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Old 10-22-2005, 05:35 AM
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Default News involving the First People, legal issues or court happenings

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Old 10-22-2005, 05:37 AM
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Indian legal representation lags

Indian legal representation lags
By Chet Brokaw, Associated Press Writer
June 14, 2005
PIERRE - Jessica Hinsley didn't know where to turn for help after Standing Rock Sioux Tribe officials took her 1-year-old daughter. The girl had been hurt in a fall at a day-care center, and a tribal judge kept asking why Hinsley's three children had to be in day care.

Hinsley, a 23-year-old who is going through a divorce and works full time while attending college, had trouble finding a private lawyer who could take her case. But then she found out Dakota Plains Legal Services had a new lawyer on the reservation, which straddles the North Dakota-South Dakota border. Dakota Plains, primarily serve Indians.

Court-appointed attorneys and public defenders help poor people charged with crimes, so the greatest unmet need is for civil matters such as divorce, child custody, wills, land issues and commercial disputes, Hutchinson said.

And though Indians need legal help in state and federal courts, one of the greatest needs is in tribal court, where many people represent themselves without hiring a lawyer, Hutchinson said.

An 1994 American Bar Association study estimated that three-quarters of the nation's low- and moderate-income families facing civil-legal issues handle those problems without getting formal help. Legal-aid lawyers estimate only about 20 percent of Indians' legal needs are met, Hutchinson said.

"The bottom line here is, we don't have the resources to help everyone who needs help. We don't even come close," he said.

Help is on the way, thanks to a grant from the American College of Trial Lawyers, a national organization of courtroom attorneys. The $50,000 grant is intended to let Dakota Plains establish an Internet site to provide a wide range of information related to Indian legal issues, including forms and instructions for those who represent themselves in tribal court.

Jimmy Morris of Richmond, Va., president of the American College of Trial Lawyers, said poor people need adequate legal services so they are not at the mercy of people who can afford lawyers.

"There is an appalling need for legal services to the poor everywhere in the country," Morris said. "But it is particularly acute among Native Americans."

Steve Moore of the Native American Rights Fund in Boulder, Colo., said there is a lack of legal resources to help Indians in tribal, state and federal courts.

"The word 'crisis,' I think, doesn't overdramatize the situation," Moore said.

Indians not only have to deal with state and federal laws and regulations, but they are also subject to tribal laws on reservations and a host of tribal and federal programs for housing, health and other issues that apply only to Indians, Moore said.

That means Indians likely will need legal help to deal with the many regulations that apply to them, Moore said.

"We think that Native Americans are the most regulated segment of the American population," Moore said. "Being Native American just adds multiple layers and layers or regulations and bureaucracy into your life."

The Native American Rights Fund handles high-profile cases for tribal governments and other organizations, disputes that focus on Indian rights, tribal sovereignty, voting issues, land and other issues. But it also works with organizations such as Dakota Plains Legal Services to help develop and improve tribal laws and court systems, including traditional systems of resolving disputes, Moore said.

The grant for Dakota Plains will address those issues.

Hutchinson said the project will emphasize improving services to Indians who represent themselves in tribal court. The new Internet site will include forms and instructions on how to handle the most common legal problems, he said.

The project will supply information to help private lawyers better represent Indian clients and will gather tribal laws and previous tribal court rulings from the Sioux tribes.

Dakota Plains operates seven offices with a budget of about $1.3 million for routine help provided to Indian clients. It has 20 case handlers, but only seven are lawyers. Many cases are handled by paralegals.

The project will provide an improved set of instructions and forms, which now vary widely among tribal courts, Hutchinson said.

If the South Dakota project succeeds, it can be adopted in tribal courts in other parts of the nation.





"What we hope is that this will become a model project that other programs across the country can build on for their own tribal court systems," Hutchinson said.





Joe Steinfield of Boston, a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers who chaired the committee that approved the grant, said the project stood out from the four dozen or so other candidates because it has a chance of accomplishing much where the need is great.

Steinfield said most lawyers have little idea of the legal challenges Indians and tribal courts face.

Hinsley is simply happy that Dakota Plains gave her the legal help she needed to get her daughter back.

The girl had medical and developmental problems before her fall at day care, so Hinsley believes the best thing she can do is wrap the child in love.


Copyright © 2005 The Rapid City Journal


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Old 10-22-2005, 05:44 AM
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Default City cops put their foot in it again

City cops put their foot in it again

June 14, 2005

City cops put their foot in it again

By Kerry Diotte
About two weeks ago, Edmonton Police Service acting Chief Darryl da Costa was asked in a roundabout way if cops here might pick on minorities.
Da Costa was asked to comment on a criminology professor's report that showed Kingston, Ont., police pulled over black people three times more often than whites.

The study - called Bias Free Policing - found aboriginals were 1.4 times more likely to be stopped by police in that city than white people.

The results came after Kingston police did a study noting the age, gender and race of people they stopped, as well as the reason.

"We don't think we have a problem here, but we don't know for sure," da Costa told the Sun May 27.

"We're certainly not above looking at what was done in another jurisdiction to see if it does have any application here."

Well, maybe it's high time to do that study given the EPS is involved in yet another in a series of controversies.

Da Costa has ordered an internal investigation after some EPS cops were circulating a racist e-mail that joked about how to treat an aboriginal.

"I was disgusted by the content of the e-mail and disappointed as well," da Costa told a crush of media at a news conference yesterday originally called to discuss a traffic safety initiative. He called the e-mail discriminatory and racist.

After becoming aware of the nasty e-mail, da Costa sent out an internal bulletin to members that was leaked to the media. He wrote that "the EPS has zero tolerance for this type of conduct" and cops with racist views should "consider other careers."

The controversy is the latest in a string of headaches for the EPS:


*Former chief Fred Rayner was fired in February for his handling of the now infamous Overtime sting.

*An RCMP probe continues into allegations EPS members took unauthorized perks from a company being touted to receive the city's $90-million photo radar contract.

*The city's auditor is probing allegations of impropriety surrounding a push by the EPS to award a contract to a private firm to track pawnshop purchases citywide.

*As well, there have been allegations against EPS members of using excessive force on members of the public, including when a native man was repeatedly Tasered.

The latest racist controversy has outraged the native community.

"I'm just aghast at this," said Mel Buffalo, president of the Indian Association of Alberta. "It's 2005 and we still have this kind of crap."

He figures a meeting needs to be called between native agencies and police.

Buffalo is skeptical anything will come out of an internal probe into the racist e-mail.

"There needs to be an above-board, transparent process if you have a complaint. Police are investigating themselves and that's not fair."

Buffalo said sources tell him aboriginals going through police training sometimes get a hard time from non-natives.

"Especially the females," said Buffalo.

"Everybody thinks they got a special in because they're aboriginal."

Police say there are 58 aboriginals with the EPS.

Reporters at the news conference yesterday also grilled da Costa and Mayor Stephen Mandel about media reports suggesting some police union members were spotted wearing T-shirts indicating no cop should rat on another cop.

Mandel wouldn't comment on that.



Instead he stuck to what has become a standard response on allegations of police misconduct.

He declared he has full confidence in the EPS and said he believes there are only a "few bad apples.

"It's a very, very, very, very small minority."

All Edmontonians - me included - hope that's true. But given the spate of controversies, the few-bad-apples pitch is getting harder to sell.

Isn't it about time to find these bad apples and get rid of them before the rot spoils a whole lot more?

A good, logical first step toward that would be if an outside agency probed most cases of police misconduct - and those investigations were done far more quickly than they are now.

It's time for officials to stand up for all Edmonton citizens and for the majority of good cops in the EPS.

Stop talking about bad apples in the EPS. Start finding them and toss 'em out.




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Old 10-22-2005, 05:49 AM
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Horseback riders blaze trail of strength, sobriety

Posted on Tue, Jun. 14, 2005http://www.grandforks.com/images/common/spacer.gifhttp://www.grandforks.com/images/common/spacer.gif

DORREEN YELLOW BIRD COLUMN: Horseback riders blaze trail of strength, sobriety




As I came over a rise on the last leg of my 4˝-hour drive home to western North Dakota, I saw a commotion on the highway ahead. At first, I thought it was one of those big-wheeled farm contraptions with those huge outstretched claws that take up the whole highway.

Instead, it was a small group of horseback riders, walkers and support vehicles. The horses walked leisurely in thick, dark-green grass up to their shanks - with all the recent rain, the western Plains have turned into something like a savanna of the South.

The walkers were on the side of the highway and only looked up and waved when I honked my horn. They were serious, with jackets hanging over their shoulders, and certainly not walking fast. It was overcast but didn't quite rain. It is an organization called the Spirit Riders, my sister told me. They were walking from White Shield, N.D., to Garrison, N.D. - about 25 miles.

Their purpose is to work toward an alcohol- and drug-free reservation using spirituality, culture and horses. They have about 40 members.

The organization does much more than just alcoholism prevention. They have cookouts, do holiday celebrations with their members and also ride for funerals. Riding for funerals is a tradition in which riders on horseback accompany the deceased to their final resting place. The Spirit Riders have become popular in fulfilling that cultural role.

Why horses?, I asked Howard Wilkinson, the president of the Spirit Riders in White Shield. The Spirit Rider remembered, he answered, how important horses were to them when they were growing up. There are very few places on the reservations that didn't have a horse or two. I knew that was true: When I was young, we rode horseback almost everywhere on the reservation - there were few fences back then. Today, you have to follow the fence-lined highways that enclose prairie fields and crops.

During my horseback-riding days, I remembered, we used to pick

chokecherries by riding our horses into the woody areas, standing on our saddles and picking berries from the trees. It could be dicey but we never had an accident.

The idea of using horses to prevent alcoholism was introduced years ago to the Three Affiliated Tribes by Lakota riders who came from Greengrass, S.D., on their way to Canada. They came through the reservation and asked to camp. They were accommodated by Emerson Chase at his ranch, which is not too far from New Town, N.D.

"We met with them, sat in their circles and did sweats with them," said Delvin Driver, president of what would become the Unity Riders. Driver, Jimmy and Sonny Bear, George Fast Dog, Tom Demaray and Clorinda Driver sat with them, too.

They sat in a circle and talked about how they had become alcohol- and drug-free.

Driver and his son followed these Lakota riders to Canada, but were turned back at the border because the horses hadn't been tested.

They formed the Unity Riders for the Three Affiliated Tribes in 1993. There were about 30 members at first. Out of this group, two others have grown: The Spirit Riders and the Renovators from the Mandaree, N.D., area. I wasn't able to talk with their group, so I have no other details about them.

There are other alcohol- and drug-prevention programs on the reservation. The Circle of Life alcohol program is just beginning a program called the Northland Project. It is funded by the Homeland Security Act.

The program also uses horses. Its leaders go to each of the six districts on the reservation to solicit sponsorship. Then they ride the perimeter of the reservation - some 200 miles. This ride will take place at the end of July, said Tex Fox, a former tribal police officer. They are raising money for two drug dogs and a portable machine to detect meth.

Alcohol still is the most prevalent problem, but meth is growing, Fox said. And meth is even more devastating to both the community and individual, he said.

Another project by Community Health Representatives staggered me. It sets up white crosses beside the highway to mark the spot where a person died as a result of an accident. It was hard to believe that in the last six years, 195 people have died on reservation highways. Eighty percent to 90 percent of those accidents were alcohol-related, I was told.

The crosses were put on the highway roadsides a few weeks before and after Memorial Day.

Yes, there are alcohol and drug problems on the reservation, but I could see that people at Fort Berthold are making strides toward an alcohol- and drug-free reservation. Most important, these programs are growing and more and more people are participating.

Last of all, it is volunteers - Native people using their culture and spirituality, with a horse spirit leading the way - who are making a difference.
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Old 10-22-2005, 05:52 AM
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Default "Always cover your ash," funny story

"Always cover your ash," funny story

Doug Grow: Interest in her project boomed

Doug Grow, Star Tribune June 21, 2005 GROW0621
Sometimes fame just explodes into a life.

Take the case of Hope (Boomer) Flanagan.

For years, Flanagan, a Seneca, has been known and respected among American Indians for her traditional basket-making skills. She shares her art with high school students at Anishinabe Academy, in the old Brown Institute building on E. Lake Street in south Minneapolis.

But on June 9, Flanagan's art reached a new audience, the Minneapolis Police Department's bomb squad.

It happened like this:

Though Flanagan's preferred material is birch bark, she wanted her students to learn about another ancient basket-making resource, strips from black ash trees.

Black ash, which grows in marshy areas, is not easy to use. Among other things, it requires great patience, for the trunk portion of the tree needs to be soaked in water for a year before the wood is pliable enough to be hammered into strips that can be woven into baskets.

Flanagan does not back away from challenges.

A year ago, she went to a marsh near Lake Mille Lacs and was allowed to cut down a black ash. She followed Indian rituals -- thanking the creator for the tree, leaving tobacco at the site, etc. -- in cutting down the tree.

She had to improvise in coming up with a way to soak the 3-foot hunk of ash that was to be used for basket making.

"I don't live near a lake or on a river," said Flanagan, who lives in the city.

She went to a hardware store and bought PVC plastic pipe that was big enough to hold the ash trunk, which had a diameter of about 4 inches. She put her black ash in the pipe, capped one end, filled it with water and capped the other end.

On June 8, the next-to-the-last day of school, she brought the log-in-a-pipe to school so her students could have a sense of the black-ash art form.

They opened the pipe -- "rather strong odor," Flanagan said -- and she peeled the bark, then the students, using mallets, pounded on the ash to create the strips. The work was difficult, progress limited.

At the end of the school day, she put the ash back in the pipe, filled it with water and, because of the odor, set it in a plastic garbage bag outside the school.

At 5:30 a.m. on June 9, the school's head engineer spotted the garbage bag, checked inside and saw the capped PVC pipe.

In these times, no one takes untended PVC pipes lightly.

The engineer called police. They arrived, and though no threatening messages were found, they called in the bomb squad, which is brought into situations like this about 100 times a year.

"If people suspect something, they should err on the side of safety," said police spokesman Ron Reier.

The area around the school was cordoned off, including parking spaces used by light-rail passengers. No one was allowed in the building.

Ka-boom!

The bomb techs blew up the pipe and discovered the 3-foot section of black ash.

Flanagan knew of none of this until she arrived at the school and was approached by a police officer.

"Was that your log out there?" she said the officer asked.

"I was shocked and a little nervous," Flanagan said. "I was afraid they might expect me to pay for the inconvenience I caused everyone."
But the police were very kind.

"They even called me and apologized for blowing up my log," she said.

Though the PVC pipe was shredded, the ash log was pretty much undamaged, except that it dried out and is no longer suitable for basket strips.

Of course, the basket maker's friends are taking great delight in all of this.

"Everybody's teasing me," said Flanagan. "At school, they put up that caution tape on my classroom door. I've got people telling me that this gives new meaning to the term 'basket case.' "

As she retold her story the other day, people around her laughed until they cried.

"You know what the moral of the story is?" asked Clyde Bellecourt, a friend of Flanagan's.

No, Clyde, what's the moral?

"Always cover your ash," he said.


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Old 10-24-2005, 06:59 PM
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Default Schuylkill takes WolfHawk baby boy

Schuylkill takes WolfHawk baby boy
Son of man who committed sex crimes is put in foster home.

By Chris Parker
Of The Morning Call

A newborn boy whose father is a convicted sex offender was placed in a foster home Friday, and a Schuylkill County judge ruled that the county's child welfare agency can continue to have custody at least until the end of the month.

Judge Charles Miller said a hearing Oct. 31 will decide long-term custody of Melissa and DaiShin WolfHawk's baby.

Until then, Melissa can visit her son for two hours at a time under the watch of county Children & Youth Services workers. How often she can visit has not been decided, agency Executive Director Gerard J. Campbell said.

DaiShin WolfHawk, who lives in Pine Grove, does not have visitation rights, Campbell said.

''There is no happy ending,'' Campbell said after two hours of testimony behind closed doors in Pottsville. ''It's just what we think is in the best interests of the child.''

The custody hearing will determine whether the county can keep the child indefinitely, with reviews of the case every six months. Pottsville lawyer Edward M. Brennan was appointed temporary guardian of the baby for legal purposes.

''I think they are sending the message that if you or any member of your family screws up, you can kiss your parental rights goodbye, forever, apparently,'' said Melissa WolfHawk's American Civil Liberties Union lawyer, Mary Catherine Roper.

Roper said she was disappointed by Miller's ruling, but ''frankly, not surprised, given the history we have seen in the treatment of this family by Schuylkill County.''

Children & Youth Services wants the baby in protective care because of concerns about his father's record of sexual crimes. Those concerns earlier led authorities to take custody of Melissa's now 8-year-old son and the couple's 21-month-old daughter.

The WolfHawks have been married for three years, but are living apart. Both said they will continue to live apart if it means Melissa could keep her children.

Leaving the courtroom with reddened eyes, Melissa WolfHawk, 31, said nothing and walked slowly. She wore a black sweatshirt that read, ''Transport for Christ — Jesus is Lord,'' and was accompanied by a man named Red Deer clad in American Indian jewelry and knee-high fringed leather boots.

DaiShin WolfHawk, 53, who says he is the chief of an American Indian tribe called the Unole e Quoni, did not attend the hearing.

Melissa, who gave birth via Caesarian section, left a southern Chester County hospital Thursday night against medical advice in order to attend Friday's hearing, Roper said.

''She's doing very poorly physically, and needs to go back to see her doctor,'' Roper said. ''Obviously, she's very upset.''

Roper said the child, whose name has not been disclosed, will suffer from her absence. ''It's devastating to an infant to be separated from his mother in the very first days of his life,'' she said.

She said WolfHawk plans to freeze breast milk and send it to Children & Youth Services to pass on to the foster parents.

County Judge Cyrus Palmer Dolbin on Wednesday issued an emergency order allowing the agency to take the boy, but Jennersville Regional Hospital near West Grove, where he was born, refused to immediately release him.

Agency workers on Friday morning got the baby from the hospital, Campbell said. He declined to identify the foster parents who have the boy or say where they live.

In 1983, DaiShin WolfHawk, then known as John Joseph Lentini, pleaded guilty in New York state to sexually assaulting two teenage girls.

At a federal court hearing Monday in Scranton, agency lawyer Karen Rismiller presented a parole report that listed a third assault victim. Both WolfHawks vigorously denied that assault occurred.

The agency also presented testimony by a doctor that Melissa WolfHawk admitted using methamphetamine and cocaine and engaging in prostitution. She denies those allegations.

''There's a whole pile of issues,'' Campbell said.

Melissa WolfHawk had previously sued in federal court because Children & Youth Services was asking about her pregnancy. She sought a restraining order preventing the agency from doing that.

U.S. District Judge Robert Vanaskie issued the order on Sept. 30, and on Monday extended it for 10 days. He was to rule on a permanent injunction by Thursday.

Campbell said that matter is moot now that WolfHawk has given birth.

Roper said the injunction ruling would answer ''our request that he say that the county's action in taking this child away is an unreasonable exercise of government power.''

She argued that removing the baby from WolfHawk's custody when there is no clear evidence of immediate danger is unconstitutional.

Roper said WolfHawk early this month moved from Pottsville to Maryland, where the couple's toddler daughter lives in protective care with relatives.
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Old 10-25-2005, 06:36 AM
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Default Problem clergy being exiled to Alaska, critics say

Former Alaska priest sued Problem clergy being exiled to state, critics say


Rachel D'Oro
Associated Press
Oct. 22, 2005 12:00 AM
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - The fourth lawsuit in less than two weeks accusing an Alaska-based Roman Catholic priest of sexual abuse is fueling a belief among critics that Alaska was a dumping ground for problem clergy.

The complaint alleges the Rev. James Laudwein molested a 14-year-old western Alaska girl in 1980 when she visited the nearby Yupik Eskimo village of St. Marys.

Laudwein is the latest of a dozen priests who served in Alaska and have been accused publicly of abusing a child or children in the past. Most of the abuse reportedly took place in remote villages and most of the accusers are Alaska Natives, a common pattern over the decades, critics contend.

"I absolutely believe that church officials intentionally sent abusive priests to minor communities, transient communities, where kids may be less apt to tell and have less faith in the justice system," said David Clohessy, national director of Chicago-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Rural Alaska was a prime place to send abusive priests, given its isolation and cultural reverence for authority figures, such as elders and priests, said Patrick Wall, a former Benedictine priest and consultant for a Costa Mesa, Calif., law firm that has worked on more than 300 allegations of church abuse nationwide, including Alaska.

Wall said he has interviewed more than 100 Alaskans alleging abuse, many taking decades to come to terms with their pasts.

Even though only 12 of Alaska's 500 priests who served from 1959 to 2002 face allegations, a fraction of nearly 4,400 priests accused nationwide, people such as Wall say the spate of allegations has only begun.

"I'm quite sure that by the time this runs its course, we can expect over 200 clients," he said. "There are whole villages we've never been able to visit that we know perpetrators were in."

In the latest lawsuit, filed in Bethel, the plaintiff is identified only as Jana Doe, a lifelong Alaskan who grew up in a small village near St. Marys, about 500 miles southwest of Fairbanks. The diocese serves 41 parishes spread out over more than 400,000 square miles covering Alaska's interior, the North Slope and the western coast.

"This is among the worst kinds of ritual abuses, to take a holy sacrament so meaningful to people and twist it into an opportunity to commit a horrendous crime on a child," said Ken Roosa, the woman's Anchorage attorney who has represented others alleging past abuse by Alaska-based priests.

Also named in the 17-page lawsuit is the Catholic bishop of northern Alaska and the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province.

Laudwein, who could not be reached for comment, is now living in Portland, Ore., working in a ministry with the poor, according to the Rev. John Whitney, provincial of the Society of Jesus province. Whitney said he was unaware of any allegations against the Jesuit priest.

"This is the first I've ever heard about this," he said. "I can't give you a response."

Whitney denied that Alaska was used as a hiding spot for problem priests.

"It's absolutely untrue," he said.
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Old 10-25-2005, 06:44 AM
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Default Harjo: Paper beats rock and the spoken word

Harjo: Paper beats rock and the spoken wordPosted: October 20, 2005by: Suzan Shown Harjo / Indian Country Todayhttp://www.indiancountry.com/images/spacer.gifIn traditional Native cultures, a person's word is sacred and history told by one generation to the next is trusted.

Increasingly in modern American society, Native oral history accounts are disbelieved until and unless they can be substantiated by documents from non-Native sources. Some of these sources seem to have full-time jobs coming up with documents to undercut Native oral history, especially involving ongoing court cases.

One of the many ''Indian experts'' on the federal payroll - a Smithsonian linguist - recently produced a sketchy paper to support his claim that Indians dreamed up the term ''redskins'' and that it wasn't insulting at the outset. He cited other white men from the 1800s who wrote that Indian men used that term to describe themselves.

Of course, the words of the Indian men were translated by white men, but the linguist's paper does not make that point; and there is no record of what Native-language words the Native men actually used. Another white man - a reporter for The Washington Post - made the linguist's paper a news story, without making any of these linguistic points.

Native oral history relates that ''redskins'' originated in the days when white officials paid white bounty hunters monies for proof of ''Indian kill.''

One bounty proclamation from the Massachusetts Bay Province in 1755 required ''pursuing, captivating, killing and Destroying all and every of the [Penobscot] Indians.'' It promised to pay 50 pounds for male prisoners; 25 pounds for female or boy prisoners; and 40 pounds for scalps of males and 20 pounds for scalps of females and boys ''that shall be killed and brought in as Evidence of their being killed.''

Since bounties were paid on a sliding scale for Indian men, women and children, the bounty hunters had to produce either the whole bodies or the skinned genitalia in order to authenticate their claim. Scalps from the heads alone would not provide the required proof of adulthood or gender.

Before Native people located documentation of bounty hunting, that heinous practice was denied by most non-Native historians and government officials. Because Native people have not found the documents spelling out that the bloody custom of skinning Indians resulted in the term ''redskins,'' many non-Indians deny there is a connection at all. When and if such documentation is found, their response is likely to be ''so what.''

More and more, the recording of Native history has become a game of catch-me-if-you-can. In the decades leading up to enactment of repatriation laws, officials of most federal, state and private museums and universities vehemently denied that their Indian collections contained Indian human remains. When that lie was exposed, they tried to downplay the vast numbers involved, denying that they held more dead Indians than there were living Indians at the time.

The same ''Indian experts'' who studied the Native human remains in these institutions were the very voices of authority that challenged Native peoples' claims about the nature of these collections.

American Indian oral histories relate myriad specific instances of Euro-Americans beheading Native people. But the ''experts'' and collectors denied that Native people were decapitated until documents were produced on the federal ''Indian Crania Study'' of the 1800s and until the Smithsonian revealed its collection of 4,500 Indian skulls.

Similarly, the existence of the federal ''Civilization Regulations'' that criminalized Indian religions and languages from the 1880s to the 1930s was denied until a bound copy surfaced in the 1980s.

There was even a white lawyer who was supposed to be on the Native side of the campaign for repatriation laws who questioned the existence of the ''Civilization Regulations,'' telling a mutual friend: ''I don't have a copy of them. How do I know they exist?''

There used to be a debate about which diseases the Europeans spread to Native people in this hemisphere. In the ramp-up period to the Columbus Quincentenary, Newsweek devoted an edition of its magazine to the history and legacy of the 1492 invasion.

I wrote the ''My Turn'' column for that issue. Unbeknownst to me, the Smithsonian Institution was deeply involved in the project and one of its ''Indian experts'' reviewed my piece, resulting in a number of changes, including the deletion of syphilis from the list of foreign diseases.

The ''expert'' claimed that Indians infected Europeans with syphilis, even though there is no evidence to support that theory. I was asked if I had any evidence to support my contention. There are myriad oral history accounts of syphilis being brought here by the Europeans, but that didn't satisfy the ''expert'' or the editors, and syphilis was deleted.

Not too long after the magazine went to print, there was an announcement that evidence of syphilis was found in Greece, millennia before Europeans arrived here.

Tribal oral history was not believed in the Kennewick Man case, either. One of the ways that federally-paid scientists ''proved'' in court that the ancient one was not legally an American Indian under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act was to discount the oral history of his Northwest Native relatives.

The 9th Circuit stated: ''Because oral accounts have been inevitably changed in context of transmission, because the traditions include myths that cannot be considered as if factual histories, because the value of such accounts is limited by concerns of authenticity, reliability, and accuracy, and because the record as a whole does not show where historical fact ends and mythic tale begins, we do not think that the oral traditions ... were adequate to show the required significant relationship of the Kennewick Man's remains to the Tribal Claimants.''

Many Native people are picking up the lazy habit of denigrating Native histories as ''legends,'' ''myths'' and ''stories,'' and are relying on non-Native ''experts'' to record and validate tribal histories. These practices may adversely affect the outcome of future court cases, as well as the very way family and tribal history unfolds.

Suzan Shown Harjo, Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee, is the president of the Morning Star Institute in Washington, D.C. and a columnist for Indian Country Today.
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Old 10-25-2005, 06:52 AM
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Default British Columbia: Residential school decision establishes liabilities

Residential school decision establishes liabilities

Last updated Oct 21 2005 06:21 PM CDT
CBC NewsThe Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that the federal government cannot be held fully liable for damages suffered at a residential school in British Columbia.
The case centres around the Port Alberni Indian Residential school on Vancouver Island, run by the United Church.
Six aboriginal students claimed they were abused by a dormitory supervisor from the 1940s to the 1960s.
The Supreme Court of Canada voted unanimously Friday to overturn a B.C. Appeals Court ruling stating the United Church has immunity from liability in cases of church-run residential school abuse.
The court ruled the church was responsible for 25 per cent of the liability, the federal government 75 per cent.
The ruling also found the government and church jointly responsible, meaning if the church goes bankrupt, the government pays 100 per cent.
Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan called it "a very important decision."
"I think this is a very positive step and probably establishes some pretty important principles that apply well beyond residential schools," she told the Canadian Press.
The leader of the Assembly of First Nations, Phil Fontaine, says it's still up to Ottawa to make sure victims of residential school abuse are fully compensated.
The decision also puts an end to an appeal by survivors who were seeking compensation for damages caused by physical and mental abuse. Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin says government policy did not cause such wrongful acts.
She also refused one of the abuse victim's appeal for higher damages, saying she saw no reason to change the original ruling.
With notes from the Canadian Press
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Old 10-25-2005, 06:56 AM
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Default Commerce and Religion Collide on a Mountainside

October 23, 2005

Commerce and Religion Collide on a Mountainside

By RANDAL C. ARCHIBOLD
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - In the view of American Indians here, the spirits that inhabit the San Francisco Peaks, towering 12,000-foot-plus mountains rising from the desert here, certainly did not appreciate it when a ski run was built a quarter of a century ago on one slope.
So imagine, tribal leaders ask, what the spirits will think - or worse, do - when treated wastewater is piped up from Flagstaff and sprayed on the mountain so the resort, the Arizona Snowbowl, can make more snow to ski on? A lawyer for one of the tribes likened it to "pouring dirty water on the Vatican."
In a trial that began this month, 13 Indian tribes who regard the peaks as virtual living deities of the highest order argued that the plan would interfere with their religious practices, including the gathering of mountain water and herbs they say the artificial snow would taint.
"The mountain is like a power plant," Frank Mapatis, a spiritual leader in the Hualapai tribe, said in court. "You plant a feather there, and it is like plugging into a power plant."
The case pits economic interests against traditional practices, and culture versus science, the kind of clashes that are becoming increasingly common in the West as population booms and development pressures butt against Indian desires to reassert ancient practices.
Operators of the Arizona Snowbowl, one of the few ski resorts in the state, said it could go out of business without making snow because winter precipitation is so erratic in the high desert here. The resort, which has proposed the snowmaking under a plan to expand the ski runs, and the Forest Service, which approved the plan, both say the water would be cleaned to the highest degree, A-plus in the industry vernacular, though falling short of potable.
The federal government has said that even with the expanded ski runs, the resort would be using only about one percent of the peaks on the otherwise undeveloped mountain.
Eric Borowsky, a principal of the resort, said in an interview that despite bountiful snows last season, most other recent years have been dry. In the winter of 2001-02, the resort was open only four days and revenue was only 1.5 percent of the budget.
"No business in the world can stay in business if you miss 98.5 percent of your revenue," Mr. Borowsky said. The 777-acre resort pays the federal government 1.5 percent of its annual revenue in rent, which in 2004 was $138,957.
To stress their sensitivity to the tribes, the Snowbowl hired Bruce Babbitt, a former Arizona governor and interior secretary under President Bill Clinton, as a consultant. Mr. Babbitt, as secretary, was instrumental in closing down a pumice mine on the mountain that he called a "sacrilegious scar." The pumice had been used to make stone-washed jeans, and in a gesture of thanks, the tribes gave Mr. Babbitt a pair.
Demonstrators outside the courthouse in Prescott, incensed at what they perceive as Mr. Babbitt's turnabout, have taunted him with signs shaped like underpants (as in give back the jeans).
Mr. Babbitt said he would not comment while the trial was under way.
Indian tribes unsuccessfully sued to block the resort in 1979. The current lawsuit, aided by environmental groups including the Sierra Club, was brought under more recent laws and regulations that require federal agencies to consult with American Indian groups when considering development on federal land and to take into account the effect on religious practices. The resort sits amid the vast Coconino National Forest and while not on tribal land, is within the ancestral boundaries claimed by several tribes.
"I think that if the tribe can demonstrate that this site is central and essential to its religion, it has a good chance of success in this case," said Robert Anderson, a University of Washington law professor who specializes in Native American legal issues. The defendants, he said, must show there was a "compelling government interest" in the decision.
The groups also charge that the defendants, the Snowbowl and the Forest Service, did not adequately study whether the effluent could harm people, especially children, who consume artificial snow - on purpose or not.
The Snowbowl and Forest Service said in court papers that they made a good-faith effort to consult with the tribes - the Forest Service in an environmental report said it held 41 meetings, made 205 phone calls and exchanged 245 letters with members of the tribes - and found nothing environmentally egregious about using the treated sewage, known as reclaimed water. The resort balked at using fresh water because it is so scarce in Arizona, Mr. Borowsky said.
Nora B. Rasure, the supervisor of the Coconino National Forest, wrote this year in the report that the resort "has and continues to provide a valuable recreational experience to many people, and that in order to continue providing that experience in today's physical and business environment, changes are needed."
Ms. Rasure noted that none of the tribes performed ceremonies or maintained shrines within the resort property and that the improvements would involve only 205 acres.
Ms. Rasure, through a spokeswoman, declined an interview.
The trial, before Judge Paul G. Rosenblatt and expected to last into next month, has posed challenges for plaintiffs and defendants alike, as some Indians are reluctant to divulge closely guarded religious practices.
Mr. Mapatis, the Hualapai spiritual leader, to the surprise of some other Indian leaders, told the court that he gathered plants and flowers for use in healing ceremonies and that after a woman gave birth he brought the placenta to the mountain to ensure the newborn has a healthy life. Members of his tribe use water from the mountain in sweat lodge ceremonies, and the peaks figure prominently in the Hualapai creation story, as well as other tribes'.
Mixing mountain water with water that in an earlier, untreated form may have included waste from mortuaries or hospitals, Mr. Mapatis said, could infect members of his tribe with "ghost sickness," a disagreeable state difficult to cure.
"It's like putting death on the mountain, which would be a form of witchcraft or black magic," Mr. Mapatis said. "I won't be able to practice my religion."
But Bill Bucky Preston, a spiritual leader in the Hopi tribe, which has a reputation for secrecy about their practices, refused to describe in detail what practices he would no longer be able to do or how the mountain figures in Hopi lore. And that was when his own lawyer was questioning him.
"It is very difficult to be put in this position to reveal this information," Mr. Preston said. "We are told by our uncles and grandparents that it is sacred and cannot be revealed to anybody."
On a visit to the mountain earlier this month, Jeneda Benally, a Navajo advocate, said the very notion of making snow, regardless of the purity of the water, could offend the kachinas, the spirits on the mountain.
"The kachinas are the snow makers," she said. "When man makes snow what does that tell the deities?"
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Old 10-26-2005, 06:02 AM
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Default Figures show drop in Indian Country jail population

Indianz.Com. In Print.
URL: http://www.indianz.com/News/2005/010951.asp


Figures show drop in Indian Country jail population
Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The number of Native Americans held in Indian Country detention facilities fell by 9 percent in 2003, according to a new report from the Department of Justice.
As of midyear 2003, the date for which the latest statistics are available, there were 1,826 people in Indian jails, the Bureau of Justice Statistics said in a report released on Sunday. This figure is down from the 2,006 people held in the jails as ofmidyear 2002.
The report, "Prisoners in 2004," did not explain the drop. But this is the first time in four years that the federal government has cited a significant decline in the Indian jail population.
On the other hand, the number of people in state and federal prisons increased by 1.9 percent in 2004. A total of 1.5 million inmates are being held in these facilities, according to the report.
The majority of American Indian and Alaska Native offenders are incarcerated in state and federal prisons. The report, however, lumped Native Americans with Asians, Pacific Islanders, Native Hawaiians and persons of multiple races so it wasn't possible to determine how many were being held at the state and local level.
But it is the Indian Country system that has received significant attention in recent years due to controversy over the way the jails are managed. Data from 2001-2003 indicated that the facilities, as a whole, operate at 120 percent above their rated capacity. Many suffer from outdated infrastructure, limited funding and lack of staff..... read more at: http://www.indianz.com/News/2005/010951.asp
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Old 10-26-2005, 06:07 AM
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Default Conditions on First Nation called Third World

Indianz.Com. In Print.
URL: http://www.indianz.com/News/2005/010944.asp



Conditions on First Nation called Third World
Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Controversy is mounting over health and living conditions on the Kashechewan First Nation in northern Ontario.
Residents on the reserve have gone without drinking water for weeks after E. coli, a dangerous bacteria, was found in the water system. Raw sewage is basically pouring into the community. The local school has since been shut down. (read more at: http://www.indianz.com/News/2005/010944.asp

Get the story at:
E. coli in native community worries PM (CBC 10/24)
Water plight on reserve a disgrace: Ramsay (The Daily Globe and Mail 10/25)
Natives seek help as water worsens (CP 10/25)
PM vows to help aboriginal community (The Edmonton Sun 10/25)
Conditions on reserve 'atrocious,' doctor says (The Daily Globe and Mail 01/25)

Related Stories:
First Nations finally invited to top-level meeting (10/24)

Copyright © 2000-2005 Indianz.Com
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Old 10-26-2005, 06:16 AM
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Default Amnesty says Ottawa must do more to protect native girls, women

Amnesty says Ottawa must do more to protect native girls, women
Sue BaileyCanadian Press
Monday, October 24, 2005

OTTAWA (CP) - A distraught mother broke down on Parliament Hill on Monday over what Amnesty International calls a "shameful" lack of concern for missing and murdered native women.
Gwenda Yuzicappi begged the federal government to do more to halt an alarming nationwide pattern of death and disappearance. She and others want the prime minister to raise the issue with premiers and native leaders when they meet Nov. 24 in British Columbia.
Yuzicappi's daughter, Amber Redman, vanished July 15 after a night out with friends in Fort Qu'Appelle, Sask., northeast of Regina. The shy, 19-year-old who dreamed of going to university and becoming a teacher hasn't been seen since. (read more at: http://www.canada.com/news/national/...e-b1aff0107c8d

© The Canadian Press 2005
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Old 10-28-2005, 05:40 PM
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Default Mrs. Bush's Remarks in Arizona re culture and spirituality

this is out dated but still relevant...it kinda cracks me up coz her husband is always busy trying to take more from the native people...mmaybe this little speech is sposed to make us forget about that... oops!!! does that sound cynical????
Mrs. Bush's Remarks at Helping America's Youth Event in Arizona
“…the Red Road represents the good path in life. The program is designed to help urban tribal youth make decisions to keep them on track to be healthy and successful adults. American Indian cultural practices and spiritual traditions are at the heart of the program….” Read more at:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/04/20050426-6.html
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Old 10-29-2005, 06:29 AM
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Hi!

Does anyone know where i might be able to get free used college books for my friend in Texas?

He gave me a website I tried, without success, called www.collagebooksforfree.com

I couldnt search it, even using different spelling. he is Cherokee in TDCJ>


Thank you for any assistance!

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Old 10-29-2005, 03:34 PM
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Thumbs down Laura Bush's Speech

Hi all!

I must have missed something.....what it is she actually said.

dont care for either her or her husband. He is responsible for the long imprisonments and all the mess in TDCJ!

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Old 10-30-2005, 06:18 AM
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Amanda...the article is prractically a qute from Mrs Bush. Mr. Bush is responsible for more than the mess is TDJC, thats just the tip of an iceburg that grows daily.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/04/20050426-6.html
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Old 11-01-2005, 06:18 AM
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Default Jailers afraid Eagle Feather may be used as a weapon...or worse

American Indian Group Backs Inmate

POSTED: 10:35 am CDT October 27, 2005
UPDATED: 10:53 am CDT October 27, 2005
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- An American Indian group said an Oklahoma man's religious freedoms were denied when he was being held in a county jail in Arkansas.
Jailers in Benton County, Ark., refused to give Billy Joe Wolfe, of Jay, an eagle feather to use in a spiritual ceremony. Jailers said they were afraid the feather could be used as a weapon or for sexual purposes. ...read more at...

http://www.thehometownchannel.com/news/5188855/detail.html
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Old 11-01-2005, 06:20 AM
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Default Two charged in reservation assault could get death penalty

Monday, October 31, 2005 · Last updated 12:46 a.m. PT
Two charged in reservation assault could get death penalty
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
BOISE, Idaho -- Two Spokane, Wash., men accused of kidnapping a Lapwai woman at the Nez Perce Indian Reservation and raping her along U.S. 95 could face the death penalty after further charges were filed by the U.S. attorney's office.
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/6420AP_ID_Reservation_Assault.html
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Old 11-01-2005, 06:23 AM
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Default As the U.S. government secures its borders, this door remains open

This border door wide open to U.S.
Sunday, October 30, 2005


By CARA ANNA Associated Press Writer
ST. REGIS MOHAWK RESERVATION, N.Y. - As he lies in bed listening to smugglers on the river, Andrew Thomas wonders how much homeland security $5,000 can buy.
Thomas is the tribal police chief who patrols a geographic hiccup, the only Indian reservation that straddles America’s northern border. Part of the St. Regis Mohawk reservation is in America, part is in Canada, and a river and several islands fall in between, making these 12 miles of rural New York some of the country’s most popular for smuggling.
As the U.S. government tries harder to secure its borders, this is one door that remains wide open.
Tribal residents don’t like outside officials poking around, so Thomas and his officers, all three of them per shift, are America’s first line of defense. For their efforts, they get $5,000 in homeland security money a year. read more at:

http://www.cantonrep.com/index.php?Category=23&ID=249924&r=1
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Old 11-01-2005, 07:50 AM
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Default Indian sovereignty is strongly defended, activism is key

Indian sovereignty is strongly defended
Expert says activism is key to political success

TULSA OK
Sam Lewin 10/31/2005


Hundreds of people attending the NCAI convention heard a dark tale that concludes with a remarkable case of political resurgence.

But, as was stressed several times, the battle is far from over.

Panelists spoke at a forum called “Self-Determination: Now and in the Future.”

“It was only 100 years ago that the government’s policy was to destroy Indian language, destroy Indian culture and destroy Indian religion,” said Kevin Gover, Professor of Law & Affiliate Professor of the American Indian Studies Program at Arizona State University. ..."
“...You get the states and the federal government and they try to impede on tribal sovereignty,” Smith told the Native American Times. “I think they think their governments are a little more important than our governments…It’s a disgrace.”...Read more at...
http://www.nativetimes.com/index.asp...rticle_id=7172




You can reach Sam Lewin at sam@okit.com
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Old 11-02-2005, 06:00 AM
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Default An invisible life:inner-city girl from a American Indian family,dead on the street

We didn't know young Sidney, but we should have
Nick Coleman, Star Tribune
November 2, 2005


......."This is not just another dead body," says the Police Department's Stanek, who has a 12-year-old. "We're working hard on this. This girl fell through the cracks and was discarded, like a bag of trash."
Sidney would have turned 13 on Nov. 29. Her funeral was held last Saturday, on the Menominee Indian Reservation in northeastern Wisconsin. It began with traditional ceremonies and a two-night wake, followed by a Catholic funeral and burial at St. Anthony's Church in Neopit, Wis. Elders said she had a restless spirit that was anxious to go back to the spirit world. Comfort comes where you can find it.
During her wake, Sidney was given a traditional Indian name. A year must pass before it can be revealed to the outside world.
Perhaps by then, the truth of what happened to Sidney Mahkuk -- and what didn't happen for her -- will be revealed."
read more at: http://www.startribune.com/dynamic/mobile_story.php?story=5702846
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Old 11-02-2005, 06:11 AM
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Default Decades later, Inuit seek missing relatives

Decades later, Inuit seek missing relativesLast updated Oct 28 2005 08:50 AM CDT
CBC News

"Inuit in the central Arctic want their regional association to help them find the graves of loved ones who went missing after going south for medical treatment. ...."
Read more at: http://north.cbc.ca/regional/servlet/View?filename=missing-inuit-28102005
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Old 11-04-2005, 06:23 AM
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Default Catholic groups offer $29M to settle lawsuits

Catholic groups offer $29M to settle lawsuits
Last Updated: Nov 2 2005 08:32 AM CST
Saskatchewan Catholic groups say they can afford to pay only a fraction of the multi-million dollar liabilities they face from residential school claims.
A lawyer for a group of Catholic organizations says 41 legal "entities" from across Canada – including dioceses, bishops and various religious orders – are offering $29 million spread out over five years….read more at: http://www.cbc.ca/sask/story/print/catholic051102
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Old 11-05-2005, 04:33 PM
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Default Lumbee Recognition Anticipated

"LUMBEE RECOGNITION ANTICIPATED"

http://www.owlstar.com/dailyheadlines.htm
http://www.robesonian.com/articles/2...ws/story08.txt

Goins: Recognition hopes better than ever
By Mark Locklear - Staff writer
October 24, 2005
PEMBROKE - The Lumbee tribe's efforts at gaining federal recognition will
be rewarded, Chairman Jimmy Goins told the Tribal Council Thursday night.
Goins said that a recent meeting with U.S. Sen. Richard Burr convinced
him the tribe will gain federal recognition.
"We are the closest we've ever been to federal recognition for our
people," he said.
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole and U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre introduced
legislation in January supporting federal recognition. Both bills have
been sent to committees.
But getting the bill to the Senate floor has always been a problem. Burr,
who serves on the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, has pledged to get
the bill out of committee, Goins said.
"I feel confident this (bill) is going to pass," Goins said.
Passage of the bill would bring an estimated $77 million a year to aid
the tribe in education, health care and economic development.
In a related matter, the tribe has received $10,000 to help pay the cost
of a lobbyist, according to Tribal Administrator Leon Jacobs. Jacobs
didn't reveal the source of income.
Copyright c. 2005 Robesonian.
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