First Nation's Focus October 2019

Page 1

Tribal News of Nevada and the Eastern Sierra | Vol. 3 No. 9

American Indian Culture and History | October 2019



An annual tradition See images from the 33rd

annual RSIC Numaga Indian Days Powwow | PAGE 8




Time For Change

‘White Mountain’

A Sacred Site

Movement to ditch Columbus Day for Indigenous Peoples’ Day is growing, but is it enough?

In Hawaii, Indigenous residents are rallying to protect Mauna Kea from telescope development

Is Pamoo, the sacred site of the Pogai-dukadu, being disregarded as a cultural property?

2 | Saturday, September 21, 2019 | Northern Nevada Real Estate

EVENTS CALENDAR Engage with us: Want to advertise in First Nation’s Focus? Email Bethany Sam at, or give her a call at 775-297-1003. Have questions or ideas about First Nation’s Focus content? Email Kevin MacMillan at, or give him a call at 775-850-2145. Check out First Nation’s Focus online: Want to submit content for an upcoming edition? Email us at with “First Nation’s Focus” in the subject line.

On the cover:

Mike Kane of the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony enters the powwow grounds in Hungry Valley on Aug. 30 during the first grand entry of the 2019 Numaga Indian Days Powwow. To view more images from the event, see pages 8-9. Photo: Alejandra Rubio

Publisher Peter Bernhard Content Coordinator Kevin MacMillan Contributing Writers Kaleb M. Roedel Rachel Chavez Justin Zuniga Sales Leader Bethany Sam Graphic Design Lauren Solinger Nevada News Group Editorial Director Adam Trumble

First Nation’s Focus is a product of the Nevada News Group (NNG) and its affiliated media organizations: Nevada Appeal, The Record-Courier, Lahontan Valley News and Northern Nevada Business View. All content is copyrighted September 2019. First Nation’s Focus strives for accuracy and is not responsible if event details or other information changes after publication. Unless otherwise indicated, all photography in this publication is property of Pacific Publishing Co., the parent company of NNG and First Nation’s Focus. 580 Mallory Way, Carson City, NV 89701

SPECIAL EVENTS Native Day Celebration — Sept. 24-27, Reno-Sparks Indian Colony. Drum Making, 6 p.m. Sept. 24, Hungry Valley Recreation Center; Pine Nut Soup Making Story Telling, 6 p.m. Sept. 26, Hungry Vally Recreation Center; registration is at 4 p.m. for the Sept. 27 Native Day Celebration at the RSIC Gym. The event includes special guest Theresa Bear Fox, a revered Mohawk (Wolf Clan) singer and song-writer. For information, contact the RSIC Language & Culture Department at 775-785-1321. Elko Band Powwow — Oct. 4-6, Elko Indian Colony Gym, Elko, Nevada. The Elko Band of the Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone’s annual powwow is one of the country’s more dynamic cultural events and is free to participants and spectators alike. Come listen to the sounds of the drums and view the incredible dancing traditions that are preserved and shared. Contact Raymond Gonzales at 775-738-7464. 22nd Annual Fall Fest Craft Fair — Oct. 11-12, Reno-Sparks Indian Colony Gymnasium, Reno. Over 60 local and visiting vendors, featuring jewelry, beadwork, arts & crafts, baked goods, a raffle and more. Indian tacos will also be sold. Free admission. For information, call Ramona Darrough at 775-842-1385. Etsy Craft Entrepreneurship Workshops — October 15-18. The IDRS Acorn Project will host four free workshops from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day at the following locations: Oct. 15, Battle Mountain Band Colony; Oct. 16, Duck Valley Reservation; Oct. 17, White Pine County Public Library; and Oct. 18, Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort. The workshops are taught by award winning Creek and Cherokee artists John and MaryBeth Timothy from Muskogee, Oklahoma. The workshops will help Native artists and craftsmen learn how to generate extra income selling their products on Etsy. To learn more about the IDRS Acorn Project and register for upcoming workshops, visit 5th Native Waters on Arid Lands Tribal Summit — Oct 23-24, Atlantis Casino Resort Spa, Reno. Featuring two days of presentations and interactive discussions related to climate change, water resources, agriculture, traditional knowledge, livestock and ranching, conservation

Submit an event: Do you have event information to submit for potential publication in a future Community Calendar? Send it to with “First Nation’s Focus” in the subject line. Please note that some events, locations and details are subject to change after publication; some events may also not be free — contact each respective agency for full details.

practices and more. Go to to learn more. 3rd Annual Fall Harvest Celebration — Oct. 26, Owens Valley Paiute-Shoshone Cultural Center, Bishop, California. Takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Featuring traditional food demos, cooking competitions, an artisan market, potluck lunch and produce exchange. For information call Jen at 760-920-5254. La Ka Lel Be Nevada Powwow — Oct. 26-27, Multi-Purpose Athletic Center (MAC), Carson City. The La Ka Lel Be in Washoe translates to “the people gathering in Washoe.” This free powwow has customarily been held over Nevada Day weekend and is organized by the nonprofit La Ka Lel Be Pow Wow committee. Contact Martin Montgomery at 775-450-9655.

RECURRING EVENTS Paiute Language Class — 6-8 p.m., Tuesdays, Wadsworth Community Building, 320 Pyramid St., Wadsworth. Yoga — 12:10-12:50 p.m., Tuesdays, Reno-Sparks Indian Colony Tribal Health Clinic, 1715 Kuenzli St., Reno. Registration isn’t required and all levels are welcome. Substance Abuse Support Group — 6-7 p.m., Tuesdays, Sumunumu Resource Center, 460 W. Main St., Fernley. Topics discussed include narcotics abuse, alcohol abuse and anger management. Elder Aquacise — 10-11 a.m. Tuesdays, Reno-Sparks Indian Colony Gym, 34 Reservation Road, Reno. Line Dancing — 5:15-6:15 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays, Reno-Sparks Indian Colony Tribal Health Clinic, 1715 Kuenzli St., Reno. Call Vanessa at 775-329-5162, ext. 1946. Women’s Circle Craft Night and Potluck — 5-6:30 p.m., Wednesdays, Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, 101 Big Bend Ranch Road, Wadsworth. Language Classes for Seniors — 1:30-2:30 p.m. Wednesdays. Reno-Sparks Indian Colony Senior Center, 34 Reservation Road, Building F. Victim Services Program Women’s Advisory Committee — 5-6:30 p.m., second Wednesday of the month, Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, 101 Big Bend Ranch Road, Wadsworth. Scrapbooking for Beginners — 5-6:30 p.m., first Wednesday of the month, Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, 101 Big Bend Ranch Road, Wadsworth. Call 775-575-9444. Teen Dating Violence Support Group — 5:45-6:30 p.m., third Wednesday of the month, Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, 101 Big Bend Ranch Road, Wadsworth. Suicide Prevention Network – Suicide Loss Support Group — 6-7:30 p.m. every first Thursday of the month, 1625 Highway 88, Suite 203, Minden. For information, call 775-783-1510. Weekly Teen Parenting Class — 6-7:30 p.m., Thursdays, Sumunumu Resource Center, 460 W. Main St., Fernley. Nuumu Yadoha Language Classes — 5:30-6:30 p.m., Thursdays. Sponsored by the Bishop Paiute Tribe, the classes are held weekly. Contact the tribal office for location and other details: 760-873-3584.

A PAIR OF NATIVE HEROES World War II veterans Beatrice Thayer (Paiute / Shoshone), left, and Sterling Phillips (Cherokee) enter the powwow grounds on Friday night, Aug. 30, during the first grand entry of the 2019 Numaga Indian Days Powwow in Hungry Valley. The annual event put on by the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony took place in Hungry Valley. To read more about Thayer’s and Phillips’ life stories, go to and search: “World War II.” PHOTO: Bethany Sam

Northern Nevada Real Estate

| Saturday, September 21, 2019 | 3

Tribal officials hopeful Stewart museum will open by year’s end Anne Knowles | Special to First Nation’s Focus


everal regional tribal members participated in a Sierra Nevada Forum panel discussion on Sept. 10 in Carson City to provide a glimpse into the history and issues affecting Nevada’s Native American tribes. “The federal government recognizes our sovereignty. We are 27 nations, each with our own laws, constitution, courts,” said Stacey Montooth, who began her new role as executive director of the Nevada Indian Commission (NIC) on Sept. 1. Sierra Nevada Forum events are free and held at the Brewery Arts Center’s Performance Hall. The Sept. 10 panel consisted of Montooth (Walker River Paiute Tribe); Brian Wadsworth, a commissioner on the NIC and a member of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe; Marla McDade Williams, a lobbyist and past commissioner and a member of the Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone; and Helen Fillmore, a graduate student at the University of Nevada, Reno who works on the Native Waters on Arid Lands project and is a member of the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California. Wadsworth spoke about the Stewart Indian School in Carson City and the history of boarding schools, quoting Brigadier General Richard Pratt — who founded the notorious Carlisle Indian Industrial School in 1879 in Carlisle, Pennsylvania — and infamously said such schools were to “kill the Indian, save the man.” Wadsworth said children were often kidnapped, taken away from anything familiar, and forced to board at schools like Carlisle (which closed in 1918) and Stewart, which operated from 1890 until 1980, closing due to

Brian Wadsworth, a commissioner on the Nevada Indian Commission, said Sept. 10 the Stewart Indian School Cultural Center and Museum will hopefully open by the end of year. A rendering of the finished product is seen here. The project also includes renovation of the former post office into the new Welcome Center. PHOTO: Courtesy Stewart Indian School

a lack of funding. “It was assimilation, that’s what ‘kill the Indian, save the man’ meant,” said Wadsworth. “There was a lot of sexual, physical and mental abuse to assimilate them into, quote unquote, ‘civilized society.’” These days, the 240-acre Stewart Indian School campus is owned by the state of Nevada and listed on the National Registrar of Historic Places. The Nevada Indian Commission was allocated $4.5 million from the state in 2017 to renovate the school’s administration building into the museum and cultural center and the first Stewart Post Office into a welcome center. Renovation work started in the summer of 2018 and continues heading into the fall. Wadsworth, whose father and aunt attended the school in Carson City, said the Stewart Indian School Cultural Center and Museum will hopefully open by the end of year, adding that an advisory committee has been working with alumni.

“We want to make sure we’re telling the most accurate story,” he said at the Sept. 10 forum. Williams, meanwhile, outlined recent state legislation affecting the state’s tribes. “There was key legislation in 2019, it was a banner year for the tribes,” said Williams. Among that legislation was Assembly Bill 137, which allows tribes to establish polling places once and not have to re-establish for subsequent elections; and AB 264, which institutes a process for state agencies to consult with the tribes. “The Walker River State Park was established without talking to the tribe in Yerington,” said Williams. “We hope to head off those kinds of actions. We want the agencies to think about how the tribes will be affected.” Fillmore took time to discuss work at Lake Tahoe to restore culturally important plants and showed photos of women from the Washoe Tribe working on the project. “Plant knowledge is mostly held by women. Information was handed down for

generations,” said Fillmore. She said work is also being done on environmental adaptation efforts. “Indigenous people are most vulnerable to climate change,” she said. O

Learn more

Check out the following websites to learn more about regional Native American tribes and issues: • Nevada Indian Commission: • Stewart Indian School: • Native Waters on Arid Land: • Walker River Paiute Tribe: • Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe: • Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians: • Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California: • Reno-Sparks Indian Colony:


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‘Why do we still continue to teach lies?’ Movement to ditch Columbus Day for Indigenous Peoples’ Day in U.S. is growing, but is it enough? Kaleb M. Roedel First Nation’s Focus


verybody knows that it’s wrong,” Laurie Thom, chairwoman of the Yerington Paiute Tribe, says wearily. “Why do we still continue to teach lies to our children all across the nation?” Thom is referring to the U.S. federal holiday of Columbus Day, which honors 15th century Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, who is credited for discovering America in 1492. What is not taught in schools, however, is the fact that Native Americans — the first inhabitants of the land that later became the United States of America — were displaced and decimated after Columbus and other European explorers reached the continent. Columbus called the Indigenous peoples’ “Indians” because he mistakenly thought he had arrived in the “Indies,” the islands of Southeast Asia. “It’s a shame to celebrate somebody who did so much harm to the Indigenous peoples here,” Thom said of Columbus. “This land was inhabited; he didn’t discover it, and that’s a key message I think we need to send across the nation.” Thom is not alone in her feelings. In fact, a growing number of cities and states opt to celebrate an alternative to Columbus Day (Oct. 14 this year), one that recognizes the history and contributions of Native Americans: Indigenous Peoples’ Day. “It’s a day to honor those who lost their lives over the land grabs and atrocities that were created when Columbus arrived,” Thom said. “And to honor those continuing to stay committed to promoting our causes and our issues for our Indigenous people. And not just in the United States, across the world.”


For decades, Native American activists have advocated for abolishing Columbus Day, which became a federal holiday in 1934. It wasn’t until 1992 when Berkeley, Calif., became the first city in the country to formally recognize a new holiday challenging the narrative that Columbus “discovered” America. Herman Fillmore, cultural/language resources director for the Washoe Tribe of

Nevada and California, said Columbus Day celebrates “a really awful person” and the “winners’ history” while leaving out the dehumanization of Indigenous peoples. “When we’re fed the narrative from the winners’ history, it belittles our communities,” he said. “We’re always placed as ‘the lesser’ in this hierarchy of colonization or civilization — almost like (people think) we deserved the things that were done to us when that’s not true at all. We had very strong communities with strong values. “Just because we weren’t the ones with technology to go and kill and massacre people, that doesn’t mean that our stories don’t deserve to be told.” In efforts to rectify that history, at least eight states and 130 cities and towns have renamed the controversial holiday, according to a New York Times report in April. This year alone, Maine, New Mexico and Vermont passed bills abolishing Columbus Day in favor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Other states that have made the shift include North Carolina, Alaska, Oregon, Minnesota and South Dakota, which calls it Native American Day. Even Columbus, Ohio, stopped observing the holiday in 2018. In recent years, three universities have switched to celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day, according to TIME magazine: Brown University, University of Utah, and Minnesota State University, Mankato. Zooming in on the region, South Lake Tahoe in June became the most recent city to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day. According to previous reports, approval of the change came a little more than 14 months after the previous city council failed to take action on a nearly identical proposal. West of Northern Nevada, Los Angeles County and at least eight California cities

ABOVE RIGHT: Herman Fillmore, of the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California, says, quite simply, that Columbus Day celebrates “a really awful person.” ABOVE LEFT: Laurie Thom, chairwoman of the Yerington Paiute Tribe, says of Christoper Columbus: “It’s a shame to celebrate somebody who did so much harm to the indigenous peoples here.” BELOW: Amber Torres, chairwoman of the Walker River Paiute Tribe, says it is a “huge travesty” to continue to celebrate Columbus Day in Nevada and anywhere else. PHOTOS: Courtesy

also observe Indigenous Peoples’ Day.


While Fillmore said the movement to ditch Columbus Day in favor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day is encouraging, he wonders what is actually being done other than changing the day’s name. “How many of these cities and states are actually investing in Indigenous people?” he said. “What are they actually doing to help solve other systemic problems and impacts that are the result of colonization?” In Nevada, the state has officially celebrated an Indigenous Peoples’ Day since 2017. However, the day falls on Aug. 9 each year, the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples — meaning, the second Monday of October remains Columbus Day. Nevada is one of a handful of states that have tried to honor Native Americans without dropping the original holiday. Amber Torres, chairwoman of the Walker River Paiute Tribe, said it is a “slap in the face” to all Indigenous peoples and a “huge travesty” to continue to celebrate Columbus Day in Nevada and anywhere else. “You’ve got 27 tribes in Nevada,” Torres said. “Nevada should be following suit and introduce (abolishing Columbus Day) as a formal apology to Native American tribes. That would be the right thing to do.” Still, Torres said that “wouldn’t take away the historical trauma.” “But it would build a good partnership with the state to show tribes that they truly have their support,” she continued. “That

they recognize that we are still here. They know it was a travesty that happened way in the past, but they have the ability to make it right.” Refocusing on the education system, Thom said the inaccurate history being taught every day in classrooms is only perpetuating the lies that Columbus Day is built upon. “It’s hard to send our kids to school knowing the history,” she said. “And you’re sitting there in a classroom as an indigenous person and you realize you’re just reading lies. Why do we continue to do that as a country? “Once we rewrite history, the healing can start to begin.” O

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Northern Nevada Real Estate

| Saturday, September 21, 2019 | 5

Opinion: America’s obsession with killing Indians hasn’t died Why remaking ‘Last of the Mohicans’ isn’t just damaging – it’s lazy and unimaginative Madeline Sayet | High Country News


hen I was a toddler, I watched my mother fixate on her typewriter as she hammered out her first work of nonfiction, The Lasting of the Mohegans, a book documenting the stories and survival of our people. At the time, I didn’t know why we were at war with the word “last” — but even then, I understood that changing the word meant our survival. I knew then as I know now that stories are medicine, that they have the power to heal just as they have the power to harm. Any time we tell a story, we must think carefully about what it is doing for the world. According to Variety, a new version of The Last of the Mohicans is coming to television — this time as a series from Cary Joji Fukunaga (True Detective, “Bond 25”) and Nicole Kassell (Watchmen). The source material, written in 1826 by James Fenimore Cooper and now considered an “American classic,” presents a fictionalized version of the French and Indian War (Seven Years’ War) and is set in New York. Its most recent iteration arrived in 1992 in the form of a feature film starring Daniel Day-Lewis and a then relatively unknown Native actor, Wes Studi. While the novel was written at a time when settlers evangelically promoted the myth that Indigenous people were disappearing, the fantasy has endured, and Fenimore’s fiction has often been taken as fact. I became a theater director because I know that storytellers are world builders, and I was tired of people imagining a world in which I and other citizens of the Mohegan Tribe do not exist. When I directed The Magic Flute in 2015 in Cooperstown, New York, (named, ironically, for James Fenimore Cooper’s father), a journalist decided to caption an

image from the production with echoes of Cooper’s fictional world. Instead of writing “directed by Madeline Sayet,” he wrote, “directed by Madeline Sayet, a Mohican princess.” The caption revealed a truth: I was not a Mohegan director in this journalist’s eyes, I was a character from Cooper’s world, a trope from a story penned by a white man centuries before — and he was still writing my story. So I have to ask: Why tell The Last of the Mohicans again? There have already been nine film versions of the story, and casting decisions can’t redeem it. Producing any version of The Last of the Mohicans perpetuates erasure and reinforces genocide — and those sentiments begin with the title. Then there’s the way the attached talent talks about the story: “I am profoundly excited … to be bringing a new light and perspective to this period in our history,” said Nicole Kassell, while Fukunaga has said, “We have the chance to revive the forgotten ancestors that define American identity today.” Both of their quotes fill me with dread that this new version will continue to promote Cooper’s work as factual history when the reality couldn’t be more different. The Last of the Mohicans ends with the death of a Mohegan named Uncas. In actuality, the real Uncas was not in upstate New York at the time, and was not from there. Uncas was the chief of the Mohegans in Connecticut, not the Mahicans in New York. But most importantly, Uncas was not the last: He is my ancestor. I exist only because he survived. Despite what Fukunaga says, my ancestors aren’t forgotten, and their story is far more interesting than that of the fictionalized characters in Cooper’s imaginary tale. Mine is a storyline of resilience, yet in Cooper, Kassell and Fukunaga’s world, I don’t exist — and that erasure begins with the title, never mind the content. Making yet another Last of the Mohicans isn’t just damaging, it’s lazy and unimaginative. Think of the new “American classics”

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Daniel Day Lewis stars in the 1992 film adaptation of “The Last of the Mohicans.” PHOTO: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

being written by Native people. In 2019 alone, Tommy Orange’s There, There became a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Joy Harjo became Poet Laureate, Larissa Fasthorse won the Pen America Literary Award for Theater, while Lisa Brooks’ Our Beloved Kin: A New History of King Phillip’s War won the Bancroft Prize. These are only a few examples of groundbreaking Indigenous writers telling Indigenous stories. These are stories of resilience and survival — stories that could have positive impacts on the world around us and contribute to the visibility, and inspiration, of Native people. Instead, The Last of the Mohicans will continue to tell us that we don’t exist. The United States government’s policies to erase Indigenous peoples have ultimately failed, but the myths those policies created are still here, as is the desire to retell stories, like Cooper’s, time and again. It’s time for those storytellers to leave those stories behind and accept we exist. It’s time to tell a different story. A new

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EDITOR’S NOTE This opinion article was first published in High Country News on Sept. 3, and is republished with permission. Go to to view the original version. Email High Country News at to learn more.

story. A powerful story. A healing story. Uncas, my ancestor, chief of the Mohegans, wasn’t the last and he never will be. He is the reason I am alive today, and I am exhausted by how little this conversation has moved forward since my mother was my age, writing her rebuttal on her typewriter. O Madeline Sayet (Mohegan) is a Forbes 30 Under 30, NCAID Native American 40 Under 40, TED Fellow, MIT Media Lab Director’s Fellow and recipient of The White House Champion of Change Award from President Obama for her work as a director and writer.

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6 | Saturday, September 21, 2019 | Northern Nevada Real Estate

Analysis: Far-right extremists exploiting Indigenous struggles From Nazi Germany decades ago to last month’s El Paso shooting, white nationalists are using Indigenous imagery to justify racist violence Kalen Goodluck | High Country News



ust minutes before a massacre at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart on Aug 3 left 22 people dead, a hate-filled anti-immigrant manifesto appeared online. In it, the author, whom authorities believe to be the alleged shooter, Patrick Wood Crusius, claims to be defending his country from white American “replacement” and an “invasion” at the U.S. border as well as from environmental destruction and corporate power. “Some people will think this statement is hypocritical because of the nearly complete ethnic and cultural destruction brought to the Native Americans by our European ancestors, but this just reinforces my point,” reads the manifesto. “The natives didn’t take the invasion of Europeans seriously, and now what’s left is just a shadow of what was.” For decades now, warped ideas about Indigenous struggles have buoyed conservative rhetoric and white nationalist fantasies and been used to justify racist violence. And while the far and extreme right share a hollow, disingenuous affinity with Indigenous people, their appropriation of Indigenous victimhood and rights language is providing long-burning fuel for everything from right-wing propaganda on Fox News to extremist manifestos and movements worldwide. In 2011, for instance, a far-right terrorist in Norway killed eight people in a bombing

This article first published in High Country News on Aug. 27, and is republished with permission. Go to to view the original version. Email High Country News at to learn more.

and another 69 at a youth camp. In his 1,500-page manifesto, the killer argued that the rhetoric of white nationalism was ultimately doomed to fail due to its connections to Hitler. Instead of using language and ideas associated with Nazis, the author chose to exploit an “untapped goldmine” of Indigenous rights language. “We are no more terrorists than Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse or Chief Gall who fought for their people against the imperialist General Armstrong Custer,” reads the manifesto. “Our struggle will be a lot easier if European nationalist use smart and defusing arguments instead of using supremacist arguments which can be efficiently squashed through psychological warfare propaganda or by anti-Nazi policies.” To the author, embracing the language of Indigenous rights and victimhood was a softer, even sympathetic, strategy that would embolden efforts to reclaim European land and culture from immigrants. A few months after the Norway attack, a German far-right anti-immigration propaganda video uploaded to YouTube featured


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that warned: “Indians could not stop immigration. Now they live on reservations.” “Nowadays, you see internet memes and videos on YouTube of people who tell the story of the conquest of North America and who skew historical references,” said Frank Usbeck, curator for the Americas at the State Art Collections in Dresden and former professor of American Studies at the University of Leipzig in Germany. “’Look at the Native Americans who invited the foreigners as refugees.’” Usbeck, who has studied the links between Indigenous people and white nationalists for years, began by examining the relationship between German perceptions of


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a Green Party politician and a stereotypical “Cherokee” Indian maiden, a foreign exchange student who hopes to become a naturalized German citizen. The politician quickly obliges — a dig at the party’s “multicultural ideals” — and the maiden tells a story about the massacre of her people by European immigrants who were allowed to settle the land by traitors in her tribe. The righteous xenophobia revealed here has plenty of company: In 2014, the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), another far-right German nationalist party, echoed the same sentiment in a meme of Hunkpapa Lakota Chief Sitting Bull, with a caption

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For decades, white nationalists have been appropriating Indigenous victimhood language and imagery. PHOTO: Courtesy of Jacob Krejci


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Two Greeley billboards erected in 2013, on which images of Native Americans are used to make a pro-gun rights argument, caused controversy on the Colorado city. PHOTO: Greeley Tribune

Native Americans and the Völkisch Movement’s “blood and soil” ideology, which has roots in the 19th century. “Constructing a national identity among Germans seems to have had strong roots in identifying with Native Americans and also setting oneself aside from many other Europeans,” said Usbeck, adding that this need to belong to the land and to connect with an “Indigenous” identity can be traced to early German nationalist studies of pre-Roman Germanic tribes. Before and during World War II, Nazi propaganda declared American cultural imperialism a threat to German culture, noting that it had destroyed the Native American way of life and comparing U.S. bombing campaigns in German cities to American frontier massacres. Usbeck calls this “co-victimization” — an invented affinity with the Native American experience of genocide and cultural loss, rhetorically linked to ideas of German

victimhood. The Nazis thereby used Indigenous people to create a myth of survival, of a people fighting heroically for their homeland. And Indigenous people remain potent symbols of outsider oppression for far-right extremism globally. In 2013, in Greeley, Colorado, anonymous citizens bought two billboards that espoused pro-gun propaganda with the image of three armed Native Americans. The text reads: “Turn in your arms. The government will take care of you.” Ammon Bundy’s 2016 anti-government militia takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge even tried to appeal to Native Americans: “We’re reaching out to the Paiute people, in the sincerest manner that I can,” said Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, a spokesman for Citizens for Constitutional Freedom, in a video posted to YouTube (Finicum was later killed by law enforcement at a traffic stop during the occupation).

He continued, “Any claims that they (Paiutes) may have upon the lands, let’s begin that dialogue.” But the Burns Paiute Tribe quickly denounced the Malheur militia members for mishandling tribal artifacts and traditional land. Earlier this year, a video featuring white supremacist Jared Taylor trod the same ground. “The story of the Indians is one of the strongest possible arguments for tight borders. Immigration, or more accurately, the arrival of European pioneers was a disaster for the Indians,” said Taylor. “We took their land, destroyed their way of life and put them on reservations.” The video ends with a final thought: Indians fought for their land, so why can’t whites do the same? In the early days of U.S. colonization, white settlers waged numerous wars to displace Indigenous people. “This idea of making (colonial) invasion look like self-defense goes all the way back to the Declaration of Independence, where the British colonists, who were declaring independence from the crown, were simply making the argument that they were defending themselves against merciless Indian savages,” said Nick Estes, author and assistant professor in the American Studies Department at the University of New Mexico. “The El Paso shooter was referencing Native people as a heroic defense against invasion, when he himself was waging a kind of a terror campaign against actual Indigenous people who are crossing the border.” The suspected shooter also allegedly wrote that the destruction of the environment led corporate interests would limit available resources for whites, echoing the manifesto of the shooter who killed 51 at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in March 2019, who considered himself an “eco-fascist.” Historian and author Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz says this anti-capitalist

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environmentalist rhetoric is designed to reach readers beyond already-sympathetic audiences. “He hits on certain tropes that make him somewhat sympathetic to Native Americans, and he talks negatively about corporations controlling everything,” said Dunbar-Ortiz. “It is a very manipulative manifesto by a very rational guy.” The manipulation of Indigenous struggle and victimhood has been a part of white supremacists’ modus operandi in Europe for decades. Now, white male gunmen in the U.S. are now picking up the mantle. “Hate groups have co-opted historical U.S. symbols in a weak attempt at tearing down any progress we’ve made toward including people of all races, creeds and backgrounds as true Americans,” said Keegan Hankes, senior analyst at the Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit that tracks hate groups and far-right extremism in the U.S. The El Paso shooter’s manifesto is the most recent anti-immigrant, hate-filled document to actually culminate in enormous violence. But since the shooting, the Guardian reports that police have thwarted seven similar plots by far-right extremists with racist ideologies. “The idea of a parallel people aggressively taking land, taking whole swaths of territories — Mexicans coming in don’t have any power to do any of that,” said Dunbar-Ortiz. “It’s really obscene that he really is framing things that are completely different.” It’s unlikely that the El Paso shooting will be the last white supremacist attack in the name of an imaginary immigrant invasion, nor the final use of Indigenous victimhood in a hate-filled manifesto. O Kalen Goodluck is an editorial fellow at High Country News. Email him at

Owyhee Community Health Facility •

1036 Idaho State Highway 51, Owyhee County, ID 83604 Clinical Application Coordinator/IT Specialist Responsible for the installation, daily operation, and maintenance including problem resolution for multi-user and personal computer systems. Includes coordination and consultation on all ADP/MIS issues such as office automation, telecommunication and security, including PC user support, Resource Patient Management System (RPMS), Electronic Health Record (EHR), all network connections, servers and necessary data and voice lines. Requires specific related training and experience in support of healthcare IT, preferably with BS degree and experience with RPMS/EHR.

Public/Community Health Nurse Relocation Assistance, and Tuition Repayment Available Provides nursing services to individuals, families, groups and the community at large. Nursing interventions are directed towards the goals of prevention, assessment, risk reduction and health improvement. Under the general direction of the Nursing Administrator, utilizes the nursing process to assess and identify community needs, analyze data, plan interventions, implement, and then evaluate the outcome. Provided direct patient nursing care. Supervises another nurse and two nursing assistants. Requires RN, with BSN and/or MPH preferred.

Quality Assurance/Risk Manager/Director Serves as Quality Assurance/Accreditation leader. Creates and applies effective quality assurance programs, policies & procedures that promote and support high quality and continuous improvement in OCHF’s complete health care, behavioral health, dental, clinical and administrative support services, consistent with industry and accreditation standards and best practices. Bachelor’s Degree in a health related field and three to five years of experience in quality assurance/improvement, risk management, and/or accreditation such as AAAHC, TJC, etc. preferred.

Medical Laboratory Technologist Performs a wide range of clinical laboratory tests per requests by medical staff for use in clinical diagnosis, patient screening, monitoring and other purposes. Includes standardized procedures in accordance with established methodology and protocols. Makes minor adjustments to adapt or modify established guides to specific situations. Coordinates with laboratory consultant and provides periodic reviews for quality assurance. Maintains proper service and calibration of instruments, administers service agreements, and orders supplies. Prepares annual budget and manages to laboratory budget. Communicates well with medical providers, patients and administrators to provide excellent customer service. Maintains knowledge of laboratory standards and best practices. Supervises phlebotomist/lab tech.

Emergency Medical Technician Responding to call from the dispatcher, drives or rides with ambulance to emergency site using most expeditious route and ensuring safety. Positions ambulance in a safe location, performs scene size-up, determines mechanism of injury or illness and number of patients, performing triage and extrication as needed. Calls for additional response, air or ground, if needed. Assessing patient(s)’ status, establishes priority and provides appropriate emergency care; may administer intravenous drugs or fluid replacement as directed by physician. Determines facility and transports patient to higher level of care while continuing care as medically indicated or directed and teaming with partner. Maintains proper condition of ambulance units and EMS department at facility. Engages in continuing professional development. Must have current Nevada EMT and a valid driver’s license. Billing Manager This position is responsible for the direction, administration, planning, supervision and evaluation of the Billing Department. The incumbent will ensure that the Billing Department works in conjunction with the OCHF organization to achieve the organization’s goals and objectives. The function of the Billing Department is to facilitate an efficient billing process, ensure timely billing with revenue resources and keep updated with national policies and billing practices. Associate’s or Bachelor’s Degree preferred, and medical billing and supervisory experience required.

Director of Operations Provides leadership, guidance & direction to subordinate program managers and supervisors in planning, development, maintenance, execution and evaluation of personnel and services in the administrative areas such as fiscal management, Billing, Health Information, Clinical Applications, Purchased Referred Care, and Facilities. The incumbent may be assigned special administrative functions and projects as deemed necessary. The DO is ultimately responsible for the administration and implementation of administrative operations within the OCHF in support of providing quality patient care and is a key member of OCHF leadership. Master’s Degree: Public Health, Business Administration or Health Care Finance. 3 years of health care/operations administrative experience. Experience in Quality Assurance & Compliance Management. Health Information Manager Manages systems for acquiring, analyzing, and protecting digital and paper medical information vital to providing quality patient care. Ensures patients’ health information and records are complete, accurate, and accessible to responsible patient care staff, and protected for patient privacy. Performs or assists in performing analysis of data for community and population health. Associate’s or Bachelor’s Degree in Health Information Management with supervisory and related experience required, RHIT or RHIA certification preferred or must obtain within one year.

Registered Nurse or IV Certified LPN The RN incumbent is a member of the health care team, and serves as a clinical RN performing professional nursing duties in the Out-patient Clinic. Under the general direction of the Nursing Administrator, the RN will plan, implement, and evaluate nursing care plans, supervise day to day activities of subordinate staff; and provide for the coordination of services as specified in the patient plan of care. The LPN performs a variety of nursing care tasks involving standardized procedures requiring knowledge and consideration of specific patient conditions and treatments. The incumbent screens and assesses patients prioritizing by established protocols and guidelines. The LPN reports directly to the Nursing Administrator or designee for emergent or high priority cases. The RN or LPN incumbent is competency tested prior to providing direct patient care. Benefits of the Registered Nurse: In addition to rewarding patient care and nursing administration opportunities, we offer: Relocation assistance & Educational loan repayment through HRSA/ Water Resources Director The Water Resources Director is responsible for overseeing the administration, use, management and protection of the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes’ water resources on the Duck Valley Indian Reservation. The Water Resources Director will be hired by the ShoshonePaiute Tribes to serve as the Executive and enforcement arm of the Water Code, with authority to administer and enforce the provisions of the Water Code and implementing regulations. The Water Resources Director must be a qualified water resource manager, with an appropriate background in water resource management, water rights administration, water development, or engineering. _____________________________________________________________________________ • • • •

Accrued annual and sick leave, paid holidays, and a regular 8:00 to 5:00 or so schedule Opportunity for growth A benefits program with health, life, dental, vision, 5% matching 401 (k) Culture • Development and Training Opportunities

FOR APPLICATION, GO TO: PLEASE INCLUDE: Cover Letter, Salary History and/ or Expectations, Resume, ShoPai Tribe’s Application and Copy of Any License/Certification

email: Ph: 208.759.3100 Ext.1224 or 1236 Fx: 888.476.7269

Preference for filling vacancies will be given to qualified Indian Applicants in accordance with Indian Preference Act (Title 25 U.S. Code, Section 472 and 473). However, the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will be considered in accordance with the provisions of Section 703 (I) of the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended.

8 | Saturday, September 21, 2019 | Northern Nevada Real Estate

IN PHOTOS: 2019 Numaga Indian Days Powwow Photos by Alejandra Rubio Special to First Nation’s Focus


he Reno-Sparks Indian Colony’s 33rd annual Numaga Indian Days Powwow took place Labor Day weekend — Thursday, Aug. 29, through Sunday, Sept. 1, in Hungry Valley. Thousands of people attended over the course of the three-day event, which featured plenty of festivities and princess contests, as well as multiple grand entries featuring dances in many styles, such as Fancy Feather and Grass for the men and Jingle and Fancy Shawl for the women. The RSIC holds the powwow each Labor Day Weekend to honor the memory of Chief Numaga, the famous Paiute chief known for peace. Numaga died in 1871 and is buried in the hills near Wadsworth. This year, First Nation’s Focus Contributor Alejandra Rubio (Yavapai-Apache) attended the grand entry on Friday night, Aug. 30. See some of her images here, and go to www. for the full gallery. O

Northern Nevada Real Estate

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10 | Saturday, September 21, 2019 | Northern Nevada Real Estate

Indigenous Hawaiians rallying to protect Mauna Kea Kahu Kaalekahi

Special to First Nation’s Focus


t is difficult, we could say impossible, even, to translate the depth of meaning from an Indigenous language, phrase or word to modern English. Perhaps we can make a frail, yet endearing, attempt with `Olelo Hawaii (Hawaiian Language). “Mauna Kea” can be roughly translated to “White Mountain.” From the oceanic base, this mountain measures to be the largest in the world, and is regularly capped with white snow. What is not common knowledge to the visitors of these islands is the full name of this mountain, “Mauna A Wakea,” — or, “The Mountain of Grandfather Sky.” The name implies that this mountain is not mine or yours, and what our ideas or our plans are for this mountain does not matter. The name says this mountain is outside our dominion, for the mountain is sacred. The mountain belongs to our “Sky Grandfather.” The layers of understanding and meaning within names and stories often do not reach the “modern” person who has no affiliation or allegiance to Indigenous Epistemology (Ways of Knowing) and Ontology (Ways of Being). So maybe we can ask, why is this Mountain considered sacred? What determines “its” sacredness? Mauna A Wakea is the beginnings of a watershed. Being over 13,000 feet in elevation, the mountain gathers the clouds that would otherwise float over the island. Bringing the clouds to rise and compress so that rain will fall, Mauna Kea creates all rivers, streams and springs that lead to the diverse ecosystems of Hawaii Island. These intelligent environments, with their endemic and indigenous flora and fauna, that are so loved by people all over the World, begin with this mountain and eventually flow back into the ocean. Ola I Ka Wai, “Water is Life” — what could be more sacred than the protection and recognition of what creates all life? For decades there has been community opposition to development on Mauna Kea. Recently, on July 15, thousands of kia`i (protectors), began congregating at the base of Mauna Kea, blocking the access road to deny the construction of the largest telescope in the Northern Hemisphere, the $1.4 billion TMT (Thirty Meter Telescope). This project would require excavating 20 feet underground to build a 18-story (194-foot) tall structure, covering over 8 acres. Here’s a point of reference; a single football field is 1.32 acres and the County of Hawaii building regulations restricts anything larger than 15-stories (162 feet). The final Environmental Impact Study (EIS) states that TMT would produce approximately 120 cubic feet of solid waste per week, requiring 5,000 gallon underground tanks for waste storage, with the potential to spill or leak, furthering the risk of environmental damage

ABOVE: Mauna Kea’s peak is 13,803 feet above sea level, making it the highest point in Hawaii. BELOW: In July, protesters gathered at the base of Mauna Kea to block TMT construction. PHOTOS: Courtesy

upon the sensitive ecosystem. There are already 22 telescopes (13 still in operation) on the mountain, that have contributed to the contamination of surrounding areas as a result of mismanagement. Where is the concern for damages already incurred and for the rectification of trust? What about the insurmountable developmental impact that a project like TMT would require? The Indigenous understanding of self is one that is enmeshed in place, that as a people, they cannot identify themselves without the landscape, the elements and fundaments that weave them into being. We are because they are, we exist because they have been here ever since. The future is shaped by the choices we make in the present, and our present choices are not free from the weight of our past, so when a people are standing up once again for their home and their way of life, are the development plans really of benefit for the community? Are the mistakes of history repeating themselves in the form of “advancement” and ‘technology”? The study of the Universe has been achieved in many ways, just as the advancement and continuation of a people have been done in diverse ways. Is it worth the destruction of all we depend on and all we hold dear in the name of “science?” Hawaii and her Native people have endured over 100 years of systemic oppression. The Kingdom of Hawaii was established in 1810 and was a sovereign nation recognized by the world powers of the time. In 1893, the Hawaiian Kingdom was unlawfully overthrown and illegally occupied by the profiteering motives of American businessmen who were the descendants of Christian missionaries that arrived in 1820. This resulted in discriminatory treatment of Native People, evidenced throughout the institutions of society that brought overwhelming development, massive immigration for the plantation workforce, illegal seizure of inheritance land, and the banning of the Hawaiian

language. From the criminal justice system, to education, to health and wellness outcomes, the Native People have become the population with the lowest standard in all societal respects. In addition to being forcibly disconnected from their cultural roots and lifeways, countless Hawaiian sacred sites have been dismantled, desecrated and used for U.S Military training and target practice, et al, the whole island of Kaho`olawe, commonly known as “The Target Isle.” Many news outlets and media platforms portray the “protest” of TMT as being a “Science vs. Culture/Religion” issue, which is completely inaccurate. There is no “versus’” attached. It is fundamentally understood among the Protectors and their allies that science, culture and religion can and do coexist. The pursuit of science divorced of humanity is simply another example that disregards the rights of Native People to live and thrive in their own homeland, on their own terms, to carry their traditions, ancestral knowledge and identity for the benefit of all people, visitor and local alike. There are many opinions on the subject and many sides to the story, yet this takes us deeper than so-called advancement of society and our relentless pursuit for more information. How can an “idea” like the

construction of a telescope or any other technological structure having “potential” for scientific advancement be more important than what is already here in existence, to what is vital for and in support of life as we know it, such as Mauna Kea? “Kapu Aloha” means to have kindness, empathy and compassion with accountability and discipline. This is the phrase that carries the power of love, that has unified people in Hawaii as kia`i, and brought the solidarity of other protectors across the world to stand for their special, sacred places. Kapu Aloha says there is a limit to what can be done; just because we can, does not mean we should, and that we must take a stand for these places because they do for us. On July 17, 34 Kupuna (Elders) were arrested for blocking the Mauna Kea access road in Kapu Aloha. They went peacefully, while singing the songs of resistance and chanting the words of their Ancestors. Our Elders are the experts of cultural knowledge because they live it. Their words and insights were not heeded; instead, they were met by police and handcuffs. Younger generations around the world saw Elders on the front line sacrificing themselves for their beliefs and for the inheritance of the younger generations. The growing movement for protection of Mauna Kea is not

isolated to Hawaii alone, nor is the plight of TMT only for the people of Hawaii to bear. As the effects of Climate Change and other mounting environmental issues across the world weigh heavy, along with the growing awareness of the blatant corruption of government on all levels, the Mauna Kea movement is for all of humanity to awaken to what is unfolding in our time. Urging us to bear witness to what has been and what can soon be, that this struggle is ongoing and has no definitive beginning or end is a predicament that is relatable to all Indigenous people the world over. “Aloha `Aina” — love that which feeds, love of the land. This phrase reminds us to recognize the responsibility and privilege we have been given as human beings, to see all of our places as special, meaningful and sacred; that we can be their caregivers and protectors; that we can strengthen our connection to place and thereby deepening the understanding of ourselves. The traits of our mountains can be embodied among all us all; we can stand tall and proud, resilient and vigilant, come what may. O Kale Kaalekahi is a self-employed Hawaiian musician/entertainer and Cultural Activist in Maui. Email him at kahukaalekahi@

Northern Nevada Real Estate

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Living in balance with the mountains Remembering Woodfords’ original residents – the Hung-alel-ti band of the Washoe Tribe Lisa Gavon | Special to First Nation’s Focus


hey lived in balance with these mountains. The rivers were filled with the native Lahontan cutthroat trout, called K’ik’idi in Washoe. Edible plants and berries grew in abundance. Today it is called Woodfords, a small unincorporated community located in California’s Alpine County near Markleeville, roughly 20 minutes south of Minden-Gardnerville and a half-hour southeast of Lake Tahoe. Before the arrival of people seeking to find the riches of gold and silver, it was part of the land that provided sustenance and life to the Hung-a-lel-ti band of the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California. They were undisturbed and stable here for uncounted generations. Their lands were much larger than the borders of what is now Alpine County. With so many immigrants, gold seekers and settlers coming through, their way of life could no longer be supported. Using a cycle that meshed harmoniously with the seasons, the Washoe people were able to live here by hunting and gathering. By 1849, trading posts were set up on their land. Settlers most often chose to live on parcels with abundant game and edible plants that were depended on by the tribe. Within a decade in the mid 19th century, everything about their existence and territory changed completely. After gold was found in California, silver was discovered in Virginia City, and the Comstock bonanza lured those seeking riches onto Washoe terrain. The settlers viewed the land as an object of financial opportunity. In a very short time, pine nuts, seeds, game and fish had been overused. The harmonious

rhythm that the Washoe had maintained was broken. Settlers and miners cut down trees, including the sacred Piñon pine that was used to build structures, support mine shafts and even burn as fuel. The Piñon pine woodlands that had once provided the Washoe with more than enough pine nuts became barren hillsides. Lahontan cutthroat trout disappeared from the region’s waters after over harvesting. Today, there are efforts being made to reintroduce the fish into Alpine’s rivers and lakes. The Washoe hunted sage hens, deer and many other local animals, all of which were plentiful. Each year, their rabbit drive was a huge event. Rabbits provided fur for winter warmth and were another staple of the Washoe people’s diet. The wagon trains came by the hundreds, though, and traveled the trails that had previously been used by the Washoe for hunting and gathering. It completely disrupted their way of life. All of this happened less than 10 years after John Fremont led his exploratory mission through what is now Alpine County in 1844. The Dawes Act of 1887 broke up Washoe land into individual allotments. Cattle ranchers also leased Washoe land. The tribe gained federal recognition in 1936, and filed a claim in 1951 asking for reparation for fishing and hunting rights, minerals, timber and land that had been wrongly taken. They settled in 1970, but there was no amount of money that could replace their lost way of life or change the suffering that stemmed from that loss. In 1970, a special act of Congress granted 80 acres to the tribe. This is now known as Hung-a-lel-ti. It is nowhere near enough land to support their previous way of living. Their ancient traditions included seasonal migration to the shores of Lake Tahoe, and encampment locations along the rivers and streams that were revisited each year. These special areas were chosen for specific access to hunting or for plants that were ready to harvest. The Washoe people loved and still love this land, and respect

The Washoe people loved and still love this land, and respect the importance of every tree, animal and plant. Each inch counts.

Three Tribes, One Nation Reno-Sparks Indian Colony Open Positions Education Department: Washoe Language Instructor Headstart Teacher Assistant Head Start Cook 477 Client Intake/Compliance Officer

Tribal Health Center Medical Director Psychiatrist Behavioral Health Division Manager Staff Pharmacist (Seasonal) Clinical Psychologist Pediatrician Nurse Practitioner Substance Abuse Counselor

Miscellaneous Departments:

Tribal Officer (Ranger) General Ledger Accountant (Finance) Landscape Specialist HR Director Information Technology Manager (IT Dept) Police Officer (Tribal Police) Maintenance Worker ll Human Services Manager Accounting Clerk (Finance) Tribal Court Bailiff (Tribal Court) Police Chief Tribal Court Judge Director of Economic Development Assistant Director of Retail Operations PublicInformation/CommunityRelationsOfficer Maintenance Worker I

FOR PAY RATES, MORE INFO, & APPLICATION: Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, 34 Reservation Road, Reno, NV HR Dept: 775-785-1303 PLEASE NOTE: HIRING PREFERENCE WILL BE PROVIDED TO QUALIFIED MEMBERS OF THE RENO-SPARKS INDIAN COLONY FOLLOWED BY MEMBERS OF OTHER FEDERALLY RECOGNIZED TRIBES. Preference in filling vacancies is given to qualified Indian candidates in accordance with the Indian Preference Act (Title 25 U.S. Code Section 472 and 473). However, the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony is an Equal Opportunity Employer and qualified candidates will be considered in accordance with the provisions of Section 703 (I) of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, amended in 1991.

Woodfords Peak stands guard over the Washoe Tribe’s Hung-a-lel-ti community. PHOTO: Lisa Gavon

the importance of every tree, animal and plant. Each inch counts. It is possible to perceive evidence of the way it was for the people who had their beginnings on this exact spot if you know how to look. These rivers run like the blood through their veins. O Lisa Gavon is a freelance writer covering California’s Alpine County. This article originally published July 12 in The Record-Courier, a sister publication of First Nation’s Focus based in Minden-Gardnerville.

Join our dedicated team in serving the health care needs of the Eastern Sierra. All positions open until filled.

ADMINISTRATION Systems Administrator Data Analyst Accreditation Director Chief Operations Officer (COO) Grants and Contracts Manager IT Director

DIALYSIS CENTER Dialysis Center Patient Care Technician Dialysis Registered Nurse

MEDICAL DEPARTMENT Patient Navigator Psychiatrist Pediatrician Family Practice Physician Family Nurse Practitioner Physician Assistant

DENTAL DEPARTMENT Dental Assistant Staff Dentist


FISCAL Procurement/Motor Pool Person For more information, complete job descriptions and applications, please visit or contact: Toiyabe Human Resource Office, 250 See Vee Lane, Bishop, CA 93514

Telephone: 760-873-8464 • Email: Toiyabe is an E.O.E. within the confines of the Indian Preference Act.

12 | Saturday, September 21, 2019 | Northern Nevada Real Estate

Pamoo, also known as Travertine Hot Springs, is the sacred site of the Pogai-dukadu, the Bridgeport Paiute people. PHOTO: Courtesy

The tale of Travertine Hot Springs An oral history of Pamoo, the sacred site of the Pogaidukadu, and how it’s been disregarded as a traditional cultural property Joseph Lent | Special to First Nation’s Focus


his is a natunidooibu, an oral history and teaching, which has been passed down through the generations of Pogai-dukadu, the Sun Flower Seed Eaters, one of the southern bands of Numu, the Northern Paiute Nation, which aboriginally inhabited the area of Bridgeport, California, and beyond. This oral account of history took place in the early days of creation, when Isha (Wolf ), Idza’a (Coyote), and many other spiritual beings governed over the procession of this world and its people; before they, the progenitors of creation, moved off into the world beyond. Numu, or, mankind, began to multiply upon the face of the earth; they married, had many children, grew old and eventually returned to the earth. Among the families of the Numu, there was a marvelous suudumu, a young maiden; she excelled in beauty and grace. Her hair was long, black and straight, greased slightly enough to shimmer in the soft breeze of the day; her dark smooth skin shone like the sun’s reflective rays off of the Magpie’s tail feathers. Her loveliness was renowned and many Numu men sought after her, desirous for her to become their wife ... even the Isha was captivated by her

essence. The beautiful suudumu was loved by all, for she was kind; her gracefulness was as the soft touch of a baby deer upon the mountain meadow. She brought much happiness to all of the people; her presence alone would cause a disdained face to smile. It was finally decided by her father that she would be wed to the strongest, fastest and hardest working man among the Numu. Before she could marry she became mysteriously poisoned by the venom of a rattlesnake. She became deathly ill, losing her color, becoming limp, her mind in constant pain. Many doctors were called from near and far to help save the maiden; but her condition only worsened. Not even the Idza’a, who doctored in a very strange way, could help her. She began to swell and cough out blood. The Numu were in fear of losing this most precious jewel of their tribe. Isha, the most powerful of the overseers of creation looked down upon the suudumu, for he also loved her. His compassion reached out toward the sickened maid and he set in to doctor her. But by the time he began, she was too far gone. Even Isha, in all his strength, could not save her. He began to sing the most

powerful of all songs, a song that shook the sky and quaked the earth. Though the body of the beautiful suudumu was beyond repair, her spirit was still strong. He took her body to the rocks on the foothills east of Bridgeport and there he laid her. She continued to bleed, her blood running down upon the ground and through the rocks, staining the earth. Isha with his power separated the spirit of the suudumu from her body, and by the same power he placed her there amid the rocks to live. The lovely maiden, though now solely spirit, began to dance. Her life force was saved. All the Numu from far and wide could watch her, for there she is, even to this day, captive among the place known as Pamoo (Travertine Hot Springs), forever dancing in the mist and winds of the spring, her beauty visible by all those who wish to look upon her. Even though the rocks are dyed red by the blood of the maiden, the awe of her presence overwhelms the tragedy of her death. She has further produced medicine, which here stream from the source of her existence, giving life to the generations of Numu which continue to honor her. This is the history of Pamoo, the Travertine Hot Springs, the sacred site of the

Pamoo ... has been totally disregarded as a Traditional Cultural Property and has been disrespected by the majority of the public who accesses it.

Pogai-dukadu, the Bridgeport Paiute People. Pamoo is now under the care of the Bureau of Land Management, Bishop Field office. It has been totally disregarded as a Traditional Cultural Property and has been disrespected by the majority of the public who access it. The BLM offered promises to reduce public parking, produce interpretive display signs to educate the public on the sacredness of the area, saying that they will meet with the Tribe regularly to discuss its management. None of these promises have been kept. The only constant is the perpetual desecration that continually persists. There has been no decrease but only a rise in partying, drinking, smoking, sex and nudity; there is an ever-present presence of underwear in the bushes, kwidapu (excrement) everywhere, both dog and human, toilet paper and tampons lying around; stomping of vegetation, breaking and taking of rocks, making of new trails, etc. The beauty of what the Numu hold to be sacred is continually trampled on by the public and by the BLM. What does it take for government agencies to honor the Native People and their voices? O Joseph Lent is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Bridgeport Indian Colony. Located just outside Bridgeport, California, in the Eastern Sierra Nevada, the community consists of descendants from Miwok, Mono, Paiute, Shoshone and the Washoe tribes. Email him at, and go to to learn more.

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Delivering consistent, quality, equitable and culturally appropriate care and services to our communities

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Serving Mono & Alpine Counties 73 Camp Antelope Rd | Coleville, CA 530-495-2100 Hours: Monday Friday 8am-5pm

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Serving Inyo & Southern Mono Counties 250 See Vee Lane | Bishop, CA 760-873-8464 Hours: Monday Friday 7am-5pm

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Serving Communities of: Independence, Ft. Independence, Lone Pine, Olancha, Darwin, Keeler, Lake Isabella, Death Valley, Shoshone, Tecopa and Ridgecrest. 1150 Goodwin Road | Lone Pine, CA 760-876-4795 Hours: Monday Friday 8am-5pm

We’ve been searching for you! Moapa Paiute Tribal Police Officer Salary $52,000 per year not including overtime

Moapa Paiute Tribal Police Commander Wage DOE/DOQ

open until filed

The Police Officer is responsible for the preservation of peace within the community, protection of life and property, and enforcement of Tribal ordinances, state and federal law where applicable. The Police Officer patrols designed areas of the Moapa Band of Paiutes Indian Reservation to prevent, discover, and deter crime, responds to calls, writes detailed reports on police-related activities, and must be able to act without immediate supervision and exercise independent judgment in meeting emergencies. Requirements: Ability to hear conversations without the use of a hearing aid. Have unrestricted use of all extremities. May on occasion lift and carry heavy objects of 50 pounds or less. Must be at least 21 years of age. High School Diploma or GED, Associates of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice or Law Enforcement preferred. Must have at least 3 years of experience in general law enforcement or law enforcement patrol.

open until filed

Apply Today Send your resume to: mbophr@ Moapa Band of Paiutes 702-865-2787 PO Box 340, 1 Lincoln Street Moapa, NV 89025-0340

The Police Commander will perform responsible, professional, administrative and supervisory tasks in directing the operation and activities of the Police Department. The Chief of Police is responsible for the preservation of peace within the community, protection of life and property, and enforcement of Tribal ordinances, state and federal law where applicable. Requirements: Must be at least 21 years of age. An Associates of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice or Law Enforcement, with at least five years criminal justice related experience in direct police activities and at least 3 years of experience in a management position within the last 5 years, OR 10 years of equivalent work experience. Minimum ten years of broad and extensive law enforcement experience and three years of proven administrative and supervisory experience. Minimum two years in a supervisory position in a Law Enforcement Department. Must have certification through BIA and/or be Nevada POST certified. General knowledge of Indian tribal laws, customs and traditions.

Must be Nevada POST certified (Category 1) and/or have certification through BIA.

Ability to prepare and present comprehensive written reports on enforcement goals, objectives, practices and results.

Must be understanding of the culture of the Moapa Band of Paiutes and willing to adjust work habits to the unique needs of the Tribe

Ability to exercise independent judgment in complex situations with minimal supervision or direction.

Ability to prepare and present comprehensive written reports on enforcement goals, objectives, and practices.

General knowledge of Highway Interdiction and Commercial Traffic Enforcement.

Ability to exercise independent judgment in complex situations with minimal supervision or direction.

General Knowledge of the use of K-9’s and the K-9 program. Ability to perform general job responsibilities of the Sergeants (Immediate subordinates).

General knowledge of Highway Interdiction and Commercial Traffic Enforcement.

Ability to maintain the physical standards required of subordinates and present a professional image to the public and other law enforcement agencies.

Ability to maintain the physical standards and present a professional image to the public and other law enforcement agencies.

Ability and willingness to attend additional training to maintain certification and further career development.

Ability and willingness to attend additional training to maintain certification and further career development.

Working knowledge of tribal, state, and federal codes, rules and regulations applicable to the Moapa Band of Paiutes.

Working knowledge of all pertinent laws and regulations.

Must have a valid Driver’s License and be fully insurable under the Tribe’s insurance policy.

Must have a valid Driver’s License and be fully insurable under the Tribe’s insurance policy.

Must pass a criminal background investigation.

Must pass a criminal background investigation and credit check.

Must pass pre-employment alcohol/drug screening.

Must pass pre-employment alcohol/drug screening.

Ability to hear conversations without the use of a hearing aid.

Preferences: Experience in Indian Country Policing.

Have unrestricted use of all extremities. May on occasion lift and carry heavy objects of 50 pounds or less.

14 | Saturday, September 21, 2019 |

Washoe Tribe receives $1.87M grant for wellness program Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe gets $349,501 for sexual assault services First Nation’s Focus The Washoe Tribe of Nevada & California will be awarded $374,124 annually for the next five years by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through the agency’s Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country program, officials announced Sept. 11. Further, according to a joint press release from U.S. Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen, the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe has received a $349,501 Department of Justice grant to fund its Tribal Sexual Assault Services Program. “It’s crucial that our tribal communities receive the funding they need to create, maintain and expand community-based services, whether they are providing crisis intervention to sexual

assault survivors or working to promote health and prevent disease,” the Nevada Democratic senators said in Sept. 11 release. “We’ll continue to fight for federal funding for these critical programs that help protect and strengthen Native American communities across the Silver State.” The Washoe Tribe of Nevada & California will reportedly use the CDCbacked funding — which comes out to more than $1.87 million across five years — to implement strategies to prevent obesity, prevent and control commercial tobacco use and exposure, and prevent type 2 diabetes and heart disease, stroke, and other chronic conditions. Meanwhile, the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe grant will help reportedly assist the tribe in developing a sexual assault policy and procedure manual, continue to fund counseling and advocacy services, and strengthen community awareness by recruiting, training, and facilitating survivor-led outreach activities. O

Art in the Yurt Antiques & Native Crafts Paintings by Carlos Warner Ceramics by Eric Woods Photography by Vivian Olds

Desert Light Arts 369 Main Street Wadsworth, Nevada

Painting by Carlos Warner

(3.2 Miles from Fernley, NV) 775-722-0154

Recovering the Sacred: Caring for our first generation Rebecca Chavez | Special to First Nation’s Focus


he tiniest members of Indian country are in crisis. Babies born to Native women are nearly twice as likely to die before their first birthday as babies born to Caucasian women. More than 8 out of every 1,000 Native babies born will die; and the number is rising. According to the CDC, Native Americans were the only racial or ethnic group that did not experience a decline in infant deaths between 2005-2014. The most common causes of infant death among Natives are (1) congenital malformations, (2) low-birth weight due to prematurity, (3) sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and (4) unintentional injuries due to accidents. Native women face many external barriers to care including: lack of insurance, inability to pay medical costs, lack of access to health and medical facilities, lack of transportation (especially in rural communities), lack of education and fear of discrimination.


According to the CDC, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health: ■ 23 percent of Native women reported being discriminated against when visiting the doctor or clinic. ■ Native women are 2.5 times more likely to receive late or no prenatal care than Caucasian women. ■ Close to 17% of Native women report smoking tobacco during their pregnancy. ■ The majority of births occurring outside of a medical facility are among Native women, a trend that has been slowly increasing since 1990. ■ Mothers who abuse drugs or alcohol may avoid medical office visits for fear of having a child taken away. ■ Native women are less likely to have pediatric visits within the first week following the birth a child. Native mothers can empower themselves by better understanding the problems and by educating themselves on ways they can help to reverse these alarming trends.


■ Early prenatal care can prevent complications and educate women on ways they can protect their infant and

ensure a healthy pregnancy. ■ By following a healthy diet, taking recommended prenatal vitamins, engaging in regular exercise and avoiding exposure to harmful toxins such as lead and radiation can help reduce the risks of problems developing during pregnancy and promote optimal fetal growth and development. ■ Controlling pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, will help to decrease serious pregnancy complications from developing. ■ Routine pregnancy testing such as ultrasound imagery may detect potential birth defects. ■ Routine lab screening may detect infections and conditions that can impact a mother and her baby’s health if not treated. ■ Women can reduce her baby’s risk for SIDS by avoiding tobacco smoke, illicit drugs and alcohol use during pregnancy. ■ Avoidance of alcohol use in pregnancy will also decrease the risk of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. ■ Taking childbirth education classes can help mothers and families reduce the risk of SIDS and unintentional injuries through awareness of infant safety and developing parenting skills.


Newborn screening is a way to check babies for serious disorders. Babies with some of these disorders may seem healthy at birth but can become very sick in a short time. Nevada newborns are screened for 31 core and 29 secondary conditions recommended by the College of Medical Genetics and the March of Dimes. Newborn screening is done in 3 ways: blood spot screening, hearing test, and critical congenital heart disease (CCHD) screening. Newborn screening tests are done within 24-48 hours of birth. The tests for CCHD and hearing are simple, non-invasive tests that take just a few minutes, while the blood spot testing requires a baby to have a heel stick for blood. If a baby tests positive for any screening, it is important, even critical to receive follow up care with a pediatrician. Newborn screening is required by law in most states: however, some states allow parents to refuse the screening, usually for religious beliefs. Given that the number one cause of death in newborns born to Native mothers is congenital

Rebecca Chavez

malformations, it only makes sense to have newborn screening done.


Safe sleep practices are important for the safety of babies and will reduce the incidence of SIDS. Safe sleep practices include: ■ Placing a baby on his or her back to sleep. ■ Using a firm, flat sleep surface covered by a fitted sheet with no other bedding in the sleep area. ■ Do not put soft items, toys, crib bumpers or pillows anywhere in the baby’s sleep area. ■ Sharing a bedroom with a baby, with the infant crib or bed close to mothers bed, but separate. ■ Using pacifiers for naps and nighttime. ■ Prevent overheating. By the way, cradleboards, by design, prevent SIDS. Other important baby care includes: ■ Getting regular infant health checkups and vaccinations. ■ Avoid shaking a baby, whether in play or frustration. ■ Making sure to securely fasten a baby into the stroller, carrier or car seat. ■ Never leave a baby unattended during his/her bath time. Through education and engaging in practices that serve to improve pregnancy outcomes and infant safety, Native women can ensure their children are healthy and have the chance to achieve their full potential for healthy and productive lives. O “Recovering the Sacred” is a monthly women’s health-focused column from Rebecca Chavez (Western Shoshone), who is a certified nurse-midwife, women’s healthcare provider and a mother of two. If you have any questions or ideas for future topics, email her at rchavez@


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| Saturday, September 21, 2019 | 15

RSIC Education Column: Bringing our ancestors to school Justin Zuniga

Special to First Nation’s Focus


nce a month, I submit a monthly RSIC Educational Advisor-Monthly Report, in which I produce a status update on our Hungry Valley Education Center (Sparks, Nevada) to the RSIC Education Manager at Edu. HQ (Reno, Nevada). We closely monitor seven distinct “Education Department Goals” as the vital signs of the Tribe’s Education Program. They are as follows, in no particular order of magnitude: 1.) Develop, implement, and facilitate the RSIC Education Department to benefit the community through initiatives, support, opportunities, and programs. 2.) Facilitate academic achievement and career development/advancement. 3.) Increase participation and involvement of students, parents, and the community in student success and post-secondary education and careers. 4.) Develop and maintain partnerships with community resources and schools. Collaborate with other RSIC Programs. 5.) Increase cultural pride and awareness by promoting cultural activities, events, and traditions. 6.) Develop and maintain productive partnerships with individuals and families to improve personal responsibility and accountability. 7.) Promote family-centered approach to improving communication and encouragement. For our readership, I gladly itemize our Education objectives to garner some sort

of accountability from those individuals also receiving services from RSIC Edu. Please feel free to rate us on your score card at home. Even feel free to leave constructive comments or special requests on this story at This month, let’s address Objective Five, “Increase cultural pride and awareness by promoting cultural activities, events, and traditions,” because that is the sole objective that sets our tribal academic institution apart from the public schools where our enrolled members attend. All of the other remaining objectives are strategically developed by our RSIC Tribal Admin to reflect the best practices of Nevada DOE (Department of Education) and legitimizes us as an upstanding academic partner. However, Objective Five provides the critical cultural component that makes it uniquely a tribal academic experience. Objective Five, in essence, empowers our Tribe to push the boundaries of the cultural dichotomy that all Natives navigate. I heard one of my student’s parent’s say recently, “If my child is culturally-centered, then when they face an obstacle in their life they can use their culture as a source of strength to find the best answer.” With Objective Five, we are creating culturally-centered students! Further, the culture that we are instilling in our students at home is infiltrating the public schools and becoming popularized. Our Tribal culture is finding a hold in these schools, and it’s growing. The lessons of our grandparents are starting be taught in those classrooms, and the non-Native students are listening too. Our ancestors are coming to school

SERVING ALL 27 TRIBES OF NEVADA The Inter-Tribal Council of Nevada, Inc. (ITCN) is incorporated as a non-profit organization under Nevada State Law since February 23, 1966. The main intent of the InterTribal Council of Nevada, Inc. is to serve as a large political body for Nevada Tribes. ITCN, Inc. has played a major role in promoting Health, Educational, Social, Economic and Job Opportunity Programs. The Inter-Tribal Council of Nevada, Inc. now manages Federal and State funded programs aimed at improving the health and well-being of tribal community members throughout the State of Nevada.

with us, and they are the cool kids. We are changing the culture of our public schools to match the unique needs of our community, instead of our people bending to conform to the public school’s culture. The cultural tides of our public schools are shifting favorably. Here are some of the tactics we’ve utilized to create that space for students to be their culturally-authentic-selves in their schools. Of course, possessing a strong cultural self-worth starts with learning your Native Language. RSIC’s Language & Culture program has been the biggest advocate for the Paiute Language classes that are being taught in three WCSD high schools, as well as offering nearly a dozen community language classes ranging from emerging language learners to classes for our Elders to stay sharp. Further, our Eagle Wings Singers and Dancers are truly “Cultural Ambassadors” as they perform regularly throughout Reno and Northern Nevada, and they share songs and stories of the Great Basin cultures with the general public. Conversely, I am always in the habit of inviting our school district’s faculty and staff to come visit our RSIC communities and attend a powwow, a basketball tourney, or even attend a sweat lodge. I bring these non-Native members into our communities and try to explain it to them, “You see! That same culture-shock that you are feeling right now, that is how our students feel when they enter your classroom for the first time. If you are the teacher, it is important for you to feel this in order to connect with our kiddos.” This positive momentum will continue

Justin Zuniga

in our favor as long as RSIC Edu. and other like-minded Natives within our communities keep pushing cultural boundaries as creating cultural awareness in new places. Especially in the classroom, where our ancestors had endured immense trauma, I hope our students are proud to represent their Native culture because they know that their ancestors are proud to see them too. O Justin Zuniga works as an RSIC Education Advisor at the Hungry Valley Center in Sparks. Email him at jzuniga@ with questions.

Inter-Tribal Council of Nevada

Programs Offered: • AoA Elders’ Program • Appellate Court • Child Care Development Fund • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) • Family Violence Prevention • Head Start • Native Workforce Development (NWD) • Women Infants and Children Program

For any inquiries, call 775-355-0600 or • Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 4:30 pm • Location: 680 Greenbrae Drive Sparks, NV 89431

16 | Saturday, September 21, 2019 |






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