Havasupai Indians Ban University DNA Researchers

SUPAI, Ariz. — Seven years ago, the Havasupai Indians, who live amid the turquoise waterfalls and red cliffs miles deep in the Grand Canyon, issued a “banishment order” to keep Arizona State University employees from setting foot on their reservation — an ancient punishment for what they regarded as a genetic-era betrayal.  Members of the tiny, isolated tribe had given DNA samples to university researchers starting in 1990, in the hope that they might provide genetic clues to the tribe’s devastating rate of diabetes. But they learned that their blood samples had been used to study many other things, including mental illness and theories of the tribe’s geographical origins that contradict their traditional stories.  Read More >>>


Keith Moore Appointed to Head of Bureau of Indian Education

WASHINGTON - The Obama administration has picked another South Dakotan to be part of the team that oversees federal policy in Indian Country.  Keith Moore, an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, has been named director of the Bureau of Indian Education.  The BIE implements federal education laws and provides aid to 183 elementary and secondary schools as well as peripheral dormitories on 64 reservations in 23 states that collectively serve about 42,000 students.  The agency also serves post-secondary students through higher-education scholarships and support funding to 26 tribal colleges and universities and two tribal technical colleges.  Larry Echo Hawk, assistant secretary for Indian Affairs in the Interior Department, praised Moore as a "dedicated educational administrator for many years." Moore joins several other South Dakota Indians named to the Obama administration, including Yvette Roubideaux, a member of the Rosebud tribe, appointed as director of the Indian Health Service; Lillian Sparks, a Lakota woman of the Rosebud and Oglala Sioux Tribes, named commissioner of the Administration for Native Americans; and Michael Black, a member of the Oglala Sioux tribe, tapped as director of the Office of Indian Affairs.