KWSO News Tue., Dec. 4, 2018

Most federal employees in the country will receive an excused day off from work when the government closes tomorrow for the national day of mourning for former president George H.W. Bush. This will include Indian Health Service – so the I H S clinic will be closed tomorrow. Tribal offices at the Health & Wellness Center will be open.

Gray wolves have spread from Idaho to the Pacific beaches if a map of wolf sightings by the general public can be believed. The trouble is the hundreds of sightings in separate databases maintained by Oregon and Washington are mostly unverified. Ben Maletzke (muh-LETS-key) is a wolf specialist with the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife. Most sightings in urban areas are likely misidentifications of coyotes or large dogs, but he says he keeps an open mind. Oregon’s Department of Fish and Wildlife says it’s getting increasing numbers of wolf observations from the public. Last year, it received 397 wolf sightings statewide, either called in to a biologist or through an online reporting portal.

Dressed in her traditional regalia, Ruth Buffalo, a member Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation, was sworn in as a state representative on Monday at the state capitol in Bismarck, North Dakota. A Democrat, Buffalo will represent the North Dakota District 27 in the House of Representatives, traditionally a Republican district that includes Fargo, North Dakota, Native News Online reports. She becomes the first Democratic woman in the state legislature in North Dakota. As fate would have it, she beat the incumbent, former state Rep. Randy Boehning, who sponsored voter ID legislation that sought to suppress the Native vote in North Dakota by requiring each voter provide an ID with a physical address.

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in Herrera v. Wyoming, a treaty rights case, on January 8, reports. The outcome will determine whether citizens of the Crow Tribe can be prosecuted for hunting on off-reservation treaty territory in the state of Wyoming. The lower courts have ruled that they lost those rights when Wyoming was admitted to the Union. The case is notable in that the Supreme Court typically does not agree to hear cases in which an Indian or tribal plaintiff has lost at the lower level, according to But Clayvin Herrera, who was convicted for killing a trophy elk in the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming, has the support of the Trump administration. Herrera also has many supporters in Indian Country, with the Crow Tribe, the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, two Ute tribes and treaty tribes from the Pacific Northwest submitting briefs in support. More than a dozen tribes signed onto a brief filed by the National Congress of American Indians.