News Posts

CIEA President Receives the 2011 California Teachers Association Jim Clark American Indian/Alaska Native Human Rights Award, March 5, 2011, at the Fairmont San Jose, San Jose, California

Left to Right: CIEA Southern Vice-President/CTAMinority-at-Large Board Member  
and former Jim Clark Human Rights Award recipient Marty G. Meeden, 
2011 CTA Jim Clark American Indian/Alaska Native 
Human Rights Awardee CIEA President Clyde Hodge,
CIEA Secretary/CTA  Caucus Chair/CTA Board Member George Melendez,
First Awardee of the American Indian/Alaska Native Human 
Rights Award and CTA Assistant Executive Director Jim Clark



Left to Right: CTA Secretary/Treasurer Gail Mendez,
CTA President David Sanchez,
2011 CTA Jim Clark American Indian/Alaska Native
Human Rights Awardee CIEA President Clyde Hodge
CTA Vice-President Dean Vogel

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Department of Interior upholds Sovereignty for the California Valley Miwok Tribe

American Indian/Alaska


Awardee CIEA President Clyde Hodge,

American Indian/Alaska Native


Press Release:

10601 N. Escondido Pl. Stockton, California)

On December 22, 2010, Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk reestablished the government-to-government relationship between the California Valley Miwok Tribe, a federally-recognized tribe, and the United States government.

The Assistant Secretary’s decision also recognized the Tribe as an organized entity and reaffirmed the authority of the Tribe’s governing body pursuant to its previously established resolution form of government. The Tribe commends the Assistant Secretary for upholding tribal sovereignty with this decision and for recognizing the inherent right of each federally-recognized Indian tribe to determine its own membership and form of government.

Acting as an organized entity and pursuant to its resolution form of government (Resolution #GC-98-01), on January 7, 2011, the Tribe held a Special General Council meeting in which it elected Silvia Burley as its Chairperson. The Bureau of Indian Affairs recently certified the election results and acknowledged the current members of the Tribal Council as being Chairperson Silvia Burley and Secretary/Treasurer Rashel Reznor.

The Tribe is now focused on bringing up to date all tribally based programs and instituting guidelines on enrollment and the establishment of objective membership criteria for which to enroll future perspective tribal members. The Tribe is actively working on developing its enrollment criteria and hopes to have applications for enrollment available in the near future. Once it is finalized, the enrollment application will be available upon written request.

The Tribe encourages all interested individuals who believe that they are of Miwok heritage and have an affiliation to the California Valley Miwok Tribe to apply to the Tribe and work within this enrollment process when it is completed.

Please contact the Tribal Office for more information: 1(209) 931-4567

MEDIA CONTACT: Robert Rosette 1(480) 242-9810


Eleven Lies about Indigenous Science –

© Kay Marie Porterfield, co-author of the Encyclopedia of American Indian Contributions to the World

Although blatant racism against American Indians is not as evident in textbooks and scholarly research materials as it was decades ago, subtle racism is alive and well.

Many books claiming to be fair, and even some labeled pro-Indian, are riddled with half-truths and mistruths based on false assumptions. Many Web pages also perpetuate the stereotype that American Indian accomplishments were inferior to those of Europeans. Subtle racism is every bit as dangerous as the obvious kind – perhaps even more so.

It can be difficult to detect because it often omits critical facts about both American Indian and European history. The fact that it is frequently written by well-respected scholars and authorities makes it even more difficult to detect. Like a low-grade infection, it works below the level of awareness, affecting students from elementary school to graduate school.

No matter how carefully educators and librarians choose materials and no matter how diligently we work to eliminate subtle academic racism, we need to know that in an open society students will encounter it.

Rather than waiting for the damage to be done, we can take immediate action by teaching them how to recognize, question and counter racist assumptions in books and online. These critical thinking skills can help to vaccinate them against some of the effects of the subtle racism infection.




Fiction: Europeans “discovered” scientific knowledge, but American Indians “stumbled upon” it – they didn’t know what they were doing.

Fact: All scientific knowledge comes from a process of trial and error – a messy guessing game that involves many false starts and much stumbling. Scientists first make an educated guess based on their observations. Then they test it and carefully observe the results to see if the guess was correct. If it wasn’t, they guess again. The haphazardness of this process led Albert Einstein to say, “If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?”

Narrative: Pre-contact American Indians used trial and error, carefully observing the results of these trials. Three pieces of evidence, selected from many, are:

Indians in the North American Northeast used foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) to treat heart problems. They administered it with extreme care since high doses were needed and the plant is highly toxic.

Manioc, a staple food crop of Mesoamerican, Circum-Caribbean and South American Tropical forest peoples, is poisonous in its natural state. Four to five thousand years ago indigenous people discovered a process to detoxify the plant and began cultivating it.

Indigenous people of Mesoamerica invented a four-step process to cure vanilla, transforming it into a flavoring ingredient. Vanilla processing plants were not established in Europe until the 1700s because Europeans couldn’t figure out the indigenous process.

Using loaded language to hide the fact that pre-contact American Indians gained knowledge in the same way all scientists do is not only biased scholarship – it is racist scholarship.



Fiction: American Indian knowledge and inventions sprung from hunches or intuitions, rather than rigorous and systematic study. Hunches and intuitions aren’t valid; linear thinking is.

Fact: Undoubtedly many American Indian scientific discoveries were initially based on intuition, as are many modern Western discoveries today. Intuition is a critical part of science. If knowledge based on hunches, intuitions and lightning bolts of inspiration doesn’t count, then organic chemistry is invalid. (Freidrich August von Kekule’s dream of a snake biting its tail enabled him to visualize the structure of the benzene molecule and birth the field of organic chemistry.) So is the periodic table of elements, an inspiration revealed to Russian chemist Mendeleev in a dream.

Narrative: We can forget about neurochemistry. (A dream showed Nobel prizewinner Otto Lowei that the chemical messengers, we now call neurotransmitters, are responsible for the flow of information in the human brain.) We can write off pasteurization, penicillin, and hundreds of other modern discoveries and inventions while we’re at it.

Alexander Graham Bell used intuitions that he called “a conquering force within” to invent the telephone and Henri Poincare, the mathematician who created the science of topology, said, “It is through science that we prove, but through intuition that we discover.”


Holding American Indians to a narrower definition of the scientific discovery process than is used for Europeans is not only unfair scholarship – it is racist scholarship.



Fiction: American Indians did not know about the scientific method, so their knowledge and inventions could not be scientific.

Fact: Even if the scientific method were the only way to make discoveries, American Indians can’t be faulted for not using it before 1492. Europeans didn’t use it either because it hadn’t yet been invented. Historical researchers seldom mention this critical fact.

Narrative: Most scholars credit Francis Bacon, an English philosopher and statesman who lived from 1561 to1626, as the father of the scientific method. Sometimes Galileo, an astronomer, who lived from 1564 to 1642, is also credited. Both were born well after Columbus landed in the Americas. The fact that Galileo was arrested by the Catholic Inquisition in 1633 for heresy and held prisoner until he died in 1642 indicates that the scientific method was not only unwelcome in Europe for at least 150 years after 1492 – it was considered a sin and a crime.

Insisting that pre-contact American Indians ought to have used the scientific method before it existed is not only sloppy scholarship – it is racist scholarship.



Fiction: American Indians (the Maya) independently invented the wheel, but it isn’t a real invention because they only used it for toys.

Fact: Many European scientific inventions started out as toys or “curiosities.” These include the telescope and the microscope. “We are more ready to try the untried when what we do is inconsequential,” wrote philosopher Eric Hoffer. “Hence the remarkable fact that many inventions had their births as toys.”

Narrative: Scholars who use wheeled transportation as a benchmark for measuring civilization rarely take the natural environment into account. Suitable draft animals did not exist in the pre-contact Americas. The two largest animals – bison and llamas – weren’t easily domesticated to pull carts or chariots

Terrain was another factor that discouraged the development of wheeled transportation in the Americas. European new to North America often found their wheeled wagons inappropriate for the land they were trying to cross. Frequently they traded this clumsy transport for American Indian forms of transportation – the canoe, snowshoes and toboggans. Indigenous people throughout the Americas used runners to deliver communications. The Inca built a road system that included suspension bridges for their runners.


Failing to consider the environmental context in which American Indian science arose is not only superficial scholarship – it is racist scholarship.



Fiction: American Indian people were living in Stone Age culture at the time of conquest.

Fact: Although the polar Inuit near Baffin Bay did use meteorites to make iron blades, for the most part, other American Indians did not work with iron (a prerequisite for entering the Iron Age). American Indians did begin making metal tools before Europeans did. The people of the Old Copper Culture in the Great Lakes region of North America 7,000 years ago are considered by many scientists to have been the oldest metal workers in the world. They developed annealing to strengthen the tools they made.

Narrative: Pre-Columbian metal workers invented sophisticated techniques for working with other metals. Pre-contact metallurgists living in what are now Ecuador and Guatemala learned how to work with platinum, a metal that has the extremely high melting point of 3218 degrees by developing a technique called sintering. Europeans were unable to work platinum until the 19th century. Metal workers in other parts of the Americas knew how to solder, could make foil and used rivets to fasten pieces of metal together.

In areas where no metal deposits lay close to the surface, American Indians made tools of bone, wood and stone. The blades of their flint surgical instruments were so thin that the incisions they made could not be duplicated until the advent of laser surgery.


Focusing on the Iron Age while failing to mention the metallurgical abilities of many American Indian culture groups is not only ignorant scholarship – it is racist scholarship.



Fiction: The Aztec use of ritual sacrifice proves they were bloodthirsty and barbaric. This deserves our attention, not their accomplishments.

Fact: The Aztec did practice did practice ritual sacrifice, using large numbers of prisoners of war in these rituals. The Old World has a history of ritual sacrifice and killing prisoners that could just as easily be termed bloodthirsty and barbaric.

Narrative: Hammaurabi’s Code, considered a sign of emerging civilization by scholars, established the death penalty in Babylon for 25 crimes in the Eighteenth Century B.C. By the Seventh Century B.C., the Greeks of Athens had established the Draconian Code that established death as the punishment for all crimes. Roman law in the Fifth Century B.C. mandated drowning, impalement, live burnings, drowning or beating to death for executing prisoners.

According to limited archaeological evidence, some groups of the Celts, a dominant tribe of Western Europe that settled in what would become the British Isles, practiced both ritual sacrifice and headhunting. By the Eleventh Century A.D. William the Conqueror outlawed the death penalty except during war, but in the Sixteenth Century, Henry VIII ordered an estimated 72,000 people executed. Favored methods were burning at the stake, boiling, beheading hanging and drawing and quartering. In the 1700’s Britain had 222 crimes punishable by death including stealing a rabbit and cutting down a tree.


The Inquisition, begun by the Catholic Church in the early 13th century and that peaked between 1550 and 1650, focused on eliminating heresy.


Researchers who studied court documents estimate that between 50,000 and 100,000 people were put to death in Europe. Many more were tortured.


Victims included midwives, herbal healers, single women who owned property and lived alone, pagans, people whose neighbors didn’t like them, and those who were in the wrong place at the wrong time.


Emphasizing Aztec sacrifice in order to minimize the culture’s accomplishment while turning a blind eye to European historical violence is not only self-serving scholarship – it is racist scholarship.



Fiction: European scientific knowledge was more advanced than that of Indigenous Americans at the time of contact.

Fact: Pre-contact American Indian healers had developed a sophisticated system of medical treatment compared to European healers of the time, who relied on bloodletting, blistering, religious penance, and concoctions of lead, arsenic and cow dung to treat disease. In addition to performing surgery, American Indians from several culture groups understood the importance of keeping wounds sterile and used botanical antiseptics. They made syringes out of bird bones and animal bladders to administer plant medicine.

Narrative: Indians of North, Meso and South America had developed so many botanical medications by the time of contact that the Spanish King, Philip II sent physician Francisco Hernando to the Americas in 1570 to record Aztec medical knowledge and bring it back to Europe. Eventually 200 American Indian botanical remedies were included in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia, an official listing of all effective medicines and their uses.

Another area of scientific knowledge in which American Indians excelled was plant breeding. American Indian farmers, who had formed a working knowledge of plant genetics between 5200 and 3400 B.C., used seed saving to create hundreds of varieties of food crops.


By comparison Europeans showed little interest in plant genetics. In 1865 when Gregor Mendel made public his experiments with hybrids, the European scientific community scorned him. Not until the early 1900s did European scientists begin to take agricultural experimentation seriously.


Omitting the scientific and technical accomplishments of American Indian while ignoring the shortsightedness of the European science is not only incomplete scholarship – it is racist scholarship.



Fiction: American Indians have invented a number of positive things, but they also invented scalping.

Fact: American Indians probably learned the practice of scalping from the Europeans. Although archaeologists have found a few prehistoric human remains in the Americas that show evidence of cut marks on the skulls, they disagree about whether these marks are evidence of scalping. Absolutely no evidence exists that scalping was a widespread practice in the Americas before European contact. If it was practiced, it was done by very few tribes and then very infrequently.

Narrative: On the other hand, scalping was a well-established tradition for Europeans. Ancient Scythians (Russians) practiced it. Herodotus, the Greek Historian, wrote of them in B.C. 440, “The Scythian soldier scrapes the scalp clean of flesh and softening it by rubbing between the hands, uses it thenceforth as a napkin. The Scyth is proud of these scalps and hangs them from his bridle rein; the greater the number of such napkins that a man can show, the more highly is he esteemed among them. Many make themselves cloaks by sewing a quantity of these scalps together.”

Much later the English paid bounties for Irish heads. Because scalps were easier to transport and store than heads, Europeans sometimes substituted scalping for headhunting. Records show that the Earl of Wessex England scalped his enemies in 11th century.


In 1706 the governor of Pennsylvania offered 130 pieces of eight for the scalp of Indian men over twelve years of age and 50 pieces of eight for a woman’s scalp. Because it was impossible for those who paid the bounty to determine the victim’s sex – and sometimes the age – from the scalp alone, killing women and children became a way to make easy money.


During the French and Indian Wars and later during the war between the British and the Colonists, both the British and the French encouraged their Indian allies to scalp their enemies providing them with metal scalping knives.


The practice of paying bounties for Indian scalps did not end until the 1800’s.


Disparaging American Indian culture by blaming Indians for scalping while omitting reference to the long standing European tradition of bounties for scalps is not only partial scholarship – it is racist scholarship.



Fiction: Syphilis originated in the Americas. This cancels out any positive contributions American Indians made.

Fact: Archeological evidence provides strong evidence that syphilis was present in Europe before Columbus and his men returned from their first voyage to the Americas.

Narrative: Excavations at a friary in Hull, England, have uncovered at least a dozen skulls displaying evidence of three-stage syphilis. These have been carbon dated to between 1300 and 1450 A.D. Pre-Columbian skeletons with syphilis have also been found elsewhere in Europe, including Ireland, Naples and Pompeii, as well as at an excavation in Israel. This physical evidence lends credence to historical writings from Europe that place syphilis in Europe between 150 and 200 years before Columbus set sail on his first voyage.

Proponents of the theory that syphilis originated in the Americas often cite historical reports that an epidemic of syphilis laid waste to French soldiers in 1494. Because the damage that syphilis does to the body progresses at a slow rate, it is unlikely that it could have been contracted the year before.


Authors who claim as fact that syphilis originated in the Americas, often fail to note that an estimated 65 percent or more of American Indians died from small pox, typhoid, scarlet fever, influenza, dysentery, diphtheria, chicken pox and cholera brought to the America by Europeans. (Smallpox alone had a mortality rate of 90 per 100 cases.)


Claiming that syphilis originated in the Americas is not only scholarship that draws hasty conclusions from flimsy evidence – it is racist scholarship.




Fiction: The indigenous peoples of the Americas were defeated by the European military because the Europeans were intellectually superior to the Indians.


Fact: Indigenous populations of North, Meso and South America were decimated by disease brought from Europe, diseases against which they had no immunity. Modern military historians believe that disease was the major factor in the military defeat of American Indians.


Narrative: By 1495, two years after Columbus’ first voyage, fifty-seven to eighty percent of the native population of Santa Domingo had died from small pox according to R.S. Bray, author of Armies of Pestilence-The Impact of Disease on History. (1994). By 1515, two-thirds of the Indians of Puerto Rico were dead from the disease.


Ten years after Cortez arrived in Mexico, 74 percent of the indigenous people there had died from disease so that only six million remained. Indians living in New England and Canada also died in great numbers. All the time, more Europeans continued to arrive on the continent.


Later small pox would sweep across the North American continent, leaving death in its wake. According to some estimates that about one million one hundred and fifty thousand Indians lived north of the Rio Grande in the early sixteenth-century. By the early 1900s only about four hundred thousand Indians lived in this area. Most died from European disease.


Not only were American Indians outnumbered, one can only imagine the fear, grief and social disruption these plagues caused them. In addition to taking lives and land, Europeans took Indian technological knowledge, claiming it as their own.


Asserting that European military domination of American Indians occurred because Europeans were intellectually superior and, at the same time, ignoring the hundreds of Indian inventions that Europeans co-opted is not only shoddy scholarship – it is racist scholarship.




Fiction: Europeans had guns. Indians didn’t. This proves Europeans were far more intellectually advanced than Indians.


Fact: While it is true that European colonizers had firearms, this technology was a relatively new invention. After obtaining guns from traders and trappers, American Indians quickly became expert marksmen. Despite their skill using guns and keeping them in working order, they were not able to manufacture them or able to get their hands on as many guns as the Europeans possessed.


Narrative: Although history books often leave the impression that Europeans were accomplished gun manufacturers well before contact, firearm technology was still in its infancy when Columbus set sail. The English did not have handguns until the 1375. The Italians did not have them until 1397. The first mechanical device for firing the handgun was not invented until 1427. Europeans used crossbows as weapons of war until 1485 when half of the English army was equipped with guns. Europeans did not use guns for hunting game until 1515.


Basing a claim of innate superior intelligence on an invention that was only 117 years old and not in general use in 1492 is not only ridiculous scholarship – it is racist scholarship.



Learn more about the intellectual genius of Indigenous people throughout the pre-contact Americas.


The Encyclopedia of American Indian Contributions to the World: 15,000 Years of Invention and Innovation, details over 450 examples from the Abacus to Zucchini. It is co-authored by Emory Dean Keoke, an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and Kay Marie Porterfield, a former instructor at Oglala Lakota College. ISBN10: 0816053677; ISBN13: 9780816053674. Publisher: Facts on File, Inc., Cover: Paperback. Year Published: 2003. Weight: 1.5lbs.


Source:  How to Talk Back

Submitted by Andre Cramblit – Native News Network


Judge Gives Preliminary Approval  to Cobell Settlement

WASHINGTON,  Dec. 22  —  U.S. District Judge Thomas  F. Hogan has
given preliminary approval to the $3.4 billion settlement in the
15-year-old class action lawsuit over the government’s mismanagement
of the trust fund assets of an estimated 600,000 Native Americans.

The decision, which was backed by lawyers for both the government
and the Indian plaintiffs during a Tuesday hearing, will set in motion
a massive search for hundreds of thousands of Native Americans whose
names and addresses have been lost by the government, said lawyers for
the class of plaintiffs in the suit brought by lead plaintiff Elouise
Cobell and others.

Dennis Gingold, the lead plaintiffs attorney, said the government
currently has the correct names and address for only half of the
600,000 Native Americans who are potentially eligible for benefits
under the settlement.  He promised a vigorous search for eligible
beneficiaries lead by two firms which have extensive experience
finding members of large class-action lawsuits.

Under orders approved by the judge, the two firms, Kinsella Media
and The Garden City Group — recognized as preeminent firms in this
field — will begin immediately the search process with a $20 million
payment from the settlement funds.

The judge also designated J.P. Morgan as the Qualified Bank to
handle disbursement of the funds. That decision came after the judge
said he learned that no Native American bank was large enough to
handle the settlement.

Gingold had strongly recommended J.P. Morgan for the job, noting
its work disbursing a multimillion dollar settlement involving tobacco

“It’s clear that both sides agree that it’s a fair and reasonable
settlement,” said Judge Hogan after recounting how the lawyers reached
an “arms-length” settlement after what he said had clearly been a
contentious legal fight.

Government attorneys endorsed the settlement, calling it a fair
deal for the plaintiffs and for taxpayers.

Judge Hogan stressed that he intends to keep the settlement
process open to the public.  All hearings will be open to the public
and all letters and communications the judge receives will be entered
into the public record of the Cobell case.

A “fairness hearing” on the adequacy of proposed disbursements
from the fund was tentatively set for June 20.   He set the end of an
opt-out period in which individual Indian beneficiaries may seek a
separate settlement with the government for April 20.

The formal notification period is expected to begin Jan. 20, the judge said.

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Snap Shot of Suicide Statistics

in Indian Country

· The American Indian and Alaska Native rate of suicide is 2.5 times higher than the national average and the incidents of suicide occur at a much younger age than in the general population.

· Native people ages 15-34 make up 40% of all suicides within American Indian and Alaska Native populations.

· Native peoples ages 5-14 have a 2.6% higher rate of suicide than the national average.

· Suicide is the second leading cause of death (behind unintentional injuries) for Indian youth aged 15-24.

· Suicide is the 5th leading cause of death overall for males and ranks ahead of homicide.

· While suicide rates for all other racial groups declined from 1990 through 1998, they continued to increase for American Indians.

· Over half of Native American suicides were committed with a firearm, and more than one third were by hanging.

· The highest rates of youth suicide occurred in the Alaska, Aberdeen, and Tucson Areas.

· These Areas had rates that were six to eight times greater than national rates.















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From Newspaper Rock


Redskins make children cry

MU diversity groups bring Native American issues to foreground

The week’s events focused on Native American imagery in sports.

By Alex Silverman

Cornel Pewewardy, professor of Native American studies at Portland State University, presented some of his research on the effects of Native American sports images on Native American populations Thursday. The National Indian Education Association named Pewewardy the 2009 Teacher of the Year. In his lecture, Pewewardy discussed the negative effects of stereotypical Native American imagery in both sports and society on the self-esteem of Native American people.

He recalled an instance from his time as an elementary educator in a predominantly Native American area when he took some of his students on a trip to an NFL game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Washington Redskins. While walking his students through the parking lot, the war-chanting and tomahawk chopping of Redskins fans in full “Indian garb” brought some of his students to tears.

“If you see babies cry and you know why they’re crying, you do something about it,” Pewewardy said.Comment:  If you’re a typical American, what you do about crying Indian children is ignore them. Or perhaps blame them for not being “man” enough to take racist insults in stride.

For more on the subject, see Red·skin n.  Dated, Offensive, Taboo and Team Names and Mascots.





























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Also from newspaper Rock:

Where are Obama’s Cabinet reports?

Uh, hello? Anybody remember that Obama issued an order to his Cabinet members to produce reports within 90 days? It’s been 92 days by my calculation, so where are the reports? I expect we’ll hear about 15 detailed action plans in the next day or so…right?

Otherwise, we’ll start talking about Obama’s broken promise to tribes. I suspect he won’t appreciate the negative publicity.

Someone on Facebook said, “Maybe the nix on discretionary spending will result in a delay.” To which I responded:

The deficit may delay when the plans are implemented, but it shouldn’t change when the plans are due. That’s now.

There will always be cutbacks and crises in government. I don’t think they’re a legitimate excuse for ignoring issues in Indian country. As with anything, you make time for your highest priorities.

This is especially true of the Cabinet members’ reports. Obama promised the reports knowing we were in the middle of a recession, deficit spending, healthcare reform, etc. Nothing earth-shaking has happened since Nov. 6. So where are the reports?

For more on the subject, see Obama at the Tribal Summit.

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Section A: From the President

Section 1: Interview

Section 2: News

Section 3: Native American Indian Dropout Rates

Section 4: Native American Indian Suicide Information

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Section A

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Letter from the President

It’s summer. The mockingbird is running through his vast repertoire of songs, the sage has shot up its elegant staff of flowers, the poppy has decorated the freeways, valleys and hillsides with its sunrise-orange plumage, and students all over California have graduated to the next grade, high school, and college. Congratulations, all!

The seeds we planted are now bearing the fruit of our labors. It’s a time for the hot times, both weather, and issues.

There’s been a lot happening in CIEA. First, we reinstated all of the CIEA Members who were paid in 2007 and 2009, because the EA had not come out, and elections were postponed for over two years. We’ve elected a new executive board, and as of June 14, we met with the board three times this year (We’re ba-ack!).

CIEA was an official supporter of 32nd Annual California Conference on American Indian Education in Palm Springs in March, where we had an information booth and met with many long-time friends and made quite a few new ones.

We have a lot on our plate, and what comes up every year about this time is graduation rates and college enrollment. Yes, we still have a list of the mosts: The most percentage of dropouts, suicides, incarceration, diabetes; the list goes on. Changing this will take involvement by the schools, the government, the communities, and a simple commitment by all of us. These tough financial times in California should be seen as an opportunity to get our ducks in a row, get in line, and push for what’s right, and right now is the time to organize.

We have also published this website this year. We have much more to include as we build it from the ground up. The snail mail version of Early American is included in the various pages of this site. Check out all of the pages. Pictures and graphics are on the way.

In the “Calendar” page is a posting of CIEA Sponsored  American Indian Reading and Writing Summer Institute for Teachers, Educators, Tutors, Paraprofessionals, and Parents,“Read to Learn and Write to Learn,” held on August 27, & 28, 2009. It’s conducted by The Alliance for Education and Community Development, Inc. It is “a non-profit organization providing meaningful, research-based training for those who serve Native American, Alaskan Native, and

other under-represented populations.” Please check the web site and register for this very useful event: .

In this “Early American” page we have included news (some ours, and other significant events of a positive political nature). We have also included an unabridged version of the CIEA interview with one of our most significant founders, David Risling. We consider his words inspirational, uplifting, and a great model for all.

We are also holding a Powwow/Native gathering in Visalia, this November 7, 2009, at College of the Sequoias (see “PowWow” page button at top). The theme is, “Sovereign Directions in Our Educations,” meaning, we are pointing ourselves toward realizing the actual sovereignty that our legal sovereignty gives us all. We all have the right to be educated in the best way possible, designed appropriately for all Indigenous Peoples in the way(s) we learn best. Let’s make that very old goal become a reality.

CIEA is going back to its roots; its grass roots. We are conducting a comprehensive membership drive, because as the saying goes, many hands make light work (See “Join” page). With Native American Indians and Alaska Natives from all over California working together, we can once again be a powerful and positive force for Native American Indian students and their families in the urban, suburban and rural environments, and achieving accurate Native California history, high visibility, and educational and cultural sovereignty. Dues are still only (for the time being) $15.00 January 1 through December 31.

It only takes ten members to become a chapter, (See “Join” page) with the rights to have your Chapter Chair represent you on your CIEA Board. Local chapters have found that when working with California Indian Centers, Title VII and Johnson O’Malley parent groups, Tribal TANFs, or other government funded programs, they can organize fundraisers and plan activities (any celebration of Indian Education) with resources otherwise not funded by federal and state programs. Should you wisely choose to start a chapter, please contact us, and we will provide you personal assistance

to help, before, during, and after you join.

We’d like to be known for solving the important issues in a good way. Help us get there together. Let your voice be heard from the grass roots, on up: Start you chapter today, and become “CIEA-ble!”

All my Relations,


Clyde L. Hodge, CIEA President

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Section 1

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Honoring a Founder

Honored Elder and CIEA Co-Founder David Risling, Jr. (1921-2005)
CIEA Co-Founder
David Risling, Jr. (1921-2005)

From the CIEA interview

with Honored Elder David Risling

at the 35th Anniversary and Reunion,

Fresno, CA, 2002

This Interview with CIEA Founder David Risling (1921-2005) was conducted in front of a live audience as part of the Founders Celebration during CIEA’s 35th Anniversary and Reunion in Fresno, CA. (reprinted unabridged from CIEA Central Valley Chapter’s Hawk Eye Newsletter, Volume III, Number 4, Fourth Quarter, 2002-2003.) He and the other

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founders proved that it can be done. They are models of inspiration for the next phase in Native American Indian educational policy improvement.

Interview by Clyde Hodge

Hawk Eye (HE): Mr. Risling, we were having a private conversation a while ago, and you were sharing with us some of the things that you’ve been able to do. Could you give us an example of how we finally got started in California back in the Sixties, Seventies?

David Risling (DR): Well, we have to go back to about the Fifties when the state of California had a report made, and the state wanted to control everything, and they had one or two Indians who was going to be workin’ with them. All the rest of us was left out. Then there was a lady by the name of Kay Black. Kay Black was a person who was also involved with the women in Stockton and different places. She was in charge of all of that. Her husband worked for Modesto Junior College. They’re the ones ho got all that information to me, ’cause I wouldn’t have known anything about it. Then later on, we kinda stopped [the California Government] from what they were doin’. We had to fight the government and everybody else. We finally won the first battle, thanks to her. I have a lot of information about her, but she had the women on her side. And, do ya know? I learned more at that time than I know today. Because I’ll tell ya something, men, that all of the things that I get credit for today was done by the women. And I’m not foolin’ because the women are the ones who took care of the children when the men had a few jobs.

On Friday, when the got their money, nine out of ten of ’em went out and got drunk. And when they got home they had nothing. What would the mothers have to do? They had to feed the children, they worked for the children. I saw that, myself. So, if you go through my history you’ll find out that all of the things they give me credit for has been by the women. I think it’s catchin’ on here. So, you guys really have to really be careful, because they will tell you what to do; and you better do it. And, I do that, too, nationally. It works. That’s how come we started moving, because of the women who started doing things. I’ll just give you some examples.

We had to fight the state government, federal government, and everything else. One time we had to come up with some legislation in Sacramento. We had divided the state into eight areas. The people said, “You’re gonna fail; we’ve been fighting one-third here, one third there, back and forth. There’s no way you’re gonna get people to think on one particular thing.”

I told ’em, “I know how to do that. Just get a hold of the women.” And, do you know, we had divided the state into eight sections. I think we had five women and three men. Just to give you an example, I had to go before the state legislature. I had to have these votes in by Monday, and we’re talkin’ on Friday. I said, “We’ve got to have telegrams. I want ten telegrams,” from each of them. So, if they bring in eighty telegrams it’s gonna have some effect there. Then I had a niece that went to Sacramento State. She got all of the Chicanos there. There wasn’t that many Indian people that would come to that meeting. She had all the Chicanos come in there, so that everybody who came to there, it was full of dark people. So, any time they wanted to say something, they’d look out there and see all these dark people; we got all of the votes, because they were afraid that they were going to do something wrong. But before then, the men came out with ten different telegrams. One of then came out with one, another came out with two, one got five, but all the women got ten telegrams in. They brought ’em all in. Of course, with all the dark people there, we won the battle.

With some of these things that’s what ya had to do ’cause we didn’t have money, but we had minds, and we outsmarted them. We’ve been outsmarting them all along the way. It was the California Indian Education People that that did that. If

you go along the history, you’ll find out that it was the women, the women, the women. Now, I was nothing more than a tool of the women to do these things. I know how to fight, too.

HE: He knows how to fight! [Applause.] It’s a great personal honor to me and everyone on the Board, and we believe, everyone here to have someone who is so humble. Native American Rights Foundation (NARF), this group of CIEA people who are responsible one way or the other in the network of the way we work as Native Americans, virtually every Indian Center, through legislation, and virtually every Native American Indian Education program started with this gentleman and the wonderful women he worked with. I know you’re right, there. [Applause.] Any southern Indian and Navajo knows that the women are in control and you might as well give it up.[Laughter.] I believe that the Native Americans, we, invented the Women’s Rights movement. It took the White people 350 years to catch up with us.

Could you talk more about some of the other outgrowths and activities that have gone on? Maybe a couple of short stories.

DR: I’m not gonna tell you too much [in the way of] stories, but I wanted to let you know that CIEA was the most powerful group in the United States, from the Indian standpoint. We got more things done in about ten years than we have since that time, and before that time. I wanted to tell you that. We went from here and we went to the National, and anything that had to do with Indians, CIEA was at the bottom of it. I was just a tool to carry it out. I had a lot of experience, too. I was commanding officer of a ship in WWII; I was the only Indian in America that did that as commanding officer. I befriended the congressmen and various people like that, so they sided on my side and that was one of the things I learned from my dad. He said, “Don’t take on a battle until you can win. You cover all these kinds of things, befriend all these people you can that have power.” So, I got an education. For example, I went and visited all the congressmen in education. I didn’t tell ’em that I was going to use it all, I’d just tell ’em that I wanted to meet with them. They’d always tell me, “Well if you ever need help, just let us know.” I think I was responsible for getting thousands of things through Congress just by that. Even when the two senators from California became my friends, and any time I would go to a meeting back there, they would send me their top assistants, so they couldn’t get mad at me or anything like that.

We must begin to learn how to deal with these people. You have to know about the people you’re dealing with. That’s how we won a whole bunch of stuff.

Then we set up California Indian legal services. The governor of California, being serviced by all these rich people, they cut off all the funds for legal aid. So, I started Native American Rights Fund, the national organization. We got that thing through. They’re the ones that all fight the major battles today, in Congress and different places.

I can tell you stories and stories and stories and tell ya how we go through each one of those things. I come back to the women again, because, at the national level, this originally, out at D-Q University, they had a list of the twelve top women in the United States—Indian women that have done things for the People—and, did you know? Ten of them were ones I had worked with that had been doin’ all that stuff. I tell you that, because right now, where’s all the men? There should be more men out here than women. I’m tellin’ you that, because they’re doin’ something else. It’s our kids that we want to take care of, and our kids are the ones who are probably sitting around here, too! I just mentioned all those things, because all those things worked. It worked for me. I have sixty-nine pages [FBI files acquired from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)] of the government trying to beat me out, of some way to get rid of me. They couldn’t do it, because I went to the archives on each and everything. I had the attorneys under me, so when I’d just call ’em up and say, “Go take care of this, because I’ve got to have that, to get something through Congress,” or something else. And it happened. I’m just me! I didn’t have the money or anything else, but I had the backing of the People. I visited most of the Tribes in this country. Some of them I didn’t know at first, and they didn’t know who I was, but in the end I could just send out telephones or telegrams, and I’d have the support of all of the congressmen.

Matter of fact, I’m supposed to go up to Montana. They’re trying to change some of the things to be getting money directly from the Federal government rather than going through the Bureau of Indian Affairs. That’s going to go on for eight days into the middle of December. Since then, I’ve been asked to go to New Zealand, Australia, down to South America, and all these other places, based on what’s happened here. It’s workin’ down there, too, the same way. What I’m talking’ about right now. It’s workin’. So, it’s getting the people behind you. Usually, as I’ve been sayin’, most of them are women, because they have children. They want their children to have things; want things in the future. They want to be proud of the males, so the males begin to start things, too.

It’s really a pleasure to be down here to see what’s goin’ on. I was just really proud, because I didn’t know you guys were doin’ all this, and I began to meet people down there. A lot of ’em are some of the people I was talkin’ about. I didn’t even know they were here, because that was twenty-five years ago.

HE: One last question: If you were to say one last thing, the most important thing, for Native American Indian education here in California and all over, and even the Indigenous people all over the world, what would you say would be most likely the key, most important thing to always remember?

DR: That’s not easy, because a lot of the people don’t do the same thing that you’re doing here. California Indian Education Association was the model for the whole United States. It started from one to the other, ’cause I travel all around. They wanted to know, “What about this? Where did you come from? Who are these people who are called CIEA?” That’s one of the most important things; that we are the model. You are the model for doing things. A lot of the people didn’t believe in that, but it is working. You need to get together, however, to expand to the national organization. Somebody mentioned this morning to get acquainted with National Indian Education Association. We started that; they got it from us. Nobody’s takin’ advantage of that, and we need to do that. We need to do that more often. We have the California Legal Services and national legal services that can help you in some of your major problems. They don’t do anything individually, because of those kinds of things. They’re doing things for the Tribes through education and so forth. I’m sort of like this one and I’m kind of this kind of person I have to be part of them for the rest of my life. CIEA made me a lifetime member, so I’m here. All of you can get to the same thing. I always come to the young kids and say, “Look. I can tell you my history to start with. We didn’t live around any white people. We lived way up in the mountains, we had to walk a mile from the river, and to get any food or somethin’ we had to walk about twelve miles, get a boat or something, go down the river then walk up the hill for a mile. We lived on Indian food; fish, eels, sturgeon, deer meat, elk, and all the plants. We had acorn soup; we had all of those kinds of things. We had no doctors like you have today. We just had those people who were experts in medicine. Our aunt would bring out all these plants and finds out what we need, then she’d give us that. Sometimes she would make tea out of it. Sometimes she’d do something else to put on there. Sometimes she’d put pitch on your leg if it had a big cut in it and everything else. It healed faster than with what we have today.

So I just wanted to mention some of those things, because I think we are wonderful people. I like to look out [to the audience]. You’re Indian people. We can survive. We can also be models for the dominant society, and so on, because they’re havin’ problems right now. We have the big companies. We have a president…, so things don’t look too good for us.

I’ve been in the war, I lost a brother during the war during the Battle of the Bulge, and another over in Iwo Jima out in the South Pacific in WWII. It’s no fun when ya lose your families; ya lose your cousins, and all of these kinds of things. So, it’s very important that we get together with all our people. When we get together with all our people we have more strength.

I thank you. I feel real good being down here. I’ve met so many nice people, so many younger ones who would talk to me. I had no idea who they were. I’ll try to help as much as I can on some of the things ya have to do. I understand you guys are beginning to move, and I’m really looking forward to that. Thank you very much. [Roaring applause, standing ovation.]

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Section 2

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NEA Deprivation of Human Rights of Indigenous People Resolution

Five years in the making, the NEA Deprivation of Human Rights of Indigenous People Resolution passes! At the San Diego NEA Representative Assembly Delegates voted to pass Resolution NEW I: Deprivation of Human Rights of Indigenous People:

“The National Education Association believes that it is deplorable for government entities to allow, sanction, or participate in the slaughter and displacement of indigenous people of the United States and its territories and protectorates, including any practice that violates treaties, forcibly relocates, and/or forces compulsory out-of-home placements regarding life and education.”

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Photo courtesey

CIEA/CTA Members March on the San Diego Office of the Governor, demanding protection of California’s Proposition 98.

On July 6, 2009, one hundred California Teachers Association (CTA) members, representing the vast diversity of student ethnicities marched on Governor Schwarzenegger’s San Diego office to deliver ten thousand post cards, demanding protection of California’s Proposition 98, which guarantees at least forty percent of the state’s budget goes to education. Since the vast majority of Native American Indians and Alaska Natives student attend California’s public schools, we must expect the same. The two Native American Indian marchers were members of CIEA: CTA Chapter member Harris Knight-Moore (Luiseño) and Clyde Hodge.

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Wilton Miwok Rancheria tribe gets long overdue Federal Recognition.

After fifty years of fighting to reinstate themselves, the Wilton Miwok Rancheria tribe is once again a federally recognized sovereign nation. We can now proudly add them to California’s longest list of federally recognized tribes of any state.                               -Ed.

A June 8 U.S. District Court of Northern California decision restored the tribe’s sovereignty, which was illegally terminated in 1958 under the California Rancheria Act.





July 13, 2009

For Immediate Release

Contact: Me-Wuk Indian Community of the Wilton Rancheria

(916) 362.2100

Federal Government Posts Notice in Federal Register

Officially Restoring Wilton Rancheria to Federal Recognition

Sacramento, CA – Today, the United States Government posted a notice in the Federal Register officially restoring the Wilton Rancheria to federal recognition.

This is a day for which our Tribe has fought for 50 years since our termination in 1959 and a day that begins a new chapter in our long and storied history as a sovereign Indian nation.

Pursuant to the clear and concise guidelines of the Settlement Agreement with the United States Government that officially restored our Tribe, we now look forward to working closely with the Bureau of Indian Affairs on the process to democratically elect a Tribal Council.

The Tribal Council will then draft a tribal constitution that best represents the values and principles of our Me-Wuk culture, heritage and government.. We will work tirelessly to ensure both the election and constitutional processes are open, fair and democratic.

Now that we are once again rightfully restored to federal recognition, we can now look forward to developing future plans for a number of vital tribal services, like housing, health care, education and economic development.

We also look forward to fostering mutually-respectful relationships with local surrounding communities and working together on a range of issues to which we can find viable long-term solutions.

About the Wilton Rancheria

As a steward of the Sacramento Valley for more than 10,000 years, the Wilton Rancheria is a federally-recognized Indian tribe. After wrongful termination of their status as a federally recognized Indian tribe in 1959, the Tribe was restored to federal recognition in 2009. For more information, please contact us at (916) 362-2100 or visit


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Photo by George L. Winship, Editor

Sculptor Frank Towendolly Lapena,

71 (above, left), of Sacramento explains the significance and cultural importance of the 8-foot high Wintu Dancer bronze statue and plaque dedicated Saturday, June 20, at the south-east corner of the Anderson Wal-Mart store.

Source: courtesy  of  Anderson Valley Post


Fish-killing suction gold mining is soon to be halted.

SenateApproves SB 670 (Wiggins)

In Sacramento, July 13, 2009, State Senate joined the State Assembly in overwhelmingly passing SB 670 (Wiggins), a measure that will place a “Moratorium” on the practice of a form of recreational gold mining known as “Suction Dredging. SB 670 easily garnered the two thirds vote in both houses of the State Legislature needed to send it to the Governor as a piece of “urgency” legislation which means it will go into effect immediately upon his signature.

Robert Goodwin, Karuk Self Governance Coordinator said: “We look forward to Governor Schwarzenegger signing this bill into law soon.”

Excerpted from:


Public Law 111-33: Native American Heritage Day Act of 2009

On June 4, 2009 the U. S. House unanimously passed H. J. Res.40, the Native American Heritage Day Act of 2009. The bill designates Friday, November 26, 2009, as Native American Heritage Day. It encourages the federal government, state governments and other interested groups to develop activities that will honor Native Americans.

Native American Heritage Day Act of 2009 – Makes specified findings, including that the Friday immediately succeeding Thanksgiving Day of each year would be an appropriate day to designate as Native American Heritage Day.

Encourages the people of the United States, as well as federal, state, and local governments and interested groups and organizations, to honor Native Americans with appropriate activities to observe Native American Heritage Day, including regarding: (1) the historical status of Native American tribal governments and the present day status of Native Americans; (2) Native American cultures, traditions, and languages; and (3) the rich Native American cultural legacy that all Americans enjoy today.

“I am profoundly grateful for the generations of dedicated tribal leaders who fought, despite many severe challenges, to maintain, strengthen and rebuild a way of life that was almost taken from us,” Ernie Stevens Jr., the chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association, said. A companion version has not been introduced in the Senate.

Native American Heritage Day Act of 2009 – Makes specified findings, including that the Friday immediately succeeding Thanksgiving Day of each year would be an appropriate day to designate as Native American Heritage Day.

Encourages the people of the United States, as well as federal, state, and local governments and interested groups and organizations, to honor Native Americans with appropriate activities to observe Native American Heritage Day, including regarding: (1) the historical status of Native American tribal governments and the present day status of Native Americans; (2) Native American cultures, traditions, and languages; and (3) the rich Native American cultural legacy that all Americans enjoy today.

Excerpted from sources: and

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Section 3

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High School Dropouts, by Race/Ethnicity: 2007



African American/Black










Native American or Alaska Native


Pacific Islander


Multiple or No response


(Note: The rates and percentages are subject to a number of variables and calculations (sometimes erroneous), and we don’t get info for at least a year, so this is the most recent available posting.Tthe Native American Indian data for high School Dropouts are often ignored due to our relatively small population.. -Ed.)

Information by:



Every Nine Seconds, a student in America becomes a dropout

Average annual earnings for a dropout:

Male: $21,447 Female: $17,114

Average annual earnings with a Bachelor’s degree: $63,084

US would save $41.8 billion dollars in future health care costs if 600,000 students got one more year of High School education.

If one third of dropouts could complete their diploma: $10.8 billion in annual TANF savings.


Addressing the academic skills…

social behaviors, and conditions for college completion

Students entering Gateway to College were polled to share their reasons for dropping out.

Below are the statistics they garnered -Ed.

dropout cause chart

Information by: Jill Marks, Dir., Gateway to College Riverside City College

4800 Magnolia Avenue, Riverside, CA 92506

(951) 328-3688

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A Difficult Subject:



Suicide is often the result of the failure to treat such problems as depression, alcoholism, and domestic violence – all of which occur at higher rates in Native communities. Although mental health and substance abuse services do exist, they are extraordinarily under-funded. The lack of services coupled with an inadequate number of culturally competent providers, are issues that must be confronted now. As these problems increase, the gap between the prevalence of these disorders and number of providers trained to meet the growing need of mental health services increases significantly.



Patel, R., Wallace, L.J., & Paulozzi, L. (2005). Atlas of Injury Mortality Among American Indian and Alaska Native Children and Youth, 1989-1998. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.