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NCAI CONDEMNS STERLING, LINKS RACIST
WASHINGTON – Leading up to Donald
Sterling's lifetime ban from the NBA for racist remarks, the National
Congress of American Indians issued a condemnation and drew parallels
to the Washington team's mascot.
The owner of the Los Angeles Clippers
drew widespread criticism in late April for his disparaging remarks
about African Americans on a recording made by his then-girlfriend,
V. Stiviano, after she posted a fan photo of herself on Instagram
posing with Magic Johnson.
"NCAI condemns Donald Sterling’s
appalling comments regarding African Americans," the
organization said in an April 28 statement. "There is no place
in modern society for that kind of hatred and discrimination. We also
want to applaud the many athletes, sportscasters, corporations, and
individuals who have spoken out against Sterling and his comments. It
is encouraging to see so many people standing together and declaring
that this behavior is unacceptable."
The organization linked the
controversy to its continuing efforts to eliminate racist images in
professional sports. Dan Snyder, an NFL team owner, has refused to
change his team's mascot. "NCAI is no stranger to facing down
racism and ignorance in American sports. Every incident of hate and
racism – whether a singular incident or the repeated, high-profile
use of offensive words and images – is unacceptable and has no
place in the 21st Century. We will continue to support the LA
Clippers players and fans as they face the fallout from Sterling’s
words and we will continue to fight for a world in which no race or
ethnic group is treated in this way."
KEYSTONE XL ACTIVISTS PROTEST ON
WASHINGTON – Tribal, environmental
and land activists that dubbed themselves the “Cowboy and Indian
Alliance” descended on the nation's capitol during Earth Week to
protest the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline from Alberta, Canada to the
Gulf of Mexico.
The week of
demonstrations began with an encampment of tipis and wagons on the
National Mall and culminated in a rally and march on April 26 to the
National Museum of the American Indian where a ceremony was held and
a tipi was gifted to President Barack Obama. Wizipan Little Elk, a
Rosebud Sioux Tribe citizen, was nearly arrested for walking into the
reflecting pool during a protest at the Lincoln Memorial. “You know
we're talking about basic human rights and there's not a better
location in D.C. than here with the man behind us and what he
represents,” he said.
The week-long protest drew thousands
of supporters and national media coverage. Among those supporting the
effort to stop the pipeline were musician Neil Young, actress Daryl
Hannah and Dallas Goldtooth of the Native comedy group the 1491s.
The Obama administration announced on
April 18 that it would need more time to review the State
Department's permitting process, pending an appeal to a ruling by
Nebraska's Lancaster County District Judge Stephanie F. Stacy who
ruled in February that a state law to allow the pipeline was
NAVAJO PGA GOLFER RECOVERING FROM HEART
DALLAS – Navajo PGA Tour golfer Notah
Begay, III is expected to make a full recovery after suffering a
heart attack in late April in Dallas, Texas.
According to the Golf Channel, he
received a stent to unblock the right coronary artery. The 41
year-old, whose family has a record of heart disease, is expected to
make a full recovery.
Begay is a four-time PGA tour winner
and currently is a television golf analyst for NBC and the Golf
Channel. In 2005 he founded the Notah Begay III Foundation in 2005
and works on behalf of Native American youth to reduce incidences of
type 2 diabetes and childhood obesity through grant-making, research
In a statement, Begay thanked friends
and well-wishers for their support. “I look forward to returning to
my duties as a golf analyst and to continuing the important work of
my Foundation. This experience has reinforced for me the need to
urgently address health and wellness issues among Native America
youth … I anticipate a full recovery and feel lucky to be at home
resting with my family.”
SHOSHONE-BANNOCK WINS MISS INDIAN WORLD
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Taylor Thomas,
reigning Miss Shoshone-Bannock and Idaho State University student,
was declared Miss Indian World on April 26 at the 31st
Annual Gathering of Nations powwow.
Miss Indian World is the cultural
pageant component of the gathering. Each year more than 30 Native
American women from compete in the pageant. Each contestant competes
in the areas of public speaking, personal interview, traditional
talent presentation and Native American dance and written essay.
Thomas also won Best Interview and for
her talent presentation, she shared the history of a traditional
Shoshone 49 song and dedicated the song she sang to all veterans. She
majors in political science at Idaho State University and is a
supporter of Native youth programs and language preservation effors.
She previously served as a National Congress of American Indian youth
ambassador from 2010-2012.
As Miss Indian World, Thomas will
spend the year traveling throughout the United States, Canada and the
world, representing Native American people and serving as an
ambassador on cultural issues. Taylor’s parents are Wendy Farmer of
Fort Hall, Idaho and Jason Thomas from the Kickapoo reservation in
MOHEGAN TRIBE REPORTS DECLINE IN CASINO
REVENUE AND PROFIT
MONTVILLE, Conn. – The Mohegan Tribe
of Connecticut reported a decline in revenue and profits at its
gaming enterprise on April 21.
According to preliminary operating
results, net revenues for the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority are
expected to range between $310.3 million and $323.0 million for the
quarter that ended March 31, which represents a 1 to 5 percent
decline from the same quarter in 2013. Gaming revenues are expected
to range between $272.8 million and $284.0 million, a decline of
between 3 to 6 percent.
Gross slot revenues are expected to
range between $189.8 million and $197.5 million, a 4 to 8 percent
decline; table games revenues are expected to see a decline of 1 to 3
percent at a range between $80.5 million and $83.8 million.
However, non-gaming revenues are
expected to increase by as much as 12 percent at $59.3 to $61.8
The tribe operates Mohegan Sun, an
Indian gaming facility, on its reservation in Connecticut and Mohegan
Sun at Pocono Downs, a commercial facility, in Pennsylvania.
NAVAJO FAMILY SUES RESTAURANT OVER
DRUNKEN DRIVING DEATHS
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A family from the
Navajo Nation is suing an Applebee’s restaurant in New Mexico for
the deaths of two sisters.
Deshauna Peshlakai, 17, and Del Lynn
Peshlakai, 19, were killed on March 5, 2010, when their family's
vehicle was rear-ended by convicted drunken driver James Ruiz. They
say the restaurant is at fault because Ruiz consumed alcohol there
before the accident.
The trial into the wrongful death
lawsuit began in federal court on April 21. A similar lawsuit was
settled with another restaurant where Ruiz had been drinking.
Ruiz is serving a 42-year sentence for
vehicular homicide. He pleaded guilty in state court.
The accident occurred in Santa Fe. The
family had attended a basketball game at Santa Fe Indian School
before they were hit.
YAKAMA NATION SUES TO STOP TOURS ON
TOPPENISH, Wash. – The Yakama Nation
of Washington is suing the federal government to stop public tours on
Rattlesnake Mountain, which the tribe holds as a sacred site.
According to the suit, the tribe
wasn't consulted before the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approved
the bus tours. However, the mountain is within the tribe's
"Laliik is associated with the
cosmological, religious and cultural practices and beliefs of the
Washani community of the Yakama Nation and other Indian tribes,"
the lawsuit states.
The bus tours are being conducted of
wildflowers on the mountain. The tribe contends there are other areas
on federal land where the tours could be led.
NEW YORK ASKS FOR $1 MILLION FEE FOR
ALBANY, N.Y. – The New York Gaming
Commission announced on March 30 that developers – including
several tribes – interested on bidding for a prospective casino
site in the Catskills will have to pay $1 million to start the
In addition to the non-refundable fee,
the new agency said it could cost up to $70 million for the actual
licensing fee. “This marks the beginning of the bidding process for
long-anticipated gaming facilities to benefit Upstate New York,”
Paul Francis, a member of the commission's facility location board,
said in a press release. “We look forward to reviewing and
evaluating the applications and will continue to conduct an open,
honest and transparent process.”
The commission will take applications
for four licenses – the Catskills, the Capital Region and Southern
Tier/Finger Lakes regions. One area will receive two licenses, widely
assumed to go to the Catskills.
The Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican
Indians of Wisconsin, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation of
Connecticut and the Mohegan Tribe, also from Connecticut, all have
expressed interest in bidding on a casino in the Catskills. The
Stockbridge-Munsee Band is also pursuing a casino under federal law.
Applications will be due June 30.
HO-CHUNK OPPOSE PROPOSED RAILROAD
MILWAUKEE, Wis. – The Ho-Chunk Nation
is opposing a proposed BNSF Railway line expansion project in
The tribe says that the four-mile route
that passes through tribal lands is a threat to sacred sites and may
cause health and safety issues.
Ho-Chunk Nation chief communications
officer Arvina Martin told media, “This process does require a lot
of consultation and we do need to have that happen, you can't get
around it. The Ho-Chunk Nation has to be consulted."
For its part, BNSF said it respects
tribal sovereignty and will reach out to the tribe.
NEZ PERCE SUE TO STOP GOLD MINE
LAPWAI, Idaho – The Nez Perce Tribe
of Idaho is suing the Obama administration to stop an open pit gold
mine in the Payette and Boise National Forests.
The federal government had previously
approved the mine but the tribe contends that the development did not
undergo a full environmental review to ascertain impacts on the land
The tribe exercises hunting, fishing,
gathering and pasturing rights near the land in question under an
INDIANA CORRECTIONS DEPARTMENT ALLOWS
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Indiana
Department of Corrections has reached a settlement with Native
American inmates who contended that their religious rights were being
Daniel Littlepage and 40 other Native
inmates at the Miami Correctional Facility said they weren't being
allowed to use a sacred pipe or hold sweat ceremonies. The facility
agreed to provide a chaplain to oversee and monitor the inmates'
ceremonies, including smudging and prayer circles.