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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


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