News

  • BREAKING: Tribe announces Cherokee Springs Plaza project September 1, 2014 TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – During the Cherokee National Holiday weekend, Cherokee Nation and Cherokee Nation Businesses officials unveiled plans to build the Cherokee Springs Plaza, a travel destination that will include venues for dining, shopping and gaming.
    An artist’s rendering shows the complex including retail spaces, restaurant sites, auto sales lots, office spaces, a convention center, two hotels and a casino.
    Principal Chief Bill John Baker said purchasing the former Cherry Springs Golf Course property and the vacant …
  • Native Sun News: Release of secret uranium mining data ordered September 1, 2014 RAPID CITY — In answer to prayers of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and allies in the federal case to revoke licensing of the proposed Dewey-Burdock uranium mine and mill, a panel of administrative judges ordered corporate disclosure Aug. 20 of secret bore-hole records about the site’s geology.
    “In the context of the contentions before us, the board finds this data is relevant and must be disclosed,” panel Chair William Froelich announced on the second of …
  • FAULKNER: Local energy expansion would fuel tribal independence September 1, 2014 The nation’s economic woes have hit American Indians hard.
    Between 2008 and 2013, unemployment for American Indians never once dipped below 10 percent, the highest rates for any group in all the Midwest, Northern Plains, and Southwest. And nearly one in three single-race American Indians live in poverty, according to the United States Census Bureau.
    Advertisement
    But America’s natural gas boom is offering new hope to these struggling communities. An estimated 20 percent of all the …
  • Don’t just say it, but do it in Indian Country September 1, 2014 Today, September 1, 2014, I read Tim Giago’s Native Sun News article “Oglala Sioux people aren’t afraid to say no to easy cash” posted on Indianz.com. I read several news articles each day and maintain a feel for what is happening and what folks are thinking about Indian Country issues. For a while now, the major focus has been on energy development and environmental issues. There are varying opinions and it has become a contentious matter. 
    My …
  • Wampanoag Aquinnah officials say sacred feature found in Kingston site should be preserved September 1, 2014 Representatives of the Wampanoag Aquinnah (Gay Head) tribe say that spiritually significant and long-maintained stone features discovered on a Kingston site planned for new sports fields are an important link to their people’s ancestral past and should be preserved.
    “These are our ways of life,” Bettina Washington, a tribal historic preservation officer for the Aquinnah, based in Martha’s Vineyard, said of the “stone row” discovered in a recent exploratory dig on the town’s Hall Property. “It’s …
  • Northern Arapaho Tribe invited to present culture ties to Rocky Mountain National Park September 1, 2014 (Rocky Mountain National Park, Colo.) - Four eagles greeted the morning, flying above the spectators at Estes Park, Colorado. Their flight marked the beginning of the Arapaho celebration of the 100th year anniversary of a historic naming expedition to the Rocky Mountain National Park.
    “It is a good omen,” Sergio Maldonado, one of the featured speakers said, “A good start to our celebration.”
    The Arapaho tribe had been invited to the Rocky Mountain National Park to put on a …
  • Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma Has Big Plans September 1, 2014 The Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma has announced a two-phase project for 232 acres off Interstate 40 and State Highway 9A at the Earlsboro exit. In Phase 1, the tribe wants to build a 240,000-square-foot casino/travel plaza.
    According to James Edwards, governor of the Absentee Shawnee Tribe, ground will broken on Phase 1 in mid-May. The first phase includes two convenience stores, a gift shop, salon, arcade, food court, casual fine dining and buffet restaurants, a …
  • Eastern Shawnee Tribe’s Bordertown to reopen Feb. 1, 2015 September 1, 2014 The Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma has announced a major project to their facilities in West Seneca.
    The old Bordertown building will be re-opened on Feb. 1, with a country and western theme. The casino will have 600 new slot machines and have an extensive entertainment venues. More importantly, the re-opening will create an additional 65 jobs in the Seneca area. Combined with the approximately 500 at Indigo Sky, this will be more than 600 employees …
  • Flush with cash, Poarch Creek tribe’s growing interests stretch from Huntsville to Florida September 1, 2014 ATMORE, Alabama — Most know the Poarch Band of Creek Indians for their casinos that transform local landscapes, and for their rising political donations and influence in state politics. And, last month, a dozen or more budding entrepreneurs came to a meeting to learn how they, too, might find the tribe’s favor. The meeting at the headquarters of the Creek Indian Enterprises Development Authority was billed as a chance for small businesses to learn how …
  • Historic tribal land could be rejoined under the Cobell Land Buy Back Program August 31, 2014 LAKE COUNTY – Federal and tribal officials strongly support the national Land Buy Back program but some Lake County landowners are concerned that this might be a distraction from bigger issues.
    In what some are labeling an historic event, the recent visit to Tribal Council by Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Senator Jon Tester left residents of the Mission Valley questioning the ultimate goal of federal officials.
    “I am fearful of what is happening …
  • Groups want to see draft study on North Dakota oil field waste August 31, 2014 The Dakota Resource Council and the North Dakota Energy Industry Waste Coalition have called for the immediate release of a draft study on the safety and handling of North Dakota’s radioactive oil field waste that has been found dumped illegally in remote areas.
    The Argonne National Laboratories on behalf of the department has drafted a study about acceptable levels of cancer causing radioactive waste. The study resulted from what has been perceived as a continuous pattern of the …
  • Douglas County leaders, Delaware Indian tribe continue to work on plans for North Lawrence property / LJWorld.com August 31, 2014 A project that involves components of agriculture and American Indian culture is slowly starting to take shape for a North Lawrence property owned by an Oklahoma Indian tribe, Douglas County Commissioner Nancy Thellman said.
    Thellman attended another two days of meetings last week with the Delaware Tribe of Indians regarding the group’s plans for about 90 acres near the Kansas Turnpike interchange in North Lawrence.
    Thellman said. “It seems like the consensus at this point is to …
  • Transparency a focus of North Dakota’ Fort Berthold tribal election August 31, 2014 NEW TOWN, N.D. (AP) – It must be tribal election season on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota. 
    For those of you have may have slept through the current oil boom occurring in the western part of North Dakota, this area had a small town community who were scraping along trying to create jobs and economic opportunity. The 2000 census indicates that there were about 5,910 persons living on the reservation and about 42% were …
  • Prairie Island Indian Community tribe ‘disappointed’ in waste storage rule August 31, 2014 The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved Tuesday a final rule and environmental impact statement governing the continued storage of spent nuclear fuel at reactors across the country.
    The Prairie Island Indian Community (“PIIC”) expressed disappointment with the decision, saying the rule opens the door to keeping 1.5 million pounds of radioactive waste at Xcel Energy’s Prairie Island nuclear plant for decades to come.
    The location at PIIC was a temporary storage facility until the federal government could build …
  • Wisconsin governor skirts touchy casino decision August 31, 2014 KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) — Its always about politics. We will never make things right as long as we are always conscious that every move, every decision, and every action taken can be negative towards our life and career. Such is the decision being played out in the State of Wisconsin.
    The primary debate and contention is being pushed by the Forest County Potawatomi Indian Community who are holding Governor Scott Walker (“Governor”) hands to the fire regarding …
  • Menominee tribe casino plans continue to stall amid election August 31, 2014 MADISON, Wis. – Republican Gov. Scott Walker has put off a decision on whether to approve the Menominee Nation’s plans for a new off-reservation casino in Kenosha until after the November election. It’s a politically charged issue that puts Walker in a tight spot: If he approves the project he could help create thousands of jobs, but he could also alienate a tribe with a competing casino in the area.
    Neither Walker nor Democratic opponent …
  • Swinomish tribe worries rising sea levels threaten tradition, culture August 31, 2014 LA CONNER, Wash. – With 95 percent of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community’s reservation borders on the water, the tribe is concerned about the rise in sea level and storm surges expected as the planet warms.
    As sea level rise pushes high tides and winter storm surges farther inland, coastal tribes in the Northwest worry that their archaeological sites will be wiped out, Swinomish Tribal historic preservation officer Larry Campbell said. They also worry that traditional food …
  • Oklahoma State disavows fans’ ‘Trail of Tears’ sign – The Washington Post August 30, 2014 ESPN’s “College GameDay” is arguably the network’s most fun-loving show, one that conducts all sorts of merriment in front of college students who are encouraged to get into the act by carrying humorous signs. Not surprisingly, many of these signs creep up to the boundaries of good taste, and some of them go far beyond those boundaries. Today’s telecast, located in Fort Worth and focusing on the Florida State-Oklahoma State game, included one those latter examples.
    Yup, that’s a “Trail of …
  • Chief cites strength, grit of Cherokee ancestors – Tulsa World August 30, 2014 TAHLEQUAH – The grit and strength of the early Cherokees who survived the Trail of Tears are the backbone of the tribe today, said Principal Chief Bill John Baker on Saturday.
    “A strong Cherokee Nation is a strong Oklahoma,” Baker said to thunderous applause from those attending the 62nd Cherokee National Holiday. “The strength of our ancestors is unmatched.”
    Homes, health and hope were the focus of the festival, which continues through Sunday.
    A crowd …
  • Illegal marijuana grow stole water from Tule River Tribe August 30, 2014 FRESNO (AP) – Authorities have torn out an illegal marijuana operation in Central California that they say was siphoning water from streams that supply a Native American tribe.
    Lt. Patrick Foy of the state Department of Fish and Wildlife said Friday the growers created seven reservoirs – some capable of storing 5,000 gallons – that relied on water from the Tule River Tribe. The tribe’s reservation is in the Sierra Nevada foothills 70 miles northeast of …
  • Stakeholders meet to discuss proposed casino north of Pittsburg, KS August 29, 2014 PITTSBURG, Kan. — Representatives with a vested interest in a proposed casino project in Crawford County met Thursday to discuss details of the project and, as one stakeholder said, generate enthusiasm before an application is submitted to the Kansas Lottery Commission.
    The developers have until Dec. 19.
    “We’re trying to get some excitement, and hopefully we can win the bid,” said Phil Ruffin Jr., whose father, a Wichita billionaire, owns the Las Vegas Treasure Island …
  • MONTANA FSA: Enrollment for New Dairy Farm Risk Management Program in Montana to Begin Sept. 2 August 29, 2014 (BOZEMAN, Mont.), Aug. 28, 2014 — USDA State Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director, Bruce Nelson, today announced that starting Sept. 2, 2014, farmers can enroll in the new dairy Margin Protection Program. The voluntary program, established by the 2014 Farm Bill, provides financial assistance to participating farmers when the margin – the difference between the price of milk and feed costs – falls below the coverage level selected by the farmer. 
    “The Margin Protection Program …
  • Settlement with Omaha Tribe of Nebraska Creates Sustainable Path Forward for Tribal Utility Operations to Protect Residents and Environment August 29, 2014 (Lenexa, Kan., Aug. 29, 2014) – The Omaha Tribe of Nebraska, a federally recognized Native American tribe located in northeastern Nebraska, and the Tribe’s Utilities Commission have reached a settlement with the United States to improve the Tribe’s drinking and wastewater systems and its trash collection program.
    The settlement, in the form of a judicial Consent Decree filed with the U.S. District Court of Nebraska, resolves the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s claims that the Tribe failed …
  • Tulare County marijuana grow stole Tule River Tribe reservation water August 29, 2014 FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Authorities have torn out an illegal marijuana operation in Central California that they say was siphoning water from streams that supply an American Indian tribe, a California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman said Friday.
    The growers created seven reservoirs — some capable of storing 5,000 gallons — that relied on water from the Tule River Tribe, Lt. Patrick Foy said. The tribe’s reservation is in the Sierra Nevada foothills 70 miles …
  • Circuit Unlikely to Give Yakima Nation Pass on Tobacco Settlement August 29, 2014 SEATTLE (CN) – Insisting that the Yakima Nation must contribute to a master settlement with tobacco manufacturers, an attorney for Washington said the tribe’s treaty does not give it carte blanche on tobacco sales. Otherwise tribal members could go to the state fair and hand out free cigarette samples to minors “because they have this treaty,” David Hankins with the Washington Attorney General’s office told a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit. “Where …
  • Tribal officials: Oil ill effects reaching into Fort Peck Indian Reservation August 29, 2014 POPLAR, Mont. — Tribal officials said Thursday that eastern Montana’s Fort Peck Indian Reservation is feeling the adverse effects of the nearby oil boom — without any of the economic gains.
    U.S. Sen. Jon Tester hosted a listening session focused on human trafficking in Poplar, Mont., where he heard from tribal citizens and leaders about rising crime overall related to the increased oil drilling in western North Dakota and the far eastern edge of their state.
    “Because …
  • Government makes buy-back offers on Northern Cheyenne Reservation Indian lands August 29, 2014 HELENA, Mont. — The U.S. government has offered to buy land parcels in Arizona and Montana from 4,300 American Indians who have fractional ownership interests and give the land back to the tribes.
    The Interior Department said Thursday it made offers totaling $19.2 million to 2,500 individual owners of land on Montana’s Northern Cheyenne reservation and $77.6 million to 1,836 individual owners of parcels on Arizona’s Gila River reservation.
    The voluntary program is part of a $3.4 …
  • The Omaha Tribe Of Nebraska Reaches Settlement August 29, 2014 The Omaha Tribe of Nebraska, a federally recognized Native American tribe located in northeastern Nebraska, and the Tribe’s Utilities Commission have reached a settlement with the United States to improve the Tribe’s drinking and wastewater systems and its trash collection program.
    The settlement, in the form of a judicial Consent Decree filed with the U.S. District Court of Nebraska, resolves the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s claims that the Tribe failed to comply with a 2011 EPA …
  • Potawatomi up the ante in the Kenosha casino dispute August 29, 2014 You’ve got to hand it to the Forest County Potawatomi. They know how to play their cards.
    The tribe is refusing to pay a casino fee of at least $25 million to the state that was due June 30, contending the state may owe the tribe money if a new Kenosha casino is approved by Gov. Scott Walker.
    It’s a trifecta: The Potawatomi save their money, remind Walker of what’s at stake and send a powerful message …
  • Horse-racing measure now in Nebraska court’s hands August 29, 2014 LINCOLN, Neb. | An attempt to invalidate a ballot measure that would allow electronic betting on old horse races is now in the hands of the Nebraska Supreme Court.
    An attorney for anti-gambling activist Pat Loontjer asked the court Wednesday to keep the measure off the November ballot, while a state attorney defended it as constitutional.
    Loontjer’s attorney, Steve Grasz, says the measure forces voters to cast a ballot on separate issues — whether to allow the …
  • DOI extends $100M in Cobell buy-back offers on two reservations August 29, 2014 The Interior Department has extended another $100 million in offers under the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations.
    The offers went out to more than 4,000 landowners on the Gila River Indian Community in Arizona and on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Montana. They will have until mid-October to accept or refuse.
    “I continue to be encouraged by the progress we see with the Buy-Back Program, and welcome the ongoing collaboration we have had with …
  • Tribal Disruption and Federalism August 29, 2014 Matthew L. M. Fletcher, Michigan State University College of Law prepared paper about Tribal Disruption and Federalism for the 2014 Honorable James R. Browning Symposium hosted by the Montana Law Review (2015 Forthcoming)
    Abstract:  
    The very presence of Indian nations within the borders of the United States and its territories has always been, from the Founding, disruptive. Indian nations are disruptive, but as I will argue, they are disruptive in the best possible manner. This paper will …
  • AB 52, Native American bill, passes Senate August 29, 2014 SACRAMENTO >> Native American legislation seemingly opposed by thousands was significantly altered before it was passed by the California Senate on Wednesday.
    AB 52, a bill co-authored by Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Watsonville, is designed to give Native American tribes more power in the state’s environmental laws, but it galvanized non-federally recognized tribes not included in the bill.
    Non-federally recognized tribes pestered lawmakers for months and started an online petition which gathered 8,386 signatures.
    In the amended version, both …
  • Editor’s Comments – August 28, 2014: What was all the fuss about? August 28, 2014 I was very excited today to see that the Tohono O’odham Nation conducted a groundbreaking ceremony for their new West Valley Resort & Casino in Glendale, Arizona. It was a five year battle in which TON had to fight off initially the Glendale Community, Arizona Rep. Trent Franks along with U.S. Senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake, the House-passed “Keep the Promise Act” (H.R. 1410), Gila River Indian Community, Salt River Pima-Maricopy Community, and finally a Community …
  • Walker administration warns Potawatomi tribe it could lose games if it doesn’t release fee August 28, 2014 MADISON, Wis. — The Forest County Potawatomi could lose about 2,000 electronic slot machines at its Milwaukee casino if it continues withholding its $25 million annual payment to the state, an attorney for Gov. Scott Walker’s administration said.
    The tribe is trying to convince Walker to nix the Menominee Nation’s plans for an off-reservation casino in Kenosha. The Potawatomi fear the new facility would cut into their Milwaukee profits.
    The Potawatomi’s current compact with the state requires …
  • Wiyot Native tribe to return to US homeland after 154 years August 28, 2014 A Native American tribe plans to return to their homeland in the US and perform a ceremony for the first time in 154 years since a massacre almost completely wiped them out.
    The 645 member-strong Wiyot tribe plans to perform a ceremony on March 28 on California’s Indian Island, returning to their homeland for the first time since white settlers massacred dozens of tribe members in 1860.
    Following the massacre, the survivors were put into concentration …
  • Finally, Tohono O’odham Nation breaks ground for West Valley casino August 28, 2014 The Tohono O’odham Nation broke ground this morning for the West Valley Resort casino.
    Marlene Vazquez, a member of the Nation and one of its former council members, said prior to the groundbreaking that she is “excited” the project is moving forward. “We’ve waited a long time.”
    About 300 people attended the event, inlcuding Glendale officials and staff and elected leaders from West Valley cities — Peoria Mayor Bob Barrett, El Mirage Mayor Lana Mook …
  • Napa County spends big to influence Sacramento August 28, 2014 Despite being the smallest county in the Bay Area, Napa County spends the highest amount per-capita trying to curry favor in the California Legislature.
    Even with that, the success of its lobbying efforts has been mixed.
    Over the last 12 years, Napa County has spent $2.3 million on lobbying in Sacramento, according to expense reports it files with the Secretary of State’s Office.
    The county spends about $80,000 in retainers every two years for Peterson Consulting, which has …
  • Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe Buyback offers will roll out Sept. 5 August 28, 2014  RONAN – Last week a delegation of some of the nation’s highest ranking officials visited the Pablo headquarters of Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes with a promise to help the Tribes reconsolidate lands lost to poor management by the federal government through a land buyback program that is part of the $3.4 billion Cobell settlement. 
    The buyback comes more than a century after the United States government broke the Flathead Reservation into tiny pieces and allotted …
  • Jamul Indian Village Casino still underway August 28, 2014 On the tiny reservation of Jamul Indian Village in East County, a big project — in terms of its relative size and the opinions it has generated — has been in progress since January.
    A $360 million casino project, it’s the culmination of multiple efforts to bring a gaming facility to the reservation over the years. Projected to open in 2016, it’s expected to include a three-story gaming and entertainment facility of approximately 203,000 square …
  • Cherokees break ground on new casino in South Coffeyville – Tulsa World: State August 28, 2014 SOUTH COFFEYVILLE — Cherokee officials on Wednesday broke ground for its newest casino just south of the Kansas state line.
    The nearly $10 million development will take about six months to construct and bring 100 new jobs to the region, officials said.
    “One hundred jobs is huge for this area,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker in a news release. “By taking these paychecks home to their families, these future employees will affect …
  • Bracing for Impact: Millions of Tribal Acres at Stake in Upcoming Court Ruling August 28, 2014 Tribal advocates anxiously await a meeting of an en banc panel of federal judges who will soon decide whether a legal opinion that could have a negative impact on millions of acres of tribal lands should be overturned.
    The judges of the 11-member panel will scrutinize a January 21 opinion of a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Big Lagoon Rancheria v. California. In that 2 -1 opinion, the judges ruled that …
  • Retracing steps of great Ponca Chief Standing Bear August 28, 2014 An imprisoned Native American chief, an unlikely cadre of Nebraskans and a harrowing journey led to one of America’s earliest civil rights victories 135 years ago. In an Omaha courtroom, Ponca Chief Standing Bear argued that Native Americans are people and should have equal protections under the law. Holding out his hand, he famously said, “That hand is not the color of yours. But if I pierce it, I shall feel pain. If you pierce …
  • Havre businessman pleads guilty in corruption case to the Chippewa Cree Tribe August 28, 2014 GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) – A Havre businessman has pleaded guilty to his role in a conspiracy that defrauded the Chippewa Cree Tribe and funneled money to several others involved, including former state legislator Tony Belcourt.
    Shad James Huston pleaded guilty Monday to theft from an Indian tribal organization, failure to file currency transaction reports and bribery of a tribal official. U.S. District Judge Brian Morris scheduled sentencing for Nov. 24.
    Huston acknowledged one of his businesses …
  • Cherokee Nation wants up to 50 more bison August 28, 2014 TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) _ The Cherokee Nation wants to build a new bison herd to recapture some of the tribe’s heritage, develop business opportunities and provide a healthy food source for its members, Principal Chief Bill John Baker said.
    The tribal council recently approved a resolution to request surplus bison from South Dakota through the InterTribal Buffalo Council. The Cherokee Nation is also maintaining its candidacy to receive bison from a similar program through Yellowstone National …
  • Woman’s quest to ID those buried in Arizona Indian cemetery teaches her about Native culture | Fox News August 28, 2014 WINSLOW, Ariz. –  A dusty, barren field in the shadow of a busy Arizona interstate was for decades a place where children played freely, teenagers spooked themselves on Halloween and locals dumped trash, seemingly unaware of the history beneath them.
    Inside cotton sacks, burlap bags and blankets buried in the ground are the remains of stillborn babies, tuberculosis patients, and sick and malnourished Native Americans from Winslow and the nearby Navajo and Hopi reservations.
    It’s hard, if …
  • Native American leaders emerge hopeful from EPA meetings August 28, 2014 Several Native American leaders from Wisconsin say they’re happy with environmental meetings they had with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that wrapped up on Thursday.
    About 20 tribal leaders from Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota ended two days of semi-annual meetings by meeting twice with the Midwest Regional Administrator of the EPA. Eric Chapman of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Chippewa is co-leader of a tribal-EPA partnership committee. He said a key issue was making …
  • Native American tradition of the dugout canoe recreated at Old Fort Niagara August 28, 2014 YOUNGSTOWN – It took most of the summer to build and lots of manpower to heave a nearly 400-pound dugout canoe into the Niagara River at Old Fort Niagara on Tuesday – all for a cruise lasting about 10 minutes.
    But the launch signaled a revival of an 8,000 year-old Native American tradition. And the dugout’s next journey may be to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
    Beginning in June, Native American craftsmen burned and chopped, converting …
  • Colville Tribe stocks Rufus Woods with thousands of fish August 28, 2014 Staff from the Colville Tribes Resident Fish (CTRF) program released approximately 5,700 “triploid” rainbow trout ranging from two to three pounds each into Lake Rufus Woods July 31.
    The fish, which can be identified by the absence of the adipose fin, are part of a supplementation effort of the Rufus Woods Net Pen Project, which the program’s staff oversees. The CTRF program purchases these fish from a local commercial aquaculture facility. Since 2011, some 118,100 triploid …