Issues & News 01/11/2010
Issues & News 01/11/2010Six Nations & Caledonia Landclaim Dispute: OPP's Fantino could face criminal action
First Nations & Aboriginal Rights BulletinPosted by Tjay Henhawk
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Ontario Provincial Police commissioner Julian Fantino is facing a charge of attempting to influence municipal officials, an indictable offence, after a justice of the peace yesterday signed a summons requiring the former Toronto police chief to appear before a criminal court.
The summons comes after a Dec. 31 Ontario Superior Court order demanding a formal charge be laid in relation to allegations against Mr. Fantino brought forward by a private complainant, Gary McHale, who has long been at odds with the commissioner over his handling of the aboriginal protests in Caledonia.
"The summons makes sense," said Mr. McHale. "It's great that the system has finally kicked in and the charge has gone forward. I'm happy that the courts have upheld the rights of average people to have these types of cases prosecuted."
The OPP could not be reached for comment last night, but Brendan Crawley, spokesman for the Ministry of the Attorney General, wrote in an email that "when a private prosecution involves an indictable offence, the Crown Attorneys Act requires the Crown to intervene and assume carriage of the prosecution."
Now that Mr. Fantino has been summoned, onlookers question the logistics of launching a criminal case against the province's top officer.
"This is a very unusual case," said Steven Skurka, a partner at Toronto law firm Skurka & Spina LLP. "I can't remember a police officer ever being charged in private prosecution, let alone the chief."
"This is uncharted territory," echoed James Stribopolous, associate law professor at York University's Osgoode Hall.
At the centre of the current dispute is Mr. Fantino's April 7, 2007 email to Haldimand County's mayor and councillors in which he allegedly warned the politicians not to support anti-occupation protests.
The Commissioner wrote that he would hold the county directly accountable for any injuries suffered by OPP officers during protests by a contentious group known as "Caledonia Wake Up Call," led by Mr. McHale. He also warned that he would advise the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services not to renew the OPP's contract with Haldimand County for policing once it expired if councillors supported the protest group.
A letter sent to Mr. McHale yesterday by the Ministry, and obtained by the National Post, states that because Mr. Fantino is a police officer, the case will be assigned to a Crown within the justice prosecutions unit, a division formed to prosecute criminal cases where the accused is someone involved in the administration of justice, such as a police officer.
"I can assure you that the Crown assigned to this matter will fairly and appropriately apply all of the applicable legal standards to this case as are applied to every other criminal case in Ontario, regardless of who is charged, or who commenced the charge," wrote Kenneth Campbell, director of the Crown's criminal law office.
Because the allegations were brought forward by a private complainant, the Identification of Criminals Act does not apply, and Mr. Fantino will not be photographed or fingerprinted.
Next, the Ministry must decide whether to pursue the charge, a decision Mr. Skurka said rests on two criteria: whether there is a reasonable prospect of conviction and whether it is in the public interest to do so.
"They could withdraw the charge, but that's not something to be done capriciously," he said. "There's an added layer of political accountability."
Mr. Skurka said the Attorney General's decision would be announced at the first court appearance, likely within several weeks of the summons. Mr. McHale said he was informed yesterday by the Ontario Court of Justice in Cayuga, about 50 kilometres south of Hamilton, that Mr. Fantino is expected to appear as early as Feb. 3.
If the Crown decides to pursue the charge, which can carry a sentence of up to five years in prison, the Ministry may choose to hire an independent criminal lawyer -- as it did in the case of former Attorney General Michael Bryant.
Mr. Skurka said that while the case is certainly unusual, the Attorney General "prosecutes police officers all the time," and it makes no difference that Mr. Fantino is the commissioner.
"I see no conflict of interest in terms of the Attorney General dealing with this matter," he said. "Commissioner Fantino is independent of the Attorney General's office."
Mr. Stribopolous, meantime, said it would be "a prudent move" for the Ministry to hire independent counsel. "It's a grey area, but I would think they'd bring in a special prosecutor for the sake of optics," he said, adding Mr. Fantino would benefit from such a decision.
"That way, if the charges are dropped, then it would not look like he was getting any favours. If I were Fantino, I'd want exoneration from an independent prosecutor."
Whether the Attorney General decides to hire a special prosecutor might affect Mr. Fantino's decision to stay on as commissioner, Mr. Stribopolous said. "He'll probably want to see what happens at the first court appearance," he said. "It might be unseemly to stay on as commissioner, but there's no hard and fast rule."
Said Mr. Skurka: "My view is that it is appropriate for him to stay on as commissioner because he has the right to a presumption of innocence just like anyone else."
NICWA offers Training Institutes January 19-21st in Portland, Oregon!
National Indian Child Welfare AssociationBulletinPosted by McKenzie Miller
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Hello NICWA Cause Members:
NICWA would like to see you take part in our next Indian Child Welfare Training Institute on January 19–21, 2010! This professional development workshop series is designed specifically for child welfare workers and administrators in reservation, urban, and state settings. This is a great opportunity to learn from the experts and network with other professionals working in the field of Indian child welfare. The January Training Institute will offer courses on Positive Indian Parenting and Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), Advanced.
A little about the classes being offered:
Positive Indian Parenting
Trainer: Nadja Jones, Senior Community Development Specialist
For years, Native parents have been bombarded with the idea that using traditional methods of child-rearing is not a good thing. Positive Indian Parenting reverses that concept. It revives traditional ways and provides a place for combining traditional and modern parenting methods.
This course will provide workers with information on how to organize and conduct parenting training. Preparing lesson plans, setting up meetings, and helping parents through this training will be covered. Exercises and handouts are designed for use in small groups or with a family. A facilitator's manual is included in each participant's course material.
Trainers: David Simmons, Director of Government Affairs and Advocacy, and Ashley Horne, Government Affairs Associate
This workshop is designed for high-level leaders, managers, and program directors from both tribal and state/county agencies. It will give the participant an overview of the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA) and the policy issues involved when tribes must work with state or county agencies to ensure that Native families in child welfare get fair treatment and children are protected.
This will include a brief history of tribal policy and ICWA, coupled with a brief summary of tribal-state relations, will set the stage for examination of specific implementation of ICWA from a policy and leadership perspective. Implementation issues, methods for dealing with problem situations, and pending legislative proposals and actions will be summarized and examined for their implications for working with Native families. Participants will receive information on the development of effective tribal-state agreements, local protocol agreements, and how to advocate in complex ICWA cases. A discussion of why each section of the law exists will help participants understand the intent of the act and the implications for tribal leaders, managers, and senior staff. Learn about funding strategies, service integration models, worker certification, and culturally based practice approaches that can be used to reinvent child welfare to be more effective and more highly valued in tribal communities.
For more information about the workshop series, we encourage you to visit the training institute page of NICWA's website http://www.nicwa.org/..training/institutes/classes/. Any further questions can be directed to events support, Laurie Evans, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (503) 222-4044, extension 124.
Public Hearing Announcement and Action Alert for Senate Bill 25: Race-Based Mascot and Logo Bill
Barb Munson - email@example.com 715 693-6238
Brett Munson - firstname.lastname@example.org 715 571-2521
Chris Munson - email@example.com 715 571-8382
The Senate Education Committee will hold a public hearing on Senate Bill 25:
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Room # 411 South
We had a strong turnout at the Assembly hearing last March. For the first time ever, the bill will make it to both the Assembly and Senate committees.
Now, to continue toward becoming law, this hearing needs to be successful. Here's how you can help!
Attend the Senate Education Committee Hearing for SB25:
Sign in at the hearing, and check that you are in support of SB-25
Speak at the hearing
Provide a written statement for the committee to consider before they vote on the bill
If you intend to provide written or oral testimony, please bring a copy of your statement for the committee clerk to enter into the hearing record.
Depending on the committee's schedule, the Chair may limit the time and/or number of presenters.
Be prepared to respond to questions from members of the Senate Education Committee.
Contact the "Indian" Mascot & Logo Task Force if you're interested in speaking. We will be assisting the committee clerk in organizing individual and panel testimonies, so please contact us ahead of time, if you can.
If You Cannot Attend the Hearing for SB-25:
Write, call, fax, or email the Chair of the Senate Education Committee, Sen. John Lehman.
You may choose to request that your correspondence be shared with all members of the committee. Here is a link to his contact information:
What SB-25 Will Do:
The bill provides a means of resolving discrimination complaints based on the use of race-based 'Indian" logos, mascots and team names through a form of mediation provided by the Department of Public Instruction.
Direct appeal to the DPI and 45 day time limits for the process are intended to lessen pressure on complainants and divisiveness in the communities in which they reside.
The bill does not apply to school district names (Blackhawk School District) or to town names (Mosinee, Seneca), but only to actual school team designations.
The bill will continue to allow districts with ambiguous names, such as "Raiders," "Warriors," or "Blackhawks," to make simple changes to their imagery without losing their nicknames. (From 'Indian' imagery to pirates, foxes, ancient warriors, or birds.)
The bill will not automatically mandate change to any district's team name or mascot. A community with native and non-native people who are satisfied with their logo, mascot, or team name would not generate any complaints, and would be outside the scope of this legislation.
Here is a link to the bill on-line:
Talking Points for SB-25:
Here is a link to Talking Points to assist in developing written and/or verbal statements in support of SB-25.
We look forward to seeing you at the hearing!!! Osk^n^su
AIM-WEST meeting Thursday, January 14th
Greetings, Friends and Relations,
American Indian Movement-WEST invites you to a community meeting on Thursday, January 14th . As this is the first of the year gathering with friends and volunteers, the occasion will provide time to open discussion on plans for this year’s activities. The gathering is from 6 pm to 9 pm at the Bahai’i Center, 170 Valencia Street in San Francisco. Please come early. Bring food/snacks to share. If you are not able to attend stay posted for a summary report on our website.
Some topics for discussion may include;
1. Review of the 3rd annual AIM-WEST conference held last November, i.e. financial report;
2. Copenhagen Climate Change conference held December 7-18, report back by Tony Gonzales, and related local follow-up activities i.e. green jobs, economy, businesses;
3. Review of dates and schedule for 2010;
4. Proposal ideas and suggestions for action, including Foundation information, contacts, and datelines to share for future funding;
5. February “Liberation Day” acknowledgement of and commemoration of Wounded Knee 1973; Feb. 15 (holiday) Ocean Beach (NPS) and film at Roxie?;
6. April activities; AIM Grand Council invitation to Minneapolis, and AIM-WEST workshop at UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, NYC; Earth Day in Bolivia?
7. General discussion on planning for funding, logistics, agenda, etc. for International AIM conference AIM-WEST will host November 22-26;
8. Youth and student recruitment into AIM i.e. working with Juvenile justice system, prisons;
9. Additional announcements, matters of concern, issues.
If you are interested in volunteering your time with the Bay Area and San Francisco emerging American Indian community particularly from Central and South America, then this is for you! Tell your friends. AIM-WEST is an inter-tribal human rights based organization who advocates for the Self-Determination of all Indigenous Peoples. There is a role for everybody! Friends and allies are welcome to join us. Spanish translation. Wheelchair accessible. All Drummers welcome!
Check our website for more information atwww.aimwest.info Thank you all my relations!
PO Box 410534
San Francisco, CA 94141
Natives vow to press poverty issues at Olympics
First Nations & Aboriginal Rights BulletinPosted by Tjay Henhawk
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Vancouver - The federal and British Columbia governments have been warned that the Olympic Games will be used as an international stage to highlight native poverty unless funding is provided for economic development in aboriginal communities.
Squamish Chief Bill Williams, chair of the Four Host First Nations, which until now has shown a unified front in working to promote the Olympics, issued that caution in an interview yesterday. Leonard Thomas, president of the BC First Nations Forestry Council, said the same thing in letters to government officials.
"The time for plain talking is now upon us. Our forest-dependent first nations communities are no longer willing to quietly sit back and wait for actions that never come," Mr. Thomas said in a letter to B.C. Forests Minister Pat Bell.
"The fact that your government and its federal partner are spending $3-billion to stage the Winter Olympics is merely exacerbating the frustration and anger felt by our communities as they continue to be told that there is no money in the pot to address their situations, which, as you are fully aware, are of a most desperate nature."
Mr. Thomas asked for an urgent meeting to resolve the issue, and said if steps aren't taken, "the FNFC and its member first nations will reluctantly, but without hesitation, take advantage of the intense international media interest that will be focused on B.C. before and during the Winter Olympics."
Mr. Thomas sent a similar letter to Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade. Copies of both letters, dated Dec. 18, were obtained by The Globe and Mail.
In an interview, Mr. Williams supported the letters.
"There's going to be some 14,000 media people running around [at the Olympics]," he said. "Some of them are already contacting us. They want to know, ‘What's it like to be an Indian in today's world? How do you live?' We are going to start letting those reporters know the reality of the poverty we face."
In addition to being chair of the Four Host First Nations, Mr. Williams is vice-president of the BC First Nations Forestry Council. He said the BC FNFC has been seeking $6.2-million in funding from the province to help develop aboriginal forestry businesses, and for several years has been trying to secure $135-million from Ottawa to deal with a forest fire hazard created by B.C.'s pine beetle epidemic.
But Mr. Williams said the B.C. government has offered just $620,000 to the BC FNFC, while the federal government has failed to provide pine beetle funding, despite promises to spend nearly $1-billion over 10 years on the problem.
Mr. Bell, however, said his government has been working hard to improve economic opportunities and has completed agreements with 167 native communities, providing logging access to 43 million cubic metres of timber and $243-million in revenue sharing.
He said the BC FNFC's request for funding was not approved because the government first wants a detailed financial plan.
"It's great that they are looking for $6-million, but in times of budget restraint ... it is very challenging for me to find that kind of money," Mr. Bell said. "At this point, we are waiting for them to come back to us ... and outline what it is they intend to do and how they will provide value for those taxpayer dollars."
A spokesperson for Mr. Day said the minister is aware of the concerns expressed in the letter and plans to respond.
Tewanee Joseph, chief executive officer of the Four Host First Nations, expressed continued support for the Games, despite the critical comments made by his chair, Mr. Williams, and by Mr. Thomas.
He said native communities across Canada will share in an estimated $150-million in revenues generated by the Olympic Gameswith more than 100 aboriginal businesses working on Games-related activities.
Mr. Joseph said that while the lack of forestry funding for B.C. native communities is an issue, there is still widespread aboriginal support for the Games.
"Next month, Four Host First Nations is going to rock the world at the 2010 Games," he said. "At the Aboriginal Pavilion, we're going to share, showcase and educate about our cultures to visitors from around the world."
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ThePetitionSite.com provides tools and empowers individuals to make a difference and effect positive change through online activism. Get connected with the causes you care about, take action to make the world a better place, and start your own petition athttp://www.ThePetitionSite...com!
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"Ancient sketches graffiti or art?"
I have not much to say here about this article, you will get it as you read the two page article who & what Lee Benson is saying & it's not good. I hope you all take time out to give your comments on the articles web page, maybe even to Lee Benson himself, then please pass this far & wide.
Many blessings to all, Teresa Anahuy
A recent article in the church owned Deseret News seen here: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705356988/Ancient-sketches-graffiti-or-art.html
Is one of the most arrogant and racist articles I have yet seen, and there have been plenty but this takes the prize for stupidity.
Please distribute this far and wide and let this paper know how you feel.
"A very great vision is needed and the man who has it
must follow it as the eagle follows the deepest blue of the sky."
Tasunkawiteo (Crazy Horse)
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Breaking News: Kevin Annett assaulted in Vancouver's downtown eastside - please circulate
FYI From: Marcie
Breaking News: Kevin Annett assaulted in Vancouver's downtown eastside - please circulate
Human Rights activist Kevin Annett assaulted in Vancouver
January 10, 2010
Rev. Kevin Annett was assaulted by two men in Vancouver's downtown eastside last Wednesday just two days after he published an article on church and government complicity in child trafficking on Canada's west coast.
Rev. Annett suffered cuts, bruises, and at least one broken rib as a result of the unprovoked beating by two men, one of whom is linked to a downtown church agency.
Kevin Annett, right, with Squamish Chief
Kiapilano at a protest outside Holy Rosary
Catholic Church, Vancouver, March 2008
In a statement released today, Rev. Annett said,
"I have waited to comment on the attack because of my need to rest and recover, but concerns from many people have prompted me to go public with what happened to me.
"Last Wednesday, January 6, at around 9 am, I was assisting a woman facing eviction collect her belongings at a rooming house at 566 Powell street in Vancouver's downtown eastside. Two men suddenly burst into the room, and one of them, a tall, strongly built Caucasian man named Dave who apparently is the manager of the building and a former employee of the Union Gospel Mission, began punching and kicking me. I received severe bruises on my neck and back, and a bruised and possibly broken rib because of this attack.
"At no time did he or his accomplice, another strongly built Caucasian man who witnessed the beating, say why they were attacking me. The woman who I was assisting is a former sex trade worker who is now homeless, and who in the past has provided me with information concerning the disappearance of women in the downtown eastside.
"This assault occurred just two days after an article I wrote entitled 'Child Trafficking in Beautiful British Columbia' in The Agora newspaper was widely disseminated in the downtown eastside of Vancouver. The article describes the documented complicity of churches, the police and the government in the trafficking of children in protected pedophile networks in B.C. I therefore believe there is a connection between the publicizing of this story and the attack made on me. This incident represents yet another case of repression aimed at community activists by the 2010 Olympic security forces and police, and other unknown parties."
Rev. Annett, who for fifteen years has led the campaign to bring to justice the churches and government responsible for genocide in Canada's Indian Residential Schools, made international news in October 2009 when he held the first memorial service for missing native children outside the Vatican in Rome.
Rev. Annett, school survivors and native elders have also led high profile protests and occupations of churches in Vancouver and Toronto since 2005, and on many occasions Annett has been threatened by church officials and police.
Rev. Annett will be returning to Rome and Europe in April with residential school survivors to confront Pope Benedict over the fate and buried location of thousands of children who died in Catholic Indian schools in Canada.
For more information contact Kevin Annett at: 250-753-3345 or through this email.
Released by The Friends and Relatives of the Disappeared (Vancouver)
tiger wants you to take action on "Help The California Miwok Tribe Keep Their Land"!
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tiger paulk has just read and signed the petition: Help The California Miwok Tribe Keep Their Land
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Hi, I signed the petition "Help The California Miwok Tribe Keep Their Land". I'm asking you to sign this petition to help us reach our goal of 10,000 signatures. I care deeply about this cause, and I hope you will support our efforts.
ThePetitionSite.com provides tools and empowers individuals to make a difference and effect positive change through online activism. Get connected with the causes you care about, take action to make the world a better place, and start your own petition at http://www.ThePetitionSite.com!
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WARNING! I BUY STRAYS -- www.ibuystrays.com/index.html -- CLASS B
Please pass this on to your lists.
Thank you for contacting The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). The HSUS has received many inquiries from constituents concerned about the websitewww.IBUYSTRAYS.COM, which purportedly seeks to purchase unwanted dogs and cats from animal shelters and owners and then sell these animals to research laboratories. As many of our constituents have guessed, this site is a hoax—see the assessment of this site athttp://www.snopes.com/inboxer/hoaxes/ibuystrays.asp. (Snopes.com debunks “urban legends” and similar hoaxes.)
Nonetheless, the issue raised by this website is real. Every year, about a dozen individuals known as “Class B Dealers” round up dogs or cats and sell these unfortunate animals to research laboratories. Regrettably, these dealers are licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture under the Animal Welfare Act to traffic in “random source” animals—those obtained from flea markets, trade day sales, some animal control facilities, and totally unregulated middlemen known as “bunchers.” (We know of no examples of such dealers acquiring dogs and cats via web-based solicitations.) Because Class B dealers have over a 40 year history of violating the AWA by acquiring animals under fraudulent means (including pet theft) and by housing and transporting them under substandard conditions, the HSUS is seeking to ban these dealers from trafficking in random source dogs and cats.
For more information regarding these Class B dealers and our efforts to ban trafficking in random source dogs and cats please visit our website athttp://www.humanesociety.org/issues/pets_experiments/.
Thank you for your concern about animals.
t 404 867 5526 f 800 517 2592
The Humane Society of the United States
2959D #129 Chapel Hill Rd., Douglasville, GA 30135
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Subject: your email needed to help save the Chumash Wind Caves
The Los Padres Forest Service is accepting public comments on the 20 yr permit of the Winchester Gun Club (WCGC) opposed by the Coalition to Save Husahkiw-Chumash Windcaves and Sierra Club, with many supporters in the fields of Archeology, Anthropology, Rock Art Specialists, Natives and Non-Natives.
Your assistance is requested to support the RELOCATION of the WCGC to a non culturally and environmentally sensitive location.
The information below is intended for a Cut and Paste letter to the Los Padres Forest Service.
Included in this email is:
1) a sample letter that you may cut and paste and send by email or snail mail if you would like to:
Los Padres National Forest, 6755 Hollister Avenue, Suite 150, Goleta, CA 93117; or by telephone at (805) 961-5744.
2) a summary of the Chumash Wind Caves,3)a summary of the LPFS EA (we encourage you to read this document which can be found at
http://www.facebook.com/l/d992a;www.fs.fed.us/r5/lospadres/projects/analysis/winchester-gun-club-ea12-6-2006.pdf and write your own comments/conclusions).
***Please send comments comments TODAY or by Jan 18th, 2007**--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1) sample letter to cut and paste and add to Email to:
To: Jeff Benson,
LPFS 6755 Hollister Ave., Suite 150
Goleta, CA 93177
From: (your name, address, and phone number),
Subject: Chumash Wind Caves/Winchester Canyon Gun Club Environmental Impact Study
Dear Peggy Hernandez, Forest Supervisor,
I am writing in response to the Environmental Impact Report and Special Use Permit for the Winchester Canyon Gun Club located within the Husahkiw and Lizards Mouth Chumash Ceremonial areas. I encourage the Los Padres Forest Service to permanently monitored and preserved the Husahkiw Cultural Traditional Property as a historic and culturally significant site and register it with the the National Register of Historic Places to ensure its protection.
The nature of the a shooting range is incompatible with Husahkiw’s cultural treasures that house a rare and magnificent rock formations, multi-pigment Rock Paintings and Chumash Ceremonial areas still used today, as well as outdoor recreational activities by the Santa Barbara community at large. This area is being destroyed by continued use and abuse of firearms, dumping and graffiti. In addition to significant cultural value, the ecological value (plant, animal and water) in the area cannot continue to be threatened by lead and noise contamination.
I am asking the LPFS to seek an Alternative in the Environmental Impact Report to not issue a new special use permit for the shooting range, remove all improvements, facilities, and target range materials from the National Forest Lands, restore the site to near-natural conditions and relocate the WCGC to a non-culturally or non-environmentally sensitive area. I make this request based on the delayed EA and historic actions of the Gun Club and Forest Service to fail to abide by the EPA's Best Management Policy, the illegal extension of the long ranges, the lack of concern for the sanctity of the ancient Chumash Cave Paintings and Ceremonial Areas, the reversal by the United States Department of Agriculture based on Appeals by the Coalition and its supporters, of the LPFS decision of No Significant Impact, failure to consult with the Coalition and Sierra Club, ineffective mitigation measures and the reputation of the archelologists who support the closing down of the gun club and protection of the Wind and Painted Caves.
The relocation of the gun club is posible, but the reconstruction thousands of years of history of the Chumash, Santa Barbara's Indigenous peoples is not.
Please, do not reissue the special use permit and relocate the WCGC.
**Make sure that you recieve the automated confirmation reciept and save it in your files. Please make sure you send us a copy for our records at: email@example.com. thanks for your support.
2) SUMMARY of area and gunsCULTURAL RESOURCES AND PROTECTION OF CULTURAL LANDSCAPESThe " Husahkiw" Wind Caves, rock paintings and cultural landscape well documented as CA-SBA-509, commonly known as the Knapp site, or Indian caves. The " Husahkiw" site, like Petroglyph National Monument, is qualified for National Monument designation. It is an internationally recognized archaeological site, known to be one of the most significant in North America due to the unique polychrome images. For thousands of years the Chumash held sacred the cultural landscape, rock shelters and caves in and immediately around the site presently occupied by the gun club shooting range. On the interior walls of these caves are highly decorative and symbolic multi-colored rock paintings.
These images were created from natural pigments and depict the painters visions of their sprit world as reviled during vision quests, ceremonies, cultural trainings, tribal and personal histories. The landscape is known as a sacred place for many reasons beyond the remaining cave paintings such as the gathering place, ceremonial places, natural structures, and the spirit watchers that still look down on the basin. This area is utiliized by many Chumash, and still alive with the presence of our ancestors, and must be protected honored and respected by all. The coalition has been able to bring in specialists in archeology and acoustics to document the cultural significance of this area. Scientific study has found that acoustic influences of echoing at rock paintings sites around the world are a fundamental influence on the selection of such sites by the artists. Attached for your review is a copy of the treatise entitled Psychoacoustic Influences of the Echoing Environments of Prehistoric Art , by Steven Waller, Ph.D. 2002, incorporated herein by this reference. (See also the "Rock Art Acoustics" web page at URL http://www.facebook.com/l/d992a;www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/9461).
The Forest Service has failed and refused to listen to previous Forest Archaeologist, The Coalition to Save Husahkiw, and other interested parties. The Gun Club has failed to protect the cultural resource sites, and has failed to prevent the continued desecration of the rock paintings, and has generally trashed the cultural landscape of the entire basin.
11 Jan 2010
Obama's Indian problem
Photograph: Jennifer Brown/Corbis
Lawrence Red Feathers sits on his porch at Pine Ridge Reservation, Rapid City, South Dakota, USA. Photograph: Jennifer Brown/Corbis
The Guardian Features Mon 11 Jan 2010 10:57 GMT
The US president has pledged to improve the lives of Native Americans. But he faces huge challenges, such as those on Pine Ridge Indian reservation where unemployment is more than 80%, the average wage is £4,400 – and life expectancy is 50
Indian country begins where the serene prairie of Custer county gives way to the formidable rock spires marking out South Dakota's rugged Badlands. The road runs straight until the indistinguishable, clapboard American homesteads fade from view and the path climbs into a landscape sharpened by an eternity of wind and water. At this time of year, the temperature slides to tens of degrees below freezing and a relentless gale sets the snow dancing on the road, a whirligig of white blotting out the black of the asphalt.
The first marker that this may be a part of the United States but is also apart from it, virtually invisible to most Americans, comes as the road descends on to the plains of the Pine Ridge Indian reservation. Here, an abandoned, half-wrecked mobile home, daubed with the name of a Sioux rebel who led the last armed showdown between the tribe and US authorities nearly four decades ago, stands as a monument to defiance and despair.
The signal from South Dakota's Christian radio fades as an agitated caller elaborates on her belief that God created global warming as a taste of the fires of hell awaiting humanity. After a time the reservation's own station struggles through.
The tribe's president, Theresa Two Bulls, is on air lamenting the death of a schoolboy, Joshua Kills Enemy, who hanged himself the day before. His funeral will be the second of the week, coming days after a 14-year-old girl took her own life in the same way. They are not the first.
Two Bulls wonders how it can be that the Oglala Sioux tribe's children are killing themselves. "We must hug our children, we must tell them we love them. A lot of these youth do not get a hug a day. They are never told that they're loved. We need to start being parents and grandparents to them," she says.
Two days later, Two Bulls declares a "suicide state of emergency" in response to the deaths of the children and a spate of attempts by others to kill themselves, such as Delia Big Boy, who was 15 when she put a rope around her neck and came close to taking her own life. "It had a lot to do with my parents and alcohol abuse and what they say to you. The things they say make you think they don't love you," says the high school student, who is now 17. "I hear the same thing from my friends. There's a sense of hopelessness on the reservation. There's just not a sense of belonging. There's not a sense of a future. There's alcoholism. The parents drink. A lot of the children drink."
In declaring the state of emergency, Two Bulls says that the deaths of the children are a symptom of a wider crisis that has taken hold of generations of Oglala Sioux, and this is certainly true. More than 100 people, mostly adults, tried or succeeded in taking their own lives on Pine Ridge reservation last year.
"This is about how defeated our people feel. There's hopelessness out there," Two Bulls tells me later. "People across the United States don't realise we could be identified as the third world. Our living conditions, what we have to live with, what we have to make do with. People think we are living high off the hog on welfare and casinos. I've asked them – US congressional people, US secretaries of these departments who deal with us – come out to our reservation, see firsthand how we live, why we live that way. Find out why our children are killing themselves. Learn who we are."
Pine Ridge is among the US's largest Indian reservations – much smaller than the vast plains of the midwest that the Sioux once roamed but still bigger than England's largest county – and also among its poorest. No one is sure how many people live on its 2.2m acres, but the tribe estimates about 45,000.
Conditions on the reservation are tough. More than 80% unemployment. A desperate shortage of housing – on average, more than 15 people live in each home and others get by in cars and trailers. More than one-third of homes lacking running water or electricity. An infant mortality rate at three times the US national average. And a dependency on alcohol and a diet so poor that half the population over the age of 40 is diabetic.
The Oglala Sioux's per capita income is around $7,000 (£4,400) a year, less than one-sixth of the national average and on a par with Bulgaria. The residents of Wounded Knee, scene of the notorious 1890 massacre of Sioux women and children and of the 1973 standoff with the FBI, are typically living on less than half of that. Young people have almost no hope of work unless they sign up to fight in Afghanistan. The few with jobs are almost all employed by the tribal authorities or the federal government. It is not uncommon to hear people quietly speak of the guilt they feel for having a job. Those who don't survive on pitifully small welfare cheques. It all adds up to a life expectancy on Pine Ridge of about only 50 years.
The myth of prosperity
This is not how most Americans see the reservations. The Great Sioux Nation and the region it once ranged across are fixed in the popular imagination by the legends of Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, of Custer's last stand at the Battle of Little Bighorn, and Wounded Knee. It's a history the Oglala Sioux constantly assert to remind themselves of past greatness and what they believe they are owed.
But the modern perception among many Americans is also of tribes growing rich on casinos and Native Americans living well from treaties that require the US government to provide subsidised housing, free healthcare and regular welfare cheques.
Close to a million people live on the US's 310 Native American reservations (exact figures are hard to pin down because the census is considered widely inaccurate on many of them). Some tribes have done well from a boom in casinos on the reservations, such as the Seminoles in Florida who made enough money from high-stakes bingo to pay close to $1bn to buy the Hard Rock Cafe and hotel empire. Other tribes have made a more modest but comfortable income from gambling, but the key for almost all of them was to be close enough to major cities to keep the slot machines busy and the card tables full. Others pull in an income from tourism and minerals. Affirmative action programmes have opened university doors and jobs in the cities to the Navajo, Cherokee and other tribes. But the leaders of many of the country's 564 recognised tribes speak of communities in crisis and they are pressing President Obama to make good on promises to turn their lives around.
Obama faces a challenge meeting that commitment, in the midst of a deep economic crisis. But he has responded by appointing Native Americans to some key positions, assigning billions of dollars of additional spending to health, education and policing and, recently, by calling the first of what he promises will be an annual White House summit with Indian tribal leaders. At it he acknowledged that the reservations face a struggle born of a history of broken treaties, neglect and discrimination.
"Few have been more marginalised and ignored by Washington for as long as Native Americans, our first Americans. You were told your lands, your religion, your cultures, your languages were not yours to keep," he said. "I know what it means to feel ignored and forgotten, and what it means to struggle."
The Sioux's treaties with the US government in the second half of the 19th century were similar to those of other tribes in that they were frequently broken as an expanding America sought more land for railways, mining and farming, and battered Native Americans into ceding ever more territory in return for promises of financial support. Defeated and dispossessed, the Sioux signed treaties that committed Washington to providing housing, education and health care.
But the tribe's leaders today view the treaties as a trap – promising much but providing just enough to create a culture of dependency and despair. "The government wanted us to feel defeated and we played right in to their hands," says Two Bulls. "We were taught to feel defeated. Look how they brought welfare and our people lived on welfare and some of our people don't even know how to work. They're used to just staying at home all day, watching TV and drinking and taking drugs. That's the state the government wanted us to be in and we're in it."
Poverty and overcrowding
It is a state Adelle Brown Bull has spent her life resisting, not always with success. The 69-year-old great-grandmother is still in the same tribal-owned house she raised her eight children in, and some of them never moved out. Today the two-bedroomed home is stuffed with grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She sits at her kitchen table, the green wall behind her dotted with photographs of the generations of babies. Some of the pictures are so old they are in black and white.
Among those living with Brown Bull are a daughter and her three children who are all in their 20s. Two of the granddaughters have several children of their own, one of them a baby. There's another grandchild, nine-year-old Michael, who Brown Bull is raising after his mother in effect abandoned him when he was 10 months old. The numbers fluctuate but there is anywhere between eight and 15 people sleeping in the house at any one time.
None of the occupants has a job. Brown Bull gets a pension of $538 (£337) a month, plus $323 (£202) for caring for Michael. The other mothers in the house get welfare cheques of a few hundred dollars a month. "We just manage," Brown Bull says, laughing.
The house shows its age and the wear and tear of so many residents. The tribal housing authority has just replaced the window frames because they were letting so much wind in. But it is almost impossible to heat the house, a common problem on the reservation where residents typically nail plastic over the outside of their windows in the winter as insulation.
Brown Bull's house was built in the wake of President John F Kennedy's pledge to include Native American reservations in the US public housing programme. That led to a boom in construction through the 60s and 70s, when many of Pine Ridge's homes were put up. But in the 80s, Ronald Reagan shifted public housing policy dramatically away from new construction.
These days, Pine Ridge relies on a $10m-a-year housing grant from Congress that is only enough to pay for the most basic maintenance – such as combating the poisonous black mould that infects many of the houses – and the construction of about 40 new homes each year. Which is far from enough.
"When you get two or three families living in a house, it affects the whole way of life here – education, health," says Paul Iron Cloud, a former Pine Ridge president and now head of its housing authority. "Our people have a tendency to take people in, maybe their relatives who don't have no place to go. So they all share that house."
Last year, the federal government offered to fulfil part of its treaty obligations by selling the tribe old houses from an airforce base, no longer considered fit for service personnel, at a dollar each. The Pine Ridge authorities agreed but when the houses arrived they were charged $25,000 for the removal costs of each one – and then discovered the buildings were badly battered, with walls torn off and windows smashed in. The houses sit in a yard to this day, giving the impression of having been torn up by their roots.
Two Bulls regards overcrowded, bad housing as an important part of the explanation for the loss of self-worth. Brown Bull sees it in her own family. Among the baby pictures on the wall are photographs of two grandchildren serving in the military. "That one's signed on for a few more years," says Brown Bull, pointing to a young woman in a smart army uniform. "She's in Afghanistan now. She says she might as well stay in the military because there's nothing for her here. No job. The only place she can live is with me. I have another grandson in the army in Afghanistan. He says the same thing."
Most of this goes unnoticed in the rest of America. "Some of them still think we live in teepees," says Alison Yellow Hair, a former shipyard worker wrapped up in a thick coat inside her freezing caravan. "Since we own the land they think we're rich and we shouldn't have to be working. We should be living high off the hog. I got a lot of that down there at the shipyards. You're Indian, aren't you? Yeah. Don't you get a cheque every week? Jeez, if I got a cheque every week I wouldn't be down here busting my ass for a pay cheque or trying to keep up with my health insurance payments."
Now she is back in Pine Ridge, Yellow Hair and her husband, Walter, do get a cheque from the tribe's general assistance fund – $117 (£73) between them each week. They live in a small caravan cocooned behind a pile of cardboard boxes and plastic trunks stuffed with clothes and furniture that cannot fit in to the cramped home, plastic sheeting protecting it all against the snow. Inside, there is little more than a few cooking utensils, a tiny heater that stays off most of the time and a large pile of blankets and duvets that they wrap themselves in to keep warm after the sun goes down and the temperature sinks to -35C (-30F) with the wind chill. There's no running water and no electricity. "The heater runs on kerosene," says Walter. "Two gallons costs $25. We can use that in two days if we leave it on."
Walter used to work as a janitor until the tribal authorities laid off staff five years ago. He hasn't found a job since. Alison built ships in Oregon. "I did 10 years in the shipyards before I came home and I've been home about 10 years. Haven't really been able to get a steady job since I moved back. Can't make my money like I used to. Got hurt on the job while I was at the shipyards. I was leaning back on a catwalk because a boilermaker went off to get some more welding rods and the safety guy that was supposed to take care of us stepped on me and pinned my arm. His weight was 250lb and he pushed my arm down on that metal catwalk and it messed up my arm and shoulder ever since."
There are jobs to be had but they are mostly working for the tribe in one form or another. One of the largest employers is the tribal-owned Prairie Wind Casino alongside the road between Pine Ridge town and the huge tourist draw of Mount Rushmore. The casino was built in an attempt to replicate the small fortunes made by other tribes but it is a sad affair, too isolated to make real money. On a cold winter night there is no one at the card tables and most of those playing the slots come from the reservation.
The curse of alcohol
The streets of Pine Ridge, the town that carries the same name as the reservation, are dead at night. Aside from a Pizza Hut and a recently opened Subway sandwich bar, there is not much open as dusk falls.
What street life there is occurs in Whiteclay, a few steps across the reservation's border with neighbouring Nebraska. Whiteclay has a couple of dozen registered residents but no school, church or community centre. There's only one street, the main road due south. And there is only one type of business along the 50 metres that makes up the town: alcohol.
A bar and three liquor stores, all rotting, dilapidated buildings, sell more than 4m cans and bottles of cheap beer and rough, powerful malt liquor each year. Almost all of it is to people from Pine Ridge, where alcohol has long been banned.
A woman stands almost motionless a few steps from the door to State Line Liquor, rocking back and forth as if straining to make that last lunge toward the store. She is badly underdressed for the biting cold and snow, yet seemingly impervious. Her face is bloated, her eyes unfocused. A few metres away two men have passed out in the street. Other Sioux step past to load their pick-up trucks with Hurricane, a powerful malt liquor glorified in gangsta rap songs that alcohol-dependence groups in major American cities have tried to curb because of the social devastation it has caused among minority communities.
Heading back across the state border, a large round sign greets arrivals: "Alcohol is not allowed on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation." Possession is an arrestable office, as is intoxication. But the Pine Ridge police captain, Ron Duke, concedes the law has done little to deter the problem. "At one point we thought about putting up a border there, making people stop at that border to check 'em. But we have all these outlying roads and trails that people use and we'd probably be defeating our own purpose. We don't want to be like the Mexican border where we have to put a fence up all around," he says.
Duke is bitter at what he sees as the cynicism of the store owners. "See how rundown that place is? But the people who own those bars are millionaires. We made them millionaires, the people here. Yet they treat us that way," he says. "I've been in law enforcement for 25 years. People I used to take to jail, their kids and now their grandkids, I'm dealing with them. I'd say a majority of the problems we're having right now, 90% of it is because of alcohol. We don't really have an economy where people have the opportunity to get a job. People have to live off a welfare grant or whatever's available for them. That really makes it tough on our people. Then they turn to alcohol, they turn to violence."
Brown Bull sees the effects in her street. "Every other house is a bootlegger. You can watch them and see who goes to where. One day I was opening my curtain in the bedroom and I heard some boys laughing. There was three boys, 10 to 12 years old, standing right next door. They had a big old bottle going around. I thought, my goodness, these little boys shouldn't be drinking. They shouldn't be selling to these boys. I didn't like that at all. If you go down the road, in the back between the houses, there's so much broken bottles back there," she says.
In theory, possession of alcohol is severely punished. The law allows prison sentences of six months to a year for keeping or selling beer. But it's more common for those arrested to be held overnight and fined $25 court costs – a fraction of the money they make from selling beer.
That might be about to change. Like much of the rest of America, the Oglala Sioux have decided that the way to deal with crime is to spend scarce resources on bigger prisons. The reservation authorities have built a new 280-cell jail to replace the old prison that crammed up to 200 inmates in to 25 cells. It's likely that many of the young will end up there. Rampant alcoholism has created a raft of problems, but none more serious than the alienation of the tribe's young people. Hundreds have retreated in to gangs modelled on the black and Latino ones of Los Angeles and Chicago, with names such as the Nomads and Indian Mafia. The gangs are part of a surge in violent crime.
"Parents and grandparents are afraid of their own kids," says Duke. "They're taking their money for drugs and alcohol. Parents can't control their own children. They attack their own relatives for money."
Others, of course, find release by taking their own lives. Delia Big Boy only survived because she was discovered in time. "They found me and I got sent to the hospital," she says, her voice breaking. "When I did that, my Auntie, she came and talked to me and she invited me in to her home. I've been living with her since. That changed a lot." These days Big Boy counsels other young people as part of the Sweetgrass network which encourages children in despair to call or send text messages. "I get calls all the time from friends and others. Usually it's because of the way their parents treat them. They don't feel loved. Our parents are not always good parents on this reservation," she says. "I tell them to focus on their big dreams about college and the military. I want to go to university to study chemistry."
Rash of suicides
The 14 year-old girl, Mariah Montileaux, who was buried – in her traditional dance dress – just days before 16-year-old Joshua Kills Enemy, had made no secret of her plans to kill herself. "The mother knew this girl was attempting to commit suicide," says Duke. "Everybody knew yet nobody knew what to do with her, how to help her. Whether or not anybody could have helped her, that's what she wanted to do. She made it known: I'm going to kill myself."
After Kills Enemy's death, the Pine Ridge high school principal, Robert Cook, surveyed students and concluded that one in five of the 370 pupils were at risk. Nine were immediately taken to the Indian Health Service because of what Cook described as "impending suicide".
Duke's men are frequently the ones to cut the victims down. "The hardest ones are the kids. The deaths are disturbing but so are the funerals," he says. "At the funerals you see the glamorised attention they get. They've got their names written all over the windows in honour of this kid because he took his life. Kids see that. Kids want attention. This is how they're going to get attention. I've heard them say: when I go, I hope that's how they honour me."
In fact, Native Americans teenagers are more likely to kill themselves than any other minority group. Some statistics show the rate at three times the national average. But those figures shield the fact that self-harm is most likely to occur on poorer reservations, such as Pine Ridge and neighbouring Rosebud; here rates are far higher.
The tribal government is attempting to entice businesses to the reservation, including a wind farm. One local entrepreneur is building an increasingly successful business shipping buffalo and cranberry health bars around the country. But Two Bulls and other Oglala Sioux leaders know that it will take the kind of money that only the federal government can provide to begin to turn the situation around: their hopes are pinned on Obama, who has told them: "You will not be forgotten as long as I'm in this White House."
Two Bulls believes him. "It's just like we're being held down and my message every time I go to Washington DC is we are a government, a nation, right in your backyard, and you should be treating us like that but you're not," she says. "But this administration is different. They're listening. I got the sense of understanding from these people."
Iron Cloud, the former reservation president, says he too believes Obama but intends to ensure he doesn't forget his promise. "What I feel is kinda like a light at the end of the tunnel where the Obama administration is looking at some new beginnings for the minorities and the poor people to have some jobs and give more money to education. Just taking care of our people in a better way than they have been.
"Obama understands, but then there's Congress. If we can get enough of our tribal leaders – and I'm talking 500 tribes coming together and flooding the halls of Congress – and just say to them that it's time to take a good look at Indian tribes. We were the first Americans – and I know it'd have an impact."
Chris McGreal is the Guardian's Washington correspondent.
Judge Withdraws Peabody's Coal-Mining Permit on Black Mesa
Victory for Black Mesa!!!
I apologize for not sending this out sooner, please forward and share with everyone!
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Wahleah Johns
Date: Fri, Jan 8, 2010 at 9:29 AM
Subject: Victory for Black Mesa!!!
To: Wahleah Johns
I wanted to share the good news with all of you!!! Please help spread the word.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 8, 2010
Department of Interior Judge Withdraws Peabody's Coal-Mining Permit on Black Mesa
Reverses 11th Hour Bush Administration Decision
Contact: Black Mesa Water Coalition, Billy Parish,firstname.lastname@example.org, (203) 887-7225
Black Mesa, AZ - A Department of Interior Administrative Law Judge withdrew Peabody Coal Company's Life of Mine permit for operations on Black Mesa, AZ, handing a major victory to tribal and environmental organizations who appealed the permit decision in January. The permit had been granted on December 22nd 2008 by the Department of Interior's Office of Surface Mining (OSM) in one of several fossil-fuel friendly 11th hour decisions by the Bush Administration.
According Judge Robert G. Holt, "OSM violated NEPA [National Environmental Protection Act] by not preparing a supplemental draft EIS [Environmental Impact Statement] when Peabody changed the proposed action. As a result, the Final EIS did not consider a reasonable range of alternatives to the new proposed action, described the wrong environmental baseline, and did not achieve the informed decision-making and meaningful public comment required by NEPA. Because of the defective Final EIS, OSM's decision to issue a revised permit to Peabody must be vacated and remanded to OSM for further action."
Wahleah Johns, co-director of Black Mesa Water Coalition, one of the petitioners in the appeal, issued the following statement: "As a community member of Black Mesa I am grateful for Judge Holt's decision. For 40 years our sacred homelands and people have borne the brunt of coal mining impacts, from relocation to depletion of our only drinking water source. This ruling is an important step towards restorative justice for Indigenous communities who have suffered at the hands of multinational companies like Peabody Energy. This decision is also precedent-setting for all other communities who struggle with the complexities of NEPA laws and OSM procedures in regards to environmental protection. However, we also cannot ignore that irreversible damage of coal mining industries continues on the land, water, air, people and all living things."
Black Mesa Water Coalition
200 South Leroux St. , Suite #202
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928) 213-5909 office
(928) 213-5905 fax
(928) 637-5281 cell
aka Shannon Francis
THE RED EARTH Said a tree to a man, "My roots are in the deep red earth, and I shall give you of my fruit." And the man said to the tree, "How alike we are. My roots are also deep in the red earth. And the red earth gives you power to bestow upon me of your fruit, and the red earth teaches me to receive from you with thanksgiving." by Kahlil Gibran from The Wanderer (1932)
My voice: Loss of Crow Creek land should concern tribes | argusleader.com | Argus Leader
My voice: Loss of Crow Creek land should concern tribes
Duane J. St. John
On Dec. 4 an action was taken against Crow Creek tribal land near my district that shook the absolute foundations of Indian law all the way back to the 1800s. Yet few people were in the small room in Highmore to see this monumental action, and few other tribes even know that it has taken place.
I write this letter because any tribe with land should shudder at the magnitude of what this precedent could mean for themselves or their tribal members.
The U.S. Internal Revenue Service collected against 7,100 acres of Indian-owned land in Hyde County. To put that in perspective, the number is equal to 11 square miles of land.
This particular parcel was part of the original Crow Creek treaty boundaries, but the treaty subsequently was broken, and this land was sold to LeMaster. Interestingly enough, our tribe was able to use settlement money from another federal-land taking to repurchase this land in 1998.
My issue is not with the IRS action but rather with the system under which our tribe and all other tribes find themselves. I have said throughout this process that the actions of a handful of people are being used to take the property of 3,000 tribal members. Where else in America is that even a possibility?
The land-tenure system in place asks us as tribes to place land in trust with the federal government. We are told the government will look after our best interests and utilize the land to its upmost capabilities.
But as tribes, we know this is not true. Recently, we saw this same guardian had to dispense $3.4 billion to tribes because that trust was broken and not only broken, but we as tribes had to wait 13 years for a resolution. We also are told that once in the system, the government will look at interceders with a jaundiced eye, and the land will not be able to be condemned or taken.
But with only a quick drive around the Crow Creek Reservation, one can see huge transmission lines and the Big Bend Dam that have taken incredible amounts of land that seem to prove this principle otherwise. Where was the federal government when its other agencies stepped within our borders to take this land?
The federal agencies involved in this current action will tell you that the LeMaster land never was brought under this trust responsibility, and the land remained as tribal fee. But when should the federal government step away from the original obligation to uphold the treaty boundaries?
Its great idea of land policy has left us with reservation lands that are labyrinths of complicated property interests, jurisdictional issues and taxation problems. Its policy has created checker-boarded islands that as tribal members, we merely have to tolerate because Sen. Henry Dawes' idea did not work out more than 100 years ago.
I am a simple man, and this entire system cannot be explained to me by learned individuals. However, out of this situation, I have learned a few things:
The federal government's trust has definite limits, and if those limits are exceeded, it will allow other pieces of government to take action within the reservation boundaries. And every tribe that has a piece of land should take notice, or it, too, could have a new 11-square-mile hole to drive past within its boundaries.
Duane J. St. John, 41, of Big Bend is the Crow Creek Tribal Council Big Bend representative.
My Voice guest columns should be 500-700 words. Submissions should include a portrait-type photograph of the author. Authors also should include their full name, age, address, occupation and relevant organizational memberships.
Send columns to Argus Leader, Box 5034, Sioux Falls, SD 57117-5034, fax them to 605-331-2294 or e-mail them to letters@argus leader.com.
For The HTML Format of the Newsletter:
(Having Problems With The Links? Try this version instead.) http://www.cherokee.org/home.aspx?section=newsletter&Date=1/11/2010
AOL - 1/11/2010 Newsletter
The Cherokee Nation is partnering once again with the Internal Revenue Service to offer free basic tax preparation to taxpayers that qualify for the earned income tax credit. Known as Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or VITA, the program trains and certifies Cherokee Nation volunteers to do state and federal income tax preparation using IRS training and testing materials. The service will be offered beginning Monday, January 18, 2010 and continue through Thursday, April 15, 2010, at various sites throughout the Cherokee Nation. To see a list of qualifications or field site locations visit.http://www.cherokee.org/NewsRoom/FullStory/3070/Page/Default.aspx
For information regarding health reform visithttp://www.cherokee.org/Docs/Services/Health/health_care_reform_QA_revised_public_version.pdf
Information regard winter weather preparedness visithttp://emergencymanagement.cherokee.org.
Call for nominations for the Cherokee Nation Cancer Summit Service Awards ends January 15, 2010. If you have someone you would like to nominate please visithttp://cancer.cherokee.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=%2bC1PLlMEY64%3d&tabid=2592&mid=4681
Wado! (Thank you)
Tahlequah, OK 74465
***Cherokee Nation News***
Eucha residents soon to have a place to gather: 1/8/2010
(C) Cherokee Nation
Along with several community volunteers, Cherokee Nation Entertainment, Cherokee Nation Businesses and Cherokee Nation employees recently joined forces to complete the Eucha Community Center located near Lake Eucha in Delaware County.
Cherokee Nation Partners with Tulsa County on Road Project: 1/8/2010
(C) Cherokee Nation
The Cherokee Nation recently joined with Tulsa County on a roadway improvement project in the northern part of the county near the Washington County line. The tribe donated more than $254,000 to the project, which will widen a three-mile stretch of 186th Street as well as improve the water drainage in the area.
Cherokee Nation Offers Registration Assistance in Area Communities: 1/7/2010 8:47:00 AM
(C) Cherokee Nation
The Cherokee Nation will offer assistance this winter 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. The sites and schedule follow.
Sequoyah Schools Hosts Open House for Prospective Students: 1/7/2010
(C) Cherokee Nation
Sequoyah Schools will host its annual Open House event for prospective students on Wednesday, Feb. 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Sequoyah Schools’ The Place Where They Play. All area seventh and eighth grade students that are interested in applying to attend Sequoyah as freshman are invited to participate.
Cherokee Nation Contributes $63K to Area Agencies: 1/6/2010 4:35:00 PM
(C) Cherokee Nation
The Cherokee Nation recently contributed $63,000 to several Tahlequah area non-profit agencies
Cherokee Nation Hosting Tobacco Cessation Classes: 1/6/2010
(C) Cherokee Nation
The Cherokee Nation and the American Lung Association are partnering to offer several tobacco cessation classes throughout the tribe’s 14-county jurisdiction beginning this month. The classes are part of the association’s Freedom From Smoking curriculum.
Cherokee Nation Hosting Weight Loss Challenge: 1/5/2010 2:57:00 PM
(C) Cherokee Nation
Are you ready to get into better shape after all the holiday parties have ended? Do you need some motivation to get you started? The Cherokee Nation will be sponsoring a 12-week weight loss challenge beginning Monday, Jan. 11, at the Male Seminary Recreation Center in Tahlequah. The contest will run through Friday, April 9.
Cherokee National Youth Choir Releases New CD: 1/5/2010 2:53:00 PM
(C) Cherokee Nation
The award-winning Cherokee National Youth Choir announces the release of its latest music CD, “Learning as We Sing,” a project intended to both entertain and teach language skills. The new CD contains a variety of well-known traditional music intended for singing along, including patriotic American songs, Cherokee cultural songs, and even some Christmas songs.
**** Other Links of Interest ****
Games - http://www.cherokee.org/home.aspx?section=culture&culture=games
Community Calendar - http://www.cherokee.org/home.aspx?section=calendar
RSS Feed - http://rss.cherokee.org
Podcasts - http://podcasts.cherokee.org
E-Cards - http://ecards.cherokee.org
**** Cultural Tidbits ****
The Treaty of Hopewell stated that any white person who entered into Cherokee territory forfeited their protection from the United States. This agreement initialized the government-to-government relationship between the United States and Cherokee Nation.