Friday, July 3, 2009

Indigenous Issues and News

Indigenous Issues and News

Feds link artifact suspects to Ponzi scam
By Patty Henetz - June 25, 2009
James Redd -- the Blanding physician who killed himself after he and his wife, Jeanne, were indicted on felony charges of illegally selling ancient American Indian artifacts -- may also have been involved in a Ponzi scam, federal authorities allege.
In a new request filed this week to widen the forensic search of computers and journals seized from the Redds' Blanding home, investigators say a preliminary review of Jeanne Redd's journal indicates she and possibly her husband "were engaged in a fraudulent scheme to obtain money from a multilevel marketing company."
The search-warrant affidavit does not name the company or say who the fraud victims, if any, might be.
During a federal raid June 10, agents seized four computers from the Redds believed to contain evidence of criminal offense, contraband and the "fruits of crime," the document says.
Also taken were "numerous handwritten journal entries" by Jeanne and James Redd. The affidavit alleges that the journal entries -- in addition to providing evidence of artifact collection, purchase and sale -- will show evidence related to fraud.
Federal officials declined Wednesday to offer specifics on the allegations. "Because it is an ongoing investigation, we won't be able to comment beyond what you see in the search warrant," said Melodie Rydalch, spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney for Utah Brett Tolman.
A man who answered the Redd home telephone Wednesday afternoon said there would be no comment.
Blanding resident Phil Mueller, who has acted as the family spokesman, said the Redds were involved with Melaleuca, a company that sells items such as cosmetics and cleaning products.
In 2005, Melaleuca recognized the Redds for their high level of customers enrolled. The company's Web site denies it is a multilevel marketing scheme, but the Internet bristles with accusations that it is a pyramid fraud based on recruiting an increasing number of investors who pay into the system that enriches those at the top.
The Redds were among 24 Utah, Colorado and New Mexico residents indicted earlier this month after a 2 1/2-year investigation. Tolman said that during the sting, an undercover operative -- identified in court papers as "the Source" -- bought and sold more than 250 artifacts from the Four Corners area, including sacred prayer sticks, baby blankets, seed jars and other objects found in ancient Puebloan burial mounds in transactions amounting to nearly $336,000.
James Redd, 60, took his own life June 11, the day after the raid. His funeral was June 16, the same day the court unsealed 10 affidavits pertaining to the Utah defendants in the probe. He died of carbon-monoxide poisoning.
Last Friday, another defendant died after shooting himself twice in the chest. Steven Shrader, 56, of Santa Fe, N.M., who faced two felonies, killed himself behind an elementary school in Shabbona, Ill., where he had gone to visit his mother, authorities said.
The Redd affidavit says the couple used a personal computer to exchange e-mails with the Source. The Redd search warrant -- and all the others -- also allowed seizure of any computers in the homes.
The Redds have had other problems with the law. Nearly 20 years ago, James Redd pleaded guilty to Medicaid fraud in a Utah court. He entered into an agreement that he would pay $12,000; once he did, the court in 1992 allowed him to withdraw his plea.
The Redds settled a $250,000 lawsuit filed by the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration for $10,000 after they were prosecuted for raiding a burial site. Jeanne Redd pleaded no contest to a reduced charge, and charges against James Redd eventually were dropped.


I wish they would riddle us does one shoot themselves to death in the chest, not once, but twice?

Teresa Anahuy
Another code talker gone: World War II Marine, combat veteran Matthew Martin dies
By Karen Francis - June 25, 2009

WINDOW ROCK - A fourth Navajo Code Talker has died within five weeks. Matthew Martin of Crownpoint died from a lengthy illness June 22 at his home, his daughter Patricia Begay said. He was 84.
The funeral service is scheduled for 10 a.m., Saturday, at the Gospel Lighthouse Assembly of God Church in Crownpoint.
Martin was born May 3, 1925, at Star Lake. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Oct. 12, 1943, in Santa Fe and was qualified as a marksman and a Code Talker. He attained the rank of corporal.
He saw combat at Iwo Jima and the Volcano Islands from Feb. 19 to March 16, 1945, and participated in occupation of Japan from Sept. 23, 1945, to April 20, 1946, according to the Navajo Nation president's office.
Martin was honorably discharged from the First Separation Company MGB on May 13, 1946. President Joe Shirley and Council Speaker Lawrence T. Morgan each expressed condolences to the family of Martin.
"As we approach the 233rd anniversary of Independence Day, Navajos' thoughts turn to the service performed by our warriors and veterans, and our honored Navajo Code Talkers are foremost in our thoughts and prayers," Shirley said. "On behalf of the Navajo Nation, I offer our deepest condolences to the family of the late Matthew Martin, another of our distinguished Code Talkers, and we thank him and them for the service he rendered to the Navajo Nation and United States during World War II."
"We are truly fortunate to have had such noble men - gentleman - who played significant roles in American history, as well as our own Navajo history," Morgan said.
Among his awards, Martin received the good conduct medal and the Navajo Code Talker Congressional Silver Medal in 2001. He was also recognized for his service and outstanding contributions by then-Ariz. Gov. Jane Hull on May 9, 2002, and by the 45th Arizona State Legislature on May 13, 2002.
Martin worked for the BNSF Railway after his military service. After retiring in 1988, he raised livestock and farmed at his home in Crownpoint.
Martin is survived by wife Linda E. Martin, his daughters Patricia Begay of Crownpoint, Pearl Nez of Standing Rock, Lucinda Rosenbauer of Deming, Perlinda Begay of Crownpoint, Bernadette Martin of Crownpoint, Merlinda Martin of Becenti, Brenda Martin of Crownpoint, Sharlinda Martin of Standing Rock, sons Jasper Martin of Mesa, Ariz., Sgt. Lamar Martin, who is serving with the National Guard and is stationed in Georgia, Matthew Martin, Jr., of Arlington, Va., Patrick Martin of Crownpoint, and his siblings Paul Martin, Billy Martin, Leo Martin, and Alice Platero, all of Crownpoint, and Bernice Etcitty of Standing Rock.
Martin was preceded in death by his parents, Christine Tso and Edgar Martin, his siblings Mary Biggs, Tom Martin Sr., and Willie Martin, and his sons Delbert Martin, Mar Martin, Eugene Martin.


Teresa Anahuy
The arming of Canada Customs Agents in a residential area on Akwesasne Mohawk Territory will escalate an already tense situation. It will also place the safety of surrounding residents and all border travelers in jeopardy.
The majority of travelers passing through the Akwesasne Port of Entry are Akwesasne residents. Combined with documented acts of racial profiling and provocation by Customs Agents, our community is opposed to arming Canada Customs Agents at the Akwesasne Port of Entry.
Join the Mohawk community of Akwesasne in calling for an urgent meeting between the Minister of Public Safety Peter Van Loan and Akwesasne Mohawk Leadership.
Your support is needed to keep our community safe!
· Guns will not increase safety!
· Guns are not the solution!
· Guns can cost lives!


Contributed by Dekanogi Ulogilv,

Teresa Anahuy
CherokeeLink Newsletter
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AOL - 6/26/2009 Newsletter
Welcome to another week of Cherokee Link! Summer has arrived here in the Cherokee Nation as temperatures heat up around 100 degrees. We hope everyone is finding ways to keep cool.
This weekend, eight young Cherokee Nation citizens are about to start sweating, as they retrace the Trail of Tears on bicycle. The students begin their 900-mile ride from Georgia to Tahlequah Saturday morning. If you would like to to follow the cyclists on their journey visit
Also, this past week the Cherokee Nation released the annual Where the Casino Money Goes. The magazine is available to view at
Wado! (Thank you)
Cherokee Nation
P.O.Box 948
Tahlequah, OK 74465
918 453-5000
***Cherokee Nation News***
Cherokee Nation Partnership Expands Transit Routes to Mayes County: 6/25/2009 5:05:00 PM
(C) Cherokee Nation
With gas prices on the rise again, Cherokee Nation continues to explore ways to cut expenses for employees and others who regularly commute to and from Tahlequah. One of the most affordable options now being offered in the Mayes County area is public transportation between Salina and Tahlequah, using the Pelivan Transit System.
Cherokee Nation Hosting Family Resource Fair: 6/25/2009 2:32:00 PM
(C) Cherokee Nation
The Cherokee Nation will host a Family Resource Fair on Tuesday, July 7 and Thursday, July 9, in the Talking Leaves Job Corps gymnasium located at 5700 Bald Hill Road.
Remember the Removal Riders Will Retrace Ancestors’ Footsteps through History: 6/24/2009
(C) Cherokee Nation
A group of young Cherokee Nation citizens set out from Tahlequah today to retrace the historic northern route of the Trail of Tears by bicycle. After caravanning by automobile to the Cherokees’ original southeastern homelands, the riders participating in the Remember the Removal project plan to ride their bikes back home from Rome, Georgia, and the New Echota area, ending in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, the capitol of the Cherokee Nation in a few weeks.
Urgent Call For Artifacts As Cherokee National Supreme Court Building Nears Completion On Phase One Of Restoration: 6/23/2009
(C) Cherokee Nation
Stories are told through visual interpretation and Cherokee Nation will convey their history through artifacts permanently secured or provided on loan for display at the soon-to-be opened Cherokee National Supreme Court Building Museum with phase one renovations scheduled to be completed the first week in July 2009. This venture will be the Cherokee Nation’s first wholly owned and operated museum.
Cherokee Nation Contributes $20k to Organizations in Cherokee County: 6/23/2009
(C) Cherokee Nation
Cherokee Nation recently contributed $20,000 to four partnership organizations, including a group that raises awareness about Native American issues, a group that assists with child safety, another group that provides shelter and essential needs to the community and a special group that works hard to preserve Cherokee language and history through music.
Cherokee Nation Contributes $20k to Organizations in Cherokee County: 6/23/2009
(C) Cherokee Nation
Cherokee Nation recently contributed $20,000 to four partnership organizations, including a group that raises awareness about Native American issues, a group that assists with child safety, another group that provides shelter and essential needs to the community and a special group that works hard to preserve Cherokee language and history through music.
**** Other Links of Interest ****
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**** Cultural Tidbits ****
A citizen's right to vote is a serious obligation. As an example of how your vote really does count, note that the Treaty of New Echota was confirmed in Senate by only one vote.
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@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@Tribe set to sue so bridge will open
CORNWALL CROSSING: Mohawks say closure of international span was done illegally

JUNE 27, 2009
MASSENA — The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne is going to sue Canadian officials to try to get the Seaway International Bridge reopened.
The tribal government on the Canadian side of the Mohawk reservation announced Friday that it plans to take Minister of Public Safety Peter van Loan and Canada Border Service Agency President Stephen Rigby to court to end the stalemate that has had the bridge closed since May 31.
"The decision to close the Cornwall Port of Entry was obviously taken in haste and is illegal and severely detrimental to the interests of the Mohawks of Akwesasne and the surrounding communities that rely on the bridge," a tribal press release said. "It is also contrary to the mandate of the Canada Border Services Agency to facilitate the free flow of persons and goods through the port of entry."
Neither tribal officials nor CBSA officers could be reached for comment.
The Mohawks want the court to rule that the bridge was closed unlawfully and to order it reopened, without armed customs agents, pending discussions between the tribe and the Canadian government, according to the press release.
The bridge was closed over a dispute between the tribe and the CBSA over arming customs officers with handguns. Hundreds of Mohawks assembled to protest the weekend before the arming was supposed to take place, prompting customs agents to deem the situation unsafe and leave. Under international law, if customs officers leave their post, the bridge must be closed.
Since then, there have been no discussions with Mr. van Loan or Mr. Rigby, though the tribe repeatedly has asked for meetings. Before the closure, there were several meetings between the government and the tribe, however.
The Mohawks contend that arming Canadian agents interferes with tribal sovereignty because the customs building is on tribal land. Complaints have been filed with the Canadian Human Rights Commission, and the tribe says adding guns to the mix would make the situation worse.
Arming CBSA officers has been on the government's agenda for three years.. Without the guns, the agency says, its officers cannot properly do their job.
According to Minister van Loan's spokesman, Christopher McCluskey, the Ministry is investigating the "long-term viability of the Cornwall Port of Entry." There also have been suggestions that the minister of Indian affairs, Chuck Strahl, serve as a mediator between the two entities.
Since the bridge closed nearly a month ago, businesses on both sides of the border have been losing money, in some cases thousands of dollars a day.. The Cornwall Chamber of Commerce has launched a Web site — — where people can send letters to Canadian and American politicians to urge them to get involved in resolving the issue.

Native Workplace- Recruiting Electricians for Green Job Training
Recruiting Electricians for Green Job Training

June 29, 2009

Green Job Recruitment Notice - KVAR TTT

* This recruitment is part of the Native Workplace Green Trades Training Program, which was designed as a response to the feedback we receive from Indian country. We have chosen our initial trainings based upon what our community is facing right now in relation to stimulus funding. This is Green career training that can be applied to employment or small business development.

Native Workplace is organizing a “Train the Trainer” class for certified electricians to become KVAR trainers nationwide. Trainees should be journeyman, master electricians, or electrical engineers. However, non-certified electricians with experience should apply and will be considered. Class size is limited to 30 trainees.

What is KVAR? We realize that KVAR is new to Indian country, read KVAR FAQ’s

Trainees will receive two certifications:

KVAR Factory Certified Master Trainer: Trainers will work regionally will earn approximately $1500.00- $2000.00
per week as a trainer. Travel and per diem is paid.

Certified KVAR Master Installer: Trainer will also be able to make residential, commercial & industrial installations. On residential installations, the rate of pay is $100.00 -$150.00 per unit installed. However, Master Installers also work on commercial projects that require a more complex process, so the rate of pay is approximately $75.00-$125.00 per hour on commercial and industrial installations.

If the trainees choose, they can operate their own KVAR installation company, take installation subcontracts from Native Workforce, or work for an existing KVAR contractor.

To Apply: Resume’s or WIA intake forms may be used as an application. Deadline to apply for the Train the Trainer class will be July 22nd, 2009. Class will be closed after we receive 30 attendees.
Send to:

* Eligible under the Stimulus Plan so contact your local WIA training coordinator and request this training!

Contact us with any questions or if you are urban and need help locating the WIA office serving your area.

* pay rates above reflect R.O.P with Native Worforce, KVAR or self employment..rates may differ from contractor to contractor

Want a Green job as a KVAR Residential Installer? Learn More

Certified KVAR Residential Installer: This vocational training is for residential installations only. Prior electrical knowledge is helpful, but not necessary. Installers make from $50.00-$100.00 per unit installation, which takes approximately 20-30 minutes each. Training is two days and can be provided regionally once the trainers are certified. There is a small installation business opportunity with this training.


Tribes are eligible for federal grant dollars for energy efficiency retrofits under the Recovery Act. KVAR qualifies as an energy efficiency upgrade. Tribal housing departments can apply for grants to purchase and install these energy efficiency units, and employ tribal members to make the installations.

Contact us for a copy of the Department of Labor Weatherization & Energy Efficiency Training grant
There is a manufacturing, tribal business and small Native-owned business opportunity.

* Note: Native Workplace is developing a separate database for recruitments. If you are signed up for the newsletter only, please be patient while we make the changes.
More than 200 Mohawk backers arrive from across Canada
'PEACE CARAVAN': Dispute at Massena bridge draws 50 vehicles laden with supporters

JULY 1, 2009

American Indians from across Canada arrive Tuesday in Massena to show solidarity with Akwesasne Mohawks in the ongoing protest over the Canadian government's plan to arm Canada Border Services Agency officers on the reservation. The Seaway International Bridge has been closed for a month.
CORNWALL ISLAND, Ontario — Supporters of Akwesasne Mohawks caravanned across Canada on Tuesday to join a protest against arming guards at the border station on Cornwall Island.
A group calling itself a "peace caravan" made its way from the Six Nations Reservation outside Brantford, Ontario, to Cornwall Island. More than 200 people crammed into about 50 vehicles to talk about the issue over a traditional meal of fried bread and corn soup.
"Basically, this is all about support for us and talking to each other, sharing stories," Nona Benedict, who helped organize the caravan, said. "It's all about peace and unity."
The Seaway International Bridge, which connects Cornwall to Massena via two spans, has been closed for a month to people traveling from the United States to Canada, because of a dispute between the Mohawks and the Canada Border Services Agency about a plan to arm border guards.
The officers on Cornwall Island, whose border station is on Mohawk land, were scheduled to be armed June 1. Mohawks have said that arming the guards infringes on the tribe's sovereignty. A protest of several hundred residents prompted the border guards to leave their posts just before midnight May 31, forcing the closure of the bridge.
The caravan brought people from as far away as Nova Scotia, Ms. Benedict said. It was the brainchild of a group from Six Nations and was organized by Akwesasne Women's Fire, a group that grew out of the bridge conflict.
"They have extended a hand in friendship and support and we're going to give them a hug," said Ms. Benedict, a member of the women's group.
The caravan is part of an ongoing show of solidarity with the Akwesasne Mohawks from those of other tribes. Several reservations in Canada have blocked roadways and bridges in support of the protests here and six "peace fires" are burning around the Akwesasne reservation.
The Mohawks are refusing to call off the protest without negotiations with either CBSA President Stephen Rigby or Minister of Public Safety Peter van Loan. Since the bridge closure, neither has offered to meet with the tribe, Mohawk Council of Akwesasne spokesman Brendan F. White said.
Though numbers at the protest site across from the customs building have dwindled, the protesters say they will be there as long as necessary to ensure that armed agents do not come to Cornwall Island.
"Nobody knows how long this is going to last; that's why they keep chopping wood" to keep the peace fires burning, an Akwesasne resident said. "If this goes till the snow flies, we'll still be here. I think we're going to win out in the end; the will of the people is there."
Mismanagement Cause of Transfer of BIA's Alaska Regional Director to Minnesota
The Interior Department has transferred Alaska's BIA Regional
Director Niles Caesar, to Minnesota BIA, as a result of the BIA
Inspector General Earl Devaney's February, 2009 report; detailed
below, showing mismanagement.



06/26/09 Adam Kane

The Bureau of Indian Affairs, Alaska Region, will soon be under new

BIA in Alaska has been in the spotlight recently, due to a report
released in February of this year that recommended withholding funding
for specific programs. The report submitted to the U.S. Secretary of the
Interior Ken Salazar, stated that the BIA Alaska Regional Indian
Reservation Roads Program was rife with mismanagement and lacking
program oversight. Also in the report, Inspector General of the Interior
Department Earl Devaney, noted that due to inattention to expenditures
and failure to manage its programs, millions of tax dollars were wasted
or unaccounted for.

The report was related to issues that occurred as a chain of events
within the BIA. Regional Director for the BIA in Alaska, Niles Cesar
explains what became of the report.

BIA 1 – 1:19.6

Cesar was notified on June 11th of the directed reassignment. He will
now become the BIA's mid-west regional director based out of
Minneapolis. The previous Mid-West Regional Director had recently
retired. According to Cesar, the BIA director in Washington D.C. Jerry
Gidner made the decision that Cesar's skills would be required in
the Mid-west region. Reassignments and bureaucratic decisions are not
new to Cesar who served 20 years in the United States Navy. Cesar
believes however that this reassignment was not the same as other moves
he's seen in the administration.

BIA 2 – 1:04

He still plans to be a "snowbird" spending summers in Alaska and
winters elsewhere. In order for him to retire gracefully however, he
will have to work his 20th and final year in Minneapolis.

With the loss of Cesar as Director, a position he's filled for 19
years, there will be an opening at the BIA. Cesar explains who will take
the reins following his departure.

BIA 3 – 1:18.6

Cesar says that it has never been a secret that he feels the head of BIA
in Alaska should be an Alaskan Native. Cesar maintains that to ensure
the long-term survival of the Alaskan Native People, the director must
fully understand land and subsistence issues that occur in Alaska.

Bureau of Indian Affairs is a part of the Department of the Interior.
BIA has 12 regional offices, including Alaska's. In Alaska the BIA
has the specific duties of dealing with the nearly 18,000 parcels of
land currently in restricted status for native allotments. BIA is
responsible for the management, leasing and selling of those
approximately 1.3 million acres of land. BIA also provides educational
dollars and social services through contracts with the 231 tribes in

From http://kdlg. org//news/ fullstory. php?storyid= 255


Report slams BIA Alaska roads program

Only $3 to $4M in roads projects had physical oversight or verification
of work completion

The Associated Press

ANCHORAGE - The federal Interior Department is squeezing the flow of
economic stimulus funds for the Alaska roads program of the federal
Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The action is a result of an inspector general's report alleging

"Given the history, we are proceeding with an abundance of caution and
additional oversight on all projects." Interior department spokeswoman
Kendra Barkoff said. "Our plan has been and will continue to be that
funds will only be distributed once we determine that there are
sufficient controls over spending and accountability in place."

Barkoff said the Alaska roads program will receive stimulus funds, but
added that her agency is determining which projects in Alaska will
receive money on a case by case basis. The BIA is part of the Interior

The February report by the department's inspector general, Earl Devaney,
said the Alaska regional office's consistent decision to ignore sound
management practices has resulted in the loss of millions of dollars.

The report said that has left Native Americans without needed

Niles Caesar, who has directed the BIA's Alaska regional office since
1990, could not immediately be reached for comment Saturday afternoon.

The Interior department said a new team is now in place overseeing the
roads program. The department also has launched a

"corrective action plan"

that includes a reporting and monitoring system.

At issue is the BIA Alaska's "Indian Reservation Roads Program." In
states like Alaska where indigenous groups generally do not have
reservations, public roads that serve Native communities are eligible
for funds through grant requests.

According to the inspector general's report, $32 million in program
funding went to Alaska Native communities annually but only about $3 to
$4 million in roads projects had physical oversight or verification of
work completion. The report conceded severe understaffing, but said that
has long been a problem and the issues were not corrected despite the
program apparently ending up with surplus operations money.

Devaney wrote a memo to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar saying "the
region's internal management controls have completely broken down,
enabling wage-grade employees to earn more than $100,000 in a given year
without explanation. "

The inspector's report said overtime pay claimed by unsupervised
employees was approved with no verification.

The report also criticized specific projects, including one in which
more than $1.6 million was estimated to have been spent on unauthorized
and unnecessary work.. The report said that more than six years later,
"this project is still considered dormant with the main road

Also noted, the inspector general found "several other projects that
indicated similar mismanagement

and potential loss or theft of funds."

Ron King, chief of surface transportation programs for the Alaska
Department of Transportation, said the many tribal transportation
directors he's worked with over the past few years have been hard
working and dedicated to improving transportation in their communities.

"The report does not reflect my personal experience," King said. "But of
course there are 227 tribes and obviously someone may not have done
everything right or at least did not have all of the checks and balances
in place."

The report urged caution in giving federal economic stimulus money to
the program.

More than $3 million in stimulus money has been lined up for BIA road
and bridge work in the state. But it's not clear how much will end up
distributed through tribal applications to this program.

From: http://www.juneauem stories/052509/ sta_443651049. shtml

The Interior Department Inspector General uses the phrases:

`the Alaska regional office's consistent decision to ignore sound
management practices has resulted in the loss of millions of dollars.

`$32 million in program funding went to Alaska Native communities
annually but only about $3 to $4 million in roads projects had physical
oversight or verification of work completion.'

`without explanation'

`potential loss or theft of funds, `

` unauthorized and unnecessary work `

` approved with no verification '.

Is this corruption or idiocy?

They are transferring the problem. Watch out Minnesota.

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
[KOLANews] Mid Canada Line cleanup isn’t good enough
Posted by: "Doria" doria53
Wed Jul 1, 2009 8:07 pm (PDT)
Mid Canada Line cleanup isn’t good enough
June 30, 2009

The Province of Ontario announced last week that is finally going to clean up a stretch of radar sites that have been leaching toxic compounds into the environment for the past 40 years.
The radar sites, 16 in total, were part of the early warning defense system known as “Mid Canada Line” which was constructed during the cold war. The Mid Canada Line consisted of 90 unmanned sites, 17 of which were strategically located on traditional Indigenous lands.
Less than ten years after these sites were built the military abandoned them­leaving behind radar towers, buildings, oil tankers, electrical equipment, and hundreds of barrels­some empty, some filled with oil.
With no remediation effort by the government or the military, these materials introduced a range of toxic compounds into the surrounding environment. Those compounds included polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), DDT, lead, mercury, asbestos and, of course, petroleum.
For the past 40 years, these compounds have been allowed to spread and accumulate in the soil and water, the vegetation, and in the fish and game that the local indigenous population continues to depend on for subsistence.
It wasn’t until the late 1980s that the indigenous peoples, mostly Cree from the Mushkegowuk Nation, learned about any kind of contamination risk ­ “increasingly so once the warning signs were posted in 1992 , notes the Mushkegowuk Environmental Research Centre (MERC), an independent environmental research group. MERC produced a video report last year which explores the radar site contamination.
Once they learned of the risk, the Mushkegowuk, which represents 7 Cree communities, began petitioning the govenrment to clean up the sites. But their pleas went ignored.
The govenrment couldn’t even be bothered with performing a health assessment to see how the compounds have impacted the Cree People. They still have not performed an assessment.
Scratching the surface
While the governments promise of remediation is certainly worth some applause, it is impossible to ignore the fact that it’s taken them 40 years That’s along time for those compounds to have their way with the environment.
And it appears that there will still be no effort to address the ongoing and historical impacts of the contaminants on the Cree people. It’s a peculiar avoidance, since these toxins are well known to sterilize women and disable children from leading any kind of well-rounded life, let alone one in the footsteps of their ancestors.
Another, even more uncomfortable truth: these sites would have been instantly cleaned up if they were located around city centers like Ottawa and Toronto.
This goes without saying for those of us familiar with Canada’s toxic legacy, which includes
more than 4,000 toxic sitesin Canada ­ approximately 1.5 sites for all of Canada’s 2,720 Reserves.
A scratch of the surface. There’s also dozens – if not, hundreds – of tailings ponds, landfills and slurry injection sites across the country. Then, of course, we have the Tar Sands in Northern Alberta which is a legacy onto itself. Not to mention the long, wide-reaching legacy of mercury poisoning.
We’re in this together
Most people aren’t willing to touch these issues, or they’ve never had the chance to learn about them because the Government brushes them off like dandruff.. Recall just two months ago when the Attawapiskat declared a state of emergency out of fear that exposure to toxic fumes was making them sick. Incidentally, the Attawapiskat is a member of the Mushkegowuk Council.
They wanted the government to help them ensure the safety of their children by evacuating them off the reserve. Some children were reportedly “passing out” in class.
Not only did the government ignore the Attawapiskat’s plea for emergency assistance, but the Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs (INAC) even went so far as to say that their plea was nothing more than a “publicity stunt”, being propped up “on the backs of needy aboriginal people.”
A publicity stunt.
This is but one example of Canada’s willful denial and ignorance of a potentially serious health crisis effecting Indigenous Men, Women, and Children. Another example is found among the greater Mushkegowuk Nation, who’s pleas went unheard for twenty years. There are countless more examples.
This willful ignorance will extend far into the future unless we do something about it. Indeed, if the Ontario Government’s pledge tells us anything, it’s that our health and well-being is of no consequence to them.
How many more of us will die before we compel them to take responsibility for themselves, or at least extend to us the most basic right: the right to live.
[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only.]
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Cherokee Phoenix Weekly Newsletter

AIM to hold SF Community Forum on Current Status of Peru, and Indigenous Peoples
P.O. Box 410534
San Francisco, CA 94141;;

location: Veteran’s War Memorial Building
The American Legion Post #875
401 Van Ness Street (and McAlister)
San Francisco, CA 94102-4587
July 1, 2009
For Information: Antonio Gonzales
For Immediate Public Release
AIM to hold SF Community Forum on Current Status of Peru, and Indigenous Peoples
DATE: Tuesday, July 7, 2009
TIME: 5 to 9 pm (Forum begins at 6 pm)
PLACE: Veteran’s War Memorial Building, 401 Van Ness Street (corner of McAlister) room 207
(snacks, refreshments and drummers are invited, songs and entertainment before program starts: a potluck!)
The American Indian Movement West (AIM-WEST), a San Francisco community based Indigenous human rights organization, invites the BAY AREA general public to a Public Forum. This forum will address and unify the diverse interests and concerns of Indigenous Peoples, and in solidarity give assistance to non-governmental organizations (NGO) regarding the critical situation in Peru.
Come and participate in a critical discussion to help identify and coordinate actions that address the concerns of sovereignty and self-determination of the Indigenous Peoples of Peru in relation to international law and standards. Special attention will be given to understanding the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, adopted by the General Assembly on September 13, 2007. A brief report about current conditions in Central and South America will also be addressed.
This is to also raise funds toward humanitarian assistance for NGO’s of Peru, donations are requested and deeply appreciated.
The Public Forum will be moderated by Professor Dr. Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz, special guests and invited support group representatives of Mexico EZLN, Nicaragua FSLN, El Salvador FMLN, and with American Indian Movement and a statement on the status of Honduras.
At this moment in history when governments in the Americas, sacred Turtle Island, are in change and trying to stimulate depressed economies with “development” we are witness to a surge of national economic and military interests. Coupled with U.S. and failed international trade agreements that stand in stark disagreement with the interests of traditional Indigenous communities, conditions are such that the rule of law is ignored and Indigenous Peoples rights trampled.
We must help to assert an Indigenous face to these interests that reflect traditional and collective principles and protect all treaties, agreements and constructive arrangements made between Indigenous Peoples with colonial governments. ALL MY RELATIONS.

Wheel Chair Accessible
Spanish Translation available
No Alcohol or Drugs Allowed
Video recorded for Access Television and Internet

Should "Americans" Be Able To Cross The U.S.-Mexican Border? By UNA Co-Founder Jack D. Forbes
CherokeeLink Newsletter
For The HTML Format of the Newsletter:
(Having Problems With The Links? Try this version instead.)

AOL - 7/2/2009 Newsletter
This week’s CherokeeLink is coming a day early, as we gear up for the July 4th holiday and a long weekend. Cherokee Nation offices are closed Friday, July 3, 2009. We hope everyone enjoys their weekend and takes some time to visit friends and family.
The eight students and their chaperones who are retracing the Trail of Tears on bicycles will continue their ride during the holiday and for the next couple of weeks. The group is currently traveling through Tennessee and is getting close to Kentucky. To follow the ride, see photos or to read about their journey, visit
Cherokee Nation is seeking Native American artists to showcase their talents at the 2009 Cherokee National Holiday Art Show, which will award $10,000 dollars in prize money. There are multiple categories including traditional, contemporary pottery, paintings, drawings, graphics, and photography, sculpture, contemporary basketry, textiles and weaving, diverse arts, and youth. Artists can enter up to three pieces of work per category. For more information please to to enter visit
There is still an opportunity to volunteer some time on the upcoming veterans center at the Cherokee Nation complex in Tahlequah. If you would like to volunteer some of your time to the project visit
Enjoy your weekend.
Wado! (Thank you)
Cherokee Nation
P.O.Box 948
Tahlequah, OK 74465
918 453-5000
***Cherokee Nation News***
Bridges Out of Poverty Seminar Scheduled: 7/1/2009 3:46:00 PM
(C) Cherokee Nation
The Cherokee Nation will host a one-day seminar titled, “Bridges Out of Poverty: Strategies for Professionals and Communities,” on Tuesday, July 14, and repeated on Wednesday, July 15, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Crescent Valley Baptist Church, located at 25641 S. Crescent Road in Woodall.
Cherokee Nation Registration Assistance Available at Regional Locations: 7/1/2009 3:44:00 PM
(C) Cherokee Nation
The Cherokee Nation will offer assistance this summer with applications for Certificate Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB) cards and citizenship in the Cherokee Nation at several field sites throughout the tribe’s 14-county area.
Cherokee Nation Hospital Gets New Beds: 7/1/2009
(C) Cherokee Nation
Cherokee Nation W.W. Hastings Hospital is now one of only three hospitals in Oklahoma to be outfitted with new, state-of-the-art hospital beds throughout the facility, including new beds and bedside tables in patient rooms, the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and in Labor and Delivery.
Cherokee Citizen Named As Presidential Advisor: 6/29/2009 9:45:00 AM
(C) Cherokee Nation
President Barak Obama has selected Kimberly Teehee, a Cherokee Nation citizen, as the new senior policy advisor for Native American Affairs in the White House Domestic Policy Council.
**** Other Links of Interest ****
Games -
Community Calendar -
RSS Feed -
Podcasts -
E-Cards -
**** Cultural Tidbits ****
A resolution was adopted in 1819 requiring white men to receive a permit in order to marry a Cherokee woman; however, the Cherokee woman retained all rights of property ownership.
Montana Insists on Another Canned Hunt
Buffalo Field Campaign
Yellowstone Bison
Update from the Field
July 2, 2009
In this issue:
* Update from the Field
* Continuing to Honor and Remember our Friend Frog
* BFC Volunteer Cabin Needs 2 On-Demand Hot Water Heaters
* Mark Your Calendars: Wood Cut Week, Sept. 14-20
* Last Words
* Kill Tally
* Update from the Field
Baby buffalo stretches after a nap. BFC file photo.
In spite of the dangerously low population count of America's last wild bison population, and the fact that wild bison have no year-round habitat in Montana, the state is once again going ahead with another canned hunt. Yellowstone National Park estimates the population at approximately 3,000 individuals, however BFC believes that this figure is inflated. In either case, this low population number is alarming because prior to European encroachment, the American buffalo represented the largest concentration of land mammal on the North American continent, existing in the tens of millions. Now a little green dot on the map is all they have left, and even here they aren't safe from harm. But, the "hunt" will proceed because apparently Montana feels the only good bison is a dead bison. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks will allow 144 bison to be killed by hunters at Yellowstone's border. At least twice as many bison may be taken, totaling possibly more than 288, if Native American tribes, hunting under treaty right, decide to conduct their own hunts.
BFC protests Montana's bison hunt. BFC file photo.
Unless hunters awaken to the unfairness of this hunt and refuse to participate while simultaneously advocating for year-round bison habitat, the hunt, scheduled to last from November 15, 2009 to February 15, 2010, could wipe out a significant portion of the already low population.
State and federal agencies are again looking for a home for 44 of the buffalo that have been subjected to the Quarantine Feasibility Study. Since some of these buffalo were pregnant, the numbers are likely a little bit higher now. The Northern Arapaho were planning to bring the bison to the Wind River Reservation, but at the last minute the tribe surprisingly rejected their arrival due to unwarranted fears of brucellosis transmission. We can only suspect that livestock interests pressured the tribe into rejecting these bison. The buffalo are still in the quarantine facility and if there is no interest shown by a qualified group or interested tribe, rather than finally being released from their prison, they will be sent to slaughter.
As you gather with friends and family this holiday weekend to celebrate Independence Day, please remember the buffalo and their continued struggle for independence. The day when buffalo again roam free will be a day worthy of celebration!
~Buffalo Field Campaign
* Continuing to Honor and Remember our Friend Frog
Nearly 100 friends and family from across the country gathered in Montana to honor and remember Brian "Frog" Gharst. The gatherings were powerful testimonies to the way Frog touched many lives, supported his friends and community, and deeply loved his family. His mom and his sister Michelle joined his friends in Missoula, along with his brother-in-law and young niece. It was a mix of intense sorrow for the loss, and gratitude at being with so many other beloved friends, many of them also past BFC volunteers and wild buffalo advocates.
During a dinner and a memorial ceremony the following day, people shared all kinds of stories about Frog's life. We remembered all the wonderful things he created (rickshaws, bicycle trailers, painting easels, custom bike racks, a cargo tricycle), we remembered the way he inspired community through graceful acceptance and by cooking up huge feasts to share, and we remembered the actions he took to protect others and the planet (defending an unknown child from an abusive parent, putting himself in the way of the DOL access route to the Horse Butte capture facility, helping convert the Seeds of Peace bus to run on used vegetable oil). Each person then took some ashes to spread by Rattlesnake creek, where Brian loved to swim.
A smaller group of friends, along with Frog's mom, traveled to Horse Butte to further honor Brian. Each carried some of his ashes, and spread them there where the buffalo long to roam free.
We all continue to grieve, and to find ways to live our own lives to carry on the intense dedication and love Frog offered the world. You can read more about Frog's life and activism in a collective piece in a forthcoming EarthFirst! journal.
* BFC Volunteer Cabin Needs 2 On-Demand Hot Water Heaters
The BFC main cabin, which houses our volunteers, could use two on- demand hot water heaters in order to save energy and space. These energy efficient water heaters could shave 25% off our gas bill each
month. Also they will allow us room to make another bathroom, so our volunteers don't have to form a waiting line to use our current one bathroom.
If you can help, please make a secure online donation and specify that it is for the water heaters, or send a check or money order (no cash please) to BFC-Maintenance, P.O. Box 957, West Yellowstone, MT 59758. If you have questions or would like more detail, please contact BFC Maintenance Coordinator Chip by phone at 406-646-0070 or by email.
Thank you!!
* Mark Your Calendars: Wood Cut Week, Sept. 14-20
Join Buffalo Field Campaign in beautiful West Yellowstone the week of September 14-20, and help gather, stack and cut the wood that will keep volunteers warm and alive this coming field season. Room and board will be provided. Please contact Mike at or 406-646-0070 if you are interested. Please let your friends know - the more the merrier! Chain saws are welcome!
* Last Words
"Cattle passed the brucella virus to wild bison more than a century ago. While these same bison mix freely with cattle in Wyoming without consequence, Montana refuses even to accord bison the status of "wildlife" unless it is for the purpose of allowing them to be shot at close range by hunters. Now that brucellosis is endemic to Montana's wildlife, what is the point of preventing bison from roaming freely with elk in our wildlife refuges and on our public wildlands? ...Here's a simple win-win solution that reflects real Montana values: Make livestock owners responsible for livestock disease control, and manage public wildlands for native wildlife.... "
Excerpt from a strong Op-Ed by BFC Board member and Montana director of Western Watersheds Project Tom Woodbury. The Op-Ed was published in the Missoulian newspaper this week. Read the full piece.
* Kill Tally
AMERICAN BISON ELIMINATED from the last wild population in the U.S.
2008-2009 Total: 22
2008-2009 Slaughter: 3
2008-2009 Hunt: 1
2008-2009 Quarantine: 0
2008-2009 Shot by Agents: 2
2008-2009 Highway Mortality: 16
2007-2008 Total: 1,631
Total Since 2000: 3,702*
*includes lethal government action, quarantine, hunts, highway mortalities
Media & Outreach
Buffalo Field Campaign
P.O. Box 957
West Yellowstone, MT 59758
BFC is the only group working in the field every day
in defense of the last wild buffalo population in the U.S.
Join Buffalo Field Campaign -- It's Free!
Take Action!
Blockade seeks to stop drinking on reservation

Associated Press - July 1, 2009 8:05 AM ET
WHITECLAY, Neb. (AP) - Activists plan a blockade on the Pine Ridge Indian
Reservation north of Whiteclay, Neb., home to several outlets that sell beer
to residents of the dry reservation.
Organizers say the blockade Wednesday will be on the South Dakota side of
the South Dakota-Nebraska border. Activists will make contact with drivers
entering the reservation from Whiteclay for a couple of hours.
Organizers say they have the backing of tribal police, who will conduct
vehicle checks, and that other law enforcement officers will monitor things
on the Nebraska side of the line.
It's the third year of the blockade. It's being set up by members of the
Cante Tenza Strong Heart Civil Rights Movement and the Oglala Sioux Tribe
Department of Public Safety.

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