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Friday, July 30, 2004

articles july 30

Zapatistas: "The tongue is not made of bone."
Zapatista autonomous governments inspire indigenous delegation
MADRE DE CARACOLES, CHIAPAS
Brenda Norrell, Contributing Writer 7/29/2004
A river runs through this community, the Zapatista stronghold in the Lacandona jungle whose name was changed from La Realidad to Madre de Caracoles, to reflect its new role as the mother of the Zapatista autonomous governments.

A handful of fireflies flicker like lost stars above the hammocks at night, strung across the one-room school, as the rain pounds down like hammers on the tin roof and the river rushes past. In the mornings at the river, children play and laugh while women wash clothes. In the kitchen, women make tortillas over an open fire and place for sale embroidered handbags made by the Zapatista women's cooperative.

Tohono O'odham from the north and Mayo from the southwest coast have crossed Mexico to come here, to support the new Mayan autonomous governments. They traveled through the Sonoran Desert by car without air conditioning in the searing heat, then days and nights by bus across Mexico. Finally, they climbed in the backs of cargo trucks, and were battered for five hours on the rough and steep ride to the Zapatista autonomous villages near the Guatemalan border. full article

Activist aids anti-BIA Crow group

By MIKE STARK
Of The Gazette Staff
HARDIN - Veteran Indian activist Russell Means is lending his support to a group of Crow tribal members pushing to affirm new leadership, nullify the 2001 constitution and govern itself "without interference" from the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Means said Thursday it's time that the Crow tribe assert its sovereignty and oust the "outlaw" government currently running the tribe.
The BIA has "blatantly assisted and is in collusion with a political coup d'etat," Means said Thursday, adding that the government under the 2001 Crow constitution is spending money without authority. "Every penny they're spending is illegal. As a taxpayer, that angers me as it should every taxpayer."

On Wednesday, the group notified the BIA of an "executive order," saying that the 1948 constitution is in effect, that the Crow tribe is not under the Indian Reorganization Act of 1935 and that it has the right to govern itself. full article

Doctor stands ground against diabetes

ANGELA METTLER
Associated Press

ABERDEEN, S.D. - As a young woman, Dr. Sara K. Dye dreamed of becoming a doctor.

Dye is a member of the SacFox and Shawnee tribes. She started Indian Health Services' first noninvasive vascular laboratory at Carl Albert Hospital in Ada, Okla., in 1984. She directed the lab for 10 years. She is currently chief medical officer at Indian Health Services in Aberdeen. Her main focus is preventing amputations in American Indian diabetic patients.

"I am fanatic and passionate, in my area of diabetes, about getting doctors to examine the patient's feet," she said.

Achieving her goals was a difficult, long process.

Dye was born in 1945 and lived in Tulsa, Okla. Her mother died of alcoholism when Dye was 13. When health professionals visited Dye's high school during career days, she became interested in the health field. But her guidance counselor said her grades weren't good enough to get her into medical school, so Dye decided to become an X-ray technologist.

Little did she know her struggles were just beginning. full article

Report: Indian history ignored at Fort Laramie

By The Associated Press Friday, July 30, 2004

FORT LARAMIE NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE, Wyo. (AP) -- A parks advocacy group says the history of the Plains Indians is not adequately told at Fort Laramie, even though it was one of the first bastions of white America thrust into the heart of Native American lands in the 1800s.

"The whole, difficult story about the U.S. government and American Indians must be told at Fort Laramie, because this is the place where important parts of that story took place," said Patti Borneman,

Northern Rockies Program coordinator for the National Parks Conservation Association.

Established as an outpost for trading furs with tribes in 1834, Fort Laramie was later a refueling stop for emigrants and a military outpost during the Indian Wars.

It was also the site where several tribes signed two treaties, both of which were later breached to allow faster settlement of the West and gold mining on Indian lands. full article

Millions lost from land grants
By Debra Jopson and Gerard Ryle
July 31, 2004

They own real estate worth up to $3 billion, but thousands of NSW Aborigines are missing out as shadowy development deals are made over their land, some involving secret payments.

About 135,000 indigenous people should be sharing wealth from vast holdings, given as compensation for their losses through colonisation. But instead, a Herald investigation has found:
Some developers are exploiting land councils' naivety over the true value of their holdings;
Land councils have signed joint ventures where most of the risk is carried by the council and much of the profit goes to the developer;
Some property-hungry developers even help land councils spot and claim crown land, so they can exploit it together.

The investigation found that one Sydney land council was so mismanaged that it needs to sell a nine-hectare bayside site to pay off debts incurred, and that three of its executive members were paid more than $25,000 by a coalition of powerful developers. full article

Leave No School Behind
by Patrisia Gonzales and Roberto Rodriguez
 
Roosevelt and Garfield High Schools in East Los Angeles have long been rivals. But their legendary cross-town rivalry morphed in the last decade from who had the better football team into which was the nation's largest high school. Both claim more than 5,000 students, ranking No. 1 and No. 2 in the country. Yet if that's all this was about -- cramming thousands of students into schools designed for 1,000 students -- it would merit its own story.

But this story goes beyond educational neglect, abusive and senseless policies, year-round schools and dilapidated buildings. It's the story of war and peace. This is the epicenter of the current war and all U.S.-led wars. The East Side traditionally is fertile recruiting grounds for the U.S. military. Not just this East Side, but all East Sides and South Sides, too. Under the administration's No Child Left Behind Act (the president's crown jewel), the U.S. military is seemingly determined not to leave any school or student behind.

Under the act, prospective college students must sign a consent form that sends their names to the military; otherwise, their records are not sent to the colleges, says Nancy Meza, a senior at Roosevelt and a member of United Students, an organization affiliated with Inner City Struggle and Youth Organizing Communities (YOC) in East L.A. Recently, students themselves (through United Students) have led the charge of improving schools on the East Side. full article

Federal Bureau of Incompetence
The shameful treatment of Sibel Edmonds proves the FBI's urgent need for reform.
By Fred Kaplan
Posted Thursday, July 29, 2004, at 2:55 PM PT

Two news reports today illustrate how far we are from getting real reforms in our methods of spotting and stopping terrorists.

The first story, on the AP wire, notes how gently the 9/11 commission treated the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Yes, the bureau screwed up as badly as any other agency prior to the attacks of Sept. 11, commission chairman Thomas Kean allowed. But the new FBI director, Robert Mueller, is moving in the right direction—"doing exactly the right thing," as Kean put it—so the final report came down lightly on him.

The second story, in the New York Times, notes that the FBI and the Justice Department are keeping a tight seal of secrecy around the case of Sibel Edmonds, despite the inspector general's finding that Edmonds was fired from the FBI at least in part because she'd accused the bureau of incompetence in the war on terror. full article

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