August 18, 2017
Great People Doing Great Things: Native 40 Under 40
Names of the “Native American 40 under 40” award winners have been released. This marks the 10th anniversary of 40 Under 40. Including 2017’s tenth class of honorees, the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development will have recognized 400 total emerging American Indians from across Indian country.
The prestigious 40 under 40 award is bestowed upon individuals under the age of 40, nominated by members of their communities, who have demonstrated leadership, initiative, and dedication and made significant contributions in business and their community. “The 2017 40 Under 40 award recipients are comprised of a diverse group of young men and women cultivated from across American Indian and Alaska Native communities, each of whom have devoted their skills and resources to enhancing their communities,” said Chris James, National Center president and CEO. “Whether it’s in business, tribal government, journalism, academia, or non-profits, 40 under 40 winners shining examples for all of us to follow. It is an honor to recognize these exceptional individuals and leaders who will continue to define success for the future of Native American Business.”
Three Generations of Native Dancing
Bridgette’s jingle bell dress is long and pink. She has been coming to pow wows since before she could walk. As a high school graduate, many activities and pursuits could fill her time, but she finds herself continually drawn to this calling.
Bridgette’s aunt, Lorri Chasing Crow styles Bridgette’s hair into two long French braids, as they prepare to go onstage to perform a dance that has been around for 150 years.
“I've danced for 30 years of my life coming from my mom. She took us to pow wows. Getting our kids into it, it's kind of a hereditary thing. We make our own outfits and get our kids involved. But we don't push them into dancing, it's something they want to have to do,” Chasing Crow says.
Janice Stump is the matriarch of this family as Lorri’s mother and Bridgette’s grandma. She says the dances are tributes to loved ones above everything else.
“If you talk to them and ask them why they dance, they say, ‘because my mom said’ or something like that, but they don't know that they're really stepping for their family. They're stepping for their family. That’s what it's all about,” she says.
Despite the impact of these traditions, that have endured thousands of years, she has faced challenges engaging her kids and grandkids at times. Even with modern distractions, this grandma has found that they usually come back to their roots.
Native Americans Speak About Race
Native American identities and perspectives have been silenced for too long, as evidenced in this powerful short documentary, “A Conversation With Native Americans on Race.”
Much like Ava DuVernay’s “13th,” the film sets its subjects against a simple background, their words leading the narrative. Their pain is palpable as they discuss their Native identity and what it means to them, revealing the divisive practice of counting one’s Native blood, known as blood quantum. One interviewee relates this to the way purebred animals are discussed, another points to its hidden purpose of circumventing land preservation laws.
Read the full story here (The mini-documentary is at the end of the article.)
Native American or American Indian? Nope!
Indigenous peoples continue to widely reject the monikers 'Native American' and 'American Indian' and, instead, refer to themselves by their tribe or nation.
Interesting Facts about Native Populations
Frequently, at LIM, we focus on the negative statistics, but here are five interesting facts about Native populations.
- Almost half of all Natives are mixed race.
- The Native population is growing.
- Eight tribes have at least 100,000 members.
- A significant portion of Natives are bilingual.
- Native American businesses are booming.