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Over the last 100 years, federal Indian law and policy has come a long way from U.S. funded policies meant to destroy the structures of autonomy, governance, and security of Native Nations to forcibly assimilate Native peoples into its melting pot. These federal actions have been declared by U.S. leaders as acts of genocide, meant to stamp out and eradicate Native Nations altogether. 

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Native American students new to Grand Valley State University immediately found their community on campus by participating in Laker Connection orientation, three days of programming in late August focused on helping diverse students find resources and succeed while in college.

Dr. Crystal Martinez-Alire
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Many school districts in California and the country have transitioned to fully reopening schools for the fall semester primarily due to COVID-19 vaccination efforts. School openings have brought a sense of new normalcy to their communities. 

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Mother Earth is angry. Every day, we read headlines about how climate change-driven natural disasters are wreaking havoc in new and increasingly terrifying ways. Traditional methods of indigenous land stewardship called for living in balance with one another and with the natural world. Such ways of living in symbiosis with nature ensured that preservation of the environment for the benefit of future generations was crucial to any major decisions. The industrial world generally deviated from this way of thinking but the pendulum has swung back in favor of environmental stewardship now that humanity is facing a growing climate crisis.

Kashia Coastal Reserve
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For some 12,000 years, the Kashia Band of Pomo Indians freely inhabited their ancestral homeland along the Pacific coast north of San Francisco. On this stretch of breathtakingly beautiful California coastline, the Kashia people hunted, fished and developed a rich cultural heritage.      

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Every ten years, states redraw the community lines for both Native and non-Native lands within their borders. This process is known as redistricting. These imaginary lines determine election districts, and the way that they are drawn can have a huge impact on the people that live in a community. 

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The Other Slavery: Histories of Indian Bondage from New Spain to the Southwestern United States

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As we near our 10-year anniversary, staff at the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center (NIWRC) continue to find ourselves humbled and inspired each day by the strength and efforts put forth by survivors, Tribal leaders, Tribal programs, and grassroots advocates working to end violence in Indigenous communities. This strength is a true testament to the courage and bravery of Indigenous people in developing culturally based responses and solutions to this crisis of violence against Native women and their children. 

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The expansion of tribal sovereignty through education is frequently overlooked. Tribes often lack the capital or other resources to start tribally-owned schools—an extremely costly endeavor that does not typically generate much revenue. But those challenges did not stop dedicated Comanche Nation citizens, descendants, and supporters. Utilizing a unique Oklahoma law that allows tribes to be the direct authorizers of tribal charter schools, the Comanche Nation is increasing its ability to define and create its own educational goals for its children.