Smoke signals. (Grand Ronde, Or.) 19??-current, December 15, 2012, Page 12, Image 12

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    12 DECEMBER 15,2012
Smoke Signals
Certificate obtained
Feds move to protect Native
American sacred sites
By Dean Rhodes
Smoke Signals editor
Two actions by the federal government on Thursday, Dec. 6, will hope
fully bolster protection of Native American sacred sites.
Four federal agencies Agriculture, Defense, Energy and Interior
signed a memorandum of agreement with the Advisory Council on
Historic Preservation that calls for improving Tribal access to sacred sites
that are on federal land. '
"We have a special, shared responsibility to respect and foster American
Indian and Alaska Native cultural and religious heritage, and today's
agreement recognizes that important role," said Interior Secretary Ken
Salazar in a statement.
The four federal agencies plan to work during the next five years to
raise awareness about sacred sites, including development of a Web site,
a training program for federal employees and guidance for managing
sacred sites.
In addition, officials at the Department of Agriculture and Forest Service
also announced the findings of a report on sacred sites that includes a list
of recommendations for working more closely with Tribes in the protection,
interpretation and access to sacred sites on public lands.
"American Indian and Alaska Native values and culture have made our
nation rich in spirit and deserve to be honored and respected," said Agri
culture Secretary Tom Vilsack in a statement. "By honoring and protecting
sacred sites on national forests and grasslands, we foster improved Tribal
relationships and a better understanding of Native people's deep reverence
for natural resources and contributions to society."
The report recommends:
Conferring with traditional practitioners and communities with knowl
edge and interests in sacred sites and protection;
Updating agency policy to ensure consultation on sacred sites is con
ducted pursuant to existing law;
Developing a joint Tribal-agency partnership guide;
Providing Tribes consistent advance notice of nationwide consultation
Using provisions of the agency's new planning rule to ensure protection
of sacred sites is considered in forest and grassland management;
And promoting cooperative law enforcement agreements with Tribal
police and conservation departments to enforce cultural laws, such as
the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.
The Forest Service manages 193 million acres of public lands. .
"I am worried about federal officials defining sacred," said Tribal Cul
tural Protection Coordinator Eirik Thorsgard. "I have commented on these
proposals and other similar ones. We are always seeking ways to ensure
that traditional ceremonial practices are continued and that people who
need access to sites can have that in a respectful way that allows them to
conduct their ceremonies." B r
Includes material from The Associated Press.
8 ? i
Merry Christmas from sunny Arizona!
Laura, Jyn, Larry, Judy and Brody
Tribal member wins writing contest
Tribal third-grader Talia Marrufo won first place in Willamina Elemen
tary School's November writing contest.
Her essay on things she is thankful for read: "I am thankful for the
people on Earth, like doctors and construction workers. Without them
we wouldn't have medicine or a place to work, live and learn. I am also
thankful for teachers because they help us learn. Without the police we
wouldn't be safe. That's what I am thankful for!"
She is the daughter of John and Kateri Marrufo. D
Submitted photo
Tribal Cultural Protection Specialist David Harralson (front row,
second from loft) was on of thrao students to complato the course
work to obtain Cultural Resources Management Certificate with
Emphasis on Archaeology from South Puget Sound Community College
during a Nisqually luncheon held Wednesday, Dec 5. To complete
the vocationally oriented certification, students had to successfully
complete eight courses and average an A to B average in each
of the five-credit college courses. Also obtaining certificates were
Jacqueline Wall, Nisqually Cultural Activities coordinator, and Kareem
Gannie, Nisqually Archives Collection technician. Also pictured are,
front row from left, Stephanie Scott, Nisqually Tribal treasurer, and
Joyce McCloud, Nisqually Council member; (back row, from left) Eirik
Thorsgard, Grand Ronde Tribal Historic Preservation Officer; Joseph
Kalama, Nisqually Archives manager; Dale Croes, South Puget Sound
Community College professor; and Willie Frank, Nisqually vice chair.
Croes said the three were the "top students in all of these training
classes and demonstrated outstanding skills in the Cultural Resources
Management field - true role models."
Grand Ronde Tribal
Housing Authority
Applications being accepted
Jan. 2 for grandfamily housing
A grandfamily is denned as: A family, whose head or spouse is
Elder, containing minor children in the legal long-term custody
or guardianship of the Elder. A grandfamily shall not include any
other adults under the age of 55 (including the parent(s) of the
minor children).
If your family fits this definition, qualifies as low income and you
are interested in moving into our new grandfamily units, which
are part of Elders' Housing Phase II, we will start accepting ap
plications on Jan. 2.
You can pick up your application at the Grand Ronde Tribal
Housing Authority offices at 28450 Tyee Road, Grand Ronde, Ore.,
97347. If you cannot come into the offices to pick up your applica
tion you may call the front desk at 503-879-2401 and an application
will be mailed to you.
Make sure you specifically request the application for "grand
family housing."
Applications will be handled on a first-come, first-serve basis
starting Jan. 2. It is important that applicants provide all requested
documentation at the time they submit the application.
If you have any questions, you may contact Leon Ramos or Debo
rah Kroeker at Grand Ronde Tribal Housing, 503-879-2401. We
look forward to working with you.