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Friday, August 27, 2004

articles-august 27

Mohawks challenge IRS
Fight over new fuel tax crackdown

Posted: August 26, 2004 - 7:22pm EST
by: Jim Adams / Associate Editor / Indian Country Today
HOGANSBURG, N.Y. - Warning of a "devastating" impact on the reservation economy and tribal services, the St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Council and Native businessmen are bracing for a major fight against a new Internal Revenue Service campaign to collect federal motor fuel excise taxes.
Mohawk businessmen say they are taking on not only the federal taxmen but also the federal highway lobby and the trade groups for non-Indian convenience stores and gas stations. Although the new regulations, announced July 29, are national, they would have potentially their most severe impact on the St. Regis reservation, also called Akwesasne, which runs along the Canadian border and imports most of its gasoline from the North.

Randy Jock, president of the Akwesasne Petroleum Co-op, said the proposed rules "would have a devastating impact on our economy as we know it." He said the withering effect on the territory’s 18 gas stations could eliminate up to 300 jobs and deprive the tribal government of $1 million a year in revenues, now used to support up to 180 different programs. full article

Nations helping nations

Posted: August 27, 2004 - 10:25am EST

Indian country has to be about nations uplifting each other whenever possible. There is no better way to that end than visiting each other with gestures of good will. Wherever there are elders who reflect the outstanding American Indian traditional greetings and diplomatic language, communication among Native peoples is possible. When good will among Indian nations leads to permanent friendships and alliances, all Native nations benefit.

Unity is a goal and a requirement. It starts with a gesture and a handshake and can lead to mutual understandings and coalitions that last a lifetime. Thus our children can benefit from the thinking of today, from the form we give to our mutual discussions. These are the connections of people to people. These are the best and most useful foundations for both grassroots non-profit and profitable business projects. When they work well, great things can happen. full article

Toxins Accumulate in Arctic Peoples, Animals, Study Says

Sharon Guynup
National Geographic Channel
August 27, 2004
For many, the Arctic is synonymous with a pristine, albeit harsh, environment. So it is an unwelcome irony, perhaps, that the region's indigenous peoples and animal predators are reportedly among the most chemically contaminated on Earth.

Various studies in recent decades have found that animals from polar bears to killer whales, not to mention native peoples like the Eskimos, or Inuit, carry unusually high levels of human-made chemicals in their bodies.

These toxins include industrial pollutants like dioxin and PCBs, which gained notoriety during the 1970s, and newer compounds like those now used as flame retardants and stain guards full article

  Editorial: Indians maintain remain poor under Bush report says
Urban Indians suffer in great numbers report claims

Louis Gray 8/27/2004
The recent report "Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2003" paints a grim picture of the life and times in Native American communities. The Census generated report shows little improvement and when inflation is factored in, actually shows decreases across the board.

Of course there are those who would tell you that all Indians are busy cashing large amounts of checks from lucrative casino profits. In truth there are few Indians who benefit richly. Mainly, Indian tribes are pouring that money back into their communities and improving conditions for all people.

There are tribes with successful casinos but the poverty which exists in their communities is so pervasive it will take time and education in money management to break the cycle. Today 23 percent of single-race Native families live in poverty. This is a full double the National rate. Native mean incomes dropped 1.6 percent to $33,024. If you took out casino rich tribal incomes and that figure would drop even more. full article

Custody case to be decided in tribal court


PIERRE - The Crow Creek Sioux Tribal Court must decide whether grandparents will continue to care for a 2-year-old boy who is a member of that tribe, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

The high court said the federal Indian Child Welfare Act, which is intended to make sure tribes play a role in custody proceedings involving Indian children, applies to the case.

The tribal court in Fort Thompson can handle the case without causing undue hardship to family members and other witnesses who all live in the Vermillion area, the justices said.

Court documents refer to the child only by his initials, J.C.D. His mother, a member of the Crow Creek Tribe, and his father, who is white, were students at the University of South Dakota, but both parents had been in trouble with the law. full article

Canadian firm counters tribes' suit over pollution

By Christopher Schwarzen
Times Snohomish County bureau

In an attempt to avoid U.S. Superfund laws, a Canadian mining conglomerate yesterday sought to dismiss a federal lawsuit against one of its smelters accused of dumping tons of pollution into the Columbia River for nearly a century.

Mining conglomerate Teck Cominco, which operates a smelter in Trail, B.C., filed the motion against the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation's lawsuit, which asks the courts to force Teck Cominco's compliance with an Environmental Protection Agency order.

The EPA wants Teck Cominco to clean up pollution in the Columbia River and Lake Roosevelt under Superfund laws. The company is accused of dumping lead, arsenic and other carcinogens into the Columbia. The amounts violated U.S. limits but were legal under Canadian laws. The EPA also is investigating mercury deposits it says are linked to the smelter. full article

Peru's lessons from the past
By Hannah Hennessy
BBC correspondent in Lima

A survivor of Peru's internal war - the bandage covers a machete wound (Image courtesy of Caretas)

Dirty gnarled hands cradle a ragged photograph of a missing relative. An indigenous woman bends over a dead loved one. A farmer stares straight into the camera. A strip of cloth covers one eye and a machete wound.

These photographs are part of Yuyanapaq, which means "to remember" in Quechua, the indigenous language spoken by most of the estimated 70,000 people who were killed or disappeared during political violence in Peru between 1980 and 2000. full article

Artifacts cast doubt on Nicaraguan history

Friday, August 27, 2004 - Page A7

CALGARY -- Simple fragments of ceramics and eerie burial grounds are among the artifacts unearthed in Nicaragua by Canadian researchers who say their findings could change the long-held history of the Central American country.

For generations, Nicaraguan children have been taught that their ancestors came from central Mexico as migrants around 1000 AD, and that in 1300, a second wave made the trek. Both were believed to have brought their Aztec or Nahua culture and language with them. At least, those were the lessons passed on from the Spanish conquistadors who arrived in Nicaragua in 1529.

But Geoff McCafferty, an archeologist at the University of Calgary, said his team of researchers has recovered 400,000 artifacts from what is believed to be the country's ancient capital of Quauhcapolca, yet they haven't detected Nahua roots. full article

"You Won't Be Leaving Tomorrow"

Thirty-One Years and Counting Inside the Belly of the Beast


I send each and every one of you my very warmest greeting from 31 years deep inside of the Belly of the Beast.

As you know, I'm a former member of the original Black Panther Party, and even though government officials claim that there are no political prisoners in this country's prisons and jails, it's simply not true. Having already "served" over three decades in continuous custody in federal prison, I'm one of the longest held political prisoners in the U.S. of A. There are quite a number of us scattered about & but that's a very long story.

Picture this in your mind ... if you dare full article

Between Hope and Terror

Neocon Musings


"These must be strange days to be a neoconservative," writes Martin Sieff in a recent Salon piece, "caught between exultant hope and wild terror; utterly discredited, yet still securely in power; proven totally wrong on Iraq, yet still determined to believeagainst all odds that one more wild throw of the dice will recoup all." Sieff notes that despite setbacks, all the key neocons in the administration retain their posts, and they remain determined to realize their bold world-changing agenda. While many predict their imminent demise, and while I would very much like to believe them, I agree with Sieff that the neocons are fiercely determined, have great staying power, and remain highly dangerous to the world---most immediately, to Iran and Syria.

* * * * *
So let us try to get into the mind of the neocon. Let us just imagine Let's say you're a Straussian ideologue assessing the current status of the broad plan that Richard Perle, James Colbert, Charles Fairbanks, Jr., Douglas Feith, Robert Loewenberg, David Wurmser, and Meyrav Wurmser drew up for the Likud government in Israel ten years ago. (That's the game plan involving "removing Saddam Hussein from power," "rolling back" Syria, and "confronting" Iran. It echoes in the September 2000 "Rebuilding America's Defenses" report from the neocon Project for a New American Century, which refers to defense of "the homeland," conflates Iraq, Iran and North Korea as threats to that homeland, calls for a shift in U.S. forces from west to southeastern Europe and southeast Asia and otherwise anticipates Bush policy.) full article


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