Monday, April 9, 2012

Indigenous News 4 10 2012

Tribes embrace native names to preserve cultureFrom Whisper N Thunder type: Stolen HorsesAlert date: April 9, 2012 Contact: Amber McKayLocation: Maricopa, AZ STOLEN HORSESValley and Stolen Horses Alert AZ: Valley - Medicine Hat Sorrel/White Paint Mare - and Chestnut - Bay Arab Gelding - April 7, 2012, Pinal County, Arizona Chestnut - 7 yr old Arab GeldingName: ValleyColor: Sorrel / White Medicine HatBreed: Paint HorseGender: MareStats: 8 yrs / 15.2 hh / 1100 lbsName: ChestnutColor: BayBreed: ArabianGender: GeldingStats: 7 yrs / 15.2 hh / 1000 lbsHow Stolen: Stolen when fence was cut in back where horses were eating. horses taken in the middle of the night.See Valley and Chestnut's listing with more information and details on our NEW website* Valley, 8 yr old Paint MareDON'T FORGET: Contact the owner and let them know you are here supporting their search. A few words offers more hope than you can ever measure. YOU CAN HELP: Circulate this alert and info to your friends and ask them to do the same, post on twitter, facebook, craigslist.ALWAYS INCLUDE THE LINK back to the NetPosse page so people can have details and read updates later. Go to the link below to read full details, and to print the flyer to post in your area for the owner. Valley & Chestnut's webpage: * We have switched to the new site! The new is undergoing "beta" testing.. If you find mistakes we want to hear about them. Watch for the grand launch later after we finish all pages and data transfer. HELP US GROW: SHI is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization powered by NetPosse Volunteers. We are asking for more volunteers to help power the efforts of this unique organization as it continues to grow. Don't forget to LIKE us on facebook. Have questions? Post them here. MAKE A DIFFERENCE: SHI is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization powered by NetPosse Volunteers. We are asking for more volunteers to help power the efforts of this unique organization as it continues to grow. Learn more about how you can help and sign up for NetPosse Alerts and NetPosse News here. Never underestimate the power of one...YOU!@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@Hidden from History:The Canadian Holocaust v. NAACPActivist alleges hostile takeover of Twin Cities chapterBy KATE GENELLIE - H-P Staff WriterPublished: Thursday, April 5, 2012 1:06 PM EDTBENTON HARBOR - Vocal community activist Edward Pinkney says he is suing the heads of the Michigan and national NAACP because they are trying to wrest control of the organization's local branch away from him.Pinkney, who has been president of the Benton Harbor/Twin City NAACP branch since 2009, posted a press release to his blog Tuesday that said he is suing NAACP President Benjamin Jealous, Michigan NAACP President Yvonne White and Michigan NAACP Vice President James Gill for being part of a "hostile takeover" of the local NAACP branch.The press release further names Benton Harbor Mayor James Hightower, Benton Harbor schools Superintendent Leonard Seawood, Whirlpool Corp., the Senior PGA Championship and the Golf Course at Harbor Shores as part of the takeover, but doesn't say they are defendants in the lawsuit.Pinkney said he is suing the state and national NAACP officials for entering into a joint agreement with Marcus Robinson, the president and CEO of Consortium for Community Development, to take over the local NAACP branch.Pinkney said the case's preliminary hearing is in Wayne County Circuit Court on April 11.Pinkney said he would present, at that hearing or at a later one, an email circulated by Whirlpool stating that national and state NAACP officials were persuaded to reorganize the branch, and that members should contact Robinson, rather than local branch officers."This was an attempt, a hostile attempt, to take over the local NAACP branch," Pinkney said by phone Wednesday.Jeff Noel, Whirlpool's vice president of communication and public affairs, said Wednesday he is not aware of any formal action or an official statement by Whirlpool regarding the local, state or national NAACP.Many Whirlpool employees are active in community organizations, Noel said, and the corporation does support some organizations with funding, but those organizations have their own boards.Pinkney said part of the plan to unseat him is offering free memberships to those who would vote against him in an upcoming election. Membership dues in the local branch are normally $30 per year."We had to file a lawsuit in order to bring the truth to the table," he said, adding this could be the first of many lawsuits, including some against Whirlpool and the PGA.But Pinkney said he will take it one step at a time."We don't want to go out there and sue everybody. That wouldn't be logical," he said.Robinson and state NAACP officials were not immediately available for comment.kgenellie@TheH-P.comExposing the National and the State leadership of the NAACP for having strayed from its purposes and develop into the sorry excuse for what it should be ,They will resist you with all their might. When you expose them for allowing the greedy blood sucking corporation to over the NAACP. When will the peoplesay enough is enough. @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@From Mike @ UNA NewsUnited Urban Warrior Society "UPDATE" 4/05/12Update: "United Urban Warrior Society Resources" is in the process ofgetting a grant to open a small office in Rapid City S.D. As a resource center for the Native Community on and off the Reservation. This will include helping with Job search, Medical (I.H.S.) resourcing, Appointments, Housing and other resources that are available. It will include one van for transportation to and from appointments for those who need rides. Hopefully we will be set up by the end of summer...I will keep everyone in the loop...This is an ongoing project I have been working on for about the last 6-months..We will be filling for No-Profit status this spring. We are still looking to build a web page for all of U.U.W.S. And personalonaly I will run for City Council next year for a North Rapid City Seat....Together in "Unity & Solidarity" we can make a change for our people...We now have T-shirts contact me with color and size 25.00 EA. (Logo Bottom of page) Full Color...James "Magaska" SwanPresident & FounderUnited Urban Warrior SocietyP.O. Box 14Rapid City, S.D. Of Inspiration:"One good man or one good woman can change the world, can push back the evil, and their work can be a beacon for millions, for billions. Are you that man or woman? If so, may the Great Spirit bless you. If not, why not? We must each of us be that person. That will transform the world overnight. That would be a miracle, yes, but a miracle within our power, our healing power." ~ Leonard Peltier@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@Cherokee Link Newsletter*********************************************************Osiyo,Jistu has my kids excited this weekend with his egg hiding abilities, which reminds me that the Cherokee Nation will be closed this Good Friday.Have you seen jistu before? If not we still have openings in our online Cherokee Language classes which will start Monday, April 9, so if you haven’t registered yet there is still time.For more information: Cherokee Nation is hosting an environmental festival on Friday, April 13. Come out to the Cherokee Nation Complex behind the Council House where you can enjoy games, hands-on children’s activities, presentations, information booths, and much more.For more information: the hard work of those individuals, we would not be able to see the great strides of progress in building a structure to celebrate those men and women who have laid down their lives for our country. Check out the progress that has been made on the veteran's center!The live webcast is at: NationP.O. Box 948Tahlequah, OK 74465918 453-5000*****************************************************Cherokee Nation News**************************************************************Learn about Cherokee plants at ethnobotany conferenceThe Cherokee Nation is hosting its second annual Ethnobotany Conference in May for anyone interested in learning about local plants and trees that are of cultural importance to the Cherokee. The two-day conference starts on Thursday, May 24 at 10:30 a.m. at the tribe’s W.W. Keeler Complex, 17675 S. Muskogee Ave., and concludes on Friday, May 25 with a guided nature walk near Rocky Ford north of Tahlequah. Nation helps Pryor launch 24/7 Tobacco Free CampaignThe Cherokee Nation recently joined forces with city and school officials in Pryor to launch a 24/7 Tobacco Free campaign to prevent students and residents from smoking or dipping. The campaign coincides with this year’s National Public Health Week theme, “A Healthier America Begins Today: Join the Movement.” Nation to host environmental festivalThe Cherokee Nation will host an environmental fair on April 13 south of Tahlequah behind Council House. Nation to host environmental festivalThe Cherokee Nation will host an environmental festival April 13 south of Tahlequah on U.S. Highway 62 behind Council House. Nation hosts 17th Cherokee Challenge BowlStudents from 15 schools across seven counties recently competed in the Cherokee Nation's 17th annual Cherokee Challenge Bowl. Nation hosts 17th Cherokee Challenge BowlStudents from 15 schools across seven counties recently competed in the Cherokee Nation's 17th annual Cherokee Challenge Bowl. accepted for Cherokee Nation Election CommissionThe Cherokee Nation Election Commission is searching for its fifth and final member. The CNEC is accepting resumes until Monday, April 16, at 9 a.m. Nation Businesses cuts costs by selling corporate planeCherokee Nation Businesses announced Friday that it has sold its corporate plane to a private buyer, saving the tribe more than $400,000 annually.******************************************Other Links of Interest*******************************************Games -'sArea/KidsGames/Default.aspx?source=Newsletter256Community Calendar - Feed - - the Eagle Watch #221April 9, 2012Earth Plunderers and Their PropagandistsThe Earth Plunderers aka MuthaF**kas need lots of $$$ to develop the huge and vast mineral wealth on unceded Indigenous land and territories in the North. HAARP, atmospheric nuclear testing and other military experiments are, IMHO, clearing the ice for easy access to uranium, gold, diamonds, iron, etc. Most minerals are being used for military purposes and domestic controls via telecommunications and ISR for the NWO Global Governance and Empire. $$$Funds are solicited from foreign and domestic investors on the TSX, Venture Capital markets, through pension funds and government programs via taxes. While a handful of elitists grow richer every day, working class people are forced to finance the robbery of Indigenous and peasant people on the land. Payment is made in blood, sweat and tears as the pillage and plunder continue.Investors are a nervous bunch, strongly influenced by media reports and legislation. Any word of Indigenous resistance makes then hold their purses shut. Recent court cases in favour of Indigenous people demonstrate the Government's "willingness" to conciliate and appease Indigenous. It looks like everyone is getting along just fine. It's a big RUSE as usual. NOTHING HAS CHANGED.EduMine Educates You on MiningEduMine looks at all aspects of mining. Some of their courses are UBC accredited. Courses on mining are taught at the University of British Columbia where students get a UBC Certificate in Mining Studies, giving them respectable credentials and Authority on mining.Edumine courses like "Mining 101" and "Cyanide Use and Management" are about $800 for a one day workshop or a 55hour online course. Many of us don't earn $800 a week while welfare recipients get less than that a month for an entire family. These pirates know how to play their game by offering expensive classes. It gives the appearance of being very exclusive, top secret info. Yeah, right!!EduMine uses the services of Ripple Effects for their very special aboriginal awareness training. Maybe Indigenous need to run some workshops of our own in "How Not to Get Suckered Again and Again by the CONonial Man". Kittoh is available to TEACH.The goal of the Aboriginal Awareness Training is "the building of trusting and respectful relationships ... through awareness, comfort, confidence and much improved communications."In other words, corporatists and earth plunderers like PDAC,Prospectors and Developers Ass. Of Canada, Diavik, De Beers Canada, BHP Billiton, AMEC, EDS Canada, Ledcor Industries, CCS Income Trust, ATCO Group, Shell Canada Ltd., Encana, Enbridge Pipelines, Federal Government, Alberta Government, BC Government, Weyerhaeuser, Athabasca Tribal Council, Schlumberger, University of Calgary, Parks Canada and Golder Associates can learn how to avoid putting their feet in their mouths. They will become more CONvincing in their phoney deals and promises to Indigenous. This is the 21st century's version of conciliation, pacification and final assimilation of Indigenous people of Turtle Island. It's a lotta cheap tricks and psychological warfare. We wonder what they mean by "comfort"!!! Is that things like satellite TV, cushions and donuts for everyone on the "Rez" to keep us all comforted and passive??Ripple Effects, Part of the Propaganda MachineRipple Effects does Aboriginal Awareness Training Workshops through EduMine to specifically address mining developers. Based in Calgary with strong ties to the University of Calgary (where colonial minions like Tom Flanagan and Barry Cooper of the polysci department vilify Indigenous), Ripple teaches Corporatists and Colonial Minions how to interact with Indigenous in a smooth and effective way. Students learn how to smudge, pass the peace pipe and other protocols. They may even try their hand at beading or jump into a sweat. Ripple's president and chief propagandist, Robert Laboucane is a former Indian Affairs employee and Executive Director for the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business CCAB, another one of Maurice Strong's NWO creations. Rob "Big Whiz" Laboucane does a lotta speaking engagements.Sean "Whiz #2" Hannah is Ripple Effects multimedia propagandist. He has a degree from U Calgary in English Lit and Psychology. He knows how to make effective use of the English language to conciliate and bedazzle.Both Sean and Robert are Metis while the two women at Ripple are Cree. Doreen Spence and Bernice Shadow are both powerhouses of energy for organizing, speaking, meetings and such, anything to do with painless Indigenous assimilation into Canadian society. They are dedicated volunteers who give a "nice" face to Ripple and its real sinister motives.You can look at a trial online lesson to see how aware you might be. There's really Nothing New Under the Sun. Needless to say, there are other groups like Edumine and Ripple Effects. The psychological warfare against us continues a frenzied tsunami of lies and illusion. We have to use our Minds to defend our own sense of Reality. We need to resume Ancient Ways of Knowing to find our Way through it all. The dangers are many.Kittoh<>We welcome your feedback! Forward, post and consider printing for your cyberphobic friends and relatives. Be sure to include our contact info.The Eagle Watch Newsletter is sent to interested individuals, both Indigenous and nonNative, politicians especially the Canadian ones and an assortment of English language media. It is also sometimes translated into French, Spanish, German, Arabic, Russian and other languages. Notes and SourcesEdumine AWARENESS TRAININGby Robert Laboucane Enrollees437302 April 2012 a CourseRipple Learning: Aboriginal Awareness Training403.620.3139Email: robert@ripplefx.caMail: Ripple Effects Ltd., 307, 47 Glamis Dr. SW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T3E 6S2Excerpt the Eagle Watch #126Global Governance and Assimilation What a Strategy!April 17, 2011Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business CCABAccording to their web site, the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business CCAB was started by Murray Koffler in 1984. Maurice Strong says that he was a co-founder in 1982 of then Canadian Council for Native Business. He was actively involved until 1987 and then remained quietly in the background for many years. He was on the board of governors in 2007. Mau has the ability to keep close tabs on many organizations and projects that he started. He is amazing in a very sinister way.CCAB sponsors annual golf tournaments and hosts gala dinners in Toronto and Calgary. Is this their idea of "cultural superiority"?As a non partisan non profit organization, their declared budget is just over $1million. They say they get no core funding from government. All their money comes from corporations, program and event sponsorships and membership dues. Their membership is quite a list of who's who in Canadian business and includes Cameco, Shell, Enbridge Pipelines Inc., VIA Rail, the Great-West Life Assurance Company (part of Power Corp.), Raytheon Canada Ltd. and Diavik Diamond Mines Inc. Their Seven Generations patrons include companies like BMO Financial, IBM and Syncrude. Their boards of directors and governors include some big players in business and government.CCAB claims, "This organization is but the conduit to the people and capital that leverage Aboriginal business in Canada". CCAB seeks out promising young Indigenous people, latching onto them when they are still only in high school. CCAB then sponsors them through their education, about 85 students every year, grooming them for careers in business.Isn't this just a systematic method for assimilating Indigenous people into the mainstream Canadian capitalist materialistic society? Assimilation was the colonial entities' plan from the outset.@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@From the Eagle Watch #220April 8, 2012FYI - With many Indigenous communities in dire circumstances, some Indigenous are jumping on the bandwagon of mining development. We have to ask, "When will we learn?"KittohUranium Mines Dot Navajo Land, Neglected and Still Perilous Joshua Lott for The New York TimesAn abandoned uranium mine on the Navajo reservation in Cameron, Ariz., emits dangerous levels of radiation.By LESLIE MACMILLAN, New York Times, March 31, 2012, Ariz. — In the summer of 2010, a Navajo cattle rancher named Larry Gordy stumbled upon an abandoned uranium mine in the middle of his grazing land and figured he had better call in the feds. Engineers from the Environmental Protection Agency arrived a few months later, Geiger counters in hand, and found radioactivity levels that buried the needles on their equipment.The abandoned mine here, about 60 miles east of the Grand Canyon, joins the list of hundreds of such sites identified across the 27,000 square miles of Navajo territory in Arizona, Utah and New Mexico that are the legacy of shoddy mining practices and federal neglect. From the 1940s through the 1980s, the mines supplied critical materials to the nation’s nuclear weapons program.For years, unsuspecting Navajos inhaled radioactive dust and drank contaminated well water. Many of them became sick with cancer and other diseases.The radioactivity at the former mine is said to measure one million counts per minute, translating to a human dose that scientists say can lead directly to malignant tumors and other serious health damage, according to Lee Greer, a biologist at La Sierra University in Riverside, Calif. Two days of exposure at the Cameron site would expose a person to more external radiation than the Nuclear Regulatory Commission considers safe for an entire year.The E.P.A. filed a report on the rancher’s find early last year and pledged to continue its environmental review. But there are still no warning signs or fencing around the secluded and decaying site. Crushed beer cans and spent shell casings dot the ground, revealing that the old mine has become a sort of toxic playground.“If this level of radioactivity were found in a middle-class suburb, the response would be immediate and aggressive,” said Doug Brugge, a public health professor at Tufts University medical school and an expert on uranium. “The site is remote, but there are obviously people spending time on it. Don’t they deserve some concern?”Navajo advocates, scientists and politicians are asking the same question.The discovery came in the midst of the largest federal effort to date to clean up uranium mines on the vast Indian reservation. A hearing in 2007 before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform led to a multiagency effort to assess and clean up hundreds of structures on the reservation through a five-year plan that ends this year.Yet while some mines have been “surgically scraped” of contamination and are impressive showpieces for the E.P.A., others, like the Cameron site, are still contaminated. Officials at the E.P.A. and the Department of Energy attribute the delay to the complexity of prioritizing mine sites. :-X Some say it is also about politics and money.“The government can’t afford it; that’s a big reason why it hasn’t stepped in and done more,” said Bob Darr, a spokesman for the Department of Energy. “The contamination problem is vast.”If the government can track down a responsible party, he said, it could require it to pay for remediation. But most of the mining companies that operated on the reservation have long since gone out of business, Mr. Darr said.To date, the E.P.A., the Department of Energy and other agencies have evaluated 683 mine sites on the land and have selected 34 structures and 12 residential yards for remediation. The E.P.A. alone has spent $60 million on assessment and cleanup.Cleaning up all the mines would cost hundreds of millions of dollars, said Clancy Tenley, a senior E.P.A. official who oversees the uranium legacy program for the agency in the Southwest.Some say the effort has been marred by bureaucratic squabbles and a tendency to duck responsibility. “I’ll be the first to admit that the D.O.E. could work better with the E.P.A.,” said David Shafer, an environmental manager at the energy agency.Determining whether uranium is a result of past mining or is naturally occurring is “a real debate” >:-o and can delay addressing the problem, Mr. Shafer said. He cited seepage of uranium contaminants into the San Juan River, which runs along the boundary of the reservation, as an example. “We need to look at things like this collectively and not just say it’s E.P.A.’s problem or D.O.E.’s problem,” he said.E.P.A. officials said their first priority was to address sites near people’s homes. “In places where we see people living in close proximity to a mine and there are elevated readings, those are rising to the top of the list for urgent action,” Mr. Tenley said.Agency officials said they planned a more thorough review of the Cameron site — which still has no warning signs posted — within the next six months.Meanwhile, Navajos continue to be exposed to high levels of radioactivity in the form of uranium and its decay products, like radon and radium. Those materials are known to cause health problems, including bone, liver, breast and lung cancer.Lucy Knorr, 68, of Tuba City., Ariz., grew up near the VCA No. 2 mine operated by the Kerr-McGee Corporation, now defunct. Her father, a former miner, died of lung cancer at age 55 in 1980, and her family received a payout of $100,000 under the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, a law that was enacted after her mother hired a lawyer and testified before Congress.The program has awarded $1.5 billion for 23,408 approved claims since it was enacted in 1990.Ms. Knorr’s father was one of hundreds of Navajos who did not wear protective gear while working in the mine. “He’d wash at a basin outside” after leaving the mine, she said, “and the water would just turn yellow.”The government has been successful in tracking down and holding some former mining companies accountable. The E.P.A. is requiring that General Electric spend $44 million to clean up its Northeast Church Rock Mine, near Gallup, N. M. Chevron is paying to clean up the Mariano Lake Mine, also in New Mexico.When the government cannot locate a responsible party, which is most often the case, the E.P.A. and the Department of Energy work with the tribal authorities to reach cleanup decisions. In general, the E.P.A. handles mines, while the Energy Department is responsible for the mills where the ore was processed and enriched.One of the Department of Energy’s biggest priorities is a billion-dollar uranium mine cleanup that is under way in Moab, Utah, and that received $108 million in federal stimulus money and the backing of nine congressmen.Some Navajo officials point out that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar signed a 20-year moratorium on new uranium and other hard-rock mining claims on one million acres of federal land around the Grand Canyon in January, saying it was needed to preserve the mile-deep canyon and the river that runs through it. The mining industry is challenging that decision in court.But the Navajo Nation, considered a sovereign government entity, has not gotten similar treatment from the federal government for its land, some of its officials say. The nation has asked for $500 million for mine cleanup, but the money has not materialized, said Eugene Esplain, one of two officials with the Navajo E.P.A. responsible for patrolling an area the size of West Virginia.Taylor McKinnon, a director at the Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental group that worked to halt new mining claims near the Grand Canyon, said the Cameron site was the worst he had seen in the Southwest. He has even seen cow droppings near the mine, he said, an indication that cattle are grazing there. And “people are eating those livestock,” he said.Ronald Tohannie, a project manager with the Navajo advocacy group Forgotten People, said the locally grown beef was tested at the slaughterhouse, but not for the presence of radioactive substances like uranium.[If you don't look for it, you won't find it!!!] >:-oWhen E.P.A. officials in the California office overseeing the region were asked to accompany a reporter to the Cameron mine site, they countered with an offer to visit the Skyline Mine in Utah, on the northern boundary of the reservation in Monument Valley, where a big federal cleanup was completed last October.The onetime mine, atop a 1,000-foot mesa, provides a sweeping panorama of the red valley below. Just one tiny dwelling is visible, the packed-earth hogan of Elsie Begay, a 71-year-old Navajo woman. Ms. Begay was featured in a series of articles in The Los Angeles Times in 2006 about serious illnesses that several of her family members developed after living in the area for many years.The publicity “might have bumped the site up the priority list,” said Jason Musante, who oversaw the $7.5 million cleanup of the mine for the E.P.A.In trailers and cinder-block dwellings on the Navajo reservation, there is deep cynicism and apprehension about the federal effort. “That’s what they want you to see: something that’s all nice and cleaned up,” said the Navajo manager of a hotel near the Skyline mine. He asked not to be identified, saying that he had already come under government scrutiny for collecting water samples from the San Juan River for uranium testing at a private lab.For some Navajos, the uranium contamination is all of a piece with their fraught relationship with the federal government.“They’re making excuses, and they’ve always made excuses,” Ms. Knorr said. “The government should have had a law in place that told these mining companies: you clean up your mess when you leave.”A version of this article appeared in print on April 1, 2012, on page A18 of the New York edition with the headline: Uranium Mines Dot Navajo Land, Neglected and Still Perilous.Distributed under Fair Use Doctrine for educational purposes.@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@Historical Notes from the “Annual Report of Indian Affairs 1919" on Health and SanitationHttp:// INDIANS AND THE GREAT WARMore Historical Notes from the 1919 Report to Indian AffairsHttp:// Watch FilesHttp:// Field Campaign is the only group working in the field and in the policy arena to protect America's last wild buffalo.Buffalo Field CampaignYellowstone BisonUpdate from the FieldApril 5, 2012 Find BFC on FaceBook! * Update from the Field ~ BFC Celebrates 15 Years With the Buffalo* BFC Flashback* NEW TAKE ACTION! Tell Governor Schweitzer to Call off the Dept. of Livestock!* Help Nominate BFC for the 2012 Green Awards!* Experienced Volunteers, Come on Home!* BFC Wish List: Assorted Optics* Gorgeous Buffalo Artwork Available, Sales to Benefit BFC* Endangered Buffalo Fact of the Week* By the Numbers* Last Words* Update from the Field ~ BFC Celebrates 15 Years with the BuffaloThis week marks the 15th anniversary of my moving to a little trailer in Gardiner, Montana to start what is now known as Buffalo Field Campaign. Lakota elder Rosalie Little Thunder and I put together this frontlines presence to protect the buffalo. Mike Mease speaks for wild buffalo. BFC file photo. Click photo for larger image.As I sit here today on Horse Butte watching hundreds of buffalo enjoy being buffalo with no harassment, torture, or slaughter, I reflect on how far we’ve come. During the years leading up to the formation of Buffalo Field Campaign any buffalo that stepped foot outside of Yellowstone Park were killed by many different methods as soon as the government agents spotted them. The agents gunned down whole herds and then sent in Native Americans to do all the work of gutting, butchering, and hauling the carcasses out of the woods while livestock agents sat back out of earshot making rude comments. They shot and killed buffalo in front of children waiting for the school bus and on the way to and home from school. Gut piles were left in visible places for the whole community to see and smell. The buffalo that were captured and sent to slaughter had their heads, hides, and meat sold at auctions and the Department of Livestock (DOL) kept the money. The DOL even kept the money when Yellowstone National Park killed buffalo with our tax dollars. All of these atrocities committed against our country’s last descendants of the millions of buffalo that once roamed the continent were hidden from the public.During the winter of 1996-‘97 an estimated 3,500 buffalo existed in Yellowstone and that same winter the Department of Livestock and National Park Service (NPS) shipped 1,084 buffalo to slaughter. Another 400 to 800 died naturally from the harsh winter. I had to do something. BFC file photos. Click for larger images. I had noticed that wherever I had my video camera the agents had avoided killing buffalo. I would find the largest herd of buffalo out of the Park and in danger and stay with them. The DOL would go shoot smaller herds. This became a founding philosophy of the BFC. We would document and hold the government accountable for every action that they took against the buffalo. If we could be with the buffalo that are out of the park we could show the world and stop the senseless slaughter. Years of documenting the slaughter gave us the ability to produce videos and newsletters for outreach on the issue. BFC co-founders Mike Mease and Rosalie Little Thunder and the buffalo bus that began to spread the word to save the last wild herds! BFC file photo. Click for larger image.Our first move was to educate Yellowstone visitors. Exercising our free speech rights in Yellowstone National Park, we have staffed tables at popular spots in the park for the past 15 summers. During the first year I also traveled to Grand Teton National Park, attended music festivals, and drove to other events in a Volkswagen bus that several artists had magically transformed into a giant buffalo. I drove that van more than 10,000 miles, sending donations home as I received them to pay the Campaign’s bills. The original BFC crew sitting on the porch of the new headquarters in West Yellowstone. BFC file photo. Click for larger image.That fall we had the opportunity to move into our current headquarters near West Yellowstone and we jumped on it. The summer’s outreach resulted in a solid foundation of supporters and a solid corps of volunteers coming from all over the world to stand with and defend the buffalo. These volunteers set up blockades, locked down to the capture facilities, and did anything they could think of to stop the killing. The resulting arrests brought publicity and media attention that the government did not want. During our first year in the field only 11 buffalo were killed in contrast to the nearly 1,100 killed the previous winter. We were making a difference. Direct action! "Brucellosis: Kill the Myth, Not the Buffalo!" BFC file photo. Click photo for larger image.The following year brought yet more volunteers and more buffalo migrated out of the park. On Forest Service Road 610, during an extremely cold winter, a blockade was erected to stop the Horse Butte capture facility from being setup. This structure turned in to a 17-pole art piece that held off all harassment of the buffalo for more than seven weeks. Many people endured 40 degrees below zero nights, perched high on a platform dangling from the structure to help save the buffalo. Nonviolent direct action was the foundation of this country and I have been honored to be with many individuals that have chosen this path in defense of the buffalo. I have personally been arrested three times for the buffalo. Two of these arrests were illegal attempts by the agents to prevent me from documenting and were thrown out of court. These arrests inspired some volunteers to put themselves through law school. These lawyers now defend the buffalo in our all-important legal wars. Buffalo are still dying but now more people are aware. The buffalo sent to slaughter now are given to reservations or food banks and the DOL no longer profits from their sale. As the years go by the arrests keep coming and national pressure starts to grow. Mike Mease and Rob Burns of the Gallatin County Sherriff's Department. BFC file photo. Click for larger image.A new “kinder, gentler” PR ploy has largely replaced the wanton shooting and capture: hazing the buffalo back into the Park. This war zone approach spreads the harassment to all wildlife in the ecosystem. Imagine you are standing along the banks of the meandering Madison river watching the snow melt as birds return from their winter homes, grizzly bears feed on winter kills, moose, elk and deer nibble on fresh grasses, and buffalo moms nurse their newborn calves. Now imagine the chaos as the DOL’s helicopter descends upon this tranquil scene from over the horizon and flies 20 feet above the buffalo’s head. ATVs and angry horseman arrive next, yelling, honking horns, and throwing rocks to chase the animals from the National Forest. Pickup trucks, forest and park rangers, Gallatin county sheriffs, and highway patrol officers relocate anything in their path. This is how this last intact ecosystem is abused with your tax dollars. The "kinder, gentler" approaches to wild buffalo abuse, paid for with your tax dollars. BFC file photo. Click for larger image.The brucellosis argument loses weight as elk spread the disease to livestock in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho and all three states lose their coveted brucellosis-free status. Yet no action is taken against the elk, just the killing of more buffalo. Buffalo have never once transmitted the disease brought here and given to our wildlife by cows. Despite the closing of the last cattle grazing allotment on Horse Butte and new landowners who want buffalo on their properties, the state still won’t “tolerate” buffalo and continues to kill them. Baby steps are the common used term for progress on the buffalo issue. While the buffalo are allowed a few more steps out of the park, they’re never given year-round access to habitat and are always subject to a “drop dead” line across which they cannot step. Yellowstone buffalo are the only species that is expected to stay within the park. What a buffalo goes through in a year has changed a little but still they must endure a lack of tolerance and even death. From November through February for the past seven years the buffalo have been welcomed to Montana with a so-called hunt. Many years every buffalo to cross the boundary is killed. Native Americans have been force-fed the hunt as the only way they can have their treaties recognized by the state and federal governments. At present four reservations have had their treaties recognized to hunt. The buffalo management plan calls for a cap of 3,000 on the buffalo’s total population. This will make sure none of the first nations will ever be allowed to subsist from the buffalo again. BFC honors and respects the treaty rights of all first nations and is actively working to help remove this disgraceful plan and put people that have the buffalo interests at heart in charge. BFC file photo. Click for larger image. As long as volunteers continue to join us in the field and supporters continue to make our work possible with their contributions we will stand and fight for the buffalo. More than 5,000 volunteers have come to stand with the buffalo from every state in the US and countries around the world. The majority of BFC’s funding is contributed by people sending donations of $50 or less. This message that the people want us to continue the fight keeps me strong every day. But it is the buffalo that will make me never leave until this land is theirs again. They have the lessons that humanity has forgotten or never learned. Everyone counts in the buffalo world. Everyone is just as important as everybody else. Together we can do anything. I will be here until this ends or I die. Thank you all for allowing me to dedicate my life to this most important work.With the Buffalo,Mike Mease* BFC Flashback One of BFC's first winters in the field with the buffalo. BFC file photo. Click photo for larger image. Here is the very first Update from the Field, dated October 22, 1997. Co-founded by Lakota elder Rosalie Little Thunder and videographer/activist Mike Mease, the front lines wild buffalo advocacy group began as Buffalo Nations. Out of respect for the People who are Tatanka Oyate, the Buffalo Nation, we soon changed our name to Buffalo Field Campaign. This is the print newsletter Buffalo Field Campaign put out after the 1998-1999 season. Click on the image to download and read the newsletter. Have a BFC Flahsback you'd like to share? In honor of our fifteen years on the front lines with America's last wild buffalo, we'll be sharing BFC blasts from the past over the course of the year. If you'd like to share some of your stories please send them! Photos are also welcome!* NEW TAKE ACTION! Tell Governor Schweitzer to Call off the Dept. of Livestock!Hundreds of wild buffalo are currently enjoying peaceful times on Horse Butte, important habitat where there are never any cattle. Very soon, wild buffalo will begin to give birth. Horse Butte and the surrounding riparian and forested landscape are favored by the central wild buffalo herds, who migrate west from Yellowstone into Montana every spring. Most of these lands are cattle-free public lands and some are buffalo-friendly private lands, where buffalo should be allowed to roam year round. Yet, by May 15th, the Montana Department of Livestock (DOL) and other state and federal agencies will descend upon this wildlife-rich ecosystem to terrorize the animals and harm the habitat, using horsemen, helicopters, and a variety of law enforcement to forcibly move (haze) native wild buffalo - including newborn calves and pregnant cows - out of Montana. Montana is the lead entity in decisions made about wild buffalo in the Hebgen Basin, with the MT Department of Livestock calling all the shots. Please tell Montana Governor Schweitzer to call off the Department of Livestock, halt the hazing and let wild buffalo follow their own instincts to return to summer ranges.* Nominate Buffalo Field Campaign for the 2012 Green AwardsBuffalo Field Campaign is in the running for Great Nonprofits' 2012 Green Awards to identify top-rated nonprofits focusing on environmental issues around the globe. We need your help if we are to win. Your story can help BFC gain valuable feedback and guide others who might provide support by donating or volunteering.Please take three minutes to help nominate Buffalo Field Campaign by writing a review by April 30th!* Missing Your Buffalo Family? Return to the Front Lines! Thank you for having spent so much time here before and we want you to come home again! BFC file photo. Click photo for larger image. Hey Buffalo Family!!!Spring is here and so are the buffalo. We are so grateful to be in the field watching these amazing creatures soaking up the warm rays of spring sun, feeling the nutrition of the green spring grasses, romping and running with their herds. Our collective energies seem to be relaxed and for the moment at ease. Our volunteers, however, know what is coming down the line and we are honoring our calm and reflective time now as we prepare what will surely be disruptive and trying actions in the future. We are blessed with a great new crew of volunteers, and we could use the help of experienced BFC volunteers to help us guide them through the coming heavy hazing season. If you're missing the buffalo and your buffalo family, please come on home to us! We need you! Get in touch and come home to the buffalo.PeetSupport CoordinatorBuffalo Field Campaign* BFC Wish List: Assorted OpticsWe could use some help to (literally) keep our sights on the buffalo. We find ourselves in need of new optics: Cameras, binoculars, spotting scopes, and equipment to steady these optics. Below is a section of our wish list that focuses on optics including quantities that will help keep all BFC field volunteers well-equipped. Any contribution for these items is extremely helpful and important to the campaign, whether it is a ten dollar donation towards optics or the entirety of the list. Thanks to each and every one of you for loving the buffalo and for keeping BFC going and our volunteers prepared in the field every day. If you can help with these assorted optics wishesplease contact our gear coordinator.(6-10 pairs) compact high-resolution binoculars, water- and fog-proof, 7-10x 35-70mm magnification(6-10 pairs) full-size high-resolution binoculars, water- and fog-proof, 7-10x 35-70mm magnification(3-5) high-resolution spotting scopes, standard tripod- or window-mounted, with zoom, 16-60x 60(+)mm magnification(3) compact tripods(3) full-size fluid head video tripods(3-5) Walking/Ski pole Monopods with standard camera mount (eg. Leki, Tracks brands)Click HERE to view BFC's complete Wish List* Gorgeous Buffalo Artwork Available, Sales to Benefit BFC Click image to view and purchase. BFC supporter Julia Lucey is an incredibly talented artist whose work is featured in BFC's Wild Bison 2012 calendar. Julia says, "As many of you know, a great deal of my inspiration comes from the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The last genetically pure Bison are found here, but are challenged daily to follow their natural migratory paths ... I have given 5% of all of my sales to [Buffalo Field Campaign's] cause since I began my art career. I recently designed some cards for them (which will be available for sale from BFC later this spring). The etchings I made while trying to find the right design for them are for sale now on etsy with 100% of the sales price going directly to them."Thank you so much Julia!View and purchase: Julia Lucey Buffalo Art #1 ** Julia Lucey Buffalo Art #2* Endangered Buffalo Fact of the WeekSmaller bison herds gradually lose their genetic diversity. A herd of 2000-3000 bison will lose an estimated 5% of its alleles each 100 years. A herd of less than 400 bison will suffer some degree of inbreeding. South of Canada, there are but forty-four non-commercial bison herds on native range. Thirty-three of these herds are fewer than 400 animals. Forty-two herds have fewer than 2000. Of the two herds with fewer than 2000 bison, one is inflicted with a substantial amount of cattle genes. Only the Yellowstone herds exceed 2000 animals and apparently have no cattle-gene introgression. (Jim Bailey, Belgrade, Montana)Jim Bailey's papers, and other bison conservation papers, can be downloaded and viewed HEREHave a fact you'd like to share with us? * By the NumbersAMERICAN BUFFALO ELIMINATED from the last wild population in the U.S. The last wild population is currently estimated at fewer than 3,700 individual buffalo. Wild bison are currently ecologically extinct throughout their native range in North America.2011-2012 Total Buffalo Killed: 292011-2012 Government Capture:2011-2012 Government Slaughter:2011-2012 Held for Government Experiment:2011-2012 Died In Government Trap:2011-2012 Miscarriage in Government Trap:2011-2012 State & Treaty Hunts: 282011-2012 Quarantine:2011-2012 Shot by Agents:2011-2012 Killed by Angry Residents:2011-2012 Highway Mortality: 12010-2011 Total: 2272009-2010 Total: 72008-2009 Total: 222007-2008 Total: 1,631* Total Since 2000: 4,001**includes lethal government action, trap-related fatalities, quarantine/experiments, hunts, highway mortality* Last Words"Those of us already here roam the fields with the buffalo daily and have a kinship with them. The magnificence and ruggedness of these beautiful animals has all of us in awe of their role in nature and humble us in our own role. There is nothing quite like the sight of buffalo playing while a bald eagle flies overhead, a coyote hunts for scurrying food, a wolf howls in the not-so-far distance, while we keep a watchful eye out for the D.O.L. All in a day's work at Buffalo Nations. So come out and be ready for action or help support us in anyway you can. "~ From a December 29, 1998 Buffalo Nations alert, which can be read in full HEREDo you have submissions for Last Words? Send them to us! Thank you for all the poems, songs, quotes and stories you have been sending! Keep them coming!Media & OutreachBuffalo Field CampaignP.O. Box 957West Yellowstone, MT 59758406-646-0070bfc-media@wildrockies.orghttp://www.buffalofieldcampaign.orgBFC is the only group working in the field every dayin defense of the last wild buffalo population in the U.S.KEEP BFC ON THE FRONTLINES Join Buffalo Field Campaign -- It's Free!Tell-a-Friend! ROAM FREE! -- "When crazy people call you crazy, you know you're sane. When evil people call you evil, you know that you are a good person. When lairs call you a liar, you know that you are truthful. Know who you are and don't let others tell you who you are." - Dave Kitchen

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.