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Thursday, September 02, 2004

articles-september 02

Judge stops Indian land auction

By John Heilprin
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - A federal judge ordered the Interior Department to temporarily halt its auction of Indian lands in Oklahoma, some of which come with rights for oil drilling.

The department had planned to start opening bids Wednesday for 26 parcels of land totaling about 2,000 acres in the oil-rich region around Anadarko. The parcels range in size from about two to 160 acres.

U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth signed the restraining order late Tuesday at the request of lawyers in a multibillion-dollar lawsuit by American Indians against the Interior Department.

"In no way are we saying that individuals don't have the right to sell their land," said Keith Harper, a lawyer for the Indians. "The problem is that it is not at all clear that they have given knowing consent to the sale, or that they would get fair market value." full article

Republicans find tribal supporters

KENNETH P. VOGEL; The News Tribune

NEW YORK - As a Republican and an American Indian, Rod Van Mechelen of Olympia is something of a rarity.

But Wednesday afternoon at an American Indian community center in the East Village of New York, Van Mechelen, a Cowlitz tribal councilman, had company. The center hosted a reception to which all 36 American Indian delegates to the Republican National Convention were invited.

Van Mechelen, who wears a red T-shirt identifying himself as a "conservative American Indian" on the floor of the convention, is the only Indian delegate from Washington state.

The Democratic National Convention in July in Boston featured 87 tribal delegates, including three from Washington state. full article

Mohawk Tribe Responds To IRS Gas Sting

Jane Flasch (Niagara Falls, NY) 09/01/04 -- Last week, NewsSource 13 reported on armed IRS agents seizing thousands of gallons of gasoline meant for sale on Indian reservations. On Thursday, the IRS will auction off the gas it has collected so far and apply it to the debt it says the Mohawk tribe owes.

The agents say the stings will continue until enough fuel is collected to pay up the almost $80 million in federal excise tax.

Chief James Ransom of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe said, "It represents one more roadblock here in what we're trying to accomplish and that's our own economic survival as a community. full article

Officer faces discipline in death of teenager

Thursday, September 2, 2004 - Page A7

The mother of a native teenager who froze to death on the outskirts of Saskatoon says she's comforted by yesterday's announcement that a senior police officer will face disciplinary charges in the case.

Stella Bignell waited almost 14 years for punishment for the police force she believes was responsible for dumping her 17-year-old son, Neil Stonechild, at the edge of town on a freezing November night. full article

Haskell convocation speaker asks students to stop being victims

By Dave Ranney, Journal-World

Wednesday, September 1, 2004

The head of the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs had a stern message Tuesday for Haskell Indian Nations University students who'd rather party than study.

"There's the door," he said, pointing to the west end of Haskell Memorial Stadium. "I'm asking you to leave. Now."

Addressing about 300 students and faculty at the university's fall semester convocation, David Anderson said he was sick and tired of American Indians not taking control of their own lives. full article

The gang life: Jumping out

Editor's note: This is the second of a three-part story about a former gang member who has taken control of her life.

By Laura Clark/The Daily Journal

China Doll's captivation with her gang started to fizzle after her father, who she said "didn't really know" she was in a gang, asked her a question.

"I was in 11th-grade and I was still going to see my dad," she said, noting he made it a point for them to go places together.

During one of their visits he asked her, "What are you going to do when you are 40?" China Doll said.

"I never thought I'd live past 19 because we were going to funerals a couple times a month," she said, noting it was common for gang members to be killed by other gangs, or in high speed police chases, via car accidents full article

Oil firms invade protected zones

Sep 2, 2004

A total of 11 protected areas have been invaded by oil companies to carry out exploration, prospecting and seismic work without respecting current environmental laws, endangering fauna and development of communities who live in the zone.

Representatives of the governmental National Service of Protected Areas (SERNAP) revealed the information in a panel on environmental aspects to be included in the new Hydrocarbons Law. In a July 18 referendum, Bolivians voted in favor of striking down the law currently in place.

According to SERNAP, 21 protected areas exist in Bolivia with an extension of 167,417 sq. km (62,323 sq. miles), making up 15 percent of the nation’s territory. These zones are rich in biodiversity, fauna, flora and indigenous communities that have been loyal guardians of these areas. full article

 Band-Aids, Bullets, and Broken Hearts
    By John Cory
    Thursday 02 September 2004

    It must have been a proud moment for Johnson & Johnson, watching their product passed around opening night at the GOP convention: Band-Aids with painted purple hearts and snarky comments about self-inflicted wounds. Who says conservatives don't have a sense of humor? This was funny stuff.

    I wonder how funny that Band-Aid stunt was to the nearly 7,000 troops who have lost legs, and arms, and eyes, and suffered other mutilations in the Iraq War, and now wear a real Purple Heart. I'll bet they rolled around in their wheelchairs and fell off their crutches in roaring laughter. Can these GOP Band-Aids reattach limbs?

    I'll bet they were laughing in Idaho, too. Especially Tom Titus, former Army Ranger and Vietnam vet with two Purple Hearts. On Monday he received another Purple Heart, for his son Brandon, killed in Iraq. A father and son, both veterans, both with Purple Hearts, except the father had to bury his son. Is there a funny Band-Aid for death? full article

Young Republicans Support Iraq War, but Not Willing to Join the Fight
    By Adam Smeltz
    Knight Ridder Newspapers

    Wednsday 01 September 2004

    NEW YORK - Young Republicans gathered here for their party's national convention are united in applauding the war in Iraq, supporting the U.S. troops there and calling the U.S. mission a noble cause.

    But there's no such unanimity when they're asked a more personal question: Would you be willing to put on the uniform and go to fight in Iraq?

    In more than a dozen interviews, Republicans in their teens and 20s offered a range of answers. Some have friends in the military in Iraq and are considering enlisting; others said they can better support the war by working politically in the United States; and still others said they think the military doesn't need them because the U.S. presence in Iraq is sufficient. full article


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