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Tuesday, September 28, 2004

articles-september 28

No, the Conquistadors Are Not Back. It's Just Wal-Mart.
By JAMES C. McKINLEY Jr.

Published: September 28, 2004

AN JUAN DE TEOTIHUACÁN, Mexico, Sept. 21 - The market in this small town is a warren of streets with canopied stalls and battered storefronts, where one can buy everything from fresh avocados to jeans to a vaquero's saddle.

As they have for centuries, the merchants here ply their trade midway between the ruins of giant pyramids built by the Maya and the stone steeple of the town's main Catholic church, which Spanish monks founded in 1548.

Now another colossus from a different empire is being built in the shadow of the pyramids, a structure some merchants and other townsfolk here say threatens not only their businesses but their heritage. In December, an ugly cinderblock building rising from the earth is to house a sprawling supermarket called Bodega Aurrera, a subsidiary of Wal-Mart of Mexico.

"What's next?" said David García, 27, whose family owns a dry-goods store in the market. "It's like having Mickey Mouse on the top of the Pyramid of the Moon." full article

Gwich’in fight termination and protect Arctic
Vow to save Arctic Refuge

Posted: September 27, 2004 - 3:38pm EST
by: Brenda Norrell / Southwest Staff Reporter / Indian Country Today

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Alaska Natives gathered to counter anti-Indian legislation aimed at eroding tribal sovereignty and toward termination, as Gwich’in vowed to protect the Arctic Refuge from energy development in the pristine wilderness.

"We are under attack as federally recognized tribes from members of the Alaska Congressional Delegation, in particular Senator Ted Stevens," Gwich’in Chief Evon Peter told Indian Country Today.

"Stevens is attaching riders to unrelated Congressional legislation that is slowly stripping Alaska tribes of federal funding and altering our government-to-government relationship. He is carrying out this attack on our tribes without any tribal consultation or negotiation." full article

Fight over landfill may boil down to water fears

By Elizabeth Fitzsimons
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
September 28, 2004

PALA – People have been fighting against a landfill in Gregory Canyon since the county first proposed putting one there 15 years ago.

Opponents, now led by the Pala Band of Mission Indians, have raised one argument after another for why the canyon was ill-suited for a dump.

There were the garbage trucks on a two-lane highway; an invasion of birds and rodents; the damage to sacred Indian land; and the habitat for a wide range of animals.

Now, the landfill's potential to pollute North County water supplies has become the rallying cry for Proposition B. If approved by voters countywide next month, it could be the death knell for the landfill, proposed for a canyon about three miles east of where Interstate 15 and state Route 76 intersect. full article

Abenaki expect to see recognition bill introduced

September 28, 2004

Associated Press

SWANTON — A proposal is expected in the next session of the Legislature that would grant state recognition to the Abenaki tribe.

Jeff Benay, chairman of the governor's commission on Native American Affairs, said he expected a bipartisan bill to be introduced and he suggested it might give Abenaki the state recognition they need as leverage to obtain federal recognition.

Benay would not say who might sponsor or co-sponsor any recognition bill.

"It will come to the forefront," he said. "It's something that we'll see in the foreseeable future. There was a buzz created over the summer, and we'll see more after the elections in November." full article

Men who stole petroglyphs sentenced to prison

Posted: September 27, 2004 - 3:35pm EST
by: Ryan Slattery / Correspondent / Indian Country Today

RENO, Nev. - Two men convicted of stealing large boulders containing etchings of ancient American Indian rock art have been sentenced to serve short prison terms.

U.S. District Judge Howard McKibben sentenced Carroll Mizell, 44, of Van Nuys, Calif., to four months in prison with two months house arrest, while Reno resident John Ligon, 40, was ordered to serve two months behind bars. The men were convicted in June by a federal jury who found them guilty of violating the Archeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA) for stealing the protected petroglyphs.

The three boulders were removed in August 2003 from the base of Peavine Mountain, located in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest just outside Reno. The petroglyphs, which Forest Service officials believe are at least 1,000 years old, depicted human figures, sheep, archers, wheels and lizards. One month after being stolen, the rocks were recovered in Ligon’s front yard where they were being used for landscaping purposes. full article

Union ignores request to leave mascot and tipi at home
Ponca High principal rebuffed

PONCA CITY OK
Sam Lewin 9/27/2004

The principal at Ponca City High School has confirmed that she asked Union High School not to bring their “redskin” mascot and tipi to last Friday night’s football contest.

Union ignored her.

Ponca Principal Linda Powers said her request stemmed from an incident two years ago; the last time Union played the Pioneers in Ponca City.

“ The year before last they brought their tipi,” Powers told the Native American Times. “ We had letters to the editor-including one from a student and one from a member of the community. They both expressed dismay at the lack of respect and said they felt [the mascot and tipi] were not dignified.” full article

Indigenous People have enjoyed only small Gains in past Decade: UN Expert
URGENT ACTION

The International Decade of the World's Indigenous People brought only modest achievements, and indigenous people continue to endure below-average living standards, unequal access to justice and the loss of traditional territories, the United Nations official charged with spotlighting their human rights says.

In a report to the General Assembly, Special Rapporteur Rodolfo Stavenhagen said the "http://www.un.org/rights/indigenous/mediaadv.html"International Decade - which ended this year - had not ended the history of human rights violations against indigenous people. While there have been some advances at the national level, such as the introduction of favourable legislation, Mr. Stavenhagen reports, discrimination is still common in local communities. full article

Jailbirds I Have Loved…
Or "No You Can't Have My Rights. I'm Still Using Them"

by Rebecca Solnit

About a month ago I planned to commit civil disobedience in New York -- there were some Republicans in town, as you may remember -- but circumstances beyond my control put me a few hundred miles further north at the crucial moment, so I did the next best thing: stopped at Walden Pond on my way back to Manhattan. Walden, the book, not the pond, turns 150 this year, but the people at the pond that day were paying more homage to cool water than to cultural history. Most of the swimmers seemed to be locals for whom the site was part of their familiar landscape, not outlanders like us paying homage to the pond and the guy who cultivated beans and contrary thoughts by its side from 1845 to 1847. It wasn't what I expected: The trees shrouded everything up to the water's edge; a secondary thoroughfare full of commuters ran very nearby, so that after paying to park in a large lot you had to dodge speeding commuter vehicles. I didn't mind that it had become a social or a suburban place, for Thoreau, in his legendary sojourn at the pond, never intended to be remote from society for long and reported on the train speeding by his retreat. full article

Bush is History's Top Terrorist
by Harvey Wasserman

As the fourth global-warmed hurricane in two months rips through Florida, we are reminded that George W. Bush is history's top terrorist.

We know, of course, that Bush has slaughtered thousands of Iraqis, imprisoned hundreds without trial or charges, and presided over the torture and sexual abuse of many of them. He is the world's leading recruiter for hate-America terrorists the world over.

Bush's preemptive militarism has paved the way for countless crusades for oil and fundamentalism in the decades to come. He overthrew the elected government of Haiti, resulting in hundreds of deaths. He tried to do the same in Venezuela. Other target nations are sure to follow. full article

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