The U.S. Department of Agriculture has created a special advisory board to help ensure that Native Americans participate in and benefit from USDA programs. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says in a news release that the Council for Native American Farming and Ranching will help native governments, businesses and farmers partner with the USDA to create jobs and strengthen the communities.
The Brazilian Senate has approved controversial legislation that reforms rules on the amount of land farmers must preserve as forest. The bill, which now returns to the lower house, also eases fines for some previous illegal clearance if farmers commit to a reforestation programme. Supporters say Brazil needs land for food production, but environmentalists warn of increased Amazon destruction.
It was on this day 70 years ago when 5,000 American Indians were serving in the military, a day when the attacks on Pearl Harbor happened and as President Franklin D. Roosevelt said “a date that will live in infamy.” December 7, 1941 can be seen as the unofficial start of World War II, as Germany declared war on the United States three days later, and the beginning of a surge in American Indian warriors serving in the United States military.
American Indian schools in the Dakotas are among recent recipients of grants from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community. In South Dakota, the Flandreau Indian School in Flandreau got $35,000 to support a behavior incentive program and extracurricular activities including a rodeo club. St. Joseph's Indian School in Chamberlain received $20,000 for a program for at-risk high school students and for cultural activities. In North Dakota, the Circle of Nations school in Wahpeton got $8,000 for winter clothing for students. The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community operates Mystic Lake Casino in Minnesota and other enterprises, and runs a charitable giving program. It recently donated $755,500 to education programs in Indian Country, including $585,000 to the American Indian College Fund.