This week in Native American News

17 Year-Old Dahkota Kicking Bear Brown (Wilton-Miwok) Youngest White House Advisor

After a nomination by his brother and a lengthy application, Dahkota Kicking Bear Brown (Wilton-Miwok) was appointed by President Obama as the youngest ever White House Indian Education Advisor on the the National Advisory Council on Indian Education (NACIE).

There is a lot going on in Indian Country that needs to be fixed. I think that with the other great people on the board we will be able to come up with some necessary solutions to these problems. We are not going to be able to fix all of them, but we’re going to do our best to cover as many as we possibly can. Read the full story here.


Learn more about Jesus Our Savior Lutheran School on the Winnebago Reservation in Nebraska.

Federal Courts Rethink a 30-Year Old Juvenile Justice System

According to a study done by the Annie E. Casey Foundation in 2011, Native American youth are three times more likely to be confined (or incarcerated) than their white peers. 

The federal courts are now looking to reform the juvenile justice system and recommend counseling, treatment, and foster care as alternatives to detention, which should be considered a last resort.

"We've been looking at how our systems can better serve tribal youth," said Larry Roberts, the Interior Department's acting assistant secretary for Indian Affairs. "We really are trying to make sure our youth — for whatever reason if they come into contact with juvenile courts — are given the opportunity to both heal and be productive members of society." Read the full article from the Star Tribune.


Learn more about how Lutheran Indian Ministries has taken part in prison programming for Native Americans.

DiCaprio wins Oscar for Best Actor in The Revenant

No, Leo's win isn't big news for Native Americans, but his Golden Globe acceptance speech from earlier in the year has our attention - still. 

While there has been mixed reviews from native movie goers - some for and some against the portrayal of natives in the film, it goes without saying that in a time where the media has latched on to #OscarsSoWhite, expressing outrage at the lack of African American nominees, a shout out can go a long way. And the fact that we're still talking about, is big news. 

And lastly, I want to share this award with all the First Nations people represented in this film and all the indigenous communities around the world. It is time that we recognize your history and that we protect your indigenous lands from corporate interests and people that are out there to exploit them. It is time that we heard your voice and protected this planet for future generations. Thank you very much. -Leonardo DiCaprio's speech Read the full speech here.

Is Leo this generation's Marlon Brando?


To add to the excitement...

The Revenant's  costume designer, Jacqueline West, along with the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, has set up a scholarship for Native Americans interested in fashion design. Know someone who might be interested? Get more details here. 


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