TULALIP CITIZENS GRIEVE AFTER SCHOOL
TULALIP, Wash. – Leaders and citizens
of the Tulalip Tribes of Washington expressed shock following a fatal
shooting at a local public school that left three young people dead
and three others injured.
News reports identified the shooter as
a 14 year-old tribal citizen who took his life after opening fire at
the Marysville-Pilchuck High School on Oct. 24. Two teenage students
were killed while three others – including two other tribal citizen
– remained in the hospital in critical condition.
Tribal citizens came together on Oct.
26 for a vigil for the victims and their families. Tribal Chairman
Herman Williams said the local community will remain united as the
healing process begins.
“As we grieve in the wake of this
tragedy, the Tulalip Tribes and the City of Marysville stand
together, united in sorrow but determined to bring healing to our
communities," Williams said in a press release. "The strong
working relationship we have built over many years has proven
critical as we continue to respond to this unimaginable event. Our
priority is now on our children and young people.”
Condolences also poured in from Indian
Country. Brian Cloodosby, the chairman of the Swinomish Tribe reached
out to his fellow tribe in Washington. "As a father and
grandfather, my thoughts and prayers are with my Tulalip relatives …
All of Indian Country is holding the Tulalip people in our thoughts
NCAI’s executive leaders also offered
a statement in the wake of the tragedy. “We are deeply saddened by
the tragedy that occurred at Marysville-Pilchuck High School on
Friday. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the
victims, the students of Marysville School District, and the Tulalip
“It is at times like these that
Native communities from all across Indian County come together in
support of each other. As Native peoples, we recognize that every
youth is sacred. Each of the young people involved in this tragedy
represent a loss to the Tulalip tribes and Indian Country – they
were sons, daughters, friends, and future leaders of their
HISPANIC CIVIL RIGHTS GROUP JOINS IN
WASHINGTON – The National Council of
La Raza – the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy
organization in the United States – called on the NFL and
Washington football team owner Dan Snyder to change the team’s
The council’s board of directors
unanimously voted in support of the move Oct. 26. “Our brothers and
sisters in the Native American community have been clear and
consistent in their call to change both terms and images that they
consider demeaning. As an organization committed to fairness and
equality for all, NCLR fully supports these efforts,” La Raza
President and chief executive Janet Murguía said in a statement.
“The Latino community well understands that words matter and that
they can denigrate, disparage and dehumanize. We should treat all
people with the respect and dignity they deserve.”
Snyder has promised to keep the name,
which he says honors Native people. The team cited polls showing that
a majority of Americans – and even a majority of Native Americans
in one 10 year-old survey – do not find the team name offensive.
La Raza had previously joined with the
Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights – a coalition of
organizations including the NAACP and the American Civil Liberties
Union – in its effort to change the moniker.
Last year, the conference approved a
resolution that called on the team to change its name and “refrain
from the use of any other images, mascots, or behaviors that are or
could be deemed harmful or demeaning to Native American cultures or
“When groups like La Raza, NAACP,
ADL and NCAI are saying in a singular voice that it is time to change
this offensive name, it should serve as a wake-up call to the NFL and
Dan Snyder that they are on the wrong side of history,” spokesman
for the Oneida Indian Nation, Joel Barkin said.
NAVAJO NATION PRESIDENT JOINS
WASHINGTON TEAM OWNER AT GAME
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Ben Shelly, the
president of the Navajo Nation, and his wife Martha sat with the
Washington football team’s owner Dan Snyder in a suite during an Oct.
Shelly, who was not re-elected to
office in the tribe’s primary in August, said during the summer that
he believes the Washington team name is offensive. In April, the
Navajo Nation attempted to distance itself from a charity golf
tournament designed to raise scholarships for college students that
was sponsored by KTNN-AM (its Navajo-language radio station) and the
Washington team’s Original Americans Foundation.
“The Washington [team is] proud to
have President Ben Shelly and the Navajos along with Zuni and other
Western tribes that joined us at the game today,” spokesman Tony
Wyllie, the team’s vice president of communications said. “This is
representative of the support we have among Native Americans
Before the game, approximately 75
people protested the team outside the University of Phoenix Stadium.
Signs at the protest, which began three hours prior to kickoff,
featured slogans like, “Game over for racism” and “Snyder can’t
buy my support."
EASTERN SHAWNEE TRIBE CLAIMS FORMER
RESERVATION IN OHIO
RUSSELLS POINT, Ohio – The Eastern
Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma is making its return to Ohio, 182 years
after being forced to leave its former reservation.
The tribe purchased 50 acres of its
ancestral territory near Lewiston. The land was part of an allotment
owned by the daughter of Chief Blue Jacket but it fell out of Indian
ownership in the 1800s.
A local attorney has since uncovered a
document that he says shows the tribe’s rightful claim to the site.
Jim Calim said it took 12 years to track down the information.
"I’m really proud of the fact
that I found one for them,” Calim said. He said the document shows
the land should have reverted to the tribe after Blue Jacket’s heirs
The tribe had a reservation in Ohio
until being forced to leave in 1832. Lewiston had been set aside as
Indian territory under the Treaty of Fort Meigs in 1817.
The tribe will be asking the Bureau of
Indian Affairs to place the land in restricted status, according to
SAGINAW CHIPPEWA TRIBE TO INVESTIGATE
MUNDY TOWNSHIP, Mich. – The Saginaw
Chippewa Tribe of Michigan will investigate whether there are any
burial grounds along the route of a proposed pipeline.
ET Rover has conducted archeological
surveys for the 800-mile natural gas pipeline. But the company won’t
disclose whether it has found any burial grounds or settlements.
"If there are any Indian burial
grounds, we will do everything we can to protect them," tribal
spokesperson Frank Cloutier told media. "There are very specific
guidelines that must be followed. They are dead in the water if we
find burial grounds."
ET Rover will need approval from the
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to build the $4.3 billion
pipeline. The route runs through Michigan, Pennsylvania, West
Virginia and Ohio.
JUDGE RULES FOR WYOMING TRIBES IN
DIVERTED WATER DISPUTE
CHEYENNE, Wyo. – A federal judge
fined an irrigation district and its former manager for illegally
diverting water on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming.
Judge Alan B. Johnson said the LeClair
Irrigation District must pay $250,000 and remove four dikes that were
illegally placed on the Wind River. The district’s former manager,
John Hubenka, was also fined $350,000.
"Thanks in large part to pressure
by Northern Arapaho leaders, the wrongdoers who diverted the Wind
River and blocked Arapaho access to tribal lands have been held
accountable," the Northern Arapaho Tribe said on social media.
The federal government filed the
lawsuit. The Eastern Shoshone Tribe and Northern Arapaho Tribe joined
as intervenors. Johnson said the county won’t have to pay its fine if
the dikes are removed by April 30, 2015. Hubenka, who was previously
convicted for violating the Clean Water Act, will still have to pay
SANTEE SIOUX TRIBE PREPARES TO DEBUT
CASINO GOLF COURSE
NIOBRARA, Neb. – The Santee Sioux
Tribe of Nebraska will be opening a golf course at its casino next
The 18-hole Tatanka Golf Club at the
Ohiya Casino was developed by famed designer Paul Albanese. Each hole
tells a different story in the tribe’s culture – the beaver, the
trickster and the white buffalo are all featured.
"We took the history and the
culture of the area and the Sioux Nation, and used it as a design
inspiration in a subtle and respectful way," Albanese said in a
An opening date hasn’t been announced.
But the casino just posted a job notice for a general manager for the
DOI EXPECTS 30 PERCENT RESPONSE RATE ON
COBELL BUYBACK OFFERS
WASHINGTON – The Interior Department
has sent out more than $298 million in offers to landowners on the
Crow Reservation in Montana but only expects about 30 percent of
people to accept.
The $298 million was the largest round
under the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations. But DOI only has
$102.9 million for actual purchases.
“We’re just assuming that 30
percent may come back when it’s all said and done,” Debra Scott
of the Bureau of Indian Affairs said. “If that doesn’t occur,
we’re going into a second wave.”
The $3.4 billion Cobell settlement
provided $1.9 billion for Indian landowners who want to sell their
fractionated interests. DOI will pay "fair market value" as
required by the Indian Land Consolidation Act.
Since the program started last winter,
DOI has successfully concluded more than $146.4 million in
transactions, according to the press release. Nearly 280,000 acres
have been transferred to tribes.
NAVAJO NATION CANDIDATE WILL NOT STOP
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – Chris Deschene,
a candidate for president of the Navajo Nation, will continue his
campaign even though the tribe’s highest court said he must be
removed from the ballot.
Deschene was disqualified due to his
lack of fluency in the Navajo language. The Navajo Nation Supreme
Court said election officials must print up new ballots without his
"It is unavoidable that the
November 4, 2014 election must be postponed," the court said in
a decision that was issued Oct. 23.
But Deschene said legislation enacted
by the Navajo Nation Council just after midnight ensures the
viability of his candidacy. Bill 0298-14 states that language
proficiency is an issue left to the voters.
"Our campaign continues,"
Deschene said on Facebook on Oct. 24. "After midnight, and after
much thoughtful deliberation, the Navajo Nation Council passed
legislation that respects our fundamental right to choose our own
The vote on the bill was 11-10. Pro
Tem Speaker LoRenzo Bates had to step in and break a tie, according
to media. The Navajo Election Administration had previously
contemplated a delay in the election due to the language issue. The
agency hasn’t publicly responded to the Navajo Nation Supreme Court’s
Russell Begaye, who came in third in
the tribe’s primary, will appear on the new ballots if election
officials follow the court’s order. Joe Shirley, Jr., a former
president who speaks Navajo fluently and who came in first, remains
in the race.
ALASKA GOVERNOR SIGNS NATIVE LANGUAGE
BILL SIX MONTH LATER
JUNEAU, Alaska – Alaska Gov. Sean
Parnell (R) signed a Native language bill on Oct. 23, six months
after lawmakers approved it.
House Bill 216 designates 20 Native
languages as official in Alaska. Parnell intentionally delayed
signing it into law in order to present it during the Alaska
Federation of Natives.
"It passed in April,”
Georgianna Lincoln, an AFN board member and former state lawmaker,
told media. “One half a year later he wants the signing at the AFN
convention? Now isn’t that politics?”
Parnell, who is running for
re-election, is on the agenda for this morning’s opening session. But
the signing will take place away from the main AFN convention, which
took place on Oct. 23.
“It seems like it took on a life of
its own on social media, with people inviting other people and so
on,” AFN President Julie Kitka told the News. The ceremony was held
in another room at the Dena’ina Center.
CROW TRIBE SEEKS RENEWAL OF INDIAN COAL
PRODUCTION TAX CREDIT
BILLINGS, Mont. – The Crow Tribe of
Montana is calling on Congress to extend the Indian Coal Production
Tax Credit and make it permanent.
The reservation is home to a large
coal reserve. The tax credit enables the tribe to keep people at
work, Chairman Darrin Old Coyote said. “For the last few years,
we’ve been using the Indian Coal Production Tax Credit,” he said.
“When it expired in December 2013, we saw a $3 million reduction in
our budget as a tribe. A lot of our members are still on 32-hour
(work weeks) because of this. Without the tax credit, our future is
dim right now."
Rep. Steve Daines (R-Montana), who met
with the tribe on Oct. 22, is sponsoring H.R.4768 in the House, which
would make the tax credit permanent.
BIA ANNOUNCES CONSULTATIONS FOR
SECRETARIAL ELECTION REGULATION
WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Indian
Affairs will be holding consultation sessions on a new regulation
that affects Secretarial elections.
Three consultations have been
scheduled so far. They will take place Nov. 18 in Oklahoma City,
Okla. and Nov. 20 in Rocklin, Calif.
The changes have been in the works for
several years. The Obama administration held consultations in 2009
and 2010 on a draft rule and the proposed rule was published in the
Federal Register earlier this month.
"A Secretarial election is a
Federal election conducted by the Secretary of the Interior
(Secretary) under a Federal statute or tribal governing document,"
the Oct. 9 notice states. According to the notice, the BIA hasn’t
updated its Secretarial election regulations since 1981.