Report: US Native American Health Agency at Crossroads

 (AP) — Emergency rooms shut down for months. Hospitals put patients at risk for opioid abuse and overdoses. A longtime pediatrician was charged with sexually abusing children.

The federal agency that administers health care for more than 2.5 million Native Americans has long been plagued with problems that have kept it from improving health care delivery. Money, staffing, infrastructure, health disparities and a general lack of accountability all have played a part.

A federal report released Thursday said things won't get better unless the Indian Health Service takes a serious look at its organizational structure, which the report said fails to adequately track hospital performance and leaves workers uncertain about their roles and responsibilities.

The report by the U.S. Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General doesn't make any formal recommendations but is meant to maintain pressure on the Indian Health Service as it implements a five-year plan to address access to health care, quality, management and operations, Dallas regional inspector Ruth Ann Dorrill said.

"It's a matter of getting from that page to the direct service delivery and to the patients themselves so they can walk into IHS hospitals and feel like they are consistently and reliably getting high-quality care," Dorrill said.

The Indian Health Service says it recognizes the release of its strategic plan earlier this year is a first step and that embedding the changes within the agency will take time. The plan outlines goals to recruit and retain employees, improve data collection, provide culturally appropriate care and expand services.

"Through sustained effort, partnership with tribal communities and a sincere desire to do better, we will achieve the best care possible for our patients," IHS spokesman Joshua Barnett wrote in a statement to The Associated Press.

Jerilyn Church, chief executive of the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Health Board, was more skeptical. She said the issues are deeply entrenched and won't be fixed without significant and consistent input from tribes and tribal organizations, which she hasn't seen yet.

"The lack of trust, the lack of improvement, you can't overcome those kinds of failures in a vacuum," Church said.

The Indian Health Service repeatedly has been the focus of congressional hearings and scathing government reports that seek reform. It runs two dozen hospitals and nearly 80 other health care facilities around the country, most of which are small and on or near Native American reservations.

One-quarter of the hospitals are in the Great Plains region that serves Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Hospitals in that region have had Medicare funds yanked, and shut down services temporarily or permanently. Elsewhere in New Mexico and South Dakota, emergency room departments were shuttered for months between 2014 and 2017.

The Office of Inspector General released a report last month that found a handful of Indian Health Service hospitals put Native American patients at risk for opioid abuse and overdoses because they failed to follow their own protocols for prescribing and dispensing the drug.

In a separate report released the same day, the office said the Indian Health Service made significant improvements at its hospital on the remote Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota after the emergency department was abruptly but temporarily closed a few years ago. But it still struggles to hire adequate staff and managers.

A pediatrician accused of sex abuse, Stanley Patrick Weber, was sentenced in January to 18 years in prison for improperly touching two boys on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Montana. He's awaiting trial in Rapid City, South Dakota, on several charges of sexually abusing Native American children between 1998 and 2005 while working for the Indian Health Service on the Pine Ridge reservation.

The Indian Health Service this year contracted for an independent review of how it addressed accusations against Weber. Two other inquiries are underway.

The agency has been focused on change in the last few years to ensure all hospitals are reviewed by the same accreditation agency, created an Office of Quality, increased incentives for scholarship and loan repayments for employees, and enhanced screening for new hires.

The Office of Inspector General interviewed current and former Indian Health Service employees and other health care professionals for its latest report. It said formal structures would help employees understand their jobs and keep them accountable. The report also found frequent turnover in leadership led to changes in policies that didn't provide clear direction.

One unnamed interviewee said: "We build our own processes as we go and hope that we are making progress."

Despite the issues, Dorrill said the Indian Health Service is headed in the right direction.

"We've been moved by their obvious, deep commitment to their mission and to their patients," she said. "When we've pointed out these disconnects ... we feel like they're listening."

 

Northern Arizona Organizations Uniting to Preserve Artifacts

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Historians, archivists and librarians in northern Arizona are teaming up to protect artifacts in the event a disaster.

It’s called the Northern Arizona Cultural Heritage Preservation Initiative and includes organizations such as Cline Library at Northern Arizona University, the Museum of Northern Arizona, the Arizona Historical Society Pioneer Museum, Lowell Observatory and Flagstaff Public Library.

The group has met quarterly for the past year to formalize the disaster support partnerships that have existed between them for years, the Arizona Daily Sun reported.

“We recognize here at Cline Library that we, as well as all our cultural heritage partners in the region, are isolated geographically from assistance should a disaster occur. We would need to rely on each other,” said Jill Friedmann, associate dean of Cline Library, who is coordinating the effort.

The library already works closely with the Arizona Historical Society, which brought some of its material to the library for temporary storage during the big August wildfire near Flagstaff.

“Our main threat is and has always been wildfires,” said Bill Peterson, vice president of collections and education for the society. “In the event of a wildfire, we have a contingency plan. We’ve just never had a formal agreement (with these organizations) on how that would look or what they would be.”

The concept began with Peter Runge, head of Cline Library’s 30,000-square-foot (2,800-square meter) Special Collections and Archives, which stores artifacts from Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff and the rest of the Colorado Plateau region.

Runge previously worked at the University of California, which partnered with California State University to have all their campuses share resources in the event of a disaster.

If the northern Arizona partnership proves successful, the goal is to incorporate cultural content holders from throughout the region, including organizations on the Navajo and Hopi nations. A few have already joined.

A formal agreement would help with record keeping when such materials and services are temporarily loaned to different organizations.

Each organization has a prioritized list of items to save from destruction as part of individual disaster plans. An agreement among these organizations could better ensure the safety of some of the region’s most irreplaceable material.

Cline Library’s special collections area holds more than 2 million items, including handwritten ledgers from the Babbitt Brother Trading Company, invoices from the Arizona Lumber and Timber Company and other materials dating back to the 1850s, many of them yellowed and boasting the heavy aroma of aged paper.

Ruins Unearthed in Colorado During Construction Preparations

DURANGO, Colo. (AP) _ Archaeological ruins have been unearthed in Colorado in the path of a proposed highway construction project.

The Durango Herald reported that well-preserved Native American ruins were discovered while surveying the Florida Mesa for realignment of the U.S. Highway 550 interchange.

Researchers say ruins found south of Durango included human and animal bones and shells from the Baja region.

The Colorado Department of Transportation says archaeologists have a few months before they plan to begin the $100 million construction project in spring 2020.

Archaeologists say digs have turned up indigenous ceremonial sites, large pit houses and living quarters for the first time in hundreds of years.

Officials say the new interchange is expected to prepare the state for increased traffic from an expected population increase.

Information from: Durango Herald, http://www.durangoherald.com

Michigan Tribe Awarded $700K For Food Distribution Center

MANISTEE, Mich. (AP) _ A federal grant of $700,000 will help a Michigan-based Native American tribe build a new food distribution center.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded the grant to the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians.

The structure will be located next to the tribe's existing food building in Manistee.

Tribal leader Larry Romanelli tells WWTV/WWUP-TV the project will help increase the number of people served. The program already has seen a big jump in demand over the past year.

The target date for completion is August 2020.

The funding was included in $63 million divided among 85 Native American communities around the U.S. to improve housing conditions and stimulate community development.

 

Information from: WWTV-TV, http://www.9and10news.com

 

Arizona Waterfall Featured in Beyonce 'Lion King' Video

SUPAI, Ariz. (AP) _ For a few hours, Beyonce had a famed blue-green waterfall in northern Arizona to herself.

The Havasupai (hav-uh-SU'-peye) Tribe says it was honored to grant the singer's request to film part of her latest music video on its reservation deep in a gorge off the Grand Canyon.

Tribal Chairwoman Muriel Uqualla says it's a testament to the beauty of the tribe's homeland.

Some campers weren't feeling the love when the popular Havasu Falls was closed off for hours. Permits to hike there sell out quickly each year.

Beyonce's song, ``Spirit,'' is featured in the live-action remake of ``The Lion King,'' which opens this week in movie theaters nationwide. She voices lioness Nala.

Sedona's Red Rock State Park also appears briefly in the video with Beyonce leaning against a barren tree.

 

Native American Artifacts on Display in Woodville Museum

WOODVILLE, Miss. (AP) _ A museum in southwestern Mississippi has opened a new exhibit of artifacts found near two Native American mounds in the area.

The Natchez Democrat reports that the items are now on display at the Wilkinson County Museum in downtown Woodville.

The exhibit's curator is Megan Kassabaum, assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. She says the display has been in development since last year, when she and her students did excavation projects at the Lessley and Smith Creek mound sites west of Woodville.

The exhibit includes three glass cases that showcase Native American artifacts such as jewelry, spearheads and arrowheads, cooking tools and utensils and pieces of pottery, as well as two handmade replica pots.

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Information from: The Natchez Democrat, http://www.natchezdemocrat.com/

 

Tribe's Push to Build Casino Spurs Carolinas Political Fight

By GARY D. ROBERTSON and JEFFREY COLLINS
Associated Press

CATAWBA INDIAN NATION, S.C. (AP) _ Two of the Carolinas' most prominent American Indian tribes are battling over geography and lucrative gambling turf.

The Cherokee in North Carolina, with two casinos established in the mountains, say their opponents should stay in their own state to the south. The Catawba of South Carolina argue such state boundaries are artificial and shouldn't affect their effort to gain a foothold in the industry.

The Catawba Indian Nation, with a 700-acre (283-hectare) reservation in upstate South Carolina, has been unable to build a high-stakes gambling operation in the state despite a 1993 federal law that Catawba Chief Bill Harris says was supposed to open the door for them to do so. The tribe blames fierce anti-gambling opposition from South Carolina leaders.

Instead the Catawba are hoping to revive previously failed efforts to build a casino in North Carolina just 35 miles (56 kilometers) northwest of the Catawba reservation, specifically along Interstate 85 in the Charlotte suburb of Kings Mountain, where they say they have a historical and legal claim to land.

Powerful U.S. senators from both states are backing them, but their efforts may not be enough. A bill they've sponsored in Congress has drawn fierce opposition from lawmakers in North Carolina, where the Cherokee tribe _ one of the state's most prolific campaign donors _ already runs two successful casinos in the far western region of the state.

Those operations, the first of which opened in 1997, have transformed the fortunes of the tribe's 16,000-member Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and surrounding Appalachian counties, creating jobs, state-of-the-art government services and payments of about $12,000 annually to each tribal member.

Harris says his tribe _ whose federal recognition was restored in 1993 after its removal 40 years earlier _ deserves the same prosperity.

A casino, he says, would rescue a reservation population whose 28% poverty rate for families is nearly twice the state average: ``The opportunities would be limitless.''

Six years ago, the Catawba filed an application with the Interior Department to get permission to build on the Kings Mountain acreage. But then-North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, more than 100 legislators and state House Speaker Thom Tillis _ now a U.S. senator and one of the sponsors of the current bill _ shot down the idea.

The U.S. senators' bill, also backed by North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr and South Carolina U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, would direct the Interior Department to authorize gambling on the land.

Tillis spokesman Dan Keylin says the senator changed his mind about the tribe's request because local Kings Mountain-area leaders have contacted his office expressing their support.

During a Senate committee hearing on the bill in May, John Tahsuda, of the Interior Department's Indian Affairs division, said it was ``clear that the benefits that Congress intended for the tribe'' in a settlement the federal government reached with the Catawba in 1993 ``have not been realized.'' He took no formal stand on the legislation.

Graham remarked, ``I'm from South Carolina. Nobody, nobody objects to the Catawbas having land in North Carolina and in establishing a gambling operation as long as it's consistent with the law.''

Some people north of the border feel differently.

Gov. Roy Cooper has expressed concerns because the senators' bill appears to exempt the Catawba from having to negotiate with the state over details such as which games could be offered and whether North Carolina would receive a cut of the revenues.

Cherokee Eastern Band Principal Chief Richard Sneed says the senators' bill could have ``devastating'' economic consequences in his tribe's region, where poverty used to be rampant. A Catawba casino could siphon visitors from South Carolina and the eastern two-thirds of North Carolina who want to play blackjack, roulette and slots _ and previously did so at the Cherokee-owned casinos.

Besides, the tribe contends, the Catawba have no legal or historical claims to the land where they want to build.

``The historical evidence is on the side of the Cherokees on this one,'' Sneed says. He says territorial agreements the tribes reached with the federal government long ago were based in part on information from a 19th century map that shows there was no Catawba-controlled land in North Carolina after the mid-1700s.

Catawba chief Harris says the land in question is well within the tribe's ancient boundaries and also just 8 miles (13 kilometers) from the site in northern South Carolina where the Catawba aided a decisive victory against the British in a key 1780 Revolutionary War battle. The Catawba River and Catawba County also are in North Carolina.

So far, the Cherokee tribe is finding success pushing back: North Carolina state Senate leader Phil Berger and 38 of his colleagues have sent a letter to the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs committee asking it to reject the ``unprecedented overreach'' of the U.S. senators' bill.

That doesn't sit well with Harris.

``To have someone say, `No, no, they cannot have what we have, they cannot have what other nations have, they have to suffer' _ it is a hard pill to swallow,'' he says.

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Robertson reported from Raleigh, North Carolina. Associated Press reporter Sarah Blake Morgan contributed to this report.

 

Olympic National Park Plans More Mountain Goat Roundups

By JESSE MAJOR
Peninsula Daily News

OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK, Wash. (AP) _ Goats will fly again at Olympic National Park this summer as the National Park Service continues to transport mountain goats to their native habitat in the North Cascades.

Operations to move as many as possible of the estimated 700 mountain goats began last year. Using helicopters, tranquilizer darts, nets and refrigerated trucks, crews were able to remove 115 mountain goats from the park in September.

This summer, two operational periods will have visitor impacts throughout the park. They are July 8-19 and Aug. 19-30, Olympic National Parks spokesperson Penny Wagner told the Peninsula Daily News.

Hurricane Hill Road, beyond the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center parking lot, will be closed to all access during the operational period, including the Hurricane Hill Trail, Little River Trail and Wolf Creek Trail.

The Klahhane Ridge area will be closed temporarily on July 8-9 for visitor and employee safety during capture operations, Wagner said.

Areas of the Seven Lakes Basin, High Divide, Heart Lake and Hoh lake to Cat Basin will be closed to overnight camping July 7-11.

During the August removal period, the Mount Ellinor trail system and Forest Road 2419 to Mount Ellinor near Hamma Hamma will be closed to the public.

The five-year relocation is a joint effort by the National Park Service, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, the U.S. Forest Service and area tribes.

The goats were introduced to the Olympic Peninsula as game animals in the 1920s before Olympic National Park existed. That population grew to about 1,000 animals, though it is estimated there are now about 600 goats in Olympic National Park.

Officials say the goats impact the fragile alpine and sub-alpine ecosystem and that they have become too comfortable around humans.

Some goats have become aggressive in their search for salts in human urine and sweat.

Bob Boardman, a Port Angeles man, was killed by a goat that gored him as he hiked Klahhane Ridge in October 2010.

The National Park Service has contracted with a private company, Leading Edge Aviation, which specializes in the capture of wild animals.

Capturing goats requires a helicopter crew that flies as close as possible to the goats, sometimes within 30 feet.

The gunner on the helicopter makes a decision to either shoot a tranquilizer dart or a net at the goat, a decision that is partly based on how steep the terrain is.

Then a crew member exits the helicopter and blindfolds the goat to reduce stress before putting it on a sling to be flown to a landing spot on Hurricane Ridge.

There, the goats are loaded into the back of a truck to be transported to processing, where veterinarians examine them before they are transported to the North Cascades.

Crews will not be able to capture all of the goats. Those that can't be captured will be shot and killed.

The park plans to use volunteers to kill the goats that can't be captured, though it hasn't established a process for that yet.

During September's efforts 115 mountain goats were removed from the park. Of those, 98 were transported to the North Cascades and six orphans were transferred to Northwest Trek Wildlife Park.

There were six adult deaths, including two goats that died during transport on the first day and three goats that were killed because they were ``unfit for translocation.''

One adult male that had been monitored had reports of aggressive encounters with visitors.

State Fish and Wildlife released mountain goats at five sites in the Cascades with the help of tribal and university biologists, and of Hi-Line Aviation of Darrington.

Two of the release areas were near mountain peaks south of the town of Darrington, on the Darrington District of the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

The others sites were located northwest of Kachess Lake (just south of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness) in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Tower Peak in the Methow area of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, and the headwaters of the Cedar River Drainage, which is land owned by Seattle Public Utilities.

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Information from: Peninsula Daily News, http://www.peninsuladailynews.com

 

Report Recommends Ways To Commemorate Chief Illiniwek

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) _ A group is recommending that the University of Illinois erect a plaque or monument to commemorate the history of Chief Illiniwek, the mascot who was dropped amid much criticism in 2007.

The Chancellor's Commission on Native Imagery says the site outside Memorial Stadium, as well as a public retirement, could provide ``healing and reconciliation.'' The group also recommends regular activities involving the university and Native Americans who consider Illinois to be their ancestral home.

Chancellor Robert Jones says, ``We will be making decisions as quickly as we can.''

A student dressed as Chief Illiniwek performed a traditional dance at sporting events, running the entire 100-yard football field. But many people called the portrayal offensive and would not watch. The university stopped using the chief in 2007.

 

Navajo Nation Reviews Spending After Proposing $167M Budget

GALLUP, N.M. (AP) _ Navajo Nation officials are looking for cost-cutting measures after proposing a budget that is $5 million short of the current one.

The Gallup Independent reported this week that the tribe expects to have $167 million in revenue for the 2020 fiscal year that begins in October.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer said in a joint statement that their administration is reviewing department operations to look for ``duplicate services, stagnant federal dollars, excessive spending, and other cost-saving measures.''

They said they also are looking for ways to reduce personnel expenses, and they have instructed division directors to limit travel to conferences, summits and meetings.

They said the revenue decline is projected from the closures of the Navajo Generating Station and the Kayenta Mine.

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Information from: Gallup Independent, http://www.gallupindependent.com

 

South Dakota Reservation Declares Emergency After Flooding

EAGLE BUTTE, S.D. (AP) _ Officials of the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota have declared a state of emergency after flooding along the Cheyenne River.

Spring storms and flooding have forced several roads to close on the reservation.

KNBN-TV reports the road closures are forcing residents to drive miles out of their way. The closings also will disrupt summer school bus routes and force schools to dip into their budgets to add more service vehicles.

Officials say the road closures also will add time for emergency crews to respond to remote areas.

 

AP Explains - Militias Have Patrolled US Border For Decades

By RUSSELL CONTRERAS
Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) _ An armed group in New Mexico whose leader faces federal firearms possession charges drew national attention last month for detaining asylum-seeking Central American families near the U.S.-Mexico border.

It's not the first time an armed militia patrolled the border amid immigration and racial tensions. Throughout U.S. history, private, armed groups have been hired or appointed themselves to police the U.S-Mexico border for a variety of reasons _ from preventing black slaves from fleeing to stopping Chinese immigrants from crossing over illegally.

A look at the history of armed groups patrolling the border:

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SLAVE PATROLS

After the Mexican-American War, slave-hunting groups began monitoring the border between Texas and Mexico and watching for black slaves who had run away.

Slavery had been abolished in Mexico, and slaves from as far as Alabama sought to escape to Mexico through the southern Underground Railroad before the U.S. Civil War.

Historians say the armed horsemen sometimes went into Mexico illegally to try to capture runaway slaves but were met with resistance from the Mexican government and people. Mexico refused to return the slaves who fled there.

University of Texas doctoral candidate Maria Esther Hammack has documented how Mexican Americans helped runaway slaves avoid the patrols and escape to Mexico in the mid-1800s.

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THE TEXAS RANGERS

The Texas Rangers were recommissioned after the U.S. Civil War. Although the group was known for fighting Native American tribes and alleged bandits, historians say it also functioned as a private militia on behalf of wealthy landowners and ranchers concerned about cattle and horse thefts.

During the early 1900s, the Texas Rangers operated with impunity along the Texas-Mexico border on the grounds that they were protecting U.S. residents from Mexican outlaws who would cross over and raid ranches. But, according to historians, the Texas Rangers often attacked Mexican Americans in Texas border towns, raiding homes without warrants, torturing suspects and sometimes killing innocent people.

Tensions were especially high during the Mexican Revolution as refugees attempted to cross over and escape the violence. In 1919, the Texas Rangers executed 15 Mexican American men and boys from Porvenir, Texas, in what would later be called the Porvenir Massacre. None of the Rangers would serve any jail time and the massacre would later lead to reforms.

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CESAR CHAVEZ AND ``THE WET LINE''

After World War II, many Mexican American civil rights leaders openly expressed alarm at the growing number of Mexican immigrants coming into the U.S. illegally. They also felt white businessmen and ranchers used the immigrants to keep the wages of Mexican Americans low because they couldn't unionize. Cesar Chavez, the co-founder of the United Farm Workers, believed white growers used Mexican immigrants as strikebreakers.

In 1973, members of the United Farm Workers under the guidance of Chavez's cousin, Manuel, set up a ``wet line'' along the U.S.-Mexico border near San Luis, Arizona, to halt Mexican migration. (The term ``wet'' refers to a racial epithet aimed at Mexican immigrants.) Manuel erected 17 tents along a 25-mile (40-kilometer) stretch of the border and had members physically attack migrants. The Yuma Daily Sun newspaper reported that cars were torched, men were beaten with a plastic hose and one man claimed attackers burned the soles of his feet.

Miriam Pawel, in her 2014 book ``The Crusades of Cesar Chavez: A Biography,'' wrote that the Mexican labor federation _ the Confederacion de Trabajadores de Mexico _ broke with the United Farm Workers and denounced the ``wet lines'' as a campaign of terror. The labor group's leader, Francisco Modesto, said hundreds of beatings occurred and two men were castrated.

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WHITE SUPREMACISTS

In 1977, then-Ku Klux Klan national director David Duke announced that members of the white supremacist group would patrol the U.S.-Mexico border. He said armed members would assist the U.S. Border Patrol in stopping immigrants from getting into the U.S. illegally.

The U.S. Border Patrol in the 1990s under then-President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, increased enforcement in urban areas like El Paso, Texas, and San Diego, and migrants started shifting their path through the Arizona desert, prompting militias to form. The groups were accused of unlawfully detaining Latinos, and in some cases, physically attacking them.

Among those forming was the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps founded by Chris Simcox and J. T. Ready, a former neo-Nazi. The group urged citizens to take it upon themselves to guard the region.

Glenn Spencer also created the American Border Patrol in southern Arizona and touted it as a ``shadow Border Patrol.'' The Southern Poverty Law Center lists the American Border Patrol as an extremist group.

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Russell Contreras is a member of The Associated Press' race and ethnicity team. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/russcontreras .

 

South Dakota Governor Won't Test Tribal Ban From Reservation

By BLAKE NICHOLSON
Associated Press

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) _ South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem says she won't test an American Indian tribe that has banned her from one of the largest reservations in the country, but she hopes to change the directive.

The Oglala Sioux is upset with legislation pushed by Noem that aims to quell any protests against the proposed Keystone XL pipeline similar to those in North Dakota that plagued construction of the Dakota Access pipeline.

The Tribal Council on May 1 voted 17-0 to tell Noem she's no longer welcome on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

Noem says she respects tribal sovereignty and won't travel there without the tribe's blessing. But she also hopes to change the tribal edict.

Noem says she's had informal talks with council members but hasn't yet spoken with President Julian Bear Runner.

 

More Bald Eagles Found Dead, Possibly Poisoned in Maryland

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) _ A great horned owl and at least seven bald eagles have been found dead along Maryland's Eastern Shore this year, reminding officials of the eagles found fatally poisoned in the area in 2016.

The Baltimore Sun reports state and federal wildlife officials are investigating the deaths, saying the Delmarva Peninsula has a ``systemic'' illegal poisoning problem. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information that furthers the investigation.

This year's first known poisoning happened in March. Authorities believe the birds were killed with the pesticide carbofuran, which was essentially banned from the nation's market partly due to it being lethal to birds. Authorities say the birds may have eaten bait laced with the pesticide, which is sometimes sold under the name Furadan.

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Information from: The Baltimore Sun, http://www.baltimoresun.com

 

Who Owns Aloha? Hawaii Eyes Protections for Native Culture

By AUDREY McAVOY
Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) _ Last year, much of Hawaii was shocked to learn a Chicago restaurant chain owner had trademarked the name ``Aloha Poke'' and wrote to cubed fish shops around the country demanding that they stop using the Hawaiian language moniker for their own eateries. The cease-and-desist letters targeted a downtown Honolulu restaurant and a Native Hawaiian-operated restaurant in Anchorage, among others.

Now, Hawaii lawmakers are considering adopting a resolution calling for the creation of legal protections for Native Hawaiian cultural intellectual property. The effort predates Aloha Poke, but that episode is lending a sense of urgency to a long-festering concern not unfamiliar to native cultures in other parts of the world.

``I was frustrated at the audacity of people from outside of our community using these legal mechanisms to basically bully people from our local community out of utilizing symbols and words that are important to our culture,'' said state Sen. Jarrett Keohokalole, a Native Hawaiian representing Kaneohe and Heeia.

The resolution calls on state agencies and Native Hawaiian organizations to form a task force to develop a legal system to ``recognize and protect'' Native Hawaiian cultural intellectual property and traditional cultural expressions. It also seeks protections for genetic resources, such as taro, a traditional crop that legend says is an ancestor of the Hawaiian people and that scientists have tried to genetically engineer in the past.

The task force would be commissioned to submit its recommendations and any proposed legislation to lawmakers in three years.

The resolution has passed House and Senate committees. The full Senate is scheduled to vote on it Monday.

The Aloha Poke incident echoes past disputes, like when a non-Hawaiian photographer claimed copyright over an image of a woman dancing hula and Disney copyrighted a modified version of a Hawaiian chant used in a movie.

Chicago's Aloha Poke Co. chose as its battleground the word ``aloha'' _ a term meaning love, compassion, kindness as well as hello and goodbye. It's a term central to how Native Hawaiians treat others and how many in Hawaii _ Native Hawaiian or not _ try to live.

``It's traumatic when things like this happen to us _ when people try to take, modify or steal what's been in our people's world view for generations,'' said Healani Sonoda-Pale, chairwoman of the Ka Lahui Hawaii political action committee, who testified in support of the resolution.

Aloha Poke CEO Chris Birkinshaw didn't return messages seeking comment left at his West Madison store in Chicago and on the company's website. The company has stores in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Florida and Washington, D.C.

Aloha Poke Shop in Honolulu initially ignored the Chicago company's letter, said co-founder Jeff Sampson. When the issue burst into the news, he and his partners had an attorney write their Chicago counterpart saying they wouldn't change their name. They explained there would be no confusion between their businesses because they operated far from the mainland company's stores.

But a poke store in Anchorage run by a Native Hawaiian woman changed its name to Lei's Poke Stop after receiving one of the letters.

Native Hawaiian experts note there's a cultural clash underlying much of this. Modern European-based traditions use trademarks, copyright and patents to create economic incentives and rewards for creating knowledge and culture. Indigenous culture, on the other hand, is often passed on through generations and held collectively.

``They're never going to sit nicely together in a box,'' said Kuhio Lewis, the CEO of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement.

It will be difficult to determine who would decide who can use Native Hawaiian culture and who would be able to use it. Limits may violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The task force will have to explore who can do what, Lewis said.

``At the least, they need to have some cultural sensitivity about how it's used. And they need to know you can't be telling Native Hawaiian businesses they can't use their own language,'' Lewis said.

The resolution points to potential models in New Zealand and Alaska, which both created signifiers that indigenous people may place on their art as a mark of authenticity.

Marie Texter of Anchorage said her late father Andy Makar _ who drew, made carvings from tusks, cottonwood and horns, and sewed animal skins _ was a strong believer in the Silver Hand seal for Alaska Natives.

``He said this is a great program because so many times the Native artwork gets commercialized or used by someone else,'' she said.

He had to fill out proof of his Indian blood _ he was mostly Yup'ik but his mother was Athabascan _ to apply.

But Rosita Worl, president of Juneau-based Sealaska Heritage Institute, said not all Alaska Native artists apply for or use the emblem. Nor does the program deter the sale of bogus Native art made overseas, she said. It also lacks enforcement and publicity, she said.

Charles E. Colman, a University of Hawaii law professor, said such programs hold up under federal law because they don't prohibit people from making work that resembles indigenous art. They merely won't allow people to say their work is produced by an indigenous person if it's not.

Colman believes the Aloha Poke situation, on the other hand, could be addressed within existing trademark law.

He believes the Chicago company's trademark could be cancelled if challenged because it's not so well-known that its name has developed a secondary meaning the way the words in the retailer name ``Best Buy'' have, for example.

``You can't just register a descriptive phrase unless you've achieved a certain amount of public recognition,'' he said.

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Associated Press journalists Rachel D'Oro and Mark Thiessen in Anchorage contributed to this report.

 

Former Navajo Nation Official Sentenced in Theft Case

TUBA CITY, Ariz. (AP) _ A former manager of the Navajo Nation's Tuba City Chapter has been sentenced to jail time and probation in a theft case.

Priscilla Littlefoot had pleaded no contest last year to charges stemming from the theft of more than $1 million in chapter funds.

A tribal judge recently sentenced her to more than five months in jail, followed by six months of probation. She also was ordered to repay the tribe $30,000.

Navajo Nation Attorney General Doreen McPaul says the closure of the case helps restore Navajos' trust in their government.

Authorities say Littlefoot had directed funding to herself and her family, and she forged documents to conceal the theft.

They say the funds largely were taken from the chapter's tax revenue earmarked for things like scholarships, veterans and emergencies.

 

Bill to Ban Native American Mascots in Maine Moves Ahead

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) _ A bill to prevent Maine public schools from using mascots and logos depicting Native Americans is moving ahead.

The Legislature's Education and Cultural Affairs committee voted 7-5 along party lines Monday to recommend the legislation. Democratic Rep. Benjamin Colling's bill faces further votes.

A bill amendment would also extend the ban to publicly funded educational institutions like the University of Maine system.

The Maine Education Department urged schools this year to refrain from using mascots and logos depicting Native Americans. Democratic Gov. Janet Mills and several tribal leaders have said Skowhegan's mascot harms Native Americans.

Republican lawmakers argued Monday local boards should decide such issues.

A handful of Maine schools had continued to use Native American-themed sports mascots in past years.

Skowhegan High School retired the school's nickname in March.

 

Montana Basketball Team's Biggest Victory is Off Court

By FRANK GOGOLA
Missoulian

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) _ It's easy to spot Two Eagle River's biggest victory of the boys basketball season on the schedule since it won only one game this past year.

But a more important victory for Two Eagle River came off the court. The Eagles turned a positive corner when they went the entire season without having a player take his own life.

If that happened to almost any other team, it would be the norm and hardly merit a mention. But Two Eagle River, an alternative school of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes that had an enrollment of 89 students last spring, has had a boys basketball player die by suicide each of the two prior school years.

So the win-loss record didn't reflect the most profound win. It was a win that kept families and friends intact.

``It's great to finish the season on a positive note,'' said Camas McClure, who completed his first season as the Eagles' head coach and his third with the team. ``Despite how our season ended, despite what our losses may have said on paper, we actually did pretty good. We competed every single night. The boys showed a lot of heart. They kept their heads up.

``I can't tell you how many times this whole season parents, players, fans, people around the community had support for our program. They notice our program is changing in a positive way. It's making me happy, our organization happy. Whatever we're doing, it's working.''

McClure, who's coached seven seasons overall, refuses to take sole credit for the positive change.

A 24-year-old Salish tribal member, he spends only a few hours a day with the players during practices, games or bus rides since he's currently a student at Salish Kootenai College studying early childhood education and doing an internship with the State Tribal Education Partnership.

The reserved and soft-spoken McClure is quick to credit others at the school and counselors called in by the tribe to provide help to the students and faculty.

As he's gotten to know people who work at Two Eagle River, he said he's been able to ask them to check in on or keep an eye on kids who he thinks may be struggling. That includes his assistant coach, DJ Piapot, a former Two Eagle River player and current teacher.

``Things have calmed down a bit,'' McClure said. ``I feel the support of the counselors at the school and tribe and members around the community have really been hitting hard. It's definitely what they need, especially going through these hard times with students at a young age committing suicide.''

Suicide on reservations is hardly a rare thing. The suicide rate among American Indians and Alaska Natives was 21.5 per 100,000 people, which is more than 3.5 times higher than that of the racial or ethnic groups with the lowest rates, according to a 2018 CDC report. Nearly 36 percent of those deaths by American Indians and Alaska Natives were among people who were 10 to 24 years old, compared to only 11 percent for whites in that age range.

The Two Eagle River basketball team experienced the first of two suicides in a 10-month stretch when Josiah Anthony Nichols, a starter during the 2016-17 season, died at 16 years old on April 24, 2017. As the Eagles were winding down the following season, Walter Raymond Reddick, the team's first player off the bench, died by suicide at 16 years old on Feb. 20, 2018.

``When I found out that happened, I couldn't believe it,'' said senior Travis Pierre, who started the past two years and played the past three at Two Eagle River after transferring from Ronan. ``But this season, I tried to dedicate my season to both of those guys. I think the whole team did, too. It hurt the team, though, too because those players should have been playing with us the past two years. It's hard to not see them at school. It hurt us deep down inside. All we could do was play it for them.''

This past season, Pierre wore pink Under Armour shoes with roses and wrote the initials and birthdays of Nichols and Reddick on them. He had gotten the shoes from former Two Eagle River player Brendan McDonald, who he said bought the shoes along with Nichols since they both planned to wear the same style shoes during the 2017-18 season.

It was Reddick's death between the district and divisional tournaments that prompted Arlee to create a suicide awareness video, which ended up going viral with over 1.1 million views.

After Arlee won its second consecutive state title, star player Philip Malatare told the Missoulian, ``This is for Two Eagle,'' when talking about the Warrior Movement.

The Warriors have since been sponsored by Nike, were featured in the New York Times magazine _ which had been a work in progress since before the video _ and were showcased on NBA TV.

Arlee's video did lead to Sen. Jon Tester securing a $50,000 grant meant to help with improving mental health services at Two Eagle River. McClure also acknowledged that Arlee tried to involve Two Eagle River in a sock sponsorship deal.

``Nothing is wrong with what they're doing,'' McClure said. ``The youth definitely have to speak up with letting everyone know things are going to be OK. But let's speak up together, be together as one.''

McClure knows the feeling of suicide and depression that can accompany youth on the reservation. He contemplated ending his life after he transferred from Ronan to Arlee as a sophomore in the 2009-10 school year.

``Just transferring to a new school felt real scary,'' McClure said. ``Just constant arguments from my dad and step mom at home. I just couldn't concentrate in school. I wanted to play ball, but I wanted some guidance in my life. I never had guidance. Having a learning disability in math and English and even Asperger's Syndrome, that kind of made me feel like (expletive) sometimes.''

As McClure recalled the story, he had texted a friend saying he was going to end his life. His friend didn't have the quickest response, waiting until the next morning to tell the Ronan principal, who reached out to Arlee to check in on McClure, who was fortunately still alive.

``I ended up seeing this counselor over at the tribal mission,'' McClure said. ``I went there until I felt like I was comfortable and not thinking those thoughts. All I needed was some support from my friends and family. They gave all that love and affection.

``I swear things were just going right for me there on. I was doing good in school. I was able to play ball. It just seems like everything was falling into place. That's how I kind of got here was just telling my story.''

While McClure played at Arlee, the Warriors took fourth place at state in 2010 and second place in 2011. After he graduated in 2012, he jumped into coaching at the local middle school and served as a volunteer coach for Arlee under J.R. Camel and later Zanen Pitts, the current head coach.

McClure left to be an assistant coach at Two Eagle River for the 2016-17 season. He was hired as the head coach on June 6, 2018, with Piapot as his assistant.

``I try to set the example for them as that male role model because a lot of these kids don't have dads or even just a male figure to look up to,'' McClure said. ``I've been told by the parents or just family members in general that you're a good role model to these kids. It makes me feel good that I'm doing my part. These kids mean the world to me. I love these guys like they're my brothers or even my own kids.''

Two Eagle River had a documentary crew following them around this past season. McClure described it as inside look at life on the reservation through the lens of basketball.

``I feel our story is the real story,'' McClure said. ``We've been through so much as a program. I feel like what we're doing with building this program is going to change the world.''

He added: ``We want to show that you're here for a reason, that you're on this earth to do great things.''

The documentary is in the production stage and is being produced through UPROXX, a Los Angeles-based entertainment and pop culture website, said Jamie Elias, who's leading the documentary crew.

Elias, who has no connection to Montana, had first heard about Two Eagle River and its connection to suicides on Facebook. She reached out to McClure through the social media platform, visited Pablo, Montana, and the idea of a documentary became a possibility.

``We saw the epicenter was at Two Eagle,'' Elias said. ``The more me and him talked, the more special I realized Two Eagle was.''

Elias and her team of two videographers have come out six times so far for the filming of their documentary. They'd spend one to two weeks at a time with the team.

``Obviously, there has to be a light shined on how to prevent suicide,'' Elias said. ``We feel that basketball plays a big part in that for these kids. What we found is it's keeping them busy and giving them a purpose and joy.''

While some kids grow up wanting to be star NBA players, McClure envisioned himself as a head coach.

He got his first shot this year, and it resulted in a 1-19 record as he was learning what it was like to run the show.

``It may not have looked like a good season, but it was, and we were humble,'' said Pierre, who is planning to attend Salish Kootenai College next year and major in forestry. ``We weren't always known for winning, but we knew who we were playing for and what we were playing for. All of us, we wanted to make that one person in our life proud. We did that this season no matter what the score was. Hopefully I made Josiah and Walter proud, and hopefully I made my family proud, too.''

McClure will lose four seniors from this year's team. He'll have three starters and seven players who could return, in addition to incoming players or transfers, as he tries to lead the Eagles to their first winning season since the 2011-12 school year.

``I would say he coaches with love,'' Elias said. ``He finds community with the boys.''

As a coach, McClure has to care about his team's win-loss record as a statement on his coaching ability. But McClure also sees his impact as a coach as going beyond the court, instilling a message he heard growing up about not listening to someone who tells you that you can't do something special with your life.

``I want them to succeed,'' he said. ``I want them to realize there's more to life than just the reservation. They can go out and go to school and become something of themselves. If they do decide they want to come back to the reservation and help out the people in any way, I'm going to be proud of them for that.

``But it's OK to leave the reservation, just go see the world, just experience it for yourself because it's scary out here. It's scary as an adult, especially with lately what's been going on. I want those kids to walk out with an education and do something with their lives and not be going down the wrong path, whether it's drinking or doing drugs or making a fool of yourself.''

McClure knows what success is like from his time at Arlee. He coached all-state players like Tyler Tanner, Philip Malatare and Will Mesteth, and was a volunteer coach on teams that made the state tournament in three of four years from 2013 to 2016.

McClure's players don't have the name recognition or awards of those stars. But as long as their names continue to show up in box scores instead of obituaries, it's a starting point toward building a winning culture.

``These guys, it's more than family. It's like a brotherhood,'' McClure said. ``They're always looking out for one another. They back each other up. They encourage each other a lot, don't let anything get by them. We say, `We're your brothers. We're here to help.'''

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Information from: Missoulian, http://www.missoulian.com

 

Oklahoma State's Waters Draws Focus to Native American Players

By CLIFF BRUNT
AP Sports Writer

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) _ Oklahoma State guard Lindy Waters III thinks there are many capable Native American basketball players who are getting overlooked.

He wants to change that by drawing attention to young players who are American Indians, including many who want to follow in his success.

``I just don't think that Native Americans are looked at on a scale for athletics,'' said Waters, who is part Kiowa and part Cherokee. ``That really stands out to me because I've played with great Native American basketball players. They can shoot the ball, they're really unselfish. They know how to play. Our numbers should be higher than they are.''

According to the NCAA, there were 14 Native American men's players last season across the 351 teams in Division I. Waters is second among Big 12 players, shooting 45 percent from 3-point range and 91 percent on free throws this season, averaging 12 points. He drew national attention by hitting four 3s in the last minute of regulation against Texas Tech, including a shot at the buzzer to force overtime.

The American Indian Exposition, a large intertribal gathering and cultural event, named Waters III its Indian of the Year in 2018.

``It's who I am,'' Waters said. ``It's who my parents have taught me to be. I need to respect who I am. Being Native American, you can just kind of say that you are Indian, or you can actually go out there and get involved in things.''

Waters and his father, Lindy Jr., put on camps at the Kiowa and Comanche Nations last summer and plan to run six camps at tribal nations in May. Waters is from Norman, Oklahoma, a short drive from plenty of youth hoops in Oklahoma City. There aren't as many opportunities for kids in small towns elsewhere in the state that have significant Native American populations but sit farther from basketball hubs.

Phil Dupoint, a Kiowa who is president of the American Indian Exposition, said Waters' impact on Native American youth cannot be overstated.

``I've seen the effect he has on the younger tribal members, and they kind of more or less put him in a high-ranking status,'' Dupoint said. ``They want to accomplish what Lindy Waters accomplished.''

Cherokee Nation principal chief Bill John Baker said Waters embodies his tribe's value of a tough, resilient spirit.

``Through sharing his own experiences, he, like many Cherokees before him, is trying to help the generations after him achieve greater successes,'' Baker said.

Waters is the most established player among three Native Americans on Oklahoma State's team, including J.K. Hadlock of the Osage Nation and Gabe Simpson of the Cherokee Nation.

Waters' father says his son has stayed humble amid increased visibility.

``We're just taught that way _ to listen to our elders, listen to our respected people in our tribe, elders in our family. We are just taught to listen before we speak. He is the epitome of that type of young person,'' he said.

Matthew Komalty, chairman of the Kiowa Tribe and a former high school coach at Apache (Oklahoma), said Waters has helped other Native American kids by running camps but also making the most of his opportunity in college hoops.

``We've had many great athletes walking around,'' he said. ``He's opening a door for Native American children. They needed that.''

Komalty said the Kiowa are picking up their efforts, too. The tribe sponsored a Native American team, mostly Kiowa members, that traveled around Oklahoma last summer and sent a team to a tournament in Phoenix, Arizona.

``Our tribe has been down for so long, but now we're building up where we can do some of these things for our kids, and it's a great thing to be able to see our kids excel,'' he said.

Thanks to Waters, Dupoint believes maybe a few more of those players will be seen.

``Believe it or not, they want to walk in your shoes. They want to be like you,'' Dupoint said he told Waters.

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Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: https://twitter.com/CliffBruntAP

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More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

 

Army Corps Approves $2 Billion Arizona Copper Mine Project

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) _ The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it will issue a permit authorizing construction of a $2 billion copper mine in southern Arizona by a Canadian company.

The Tohono O'odham, Pascua Yaqui and Hopi tribes oppose the project over concerns it would damage ancestral homelands.

An attorney for the tribes has requested further consultation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency before construction starts.

The Arizona Daily Star reports that the Army Corps said Monday it will approve the Rosemont Mine southeast of Tucson.

Hudbay Minerals Inc. of Toronto is expected to build the mine and employ more than 400 people.

Construction has been delayed by a Clean Water Act permit from the EPA that would allow dredging and filling on the property.

The agency says it is dropping further review.

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Information from: Arizona Daily Star, http://www.tucson.com

 

Delaware Tribe Seeks Archaeological Survey in Lawrence

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) _ The Delaware Tribe has requested an archaeological survey at a site in Lawrence where county officials plan to build a mental health center and housing complex.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports that tribal historians have asked surveyors to look for artifacts and human remains before Douglas County moves forward with plans for the behavioral health campus. The tribe says members lived in northeast Kansas for 30 years, and some are buried in Lawrence.

The county wants to build a mental health crisis center and cottages for the mentally ill to address shortages in the area.

The tribe can request an archaeological survey because the project will use federal funding.

County Administrator Assistant Jill Jolicoeur says the archaeological field survey will be conducted as soon as possible.

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Information from: Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World, http://www.ljworld.com

 

Haskell Cultural Center and Museum to Close Indefinitely

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) _ Haskell Indian Nations University's Cultural Center and Museum will close indefinitely because its operating grant expired Friday.

Julia Good Fox, a college dean, said the university is working to secure more funding to reopen the center later this semester.

Three people work at the center.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports the museum's collections date back to 1884. It contains items pertaining to Haskell's history, as well as items from several tribal cultures of students, and artwork by American Indian artists, Haskell students, faculty and alumni.

Good Fox says she is confident the center will reopen later this year.

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Information from: Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World, http://www.ljworld.com

 

Library Presents Major Show of Objects in Wheeling's History

By LINDA COMINS
The Intelligencer

WHEELING, W.Va. (AP) _ The Wheeling 250 observance is providing a perfect opportunity for the Ohio County Public Library to showcase many treasures from its large archival collections.

Wheeling 250 is a year-long celebration of the 250th anniversary of the city's founding. City leaders and community groups are organizing events and exhibits to mark the occasion.

As part of that venture, the library is presenting a major exhibit, ``Wheeling in 250 Objects,'' in a new open exhibit area on its main floor. The display space was created last year as part of extensive renovations and upgrades to the facility.

Library Director Dottie Thomas said, ``The board, when they did the renovations, really wanted to increase the display space because of the quality of the displays we've been having.''

The open design of the display space -situated between the library's main desk, reference desk and computer section _ allows for an exhibit to be shown ``over a long period of time. It can stay there for a while,'' Thomas said.

A total of 16-18 display cases are being placed in the exhibit area, said Erin Rothenbuehler, the library's graphic designer who also works in archives and special collections.

The first part of ``Wheeling in 250 Objects,'' now on display, features artifacts related to the indigenous people of the Wheeling area. Other artifacts, documents and memorabilia will be added for each part of the multi-faceted exhibit.

Parts of the exhibit will remain on display throughout the year. ``We'll end up with far more than 250 objects,'' Rothenbuehler said.

From that number, 250 items will be selected ``as representative of Wheeling's history,'' said Sean Duffy, the library's programming director who also works in archives.

``Many of these objects will be on loan from various heritage partners and community members,'' he explained. ``Many more will come from the library's own archives and special collections.''

Identified as Object No. 1 is a replicated skull on a stick to symbolize the area's designation as the Place of the Skull, Rothenbuehler said.

The exhibit corresponds to the five symbolic stars on the city of Wheeling's new flag, which was designed by Rothenbuehler. Blue lights are being used in the display area to represent Wheeling Creek.

A display case is filled with items that illustrate the five points ``to help people understand the symbols on the flag,'' Duffy said.

The first installment, representing the flag's indigenous star, examines the history of native peoples of the Upper Ohio Valley, who lived in the region for thousands of years before Europeans arrived. Most of these artifacts are on loan from the Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex's research facility in Moundsville. Hank Lutton, curator of the archaeological complex, has provided a selection of items from that facility.

Displays relate to both the indigenous period (pre-contact with Europeans) and the time after European explorers and settlers came to the region, Duffy said. The later period represented a time of transition for Native Americans and their trading with Europeans.

For instance, he said, the display includes two kinds of projectile points: ones made of stone or bone, which were more ancient, and ones crafted from European copper, which ``obviously were trade items.''

Also shown are glass beads, copper beads, decorative necklace, shell pendant, fish hooks, spear heads and ``iron trade tomahawks that Europeans would have,'' he said.

Of practical use was a ceramic bowl found near Wheeling Creek. ``They (Native Americans) would have ground up shells to mix with clay to keep the bowl from cracking during firing,'' Rothenbuehler said.

Duffy said the display includes a nutting stone, a large rock with eight holes, that could have been used for food grinding, starting fires or making weapons.

Also displayed are realistic-looking facsimiles of some real artifacts, Rothenbuehler pointed out. The re-creations include the skull, a lead plate that French explorer Celeron de Bienville placed at the mouth of Wheeling Creek, a page from explorer Christopher Gist's diary that mentions Wealin Creek and a map drawn from surveyors' documents that show Scalp Creek.

The next segment of the display will examine life on the frontier, focusing on the Zanes, Fort Henry and Fort Fincastle and extending into the era of slavery, Duffy said. Other phases of the installation will relate to transportation, tracing development of the National Road and the B&O Railroad, and the statehood movement.

An examination of Wheeling's industrial era will constitute the biggest and final portion of the exhibit, he said, adding, ``We have a lot of stuff from 1900 to the present.''

The exhibit may be viewed, free of charge, during regular hours of operation. The library, located at 52 16th St., is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday.

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Displays such as ``Wheeling in 250 Objects'' are designed ``to bring awareness to the library's archives,'' Rothenbuehler commented. ``We're trying to make it as accessible to people as possible.''

Thomas noted, ``Our archival collections are catalogued. Anyone can see what we have.''

In addition, Duffy said articles and stories written and shared on the library's Archiving Wheeling blog provide context to artifacts featured in the various displays.

Several years ago, the board decided that one of a library's main purposes is ``to preserve that community's history and culture,'' the director said. Louis Horacek, a former assistant director, began collecting historical documents and other archival material.

As the collection grew, the library made a commitment to preserve the materials professionally. An archives room was created, utilizing part of a large storage room on the building's lower level. ``We have been able to expand that room,'' Thomas said.

``These displays are part of making that (archives) more accessible to the public and drawing attention to Wheeling and all of Ohio County,'' the director commented. ``We do have some things from other communities in the archival collection, and we hope to expand that in the future, too.''

A catalog of the collection is posted on the library's website. The online resources allow people to conduct searches ``to see what might be included in the archives,'' she said.

``In the future, we hope to draw researchers here,'' she said, adding, ``We've already done that. We had a man from Australia here working on his doctorate.''

The Archiving Wheeling blog also serves as ``an organ to connect what we have with what is out there,'' Duffy remarked. ``As a library archives, it has been well received and has led to people donating things because they saw a story on there.''

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Library officials think the archival collections and exhibits would complement a proposed Wheeling museum.

``We'll work in cooperation with the new museum when it comes,'' Rothenbuehler said.

Thomas foresees occasions when the museum could mount special displays at the library to draw attention to its holdings and to reach a wider audience. Noting that the library is open 67 hours a week, she said, ``It's hard to rival that.''

Rothenbuehler noted that the library attracts considerable foot traffic from patrons borrowing books, using computer resources and attending programs and classes.

Duffy thinks the library's display area could offer additional exhibit space for the museum to utilize. ``Most museums can display only 20 percent of their collections at one time,'' he related.

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Information from: The Intelligencer, http://www.theintelligencer.net

 

Maine Basket Maker Wins Prestigious $50,000 Fellowship

ORONO, Maine (AP) _ A Maine man who is part of a long tradition of basket makers in a native American tribe has received a prestigious fellowship and its $50,000 award.

Thirty-eight-year-old Gabriel Frey is a Passamaquoddy basket maker from Orono known for adding flourishes of color and other notes of personal expressions to traditional Indian work baskets. The Portland Press Herald reports he is the latest artist from Maine to win a United States Artists fellowship for his work.

The cash prize is unrestricted, which means Frey can use the money as he wishes. Frey says he works as a massage therapist and makes baskets on his own time, so the money is life-changing.

Frey says he will have more flexibility to buy materials like leather to use in his basketwork.

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Information from: Portland Press Herald, http://www.pressherald.com

 

Institute of American Indian Arts Plans for Research Center

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) _ An effort by the Institute of American Indian Arts to create a new research center is getting support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The institute says the center will focus on the advancement of contemporary Native American arts and culture by streamlining the care of museum collections and records as well as supporting training through internships and fellowships.

The three-year planning grant is worth $434,000.

IAIA President Robert Martin says the partnership with Mellon is a critical step in expanding the institute's capacity to contribute to the field and build upon its legacy as the birthplace of contemporary Native arts.

The institute also plans to start a scholarly fellowship program to provide financial support for a series of fellows working on projects related to contemporary Native American art.

 

Seeking the Mystery of Vortexes in Sedona, Arizona

By JOSEPH GEDEON
Associated Press

SEDONA, Ariz. (AP) _ I suppose I shouldn't have taken the parking attendant's advice so literally.

``You'll know it when you feel it,'' he had told me when I asked where I'd find the vortex.

I had traveled to Sedona for a weekend to see if I would experience what many visitors come here to find: a static in the air, the ``vortex.''

Inside a steep, coral-colored canyon decorated with pine trees, this sleepy Arizona city has long been a quiet refuge for hikers, romantics and soul searchers. For many, it's a place of mystique and magic.

Walking past its earth-toned grocery stores, banks and restaurants, you'll find that Sedona's tourists and locals go into many of the same places. So much so that residents seem like former tourists themselves.

Crystal and incense shops sit prominently between visitor centers with pushy timeshare salesmen. Jeep tours that carry you to majestic points around the city, which is set amid glowing red rocks, bring convenience and modernity to what could otherwise be a still from an old Western. And the view is also picturesque from every hotel, bed and breakfast, and residential building.

To preserve its beauty, this city of just over 10,000 people has a strict building code and zoning laws: Structures can't grow too high, and must be colored in hues that complement the natural tones of the red rocks. Even the famed golden arches at McDonald's are turquoise here, to enhance the desert's natural beauty.

But many visitors to Sedona come looking for something in addition to this beauty. Native American legend recounts a spot where the earth's energy is supposedly concentrated and crackling. Where you can experience a range of sensations that encourage self-healing and spiritual awakening. The vortex.

The supposed healing power of vortexes gained popularity during the late 20th century. In 1987, some 5,000 believers flocked to Sedona for what became known as the Harmonic Convergence. The event began as an interpretation of the Mayan calendar; tens of thousands of people around the world gathered around spiritual centers for meditation to protect the Earth from spinning away into space.

While praying for a global awakening, many of those who came to Sedona developed a feeling of deep, astral connection to the red rock formations. Word of Sedona's mysterious vortexes began to spread.

There are many trails through the rocks around Sedona that guide you to these coveted locations. On my recent visit, we chose to try the Airport Mesa Loop. While more strenuous than some, it's a great hike if you are looking for exercise and a spectacular view of town. Pack light in everything but water, as there is not much shade and some steep drops.

As the trail ascends, there are panoramic views of Elephant Rock, Courthouse Butte, Bell Rock and Cathedral Rock _ Sedona's most visited landmarks. The trail circles around two sides of the mountain, marked by a difference in both plant life and geological formations. Once you near the end, it becomes hard to believe you are on the same path.

Because of the trail's popularity, two parking lots are accessible to visitors. While the one lower down the mountain is closer to the official entrance of the trail, its small size made it too difficult to park in the afternoon. We drove to the very top of the Airport Mesa and took in views of the city before the parking attendant pointed us to a spot past a fence near the road, where we hiked down a mile-long trail that forked at the entrance of the Airport Mesa Loop.

Every few steps of the roughly 3.3-mile-long trail encourage you to give in to the natural setting. A heightened feeling, tingling fingers and velvet in the air distracted me from the multiplying hikers and marriage proposals.

We walked for hours, and we felt a lot: aches, pain, wonder.

And it was only after we completed the loop and came back to the starting point of the trail when we discovered the vortex. Standing atop the mini-mesa elicited a more intense feeling than the one I had already felt in town. Red rock vistas transform to soaring pillars, as if you're inside a gothic cathedral. It's something that the New Age faithful preach about and even skeptics might buy into.

Once you wake up from your trance, you'll notice tourists and locals basking in the same feeling. It's a Sedona moment that can't be replicated.

 

Federal Agency to Investigate Alleged School Discrimination

HELENA, Mont. (AP) _ Federal education officials have agreed to investigate a complaint by the Fort Peck tribes alleging the Wolf Point School District in Montana discriminates against Native American students.

The tribes filed their complaint in June 2017 alleging Native American students were subjected to more severe discipline for misconduct, were more often placed in the district's learning and behavioral program and were not properly evaluated for or did not receive special education services.

The Office for Civil Rights in Seattle announced its investigation on Dec. 28, hours after The New York Times and ProPublica published a story investigating the discrimination alleged in the 18-month-old complaint.

The agency in January 2018 opened investigations into complaints over discipline and retaliation against the school district. The district's attorney did not immediately return a phone message seeking details of those complaints.

 

Some Alaska Native Tribes Look to Establish Tribal Courts

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) _ Some Alaska Native tribes are interested in organizing tribal courts as a way to further exercise their sovereignty.

Tribal representatives from southeast Alaska recently gathered for a conference in Juneau to discuss ideas.

The Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska has a tribal court in Juneau.

When it began in 2007, it handled child custody hearings. But the court has expanded over the years, to include divorce, domestic violence and other cases, the Juneau Empire reported.

Marina Rose Anderson, the vice president and administrative assistant for the Organized Village of Kasaan, was among the officials who attended the conference. Issues that happen close to home should be handled close to home, Anderson said, rather than having people outside the community make legal decisions.

Her goal is to make the tribe as independent as possible, Anderson said.

Hoonah Indian Association Tribal Administrator Robert Starbard had similar thoughts.

``I think for us, the primary importance of a tribal court is that it gives additional legitimacy and eligibility to our sovereignty,'' he said. ``You cannot be sovereign if you cannot exercise control over what happens with your ordinances and laws. Tribal court is a mechanism that allows us to do that.''

CCTHITA Tribal Court Judge Debra O'Gara said the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs can providing funding to help tribes form tribal courts. Establishing tribal courts throughout southeast Alaska is a possibility, she said.

``We don't have time to wait any longer,'' O'Gara said. ``We have to do it now.''

 

New Herd of Elk Could Be Reintroduced to NE Minnesota

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) _ There's an effort gaining steam to potentially reintroduce elk to the northeast part of Minnesota.

Minnesota Public radio reported that Univ. of Minnesota research illustrates nearly 80 percent of rural landowners and residents support restoring elk to the area.

University of Minnesota has spent the last three years observing potential habit for elk in northeast Minnesota: the Cloquet Valley State Forest north of Duluth; the Fond du Lac State Forest and Indian reservation near Cloquet and the Nemadji State Forest, near the Wisconsin border.

Public support is vital because the state passed a law in 2016 barring the expansion of elk in northwestern Minnesota.

``Without enough public support, this idea would probably be dead in the water,'' said Mike Schrage, wildlife biologist with Fond du Lac Band. ``It would be difficult to successfully turn loose a big hairy animal like an elk on the landscape without support from the public and landowners for doing it.''

The three state forests researchers are studying all include areas that are logged for aspen trees. That creates a lot of new habitat for young aspen trees, which provide ideal forage for elk.

``They like aspen, they like grass, but they can eat a lot of different things,'' said Schrage. ``I'm pretty confident in the end we will find that there's enough habitat. It's just quantifying where is it and how much of it there is.''

The state brought in 1,500 elk about 20 years ago. Now they have a population of more than 10,000.

They're due to submit their final report to the state in the summer. Then it will be up to policy makers to decide whether to bring elk back to the region, something that would require ``a significant chunk of funding,'' he said

Schrage says the earliest Minnesotans would likely see a new herd of elk on the landscape three or four years from now.

___

Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mprnews.org

 

Maine Again Down to Just One Tribal Representative

By MARINA VILLENEUVE
Associated Press

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) _ Only one of Maine's Native American tribes plans to send a representative to the Legislature next year, down from two this year, as two top Democrats promise to address strained state-tribal relations.

The Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians has declined to send a tribal representative to the Legislature next year, joining the Penobscot Nation, which pulled its tribal representative in 2015. The Passamaquoddy Nation also withdrew its tribal representative in 2015, but the tribe elected to send a representative back to the Legislature in 2016.

Maine's sole tribal representative next year will be Rep. Rena Newell of the Passamaquoddy Nation, who didn't respond to requests for comment.

``It's difficult as a sovereign nation when we have a state government that pushes back on things continually,'' said Houlton Band of Maliseets Chief Clarissa Sabattus, whose tribe could decide to send a tribal ambassador to meet with state and federal governments.

The departure of another Maine tribal representative comes amid increasingly tense relations between tribal nations and the state over tribal sovereignty, tribal gambling and fishing and clean water rights. In 2015, outgoing Republican Gov. Paul LePage _ whose office didn't respond to request for comment _ revoked his 2011 executive order aiming to promote cooperation between Maine and tribes.

Several leaders of Maine's four federally recognized tribes said they hoped Democratic Gov.-elect and Attorney General Janet Mills and incoming Democratic Attorney General Aaron Frey fulfill their promises to meet with tribal leaders, unlike past politicians.

``The relationship? There really isn't one at this point,'' said William Nicholas, chief of the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Indian Township Reservation. He said he hopes Mills' administration respects tribal sovereignty and his tribe's wishes to be left alone.

Rep. Henry Bear, who previously represented the Houlton Band of Maliseets, said he's tired of the state's ``paternalistic'' attitude toward tribal nations. He led unsuccessful efforts this year to have Maine's high court consider allowing casinos on tribal land.

The controversy dates to 18th-century treaties and a 1980 settlement of tribes' claim to perhaps two-thirds of Maine's lands.

That 1980 law made Maine's relationship with tribes unlike that of most other states.

Under the law, the tribes agreed to be subject to Maine's laws and jurisdiction, except for ``internal tribal matters'' and hunting and certain fishing rights on tribal land. Congress has to specifically state whether a federal law applies to Maine tribes.

Mills' office has argued in court that means Maine has environmental regulatory authority over tribal lands.

Tribal leaders and liberal and environmental groups have criticized Mills for her role in the state's lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency over Obama-era rules that heightened water quality standards in rivers fished by tribes. A federal judge allowed EPA officials to make ``substantive changes'' to water quality standards, while keeping in place the stricter standards for now.

Mills' office also defended Maine in the Penobscot Nation's unsuccessful federal lawsuit claiming ownership over the Penobscot River. This spring, Mills called for a review of a federal court ruling that backed tribal fishing rights in Washington, which was later upheld.

Mills, who has authority to decide whether to legally represent the state, has said she respects tribal sustenance fishing rights.

But her office has argued the state's water quality standards are already high and should apply the same to all Maine waters. Mills' campaign spokesman Scott Ogden stated she wants to work with tribes on issues including economic development, health care and removing ``offensive'' mascot names.

``The governor-elect believes that there is much that can be accomplish by working together and engaging in communication rather than litigation,'' Ogden stated.

Tribal leaders said the underlying issue is the wording of the 1980 law, which they said has far-reaching effects.

Houlton Band of Maliseets Chief Sabattus said the wording means tribal members need a state permit to hunt on tribal lands. Aroostook Band of Micmacs Chief Edward Peter-Paul said the law, passed before his tribe was federally recognized in 1991, hinders his tribe from accessing economic incentive programs available to tribes nationwide.

Incoming Attorney General Frey said this week he has promised to start a public dialogue with tribal leaders about their concerns over the 1980 law.

``We need to figure out where the conversation went wrong,'' he said.

 

North Dakota National Guard proposes Camp Grafton Expansion

DEVILS LAKE, N.D. (AP) _ The North Dakota National Guard is proposing a plan to expand its training center in a northeastern county to accommodate more military members.

The Minot Daily News reports that Maj. Gen. Alan Dohrman says the state's National Guard plans to seek input from neighboring landowners, counties, cities and the Spirit Lake Nation on the proposal to expand its Camp Grafton Training Center-South in Eddy County.

Dohrman says they'd like to expand Camp Grafton by at least 6,000 more acres to build a new range complex.

Military members in North Dakota often have to travel to Camp Guernsey in Wyoming and Camp Ripley in Minnesota for training.

Dohrman met with Minot officials last month about the training center not being adequate in size to support range and maneuver functions.

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Information from: Minot Daily News, http://www.minotdailynews.com

 

University of New Mexico Project Works to Save Zuni Language

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) _ The University of New Mexico Libraries is working to preserve the Zuni language as part of a new digital initiative.

The school recently announced it has digitized books and posters published by Zuni Pueblo's bilingual education department.

Arin Peywa, a student and a member of Zuni Pueblo, says the new collection will be a great tool for those who use the Zuni language and who want to keep it alive for future generations.

She says some of the materials already added to the collection are quite sensitive to the Zuni culture and only fluent Zuni language speakers will be able to read them.

 

Archaeologist Claims State Parks Disregarding Native Sites

PHOENIX (AP) _ A former state archaeologist is accusing the agency that oversees Arizona's state parks of prioritizing development over protection of Native American sites and artifacts.

Will Russell, a former compliance officer and tribal liaison for Arizona State Parks and Trails, filed a complaint earlier this month with the Arizona Department of Administration.

Russell says he resigned in protest over Parks and Trails' deliberate disregard for regulations.

One example he cited was the building of updated restroom facilities and beachfront cabins in Lake Havasu State Park. He says no care was taken to prevent damage of Native American antiquities.

State Department of Administration spokeswoman Megan Rose says they are reviewing his accusations but declined to comment further.

The agency's director, Sue Black, is facing one of the worst employee turnover rates.

 

IU Gets $300K Grant to Preserve Angel Mounds Artifacts

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) _ Indiana University researchers have landed a $300,000 federal grant to preserve a treasure trove of artifacts excavated from ancient Native American earthen mounds in southwestern Indiana.

The grant from the National Park Service and other agencies will allow the Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology to fully address preservation threats to artifacts recovered from the Angel Mounds State Historic Site.

That 603-acre site along the Ohio River in Evansville encompasses 11 mounds that were once part of a fortified, walled city Native Americans occupied until about 1450.

The Angel Mounds Collection at IU's Bloomington campus comprises 2.8 million objects recovered there from 1939 to 1983, including artifacts made of ceramic, bone, shell and copper.

Laboratory director April Sievert says the grant is just the first step in safeguarding the collection.

 

Cleveland Indians Donate to Sockalexis Statue in Maine

CALAIS, Maine (AP) _ A Maine man who's creating a monument to a Penobscot Nation baseball star says he's received a $10,000 donation from the Cleveland Indians.

Ed Rice, director of Louis Sockalexis Monument Fund, said the 8-foot bronze sculpture in Maine is estimated to cost between $80,000 to $100,000.

Rice said he'll be traveling across the state, starting in November, to drum up support.

The author of the 2003 biography ``Baseball's First Indian'' says Sockalexis inspired the nickname for the Cleveland Indians in spring training in 1897. The team was called the Cleveland Spiders during the time that Sockalexis played three seasons in the outfield.

 

Judge's Decision on Dakota Access Study Likely Months Away

By BLAKE NICHOLSON
Associated Press

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) _ A federal judge's decision on whether a year's worth of additional study of the $3.8 billion Dakota Access oil pipeline adequately addresses American Indian concerns appears weeks if not months away.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in late August completed additional study ordered by U.S. District Judge James Boasberg in June 2017, saying the work substantiated its earlier determination that the pipeline poses no significant environmental threats to tribes.

However, the Corps didn't immediately release its lengthy analysis so that it could be reviewed by the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration for sensitive information that shouldn't be publicly disclosed. That has been completed, and tribes and Texas-based pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners now have the document.

Boasberg on Tuesday gave the parties until Nov. 1 to submit proposals for how to proceed in the case that's lingered since the Standing Rock Sioux sued in July 2016 over the pipeline built to move North Dakota oil to a shipping point in Illinois.

The pipeline has been operating since June 2017, but Standing Rock and three other Sioux tribes that later joined the lawsuit hope to get it shut down.

Standing Rock attorney Jan Hasselman expects Boasberg to give the tribes an opportunity to challenge the Corps analysis before making a final decision on whether it's sufficient. Any tribal challenges could extend the case for months, he said.

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Follow Blake Nicholson on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/NicholsonBlake

 

US Marshals Museum Searches for Bass Reeves' Relatives

By JOHN LOVETT
The Southwest Times Record

FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) _ The U.S. Marshals Museum in Fort Smith has an impressive collection of guns and documents related to famed Deputy U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves. Almost a year out from a planned opening of the new $60 million museum, it's the lawman's family tree the curator wants most.

Dave Kennedy, curator of collections and exhibits, said recently the museum is still in search of Bass Reeves's descendants, the Southwest Times Record reported.

At this point, with a downtown Fort Smith statue of Reeves erected in 2012, along with several True West Magazine stories and a 1992 induction in the Hall of Great Westerners at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, it would be peculiar if someone asks ``Who's Bass Reeves?''

The question, however, opens up an opportunity to talk about one of the best stories around: Born into slavery in Crawford County; escaped servitude during the Civil War; possibly fought for the Union with the Keetoowah Cherokees; survived dozens of gunfights riding for Judge Isaac C. Parker as one of the first black U.S. deputy marshals west of the Mississippi; acquitted of murder for the death of his cook; arrested his son, Benjamin, for shooting his wife, Castella, in a jealous rage. These are just a few of the incredible stories of a man who hunted down men nobody else could capture.

After serving as a valiant marshal's deputy, Reeves worked as a policeman in Muskogee for two years, 1907-1909. He died in 1910. Kennedy pointed to ``racist sentiment on the part of incoming state officials,'' as well as the Congressional delegation and the incoming U.S. marshal when Oklahoma became a state in 1907 as reasons Reeves lost his job with the Marshals Service. Other reasons, Kennedy adds, included Reeves' age.

Thought to have been born in the summer of 1838, by the year 1880, Bass and Jennie Reeves had eight children: Sally, Robert, Harriet, Georgia, Alice, Newland, Edgar and Lula. All were two years in age apart. In 1887, Reeves had to sell his home and farm in the Catcher Community near Van Buren to pay for his first-degree murder defense with attorneys William H.H. Clayton, formerly the U.S. Attorney in Judge Parker's court, and William M. Cravens. The Reeves family moved to North Twelfth Street, Park Place, in 1889.

As noted in Art Burton's 2006 book, ``Black Gun, Silver Star,'' Reeves has been known to historians for quite some time and was even mentioned in Larry McMurtry's 1997 novel ``Zeke and Ned.'' But Reeves is left out of the picture in S.W. Harmon's 1898 book ``Hell on the Border.'' However, as early as 1901 writer D.C. Gideon detailed Reeves in his book ``Indian Territory.''

``Among the numerous deputy marshals that have ridden for the Paris (Texas), Fort Smith (Arkansas) and Indian Territory courts none have met with more hairbreadth escapes or have affected more hazardous arrests than Bass Reeves, of Muskogee,'' Gideon writes. ``His long muscular arms have attached to them a pair of hands that would do credit to a giant and they handle a revolver with the ease and grace acquired only after years of practice. Several `bad' men have gone to their long home for refusing to halt when commanded to by Bass.''

Tom Wing, history professor with the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith, feels that Reeves was so well respected by local lawmen that he was offered a ``light duty'' job with the Muskogee Police Department.

As noted by the U.S. Park Service in a history of Bass Reeves, Judge Parker ``believed that black men would make great officers of the law in the Indian Territory, due to shared mistrust that existed between Indians and blacks toward the white man.'' That entry also notes that racial tensions were particularly high at the time and ``caused whites to feel anger toward a black man who had the power to arrest them.''

Until just a few years ago, it was more likely that only readers steeped in the lore of the west or Parker's court knew much about the deep-voiced man who sang softly before going into a gunfight. Reeves was also known to love racing his sorrell horse, and would go to extremes to serve writs. Once, he walked 28 miles dressed as a beggar and fooled two men and their mother into letting him stay the night. The men with a $5,000 bounty on their heads woke up in handcuffs.

In ``Black Gun, Silver Star,'' Burton recounts some stories from Adam Grayson, a former resident of Indian Territory, saying that Reeves tore up at least one warrant for a prisoner who outraced his sorrel steed.

Claude Legris, executive director of the Fort Smith Advertising and Promotion Commission and a member of the U.S. Marshals Museum's board of directors, said Burton told Reeves' story at a Fort Smith National Historic Site Descendant's Day event in the early 2000s and helped Reeves receive the notoriety for his bravery and incredible career as a lawman. The U.S. Marshals Service also started doing these events in 2012 in conjunction with the Cherokee Nation.

Sebastian County Circuit Judge Jim Spears, now retired, is credited with leading an effort to prominently enshrine the folk hero in bronze. After five years and several hundred thousand dollars in fundraising, Spears and his committee saw the unveiling of the large bronze ``Bass Reeves Legacy Monument'' by H. Holden at Ross Pendergraft Park in downtown Fort Smith in May 2012.

Spears said Bill Black presented the idea for a Bass Reeves statue after Spears' effort for a statue of President Zachary Taylor did not get traction. Spears is now leading an effort to erect a bronze statue of Judge Parker downtown.

Many U.S. Marshals who rode for Parker have received fame over the years: Paden Tolbert bringing in Ned Christie, for example. And ``The Three Guardsmen'' was a name given to a group who became legendary in their pursuit of many outlaws of the late 19th century: Deputy U.S. Marshals Bill Tilghman (1854-1924), Chris Madsen (1851-1944), and Heck Thomas (1850-1912).

``But they didn't stay there for 30 years,'' Spears said of the trio with Parker's Court. ``I think Bass Reeves' claim to fame is his persistence, and he bounced back after the murder trial.''

Spears also agreed with the National Park Service notes that point out that although Reeves is often credited with as many as 3,000 arrests and as many as 20 outlaws killed in the name of the law, the numbers ``have to be used with historical caution.'' Kennedy said they have only been able to verify five people were killed by Reeves, including his cook, which was most likely an accident.

``Bass Reeves was born a slave, but died a respected lawman, having served in the Indian Territory (and later Oklahoma), Arkansas and Texas,'' the National Park Service states. ``His career stretched from the U.S. Federal Court for the Western District of Arkansas in 1875 until two years after Oklahoma gained statehood in 1907.''

Barton quotes many sources in his book, and many times Reeves is credited with bringing in about a dozen prisoners or more at a time from the Indian Territory to the District Courthouse in Fort Smith.

The ``Court Notes'' of the July 31, 1885, Fort Smith Weekly Elevator for example states ``Deputy Bass Reeves came in same evening with eleven prisoners, as follows: Thomas Post, one Walaska, and Wm. Gibson, assault with intent to kill; Arthur Copiah, Abe Lincoln, Miss Adeline Grayson and Sally Copiah, alias Long Sally, introducing whiskey in Indian country; J.F. Adams, Jake Island, Andy Alton and one Smith, larceny.''

The legend of Bass Reeves will only continue to grow as more discover his story.

The Fort Smith National Historic Site has a room dedicated to the history of black lawmen and local military units.

``We may never know exactly how many black men served as Deputy U.S. Marshals,'' a placard at the Historic Site reads. ``There is no indication of race on federal records. Their names are listed side by side with other Deputy U.S. Marshals. All face the same hardships and dangers.''

The known black deputy U.S. marshals, however, are listed as Rufus Cannon, Bill Colbert, Bynum Colbert, Cyrus Dennis, Wiley Escoe, Neely Factor, Robert Fortune, John Garrett, Edward D. Jefferson, Grant Johnson, John Joss, Robert Love, Zeke Miller, Crowder Nicks (Nix), Charles Pettit, Bass Reeves, Ed Robinson, Dick Roebuck, Isaac Rogers, Jim Ruth, Dick Shaver, Morgan Tucker, Lee Thompson, Eugene Walker and Henry Whitehead.

The U.S. Marshals Museum in Fort Smith, which is in the process of constructing a building on the Arkansas River in Fort Smith for a national museum, has among its collection of artifacts a Spencer rifle Reeves took from a Civil War battlefield and two pistols Reeves purchased later during his career. The Three Rivers Museum in Muskogee also has several artifacts from Reeves' career as a lawman.

More U.S. marshals died in service while hunting down fugitives in the Western District of Arkansas than any other place. Eighty-two of the U.S. deputy marshals are buried at Oak Cemetery in Fort Smith. It's not known exactly where Bass Reeves is buried, but in the 1990s the Oklahombres organization placed a small marker bearing Reeves' name in the Old Agency Cemetery in Muskogee.

From 1920-1970, Kennedy explained, the name Bass Reeves, as well as those of Grant Foreman and Robert Fortune were forgotten outside the circle of family and local history.

___

Information from: Southwest Times Record, http://www.swtimes.com/

 

Minnesota Regulators Postpone Line 3 Meeting after Protests

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) _ Minnesota regulators postponed a meeting Tuesday on Enbridge Energy's planned Line 3 replacement after pipeline opponents disrupted the meeting with a bullhorn and a boombox.

Protests erupted as the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission met to discuss whether Enbridge met conditions earlier imposed by the panel. The PUC approved the project in June, giving Enbridge a green light to replace its aging Line 3 crude oil pipeline across Minnesota.

Opponents in the back of the PUC hearing room took out a bullhorn and made speeches aimed at the commissioners, the Star Tribune reported.

``You should all be ashamed,'' one protester said.

PUC Chairwoman Nancy Lange recessed the meeting but eventually canceled it when a protester playing music on a boombox refused to turn it off.

Several opponents sat with their backs facing the commissioners. Their shirts featured slogans such as ``Enbridge lap dogs.''

In a statement, Enbridge said it was ``unfortunate that a small group of people derailed'' the meeting. The Canadian-based company said the conditions that were up for discussion were intended to ``protect Minnesotans.''

``We acknowledge that the process has been long and difficult and raised many passionate interventions. But what happened today crossed the line,'' Enbridge said.

State Rep. Dan Fabian, a Roseau Republican who chairs the Minnesota House Environment and Natural Resources Committee, also criticized the protesters.

``Minnesota is better than this nonsense,'' Fabian said in a statement. He called on Gov. Mark Dayton's administration, the PUC and local law enforcement ``to do whatever necessary to prevent disruptions like this from happening in the future.''

Line 3 runs from Alberta, Canada, across North Dakota and Minnesota to Enbridge's terminal in Superior, Wisconsin. Enbridge wants to replace the line, which it built in the 1960s and is running at only about half its original capacity. The replacement would restore its original capacity. But Native American and environmental activists contend the new line risks spills in fragile areas.

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Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com

 

Massachusetts Unveils Plans for Mayflower Commemoration

BOSTON (AP) _ State and local officials have formally launched preparations to mark the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower's landing in modern-day Massachusetts.

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 famed ship that carried the Pilgrims to the New World, will sail to Boston in the spring and to Provincetown in the fall. The Pilgrims first landed in what is now Provincetown Harbor and signed the Mayflower Compact there.

Several events are also planned to honor the Wampanoag Indian tribe. The tribe's ancestors helped the settlers through their early years, though violent conflicts would erupt in the decades to follow.

Chickasaw Nation Company Makes Oklahoma State Chocolate Bars

DAVIS, Okla. (AP) _ A confectioner owned by the Chickasaw Nation has partnered with Oklahoma State University to produce collegiate-branded chocolate bars.

Gourmet chocolate bars made by Bedre Fine Chocolate are wrapped in packaging that bear OSU's logo and orange and black colors. They're sold at Bedre's retail store in Davis, about 70 miles (113 kilometers) southeast of Oklahoma City, online at Bedre's website and are available to wholesalers for distribution across the U.S.

Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby says the partnership is another way the Oklahoma-based tribe shows support for higher education in the state. Anoatubby says the Chickasaw Nation has supported OSU students in academics, research and athletics for many years.

OSU President Burns Hargis says the new partnership makes Bedre Fine Chocolate the university's chocolate of choice.

USDA Awards UC and Karuk Tribe $1.2 Million for Research and Education

As California and the nation grapple with the implications of persistent drought, devastating wildfires and other harbingers of climate change, researchers at UC Berkeley’s College of Natural Resources and the Karuk Tribe are building on a decade-long partnership to learn more about stewarding native food plants in fluctuating environmental conditions. UC Berkeley and the Karuk Tribe have been awarded a $1.2 million USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative grant for field research, new digital data analysis tools and community skill-building aimed to increase resilience of the abundant cultural food and other plant resources – and the tribal people whose food security and health depend on them.

Jennifer Sowerwine, UC Cooperative Extension specialist at UC Berkeley and co-founder of the Karuk-UC Berkeley Collaborative, and Lisa Hillman, program manager of the Karuk Tribe’s Píkyav Field Institute, will co-lead the xúus nu'éethti – we are caring for it research project.

UC Berkeley’s College of Natural Resources, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Karuk Department of Natural Resources will support the project with postdoctoral researchers, botany, mapping and GIS specialists, and tribal cultural practitioners and resource technicians. The San Rafael-based nonprofit Center for Digital Archaeology will help develop a new data modeling system.

Project activities include expanding the tribe’s herbarium (a research archive of preserved cultural plants launched in 2016 with UC Berkeley support), developing digital tools to collect and store agroecological field data, and helping tribal community members and youth learn how to analyze the results.

"For the xúus nu'éethti – we are caring for it research project, UC ANR’s Informatics and Geographic Information Systems (IGIS) team will lead hands-on workshops and consultations to build Karuk Tribal capacity to assess, monitor and make management decisions regarding the agroecosystem," Sowerwine said. "Workshop curricula for tribal staff and community members will include GIS training, 360 photospheres and drone images, and storymapping techniques. IGIS will also provide technical analysis of historical land use and land cover records to support researchers' understanding of agroecological resilience over time."

"We are delighted to continue our connection with UC Berkeley through this new project," said Hillman. "Through our past collaboration on tribal food security, we strengthened a network of tribal folks knowledgeable in identifying, monitoring, harvesting, managing for and preparing the traditional foods that sustain us physically and culturally. With this new project, we aim to integrate variables such as climate change, plant pathogens and invasive species into our research and management equations, learning new skills and knowledge along the way and sharing those STEM skills with the next generation."

The research team will assess the condition of cultural agroecosystems including foods and fibers to understand how land use, land management, and climate variables have affected ecosystem resilience. Through planning designed to maximize community input, they will develop new tools to inform land management choices at the federal, state, tribal and community levels.

The new project’s name, xúus nu'éethti – we are caring for it, reflects the Karuk Tribe’s continuing commitment to restore and enhance the co-inhabitants of its aboriginal territory whom they know to be their relations – plants, animals, fish, water, rocks and land. At the core of Karuk identity is the principle of reciprocity: one must first care for these relations in order to receive their gifts for future generations.

This work will be supported by the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Resilient Agroecosystems in a Changing Climate Challenge Area.

UC Agriculture and Natural Resources researchers and educators draw on local expertise to conduct agricultural, environmental, economic, youth development and nutrition research that helps California thrive. Learn more at ucanr.edu.

Tribal Leaders Question Maine AG on Water Rights

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ Maine tribal leaders and environmental groups are criticizing Democratic Attorney General Janet Mills for calling for review of a federal court ruling backing tribal fishing rights in Washington.

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to review a federal court order that could force Washington to pay billions of dollars to restore salmon habitat by removing barriers that block fish migration. The ruling stems from a 2001 lawsuit filed by 21 tribes and the Justice Department.

The lawsuit says tribes are being deprived of fishing rights guaranteed by treaties. Maine tribes and other critics say Mills' efforts threaten such rights and clean water rules.

Mills says she respects sustenance fishing rights of the Penobscot Nation and Passamaquoddy Tribes. Mills, who's running for governor, argues the Washington case is about federal overreach.

Biologist Says Caribou Herd May be Extinct

 SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) _ A biologist says the south Selkirk mountain caribou herd may be extinct after aerial surveys found only three remaining animals.

Bart George, wildlife biologist for the Kalispel Tribe, says two aerial surveys in March found only three female caribou. Last year there were about a dozen of the endangered animals.

The Spokesman-Review says that less than 10 years ago there were about 50 animals in the herd.

The south Selkirk caribou herd was the only herd living in both the United States and Canada. It ranges along the crest of the Selkirks near the international border, north of Spokane. The remaining 14 or so herds are all in Canada. It's estimated that less than 1,400 mountain caribou are left in North America.

Efforts to save the animals began decades ago.

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Information from: The Spokesman-Review, http://www.spokesman.com

Kansas governor signs bill protecting tribal regalia rights

Editors Note APNewsNow.

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer has signed a bill protecting the right of native Americans to wear tribal regalia and other cultural objects at public events.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the bill was sponsored by Rep. Ponka-We Victors. The Wichita Democrat is a member of both the Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma and the Tohono O'odham Nation in Arizona.

She contends some states have enacted similar laws in response to policies enforced at events like high school graduations where officials sometimes insist on strict dress codes.

The new law bars any state agency, school district or local government from prohibiting any individual from wearing tribal regalia at events or meetings.

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Information from: Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World, http://www.ljworld.com

Lawsuit seeks protected areas for West Coast humpbacks

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ A new lawsuit accuses the Trump administration of failing to follow the law on protecting humpback whales.

Two environmental groups and a nonprofit that represents Native American tribes filed the lawsuit Thursday in federal court in San Francisco.

There have been increasing reports of humpback whales tangled in fishing gear that cause some to die. Federal authorities have designated three groups of West Coast humpbacks as endangered or threatened.

The lawsuit says that obligates federal officials to designate special areas of the ocean as critical to protecting the humpback whales. It says authorities missed the legal deadline for doing so by 2017.

Spokeswoman Jennie Lyons of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the agency does not comment on litigation.

EPA settles with company to assess uranium sites on Navajo

CAMERON, Ariz. (AP) _ Federal officials have reached a settlement to have eight abandoned uranium mines assessed on the Navajo Nation.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says EnPro Holdings Inc. will install fencing and signs warning residents and visitors of potential radiation exposure at sites in northeastern Arizona near Cameron and Tuba City. The company also will assess for radiation and conduct biological and cultural surveys ea.

The work is expected to cost $500,000 and be complete by the end of the year.

EnPro is the successor to the A&B Mining Corp, which operated on the reservation in the 1950s.

Uranium was mined extensively from the Navajo Nation for use in Cold War weapons production. Hundreds of mines were abandoned without being cleaned up.

The tribe has banned uranium mining and processing since 2005.