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Jan 21, 2018

Native Opinion Episode 112 

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Native News Articles In This Episode:

TITLE: The Ancient Baby Carrier Making a Comeback
SUB-TITLE: Native women are once again embracing the cradleboard because it’s both artistic and utilitarian.
AUTHOR: Chelsey Luger
Chelsey is a journalist from the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa and Standing Rock Sioux Tribe For YES! Magazine

There are strollers and swings, high chairs and play yards, vibration seats and musical floor mats. When it comes to devices for holding and transporting babies, the options are endless—so much so that millions of moms and dads spend hours online poring over reviews and ratings to then spend billions of dollars finding the safest, cutest, and most appropriate items for their little ones.

But one type of baby carrier has existed well before all others. It’s safe, economical, and beautiful. It comes in all types of designs and many, many sizes. Some are adorned with furs and leathers, others in colorful beads and shells. Some have intricate wood carvings and floral designs, while others are made of simple, natural fabrics such as muslin or cotton.

Babies love this baby carrier, and so do moms. It’s practically perfect, but there’s a catch: It’s extremely difficult to find at any store or even an online shop. It’s called the cradleboard, and it has been used by indigenous families from hundreds of nations across North America for thousands of years.

TITLE: Indian Country left behind as Republicans push tax cuts through Congress AUTHOR: By Kevin Abourezk

Passage of a $1.5 trillion tax reform bill represents a rare and now missed opportunity to address the many economic development disparities in Indian Country, according to Democratic members of Congress.

“Congress has a responsibility to ensure that tribes are able to be self-sustaining and have access to economic opportunities, and that’s why the tax bill that just passed the House is so deeply disappointing,” said Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Michigan) during a conference call following passage of H.R.1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

The House vote on Tuesday afternoon set the stage for final passage of the controversial legislation. The roll call fell along party lines, with all but 12 Republicans in support of the bill and all Democrats opposed.

TITLE: Nearly all members of National Park Service advisory panel resign in frustration
AUTHOR: By Juliet Eilperin

More than three-quarters of the members of a federally chartered board advising the National Park Service have quit out of frustration that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke had refused to meet with them or convene a single meeting last year.

The resignation of 10 out of 12 National Park System Advisory Board members leaves the federal government without a functioning body to designate national historic or natural landmarks. It also underscores the extent to which federal advisory bodies have become marginalized under the Trump administration.

In May 2017, Zinke suspended all outside committees while his staff reviewed their composition and work. In a letter to the secretary on Monday, departing board chairman Tony Knowles, a former Alaska governor, wrote that he and eight other members “have stood by waiting for the chance to meet and continue the partnership . . . as prescribed by law.” All of the signatories, who serve as unpaid volunteers, had terms set to expire in May.

Article 4:
TITLE: Native Farm Bill Coalition Formed

More than 30 native American tribes have formed the Native Farm Bill Coalition in an effort to give native American farms a voice at the farm bill table. Minnesota Public Radio reports that the coalition is an outgrowth of programs to improve health and expand access to healthy food for Native Americans. The coalition says that for decades, Indian Country has largely been pushed to the side during farm bill discussions. That means, according to coalition leaders, Native Americans and tribes are “missing out on major opportunities to protect and advance their interests.” The Native Farm Bill Coalition is a joint project by the Seeds of Native Health campaign, the Intertribal Agriculture Council, the National Congress of American Indians, and the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative, to improve Native dietary health and food access.

Article 5:
TITLE: Tribes not subject to Labor Relations Board rules

WASHINGTON — Rep. Kristi Noem led the U.S. House of Representatives in passing provisions to protect tribal sovereignty on labor issues. The legislation, which many South Dakota tribes have long supported, would clarify that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) does not have jurisdiction over tribally owned and operated businesses.

“In 2004, the National Labor Relations Board unilaterally decided that it needed to meddle in the affairs of tribally-owned businesses on tribal lands, threatening the foundation of Indian law, the principle of tribal sovereignty, and the limits that ought to be placed on the federal government,” said Noem. “Subjecting Native American tribes to National Labor Relations Board rules is yet another sign that some still want the federal government to interfere in tribal decision making. I’m proud to see provisions pass the House that withdraws the government’s heavy hand and again reinforce our commitment to tribal sovereignty.”

Article 6:

TAHLEQUAH — The Cherokee Nation recently launched a pilot program to ensure students who learned to speak Cherokee at the tribe’s Cherokee Immersion Charter School continue to use the language as they enter high school.

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Cherokee Nation Businesses CEO Shawn Slaton signed a memorandum of understanding to create the program, called the 14th Generation Master Apprentice Program, during a ceremony at the tribe’s Cherokee Immersion Charter School in Tahlequah on Wednesday.

“CNB’s monetary commitment to the Cherokee Language Master Apprentice Program will further advance the preservation and usage of the Cherokee language, as graduates of the program are placed in supervised teaching roles,” Baker said. “That means language lessons can be utilized at Sequoyah High School as well as in community settings. Creating Cherokee speakers, and in turn, letting them pass along what they have learned, will help keep the language flourishing for generations to come.”

Article 7:
TITLE: Doug George-Kanentiio: Mohawk people must take action on marijuana
AUTHOR: By Doug George-Kanentiio

Who was Harry Anslinger (1892–1975) and how did he come to have a deep effect on the Mohawks of Akwesasne? To begin with we need to understand the product which consumed Mr. Anslinger director of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Narcotics (now the Drug Enforcement Administration) from 1930–1962.

Director Anslinger hated blacks, he hated jazz, he hated Mexicans. He believed their music and culture was polluting the rest of the United States and that the use of marijuana by musicians was the mark of a degenerative people, particularly African Americans who he accused of being drug addicts consumed with the desire to seduce white women.

He claimed marijuana drove the Mexicans and black people mad, causing them to commit terrible crimes of murder to rape. He instructed his agents to “shoot first” in their raids on suspected users and dealers. Anslinger exaggerated and lied about marijuana and its effects on humans.

He suppressed any objective medical report which challenged his claims that it was dangerous and instead showed how it was of dramatic, effective use as a medical drug. In this, he was supported by the pharmaceutical companies and sensational articles published by William Randolph Hearst in his newspapers. READ MORE