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Old 07-29-2005, 02:42 AM
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Default Sand Creek Massacre legislation on to Bush

Sand Creek Massacre legislation on to Bush

The president is expected to sign the bill turning the area where Indians were killed into a historic site.

By Mike Soraghan
Denver Post Staff Writer


Washington - The final piece of legislation needed to create the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site in eastern Colorado is on its way to the White House after gaining final congressional passage, Sen. Wayne Allard said Tuesday.

The Sand Creek site, east of Eads, is where about 700 Colorado militia troops, led by Col. John Chivington, slaughtered 163 Indians camped in the area - primarily women, children and elderly men of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes - on Nov. 29, 1864.

The corpses of many of the Indians were mutilated.

"This has been a long time coming, and I am pleased the Senate moved so swiftly to approve this legislation," said Allard, R-Colo.

President Bush is expected to sign the bill, said Allard spokeswoman Angela de Rocha.

Local economic development leaders were disappointed last year when similar legislation stalled in the House Resources Committee for lack of a vote.

The legislation establishes the National Park Service as manager of the 2,400 acres in Kiowa County that will be given in a trust to the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes of Oklahoma by the federal government.

Trust property is declared part of an Indian reservation and can be used only for historic, religious or cultural uses that are compatible with its status as a national historic site.

Companion legislation by Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, R-Fort Morgan, passed the House this year.

Staff writer Mike Soraghan can be reached at 202-662-8730 or msoraghan@denverpost.com.

Sand Creek Massafre website: http://www.kiowacountycolo.com/sand.htm

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Old 07-29-2005, 02:43 AM
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Default Mexico frees first group of Indian inmates held unfairly

Published: 07.27.2005

Mexico frees first group of Indian inmates held unfairly


MEXICO CITY - Authorities released 49 inmates from penitentiaries in central Mexico on Tuesday, the first batch of hundreds expected to be freed as government officials check cases against Indian prisoners for judicial improprieties.

Mexico's Indians - some of whom do not speak Spanish - often remain in jail when they are eligible for early release or bail, because of a lack of legal representation or economic resources or because of confusion about the law and bureaucratic hurdles.

During a ceremony in which prisoners were freed in Puebla, capital of the state of the same name 65 miles southeast of Mexico City, Public Safety Secretary Ramon Martin Huerta said authorities hope to release between 700 and 800 Indian inmates by the end of the year, after reviewing federal case files as well as those of prisoners held at the state and local levels.

There are about 7,700 Indians behind bars nationwide, Public Safety Department officials estimate.

The move came two weeks after Martin Huerta's office signed an agreement with the National Commission for Development to rid Mexican prisons of Indians held unfairly.

Attending the ceremony was Puebla Gov. Mario Marin, who said many of those included in the first wave to be released were younger inmates.

As part of the program, authorities have pledged to provide legal advisers who are familiar with Indian languages and customs and to attempt to move Indians being held far from their families to jails closer to home.
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Old 07-29-2005, 02:44 AM
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Default Appeals Court ruling deals blow to offender registry law

Appeals Court ruling deals blow to offender registry law

Associated Press

ST. PAUL - The Minnesota Court of Appeals dealt a blow to efforts by law enforcement agencies to track murderers, sex offenders and kidnappers by ruling that the state can't require American Indians living on reservations to register as predatory offenders.

Tuesday's decision affirmed a Cass County district judge's ruling, but it may be appealed.

State courts are increasingly recognizing Indian tribes as separate nations, with sovereign jurisdiction over the regulation of their citizens in most noncriminal matters.

The crux of the Appeals Court decision was that the state's predatory-offender registration law is civil and regulatory in nature - not criminal in nature as prosecutors and the state attorney general's office argued.

The case involved Peter Jones, 31, of Cass Lake, who was convicted in 1996 of kidnapping for locking someone in a car trunk for more than 14 hours. Under state law, that conviction made Jones a predatory offender, and thus required to register his addresses after being released from prison.

Jones twice registered his addresses after moving back to northern Minnesota's Leech Lake Indian Reservation, but he then he moved to another Leech Lake address and failed to register, according to court records. He also failed to respond to mailed requests from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to verify his address.

Jones was charged in Cass County with failing to notify the BCA of a change of address. Through his attorney, Blair Nelson of Bemidji, Jones argued that because he was an Indian living on his tribe's reservation, the state lacked jurisdiction to punish him for failing to register, which Nelson called a civil-regulatory requirement.

District Judge John Smith agreed and dismissed the case earlier this year. He ruled that Congress had limited the state's jurisdiction on reservations in Minnesota and several other states to matters of criminal law. On Tuesday, a three-judge appeals panel affirmed that in a seven-page opinion.

"It's a little disconcerting," said Dave Bjerga, special agent in charge of the BCA's northern Minnesota office. "It kind of flies in the face of the movement to get a better handle on where these people are."

Nelson said he and Jones were pleased.

"The registration statute is about rounding up the usual suspects," Nelson said. "It does nothing to keep the streets safe. My client was charged with a felony for failing to return a postcard."

It was not immediately clear how many offenders might be affected by the ruling. The state has 16,594 offenders registered by address, according to the BCA, but no quick way of telling how many are tribal members living on their reservations.

Out of the 105 registered offenders in Cass County, about a dozen besides Jones appear from their addresses to live on the Leech Lake Reservation, said Charlene Erickson, a records specialist with the sheriff's office.

Cass County Attorney Earl Maus said he would decide soon whether to appeal the decision to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

"It's disappointing from a public safety standpoint," Maus said. "Registration not only helps law enforcement identify possible suspects; often it warns the public about where a predatory offender resides."

Maus also said he's concerned that some Indian offenders could purposefully thwart the state's registration radar by moving first to their home reservation, then moving off the reservation again without informing the BCA.
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Old 07-29-2005, 02:45 AM
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Default Five indicted in killing on Fort Apache Indian Reservation

Five indicted in killing on Fort Apache Indian Reservation

The Associated Press
Jul. 28, 2005 01:21 PM

A federal grand jury has indicted five people in the beating-strangulation death a woman on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation.

The indictment, handed up on July 20, lists several charges, including first-degree murder, kidnapping and conspiracy to commit murder.

The five defendents allegedly kidnapped Martha Bones on July 2. She was then beaten and kicked with steel-toed boots before she was strangled with a belt, prosecutors said.

Her body was found in a shallow grave on the reservation.

The defendents include Jeremy Wayne Hoffman, 21; Carlton James, 24; Alvin Wayne Johnson, 22; and Gallson Cheney, 24; all of Whiteriver. The fifth is Blanca Gonzales, 28.
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Old 07-29-2005, 02:46 AM
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Default W.Va. dogs to track arsonists on S.D. reservation

W.Va. dogs to track arsonists on S.D. reservation

By John McCoy
Staff writer

West Virginia forestry officials have ordered their keen-nosed, floppy-eared cavalry to come to American Indians’ rescue.

Tucker and Sadie Mae, the Division of Forestry’s arson-sniffing bloodhounds, will spend the next two weeks on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation, tracking people suspected of setting wildfires.

Administrators at the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs requested the help. “West Virginia is one of only a handful of states with an arson bloodhound program, so that’s why they came to us,” said John Bird, one of the Division of Forestry’s two wildland fire investigators.

The current assignment marks the second time the Mountain State’s bloodhound teams have been tapped for Indian reservation duty. Last year, Bird and partner Don Kelley took their dogs to the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona. In two weeks there, they investigated five fires, made 12 arrests and tied 23 individuals to other wildfires.

“The Division of Forestry is always happy to work in cooperation with federal agencies that need our assistance,” said Assistant State Forester Matt Dillon. “I’m sure our bloodhounds will continue to prove an effective tool in arson investigations and wildfire prevention.”

Investigator Bird said the dogs allow the handlers to track arsonists from the places where fires are set.

“The dogs’ noses are so sensitive that they can trace a trail of skin cells all the way back to the arsonists’ houses,” Bird said. “Obviously, it works very well.”

The South Dakota reservation where the teams will work is home to the Oglala Sioux tribe and encompasses nearly 2 million acres in the state’s famous Badlands region.

Bird, who handles Tucker, is based out of the Division of Forestry’s Milton office. Kelley, who handles Sadie Mae, is based out of Beckley.

To contact staff writer John McCoy, use e-mail or call 348-1231.
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Old 07-29-2005, 04:23 PM
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~There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires.
Nelson Mandela ~
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Old 07-29-2005, 04:28 PM
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"Where Did the American Indians Come From"

Really great post Wingy this addresses many questions but it has always been my belief that we share Asian ancestry and migrated down .
~There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires.
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Old 07-31-2005, 04:03 PM
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Default Court throws out California prison grooming policy

Court throws out California prison grooming policy

Sat Jul 30, 1:09 PM ET

The California prison system acted improperly when it tried to trim the hair of an American Indian inmate who said a haircut violated his religious beliefs, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Friday.

Billy Soza Warsoldier, who had not cut his hair in 25 years, filed a lawsuit after a minimum-security prison punished him for refusing to comply with a rule that men's hair be no longer than 3 inches (8 cm) long.

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, reversing a lower court decision, said the state had failed to show the grooming policy was the least restrictive way to ensure prison safety and security.

"It applies to all male inmates, but to no female inmates regardless of a female inmate's security threat; it does nothing to distinguish between inmates housed at maximum security facilities and those low level offenders in minimum security institutions; and it provides absolutely no accommodation for religious belief," Judge Harry Pregerson wrote for a three-judge panel.

Warsoldier, who was released from prison last year, called the decision an important precedent for American Indians.

"This is a really good win for us because now all Indian men behind me and the ones still here, now have the right to keep our traditions and let hair grow long," the Cahuilla Native American said in an interview. "They don't like the fact that we're going to stand up against them."

Last year, a separate three-judge panel came down on the opposite side of a similar issue, saying the California Department of Corrections' reasons for requiring short hair -- such as making inmates easier to detect if they try to escape -- were justified.

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Old 08-01-2005, 05:32 PM
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YIPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! RP, thanks for sharing!!! this was/is a REALLY important ruling///if Native People in california lost this appeal it would have set a precident for incarcerated First Nations People thru out Turtle Island... thank you SO VERY MUCH for taking the time!!!!
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Old 08-01-2005, 07:14 PM
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Default Daily news links...Eagles slaughtered, NA's: historical trauma;

I have decided to simplify the daily news by making one post and listing the story titles in the order they appear...it will save me some time..I hope this is okay with all of you , let me know if its a problem
Soldier mindful of ancestry
Shooting shakes up residents
Battle Over Gay Marriage Plays Out in Indian Country
ACLU decries 'unwarranted spying' by FBI
Native Americans suffer from historical trauma

Eagles slaughtered for cherished parts

Soldier mindful of ancestry
assigned to unit associated with ancestor, Crazy Horse and the Battle of Little BigHorn
By Danielle Gordon, Special to the Journal

FORT LEWIS, Wash. — Cadet Lisa Whiteface, an Oglala Sioux who grew up on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in southwestern South Dakota, didn't realize the irony that awaited her when she was assigned to the 7th Regiment for Army training here.

Each of the 13 training regiments at the Leadership Development and Assessment Course at Fort Lewis, Wash., has an affiliation with an active Army unit to foster unit cohesion and camaraderie.

Whiteface's unit, the 7th Regiment, is affiliated with the 7th Cavalry, historically renowned for its defeat by a band of American Indians led by Whiteface's ancestral tribe member, Crazy Horse, at the battle of Little Big Horn.

Whiteface said she chuckled a little upon realizing the coincidence.

"The reality of it is there: the history, the past, but I don't dwell on it. I'm here to serve in the United States Army," she said.

Whiteface arrived June 21 to attend the training here, known as Warrior Forge. It is the largest and most important training event for cadets who will become Army officers. With a history as rich as the 7th Cavalry's, tales of Lt. Col. George Custer and his unit made the coincidence of being so closely linked to Crazy Horse apparent.

Whiteface, 29, joined the Army National Guard at 20, working as a mechanic and then for the military police. She currently attends Black Hills State University. After serving, she plans to attend law school.

Whiteface said Crazy Horse was an exemplary leader who embodied Army values.

"He was very well-rounded and spiritual. He knew how, as a leader, to balance the spiritual with the secular, especially in regards to military discipline."

Whiteface referred to Crazy Horse as "akicita" or "heroic warrior" as the Lakota word is translated in English. She said the word encompasses her ancestor's virtues as a protector, a warrior and that of honor.

"I can relate to that," she said, referring to the idea of warrior ethos.

Whiteface, unlike most cadets at Warrior Forge, has the distinction of having a history of warriors in her ancestry, including not only Crazy Horse, but her great-great-grandfather, who was given the Sioux name "ita sankinya" or "he who paints his face white," characterizing how he painted his face white before going out on a war path.

Whiteface's family lives in Pine Ridge, S.D.

Danielle Gordon is a U.S. Army Reserve Officer's Training Corps cadet at Saint Bonaventure University in Olean, N.Y.

Copyright © 2005 The Rapid City Journal

Rapid City, SD

Shooting shakes up residents
Church Rock homeowners meet to discuss recent attack, safety

By Leslie Wood
Staff Writer

GALLUP — Residents of Church Rock Estates held an emergency meeting on Wednesday night to discuss options for their community, just days after a former resident violently attacked three of their own.

Crownpoint police arrested 19-year-old Kevin Tsosie on Sunday night after he reportedly shot two residents and clubbed another with the barrel of the shotgun he gripped as he staggered down the streets of the 69-unit complex.

Navajo police found Tsosie hiding underneath a bed along with blood-soaked clothing and the shotgun that was allegedly used in the attack.

The sight of an armed Tsosie walking down the street instilled widespread panic among residents who feared for their children's safety.

Shirley Yellowfeather, a site manager for Fort Defiance housing, said Tsosie allegedly tried to enter her property on Sunday through a fence located in her yard, but the family dog aggressively protected her and her children.

Yellowfeather said she ordered her children to hide from the young men while she called police for help.

"It was chaos and we were all running into one another," Yellowfeather said.

Two boys were treated and released from a local hospital for non-life threatening gunshot wounds, but were unable to attend the meeting. Homeowners reported Tsosie positioned the shotgun inside a young person's mouth as he slurred several threats. Drugs are suspected to havecontributed to the incident.

About 50 residents packed into the Church Rock Estates' community house to discuss measures to prevent similar incidents in the future. Yellowfeather said the level of crime in the area has escalated in recent months and cited incidents of vandalism to area homes as evidence.

"We all need to come together," Yellowfeather said. "Something drastic needs to happen. ... We need to care for one another and communicate."

Lana Yazzie, a tenant, said the organizers of the community's recently created Neighborhood Watch program experienced animosity from some residents who were concerned about their privacy prior to Sunday's shooting.

"You can't just stand by and go in and close the door," Yazzie said. "We have to save each others' lives. ... We need to make a safe place where we're not afraid to go outside."

The group's organizers are planning to apply for funding through the Navajo Nation to purchase supplies for the program and hope 20 percent of the community's residents will attend meetings, so the program can become officially recognized by the national headquarters.

Organizers are also working to create a plan for residents to call one another when suspicious incidents occur.

Resident Kimberly Toadaledo-Ross encouraged neighbors to display concern for each other's children. Other residents suggested the creation of local programs, such as sports tournaments, to keep children occupied and away from involvement in incidents such as Sunday's.

Some residents were also discouraged that law enforcement officers who reside within the complex did not respond more quickly on Sunday.

"Their badges say to serve and protect our liberty," one resident said, "not to (say) 'go away I'm sleeping'."

Crownpoint Criminal Investigator Larry Etsitty, who is assigned to the complex, said the FBI is conducting the investigation and it is at the discretion of a U.S. attorney to determine whether charges will be filed in the case.

The suspect will be transported this morning to Albuquerque for further questioning. The community's next meeting is scheduled for Aug. 25.


Battle Over Gay Marriage Plays Out in Indian Country

By Lois Romano
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, August 1, 2005; A02

TULSA -- Truth be told, Kathy Reynolds and Dawn McKinley were content living in quiet suburban anonymity, raising a child, accepted by neighbors who did not know their sexual orientation, and hoping to grow old together.

A complex legal battle with cultural overtones was not on their agenda. But their dreams bumped against legal reality when Dawn was barred from Kathy's hospital room because she was not family. It was not long after that the lesbian couple brought the national battle over same-sex marriage to the heart of Indian country as they moved to become the first gay couple to marry under Cherokee law.

More than a year after Massachusetts became the first state to recognize same-sex marriages, the emotional issue is playing out in the Cherokee courts in Oklahoma, confronting historic issues of cultural traditions and Indian sovereignty. A hearing Tuesday will likely determine whether Reynolds and McKinley are married under Cherokee law -- and are therefore legally recognized as a married couple in this conservative state.

Tribal sovereignty statutes mandate that Native American marriages be recognized by states, and a couple -- any couple -- could conceivably circumvent state laws to establish a legal union not approved by the state.

The Navajos have also broached the issue; the tribe's council voted to ban same-sex marriage and then voted again to override tribal President Joe Shirley Jr.'s veto of the ban. Shirley had called the issue "a waste of time."

Reynolds, 28, and McKinley, 33, insist that when they first requested and received a marriage application from the Cherokee Nation last year, their intention was not to make history.

"We were told that the Cherokee law didn't exclude same-sex marriages," Reynolds said in an interview. "We just wanted recognition for our relationship."

Added McKinley: "We were very naive. We thought we'd get married under Cherokee law and that would be the end of it. We never thought it would turn into this."

At the urging of a local Cherokee nationalist and gay rights activist, the couple sought and received a marriage application from the tribe last year without incident. They promptly held a wedding ceremony performed by a licensed minister certified by the Cherokee Nation on Cherokee land at a Tulsa park. Family, friends and media attended. The couple planned to have the traditional Cherokee ceremonial wedding after their marriage application was certified.

But when Reynolds and McKinley tried to file their application with the tribe a year ago to make it official, they found that a tribal judge had issued an injunction prohibiting them from becoming the first same-sex couple married under Cherokee law.

Shortly after, Todd Hembree, the lawyer for the Cherokee Tribal Council, asked the tribal court to nullify the marriage, arguing that it was not covered under Cherokee law. The Cherokee Tribal Council then unanimously passed a measure limiting marriage to a union between a man and woman to clarify what it said was ambiguous language in the law.

"I took action because I feel strongly that our laws have to stand for something," said Hembree, who said he was acting on his own and not on behalf of the tribe. "The Cherokee statue is not gender-neutral. It is meant to be between man and a woman. In my view, they are trying to circumvent Oklahoma law."

As many states have, Oklahoma banned same-sex marriage last year. A referendum stating that marriage is between a man and woman and outlawing same-sex unions passed, garnering 75 percent of the vote.

Hembree said that in the 14 Oklahoma counties where Cherokees live, voters overwhelmingly supported the amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

"This is rural Oklahoma," one tribal official said, "and our citizens' views reflect the rest of the state. Cherokees are opposed to this marriage taking place."

For months, Reynolds and McKinley could not even find a local lawyer to take their case. Those they approached were either opposed to the marriage or did not want to alienate the tribe that doles out lucrative contracts to law firms. "There were about 35 lawyers on the list of those permitted to argue in tribal court, and one day I went down the whole list and couldn't find anyone willing to take the case," McKinley said. "One guy laughed and hung up on me."

The San Francisco-based National Center for Lesbian Rights agreed to represent them. Because the Cherokee council has passed the law limiting marriage to a man and woman, Reynolds and McKinley's case is being argued solely for them. "Whatever happens will set no precedent -- it will affect only this one case," said Mike Miller, spokesman for the Cherokee Nation.

Still, advocates maintain that if the couple prevails, the resolution will help other gay couples who walk the same path. Meanwhile, the very public battle has taken its toll on the women, who say they are just trying to live their lives peacefully and raise McKinley's daughter.

"One neighbor just stopped talking to us when this became public," Reynolds said.

"I mean, really, who are we hurting here?" McKinley asked. "We don't bother anyone, we mind our own business . . . stick to ourselves. How would our marriage hurt anyone?"

© 2005 The Washington Post Company

ACLU decries 'unwarranted spying' by FBI

© Indian Country Today August 01, 2005. All Rights Reserved

Posted: August 01, 2005

by: Brenda Norrell / Indian Country Today

DENVER - The FBI conducted surveillance of American Indians protesting Columbus Day in Denver, said the American Civil Liberties Union in its announcement that the FBI amassed more than 1,100 pages of documents on nonviolent groups across the nation, including Greenpeace and the Quakers, during the past four years.

Calling it ''rampant and unwarranted spying,'' the ACLU said the FBI surveillance has a ''chilling effect'' on the exercise of First Amendment rights.

The ACLU said spying on peace groups and political activists is a misuse of power being carried out under new counterterrorism laws.

''We now know that the government is keeping documents about the ACLU and other peaceful groups - the question is why,'' said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero.

The ACLU is seeking information about the FBI's use of joint terrorism task forces and local police to engage in political surveillance, according to a statement released by the ACLU.

Ann Beeson, associate legal director of the ACLU, said the FBI documents underscore the ACLU's concern that the FBI is violating Americans' ''right to peacefully assemble and oppose government policies without being branded as

terrorist threats.''

''There is no need to open a counterterrorism file when people are simply exercising their First Amendment rights.''

The ACLU announcement came in July following a previous ACLU lawsuit in Denver, which followed evidence that the Denver Police Intelligence Dept. kept secret files, known as the ''Denver spy files,'' on American Indians and peace groups in Denver for 30 years.

The Denver police kept secret files on the American Indian Movement, John Echohawk and other attorneys at the Native American Rights Fund, author and icon Vine Deloria Jr., Cherokee leader Wilma Mankiller and activist Winona LaDuke.

Denver police also kept spy files on Columbus Day protest organizers Glenn Morris, Tink Tinker, Ward Churchill and Russell Means. The Denver spy files included Wallace Coffey, John Mohawk, Dennis Banks and supporters of the Big Mountain relocation resisters and Leonard Peltier.

Besides Columbus Day protesters, Denver police kept spy files on an 80-year-old grandmother who had a Leonard Peltier bumper sticker on her car.

The ACLU lawsuit in Denver resulted in new policies in the Denver Police Dept. in 2004. Further, American Indians and others named in the spy files were able to obtain copies of the documents.

Currently, the ACLU is launching a nationwide effort to expose and prevent the FBI from spying on people and groups simply for speaking out or practicing their faith. In addition to Freedom of Information Act requests on behalf of the national organizations, the ACLU has filed similar requests on behalf of more than 100 groups and individuals in 16 states and the District of Columbia.

The requests were filed in response to widespread complaints from students and political activists. They said they were questioned by FBI agents in the months leading up to the 2004 political conventions.

The ACLU's FOIA requests seek the actual FBI files of groups and individuals targeted for speaking out or practicing their faith. Further, they seek information about how the practices and funding structure of the joint terrorism task forces, known as JTTFs, are encouraging ''rampant and unwarranted spying,'' the ACLU said.

Romero said the ACLU is urging the court to order that the recently revealed FBI surveillance documents be turned over immediately.

''If the FBI has nothing to hide, it should release the documents promptly. The government's claim that it needs nine more months to turn over these documents is a stalling tactic,'' Romero said, referring to the FBI's request for more time to ''process'' the 1,173 pages of documents it says it has on the ACLU.

Along with the surveillance of American Indians, the ACLU revealed the contents of a report on United for Peace and Justice, a national peace organization that coordinates non-violent protests.

The document, sections of which are redacted, is addressed to FBI ''Counterrorism'' personnel and quotes from the peace group's Web site. Earlier, the group called for a public demonstration prior to the 2004 Republican National Convention.

The document was released in response to an ACLU lawsuit filed two months ago to expedite its FOIA request for FBI surveillance files on the ACLU, Greenpeace, United for Peace and Justice, Code Pink, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and the Muslim Public Affairs Council.

Bush administration opposes NAGPRA amendment
Friday, July 29, 2005

The Bush administration came under fire at a Senate hearing on Thursday for opposing legislation that would clear up an ongoing controversy in repatriation law.

Paul Hoffman, an Interior Department official, announced for the first time that the administration agrees with an appeals court decision in the Kennewick Man case. In February 2004, the 9th Circuit allowed scientific study of the 9,300-year-old remains, holding that they are not "Native American."

Tribes and their advocates have criticized the ruling, saying it limits the ability to repatriate artifacts and human remains. In response, Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), the chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, introduced a bill to modify the definition of "Native American" to cover Kennewick Man cases that might arise in the future.

The measure has the support of tribes, Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota), the committee's vice chairman, and Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii). But Hoffman said adding the words "or was" to the definition of "Native American" will allow tribes to reclaim remains and artifacts to which they are not entitled.

"We believe that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals correctly interpreted the law and the intent of Congress, which was to give American Indians control over remains of their genetic and cultural forbearers, not over the remains of people bearing no special and significant genetic or cultural relationship to some presently existing indigenous tribe, people, or culture."

Paul Bender, a law professor at Arizona State University who worked on the Native American Graves Repatriation and Protection Act said he had "no idea" why the administration would oppose the pending bill. He said the court's decision needs to be addressed by Congress because it locks tribes out of the repatriation process.

"Under the 9th Circuit, decision there would be no consultation," he testified.

Walter Echo-Hawk, an attorney with the Native American Rights Fund, called the administration's announcement a "sad retreat from its earlier position" that Kennewick Man and other remains like him are Native American regardless of age. He said the Department of Justice had "strongly supported" the view embraced by the bill in the court battle.

"When it comes to a human rights matter, we lose credibility when the administration says one thing to one branch of the government and then the opposite to another branch," he told the committee.

Paula Barran, an attorney from Oregon who argued the Kennewick Man case on behalf of scientists, criticized the bill. She said it denies the public the right to learn more about the identify of some of the first Americans, whom she claimed are not related to present-day Native Americans.

"They weren't American Indians as we know those people today," she said. "They're different. Kennewick Man is different. This man walked our county and he wasn't an American Indian as we know it today."

Kennewick Man more closely resembles Polynesian people and the ancestors of the Ainu, the indigenous people of Japan, Barran added. She called the proposed amendment a "sweeping change" in repatriation law.

Keith W. Kintigh of the Society for American Archaeology disagreed with that interpretation. He supported the amendment, saying the change in definition will have no effect on remains that can conclusively be linked to present-day Native Americans or on remains classified as "culturally unidentifiable." The handling of these types of remains are the subject of regulations that are still being drafted.

Van Horn Diamond, a Native Hawaiian who has worked on repatriation issues in Hawaii, also backed the bill. "No scientific curiosity should have singular license to indigenous remains and artifacts," he testified. "Not all knowledge resides in Western" modes of thought, he said.

Echo-Hawk noted that the 9th Circuit ruling creates disparate systems for Native Americans and Native Hawaiians. Remains and artifacts found in Hawaii that predate the arrival of Europeans are presumed to be Native Hawaiian. Yet remains and artifacts found in the United States that predate 1492 are not treated the same, Echo-Hawk said.

At the onset of the hearing, McCain apologized for failing to hold a hearing on the amendment before the bill passed the committee. "I agree with these critics and stand corrected for not doing this earlier," he said. The language is contained in an "omnibus" that describes the change as technical in nature.

Dorgan, who is working with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to repatriate an ancestor who died while visiting Washington, D.C., in the 1860s, said the issue continues to be an emotional one.

"There were times in this country when Indian bodies were collected on the battle field and sent back to Washington for study and then end up as a set of bones somewhere in a basement," he said at the conclusion of the hearing. "That's a pretty shameful thing to have had that happened."

Dorgan also raised questions about the use of NAGPRA program funds to pay for the Kennewick Man case. According to Hoffman, the Interior Department paid $680,000 to Barran and her litigation team with an additional $1.8 million owed to the scientist plaintiffs.

NAGPRA Amendment Bill:
S.536: Technical Corrections Act

Sunday, July 31, 2005 - 12:00 AM

Eagles slaughtered for cherished parts

By Maureen O'Hagan
Seattle Times staff reporter

NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C. — Amy Marie George just couldn't catch her breath.

She had walked this short trail near her house hundreds of times, but on this afternoon in February she had to send her grandchildren ahead to get an old asthma inhaler she hadn't used in more than a year.

"I heard my granddaughter say, 'There's an eagle here,' " recalled George, an elder with the Tsleil-Waututh (SLAY wa-tuth) Nation. "I got such a bad feeling."

Then her grandson Jonas called out. "There's one here!

"And another one here!"

In all, there were 14 dead eagles strewn about the dirt. And it was no accident.

"They have no feet!" George recalls 10-year-old Jonas saying. Their wings were lopped off, too.

Under the trees that have stood over this land for generations, where George lived simply but felt rich walking among the sacred living things all around, she and the children began to cry.

Jonas, who believed that wherever he went an eagle was watching him, sobbed until his uncle brushed him with sage and sang an eagle song. George prayed. "You didn't deserve this," she said.

George and her grandchildren had stumbled upon evidence of an international black market, one that fuels the illegal slaughter of an estimated 500 eagles each year in southwest British Columbia alone, and an unknown number in Washington state.

Their discovery brought to at least 50 the total number of dead eagles found between February and March in and around the Tsleil-Wautuths' tiny Indian reserve.

The black market begins around the salmon runs, where gorging eagles are easy prey for poachers; it arrives in the U.S. tucked in the suitcases of smugglers; and it fans out across America, where investigators sometimes refer to eagles as "flying $1,000 bills."

Because of the large number of eagles in British Columbia, Washington state has been a key entry point for smugglers.

According to wildlife officials in Canada and the U.S., the parts find their way to uses ranging from high-end artwork to wiccan ceremonies. But officials say the biggest demand is at Native American powwows, where feathered regalia can help competitive dancers win thousands of dollars in prizes.

To George, it was simple.

"This," she said, "is murder."

But catching the culprits has proven to be no easy task.

Shrouded investigations

Paul Weyland likes to keep a low profile.

As a U.S. Fish and Wildlife agent who investigates organized poaching rings, he works in an unmarked office building in a bland business strip on the outskirts of Bellingham.

Official correspondence carries a P.O. Box address, rather than the street address, ever since Weyland got a vaguely threatening letter from a disgruntled hunter. He carries a holstered gun even though much of his work is at a desk.

For the past few months, Weyland has been investigating possible stateside links to the B.C. eagle case.

U.S. law prohibits killing eagles, or possessing any eagle part — even just a feather — without a permit. Selling them is also prohibited, as is transporting them across the border. Canadian law is similar, but some important differences may make Weyland the key to bringing the B.C. eagle killers to justice.

Canadian officials are unsure whether a law which protects the right of First Nations people to harvest wildlife that they've traditionally harvested can be applied to eagles. As a result, they're not even certain how they would charge a suspect in the eagle-slaying case.

While Fish and Wildlife agents sometimes don't get the respect of, say, FBI agents, they believe their job is sometimes tougher. For example, they don't have the luxury of security-camera videotapes, like the FBI does in bank-robbery cases. And they can't exactly interview a victim's family to retrace his steps.

"You can't go back and say, 'When was the last time you saw Mr. Eagle?' " Weyland said, having some fun.

There usually are no witnesses to wildlife crimes, "except a deer or an elk, and they're not much help," he added.

So how do they catch these criminals? Kevin Ellis, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife agent who's handled a number of eagle cases, says undercover investigations are often the only option.

"There's a huge underground network, and people are connected from British Columbia clear into Florida," he said.

The market is driven largely by the tremendous popularity of Native American powwows. At these large social gatherings, dancing and drumming are the focus, and performers compete in elaborate traditional dress.

Ellis takes pains to point out that not all powwow dancers get their feathers illegally, and that the vast majority of Native Americans think it's wrong to kill eagles and sell their parts.

Nonetheless, he said, in the past few decades, powwows have grown so popular that some performers make a living competing on the circuit. At the biggest powwow, as much as $100,000 is given out in prizes.

That kind of money has spurred a demand that a limited supply of lawful eagle parts can't fill.

A sacred bird

What is it about eagles?

To Leonard George, a member of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation and the son of the late actor Chief Dan George, when you see an eagle, "no matter what nationality you are, you almost feel blessed. You feel a little bit better than you did before."

For many Indians, these grand birds are sacred because they fly high and carry messages to the Creator. Some compare the symbolic importance of the eagle in Indian religions to the cross in Christianity.

Their sacred status means their parts are often needed for religious ceremonies. Indians traditionally killed the birds sparingly, accompanied by prayer and thanks and elaborate rituals. And for years, this wasn't a problem. Eagles were plentiful.

But as the continent was developed, the great bird's population dwindled. Pesticides were the main culprit, and at one point, the birds nearly disappeared from the lower 48 states.

In 1940, Congress passed the Bald Eagle Act to outlaw the killing, possession or sale of eagles. Later, Congress added golden eagles to the act.

The population has made a comeback, with about 6,000 nesting pairs counted in the lower 48 in 2000, although they are still on the list of threatened species.

Native Americans, however, were given some leeway under the Act: They may possess eagle parts that have been handed down through the generations, and they may get new eagles through a federal repository, where dead eagles from zoos or those found in the wild are sent for distribution to tribes.

There's just one problem: There are thousands of Native Americans who want parts, but not enough repository eagles to go around. Sometimes it takes as long as four years to get a bird.

Federal judges, ruling in cases where Native Americans used their religion as a justification for eagle offenses, have found the repository system "utterly offensive and ultimately ineffectual."

Waiting lists that essentially prevent Native Americans from getting religious objects, they have repeatedly ruled, substantially interfere with their religious rights. Although the vast majority of Native Americans are appalled by what happened in British Columbia, they say the repository system just doesn't work.

"The U.S. Constitution affords protection for religion, but when it comes to Native Americans, they find every loophole not to be accommodating to us," said Wilson Wewa Jr., a Paiute Indian.

Justice proves elusive

It's telling that while eagle poaching is said to be common, few cases have been prosecuted.

One eagle poacher was nabbed in Oregon after a tipster reported he had an off-season deer in his truck. Responding officers found bags of still-warm birds, as well. Nathan Jim Jr. pleaded guilty to eagle possession, but told the judge he was only doing what his elders had asked of him — gathering eagle feathers to use in burial ceremonies.

"I end up breaking this government's law for my religious rights as a human being," Jim told a judge, referring to the federal permit system.

Some tribal members, however, suspected he was selling the eagle parts.

One of the biggest black-market eagle dealers prosecuted in the U.S. was done in by a Sam's Club phone card.

According to court documents, it was the winter of 1999 and Rosa Linda Burton was sick and tired of the smell coming from a storage area adjacent to her residence in Duncan, B.C., just outside of Victoria.

She also was tired of waiting for her boyfriend, Terry Antoine, to come back. He had left the area the previous fall.

When the Canadian authorities opened the storage area they found parts from 124 eagles, some of them rotting and putrid, according to court records. They also found a receipt for a storage unit in Fife, Pierce County, where U.S. officials discovered parts from about 30 more eagles.

As Burton later explained to a federal jury in Seattle, she accompanied Antoine on a long road trip in 1998 with a duffel bag he packed with eagle parts. They stopped in Tacoma, where Antoine took the bag into a bead store.

They made their way to Grand Coulee Dam and Montana, California and Arizona, stopping at powwows where Antoine met with fellow Indians. By the time they returned home, the duffel bag was empty.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife agent Tom Chisdock learned that Antoine, a member of the Cowichan Band, obtained his eagles in Canada, giving acquaintances $25 to $50 per bird. Then he sold or traded them in the U.S., mainly along the powwow trail, for approximately $250 to $400 a part.

But other than the eagles themselves, the hard evidence was scattershot: hearsay from an angry ex-girlfriend with a criminal record, hand-written notes that might be sales records, receipts from U.S. businesses.

It took three years for Chisdock to put together a case. But he still had to find Antoine, who seemed to have simply vanished.

Then investigators had an idea. According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Micki Brunner, who would prosecute Antoine, they began tracing calls Antoine made on his Sam's Club phone card.

"We had it narrowed down to about three phone booths," Brunner explained.

Antoine was arrested in May 2001 outside a bagel shop in Hollywood, Fla. When his case was heard by a Seattle jury later that year, it was almost as if the whole system was on trial.

Antoine claimed he was a "mask dancer," a position of importance in his culture, and one that involves conducting rituals and blessings using eagle parts. Without the parts, he claimed, he could not practice these religious rites.

Moreover, he claimed, he wasn't selling eagles; he gave them to other Native Americans. The small amounts of money he received were traditional gifts for a weary traveler. He described it as repayment for gas and food, and compared it to the traditional practice of bartering.

"This wasn't like a drug case where he's making lots of money and living the high life," said his attorney, Michael Filipovic. "For him, it was a matter of true belief." Indeed, when Antoine was arrested, he was living in his car.

Prosecutors did not challenge Antoine's religious beliefs. But they argued that money changed hands, which took it out of the realm of religion and made it a commercial operation that the government had a right to bar.

The jury sided with prosecutors, and Antoine was sentenced to two years in federal prison.

While most of the eagles originated in Canada, and charges were filed there, he was never prosecuted in that country. Canadian officials said the Washington conviction was enough.

Even so, the vagaries of Canadian law would have posed difficulties.

Legal right to eagles?

Colin Copland, a British Columbia conservation officer, pulls one heavy plastic bag after another out of a walk-in evidence freezer. Each bag is tagged; one reads:"#10 bald eagle immature, found in pile of five." They are among the 50 or so birds found last winter, some of them by Amy Marie George.

Their down is matted and their feet cut off at the joint, like a Thanksgiving turkey leg. They don't look grand at all.

Officers will store the eagles as evidence until the case concludes. But some observers wonder if there will be a case at all.

B.C.'s Wildlife Act outlaws poaching or trafficking in eagles. Canadian law also bans exporting them, and fines can reach $150,000.

However, another Canadian law may trump those measures. Under the Canadian constitution, First Nations have a right to wildlife they've traditionally harvested. In B.C., they have used this law mainly to protect their traditional fishing grounds, arguing that some regulations would bar their longstanding food-gathering or cultural practices.

But the law has never been sorted out when it comes to eagles. First Nations have always used eagles as part of their culture and ceremonies, but does that mean that they're allowed to sell the parts? And how many eagles may they kill? Canadian officials remain unsure. A team of prosecutors is researching the law and Indian history to see how a suspect might be charged.

Meanwhile, Canadian wildlife authorities announced in April that they'd identified a suspect: a member of a First Nation who lived in British Columbia. They said he acted as a sort of ringleader, paying other people, some of them Indians, to bring him dead eagles.

But instead of arresting the suspect, Canadian officials simply asked him to come forward on his own.

"They were trying to appeal to the guy's conscience," Weyland explained of this unusual tactic. Others are convinced that investigators lacked hard evidence and didn't have many options.

It's unclear at this point whether the suspect has come forward. What is clear is that the Tsleil-Waututh are getting tired of waiting.

Guilt by association

All winter and spring, members of the tiny North Vancouver band taking the bus into town felt like other passengers were pointing and whispering.

"Once they think an Indian did it, every Indian they meet is guilty," said Tsleil-Waututh Chief Leah George-Wilson, a niece of Amy Marie George.

Some see the eagle killers as exploiting legal loopholes to make a quick buck. Other critics say government officials haven't made arrests because they "don't want any waves" with First Nations.

Leonard George has heard it all. As he points out, the Canadian government (like the U.S. government) has a history of abuses against Native people and worked for years to eradicate their culture. Connecting this slaughter in any way with Indian tradition, he said, is wrong.

"This is a criminal act and it doesn't have nothing to do with culture and tradition," he said.

The Tsleil-Waututh, they explained, are just as outraged as anyone — if not more so. To them, killing and dismembering dozens of eagles is wanton slaughter. Dumping them here made it all the more wrong. It felt as if someone had hurt their children or grandmother, said Leonard George, as if someone were "stomping on your spirit."

The band of 397 Indians pulled together $2,000 to contribute to a reward fund for the arrest of the eagle slayer. The reward now totals $12,000.

Amy Marie George, meanwhile, can't shake the image of the 14 dead birds she found months ago. She's hoping to hold a ceremony, inviting people from all over the area, to put the eagles to rest.

"I want to say to them, 'Keep coming back,' " she said.

"Because we're not the ones who hurt you."

Seattle Times news researcher Justin Mayo contributed to the report.

Maureen O'Hagan: 206-464-2562
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Default pt.2 Daily new 8/01/05

Native Americans suffer from historical trauma

Native American history meets the 1948 Geneva Convention's definition of genocide, defined as the intent to destroy a national, ethnic, racial or religious group
by: Edna Steinman 8/01/05
The treatment given to American Indians as the United States pushed its boundaries westward has resulted in an ongoing emotional condition that a Native American social worker-researcher calls "historical trauma."

Maria Yellow Horse Brave Heart, research associate professor in the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver, described her work at the 2005 Native American Family Camp, held July 19-23 at the University of Redlands. The annual event is sponsored by the United Methodist Church's Native American International Caucus.

Historical trauma has a layering effect and is the "cumulative emotional and psychological wounding over the life span and across generations, emanating from massive group trauma," she said.

Historical or intergenerational trauma is similar to that suffered by the Jewish people as a result of the Holocaust, the Japanese Americans interned in California at the beginning of World War II and African Americans suffering the aftermath of slavery, she said.

Native American history meets the 1948 Geneva Convention's definition of genocide, Brave Heart said, defining genocide as the intent to destroy a national, ethnic, racial or religious group. She said research has shown the U.S. government never intended the long-term survival of Native Americans.

During the Civil War period, Congress passed a resolution stopping negotiation of treaties with Indian tribes and decided to establish two reservations, one east and one west of the Mississippi River. Involvement in the Civil War kept Congress from implementing this plan.

Brave Heart cited the government-run Indian boarding schools as a major factor in the historical trauma. Congressional documents outlined the boarding school policy of forced separation of Indian children from the tribal communities. Gender roles and family relationships were impaired at the boarding schools, where the focus was on the European tradition of male-female relationships and not the Indian tradition of holding women and children sacred. The boarding schools compounded the trauma with a loss of parenting skills, a loss of the child's identification with the parents and other complex processes, she said.

Children of boarding school survivors passed the trauma on to their descendants, but not on purpose and not consciously, said the professor.

Type II diabetes was common among Native American people, fostered both by the overcrowded, deficient conditions in boarding schools and by trauma-caused stress hormones that wear out the body.

Historical trauma generates such responses as survivor guilt, depression, low self-esteem, psychic numbing, anger, victim identity, death identity, thoughts of suicide, preoccupation with trauma, and
physical symptoms, Brave Heart said.

The positive outcomes needed to overcome this intergenerational trauma are a reduction in shame, a better feeling of self-worth, an increase in joy and health, a stronger sense of parental competence, greater use of traditional language, an improved relationship with children and the extended family, and increased communication, she said.

Brave Heart founded the Takini Network in 1992 as an avenue to help overcome historical trauma. It has sponsored workshops to help Native Americans.

Her recent work includes numerous book chapters and journal articles focused on historical trauma and parenting curricula. Her research was primarily with the Lakota reservation population in South Dakota. In 2001, she initiated an international conference for massively traumatized peoples, bringing together Native Americans, Jewish Holocaust survivors and descendants, Japanese internment camp survivors and others.

The annual Native American Family Camp, a five-day conference, brought together adults and youth from across the United States. Funding for some of the programs came from the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries and the Youth Service Fund,
administered by the Division on Ministries with Young People at the United Methodist Board of Discipleship.

Steinman is a freelance writer and former annual conference newspaper editor in Redlands, Calif. United Methodist News Service

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Default Whispering winds bimonthly magazine, a great gift for your loved ones, inside, family

WHISPERING WIND Magazine can bring to you, every other month, articles on

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If you are interested in the American Indian and in particular the material culture of the American Indian: Past & Present, WHISPERING WIND is the magazine for you.

Since 1967 we've helped our readers bring the tradition home and help keep the tradition alive.

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Default Wi-Fi TV, Inc. Addresses Plans for Native American TV Channel

Wi-Fi TV, Inc. Addresses Plans for Native American TV Channel and Internet TV Studio on Tribal Land in CEO Address to Tribal Leaders
Tuesday August 2, 10:04 am ET

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., Aug. 2, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- Speaking last week at the Federal Communications Commission-National Congress of American Indians Regional Workshop and Roundtable in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the CEO of Wi-Fi TV, Inc. (Pink Sheets:WTVN), Alex Kanakaris, officially launched Wi-Fi TV, Inc.'s Native American Internet Development Plan.

In his address, Mr. Kanakaris announced that Wi-Fi TV, Inc. is prepared to deploy resources to establish the following Internet-related businesses in partnership with the Native American community:

-- The first global television station devoted exclusively to topics of relevance to Native Americans. This will include features on tribal-owned tourist destinations such as casinos, hotels, and RV parks. The station will be available for viewing free over the Internet and will be viewable on laptop and desktop computers, as well as television screens. The channel will join over 200 channels from 50 countries currently airing athttp://www.wi-fitv.com. The channel will potentially generate advertising revenues, as well as promotional opportunities for Wi-Fi TV, Inc. and its partners. -- An Internet TV studio which will be on the cutting-edge of production and delivery technologies and will allow digital production and Internet webcasting among its services. Wi-Fi TV, Inc. intends to locate this studio in Nevada on tribal land. Fees will be generated for services and training, and hiring of Native Americans will be part of the development. -- Development of on-demand Native American-themed online TV programming, including pay-per-view educational programs and conferences. Fees will be charged for placing the content online as well as to grant online access to the content. -- Development of an online gaming website, which will be a joint venture with an Indian-owned casino and will offer "play-for-fun" online gaming (no winning or losing money), as well as the possibility of future offshore gambling for money. Fees will be earned initially from advertising and possibly in the future for gambling transactions. -- Development of VoIP free local and long distance phone services with a Native American co-branded virtual dialer. The phone dialer will be designed to be downloaded on the Internet. Advertising will be tied to using the phone as a revenue model for the business. Kanakaris said that Wi-Fi TV, Inc. is welcoming potential Native American partners to share in the revenues the company hopes to generate from these businesses and stressed that the Native American component launched last week makes up part of Wi-Fi TV, Inc.'s overall international strategy.

``The convergence of TV and the Internet opens a great opportunity to expand knowledge about and cultural awareness of Native Americans and to promote Native American enterprises. As an example, one of the most talked-about IPOs in England in the last 20 years was recently undertaken by an online gaming company, and it is important to brand and develop an online gaming site now that is representative of the Native American community. Wi-Fi TV, Inc. is uniquely qualified to deploy these initiatives based on our 10 year experience in delivering video over the Internet and our access to a global server network,'' Kanakaris stated.

About the FCC-NCAI ITI Regional Workshop and Roundtable

Mr. Kanakaris spoke at the Indian telecommunications meeting of the FCC-NCAI Regional Workshop and Roundtable as an invited guest speaker. He was joined in his presentation by Sherwood Lewis, a member of the Fort Mojave Tribe and Indian tribal business leader.

The FCC-hosted event, which was held July 28 and 29 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, examined technology deployment issues on tribal lands and the related economic empowerment of Indian country. Tribal leaders and technology representatives, economic development and community planning managers, and telecommunications representatives attended this intergovernmental meeting.

Subjects addressed included opportunities for increased delivery of distance learning, telemedicine, public safety, e-commerce, and governmental involvement through telecom and broadcast technologies. FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps delivered keynote remarks. The ITI event built on the successes of the FCC's previous ITI Regional Workshops and Roundtables held in Reno, Nevada in July 2003; in Rapid City, South Dakota in May 2004; and on the Coeur d'Alene Tribe's reservation in Idaho in November 2004
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Default 'Spirit Seeker' food for souls

'Spirit Seeker' food for souls

Of The Gazette Staff

Phillip Whiteman Jr.’s voice is not his own. It is the voice of his ancestors and the voice of universal lessons.

The Northern Cheyenne storyteller — who also is a world champion American Indian saddle bronc rider, grass dancer and horse trainer — is now sharing that voice with the rest of the world.

Earlier this year, Whiteman, of Lame Deer, released a CD called “Spirit Seeker,” which includes nine stories and songs that he describes as “food for the soul.”

The CD, self-produced and recorded in Billings, is up for a top honor in the Indian Summer Music Awards, an annual competition recognizing American Indian recordings. Whiteman’s CD was one of three nominations in the “spoken word” category.

“When I heard I was nominated, it brought tears to my eyes,” Whiteman said.

Generation to generation

The stories and songs are part of his heritage, passed down from generation to generation. The project was inspired by his father, Phillip Whiteman Sr., a Northern Cheyenne chief of the Council of 44, and his late mother, Florence, who was the last original Cheyenne Warrior Woman of the Elk Scraper Warrior Society, a society responsible for tribal ceremonies.

Whiteman’s role as a traditional storyteller and advocate for cultural preservation fulfills a vision that his parents had for him, he said.

“They didn’t tell me,” Whiteman said. “They guided me.”

The stories are “basic, simple and sincere,” intended to appeal to all audiences, he said, no matter their age, background or ethnicity. One, called “Grass Dance Story,” tells of a paralyzed boy who has a vision, shares it with his people and offers inspiration about overcoming adversity. Another, called “My Friend the Porcupine,” deals with friendship, betrayal and finding perspective when relating to others.

Some listeners play the CD again and again, finding new meaning in the words and music, he said. Portions of the CD have been played on a national Indian radio program, and a Colorado couple has expressed interest in creating a video around one of the stories.

Listening, retelling stories

Although the CD was recorded in a single afternoon, the stories come from a lifetime of listening to elders and telling and retelling the stories. More than simply a tale, each relates a teaching or a philosophy.

“When I shared these stories, I opened my heart,” Whiteman said. “These stories are timeless, they’re alive.”

Whiteman especially wants to convey the culture to young people. He has spoken at Head Start programs and schools. Although many of the young people may seem to be taken with rap and its culture, they are receptive to his presentations and themes of hope, self-sufficiency and cultural integrity.

“They’re hungry and thirsty for traditional stories,” he said.

Whiteman founded and coordinates the annual Fort Robinson Breakout Spiritual Run, an event for Northern Cheyenne young people that commemorates the 400-mile journey of the ancestors after breaking out of Fort Robinson, Neb., in 1879.

“As they start the run, there is transition that they make that’s so powerful,” Whiteman said. “It brings them identity and a solid foundation.”

Whiteman is also combining past and present with an American Indian approach to training and working with horses. He plans on making a DVD of the “Medicine Wheel Model to Natural Horsemanship” in the coming year.

“Society teaches us that we have to dominate and overpower the horse to teach it,” he said. “But my traditions and culture, and my understanding of the horse, teach me that by working with the horse’s spirit, and believing that we are one, the horse will do what I ask of it.”

Whiteman and his wife, Lynette Two Bulls, have made a business out of Whiteman’s skills. Their success is a testament to their work ethic, do-it-yourself-attitude and the importance of traditional teachings in the modern world, Two Bulls said.

“All of this is part of the path that was set before he was born,” she said.

Whiteman said he feels like the CD, the horse program, his storytelling and other accomplishments are fulfilling a destiny forged by his ancestors.

“I feel like the richest man in the world,” he said.

Contact Us

Phillip Whiteman Jr.
PO Box 1138
Lame Deer, Mt. 59043

Telephone (406)477-8720
Fax (406)477-8781
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Default august 5th thru 9th

DORREEN YELLOW BIRD COLUMN: Children hold key to healing

Native son's 'NavajoLand'

Inmate at odds with BCC over access to aboriginal medicines

American-Indian tales both soaring, unsettling

Oneida Indians: America's first ally

Indians debate presence of non-Indians at sacred sundances

Forcing religious and political beliefs on others

DORREEN YELLOW BIRD COLUMN: Children hold key to healing

One of the most significant events in my life is the summer ceremony of healing in South Dakota. This year, the significance for me was the focus on our children and the recent suicides in Indian country. The suicide rate among 15- to 24-year-old American Indians is three times higher than the national average.

What once was called Dakota Territory -- the Plains in northern South Dakota on the Standing Rock reservation -- appear, as I would imagine, the same as when the Indian people lived there many years ago, before the coming of the white man.

When you look across the land, it is as if the smooth, rounded hills were melted by the hot sun. Indian grass and little blue stem is thick and tall. Because this year's heavy rain follows several scorching hot, rainless years, tall spears of deep blue lead plant, purple coneflowers, silver sage and bright yellow sunflowers spouted like bouquets in the hands of a suitor.

When I am traveling to the ceremony, as I did two weeks ago, I become more aware of the land as each mile draws me closer to the camp. It is as if I am stepping into the arms of the land.

When you leave the rolling plains, the land drops down a steep embankment into a valley probably forged by an ancient river eons ago. The Grand River, just barely a creek now, winds toward the Missouri River and empties. Near the mouth of river is one of the sites that Lewis and Clark visited on their Corps of Discovery journey while making their way to the West Coast some 200 years ago. They stopped at the three Sahnish (Arikara) villages on the river.

It is this place along the Grand, in the valley where the summer healing ceremony begins, where I would spend the next six days.

That day before the ceremony was hot. It topped 106 degrees, we learned the following day.

If you can smell heat, then it burned our noses that afternoon. Someone in the camp guessed you could cook an egg in the shade.

That evening, we sat under the cool of our camps that surrounded the central ceremonial grounds and listened to beetles and crickets compete in a symphony of sound. I sat, with my head back on my new Sam's Club red folding chair, looking into the cloudless sky. As I looked into the sky, I was amazed as thousands of dragonflies swarming just a few feet above us. The mosquito count was down.

Miraculously, the night cooled so much that we had to use extra blankets in our camps, and at dawn, we began the ceremony.

The evening before the ceremony always leaves me nervous and anxious for the beginning of the ceremony the next day.

Of the lessons taught during the ceremony, I remember most the words of one of our spiritual leaders, Jesse Taken Alive, who talked about our children -- about the suicides. He is a man who dedicates his life to the Native way. He spends the year before the ceremony preparing. Sometimes, when he speaks, he doesn't remember what he has said. It is voice and thoughts of the Creator, he told us.

During the day for the children's healing, Take Alive told us this: Look into the eyes of the children. Even if it's for a fraction of a second, they will provide us with a wealth of love and information from the spirit world. They bring to us knowledge that we can share that will help us create family. Look at into their eyes at their level -- remember, we were once children, he said. It is important that the children interpret our actions as security and love. From that, they will know they always can return home spiritually or literally -- that they have a place to go and someone to be with.

We adults should understand that the children can lead us with their innocence and their connection to the Creator and the spirit world. They will lead us -- not only the adults in this world, but spiritually, they will take us to places where it's going to be best and healthiest for our families.

Those were the words he remembered after two weeks after ceremony.

That night, once the ceremony was completed, the wind picked up. We could see zigzags of lightning on the horizon of the hills around us. If it rained that night, it was only a few drops, but the wind took its toll. My tent was blown down, and there were branches and other things scattered about the next morning. The wind, my grandmother once told me, is the backwash from the spirits.

As I looked at the red horizon the next morning, I thought there must have been many spirits here this year -- the year we prayed for the safety of our children.

Native son's 'NavajoLand'

Diné photographer shares his country, culture in words, images

Arizona Highways
Aug. 7, 2005 12:00 AM

In "NavajoLand: A Native Son Shares His Legacy," recently published by Arizona Highways Books, author and photographer LeRoy DeJolie takes readers on a visual and spiritual tour of his homeland. The mesas, canyons and mountains captured in the 80-page book represent far more than scenery for DeJolie; they remain the source and inspiration for his culture and identity. Mystery writer Tony Hillerman, who wrote the foreword to the book, observes that for the Navajo photographer this landscape is a Holy Land. What follows is an excerpt from the foreword.

Why would a cameraman born to the Diné (Din NAY) - the name traditional Navajos call themselves - see his homeland in a way different from any other talented photographer? The answer lies in cultural values. LeRoy DeJolie was born to the Rock Gap People, his mother's clan, and the Red House People of his father. The photographer was raised among people who see more than mere mountains, dry washes, expanses of sage and the solidified lava flow of exhausted volcanoes when they look at the landscape around them. DeJolie has heard the "winter stories" in which children of traditional Navajos learn lessons of their genesis from the start of creation.

For example, when a traditional Navajo focuses his camera on the old volcano we call Mount Taylor, he sees Tsoodzil, the Turquoise Mountain. The story of the Navajo Genesis tells how First Man formed the mountain of material brought up from the world below, decorated it with blue beads, pinned it to the Earth with a flint knife, and made it the home of the spirits Turquoise Boy and Yellow Corn Girl (the Yei, or Holy People, known as 'Ashkii Dootl'izhii and 'At'ééd Litso naadáá', respectively). On this mountain, the sacred southern boundary post of the Navajo Holy Land, the twin sons of Changing Woman - armed with weapons stolen from Sun - killed the Ye'iitsoh, the chief of the evil monsters who had followed the Diné up from the underworld. The lava flow, which forms the remarkable landscape we drive through south of Mount Taylor, consists of the dried blood of that monster. To traditional Navajos, the mountain remains an enduring reminder of how a harmonious family partnership allowed good to overcome greedy evil.

From the "winter stories," based on oral accounts from tribal mythology, traditional Navajo children learn their goal in life is not to be richer or more powerful than one's fellows. To the contrary, life's purpose is to remain in harmony with the great, interconnected cosmos of which they are a part - along with fellow humans, the birds, the wolves, the rivers, the hornets, the winter winds, the piñon trees and the bark beetles that feed on them, and even the mesa cliffs that change sunset colors with the changing seasons.

They are not (as the Bible's Book of Genesis suggests) born to be master of the planet and all upon it. Instead, Navajo children learn they are among the cogs in an endless natural process, which includes not just us humans and not just all living things like the grass underfoot and the red-tailed hawk above, but also Earth itself, the starry sky, the clouds that drift through it, and the blessed rain they bring. . . .

A Navajo student in a class I taught years ago told me that if I wanted to find witchcraft on the reservation, "look for a Navajo who has more of everything than he needs." Another Navajo friend told me that saying " 'rich Navajo' is like saying 'healthy corpse.' "

Alex Etcitty, my favorite Diné philosopher, explained that "having what you need is good. Having more than you need, with needy people around you, is a sign you're an evil person."

"Why evil?" I asked Etcitty.

"Because this sort of greed disrupts hozhô. And hozhô - a concept that includes not just harmony but contentment and family love - is the ultimate goal."

Thus, a traditional Navajo does not want to appear richer, or otherwise superior, to his neighbors. Instead of appearing wiser than others, he will precede an explanation with "They say," thereby giving the impression that he simply is passing along the knowledge. Or, for another example, a Navajo friend explained that his brother, who had won three consecutive rodeo bull-riding prizes at the Navajo Tribal Fair, would not enter the next year "because he has been winning too much."

Tony Hillerman, the Albuquerque writer who popularized the Native American detective novel, has had decades of close association with the Navajo Tribe.

Inmate at odds with BCC over access to aboriginal medicines

Friday, August 5th, 2005

By: Eliza Barlow
A Brandon Correctional Centre inmate says jail staff are threatening to deny him and other inmates access to their supply of sweetgrass, sage and other sacred aboriginal medicines.

Gregory Stevens, 32, said he was told by jail staff this week that he is no longer allowed to carry his medicines on his person.

He said he was told he’ll have to keep them locked up with the rest of his personal property and ask for them when he wants them.

He said he was particularly outraged at the timing of the order because he is currently mourning his cousin, who recently hanged himself at Indian Birch First Nation.

“It’s like saying to a person, ‘You can’t read this Bible at a certain time, or you have to pray at a certain time,’” Stevens told the Sun.

“It violates our human rights ... It’s like children asking for candy.”

Stevens said he uses his sweetgrass by holding onto it and praying.

He said he was told the institution is writing up a new policy saying inmates can’t have the traditional plants and herbs on their persons or in their cells.

But Brian McVicar, superintendent of Brandon Correctional Centre, denied any such policy is either in place or in the works.

He said the jail has a policy of tolerance toward traditional native medicines, setting aside certain times of the day when inmates can conduct smudges.

“The policy supports the donning of medicine pouches and sacred plants and stuff like that,” he said.

McVicar said the only time guards should be taking an inmate’s pouch away would be if the person was suicidal and could use it to harm him or herself.

“If it would have been removed, it would have been removed with cause,” he said.

However, McVicar said all inmates are welcome to take any complaint over their treatment in jail to the provincial ombudsman.

He added jail officials would also be willing to investigate any such complaints brought to their attention.

Stevens said even though he’s due to get out of jail in about two weeks, he’s speaking out for the sake of his fellow inmates.

“It’s very important that we have this stuff because it’s our way of dealing with our problems,” he said.

“It’s our way to get out of here and stay out of here.”

Poor U.S. tribe forgoes riches from sacred lake

04 Aug 2005 11:59:55 GMT

Source: Reuters

By Adam Tanner

NIXON, Nevada, Aug 4 (Reuters) - Visitors to the eastern shore of Pyramid Lake 35 miles (56 km) northeast of Reno, Nevada, can scan an area framed by a desert mountain backdrop and not see a hint of mankind.

The American Indians overseeing the lake say such serenity along 125 miles (200km) of lake coastline 4,000 feet (1,200 m)above sea level is the result of the tribe's traditional respect for nature.

Others suggest the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, which suffers 44 percent unemployment, should allow at least some development so it can share in the prosperity that regions such as Lake Tahoe in northern California enjoy.

The clash matches economic opportunity cost against tradition, with the sovereign tribe having the final word.

"The historical aspect of the lake has always been to keep it as it is," Norman Harry, chairman of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribes' Reservation, said in an interview. "The lake is sacred to the people and always will be."

"Over the last four decades we've seen what happened in Lake Tahoe."

That commercialized lake attracts so many visitors that it generates $1.8 billion annually, of which 80 percent is linked to tourism, according to Duane Wallace, chief executive of the South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce.

A tiny handful of outsiders operate businesses near Pyramid Lake, with some saying the tribe should open more to tourism.

"The business sense is very lacking here on the reservation," said Thomas Bobella, a German-born businessman. He leases 4 acres (1.6 hectares) with a modest marina, gas station and recreational vehicle park in Sutcliffe, the only inhabited area on the lake's western side.

"They are economically shooting themselves seemingly without any justification for it," said Bobella, who criticizes the tribe for their poor boat launching areas.

"One of the very discouraging points to Pyramid Lake ... is the fantastically bad reputation that this lake has and that is primarily due to the governmental administrations and their approach toward tourism."

Tribal chairman Harry said a dispute over the year-old marina lease motivated such remarks.

Fred Crosby, who owns the only lodging in Sutcliffe, a 10-unit facility, says tensions still simmer between the tribe and the descendants of settlers who battled at the 1860 Battle of Pyramid Lake. Fighting that killed about 240 people resulted after settlers kidnapped two young Indian women.

Such sentiment raises suspicion when it comes to outside commerce on the reservation. "There's kind of a gap between the Indians and non-Indians," said Crosby, 58, who has lived in Sutcliffe for 48 years. "There is an anti-white sentiment on the reservation."


The lightly salinated Pyramid Lake derives its name from a small triangular rock island rising from the waters fed by the Truckee River. The larger Anaho Island nearby provides a dramatic backdrop to flocks of pelicans, sea gulls and herons.

Most access roads are dirt or sand. The unspoiled arid landscape fit in easily as a biblical backdrop to the 1965 film "The Greatest Story Ever Told" about the life of Jesus.

By local standards, Sutcliffe is a hub of activity. About 220 tribal members live there, and hundreds of outsiders pass through on weekends to swim, go boating or fish trout, a privilege for which they pay modest access fees.

Asked about his tribe's future plans, Chairman Harry pointed on a map away from the lake to other areas of a 467,000-acre (189,000 hectare) reservation home to 1,600 members.

"When we look at economic development, we have to look at other resources," he said at his office in Nixon. "There are other areas we can look at that can accomplish the same thing."

He wants to open a hotel and casino complex on tribal lands on Nevada's main I-80 highway linking California to the east, and says land nearby would be good for light industry.

Harry also wants to sell pipeline rights across the reservation and sees potential in developing geothermal energy in another corner of the sparsely populated reservation.

Tourism firms have shown interest in Pyramid Lake for decades, and Harry's predecessor as tribal leader, Bonnie Akaka-Smith, solicited development proposals last year. She declined to discuss her ideas, saying she did not want to express dissent as she still worked for the tribe in the tax department.

Nothing came of her idea, but the tribe has shown past flexibility towards the sacred lake, such as during World War Two, when it let the U.S. military test torpedoes there,

Some believe economic pressures could one day prompt the tribe to allow a new barrage of tourism.

Dennis Conrad, a casino marketing consultant, is modestly optimistic that the tribe will one day develop attractive resort facilities on or near the lake. A rival consultant, Richard Wells, was more pessimistic, saying that the far more developed Tahoe would long overshadow Pyramid Lake.

American-Indian tales both soaring, unsettling

Monday, August 08, 2005


The Express-Times

BETHLEHEM -- A gathering of American Indians on Sunday explored the "spirit" behind this year's Musikfest offering a glimpse into both the pride and the problems of their culture.

The showcase of this year's Musikfest theme, "The Spirit of Music," was held at the Banana Factory arts complex at 25 W. Third St.

As much as it was a look at the diversity of American Indian culture, the three-hour gathering also served as a reminder that the Lehigh Valley and western New Jersey are rich in American Indian history and still home to people of American Indian blood.

"You don't necessarily have to go out west or anything," said Sam Beeler, chief of the Sand Hill Indians in New Jersey and historian of the Cherokee nation. "You can go to New Jersey or Pennsylvania and you can find an Indian right there."

Historical markers along Route 611 and elsewhere tell the story of the so-called Walking Purchase, in which European settlers robbed Indians of their land by sprinting to stake land claims while their Indian counterparts walked. Easton was also the scene of dozens of treaties between American Indians and the settlers.

"This is the place where we began our journey and where many of us still are," said Chuck DeMund, chief of the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania.

John Fitzgerald Toya, the Banana Factory's spring 2005 artist in residence, noted American Indians "live, work, breathe just like everybody else." But they also labor to preserve their heritage.

Toya, of the Jemez Pueblo tribe in New Mexico, presented some of his 19 family members who came to Bethlehem to perform during Musikfest.

They wore intricate ceremonial garb, including a man with golden eagle feathers spread across his arms and back like wings. Another man wore a buffalo headdress and fox tail, symbols of the animals important to Toya's people.

The family, known as the Star Feather Singers & Seasonal Dance Group, has performances scheduled for 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday at Banana Island off Main and Lehigh streets.

Volksplatz in Johnston Park along the Monocacy Creek is the venue for performances slated for 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Friday, 1:30 to 2:30 Saturday and noon to 1 p.m. Sunday.

Toya said his tribe is made up of about 3,500 people, 95 percent of whom speak their native Towa, an unwritten language taught by oral history. Toya mentioned unpleasant parts of the tribe's history but refused to go into them.

"As we know, it's history. It's in the past," Toya said.

Others spoke candidly about the plague of alcoholism that has gripped Indian reservations.

Vincent Black Feather, elder and medicine man with the Ogala Lakota Sioux in South Dakota, said his people's battle with the bottle dates to 1953, when the Eisenhower administration legalized alcohol on the nation's Indian reservations. Black Feather said he was a teenage alcoholic but gave it up as he returned to his longtime vision of becoming a healer.

Author Jane Ely, dean and co-founder of the Peacemaker School of Spiritual Healing in Hawaii, told of how she was raised by her grandparents after her father abandoned the family to drink. The experience gave Ely a chance to learn from her grandfather. She shared two lessons from him.

"We are born two-legged, and our goal in life is to become human beings," was one she cited. Later, she said, "Without our mother earth, we wouldn't be here. We need to wake up to this fact as a world and individually."

Reporter Kurt Bresswein can be reached at 610-867-5000 or by e-mail at kbresswein@express-times.com.© 2005 The Express Times© 2005 NJ.com All Rights Reserved.

Oneida Indians: America's first ally
Oriskany a reminder of historical link with Oneidas
Sat, Aug 6, 2005


ROME - Three decades ago, visitors to the Fort Stanwix National Monument got to know the ancestors of local Indians as settler-scalping savages, courtesy of the film "Siege," shown many times a day.

Today, the Marinus Willett Visitor Center shows the fort's story through the eyes of four fictional 18th-century characters, one of them an Oneida Indian woman named Wali.

The turnaround in the public image of the Oneida people can be traced in large part to the Aug. 6, 1994, commemoration of the Battle of Oriskany.

On Aug. 6, 1777, more than 800 Tryon County Militiamen from Herkimer and 60 Oneida Indian allies marched to help the besieged Fort Stanwix when they were ambushed by British, Indian and mercenary troops. Some 450 Americans and Oneida allies were killed, wounded or captured.

It was an amazing decision for the Oneidas to fight alongside the Americans, Oneida Bear Clan representative Brian Patterson said.

"No one thought the Americans would win," he said, "and the British ... promised us a king's ransom to fight (for them)."

The Oneidas, however, backed their friends and neighbors in the Mohawk Valley, he said.

A monument was erected in Rome, near the Whitestown border, in 1884 to honor the Herkimer militiamen, but it took another 110 years before the role of their Oneida allies was fully and publicly recognized.

The Oneida Nation will participate again this year in the Oriskany Battlefield's solemn remembrance ceremony, starting at 7 p.m. today. Descendants of those who died in the battle will lay wreaths at the battlefield tomb and the Nation's Living History Department will participate.

Patterson was at the 1994 ceremony and recalls being "pleased the state reached out to the Nation and has involved the Nation every year since.

"We don't get the recognition for being this country's first ally," he said.

Joseph Robertaccio chaired the 1994 ceremony at the Oriskany Monument that formally noted the Oneidas' bravery.

Inviting the Oneidas to the battlefield "was setting right something that was wrong," Robertaccio said. "In their religion they knew there was something to be done."

He said the Iroquois believe the Peacemaker that forged the Iroquois Confederacy of five traditionally rival tribes told them, 'If you ever make war on one another you will ... lose your lands.'"

Oriskany "was the place the Iroquois confederacy made war on one another," he said. Other confederacy members -- Onondagas, Senecas, Cayugas and Mohawks -- fought with the British or remained neutral.

"The battlefield ceremony (in 1994) righted that wrong," Robertaccio said.

Robertaccio said, "I recall very well (the first ceremony). It was a very moving experience. I made many friends (among the Oneidas)."

Patterson said his only disappointment 11 years ago was to see land held sacred by the Oneidas at Oriskany had turned into a recreation area, rather than a memorial.

"It was a desecration of the memory of the blood that was shed. The red of the (American) flag is the blood of our ancestors," Patterson said.

Since that time, the Oneidas have used some of the wealth accumulated from the lucrative Turning Stone Resort and Casino and other Nation enterprises to educate others about their history and their role in American history.

"Oriskany represents what the Continental Congress meant when it said, 'We witnessed the love of the Oneidas' in the Revolutionary War," Patterson said. "It was a formal declaration of our alliance."

He said, however, he has been hurt in recent years to realize "how hollow those words truly were" in the light of local opposition to Oneida land claims and the U.S. Supreme Court ruling against the tribe's sovereign rights.

Nevertheless, he said he will return to Oriskany whenever he can, "to pay homage to those heroes."

Indians debate presence of non-Indians at sacred sun dances

HALLAM, Neb. (AP) -- At the second annual Timothy Iron Bear Sun Dance, three non-Indians were obvious among the 13 dancers.

They were welcome at this sacred ceremony. But they wouldn't be allowed at all sun dances.

To some tribal members it's racist to bar non-Indians. To others, it's a matter of cultural integrity, preservation and protection.

Arvol Looking Horse, a chief of the Rosebud Sioux, opposes attendance by non-Indians:

"I feel pain in my heart because a lot of our own people can't trust our medicine men," he said.

At the four-day sun dance ritual, dancers pray in the sun and some pierce their bodies as sacrifices to the creator and a signal of rebirth.

In 2003, Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapahoe spiritual leaders discussed non-Natives joining sun dances.

Afterward, Looking Horse issued a statement that said the sweat lodge purification ritual, for example, should be conducted by Indians who can speak their tribes' language. He left sun dance attendance and participation by non-Indians up to the medicine men who conduct them.

But in a recent interview he said: "They can continue to pray with us, but for them to sun dance, no."

"It's not about being racist," he said. "It's about protecting our culture."

On the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, just across the state line from northwest Nebraska, about 50 sun dances are held yearly, said Charlotte Black Elk.

She said she knows of only one that doesn't allow non-Indian participation.

"Traditionally, the leader or the sponsor was the one who made the decision of who participates," Black Elk said.

Rosebud Sioux Alfred Bone Shirt said that on South Dakota's Rosebud Sioux Reservation, two or three of the 20 or so sun dances bar non-Indians.

Bone Shirt is part of a committee that is trying to protect Indian ceremonies and he supports Looking Horse's position.

"There is ignorance and no respect from these white people," he said.

Frank King Jr., a Rosebud Sioux and owner/publisher of the Native Voice newspaper, said the 1990 release of the movie "Dances With Wolves" prompted some people to begin "searching for spirituality, searching for something."

"Indian people milked it for money," King said. "Our people are not as spiritual as the stereotype makes us to be."

Halting the practice of charging non-Indians was discussed at the 2003 protection meeting, Looking Horse said.

But some medicine men broke their words and continued to sell their culture, he said.

One medicine man, Leonard Crow Dog, who led the Hallam dance last month, broke the agreement because it was "hurting his pocketbook," Looking Horse said.

A non-Indian who attended the Hallam ceremony, Bill Achord, said Crow Dog did not charge participants there.

Crow Dog said he oversees 16 sun dances a year and allows non-Indians to take part.

"Anyone is welcome as long as he understands himself," he said. "It's not their color; it's their spirit."

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Forcing religious and political beliefs on others

Notes from Indian Country

Tim Giago (Nanwica Kciji) 8/8/2005

© 2005, Native American Journalists Foundation, Inc.

Every race and nation has its own story of creation. From the Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist to the Hopi Nation the stories or myths are as believable or as unbelievable as one interprets them.

Those who do not believe in the creation story as related in the Christian Bible far outnumber the Christian believers. If one is to make judgments based on numbers does that make the non-Christian, non-believers right? Or are we as students of human nature to rely on Darwin’s Theory of Evolution?

Just as Einstein’s Theory of Relativity is a “theory” so to is Darwin’s prognostication classified as “theory.” These “theories” pit evolution against religion.

When I was a student at the Holy Rosary Indian Mission on the Pine Ridge Reservation we were not taught Darwin’s theory. Instead we were offered, and I use the word “offered” euphemistically, a class called Catechism. This class, of course, was a class in Catholicism.

In the Catechism course we were taught about how God created the earth in six days and rested on the seventh day. Gee, I didn’t know God got tired, but apparently he did. Must have been really hard work creating earth and that doesn’t even mention the rest of the universe.

Did God also create dinosaurs? Strange, but they are never mentioned in the Bible and I was told that this book covered everything. Perhaps those Christians now pushing Intelligent Design as a replacement for science can answer that question.

There is little doubt that science has made its mistakes and has advanced through the years with its many flaws, but so has organized religion. Millions of people have died in the name of religion and the gist of the slaughter was always an effort to prove which religion was the true one

Most of us recall the infamous “Monkey Trial” in Tennessee that pitted religion against science. In this case science lost and teaching evolution was forbidden in the Tennessee classrooms.

According to a column by Charles Krauthammer in Newsweek, Christopher Cardinal Schonborn of Vienna, Austria declared that the Roman Catholic Church rejects “neo-Darwinism.” He declared that Darwinism is an “unguided evolutionary process — one that falls outside of the bound of divine providence — simply cannot exist.”

Schonborn went on to say that “The Catholic Church will again defend human reason against scientific theories that try to explain away the appearance of design as the result of chance and necessity which are not scientific at all.”

I have often wondered what would happen if a new life form from another universe made an appearance on earth. Surely somewhere out there in the limitless boundaries of space there are planets filled with life forms, including intelligent life, that is only mentioned in the books of science. You will not find them mentioned in the Bible.

How would the hardcore traditionalist Christians explain this occurrence?

The United States is falling behind many industrialized nations in the field of science. Stupid decisions by stupid politicians using their religious beliefs instead of their common sense have stifled such innovative scientific research as that on stem cells. Other nations not restricted by religion, nations such as South Korea, are moving forward with stem cell research, and the cures for horrific diseases such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s may be waiting at their fingertips.

Diabetes has become particularly destructive and deadly on the Indian people of this nation. I have lost dozens of friends in the past several years to this dreadful disease. I am a victim of this disease also. It simply boggles my mind to see politicians insert their religious beliefs into preventing a scientific breakthrough that could save the lives of so many diabetics.

I am continually amazed at the letters to the editor of our local daily newspaper from seemingly intelligent people who refuse to consider evolution and instead cling to their Bible as the sole source of creation.

These letters not only expound on their biblical beliefs; they also serve as a hammer to beat down anyone who disagrees with their beliefs. This is the frightening aspect of this entire argument.

As a journalist I have written that “I may not agree with your opinions, but I will defend with my life your freedom to have those opinions.”

Whatever happened to that way of thinking? When did a certain segment of our society become so obsessed with its own personal beliefs that it would disregard the rights of others to have a different perspective?

When did America become divided into red and blue states? This in and of itself is an evolution of sorts and one that I do not condone. I was taught at the mission school that a “house divided cannot stand.” Well, America’s house is divided and if it does not move in the direction of unification, it will fall.

There are many enemies wanting to destroy us and the day will come when they will strike and bring horrible destruction. A divided house contributes to those possibilities because while one segment of our society defends against disaster, the other provokes it.

Just as there are many stories of creation, there are also many different religious beliefs and until we learn that one story is no better nor more true than the other, just as no religion is any greater or less as the other, we will continue to move in a very dangerous direction.

When will we learn that one cannot force his political or religious beliefs on another? Iraq may turn out to be the primary example of this madness.

(Tim Giago is the former editor and publisher of the Lakota Times, Indian Country Today, and the Lakota, Dakota and Pueblo Journals. He can be reached at najournalists@rushmore.com or by writing him at 2050 West Main St. Suite 5, Rapid City, SD, 57702)
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Default Ndn news 8/12->8/14:Genocide continues, Narraganset tradition 330th annual meeting,

Sam Hurst, 8-14: Indian women still feel genocide
By Sam Hurst, Journal columnist
No one likes to talk about the genocide. It was so long ago. What does it have to do with us? That's the way a century washes over the horror. Those who conduct the slaughter will always tell you, "We had to do it." There's always a good reason. Land. Buffalo hides. Manifest destiny. God made us do it.

Then the passage of time rubs off the rough edges. By the third and fourth generation, no one remembers. No one is taught.
About a decade ago, my sister developed an interest in genealogy and for Christmas the family received a report on the Hursts of Tennessee, by way of the Shenandoah Valley, by way of Sherwood Forest. There, staring me in the face, across the centuries, was a photograph of John Hurst, black as charcoal, one of several family slaves. Of course! How could it be otherwise? That was the culture, the economy of the South. Every Southerner is complicit. We have just forgotten ... willfully, arrogantly, forgotten.

In the 12 years I have lived in South Dakota, I have met dozens of people who proudly boast that they are fourth-generation homesteaders. But no one has ever admitted to me that their families participated in the genocide. "What does it have to do with us?"

I am haunted by a passage in a little book, "The Badlands Fox," by Margaret Lemley Warren. She wrote about the adventures of her father, Pete, who ranched along the Cheyenne River at the end of the 19th century. He told her stories of the early days. "We went over and stirred them (Indians) up and a lot of our fellows laid in at the head of a gulch ... and they chased us down Corral Draw ... Riley Miller was a dead shot, and he just killed them Indians as fast as he could shoot ... We killed about seventy-five of them. Riley Miller and Frank Lockhart went back there and got some packhorses and brought out seven loads of guns, shirts, war bonnets, ghost shirts and things. Riley took 'em to Chicago and started a museum. He made a barrel of money out of it."

I am haunted by this passage because my ranch stares across the Cheyenne River at Corral Draw.

There are a hundred ways that the terror of the genocide continues to ripple through our lives, but none is more explosive than the cruel, hard fact that we beat and rape Indian women as if they were utterly without value. Consider these numbers:

-- Fifty percent of Indian women in America will be beaten in their lifetime. That is twice the percentage of white and black and hispanic women. I find this statistic impossible to believe. I talk to a counselor at the Sacred Circle resource center in Rapid City. "Could this possibly be true at Pine Ridge, or Rosebud, or North Rapid?" She shrugs. "Statistics are hard to gather on the reservations. Women are taught to keep their mouths shut. But I was beaten, and I don't know hardly any women who haven't been."

-- Indian women are raped at twice the rate of all other races.

-- Seventy percent of the violence against Indian women is committed by non-Indian spouses or boyfriends or acquaintances.

-- One in four pregnant Indian women is beaten.

-- Two-thirds of all Indian boys between 11 and 20 arrested for murder, killed the man assaulting their mother.

Is the problem poverty? Yes. Is the problem alcohol and drug abuse? Yes. Lousy law enforcement? Yes. A lack of shelters and court protections for native women? Yes. Is the problem a deeply ingrained sexism in American culture that blames the victims? Yes.

But at its root, the problem is that 500 years of genocide and colonization have made Indian women invisible.

The reservations are isolated, and we easily drift into a dismissive disinterest, as if this is a problem in Bangladesh, or Botswana - far, far away. It's their problem.

That's why it is so important to remember the genocide. It matters ... today, right now, to all of us.

Next month Congress will vote to re-authorize the Violence Against Women Act, and for the first time (thanks largely to the work of South Dakota Indian women), the law will create a tribal division within the Justice Department to manage programs for Native women, increase funding for shelters, an inter-tribal sex offender registry, a protection order registry, better training for law enforcement and expand counseling for men.

But make no mistake. There is no silver bullet solution to the problem.

Ask a woman who has worked in the movement against violence and she will tell you that the best place to start is for the whole community to adopt a zero tolerance for violence against women. Women are sacred. There is no excuse for hitting a woman, not one, not ever.

We will begin to make headway when the men in our community enforce this code with each other ... before the police are called.

I have a more simple way of looking at the problem. When every woman in the community, every woman, is my daughter and sister, when the violence against them is violence against me, we will begin to put the legacy of the genocide behind us.

Sam Hurst is a Rapid City filmmaker. Write to samhurst@aol.com.
By Pamela J. Braman - The Sun Staff
CHARLESTOWN - The Narragansett Indian Tribe's annual August meeting goes back at least 330 years - and in past years may have lasted an entire week.
However, the meeting day itself has always been the second Sunday of the month, said tribe and church board member Alberta Wilcox, "Laughing Water."
The Narragansett tribe will hold its meeting on Saturday and Sunday at the site of their church off Old Mill Road.
The celebration has changed over the centuries, too, from times the Narragansetts had to camouflage the celebration of their culture and beliefs to avoid angering the colonists, to ones in which the tribe could openly take pride in and share their culture with others, on their own tribal grounds, said Wilcox.
"You might notice that we also call our church a meeting house," said Wilcox. "Though we believe in the Great Spirit, centuries ago we would start the ceremony with a Christian service, because we knew that adhering to the ways of the settlers would please them. After the Christian service, we would meet on our own in private to celebrate the Narragansett ways."
According to stories told to her, Wilcox said, that was how the Narragansetts learned to deal with the settlers, who "when they came over in the boats, had a gun in one hand and a Bible in the other," she said.
This year's meeting and celebration will be filled with traditional food, singing, and dancing. Chief Sachem Matthew Thomas (Seventh Hawk) invites the public to attend the ceremony, as has been the custom for many years. In the Narragansett tongue, this invitation reads as "Wame Eniskeetompauog Wunnegin," or "All are welcome."
The two-day celebration and meeting will consist of services at the Narragansett Indian Church at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Sunday, and a powwow Saturday and Sunday, with Grand Entry at 1 p.m. both days.
The powwow will feature intertribal dancing, special dancing and dancing contests, singing and drumming, a food tent, and many arts and crafts booths on both days. At the start of each day's powwow, a welcoming address will be given by the Chief Sachem, then Medicine Man Running Wolf Lloyd Wilcox will cleanse the circle and a peace pipe ceremony will follow. An invocation will be given by Firefly Song of Wind Dr. Etta W. T. Sekatau. Narragansett Tribal Historian Wendi-Starr Brown is also expected to speak.
The church ceremonies on Sunday will have both a Baptist flavor and a Native American orientation, with a minister, piano or Native American music, and remarks by Narragansett representatives.
As part of the powwow, a special honoring ceremony will also be held in the circle, for those who have passed on with the calendar year. Per usual, no drugs or alcoholic beverages are allowed on the reservation during the meeting, and traditional music only can be played.
Residents should be aware that there is limited parking on tribal grounds. Visitors can park at the tribe's health center on Route 2, and either walk down Old Mill Road to the church and festival site, or wait and take a limited shuttle.
Gates open at 10 a.m. both days, and admission is $4 for adults, $2 for children.
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Default Mews 8/15,16:DC National powwow,Sacred site a playground and more

King Philip's legacy lives on after 300 yrs
By GERRY TUOTI Staff Writer
TAUNTON - With the rising sun this morning over Miry Swamp in Bristol, R.I., a group of Pokanoket Wampanoag planned a prayer ceremony to remember their fallen ancestor, King Philip, who was killed 329 years ago today.
Three-hundred thirty years ago, the English colonists in Greater Taunton were embroiled in a bloody, bitter war that would forever change the settlers' relations with the area's indigenous peoples and decimate New England's Native American population.

"King Philip's War was the most traumatic event in 17th century New England," author Eric Schultz said.
Schultz, who grew up in Dighton, now lives in Boxford. He wrote a book, "King Philip's War: The History and Legacy of America's Forgotten Conflict," in 1999 with Michael Tougias.
About one-fifth of the fighting-aged men in the English Colonies were killed in King Philip's War.
"If you were alive living in Taunton in 1675, you would have known, lived next to or be related to a person killed in King Philip's War," Schultz said. "All the people who were farmers went off to fight. All industry and farming was disrupted."
King Philip's War, which spread to the Connecticut Valley and Maine, ended the peaceful coexistence that had begun when the Wampanoag, under Pokanoket Sachem Massasoit, helped the Mayflower Pilgrims survive their first winter in the New World.
In the decades that followed the first Thanksgiving, the colonists expanded into the wilderness. Tensions between the English settlers and Native American groups rose as they competed for land and resources.
The Native Americans' way of life was in jeopardy.
Rebecca Smith, the chairwoman of the Rehoboth Historical Commission, said a decisive conflict between the English and the Native Americans was inevitable.
"It was really a serious clash of cultures," she said.
Massasoit's son, Metacom, who the English called King Philip, became sachem in 1662.
Metacom's main village was in present day Bristol, R.I. He had a summer campsite in present-day Raynham.
During the late 1660s and early 1670s, a cold war mindset developed as the colonists were afraid of rumors that Philip was planning an attack.
Colonial officials met with him in Taunton and pressured him to sign the Taunton Agreement, which called for the Wampanoag to surrender their weapons. They never fully complied.
"They had to draw a line," Schultz said.
The line was drawn in June 1675, when a Plymouth court acted on shaky evidence and executed three Wampanoag for the murder of John Sassamon, a Native American Christian convert who had close ties to the English, lived in modern-day Lakeville and taught at a Christian mission near Middleboro.
"That was the final straw for the Native Americans," Schultz said.
On June 20, two weeks after the executions, the war started when a group of Wampanoag looted English homes in Swansea, probably without Philip's approval.
In the next week, Wampanoag warriors attacked Taunton and Rehoboth. On July 9, they burned Middleboro.
On June 25, 1675, after receiving word of an imminent attack, Taunton resident Edward Bobbett and his family left their home to take shelter in a fort. Bobbett forgot some kitchen supplies and decided to return home to retrieve them. Spotting a group of Wampanoag warriors in the distance, he climbed a tree, where he was hidden until his barking dog gave away his location. The warriors found him in the tree and killed him. Bobbett's original tombstone is now on display at the Old Colony Historical Society in Taunton.
Other tribes, like the Nipmuck, joined the fight alongside the Wampanoag. The previously neutral Narragansett entered the war after the English attacked them in a battle called the Great Swamp Fight.
The Mohegan and Sakonet tribes allied themselves with the English.
The Narragansett entered the war against the English and had victories across Southern New England in February and March, 1676. On March 28, Narragansett leader Canochet led an attack that burned 45 houses in Rehoboth.
"Pretty much everything got burned," Smith said. "There were probably only two or three houses that survived."
The next day, Canochet's warriors burned 100 structures in Providence.
The warring Native Americans were constantly on the move and had to abandon their crops. As hunger and disease set in during the coming months, the English began to turn the tide of the war. Capt. Benjamin Church, led several victorious campaigns.
On Aug. 12, 1676, Church ambushed and killed Philip at his camp near Bristol, R.I. He brought the sachem's head to Plymouth on a pike. Anawan, Philip's war captain, led the remaining Pokanoket on a retreat. Church caught up with him and killed him in a surprise attack in Rehoboth. Today, there is a memorial at that spot off Route 44.
In the aftermath of the war, the English sold many Native Americans into slavery abroad. Native Americans never again had sovereignty in New England.
Alcoholism, the Reservation, and the Government
Bottom of Form

By James Falcon
August 15, 2005
In my eyes, alcoholism has a way of becoming an unwanted guest: it comes to stay with you and it never leaves. Along with living in teepees, frequenting casinos, and scalping (and I don’t mean tickets to the Fighting Sioux games), alcoholism has also become one of the many stereotypes that are forever etched into the minds of many when they think about Native Americans.
The purpose of this article is to discuss the reasons why alcoholism is so prevalent in Indian Country, and how it can be stopped.
The reason why I believe that alcoholism is so often assimilated by the Native American community is because many see alcohol, as well as other drugs and their euphoric post-effects, as a way of escapism, to escape from the life they live. To many, alcohol is a way to hide from problems. Many will drink ‘until they go away’; but, they – the problems – do not go away that easily. Instead, they are masked by a stupor of alcoholic ‘blindness’.
In my lifetime, I have seen the lives of many people destroyed by alcohol addiction, both on an individual level basis and within a family. Alcoholism separates husbands from wives, parents from children, family members from other family members, and so forth. For a period of forty-some years, my paternal grandfather was a raging alcoholic, abandoning his family for stretches of time and devoting his paycheck to alcohol instead of his ten children. An aunt of mine has been a chronic alcoholic for twenty-three years and severed ties from many relations. An uncle’s first marriage ended because of his drinking habits. The intervention of Social Services has taken children away from alcohol abusing parents. In short, alcoholism is like a mighty ocean that puts a wide and unfathomable gap between people.
“The devastating effects of alcoholism have found their mark on Indian Country’s youth as well.”, Mark Anthony Rolo, an enrolled member of the Bad River Ojibwa and a former Washington correspondent for Indian Country Today, wrote in 1999. “A Native teen’s chance of dying from alcoholism is seventeen times higher than a teen from another race.” Rolo also notes that along with diabetes, obesity, mental illnesses, and suicide, alcoholism is one of the major causes of death for Native peoples today.
Some may ask how alcoholism can thrive in such small rural communities such as a reservation town. Easy. Entrepreneurs, regardless of race, are smart enough to identify alcohol as the magic ingredient that numbs feelings, both good and bad. Then, they cash in on the situation, the popularity of the forty-ounce, the twenty-four pack, or the shot (after shot) of vodka.
The town of Whiteclay, Nebraska is a prime example of money over morals. The town, which is located close to the “dry” Pine Ridge Sioux Reservation, sells more than three million dollars in alcohol sales in a year. Many of those purchases were attributed to residents of Pine Ridge, who embarked on the journey across the South Dakota-Nebraska border to purchase liquor. In 2002, the state of Nebraska created a bill, LB 1036, which would prohibit the sale of alcohol within five miles of “Indian Country”. Whiteclay falls under that jurisdiction.
Statistics and situations like these go to show that in a Native American community, bars flourish because the demand is satisfied to the extreme. Entrepreneurs are not stupid, especially when it comes to capitalizing on the almighty dollar, encouraging and exploiting a crippling disease and taking financial advantage of those that have been consumed by it.
The interjection of a government – be it county, tribal, state, etc. – is important in solving the growing problems of alcoholism on a reservation. Take the case of George Munoz, the former mayor of Gallup, New Mexico (once dubbed the “Drink Driving Capital”). Munoz was a politico who held the well-being, safety, and health of his constituents on a higher regard than that of the town’s economy: an economy built up by the sale of alcoholic beverages. Through many campaigns and attempts, albeit some unsuccessful, Munoz finally hit pay dirt – the state government set aside monies to help fight alcohol-related deaths and alcoholism. In 1991, Congress appropriated $1.2 million for three specific projects in northwestern New Mexico. Of this, $900,000 was earmarked for startup operations at the Gallup Alcohol Crisis Center; $200,000 to finance a treatment program in Gallup at the Rehoboth McKinley Christian Hospital’s Behavioral Health Services campus; and, $100,000 to renovate a Navajo Nation treatment center in the town of Crownpoint, which is a fifty-mile drive northeast of Gallup.
Taking under consideration the current situation of the Turtle Mountain Reservation in northern North Dakota, the North Dakota state government should take a page from that of Nebraska and New Mexico. First, banish alcoholic establishments in a five mile radius from Indian Country (which would mean that the Turtle Mountain, Standing Rock, Fort Berthold, Spirit Lake, and Fort Traversie reservations would become dry. Second, set aside monies and use them in a manner that would benefit alcoholics on a rehabilitation level. For some communities, an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting is not enough. Indian Health Service (HIS) and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) should take note: the creation of treatment centers in Belcourt, as well as throughout reservations across the country, would be pertinent to help combat any type of substance abuse.
“Hotzebue, one of the larger Native American communities in Alaska, outlawed the sale of alcohol recently and last year noted a forty percent decrease in assaults, sexual assaults, homicide, and suicide.” writes Roger Clawson, a journalist for the Billings Gazette. This goes to show that should a government take the initiative to control the situation and instill types of censure on alcohol, the alcoholism statistics will surely numb.
I feel that through careful planning, strategizing, and consideration, governments of any kind, no matter how many in number, can work to help combat alcoholism in its purist form and nip it in the bud before it consumes an entire nation.
Authors Note: Please note that this is a revised draft of the article (of the same name) that appeared here a few months ago.

Why Indians Aren't Celebrating the Lewis and Clark Expedition

By David Mould

Mr. Mould is Professor of Telecommunications and Associate Dean, College of Communication, at Ohio University. He has written and produced public television and radio documentaries on the history of settlement in Ohio and on Appalachian labor history and traditional culture, and is the author of Dividing Lines: Canals, Railroads and Urban Rivalry in Ohio's Hocking Valley, 1825-1875 (Wright State University Press, 1994). He traveled the Lewis and Clark trail (mostly in an SUV) in 2004.
Allen Pinkham has been doing a lot of soul-searching about the 200th anniversary of the Lewis and Clark expedition.
“This is a heart-wrencher,” says Pinkham (Five Rays of Light), a tribal leader of the Nez Perce (Niimiipuu). “My people were slaughtered. But you don’t read about that. All I read about is Lewis and Clark, the heroes of the day 200 years ago. Well, whose heroes? They’re not my heroes.”
As nationwide events to mark the epic expedition of 1804-1806 enter their second year, Pinkham and other Native Americans are struggling to come to terms with history. In the half-century after the Lewis and Clark expedition helped open the West to white settlement, Native Americans were removed to reservations, ravaged by disease and poverty, and forced to abandon language, religion and culture.
Before white settlers reached their homeland in what today is western Idaho, the Nez Perce numbered over 30,000. Thousands died through disease and in a futile rebellion. Today, there are less than 4,000.
“To us, it was a holocaust—like what happened to the Jewish people,” says Cassandra Kipp, the tribe’s economic development director.
Yet Pinkham, Kipp and other Native American leaders are working actively with the national Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commission. They see the bicentennial as a chance for Native Americans to tell their stories, and to benefit economically from the hundreds and thousands of tourists who will follow the trail from St. Louis to the Pacific coast. The Nez Perce will host one of 15 national Lewis and Clark signature events in Lewiston, Idaho, in June 2006.
At first tribal leaders were skeptical. Why should they recognize the very event that marked the beginning of the end? “When tribes like ours were asked to participate, at first it was like a slap in the face,” says Kipp.
Pinkham was one of only two Native Americans at a mid-1990s bicentennial planning meeting at Forth Leavenworth, Kansas.
“And the first thing they said was, ‘We’re going to celebrate this Lewis and Clark bicentennial.’ And we said no, if you want to have Indian involvement, don’t call it a celebration because there’s nothing that we have to celebrate.”
The meeting eventually settled on the word “commemoration.” “It didn’t mean a damn thing to anyone else, but to us it made a great difference,” says Pinkham who now serves on the bicentennial commission’s Circle of Tribal Advisers.
There is no single Native American perspective on the Lewis and Clark expedition. In their two and a half year journey from St. Louis to the Pacific Coast, the explorers encountered more than fifty tribal groups, and each experience was different.
Some, notes Amy Mossett, the commission’s tribal involvement coordinator, “had never before laid eyes on a white man, ever.” But some, like her own nation, the Mandan-Hidatsa, had been trading with the British and French for years.
The Mandan villages on the Knife River in North Dakota where the Corps of Discovery spent its first winter were at the center of an international trading network that stretched from Canada to the Gulf, and the arrival of the expedition caused little stir.
The explorers are not depicted on the painted buffalo hides on which the Mandan recorded the important events of the winter of 1804-05.
“There were other things that were more significant,” says Mossett. “Battles with the Sioux, when they came in and burned our villages. Or when smallpox came up the river. Even a meteor shower was more significant than Lewis and Clark.”
“People come through and they want to know what stories we have about Lewis and Clark,” says Mossett. “Well, the fact that we don’t have any left probably tells you how insignificant these men really were. Lewis and Clark are not our heroes today. And they weren’t our heroes 200 years ago either.”
However, stories about Lewis and Clark are common among the Nez Perce, who rescued the expedition as it straggled, exhausted and half-starved, out of the Bitterroot Mountains of Idaho in late September 1805. They gave them food, helped them build canoes and kept horses for the return trip.
“We showed them a lot of things,” says Kipp. “How to live off the land, eat foods native to the country, and navigate the rivers by canoe. Most of the stories have to do with sharing information with them.”
The bicentennial commission mandates Native American involvement in event planning and programming, and states have Native American representatives on their Lewis and Clark advisory councils or commissions.
Visitor centers and museums along the 3,700-mile trail feature Native American exhibits. At the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center in Great Falls, Montana, visitors can take two routes—one following the Lewis and Clark trail and one documenting the experiences of the tribes they encountered.
However, with some exceptions such as the Tamastslikt Cultural Institute in eastern Oregon, most major exhibits on Native Americans are in visitor centers and museums run by federal and state agencies, not on reservations.
Native American leaders such as Pinkham feel that tribes have been robbed of their history. “The anthropologists and historians and amateur pot-hunters took everything from us,” he says. “They said, ‘Oh, we’d better put this in a museum because these Indians are going to disappear, so we’d better help preserve their culture by putting their belongings on display.’ And I objected to that because we’ve got our own culture. We still make our own arts and crafts, and some tribes have their own museums.”
With the bicentennial, some tribes have obtained grants to build cultural centers and offer programs, but most cannot compete with the major trail sites, according to Mossett.
“Most of us don’t have interpretive centers or nice visitor centers on the reservations,” she says. “And the reason we don’t is because we have other priorities. When you travel through Indian country the priorities focus on education, and on medical, housing, unemployment issues. Any money that tribes do have they’re going to be spending on basic needs. Commemorating Lewis and Clark does not fit in that list of priorities.”
Pinkham says that the bicentennial can give tribes “a renewed sense of their history and culture” as long as they present it themselves. “The tribes have their own story to tell. And they can tell it for themselves. They don’t need an anthropologist to tell it for them.”
To do so, they need to overcome stereotypes, says Mossett. “You know, you must not be an Indian if you don’t have a dance outfit or dress up in feathers and beaded moccasins.”
“We’re not there for the pageantry, and we’re not there to entertain,” she says. “We’re not re-enactors—we’re real Indians.”
Mossett’s mission is to use Lewis and Clark events to increase understanding of the struggles of Native Americans. “One of our most powerful messages is that we are still here. Our languages and cultures have survived. And when you think about what we have been through in the last 200 years we do have something to celebrate. We can celebrate that we survived Lewis and Clark.”
Related Links
· For current Native American perspectives on Lewis and Clark, see www.nathpo.org/Many_Nations/mn.html . The site is a joint effort of the Native American Journalists Association and the National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers.
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American Indians gather at powwow
By John Nelson
Special to The Examiner

Before Storm Pence died of cancer three weeks ago, she made her father promise one thing: that he would still dance in the National Powwow.
"She told me that she would be with me in spirit, so I'm here for my daughter," said Frank Two Horse Belcher, 57, of Montana's Black Foot tribe. "[The powwow] is a gathering of people to celebrate our culture and keep our tradition going. This is who we are and what we do."
For hundreds of Washington-area Native Americans, the third annual powwow, sponsored by the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, offered an opportunity to socialize and dance with hundreds of fellow Native Americans from across the nation.
"[The powwow] is great," said Geneva Horse Chief, a 29-year-old Arlington resident who said the powwow gave her the opportunity to remember her Osage heritage and mingle with people from other tribes. "There is nothing like getting to know the other tribes. I like to dance and dress. It makes me feel good to be an Osage woman."
The three-day powwow featured over 800 dancers from tribes across the country and drew thousands of spectators.

$100,000 in prize money was awarded to the top dancers at the powwow in these categories :
- Men and Women's Golden Age (50 and over).
- Men's fancy dance, grass and traditional (Northern and Southern).
- Women's jingle dress, fancy shawl and traditional (Northern and Southern).
- Teens (13-17), Juniors (6-12) and Tiny Tots (5 and under).
Article published Aug 14, 2005
Treading on a Shrine
Sacred site now an ATV playground

Maxim Kniazkov
For the Coloradoan

SAND MOUNTAIN, Nev. - Rochanne Downs has trouble explaining it even to her own children.
If going to the mountain is a big taboo, how come hundreds of total strangers careen every weekend over it in their buggies and all-terrain vehicles?
"I really have not been able to come up with a credible explanation," she shakes her head in disbelief.
Is it because most of them don't believe in God? Or because their God may not the same as the one worshipped by Paiute people?
No answer. Either from the riders, or the Paiutes, or the mountain. When strong wind whips up its white sand, the dune emits just a monotonous, high-pitched wail.
"Yes, it can sing. But it's not really the mountain," Downs explains. "It's Kwasi the serpent hissing."
It lived with the Paiute people centuries ago, when western Nevada was just emerging from under massive Lake Lahontan, a remnant of the ice age, the legend goes.

The serpent came out of a burrow in the Stillwater Mountains and traveled with his spouse all around what is now western Nevada — to Pyramid Lake, and Walker Lake, and Lake Tahoe, and lots of other places, spreading wisdom and happiness.

But one day his faithful spouse died, and grief-stricken Kwasi buried himself in the sand at the foot of his native Stillwater Range and has remained there ever since.

He is still alive, tribal elders insist. And they can communicate with the serpent, asking him for guidance and protection.
That is if Kwasi can hear them through the roar of muffleless engines.

The mountain has been turned into a popular recreation site for ATV aficionados, extreme bikers and drivers of rumbling buggies that often pack enough horsepower to win a NASCAR race.

Revving up their engines, they rush to the top of the dune, make a breathtaking U-turn practically at its crest, and plunge back down the slope, leaving a mini-sandstorm in their wake.

On long weekends, the mountain located about 25 miles east of Fallon, resembles an anthill, with several hundred vehicles mercilessly plying its sides and clusters of agitated watchers cheering below.

The number of these motorized tourists grew from 16,000 a year on the 1980s to more that 50,000 now, according to the Paiute-Shoshone tribal government.

If Kwasi the serpent ever opined about this, the elders keep it secret. But leaders of the tribe, whose tiny reservation is nestled on the outskirts of Fallon, are losing their patience.

Sand Mountain is a sacred place of worship, they try to drive their point home.

“For us it is really an open-air church,” argues Downs, a member of the tribal council. “When I was growing up, my grandfather forbade us from going there because he said the mountain may roll over on us. Only the spiritual people are allowed to go to the mountain. And that’s what I tell my children. But now the elders and spiritual people can hardly go there anymore. There is no more place for them to pray.”

Last year, the tribal council finally decided to act.

In a petition sent to the Bureau of Land Management, the federal custodian of the landmark, tribal Vice Chairman Len George asked to close the mountain to motor vehicle traffic for two months every year.

The first of these spring months, he explained, would be dedicated “tribal spiritual practices by Great Basin tribal elders and spiritual leaders.” During the second month, the mountain will be open to pedestrian traffic, which, in his words, will allow it “to heal itself through rejuvenation.”

Reclaiming the mountain for the tribe has never been on the agenda, officials assure.

That hardly assuages fun-loving folks, sometimes from as far as California.

The Indian request has elicited angry comments and even occasional appeals for a boycott of a Paiute-owned gas station in Fallon, Downs said.

But what is more distressing to tribal members, the case has not moved very far, even after a full year.

Elaine Briggs, a top BLM official in Carson City, said that although the bureau has full jurisdiction over the mountain, action was not likely any time soon.

“We recognize that the mountain is sacred to the Paiute people. We have no reason to question that,” she said. “But there could be a long process of consultations ahead of us.”

In the immediate future, the agency is hoping to transform the landmark into a solid generator of cash by raising access fees, in some cases perhaps by more than 100 percent, Briggs said.

“The Indians will probably lose, even though their request seems reasonable,” predicted Chester Gillis, professor of theology at Georgetown University and a leading expert in interfaith relations.

Underlying political and economic power, he explains, often determines the level of deference afforded a religion.

But here, at the foot of the dune, Jerry Faulkner, a retiree from northern California, gunned his ATV, sending it down what Indians describe as the sacred serpent’s spine, and saw no need to offer any excuses.

“My friends and I have been doing this since 1988. It’s a lot of fun, and we hope to keep coming here for many years to come,” he stated with a force of conviction.

No, he never heard about Paiute religious leaders willing to have unmolested access to the site at the expense of his rides, but he was visibly upset to learn about it.

“Well, I’m sure they will build a good casino here someday,” he uttered after a pause. “But I probably should not be saying this.”
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Boulder puts off developing land near Indian grounds, cemetery
Told to set its sites elsewhere
The council votes to have its staff look further for places to build a firefighter training center and sewage sludge plant.
By Beth Potter
Special to The Denver Post

Boulder on Tuesday night put off developing land near a sacred Indian prayer site and a pioneer cemetery.
The City Council voted 6-3 to tell its staff to look further for a site for a firefighter training center and a sewage sludge plant.
City workers also are to come up with a plan to fund building the training center. The city is expected to discuss the issue again Oct. 18.
In often emotional appeals, North Arapaho tribal elders and neighbors spoke out overwhelmingly against plans to build a sewage sludge plant and a firefighter training center at the Valmont Butte site, which is on the eastern outskirts of Boulder.
Council members had been scheduled to vote on whether to allow the two projects to be built.
Some members said the 101.6-acre site might need to be sold if it could not be used for city development.
"What are the costs associated with maintaining Valmont Butte? These kinds of tactics are to scare off our people in trying to reach a settlement, an understanding, an agreement on our way of life," said William C. Hair, an elder of the North Arapaho tribe, which has historic ties to the land.
Tribal elder Anthony Addison reminded the city that promises made to Native Americans over the years have been broken numerous times.
"We call on the council to respect the North Arapaho," Addison said. "Along the way, there are so many things we have lost that we'd like to see some come back."
Residents have fought for years to keep the butte undeveloped, said Lee Ann McGinty, a fourth-generation resident, who cried as she spoke.
"If it wasn't for my mother, there wouldn't be a butte," McGinty said. "The never-ending stress killed her. My 83-year-old father is so upset about this, he wants to have my mother exhumed and moved to another cemetery."
Several firefighters also spoke, asking for a new training center for the 27 fire departments in Boulder County.
"We are not bad neighbors when it comes to respecting the spiritual needs of others," said Brett Gibson, chief of Four-Mile Fire Department.
Boulder purchased the site in 2000. Regardless of building plans, the butte, the highest point on the property, would be preserved as open space, the planning department hassaid. The sludge plant could be built on the eastern edge of the property; the training center could be built immediately next to the butte.

Tohono O’odham man receives 20 years in Medicine Man slaying
Argument over spirituality ended in shooting death

Native American Times 8/16/2005

A Tohono O'odham Nation man that pled guilty to killing another man during an dispute over who is the better Medicine Man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

According to the United States Attorney District of Arizona, Gordon Michael Jose, 43, shot and killed Andrew Lopez while the two were driving to the Cowlick Village on the Tohono O'odham reservation in Arizona. The pair argued over their respective talents as medicine men and Jose shot Lopez seven to eight times with a handgun.

Authorities say Jose admitted to the 2004 shooting, and the circumstances surrounding it, and later pled guilty to Second Degree Murder.

A probe by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the tribe’s police department revealed Lopez had been shot multiple times, with the bullets striking him in the face and the heart. The investigation also showed Jose was advancing on Lopez when he fired the shots.

U.S District Judge David Bury sentenced Jose to 240 months in prison.

Jose is from the reservation's Tecolote Village.

The U.S. Attorney prosecuted the case because the crime happened on Indian land. Jose was represented by a federal public defender.

Sand Mountain illustrates folly of sacred markers
August 16, 2005

One of the peculiarities about Nevada is the plethora of monuments to people who have died in automobile accidents, ATV accidents and other causes.

Though this is by no means unique to Nevada - monuments can be found in every state in the union - the Silver State, it seems, certainly has more than its fair share.

For years, government agencies responsible for the upkeep and safety of public places have pondered the propriety of these memorials. The Nevada Department of Transportation has talked about ridding highway rights-of-way of wooden crosses that stand not only as remembrances of loved ones but also as gruesome reminders of the carnage that follows drunken, reckless and speeding drivers. So far NDOT has taken the position that as long as these monuments do not pose a safety hazard they may remain.

Now the Bureau of Land Management has joined the fray by proposing that monuments perched atop Churchill County's Sand Mountain be removed by Oct. 1. Recognizing the sentimental importance of these markers to the affected families, BLM officials have graciously and compassionately given them time to recover and move the monuments if they choose. The reasons for the BLM's decision are twofold: 1. Placing a fixture on public land is against the law, and 2. the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe has objected to the markers on grounds that Sand Mountain is a sacred place.

We happen to agree with the BLM that these well-intended monuments are inappropriate on public lands, lest the entire countryside be littered with shrines. For the same reason NDOT ought to follow the BLM's lead and remove roadside death markers.

That said, the Paiute-Shoshone Tribe's objection to the Sand Mountain monuments on grounds the area holds some sacred meaning strikes us as a bit hypocritical. No doubt the families who erected these monuments also see Sand Mountain as a sacred place. Consequently, they likely see the BLM's rationale supporting the tribe's "sacred ground" as the application of a double standard.

This is another example of the folly of allowing sacred/religious symbols to be placed on public property. Once headed down this path it is pretty hard to turn back without offending someone's sensibilities.

Hecel Oyate Kinipikte (so that the people may live)
© Indian Country Today August 16, 2005. All Rights Reserved
Posted: August 16, 2005
by: Carole Anne Heart

Didn't you receive your parenting book in the delivery room?

The complex and mystifying transition from childhood to adulthood is not clear to adolescents or parents. From the day a child is welcomed into the world, parents expect their child to achieve beyond what they have achieved.

Parents live vicariously through their children, imagining and wishing for them great careers and a successful life. Then reality sets in, and parent's and children's expectations don't always match.

Informal markers of the rite of passage for young people include drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, having sex, obtaining a driver's license or getting a vehicle. These benchmarks signal to a child their entrance into the realm of adulthood. But the question remains: are these appropriate markers that signify admirable and proper qualities we want our children to emulate?

Tribal rites of initiation

Indigenous cultures of the Americas developed a tested methodology that steered the passage from childhood to adulthood for young people. This process for young Lakota women was the Ishnati Awicha Lowanpi (womanhood ceremony) and for young Lakota men the Hanbleceya (vision quest), and was the culmination of a series of structured events in which young people participated with their relatives and other admired adults within the Tiyospaye (family structure).

The structured events were teaching tools developed to assist young people to make the right choices, thus easing the difficult transition. These learning packets supplied the necessary ingredients, critical tools and information to young people about their role for successful adulthood.

Tribal youth are no longer required to participate in the time-honored traditions that offered guidance, support, and a specific timeframe for entry into adulthood. Tribal youth now view their transition into adulthood using the same standard rites of passage as non-Indian youth. The once clearly defined transition from childhood to adulthood has become very fuzzy and difficult to determine by today's standards.

Some young people begin smoking and experimenting with alcohol and other illegal substances before age 12. Some of our young girls conceive at the age of 13 or younger. Young men become fathers at the same age.

When a child begins to experiment with alcohol, drugs, smoking or risky sexual behavior, it is the parents' responsibility to guard and guide them. Recent studies point to a threefold increase in the number of women who get drunk at least 10 times a month. Another study showed 40 percent of college girls binge drink.

When the increased rates of teen depression, suicide, alcohol poisoning, sexual assault and pregnancies are considered together, it is clear that we are dealing with an epidemic of social issues that will be carried into adulthood. Young people who begin drinking at an early age are at an greater risk of developing heart disease, reproductive disorders, brain abnormalities and social problems. The long-term consequences of alcohol abuse are much greater for girls than boys.

The brain

To gain an understanding of teen physical development - particularly the brain, which is the command center for behavior - scientists found that the teenage brain continues to develop well beyond the accepted 18 years of age. The brain lays the foundation for behavior, habits and future choices up until a person is 25 years old.

The teen brain goes through a period of pruning. Just as a gardener prunes plants, so the brain prunes brain cells that aren't being used. This period of development is very important for parents to understand. The teen brain finds it very difficult to plan ahead, think of consequences, to fully understand risky and destructive behavior, and to self-manage their emotions.

Cultural traditions

Our ancestors understood these important developmental stages and developed a system to respond to it.

Young children were given guidance and nurturance from all the adults surrounding them. They were taught the rules for social behavior and interaction. Adults modeled the behaviors they hoped to see in their children. Repetition was used to affirm behaviors that parents desired in their children. Social and motor skills were continually tested and refined. Spiritual and moral values were an integral part of this learning period.

There is a silent scream by our youth for the return of an established ritual that sets a standard for entrance into adulthood. As Indian parents we have a responsibility to formally set in place those concrete expected standards that once were a clear guide for what was expected of our children. Only in this way can we ensure that we affirm our cultural values and traditions for our youth. This is how we must protect our children and our future for generations.

Carole Anne Heart is the executive director of the Aberdeen Area Tribal Chairmen's Health Board. She can be reached at (605) 721-1922 or execdir@aatchb.org. Visit www.aatchb.org for more information.

Ba maa pi

(til the next time)

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Old 08-17-2005, 05:46 PM
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Default Native America Calling Book of the Month

August 2005 -
Po'pay Leader of the First American Revolution:

Pueblo original voices in new book

SANTA FE, N.M. - The year 2005 is quickly becoming the ''Year of Po'pay.'' The leader of the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 is the subject of a new book, ''Po'pay: Leader of the First American Revolution,'' written by Pueblo members and leaders, while a marble tribute will soon honor Po'pay in the National Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol in Washington.

Joe S. Sando, Jemez Pueblo author, and Herman Agoyo, former governor of San Juan Pueblo, are editors of the soon-to-be released book by Clear Light Publishing which includes contributions from outstanding Pueblo artists, poets, thinkers and scholars.

Contributors include sculptor Cliff Fragua, Jemez Pueblo; Theodore S. Jojola, Isleta Pueblo; Alfonso Ortiz, San Juan Pueblo; Simon J. Ortiz, Acoma Pueblo; and Joe Suina, Cochiti Pueblo.

''This is the first time Pueblo historians have written about these events in book form; previous volumes reflected Spanish sources or more distant academic viewpoints,'' said Clear Light Publishing, announcing the book's release.

''Drawing on their oral history and using their own words, the Pueblo writers discuss the history and importance of Po'pay, the illustrious San Juan Pueblo Indian strategist and warrior who was renowned, respected and revered by their people as a visionary leader.''

The book's release follows protests of Albuquerque's tercentennial celebration. Pueblo members said the celebration honors war criminals, such as Juan de Onate, who slaughtered Pueblo people. Further, Pueblo members are protesting statues of Onate, commissioned in Texas and New Mexico, which honor him. They have called for Po'pay (also spelled Pope') to be honored as a hero of the people.

Honoring the man who led America’s first revolution
Notes from Indian Country

Tim Giago (Nanwica Kciji) 5/30/2005

© 2005, Native American Journalists Foundation, Inc.

In the year 1680 the immigrant Pilgrims and other settlers (called invaders
by the indigenous people) were getting a toehold on the eastern seaboard of
this continent.

The Spaniards and Portuguese already had a head start. The Spaniards had
been roaming and exploring South, Central and Southwest America for nearly
two hundred years. They had already constructed one of the oldest permanent
settlements (white settlements) in America at St. Augustine in what is now

The Pilgrims had come to this continent seeking freedom of religion, but
they wanted their brand of religious freedom only and would set about
denying the same freedom of religion to the indigenous people.

In the Southwest, the Spaniards had set about bringing Catholicism to the
Pueblo Indians with force. The Indians either joined the faith or were
punished, oftentimes by death.

A holy man of the Ohkay Owingeh (San Juan Pueblo) watched in silence as the
atrocities against his people mounted with each passing year. Finally, this
farmer and warrior had enough. His name was Po Pay, which translates to
mean “Ripe Pumpkin” in the Tewa language.

According to accounts by the people of the Pueblo, Po Pay and 46 holy men
were arrested by the Spaniards and beaten for practicing what they labeled
as “sorcery.” According to the San Juan historian Alfonso Ortiz, now
deceased, the men were whipped and three were hanged. This happened in
1675. After they were released it is said that Po Pay developed a deep
hatred for the Spaniards.

Ortiz wrote, “On the one hand the Spanish friars preached to the Pueblos
about equality, brotherhood and Christian love, while on the other Spanish
soldiers brutally attempted to stamp out the Pueblo religious practices.”

Ortiz was actually an anthropologist and a longtime friend of mine. He was
only one of a few Indian anthropologists in America. One evening in San
Francisco Ortiz told me about Po Pay and how he tied knots in a rope that
was sent secretly, by runners, to the war chiefs of all the Pueblos. They
were told to untie a knot every day and when the last knot was untied, they
were to attack, simultaneously, the Spanish soldiers, settlers and priests.
The year was 1680 and it was the first revolution against the invaders by
an indigenous population.

Cliff Fraqua, a member of the Jemez Pueblo, was commissioned to carve a
statue of Po Pay. At the unveiling ceremony held at the San Juan Pueblo
plaza on May 21, 2005, Fraqua spoke of the challenge he faced. About 1,000
people were in the audience on that scalding, hot day. He said that it took
him nearly one year to start the actual work on the statue. The seven-ton
block of Tennessee marble sat in his cornfield while he watched it thought
about it and listened to it.

He said that one day he started to draw on the stone and then everything
fell into place for him. The figure of Po Pay emerged from the rock where
it had been held captive for centuries. The finished statue will be moved
to Washington, DC where it will go into the National Hall of Statuary, the
first statue of an American Indian to hold such a place of distinction.

Po Pay was reviled by descendants of the Spanish settlers as a shaman and
murderer, but he was revered by the People of the 19 Pueblos as a hero. His
leadership in the revolution drove the Spaniards out of New Mexico. The
revolt took the lives of 21 priests and 400 settlers and soldiers. When the
Spaniards returned 12 years later, they had learned their lesson and their
brutality to the Pueblo Indians diminished considerably. Many Pueblo
Indians believe that it was the revolt led by Po Pay that saved their

Governor Joe Garcia of San Juan Pueblo was the Master of Ceremonies at the
unveiling. He said that one day his daughter listened to a teacher talk
about Santa Fe as the first permanent settlement in New Mexico. His
daughter boldly corrected the teacher by telling her that she was wrong.
She said that Ohkay Owingeh (San Juan Pueblo) was much older than Santa Fe.
The teacher thought for a minute and said, “You know, you are right. Thank
you for the history lesson.”

Many people of the 19 Pueblos and Indians across America were not taught
about the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 in their classrooms. Many had to do the
research themselves in order to find out about this remarkable man and his
efforts to save the religion and the culture of his people.

The sculptor Fraqua learned his craft at the Institute of American Indian
Art in Santa Fe. Many great Indian artists and artisans have passed through
the halls of IAIA including such noted artists as Fritz Scholder. The
contributions they have made to Indian art more than justifies the
existence of the Institute.

The statue of Po Pay is beautifully crafted and I still find it amazing
that it will be the first statue of and by an American Indian in the
National Statuary Hall in Washington, DC. Oftentimes the First Americans
are also the last.
Ba maa pi

(til the next time)


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Default Leonard Peltier Transferred to Lewisburg, PA

Thu, 18 Aug 2005 03:15:38 0000

"Subject: Leonard Pelrtier Transferred to Lewisburg, PA

August 15, 2005

Aho My Relations,

On August 15, 2005 I was transferred to USP Lewisburg
in Pennsylvania. Life has been extra difficult for me
since I was transferred from Leavenworth. This system
is designed to make one feel very powerless, and what
they are doing with me now is definitely aimed to
erode my body and spirit even more. My loved ones, and
all of you, my friends and allies who continue to
support me, keep me sane and hopeful.

They say that it is in times of crisis that one can
really see who your real allies are. Those of you who
have contacted the Terre Haute Prison and the Bureau
of Prisons on my behalf, keep me in your prayers, and
are supporting my Defense Committee, have made an
enormous difference in my situation. I humbly thank
each and every one of you, and firmly believe that
your actions most certainly saved my life and
prevented me from living in an institution that is
well known for its extremely high crime and violence.
Also, health problems continue to plague me and the
conditions I was subjected to exacerbated them. I know
deep within my heart, that if there had not been such
an outpouring of support, concern and overall outcry
regarding my arbitrary detention, I would have
probably stayed in solitary confinement for an
indefinite length of time, or worse I would not have
survived in the general prisoner population. Although
I have been forced to endure many hardships, I will
never surrender, even if all that is left of me is my
spirit. Your love and support inspire me to overcome

I hope that here at Lewisburg I will be able to resume
living in the general population, practicing the
traditional ways and continuing with my artwork. My
defense team is preparing to go through some major
milestones. They need your support more than ever to
re-establish our office and prepare for upcoming
reviews and legal battles. Since Russ Redner, Paula
Ostrovsky, and Toni Zeidan do not want to accept any
salaries or remuneration of any kind, all of your
donations will go directly to the office transfer and
upcoming campaign.

I again want to express my sincere appreciation and
tell you once more that without you I am not sure I
could have survived this last month. Every day I think
about and pray for a time when I will be among you,
shoulder to shoulder, fighting for justice for my
people and our Mother Earth.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse

Leonard Peltier


Please contact USP Lewisburg to make sure Leonard
regains all his hard earned prisoner rights,
especially his religious rights, visitations, regular
phone calls and ability to paint. Be polite and
courteous, but let them know that a lot of us all over
the world are concerned about Leonard's wellbeing.



Phone: 570- 523-1251
Fax: 570- 522-7745

Also please continue writing to Leonard but be mindful
of his situation and respectful of his personal

Leonard Peltier # 89637-132
P.O. BOX 1000
John Gallagher"
Mitakuye Oyasin.
Ba maa pi

(til the next time)

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Old 08-18-2005, 01:34 AM
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Hi, you're so right Wingy! I'm so glad to hear that the courts stood behind this inmate. If they would have backed Cali DOC, I know Arizona would have soon followed and since my husband is Native and has long hair also, it would have affected us. I'm so glad to hear that courts are making a good decision once in awhile!

The inmate who filed the lawsuit said it well in the article that RP posted...
"This is a really good win for us because now all Indian men behind me and the ones still here, now have the right to keep our traditions and let hair grow long," the Cahuilla Native American said in an interview.
"They don't like the fact that we're going to stand up against them."

Originally Posted by Wingy
YIPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! RP, thanks for sharing!!! this was/is a REALLY important ruling///if Native People in california lost this appeal it would have set a precident for incarcerated First Nations People thru out Turtle Island... thank you SO VERY MUCH for taking the time!!!!

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Default News: August 18

Meth a Growing Problem on the Rez

SD Prairie Dog Colony infected by Plague
Planning for Seven Generations

Meth a Growing Problem on the Rez

Partnership formed to combat meth issue

MINDEN - More than 200 people from Nevada and California gathered in Minden to discuss steps to combat the methamphetamine epidemic.

The Partnership of Community Resources and the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California sponsored the all-day program Friday at the Carson Valley Inn.

Meth was once associated with rural, blue-collar users. But the drug has invaded big cities and its abusers now include members of all racial and economic groups, said Washoe Tribal Chairman Brian Wallace.

"Given all the serious challenges that face us, I've never seen one more serious than what we're talking about today," Wallace said.

"Fighting this binds us together more closely than ever ... We're watching our communities eat themselves from within," he said.

Speakers included law enforcement authorities, treatment professionals and authors.

Ellen Hopkins of Carson City, whose novel "Crank" was based on her daughter's experience with meth, referred to the illegal drug as "the monster."

"If you are a parent, put the blame aside," Hopkins said. "There's plenty of blame to go around, but it's not about the blame. It's about trying to help them."

Cristi Cain, coordinator for the Kansas Methamphetamine Prevention Project, urged communities to take a local approach to dealing with the problem.

Communities shouldn't wait for tragedy to strike when dealing with children of meth-addicted parents, Cain added.

The conference was billed as the initial step in a community response to combating meth, which federal authorities say has surpassed marijuana as the greatest danger to the nation's children.

"This is a start to a community process to identify the problem, look at resources, set up a plan, and look at prevention and intervention," said Steve Lewis of the University of Nevada, Reno Cooperative Extension Office in Gardnerville.

Cheryl Bricker, executive director of the Partnership of Community Resources, was pleased with the turnout that included representatives from 12 of Nevada's 17 counties.

"Sometimes you go along thinking you're fighting this battle alone," she said. "It was very gratifying to see how energized people are to go to work in their communities."

Meth abuse has become the nation's leading drug problem affecting local law enforcement agencies, according to a recent survey of 500 sheriff's departments in 45 states.

In Nye County, the problem was so insidious a special unit of undercover narcotics detectives was formed several years ago. Also, Fifth District Judge Robert Lane founded the Pahrump Drug Court, a strict program designed to get users to quit.

Doug McMurdo contributed to this article.

Plague found in SD prairie Dog colony
By Steve Miller, Journal Staff Writer
For the second time in a year, sylvatic plague has been found in prairie dog populations in South Dakota, this time in a huge prairie dog colony on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
The discovery in recent weeks of two infected prairie dogs about 10 miles northwest of Oglala has prompted Indian Health Service officials to urge residents to take precautions to prevent getting plague, although they say the risk to humans is relatively low.
The plague discovery also has federal wildlife experts worried about black-footed ferrets reintroduced into Conata Basin about 30 miles northeast of the plague discovery site. Ferrets, as well as prairie dogs — the ferrets' primary food source — are susceptible to plague, experts say. If the plague approaches Conata Basin, the ferrets might be trapped and moved elsewhere.
Last September, a prairie dog infected with plague was found in western Custer County, the first confirmed case of plague in South Dakota wildlife in recent history.
The new cases were discovered after local ranchers and Bureau of Indian Affairs range surveyors noticed a marked drop in the number of prairie dogs in parts of the huge colony on the southwest part of the reservation, according to Diane Mann-Klager, regional wildlife biologist for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The colony is considered one of the largest prairie dog complexes in the world.
Staff with the Oglala Sioux Tribe's Parks and Recreation Authority and the state Game, Fish & Parks Department collected dead prairie dogs in the colony for testing. Two carcasses submitted by the tribe tested positive for sylvatic plague, one on July 28 and the other last week, Mann-Klager said.
Indian Health Service and tribal officials asked local residents to take preventive measures such as getting rid of fleas on their pets and eliminating rodents in and around their homes, according to Joe Amiotte, supervisory sanitarian in the IHS office at Pine Ridge. Animal health experts say domestic cats are particularly susceptible to getting plague.
People should avoid handling dead animals with their bare hands, Amiotte and other experts said. The primary risk is getting bitten by fleas that carry the plague. Smaller rodents such as mice and rats can carry the disease longer, but prairie dogs seem to die quickly, Amiotte said.
But, Amiotte noted, even in the Southwest, where plague is prevalent in prairie dogs, there have been an average of only 13 human cases each year.
If the risk to humans is low, the risk to the endangered black-footed ferrets reintroduced into Conata Basin nine years ago could be high, according to Scott Larson, a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service biologist in Pierre.
Larson said ferret project officials are probably going to dust parts of the basin with insecticide to kill plague-bearing fleas.
So far, there is no evidence of plague in the ferret areas.
But he said if the plague moves toward the basin, moving the ferrets elsewhere could be an option.
Ferret project officials here have been talking to wildlife scientists elsewhere who have experience with plague. "They say (the discovery) is a sufficient trigger that we should be scrambling to take action," Larson said Wednesday in a phone interview.
The ferret population in the basin has remained at about 200 adults for the past several years, he said.
Plague devastated one black-footed ferret reintroduction project near Fort Belknap, Mont., a few years ago, according to Mike Lockhart, black-footed ferret recovery coordinator for the Fish & Wildlife Service. "They released 36 ferrets before they found out there was plague," Lockhart said. "It essentially annihilated everything, prairie dogs and ferrets."
But the Conata Basin ferrets probably wouldn't be moved unless there was a huge outbreak of plague, Lockhart said.
Part of the problem is where to relocate them. "There's not a lot of places to put ferrets right now," he said.
Conata Basin lies within Buffalo Gap National Grassland, part of the Nebraska National Forest. Although there is no evidence of plague on the grassland yet, forest officials will monitor the situation closely, according to public affairs officer Jerry Schumacher at forest headquarters in Chadron, Neb. Forest officials last week announced a plan to begin controlling prairie dogs in parts of the grassland to prevent their encroachment onto nearby private ranch land. The plan is drawing fire from wildlife conservation groups.
The Conata Basin project has been the most successful reintroduction in the country, partly, wildlife officials believe, because South Dakota prairie dogs had been plague-free for so long.
One researcher Larson talked to said 2005 has been the worst year for plague in Western states in many years. "So maybe this is just an incursion this year," Larson said. "That's what we're hoping."
Meanwhile, wildlife officials are increasing monitoring for plague, Larson said, including blood tests on coyotes.
Coyotes that eat plague-infected prairie dogs develop an antibody that shows up in the blood.
After last year's plague discovery in western Custer County, GF&P staff tested for plague in Custer, Pennington, Fall River and Shannon counties. None of those tests came up positive, according to Art Smith, wildlife-damage management program administrator for the GF&P.
Smith said the plague discovery would have no immediate effect on the state's prairie dog control measures on private land. Prairie-dog poisoning began last week in Bennett County and will continue throughout the fall, Smith said.
Contact Steve Miller at 394-8417 or steve.miller@rapidcityjournal.com
Copyright © 2005 The Rapid City Journal
Rapid City, SD



PINE RIDGE, S.D. - Henry Red Cloud is a man on a mission.
On the surface, it appears his mission is to become self-sufficient on a 320-acre buffalo ranch.
To hear him tell it, the journey is just beginning. The Oglala Lakota are at the end of one seven-generation cycle and embarking on the next seven-generation cycle.
According to Henry Red Cloud, his father, Bernard Red Cloud, just before his death reminded family members that in the mid-1800s their ancestor, Chief Red Cloud, and other Lakota leaders devised what today might be called a strategic plan for seven generations.
"Getting the goodness of light-skinned society" is how Henry Red Cloud summarized what Chief Red Cloud had said. "Learn to live among them, learn their education, their language - all the goodness."
According to Lakota tradition, a generation is 25 years. Seven generations have been born, signaling the end of that part of the strategic plan.
Henry Red Cloud says it's time to begin planning for Phase 2 of the plan.
"After the seventh generation, we would become self-sufficient by taking their goodness and that (goodness) of the Lakota," Henry Red Cloud said.
To secure the future for the next seven generations, Henry Red Cloud believes the Lakota need to regain control of their land.
"Secure the land base," he said. "If we don’t have any land, we are not a nation."
On the day Bernard Red Cloud died, "there were seven lightning strikes and a fire (at Tatanka Isnala - Lone Buffalo Ranch)," Henry Red Cloud remembered. "We took that as a sign," he said.
Henry Red Cloud’s vision for the Lakota is for them to regain control of their land and become less reliant on U.S. government programs and handouts.
"After seven generations, we’re still tight with our language, our culture and our ceremonies," he said. "The main thing is to get back to the land.
"Buffalo, land, wind, sun, water - we understand these things. Like the sacred medicine wheel, red, white, black and yellow - it ties us to our culture."
Henry Red Cloud, who once left the reservation and worked as a structural steelworker for about 15 years, has returned to live on his father’s land and to create the model for the future by striving to become self-sufficient.
He and wife Nadine and their two boys and a daughter live in a mobile home on 20 acres, formerly owned by Bernard Red Cloud, near the town of Oglala.
Earlier this summer, Henry Red Cloud divided his time between tending a large garden near his home and to the 13 head of buffalo 20 miles away on 320 acres of family land.
A large tepee and tent are left set up in the yard to accommodate the curious who come to visit. The park-like yard also serves as a storage area for a large collection of windows, doors and other building materials neatly stacked under the trees. Henry is stockpiling the materials for houses he intends to build at the buffalo ranch.
At one end of the camping area is the frame of a sweat lodge, considered by many to be the Native American church. About a block away were three walls of an earth and tire "earthship" structure of what is to become a meeting hall.
In one corner of the family’s living room is a contemporary computer. At the other end of the same room is a heavy-duty sewing machine used to sew the Red Cloud Tepees the family makes and sells on the Internet. There was no running water in the house, and a makeshift shower and outhouse are shared with guests.
Through Village Earth and David Bartecchi, Henry Red Cloud has become heavily involved in the Adopt-a-Buffalo Program. Earlier this year, they toured Europe for a month promoting Village Earth's land restoration projects on Pine Ridge to audiences in 10 cities in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and France.
Henry Red Cloud organized the delegation that came to Rye last fall to pick up a trailer load of buffalo from Ken Danylchuk and is coming for another shipment next month.
Though he is keenly aware of the spiritual aspects of bringing the "sacred" buffalo to the Lakota who worship them, he is also aware of what it takes to prepare a pasture to hold them.
He works with a network of backyard engineers who are producing biodiesel fuel, making electric wind generators from used auto parts and drilling wells.
Last week, Bartecchi, Henry Red Cloud and the others presented a series of workshops on the reservation on developing sustainable technology. In addition to presentations about biodiesel production, raising buffalo, and wind and solar technologies, the group built a straw-bale structure.
Collectively, they are planting a tiny seed they hope will grow to fulfill their vision for the next seven generations.
"The fire of hope almost went out; we have to rekindle it," Henry Red Cloud said.
On the day the seed herd of buffalo were released on the Red Cloud land, Henry spoke of the seventh generation. "They need to know that we have suffered greatly but that we are strong and resilient. This ceremony and these buffalo will teach our children that we are returning to health and vitality.
"Buffalo can heal us. We can heal each other. At the dawn of the 21st century, we stand here, seven generations since Chief Red Cloud's capture, to make a powerful statement: We are strong. The Lakota people, families and individuals have a strong future together."

"(Great Spirit, Grandfather). . .You have given. . .from the south, the nation's sacred hoop and the tree that was to bloom. To the center of the world you have taken me and showed the goodness and the beauty and the strangeness of the greening earth, the only mother - and there the spirit shapes of things, as they should be, you have shown to me and I have seen. At the center of this sacred hoop you have said that I should make the tree to bloom.
"With tears running, O Great Spirit, Great Spirit, my Grandfather - with running tears I must say now that the tree has never bloomed. A pitiful old man, you see me here, I have fallen away and have done nothing. Here at the center of the world, where you took me when I was young and taught me; here, old, I stand, and the tree is withered, Grandfather, my Grandfather.
"Again, and maybe the last time on this earth, I recall the great vision you sent me. It may be that some little root of the sacred tree still lives. Nourish it then, that it may leaf and bloom and fill with singing birds. Hear me, not for myself, but for my people; I am old. Hear me that they may once more go back into the sacred hoop and find the good red road, the shielding tree!"
"In sorrow I am sending a feeble voice, O Six Powers of the World. Hear me in my sorrow, for I may never call again. O make my people live!"
Oglala holy man, Black Elk's last prayer, recorded by John G. Neihardt during the summer of 1931. Black Elk participated in the defeat of Gen. George Armstrong Custer at Little Big Horn and was a survivor of the massacre at Wounded Knee in 1891. He was a contemporary of Crazy Horse and Chief Red Cloud. Neihardt is author of "Black Elk Speaks."
©1996-2005The Pueblo Chieftain Online
Ba maa pi

(til the next time)

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Old 08-28-2005, 08:58 PM
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Default reposting a vision from an incarcerated brother

with my sincere apologies to both Pained arms and his wife...for some reason this post was moved and probably never seen or shared by those of us who have loved ones inside...I know I will be sending it to the circles that i am involved with. Also, I will attemprt to contact his wife, that will let this pass and allow us to support her and her husband on thier journey.

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Location: Iroquois Territory

Vision of Future or Destiny of the Red Race
I address this letter to all tribes across Turtle Island, to all Chiefs and Warriors, and to all Clanmothers, Spiritual Guides and our yourth.

I hope you will receive this smoke signal as a gesture of peace and friendship.

I have a vision for this piece of Mother Earth we know as Turtle Island. It is not a new vision. It is a vision of my people. All my relations among the Red Man and Native. It is a vision of our forefathers. It is the vision that has forever layed in the hearts and soul of my people. It is a vision that currently lies in our hands.

It is inherent in our traditional values and beliefs. It is inherent in our philosophy, the way we look at life. It is inherent in this land we call Mother Earth that sustains our life and all living things. Above all it is a vision that acknowledges and embraces the supremacy of our shared Creator.

This is a vision that is inherent in the treaties that were made with the newcomers who came to this land with their governments. The Creator put our people on Turtle Island for a reason. The Creator gave us our dances and ceramonies for a reason. The reason was not to have it all taken away from us by foriegners.

Yesterday, our people agreed to respect and co-exist with these foriegners. We agreed to live side-by-side, and to share what we have, to share the knowledge, the land, the power and the resources. Their agreement was not very complicated for our people. The foreigners have proven they cannot keep their agreement! This agreement has gone dorment.

But, this vision is a strong vision. This vision embraces unity among the Red Man. This vision embraces caring, loving and sharing.

Our people know that the Creator made different people and nations all over the world. We understand the Creator established "landmarks and boundaries."

Even though we are oppressed and have been conquered, the Creator still wants us to maintain our culture, language, and traditional observances that he prescribed for our people.

We have a responsibility to maintain a unity amonst our people. We, as the Original People, have an even greater responsibility than any other group of people to maintain Turtle Island - because this is OUR home and OUR land.

Spirituality is very sacred to our people. It is essential to our existence. It drives our way of life. It is not our will to give up any more of our land, our spiritual beliefs, our traditions, language, customs. Our people.

Our people have seen much frustration the past years trying to resolve these issues. It has become apparent that more dramatic action needs to be taken since even the political process has failed us.

In this vision, all this changes. In this vision, the Creator favors our people. In this vision we can all agree. In this vision the Red Race is once again free. In this vision, the Red Race is united. In this vision our tribes work together to beat our common enemy. In this vision our youth are once again proud to be Indian. In this vision there is no anamosity among tribes. In this vision, we have a combined Warrior Society. This vision is alive and within our grasp.

A warrior without a vision is not a warrior. Do you have a vision for our future? What changes would you like to see made for our People?
Kakonsteraro (Painted Arms)
Mohawk Warrior, Iroquois Territory
Ba maa pi

(til the next time)


Last edited by Wingy; 08-28-2005 at 09:00 PM..
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Old 10-30-2005, 06:55 AM
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Default Wisdom of the Elders on line...transcripts, video, audio

these are available for purchase, also

Ba maa pi

(til the next time)

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Old 11-06-2005, 05:50 AM
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Default American Indian videos to watch on line

watch videos online,

oops my mistake
Ba maa pi

(til the next time)


Last edited by Wingy; 11-06-2005 at 05:58 AM..
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