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Tribes in California are preparing for the implementation of the Feather Alert, which alerts the public when an Indigenous person goes missing.
The Feather Alert notification system is similar to the AMBER or Silver Alerts, which are used when children are abducted or missing or when seniors are missing.
Tribal leaders, state lawmakers and others recently gathered in Coarsgold, CA to share input on the Feather Alert.
State Rep. James Ramos (Serrano/Cahuilla/D-CA) co-sponsored the bill for the alert system. He says the roundtable was an opportunity for leaders to hear from each other, law enforcement, and others invested in addressing the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous people.
“This implementation roundtable discussion is meant to start to build this relationship, meant to build the questions that could be out there. How do we interact? How does it get implemented? It’s vital to hear firsthand from tribal leaders, tribal chairs, the issue that still drastically effects all California Indian people.”
Ramos says California is the state with the greatest population of Native Americans in the nation – and is also among states with the highest rates of reported cases of MMIP.
The new Feather Alert system is intended to help law enforcement act more quickly in notifying the public – and to help produce leads to find missing individuals.
The Feather Alert bill was supported by a number of tribes, law enforcement groups and Native health organizations.
The public notification tool rollout will take place in January.
The whitebark pine, which populates 80 million acres of the mountain west, is now listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
Montana Public Radio’s Aaron Bolton reports on the newly afforded federal protections.
The whitebark pine is crucial to the Northern Rocky Mountain Ecosystem.
Its seeds are a key food source for several species of birds and for threatened grizzly bears.
It also helps preserve high-elevation mountain snowpack into the spring and summer months, but scientists estimate that a nonnative fungus and other threats have eliminated up to half of the species.
The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes celebrated the move to provide federal protections, saying the tree is “part of our first foods and culture.”
The tribes and conservation groups hope the tree’s protected status will bolster efforts to plant fungus resistant trees across the mountain west.
The charitable arm of the Three Rivers Casino has made an open call for non-profits in several Oregon counties to apply for over a million dollars in grant money.
KLCC’s Brian Bull reports.
The Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians established the Three Rivers Foundation 11 years ago.
It distributes casino profits to other groups in need.
Coordinators are encouraging non-profits in Lane, Curry, Coos, Lincoln, and Douglas Counties to apply.
Some government agencies and federally recognized tribes in Oregon are also eligible.
Shelby Erickson is the foundation’s grant administrator.
“We typically look at different priorities when we receive applications such as education, health, public safety, problem gambling, the arts, the environment, cultural activities, and even historic preservations.”
Erickson says food shares and Boys & Girls Clubs have been recurring applicants.
Last year’s total grant distribution was $1.4 million and she expects this year’s amount to be similar.
Grant applications are due December 31.
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