Farmers, landowners, and local government agencies will come together Wednesday on the Ute Mountain Ute reservation in Colorado for the latest listening session on a plan to protect and manage the Mancos River.
KSJD’s Chris Clements reports.
The group behind the plan is made up of municipalities and organizations that lie along the river like Mesa Verde National Park, the Mancos Conservation District and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, which have voluntarily joined together.
The listening session is intended for tribal members and ag producers who rely on the river to give feedback on a new watershed stream management plan.
Sensa Wolcott is the watershed coordinator for the conservation district.
“There are certain times in certain spots where the river does dry up. Especially obviously, in drought years, and that is really hard on irrigators. And it’s really detrimental to the ecology and the riparian aquatic animals as well, you know, like fish can’t move.”
Wolcott says the first draft of the plan will likely be finished by late February.
It’ll serve as a guide for communities to better use and conserve water resources, and could include voluntary or compensated changes to irrigation rules during drier years.
More outreach sessions will take place starting this summer for feedback on the first draft.
The finalized plan isn’t expected until 2025.
After a nearly four-year hiatus, Gov. Tina Kotek (D-OR) has revived a task force dedicated to taking stock of Native American items in state and public collections.
KLCC’s Brian Bull reports.
Then-Gov. Kate Brown (D-OR) established the Task Force on Oregon Tribal Cultural Items in 2017.
Its 16 members were from all nine federally-recognized tribes within Oregon, as well as government, university, and law enforcement officials, but their operations were paused in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic spread.
Jesse Beers is the cultural stewardship manager for the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians and was with the original task force.
“I really want to convey how happy I am that this is being reconvened, because it was an important task force. There’s items that the state may hold that tribes aren’t aware of, and there’s knowledge that tribes have the state is unaware of, so it’s a way of building relationships.”
Oregon became the first state to share survey findings on tribal items in 2019.
A signing ceremony between two tribal colleges to help address teacher shortages in Indian Country was held this week in Macy, Neb., at the Nebraska Indian Community College (NICC).
NICC signed an agreement with Haskell Indian Nations University, which is located in Lawrence, Kan., to increase opportunities for tribal college students at NICC who earn an associate degree in teacher preparation to transfer to Haskell for a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.
Kristine Sudbeck, NICC academic dean, expressed her gratitude for the partnership, saying it will help their students reach goals of becoming teachers.
“And trying to serve the needs of our students where they are at and really trying to promote more Native teachers that will stay in the communities because they’re invested.”
Kameron Runnels, vice chairman of the Santee Sioux Tribe, attended the signing event and talked about why representation matters.
He says it’s important that young students see Native teachers who can help inspire them as they become future leaders in tribal communities.
“We talk about that all the time, our kids running our tribe, our kids being professionals.”
The effort between the two tribal colleges is to create a pathway for graduates to become certified teachers in elementary school settings.
The agreement goes into effect this summer.
NICC offers students certificates and associate degrees at three campuses in Nebraska and online, and is working on offering its first baccalaureate program.