How does measuring poverty and welfare affect American Indian children?

From Brookings:

For one group of children in particular, American Indians and Alaska Natives, exceedingly high poverty rates have had profound impacts on community wellbeing and long-term cohesiveness. Given the best available data, from the U.S. Census data, child poverty rates among American Indians and Alaska Natives have consistently exceeded 40% for almost the past 30 years.

Here.

Seattle Human Rights Commission Calls on City to Urge Water Quality Standards Protective of Health and Human Rights

Seattle Human Rights Commission

1963 – 2015   ·   52 years of championing human rights and fostering a just future

March 9, 2015

Human Rights Commission Calls on City to Urge Water Quality Standards Protective of Health and Human Rights; Announces a Seattle Public Hearing on the Proposed Standards

For information contact:

Ethel Branch

(206) 344-8100

ethel.billie@gmail.com

SEATTLE–Today the Seattle Human Rights Commission sent letters to the Mayor and City Council, urging them adopt a position on Washington State’s proposed revised Water Quality Standards (WQS) supportive of health and human rights. The Commission stated in their letter that “Our City residents and our economy are strongly rooted in fish. City residents should be able to eat fish caught in Washington waters without fearing that they have exposed themselves to harmful levels of toxics or placed themselves at undue risk of cancer.” Accordingly, the Commission asked the City to support the proposed resetting of the State’s fish consumption rate to an amount that will allow Washingtonians to healthfully eat one fish meal a day (175 g/day). Existing standards only protect Washington fish consumers in safely eating one fish meal a month (6.5 g/day). The Commission also urged the City to oppose the State’s proposed tenfold increase to Washingtonians’ cancer risk level. The fish consumption rate and the cancer risk level feed into a formula that the State uses to set limits on the amounts of toxic pollutants that can be released into the State’s waterways. In the course of a week, over a thousand Washingtonians—many Seattleites—have signed onto comments via change.org that urge the State to take this more health and human rights-based approach to revising our Water Quality Standards. Continue reading

Change the Name Boycott of Corporate Sponsors of the D.C. NFL Team — March Update

                                        Seattle Human Rights Commission

1963 – 2015   ·   52 years of championing human rights and fostering a just future

March 3, 2015

Hogen Adams, Lochen Silva, Yale Law School NALSA, and UW NALSA Join Change the Name Boycott of Corporate Sponsors of the D.C. N.F.L. Team

For information contact:

Ethel Branch

(206) 344-8100

ethel.billie@gmail.com

SEATTLE–Lochen Silva, PLLC (Seattle and Minneapolis), Hogen Adams PLLC (St. Paul), and The Public Advocate, NC (Seattle) have joined the chorus of law firms boycotting the key corporate sponsors of the DC NFL team. This takes the number of law firms boycotting team sponsors to eight. The other firms boycotting team sponsors include Kanji & Katzen PLLC, Kewenvoyouma Law, Skenandore Law, Galanda Broadman, and the Alaska office of Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry, LLP.

The Yale Law School and University of Washington chapters of the Native American Law Students Association have also joined the boycott, as has the prominent Seattle-based nonprofit, OneAmerica, which was founded to combat hate and promote equality.

The corporate sponsors of the DC NFL team subject to the boycott include Bank of America, FedEx, Bud Light, Ameritel, Ticketmaster, and StubHub. Boycotters pledge to not purchase goods or services from these sponsors until the team changes its name.

The boycott comes at the behest of the Seattle Human Rights Commission, which charges that the team name is not just offensive, but is also a human rights violation, and so its use should cease. Immediately.

Multiple studies have found that mascots like the DC team’s have a direct effect on the self-esteem of Native American children and teenagers, whose suicide rate has increased 65 percent in the last decade. In just the last month, three Native youth have committed suicide on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota. These suicides came on the heels of a hate-laden incident at a Rapid City Rush hockey game wherein spectators hurled “beer baths and racial slurs” on a large group of Native children from Pine Ridge.

DC NFL team owner Dan Snyder defends the team name by saying it honors Native Americans, but the term was historically used to justify violence against Native Americans. Its continued use normalizes the dehumanization of Native people and emboldens hate crimes such as the one witnessed in Rapid City. This has a crushing effect on the psyche of Native youth. The name must change. Now. The Seattle Human Rights Commission urges you to join this boycott, which almost 200 individuals have joined, via this link: https://www.change.org/p/dan-snyder-boycott-d-c-n-f-l-team-sponsors-until-the-name-is-changed. ###

Bill Kidder Responds to Michigan’s Empirical Assertions in Coalition to Defend — American Indian UC Enrollment Highlighted

Here, via SCOTUSblog.

An excerpt:

With respect to American-Indian students, the percentage enrolled at the University of California was lower in 2012 than in 1996 on seven of nine campuses: Berkeley, Davis, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, San Francisco, and Santa Barbara. In summary, even with the remarkable expansion of 72,000 seats (and a new campus) at UC during this span, the percentage of African- American and American-Indian students enrolled in the UC system was still lower in 2012 than it was in 1996.

Full Panel of the Sixth Circuit Strikes Down Prop 2, Michigan’s Anti-Affirmative Action Amendment.

A split of the Sixth Circuit upheld the 3 judge panel. Our previous coverage of Prop. 2 here.

Here.

COLE, J., delivered the opinion of court in which MARTIN, DAUGHTREY, MOORE, CLAY, WHITE, STRANCH, and DONALD, JJ., joined; and BATCHELDER, C. J., and GIBBONS, ROGERS, SUTTON, COOK, and GRIFFIN, JJ., joined in Part II.B and C. BOGGS, J. (pp. 37–40), delivered a separate dissenting opinion, in which BATCHELDER, C. J., joined. GIBBONS (pp. 41–57), delivered a separate dissenting opinion, in which BATCHELDER, C. J., and ROGERS, SUTTON, and COOK, JJ., joined, and GRIFFIN, J., joined with the exception of Part III. ROGERS (pg. 58) delivered a separate dissenting opinion, in which COOK, J., joined. SUTTON (pp. 59–69), delivered a separate dissenting opinion in which BATCHELDER, C. J., and BOGGS and COOK, JJ., joined. GRIFFIN, J. (pp. 70–74), delivered a separate dissenting opinion.

A student seeking to have her family’s alumni connections considered in her application to one of Michigan’s esteemed public universities could do one of four things to have the school adopt a legacy-conscious admissions policy: she could lobby the admissions committee, she could petition the leadership of the university, she could seek to influence the school’s governing board, or, as a measure of last resort, she could initiate a statewide campaign to alter the state’s constitution. The same cannot be said for a black student seeking the adoption of a constitutionally permissible race-conscious admissions policy. That student could do only one thing to effect change: she could attempt to amend the Michigan Constitution—a lengthy, expensive, and arduous process—to repeal the consequences of Proposal 2. The existence of such a comparative structural burden undermines the Equal Protection Clause’s guarantee that all citizens ought to have equal access to the tools of political change. We therefore REVERSE the judgment of the district court on this issue and find Proposal 2 unconstitutional. We AFFIRM the denial of the University Defendants’ motion to be dismissed as parties, and we AFFIRM the grant of the Cantrell Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment as to Russell.

Fletcher on Native America Calling this Friday on Affirmative Action

Here. The program description:

Friday, October 26, 2012 – Affirmative Action in Education:
Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on the constitutionality of affirmative action in higher education. This issue is something that has many in Indian Country concerned. With this in mind we ask, is diversity in college admissions a right Native students should be afforded? Can Native students still expect a quality college education if their test scores and academics aren’t measured equally to non-native students from more affluent backgrounds? What will the future look like for Native college hopefuls if the Supreme Court decides for or against? We’ll explore these questions and more as we discuss the Supreme Court, Affirmative Action, and the future of Native College students.