Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Issues & News 03/17/2010

Issues & News 03/17/2010
At the Movies: "La Mission" - March 6 & 8th at NMAI New York

Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian presents

At the Movies: "La Mission"
Tues. April 6 & Thurs. April 8, 6pm
NMAI George Gustav Heye Center, Auditorium

San Francisco’s Mission District is the setting for a powerful exploration of a neighborhood in transition and the people who call it home. Che (Benjamin Bratt), an ex-con who has turned his life around, lives according to a machismo code of honor. A single parent, he is devoted to his teenage son, Jesse, his lifelong friends, and his passion for lowrider cars. When Che discovers Jesse is gay, his first reaction is violent and rejecting. With his world now undone, can he make the hard climb toward understanding?

April 6: Discussion with Peter Bratt and Benjamin Bratt follows the screening.
Invited: Erika Alexander and Jeremy Ray Valdez.

April 8 Invited: Peter Bratt.

Reservations are required for the April 6 screening and recommended for April 8. Please email or call;212.514.3737. Please note that we do not accept reservations via Facebook.

This program is presented in cooperation with Cinema Tropical.
Fwd:RED INK Call for Submissions for 20th Ann Issue
Posted by: "" rosepetl5
Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:24 am (PDT)

[Attachment(s) from included below]

Please fwd to all of your Native students and faculty...

Red Ink is very excited about our 20th anniversary issue coming out in
May. I
wonder if you wouldn't mind forwarding to all Natives, young and old, no
what age or year of academic study. We want to hear from Natives
everywhere on
their perspective of the next 10-20 years. For more information please
take a
look at our website and click on the
"Submissions" Tab.
Thanks again for your

Theme: The focus of the issue is RENEWAL...what it means to tribal
on and off the Rez, and what the future holds when it comes to:
leaders, health, business, tribal governments and courts, nation
fashion and art, language, environment, education, family, and most
successes. The topic is not limited to these subjects; rather these are
just a
few of the subjects that we will face and if you think of others please
them in.
We've gone through eras of Indigenousness, Determination, Resiliency,
Survivalism, and we want to pose the question to Natives everywhere!!!..
next and what?s the next step???? Allow our voices to determine what
path we
will travel down, on terms that we decide. Let?s not allow others to
determine how our people will thrive in the next 10 to 20 years..

Managing Editor
Myspace, Facebook, & Twitter
Ottawa urged to end Indian band councils' post-secondary funding

A new think tank wants Indian band councils stripped of their power to give out post-secondary education grants. Instead, it says, Ottawa should create accounts for each Indian child at birth that would be used later for tuition and living expenses.

The proposal from the Macdonald-Laurier Institute arrives as the Conservative government prepares to unveil a new plan to finance native and Inuit post-secondary education.

For the authors, anything would be better than the status quo.

"The current system is rife with nepotism, corruption, favouritism," according to Calvin Helin, a first-nation entrepreneur and co-author of the report. Chiefs and councils decide who deserves funding and much of the money doesn't get spent on students at all.

"Education is far too important to be politicized in this way," Mr. Helin maintains.

But the idea of cutting funding to the councils has not gone down well with the Assembly of First Nations, which represents Canada's status Indians.

"We see nothing in [the report] that will help increase student access, retention or graduation rates, which must be the goal of any post-secondary program," Karyn Publiese, the AFN's communications director, said in an e-mail.

Among Indians 25 to 64 years of age, 38 per cent have failed to complete high school. For non-aboriginals, the figure is 15 per cent. Only three per cent of registered Indians have a university degree, compared to 18 per cent for the general population.

Registered Indians who finish high school, whether they live on or off reserve, are eligible for grants to attend a vocational school, college or university. Ottawa spends $314-million annually on those grants. But no one has a clue about how much actually benefits students. Ottawa simply gives the money to band councils, who disburse it as they see fit. Any money left over goes into the general budget.

The authors of the report consider this outrageous. "Surplus funds from a national program intended to cover Indian students' post-secondary education should be spent on the students," they assert, "not on band council travel expenses or staff childcare arrangements."

And if you are one of the 70 per cent of Indians who live off reserve, Mr. Helin added in an interview, "you would probably not receive a dime. Nobody knows you and there is no political payoff to financing your education."

The report proposes that the federal government deposit $4,000 in an aboriginal post-secondary savings account for each Indian at birth. Further deposits would follow as the students progress through school, giving them each $25,000 plus interest accrued to use for post-secondary education. The government would send funds for tuition directly to the school, while providing a stipend for living expenses. This would cost no more than the $314-million being spent now. If the student's do not go to post-secondary education, the money would go back into government revenues.

The proposal must confront the dismal legacy of federal involvement in Indian education, which included the infamous residential schools and other abuses. That is why bands now directly control education funding, and one reason they won't easily surrender that control.

Indian and Northern Affairs, in a statement, said it "welcomes" the report, and would include it with other input the department has been gathering over the past two years as it prepares to announce a new plan for Indian and Inuit post-secondary education funding.

For the AFN, the best approach would be for Indian and Northern Affairs to work with natives to design programs together, and to increase funding for those programs, on the grounds that post-secondary grants have not been keeping up with rising tuition.

Beyond the moral imperative of breaking the poverty cycle among Indians on reserves is the practical consideration of the shortages that will emerge in the Canadian labour force as the Boomers start to retire.

"The aboriginal population is the greatest source of underutilized workers" in the country, Mr. Helin observes.

"If Canada wishes to retain its current level of prosperity and its current level of wealth, we absolutely have to get the aboriginal population involved in the work force."

The question is whether continuing to let local chiefs decide who gets to go to college will get the job done.

Posted By: Anthony Jay Henhawk Jr.
To: Members in First Nations & Aboriginal Rights


Dear Friends:

The long awaited date is near. We will be appearing at the Federal Court on March 23,2010 at 4:00 PM Texas time. We have been waiting for almost three years for this case. So I am writing to ask you to please pray as we confront the United States government over the taking of forty-two of our Eagle feathers and the violation of our Religious Rights as American Indians.

If you are anywhere near the McAllen Texas area, you are welcome to come and support our efforts to change laws. We are not suing for money, we are suing for the right to be who God the Creator made us to be, Indian people. We are suing for the right to use sacred objects such as Eagle Feathers in our pow wows and ceremonies. We are suing to change laws that clearly violate our rights as American Indians. Laws that say it is illegal to advertise our gatherings. Laws that say it is illegal to have the exchange of money in our celebrations. That would make honoring a person in the circle against the law. These are laws that give our federal government officers the right to come into our ceremonies, services and pow wows because the moment we advertise and the moment we exchange even a dollar, according to our federal laws, our event ceases to be sacred and the Government thus has the right to come and do as they please.

Remember, these are the people who said, "Just because your parents were Indians does not make you an Indian." I guess someone needs to take the officers of the Department of Interior Fish and Wildlife back to basic 101 classes to learn that like reproduces like.

So please keep us in prayer on March 23, 2010 at 4:00 PM Texas time as we go before the court and make right that which was wrong.

God bless,

Robert Soto, Member and Vice Chairman of the Lipan Apache Tribe of Texas

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