This Week in Native American News - May 13, 2016

this week in native american news 5/13/16

Two Native American Media Companies Join Forces

Irene Bedard meets with Red Heritage Media. Photo courtesy of: The Herald

Irene Bedard meets with Red Heritage Media. Photo courtesy of: The Herald

Irene Bedard's company, Sleeping Lady Films Waking Giants Productions, is looking to join forces with Red Heritage Media, a company recently purchased by the Catawba Indian Nation of North Carolina.

The Alaskan actress told Catawba leaders that Native Americans need to “take charge of our voice” and tell the “many amazing stories, inspiring stories and stories of resilience.” Read the full story here.

Bedard is the Alaska Native actress famous for voicing Disney's "Pocahontas" and starred in "Smoke Signals" and the recent "Songs My Brothers Taught Me."

We'll be keeping an eye on this partnership and look forward to seeing what they create.

Sidenote: the actual native people famous for Pocahontas, the Pamunkey of Virgina, only just recently won their federal recognition from the US government.


US Army to Pay for Repatriation of Students' Bodies from Carlisle

Justin Buller, left, Associate Deputy General Council, Dept. of Army, Office of General Counsel, answers questions about the repatriation process. Courtesy of AP

Justin Buller, left, Associate Deputy General Council, Dept. of Army, Office of General Counsel, answers questions about the repatriation process. Courtesy of AP

We mentioned, back in April, the push to return the bodies of Native children, who are currently buried behind what was once Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania. A lot has happened since that article. 

An agreement has been made, the children's' bodies will be returned, and the Army is going to foot the bill. Read the full story here.


Oklahoma Tribes Pledge to Save the Monarchs

Leaders of seven Oklahoma tribes will be planting more milkweed and other native nectar-producing plants on their land this year in at attempt to bolster the population of the monarch butterflies, which has seen falling numbers in the last few years.

"For the last several years, we have been raising bees and pollinators, so when this opportunity came along, it fit with what we were doing," said Thalia Miller, director of the Chickasaw Nation Horticulture Department, reported the Huffington Post. Read the full story here.

The tribes will work with the University of Kansas’ Monarch Watch program and the Euchee Butterfly Farm in Bixby, Oklahoma.


Linguist Discovers Five Lost Languages in Massachusetts

Natives of Massachusetts

While it was once thought that the Native Americans of Massachusetts spoke one common language, Loup (pronounced lou), Ives Goddard of the Smithsonian Natural Museum of Natural History is part of a discovery that suggests there may have been more than five languages commonly spoken in the Connecticut Valley area.

Goddard believes that the situation may have been similar to that of the Sui people of the Guizhou Province of China. Women from a particular band of villages would always marry into a different band of villages in which a different language was spoken. The woman would continue to speak her original dialect, her husband would speak another, while their children would grow up understanding both but primarily speaking the father's dialect outside of the home. Family and cultural ties are maintained between the different groups of villages while maintaining an independent sense of identity. Read the full story here.

Makes you wonder, how many other languages have we missed?