Saturday, January 23, 2010

Other Issues & News 01/24/2010

Other Issues & News 01/24/2010

Dropping aboriginal affairs minister is a step back says native leader
TORONTO - Premier Dalton McGuinty's decision to turn aboriginal issues into a part-time cabinet job is a "step backwards" for his government and its relationship with First Nations, aboriginal leaders said Tuesday.

Attorney General Chris Bentley took over the post Monday during a cabinet shuffle that saw Brad Duguid elevated to energy and infrastructure after a year and a half as aboriginal affairs minister.

It sends the wrong message to First Nations that are grappling with high suicide rates, economic hardship and long-standing treaty disputes, said Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Stan Beardy, who represents 49 communities in Ontario.

"We are disappointed that the premier doesn't see aboriginal issues worthy of having a stand-alone minister," he said Tuesday.

Ontario's aboriginal minister shouldn't go back to being a "part-timer," said Grand Chief Randall Phillips of the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians.

Creating a stand-alone ministry has helped both sides to "manoeuvre through some old hard lines" and find new ways of doing business, he added.

"Time will tell whether or not our fears are justified, it just depends on how much time and effort Minister Bentley is prepared to put forward on this," Phillips said.

"But like I said, I can still see the challenge right now, because you can't have two high-profile topics and then give them the time that they both need."

Having a minister dedicated to aboriginal issues was as key recommendation of the inquiry into the death of native protester Dudley George, who was shot in 1995 by police in Ipperwash Provincial Park.

Murray Klippenstein, the lawyer for the late Sam George - Dudley's brother - has also panned McGuinty's move, saying it would have upset and "saddened" his former client, who was instrumental in pushing for a public inquiry.

Provincial relations with First Nations have been moving in the right direction and pulling back from the inquiry's advice now could derail those efforts, said Ontario Regional Chief Angus Toulouse.

"It's unfortunate that we're having to have the kind of discussion of, 'Is government still wanting to resolve many of the outstanding issues?"' he added.

"It's a question that comes out only because the feeling that the priority that we thought we had in dealing with the many issues may be perceived as not being there anymore, because we have a minister that has two sets of different priorities."

The dual role could also put Bentley in a "difficult" position with First Nations, particularly if he's overseeing Crown lawyers responsible for prosecuting aboriginal protesters in court.

"The question and the concern that First Nation leadership has is, how is he going to manage these situation where he is in this dual role where we're adversaries, so to speak?" he said.

There will be no conflict in juggling both portfolios, Bentley vowed.

"We won't let it," he said in an interview. "They are separate ministries. I have separate responsibilities and they will be treated very much as that."

Bentley said he's already "hit the ground running" with his new job and has scheduled meetings this week with aboriginal leaders.

"I've thrown myself into this with all the energy I can muster," he said. "I'm going to pick up where Brad has passed the torch on, and we're going to continue the momentum."

The premier, who created a separate Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs after the 2007 election, has defended the move, saying the two ministries wouldn't be merged.

"There is one minister who is taking responsibility for both separate ministries and I have a tremendous amount of confidence in Chris Bentley," McGuinty said Monday.

By dividing the minister's attention, McGuinty is putting pressing issues such as aboriginal health care, infrastructure and revenue-sharing on the backburner, said NDP critic Gilles Bisson.

"I think it sends a message to First Nations that the government is not going to be taking these issues as seriously as they should, and at a time when these communities are very impoverished and they're trying to get themselves a little bit ahead of the curve," he said.


Thoughts... we need to take action soon or we'll have nothing left for our future generations
Vermillion, South Dakota
February 18-20, 2010
Sponsorship Opportunity
On February 18-20, the University of South Dakota School of Law will host the nation’s pre-eminent Indian Law event. It will include the National Native American Law Students Association (NALSA) Moot Court Competition, the foremost annual Indian law academic competition. The competition will be conducted in conjunction with a scholarly symposium co-sponsored by the South Dakota Law Review and the USD NALSA chapter and with the biennial Dillon Lecture on Indian law. The symposium represents the first time the annual Law Review Symposium has been combined with the NALSA Indian Law Symposium. The latter has been held biennially for more than two decades, making it the longest-running Indian law symposium in the nation. The Dillon Lecture is one of the Law School’s three major scholarly lectures; it is held biennially in conjunction with the Indian Law Symposium and features a major national speaker on Indian law.

Student teams from across the country will compete in the National NALSA Moot Court Competition. Teams from 55 schools have already registered, including teams from the University of Arizona, Arizona State University, University of California-Berkeley, University of Colorado, Columbia University, Gonzaga University, University of Hawaii, University of Iowa, Kansas University, Lewis & Clark University, University of Michigan, Michigan State University, University of Minnesota, University of New Mexico, University of North Dakota, University of Oklahoma, Stanford University, University of Tulsa, UCLA, University of Wisconsin, and William Mitchell College of Law. Many schools are sending multiple teams; for example, Columbia has registered six teams. The current registration represents a 25% increase over the number of teams that participated in last year’s competition in Boulder, Colorado.

The appellate problem for the competition has been drafted by USD Professor Frank Pommersheim, an internationally recognized Indian law expert who sits on several tribal supreme courts. It will involve issues of free exercise of religion in Indian Country. Judges for the Moot Court Competition will include members of the tribal, federal, and state judiciary and lawyers with expertise in Indian law.

The Dillon Lecture will be presented by Professor Matthew Fletcher (Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians), Director of the Indigenous Law & Policy Center of the Michigan State University College of Law. Professor Fletcher is a co-author of the leading national casebook on federal Indian law and a judge and consultant to tribal supreme courts.
The NALSA Indian Law/South Dakota Law Review Symposium will recognize the 20th anniversary of the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Employment Division v. Smith. The Smith case involved the use of peyote by members of the Native American Church and has become one of the Supreme Court’s most important interpretations of the free exercise clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. In addition to Professor Fletcher, panelists will include Professor Marci Hamilton, Paul R. Verkuil Chair in Public Law, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University; Professor Mark Kende, James Madison Chair in Constitutional Law and Director, Constitutional Law Center, Drake University Law School; and Professor Christopher Lund, Mississippi College School of Law.
The overall coordinator of the National NALSA Moot Court Competition is Lonnie Wright (Rosebud Sioux Tribe), a second-year law student. Lonnie is the president of the USD NALSA chapter and a member of the National NALSA board of directors.
The Moot Court Competition website, signage, and participant materials will feature original artwork by Donald Montileaux, an award-winning Oglala Lakota artist. In 1995, one of his works of art orbited the earth 262 times in the payload of the Space Shuttle Endeavor.
The Friday night dinner for the Moot Court Competition competitors and judges will feature hoop dancing by famed performer Jackie Bird (Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota) and members of her family. She has performed around the world and was once honored by a Montana Crow tribal member after a performance with the gift of a Crow name that is translated as "One Who Makes the People Smile."

Sponsorship donations will be used for the expenses of the National NALSA Moot Court Competition and NALSA Indian Law/South Dakota Law Review Symposium, including the original Donald Montileaux artwork and permission to use it for the Moot Court Competition materials; a graduate assistantship for Lonnie Wright as coordinator; additional staff support; honoraria for the Dillon Lecturer and Symposium panelists; travel expenses for Symposium speakers and Moot Court judges; meals for judges and competitors, including the Jackie Bird family program for the Friday night dinner and a Saturday night awards banquet; awards and prizes; and miscellaneous supplies and facilities cleaning costs. Any donations in excess of the expenses will be added to the NALSA scholarship endowment, which provides scholarship assistance to tribally enrolled students who attend the University of South Dakota School of Law.

Sponsorships will be reported in the following categories: Prime Sponsor, $25,000; Major Sponsor, $20,000-24,999; Sponsor, $15,000-19,999; Benefactor, $10,000-14,999; Supporter, $5,000-9,999; Friend, $1,000-4,999. Sponsors may combine their donations, at their discretion, in order to be reported in a particular sponsorship category. Different type sizes will be used to distinguish the sponsors at the different levels in the programs and signs. Announcements mentioning the sponsors will also indicate the levels of sponsorship.
Sponsors will be recognized in the programs for the Dillon Lecture, the NALSA Indian Law/South Dakota Law Review Symposium, and the National NALSA Moot Court Competition. Sponsors will also be recognized on the websites of the School of Law ( and the National NALSA Moot Court Competition ( During the events, there will also be prominent signage and announcements recognizing the sponsors.
Barry R. Vickrey
Dean & Professor
January 12, 2010

Copyright (C) 2009 State Bar of South Dakota - All rights reserved.


Native leaders are disappointed in McGuinty
When Premier Dalton McGuinty gave aboriginal affairs a dedicated minister in 2007, he said the issues were so important they required full-time attention. Now he has put the ministry under the wing of Attorney General Chris Bentley, already fully occupied. Does that mean the pressing issues have been resolved?

Far from it. The battles over mining in Ontario's vast north are intensifying, there are ongoing problems with land claims, and poverty and despair overwhelm many First Nations communities.

And yet, Bentley, who among other things is struggling to reduce court backlogs and end a legal aid boycott by defence lawyers, is now expected to take responsibility for all this and "build new economic opportunities for aboriginal people in Ontario." Tall order indeed.

Predictably, native leaders are disappointed that McGuinty does not see their issues as "worthy" of a dedicated minister.

For his part, Bentley says he can handle the job and has "a lot of listening to do." The risk, though, is that native leaders may wonder why they should bother talking. Michael Bryant was aboriginal affairs minister for just 11 months before being shuffled out. Brad Duguid held the post a bit longer – 16 months – before being moved out this week. Given this revolving door, will Bentley even be around long enough to meet with all the players?

This is all the more disappointing because, to date, McGuinty has made substantial efforts to improve the government's relationship with First Nations. It would be a shame if this latest move undermined that positive momentum.

Shortly after giving aboriginal affairs its first full-time minister, McGuinty said he had thought of assuming the role himself to show its "seriousness" but decided not to "because it was too much work for me to do it justice." If the premier can't handle this portfolio with his other duties, why does he think the attorney general can?
Contact: Perry H. Chesnut

Modocs Seeking to Form Government Separate from the Klamath Tribes Set Second Meeting:
Will Discuss Economic Development, Tribal Membership Requirements and Ancestral Land Base

An informational meeting for Modoc Indians interested in the movement to dissolve the Modoc Tribe’s political relationship with the Klamath Tribes will be held between the hours of 6:30pm and 9:00pm on the evening of Friday, January 29, 2010 at the Commissioners Hearing Room of the Klamath County Government Center located at 305 Main St. in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Entrance to the building will be by the door coming off the rear parking lot on Pine St.

A previous meeting held in the same location on October 9th of last year drew approximately 30 Modocs. Perry Chesnut, an adopted member of the Modoc Tribe, stated that it was time to end 136 years of subservience to the Klamath Indians, and said that the only practical way to preserve the Modoc Tribe’s unique ethnic and cultural identity, and protect and advance the Modoc People’s political and economic interests is to set up their own government, separate from that of the current Klamath tribal government. He presented a document titled Declaration of the Rights of the Free and Sovereign People of the Modoc Indian Tribe (Mowatocknie MaklaksĂ»m), which enumerates in 46 articles the natural, political and human rights of the Modoc People. Since that meeting, a number of “Declaration Bearers” have been circulating the document within the Modoc Tribe and gathering signatures for its ratification.

The upcoming meeting on Friday, January 29th, is open to all who wish to learn more about the separation movement and the opportunities it presents to the Modoc People.

M. Sean Manion, a Modoc Indian who is a civil engineer and has spent the last seven years in Iraq managing various rebuilding projects, will present an economic development model that has proven to be very successful for Arab tribes in Iraq. Mr. Manion states that the economic development model is especially well-suited to tribal entities and believes that it can be implemented successfully by the Modoc Tribe to create large tribally owned enterprises as well as smaller business ventures owned by individual tribal members. Mr. Manion will also speak to the issue of eligibility for tribal membership, contrasting the blood quantum standard now used by the Klamath tribal government with the lineal descent standard to which more tribes are now turning.

Perry Chesnut will speak about the opportunity for developing a large casino resort complex and present an architectural rendering of such a casino resort prepared by David P. Soderstrom of Soderstrom Architects, a Portland Oregon architectural firm. He will also present a map of the Modoc Tribe’s ancestral lands ceded to the government in the Lakes Treaty of 1864 and discuss the many opportunities for economic development presented by the five national forests included in these lands and by the potential restoration of the vast wetlands that constituted Lower Klamath Lake, Tule Lake and Clear Lake prior to the extensive “reclamation” projects of the early 1900s.

An extensive period of time has been set aside for questions and answers following the presentations of Mr. Manion and Mr. Chesnut. Declaration Signature Sheets will also be available for those who wish to ratify the Declaration with their signatures. Those who wish to circulate the Declaration can obtain a signature sheet from Mr. Chesnut after the meeting.

The Commissioners Hearing Room has a seating capacity of 70, so those wishing to sit should come early.
House approves update to Indian Arts and Crafts Act
Posted by: "" shirl4116
Thu Jan 21, 2010 5:47 am (PST)

House approves update to Indian Arts and Crafts Act
Thursday, January 21, 2010

The _House_ ( passed
_H.R. 725_
( , the Indian Arts and Crafts Amendments Act of
2009, by a voice vote on Wednesday.
The _Indian Arts and Crafts Act_
( of 1990 requires products that are marketed as
"Indian" to be produced by an Indian artisan or a tribe. Under the law, only
the _FBI_ ( can
investigate suspected violations of the law.
H.R.725 expands the law by authorizing "any" federal law enforcement
officer to investigate. That could include officers with the _Bureau of Indian
Affairs_ ( .
The _Senate_ (
passed _S.151_
( , its version of the bill, in July by unanimous
consent. The House version is slightly different, as Republicans pointed out
yesterday, and the two bills will have to be reconciled before being signed
into law by _President Barack Obama_
( .
Related Stories:
_Audio: House Resources Committee opens markup_
( (12/16)
_House panel to consider Indian arts, Hawaiian bill _
( (12/15)
_Markup session includes Indian Arts and Crafts Act _
( (12/9)
_Audio: House hearing on Indian Arts and Crafts Act _
( (12/2)
_Witness List: House hearing on Indian Arts and Crafts _
( (12/1)
_House Resources hearing on Indian Arts and Crafts _
( (11/30)

Ohlone Nation Fights to Save Ancestral Homeland
New America Media, News report/, R.M. Arrieta, Posted: Jan 21, 2010

San Francisco and much of the Bay Area is the ancestral homeland of the Ohlone nation.

Their ancestors lie in the land here. Remnants of their villages can be found deep beneath the soil. The blood runs deep. They have lived in the Bay Area for more than 10,000 years according to carbon-dated artifacts.

Early on, the Ohlone were included in the roster of federally recognized Indians. But, as has happened to many tribes, on a whim and with the stroke of a pen, they were crossed off the list in 1927.

Almost 75 years later, in 2003, San Francisco recognized the Muwekma Ohlone as the First People of San Francisco. The Muwekma Ohlone remain embroiled in afederal lawsuit with the United States for federal recognition.

Their burial sites and ancient villages were documented by archeologist Nels Nelson in the early 20th century. Now, according to a draft Environmental Impact Report, a plan is underway to build on top of those sacred sites as part of the Candlestick Point/Hunter’s Point Shipyard Phase II Project being developed by Lennar Corporation.

Members of the seven bands of the Ohlone tribe say they were never contacted or consulted about the giant 700-acre development project in San Francisco –parts of which will be built over Ohlone villages and burial grounds.

The Ohlone nation is calling for an extension of the public comment period for the project’s draft Environmental Impact Report. The public comment period was to have ended Tuesday, Jan 12. But the extension has not been granted.

Ohlone members say they should have been contacted about the plan according to state law. Senate Bill 18, “Protection of Traditional Tribal Cultural Places” approved in 2005, requires cities and counties to contact and consult with California Native American tribes before adopting or amending a general plan or when designating land as “open space.” The general plan for this project was amended in 2006.

In a letter to city officials, Ohlone tribal members stated that “the SF Planning Department failed to contact our people or provide any notice with regard to the Draft Environmental Report or commencement of the public hearing period.”

“We don’t know why we have been overlooked,” the letter continued. “We are concerned that the Planning Department has made a decision to deliberately exclude us and disenfranchise our people … more sites are expected to be discovered during construction.”

But Michael Cohen, director of Mayor Gavin Newsom’s Economic and Workforce Development office, says that according to the City Attorney, there’s no legal requirement to consult with Native American tribes in this case.

“The City Attorney said that the law does not apply,” said Cohen. “However, we actually have done and will continue to do outreach and consultation anyway. We had already previously sent notice to the federal agencies that are responsible for coordinating that kind of comment and will be in the coming weeks and months doing that consultation even though its not legally required.”

If, as Cohen says, the federal agency was indeed contacted, “they don’t consider it their responsibility to do the outreach. They consider it the local agencies’ responsibility,” said Neil MacLean of the Ohlone Profiles Project, which documents the ongoing lives of Ohlone leaders.

MacLean said the federal agency simply provides the list of tribal members to be contacted and that the inquiring agency--in this case, the Planning Department--is responsible for notifying the tribal members.

According to Mat Snyder with the SF Planning Dept., SB18 does not pertain to Native Americans in this land issue. “We’ve been advised that because we’re a charter city we’re technically not subject to SB18,” said Snyder. A charter city is a city in which the governing system is defined by the city's own charter document rather than by state, provincial, regional or national laws.

“We’re going to reach out to them and offer them an opportunity for consultation,” Snyder added. “We just want to hear what their concerns are and how we can address them. I hope to have a letter out this week and offer them the opportunity.”

Madeleine Licavoli, Clerk of the Board of Supervisor’s Office, explained that a charter city is governed by its own charter document rather than state, provential, regional or national laws. "San Francisco is a charter city. Its charter was adopted by a majority of the voters as are all amendments to the charter."

Matt Dorsey, spokesperson with the City Attorney’s office, said that City Attorney Dennis Herrera could not publicly comment on the decision. “In this case,” he explained, “when we are giving legal advice to a policy client or policy maker or department head, we have to defer to the policy maker or department head. In the same way that you hire a lawyer to defend you, your lawyer shouldn’t be out there making pronouncements.”

“Because of the chaos with the federal recognition [of the Ohlone nation], the state came forward with their own law and that law is SB18. Now it appears the city is saying they don’t even really have to obey that,” said MacLean. “It may be that by pulling and twisting in that way, the city can avoid actual legal fault – but in terms of good faith negotiation, its very clear its just manipulating dates.”

The draft EIR addresses the second phase of the development project, which calls for more than 10,000 housing units, a hotel, an amphitheater, commercial businesses, a marina slip and more. A storm of controversy has surrounded the project, with questions over the toxicity of the land, and static over the more than 4,000-page draft EIR that was released just before Thanksgiving, drawing numerous calls to extend the public comment period.

On Jan. 12, members of the Ohlone Nation delivered letters to Mayor Gavin Newsom, San Francisco supervisors and City Attorney Dennis Herrera asking for the extension so that Ohlone input could be included.

These tribal members, who are listed with the Native American Heritage Commission, must be given 45 days to prepare comments after being notified, according to SB18.

Educator and Native American artist Kim Shuck said, “They are expected to contact a group of people who’ve been designated as the ‘most likely descendants,’ and none of them got contacted. Rosemary Cambra, Ann Marie Sayers, they didn’t know, they weren’t told and basically, the upshot is they were trying to sneak this past. There’s really no question about that.”

She added, “The reason this is personally offensive is because I’ve been hauled down to City Hall on more than one occasion and sat in the room with the mayor and had him say, ‘Well, we want to make sure that we’re doing right by the Native people in the city of San Francisco.’”

Ohlone Chairperson Ann Marie Sayers said in a statement that, “The sites affected by the development are extremely significant and believed to be burial or ceremonial sites. In addition to protecting these sites, we want to work with the local community to protect their health, the land, and the fragile bay marine environment.”

“There are at least four known sites they are going to be working on and there are at least 16 others including shell mound sites in the area,” said Corrina Gould of Indian People Organizing for Change. “Shell mounds are the cemeteries of my ancestors and they are considered sacred sites. We wouldn’t desecrate a cemetery. Just because there are no headstones doesn’t mean the shell mounds are less sacred.”


Cherokee Phoenix Weekly Newsletter



We Demand Environmental Justice and an End to Environmental Racism, from Kettleman City to Bayview Hunters Point and all of our Communities!

On January 27, we will join with residents of Kettleman City, Bayview Hunters Point and many other communities and environmental justice organizations to call on the new national and regional administrators of USEPA to uphold environmental justice. Now is the time for USEPA to start protecting people, not polluters, and start complying with their environmental justice mandates and commitments.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 27, 2010, 12 NOON -- US EPA OFFICE75 Hawthorne St., between Folsom/Howard and 2nd/3rd Streets, San Francisco (Montgomery Street BART/MUNI exit)

Co-sponsored by: Asian Pacific Environmental Network * Association of Irritated Residents * Californians for Pesticide Reform * Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment * Central California Environmental Justice Network * Chinese Progressive Association * Communities for a Better Environment * El Pueblo Para El Aire y Agua Limpio/People for Clean Air and Water * Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives * Global Community Monitor * Global Exchange * Grayson Neighborhood Council * Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice * Healthy San Leandro * Huntersview Mothers Committee * New Midway Village Relocation Group * PODER * POWER * Rainforest Action Network * Soldout National Samoan Christian Center * Stop Lennar Action Movement * West County Toxics Coalition CONTACT * United Native Americans * GREENACTION FOR MORE INFORMATION (415) 248-5010 x 101

United Native Americans, Inc


outh Georgia Riverkeepers Host Mountaintop Removal Road Show January 25 - 28
After seeing Kayford Mountain in West Virginia get blown up for coal, Dave Cooper decided to devote himself to stopping mountaintop removal. Dave will be traveling through south Georgia in late January, presenting the Mountaintop Removal Road Show.

This issue is vitally important to Georgians as we fight new coal-fired power plants in our watershed proposed for Sandersville(Plant Washington)
in the Oconee watershed and Fitzgerald(Ben Hill)in the Ocmulgee watershed.
Not only is coal disastrous to human health, the industrial mining of it is destroying the Appalachians, among the oldest mountains in the world. More than 450 mountains and summits (over 800 square miles) have been destroyed so far by mountaintop removal.

More than 1,200 miles of streams across the region have been buried in valley fills or polluted between 1985 and 2001. Over 1000 miles of streams have been permitted to be buried -- this is a greater distance than the length of the entire Ohio River. Please take an evening to come hear about the greatest environmental travesty taking place on the American landscape.

The Mountaintop Removal Road Show includes a stunning 20-minute slide show about the impacts of mountaintop removal on coalfield residents, communities and the environment, and features traditional Appalachian mountain music and shocking aerial photos of decapitated Appalachian mountains.

We encourage you to attend the program nearest to you. The Satilla, Ogeechee, and Flint Riverkeepers are sponsoring the program at the locations below.

Monday the 25th , Waycross, Okefenokee Tech Auditorium, 7pm

Tuesday the 26th , Statesboro, Eagle Theater, Russell Union, Georgia Southern, 4:30pm

Thursday the 28th , Albany, The Bridge House at 112 North Front Street (Albany Welcome Center), 7pm

On Wednesday, Jan. 27, ARK members Raven Waters and Janisse Ray will host the program at their home near Reidsville, Georgia. The show starts at 7 p.m. and lasts about an hour. A potluck supper will immediately preceed the show, starting at 5:30. The Waters-Ray family request an RSVP for directions, (912) 557-1053.

The Mountaintop Removal Road show in South Georgia is sponsored by Satilla Riverkeeper, Flint Riverkeeper, Ogeechee-Canoochee Riverkeeper, and the Altamaha Riverkeeper.

Feel free to bring friends and to pass the word.

Bryce Baumgartner
Operations Manager

Christie's drops human skull from auction
January 22, 2010
New York (CNN) -- A human skull and crossbones, valued at up to $20,000, won't appear at a Christie's auction Friday after another party claimed rights to the remains, the auction house announced.

Yale University's secret Order of Skull and Bones used the skull and crossbones as a ballot box, Christie's said in its advertisement of the item in an auction catalogue. The auction house estimates the 19th century ballot box is worth between $10,000 and $20,000.

The skull, crossbones and accompanying book of Skull and Bones members between 1832 and 1877 were "withdrawn from sale due to a title claim," Christie's said in a statement Friday. The global auctioneer did not say who claimed rights to the items.

Earlier this month, the World Archaeological Congress condemned the sale, calling the sale of human body parts an "affront to human dignity." The group also suggested the skull might be that of a Native American and thus be subject to federal laws protecting Native American remains.

This isn't the first time Skull and Bones has been entangled in a debate over human remains.

The great-grandson of famed Chiricahua Apache warrior Geronimo sued Skull and Bones last year, claiming the society had Geronimo's remains. Historians disagreed on whether the society had ever dug up Geronimo's grave.

The collegiate society has existed since 1832 and has prominent alumni such as former President George W. Bush and his grandfather, Sen. Prescott Bush.

Teresa Anahuy
Applications Available for Tribal Heritage Research Fellowship

Applications Due: February 1, 2010

Applications Available for Tribal Heritage Research Fellowship

Published January 11, 2010 12:15 am - Applications are available to award up to 20 fellowships in the Tribal Heritage Research Project, a 26-month program sponsored by the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums.

"There is a growing interest on the part of American Indian Nations to research, write and present accurate portrayals of their history," according to Susan Feller, development officer at the Oklahoma Department of Libraries, the coordinating agency for the national initiative.

Applications are available to award up to 20 fellowships in the Tribal Heritage Research Project, a 26-month program sponsored by the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums.

"There is a growing interest on the part of American Indian Nations to research, write and present accurate portrayals of their history," according to Susan Feller, development officer at the Oklahoma Department of Libraries, the coordinating agency for the national initiative.

Feller said the project's goals are to provide a greater understanding of indigenous cultures, contribute valuable materials to tribal archives and provide a tribal interpretation of historical events.

The project will introduce selected research fellows to methods and strategies for designing research projects, identifying sources, and accessing American Indian materials in local, regional and national collections. Participants will also produce a short video documentary using the information collected.

The fellowship opportunity is open to tribal organizations from throughout the nation. Other partnering organizations are the Library of Congress, the National Anthropological Archives, the National Archives and Records Administration and the National Museum of the American Indian.

Application guidelines, forms, and a sample application are available at the Oklahoma Department of Libraries Web site at www.odl.state.

Applications are due 5 p.m. Central Standard Time Feb. 1.
For more information, call 405-522-3515 or

Sweat Lodge Bill on Native America Calling - Tuesday 1-26
Coming up on Native America Calling……..

Tuesday, January 26, 2009 - The Sweat Lodge Bill:
A bill has been introduced in the Arizona state legislature by a Native lawmaker to regulate traditional Native spiritual practices, including sweat lodge ceremonies. Presumably, the bill is in response to an incident at a retreat near Sedona in which three people died while participating in a sweat lodge ceremony conducted by a non-Indian man. Can this bill keep similar incidents from happening? Who will enforce this law if it passes and should states be invited to regulate Native spiritual practices? Invited guest is Arizona State Senator Albert Hale (Navajo).

Listen and/or call in or To participate call 1-800-996-2848


US military vets working on archaeological project

January 22, 2010
ST. LOUIS (AP) — U.S. military veterans are sorting through a massive government archaeological collection that has been neglected for decades, with the hope of archiving the stone tools, arrows and American Indian beads that were found beneath major public works projects.

The collection dates to the 1930s, when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers started building dozens of locks, dams and reservoirs, and the ground beneath them was excavated for archaeological treasures.

Prehistoric and historic pottery, stone tools, arrowheads, Indian beads, necklaces, earrings and ear spools, and ceremonial artifacts, even human remains, were collected. The items then sat in boxes and paper bags in university museums as well as private basements, garages and tool sheds.

In recent weeks, U.S. veterans — many with traumatic brain injuries or post-traumatic stress disorder — have begun processing, cataloguing, digitizing and archiving the collection as part of a one-year $3.5 million project, funded with federal stimulus money.

It's part of the corps' effort to find American Indian cultural items and return them to tribes or their descendants — something all federal agencies must do under a 1990 law. Michael Trimble, chief of curation and archives for the corps' St. Louis district, said the goal is to get the collection catalogued, digitally photographed and put on the Web for public viewing.

He said the corps' 47,000-cubic-feet collection of boxed artifacts and associated records, audio tapes and photographs would fill 30 semitrailers.

Trimble, who helped excavate mass graves in Iraq from 2004 to 2007 and testified in the genocide case against Saddam Hussein, said it was a friend who helped him understand he could both help veterans and apply their discipline to the care of the artifacts. He and his staff then applied for the federal funding.

Veterans say the project is providing them with hope and new job skills.

"This is the best thing that has happened to me since I got out of the military," said Cody Gregory, a Burleson, Texas, native who works at the Veterans Curation Project's St. Louis center, which opened in December.

Gregory, 27, a former U.S. Air Force mental health tech in Afghanistan, works with a dozen other Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam-era veterans at the St. Louis site. The project's two other centers — one that opened in October in Augusta, Ga., and one set to open Monday in Washington, D.C. — employ the same number of veterans.

Brockington Cultural Resources Consulting in suburban Atlanta runs the three centers for the corps and trains the veterans.

Cathy van Arsdale, who manages all three sites, said the project trains and employs veterans in records and data management and archiving. Veterans hold the jobs for six months, then work with the Veterans Administration to find permanent jobs.

Matt Bahr, 28, of Ste. Genevieve, said the job working on the archaeological collection allows him to apply the quick thinking and cognitive skills he learned as an Air Force flight nurse in Iraq.

"We have millions of dollars invested in our training that would be wasted if we sat at home," he said of veterans. "I may not save lives again, but I can do this."

Wearing white gloves, Bahr on Friday carefully handled field maps, drawings, photographs and other delicate specimens that told the story of a 1970s dig in Indiana conducted by university students.

Their notes, written on creased loose-leaf paper, with now-peeling tape, were held in a box that was water-damaged and moldy.

Trimble said the veterans are close and talk to each other.

"They've all been through the same stuff," he said. "The work is therapy."

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