Tribal presidents and educators from across the country came together Thursday, to discuss the creation of a National Tribal American University. Officials focused on infrastructure, curriculums, and the formation and sharing of tribal college courses. The American Indian Higher Education Consortium provides leadership and influences public policy on American Indian higher education issues, and leaders from across the country came together to discuss the future of the National Tribal American University.
Seattle police have engaged in excessive force that violated federal law and the Constitution, the U.S. Justice Department said Friday. An investigation was launched last spring following the fatal shooting of a homeless, Native American woodcarver and other reported use of force used against minority suspects. The investigation was aimed at determining whether Seattle police have a "pattern or practice" of violating civil rights or discriminatory policing, and if so, what they should do to improve.
Federal officials are planning a summit in South Dakota in the wake of allegations that the state has violated federal law by removing too many American Indian children from their homes and placing them in foster care with non-Indian families. Nedra Darling, a spokeswoman for the Interior Department's Office of Indian Affairs, told The Associated Press that the agency has created a committee to plan the summit, the date of which has not yet been set. The summit is in response to a National Public Radio series in October that said the state routinely broke the Indian Child Welfare Act and disrupted the lives of hundreds of Native American families each year. Federal law requires that Native American children removed from homes be placed with relatives or put in foster care with other Native American families except in unusual circumstances.
For years, college and pro sports teams have taken heat for caricaturing Native Americans with their nicknames and mascots. Sometimes, teams do the right thing. In 1994, for example, St. John's University changed its name from the Redmen to the Red Storm. At other times, they've acted irresponsibly. We still have the Washington Redskins, and the Cleveland Indians haven't scrubbed Chief Wahoo — a cartoonish representation of Native Americans — off their hats. And in other instances, a tribe's backing has allowed a team to keep its nickname, as happened with the Florida State Seminoles and Utah Utes.