From Indianz.com, here. Education will be among the top discussion topics.

The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs will hold a business meeting and legislative hearing on May 11. Three items are on the agenda for the business meeting. They are:

S.1163, the Native American Languages Reauthorization Act. The bill extends grants awarded under the Esther Martinez Native American Languages Preservation Act from three years to five years. The committee held a hearing on November 18, 2015.
S.2304, the Tribal Early Childhood, Education, and Related Services Integration Act. The bill creates a demonstration project so tribes, tribal education institutions and tribal organizations can develop early childhood education programs. The committee held a hearing on April 6.
S.2739, the Spokane Tribe of Indians of the Spokane Reservation Equitable Compensation Act. The bill compensates the Spokane Tribe of Washington for land lost to the Grand Coulee Dam. The committee hasn’t held a hearing on the bill during the 114th Congress but prior versions have been advanced in the past.

The legislative hearing will focus on two bills. They are:

S.2417, the Tribal Veterans Health Care Enhancement Act. The bill authorizes the Indian Health Service to cover the cost of veterans’ copays for services rendered at the Veterans Health Administration.
S.2842, the Johnson-O’Malley Supplemental Indian Education Program Modernization Act. The bill updates the decades-old data that the Bureau of Indian Affairs uses to award grants under the Johnson O’Malley (JOM) program.

The meeting and hearing will take place in Room 628 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

From EarthSongs, here. An excerpt:

Alaska Native music and dance traditions are unique expressions of culture and spirituality. Each village has its own unique style of dance and music, reflective of a place in its geographic environment and history. In the 1960s and 70s, the Iñupiaq were among the many Native communities who joined together to stand up against the repression of culture and threat on Native lands by the state.

A resurgence began and led to a cultural renaissance for many Alaska Native tribes, alongside the civil rights movement and the influential 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, which created several Native regional economic development corporations. This documentary introduces us to the Iñupiaq people who carry on these traditions of song and dance, while sharing stories of their ancestors.

With graduation around the corner, this is a good time to remind everyone about the flyers TEDNA and NARF created.  Two flyers were created to assist students and families in their quest to wear an eagle feather at their graduation ceremony.  The first trifold flyer is for students and families and serves to provide guidance on working with School Districts to make the request.  The second trifold flyer is an informational flyer for School Districts to inform them about the significance and importance of the eagle feather to graduating students.

An excerpt from the first flyer:

Every year, Native high school students across the country seek to express their individual and tribal religious beliefs and celebrate their personal academic achievements by wearing an eagle feather at their graduation ceremonies. While most public school districts permit Native students to wear eagle feathers at graduation, some school districts do not allow it. This guide provides information for students and families on steps they can take to ensure that the graduate can wear an eagle feather during the commencement ceremony. It is based on approaches we have found most successful in addressing this issue.

The National Native American Law Students Association has announced its writing competition results.  Congrats to Katie Jones, who won First Prize.  First Prize is: $1,000, sponsored by Sonosky, Chambers & Publication in the Columbia Journal of Race and Law. Katie, who attends Yale Law School, won for her piece Bringing Tribal Self-Determination and Self Governance to Public Schools in Indian Country.  

2016-NNALSA-Writing-Competition-Winners

News stories here and here about the Commission’s latest meetings.

An excerpt from one:

Military veteran Stan Snow captivated the audience with his storytelling ability, sharing the name of the bomb squadron he was a part of in 1954: The Devil’s Own Grim Reapers.

The name might be offensive, Snow said, but when the B-52s shielded Americans from their enemies, people would be happy.

Snow decried political correctness, and praised the warrior spirit, and in the end, he pleaded.

“Please, please, don’t take it away from them,” Snow said.

There was clearly an age gap in the opinions of the roughly 60 audience members in attendance. The younger ones, save for a little girl who spoke first, fell strongly in the camp of tossing the mascot — or, at the very least, reaching out to tribes to make Eaton’s depiction more accurate and authentic and less of a caricature.

The older audience members leaned more toward tradition, keeping a logo that has been a part of Eaton since 1966.