Posted on December 29, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Tribes say more meaningful collaboration needed
A decision by the U.S. Forest Service to allow snowmaking with reclaimed water at the Arizona Snowbowl Ski Area soured the agency’s relationship with Native Americans
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — With more than 3,000 miles of contiguous border with American Indian and Alaska Native-owned lands, the U.S. Forest Service wants to work more closely with tribal governments in the protection, respectful interpretation and appropriate access to Indian sacred sites.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary John Vilsack this month released a new report recommending that the agency should take steps to strengthen the partnerships between the agency, tribal governments, and American Indian and Alaska Native communities to help preserve America’s rich native traditions.
According to the report, many tribes have historically managed their forests well and in ways the Forest Service hopes to emulate: “Tribal land management is a testament to the Tribal land ethic, an ethic rooted in traditions, stories, and cultures. Sacred sites … are important facets of that land ethic and a common bond between us,” the report states. The report and related documents are online at this Forest Service website. (more…)
Filed under: Archaeology, public lands, US Forest Service | Tagged: Native Americans, Native Americans in the United States, public lands, sacred sites, San Francisco Peaks, U.S. Forest Service | 1 Comment »
Posted on December 19, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
The Interior Department will help Tribal Nations consolidate splintered parcels of land. Bob Berwyn photo.
Voluntary program aimed at boosting community land use for Tribal Nations
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Thousands of smaller parcels of land owned by individual Native Americans could be consolidated for beneficial use by tribes under a new $1.9 billion buy-back program announced by the Department of Interior this week.
The buy-back program for tribal nations will purchase fractional interests in American Indian trust lands from willing sellers. Fractionation of Indian lands stems primarily from the General Allotment Act of 1887, when tribal lands were allotted to individual tribal members, often in 80 or 160-acre parcels. The lands have been handed down to heirs over successive generations, causing the number of shared interests in one parcel to grow exponentially. Currently, more than 92,000 tracts of land held in trust for American Indians contain 2.9 million fractional interests.
When tracts have so many co-owners, it is often difficult and impractical to obtain the required approvals to lease or otherwise use the lands. As a result, highly-fractionated tracts lie idle, unable to be used for any economical or beneficial purpose or for direct use by tribal communities for their members. (more…)
Filed under: West, world news | Tagged: Bureau Indian Affairs, Claims Resolution Act of 2010, Native Americans, Native Americans in the United States, Tribal Nations | Leave a Comment »
Posted on October 15, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Bald eagle, Colorado. Bob Berwyn photo.
Clarity, transparency to help Native Americans and resource agencies
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Federal officials say that, after consultation with Indian tribes, they’ve clarified a national policy addressing the right of Native Americans to possess or use eagle feathers for cultural and religious expression.
The policy covers all federally protected birds, bird feathers and bird parts and should help address tribal concerns and uncertainties about how and when eagle feathers can be transported and used. It will also help provide clarity for wildlife officials responsible for enforcing the protective laws. (more…)
Filed under: endangered species, Environment, Uncategorized | Tagged: Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, bald eagles, Federally recognized tribes, golden eagles, Native Americans, Native Americans in the United States | 2 Comments »
Posted on December 5, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
President Barack Obama is joined onstage by his adopted Native American parents, Hartford "Sonny" Black Eagle and Mary Black Eagle, during the 2011 Tribal Nations Conference at the Department of Interior, Washington, D.C., Dec. 2, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Native American leaders powwow with President Obama and Interior Secretary Salazar at one-day conference
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — After two years of targeted community policing and other measures, the Safe Indian Communities initiative helped reduce violent crime by 35 percent across four Indian reservations, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said last week during the annual White House Tribal Nations Conference.
The annual conference is intended to emphasize the Obama administration’s commitment to reform, restructure and rebuild federal relations with Indian Country and underscoring initiatives that are building safer and stronger American Indian and Alaska Native communities. (more…)
Filed under: Summit County news | Tagged: Crime on Indian reservations, Native Americans, Safe Indian Communities, White House Tribal Nations Conference | 2 Comments »
Posted on September 28, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
Congress may untangle Native American funding gridlock at Fort Lewis College.
House bill would ensure federal funding for a federal mandate
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Republican Congressman Scott Tipton is reaching across the aisle to try and pass a bill that would ensure federal funding for college tuition of Native American students at Fort Lewis College in Durango.
Tipton’s bill, the Native American Indian Education Act of 2011 ( H.R. 3040), is a companion measure to Senator Michael Bennet Senate version of this bill that was introduced earlier this year. Read the full text of the Senate version here.
“This legislation will ensure that our country’s pledge to Native American Indians is kept,” Tipton said. “Without increasing federal spending in any way, this bill will ultimately save Colorado taxpayers money, lifting the weight of a federal mandate from their shoulders.”
The bill would require the federal government to pay the tuition for non-resident Native American students at Fort Lewis College. Colorado has spent more than $110,000,000 in the past 25 years to meet the costs of the tuition waivers for Indian students at Fort Lewis College from 44 different States. (more…)
Filed under: Colorado | Tagged: American Indian College Fund, Colorado, education, Fort Lewis College, Native Americans, Native Americans in the United States | Leave a Comment »