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American Indian

Feds to cancel lease on land sacred to Blackfoot Indian tribes

BILLINGS, Mont. — The Interior Department plans to cancel a long-suspended oil and gas drilling lease near Glacier National Park that’s on land considered sacred to the Blackfoot tribes of the U.S. and Canada, according to court documents filed Monday.

Date: 11/23/2015 | Northwest

Fishing at the heart of Lummi Nation

LUMMI RESERVATION — Members of Lummi Nation say that for them, fishing is different.

Date: 11/22/2015 | Northwest

Quinault Nation opens crab fishery around Grays Harbor

GRAYS HARBOR — The Quinault Indian Nation has opened its crab fishery in the Grays Harbor area. The tribal fishing area is one of the few spared by a toxic algal bloom on the Pacific coast.The tribe says its crabs are being tested regularly by the Washington Department...

Date: 11/22/2015 | Northwest

Census weighs changes to counting American Indians in 2020

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The U.S. Census Bureau is testing new questions on tribal enrollment to try to get a more accurate count of American Indians in 2020.

Date: 11/17/2015 | Northwest

Disagreements threaten uneasy truce between tribes, Maine

PLEASANT POINT, Maine — Eighty-one years after a neglected tribal water supply caused a devastating outbreak of typhoid fever and a century after the state outlawed spearfishing of the salmon that fed their ancestors, Native American tribes who trace their history back millennia say their trust in...

Date: 11/15/2015 | Nation & World

Inca boy’s DNA shows how humans spread to South America

It sounds like something straight out of a "Hunger Games" novel: The rulers of a sprawling empire select beautiful children from throughout their vast territories and kill them in a ritualistic event to reinforce their power.During the Inca civilization, which...

Date: 11/15/2015 | Nation & World

Ex-Swinomish police chief gets 16 months for stealing from tribe

SEATTLE — A Stanwood resident who is the former police chief of the Swinomish Police Department has been sentenced to 16 months in prison for stealing nearly $34,000 from the northwest Washington tribe.

Date: 11/10/2015 | Northwest

Should Congress control tribal recognition?

BILLINGS, Mont. — A Republican proposal to let only Congress decide whether American Indian tribes deserve federal recognition threatens the legitimacy of hundreds of tribes and would add delay to what was long a broken system, an Obama administration official said Wednesday.

Date: 10/29/2015 | Nation & World

Yakama tribe to get authority for some court cases

YAKIMA — Some civil and criminal cases involving members of the Yakama Nation will be returned to the tribe’s jurisdiction, after being handled for decades by the state.The federal Bureau of Indian Affairs on Monday granted the tribe’s petition for what is called “retrocession.”

Date: 10/20/2015 | Northwest

More cities are recognizing Native Americans on Columbus Day

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— More cities are recognizing Native Americans on Columbus Day this year as they revive a movement to change the name of the holiday to celebrate the history and contributions of indigenous cultures around the country.

Date: 10/11/2015 | Nation & World

Five myths about Christopher Columbus

As Columbus Day gives way to “fall break” and drops off many workers’ calendars altogether, it has become easy to overlook a perennial teaching moment. When Christopher Columbus does come up in the media or the classroom, he is usually simply bashed or praised, depending on the viewpoint of the...

Date: 10/11/2015 | Nation & World

Land trust buys Lummi Island quarry site for $1.08M

LUMMI ISLAND — A land trust group has purchased 105 acres of quarry land on Lummi Island for $1.08 million with plans to restore the area for conservation, low-impact recreation and saltwater access.

Date: 10/06/2015 | Northwest

Man pleads guilty in killing of two American Indians

LANDER, Wyo. — A Wyoming man pleaded guilty Thursday in the shooting two American Indian men that exposed racial tensions in a reservation border town.

Date: 10/01/2015 | Nation & World

Chinook’s new leader spearheads fight for recognition

LONGVIEW — Every day for the last three months, the Chinook Indian Nation has addressed a letter to President Barack Obama about a subject that tribal chairman Tony Johnson calls “a matter of life or death.”

Date: 09/21/2015 | Northwest

State could get first tribe-owned pot store

SUQUAMISH — North Kitsap may be getting the state’s first tribe-owned pot shop.

Date: 09/17/2015 | Business Wire

Nation’s first state-tribal marijuana compact signed

OLYMPIA — The Suquamish Tribe and Washington State Liquor Cannabis Board have signed what they say is the nation’s first state-tribal marijuana compact.

Date: 09/14/2015 | Northwest

Judge allows Swinomish tribe’s lawsuit over oil trains to proceed

SEATTLE — A federal judge is allowing a lawsuit by the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community to proceed against BNSF Railway over oil train shipments.

Date: 09/11/2015 | Northwest

'Helping the greater good'

Cultural Kitchen allows sharing of foods from around the world

Date: 09/11/2015 | Local News

Sen. Murray introduces bill to return Kennewick Man bones to tribes

SPOKANE — The ancient skeleton of Kennewick Man should be returned to a group of Columbia Basin tribes, according to a bill introduced Thursday by U.S. Sen. Patty Murray.

Date: 08/06/2015 | Northwest

U.S., Russia ease travel rules for Bering Strait natives

ANCHORAGE — The United States and Russia are in the midst of their most tense relations since the Cold War, but for a small number of residents of both countries, things are warming up a bit.It will now be easier and cheaper for Alaska and Russia Native residents to...

Date: 08/02/2015 | Nation & World

Card counting risky at tribal casinos

For gamblers skilled at counting cards, it can be especially risky to play at America's tribal casinos: Those who have gotten caught tell stories of seized winnings, wrongful detentions, or worse.Casino bosses everywhere have ways of making so-called "advantage...

Date: 07/02/2015 | Business Wire

Snake beliefs lead tribal zoo to end exhibit

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — A zoo on the nation’s largest American Indian reservation has eliminated its snake exhibit because cultural beliefs about the reptiles as bad omens were deterring visitors from seeing other animals.

Date: 06/13/2015 | Nation & World

Canada ponders ‘cultural genocide’ of native population

Genocide might be one of the most hard-hitting words in the entire world. Coined by Polish-Jewish lawyer Raphael Lemkin in 1944, the word combined the Greek word “geno” (tribe) with the Latin word “cide” (killing) to create a new way to describe the deliberate and systematic destruction of a...

Date: 06/07/2015 | Nation & World

Student keeps Native American spirit alive at Lakewood school’s graduation

LAKEWOOD — When Waverly “Wave” Wilson walked across the stage at Lakes High School graduation ceremonies Wednesday night, it was with her head held high and her Native American pride intact.

Date: 06/05/2015 | Northwest

Pay raises and a Tubman $20

Time to tie up a couple of loose ends from earlier editorials.Poorly timed raise: In March, we advised the state Legislature to complete its work, including passage of state budgets...

Date: 05/19/2015 | Editorials

Northwest Indian College launches space center

BELLINGHAM — Six years ago, a handful of Northwest Indian College robotics students were looking for something to do when they came up with what they considered a relatively easy and fun idea: launching rockets.

Date: 05/15/2015 | Northwest

Federal judge dismisses Lake Quinault ownership lawsuit

TACOMA — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit that sought to revoke the ownership of Lake Quinault from the Quinault Indian Nation.

Date: 05/05/2015 | Northwest

Cherokees challenge Tribal Council pay raises

RALEIGH, N.C. — In an unusually public fight, a Cherokee advocacy group is challenging a half-million dollars in extra pay the Tribal Council recently approved for itself, saying the North Carolina tribe can’t afford raises for top officials while other services suffer.

Date: 04/24/2015 | Business Wire

Public comment sought on proposed Makah whale hunt

SEATTLE — Two public meetings will be held in late April about the Makah Tribe’s request to resume hunting gray whales off Washington’s coast.

Date: 04/21/2015 | Northwest

Quinault tribe seeks federal money to relocate buildings

TAHOLAH — Leaders of the Quinault Indian Nation are seeking federal money to relocate some homes and facilities on its reservation to higher ground because of flooding and other threats.

Date: 03/24/2015 | Northwest

Sacred Morro Rock divides Native American tribes

MORRO BAY, Calif. — Craggy, dome-shaped Morro Rock rises 576 feet above the shore, an attractive site for climbers and a sacred one for two Native American tribes.And that’s the essence of a dispute between the tribes that has simmered for more than a decade.

Date: 03/19/2015 | Nation & World

FBI struggles to get minorities in the door

The Washington PostWASHINGTON — Local police departments across the country are under increasing pressure to diversify their forces, particularly in light of a scathing Justice Department report about the mostly white Ferguson Police Department’s unfair treatment of African-Americans.

Date: 03/12/2015 | Nation & World

Big Coeur d’Alene powwow canceled after 17-year history

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho — One of the biggest Powwows in the nation — the Julyamsh powwow held annually at the Greyhound Park in Post Falls — has been canceled for this year.The Spokesman Review reported that the Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort announced the cancellation Friday.

Date: 02/01/2015 | Northwest

Tribes to discuss legal pot at Tulalip conference on Feb. 27

SEATTLE — American Indian tribes wrestling with whether to legalize marijuana have scheduled a national conference on the topic Feb. 27 at the Tulalip Resort Casino.

Date: 01/28/2015 | Northwest

Native American to be sworn in as Whatcom County judge

BELLINGHAM — The chief judge for the Nooksack Indian Tribe, Raquel Montoya-Lewis, will be sworn in Friday as a judge on the Whatcom County Superior Court.The Bellingham Herald reported that she’ll be the first Native American judge for the court.

Date: 01/14/2015 | Northwest

EPA to step in on water rules tied to fish consumption

SEATTLE — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday said it plans to come up with updated water quality standards for Washington partly tied to how much fish people eat — in case the state doesn’t do it by next year.

Date: 12/18/2014 | Northwest

Obama withdraws Alaska's Bristol Bay from drilling

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — President Barack Obama announced Tuesday that he’s removing more than 52,000 square miles of waters off Alaska’s coast from consideration for oil and gas exploration or drilling.

Date: 12/16/2014 | Northwest

Books removed over portrayal of indigenous topics

JUNEAU, Alaska — The Juneau school district has removed four books from its elementary language arts program because critics said they didn’t accurately portray the experiences of American Indians and Alaska Natives.

Date: 12/05/2014 | Northwest

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