Blog

  • Walking Shield recently met with the Department of Defense and California National Guard

    Dr. John Castillo, Executive Director, and Marvin Thurman, Program Manager, Walking Shield; are pictured with Brigadier General Jeffrey Smiley and Col. Jay Scott and their representatives; to build on their partnership to improve the quality of life of American Indians in California and across the country.

    Dr. John Castillo recently met with the Department of Defense and California National Guard leadership responsible for the Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) program to build on their mission to “produce mission-ready forces through military training opportunities that provide key services for American Indian communities”. Walking Shield has been a principal partner with the Department of Defense (DOD) and the California National Guard (CNG) to meet its mission objectives and to bring these valuable resources to benefit native communities. Walking Shield works with Joint U.S. military constructions task forces consisting of Army Combat Engineers, Navy Seabees, Air Force Civil Engineers, and National Guard Units to build, construct, and repair various infrastructures on Indian reservations. The IRT program utilizes various military branches to deliver their skills, experience and equipment to build roads, housing, water delivery systems and provide critical health programs to American Indian reservations and rancherias in California and across the country. Walking Shield plays an integral role in identifying tribal infrastructure needs, completing required applications, and coordinating logistical requirements on all approved projects. Walking Shield works with each respective Tribal government in the administration of each project to ensure quality assurance and effectiveness. At this meeting, our partnership has been improved to include an increase in the number of approved IRT projects annually, IRT projects can be multi-year requests, and a focus to improve the health status of individuals and families living on reservations through increased medical programs including doctors, health professionals, dentists, optometry, and veterinarian assistance.   

  • Ucross Celebrates First Native American Artist Fellows

    Ucross Celebration Photo

    Artists Sydney Pursel, left, and Brenda Mallory, right, stand in the Ucross Gallery for the opening of their exhibition. Pursel and Mallory received Ucross’s first fellowship for Native American visual artists, and the exhibition is a part of their award.

    Photo: Catherine Wheeler

    UB dental program aims to increase number of Native American dentists

    The Ucross Foundation’s ranch is usually very quiet and serene, but tonight, the art gallery that sits on the grounds is filled with the sounds of people and the art itself. A video of performance art plays on the projector and its music simmers in the room. The sound of beer bottle caps smacking together punctuates the celebration as the audience walks through it.

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  • UB dental program aims to increase number of Native American dentists

    Jalisa Whitehorse trims a plaster model in the new pre-clinical lab in Squire Hall.

    Jalisa Whitehorse trims a plaster model in the new pre-clinical lab in Squire Hall.
    Photo: Cass McAllister

    UB dental program aims to increase number of Native American dentists

    Nearly 10,500 students applied to attend dental school in the United States this fall. Just 16 of those students are Native American, according to the American Dental Education Association. The Native American Pre-Dental Student Gateway Program, an initiative between the University of Buffalo School of Dental Medicine and Seneca Nation Health System, aims to reduce the alarming disparity by introducing Native American students to careers in dentistry.

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  • Aztec Ruins festival will feature record number of artists and dancers

    Photo: Dave Meyers, National Park Service | Aztec Ruins National Monument

    The Acoma Enchantment Dancers perform at last year’s American Indian Cultural Arts Festival at Aztec Ruins National Monument. The festival returns this weekend with dance groups from the Zuni and Jemez pueblos.

    Aztec Ruins festival will feature record number of artists and dancers

    By Mike Easterling, Farmington Daily Times | Daily-Times.com

    Farmington, New Mexico — Ranger Cyresa Bloom, the organizer of the annual American Indian Cultural Arts Festival at Aztec Ruins National Monument, has learned a lot about how to plan and manage such an event since the first one took place in 2016.

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  • Walking Shield Aiding Students

    Walking Shield made it possible to finish my undergrad strong. They have been helpful and supportive during this journey. I appreciate everything they have done for me while I have been in school.  They provided financial and emotional support throughout my college journey.

    Cheyenne Monique Lira

    (Pueblo of Laguna/Barona Band of Kumeyaay Indians)

    B.A. in Communication Studies

    Minors in Business Management and Sociology