Category Archives: Business

Natives Ask: What Is A Tariff and How Does It Affect Indian Country?

” Trump has launched a campaign to fight a trade imbalance against China because ‘China and other nations trade unfairly with the United States.’ The goal is to use tariffs (or the threat of tariffs since they have not yet occurred) to get China to back down on other trade issues. What does this mean? And, how will Indian Country be impacted?” M. Trahaunt, ICTMN

Photo depicting international trade. ICTMN

 

Excerpt:  What Is A Tariff? And How Does A Campaign Against China Affect Indian Country? By Mark Trahaunt, ICTMN

“It’s important to say over and over again that a tariff is fancy word for a tax. A tariff affects how much corporate consumers are charged for, say, steel from China that is used to make a car.

And in response to such a tariff — China will levy a similar tax on its consumers when they buy pork, making that meat more expensive in China…Each side will tax products and the result will cost consumers more. And the producers of those products will make less money.

That’s where Indian Country comes in.

The tax bill will be paid every time someone buys a product that’s on the list, such as a car. And, on the other side of the ledger, Native American consumers will benefit as the price of pork (and its competitor, beef and chicken) drop because there will be more supply on the market. But the producers, the farmers, will make less.

According to the National Congress of American Indians: ‘Agriculture is increasingly important to Native economies, representing the economic backbone of more than 200 tribal communities and witnessing an 88 percent increase in the number of American Indian farmers between 2002 and 2007. According to the Census of Agriculture, in 2007 annual Indian agriculture production exceeded $1.4 billion in raw agriculture products.’

This is the trade deficit — and the Trump administration’s goal is to shrink it. And there is evidence that this trade deficit impacts wages and job creation, especially in manufacturing jobs.”

Category: Business, Politics

Mississippi Choctaws Adding a New Casino!

“Mississippi’s only Indian casino operator plans to expand to a third site. The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians says it will open a casino on the reservation’s Red Water community, on the northern edge of Carthage in Leake County.”

Excerpt: Mississippi Choctaws approve plan for casino near Carthage The Washington Times

“The band operates two interlinked casinos just west of Philadelphia, as well as one at the Bok Homa community near Sandersville in Jones County. The Tribal Council voted 9-7 for the plan Friday, a news release states.

Golden Moon Hotel and Casino

Silver Star Choctaw Casino

The tribe says the new casino will open within a year in a 35,000-square-foot building featuring 500 slot machines, 10 table games, and restaurants. Chief Phyllis Anderson says the proposed casino will help generate more jobs and more revenue for the tribe’s growing population, which now has nearly 11,000 enrolled members.”

Visit Tribalpedia to learn more about the Choctaw Natives

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Tribes Gather to Block a Pipeline

“Horseback riders, their faces streaked in yellow and black paint, led the procession out of their tepee-dotted camp. Two hundred people followed, making their daily walk a mile up a rural highway to a patch of prairie grass and excavated dirt that has become a new kind of battlefield, between a pipeline and American Indians who say it will threaten water supplies and sacred lands.”  J. Healy, The New York Times

Tribes move to block pipeline. Photo-trendolizer

Tribes move to block pipeline. Photo-trendolizer

Excerpt: Occupying the Prairie: Tensions Rise as Tribes Move to Block a Pipeline — By Jack Healy, The New York Times

“The Texas-based company building the Dakota Access pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners, calls the project a major step toward the United States’ weaning itself off foreign oil. The company says the nearly 1,170-mile buried pipeline will infuse millions of dollars into local economies and is safer than trucks and train cars that can topple and spill and crash and burn.

“The Texas-based company building the Dakota Access pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners, calls the project a major step toward the United States’ weaning itself off foreign oil. The company says the nearly 1,170-mile buried pipeline will infuse millions of dollars into local economies and is safer than trucks and train cars that can topple and spill and crash and burn. But the people who stood at the gates of a construction site where crews had been building an access road toward the pipeline viewed the project as a wounding intrusion onto lands where generations of their ancestors hunted bison, gathered water and were born and buried, long before treaties and fences stamped a different order onto the Plains. People have been gathering since April, but as hundreds more poured in over the past two weeks, confrontations began rising among protesters, sheriff’s officers and construction workers with the pipeline company. Local officials are struggling to handle hundreds of demonstrators filling the roads to protest and camp out in once-empty grassland about an hour south of Bismarck, the state capital. More than 20 people have been arrested on charges including disorderly conduct and trespassing onto the construction site. The pipeline company says it was forced to shut down construction this month after protesters threatened its workers and threw bottles and rocks at contractors’ vehicles. Leaders from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, whose reservation lies just south of the pipeline’s path, say the protests are peaceful. Weapons, drugs and alcohol are prohibited from the protest camp. Children march in the daily demonstrations. The leaders believed the reports of pipe bombs were a misinterpretation of their calls for demonstrators to get out their wooden chanupa pipes — which have deep spiritual importance — and pass them through the crowd. The conflict may reach a crucial moment on Wednesday in a federal court hearing. The tribe has sued to block the pipeline and plans to ask a judge in Washington to effectively halt construction. The pipeline’s route starts in the Bakken oil fields of western North Dakota and ends in Illinois. There have been no moves so far to disband the camp or keep people from demonstrating. But Sheriff Kirchmeier told reporters that the demonstration had become an unlawful protest, and Gov. Jack Dalrymple, citing public safety risks, declared a state of emergency on Friday.”

But the people who stood at the gates of a construction site where crews had been building an access road toward the pipeline viewed the project as a wounding intrusion onto lands where generations of their ancestors hunted bison, gathered water and were born and buried, long before treaties and fences stamped a different order onto the Plains.

People have been gathering since April, but as hundreds more poured in over the past two weeks, confrontations began rising among protesters, sheriff’s officers and construction workers with the pipeline company. Local officials are struggling to handle hundreds of demonstrators filling the roads to protest and camp out in once-empty grassland about an hour south of Bismarck, the state capital.

More than 20 people have been arrested on charges including disorderly conduct and trespassing onto the construction site. The pipeline company says it was forced to shut down construction this month after protesters threatened its workers and threw bottles and rocks at contractors’ vehicles.

CJ Clifford, a member of the Oglala Lakota. Photo- globalnews

CJ Clifford, a member of the Oglala Lakota. Photo- globalnews

Leaders from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, whose reservation lies just south of the pipeline’s path, say the protests are peaceful. Weapons, drugs and alcohol are prohibited from the protest camp. Children march in the daily demonstrations. The leaders believed the reports of pipe bombs were a misinterpretation of their calls for demonstrators to get out their wooden chanupa pipes — which have deep spiritual importance — and pass them through the crowd.

The conflict may reach a crucial moment on Wednesday in a federal court hearing. The tribe has sued to block the pipeline and plans to ask a judge in Washington to effectively halt construction. The pipeline’s route starts in the Bakken oil fields of western North Dakota and ends in Illinois.

There have been no moves so far to disband the camp or keep people from demonstrating. But Sheriff Kirchmeier told reporters that the demonstration had become an unlawful protest, and Gov. Jack Dalrymple, citing public safety risks, declared a state of emergency on Friday.”

“They need to stay out… They don’t know where the burials are. They don’t know where the sacred sites are. I’m trying my best to keep the peace.” ~ Jon Eagle Sr.~ historic preservation officer for the Standing Rock Sioux

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Wampanoag Tribe Get Their Casino…Finally!

“The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe won a major victory in its quest to build a resort casino in Taunton on Friday, receiving approval for 321 acres of land to be taken into trust by the federal government…after years of negotiations and reviews, clearing the path for the tribe to open a casino on the land with or without a state gaming license. The tribe’s plans for the land in Taunton includes three hotels, an event center, restaurants, retail stores, and a water park.” N. Sigelman, MVT

Chair Cedric Cromwell of Wampanoags. Photo Wampanoag

Chair Cedric Cromwell of Wampanoags. Photo Wampanoag

Excerpt: Feds Approve Mashpee Wampanoag Land, by Nelson Sigelman, Martha’s Vineyard Times

“Under the state’s 2011 expanded gaming law and a compact negotiated with the tribe by the former Patrick administration, the Mashpee Wampanoag would pay 17 percent of gaming revenue from a Taunton casino to the state if it opens a casino with no other gaming competitors in the southeast region.

A rendering of the proposed Mashpee Wampanoag Casino. Photo- BostonGlobe

A rendering of the proposed Mashpee Wampanoag Casino. Photo- BostonGlobe

A commercial casino, should one be licensed by the Gaming Commission, would have to pay the state 25 percent of gaming revenue in taxes under the law.The Massachusetts Gaming Commission has the discretion to issue a license in southeastern Massachusetts to another commercial developer. If both the tribe and a commercial casino opened in the region the tribe would not owe any gaming taxes to the state.

Maspee tribe celebrates new casino deal. Photo capecodtimes

Maspee tribe celebrates new casino deal. Photo capecodtimes

This outcome establishes a land base for Mashpee in their ancestral homelands, and will afford the tribe numerous possibilities for self-determination and economic development.”

I wish our brothers and sisters all the best as they move forward on this positive path for their people.” ~ Tobias Vanderhoop~ chairman of the Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe.

Category: Business

1st Native-Owned Video Game: ‘Never Alone’

O’siyo. The first Native owned video game entitled “Never Alone” will be released this coming fall for all to enjoy. The setting is Alaska and the protagonist is young Nuna and her arctic fox. Players help Nuna rescue her homeland from an endless blizzard and many folklore characters. The inspiration for the game comes from the centuries-old stories of the Iñupiat people native to the region.

Never Alone. Photo: Gamezebo.

Never Alone. Photo: Gamezebo.

Excerpt: Alaska Natives Tell Their Tales in Never Alone By Jim Squires

“The stories of our fathers are rarely written down. What we know of our family, our past, and to a certain extent our culture has survived because of the tradition of oral storytelling. In some cultures this is more valued than others. For the Indigenous People of the Americas, telling stories is essential to the preservation of their culture and heritage.
So why not share these stories through a more modern medium?

The brave  Nuna. Photo: Kotaku.

The brave Nuna. Photo: Kotaku.

Never Alone will be the debut release from Upper One Games, a studio founded by the Cook Inlet Tribal Counsel in Anchorage, Alaska. They’re the first indigenous-owned studio in the US, and that’s a title they wear proudly. Never Alone tells the tale of a young girl named Nuna and an Arctic fox. Everything in the game is inspired by the folk tales of the Iñupiaq people, including Kunuuksaayuka, Manslayer, Blizzard Man, and The Sky People.

Never Alone. Upper One Games.

Never Alone. Upper One Games.

As you might expect the developers have a rich cultural history to draw from, and for most gamers this will be their first experience with Indigenous folklore.

Interactive mediums have the potential to be great teaching tools. If Arctic Natives can use video games as a way to preserve their culture and share it with the next generation of Indigenous Peoples (and the world), I’m all for it.

Never Alone is aiming for a Fall 2014 release on PC, PS4 and Xbox One with an expected $14.99 price.

VIDEO: Trailer Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna) [PS4/Xbox One/PC]

Video Link

“For thousands of years we told stories from one generation to the next. Our stories help us to understand how the world is ordered and our place within it, but what good are old stories if the wisdom they contain is not shared?” ~Never Alone~ ( Iñupiat Narration)

Congratulations!

Category: Business

Navajo Dustin Martin “Point Lips” The Navajo Way

O’siyo. Navajo designer Dustin Martin, lives in Albuquerque, N.M., and attends Columbia University in New York City. He recently started his own clothing line which includes beautiful Native American images and motifs. His company name is  S.O.L.O. (Sovereign Original Land Owners) and his designs can be seen (and bought)  at Beyond Buckskin Boutique.

Cavalry Tee by Navajo artist Dustin Martin. Photo- Beyond Buckskin

Cavalry Tee by Navajo artist Dustin Martin. Photo- Beyond Buckskin

Excerpt: Point Lips, Not Fingers…  By Lee Allen, ICTMN

“On June 18, Paul Frank Industries announced that four Native designers had been selected to collaborate with the company on a line of products. Called “Paul Frank Presents,” the collection will debut on August 16 at the Santa Fe Indian Market. Dustin Quinn Martin, who designs T-shirts for his company S.O.L.O. (Sovereign Original Land Owners), was one of the young fashion talents who got the nod.

PREZERVE Tee by Navajo artist Dustin Martin. Photo- Beyond Buckskin.

PREZERVE Tee by Navajo artist Dustin Martin. Photo- Beyond Buckskin.

“My contribution to the line was built on the concept ‘Point Lips, Not Fingers.’  When I was growing up, my grandfather taught me it was rude to point fingers (literally and figuratively).  So, like many Navajos who grow up on the rez, I learned that pointing my lips was a polite alternative to conventional hand gestures…The design I cooked up uses a cultural quirk (lip-pointing) to embed meaning and humor into the image and remind viewers of what sparked the collaboration…

Ceci N'est Pas Un Conciliateur by Navajo artist Dustin Martin. Photo- Beyond Buckskin.

Ceci N’est Pas Un Conciliateur by Navajo artist Dustin Martin. Photo- Beyond Buckskin.

Lone Resistance Tee by Navajo artist Dustin Martin. Photo- Beyond Buckskin.

Lone Resistance Tee by Navajo artist Dustin Martin. Photo- Beyond Buckskin.

Without a doubt I’m very thankful for the opportunity. Though I now have an even better idea of how much there is for me to learn, I also know that a fashion collaboration — no matter how ‘big league’ it may appear at first — isn’t rocket science.  When I was able to look past ‘Paul Frank’ and [Paul Frank Industries’ parent company] ‘Saban Brands’ to see the people behind the curtain, it became a lot like working with friends.” Read more…

 “Above all, I went into this experience with this mindset: ‘This is the type of recognition and respect Native artists and designers have been praying for. Don’t Drop The Ball  I hope all four of us chosen designers make Native America proud.”~ Dustin Martin~

Congratulations to Dustin Martin, the other winners, and to the Beyond Buckskin Boutiquefor promoting Native cultures!

We here at Talking Feather  would also like to thank our readers for the wonderful  emails and positive comments. Keep them coming!  

Wishing All of Our Readers A Happy 4th!

Navajo Nation July 4th 2013 Celebration & Fair. Photo; Navajo Fair.

Navajo Nation July 4th 2013 Celebration & Fair. Photo: Navajo Fair.

July 4th in Arizona.Photo-ArizonaKey.

July 4th Celebration in Arizona. Photo-ArizonaKey.

Category: Business