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.

Man from Meskwaki Tribe charged for murdering his parents

Detective: Son told relatives he killed parents with machete

Feb. 7, 2014

Written by Sharyn Jackson


MESKWAKI SETTLEMENT, IA. — A 25-year-old man who has been charged with murdering his mother and father told relatives he had killed his parents with a machete, authorities said late Thursday.

The killing of two tribal members and murder charges against a third shook this tightknit community of 1,000 residents Thursday.

Gordon Lasley Sr. and Kim Lasley were found dead late Wednesday night in their home at 669 Meskwaki Road by Meskwaki Nation police. The couple’s son, Gordon Lasley Jr., is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, Tama County Attorney Brent Heeren said in a news release. He was being held on $2 million bond in the county jail.

In a criminal complaint, Craig Karr, a detective with Meskwaki Nation police, said another of the couple’s sons, Tyler Lasley, went to their home and found his mother’s body on the basement floor, his father’s body on the living room floor, and a bloody machete on the couch in the living room late Wednesday.

“The wounds appeared to be from a edged weapon,” Karr wrote.

Early Thursday, when a Tama County sheriff’s deputy found Lasley Jr. driving his mother’s vehicle, the suspect had blood on his clothes, and there was blood in the vehicle from cuts on Lasley’s hands, the complaint said.

Lasley Jr. told “several family members” he was responsible for the killings, which took place about 9 p.m., according to the complaint.

Lasley Jr. appeared before a magistrate judge Thursday, and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for Feb. 14, according to court documents.

Federal, state and local authorities are investigating the slayings.

“The Sac and Fox Tribe is a very close-knit community, and we are all shocked and saddened by this,” tribal chairwoman Judith Bender said in a news release from the tribe. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and all of those who are affected by this horrific event.”

On Thursday, neighbors and family members struggled to comprehend the tragedy.

“They were real good people,” said Gerald Sanache, who lives next door to the Lasleys’ olive-green two-story home, and is a nephew of Gordon Lasley Sr. “It’s a total shock.”

“I would have never expected something like this to happen to them,” he said.

In a community highly protective of its privacy, several members declined to be interviewed. A woman at another neighboring house who described herself as a relative would not comment on the victims or the circumstances of the homicide, saying, “We just want privacy right now, to prepare for funeral arrangements.”

The Lasleys resided for about 15 years at the home where they were found dead, Sanache said. Gordon Lasley Sr. grew up on the settlement and was a carpenter by trade, but wasn’t working recently. Kim Lasley worked in the keno department at the Meskwaki casino.

Sanache also knew the junior Lasley. “Never knew him to be in trouble,” he said.

But state court records show Lasley Jr. had faced charges of interference with official acts, trespassing, eluding police, possession of marijuana and multiple driving and motor vehicle violations. In February 2012, he was sentenced to five years in prison, fined $3,125 and placed on probation to the 6th Judicial District Department of Correctional Services, according to the Tama News-Herald.

Meskwaki tribal police are leading the double-homicide investigation, with help from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Tama County Sheriff’s Department, Tama Police Department, Toledo Police Department and the state medical examiner’s office.

The FBI is consulting on the case, said Sandy Breault, spokeswoman for the FBI Omaha field office, which serves Iowa. Federal agents always consult on major crimes on Indian land.

Reporter Daniel P. Finney contributed to this story.