Issue 28, July 20, 2016

    A Letter from the Publisher


    Shekóli. Back when Indian Country Today was a weekly newspaper, the editors published a collection of essays from the paper with the title “America Is Indian Country.” It’s an apt phrase, and the current edition of This Week From Indian Country Today supports the concept. In fact, given the far-flung regions from which our correspondents report, “The Americas Are Indian Country” is perhaps a bit more fitting. There is no part of Turtle Island that does concern the Indigenous Peoples. Consider this week’s articles and news reports:

    South Dakota: Rep. Kristi Noem (R) is facing an election challenge from Democrat Paula Hawks, currently a state legislator. Hawks has promised to visit every local tribal nation and explains why in an interview with ICTMN.

    California and Oklahoma: The contentious Indian Child Welfare Act case involving a young Choctaw Nation girl known as Lexi has seemingly come to a close, with a California court of appeals slamming the door on yet another challenge to ICWA.

    Canada: Energy giant Enbridge Inc. suffered a reversal in court when its permits for the Gateway Pipeline in British Columbia were suspended for insufficient consultations with various First Nations governments.

    Colombia: Indigenous activists are supporting a recent ceasefire accord between the government and FARC guerillas. They have pushed for territorial rights at negotiations currently ongoing in Cuba.

    Washington, D.C.: The National Indian Women’s Resource Center and other tribal organizations hailed a Supreme Court decision banning gun ownership for domestic abusers.

    New Mexico: The Bureau of Land Management has postponed the sale of drilling licenses for areas near historic Chaco Canyon.

    Wisconsin: Massive flooding hit portions of the Bad River Ojibwe, compelling community organizers to assist those isolated by washed out roads with food and supplies and prompting the governor to declare a state emergency.

    Alaska: Though the Alaska Native Health Consortium was thwarted by the American Dental Association in its dental reform for Alaska Natives, its efforts are inspiring a new model to bring better dental care to Indian country.

    Pacific Northwest: Tribal nations are clamoring for the return of the Ancient One, a.k.a. Kennewick Man, with Sealaska representatives adding their support.

    The Americas are indeed Indian country, and Indian Country Media Network is one way for readers to keep it all at their fingertips.

    NΛ ki wa,

    Ray Halbritter


    Julian Castro Should Be Veep

    Secretary of Housing and Urban Development is good for Native Americans, says Jennifer K. Falcon, and therefore good for the office of Vice President of the United States:

    After the Texas Democratic Convention, headlines were buzzing about former San Antonio Mayor and current HUD Secretary Julian Castro being on the short list as presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s running mate.

    Secretary Castro is the only minority on the list—and the best pick for Indian country.

    HUD’s FY 2016 budget included $660 million through the department’s Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) Program, to help tribal grantees invest in new homes, infrastructure and economic development. It included $80 million under the Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) Program. HUD also provided $8 million for the Indian Housing Loan Guarantee (Section 184) Program—a $1 million increase over 2015—to tribal communities to access private capital as a means of stimulating their affordable housing and homeownership programs.

    “When Native American communities succeed,” said Castro last year, “our nation succeeds.” He added, “By increasing funding for Native American communities, the President’s budget would give more families a fair chance to get ahead.”

    I have heard many people remark on Secretary Castro’s inexperience. He is not as well seasoned politically as other picks. But he has a different kind of experience than any other player on the vice presidential list or any other presidential candidate: growing up in America as a minority.

    If he is chosen as Secretary Clinton’s running mate, he will bring with him a whole new voice to the White House—the voice of the average American life that blossomed into greatness. He is an inspiration to marginalized communities across the country.

    Open Wide And Say ‘Progress’

    The medical establishment may protest, but Native-based midlevel oral health providers are helping isolated villages, writes Mark Trahant:

    More than a decade ago the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium experimented with a community-based program to train midlevel oral health providers because too few dentists were practicing in remote Alaska Native villages. Almost immediately this was an “Aha!” moment as other communities saw this as a smart way to expand dental access. Dental therapy students were hired and trained right out of high school and then were put right to work.

    But the American Dental Association sued to stop this program, saying that the providers were practicing dentistry without a license. The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium fought back and won, using the Indian Self-Determination Act and the Indian Health Care Improvement Act to trump state licensing regulations.

    The data today is clear. The program has been successfully providing routine dental care to some 40,000 patients every year. As the Pew Charitable Trusts wrote, “Evidence is growing that expanding the dental team to include midlevel providers, often called dental therapists, helps dentists build their businesses while increasing access to high-quality, cost-effective care.” Moreover, “a 2014 report from the Minnesota Board of Dentistry and Department of Health evaluated the impact of these providers and found that they expand access to care for vulnerable populations.”

    Across the country, both in Indian country and now in states, the idea of midlevel dental practice is expanding. Last summer at the National Congress of American Indians, Brian Cladoosby, chairman of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, said the tribe would expand dental health therapy using its own sovereign regulatory structure. In recent months tribes in Oregon began their own pilot program to train dental therapists.

    This innovation is the future.

    Bring The Ancient One Home

    Caught in a legal and cultural tug-of-war for years, the mummified remains of a Native antecedent known as “The Ancient One” are long overdue for repatriation, argues Rosita Kaa Háni Worl:  

    The Ancient One was found in 1996 near Kennewick, Washington. He is 9,000 years old. But he has been subject to a long and costly legal battle between his Native descendants and those who wished to control his remains for scientific study.

    Certain scientists mistakenly argued that the Ancient One was of Pacific Islander ancestry. Consequently, this prevented the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA)—which requires that human remains removed from Native homelands be returned to the lineal descendants—from being enforced.

    But the Ancient One’s Native American ancestry has been conclusively established. DNA analysis by researchers from Stanford University and the University of Copenhagen in 2015 proved he is related to modern tribes of the Pacific Northwest.

    Currently, the Bring the Ancient One Home Act has bipartisan support on Capitol Hill, with supporters ranging from Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) to Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho). The bill enforces current law and calls upon the Army Corps of Engineers—which has legal custody of the Ancient One—to facilitate his immediate return to his Native family. Significantly, the Corps agrees with the scientific consensus, which has been confirmed by researchers at the University of Chicago.

    After decades of delay, it is past time that the Ancient One was returned to his Native American family. His namesake act is a unique opportunity for Congress to enforce existing law, correct the mistakes of the past twenty years, and weave an important thread of Native American history back into our modern lives.

    ICT News

    A Tribe Called RedColombia Peace Accords Bring Ceasefire After Half A Century


    Indigenous activists support Colombia’s recently signed ceasefire accord but are pushing for inclusion of indigenous territorial rights, prior consultation and other issues as part of ongoing negotiations in Havana, Cuba.

    On June 23, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and FARC guerrilla leader Timoleón “Timochenko” Jiménez signed a ceasefire agreement to end the 52-year-long conflict that included the disarmament of the guerrillas.

    Indigenous communities welcomed the news but say that issues such as prior consultation, Indigenous property rights, return of kidnapped Indigenous children and other concerns must be part of the plan. They also reiterated that hundreds of thousands of Indigenous people have been hurt or killed in the crossfire among the various parties, and that the final accords must take this carnage into account.

    Among the parties that issued statements in the wake of ceasefire accord were the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC) and the Indigenous Regional Council of Cauca (CRIC). “In the last six decades,” the latter organization said, “the Indigenous territories of Cauca and the whole country has been the scene of a most cruel fratricidal conflict in which armed parties of the State and the guerillas have fallen, but in the great majority were people from social and community organizations that were caught in the crossfire between one and the other group.”

    Representatives of numerous Indigenous groups have reported that they will be in Cuba to continue with the negotiations. Although the ceasefire has gone into immediate effect, a final decision on the accord will be held by referendum in Colombia, perhaps as early as Colombian Independence Day on July 20.

    Native Groups Praise Supreme Court Gun Ban For Domestic Abusers  


    Tribes and tribal organizations welcomed a June 27 Supreme Court decision affirming a federal ban on allowing those convicted of minor domestic violence charges from possessing firearms. The groups consider the decision a victory for women’s rights and domestic violence survivors.

    The case, Voisine v. U.S., tested a 1996 amendment to the federal Gun Control Act that barred those convicted of misdemeanor domestic-violence offenses from owning guns. Rejecting arguments that the prohibition applies only to intentional acts of abuse, the court ruled 6-2 in favor of the ban.

    “This is a resounding victory for survivors of domestic violence,” said Cherrah Giles, Board President for the National Indian Women’s Resource Center (NIWRC). “In Indian country, where Native women suffer from domestic violence at rates higher than any other demographic, we are painfully aware of the fact that domestic violence perpetrators escalate their violent acts over time.”

    The NIWRC and 18 tribal coalitions filed a joint amicus brief in the case. The tribes included the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians, the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, the Seminole Nation and the Tulalip Tribes.

    “This decision is important for Indian country,” said Woodrow Star, chair of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation Law and Order Committee. “It better ensures that domestic violence perpetrators in Indian country who have been convicted of tribal crimes are covered by federal firearms restrictions.”

    “Today’s decision,” said Tulalip Tribes Chairman Mel Sheldon Jr., “continues the quest for parity and justice for which so many in our communities have been fighting.”

    Land Sale Postponed As Washington Consults With Area Tribes


    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has postponed an oil and gas lease sale on land near Chaco Canyon in New Mexico, pending consultation with the nearly two dozen tribes that hold the region sacred.

    The BLM has proposed four parcels, totaling approximately 843 acres, as drilling sites. Located just 15 miles from the ruins of an 11th-century ceremonial great house, the parcels are set to be included in an oil and gas lease sale to be held on January 18, 2017.

    Three of these parcels near Chaco Culture National Historical Park, a World Heritage Site, were to be sold at the BLM’s October 2016 lease sale, which would have comprised 2,122 acres. But that sale was canceled and the lots withdrawn as the BLM decided to conduct analysis pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and consult with New Mexico’s 22 pueblos. The BLM is also consulting the Navajo Nation, the Hopi and the Jicarilla Apache, all of whom are considered to have an interest in Chaco’s preservation.

    “The consultation process is ongoing,” confirmed Rick Fields, the BLM’s Farmington, New Mexico field office manager. “But like in any nation-to-nation diplomacy, we don’t reveal the details of who we speak to and what was said.” The BLM has hired Lola Henio, a new tribal program coordinator who is fluent in Diné, with a capacity in Tewa, to act as liaison.

    “This is the first time that tribal consultation has been used as a reason for a postponement,” said Rebecca Sobel, climate and energy senior campaigner for the conservation group Wild Earth Guardians.

    ICT News

    Juaneno Band Of Mission Indians Get Sacred Village Land

    Centuries after the Spanish seized Southern California land on which the Acjachemen Nation lived and thrived for 12,000 years, its original inhabitants—known today as the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians—have reclaimed a portion of it. In mid-June, the city council of Putuidem in Capistrano approved a $3 million plan that will effectively return 1.3 acres to the tribe.

    Putuidem is the Juaneño Band’s most sacred site, a center of the tribe’s roots and culture where ceremonies are still held. The city will continue to own the land, but the tribe will control it. The arrangement will ultimately include an entry road, a picnic area and a cultural center.

    “Not only will the center educate the public about the tribe, but four times a year the 1,900 tribal blood descendants will have exclusive use of the center for private prayer ceremonies—essentially a day during spring and fall equinoxes and summer and winter solstices,” the Los Angeles Times reported. “Plus, they can stop paying hundreds of dollars for a permit each time they want to host a large gathering on the public property.”

    In addition, a statue will be erected of Coronne, the tribe’s first female chief, who ruled from Putuidem.

    “We’ve never had a piece of land dedicated to our sole use since the Spanish,” Juaneño Band Chairwoman Teresa Romero told the Times. “We haven’t had any land to conduct a ceremony. For the city to recognize that is tremendous. The fact that we can connect with our ancestors here is a great victory.”

    Flooding In Northern Wisconsin Hits Bad River Reservation


    Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker declared a state of emergency on June 13 after storms caused flooding in eight northern and northwestern counties and hit the Bad River Ojibwe Reservation with particular severity. Several roads on the reservation and the surrounding area were washed out.

    “A trip that used to take only 10 minutes now takes hours,” said Delphine Hurd, a resident of Odanah on the reservation.

    High water cut off car traffic to Ashland, the main town in the region. The Bad River near Odanah broke records with a rise of 27.28 feet; photos from a story map site showed flooding over portions of U.S. 2 near Odanah. A natural gas main washed out on the Bad River reservation, leaving many residents without the means to prepare meals; some households lost power altogether.

    In the wake of the emergency, community members and tribal agencies went door to door in most affected areas to check on residents, organizing trips to outlying grocery stores for food and providing meals. Bad River Tribe Social and Family Service Director Esie Leoso-Corbine urged calm. “We were able to come up with funds to purchase essential food items,” she wrote on the Bad River Community posting board on July 13.

    NBC News reported two deaths as a result of the storm: Iron County Commissioner Mitchell Koski died in flash flooding near Saxon Harbor, while Delmar Johnson, 84, drowned after driving into a water-filled ditch outside the town of Cable.

    Tribe Draws Closer To Placing Land Into Trust For Housing

    Congressional legislation was passed last week that would enable the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians in California to take into federal trust nearly 1,400 acres into federal trust on which it plans to build 143 houses. The House Committee on Natural Resources voted 29–1 on July 13 to pass the Santa Ynez Land Transfer Act of 2015, HR 1157, which involves 1,390 acres. The dissenting vote came from Rep. Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara).

    “We were pleased with the Committee vote,” said Santa Ynez Tribal Chairman Kenneth Kahn. “The strength of this vote coming out of the Natural Resources Committee demonstrates that Congress fully understands progress needs to be made to address the desperate housing situation facing the members of our tribe. To that end, the leadership of our tribe remains committed to working with the county in finding common sense solutions to the issues of concern to both of our communities.”

    The Santa Ynez Band bought the land in 2010 and has been taking a two-pronged approach to placing it into trust. A federal trust application is pending before the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the legislation is wending its way through Congress.

    The tribe is financially successful, with the Chumash Casino Resort, two hotels and two gas stations employing 1,800 Santa Barbara County residents. But it lacks enough housing for its members, most of whom live off the reservation, the band says.

    “The need for housing on our reservation is serious and needs to be addressed immediately,” said Kahn.

    ‘Lexi’ To Stay With Utah Family

    Choctaw child will be placed with relatives


    Bottom Line: Unlike the ‘Baby Veronica’ case, another Native child custody battle has had a happy ending.

    Lexi’s riotous removal from her foster parents’ California home on March 21 was a media circus. (Santa Clarita, Ca)

    THE 6-year-old Choctaw girl known as “Lexi,” whose custody battle became a cause célèbre earlier this year, will be staying in Utah with her family.

    In a scathing 38-page decision issued on July 8, a three-judge panel of the California Second District Court of Appeals ruled against the claims of Lexi’s foster parents, Summer and Russell Page. The panel cited the couple’s “self interest,” their pattern of interference with and resistance to Lexi’s visits with her extended family, and their inability to facilitate an ongoing relationship with her siblings.

    These factors constituted “substantial evidence” that there was no good cause to depart from the placement preferences of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), the judges ruled.

    Last March, the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services removed Lexi from the Pages’ home in Santa Clarita, California after the couple initially refused to hand her over to social workers. With their refusal, they defied a court order that Lexi be placed with family in Utah, which includes two biological sisters.

    The transfer, carefully planned for months and intended to proceed smoothly, deteriorated into chaos after protesters and media descended on the house in an effort to prevent it.

    The case began in 2010, when Lexi’s father went to jail for selling stolen auto parts, her mother having disappeared shortly after her birth. After being assigned to several foster homes, the girl was placed with the Pages while her father worked to complete a “reunification plan.” Authorities told the Pages numerous times that Lexi would eventually be reunified with her father or sent to live with relatives.

    Nonetheless, the couple began indicating that they wished to adopt the girl. As a result, their relationship with Lexi’s father became strained. The Pages were “interfering” with his visitations and attempting to dictate the terms and length of his visits, Lexi’s father told ICTMN.

    According to court documents, the increasingly despondent father—who has a criminal record and history of drug use—decided to cease reunification efforts with Lexi after 18 months of failed attempts. He asked that she be placed with relatives in Utah. The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, the child’s attorney and the child’s guardian ad litem supported the move.

    Thus began a five-year legal battle by the Pages to retain custody of Lexi. Heading their legal team was Lori Alvino McGill, a Washington, D.C.-based attorney who represented birth mother Christy Maldonado as a pro bono spokesperson during Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl. The 2013 case involved a Cherokee Nation tribal member losing custody of his daughter after a legal battle that went to the Supreme Court.

    McGill, who represented the Pages as a pro hac vice counsel in California, has tried unsuccessfully to overturn the ICWA in various jurisdictions across the country, including Virginia and South Carolina.

    Addressing the primary issue―whether the Pages could show “good cause” to depart from ICWA’s placement preferences―Justice Sandy R. Kriegler wrote for the majority in the July 8 decision that the determination should not “devolve into a standardless, free-ranging best interests inquiry.” Kriegler noted that Lexi’s lengthy stay with her foster parents was borne solely out of ongoing litigation.

    “The United States Supreme Court has cautioned that courts should not ‘reward those who obtain custody, whether lawfully or otherwise, and maintain it during any ensuing (and protracted) litigation,’” the panel concluded.

    Morever, “A holding that the facts before us constituted good cause as a matter of law would circumvent the policies favoring relatives and siblings, and it would incentivize families who knowingly accept temporary foster placements to delay an Indian child’s ultimate adoptive placement in the hope that as time passes, the family will reach a ‘safe zone’ where harm to a child from disrupting his or her primary attachment is presumed as a matter of law. It is unwise and unnecessary to stretch the bounds of California law in that manner.”

    In dismissing the Pages’ legal arguments, the California court took the couple to task on several points. They criticized the Pages for being unwilling and unable to provide Lexi with a continuing relationship with her Utah family; for insisting that they monitor visitations; and for demanding that individual therapy sessions meant for Lexi should include the entire Page family.

    Regarding Lexi’s cultural ties, the justices also pointed out that the Pages were reluctant to engage in any of the suggested activities and had made only half-hearted attempts at incorporating Native American heritage into their lives. Summer Page, they specifically noted, had testified that a dreamcatcher made by Lexi had “ended up in the trash.”

    The Pages pointed out that they had joined the Autry Museum and had painted a wall in their kitchen “Navajo Blue.” In the end, however, the panel wholly rejected the Pages’ argument that their efforts represented Lexi’s best interest.

    “The Pages also do not—and in our view cannot—provide an adequate response to an issue raised most effectively by minor’s appellate counsel. Even though they appear before the court by virtue of their status as de facto parents, the Page’s efforts to show good cause are motivated by their own interests,” wrote Kriegler.

    “Minor’s counsel, not the Pages, has a legal and ethical obligation to represent Alexandria’s interests. The Pages lack the right to assert Alexandria’s interests because Alexandria has her own counsel, who represents her interests and also acts as her guardian ad litem.”

    After the decision, Lexi’s Utah family issued the following statement:

    “We respect the unanimous decision by the court of appeal justices. All who have been appointed to seek Lexi’s best interests—her court-appointed attorneys, guardian ad litem, social worker, the Department of Children and Family Services, and the dependency court judges—have unanimously echoed that Lexi should be raised by her family.

    “More than simply sharing a familial relation with us, Lexi has been a real part of our family since the moment her grandmother—our aunt—expressed her desire that we bring Lexi into our home. The determination we felt since then, when Lexi had just been placed in her first foster home, has provided vital strength for our family as we have waited for the courts to untangle the details.

    “We hope the appellate court’s ruling brings closure and finality to everyone involved, and Lexi is at last allowed to live a peaceful childhood in our home.”

    The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, an active party in the case from the beginning, supported the placement with the Utah relatives.

    “The Choctaw Nation is pleased that the California District Court of Appeals has upheld the lower court’s decision to place Lexi with her extended family and sisters in Utah,” the tribe said in a statement. “This has been the tribe’s objective under the Indian Child Welfare Act for more than three years.

    “We hope this puts an end to this needless litigation so Lexi can get on with her life.”

    Major Blow For Northern Gateway

    Inadequate Indigenous input on Canadian oil project


    Bottom Line: First Nations said they required more consultation on a $6.5 billion pipeline. A high court has agreed with them.

    The stalled Northern Gateway pipeline would carry bitumen 730 miles.

    Courtesy Enbridge Inc.

    Indigenous leaders are hailing the judicial revocation of permits for Enbridge Inc.’s Northern Gateway oil pipeline through British Columbia as a victory for adequate consultation.

    Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal overturned approval of the massive $6.5 billion pipeline project on June 30, ruling that Ottawa had not properly communicated with First Nations that would be affected by its progress.

    “We find that Canada offered only a brief, hurried and inadequate opportunity . . . to exchange and discuss information and to dialogue,” wrote two of the three judges on the Appeal Court panel. “It would have taken Canada little time and little organizational effort to engage in meaningful dialogue on these and other subjects of prime importance to Aboriginal Peoples. But this did not happen.”

    While the project could continue in theory, it cannot do so without thorough consultation with the First Nations who have opposed it as an environmental menace.

    “This decision reinforces, yet again, that First Nations have rights as peoples that are recognized in the Constitution and that full and meaningful consultations with affected First Nations must be undertaken and respected by all, including the Federal Cabinet,” said Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde.

    Other indigenous leaders concurred.

    “For years First Nations have called for meaningful and comprehensive consultations to ensure First Nation interests and concerns with respect to the environment are met when government and industry are planning projects that cross through our traditional Treaty territories,” said Federation of Sovereign Indian Nations (FSIN) Chief Bobby Cameron. “When will governments realize and accept that First Nations must be included especially in the area of natural resources and its development?”

    As conceived by Enbridge, Northern Gateway would carry bitumen 730 miles from Bruderheim, Alberta to the deep-water port of Kitimat, British Columbia. Ottawa first approved the project in 2014; it was required to meet 209 conditions, including that construction begin by the end of 2016.

    But a massive opposition effort, backed by both aboriginal and non-aboriginal communities, created major obstacles for the proponents. Perhaps chief among these was the current court case, which was brought last October by the Gitxaala Nation, the Gita’at First Nation, the Haida Nation, the Kitasoo Xai’Xais Band, the Heiltsuk Tribal Council, and the Nadleh Whut’en and Nak’az-dli Whut’en.

    “For years First Nations have called for meaningful and comprehensive consultations to ensure First Nation interests and concerns with respect to the environment are met when government and industry are planning projects that cross through our traditional Treaty territories,” said Federation of Sovereign Indian Nations (FSIN) Chief Bobby Cameron. “Last week’s Federal Court of Appeal ruling is another legal example of the affirmation of our Inherent and Treaty Rights to the land.”

    The aggrieved groups, concerned about the impact that a potential crude oil spill would have on sensitive areas of British Columbia’s environment, had managed to delay construction enough that it may not begin before the deadline. The court challenge launched by the Gitga’at and Coastal First Nations was just one of many tying up the project since the federal government’s pipeline approval.

    In May, the Supreme Court of British Columbia ordered the provincial government and Enbridge to pay First Nations’ legal costs of more than $230,000. The ruling, said Kelly Russ, Chair of Coastal First Nation (CFN), validated the communities’ dedication to their environmental cause.

    “We are very pleased,” Russ said. “The decision is a victory for the tireless work of our leaders and our Gitga’at community in the fight to protect the waters, lands and resources in the Great Bear Rainforest.”

    In that ruling, Justice Marvyn Koenigsberg found that the provincial government failed to fulfill its statutory duty to properly consult with coastal First Nation communities after signing an Equivalency Agreement with the federal Conservatives, granting the NEB full jurisdiction over the project’s environmental assessment.

    Northern Gateway President John Carruthers subsequently acknowledged Enbridge’s failure to properly consult all relevant parties.

    “Northern Gateway should have done a better job of building relationships with First Nations and Métis communities, particularly on the west coast of British Columbia,” Carruthers said. “While we had the right intentions, we should have done a better job of listening and fostering these critical relationships and developing our plans together as true partners.”

    Congressional Run, Tribal Outreach

    ‘We want to live a better life’


    Hawks’ priorities for South Dakota are healthcare, education, housing and law enforcement.

    Courtesy Hawks for U.S. House campaign

    Editor’s Note: Paula Hawks, a Democratic representative in the South Dakota legislature, is challenging incumbent Republican Kristi Noem for the state’s at-large seat in Congress. As part of her campaign, she is visiting every South Dakota tribe. In this interview with ICTMN, she explains her goals:


    Could you tell us a little about yourself and why are you running for the House?

    I am a South Dakota girl, born and raised. I was born outside of Flandreau on the family farm. I went to SDSU [South Dakota State University], where I met my husband. We have three kids

    I taught high school science for 10 years, then I ran for the legislature in South Dakota because I was very frustrated with the way education was being handled at the state level, and … it became apparent to me that South Dakota needed a strong voice in its one U.S. House seat. We need somebody who’s going to represent all of the people of South Dakota and work to make life better for the average South Dakotan.

    Could you talk about your relationship with American Indian communities?

    I went to school in Flandreau public schools. We also had an Indian school in Flandreau and there were good relationships between the Indian school and the public school. We had a lot of Native American kids in the public school.

    Growing up in that community, you couldn’t help but be aware of what was going on with all aspects of reservation life, and particularly for me as I watched economic developments ebb and flow with the Santee Sioux Tribe in Flandreau. You get a very strong feeling of what it is that they’re trying to do to improve their economic standing as well as maintain care for the people who live on the reservation.

    That’s not just economic development, it’s health care, education, housing and law enforcement. And having been in the state legislature for the last four years I also developed a very strong relationship with Native American representatives like state senators Troy Heinert (Rosebud Sioux), Shawn Bordeaux (Rosebud Sioux), Jim Bradford (Oglala Sioux), folks having a very close relationship with Indians there because they live there.

    They live on the reservation and they live and breathe it every day. Developing those relationships strengthened my understanding of what’s going on even further.


    Hawks recently paid a visit to the Sisseton Wahpeton Wacipi. Courtesy Hawks for U.S. House campaign

    Have you had any meetings with tribal leaders in regard to your candidacy?

    I’ve been to six of the reservations in South Dakota and we will be finishing up our tour of reservations in July and August. I have had an opportunity to meet not just with the chairman of each reservation but also with the tribal leaders on the reservations. I’ve had a chance to talk with them about what their concerns are.

    Topping their list is not just healthcare but law enforcement and education, housing opportunities, things that are really important not just to folks on the reservations but people everywhere. We all have the same concerns and all have the same desires. We want to live a better life and make sure that we have healthcare and jobs.

    What are tribes telling you they would need you to do if you win?

    They would need me to be willing to form partnerships with them. At the beginning of that is providing the funding to bring resources into the reservations. We need to prioritize that. It is not just our moral obligation. It is our treaty obligation and it’s something that we need to live up to. That starts with a good partnership between reservations and tribal leaders and their representative.

    Money in Indian country is an ongoing problem. What are some of the specific strategies you would use to bring more dollars to Indian communities?

    The first thing we need to do is look at what [resources] we have and then prioritize based on what our obligations are. And in this case our obligations are the treaty obligation to provide health care for Native Americans on their own reservation lands.

    What are some of the specific priorities for Indian health care in South Dakota?

    Number one: When we are in such a crisis situation that we’ve closed down emergency rooms and hospitals, our number one priority is to get those back open. That starts with providing resources, particularly funding. [IHS] is such a severely underfunded agency already that the small increases we’ve seen over the last few years don’t even begin to fill in the [gap].

    Would you keep the same basic structure for running those hospitals?

    There’s obviously some room for improvement in terms of administrative oversight. There are some things that need to be [changed] in terms of how IHS is run, but that again needs to be a partnership with the reservations.

    How about education, what needs to happen and how would you get it done?

    Again we’re looking at partnerships and being ready to open up those avenues of communication and allowing some of the things that have worked off of reservations to come on to the reservations and work for them. Again, it is all about building relationships and being willing to have those conversations with the people who are most intimately involved.

    What are some of the major problems in education in tribal communities?

    They have a really difficult time attracting and retaining educators and staff. When you are looking at a system where they are relying heavily on Teach for America where they bring in a teacher for a couple of years and then that teacher leaves, you have no continuity. And you don’t have the relationships that are so important to a good educational situation. So we have to find ways to attract and retain good quality educators on reservations.

    You mentioned law enforcement as another area where work is needed. Could you talk about some specifics there?

    We have a situation in several of our reservations in South Dakota where they have half of the manpower that they need for good quality law enforcement. We have a reservation, the Rosebud reservation, where they have [more than 1 million acres] of land to cover and they have [about] 20 law enforcement agents where they need 40.

    That’s not acceptable. They can’t do a quality job of law enforcement when they’re spread so thin that they can’t even cover half of the territory. Again, it comes down to resources and being able to provide not only the monetary resources, but the appropriate training for them to handle the situations that they’re facing on reservations.

    What else would you want people to know?

    What I want people to know is that South Dakota and the reservations in South Dakota deserve a representative who’s going to be there for them, who’s going to be speaking for them, who is going to be standing up and making sure that their voices are heard.




    July 1, 2016

    The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa is soliciting proposals from qualified, licensed attorneys to provide judicial services for the Band’s tribal court.  The Band anticipates selecting four individuals to serve as appellate court judges and one individual to serve as a pro tem trial court judge.

    The pro tem trial court judge will serve when the Band’s Chief Judge is unavailable, as assigned by the Chief Judge.  The pro tem judge presides on motions and requests of the parties; schedules and presides over conferences, evidentiary hearings and bench trials; conducts necessary legal or factual research; and renders legal opinions.

    The Band’s trial court hears cases on the first Monday and Tuesday of the month, unless the first Monday is a holiday. In that case, the court convenes on the second Monday and Tuesday of the month.  Other court dates may be scheduled by the Chief Judge as necessary. The Trial court hears cases involving violations of the traffic, animal control, truancy and conservation codes, as well as general civil matters, including but not limited to dissolution of marriage, name change, small claims, contracts, and probate.  In 2015, there were 179 new cases filed with the court.  The Band’s ordinances are available at

    The Band does not currently have an appellate court. The Band’s appellate code is currently under development.  It is anticipated that oral arguments will be held at the Fond du Lac Tribal Court, and that the number of appeals will not exceed five annually.

    Indian preference will apply in the selection process in accordance with the Band’s Tribal Employment Rights Ordinance.

    Applicants must meet the following minimum qualifications:

    a. Have graduated from an accredited law school and be admitted to the bar in any state;

    b. Have a minimum of 8 years’ experience practicing law (which may include service on a tribal, federal or state court bench);

    c. Have a demonstrable knowledge of Indian and Federal law;

    d. Be familiar with the Constitution and laws of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe and the laws of the Fond du Lac Band;

    e. Have never been convicted or pleaded guilty to any felony, nor been found guilty of any crime involving fraud or dishonesty or moral turpitude.

    Demonstrable knowledge and experience with Tribal Courts is preferred, but not required.

    To submit a proposal, send a proposal by e-mail to or by mail to Kristi Wheale, Clerk of Court, Fond du Lac Tribal Court, 1720 Big Lake Road, Cloquet, MN 55720

    The proposal should include

    • A proposed rate or fee;
    • A statement to indicate whether the applicant is interested in an appellate court position, the pro-tem trial court position, or both.
    • A resume and a statement of qualifications;
    • A list of at least three professional references that may be contacted by the Band. It is preferred that the references include clients for whom similar work has been done within the past two year period. References shall include a complete address, contact name and telephone number.

    Proposals must be received by 4:30 p.m. central time on Friday, August 5, 2016.

    The Week in Photos

    Cliff Matias

    War Dance contestant Mike Crowe, Jr. performed at the 41st annual Cherokee Pow Wow over July Fourth weekend.

    Courtesy Jessica Dailleboust

    Jessica Dailleboust, a registered Comanche and LPGA instructor for almost five years, is an assistant golf pro at the Talking Stick Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona.

    The “Renewal” Pendleton blanket is designed and produced by moccasin maker and beadwork artist Sarah Agaton Howes (Fond du Lac Anishinaabe).

    Courtesy Film Movement

    Rob Brown (White Earth Ojibwe) is featured in The Seventh Fire, a new documentary about Native gang life.

    Clinic Physician Needed

    Clinic Physician
    Min No Aya Win Human Services Center and Center for American Indian Resources
    Clinic Coordinator
    Pay Basis:

    Position Responsibilities:
    Provide direct medical care in clinic and impatient treatment at local hospital to patients eligible for care, including obstetrical patients.
    Make appropriate diagnoses and prescribe necessary treatments, procedures and medications following established medical practice.
    Record all information gathered and decisions made in the patients regarding their health status, treatments, and medications prescribed.
    Assist in the development of appropriate educational materials pertaining to specific health issues.
    Work with other members of the health care team as needed in the carrying out of prescribed duties.
    Provide on-call coverage usually one evening per week and one weekend per month.
    Serve on CQI committees as requested.
    Provide administrative back up when the Medical Director is on leave when directed by the Clinic Coordinator.
    Perform other related duties as assigned.

    Physical Requirements:
    Normal physical requirements.

    Position Qualifications:
    MD with Minnesota license is required.
    Graduate of approved Family Practice Residency, or five years experience in family practice setting is required.
    Ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing is required.
    Ability to work independently and establish work priorities is required.
    Attention to detail and accuracy is required.
    Subject to pre-employment, post accident, return to duty, follow-up, and random drug testing.
    Subject to pre-employment and annual background checks.
    Some travel is required.

    Native American Preference

    Please include with application your credentials and resume:
    Apply to: Fond du Lac Human Resource
    1720 Big Lake Road Cloquet, MN 55720

    Omaha Tribe of Nebraska is hiring for the following positions:

    Facilities Manager-

    Open 7/6/16 until filled, wage $35,000.00-$45,000.00, provides for the Tribe’s comprehensive Facility Management program, including but not limited to, maintenance, repair and upkeep of buildings structures, and grounds and roads.

    Public Relations-

    Open 7/6/16 until filled, wage $35,000.00-$45,000.00, Responsible for the Public Relations initiatives for the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska, the Public Relations Specialist creates, manages, and implements Public Relations campaigns with the goals for enhancing the Tribe’s position within the public.

    Carl T Behavioral Health Mental Health is hiring for the following positions:

    Therapists, CNA, LPN, RN for Dialysis & Nursing Home.

    All positions are Open Until Filled

    Please send your resume, three references, and a complete application to:

    The Omaha Tribe of Nebraska
    Attn:  Human Resources
    P.O. Box 368
    Macy, NE 68039

    Barry Walker, HR Director
    Phone: 402-837-5391 Fax 402-837-4526



    Headlines from the Web

    Upcoming Events


    July 22: Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Oversight Hearing
    The hearing will be devoted to “Accessing USDA Rural Development Programs in Native Communities.” Testimony will be given by Lillian Salerno, Deputy Under Secretary for the Rural Development Mission Area-U.S. Department of Agriculture; Lafe Haugen, executive director for the Northern Cheyenne Tribal Housing Authority of Lame Deer, Montana; and Timothy Schuerch, president and CEO of the Maniilaq Association, Kotzebue, Arkansas.
    Location: 628 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C.

    July 22-26: 2016 National UNITY Conference
    Celebrating 40 years of United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY), Inc., the five-day gathering will affirm the organization’s mission of fostering spiritual, mental, physical and social development of American Indian and Alaska Native youth, with an eye toward building a strong, unified and self-reliant Native America through greater youth involvement. Among the features will be several nationally known keynote speakers, more than 30 workshops, a cultural exchange night, talent show, and awards banquet and dance.
    Location: Renaissance Oklahoma City Convention Center Hotel, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

    July 26: Tribal Entity 501 (c) (3) Development Webinar
    The first half of this two-part session will provide an overview of how tribal entities can best cultivate and implement a 501 (c) (3) charitable nonprofit organization. Attendees will learn how to create a meaningful mission statement, develop and submit articles of incorporation, create meaningful bylaws, and apply for an employer identification number. Emphasis will be placed on the need to reflect the mission of the organization, as well as its priorities, boundaries and limitations.
    Contact Information:

    July 26-27: 2016 National American Indian Housing Council Uniform Training
    This training has been developed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Native American Programs as a primer on the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards Final Rule. The purpose of this training is to assist HUD/ONAP program recipients in identifying changes enacted by the new rule and applicable “exceptions.” The target audience is key management staff and/or decision makers of 3609 Office of Native American Programs Block Grant recipients.
    Location: Sheraton Albuquerque Uptown, Albuquerque, New Mexico

    July 27-28: American Indian English Learner Research Alliance Conference
    The first annual conference will celebrate Native languages, cultural preservation, and culturally responsive instruction and assessment with tribes, districts and schools. Presenters and speakers will share resources, information and tools, as well as provide opportunities for networking and collaboration. Sponsors include the New Mexico Public Education Department, Indian Education Bureau; the South Central Comprehensive Center at the University of Oklahoma; and WIDA at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research.
    Location: Route 66 Casino Hotel, Albuquerque, New Mexico


    Letters to the Editor

    Re Leonard Peltier’s reflections on his decades in prison (June 30):

    Leonard has carried the weight of cultural injustice on his back for 41 years. Unrepentant, the Federal Bureau of Incarceration continues its charade of guilt with demonic fervor.

    Cultural hatred is masked in the courtrooms of injustice as judge after judge refuses to release him. High in the courtroom of a federal office building, with a packed courtroom, with drums echoing from the street below, a judge with a worrisome look on his face conducts the hearing, adjourns absent a decision, and from the comfort of his home issues the negative decision. The weight of injustice sandbags the souls of judges and FBI agents ever deeper into the darkness from which there is no escape.

    Yet the tempered soul of Leonard Peltier, despite his long incarceration, finds both balance and harmony in his restricted life. With our deepest respect and thanks to Leonard, we recognize in him the strength and vision of our ancestors.

    —Sammy Snake
    St. Charles, Missouri



    Top News Alerts


    The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes have endorsed Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana for a second term. On July 7, the tribal council passed a unanimous resolution that backed Bullock; it cited his protection of treaty rights, support of a water rights settlement, and his commitment to government-to-government relations. “Steve Bullock has always stood up for our values, culture and heritage,” said Chairman Vernon Finley. “We know that Steve will remain a working partner.”


    The former superintendent of the Effigy Mounds National Monument has been sentenced for removing many Native remains from the Iowa site over more than 20 years, keeping them in garbage bags in his garage. For violations of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, Thomas Munson, 76, will serve 10 consecutive weekends in jail, be assigned a year each of supervised probation and home detention, and pay restitution of $108,905. All together, authorities said, Munson seized the remains of some 41 people.


    The Southwestern Association for Indian Arts, which produces the Santa Fe Indian Market, has announced its annual Indian Market artist fellows. In the Discovery category are Feather Metsch (Odawa), Melissa Melero-Moose (Northern Paiute) and David McElroy (Choctaw), while the Design category winner is Benjamin Harjo, Jr. (Seminole/Absentee Shawnee). There are four Youth category winners: Sam Slater (Navajo), Gracie Aragon (Acoma Pueblo), Jordyn Atencio (Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo) and Apaolo Benally (Navajo). All winners receive monetary awards and booths at the Indian Market.


    The Lac Du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Indians has banned moose hunting on its Wisconsin Reservation after a moose was shot and killed on July 6. Although the shooting was not technically illegal, the Lac Du Flambeau stated its opposition at the time, “due to the rarity of moose in this area.” Then, on July 13, the tribe passed an emergency rule banning moose hunting altogether. The emergency rule will remain in effect until tribal ordinances are amended to enact a permanent ban.


    An Indian Health Service emergency room serving the Rosebud Sioux in South Dakota has reopened, seven months after the federal government cited serious deficiencies in its operations. The emergency room at the Rosebud Indian Health Hospital on the Rosebud reservation resumed 24/7 service on July 15. “Today is a day of hope, but it is not the end,” said Rep. Kristi Noem (R-South Dakota). “The problems that led to the grave conditions in Rosebud remain.”

    Upcoming Pow Wows


    World Eskimo Indian Olympics

    400 Cushman South
    Fairbanks, AK

    Wolf Creek 5th Annual Pow Wow

    251 Main Street
    Bland, VA

    Tamkaliks 26th Annual Celebration

    70956 Whiskey Creek Road
    Wallowa, OR

    Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) 38th Annual Maawanji’iding

    14865 Ojibwa Park Road
    Baraga, MI
    906-353-4108 or 906-353-4278

    Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Green Corn Dance Pow Wow and Gathering

    27345 Aquia Path
    Courtland, VA

    American Indian Expo

    Caddo County Fairgrounds
    1019 E Broadway St.
    Anadarko, OK

    Saginaw Chippewa 32nd Annual Pow Wow

    7525 East Tomah Road
    Mount Pleasant, MI

    Onigum Traditional 18th Annual Pow Wow

    County Road 13
    Onigum, MN
    218-547-2270 or 218-252-6484

    Wildfire Phillips Annual Intertribal Pow Wow

    13 Sharon Drive Fair
    Fairhaven, VT

    Richard Twiss Memorial and Living Waters Pow Wow

    7790 Marion Road Southeast
    Turner, OR

    Kamloops Pow Wow

    No. 5 Yellowhead Highway
    V2H 1H1  Kamloops
    United States Minor Outlying Islands

    Nipmuck Indian 36th Annual Council Pow Wow

    Lake Siog Park
    Dug Hill Road
    Holland, MA

    How Did I Miss That?

    Death in the bullring, the chocolate upshot of Brexit
     and the last of D.B. Cooper


    Photo courtesy Steve Russell Steve Russell

    SPLC Report brought the news that Steve Smith, 45, has won election to the Luzerne County, Pennsylvania Republican Committee for a second time. He immediately shared the happy news on Stormfront, home of white supremacy on the World Wide Web.

    Smith is co-founder of Keystone United, formerly known as Keystone State Skinheads. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, “Smith has been active in an array of white nationalist, skinhead, and neo-Nazi groups.” The Skinhead leader won 69 out of 73 votes cast.

    My cousin Ray Sixkiller asked me if Smith got the bad news. I had to ask, “What bad news? Donald Trump already picked a running mate.”

    * * *

    The economic and political fallout continued over the U.K. vote for Brexit. Fast Company reported that an unintended consequence is that the collapse of the pound has caused the price of chocolate to spike, substantially raising expenses for chocoholic Brits. Because the pound is dropping so radically against the dollar, U.S. exports to the U.K. are going to be hurt.

    After seeing the impact of Brexit just days afterward, support for the E.U. is rising in the very countries that were feared to be the next dominoes in the fall of the entire alliance. Denmark is up 9.8 percent, Finland up 12 percent and Sweden up 3 percent.

    Cousin Ray reminded me that we still don’t know whether Brexit will cause Scotland and Northern Ireland to withdraw from the United Kingdom. That would leave only Wales. So the U.K. would be only one withdrawal from being called England again.

    * * *

    Victor Barrio, 29, has become the first Spanish matador to die in the ring since two years before he was born. That was when José Cubero, 21—whose fighting name was “Yiyo”—messed with the bull and got the horn. About 7,000 bulls die by ceremonial sword every year after being weakened by the picadors and toyed with by the matador.

    This is justified because it is “traditional.” Cousin Ray suggested that a better way to uphold “tradition” would be to reinstate the auto-da-fé. That “tradition” involved burning heretics, and the Spanish and Portuguese introduced it to the Indians of Brazil, Peru and Mexico.

    “They called us cannibals,” Cousin Ray reminded me. So why wasn’t the auto-da-fé the first BBQ?

    * * *

    In a cheap imitation of that kind of BBQ, KXAN reported on a case of “burnin’ love,” when Joshua Collins, 26, attempted to set his fiancée on fire. He doused her with lighter fluid but was unable to fire her up with a cigarette. She escaped when he went to get a lighter. He followed her and dragged her back by her hair. She escaped a second time and he was charged with aggravated assault. At press time, no wedding date had been set.

    * * *

    In a somewhat delayed happy ending, KXTV reported that a German Shepherd fell out of a vehicle on California Highway 99 and spent five weeks living on the highway median because of a combination of fear and a broken leg.

    After many 911 calls that reported an injured dog in the median, and several unsuccessful attempts to locate her, she was finally picked up by police officers from the city of Galt with help from the California Highway Patrol. Authorities had no luck finding the dog’s owners. But they put her in Bradshaw Animal Hospital for surgery on the broken leg.

    She now has a name, Frida, and a home with Galt Police Officer Sylvia Coelho.

    * * *

    The FBI has closed the book on the only unsolved skyjacking in American history. On November 24, 1971, a passenger on Northwest Orient Airlines who signed in as “Dan Cooper” stepped off the aft airstair of a Boeing 727 and fell about 10,000 feet wearing a parachute and $200,000 in ransom money.

    Forty-five years later, the case is closed unless new evidence turns up. Should that happen, there is no problem reopening the case, because the hijacker was indicted as “John Doe AKA D.B. Cooper.” The indictment tolls the statute of limitations.

    The only evidence found outside the aircraft was a placard with instructions for lowering the aft door, which was recovered in 1978, and, in February 1980, three packets of $20 bills with serial numbers proving they were part of the ransom money. Some theorize that the eruption of Mt. Helens on May 18, 1980 destroyed the rest of the evidence and buried D.B. Cooper’s body.

    “Or,” Cousin Ray snickered, “Cooper might be living in a palapa on a Caribbean beach where his biggest problem is dodging Zika mosquitoes.”

    The Big Picture

    Ashton Locklear (Lumbee) has been chosen as an alternate for the U.S. women’s gymnastic team for the Summer Olympics in Rio next month.Courtesy Ashton Locklear (Lumbee)