rutted expanse of land in which absolutely nothing is growing.
There's only the house and the land, both barren.
Titled ``Abandoned Farm, Tractored Out,'' the photo of a Texas farm in 1938 is one of hundreds taken by Dorthea Lange (1895-1965) when she worked for the Farm Security Administration. She captured landscapes and faces directly affected by the Dust Bowl and the economic Depression.
This photo is one of 63 works acquired by Figge Art Museum in 2018 as the Davenport cultural institution continues to build its collection in key and affordable areas.
The number isn't as big as in 2017 when 182 works were acquired, but there is ``really cool, important stuff, nonetheless,'' said Andrew Wallace, director of collections and exhibitions.
Key collecting areas include works by women _ because they are underrepresented _ as well as pieces by Midwesterners, photography in general and contemporary and Regionalist art, Wallace told the Quad-City Times .
The museum also added four hugely colorful Haitian paintings to complement the collection started by gifts from the late Dr. Walter Neiswanger and its first piece of street art.
About 40 works were donated and the remainder were purchased, Wallace said. Money for purchases comes from an acquisitions-only endowment fund set up nearly 90 years ago by the former Friends of Art.
Two of the new works are in display now, a 1936 photo of the Brooklyn Bridge and an oil painting, both by women.
The photo by German-born Ilse Bing (1899-1998) is in the gallery that contains Regionalist works of the 1930s. Her urban scene is considered a good counterpoint to the more agrarian-themed works by Grant Wood and John Steuart Curry, Wallace explained.
While Wood was revolting against the city, ``the reality was that artists were flocking to New York because that's where you went to work and study,'' he said. It was a place of new ideas.
The painting titled ``High Wind, High Tide'' is in the space off the second-floor elevator. The oil by American Jane Wilson (1924-2015) consists of different shades of green with white highlights and is painted in such a way that it is difficult to tell where the sky ends and the water begins.
In addition to being a woman, Wilson gets bonus points for being born in Iowa.
Other highlights in the 2018 acquisitions:
_ A color photo called ``Main Street Laundromat'' taken in 2012 by Kathya Maria Landeros (1977 -). It is one in a series exploring Mexican-American identity and the immigrant experience. The laundromat is in the state of Washington where migrant workers come to pick apples and pears, Wallace said.
_ A 1936 picture of sand dunes by American photographer Edward Weston (1886-1958), whose works are known for their contrasts in texture and light. His work is found in most major American museums.
_ A picture of Half Dome in California's Yosemite Valley, taken by William E. Dassonville (1879-1957) in 1906, more than a decade before the more famous Ansel Adams began his work.
_ ``Wooden Indian,'' a painting by Native American artist Fritz Scholder (1937-2005) who broke new ground in the way Native Americans are portrayed in fine art. His goal was to ``paint the Indian real, not red.''
Scholder ``is extremely well-known in collections all over the world,'' Wallace said. ``He is an important American painter, important abstract painter, important figurative painter. We're happy to have this hugely important work by him.''
_ ``XOXOXO'' by Puerto Rican-American artist Dan Monteavaro (1975- ), aka Moncho 1929, is the Figge's first example of street art-inspired work.
Large red X's and O's are painted against a background that looks like a blown-up comic book page.
_ ``Great Wall of Poverty'' is a large work by African-American artist Michelangelo Lovelace (1960- ) who is being collected by museums throughout the country, Wallace said.
The painting shows a street scene with a large wall dividing the ``haves,'' represented by skyscrapers, from the ``have nots,'' represented by about 75 people engaged in drug dealing, pick pocketing and soliciting for prostitution.
A child carries a sign that asks ``Where's Daddy?'' and a billboard advises to ``Play the lottery, it's your only hope.''
The artist ``intentionally made his work look child-like, but his themes are weighty,'' Wallace said. ``We like it because you can show it to kids and you can talk about these things, but it's not so graphic as to be disturbing.''
Information from: Quad-City Times, http://www.qctimes.com
Granddaughter Works to Save Barry Goldwater Photo Collection
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — In Alison Goldwater Ross’ earliest memories of her grandfather Barry Goldwater, there’s always a 35mm camera hanging from his neck.
The senator photographed more than 15,000 images of Arizona’s landscapes and Native Americans over his lifetime. Twenty years after Goldwater’s death, Ross wants to preserve the Republican icon’s photographs, with some newly digitized images showcased this month in Arizona Highways magazine and next month at Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West.
The project was launched after Ross discussed her grandfather’s work with her uncle Michael Goldwater, the family historian since the senator died in 1998 at the age of 89. Now 55 and living in Atlanta, Ross said she adored accompanying her “bigger than life” grandfather on the Arizona campaign trail and meeting celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor. Like his other grandchildren, she called him by the nickname “Paka.”
“I practically had an anxiety attack just thinking about what was happening to the images. They had been sitting around for so long,” said Ross, the daughter of Joanne, the oldest of the four Goldwater children.
After consulting with family members, Ross in January formed the Barry & Peggy Goldwater Foundation, which holds the rights to the photographs. The project came together with funding from the Salt River Project, a water and power provider that supports local arts and culture.
All photographic film deteriorates as it’s exposed to moisture and heat, and Michael Goldwater said preserving the images had long been a concern.
“She’s really doing a great job getting interest in the project,” he said of his niece. “We totally support her. My father wanted his work saved for future historians and researchers.”
His father Barry was born in 1909 in Arizona Territory three years before statehood and took his first pictures as a boy with his mother’s Brownie, a popular box camera that introduced photography to the masses.
After his wife, Peggy, gave him a camera on their first Christmas together, Goldwater documented the diversity of Arizona’s tribes and landscapes, mostly in black and white with view cameras like the Graflex and Rolleiflex. Those images included the dramatic cliffs and sculpted mesas of places like the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley, the deeply lined face of an elderly Navajo man, and two young Navajo girls tending their sheep in the snow.
Goldwater made color photos of his family with the 35mm and had a movie camera as well.
“You can go anyplace in that state,” Goldwater said in a 1985 interview about the best location in Arizona to take pictures. “Anyplace. From the Mexican border clear up to the Utah border, it’s all photogenic. In the south you have the desert. You have the biggest stand of pine trees in the world in the central part. ... You can literally spend your life out there and never quite get it all.”
Goldwater’s work earned him a lifetime membership in the Royal Photographic Society and the praise of noted landscape photographer Ansel Adams, who described the senator as a “fine and eager” amateur photographer who was as accomplished as any professional.
Another granddaughter, Anna Goldwater Alexander, the daughter of Michael and director of photography at Wired magazine, called the senator a “statesman who recorded Arizona history through the lens of a camera” in Arizona Highways’ December issue.
“When I go back through his archive today, I can’t help wondering whether he realized his beautiful photographs not only documented history, but also revealed the sensitive side of his dynamic personality,” Alexander wrote.
As a politician, Goldwater wrote the best-selling “Conscience of a Conservative” and in 1964 famously declared that “extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice” when accepting the Republican nomination. The man known as “Mr. Conservative” lost the presidential race in a landslide to Democratic incumbent Lyndon B. Johnson.
Goldwater served five terms as a senator, from 1953 to 1965 and 1969 to 1987, and was succeeded by John McCain. The former Air Force pilot who served in WWII was also known as the elder party statesman who persuaded Richard Nixon to resign in 1974 when it became clear the president would not survive the Watergate investigation.
Arizona Highways regularly showcased Goldwater’s photographs over the decades, and this month’s special collector’s issue with 46 of his photographs quickly sold out.
“I never had the privilege of meeting the gentleman, but I feel like I know him,” said Arizona Highways Editor Robert Stieve. “He has been a big part of our history since 1938.”
Most of the photos showcased in the special edition also go on display Jan. 6 through June 23 at Scottsdale’s Museum of the West as Photographs by Barry M. Goldwater: The Arizona Highways Collection.
Although many images remain with the family, big parts of the collection are also housed in three institutions: the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona in Tucson, the Hayden Library at Arizona State University in Tempe and the Heard Museum in Phoenix. Ross said the family commissioned the first bit of digitization, but the photography center next year will also start digitizing the hundreds of large format images there, with repair of each negative taking from two to eight hours.
Goldwater also was an avid collector of kachina dolls, wood carvings of Hopi spirits. He donated 400 of them to the Heard Museum in 1969.
Tricia Loscher, the western museum’s assistant director and chief curator of the Goldwater exhibit, said that as a Heard intern in the 1990s she was tasked with cataloging his kachina dolls. With the photo show, “I feel like I’m coming full circle,” she said.
Like Goldwater, Loscher is a lifelong Arizona resident, and she said she appreciated his photographs of the Southwest, images she said “could never be replicated in the Midwest, Northwest or any other place in the world.”
The photographs, she said, “reflect his own brand of sensitivity and clarity, which came from being a native of Arizona, the time in which he lived and the love and respect he had for life.”
Follow Anita Snow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/asnowreports
Woman Admits Embezzling from Blackfeet Head Start
GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) _ A Montana woman has admitted her role in a scheme in which employees at the Blackfeet Tribe's Head Start program falsely claimed a combined 7,800 hours in overtime pay.
The admission by 60-year-old Denise Sharp of Browning in federal court in Great Falls comes after four other defendants previously pleaded guilty in the scheme involving $232,000 in unearned pay.
A sixth defendant died while her case was pending.
Sharp's guilty plea must be accepted by U.S. District Judge Brian Morris. Sentencing was set for March 20. She faces potential prison time and $38,711 in restitution.
Two defendants already sentenced in the case each received two years of probation and were ordered to pay restitution.
Prosecutors said the tribe repaid the federal government over $250,000 for disallowed overtime and other costs.
Oglala Sioux Tribe's New Police Chief Revamps Department
PINE RIDGE, S.D. (AP) _ The Oglala Sioux Tribe's new police chief has revamped the department six months into the position, bringing new ideas and programming to the law enforcement agency that was lacking leadership and manpower.
The tribe's police chief Robert Ecoffey tells the Rapid City Journal that the biggest impact the last six months has been the number of officers the department has spread throughout Pine Ridge Reservation. He says the Oglala Sioux Tribe's police department now has 54 police officers, compared to 24 officers in April.
Ecoffey says he's assigned three full-time officers to work on enforcing the tribe's drug and alcohol laws on the reservation.
Many people thought illegal alcohol sales would decrease after the border town of Whiteclay, Nebraska, shuttered its beer stores, but Ecoffey says he's seen more bootlegging.
Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com
400 Years Later, Natives Who Helped Pilgrims Gain a Voice
By WILLIAM J. KOLE
PLYMOUTH, Mass. (AP) _ The seaside town where the Pilgrims came ashore in 1620 is gearing up for a 400th birthday bash, and everyone's invited _ especially the native people whose ancestors wound up losing their land and their lives.
Plymouth, Massachusetts, whose European settlers have come to symbolize American liberty and grit, marks its quadricentennial in 2020 with a trans-Atlantic commemoration that will put Native Americans' unvarnished side of the story on full display.
``It's history. It happened,'' said Michele Pecoraro, executive director of Plymouth 400, Inc., a nonprofit group organizing yearlong events. ``We're not going to solve every problem and make everyone feel better. We just need to move the needle.''
Organizers are understandably cautious this time around. When the 350th anniversary of the Pilgrim landing was observed in 1970, state officials disinvited a leader of the Wampanoag Nation _ the Native American tribe that helped the haggard newcomers survive their first bitter winter _ after learning his speech would bemoan the disease, racism and oppression that followed the Pilgrims.
That triggered angry demonstrations from tribal members who staged a National Day of Mourning, a somber remembrance that indigenous New Englanders have observed on every Thanksgiving Day since.
This time, there's pressure to get it right, said Jim Peters, a Wampanoag who directs the Massachusetts Commission on Indian Affairs.
``We'll be able to tell some stories of what happened to us _ to delve back into our history and talk about it,'' Peters said. ``Hopefully it will give us a chance to re-educate people and have a national discussion about how we should be treating each other.''
The commemoration known as Plymouth 400 will feature events throughout 2020, including a maritime salute in Plymouth Harbor in June, an embarkation festival in September, and a week of ceremonies around Thanksgiving.
The Mayflower II , a replica of the ship that carried the settlers from Europe to the New World four centuries ago, will sail to Boston in the spring. That autumn, it will head to Provincetown, at the outermost tip of Cape Cod, where the Pilgrims initially landed before continuing on to Plymouth.
Events also are planned in Britain and in the Netherlands, where the Pilgrims spent 11 years in exile before making their perilous sea crossing.
But the emphasis is on highlighting the often-ignored history of the Wampanoag and poking holes in the false narrative that Pilgrims and Indians coexisted in peace and harmony.
An interactive exhibit now making the rounds describes how the Wampanoag were cheated and enslaved, and in August 2020 tribal members will guide visitors on a walk through Plymouth to point out and consecrate spots where their ancestors once trod.
There are also plans to invite relatives of the late Wampanoag elder Wamsutta ``Frank'' James to publicly read that speech he wasn't allowed to deliver in 1970 _ an address that includes this passage: ``We, the Wampanoag, welcomed you, the white man, with open arms, little knowing that it was the beginning of the end.''
``The Pilgrims had hardly explored the shores of Cape Cod for four days before they had robbed the graves of my ancestors and stolen their corn and beans,'' the speech reads.
Dusty Rhodes, who chairs a separate state commission working to ensure the commemoration has a global profile, said she hopes it all helps make amends for centuries of ``mishandled and misrepresented'' history.
``The Pilgrims were the first immigrants,'' said Plymouth 400's Pecoraro. ``We're in a place in this country where we need solidarity. We need to come together. We need to be talking about immigration and indigenous people.''
Plymouth, nicknamed ``America's Hometown,'' is sure to draw a crush of 2020 presidential candidates who will use its monuments as campaign backdrops. With President Donald Trump, Queen Elizabeth II and other heads of state on the invitation list, state and federal authorities already are busy mapping out security plans.
Wampanoag tribal leader and activist Linda Coombs, who's helped plan the commemoration, is skeptical that anything meaningful will change for her people.
``It's a world stage, so we'll have more visibility than we've had in the past,'' she said. ``We'll see if it's enough. It'll be a measuring stick for all that has to come afterward.''
Follow Bill Kole on Twitter at https://twitter.com/billkole
9/11 Museum Honors Mohawk Ironworkers with Exhibit
Skywalkers: A Portrait of Mohawk Ironworkers at the World Trade Center opened on Friday, November 16.
Generally unknown to the public, Mohawk ironworkers helped shape the New York City skyline, including the twin towers and the newly rebuilt World Trade Center. Because of their connection to the towers, some of these ironworkers volunteered in the rescue and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center after the 9/11 attacks.
The exhibition revolves around Melissa Cacciola’s tintype portraits of Mohawk ironworkers, exploring the connection between these ironworkers and the World Trade Center site. It will help illuminate the immense contribution generations of these men have made to the city, especially in its darkest moment.
To accompany the portrait photography, the Museum team is also recording an audio guide in the Kahnawake and Akwesasne dialects of the Mohawk language. “We are very proud of this particular initiative to really engage the diverse, multi-faceted community of those impacted by the 9/11 terrorist attacks,” stated a Museum spokesperson.
To preview the exhibit, visit Melissa Cacciola’s website.
To attend a special informational event on December 16th with the artist, Kahanwake Council Chief Lindsay LeBorgne and Local 40 Business Manager Robert Walsh, visit 9/11 Memorial & Museum.
OSU Hopes to Attract Native American Students to Sciences
By K.S. MCNUTT
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A group of Native American high school students handled human bones and organs during a recent field trip designed to spark their interest in science and medicine.
Taking the students on a tour of the 206 bones in the body was Brandon Postoak, a first-year medical student at Oklahoma State University's Center for Health Sciences.
Postoak is Chickasaw and Choctaw, which makes him an important role model, said Kent Smith, a paleontologist and anatomy professor.
The lack of Native mentors is the greatest barrier to recruiting Native American students to careers in science and medicine, said Smith, who is Comanche and Chickasaw.
``We're the overlooked minority, but the largest one in Oklahoma at 12 percent,'' he told The Oklahoman .
Smith _ associate dean in the Office for the Advancement of American Indians in Medicine and Science at OSU's Center for Health Sciences _ heads the Native Explorers program to introduce Native students to science.
Recently, about 40 high school students attending the national conference of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society at the Cox Convention Center took a field trip to OSU-OKC to hear Smith and others talk about careers in medicine.
Of the 30,000 students who graduated from medical school last spring, only about 100 were Native Americans, Smith told the students.
``There are just not many applying,'' he said.
OSU-OKC President Brad Williams, a member of the Choctaw Nation, said he invited the students to campus to promote health careers.
Williams asked them to think about ``your talents and skills, and how can you use the gifts you have for the greater good.''
Celine Cortes, an OSU graduate student in biomedical sciences, showed the students normal and diseased human organs.
``It looks like a pork chop,'' one student said when Cortes displayed a heart.
The brain drew the most interest.
``What's this?'' Cortes asked, pointing to the lower brain.
``It's the medulla oblongata,'' she said, warning the students to be careful not to injure theirs. ``It controls your breathing and heart rate.''
After her presentation, the students were invited to put on gloves and closely examine the organs.
``We have a keen interest in all of you,'' said Tom Anderson, a Cherokee who is executive director of the Association of American Indian Physicians.
``You have an inherit responsibility as a tribal citizen to make the world better for those coming after you,'' he said. ``Remember your heritage and your culture.''
Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com
Native American Graduation Rate Improves in North Dakota
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) _ The high school graduation rate for Native Americans in North Dakota is rising, but a significant disparity persists when compared to the overall student population.
Data recently released by the state's Department of Public Instruction show that the 2017 graduation rate for Native American students was 67.3 percent, up from 65.2 percent in 2016. Findings also show that dropout rates have decreased for Native American students, which represent about 10 percent of the K-12 student population in North Dakota.
But the report identified a 23 percent gap in 2017 graduation rates between Native American students and their white counterparts, the Bismarck Tribune reported.
State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler called the Native American graduation rate increase a ``good start,'' but said that there's ``a lot of work ahead of us.''
North Dakota education officials identified the need to improve Native American graduations rates a few years ago, Baesler said. The state analyzed how instruction could be provided differently to Native American students both on and off the reservation, adding a cultural component to the K-12 curriculum called Native American Essential Understandings.
``Once you get past the idea of identifying there's a problem, you can start to begin to work on a solution,'' she said.
The Department of Public Instruction met twice with tribal leaders on all five of the state's reservations last year, Baesler said. The meetings were part of the state's compliance with federal education law Every Student Succeeds Act, which includes a section about tribal engagement.
Baesler said the meetings ``broke down some barriers'' between the department and tribal government.
The department will also continue to administer its Native American Needs Assessment Survey, said Lucy Fredericks, director of the department's Office of Indian/Multicultural Education. The agency will send out a survey next month.
Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com
Ranchers, U.S. Square Off Over Fencing at National Preserve
By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) _ Miles of fencing separating a national preserve from forested grazing pastures in northern New Mexico have been compromised over the years by wildfire, falling trees and herds of elk.
Cattle have found their way through the porous border of Valles Caldera National Preserve, their numbers escalating over the dry summer months to what park managers described as ``critical mass'' despite attempts by some owners to herd the livestock out on horseback.
Park rangers initiated a roundup last week after getting complaints from visitors and anglers, prompting a showdown with ranchers who say cattle were held with little food or water and it's up to the federal government to mend the fences.
Chris Lovato said he spent much of the summer gathering cattle that had wandered out of his grazing allotment on the adjacent Santa Fe National Forest in search of grass and water in an area hit hard by drought.
``It became a revolving door because 80 percent of the fence is down,'' the 70-year-old rancher said.
Each time, he called park rangers and forest managers to let them know he would be riding in on horseback. He also asked whether the fence would be fixed.
The answer, he said, was no.
In New Mexico, state law puts the burden on landowners to erect fences if they want to keep out trespassing animals. Before Valles Caldera was turned over to the Park Service, the trust that managed the expansive property handled the maintenance, and forest officials say it's generally a shared effort among neighboring property owners.
But officials at Valles Caldera say federal courts have upheld the principal that state fence-out laws are generally pre-empted by U.S. regulations requiring livestock owners to keep their animals off certain federal lands.
``While we will continue to do our part to maintain our boundary fences, there's no obligation for the Park Service to fence out potential trespass livestock under state laws,'' preserve Superintendent Jorge Silva-Banuelos said. ``The adjacent livestock owners do have a role to play in the maintenance of their allotment fences that border the preserve.''
Rather than issuing citations or fines, preserve officials said they wanted to handle the trespassing cattle informally by rounding them up and calling a state brand inspector to identify the owners so they could be trucked out.
Ranchers argue that the preserve should have posted a notice of their intention to impound the animals. They say more than 300 cows, calves and some bulls were corralled without hay and with little water for days until they could make the 300-mile (483-kilometer) roundtrip to trailer the livestock home.
One cow died, and ranchers have reported that the animals were in bad shape.
Lovato made multiple trips last weekend to move eight loads of cattle after he was told he wouldn't be allowed to herd them by horseback less than 2 miles back to his allotment.
``The federal government, instead of helping us, they're just punishing us after what we faced this summer,'' he said, referring to the challenges of the drought.
Silva-Banuelos said trespassing livestock have long been a problem at the preserve and federal regulations spell out how it must be handled.
``It's a pretty routine activity, but as we start getting more and more complaints from visitors and anglers, it's something that we have to make sure that we're upholding our obligations to protect and preserve the resources that Congress established as a national park,'' he said.
Dubbed the ``Yellowstone of the Southwest,'' Valles Calderas is home to vast grasslands, the remnants of one of North America's few super volcanoes and one of New Mexico's most famous elk herds. The bear claw-shaped ring of mountain peaks that form the caldera is culturally significant to neighboring Native American tribes.
Gary Ziehe, who was the first executive director of Valles Caldera after the federal government bought it, said the fence has been difficult to maintain since some stretches cross remote and rugged territory.
Ranchers hope a solution can be found, and Silva-Banuelos said he plans to meet with some of them.
``We want to be good neighbors,'' Ziehe said.
Oil Company Facing Tribal Opposition Proposes More Wells
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) _ An oil company facing tribal opposition to drilling wells on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation close to Lake Sakakawea has proposed 23 more wells near the Missouri River reservoir.
The federal Bureau of Land Management is reviewing drilling permit applications from Slawson Exploration, some for wells less than 1,000 feet from the lake, The Bismarck Tribune reported.
A federal judge last year halted the drilling of proposed wells when the Three Affiliated Tribes argued they should be farther from the lake under tribal policy that requires a 1,000-foot setback and tribal approval for drilling within half a mile of the lake.
The lake is the tribe's primary source of drinking water, and also a tribal cultural and recreational resource.
The company challenged the order and the judge reversed it . The company is drilling on private land on the reservation in northwestern North Dakota and developing minerals under the lake that are not owned by American Indians. The company said those wells should be complete by late November.
``There's no application of that tribal law to these projects,'' said Eric Sundberg, Slawson's vice president of environmental and regulatory affairs.
The tribe continues to fight the earlier ruling, maintaining that tribal regulations should apply to all oil development within its reservation boundaries.
``If there's a contamination or impact to occur ... we're all going to be impacted one way or another,'' tribal Chairman Mark Fox said.
The BLM is accepting comments on the new drilling permit applications through Oct. 5.
Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com
BIA Law Enforcement Seizes 17 Lbs. of Heroin & Methamphetamine on Pueblo Reservation
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke applauded the efforts of a Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Office of Justice Services (OJS) K-9 Police Officer who recently took more than 17 pounds of deadly drugs off the streets. The BIA officer was monitoring vehicle traffic on Interstate 25 on the San Felipe Pueblo Indian Reservation when he conducted a traffic stop resulting in the arrest of an individual, and the seizure of approximately 15.9 pounds of methamphetamine and 1.25 pounds of heroin.
A field test of the substances was conducted and returned positive results for the presence of methamphetamine from one of the fifteen packages and heroin from the one of packages. One package did test positive for heroin and had an approximate weight of 1.25 pounds (567.67 grams). On Thursday, August 30, 2018, a Criminal Complaint was filed in the District of New Mexico and the suspect was held for further court proceedings.
"Our Bureau of Indian Affairs law enforcement officers are the front line in America’s ongoing fight against opioids," said Secretary Zinke. "I applaud their fine efforts today and every day. Opioids have had a disproportionately negative effect on American Indian and Alaska Native communities, and as Secretary of the Interior, I understand how imperative our efforts are on this urgent issue. The DOI Opioid Task Force is doing a great job. I thank President Trump for his great leadership in helping us find creative ways to solve this crisis, and I look forward to a day when opioids no longer claim the lives of so many of our citizens."
"Thank you, Secretary Zinke and the hard working BIA-OJS officers on the ground, for helping to keep Indian Country safe," said Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Tara Sweeney. "The President's Initiative is directly impacting the families within our tribal communities."
The Department of the Interior is committed to making available resources required to fight drug abuse, and earlier this year Secretary Zinke established the Department of the Interior’s drug fighting Joint Task Force to help achieve President Donald Trump's mission to end the opioid epidemic and make America safe. So far, the task force has made 155 arrests and confiscated approximately 1,155 pounds of illegal drugs. Secretary Zinke has continually worked with tribes to carry out President Trump’s directive to stop the drug and opioid crisis, conducting dozens of tribal visits to see the affected communities, while listening and learning about how to fight the crisis on the ground.
Wisconsin Commercial Fishing Operations Record Numbers
BAYFIELD, Wis. (AP) _ Commercial fishing operations near the Apostle Islands of Lake Superior are reporting record numbers of whitefish and a strong recovery of lake trout since a decline in the early 2000s.
Craig Hoopman of Lake Superior whitefish told the state's Natural Resources Board that he's seeing record numbers of young whitefish and a strong rebounding of lake trout numbers, Wisconsin Public Radio reported .
Fishing has been exceptional so far this year, said Hoopman, who chairs the state Department of Natural Resources Lake Superior Commercial Fishing Board.
``We're averaging between 2,500 and 3,000 pounds of whitefish per day in the traps right now and releasing thousands of sub-legal fish,'' said Hoopman. ``There's just multiple year classes of fish.''
White fish is the most sought-after species, but Hoopman said he's also seeing strong numbers of lake trout after a decades-long population decline that began in 1950s.
``There's around three year classes of lake trout that I'm seeing daily that are extremely large,'' he said. ``Very nice, beautiful-looking fish, healthy, the whitefish, the lake trout, all the species that I'm seeing every day, they are feeding well, there just healthy-looking fish.''
Lake trout populations crashed during the 1950s and 1960s due in part to the introduction of invasive sea lamprey, said DNR fisheries biologist Brad Ray.
The DNR, the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission have worked for decades to reduce the numbers of lamprey to reduce, which has allowed the lake trout populations to recover, according to Ray.
Hoopman credited refuges near the Apostle Islands for letting the whitefish and trout populations boom.
``We have a fishery that is protected here,'' he said. ``It is of such utmost importance of our restricted use areas and the refuge that we have in place that have been there for a long time to protect these fish and also our closed season dates.''
If the younger whitefish and lake trout are able to grow to maturity, the Apostle Islands and South Shore region of Lake Superior could become a national sport fishing destination, Hoopman said.
Information from: Wisconsin Public Radio, http://www.wpr.org
Groups to Discuss Vatican Edicts' Impact on Native Americans
LIVERPOOL, N.Y. (AP) _ Members of the Six Nations of the Iroquois and experts in Native American legal and civil rights issues are hosting a conference in central New York for discussions on 500-year-old Vatican edicts whose impacts are still felt today.
The conference being held Saturday and Sunday at the Great Law of Peace Center outside Syracuse focuses on how Native American tribes were impacted by what's known as the Doctrine of Discovery.
The term refers to papal bulls issued by the Catholic Church in the 15th century as Europeans were setting out to explore the New World. The edicts gave explorers the right to claim lands for their Christian monarchs.
The Iroquois Confederacy has called on the Vatican to renounce the Doctrine of Discovery for having a negative impact on indigenous people.
Illinois Black Hawk Statue Secures Restoration Funding
OREGON, Ill. (AP) _ Efforts to restore a 107-year-old statue in northern Illinois have received financial backing this summer from the state and a local business.
The Rockford Register Star reports that heavy-duty trailer manufacturing company E.D. Etnyre & Co. donated $100,000 this week for the Eternal Indian statue, colloquially known as Black Hawk.
The project in Oregon, Illinois involves recreating the statue's original mix of concrete and red granite to keep it standing for many more years.
Company owner Edward D. Etnyre was starting the business in 1910 when he furnished artist Lorado Taft with supplies for the 48-foot-tall (15-meter tall) icon.
The state Department of Natural Resources received a $350,000 grant from the state Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity in May.
The Black Hawk Restoration Team is also raising funds for the restoration.
Information from: Rockford Register Star, http://www.rrstar.com
Car Dealership Removes Native American Statue After 50 Years
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) _ A North Carolina car dealership has taken down a 23-foot fiberglass statue of a Native American that has drawn complaints over its 50-year history.
The Asheville Citizen Times reports that Harry's On the Hill was prompted to take down the statue known as ``Chief Pontiac'' partly because of a bad experience by a female customer who's a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
The newspaper said an employee was fired after sending an offensive text message to the customer in June. Even before that, some Native Americans had complained about the statue.
The statue was removed Friday with a crane. It's being donated to the Pontiac-Oakland Transportation Museum in Michigan.
Pat Grimes, owner of Harry's, said he received offers to buy the statue but felt that the museum was best for it.
WWII Navajo Code Talker Samuel Tom Holiday Dies at Age 94
GEORGE, Utah (AP) _ Samuel Tom Holiday, one of the last surviving Navajo Code Talkers, died in southern Utah Monday surrounded by family members who raised money through a crowdfunding campaign to be by his side.
He was 94.
Holiday was among hundreds of Navajos who used a code based on their native language to transmit messages in World War II. The Japanese never broke it.
He was 19 when he joined the Marine Corps and became a part of operations in several locations across the Pacific during the war, according to The Spectrum. A mortar explosion left him with hearing loss, but he would later tell family that he always felt safe during battle because of a pouch around his neck holding sacred stones and yellow corn pollen.
He received a Congressional Silver Medal, a Purple Heart and other recognition for his action during the conflict.
After the war, Holiday returned to the Navajo reservation and worked as a police officer, a ranger and later started his own equipment company. He married Lupita Mae Isaac and had eight children.
In 2013, Holiday co-wrote a book about his experience as a Code Talker called ``Under the Eagle.''
Fewer than 10 Code Talkers are believed to be alive today. The exact number is unknown because the program remained classified for several years following the war.
Holiday spent his later days living at the Southern Utah Veterans Home in Ivins, Utah.
Shortly before his death, family members turned to the crowdfunding site GoFundMe to raise $4,000 to be able to visit him in hospice care. The Navajo Nation said he was surrounded by friends and family when he died.
There will be a viewing at the Hughes Mortuary in St. George, Utah, on Thursday and funeral services in Monument Valley on Friday, according to the Navajo Nation Council.
Holiday will be buried at a veterans' cemetery in the Navajo community of Kayenta, Arizona, next to his wife.
The library at the Kayenta Middle School is named for Holiday.
He is survived by six children, 35 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
This story has been corrected to say Holiday is survived by six children, not five.
Photo Credit: Samuel T. Holiday Facebook Page
Murkowski: Bill Would Create New Native Corporations
KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) _ Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski says a proposed bill would give 100,000 acres of federal land in total to Native groups in five Southeast Alaska towns.
The Ketchikan Daily News reports the proposed legislation _ also called the ``Alaska Native Claims Improvement Act of 2017'' _ looks to mitigate issues with the original Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act that was passed almost a half century ago.
A major component of the legislation involves the formation of Native corporations in five Southeast Alaska communities _ Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg, Tenakee and Haines.
Murkowski says these five communities were never granted village or urban corporations.
The bill says upon incorporation, each of the five new corporations would receive ``one township of land (23,040 acres).''
Information from: Ketchikan (Alaska) Daily News, http://www.ketchikandailynews.com
School district votes to acknowledge Indigenous Peoples Day
SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. (AP) _ A Long Island school district has voted to acknowledge Indigenous Peoples Day in place of Columbus Day for the coming academic year.
The six-member Southampton School Board voted 4-2 in favor of adopting next year's calendar which designates the new holiday on Monday, Oct. 8. Newsday reports the board had previously adopted a generic calendar for the past three years that didn't list holiday names.
Southampton students had asked the board to take Christopher Columbus' name off the holiday in 2016.
Board Member James McKenna, who voted no, says he feels the decision to change the name slights Italian-Americans.
Board Member Roberta Hunter, a member of the Shinnecock Indian Nation, says she disagrees with McKenna's reasoning on the vote.
Information from: Newsday, http://www.newsday.com
Navajo Prep students win $10K for Gold King Mine spill study
FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) _ Students at Navajo Preparatory School researching the lasting impacts of the 2015 Gold King Mine spill have won $10,000 for their work.
The Farmington Daily Times reports seven sophomores and juniors in a gifted-and-talented program at the school entered the Lexus Eco Challenge with a project that involved testing green onion roots for iron and zine after they had been submerged into the Animas River. The work won them $8,000 in scholarships, and $2,000 for school equipment.
They now are competing in a second phase of the competition.
More than two years ago, the EPA accidently released 3 million gallons of mustard-colored water from southwestern Colorado's Gold King Mine into the Animas River. The spill tainted water in three states, as well as the Navajo Nation.
Information from: The Daily Times, http://www.daily-times.com