ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Sealaska Heritage Institute officials say they are collaborating with a university that is studying how the DNA of indigenous people might have been affected by trauma linked to European colonization.
Researchers from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign will be at the Juneau-based institute next week for the project focusing on Tlingit people with ties to Hoonah.
Another research trip to Hoonah is planned for later this year.
Institute officials say researchers anticipate recruiting 50 volunteers to give blood samples and take a survey.
Participants will receive $50 Amazon gift cards.
Officials say individual information by participants will be anonymous.
Officials say the institute is consulting on the effort with the Hoonah Indian Association and the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium.
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to criminal charges in the case of Jermain Charlo, who has been missing for a year.
The 23-year-old Dixon resident was last seen in Missoula on June 16, 2018. Her case is among many that helped lead to more organized efforts in searching for missing Native Americans.
The Montana Legislature created a Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons task force, which met for the first time on Tuesday, and passed another bill requiring the Department of Justice to hire a missing persons specialist.
The tribal council had offered a $1,000 reward for information on Charlo's whereabouts. Her family asked for an increased reward.
Council members also authorized spending $2,600 for another six months of maintaining a missing persons billboard with Charlo's information.
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — A new mural in southern New Mexico seeks to honor missing and slain Native Americans amid a nationwide push to bring more attention to the issue.
The Las Cruces Sun-News reports artist Sebastian “Vela'' Velazquez recently erected the mural in Las Cruces in conjunction with the city's eighth annual “Illegal'' graffiti art show.
The work is part of a large-scale mural wrapping around the entirety of the Cruces Creatives building. In the mural, a Native American woman stands in front with her fist raised. She's screaming and the words below say: “NO MORE STOLEN SISTERS!''
“The news gets turned off and Facebook gets put down and turned off, and those issues kind of disappear, and everything that comes with it,'' Velazquez said. “Having that piece up there, and why we sponsored it, is because you can't really turn off a mural. It's there every day and every night.''
Last month, federal lawmakers re-introduced legislation that calls for the Justice Department to review how law enforcement agencies respond to cases of missing and killed Native Americans.
The legislation is named Savanna's Act for 22-year-old Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, whose body was found in a North Dakota river in 2017.
The bill was unanimously approved in the U.S. Senate last year but died in the House.
Velazquez said the mural also honors missing indigenous Mexican women. “Art is medicine to people of color. I think aerosol art is a healing method, rather than a criminalizing method,'' he said.
Earlier this year, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a bill to develop a task force to investigate the issue of missing and slain indigenous women in the state.