Listen to Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s Congressional Response to the annual State of Indian Nations Address from National Congress by American Indians President Fawn Sharp (Quinault).
Listen to the full State of Indian Nations Address from National Congress of American Indians President Fawn Sharp (Quinault), delivered in Washington, DC.
Date: Jan 11, 2023
Accent on Languages would like to address the recent news article regarding our translation quality in Iñupiaq and Yup’ik requested by FEMA.
First, we make no excuses for erroneous translations, and we deeply regret any inconvenience this has caused to the local community. As a language service provider that prides itself in top quality translation and client services, and given our goal of providing translations to support FEMA’s emergency communications, hearing that there may have been issues with our work was horrifying. This was a very unfortunate incident that has never happened before in Accent’s 30 years of operation, and we do not intend to ever allow it to occur in the future. Accent on Languages is also doing what it can to correct the situation, including by refunding FEMA’s payment for the translations in question.
Second, the article was factually incorrect regarding payment amounts, among other issues. Although the writer claimed Accent was paid $27,800, this was only a potential cap for future orders and was never actually fully paid out. The order expired before FEMA made full use of the total amount. FEMA actually paid Accent $5,116.41 for translations of multiple documents into several languages. Out of the $5,116.41 invoiced by Accent, a total of $3,385.13 was used for multiple Iñupiaq and Yup’ik translations. However, Accent on Languages is issuing a full refund for the translations of these two languages to FEMA and is working with the Contracting Officer to finalize this process.
Accent heard from FEMA regarding the potentially erroneous translations in late October of 2022, and upon learning of this issue, we immediately conducted an internal investigation. Accent also contacted a new team of translators to produce brand new translations from scratch, at no additional cost to FEMA and at Accent’s initiative. The linguists who produced the new translations signed certifications and affidavits. During this process, Accent on Languages reached out to numerous academic institutions in Alaska, local agencies, as well as members of the local community, social media sites, and other resources in order to resolve the issues as quickly as possible. Subsequently, Accent provided a plan of corrective actions to FEMA, together with the brand new, certified versions of the translations volunteered by Accent at no additional cost.
It is worth noting Accent initiated the process to replace the translations and was willing to absorb the additional cost without waiting for the internal review to corroborate the issues, in order to speed up the process and ensure accurate translations would be available to the public as soon as possible.
Accent entered into this task order with the commitment in the forefront to help the indigenous and native languages of Alaska, not only to just merely help these languages survive, but to help these languages and cultures thrive. As painful as it was to learn about the mistakes, Accent did not waver on this commitment and pressed on, dedicating dozens of hours to correcting the issue to the best of our ability in order to make things right not just to our customer from a business perspective, but for the people of Alaska.
As a small business, we pride ourselves in our ethics and professionalism, and while the costs of this project quickly overcame the fees we were going to get paid even before we issued the full refund, we certainly did not want to charge our customer for a product that did not meet the desired specifications. Accent’s ultimate goal always was to help FEMA send the right message to support the local people of Alaska in response to this natural disaster.
As a small, woman- and minority-owned business, the interests of the community are always close to our heart. The success of our company has always been based on the trust we have built over many decades of serving the community and our customers. The voice of the community matters deeply to us and we sincerely apologize for any issues that occurred with this support of FEMA and its mission to help those in need. We have taken actions to prevent this from happening again. Accent also welcomes any opportunity to speak to local community members directly to share what we’ve learned, and to discuss how we could do better for the community in the future.
If you are a local community member and would like to reach out to Accent regarding this matter or to ask any questions about our language services, please do not hesitate to email us at email@example.com.
Thank you for your time and attention.
CEO of Accent on Languages
Episode 10: Laine Neech.yanagút Yéil Rinehart
Hosted by Chandre Szafran
Laine Neech.yanagút Yéil Rinehart (Lingít/Taos Pueblo), based in Lingít lands in what’s today known as Juneau, AK., practices the traditional Lingít artform of Chilkat weaving, an intricate craft that retains its traditional designs, meanings, and uses.
In this episode, Laine shares how their art practice is a natural way to express personal and cultural identity, and makes space to acknowledge the harms of colonization. Also, a peek at their ambition to increase access to the mountain goat wool used in original weaving practices. Their stories are imbued with gratitude for the communities of teachers from whom they’ve learned.
Native Artist Series
The Native Artist Series takes a deep dive into the stories of Indigenous artists, spanning a wide range of artistic disciplines. From performance artists and writers, to carvers and weavers, artists share their unique stories and perspectives on navigating these fields while reclaiming native identity.
Episode 9: Dorthy Wychesit Fredenberg
Hosted by Chandre Szafran
Dorthy is a professional performer and business owner of a dance company based on Dena’ina lands in Deghay’kaq, known today as Anchorage, AK. Dorthy’s talent reflects a lifetime of discipline and love for dance. She performs as Violet Lee Vamp. Along with her business partner, performer Lady Duchess, she co-founded the Sweet Cheeks Cabaret dance company in 2013. Their work straddles the discipline of live performance, the close-knit community of small businesses, and the energy that comes with cabaret—a niche in live theater that combines entertainment with an artform that is gender, body, and sex positive, and where safety and consent come first.
Violet Lee Vamp and Lady Duchess have helped make Sweet Cheeks a fan-favorite in the Anchorage nightlife scene, frequently earning the company, and its cast of dedicated performers, awards in audience-voted theater and burlesque.
At the core of it all, as an Indigenous performer and entrepreneur in the small business community, Dorthy’s work marks a steady, subtle sense of ownership for Indigenous women in entertainment.
Thank you for joining us as a guest for an upcoming episode of Native America Calling! Here are some things you should know:
This is a live radio show. We prefer you block off the entire hour even if you’re not our only guest. The show is always:
9 to 10 a.m. Alaska Time
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There are two breaks within the show. The first is at 18 minutes past the hour and the second is at 38 minutes past the hour. The host will try their best to take over the conversation around these times to make a smooth transition into these breaks. But, sometimes, this means the host may have to interrupt you. This is no disrespect to you and your story.
The host will directly address you so there is no confusion about who she/he is talking to. Please be aware that you may be sharing the hour with two or three other guests. Sometimes guests have different views and opinions on topics. Please be respectful. We encourage civil discussions. The host will always be in control of the conversation and our sound engineer will always have control over the volume of every guests’ phone/mic. There is absolutely no swearing. Please don’t try to write your own script and read from it during the show. It rarely sounds natural. Also, relax and have fun. You’re on the show for a reason: to tell your story or share information about a topic that you are well-versed in.
We are funded by the CPB and mostly air on public radio stations. The FCC requires us to not issue a ‘call to action’ or mention prices of things. Example: “please call your senator…” or “donate money to my cause at…” Rather, you can tell audiences where to find more information about you or your work. Example: “Visit my website/social media to learn more about me and my music/art/work…”
We start wrapping up our show around 56 minutes past the hour. If you’re talking around this time, you may be able to hear music playing in the background. That’s the cue to start wrapping up. At some point, the host will take control of the conversation and end the show on time.
If you want your friends and family to hear you on the show, direct them to this list of radio stations that carry our show. They can also stream the show, live, from the NV1 stream or they can download the NV1 app.
Recommended booklist for Indigenous Studies:
By Nicky Kay Michael, PhD
Intro to AIS:
- Vine Deloria, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto, 978-0806121291
- Anton Treuer, Red Lake Ojibwe
Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask, 9780873518611
- David Treuer, Red Lake Ojibwe
The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present, 978-0399573194
Indigenous Traditional Knowledge
- Robin Wall Kimmerer, Citizen Potawatomi Nation
Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants, 978-1571313560
- Ella Deloria, born on the Yankton and grew up in a prominent family on the Standing Rock reservation
Resistance and Empowerment:
- Paul Chaat Smith, Comanche, Robert Allen Warrior, Osage
Like a Hurricane: The Indian Movement from Alcatraz to Wounded Knee, 978-1565844025
- Brenda Child, Red Lake Ojibwe
Boarding School Seasons: American Indian Families, 1900-1940, 9780803264052
- David Wallace Adams
Education for Extinction: American Indians and the Boarding School Experience, 1875–1928, 978-0700629602
Social and Environmental Justice
- Nick Estes, Lower Brule Sioux Tribe
Our History Is the Future: Standing Rock Versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance, 978-1788737296
- Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg
As We Have Always Done: Indigenous Freedom through Radical Resistance (Indigenous Americas)
- Dina Gilio-Whitaker, Colville Confederated Tribes
As Long as Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice, from Colonization to Standing Rock, 978-0807028360
- Edgar Villanueva , Jennifer Buffett, et al., Lumbee Tribe
Decolonizing Wealth: Indigenous Wisdom to Heal Divides and Restore Balance, 978-1523097890
Tribal Government and Development
- Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development
The State of the Native Nations: Conditions under U.S. Policies of Self-Determination Illustrated Edition, 978-0195301267
- Sharon O’Brien
American Indian Tribal Governments, 978-0806125640
- Cora Voyageur (Editor), Laura Brearley (Editor), Brian Calliou (Editor)
Restorying Indigenous Leadership: Wise Practices in Community Development, 978-1894773683
The Indian Health Service has made significant improvements to quality care for American Indians and Alaska Natives. The IHS aims to implement and sustain an effective quality program that improves patient experience and outcomes; strengthens organizational capacity; and ensures the delivery of reliable, high quality health care. Earlier this year, the IHS released a five year (2019-2023) Strategic Plan. This was a major step in establishing a culture of accountability and sustaining a quality program within the agency.
IHS is committed to an effective credentialing and privileging program that ensures we are hiring qualified clinicians. Some of the recent changes we have made include establishing for the first time an agency-wide Office of Quality. In order to provide oversight and support of credentialing and privileging across the agency, these functions are now under the new office. Other important improvements we have made to credentialing and privileging practices at the IHS include implementing an enterprise-wide deployment of an electronic credentialing software system in 2018, and for the first time hiring an IHS credentialing program manager.
At the IHS, we are taking the steps to ensure that our system is composed of robust processes that will deliver high quality care.