‘Impacts of climate change are increasingly evident for American Indian and Alaska Native communities and, in some cases, threaten the ability of tribal nations to carry on their cultural traditions and beliefs’
FRISCO — Climate change poses a serious threat not only to Native American natural resources, but to cultural traditions and spiritual beliefs, top Obama administration officials said last month, announcing $10 million in funding to boost adaptation and mitigation efforts on Native American lands.
“From the Everglades to the Great Lakes to Alaska and everywhere in between, climate change is a leading threat to natural and cultural resources across America, and tribal communities are often the hardest hit by severe weather events such as droughts, floods and wildfires,” said Secretary Jewell, chair of the White House Council on Native American Affairs.
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.
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.
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. Continue reading “Feds finalize tribal eagle feather policy”→
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.
“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.”
Denver exhibits and new initiatives aim at boosting graduation rates
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Colorado Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia this week launched an initiative to advance American Indian education in the state by unveiling two exhibits about American Indian history, art and culture.
The Denver Public Library, together with Colorado Creative Industries, is hosting “Painting the West,” an exhibit including paintings by George Catlin, who specialized in portraits of Native Americans in the Old West, and Karl Bodmer, a Swiss painter whose images are recognized as among the most accurate images of Native Americans and the scenery of the Old West.
Annual gathering helps sustain cultural traditions
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — With more than 20,000 Native American residents, the greater Denver area has long been a regional hub for tribal culture and activities, and this weekend, the Denver Coliseum will be filled with more 1,600 dancers, artists, drummers, singers and storytellers at the annual March Powwow, one of the biggest Native American gatherings in the country.
Admission is $7 per day, or $20 for a three-day pass, free for kids six and under, $3 per day for elders. Click here to visit the Denver Powwow on Facebook.
Along with giving visitors a chance to experience Native American cultures, the Powwow is a cultural touchstone for tribes, helping to pass on important traditions.
“It began as a youth enrichment powwow to help Native American children in the Denver area learn traditions without having to go back to their reservations,” said Powwow executive director Grace Gillette. Since those early days, the event has grown to include 93 tribes from 33 states and five Canadian provinces, she said. Continue reading “Travel: Native Americans gather at Denver March Powwow”→