Webinar: Sovereignty in Indian Education Pre-Grant Training Sessions

The Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) has announced the availability of $1 million in funds through the Sovereignty in Indian Education Enhancement Program (SIE) to tribes and their tribal education departments to promote tribal control and operation of BIE-funded schools on their reservations.

BIE will provide pre-grant application training to support interested tribes and tribal education departments in applying for SIE Program funding. BIE will offer two training sessions via webinar on Tuesday, December 8 and Friday, December 11, 2015. The deadline to apply is  Wednesday, January 13, 2016.

To register, go to the link provided in the table below:

Date Time Webinar/Teleconference
Tuesday, December  8, 2015 11 a.m.-12 p.m. (EST) To register for the webinar click HERE

Telephone Call-in #: 877-991-3748

Passcode: 85152393

Friday, December 11, 2015 4 p.m.-5 p.m. (EST) To register for the webinar click HERE

Telephone Call-in #: 877-991-3748

Passcode: 85152393

For more information, please contact Wendy Greyeyes at wendy.greyeyes@bie.edu or 202-208-5810.

Via TurtleTalk: Supreme Court Oral Argument Transcript in Dollar General

Transcript available here.

Here are some interesting passages:

Justice Sotamayor (questioning counsel for Dollar General at p 10):

States appoint judges. Sometimes they’re elected, but often they’re appointed. We don’t think it lacks being a neutral forum because the State can sue a citizen there. We think of it as neutral because the judges are neutral.

You’re just assuming that these judges are not neutral.

Counsel for Dollar general (asserting that tribal courts are not an inherent feature of sovereign tribal governments at p 16):

The United States obviously did not regard the Tribes’ judiciary as something that is purely a part of their government, because time and again, it has micromanaged them.

And, Justice Breyer, I do want to point out another example of that, and that is the Violence Against Women Act. There, we see the right way of doing this, and that Congress has developed systems that say if this tribal judiciary is a good one which affords due process, then it has jurisdiction over cases.

And we think that’s the right approach here. Congress has the institutional capacity to develop rules like the one you were talking about. It’s a much more ­­[…]

Justice Breyer (trying to frame Dollar General’s argument at p 18):

The nontribal member goes to the tribal land and signs an agreement that says tribal law would apply, and then commits a tort on the tribal lands, and even under those circumstances, and even if the court is functioning well, the tribal court cannot take jurisdiction over his claim. That’s your position. And then to that I say, if I haven’t got it already, why not?


Justice Kagan (characterizing Dollar General’s argument at p 23):

It’s a bit of an odd argument, isn’t it, Mr. Goldstein, that there’s less of a sovereign interest in protecting your own citizens than in enforcing your licensing laws?


Exchange between Justice Kennedy and Dollar General regarding the scope of Congress’s power to delegate jurisdiction to Indian tribes (p 25):

JUSTICE KENNEDY: My ­­ my hypothetical is that the Congress gives Indian powers ­­ Indian tribes complete powers, both civil and criminal, over all persons on tribal Reservations. No Federal review, nothing.

Mr. GOLDSTEIN: That’s unconstitutional because Congress is subject to the Constitution. It would violate the Supremacy Clause; it would violate Article III, which contemplate, sorry…

Neal Katyal, counsel to the Mississippi Band of Choctaw pushing back on Justice Scalia’s suggestion that the Supreme Court’s prior statements on tribal court jurisdiction are merely dicta (p 31):

So yes, I understand that they are dicta, but it is dicta of the most persuasive sort. It is the unbroken rule of this Court, frankly, that in all of these cases, this Court has said there is presumptively jurisdiction.

And indeed, the exhaustion cases would make no sense otherwise because twice this Court said, in tort cases, in Iowa Mutual and National Farmers Union, this Court said you’ve got to go to tribal court and exhaust your remedies.

And Justice Scalia, if the rule in those cases was, hey, tribal courts don’t have jurisdiction, they would have done what you did in your opinion in Hicks, because at page 369 you said, quote, “Since it’s clear tribal courts lack jurisdiction over State officials, adherence to the tribal exhaustion requirement would serve no purpose.

Chief Justice Roberts, on whether there can be due process with all-Indian juries in tribal courts (p 42):

If we’re ­­ if we’re going to evaluate the due process concerns on a case­by­case basis, as a general matter, it ­­ does it violate due process for a nonmember to be subjected to a jury verdict where the jury consists solely of tribal members?

Chief Justice Roberts, again, on the same point (pp 43-44):

Kind of think that ­­ you think the concerns are on the same level: Forcing somebody in a State court to be subjected ­­a New Yorker to be subject to jurisdiction where everyone’s from Massachusetts because it’s Massachusetts court. You think that’s the same as subjecting a nonmember accused of a terrible assault on an Indian to jurisdiction before a jury consisting solely of members of the Tribe.

The Chief Justice, one more time, on the same point when questioning the United States’ attorney Ed Kneedler (p 56):

Is it consistent with your concept of due process, as a general matter, to have a nonmember tried by a jury consisting solely of tribal members?

Justice Scalia, questioning Ed Kneedler on the scope of tribal regulatory jurisdiction in relation to tribal court jurisdiction over tort claims (p 58):

And so I could say that person was subject to tribal regulatory jurisdiction, which can be interpreted, narrowly, to mean the Tribe can regulate that person’s conduct. If he violates that conduct, the Tribe, as a tribe, can fine him. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the regulatory jurisdiction includes the ­­ the power to impose tort law and adjudicate tort law.

Should Colorado public schools be allowed to use Native American mascots?

An excerpt:

Should public schools in Colorado be allowed to use Native American mascots? The nationwide issue is once again taking center stage in Colorado.

The Governor’s Commission on Indian Representation met at Strasburg High School Monday night.

Strasburg’s mascot is the Indians and its logo features the facial profile of a Native American in a large headdress.

“We want to be respectful,” said Strasburg High School principal, Jeff Rasp. “And we don’t want any part of what we portray to be disrespectful to anyone.”

(Our logo) is respectful,” said Rasp. “It’s not a caricature. I think we’ve tried to bring honor and respect to the tribes. We know that any Indian mascot may be considered derogatory. We just feel like ours is not.”

Strasburg High school senior Lindsey Nichols is appointed to the commission. For the past year, she has been reaching out to tribes like the northern Arapahoe and southern Cheyenne who are both native to Strasburg.

To read the entire article, click here.

Via Change.org: Change the Onteora Mascot

As proud students, faculty, and community members of the Onteora Central School District, it is our opinion that the Onteora Indian is no longer a suitable mascot for our school.

For many of us, the mascot represents antiquated stereotypes of Native American people and culture. As a public school, it is our duty to provide a welcoming learning environment to people of all ethnic groups, including the 5.2 million Native Americans living in the United States. The National Congress of American Indians has long been vocal in their opposition to Indian mascots, and it’s about time we listen up.

Not everyone is offended by the mascot, but having such a divisive symbol represent our community is detrimental to school spirit. Mascots are supposed to unite us, not divide us. How are we supposed to cheer for a name that so many find derogatory?

The Adidas Mascot Change program has offered us copious resources to create an inclusive and proud identity for our school and community. Heritage is important. But if history classes have taught us anything, it’s that sometimes, tradition has to make way for change. It’s time for Onteora to move into the 21st century and drop the Indian.

To sign the petition or for more information, click here.