News/Events: Native fashion, the brain and historical trauma, Line 3 legal update, and more

In this post:

  • Webinar on Native fashion and sovereignty tomorrow (Thursday)
  • NABS webinar on the brain and historical trauma
  • Line 3 legal defense fund update
  • U.S. Supreme Court holds oral arguments on Navajo water rights case

Native fashion and sovereignty webinar

Join the Native Governance Center for a free webinar Thursday on Native Fashion and Sovereignty to explore how authentic Native fashion contributes to Native narrative change. We’ll share how you can support Native designers and artists, and we’ll also examine how Native nations are using their sovereignty to protect Native designs while advancing economic development through fashion.

Date: Thursday, March 23, 2023
Time: 12:00-1:00 PM CT
Format: Zoom event with Q&A
Click here to register

Event host: Adrienne Benjamin (Anishinaabe), Multi-faceted artist, equity advocate, cultural educator, and Reconciliation Advisor for Minnetonka


Webinar on the brain and historical trauma

The National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition (NABS) invites you to register for a free online webinar titled “Trauma on the Brain” on Monday, March 27. We will be joined by Dr. Tami DeCoteau, a clinical psychologist, who specializes in the cognitive-behavioral treatment of anxiety disorders for adults, adolescents, and children.

Dr. DeCoteau is an enrolled member of the Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara Nation and a descendant of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa.

When: Monday, March 27, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Central.

Register by clicking here.

During the webinar, Dr. DeCoteau will discuss a range of topics, including: 

  • How trauma and historical trauma impact the brain and body of the individual and their offspring.
  • The importance of attachments and what happens when attachments are broken.
  • The variables involved in healing trauma, especially those involving Indigenous traditions 

Line 3 Legal Defense Fund Update

In 2022, the Line 3 Legal Defense fund distributed $296,256.37 to help defendants with “transportation and lodging costs, funds for legal organizing, court fines and fees, and expenses for defendants’ basic needs,” according to an email update.

There were 900+ active cases when construction ended in October, 2021. That number is now down to double digits.

The remaining cases mostly involve people who “are serious about taking their cases to completion to make arguments against the unjust collaboration between Enbridge and the police and courts, and the gross indifference to treaty obligations.”

One county in particular (not named in the email) “has been aggressive toward water protectors, not dropping any cases and offering ridiculous plea deals. We are committed to sticking with defendants from this county as they navigate the particular challenges of this county.”

The fund balance at the end of 2022 was $73,915.37. “As cases come to a close, we will keep you updated on the status of our fund, and our plans with any remaining money in our account,” the email said.

U.S. Supreme Court justices seem split during oral arguments in major Navajo water rights case

With a long-term drought in the Southwestern United States and depleting reservoirs, water rights area matter of life and death. The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments in Arizona v. Navajo Nation.

The legal question is the extend of the Navajo Nation’s water rights.

The Navajo Nation argues that the Treaty of 1868 “promised both land and water sufficient for the Navajos to return to a permanent home in their ancestral territory.”

The Navajo Nation’s written argument starts by describing the seriousness of the issue. “The average American uses 80-100 gallons of water per day. But many families on the Navajo Nation live on barely a tenth of that, and more than 30% of households on the Reservation lack running water altogether. Hauled from miles away, water can cost up to twenty times more than it does in neighboring off-Reservation communities.”

The SCOTUS blog said during oral arguments, the justices seemed evenly split.

“Justices leaning toward the federal government and three western states worried that the Navajo Nation’s request for relief would upset the current allocation of the Colorado River water as the effects of a generation-long drought are being felt. Justices leaning toward the Nation pointed to the federal government’s assumption of control over tribal water rights as establishing an enforceable right. Justice Amy Coney Barrett seemed to be the deciding vote.”

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