Native American

Four women from the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation in northeastern Utah have turned to the federal court system after they were banished by Ute tribal leadership last year. 

The 2020 census count is coming, and it will determine where funding goes for things like schools, emergency services and health care. For the last several census counts, though, American Indians and Alaska Natives were the most undercounted ethnic group, limiting their access to funds.

 


Nate Hegyi / Mountain West News Bureau

Are the super wealthy better equipped than the government to save America's disappearing wildlands? An ex-Silicon Valley entrepreneur is trying to build the next Yellowstone — a 3.2 million acre, privately-funded wildlife reserve in eastern Montana. It's called American Prairie Reserve, and the organization is doing it by purchasing ranches, kicking out the cattle and replacing them with wild bison.

Ali Budner / 91.5 KRCC

Rapid population growth in the Mountain West means new infrastructure. Under federal law, potential sites for things like road expansions must be surveyed and possibly excavated to see what’s below the ground. That means cultural artifacts can be disturbed and destroyed. 

Julia Williams / 350.org

As thousands in Denver strike for climate action this week, they may notice conspicuous red and black dresses hanging up along a couple city blocks, intended to call strikers’ attention to the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women and children.

Federal agencies are trying to tackle the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women after years of extremely limited record-keeping and uncoordinated attempts to address these crimes. 


jimmywayne / Creative Commons 2.0

As the Mountain West continues to see a disproportionate number of youth suicides, one tribe in Southwest Colorado is opening up a new mental health center on its reservation to deal with alarming rates there. 

The Cherokee Nation has named its first delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives. Former Obama appointee Kimberly Teehee's nomination was approved by the tribe's council on Thursday. Although the treaty that created this nonvoting position is almost 200 years old, it had never been filled.

Colorado Department of Transportation

An archaeological dig in the Mountain West has unearthed several giant sites of Native American ruins. The dig is happening in advance of planned highway construction over the area.

  

It’s called America’s first extreme sport. It’s certainly old … and extreme. Each summer on the Fort Hall Reservation in southeastern Idaho, Shoshone Bannock tribal members gear up for Indian relay. KUER's Mountain West News Bureau reporter Nate Hegyi attended the event early this month with photojournalist Russel Daniels.  

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Native American rights in a 5-4 decision in a case out of Wyoming. Justice Neil Gorsuch, the only Westerner on the court, provided the decisive vote in this case, showing himself again to be sensitive to Native American rights.

Landmark legislation that would address the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women was reintroduced in the U.S. Senate on Monday.

The Top 5: A Look Back At Our Most Popular Stories Of 2018

Jan 1, 2019
Clockwise from top left: Georgina Owen/Colorado Department of Education; National Archives and Records Administration; Fortress Press; Jake Brownell/91.5 KRCC; Jake Brownell/91.5 KRCC

As 2019 gets underway, let’s take one last opportunity to revisit stories and interviews from 2018 that made a mark on you, our listeners and readers. 

Here are the top five local and regional stories that drew the most website traffic in 2018:

Georgina Owen / Colorado Department of Education

The United States has a grim history when it comes to our indigenous people, from the multiple massacres of native men, women and children to Indian boarding schools where native children were taken from their families and in many cases physically and sexually abused. For the most part, this history isn’t taught in our public schools; neither is indigenous culture. But that’s changing, and the Mountain West is on board.

A Texas federal judge just has declared unconstitutional a decades-old law that aims to keep Native American children within their own communities.

On Friday, an intergovernmental organization hosted a hearing in Boulder, Colorado on the ongoing crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women in the U.S. That group faces some of the highest violence and sexual assault rates in the nation.

The National Park Service is giving museums and universities across the country grants to return ancestral artifacts and human remains taken from Native American tribes over the years.

The Bureau of Land Management planned to lease about 18,000 acres of land in southern Colorado for oil and gas drilling. Now, the bureau says it’s holding off so it can consult with the Navajo Nation.

There’s a storm rolling in over the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Montana. The clouds are low and dark as distant lightning cracks over a green prairie. 

Wade Running Crane is starting to get wet.

“This is like a sign from Ashley that she’s here,” he said.


A recent report from a non-profit group aimed at erasing misconceptions about Native Americans says Indigenous people still face discrimination and invisibility.

Tuesday's primary election in New Mexico moved the country one step closer to putting the first Native-American woman in Congress.

Deb Haaland won the Democratic nomination in New Mexico's heavily Democratic 1st district. The former state party chair beat two other candidates. Haaland is a member of the Laguna Pueblo tribe.

In her victory speech Tuesday night, Haaland said "New Mexico made history," adding that hers was a "victory for working people, a victory for women and a victory for everyone who has been sidelined by the billionaire class."

  

Marita Growing Thunder, 19, is sitting in the grass on a warm spring afternoon at the University of Montana campus in Missoula where she studies art. Growing up, she said, her mom was always talking about aunt Yvonne.

Mark Zuckerberg is on the hot seat this week. He’s testifying in front of Congress about Facebook user profiles being mined without permission.  

The data breach prompted a “Delete Facebook” movement that hasn’t really gained any traction.

That’s especially true in the Native American community, where Facebook is much more than sharing cat videos or keeping in touch with friends and family.  

Courtesy of the City of Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs City Council president Richard Skorman has issued a formal proclamation designating October 9th, 2017 as Indigenous Peoples' Day. The move places Colorado Springs in the company of such cities as Portland, Minneapolis, and Denver, all of which have voted to celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day on the federal holiday known as Columbus Day.

American Indian mascots draw controversy. They're most visible as the logos of sports teams… and some in Colorado call some of the symbols racist. Efforts at the state Legislature to try and ban the use or restrict the mascots at schools have failed. That hasn't stopped some schools from working with tribes to find the middle ground.

Strasburg, Colorado, is where the last spike was hammered in the nation's coast-to-coast railroad in 1870. This tiny town about an hour east of Denver is also home to the Indians, Strasburg High School's sports teams.

Bente Birkeland / RMCR

The Governor's commission studying American Indian representations in public schools released its report this week. The group recommends that public schools do not use American Indian mascots, but if they do, they should partner with a tribe to make sure it is done in a respectful way. Right now thirty Colorado schools use some type of American Indian mascot or imagery.

The commission went to four schools to bring American Indian and non-American Indian people together, community members, school boards, and students. This follows failed attempts at the statehouse to ban these types of mascots.

Wednesday Newscast, 10/7/15, 5:32 PM

Oct 7, 2015

Newscast for Wednesday, October 7, 2015, 5:32 PM:
 

Bente Birkeland / RMCR

Governor John Hickenlooper has apologized on behalf of the state of Colorado for the Sand Creek Massacre. The Massacre happened in the early morning of November 29th, 1864.  U.S. Calvary soldiers converged on a sleeping group of mostly women, children and elderly Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians. The 150 year-old event is one of the most notable incidents of violence against Native Americans in the history of the west.