Monthly Archives: August 2011

Melina LaboucanMassimo Cree First Nation : Speaks on the Tar Sands

Melina Laboucan-Massimo is Lubicon Cree from Northern Alberta and is helping lead a delegation of indigenous leaders from Canada and the United States to take part in the Tar Sands Action. She has been working as an advocate for Indigenous rights for the past 10 years. She has written articles and produced a short documentary for Redwire Media Society covering topics ranging from the tar sands to inherent treaty rights and cultural appropriation. She has studied and worked in Australia, Brazil, Mexico, and Canada, with a focus on Indigenous rights and culture, resource extraction and international diplomacy. Before joining Greenpeace as a tar sands campaigner in Alberta in April 2009, she was pursuing her Masters in Environmental Studies at York University.

Melina has campaigned to raise awareness about the recent oil spill in the Peace River watershed in Alberta. She is featured in Greenpeace’s photo essay about the spill and its impact on local communities.

Bio from:


Angaangaq Angakkorsuaq visits with Raven about the Journey to the Heart

Sunday, August 28 · 5:00pm – 6:00pm

Angaangaq Angakkorsuaq, shaman, healer, storyteller and carrier of the Qilaut (winddrum), is an Eskimo-Kalaallit Elder whose family belongs to the traditional healers of the Far North from Kalaallit Nunaat, Greenland. Angaangaq, who’s name means ‘The Man Who Looks Like His Uncle’ is an internationally respected Elder for the native communities of the Circumpolar Arctic, North and South America, and Europe. Uncle, as he is frequently called, bridges the boundaries of cultures and faiths in people young and old. His work has taken him to five continents and over 50 countries around the world including South Africa, North America, South America, Asia, Arctic Europe, Russia, and Siberia. Angaangaq conducts healing circles, intensives, and sweat lodges. His teachings are deeply rooted in the wisdom of the oral healing traditions of his people.

Since Time Immemorial : Tribal Sovereignty Curriculum with Denny Hurtado -Sunday, August 21 · 4:00pm – 6:00pm

Denny (TacH-Mi-acH-t3n) is an enrolled member of the Skokomish Indian Tribe, and a resident of the Skokomish Reservation. He has spent the past three decade’s advocating for Indian rights and Indian education and recently, helped develop the Northwest Native American Reading curriculum, which focuses on the Drum, the Canoe, and Hunting and Gathering. Also worked on the “Reading and the Native American Learner” research document. Am co-author of, “Reading First, Literacy and American Indian Students”, which is getting ready for publication and also finalizing a paper on a “Culture Based Professional Development Model” for educators.

Denny received his Bachelor’s degree in Social Science and a Lifetime Secondary Teaching Credential from the California State University at Sacramento. Denny holds a Master’s degree in School Administration from the California State University at Humboldt. He has been the Indian Education Director for Washington State’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction for the past ten years and work with all the 29 Tribes in Washington State.

Before his appointment to the Indian Education Director’s position, he was the Upward Bound Director at the Evergreen State College for nearly seven years. Denny also served as President of the Northwest Association of Special Programs for three years, which represents the TRIO programs in, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska.

From 1978 to 1992, he was an Indian commercial fisherman and substitute teacher. Denny has served on the Skokomish Tribal Council for the past seventeen years. He has held the positions of Chairman, Vice-Chairman, and General Council President. He also serves as the Co-chair of the Native Nations Institute, International Advisory council with the University of Arizona. Currently Denny is the Chair of the Native American Advisory Board at the University of Washington, and serves on the College Spark board, National Indian Education Association, and the Western region, college board.

In 1998 he was selected to serve as a panelist for the achievement levels-setting pilot study for the 1998 civics national Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and was selected as an intern for Rockefeller/American Association of Community and Junior Colleges Administrative Internship.

As an Indian educator Denny has presented many workshops and trainings in the area of Indian education and culturally responsive curriculum and professional development. His hobbies include photography, hiking and traveling.​summit.asp

Native American Author Gyasi Ross to Speak on Make No Bones About It.

Special Guest: – Gyasi Ross
Sunday, August 14 · 4:00pm – 6:00pm
Kaos 89.3 Fm – Olympia
2700 Evergreen Parkway
Olympia, WA

Gyasi Ross, a lawyer and motivational speaker, has agreed to write some 26 columns for Indian Country Today. So far, he’s about halfway through. A list of his columns are archived here at ICT. I remember when I read his first column about “fancy skins.” It generated many, many comments on the ICT page. No wonder. Several times while I read the piece, I stopped to argue with some of his points. What is a fancy skin? In Ross’s words: “the kind of Skin that always has a conference to attend, who always drops names, who went away to school and always talks about his/her time away at school.”

I wondered what all those Skins were thinking, the ones who are always attending a conference. I thought of the last conference I attended, a language conference in May at the National Museum of the American Indian. I actually attended as a participant, meaning I could mingle, enjoy lunch and take everything in at a somewhat leisurely pace. In the last decade, it seems whenever I attended a conference, I was working, on deadline, filing a story for the newspaper. Conference attendance meant long days, hard work. Anyway, as Ross would write– as he does several times in his columns — “I digress.”

Back to the main point, Ross’s columns. They are an interesting read for the mere fact that they are personal and conversational. He writes about a lot of sundry topics, such as stealing his sister’s diary and formal apologies to Natives from the U.S. government and military service. .

So, why is Ross writing these columns? I didn’t ask. If anyone wants to write, I strongly encourage it. I wish more Native people, anyone for that matter, would take the initiative to write about whatever is on their mind, which is what Ross seems to be doing. He’s taken it a step further by publishing it on the Internet. Good job. I strongly encourage other people to do the same. He’s chose to publish on the Indian Country Today Web site. That’s fine. I’d only say that no one needs an established Web site or news venue to publish their thoughts. That is the beauty of independent blogs.

Meanwhile, congratulations to Ross for his prolific series, he’s got about a dozen more columns already in draft form as I understand from some of our recent e-mail trades.

I’ll keep reading!

Gyasi Ross is a member of the Blackfeet Nation and his family also comes from the Suquamish Tribe. He is a lawyer, a warrior, a teacher, an entrepreneur and an author. He is co-founder of Native Speaks LLC, a progressive company owned by young Native professionals which provides consultation and instruction for professionals and companies, as well as young adults. Gyasi is currently booking dates for his presentation, “The Best: An Indian Theory of Existence.” E-mail him at


Treaty Rights at Risk

As sovereign nations, 20 treaty Indian tribes in western Washington signed treaties with the United States, ceding most of the land that is now western Washington, but reserving our rights to harvest salmon and other natural resources. For those rights to have meaning there must be salmon available for us to harvest.

Today our fishing rights have been rendered almost meaningless because the federal and state governments are allowing salmon habitat to be damaged and destroyed faster than it can be restored. Salmon populations have declined sharply because of the loss of spawning and rearing habitat. Tribal harvest levels have been reduced to levels not seen since before the 1974 U.S. v. Washingtonruling that reaffirmed our treaty-reserved rights and status as co-managers with the right to half of the harvestable salmon returning to Washington waters.

As the salmon disappear, our tribal cultures, communities and economies are threatened as never before. Some tribes have lost even their most basic ceremonial and subsistence fisheries – the cornerstone of tribal life.


357? Days until Journeys 2012 Paddle to Squaxin Island

Time: Sunday, August 7 · 4:00pm – 5:00pm
Kaos 89.3 Fm – Olympia

More Info
Join Raven as he speaks with Leslie Johnson, Director Squaxin Island Tribe Tourism Department about 2012 Paddle to Squaxin Island. Learn how we all can get started in helping with this spectacular event coming to the shores of Squaxin Island!