Wednesday, June 30, 2010

More Broadband on the Horizon for Indian Country

Tribal communities have some of the lowest broadband penetration rates in the country — some, in fact, don’t have it at all. But that will likely change as the federal government executes its plan to double the amount of commercial wireless spectrum that is currently available.

In a Presidential Memorandum issued on June 28, President Obama outlined how federal agencies will work together to free up 500 MHz of federal and non-federal spectrum over the next 10 years.

The memorandum directs the FCC, in collaboration with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, to develop a specific plan and timetable for identifying and making the spectrum available by Oct. 1, 2010.

The memorandum is one part of a four-point plan developed by the Obama Administration to increase spectrum, which is part of the broader National Broadband Plan. Other steps include enacting legislation to facilitate the transition; taking inventory of the spectrum now in use; and developing tools that allow spectrum to be used more efficiently (tapping into underutilized spectrum and spectrum-sharing technologies).

Once the spectrum is freed up — and some may be available within the next five years — most will be auctioned off for licensed mobile broadband. Some, though, will be available for free for unlicensed use.

The need for additional spectrum is undeniable. In recent years, according to the White House, the amount of information flowing over some wireless networks has grown at more than 250 percent per year. Over the next five years, the amount could be 20 to 45 times what it was in 2009.

The need for broadband in tribal communities is undeniable too. Here the penetration rate is estimated at less than 10 percent.

Loris Ann Taylor, executive director of Native Public Media, said, “Freeing up spectrum for tribal-centric deployment in Indian Country can provide great opportunities for information systems, technology start ups, mobile use and connectivity for residential and anchor institutions. This, in turn, could spur critically needed jobs and other economic and social benefits for Native Americans.”

As tribes are included in the National Broadband Plan, it’s important that they are part of its implementation. In early June, the FCC established a Native Nations Broadband Task Force to assist the agency in increasing broadband deployment and adoption in Indian Country. Then on June 22, the FCC appointed Geoffrey Blackwell, a tribal economic infrastructure expert, to work with tribes in carrying out the plan’s recommendations for bringing broadband to all tribal communities. He will also oversee the new task force and establish an Office of Tribal Affairs.

On the spectrum-freeing initiative, Taylor said, “Tribal consultation will be critical to the White House effort; and, as a result, it is critically important that the new Office of Tribal Affairs at the FCC is fully staffed and budgeted to help guide tribes’ inter-governmental involvement as wireless spectrum is freed up.”

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

IRS Investigates Miccosukee and Tribe’s Former Chairman

The IRS is investigating allegations that the Miccosukee Tribe in Florida distributed millions of dollars in cash from its gaming operation to its tribal members, who never reported it as taxable income, according to a Miami Herald story published yesterday.

The Miami Herald reported that every quarter the tribe used armored vehicles to deliver the cash, totaling up to $10 million, to around 650 members, each receiving approximately $61,000 per delivery. The paper did not say how long the tribe had been doing this.

The tribe has never submitted a plan for distributing casino profits to members to the federal government, which is required under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, the paper said.

In a related probe, the IRS is investigating the Miccosukee’s former chairman, Billy Cypress, who allegedly misappropriated millions of dollars from tribal coffers for personal use and never reported it as income.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Senate Confirms Tracie Stevens as NIGC Chair

On June 23, the Senate confirmed Tracie Stevens as chair of the National Indian Gaming Commission.

In a press statement issued upon Stevens’ confirmation, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said that she “brings to the commission a wealth of expertise and experience from a distinguished career working on both tribal government and gaming issues.”

Stevens, nominated by President Obama on April 28, 2010, is an enrolled member of the Tulalip Tribes in Washington. She most recently served as senior advisor to Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk, but she also served as senior policy analyst with the Tulalip Tribes’ government affairs office and on various state, regional and national Indian gaming-related boards and committees.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Participants Needed for Online Indian Country Child Abuse Survey

A survey was launched earlier this week by the National Indian Child Welfare Association, the Calumet campus of Purdue University and Prevent Child Abuse America to examine the nature of child abuse and other types of victimization in Indian Country.

The confidential, online survey, called “A Hand to Hold Onto,” is open to American Indian/Alaska Native young adults (18 to 25 years-old) and takes about 30 minutes to complete. Researchers want to survey a total of 1,000 youths before Aug. 1, 2010. All participants will receive a $10 online gift certificate for

To participate in the survey, go to:

Thursday, June 24, 2010

NY Cigarette Tax Legislation Approved — Will Tribes Negotiate, Sue or Protest?

If the state of New York thinks collecting $150 million in revenue from the new tax imposed on cigarettes sold on Indian reservations is a sure thing, it could be in for a surprise.

The new law, approved on Monday, makes cigarettes sold on reservations to non-Indians taxable. It also increased the per/pack tax by $1.60, bringing the total per/pack tax statewide to over $5.00, and upped the tax on all other tobacco products to 75 percent of the retail price. The law goes into effect on Sept. 1.

The governor's office has the power to negotiate tax-collection plans directly with the tribal leaders, according to a story published by WGRZ-TV in Buffalo on June 23, and at least one tribe, the Oneida, appears willing to negotiate.

Although tribal leaders don’t want to take the state to court, failure to negotiate an agreement that works for both sides may leave them no choice.

There is always the chance too that tribal people could react as they did when the state tried to enforce such a tax in 1997: with protests.

"The big unknown is how the people on the reservations will react," Robert Batson, a lawyer-in-residence at Albany Law School's Government Law Center, told WGRZ. "It's a matter of whether they'll react like they did 13 years ago or if they'll accept it or if they make another legal challenge."

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Prairie Band Potawatomi Brings Higher Ed to Its Reservation

Through an agreement with Friends University, members and employees of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation can now obtain a college degree without leaving the reservation.

Beginning this fall, tribal members can enroll in a Bachelor of Business Administration in Business Management degree completion program; and in spring 2011, they will be able to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Management and Leadership (OML) and a Master of Business Administration (MBA).

Classes for these on-site programs will be taught at the PBPN’s Government Center in Mayetta, Kan., meeting once per week. Depending on the program, degree-completion and graduate coursework can be completed within 13 months to 24 months.

Other degree programs are offered online and at the university’s Topeka Education Center.

Founded in 1898, Friends University is an independent, Christian-based liberal arts institution with an enrollment of about 3,000. Its main campus is in Wichita but it has offered programs for adult students in Topeka since 1993.

The tribe has around 5,000 members, though not all live on the reservation. Over the last three years, it has funded the college education of, on average, 120 members per semester.

Kristen Aitkens, the tribe’s director of education, believes the partnership with Friends will mean more members who live on the reservation will pursue a higher education.

“We are trying to provide another outlet for those students who choose to live and work on the reservation,” she said.

The tribe is the first in Kansas to partner with a university to provide an on-reservation classroom.

Tribes interested in a similar arrangement with one of their local colleges, be prepared to invest resources in selecting the right school. Aitkens said her department considered proposals from more than one university. She also underscored the importance of communications and looking at things that can’t be seen on paper, like how a university representative treats tribal members.

“We were fortunate that Friends University took a great interest in our community and are very open with the education department and utilize our input to best meet the needs of the people. Friends University is truly invested in this partnership and is taking their part very seriously,” Aitkens said.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Tax on Cigarettes Sold on New York Reservations to be Voted on Today

Today, state lawmakers in New York will be voting on legislation that would make cigarettes sold on Indian reservations to non-Indians taxable.

The proposed law, which is expected to pass, is included in New York Gov. David Paterson's latest in a series of emergency spending bills aimed at decreasing the state’s $9.2 billion deficit.

The bill also would increase the tax on a pack of cigarettes by $1.60, making the total per/pack tax $4.35 (the highest in the nation), and would raise taxes on other tobacco products.

Tobacco sales is major source of income for tribes and tribal members in the state. To say the least, they are outraged by this proposed law.

J.C. Seneca, owner of Native Pride, which sells cigarettes and other tobacco products on the Seneca reservation, was quoted as saying in an article published by YNN Rochester on June 19, “We have treaties that have guaranteed us tax immunity, and, certainly, they need to uphold those treaties; they need to recognize and honor our sovereignty and leave us alone.”

Seneca also told YNN that the actions of the governor in the last week alone have set tribal relations with the state back two decades.

Friday, June 18, 2010

San Manuel and PBS Station Partner to Roll Out Native American TV Channel

San Bernardino, Calif.-based KVCR TV, a PBS affiliate, in partnership with the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, will roll out a television channel that broadcasts Native American programs 24 hours a day.

This first-of-its-kind channel, scheduled to launch next spring, will focus on Native American and Alaska Native history, culture and current events.

While programming still needs to be developed by the channel’s operations board, which has not been put together yet, Kenneth Shoji, a spokesperson for the tribe, told AIR, “It is envisioned that shows will run the gamut, from documentaries, films, news programs, entertainment, sports and special programs in multiple genres.”

The channel will not be commercial-free. Shoji said it will be consistent with FCC rules and PBS underwriting guidelines, which allow sponsor statements to precede or follow programs.

The channel is being funded by a $6 million donation from the San Manuel. It will be paid to the station in annual installments during the first three years of operation.

KVCR, which serves the Los Angeles market, is owned by the San Bernardino Community College District. The San Manuel’s 800-acre reservation is located just north of Highland. The owner/operator of San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino, the tribe is one of the largest employers in the Inland Empire.

This is not the first time the tribe and station have worked together. The tribe recently contributed $1.5 million to KVCR so that it could purchase new digital master control equipment and convert from analogue to digital broadcast and expand from one to six channels. They have also partnered in the development of radio and television programs, including a three-part, 12-episode documentary called People of the Pines.

James Ramos, the tribe’s chairman, said in a press release announcing the channel that partnering with KVCR supports the tribe’s mission of eradicating stereotypes that often stem from inaccurate depictions of American Indians in commercial television.

“Supporting this endeavor will help achieve that objective by allowing us to tell the story of Native Americans through themes and images that speak the truth and educate our audiences,” he said.

The channel will also establish another outlet for Native American-produced films and television programs.

“We fully anticipate this unique channel to become a model for public-television programming across the country,” said Larry R. Ciecalone, president of KVCR.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Falmouth Institute at NCAI, June 20-23, 2010

Visit Falmouth Institute at NCAI's Mid-Year Conference, June 20-23 at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City, SD. Visit us at Booth #103 to learn more about our Tribal Certificate Programs and exciting new training sessions we've created for Indian Country.

For details on NCAI's Mid-Year Conference, please click here. For information on Falmouth, please click here.

Menominee Delegation Goes to Kurdistan

A delegation of three Menominee leaders and three tribal members have embarked on a cultural exchange trip to Kurdistan, located in war-torn northern Iraq, according to an article published by the Shawano Leader on June 16.

This is the Menominee’s first foray into international relations, the Leader reported, and it was prompted by an invitation from a Kurd representative who traveled to the tribe’s Wisconsin reservation last fall.

As a cultural exchange visit, delegation members will meet with regional governmental leaders, tour archeological sites, visit Kurdish colleges, where they will perform traditional Menominee songs and dances. They will also discuss potential joint business ventures.

The delegation left on Wednesday and will return on June 23.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Shinnecock Finally Receive Federal Recognition

It took more than 30 years, but the Shinnecock Indian Nation in Long Island, N.Y., has finally received its federal recognition, according to a piece published by the New York Times on June 15.

The 1,292-member Shinnecock, which has an 800-acre reservation in posh Southampton, plans to build a casino. With the federal recognition, it can build a Class II (video slot machines) facility.

However, the tribe and state and local officials would rather have the casino located off-reservation, maybe in the Big Apple or its suburbs, and the tribe also wants a Class III facility (Vegas-style), which requires a deal with the state. According to the Times story, negotiations between the state and Shinnecock have already begun.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Gulf Oil Spill a “Slow Death” for Houma Tribe

Spread out across several parishes in coastal southeastern Louisiana, the 17,000-member United Houma Nation, a state-recognized tribe, has prepared for and survived some of the most devastating hurricanes. But the oil leak that has pumped millions of gallons of toxic crude into the Gulf of Mexico is nothing like a hurricane. It’s far worse.

Houma citizens have been living, hunting, fishing, shrimping, crabbing, trapping and harvesting oysters in the Louisiana’s coastal marshes and wetlands for hundreds of years. Yet as Principal Chief Brenda Dardar Robichaux last week said in her testimony before members of the House Subcommittee on Insular Affairs Wildlife and Oceans, which is investigating the impacts of the BP spill, “This lifestyle is now in jeopardy.”

AIR talked to Dardar Robichaux about the spill — its impact on the tribe’s communities, the tribe's fears and what its citizens need to survive. Here is what she had to say:

AIR: Has the tribe ever contemplated a disaster like this?

Dardar Robichaux: No, we have not. We have learned to handle hurricanes over the years. We were actually impacted by four major storms over the last five years — Katrina, Rita and, three years later, Gustav and Ike. We know how to prepare, how to evacuate. We come home, we gut out our homes, we repair our fishing vessels and we move on. This is totally different than any hurricane. It’s very new to us and quite frightening.

AIR: How do you even prepare for something like this?

Dardar Robichaux: I don’t know that you can. The unknown is agonizing. It’s almost like a slow death because we know just with our history we have had with the four hurricanes in the last five years that another one is going to hit our area. We are just praying that the oil spill will be cleaned up before that happens. … If we are impacted by a hurricane prior to this oil spill being cleaned up, you know, that’s more or less the death of our communities.

Sometimes it is hard to come up with the words. I’m usually not at a loss for words, but when you think of the impacts, short- and long-term, that this can have on our communities, you almost can’t go there because it’s too painful.

We are a strong, resilient people. You know, we have survived a lot of challenges throughout our history. To think that this is our greatest challenge and we have no control over it. …

AIR: It might mean relocating for many?

Dardar Robichaux: It might mean relocating for many. With our communities along the coastline of southeastern Louisiana, we are the first to feel the effects of coastal land loss. We are often left out of any type of levee protection system. There are no water control structures to speak of that protect us. There is no barrier island. So, we have learned to adapt.

AIR: Has the oil, in any shape or form, hit your homeland yet?

Dardar Robichaux: Oh, definitely. It’s right up against a lot of our marshes and right up in our communities.

AIR: Does the tribe have an emergency response team that is responding to it?

Dardar Robichaux: We have done the best that we can through other organizations and try to provide services. I made two trips to Washington trying to find a contact person to work with BP, to see what we can do to protect our own land because we know the marshes; we know what needs to be protected better than anyone else. …

AIR: What are your priority needs?

Dardar Robichaux: Making sure we have enough resources to be able to provide for our families — just basic needs of food and clothing and whatever that looks like — just basic needs of a family. …

We need manpower. We need some type of vehicle that we can provide services, such as mental health services because we have great concern for everyone, from the children to our elders, and the impact it’s having that way.

A lot of our tribal citizens who are fishermen did not have opportunities for education. That did not come until the Civil Rights Act in the mid 60s. We have great concerns of them navigating their way through the [BP] claims process, great concern that they will be taken advantage of. So, we need case management to help them through that process as well as outreach. There is a lot of accurate, current information being disseminated. Because we are spread out through such a large area, we have concerns that information is not reaching our tribal citizens in an accurate and credible manner. …

AIR: In your testimony [Subcommittee on Insular Affairs Wildlife and Oceans], you said you need monitoring equipment for air, water and land.

Dardar Robichaux: Because people who are actually doing some of the cleanup work we feel are not really being educated on the long-term impacts of what this is going to do to their health. Normally, the training that is done lasts 40 hours … if you are going to work with this hazardous material. The training that they are being given is actually a four-hour training. …

To listen to Dardar Robichaux’s testimony, which was delivered on June 10, click here.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Obama Proclaims Today King Kamehameha Day

President Obama has proclaimed today, June 11, 2010, King Kamehameha Day.

The proclamation comes about two centuries after the Native Hawaiian king brought the Hawaiian Islands together under a unified government. In the proclamation, Obama said King Kamehameha’s courage and leadership earned him the legacy as the “Napoleon of the Pacific.”

Obama also paid tribute to the history and heritage of the Aloha State. He said: “The Hawaiian narrative is one of both profound triumph and, sadly, deep injustice. It is the story of Native Hawaiians oppressed by crippling disease, aborted treaties, and the eventual conquest of their sovereign kingdom. These grim milestones remind us of an unjust time in our history, as well as the many pitfalls in our Nation's long and difficult journey to perfect itself. Yet, through the peaks and valleys of our American story, Hawaii's steadfast sense of community and mutual support shows the progress that results when we are united in a spirit of limitless possibility. In the decades since their persecution, Native Hawaiians have remained resilient.”

Click here to read the full proclamation.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Cherokee Student Wins Top Award at Intel Science Fair

While most high school students (and adults) have no idea how algae can be turned into bio-fuel, Charlotte Kirk, an 18-year-old member of the Cherokee Nation, does. She apparently knows quite a bit about it as it was the subject of her project that placed third in the category of engineering at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2010, held last month in San Jose, Calif.

For her project, more specifically, she designed a method to differentiate among the various algae species using genetic sequencing. The method expedites the process of converting algae into bio-fuel by allowing scientists to predict fuel yield and detect those algae that are toxic to microorganisms used in the fermentation process.

Winning an award at Intel ISEF is a huge deal. It is the largest science, engineering and technology competition in the world, with 1,300 to 1,500 contestants from around 50 countries. Several million others strive to be finalists every year but never make it that far. The top awards not only come with exposure and prestige, but there is college money as well. Kirk’s award came with a $1,000 scholarship.

The award at Intel ISEF was not Kirk’s first for this project. It won her first-place at the 2010 Cherokee Nation Science and Engineering Fair and a Grand Award at the 2010 National American Indian Science and Engineering Fair in Albuquerque. She also won the Muskogee Regional Science Fair and placed second in the Regional Junior Science and Humanities Symposium.

Kirk, who graduated from Westville High School this spring, could not be reached for an interview, but Sammye Rusco, a spokesperson for the Cherokee Nation, told AIR that the young scientist will be going to college at MIT. In addition to her Intel ISEF scholarship, she has received a $38,000 scholarship from MIT and $1,500 from the Regional Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. Kirk plans to pursue an education in biochemical engineering with an emphasis on alternative energy.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

CEO of Ute Tribal Enterprises Suspended

Roderick "Rod" K. Ariwite Sr., CEO of Ute Tribal Enterprises, has been suspended from his post, as reported in an article published by Deseret News today.

The Ute Tribe Business Committee, which issued the suspension, did not provide Deseret News with details on what prompted its actions, but the tribe’s attorney said there is an ongoing investigation. Anonymous sources, however, said that the allegations are related to the misuse of tribal funds.

An FBI spokesperson confirmed to Deseret News that the agency was contacted by the tribe to investigate the allegations.

Ute Tribal Enterprises oversees the tribe’s businesses, which include two convenience stores and a grocery store. Ariwite was hired as CEO in 2009.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Southern Calif. Tribes Join Forces to Fight Proposed Landfill

Southern California tribes are banding together to fight a proposed 308-acre landfill that would be located near the Pala Indian Reservation, according to an article published by KPBS on June 4.

The tribes contend the landfill, to be called the Gregory Canyon Landfill and Recycling Center, will destroy the land and contaminate groundwater and the San Luis Rey River. The Pala Band says the land is also a sacred pilgrimage site.

Gregory Canyon Ltd. says the tribe’s “sacred land” claim is false, that tribal members have never had access to the site or used it for tribal gatherings.

San Diego County voters approved the landfill in 1994 and again in 2004.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Simple Interventions Slow Trends in Native American Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity is an epidemic in Indian Country, with almost 50 percent of its kids overweight, but tribal communities are not powerless in the fight against it. In fact, as a recent feasibility study concludes, there are simple ways that they can intervene and help stop the trend.

The study, conducted by Kaiser Permanente and the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (NPAIHB) from 2001 to 2006, is the first to target obesity prevention among Native American children starting at birth. It included 205 families from three tribes in Oregon and Washington.

The research focused on interventions, community-wide and in-home, all designed by tribal community health workers. The goals were to increase breastfeeding initiation and duration, limit the introduction of sugar-sweetened beverages to infants and toddlers and promote the consumption of water for thirst among toddlers.

The community-wide interventions, designed in six-month cycles, had five strategies: raising awareness, providing health education, facilitating individual behavior change, augmenting public health practices and modifying environments and/or policies related to breastfeeding, sugar-sweetened beverages and water consumption.

Most community-wide interventions were media-based, like brochures, videos, newspaper articles and flyers. Yet the tribes also made environmental, public health practice and policy changes. One created a breast-feeding room at its clinic; another passed a resolution to stop buying sugar-sweetened beverages for tribally sponsored events; and one negotiated with the hospital to which it contracted out pregnancy care to not give out formula packs to new mothers.

The in-home interventions were customized to the needs of the family, such as a new mother having difficulty breastfeeding, and were tested with just two of the three tribes.

The results were positive. Although Body Mass Index (BMI), a measure of weight in relation to height, increased for all of the children in the study, the rise was far less in the tribes that received the community intervention and in-home visits. BMI scores increased by 30 percent in the tribe that received community intervention alone, but they rose by only 8 percent in the tribes that received both interventions.

Just as positive were the signs that Native American people are ready to make behavior changes. In a survey given at the end of the intervention, the families were asked about their confidence level in drinking more water and fewer sugar-sweetened beverages: 90 percent said they were confident they could help their family drink more water and 82 percent said they would limit sugar-sweetened beverages.

Njeri Karanja, lead author and investigator with the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, also sees the participant retention numbers as indication that they are ready. “Eighty-percent of the parents came back and brought their children to be measured,” she said.

While the three tribes that participated seemed ready to take the leap, what about the nation’s other 561 tribes? Are they ready to create and commit to similar intervention plans, ones that may include changes in practices and policies?

“I think a lot of tribes, given the recent increase in diabetes and seeing it occurring at younger and younger ages, are ready for that. They want to see their children have a good quality of life. They know their health system, [which is] critically under-funded, is going to be affected by increasing numbers of people with diabetes,” said Tam Lutz, study co-author and junior investigator with the NPAIHB.

The study, funded by the Indian Health Service and National Institutes of Health through the Native American Research Center for Health, has been published online in the Journal of Community Health.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Construction of Okla. City Indian Cultural Center Could Be Delayed

Construction of the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum in downtown Oklahoma City could be delayed because lawmakers failed to approve a key funding measure — a $43 million bond package — before the legislative session ended, according to a piece published on on June 2.

State Sen. Harry Coates said that there is enough funding to continue construction for a few months, but, after that, work could come to a halt.

The $170 million center, which will occupy more than 250 acres near the Oklahoma River and Interstate 35, was scheduled to be finished in 2014.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Tonto Apache Reservation Quadruples in Size

Earlier this week, the Tonto Apache Tribe in Arizona signed a deal that added 293 acres to its 85-acre land base, The Payson Roundup reported on June 1.

The new acreage, located at the southern edge of Payson, was obtained by purchasing about 405 acres of privately owned land, which contains one of two peat bogs in the state, and then swapping it for the 293 acres adjacent to the reservation, where the tribe’s Mazatzal Hotel and Casino and housing for many tribal members are located.

The deal was in the works for more than 15 years. “This has been a long process. This will allow for us to bring other tribal members who are living off-reservation home,” Tribal Council member Vivian Burdette told The Payson Roundup.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

COPS Grant Funds Demonstration Tribal Community Policing Project

The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) has awarded $500,000 to the Mendocino County (Calif.) Sheriff's Office to fund a community policing demonstration project in collaboration with the Round Valley Indian Tribes, the Round Valley Unified School District and the U.S. Forest Service, according to a press release issued by DOJ on June 1.

The award will fund the hiring of two Mendocino County deputies who will reside on the Round Valley Reservation for 18 months and work with the tribes' leadership and community members on projects that address drugs, crime and school violence.

The award will also fund a technical assistance provider who will offer on-site training, conduct evaluations of the project and document promising practices.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tribes Must Be Consulted with in Missouri River Study

Representatives from several South Dakota tribes have told the federal government that they must be consulted with during a five-year federal study of the Missouri River and its reservoirs, according to an Associated Press report published by

At a recent meeting in Fort Pierre, tribal officials told the Army Corps of Engineers about erosion, sedimentation and water supply problems along the river.

More than 40 meetings will be conducted this summer in states along the river to get feedback for conducting the study, which was authorized by Congress.