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News from the Pacific Northwest

NCAI president urges support for meth legislation

QUINAULT, Wash. - Joe Garcia, president of the National Congress of American Indians, urged 400 delegates from more than 30 Northwest tribal governments to support national legislation that would make funds available to combat methamphetamine use.

Garcia and NCAI Vice President Jefferson Keel spoke at the opening of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians annual conference at the Quinault Beach Resort Sept. 17 - 20. They encouraged support for the Native American Methamphetamine Enforcement and Treatment Act (H.R. 545), which would make American Indian/Alaska Native governments eligible to apply for certain Department of Justice grants to combat the abuse of methamphetamine. Under current law, only states may apply for these grants.

Garcia and Keel also urged support for the Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act (H.R. 2829).

Affiliated Tribes President Ernie Stensgar, Coeur d'Alene, said the Methamphetamine Enforcement and Treatment Act is ''critically important.''

''Meth is not only threatening the future of our children, it's also threatening our natural environment,'' he said. ''The production of it creates a host of poisons that are disastrous for our land and waters. This is a battle we must win.''

Chief Seattle Club moving to new site

SEATTLE - The Chief Seattle Club will open at its new location Nov. 19 after a traditional blessing of the site. An open house is scheduled for Dec. 6.

The Chief Seattle Club, founded in 1970, will be better equipped to help the city's homeless American Indians and Alaska Natives get off the streets; it is moving from a leased day center and office with limited hours into an 11,000-square-foot historic building in Seattle's Pioneer Square.

The renovation of the historic building was designed by Seattle-based architect Johnpaul Jones, Cherokee/Choctaw, whose credits include the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. Jones incorporated Native art, culture and history into the Chief Seattle Club design, with an emphasis on Coast Salish, in recognition of the first peoples of this region.

During the day, club members will be able to visit for showers, laundry and meals; use computers and telephones for job searches; and get help accessing health care and legal services. The center will provide blankets, clothing and personal hygiene items. It will be a sacred place for gathering and healing circles and other cultural activities.

''We will be open longer so members will be able to be indoors in a safe environment,'' interim Executive Director Jenine Grey, Tlingit, said in an earlier interview. ''And they'll get more help.'' The club helps about 130 men and women daily.

The club cannot provide overnight shelter, however, because of zoning restrictions in the Pioneer Square historic district.

The Chief Seattle Club needs $150,000 more to complete its almost $6 million capital campaign. To donate, write Chief Seattle Club, 113 Cherry St., Seattle, WA, 98104 or call (206) 292-6214.

Fund raiser for college endowment at Lummi

LUMMI NATION, Wash. - The Bill and Fran James Cultural Arts Endowment at Northwest Indian College is expected to reach $150,000 at its third annual fund-raiser dinner Oct. 18, college spokesman Aaron Thomas said.

The event, in Lummi's Silver Reef Casino Pavilion, will begin at 4 p.m. with a silent auction. Dinner will follow at 6 p.m. Plains Cree singer Shakti Hayes headlines, followed by Lummi's West Shore Singers.

Thomas said the fund is currently at $90,000. The fund will help support cultural arts scholarships and faculty salaries.

The event is in recognition of the James' contributions as cultural educators. Fran James and her son, Bill, began teaching basketry, weaving and Lummi language at the college in 1983.

''Their impact reaches far beyond the classroom and far beyond the Lummi community,'' according to the flyer on the event. ''Today, Fran and Bill are celebrated and recognized regionally, nationally and internationally as outstanding Native American leaders and are the recipients of numerous awards and recognition.''

Welcome planned for Antioch president

SEATTLE - A traditional welcome is planned Oct. 19 for Cassandra Manuelito-Kerkvliet, president of Antioch University in Seattle.

Manuelito-Kerkvliet is be-lieved to be the first American Indian president of a non-tribal college in the United States. She is the great-great-granddaughter of Manuelito, the leader of the Navajo who in 1868 signed a treaty enabling his people to return to their ancestral land from their imprisonment at Bosque Redondo, N.M.

Manuelito-Kerkvliet was hired in April to lead Antioch Seattle; previously, she was president of Dine' College. She founded and directed the Indian Education Office at Oregon State University, served on the biological sciences advisory board for the National Science Foundation and served as a consultant for the American Indian Higher Education Consortium.

The traditional welcome is sponsored by Antioch University, KeyBank and Williams Kastner, a law firm specializing in American Indian law.

The event will feature traditional and Northwest foods, as well as entertainment by the Quinault Ocean Navigators.

Educator to help study public records access

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Candy Jackson, a tribal health educator and former tribal attorney, has been appointed by Gov. Christine Gregoire to a two-year term on the state Public Records Accountability Executive Committee.

The committee - also known as the sunshine committee -

will periodically review exemptions to the state's public records disclosure law to determine if they still serve the public interest. The committee was created by legislation signed into law this year.

Jackson is one of 13 members of the committee. Other members include two state senators, two state representatives, two daily newspaper publishers and an assistant state attorney general.

Jackson is a nutritionist with the N.A.T.I.V.E. Project in Spokane and worked in the nutrition and diabetes prevention office of the Yakama Nation. Earlier, she served as general counsel for the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, as an attorney for the Spokane Tribe of Indians and as general counsel for the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians, according to a release.

''This is a well-rounded group of citizens who are committed to vigorous, public discussions on how best to serve Washingtonians,'' Gregoire said in a release announcing her appointments. ''We have asked them to take on an important task and I trust that all of the members will keep in mind the purpose of our state's original public disclosure laws.''

Richard Walker is a correspondent reporting from San Juan Island, Wash. Contact him at rmwalker@rockisland.com.

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