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Tuesday, October 26, 2004

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

KARA BRIGGS

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
10/26/2004
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!

By WALTER BRASCH

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

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