Look for us at the NIEA Conference
Oct. 31st, Nov. 1st & 2nd - Rapid City, SD
Native Voices Books - Booth #400
Health advocates pointing to horrifying statistics of rape and assault of Native women are heralding a step forward by federal government officials to help expand access of Plan B to Native women.
As Associated Press reporter Felicia Fonseca reports, women seeking Plan B can now get it at Indian Health Services facilities without consultation or prescription.
IHS said more than a year ago that it was finalizing a policy to provide the drug directly to patients. That policy hasn’t been released, but the agency told The Associated Press that all IHS facilities run by the federal government are now under a verbal directive to provide Plan B to women 17 years and older at pharmacy windows without a prescription.
‘‘I want to reassure you that we have taken this issue seriously, and the IHS has, on several occasions this year, confirmed access to FDA-approved emergency contraceptive products in all IHS federally operated facilities with pharmacies,’’ the agency wrote in response to questions from the AP.
The verbal directive to IHS area directors came as welcome news and a sign of progress to the Native American Women’s Health Education Resource Center in Lake Andes, S.D., and to U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer of California. The resource center said it is moving forward with educating women on misconceptions about the morning-after pill and how to access it, focusing on South Dakota, Oklahoma and New Mexico.
The next step is getting a written directive.
According to Fonseca’s story, 1/3 of all American Indian and Alaska Native women will be raped in their lifetime, and nearly three of five had been assaulted by their partner.
The IHS said Plan B One-Step would be available without a prescription for all ages once products with the FDA labeling are available.
While Native women can go to any pharmacy at a federally managed IHS facility and get Plan B without a prescription, the rules can be different at facilities run by American Indian tribes. More than half of the IHS budget is administered by tribes through self-determination contracts or self-governance contracts.
The medication is free for Native women because of the federal government’s trust obligation to provide health care to them. Any woman 17 and older can buy Plan B from behind the counter at retail pharmacies.
But who was the first Native American Miss America?
ICTMN has the story of Norma Smallwood’s reign.
Norma Smallwood was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1906. She graduated from high school and earned the title of Miss Tulsa when she was 16 years old.
Smallwood was an art major at Oklahoma State College and was in her sophomore year of college when she captured the Miss America title in 1926.
During her year-long reign, Smallwood became a popular poster girl, and reportedly earned more than copy00,000, which, according to pbs.org, was more than Babe Ruth made that year.
Smallwood died in Tulsa in May of 1966. She was 57.
Both Smallwood and Davuluri came from relatively small towns, and were both firsts: Davuluri is the first Indian American to hold the title; and in 1926, Smallwood was the first Native woman (she was of Cherokee descent) to wear the crown.
And while Smallwood lived in a time when women marched in the streets for equality (American women had only been given the right to vote in 1920) Davuluri is being forced to fight to be accepted as an American woman. ICTMN wrote about the racial slurs that marred her win. Those racist comments referenced convenience stores and linked her to terrorism.
She shrugged off the racist backlash. “I have always viewed myself first and foremost American,” she said after being told about the comments in her first post-pageant press conference. “I have to rise above that.”
By Rob Chaney, of the Missoulian:
Anglers would remain the first line of attack to reduce non-native lake trout in Flathead Lake in northwestern Montana, but the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes want the largest toolbox possible to help balance struggling bull trout populations there.
CSKT endorsed an environmental impact statement alternative that calls for removal of up to 75 percent of the estimated 1.5 million lake trout in the state’s biggest freshwater lake.
Tribal wildlife division manager Tom McDonald said the process would be gradual.
“All we’re trying to do is establish a declining lake trout population and an increasing trend of bull trout and westslope cutthroat,” McDonald said on Thursday, shortly after the CSKT decision was announced. “Just to get it to move, using the tools we have – that would be a huge thing. We’ve been trying to do that for 13 years.”
Tribal, state and federal wildlife agencies have been working on the environmental impact statement for a long time as well, trying to find a way to prevent the predatory lake trout from eliminating Flathead’s other fish species. The draft EIS had four options, including doing nothing, and attempting to reduce the lake trout by 25, 50 and 75 percent.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service supported reducing lake trout by either 50 or 75 percent in July. The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks officially pulled out of the collaborative planning effort in March 2012. In June, it made several objections to lake trout-reduction plans, including that bull trout populations were secure, that gill-netting would kill too many bull trout and whitefish, and that reducing lake trout could trigger algae blooms that would hurt the lake’s water quality.
On Thursday, FWP spokesman Tom Palmer said only that the agency was “assessing the new information, and we’re going to continue to communicate with the tribes.” He would not comment on whether FWP still maintained those June objections.
Montana Trout Unlimited conservation director Mark Aagenes hailed the tribes’ recommendation and asked FWP to follow suit.
“We commend the tribes for producing a scientifically sound document and moving forward on reducing lake trout numbers in Flathead Lake,” Aagenes said in an email. “Our hope is that Montana FWP, a co-manager of the lake, sees this as an opportunity to re-engage in the process and continue its advocacy for native fish conservation.”
Lake trout, also called mackinaw, were first introduced in Flathead Lake in the early 1900s. Their populations were stable until the 1980s, when an introduction of mysis shrimp gave them a new food source that overbalanced their growth rate. Lake trout were blamed for first devouring Flathead’s kokanee salmon fishery, and then damaging bull and cutthroat trout numbers.
Studies done during the EIS process determined lake trout numbers could withstand a 75 percent cutback, although McDonald said the threshold wasn’t a hard target.
“We really want to use anglers, and hopefully we don’t have to use agency action beyond that,” McDonald said. “But we have those other tools available.”
That may include continuing the biannual Mack Days fishing derbies, although McDonald said another option was to offer a year-round bounty on lake trout. CSKT officials previously warned they would quit funding the fishing derby if the no-action proposal was adopted, because it was not producing a significant impact on lake trout numbers. The next derby is scheduled to start Oct. 4.
Other tactics include developing a commercial fishery for lake trout, or involving state or federal agencies to net the fish. McDonald said the challenge will be to find methods that have the least “by-catch” of bull trout and other struggling species.
Flathead Lake has an estimated 3,000 bull trout, and that species is listed as threatened by the federal government. If it were to shift to endangered, McDonald said that could cause far more disruptive measures to recover the fish.
On the other hand, reducing lake trout could boost perch and Lake Superior whitefish, which are also popular recreational fisheries.
“I don’t know anybody who comes strictly to fish for lake trout on Flathead Lake,” McDonald said. “This used to be a No. 1 fishery for kokanee (salmon), and that’s when these outfitter businesses started to develop. There were only 40,000 lake trout back then. The recreational fishing pressure has declined because there’s not a diverse fishery. It’s tanking right now, even when we’re paying people to come fish with Mack Days.”
The public will have an opportunity to comment on the preferred alternative when the Bureau of Indian Affairs publishes the final EIS. Read the draft Environmental Impact Statement on lake trout at mackdays.com/DEIS.
According to Native lore, the constellation of stars is a fisher that jumped into the sky while chasing its dinner. A professor in Minnesota is helping tell the story of Native stars and stories.
Ann Wessel of the St. Cloud Times has the story about Annette Lee’s work.
Lee, assistant professor of astronomy and physics, explained to a room full of teachers attending a summer conference at St. Cloud State, that in Ojibwe culture the fisher is a clever, fierce and brave animal and a good fighter. It climbed a pine tree and jumped through a hole in the sky to bring back the birds and, therefore, the spring. Fishers are constantly on the move, sleeping for only a few hours before returning to the hunt. Like the fisher, the Big Dipper is constantly on the move in the sky.
On the Dakota star map, the Big Dipper contains the Blue Spirit Woman, who helps newborns pass from the star world to Earth and back again.
Through the Native Starwatchers Project, Lee has introduced audiences in Minnesota and throughout the U.S. to some Dakota and Ojibwe constellations and the stories they carry. Minnesota teachers are tuning in because state science standards require instructors to show how people from other cultures, including the state’s American Indian tribes, have contributed to science.
“I think it’s important for people to understand that although the mainstream science uses European and Greek (constellations), it’s important to know it comes from a certain culture,” Lee said later. “There are many ways of knowing, and that’s just one way.”
. . .
Lee said she hoped her efforts would give native people a better sense of their own history — a history that is being lost in a culture where stories were spoken, not written.
“Part of it’s recognizing all different cultures. We all have our connection to the stars, and that’s one of the few things in this day and age that connects us,” Lee said.
Indian Country Today Media Network’s Lee Allen has the story:
Navajo ranchers are a hard-working lot, sitting tall in the saddle keeping an eye on roving range cattle—and now that hard work is starting to pay off. Quality grass-fed beef has now found its way into the newly-opened Twin Arrows casino, and other Indian gaming operations are taking a closer look at this Native-raised prime product.
“We’re an independent people, but we’ve worked together on this project,” says Gene Shepherd (Navajo), foreman of the 60,000-acre Padres Mesa Ranch on reservation land in Chambers, Arizona. His site is called a demonstration ranch because it acts as a training model for others to study.
. . .
One of the ranches observing the prototype lessons is 14R in the New Lands area (Nahata D’zhil) where 81 permit holders share 360,000-acres of grazing land under the leadership of ranch president Al Pahi. (New Lands is a section of the reservation set aside for Navajos relocated from Hopi partitioned lands).
“We show relocatees good ranching practices to elevate the standards of raising cattle,” says Pahi. “We’ve got 14 range units, about 25,000 acres per unit, where permittees are allowed up to 30 head of cattle,” he says, adding: “Our beef grazes naturally and feeds on a particular type of sage shrub that brings lots of protein and other nutrients as well as adding special flavor to our meat.”
Because Indian-owned casino restaurants have a growing need for quality meats—and because there are about 20 gaming facilities in Arizona with more across the border in New Mexico, the new Native American Beef Marketing Program aims to sell fairly-priced Navajo-raised beef to Native-owned casinos to feed hungry tourists.
. . .
One reason the Indian rancher/Indian casino connection is expected to prosper under Labatt’s leadership is the fact that there’s more than just reservation-grown ribeye. “Native American casinos are great customers, but they don’t have a need for all parts of the cow,” says distributor spokesman James Dublin. “They can use the steaks, but don’t have a need for other parts. We can find a home for every muscle, splitting the animal between Native casinos and elsewhere in our customer base.
“There’s a strong sense that this unique partnership program could move much more deeply into the Navajo Nation because they have so much land, there’s no need to over-graze. Cattle can be gently relocated without damaging landscape or stressing the animal, similar to what the Japanese do with their highly-praised Kobe beef.”
By Karin Eagle, Native Sun News staff writer
ROSEBUD – The Rosebud Sioux Tribe, located in the second poorest country in South Dakota, is making moves to create a way to not only save money for the tribal membership, but also create jobs.
“We live in an economically depressed area, so we have to find every small way we can to help people locally,” said Wizipan (Garriot) Little Elk, CEO of the Rosebud Economic Development Corporation, or REDCO.
REDCO is a politically neutral entity whose main function is to promote the best and fullest utilization of tribal resources through planning, implementing, and managing economic development projects on the Rosebud Reservation.
“The tribe spends around $3 million a year simply on office products and office-related products,” said Little Elk.
With tribal programs and small businesses purchasing office supplies, often at 100 percent mark up or more, the profits are leaving the reservation more, with very little return.
The Rosebud Economic Development Corporation wants to change that with the launch of Sicangu Business Products. The company offers a full range of products from printer paper to office furniture.
“Part of the strategy of REDCO has been to find ways to recycle dollars on the reservation, to start turning those dollars over, to strengthen our economy,” said Little Elk.
The plan is aimed at saving money for tribal-owned businesses, while creating a handful of much-needed jobs. But, Little Elk says, the vision for this new venture extends far beyond that, “We’d really like to start serving local school districts – both Todd County and St. Francis – and private businesses, individuals. You know, we’re open to business to everyone.”
Sicangu Business Products and other recent REDCO ventures are made possible, in part, through a $500,000 grant from Minnesota’s Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC).
A $525,000 grant to the Rosebud Sioux Tribe will assist with several different programs. REDCO received $200,000 for development of their finance office.
Sicangu LP Propane will receive $200,000 for start up costs and Lakota Water Inc. will receive $20,000 for equipment purchase, marketing, and advertising assistance.
Sicangu Landscaping Enterprise will receive $50,000 for start up costs, and $55,000 will go towards planning and design for the RST tribal building.
In previous years the RST has received $8 million in grants and loans for Turtle Crossing grocery store, a wireless broadband project, and energy assistance for their Low Income Heating Energy Assistance Program from the SMSC.
REDCO is located in Mission and can be reached at (605)856-5090.
Contact Karin Eagle at email@example.com. Copyright permission by Native Sun News.
The “Nooksack 306″ continue to fight, but a disenrollment process that will strip them of their membership is moving forward this week.
Seattle Times reporter Paige Cornwell has the story:
From the time he was a young boy paddling a homemade raft in Puget Sound, Phillip Narte grew up believing he was a Nooksack Indian.
“It was ingrained in us that we needed to be on the water, that we were Indian and water was in our blood,” said Narte, now 56.
The Nooksack Tribal Council disagrees. Earlier this year, the council voted to disenroll 306 members because the council believes they don’t meet membership requirements.
If finalized, the Nooksack action will be the largest tribal disenrollment in Washington state history.
The 306 members designated for disenrollment are all descendants of Annie George, who they say was a full-blooded Nooksack. Her children married Filipinos and moved to migrant-worker communities in Washington. George is not listed as an original land allottee or on the 1942 census, according to her descendants.
Tensions within the tribe have existed for decades, members say. The 306 members of the Rabang, Rapada and Narte-Gladstone families say they were enrolled in the 1980s, about a decade after the tribe became federally recognized.
The group alleges its disenrollment is racially motivated because of their Filipino ancestry. Members likened their disenrollment to an “ethnic cleansing.”
The tribe, however, has a long history of intermarriage with Filipinos, a tribal judge wrote in court documents, making their argument “that they are targeted because of their Filipino ancestry questionable.”
Members of the tribal council did not respond to numerous requests for an interview, but in a written statement to The Bellingham Herald, Chairman Kelly denied the disenrollment process was because of race or politics.
“We have been respectful and patient throughout this process, and it would be unfair to our community if we were to allow these people to remain members in the absence of any proof,” Kelly wrote.
Read the rest of the story here.
“They took care of us at one time and now it’s time for us to take care of them.”
According to tribal councilman Mike Fox, that was just one of the reasons to celebrate the release this week of 34 genetically pure bison to the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation.
The release was documented and covered by the Great Falls tribune reporter Karl Puckett.
Fish and Wildlife released 34 wild bison free of cattle genes to hoots and hollers from about 150 people who gathered Thursday to watch.
It has taken years and much debate to get the bison back to the land. They were released into a 1,000 acre pasture surrounded by 8-foot fencing.
Fox says Fort Belknap will manage a herd of about 150 of the wild bison and use them as seed stock for other agencies or tribes looking to reintroduce bison, too.
Rows of pickup trucks and cars lined up Thursday like they were at a drive-in movie to watch the animals charge out of the trailers through a chute and then to freedom. Some of the animals snorted and stomped inside the trailers while a few had to be prodded to escape. A pipe ceremony was conducted to welcome the animals.
“I wouldn’t miss this — gosh,” said Patty Quisno, a tribal council member.
Warren Bell, the driver of the semi-trailer that hauled most of the bison, said he departed Fort Peck 30 miles north of Wolf Point for the 180-mile journey west to Fort Belknap. Azure, driving a pickup truck hauling a trailer with the two large bulls, was following about an hour behind.
“Well, they’re pure buffalo, they’re not mixed with anything,” Bell said of the high interest in the animals as kids and adults peered through slits in the trailer to get look at the big beasts at Horse Capture Community Park.
By David Michaud, Native Sun News correspondent
Deb Butler has always been a very physically active person; she has just decided that she would start competing in a sport because of it.
She is currently training for her next competition, which will take place in March 2014, and says she is “determined to succeed.”
This is a large step from where she began.
“When I initially decided to compete in bodybuilding, my ultimate goal was just to be able to do just that,” said Butler. “I wanted to see if I was mentally and physically strong enough to handle the training, diet and everything else that came along with it.”
Having competed she now knows that she can, and wants more.
“Today when I look at my before and after pictures it still amazes me how committed I was,” said Butler, who in five months dropped almost 30 pounds to fine tune her body.
“I went into this competition with an open heart and just wanted to gain all the experience to step on that stage and show all my hard work and dedication,” said Butler.
Doing great in the competitions she enters is not Butler’s only goals though. With Native American suffering from high rates of diabetes Butler, who is now 30, believes that she can help others fight off this deadly disease.
“To me, it is sad to see that this diabetes epidemic has effected our Indian country,” said Butler. “Providing education and information in regards to staying fit and healthy is something I would love to provide to the Native community.”
Having been training to put her body in peek physical form Butler knows about how hard it is to train daily and eat right, and she believes that through her training she has gained valuable knowledge that she wishes to pass on to others.
“Eventually I want to create my own Prevention of Diabetes program where I can implement my knowledge and experience when it comes to being healthy and fit as well as provide personal training,” said Butler.
Even without having a program set up yet she has already inspired those around her to strive for a healthier lifestyle.
“When I started training for my competition I had friends reach out to me to tell me that with al the training I was doing I was influencing them to start getting in shape,” said Butler. “I was able to provide tips and information to help get them started and I’ve enjoyed hearing all of their amazing transformation stories.”
Butler also says that she has joined a Facebook group called, “Healthy Active Natives” that she believes helps its members help each other.
“I must say that the page has gone viral and it’s so beautiful to see all of the members pushing and motivating each other to be healthy and active,” said Butler.
She uses the page to provide others with knowledge she has gained throughout the years, including healthy tips and recipes. Along with that she has received messages from members of the group asking various questions and using the social media page to help in any way she can.
Having already helped so many, and with plans to help more, it will be no surprise if someday people are calling the Deb Butler Prevention of Diabetes program with questions.
Contact David Michaud at firstname.lastname@example.org. Copyright permission by Native Sun News.
Bread’s beaded hat box beat out almost 1,000 other entries to win the top prize, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican.
Bread’s winning piece, which also won in the Beadwork classification, is a hatbox featuring a colorful beaded image of a Native American man. The box also contains two pouches with sepia-tone images of other faces, also made of beads.
The faces represent Bread’s relatives, she said, and she thought of their past lives as she re-created their faces in beadwork. Because of that connection, Bread said, the award honors multiple generations.
“They would be very flattered,” she said after the award was announced Friday at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center.
A Blackfeet member from Montana, Bread said she has come to the annual market for the past 15 years and attended the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe in the 1970s. She called the Santa Fe Indian Market “the highlight of my year.”
Bread makes her home in Montana. This was her first major award at the show.
Eleven artists who took top awards in the judging classifications had their works displayed prominently throughout the convention center. As they spoke to the crowd during the ceremony, some merely offered thanks for their honors, while others talked at length about their artwork’s inception or themes. This year’s honorees came from a variety of locales across the U.S., including New York, Montana, Oklahoma and, of course, New Mexico.
For more on the market, click here.