Diné Female Surgeon Nominated for Surgeon General (profile)

First Board-Certified Navajo Female Surgeon Nominated for U.S. Surgeon General

July 26, 2013

Dr. Lori Arviso Alvord has put a lot of thought into how to improve health care for American Indians and in the process has come up with concepts that could make the nation's health care system better for everyone. Arviso Alvord, the first board-certified Navajo woman surgeon, has been nominated to serve as U.S. Surgeon General by the by the National Indian Health Board and the National Congress of American Indians.

RELATED:Will an Oglala Lakota Doctor Become the Next U.S. Surgeon General?

Working at the Indian Health Service hospital in Gallup, New Mexico, Arviso Alvord says she saw how uncomfortable Navajo patients were in dealing with white doctors and Western medical facilities. "They were two completely different cultures," she says, so she started integrating traditional Navajo and Western principles of healing. "I listened patiently as people spoke, rather than trying to extract information from them. I tried to make sure I understood what they wanted. Some people wanted to take sacred objects into surgery with them, so we were flexible. We were very respectful of their ways of understanding."

Read more athttp://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/07/26/first-board-certified-navajo-female-surgeon-nominated-us-surgeon-general-150598

John Sirois-Chairman (profile)

John Sirois, Chairman, Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation

In the interview series Meet Native America, the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian invites tribal leaders, cultural figures, and other interesting and accomplished Native individuals to introduce themselves and say a little about their lives and work. Together, their responses illustrate the diversity of the indigenous communities of the Western Hemisphere, as well as their shared concerns, and offer insights beyond what’s in the news to the ideas and experiences of Native peoples today. —Dennis Zotigh, NMAI 

Please introduce yourself with your name and title.

Iswkwist say’ ay’. My name is John Sirois. My title is chairman of the Colville Business Council, informally called the tribal council.

Your Native name, its English translation, and/or nickname?

My Indian name is say’ ay’, given to me by my maternal grandmother. say’ ay’ is one of those names that do not translate well into English. However, it describes my eyes and the vision that comes with my eyes.

Jsirois 06-27-13
John Sirois, chairman of the Colville Business Council, Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation. Photo courtesy of John Sirois; used with permission.  
What responsibilities do you have as a tribal/band/ Native community leader?

First and foremost, walk a good road. Listen with a good heart, no matter if you agree or disagree. Participate in traditional customs and speak your language; it grounds you in the history and land of your people. I have to be able to be available to the membership as much as possible.

How did your life experience prepare you to lead your tribe/band/Native community?

My experience is my walk along this road that the Creator provides to every single person. I have been fortunate to have a stable and happy upbringing with great parents and an extended family that has been so supportive and taught me many valuable lessons. I was lucky to have a grandmother who encouraged my interest in our Native culture/ways. I grew up learning how to gather our traditional foods and the relationships we have with those “chiefs”—foods—that sacrifice their lives for us to live healthy lives.

I was fortunate to have a solid education in the Native way and in the higher education of America’s college system. Through my jobs in education, planning, energy, and other fields, I learned other valuable lessons that have helped me incorporate systems and program development into my vision and direction in life.

All of these experiences, recognized by my people, have prepared me to represent my people. I fully believe the trust and relationships that I have had with my community centered my desire to represent them in a respectful and honorable way. I feel lucky and honored by this role and take it very seriously with a good heart.

Who inspired you as a mentor? 

Mel Tonasket, former chairman of Colville Business Council, and Bruce Duthu, former Dartmouth professor, are two of my many mentors. I count so many of my elders who shared information with me as my mentors, so I tried to list a few, but I have many more!

Are you a descendant of a historical leader? If so, who?

I am not a direct descendant of a historical leader, but within my family there have been many heredity chiefs.

Where is your tribe/band/Native community located?

We are located in North Central Washington State, bordered by the Columbia River and the Okanogan River.

Where was your tribe/band/Native community originally from?

The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation inhabit portions of our aboriginal homelands. Of the twelve tribes—Wenatchee (Wenatchi), Nespelem, Moses–Columbia, Methow, Colville, Okanogan, Palus, Sanpoil, Entiat, Chelan, Nez Perce, and Lakes (Arrow Lakes)—we inhabit the Okanogan, Nespelem, Lakes, and Sanpoil regions. Essentially, the Colville Reservation is in our indigenous homelands we have occupied from time immemorial. We are unique and very blessed in that way of having our own lands to live upon.

Is there a functional traditional entity of leadership in addition to your modern government system?

Yes, our traditional systems play a significant role within our leadership and the families that consult to choose the candidate they want to represent them.

What is a significant point in history from your tribe/band/Native community that you would like to share?

There are many significant points in our history—the formation of the reservation, the 1930s when the federal government built the hydroelectric dams that destroyed our salmon runs and our way of life, the termination era. However, the significant moment I would like to highlight was the first return of salmon to our homelands through the efforts of our Fish and Wildlife Department and the First Salmon Ceremony that our traditional people carried out in the spring of 2008.

Approximately how many members are in your tribe/band/Native community?

We are approximately 9,700 citizens strong on a 1.4 million acre reservation.

What are the criteria to become a member of your tribe/band/Native community?

A person must be a descendant from the 1937 roles of at least one-quarter blood, maintain tribal relations, and participate in tribal affairs.

Is your language still spoken on your homelands? If so, what percentage of your people would you estimate are fluent speakers?

The languages (three major groups and dialects within) are still spoken on our homelands, but they are severely endangered! We are working hard to restore our languages through immersion and other teaching efforts.

What economic enterprises does your tribe/band/Native community own?

Forest products, gas stations, gaming facilities, and an electrical contracting firm.

What annual events does your tribe/band/Native community sponsor?

The Omak Stampede and Suicide Race, Nespelem Celebration Days, and many other powwows, rodeos, sports tournaments, and cultural gatherings.

What attractions are available for visitors on your land?

Outdoor recreation—fishing, camping, birding—and sporting and cultural events.

How is your tribal/band/Native community government set up?

A fourteen-member elected council representing four artificially determined districts in theIndian Reorganization Act form of government.

How often are elected leaders chosen?

Each year half of the fourteen are up for election, and it can make things difficult for a governing body for consistent membership and decisions.

How often does your tribal/band/Native community council meet?

The council meets four days a week in official committee structure, and then every two weeks we meet as the full Colville Business Council to pass recommendation sheets from each of the committees into a resolution.

How does your tribe/band/Native community deal with the U.S./Canada as a sovereign nation?

Because our homelands are along the US/Canada Border, we deal with both federal entities. We deal with them on a government-to-government basis and constantly remind them of their responsibilities to us as a sovereign nation and how we need to interact with each other.

What message would you like to share with the youth of your tribe/band/Native community?

To the younger generation and the generation yet to come, I would like to share this message:n?ilscutx, which means be courageous, keep going, take heart and have positive feelings. In life you will encounter many negative experiences from outside and inside your community; carry on with a good heart despite those setbacks. You are blessed with this life, an opportunity to walk this wonderful Earth that the Creator has provided; take care of it and it will take care of you. Finally, fill your heart with goodness and share that goodness with all living things you encounter.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Learn and speak your languages, because your homelands yearn to hear you address them in that manner. Your language tells you how to treat one another, how to survive from Mother Earth, and how to help one another. It will give you the purpose in your life of who you are, what you are, where you are, and why you are. Once you have that, you will know where you are going and how to work with people/everything to get there. Way’ ixi put .— That is all I have to say. 

Dr. Keeter (profile)

Dr. Michelle Keeter 

Keeter is from Smith River, Calif., and is a descendant of the Tolowa and Karuk Native American tribes from that area. She earned a medical degree from Loma Linda School of Medicine and worked as a medical assistant before medical school.

She chose to train in Hanford because she likes to work in rural areas similar to her hometown. As a child, she said she was always interested in the human body and how it works.

"Becoming a physician allowed me to use that knowledge to better people's lives and take care of them," she said.

To read the rest of the article please see:

Reflecting On College (profile)

Native alumni reflect on College experience

Alumni panelists spoke about their role in creating the Native American Studies program on Tuesday afternoon.

Alumni panelists spoke about their role in creating the Native American Studies program on Tuesday afternoon.

By Iris Liu, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Wednesday, February 6, 2013

David Bonga ’74 and his Native American classmates’ first trip to Memorial Field was also their last. While today many students see football game attendance as a rite of passage, the presence of Dartmouth’s Indian mascot alienated Bonga and his peers.

“We heard all these ‘wa-hoo-wah’ cheers and drums beating, and we were all pretty confused and uncomfortable,” he said. “I never went to another football game again, and I stayed off campus during fall quarters to avoid dealing with football season and the Indian mascot running around.”

There were only three Native American students enrolled in the Class of 1973 when the Native American studies program was first established. Panelists Howard Bad Hand ’73, Michael Hanitchak ’73, David Bonga ’74 and Drew Ryce ’74 discussed the gradual, and at times painful, culture change the College has undergone since the program’s establishment on Tuesday.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Native American Studies program, which now offers over 20 courses a year.

“The ’70s represented a recommitment of our institution’s charter purpose,” Native American studies program chair Bruce Duthu ’80 said. “Reform was long overdue, and these activists planted the seeds of change.”

The panel focused on early Native American students’ struggle to fit in at the College, and their efforts to incorporate Native American studies into the College’s curriculum.

Bad Hand visited Dartmouth for the first time in the summer of 1965 with A Better Chance, a national nonprofit education program.

He left feeling that the College lacked understanding of the Native American community.

“It seemed like they were trying to tell us this used to be a school for Native Americans by showing off a couple of paintings and artifacts,” he said. “I thought to myself, ‘This has to change. This really has to change. I’m going to come back in four years and change this place.’”

Bad Hand returned as a freshman in 1969 and was one of three Native American students in his class.

Determined to change the College’s course, he eventually helped recruit 15 Native American students to the Class of 1974.

Those 15 students knew very little about Dartmouth before arriving on campus, and were even unaware that the College was all-male.

“Almost all of us became very good friends,” he said. “It was out of necessity. It was out of our survival attitude.”

The College appointed a director of Native American students that year, who was “constantly inappropriately drunk,” Ryce said.

“The director was absolutely of no help,” he said. “We knew then that if we wanted anything to change, it would be up to us.”

In the spring of 1971, the students met with former College President John Kemeny to propose ideas for social and academic reform, including changing the College’s mascot, implementing a Native American studies curriculum and increasing services for Native American students, Hanitchak said.

Several Native American students whose native language was not English faced difficulties acclimating to the College, he said.

“The English department said that English couldn’t be their second language, because they were U.S. citizens,” Hanitchak said. “People were so rigid in their views of us and so ignorant of the reality of the situation.”

Despite these challenges, Bad Hand said he appreciates that the College did not relinquish its commitment to Native American students.

By working with College faculty and administration, Bad Hand and his peers were able to build a community in which Native American students were able to fit in, yet maintain a sense of identity.

“If we had blended in completely, we would have lost our traditions and our cultural identity,” Ryce said. “We wouldn’t be here today, because there wouldn’t be anything to talk about.”

For Native American students, attending Dartmouth strained connections with their communities, since they were often away from their homes for extended periods of time.

“We were scared of creating a program of forced assimilation, knowing that students would be separated from their communities for years,” Hanitchak said. “We didn’t want them to become the birds that fell out of the nest.”

In retrospect, the panelists agree that their commitment to expanding the College’s Native American community has enriched life at Dartmouth.

“You can have a vision, a goal you want to get to,” Bad Hand said. “The moment you share it, others can take it and bring it to life. Seeing how far the Native American Studies program and how far the community has come shows me that what we started has truly come alive.”

Since the establishment of the Native American Studies Program in 1973, over 700 Native American students have attended Dartmouth. There are 174 Native American students currently enrolled.

The Sight of Death (musings/profile)

The Sight of Death

October 5, 2012

I recently had one of the worst possible scares. Ok, perhaps not THE WORST, but it felt like it at the time. My Virus came back, also known as having a detectable viral load. This meant that either one or more of my medications failed and was no longer working. The fear behind that is "what if they all failed and I'm resistant to everything?! What then? What are my options if there are none left?"

This leads to the big "D" word, not so fondly spoken of, Death.

I don't want to die. I still don't. I never did. Even amid my bluster and rage during my formative teen years I never really MEANT to say that I wish to be dead, and then my thinking was death is the so-called easy way out. Yet, with this HIV disease, death has a way of showing up as a friendly or non-friendly reminder but most importantly when you are not ready. You see, facing one's imminent demise is ONE thing when you are feeling great, healthy, sitting on a beach, sipping a Margarita. It's a WHOLE other ball of last year's chocolate when you're in the hospital and your team of Doctors thinks you're not going to make it. They shake their heads, furrow deep scowls on their faces as they examine the notes in the chart. They walk out of the room yet not out of earshot and say things such as "I don't know if she's going to pull through this one. I'd be really surprised if she did." Thanks for the encouragement, gentlemen.

So Death has a way of getting in your face. Like, "Hi!" in your face. It's awkward, to say the least. And seriously, I can't say this enough, it never comes at a time when you are fully ready. So ready or not, one must face the daunting issue.

I view death like a peopley- type-person. Not like the Grim Reaper or anything, that's just kind of whack. I view it just as a person. I imagine it like a tired and uninspired middle-aged woman who works for the IRS and deals with the "complaint-line" all day long. Death, rather "she," has a job to do and she just wants to DO IT ALREADY. That's all there is to it. She is going to come for you one day. She's even going to wear really bad ugly shoes! So that day will happen for all of us. Sure, we don't know the specifics of the how and when, but we are absolutely guaranteed it will happen. Yep, guaranteed. I have never met a person that escaped her grasp, have you? Alright then.

So I told Miss Death I was missing some forms to file first and could not go with her. She looked down her nose at me like she had heard it a thousand trillion times already. I said I was SURE my files (also known as "my bucket list") were still outstanding and that I wasn't due to "go" until those items were completed. I quickly mentioned it would also take me decades. I shut my eyes and ignored her stare. I wrangled up images in my mind of the things I still wanted to do: love my family first and foremost; learn how to cook Kobe beef; see all of Asia; learn Spanish, Japanese; swim with dolphins somewhere; fall asleep in 1,000 different beautiful places around the world; read the encyclopedia; see/meet my biological grandchildren; teach at a College; learn to weave; and learn how to stop being afraid and angry. I could add more. But I truly believe that my fears and anger really trip me up and keep me down when I could be striving to be a better me. It isn't that I want to waste my own time. I don't. I just got very used to being angry and being afraid early in life. I didn't realize there were other options till I was in my 40's. Those people who said "happiness is a choice," never made sense to me.

When I opened my eyes she was gone.

I felt overcome by sadness. I was relieved and happy at the same time. What does one miss when they are forced to give up this body of theirs? They miss love. I thought about my son. My love for him filled my chest. The tears welled in my eyes and quietly ran down my cheeks. He was the first person I loved as DEEPLY and PERMANENTLY as I ever loved. I had loved my parents, sort of, loved boyfriends, sort of, pledged my undying love to various people, sort of … but a love for MY child was/is forever unmatched. I thought about how he looked into my eyes. I thought about how I loved his hugs. I thought about the way at age 4, when he said "I love you mommy," with no hidden agendas, no secrets, no ulterior motive, he just did. He loved me. I was never sure with other people. But I was sure with him.

It is sadness that makes death feel urgently scary. I can be honest; I only wanted more of my son's love. I wasn't done loving him. I don't need a huge house, a fancy car, and I didn't even really need anything on my bucket list EXCEPT FOR the part about loving my family. I could live in a void in a dark corner of the universe somewhere and as long as I had my son I would be OK. I knew this was true as I knew the sun rises every day. It was truth. It was the essence of my being. Love made death go away.

I fought the infections. They were like mini-wars I waged in my body; complete with the sounds of clanking swords, arrows whizzing through the air, women and children running and screaming. War is as war. And one must out-think, out-strategize, out-maneuver their enemy at all costs. I took pills by the handfuls, I was doused with IV antibiotics, I was in and out of Hospitals, I ate organic clean foods, I added supplements, I added Chinese medicine, I saw Reiki workers, energy healers, Chiropractors; you name it, I added another front line attack to get my body back.

The real medicine came unexpectedly then. It can't be defined as just Native American medicine only, it's fairly Universal. I discovered there was medicine in silence. In the silence I envisioned myself as healthy, beaming with energy and smiling from ear to ear. I could leap, run, skip and do cartwheels. I envisioned my son older each time. The silence became part of my daily practice. The images eventually had sounds; I could hear my own laughter. I could hear my son's voice. It felt real. It looked real. So I decided it needed to be real. I believed in the image of Health. I believed in the image of wellness and happiness.

Slowly and surely, with each near-death infection I got through it and got better. I got to say hello to death. And then I bid her adieu.

So back to my recent scare with the return of my virus. I found myself flooded with old powerful, body-halting fears. I found myself stuck in a corner crying. I found myself watching in the rear view mirror for the image of Miss Death sitting in the back seat. I worked myself up into a tizzy. My throat became sore and my lymph nodes became massive. I had forgotten. I had forgotten what my commitment was. I had forgotten what really mattered. Somewhere in the getting better and getting busy with life, I had gotten married, had two more kids and made a career out of HIV Prevention education. Yet somehow I was not listening to my own story of survival. I had lost myself somewhere along the way.

Revisiting "square one" is annoying. In fact, it's infuriating. I was angry at myself for even feeling "powerless." I could not understand where my power went! I drove myself in circles. I over-thought. I over-felt. I over-worried and obsessed. Then, in a counseling session right on my edge of cracking, my therapist reminded me of who I used to be and who I no longer was. I had forgotten all about silence. I had forgotten about my images of a healthy me. I had forgotten about holding onto Love first and foremost. I was worrying about silly things like: how will my husband tend to the laundry if I'm gone, what will they eat because his cooking skills are limited at best, who will do homework with my girls, and who will let the dogs out to pee during the day???

My, my, my, I had turned into a domestic goddess yet lost my whole purpose. I was stunned. So I uttered the words again, "I am not ready to die." I cried and cried. I felt my heart flood again. This time I have a grown son, gorgeous and a shining star in my eyes, always. I have two beautiful healthy daughters, 11 and 9. I have a loving husband who stands beside me and loves giving me hugs. I adopted my 14-year-old pregnant niece and now have the love of her and her baby girl in my world. I have dear and loving friends all around me. I have a loving relationship with my long lost biological brother. I have tons of love!! I was overwhelmed the more I asked myself "who could possibly love me?" I even have Facebook love!! And oh, the people I love back. I LOVE my family! I love my friends! I love my HIV community! I love my Doctor. I love so much, so many; my heart is full and overflowing. Love in silence was my answer.

I can see the images again now. This time I get to be much older, gray beautiful long hair, smile wrinkles from years of laughter. I won't do cartwheels in my 60's, but I will clap and bounce for joy as I watch my grandchildren do them. Getting older is an option that refers to time spent on this planet and in your body; I intend to do it and get BETTER. So for now, I have my new meds to take. I re-test next month. I am optimistic they are doing just fine because the pain in my throat has gone, my lymph nodes are no longer swollen and I have returned to being determinedly in-love with my life.

If Miss Death had any intentions of paying me a visit today or tomorrow she would have to deal with a defiant, unruly, and vigilant "me."

Shana Cozad

Shana Cozad

Shana Cozad is a full-blooded Native American enrolled with The Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma. She is also of Caddo, Delaware and a smidgen of French decent. Shana has been a noted, recognized public speaker, HIV/AIDS prevention educator and CTR counselor since 1994. Shana has spoken at numerous schools, universities, AIDS memorials, AIDS Walks and World AIDS Day events. Highlights includePOZ Magazine, Keynoting for the 3rd Annual Circle of Harmony Conference and (Keynote for) the Mississippi State Department of Health HIV/STD Service DIS Conference and Update. Shana's story is also among the women's voices in River Huston's book A Positive Life. Shana is currently married to a wonderful lawyer and together they are raising three children in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Standout Ballplayer (profile)

American Indian ballplayer was a standout


Bill Young, a native of Minnesota, a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan and a professor of religious studies for 35 years at Westminster College in Fulton, has published four books — all concerning religions of the world.

John Tortes "Chief" Meyers was a Cahuilla Indian from California who became one of the best catchers in the major leagues between 1908 and 1920. He led the New York Giants to three consecutive World Series from 1911-13 and played in a fourth series with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1916.

Young's fifth book, just off the press, is titled "John Tortes 'Chief' Meyers: A Baseball Biography," published by McFarland and Co.

So how does an author and teacher of religious studies become the author of a baseball biography? The answer is twofold. First, Bill Young has been a baseball fan since childhood. Second, he earlier had written "Quest for Harmony," an in-depth look at American Indian religions.

Several years ago, Bill and his son, Matt, visited the Baseball Hall of Fame, and Matt said, "Dad, why don't you write a biography of Chief Bender?"

Bender, a Cherokee right-hander, had helped the Philadelphia Athletics dominate the American League before World War I.

When Bill followed up on his son's suggestions, he found several books already had been written about Bender. He then looked elsewhere for another American Indian worthy of the research needed for a definitive biography.

He quickly found Meyers. Meyers grew up on the Santa Rosa Cahuilla Indian Reservation in Southern California, combining baseball with a thirst for knowledge. He spent a year at Dartmouth College, played semi-pro baseball in the Southwest and then was signed by the New York Giants.

Meyers was a .291 lifetime hitter who caught at least 110 games of the 154-game schedule for seven straight years. He hit only 14 home runs but was considered an explosive line-drive hitter, best with men in scoring position. On defense, he had excellent hands and one of the most accurate and strongest arms in history.

He became Christy Mathewson's batterymate from 1909 to 1914, a time when the Hall of Fame right-hander won 148 games. He also became the roommate of Jim Thorpe, the 1912 Olympic decathlon and pentathlon champion.

Young traced Meyers' career from his youth through the big leagues and his personal journey as a young American Indian who resisted being assimilated into the non-American Indian society. Meyers broke down many racial barriers blocking American Indians a century ago, just as Jackie Robinson opened many doors for blacks 35 years later.

Meyers returned to his native Cahuilla home when his career ended and remained a leader in American Indian affairs until he died in 1971 at age 91.

Bill Young? He was born in Duluth, Minn., and grew up in Ponca City, Okla. He graduated from the University of Tulsa in 1967 with a degree in political science and history, then received his master's degree in religion from Chicago's McCormick Theological Seminary, "where I cut many classes to go to a Cubs' game," he admits.

He married a girl named Sue in 1967, a St. Louis Cardinals fan, and graduated with a doctorate in religion from Willamette University in 1974. A year later, he came to Westminster to teach religious studies.

Along the way, he wrote three books to join "Quest for Harmony." His textbook on the Bible has just gone through its eighth edition. The other books are "The World's Religions" and a church history, "St. Mary Aldermanbury."

The Youngs moved to Columbia in 1989, a year after Sue took a teaching job at Rock Bridge Elementary School. She retired in 2005, then taught part time at the University of Missouri until 2009.

The Youngs are devoted Cardinals fans, but Bill remains a true Cubs fan except when they play the Cardinals.

You can get the Meyers book at Amazon.com. 'Tis an excellent read by a true local baseball aficionado.

Bill Clark's columns appear Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Reach him at 474-4510.

´¯`·.¸. ><((((º>.·´¯`·.¸.·´¯`·.¸><((((º>
·André Cramblit, Operations Director
Northern California Indian Development Council (NCIDC) (http://www.ncidc.org
To subscribe to a blog of interest to Natives send go to:  http://andrekaruk.posterous.com/

Native Journalist Honored (profile)

Valerie Taliman, Indian Country Today Media Network’s west coast editor and writer, received a Native American Women in Leadership Award during the 45th Annual California Native American Day celebration in Sacramento today, September 29.

Taliman, was notified on September 5 that she would be among nine outstanding Native women to be honored at this year’s celebration.

‘Our theme Honoring Native American Women in Leadership was chosen to honor Native American women with outstanding commitment and leadership for Native American communities and future generations,” wrote Olin C. Jones, the chair of State Tribal Liaisons of California. “On behalf of the State Tribal Liaisons of the State of California, I am happy to inform you that you have been selected to be recognized for your many years of service to the Native American community. You specifically embody the theme of our program, which is to honor Native American Women in Leadership for their outstanding commitment and tireless work for tribal communities and future generations. We are proud to bestow this honor upon you as an individual and as a representative of your tribal community.”

An award-winning journalist, Taliman received the Richard LaCourse Award from the Native American Journalists Association last year for her groundbreaking investigative series on missing and murdered First Nations women that was published by Indian Country Today in 2010. She continues to highlight violence against women and the racism inherent in violence against Native families in her articles for ICTMN.

Taliman posted a special message on her Facebook page on the morning of the awards ceremony. “Up early, making prayers of gratitude, and looking forward to all the festivities today for Native American Day at the Capitol,” she wrote.

The awards ceremony will take place on the south steps of the State Capitol. California’s Native American Day honors the valuable historic and cultural contributions made by American Indian leaders in California. The event is sponsored by the California State Tribal Liaisons and the California Indian Heritage Center Foundation.


40 Under 40 (profile)

Yurok member recognized nationally

CRESCENT CITY -- Wild Rivers Community Foundation Executive Director Geneva Wiki has been selected as a recipient of the national “Native American 40 Under 40” recognition award by the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development.

This award and honor recognizes 40 Native American leaders nationally between the ages of 18 to 39 who have demonstrated leadership, initiative and dedication to achieve significant contributions in business, communities and Indian country.

Wiki is a member of the Yurok Tribe and has served as Wild Rivers Community Foundation's executive director since 2009. With her leadership, the foundation has been selected to serve as the backbone organization to Del Norte and Adjacent Tribal Land's “Building Healthy Communities Initiative,” funded by The California Endowment. In that capacity she serves as the Building Healthy Communities hub manager.

”We're extremely proud of this achievement not only for Geneva personally, but because it validates that the work we are doing locally also resonates nationally,” said foundation Board Chair Dr. Kevin Caldwell.

The Native American 40 Under 40 awards will be presented at the 37th annual “Indian Progress in Business” awards gala Nov. 14 and 15 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tulsa, Okla.

Wild Rivers Community Foundation's mission is to inspire people and communities by facilitating dialogue and encouraging charitable giving to support the region now and forever. It is an affiliate of the Humboldt Area Foundation and serves Del Norte County and Curry County, Ore. For more information, visit www.wildriverscf.org or call 465-1238 or (541) 412-6277.