Arts

The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, August 20, 2017

Written by at August 20, 2017

A Charlottesville turning point, a Standing Rock shout-out, and a Jane Doe cold case, all captured attention in Indian country during The Week That Was for August 20, 2017.

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Chickasaw Student on Quest to Conduct Orchestra

Written by at August 19, 2017

Chickasaw student Austin Davis plays saxophone, but his heart lies in conducting a full symphony orchestra.

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Strategic Planning Crucial for Tribal Economic Sustainability

Written by at August 16, 2017

“You have to make a long term plan for diversification, but it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s important to commit to the reinvestment necessary to accomplish your goals so you are not bleeding enterprises dry while on the path. [It’s] critical to continually educate the leadership and community about the plan and how it’s progressing.” -Kelly Croman

Most tribes with significant gaming initiatives and related businesses can find themselves bombarded with myriad offers,

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Amusing Others Through Kill Media: Native Cultural Depiction

Written by at August 16, 2017

Amusing Others Through Kill Media: Native Cultural Depiction

As the summer blockbusters begin to heat up, a closer look at “Wind River” shows the same old story presented by Hollywood in the form of kill media

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‘40 Under 40’ Natives Named! National Center to Honor its Tenth Class of Awardees

Written by at August 15, 2017

Names of the “Native American 40 under 40” award winners have been released. This marks the 10th anniversary of 40 Under 40. Including 2017’s tenth class of honorees, the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development will have recognized 400 total emerging American Indians from across Indian country.

The National Center will honor the 2017 class 40 under 40 award recipients during its inaugural Northwest Enterprise Development Conference at the Tulalip Resort Casino in Tulalip,

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Mary Annette Pember: True Sioux Hope Foundation brings donors to Pine Ridge

Written by at August 15, 2017

Building on her successes in the business world, Twila True, a citizen of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, is hoping to bring change to the homelands of her people.

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True Sioux Hope Foundation Tours Pine Ridge

Written by at August 14, 2017

Twila True and the True Sioux Hope Foundation provided a tour of the Pine Ridge Reservation for about 170 wealthy supporters that was met with mixed opinions.

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Food Network’s Guy Fieri brings family to Pueblo Harvest Cafe for ‘Guy’s Family Road Trip’

Written by at August 13, 2017

Guy Fieri visits the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center’s Pueblo Harvest Cafe for “Guy’s Family Road Trip” and Tewa Taco recipe now on Food Network website

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Pueblo-owned Keres Consulting Forms Strategic Partnership Aimed at Winning Federal Contracts to Cleanup Navajo Uranium Mines

Written by at August 11, 2017

A new joint venture unites two Albuquerque, New Mexico-based companies—one Native American-owned company with expertise in environmental services and working directly with tribes, and one that has spent several decades invested in major environmental cleanup programs.

The Pueblo of Acoma-owned Keres Consulting, Inc. (Keres) has teamed up with Eberline Services, Inc. (Eberline Services), a radiological and environmental services provider, to create Keres Eberline Joint Venture, positioned to respond to federal environmental program opportunities set-aside for Native-owned businesses.

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Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands: Protect Hanford Reach

Written by at August 10, 2017

Washington state Commissioner of Public Lands has asked for the protection of Hanford Reach on the Columbia River as a national monument.

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Rezlist.org: Buy, Sell or Trade on the Craigslist-like Marketplace for the Navajo Reservation

Written by at August 10, 2017

Four Corners residents have a new tool to buy, sell or trade products and services. The online marketplace Rezlist.org creates a space where the public can post new or used items for sale, services, and job openings, as well as events and public information.

Rezlist founder Edward Chato-Seaton, a Navajo Nation member, conceived the idea for the platform when he was looking for parts for his 1976 Chevy Nova from his home in Kayenta,

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Wiyot Tribe questions attempt to buy ancestral island that was site of massacre

Written by at August 10, 2017

Controversy has erupted over an attempt by a non-Indian business owner to buy a large portion of Indian Island in California.

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New Hires Roundup: Four Female Executives Named to Lead Tribal Enterprises & Casinos

Written by at August 9, 2017

New Hires Roundup: Four Female Executives Named to Lead Tribal Enterprises & Casinos

Business and gaming industry veterans were appointed to top-level positions at tribally owned enterprises and casinos this year for both their experience and “empowerment, passion and perseverance.” This round-up of four new hires happens to be a venerable, all-female lineup, representative of the growing number of women assuming CEO and other executive level positions at tribal corporations, as well as in the historically male-dominant gaming world.

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California Tribe Enters The Cannabis Market

Written by at August 9, 2017

California Tribe Enters The Cannabis MarketMore and more Native American tribes across the country are looking into the cannabis market as a business enterprise for their people. Most recently the Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeno Indians have partnered with a cannabis company in…..

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Riding the Line: Enbridge and the horse nation

Written by at August 8, 2017

I am a traveler, for sure, but my love of the horse, the sound of horses on our Mother Earth,  the chance to see a monarch butterfly, a back trail, and a ride with my grandchildren brings me to horse. And on Sandy Lake, it brings me to canoes. We have become a people who travel very fast, and many of us rarely stop to taste the fresh raspberries, harvest the medicines, or swim in our lakes. And perhaps we have forgotten our relationship to the natural world and the horse nation.  

These past three weeks I have had the privilege of riding with great horsemen and women, mostly Dakota and Lakota who came to ride the proposed Enbridge pipelines – this time in Wisconsin, where Enbridge has two main lines – a triangle from Superior which stretches across Bad River, Lac Courte Orielles, and into Ho Chunk territory. The line turns towards the Great Lakes and to the proposed Line 3 route in Minnesota and through the heart of our manoomin (wild rice) territory. It is an epic time and in an epic time, we must be at our best.

I am inspired by courageous people. I believe that we all are, whether Delores Huerta, Nelson Mandela or the Crow Creek Boys who we came to know at Standing Rock.  At 21, Mason Red Wing is young for a leader. Standing Rock changed his life as it did for many of us. We remember Mason and his brother Talon Voice from the early videos of the horses and dogs at Standing Rock. “Many of those who travel, saw the grammas being arrested and thrown to the ground by Morton County. …I went out there to protect the women and children, to put our  bodies in front of them,” Talon Voice tells me.

“The dogs came straight for the horses, as soon as they released the dogs. We had to drive them back..” he said.

Asked why they ventured so far into the woods and lakes to support us in our battle against Enbridge, Mason said, “You guys helped at Standing Rock, so I said why not return the favor and come support you.”

The men of Crow Creek, Rosebud, Cheyenne River, Sisseton, and Santee are seasoned and weathered for their young age. Their lives are much more tragic than many, yet their love of the horse and the restoration of horse culture inspires all and heals them.

We remember who we are when we see our relatives on horse back. It is not only a healing for Lakota people. What brings us together is often the spirit, the need for redemption, and the horse nation.  

Tracy Hsu is from Elgin North Dakota, a K-12 Librarian in the school system. She rides through Minnesota with us. “What really prompted me to go to Standing Rock was the kids on horses. I saw that on FB [Facebook],” said Hsu. Those kids are Mason Red Wing, Talon Voice, Kaler Kirkie, Judson Stadel, Jason Skinny Bull,  Elliot, Matt Pumpkinseed, and many more.  

Tracy brought two half Percheron, half thoroughbred horses to ride along the proposed Enbridge Line 3 Pipeline. “ I wanted to show my support. You guys came to North Dakota.” She pauses, “I also wanted to represent what you call ‘the Deep North.’ That there are a few of us that are here, who support you, who are conscious and are good people.” 

To Tracy, the violence of the oil industry was wrong. “When they sicked dogs on people and closed the highway, I was all in. You don’t get to do that to people… Our family ranch was on the Cannonball…” she added.

The Black Snake

I became committed to ride this 200 mile stretch from Rice Lake Refuge in Minisinakwaang to Rice Lake at Gaawaabaabaanikaag, five years ago.  For those years I have ridden, always with other riders better than I, this route proposed for the pipeline. The Keri Pickett film, “First Daughter and the Black Snake” tells much of our story in the ride against the current of the oil, and our commitment to face Enbridge on a long battle.

A journey is not always in your planner. Each day is like a journey to me, that is if I am able to take the Creator up on the offer. We stop at the East Lake Powwow and probably for the first time in years, 20 horses circle through the Dance Arbor, and the host drum, Swampy Cree, sings a jingle dress song for the horses. After all, many jingle dress songs are related to horse songs.

Half way through the ride we got word that our Great Elder, Anna Gibbs, had passed on. The Dakota remembered her and asked to escort our Waasabiik, Anna Gibbs, to her final resting place at the family cemetery in Ponemah.  Tracy Hsu drives her white percherons to carry the casket, and the riders escort Anna. The ride and the journey are beautiful.

Let’s be clear that what is being proposed in the failing days of the fossil fuel industry is a disaster of epic proportions. It is the same with the extreme mining proposals, the Confined Animal Feeding Operations, and the proposed Back Forty Mine of Wisconsin. They are all part of an extreme way of life, one which is not sustainable.  A disaster of epic proportions, requires an epic answer, and courage.  On the horse, and on the land and water, you find that courage.

Most of us have had little faith in a state or federal regulatory process. And it turns out that we are related. The proposed Line 3 would add more tar sands to Enbridge’s Mainline system, and would feed into a proposed 42 inch Line 66, called a “twin” to the Line 61 in Wisconsin. Another Snake, Line 5, heads through Bad River to the Straights of Mackinac where hundreds of water protectors gather. Line 66 crosses Ho Chunk territory, and for a time, Deer Clan Elder Bill Greendeer joins us on the ride. 

The Enbridge Pipeline already cuts through one of thirteen Bear, Snake, Effigy and other mounds.
“… The Ho-Chunk Nation is no stranger to the damage caused by the oil industry to our sacred sites within our traditional territory. In its current capacity, the Enbridge Pipeline has already caused the irreparable damage to many sacred site on our homelands…”, Jon Greendeer, Executive Director of Heritage Preservation for the HoChunk Nation.

Eighty feet wide and 300 miles long, running the length of Wisconsin – through neighborhoods, businesses, farmsteads, forests, rivers – that is the swath of Wisconsin land controlled by Enbridge Energy Partners. Beneath that 80 foot swath are three pipelines carrying more than 2 million barrels of oil per day, and one pipeline carrying diluent pumped northward to extract oil from Canada’s tar sands. Now Enbridge wants more and up to 300 feet more of easement.

Unlikely Alliances

The pipeline makes unlikely allies, linked through a dysfunctional and outdated system of infrastructure.  People come to see us at every stop, bring food, water, and community feasts. In Marshfield, Wisconsin (site of the largest Enbridge spill in Wisconsin) we are sweaty from horses, and welcomed at the Presbyterian Church potluck with hundreds of people, including landowners who were deeply concerned about the Canadian company being granted eminent domain rights to expand a line in Wisconsin. We are put up in Tweed’s farm, a newly elected Tribal Council man from Lac Couirte Orielle reservation, with whom we talk of local food economies, horses and a future. 

Marjy Hanson, built her home 30 years ago near Marshfield. Wisconsin. To her, “this is about property rights… I have paid taxes here as have many of my neighbors who will suffer similar issues and some who have it worse, they will lose their home. Truly my husband and I believe 80 feet is enough.”  

The heavy lobbying of the Canadian pipeline company came to bear. In the summer of 2015 the Wisconsin legislature’s Joint Finance Committee, through the obscure Motion 999 process, changed Wisconsin’s eminent domain law to allow Enbridge to take private land through condemnations.

The proposed Sandpiper and Line 3 originally was slated to cross Lynn Mizner’s land, and after her she became intractable (ie: would not budge) Enbridge backed off and re-routed. So we camp in her yard and admire her sheep and her sheep dogs.
Each day is like a journey to me, that is if I am able to take the Creator up on the offer. 
What Mason and the other horse people did at Standing Rock changed our perceptions of who we are and where we are in history. The truth is, we have become a people who live in a box, not only a house, a housing project, a city, but a computer, a phone, and a box, of our own social limitations.

I remember clearly Mathew King saying, “the only thing sadder than an Indian who is not free, is an Indian who does not remember what it is like to be free…” And in many ways that is this time. For the Anishinaabeg to be free is to make maple syrup, harvest medicines, net fish, harvest wild rice  and live the life of these Northwoods and lakes. The Riders remind us to be free. The sound of the horse nation on our land reminds us of the larger life around us. I see the few monarchs, the quietude of our lakes, and am grateful.  

 (All photographs by Sarah Kalmanson.)

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The American Indian Community House, Still A Home Away From Home

Written by at August 8, 2017

Even though the American Indian Community House lost its funding from the Indian Health Service, the non-profit organization continues providing services.

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Jennifer Easton, Founder of First Peoples Fund and Sumasil Foundation, Walked On

Written by at August 8, 2017

Jennifer Easton, a naitonal leader in philanthropic support of Native interests and cultures, walked on August 1, from complications after surgery.

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Tribes Go Global: From South Korea to Vietnam, Native Casinos Are Looking Overseas to Create Destination Resorts

Written by at August 7, 2017

Well-established U.S. tribal casino brands are spending several billion dollars, or are prepared to invest billions, to build multi-faceted casino resorts in overseas markets. As Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment prepares to break ground in South Korea, Hard Rock International sets its sights on a beachfront resort community on the central coast of Vietnam. The Seminole Tribe of Florida assumed global ownership of the Hard Rock empire last year. Native casinos are particularly turning to Asia due to its high traffic and rise in the number of VIP gamblers.

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Puyallup Battle LNG Facility in Tacoma

Written by at August 7, 2017

The Puyallup and dozens of other tribes in the Pacific Northwest are objecting to a proposed Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility near Tacoma.

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$20M for Salmon Fisheries Assistance Means an Investment in Jobs

Written by at August 6, 2017

Washington state Representatives secured the funds to provide assistance to salmon fisheries with disaster designation by the Secretary of Commerce

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Publisher’s Letter Aug – Sep 2017

Written by at August 5, 2017

Shekóli. Is something happening here? This winter will bring the next installment in the blockbuster Thor series with indigenous director Taika Waititi at the helm; a Native Hawaiian, Jason Mamoa, stars as Aquaman in another huge production, The Justice League, premiering in November; and we’ve already enjoyed the rise of Eugene Brave Rock, who became a surprise breakout star in one of the most heralded films of the year,

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Hot List: Native Businesses

Written by at August 5, 2017

According to the most recent data by the Minority Business Development Agency, there are nearly 280,000 American Indian- and Alaska Nativeowned small businesses in the U.S.—an increase of more than 15 percent in 10 years. With Native-owned businesses on the rise, it was easy to compile this year’s Hot List. The real difficulty was in paring the list down to the following seven Native businesses.

Salute to the Ute

The Southern Ute Indian Tribe in Colorado is doing everything right,

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Big Upgrades at Michigan Casinos: Rebranding, Interior Facelifts, New Hotels & More

Written by at August 4, 2017

Michigan is home to 12 gaming tribes that run 23 casino-resort destinations scattered across its upper and lower peninsulas. Massive additions and aesthetic upgrades are underway, or were recently unveiled, at five, if not more, of the state’s tribally owned gaming attractions. From hotel towers to high-limit rooms to dining options, and even a name change, get the scoop:

1) Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort: $26.5 Million Renovation

The Saginaw Chippewa Tribe is leading a $26.5 million renovation of Soaring Eagle Casino &

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HDIMT: A Bald Eagle Nearly Drowns, and the Cherokee Phoenix Shows Off Its Tale Feathers

Written by at August 4, 2017

The Cherokee Phoenix will translate and print 19th Century stories for readers and a bald eagle nearly drowns in the Atlantic Ocean.

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Native American Youth Leadership Conference Breaks Attendance Record

Written by at August 3, 2017

More than 2,000 Native American youth gathered in Denver for the 41st Annual UNITY National Conference; the largest gathering in the organization’s history.

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