Finding a career by helping others

Stacey Ecoffey

By David Michaud
Native Sun News Correspondent
WASHINGTON –Growing up Stacey Ecoffey was always donating her time to others. Whether that is on weekends or holidays, she saw the work her parents were doing and wanted to join in that.

Now that Ecoffey is the Principal Advisor for Tribal Affairs for the Department of Health and Human Services she spends all her time trying to make things better for other people.

As a child, the graduate of Red Cloud High School knew that she would be helping other people when she grew up, she just didn’t know how exactly.

“When I was growing up in the home that I did and with the parents I had I wanted to go away to school and come home and help my people,” she said. “I remember that I would go places with my dad and everyone knew him and they would talk to him and he would always know how he could help them and what he was going to do for them.”

“When I first thought about what I wanted to do I thought maybe a judge, like my grandpa. Then I got into the INMED program and thought maybe I want to be a doctor,” said Ecoffey. “Then further along I really like the community part of things and with my family we did a lot of community service so I thought about that.”

Keepin It Native Providing Solar Energy to Indian Country

keepin it native


Patrick Murphy, CEO

Keepin It Native, LLC
5501 Eagle Rock Ave. N.E., A-4
Albuquerque, NM 87113

Dear Housing Commissioners, Executive Directors and Tribal leaders in Indian Country:

Greetings. Ya at teeh, Shi ei Patrick Murphy yinishye; Dibelizhini nishli, Kinyaa’aanii ei bashishchiin. Todich’iinii ei dashicheii, K’aa’hanaanii dine’e ei dashinali. Akoteego ei hastiin nishli. My clans are born of the Blacksheep People clan, for the Towering House People clan; and my maternal grandfather was born of the Bitterwatter People clan and my paternal grandfather was born of the Living Arrow People clan.

I am an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation and work within the Solar Photovoltaic industry. I want to extend an invitation to see if my 100% Navajo owned company, Keepin It Native, LLC can be of service to your Tribally Designated Housing Entity and Tribal nation.

I would like to learn more about your housing authority/department’s plans to utilize NAHASDA funds to solarize tribally managed homes within your homelands. We are  also mindful of our Elders who may live off of the electrical system grid.  We have a four (4) solar panel system, off-grid system that can be mounted on a home miles away from the nearest power lines and produce electricity for household use. There would be no need for Environmental clearances, no need to disturb historic archaeological sites or other culturally sensitive areas. We can also offer a six (6) panel system as well – both recharge during household use.

solar panel










Visit my website: and allow us to present how we can provide the following service:

• Development

• Feasibility

• Engineering and Design

• Financing, Grants and Incentives

• Construction

• Project Management

• Sourcing and Procurement

• Installation

• Operations

• Maintenance

• System Monitoring

• Solar Marketing and PR

• Hire us to: Analyze your site, design your system, install your system and provide maintenance.



About Keepin It Native

Keepin It Native is about offering simple solutions to complex problems while remaining human in a world where everything can be manipulated. It is about staying true to the basic tenets in Solar Energy of providing systems that are efficient, cost the lowest price possible while offering systems that can be maintained with great ease. We work with the best electrical engineers in the southwest while providing cultural sensitivity in the design, manufacturing, implementation and maintenance of Solar PV systems. Keepin It Native is all about training and employing local members of federally-recognized tribes that spurs tribal economic development, keeping dollars within Indian Country. We may not win every, and all bids but we stay true to our word and our guiding principles, remembering the days of when agreements were made with a simple hand shake. We feel we are offering the future in the delivery of electrical power though solar energy systems for the home, office and community.

Schedule a telephone conference call soon so that we may be able to provide a service. Please contact me, Patrick Murphy at: (505) 715-3471 to schedule a conference call. If you wish, you can reply with an email message to me at:

I would appreciate it very much to be included on all tribal housing, community development RFP lists, Newsletter mailings, E-blast contact lists, etc. so that we may keep in touch through the future.

If you are an entrepreneur and think you would like to become a retailer, give me a call. Thank you.


For Immediate Release

WINNEBAGO, NE – Ho-Chunk, Inc. is pleased to announce the receipt of a $1.9 million contract to a company in its Flatwater Group division.  The Flatwater Group includes companies specializing in federal business products and services for information technology, office equipment and furnishings, electronics and support services.

The Flatwater Group company, All Native Solutions, completed a $1.9 million contract with the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Tribe providing furniture, fixtures and equipment for a newly constructed building on the Reservation. This included the acquisition of furniture, fixtures and equipment; the installation of those items; as well as the overall project management of the contract. The building is scheduled to open this fall 2013.

31 US Reps. blast online lending crackdown by feds: commentary



By Jane Daugherty

A harshly worded letter criticizing a federal crackdown on online lenders who serve “tens of millions of low-income Americans”

likely will land on the desks of Attorney General Eric Holder and Martin Gruenberg, chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) on Monday.

Without mentioning the 16 online Indian-owned companies targeted as part of a cease and desist order to stop online loans by the state of New York earlier this month, the letter, dated Aug. 22 and signed by

31 members of Congress, demands that the government crackdown stop.

Citing harm to the poorest Americans – the usual customers of the online loans because banks and other financial institutions will not grant them loans or credit cards — the letter sharply criticized recent federal actions.

Feds claim tribal lenders NOT a target; tribes sue NY over crackdown

By Jane Daugherty

In the first positive federal response to widespread Indian protests over government attacks on tribal companies’ online loan businesses, U.S. Department of Justice officials Wednesday (Aug. 21) assured eight tribal officials that they are not being illegally targeted.

The Department of Justice’s Financial Fraud Task Force’s recent activities were “not directed at tribal entities short-term lending businesses,” eight tribal leaders were told Wednesday in a meeting with Deputy Assistant Attorney General Maame Ewusi-Mensah Frimpong, said John Shotton, chairman of the Otoe-Missouria Tribe and chairman of the Native American Financial Services Association (NAFSA). Shotton participated with other tribal leaders in the meeting with Frimpong.

Also on Wednesday, NASFA, which Shotton chairs, sued the state of New York in federal district court demanding that the state stop trying to shut down tribe-owned online lending companies. New York’s attack on at least 16 tribal lending companies launched Aug. 6 was filed by former federal prosecutor Benjamin Lawsky, the new czar of NY’s Department of Financial Services.

State of New York Attacks Sovereign Immunity of Tribes and Internet Loan Companies

By Jane Daugherty

Attacking the sovereign immunity of Indian tribes, the state of New York has ordered Internet loan companies owned by the tribes to stop doing business with New York residents. The tribes’ loan companies generate millions of dollars for Indian education, medical care and other essential services.

Benjamin Lawsky, the new superintendent of New York’s Department of Financial Services, moved against the tribal loan businesses on Aug. 6, issuing a cease and desist order to 35 online and tribal lenders to stop offering what he called “illegal payday loans in New York.”

His action comes on the heals of catastrophic cuts of $552.7 million in federal funding to date for Indian health clinics, schools, housing and child care prompted by the budget sequester. Funding for the tribes was supposed to be exempt from the sequester, the game of political chicken played by Congress in its budget standoff with President Obama, but the exclusionary language was left out.

Public meetings held on mine near Devils Tower

4 Mine

The three largest known mineable deposits of rare earths in the United States are at Mountain Pass, California (pictured), the Bokan Mountains in Alaska, and the Bear Lodge Mountains in Wyoming.

Mine is opposed by Rosebud Sioux Tribe

By Talli Nauman

Native Sun News

Health & Environment Editor

SUNDANCE, Wyoming — Vancouver, Canada-based Rare Element Resources Ltd. held public information meetings July 23 and 24, revealing the company intends to dig not just one open pit, but two, in a strip mining operation “adamantly opposed” by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe near Devils Tower in the Black Hills National Forest.

More than 20 Northern Plains tribes have cultural affiliation to Devils Tower and its environs in the Bear Lodge Ranger District, according to historical documentation collected by the U.S.  National Park Service, which has been in charge of protecting the Native American sacred site since President Theodore Roosevelt declared the 1,267-foot volcanic rock monolith the country’s first national monument in 1906.

“To maximize the return on our drilling investment, we will focus on Whitetail Ridge, where we have the potential to add more than one million tons of HREO-enriched material to the Bear Lodge resource with 10,000 feet of drilling,” Vice President of Exploration James Clark announced in a news release prior to the meetings in Upton and Sundance, Wyoming.

BFC Proudly Presents In the Presence of Buffalo by Dan Brister


BFC is thrilled to announce the publication of “In the Presence of Buffalo: Working to Stop the Yellowstone Slaughter,” the long-awaited published work by BFC’s very own Dan Brister.  Including a forward by celebrated grizzly bear and wildlands advocate, Doug Peacock, “In the Presence of Buffalo” is a unique and inspiring work which sheds intense light on the little known and highly inglorious history of Montana’s livestock industry and explores the deep relationship between First Nations and their buffalo relatives.  Dan goes painfully deep at times, as he courageously shares honest personal accounts of losing his mother as a teenager, and his journey that ultimately led him to become one of the world’s greatest champions of wild buffalo.  The power of “In the Presence of Buffalo” comes directly from Dan’s unique first-hand experiences and his incredible talent.  Weaving historic documentation with the storied challenges the buffalo face and his own personal trials, Dan breathes new life into a traditional American theme.   Every wild buffalo advocate should have this book.

ORDER NOW! (LINK) Proceeds directly benefit Buffalo Field Campaign, and the first 100 copies ordered through BFC’s web site (LINK) will be personally signed by Dan! (Please note that we are awaiting shipment from the publisher. Please allow four to five weeks to receive your signed copy.)

More about the book and author:

In the Presence of Buffalo: Working to Stop the Yellowstone Slaughter is Dan’s powerful tribute to the gentle giants that still roam.  This incredible, beautifully articulated work reveals so much more than the usual accounts of American buffalo that sheepishly ignore the conflict still taking place on the border between Montana and Yellowstone National Park. While numerous books about buffalo have been published, there is no other book like this one.  “In the Presence of Buffalo: Working to Stop the Yellowstone Slaughter,” absolutely stands alone, fearlessly exploring the controversial buffalo wars through not only contextual historic accounts but offers unique, intense personal first-hand experiences the author has had face to face with the gentle giants and those who seek to harm them.

Dan began his dedication to wild buffalo advocacy over sixteen years ago.  While attending graduate school at the University of Montana in Missoula, an alert on a bulletin board caught his eye.   It was a grim tally of wild buffalo that had been senselessly killed and a call for volunteers to stand in their defense.  Each day he would check the board and the numbers would rise.  Cape Cod born and bred, Dan hadn’t realized that wild buffalo still existed, much less that they were in dire straights.  The buffalo called.  Dan answered on a frigid, snowy Christmas night in 1997, which also happened to be his birthday.  He drove his heatless 1970′s-era Volkswagon bus through the cold night for 250 miles in treacherous conditions, arriving at Buffalo Field Campaign, entering into a world that would change his life forever.  Initially planning to volunteer for two weeks, he never left their cause.  Sixteen years and thousands of hours in the field with wild buffalo have now passed.  After his first experiences with the buffalo, Dan decided to complete his Master’s Thesis on their struggle, and the result is his first published work.

Dan has made a life commitment to protecting America’s last wild buffalo.  Evolving from one of our first and most dedicated volunteers, to media coordinator, project director, serving on the board of directors, and now executive director, Dan Brister has a long history with Buffalo Field Campaign.  Honor his work and help the buffalo by ordering “In the Presence of Buffalo: Stopping the Yellowstone Slaughter” today. Proceeds from the sale of In the Presence of Buffalo will directly fund BFC’s work to protect wild buffalo.

Sequester hits the rez

Pine Ridge is feeling the pain

By Anne Lowrey

PINE RIDGE — The Red Cloud-Bissonette family needs a new trailer. Frank, who is disabled, and Norma, his wife, are members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe who live on the sprawling grasslands of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Despite their constant efforts to patch the seams of one of their trailers that was hauled here in 1988, rot and mold continue to climb up the walls.

The family has punched a hole in the ceiling for a chimney for their wood stove, a necessity given the harshness of the winters but a fire hazard in the dry climate.

A second trailer a few feet away, where some family members live, including a grandchild, has no plumbing or running water.

The Red Cloud-Bissonette’s are one of about 1,500 families on a waiting list at a local housing improvement program that was recently told that it is being shut down. “These are real, real low-income people,” said Andre Janis, the housing program’s director. “If we go away, a lot of people are going to be without these services completely.”

Jim Woods of Makah Tribe continues as EPA senior tribal policy advisor for Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington

(July 30, 2013 – Seattle) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that Jim Woods, of the Makah Tribe in Neah Bay, Washington, will continue as the region’s Senior Tribal Policy Advisor for an additional two-year term.

Jim, or K’a’s•cak•a•b’lkh to the Makah, will continue to work with over 271 tribes in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, as part of an Intergovernmental Personnel Agreement with the Swinomish Tribe originally signed in 2011.

“I am pleased that Jim has agreed to extend his term through July 2015, and I am grateful to the Swinomish Tribe for their continuing strong support of Jim and partnership with EPA,” said Dennis McLerran, EPA Regional Administrator. “Our region has by far the largest number of tribal governments in the nation, and Jim has been key to helping us fulfill our trust responsibilities and work together to protect the resources that tribes depend on.”

“EPA has a unique relationship with tribes, as our common goal is to ensure we provide healthy and safe communities and sustainable resources in the Northwest and Alaska for today and generations to come. As EPA’s Senior Tribal Policy Advisor, Jim carries the voices of hundreds of tribal communities and members in a meaningful way to EPA and helps both the agency and tribes find common ground to advance tribal environmental protection objectives,” said Brian Cladoosby, Chairman of the Swinomish Tribe.

Jim will continue to serve under a renewed Intergovernmental Personnel Agreement, as the senior liaison between tribes and the EPA regional office, communicating tribal perspectives, trust responsibility, sovereignty, treaty rights, and self-governance to the Regional Administrator and senior EPA management.

One of Jim’s primary responsibilities is the regional implementation of the Presidential Executive Order on Consultation and Coordination with Tribal Governments, focusing on promoting effective and meaningful government-to-government interaction with tribes in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

Before his appointment to EPA, Jim served as Senior Policy Advisor to the Swinomish Tribe, focusing on environmental policies, natural resource policies, and treaty rights.

Jim previously led the Sustainable Resource Management division for the Makah Tribal Council.

More about Jim Woods:


Powered by WordPress | Designed by: All Premium Themes Online. | Thanks to Top Bank Free Premium WordPress Themes, wordpress themes 2012 and Premium Themes