Active shooter preparedness training is being offered to tribal communities across the country by a Louisiana State University academy.
The National Center for Biomedical Research and Training, Academy of Counter-Terrorist Education teaches mobile classes in Indian Country.
Robert Holden, the academy’s tribal liaison, says they’ve partnered with many tribes over the years to help them prepare and respond to emergency situations. He says the courses help participants learn how to better protect themselves, their communities and infrastructure from potential threats whether it’s in the classroom, a tribal office or elsewhere in the community.
Holden sees a more urgent need for the training today, pointing to recent gun violence in Texas and New York.
“We have program that provides training to tribal departments, public safety, can be utilized by emergency medical services, fire departments. It helps them to train, the things that they do on a regular basis, but it’s at no cost to tribal governments. We bring everything out, instructors who have taught in foreign nations and states and other entities across the world.”
Holden says the trainings are also tailored to meet Indian Country needs such as, taking into consideration each tribe’s culture, beliefs, decision making processes and jurisdictional issues.
Gun violence has been a hot topic across the country including in the nation’s capital. The U.S. Senate Thursday passed a bipartisan bill to address gun violence, which is now being considered in the House.
The National Congress of American Indians met in Alaska last week for its mid-year conference, focusing on top concerns facing tribal communities. As Emily Schwing reports, some tribal leaders are calling for more unity within the NCAI and others are seeking a shift in how sovereign nations describe and represent themselves.
The day before the mid-year conference convened, NCAI announced its CEO, Dante Desiderio, would not be in attendance. According to the statement, he is observing an administrative leave of absence. The statement says the “leave is appropriate under the organization’s policies governing the current situation,” but offered few other details. Harold Frazier, Chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe in South Dakota, said turmoil within NCAI is a problem for member Nations.
“That’s something that is really frustrating, because the fight’s out there and we can’t be fighting inside or internally. You know, I think we need to get back to the core functions of a government and advocating for better healthcare, more housing and things like that.”
During a general Assembly, Ron Allen, president and CEO of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe in Washington, called for a paradigm shift in how tribes present themselves in order to emphasize their sovereignty.
“Are you a tribe or are you a nation? They mean the same. Nation is more reflective of sovereignty… So you’re changing that paradigm and the perception of the outside world looking at you in terms of who you are. What you’re standing in is in America. So, I always say American Indian and Alaska Native governments are among the family of American government systems.”
NCAI’s annual convention will take place in Sacramento California in late October.
NCAI has not announced a theme or released any further details about the annual meeting.
The Milwaukee Bucks picked MarJon Beauchamp during Thursday’s NBA draft.
The Native athlete was the 24th pick in the first round.
Many in Indian Country closely watched and celebrated his selection.
Get National Native News delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up for our newsletter today.