Tuesday

Jason Momoa is a legend and not just because he played Khal Drogo, one of the most famous Dothraki leaders of all time on Game of Thrones, Nor is it because he stars as Aquaman – the breakout character of DC’s Justice League.

He and his renowned wife, Lisa Bonet, are positive forces who inspire fans across the world to make the world a better place.

There’s no doubt that Momoa and Bonet clearly want to do their part to #stopextinction. The pair posted a video on Instagram yesterday asking fans to urge Congress to keep attacks on wolves and the Endangered Species Act out of the must-pass appropriations bill. And when Momoa and Bonet HOWL, their fans listen. To date, the video has been viewed nearly ONE MILLION times!

The House Interior, Environment and Related Agencies appropriations bill (H.R. 3354) contains the following anti-wolf provisions:

Wyoming/Midwest Wolf Delisting: Section 116 will override a federal court decision and remove existing ESA protections for gray wolves in Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. A recent D.C. Circuit court of appeals decision, which stripped ESA protections for wolves in Wyoming make the Wyoming portion of this rider effectively moot. This rider would also preclude judicial review of this decision, thus undermining the rule of law and citizen court access.

Critically endangered Mexican Gray Wolf: Section 117 seeks to go so far as to defund recovery measures for gray wolves throughout the entire continental United States, even though wolves currently inhabit only 15% of their historic range. This same provision would also block all spending on recovery efforts for the Mexican gray wolves, even though there are just 113 remain in the wild in the United States and 35 in Mexico.


The Senate Draft Bill contains the same anti-wolf provision as the House version:

Wyoming/Midwest Wolf Delisting: Will permanently remove federal ESA protections for gray wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Wyoming; and prohibits its judicial review thus preventing any legal challenge. Judicial review is an important part of the checks and balances to limit the authority of the legislative branch. Wolves are on the table today. What tomorrow? Our environment? Our public health? Our civil rights? Would your representatives support a bill that undermines one of the central pillars of American democracy?
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Renasant Bank has generously donated a significant Native American chipped stone tool collection back to the Chickasaw people through the Chickasaw Inkana Foundation. The Foundation is in the planning process to create a Chickasaw Heritage Center in Tupelo, MS.

This framed collection of more than 300 complete chipped stone projectile points was gathered locally in the mid-twentieth century in the Chickasaw Old Town Creek valley and surrounding areas.

The collection represents local types of throwing spear points, knives, scrapers and a few actual arrow points, which together reflect more than 8,000 years of Chickasaw Homeland history, culture and flint-knapping skills.

The collection has been appraised by retired archaeologists, Sam Brookes and Brad Lieb, at a significant value, which is tax-deductible as a charitable donation.

The artifact collection consists of seven frames of chipped stone tools, primarily projectile points, knives and scrapers. There are a few small triangular arrow points of the Mississippian and later periods, however the vast majority are Archaic and Woodland period throwing spear points are from thousands of years ago, and they are made for use with an atlatl or spear-thrower stick.

The Chickasaw Inkana Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization located in Tupelo, MS, whose mission is to preserve, protect and interpret Chickasaw History and Culture in the historic Chickasaw homeland.


We thank Chickasaw Inkana Foundation member Amy Powell Riley for her help and assistance in making this important gift a reality.
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Monday

A proposed bill would allow the residential address portion of a voter registration form to be filled out with a nontraditional address.

Democrat majority caucus chair, Sen. John McCoy, D-Tulalip, pre-filed SB 5079, titled The Native American voting rights act of Washington.

“The Washington State Legislature has a chance to rectify historical wrongs with the passage of the Native American Voting Rights Act. In doing so, we will send a loud and simple message to the Native community: We recognize that civic participation as we know it today began with American Indians, and as sovereign citizens of the United States you have the right to have your voice heard at every level of government,” McCoy said.

A nontraditional address consists of a narrative description of the location of the individual’s residence, according to the bill.

The bill modifies the minimum information required for voter registration under state law, to allow for “unmarked homes” and “a nontraditional residential address may be used when a voter resides on an Indian reservation or on Indian lands.”

Sen. Judy Warnick, R-Moses Lake, had not read the bill but said it sounds like a concept she could support but would have to read the bill in its entirety before having a definitive stance.


The pre-filed bill also allows for voters to list a building designated by the tribe in their precinct as their residential address if need be.

McCoy is a Tulalip Tribe member and has served as chairman of the executive committee of the National Caucus of Native American State Legislators.


“Now, more than ever, we must reassure the American people that their government works for them — regardless of their appearance, ethnic origins or history, or any other discriminatory artifices,” McCoy said.

McCoy sponsored SB 5028 during the last legislative session which requires teacher preparation programs to integrate Native American curriculum. The bill passed and became effective on June 7, 2018. McCoy has a track record of supporting Native American interests both as a House representative from 2003-13, and as a state senator since 2013.
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An announcer has apologized for a remark about a Native American player during a lacrosse game that he and the team called “insensitive,” with both team and league vowing disciplinary action.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Georgia Swarm forward Lyle Thompson said on social media that Philadelphia Wings announcer Shawny Hill said "Let's snip the pony tail" during Saturday night's game at the Wells Fargo Center.

Thompson, of the Onondaga Reservation in central New York, said fans then threatened to "scalp" him.

Hill apologized on social media for "insensitive" words he called "poorly chosen" and "not intended as racially motivated" but reflecting "a lack of knowledge on heritage and history."

The National Lacrosse League said “necessary disciplinary action will be taken swiftly.” The Philadelphia Wings vowed “swift disciplinary and educational measures” to prevent similar episodes.

Hill tweeted that he was "deeply sorry" for his remarks and was trying to reach out to Thompson and his brother and teammate, Miles, to apologize directly.


"I understand the profound hurt that my words caused," he tweeted. "I offer my sincere apology. My words do not reflect my personal beliefs but reflect a lack of knowledge on heritage and history."

The league vowed that “necessary disciplinary action will be taken swiftly.”

"The league and all of our member clubs have a zero tolerance policy for any derogatory or discriminatory statements made," NLL said in a statement.
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Saturday

An endangered population of killer whales has grown after a newborn calf was spotted swimming alongside its mother, but the orca’s survival is anything but certain.

The new calf was first spotted Thursday in aerial footage that aired on American television, and later photographed by the Washington-based Center for Whale Research.

Photos of the little whale show it swimming with the L pod, one of several groups of southern resident orcas. The calf’s sex is currently unknown.

The birth brings the southern resident population to 75. But no calves born in the last three years have survived, and the dwindling population has been plagued by a series of unusual deaths.

“Approximately 40 per cent of newborn calves do not survive their first few years, but we hope that this one makes it to maturity, especially if it is female,” the Center for Whale Research said in a statement.

The good news comes on the heels of dire warnings for two adult southern residents, which scientists say are so thin that they’ll likely starve by summer. Seven adult orcas have died since 2016.


The biggest threat facing the orcas, scientists say, is declining stocks of chinook salmon. Of the 28 chinook populations in B.C., eight are considered endangered with another four considered threatened, according to a recent report.

In September, a young orca known as J50 died from starvation despite efforts to give her life-saving medication.

Two months earlier, a female orca was photographed trying to save her newborn calf, which died shortly after birth. The mother was seen pushing the dead calf to the surface for 17 days, apparently in an effort to resuscitate the newborn.

Canada and the United States both have launched efforts to boost the whale populations, including the designation of new protected habitats.

Southern resident orcas are known for spending their summers in the busy waterway between B.C. and northern Washington state. They migrate along North America’s Pacific Coast, swimming as far north as Alaska and as south as central California.

Southern resident populations have wavered between 70 and 99 whales since 1976. Fisheries and Oceans Canada says the whales are “currently facing imminent threats to their survival and recovery.”

Unlike B.C.’s transient orca whales, which use echolocation to hunt warm-blooded mammals like seals, resident orcas rely on salmon stocks.
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