Native Americans

Contaminants Found in Schools
9:14 am
Thu August 25, 2011

EPA tells Bureau of Indian Affairs to clean up tribal schools

The Environmental Protection Agency says hazardous contaminants that most schools have gotten rid of remain in more than 160 government-operated tribal schools. That includes six in the Northwest. A new settlement aims to bring schools in Native American communities up to standards.

EPA inspections of tribal schools between 2005 and 2008 found violations of seven environmental laws, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Toxic Substances Control Act.

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Artscape
4:32 pm
Sun August 7, 2011

Tulalip cultural center helps maintain tribe's traditions

Tessa Campbell, assistant curator at the Hibulb Cultural Center, sits next to a family tree showing her oldest relatives on census records.
Charla Bear KPLU

Native Americans have struggled to hang onto their cultures for decades. On August 20th, a local tribe will have a new resource to help.

The Tulalips are opening a cultural center on their reservation. It not only shares history the way the tribe sees it, but bridges the past with modern-day life.

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Artscape
9:00 am
Sun June 5, 2011

Play tackles fears of young Native Americans after woodcarver killed

Young Native American actors portray prisoners in the Red Eagle Soaring production, A Right To Justice. The play aims to help youth work out their feelings about police since Ian Birk, a former Seattle officer, shot woodcarver John T. Williams.
Charla Bear KPLU

It’s been more than nine months since a Seattle police officer killed First Nations woodcarver John T. Williams, and tensions are still running high among Native Americans. They say the shooting brings up the long history of brutality Native people have faced.

The anxiety has also affected children, who’ve had a tough time putting Williams’ death in perspective.

This coming weekend, a local theater group will debut a performance to help young Native Americans move forward, starting with a look at the past.

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Catholic Sex Abuse Scandal
9:39 am
Thu May 26, 2011

Clergy abuse case becomes spiritual struggle for attorney

Leander James
Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

One of the largest clergy sex abuse cases in the country has turned into the case of a lifetime for one Northwest attorney.

The settlement between the Northwest Jesuits and abuse victims will soon go before a federal judge in Portland for confirmation. The north Idaho attorney who helped negotiate this $166 million deal says he was a small town “nobody” before the case.

KPLU’s Jessica Robinson tells the story of how going up against the Catholic church shook up his own long-held beliefs.

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Law
12:05 pm
Wed May 11, 2011

New state law could help Native American families stay together

Decades after the federal government stopped taking Native American children from their homes and putting them in boarding schools, Native families still face challenges staying together.

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John T. Williams Shooting
6:08 am
Fri April 1, 2011

Wood carver's killing subject of federal review

Tribal members gather at the Chief Seattle Club in Pioneer Square last September to call for accountability in the police shooting death of native carver John T. Williams.
Photo by Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU News

"We have nothing to hide" – those were the words of Seattle's chief of police yesterday.  The department is under fire. 

The questions stem from a federal review of the fatal shooting of a first nation's wood carver last August, as well as what many people perceive as a prior pattern of  abusive violence against minority groups.

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Gambling
8:04 am
Wed March 16, 2011

Non-tribal casinos renew push for video slot machines

Chris Kealy, owner of The Iron Horse mini-casino in Auburn, wants the legislature to allow electronic slots in non-tribal casinos in Washington
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Lawmakers expect to get more bad news tomorrow when the new state revenue forecast comes out. If the budget shortfall grows, pressure will intensify to find new sources of tax dollars to offset some of the cuts. Maybe gambling.

That's what owners of the state's non-tribal casinos are betting on. They're ready with a proposal to allow video slot machines in off-reservation mini-casinos – something they say will benefit the state’s coffers.

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Reflections on the water
2:29 am
Tue February 22, 2011

Returning the bones: Darren Blaney, keeping faith with tradition

Darren Blaney is a former chief of the Homalco First Nation, the northern-most of the Salish Sea tribes, near Campbell River, B.C.
Liam Moriarty KPLU News

The northern tip of the Salish Sea is the place where the Campbell River on Vancouver Island empties into Georgia Strait. 

In the final segment in our series “Reflections on the Water,” KPLU environment reporter Liam Moriarty talks with Darren Blaney, a wood carver and former chief of the Homalco First Nation, which is based in Campbell River.

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John T. Williams shooting
7:48 am
Mon January 10, 2011

Inquest begins into shooting of Seattle woodcarver

Tribal members gather at the Chief Seattle Club in Pioneer Square last September to call for accountability in the police shooting death of native carver John T. Williams.
KPLU/Bellamy Pailthorp

King County's inquest into the death of native woodcarver John T. Williams at the hands of a Seattle policeman is expected to last all week. The fact-finding work will review last August's shooting, and will determine whether prosecutors bring any charges against Officer Ian Birk.

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K-12 Education
8:02 am
Wed December 15, 2010

State needs more than a century to close achievement gap

A student gets help with his schoolwork in a Seattle program for at-risk youth
Seattle Office for Education

Washington is finally making progress on closing the achievement gap between different groups of students, but researchers say it’s not all good news.  A new report found that the gains mean some students will still lag behind for more than a century. 

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