NYC Is Multilingual. Who Knew?
Starting soon, New York pharmacies including Wal-Mart, Target and Duane Reade will dispense their medicine with written translations in five languages—Spanish, Chinese, Italian, Russian and French—and customers will have phone access at the pharmacies to interpretation services in more than 170 languages. The agreement came after immigration advocates, citing the case of a mother who fed her child medicine that was supposed to only be a topical ointment, demanded that pharmacies recognize how multilingual New York City is.

Making Life Safer on the Rez
It isn’t just the banks and executives of failed corporations that got a lift from the stimulus package. The Bureau of Indian Affairs is slated to receive $85 million in federal stimulus money for notoriously underfunded law enforcement on Indian reservations. The Indian Health Services agency, which is charged with looking after health affairs on reservations, will also receive $300 million. The extra money will hopefully mean better medical facilities and more rape kits for Native American women.

Native Americans Win Rights to Water
For years, more than 40 percent of Navajo Nation residents had to transport their water to their homes from off-reservation sources. But President Obama signed into law the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act, which settles water rights for the San Juan River and grants safe and clean water to the 80,000 people of the Navajo Nation and other tribes. The Bush administration was opposed to the act, but oh, the small changes that a new administration can bring.

Canadian Kids Stand Up to Racism
Four hundred teenagers from a small Canadian high school walked out of class last spring to show solidarity with an Asian student who was the target of racial epithets. The white student issuing the racial slurs had pushed the Asian student, who defended himself. The fight ended with an arrest. The thing is, only the Asian student was charged. He faced possible suspension from school as well. But his classmates rallied together to protest, forcing the school and police to drop charges.

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