Chickasaw Nation Company Makes Oklahoma State Chocolate Bars

DAVIS, Okla. (AP) _ A confectioner owned by the Chickasaw Nation has partnered with Oklahoma State University to produce collegiate-branded chocolate bars.

Gourmet chocolate bars made by Bedre Fine Chocolate are wrapped in packaging that bear OSU's logo and orange and black colors. They're sold at Bedre's retail store in Davis, about 70 miles (113 kilometers) southeast of Oklahoma City, online at Bedre's website and are available to wholesalers for distribution across the U.S.

Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby says the partnership is another way the Oklahoma-based tribe shows support for higher education in the state. Anoatubby says the Chickasaw Nation has supported OSU students in academics, research and athletics for many years.

OSU President Burns Hargis says the new partnership makes Bedre Fine Chocolate the university's chocolate of choice.

 

USDA Awards UC and Karuk Tribe $1.2 Million for Research and Education

As California and the nation grapple with the implications of persistent drought, devastating wildfires and other harbingers of climate change, researchers at UC Berkeley’s College of Natural Resources and the Karuk Tribe are building on a decade-long partnership to learn more about stewarding native food plants in fluctuating environmental conditions. UC Berkeley and the Karuk Tribe have been awarded a $1.2 million USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative grant for field research, new digital data analysis tools and community skill-building aimed to increase resilience of the abundant cultural food and other plant resources – and the tribal people whose food security and health depend on them.

Jennifer Sowerwine, UC Cooperative Extension specialist at UC Berkeley and co-founder of the Karuk-UC Berkeley Collaborative, and Lisa Hillman, program manager of the Karuk Tribe’s Píkyav Field Institute, will co-lead the xúus nu'éethti – we are caring for it research project.

UC Berkeley’s College of Natural Resources, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Karuk Department of Natural Resources will support the project with postdoctoral researchers, botany, mapping and GIS specialists, and tribal cultural practitioners and resource technicians. The San Rafael-based nonprofit Center for Digital Archaeology will help develop a new data modeling system.

Project activities include expanding the tribe’s herbarium (a research archive of preserved cultural plants launched in 2016 with UC Berkeley support), developing digital tools to collect and store agroecological field data, and helping tribal community members and youth learn how to analyze the results.

"For the xúus nu'éethti – we are caring for it research project, UC ANR’s Informatics and Geographic Information Systems (IGIS) team will lead hands-on workshops and consultations to build Karuk Tribal capacity to assess, monitor and make management decisions regarding the agroecosystem," Sowerwine said. "Workshop curricula for tribal staff and community members will include GIS training, 360 photospheres and drone images, and storymapping techniques. IGIS will also provide technical analysis of historical land use and land cover records to support researchers' understanding of agroecological resilience over time."

"We are delighted to continue our connection with UC Berkeley through this new project," said Hillman. "Through our past collaboration on tribal food security, we strengthened a network of tribal folks knowledgeable in identifying, monitoring, harvesting, managing for and preparing the traditional foods that sustain us physically and culturally. With this new project, we aim to integrate variables such as climate change, plant pathogens and invasive species into our research and management equations, learning new skills and knowledge along the way and sharing those STEM skills with the next generation."

The research team will assess the condition of cultural agroecosystems including foods and fibers to understand how land use, land management, and climate variables have affected ecosystem resilience. Through planning designed to maximize community input, they will develop new tools to inform land management choices at the federal, state, tribal and community levels.

The new project’s name, xúus nu'éethti – we are caring for it, reflects the Karuk Tribe’s continuing commitment to restore and enhance the co-inhabitants of its aboriginal territory whom they know to be their relations – plants, animals, fish, water, rocks and land. At the core of Karuk identity is the principle of reciprocity: one must first care for these relations in order to receive their gifts for future generations.

This work will be supported by the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Resilient Agroecosystems in a Changing Climate Challenge Area.

UC Agriculture and Natural Resources researchers and educators draw on local expertise to conduct agricultural, environmental, economic, youth development and nutrition research that helps California thrive. Learn more at ucanr.edu.

 

Tribal Leaders Question Maine AG on Water Rights

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ Maine tribal leaders and environmental groups are criticizing Democratic Attorney General Janet Mills for calling for review of a federal court ruling backing tribal fishing rights in Washington.

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to review a federal court order that could force Washington to pay billions of dollars to restore salmon habitat by removing barriers that block fish migration. The ruling stems from a 2001 lawsuit filed by 21 tribes and the Justice Department.

The lawsuit says tribes are being deprived of fishing rights guaranteed by treaties. Maine tribes and other critics say Mills' efforts threaten such rights and clean water rules.

Mills says she respects sustenance fishing rights of the Penobscot Nation and Passamaquoddy Tribes. Mills, who's running for governor, argues the Washington case is about federal overreach.

 

Biologist Says Caribou Herd May be Extinct

 SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) _ A biologist says the south Selkirk mountain caribou herd may be extinct after aerial surveys found only three remaining animals.

Bart George, wildlife biologist for the Kalispel Tribe, says two aerial surveys in March found only three female caribou. Last year there were about a dozen of the endangered animals.

The Spokesman-Review says that less than 10 years ago there were about 50 animals in the herd.

The south Selkirk caribou herd was the only herd living in both the United States and Canada. It ranges along the crest of the Selkirks near the international border, north of Spokane. The remaining 14 or so herds are all in Canada. It's estimated that less than 1,400 mountain caribou are left in North America.

Efforts to save the animals began decades ago.

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Information from: The Spokesman-Review, http://www.spokesman.com

 

Kansas governor signs bill protecting tribal regalia rights

Editors Note APNewsNow.

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer has signed a bill protecting the right of native Americans to wear tribal regalia and other cultural objects at public events.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the bill was sponsored by Rep. Ponka-We Victors. The Wichita Democrat is a member of both the Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma and the Tohono O'odham Nation in Arizona.

She contends some states have enacted similar laws in response to policies enforced at events like high school graduations where officials sometimes insist on strict dress codes.

The new law bars any state agency, school district or local government from prohibiting any individual from wearing tribal regalia at events or meetings.

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Information from: Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World, http://www.ljworld.com

 

Lawsuit seeks protected areas for West Coast humpbacks

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ A new lawsuit accuses the Trump administration of failing to follow the law on protecting humpback whales.

Two environmental groups and a nonprofit that represents Native American tribes filed the lawsuit Thursday in federal court in San Francisco.

There have been increasing reports of humpback whales tangled in fishing gear that cause some to die. Federal authorities have designated three groups of West Coast humpbacks as endangered or threatened.

The lawsuit says that obligates federal officials to designate special areas of the ocean as critical to protecting the humpback whales. It says authorities missed the legal deadline for doing so by 2017.

Spokeswoman Jennie Lyons of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the agency does not comment on litigation.

 

EPA settles with company to assess uranium sites on Navajo

CAMERON, Ariz. (AP) _ Federal officials have reached a settlement to have eight abandoned uranium mines assessed on the Navajo Nation.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says EnPro Holdings Inc. will install fencing and signs warning residents and visitors of potential radiation exposure at sites in northeastern Arizona near Cameron and Tuba City. The company also will assess for radiation and conduct biological and cultural surveys ea.

The work is expected to cost $500,000 and be complete by the end of the year.

EnPro is the successor to the A&B Mining Corp, which operated on the reservation in the 1950s.

Uranium was mined extensively from the Navajo Nation for use in Cold War weapons production. Hundreds of mines were abandoned without being cleaned up.

The tribe has banned uranium mining and processing since 2005.

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