U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs

The United States has a unique legal and political relationship with Indian tribes and Alaska Native entities as provided by the Constitution of the United States, treaties, court decisions and Federal statutes. Within the government-to-government relationship, Indian Affairs provides services directly or through contracts, grants, or compacts to 564 Federally recognized tribes with a service population of about 1.9 million American Indian and Alaska Natives. While the role of Indian Affairs has changed significantly in the last three decades in response to a greater emphasis on Indian self-governance and self-determination, Tribes still look to Indian Affairs for a broad spectrum of services.

The Indian Affairs offers an extensive scope of programs that covers the entire range of Federal, State and local government services. Programs administered by either Tribes or Indian Affairs through the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) include an education system consisting of 183 schools and dormitories educating approximately 42,000 elementary and secondary students and 28 tribal colleges, universities, and post-secondary schools. Programs administered through the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) include social services, natural resources management on trust lands representing 55 million surface acres and 57 million acres of subsurface minerals estates, economic development programs in some of the most isolated and economically depressed areas of the United States, law enforcement and detention services, administration of tribal courts, implementation of land and water claim settlements, housing improvement, disaster relief, replacement and repair of schools, repair and maintenance of roads and bridges, and the repair of structural deficiencies on high hazard dams, the BIA operates a series irrigation systems and provides electricity to a rural parts of Arizona.

Through Indian Affairs programs, Tribes improve their tribal government infrastructure, community infrastructure, education, job training, and employment opportunities along with other components of long term sustainable development that work to improve the quality of life for their members.


Native Americans For Obama: http://www.barackobama.com/native-americans?source=groups-hub

First Americans For Obama: http://www.facebook.com/pages/First-Americans-for-Obama/33138608096


List of Prominent Native Americans of the United States 

List of Prominent Native Hawaiians

Trace Indian Ancestry

Tribal Leaders Directory

Native American Tribes A-Z

List of Native American Tribe Websites A-Z

 National Museum of the American Indian

US Department of the Interior: Indian Affairs


US Govt & Indigenous Peoples Timeline 1819-2016 (ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™)



127 thoughts on “U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs

  1. WH

    Thursday, August 12 2010

    All Times ET

    9:30 am
    The President receives the Presidential Daily Briefing
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    10:30 am
    The President receives the Economic Daily Briefing
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

    11:30 am
    The President meets with senior advisors
    Oval Office
    Closed Press

  2. Crow Nation welcomes Barack Black Eagle

    May 20, 2008 10 Rick Wilking – Reuters

    Democrat Barack Obama has become an honorary member of an American Indian tribe and promised a proactive policy to help tribal people if he wins the White House in November.

    The Illinois senator who is leading rival Hillary Clinton in their race for the party’s presidential nomination, joined the Crow Nation, a tribe of some 12,100 members in Montana, taking on a native name and honorary parents in a traditional ceremony.

    Senator Obama, who would be the first black US president, was “adopted” by Hartford and Mary Black Eagle and given a name which means “one who helps all people of this land”.

    “I was just adopted into the tribe, so I’m still working on my pronunciation,” Senator Obama told a crowd after stumbling over some of the native names.

    “I like my new name, Barack Black Eagle,” he said.

    “That is a good name.”

    Many in the audience wore traditional feather headdresses and some banged drums ahead of Senator Obama’s visit, the first by a presidential candidate to the Crow Nation.

    Senator Obama held rallies throughout Montana, which holds its primary election on June 3.

    The state is home to some 60,000 American Indians, making them a key swing vote, according to Crow Nation spokesman Dale Old Horn.

    Senator Obama said he would appoint a Native American adviser to his senior White House staff if he wins and would work on providing better health care and education to reservations across the country.

    “Few have been ignored by Washington for as long as Native Americans, the first Americans,” Senator Obama said.

    Old Horn said the tribal members related to Senator Obama because of his background.

    “His heritage of being poor, of being an outsider, you know those two things are the commonalities that he has with us,” he said.

    “We’ve always been treated like outsiders when it comes to government policy. In addition to that, we all grew up poor.”

    • One of my very favorite moments of the campaign. Just a beautiful ceremony and a heartfelt welcome into the Crow community. It’s so good to see that our gracious President continues to work on the bond he formed with Native Americans nation that day.

    • Collaborating with Tribes through the White House Rural Council

      Posted by Kimberly Teehee on July 01, 2011

      On June 9th, President Obama signed an Executive Order establishing the first White House Rural Council. While rural communities face challenges, they also present economic potential. The Council will address these challenges, build on the Administration’s rural economic strategy, and improve the implementation of that strategy.

      The Council, chaired by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, was established to focus on policy initiatives for Rural Americans and will coordinate to increase the effectiveness of federal engagement with tribal governments. According to the 2010 U.S. Decennial Census, 42.6 percent of all Native Americans live in rural areas. In addition, some reservations face unemployment rates of up to 80 percent. The Council will work across federal agencies to address these challenges and promote economic prosperity and quality of life in Indian Country and across rural America. The Council will work to break down silos and find areas for better collaboration and improved flexibility in government programs and will work closely with state, local and tribal governments, non-profits, and the private sector to leverage federal support.

      For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2011/07/01/collaborating-tribes-through-white-house-rural-council

      • Champions of Change: Native American Youth Leaders

        Uploaded by whitehouse on Dec 1, 2011

        This week’s Champions of Change event honors Native American youth leaders. December 1, 2011.

    • Cherokee Nation chief calls President Obama best president ever for American Indians

      Cherokee Chief Bill John Baker is a delegate at the Democratic National Convention and says the president has kept the promises he made to Indian Country. His mother is one of Oklahoma’s electors who cast votes for president in the Electoral College after the national popular vote.

      By Chris Casteel | Published: September 4, 2012

      CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker is here to help nominate President Barack Obama for a second term, and he doesn’t hold anything back in his praise for the president.

      Obama, Baker said here Tuesday, “is the best president for Indian Country in the history of the United States.”’

      Through the years, Indian tribal chiefs have met a lot of U.S. presidents, but the meetings with Obama have been more than just superficial photo opportunities, Baker said.

      “This president has made promises to Indian Country, and he’s kept them,” Baker said.

      “He is a promise keeper. And that needs to be recognized and rewarded.”

      Baker, who was elected principal chief last year to the largest Indian tribe in the nation, is a delegate to the Democratic National Convention this week

      Read more: http://newsok.com/cherokee-nation-chief-calls-president-obama-best-president-ever-for-american-indians/article/3707011#ixzz25wMfeaf6


      Chief Bill John Baker on Native Americans, Elizabeth Warren, and the DNC

      Published on Sep 5, 2012 by WatchdogOrg

      • US Government Official Apology to The Native Americans

        April 30, 2009

        S.J.RES.14 — To acknowledge a long history of official depredations and ill-conceived policies by the Federal Government regarding Indian tribes and offer an apology to all Native Peoples on behalf… (Introduced in Senate – IS)

        SJ 14 IS

        111th CONGRESS
        1st Session

        S. J. RES. 14
        To acknowledge a long history of official depredations and ill-conceived policies by the Federal Government regarding Indian tribes and offer an apology to all Native Peoples on behalf of the United States.

        April 30, 2009

        Mr. BROWNBACK (for himself, Mr. INOUYE, Mr. BAUCUS, Mrs. BOXER, Mr. CRAPO, Ms. CANTWELL, Mr. COBURN, Mr. HARKIN, Mr. LIEBERMAN, and Mr. TESTER) introduced the following joint resolution; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs

        To acknowledge a long history of official depredations and ill-conceived policies by the Federal Government regarding Indian tribes and offer an apology to all Native Peoples on behalf of the United States.

        Whereas the ancestors of today’s Native Peoples inhabited the land of the present-day United States since time immemorial and for thousands of years before the arrival of people of European descent;

        Whereas for millennia, Native Peoples have honored, protected, and stewarded this land we cherish;

        Whereas Native Peoples are spiritual people with a deep and abiding belief in the Creator, and for millennia Native Peoples have maintained a powerful spiritual connection to this land, as evidenced by their customs and legends;

        Whereas the arrival of Europeans in North America opened a new chapter in the history of Native Peoples;

        Whereas while establishment of permanent European settlements in North America did stir conflict with nearby Indian tribes, peaceful and mutually beneficial interactions also took place;

        Whereas the foundational English settlements in Jamestown, Virginia, and Plymouth, Massachusetts, owed their survival in large measure to the compassion and aid of Native Peoples in the vicinities of the settlements;

        Whereas in the infancy of the United States, the founders of the Republic expressed their desire for a just relationship with the Indian tribes, as evidenced by the Northwest Ordinance enacted by Congress in 1787, which begins with the phrase, `The utmost good faith shall always be observed toward the Indians’;

        Whereas Indian tribes provided great assistance to the fledgling Republic as it strengthened and grew, including invaluable help to Meriwether Lewis and William Clark on their epic journey from St. Louis, Missouri, to the Pacific Coast;

        Whereas Native Peoples and non-Native settlers engaged in numerous armed conflicts in which unfortunately, both took innocent lives, including those of women and children;

        Whereas the Federal Government violated many of the treaties ratified by Congress and other diplomatic agreements with Indian tribes;

        Whereas the United States forced Indian tribes and their citizens to move away from their traditional homelands and onto federally established and controlled reservations, in accordance with such Acts as the Act of May 28, 1830 (4 Stat. 411, chapter 148) (commonly known as the `Indian Removal Act’);

        Whereas many Native Peoples suffered and perished–

        (1) during the execution of the official Federal Government policy of forced removal, including the infamous Trail of Tears and Long Walk;

        (2) during bloody armed confrontations and massacres, such as the Sand Creek Massacre in 1864 and the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890; and

        (3) on numerous Indian reservations;

        For more: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:S.J.RES.14:

    • Barack ‘Black Eagle’ Obama loses his adoptive father

      11/27/12 By Rob Hotakainen | McClatchy Newspapers

      WASHINGTON — As a freshman senator campaigning for president in May of 2008, Barack Obama made a stop on the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana, where he became part of a new family.

      Hartford and Mary Black Eagle formally adopted Obama as their son during a private traditional Native American ceremony, giving him a new name – Barack Black Eagle – and making him an honorary member of the tribe.

      On Monday night, the president lost his adopted father, who was also a spiritual leader for the tribe. After battling emphysema and pneumonia, Hartford Black Eagle, 78, died in his sleep at home at Lodge Grass, Mont., according to his son, Cedric, the chairman of the Crow Tribe.

      As the family prepared to make funeral arrangements Tuesday afternoon, Cedric Black Eagle said his mother was expecting a telephone call from the president later in the day. He said his father was proud to count the president among his sons, though he never made a big deal about it.

      “He didn’t really brag about it,” Cedric Black Eagle said.

      The White House didn’t respond late Tuesday to a request for comment.

      It marked the second death in the Black Eagle family this month. On Nov. 16, Marilyn Black Eagle, Obama’s 55-year-old adopted sister, died in a two-car traffic accident. An obituary published in The Billings Gazette listed the president and first lady Michelle Obama among the survivors.

      Obama visited the reservation shortly before Montana’s 2008 presidential primary, as he wrestled then-Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York for the Democratic presidential nomination. He was the first presidential candidate ever to visit the reservation.

      According to published reports at the time, Hartford Black Eagle christened Obama with his new name and waved smoke from burning cedar needles over him with a fan of bald eagle feathers. The future president told a cheering crowd that he liked his new name and called the Black Eagles “the nicest parents you could ever want to know.”

      W. Ron Allen, the chairman of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe in Sequim, Wash., said Native Americans benefited from Obama’s desire to reach out to minorities that he thought were underrepresented in U.S. politics.

      “Early on, his campaign realized that the Indian communities were among those,” Allen said. He described the Crow Tribe as very traditional and said tribal leaders wanted to respond to Obama’s pledge to help them: “They believed his commitment and their response to his conviction was that they wanted to adopt him. Not all tribes do that.”

      As a result of the adoption, Obama is an honorary member of the tribe but can’t vote in tribal elections, said Allen, who’s also the treasurer of the National Congress of American Indians, an advocacy group.

      After he was elected, Obama invited his adoptive parents to attend his inauguration in January 2009.

      The couple, who were married for 60 years, became regulars at the annual White House Tribal Nations Conference, where the president meets with tribal leaders from across the country. They even had a chance to meet the president’s two daughters.

      “My dad was a great traditional Crow healer, and I think he represented Indian country well as being the adopted father of President Barack Obama,” Cedric Black Eagle said.

      Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/11/27/175723/barack-black-eagle-obama-loses.html

    • Cherokee Nation Encourages Members To Consider Enrollment In Affordable Care Act

      12/24/13 By Mary L. Crider – swtimes.com

      Because the federal government is obligated by treaties to provide health care services to Native Americans, tribal citizens are not required to conform to Affordable Care Act rules, but Cherokee Nation officials ask Cherokee citizens to consider enrolling anyway.

      According to a Cherokee Nation news release, Cherokee Nation Health Service officials are holding community meetings to help citizens better understand the Affordable Care Act and their eligibility for it.

      Tribal Councilor Janell Fullbright of Sallisaw will host a Sequoyah County community meeting at 5:30 p.m. today at the Sequoyah County Fairgrounds, Redwood Avenue at Shurley Street, Sallisaw. Principal Chief Bill John Baker will speak, and food will be provided, according to the news release.

      Cherokee Nation officials estimate 46,000 uninsured among the 130,000 patients who use the tribe’s W.W. Hastings Hospital at Tahlequah and its eight health centers throughout the tribe’s 14-county Oklahoma jurisdiction. The Cherokee Nation, one of the largest of the 565 federally recognized tribes, now boasts more than 320,000 citizens overall.

      The Affordable Care Act online enrollment period at http://www.healthcare.gov began Oct. 1 and ends March 31, 2014, for the general population. Coverage for the insurance plans begins Jan. 1, 2014. The law includes protections and provisions for Native Americans. Among them: Anyone eligible for Indian Health Service is exempt from any penalty for being uninsured, and the enrollment period does not apply to tribal citizens; they can enroll any time.

      According to U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs literature, the Affordable Care Act includes the Indian Health Care Improvement Reauthorization and Extension Act, permanently reauthorizing the Indian Health Care Improvement Act and strengthening health care for 1.9 million Native Americans. The Indian Health Care Act had not been updated for more than 17 years.

      See more at: http://swtimes.com/news/cherokee-nation-encourages-members-consider-enrollment-affordable-care-act

  3. February 9, 2009

    U.S. Department of the Interior

    Washington, D.C.
    2:25 P.M. EST

    MRS. OBAMA: Well, I have to say I am completely humbled and moved by all of you, by the Black Bear Tribal Group. We have to give them another round of applause — (applause) — for that inspiring performance, for the beautiful shawl. Thank you, Nedra, thank you so much for the prayers. It means so much to me. It means so much to my family. And I want to thank you for that beautiful sign there in the back. It’s a small sign. (Applause.) It’s hard to read, but — (laughter).

    And I also want to acknowledge these wonderful workers, folks who have been in this department longer than I’ve been alive. (Laughter.) I mean, that is amazing. And they don’t look it. There’s no way, by looking on this stage, that you can tell that people have devoted their careers, lifetimes, more than lifetimes — I know there’s some people in this audience who haven’t been born half the time that they’ve been working here, and they are amazing and true representatives of what government work is all about. And it’s one of the reasons why I’m here — to say thank you, not just to the folks on this stage, but to all of you.

    I want to thank Secretary Salazar, who has been a unique and wonderful friend. He is correct; he and his wife, Hope, were two of the first people we met when Barack joined the United States Senate. And they showed us a level of kindness that we will never forget, and we are proud for his contribution to this country. He brings the department a lifetime of experience protecting our natural resources, promoting clean energy, and standing up for rural communities. And we could not be more pleased — could not be more pleased — to have him as a part of this administration. You are lucky to have him as a leader. (Applause.)

    So this is the third agency that I visited since we’ve arrived, and each of the agencies that I’ve seen have had a different flavor. It’s been such a great way for me to get to know our new community and to meet you, our new co-workers and our new neighbors.

    I know that this is an important time of reform and renewal here in this department. And as you begin the work — the hard work — of taking this department into a new era of excellence, I wanted to come by, again, to simply say thank you. Thank you for your service to this nation. It’s a simple message, but it’s one that we think is important to deliver.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-first-lady-us-department-interior

    • Secretary Salazar Testifies Before Senate Indian Affairs Committee, Calls Indian Water Rights Settlements a “High Priority”

      February 12, 2009 –US Senate http://www.crownews.net

      Interior Secretary Ken Salazar testified before the Senate Indian Affairs Committee in Washington, D.C. this morning in an oversight hearing. Watch Video of the Hearing

      When questioned by Montana Senator Jon Tester on the pending Indian water rights settlement acts that are awaiting Congressional approval, Secretary Salazar said that he was aware of the settlements, that they were a “high priority”, and that he would likely seek to employ a special counsel to assist him in working with Congress on the settlements.

      In response to a question from Senator Tester on the future role of tribal colleges in developing reservation economies, Secretary Salazar called tribal colleges very important in developing tribal workforces and that poor economic conditions is a root-cause of a multitude of societal problems on reservations.

      The Crow Water Rights Settlement Act, S. 375
      , has been reintroduced in the 111th Congress.

    • NCAI launches tribal economic stimulus Web site
      It will house vital information for tribes on stimulus funds

      2/26/09 http://www.indiancountrytoday.com

      WASHINGTON – The National Congress of American Indians, the largest and oldest Indian organization, recently launched a new Web site that provides vital information for tribal governments regarding the funding streams made available through the American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act, including bill analysis, grant application deadlines and news and updates on each agency.

      “We want to make sure tribes have the information they need to participate in the economic recovery of the United States,” said NCAI Executive Director Jacqueline Johnson Pata. “Tribes need to know about grant deadlines, the process of obtaining funding and how to make use of the money that is available.”

      The Web site will serve as a central clearinghouse of information on all areas of ARRA including transportation, housing, law enforcement, education, health, energy and other infrastructure needs. It also includes news and updates about the act and upcoming grant application deadlines. Each agency will determine how money will be expended, and the Web site will assist tribes in navigating the process.

      “There is $3 billion available to build critical infrastructure in Indian country if tribes have the information they need to access the funds,” Johnson Pata said. “The new Web site will be the one-stop-shop for all tribal stimulus information.”

      The site includes a resources section with links to agency information and an analysis section with the full language of ARRA and the NCAI analysis by topic area. The Frequently Asked Questions section will include questions and answers pertaining to the act, such as how tribes can apply for ARRA funding and how funds can be used. NCAI will also be partnering with sister Indian organizations to continually provide updated analysis of implementation of the bill.

  4. March 30, 2009


    East Room 3:11 P.M. EDT

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you so much, Ken, for that extraordinary introduction and for the work that you and your team are undertaking at the Department of the Interior. We’re going to add a little bit to your plate today as a consequence of this extraordinary piece of legislation.

    I want to thank all the members of the legislature who helped to craft this. Many of them are on the stage here today. Obviously I’ve got to single out the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, for her extraordinary leadership, but also our Leader in the Senate, Harry Reid, who worked so diligently on this bill and made sure that it got done. And so please give all of these legislators a big round of applause. (Applause.)

    If you’ll indulge me, there are just a couple other people I want to acknowledge: Nancy Sutley, who is the Chair of our Council on Environmental Quality, who is here. Where’s Nancy? There she is, right in front. (Applause.) Jane Lubchenco, who is the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Please, Jane — (applause.) A couple of great friends from Indian Nation — President Joe Shirley of Navaho Nation, who is here. Go ahead, Joe, stand up. (Applause.) And Tribal Chairman Robert Bear, of the Duck Valley Shoshone-Paiute Tribes. Thank you so much. (Applause.)

    It is fitting that we meet on a day like this. Winter’s hardships are slowly giving way to spring, and our thoughts naturally tend to turn to the outdoors. We emerge from the shelter offered by home and work, and we look around and we’re reminded that the most valuable things in this life are those things that we already possess.

    As Americans, we possess few blessings greater than the vast and varied landscapes that stretch the breadth of our continent. Our lands have always provided great bounty — food and shelter for the first Americans, for settlers and pioneers; the raw materials that grew our industry; the energy that powers our economy.

    What these gifts require in return is our wise and responsible stewardship. As our greatest conservationist President, Teddy Roosevelt, put it almost a century ago, “I recognize the right and duty of this generation to develop and use the natural resources of our land; but I do not recognize the right to waste them, or to rob, by wasteful use, the generations that come after us.”

    That’s the spirit behind the bipartisan legislation I’m signing today — legislation among the most important in decades to protect, preserve, and pass down our nation’s most treasured landscapes to future generations.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-signing-omnibus-public-lands-management-act-2009-33009

    • Crow Chairman Met Obama at White House
      June 21, 2009

      By the Associated Press

      BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Call it a White House meeting of brothers.

      The chairman of the Crow Tribe, Cedric Black Eagle, met President Obama in the Oval Office recently, a year after Obama became part the Crow’s Whistling Water Clan through a tribal adoption.

      Black Eagle said that when he was at the White House this month he told Obama, “It’s good to see you, brother.”

      The opportunity to meet with the president while in Washington, D.C., to discuss energy policy was unexpected, Black Eagle said.

      ‘I Think He Understands … the Idea of Being Adopted’

      Leaders of some American Indian tribes met with federal representatives and a federal official asked Black Eagle to stay behind as the others prepared to leave for another meeting. Black Eagle said he then was informed the president wished to see him, and he was taken to the West Wing of the White House.

      Discussion topics during an Oval Office meeting of 10 minutes or so included health care on the Crow Indian Reservation in southeastern Montana.

      “And he asked about my mom and dad and how they were,” Black Eagle said. “And it was personal. I think he respects the personal idea of being adopted into an Indian tribe, an Indian family.”

      During a Montana campaign swing in May 2008, Obama visited Crow Agency and was adopted into the tribe by Black Eagle’s parents, Sonny and Mary.

      Cedric Black Eagle met Obama in Butte last year, first in April and then in July, and in August at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. Black Eagle was part of a Crow contingent in the January parade celebrating the presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C.

      “I’m in D.C. quite a bit and I look at the White House, and we’ve done the White House tour,” Black Eagle said. “But I didn’t think I’d end up in the Oval Office to meet with the president, to take up any of his time. I was really surprised and humbled by it.”

      • Barack ‘Black Eagle’ Obama loses his adoptive father

        11/27/12 By Rob Hotakainen | McClatchy Newspapers

        WASHINGTON — As a freshman senator campaigning for president in May of 2008, Barack Obama made a stop on the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana, where he became part of a new family.

        Hartford and Mary Black Eagle formally adopted Obama as their son during a private traditional Native American ceremony, giving him a new name – Barack Black Eagle – and making him an honorary member of the tribe.

        On Monday night, the president lost his adopted father, who was also a spiritual leader for the tribe. After battling emphysema and pneumonia, Hartford Black Eagle, 78, died in his sleep at home at Lodge Grass, Mont., according to his son, Cedric, the chairman of the Crow Tribe.

        As the family prepared to make funeral arrangements Tuesday afternoon, Cedric Black Eagle said his mother was expecting a telephone call from the president later in the day. He said his father was proud to count the president among his sons, though he never made a big deal about it.

        “He didn’t really brag about it,” Cedric Black Eagle said.

        The White House didn’t respond late Tuesday to a request for comment.

        It marked the second death in the Black Eagle family this month. On Nov. 16, Marilyn Black Eagle, Obama’s 55-year-old adopted sister, died in a two-car traffic accident. An obituary published in The Billings Gazette listed the president and first lady Michelle Obama among the survivors.

        Obama visited the reservation shortly before Montana’s 2008 presidential primary, as he wrestled then-Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York for the Democratic presidential nomination. He was the first presidential candidate ever to visit the reservation.

        According to published reports at the time, Hartford Black Eagle christened Obama with his new name and waved smoke from burning cedar needles over him with a fan of bald eagle feathers. The future president told a cheering crowd that he liked his new name and called the Black Eagles “the nicest parents you could ever want to know.”

        W. Ron Allen, the chairman of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe in Sequim, Wash., said Native Americans benefited from Obama’s desire to reach out to minorities that he thought were underrepresented in U.S. politics.

        “Early on, his campaign realized that the Indian communities were among those,” Allen said. He described the Crow Tribe as very traditional and said tribal leaders wanted to respond to Obama’s pledge to help them: “They believed his commitment and their response to his conviction was that they wanted to adopt him. Not all tribes do that.”

        As a result of the adoption, Obama is an honorary member of the tribe but can’t vote in tribal elections, said Allen, who’s also the treasurer of the National Congress of American Indians, an advocacy group.

        After he was elected, Obama invited his adoptive parents to attend his inauguration in January 2009.

        The couple, who were married for 60 years, became regulars at the annual White House Tribal Nations Conference, where the president meets with tribal leaders from across the country. They even had a chance to meet the president’s two daughters.

        “My dad was a great traditional Crow healer, and I think he represented Indian country well as being the adopted father of President Barack Obama,” Cedric Black Eagle said.

        Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/11/27/175723/barack-black-eagle-obama-loses.html

    • Crow war chief receives Presidential Medal of Freedom

      Original Story Matthew Brown – Billings, Montana (AP) 8-09

      A 95-year-old Crow warrior who went into battle wearing war paint beneath his World War II uniform and later emerged as an acclaimed Native American historian received the Presidential Medal of Freedom on August 12.

      Joe Medicine Crow receive the nation’s highest civilian honor from President Obama, along with Sen. Ted Kennedy, physicist Stephen Hawking and 13 others.

      The president met Medicine Crow during a campaign stop last year when Obama, then a U.S. senator, was adopted as an honorary member of the Crow tribe.

      “I am humbled and honored,” Medicine Crow said in a statement released by the Custer Battlefield Museum, where he sits on the board of directors. “I sang Senator Obama a praise song, and now I know the song worked.”

      In 1939, Medicine Crow became the first of his tribe to receive a master’s degree, in anthropology. He is the oldest member of the Crow and the tribe’s sole surviving war chief – an honor bestowed for a series of accomplishments during World War II, including hand-to-hand combat with a German soldier whose life Medicine Crow spared.

      After the war, he became tribal historian for the Crow and lectured extensively on the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Medicine Crow’s grandfather served as a scout for the doomed forces of Gen. George Armstrong Custer.

      Medicine Crow lives with his family in the remote southeastern Montana town of Lodge Grass. His wife died several months ago, his hearing has gone bad, and his eyesight is fading.

      But Medicine Crow continues to lecture and remains “100 percent there, mentally,” said Christopher Kortlander, the director of the Custer museum.

      For the entire article:http://indiancountrynews.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=7149&Itemid=1

  5. October 30, 2009

    – – – – – – –


    The indigenous peoples of North America — the First Americans — have woven rich and diverse threads into the tapestry of our Nation’s heritage. Throughout their long history on this great land, they have faced moments of profound triumph and tragedy alike. During National Native American Heritage Month, we recognize their many accomplishments, contributions, and sacrifices, and we pay tribute to their participation in all aspects of American society.

    This month, we celebrate the ancestry and time-honored traditions of American Indians and Alaska Natives in North America. They have guided our land stewardship policies, added immeasurably to our cultural heritage, and demonstrated courage in the face of adversity. From the American Revolution to combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, they have fought valiantly in defense of our Nation as dedicated servicemen and women. Their native languages have also played a pivotal role on the battlefield. During World Wars I and II, Native American code talkers developed unbreakable codes to communicate military messages that saved countless lives. Native Americans have distinguished themselves as inventors, entrepreneurs, spiritual leaders, and scholars. Our debt to our First Americans is immense, as is our responsibility to ensure their fair, equal treatment and honor the commitments we made to their forebears.

    The Native American community today faces huge challenges that have been ignored by our Government for too long. To help address this disparity, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act allocates more than $3 billion to help these communities deal with their most pressing needs. In the Fiscal Year 2010 budget, my Administration has proposed over $17 billion for programs carried out by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Indian Health Service, and other Federal agencies that have a critical role to play in improving the lives of Native Americans. These programs will increase educational opportunities, address the scourge of alcohol abuse and domestic violence, promote economic development, and provide access to comprehensive, accessible, and affordable health care. While funding increases do not make up for past deficiencies, they do reflect our determination to honor tribal sovereignty and ensure continued progress on reservations across America.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/presidential-proclamation-national-native-american-heritage-month

  6. November 05, 2009

    Remarks by the President During the Opening of the Tribal Nations Conference & Interactive Discussion with Tribal Leaders

    Department of Interior, Washington, D.C.

    9:37 A.M. EST

    THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Please, everybody have a seat. Thank you to Jefferson Keel, thanks for the wonderful introduction; to Clarence Jackson for the invocation. Good morning to all of you. I am honored to be with you today at this unique and historic event, the largest and most widely attended gathering of tribal leaders in our history. (Applause.) And I am so grateful to many members of Congress who could join us today, along with several members of my Cabinet who will be participating in this conference today.

    You know, a couple of summers ago, I had the opportunity to visit the Crow Nation in Montana. And while I was there, I was adopted into the nation by a wonderful couple, Hartford and Mary Black Eagle. I know what they’re saying now: “Kids grow up so fast.” (Laughter.) Only in America could the adoptive son of Crow Indians grow up to become President of the United States. (Applause.)

    It’s now been a year since the American people went to the polls and gave me this extraordinary privilege and responsibility. And part of what accounts for the hope people felt on that day, I think, was a sense that we had an opportunity to change the way Washington worked; a chance to make our federal government the servant not of special interests, but of the American people. It was a sense that we had an opportunity to bring about meaningful change for those who had for too long been excluded from the American Dream.

    And few have been more marginalized and ignored by Washington for as long as Native Americans — our First Americans.

    We know the history that we share. It’s a history marked by violence and disease and deprivation. Treaties were violated. Promises were broken. You were told your lands, your religion, your cultures, your languages were not yours to keep. And that’s a history that we’ve got to acknowledge if we are to move forward.

    We also know our more recent history; one in which too often, Washington thought it knew what was best for you. There was too little consultation between governments. And that’s a major reason why things are the way they are today. Some of your reservations face unemployment rates of up to 80 percent. Roughly a quarter of all Native Americans live in poverty. More than 14 percent of all reservation homes don’t have electricity; and 12 percent don’t have access to a safe water supply. In some reservations as many as 20 people live together just to get by. Without real communication and consultation, we’re stuck year after year with policies that don’t work on issues specific to you and on broader issues that affect all of us. And you deserve to have a voice in both.


    • VOAvideo | November 06, 2009 –

      Obama Promises to Improve Relations With Native Americans

      President Barack Obama says he is determined to reverse the U.S. government’s history of marginalizing Native American nations. During an all-day conference (Thursday/November 5) in Washington with tribal leaders and government officials, the president said Indian nations will not be forgotten as long as he is in the White House.

    • Barack ‘Black Eagle’ Obama loses his adoptive father

      11/27/12 By Rob Hotakainen | McClatchy Newspapers

      WASHINGTON — As a freshman senator campaigning for president in May of 2008, Barack Obama made a stop on the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana, where he became part of a new family.

      Hartford and Mary Black Eagle formally adopted Obama as their son during a private traditional Native American ceremony, giving him a new name – Barack Black Eagle – and making him an honorary member of the tribe.

      On Monday night, the president lost his adopted father, who was also a spiritual leader for the tribe. After battling emphysema and pneumonia, Hartford Black Eagle, 78, died in his sleep at home at Lodge Grass, Mont., according to his son, Cedric, the chairman of the Crow Tribe.

      As the family prepared to make funeral arrangements Tuesday afternoon, Cedric Black Eagle said his mother was expecting a telephone call from the president later in the day. He said his father was proud to count the president among his sons, though he never made a big deal about it.

      “He didn’t really brag about it,” Cedric Black Eagle said.

      The White House didn’t respond late Tuesday to a request for comment.

      It marked the second death in the Black Eagle family this month. On Nov. 16, Marilyn Black Eagle, Obama’s 55-year-old adopted sister, died in a two-car traffic accident. An obituary published in The Billings Gazette listed the president and first lady Michelle Obama among the survivors.

      Obama visited the reservation shortly before Montana’s 2008 presidential primary, as he wrestled then-Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York for the Democratic presidential nomination. He was the first presidential candidate ever to visit the reservation.

      According to published reports at the time, Hartford Black Eagle christened Obama with his new name and waved smoke from burning cedar needles over him with a fan of bald eagle feathers. The future president told a cheering crowd that he liked his new name and called the Black Eagles “the nicest parents you could ever want to know.”

      W. Ron Allen, the chairman of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe in Sequim, Wash., said Native Americans benefited from Obama’s desire to reach out to minorities that he thought were underrepresented in U.S. politics.

      “Early on, his campaign realized that the Indian communities were among those,” Allen said. He described the Crow Tribe as very traditional and said tribal leaders wanted to respond to Obama’s pledge to help them: “They believed his commitment and their response to his conviction was that they wanted to adopt him. Not all tribes do that.”

      As a result of the adoption, Obama is an honorary member of the tribe but can’t vote in tribal elections, said Allen, who’s also the treasurer of the National Congress of American Indians, an advocacy group.

      After he was elected, Obama invited his adoptive parents to attend his inauguration in January 2009.

      The couple, who were married for 60 years, became regulars at the annual White House Tribal Nations Conference, where the president meets with tribal leaders from across the country. They even had a chance to meet the president’s two daughters.

      “My dad was a great traditional Crow healer, and I think he represented Indian country well as being the adopted father of President Barack Obama,” Cedric Black Eagle said.

      Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/11/27/175723/barack-black-eagle-obama-loses.html

  7. Repost of October 29, 2009

    President Obama to Meet with Native American Tribal Leaders

    October 29, 2009 VOAnews.com

    President Barack Obama has invited leaders of the more than 500 Native American tribes in the United States to a White House Tribal Nations Conference on November 5. Mr. Obama says he wants to hear directly from the leaders about how his administration can help them meet their needs.

    The Navajo tribe has the largest reservation in the U.S., more than 67,000 square kilometers across parts of the southwest states of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. The quality of life is typically poor. Many homes do not have running water or electricity.

    Navajo President Joe Shirley says that when President Barack Obama meets with tribal leaders, he will be following through on a promise made during his presidential campaign to have a more open dialogue with the tribes.

    “And he promised to have a relationship with us, a meaningful relationship,” Shirley says, “meaning that he’ll work with us about some of the different challenges that face us here in the southwest.”

    Ned Norris

    Those challenges include a lack of economic development, a problem also facing the second largest reservation, the Tohono O’odham, in southern Arizona and part of northern Mexico. Both the Navajo and O’odham nations make money through gambling casinos, but Tohono O’odham chairman Ned Norris says casinos cannot support his entire community.

    “We need to really look at diversifying our economy, our ability to make revenue for the nation. Even with our multi-million-dollar casino operation, in a lot of ways we lack infrastructure,” Norris explains, “We don’t have the reasons for companies to want to come onto the nation.”

    And that means fewer jobs.

    “Unemployment hovers above 50 percent on Navajo land and that’s atrocious. The USA, the people throughout, are concerned about an unemployment rate of 10 percent but ours has been about 50 percent for decades,” Shirley said.

    For the entire article: http://www1.voanews.com/english/news/a-13-2009-10-29-voa34-69780992.html

  8. Secretary Salazar Announces $3.7M In Renewable Energy Project Grants For 13 Tribal Communities

    March 18, 2010 http://www.poweronline.com

    Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar recently announced that the Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development has awarded $3.7M to tribes that are developing renewable energy resources for their communities. Access to these resources will allow these communities to develop jobs and additional economic opportunities on their reservations, while decreasing their reliance on fossil fuels.

    “This President has made the development of renewable energy in America one of his highest priorities,” Salazar said. “Many tribes are in a unique position to benefit greatly from a variety of renewable energy sources and the Department is committed to helping these communities to achieve this goal.”

    The Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development, in partnership with the Office of Trust Services in the Bureau of Indian Affairs, has identified 13 tribes that have significant potential for quickly developing biomass, geothermal, or hydroelectric energy on their reservations. The tribes, resources and award amounts are listed in the attached table.

    Salazar noted that tribal communities have shown exceptional interest in renewable energy development.

    “This attests to the tribes’ desire to use their available energy resources for the benefit of its members,” he said. “It also indicates the willingness of tribes to help America reduce our dependence on foreign energy resources through domestic production.”

    In addition to gaining access to the energy itself, all of these projects would also provide job opportunities for reservation residents. “The Department’s Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development is working hand-in-hand with tribes to provide technical assistance for energy, mineral, and economic development on reservations,” said Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Larry EchoHawk. “The Office is using innovative and collaborative approaches to improve economic opportunities for the tribes, including renewable energy development, and to help promote new jobs, new businesses, and new capital on tribal lands.”

    For the entire article: http://www.poweronline.com/article.mvc/Secretary-Salazar-Announces-37M-In-0001?VNETCOOKIE=NO

  9. Thursday March 25, 2010

    Secretary Salazar Announces Next Stage in Developing Department-wide Tribal Consultation Policy Plan

    Source: U.S. Dept. of Interior

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary Ken Salazar today announced that the Department of the Interior has moved to the next stage in its plan of actions to develop a department-wide tribal nations consultation policy by constituting a Tribal Consultation Team. The Team will consist of 12 tribal officials and alternates representing federally recognized tribes in each Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) region along with representatives from each DOI Bureau or Office. Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk notified tribal leaders by letter on March 23 and requested nominations.

    “I am pleased to announce that we have reached the next stage in the Interior Department’s plan of actions to establish a comprehensive, department-wide policy on tribal consultation,” Salazar said. “Now that the Department is ready to establish the Consultation Team that will draft the new policy, I want to underscore the importance and urgency of responding to the call for tribal nominations so that we can move forward expeditiously.”

    The tribes in each BIA Region are asked to nominate three tribal officials or delegates from their BIA region to serve on the Tribal Consultation Team and submit their nominees to the BIA Regional Director by April 30, 2010. Regional Directors will work with the tribes to select the nominees and provide any technical assistance, if needed. Regional Directors will forward nominations to the Secretary by May 5. The Secretary will appoint one tribal member and one alternative from each BIA region to the Team, as well as one federal member and one alternative from each Interior Bureau/Office by May 14.

    Team members will have several months to draft the consultation policy, which will involve the review and evaluation of existing functions, policies, procedures and practices that have tribal implications and require on-going review and comments from the tribes and general public on the draft policy. Once the first draft of the policy is developed the Consultation Team will submit the draft policy to the tribes and publish it in the Federal Register for public comment.

    The Interior Department’s plan of actions was developed as directed by President Obama in his memorandum, to implement Executive Order 13175 dated November 6, 2000, Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments. The Executive Order directs Executive Branch departments and agencies to develop policies on tribal consultation and cooperation. The President signed the memorandum at the White House Tribal Nations Summit held at the Interior Department’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., on November 5, 2009.

    For the entire article: http://www.waterchat.com/News/Indian/10/Q1/ind_100325-01.htm

    • July 21, 2010

      Statement by the President on the Passage of the Tribal Law and Order Act

      Today’s passage of the Tribal Law and Order Act is an important step to help the federal government better address the unique public safety challenges that confront tribal communities. The fact is, American Indians and Alaska Natives are victimized by violent crime at far higher rates than Americans as a whole. Native communities have seen increased gang and drug activity, with some tribes experiencing violent crime rates at more than ten times the national average. And one in three Native women will be the victim of rape in her lifetime.

      The federal government’s relationship with tribal governments, its obligations under treaty and law, and our values as a nation require that we do more to improve public safety in tribal communities. And this Act will help us achieve that. It will strengthen the relationship between the federal government and tribal governments. It will improve our ability to work with tribal communities in the investigation and prosecution of crime, and it authorizes resources for tribes to fight crime more effectively. While many members helped pass this bill, I especially want to applaud Senators Dorgan, Barrasso and Kyl, and Representatives Herseth Sandlin, Kildee, Cole, Conyers, Scott, Rahall, Simpson and Pastor for their leadership on this issue. I look forward to signing the Act into law.

  10. Crow Tribe hit by budget shortfall

    8/6/10 SUSAN OLP Of The Gazette Staff

    Crow Chairman Cedric Black Eagle is in the midst of a balancing act.

    Hit by a budget shortfall, Black Eagle and the rest of the executive branch have wrestled with how to keep the tribe’s finances in the black. It has included cutting back a majority of the tribe’s work force to 32 hours a week.

    At the same time, he is hopeful that a tribal water rights settlement totaling $460 million will be passed by Congress in September. If agreed to by a majority of the tribe, it could boost the tribe’s infrastructure and finances.

    For the past month, Black Eagle’s focus has been on how to deal with the tribe’s $2.1 million budget deficit.

    Black Eagle said the tribe has felt the effects of the country’s struggling economy.

    “It’s because of the economic downturn that has created the situation for everybody in this country, not just us,” he said. “It can’t be singled out to just the Crow Tribe.”

    The tribe receives a guaranteed amount of money in federal grants and for federally funded programs, Black Eagle said. But revenue that goes into the general fund isn’t guaranteed.

    One has to do with tribal money handled by the Department of the Interior’s Office of the Special Trustee. The OST oversees all of the funds affiliated with the tribe’s trust property, trust land and trust assets.

    In particular is the tribe’s 107th Meridian Settlement, which has $85 million in principal that is placed in a special account for the tribe. The principal can never be touched, but the tribe receives quarterly interest from the money that is invested by the OST.

    “Those investments, because of the economy of the country, dropped from 6 percent to like 1 percent,” Black Eagle said. “So we lost money there.”

    The tribe also lost money when royalties from Westmoreland Resources, which mines Crow coal, were less than expected.

    For the entire article: http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/article_31c85efc-a1c3-11df-a4b9-001cc4c03286.html

  11. UC Davis receives $1 million NIH grant to improve health in No. Calif. Native American communities

    (SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — UC Davis School of Medicine researchers will train Native American communities in Northern California to develop and implement culturally appropriate interventions to improve their health by decreasing obesity and type-2 diabetes, through a $1 million research grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health.

    The communities include the Round Valley Indian Tribes of Covelo, Calif., Mendocino County, and communities served by Northern Valley Indian Health, Inc., which include Glenn County and portions of Butte, Tehama and Colusa counties.

    “This will be a unique situation in which university health researchers will collaborate with community members to teach them how to perform research on their own communities, to ensure that the research is culturally appropriate, acceptable and helpful,” said Dennis Styne, study principal investigator and the Yocha Dehe Endowed Chair in Pediatric Endocrinology.

    “Community members will collect data about their community’s health habits to, for example, learn what kinds of healthy foods and exercise resources are most helpful, and select and design the most effective interventions,” Styne said.

    Over one-third of all American Indian adults nationwide are obese, compared with about 22 percent of non-Hispanic whites. Among the Native American communities participating in the study, nearly 68 percent of adults are obese and 24 percent of children between 2 and 5 years old have body mass indexes in the 95th percentile for their ages.

    Obesity is associated with type-2 diabetes, which can result in heart and kidney disease, nerve damage and blindness and lead to premature death. The condition has been described as a “disease of disparity,” disproportionately affecting low-income and ethnic minority populations. American Indians are 2.6 times as likely to be diagnosed with diabetes as non-Hispanic whites. Nationwide, the number of Native Americans diagnosed with diabetes doubled between 1991 and 2001. In the Round Valley and Northern Valley Native American communities, 11 percent are affected by type-2 diabetes.

    “The Native American community is disproportionately affected by diabetes and heart disease, hypertension, lipid problems and other diseases of disparity,” Styne said. “They are aware of the importance of the conditions and are committed to working to turn the tide.”

    Styne said that the two-year research initiative will train community members as research associates in the use of community-based and community-governed participatory research techniques, to ensure engagement in improving their health. The UC Davis researchers will work collaboratively with two established community-health centers that serve the Native American communities, the Round Valley Indian Health Center and Northern Valley Indian Health, Inc., with the full support of their boards of directors.

    Partners at Round Valley will include Edward Whipple, outreach prevention coordinator at Round Valley Unified School District, fitness and health instructor at Mendocino Community College and an enrolled member of the Round Valley tribe; and Diann Simmons, a consultant with the Round Valley Sustainability Program. At Northern Valley Indian Health, UC Davis will partner with Vicki Shively, a nurse and member of the Choctaw Nation who has served for seven years as the center’s community health director.

    For the entire article: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-08/uoc–udr080910.php

  12. July 29, 2010

    Remarks by the President Before Signing the Tribal Law and Order Act

    East Room 4:58 P.M. EDT

    THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, everybody. Please have a seat.

    I want to start, obviously, by thanking Lisa for her introduction and having the courage to share her story with all of us today. It’s for every survivor like Lisa who has never gotten their day in court, and for every family that feels like justice is beyond reach, and for every tribal community struggling to keep its people safe, that I’ll be signing the Tribal Law and Order Act into law today.

    And in doing so, I intend to send a clear message that all of our people — whether they live in our biggest cities or our most remote reservations — have the right to feel safe in their own communities, and to raise their children in peace, and enjoy the fullest protection of our laws.

    As many of you know, I campaigned on this issue. And during our last — during our tribal conference last year, I pledged my administration’s fullest support for this bill. And I told Senator Dorgan last week that I intended to sign it in a ceremony here at the White House with all of you. So today, I am proud to make good on my word.

    Now, I’m told there’s a Seneca proverb that says “He who would do great things should not attempt them all alone.” (Laughter.) And that’s particularly true of this legislation, which is the product of tireless efforts by countless individuals across this country. Congressional leaders like Senator Dorgan, Representative Herseth Sandlin, and others who are here today, and tribal leaders like Chairman Marcus Levings, President Theresa Two Bulls, President Diane Enos, Chief Chad Smith, Vice Chairman Jonathan Windy Boy — we are grateful to all of them for their extraordinary support. And then we’ve got leaders in our administration like Attorney General Holder and Secretary Salazar, Kimberly Teehee, Jodi Gillette here at the White House who work tirelessly on this legislation.

    And that’s nothing to say of all the dedicated judges and prosecutors and tribal and BIA law enforcement officers — some of whom are here today — who’ve supported these efforts. And the determined survivors most of all, like Lisa, who even when it’s too late to undo what happened to them, still speak out to seek justice for others.

    All of you come at this from different angles, but you’re united in support of this bill because you believe, like I do, that it is unconscionable that crime rates in Indian Country are more than twice the national average and up to 20 times the national average on some reservations. And all of you believe, like I do, that when one in three Native American women will be raped in their lifetimes, that is an assault on our national conscience; it is an affront to our shared humanity; it is something that we cannot allow to continue.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-signing-tribal-law-and-order-act

    • Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

      The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly during its 62nd session at UN Headquarters in New York City on 13 September 2007.

      While as a General Assembly Declaration it is not a legally binding instrument under international law, according to a UN press release, it does “represent the dynamic development of international legal norms and it reflects the commitment of the UN’s member states to move in certain directions”; the UN describes it as setting “an important standard for the treatment of indigenous peoples that will undoubtedly be a significant tool towards eliminating human rights violations against the planet’s 370 million indigenous people and assisting them in combating discrimination and marginalisation.”

      Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declaration_on_the_Rights_of_Indigenous_Peoples

  13. Past and present military warriors honored
    By Adrian Jawort, Today correspondent

    Jul 21, 2010 http://www.indiancountrytoday.com

    CROW AGENCY, Mont. – When the “Native Words, Native Warriors” display came to the Crow Indian Reservation in time for the annual Crow Native Days that coincide with the Battle of the Little Bighorn anniversary, tribal secretary Scott Russell was given the task of honoring not only the various tribes and code talkers of the World War II display, but the Crow Nation’s own plethora of veterans and active military personnel.

    The display is a National Museum of the American Indian traveling exhibit that will eventually visit all seven Montana Indian reservations throughout the summer and fall.

    “What Chairman Black Eagle envisioned was something also geared toward the Crow warriors, and that’s basically what we’ve done here,” Russell said, motioning toward the pictures of hundreds of local Crow tribal members in uniform who adorned the walls.

    Crows were asked to put up pictures of their relatives and loved ones in their military uniform and other articles that could be used for displays, and the response was overwhelming.

    Traditionally dressed Crow Women on parade at the Crow Native Days.

    Tribal Vice President Calvin Coolidge Jefferson is a veteran of the Vietnam War – as was the late Chairman Carl Venne who passed away last year.

    “We want people to be able to say, ‘That’s my relative,’ or ‘That’s my grandfather,’ and instill pride in them to remind them that they come from a militaristic society,” Russell said. “Since the days of intertribal warfare, our people were warriors.”

    For the entire article: http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/national/Past-and-present-military-warriors-honored-98614114.html

    • Native American Warriors In Iraq

      5/28/10 Sarah Handel – NPR

      Photojournalist Steven Clevenger got his start in 1971 in Cambodia, when he was just 22-years-old. He has covered seven wars, including those in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2006, Clevenger began a three-year project documenting the warrior tradition of soldiers serving in Iraq. His work resulted in his book, America’s First Warriors: Native Americans and Iraq.

      As an Osage and a war photographer, he was fascinated by modern Native American warrior culture. The definition of warrior, he writes, has been basically the same since pre-Columbian times: “A warrior is the protector of his people.” The same values inherent in that code — loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage — are elements necessary for a successful U.S. Military career.

      Clevenger spent time embedded with Native American military members in Iraq in both 2007 and 2009. He took photographs and interviewed Apache, Navajo, Osage, Pueblo and other Native military members, capturing how their culture affected and informed their wartime service.

      He also attended traditional ceremonies in the U.S., such as the War Mothers’ Dance and the Welcoming Home/Cleansing Ceremony. He spoke with the soldiers’ families about the Native traditions meant to protect, honor and provide solace to the warriors.

      With his book, Clevenger reminds us of the long history of the Native American warrior, and draws a through-line to the present day military

      For the photos: http://www.npr.org/blogs/pictureshow/2010/05/28/127245075/warriors

  14. broadband4us | October 14, 2009 –

    FCC explores diversity and broadband access in open workshop.

  15. FEMA | April 22, 2010

    Native American Tribes Join Unified Command

    During the 2009/2010 winter, some Native American reservations in South Dakota suffered severe ice and snow damage. The tribes impacted by the disaster were invited by FEMA to join the “Unified Command” for disaster reimbursement discussions.

  16. UpTakeVideo | August 18, 2009 –

    Shame On Those Who Use Scare Tactics – Indian Health Service

    Kimberly Teehee, Senior Policy Advisor for Native American Affairs at the White House Domestic Policy Council dispels myths around the Indian Health Service.

    First, the IHS system is not an insurance plan. And comparing the two is like comparing apples to oranges. IHS provides comprehensive health care services to approximately 1.9 million American Indians and Alaska Natives living on or near reservations in 35 states. Some of these health services include doctor visits and check-ups, dental and vision care, diabetes prevention and treatment, mental health and substance abuse treatment, and home health care. IHS also helps construct hospitals and clinics and provides safe drinking water and sanitation facilities to American Indians and Alaska Natives. Health insurance, by contrast, provides individuals a guarantee to a defined set of benefits for a price. While the IHS accepts insurance payments for care it provides, it is not an insurance plan.

    Second, national health reform will not dismantle IHS. American Indians and Alaska Natives will continue to have access to their Indian health service facilities. And third, while Indian health has been is historically underfunded, several tribes have developed innovative and award winning approaches to provide health care to their communities. These sites serve as successful models for other rural and public health programs. President Obama supports IHS which is why he proposed a 13% increase in the FY 2010 budget, and invested $590 million in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

  17. And because I must get a very early start tomorrow I will say good night and Happy Thursday right now to the O-family and all friends!

    Have a great day!


  18. Senate to pass border bill Thursday: spokesmen

    Aug 11, 2010 Susan Cornwell- Reuters

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Senate will hold a short special session on Thursday to pass a border security bill, breaking off its summer recess to finish the legislation so it can be sent to President Barack Obama for signing into law.

    The $600 million measure funding new agents for the U.S. border with Mexico is expected to pass the Senate on a voice vote, spokesmen for both the Democratic and Republican leaders of the chamber said. The House of Representatives agreed to the bill on Tuesday.

    Only a few senators are likely to turn up for the Thursday session, and when it is finished, they will adjourn until September 13 as originally planned, the spokesmen said.

    Before leaving, the senators are also expected to pass a resolution honoring former Senator Ted Stevens, who died in a plane crash in Alaska this week.

    • Senate Convenes to Pass Border Security Bill, Honor the Late Ted Stevens

      The Senate will convene this morning for a short session to consider two items. Picking up after the House passage of the border security bill (H.R. 6080) on Monday, the Senate is set to approve the legislation by unanimous consent. The chamber will also take up a resolution in memory of former Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK), who died Monday in an plane crash in southwest Alaska.

      C-SPAN2 at 10am ET http://www.cspan.org/

    • Good morning Meta!

      I was happy to shine the spot light on the lives of our Native American brothers and sisters.

  19. I’m trying to think through this hideous challenge to the 14th Amendment coming from the far right. Sounds like they feel that since slavery is no longer an issue and there are too many children born of illegal immigrants, it’s a way to stem the tide of those who would be majority citizens in the coming decades and have the right to vote. So if both parents are not legal citizens, what citizenship would a child born in this country have? To which country would they belong? Is that supposed to be the deterrent? Is this another way to make it seem like PBO is a foreigner? I think it’s all so disturbing that nearly half the country is in favor of this hocus pocus.

  20. GM posts $1.33 billion profit, a sign of strength


    DETROIT – General Motors Co. said Thursday it made $1.33 billion in the second quarter, a sign it’s getting healthier as it prepares to sell stock to the public.

    It was the second straight quarterly profit for the Detroit automaker, which made $865 million in the first quarter, and sets the stage for GM to file paperwork soon to start the public stock sale process.

    CEO Ed Whitacre said last week that the company is eager to sell shares in an initial public offering so it can end its dependence on the government and pay off $43.3 billion in bailout funds that were converted into a majority stake in the company. Whitacre wants the company to shed its “Government Motors” moniker because it’s hurting sales and the company’s image.

    But it’s unclear if the recent record of profits — $2.2 billion for the first half of 2010 — is enough to convince investors. GM lost $88 billion in the five years before it filed for bankruptcy protection last June.

    Although GM is performing well, the timing still isn’t right for it to sell shares in the next few months because of the sputtering economy, said Scott Sweet, senior managing partner of IPO Boutique in Tampa, Florida, which advises investors on IPOs.

    Several recent IPOs have been postponed because of concerns that they won’t get a high enough share price, he said. He also said the Obama administration is pressuring GM to sell prematurely to influence the November congressional elections. Last week, Whitacre said the elections are not being considered, and the government has repeatedly said GM is in charge of the sale timing.

    “The numbers are good. You can’t argue that,” Sweet said. “There is a huge incentive to have an IPO of GM, but it also must work.”

    For the entire article: http://yhoo.it/goAxCB

  21. Judge to rule on stay Thursday in Prop. 8 case

    8/12/10 AP

    SAN FRANCISCO – The federal judge who overturned California’s same-sex marriage ban is set to rule Thursday on whether gay marriages should resume immediately in the state or await an appeals court’s input.

    Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker announced late Wednesday that he would issue his decision by noon on requests to impose a stay that would keep Proposition 8 in effect while its sponsors appeal his decision.

    The announcement came after lawyers for gay couples, California Gov. Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown filed legal motions Friday asking that same-sex marriages be allowed to resume immediately.

    Those motions were filed two days after Walker struck down California’s voter-approved gay marriage ban as unconstitutional. In his 136-page decision, Walker said gay marriages should begin immediately, but agreed to suspend weddings until he could consider the legal arguments.

    California voters passed Proposition 8 as a state constitutional amendment in November 2008, five months after the California Supreme Court legalized same-sex unions and an estimated 18,000 same-sex couples already had tied the knot.

    Opponents of same-sex marriage said they want Proposition 8 to stay in effect until their appeal of Walker’s ruling is decided by higher courts.

    They have argued in court papers that resuming gay marriage now would cause legal chaos if the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals or U.S. Supreme Court eventually reverse Walker’s ruling.

    For the entire article: http://yhoo.it/eEZn92

    • Poll: Majority of Americans support gay marriage

      8/12/10 Lisa Goodwin – news.yahoo.com

      A new CNN poll has found that most Americans think gays and lesbians should have a constitutional right to get married. This is the first national poll showing a majority of respondents backing gay-marriage rights.

      Fifty-two percent of respondents say there should be a constitutional right to gay marriage; 46 percent say there should not. As polling-statistics blogger Nate Silver points out, the margin of error means we can’t assume that a majority of Americans support gay marriage, but it is “no longer safe to say that opposition to same-sex marriage is the majority position, and it is becoming dubious to call it the plurality position.”

      Silver writes in a follow-up post that support for gay marriage has increased at an accelerated rate over the past year, jumping 4 points.

      Popular support for the issue may help explain Republicans’ relative silence when a federal judge struck down California’s voter-approved gay marriage ban last week.

      Judge Vaughn Walker will rule Thursday whether his decision will go into effect immediately (if so, gays and lesbians would be able to start marrying each other again in California) or whether he will stay his decision until the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rules on the matter.

  22. Judge Orders Wells Fargo to Pay Back $203M in Fees

    Judge orders Wells Fargo to change overdraft policy, return $203 million in fees to customers


    A federal judge in California ordered Wells Fargo & Co. to change what he called “unfair and deceptive business practices” that led customers into paying multiple overdraft fees, and to pay $203 million back to customers.

    In a decision handed down late Tuesday, U.S. District Judge William Alsup accused Wells Fargo of “profiteering” by changing its policies to process checks, debit card transactions and bill payments from the highest dollar amount to the lowest, rather than in the order the transactions took place. That helped drain customer bank accounts faster and drive up overdraft fees, a policy Alsup referred to as “gouging and profiteering.”

    Wells Fargo adopted the policies beginning in 2001, and they became widespread across the banking industry. It is unclear how the ruling would apply to the rest of the industry.

    The ruling detailed the experiences of two Wells Fargo customers who used their debit cards for multiple small purchases, and were then charged hundreds in overdraft fees because the order the purchases were cleared by the bank depended on the amounts. The judge found the customers, who were part of a class action, were not properly informed of the bank’s policies on processing payments and were unaware the bank would allow debit purchases to go through when their accounts were overdrawn.

    “Internal bank memos and e-mails leave no doubt that, overdraft revenue being a big profit center, the bank’s dominant, indeed sole, motive was to maximize the number of overdrafts,” Alsup wrote. That policy would “squeeze as much as possible” from customers with overdrafts, in particular from the 4 percent of customers who paid what he called “a whopping 40 percent of its total overdraft and returned-item revenue.”

    The judge dismissed Wells Fargo’s arguments that customers wanted and benefited from the policies, and detailed evidence he said showed efforts to obscure the practices in statements and other materials. Wells Fargo’s online banking system, for example, would display pending purchases in chronological order, “leading customers to believe that the processing would take place in that order.”

    For the entire article: http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=11378662

  23. Senate sends Obama $600M border security bill

    8/12/10 By JIM ABRAMS, AP

    WASHINGTON – Determined to show a commitment to stopping the flow of illegal immigrants, the Senate convened a special session Thursday and passed a $600 million bill to put more agents and equipment along the Mexican border.

    The voice vote in the nearly empty Senate chamber sends the legislation to President Barack Obama, who has urged Congress to channel more money toward border security amid complaints from border states besieged by undocumented immigrants and illegal drug trafficking.

    House Democrats had also called a special session, summoning lawmakers back from their summer break Tuesday to pass the border security bill and a $26 billion aid bill to keep teachers and other public workers from being laid off. Both issues — jobs and border security — are among those expected to be on voters’ minds when they go to the polls in November.

    Senate historian Donald Ritchie said it was only the second time since the August break became official policy in 1970 that the Senate had reconvened. The first time was after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

    The border security measure would fund the hiring of 1,000 new Border Patrol agents to be deployed at critical areas along the border, 250 more Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, and 250 more Customs and Border Protection officers.

    It provides for new communications equipment and greater use of unmanned surveillance drones. There are currently seven such drones along the border. Almost one-third of the money goes to the Justice Department to help agencies such as the FBI, the DEA and the ATF deal with drug dealers and human traffickers.

    The bill is paid for by raising fees on foreign-based personnel companies that use U.S. visa programs, including the popular H-1B program, to bring skilled workers to the United States. India says higher fees would discriminate against its companies and workers.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100812/ap_on_go_co/us_congress_border_2

  24. American Tradition and Rural Innovation at the Wisconsin State Fair

    8/12/10 by Lisa P. Jackson -WhiteHouse.gov

    Last week I took part in an American tradition: visiting the Wisconsin State Fair. The Wisconsin State Fair and state fairs throughout the country are a cherished summertime experience for rural America – a place where old friends and old traditions go hand-in-hand with the latest innovations. In a solar powered building, I sampled my first cheese curds. I visited Senator Herb Kohl’s family’s flavored milk stand and had some of the Fair’s famous cream puffs. And I saw the Fair’s “solar panel on a stick” – a rotating solar panel that follows the sun – an investment that has already paid for itself in utility savings.

    Something else was on display as well: the value that our great outdoors and green spaces have for millions of Americans. The environment is the foundation of the economy for the farmers and ranchers I met at the fair, the people who live off the land. It’s part of the culture for the women and men who love to fish and hunt. And it’s a way of life for the 60 million Americans living in small towns and rural areas throughout the country. Though they may not call themselves “environmentalists,” these Americans are playing an important part in protecting critical natural resources, using sustainable techniques to preserve our environment, and leading the way in innovative clean energy technology.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/08/12/american-tradition-and-rural-innovation-wisconsin-state-fair

  25. California love
    L.A. events scheduled for Obama


    President Obama will head to Los Angeles on Monday to headline “events” for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the White House announced.

    The White House said it would allow a print pool into the event.

    Obama then plans to discuss the new health care law in Seattle on Tuesday, in an address to the Summer 2010 National Meeting of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the White House said.

    He’ll also headline events for Sen. Patty Murray, the White House said.

  26. Social Security a wedge for Congress
    Compromise on financial fixes less likely as rhetoric heats up

    8/12/10 By Stephen Ohlemacher -AP

    WASHINGTON — Prospects are bleak for fixing Social Security’s financial problems as the government retirement insurance program celebrates its 75th anniversary this week.

    any Democrats adamantly oppose any cut in benefits to reduce cost and some won’t accept a gradual increase in the retirement age, something that was done in the last overhaul in 1983. Republicans say an increase in Social Security taxes is out of the question, even for the wealthy.

    Unless Congress acts, Social Security’s combined retirement and disability trust funds are expected to run out of money in 2037. At that point, Social Security will collect enough in payroll taxes to cover about three-fourths of the benefits.

    The rhetoric is creating a tough environment for President Obama’s bipartisan fiscal commission to come up with recommendations to improve the government’s troubled finances. Obama says everything should be on the table, and the commission’s co-chairmen — a Republican and a Democrat — have asked for civil discourse.

    Not likely.

    Social Security has been, is and will continue to be potentially deadly for the career of any politician who dares touch it.

    While Obama’s commission was holding its meeting, House Democrats gathered on the steps of the Capitol to accuse Republicans of trying to wreck Social Security by creating private accounts, an idea with little support in Congress .

    “Probably the months before an election are not the time to try to negotiate Social Security,” said John Rother, the executive vice president of AARP.

    The commission’s proposals are due in December.

    Despite the rhetoric, many experts think policymakers will settle on a compromise: small cuts in future benefits coupled with small tax increases.

    Social Security’s short-term finances are being hurt by a recession that shed more than 8 million jobs, reducing revenue from the payroll taxes that support the program. Social Security’s long-term finances will be strained as the 78 million baby boomers reach retirement age and live longer as life expectancy increases.

    Read more: http://www.statesmanjournal.com/article/20100812/NEWS/8120343/1001

  27. WASHINGTON–U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin today underwent surgery at the University of Chicago Medical Center to have a small, cancerous mass removed from his stomach, aides said.

    The mass was described as a gastro-intestinal stromal tumor, or GIST. The tumor was not present in the lining cells of the stomach and was completely removed, with preliminary biopsy results indicating a favorable prognosis, they said.

    Durbin spokesman Joseph Shoemaker struck an optimistic note about the surgery.

    “This particular type of tumor is a rare form of stomach cancer, so it is cancer, yes,” he said in an interview.

    But he added that the type of tumor that was discovered cannot be classified strictly as benign or malignant since they all have potential to become malignant. “However, small ones such as Sen. Durbin’s can often be completely removed and the patient then runs a totally normal course,” he said.

    According to Shoemaker, Durbin had a CAT scan done while undergoing a medical check-up in the Washington area and was asked to come back to further testing. He had had no symptoms earlier, the aide said.

    According to Durbin’s physicians, there was no evidence that the tumor had spread beyond the site from which it was removed, aides said.

    Durbin, 65, discovered the problem a few weeks ago during a routine medical check-up, aides said, and subsequent examinations of his esophagus and stomach showed no cancer.

    The small size of the abnormality on the senator’s stomach lent itself to complete removal through a procedure known as laparoscopic partial gastric resection, aides said. Following his recovery from surgery, doctors do not expect Durbin to require further treatment, they said.
    Durbin, a Democrat, is the assistant Senate majority leader. Aides said he would resume a light schedule within days and a full schedule next week.


    Get Well Soon Senator Durbin!


    I Donna 4 Obama, do hereby pledge to not only vote myself but I will be responsible to constantly remind my Sister and Brother, Aunts, Uncles, Nieces, Nephews, Cousins, Facebook Friends and Co-Workers to vote Democratic on November 2, 2010.

    I am going to have some Save The Date magnets made up and send them to every person I know. (Hint Hint DNC/OFA spend the money and you do it on a grand scale) Tweets and Text are great but don’t forget that some of the traditional ways of reminding folks can have an impact as well.


    • I CR, do hereby pledge to not only vote myself but I will remind my South County 4 Obama group, my neighbors and friends to vote Democratic on November 2, 2010.

  29. Gay flag

    Judge keeps gay marriages in California on hold

    8/12/10 AP

    SAN FRANCISCO – A federal judge has ruled that gay marriages in California should remain on hold until at least Aug. 18.

    Judge Vaughn Walker set the deadline Thursday to give gay marriage opponents time to appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. If the appeals court fails to act by 5 p.m. local time next Wednesday, then gay marriages can go forward.

    Walker struck down the state’s voter-approved gay marriage ban last week in a case many believe is destined for the Supreme Court.

    But he moved to suspend gay weddings until he could consider arguments from both sides on whether the marriages should be allowed during an appeal of his ruling.

    Dozens of gay couples gathered outside City Hall in San Francisco on Thursday awaiting the judge’s ruling.

    THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that gay marriages in California should remain on hold until at least Aug. 18.

    Judge Vaughn Walker set the deadline to give gay marriage opponents time to appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. If the appeals court fails to act by 5 p.m. local time on Aug. 18, then gay marriages can forward.


    • Gay Marriage’s Biggest Supporters: Children of Gay Parents

      8/12/10 Sarah Wildman -Politics Daily

      By now we’ve all seen (and, in my case, wept over) the images: couples long denied the right to marry swept up in the energy and excitement of a battle (temporarily) won.
      With the majority of Americans now polling (for the first time!) in favor of gay marriage, today Judge Vaughn Walker indicated gay marriages will once again go forward, starting August 18, in California. The move came in the wake of last week’s Proposition 8 decision, in which Judge Walker ruled the state’s ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional. “Proposition 8 ,” Walker wrote, “fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license.”

      Amid the celebration, the decision was understood by all parties not to be the final word on gay marriage in the state, and certainly not in the country, but nevertheless a cause for great optimism.
      Those who are most optimistic may not be the couples themselves. A whole population is affected by this decision, a quieter,(sometimes physically) smaller population, and one that has become increasingly political over the last decade. Their stake in the marriage debate, whether they are gay or straight, is one much more fundamental than that of “allies” or friendly supporters.
      I am speaking, of course, of the children of the gay men and lesbians who hope to marry, the children of those who hope to lift the discrimination levied on their families — homes where two women love one another, or two men.

      For the entire article: http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/08/12/gay-marriages-biggest-supporters-children-of-gay-parents/

  30. Just more public ignorance that I blame our sloppy media aka “The Professional Left” for.

    In numerous polls, the public has voiced their displeasure at the much maligned bank bailout, but most don’t know which president signed the controversial act into law. Only a third of Americans (34%) correctly say the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) was enacted by the Bush administration. Nearly half (47%) incorrectly believe TARP was passed under President Obama. Another 19% admit they do not know which president signed the bank bailout into law. Notably, there is no partisan divide on the question. Just 36% of Republicans, 35% of independents and 34% of Democrats know that the government bailout of banks and financial institutions was signed into law by former President Bush. And Democrats (46%) are just as likely as Republicans (50%) to say TARP was passed under Obama.


    This is why this man’s efforts are not being rewarded with higher approval ratings. The media keeps the public ignorant.

  31. Hi everyone

    I hope you’re all having good day. I gotta say, the last few days have been depressing even more than usual. The economy is tanking again and they hate PBO him so much on these left blogs, Some of them really hates him as much as they hated Bush. i really can’t take it anymore.

  32. Republican Priorities Out of Whack on Tax Cuts

    8/12/10 Jen Psaki WhiteHouse.gov

    Yesterday, the New York Times reported on a Joint Committee on Taxation study of “President Obama’s proposal to let the Bush tax cuts expire for the wealthy but to extend them for everyone else.”

    The study found that “taxpayers with income of more than $1 million for 2011 would still receive on average a tax cut of about $6,300” from those in effect during the Clinton Administration, while those “with taxable income of $500,000 to $1 million would still get on average a tax cut of $6,700.”

    You would think that rolling the Bush tax cuts back to these levels would be universally accepted—especially given the long term fiscal challenges our country is facing.

    Not so fast…

    Republicans in Congress are arguing that we have no choice but to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest, despite the fact that extension would cost upwards of 700 billion for ten years and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office makes clear that tax cuts for the wealthiest rank at the bottom of the list of best ways to stimulate the economy.

    Let’s not forget that this same group of Republicans blocked the extension of unemployment insurance for Americans who needed it most and voted against the Making Work Pay tax cut—that gave a tax break to 95% of working Americans.

    And just last week the same group blocked a bill that would provide essential assistance to small businesses, the drivers of Main Street economies across the country.

    Let me get this straight.

    Republicans are arguing that for the wealthiest Americans—those making more than $250,000 per year— it is not enough that they receive a $6,300 tax cut relative to what they paid in the 1990s, they need to maintain the entire bush tax cut. But at a pivotal time in economic recovery, they are refusing to provide necessary assistance to small businesses including zero capital gains, bonus depreciation and a small business lending facility that will help small businesses get the access to credit they need.

    Talk about out of whack priorities.

    Jen Psaki is Deputy Communications Director

  33. Obama admin. plans major employee benefits upgrade


    WASHINGTON – Obama administration officials say they’re planning a major upgrade to consumer protections for millions of workers covered by job-based health, disability insurance and retirement plans.

    The focus is on spelling out consumer rights when a dispute arises with the plan, for example when an employee’s claim for disability benefits is denied.

    Assistant Labor Secretary Phyllis Borzi says “people need to have a clear roadmap to appeal claims.”

    Department officials say they are aiming for new regulations that require plans to clearly explain their decisions, how employees can appeal them, and what workers need to know to safeguard their rights.

    • Thanks for posting CR. This administration is all about action. It boggles my mind that people cannot see what this administration is doing for the people.

  34. Obama to begin five-state campaign swing next week
    Fundraiser in chief Obama to return to campaigning with 3-day, 5-state swing beginning Monday

    August 12, 2010, AP

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is heading into another intense round of fundraising — a three-day, five-state swing to raise money for Democratic candidates on the ballot in November.

    Starting Monday, Obama will make stops in Wisconsin, California, Washington state, Ohio and Florida before returning to the White House on Wednesday. In Seattle, Obama will headline campaign events for Sen. Patty Murray of Washington. He’ll also discuss the new health care law at a meeting of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

    Immediately after the swing, Obama is scheduled to take his family to Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., for vacation.

  35. Obama’s Muslim envoy coming to Dearborn

    8/12/10 By Niraj Warikoo
    Free Press Staff Writer

    President Barack Obama’s adviser to the Muslim world is coming to the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn on Sunday to discuss U.S. foreign policy at a Ramadan dinner hosted by U.S. Rep. John Conyers.

    Rashad Hussain, 31, is the special envoy of the U.S. to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, a group of about 57 Muslim countries that acts as an international public voice.

    After being appointed earlier this year by Obama, Hussain came under criticism for remarks he made in 2004 on a Muslim Students Association panel, in which he said the U.S. prosecution of some terrorism suspects, including Sami Al-Arian, was politically motivated.

    Hussain later voiced regret about those comments, saying they “were ill conceived or not well formulated,” in a statement to Politico.

    Hussain is tasked with reaching out to the Muslim world. Hussain, who is of Indian descent, was in India this month on a nine-day trip to reach out to Muslims, according to Indian newspapers.

    Hussain’s visit to Dearborn comes as Muslims mark the holy month of Ramadan. Obama said Wednesday that: “Ramadan is a reminder that Islam has always been part of America and that American Muslims have made extraordinary contributions to our country.”

    Obama has praised Hussain for being a hafiz, meaning someone who has memorized the entire Quran, the holy book for Muslims that they believe is the word of God.

  36. Obamas to visit PC Beach this weekend

    8/12/10 BShaw – .orlandosentinel.com

    It’s official: the First Family is headed to Panama City Beach this weekend for their promised Florida vacation.

    The White House announced today that President Barack Obama and his family will fly into Tyndall Air Force Base Saturday morning — and fly out Sunday afternoon.

    But it doesn’t sound like there’ll be a lot of time for fun. On Saturday, Obama and his wife, Michelle, are scheduled to area small business owners, elected officials, and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus for a roundtable discussion of the recovery from the BP oil spill. In June, the President asked Mabus, a former governor of Mississippi, to develop a long-term Gulf Coast Restoration Plan.

    No details yet about the rest of the day, or Sunday morning.

    The visit fulfills a promise made by Michelle Obama several weeks ago after she visited the Gulf Coast to view efforts to clean up the BP oil spill.

  37. Who’s Fighting for Whom?

    8/12/10 Jared Bernstein – WhiteHouse.gov

    In a blog post on this site yesterday, we noted that if Congressman Boehner really wants to end the stimulus, then he really wants thousands of Ohioans to lose their jobs.

    In response, the Congressman was quoted as saying that our administration owed his constituents “…an explanation of how raising taxes on small businesses will do anything but further hinder job creation in Ohio and across the country.”

    Again, Congressman Boehner is confused. So we thought we’d take him up on the invitation to explain to the people of Ohio who has been fighting for small businesses here in Washington and who’s been obstructing that fight.

    President Obama has consistently worked with anyone who would join him to help small businesses lead this economy back to health. But in virtually every case, House Republicans led by Rep. Boehner have opposed our attempts, while Republican Leaders in the Senate have used procedural gimmicks to keep them from even coming up for a vote.

    Most recently, and most egregiously, House Republicans voted against the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010 (the Democratic majority passed the bill, only to have the vote blocked by Senate Republicans). This bipartisan bill would have reduced taxes on small business by zeroing out capital gains taxes on their investments, “bonus” depreciation, and immediate expensing of equipment purchases (all three of these significantly lower their investment costs). The bill would also create a fund for small, community banks to lend to small businesses.

    So here’s a bill that helps small businesses and small banks, strongly supported by the White House (and, for that matter, small business advocacy groups like the Chamber and NFIB), yet Rep. Boehner’s team opposed it.

    Unfortunately, that’s not a new position for them. They tried to block the HIRE Act (a tax cut for businesses that hire the long-term unemployed), Recovery Act loan guarantees and fee forgiveness supporting around $30 billion of small business lending, and let’s not forget their opposition to a $40 billion tax credit for small businesses that provide health care to their workers.

    What, then, was Rep. Boehner talking about in that quote? He and his team want to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest households, and they’re trying to do so under the guise of helping small business.

    For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/08/12/who-s-fighting-whom

  38. Sacred artifacts returned to Northern Calif. tribe


    SAN FRANCISCO – White deerskins, condor feathers and head dresses made of bright red woodpecker scalps are among more than 200 sacred artifacts that are once again in the possession of a Northern California Indian tribe.

    The Yurok Tribe celebrated the items’ return this past week — among the largest repatriation of Native American sacred objects ever — from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian.

    “It’s part of the fabric of who we are and why we are,” said Javier Kinney, who helped truck the artifacts back from Suitland-Silver Hill, Md. “It’s a little bit of mixed emotion — sadness that they were gone for so long but joy and excitement that they’re back. It’s like family coming back home.”

    The tribe has 5,500 members and lives on 55,000 acres along the Klamath River near the Oregon border. Its leaders say the artifacts date back hundreds and maybe even thousands of years. They will continue to be used in ceremonies intended to heal the world.

    At least some of them will also be displayed at a cultural center on the reservation that will be open to the public, said Buffy McQuillen, the tribe’s repatriation coordinator.

    The artifacts, which were part of a welcoming ceremony conducted on Friday, were part of the collection of George Gustav Heye, a wealthy investment banker who bought them from still another collector some time in the early 1900s.

    “What we don’t know is how that collector acquired them,” McQuillen said. “We don’t know who the seller was.”

    Legislation passed by Congress in 1990 requires museums that receive federal funding and federal agencies to identify certain types of Native American artifacts in their collections and consider returning them if requested by a tribe. Similar legislation passed a year earlier by Congress governs the Smithsonian Institution.

    More than 1.1 million items, including human remains, have been identified as eligible for repatriation by various museums and federal agencies since those laws were enacted, according to federal officials. It’s not clear how many have been repatriated.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100814/ap_on_re_us/us_indian_artifacts_returned

  39. US bailouts prevented 1930s-style Great Depression say economists

    New study by economists Mark Zandi and Alan Blinder says US economic stimulus averted a worse downturn

    7/28/10 Andrew Clark – guardian.co.uk

    To Washington conservatives they were egregious examples of “big government” overreach, but the White House’s economic stimulus and bailout policies have saved 8.5m jobs and averted a further slump of 6.5% in US economic output, according to a study by two influential economists.

    An in-depth modelling exercise by Moody’s chief economist, Mark Zandi, and a Princeton University expert, Alan Blinder, paints a bleak scenario of a 1930s-style Great Depression if the US government had enacted none of its $1.7tn (£1.3tn) programmes to avert a financial meltdown.

    Using historical statistical relationships and a focus on the government’s impact on narrowing credit spreads, the pair found that the downturn would have continued into 2011, with unemployment peaking at 16.5% rather than last year’s actual high of 10.1%.

    They believe US gross domestic product would have slumped by 7.4% in 2009 and by 3.7% in 2010, producing a “peak to trough” decline of 12%, rather than the anticipated 4%. Starved of demand, shops and employers would be cutting prices and wages.

    “With outright deflation in prices and wages in 2009 to 2011, this dark scenario constitutes a 1930s-like depression,” says the study, entitled How the great recession was brought to an end”.

    Thwarting stiff opposition from Republicans in Congress, the Obama administration introduced an economic stimulus package of more than $780bn last year, adding to giveaways of $170bn by the Bush administration in 2008 that included tax refunds to tens of millions of Americans. Adding in banking-bailout measures of $600bn and smaller programmes such as the “cash for clunkers” scheme and a rescue of insurer AIG, total commitments by the US government reach $1.7tn.

    Zandi and Blinder say that although economic activity and job creation remain extremely sluggish, the US economy has made “enormous progress” since its nadir last year: “Maybe the country and the world were just lucky. But we take another view: the great recession gave way to recovery as quickly as it did largely because of the unprecedented responses by monetary and fiscal policymakers.”

    The study’s authors are likely to have their findings hotly disputed by Republicans, who maintain that an unemployment rate stubbornly close to 10% means the government’s interventions were a failure, fuelling an out-of-control budget deficit.

    Speaking earlier in the week, the Republicans’ senate leader, Mitch McConnell, insisted stimulus efforts had “little or no results”, and that such intervention “simply didn’t work”.

    “Simply borrowing money from our grandchildren to send down to state governments is not going to jump start the economy,” McConnell told a newspaper in his home state of Kentucky. “The biggest way for the economy to recover is for the private sector to grow.”


  40. Native American Farmers, Ranchers and USDA Reach Historic Settlement

    10/19/0 PR NewsWire

    Native American farmers and ranchers and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced an historic agreement to settle a nationwide class action lawsuit (Keepseagle v. Vilsack) that alleged discrimination in USDA’s farm loan program dating back to 1981. The agreement brings to an end 11 years of litigation, and marks the beginning of what is expected to be a new partnership between USDA and the Native American community.

    Under the agreement, which was unveiled in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. before Judge Emmet Sullivan, USDA will pay $680 million in damages to thousands of Native American farmers and ranchers and forgive up to $80 million worth of outstanding farm loan debt.

    The settlement also provides for a host of initiatives that will improve USDA’s farm loan services for Native Americans. Those initiatives include the creation of a Native American Farmer and Rancher Council, where top USDA officials and Native American advocates will collaborate to make USDA’s programs more accessible for Native Americans farmers and ranchers, as well as enhanced delivery of technical assistance to Native American borrowers, the creation of sub-offices on tribal lands, a systematic review of the farm loan program rules to improve accessibility to Native Americans and other measures designed to improve the provision of farm loan services to Native Americans.

    “This settlement marks a major turning point in the important relationship between Native Americans, our Nation’s first farmers and ranchers, and the USDA,” says lead plaintiffs’ attorney Joseph M. Sellers, a partner at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, PLLC, in Washington, D.C. “After three decades, Native American farmers and ranchers will receive the justice they deserve, and the USDA has committed to improving the farm loan system in ways that will aid Native Americans for generations to come.”

    The Keepseagle action was filed nearly 11 years ago, on the eve of Thanksgiving, 1999. The Plaintiffs alleged that Native American farmers and ranchers were denied the same opportunities as white farmers to obtain low-interest rate loans from USDA. Congress has charged the USDA with serving as the “lender of last resort” for family farmers who can’t obtain credit from commercial banks. According to an expert report prepared by a former USDA economist, Native Americans suffered actual economic losses amounting to $776 million between 1981 and 2007 as a result of receiving less than their fair share of credit opportunities from the USDA.

    The settlement was greeted with relief and jubilation by the lead plaintiffs Marilyn and George Keepseagle, who have ranched for decades in Fort Yates, N.D., near Bismarck, N.D. “We have been waiting nearly three decades for this day to come,” said Marilyn Keepseagle. “This settlement will help thousands of Native Americans who are still farming and ranching. But more important, through this settlement we will leave to our children and grandchildren a farm loan system far more responsive to our community than the system we inherited from our parents.”

    The settlement has three major components that are expected to become effective in early 2011.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/s/usnw/20101019/pl_usnw/DC84597_1

  41. December 16, 2010

    Remarks by the President at the White House Tribal Nations Conference
    Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C.

    9:39 A.M. EST

    THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Everybody please be seated. Thank you.

    Thank you, Fawn, for that wonderful introduction. Thanks to all of you. It is wonderful to be with you here today.

    I see a lot of friends, a lot of familiar faces in the house. I want to thank all the tribal leaders who have traveled here for this conference. And I also want to recognize all the wonderful members of Congress who are here, as well as members of my Cabinet, including Secretary Salazar, who is doing terrific work here at Interior on behalf of the First Americans and on behalf of all Americans. So thank you very much, everybody. (Applause.)

    Yesterday, I had the chance to meet with several tribal leaders at the White House, continuing a conversation that began long before I was President. And while I’m glad to have the opportunity to speak with you this morning, I’m also very eager to see the results of today’s meeting. I want to hear more from you about how we can strengthen the relationship between our governments, whether in education or health care, or in fighting crime or in creating jobs.

    And that’s why we’re here today. That’s a promise I’ve made to you. I remember, more than two years ago, in Montana, I visited the Crow Nation — one of the many times I met with tribal leaders on the campaign trail. You may know that on that trip, I became an adopted Crow Indian. My Crow name is “One Who Helps People Throughout the Land.” (Applause.) And my wife, when I told her about this, she said, “You should be named ‘One Who Isn’t Picking Up His Shoes and His Socks’.” (Laughter.)

    Now — but I like the first name better. And I want you to know that I’m working very hard to live up to that name.

    What I said then was that as President I would make sure that you had a voice in the White House. (Applause.) I said that so long as I held this office, never again would Native Americans be forgotten or ignored. (Applause.) And over the past two years, my administration, working hand in hand with many of you, has strived to keep that promise. And you’ve had strong partners in Kim Teehee, my senior advisor for Native American issues, and Jodi Gillette, in our Intergovernmental Affairs office. You can give them a big round of applause. They do outstanding work. (Applause.)

    Last year, we held the largest gathering of tribal leaders in our history. And at that conference — you remember, most of you were there — I ordered every Cabinet agency to promote more consultation with the tribal nations. Because I don’t believe that the solutions to any of our problems can be dictated solely from Washington. Real change depends on all of us doing our part.

    For the entire transcript: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2010/12/16/remarks-president-white-house-tribal-nations-conference

    • White House Tribal Nations Conference: Opening Session
      From: whitehouse | December 16, 2010

      President Obama speaks to leaders of American Indian and Alaska Native communities in the opening session of the White House Tribal Nations Conference in Washington, DC. December 16, 2010.

    • President Obama endorses the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples!

      12/16/10 Angela Chang – Amnesty International

      Kicking off the second annual White House Tribal Nations Conference this morning, President Obama announced that the U.S. would finally endorse the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)!

      The UNDRIP is a non-legally binding human rights instrument which affirms universal standards for the survival, dignity, and well-being of all Indigenous Peoples. It provides a framework for addressing indigenous issues and was adopted by the United Nations in 2007, with the United States as one of only four countries, along with Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, that voted against the Declaration. Australia and New Zealand reversed their initial positions, and on November 12, Canada announced its endorsement of the Declaration as well.

      In April 2010, the United States announced it would formally review its position on UNDRIP. Led by the State Department, the Administration held a series of tribal and NGO consultations to review what endorsement of the international human rights declaration would mean for Indigenous populations in the U.S. We are grateful to the Administration for their commitment to ensuring the ongoing engagement and consultation of tribal leaders, federally recognized tribes, and other interested stakeholders throughout this process.

      This is a tremendous and long-overdue victory for American Indians in the U.S. – by endorsing the UNDRIP, the U.S. government is affirming its commitment to protecting the rights of Indigenous peoples, both at home and abroad.

      A huge congratulation to all of our Native American and Alaska Native partners and friends for this long-awaited and well-deserved victory!

      And a deep and heartfelt thank you to ALL of our activists and supporters who took action to let President Obama know that you support indigenous rights – without your action, support and commitment, this would not have been possible.

  42. iPhone, iPod to Offer Cherokee Language Option

    New Offering of Cherokee Language-Version of iPhone an Attempt to Spread Language’s Use Among Youth, Leaders Say

    Dec. 23, 2010 AP

    AP) TAHLEQUAH, Okla., – Nine-year-old Lauren Hummingbird wants a cell phone for Christmas – and not just any old phone, but an iPhone. Such a request normally would be met with skepticism by her father, Cherokee Nation employee Jamie Hummingbird.

    He could dismiss the obvious reasons a kid might want an iPhone, except for this – he’s a proud Cherokee and buying his daughter the phone just might help keep the tribe’s language alive.

    Nearly two centuries after a blacksmith named Sequoyah converted Cherokee into its own unique written form, the tribe has worked with Apple to develop Cherokee language software for the iPhone, iPod and, soon, the iPad. Computers used by students – including Lauren – at the tribe’s language immersion school already allow them to type using Cherokee characters.

    The goal, Cherokee Chief Chad Smith said, is to spread the use of the language among tech-savvy children in the digital age. Smith has been known to text students at the school using Cherokee, and teachers do the same, allowing students to continue using the language after school hours.

    Lauren isn’t the only Cherokee child pleading for an iPhone, “and that doesn’t help my cause,” Jamie Hummingbird joked, knowing he’ll probably give in.

    Tribal officials first contacted Apple about getting Cherokee on the iPhone three years ago. It seemed like a long shot, as the devices support only 50 of the thousands of languages worldwide, and none were American Indian tongues. But Apple’s reputation for innovation gave the tribe hope.

    For the entire article: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/12/23/tech/main7178270.shtml

    UCSC project targets medicinal plants

    12/23/10 By DANIELLE VENTON – MontereyHerald.com

    As she approached the last years of her life, Ascencion Solorsano de Cervantes moved to her daughter’s Monterey home. She bought a new black silk dress for burial and called her family close to say goodbye.

    It was the summer of 1929 and, at age 83, Solorsano was the last member of the Amah Mutsun tribe versed in the traditional ways of medicine. People from hundreds of miles away sought her care.

    But as she prepared for death, Solorsano received another visitor — John Peabody Harrington, a Smithsonian linguist who spent his life recording native languages and customs.

    “You are the vehicle of God that comes to me in the 11th hour to save my knowledge from being lost,” Solorsano told Harrington, according to historic documents. “I will teach you up to the last day and see if I can tell you all that I know.”

    Over the next four months, until she took her final breath, she did just that.

    Now, a joint project of the Amah Mutsun tribe and the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum is trying to collect and cultivate the more than 100 plants — many considered medicinal by the tribe — that Solorsano described to Harrington. They are hoping that this garden will help them re-learn their traditional ways.

    Val Lopez, chairman of the Amah Mutsun tribal council, said that the 600-member tribe, which includes Solorsano’s great-great-grandson, now uses only five to 10 plants medicinally.

    “We had a lot of knowledge of plants gained over thousands of years,” Lopez said. “But our cultural knowledge was broken during the mission times.”

    The Amah Mutsun are direct descendents of tribal groups forced to live and work in the San Juan Bautista and Santa Cruz missions for decades beginning in the late 18th century. Before being interned in the missions, this diverse group of Indians spoke about 40 distinct dialects. They were broadly termed “Ohlone” or “Costanoan” by Spanish settlers, names they had never applied to themselves.

    The Relearning Garden will help the Amah Mutsun teach their children plant identification and harvesting. Where plants are well-established, they will be able to collect them for medicine, ceremonies and cultural activities such as basket weaving.

    While many of the plants are still found in the hills, access laws make it difficult to find and gather plants on public and state lands, said Stephen McCabe, director of education for the arboretum.

    “Even if you can find a plant by the side of the road,” McCabe said, “how do you know if it was sprayed with pesticides or not? It might not be safe to use or consume.”

    For the entire article: http://www.montereyherald.com/local/ci_16927029?source=rss&nclick_check=1

    • Chitactac-Adams County Park

      Chitactac-Adams Heritage County Park. This beautiful and culturally significant 4.3-acre park site is located just minutes from the cities of Gilroy and Morgan Hill. The park features the beautiful Uvas Creek and a wealth of cultural artifacts including bedrock mortars and petroglyphs left by the Ohlone Indians. The park includes a self-guided interpretive walk and an interpretive shelter focusing on Ohlone Indian culture and the Adams schoolhouse which was sited on this property from the 1850s until 1956.

      How to Get There

      Chitactac-Adams Heritage County Park is located at:
      10001 Watsonville Rd., Gilroy, CA 95020
      (408) 323-0107

      For the entire article: http://bit.ly/97nZSM

  44. Anchorage Daily News, Jan. 16, 2011:

    Native Americans see progress with Obama administration

    By Erika Bolstad

    …. For the most part, tribal leaders say the president has been true to his word. And they’ve been watching, intent on holding accountable the president that many of them helped elect, said Jacqueline Johnson Pata, executive director of the National Congress of American Indians. They took careful notes during the president’s first Tribal Nations conference in 2009; at Obama’s second summit last month, they checked to see what goals had been met in the first year as well as what remains undone….

    Some of the work has been symbolic — Interior Secretary Ken Salazar early in the administration restored the historic painting “Navajos Breaking Camp” in his office, after it had been mothballed during the Bush administration, for example.

    But other accomplishments have had more tangible and far-reaching effects on thousands of people, including the settlement of the long-simmering Cobell lawsuit, which compensates thousands of Native Americans whose land was mismanaged while held in trust by the federal government.

    There’s the passage of the Tribal Law and Order Act, which strengthens law enforcement in Indian Country. There’s the inclusion of Indian Health Service in the health-care law, and the $3.2 billion in stimulus spending, which went to schools, roads on tribal lands and technology upgrades in some of the poorest and most remote corners of the nation….


  45. December 08, 2009

    Statement by the President on the Settlement of Cobell Class-Action Lawsuit on Indian Trust Management

    “Today, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Attorney General Eric Holder announced that, at long last, a settlement has been reached in the Cobell class-action lawsuit. This suit was originally filed in 1996 over the United States government’s trust management and accounting of hundreds of thousands of individual American Indian trust accounts. With this announcement, we take an important step towards a sincere reconciliation between the trust beneficiaries and the federal government and lay the foundation for more effective management of Indian trust assets in the future. I want to applaud Secretary Salazar and Attorney General Holder for working tirelessly with the plaintiffs to help reach this settlement.

    “As a candidate, I heard from many in Indian Country that the Cobell suit remained a stain on the Nation to Nation relationship I value so much. I pledged my commitment to resolving this issue, and I am proud that my Administration has taken this step today. I came to Washington with a promise to change how our government deals with difficult issues like this, and a promise that the facts and policies, and not politics, will guide our actions and decisions.
    “But it is important to note that today’s actions are not the final step. The District Court for the District of Columbia must formally endorse the settlement, and Congress must enact legislation to authorize implementation. I urge Congress to act swiftly to correct this long-standing injustice and to remember that no special appropriations are required. I congratulate all those in Indian Country that have waited for this news, and join them in waiting for a quick conclusion to the process.”

    • June 20, 2011

      Statement by the President on the Approval of the Cobell Settlement by U.S. Senior District Judge Thomas F. Hogan

      After fifteen years of litigation, today’s decision marks another important step forward in the relationship between the federal government and Indian Country. Resolving this dispute was a priority for my Administration, and we will engage in government-to-government consultations with tribal nations regarding the land consolidation component of the settlement to ensure that this moves ahead at an appropriate pace and in an appropriate manner. And going forward, my Administration will continue to strengthen our relationship with Indian Country.

      • November 26, 2012

        Statement of the President on the Final Approval of the Cobell Settlement

        I welcome the final approval of the Cobell settlement agreement, clearing the way for reconciliation between the trust beneficiaries and the federal government. While Elouise Cobell, the named plaintiff in this case is no longer with us, her legacy will be a renewed commitment to our trust relationship with Indian Country. I thank her for her honorable work, and also want to thank the leaders at the Departments of the Interior, Justice and Treasury who helped reach this conclusion.

  46. How do Native Americans celebrate Christmas?

    Christmas celebrations and traditions, as most of us in the US celebrate them today, became more common in America during the mid-1800s. The introduction of Christmas services in Sunday schools reduced religious opposition to a secular festival, as opposed to a somber religious day, while the Charles Dickens novel A Christmas Carol popularized the holiday as a family event, and women’s magazines promoted the ideas of decorating for this holiday.

    Some scholars suspect that Christians chose to celebrate Christ’s birth on December 25 to make it easier to convert the pagan tribes. Referring to Jesus as the “light of the world” also fit with existing pagan beliefs about the birth of the sun. The ancient “return of the sun” philosophy had been replaced by the “coming of the son” message of Christianity.

    Many Native Americans in North America, and Aboriginal groups elsewhere in the world, as well as other pagen religions such as wicca, did observe a celebration near Christmas time, called the Winter Solstice. The Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year and falls on December 21-22 and was celebrated in the Americas long before European influence arrived. Different indian tribes associate different beliefs and rituals with it.

    For example, the Hopi tribal celebrations are dedicated to giving aid and direction to the sun which is ready to return and give strength to new life. Their ceremony is called Soyal. It lasts for 20 days and includes prayerstick making, purification, rituals, and a concluding rabbit hunt, feast and blessings.

    The First Native American Christmas Carol
    The first written native american Christmas carol was written down by a Jesuit missionary priest, Friar Jean de Brebeuf, around 1640-41, for the Huron Indians. The Hurons built a small chapel of fir trees and bark in honor of the manger at Bethlehem. This became the ‘stable’ where Jesus was born. Some Hurons travelled as much as two days to be there for the Christmas celebration.

    The animals at the manger were the Fox, the Buffalo and the Bear. The Hurons also made a traditional tent of skins and their nativity figures were all dressed as native Americans. This Huron Carol, originally written in the Huron language and later translated to French, has become a well known and much loved carol today.

    For the entire article:


    The Huron Carol: 17th-century version

    Uploaded by QuireCleveland on Sep 6, 2010

    From “Carols for Quire”: Quire Cleveland, conducted by Peter Bennett, performing at Trinity Cathedral, Cleveland OH, December 18-20, 2009. Jean de Brébeuf, a Jesuit missionary among the Huron Indians in Canada, purportedly wrote this carol in Wendat (Wyandot), the now extinct language of the Hurons, sometime before he was martyred in 1649. The earliest musical version is from 1907 but is clearly based on the 16th-century tune, “Une jeune fillette,” so this choral arrangement by Ross W. Duffin sets the Wendat words to a 17th-century version of that tune.

  47. February 27, 2012

    Statement by the Press Secretary on H.R. 1162

    On Monday, February 27, 2012, the President signed into law:

    H.R. 1162 , which conveys and declares certain specified acres (including those within Olympic National Park) in the State of Washington to be held in trust for the benefit of the Quileute Indian Tribe.

  48. White House Event on Tribal Trust Case Settlements

    Posted by Charlie Galbraith on April 10, 2012 at 05:23 PM EDT

    Tomorrow, Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at 1:30pm EST, Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett and other senior members of the Obama Administration will join tribal leaders to announce a significant step forward in the resolution of tribal trust cases pending against the United States. Many of the cases include claims by the tribes that go back over 100 years. Tomorrow’s event will recognize the good-faith cooperation and hard work of the Administration and 41 American Indian tribes in working out fair and honorable resolutions of the tribes’ claims.

    The resolution of longstanding disputes is a key pillar of President Obama’s record for American Indians and Alaska Natives. In 2010, the Administration settled the $760 million Keepseagle case brought by Native American farmers and ranchers who alleged discrimination by the Department of Agriculture (USDA) in its administration of loan programs. President Obama also signed into law the Claims Resolution Act of 2010, which included the Cobell settlement agreement resolving a lawsuit over the management and accounting of over 300,000 individual American Indian trust accounts. The Claims Resolution Act also included four water rights settlements, benefitting seven tribes in Arizona, Montana, and New Mexico.

    Most recently, in October 2011, the Administration reached a $380 million settlement with the Osage Nation over the tribe’s long-standing lawsuit regarding the government’s management of trust funds and non-monetary trust resources. That settlement featured, among other things, prospective management measures designed to further improve the trust relationship between the tribe and the United States.

    Tomorrow’s event will mark another key step forward in the Administration’s efforts to resolve the disputes that have clouded the shared history of the United States and Indian tribes. Please join us on Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at 1:30pm on http://www.WhiteHouse.gov/live.

    • Secretary Salazar and Attorney General Holder Announce $1 Billion Settlement of Tribal Trust Accounting and Management Lawsuits Filed by More Than 40 Tribes

      April 11, 2012 bia.gov

      WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Attorney General Eric Holder today announced the settlement of lawsuits filed by 41 federally-recognized tribes against the United States, in which the tribes alleged that the Department of the Interior and the Department of the Treasury had mismanaged monetary assets and natural resources held in trust by the United States for the benefit of the tribes. The announcement followed a 22-month-long negotiation between the tribes and the United States that has culminated in settlements between the government and tribes totaling more than $1 billion.

      These settlements resolve claims dating back more than 100 years and will bring to an end protracted litigation that has burdened both the plaintiffs and the United States. Ending these long-running disputes about the United States’ management of trust funds and non-monetary trust resources will allow the United States and the tribes to move beyond the distrust exacerbated by years of litigation. These settlement agreements represent a significant milestone in the improvement of the United States’ relationship with Indian tribes.

      “These settlements fairly and honorably resolve historical grievances over the accounting and management of tribal trust funds, trust lands, and other non-monetary trust resources that, for far too long, have been a source of conflict between Indian tribes and the United States,” said Attorney General Holder. “Our commitment to tribes is the cornerstone of the Department of Justice’s policies and initiatives in Indian Country, and these settlements will enable the tribal community to pursue the goals and objectives they deem to be appropriate while marking another step in our shared future built upon mutual respect and strong bonds of trust between tribal governments and the United States.”

      “These important settlements reflect President Obama’s continuing commitment to ensuring empowerment and reconciliation for American Indians,” said Secretary Salazar. “It strengthens the government-to-government relationship with Tribal nations, helps restore a positive working relationship with Indian Country leaders and empowers American Indian communities.

      I want to commend Attorney General Holder, our Interior Solicitor Hilary Tompkins and other key officials who were involved in the long negotiations leading to these historic agreements. I look forward to working with Tribal leaders to further strengthen our government-to-government relationship based on mutual respect and a shared concern for the proper management of tribal trust assets and funds.”

      The Department of the Interior manages almost 56 million acres of trust lands for federally- recognized tribes and more than 100,000 leases on those lands for various uses, including housing, timber harvesting, farming, grazing, oil and gas extraction, business leasing, rights-of- way and easements. Interior also manages about 2,500 tribal trust accounts for more than 250 tribes.

      Starting in the fall of 2009, lawyers for many of the tribes with litigation pending against the United States wrote to the president and asked the administration to engage in expedited settlement discussions with their clients. In April 2010, Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli, Assistant Attorney General of the Environment and Natural Resources Division Ignacia Moreno, Interior Department Solicitor Hilary Tompkins and Treasury Department General Counsel George Madison met with attorneys for the tribes, and the parties embarked on a settlement process that the tribes termed the “Settlement Proposal to Obama Administration,” or “SPOA,” which led in part to today’s announcement.

      For the entire article: http://www.bia.gov/cs/groups/public/documents/text/idc-017409.pdf

  49. April 27, 2012

    President Obama Announces Jodi Gillette as Senior Policy Advisor for Native American Affairs

    WASHINGTON, DC – Today President Barack Obama announced the appointment of Jodi Gillette as Senior Policy Advisor for Native American Affairs. As a member of the Domestic Policy Council, Gillette will advise the President on issues impacting Indian Country.

    “Jodi Gillette will be an important member of my Administration’s efforts to continue the historic progress we’ve made to strengthen and build on the government-to-government relationship between the United States and tribal nations,” said President Obama. “She has been a key member of my administration’s efforts for Indian Country, and will continue to ensure that Native American issues will always have a seat at the table.”

    For the entire article; http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/27/president-obama-announces-jodi-gillette-senior-policy-advisor-native-ame

  50. Thousands meet at native people’s gathering in U.S.

    Apr 28, 2012 By Zelie Pollon – Reuters

    ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (Reuters) – Tomé Roubideaux had not been to the annual meeting of Native American and indigenous people, known as the Gathering of Nations, for a decade because he was battling cancer and too sick to dance.

    This year, having survived the disease, the 68-year-old Lakota Indian from Conifer, Colorado, attended the gathering, the largest event of its kind, to give thanks.

    Adorned with a vest and headdress of porcupine quills, an eagle feather fan and beaded moccasins, Roubideaux joined thousands of people from 500 tribes from as far away as New Zealand and South America to dance to the rhythm of dozens of drummers.

    “It’s so good to be here. It’s my best therapy,” he said.

    Some 3,000 singers and dancers perform over the three-day Gathering of Nations, which began on Thursday in Albuquerque.

    Celebrating its 29th year, organizers say it’s the largest meeting of Native American and indigenous people in the world. They predict that about 150,000 people will attend.

    For the entire article: http://news.yahoo.com/thousands-meet-native-peoples-gathering-u-214000055.html

  51. Addressing Violence Against Native Women in the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization

    Jodi Gilette, Lynn Rosenthal May 14, 2012 12:20 PM EDT

    Last week, the House Judiciary Committee considered legislation to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). However, the bill that came out of the House Judiciary Committee failed to include a key provision which has already been accepted by the Senate on a bipartisan basis and is essential to protecting Native American women.

    Since 1994, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) has been an essential tool in helping to protect victims of domestic and sexual violence. Since the passage of the Act, annual incidents of domestic violence have dropped by more than 60 percent. Over the years, Congress has continued its commitment to addressing violence against women by working with advocates, law enforcement officials, court systems, and victims in order to build on what we have learned and make improvements to the Act in each subsequent reauthorization. This was recently demonstrated by the Senate’s VAWA reauthorization bill (S. 1925), introduced by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) which passed last month with strong bipartisan support.

    The Leahy-Crapo VAWA reauthorization bill addresses many pressing issues facing all victims of domestic violence, including those in Indian Country. Rates of domestic violence against Native women in Indian Country are now among the highest in the United States and the Leahy-Crapo bill directly confronts this epidemic.

    Tribal police, prosecutors, and courts have had significant success in combating crimes of domestic violence committed by Indians in Indian Country, but tribes cannot prosecute a non-Indian, even if he lives on the reservation and is married to a tribal member. As a result, all too often, non-Indian men who batter their wives or girlfriends go unpunished. One provision of the Leahy-Crapo bill addresses this legal gap by providing tribes with concurrent authority to hold domestic violence perpetrators accountable for their crimes against Native women – regardless of the perpetrator’s race.

    For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/05/14/addressing-violence-against-native-women-violence-against-women-act-reauthorization

  52. Celebrating the One Year Anniversary of Let’s Move! in Indian Country

    05/25/2012 doi.gov/letsmove/indiancountry

    Over the past year Let’s Move! in Indian Country has worked with stakeholders across the country to help connect communities, schools and tribal leader to resources, funding, trainings and programs that will help improve the health of the next generation. As a key component of the First Lady’s comprehensive initiative Let’s Move!, theLet’s Move! in Indian Country program focuses on the unique hurdles that American Indian and Alaska Native youth must overcome to maintain a healthy lifestyle. In the first year, we have seen considerable progress and the First Lady and the Administration remain committed to building towards the ultimate goal of ending the epidemic of childhood obesity in Indian Country within a generation.

    In order to recognize this progress and the great work of leaders across Indian Country, the White House will host a panel discussion of individuals whose work has helped build a healthier future American Indian and Alaska Native youth in one or more of the four pillars of Let’s Move! in Indian Country:

    • Creating a Healthy start on Life,
    • Creating Healthy Learning Communities,
    • Fostering Healthy, Comprehensive Food Systems Policies, and
    • Increasing Opportunities for Physical Activity

    On Friday, June 1, 2012 at 1:30 PM EDT, we will hear from several of these leaders who will share their stories on how they have inspired youth in their own communities to live healthier lifestyles and left a lasting footprint on the road to towards building a healthier future for all Native people. The panel discussion will include athletes, tribal leaders, program directors, healthcare professionals and others who will share their stories and provide insight on how their efforts can be expanded to communities across Indian Country. The discussion will streamed online at http://www.WhiteHouse.gov/live.

    For more: http://www.doi.gov/letsmove/indiancountry/Anniversary.cfm

    First Lady Michelle Obama on Let’s Move in Indian Country

    Published on Jun 25, 2012 by USInterior
    First Lady Michelle Obama reflects on the one year anniversary of Let’s Move in Indian Country. To learn more, visit http://www.doi.gov/letsmove/indiancountry/index.cfm.

  53. Case Reopens On Dozens Of Pine Ridge Res. Deaths

    8/18/12 by CHARLES MICHAEL RAY – NPR

    August 18, 2012 from SDPB
    In the late 1960s, Native Americans fed up with what they called years of mistreatment by the federal government formed an organization known as the American Indian Movement, or AIM.

    Founded in Minnesota, the group followed in the footsteps of the civil rights movement and took up protests across the country. One of those protests took place in 1973, when some AIM members occupied the town of Wounded Knee, S.D., located on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

    Their protest followed the murder of an Oglala Lakota man and the failed impeachment of a tribal president that AIM members accused of corruption. The protests escalated into a violent standoff with federal authorities.

    The 71-day siege was only the beginning of the turmoil on Pine Ridge. Local residents, like AIM member Milo Yellowhair, say the violence continued for years.

    “There had been a tremendous amount of carnage on the reservation [and] it was almost a daily occurrence, when people were disappearing or died or were found dead,” Yellowhair says. “We always called it a ‘reign of terror.'”

    Yellowhair says the violence in the 1970s left behind a festering wound. Many on the Pine Ridge Reservation believe that FBI officials backed the tribal police in carrying out assaults and murders against AIM supporters.

    Today, widespread mistrust of the federal government continues, so much so that recently the Oglala Sioux Tribal Government asked U.S Attorney Brendan Johnson to look at 45 deaths that tribal officials believe have not seen justice. The cases include two unsolved execution-style murders in 1998. Johnson says he agreed to re-examine all 45 cases in question.

    “Recognizing that it’s very unusual for a U.S. attorney to go back and to agree to look at historic cases, it’s nonetheless important because it’s part of the journey that we’re on to continue to build trust in these communities,” Johnson says.

    For more and the audio interview: http://www.npr.org/2012/08/18/159058219/near-wounded-knee-years-of-alleged-injustice

  54. President Obama to Host the 2012 White House Tribal Nations Conference

    Charlie Galbraith December 04, 2012 11:53 AM EST

    On December 5, 2012, President Obama will host representatives invited from each of the 566 federally recognized American Indian tribes, and Alaska Native Villages, at the 2012 White House Tribal Nations Conference. Fulfilling a commitment to improve and expand dialog with Indian Country, the President has hosted a Tribal Nations Conference in each year of his Presidency to facilitate a lasting discussion between Tribal Leaders and Senior Administration Officials. The opening and closing sessions of the Conference will be available for live online viewing at http://www.WhiteHouse.gov/Live and also at http://www.DOI.gov/Live. The expected agenda is as follows:

    Opening Session, 9:00am – 10:30am EST
    Secretary Ken Salazar, Department of the Interior
    Secretary Arne Duncan, Department of Education
    Deputy Secretary Neal Wolin, Department of the Treasury
    Acting Secretary Rebecca Blank, Department of Commerce
    Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Department of Health and Human Services
    Secretary Tom Vilsack, Department of Agriculture

    Closing Session, 1:30pm – 3:30pm EST
    Leaders of Each Tribal Leaders Breakout Session
    Secretary Ray LaHood, Department of Transportation
    Secretary Hilda Solis, Department of Labor
    President Barack Obama

    The White House Tribal Nations Conference is the cornerstone of the Administration’s outreach and engagement with tribal governments and the dialogue and lessons learned will help shape federal policy in the weeks, months and years to come. We would like to sincerely thank all tribal leaders who will be taking part in the White House Tribal Nations Conference and we look forward to our continued collaboration and dialogue.

    • Continuing the Progress in Tribal Communities

      Jodi Gillette December 05, 2012 10:53 AM EST

      Over the past four years, through tribal consultation and the White House Tribal Nations Conferences, President Obama and his Administration have worked to ensure that tribal leaders are directly involved in setting policy priorities. Today, President Obama is hosting the 2012 White House Tribal Nations Conference at the Department of Interior.

      This conference continues to build upon the President’s commitment to strengthen the government to government relationship with Indian Country, by providing invited leaders from the 566 federally recognized tribes the opportunity to interact directly with the President and representatives from the highest levels of his Administration. In conjunction with today’s event, the White House released a report, “Continuing the Progress in Tribal Communities,” that examines the President’s agenda and how this Administration, by working together with tribes, has made a difference for American Indians and Alaska Natives.

      The report highlights:

      * How the Administration has partnered with tribal leaders and taken action to support infrastructure and workforce development to drive economic growth. These actions include expand­ing access to broadband under the Recovery Act; providing Federal loan guarantees; investing millions of dollars in businesses in Indian Country; building the capacity of Native Community Development Financial Institutions; and supporting the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 8(a) Business Development Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives.

      *How the Affordable Care Act, which permanently authorized the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, is working to improve the quality of health care and making it more accessible and affordable for all Americans, including Native Americans.

      * How the Administration is working to improve education from cradle to career in tribal communities, including implementation of an Executive Order President Obama signed in December 2011 establishing the White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education to help expand educational opportunities and improve outcomes for these communities.

      * How the Administration has worked to make tribal communities safer, through implementation of the Tribal Law and Order Act, which President Obama signed into law in 2010.

      * How the Administration has taken steps in support of tribal self-determination, including President Obama signing into law the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership (HEARTH) Act in July of this year.

      READ MORE http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/12/05/continuing-progress-tribal-communities

    • Tribal leader calls Obama ‘first American Indian president’

      12/05/12 04:51 PM ET By Justin Sink – TheHill

      President Obama received an unexpected honorific before his speech with Native American tribal leaders Wednesday afternoon, with Swinomish Nation Chairman Brian Cladoosby proclaiming him “the first American Indian president.”

      “Think about it for a second,” Cladoosby said. “The president loves basketball. He has an Indian name, he knows what it’s like to be poor and he hasn’t forgotten where he came from. And his theme song is ‘Hail to the Chief.’ I think he definitely qualifies as the first American Indian president. ”

      The president was addressing more than 500 tribal leaders gathered in Washington for the Tribal Nations Conference. In addition to the president, eight Cabinet members, including Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, addressed the crowd.

      Obama received an enthusiastic welcome and spoke to the leaders about his administration’s efforts to aid Native American communities, including “expanding economic opportunities” and an anti-domestic violence effort. He also called on Congress to support Native American small businesses.

      “We’re going to keep working together to make sure that the promise of America is fully realized for every Native American,” Obama said.

      For more: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/271273-swinomish-nation-chairman-introduces-obama-as-first-american-indian-president

      • Swinomish Nation Chairman Brian Cladoosby also said that President Obama has done more in the last four years then any then any other president.’

    • December 05, 2012

      Remarks by The President at the Tribal Nations Conference

      U.S. Department of the Interior
      Washington, D.C.

      3:15 P.M. EST

      THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, everybody. Thank you so much. Everybody, please, please have a seat.

      Thank you, Brian, for that wonderful introduction. Thanks to all the members of Congress and members of my administration who are here. And I want to give a special shout-out to Senator Danny Akaka, who has been such a tireless advocate for Native Americans throughout his career. (Applause.) You know that Danny is going to be retiring this year, and he’s such a great friend. And as a Hawaiian boy, I’ve got to give him a little special props. (Laughter.) So I want to thank all the tribal leaders who took the time and the effort to come and take part in this conference.

      Every year I look forward to this event. It’s especially wonderful to see so many friends that I’ve gotten to know from various nations all across the country. You guys inspire me every single day, and whenever I’ve traveled to your home states there’s been such a warm welcome that I’ve received. So I’m truly grateful to all of you.

      Today, I want to begin by remembering somebody we lost last week. To the Crow Nation, he was a revered elder. To many Native Americans, he was a respected healer. And I knew him warmly, for a few years at least, as an adoptive father.

      Sonny Black Eagle adopted me into the Crow Nation during my 2008 campaign. And yesterday he would have been 79 years old. And while we can’t celebrate that milestone with him today, we can celebrate his remarkable life and all that happened along the way, because Sonny’s story is not just one man’s journey to keep his culture alive, but one country’s journey to keep perfecting itself.

      So Sonny Black Eagle was born in 1933 just outside of Lodge Grass, Montana. That’s where his grandparents raised him after his mother died of tuberculosis; where he tended to cattle as a child; and where as an adult, he raised a family of his own. And Sonny was brought up in the traditional Crow ways, with the same values that many of you share — a reverence for the Earth, to cherish the Earth and to cherish each other; to honor ancestors and preserve traditions.

      Staying true to those values wasn’t always easy. As a child, if Sonny spoke Crow in school, his teachers would strike his hand with a ruler. As a teenager, when he went to eat at local restaurants he was sometimes met with a sign on the door that said, “No Indians or dogs allowed.” In the 1950s, as Sonny and his wife Mary began a new life together, the government put in place a new policy of forced assimilation — a move that harkened back to the days when Native religions and languages were banned. The policy was called “termination” for a reason — it was meant to end tribal governments in America once and for all.

      So Sonny, like many of you, knew intolerance and knew injustice. He knew what it was like to be persecuted for who you are and what you believe. But as time went by, year by year, decade by decade, as Native Americans rallied together and marched together, as students descended on Alcatraz and activists held their ground at Frank’s Landing, as respect and appreciation for your unique heritage grew and a seminal struggle played itself out, Sonny lived to see something else. He saw a new beginning.

      He lived to see a government that turned the page on a troubled past and adopted a new policy towards Native Americans — a policy centered on self-determination and the right for tribal governments to do whatever you think is best to strengthen your communities.

      Over the past 40 years, that policy has had a major impact. It has empowered you to build up stronger institutions. It has enabled you to establish more effective law and order. It has laid the foundation for a true and lasting government-to-government relationship with the United States.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/12/05/remarks-president-tribal-nations-conference

  55. Salazar, Washburn Commend Passage of Violence Against Women Act
    Legislation Recognizes and Affirms Tribal Court Jurisdiction over Non-Indians in Domestic Violence Crimes

    02/28/2013 doi.gov

    WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today praised the passage of the Violence Against Women Act, which includes important provisions for federally recognized tribal communities, saying it advances the progress the nation has made in combating violence against women by providing greater protections against homicide, rape, assault and battery in the home, workplace and on school campuses across the country.

    “By providing stronger protections and greater resources to states and Indian tribes, this legislation will make women and vulnerable populations safer,” Salazar said. “This legislation is especially significant for the First Americans because it closes a gaping legal loophole that prevented the arrest and prosecution of non-Indian men who commit domestic violence against Indian women on federal Indian lands. This historic legislation, which recognizes and affirms inherent tribal jurisdiction over non-Indians in domestic violence cases, will provide much needed tools to tribal justice systems to effectively protect Indian women from abuse.”

    “American Indian women experience among the highest domestic violence victimization rates in the country and more than half of all married Indian women have non-Indian husbands,” said Assistant Secretary Washburn. “This legislation provides tools to tribal governments to address the problem of domestic violence much more completely on Indian reservations.”

    “I applaud Congress’s reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act today. Tribal leaders, tribal law enforcement, and tribal courts are all too familiar with this type of violence. It is shameful that for far too long, many American Indian women victims came to accept that there was nothing they could do when their abuser was non-Indian,” said Washburn. “Now, tribal courts have the ability to enforce protection orders again non-Indians, regardless of where the order originated, and to prosecute any individual who stands accused of domestic violence on a federal Indian reservation. American Indian women are now safer with the passage of this law.”

    For more: http://www.doi.gov/news/pressreleases/salazar-washburn-commend-passage-of-violence-against-women-act.cfm

      • March 07, 2013

        Remarks by the President and Vice President at Signing of the Violence Against Women Act

        Interior Department
        Washington, D.C.

        2:16 P.M. EST

        THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, Diane. Thank you. (Applause.)

        Some of you in the audience who are survivors know how much courage it takes to do what Diane did. (Applause.) Some people who don’t know will say, well, she’s just recounting what happened. But every single time you stand and recount what happened, it brings it all back. It brings it all back like a very bad nightmare. But your speaking out, Diane, and so many survivors like you are literally saving the lives of so many other women who, God willing, will be able to avoid the abuse that you had to put up with.

        I want to thank all the advocates who are here today. I got a chance to meet in my office with some of you a little bit earlier — not only those on the stage who I, again, had a chance to meet with, but the many women out in the audience, as I look out and see some familiar faces like Pat Rouse and Ellie Smeal and Paulette Sullivan Moore from — I’m being parochial — Paulette Sullivan Moore from my home state, and so many others. (Applause.)

        Those of you who have been around a while with me know that I quote my father all the time who literally would say, the greatest sin that could be committed, the cardinal sin of all sins was the abuse of power, and the ultimate abuse of power is for someone physically stronger and bigger to raise their hand and strike and beat someone else. In most cases that tends to be a man striking a woman, or a man or woman striking a child. That’s the fundamental premise and the overarching reason why John Conyers and I and others started so many years ago to draft the legislation called the Violence Against Women Act.

        It passed 19 years ago, and that’s why we shortly thereafter instituted a hotline where women in distress could call for help. I remember, John, when we did that hotline, it was like, well, it will be useful, but I’m not so sure how much it will be used. Well, the truth of the matter is it’s been used a lot and it’s saved a lot of lives. Over 2 million women have had the courage — the courage — to try to get out of earshot of their abuser, escape from the prison of their own home, and pick up that phone and call to a line that you had no idea who on the other end was going to answer, and to say, I’m in trouble. Can you help me? Can you help me?

        I love those men who would say when we started this about why don’t they just leave. Well, if they had one-third the courage that those women — those 2 million women had who have picked up the phone and called, not knowing what to expect, it would be a whole lot better nation.

        We’ve built a network of shelters that are immediately available to women in need because we found out that the vast majority of children who are homeless on the street — Nancy knows and others — were there because their mothers were abused. Imagine fleeing for your life with only the clothes on your back and your child in your arms. The shelter was their only lifeline, and it’s worked.

        We also have specialized law enforcement units with trained prosecutors, victim advocates, court personnel who understand the unique challenges of the access. Because of all of you in the audience that are here today, we’ve been able to train judges and train intake officers, so when a frightened woman shows up at the family court and says to the intake officer, “I want to tell you” — “Speak up, will you?” “Well, I just — my” — and they turn around and walk away, because there’s only a very brief window, as all of you know, a very brief window, again, after a woman screws up the courage — the courage — to ask for help.

        All these links in the chain have made a difference in the lives of women. It’s one woman, one girl, one person at a time, one case at a time. And you providers know that better than anyone.

        With all the law’s success, there are still too many women in this country who live in fear of violence, who are still prisoners in their own home; too many victims that we have to mourn. We knew from the outset in 1994 that there was much more we could have done at the beginning if we were able to get the votes. But we did what was necessary and important, but we knew more had to be done to reduce domestic violence, domestic violence homicides, to provide new tools, as was just spoken to, to protect Native American women, to address the perplexing rate of dating violence among young women, and so much more.

        But because of the people on this stage and in this room, every time we reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, we improved it. Every single time, we’ve improved it. (Applause.)

        For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/03/07/remarks-president-and-vice-president-signing-violence-against-women-act

  56. Federal Agencies Announce Action Plan to Guide Protection of Indian Sacred Sites

    03/05/2013 doi.gov

    WASHINGTON – As part of President Obama’s commitment to honoring a nation-to-nation relationship with Indian Country, four cabinet-level departments today joined the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation in releasing an action plan to strengthen the protection of Indian sacred sites and provide greater tribal access to these heritage areas. The interagency plan is required by the Memorandum of Understanding signed in December 2012 by the Departments of Agriculture, Defense, Energy, Interior and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation regarding coordination and collaboration for the protection of sacred sites.

    “The federal family has a special, shared responsibility to respect and foster American Indian and Alaska Native cultural and religious heritage, and this action plan will guide us in that important role,” Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said. “We have dedicated considerable staff and resources to address this important issue and will continue to work with the tribes and their spiritual and religious leaders to carry-out the action plan.”

    “The Obama administration has taken a number of steps to ensure that American Indians and Alaska Natives have full access to the programs and services offered across the federal government,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Since 2009, USDA has stepped up Tribal consultation efforts. We understand the importance of these sites and will continue to make sure Tribes have full access to the resources they need in their communities.”

    “Protecting America’s air and water and our nation’s heritage is an important part of the Energy Department’s commitment to Tribal Nations across the country, particularly those that are neighbors to the Department’s National Laboratories, sites and facilities,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “I look forward to continuing this important work and collaborating with other federal agencies and Tribal Nations to protect Indian sacred sites throughout the United States.”

    “Through collaboration and consultation, the signatory agencies are working together to raise awareness about Indian sacred sites and the importance of maintaining their integrity,” said Milford Wayne Donaldson, chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. “The tools to be developed under this action plan will help agencies meet their Section 106 responsibilities while affording greater protections for sacred sites. The Advisory Council is very pleased to be part of this historic initiative to address the protection and preservation of Indian sacred sites.”

    The MOU, unveiled at the White House Tribal Nations Conference in 2012, will be in effect for five years. The MOU commits the signatory agencies to work together to achieve enhanced and improved interdepartmental coordination and collaboration to improve the protection of and tribal access to Indian sacred sites. Among other things, the MOU commits the participating agencies to work together on developing guidance on the management and treatment of sacred sites, on identifying and recommending ways to overcome impediments to the protection of such sites while preserving the sites’ confidentiality, on creating a training program for federal staff and on developing outreach plans to both the public and to non-Federal partners.

    The Action Plan includes:

    * A Mission Statement that commits the agencies to work together to improve the protection of and tribal access to Indian sacred sites, in accordance with Executive Order 13007 and the MOU, through enhanced and improved interdepartmental coordination, collaboration and consultation with tribes;

    * A list of actions the agencies will undertake together;

    * A commitment to consultation with Indian tribes in developing and implementing the actions outlined in the plan to ensure meaningful strategies for protecting sacred sites;

    * The establishment of a standing working committee made up of designated senior staff from the participating agencies, as well as other subject matter experts from the participating agencies as needed, to carry out the stipulations of the MOU; and

    * The commitment of the Agencies to designate senior level officials to serve as members of a Core Working Group, which the Department of the Interior will Chair.

    For more: http://www.doi.gov/news/pressreleases/federal-agencies-announce-action-plan-to-guide-protection-of-indian-sacred-sites.cfm

  57. Congressional Sequester Cuts to the Federal Budget Starting March 1, 2013

    “Congress might allow a series of automatic, severe budget cuts to take place that will do the exact opposite. It won’t help the economy, won’t create jobs, will visit hardship on a whole lot of people.

    Here’s what’s at stake. Over the last few years, both parties have worked together to reduce our deficits by more than $2.5 trillion. More than two-thirds of that was through some pretty tough spending cuts. The rest of it was through raising taxes — tax rates on the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans. And together, when you take the spending cuts and the increased tax rates on the top 1 percent, it puts us more than halfway towards the goal of $4 trillion in deficit reduction that economists say we need to stabilize our finances.

    Now, Congress, back in 2011, also passed a law saying that if both parties couldn’t agree on a plan to reach that $4 trillion goal, about a trillion dollars of additional, arbitrary budget cuts would start to take effect this year. And by the way, the whole design of these arbitrary cuts was to make them so unattractive and unappealing that Democrats and Republicans would actually get together and find a good compromise of sensible cuts as well as closing tax loopholes and so forth. And so this was all designed to say we can’t do these bad cuts; let’s do something smarter. That was the whole point of this so-called sequestration.

    Unfortunately, Congress didn’t compromise. They haven’t come together and done their jobs, and so as a consequence, we’ve got these automatic, brutal spending cuts that are poised to happen next Friday.

    Now, if Congress allows this meat-cleaver approach to take place, it will jeopardize our military readiness; it will eviscerate job-creating investments in education and energy and medical research. It won’t consider whether we’re cutting some bloated program that has outlived its usefulness, or a vital service that Americans depend on every single day. It doesn’t make those distinctions.”

    President Obama February 19, 2013 

    • In Montana, an Indian reservation’s children feel the impact of sequester’s cuts

      March 21 By Lyndsey Layton- washingtonpost

      In Poplar, Mont. — The public schools on the isolated, windswept Fort Peck Indian reservation here are at the frontier of the federal sequester, among the first to struggle with budget cuts sweeping west from Washington.

      The superintendent can’t hire a reading teacher in an elementary school where more than half the students do not read or write at grade level. Summer school, which feeds children and offers them an alternative to hanging around the reservation’s trash-strewn yards, may be trimmed or canceled.

      And in a school system where five children recently committed suicide in a single year — and 20 more made the attempt — plans to hire a second guidance counselor at the high school have been scrapped, leaving one person to advise some 200 students.

      “The ones who are supposed to help us the most, hurt us the most,” said Floyd Azure, the 56-year-old tribal chairman, who views the sequester as another in a long line of promises broken by the federal government. “This is disgraceful.”

      Few schools in America depend more heavily on the federal government than those on Indian reservations, which have no private landowners to tax. Washington pays about 10 percent of the budget for a typical U.S. public school district; on federal lands, it contributes as much as 60 percent.

      While Washington debates the pros and cons of the sequester, the effects are already tangible in Poplar. Even marginal cuts can have a major impact on a reservation struggling with chronic substance abuse, unemployment and other ills, tribal leaders and residents say.

      “Five percent isn’t a lot when you have a lot,” said Florence Garcia, the president of Fort Peck Community College, which is looking to close two community wellness centers because of the sequester. “But when you don’t have much, five percent makes a big difference.”

      The school system — for which federal funding already had been reduced before the sequester — is looking for $1.2 million in additional cuts, partly by not filling jobs that go vacant. The Indian Health Service, the reservation’s main source for health care, will also be cut by 8 percent, and Head Start, which serves 240 toddlers, will be cut by 5 percent, officials said.

      For more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/in-montana-an-indian-reservations-children-feel-the-impact-of-sequesters-cuts/2013/03/21/90b61722-916e-11e2-bdea-e32ad90da239_story.html?hpid=z1

  58. US proposes changes to tribal recognition rules

    Monday, 26 May 2014 17:32 Written by MICHAEL MELIA, Associated Press

    HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – The U.S. Interior Department on Thursday announced proposed changes to the rules for granting federal recognition to American Indian tribes, revisions that could make it easier for some groups to achieve status that brings increased benefits as well as opportunities for commercial development.

    The Bureau of Indian Affairs says it overhauled the rules to make tribal acknowledgment more transparent and efficient.

    The changes include a new requirement that tribes demonstrate political authority since 1934, where they previously had to show continuity from “historical times.” That change was first proposed in a draft last June and stirred criticism that the standards for recognition were being watered down.

    Kevin Washburn, an assistant secretary with Indian Affairs, said the rules are no less rigorous. He said 1934 was chosen as a dividing line because that was the year Congress accepted the existence of tribes as political entities.

    “The proposed rule would slightly modify criteria to make it more consistent with the way we’ve been applying the criteria in the past,” Washburn said in an interview.

    Gerald Gray, chairman of Montana’s Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians, said the changes offer the path to recognition that his people have sought for decades.

    For more: http://www.nativetimes.com/index.php/news/federal/9950-us-proposes-changes-to-tribal-recognition-rules


    02 FEB 2015 BY LEVI RICKERT – nativenewsonline

    WASHINGTON — Today, President Obama took a historic step in recognizing and reaffirming true government-to-government relations and in honoring the trust responsibility to American Indian tribes pursuant to treaties and the U.S. Constitution.

    President Obama took action no previous United States president has done by promoting to move a portion of federal funding for American Indian tribes from “discretionary” to “mandatory non-discretionary.” This means that the devastating impacts of sequestration in recent years will no longer affect Contract Support Cost (CSC) which is a fee of sorts on top of federal funding for the administration of Indian Health Service and Bureau of Indian Affairs funding.

    For more: http://nativenewsonline.net/currents/obama-moves-tribes-discretionary-mandatory-non-discretionary-contract-support-cost-ihs/

  60. *********************

    NBLB Come on over to my newest post

    titled: “ Social Security Administration”

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s