Native Americans

City Council
4:35 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

Seattle Votes To Celebrate Indigenous People On Columbus Day

A bust of Seattle's namesake chief has been in Pioneer Square since 1909.
Brian Glanz Flickr

Seattle’s City Council has declared the second Monday in October as Indigenous People’s Day. They voted unanimously in favor of the resolution to replace city celebrations of Columbus Day and encourage other institutions to do the same.  

Mel Sheldon, former chairman of the Tulalip Tribe, was among many who testified in favor of the measure before the vote. To rounds of drumming and warm applause, he said thanks in his indigenous language, Coast Salish. 

"This initiative makes me proud. It makes all Indian people proud, because you're thinking about the future generations — the children, the little ones, who are not born yet," Sheldon said.

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Honoring Ancestors
5:42 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Seattle Considers Renaming Columbus Day As Indigenous Peoples' Day

A bust of Seattle's namesake chief has been in Pioneer Square since 1909. Should the city do more to recognise its indigenous peoples and leave Columbus Day behind?
Brian Glanz Flickr

Members of Seattle’s City Council and Mayor Ed Murray say they’re in favor of a resolution to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day. But the council postponed a vote on the measure. 

Members of several Native American tribes and their supporters rallied outside City Hall, then filled  council chambers to testify. They said Columbus brought genocide and slavery to the Americas and celebrations of him as a discoverer need to stop.

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Code Switch
1:10 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

The Map Of Native American Tribes You've Never Seen Before

Aaron Carapella, a self-taught mapmaker in Warner, Okla., has designed a map of Native American tribes showing their locations before first contact with Europeans.
Hansi Lo Wang NPR

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 4:14 pm

Finding an address on a map can be taken for granted in the age of GPS and smartphones. But centuries of forced relocation, disease and genocide have made it difficult to find where many Native American tribes once lived.

Aaron Carapella, a self-taught mapmaker in Warner, Okla., has pinpointed the locations and original names of hundreds of American Indian nations before their first contact with Europeans.

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Ancient Americans
11:00 am
Thu May 15, 2014

First Kennewick Man, Now Naia: Seattle-Area Scientist Probes Secrets In Ancient Skeleton

Divers Alberto Nava and Susan Bird transport the Hoyo Negro skull to an underwater turntable so that it can be photographed in order to create a 3D model.
Courtesy of Paul Nicklen/National Geographic

They call her Naia. She was probably about 16, a forager living mainly on fruit in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. One day she ventured into a cave when the floor gave out. She plunged maybe 100 feet and died.

And that’s how divers would find her, some 12,000 years later, alongside saber-tooth cats and other extinct animal bones in the now-underwater cave system.

“It’s the most complete female paleoamerican skeleton, period,” said James Chatters, owner of the Bothell-based company Applied Paleoscience.

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Arts
5:00 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Teens making films 'on the fly' out in Indian Country

Raven Two Feathers of Seattle directs a short documentary about the Suquamish Indian tribe as part of the 2013 SuperFly Filmmaking Workshop.
Josh Marshall Josh Marshall Photography

Each year, 50 teens  from all over the country fly into Seattle to participate in a fast-and-furious film challenge. They have to produce short films in 36 hours, or "on the fly." Which is why the program is called "SuperFly."

Most of the participants are Native Americans, creating Native-themed films out on location on an Indian reservation.

Seattle filmmaker Tracy Rector and her Longhouse Media company launched the workshop 8 years ago.

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Naive American issues
9:19 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Court oks case challenging gas tax compacts 

YAKIMA, Wash. — Washington's Supreme Court says a lawsuit challenging the state's gas tax compacts with American Indian tribes may proceed even though the tribes are not party to the lawsuit.

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Native American issues
7:27 am
Sat August 18, 2012

Case reopens on dozens of Pine Ridge Reservation deaths

A memorial marks the site of the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre in Wounded Knee, S.D. The town is located on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, home to the Oglala Sioux Tribe.
Kristi Eaton AP

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 11:49 am

In the late 1960s, Native Americans fed up with what they saw as years of mistreatment by the federal government formed an organization known as the American Indian Movement.

Founded in Minnesota, the group followed in the footsteps of the civil rights movement and took up protests across the country. One of those protests took place in 1973, when some AIM members occupied the South Dakota town of Wounded Knee, located on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

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I Wonder Why ... ?
4:45 am
Fri May 18, 2012

What's with all of the totem poles in Washington?

Replica of a Tsimshian pole in front of the Burke Museum. Carved by Bill Holm, Curator Emeritus of Northwest Coast Indian Art at the museum, after the originals were destroyed in a fire.
Charla Bear KPLU

With all the totem poles in Washington State, it might surprise you to know the cedar monument isn’t from this region.

Though some local tribes now carve them, they didn’t originally.

In fact, the first one here was pilfered from another state.

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Politics
1:33 am
Wed May 16, 2012

Documents show agency insiders questioned Great Wolf Lodge tax exemption

"Great Wolf Lodge in southwest Washington draws families from across the region to its indoor water park."
Austin Jenkins KPLU

GRAND MOUND, Wash. - Great Wolf Resorts is a Wisconsin-based chain of indoor water parks and hotels. Four years ago, the company expanded what it calls its “paw print” to the Northwest.

It opened its first west coast property at Grand Mound, Washington south of Olympia. The state of Washington declared the resort tax exempt because Great Wolf partnered with the Chehalis Indian Tribe.

Now, Correspondent Austin Jenkins has obtained internal state documents that question that tax-free status – potentially worth tens of millions of dollars.

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Native Americans
6:00 pm
Thu April 12, 2012

Non-monetary benefits a big part of $1 billion tribal settlement

Attorney General Eric Holder announced the settlement Wednesday of breach-of-trust lawsuits filed by 41 American Indian tribes against the United States. Photo by U.S. Dept. of Justice.

Originally published on Thu April 12, 2012 5:09 pm

A landmark settlement announced this week between the federal government and American Indian tribes is expected to have long-term effects beyond the $1 billion in the agreement. Nine Northwest tribes are part of the deal .

Forty-one tribes filed lawsuits alleging the federal government mismanaged tribal accounts for generations. The accounts held decades of royalties on timber, farming, grazing and other leases on land held in trust for the tribes.

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Native Americans
12:14 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Tribes, government agree to $1 billion settlement

YAKIMA, Wash. — The federal government says it will pay more than $1 billion to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by American Indian tribes over mismanagement of trust lands.

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NPR tech news
3:46 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Digital Technologies Give Dying Languages New Life

In an undated photo, members of the Siletz tribe gather for the Siletz Feather Dance in Newport, Ore. The tribe is using digital tools to help preserve its native language.
Courtesy of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians

Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 5:45 pm

There are some 7,000 spoken languages in the world, and linguists project that as many as half may disappear by the end of the century. That works out to one language going extinct about every two weeks. Now, digital technology is coming to the rescue of some of those ancient tongues.

Members of the Native American Siletz tribe in Oregon say their native language, also called "Siletz," "is as old as time itself." But today, you can count the number of fluent speakers on one hand. Siletz Tribal Council Vice Chairman Bud Lane is one of them.

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History
10:39 am
Fri February 24, 2012

'Talking Dictionaries' help preserve endangered tribal languages

iPhone apps for learning the Canadian Inuit language Inuktitut (left) and Tuvan (right), a tongue spoken by a nomadic people of Mongolia.

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 3:17 pm

VANCOUVER, Canada - Usually it is good news when the Northwest appears on a top five list. But this one is not. Our region ranks near the top of a list of global hotspots for disappearing languages. The reason is that speakers of Native American languages are dwindling. Now digital technology is coming to the rescue of some ancient tongues.

Members of the Siletz tribe on the Oregon coast take pride in a language they say "is as old as time itself." But today, you can count the number of fluent speakers on one hand. Bud Lane is one of them.

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Science
10:19 am
Tue December 6, 2011

Native Americans lost half of population in European conquest, new research shows

A new study used the DNA from Native American women in North and South America to show the indigenous population decreased by about half in the centuries following European contact.
miracc Flickr photo

A new study is shedding some light on a long-debated question about Native Americans. Just how much smaller was the indigenous population in North and South America after the European conquest? 

Clues can be found in DNA, according to research conducted at the University of Washington and University of Goettingen in Germany. 

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Priest Abuse
12:29 pm
Tue November 22, 2011

Native Americans sue state, allege abuse at Jesuit school

Pictured are three of the plaintiffs in the suit, from left to right: Katherine Mendez, Dwayne Paul and Theresa Bisset.
Paula Wissel KPLU

YAKIMA, Wash. — Eight Native Americans have filed suit against the Washington Department of Social and Health Services, claiming the agency placed them in a mission school where they were sexually abused by a Jesuit priest decades ago.

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