Wounded Knee: Offer on the table

By Brandon Ecoffey

Native Sun News Managing Editor

RAPID CITY—On Sunday Jim Czywczynski owner of the national historic site of Wounded Knee met face to face with descendants of the Wounded Knee massacre and Oglala Sioux Tribal President Bryan Brewer.

The unprecedented meeting that took place in the Native Sun News office in Rapid City was attended by Czywczysnki, President Brewer, and four descendants of Lakota people who were present at Wounded Knee on Dec 25, 1890, and this reporter. On that tragic day in 1890 the United States Calvary massacred approximately 300 Lakota men, women, and children. The four descendants present were Carmelita Eagle Chasing, Phyllis Hollow Horn, Linda Hollow Horn, and Belva Hollow Horn.

The gathering which was prompted at the request of the descendants and President Brewer was both an opportunity for all parties involved to share their thoughts for the first time to Czywczysnki on his decision to sell the land at Wounded Knee. As well as provide for President Brewer an opportunity to put forth an official offer from the tribe on the land for the first time.

New NWIC building dedicated to tribal environmental research

The Salish Sea Research Center will be fully operational by July 1

This summer, Northwest Indian College (NWIC) will open a new $2.2 million building on its main Lummi Reservation campus that will take science research capabilities at the college to new heights. With the new building, students and faculty will be able to conduct environmental research that supports healthy, clean, and vibrant environments that sustain tribal people.

The new 4,200-square-foot building was aptly named the Salish Sea Research Center. The Salish Sea has sustained tribes along its coast for centuries, and now research at NWIC will help support the health of the Salish Sea’s waters and shorelines.

“While the name of the center contains ‘Salish Sea,’ we are by no means exclusively marine focused. We are also laying the groundwork for an outdoor teaching and research program for native plants on campus,” said Dr. Marco Hatch, Associate Director of the National Indian Center for Marine Environmental Research and Education (NICMERE), which is located on NWIC’s campus.


Robert Newman, candidate for governor in the state of California, has proven that he is a friend of Native Americans. Newman was invited to serve on an advisory board of the Costanoan Rumsen Carmel Tribe in 2012. The Costanoan Rumsen Carmel Indians are one of many landless tribes. Being landless deprives them of the opportunity to celebrate ancient rites and traditions on the land of their ancestors. It also denies them the opportunity to receive Federal recognition and the benefits, which accompany this recognition. Robert Newman has been working with Chief Tony Cerda and others to acquire land for the tribe in their ancestral homeland near Moss Landing, California. The advisory board is also working to establish a housing and vocational training facility for homeless veterans. This will likely be established at the Army base at Fort Ord, near Moss Landing. When asked why he would undertake such responsibilities, Newman answered, “I have a heart for Native Americans and our veterans. This is the right thing to do.”

Running mate Dr. Robert Ornelas candidate for Lt. Governor for California holds the position as an Ambassador for the Congressional Prayer Conference of Washington DC to the Native American Nations.

Granted to him during his run for vice president of the United States election year 2012. Ornelas is recognized as an advocate for native youth due to his powerful influence through hip-hop music group The S.O.G Crew, of which he is the lead vocalist. Ornelas is often speaking on reservations all throughout the country encouraging natives to preserve their culture and seek education.

Once in office Newman-Ornelas will continue to do all they can with all native nations represented here in California.



For more on S.O.G. Crew: http://sogcrew.net/

Wounded Knee sold?

Group and attorney meet with Czywczysnki

RAPID CITY—Wounded Knee will end up in the hands of the Oglala Lakota people. The question that remains however is “will it be an individual tribal member or the tribal government?”

According to sources with access to the negotiations and a high ranking official in the Oglala Sioux Tribe, talks are underway for the purchase of the 40 acre tract of land at the national historic site of Wounded Knee and the other 40 acre lot at Porcupine Butte. The deal could go through as early as the end of this week.

The two sites that were put up for sale by land owner Jim Czywczysnki for a total of $4.9 million are located on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in southwestern South Dakota. The Wounded Knee site is the place where the United States government massacred approximately 300 Hunkpapa and Mnicoujou Lakota in 1890, and is also where the 1973 takeover by the American Indian Movement occurred.

U.S. Census information on Arizona tribes

The Commission of Indian Affairs invites you to review U.S. Census information on Arizona tribes.

This report contains data from the U.S. Census Bureau for persons residing on American Indian Tribal Lands within Arizona. As such, the data is not limited to persons belonging to a specific tribe but rather to those living within the geographic boundaries of each reservation, including trust lands, within Arizona.

This report was prepared for the Arizona Commission of Indian Affairs by the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) from data collected and produced by the U.S. Census Bureau.  A copy can be found at http://azcia.gov/Documents/Links/AZTribesCensusReport.pdf

The commission is looking to make this available as a resource to tribes, non-profits, state agencies, academic entities and others.

Please contact us if you have any questions on the report.


Kristine Fire Thunder, MBA
Director, AZ Commission of Indian Affairs
State Capitol Executive Tower
1700 West Washington Street, Suite 430
Phoenix, AZ  85007
PH:  602-542-4426

Tech giant Apple profiles Native-owned company, Thornton Media in it’s 2013 Developer’s Video at annual conference

“It is truly an honor to be chosen by Apple from among 6 million developers worldwide to be featured in the 2013 Developer’s Video at WWDC” said Don Thornton, CEO/President and co-owner of Thornton Media, the leader in the creation of language revitalization tools for endangered languages.Their work was featured in Apple’s Official 2013 Developer’s Video, a 10-minute video titled “Making a difference. One app at a time”. (Video can be seen at: http://www.apple.com/ios/videos/ )The video project was created for the annual WWDC conference last week June 10-14th in SanFrancisco, CA. The video features four developers, including a segment featuring Thornton Media creating language learning apps in Inuvik, Northwest Territories. Don is an American Indian tribal member (of the Cherokee Nation). His company is located in Las Vegas, NV.

“Apple sent a film crew to follow us up to Inuvik, NT to document our work” said co-owner Kara Thornton, Vice President of the company. “They were very professional and made a wonderful film to honor app developers. There are four developers profiled and we are one of them. The crew was great
to work with and Apple generously provided us two tickets to the WWDC convention”. The husband and wife team travels extensively making language learning apps for mobile devices.

“Apple contacted us a few months before our trip and said they were interested in our work” said Don Thornton. “They asked about our upcoming trip locations and were very interested in one particular upcoming trip – to Inuvik, which is above the Arctic Circle. We asked our clients if they would mind a
documentary crew filming the project and they were OK with it. We were there to work on apps for the Inuvialuktun and Inuinnaqtun languages.” The short film is intended to show app makers who are changing the world for the better. It includes interviews with an Inuvialuktun elder named Lillian
Elias, one of the best remaining speakers of the Inuvialuktun language. The Thornton’s become good friends with many of the clients they work with.

“We have a goal to create the next generation of language learning technologies. We want to make language-learning more game-like, fun and interactive” said Don, “my mother spoke Cherokee until she was 12 and sent to boarding school. She never pass the language on to us.”

Founded in 1995 in Los Angeles, Thornton Media (www.ndnlanguage.com) has created custom language tools for more than 170 endangered languages. The couple travels often to Canada and isolated parts of the United States to create apps for very small languages, some with only a handful
of speakers. “We want to expand our business to include apps that will allow underrepresented languages to text, email, ePub, and web browse in their font” said Don.

The World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) is Apple’s annual week-long convention in which the tech giant unveils its upcoming products, updates and technologies. The convention is attended by5,000 developers from over 60 countries around the world. The WWDC tickets sold out in record
time, just 71 seconds.


Exclusive Video Footage of Interagency Bison Hazing in Montana’s Hebgen Basin & Yellowstone National Park

Stephany Seay, Buffalo Field Campaign, 406-646-0070, bfc-media@wildrockies.org
Mike Mease, Buffalo Field Campaign, 406-646-0070, mease@wildrockies.org

WEST YELLOWSTONE, MT:  Members of America’s last continuously wild bison population, the so-called Yellowstone buffalo, have been intensely attacked by state and federal agencies working under the highly controversial Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP). Volunteers with Buffalo Field Campaign, a wild bison advocacy and media group, document all actions made against the buffalo by state and federal agencies and advocate for thier lasting protection.

Watch an exclusive video from Buffalo Field Campaign showing hazing (forced removal) operations that occurred this week:

Click the image to watch BFC’s video or visit this link.

“These taxpayer funded hazing operations are highly abusive, disruptive, wasteful, unjustifiable and certainly unnecessary,” said Buffalo Field Campaign spokeswoman Stephany Seay. “Wild migratory bison are native to Montana, and are an ecologically extinct keystone wildlife species. The Yellowstone herds are beloved the world over, and should be valued and treated with respect wherever they roam, not brutalized to appease Montana’s livestock industry.”

Hazing of wild bison takes place every spring in the Hebgen Basin during the height of calving season. On May 13 through 15, the Montana Department of Livestock and other IBMP agencies seriously disrupted the ecosystem and local residents with industrial-scale bison hazing, using a large number of government horsemen, law enforcement officers, and a helicopter to evict native wild bison from Montana. Hazing occurs because Montana’s livestock interests refuse to accept wild bison on the landscape. The forced removal of native wild bison in the Hebgen Basin takes place on the public lands of Gallatin National Forest and Yellowstone National Park, as well as on private land where wild bison are welcome.

There are currently no cattle present in the Hebgen Basin, and in most places where wild bison roam in Montana, cattle will never graze.

The Hebgen Basin, west of Yellowstone National Park, is also important habitat for the federally protected threatened grizzly bear.

Buffalo Field Campaign is the only group working in the field, the policy arena and the courts to defend and protect America’s last wild bison populations.  More information about Buffalo Field Campaign and their work to help wild bison can be found at http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org.

Indigenous Water Summit May 22-24, 2013


TransCanada Reps Kicked Out of Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation


“You’re not welcome here… We’ve said no from day one.”

And with these firm words the TransCanada representatives were kicked out of Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation last week. The seemingly aloof TransCanada officials showed up at the Tribal Office in Eagle Butte, South Dakota in an attempt to win the tribe over to the pipeline, but were met with a swift, firm response. Robin LeBeau, Cheyenne River Sioux Councilwoman for District 5, saw them in the parking lot and promptly told them off.

The encounter was caught on video:

More on http://www.tarsandsblockade.org/cheyenne-river/

Protest divides Dartmouth Natives

By Brandon Ecoffey

Native Sun News Managing Editor

HANOVER, NH—A recent protest and the response to it by Dartmouth’s Native American student group has left the Native Alumni of Dartmouth at odds with the Ivy League college’s current Native American students.

Nestled in the forests of central New Hampshire, Dartmouth College is home to one of the most successful Native American student programs amongst America’s elite institutions of higher learning.  Originally founded in 1769 by Eleazer Wheelock and Samson Occom, a Mohegan and primary fundraiser, the college has a long history of educating Native people as the charter states its purpose is “for the education and instruction of Youth of the Indian Tribes in this land.” Dartmouth has a reputation for producing highly successful Native American alumni, a group that includes the likes of Charles Eastman (Santee Dakota), one of the first Native Americans in history to earn a medical degree.

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