News

  • Little Shell Chippewa Tribe closes in on official federal recognition August 22, 2014 Members of the tribe will gather Saturday for a ceremony led by traditional leaders of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa in North Dakota.
    The Thunder Pipe and Thirsty Dance Song ceremony – in preparation for the band’s anticipated official recognition – is scheduled at a state park near Ulm, Mont., because the Little Shell tribe has no reservation of its own.
    “This is huge,” Gerald Gray Jr., chairman of the Little Shell tribe, said of the …
  • Lumbee Tribe ponders priority plan for housing August 22, 2014 PEMBROKE — A proposal that would prioritize the application process for receiving housing rehabilitation services from the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina was sent back Thursday to the council’s Housing Committee after concerns were raised that it was discriminatory.
    Ed Brooks, the tribe’s attorney, told the council that giving priority on housing rehabilitation services to those 62 and older based on their age is age discrimination under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and an illegal …
  • Editor’s Comments – August 22, 2014: Second round of Cobell payments coming soon? August 22, 2014 Once again, the second round, or Trust Administration Class Members of Cobell Payments has stalled. The recent court document filed as “Plaintiff’s Status Report Regarding Process on Efforts to Commence Trust Administration Class Payments”  filed July 14, 2014, stated that the Department of Interior (“DOI”) reported that it would be completed by August 30, 2014 once they completed updating of approximately 200 class members impacting ownership certification of 17 Indian trust tracts.
    This is really confusing. The Garden City Group (“GCG”) …
  • Membership bids for Tejon Tribe to be closed September 15, 5 p.m August 22, 2014 A 30-day window to apply for membership in the Tejon Indian Tribe will close on September 15 according to a legal notice placed in the Los Angeles Times Sunday, Aug. 17.
    An enrollment form can be obtained at: Tejon Indian Tribe, 1731 Hasti-Acres Drive, Ste #108 Bakersfield, CA 93309 (661.834.8566). An email form can be requested by calling the office.
    Eligibility requires descent from the federal census of the Tejon Indian Tribe, compiled by Special Indian Agent …
  • Keepseagle plaintiffs question reliability of own counsel August 22, 2014 RAPID CITY, S.D. – The plaintiffs of the historic Keepseagle lawsuit that pitted the Native American farmers and ranchers against the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) are now questioning the reliability of their own counsel.
    On April 28, 2011, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan granted final approval of the historic settlement between Native American farmers and ranchers and the USDA.
    Resolving a nationwide class action lawsuit, the Keepseagle settlement agreement requires USDA to pay $680 …
  • 6,500 tickets sold for pipeline opposition concert August 22, 2014 NELIGH, Neb. — Organizers say nearly all the $50 tickets for a Willie Nelson and Neil Young concert organized by opponents of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline have been sold.
    The group Bold Nebraska said in a statement Thursday more than 6,500 of the 7,000 tickets for the Sept. 27 concert had been sold since Wednesday.
    The TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline would carry oil from Canada south to the Gulf Coast. The concert will be held on …
  • Honor existing agreement on flaring of North Dakota Oil Wells August 22, 2014 Leaders on the Fort Berthold reservation in North Dakota are proposing fees for companies flaring natural gas on tribal lands. Industry officials are questioning those fees, citing a tax agreement signed by tribal officials in 2008 that gave the state power to regulate oil production on reservation lands.
    Flaring, on and off the reservation, continues to be an issue in the Williston Basin. Gas capture on Fort Berthold is lower than the rest of the state …
  • San Carlos Tribe announce changes in Woodland Regulation permits August 22, 2014 SAN CARLOS — Those wanting to harvest timber on the San Carlos Apache Reservation have new rules to follow.
    The tribe has announced changes to the San Carlos Apache Forest Management Plan, which covers the five major ecosystems — Ponderosa pine forest, woodlands, grasslands, riparian and desert — of the 1.8-million-acre reservation.
    The new rules include:
    • A free home-use wood permit. Tribal members will need an updated CIB to show when the wood permit was …
  • I-Team revisits tribal gaming industry in Wisconsin August 22, 2014 It’s been six months since the Gannett Wisconsin Media I-Team launched an exclusive seven-part special report that examined the evolution of Wisconsin’s Indian gaming industry.
    DOUBLING DOWN: The Great Divide in Indian Gaming
    In one story, the I-Team reported on the wide disparity among tribes that use gaming profits for per-capita payments, regular checks given to individual members. Another story showed how casino revenue has helped build state-of-the-art health-care facilities for some of the tribes.
    Most notably, the …
  • Peoria Tribe of Oklahoma’s Tar Creek Restoration Project August 22, 2014 MIAMI, OK.— The Peoria Tribe of Oklahoma, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, and the Environmental Protection Agency have partnered to lower the levels of waste materials in Tar Creek.
    “All of us need to play a role in cleaning up Tar Creek,” said Jim Dixon, Peoria Tribe Environmental Director.
    Ottawa County was heavily mined for lead and zinc from 1908 to 1950, and it left Tar Creek polluted. N.E.O received a grant funding from the EPA and the …
  • Santee Sioux Tribe working to bring more attractions to casino August 21, 2014 The Santee Sioux Tribe of Nebraska is hoping to turn its modest casino into a destination resort.
    The tribe is building an 18-hole golf course and club house for the Ohiya Casino that’s due to open next year. The addition comes on the heels of an enclosed swimming pool and spa at the 61,000 square-foot facility.
    “The dreams of my grandfather have come to life,” Chairman Roger Trudell told The Yankton Press & Dakotan . …
  • Chumash Expansion Plans Scrutinized August 21, 2014 Four major County of Santa Barbara departments — Fire, Planning and Development, Public Works, and the Sheriff’s Office — made one thing clear in letters they wrote to the Chumash last week: with the tribe’s expansion plans come unanswered questions. In July, the tribe detailed its dreams of building a 12-story hotel wing complete with 215 rooms, a rooftop pool deck, a conference room, and a restaurant. Also included were ideas for 75,000-square-feet of additional …
  • Interior Secretary Jewell applauds CSKT help with land buyback August 21, 2014 Pablo, MT – An odd bit of history was made Wednesday on the Flathead Indian Reservation when Sally Jewell dropped by.
    Jewell is in her second year on President Barack Obama’s Cabinet as head of the Department of Interior, which is charged with upholding the federal government’s unique government-to-government relationship with American Indian tribes.
    That’s been the case since 1849, or before the Flathead Reservation was conceived of. So it’s hard to believe Jewell’s visit was the …
  • Navy rejects attempt to get surplus land for Narragansett tribe August 21, 2014 PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The U.S. Navy has turned down an attempt by the Bureau of Indian Affairs to get surplus land on Aquidneck Island for the Narragansett Indian tribe.
    The Newport Daily News reports that Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy Joseph Ludovici sent a letter Tuesday explaining the Navy made the decision because the bureau was unwilling to accept the land in “as is” condition, and wouldn’t take on the environmental and legal risks …
  • Tribal Members rally in Sacramento to stop Klamath River fish kill August 21, 2014 Over 200 Tribal members and their allies from the Trinity and Klamath river watersheds held a four-hour protest at the Bureau of Reclamation offices in Sacramento on Tuesday, August 19 to urge them to release more water from upriver dams to stop a massive fish kill.
    Members of the Yurok, Klamath and Karuk tribes, as well as leaders of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, displayed an array of signs and banners with slogans including “Fish Need Water,” …
  • California Drought Has Wild Salmon Competing With Almonds For Water August 21, 2014 The ongoing California drought has pitted wild salmon against farmers in a fight for water. While growers of almonds, one of the state’s biggest and most lucrative crops, enjoy booming production and skyrocketing sales to China, the fish, it seems, might be left high and dry this summer—and maybe even dead.
    Thousands of adult king, or Chinook, salmon are now struggling to survive in the Klamath River of northern California, where waters are running dangerously low …
  • Potential circuit split over the right to possess eagle feathers for religious purposes – The Washington Post August 21, 2014

    Federal law generally forbids the possession of eagle feathers. There’s a regulatory exception for members of federally-recognized tribes, reflecting an accommodation of Native American religious practices. But what about those who are members of non-recognized tribes, but who have similar religious needs? Today, the Fifth Circuit decided that such claimants may well have a right, under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, to possess eagle feathers.
    To justify the prohibition under RFRA, the government had to show that …

  • Two Oklahoma earthquakes recorded Wednesday; four Tuesday – Tulsa World August 21, 2014 The U.S. Geological Survey already recorded two earthquakes in Oklahoma so far today.
    At 6:01 a.m., a 3.2 magnitude quake recorded about 3 miles south-southeast of Langston.
    Then, at 6:31 a.m., a 3.3 magnitude quake also recorded about 3 miles south-southeast of Langston.
    Oklahoma also recorded four earthquakes on Tuesday, according to the USGS:
    – 4.2 magnitude near Guthrie
    – 2.7 magnitude near Edmond
    – 2.7 magnitude near Guthrie
    – 2.5 magnitude near Spencer
    During …
  • S&P says Foxwoods tribe may have near-term default August 21, 2014 The Mashantucket Western Pequot Tribe, the owner of the Foxwoods casino in Connecticut, has an increasing likelihood of a “near-term default,” Standard & Poor’s said in a report.
    Although the corporate rating went down two grades to CCC- on Aug. 18, S&P didn’t make a recovery prediction given “uncertainties surrounding the exercise of creditors’ rights against a sovereign nation.”
    S&P identified unanswered questions as whether the Bankruptcy Code would apply in a default, whether a U.S. court …
  • Highway robbery: Megaload corridor debate reveals the true conservatives August 21, 2014 Idaho Gov. Butch Otter has worked hard for six years to turn the state’s Highway 12 into a corridor for sending massive, 200-foot-long megaloads of heavy equipment to Alberta, Canada, for tar sands extraction. But it’s not working out.
    First, state court verdicts in Idaho and Montana, plus botched operations by megaload haulers, held things up. Then a federal court verdict late last year extended the delay another year or more. Oil companies began searching for …
  • Karuk Tribe gets casino green light August 21, 2014 The Karuk Tribe got a green light from the California Legislature to take the next steps in building a casino near Yreka.
    The approved tribal-state gaming compact, Senate Bill 1224, means the tribe may build and operate a Class III gaming facility in Yreka once it is signed by Gov. Jerry Brown and approved by the U.S. Department of the Interior, according to a news release.
    “We are looking forward to a successful business venture that …
  • A hospital specializing in radiation could aid Navajo Nation tribe August 21, 2014 Regarding the editorial, U.S. must help Navajos — now” (Opinions, Sunday):
    The uranium contamination and its adverse effect on the health of the Navajo Nation is well documented and undisputed. I think most Vietnam vets with Agent Orange exposure can relate to the bumbling approach the federal government is exhibiting in solving the problem.
    The mantra “Deny, deny until they die” came from the frustration of Vietnam vets who spent years waiting for health care for Agent …
  • Native American and Hawaiian museums get share of US$257,000 for cultural heritage training schemes August 21, 2014 The Institute of Museum and Library Services has given out more than US$257,000 (€193,000, £156,000) to go towards training workshops for museums in the US with links to Native Americans and Native Hawaiians as part of a larger US$925,000 (€695,000, £556,000) grant scheme designed to protect native cultural heritage in the US.
    The Native American/Native Hawaiian Museum Services (NANH) programme supports Native American tribes and organisations that primarily serve and represent Native Hawaiians. The grants – …
  • Californian Tribe Gives Dates for Online Poker Launch August 21, 2014 Despite stalling online poker legislation in California, the Santa Ysabel Gaming Commission confirmed that it would be launching online poker sometime next week. The chairman of the commission, Dave Vialpando, promised that the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel would be “flipping the switch on for real money sometime between the 26th and 28th”, allowing Californians over the age of 18 years to enjoy real money offerings. Players will need to be physically located within California’s …
  • What are the economic effects of a thriving Indian gaming industry in Arizona? August 21, 2014 There has been a lot in the news about Indian gaming establishments across the United States over the last few years.
    Much of what’s been said about the damaging effects of Indian gaming on local economies was borne out of fear of social decline or the antiquated notion that gambling as a hobby is tied to a lack of strong moral direction in a community.
    The same arguments have been made against Indian gaming in …
  • Clatsop-Nehalem Tribe begins fight for formal federal recognition August 21, 2014 The Oregon Democrat submitted the bill for committee consideration July 28. H.R. 5215 would restore certain federal rights to direct descendants of Clatsop and Nehalem Indians in Clatsop and Tillamook counties.
    Clatsop County commissioners approved sending a letter last Wednesday in support of the bill.
    “The Clatsop-Nehalem people are an important part of Oregon’s cultural history,” Bonamici said in a statement. “They carry a strong sense of pride in their unique culture, and a deep commitment …
  • Penobscot Nation suing Maine to fight for namesake river August 21, 2014 The Penobscot Nation is an Indian tribe that has occupied and cared for the Penobscot River since time immemorial. Our principal community and the seat of our government, Panawanskek, is situated in the river about 10 miles north of Bangor and is known also as Indian Island. The name of our tribe, Pa’nawampske’wiak, translated as “people of where the river broadens out,” references the rich fishing grounds near Indian Island that sustained us for thousands …
  • Angel Goodrich (Cherokee) Finishes Second Season in the WNBA for the Tulsa Shock August 20, 2014 TULSA — A year ago Angel Goodrich, a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, was drafted in the third round of the WNBA draft by the Tulsa Shock franchise. The Shock organization had already drafted Skylar Diggins third overall, but by drafting Angel the Shock knew that she would be a good fit for the style of offense for former Tulsa head coach Gary Kopplenburg.
    Goodrich, a standout point guard at the University of Kansas, …
  • Payments to tribal members coming soon August 20, 2014 A settlement administration firm in Montana is getting ready to distribute funds to individual tribal members under a settlement with the U.S. Department of Interior. But more than 1,600 members of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation are on a list of those whose whereabouts are unknown.
    Payments for the Trust Administration Class in the Indian Trust Settlement are expected to be mailed in the early fall, the settlement administrator, The Garden City Group, Inc …
  • Reversal by 9th in Lummi NationTribal Fishing Rights Dispute August 20, 2014 (CN) – Refusing to resolve a decades-old dispute over tribal fishing rights, the 9th Circuit found Tuesday that questions remain about the Lummi Nations’ territory.
         The fight stems from a 1974 injunction by U.S. District Judge George Hugo Bolt in U.S. v Washington that affirmed certain tribal fishing rights the state had been denying. The Lummi filed numerous challenges to the area Bolt determined was their usual and accustomed, or U & A, fishing grounds.
  • A year after federal approval, legislators push governor on Menominee casino August 20, 2014 RACINE COUNTY — A bipartisan group of legislators from Kenosha and Racine counties is again pushing Gov. Scott Walker to decide on the proposed Kenosha casino.
    In a letter to Walker released Tuesday, the legislators noted the upcoming one-year anniversary of the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs’ approval of the Menominee tribe’s project. The BIA signed off on the proposal on Aug. 23 of last year, putting the final decision in the hands of Walker. The …
  • Critics move to overturn Glendale casino deal August 20, 2014 The approval of a glitzy gambling hall by the Glendale City Council last week has done little to calm the divisive issue or a five-year legal battle over its fate that has cost tens of millions of dollars. And the fighting is not over yet.
    It might be long shot, but critics of the casino deal with the Tohono O’odham Nation are pursuing a referendum to give voters a chance to overturn the City Council’s approval …
  • EPA awards Santa Clara Tribe $112,000 to support environmental programs August 20, 2014 DALLAS – (Aug. 18, 2014) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently awarded $112,000 to the Pueblo of Santa Clara, N.M. as part of the General Assistance Program (GAP). The tribe will use the funds to administer their environmental program and assist in the development of the multimedia programs to address environmental issues.
    The primary purpose of GAP is to support the development of core tribal environmental protection programs. Other activities to be carried out under …
  • Signs target Mashpee tribe’s casino plan August 20, 2014 COTUIT — Two signs have been put up in Cotuit, near the Mashpee line, that appear to be aimed at the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe’s plans to build a $500 million casino in Taunton.
    “Native American casino Ponzi scheme,” is written on one of the signs with dollar signs next to it. The other states, “Another broken trust.”
    The signs are posted one above the other on a utility pole at the intersection of routes 28 and 130 …
  • My Turn: BLM is right to award Redoubt Falls to Sitka Tribe August 20, 2014 We are profoundly disappointed and frustrated that the trustees of the defunct Sheldon Jackson College have filed a notice to appeal a recent federal decision rejecting their claim to 160 acres by Redoubt Falls and surrounding areas near Sitka.
    The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) rejection of their land claim was a victory for the Sitka Tribe of Alaska and Sealaska, which filed for title of 11 acres around Redoubt Falls almost 40 years ago under …
  • S&P says Foxwoods tribe may have near-term default August 20, 2014 The Mashantucket Western Pequot Tribe, the owner of the Foxwoods casino in Connecticut, has an increasing likelihood of a “near-term default,” Standard & Poor’s said in a report.
    Although the corporate rating went down two grades to CCC- on Aug. 18, S&P didn’t make a recovery prediction given “uncertainties surrounding the exercise of creditors’ rights against a sovereign nation.”
    S&P identified unanswered questions as whether the Bankruptcy Code would apply in a default, whether a U.S. court …
  • Court: Tribe’s Company Must Submit To Arbitration On Car Exports August 20, 2014 A state appellate court in West Palm Beach ruled Wednesday that an Arizona auto dealer may enforce an arbitration agreement in a dispute with a Seminole Tribe-affiliated company over car exports.
    Fourth District Court of Appeal Judge Carole Taylor’s opinion concluded Phoenix Motor Co. should be allowed to enforce binding arbitration against Desert Diamond Player Club Inc., a Hollywood-based company.
    They are disputing whether Phoenix Motor may impose liquidation damages on Desert Diamond because it …
  • Fort Berthold Tribal Oficial: Tests not shared on brine spill August 20, 2014 WHITE SHIELD, N.D. (AP) – The environmental director of an American Indian tribe said he’s been shut out of the tribe’s response to a massive saltwater spill on its North Dakota reservation, and criticized leaders for leaving the public “in the absolute dark” on its severity.
    Edmund Baker’s remarks came at an environmental forum this week on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, home to Three Affiliated Tribes and the source of almost one-third of the state’s …
  • ‘Love Water Not Oil’ Northern Tour’ August 20, 2014 East Lake, Minisinoo, Minnesota – Monday, August 18th, Winona LaDuke, Executive Director of Honor the Earth, embarks on a horse ride against the proposed Enbridge Sandpiper pipeline. Partnering with the leadership for the ride is Shane Davis, Executive Director Fractivist.org. Along the way the riders will raise awareness of the proposed pipeline by informing native communities and landowners of the inherent risks of the project and their rights to oppose it. 
    The initial leg of …
  • Investigators release Quebec train oil tanker disaster report August 20, 2014 TORONTO — The weak safety culture of a now-defunct railway company and poor government oversight were among the many factors that led to an oil train explosion that killed 47 people in Quebec last year, Canada’s Transportation Safety Board said in a new report released Tuesday.
    TSB chairwoman Wendy Tadros said 18 factors played a role, including a rail company that cut corners and a Canadian regulator that didn’t do proper safety audits.
    The safety board issued …
  • Duluth considers running its own casino August 20, 2014 City leaders in Duluth are considering a plan to open a casino at the city’s convention center.
    The City Council was scheduled to take up a resolution Monday evening seeking state permission to open a city-run casino. The move would require a change to the Minnesota Constitution.
    A casino at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center could generate $12 million a year for the city and an equal amount for the state, according to City Councilor Howie Hanson.
    Until …
  • Oklahoma Tops Continental US Earthquake Chart August 20, 2014 OKLAHOMA CITY – The early morning earthquake was strong enough that it was felt across much of the metro and for most of us now, these tremors are no longer a surprise because we get so many.
    9 Investigates’ Alex Cameron joins us now with some numbers that may also rattle you.
    By now, you know that Oklahoma is in the midst of an almost 5-year-old earthquake swarm, an unprecedented increase in seismicity that some believe …
  • Oklahoma earthquakes caused by oil drilling August 20, 2014 (NaturalNews) In recent weeks, residents of rural Oklahoma have been experiencing something on a regular basis that used to be quite rare: the rattling and booming roll of the earth.
    In the first week of August, Reuters reported, residents of Guthrie, which has a population of nearly 10,200 people, felt five earthquakes shake the town, which is about a 30-minute drive from Oklahoma City.
    One of the most recent quakes shook the area shortly after lunchtime, an …
  • Collection tells tale of ‘archeological tragedy’ August 20, 2014 EAST NEW MARKET — In May 1964, a construction crew working on the new Delaware Route 113 around Frederica began digging up Native American artifacts. When state highway officials were consulted about the situation, the crew was told to keep digging.
    About a third of the artifacts found in Frederica were displayed at Saturday’s Everything Oyster by the Dorchester County Historical Society at the East New Market firehouse. It was one of dozens of collections …
  • Atomic Safety and Licensing Board begins evidentiary hearings on Oglala Sioux Uranium Mining August 20, 2014 Three days of evidentiary hearings began today regarding the Dewey-Burdock uranium mining license.
    The hearings focus on three key issues: Native American cultural rights, water issues and procedural matters.
    The three judges from the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board questioned representatives from the Oglala Sioux Tribe, ranchers, Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff and Powertech staff about how the issue of the proposed mine is being handled.
    The Powertech staff says they’ve taken all of the proper steps …
  • California Free Play Poker Site to make Real Money Switch This Month August 20, 2014 For a few weeks now, the Santa Ysabel Tribe in California has offered an online poker experience; with free play mode only, for individuals in the state. The online poker site had full intentions of going live with real money gaming and were a hot topic of discussion for some time. Now, the tribe has made the news yet again as they plan on offering real money game play at the site by the end …
  • Local leaders, Indian tribe to begin new talks about future of North Lawrence property August 19, 2014 Discussions are ready to begin again on how an Oklahoma-based Indian tribe will develop more than 90 acres of property it has purchased in North Lawrence.
    Leaders of the Delaware Tribe of Indians are scheduled to be in Lawrence on Wednesday and Thursday to meet with officials from the city, the county, the chamber of commerce and other groups. The meeting also will involve the use of a paid facilitator meant to help the various parties …
  • Demonstrators Fight for More Water in Trinity, Klamath Rivers August 19, 2014 More than 200 Native American tribe members came down to Sacramento Tuesday to increase the amount of water flowing down the Trinity and Klamath rivers.
    They claim adding the water could save tens of thousands of fish.
    Demonstrators say dams are blocking water flow and that is putting fish in danger.  They are pressuring the Bureau of Reclamation to release more water into the rivers.
    “ We will die for those fish, B.O.R. they’re just breaking our river,” …
  • Oklahoma Wind Power Companies Run Into Headwinds August 19, 2014 Oklahoma is the nation’s fourth-largest generator of wind energy. But wind developers in the northeast corner of the state, where the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve lies, are up against stiff opposition from an unlikely pair of allies: environmentalists and oil interests.
    Bob Hamilton, director of the Nature Conservancy’s Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, has been fighting to block construction of a 68-turbine wind farm.
    “It’s a real estate issue — location, location, location,” says Hamilton. “So, where you put industrial …
  • Oklahoma tribes working to solve water rights issue August 19, 2014 OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — After years of legal wrangling, the state of Oklahoma successfully blocked a legal challenge by a Texas water district that claimed it had a right under a 30-year-old compact to cross the Red River and take water from Oklahoma to serve the fast-growing Fort Worth area. But the state’s victory did not end the court fight over water rights in Oklahoma.
    The state and a pair of Oklahoma-based tribes are still …