Sunday, October 25, 2009

25 Oct 2009: Native News from

Sisters lead hunt for native justice (CALGARY) -- They are the keepers of the flame for more than 500 missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada. And their crusade has become--for the moment, anyway--the whole country's crusade.

Judge: Unkechaug meets tribal sovereignty, immunity criteria (NEW YORK) -- A federal district court judge has ruled that the Unkechaug Nation, a state-recognized tribe, is a sovereign nation with immunity from being sued.

Indian court established at San Manuel (CALIFORNIA) -- The San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians started its tribal court on Friday, swearing in judges and appellate justices and establishing a third branch of government on its reservation, part of a growing trend among California Indians.

San Manuel Band of Mission Indians opens its own tribal court (CALIFORNIA) -- The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians on Friday became the latest California tribe to open its own tribal court, designed to hear civil cases and give members a chance to mediate disputes within their own culture.

San Manuel Indians celebrate opening of tribal court (CALIFORNIA) -- The San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians celebrated the grand opening Friday of its new tribal court with a special swearing in ceremony of six judges.

Editorial / Send in the troopers: Paterson doesn't need the cavalry to stop Indian buttlegging (NEW YORK) -- Gov. Paterson has appealed for federal help to combat rampant tax evasion by Indian cigarette dealers - anticipating, with good reason, that tribe members could respond with violence to a long-overdue crackdown.

Experts: Justice grants not a long-term solution to ending violence (WASHINGTON, DC) -- Tribal justice advocates are hailing awards from the Department of Justice to aid and improve three reservation-based domestic violence programs, but many say the money itself isn’t going to solve bigger federal Indian law problems.

Tribal leaders to Congress: End BIA homeownership bureaucracy (WASHINGTON, DC) -- Tribal leaders testified before Congress that government bureaucracy involving the leasing of Indian lands must cease, or increasing numbers of Native American young people will continue to leave their reservations.

Pressure mounts for Obama to settle Indian farmer case (WASHINGTON, DC) -- A group of tribal governments and some of the top Indian affairs lawmakers in the nation have added their voices to a growing chorus asking the Obama administration to rectify a discrimination suit involving the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Indian farmers.

BIA director meets with tribal leaders in state / He speaks about issues and challenges facing the tribes and why he accepted the BIA position. (OKLAHOMA) -- Larry EchoHawk, head of the U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs, met with tribal leaders Friday to discuss issues and challenges facing Indian Country.

Local tribes' leaders heading to White House conference (WASHINGTON, DC) -- Representatives of all 564 federally recognized Indian tribes have been invited to a White House conference next month, and at least three of Butte County's four tribes will participate.

Promises in Pawnee: Secretary Echo Hawk meets with tribal leaders, citizens (OKLAHOMA) -- In a voice that sometimes broke with emotion, Larry Echo Hawk, assistant secretary of Indian Affairs, addressed tribal leaders and citizens Friday in the Pawnee Nation College Wellness Center.

Need for NAGPRA improvements laid out (WASHINGTON, DC) -- “This is a repatriated item I’m wearing today. I wore it on purpose. You have no idea how important this is for me to wear. You have no idea how important it is for some little old lady in Kake, Alaska to know that I’m wearing this today.”

Feds closer to recognizing tribe (VIRGINIA) -- The Nansemond Indian Tribe is only one step away from federal recognition. A bill to grant federal recognition to the Nansemond and five other Virginia tribes needs only a majority vote on the Senate floor, expected soon, to pass.

State’s Indian tribes await verdict on legislation (VIRGINIA) -- Six Indian tribes in Virginia and the Lumbees of North Carolina on Thursday took another step toward federal recognition, which would make them eligible for federal aid.

Williams: Obama could help Va. tribes seeking U.S. recognition (VIRGINIA) -- Federal recognition for six Virginia Indian tribes is tantalizingly closer to reality than ever. Two bills that have passed the House were approved Thursday by the U.S. Senate's Indian Affairs Committee and sent to the full Senate, where Virginians Jim Webb and Mark R. Warner support them.

'Sweat lodge' tragedy shines spotlight on ancient ritual (ARIZONA) -- The death of three people at an Arizona spiritual retreat has cast a spotlight on the modern-day popularity of an ancient Native American ritual designed to cleanse the soul and purify the mind.

Despite Arizona deaths, local sweat lodges go on (ARIZONA) -- Once a week, Roman Birgin takes off his clothes, sits on a wooden bench in a 200-degree room and sweats away seven days of accumulated stress.

On Rural Navajo Reservation, Jobs Are Still Scarce (ARIZONA) -- Like thousands of Navajos on the reservation, where jobs are scarce, artist Elizabeth Whitethorne-Benally makes a living selling arts and crafts. But now her living room in the little town of Shonto in far northern Arizona is stuffed with unsold art.

Native American Uranium Miners Still Suffer, As Industry Eyes a Rebirth (ARIZONA) -- On the Navajo Nation, almost everyone you talk to either worked in uranium mines themselves or had fathers or husbands who did. Almost everyone also has multiple stories of loved ones dying young from cancer, kidney disease and other ailments attributed to uranium poisoning.

Special report: Desert Rock debate continues (NEW MEXICO) -- Navajo Nation leaders are increasingly looking to the proposed Desert Rock power plant to surge the tribal economy as new environmental rules threaten operations at existing coal-fired plants, potentially costing hundreds of jobs and millions in tribal revenues.

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