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A school in the San Francisco Bay area with roots to a historical occupation and a graduation activity that involves 3-year old students beading their own graduation belts may soon close its doors. Students, alumni, parents, staff and community members have pledged to do whatever it takes to save Hintil Kuu Ca, a pre-kindergarten child development center (CDC) they say is unlike any other.

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The Indigenous Language Institute is doing all it can to combat the extinction of indigenous languages, a vital part of Native people’s identity. Native American stories, history and prayers are all passed down orally. But Native American languages are disappearing at an alarming rate. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger, there are 191 endangered languages in the United States, 74 of which are listed as critically endangered.

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The National Congress of American Indians voted Wednesday to approve a resolution calling for immediate passage of the Cobell v. Salazar settlement by Congress. NCAI’s resolution did not call for supporting a controversial amendment to the settlement offered by Sen. John Barasso, R-Wyo., that would cap attorneys’ fees at $50 million rather than up to $100 million as the settlement proposes.

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Vision Maker Media joins our colleagues around the world in mourning the loss of renowned Maori filmmaker and festival patron Merata Mita, of Ngati Pikiao and Ngai Te Rangi.

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Ya’at’eeh: 

I first heard of Vision Maker Media as an undergraduate at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. At one point, I toured the facility and was amazed that such an organization existed. Little did I know—I would work work for Vision Maker Media three years later.

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Seasons greetings from Vision Maker Media! It’s a time of reflection and preparation for the new year. Lakota people record their reflections through the winter count. Waniyeta wowapi, in our language. Winter counts are histories or calendars in which events are recorded by pictures, with one picture for each year.

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I received word this weekend that our friend and Blackfeet elder Curly Bear died. I got to meet him years ago during my tribal tourism days in South Dakota with ATTA. We were reacquainted a few years ago when we brought the doc he did with Dennis Neary to Public Television. http://www.visionmaker.org/blackfeet_e.html

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Progress on the bill this year has been steady so far, if not swift. Mr. Moran again introduced the legislation March 9, and the bill was heard by the House Committee on Natural Resources nine days later. The committee unanimously voted to pass the bill April 22, clearing the way for it to be sent to the House floor.

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The American Experience segment - Wounded Knee is coming up soon, and I thought it might be a good time to listen to a documentary on WK that we did in 1993 - 20 years after the takeover.

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