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Monday, 21 May


Afro-Colombian activist Francia Mrquez, 2018 Goldman Prize Winner, on Stopping Illegal Gold Mining | Democracy Now! "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

Afro-Colombian activist Francia Mrquez, 2018 Goldman Prize Winner, on Stopping Illegal Gold Mining | Democracy Now!: Francia Mrquez, a leading Afro-Colombian activist who is the 2018 recipient of the Goldman Environmental Prize for Central and South America, visited Democracy Now! in May 2018. In this wide-ranging interview with Amy Goodman, Mrquez describes how she organized her community of La Toma, in Colombias Pacific southwest region, to stop illegal gold mining by multinational corporations on their ancestral land. In 2014, Marquez led a 10-day, 350-mile march of 80 women to Colombias capital, Bogota, that led to the removal of all illegal miners and equipment from La Toma.


Levi Rickert // Speaker at Royal Wedding Sent Letter in Support of People of #StandingRock's Opposition to the #DakotaAccessPipeline - Native News Online "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

Speaker at Royal Wedding Sent Letter in Support of People of Standing Rock's Opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline - Native News Online: I stand with the people of Standing Rock in their efforts to respect and protect the Missouri River. We know that the right to clean water is an internationally recognized human right and that all too often indigenous communities, other people of color, and our most vulnerable communities throughout the world are the ones most at risk of losing access to clean water. As we join the people of Standing Rock, we also recognize that their stand is one that joins the fight for racial justice and reconciliation with climate justice and caring for Gods creation as a matter of stewardship.


#NativeVote18: Gavin Clarkson Receives Unanimous Endorsement of the Coalition of Large Tribes "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

Gavin Clarkson (third from left) with tribal leaders

Published May 21, 2018

Clarkson (Choctaw) is seeking Republican nomination for New Mexicos 2nd Congressional District

LAS CRUCES, N.M.  Gavin Clarkson (Choctaw), a Republican candidate for New Mexicos 2nd Congressional District, was unanimously endorsemed by the Coalition of Large Tribes, which includes some of the largest tribal oil and gas producers in the nation.

Gavin Clarkston

The resolution endorsing Clarkson was introduced by chairman Mark Fox of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nations and seconded by President Russell Begaye of the Navajo Nation.

In addition to Navajo and MHA, the other members of the Coalition of Large Tribes include
Blackfeet Nation
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe
Eastern Shoshone Tribe
Fort Belknap Indian Community
Oglala Sioux Tribe
Rosebud Sioux Tribe
Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Tribe
Spokane Tribe of Indians
Shoshone-Bannock Tribes...


Institute of American Indian Arts Archives Completes Preservation of Pop Chalee Collection "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

Merina Lujan Hopkins (Pop Chalee) painting under the supervision of Oscar Berninghaus,
c. 1935. MS26. Pop Chalee Collection. IAIA Archives, Santa Fe, NM.

Published May 21, 2018

SANTA FE, NM   The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) Archives completed the arrangement, description, preservation, and digital imaging of the Merina Lujan Hopkins (Pop Chalee) Papers, funded by a grant of the New Mexico Historical Records Advisory Board (NMHRAB). The finding aid for the collection can be accessed via the Rocky Mountain Online Archive at

The Merina Lujan Hopkins (Pop Chalee) Papers contain mostly photographs and news clippings documenting her career as an artist. Correspondence, ephemera, and a comprehensive scrapbook paint a fairly complete picture of Chalees life and career for future researchers.
The archive was a primary resource to The World of Flower Blue: Pop Chalee: An Artistic Biography, by Margaret Cesa (Red Crane Books, 1997). Merina Lujan Hopkins, otherwise know as Pop Chalee (Taos Pueblo) was a celebrated student of Dorothy Dunn at the Santa Fe Indian School during the 1930s and transformed a traditional style of painting to create magical, idyllic images of wide-eyed animals, ceremonial figures, and woodland settings, writes art historian John Villani.


The Need for Cherokee Foster Families Continues "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

Guest Commentary

Published May 21, 2018

The month of May is annually Foster Care Awareness Month across the globe, and at Cherokee Nation, we continue to recognize and celebrate the essential role strong families play in creating a secure foundation in our communities.  A safe family home provides the love, identity, self-esteem and support our Cherokee children need to grow into healthy and happy adults.

At Cherokee Nation, we continue to address the issues that have the biggest impacts on our people, including educational opportunities, health care coverage, homeownership and career development. These can affect generations of Cherokees and improve lives. One area we still are in dire need is foster and adoptive families for our Indian Child Welfare program. Our children ensure the continued existence of Cherokee values and heritage. They are our future.

Sadly, across the country, more than 1,550 Cherokee youth are in need of a safe, secure and stable home environment with qualified foster families. Sometimes these beautiful and innocent children simply need a temporary place until family reunification can occur. Other times we need higher degrees of permanency, including the lifetime commitment of adoption.

Right now, we have 108 families certified as Cherokee Nation foster families that are providing care to Cherokee children. Every foster opportunity is a success story for Cherokee Nation. Last year we created a specific family leave policy at Cherokee Nation for employees who foster. I am proud that about 15 staffers have utilized this program in the past 12 months.



Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise Presents $10 Million Contribution to the Navajo Nation Gaming Distribution Fund "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

: Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise officials present a $10 million check to the Navajo Nation at
Fire Rock Navajo Casino in Church Rock, N.M. on May 18, 2018.

Published May 21, 2018

CHURCH ROCK, N.M.  Members of the Navajo Nation Council gathered with Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise officials last Friday, as the enterprise presented a check in the amount of $10 million to the Navajo Nation to be placed in the Gaming Distribution Fund the largest financial contribution made by the enterprise to the fund.

Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise board of directors chair Quincy Natay, presented the check on behalf of the enterprise to the 23rd Navajo Nation Council and the President during a ceremony held at Fire Rock Navajo Casino.

Budget and Finance Committee chair Council Delegate Seth Damon (Bhl, Chichiltah, Manuelito, Ts Lich, Rock Springs, Tsayatoh), said the contribution signifies the Gaming Enterprises growing success in terms of their financial stability and their willingness to give back to local Navajo communities. He also thanked his Council colleagues for supporting the enterprises various initiatives and also extended his appreciation to the gaming board and enterprise officials.

The Navajo Nation Council created the Gaming Revenues Fund Management Plan, which states that the distribution policy will allocate gaming revenues to chapters in a manner that recognizes both the immediate and long-term needs of the Navajo Nation, specifically for capital improvement projects and utilities.

Chapters are required to submit proposals to the Office of the Controller, which is tasked with reviewing the budget request to ensure all information is correct and meets the federal guidelines within the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. If all requirements are met then funding may be awarded to the chapter through direct payment to the vendor(s).

Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise board of directors chair Quincy Nataysaid the enterprise continues to create jobs, stimulate economic activity, and provide a very attractive rate of return on investment to the Navajo Nation.



Muscogee-Creek Artist to Present Work at Artesian Arts Festival "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

Leslie Deer

Published May 20, 2018

SULPHUR, Okla. Leslie Deers Native American applique art career was born of necessity while performing in a completely different branch of the arts as a professional dancer who entertained audiences around the globe.

I was a cast member of American Indian Dance Theatre out of New York City, said Deer, who resides in Holdenville, Oklahoma. I went all over the United States and to about 23 or 24 different countries and traveled with them for almost 12 years.

The sheer number of performances and hectic schedule presented a problem.

When youre touring, doing eight shows a week and you just have two or three little dresses, it gets old really quick. Thats how I got started making some regalia for myself, she said.

Soon, others noticed the unique quality of her designs and craftsmanship. I made my own clothes and other people asked me to make theirs and other people suggested I go to art markets.

Deer, a Muscogee-Creek tribal member, will join over 100 other Native American artists who will display their works at the Artesian Arts Festival Saturday, May 26 in Sulphur, Oklahoma.

Her specialty, applique, is a sewing technique in which a design is cut out of fabric and affixed to an underlying piece of fabric by sewing around the edges.

A lot of Woodland tribes use applique, Deer said. They did it by hand a long time ago and traded with visitors for fabrics, silks and ribbons, and used those in creative and decorative ways.

Deers mother, who died in 2000, was a big influence on her art. She used to make a lot of my traditional clothing prior to me doing them myself, she said. She was a very inspirational Muscogee Creek woman who always encouraged me to do whatever I wanted to do.

One of the opportunities her mother persuaded her to get involved with resulted in Deer being chosen Miss Indian Oklahoma in 1984. This and intertribal dancing experiences at area powwows is what got her invited to join the dance troupe.

Her first foray into applique came through a Sac and Fox community class that taught the technique. More formal training followed as she earned a bachelors degree in apparel design and production from Oklahoma State University in 2015. This supplemented a previous bachelors degree Deer earn...


Speaker at Royal Wedding Sent Letter in Support of People of Standing Rocks Opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"


Bishop Michael Curry at royal wedding on Saturday.

Published May 20, 2018

CHICAGO Twenty-two months before Episcopalian Bishop Michael Curry captivated the world through his strong message of love during Saturdays wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, he weighed in on the Standing Rock resistance in a letter dated, August 25, 2016.

He writes: I stand with the people of Standing Rock in their efforts to respect and protect the Missouri River in his letter. 

Here is the complete text of Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael Currys letter:

Water is a gift from the creator, respect it, and protect it.  I was deeply moved by these words printed on the sign of a person standing with hundreds of others to protect the Missouri River.  In the Episcopal Church, when we baptize a new follower of Jesus Christ, we pray these words over the water of baptism.  We thank you, Almighty God, for the gift of water. We then recall how God used water to bless his people in the Bible, from the story of creation in Genesis, the emancipation of Hebrew slaves in Exodus, to the baptism of the Lord Jesus in the River Jordan.  Indeed, Water is a gift from the creator. To sustain it and to protect it is to safeguard the integrity of Gods creation, and therefore to protect human and other forms of life created by Almighty God.  That work warrants our full and prayerful support.

The people of Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, standing in solidarity with hundreds of other indigenous nations and allies, are calling us anew to respect and protect this sacred gift of God, and in so doing to respect and protect Gods gift of human life.  In protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, they recognize the gift of water to all of us, a gift given to us by our Creator.  The Sioux remind us mni wiconi or water is life. This God-given resource courses through our mighty rivers and our hum...

Sunday, 20 May


Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, a Michigan Tribe, Has Presence at Stanford Powwow "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, a Michigan tribe, has presence at the 47th Annual Stanford Powwow. Native News Online photographs by Levi Rickert

Published May 20, 2018

STANFORD, Calif. Getting the word out about a product can be tricky at times. This is particularly true when a product is an ingredient used within food recipes. So, when an indigenous chef incorporated an ingredient owned by a company belonging to the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians into her recipes, the tribes presence extended from all the way from Michigan to California.

Regardless of how it works is fine by the tribe, based in Manistee, Michigan. The tribe owns and operates Advanced Proteins Solutions (APS), which owns intellectual property formulations that add to the nutritious value of ground meat because they are packed with vitamins and antioxidants.

Indigenous chef Crystal Wahpepah stirs Kickapoo buffalo chili which included APS formulation with some extra loving care.

To help move the intellectual property formulation, APS representatives solicited the help of indigenous chef, Crystal Wahpepah (Kickapoo), who was willing to test the meat with the APS formulation in it. After her initial tests working with her recipes, Wahpepah integrated the formulated ground bison meat into her proprietary Kickapoo buffalo chili and blue corn tacos, which are made with ground beef.

Wahpepah owns Wahpepahs Kitchen and is a highly respected indigenous chef, who resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. As a  former contestant on the Food Networks Chopped seri...


In the Presence of a Sacred Transition "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

Published May 20, 2018

WEST YELLOWSTONE, Mont. An early morning phone call came, one I would typically never answer. But, for some reason, that morning, I did. She said, Theres a mama buffalo, stuck in the fence, or trying to give birth. Patrols alerted. What can we do? Bring tools to cut the fence. I wasnt even supposed to be here today, but a journey was cancelled. We get there, our other patrol already there with the Sheriff and the local Montana Department of Livestock agent. The fence she was under has been cut, but shes still struggling. She wasnt stuck. She is dying. A year ago, the authorities would have already shot her and drug her unceremoniously to the dump, no mercy, no compassion. Not today. Mama buffalo still there, on the ground, struggling and thrashing, trying to bring forth a new life that will not come.

Elder buffalo, pregnant buffalo, breech baby not coming. She is dying. The sheriff and DOL agent standing there, not making a move, allowing us to come to her. I go to the fence, just feet away from her, feeling her struggle and her pain, wanting to comfort her. My sister Justine arrives just then, she comes to me, embraces me, crouching with this buffalo. I have a burning desire to lay my hands on her. I want to go to her and say so to Justine. Okay, lets go, she says. We walk over to her, away from her kicking hooves, to her grand, enormous head. I reach out, not yet knowing how she will respond. I lay my hands on her head. Justine reaches out, too. We were told that she grew calmer when we did this, that before she was much more uneasy and afraid. We stroke her woolly fur, speaking softly to her, letting her know she can do it if she wants to, or she is free to let go. We are here, we will be here to help take care of her family. She is ancient. Her horns so smooth and blunt, like petrified wood. The curve worn down and gone from them.

We realize in the moment we have known this mama since she was just a wee calf herself, and now, we keep vigil with her, now in her old age, trying to bring one last life into this world. Its not going to happen. We all know this. She knows this, too, but she never stops trying. Speaking so softly to her, loving her, trying to ease her struggle. I bring some sage and we burn it for her. The smoke goes into her nostrils as she draws deep breath after breath. Our hands on her fine, huge head; a head full of the wisdom of the ancients. This buffalo from the Central herd...


Indian Relay Racing a Cultural Celebration Indian Relay Comes to Gillette, Wyoming "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

Published May 20, 2018

GILLETTE, Wyo.  The Cloud Peak Energy Tour of Champions Indian Relay Race will be held at CamPlex Events Center in Gillette, WY May 26-27, 2018. This event is the kick-off of the 2018 Season of approximately 15 Indian Relay Races accredited by the Horse Nations Indian Relay Council (HNIRC) and promises non-stop action as teams compete for the ultimate win 2018 Champions.

The Council announced today that Native American artisans representing numerous Indian Nations will be displaying and selling authentic, handmade arts and crafts during the Relay Races. There will be jewelry makers, beaded items, horse-themed crafts and gifts, commemorative t-shirts for sale. In addition, food vendors will be offering Indian fry Bread and tacos, kettle corn, barbecue, burgers and hot dogs, fresh strawberries, both adult and family-style beverages.

Exhibitors will join Native American dancers, musicians and representatives of the Armed Forces in providing an all-around cultural experience for attendees at the Races. Vendors will give attendees an opportunity to buy one-of-a-kind Native American art directly from the artists themselves.

This cultural celebration is part of the HNIRC Cloud Peak Energy Tour of Champions in Gillette, WY. This is the kick-off to the 2018 Season. Following this is a summer-long schedule of events where teams from the top Horse Nations battle for prize money and the right to compete in the Championship of Champions in September.

The Season-Opening Event  Cloud Peak Energy Tour of Champions will be held May 26 & 27, 2018 in Gillette, Wyoming. Other Indian Relay Races will be held around the Intermountain West throughout the summer. The Calendar of Races will be posted on the Council website and their Facebook page. In September, teams representing many Indian nations will compete at the 2018 Championship of Champions from places like Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Canada. The vision of the teams and the entire membership is for relay to become a viable cult...


The 8th Annual LA SKINS MUSIC FEST is looking for Native Musicians "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

Published May 20, 2018

LOS ANGELES Native musicians are encouraged to apply to participate in the 8th Annual L.A. SKINS MUSIC FEST that will happen on August 4, 2018  at the Sycamore Grove Park in Elysian Park, California.

Application for performers is open until July 6, 2018. Selected musicians will be eligible to perform at the 2018 Native American Media Awards in November.

This is a great opportunity to perform in Los Angeles with the largest urban population of Native Americans in the United States.

The music festival will bring an amazing collection of Indigenous music talent to Los Angeles.

Preceding the concert is the Native American Youth Talent Showcase. This endeavor is designed to encourage Native American youth to explore the performing arts and pursue higher education. Youth are able to showcase their talents to the community and receive an award for their efforts. The overall goal of the project is to encourage music exploration, celebrate the performing arts and raise the awareness of young Native American musicians.

If you would like to participate in the 8th Annual L.A. SKINS MUSIC FEST, please submit the following information to

  1. Name of applicant(s), along with email, telephone, address, and either artist collective or business name as applicable.
  2. General information about your tribal background and the places you have performed.
  3. Any combination of relevant images / videos of past performances, business or artistic portfolio images, and links to performance reviews. Images should be clearly labeled. These captions must include: date, location and team member.


  1. Entries must have a Native American/First Nation/Indigenous artist involved (Please include tribal affiliation).
  2. We accept all music genres: contemporary and traditional
  3. Open to all ages.

Application packets are due July 6th. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

For additional information and to submit application packet please email: contact@...


Amendment on Tribal Victim Service Passes in the House Appropriations Committee "IndyWatch Feed 1stpeople"

Published May 20, 2018

WASHINGTON The House Appropriations Committee adopted an amendment offered by Representatives Betty McCollum (DMN) and Tom Cole (ROK) that would support tribal victim services programs. The amendment was adopted by voice vote with overwhelming bi-partisan support.

We greatly appreciate Congresswoman McCollum and Congressman Coles leadership and advocacy to ensure that crime victims on tribal lands have access to the healing and justice they need, said Jefferson Keel, President of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI).

Despite federal and tribal government efforts to reduce violence on Indian lands, reservations continue to face staggering rates of violent crime and victimization. A recent Department of Justice (DOJ) study found that more than four in five American Indian and Alaska Native adults have experienced some form of violence in their lifetime. Among American Indian and Alaska Native women, 55.5 percent have experienced physical violence by intimate partners in their lifetime, and more than half at 56.1 percent have experienced sexual violence. DOJ also found that Native victims are more likely to be injured as a result of their violent victimization, more likely to need services, and are significantly less likely to have access to services compared to their non-Native counterparts.

The McCollum-Cole Amendment is an amendment to the FY19 Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations (CJS) bill. Without this amendment, the bill would have cut tribal funding from the Crime Victims Fund. The Crime Victims Fund is the primary federal source for crime victim services and tribal governments have largely been shut out of that funding. Tribal funding was included for the first time in the FY18 Omnibus appropriations bill. The bill taken up in the House yesterday includes $2.6 billion in outlays from the Crime Victims Fund, the McCollum-Cole amendment directs 5 percent of that funding to tribal governments.

With its adoption by the House Appropriations Committee yesterday, NCAI hopes that similar language will be included in the Senate bill, thereby strengthening the ability of tribal governments to build sustainable crime victim services programs in their communities. The Senate has announced that it w...

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