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Monday, September 20, 2004

articles-september 20

Tribes' new image shifts battleground over rights

By Douglas Brown
Denver Post Staff Writer

Post / Glen Martin
John Echohawk is executive director of the Native American Rights Fund in Boulder.

They bury themselves in treaties signed 150 years ago and more, from small rooms with tilted floors lining hallways that creak with each step in the old fraternity house, a meandering three-story hive of legal research and advocacy that in a little more than 30 years has transformed Indian country.

The lawyers of Boulder's Native American Rights Fund (NARF) also travel constantly, to tribal lands and Washington, D.C., and meetings around the country, working to nudge ahead their revolving stack of about 50 cases. full article

Denver's location a big attraction for Indian institutions

By Douglas Brown
Denver Post Staff Writer

Post / Glen Martin
Robbyn Hickman was among Indians from across the Front Range attending the 15th Annual Friendship Powwow on Sept. 11 at the Denver Art Museum.

American Indian lands crowd Albuquerque and Phoenix. They dot the territory around Seattle, radiate in several directions from Minneapolis, and bracket Rapid City to the north and south.

Denver? The nearest reservation is a six-hour drive away.

Which explains, in part, why Denver has become a mecca for national Indian institutions like the American Indian College Fund and the Council of Energy Resource Tribes.

Denver is neutral territory. full article

Indian burial site unearthed in digging near Green Lake


SPICER, Minn. - A crew installing water and sewer lines last week uncovered an American Indian burial site on the east side of Green Lake.

John Crossen, who lives on Indian Beach Road on the lake, had hired a crew to hook up water and sewer service to a garage he had built across the street. While digging Thursday, the crew found human skeletal remains, he said.

The workers noticed the bones in a scoop of dirt their backhoe had lifted from the ground. full article

Court puts Cayuga land claim on hold
Judges want to wait for outcome of Sherrill tax case before Supreme Court.
Sunday, September 19, 2004

By Scott Rapp
Staff writer

The Supreme Court's decision to hear the city of Sherrill's tax dispute case against the Oneida Indian Nation of New York is triggering a ripple effect on the Cayuga Indian land claim appeal.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has notified lawyers in the land claim case that it will not render a ruling until the Supreme Court decides the Sherrill dispute. The top court has said it will hear the case next year.

Lawyers in the land claim appeal said last week they were mildly surprised by the appeals court decision to delay ruling, and a spokesman for the Cayuga-Seneca chapter of Upstate Citizens for Equality welcomed the news. full article

Retracing a Grim Past
Indians reenact march of California's 'Trail of Tears'

By Lee Romney, Times Staff Writer

ROUND VALLEY RESERVATION, Calif. It is known, to those who know it at all,
as California's Trail of Tears.

In 1863, U.S. soldiers rounded up Indian tribes across Northern California at Chico Landing in Butte County. Then they marched them across the sweltering Sacramento Valley, over the rugged North Coast mountains, to what was known then as the Nome Cult Reservation.

Of 461 Indians who set out under guard, only 277 completed the 100-mile,
14-day trek. Many were abandoned, too sick to continue. Some escaped. Others were
killed. For decades, some descendants tried their best to forget. These days,
they make a point of remembering. full article

Ride retraces fallen warrior's history
By Jomay Steen, Journal Staff Writer

RED SHIRT VILLAGE — A riderless appaloosa will represent a fallen Brule warrior at a memorial and ceremony on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Brothers Victor Swallow and John Swallow Jr., their cousin, the Rev. Robert Two Bulls, and the Red Shirt community elders will host a memorial ride, ceremony and feast for a man who died after the Wounded Knee Massacre in the winter of 1890.

"This is our history," Victor Swallow said. "We want it to be known." full article

Indigenous March for Peace
Just 100 Kms of a Long Road

Constanza Vieira

CALI, Colombia, Sep 20 (IPS) - ”We know bad things could happen, even on our way back to our territories after this (mobile) congress,” indigenous leader Feliciano Valencia told IPS in the southern Colombian city of Cali at the end of a 100-km march ”for life, justice, happiness, freedom and autonomy”, described as the biggest indigenous demonstration in the history of Colombia.

The Nasa (more widely known as Páez) Indians and other participants -- including afro-Colombians, peasant farmers and trade unionists -- began to return home on Sunday. Valencia was referring to the dangers faced by activists and protesters in war-torn Colombia.

The march originally set out on Tuesday, Sep. 14 from the city of Santander de Quilichao, reaching Cali, the capital of the southwestern department (province) of Valle del Cauca on Saturday, Sep. 18. full article

A Hierarchy of Suffering
Since 9/11, America has Used its Victimhood to Demand a Monopoly on the Right to Feel and to Inflict Pain

by Gary Younge
The tale of how I became a Nazi and my Nazi harasser became a Jew is as intriguing as it is instructive. Last November I wrote a column about a racist email sent to me by an employee of an insurance company and my frustrations over the manner in which my grievance was handled. The man in question (a white, South African supporter of the British National party who complained of "undesirables flooding into Britain") was subsequently fired. His dismissal was not as a result of my column but because my original complaint had alerted the company to a previously unreported pattern of racist behaviour on his part. Of the numerous responses from the public I received, most were supportive but many were more abusive than the original message. One stood out. Incensed that something as "trivial" as racist abuse could lead to a man losing his job, one reader compared me to the person who betrayed Anne Frank. And so, through contorted metaphor and contemptuous logic, the harasser became the victim and the harassed was transformed into the perpetrator.

Victimhood is a powerful, yet contradictory, force. Powerful because, once claimed, it can provide the moral basis for redress, retaliation and even revenge in order to right any given wrong - real or imagined. The defence of everything from the death penalty to affirmative action, Serbian nationalism to equality legislation, are all underpinned, to some degree, by the notion of victimhood. Contradictory because, in order to harness that power, one must first admit weakness. Victims, by their very nature, have less power than their persecutors: victimhood is a passive state - the result of bad things happening to people who are unable to prevent it. full article


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