One of the last remaining to speak Oneida language dies at 100
Lorretta Webster, one of the last people to learn Oneida as a first language, died Sept. 27. She was 100. The Hobart native worked with the Oneida Language Revitalization Program, a project launched in 1996 after a survey found that only 25 to 30 tribal elders were fluent in Oneida.
A spokesman for Sen. Harry Reid joined other Democrats in slamming Republican Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn for blocking a bill that would pay off settlements with American Indians and black farmers. The bill would have provided $3.4 billion to settle claims that the Interior Department mismanaged Indian trust funds. The bill also includes $1.2 billion to remedy discrimination claims against the Agriculture Department by black farmers.
Navajo President Joe Shirley Jr. says a referendum to elect judges on the reservation is being improperly placed on the Nov. 2 ballot, and he’s filed a formal complaint against the Navajo Nation Council and the Election Board of Supervisors. Shirley says he never approved the referendum’s language. If approved, all sitting judges and justices would have to resign in January 2013 and would lose their retirement benefits.
As part of its education series, NPR explores the University of Oregon College of Education's Sapsik’wal’ Project, which gives incentives and training for American Indian and Alaskan natives to teach at schools with large native populations.
For years, the leaders of Alaska native corporations had maintained a united front of support for the ANC program, despite news accounts and audits that turned up allegations of abuses. One of the reformers, Tara Sweeney, a vice president at Arctic Slope based in Barrow, told The Washington Post in a recent interview that advocating a position with implied criticism of Alaska natives was "not an easy path to take."
Forty years after Congress established more than 200 Alaska native corporations, a Washington Post investigation found that most native shareholders have received little of the $29 billion in federal contracts in the past decade. According to the paper’s investigation, the bulk of the money and jobs have gone to nonnative executives, managers, employees and traditional federal contractors in the lower 48 states, especially during the post-9/11 contracting boom.
The Arizona Department of Gaming says tribal gaming contributions to the Arizona Benefits Fund are nearly $78 million for fiscal year 2010 -- a 9.9% decrease in tribal contributions from state fiscal year 2009.
Nearly 600 educators, students and state, tribal and federal officials met at South Dakota's seventh annual Indian Education Summit to discuss improving enrollment rates among American Indian students, with one professor noting that between a third and half of all American Indian children fail to graduate from high school.
In a Sep. 15 ceremony at NMAI, Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli announced $127 million in funding to tribes under the new “Coordinated Tribal Assistance” program.