This Week in Native American News (5/25/18): Biking the Trail of Tears, Training Youth, and Learning from Treaties

this week in native american news lutheran indian ministries

May 25, 2018

Bike Sharing Comes to the Rez

Photo: courtesy of Lime Bikes

Photo: courtesy of Lime Bikes

Over 119 bike-share systems now exist across America, and with the rise of dockless bikes, more and more communities are gaining access to these crucial mobility tools. But if you look at the map, you’ll see that the spread of bike-share services has left out an entire population: the more than 570 Native American tribes in the United States.

Today, Lime (formerly known as LimeBike) took the first step toward providing access for a Native American territory. The dockless bike-share company will launch in the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, as part of a larger northern Nevada regional partnership that will also bring bikes to the University of Nevada, Reno and a handful of cities. The Reno-Sparks Indian Colony is situated not too far outside the cities of Reno and Sparks, and tribal leaders told Lime that they’re looking forward to the opportunity to reduce automobile traffic and boost mobility for residents.

Read the Full Story Here


In other cycling news...

trail-of-tears-ride-lead-1527084041.jpg Josh Newton/Cherokee Nation lutheran indian ministries native news

Cyclists of the Cherokee Nation Ride the Trail of Tears

On June 1, Wildcat will join nine fellow members of her Cherokee Nation tribe and eight others from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to bike nearly 1,000 miles from New Echota, Georgia, to Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Together, they will follow in the footsteps of their ancestors—footsteps that walked the Trail of Tears during the federal government’s forced removal of Native Americans from the Southeastern United States in the 1830s. The ride, called “Remember the Removal,” is meant to honor those ancestors, some 4,000 of whom died during the march.

Across the Country (and in Canada), Organizations are Helping Youth Excel

A student works on a welding project at a Fort McMurray welding camp last year. Six Nations Polytechnic has started a new We Are Welders program aimed at getting women to learn welding. (David Thurton/ CBC) lutheran indian ministries native news

New Six Nations program trains women to become welders

A Six Nations school has launched a new program to train low-income women to be welders.

Six Nations Polytechnic (SNP) will teach the trade tuition-free to women, Indigenous or not, to fill what it says is a dramatic local need for more welders. Over 28 weeks, the women will also learn resume building, confidence building, life skills and trades math. They'll finish with an eight-week on-the-job placement.

Produce, like kale, can grow along the modular farm's four vertical walls using automated lighting, heating and watering systems. (CBC) lutheran indian ministries native news

La Loche modular farm to grow fresh produce for school

By fall there will be fresh, locally-grown produce in La Loche for the high school's breakfast and lunch programs and the wider community, thanks to a modular farm the size of a shipping container.

Students from Dene High School are training to grow and harvest their own produce using a $220,000 modular farm they'll receive through a grant from President's Choice Children's Charity.

Tanski Chrisjohn gets help adjusting the microphone at a school board meeting from Denver Superintendent Tom Boasberg. PHOTO: Melanie Asmar lutheran indian ministries native news

Denver doesn’t graduate half of its Native American students. This charter school wants to change that

The Denver school district is not serving Native American students well. Fewer than one in four Native American sixth-graders were reading and writing on grade-level last year, according to state tests, and the high school graduation rate was just 48 percent.

Bissonette aims to change that by opening a charter school called the American Indian Academy of Denver. The plan is to start in fall 2019 with 120 students in sixth, seventh, and eighth grades and then expand into high school one grade at a time.

Why the Very First Treaty Between the United States and a Native People Still Resonates Today
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Agreements like the Treaty With the Delawares (1778) are powerful reminders of American Indian nations’ legal right to territorial sovereignty. (Paul Morigi) Read more: Give the gift of Smithsonian magazine for only $12! Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter

Agreements like the Treaty With the Delawares (1778) are powerful reminders of American Indian nations’ legal right to territorial sovereignty. (Paul Morigi)
Read more:
Give the gift of Smithsonian magazine for only $12!
Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter

The narrative of the American Revolutionary War is often presented as a story of tidy alliances: Britons and Germans on one side, Americans and French on the other. But what of those over whose ancestral lands the conflict was waged—Native Americans?

The first-ever treaty concluded by the fledgling U.S. and a Native American nation was the Treaty With the Delawares, endorsed by representatives of both factions in 1778. Predictably, the Continentals had reached out to the Delaware people for reasons of military exigency. American forces were looking to stage a strike on the British stronghold of Detroit, which would necessitate travel through Delaware Indian territory. The Patriots’ hope was that the Delawares could be coaxed out of neutrality with a favorable treaty.

Following negotiations between Continental ambassadors and the moderate Delaware leader White Eyes, a treaty was signed on both sides. That groundbreaking document, on loan from the National Archives in the latest in a series of short-term treaty loans, joined the National Museum of the American Indian’s “Nation to Nation” exhibition earlier this month.

To this day, 18th and 19th-century treaties are invoked in courts of law in cases pertaining to the enduring question of Native American land rights. Hirsch’s ultimate hope is that visitors to “Nation to Nation” will come away with a grasp of how treaties have shaped this country and its relation to native peoples, and how those treaties continue to influence us even now.

Read the Full Story Here


In Other Treaty News...

Portrait of Gen. William T. Sherman. Sherman made up half of the peace commission that negotiated the U.S.-Navajo Treaty, a copy of which was recently discovered in a Massachusetts attic. (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division) lutheran indian ministries native news

How a rare copy of the U.S.-Navajo Treaty, once thought lost, was found.

What historical treasures could be in your attic?

When C.P. “Kitty” Weaver sat down to write a biography of her great-uncle Samuel Tappan, she discovered in his personal papers a handwritten copy of the U.S.-Navajo Treaty, which was negotiated and signed in New Mexico 150 years ago this June. A member of the 1867-68 Peace Commission tasked with meeting and signing treaties with Native Americans across the Plains and Southwest, Tappan was one of two federal representatives to meet with Navajo leaders.

It made sense to Weaver that Tappan would have a copy of the treaty. But only recently did she learn that archivists, Navajo historians and journalists had been searching for this document, one of three original copies, for quite some time. Called by the Navajos Naal Tsoos Saní (the Old Paper), it is one of the most important documents produced in the 19th century, both for what it reveals about the Navajos and about the role of the West — and the subjugation of its indigenous people — in the Civil War.


Texas A&M Forest Service - Texas A&M University Treaty Oak-1969 lutheran indian ministries native news

'The Treaty Oak' is Still Thriving 20 Years After Vandalism

The American Forestry Association's "most perfect specimen of a North American tree" is still alive, twenty-two years after it was deliberately vandalized. Even though the tree is over 500 years old and despite aborists' predictions for the tree to die soon after it's poisoning, the Treaty Oak continues to defy expectations and stands true. A landmark in American and Texan history, the Treaty Oak is a spectacle to see for visitors and Austinites alike.

The Treaty Oak is the last of the famous Council Oaks, a sacred meeting place for Comanche and Tonkawa Natives. Legend has it that Stephen F. Austin, the Father of Texas, met at the Oak with Native Americans to write Austin's first boundary treaty. Afterwards, the Treaty Oak became a symbol of peace and prosperity for all Texans.

It's hard to fit so much news in such a small space.
To read all of this week's news, visit the LIM Magazine.

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