BIA adds golf course property to Suquamish Tribe’s reservation

The White Horse Golf Club, owned by the Suquamish Tribe of Washington. Photo from White House Golf Club

The White Horse Golf Club, owned by the Suquamish Tribe of Washington. Photo from White House Golf Club


 The Port Madison Reservation, home to the Suquamish Tribe of Washington, has just grown in size.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs added about 283 acres to the reservation. The property includes the White Horse Golf Club, which the tribe purchased in 2010 for $4.65 million. “The land was proclaimed to be an addition to the Port Madison Reservation of the Suquamish Indian Tribe of Washington, for the exclusive use of Indians entitled by enrollment or tribal membership to reside at such reservation,” the BIA said in a notice that was published in today’s issue of the Federal Register.

UW professor maintains roots, advocates for tribal law

By Morgan Krause, The Badger Herald

monette_profile_resizeUniversity of Wisconsin law professor Richard Monette carries the values instilled in him as a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, saying his tribe of 30,000 members in North Dakota is what gives him strength.

Monette said he credits much of his success to his educational journey. His collegiate experience began at his tribe’s community college in North Dakota and then continued at Mayville College, also located in North Dakota. Monette earned his graduate degree from the University of North Dakota and his law degree at the University of Oregon.

“I studied in a Catholic school, designed to convert us all,” Monette said. “Then I studied under a school funded by the federal government, designed to civilize us all. And finally I studied under my own elders, designed to save us all.”

After law school, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs hired Monette to serve as a staff attorney until he left to earn an advanced law degree at UW. Monette said he was invited to head the administration’s mission for Native American legislation when former President Bill Clinton was elected.

Monette then returned to UW to work as a professor, teaching tort, state and federal constitutional law. At one point, he said he took leave and went home to North Dakota to start an alternative school on the reservation.

“We had almost a 70 percent drop out rate in the high school on the reservation in North Dakota,” Monette said.

Monette’s past experiences have made him the voice to reference in terms of tribal law and relative issues. In addition to teaching, he works as a legal consultant for the Great Lakes Indian Law Center.

“I do whatever else I can do,” Monette said. “My unique ties to the Native American community means that Native American students come to my office all of the time, sometimes even undergrads.”

Recently, the state has proposed the Menominee tribe of Wisconsin reach a level where they can be deemed “entirely assimilated into society,” Monette said. This complete assimilation means the tribe would no longer receive the compensation formally provided by the government.

There is much discrepancy over the standards by which such decisions are made, Monette said.

“The only standard that seems to apply is if the state feels the tribe has enough money and resources to survive already,” Monette said.

Such “forced assimilation” is something that happens to a tribe every 40 years or so, Monette said. While no decision has been made regarding the Menominee tribe, it is certainly up for deliberation, he said.

Monette said a gradual implementation of laws pick tribes apart without much acknowledgement until it is impossible for tribes to sustain their languages and their cultures.

“A good deal of the relationships between the U.S. government and Indian tribes has been for the U.S. government to figure out how to separate the Indians tribes from their wealth,” he said.

Malloy opposes tribal recognition changes in letter to Obama

by Hartford

malloy_bio_picA change to the criteria by which the federal government recognizes Native American tribes, which gives tribes authority to open casinos and receive education and health benefits, would “devastate” Connecticut because it could result in tribal land claims to developed areas of the state, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy wrote in a letter to President Obama this week.

The U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs is considering changes that would mean “near automatic acknowledgement” for reservations existing since 1934 or earlier.

Current rules require that tribes prove political or social continuity throughout a group’s existence since 1789.

Malloy wants the bureau to eliminate from its proposal the clause that could mean recognition for 80-year-old tribes, and to not allow tribes that have been denied already to reapply.

Connecticut, uniquely, is home to three of the five tribes in the entire country that would presumably be helped by the change, according to Malloy. And they are the only tribes of the five who have been officially denied federal recognition.

The Eastern Pequots in the eastern part of the state, and the Golden Hill Paugussetts and Schaghticokes in the western part have been fighting for federal status for years.

Attempts have ultimately failed because they’ve failed to prove, under the current rules, political or social continuity.

Malloy wrote that the new rules would allow the tribes to retry their case, which they are not allowed to do under current rules, and could result in them making land claims to “vast areas of fully developed land” in Connecticut, and to push for casino approvals.

The governor and other state officials have voiced similar concerns since last year, when the bureau began considering the changes.

Read Gov. Dannel P. Mallory full letter here

Head Start Plans New Rapid City Building

By Jim Kent, South Dakota Public Broadcasting

Rapid City’s Head Start program has plans for building a multi-million dollar facility for the hundreds of Native American families it serves in the area. The ultimate goal of the facility is to have a better place for future generations to learn and grow.

Bruce Long Fox is executive director of Rural America Initiatives’ Rapid City office. The non-profit is responsible for the Head Start and Early Head Start centers in the West River town, and similar locations on the Crow Creek Sioux Reservation.

Long Fox says the buildings Head Start currently occupies are more than 20 years old and long overdue for an upgrade.

“When you start trying to do repairs you notice that the windows are out of square, and the doors are out of square,” Long Fox explains. “It’s not that we don’t have a place now, it’s that they’re just getting very old and expensive to repair and expensive to heat.” The new location will consolidate its services into one building, making it easier for parents with children attending both Head Start programs.

Besides classroom space, the $6 million, 28,000 square-foot facility will have a kitchen, administrative offices and meeting rooms along with outdoor teaching areas and a garden.

Long Fox tells nay-sayers there’s a simple reason for spending money when the economy is still in flux.

“We’re taught as Native Americans to look seven generations ahead,” says Long Fox. “And, so, we’re not just looking at today….we’re looking at the lives of these kids. And there are a lot of needs out there…and I understand that. But education has always been our salvation.”

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community has pledged to match up to $250,000 for donations raised toward the new Head Start building by December 18. The rest of the required financing will come from a federal Head Start grant and monies raised through local, regional and national fund drives over the next 5 years.


Kennedy Management Launches 100% Native American Owned and Operated Project Management and Consulting Company


Kennedy Management Company announced today its official transition from Kennedy Wendel to Kennedy Management Company, a 100% Native American owned and operated project management, training, owners representative, and consulting firm.

Source: Salamanca, New York (PRWEB) February 27, 2014

Kennedy Management Company announced today its official transition from Kennedy Wendel to Kennedy Management Company, a 100% Native American owned and operated project management, training, owners representative, and consulting firm.

Starting in May 2007, Kennedy Management worked in partnership with one of the country’s foremost multi-disciplined engineering and design firm, Wendel Companies. The two companies combined forces to deliver comprehensive design-build, engineering and design services, and construction management services to Native American tribes across the country.

Under the Kennedy Wendel partnership, Adam Kennedy, President of Kennedy Management, managed and led important project and construction management projects including Apache Nugget Travel Plaza Casino for the Jicarilla Apache Nation; commercial projects and a event center for Nez Perce Tribe; a hotel and child care facility for Yakama Nation; numerous gaming and non-gaming projects for Seneca Nation; and, Navajo Nation’s first casino, Fire Rock Casino in New Mexico.

President and General Manager Adam Kennedy said he “is extremely pleased with recent successes helping Native American clients and friends implement important economic enterprises for their tribes, and also help train tribal members to realize individual growth and sustainable opportunities.”

One of the most important endeavors Kennedy Management is focused is a unique training and mentoring program designed specifically for Native American tribes. The program identifies and creates specifically targeted educational training opportunities before, during and after building construction projects are undertaken. “The goal is to employ as many tribal members as possible on any given project,” stated Kennedy. “We want to help our people be successful with sustainable life-building skills and meaningful work experience.”

Most recently Kennedy Management introduced and worked with the Nez Perce Tribe in Idaho to create a new business enterprise called Nez Perce Construction Management Group (NPCMG), providing an economic opportunity for the Tribe and it’s members. In this role, Kennedy Management led the Tribe through a development program to plan, design and construct a new convenience store. The new convenience store became the first test project utilizing the new economic enterprise.

Kennedy Management helped provide leadership, training, mentoring and business strategy to organize the planning, design, and construction project. Working with the Tribe’s Human Resource team, a strategic plan was created to identify candidates to serve as project manager, superintendent, and administration along with forums to solicit candidates. Kennedy Management with NPCMG organized the bidding process to encourage, organize, train and hire a construction team with a goal to hire and train as many Tribal members as possible. Kennedy Management and NPCMG successfully implemented a project made up of nearly 80% Certified Indian Businesses (CIB) of which, roughly 65-70% were Nez Perce Tribal members and enterprises. The new convenience store named Camas Express opened at the end of 2013 in Winchester, Idaho.

About Kennedy Management:

Kennedy Management is a Native American-owned project management company specializing in planning, design and management of community and gaming projects of all sizes throughout Indian Country. The firm provides owner’s representative services, construction project management, and training and mentoring consultation to Native American clients throughout the East, Great Plains, Southwest, and the Pacific Northwest and California regions from bi-coastal offices in New York and Washington. The firm has first-hand experience working with various Tribal departments, has successfully implemented Tribal Preference and TERO compliance, has Tribal employees on staff and makes every effort to integrate Native Owned Businesses throughout all design and construction phases. For additional information about Kennedy Management visit

LIBERATION DAY: AIM Members Gathers at Wounded Knee to Remember 1973 Takeover


Liberation Day: They gathered to remember 1973 Wounded Knee. PHOTO Courtesy: Michelle Mills

Liberation Day: They gathered to remember 1973 Wounded Knee. PHOTO Courtesy: Michelle Mills

WOUNDED KNEE — Despite wintry temperatures, under a brilliant blue sky, Wounded Knee 1973 veterans, such as Clyde Bellecourt and Bill Means, were joined Thursday, February 27, 2014 with a younger generation of American Indian Movement grassroots members—many of whom were not yet born—to remember the takeover 41 years ago of Wounded Knee.

February 27th is known in Indian country as Liberation Day because it was on that date in 1973 the American Indian Movement (AIM) occupied the Pine Ridge Reservation near Wounded Knee in protest against the federal government and its policies related to American Indians.

PHOTO Courtesy: Richard Milda

PHOTO Courtesy: Richard Milda

A 71-day standoff between federal authorities and AIM ensued. On March 13, assistant attorney general for the Civil Division of the US Justice Department, Harlington Wood Jr., became the first government official to enter Wounded Knee without a military escort. Determined to resolve the deadlock without further bloodshed, he met with AIM leaders for days and, while exhaustion made him too ill to conclude the negotiation, he is credited as the “icebreaker” between the government and AIM.

PHOTO Courtesy: Richard Milda

PHOTO Courtesy: Richard Milda

Both sides reached an agreement on May 5 to disarm, and three days later the siege had ended and the town was evacuated after 71 days of occupation; the government then took control of the town. During the incident, a Cherokee and an Oglala Lakota were killed by the FBI.

Yesterday, those gathered remembered and honored the memory of 1973 Wounded Knee veteran, Carter Camp (Ponca), who walked on in late December with a dinner in Manderson, South Dakota.

Editor’s Note: Indigenous Peoples Issues and Resources contributed to this article.


See standout Northwest artists’ works at Camano gallery


By Gale Fiege, The Herald

Sculptor Karla Matzke of Camano Island helped national author E. Ashley Rooney write the recently released coffee table book “100 Artists of the Northwest.”

Rooney has written other books highlighting regional artists in New England, the Mid-Atlantic, the Midwest and the South.

Beginning March 1, the Matzke Fine Art Gallery and Sculpture Park features 25 of the 100 artists featured in the Northwest book. A book signing, opening party and potluck goes from 4 to 9 p.m. Saturday. The gallery and park are at 2345 Blanche Way on Camano Island.

People can see the show on weekends through April 13.

The 25 artists showing represent the artistic vibrancy of the Northwest region, Matzke said.

“Using paint, sculpture, glass, oil, clay, wood and other contemporary mediums, these 21st century artists combine, redesign, and transform their materials into pieces of works that change the way we perceive art in the Northwest,” Matzke said.

The artists, including Matzke, are Sabah Al-Dhaher of Seattle, Liana Bennett of Bothell, Brian Berman of Bainbridge Island, Lance Carleton of Lake Stevens, Shirley Erickson of Bellingham, Kathleen Faulkner of Anacortes, Aaron Haba of Camano Island, Karen Hackenberg of Port Townsend, Phillip Levine of Burien, James Madison of Tulalip, Lin McJunkin of Conway, Merrilee Moore of Seattle, Richard Nash of Oak Harbor, Peregrine O’Gormley of La Conner, Doug Randall of Portland, Debbi Rhodes of Camano Island, David Ridgway of Bellingham, Sue Roberts of Guemes Island, Ethan Stern of Seattle, Donna Watson of Camano Island and Bill Wentworth of Poulsbo.

The book, which includes a guide to galleries, sculpture parks, museums and schools, is available for sale for $38 at the gallery.

On April 25, 26 and 27, Matzke will host her Stone Carving Workshop and Retreat for beginning carvers and more experienced sculptors.

Instruction by master carver Alexandra Morosco will cover history, concepts, processes, techniques, materials and tools associated with the creation of three dimensional forms in stone.

Register by March 1 at or call 360-387-2759.

The Unbelievable Story Of Why Marlon Brando Rejected His 1973 Oscar For ‘The Godfather’


By Melia Robinson, Business Insider

The man who made offers others couldn’t refuse once refused the movie industry’s heftiest honor.

On March 5, 1973, Marlon Brando declined the Academy Award for Best Actor for his gut-wrenching performance as Vito Corleone in “The Godfather” — for a very unexpected reason.

Here’s how it went down.

The Movie That Brought Brando Back

In the 1960s, Brando’s career had slid into decline. His previous two movies  — the famously over-budget “One-Eyed Jacks” and “Mutiny on the Bounty” — tanked at the box office. Critics said “Mutiny” marked the end of Hollywood’s golden age, and worse still, rumors of Brando’s unruly behavior on set turned him into one of the least desirable actors to work with.

Brando’s career needed saving. “The Godfather” was his defibrillator.

In the epic portrayal of a 1940s New York Mafia family, Brando played the patriarch, the original Don. Though the film follows his son Michael (played by Al Pacino), Vito Corleone is its spine. A ruthless, violent criminal, he loves and protects the family by any means necessary. It’s the warmth of his humanity that makes him indestructible — a paradox shaped by Brando’s remarkable performance.

“The Godfather” grossed nearly $135 million nationwide, and is heralded as one of the greatest films of all time. Pinned against pinnacles of the silver screen — Michael Caine, Laurence Olivier, and Peter O’Toole — Brando was favorited to win Best Actor. 

Drama At The Awards Show

oscars-70s-marlon-brando-native-american-1On the eve of the 45th Academy Awards, Brando announced that he would boycott the ceremony and send Sacheen Littlefeather in his place. A little-known actress, she was then-president of the National Native American Affirmative Image Committee.

On the evening of March 5, when Liv Ullman and Roger Moore read out the name of the Best Actor award recipient, neither presenter parted their lips in a smile. Their gaze fell on a woman in Apache dress, whose long, dark hair bobbed against her shoulders as she climbed the stairs.

Moore extended the award to Littlefeather, who waved it away with an open palm. She set a letter down on the podium, introduced herself, and said:

“I’m representing Marlon Brando this evening and he has asked me to tell you … that he very regretfully cannot accept this very generous award. And the reasons for this being are the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry —”

The crowd booed. Littlefeather looked down and said “excuse me.” Others in the audience began to clap, cheering her on. She continued only briefly, to “beg” that her appearance was not an intrusion and that they will “meet with love and generosity” in the future.

Watch the scene unfold:

Why He Did It

In 1973, Native Americans had “virtually no representation in the film industry and were primarily used as extras,” Native American studies scholar Dina Gilio-Whitaker writes. “Leading roles depicting Indians in several generations of marlon-brando-1Westerns were almost always given to white actors.”

But they weren’t just neglected or replaced in film; they were disrespected — a realization that crippled Brando’s image of the industry.

The following day, The New York Times printed the entirety of his statement — which Littlefeather was unable to read in full because of “time restraints.” Brando expressed support for the American Indian Movement and referenced the ongoing situation at Wounded Knee, where a team of 200 Oglala Lakota activists had occupied a tiny South Dakota town the previous month and was currently under siege by U.S. military forces. He wrote:

The motion picture community has been as responsible as any for degrading the Indian and making a mockery of his character, describing him as savage, hostile and evil. It’s hard enough for children to grow up in this world. When Indian children … see their race depicted as they are in films, their minds become injured in ways we can never know.”

A tsunami of criticism toppled over Brando and Littlefeather following the Oscars, from peers in the industry and the media.

Still, Brando lent the Native American community a once in a lifetime opportunity to raise awareness of their fight in front of 85 million viewers, leveraging an entertainment platform for political justice in unprecedented fashion. His controversial rejection of the award (which no winner has repeated since) remains one of the most powerful moments in Oscar history.

How Native Americans Survived Last Ice Age Mystery Solved


Native Americans survived ice age living between Alaska and Siberia. Dori

By Hannah Osborne , February 27, 2014 19:00 PM GMT

The mystery of how Native Americans managed to survive the last Ice Age 25,000 years ago has finally been solved. they got through the extreme cold by battening in one place and feasting on woolly mammoths.

Researchers at Royal Holloway, University of London, and the Universities of Colorado and Utah believe they have worked out where Native Americans spent the 10,000 years before they settled in Alaska and North America.

Published in the journal Science, the scientists analysed fossils showing that ancestors of Native Americans lived in a region between Siberia and Alaska where there were enough woody plants to make fires to keep warm.

Prior to their findings, it was a mystery where Native Americans jumped the Ice Age gap and spent ten millenna before they arrived in the US.

Scott Elias, of Royal Holloway, said: “This work fills in a 10,000-year missing link in the story of the peopling of the New World.”

“Once burning, large leg bones of ice-age mammals would have burned for hours, keeping people alive through Arctic winter nights.”

–Researcher Scott Elias

The study shows how ancestors of Native Americans lived on the Bering Land Bridge, which now lies beneath the waters of the Bering and Chukchi Seas. The central part of Beringia was covered in shrub tundra – the dominant vegetation in modern Arctic Alaska – with dwarf willow, birch shrubs, moss and lichens abundant.

They made their discovery after analysing insect and plant fossils found in sediment cores taken from the ancient land bridge surface, around 60 metres below the water’s surface.

Elias said: “We believe that these ancestors survived on the shrub tundra of the Bering Land Bridge because this was the only region of the Arctic where any woody plants were growing. They needed the wood for fuel to make camp fires in this bitterly cold region of the world.

“They would have used dwarf shrub wood to get a small fire going, then placed large mammal bones on top of the fire, to ignite the fats inside the bones. Once burning, large leg bones of ice-age mammals would have burned for hours, keeping people alive through Arctic winter nights.”

Devils Tower rejects Daft Punk’s bright idea for concert

Electronic music duo Daft Punk won't be able to host 50,000 fans on private land adjacent to Devils Tower National Monument for a concert that would have included lighting the nation's first national monument with lasers.Image Credit AP

Electronic music duo Daft Punk won’t be able to host 50,000 fans on private land adjacent to Devils Tower National Monument for a concert that would have included lighting the nation’s first national monument with lasers.
Image Credit AP


by Daniel Simmons-Ritchie, Rapid City Journal

It was a plan that would have placed lasers at the base of the nation’s first national monument, attracted as many as 50,000 people, and starred one of the biggest names in music.

But it wasn’t to be.

The National Park Service said Tuesday that it has rejected a proposal by Daft Punk, an electronic music group renowned for elaborate live concerts, to host a show on private land adjacent to Devils Tower National Monument.

Reed Robinson, superintendent for Devils Tower National Monument, said an agency representing the group, ICM Partners, approached the park in the fall and the park officially denied the request on Jan. 31.

Robinson said the park consulted with six American Indian tribes about the proposal, all of which generally agreed that it would be a disrespectful use of one of the country’s most sacred American Indian sites.

“No event is going to be occurring in Devils Tower,” Robinson said. “Anything that was proposed is a non-starter, is considered an adverse action according to the National Historic Preservation Act, and goes against the Park Service management approach.”

Robinson said the request was highly unusual for the National Park Service. He said Daft Punk’s agency appeared to be scouting locations across the world for a concert or multiple concerts to be held around the summer.

He said the group’s agency was particularly interested in using lasers to light up the park’s 1,300-foot rock column at night.

“This being a night skies park and a natural park and a sacred site to 24 different tribes, that would be considered sacrilegious and gets into that ‘inappropriate use’,” Robinson said. “And that meant maybe we would have to close portions of the main trail to facilitate this kind of stuff.”

The group’s agency also indicated that it wished to host as many as 50,000 concert-goers.

“I don’t know if that’s logistically possible given the location of Devils Tower, but given that they won four — maybe five — Grammys, they might have been able to do it,” he said. “I’m not sure.”

Robinson said as discussions with Daft Punk’s agency continued through the end of last year, the agency grew to understand the significance of the site to American Indians and that the proposal was unlikely to be permitted.

Daft Punk is an electronic music duo from France that rose to popularity in the 1990s. At this year’s Grammy Awards, the group earned five awards, including record of the year and album of the year.