Wednesday, June 27, 2012

NARF Board Member Virginia Cross Elected to Local Hall of Fame

The Auburn School District in Washington State recently selected NARF Board Member Virginia Cross for induction into the Auburn High School Hall of Fame, only the sixth person in the school's 106-year history to be accorded this honor.

Virginia served as Director of Indian Education for the Auburn School District for 22 years, actively shaping many programs for Native American students in Washington State.  She has also served on the Muckleshoot Tribal Council for over three decades.  The Virginia Cross Native American Education Center, operated by the Auburn School District in partnership with the Muckleshoot Tribe, was named in her honor. 

Virginia joins a small but accomplished group that includes a winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, an astronaut, and Washington's current governor.  In nominating her for this honor, the school district wrote the following: "From humble beginnings in the South Auburn portion of the Muckleshoot Reservation, Virginia Cross has risen to become a true leader.  She has opened doors for Native people that had been closed for generations.  She has met numerous U.S. Presidents and regularly works for the betterment of her people with United States senators, congressmen, governors, legislators, mayors and other elected leaders." 

To learn more about Virginia and her recent honor, click here.

Congratulations, Virginia!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

NARF Staff Attorney Melody McCoy Presents at Secretarial Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform Meeting

Last week NARF Staff Attorney Melody McCoy presented at the Office of the Secretary of the Interior’s Secretarial Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform meeting held in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  The purpose of the meeting was to move forward the Commission’s evaluation of the Department of Interior’s management and administration of the nearly $4 billion in trust assets.  Melody’s presentation focused on issues related to the government’s fiduciary accounting for tribal trust accounts.

To read Melody’s testimony, click here.

To read more about the Commission and its work, click here.

Monday, June 11, 2012

NARF Hosts National Day of Prayer for the Protection of Native American Sacred Places

Please join us on Wednesday, June 20, 2012, on NARF's front lawn beginning at 7:00 am for a sunrise ceremony for the protection of Native American sacred places.  The program and prayer service will last about one hour and will be followed by a potluck breakfast.  Community members have been invited to speak, as well as other NARF staff.  Speakers will be followed by a moment of silence to show concern for the sacred places that are being damaged and destroyed today.

In the United States, Native Americans are more closely tied to the land than any other group, yet the increasing exploitation of natural resources and population expansion has caused previously undisturbed tribal sacred places to become vulnerable to destruction.  For example, this photo shows NARF Board Member Mark Macarro who has worked to protect one of his Tribe’s most sacred sites from the development of a rock quarry.

As part of its mission, NARF has long advocated for sacred site protection, religious freedom efforts, and cultural rights.  Recently, NARF’s Board of Directors has asked us to expand our efforts to protect lands that are sacred and precious to Native Americans.  Please show your solidarity for the protection of sacred places by joining us for the June 20 program.  NARF requests that you bring food and/or beverages to share at the completion of the program.

If you have any questions please contact Rose Cuny at (303) 447-8760.  Please join us! 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

NARF Staff Attorney Steve Moore re-elected to Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs

NARF Staff Attorney Steve Moore
Colorado Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia recently announced that NARF Staff Attorney Steve Moore has been elected to another term on the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs (CCIA).  CCIA is an 11 member commission comprised of Southern Ute Tribal Chairman Jim Newton, Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Chairman Gary Hayes, their appointees, several state department representatives, and nine non-voting members.  CCIA was created in 1976 to deal with state/Native American issues in Colorado.

Speaking of Steve and Dr. Rocco Fuschetto, another re-elected member of the CCIA, Garcia said, “[t]hese are dedicated individuals who have demonstrated a strong commitment to strengthening the government-to-government relationship between Colorado and its Native American residents.”

To read the official press release, click here.  Congratulations, Steve!