A new study finds that Canadian coal mines contribute nearly all of the selenium found in Montana’s Lake Koocanusa.
Montana Public Radio’s Aaron Bolton has more.
For decades, coal mines along British Columbia’s Elk River have sent large amounts of selenium into Lake Koocanusa in northwest Montana.
Selenium is naturally occurring, but at high levels can harm fish reproduction.
Researchers wanted to know how much natural selenium came from the lake’s largest tributary, the Kootenai River.
Study author and U.S. Geological Survey Hydrologist Meryl Storb.
“Over the last decade, the Elk River is contributing 95% of the selenium into Koocanusa from those two sources.”
That’s striking because the Elk River accounts for a quarter of all waters flowing into Lake Koocanusa, but is contributing nearly all of the selenium.
Montana and British Columbia tribes are pushing U.S. and Canadian officials to shut the mines down.
The House Natural Resources Committee will host a roundtable titled “Strengthening Historic and Cultural Preservation.”
The roundtable is in commemoration of Native American Heritage Month.
The panel will discuss how Congress can better support and improve historic and cultural preservation.
Panelists include tribal historic preservation officers and tribal leaders.
Members of Congress expected to attend are House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member U.S. Rep Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), Indian and Insular Affairs Subcommittee Ranking Member U.S. Rep. Teresa Leger Fernández (D-NM), and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Ranking Member U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-NM).
The roundtable will take place in person Wednesday in Washington, D.C. and will also be livestreamed.
Two small business owners rooted in western Alaska have spent countless hours preparing for a busy holiday season, as people gear up for gift-giving.
KNOM’s Ava White has more.
For artists with small businesses, the holiday season kicks off well before the temperature starts to change.
Shirley Hootch of Emmonak is a Yup’ik jeweler who specializes in handmade earrings made of caribou antler and walrus ivory.
She says she sources her materials through her family in Point Hope.
The first earrings she ever created, she says, remains one of her most popular sellers.
They resemble traditional Yup’ik masks.
She says she never makes more than five pairs of the same earrings, so each pair is truly unique.
“By supporting artists and jewelers and carvers, you get a one of a kind treasure.”
Nikki Corbett of Bethel is the owner of a popular qaspeq company called Sew Yup’ik.
Corbett says that when you support Alaska Native artists through your purchases, you have the chance to engage and connect with their culture.
“I don’t want people to be wearing the same one. I really tried to make each one individualized with its trimming and the accent hoods, or cowells.”
She says she makes sure to set good intentions because if she doesn’t, she risks passing negative energy to the piece she’s sewing, and that can transfer to the customer.
The state of Oregon recently announced its first Tribal Affairs Director.
Shana McConville Radford will serve in that position.
McConville Radford recently was the deputy executive director of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.
She has more than 15 years of experience with tribal relations, policy, and intergovernmental affairs.
McConville Radford will help with communication and collaboration with the nine tribes in the state.
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