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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


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