Current News

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — It turns out there were two pitches sent to Amazon to locate its second headquarters in the Spokane area.

The Spokane Tribe of Indians submitted an independent proposal, separate from the bid developed by Greater Spokane Incorporated, which is the region's business development agency.

WASHINGTON – The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian will add to its exhibition on treaties, “Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations,” an 11.5-foot-tall mile-marker post created by activists who came to North Dakota to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline.

“When more than 12,000 activists and hundreds of Native Nations assembled in North Dakota during 2016 to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline, treaties were at the heart of the issue,” said Kevin Gover, director of the museum. “As the largest gathering of Native Americans in protest, it was truly a historic event and one that should be addressed in the National Museum of the American Indian.”

There is a fear in my mind that transcends words and since I make my living using words this presents an extreme dilemma.

My fears are based on the facts that our elected officials in Washington have become players in a giant reality show. They have a leader who thinks nothing of threatening another country with destruction without realizing the consequences. Are these threats real or figments of a fractured imagination? These days it is hard to distinguish the difference.

Here is my dilemma: We have people serving in the Senate and Congress who listen to these threats and say nothing, that is with the exception of one or two like Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee. When Corker spoke up it had to be assumed by most sensible people that others would follow, but instead elected officials like Senators John Thune (R-SD) and Mike Rounds (R-SD) and House of Representatives Kristi Noem (R-SD) retreated into a corner of silence.

TAMA, Iowa (AP) - The Meskwaki Nation in Iowa is expanding its business interests from its casino and bingo hall into tobacco products and e-cigarettes.

Tribal leaders are looking to diversity their revenue so the tribe is less reliant on casino profits, the Des Moines Register reports.

Meskwaki Inc. will soon open a 30,000-square-foot factory and warehouse just off Highway 30, within walking distance of both the Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel and the Meskwaki Travel Plaza.

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – The family of a 14-year-old South Dakota girl who killed herself at a Native American boarding school has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the federal government, which runs the school.

The family filed the lawsuit Tuesday in U.S. District Court in South Dakota. It seeks unspecified compensation for funeral expenses, attorney fees, and pain and suffering.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – It only takes five minutes in a Laura B. Anderson Elementary School classroom to see students there like learning.

When teacher Fred Jackson asked his fifth-grade students to solve a multiplication problem on the board, their pencils popped up almost in unison.

Down the hall of the northeast Sioux Falls school, Kim Runia’s classroom of second-graders raised their hands excitedly, practically fighting for a chance to demonstrate appropriate behavior for “independent reading time.”

“This is one of the happiest groups of children I’ve ever encountered,” Principal Jayne Zielenski told the Argus Leader . “They are smiling, and they have every reason to not be smiling.”

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – Native Americans leaders from pueblo tribes across New Mexico are taking their grievances about an annual conquistador pageant in Santa Fe directly to the mayor and Roman Catholic officials, city officials announced Monday.

Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales said he has accepted an invitation to meet with the All Pueblo Council of Governors that represents 19 pueblo tribes in New Mexico and one in Texas to discuss the public tribute to Spanish conquistador Don Diego de Vargas. Santa Fe’s Roman Catholic archbishop, John Wester, also has accepted an invitation to the meeting.

TULSA – A Chickasaw icon is getting re-introduced to a national audience on the big screen.

After more than a year on the festival circuit, “Te Ata” opened commercially in Oklahoma recently with red carpet premieres in Ada and Tulsa. Produced by the Chickasaw Nation and distributed by Paladin, the storyteller’s biopic is now in national release.

“It’s a little nerve-wracking to see what other folks might think,” Jeannie Barbour, Chickasaw Nation Creative Development Director, said at the film’s Sept. 28 red carpet premiere at Circle Cinema. “I’m optimistic, mainly because I got to see audience reaction at film festivals. It has a lot of universal appeal and the story deals with the same types of issues anyone would have.”

Last year, a Native American female student at a Lower Lake, California, high school had a grade docked by a teacher when the student refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. The superintendent said the student's free speech rights were violated.

FREEDMEN'S TOWN, Texas (AP) – When Afghanistan War veteran Joseph Smith saw NFL players take a knee or raise a fist during the playing of the national anthem last month, he wasn't offended – he was proud. Where some saw it as disrespectful, he saw it as patriotic.

“It's not an insult against the flag. It's a stand up of your beliefs,” said Smith, 32, a black community activist in Houston's historic Freedmen's Town, a neighborhood settled by emancipated slaves after the Civil War.

CROW AGENCY, Mont. (AP) – No contamination has been found in the water on the Crow Indian Reservation after a water treatment plant in Crow Agency was vandalized.

Tribal Chairman A.J. Not Afraid declared a state of emergency Wednesday after workers discovered the destruction at the plant, including shots fired at equipment and fire damage. Bottled water was delivered to residents as tests were conducted.