KWSO News 7/29/19

The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation’s (NACF) Mentor Artist Fellowship is taking applications for its upcoming program. It is a regional individual artist project award that focuses on artistic mentoring in the Upper Midwest, Pacific Northwest, and Southwest regions. The Fellowship is open to eligible, established American Indian and Alaska Native artists of 10 years or more who want to mentor an emerging American Indian or Alaska Native artist apprentice in either the Traditional or Contemporary Visual Arts categories for a period of fifteen months. The mentoring period is a 15-month period beginning April 1, 2020 and ending June 30, 2021. The Mentor Artist Fellowship is a $30,000 award distributed to the mentor artist. Learn more and apply online at

Warm Springs Branch of Public Utilities has been doing what it calls mock simulations for the pressure reducing valve (PRV) stations in Warm Springs. The process began last week and will continue this week. There will be rolling outages in the areas of the PRV stations for up to 4 hours to ensure that all the proper valves are being located as work is done to replace them. Work will this week will be at the Catholic Church, West Hills and then Greeley Heights station.

LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) — The Nez Perce Tribe and environmental groups have sued the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, looking to block the relicensing of three dams along the Idaho-Oregon border. The Tribe and the groups Pacific Rivers and Idaho Rivers United filed separate lawsuits claiming Oregon’s water quality certification of the dams violates environmental regulations. Regulators in the two states last month reached a water certification agreement, allowing Idaho Power to advance its effort to relicense the Hells Canyon Complex dams on the Snake River. The utility, which serves about half a million customers in the two states, has been operating the dams on temporary federal licenses after its original licensed expired in 2005. The relicensing process requires the utility to get certificates from the states, saying the dams comply with the federal Clean Water Act. Until recently, the two states have been at odds, with Oregon wanting the dams to be outfitted with equipment to allow salmon to migrate upriver. Idaho has opposed fish passage measures. The new agreement does not include fish passage requirements but calls for the company to fund projects to improve aquatic habitat and reduce water temperatures on Snake River tributaries. The lawsuits claim the agreement violates a federal law and an Oregon law that requires all dams to provide fish passage unless exempted.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A federal judge has thrown out a Kentucky teen’s lawsuit accusing the Washington Post of falsely labeling him a racist following an encounter with a Native American man at the Lincoln Memorial. Nicholas Sandmann, a student at Covington Catholic High School, sued the newspaper for $250 million in February. The actions of Sandmann and his classmates were intensely debated after video and photographs emerged of them wearing “Make America Great Again” hats near a Native American man playing a drum. The judge ruled that there may have been “erroneous” opinions published by the Post, but they are protected by the First Amendment.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The U.S. government has decided to allow off-road vehicles access to archaeologically sensitive land at a Utah national monument that houses sacred tribal sites under a plan announced Friday. The Bureau of Land Management’s plan for the Bears Ears National Monument says that certain historic sites most at risk will be off limits, but the agency chose an alternative that closes about 42 square miles (108 sq. kilometers) to off-road vehicles. That’s far less than a different option that would have closed nearly 184 square miles (476 sq. kilometers). The plan was met by immediate criticism from environmental and tribal organizations, who say it will leave sensitive lands and sites vulnerable to damage.

CANNON BALL, N.D. (AP) — The tribe at the center of tumultuous protests against the Dakota Access pipeline unveiled a solar farm Friday that came about partly due to the tribe’s fierce opposition to the oil pipeline’s environmental impact. Located just 3 miles (5 kilometers) from the pipeline, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s solar project is meant as a first step toward clean energy independence and a way to power all 12 of the reservation communities in North Dakota and South Dakota. It also shows that the protests that began in 2016 and ended in 2017 weren’t for naught, even though the pipeline began carrying oil more than two years ago, said Cody Two Bears, the project leader and executive director of Indigenized Energy, which promotes energy within the Sioux Nation. Two Bears said the solar project “pays tribute to everyone who’s come to Standing Rock and all their hard work and tireless dedication toward protecting our people and land.” The project has 1,000 panels covering about three acres of wide-open prairie near Cannon Ball, with plans to expand to 10 acres.