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Thursday, September 30, 2004

articles-september 30

Toll booths on St. Regis Mohawk reservation?
Updated: 9/30/2004 6:30 AM
By: News 10 Now Web Staff

It may be free now, but if the St. Regis Mohawk tribe has its way, motorists will have to pay to enter native land. Tribal leaders say setting up toll booths at the entrances to the reservation is well within their rights as a sovereign nation.

"We have to make up the money somewhere, and if we're going to lose this because we do need those funds in order to provide services to the community. I know that's an option that we have. I know it will be inconvenient for a lot of people, but you have to pay a toll on the thruway, and they make money there. So maybe that's something we need to look at seriously," said Chief Barbara Lazore who is with the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe. full article

Judge dismisses charges against activist

By Eric Newhouse
Tribune Projects Editor

Russell Standing Rock is free again, after a judge on the Rocky Boy's Reservation dismissed criminal contempt charges against him.

But a special prosecutor for the tribe is appealing the decision.

Standing Rock, an activist who is challenging several amendments to the tribal constitution, was ordered to surrender for a mental evaluation last July.

When he didn't, he was charged with criminal contempt and ultimately arrested in Havre. full article

Mission to restore native diet
By Karen Herzog
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

September 30, 2004

Long before french fries, ice cream and snack foods took over, indigenous foods such as corn, squash, beans, salmon, trout and bison fed the country.

Now, a movement is afoot among leaders of American Indian communities to return to such healthy foods of their heritage, and to teach non-Indians about their little understood cuisine.

One avenue for this mission is a three-day Native Food Summit, held recently in Milwaukee.

About 200 tribal leaders, advocates for American Indian culture, food and health, and native food suppliers and business owners from across the country gathered for the summit, where they looked to American Indian chefs, such as Loretta Barrett Oden, to spark a better understanding and enthusiasm for the foods their ancestors knew. full article

Arctic hunter brings carvings to life

Posted: September 30, 2004 - 9:00am EST
by: Matt Ross / Correspondent / Indian Country Today

INUVIK, Northwest Territories - Because of its isolation from human populations, the Beaufort Delta region of the Northwest Territories has an abundance of life.

Combining the wilderness of barren lands of Canada’s far north with the icy water that feeds into the Arctic Ocean, the natural world that survives there is what intrigues carver Derrald Pokiak Taylor. With an intimate knowledge of the land, this artist attempts to portray the vividness of those animals he frequently encounters during what are fleeting moments.

"When I see the animals, I’ll follow them in their natural environment. When the polar bear is on the ice or in the open water, I’ll take the time to watch his movements," said Taylor, 41. full article

Lobbyist for tribes won't answer panel's questions

By Dee-Ann Durbin

WASHINGTON -- A lobbyist who billed American Indian tribes tens of millions of dollars for work on casino issues refused Wednesday to answer questions from the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.

Committee Chairman Ben Nighthorse Campbell, R-Colo., quoted from e-mails in which Jack Abramoff called his tribal clients "morons," "monkeys" and "stupid idiots." Campbell, a member of the Northern Cheyenne tribe, said he was personally offended and asked Abramoff why he worked with tribes if he felt that way. full article

Honoring Native Americans with Disrespect

BET.com, News Analysis,
Ed Wiley III, Sep 30, 2004
In the nation’s capital, where 20,000 Native Americans converged this week for the most grandiose tribal gathering in U.S. history, several Indian groups are demanding that the city discard an icon they say reminds them of America’s historic hate of their people: The Washington “Redskins” mascot.

After 15 years of development and $219 million in costs, Washington, D.C. introduced a museum on the National Mall Tuesday that recognizes the historic contributions of Native Americans. Ironically, say a wide range of religious, civil rights and Native American, organizations, long after the hoopla of the unveiling dies down, the most resounding roar rising out of Washington will be the praises lifted to a degrading icon. full article

The Harvard Law Professor Who Sat On An Israeli Assassination Target Review Panel

The Jihad of Alan Dershowitz

Law Professor,
Washburn University School of Law

If to dispute well is law's chiefest end, Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz has honed this ability to a stunning craft. In high-profile cases, such as O. J. Simpson, Doctor Dershowitz, a seasoned criminal law jurist, serves as a media-savvy lawyer determined to defend "the guilty." Less well known, however, is that this advocacy Mephistopheles thrives on inventing unpopular, counter-intuitive, and even unjust exceptions to international law--a subject he normally does not teach. These exceptions--mutually folded in each other's orb---allow the torturing of terrorists, the assassinations of their leaders, and the demolition of their family homes. What is most intriguing is the contempt that Dershowitz has for the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and its current President (the Chinese judge) whom he calls a thug, discarding the language of professional courtesy.

Somewhat intrigued by his incendiary views daringly, and sometimes crudely, expressed in books and newspaper columns, I requested to interview Dershowitz, an interview he granted promptly and generously. We both taped the interview, I for no other reason but to save as a souvenir. I came out of the interview with the clear impression that--setting aside the civil liberties concerns that inform his criminal defense rhetoric--Dershowitz concocts these exceptions not merely to embellish his ivory tower but to proactively defend, and sometimes shape, Israeli policies in occupied Palestine. full article

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

articles-september 29

Cesspool Of Greed' D.C-Style
WASHINGTON, Sep. 29, 2004
This Against the Grain commentary was written by CBSNews.com's Dick Meyer.

"In between running a restaurant, starting a private school, and helping his wife raise five children of their own and seven boarders, Jack Abramoff has somehow found time to become one of Washington's most sought-after lobbyists and political strategists,” gushed The Hill, a close chronicler of these things.

Today, Abramoff took the 5th in front of a Senate committee. He did it lots of times actually.

The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs is investigating allegations that Abramoff and a colleague, Michael Scanlon, who once served as House Majority Leader Tom Delay’s press secretary, fleeced several Indian tribes looking for help on casino issues out of at least $50 million. Abramoff and Scanlon were renowned for their ties to Delay; Delay is renowned for trying to make paying clients use friendly, Republican lobbyists.
. full article

Indians told they will win land lawsuit

Ron Jackson
The Oklahoman
BOONE - A Washington attorney Monday told nearly 100 beneficiaries of American Indian trust land that they will win an eight-year-old class action lawsuit against the U.S. government.

"We will win this case," said Keith Harper, whose Native American Rights Fund is representing more than 500,000 Indian trust land beneficiaries nationwide. "We have the facts and the law on our side, and that's everything."

The lawsuit, commonly known as the Cobell case after lead plaintiff Elouise Cobell, a member of the Blackfeet Tribe of Montana, was filed in federal court in 1996 seeking two basic remedies: an accounting for individual trust accounts and reform of the government's management of the accounts.

Congress established the accounts in 1887, and the largest number holds the proceeds from mineral and grazing leases on land owned by Indians. Congress, accountants and the federal judge presiding over the lawsuit agree that the accounts have been mismanaged and there's no telling how much money Indians have lost. full article

The National Museum of Ben Nighthorse Campbell
The Smithsonian's new travesty.
By Timothy Noah
Posted Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2004, at 8:24 AM PT

The disappointing new National Museum of the American Indian Last week's opening of the National Museum of the American Indian is shaping up to be the museum world's gaudiest belly flop since the disastrous 1964 debut of Huntington Hartford's anti-modernist Gallery of Modern Art. Edward Rothstein of the New York Times scorned its "self-celebratory romance." Paul Richard of the Washington Post lamented, "The museum doesn't nourish thought." Post city columnist Marc Fisher was blunter, calling the museum "an exercise in intellectual timidity and a sorry abrogation of the Smithsonian's obligation to explore America's history and culture."

The mere fact that Washington, D.C., persists in calling its favorite sports team the Redskins is reason enough to put a National Museum of the American Indian on the Mall. The case becomes overwhelming when you note further that the monuments and museums of Washington, collectively, presume to tell a reasonably complete story about this country; that the Native Americans settled this continent long before anyone else; that they were subjected by later arrivals to mistreatment that we can plausibly label genocide; and that most Americans today have little or no familiarity with the various Native American cultures. I'm glad we finally have a National Museum of the American Indian. But why did it have to be this one? full article

Maya Indians Fight for Rights in Guatemala
Catherine Elton
Guatemala City
29 Sep 2004, 13:51 UTC
Eight years after Guatemala's peace accord laid out ambitious goals for battling the discrimination and exclusion suffered by the Maya Indians, many say scant progress has been made. Now, however, there are many signs that this long-postponed issue may finally be making its way onto the national agenda.

The live music and sleek design of this bar in an upscale Guatemala City neighborhood have made it a hotspot for nightlife. So when a colleague of Maya Indian Maria Tuyuc passed his exams to become a lawyer, they came here to celebrate.

"The bouncer said, 'look, you can't come in. These kinds of places aren't made for people like you, especially not dressed like that,'" she recalls. She says it made her feel totally humiliated. full article

Boundless and Winless Wars

Disrupting America's Fateful Non-Debate on the Roots of Terrorism


On September 11th, nineteen hijackers commandeered four airliners and guided three of them into important symbols of American power with lethal precision. An unsuspecting citizenry, quite unaware of events outside the national purview, suddenly found 3,000 of its countrymen killed at the hands of a few fanatics from a far off part of the world. One would expect that, in a democratic country which prides itself on freedom of speech and press, wide-ranging diversity of opinions, and quality of intellectual debate and scholarship, one of the responses to the horrific attacks would be a rigorous and reflective discussion of why they happened. Three years on, what we have instead is the ceaseless, unchallenged mass production--and consumption--of a core set of noxious lies about September 11th that form the foundation of a perpetual, bloody, boundless, and winless war.

The right-wing answer as to why the attacks happened was unequivocal: the problem is inherently within Islam and Muslim society, which is warped and defected in various ways. Thus one prominent conservative commentator, Ann Coulter, called for invading all Muslim countries, murdering their leaders, and converting the people to Christianity. The notorious Bill O'Reilly brushed off civilian deaths resulting from American bombs in Afghanistan by offering that they deserved to die anyway since they failed to overthrow the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban regime. The prestigious rightist journal National Review mused that in the event of a "dirty bomb" attack, America should drop the atomic bomb on Islam's holiest site, Mecca. Upon further contemplation, they reconsidered and offered up the more tasty idea of depositing a nuclear bomb on the capital of every Arab country. full article

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Convoy of Conquest flyer you can download

We have a series of flyers that we will be posting that can be downloaded as pdf's. This is the first.


articles-september 28

No, the Conquistadors Are Not Back. It's Just Wal-Mart.

Published: September 28, 2004

AN JUAN DE TEOTIHUACÁN, Mexico, Sept. 21 - The market in this small town is a warren of streets with canopied stalls and battered storefronts, where one can buy everything from fresh avocados to jeans to a vaquero's saddle.

As they have for centuries, the merchants here ply their trade midway between the ruins of giant pyramids built by the Maya and the stone steeple of the town's main Catholic church, which Spanish monks founded in 1548.

Now another colossus from a different empire is being built in the shadow of the pyramids, a structure some merchants and other townsfolk here say threatens not only their businesses but their heritage. In December, an ugly cinderblock building rising from the earth is to house a sprawling supermarket called Bodega Aurrera, a subsidiary of Wal-Mart of Mexico.

"What's next?" said David García, 27, whose family owns a dry-goods store in the market. "It's like having Mickey Mouse on the top of the Pyramid of the Moon." full article

Gwich’in fight termination and protect Arctic
Vow to save Arctic Refuge

Posted: September 27, 2004 - 3:38pm EST
by: Brenda Norrell / Southwest Staff Reporter / Indian Country Today

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Alaska Natives gathered to counter anti-Indian legislation aimed at eroding tribal sovereignty and toward termination, as Gwich’in vowed to protect the Arctic Refuge from energy development in the pristine wilderness.

"We are under attack as federally recognized tribes from members of the Alaska Congressional Delegation, in particular Senator Ted Stevens," Gwich’in Chief Evon Peter told Indian Country Today.

"Stevens is attaching riders to unrelated Congressional legislation that is slowly stripping Alaska tribes of federal funding and altering our government-to-government relationship. He is carrying out this attack on our tribes without any tribal consultation or negotiation." full article

Fight over landfill may boil down to water fears

By Elizabeth Fitzsimons
September 28, 2004

PALA – People have been fighting against a landfill in Gregory Canyon since the county first proposed putting one there 15 years ago.

Opponents, now led by the Pala Band of Mission Indians, have raised one argument after another for why the canyon was ill-suited for a dump.

There were the garbage trucks on a two-lane highway; an invasion of birds and rodents; the damage to sacred Indian land; and the habitat for a wide range of animals.

Now, the landfill's potential to pollute North County water supplies has become the rallying cry for Proposition B. If approved by voters countywide next month, it could be the death knell for the landfill, proposed for a canyon about three miles east of where Interstate 15 and state Route 76 intersect. full article

Abenaki expect to see recognition bill introduced

September 28, 2004

Associated Press

SWANTON — A proposal is expected in the next session of the Legislature that would grant state recognition to the Abenaki tribe.

Jeff Benay, chairman of the governor's commission on Native American Affairs, said he expected a bipartisan bill to be introduced and he suggested it might give Abenaki the state recognition they need as leverage to obtain federal recognition.

Benay would not say who might sponsor or co-sponsor any recognition bill.

"It will come to the forefront," he said. "It's something that we'll see in the foreseeable future. There was a buzz created over the summer, and we'll see more after the elections in November." full article

Men who stole petroglyphs sentenced to prison

Posted: September 27, 2004 - 3:35pm EST
by: Ryan Slattery / Correspondent / Indian Country Today

RENO, Nev. - Two men convicted of stealing large boulders containing etchings of ancient American Indian rock art have been sentenced to serve short prison terms.

U.S. District Judge Howard McKibben sentenced Carroll Mizell, 44, of Van Nuys, Calif., to four months in prison with two months house arrest, while Reno resident John Ligon, 40, was ordered to serve two months behind bars. The men were convicted in June by a federal jury who found them guilty of violating the Archeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA) for stealing the protected petroglyphs.

The three boulders were removed in August 2003 from the base of Peavine Mountain, located in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest just outside Reno. The petroglyphs, which Forest Service officials believe are at least 1,000 years old, depicted human figures, sheep, archers, wheels and lizards. One month after being stolen, the rocks were recovered in Ligon’s front yard where they were being used for landscaping purposes. full article

Union ignores request to leave mascot and tipi at home
Ponca High principal rebuffed

Sam Lewin 9/27/2004

The principal at Ponca City High School has confirmed that she asked Union High School not to bring their “redskin” mascot and tipi to last Friday night’s football contest.

Union ignored her.

Ponca Principal Linda Powers said her request stemmed from an incident two years ago; the last time Union played the Pioneers in Ponca City.

“ The year before last they brought their tipi,” Powers told the Native American Times. “ We had letters to the editor-including one from a student and one from a member of the community. They both expressed dismay at the lack of respect and said they felt [the mascot and tipi] were not dignified.” full article

Indigenous People have enjoyed only small Gains in past Decade: UN Expert

The International Decade of the World's Indigenous People brought only modest achievements, and indigenous people continue to endure below-average living standards, unequal access to justice and the loss of traditional territories, the United Nations official charged with spotlighting their human rights says.

In a report to the General Assembly, Special Rapporteur Rodolfo Stavenhagen said the "http://www.un.org/rights/indigenous/mediaadv.html"International Decade - which ended this year - had not ended the history of human rights violations against indigenous people. While there have been some advances at the national level, such as the introduction of favourable legislation, Mr. Stavenhagen reports, discrimination is still common in local communities. full article

Jailbirds I Have Loved…
Or "No You Can't Have My Rights. I'm Still Using Them"

by Rebecca Solnit

About a month ago I planned to commit civil disobedience in New York -- there were some Republicans in town, as you may remember -- but circumstances beyond my control put me a few hundred miles further north at the crucial moment, so I did the next best thing: stopped at Walden Pond on my way back to Manhattan. Walden, the book, not the pond, turns 150 this year, but the people at the pond that day were paying more homage to cool water than to cultural history. Most of the swimmers seemed to be locals for whom the site was part of their familiar landscape, not outlanders like us paying homage to the pond and the guy who cultivated beans and contrary thoughts by its side from 1845 to 1847. It wasn't what I expected: The trees shrouded everything up to the water's edge; a secondary thoroughfare full of commuters ran very nearby, so that after paying to park in a large lot you had to dodge speeding commuter vehicles. I didn't mind that it had become a social or a suburban place, for Thoreau, in his legendary sojourn at the pond, never intended to be remote from society for long and reported on the train speeding by his retreat. full article

Bush is History's Top Terrorist
by Harvey Wasserman

As the fourth global-warmed hurricane in two months rips through Florida, we are reminded that George W. Bush is history's top terrorist.

We know, of course, that Bush has slaughtered thousands of Iraqis, imprisoned hundreds without trial or charges, and presided over the torture and sexual abuse of many of them. He is the world's leading recruiter for hate-America terrorists the world over.

Bush's preemptive militarism has paved the way for countless crusades for oil and fundamentalism in the decades to come. He overthrew the elected government of Haiti, resulting in hundreds of deaths. He tried to do the same in Venezuela. Other target nations are sure to follow. full article

Monday, September 27, 2004

articles-september 27

A Continuing Shame

Published: September 26, 2004

Native Americans came in great numbers to Washington last week, partly to celebrate, partly to correct a historic injustice. The occasion was the opening of the National Museum of the American Indian on the National Mall - a vivid reminder of the profound cultural and symbolic legacy of America's indigenous peoples. In the background, however, was a continuing lawsuit, whose purpose is to restore to the Indians assets and revenues that are rightfully theirs.

Specifically, the suit seeks a proper accounting of a huge trust established more than a century ago when Congress broke up reservation lands into individual allotments. The trust was intended to manage the revenues owed to individual Indians from oil leases, timber leases and other activities. Yet a century of disarray and dishonesty by the federal government, particularly the Interior Department, whose job it is to administer the trust, has shortchanged generations of Indians and threatens to shortchange some half million more - the present beneficiaries of the trust.

Many of the beneficiaries hold minutely fractionated interests in land that has been passed down from generation to generation. But no one really grasps the true dimensions of the trust because the value of those leases and royalties is unclear, and because there has never been a real accounting of the money paid into or out of it. What has become clear is that Indians were often paid far less for leases on their property than whites were for comparable property. full article

The shame of a nation
Science & Society
By Bernadine Healy, M.D.

Native Americans paid tribute to their ancestors last week at the opening of the National Museum of the American Indian. A few blocks from the Capitol, the sound of drums, whoops, and chants rolled across the grassy Mall. But if their ancestors were looking on proudly, at the same time they must have been weeping for the countless Indians who have died because the same government that erected a showpiece of a museum has flagrantly ignored its moral and legal responsibility to provide the Native American population with decent healthcare.

Browse through an archive of columns by Bernadine Healy.

The health of American Indian tribes became the government's responsibility long ago, through treaties and other covenants signed in exchange for hundreds of millions of acres of tribal land. After generations of neglect, in 1955 the Indian Health Service took over, creating an independent, single-payer, government-funded system. After half a century, there have been small improvements, but the large picture, as described in "Broken Promises," the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights' July draft report evaluating the Native American healthcare system, remains bleak. full article

Mixed emotions: Indian museum evokes varied reaction

WASHINGTON - It's already been consecrated a cathedral, a spiritual marker of the ages, a beautiful Native place, a monument of magnificence.
And the National Museum of the American Indian has been open for only a few days.

Its breathtaking nature - an architectural sensation housing the world's most extensive collection of Native objects - is not disputed.

But as museums go, it is a paradox.

It evokes life. And some say it hides death. full article

Our Voice: Schwarzenegger erred in his rebuke of mascot bill
‘Redskin’ is racist, derogatory term -- has no place in school

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger should have done his homework on the origin of the word ‘Redskin’ before nixing a bill that would ban the use of the offensive name on five school campuses in California.

His reasoning, that “Decisions regarding athletic team names, nicknames or mascots should be retained at the local level” -- doesn’t address the very real issue of racism involved here. We’re all in support of local control -- but this is not a local control issue -- it’s an issue of prejudice.

Since it doesn’t look like the governor opened his history book -- or the Google search engine -- before making his decision -- we decided to do the research for him:

At one time in our not so distant past, there was a bounty on the heads of the Indian people. full article

Homecoming for ancestral remains
By Dan Box
September 28, 2004

EIGHT Aboriginal elders will arrive in Sweden today to retrieve ancestral remains taken from communities across Australia in the early 1900s.
The formal repatriation ceremony will mark the end of a process that began last year, when the Swedish Government became the first to volunteer the return of Aboriginal remains to Australia.

Ken Robinson, from the Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre, said the elders had asked to receive the 15 skeletons in person. full article

Bolivia's Aymara taking justice into own hands

Fed up with the system, peasants stage protests in push for autonomy
Copyright 2004 Houston Chronicle Foreign Service

AYO AYO, BOLIVIA - The blood has been washed away. But the blackened concrete below a broken lamppost in this town's main plaza serves as a reminder of the grisly lynching that took place here.

Before dawn on June 15, Benjamin Altamirano, the mayor of Ayo Ayo, was hanged from the lamppost and set ablaze. An autopsy indicated he had already been beaten to death.

More than three months later, 11 suspects sit in jail, awaiting trial for Altamirano's kidnapping and murder.

But it is hard to find anyone who expresses much pity for the mayor in Ayo Ayo, a poor village of fewer than 700 Aymara Indians on the windswept high plains an hour's drive south of Bolivia's capital, La Paz. full article

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Stop Lewis & Clark has a website

The group of natives who have raised stiff opposition to the Lewis and Clark re-enactment now have a website. We encourage everyone to check it out. www.stoplewisandclark.org

The protest at Pierre, this weekend, was also covered by the Denver Post, which portrayed the protest in a largely favorable light.

Lewis and Clark re-enactors stir Indian debate

By Jim Hughes
Denver Post Staff Writer

Fort Pierre, S.D. - It was 200 years ago that the Corps of Discovery led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark first met the Sioux, the native people of the High Plains.

One of the most significant encounters happened here, where the Bad River, known then as the Teton, meets the Missouri River, which the corps had followed upstream from St. Louis. It was tense, according to expedition journals, but fighting was averted. The party that eventually opened up the West for the expansion of a young United States of America continued on.

On Saturday, a group of Lewis and Clark re-enactors heading back up the Missouri to commemorate the bicentennial and descendants of the Teton Sioux who today call themselves Lakota returned to the scene of the historic meeting. full article

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Kaplan's "Indian Country" op-ed-Steve Newcomb's response

For those not familiar with Robert Kaplan, he is one of the ideological guides of the Neo-Conservatives. He is an unabashed advocate of United States Imperialism and proposes policies that would extend and strengthen empire of the United States.

This first op-ed was written by Robert Kaplan and appeared in the editorial section of the Wall Street Journal. In an earlier post, we noted that George Bush had used the term "Indian Country" when addressing the audience gathered for the NMAI opening. "Indian Country" has various legal and political definitions but it also is a term used in the military. Robert Kaplan explains how the term "Indian Country" fits into his ideological framework.

The second commentary is a response from Shawnee scholar, Steve Newcomb.

War on Terrorism
Indian Country
By Robert D. Kaplan

The Wall Street Journal
September 21, 2004
An overlooked truth about the war on terrorism, and the war in Iraq in particular, is that they both arrived too soon for the American military: before it had adequately transformed itself from a dinosauric, Industrial Age beast to a light and lethal instrument skilled in guerrilla warfare, attuned to the local environment in the way of the 19th-century Apaches. My mention of the Apaches is deliberate. For in a world where mass infantry invasions are becoming politically and diplomatically prohibitive -- even as dirty little struggles proliferate, featuring small clusters of combatants hiding out in Third World slums, deserts and jungles -- the American military is back to the days of fighting the Indians.

The red Indian metaphor is one with which a liberal policy nomenklatura may be uncomfortable, but Army and Marine field officers have embraced it because it captures perfectly the combat challenge of the early 21st century. But they don't mean it as a slight against the Native North Americans. The fact that radio call signs so often employ Indian names is an indication of the troops' reverence for them. The range of Indian groups, numbering in their hundreds, that the U.S. Cavalry and Dragoons had to confront was no less varied than that of the warring ethnic and religious militias spread throughout Eurasia, Africa and South America in the early 21st century. When the Cavalry invested Indian encampments, they periodically encountered warrior braves beside women and children, much like Fallujah. Though most Cavalry officers tried to spare the lives of noncombatants, inevitable civilian casualties raised howls of protest among humanitarians back East, who, because of the dissolution of the conscript army at the end of the Civil War, no longer empathized with a volunteer force beyond the Mississippi that was drawn from the working classes.

Indian Country has been expanding in recent years because of the security vacuum created by the collapse of traditional dictatorships and the emergence of new democracies -- whose short-term institutional weaknesses provide whole new oxygen systems for terrorists. Iraq is but a microcosm of the earth in this regard. To wit, the upsurge of terrorism in the vast archipelago of Indonesia, the southern Philippines and parts of Malaysia is a direct result of the anarchy unleashed by the passing of military regimes. Likewise, though many do not realize it, a more liberalized Middle East will initially see greater rather than lesser opportunities for terrorists. As the British diplomatist Harold Nicolson understood, public opinion is not necessarily enlightened merely because it has been suppressed.

I am not suggesting that we should not work for free societies. I am suggesting that our military-security establishment be under no illusions regarding the immediate consequences.

In Indian Country, it is not only the outbreak of a full-scale insurgency that must be avoided, but the arrival in significant numbers of the global media. It would be difficult to fight more cleanly than the Marines did in Fallujah. Yet that still wasn't a high enough standard for independent foreign television voices such as al-Jazeera, whose very existence owes itself to the creeping liberalization in the Arab world for which the U.S. is largely responsible. For the more we succeed in democratizing the world, not only the more security vacuums that will be created, but the more constrained by newly independent local medias our military will be in responding to those vacuums. From a field officer's point of view, an age of democracy means an age of restrictive ROEs (rules of engagement).

The American military now has the most thankless task of any military in the history of warfare: to provide the security armature for an emerging global civilization that, the more it matures -- with its own mass media and governing structures -- the less credit and sympathy it will grant to the very troops who have risked and, indeed, given their lives for it. And as the thunderous roar of a global cosmopolitan press corps gets louder -- demanding the application of abstract principles of universal justice that, sadly, are often neither practical nor necessarily synonymous with American national interest -- the smaller and more low-key our deployments will become. In the future, military glory will come down to shadowy, page-three skirmishes around the globe, that the armed services will quietly celebrate among their own subculture.

The goal will be suppression of terrorist networks through the training of -- and combined operations with -- indigenous troops. That is why the Pan-Sahel Initiative in Africa, in which Marines and Army Special Forces have been training local militaries in Mauritania, Mali, Niger and Chad, in order to counter al-Qaeda infiltration of sub-Saharan Africa, is a surer paradigm for the American imperial future than anything occurring in Iraq or Afghanistan.

In months of travels with the American military, I have learned that the smaller the American footprint and the less notice it draws from the international media, the more effective is the operation. One good soldier-diplomat in a place like Mongolia can accomplish miracles. A few hundred Green Berets in Colombia and the Philippines can be adequate force multipliers. Ten thousand troops, as in Afghanistan, can tread water. And 130,000, as in Iraq, constitutes a mess that nobody wants to repeat -- regardless of one's position on the war.

In Indian Country, the smaller the tactical unit, the more forward deployed it is, and the more autonomy it enjoys from the chain of command, the more that can be accomplished. It simply isn't enough for units to be out all day in Iraqi towns and villages engaged in presence patrols and civil-affairs projects: A successful FOB (forward operating base) is a nearly empty one, in which most units are living beyond the base perimeters among the indigenous population for days or weeks at a time.

Much can be learned from our ongoing Horn of Africa experience. From a base in Djibouti, small U.S. military teams have been quietly scouring an anarchic region that because of an Islamic setting offers al Qaeda cultural access. "Who needs meetings in Washington," one Army major told me. "Guys in the field will figure out what to do. I took 10 guys to explore eastern Ethiopia. In every town people wanted a bigger American presence. They know we're here, they want to see what we can do for them." The new economy-of-force paradigm being pioneered in the Horn borrows more from the Lewis and Clark expedition than from the major conflicts of the 20th century.

In Indian Country, as one general officer told me, "you want to whack bad guys quietly and cover your tracks with humanitarian-aid projects." Because of the need for simultaneous military, relief and diplomatic operations, our greatest enemy is the size, rigidity and artificial boundaries of the Washington bureaucracy. Thus, the next administration, be it Republican or Democrat, will have to advance the merging of the departments of State and Defense as never before; or risk failure. A strong secretary of state who rides roughshod over a less dynamic defense secretary -- as a Democratic administration appears to promise -- will only compound the problems created by the Bush administration, in which the opposite has occurred. The two secretaries must work in unison, planting significant numbers of State Department personnel inside the military's war fighting commands, and defense personnel inside a modernized Agency for International Development.

The Plains Indians were ultimately vanquished not because the U.S. Army adapted to the challenge of an unconventional enemy. It never did. In fact, the Army never learned the lesson that small units of foot soldiers were more effective against the Indians than large mounted regiments burdened by the need to carry forage for horses: whose contemporary equivalent are convoys of humvees bristling with weaponry that are easily immobilized by an improvised bicycle bomb planted by a lone insurgent. Had it not been for a deluge of settlers aided by the railroad, security never would have been brought to the Old West.

Now there are no new settlers to help us, nor their equivalent in any form. To help secure a more liberal global environment, American ground troops are going to have to learn to be more like Apaches. link to article

This is Steve Newcomb's response. At this point, we have not web link for it but will provide one when it becomes available on the internet.

Indian Country As “Enemy Territory”
Steven Newcomb, Columnist

On September 21, the day some 20,000 American Indian representatives gathered in Washington, D.C. to celebrate the grand opening of the National Museum of the American Indian, the Wall St. Journal decided publish a column by Robert D. Kaplan, based on the background metaphor Indian Country is Enemy Territory.

Kaplan’s article is entitled “Indian Country.” He uses the term “Indian Country” to frame and illustrate a number points he wants to make about “the war on terrorism and the war in Iraq in particular.”

For example, Kaplan says that as “dirty little struggles proliferate, featuring small clusters of combatants hiding out in Third World slums, deserts and jungles—the American military is back to the days of fighting the Indians.”

Since the United States government and the U.S. military are said to be fighting “terrorists,” another background metaphor Kaplan uses can be expressed as a simile: Fighting present day “terrorists” is like a return to the days when the U.S. was fighting Indians in the “Old West.” Flip the analogy around, and our Native ancestors who resisted the advance of the United States are being compared to present day “terrorists” and “insurgents.”

In a previous discussion of American pathological attitudes and behavior towards Native peoples, this column explained that metaphors are used to think of one thing in terms of another. Kaplan claims that the “red Indian metaphor…captures perfectly the combat challenges …[faced by the American military in] the early 21st century.” Thus, the combat challenges that the U.S. military is facing in the Middle East and in other areas of the world, are being thought of in terms of the combat challenges that U.S. military once faced in its wars against Indian nations during the expansion of the American empire across the West.

In other words, Kaplan is thinking of the U.S. “war against terrorism” and the U.S. “war in Iraq in particular” in terms of the U.S. war against “Indian Country” in the latter decades of the nineteenth century.

There are two main steps to this kind of metaphorical thinking. First, think of features and characteristic of the U.S. war against Indian nations in the West in the latter part of the nineteenth century. Second, imaginatively apply those characteristics to what U.S. military is now attempting to accomplish against its enemies abroad.

To balance our comparison, the word “enemies” is a term that needs to be applied to both the present day context and to the Indians of the past. Thus, there are two conceptual metaphors behind Kaplan’s use of “Indian Country” for his column:
1) Indians Are Enemies, and, 2) Indian Country is Enemy Territory. Enemies are those who are hostile to the way the U.S. defines its interests, some of whom are willing to oppose the U.S. militarily, and the category “enemy territory” is any region where such people live or are located.

To slightly soften his comparison, Kaplan reassures us that the comparison he is making is inspired by the U.S. military’s “reverence for” Indian enemies of old. In other words, Kaplan apparently wants us to know that the U.S. military now has “a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe” for the prowess of Indian enemy combatants of the past.

Kaplan sees a number of similarities between the past and the present. In the past, Kaplan says that the U.S. military’s job was to confront a wide “range of Indian groups, numbering in their hundreds.” The varieties of Indians, says Kaplan, “was no less varied than that of the warring ethnic and religious militias spread throughout Eurasia, Africa and South America in the early 21st century,” which, in Kaplan’s mind is the geographical scope of the “war on terror.”

Kaplan also sees that “civilian casualties” was an issue in the past, just as it is in the present. Thus: “When the Cavalry invested Indian encampments, they periodically encountered warrior braves beside women and children, much like Fallujah.”
Kaplan’s use of the word “invested” is certainly appropriate for a Wall St. Journal readership,” but in a military context the term means, “to surround a place with military forces so as to prevent approach or escape.”

Invest also means, “to besiege.” Siege is “the act or process of surrounding and attacking a fortified place,” but also, “any prolonged or persistent effort to overcome resistance.” Under “lay siege to” my dictionary provides the following example: “The invaders laid siege to the city for over a month.” Thus, Kaplan’s use of the term “invest” has metaphorically framed the U.S. Cavalry of the past as an invading force against Indian villages.

However, Kaplan reassures us that when the U.S. cavalry surrounded Indian encampments, “most Cavalry officers tried to spare the lives of noncombatants,” yet “inevitable civilian casualties” resulted, which “raised howls of protest among humanitarians back east.”

The massacre at the Washita River is a prime example of “inevitable civilian casualties” during nineteenth century U.S. military actions against Indian people. At dawn, on November 27, 1868, the 7th Cavalry attacked the tipi encampment of Black Kettle, a Cheyenne Peace Chief. The attack occurred under the command of Colonel George Armstrong Custer, who was responsible for the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre. Custer was under orders from General Phil Sheridan “to proceed south in the direction of the Antelope Hills, thence toward the Washita River, the supposed winter seat of the hostile tribes; to destroy their villages and ponies, to kill or hang all warriors, and bring back all women and children.”

At dawn, Custer’s troops attacked the camp on the Washita. In no time at all, the deadly fire from the soldiers guns cut down 103 “hostiles,” only 11 of whom were warriors. In other words, Custer’s troops killed 92 women and children. “Inevitable civilian casualties” resulted from the U.S. soldiers indiscriminately killing Cheyennes. The soldiers also gunned down several hundred horses. The horse was at the heart of the Cheyennes way of life and economy. The bullets that killed the horses was just another way of firing into the hearts of the Cheyennes.

Custer and his troops returned to Camp Supply where Sheridan was waiting. They marched in a procession, waving the scalps of Black Kettle and other massacred Cheyennes. A band played triumphant music. The soldiers with them 53 captured Cheyenne women and children. Sheridan praised Custer for “efficient and gallant services.”

Elsewhere in his column, Mr. Kaplan refers to “the American imperial future,” which, of course, correctly suggests an “American imperial past and present.” In my view, the metaphor of the American Empire is the frame needed to understand Kaplan’s use of the metaphor “Indian Country,” and to make sense of his comparison between the unjustifiable past actions of the U.S. against Indian nations and the U.S.’s current unjustifiable war in Iraq. Imperialism is its own justification.

His reference to America’s “imperial future,” infers that it was during America’s imperial past that the Plains Indians were, in Kaplan’s view, “ultimately vanquished” by “a deluge of settlers aided by the railroad.” If not for settlers and railroads, Kaplan suggests, the U.S. never could have been victorious in the Old West. He somehow fails to mention the U.S.’s intentional slaughter of the Indian communities, and the wholesale slaughter of the buffalo in order to destroy the food supplies and economic strength of the Plains Nations.

I understand the ending of Kaplan’s article in the following way: because there will be “no new settlers to help” the U.S. realize its “imperial future” in other parts of the world, “American ground troops are going to have to learn to be more like Apaches.” That Kaplan’s comparison here is weak, and ineffectual is illustrated by a photograph of Geronimo and a number of other Apache warriors brandishing rifles, with a present day photo caption that reads: “Fighting Terrorism Since 1492.”

The cognitive model for this photograph is familiar to every Native person who knows the history of what has been done by the United States to terrorize, kill off, and dispossess our ancestors, such as at the Washita River. Kaplan’s analogy doesn’t work because the Apaches were a key part of the resistance to the American empire for some twenty-five years.

Friday, September 24, 2004

"Why commemorate genocide?"- Resistors to oppose L & C, in PIerre, SD, this weekend

We have no link for this, yet, but will post it as soon as possible, along with the proper attribution.
Natives to protest Lewis and Clark at Pierre this weekend

Freedom Thinking Native Nations Protest the “Dawn of Genocide of
Lewis and Clark"

While a stone-faced Thomas Jefferson looks on from atop Mt. Rushmore, modern-day Lewis and Clark wannabes and a few descendants are
commemorating Jefferson's initial plan of cultural genocide, by
trekking up the Missouri River through Indian territories.

A large contingency of American Indian resistors are planning to
again confront and denounce the on-going celebrations of the Lewis and
Clark Commemorative Expedition this weekend at Ft. Pierre, SD.

An initial confrontation took place on September 18th at Chamberlain,
SD, where the Expedition had docked for weekend festivities. Rresistors
made known their stand that the re-enactors should turn their boats
around and leave Lakota country, while emphasizing the enormous
emotional impact this reenactment is having on many native people. In a
written statement released Monday, September 20th, the Expedition crew
stated that they will proceed upriver.

The group of sovereign resistors included tribal headsmen, grandmothers, students and young children with a common theme..."Why commemorate genocide?"

The group scoffed at historians statements concerning the "minimal or
negligible impact" that Lewis and Clark had on Indians. The resistors
believe that under the guidance of their commander, Thomas Jefferson,
Lewis and Clark's maiden voyage forged the gateway to the dawn of genocide for Indian nations.

While the Expedition contends that it has support from tribal
leadership along the route, the resistors believe that, just as the
original crew had done, this organization merely dangled some shiny
coins before the elected leaders to get them on board for this
money-making adventure.

The genocide of the native nations continues, the Indian spirit of many natives has been killed by the genocide of America toward indigenous people as demonstrated by the colonized thinking leading tribal organizations, governments and people to welcome and celebrate with Lewis and Clark Commemoration.

The resistors are encouraging all native peoples to decolonize their
viewpoints on this issue and join them in their pursuit to stop this

A caravan of Lakota people will arrive in Ft. Pierre, SD the weekend
of September 25-26, 2004 to again protest the "Dawn of Genocide" that
the Lewis and Clark Expedition represents to freedom-thinking native

For more information contact Alex White Plume 605-455-1142, Floyd
Hand 605-867-5762, Vic Camp 605-455-1122

Anti-racist faces 6 years in prison for actions in opposing a racist parade

New Port Richey is the site for an annual Chasco Fiesta Parade. Each year, the parade includes a float dubbed the "Krewe of Chasco float" which is made up of white guys in native headresses and other Hollywood Indian garb.

Last March, 62 year old Daniel Callaghan(Irish), of the Society of Citizens Against Racism, ran in front of the float with a PVC pipe on his arm and attached himself to a bolt. In short, he locked down.

Callagan went on trial to defend against charges of disturbing a lawful assembly, obstruction of a highway,disorderly conduct and battery on a law enforcement officer;the last charge a felony. The felony charge carries the possibility of a 6 year prison term.

This is what the prosecutors contended in regard to the felony charge.

Prosecutors say Callaghan disobeyed officers' orders to get out of the road. Officers testified that when they tried to unbolt Callaghan from the street, he slammed the plastic pipe down on highway patrol Trooper Eric Madill's hand, causing minor injury.

``He was doing that intentionally because he didn't want us to get in there and unhook that thing,'' Madill testified. full article

Yesterda, a jury found Daniel guilty on all charges.

The jury of three men and three women found Callaghan guilty on all four charges, including battery on a law enforcement officer, disorderly conduct, obstructing a highway and disturbing a lawful assembly. Callaghan, a retired Marine who now sells rare books on the Internet, barely reacted to the verdict.

When sentenced by Circuit Judge Michael F. Andrews next month, Callaghan could be given more than six years in prison.

"He risked everything so he could have the right to stand up for what he believes in," defense attorney Steve Bartlett said. "You have to admire him for that."full article

When sentenced next month, Daniel faces 6 years in prison.Six years in prison for a scratch on a cops hand? The prosecutor felt that little scratch was more severe than the legacy of racism that Daniel was protesting.

"The only scar left is the scar on Trooper (Eric) Madill's hand," Tremblay said, improvising on Bartlett's argument that American Indians have been wounded by the continued misappropriation of their culture.

Bartlett, who said an appeal will be filed, said Callaghan had tried various means to stop the krewe, including talking with members of the group and seeking an injunction. Only after that failed, Bartlett said, did Callaghan hatch the plan to derail the parade.

The stunt was designed to uphold public morality, Bartlett argued, by calling attention to an offensive display. The jury apparently thought otherwise.

Asked if the conviction were a setback to efforts to protest the krewe, Bartlett said his client's actions would eventually be seen as just, not unlike those of other historical defenders of civil rights.

We believe that Daniel Callagan will be judged by people of conscience to have been on the right side of history. We'll end this post with a letter from Daniel, in which he asks for people to continue the work he started.

Letter from Daniel Callagan
Dear Friends,

A jury of six New Port Richey citizens
found me guilty on all counts, in my stopping the
Krewe of Chasco float during the March 20, 2004
Chasco parade. For stopping the parade for 5 minutes,
and allegedly causing a tiny scratch to Officer
Madill's hand in the process of arresting me--a
scratch he said he treated himself with pressure,
causing no scar and nothing requiring medical
treatment. Officer Madill also stated that he
couldn't say I did the injury deliberately, and that it
might well have been an accident. So I may go to
state prison approximately one year for every
minute of the civil disobedience--so much for
justice in Florida.

I expect there is rejoicing among those who
promote and belong to the Krewe of Chasco, and
clearly, my efforts to end this Red Minstrel show
are seriously handicapped for the next several
years. I will do what I can, but I can do very
little now. It is up to you to continue our efforts to
end this last vestige of racism toward American
Indians. Please, don't fail.

Semper Fi,
Dan Callaghan,
President-Director, SCAR.
7108 Daggett
Terrace, New Port Richey FL

American Indian or Native American?-

Slate.com has a regular feature called "the explainer." As the name states, the column gives attempts to answer questions that might be on the mind of it's readers. Some recent columns have tackled such questions as "How to renounce your citizenship""Why are killer bees so slow" and "Why do we get Labor Day off?" Today, slate gives some reasons for the simultaneous,opposing, and at times confusing, use of the terms "American Indian" and "Native American."

This is how slate describes it.

Despite the wave of political correctness in the 1990s, during which "Native American" was often trumpeted as a more sensitive phrase, American Indians remain split on which term is preferable. A 1995 Department of Labor survey found that close to 50 percent of American Indians were perfectly happy with that label, while 37 percent preferred to be known as Native Americans. Those who prefer the former often do so because "Native American" sounds like a phrase concocted by government regulators—note, for example, that one of the community's most radical civil rights groups is the American Indian Movement. Those who prefer Native American, on the other hand, often think that "Indian" conjures up too many vicious stereotypes from Western serials.

Though either term works when referring to the general population, individuals often prefer to be identified according to their tribal affiliation. It would be considered good form, for example, to refer to writer N. Scott Momaday as, "N. Scott Momaday, a member of the Kiowa tribe," rather than, "N. Scott Momaday, an American Indian." Full article

By some accounts, the term "Native American" was created by the Census Bureau, which is one reason that some Indigenous Peoples object to it. Another reason is that anyone born in this country will often lay claim to the term "Native American."

The origin of the term "American Indian" is not altogether clear either. As the article later notes, one objection to that label is that it includes the term "Indian," which can lead one to believe the person in question is actually from the country of India.

Slate also misunderstands a term, as it is used by bush, in that the use of "Indian Country" has a legal and political grounding.(The Wall Street Journal recently ran an editorial titled "indian country" which will be the subject of a later entry) This is the paragraph containing the gaffe.

Perhaps the biggest goof is to drop the American from American Indian, as President Bush did at the ceremony while waxing poetic on how "the sun is rising on Indian country." Native Americans/American Indians often dislike this simplest of monikers, as it can lead to confusion about whether a person is a tribal member or an émigré from the Indian subcontinent.

To most Indigenous Peoples, Bush's use of the term "Indian Country" would be considered correct as it has the legal and political dimensions attached to it.

There should be a correction made as to the description used for the American Indian Movement. Slate refers to the American Indian Movement as the"community's most radical civil rights groups." The American Indian Movement is not a civil rights group, per se, but rather an organization dedicated to the liberation of Indigenous Nations and Peoples. The defense of civil rights certainly falls within that objective, but it is not the primary goal that the American Indian Movement pursues.

Arrests of Skewelkwek'welt defenders condemned by Council of Canadians

Letters of support for the Skwelkwek'welt defenders, along with condemnations of their arrests, continue to be sent. The latest one is from the Council of Canadians.

Council of Canadians Condemns Arrest of Indigenous Activists at Sun Peaks

September 23, 2004
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA: The Council of Canadians joins the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, the Skwelkwek'welt Protection Centre and national and international supporters in condemning the arrests of three Indigenous protestors on Tuesday, September 21 at the Sun Peaks Ski Resort in Kamloops, BC.

"These arrests show that the Gordon Campbell Liberals are willing to use police force to keep BC open for business as usual', says the Council of Canadians?" BC-Yukon Regional Organizer, Tara Scurr. "The provincial government is willing to openly defy a Supreme Court of Canada ruling for dealing with Aboriginal interests in traditional territories in order to allow the Sun Peaks expansion to occur in time for the 2010 Olympics".

On September 6, Sun Peaks Resort took Secwepemc protesters to court and was granted an injunction and enforcement order to remove them from occupying Phase II of the expansion site. Rather than stepping in to protect Aboriginal Title and Rights as mandated by the Canadian Constitution, the Attorney General of British Columbia appeared in court to support the Sun Peaks motion to obtain the injunction. The provincial government is willing to facilitate corporate control over Aboriginal territories at the expense of Canada's national and international obligations.

Chief Nathan Matthew of the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council (SNTC) stated in a joint press release with the Skwelkwek'welt Protection Centre, "there will be conflict between the Secwecpemc and the federal and provincial governments as well as developers until the federal and provincial governments live up to their legal obligations and implement the Delgamuukw and Haida Supreme Court decisions through good faith negotiations rather than through narrow, sharp dealing decisions that result in direct action and the criminalization of the Secwepemc people".
The Council of Canadians works with grassroots activists throughout Canada to protect the commons and will continue to support a community-led process in Secwepemc Territory that seeks to uphold judicial and constitutional obligations that affirm Aboriginal Title and Rights. We are encouraged that a solid working relationship between the SNTC and the Skwelkwek'welt Protection Centre has emerged to work for the protection of these rights.

We will continue to inform our members about the efforts to exercise Aboriginal Title and Rights in Secwepemc Territory. We ask that the Canadian government stop the criminalization of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada who exercise their rights and to instead strengthen the mechanisms by which Aboriginal Peoples can assert their Aboriginal Title and Rights.

Tara Scurr, BC-Yukon Regional Organizer, 604.688.8846
or Laura Sewell, Media Officer: 1.623.233.4487 ext. 234

Tohono O' odham testify before Civil Rights Commision about Border Patrol harassment

This article appeared in today's web edition of "Indian Country Today." It details some of the harassment that's endured by the Tohono O" odham, at the hands of the Border Patrol.

Following the article are some photographs taken on the Tohono O' odham reservation. The first is a watch tower that the Border Patrol has placed on the reservation. The second is a photo that Tohono O' odham can relate to;being followed by the border patrol on their own lands. The last photo is of a "detention camp" where they hold those who cross the border.

Civil Rights Commission hears indigenous peoples at border

Posted: September 24, 2004 - 1:04pm EST
by: Brenda Norrell / Southwest Staff Reporter / Indian Country Today
NOGALES, Ariz. - The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights heard reports of the abuse of indigenous peoples by U.S. Border Patrol agents, now under Homeland Security, and the climate of fear in America that has increased militarization, intimidation and racial profiling at the international border.

"Personally my life is in danger for making this statement," Ofelia Rivas, Tohono O’odham, told the U.S. Civil Rights Commission’s Arizona State Advisory Committee during two days of hearings in Nogales.

Because there is a swarm of tribal and federal agents around O’odham, Rivas said O’odham fear for their lives when coming forward with the truth. "Many of the tribal members will not report abuse because of the fear of reprisal."

Describing a climate of oppression on Tohono O’odham lands in Arizona and Sonora, Mexico, Rivas said O’odham are denied unrestricted free passage across the international border, which dissects O’odham lands.

O’odham are halted while attending annual ceremonies in Mexico and the United States, during pilgrimages to sacred sites for offerings and when collecting ceremonial items. Forced to carry documents and subjected to frequent stops, searches and the threat of deportation, she said O’odham cannot freely collect medicinal plants or conduct personal business.
Rivas said O’odham civil rights and religious rights are violated by U.S. Border Patrol agents on traditional routes crossing this border. Full article

articles-september 24

Indian Affairs minister tells skeptical native leaders better times are ahead

Wed Sep 22, 9:19 PM ET


NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C. (CP) - Canada's latest Indian Affairs minister - the seventh in the past 15 years - got a rough reception Wednesday at a meeting of B.C. aboriginal leaders, despite his assertion that aboriginal people are high on the Liberal government's agenda.

Andy Scott told delegates to the First Nations Summit convention the government was committed to improving the lives of aboriginals across the country and reaching treaties in British Columbia, where few formal treaties were signed after the province entered Confederation.

"This government has raised the aboriginal agenda to an unprecedented level of importance," Scott said in a speech on the Squamish reserve.

The minister reminded the delegates that Prime Minister Paul Martin said he wants his term to be remembered for progress on four issues: health care, children, cities and aboriginals. full article

Thinking in Indian: National Geographic sounds alarm on global warming

Posted: September 24, 2004 - 12:09pm EST

Even for the editor of the prestigious National Geographic Magazine, it was an act of daring. No matter that a mammoth amount of scientific research clearly documents the reality of global warming and its impact on climate, National Geographic Editor Bill Allen knew he was risking something by publishing stories on a subject about which, he writes, "some readers get mad ... we’ll get letters ... some will even terminate their memberships."
Unquestionably one of the world’s largest and most respected research institutions, the National Geographic Society takes its scientific documentation seriously. National Geographic prides itself on the finely detailed vetting process it demands of every paragraph it publishes in its magazine. And when a fact is wrong they provide acknowledgment. full article

Navajos, Hopis close to settling longtime land dispute

The Arizona Republic
Sept. 24, 2004 12:00 AM

More than 700,000 acres of the western Navajo Reservation have been in limbo for nearly 40 years, caught up in a land dispute with the Hopi Tribe over access to religious sites.

Construction, including extension of water and electrical lines, has been banned in the area, leaving thousands of families, mostly Navajo, without running water, lights or modern appliances.

But now, through the efforts of tribal leaders, lawyers and negotiating teams on both sides, there is hope of a settlement. full article

Feds may stick Gallup for $350,000

By Bill Donovan
Special to the Times

WINDOW ROCK - Gallup city officials said Wednesday that a meeting on Tuesday with U.S. Department of Justice officials went well.

Gallup Mayor Bob Rosebrough said that by the time the meeting ended, city
officials had a better understanding of the allegations that have been under investigation by the civic rights section of the federal agency.

City officials still don't know, however, who has been making allegations
against the city alleging discrimination in hiring or employment but Rosebrough said federal officials have indicated that they will make more information known in the next few days at least about what departments are involved.

Documents provided to the Navajo Times show that federal officials are
looking at the city paying $350,000 to reimburse Native Americans who claim that they have been discrimination against, either by not being hired, not being promoted or being harassed by supervisors. full article

Attorney: Chippewa Cree activist's imprisonment is rights violation

Tribune Projects Editor

An Indian activist has been jailed in violation of his civil rights, his attorney charged Thursday.

Russell Standing Rock was arrested Wednesday in Havre and transferred to the Rocky Boy jail, where he's being held without bond, family friend Jodee LaMere said.

"This seems to be another situation in which they can do as they wish with no regard for due process," said Standing Rock's attorney, Ken Olson of Great Falls.

But Chief Judge Dwayne Gopher said the jailing resulted from a second criminal contempt of court charge filed against Standing Rock, a spokesman for the Chippewa Cree Grassroots People, an activist group that opposes several changes to the tribal constitution. full article

New Indian Museum in D.C. doesn't impress Navajos

The Associated Press
FARMINGTON, N.M. - Members of the Navajo Nation who traveled to Washington, D.C., for the opening of the new American Indian National Museum said they were disappointed.

"There was not even a place for our Navajo dignitaries to be seated," Navajo Council Delegate Evelyn Acothley said. "There was no information about the reserved seats for tribal leaders." President Joe Shirley Jr. "had to ask to be included."

Museum spokesman Thomas Sweeney said officials worked through the Navajo Nation Washington office to get invitations out to Navajo leaders. full article

Thursday, September 23, 2004

4 directions, one hope

This article, about the 4 directions all nations march, appeared in today's edition of the Boulder Weekly

Four Directions, one hope
Transform Columbus Day to complete the four-year ceremonial cycle in opposition to colonialism

by Pamela White

If Bartolomé de Las Casas were alive today, he’d be dumbstruck to see Americans celebrating Italian explorer and slave trader Christopher Columbus as a hero. De Las Casas, a Catholic priest and Spanish missionary to the Americas, was a contemporary of Columbus’ and is perhaps best known for his vigorous opposition to Columbus’ treatment of Indigenous Americans.

Writing in the 1540s, De Las Casas described in graphic detail the violence heaped upon Indian peoples by Columbus and his Spanish followers, including murder, enslavement, the torture and dismemberment of children and the rape of Indigenous women.

"We can estimate very surely and truthfully that in the 40 years that have passed, with the infernal actions of the Christians, there have been unjustly slain more than 12 million men, women and children. In truth, I believe without trying to deceive myself that the number of the slain is more like 15 million," de Las Casas writes in A Brief Account of the Devastation of the Indies.

Despite de Las Casas’ eyewitness accounts–and a wealth of factual information proving that Columbus was not the first European to come upon the North American continent–Columbus has been honored with his own special day each October since the city of Pueblo began observing Columbus Day in 1905.

It’s not surprising that Denver, as the capital of the state where Columbus Day got its start, is Ground Zero in the resistance movement to Columbus Day. Since 1990, when the city’s Columbus Day parade was resurrected after a 30-year hiatus, American Indians and their supporters have stood together to oppose the event, culminating in a demonstration and more than 150 arrests in 2000.

Since 2001, those efforts have centered around the All Nations/Four Directions March, an event sponsored by the Transform Columbus Day Alliance, a coalition of more than 80 groups representing a broad spectrum of American society.

"The Four Direction march was a four-year pledge to try to indicate to Denver, to the parade organizers, to the state of Colorado, that there is an alternative to hateful and acrimonious cultural celebrations and that people of all communities, of all nations, of all races can come together in a mutually respectful way and celebrate their presence in our homeland," says Glenn Morris, a member of the Leadership Council of the American Indian Movement of Colorado.

A Four Directions March is an American Indian healing ceremony, in which marchers converge at central location–in this case Cuernavaca Park–from the four cardinal directions. The ceremony typically involves drumming, singing and prayer. The four directions are sacred to most Indigenous peoples, and each is associated with a color–yellow, white, black and red–which, in turn, have become associated with the four "races" of humanity–Asian, Anglo, African and Indian.

"The Transform Columbus Day Alliance isn’t just about being naysayers," Morris says. "It’s not just about being against. It’s about what we’re for, what we aspire to as a community, as a city, as a country."

Like many American Indian ceremonies, a Four Directions march doesn’t occur year to year, but rather takes place in a four-year cycle. Once the commitment is made, the four-year cycle must be completed. The fourth march is slated for Friday, Oct. 8, in Denver.

As this four-year cycle draws to a close, organizers say there is an air of celebration.

"There is a strong sense of accomplishment," says Gail Bundy of the Red Earth Women’s Alliance, one of the event’s sponsors. "When we started, everybody told us we couldn’t do it."

But for each of the past three marches, more than 2,000 people have participated, bringing drums from every culture to join together with the host drums brought by various American Indian groups.

The atmosphere of unity and celebration that pervades the All Nations/Four Directions March is a sharp contrast to that of the Columbus Day Parade itself, which looks nothing like a traditional parade with floats, balloons, clowns and marching bands. Dubbed the Caravan of Conquest by the Transform Columbus Day Alliance, the parade features a small testosterone-heavy cortege of men on motorcycles, in Humvees, limousines and big trucks, who rev their engines, honk their horns and shout epithets as they pass American Indians and other protestors.

"Technology can be used for progressive and humanizing efforts and endeavors," Morris says. "And instead, what they do is they use gas-guzzling limousines and Humvees and motorcycles to drown out and silence the voice of the original people from here… This is not about the celebration of Columbus. This is a celebration about the war for the Americas, and they are the victors and we are the vanquished."

Morris says that coming together in a positive way has produced unexpected results over the past four years. Among the alliance’s achievements are the passage by the city of Denver of the nation’s first resolution to oppose the USA PATRIOT Act and the exposure of illegal surveillance conducted by area law enforcement of nonviolent activist groups and the opening of the "spy files" to public scrutiny.

He says media coverage of the issue has improved over the course of the past four years, with newspapers demonstrating a willingness to address atrocities committed by Columbus and his followers. During a recent appearance on the Peter Boyles Show, Morris says he saw proof that the public’s perspective has changed, as well.

"Every single caller prefaced his or her remarks by saying, ‘I know Columbus was a bad guy, but…,’" Morris says. "Years ago that wouldn’t have happened. People would have said, ‘Columbus is a national hero. You should recognize that.’ And so this campaign, I think, really has had an effect on the way people have been forced to reexamine the historical record about Columbus himself and about his legacy."

Bundy says she’s also seen a shift in the way members of the alliance address social issues and disagreements.

"Typically when you get in discussions, you get into who’s right and who’s wrong. But when you start talking in terms of balance–what’s in balance, what’s out of balance–we find we’re looking at problems in a completely different way," she says.

The lesson they’ve learned, she says, is that forming good relationships with other people is more important than the outcome.

"People who may never have had reason to work together are working together and enjoying it," she says. "It’s in those relationships and that understanding of how we are, indeed, all related that the real strength of the transformative work begins."

Bundy says the focus now is on completing the four-year cycle. What the alliance will do after completing this march has not been decided.

"What we’re really doing is touching hearts and hopes, because we all really want to believe that we all can live together."

Four Directions details

The fourth All Nations/Four Directions March will take place on Friday, Oct. 8. Participants should meet at one of the Four Directions gathering places by 5 p.m. The march begins at 5:30. People are encouraged to wear the color associated with the direction they choose to start from. The gathering places are:

West (black) – Viking Park at Speer and Federal

North (red)–Globeville Landing Park, 38th Avenue and Atkins Court

East (yellow)–Blair-Caldwell Library, 24th and Welton

South (white)–Fishback Landing Park, 700 Water Street (east of Ocean Journey)

For more information, go to www.transformcolumbusday.org.

Respond: letters@boulderweekly.com

articles-september 23

Feds blamed for Chemawa student’s death

Hold Indian Affairs officials accountable, inspector urges

The Associated Press
September 23, 2004

PORTLAND — Senior Bureau of Indian Affairs officials ignored warnings that jail cells at American Indian boarding schools could prove lethal and they should be held responsible for the death of a 16-year-old girl at a Salem school last year, a federal inspector testified.

Earl Devaney, the Interior Department’s inspector general, told the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday that the Department of Justice should take action against senior Indian Affairs officials for the death of Cindy Gilbert Sohappy, who died after she was incarcerated while drunk.

“There were senior people in the BIA who knew about this years before,” Devaney told The Oregonian after the hearing in Washington, D.C. full article

Native Americans Urge Congress to Pass Health Bill

Sep 22, 2004 Washington

On the grounds of the U.S. Capitol in Washington Wednesday, and just a day after the opening of the National Museum of the American Indian on the National Mall, Native American leaders called on members of Congress to address the urgent issues facing Native American people. The rally was organized by the Native Congress of American Indian , the largest and oldest Native American organization and brought together tribal leaders, and state and federal elected officials. The health crisis affecting American Indians topped their agenda.

Native Americans are plagued with the highest rates of Type 2 diabetes in the world, a mortality rate from alcohol that is more than five times greater than the general population's and a suicide rate that is almost twice as high. full article

Indians are more than relics
Op/Ed - USATODAY.com
Thu Sep 23, 6:24 AM ET

Add Op/Ed - USATODAY.com to My Yahoo!

As an act of atonement, the National Museum of the American Indian, which opened its doors this week on the National Mall in Washington, is surely more meaningful than the proposed "National Apology" to Native Americans that Congress is considering.

At least the museum, with its rough limestone facade and immense, eye-catching overhang, has substance. And the building, as well as the enormous collection of artifacts it contains, respects Indian history and culture enough to preserve and celebrate it.

In contrast, the apology is unlikely to make its way out of the Senate this year. And even if it does, its acknowledgment of the federal government's "history of official depredations and ill-conceived policies" does nothing to alter the neglect and cavalier disinterest that characterize the federal relationship with Indian tribes.

Based on data collected by various federal agencies, the list of inequities is long: full article

Goldberg Reacts to Schwarzenegger Veto
Plans to continue the fight
Jennifer Tedlock 9/23/2004
Jackie Goldberg is “disappointed but undaunted” by the recent veto of her mascot bill by California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Goldberg, the outspoken author of the bill, originally wanted a ban on all Native American mascot names. The final bill, however, referred only to the “redskin” name. She explained that she was disappointed that, after all the changes made to get everyone on board, Schwarzenegger would veto it.

“I expected more,” Goldberg told the Native American Times. “It’s such a mild piece [now].” full article

Tribe voices land-trust concerns to committee
9/23/2004 10:41:22 AM
Associated Press
The Rosebud Sioux Tribe wants a state legislative committee to step into a federal court case about how American Indian land is placed into trust.

Lawyer Steve Emery represents the tribe and says if the state wins its appeal, the only trust actions that could take place might require acts of Congress. He spoke Tuesday at the State-Tribal Relations Committee.

Driving the issue is a 14-year-old case involving the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe and its purchase of 91 acres of land near Oacoma, south of the Lower Brule boundaries. The Interior Department agreed to place the land in trust, which removes the property from the tax rolls. full article

Thousands of indigenous people march
IPS, ALAI.  Sep 23, 2004

After marching for four days, some 60,000 members of indigenous groups arrived in the western city of Cali on Sept. 17 to demand respect for their right to life, freedom and autonomy and to be left out of the armed conflict among guerrillas, paramilitary groups and government forces.

The march was called by the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC), the Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca (CRIC) and the Association of Indigenous Councils of Northern Cauca (ACIN).

The massive indigenous protest – called "Minga for Justice, Joy, Freedom and Autonomy" began on Sept. 13 in Santander de Quilichao in Cauca department, some 120 kms (75 miles) south of Cali. Minga is a quechua word that means "collective work for the benefit of everyone. full article

Three Years and Counting?

How Time Flies


When John Lee Hooker died three years ago, my friend Joe said, "I KNEW the heroin would get to him sooner or later!" It was a good joke, because John Lee Hooker died at the age of 83. It's like the joke about how Osama Bin Laden and the Mullah Omar 'can run, but they can't hide'. It's three years now, and it looks like both of them have done much more hiding than running.

This simple fact is more important than whether or not the US is winning its nebulous war on it abstract enemy, 'terror'. No amount of pith-helmet frothing about the 'criminals' or 'murderers' responsible for 9-11 can obscure the political nova they created. In one morning they turned the pride of New York into poisonous, smoking dust and savaged the military centre of the United States. They provoked the greatest rage the most powerful country in the world had ever felt, and have evaded the intelligence services of the entire Western world for three years: not cowering, but hitting back, all the time. If that isn't being able to hide, then what is? full article

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Adrienne's letter to the editor

Today's edition of the Rocky Mountain News has a letter to the editor submitted by Adrienne Benavidez. This is the only letter, concerning the columbus convoy of conquest, that the RMN has printed, though many more have been submitted. We will be posting the non-published letters over the next few days.

City leaders should condemn celebrants

I read with interest the recent News story about the award of a parade permit to organizers of yet another Columbus Day parade. My interest was piqued, not because the permit was issued, but because of the relentlessness of the organizers of such a spectacle.

The organizers continue to pursue a "parade" despite the fact that after four years there are no revelers, there are no spectators. The organizers still haven't been able to comprehend that Columbus' torture of millions of indigenous people he encountered when he arrived in this continent and his institution of the transatlantic slave trade aren't the kinds of things most people celebrate. Every group has had its own historical figures who have committed less-than-noble acts, but not every group insists on raising those figures up for special accolades.

Sure we can argue that the parade organizers' right to have such a gathering is protected by the First Amendment as it was the Klan's right to rally at the state Capitol in the early 1990s. But is it right? I don't think so. We can say this is only an Indian issue (and maybe their Latino sympathizers who acknowledge their Indian heritage), but how long before we realize this is a human issue?

If we are to end this, I call on all people of moral conscience, especially the mayor and members of City Council, to give voice to their personal opposition to this spectacle of hate and racism. Mayor Wellington Webb made such a statement opposing the Klan and we should expect no less from our current elected leaders. full article

Adrienne Benavidez

Skwelkwek'welt defenders arrested

For the past month the Secwepemc People, along with other indigenous and non-native allies, have returned to their traditional homelands to defend against the expansion of the Sun Peaks ski resort. Sun Peaks claims the area as it's private property despite the fact that they Secwepemc never ceded the area to the Canadian Government, nor have they sold it to any individual. The Secwepemc had attempted to negotiate against the expansion and recently returned when it became apparent that the expansion was going forward. This letter is from Arthur Manuel, a long time defender.

Sun Peaks Arrests September 21, 2004

Dear Friends:

It was a very sad day today, I was at the Kamloops Law Courts listening to an appeal regarding previous arrests, and during the brake I listened to my messages and one was from the RCMP telling me that they were on there way to Sun Peaks to execute the enforcement order. Apparently they felt that nothing was being accomplished for their advantage between our talks with the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council.

I therefore left to Sun Peaks and made it before the police acted on the enforcement order. Our people and our non-indigenous supporters packed their personal belongings, I then made arrangements to bring my truck to the camp location. Janice Billy also drove her vehicle to our camp area. We then loaded our vehicles with our stuff and waited the police to come down the hill. They did and they read out to four people the court order and proceeded to arrest people. The first person left and therefore was not arrested. The remaining three were arrested and brought to Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada.

One person did give there name and was released immediately. Two of our people would not give their name. One person who was identified this evening by another prisoner not related to this situation. But one person is still in custody and is in the process of taking a fast.

It is very clear that the courts system and police force do not take us into consideration. The legal system is basically corrupt and is set up to steal our land and use it without even thinking about what we feel about our land. The system only thinks about what the settler or investor feels toward our land.

That kind of thinking is from Pre-Delgamuukw or before Aboriginal Title was judicially recognized because that kind of logic cannot work now, despitethe fact that British Columbia judges still think it can. In this case they looked at Frank Quinn's $36 million dollar condo and townhouse sales and said that he was suffering irreparable harm, but they did not take into consideration that he was building those condos and townhouses on our land. I know we are actually suffering a bigger loss than Frank Quinn because we lose our land through third party alienation, and he gets to sell it and become a millionare, but we lose our culture and land. That is a real ripp-off.

I know judges are scrambling to try and rethink how to keep the economic status quo and sound legally logical but I really think they cannot. The fact we own the land means that certain things are going to change. I suppose we need to keep the pressure up and hope that more indigenous peoples here in BC get with the fact that now is the time for change and put pressure on the system.

We own the land, they cannot deny that, they can only get us to extiguish our rights, but if we stand up we can defeat them. It is all a matter of belief in our rights that counts. I saw that today in the strength of our men who stood up to a century and half old system of genocide. The use of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for politcal purposes by using them as an armed force to settle outstanding Aboriginal Title issues about Sun Peaks expansion.

Clearly the federal and provincial government policies have failed therefore they are using armed force to allow Frank Quinn, Darcy Alexander and Sun Peaks to go on their merry way in an Secwepmec free zone inside our Secwepemc territory of Skwelkwek'welt.

We need your help to boycott Sun Peaks and Delta Hotels. Also get after the federal and provicial governments to get their policies in line with recognizing our Aboriginal Title now.

Arthur Manuel

Photos of the arrests

The Defenders are calling for a National Day of Action on Thursday, September 22, 2004. They are asking that people join in their demonstration or support it by boycotting Delta Hotels or any other Fairmont Subsidiary. The Press Release and Flyer can be viewed by clicking on this LINK

articles-september 22

Team Name Belongs in A Museum

By Courtland Milloy
Wednesday, September 22, 2004; Page B01

Watching and reading media reports about the recent football game between Washington and New York, along with stories and photographs about the opening of the National Museum of the American Indian, I was struck by the clash of images: of real Indians and of gung-ho Redskins fans impersonating Indians.

"Redskins Lose to Giants," read one headline, while another, about the museum, quoted an Indian as saying, "We're Finally Being Recognized."

During a tour of the museum, which opened yesterday, I felt that many exhibits had been set up simply to introduce American Indians as human beings. In a region that is host to one of the most potent stereotypes in professional sports, that was no small order. full article

Schwarzenegger refuses to sign Redskin bill
Vetoes bill that would ban word

Sam Lewin 9/22/2004
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed a bill that would prevent state public schools from using the “Redskins” moniker.

"Decisions regarding athletic teams' names, nicknames or mascots should be retained at the local level," Schwarzenegger wrote in his veto message.

The legislation attempted to ban use of a word considered derogatory by many Native Americans. Had Schwarzenegger signed the bill California would have been the first state in the union to put a ban on mascot names. full article

Report: B.C. close to signing aboriginal treaties

VICTORIA (CP) - Two British Columbia treaty pioneers are confident the
province is on the verge of signing its first modern-day land-claimtreaties with up to five First Nations.

Former NDP premier Mike Harcourt and Jack Weisgerber, a former Social Credit aboriginal affairs cabinet minister, said Tuesday it's taken years of talks, but the lengthy process will soon yield deals. But how soon still appears to be a matter of debate, said the two former political foes at a news conference highlighting the release of the 11th annual report of the B.C. Treaty Commission.

Harcourt and Weisgerber serve on the commission, the organization that
oversees B.C. treaty talks.

All sides in negotiations are pushing for a breakthrough signing in time for the coming May 17 provincial election, but it could also take years, said Harcourt, who was premier when the current treaty negotiation process was introduced in 1993. full article

BIA acknowledges sloppy bookkeeping with Indian prison funds


Chicago Tribune

WASHINGTON - (KRT) - The Bureau of Indian Affairs accounting procedures are
so archaic and ineffective the bureau is unable to account for $28 million
specifically budgeted over the past five years for improving its prison system,the agency's top official admitted Tuesday.

David Anderson, the assistant Interior secretary in charge of the bureau,
told a Senate Finance Committee hearing that because of the haphazard accounting practices - much of the accounting was done by hand - officials have no idea how nearly 90 percent of $31.5 million in supplemental funds doled out since 1999 was spent.

Anderson, who was named to his position in February, said he has spent a
considerable part of his time attempting to bring the bureau "into the 21st
century. We still have a long way to go. We're not there yet. ... We have been behind the times for many years. full article

Indian jails likened to Iraq

By John Heilprin
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON - Indian jails are "a national disgrace" in which 11 people have died and hundreds have tried to kill themselves or escaped over the past three years, federal officials say.

Senators said they were deeply troubled by the report of the situation from the Interior Department's top watchdog, and they likened the jails to the U.S. military's mistreatment of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad.

Earl Devaney, the department's inspector general, painted a grim picture for the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday. His report, capping a year of investigation, found at least 11 fatalities, 236 suicide attempts and 632 escapes since the Bush administration took office in January 2001. full article

Political Dissonance
by Sherri Byrand
My mother's Alzheimer's disease has greatly worsened; it is unbearable to see how this once quick-witted woman is now being deceived by her own brain.

In one moment she was crying, "I'm sick because I need to get out, but your dad won't take me anywhere."

When I asked where she wanted to go, she exploded, "It's too damn hot to go anywhere. Your father always wants to take me out. But it's too damn hot."

She has no idea of her complete self-contradictions, the utter lack of logic she is displaying. Her grammar is perfect, but the ideas are rooted in confusion at best, delusion at worst. full article

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Lewis and Clark re-enactors receiving police escort

The L & C re-enactors are continuing along the route being escorted by police. Citing "low water levels' the L & C re-enactors have pulled their boats out of the water and are receiving a police escort as they haul their boats to Fort Thompson. They are hoping to put their boats in the water there and want to make it to Pierre, SD, by Friday. Law enforcement along the rest of the route is reportedly planning to provide security.

A re-enactment crew continued its journey up the Lewis and Clark waterway route Monday, despite a request by some American Indians to turn around and go home.

Some of the Indians had threatened to harass the re-enactors if they continued up the Missouri River. A police escort guided the re-enactors Monday afternoon as they hauled their boats - without interference - around the Big Bend Dam. full article

The article captures the division between those that oppose the L & C re-enactment and those that wish to ingratiate themselves with it.

Duane Big Eagle, Crow Creek tribal chairman, states he does not approve of the opposition and is quoted as saying,"We’re living in modern times. We’ve got to think modern and moving ahead, not living 150 to 200 years ago.”

What Duane Big Eagle doesn't realize is that it was primarily the youth who chose to make this stand.

Carter Camp makes this point."Soon a call will be going out across Indian Country for people to gather in South Dakota to stop the ignorant and racist celebration of the Lewis and Clark slaveholding expedition into our lands. This action will be led and organized by our young people who have turned to some of us for advice and counsel. They are offended by the continuing insults America seems determined to heap upon our People. They see our leaders lining up in D.C. to bless the grave robbers museum of our demise while at home on the rez the depredations continue. They see our Tribes being changed into corporations that put money over our culture and they watch as our lands and sovereignty is eroded to nothing. And now they watch as the Lewis and Clark ‘celebration’ is endorsed, even by those Indian leaders who know how ugly its truth is to our people. Our youth, our Tokala, our future, are tired of standing by while these things are going on and they are demanding something be done or they will be forced to act. When the call goes out it will be too late for elders like me to mediate so I must stand with them and I ask all those within the sound of my voice to stand with us."

While thousands of indians are marching in DC, a group of young ndn people, in South Dakota, have managed to get the L & C boats out of the water.

articles-september 21

Mohawk: Indigenous rights must become a priority

Posted: September 18, 2004 - 8:44am EST
by: John C. Mohawk / Columnist / Indian Country Today

Since the beginning of civilization, indigenous peoples have faced incursions, aggression and even genocide in the form of organized aggression from civilized centers. Civilizations were probably founded in situations of economic distress. By about 10,000 years ago, people were organized in groups of perhaps 500 people occupying about 300 square miles, moving from camp to camp, following the food supply through the seasons. But a time came for some when there was not enough food, and there was no place to go without entering into other peoples’ territory and starting a conflict. Some people began to do something interesting: They took control of their own food supply by planting seeds. They didn’t plant their favorite foods. They planted the foods that would grow for them. Soon they had need for the kind of social organization that could store food until the next harvest, and protect the food they had, and organize irrigation, and make up a religion. That’s essentially how civilization was born.

Almost immediately upon success civilizations found they needed more than food, they needed trade. So they looked beyond their territories for other places they could send people to take over so they could obtain things: Wood, ores, croplands. The military they had created to protect themselves was useful in organized armed aggression, and such aggression is always for the purpose of plunder. Civilizations attack and usurp the riches of others in a process that is thousands of years old, is ongoing, and has an elaborate system of rationales. It is also one of the major obstacles to world peace, since indigenous peoples occupy the world’s last forested areas, are found on much of the world’s oil reserves, and occupy the pristine areas of every continent except Antarctica. full article

Indian Housing Deficits Described
Report Says Poor Homes Lead to Health Problems
By Mary Fitzgerald
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 21, 2004; Page A19

Rachel Joseph has seen entire Native American families living in just one
room, children huddled in housing so poorly insulated that shafts of light could
be seen through the flimsy wooden walls.

Now a report by the National American Indian Housing Council highlights what
Joseph, chairwoman of the Lone Pine Paiute Tribe in California, has known all
along, that substandard and overcrowded housing contributes to a plethora of
health, social and family problems within her community.

Joseph, co-chairwoman of the national steering committee for reauthorization
of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, says the federal government has,
over decades, failed to address the needs of Native Americans. full article

How a 1677 treaty could snag reservoir in court
The Mattaponi tribe asserts a deal struck with King Charles II's
representatives gives it rights to oppose the Newport News plan.

(804) 642-1748

September 21 2004

The Virginia Supreme Court may soon hear arguments on the validity of a 1677
American Indian treaty in a case that could be a landmark for the legal rights
of Virginia's tribes.

The case could also slow efforts by Newport News to pull water from the
Mattaponi River into a pipeline leading to a 12.2 billion-gallon reservoir.

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission recently gave Newport News a permit
to proceed with those plans. An Aug. 31 Virginia Court of Appeals opinion
upheld on environmental grounds the state's approval of permits for the King
William Reservoir that Newport News plans to build. That court ruling forwarded the
treaty issue to the state Supreme Court. full article

Status of medicine wheel OK'd
Associated Press

DENVER (AP) - A federal appeals court has upheld the U.S. Forest Service's decision to set aside 23,000 acres to protect the view from a sacred American Indian medicine wheel.

Wyoming Sawmills Inc., a logging company in Sheridan, Wyo., had challenged the agency's decision to create the Medicine Wheel National Historic Landmark in the Bighorn National Forest, which closed the area to logging.

The company, the main buyer of timber in the forest for more than 30 years, argued that it was hurt economically by the decision and said the protection for the medicine wheel violated the separation of church and state. full article

Native American culture shock

By RUSH BUTTON, In Other Words

Imagine this: You're living a fairly happy life in a beautiful land filled with huge forests and pure-watered rivers and streams. You eat quite well, and basically, you greet each new day in a good frame of mind. You believe in a supreme being who made everything and also take comfort in your belief that there's life after death in a better place. So all in all, life's pretty good.

Then a strange, new people begin pouring into your territory. They have outlandishly light complexions and wield implements to cut timber and till the soil. They carry powerful weapons that are weird and wonderful n and frightful. full article

Threat over Aboriginal artefacts
By Bridie Smith

Museum Victoria threatened legal action yesterday if the Dja Dja Wurrung Native Title Group refused to drop an emergency declaration preventing three Aboriginal artefacts from being returned to British collections.

A ceremonial headdress and two bark etchings from the 1850s are on loan from the British Museum and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. They were to be returned after the Etched on Bark exhibition at melbourne Museum closed in June.

However, the Dja Dja Wurrung, from central Victoria, who claim to be the traditional owners of the items, prevented their return to Britain by getting an emergency declaration under federal Aboriginal heritage laws. full article

God Bless Us...or Else
How to Avoid Becoming an Anti-American

A specter is haunting America--the specter of anti-Americanism. All the powers of patriotic America have entered into a corporate alliance to exorcise this specter: draft-deferrers and women-gropers, grammar-challenged and duel-challengers, oil diggers and grave diggers. It is the duty of all upstanding American citizens to fully understand and identify the leading symptoms of anti-Americanism, so that our homes, homeless shelters, reading chambers, torture chambers, chocolate refineries, weapons factories, and places of worship, such as churches, temples, and Wall Street, are completely free from the poison of anti-war sentiment. The patriotic American must save both himself and others from becoming an anti-American American by learning to be an active, honorable, anti-anti-American American. It is with this pressing obligation in mind that the following signs of anti-Americanism have been compiled and exposed.

The most irksome and identifiable feature of the anti-American American is his flagrant abuse of the First Amendment. He deviously twists and distorts his constitutionally-guaranteed right to free speech by exercising this right--at a time when an important event is underway, no less: the war in Iraq, and more broadly, the so-called war on terror. It should be obvious to the reasonable American that, in times of war, speaking one's mind is quite a dangerous and reckless act: there is, after all, only so much free speech to go around, and, as our soldiers are busily bringing it to inferior races via cruise missiles and cluster bombs abroad, there is little left for consumption at home. full article

Monday, September 20, 2004

Miller:Agents of Empire, The Lewis and Clark Expedition

Lost in the articles, about the Lewis and Clark Expedition re-enactment, is a contextualization of the role Lewis and Clark played in advancing American Imperial ambitions. Beyond their personal interactions with, and observations of, the Indigenous Peoples who's homelands they were invading, Lewis and Clark served to extend American hegemony over free peoples and their territories. This was done strategically and with a design that could be called the foundation on which Manifest Destiny was constructed upon.

In reality, the Louisiana Purchase did not "give" the United States the territory that France had claimed for it's own. Within the demarcated area, there were numerous, independent, Indigenous Nations that had never surrendered title to their lands, nor had they negotiated away their rights to their territories. The United States understood that theirs was a fictitious purchase and set out to establish their dominion over the independent, Indigenous Nations.

This perspective, by Robert Miller (of the Lewis and Clark Law School no less), examines the role Lewis and Clark played in expanding the American Empire.

Miller: Agents of empire, The Lewis and Clark expedition

by: Robert J. Miller / Associate Professor / Lewis & Clark Law School
Meriwether Lewis and William Clark rank high in the pantheon of American folk heroes. Even today, at the 200-year commemoration of their expedition, Lewis and Clark are viewed as brave adventurers who went where no one had gone before and explored and conquered the wilderness for the betterment of America.

There is another way, however, to view Lewis and Clark, which is closer to the truth. Lewis and Clark were military officers serving American empire - and Manifest Destiny - and were the vanguard of American legal doctrines and policies that ultimately robbed the indigenous peoples of just about everything they possessed. Historian Bernard DeVoto stated that "the dispatch of the Lewis and Clark expedition was an act of imperial policy." This imperialism was directed at the Indians and tribes that inhabited the Pacific Northwest and the Louisiana Territory.

The Lewis and Clark expedition was primarily concerned with Indian affairs from its inception. In January 1803, when President Jefferson sought an appropriation to fund the expedition, he told Congress that the United States could capture from England the lucrative fur trade with the Missouri River tribes and tribes clear to the Pacific Ocean. Then, when launching the expedition in June 1803, President Jefferson instructed Lewis to find the elusive Northwest Passage across the continent to use the route, in cooperation with Indian tribes, to greatly expand the American fur trade. Second, Jefferson wanted Lewis to establish commercial ties with the Indian nations in the Louisiana Territory. Third, Jefferson ordered Lewis and Clark to perform ethnographic studies of Indians and to gather information concerning tribal life, religion, territory, diplomatic relations and more. Finally, in January 1804, after the Louisiana Purchase, Jefferson added a new instruction and ordered Lewis and Clark to extend the United States’ sovereignty over the tribes in the newly purchased Louisiana Territory.

Consequently, Lewis and Clark were American economic and diplomatic representatives spreading the news of the United States’ new role as the controlling government in the Territory after France sold the Louisiana Territory to the United States. They also told tribes and foreigners that Jefferson was now the "Great White Father" of all the Indian "children" and that the United States was exercising its sovereignty over the Territory.
The expedition, or "Corps of Discovery," operated under a European legal principle called the doctrine of discovery. This doctrine rationalized the domination and outright conquest of indigenous, non-Christian, non-white populations because it provided that the first European country that "discovered" new territory gained an interest in the natives’ property by becoming the sole entity eligible to buy their lands and the sole government that could deal diplomatically with the Native peoples. Thus, indigenous peoples lost some of their real property and sovereign governmental rights without their knowledge or their consent to the "discovering" nation. The doctrine recognized, however, that Native peoples retained occupancy and use property rights in their lands.

In 1823, in Johnson v. McIntosh, the Supreme Court recognized that the doctrine of discovery was American law. Much earlier, however, President Jefferson demonstrated his understanding of discovery, and his agreement with the principle, when he wrote that after buying the Louisiana Territory the U.S. had become its sovereign but that the purchase had not diminished Indian occupancy rights because the United States still had to buy the remaining property rights of the "native proprietors." Jefferson also showed his understanding of discovery when he sent Lewis and Clark beyond the Louisiana Territory into the Pacific Northwest. Jefferson did so to strengthen the United States’ discovery claim to the Oregon Territory before the English perfected their own claim. Jefferson had American empire in mind for the Pacific Northwest and for the Louisiana Territory, and he would not let the English nor the Indian tribes stand in his way.

As ordered, Lewis and Clark exercised American power and empire in the Louisiana Territory, and helped establish American discovery claims to the Pacific Northwest. First, they distributed "sovereignty tokens" consisting of American flags, military uniforms and Jefferson Peace Medals to important tribal chiefs. These "gifts" conveyed significant messages of American sovereignty and tribal allegiance to the U.S. Second, they informed everyone that President Jefferson was now the "Great White Father" of his Indian "children." Third, they organized visits of members of 26 tribes to Washington, D.C. to intimidate Indians with the immense size and power of the United States. Fourth, they tried to manipulate the political relationships of the tribes to facilitate American goals regarding hegemony and trade. Fifth, they pursued American commercial goals and consulted with tribes on the best locations for trading posts to bring tribes within the American economic sphere. They even promised to trade with tribes located outside the Louisiana Territory, which demonstrates further the "imperial" reach of the expedition to areas that were then outside the United States.

Finally, Lewis and Clark performed recognized rituals to advance America’s discovery claims by leaving rosters of their men and announcements of their presence at the Pacific Ocean with the Clatsop and Chinook Indians, and by branding and carving their names on trees.

The actions of Lewis and Clark show that, ultimately, the subjugation of Indian property and commercial rights were the primary objectives of the expedition. The United States claimed its discovery sovereignty over the Louisiana Territory and made concrete plans to begin exercising that authority. The expedition was part of Jefferson’s plan to assimilate Indians and their assets into American society, to remove the Indian tribes from America’s path to continental expansion, and to exterminate Indians and tribes if necessary to advance American empire.

Thus, Lewis and Clark opened the road to the domination of Indian tribes and to bringing them and their lands into the American empire. Indians lost valuable property and governmental rights and were ultimately subjected to official federal policies of forced removals, assimilation, the reservation system, and the termination of tribal governmental status. Link

Lewis and Clark genocide re-enactors told to halt

We are reprinting this article in it's entirety because it's not on the internet yet and we can't provide a link at this point. The report is from the actions that took place this past Saturday. The Lewis and Clark re-enactors were supposed to give an answer as to whether or not they would turn around, by Tuesday. The re-enactors are now on the Crow Creek reservation and the Indigenous resistors are supposed to return there, tomorrow. The re-enactors reportedly stated that Homeland Security would be arriving to provide security to the expedition and would surround any of the Indigenous People who showed up tomorrow. The resistors responded by stating that they would not be intimidated by Homeland Security.

The irony of this possibility should not be overlooked. A group of people, re-enacting the actions of a colonizing advance party intruding into the homelands of the Indigenous Peoples, are now threatening to enlist the security of an entity that calls itself Homeland Security.

The moniker, Homeland Security, is more appropriate when applied to the Indigenous People who are now confronting the re-enactors of the invasion of their territories.

Lewis and Clark genocide re-enactors told to halt
Lewis and Clark opened the door to the holocaust of the West

UN Observer and International Report
Brenda Norrell
CHAMBERLAIN, S.D. (Sept. 18, 2004) -- The American lie of Lewis and
Clark unraveled as Lakota, Ponca, Kiowa and Dine' told re-enactors to
turn back downriver or face the consequences.

"What they wrote down was a blueprint for the genocide of my people.
You are re-enacting something ugly, evil and hateful," Carter Camp,
Ponca, told the Discovery Expedition camped on the Missouri River.

On Saturday, an Indian delegation of elders, supported by young
warriors, gave the expedition a stern warning. If they did not turn
around, they would call on all Indians who are not assimilated,
colonized and conquered to join them and stop the expedition.

"You are re-enacting the coming of death to our people," Camp told the
expedition, while seated in a circle with Indian elders and Lewis and
Clark re-enactors, on the banks of the Missouri River. "You are re-enacting genocide."

Deb White Plume of Pine Ridge gave the expedition a symbolic blanket
of small pox. Another Lakota woman from Pine Ridge said she carries
the DNA of the Lakota women who survived the slaughters that Lewis and
Clark opened the door to. She said she is prepared to die for this

"I believe in armed struggle," Wicahpi Wakia Wi of Pine Ridge said.
"The act of genocide stops here. We are tired of living poor. We are
not afraid to die. I am willing to die." She told them they would not proceed up the river. "You are not going on. I will organize every sister from here to Oregon to stop you."

Lakota elder Floyd Hand, among four bands of Lakota here, told the
expedition, "We are the descendants of Red Cloud and Crazy Horse."
"I did not come here in peace."

Hand said they would not smoke the pipe today and if the expedition
continues up the Missouri River, the families of the expedition
members would suffer the spiritual consequences of small pox. Referring to the tribal governments who welcomed the expedition, Hand said those tribal governments reflect the same type thinking as the re-enactors and are not the voice of the grassroots people.

"The tribal governments are not a voice for us. They are imitating us,
like you are imitating Lewis and Clark."

"We want you to turn around and go home," Alex White Plume, Lakota>from Pine Ridge, told the expedition White Plume said Lakota are here on this land for a reason. "We were put here by the spirits." He said the Lakota never lost their language or ceremonies and now they are making these requests: Lakota >want their territory back, their treaties to be honored and to be able to continue their healing ways.

White Plume said many Indian people have become assimilated and
colonized. "We pray for our own colonized people. We say they are in a prison in the white man's world." White Plume said there was no point in the expedition coming here. "All you did was open up these old wounds."

Carter Camp warned the expedition to halt or they would be stopped. He
said the expedition has been told lies and are spreading lies. Lewis and Clark are apart of the American lie. "They had no honor. They came with the American lie. They murdered 60 million people." Camp said Lewis and Clark said they came in peace. Referring to their costumes, Camp said, "You guys probably believe that lie. That is why you are dressed so funny today."

He said Lewis and Clark knew what happened to Indians in the eastern
part of the country and they knew that the missionaries followed the
soldiers. And it was the missionaries who left his people as remnants,
homeless in the streets. Camp said the young warriors would not be as patient as the elders seated in the circle. He also questioned whether the re-enactors had asked permission of the grassroots Indian people to come onto their territory."You chose to come amongst us without permission."
Camp said Sacagawea was a woman struggling to return home. "We feel
sorry for that woman. We don't like the way she was treated." Camp said Indians here did not like the first Lewis and Clark and they sure don't like the second ones. "Take those silly clothes off and come back dressed like a normal human being. Don't come here to tell me what your grandfather did to my grandfather."Referring to the re-enactors "silly clothes," Camp said of the Natives who came, "This is the way our people dress everyday. We are not trying to play a game."

"Go home and try to re-enact some truth for the rest of your life."
Alex White Plume said all that is good is being destroyed on the Earth
because of actions like these. "Our people are dying because our water is no good," he said, adding that the wolves and bears are disappearing from the territory. Lakotas have to pay fees to go the Black Hills to pray.
"Today I can not even go up to the Black Hills to worship. We believe
everyone should have access to spirituality." He said buffalo were once the basis of the ecosystem. Now, he said,"The whole West is drying up.
"The Earth should be a priority and not your own personal needs."
Referring to the red, white and blue flag flying over one of the
expedition's three boats docked on the Missouri River, White Plume
said, "We want that flag taken down. We honor that flag because we won it at the Little Big Horn." He said the flag could be later given back, if their treaty was honored and sacred lands preserved."We would like to ask you to turn around and not to proceed into our territory. We didn't bring our bows and arrows, but we will continue to harass you."

Alfred Bone Shirt of Rosebud told the expedition, "This is disgusting.
This is a slap in the face."Bone Shirt said the Lakota are a people who never quit fighting for what they believe in. "If you decide to go up river, it is bad, bad for you and bad for your families." Bone Shirt listed the town of Chamberlain in a long list of racist South Dakota towns. He described the testimony of the Indian Child Welfare Act on KILI Radio the previous day, testimony of Lakota children being taken away in large numbers and given to non-Indian families. "Our prisons are full, our children are being taken away." Pointing out the absurdity of the re-enactment, Bone Shirt asked if there would be a re-enactment of Bush and Cheney invading Iraq. " If you go up this river, we have good warriors who can shoot arrows. Bone Shirt was ready for action.

"Let's sink some of those boats out here." Bone Shirt pointed out that the Indian people knew what the re-enactors were thinking. "When we leave, they will laugh behind our backs." And Bone Shirt said Indians here know this type of racism. "The state of South Dakota is the most racist state and South Dakota condones this kind of behavior. We want you to know, it has to end here."

Russell Means said if the expedition continues up the river, the Blackfeet are waiting for them. Means said Lewis and Clark, like the myth of Columbus, are apart of the great American lie. And there are many parts to the great American lie. "Even the casino Indians are not rich, that is another falsehood. They don't ever see cash," Means said, adding that the money goes to investors and also to the state, which is illegal.
Means said Indians can't even start a business on tribal land without
waiting an average of eight years, and then it is only if the
paperwork isn't lost. "What you are perpetuating is part of the big lie," Means told the re-enactors. Means said Indians have 40 percent of the nation's natural resources on their lands, yet they are kept in concentration camps called reservations and not allowed to participate.

"This is our river," Means said of the Missouri River running past. He
pointed out the water is being used by farmers, cities and power
plants without the permission of Indian people. "They don't honor anything. This is an insult to our integrity." While there is no Bureau of Irish Affairs or Bureau of other groups of peoples' affairs, the Bureau of Indian Affairs remains an instrument of genocide. On Pine Ridge, the average lifespan is 44 years. "We are middle-aged at 22."

As Indians arrived at American Creek Marina bay on the river, there
were three police and Sheriff units waiting at the entrance. Later, seated in the circle, Hand told the group there was no need for the police to be sneaking in the bushes and taking photos; they could do it in the open.

"That is what the federal government does." Hand said white people are always looking for identity and always taking. He told the re-enactors to find out who they are and live who they are.

Peyton "Bud" Clark, great, great, great-grandson of William Clark,
thanked them for being open and candid. "We will be honest with you."
He said the expedition was called a commemoration because it was not a
celebration. Clark said people in the eastern United States know nothing about Indian people and it is nearly impossible to go to a library and find
out any truth about American Indians. Clark said he saw the expedition
as a way of listening to Indian people along the river. "What we did was create a catalyst for open and honest dialogue for the healing to begin," Clark said. "All you need to have is an open mind and an open heart and engage in an open and honest dialogue." Clark was among 22 re-enactors traveling on the river with a keelboat and two large wooden pirogue canoes, with backup support of RVs. Clark said their "funny clothes" cost a lot of money.

Although Clark said the re-enactors were volunteers and were not paid, Lakota and Ponca said white people never do anything without being
paid. They pointed out the expedition had received $85 million in
funds, while the Lakota, the poorest of people, had to pay their own
way here to stop them.

Responding to comments by re-enactors who defended the expedition as a
means of education, Camp asked, "Would it be all right if these guys
were dressed in sheets like the Ku Klux Klan? "Do you know that Clark would not free his slaves?"

Native women told the expedition that they carry the DNA of the survivors of the slaughters that Lewis and Clark opened the door to and the diseases they brought.

Ahmbaska, among the Native youths, spoke of the tribes who had become
extinct, their languages and cultures lost forever, and the women and
babies murdered by the U.S. military. "They stomped their heads to save bullets." Speaking directly to the re-enactors, he said, "This is not a show, this is our hearts." His people, the Missouri, were exiled to
Oklahoma. "My people have never seen this Missouri River which was
named after us." Now, he said, on Rosebud, people are dying from the whopping cough. Lewis and Clark were the beginning of the end in the West.
"They came and they took and they conquered. That is what you are
re-enacting," he said.

Deb White Plume said for Lakota, halting the expedition is a spiritual
act. She reminded the expedition of the diseases brought by the
invaders. She presented Clark with a blanket and said, "Small pox. Have it
back." Clark accepted the blanket, a symbol of small pox, cautiously.
Deb White Plume chastised Clark and the other re-enactors for the tone
they addressed the Indians present with. "You are patronizing us, you
are condescending to us." She said their tone of voice said that they
were going on up the river no matter what.

"You hurt us. We don't want you here." White Plume said she has only two children because she was sterilized against her wishes. "I have two sons because your government sterilized me.Your government fought my family with guns and I survived and I am here to tell you about it." She said Lewis and Clark and those that followed "were the original terrorists on this continent."

Pointing out they were surrounded by law enforcement here, she said,
police always surround Lakota. She said to the expedition, "You are here with no respect." White Plume said they could not allow the expedition to continue up the river to their sacred Sun Dance grounds.

"How can you willingly want to trample on anyone's sacred grounds?"

articles-september 20

Tribes' new image shifts battleground over rights

By Douglas Brown
Denver Post Staff Writer

Post / Glen Martin
John Echohawk is executive director of the Native American Rights Fund in Boulder.

They bury themselves in treaties signed 150 years ago and more, from small rooms with tilted floors lining hallways that creak with each step in the old fraternity house, a meandering three-story hive of legal research and advocacy that in a little more than 30 years has transformed Indian country.

The lawyers of Boulder's Native American Rights Fund (NARF) also travel constantly, to tribal lands and Washington, D.C., and meetings around the country, working to nudge ahead their revolving stack of about 50 cases. full article

Denver's location a big attraction for Indian institutions

By Douglas Brown
Denver Post Staff Writer

Post / Glen Martin
Robbyn Hickman was among Indians from across the Front Range attending the 15th Annual Friendship Powwow on Sept. 11 at the Denver Art Museum.

American Indian lands crowd Albuquerque and Phoenix. They dot the territory around Seattle, radiate in several directions from Minneapolis, and bracket Rapid City to the north and south.

Denver? The nearest reservation is a six-hour drive away.

Which explains, in part, why Denver has become a mecca for national Indian institutions like the American Indian College Fund and the Council of Energy Resource Tribes.

Denver is neutral territory. full article

Indian burial site unearthed in digging near Green Lake


SPICER, Minn. - A crew installing water and sewer lines last week uncovered an American Indian burial site on the east side of Green Lake.

John Crossen, who lives on Indian Beach Road on the lake, had hired a crew to hook up water and sewer service to a garage he had built across the street. While digging Thursday, the crew found human skeletal remains, he said.

The workers noticed the bones in a scoop of dirt their backhoe had lifted from the ground. full article

Court puts Cayuga land claim on hold
Judges want to wait for outcome of Sherrill tax case before Supreme Court.
Sunday, September 19, 2004

By Scott Rapp
Staff writer

The Supreme Court's decision to hear the city of Sherrill's tax dispute case against the Oneida Indian Nation of New York is triggering a ripple effect on the Cayuga Indian land claim appeal.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has notified lawyers in the land claim case that it will not render a ruling until the Supreme Court decides the Sherrill dispute. The top court has said it will hear the case next year.

Lawyers in the land claim appeal said last week they were mildly surprised by the appeals court decision to delay ruling, and a spokesman for the Cayuga-Seneca chapter of Upstate Citizens for Equality welcomed the news. full article

Retracing a Grim Past
Indians reenact march of California's 'Trail of Tears'

By Lee Romney, Times Staff Writer

ROUND VALLEY RESERVATION, Calif. It is known, to those who know it at all,
as California's Trail of Tears.

In 1863, U.S. soldiers rounded up Indian tribes across Northern California at Chico Landing in Butte County. Then they marched them across the sweltering Sacramento Valley, over the rugged North Coast mountains, to what was known then as the Nome Cult Reservation.

Of 461 Indians who set out under guard, only 277 completed the 100-mile,
14-day trek. Many were abandoned, too sick to continue. Some escaped. Others were
killed. For decades, some descendants tried their best to forget. These days,
they make a point of remembering. full article

Ride retraces fallen warrior's history
By Jomay Steen, Journal Staff Writer

RED SHIRT VILLAGE — A riderless appaloosa will represent a fallen Brule warrior at a memorial and ceremony on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Brothers Victor Swallow and John Swallow Jr., their cousin, the Rev. Robert Two Bulls, and the Red Shirt community elders will host a memorial ride, ceremony and feast for a man who died after the Wounded Knee Massacre in the winter of 1890.

"This is our history," Victor Swallow said. "We want it to be known." full article

Indigenous March for Peace
Just 100 Kms of a Long Road

Constanza Vieira

CALI, Colombia, Sep 20 (IPS) - ”We know bad things could happen, even on our way back to our territories after this (mobile) congress,” indigenous leader Feliciano Valencia told IPS in the southern Colombian city of Cali at the end of a 100-km march ”for life, justice, happiness, freedom and autonomy”, described as the biggest indigenous demonstration in the history of Colombia.

The Nasa (more widely known as Páez) Indians and other participants -- including afro-Colombians, peasant farmers and trade unionists -- began to return home on Sunday. Valencia was referring to the dangers faced by activists and protesters in war-torn Colombia.

The march originally set out on Tuesday, Sep. 14 from the city of Santander de Quilichao, reaching Cali, the capital of the southwestern department (province) of Valle del Cauca on Saturday, Sep. 18. full article

A Hierarchy of Suffering
Since 9/11, America has Used its Victimhood to Demand a Monopoly on the Right to Feel and to Inflict Pain

by Gary Younge
The tale of how I became a Nazi and my Nazi harasser became a Jew is as intriguing as it is instructive. Last November I wrote a column about a racist email sent to me by an employee of an insurance company and my frustrations over the manner in which my grievance was handled. The man in question (a white, South African supporter of the British National party who complained of "undesirables flooding into Britain") was subsequently fired. His dismissal was not as a result of my column but because my original complaint had alerted the company to a previously unreported pattern of racist behaviour on his part. Of the numerous responses from the public I received, most were supportive but many were more abusive than the original message. One stood out. Incensed that something as "trivial" as racist abuse could lead to a man losing his job, one reader compared me to the person who betrayed Anne Frank. And so, through contorted metaphor and contemptuous logic, the harasser became the victim and the harassed was transformed into the perpetrator.

Victimhood is a powerful, yet contradictory, force. Powerful because, once claimed, it can provide the moral basis for redress, retaliation and even revenge in order to right any given wrong - real or imagined. The defence of everything from the death penalty to affirmative action, Serbian nationalism to equality legislation, are all underpinned, to some degree, by the notion of victimhood. Contradictory because, in order to harness that power, one must first admit weakness. Victims, by their very nature, have less power than their persecutors: victimhood is a passive state - the result of bad things happening to people who are unable to prevent it. full article

Adrienne and the Color of Justice.

Today's edition of the Denver Post(9/20/02) has an article about Adrienne Benavidez and her work with the Color of Justice. Adrienne, an attorney, is the Executive Director of the Color of Justice, an organization that will "engage in public policy advocacy and legislative analysis, provide legal referrals, representation and advocacy and help train new community leaders"

Color of Justice was instrumental, along with Colorado AIM, in advocating for, and ultimately succeeding in winning the concessions from the City of Boulder after Boulder law enforcement disrupted a sweat lodge ceremony on New Years.

Adrienne has also been key to organizing, and implementing, the legal defense of Transform Columbus Day members who have been arrested for protesting against the Columbus Convoy of Conquest. In 2000, almost every single charge was dismissed, against 150 defendants, due to the effective legal challenges that undercut the prosecution by city attorneys.

Toward the end of the article, the reporter mentions the efforts by Denver cops to have Adrienne dismissed from the Police Safety Review Commission as well as noting that her work with the ACLU and connections with Transform Columbus Day members has angered the cops. It's obvious that the reporter asked some Denver cops for their opinions about Adrienne. Their opinions found there way into the article but it's sort of amusing to note that none of them were willing to give their names. Those brave Denver Cops for you.

Check out the article.

Lawyer, activist sees color of justice

By Sean Kelly
Denver Post Staff Writer

Growing up in northeast Denver, Adrienne Benavidez knew people were afraid of the police.

With good reason, she said. Minorities were treated differently, she said, and often were unfairly targeted because of the color of their skin.

"It was a fear of police," Benavidez said. "People of color had to teach their children a different way of dealing with police."

Her experience colored her work as a lawyer, leading her to become an outspoken advocate and community activist. full article

Press Release-Lewis and Clark re-enactors put on notice

Today, tribal members from the Lakota, Dakota, Ponca, Kiowa and Dine’ Nations came to the Missouri River at Chamberlain, South Dakota to give the opportunity to the Lewis & Clark Expedition to turn back and cancel their re-enactment journey that began 200 years of genocide, land theft and resource exploitation from the Plains tribes.

Under highly visible protection from local and federal police, the Lewis & Clark re-enactors repeatedly stated “they cannot change history and turn back time”, as they stood in their period costumes along the banks of the Missouri River. Representatives of the American Friends Services Committee, the Mennonite Church and the United Nations Council on Genocide in anticipation of the heavy surveillance, by law enforcement, joined the tribal resistors .

The Lewis & Clark re-enactors offered a tomahawk pipe to the group of resistors who refused to smoke it. Strong words were made by tribal leaders Alex White Plume, Floyd Hand, Carter Camp, Alfred Bone Shirt, Russell Means and Vic Camp who advised the Lewis & Clark re-enactors that they were perpetuating the lies of American history.

The spokespersons for the Lewis & Clark Commemoration continually undercut the demands of the resistors to cease their re-enactment voyage up the river. A few months after the original “Voyage of Discovery”, Clark wrote of the Teton Sioux, “These are the vilest miscreants of the savage race, and must ever remain the pirates of the Missouri, until such measures are pursued, by our government, as will make them feel a dependence on its will for their supply of merchandise”

The re-enactment spokespersons alleged that they had no authority to stop the expedition as the ultimate decision lies with a board of directors. Initially, they requested three days to respond to the tribal resistance group’s demands. In a subsequent discussion, they agreed to provide and answer to the group’s warrior society on Sunday, September 19, 2004.

However, Clark, a direct lineal descendent of the original William Clark stated that it would be unlikely to cancel the expedition because of the resources invested to carry out the re-enactment and the future events planned along the river route to commemorate the original event.

The resistors contend that the original Lewis & Clark Expedition was the dawn of genocide for the Plains Indian Tribes. The tribal resistors have committed themselves to stopping the re-enactor’s expedition before they leave Lakota Country.

For further information contact Alex White Plume, 605-455-1142; Floyd Hand, 605-867-5762; Alfred Bone Shirt, 605-747-4443 or Vic Camp at 605-455-1122

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Carter Camp-Should we celebrate Lewis and Clark

This essay was penned by Carter Camp. In it, he questions whether or not the Indigenous Nations should celebrate the Lewis and Clark commemoration. A group called the "Discovery Expedition of St. Charles, Mo" has been tracing, by replica boat, the route travelled by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the event. Lewis and Clark acted as an advance party for the American Empire, as they prepared to lay claim to the homelands of Indigenous Nations.

Should We Celebrate Lewis and Clark?

Americans have an unfortunate penchant for big anniversary bashes
celebrating their various successes in their five centuries old
assault on Native people. The most glaring example is of course the
national holiday for Columbus, another is the many place names and
celebrations for famous "Indian Killers" like Amherst, Custer and
Chivington. These `celebrations' are so common and ubiquitous across
our lands that Americans are surprised and hostile when a Native
voice is raised in opposition. If we dare ask that the usual
distortions of history be corrected or that sober thought be given
to the appropriateness of all or certain parts of the event, we are
seen as enemies to be overcome once more.

The first tactic employed is always to convince, bribe or coerce
some of our own people to join them and denounce the objectors as
renegades. From 1492 through the genocidal centuries on until today,
the invader knows that if they can put a red face out front they can
hide their true intentions and escape responsibility. The
big "celebration" going on in D.C. right now for the "National
Museum of the American Indian" is a prime modern example of how the
conqueror uses Indians to hide their responsibility for the times of
horror they visited upon our nations. Too often our leaders accept
their offers to celebrate genocide.

The old but effective tactic is once again in use, this time
the wasicu seeks Indian cover for their "celebration" of what they
call an "expedition" instead of what it truly was… an attempt to
cover-up once again the ugly truth of genocide called "manifest
destiny". In 1992 Indigenous people from throughout the hemisphere
rejected the colonialist portrayal of Columbus and his ill-fated
journey. Our scholars dug out the ugly words and actions of Columbus
from among ancient documents and gave the truth to the people. We
demanded truth and taught those Columbus supporters among us the
truth of his legacy so to this day, each "Columbus Day" we raise our
voices in truthful remembrance of what we lost. But 1492 only began
the parade of invaders which were to wash up on our shores, each of
them proffering friendship before beginning to murder us.

Now the Americans are beginning a national "celebration" of
the "Columbus of the West" and spreading the same stories we heard
for so long about 1492! They portray Lewis and Clark as intrepid
explorers in an attempt to cover-up the true intent of exploitation.
Jefferson lusted after the wealth of our Nations in exactly the same
way the King of Spain did those of our eastern shore and they each
sent their "explorers" as a prelude to invasion and conquest. The
only difference is that Columbus enslaved some of our people while
L&C brought their slave with them… in one of their more
perverse "celebrations" they have carved her likeness on a coin.

Lewis and Clark came into our lands uninvited and used our
traditional hospitality to spread their lies. They looked our
leaders in the eye and attempted to convince them their mission was
one of peace and trade while they knew full well the American intent
to subjugate our people and steal our lands. In weakness they
observed our customs and shared our food while knowing that in their
wake would come the evil emissaries of their coercive state-church.
They came among us to probe for weaknesses and provide their army
with vital intelligence about our lands and defenses. Their report
to their leaders served as a blueprint for conquest.

Once I heard the Chief of the Nation that welcomed the pilgrims
apologize for letting them attach to our shores. Perhaps my Ponca
Nation owes all the People upstream an apology for not stopping
Lewis & Clark at the mouth of the Niobara, all of us have paid a
huge price for failing to understand that a handshake with Lewis &
Clark meant our time of horror was dawning. We are the survivors of
that genocidal onslaught, we must remember if we are to deny them
their final victory.

In those long ago days maybe we could be excused for not
realizing that evil and death dogged the heels of Lewis and Clark,
but today we know full well what the lasting effects of their visit
would become… has become. We know today that every circle of life in
our world was devastated after Lewis & Clark walked in our lands,
some are gone forever like the `passenger pigeons' that once filled
the sky but most of us remain as remnants, clinging to an earth
forever altered by the rain of death which sailed up our life-giving

Ask the Buffalo, the Grizzly, Eagle or Elk Nations if they are
prepared to celebrate what came up the river two centuries ago. Does
the Salmon Nation miss Celilo Falls on the Columbia River or hate
the Hungry Horse Dam on the Snake? Does the moon miss the call of
the Wolf as she rises over our depleted lands? It was not only our
human circles that were slated for destruction by the forces of
greed that sent Lewis & Clark into our midst. Their ship was one of
death, it looked with vampire eyes across our lands and slavered
with greedy anticipation at the wealth of life it observed.

Should we join their celebration so we can "tell our side" as
they are suggesting to our leaders? Or should we stand as one red
nation and send the celebrants back down the river where they came
from… as we should have done so long ago?

Carter Camp, Ponca Nation

Thursday, September 16, 2004

articles-september 16

U.S. Seeks Looser Rules on Debt to Indians

Associated Press

WASHINGTON - Government lawyers asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to throw out a judge's order that the Interior Department follow strict guidelines in accounting for billions of dollars American Indians claim they are owed, saying the requirements are too burdensome.

At issue is a September 2003 order from U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth that sets a September 2007 deadline to account for the money and forbids use of statistical technique known as "sampling." That poses a problem for the department, which has said that a more comprehensive accounting plan would take 10 years and cost billions. full artilce

Judge: Indian rights violated in redistricting

Terry Woster

published: 9/16/2004

PIERRE - The South Dakota Legislature violated the federal Voting Rights Act by packing Native Americans into a single legislative district in 2001, diluting their power to elect their own candidates, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier gave the Legislature and secretary of state 45 days to file a plan fixing the issue by changing Districts 26 and 27.
"The court concludes that under the totality of the circumstances, the South Dakota 2001 Plan resulted in unequal electoral opportunity for Indian voters," Schreier's decision said. "(The state) must afford Indians in both Districts 26 and 27 a realistic and fair opportunity to elect their preferred candidates." full article

Indian hospital faces criticism
By Jomay Steen, Journal Staff Writer

RAPID CITY - Rapid City's American Indian community blasted Sioux San Hospital administrators, the Aberdeen Area Tribal Chairmen's Health Board and Aberdeen Area Indian Health Service officials about dwindling services at the Rapid City Indian hospital.

A 25-page budget packet and agenda for a Sioux San update and budget session on Tuesday in Rapid City were largely ignored as Sioux San clients questioned Aberdeen-area and local health administrators about lost representation on health boards, referrals to outside health agencies and generally lackluster care for the 13,000 Indians who live in Rapid City. full article

Samish have trust land once more, and plans for homes near Campbell Lake

The Samish Indian Nation will hold trust lands for the first time in almost a century, as soon as the Bureau of Indian Affairs processes paperwork that will put almost 80 acres near Campbell Lake into trust for the tribe.

"This truly is a momentous day for the Samish. It's been 97 years since we've had trust land," said Samish Tribal Chairman Ken Hansen.

Tribal Council members and other well-wishers gathered on Thursday, Sept. 9, when Hansen and Samish Tribal Council Accountant Dee Branson signed papers to initiate the process. To put the land in trust, the title had to be signed over to the BIA - the same agency that dropped the tribe from the list of federally recognized tribes by mistake and fought its reinstatement for almost 30 years. The Samish Tribe was recognized again in 1996. full article

Tribe ready for tenth annual commemorative trek
By Terry Dillman Of the News-Times

History, tradition, and culture will merge this weekend as members of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians make the trek to ancestral lands along the Rogue River.

Participants will take to the road for the tenth annual Run to the Rogue Thursday through Saturday, Sept. 16-18. Each year since 1994, tribal members have participated in a relay run/walk that commemorates the removal of Siletz tribal ancestors from their homelands in 1856 and traces in reverse their forced march northward to Siletz.

As a confederation of 27 bands originally ranging from northern California to Washington, the Siletz Tribe has a long and, at times, tragic history. full article

Giago column "racist and divisive"
Letter to the Editor

It was with a great deal of interest that I read Mr. Giago's racist and
divisive article "The Root of All Evil As The Great Divider" where he
proclaims the Mohican and Pequot leaders to be African American. the
fact of the matter is, yes native people all over the country have
mixed with Europeans and Africans for centuries and this mix is true on
the East coast.

As the initial bands and nations to encounter the Europeans and give
sanctuary to runaway slaves, as well as the first recipients of
concentrated efforts in genocide (physically and administratively) I
would say that we have done an incredible job of holding onto our
traditions and identities. However, Mr. Giago insists on referring to
them as African Americans. Does he do this when talking about the
plethora of Lakota, Apache and Cheyenne folks who are (obviously) of
African Descent? Does he refer to the indians who look white as
European Americans? It seems obvious that Mr. Giago's year at Harvard
did little to expand his knowledge of eastern native history, and
instead chooses to look at us through white man's eyes and concepts of
race and identity. full article

Activists protest carabao culling at Navy base gate

By Natalie J. Quinata
Pacific Daily News;

About a dozen indigenous rights activists protested for the second day yesterday, despite reassurances from the Navy and the Department of Agriculture that the culling of carabaos has stopped.

But the Colonized Chamorro Coalition held yet another peaceful protest, this time in front of the Navy base's main gate, also to drive home a larger cause of advocating for Chamorro rights. The group led a protest Wednesday across the street from the agriculture department in Mangilao.

The protest, coordinated by Rufo Lujan, also reiterated the group's concerns about carabao culling on the Naval Magazine in Santa Rita, although Navy officials and agriculture department Director Paul Bassler have stated that no carabao has been killed for the past 10 months. The Navy and agriculture officials also have said they continue to promote their carabao adoption program through village mayors. Full article

Cordillerans declare autonomy
CPLA prepares for war vs. govt anew
By Florante Solmerin, Northern Luzon Bureau

TABUK, Kalinga—Convinced that the 1987 Mount Data sipat (peace pact) has failed and that the national government has reneged on its vow to liberate the Cordillera people, the Cordillera Bodong (nation) Administration (CBA) declared autonomy of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) and ordered the Cordillera People’s Liberation Army (CPLA) to prepare for war.

“The Cordillera Bodong Administration [CBA] which is the revolutionary and tribal system of the government of the Cordillera Tribal Confederation [CTC] and its Cordillera People’s Liberation Army [CPLA], the modern organization of the Cordillera tribal warriors of glorious tradition, now assume the responsibility for self-government and home defense,” stated the “Declaration of Autonomy” that was penned on September 13 by ranking officials of the CBA together with CPLA territorial commanders, a copy of which was obtained by The Manila Times. full article

Do we Really Need to Relearn the Lessons of Japanese American Internment?
by Fred Korematsu
In 1942, I was arrested and convicted for being a Japanese American trying to live here in the Bay Area. The day after my arrest a newspaper headline declared, "Jap Spy Arrested in San Leandro."

Of course, I was no spy. The government never charged me with being a spy. I was a U.S. citizen born and raised in Oakland. I even tried to enlist in the Coast Guard (they didn't take me because of my race). But my citizenship and my loyalty did not matter to the federal government. On Feb. 19, 1942, anyone of Japanese heritage was ordered excluded from the West Coast. I was charged and convicted of being a Japanese American living in an area in which all people of my ancestry had been ordered to be interned. full article

US Gives Conflicting Accounts of Rocket Attack



The US sought yesterday to defend the two helicopter pilots who fired seven rockets into a crowd on Sunday killing 13 people and wounding 41, saying they had come under "well-aimed ground fire". This is different from the first statement by the US military claiming that they had opened fire with rockets in order to prevent a Bradley fighting vehicle hit by a bomb from being looted of arms and ammunition.

Col Jim McConville, the head of the First Cavalry Division's aviation brigade, said two helicopters armed with heavy machine guns had swooped over a crowd when they were shot at from near the Bradley. Both helicopters then attacked.

The US account of the incident in which Mazen al-Tomeizi, a Palestinian television producer working for al-Arabiya satellite channel was killed, was contradicted by the film taken by his cameraman at the moment the rocket struck. There is no sound of firing from the crowd in the moments before the helicopters attacked. full article

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Is $1,500 too much for boarding school punishments?

A paper in Manitoba is reporting that the federal government of canada is reviewing(read: challening) $1,500 that an 87 year old, Long Plain First Nation, woman has accepted as compensation for the punishment she received while at the Portage Indian School.

Flora Merrick survived 10 years-from age 5 to 15- at the Portage Indian School. When she was 15, Flora's mother died and she and her siblings were not allowed to attend. Instead, they were locked in a room for crying too much. They managed to run away, were caught, and were punished by being strapped on the forearms and hands.

Flora's attorney filed a claim under the Alternative Dispute Resolution process and Flora was offered $1,500, which she accepted, as she could use the money for home repairs and groceries for her children.

The federal department of Indian residential schools resolution asked for a review.

a Department of Indian Residential Schools Resolution spokeswoman who said she couldn’t discuss specific cases, suggested the chief adjudicator was asked to review Merrick’s matter because it didn’t meet dispute resolution (DR) standards.

“We’re very clear ... for which issues we are compensating,” Nicole Dauz said. “This is a new process to resolve residential school claims. It’s key to the integrity of the process that the adjudicators hearing these claims
take a consistent approach.”

According to a copy of the requested review supplied by Troniak, the government argues the adjudicator exceeded his jurisdiction because under the DR process the strapping wasn’t improper -- it was done to enforce the rules of the school.

“It was not open to the learned adjudicator to look to the claimant’s motive for running away, and then to characterize the running away as a complaint and the resulting discipline as a reprisal,” said the request signed by the residential schools resolution department deputy minister, Mario Dion. full article

Says Flora
“It doesn’t matter to me. I wasn’t after the money,” Merrick said from her room at Portage District General Hospital. “I can live without it. If they want it, they can have it.”

$1,500 dollars is really no compensation to offer an adult who, as a child, had to survive 10 years of boarding school. We can be sure that none of the feds who asked for the review have ever had to endure such a childhood. A childhood in which they are stolen from their families, punished for speaking their language, abused under the guise of "displinary action," become the targets of sexual abuse, and in Flora's case, made to miss their mother's funeral.

Her experience isn't an isolated incident. Generations of native children, both in the U.S and Canada, were made to suffer through similar realities.It was part of a systematic process to, as the saying goes, "kill the indian and save the man." Those attempts at forced assimilation have traumatized generations of native peoples and left scars across communities.Giving an elderly woman $1,500 dollars would seem to be the least the federal government could do to make up for what their policies did to her.

articles-september 15

A trust issue

The Bush administration has not treated us justly when it comes to accounting for Indians' money


By Elouise Cobell

Imagine a bank that took your money on a regular basis, never gave you a statement, had no idea how much was supposed to be in your account and argued it has no responsibility to return your money to you or provide you any information about your money.

Now imagine that same financial institution destroying the documents, lying in sworn statements and in court, and routinely defying court orders.

It doesn't take a lawyer to understand federal and state regulators would be padlocking the door to that bank and walking the bank's managers off to jail. full article

Oil and gas sites need cleanup, say First Nations
WebPosted Sep 14 2004 08:56 AM PDT
VICTORIA - First Nations in the Peace River region are demanding that the B.C. government do more to clean up oil and gas drilling sites, following a study showing that wildlife are drinking from contaminated ponds.

Chief Roland Wilson of the West Moberly First Nation says the study is "hugely significant" – as it confirms complaints going back 30 years.

The study shows that many old drilling sites are contaminated with chemicals and metals. Moose, deer and other wildlife have been roaming freely those sites – using them as watering holes and salt licks, researchers say. Full article

Tribe's plight sparks fight

A group of indigenous people in the Amazon is felled, by illness and a search for help yields a great number of tensions.

CHAIDI SETTLEMENT, Paraguay - The last band of Indians untouched by modernity and south of the Amazon basin emerged recently from a forest, looking for help. It fell into one of the fiercest debates over indigenous people in South America.

The 17 Totobiegosode tribe members were desperate for medical help, water and an escape from the bulldozers destroying the arid forests of northwestern Paraguay where they live. And they got some of that.


But now they are caught between Christian missionaries who can bring significant cultural changes, and indigenous-rights groups that want them to remain true to their culture even if it means skipping some of the advantages of Western civilization. full article

20,000 Indians to March at National Museum Opening

Stefan Lovgren
for National Geographic News
September 15, 2004
On Tuesday thousands of Native Americans are expected to march on Washington, D.C.'s National Mall to celebrate the opening of the new National Museum of the American Indian. (See photos of the museum.) To Jim Pepper Henry, the march will represent a homecoming of sorts.

The museum's assistant director for community services, Pepper Henry is a Kaw/Muscogee Indian. In the 1830s his forefathers were uprooted from their ancestral homes along the East Coast. They were forced to walk west on the infamous Trail of Tears to Oklahoma, where they were resettled.

On Tuesday, Pepper Henry will join the walk from the Smithsonian Castle along the Mall to the Smithsonian's newest museum—a journey that will take him from west to east. full article

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Defenders ot Skwelkwek'welt need support

The defenders of Skwelkwek'welt are asking all Indigenous Peoples and their allies to wage a week long call-in/fax campaign to demand a new federal policy that recognizes their right to retain their lands. The Defenders are fighting an expansion of the resort at Sun Peaks. Here is the text of their request and an update.

Message from Skwelkwek'welt Protection Center

September 12, 2004
To all Indigenous Leaders and People
To All Support Groups and Friends
We are requesting urgent letters of support for our actions to
-occupy our lands at Skwelkwekwelt (what is classfied as crown land)
-protect our traditional lands from destruction
-re-establish the connection of Elders and youth to restore our
Secwepemc culture and language at our residences we are building up the
We maintain that we own our lands because we never signed treaties, sold
or surrenedered the land in any way.
We demand the right to exist on our lands and save ourselves from
extinction and extermination
Secwepemculecw Traditional Peoples Government
Box 837
Chase, B. C. V0E 1M0
email:  jrbilly@mail.ocis.net
Janice Billy   250-318-4290
Arnie Jack    250-320-7822
Art Manuel   250-319-0068

The Honourable Gordon Campbell, Premier
Government of British Columbia
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada V8W 9E1
Fax: (250) 387-0087
Email: premier@gov.bc.ca
Phone: 250-387-1715
Minister of Water, Land and Air Protection
Honourable Bill Barisoff
PO Box 9047 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, BC
V8W 9E2
Telephone: 250 387-1187
Fax: 250 387-1356
E-mail: WLAP.Minister@gems9.gov.bc.ca
Minister of State for Resort Development
Sandy Santori
PO Box Stn Provincial Government
Victoria, BC
V8W 9E2
tel#: 250-953-4246
fax#: 250-953-4250
Email: Sandy.Santori.MLA@leg.bc.ca

Darcy Alexander
Vice President, General Manager
Sun Peaks Resort
1280 Alpine Rd.
Sun Peaks, BC
V0E 1Z1
tel#: 250-578-7222
fax#: 250-578-7223
email: marketing@sunpeaksresort.com

Hon Andy Scott
Department of Indian and Northern Affairs
tel: 613-992-1067
fax: 613-996-995

Sample Letter

I am writing in support of the Skwelkwek’welt Protection Center that has
been protecting Secwepemc lands and culture that is being destroyed by Sun
Peaks Resort.
It is clear that despite the fact that the Supreme Court of Canada has
recognized Aboriginal Title, and that the Canadian Constitution of 1982
protects Aboriginal Title as an Aboriginal Right yet your political
decision has been to extinguish Aboriginal Title. The recent Haida
decision added a legal duty government and industry to consult and
accommodate Aboriginal Title even before it has been proved. It is clear
that the recent endorsement by Canada and British Columbia of the $285
million dollar expansion of Sun Peaks is a deliberate and clear effort to
extinguish Aboriginal Title.
Negotiations under the present extinguishment policy and process is
failing (those negotiations have only been a benefit to those negotiators
who get a pay check from those funds for the last 10 years); that the
injunctions are not necessarily always conducive in balancing the
interests between business and Aboriginal Rights; and that full blown
court decision takes 10 to 14 years; and all of these remedies put
Secwepemc people at a decided disadvantage when dealing with the
governments that are committed to an out dated status quo of marginalizing
indigenous economic and cultural rights.
I reiterate the position of the Skwelkwek’welt Protection Center that
wants the expansion of Sun Peaks stopped and demand a new federal policy
that recognizes Aboriginal Title in line with the legal mandate to consult
and accommodate Aboriginal Title.
Yours sincerely,

articles-september 14

Attorney: Release Peltier documents
By Carolyn Thompson, Associated Press Writer

BUFFALO, N.Y. — An attorney for imprisoned American Indian activist Leonard Peltier accused the government Monday of withholding documents in the case to cover up its own misconduct 30 years ago.

Michael Kuzma asked a federal judge to order the release of all documents from the FBI's Buffalo field office as part of the larger effort to free Peltier, 60, who is serving life for the killing of two FBI agents during a 1975 standoff on South Dakota's Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Earlier this year, the FBI released 797 of the 812 pages compiled by Buffalo investigators but withheld 15 pages, citing national security and foreign relations concerns.

Department of Justice attorney Preeya Noronha told U.S. District Judge William Skretny the Freedom of Information Act, under which the documents were released, provided for such exemptions. full article

American Indian women's contributions often overlooked

September 14, 2004
When Sally Tuttle married a Hoosier in 1972 and moved east from Red Oak, Okla., her grandmother warned her: "Be careful. They don't like Indians out there."

This seemed so odd -- a state named Indiana that didn't care for Indians. Indiana also had no federally recognized tribes then and no Bureau of Indian Affairs. Tuttle learned that when she attempted to take her card, identifying her as a member of the Choctaw nation, to the local BIA to apply for educational grants -- and no BIA office existed.

Then her son came home from elementary school in Kokomo and told her his class had read a story about an Indian boy who slaughtered a pack of horses. "Indians did not do that," she told him, firmly.

Obviously, Tuttle had work to do. full article

Montana tribes oppose return to cyanide mining

Posted: September 14, 2004 - 10:33am EST
by: Brenda Norrell / Southwest Staff Reporter / Indian Country Today
FORT BELKNAP, Mont. - While the Bush administration pressed for a record number of oil and gas leases in the West, American Indians in Montana opposed new legislation that would permit mining companies to return to cyanide leach gold mining.

Montana Rep. Jonathan Windy Boy, D-Box Elder, said American Indians have a sacred responsibility to protect nature and points out the water and soil has already been poisoned by cyanide leach mining in Montana.
"It is the fight that we have to do to protect nature, what was left here for us. We don’t own anything; it is not our place to tear up what does not belong to us.

"We don’t even own our lives; we are here only on borrowed time. It is up to us as humans to protect what was put here for us to protect," Windy Boy told Indian Country Today. full article

Peruvians battle Newmont

Farmers and others gather recently in Cajamarca, Peru, to protest the expansion of Newmont Mining’s nearby Yanacocha mine onto a mountain that residents believe is sacred and that supplies water.

A water shortage was just one reason why hundreds of farmers invaded Denver-based Newmont Mining Corp.'s Yanacocha gold mine in Peru earlier this month and showered police with a storm of stones fired from slingshots.

The farmers oppose a proposed mine expansion because they fear it could reduce and contaminate water supplies they need for growing potatoes and watering livestock.

Newmont executives at Yanacocha have suspended exploration at the proposed expansion area, called Cerro Quilish, and point to a two-year water study recently completed by Boulder-based Stratus Consulting. full article

Group Says Authorities Engaging In Racial Profiling

Amnesty International Report Calls For Changes In Oklahoma Law

POSTED: 11:15 am CDT September 14, 2004

TULSA, Okla. -- Black, American Indian and Muslim Oklahomans have been targeted by law enforcement or airport security personnel because of their race, according to a report on racial profiling.

The national report released Monday by human rights group Amnesty International USA calls for changes in Oklahoma's racial-profiling law and urges passage of the federal End Racial Profiling Act.

The report is based on a series of hearings across the nation, including one in Tulsa last year. It also analyzes existing studies and reports regarding profiling practices by law enforcement. full article

Bushmen Tour U.S. to Fund Court Land Fight

Stefan Lovgren in Los Angeles
for National Geographic News
September 14, 2004
The worlds of the wild and vast grasslands of southern Africa's Kalahari region and the meticulously manicured mansions of Beverly Hills couldn't be much further apart.

So Roy Sesana would be forgiven for looking a little bewildered as he took the stage at an Amnesty International fundraiser to tell a glitzy Hollywood crowd gathered at musician Jackson Browne's Beverly Hills home about the plight of his Bushmen people. full article

Cry of Excluded Brings 1 Million to the Streets of Brazil      

The participation of indigenous people in the 2004 Cry of the Excluded protest brought the issue of their presence in urban areas of the country to the surface. In Campo Grande, MS, the Cry brought together 700 people in the Água Bonita settlement, which is located on the outskirts of the capital city.

In Manaus, state of Amazonas, where, according to IBGE, there are around 18,000 indigenous people, the speeches made by the people during the Cry drew attention to their presence in the city and to the challenges and difficulties generated by this situation.

The Cry has taken place for the last 10 years on September 7. This is the same day as the official commemorations to celebrate Brazil’s independence, and has become established as an event marked by the presence of social movements full article

Colombian Indians protest against war abuses
14 Sep 2004 15:29:41 GMT
Source: Reuters
BOGOTA, Colombia, Sept 14 (Reuters) - About 40,000 Indians from southwest Colombia marched on Tuesday to protest against abuse of their communities by forces fighting the country's 40-year-old war.

The demonstration followed an action last week in which hundreds of Paez Indians, armed only with decorated sticks, pressured Marxist guerrillas into releasing two kidnapped community leaders in the jungle region of Caqueta. full article

The Orations of Zell Miller

The Peckerwood Pericles


"If the fellow was sincere, then so was P.T. Barnum. The word is disgraced and degraded by such uses. He was, in fact, a charlatan, a mountebank, a zany without any shame or dignity. What animated him from end to end of his grotesque career was simply ambition - the ambition of a common man to get his hand upon the collar of his superiors, or, failing that, to get his thumb into their eyes. He was born with a roaring voice, and it had the trick of inflaming half-wits against their betters, that he himself might shine."

Anno 1925, H.L. Mencken penned those uncharitable words about William Jennings Bryan after the letter exited both his public career and the realm of the animate. Anno 2004, as the Hon. Zell Miller, senior Senator from Georgia, approaches the end of his public career, the nation - or at least that portion of it that still possesses of a sense of irony - wishes the Sage of Baltimore could be living at this hour, so as to properly limn the life and works of this latest personification of a recurring American archetype: the country-fried demagogue.

Bryan himself was hardly the purest example of this species: he was born in Nebraska and as candidate for president held economic views that today, a century later, Sean Hannity would denounce as socialist. The true hatchery of genus demogogus is the Deep South: that intellectual Gobi where Kudzu strangles the Magnolia even as revivalism strangles thought. full article

Monday, September 13, 2004

Glenn Morris AKA Mr. Trouble according to the Rocky Mountain News

This from the editorial board's "On Point" section in Today's(sep 13) commentary page of the Rocky Mountain News.


Glenn Morris is stirring up a hornet's nest again in advance of Denver's annual Columbus Day parade, which he condemns as racist. This time, he's calling for mass protests against the parade on Oct. 9 near Coors Field.

The irony is that the local leader of the American Indian Movement insists on invoking the First Amendment when in fact in the past he has trampled on the free speech rights of others. Six years ago, for instance, he led the disruption of a presidential town meeting on race on the Auraria campus, shouting down a number of distinguished guests.

Thankfully, the city is committed to preventing a repeat of Morris' deplorable 1992 antics, when he intimidated parade organizers into canceling the event shortly before it was scheduled to begin.

- Rocky Mountain News

This editorial appeared one day after another editorial in which the Rocky Mountain News(RMN) editorial board whined about the fact that the Cheyenne Arapaho had the audacity to push for the return of their homelands. For those that don't know, the Rocky Mountain News was responsible for creating the atmosphere, and incitement of Indian hatred that led to the massacre of Cheyenne and Arapaho families at Sand Creek. This was an act for which the Rocky Mountain News has never apologized. The Rocky did find the time to apologize for creating an atmosphere that led to the lynching of a man in downtown Denver, but such an act of conscience did not extend to the Cheyenne and Arapahoe families who were butchered at Sand Creek.

We will be putting these actions, by the Rocky Mountain News, into their proper context shortly, but first a few comments about "Mr Trouble."

Glenn Morris is not calling for massive protests on October 9, 2004. The American Indian Movement of Colorado is calling for massive protests on October 9, 2004. Glenn Morris is also not "the leader" of Colorado AIM, but rather is on the Leadership Council. As such, he takes his direction from, and issues his statements on behalf of, the entire membership of the Denver/Boulder Chapter of the American Indian Movement.

Also, a little lesson on the 1st amendment is in order for the RMN. Glenn Morris may represent the membership of the Denver/Boulder Chapter, when asked to do so, but he is not a member of Congress, which is the entity that the 1st Amendment applies to.

The "presidential town hall" referred to was actually Bill Clinton's race initiative, which was convened to examine race relations in the U.S. There were no American Indians represented at the Town Hall, held in Denver, so Colorado AIM and a myriad of Indigenous organizations arrived to make their voices heard. Rather than silencing others, Colorado AIM was giving voice to the unrepresented indigenous community. How was a dialogue about race relations to occur without the original peoples being invited? Somehow, this question never occurs to the RMN which would rather see Indigenous Peoples shoved out of mind and out of sight.

The RMN also is fond of using the word "violence" and "intimidation" when referring to Colorado AIM's protest of the Columbus Convoy of Conquest. Those threats have never come from AIM, and the RMN can't point to a single incident of violence committed by Colorado AIM during the Columbus protests. The only atmosphere of intimidation and violence created, is created by the RMN in its attempt to whip up anti-indian hysteria. If the RMN is looking for blood, then it need only to look at its own hands to find it.

And one last thing. No one in the Ndn community ever refers to Glenn Morris as "Mr. Trouble." No, we all know him as "Mr. Has a great volleyball serve."

Glenn Morris to appear on Boyles Show-listen online

Colorado AIM leadership council member, Glenn Morris, can be heard on the "Peter Boyles Show," Wednesday morning at 7 a.m. Glenn will be discussing the Legacy of Columbus

The Peter Boyles show is hosted on 650 KHOW. You can listen online by filling out a free register form. To get to Peter Boyles site, click this KHOW LINK

articles-september 13

Attorney argues for release of Peltier documents from FBI

BUFFALO, N.Y. Supporters of imprisoned American Indian activist Leonard Peltier (pehl-TEER') are accusing the government of withholding documents in his case to cover up misconduct in its investigation 30 years ago.
A Peltier attorney was in federal court in Buffalo today to ask a judge to order the release of documents from the F-B-I's field office there.

The F-B-I has already given attorney Michael Kuzma nearly 800 pages that he requested under the Freedom of Information Act. But Kuzma wants the 15 pages that the F-B-I withheld, citing national security and other concerns. full article

War dance highlights fight to save heritage

A plan to raise Shasta Dam worries tribe

By M.S. Enkoji -- Bee Staff Writer
Published 2:15 am PDT Monday, September 13, 2004
Get weekday updates of Sacramento Bee headlines and breaking news. Sign up here.
SHASTA LAKE - Overlooking the deep blue of Shasta Lake, flames rose from rubbing two sticks together as the evening breeze picked up chanting and the sun disappeared Sunday.

It's the beginning of a war dance. The Winnemem Indians, or "Middle Water" people, say they are in a fight to preserve their culture.

For four days straight they will dance a dance older than the lake for reasons as new as the motorboats skimming its surface: There is talk of raising the lake level.

The last time the Winnemem danced this way, there was no Shasta Dam. There was no Bureau of Reclamation. But there was the river. full article

Tribes hope to protect ancient sites

Developer to preserve cultural resources, Hughes officials say

For more than 1,000 years, tribes from at least three American Indian cultures came to a place overlooking what is now the Las Vegas Valley to feast on agave, hunt bighorn sheep and etch symbols of their lifestyles in the sandstone outcroppings kn- own as Little Red Rocks.

It was a crossroads for bands of Southern Paiute, tribes from the lower Colorado River and the Anasazi from the Virgin River who have long since vanished but left reminders of their distinctive, fired pottery and paintings on rock walls.

This stretch of high desert that reaches from about 3,000 feet to a mile high in elevation had what the Indians needed to survive in the harsh climate. full article

Poet shares pride in Catawba heritage

By Denyse Clark The Herald
(Published September 13‚ 2004)
CATAWBA INDIAN RESERVATION -- A poem about a tribal member's response to cultural identity is garnering the Catawba Indian Nation much attention.

The poem, "Funny, You Don't Look It," is Beckee Garris' response to someone who questioned her American Indian heritage.

Garris' 20-line, freestyle poem is included in the exhibit "We're Still Here: Native Americans in the Southeast," which opened Friday at the Levine Museum of the New South in Charlotte. It also will be translated into the Catawba language and shared at the tribe's annual Yap Ye Iswa festival in November. full article

Honoring the fallen: Pipe ceremony salutes Nez Perce battle at Canyon Creek

Of The Gazette Staff
LAUREL - The weather 127 years ago was terrible - wet, cold and howling with nearly gale-force winds.

The Nez Perce and the U.S. Army were surprised to find each other at Canyon Creek on Sept. 13, 1877. But Col. Samuel Sturgis, intent on intercepting the Nez Perce, hoped to cut off the tribe after a summerlong chase sparked by the tribe's refusal to confine themselves to a small patch of reservation land in Idaho.

Both sides exchanged fire until sundown, maneuvering across the dusty battlefield and rocky cliffs.

When it was over, three Nez Perce were dead and three U.S. soldiers were dead, according to most estimates. Sturgis would not be able to claim a victory at Canyon Creek and the pursuit continued for nearly another month. full article

How Do You Say "Death Squad?"

Language in Colombia's War


In war, word choice is important. Everyone can hear the difference between calling civilian deaths 'collateral damage' and calling them 'crimes against humanity,' between using 'freedom fighters' or 'terrorists' to describe rebel groups. What about different ways of naming Colombia's rightist death squads?

Newspaper editors have a number of options when deciding how to mention these groups. And their choices matter. When headlines in Beijing's Xinhua news wire and the London daily Guardian call them "rebels" (August 6 and May 14, respectively), readers can be forgiven for assuming these groups oppose the Colombian government.

In fact, the death squads' leaders have always described their mission as supporting the State. And human rights organizations have documented hundreds of cases of cooperation between Colombia's Armed Forces and the death squads. full article

The Real Reason We're In Iraq
by Harley Sorensen
We should get out of Iraq immediately. Let me explain ...

But, first, bear in mind why we're in Iraq. It has nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction, and it has nothing to do with the brutal dictatorship of Saddam Hussein.

It has a lot to do with ambition.

Before we invaded Iraq, our politicians told us that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction in great quantities. Secretary of State Colin Powell even went to the United Nations and described Iraq's cache in detail, down to the pound of certain weapons.

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld told us that not only did Iraq have these weapons but he knew exactly where they were. full article

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Progressive Italians

This letter to the editor appeared in the Boulder Weekly. It dispels the notion that Italian-Americans uniformly support the Celebration of the man responsible for the Genocide of the Indigenous Peoples of Hispanola.

Real heritage

This letter is in response to the permit that has been issued for yet another Columbus Day Parade. Be it known that not everyone who opposes such a "march," as it has now become, are Native Americans. We, who are of Italian descent, speak for many others who would not put their names to paper for fear of retribution from relatives and friends who belong to the Sons of Italy, the major organizers. But they join us in spirit in our goal to celebrate our heritage in a way that honors us.

Statement in support of a respectful celebration of Italian heritage:

We, as progressive Italians, support a holiday to celebrate our Italian-American culture and heritage and to honor the vast contributions of people of Italian descent to both America and the world at large.

However, we absolutely condemn the celebration of Columbus as an Italian cultural icon. Columbus’ exploitation, enslavement and mass murder in the Caribbean far outweigh any of his nautical achievements. As an agent of Spain, Columbus was just the first in a line of conquistadors who began systematic enslavement of the indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere. He is not widely celebrated in Italy, Spain or in any of the nations in the current area of his colonies.

The celebration of Columbus in the United States is based upon an outdated notion of "discovery" that completely ignores the history of brutal colonization endured by native people, as well as archaeological evidence that the people who lived in this hemisphere for many centuries prior to his arrival had advanced democratic societies.

As progressive Italians we feel it is important that we speak out against racism and oppression. No other celebration of cultural heritage in this country is as divisive as the celebration of Columbus Day. We believe we should honor people who truly deserve to be recognized for their achievements like Italian-Americans Fiorello La Guardia, Anne Bancroft, Salvador Luria and Henry Mancini, as well as Italian renaissance artists, philosophers and inventors such as Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Galileo and Machiavelli.

Any celebration of Italian culture and heritage should be a day to bring people together, not split them apart. We feel that any well-deserved celebration of Italian heritage should be a respectful celebration of which all cultures can be proud.

Debbie Tate/Thornton

You can read the original article Here

Friday, September 10, 2004

AP article-Colorado AIM/Columbus Day

Protests Planned For Columbus Day Parade

Sep 10, 2004 11:29 am US/Mountain
DENVER (AP) The American Indian Movement will again protest the city's Columbus Day parade, which is being sponsored by an Italian civic group.

AIM has protested the city's annual parade off and on since 1990, saying that explorer Christopher Columbus should not be celebrated because he nearly destroyed American Indians. Leaders said they had hoped that the parade's sponsor would rename the Oct. 9 event the "Italian Heritage Day" parade, a change they have asked for before.

"Our hope was that they would try to take their parade to a different moral plane so we wouldn't get into a competition again," Glenn Morris of AIM said Thursday. "We're calling for a nonviolent, direct action against racism in the streets of Denver on the day of Columbus hate speech."

Parade organizer George Vendegnia said he would not meet with the activists or Mayor John Hicklenlooper to work out their differences.

"We, as Americans, have the right to hold the parade under any name we like," he said. "It's a national holiday on the calendar in every state. As long as it remains one, we'll celebrate it."
Columbus Day has been a state holiday in Colorado since 1905.

The parade was halted in 1992, when participants were met by thousands of angry protesters. original article

Each year, the media chooses to use the words "violent" "angry" "thuggish" etc, to describe the demonstration. Colorado AIM is not the organization that has the Hells Angels and riot clad cops on our side of the barricades. A convoy consisting almost exclusively of humvees, semi-trailers and motorcycle gangs would seem to be a strange representation of pride in one's culture. That is until you understand who Columbus was, what he did to the Indigenous Peoples and what he stands for.

Colorado AIM's Press Release about convoy of conquest

This article appeared in today's Rocky Mountain Post.

Columbus Day protest brews

Parade will continue, opponents will mass

By April M. Washington, Rocky Mountain News
September 10, 2004

The saber rattling over the Columbus Day parade began Thursday, a week after Denver granted an Italian group a parade permit.

The American Indian Movement called on supporters to wage a massive protest against the Oct. 9 parade near Coors Field.

AIM did not apply for a parade permit, saying it instead proposed that the Italian group rename the parade in honor of "Italian Heritage Day" - a proposal that's been made before.

"Our hope was that they would try to take their parade to a different moral plane so we wouldn't get into a competition again," said Glenn Morris of AIM, which has protested the Columbus Day parade in Denver on and off since 1990. "We're calling for a nonviolent, direct action against racism in the streets of Denver on the day of Columbus hate speech."

Protesters al-so urged Mayor John Hickenlooper to condemn the parade and create a new model for transforming the holiday.

George Vendegnia, the Columbus Day parade organizer, denounced the protesters' "usual tactics" and said he would not meet with leaders or the mayor again this fall to try to reach common ground.

"We, as Americans, have the right to hold the parade under any name we like," said Vendegnia. "It's a national holiday on the calendar in every state. As long as it remains one, we'll celebrate it."

In recent years, Denver's Columbus Day events have become a part of a debate over whether Christopher Columbus - a heroic explorer to some and murderer of native people to others - should be revered or hated.

The threat of protest comes despite the city's efforts in recent months to prevent clashes between Italian and American Indian groups.

In the article, George Vendegnia, once again, displays his ignorance by claiming that Columbus Day is a national holiday in every state. Apparently, he's never seen what that day is celebraed as, in South Dakota.

Mayor John Hickenlooper was challenged to condemn the parade because the previous mayor, Wellington Webb, displayed the moral courage to condemn the KKK rallies held, in Denver, in the early 1990's. Colorado AIM feels that Hickenlooper might have the internal fortitude to match the efforts of his predecessor.

Also, no one from Colorado AIM is asking to meet with anyone from the SOI. As our Press Statement explains, we've conducted the Four Direction March for the past three years, in order to show them, by example, how one holds a respectful march. This year is the fourth year and the cycle is completed for such a model. That 4 years ends on Friday night and Colorado AIM is bound by no pledges of any sort, beginning on Saturday morning.

This is the press release that was quoted from in the article

COLORADO AIM Denounces Sons of Italy,
New Generation plans for "Convoy of Conquest" in LoDo

AIM Calls for Massive Opposition to Racism on October 9

Once again, the Sons of Italy (SOI) and their cohorts, have wasted an opportunity to transform a day of distrust and animosity into a mutually-respectful, multicultural celebration of Italian heritage. The SOI has again obtained a permit for its racist and bigoted celebration of the Indian-killer and slave trader, Christopher Columbus.

Last year, as for the past three years, the Transform Columbus Day Alliance, of which Colorado AIM is a member, has invited and requested (see attachment) the organizers of the Columbus hate speech display, to abandon the veneration of one of the most repressive figures in the history of the Western Hemisphere.

Last year, a respected American Indian elder, the late Wallace Black Elk, and Columbine High School massacre' survivor, Richard Castaldo, jointly delivered a request for the Columbus marchers to abandon Columbus. Instead, the request suggested that a common ground be found, upon which people from all communities in the Denver region could join to celebrate Italian-American culture, and all cultures. The request was not only refused, it was ridiculed by the SOI.

Colorado AIM, believing that more progressive leaders in the Italian-American community might inspire a change of heart among the SOI, did not compete for a parade permit for the weekend of October 9th. The SOI proceeded with its plan to continue its selfish, anti-American Indian escapade, without regard for the harm that it creates to the people of Denver, and without regard to historical accuracy or to common decency.

The SOI calls its travesty a "parade," but it clearly is not a parade. Parades have balloons and laughing children and a festive atmosphere. What occurs in honor of Columbus is a "Convoy of Conquest" a "Procession of Prejudice." There are no festive moments, no squealing children, no inclusive celebrations. Instead, there are lines of Hell's Angels bikers, a few semi-trucks, and some stretch limos and Humvees to compensate for the ridiculously small size of the entire event. Any eyewitness for the past few years can attest that this "parade" does not even have any spectators, unless one counts the 600 riot-clad Denver Police who are required to defend the racists.

Some might ask, if the parade is so ridiculous and pitiful, then why protest it? Colorado AIM's position is this: the celebration of Columbus Day is the celebration of the destruction of indigenous peoples and nations, pure and simple. Columbus Day began as a state holiday in Colorado in 1905, and Colorado AlM feels a unique responsibility to confront the racism inherent in the holiday, in its birthplace.

The "Convoy of Conquest" which is scheduled for Saturday, October 9th, is designed for one purpose - and that purpose is not the celebration of Italian pride. The purpose is the assertion of power, the assertion that those who came to conquer indigenous peoples have won in their mission, and to reinforce (with the protection of the Denver Police Department SWAT Team) that they can flaunt their domination through their hateful, anti-Indian displays.

For the past four years, the Transform Columbus Day Alliance has attempted to provide an alternative model for the people of Colorado and America. We have brought together the All Nations - Four Directions March, to prove that respectful, multiracial cultural celebrations are not only desirable, but are achievable. We have brought thousands of people together, from across the continent, in our hope that Columbus hate speech might be abandoned, but the SOI keeps the hatred alive.

In response to the SOI’s blatant, bigoted insistence:

* Colorado AIM calls for all people of conscience to confront this ''Convoy of Conquest." We call for non-violent, direct action against racism in the streets of Denver on the day of the Columbus hate speech, Saturday, October 9, 2004,

*Colorado AIM calls on Mayor John Hickenlooper to condemn the racism inherent in the celebration of Columbus, and to create a new model for transforming the Columbus holiday, in Denver, its birthplace.

* Colorado AIM calls on all elected officials to transform the hateful Columbus legacy by replacing Columbus holidays and celebrations with events and holidays that are more historically accurate and respectful.

* In the coming days, Colorado AIM will announce plans for a national campaign to transform the Columbus legacy nationally and internationally.

articles-september 10

The American Pathology
Understanding the roots of oppression

Posted: September 10, 2004 - 11:34am EST

Behold in these pages this week an interesting and perhaps uniquely Indian discussion: perspectives on the roots of the American conquest mythology - seeking to understand the origins of the particular American belief that continues to justify the destruction of Native cultures and the taking of Native peoples’ assets, particularly lands and political rights to independent cultural and economic self-governance.

This might be heresy to the "true believers" in America, but among Indian thinkers these days, as has been the case for many generations, the question of what drives the voracious American appetite to own the Indian world has always been an honorable one. As Indian cultures have their own creation stories and subsequent cultural and legal histories, so the fundamental culture of the American mainstream requires study and understanding. Every new Indian generation, believe it, will examine these questions in the ongoing search for understanding of the justifications for the theft of their lands, resources, freedoms and even identities, and in their continued quest for actual justice. The perspective of Oglala Chief Red Cloud, who said in the 1890s, "They made us many promises, but they only kept but one: They promised to take our land and they took it," remains a topic of discussion. (Consider, too, David Monongwe, Hopi elder, at the United Nations in 1977: "They say they took our land, but where did they take it?") full article

Newcomb: On America’s pathological behavior toward Native peoples

Posted: September 10, 2004 - 11:31am EST
by: Steven Newcomb / Columnist / Indian Country Today
According to Steven L. Winter, in his book "A Clearing in the Forest: Law, Life, and Mind" (2001), recent findings in cognitive science (study of the human mind) reveal that the mind functions largely by means of metaphors and other cognitive operations. Metaphor is thinking of one thing in terms of something else. As Winter explains, cognitive science has revealed that all thought is innately imaginative, and metaphor is one of the ways that human beings use the imaginative power of human thought.

But the question arises, are some metaphors and other mental processes more likely to lead to thoughts and behavior that are dehumanizing and pathological? For example, if one group of people thinks of and dehumanizes another group of people as "beasts," or sub-human, isn’t this likely to lead to negative, perhaps even heinous behavior towards the people being labeled? Is it correct to consider such negative thoughts and behavior to be pathological? full article

Mohawk: Mythological America is an unjust society

Posted: September 10, 2004 - 11:28am EST
by: John C. Mohawk / Columnist / Indian Country Today
The roots of America’s persistent injustices to its indigenous peoples, and to other peoples generally, are found in what can best be described as the peculiarly American version of Christianity. You could hear references to this phenomenon in recent political conventions, in references to President Ronald Reagan’s allusions to a "city upon a hill," which is a reference to John Winthrop’s sermon of 1830. In that work, Winthrop called upon the Puritans to act as though God was living among them and asserted that they were his chosen people, that the eyes of "all people are uponn us," and "... that the Lord our God may blesse us in the land whether wee goe to possess it ..." These Englishmen who were about to land in "New England" were claiming the God of Israel, that they were somehow modern Israelites, a "chosen people," chosen to possess the earth.

To the rest of the Christian world, such words must sound like heresy. You can tell you are a member of an irrational, potentially dangerous group when your beliefs are such that if you were the only person in the world who held such beliefs, you would be universally declared as mentally challenged. John Winthrop believed that God had blessed a small band of English religious misfits and political refugees with the right to all the riches in the world. It is an endless entitlement, not restricted to New England, not, apparently restricted to land or money. When God gives you an entitlement, you cannot do wrong, because everything you do is in pursuit of God’s will. And everything leads to paradise or utopia. Reason does not impact this argument. full article

McSloy: ‘Because the Bible tells me so’
Manifest Destiny and American Indians

Posted: September 10, 2004 - 11:23am EST
by: Steven Paul McSloy / Co-chair / Native American Practice / Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP
The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly fatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much. What redeems it is the idea only. An idea at the back of it; not a sentimental pretense but an idea; and an unselfish belief in the idea - something you can set up, and bow down before.
- Joseph Conrad,
‘The Heart of Darkness’

Why were American Indian lands taken? The easy answer, of course, is that the Europeans wanted land and the Indians had it. But why did the Europeans think they could take it? We are told that the first settlers of America were moral and religious people. Why then did even the first poor and hungry Pilgrims, pious people with no military power whatsoever, believe that they were entitled to dominion over Indians and their lands? full article

Senecas lose cases in 2 land claims
Appeals court rejects Grand Island, Thruway sales lawsuits
By JOEL STASHENKO, Associated Press
First published: Friday, September 10, 2004

ALBANY -- A federal appeals court Thursday backed the state against claims by the Seneca Nation of Indians that New York's appropriation of Grand Island in 1815 and a portion of the route for the state Thruway in 1954 were invalid.

In separate rulings, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld federal judges' findings that the land transactions were proper

Lawyers for the Senecas had argued that an easement negotiated by the state Thruway Authority for land to build the state Thruway through the Senecas' Cattaraugus reserve about 30 miles south of Buffalo was improper. The Indian nation got $75,000 for the easement and individual landowners were also compensated for their property. full article

Summit set between S.D., tribal leaders
By Denise Ross, Journal Staff Writer

RAPID CITY - A meeting planned for Saturday, Sept. 25, of South Dakota's nine tribal presidents, Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., and most or all of South Dakota's other top elected leaders will make history, according to Tim Giago, longtime newspaper publisher and brief U.S. Senate candidate.
The five-hour invitation- only meeting, which Giago says should be dubbed the "Sioux Summit," will be at Crazy Horse Memorial near Custer. Members of the public and the media will not be allowed in, according to organizers.

"In my time here, 25 years as a reporter, editor and publisher, there has never been a meeting like this held," Giago said. "This goes back to the days of the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868. They are coming with open hearts to lay all the problems they think need to be solved on the table." full article

Extinction looms for Yukon languages: report
Last Updated Thu, 09 Sep 2004 15:38:31 EDT

WHITEHORSE - At least two First Nations languages in the Yukon are on the verge of extinction and more will follow unless something is done, according to a new study by Yukon's Aboriginal Language Services.

The report's conclusions, which come after years of work and fluency assessments, says the Han and Tagish languages are in the most dire state, with only a few true speakers remaining. At least eight languages are indigenous to the Yukon.

Two out of 10 aboriginal people are learning their native language, mostly through informal means such as on hunting trips in the bush and during traditional activities instead of in the classroom. full article

Thursday, September 09, 2004

articles-september 09

Tribe pleads land suit in SJC

BOSTON - Tribe members of the Aquinnah Wampanoag told the state's top court yesterday that their status as a federally recognized tribe exempts them from local zoning bylaws in a dispute over the construction of a shed and pier that pits the tribe against the state attorney general.

The Supreme Judicial Court isn't expected to decide the case for several months, but it could have broad implications over the state's and town's ability to impose zoning and building regulations over the Aquinnah, which is the only federally recognized Indian tribe in Massachusetts. full article

Kids in danger, adults at odds

Alaska tribes want to handle child abuse cases on their own, but the state thinks it might do a better job.

By Kyle Hopkins

Imagine you're a single mother living in a Native village with four children. A babysitter notices one of your kids has a burn that you can't explain. A state social worker investigates and decides to remove your kids from the village and place them with foster parents. You want them back, but don't trust the state or the social worker. Soon the foster parents discover something strange - your kids are terrified of taking a bath. The social worker wonders if this is because you abused or neglected them.

What he doesn't realize is that because you live in a village with no running water, your kids have always washed with a basin and cloth. Then your luck changes. Your village's tribal court assigns a Native social worker who also grew up without faucets. You trust her because she is Native, because she understands life and parenting in rural Alaska are different than in places like Anchorage or Fairbanks. She clears up the abuse allegations and brings your children home. full article

Diné Bitzill: Navajo public in the dark
By Jim Snyder/The Daily Times
Sep 9, 2004, 09:49 pm
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WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — A Navajo grassroots coalition will call upon the Navajo government today to hire an outside law firm to perform an independent analysis of the proposed Navajo Nation water rights settlement.

The Diné Bitzill Navajo Strength coalition wants a delegate-sponsored resolution on this fall’s Navajo Council session agenda mandating an analysis be performed to give the Navajo people a clearer idea of what the settlement means. The coalition is holding a news conference at 1 p.m. at the Diné Quality Inn Restaurant in Window Rock to announce its intention.

“The concern is the Navajo people still have not been fully informed of the political and legal ramifications of the agreement,” said Norman Patrick Brown, one of the coalition leaders, in an interview Wednesday. full article

Woman wages battle against LNG terminal

INDIAN TOWNSHIP - She is the lone voice hoping to get her message out loud and clear - no liquefied natural gas terminal unless all Passamaquoddy have a say in it. Stephanie Bailey has been carrying petitions door-to-door in this small community to force the Passamaquoddy Joint Tribal Council to address the jurisdictional issue. The joint tribal council is made up of tribal councilors and governors from Indian Township and Pleasant Point.

Bailey believes that a recent vote at Pleasant Point effectively ignored the desires and wishes of tribal members at Indian Township.

In June, members of the Passamaquoddy at Pleasant Point approved a referendum question that allowed tribal leaders to enter into a working arrangement with Quoddy Bay LLC of Tulsa, Okla.

The energy development partnership recently announced a proposal to build a $300 million terminal on 42 acres of tribal land. The proposal estimates that as many as 1,000 jobs could be created during the construction phase and more than 70 full-time jobs once the facility is up and running. full article

Protesters occupy Native burial site
Wednesday 08 September @ 14:41:37
Halt construction near 494 and light rail

By Alexa Kocinski

Dozens of Native Americans and sympathetic protesters have spent much of the past two weeks occupying an overgrown acre in Bloomington where a construction crew has uncovered an apparent Dakota burial ground. The nonviolent protest placed the Mdewakanton Dakota tribe at odds with the Minnesota’s official Native American advocacy group, who want the 200-odd bones moved to a state-recognized burial ground across the street.
Archaeologists discovered the bones August 26 as part of a pre-construction survey. McGough Construction plans to build a $100 million retail and real estate development on the surrounding 45 acres, which border the light-rail transit station due to open in December.

Word quickly leaked to Jim Anderson, cultural chair of the Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Community, who said he visited the site that day, and met Jim Jones of the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council (MIAC), the state’s official Native American relations bureau. When Jones said the bones were to be ceremonially relocated to a nearby official burial ground, Anderson and others in his tribe sent out a call for volunteers to occupy the site. full article

Soft drinks - Diabetes in a can
Facing increased risk of Type 2 diabetes

Posted: September 09, 2004 - 3:01pm EST
by: Brenda Norrell / Southwest Staff Reporter / Indian Country Today
PHOENIX - Soft drinks increase a person’s chance of developing Type 2 diabetes, a fact long suspected in southern Arizona Indian country where soft drinks often replace water and diabetes rates are the highest in the world.

"Women who were drinking sugar-sweetened soft drinks every day, or more than once a day, had an 80 percent increase in risk of diabetes compared with women who hardly ever drank sugared sodas," said Dr. Meir Stampher of Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, following the release of new national research.

"Rates of diabetes are skyrocketing. At the same time, over the last couple of decades, consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages has increased."

The diabetes and soft drink research appeared in the August 25 issue of JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association. full article

Road to recovery: Tulalip woman hopes it’s not too late

Posted: September 09, 2004 - 2:55pm EST
by: Richard Walker / Correspondent / Indian Country Today
TULALIP, Wash. - By the time you read this, Rita Matta will probably be behind bars, as will her husband. She will have been banished from living on the Tulalip reservation for five years and will have lost the home she was 14 months from paying off.

But Matta pledged to go to prison clean and sober - and to help turn the tide of substance abuse by spreading the word about treatment.
Matta, 53, was arrested in her Tulalip home Jan. 1 after she sold crack to an undercover officer. She was arrested in a sweep by Tulalip tribal police and federal agents; eight homes, including one meth lab, were busted.

In federal court, Matta and her husband, Dana, asked for treatment. Rita was admitted into a 60-day program, Dana a 28-day program. She admits having used cocaine for 14 years and being treated five times for crack. She was clean for two weeks, two years ago. full article

Good medicine for the world

Posted: September 09, 2004 - 2:58pm EST
by: Roberto Dansie / Correspondent / Indian Country Today
Indian America has given medicines, food, resources and wisdom to the four corners of the Earth, literally touching every single member of the human family of today. Indian wisdom has given us corn, a crop that through thousands of years of careful breeding, Indian farmers adapted to any weather and any kind of land. Today, corn grows over a larger area than does any other cultivated food in the world. Indian America gave the world potatoes, tomatoes, beans, pumpkins, squash, chocolate (cacao), vanilla, papayas, chilies, hickory nuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds, maple syrup, avocados, pineapples and many other plants and products.

The economies of many nations now depend on these Indian crops. The United States leads the world in maize production. Russia is the world’s producer of potatoes and sunflowers. China leads in the production of sweet potatoes, India in peanut production and West Africa in the production of cacao. full article

Friday, September 03, 2004

Peabody Coal attempting to drain more resources from Black Mesa

In, the past, we've covered the struggle of Black Mesa residents as they've fought the exploitation of their territory by Peabody Coal.

Peabody Coal taps the Navajo Aquifer, which lies underneath the Black Mesa lands. The water is pumped aboveground where the coal is extracted, crushed and pumped in a slurry mixture, through a 273 mile pipeline, to Southern California Edison's Mohave Generating Station in Laughlin, Nevada. The coal produces 3% of Southern California's electricity. The average draw, from the Navajo Aquifer, is 3.3 million gallons a day.

Peabody Coal must submit applications to the Office of Surface Mining (OSM) whenever they want new permits. This alert, about that process and what Peabody Coal is now seeking, comes courtesy of the Black Mesa Water Coalition.


Write a LETTER or download a postcard & send it to OSM the PUBLIC COMMENTING period ends SEPT. 15th, 2004!!!

Peabody Coal Company is asking the Office Of Surface Mining (OSM) for:

-MORE Black Mesa COAL! Peabody is proposing a 20% increase in coal production
-MORE WATER! They want 6,600 acre-feet from the Coconino Aquifer, an aquifer that supplies water to many Northern Arizona communities and springs.
-CONTINUED USE of the N-AQUIFER! Continued pumping of the Navajo Aquifer through 2008, if not indefinitely!
- a COAL WASHING facility! This facility would use potential drinking water and fill impoundments with toxic materials
-Sealed MINING RIGHTS! Peabody seeks to seal in mining rights until at least 2025 -and MORE! For a copy of Peabody's application contact our office.


Jerry D. Gavette, Black Mesa/Kayenta Mine Team Leader
Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement
P.O. Box 46667 Denver, Colorado 80201-6667
  or E-mail your comments to Jerry Gavette at: BlackMesa_Comments@osmre.gov

Honorable Gale Norton, Secretary
U.S. Department of Interior
18 th & C Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20240

For more information Contact Us or Black Mesa Trust www.blackmesatrust.org

Here's is another release from Black Mesa Trust

An environmental and cultural tragedy is occurring on the Hopi and Navajo reservations in Northeastern Arizona. For over 30 years, Peabody Coal Company has pumped 1.3 billion gallons of pure drinking water from the Navajo Aquifer beneath Black Mesa. Already, more than 40 billion gallons of water -- enough to sustain the entire Hopi Tribe for over 350 years -- have been pumped to move coal from Black Mesa to the Mohave Generating Station in Nevada, 273 miles away.

In addition, Peabody has constructed 222 ponds or impoundments, eight of which hold 4,400 acre feet (af) of water. Peabody's impoundments and groundwater pumping have drastically reduced flows through once perennial washes -- such as Moencopi -- and have caused vital springs to go dry. Peabody denies any major impacts, but Hopi and Navajo residents have seen dramatic decreases in the water availability for even the most basic of their needs.

In spite of mounting opposition and thousands of comments submitted to the Office of Surface Mining (OSM) in 2002, Peabody -- the world's largest coal company -- continues to seek more resources, more water.
In July 2004, Peabody submitted a revision application to OSM to combine Black Mesa mine into its Kayenta Mine. With this application, Peabody seeks to:
- Increase its coal production by 20%;
- Build a coal washing facility that will use precious drinking water and fill impoundments used by farmers with toxic materials;
- Lock in mining rights until at least 2025;
- Tap into 6,600 af of the Coconino Aquifer which supplies water to many Northern Arizona cities and numerous Grand Canyon springs, and
- Continue pumping from the N-Aquifer through 2008, if not indefinitely.
The Office of Surface Mining is accepting public comments on Peabody's application until September 15, 2004.
Send a message today:
Sign and mail the attached postcards. Or better yet, write your own letter.

Join us! Send contributions to:
Black Mesa Trust, P.O. Box 30456
Flagstaff, AZ 86003-0456

Get involved:
Peabody Coal reported profits of 2.8 billion dollars in 2003, while more than half the reservation residents live below the poverty line. Contact Black Mesa Trust at 928.213.9009 to volunteer your time.

Jerry D. Gavette, Black Mesa/Kayenta Mine Team Leader
Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement
P.O. Box 46667 Denver, Colorado 80201-6667

Or E-mail your comments to Jerry Gavette at:

Also send them to:
Honorable Gale Norton, Secretary
U.S. Department of Interior
18 th & C Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20240

Dear Mr. Gavette (or Secretary Norton),

Please accept these comments on Peabody Coal Company's recent mine application to the Office of Surface Mining. I urge you to treat Peabody's request as a new permit application, instead of a revision because of the adverse impacts it will have on the land, water, and cultures of Black Mesa.

Peabody's application is incomplete and must be subject to a new Environmental Impact Statement and Endangered Species Act review. Furthermore, Peabody must carry the burden of establishing that their application is in compliance with all federal, state, tribal, and local regulatory programs.

Despite substantial evidence that proves the negative impacts of Peabody's pumping from the N-Aquifer and in the face public demand that pumping from the Navajo Aquifer stop by the end of 2005, Peabody insists on using the N-Aquifer through 2008, if not indefinitely. Additionally, Peabody seeks to tap into another fresh water source, the Coconino Aquifer, for transporting and washing coal. The use of drinking water for this purpose is unacceptable.

The federal government has a special trust responsibility to Native American tribes. I urge you to live up to this responsiblity and deny Peabody's request.


Black Mesa Trust

Urgent support needed for Skwelkwek'welt

Action alert


Skwwelkwek'welt defenders will be traveling to Vancouver to represent
themselves during the Court hearing tomorrow. Court support is crucial to ensure that yet another building on Secwepemc Territories is not destroyed or bulldozed in blatant violation of Aboriginal Title and rights.

Friday Septemeber 3 @ 2 pm
Law Courts
800 Smithe Street

* Bring banners, placards and any recording (video/audio) equipment *

Sun Peaks is seeking an injunction and an enforcement order against the
Skwelkwek'welt Protection Center in the BC Supreme Court tomorrow.  The
provincial government is not seeking the injuction or enforcement order
but they support Sun Peaks in trying to get the injunction and enforcement

This motion by Sun Peaks comes after the provincial government served a
Trespass Notice on the Skwelkwek'welt Protection Center on August 29,
though the province has not yet acted to enforce the Tresspass Notice.

According to Arthur Manuel, "I think they are hesistant to move on their
Trespass notice because of the legal soundness of our argument, in light
of the Haida Decision. They are looking for something like a fight or army clothing or something that they used in the past to justify not having to deal with the constitutional aspect of the Trespass Notice."

==> Other ways of supporting the Skwelkwek'welt defenders are outlined on the website (letter writing, food/financial donations etc). The website also has comprehensive media coverage (including audio and video) and a chronology of documents, press releases etc over the past few weeks.

Now that the Skwelkwek'welt defenders are building yet another permanent
structure off-reserve on traditional Secwepemc territories (adjacent to
Sun Peaks golf course) as an assertion of their inherent and legal
Aborginal Title, it is imperative that we continue to support this crucial struggle. The position of no more expansion is very clear. The courage of the defenders in physically establishing themselves on traditional territories despite all odds - police, government and corporate harrasment, and risk of arrest - continue to inspire us.

==> Please check the website for future support work and a public meeting/ discussion next week.

In struggle,
Land, Freedom, Decolonization Coalition


Land, Freedom, Decolonization Coalition is a network of groups and
individuals in Vancouver from Native Youth Movement, Native Solidarity
Network, No One is Illegal, Refugees Against Racial Profiling, South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy, Palestine Community Center,
Anti-Poverty Committee, International Solidarity Movement, Bus Riders
Union, South Asian Youth Alliance, Friends and Families of Mexican
Political Prisoners, Committee for Solidarity with Columbia, and others.

articles-september 03

Ransom: Mohawks have a right to thrive, not just survive

Posted: September 03, 2004 - 9:47am EST
by: James W. Ransom / Chief / St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Council
All across Indian country, the undeniable right of tribal governments to provide for the well-being of their membership is under attack and, in some instances, is being systematically eroded by external agencies. The most recent encroachment into Native lands comes in Mohawk territory where the Internal Revenue Service is attempting to impose a regulation that would force custom agents to begin collecting a federal excise tax on the importation of fuel from Canada into our Native community.

It seems that all too many federal, state agencies and a slew of other organizations have lost sight of the primary role tribal governments provide - to ensure that Native peoples remain culturally and economically viable as distinct groups of people. These responsibilities include being able to provide and guarantee economic development opportunities where no others exist. This is even more important in remote regions of the country, like ours, that are termed "economically depressed" and are currently experiencing high unemployment rates. It is in these unique areas where the role of tribal governments is enhanced through the delivery of essential programs and employment opportunities its businesses provide to tribal members and the surrounding communities. full article

Court backs agency ruling on reservoir
Richmond Times-Dispatch
Friday, September 3, 2004

The Virginia Court of Appeals this week affirmed a state agency's decision to permit a proposed reservoir in King William County.

However, the court referred the related question of an Indian tribe's treaty rights to the state Supreme Court.

The Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that the State Water Control Board acted properly in granting Newport News a permit in 1997 to build the proposed reservoir on Cohoke Mill Creek and supply it with water from the Mattaponi River. full article

Ontario reserves demand inquiry into mercury poisoning
Last Updated Thu, 02 Sep 2004 23:59:51 EDT

GRASSY NARROWS, ONT. - Aboriginal leaders in northwestern Ontario are calling for a public inquiry after an international health expert said people living in the area are still showing effects of mercury poisoning.

Dr. Masazumi Harada, a world-renowned neurologist, said Thursday that the conditions of people exposed to mercury three decades ago have stayed the same or worsened.

During the 1970s, a paper plant dumped tonnes of mercury into the river systems that run through communities home to the White Dog and Grassy Narrows First Nations. full article

First Nation passes its own drug laws

WINNIPEG - The Fisher River First Nation has introduced a new bylaw that would increase the legal penalties for drug-related offences.

People who live on the Interlake-area reserve have seen the local drug problem escalate to addicted children and gang attacks motivated by the drug trade.

To deal with the problem, the band council passed a bylaw in June that makes it illegal to make, sell or possess narcotics – on top of Criminal Code offences for the same crimes. full article

Tribal cop involved in fatal shooting is target of lawsuit
Killed 17-year-old on reservation

Sam Lewin 9/3/2004
A tribal police officer being investigated for shooting a teenager to death is also the target of a separate probe into a civil rights violation.

Norman Boney Junior, 17, also known as “Manny,” was shot twice in July by Walker River Paiute Indian Reservation tribal police officer Walter Valline in the Las Vegas town of Schurz. He died at the scene. A later examination showed Boney was hit in the neck and the right side.

Valline is being sued for violating the rights of a motorist during a traffic stop in Crescent Valley in August 2003, according to the Lahontan Valley News. The suit alleges Valline assumed the motorist had been drinking and illegally searched his vehicle. The motorist was let go a short time later. Valline was working for the Eureka County Sheriff's Office at the time. full article

Canadian Indians May Sue to Block Arctic Gas Pipeline, CBC Says

Sept. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Canada's Deh Cho Indians will sue over construction of a natural-gas pipeline that would link fields in the Northwest Territories with the North American pipeline grid, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

The Deh Cho will file a suit in Northwest Territories Supreme Court this afternoon to stop an environmental assessment of the line because they don't have adequate representation on the panel that's carrying out the study, the CBC said, citing a news release from the Deh Cho.

Deh Cho want two representatives on the panel, CBC said on its Web site. The Dene National Assembly, another group of Northwest Territories Indians, supports the Deh Cho, the public broadcaster said, without citing a source. full article

Memorial to be built near birthplace of Geronimo
Mary Alice Murphy
Sep 2, 2004, 17:35

A memorial will be built near Geronimo's birthplace near the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument as a joint effort of Geronimo's family, Harlyn and Karen Geronimo of Mescalero; the Forest Service; the Trail of the Mountain Spirits Scenic Byway Committee; and the Silver City-Grant County Chamber of Commerce.

A workday is planned Saturday, Sept. 18, beginning at 9 a.m., to build a river-rock holder for a bronze plaque, which is being designed by J&J Signs to incorporate a photo of Geronimo, a Bedonkohe Apache leader of the Chiricahua Apache.

The memorial dedication will be held in early October.

"We put oral history and written history together to find the birthplace," Harlyn Geronimo said. "We made a trip up the canyon to the confluence of the Middle and West forks of the Gila River, where history said my great-grandfather was born. full article

LA Development Unearths Indian Grave Site, Controversy

Developers Promise Reburial Near Original Site

LOS ANGELES -- It was inevitable that crews building a massive housing development near west Los Angeles wetlands would unearth American Indian remains.

The ground had yielded bones before, but the extent of the latest find turned one corridor of a multibillion dollar project into a multimillion dollar archaeological dig.

Now about 400 remains of Gabrielino-Tongva tribal ancestors, the original inhabitants of the Los Angeles basin, are packed in boxes in a locked trailer near where they rested for hundreds of years. Delayed for 10 months by the excavation, the just-completed drainage channel built through the burial site will carry runoff from 6,000 properties to the Pacific Ocean less than a mile away. full article

Global Warming Thaws Arctic, Divides Governments

Sept. 3, 2004 — By Alister Doyle

OSLO (Reuters) - Global warming is set to accelerate in the Arctic and bring drastic change for people and wildlife in coming decades, according to a draft report that has opened cracks among nations in the region about how to slow the thaw.

"(The) Arctic climate is warming rapidly now and much larger changes are projected," according to the conclusions of the international study, compiled by 600 experts and due for release at a conference in Iceland in November.

Rising temperatures will disrupt life for people, bringing more storms and destabilizing everything from homes to oil pipelines. Melting glaciers could raise global sea levels and spoil habitats for creatures like polar bears, it says full article

Tough justice or soft touch in Koori Court?
September 4, 2004

The concept of black justice is winning over many, but others still aren't convinced. By Jewel Topsfield and Marc Moncrief.

Shannon Atkinson was drunk when he threatened his partner's mother with a carving knife. "I'm going to carve you up. Come on, I'll kill you," he shrieked in the small hours of the morning.

Neighbours managed to wrestle the knife away but Atkinson grabbed another one from the kitchen and flung it at his mother-in-law, the blade snapping as it ricocheted off a steel fence behind her head.

Six months later Atkinson finds himself in the Shepparton Koori Court before a magistrate, flanked by tough-talking Aboriginal elders "Aunty" Merle Bamblett and "Uncle" Colin Walker.

"I think you've got a problem with drink. We're all big men when we drink," Walker says, stony-faced. full article

S.F. Woman Hauled Away for Interrupting President

by Carla Marinucci

NEW YORK — -- It was more than a shock to end up on the floor of Madison Square Garden, five rows from the president, with a protester on top of me -- and security guards struggling to contain her.

But that happened Thursday night at the front of the California delegation section when -- in the middle of Bush's speech -- June Brashares, 40, of San Francisco, an activist with Code Pink, stood up on her chair and unfurled a banner that read, "Bush lies, people die.''

Just minutes before, the blue-suited Brashares had been in the crunch of delegates and press in the aisle when former Gov. Pete Wilson graciously offered his seat with a prime sight line to President Bush. Brashares was wearing an alternate delegate pass, and I stepped aside to let her sit down. full article

Be Prepared for the Fearmongers

by Scott Blackburn
Let's exercise a thought experiment for a moment. Sept. 11, 2001 was just a normal day and not a tragic historical event, we do not have a presidential election in less than three months, Bush's only lead in the polls is not in regard to the fight against terrorism, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq never occurred. Let us further pretend that Homeland Security was still formed for some reason. Today is Sept. 1, 2004. In eight days Homeland Security will announce that September is "National Preparedness Month." Does it seem odd to announce a national month long campaign nine days into that very month? Does that sound prepared? Does that sound like a month? Last time I checked the calendar, September has 30 days. Twenty-two days isn't even a month on a lunar calendar. Politics aside, it is still odd.

Let's get back to reality. To make ready beforehand is to be prepared. Homeland Security put out their press release on Aug. 10 so they have been in the planning stage for quite sometime. It's not likely that they came up with the idea on Aug. 9 of this year. In looking at the calendar (.pdf) put together by the America Prepared Campaign for this month, there are events planned before Sept. 9, so why, according to the American Red Cross, is there a "planned nationwide announcement on September 9 by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Tom Ridge declaring September as 'National Preparedness Month'"? It is all too obvious just how prepared they really are. full article

Thursday, September 02, 2004

articles-september 02

Judge stops Indian land auction

By John Heilprin
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - A federal judge ordered the Interior Department to temporarily halt its auction of Indian lands in Oklahoma, some of which come with rights for oil drilling.

The department had planned to start opening bids Wednesday for 26 parcels of land totaling about 2,000 acres in the oil-rich region around Anadarko. The parcels range in size from about two to 160 acres.

U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth signed the restraining order late Tuesday at the request of lawyers in a multibillion-dollar lawsuit by American Indians against the Interior Department.

"In no way are we saying that individuals don't have the right to sell their land," said Keith Harper, a lawyer for the Indians. "The problem is that it is not at all clear that they have given knowing consent to the sale, or that they would get fair market value." full article

Republicans find tribal supporters

KENNETH P. VOGEL; The News Tribune

NEW YORK - As a Republican and an American Indian, Rod Van Mechelen of Olympia is something of a rarity.

But Wednesday afternoon at an American Indian community center in the East Village of New York, Van Mechelen, a Cowlitz tribal councilman, had company. The center hosted a reception to which all 36 American Indian delegates to the Republican National Convention were invited.

Van Mechelen, who wears a red T-shirt identifying himself as a "conservative American Indian" on the floor of the convention, is the only Indian delegate from Washington state.

The Democratic National Convention in July in Boston featured 87 tribal delegates, including three from Washington state. full article

Mohawk Tribe Responds To IRS Gas Sting

Jane Flasch (Niagara Falls, NY) 09/01/04 -- Last week, NewsSource 13 reported on armed IRS agents seizing thousands of gallons of gasoline meant for sale on Indian reservations. On Thursday, the IRS will auction off the gas it has collected so far and apply it to the debt it says the Mohawk tribe owes.

The agents say the stings will continue until enough fuel is collected to pay up the almost $80 million in federal excise tax.

Chief James Ransom of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe said, "It represents one more roadblock here in what we're trying to accomplish and that's our own economic survival as a community. full article

Officer faces discipline in death of teenager

Thursday, September 2, 2004 - Page A7

The mother of a native teenager who froze to death on the outskirts of Saskatoon says she's comforted by yesterday's announcement that a senior police officer will face disciplinary charges in the case.

Stella Bignell waited almost 14 years for punishment for the police force she believes was responsible for dumping her 17-year-old son, Neil Stonechild, at the edge of town on a freezing November night. full article

Haskell convocation speaker asks students to stop being victims

By Dave Ranney, Journal-World

Wednesday, September 1, 2004

The head of the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs had a stern message Tuesday for Haskell Indian Nations University students who'd rather party than study.

"There's the door," he said, pointing to the west end of Haskell Memorial Stadium. "I'm asking you to leave. Now."

Addressing about 300 students and faculty at the university's fall semester convocation, David Anderson said he was sick and tired of American Indians not taking control of their own lives. full article

The gang life: Jumping out

Editor's note: This is the second of a three-part story about a former gang member who has taken control of her life.

By Laura Clark/The Daily Journal

China Doll's captivation with her gang started to fizzle after her father, who she said "didn't really know" she was in a gang, asked her a question.

"I was in 11th-grade and I was still going to see my dad," she said, noting he made it a point for them to go places together.

During one of their visits he asked her, "What are you going to do when you are 40?" China Doll said.

"I never thought I'd live past 19 because we were going to funerals a couple times a month," she said, noting it was common for gang members to be killed by other gangs, or in high speed police chases, via car accidents full article

Oil firms invade protected zones

Sep 2, 2004

A total of 11 protected areas have been invaded by oil companies to carry out exploration, prospecting and seismic work without respecting current environmental laws, endangering fauna and development of communities who live in the zone.

Representatives of the governmental National Service of Protected Areas (SERNAP) revealed the information in a panel on environmental aspects to be included in the new Hydrocarbons Law. In a July 18 referendum, Bolivians voted in favor of striking down the law currently in place.

According to SERNAP, 21 protected areas exist in Bolivia with an extension of 167,417 sq. km (62,323 sq. miles), making up 15 percent of the nation’s territory. These zones are rich in biodiversity, fauna, flora and indigenous communities that have been loyal guardians of these areas. full article

 Band-Aids, Bullets, and Broken Hearts
    By John Cory
    Thursday 02 September 2004

    It must have been a proud moment for Johnson & Johnson, watching their product passed around opening night at the GOP convention: Band-Aids with painted purple hearts and snarky comments about self-inflicted wounds. Who says conservatives don't have a sense of humor? This was funny stuff.

    I wonder how funny that Band-Aid stunt was to the nearly 7,000 troops who have lost legs, and arms, and eyes, and suffered other mutilations in the Iraq War, and now wear a real Purple Heart. I'll bet they rolled around in their wheelchairs and fell off their crutches in roaring laughter. Can these GOP Band-Aids reattach limbs?

    I'll bet they were laughing in Idaho, too. Especially Tom Titus, former Army Ranger and Vietnam vet with two Purple Hearts. On Monday he received another Purple Heart, for his son Brandon, killed in Iraq. A father and son, both veterans, both with Purple Hearts, except the father had to bury his son. Is there a funny Band-Aid for death? full article

Young Republicans Support Iraq War, but Not Willing to Join the Fight
    By Adam Smeltz
    Knight Ridder Newspapers

    Wednsday 01 September 2004

    NEW YORK - Young Republicans gathered here for their party's national convention are united in applauding the war in Iraq, supporting the U.S. troops there and calling the U.S. mission a noble cause.

    But there's no such unanimity when they're asked a more personal question: Would you be willing to put on the uniform and go to fight in Iraq?

    In more than a dozen interviews, Republicans in their teens and 20s offered a range of answers. Some have friends in the military in Iraq and are considering enlisting; others said they can better support the war by working politically in the United States; and still others said they think the military doesn't need them because the U.S. presence in Iraq is sufficient. full article

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Update on the Skwelkwek'welt Defenders

From the Anti-Poverty site
Update on the Skwelkwek'welt Defenders

September 1, 2004

Thank you to all those who supported the Convergence this weekend.
Now that the Skwelkwek'welt defenders are building yet another permanent structure off-reserve on traditional Secwepemc territories (adjacent to Sun Peaks golf course) as an assertion of their inherent and legal Aborginal Title, it is imperative that we continue to support this crucial struggle.

On August 29, shortly after the 250-strong protestors left, the provincial government served a Trespass Notice on the Skwelkwek’welt Protection Center.  The Trespass Notice articulates the position that the construction of a permanent monitoring center on unoccupied Crown Land adjacent to Sun Peaks’ expansion is a violation of the BC Land Act. Janice Billy has said “it is business-as-usual for the province and Sun Peaks.  They are both treating Aboriginal Title as if it does not even exist. The BC Land Act is outdated because even the Supreme Court of Canada has recognized Aboriginal Title in all of unceded lands, including Sun Peaks.”

At present, the community continues to remain at the building site and the RCMP have been monitoring the Skwelkwek'welt camp and have not yet acted to enforce the Tresspass Notice. According to Arthur Manuel, "I think they are hesistant to move on their Trespass notice because of the legal soundness of our argument, in light of the Haida Decision. They are looking for something like a fight or army clothing or something that they used in the past to justify not having to deal with the constitutional aspect of the Trespass Notice."

The position of no more expansion is very clear. The courage of the defenders in physically establishing themselves on traditional territories despite all odds- police, government and corporate harrasment, risk of arrests, and no clear or near hope of a victory- continue to inspire us. link

Native Youth Movement Members arrested for defending themselves

Native Youth Movement Press release:


(Sunday, August 29th, 2004, Fairmont Miramar Hotel Santa Monica, California) Fairmont Hotel security assaults a 14 year old NYM warrior during a peaceful info rally which leads to the arrest of two NYM Warriors. 14 year old, Alma Barba, was handing out flyers condemning Fairmont Hotel’s participation in the forcible removal of Secwepemc from their homeland: GENOCIDE, when a Fairmont security shoved her to the grass then kicked her to her back and held her there with his foot grinding into her chest.

Fairmont Hotel called Santa Monica Police Department and two arrests were made, including the arrest of WAR CLUB NYM Ryakin Rip who is in the Los Angeles area completing a music and speaking tour. He is being accused of issuing terrorist threats while defending 14 year old Alma Barba from further attack. Ryakin is being held for $50,000 ransom.

The Santa Monica Fairmont rally was coordinated with a rally held today against the expansion of Sun Peaks Resort in the interior of British Columbia, Canada. Fairmont Hotels has invested $40 million in Sun Peaks Resort to build the Delta Hotel Sun Peaks, drawing mass tourists to sensitive mountain area still depended on by Secwepemc, the Indigenous Peoples of the land.

Contact info:

Native Youth Movement nymcommunications@hotmail.com

articles-september 01

Big Indians party with key Republicans

Posted: September 01, 2004 - 11:43am EST
by: Jim Adams / Associate Editor / Indian Country Today
NEW YORK - Not many Native delegates are on the roster at the Republican National Convention, but a lot of big Indians are showing up at the parties.

According to a spokesman for the convention, some 37 American Indians and Alaska Natives are delegates and alternates. But the Republican bureaucrats won’t give out their names, not even to the National Congress of American Indians, which wanted to put together an invitation list for its ad hoc Indian caucus. A Republican release touting the "diversity" of the convention didn’t even break out numbers for Native attendees, listing them as "other."

But plenty of well-known Indian leaders showed up at parties feasting influential delegates, and helped pay for the festivities. The National Indian Gaming Association and several casino tribes helped sponsor a post-session "Wild Wild West Saloon" at the Crobar club on the city’s decrepit far west side honored California Congressman Richard Pombo, chairman of the House Resources Committee, and its Republican members. full article

American Indians look to parlay attention into political leverage
By LESLIE HOFFMAN, Associated Press Writer  |  September 1, 2004

NEW YORK -- The American Indian vote may be the subject of plenty of talk this year, but to translate the talk into actual political leverage, Indians need to organize, educate lawmakers and get voters to the polls.

That was among the messages during a two-day caucus organized by the nation's largest American Indian organization looking to promote Indian issues at the Republican National Convention.

The nonpartisan National Congress of American Indians seized upon this week's gathering to provide delegates, lobbyists, policy makers and other convention-goers the chance to discuss how to extend Indian influence within the GOP. full article

State joins tribes' suit to force cleanup of Lake Roosevelt

The state of Washington yesterday joined a federal lawsuit filed by the Colville Confederated Tribes last month that seeks to force a Canadian mining company to comply with a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency order to clean up pollution in Lake Roosevelt.

In July, individual members of the Eastern Washington-based Colville Tribes, whose reservation abuts Lake Roosevelt -- a Columbia River reservoir held behind the Grand Coulee Dam -- sued Teck Cominco for failing to comply with the EPA order issued in December.

The order, issued under the federal Superfund law, charged Teck Cominco with cleaning up toxic metals released into the river for decades from the company's smelter in Trail, B.C., about 10 miles north of the U.S.-Canada border. Under the EPA order, Teck Cominco is supposed to first study the extent of contamination, then pay for its cleanup. full article

High level of PCBs taints Lake Washington fish

Some of the most popular sport fish in Lake Washington contain surprisingly dangerous levels of toxic chemicals called PCBs, state health officials said yesterday, warning anglers to limit their consumption.

People should not eat large perch or cutthroat, which are among the most commonly caught fish in the lake, more than once a month, officials said. For cutthroat under 12 inches, the recommended maximum is three meals a month, and for perch under 101?2 inches, no more than four meals monthly. full article

Wildfires continue to blaze through Indian land
Latest hit are in Utah and Colorado

Sam Lewin 9/1/2004
A wildfire in Utah is burning up an Indian reservation, the latest in a series of fires this summer that have scorched tribal lands. Another blaze, this time on a reservation in Colorado, is likely to be contained soon, officials said.

Emergency crews in Utah say the fire burning on the Shivwits Indian Reservation narrowly missed a strand of houses in the vicinity, coming a scant half-mile away. The blaze has since veered away from the residential area and the homes are no longer threatened. The wildfire, dubbed the “Shivwits Two Fire”, broke out on the reservation about 10 miles northwest of St. George Tuesday. The tribal offices are located in the nearby town of Ivan. Phones there are understandably going unanswered. About 40 firefighters battled the blaze along with a heavy air tanker, a chopper and three single-engine air tankers. Fire officials believe the fire was human-caused, but the exact origin is still under investigation. The reservation is home to the Shivwits Band of Paiutes. full article

The gang life: Gang member initially felt safe in group

Editor's note: This is the first part of a three-part series about a former gang member who has taken control of her life.

By LAURA CLARK/The Daily Journal

She's rolled with the punches and she's thrown some too, but a rough start in life wasn't enough to take "China Doll" down.

Though not her birth name, for the sake of this article, the 29-year-old graduate student and former Sacramento gang member wished to use the name given to her by those who protected her -- those from whom she later fled.

Childhood memories

China Doll was born in Woodland.

When her parents broke up she went to live with her father. And then, her mother "stole" the 4-year-old girl from her father and took her to Nevada to live with her grandparents, China Doll said. full article

An insight into the lives of the Tipras
Afsar Ahmed
Bandarban, where the mountain waves create a magical veil with the tropical growth, is the land of the Tipras the indigenous ethnic group of Bangladesh. They are the third largest such group living in the hilly regions of Bangladesh.

A gripping documentary on the lifestyle of these indigenous people, titled Tipra life at Hatibhanga, has been screened recently at the Spectra Convention Centre. This was yet another successful venture of A Masud Chowdhury, the director and cinematographer of this documentary after the screening of his Bandarban's Bomang. The script and research was done by Shumon Shikdar while Mohiuddin Tipu did the editing.

The word Tipra is derived from the word Toipra. Toi means water and Pra means inhabitants. Previously they lived in the water surrounded Tripura Kingdom and that's why they were called Toipra. But now they live on the high hills in a house called machaang. In their language it is called nokkochuk. Most of them speak their native language Kokporokh, the literal meaning of which is the 'human language' that only has the spoken form with no written script. full article

Colombia: Indigenous hostages must be released immediately

Press release, 09/01/2004

Amnesty International has condemned the kidnapping of several indigenous leaders by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, FARC) and called for their immediate release.

The Governor of the indigenous community of Toribío, Plinio Trochez; Mayor of Toribío Municipality, Arquímedes Vitonás Noscue; former mayor of Toribío Municipality, Gilberto Muñoz Coronado; Acting Governor of the indigenous community of San Francisco Rubén Darío Escue; and their driver, Erminson Velasco, were kidnapped after they set out from the department of Cauca on 22 August. The group was travelling for a meeting of indigenous leaders in Altamira in the municipality of San Vicente del Caguán, department of Caquetá.

The FARC are also reported to have kidnapped Orlando Hernández Guanga, an A'wa indigenous leader and mayor of the municipality of Ricaurte, on 25 August while he was travelling to the town of Ipiales, department of Nariño. full article

Maori judge's loyalty queried
Claire Harvey, New Zealand correspondent
September 02, 2004

THE New Zealand Government is taking a Maori judge to court because her tribal affiliations allegedly make her unfit to hear a land-rights case.

In a move that will dramatically increase tensions between the Labor Government and indigenous New Zealanders, Attorney-General Margaret Wilson is asking the High Court to take Maori Land Court judge Caren Wickliffe off a case involving her tribe, Ngati Porou. full article

At Least 900 Arrested in City as Protesters Clash With Police
By Diane Cardwell and Marc Santora
The New York Times

Wednesday 01 September 2004

A series of demonstrations rippled across Manhattan last night when protesters tried to converge on the Republican National Convention, as a day of planned civil disobedience erupted into clashes with police officers and led to the arrest of more than 900 people.

The wave of confrontations - which included a brawl with the police at the New York Public Library, marauding crowds cursing at delegates in Midtown and the detention of hundreds of protesters near ground zero - created a day of disorder in a convention week already marked by sustained protests against the Bush administration and the war in Iraq.

Yesterday's incidents stood in contrast to the enormous, mostly orderly antiwar march that drew hundreds of thousands of people to Manhattan on Sunday. Many of those protesting yesterday had purposefully avoided seeking permits for their rallies but had publicized their plans well in advance, leading hordes of police officers in cars, bikes, scooters and vans to flood various parts of the city primed to pre-empt disorder before it could occur. The day's arrests brought the convention-related total to more than 1,460. full article

Rove's Brain and Media Manipulation
by Norman Solomon
I just saw a horror movie -- "Bush's Brain" -- the new documentary based on a book with the same name by journalists James Moore and Wayne Slater. The book's subtitle is "How Karl Rove Made George W. Bush Presidential." I'll spare you the grim details. What matters most now is that Rove's long record of shady and vicious media operations is not just in the past.

Rove is more than a master manipulator of the news media. He's a stealthy smear artist who does whatever he can get away with. And Rove has gotten away with plenty. That's how George W. Bush became governor of Texas ... and president of the United States. What remains to be seen is whether Rove's techniques will again prove successful when this country votes on Nov. 2.

For all his deft skullduggery, Rove is smart enough to always remember that you can't beat something with nothing. It's not enough to tar the opponent with accusations and innuendos. It's also necessary to tout Rove's candidate as a guy just this side of the angels. And so, the Bush campaign is combining out-of-sight stilettos and out-front verbal attacks with elaborate poses of ultimate Goodness. full article