Photographer Avery Leigh White captured members of the tribe keeping their traditions and culture alive

The Nisenan people once inhabited the valleys of Central California once had a population in the thousands - but following the California Gold Rush in the nineteenth century, they were decimated, with the numbers dwindling significantly as white settlers took their land.

While 562 Native American tribes have federal recognition - the Nisenan tribe is not among them.

Federal recognition brings protection for reservations and federal support - something that the Nisenan do not have access to.

Photographer Avery Leigh White visited the small tribe, attempting to capture their ancient customs and traditions on film for posterity.

Tribal Council Secretary Shelly Covert says the tribe is trying to raise their profile in an attempt at formal recognition.

'We had an entire society that was here thousands of years before the Gold Rush. I've been trying to raise our tribe's visibility but it's really tough,' she said.

'I've always been told by my elders that when we speak our language, other beings understand: the water, the trees, the animals.

'We must use our language, as that is our direct connection to Mother Earth. Using our songs, our dances, and our ceremonial lifeways brings it full circle,' tribe member Wanda Batchelor told VICE.

According to Covert in the report, with nearly 87 percent of the tribe at or below the poverty line, without recognition, tribe members miss out on 'federal health and housing services, education programs, job assistance programs, etc'.

'Our culture is so fragile right now. Every time we lose an elder, we have to wonder: What are the things we didn't ask her, the things that aren't in a book somewhere, the things that aren't in a curriculum yet?' Covert added.

Animal Aid Unlimited does it again! A young boy in India found a three-month-old puppy stuck in a thick layer of tar near a road that was being repaired.

The young rescuers pulled the puppy from the road and called Animal Aid Unlimited. Volunteers worked for hours rubbing vegetable oil on the puppy’s body to remove the tar.

They then bathed him with soap and water. This treatment was done four times until the puppy was completely free of tar and ready to start his new life.

Animal Aid Unlimited runs a vital emergency rescue service for street animals—dogs, cows, donkeys, birds, and cats—in Udaipur, Rajasthan, India. Their rescue team respond to up to 50 calls every day, rescuing animals with fractures, spinal injuries, wounds, skin problems, and other diseases.

Rescued animals are brought back to their shelter where they are treated by medical team and care-givers. They perform emergency surgeries as well as spay/neuter. On any given day they treat around 150 recovering animals in their shelter.

The Animal Aid Sanctuary is home to animals permanently disabled from accidents, fragile, blind, and those in need of long-term medical care.

They have given permanent sanctuary to over 150 disabled and special needs dogs, 40 cows and bulls who were left to die on the street by dairy farmers, and over 30 handicapped donkeys rescued from abusive owners.


Animal advocates are celebrating a major victory for a beloved herd of wild horses in Arizona’s Tonto National Forest, who are now officially protected from being removed and slaughtered.

The herd, known as the Salt River wild horses, became the center of a major controversy in 2015, when the Forest Service announced plans to remove them and auction them off. The agency argued they were stray livestock and not entitled to protection under the Wild and Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971, and it was therefore not responsible for managing them.

That legislation was passed to protect wild horses from “capture, branding, harassment, or death,” but the agencies responsible for protecting wild horses, including the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service, have continued to fail them, and thousands continue to be rounded up and removed from their rightful place on the landscape.

Fortunately, these horses were not without advocates, and news of the Forest Service’s plans sparked fierce public outrage. The Salt River Wild Horse Management Group (SRWHMG), which has been stewarding these horses in the wild for years, filed an injunction to stop the roundup and thousands of people from around the world made calls to protect them so loud officials and lawmakers couldn’t ignore them– a Care2 petition asking the Forest Service to leave them be in the wild gathered more than 220,000 signatures.

As a result of public outcry over their potential removal and slaughter, the Salt River Wild Horse Act was passed to protect them. Now, the SRWHMG, its partner the American Wild Horse Campaign and the public are celebrating an agreement that was reached to ensure their long-term protection and the enactment of that legislation, which finally went into effect on January 1.

“Two years ago, the Salt River wild horses were almost removed and slaughtered. Today is a great day. The Salt River wild horses are protected from harassment and slaughter. We are deeply grateful to Governor Doug Ducey for his compassion and dedication to protecting these cherished wild horses, to State Rep. Kelly Townsend for introducing the bill that made this agreement to protect the horses possible, and to the Forest Service for recognizing the public’s strong interest in protecting this historic and popular horse herd, ” said Simone Netherlands, President of the SRWHMG.

The new law requires the Salt River wild horses be protected from harm, harassment and slaughter, and are humanely managed in the wild through partnerships between federal, state and local authorities, and a non-profit, such as the SRWHMG, which stands ready to help.

“The Salt River Wild Horse Management Group, with our 100 volunteers and daily presence on the Salt River, is ready to roll up our sleeves and enter into an agreement with the state to continue our management of this wild horse herd that people from all over the world travel to see,” added Netherlands. “We are grateful for the enormous public support for our work, which has included the rescue and treatment of seriously injured Salt River wild horses, fixing miles of fencing to keep horses out of roadways and education/outreach activities to keep the public and the horses safe.”

Hopefully the Salt River wild horses will be around for generations to come and the awareness that was raised by their plight will encourage people to continue to speak up for thousands of other wild horses and burros living on public lands whose future in the wild remains in question.

The agencies responsible for managing wild horses should be protecting them, not subjecting them to brutal roundups or sending them to slaughter to benefit special interests who want to see them gone.

A Navajo National Fire Department firefighter is winning the hearts and respect of people on social media after finishing the Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon Arizona in full turnout gear this past weekend.

 Jeremy Curley, 31, took on the herculean effort of running with more than 60 pounds of gear to help raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Sunday's run in the Valley wasn't his first time. Curley, who has been a firefighter for eight years, said he's run several half-marathons and a full marathon in his gear.

He did his first run in gear in 2016 to memorialize a little girl who was murdered.

"They announced for everyone to wear yellow for her favorite color," he wrote in an email interview with azcentral. "So the night before I decided to wear my gear since my helmet was yellow."

His previous two half-marathons have been to help St. Jude, he said. He spent Sunday cheering supporting people who took part in the run.

"It takes away the pain that I get in my feet and knees," he wrote.

St. Jude posted on their Facebook page that the group Curley was part of raised $122,000 at the marathon. Curley's page shows he was able to reach $425 toward his goal of $500. Curley said people will be able to donate for the next couple of weeks.

Reaction to a photo of Curley running in all that gear drew praise for his efforts.

Fifty-two bison have escaped a recently converted quarantine facility inside Yellowstone National Park’s Stephens Creek bison trap.

 Even though Yellowstone’s proposed fifty-year quarantine plan has not yet been approved, Yellowstone initiated capture for quarantine beginning in 2016, at their Stephens Creek trap. The first group of 24 buffalo have been in the quarantine pens since March 2016, while the other group of 28 buffalo have been held there since March 2017.

All of the female buffalo who had been part of that capture-for-quarantine were shipped to slaughter last year when Yellowstone opened the trap to begin slaughter operations. All of the buffalo who remained in the then-unapproved quarantine facility were bulls. Seven of these bulls have been shipped to slaughter or have died due to human handling.

Interior Secretary Zinke claims that Yellowstone was just “days away” from sending these buffalo — all bulls — to the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes. However, none of the news stories that have been released include commentary from the affected Tribes.

During a phone conversation this morning, Fort Peck Tribal Chairman Floyd Azure told Buffalo Field Campaign that the Interior Secretary Zinke’s disclosure that “we were within days of actually moving the buffalo” was news to him. They are lying

“That’s all news to me,” McDonald said. “I didn’t know that they were getting ready, and obviously, Fort Peck didn’t either,” said Tom McDonald, Division Manager for the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes’ Fish, Wildlife, Recreation, and Parks Division.

"It is time to embrace a renewed focus on wild bison as our national mammal" Fort Peck Tribe said