News Releases

NASW sponsors student programs for science journalism

The National Association of Science Writers (NASW) will again sponsor several exciting programs for student journalists during the AAAS meeting.

All activities require students to be members of NASW by Feb. 1. Online registration for the AAAS Newsroom is now open.

Travel fellowships: NASW will fund travel fellowships for up to 10 undergraduate students to attend the meeting. Travel fellows will report on a session of their choice, and their work will be published on the NASW website.

Application deadline is Dec. 15. Apply now: (If that link takes you to a “Restricted content” page, you can log in or create a guest account from there.)

Internship Fair: NASW student members are invited to interview with editors from top magazines, research institutes, national labs and other science communication outlets during a speed-dating-style Internship Fair on Saturday, Feb. 14. Past recruiters include:Science, Nature, Science News, Scientific American, Chemical & Engineering News, Reuters Health and Fermilab, which also recruits for CERN near Geneva, Switzerland. All participants must report promptly at 1 p.m. Learn more about the Internship Fair here.

Mentoring program: NASW also will sponsor its popular mentoring program, pairing undergraduate and graduate students with senior journalists and public information officers interested in similar beats. Check back in early January 2015 for details about how to get a mentor or become a mentor.

NIHB to host seasonal suicide webinar Dec. 9

The National Indian Health Board will conduct a webinar titled Understanding and Preparing for Seasonal Suicide. The webinar will be presented by Robert Foley and Jackie Engebretson. Pre-registration is not required. More information, including the link and passcode for the webinar will be forthcoming.

DateTuesday, Dec. 9, 2014

Time2 p.m. CST

Center for Native American Youth Champions for Change application accepted through Jan. 12

The Center for Native American Youth (CNAY) is currently accepting applications and nominations for the Champions for Change (CFC) program.


CFC, designed to recognize and encourage positive Native youth-led efforts, has provided incredible opportunities for Native youth to grow as leaders both in their tribal or urban Indian communities, as well as at the national level.

The first two classes of Champions have participated in White House events, connected with their members of Congress, received fundraising and advocacy training from experts, and traveled across the country inspiring other Native youth. If you know of an awesome Native youth, nominate them using this form.

If you’re a Native youth making a positive impact in your community, start your application today!

FNDI launches Native Agriculture & Food Systems College Scholarship Program

unnamedLONGMONT, Colo. (Oct. 20, 2014) – First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) today launched the new “First Nations Native Agriculture and Food Systems Scholarship Program” to encourage more Native American college students to enter the agricultural sector in Native communities.

First Nations will award six $1,000 scholarships annually to Native American college students majoring in agriculture and related fields, including but not limited to agribusiness management, agriscience technologies, agronomy, animal husbandry, aquaponics, fisheries and wildlife, food production and safety, food-related policy and legislation, horticulture, irrigation science, plant-based nutrition, and sustainable agriculture or food systems.

Complete information and a link to the online application can be found at  All applications must be completed and submitted by 5 p.m. Mountain Standard Time on Monday, Nov. 17, 2014.

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • Be a full-time undergraduate or graduate student majoring in an appropriate field at any recognized college or university, including all tribal colleges and universities.
  • Be an enrolled member of a current or terminated federal or state tribe, and able to provide documentation.
  • Have a Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 3.0.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to helping his or her Native community reclaim local food-system control.

Applicants will be asked to complete an online application and provide other required information, including tribal documentation, college enrollment verification, unofficial transcripts, a letter of recommendation from a faculty member, and a short essay submission.

“Simply put, we believe that reclaiming control over Indian agriculture in general and local food systems in particular is critical to ensuring the long-lasting health and economic well-being of Native people and their communities, so that’s why we’re launching this program,” said First Nations President Michael E. Roberts. “Native food-system control has the potential to increase food production, improve health and nutrition, and eliminate food insecurity in rural and reservation-based communities, while also promoting entrepreneurship, economic development and even cultural revitalization. We hope many more college graduates will gravitate toward this area as a career choice.”

About First Nations Development Institute

For 34 years, using a three-pronged strategy of educating grassroots practitioners, advocating for systemic change, and capitalizing Indian communities, First Nations has been working to restore Native American control and culturally-compatible stewardship of the assets they own – be they land, human potential, cultural heritage or natural resources – and to establish new assets for ensuring the long-term vitality of Native American communities.  First Nations serves Native American communities throughout the United States. For more information, visit

Program Contacts:
Kendall Tallmadge, First Nations Program Officer
(303) 774-7836 x216

Marsha Whiting, First Nations Senior Program Officer
(303) 774-7836 x208

Media Contact:
Randy Blauvelt, First Nations Senior Communications Officer
(303) 774-7836 x213

PATHSTAR celebrates 12th annual Alcatraz Swim Week

American Indian activists converge on Bay Area to champion stay-active lifestylepathstar2013alcatrazswimshellimartinezwb

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – For the second decade, American Indian health activists from South Dakota, Washington and California will trek to the Bay Area in pursuit of healthy lifestyle changes at the annual PATHSTAR Alcatraz Swim Week (Oct.5-13).

The eight-day event is a culmination of PATHSTAR’s year-round program to educate about and encourage wholesome nutrition and a stay-active lifestyle between American Indian and Alaska Natives who have the highest rates of obesity and diabetes of any race or ethnicity in the U.S., according to the American Diabetes Association.

Participants engage in a busy week of fitness activities, healthy nutrition, and educational opportunities with an emphasis on authentic traditions and healing. PATHSTAR founder Dr. Nancy Iverson encourages a communal setting that includes gardening, shopping for whole foods, and preparing meals. Additional activities range from visiting urban community gardens, farmers markets, and Bay Area farms to meetings with lifestyle coaches, yoga and Pilates instructors and trainers from the South End Rowing Club. Special swim guides from the club work closely with each swimmer in preparation for and during the frigid swim from Alcatraz Island to the San Francisco Bay Shore.

“This past week was life-changing and the swim itself was transcendental, “said 2013 Swim Week participant Nellenda Rublico (Cherokee). “Now, I must go out and teach what I’ve learned about nutrition and exercise, [and] be a catalyst for change in other people’s lives.”

Swim Week participants partner with PATHSTAR as year-long ambassadors for health through incorporating healthy changes into their own lives, developing community programs, and sharing their experiences and successes with family, friends, and their home communities. PATHSTAR alumni have gone on to establish public and school vegetable gardens, coach high school sporting events and work on anti-obesity initiatives, fitness and diabetes prevention programs throughout the United States.

The 12th annual swim takes place Oct. 13 at 10 a.m., from Alcatraz Island, finishing at the South End Rowing Club on the San Francisco Shore between 11 a.m.-12 p.m. A potluck meal to celebrate will follow.

PATHSTAR ( is committed to inspiring and revitalizing sustainable health and well­ being practices within Native American communities by providing support and advocacy in overcoming geo­ graphic, economic, and political obstacles regarding food availability, eating habits, methods of food preparation, and lifestyle choices. With an initial focus on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, PATHSTAR offers experiential learning opportunities for mentoring and role modeling that reinforce the benefits of meeting challenges and inspiring healthy change to Native communities throughout North America.


PATHSTAR 501(c) 3

601Van Ness Suite E 711 San Francisco,CA 94102

(415) 962-7654

Flying With Eagles announces national art competition

National art competition aims to raise awareness, combat suicide among Native youth – deadline Oct. 31

Douglassville, Penn. -  Flying With Eagles, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to developing Native American youth as peer leaders to combat suicide and substance abuse, announced the launch of their first ever Native American Youth Art Competition.

The competition is open to all Native American youth and young adults age 21 and under.  The contestants are not required to be an enrolled member of a federally recognized tribe.

The first project is designing the featured artwork for a soon to be released line of sweatshirts, tee shirts, hats and other clothing items.  Applicants will be provided with an outline of the project and are to add their creativity and originality.  The contest closes Oct. 31, 2014.

The judges are the executive committee and past peer leaders.  It is anticipated the new clothing line will be available for the upcoming holiday season.

“I’m confident that the opportunity to have their name associated with a specific clothing line will be very exciting and offer on-going design opportunities.  I look forward to seeing their creativity,” said Blair Gilbert, Flying With Eagles executive director.

An application form, competition guidelines and awards information is available by sending an email to:

Contact: Blair Gilbert (215) 872-8300


Flying With Eagles was created by youth, for youth.  Native American youth develop peer leadership skills through a journey of awareness, discovery, preparation and challenge.  According to a study by the Indian Health Service, teen suicide among Native American youth is three times the national average and alcoholism for the same group is more than 600 times the national average.  Flying With Eagles through its youth peer leaders, addresses these issues at the community level.  Many of the youth have grown to become not only peer leaders in their communities but also presenters of the program.

Oklahoma included in states reporting enterovirus outbreak

Republished from the Muscogee Nation News

Jessica McBride/Editorial Assistant

MCNDH prepared to handle increase in patients

OKMULGEE, Okla. — Between the Ebola outbreak in western Africa and now an outbreak of enterovirus D68 in the U.S., some may think the zombie apocalypse must be next.

According to Muscogee (Creek) Nation Department of Health Chief Nursing Officer Annette James, MCNDH is operating with a heightened awareness in response to the enterovirus outbreak and is trained and prepared to address the situation.

In a released statement from the Oklahoma State Department of Health Sept. 16, out of 24 specimens from Oklahoma submitted to the CDC labs for analysis, seven were positive for enterovirus.

However, medical providers are not required to report the number of cases, so the true number of cases in Oklahoma is unknown.

In the statement, State Epidemiologist Dr. Kristy Bradley said that children less than 5-years-old and children with asthma are most at risk of being hospitalized from complications due to the virus.

“If a child develops a cold or a cough, parents and caregivers should just watch the child a little more closely to ensure the respiratory infection is running a normal course,” Bradley said. “If wheezing or asthma-like symptoms develop, medical care should be accessed immediately.”

James said that it is understandable that the virus is affecting mostly children.

“Most people as we grow older, we have been exposed to it and so we’ve built a resistance and so; it’s affecting primarily the young ones that have not been exposed to it before and especially people with asthma, because they already have a weakened respiratory system,” James said.

According to James, MCNDH has not yet seen a case of enterovirus in a patient.

James advised to keep children home if they have a fever or have a productive cough.

“Rule of thumb, if you’re sick; stay home,” James said.

The enterovirus is spread through respiratory secretions.

There is not a vaccine for enterovirus, however MCNDH recommends typical illness prevention measures including: washing hands frequently, covering coughs, not sharing utensils or products that will touch your face with others and frequently cleaning surfaces that may be contaminated.

MCNDH facilities are also equipped with masks, hand washing stations and antibacterial gel to prevent the spread of illness.

James said that masks are recommended at facilities and at home to protect individuals that may have a compromised immune system.

“We encourage them to use our masks and that just protects them because they evidently have a weakened immune system at that point in time and it protects the other patients that are there from being exposed to that too,” James said.

In regards to Ebola, James said it is public health emergency but does not believe it is cause for concern in this area.

“There has been no cases here… but our health centers are prepared. We stay on top of what’s the latest and greatest; what’s going on out there to make sure we are prepared if something comes up,” James said.

James said that MCNDH is prepared to assist patients whether they come in for flu, enterovirus or Ebola.

“I think the main thing that we want people to know, is that we do have the providers, the medical providers, the nurses, all the staff that would need to respond to these types of situations… we have all of these protocols in place to manage those types of things,” James said.

Muscogee (Creek) Nation Department of Health Chief Nursing Officer Annette James stated that the department is prepared and trained to manage an enterovirus outbreak.


Native Trailblazers radio show announces fourth annual June Jamz award winners

Native Trailblazers Logo - ReflectionAfter countless votes from all over the world have been tabulated, the Native Trailblazers Radio Show is proud to announce their Fourth Annual JuneJamz Native Indie Showcase People’s Choice winners! June Jamz episode available in archives here – JuneJamz

In June, Native Trailblazers has a month long series of shows highlighting today’s Independent Native Artists from every genre to include Folk, Hip-Hop, Country and Electronic and Traditional and more. After the shows which aired in June, Native Trailblazers listeners had two months to vote for their top five favorites.

In addition to the Top5 – 16 year old Ukrainian flute artist Alissa Skorik received massive support to garner the “Native Spirit Award.”

The number one artist Dancing Elk, will receive airtime on a future segment of the show and promotional support.



Dancing Elk (Rock-Folk-Fusion) –


Shawn Joseph (Traditional, Native Flute)


Medicine Tail (Traditional Drum Group) –


Nataanii Means (Hip-Hop) –

Spirit Cry (Native Influenced Rock) –


Jennifer Vance (Folk-Rock) –



Writtyn (Hip Hop) –





Dancing Elk (Rock-Folk-Fusion) –


Medicine Tail (Traditional Drum Group) –


Keith Secola (Rock) –


Jennifer Vance (Folk-Rock) –


Honey (Hip Hop) –



Alissa Skorik (Native Influenced Flute) –

Since first airing in November 2009, Native Trailblazers celebrates hundreds of thousands of listeners and the show has been nominated in 2011 and 2013 for an Aboriginal’s People’s Choice Music Awards. Native Trailblazers is on BlogTalkRadio, an online radio site that receives millions of visitors daily.

For more information about the Native Trailblazer’s radio show which airs Fridays at 7 pm EST visit the website at

List of all Artists Selected for June Jamz  

Nataanii Means – (Hip-Hop) –

Johnny Rains – (Rock-R&B) –

Honey – (Hip-Hop) –

Gabriel Ayala – (Classical-Instrumental) –

Writtyn – (Hip-Hop) –

Dancing Elk (Rock-Folk-Fusion) –

Shawn Joseph (Traditional, Native Flute) –

Medicine Tail (Traditional Drum Group) –

Spirit Cry (Native Influenced Rock) –

Jennifer Vance (Folk-Rock) –

Alissa Skorik (Native Influenced Flute) –

Ken Quiethawk (Spoken Word) –

Keith Secola (Rock) –

Digging Roots (Alternative Rock) –

Marc Merilainen / Nadjiwan – (Alternative Rock) –

Jiiniikwe – (Alternative Rock) –

Cody Blackbird (Native Flute) –

Layla (Alternative Rock) –

Clearwater – (Traditional)

Original Xit – (Native Influenced Rock) –

Asani Charles – (Spoken Word) –

Saving Damsels – (Native Soul Rock) –

Eugene Jacquescoley – (Alternative Country) –

Raven Chacon – (Experimental Navajo Folk) –

Brent Michael Davids – (Soundtracks) –

Brian Majore – (Spoken Word – Comedy) –


For Press Information:

ARTISTS WISHING TO SUBMIT FOR 2015 can submit their music of any genre along with the following information – winners receive sponsorship packets to include the indie bible, PR packets, official awards from the show and other assorted prizes.

  • SOCIAL MEDIA and WEB SITES (include links):

The Native Trailblazers radio program airs live every Friday night at 7pm est at

Check out the shows each Friday in June at

Follow the show and the hosts on Twitter

Delores Schilling
Vincent Schilling
Native Trailblazers

NIHB applauds legislation introduced to provide Medicare-like rates for all care purchased by IHS


From National Indian Health Board

News Release

WASHINGTON (June 12, 2014) — Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN) and Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK), co-chairs of the Congressional Native American Caucus, introduced H.R. 4843, the “Native Contract and Rate Expenditure (CARE) Act.”

The bill would extend the Medicare-Like rate cap on payments made by Purchased/Referred Care (PRC) (formerly Contract Health Services) programs at the Indian Health Service (IHS) and tribal levels to all Medicare participating providers and suppliers. The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) worked closely with McCollum and Cole’s offices to assist in the development of this legislation and is very pleased to see the bill introduced.  The introduction of this legislation is an essential first step in allowing IHS and tribal health facilities spend precious PRC resources most effectively and efficiently.

NIHB Chairperson Cathy Abramson said, “We are very excited to see this important legislation introduced in the House of Representatives. This small technical change will ensure that our purchased/referred care dollars are going further, freeing up hundreds of millions of dollars for this critical program. If this legislation is enacted, our loved ones may finally be able to stop saying, ‘Don’t get sick after June 1.’ ”

In 2003, Congress sought to make PRC program dollars go further by amending the Medicare law to authorize the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish a cap on the rate PRC programs must pay hospitals for the services they provide to American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) referred under the PRC program. That rate was established as the “Medicare Like Rate.”

However, hospital services represent only a fraction of the services provided through the PRC system.  The proposed legislation would mean that IHS and tribes are reimbursing all physicians in the same cost effective way as other federal health programs including the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs.

Read the full legislation here.

About the NIHB

Founded in 1972, NIHB is a 501(c) 3 not for profit, charitable organization providing health care advocacy services, facilitating tribal budget consultation and providing timely information, and other services to all tribal governments.

NIHB also conducts research, provides policy analysis, program assessment and development, national and regional meeting planning, training, technical assistance, program and project management.  NIHB presents the tribal perspective while monitoring, reporting on and responding to federal legislation and regulations.  It also serves as conduit to open opportunities for the advancement of American Indian and Alaska Native health care with other national and international organizations, foundations corporations and others in its quest to build support for, and advance, Indian health care issues. 





Alaska dental health aide therapists mark 10 years in practice; Provided expanded access to 40,000 Alaska Native people


From the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium

Other states considering the Alaska midlevel dental model 

2014 marks the 10th anniversary of the first group of Alaska students returning from education in New Zealand to become Alaska’s, and the nation’s, first Dental Health Aide Therapists (DHATs). Those DHATs, along with the faculty, dentists, Tribal leaders and rural communities who support this program, were pioneers, the first to bring midlevel dental providers to the United States. Over the past 10 years, they have expanded much-needed access to dental care and prevention services for more than 40,000 Alaska Native people living in 81 rural, mostly remote communities across the state.

The success of Alaska’s DHATs demonstrates the benefits of adding midlevel providers to a dental team and the importance of providing care in the community in order to expand access. Today, 27 DHATs provide professional and culturally competent dental care in Alaska and 60 percent of the services they provided are preventive. A 2013 report released by Community Catalyst found that midlevel dental providers were economically viable and sustainable, costing less than 30 cents for every dollar of revenue they generated.

Candidates with strong ties to rural communities are selected for the DHAT program. They are trained to clean and fill teeth, perform simple extractions, and provide a range of prevention and education services. DHATs must meet the rigorous standards set by the federal Community Health Aide Program Certification (CHAP) Board. Nearly 80 percent of DHATs return to their home regions to practice and the program has an 81 percent retention rate.

Their accomplishments are a big step forward in combatting the decades-long epidemic of oral suffering and disease around rural Alaska and improving access to dental care for Alaska Native people. Prior to the DHAT innovation, 87 percent of 4-and 5-year–old children and 91 percent of 12-15 year olds had tooth decay.

“More than 40,000 rural Alaskans now have regular access to dental care from a DHAT – access and continuity of care that few had before,” said Andy Teuber, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium Chairman and President. “For the first time, we have “cavity-free” clubs in our elementary schools. This is not just change – it is a dramatic transformation from the days when teenagers graduated from high school with full sets of dentures.”

DHATs no longer have to travel across the world for training. Since 2007, the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium’s (ANTHC) DHAT Educational Program has prepared DHAT students with a two-year program led by award-winning staff at state-of-the-art facilities in Anchorage and Bethel. Alaska’s DHATs are trained in the DENTEX program, a partnership between the University of Washington and ANTHC. Students study for one year in Anchorage followed by a second year in Bethel.

The DHAT model has started a movement to authorize midlevel providers to operate in other states and Tribal communities. Alaska’s DHATs and ANTHC’s Educational Program are recognized as models of success for improving oral health and access to care for rural populations around the world. Providers like DHATs are now legally allowed to practice in Minnesota and Maine, and 15 other state are pursuing similar models.

ANTHC and the Federal CHAP Certification Board created   Alaska’s DHAT program, with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Rasmuson Foundation and the Bethel Community Services Foundation, to boost the number of dental providers in rural Alaska and the level of dental services available to Alaska Native people.

“Alaska’s Tribes exercised their sovereign rights to create a community-based solution to foster a better health future for their children and improve the health and well-being of their communities.  It is working so well that the rest of the nation is looking to Alaska as they work to solve the oral health crisis in their own communities,” said Dr. Alice Warner, program officer at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. “The Kellogg Foundation is honored to have been able to support their great work and will continue to stay committed to expanding access to oral health care for the millions of people, particularly children of color and low-income children, who suffer without it.”

On June 6, the Alaska DHAT program’s 2014 graduating class will receive certificates indicating successful completion of the DHAT training program. These five graduates will go on to a 400 hour preceptorship with a sponsoring Tribal health organization prior to certification as a DHAT. ANTHC will also present white coats to six first-year DHAT students transitioning to their second year of education in Bethel.

Why: Celebrating 10 years of DHATs improving access to oral health care in Alaska and the graduation of the 2014 class of DHATs.

When: 2 p.m. Friday, June 6

Where: ANTHC Consortium Office Building, 4000 Ambassador Drive, first floor, Conference Room One

Who: Five graduates will receive certificates of completion from the DHAT Educational Program.

  • Angelica Afcan, Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation
  • Renee Cheemuk, Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation
  • Lauren Reed, Maniilaq Association
  • Samantha Brown, Maniilaq Association
  • Shawn Martin, Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation

Six first-year students transitioning to their second year of training will receive their white coats.

  • Sadie Green, Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation
  • Sabrina Manacio, SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Corporation
  • Amanda Miles, Kodiak Area Native Association
  • Sharon Johnson, Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation
  • Charles Redfox, Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation
  • Carrie Tikiun, Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation

About the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium

The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium is a not-for-profit Tribal health organization managed by Alaska Native Tribal governments and their regional health organizations. We provide statewide services in specialty medical care; construction of water, sanitation and health facilities; community health and research; information technology and professional recruiting. For more information, please visit


About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States.  Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Mich., and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes.  Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success.  WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit