Tipton Reintroduces Bill to Provide Certainty for Native American Indian Students

Here, from BBNA.  An excerpt:

WASHINGTON, Feb. 25 — Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo. (3rd CD), issued the following news release:

Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO) has reintroduced legislation in the House of Representatives to help Fort Lewis College and the State of Colorado cover tuition costs of qualifying Native American Indian students who receive federally-mandated free tuition at the college under a 1910 federal land grant. Tipton delivered the legislation today accompanied by Fort Lewis College President Dene Thomas and former United States Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell.

The Native American Indian Education Act would require the federal government to meet treaty obligations to help cover the tuition costs for out-of-state students. Currently, the State of Colorado has been left to cover the expense, which has significantly increased in recent years and is jeopardizing the future of the important program. The University of Minnesota, Morris has a similar mandate and would benefit from this legislation.

“The State of Colorado is currently forced to carry the weight of an unfunded federal mandate, which has created uncertainty for this vital program at Fort Lewis College that satisfies our nation’s treaty obligations and ensures that many talented and bright Native American Indian students have the opportunity to get a quality education,” Tipton said. “Should the state face a budget shortfall, this program could be at risk. Our legislation seeks to address this issue by requiring the federal government to fully live up to its obligation, easing the burden on Colorado taxpayers, and providing certainty for students at Fort Lewis and other impacted institutions.”

The bill, H.R. 1089 – To help fulfill the Federal mandate to provide higher education opportunities for Native Americans, can be seen here when it is posted.

Update: Utah Indian Education Bill – HB-0033

Utah Indian Education Bill HB-0033, titled American Indian Alaska Native Education, passed both the Utah House and Senate and is ready for the Governor’s signature.  We posted previously about HB-0033 here.  The version of the bill as passed can be seen here.

Highlighted Provisions:

This bill:

  • enacts a chapter providing for an American Indian-Alaskan Native Education State Plan, including:
    • defining terms;
    • providing the position of American Indian-Alaskan Native Public Education Liaison;
    • requiring reporting to the Native American Legislative Liaison Committee;
    • creating the American Indian-Alaskan Native Education Commission;
    • establishing the duties of the commission; and
    • providing for the adoption of a state plan to address the educational achievement gap of the state’s American Indian-Alaskan Native students; and
  •   makes technical and conforming amendments.

Uintah River High claims state basketball title with 6 players

From KSL.com here.  An excerpt:

FORT DUCHESNE, Uintah County — Shandon Sorensen had never even tried the shot in practice.

“I look at the clock and I see four seconds left,” Sorensen said Wednesday. “I just threw it up and I hoped it went in.”

The shot from two steps inside the halfcourt line dropped in, sending Sorensen and his Uintah River High School basketball team to the semifinals of the Utah School Sports Association playoffs with a 65-62 win over DaVinci Academy.

The Uintah River Warriors — playing with only six players — would finish the tournament with an undefeated record, beating Wasatch Academy 74-57 on Saturday to win their school’s first state championship in any sport.

. . . .

Sorensen also stressed mental toughness with his team, and the ability to overcome obstacles that seem insurmountable. He said he knows life for some of the 60 kids who attend Uintah River High is pretty tough. The Ute Indian reservation seems to have more than its share of poverty, crime and addiction, which can make failure seem inevitable.

“That’s already one strike against you,” Sorensen said. “So let’s get out there and prove that that’s not the case. Let’s go out there and prove that you are able to be successful.”

SCIA Presidential Budget Oversight Hearing

Yesterday, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held an Oversight Hearing on the President’s FY2016 Budget Request for Indian Programs.

The witnesses were:

The Honorable Kevin Washburn
Assistant Secretary- Indian Affairs-U.S. Department of the Interior
View Testimony

The Honorable Yvette Roubideaux
Senior Advisor to the Secretary on Native Americans and Alaskan Natives-U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
View Testimony

Mr. Rodger J. Boyd
Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Native American Programs-U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
View Testimony

You can watch the hearing here, and an excerpt from Assistant Secretary Washburn:

In today’s global economy, a high quality education is no longer just a pathway to opportunity—it is a prerequisite to success.  President Obama set out a vision for a 21st century education system, grounded in both high academic standards and tribal values and traditions.  The Indian Affairs’ budget proposes a $1.0 billion investment in Indian education to support a comprehensive transformation of the Bureau of Indian Education.  The proposal recognizes the progress in self-governance in Indian education reflected in the fact Tribal Nations have contracted to run more than two-thirds of Federal Indian schools. 

University of South Dakota NALSA Extends Support to the Lakota 57

H/T to Turtle Talk.

The University of South Dakota School of Law Native American Law Student AssociationIMG_1490(NALSA) organized a Peace Gathering in honor of the 57 children from American Horse School on the Pine Ridge Reservation.  These students, age 9 to 13, were attending a Rapid City Rush hockey game in recognition of their school accomplishments.  Unfortunately, these students had beer poured on them and were subject to racial epithets.  The alleged perpetrator was charged with a low level misdemeanor of disorderly conduct. 

 The gathering brought together almost 30 law students and faculty members into the courtroom. The Law School community was invited to write personal letters of encouragement and support to send to the students. NALSA’s goal is to send a strong message to the children so that they know we support them in their efforts to continue to strive and to grow from this negative and ugly experience

 Tysolake House, second year law student and Vice-President of NALSA, shared his thoughts on the incident. For Tysolake, this incident hit very close to home. He mentioned the obstacles he had to overcome dealing with racially charged issues as a child. He also expressed his sympathies for the children as he envisioned this situation potentially happening to his own children, who are the same age. 

 USD Law Professor Frank Pommersheim shared a few thoughts about how to move forward from this horrible incident. His remarks focused on the need for ‘solidarity,’ particularly from NALSA and the legal community, to show support for these young native studentsThese students need to know that there are many people of good will who want them to succeed.

 Gene Thin Elk, Director of the Native American Cultural Center, also attended the Peace Gathering in support of the children from American Horse School. Gene expressed his support by sharing a few words about overcoming adversity and by singing a Lakota Song.

 At the conclusion of this gathering everyone gathered to take a group picture. Everyone in attendance firmly stood behind the banner that exclaimed the words, “They are our children too.” 

-Kyle Chase

USD NALSA President

Video: Mural Represents More Than Just Art at Chief Kitsap Academy

From Indian Country Today, here:

When would a family of bears canoe with an orca escort? When the bear is the mascot of the Chief Kitsap Academy and orcas have ingratiated themselves into important events to the Suquamish Tribe.

A pod swam close to the barge occupied by Jade Jefferson, 13, and his friends while they sang during the journey home from the 2013 Salmon Homecoming in Seattle, reports theKitsap Sun.

Jefferson told the Sun, the largest orca breached as they ended their song.

Read more athttp://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/02/24/video-mural-represents-more-just-art-chief-kitsap-academy-159344