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American Indian Movement of Colorado

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Friday, October 29, 2004

ICT-Bellecourt not in Denver

From Today's web edition of Indian Country Today.

Bellecourt not in Denver
Posted: October 29, 2004
by: Editors Report / Indian Country Today

Editor's note: A Denver Post article on the Columbus protest projected Vernon Bellecourt as primary spokesman for the Denver anti-Columbus Day demonstration. Our editorial used it as basis for discussing Bellecourt's brand of activism and his presence at many such demonstrations around the country. We stand corrected that the Denver anti-Columbus Day demonstrations are the primary organizing work of Colorado AIM, its Leadership Council and Council of Elders.

Colorado AIM response to ICT's editorial about Vernon Bellecourt full article

Another slight correction; It's "Transform Columbus Day demonstators," not "anti-Columbus Day demonstrators."

articles-october 29

Tribes aim for hunting access
Indians, timber industry search for a deal

KAMILCHE -- Leaders of the state's timber industry came to Indian country Thursday and vowed to work with tribes on tribal hunting access to their private forestlands.

Tribal leaders challenged the Washington Forest Protection Association, which represents many of the state's private timberland owners, to hash out protocols for private land access in the same cooperative spirit that led to the 1999 state Forests and Fish law.

"We're concerned about hunting access," Quinault Indian Guy McMinds said during the annual forestry association meeting at the Squaxin Island tribal hotel. "We want to enter into a collaborative process with the timberland owners." full article

Agua Caliente shocked over governor’s jab at Section 14

By Brian Joseph
The Desert Sun
October 29th, 2004

PALM SPRINGS -- The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians said Thursday they were "stunned" by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s "ludicrous" comments this week about Measure U on the Palm Springs ballot.

"We think he is being misled by his staff," said Tom Davis, the tribe’s chief planning officer. "Or he’s in the pockets of special interests."

Schwarzenegger said this week Measure U is bad for Palm Springs, just like Proposition 70 is bad for California. He believes both could lead to the expansion of gambling without proper controls, said Rob Stutzman, the governor’s spokesman. full article

Indians as thieves - the Schwarzenegger schtick
Posted: October 29, 2004

Arnold Schwarzenegger is in his favorite role as terminator when it comes to American Indians. His recent use of language in his attack on the California tribes, with which he is charged to negotiate in good faith, is tantamount to bigotry. A governor should not approach any of his constituencies with such vulgar disdain for public manners, with a use of careless (or perhaps intended) language that demeans a whole people and ethnicity.

For instance, a governor or any public figure, should refrain from calling a whole people thieves as in, ''the Indians are ripping us off.'' Said Schwarzenegger on Oct.14: ''The Indians are ripping us off. We want them to negotiate and pay their fair share.'' Rip-off in our dictionary is synonymous with ''thieving'' as in, ''the Indians are stealing from us,'' to paraphrase the governor of California. Schwarzenegger's chosen words hyped up a non-Indian audience in San Diego, not far from where a couple of small, courageous tribes have challenged Californians to support a more equitable approach to the state ''taxation'' of tribal income from gaming enterprises. full article

Groundbreaking Indian-owned business to distribute diabetes drug
Almost four out of ten tribal members suffer from disease

Sam Lewin 10/29/2004

The first and only majority owned and publicly traded Native American company in the U.S. is preparing to launch a diabetes vaccine.

Officials with the San Francisco-based Indigenous Global Development Corporation say that it is the latest in a concentrated effort to reduce the disease in the Indian population. Over 34 percent of tribal members are diagnosed with diabetes. Complications of this disease are also the major cause of death and health problems for Native Americans.

"We strive to make a difference in Indian Country. What better way than to provide a high quality and lower cost pharmaceutical that can impact diabetes," said Deni Leonard, Chairman and CEO, Indigenous Global Development Corporation and Chairman of NETPHARMX. "We believe this will be the first of many healthcare products we can provide to impact Tribal health issues." full article

Thursday, October 28, 2004

articles-october 28

Proposal Restricts Appeals on Dams
Administration Plan Could Help Hydropower Firms Avoid Costs

By Blaine Harden
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 28, 2004; Page A01

SEATTLE, Oct. 27 -- The Bush administration has proposed giving dam owners the exclusive right to appeal Interior Department rulings about how dams should be licensed and operated on American rivers, through a little-noticed regulatory tweak that could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the hydropower industry.

The proposal would prevent states, Indian tribes and environmental groups from making their own appeals, while granting dam owners the opportunity to take their complaints -- and suggested solutions -- directly to senior political appointees in the Interior Department.

The proposal, which is subject to public comment but can be approved by the administration without congressional involvement, would use the president's rule-making power to circumvent opposition to the idea among Senate Democrats. They killed an administration-backed energy bill that included similar language, for which the hydropower industry had lobbied. full article

Environmental study gives tribe lands ‘C’ rating

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA -- The University of California, Los Angeles released an environmental report card Wednesday that underscores the need to stop illegal dumping on Indian land.

"The sprawling, noxious and highly unsightly dumpsites bespeak failure," said Carole Goldberg, a faculty chair of the Native Nations Law and Policy Center at the UCLA School of Law, who participated in the study and helped write the report.

Enforcement and abatement of illegal dumping scored a "modestly passing grade of C," Goldberg said. That score was based on the premise that cooperation among tribal nations, local, state and federal governments is increasing, along with funding to develop tribal solid waste disposal codes and enforcement. full article

Prop. 200 targets American Indians
By Robert Valencia

Proposition 200 has raised issues about the intent of this bad piece of legislation, and much has been written about the negative impact outweighing the positive.
As such, the implications toward American Indians in Arizona bring to mind contemporary histories relating to immigration and the notion of citizenship.
For example, the Statue of Liberty was dedicated in 1886. We are familiar with the message, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. …"
America was the place to be, a giant melting pot of immigrants forging a new frontier. Yet Native Americans were not to become citizens of the United States for another 38 years (1924) when the Indian Citizenship Act was passed. full article

Remote-Controlled Surveillance Equipment Found in Kanehsatake

By: Kenneth Deer

During the afternoon hours of Wednesday, October 20 the presence of a remotely controlled video camera was brought to the attention of Kanehsatake residents. The camera was located on the roof of Ratihente High School in a fake stove-pipe. The setup for this camera included a transceiver that was aimed across the river toward the Hudson/Rigaud area. The camera was positioned to monitor the intersection at Ahsennenson (Center Road) and route 344, as well as the former Kanesatake Mohawk Police Station - which is presently being used by community members as the Kanehsatake Community Security Headquarters (KCSHQ).

At present the origins of the camera and its associated equipment is not known. However, Kanehsatake residents suspect that the RCMP, SQ and the KMP are responsible for placing the camera in that location. Community members also suspect that the installation of the surveillance equipment has a twofold purpose; firstly as a precursor to a police action against Kanehsatake, secondly to monitor the movements of community members who are working at the KCSHQ.

The surveillance equipment was disguised as a metal chimney. Apparently, workers appeared at the school on Friday claiming to be Bell Canada technicians to install an experimental radar on the roof of the building. They also claimed to have permission from the owners of the building, the Freres L'Instruction Christianne. However, the two trucks used by the technicians did not have Bell Canada markings, nor did the technicians wear Bell uniforms. full article

Speaker addresses true nature of American politics
John Trudell, keynote speaker for American Indian Heritage Month, spoke in Squires Old Dominion Ballroom Wednesday night. Trudell is the former national spokesman for the American Indian Movement as well as an accomplished actor, poet, author, musician and activist.

Sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the American Indian Heritage Month Steering Committee, Trudell addressed the need for people to think about important issues like democracy in America and the war in Iraq.

“We need to respect the value of truly thinking (because) without thinking problems get perpetuated,” Trudell said.

Trudell said that our democratic system in America was based on a majority rule, but in actuality ended up excluding the majority of people. Do not trust the political system because candidates trick and lie to the masses in order to gain authority, he said. full article

Chile uses anti-terror law against Indians-report
27 Oct 2004 20:00:13 GMT
Source: Reuters
By Louise Egan

SANTIAGO, Chile, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Chile's center-left government is using a draconian anti-terror law inherited from former dictator Augusto Pinochet to repress Indian protesters battling for land rights, rights groups said on Wednesday.

Mapuche Indian activists face unfair trials with anonymous witnesses and excessive prison sentences under a 1984 law originally targeted at leftist guerrillas, according to a report by the U.S.-based Human Rights Watch and Chile's Indigenous People's Rights Watch.

The Mapuches, a small minority of Chile's 15 million people, are fighting expanding commercial tree plantations on their ancestral lands in the south of Chile. full article

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

articles-October 27

Indian Affairs tries to end school sit-in

PIAPOT FIRST NATION, SASK.   - Indian and Northern Affairs Canada is seeking a court injunction to force an end to a school standoff on the Piapot First Nation near Regina.

The school at Piapot has been shut down for three weeks by protesters who disagree with some of the courses taught at the school.

But not everyone agrees with the protest..

"I believe there are some [problems] regarding the school curriculum, but I still believe that it's wrong," says Brenda Kaiswatum, a grandparent and band councillor. "They are the ones that are denying our children and grandchildren a right to an education by occupying the school." full article

Russian natives join Makahs' celebration

By Hal Bernton
Seattle Times staff reporter
NEAH BAY, Clallam County — First came the salmon and potatoes. Then the songs and dance, a rare mix of traditional Makah and Russian native music and movements that unfolded in a crowded high-school gymnasium.

The Makahs offered homage to the spirits of the four seasons. The Russian guests donned long, fur-lined robes to celebrate the reindeer that helped feed native people in the northeast Russian province of Chukotka. And they both honored the gray whale, which the Russians hunt, and the Makahs — now blocked by federal court rulings — hope to hunt again.

"I never saw so much energy in the dancing. It was awesome," said Ben Johnson Sr., chairman of the Makah Tribal Council. "It gave me goose bumps. full article

Military hazards are greater for Native Americans, according to sociological research

WASHINGTON, DC-A new study by sociologists at Washington State University (WSU) suggests Native Americans and their lands are disproportionately exposed to hazards posed by the U.S. military's explosive and toxic munitions.

The research, conducted by Gregory Hooks, chair of the WSU Department of Sociology, and Chad L. Smith, Texas State University-San Marcos professor and a former WSU graduate student, provides evidence that Native American lands tend to be located in the same county as sites deemed to be extremely dangerous due to the presence of a variety of unexploded military ordnance.

The researchers study, "The Treadmill of Destruction: National Sacrifice Areas and Native Americans," appears in the most recent issue of the American Sociological Review, the flagship journal of the American Sociological Association. full article

Coushattas turn over tapes to Senate committee
10/27/2004, 8:15 a.m. CT

The Associated Press  

ELTON, La. (AP) — U.S. Senate investigators looking into lobbying for Indian reservation casinos have asked the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana for audio tapes of tribal council meetings spanning five years.

 Council member David Sickey said Tuesday some of the tapes requested include appearances by the tribe's lobbyist, Jack Abramoff, and public relations consultant Michael Scanlon, a former aide to House Majority leader Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas.

"They discussed their grassroots lobbying effort against Texas gaming and wanted money without showing us a plan or anything," Sickey said. full article

Mounds, concerns rise at project site

The possibility of Indian burial grounds could prove contentious as an apartment development off Rice Lake Road moves ahead

In about 1978, Marlene Diver took her first hike through the woods now being targeted for college apartments.

She was helping her three sons collect leaves for a 4-H Club project when she spotted something she didn't expect: mounds rising from the forest floor. She and her boys counted six of them, each about 6 feet long, a couple of feet wide and a couple of feet tall. A feeling suddenly overcame her, she said, an intuition, a knowing.

"I knew they were grave sites. I just knew they were. I don't know how. I just knew," said Diver, a Duluth Heights woman who works with American Indian teenage girls in foster care. full article

Daschle, Thune in virtual tie
Jon Walker
Argus Leader

published: 10/27/2004=
An election judged "too close to call" five weeks ago is now even tighter as a survey shows Republican John Thune cutting into Democratic Sen. Tom Daschle's narrow lead.

Daschle holds a 49 to 47 percent edge over Thune as the two men scramble for last-minute supporters leading up to next Tuesday's election, according to a poll conducted for the Argus Leader and KELO-TV of Sioux Falls.

Daschle's 2-point lead is less than the poll's margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, meaning South Dakota's Senate race is virtually tied and reinforcing the need for both campaigns to get supporters out on Election Day. full article

Web Server Takedown Called Speech Threat

Wed Oct 27, 8:16 AM ET
By ELLEN SIMON, AP Technology Writer

Devin Theriot-Orr, a member a feisty group of reporter-activists called Indymedia, was surprised when two FBI (news - web sites) agents showed up at his Seattle law office, saying the visit was a "courtesy call" on behalf of Swiss authorities.

Theriot-Orr was even more surprised a week later when more than 20 Indymedia Web sites were knocked offline as the computer servers that hosted them were seized in Britain.

The Independent Media Center, more commonly known as Indymedia, says the seizure is tantamount to censorship, and civil libertarians agree. The Internet is a publishing medium just like a printing press, they argue, and governments have no right to remove Web sites. full article

Am I a Flip-Flop If I Help the Democrats?
by Ira Chernus
Am I a flip-flop? Or do I have a subtle consistency? John Kerry might not lie awake at night worrying about that question. He's probably too tired. But I may be lying awake tonight worrying.

Throughout this campaign I've been writing columns about the lack of difference between Kerry and Bush, especially on issues of foreign policy and national security. Today I started knocking on doors and handing out fliers for the Democrats. "Do I contradict myself?", Walt Whitman wrote. "Very well. I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes."

But I'm not sure that I contradict myself. I think there is a consistency here.

I wrote those columns about Kerry's reactionary stance on war and terror because so many progressives I know seemed totally obsessed with defeating Bush. When they cast Bush as the devil, they talked as if Kerry were some kind of saving angel. I feared that, in their enthusiasm, they might lose sight of the larger issues, like saving the people of Iraq from U.S. - inflicted violence (just for starters). I wanted to remind my friends on the Left that politics does not end on Election Day.

Judging from the emails I've received from CommonDreams readers, I may have misjudged the Left. Most of the folks who write to me say they'll vote third party, or not at all, rather than vote for Democrats. I understand and respect that view. But I cannot agree with it. full article

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Audio Recording of TCD events to play on KRFC tonight

KRFC will be playing a full length version of the October 8th and 9th TCD events, this evening, beginning at 8 p.m. You can listen by going to their website at this LINK. Check it out if you can.

article-October 26

Geronimo's power and legacy
Posted: October 26, 2004
by: Brenda Norrell / Indian Country TodayClick to Enlarge

Photo Courtesy National Archives/Ben Wittick -- Geronimo (Goyathlay), a Chiricahua Apache; full-length, kneeling with rifle in 1887.MESCALERO, N.M. - Geronimo possessed extraordinary powers as the ultimate warrior of the Chiricahua Apache and came to know the power of unity, said great-grandson Harlyn Geronimo, preparing to unveil a plaque at Geronimo's birthplace.

Beneath a shower of stars, at the confluence of the headwaters of the Gila, Geronimo was born in 1829.
''Geronimo stood for freedom, that was his major concern, to fight for his people's freedom, so they could live within the Gilas 'for as long as the wind blows,''' Harlyn told Indian Country Today.

While the Calvary was trying to wipe out his people, Geronimo rose to be chief of his band, the Bi da a naka enda (Standing in front of the enemy.)

Geronimo evaded capture so many times that the final search for him took several months and 5,500 troops crossing 1,645 miles, U.S. records show. full article

House GOP Backs Easing Laws for Border Fence

By Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 26, 2004; Page A03

House Republicans have inserted language into legislation revamping the U.S. intelligence system that would allow the Homeland Security secretary to waive any federal law interfering with construction of a 14-mile anti-immigration fence along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Democrats, environmentalists and Native American groups have protested the provision, saying it would allow construction crews to harm critical habitat and imperiled species and possibly damage Indian artifacts. The measure, championed by California's Republican Reps. Doug Ose and David Dreier, gives the Homeland Security secretary the right to skirt all laws he determines "necessary to ensure expeditious construction of the barriers and roads under this section."

Heather Taylor, deputy legislative director for the Natural Resources Defense Council, said the provision could waive federal safeguards including toxic waste laws and child labor standards.

"They're using security fences along our borders to subvert most federal laws," Taylor said. "It's shameful." full article

BIA head proposes Chemawa makeover
An official recommends a "total restructuring" of the bureau's Indian schools, including the one in Salem where a girl died
Sunday, October 24, 2004


The head of the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs is calling for an overhaul of Chemawa Indian School in Salem and other bureau schools by lengthening the school year, tying teachers' pay to performance, and mandating random drug testing of students and staff.

The purpose of the proposals from David W. Anderson, the Interior Department's undersecretary for Indian affairs, is to make the schools safer and more effective in educating nearly 60,000 Native American students. The plans are also in response to the death of a 16-year-old girl in a cell on the Chemawa campus nearly one year ago.

"We need a total restructuring of our entire school system," Anderson told The Oregonian. "When you have a majority of your students dealing with alcohol and substance abuse problems in their own lives and their families' lives, I don't think that simply having math, reading and discipline is enough." full article

Battling apathy on the Navajo reservation
Candidates believe Navajo vote is crucial

Leonie Sherman 10/26/2004
The Native American vote in the hotly contested swing states of Arizona and New Mexico could prove decisive in next week's presidential election, but whether the largely Navajo population will go to the polls in bigger numbers than the past remains to be seen.

Pollsters identify the Navajos, at 220,000 the largest tribe in the nation, as a key voting demographic in the two southwestern states, which split in the last presidential election by the narrowest of margins. In 2000, President Bush defeated Al Gore by 311 votes in Arizona, while Gore beat Bush by 366 in New Mexico.

In hopes of currying voter favor, both President Bush and Democratic candidate John Kerry this year have made visits to the Navajo Nation, which is the geographically the size of France and spread out over the states of Utah, New Mexico and Arizona. Both the Navajo Tribal Council and the Navajo Nation have endorsed Senator Kerry for President. full article

Indian Congress Finds Some Pictures in Federal Buildings Offensive
The National Congress of American Indians describes itself as the oldest and largest national organization of American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments.

The organization is not happy with some of the artwork in federal buildings and they apparently want to talk about it.

According to the organization, artwork in some federal buildings pictures American Indians as savages, murderers and sexual predators.

As an example, it cites art in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a display it considers offensive.

The resolution seeks a meeting between EPA, the General Services Administration and the Indian Congress. article

Montana man frustrated at lack of progress in son's case

Associated Press

FARGO, N.D. - The father of a Montana man whose body was found in North Dakota two years ago continues to be frustrated at the lack of progress in finding his son's killer.

Bill Turcotte alleges Gov. John Hoeven ignored his requests for more resources to investigate the death of his son Russell. Turcotte said more attention was paid to the case of North Dakota college student Dru Sjodin, who was white, than to his son, an American Indian.

Hoeven's spokesman, Duane Houdek, rejected the claim of discrimination and said the Turcotte case remains open.

Bill Turcotte said he was sending a letter to North Dakota newspapers Monday to express his frustration and appeal to voters in next week's election. full article

Mexicans oppose Wal Mart

By Susana Hayward
October 26, 2004

SAN JUAN TEOTIHUACAN, Mexico ? Similar to cultural protests of the newly-opened Honolulu Wal-Mart, Mexican conservationists are protesting the Wal-Mart store rising near the 2,000-year-old pyramids of the Teotihuacan Empire. The activists say the U.S. retailer is destroying their culture at the foot of one of Mexico's greatest treasures.

Since news broke last May of Wal-Mart's plan to construct a 71,902-square-foot store near the Pyramids of the Sun and Moon 30 miles northeast of Mexico City, the entranceway of the primordial city has turned into a carnival of demonstrators, most protesting the plans, though some welcoming the 180 jobs the store will bring. full article

War on Dissent

Gag the Public!


On a blatant campaign of exploiting 9/11, and a subversive campaign to undermine the nation's civil liberties, George W. Bush expects to win a second term. Jingoism is encouraged; dissent is not tolerated.

As Texas governor, Bush established "protest zones" far removed from where he spoke. He continues that practice as President. Anyone with a message not in agreement with the administration's beliefs is isolated, some as much as a half-mile away, during presidential and vice-presidential public appearances. However, according to a ruling by the federal district court in Philadelphia, all persons, no matter what their personal or political views, must have equal access under the First Amendment guarantees of free speech and the right of assembly. That part of the Constitution has often been overlooked by the Republican administration and by local police. full article

Monday, October 25, 2004

articles-October 25

Tribe civil trial finds for worker

Associated Press
FORT WASHAKIE, Wyo. - In its first civil jury trial, the Shoshone and Arapaho Tribal Court handed down a $2.5 million verdict against Marathon Oil Co. and R&S Well Service of Thermopolis for an injured worker.
The trial reflects dramatic national growth in tribal courts and rapid decline in U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs-managed court systems.
While all of the more than 560 federally recognized tribes use traditional methods of dispute resolution, formal court institutions are a relatively recent development.
The tribal court for the Wind River Indian Reservation was started in 1988. full article

Finally, a homeland for Samish Indians

By Florangela Davila
Seattle Times staff reporter
ANACORTES — Indian Country just grew by 80 acres. The Samish Indians are trying not to feel smug.

This is the tribe, after all, once dismissed by federal authorities as being extinct.

Now here it is, 1,100 members strong, dispersed throughout coastal Washington and Canada but about to be anchored by a swath of rural property abutting Campbell Lake on Fidalgo Island.

In a newsletter mailed last week, the tribe announced how the acreage, purchased over the past three years, has been put into trust by the federal government. full article

Two tribes reach out across miles -- and years -- with whaling link

The Makah Tribe in Washington and the coastal Chukchi Tribe in Russia began sharing gray whales centuries ago, when the migrating mammals were as abundant as the freezing gales blowing with them across the Bering Sea.

Each tribe took what it needed from the population -- until the 1920s, when decimation by commercial hunters left too few of the whales to share. 

The Makahs stopped hunting whales. And a way of life, steeped in songs, halted. full article

Tribe sues over urban expansions

* The Suquamish Tribe asks Kitsap County Superior Court to invalidate urban expansions approved in Kingston and South Kitsap.

By Christopher Dunagan, Sun Staff
October 23, 2004

Three major urban expansions in Kitsap County, which together make room for more than 10,000 people plus major industrial developments, have been challenged in a lawsuit filed by the Suquamish Indian Tribe.

The lawsuit seeks to overturn:

* A new community designed for 10,000 people west of Port Orchard known as McCormick Urban Village,
* The 2,000-acre South Kitsap Industrial Area,
* Expansions of Kingston's urban growth area to serve 256 new homes plus commercial uses.

All three rezones were approved in 2003 by the Kitsap County commissioners after many years of review and were later upheld by the Central Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board.

But the tribe's lawsuit claims that the county failed to justify the need for expanding the urban growth areas and contends that the hearings board erred in its interpretation of state law.

The suit names Kitsap County, the Growth Management Hearings Board and McCormick Land Co.

The legal issues are complex, but the tribe says the expansions will increase urban sprawl, damage the environment and impair the tribe's treaty rights to hunting and fishing. full article

Native people still struggling to reach upper echelon in mainstream politics
- Oct. 23, 2004
By JODI RAVE/ Lee Enterprises

They're knocking. But will someone let them in?
Native people are at the door, but few have been invited into top leadership roles at the Democratic and Republican parties.
The GOP doesn't have any Natives on its national committee. Just five can claim spots on the Democratic National Committee.

Each earned the distinction by working through state party ranks. But only one has risen to take a seat on the national committee's 61-member executive board.
Frank LaMere, a Winnebago from South Sioux City, Neb., and a longtime member of the Nebraska Democratic Party, joined the executive board two years ago - after eight years on the national committee full article

Friday, October 22, 2004

Back from hiatus

Back from hiatus. I'll be catching up with the emails and posting the latest info as it comes in.

BTW, Indian Country Today is supposed to print a retraction in addition to publishing our letter to the editor.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Our response to Indian Country Today article.

Last week, Indian Country Today ran an op-ed entitled "Vernon and Columbus: Improving the dialogue on genocidal truth"
full article

This is our response to that op-ed.

For immediate release – 18 October 2004
Contact the American Indian Movement of Colorado at: 303-871-0463

As the Leadership Council and the Elder’s Council of the American Indian Movement (AIM) of Colorado we would like to commend Indian Country Today for it’s column praising Vernon Bellecourt for his outstanding work on Columbus Day. We say that we’d like to, but we can’t. You see, the information in the column is absolutely false and inaccurate. Even a cursory glance at ICT’s own article, in the same issue, reveals that Bellecourt was no part of Transform Columbus Day events in Denver, this year or any year. Allow us to set the record straight.

Colorado AIM and our allies began the campaign to dismantle Columbus Day in its birthplace (it originated in 1905 in Colorado) in 1988. For the four years leading up to the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ arrival, we engaged in a variety of public education campaigns, including changing school curricula, participating in public debates, pursuing media campaigns, and confronting the Columbus parade. In 1991, Russell Means, Ward Churchill, Margaret Martinez and Glenn Morris were arrested, and later acquitted by a jury, of blocking the parade. In 1992, Colorado AIM mobilized over 3500 people in Denver to confront the parade. The parade organizers ultimately cancelled their racist escapade, and Colorado AIM and our allies celebrated the greatest indigenous victory against Columbus revelry in the country that year. For more information on this history, visit our website at www.coloradoaim.org, or the Transform Columbus Day website at www.transformcolumbusday.org.

Vernon Bellecourt has never been in Denver to protest Columbus Day, and he certainly has never lifted a finger to support the efforts of Colorado AIM (and the Transform Columbus Day Alliance) to eradicate the racist holiday in its birthplace in Denver. Bellecourt was nowhere within a thousand miles of Denver when Colorado AIM and our allies stopped the parades in 1991,1992, 2000, and this year, when 250 people were arrested. The fact that Bellecourt would attempt to take credit for our fifteen years of organizing in Denver, clearly reflects on the kind of opportunistic, duplicitous and dishonest person that he is. Colorado AIM is not associated in any way with Vernon Bellecourt, or his private corporation, National AIM, Inc. for precisely this kind of behavior.

When your editorial stated that Bellecourt “continues in the tradition of an early Russell Means,” you exposed your own ignorance of events in Denver, and of Means’ and Bellecourt’s record on this issue. Not only has Russell been arrested three times in Denver for protesting Columbus, including for pouring blood on the Columbus statue (the charges ultimately were dropped), but Russell with us in Denver this year, and stood in the street with us against the “Convoy of Conquest.” Carrie Dann of the Western Shoshone resistance was there, the protesters of the Lewis and Clark re-inactment were there, but Bellecourt was MIA (missing in action) when the Denver riot squad and SWAT team moved in to arrest us.

As your editorial implies, however, this issue is much larger, and of much greater importance than whether Vernon Bellecourt gets credit for our work in Denver. Much more urgently is the question of how the celebration of Columbus Day, and the Columbus legacy continue to disenfranchise, dispossess, and ultimately destroy indigenous peoples throughout the Americas. The Western Shoshone have their backs against the wall – with the U.S. government poised to close the final chapter in the theft of 24 million acres of Shoshone territory, in violation of the 1863 Treaty of Ruby Valley. The U.S. continues to lie and destroy documents in the multi-billion dollar trust fund case, an outrage that no racial or ethnic group in the U.S.(other than American Indians) would be forced to suffer. Indian people continue to lose a higher percentage of cases at the U.S. Supreme Court than any other litigant group – including convicted felons seeking appeal. That is part of the legacy of Columbus. The ideology of the Bush administration in Iraq today is the legacy of Columbus and of the Indian Wars of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, at places like Sand Creek and Wounded Knee.

Those are some of the reasons why we got arrested in Denver on October 9th, and why we refuse to allow anti-Indian displays and celebrations to proceed unimpeded in our own homeland. We will continue to confront Columbus Day, and what it represents -- the celebration of colonialism and genocide – at every opportunity. We ask you all to join us next year in Denver, the 100th anniversary of the holiday, when we drive the final nails in the coffin of the holiday, in its birthplace. We are inviting indigenous peoples from around the hemisphere to join us – Nobel Laureate Rigoberta Menchu, Zapatistas from Chiapas Mexico, indigenous peoples from the Arctic to Amazonia, are all expected in Denver next October. We will be here, young and old, northern and southern, indigenous and non-i9ndigenous. We invite you to come to Denver, too, where you should expect to make history with us, but by no means should you expect to see Vernon Bellecourt here.
Elders' Council Representatives
Tink Tinker (Osage) (Coordinator) • Russell Means (Oglala Lakota) • Yank Bad Hand (Oglala Lakota) • Lillian Fobb (Seminole) • Joe Locust (Cherokee) Vivian Locust (Oglala Lakota/Northern Cheyenne) Margaret Red Shirt Tyon (Oglala Lakota) • Ida Bear (Ho-Chunk) • Logan Bear (Omaha) • Norma Williams (Oglala Lakota/Northern Cheyenne) • Thomas Allen (Sac and Fox) • Mary Ann Allen (Northern Arapaho) • Virgina Allrunner (Southern Cheyenne) Helen Red Feather (Oglala Lakota) Robert Cross (Oglala Lakota) Charles Bear Robe (Oglala Lakota)
Leadership Council Representatives
Tink Tinker (Osage) • TroyLynn Yellow Wood (OglalaLakota/ NorthernCheyenne) • Ted Roy (Meskwaki/Anishinabe) • Mona Roy (Meskwaki/Anishinabe) • Robert Chanate (Kiowa) • Glenn Morris (Shawnee) • Reid Zephier (Oglala Lakota) • Vicci Anderson (Diné) • Ward Churchill (Ketoowah Cherokee) • Jennifer Williams (Sicangu Lakota) • Carol Barry (Chickasaw) • Josh Dillabaugh (Cheyenne River Lakota) • Michelle Wolf (Cheyenne River) • Brenda Jenkins (Omaha) Tony Beltham (San Carlos Apache/Oglala Lakota)
Youth Council Coordinators (Shades of Red youth empowerment group) Serena Roy (Meskwaki/Anishinabe/Cheyenne Rive Lakota) - Timberwolf Running Wolf (Cheyenne River/Oglala Lakota) – Bear Black Elk (Oglala Lakota)

Friday, October 15, 2004

articles october 15

The Bush-DeLay-Indian Casinos  Campaign Money Laundering Operation

(Wampum ‘til they’re dead)

 by Laurence A. Toenjes

Congressman Tom DeLay , a.k.a. “The Hammer”, has been at the center of two investigations recently by the House Ethics Committee.  In each case, and within the span of approximately one week, a letter of reprimand was sent to Mr. DeLay. These actions resulted from unanimous decisions by the 10 member committee, which is made up of equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats.  In addition, three close associates of DeLay were recently indicted in Texas for activities related to improper use of corporate funds in state elections and in laundering corporate money for use by Republican candidates for the Texas House of Representatives. To top it off, two of Mr. DeLay’s closest personal and political associates, Jack Abramoff and Mike Scanlon, are at the center of a federal investigation into the possible improper acquisition of some $66 million from several Indian tribes that operate gambling casinos. This investigation was undertaken at the behest of Senator John McCain.
The purpose of this paper is to connect the above dots, revealing a pattern of associations and payments that begins with Congressman Tom DeLay and ends up on the very doorstep of President Bush’s re-election campaign. full articles

Kildee claims bill amendment 'breaks promise'

Posted: October 15, 2004
by: James May / Indian Country Today
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The United States House of Representatives approved a Republican-sponsored amendment that would waive the laws protecting American Indian sacred sites in the construction of a security barrier just south of San Diego on the U.S./Mexico border.

The amendment passed the House of Representatives by a 256 to 160 vote and seeks to waive several federal laws governing construction along the last three miles of the proposed 14-mile security barrier including the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) and the National Historic Preservation Act. In all 215 of 221 Republicans in the House voted for the amendment.

''By enacting federal laws and implementing federal mandates, we promised Native Americans that we would protect and preserve their places of worship, resting places for the deceased and religious freedom. This amendment breaks that promise by not providing any mechanism for notice or consultation upon finding any cultural, ceremonial or historical sites,'' said Rep. Dale Kildee, one of the most vocal critics of the amendment. full article

American Indians Worry About Mercury

Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. - American Indians are adding their voices to the controversy over mercury in the nation's waters, saying they are among the biggest consumers of fish and therefore more at risk from contamination.

"It is a real issue," said Bob Shimek, a member of the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota who says he fishes to put food on the table. "It's not something abstract."

A report Friday by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, which analyzed 2003 data collected by the Environmental Protection Agency, showed that 44 states including Minnesota had active mercury consumption advisories last year. full article

Cause for Celebration?

By Craig Henry

NORMAN, Okla.—Ah, Columbus Day.

It’s a day of celebration. A day to celebrate … well, what are we supposed to celebrate?

On the 4th of July, we celebrate America’s independence from England. On Memorial Day, we celebrate all the people who died in war. On Labor Day, well … that’s another one I don’t really know about, but I get out of school and work, so I celebrate it.

I was always told that Columbus Day was the day to celebrate when Columbus discovered the New World. But that never made much sense to me. If you go to a place where another civilization is thriving, how can you justify saying you discovered it? full article

Native Times profiles Tink's latest book

Today's web edition of the Native Times has an article that profiles Tink's latest book Spirit and Resistance.

Osage author examines the impact of religion on Native American culture
What role does Christianity play?

In the newly released Spirit and Resistance: Political Theology and American Indian Liberation theologian George Tinker writes from a Native American perspective, probing American Indian culture, its vast religious and cultural legacy, and its ambiguous relationship to the tradition—historic Christianity—that colonized and converted it.

After five hundred years of conquest and social destruction, he says, any useful reflection must come to terms with the political state of Indian affairs and the political hopes and visions for recovering the health and well-being of Indian communities. Does Christian theology have a positive role to play?

Tinker's work offers an overview of contemporary Native American culture and its perilous state. Critical of recent liberal and New Age co-opting of Native spiritual practices, Tinker also offers a critical corrective to liberation theology. He shows how Native insights into the Sacred Other and sacred space helpfully reconfigure traditional ideas of God, Jesus' notion of the reign of God, and our relation to the earth. From this basis he offers novel proposals about cultural survival and identity, sustainability, and the endangered health of Native Americans. full article

Thursday, October 14, 2004

CO AIM member responds to Letter to Editor

This letter to the editor was submitted to the Rocky Mountain News, in response to the LTTE by Tom Ross, "Wanting it both ways." Anyone want to lay odds on whether or not they will print it?

Re: Wanting it both ways

I would like to thank Tom Ross for sharing his ignorance with the rest of us and for the RM News for printing it so that we can expose the ignorance of some people in the absurdity of his comments. I cannot discuss the full complexity of the tax laws that apply to Indian reservations I can say that generally speaking American Indian people do not pay state income taxes when that money is earned on reservations, and that federal income taxes are not paid on money made from land held in trust by the Federal Government. Outside of that many Indian communities have negotiated some other tax relief with individual states.

Many American Indians refuse to assimilate for two reasons. First, people of color are consistently not allowed to participate in American society because of racial prejudice. Second, American Indians do not assimilate because American culture does not provide any promise of living a satisfying life. Consumerism, the acquisition of money, and living
vicariously through others on television only draws the ignorant.

Lastly, your analogy of going to Mexico to protest cinco de mayo doesn't hold up. American Indians were here first. Non-Indigenous people are colonial occupiers of this land, in the Denver area it is Arapaho and Cheyenne land, don't forget that. But an analogy that does hold up is that celebrating Columbus Day in the Americas is like going to Mexico to celebrate the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, or going to Israel to celebrate Hitler Day.
Mark Freeland, Aurora CO

ICT-Denver Columbus Day protest on international terror watch list

From today's web edtion of Indian Country Today.

Denver Columbus Day protest on international terror watch list
Posted: October 14, 2004
by: Brenda Norrell / Indian Country Today
DENVER - The Denver Columbus Day protest and an article from Indian Country Today were placed on an international terrorist watch list, just one day after American Indians and supporters blocked the Columbus Day parade.

The global terrorist ''Security Watch'' listed the Afghan vote, Iraq rebels, Pakistan violence, Bosnian Serbs and Australian politics as the top five risks for Oct. 10.

''Native Americans Protest Columbus Day,'' was number six and even beat out ''Russia, Iran close to deal on spent nuclear fuel.''
The terrorist security watch article appeared after American Indians and their supporters held a peaceful protest in downtown Denver and blocked the Columbus Day Parade on Oct. 9. Denver police arrested, charged and released 205 adults and 25 children, with no incidences of violence.

American Indians called placement of the peaceful protest on the list absurd. The Security Watch list is from International Relations and Security Network, based in Zurich, Switzerland. ISN's stated goal is to help the world understand terrorists. full article

letter to the editor from a typical columbus supporter

This letter to the editor appeared in today's edition of the Rocky Mountain News.

When reading the letter, one is almost tempted to dismiss it as a parody of what an ignorant columbus supporter might write. However, having dealt with columbus supporters over the years, this person's misinformed, unsubstantiated and ignorant letter genuinely reflects the views held by typical columbus supporters.

Keep in mind that the columbus supporters' "heavy hitter," in the form of the Denver Post's David Harsanyi, claimed that Vernon Bellecourt was responsible for shutting down the 1992 parade, after having orchestrated "violent civil disobedience" in 1991, and you get a sense of what sort of mentalities are driving the "convoy of conquest."

Here is the LTTE

Wanting it both ways

It seems to me that native Americans cannot have it both ways. They live in sovereign nations, pay no income tax and reap several other benefits only available to Indian nations by so doing. Many who live in these sovereign nations refuse to assimilate into American society, yet protest American holidays such as Columbus Day with impunity. To me that is the same as me going to Mexico and protesting Cinco de Mayo. Link to letter

Tom Ross

Okay, some reservations have agreements in which members living on the reservation do not have to pay state taxes on their income. As for federal income taxes, all indians who earn an income pay federal income taxes except for those who earn their income off trust land. In addition to paying federal income taxes, people living on the reservation pay taxes on any goods they purchase outside of the reservation, which is where most of them make the majority of their purchases.

Next, Ross claims that people living on the reservation protest the columbus day holiday with impunity. Presumably, he means that people living on the reservation travel to Denver to protest and are never punished for doing so. Just in case he missed the news reports, 239 people were arrested for protesting the convoy of conquest this past weekend. Maybe he does not understand the concept of what an arrest is so we'll explain it to him. Being arrested means that one is handcuffed and jailed until they can secure their release by whatever means. Next, they are arraigned and can enter a plea. If found guilty, they face a punishment that is decided by a judge or jury. Punishment can range from probation, fines and/or imprisonment. That's the prospect faced by the 239 people who protested and one which most sane people would regard as a potential punitive consequence for their actions.

Now, had the police declined to arrest anyone and simply escorted them back to their vehicles, then it could be argued that those arrested acted with impunity; but that's not what happened. Ross, ignoring the facts of the weekend and struggling to find something to be outraged about, makes the arguement anyway.

Then he closes with this analogy. "To me that is the same as me going to Mexico and protesting Cinco de Mayo" This analogy raises the level of ridiculousness even for columbus supporters: Cinco de Mayo celebrates the defeat of the French, not the the actions of a man who was an Indian killer and African slave trader. Also, those that protest against the convoy of conquest are invited here by the people of Denver. Finally, Tom Ross's people are not indigenous to Mexico, nor does Mexico fall within the confines of their traditional homelands. Contrast that with most of the Indigenous protestors who's ancestors lived in this area before there was a Colorado or even a United States and you get an insight into the sort of "reasoning" that afflicts the columbus supporters.

Indian Country Today-Denver police arrest 245 for blocking Columbus Day Parade

From today's web edition of Indian Country Today.

Denver police arrest 245 for blocking Columbus Day Parade
Posted: October 14, 2004
by: Brenda Norrell / Indian Country Today

Calling it a ''Convoy of Conquest,'' American Indian Movement members and their allies, including Western Shoshone Carrie Dann, blocked the Columbus Day Parade in a protest of the Colorado holiday that represents genocide and the theft of homelands for indigenous people in the Americas.

''America continues to fight the 'Indian wars' and one expression of that is Columbus Day,'' AIM organizer Glenn Morris told Indian Country Today.

Protesters focused on exposing the root of genocide in America as they were arrested for blocking the path of the Sons of Italy's Columbus Day Parade of bikers, limos and semi-trucks. Denver police arrested 245 people, including 44 juveniles.

Morris said Indian children as young as seven and eight chose to be arrested because of the injustice they face in U.S. schools.

''Every year they confront the silence of their ancestors' voices in their history classes.''

Further, Morris said when the 245 cases go to court, American Indians and their allies will not be the ones on trial.

''We intend to put Columbus on trial, the city of Denver on trial and the state of Colorado and the United States on trial for celebrating genocide.''

The protesters arrested included the event organizers, Morris, Osage professor Tink Tinker, activist Nita Gonzales, professor Ward Churchill and activist TroyLynn Yellowwood. Charges included interference, failure to comply, loitering and blocking a public street.

The protesters, led by Dann and Lakota from the ''Stop Lewis and Clark'' movement in South Dakota, first gathered at the state capitol before blocking the parade route Oct. 9. Facing 600 Denver police, many armed with riot gear and pepper spray, hundreds refused to move and were arrested without incident and booked. They were released from jail in the afternoon at about 3 p.m.

Morris pointed out that Colorado is the perfect place to halt Columbus Day because Colorado was the first to proclaim it as a state holiday in 1907. Far from being rhetoric, Morris said the bedrock of Columbus Day is the Doctrine of Discovery of 1492, which is the basis of all federal Indian law.

Morris, professor and chair of the political science department at the University of Denver, said Indian lands have been reduced from 2 billion to 50 million acres, based on this doctrine. Columbus advanced and expanded the arrogant European Doctrine of Discovery, claiming that superior, civilized, Christian Europeans had the right to seize and appropriate indigenous peoples territories and resources.

This legacy of Columbus continues today and allows the U.S. government to ''lose'' between $40 and $100 billion that the U.S. was to administer for the benefit of individual American Indians. The government has admitted that it deliberately destroyed evidence in the case, and it appears that the U.S. has no intention of finding or accounting for the money that it has stolen, he said.

This doctrine has been embedded into racist Federal Indian Law, and is apparent today in the case of the Western Shoshone in Nevada and the Lakota in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

''We're not talking about a hypothetical theory to Native people.''
Morris said the result of the Doctrine of Discovery was the loss of land and lives for Indian people. Today, the rhetoric of ''Indian wars'' is used in Iraq by the United States military as it seeks to take control of territory. ''All hostile territory in Iraq is still called 'Indian country.' People who fraternize with Iraqi are said to be 'going Native.'''

Columbus Day protesters followed the philosophy of Martin Luther King Jr., who expressed the hope that direct action would lead to negotiations. In Denver, the Transform Columbus Day Alliance struggles to bring a halt to the Colorado holiday. Other states, including South Dakota, have replaced Columbus Day with Native American Day.

Western Shoshone Carrie Dann, struggling with other Western Shoshone to protect their homelands in Nevada, and the Red Earth Women's Alliance helped organize and lead the marches, one in a local park on Oct. 8 and the culminating protest in downtown Denver on Oct. 9.

''Our arrests are designed to expose a corrupt educational, legal and political system that refuses to describe the destruction of millions of indigenous people at the hands of Columbus for what it is: Genocide,'' Colorado AIM said in a statement after the arrests.

The action was to ''expose such moral and legal bankruptcy, and we actively refuse to cooperate with legalized murder and theft.''
Morris pointed out the facts: Christopher Columbus was a slave trader. Columbus was involved in trading African slaves prior to his voyage to the Americas in 1492. Columbus was personally responsible for overseeing a colonial administration that directly led to the death of millions of indigenous people.

Father Bartolome de Las Casas, an eyewitness and a contemporary of Columbus, estimated that 15 million indigenous people died in the Caribbean.

Prior to the march, American Indians urged a letter-writing campaign to local newspapers, including the Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post, accusing both papers of failing to provide balanced coverage of the issues. Italian-Americans wrote letters pointing out that not all Italians in this country support Columbus and many stand with Indian protesters.

In preparation of a protest, Mohandas K. Gandhi was quoted: ''Civil disobedience becomes a sacred duty when the state has become lawless or corrupt. And a citizen who barters with such a state shares in its corruption and lawlessness.''

In 2003, Colorado AIM and allies were led by the late American Indian elder Wallace Black Elk and Richard Costaldo, a paralyzed Italian-American survivor of the Columbine massacre. They turned their backs on the parade and walked away. However, this year, they said was a year for direct action.

''In that spirit, we commend the organizers of the Festival Italiano, which was held in Lakewood on Sept. 25 - 26,'' Colorado AIM said, pointing out that it is the type of festival that fosters unity and understanding LINK to article

EZLN seeks assistance for villages that are under attack

The EZLN (Zapatista Army of National Liberation) is seeking assistance in helping to relocate villages that have been dispersed by parmilitary squads. The villages moved into the ""Montes Azules biosphere" and are now seeking to relocate to a different area, into a tighter more concentrated group, so as to defend against attacks by the parmilitary squads.

The request for assistance, by the EZLN, is reprinted in it's entirety. This arrived via email and we will provide a link whenever we one becomes available. The communique' states that the logistics for providing assistance will be sent along at a later date.

EZLN: Zapatista villages under attack seek help

October of 2004.

To the people of Mexico:

To national and international civil society:

Brothers and sisters:

The EZLN is addressing you in order to state the following:

First. - Owing to harassment by paramilitary groups and the intolerance
encouraged by the Institutional Revolutionary Party [PRI] in some
communities, dozens of zapatista indigenous families found themselves
forced, some time ago, to move and to form small population groups in
the so-called "Montes Azules biosphere."

During the time that they have been in this terrible situation, far
from their native lands, the displaced zapatistas have gone to great
effort to carry out our laws which mandate that the forests be cared
for. Nonetheless, the federal government - at the hand of the
transnationals who are trying to gain control of the wealth of the
Selva Lacandona - has threatened, time and again, to violently
dislocate all the villages in that region, including the zapatista

The compañeros and compañeras from various communities threatened with
dislocation decided to resist as long as the government failed to
comply with the San Andrés Accords. Their decision has been respected
and supported by the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. At that
time we pointed out, and we are now reaffirming: if any of our
communities are violently dislocated, we, all of us, will respond in

Second. - With the advance of the "good government juntas," a large
number of the zapatista indigenous communities have been provided with
the means of substantially improving their living conditions. The
rebel communities have achieved successes, especially in health and
education - without any federal, state or official municipal help -
which easily surpass those of the official communities.

This has been possible because of help from brothers and sisters from
all over Mexico and the world.

These benefits, however, have not managed to cover all the rebel
communities. The displaced populations in Montes Azules, in
particular, have not benefited from these advances.

Third. - Respecting their autonomy, the Comandancia General of the
EZLN addressed the "Hacia la Esperanza" Good Government Junta in the
selva border region, headquartered in La Realidad, in order to ask for
their help in matters of health, education and commerce for these
displaced communities. The Good Government Junta has responded that
they will do everything necessary, as far as they are able, to attend
to these zapatista brothers and sisters.

The distance and scattered nature of some of these villages, however,
present important difficulties. The EZLN has therefore agreed, with
the express consent of their residents, to reconcentrate some of the
zapatista villages in that region, so that they can thus be taken in by
the Good Government Junta of the selva border region.

The following are the villages to which we are referring:

Primero de Enero.

San Isidro.

12 de Diciembre.

8 de Octubre.

Santa Cruz.

Nuevo Limar.

Agua Dulce.

There are a total of 50 families.

We would like to make it clear that they are not the only zapatista
villages in the Montes Azules. There are other zapatista population
centers in that region who are continuing to live with the threat of

Fourth. - The Comandancia General of the EZLN has been holding talks
for several months with the compañeros and compañeras of these
villages, and it has reviewed with them the paths for improving their
difficult situation a bit.

Together, the conclusion has been reached that it would be best if some
villages were reconcentrated in one place. In that way they will be
able to better resist the threats, they will be able to better care for
the selva, they will be participants in the advances of the good
government junta, and they will be able to better participate in the
EZLN's struggle for the respect and recognition of indigenous rights
and culture.

Fifth. - With the backing of those villages and of the Good Government
Junta of the selva border region, the EZLN is turning to national and
international civil society for their moral and economic support of
this reconcentration, because, in compliance with zapatista resistance,
these villages have declared that they will not receive any help from
the state and federal governments.

Sixth. - With the same backing, the Comandancia General of the EZLN
has turned to social activist Rosario Ibarra de Piedra, in order to
respectfully ask her to agree to create whatever is necessary so that
national and international civil society can help in this task,
financially and with their work. This is with the understanding that a
clear accounting will be presented and that the EZLN is publicly
committing itself to absolutely making sure that this money is not used
for anything other than the reconcentration, under dignified
conditions, of the compañeros and compañeras.

Once Doña Rosario has accepted, and the involved communities so decide,
the EZLN will announce the details of the stages and work for this

Seventh. - We sincerely hope that national and international civil
society will respond to our call to help these communities and thus to
improve their zapatista living conditions, that is, their struggle and




From the mountains of the Mexican Southeast.

By the Clandestine Revolutionary Indigenous Committee -
General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.

Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos.

Mexico, October of 2004, 20 and 10.

Stop Lewis and Clark Resistance Group will be in Bismarck,ND

The "Stop Lewis and Clark Resistance Group" will be in Bismarck, ND, on the days of October 21 and 22, to hold an educational forum as well as to protest the re-enactment of the invasion. We are asking all supporters, who can make the trip, to please attend and support the resistance group.

Here is the full text of their press release. For more information, please visit their website at www.stoplewisandclark.org

Stop Lewis and Clark Resistance Group
To Protest & Educate In Bismarck, ND

News Statement for Release October 13, 2004

The Dawn of Genocide represented by the re-enactment of the Lewis and Clark “Dawn of Discovery of 1804-1806” will be protested by a group of people who resist the message as portrayed as an $87 million travesty and delusion of historians who have ignored, and who continue to ignore, the voice of indigenous peoples and nations on this island.

A Rally sponsored by the Resistance Group on the evening of October 21, 2004 at United Tribes Technical College will educate those interested in learning the native version of the impact of Lewis and Clark opening the door to Indian Country.

Natives, and non-natives as well, are invited and encouraged to attend the Rally: The Seventh Generation Gathering to Protest the Commemoration of Genocide. The Rally will be held on the United Tribes Technical College campus at the James Henry Building, 3315 University Drive, and will begin at 5pm with an evening meal. The Rally will open with a ceremony by Lakota spiritual leaders, and the Lakota drum group Crazy Horse Singers of the Pine Ridge, SD homeland will be present to sing traditional Lakota social songs.

Native Hip-Hop artist Buggs Malone of the Minneapolis/St. Paul area will perform positive rap.

Speakers from the Oceti Sakowin (Great Sioux Nation) in South Dakota will share their knowledge from the Lakota perspective about the impact of the Euro-American invasion on the indigenous nations.

Topic areas will include the effect of colonization and christenization of native nations on today’s people: the myriad of social problems caused by the cultural genocide against people of the Oceti Sakowin and thoughts on how to reverse this condition through the revitalization of traditional Lakota life ways and through people reclaiming their kinship system, Lakota language, and spiritual way of life: decolonization; as well as talks on sovereignty, treaty rights and human rights.

Experienced activists and leaders will share expertise and histories with the young activists and organizers.

The Rally will sponsor an “open microphone” to provide an opportunity for young activists to talk about issues facing their communities, bands, nations; and to open a dialog with other young people on how to impact the issues they feel are important.

Snapshot presentations at the Rally will include the proposed uranium mine near the Pine Ridge Reservation on the South Dakota-Nebraska state line, and the proposed nuclear waste dump Nebraska is planning for the Rosebud Reservation border with Nebraska; and the local issue of the proposed coal-bed strip mining for Couteau, North Dakota and its effects on sacred sites to the Oceti Sakowin. Other issues to be discussed include effective organizing and environmental racism.

The Stop the Lewis and Clark Resistance Group believes it is important to educate native nations and the general public about such topics, as these issues are a result of the invasion of native lands by the Euro-Americans who followed the blueprint laid out by Lewis and Clark.

Indigenous people and nations do not feel the same way about the “Louisiana Purchase” as do most Americans-that it was okay to purchase land at 3 cents an acre from someone who didn’t even own it! The indigenous perspective will be shared about this “Ämerican” historical event as well as other events in the Lewis and Clark version of the portrayal of “American” history.

The Stop the Lewis and Clark Resistance Group will protest the reenactment activities on October 22, 2004 scheduled for 11:00 am at Bismark, ND on the University of Mary Campus. The Resistance Group will portray the truth as seen from indigenous eyes through the non-violent direct action to protest this $87 million travesty.

Additional information is available at the website: www.stoplewisandclark.org

articles-October 14

Columbus persona non grata in Latin America
10/14/2004 12:03
In October 12, many countries in Latin America celebrated the day in which Christopher Columbus first arrived in America, 512 years ago. Indigenous people from all over the region protested as only 10% of them survived the European colonization.

October 12 is Spain"s national day. It is also a remarkable holiday across Latin America as the world commemorates the day in which Christopher Columbus arrived, without noticing it, to the new world. That happened 512 years ago.

Today, American natives from different tribes all along the continent still blame on what is considered by many intellectuals as the first holocaust in world"s history. According to estimations, 40 million people, around 90% of the original population of America, was exterminated by European conquerors.

Countries like Argentina and Uruguay still celebrate what they consider the day of the Spanish Race. Others, like Venezuela have changed the name of October 12 Columbus Day to The Day of Indigenous Resistance. But that happened recently, under the leftist rule of President Hugo Chavez, who, joined by indigenous leaders from across the country, Chavez attended ceremonies to commemorate the national holiday on Tuesday. full article

"G" Is for Genocide
Alumni Viewpoint
October 14, 2004
Jason Corwin

"The bigger the lie, the greater likelihood that it will be believed." -- Adolf Hitler
There is a serious moral deficit in America that many have yet to come to terms with. The celebration of Christopher Columbus' arrival is a de facto celebration of the genocide of the indigenous people of this land. By all standards, notably the Convention on Prevention and Punishment of Genocide, which was codified into international law after the world community punished the Nazis at the Nuremberg trials, the European colonization of the western hemisphere has undisputedly been genocidal. America's true history regarding native peoples has, in fact, been lawless, inhumane and barbaric, despite attempts by revisionist academics and the media to mythologize Columbus and his legacy, disregarding the evidence of his crimes against humanity.

Recently The Cornell American published an article to "honor America's first and finest mass murderer." Defenders of Columbus Day have used weak and racist arguments to justify their position. Campus conservatives have variously asserted that "genocide is no reason to cancel a holiday," and that it is a means of honoring Italian-Americans, who never did anything against Native Americans. My ancestors, who were renowned as great orators and debaters (so much so that several Founding Fathers found it prudent to study and attempt to emulate our form of governance), used fact and logic to advance arguments in councils. If we apply these techniques to the arguments and rationales forwarded by Columbus Day supporters, we can lay a shameful legacy to rest. Sadly, Americans knows very little truth about the original people of this land.

Since first contact in 1492, Europeans have either demonized us as non-human savages or romanticized us as perfect children of nature. Neither view was ever grounded in reality, as our cultures were highly diverse and contained positive and negative aspects, like all human societies. This has been perpetuated by inaccurate and stereotypical portrayals in media and educational curricula. Most people are ignorant of the significant contributions to humanity that we made in the areas of agriculture, democratic governance and human rights. A hallmark of these societies was a balance between collective responsibility and individual freedom. True freedom was so much a part of indigenous culture that it inspired Europeans to cast off the shackles of feudalism and monarchies. full article

States, government agree on Klamath Basin

Officials pledge to resolve water issues


Associated Press

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration and the governors of California and Oregon said Wednesday they have agreed to work together to resolve water issues in the drought-starved Klamath Basin.

Interior Secretary Gale Norton said the agreement would help the two states and four federal agencies as they work with farmers, Indian tribes, fishermen, conservationists and other groups that use the chronically dry basin along the California-Oregon border. full article

Parents protest education standards at Piapot

PIAPOT FIRST NATION, SASK. - Members of the Piapot First Nation have shut down the local school in protest of a new curriculum.

Parents locked the school doors and blocked the entrance Tuesday. They say their children are not getting the education they deserve.

Under the new curriculum, students from kindergarten to grade twelve were tested, and many of them were placed in special education.

But some parents are doubting the accuracy of those tests.

"You based our whole native children of this First Nation community as special need?" asks Alvina Crowe. full article

Indigenous Women Reclaim Traditional Medicine

Yadira Ferrer*

BOGOTA, Oct 14 (IPS) - Luxmenia Banda, of the San Andrés de Sotavento indigenous reserve in northern Colombia, remembers that when she had bruises as a girl, her grandmother would apply the leaves of the 'árnica' (Heterotheca inuloides), of the daisy family, ''to reduce inflammation'', and would use crushed oregano to prevent scratches from becoming infected.

''When we were forced from our lands and had to move to other places, all of those traditions began to be forgotten. Reclaiming them was one of the first tasks we took up when we returned,'' Banda, head of the Association of Alternative Producers, Asproal, told Tierramérica.

Seventy of the 803 women who are part of the organisation, most from the Zenú community, participate directly in growing and marketing medicinal plants. full article

Owners discover they are renters
By Valarie Lee/The Daily Times
Oct 14, 2004, 11:42 pm

SHIPROCK — Imagine being offered the opportunity to live in a large, airy, beautifully designed home with a big yard.

And imagine how excited you and your family would be about moving into this brand new home after spending years living in a cramped apartment.

Now, before you move in, local tribal officials, dignitaries and the corporation who built the home, serve a sumptuous catered lunch and eat with you and your family.

During this luncheon, various officials congratulate you on owning your new home.

After lunch, officials hand you a small elegantly wrapped box. Inside you find a key.

The officials explain to you the key goes to your new house and you are now officially the “new owners.” full article

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

articles-October 13

A fight to save the tradition of wild rice

Harvesting wild rice has been a way of life for Ojibwa Indians. But the rice is in decline and fewer young tribe members now participate.

By Richard Mertens | Contributor to The Christian Science Monitor
SPUR LAKE, WIS. – The ducks are soaring overhead, the scent of autumn is in the air, and Pete McGeshick is back ricing again. On a bright September morning, he floats in a sea of wild rice, using a pair of yard-long cedar sticks to knock the kernels into his battered aluminum canoe.

Mr. McGeshick, an Ojibwa (o-JIB-way) Indian from Mole Lake, Wis., has been harvesting wild rice since he was a boy. Now, with decades of experience behind him, he is a virtuoso of the harvest. With quick and graceful motions, he reaches out with one stick and bends the stalks over the canoe, while he delivers two glancing blows with another stick to dislodge the ripe grains. Rice patters like soft rain against the aluminum.

"You don't have to hit it hard," he says. "A lot of people think you do. But you just want the ripe stuff," which falls off easily. full article

Métis may face charges for hunting, warns province

WINNIPEG - Manitoba's Conservation Minister says Métis hunters will be charged if they break hunting laws, even if they carry Métis harvester identification cards.

The Manitoba Métis Federation has issued more than 175 harvester cards to its members. The cards claim the same hunting rights as status Indians.

However, months of talks between the Manitoba government and the Manitoba Métis Federation have failed to come up with an official agreement on Métis hunting rights.

Conservation Minister Stan Struthers says holding a harvester card does not allow someone to hunt on private property without permission. As for Crown land, Struthers says that would have to be based on the Powley case, in which the Supreme Court gave an Ontario Métis man the right to hunt in his community. full article

Panelists debate Indian trust reform
Interior defends record amidst criticism

Sam Lewin 10/13/2004
Officials with the Bureau of Indian Affairs are defending the progress they have made in trust reform, even as attorneys involved in the case say little has been done.

The comments all came during a panel discussion held at the National Congress of American Indians Annual Conference in Fort Lauderdale. Several thousand tribal delegates witnessed the debate.

Special Trustee Ross Swimmer said things have improved, although there is still work to be done. full article

Winona LaDuke endorsement of John Kerry for president
Posted: October 13, 2004
I am voting for John Kerry this November. I love this land, and I know that we need to make drastic changes in Washington if we are going to protect our land and our communities. I am committed to transforming the American democracy so that it is reflective of the diversity of this country. I believe in a multi-party system and a multi-racial democracy. I believe there are many opinions, not simply two, that merit a hearing on any issue. I believe we should be working harder to increase the numbers of people of color, women, and Native people elected to office because we are this country and we are what America looks like. I'm voting my conscience on Nov. 2; I'm voting for John Kerry.

This does not mean that John Kerry will be a perfect leader. Nor does it mean that any of us should give Kerry a pass simply because he is a rational alternative to the most destructive administration in recent memory. But he has earned my support, even if the leaders of his party aren't quite with the program. I regret that the Democratic Party is investing positive, grassroots energy in a campaign to deny ballot access to Ralph Nader - grassroots energy that is needed in these urgent times. I support wholeheartedly Ralph Nader's right to run and be on the ballot in all states. In a true democracy, the right to be on the ballot in all states and the right to participate in the presidential debates would be guaranteed. That's what democracy is. We must continue to work to make this ideal of democracy the reality in America. full article

More on Indigenous Resistance Day and the toppled statue

Yesterday was the 3rd annual celebration of the National Day of Indigenous Resistance in Venezuela.

Venezuela celebrated its National Day of Indigenous Resistance on this day in October that marks the arrival of Christopher Columbus on the continent in 1492.

President Hugo Chavez presented a floral arrangement at the National Pantheon in honor of Chief Guaicaipuro, a 16th Century indigenous leader who managed to unite the distinct indigenous people of the Caracas valley in resistance to Spanish colonialism.

Chavez greeted dozens of indigenous people who traveled from as far away as the Venezuelan Amazon to mark this day in the country’s capital named after Guaicaipuro’s people, the Caracas.

Zoila Yanez, 21, a member of the Warao people of the state of Delta Amacuro, said that this Day of Indigenous Resistance is important to native communities in Venezuela because it dispels the idea that Columbus discovered this continent. “When Christopher Columbus landed on this continent we were here. We were here defending our land, our customs, our art, and our culture. They wanted to eliminate our culture but they could not. We are still here and we are still resisting,” Yanez said.

Indigenous events took place throughout the day at the Teresa Carreño opera house, once reserved for the wealthy elite of the city and which today housed Venezuelan indigenous ceremonies and an audience of native people from across the country during today’s national holiday. full article

Meanwhile, another group decided to celebrate the day by pulling down a bronze statue of christopher columbus from it's marble base. They then drug the statue through the streets and spray painted slogans on the base where the columbus statue had previously been erected.

The statue was located in downtown Caracas atop a 30 foot high pedestal. Protestors used thick yellow climbing ropes to bring down the 100 year old statue of Columbus and dragged the remains through downtown Caracas and towards the Teresa Carreño theatre, where hundreds of indigenous people presented their cultural songs and dance to each other and other supporters commemorating October 12. The protestors intended to ask indigenous people to bring Columbus to trial after 512 years.

According to the opposition newspaper "El Universal," protestors hung the Columbus statue head down from a tree near the Teresa Carreño opera house and shouted, "Justice for the people, justice for the people!" Caracas police and the National Guard recovered the statue of the fallen Columbus and arrested 5 people. full article

Below are 3 photos. The first is of the statue being pulled down. The second is of the statue being drug through the streets and the last is of the graffiti covered statue base.

Indigenous Resistance Day-fun for the whole family.

UNM students hold rally on Indigenous Peoples' Day

Students at UNM held a rally, yesterday, that was part protest and part rally. As the UNM student organizer Deborah Horse Chief notes, there appears to be a resurregence in Indigenous activism and columbus day is becoming something of a rallying point.

Natives protest Columbus Day
Rally celebrates Indigenous Peoples' Day instead

Media Credit: Tina Larkin
Jeff Cherino, left, and Doreen Tenorio look at an American-Indian magazine in the SUB on Monday during a rally held by Native American studies to protest Columbus Day.

In 1492, Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue. In 2004, students from Native American studies say that's no reason for celebration.

American-Indian students protested Columbus Day on Monday with a rally in the SUB, saying the day should instead be called Indigenous Peoples' Day.

Rebekah Horse Chief, one of the organizers of the event, read a declaration stating Columbus began a sordid tale of assimilation, acculturation, genocide and maiming of an indigenous population when he landed on the shores of Cuba. full article

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Some more photos from the convoy of conquest protest

These photos are posted in the order they occurred on Saturday. They capture the events from the rally to the point right before the arrests began. Underneath each photo is a brief description.

This is the notorious "columbus-savage" poster the AP article described

Tony and Timber

Serena holding the pipe while the drum group, lead by Duane Martin, sings

Vic Camp, of Owe Aku, speaks of their efforts in opposing the re-enactment of the Lewis and Clark invasion.

Richard Castaldo speaks while AIM security(in the black) begins to assemble to lead the march to the convoy of conquest route

The group leaves the capitol and walks to towards the route

United Native America carries a banner that reads "Christopher Columbus-America's first terrorist"

This is about the halfway point along the walk to the convoy route

this was taken a couple of blocks away from the route

a couple of blocks away

walking through the barricades into the street

assembling in the streets

forming the line across the street

Indians topple Columbus statue in Caracas

Natives in Caracas celebrated "Indian Resistance Day" by pulling down a bronze statue of christopher columbus.

Chavez Backers Topple Columbus Statue in Caracas
Tue Oct 12, 2004 05:30 PM ET

By Pascal Fletcher

CARACAS, Venezuela (Reuters) - Supporters of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez celebrated Columbus Day on Tuesday by toppling a statue in Caracas of the explorer whom Chavez blames for ushering in a "genocide" of native Indians.

Two years ago, Chavez rechristened the Oct. 12 holiday -- commemorated widely in the Americas to mark Christopher Columbus' 1492 landing in the New World -- "Indian Resistance Day."

The new name honored Indians killed by Spanish and other foreign conquerors who followed in the wake of the Italian-born Columbus who sailed in the service of the Spanish crown.

As the left-wing nationalist president led celebrations on Tuesday to honor Indian chiefs who resisted the Spanish conquest, a group of his supporters conducted a mock trial of a bronze statue of Columbus in central Caracas.

They declared the image guilty of "imperialist genocide," looped ropes around its outstretched arm and neck and heaved it down from its marble base. No police or other authorities intervened as the protesters drove off in a truck yelling, "We've killed Columbus!"

"This isn't a historical heritage. ... Columbus is the symbol of a conquest that was a globalization by blood and fire, a cultural massacre," said Vitelio Herrera, a philosophy student at Venezuela's Central University.

Chavez has called Latin America's Spanish and Portuguese conquerors "worse than Hitler" and the precursors of modern-day "imperialism" he says is now embodied by the United States, the biggest buyer of his country's oil.

"We're celebrating what the president has said," said Herrera. The base of the toppled statue was daubed with slogans such as "Columbus = Bush. Out!"

The protesters, many who wore red T-shirts with slogans supporting Chavez, repeated the Venezuelan leader's fierce criticism of the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq.

"Didn't they tear down the statue of Saddam Hussein, the dictator of Iraq? For me, (U.S. President George W.) Bush represents barbarity and Chavez represents civilization," said Orlando Iturbe, a 57-year-old member of a pro-Chavez cooperative.

Some passersby said they were shocked by the action. "I don't agree with this. The statue was something historical that we should remember," said Jose Luis Maita, who watched with his wife and small daughters. LINK

NASA students in Michigan hold Columbus Forum

This from Michigan

Columbus Day sparks debate over explorer's legacy

Writing in his journal two days after setting foot in the Americas for the first time, Christopher Columbus came to a conclusion about the native peoples — “I could conquer the whole of them with 50 men, and govern them as I pleased.”

More than a year after his arrival in 1492, Columbus returned to the Americas with 17 ships and 1,200 men, enslaving the natives in search of gold. With his expedition also came disease, decimating the population. By 1555, some claim that two million natives on the island of Hispaniola were nearly reduced to extinction.

And for this cruelty, America awards Columbus with a holiday, said Matt Stehney, president of the Native American Student Association. full article

Photos from the Convoy of Conquest Blockade

These photos are courtesy of Jolynne Woodcock.

These are the allies that were arrested in the first wave. TCD is an alliance that is comprised of organizations and individuals from all nations. The indigenous people lead the way into the street and stood in front until the arrests began. At that point, our allies stepped forward and were the first to be arrested.

This is a photo taken when we first entered the street. From left to right: Carrie Dann, Cheyenne, Troylynn, Tink and Yankee. Cheyenne, the young girl in the white shawl, was arrested along with everyone else.

Carrie Dann, Michelle and the reverend

Dave Sr. and his sone, Dave Jr. before they were arrested.

Dave Sr., Serena, and Jennifer. Serena, the young girl in the yellow jacket, was also arrested.

Some meatheads celebrating their culture by flipping off the demonstrators.

Glenn Morris and other AIM members standing in the street.

Russell Means, Richard Castaldo(Columbine surivor), Ward, Sabin and Tony, standing in the street.

This is a photo of the guys that lead the Convoy of Conquest. The convoy didn't have any floats and consisted of bikers, stretch limios, humvees, semi-trucks, a cement mixer, a petroleum tanker and a flat bed truck carrying a tractor and other farm equipment.

Here are 2 women, in the convoy, acting brave behind a line of cops.

Troylynn, Cheyenne, Tink and Yankee

Yankee, Tink and Glenn upon first entering the street and blocking the convoy.

Colorado AIM elder, Yankee Bad Hand, leading the group into the street.