Native Americans

Swinomish Tribe Prepares For A Changing Climate

Sep 26, 2014

La Conner, Wash. -- The Swinomish people have lived near the mouth of the Skagit River north of Seattle for thousands of years. Now, climate change threatens their lands with rising seas and flooding.

The Obama administration recently awarded the tribe a large grant to help cope with climate change.

The entire Swinomish reservation is pretty much at sea level, on a spit of land tucked into Skagit Bay.

Flickr Photo/Chris Blakeley (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with Kenneth C. Davis, author of "Don't Know Much About History," about the story behind Columbus Day. 

Football season has kicked off another round of scrutiny over how professional sports teams use Native American mascots. But in eastern Washington, a minor league baseball team has earned the approval of its native namesake.

Avista Stadium in Spokane is full of the familiar sights, sounds and smells of baseball. And then, there are things that might make you do a double take.

Re-branding in two languages

The ongoing California drought has pitted wild salmon against farmers in a fight for water. While growers of almonds, one of the state's biggest and most lucrative crops, enjoy booming production and skyrocketing sales to China, the fish, it seems, might be left high and dry this summer—and maybe even dead.

Oregon regulators plan to decide Monday whether to deny a permit for a coal export dock in Boardman to preserve tribal fishing on the Columbia River.

The Morrow Pacific coal export project needs a permit from the Oregon Department of State Lands to build a dock for coal barges. The project would ship nearly 9 million tons of coal from Wyoming and Montana to Asia. It would transfer coal shipments from trains to barges in Boardman, and load the coal onto ships at a dock in Clatskanie, Oregon.

(Editor's note: The audio introduction to this story incorrectly states that developers want to build a casino on the eastern edge of the Grand Canyon as part of a new development project. In fact, a casino is not part of the project.)

About 100 miles north of Flagstaff, Ariz., a long dirt road ends at a precipice. Thirty-five-hundred feet below, the Colorado and Little Colorado rivers meet at the floor of the Grand Canyon.

The Tangled Web Of Payday Lenders On Tribal Lands

Jul 30, 2014

David Hyde talks with financial consultant Shawn Spruce, a member of the Pueblo tribe in New Mexico, about the intersection of payday lenders and Native American tribes.

Payday lenders are increasingly situating themselves on tribal lands across the country to skirt state laws, ensnaring Washington residents. Many tribes are working to save their members from unscrupulous loans.

Tribes: Fishing Rights Not For Sale

Jul 11, 2014

The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation have a message for coal shippers: their fishing rights are not for sale.

This blunt response comes after two years of talks between the tribes and Ambre Energy – the company that wants to build a coal export terminal on a part of the river that the tribes consider historic fishing grounds protected by their treaty with the federal government.

Finding an address on a map can be taken for granted in the age of GPS and smartphones. But centuries of forced relocation, disease and genocide have made it difficult to find where many Native American tribes once lived.

Aaron Carapella, a self-taught mapmaker in Warner, Okla., has pinpointed the locations and original names of hundreds of American Indian nations before their first contact with Europeans.

Flickr Photo/Keith Allison (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with Jay Rosenstein, journalism professor and producer of "In Whose Honor?", about the history of Indian mascots and the significance of the U.S. patent's office cancelation of the Washington Redskins' trademark.

Yakama Nation Protests Coal Export Terminal

May 21, 2014

BOARDMAN, Ore. -- Yakama Nation tribal members took to the Columbia River Tuesday to protest a proposed coal export facility in eastern Oregon. The tribe says the export facility would cut fishers off from treaty-protected fishing sites along the river.

More than 70 people held signs and waved flags on the banks of the Columbia River, just downstream from the proposed Morrow Pacific coal export terminal.

 Billy Frank Jr., a legendary champion of tribal treaty rights and Northwest salmon restoration, died Monday. He was 83 years old.

After 180 years, it is not too late to say thank you. That is what a Japanese delegation did last week as it retraced the history-making path of three  castaways to the Makah Indian Reservation on the Washington coast.

EarthFix Photo/Katie Campbell

Tribal leaders in the Puget Sound area gathered on Bainbridge Island Thursday for a summit about top issues in Indian Country. They were joined with U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to discuss federal priorities.

Hydropower dams built without fish ladders have blocked migratory fish from the upper reaches of the Columbia and Snake Rivers for decades.

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