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Thursday, September 09, 2004

articles-september 09

Tribe pleads land suit in SJC

DAVID KIBBE
TIMES BOSTON BUREAU
BOSTON - Tribe members of the Aquinnah Wampanoag told the state's top court yesterday that their status as a federally recognized tribe exempts them from local zoning bylaws in a dispute over the construction of a shed and pier that pits the tribe against the state attorney general.

The Supreme Judicial Court isn't expected to decide the case for several months, but it could have broad implications over the state's and town's ability to impose zoning and building regulations over the Aquinnah, which is the only federally recognized Indian tribe in Massachusetts. full article

Kids in danger, adults at odds

Alaska tribes want to handle child abuse cases on their own, but the state thinks it might do a better job.

By Kyle Hopkins

Imagine you're a single mother living in a Native village with four children. A babysitter notices one of your kids has a burn that you can't explain. A state social worker investigates and decides to remove your kids from the village and place them with foster parents. You want them back, but don't trust the state or the social worker. Soon the foster parents discover something strange - your kids are terrified of taking a bath. The social worker wonders if this is because you abused or neglected them.

What he doesn't realize is that because you live in a village with no running water, your kids have always washed with a basin and cloth. Then your luck changes. Your village's tribal court assigns a Native social worker who also grew up without faucets. You trust her because she is Native, because she understands life and parenting in rural Alaska are different than in places like Anchorage or Fairbanks. She clears up the abuse allegations and brings your children home. full article

Diné Bitzill: Navajo public in the dark
By Jim Snyder/The Daily Times
Sep 9, 2004, 09:49 pm
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WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — A Navajo grassroots coalition will call upon the Navajo government today to hire an outside law firm to perform an independent analysis of the proposed Navajo Nation water rights settlement.

The Diné Bitzill Navajo Strength coalition wants a delegate-sponsored resolution on this fall’s Navajo Council session agenda mandating an analysis be performed to give the Navajo people a clearer idea of what the settlement means. The coalition is holding a news conference at 1 p.m. at the Diné Quality Inn Restaurant in Window Rock to announce its intention.

“The concern is the Navajo people still have not been fully informed of the political and legal ramifications of the agreement,” said Norman Patrick Brown, one of the coalition leaders, in an interview Wednesday. full article

Woman wages battle against LNG terminal

INDIAN TOWNSHIP - She is the lone voice hoping to get her message out loud and clear - no liquefied natural gas terminal unless all Passamaquoddy have a say in it. Stephanie Bailey has been carrying petitions door-to-door in this small community to force the Passamaquoddy Joint Tribal Council to address the jurisdictional issue. The joint tribal council is made up of tribal councilors and governors from Indian Township and Pleasant Point.

Bailey believes that a recent vote at Pleasant Point effectively ignored the desires and wishes of tribal members at Indian Township.

In June, members of the Passamaquoddy at Pleasant Point approved a referendum question that allowed tribal leaders to enter into a working arrangement with Quoddy Bay LLC of Tulsa, Okla.

The energy development partnership recently announced a proposal to build a $300 million terminal on 42 acres of tribal land. The proposal estimates that as many as 1,000 jobs could be created during the construction phase and more than 70 full-time jobs once the facility is up and running. full article

Protesters occupy Native burial site
Wednesday 08 September @ 14:41:37
Halt construction near 494 and light rail

By Alexa Kocinski

Dozens of Native Americans and sympathetic protesters have spent much of the past two weeks occupying an overgrown acre in Bloomington where a construction crew has uncovered an apparent Dakota burial ground. The nonviolent protest placed the Mdewakanton Dakota tribe at odds with the Minnesota’s official Native American advocacy group, who want the 200-odd bones moved to a state-recognized burial ground across the street.
Archaeologists discovered the bones August 26 as part of a pre-construction survey. McGough Construction plans to build a $100 million retail and real estate development on the surrounding 45 acres, which border the light-rail transit station due to open in December.

Word quickly leaked to Jim Anderson, cultural chair of the Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Community, who said he visited the site that day, and met Jim Jones of the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council (MIAC), the state’s official Native American relations bureau. When Jones said the bones were to be ceremonially relocated to a nearby official burial ground, Anderson and others in his tribe sent out a call for volunteers to occupy the site. full article

Soft drinks - Diabetes in a can
Facing increased risk of Type 2 diabetes

Posted: September 09, 2004 - 3:01pm EST
by: Brenda Norrell / Southwest Staff Reporter / Indian Country Today
PHOENIX - Soft drinks increase a person’s chance of developing Type 2 diabetes, a fact long suspected in southern Arizona Indian country where soft drinks often replace water and diabetes rates are the highest in the world.

"Women who were drinking sugar-sweetened soft drinks every day, or more than once a day, had an 80 percent increase in risk of diabetes compared with women who hardly ever drank sugared sodas," said Dr. Meir Stampher of Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, following the release of new national research.

"Rates of diabetes are skyrocketing. At the same time, over the last couple of decades, consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages has increased."

The diabetes and soft drink research appeared in the August 25 issue of JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association. full article

Road to recovery: Tulalip woman hopes it’s not too late

Posted: September 09, 2004 - 2:55pm EST
by: Richard Walker / Correspondent / Indian Country Today
TULALIP, Wash. - By the time you read this, Rita Matta will probably be behind bars, as will her husband. She will have been banished from living on the Tulalip reservation for five years and will have lost the home she was 14 months from paying off.

But Matta pledged to go to prison clean and sober - and to help turn the tide of substance abuse by spreading the word about treatment.
Matta, 53, was arrested in her Tulalip home Jan. 1 after she sold crack to an undercover officer. She was arrested in a sweep by Tulalip tribal police and federal agents; eight homes, including one meth lab, were busted.

In federal court, Matta and her husband, Dana, asked for treatment. Rita was admitted into a 60-day program, Dana a 28-day program. She admits having used cocaine for 14 years and being treated five times for crack. She was clean for two weeks, two years ago. full article

Good medicine for the world

Posted: September 09, 2004 - 2:58pm EST
by: Roberto Dansie / Correspondent / Indian Country Today
Indian America has given medicines, food, resources and wisdom to the four corners of the Earth, literally touching every single member of the human family of today. Indian wisdom has given us corn, a crop that through thousands of years of careful breeding, Indian farmers adapted to any weather and any kind of land. Today, corn grows over a larger area than does any other cultivated food in the world. Indian America gave the world potatoes, tomatoes, beans, pumpkins, squash, chocolate (cacao), vanilla, papayas, chilies, hickory nuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds, maple syrup, avocados, pineapples and many other plants and products.

The economies of many nations now depend on these Indian crops. The United States leads the world in maize production. Russia is the world’s producer of potatoes and sunflowers. China leads in the production of sweet potatoes, India in peanut production and West Africa in the production of cacao. full article

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