A tribal court on the Umatilla Indian Reservation is one of the first to hand-down a long prison term under new tougher criminal sentencing laws enacted by Congress in 2010.
It used to be that tribes could only sentence a Native American criminal to up to one year of jail time -- no matter the crime. Typically the U.S. Justice Department was called in for everything else -– but many cases were dropped.
Now, tribal courts have the power to sentence native criminals who commit crimes on a reservation up to three years per count, for up to nine years.
Photographer Matika Wilbur is a member of the Tulalip Tribe raised on the Swinomish Reservation. Her work explores themes of Native American identity and cultural duality, and has appeared in the Royal British Columbia Museum of Fine Arts, The Nantes Museum of Fine Arts in France, the Seattle Art Museum and the Burke Museum. She joins us to talk about her new project to photograph Native Americans from all 562 tribes in the United States.
Two relatively obscure waterways in rural southeast Oregon are generating a heated dispute over geographic names. The small streams are both named "Squaw Creek," which is considered offensive to Native Americans. But the landowners in each case object to the proposed new names.
A 25-member volunteer panel called the Oregon Geographic Names Board is methodically working to erase the term "squaw" from the state map. Often, the new names are suggested by Native Americans.
Board president Sharon Nesbit says that's the case for two remote creeks in rural Harney County.