ANA Messenger - Winter 2017

Language and Culture Edition

Newsletter header for ANA Messenger: Language and Culture Edition

Commissioner's InsightStacey Ecoffey,  Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Native American Affairs and Commissioner, Administration for Native Ameri
 

Greetings Relatives,

I am honored to be addressing you all for the first time as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Native American Affairs and Commissioner of the Administration for Native Americans (ANA). My first few months onboard have shown me the passion of ANA’s staff to carry out the mission of promoting self-sufficiency for Native Americans. Every member of the team has been working this winter to prepare for another year of funding announcements, webinars, and a grantee meeting. I have enjoyed learning from them as I step into this role and hope to meet our grantees during my tenure with ANA.

But for now we are bundled up in our office sharing stories from the holidays. I’m sure we’re not the only ones. Winter is a good time for story-telling, and that works well with our theme of language and culture. Words and stories spoken in a mother tongue are a critical component to passing down traditions. In that spirit, we are celebrating the ten year anniversary of the passage of the Esther Martinez Native American Languages Preservation Act. We are looking forward to a future article by the National Endowment of the Arts recognizing the legacy of Ms. Martinez that lives on through our ANA grants.

In this edition of the ANA Messenger you will find the profile of our newest staff member, Sonya Begay. Sonya brings insight from previous government work and as an elder. We are happy to have her with us. You will also find highlights from a few past and present ANA-funded projects focused on Native language preservation and revitalization.

Rural American Initiatives is working to teach Lakota adolescents their Native language to keep tribal traditions alive. Para I Probechu’n I Taotao-ta, Inc in Guam is working to preserve and increase the usage of the Chamorro language through traditional singing and dancing.

The Yurok Tribe finished strong with their Yurok Language Survival School and Restoration Project, which led to a ½ day cross-curricular Yurok immersion program at an elementary school. Chief Dull Knife College also succeeded in establishing an early Cheyenne language education program for children six and younger.

Deputy Commissioner, Kim Romine, has contributed to this season’s book review of "More Encounters with Star People –Urban American Indians Tell Their Stories." Sticking to our story-telling theme, this work is a collection of stories from those who have had encounters with the Star People. The goal of the book is not simply to share stories but to remind us all of the responsibility to care for Mother Earth. And speaking of reminders, Michelle Sauve, is sending out the call for American Indians/Alaska Natives to enroll on the ACA marketplace. ANA is also sharing some facts and figures that you may find interesting with our QuaNative snap-stats.

Outside of ANA’s own work and successes, the Administration for Children & Families (ACF) is overseeing several tasks to help improve Native Communities. For example, January is National Human Trafficking Prevention month and at Health and Human Services, we see trafficking as a public health issue. You will be able to read about how ANA is partnering with the Office of Trafficking in Persons to support Native American communities in combating this crime. ACF is also reaching out to tribal representatives, organizations, and grantees for their comments regarding the challenges they face and how ACF might help. Further information can be found within the pages of this newsletter.

There’s a lot to read in this edition, and I’m sure you will come away from it with a story to share. Don’t forget there’s even more to see on our website.

Stacey Ecoffey,

Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Native American Affairs & Commissioner, Administration for Native Americans

 

 



Features

Grantee Highlights
 

Rural American Initiatives

Para I Probechu'n I Taotaota, Inc.

 

Past Grantee Highlight


Yurok Tribe

Chief Dull Knife College
 

HHS Tribal Affairs


Awareness during Human Trafficking Month

Request for Public Comment

 

Talking Stick
 

Affordable Care Act for AI/ANs

QuaNative: Breakdown of FY2016 Award & Requests
(infographics)

QuaNative: ANA Grant Distribution (infographics)

What We are Reading Now


More Encounters with Star People

Getting to Know Us


Staff Spotlight: Sonya Begay

 

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Grantee Highlight: Rural America Initiatives

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Organization: Rural America Initiatives3 photos of native youth and ATEYAPI logo.  The youth are sitting in a cafe while the other pictures show kids in bowling alley.
Name of Project: Project Lakota: Lakota Adolescents Keeping Our Traditions Alive

How did your project come about – how was it determined?

Our Board of directors has made teaching language and culture a goal in our long-range plan. If we are to survive as a people and as a culture, we must revitalize our language.  We attempt to integrate language and culture into all our projects.

In 2014, we conducted a language survey to find out how quickly we were losing our Lakota Language. Some of our findings are that 37% of our elders 50 years and older are still fluent, but only 1.5% of our children under age 18 are fluent. On average, only 6.2% of our people under age 39 are fluent. The rate of loss of our language is estimated at 3% per year. This means that our elders are not teaching their grandchildren how to speak Lakota. We are only two generations from losing our language entirely.

Who was instrumental in the development of the project?

Our Ateyapi (Fatherhood) mentors were most involved because they work directly with the students and regularly observe the behavior of our students. Our students are hungry for identity. They come back and become involved with the program because they lack stable adult relationships at home. Most of our staff are sundancers and pipe carriers. They have learned the values by actively participating in the ceremonies. Also they are partially fluent in language and would like to become fluent. This project helps them help the students as well as themselves.

How did you address the “synthesis” of ideas?

I did a little reading about a phenomenon called Bryde’s “Crossover Effect”. Back in the early 1970’s there was a psychologist named Dr. Bryde at the University of South Dakota. He observed that Indian students performed above the national mean on standardized tests as elementary school students but “crossed over” when they entered junior high school and scored under the national average on the same standardized tests. He hypothesized that when Indian students started forming their identities as adult Indians, they judged themselves as being less capable than their white peers. Others have since tried to build on his initial studies. In general, increases in one’s identity cannot be linked to increases in achievement. However, increases in self-esteem have been linked to increases in achievement. In this project, we are attempting to measure changes in self- esteem in response to increase in Lakota Language proficiency. If we can empower our students by teaching them Lakota Language, we can help them be successful in school and in life. Of course, mentoring is a complex process, difficult to analyze, but we know it works!

Who are the key project staff members?

The key staff are the Lakota Language instructor and trainer, and three language trainees. The language instructor, Rhonda Yankton, learned Lakota at home as she was growing up. She uses an established curriculum, developed by the Lakota Language Consortium under a grant from ANA, to teach the three language trainees to teach 450 students. She also teaches weekly language classes to community members and parents. She uses email and texts to provide teaching materials so these adults can teach their families at home. The three language trainees are already partially fluent in Lakota. They grew up in households which spoke Lakota everyday but are just now making it a priority to become fluent. They act as teacher aides in five middle schools during the day and teach language daily after school. They also take upper level language classes at Oglala Lakota College in the evenings and will become certified Lakota Language instructors by the end of the project. One financial manager and project director, with 25 years’ experience, relieves the language staff from having to worry about the business aspects of the project.

Where is the project located – what Tribes/service area do you serve?

The project is located in Rapid City, South Dakota. We are surrounded by eight Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota reservations. Pine Ridge, Rosebud and Cheyenne River Lakota families make up our primary target group. There are about 2,500 Native American students in our schools and about 19,000 Native American people in our community. We comprise about 25% of our city’s population.

What are the main project objectives/goals of your project?

A) To utilize an already developed curriculum from the Lakota Language Consortium Incorporated to teach 450 middle-school-aged students one hour of focused immersion per school day to achieve beginners fluency by the end of three years as measured by standardized pre- and post-tests.

B) To train 300 parents, 60 staff members and 100 community members to teach Lakota language at home using a developed curriculum to achieve beginners fluency by the end of three years as measured by standardized pre- and post-tests. We have contracted with a professional evaluator to document our outcomes.

How has your project benefited the community overall?

Attendance at our weekly community language classes is regularly at 100 or more. There is an excitement among parents to learn what their children are learning.  Families are attending as a group. There is an attitude which is positive toward learning and reviving the language.

In year one, we have taught 150 6th, 7th, and 8th graders books 1 and 2 of the curriculum.

We have policemen, health care workers, social workers, and teachers coming to learn some language and culture to better relate to their target groups.

Our Native American student drop-out rate has been reduced from 63% in 2010 to 33% in 2016. This is the lowest that our drop-out rate has ever been. We have three mentoring programs which cover grades 4th through 12th. This project takes partial credit for the drop-out changes.

What are the future plans to continue your efforts?

We will seek both federal and private funding to continue this project. We do get some local support but it is not enough to continue a full project. Even without funding, our four certified language instructors can teach for our local schools. They can in turn teach others to teach the language.

We have hired an evaluator to document the effect or impact of our language project. Documenting positive results can help to find future funders.

What advice would you offer to someone planning or implementing a project similar to yours?

For others starting similar projects, I would advise them to identify proven curricula so they do not have to start from scratch. Creating a curriculum is a separate project. Teaching the curriculum is the way to preserve the language. A language has to be active and alive to be passed on to succeeding generations. That means that students should learn by doing, by speaking and by teaching others.

Partnering with your local schools gives you access to large numbers of kids. Trying to recruit students to a new project may take a year or two and if you only have three years funding, you may not have enough time to complete your project. Also identify other programs or agencies with whom you can collaborate. Shared resources may last longer and reach more participants.

 

 

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Grantee Highlight: Para I Probechu'n I Taotao-ta, Inc

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Organization: Para I Probechu’n I Taotao-ta, Inc. (Guam)
Name of Project: “Na Lala I Kantan Chamorrita Para I Probechu’n I Taotao-ta. (Chamorro Language though the revitalization of the traditional chanting of Kantan Chamorrita.)

How did your project come about – how was it determined?
Cultural practitioners of established Gumas (cultural houses) gathered and realized that the traditional practice of Kantan Chamorrita can be instrumental in the usage and preservation of the Chamorro Language – the language of the indigenous people to Guam.

Who was instrumental in the development of the project?
The Master of Chamorro Dance, Fafa’nague (dance instructors), Guma (cultural dance house), Manamko (Elders who are fluent speakers).

How did you address the “synthesis” of ideas?

  • Acknowledgement and agreement by cultural practitioners that the traditional practice of Kantan Chamorrita is significant in the use of Chamorro Language – most especially during social gatherings.
  • The active members whose passion is to preserve Chamorro culture through song and dance exist in organized Gumas (cultural houses)
  • Conducted surveys indicate that the leaders of the Chamorro dance houses– “fafanague” – 10 years ago were part of the 30 and below age group and were not fluent speakers.
  • Surveys indicate that the Guma is able to serve as a social setting where people ages 30 and below frequent because of their passion to sing and dance.

“Through the art of Kantan Chamorrita and the intergenerational interactions of Elders and the Fafanague (group leaders) of Gumas (dance houses) – Chamorro cultural practitioners 30 years and below will be able to improve their ability to speak Chamorro language.”

Who are the key project staff members?
2 project assistants; 1 project Graphic; 1 Project Manager; 1 Project Director

Where is the project located – what Tribes/service area do you serve?
Chamorro Cultural Dance Houses in the territory of Guam.

What are the main project objectives/goals of your project?
1. To improve the speaking ability Chamorro people 30 years and below.
2. To record and document the traditional practice of Kantan Chamorrita – producing 300 recorded CDs and 300 DVDs as a resource tool.

How has your project benefited the community overall?

  • Expanse of intergenerational interaction
  • Expansion of Chamorro language vocabulary
  • Increased knowledge of Chamorro traditions
  • Increased usage of Chamorro language in everyday settings
  • Increased interest in project by general community
  • Greater appreciation of the art of Kantan Chamorrita

What are the future plans to continue your efforts?
The grant is currently in its 2nd year; CD’s and DVD’s will be produced as resource for Guam Public School Students and anyone who expresses interest in Chamorro Language and Culture.

What advice would you offer to someone planning or implementing a project similar to yours?
Be prepared for the health issues with Manamko (Elders).

 

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Grantee Highlight: Yurok Tribe

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Yurok Tribe
Yurok Language Survival School and Restoration Project

Roughly 23 people posing for a group picture holding a sign up. They are parents, students and teachers participating in the Yur


Project Overview
 

Yurok is the largest Native American Tribe in the state of California, with approximately 5,620 members.  Located in the far northwest corner of California, 300 miles north of San Francisco and stretching from the Pacific Ocean inland along the Klamath River.  For thousands of years before Western settlers arrived, the Yurok thrived in dozens of villages along the Klamath River.  By the 1990s, however, academics predicted their language would soon be extinct.  As elders passed away, the number of native speakers dropped to six.

In 2000, motivated by a linguistic study that indicated the Yurok language would be extinct in 2010, the Tribe launched efforts to to pursue the tribal community's goal of restoring the Yurok language to the status of a living, flourishing language and restore the language as a means of daily communication. 

As part of the Tribe’s long-range language restoration plan to develop the teachers and curriculum necessary to implement core subject immersion programs at the elementary schools that serve the Yurok Reservation, the Yurok Language Survival School and Restoration Project was implemented from 2012-2015.  Building on earlier efforts from a previous ANA grant the Yurok Langauge Survival School developed and implemented a 1/2 day cross-curricular Yurok immersion pilot program at the Weitchpec Elementary School-Yurok Magnate Program on the Yurok Reservation.

Yurok Language teachers and interns participated in a total of 210 hours of professional development activities in order to develop the language competency necessary to pass the Level II Yurok Teacher Credential Assessment.  Over the course of the grant 6 Yurok language teachers participated in a total of 288 hours of professional development activities and developed the language competency necessary to pass the Level II Yurok Teacher Credential Assessment.  Not only were the target number of training hours exceeded, two more teachers passed the Level I Yurok Teacher Credential in effect increasing the overall pool of available teachers.

Twelve cross-curriculum units were developed by the immersion teachers with significant input and assistance from the immersion support team and curriculum advisory committee. The twelve cross-curriculum units were implemented in the afternoon course content areas of Physical Education, Art, and Science with full Yurok language immersion.  Each year 4 curriculum units were developed and as a result an array of age-appropriate curriculum lessons and materials were produced by experienced teachers that studied the language from their elders. These units will provide the school with the capacity to teach the language and expand the number of Yurok speakers.

By the end of the grant the ½ day Yurok Language Immersion Pilot Program was in full operation at the Weitchcpec Elementary School-Yurok Magnate Program.  Specifically lunch period, Art, Science, and Physical education were conducted in Yurok Language.  Each year the immersion teachers documented well over 300 hours of Yurok language interaction. Teachers were able to stay immersed throughout 90 percent of the physical education classes.  During community celebrations and meetings known as Pel’Son students were able to give presentations, plays, and songs that were 100 percent Yurok Immersion.


Project Outcomes and Impact
 

The students that were interviewed expressed a great deal of passion and enjoyed learning Yurok.  It gave them a great sense of pride and helped ground their culture and identity.  Parents of the students also expressed how learning Yurok facilitated more educational interactions and as a result encouraged parents to learn through conversations and playing games in Yurok.  By cultivating the fluency and teaching methods of Yurok language teachers and interns, the Tribe broadened its resources to implement future language instruction, infusion, and immersion programs.  Because of the high level of community engagement, rigorous training, and successful partnership development, the Yurok language program will continue to live through the Tribe, schools, summer camps, and local community activities.

Institutionalizing the Yurok language in daily educational instruction provides a conduit for youth to actively engage with, learn, and speak their indigenous language.  By developing the immersion school the community now has the opportunity to engage one another in Yurok, develop their fluency, and encourage, support, and teach one another.  The Tribal efforts through this project have provided the foundation to achieve the goal of implementing an intergenerational, community-based language project designed to increase the number and fluency of Yurok speakers, and sustain the speaking of Yurok in Tribal communities. 

A recent analysis of the Yurok Language showed that it has moved out of the “Obsolescent” classification, is moving through the “Declining” classification and is starting to show signs of gaining “Enduring” status.  The impressive, successful results represent the beginning of a new dawn for the Yurok language.

Key Results:

  • 9 full-time equivalent jobs created
  • 7 partnerships formed
  • $273,689 in leveraged resources
  • 16 elders involved
  • 13 youth involved
  • 8 teachers certified

 

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Chief Dull Knife College
Northern Cheyenne Language Development Project

The entrance sign into Chief Dull Knife College. Sign states, 'Chief Dull Knife College. Est. 1979'

 

Project Overview

From 2012-2015, Chief Dull Knife College (CDKC) implemented a project to preserve and maintain the Cheyenne language, through teaching the language to children, ages 6 years and younger, and their parents, as well as through increasing the knowledge and understanding of the culture for all families involved. 

At the time of the application, first language speakers who were younger than 40 years old comprised 1 percent of the Northern Cheyenne population.  Homes that still spoke the Cheyenne language were not producing speakers whose first language was Cheyenne, and therefore children were entering school without knowledge of the language.  With language fluency levels decreasing over the past 13 years, the College acted to preserve and maintain the language.  

This project partnered with the College’s onsite Head Start daycare, the community’s only daycare, which serves not only college students but the community at large, to teach children ages 6 years and younger the Cheyenne language.  Throughout the course of the project fifteen children increased at least one language level, through 500 hours of language instruction per student per year.  Additionally, parents were instructed through weekly classes, which were taught by community Elders.  Through this, parents – the parents of the children – also increased at least one language level throughout the lifetime of the project.  Indigenous knowledge, understanding, and examples were incorporated throughout the lessons, so participants not only gained a deeper understanding of the language, but of their culture.  Examples include sessions on drying meat, as well as passing down oral history and songs. 

Every week the project compiled a parent take-home packet, which were one-page worksheets to help foster Cheyenne language knowledge and discussion at home.  Returned worksheets would receive incentives, such as a $10 gift certificate to a local store.  Additionally, parents who attended classes for a semester would receive incentives, ranging from $125 to $450 throughout the lifetime of the project.

Project Outcomes and Impact
 

Through this ANA grant, cultural and language exchanges have now increased in homes.  Children can now speak the language at home with their parents, and they have games and activities that they can do together as a family.  Additionally, as the acting-project director stated, “We speak Cheyenne because that is who we are – so this empowers students to be who they are, which bleeds into other aspects of life (for example, better students).  The benefits are far reaching.”  The project benefited the parents not only through extra money to supplement their income, but by giving them another tool to help them reach out to and identify with their children.  Lastly, this project exposed CDKC daycare staff to the Cheyenne language and culture.  Since daycare staff were not fluent Native speakers, this gave them opportunity to learn right along with the children.

Key Results:

  • 15 children and 25 adults increased their ability to speak Cheyenne
  • Over 1098 workshops/classes held
  • 5 partnerships
  • 5 elders involved

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Talking Stick

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Affordable Care Act Information for American Indian and Alaska Natives: Why You Should Take Action!


By: Michelle Sauve, ANA
 

I want to tell you how the Affordable Care Act has helped my sister Cheri.  Just before her birthday in September 2015, my sister found out she has lung cancer.  The odds for beating her cancer are not good, but getting the right treatment in a timely manner is critical to prolonging her life and giving her a chance at beating the odds. At first she continued her health insurance with COBRA, which allows workers who lose coverage to continue under a group plan for a limited time, but it was expensive, nearly $500 a month, plus the deductibles and co-pays.  She was spending thousands of dollars for her care, all while no longer working.  But when you are fighting cancer, this can be a bargain!

Eventually, when COBRA ran out, she explored the health care marketplace where she lives in AZ. She learned that she will be able to stay with her current doctors, which gives her peace of mind and that with the premium supplements her monthly premiums under the ACA are only $17.47.  With the special provisions for American Indians, she will no longer have co-pays or deductibles to meet. For someone who has had to stop working and live off savings, this will significantly improve her quality of life.
Both Cheri and I are extremely grateful for the Affordable Care Act, that she cannot be denied coverage and that her coverage is affordable

Here is what you should know, and why you should look into the ACA:

  • Before the law, nearly 50 million Americans had no health coverage
  • Americans with pre-existing conditions, people with diabetes or people who had beaten cancer, often found themselves locked out of coverage.
  • Women could be charged more for coverage than men, just because of their gender.
  • Before the law, people who did have coverage didn’t always get a good value.
  • Coverage didn’t guarantee access to quality care.
  • And because of annual or lifetime dollar limits on coverage, millions were still just one illness away from financial ruin, or the very real possibility that they’d have to forgo care for a life-threatening disease.
  • Before the law, our broken health care system was rapidly growing more expensive
Please visit healthcare.gov Visit disclaimer page   or here Visit disclaimer page   to learn more.

 

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Getting To Know Us

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Sonya Begay
Impact EvaluatorShoulder up shot of Sonya smiling.
 

Can you tell us about your background and what lead you to work for ANA?

I was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. I’ve worked as a legal researcher with the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Library in Los Angeles, a contractor with U.S. Department of Energy, Program Analyst and FPO for U.S. Department of Labor Division of Indian and Native American Program, Employment and Training Counselor, and later the Program Director for Council of Three Rivers American Indian Center WIA program, and AmeriCorps VISTA with Brushy Fork Institute at Berea, KY before coming to ANA.

With all of these agencies, I have become interested in communities and underserved populations. My interest leans toward environmental and health concerns brought on by uranium contamination within the areas of Navajo and Hopi communities. This has given me the opportunity to lecture at several universities on this topic and on a public television segment at Penn State. With the unforeseen loss of my son, I was granted custody of his three children in Kentucky. This life change showed me how grandparents as parents (GAP) were not being supported within the public systems of the Commonwealth we resided in. With this said, I became an active advocate for GAP families statewide.

I know you just started with ANA, but what do you enjoy most about your job thus far?

I enjoy working with a diverse team of people who have passion and enthusiasm. Every day is a learning experience.

What are some of your interests or hobbies? What do you most like to do in your free time?

Interests are dancing at pow wows, meeting new and interesting people, shopping, reading, seeing movies, and going to the theater.

My free time I enjoy being still and reading. That is a rarity.

 

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Talking Stick

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QuaNative Poster displaying various charts highlighting results of awards and funding.

 

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ANA Grant Distribution Across the US & Pacific Islands

 

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HHS Tribal Affairs

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Awareness during Human Trafficking Prevention Month
By: Michelle Sauve
 

To bring awareness to the devastating crime of human trafficking the Administration for Native Americans recently hosted a webinar on January 12, titled “Human Trafficking in Native Communities”, will be available via archive on the ANA Alaska TA Center YouTube Channel Visit disclaimer page .

Soon, we will be releasing a Native American Youth Human Trafficking Awareness Toolkit, which can be used by and for high school youth to understand human trafficking, steps to take to keep themselves and others safe and where to go for help.

ANA has listed human trafficking as an area of interest in our social and economic development strategies funding opportunity. So far, one organization (Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center has won funding to support outreach to at-risk individuals in Minneapolis, MN. There are a variety of ways you might think about addressing this issue in your community.

Additional funding is available from the Administration for Children in Families (ACF), Office of Trafficking in Persons (OTIP). OTIP is announcing funds for the Look Beneath the Surface Regional Anti-Trafficking Program (LBS). The LBS Program will serve as a focal point in targeted geographic areas and focus on the identification and referral of foreign and domestic victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons as defined by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000. Victim identification activities under the LBS Program include direct outreach to victims, anti-trafficking training and outreach to local professionals and organizations or entities that may encounter victims of trafficking, active participation in a strong multidisciplinary anti-trafficking coalition or task force, and strategic public awareness activities. Check back at Grants.gov Visit disclaimer page (HHS-2017-ACF-IOAS-OTIP-ZV-1210 Visit disclaimer page ) soon for more information.

 

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HHS Tribal Affairs



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Request for Public Comment
 

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) has published a Request for Information (RFI) seeing recommendations for future work with and on behalf of American Indian and Alaska Native(AI/AN) leadership, tribes, trial organizations, and populations in accord with ACF’s vision of “children, youth, families, individuals, and communities who are resilient, safe, healthy, and economically secure.”

The purpose of this RFI is to identify issues and challenges facing AI/AN populations as well as to inform ACF of tribes’ and tribal organizations’ recommendations, promising practices, and innovations to address the needs of AI/AN children, youth, families, and communities. This information may be used by ACF in the development of future rulemaking and technical assistance, formation of legislative proposals and research agendas, and strategic planning in consultation with tribes.

The full RFI can be found at here Visit disclaimer page by typing ACF-2016-0002 into the Search box. You may submit your comment on regulations.gov after reviewing the RFI. If unable to do so, please send your comment to ANA Comments. The deadline to submit a comment is March 10, 2017; and ANA is exploring an extension of time for an additional 60 days to maximize the opportunity for elected tribal representatives, tribal organizations, and stakeholders (including ACF tribal grantees) to provide feedback.

 

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What We Are Reading Now

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"More Encounters with Star People: Urban American Indians Tell Their Stories" by Ardy Sixkiller


Ardy Sixkiller interviewed people collecting stories of their encounters with and beliefs about aliens who have visited the earth.  In previous books, she interviewed North American Indians and Central American Indians. This book includes the stories collected from Urban Indians.

Native Americans believe in visitors from different planets from within the universe. These stories were previously passed on verbally within the families and not published in any formal manner. The author set about to collect these stories at the request of individuals she met. Those who shared their stories trusted Sixkiller to collect them and knew she would not divulge names or locations in order to keep sightseers from interfering with the visitors.

Visitors often conducted their visits at night in private locations and only occasionally interacted with humans. The main message communicated is that the Earth has received many visitors throughout time, and we are being monitored to assess our ability to take care of the planet and develop weapons. The visitors do not want to see Earth destroyed by our own doing, such as testing weapons and burying nuclear waste in the ground or waters. They often communicate that the only way to progress is through love and respect for each other.

If you are interested in reading stories about UFO's and alien visitors, the books written by Ardy are simple and interesting. They give a good overview of why Indians believe in their existence. The message is clear and I can understand why Indians identify the land as sacred and why we continue to pursue respect for all peoples as the natural way to peace.

 

 

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