New Miss Indian World crowned

Cheyenne Brady, a member of the Sac and Fox tribe of North Dakota, was crowned Miss Indian World 2015 at the 32nd Gathering of Nations, held in Albuquerque this past weekend. (Photo Courtesy of Gathering of Nations)

Cheyenne Brady, a member of the Sac and Fox tribe of North Dakota, was crowned Miss Indian World 2015 at the 32nd Gathering of Nations, held in Albuquerque this past weekend. (Photo Courtesy of Gathering of Nations)

By Rick Nathanson, Albuquerque Journal

Cheyenne Brady, a member of the Sac and Fox tribe of North Dakota, was crowned Miss Indian World 2015 at the 32nd Gathering of Nations, which concluded Saturday night.

The annual powwow is the largest event of its kind in the world, attracting more than 3,000 Native American and indigenous dancers from 700 tribes across the country, Canada and Mexico. The event also draws more about 100,000 spectators and nearly 800 Native American and indigenous artists and artisans.

Judges selected Brady, 22, from a field of 21 Native American women who competed in such categories as tribal knowledge, dancing ability, public speaking and personality.

Brady, a student at North Dakota State University, will travel around the world during the next year educating people about tribal culture and religion, as well as serve as a role model and ambassador of good will on behalf of all Native Americans.

Ashley Pino, 25, from Acoma, N.M., a student at the University of California, Berkeley, was named first runner-up. She is a member of the Acoma, Santo Domingo and Northern Cheyenne tribes.

The second runner-up was 25-year-old Baillie Redfern, from Ontario, Canada, a member of the Métis Nation and a student at the University of British Columbia.

Tribal history and culture to be taught at all MSD schools

Marysville School Board members, MSD Native American Liaisons, Denny Hurtado of WA Office of Native Education and Dr. Kyle Kinoshita the Ex. Dir. of Learning and Teaching, Monday, Dec. 8, 2014, following the passing of Since Time Immemorial curriculum in MSD schools. (Tulalip News/ Brandi N. Montreuil)

Marysville School Board members, MSD Native American Liaisons, Denny Hurtado of WA Office of Native Education and Dr. Kyle Kinoshita the Ex. Dir. of Learning and Teaching, Monday, Dec. 8, 2014, following the passing of Since Time Immemorial curriculum in MSD schools. (Tulalip News/ Brandi N. Montreuil)

MSD adopts Since Time Immemorial curriculum during regular board meeting

By Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News

MARYSVILLE – The work to correct history began long before the Marysville School Board met on December 8, to vote on adopting accurate tribal history and culture via the Since Time Immemorial curriculum into their district schools. The idea was first introduced by then newly elected Rep., John McCoy (D-Tulalip), in HB 1495 on January 26, 2005. The bill proposed requiring school districts to offer tribal history and culture along with Washington State and United States history curriculum. It passed 78-18 in the House on March 9, 2005. However, since then school districts have lagged in offering accurate tribal history on the 29 federally recognized tribes located in Washington state. On December 8, MSD decided to unanimously pass adopting the Since Time Immemorial curriculum as part of required curriculum in all their schools.

“This is awesome. This is a big district and to have a school board adopt it means a lot to us at the Native Office of Education, us as Indian people, and the people who created it. This is a great thing, because they are saying how important it is to start teaching about our history and our culture,” said Denny Hurtado, the outgoing Director of Washington Office of Native Education, following the vote.

STI is the result of partnership between the State of Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, private and public agencies and several of the 29 federal recognized tribes in Washington state. The curriculum provides a basic framework of Indian history and understanding of sovereignty for grades k-12. Aligned with the Common Core standards for English, language and art, STI lessons can be adapted by teachers to reflect the specific histories of tribes in their local area.

Denny Hurtado, outgoing WA Office of Native Education Director speaks to Marysville School Board, Monday, Dec. 8, 2014, on developing Since Time Immemorial curriculum. (Tulalip News/ Brandi N. Montreuil)

Denny Hurtado, outgoing WA Office of Native Education Director speaks to Marysville School Board, Monday, Dec. 8, 2014, on developing Since Time Immemorial curriculum. (Tulalip News/ Brandi N. Montreuil)

Teachers Shana Brown from the Seattle School District who is of Yakima dependency, Jerry Price, a middle school teacher with the Yelm School District and Elese Washines, an educator in the Yakima Nation Tribal schools, developed the curriculum under the leadership of Hurtado. STI was designed not just for non-Native students, but also for Native students. Its purpose, explained Hurtado to MSD board members, is to breakdown Native American stereotypes and misconceptions and to build bridges between tribal communities and non-Native communities.

“All they [students] know about us is what they learned in school, which is very little, and what you see on TV, which is not true, and what you read about during Columbus Day and Halloween,” Hurtado said before the vote.  “I didn’t want this curriculum to seem like it was just an Indian thing. This was a true partnership to develop something good for our school to use. The purpose is to build bridges between our community and your community. That is a big point for us Indian people, because we have a lot of mistrust of the education system because our first experience of education was the military boarding schools.”

Over 1,000 teachers have received STI training by the Washington State Office of Native Education and 30 percent of school districts in Washington are using STI curriculum in some shape or form. Montana, Oregon and Alaska have also adopted STI curriculum in their school districts, and currently the Seattle School Board is looking into implementing it into their schools.

Tulalip member and MSD Native Liaison Eliza Davis speaks to Marysville School Board members, Monday, Dec. 8, 2014, on the importance of accurate tribal history in school curriculum. (Tulalip News/ Brandi N. Montreuil)

Tulalip member and MSD Native Liaison Eliza Davis speaks to Marysville School Board members, Monday, Dec. 8, 2014, on the importance of accurate tribal history in school curriculum. (Tulalip News/ Brandi N. Montreuil)

Matt Remle, a Lakota Native from the Standing Rock Reservation and Native American Liaison with MSD, who was present for the voting, said the change was long overdue. Fellow liaison, Eliza Davis, Tulalip tribal member, said the history of her own Tribe was lacking during her high school education.

“I graduated from Marysville-Pilchuck High School. I remember in Washington State history we watched the movie “Appaloosa.” That is what I remember of Washington State history. I don’t remember learning a whole lot about our Indian people or about Tulalip Tribes. I support the curriculum 100 percent. It is so important for our kids, all of our kids, and the whole community to understand the true history of all Washington Tribes, and also the history of Tulalip, Marysville, and what Tulalip does for this community as a whole. I think adopting this curriculum is the right direction.”

“I am excited for this day. I am excited about this and I am ready to approve this. We should have had this a long time ago,” said MSD board member Chris Nation right before the unanimous vote.

For more information on STI, please visit the website www.indian-ed.org.

 

Brandi N. Montreuil: 360-913-5402; bmontreuil@tulalipnews.com

 

UW seeks tribes’ help to recruit, retain Native American students

 

David "Napos" Turney Sr., who serves a mentor to Native American students at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, talks Tuesday about the challenges of increasing UW System enrollment among young people from the state’s tribes. Photo Mark Hoffman


David “Napos” Turney Sr., who serves a mentor to Native American students at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, talks Tuesday about the challenges of increasing UW System enrollment among young people from the state’s tribes. Photo Mark Hoffman

By Karen Herzog, Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel

Green Bay — Students at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay who want to learn about the state’s American Indian tribes don’t turn to books, but to tribal elders who live on nearby reservations and keep office hours in Wood Hall.

It’s a unique opportunity for any student on campus to sit face-to-face with a tribal member who is a repository of knowledge and wisdom passed on to him by his elders — everything from tribal beliefs and teachings to tribal culture, language and faith in the Great Spirit, the Creator.

Green Bay is within 100 miles of five Indian reservations for the: Oneida, Menominee, Ho-Chunk, Stockbridge-Munsee and Mole Lake. The Oneida reservation is on the city’s outskirts.

It would be logical to assume UW-Green Bay draws a large number of Native American students with its proximity to tribal lands. But like the rest of the UW System, UW-Green Bay’s enrollment of Native students is flat, while the numbers of other underrepresented minorities are growing.

Last fall, only 98 of UW-Green Bay’s 6,667 students were Native American. Systemwide, 679 of the 154,446 undergraduates at campuses across the state identified themselves as Native Americans — 0.4% of the total enrollment.

In an effort to better understand why that is — and what can be done to help more Native American students in Wisconsin earn college degrees — the UW System Board of Regents invited leaders of the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council to join them Friday at an unprecedented meeting in Stevens Point.

It may be the first time tribal leaders have sat down with leaders of the state’s system of higher education, UW officials said. UW Regent Ed Manydeeds and UW System President Ray Cross attended a Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council meeting in July to extend the invitation.

“The history that happened to these people didn’t happen that long ago,” said Manydeeds, the first Native American regent and a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

“They’ve never been asked anything; they’ve just been directed,” Manydeeds said. “They are entitled to the same careful relationship-building as others. We owe it to these people, like everyone else, to have a chance to be educated. We want them to help us help their students be successful.”

Wisconsin’s Native American population is about 1% of the total population, but the numbers have increased 12.6% since the 2000 census.

The state has 11 federally recognized tribes. About 45% of the Native American population is in the state’s metropolitan areas; 13.7% (7,313 people) lived in Milwaukee County in 2008.

UW-Oshkosh last year had the UW System’s highest Native American enrollment (117), followed by UW-Milwaukee (114), UW-Madison (112) and UW-Green Bay (98).

The Wisconsin Technical College System has about twice as many Native American students as the UW System. The state’s two tribal colleges have about the same as the UW System.

Increasing Native American enrollment may require a shift in campus culture, according to tribal elders at UW-Green Bay. There’s a need for non-Native students to understand and respect Native American culture, and a need for Native students to feel like they fit in on college campuses.

UW-Green Bay has a First Nations Studies program that focuses on Wisconsin’s Native American tribes and bands, and is considered a model for building understanding and respect of tribal cultures. It reaches students who are interested in a First Nations Studies major or minor, students learning to be teachers, and students in general education classes such as history.

David Voelker, an associate professor of Humanistic Studies and History, set out several years ago to fuse First Nations content with his American history classes because he wanted to teach in a way that was relevant and respectful. He has learned from tribal elders and colleagues in the First Nations Studies program.

“Part of it is reminding everyone that First Nations still exist,” said Voelker, who grew up in Indiana and had only a rudimentary exposure to Native American history while working toward his master’s degree and doctorate in American history.

“Just having more knowledge and respect is important,” Voelker said. “It’s hard to be respectful if you’re ignorant.”

Tim Kaufman, chair of the Education Department, considers the elders in residence the heart and soul of the Education Center for First Nations Studies. Students learning to be teachers take courses in First Studies and meet with tribal elders to help them better understand Wisconsin’s tribes so they can teach specific content in K-12 schools, as required by Wisconsin Act 31.

“One of the real focuses on this center and the program is interdisciplinary connections,” Kaufman said.

The First Nations Studies program teaches history, sovereignty, laws and policies, and indigenous philosophy. Students also learn about the contemporary status of bands and nations, according to Lisa Poupart, associate professor of Humanistic Studies, First Nations Studies and Women’s Studies.

Poupart is chair and adviser for the First Nation Studies program, and is an enrolled member of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Anishinabe (Ojibwe).

Menominee elders David “Napos” Turney Sr., and Richie Plass enjoy sitting down with students who stop by the First Nations Studies office in Wood Hall to ask questions. Many of the students are non-Native, and know nothing about Native culture.

They talk about everything from the degradation of school mascots to cultural stereotypes.

For example, “everybody thinks if you’re Native American and have a casino, you’re rich,” Plass said.

Plass, a published poet, was an Indian mascot in high school in 1968, and remembers traveling to another school where students threw banana peels, orange peels and paper cups at him. Then they spit on him.

“To me, there’s no honor in having people laugh at me, throw food on me and spit on me,” he said. Plass travels around the country with an exhibit he created on Native American imagery, showing both the “good” and culturally correct items from Native American culture and the “not so good” images, such as school mascots.

Turney said when he meets students, he asks who they are, where they are from and whether they have ever been around Native Americans. He is a Vietnam War veteran. He also works with students in Green Bay schools as a traditional elder in residence for the Title 7 cultural program.

Turney teaches Menominee at UW-Green Bay and in Green Bay public schools. Today, there are only five first-language Menominee speakers on the tribal rolls of 9,000 people, he said.

Turney and Plass sat deep in thought when asked why there aren’t more Native American students on UW campuses.

Part of it is the devastation of addiction on reservations, they said. “There’s some very smart Indian kids who didn’t graduate from high school because they were cutting the rug,” Plass said.

Tribal colleges on tribal lands have helped raise the numbers of college educated American Indians, he said.

Some Native Americans don’t realize they need a college degree until they are adults, Turney said. He didn’t earn his bachelor’s degree until he was 50.

Why did it take him so long?

“I didn’t think I was ready for it and I didn’t think I could do it,” he said. “When I was young, I also was worried they would change my way of thinking or who I was if I went to college. I was really proud of who I was.”

It also can be hard for Native American youths to fit in on college campuses because there are so few students like them, Turney and Plass said.

Plass said many youths just don’t want to leave the reservation — sovereign land where they can hunt and fish whenever they want.

And then there’s racism. “That’s a very uncomfortable subject to come out,” Plass said.

Turney recalled that the Inter-tribal Student Council on campus several years ago met resistance from the non-Native student government when they sought funding to serve Native food at a powwow. The Native students were angry and chose not to have the powwow as a friendly boycott.

They brought the powwow back two years ago, when UW-Green Bay was recognized among the top schools in the U.S. for Native American students, said Turney, who was the group’s adviser.

Native students look at the tribal elders in residence as campus allies. “We have to help non-Native students learn about us,” Turney said Native students tell him.

Turney said he doesn’t preach going to college, but believes the key to success for Native American students is knowing who they are and taking pride in their culture.

“If your roots are strong, there’s no wind that can blow you over,” he said.

National Park Service Awards Historic Preservation Grants to Indian Tribes, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiian Organizations

Source: National Park Service

 

WASHINGTON – National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis today announced more than $700,000 in historic preservation grants to 18 American Indian tribes and Alaskan Natives organizations.
 
“These grants help America’s first peoples in preserving significant tribal places, culture and tradition,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “Whether used to create oral history programs, operate museums and cultural centers, or develop training and education programs, the grants help all Americans gain a greater appreciation of our nation’s rich traditions and cultures.”
 
The competitive grants can also be used to fund projects such as nominations to the National Register of Historic Places, preservation education, architectural planning, historic structure reports, community preservation plans, and bricks-and-mortar repair to buildings.
 
Congress provides these grant appropriations each year with revenue from Federal oil leases on the Outer Continental Shelf. The National Park Service administers the grants through the Historic Preservation Fund on behalf of the Secretary of the Interior.
 
For more information about the National Park Service tribal preservation programs and grants, please visit: http://www.nps.gov/tribes/Tribal_Historic_Preservation_Officers_Program.htm.
 
HISTORIC PRESERVATION FUND APPORTIONMENT TO
INDIAN TRIBES, ALASKA NATIVES, AND NATIVE HAWAIIANS
 
Ahtna Heritage Foundation (Alaska)                         $39,523
Igiugig Village Council (Alaska)                                $26,691
Native Village of Ambler (Alaska)                             $39,942
Seldovia Village Tribe, IRA (Alaska)                         $40,000
Hoopa Valley Tribe, (California)                                $40,000
Ione Band of Miwok Indians (California)                  $40,000
Sherwood Valley Rancheria Valley Band of Pomo Indians, (California)      $40,000
Kohe Malamaiam O Kanaloa(Protect Kaho’olawe Fund), (Hawaii)             $34,175
Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians (Michigan)            $40,000
The Prairie Island Paiute Tribe (Nevada)                    $39,421
Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe (Nevada)                           $36,902
Navajo Nation – Fort Defiance Chapter (New Mexico)      $40,000
Pueblo of Santa Ana (New Mexico)                           $38,579
Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, (Oklahoma)                      $30,925
Peori Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma (Oklahoma)        $48,000
Seminole Nation of Oklahoma (Oklahoma)               $40,000
Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma, (Oklahoma)      $59,692
Confederated tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua,
     and Siuslaw Indians (Oregon)                               $39,066
 
TOTAL                                                                      $712,916
 

Tribes resist elver bill that limits access

By Blake Davis, The Associated Press

The lucrative fishery for tiny glass eels, or elvers, has led to a clash between the state and Indian tribes over sovereignty and federal fishing regulations.2012 Reuters file photo

The lucrative fishery for tiny glass eels, or elvers, has led to a clash between the state and Indian tribes over sovereignty and federal fishing regulations.
2012 Reuters file photo

Officials with an American Indian tribe in Maine are resisting an initiative to impose the same restrictions on all elver fishermen, saying a cap on individual catches would force them to abandon tradition by limiting who has access to natural resources.

Members of the Passamaquoddy tribe say a bill to be considered by the House today is against their tribal values because it could prevent some of its fishermen from gaining access to the fishery.

Under the bill, elver fishermen would be subject to the same individual catch limits as other Maine fishermen. But the Passamaquoddy contend the tribe has made numerous other concessions, limiting itself to just one type of gear and agreeing to a decrease in its overall share of the elver harvest.

Passamaquoddy officials say choosing who can fish is cultural, not just a matter of conservation.

“The issue here is who gets to decide tribal culture,” said Fred Moore, the fisheries specialist with the Passamaquoddy who drafted its elver management plan. He said the tribe supported the bill as part of the state’s conservation plan.

The tribe, he said, enacted its own conservation measures years ago, including weekly catch reports from its elver fishermen.

Elvers are baby eels that have ballooned in value in recent years to become the second most valuable fishery in the state behind lobster.

As the state considers the bill, Moore said the tribe would continue to press the state to honor an earlier agreement. That agreement was the result of months of negotiations and had the approval of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission but state officials abandoned it after the attorney general voiced concern it would not be constitutional to apply two sets of rules in the same fishery.

That move also shed doubt on the authority of tribes in regulating marine resources.

The sponsor of the bill says the tribe’s position is understandable.

“The tribes have a valid point,” said Rep. Walter Kumiega, D-Deer Isle, who also co-chairs the joint Standing Committee on Marine Resources. “They have said that they have been treated differently over the years many times and maybe we should take that” into consideration, he said.

Still, Kumiega said, lawmakers would continue to take into account the concerns raised by the attorney general.

Both state and tribal officials have said they would like to avoid the types of disputes that arose last year when the commissioner of the Department of Marine Resource invalidated all Passamaquoddy elver fishing licenses.

The commissioner has said he would take similar steps this year if the tribe did not follow state law.

The challenges of being lost inside your culture

Writer and Native American Sherman Alexie talks about the destructiveness of feeling “lost and insignificant inside the larger culture.”

The Challenges of Being Lost Inside Your Culture from BillMoyers.com on Vimeo.

As featured on Moyers & Company

April 9, 2013

In an extended clip from this weekend’s Moyers & Company, writer Sherman Alexie, who was born on a Native American reservation, talks to Bill about feeling “lost and insignificant inside the larger culture,” and how his culture’s “lack of power” is illustrated in stereotypical sports mascots.

“At least half the country thinks the mascot issue is insignificant. But I think it’s indicative of the ways in which Indians have no cultural power. We’re still placed in the past. So we’re either in the past or we’re only viewed through casinos,” Alexie tells Bill. “I know a lot more about being white than you know about being Indian.”

American Indian Arts fetch high prices in auction

American Indian Arts fetch high prices in auction

By Monica Brown, Tulalip News Writer

Lately there has been a rise in the American Indian culture in the media. It’s possible, through their eyes that we have reached the time where the American Indian culture seems to be more of a legend than a thing which has evolved over time and is still around. Many different people, including the hoity-toity that have money to spend, are obtaining pieces of American Indian Artifacts.

This February, the American Indian & Ethnographic Art auction grossed $1,777,912.50; this included the buyer’s premium, making it the most successful sale that the American Indian & Ethnographic Art department at Skinner, Inc. has ever experienced. Skinner, Inc. auctioneers and appraisers are located in Massachusetts and have been in the auction business for over forty years.

Reasons these pieces are selling for such high prices is as the Skinner website states, “Tribal art tells the story of our shared human history. From the earliest pre-Columbian relics, to Native American trade materials, these objects take us back to another time and place, while at the same time possessing a simple beauty that fits into the most sophisticated modern design aesthetic.”

Douglas Diehl, director of the American Indian & Ethnographic Art department at Skinner explained in a press release, “There is a definite resurgence in interest in rare and evocative American Indian art and artifacts and every category performed well across the board.” Bidders competed from the floor, by phone, and over the internet during the auction.

“This record-setting sale represented early American material at its very best and we are pleased to bring items of this quality to auction.”

Plains Indian Art was the highest lot bringing in $144,000. The item, a Plains pony beaded hide shirt which came from mid-19th century and had belonged to Eugene Burr. Coming with the shirt was an account of where and how Eugene had come to possess the item in. The Burr family traveled west along the Oregon Trail to Utah in 1855. Eugene’s father, David H. Burr, was appointed the first Surveyor General to the state of Utah. His father and his brother David traveled with him through Indian Territory and kept a diary of the journey. Eugene Burr died at the age of 17 in 1857; his initials are marked on the inside of the shirt.

There were heated biddings on an assortment of hide cradles which raised the prices of other lots well above their pre-sale estimates. A pictorial Lakota cradle with a pre-sale estimate high of $35,000 sold for $78,000. A Cheyenne beaded hide cradle doubled its high estimate and sold for $30,750.

Cradles from the collection of the late Joseph J. Rivera collection of Santa Fe’s Morning Star Gallery included a Kiowa model cradle, $57,000 and a classic Lakota beaded cradle for $33,600 – both exceeded pre-sale estimate highs. A Pawnee-style bear claw necklace made by Milford Chandler (1889-1981), $57,000.

Two rare and beautiful Yupik Eskimo masks brought prices of $31,200 and $57,000. The first a mask showing a bird head on top of a circular human-like face and the second a face framed by stylized animal ears. Both said to be from Gustaf Osterberg, Chief mate on the US Coast and Geodetic Survey ship Yukon. Osterberg began making trips to the Alaskan coast in 1913.

In 2011, a Navajo blanket dated to be from the early 1900’s went for over $200,000 in auction. Diehl said he “ realized the minute I first saw the weaving, with the variegated wool, the browns, all this great character, that this had to be a really early third phase Chief’s blanket.”, in his blog post about the blanket prior to it going up for auction.

Some of us are wondering if this growing interest in the American Indian culture is a trend that will fade or is this a genuine curiosity and love of a culture which has evolved and grown over time.