Native activists protesting "bad man" clause violation Friday in Whiteclay
Mary Garrigan Journal staff | Posted: Thursday, January 14, 2010 6:45 pm | (3) Comments
A small group of Native American activists will march into Whiteclay, Neb., at 1 p.m. Friday to present a lawsuit they plan to file accusing four Whiteclay beer sellers and a Christian ministry of violating the "bad man" clause of the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty.
Duane Martin Sr. of the Strong Heart Civil Rights Movement and the Black Hills Sioux Treaty Council say they will file a complaint in U.S. District Court in Lincoln, Neb., next week naming four Whiteclay beer sellers: Mike's Pioneer Liquor, State Line Inn, Arrow Head Inn and Jumping Eagle Inn, and the Christian non-profit 555 Whiteclay, which operates a soup kitchen and other ministries in Whiteclay.
Whiteclay is just outside the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, where the sale of alcohol is prohibited, and 2 miles south of the town of Pine Ridge.
Beer sales in Whiteclay contribute to alcoholism and related problems that are rampant on the reservation, said Martin.
The proposed lawsuit, which Martin promises to file next week in Lincoln, asks the federal government to stop those establishments from doing business under Article 1 of the 1868 treaty between the Sioux nation and the U.S. government. The five entities are guilty of bringing "sickness and death to the Oglala Band of the Lakota Nation." It also calls on the state of Nebraska to not allow alcohol sales within a "buffer zone" between the two states.
The "bad man" legal argument was successfully used by Lavetta Elk, another Oglala Sioux, in a lawsuit alleging that a U.S. Army recruiter had violated the "bad man" clause when he sexually molested her while transporting her to a military recruiting appointment. Elk recently won a $650,000 settlement that left intact a federal judge's ruling that said the treaty language requires the government to reimburse Sioux tribe members who are injured by "any wrong" done by "bad men among the whites, or among other people subject to the authority of the United States."
Martin plans to hold a prayer service at 1 p.m. on the state line, followed by a short walk into Whiteclay, where he will present his complaint at each of the five establishments. He said his 90-year-old, wheelchair-bound mother, Cecelia Martin, will join the protest.
Messages left with the Whiteclay businesses were not returned by deadline.
The Lost Boys of Aamjiwnaang Reservation
First Nations & Aboriginal Rights Bulletin
Posted by Tjay Henhawk
Industrial Pollution Health Hazards
The Lost Boys of Aamjiwnaang
On an Indian reserve in Canada, girls rule the day-care centers, the playgrounds, the sports teams. The reason: For the past 15 years, fewer and fewer boys are being born. It may be the leading edge of a chemically induced crisis that could make men an endangered species
EVEN IF YOU TRIED, you couldn't avoid the chemicals that mimic hormones. You can find them in the dandelion killer you put on your lawn and the bug spray under the kitchen sink. They're in many plastic bottles and they line tin cans. They're lurking in carpets and sofa cushions, in shampoos, and detergents.
One of the most disturbing things we know about endocrine-disrupting chemicals is that they don't always follow the basic rule of thumb in toxicology, that the danger is in the dose. Toxicologists as far back as the 16th century have said that chemicals don't become poisons until the dose is elevated. In other words, low levels are safe.
Except, that is, in the case of hormone-mimicking chemicals. In its review, the Endocrine Society cites studies showing that even infinitesimally low levels of these chemicals may upset the body's hormones. "Surprisingly," the society's statement points out, "low doses may exert even more potent effects." It cites a study in which scientists from Arkansas and Texas changed the sex of turtles to female by dosing an egg with minute amounts -- as little as 400 picograms (trillionths of a gram) -- of estrogen.
The finding that even a tiny amount of these chemicals can upset the body's endocrine system has stunning implications for how chemicals are regulated in the United States. The founding principle -- that as long as we minimize the releases into the environment, we're okay -- may be faulty.
The issue is especially important to men. These chemicals may be more dangerous to men than they are to women, because their effects on men appear to go far beyond determining the sex of their children. Some studies suggest, for instance, that certain endocrine disruptors can lower sperm counts and cause birth defects like hypospadias, where the penis is malformed. Researchers have theorized that parental exposure to the chemicals may cause these birth defects by changing the concentrations of sex hormones that regulate fetal development.
Scientists also think estrogen-mimicking chemicals may be linked to the worldwide increase in testicular cancer, although they are still a long way from tying them together. The rate of testicular cancer in the United States has been increasing since the 1950s; it's now 50 percent higher than it was in 1975. It is now the most commonly diagnosed malignancy among men ages 15 to 34.
In its statement, the Endocrine Society noted that the steep rise in cases of testicular cancer suggests that genetic factors alone can't be blamed. Therefore, it's likely that some type of environmental or lifestyle factors are involved.
In one fascinating study, researchers in Sweden determined that men who had been diagnosed with testicular cancer did not have elevated levels of PCBs or other organochlorines in their blood. So they tested the mothers -- and discovered that the mothers of the men with cancer had higher levels of these chemicals in their blood than the mothers of men who did not have cancer. Zoeller says such research, if it continues to be supported, "means that men who get testicular cancer had those cancer cells with them since they were born."
Yet such studies continue to be highly controversial. Guillette says that one reason we know so little about these products is that it's highly unethical to knowingly douse people with chemicals and then watch what happens. Instead, scientists must rely on animal studies or trace what happens when human beings are accidentally exposed in industrial accidents. Another problem is that we're now being exposed to hundreds of environmental chemicals, including dozens that are known endocrine disruptors. That makes it exceedingly difficult to determine which one is having an effect. Or even which ones might be operating in concert.
In a recent article he coauthored, Rogan, the government scientist, noted contradictions in the research on endocrine disruption. "The inconsistency seen in the current literature is less evidence of no effect than a consequence of the broadness of the topic and the difficulty in studying it," he wrote. "Of course, by the time epidemiology can demonstrate effects, people have been exposed and affected, so it is in some sense too late."
A SPRING-GREEN LEAF, perfectly shaped and lifelike, greets visitors to the Web site of the Sarnia-Lambton Environmental Association (SLEA). The group's name is somewhat of a misnomer: Its members are the chemical manufacturers and oil refineries surrounding the Aamjiwnaang reserve. The group takes its own measurements of industrial pollution and reports to the public on the industry's progress in reducing those emissions.
Dean Edwardson, SLEA's general manager, says he's far from convinced that emissions from factories in Sarnia led to more girls being born on the reserve. He points to a review of the county's birth records that includes Aamjiwnaang, which did not find a similar decline in newborn boys. (James Brophy, now at the University of Windsor, has read this report and dismisses its importance. He points out that it included all county residents, even those who are subject to far less air, water, and soil pollution than those living on Aamjiwnaang.
U.S. Treasury Department Announces National Conference Calls with Tribal Leaders
On January 13, 2010 the U.S. Treasury Department sent a letter to tribal leaders confirming their commitment to follow President Obama's Memorandum on Tribal Consultation directing federal agencies to create an action plan for implementing Executive Order 13175. To view a copy of the order, click here.
To ensure that all tribes have an opportunity to comment National Conference Calls have been scheduled with Tribal leaders.
Call Date: Tuesday, January 19, 2010 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. [EST]
Call Date: Friday, January 22, 2010 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. [EST]
The Treasury also welcomes comments on the consultation process in writing, which can be submitted through:
Mail: Treasury Department (C/O Economic Policy), 1500 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC, 20220
For more information, download a copy of the Tribal Leader letter by clicking here.
The Right Testicle of Hell:
History of a Haitian Holocaust
Blackwater before drinking water
by Greg Palast for The Huffington Post
Sunday 17 January 2010
1. Bless the President for having rescue teams in the air almost immediately. That was President Olafur Grimsson of Iceland. On Wednesday, the AP reported that the President of the United States promised, "The initial contingent of 2,000 Marines could be deployed to the quake-ravaged country within the next few days." "In a few days," Mr. Obama?
2. There's no such thing as a 'natural' disaster. 200,000 Haitians have been slaughtered by slum housing and IMF "austerity" plans.
3. A friend of mine called. Do I know a journalist who could get medicine to her father? And she added, trying to hold her voice together, "My sister, she's under the rubble. Is anyone going who can help, anyone?" Should I tell her, "Obama will have Marines there in 'a few days'"?
4. China deployed rescuers with sniffer dogs within 48 hours. China, Mr. President.China: 8,000 miles distant. Miami: 700 miles close. US bases in Puerto Rico: right there.
5. Obama's Defense Secretary Robert Gates said, "I don't know how this government could have responded faster or more comprehensively than it has." We know Gates doesn't know.
6. From my own work in the field, I know that FEMA has access to ready-to-go potable water, generators, mobile medical equipment and more for hurricane relief on the Gulf Coast. It's all still there. Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré, who served as the task force commander for emergency response after Hurricane Katrina, told the Christian Science Monitor, "I thought we had learned that from Katrina, take food and water and start evacuating people." Maybe we learned but, apparently, Gates and the Defense Department missed school that day.
7. Send in the Marines. That's America's response. That's what we're good at. The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson finally showed up after three days. With what? It was dramatically deployed — without any emergency relief supplies. It has sidewinder missiles and 19 helicopters.
8. But don't worry, the International Search and Rescue Team, fully equipped and self-sufficient for up to seven days in the field, deployed immediately with ten metric tons of tools and equipment, three tons of water, tents, advanced communication equipment and water purifying capability. They're from Iceland.
9. Gates wouldn't send in food and water because, he said, there was no "structure ... to provide security." For Gates, appointed by Bush and allowed to hang around by Obama, it's security first. That was his lesson from Hurricane Katrina. Blackwater before drinking water.
10. Previous US presidents have acted far more swiftly in getting troops on the ground on that island. Haiti is the right half of the island of Hispaniola. It's treated like the right testicle of Hell. The Dominican Republic the left. In 1965, when Dominicans demanded the return of Juan Bosch, their elected President, deposed by a junta, Lyndon Johnson reacted to this crisis rapidly, landing 45,000 US Marines on the beaches to prevent the return of the elected president.
11. How did Haiti end up so economically weakened, with infrastructure, from hospitals to water systems, busted or non-existent - there are two fire stations in the entire nation - and infrastructure so frail that the nation was simply waiting for "nature" to finish it off?
Don't blame Mother Nature for all this death and destruction. That dishonor goes to Papa Doc and Baby Doc, the Duvalier dictatorship, which looted the nation for 28 years. Papa and his Baby put an estimated 80% of world aid into their own pockets - with the complicity of the US government happy to have the Duvaliers and their voodoo militia, Tonton Macoutes, as allies in the Cold War. (The war was easily won: the Duvaliers' death squads murdered as many as 60,000 opponents of the regime.)
12. What Papa and Baby didn't run off with, the IMF finished off through its "austerity" plans. An austerity plan is a form of voodoo orchestrated by economists zomby-fied by an irrational belief that cutting government services will somehow help a nation prosper.
13. In 1991, five years after the murderous Baby fled, Haitians elected a priest, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who resisted the IMF's austerity diktats. Within months, the military, to the applause of Papa George HW Bush, deposed him. History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce. The farce was George W. Bush. In 2004, after the priest Aristide was re-elected President, he was kidnapped and removed again, to the applause of Baby Bush.
14. Haiti was once a wealthy nation, the wealthiest in the hemisphere, worth more, wrote Voltaire in the 18th century, than that rocky, cold colony known as New England. Haiti's wealth was in black gold: slaves. But then the slaves rebelled - and have been paying for it ever since.
From 1825 to 1947, France forced Haiti to pay an annual fee to reimburse the profits lost by French slaveholders caused by their slaves' successful uprising. Rather than enslave individual Haitians, France thought it more efficient to simply enslave the entire nation.
15. Secretary Gates tells us, "There are just some certain facts of life that affect how quickly you can do some of these things." The Navy's hospital boat will be there in, oh, a week or so. Heckuva job, Brownie!
16. Note just received from my friend. Her sister was found, dead; and her other sister had to bury her. Her father needs his anti-seizure medicines. That's a fact of life too, Mr. President.
Through our journalism network, we are trying to get my friend's medicines to her father. If any reader does have someone getting into or near Port-au-Prince, please contactHaiti@GregPalast.com immediately.
Urgently recommended reading - The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution, the history of the successful slave uprising in Hispaniola by the brilliant CLR James.
Native Americans: Hatchet the stereotypes
BY ERICA DEMAREST
JAN 14, 2010
When a group of kindergarteners was asked to draw pictures of Native Americans for a recent study, three stereotypes quickly emerged: hatchets, feathers and the color red.
Many Native Americans blame America’s public education system for such stereotypes. Most children’s education about Native Americans starts at Columbus Day and ends at Thanksgiving, and few states design curricula to prevent that.
“It amazes me that we don’t have state standards that mandate teaching American Indian history as part of American history,” said Scott Stevens, director of the D'Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian History at the Newberry Library and a member of the Mohawk nation. “It’s like teaching American history without slavery, without conquests, without immigration. It’s a bizarre way to teach.”
Stevens spoke Thursday at a panel titled “America's Forgotten People" at Northwestern University’s School of Law in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. He said that, in the absence of comprehensive education, most Americans lump the 562 federally recognized Native American tribes into one large group. But each self-governing tribe has its own religion, culture and language.
“Native Americans are kind of invisible,” said Sunny Gibson, director of multicultural affairs at the Feinberg School of Medicine, “and the ways that they are visible are not positive or constructive.”
When children study Native Americans, Stevens said, they learn about wars and conflicts, often ignoring the accomplishments of Native American authors, poets and athletes.
Starla Carpenter, a member of the Cherokee nation who attended public school, feels she missed an opportunity to learn her heritage as a child.
“I never learned it at school, not even in Oklahoma, and that’s where they sent [the Cherokees],” she said. “Why wasn’t there a whole unit about the Trail of Tears in my school? It doesn’t make much sense to me.”
Stevens advocated expanding education about Native Americans in public schools, both to teach children about rich cultures and to help them better understand the complex fabric of American history.
“There is no Indian-free American history,” he said. “It’s just taught that way. Let’s hope that changes.”
Threatening Cuts to Fort Lewis College’s Native Students
First Nations & Aboriginal Rights Bulletin
Posted by Anthony Jay Henhawk Jr
DENVER – Legislators are targeting Fort Lewis College’s free tuition for Native Americans for a $1.8 million cut.
It comes on top of the nearly $4 million in cuts Gov. Bill Ritter has proposed for the college by 2011 – the deepest percentage cut in the state. Together, the two cuts will have a “devastating, crippling impact” on Fort Lewis, said Steve Schwartz, FLC’s vice president for finance and administration.
“I’ve never seen anything where I’ve felt so singled out by the state,” Schwartz said.
The college hasn’t figured out what it would do if the Legislature OKs both cuts, which could take $6 million out of its $41 million annual budget. But it would “absolutely” have to lay off employees, Schwartz said.
College officials and their allies at the Legislature are fighting the cuts, and their first priority is to kill House Bill 1067, which targets the Native American tuition program.
Ritter’s Department of Higher Education is behind the bill. It seeks to change the state law that reimburses Fort Lewis College for the full tuition price of each Native American student. Instead, the department wants to reimburse Fort Lewis only for the “cost of instruction,” a $3,000-per-student difference that adds up to $1.8 million in 2011, the year it would take effect. Rep. Karen Middleton, D-Aurora, and Sen. Bob Bacon, D-Fort Collins, are the sponsors.
More and more Native Americans are taking advantage of free tuition at FLC, and most of them are from out of state. Under current law, the state has to pay Fort Lewis the nonresident tuition rate of $16,060 for every out-of-state Native American it enrolls. There are 758 Native Americans currently enrolled at FLC. The cost to the state mushroomed from $6.5 million in 2004 to $10.7 million this year.
“We do understand the Legislature’s concern. It’s a big number, and it’s only going to continue to grow,” Schwartz said.
The Fort Lewis Native American Center’s staff refused to comment and referred calls to the college’s media relations office. Provost Steve Roderick is going to Washington, D.C., this week to see if Congress could send federal money to help shoulder the burden. But in the meantime, the college wants the bill killed this year, to give Ritter’s blue-ribbon panel on college funding time to make recommendations for revamping the system statewide.
The tuition waiver grew $1.1 million in the last year. To pay for the extra, the Department of Higher Education wants to take money out of the statewide financial aid budget for work-study, a pot of money that pays needy students who work on campus.
That’s not fair, Bacon said.
“What (the bill) is, is an attempt to try to maximize the work-study funds across the state for many students, and not just for Fort Lewis,” Bacon said.
Department of Higher Education officials say they are trying to do what’s right for all colleges as deep budget cuts loom next year.
“We’re not trying to single them out or anything. We’re in the position of making really tough choices among really bad options,” said John Karakoulakis, the department’s director of legislative affairs.
But Fort Lewis leaders do feel singled out, especially because the governor’s budget takes colleges back to their 2005 levels, when Fort Lewis got less money compared to other Colorado schools. Under Ritter’s plan, Fort Lewis will lose nearly a third of its state support by 2012, a larger percentage than any other college. And that’s not including the $1.8 million cut to the Native American tuition waivers.
“Fort Lewis College is willing to take its cuts and willing to take its hits. But it has to be a fair share,” Schwartz said.
College administrators are working with their local legislators, Rep. Ellen Roberts, R-Durango, and Sen. Bruce Whitehead, D-Hesperus, to kill the Native tuition bill. Fort Lewis alumni Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, joined the fight Thursday.
Roberts and Whitehead are running against each other in the November election for Whitehead’s Senate seat. They both emphasize that they want to keep politics out of this debate. But the cuts Ritter, a Democrat, proposes at Fort Lewis will lead to job losses in the district of the Democrats’ most vulnerable incumbent senator, Whitehead.
The tuition waiver program comes from Fort Lewis’ history as an Indian boarding school. The federal government gave the school near Hesperus to the state in 1911, on the condition that the state maintain it as a school where “Indian students will be admitted free of tuition and on an equality with white students,” according to that year’s Annual Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs.
In the century since, Fort Lewis moved to Durango and converted itself into a four-year liberal arts college. But the free tuition policy remained. Native American students still have to buy textbooks and pay fees and room and board costs.
Fort Lewis stands almost alone among American colleges by giving free tuition to American Indians, even if they live out of state.
The University of Minnesota-Morris, which also was an Indian boarding school, has the same policy. But it does not have a separate nonresident tuition rate, said Jacqueline Johnson, the college’s chancellor. The University of Minnesota system’s budget covers the cost of tuition waivers.
Michigan also has a free tuition program for Native Americans, but it’s only for Michigan residents.
One Fort Lewis alumni in the Legislature thinks his colleagues need a history lesson.
Rep. Sal Pace, D-Pueblo, graduated in 1999. He first saw HB 1067 after it was introduced Monday and joined with Roberts to fight it.
“It’s really sad in 2010 that Colorado has forgotten about the history of broken promises and broken treaties to Native Americans,” Pace said.
Fort Lewis has other allies at the Legislature, too.
Rep. Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver, serves on the Joint Budget Committee, which writes the state budget, using Ritter’s plan as a starting point. Whitehead has talked to him about the dual cuts planned for Fort Lewis, and Ferrandino is concerned.
“One of the things I want to make sure is when we’re looking at our cuts to higher ed – and there are going to be some – how do we do it in a fair and equitable manner?” he said. “Is that disproportionately hurting Fort Lewis? If so, then I think we need to equalize that somehow.”
HB 1067 is tentatively scheduled for its first hearing in the House Education Committee on Jan. 25.
Lawmaker Wants to Ban Sweat Lodge Use by Non-Native Americans Allowed only on tribal land, or with permission
FELICIA FONSECA, Associated Press Writers, JONATHAN J. COOPER, Associated Press
PHOENIX – An Arizona lawmaker wants to regulate the use of traditional Native American practices after three people died last year in a northern-Arizona sweat lodge ceremony.
Sen. Albert Hale, D-St. Michaels, announced on Tuesday that he plans to introduce a measure to sanction the use of Native American ceremonies off tribal land for profit without permission.
Self-help guru James Arthur Ray charged people more than $9,000 each to attend his five-day “Spiritual Warrior” retreat near Sedona that culminated in a sweat lodge ceremony on Oct. 8. Participants said they trusted that Ray, who touted training under a Native American shaman, knew what he was doing.
Three people died and 18 others were hospitalized after becoming overwhelmed in the 415 square-foot sweat lodge that was covered with tarps and blankets. The deaths and illnesses sparked outrage among American Indians, who drew distinctions between what Ray did and what would be considered a traditional Native American sweat lodge.
Hale, a member and former president of the Navajo tribe, said the bill is partly an effort to protect people from false advertising.
“This process has been a perversion of our traditional ways,” he said. “The dominant society has taken all that we have: Our land, our water, our language, and now they’re trying to take our way of life.”
The Yavapai County sheriff’s office has focused a homicide investigation on Ray, who has made millions of dollars by convincing people his words will lead them to spiritual and financial wealth. Ray has hired an investigative team to find out what happened, and his lawyer said the deaths were the result of a tragic accident, not criminal negligence.
Hale’s proposed restrictions would not apply to ceremonies taking place on tribal land or with the authorization of a tribal government.
It’s unclear exactly how the law would be enforced. The bill leaves those details up to the Arizona Department of Health Services and the Arizona Commission of Indian Affairs, but Hale said a violation would likely be a civil offense similar to a traffic ticket.
Sweat lodges are commonly used by Native American tribes to cleanse the body and prepare for hunts, ceremonies and other events. They typically hold no more than a dozen people, compared with more than 50 people inside the one led by Ray.
The ceremony involves stones heated up outside the lodge, brought inside and placed in a pit. The door is closed, and water is poured on the stones, producing heat aimed at releasing toxins in the body. In traditional ceremonies, the person who pours the water is said to have an innate sense about the conditions of others inside the sweat lodge, many times recognizing problems before they physically are presented.
“We need to be respected,” Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr. said. “Our ways cannot be abused.”
Can you pass this on to whom so ever might be interested! thank so much we need our Language its life!
Speak Lakota! LLC - Lakota Language Class.
Learn Lakota with fluent, first langauge native speaker William Underbaggage of
Lakota language used in everyday conversation.
Monday, January 18 2010
Mondays, 6:30 - 8:30 pm.
Intertribal Friendship House (IFH)
523 International Blvd.
Casual healthy potluck. byod. (bring your own dishes).,
$10 donation requested.
Open course scheduled through May 24, 2010.