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Thursday, September 23, 2004

articles-september 23

Feds blamed for Chemawa student’s death

Hold Indian Affairs officials accountable, inspector urges

The Associated Press
September 23, 2004

PORTLAND — Senior Bureau of Indian Affairs officials ignored warnings that jail cells at American Indian boarding schools could prove lethal and they should be held responsible for the death of a 16-year-old girl at a Salem school last year, a federal inspector testified.

Earl Devaney, the Interior Department’s inspector general, told the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday that the Department of Justice should take action against senior Indian Affairs officials for the death of Cindy Gilbert Sohappy, who died after she was incarcerated while drunk.

“There were senior people in the BIA who knew about this years before,” Devaney told The Oregonian after the hearing in Washington, D.C. full article

Native Americans Urge Congress to Pass Health Bill

Sep 22, 2004 Washington

On the grounds of the U.S. Capitol in Washington Wednesday, and just a day after the opening of the National Museum of the American Indian on the National Mall, Native American leaders called on members of Congress to address the urgent issues facing Native American people. The rally was organized by the Native Congress of American Indian , the largest and oldest Native American organization and brought together tribal leaders, and state and federal elected officials. The health crisis affecting American Indians topped their agenda.

Native Americans are plagued with the highest rates of Type 2 diabetes in the world, a mortality rate from alcohol that is more than five times greater than the general population's and a suicide rate that is almost twice as high. full article

Indians are more than relics
Op/Ed - USATODAY.com
Thu Sep 23, 6:24 AM ET

Add Op/Ed - USATODAY.com to My Yahoo!

As an act of atonement, the National Museum of the American Indian, which opened its doors this week on the National Mall in Washington, is surely more meaningful than the proposed "National Apology" to Native Americans that Congress is considering.

At least the museum, with its rough limestone facade and immense, eye-catching overhang, has substance. And the building, as well as the enormous collection of artifacts it contains, respects Indian history and culture enough to preserve and celebrate it.

In contrast, the apology is unlikely to make its way out of the Senate this year. And even if it does, its acknowledgment of the federal government's "history of official depredations and ill-conceived policies" does nothing to alter the neglect and cavalier disinterest that characterize the federal relationship with Indian tribes.

Based on data collected by various federal agencies, the list of inequities is long: full article

Goldberg Reacts to Schwarzenegger Veto
Plans to continue the fight
Jennifer Tedlock 9/23/2004
Jackie Goldberg is “disappointed but undaunted” by the recent veto of her mascot bill by California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Goldberg, the outspoken author of the bill, originally wanted a ban on all Native American mascot names. The final bill, however, referred only to the “redskin” name. She explained that she was disappointed that, after all the changes made to get everyone on board, Schwarzenegger would veto it.

“I expected more,” Goldberg told the Native American Times. “It’s such a mild piece [now].” full article

Tribe voices land-trust concerns to committee
9/23/2004 10:41:22 AM
Associated Press
The Rosebud Sioux Tribe wants a state legislative committee to step into a federal court case about how American Indian land is placed into trust.

Lawyer Steve Emery represents the tribe and says if the state wins its appeal, the only trust actions that could take place might require acts of Congress. He spoke Tuesday at the State-Tribal Relations Committee.

Driving the issue is a 14-year-old case involving the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe and its purchase of 91 acres of land near Oacoma, south of the Lower Brule boundaries. The Interior Department agreed to place the land in trust, which removes the property from the tax rolls. full article

Thousands of indigenous people march
IPS, ALAI.  Sep 23, 2004

After marching for four days, some 60,000 members of indigenous groups arrived in the western city of Cali on Sept. 17 to demand respect for their right to life, freedom and autonomy and to be left out of the armed conflict among guerrillas, paramilitary groups and government forces.

The march was called by the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC), the Regional Indigenous Council of Cauca (CRIC) and the Association of Indigenous Councils of Northern Cauca (ACIN).

The massive indigenous protest – called "Minga for Justice, Joy, Freedom and Autonomy" began on Sept. 13 in Santander de Quilichao in Cauca department, some 120 kms (75 miles) south of Cali. Minga is a quechua word that means "collective work for the benefit of everyone. full article

Three Years and Counting?

How Time Flies


When John Lee Hooker died three years ago, my friend Joe said, "I KNEW the heroin would get to him sooner or later!" It was a good joke, because John Lee Hooker died at the age of 83. It's like the joke about how Osama Bin Laden and the Mullah Omar 'can run, but they can't hide'. It's three years now, and it looks like both of them have done much more hiding than running.

This simple fact is more important than whether or not the US is winning its nebulous war on it abstract enemy, 'terror'. No amount of pith-helmet frothing about the 'criminals' or 'murderers' responsible for 9-11 can obscure the political nova they created. In one morning they turned the pride of New York into poisonous, smoking dust and savaged the military centre of the United States. They provoked the greatest rage the most powerful country in the world had ever felt, and have evaded the intelligence services of the entire Western world for three years: not cowering, but hitting back, all the time. If that isn't being able to hide, then what is? full article


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